When Do I Use Ice? …And When Do I Use Heat?

Easily one of the most common questions I get asked daily, and it’s something that confuses many people… “Should I use heat or ice for my back pain?”

Rightly or wrongly, most people favor heat – a nice hot water bottle, soak in the bath, or one of those lavender scented wheat bags to try and ease their back pain. I think of the key reasons is the simple fact that we live in Wisconsin, where winter can last months!

Every health concern and injury is different…

So when to use Ice: There’s one time in particular we say to use ice and that’s when something just happened and it’s very painful, likely hot and maybe swollen. This is an acute injury. Acute meaning it just happened. For example, a sprained ankle or pulled muscle.

When it comes to your back pain, the time to use ice is if your back has suddenly ‘gone out’ and you’re in a lot of pain, or you’ve overdone it and your back becomes very painful towards the end of the day or activity.

You see, your body is very clever. Let’s use an ankle sprain as example. The pain and heat come from the inflammation. Again, this is your body’s way of trying to protect and heal itself, if something’s painful – you’re not going to want to move or touch it are you?

The exact same thing is happening in your back too, you just can’t see it. So, your ankle, back, or whatever you’ve hurt can start to heal without any more damage. So that’s WHY it is happening. But this pain can often be worse than the injury itself, so cooling it down with ice is a simple method to help ease the intensity of the pain as soon as possible.

And by using the cool ice little and often on the injury (20 minutes every hour so), the cooling and warming of the injury will help the blood keep flowing around the area to help it heal even quicker.

Okay, so now that we’ve got a good idea on when to use ice… how about when do we use heat?

Try thinking of it like this… When something is warm it’s softer, and when something is cold, its harder (think of those chocolate easter eggs you can’t help but sneak into!) it is exactly the same with our body too.

With that in mind I always explain to my clients it’s time to apply heat when you feel more stiff, achy, and need to get things moving – that’s the perfect time to use heat.

So first thing in the morning if your back is feeling really tight, a hot shower to loosen the muscles often works wonders. Follow that with some gentle stretches and you’ll feel a huge difference! Typically, if it something that’s been nagging you for some time (think chronic) it’s best to use heat as the muscle and joints are tight, which is what is making it ache and stiff.

It’s for that same reason football players and any other athletes warm up before their sport – so they don’t pull these muscles. When we’re asleep at night our muscles cool down because they aren’t being used so our blood is going directly to our brain for our dreams and for our stomach to digest our dinner…so why don’t we warm up first thing in the morning to get us ready for the day?

Don’t worry, I’m not talking about 10 laps jogging around your neighborhood. Just a warm shower followed up by a few minutes of simple stretching. Not sure what stretches to do? A physical therapist can help! Give us a call at the office (920) 230-2747 to set up a time to talk one on one – either in person or over the phone, completely FREE!

So key things to remember – if it just happened and is very painful – ice it, if it is stiff and tight – warm it up!

For more tips like this on how to ease back pain, click here where you can download our free guide with easy ways to heal back pain HERE.

Why Knee Pain Gets Worse When You Exercise And How To Ease It

It’s no surprise seeing as we’re now heading into Summer quick than we know that this time of year we start to see more people than ever at Physical Achievement Center with painful knees. One of the main reasons why is it’s around this time of year that people decide to be more active and take things up like running and walking for longer distances.

And even if they’re used to running, people tend to step it up and run a little longer than usual to get ready for the summer, sometimes adding in extra running days going from twice a week, to four times a week.

If this sounds like you, what’s likely going on is something called “runners knee” – it’s got its nickname for an obvious and very unfortunate reason, because it’s common among runners, and even those who are brand new to running.

If we run often, after a while the stress of running can cause irritation around the knee area. The resulting pain can be sharp and sudden, or irritating and dull. Sometimes it disappears when you’re running, only to return again afterwards.

The pain will generally feel worse when bending the knee, especially when walking or running downhill, or even sometimes as simple as walking down a flight of stairs!

