Monthly Archives: February 2013

Is Treadmill Helpful or Hindering for your Training?

treadmill1

The body is similar to a machine and like most machines a particular pattern of events needs to occur for it to perform efficiently.  In terms of running, think of the body as pulling the ground underneath you. The posterior of the body is sparking and creating this process. Triple extension takes place (glutes, hamstrings and calves) and then the back extensors come into play.  On a treadmill, the belt is giving assistance with this particular pattern, thus not letting the body produce to its full potential. This can unfortunately lead to muscle imbalances and dysfunctions.

If the treadmill is a part of your training, then do not skip the weight training to make up for possible deficiencies. Exercises that can help you strengthen that posterior chain are:

  1. RDLs (Romanian Deadlifts)
  2. Step-ups
  3. Bulgarian Squat (rear foot elevated)
  4. Bridges (all variations)

In conclusion, no one is telling you that what you are doing is wrong, or trying to deter you from using a treadmill. If you can run outside, do so.

If you use a treadmill, remember to supplement this with weight training activities.

Better yet incorporate the weight training anyways to get your fitness to the next level!

By: Rocco Ferraiolo PTA, NASM certified, SPARQ certified

Pain Relieving Gels and Creams

pain relieving gelsWe have all seen television advertisements for pain relieving gels, creams, and rubs such as Bengay, Icy Hot, Capzasin, or Biofreeze.  These products are typically applied to the skin at the site of pain. They create a warm or cold sensation, lasting for a brief period of time, with the goal of alleviating pain.  One commonly asked question in our practice is do these products work and how?

Most of the more popular rubs have an active ingredient named Menthol, which produces a cold sensation, or Capsaicin, which produces a warm sensation.    These sensations are produced by stimulating the nerve endings in the skin where the product is applied.  The nerves then transmit this information to the brain, which “senses” the change in temperature.  The theory as to why this helps alleviate pain is that the nerves that carry the temperature signals are the same nerves that carry pain signals.  If these nerves are “busy” giving the brain information about temperature, it will not receive as much information about pain, thus providing “pain relief”.

These products have been shown to have variable effectiveness in individuals. It is important to remember that these products are not designed to replace medications prescribed by your doctor. Be sure to consult with your physician if you are unsure if the product is safe for you.

By Steve Bernstein PT, OMT