Frequently Asked Questions for Treating Soft Tissue Injuries

foot-painBy Dr. Josh Akin and Dr. Jon Sebby  – There are various methods for treating soft tissue injuries. Active Release and Massage Therapy are two non-invasive soft tissue treatments to heal and prevent a wide variety of soft tissue injuries. To understand a soft tissue injury, it is important to comprehend the basic mechanism of a cumulative injury. It is also important to understand what occurs to your body when it is over stressed and the role that soft tissue treatments provides in treating the stress. Read More About Frequently Asked Questions for Treating Soft Tissue Injuries

Download & Print

[wpdm_file id=4]

Healthy Running

Q. I am a runner and I try to do 1-2 races a year, but I always end up injuring myself. I’m planning to do this year’s Chicago Marathon, what can I do to stay healthy, especially as I’m approaching my long runs?
A. Think about this for a moment.  It takes the average person about 41,280 strides to complete a marathon. Then you need to factor in the hundreds of miles spent training; average weekly miles ranging from 35-50 miles.  Now you can get an idea as to why runners are so prone to overuse injuries. What’s more, if you already have an imbalance hiding somewhere in your legs, core, or even upper body, that can become magnified to the point of serious pain and side-lining your training.

As we train, muscles have a tendency to become short and tight, allowing adhesions to
accumulate and impede our normal movement patterns causing pain, discomfort and
imbalances. Active Release Techniques (ART) and Massage Therapy are designed to release tight
muscles and breakdown adhesions. During peak training, it’s important to be evaluated by a
certified ART provider.


1. Foam Rolling and the Stick: Investing in a foam roller and/or a stick can help ease tight
muscles before running.
2. Strengthen Your Core: Do the McGill Four exercises; the instructions for the exercises
can be viewed at
3. Add Miles Slowly: Make sure you don’t add miles on too quickly; you need to allow your
body time to adapt to the increase mileage. In general, you can add a mile for every run
you do per week, provided you then run at least two weeks at the new level before
advancing again. For instance if you run 5 times a week, you can add 5 miles the next
time you increase your weekly miles.
4. Get back to nature: Trail running is a great way to add variety to your training. When
running on uneven terrain, your core, hips, legs and ankles have to work harder to
stabilize because each step is slightly different.
5. Read about running: Subscribe to Runner’s World Magazine, read Hal Higdon’s
Marathon Training Guide or read Born to Run to help get more ideas to try out. Even try
Paleo Diet for Athletes or even Lance Armstrong’s It’s Not About the Bike

6. Cross-train: Join a soccer league, Cross-Fit gym, or lift weights. You could even try
swimming and cycling. Who knows you may find you like doing triathlons too.
7. Contrast Showers: When cleaning up after training, try showering for 2 minutes with the
temperature as cold as you can stand. Then do 2 minutes of warm water. Repeat one
time and then end with 3 minutes of cold water. The combination of hot and cold helps
to flush metabolic wastes out of your muscles and nutrients into them, leading to faster
recovery times.
8. Invest in Your Shoes: Buy new shoes every 300-400 miles, even if they don’t look worn.
The average shoe life is about 300 miles. Buy two pair of shoes with a similar last, and
wear on alternative days. It’s better for your feet and legs not to wear the same shoes
for running day in and day.
9. Hill Sprints/Bleachers: Warm-up and stretch for 10 minutes then perform 6-10 repeats of
running up a hill or up and down a set of bleachers. Go hard and keep these workouts
10. Rest and Eat Right: Perhaps the most important one of all. Get eight hours of sleep
each night and incorporate rest days into your schedule. Not giving your body adequate
time to heal and recover between workouts is a surefire way to overtraining and overuse
injuries. It is also very important that you are getting the right amount of quality carbs
and protein. Your diet should consist of 60% carbohydrates and 15-20% protein.
Good luck with your training!


Sprained Ankles

Q. I have a long history of spraining my ankles.  What can I do to prevent future ankle sprains?

A.  More often than not, a sprained ankle is due to a loss of proprioception and balance in the ankles, and not necessarily a strength issue. Proprioception is your body’s ability to sense its position in space. A classic example of when your proprioception fails you is when you trip on a flat surface while walking. Often you look back puzzled and in search of something sticking up that may have tripped you, only to see that there was nothing there. Some experts will argue that our shoes prevent the full development of the proprioceptors in our feet and ankles, which inhibit us from being able to quickly adapt to the ground surface.

1. Balance with one foot on a flat, stable surface for 30 seconds. Repeat with the other foot.
2. Stand on one foot on a flat, stable surface for 30 seconds with your eyes closed. Repeat with
the other foot.
3. Using an unstable surface, balance on one leg for 30 seconds with your eyes open. For an
unstable surface try a rolled-up or folded yoga mat, BOSU-ball, or wobble-board.
4. Using an unstable surface, balance on one leg for 30 seconds with your eyes now closed. For an unstable surface try a rolled-up or folded yoga mat, BOSU-ball, or wobble-board.
5. Play light catch with a light-weighted ball while balancing on one foot for 30 seconds each leg. Have a partner toss it to you at different areas.

Unfortunately, the ankle isn’t the only part that needs rehab in ankle sprains. Oftentimes, the gluteus
medius muscle in your hip region becomes weakened following an ankle sprain.

1. The Clam
2. Banded Glute-Bridge
3. Reaching Single-Leg Deadlift
4. Single-Leg Squat

Download and print full article Sprained Ankles

Tight Hip Flexors

Q. I have tight hip flexors. Is stretching my hip flexors enough to overcome the tightness? What else could I be doing to help my situation?

A.If you are like most, your daily commute and sitting throughout the majority of the day contributes to the length of your hip flexors.  The more time you spend sitting will tend to shorten your hip flexors.  Tight hip flexors can add compression forces to your lumbar spine when you do stand up, as well as create other problems for your hips and low back.

Half-Kneeling Desk Work

Depending on the height of your desk, you may be able to kneel on one knee while doing computer and deskwork. By using a small pillow, folded towel, or pad you can alternate kneeling on one knee while you check email, do your spreadsheets or even peruse Facebook. By keeping one hip extended, you effectively reduce the amount of time you have your hips flexed. This also puts you spine in a more neutral and less stressful position. Start by trying 10-15 minutes every hour in the half-kneeling position.

Standing Desk

Many people these days are realizing the benefits of standing desks. By standing at your desk you forgo the sitting all together. Plus, many people claim to be more productive and less groggy when they switch to standing desks. If you work with a laptop, a low-cost way of making a standing desk is to simply take a chair and place it on your desk and then put the laptop on the chair.

Stand While Talking on the Phone

If you are not quite ready to do the standing desk, you can at least handle your phone calls while
standing. Just be sure to use a headset if you use the phone a lot.
To stretch your hip flexors with other exercises, add the hip flexor and back stretches to your daily

Print and Download full Article Tight Hip Flexors