So why are you experiencing this pain your knees?

Think of it like this – each time you run and bend your knee, your knee cap rubs against your thigh muscle, and just like if you were to rub your hand against your arm, eventually your arm would go red ad become sore after a while… Well the same happens with your knees!

If you’re not used to running, OR, if you haven’t slowly built up how long you run for and how many times a week you choose to as well, then this is going to be a shock to your knees.

Another thing if the muscles around your knees are weak and tight, they’re not going to be able to support you through a run…

… And without strong muscles to support your knee joints, (or just really tired and weak ones), you’re much more likely to suffer from aches and pains.

So the solution to your problem?

It’s likely to be a simple case of strengthening the knee muscles (and hip and lower back ones too), to make them stronger and support when you want to run – not ignoring it and adding in MORE exercise.

See, a lot of people think that exercising more is good for them, and it is to an extent, but only if you’re doing the right type of exercises to benefit everything else you’re doing.

Doing the right type of exercises and stretches to strengthen the right muscles will mean your knees will be strong enough to walk and run for longer, with less pin at the end of the day.

You’ve got to build a strong foundation first before doing more and to prevent any aches and pains suddenly creeping up on you which could put you out for a few weeks…

Want more tips and advice for knee pain? Click HERE to get your free report with 12 tips to help you overcome your nagging, annoying knee pain and get back to your active life!

4 Things To Do TODAY to Get Back To Your Life Without Shoulder Pain

Rotator cuff injuries are common in people who have to repeatedly perform overhead activities as part of their daily routine.  This type of injury is common with painters, construction workers, and those who play recreational golf and tennis to name a few. It is something we see often at our clinic – and one of the biggest questions we get is “What can I do TODAY to help begin to repair my shoulder injury?”

There are 4 main things you can consider if you are going to Do-It-Yourself (DIY) for recovering from Shoulder Pain.

1. Use ICE not HEAT


Most people love the feeling of heat on their body and tend to shy away from the cold ice, which is a huge mistake! With shoulder pain typically comes inflamed nerves. Ice calms and reduces the inflammation, while heat will aggravate it. You should ice for 15-20 minutes every hour up to 8 times a day.

2. Remain Active – but Avoid New Activities

Avoid resting your shoulder too much, as inactivity will make the shoulder worse- and the weaker your muscles get, the harder it can be to recover. You should not go out and try new training and exercises that are dramatically different from your normal routine. This can cause unnecessary pain as those unused muscles in your shoulder work in overtime. Keep activities at or below a pain level of 3-4 on a scale of 10.

3. Review your Sleeping Arrangement

If you notice you are extra sore when you wake up, your bed may be hurting your healing process! If you are use to sleeping with two pillows, or an extra thick pillow, you want to reconsider using one medium size, softer pillow. This may seem unusual but this will create less tension in your neck and shoulders as they are not being stretched as far.

4. Seek Help and Advice from a Specialist

Although there is a lot of good information on Google, it can be misleading, untrue, or not pertain to you at all! Each shoulder injury is unique and studies show that healing is best done with hands on care and a specialized exercise program from an expert Physical Therapist. Doing these two things jointly allows the muscles to progress and get stronger. (PS – You do NOT need get a prescription from your GP! Which means you can visit without having to go to the doctors!)

 

Notice how we did not put Surgery as an option for your Shoulder Injury or Rotator Cuff tear? That’s because many people do not realize that there is a good chance they can rehabilitate without needing to do an invasive, expensive, risky surgery! The first 3 tips are great to get started, but will not completely heal your injury. These will, however, help you jump start your recovery with an expert. Even with severe injuries, a physical therapist is the specialist who can help return normal range of motion, strength, and return to function, NATURALLY.

Do you need more tips and information for your sore shoulder?  Click HERE to obtain our FREE “12 Best Kept Secrets for Healing Your Shoulder and Rotator Cuff Naturally… WITHOUT Medications, Injections, or Surgery” report.

