Thursday, January 28, 2010

Stress Fractures in Runners

Stress Fractures have been called the “curse of all athletes” because they don’t discriminate between males and females or beginners and experts. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, a stress fracture is an overuse injury. “It occurs when muscles become fatigued and are unable to absorb added shock. Eventually, the fatigued muscle transfers the overload of stress to the bone causing a tiny crack called a stress fracture.”

Because medical studies have shown that female athletes seem to experience more stress fractures than males, the University of Minnesota conducted a recent study to monitor stress fractures in 39 competitive female runners ages 18-25.

The primary difference, the researchers concluded, between the women who suffered stress fractures and those who hadn’t was the size (and presumable strength) of their calf muscles. Because bones accommodate the muscles around them, it is believed that by increasing the strength of your calf muscle, you will also increase the strength of your bones. The new and increased muscle can also absorb some of the force and impact of running and jumping.

The study suggested that a simple exercise of calf raises (rising onto your toes and lower slowly) 10-12 times, twice daily is enough to increase your calf muscle strength.

For more information about preventing stress fractures, or to arrange a consultation for stress fracture treatment, feel free to contact Empire Health and Wellness Center at 518-690-4406.

To view this study, please follow the link: .

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Seminar TONIGHT!

A reminder for all the runners out there!

Empire Health and Wellness Center's very own Brendan Sullivan, PT and Bill Milhizer, PT will be leading an informative talk entitled "Strength Training for Runners," TONIGHT Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010.

The seminar will be held from 6:00 - 7:30 pm at Fleet Feet Sports, located at 155 Wolf Road.

For more information about this great, educational session or to RSVP please feel free to call EHWC at 518-690-4406 or visit our newly updated website,

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Truth About Home Remedies

Many of us use home remedies, sometimes passed down for generations, to treat minor medical problems from heartburn to acne. After some research, I compiled a list of some of the more popular home remedies out there and the medical evidence behind them.

  • Remedy: Honey helps burns heal faster.

    True: Some studies have proven that raw honey has antibacterial qualities, as well as a lot of vitamins and minerals that can promote healing. Also, microorganisms can grow in honey, lessening the chance of infection.

  • Remedy: Toothpaste can heal acne.

    False: Toothpaste can actually worsen acne by clogging pores and irritating the skin. Also, some toothpaste contains high levels of hydrogen peroxide which can burn skin.

  • Remedy: Tea can heal cold sores.

    True: Tea contains tannic acid, which some studies believe contains antiviral properties. Steep a bag of black tea and place the warm, moist bag on the sore for several minutes every few hours.

  • Remedy: Wearing wet socks can cure a cold.

    Neither: While there is no cure for the common cold, wearing wet socks can boost your immune system and even break a fever, some studies claim. Placing cold damp socks on your feet followed by dry wool socks, increases your bodies circulation of healing white blood cells.

So before you decide to gargle salt water for a sore throat or chew garlic for indigestion, consult your physician about the truth behind your home remedies. And if you have any questions regarding the above mentioned remedies, feel free to contact Empire Health and Wellness Center at 518-690-4406 or

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Nintendo Wii = Real Exercise

Good news for those of you out there with a Nintendo Wii Fit or for those looking for a fun, new way to squeeze some exercise in your busy schedule.

A recent study from the National Institute of Health and Nutrition in Tokyo claims that playing some of the games on Wii Fit and Wii Sports provide actually exercise. “About one-third of the games and activities included in the Wii Sports and Wii Fit packages require an energy expenditure of 3.0 METs or above, which is considered to be moderate intensity exercise, according to American Heart Association exercise guidelines.”

METs (metabolic equivalents) are the measure of energy expended during exercise. For example, it only takes 1.0 METs to sit still, and vigorous activity is considered 6.0 METs and above. Below are some of the most popular Wii Fit games and their METs

  • Wii Boxing = 4.5 Mets
  • Wii Tennis = 3.0 Mets
  • Wii Baseball = 3.0 Mets
  • Wii Golf = 2.0 Mets

While the study doesn’t prove any health benefits of using Wii Fit, it does offer people a fun alternative for burning calories.

Empire Health and Wellness Center often incorporates the Nintendo Wii into physical therapy sessions to boost a person’s balance, flexibility and mobility. If you are interested in learning more about how you could benefit from using a Wii Fit or Sport, feel free to contact Empire Health and Wellness Center at 518-690-4406 or visit our website at