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Tips on how to stick to those well-intentioned New Years Resolutions

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SEATTLE - The beginning of February brings the struggle of sticking to those well-intentioned New Years Resolutions. It's hard to stay motivated and stick to a new workout program when ailments start to appear. Physical therapy doctors in Western Washington are seeing an increasing number of "-itis" complaints including:

  1. Achilles (heel) tendonitis: 
    • Common for those who try to go from “couch to 5K” too quickly.
  2. Patella (knee) tendonitis: 
    • Affects those who do high-intensity interval training (HIIT)
    • and runners with IT (Iliotibial) band issues.
  3. Hip bursitis: 
    • Likely to cause pain in couch-to-5K-ers and runners with IT (Iliotibial) band issues.
  4. Rotator cuff/bicep (shoulder/arm) tendonitis: 
    • Most common in lifters (Crossfit, F45, bootcamp).
  5. Lower back pain:
    • (not an “itis” but very common): Lifters and cyclists most susceptible.

Dr. Anna Friedman, DPT from RET Group Physical Therapy, shared her tips for how to work on these common "-itis" issues at home.

  • Heel pain –Light calf stretches. Use a foam roller on calf muscle. Stick foot in a bucket of ice.
  • Knee pain  Stretch quads. Foam roll IT band (outer thigh) and quadriceps.
  • Hip pain  Bend knee to opposite shoulder (piriformis stretch). Ice hip.
  • Rotator Cuff pain  Apply ice to shoulder. Stop overhead activities. Do upper trap and doorframe stretch.
  • Low back pain  Hip flexor, hamstring, and piriformis stretch.

According to Dr. Friedman, if these at-home treatments don't work within a week it might be time to seek the help of a professional.

"Most insurance plans provide direct access to a physical therapist without a doctor's order," says Friedman. "Physical therapists will not only find the source of your pain but tell you why it’s hurting, then target specific areas for healing AND help you find ways to modify activities and return you to your routine as quickly as possible.”

Ways to avoid common "-itis" aches and pains include:

•    Invest in proper footwear.

•   Improve tissue elasticity and prevent injury with a light warm-up (get heart rate up).

•   Start slowly with a new fitness plan (two to three times a week and increase frequency monthly).

•   Allow time to recover (take days off!).

•   For running, focus on time/distance first, and speed/intensity second.

•   Use ice and a foam roller for post-workout recovery.

•   Cross-train with different activities.

•   Make sure you get proper nutrition to support workouts (no drastic change to diet).

RET Group Physical Therapy has 28 locations that are locally owned by a team of physical therapists. More on them can be found on their website.

Ellen Tailor features community inspiring events and causes every weekday morning on Q13 NEWS and online 24/7. To share your event or idea, email and go behind-the-scenes with her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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