Are You Doing These 4 Things to Make Your Knee Pain Worse?

Some people blame their knee pain on old age or that it just comes and goes on its own, but a lot of the time our own everyday habits add to the knee pain that we feel.  Perhaps your knee pain is being affected by these 4 habits…

1.) You and I were not designed to sit. It goes against every basic, fundamental rule of the ways we originally evolved as humans. When you sit at a desk, or in a chair with your knees bent underneath, you’re stretching ligaments, muscles and placing your knee in a position that is un-natural – and a position knees really aren’t built to be in for too long. Limit the amount of time you sit with your knees bent, and keep them out straight for as long as possible – and keep them moving too.

2.) Wearing shoes such as high heels or shoes that are too tight place additional stress on your knees. Instead, you should be wearing shoes with cushioning. Shoes with good cushioning can absorb the impact of your foot hitting the ground, preventing the shock from getting to your knees. Specialized inserts are perfect for offering more comfort and protection for your knees.

3.) A lot of people think that getting rest and not using your knee helps fight knee pain. However, the problem with too much rest is that it makes your joints tight and stiff. Try to do low-impact exercises that don’t put too much strain on your knees. You could go swimming, enjoy a light walk, do yoga, or go cycling. All these exercises are great for your fitness and your knees.

4.) Most importantly, ignoring the problem will not make it go away!! Please do not listen to your friends or even a doctor who tell you that nothing can be done, it’s your age, or you just have to accept it. Time alone does not heal wounds and if ignored pain will come back even worse, even if it does leave for a short while. Get a specialists opinion on what NATURAL healing options are best for your concerns.

Knee pain should not limit you from doing the things in life you enjoy!  Sometimes that knee pain is caused from your daily habits.  If knee pain does prevent you from living your life NOW, Sign Up for a FREE consultation to see how the Knee Pain Specialty Therapists at Physical Achievement Center in Oshkosh, Wisconsin can help get you back to the life you enjoy! Or if you are still unsure if Physical Therapy is right for you – you can download our FREE Knee Pain report HERE.

How Physical Therapy Helps Retirees Keep Dreams Alive During the Golden Years

Are you among the millions of Americans who have high aspirations for how you’ll spend the extra time during your post-retirement years? Whether you plan to travel the world, pick up fly fishing, spend more time woodworking or sign up for a golf league, your physical fitness level will be a factor.

A 2010 study suggests that the fitness declines we typically attribute to advancing age are largely caused by living sedentary lifestyles—which are on the rise due to the prominence of desk jobs in the workplace and activity-limiting personal technologies including smart phones and voice-activated remote controls in the home. Still, this runs contrary to the widely held belief that any declines in our physical abilities are caused solely by biological aging. Do we really have control over how active we’ll be in our “golden years”?

In a word, absolutely. The study—which examined 900,000 running times of marathon and half-marathon participants aged 20 to 79—found no significant age-related performance declines in those younger than 55 years old, and only moderate declines among the older cohorts. In fact, more than one-quarter of runners aged 65 to 69 were faster than half of the runners aged 20 to 54.

And for those thinking that these runners must have been lifelong enthusiasts of the sport, the study revealed that 25% of runners aged 50 to 69 were relative newcomers—and had started marathon training within the previous 5 years. The researchers concluded that even at an advanced age, people in the “non-athlete” category who engage in regular training can reach high performance levels.

If this revelation is intriguing, then perhaps it’s time for you to get moving! If you aren’t currently active, then you likely have questions and concerns about where to start. And if you regularly engage in physical activities, then you’ve probably set goals that you’d like to achieve. Either way, there’s no shortage of tools and resources to help you live a more active lifestyle but one reliable place to start is with a physical therapist.

The benefits of beginning with a physical therapist consultation are many: PTs are trained to assess your abilities and limitations, consider your health concerns, demonstrate safe exercises and build a plan to increase strength, function and mobility. Whatever your passion is, physical therapy will help you be fit and injury-free so you may enjoy life’s many pursuits. Click HERE to sign up for a FREE discovery visit with our Doctor of Physical Therapy to learn how can continue to do the activities you love without limitations.

5 Reasons Why You Should Not Rush Into Back Surgery

In the world today, we’ve grown accustomed to immediate results. Whether we’re ordering lunch or texting a friend, a quick response is valued and expected.

When it comes to the human body, we can’t always ask for that kind of speed. An issue like back pain can take some time to develop…so it only stands to reason that it will take some time to resolve.

However, sometimes people think they can simply have back surgery and return to their pain-free ways in a matter of days. Problem solved, right?

This isn’t usually the case. Back surgery is not the best option when it comes to treating back pain, and there are several reasons why it’s something you should not rush into.

Other Treatments Are Usually Effective

Mayo Clinic points out that “most back pain resolves on its own within two months.” Conservative treatments like massage, exercise, acupuncture, physical therapy, and manual physical therapy can often relieve your pain in a safer, less invasive, and less expensive manner.

Recovery from Back Surgery Can Take Weeks or Months

If you’re looking for a quick fix, back surgery isn’t exactly it. Depending upon your overall health and the type of surgery performed, recovery can take between four days and four months. A minor laminectomy, for example, usually allows you to return to light activity after a few days. A spinal fusion could require months.

Depending on the scope of the surgery, you might need help getting in and out of bed and going to the bathroom for a few days. You will have to care for the incision. You will likely be on some serious pain medication that prevents you from driving. Your life and your full range of movements and activities probably won’t return to normal for several months.

Back Surgery Doesn’t Address the Cause of Your Back Pain

Was your back pain a result of poor posture? Muscular imbalances in your body? Overall weakness of your core muscles? Using poor form to lift heavy objects at work or in the home? If you have surgery and return to the same habits, your back pain will likely return, as well.

All Surgery Comes with Risks

Although all precautions are taken during a surgical procedure, any surgery carries risks to be aware of. This can include bleeding, infection, reaction to the anesthesia, blood clots, nerve damage, and even stroke or heart attack. Certain types of surgery and certain health conditions might increase your risk. Of course, most people come out of surgery with no complications, but the inherent risks provide another reason to avoid surgery unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Back Surgery Doesn’t Always Solve the Problem

WebMD says it best: “The biggest risk of back surgery: Not knowing for sure if it’s going to help with your pain.” Back pain is a complicated issue with a variety of contributing factors. You don’t want to go through the expense and the recovery associated with back surgery only to find out you’re still in pain.

For that reason, back surgery should be a last resort. It should be reserved for only the most severe chronic cases of back pain or specific injuries.

For more information and tips about natural ways to live with less back pain – you can CLICK HERE to download a free copy of my back pain tips guide.

Why It’s Vital To Keep Active In the Fall & Winter, And Tips To Make It Easier

Dark mornings? Check.

Needing to wrap up in more layers when leaving the house? Check.

I think it’s safe to say that the fall and winter season has officially arrived.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy this time of year…

But what I don’t enjoy is that the cold weather makes working out seem less than desirable.

Would you agree?

Whether that’s down to looking like a wrapped up Egyptian mummy if you go for a run, or heating up the car for a good 5 minutes in the morning before heading to the gym…

All those things combined can make the idea of exercising just that bit tougher.

I get that it’s tempting to stay snuggled up in bed or on the sofa where it’s nice and warm…

But this shouldn’t be a time that your fitness plans hibernate – especially with all of the treats around in the run up, and even after Christmas.

With the right attitude and mix of exercises, fall and winter can be a great time to mix up your workouts, get creative and reignite your love of fitness.

And, of course, exercise can help you beat those winter blues that always pop up as well as keep your body moving which is especially important if you’re wanting to keep any aches and pains away.

So, with that, here’s how to make the most of your winter workouts:

Change Your Mind

Winter isn’t just about cold weather; it’s a whole new season!

We’re all so busy these days that time seems to fly by – which is why it’s important to reflect on our past accomplishments and current goals.

Spend a bit of time sitting down and revisiting your goals, then plan out what you’d like to accomplish during the next few months.

It can help you see winter in a whole new light!

Go Out and Play!

If you can’t find the energy to work out, try ‘playing’ instead.

You can burn quite a few calories playing indoors or out.

Play with your kids or grandkids whenever you see them…

You could even try ice-skating at the Irvine Spectrum; it can burn more than 450 calories an hour!

Or if you have a bike, put your thermals on and get out on the road. Cycling will definitely help keep you warm.

Get Creative At Home

Getting to the gym can be more of a hassle when it’s cold outside, so why not get creative at home and come up with different ways to exercise.

Whether you try a workout DVD, invest in a new piece of fitness equipment or just use your body weight for a workout – exercising at home can be convenient and fun.

As a bonus, you don’t have to worry about catching a cold from a fellow gym-goer either!

Try Something New

There’s nothing like signing up for a new class to get you up and moving during the chilly months.

By trying something new you reignite your motivation for fitness.

Or why not try indoor sports like volleyball or tennis.

Participating in a regular activity that you’ve paid for is a fantastic way to stay active in winter.

You might even make some new friends or learn some new skills – it’s a win-win!

Set A Big Goal – And Some Little Goals

Winter can leave some of us with hardly any motivation to exercise. So why not try heating things up with a challenge – a new goal.

It can be anything from losing some weight before Christmas to running a 5k.

The most important thing about this is to pick a goal that you really want and one that will help you stretch beyond your comfort zone to reach it.

Setting a smart goal that you then break down into smaller, achievable action steps is a great way to start.

Get Excited

If you’ve never been a fan of winter, then start focusing on what you DO love about it.

Whether that’s enjoying all the great, in-season food that you can enjoy…

Or curling up on the sofa with a big mug of hot chocolate, (sugar-free of course, if we’re focusing on health goals) after a long workout.

There’s so much to love about winter when you embrace it.

So, there you have it, 6 ways you can make the most out of your winter workout.

There’s so many great options, but make sure you always stay safe no matter what you do.

My tip for you – if you’re struggling to find a routine or have no idea where to start at keeping active, just go for a long walk – and while on that walk start to think about some of the things you might enjoy doing – and then commit to doing them even just once per week!

P.S. If you’ve got pain that’s stopping you from driving around to see the Wisconsin scenery, hiking (or snowshoeing!) to see a beautiful sunrise, or just simply walking your dog in the morning you can request a free appointment HERE with our Physical Therapist. Our Discovery Visit is the first step to gain back your strength, mobile, and independence for your favorite activities year round.

“Can Walking Be Bad For My Knees?”

We’ve heard the question before, a woman comes into our clinic to view all her options for knee pain and begins with…

“Can walking be bad for my knees?”

She mentioned she’s started to experience knee pain a few years ago when walking down the stairs and thought nothing of it.

She thought it was just something that would “wear off” in time.

But, when she noticed the pain in her knees every time she went down the stairs, or walked up and down hills with her dog, she thought she better do something about it.

She went to his doctor, who told her to rest and take painkillers to ease the pain.

But the word “rest” can be confusing…

What does “rest” even mean?

Does it mean sitting on the sofa all day when you’ve got things to do?

Or does it mean not walking until your knee feels better?

And then when it does, how much walking is too much?

Does it mean avoiding exercise altogether?

Being told to rest and take painkillers is one of the most common things we hear when people are given “knee pain” advice.

This cocktail mix of rest and taking pills will do absolutely nothing to help you get back to being active…

It will 100% not get to the root cause of what caused your knee pain in the first place.

Instead of rest, you should actually move!

(So long as it’s not a serious knee injury that’s caused damage).

If you’re one of the many people suffering with knee pain, you might be worried about using your knees and might want to take some time off to let your knees heal….

But walking is a safe, low-impact activity, that can actually help get you on the road to recovery.

When we don’t move our joints, they become stiff and immobile, which can cause inflammation – which actually makes joints like our knees even MORE painful!

If you’ve suffered a serious knee injury that’s caused damage, then that’s another story altogether…

If you’re experiencing daily, annoying knee pain, then there’s some simple things you can do to keep moving, and walk safely, without making it worse.

Something as simple as changing your shoes and gentle bodyweight exercises anyone can do from the comfort of their own home, are just two examples.

When it comes to shoes, have you thought about getting a good pair of walking shoes?

They have good cushioning and shock absorption, so if your shoes are old and have lost their cushioning, you should replace them.

If you have “flat feet” (low arches, where your feet roll inwards as you walk), a shoe with enhanced support, or orthotic inserts, will help relieve the stress on your knees.

Always start your walk with a slow, gradual warm-up and try to get out for a walk during a time in the day when your knee pain isn’t so bad.

Start with show walks and build up time and distance gradually.

Doing strengthening exercises for the legs can help keep your knees in good walking condition.

Bodyweight exercises like squats, calf raises and glute bridges are good choices.

Flexibility exercises for the leg muscles help maintain movement and range of motion in your joints and reduce the amount of strain placed on them.

Always warm up before stretching and performing any of these exercises and don’t over-do it.

It’s important you never feel pain when you do these movements.

Knees are made to bend.

They’re designed to help us walk, kneel down, bend to help grab objects, walk up and down stairs – not to stay still and rest all day!

(Which is what a lot of people do!)

Start slow…

With gentle walking and strengthening exercises, and build up slowly so you can do more.

It might feel like knee pain is something you’ll have to learn to live with and might not be able to be as active as you once were – that’s not always the case.

Don’t just accept rest and taking painkillers as your only solution…

There’s a way to get back to living a life you enjoy.

Do you need help answering questions about your knee pain?  Click here to find out more and to download your FREE Knee Pain Report!

Have YOU Been Told You Need Surgery?

“I have to get surgery for my torn meniscus. I’m going to be out of commission for a while.”

“My back problems have gotten so bad that my doctor says I need surgery to repair the herniated disk.”

“The MRI doesn’t look so good. Hopefully the surgery will be a quick fix.”

Do any of these Sound familiar?

Most of us know someone who has been told that they needed surgery for a knee or back issue – or we have received that disheartening news ourselves.

A herniated disk is one of the most common back problems in adults, and is often treated with lumbar discectomy as the first option. The goal of this surgery is to remove the herniated portion of the disc from the patient’s back, releasing pressure on surrounding nerves and muscles.

The other common injury that frequently leads to surgery is a meniscus tear. Your meniscus stabilizes and cushions the knee joint. A tear would be viewed easily on an MRI, in response to which many doctors would immediately prescribe surgery. Following the surgery, you would probably spend about two weeks with your leg completely immobilized. Then you would be introduced to a rehabilitation plan that included physical therapy – not to recover from your injured knee, but to recover from the surgery that supposedly fixed it.

Surgery, in the right circumstances, can be extremely beneficial. But unfortunately, it is over-prescribed and often unnecessary, especially for individuals with back and knee pain. Seeing a herniated disc or torn meniscus on the MRI screen may trigger an automatic prescription of surgery and medication- but these “quick fixes” may not be your safest or most helpful options.  In fact, recent studies report trying physical therapy first can lead to better overall outcomes and reduce risk.

MRIs are a useful tool, but their readings should always be taken with a grain of salt. In fact, MRIs can produce false positives and lead to invasive surgeries for specific injuries that didn’t even exist in the first place.  When given the opportunity, your body will do its best to heal itself.

This is where physical therapy comes in! In place of surgery you should consider working with a physical therapist to address your specific injury or pain, someone who genuinely wants to help you recover in a natural and low-risk manner.

Most knee, back, and other injuries occur because the surrounding muscles are too weak to support those joints and systems properly. You may think that your regular exercise and stretching is enough, but often working specific muscle groups leaves others underdeveloped and leaves your body unbalanced as a whole.

Do you want to learn more about why surgery shouldn’t be your first – let alone only – option for recovery? Click here to schedule your FREE Discovery Visit to see how we can help give your life back to you.

Health Benefits of Hiking and 6 Best Hiking Tips… Featuring Wisconsin’s Terrell’s Island!

Greeting’s! This week we are excited to be featuring one of  our favorite places in the Oshkosh, Wisconsin area, Terrell’s Island! Terrell’s Island is somewhat of a hidden gem. It is often uncrowded with a comfortable walking distance and beautiful view of the lake. Below are some scenes you can experience first hand if you decide to travel out for a fun day. Terrell’s Island is just outside of Oshkosh, Wisconsin – placed on Shubert Road – just take 21 West towards Omro and turn North on Rivermoor Road and follow the road down to the park. There are a lot of resting places where you could even pack a meal and picnic part way in.  It is open from spring to fall, hours are from sunrise to sunset. It is a loop consisting of 3.8 miles – with the option to go part way and head back if you are not up to the entire journey.

 

Hiking has many health benefits and is great for people who are just starting out on their fitness journey, or feel like they are not up to lifting weights or a more intense workout. According to Web MD Hiking can “Lower your risk of heart disease. Improve your blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Boost bone density, since walking is a weight-bearing exercise. Build strength in your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and the muscles in your hips and lower legs.

Here are 6 tips you want to consider for your health and well-being before adventuring out onto any trail!

1) Footwear: You will want a closed toe shoe that is lightweight, flexible, but also have support, especially around the ankles – this can help you avoid rolling your ankle if you happen to take a misstep. The shoes should be a good fit to you that you have tested out and broken in, you do not want to be battling blisters in the middle of your blissful hike.

2) Wool socks: These are great for whisking away moisture which helps maintain your body temperature as you start to sweat – regardless of if it is hot or cold out. Wool socks also to absorb any impact of your walk so that your knees and legs do not have to take the brunt of the walk. Make sure your socks are taller than your boots, preferably above ankle height to avoid blisters from your shoes and scratches from the trail.

3) Plan your Hike: Plan out the length of the trail with a map ahead of time to avoid fatigue, make sure that you are able to comfortably walk the distance before – you should pick a distance shorter than you are use to walking on a normal, paved surface. Tip: using a paper map is always best as it doesn’t have batteries attached to it.

4) Drink water: Even if the day does not seem overly hot you can still experience dehydration – it is best to take short stops and drink a little bit of water at each stop versus trying to drink an entire bottle all at once. A good rule of thumb is to carry 1 liter of water per person for every 2 hours you expect to be out on the trail.

5) Dress in Layers: You want to dress in long layers to avoid any scrapes from the trail and getting bug bites, and a hat to avoid any sun damage – especially when you out in the middle of the day (You should also be applying sunscreen!).

6) Understand the terrain: As mentioned earlier, Terrell’s Island is a flat terrain – perfect for beginners but make sure to do your research on any place before you walk it, you want to make sure that your body is up to task of any hills and gullies – if you are unsure if your body can handle this type of walking due to a recent injury it is best to consult with a Physical Therapist! They will be able to assess any previous injuries you are concerned about and give you advice and tips on how to prevent injury out on the trail.

If you find yourself missing out on hiking or your other favorite outdoor activities due to an injury and want to know what the next steps to getting out and enjoying nature are without the expensive and risk of surgery, medications, and injections, click HERE to fill out a request for a FREE Discovery Visit. A Discovery Visit is a FREE 30 minute consultation with one of our Physical Therapist’s here at Physical Achievement Center focused on helping you discover the cause and SOLUTION to your pain.