Shove(l) It

On your mark, get set, SNOW! Unfortunately the NYC blizzard of 2010 did not end in record time, but finished with record mass transit delays. With all the city cutbacks, NYC was not prepared for this snow storm. But I’m guessing with all the extra bike lanes being constructed throughout each borough, everything will be just fine (Thank you Mayor).

The good news is that the streets of Manhattan are almost clean. The bad news is that most of us don’t live in Manhattan. But like they always say, if you want things done right, you have to do it yourself. Meaning it’s time to break out your shovels. Whether you’re clearing the snow off your front porch, or trying to dig out your car, MaxWell Medical wants to make sure you shovel to minimize and avoid any possible shoveling injuries.

Our Physical Therapist Assistant Cesar Salce recommends 5 Secrets to Smart Shoveling:

  1. Choose a shovel that can help prevent back strain. Shovels are now available in different types. Find one that is lightweight and has curved handles to help alleviate strain.
  2. Make sure you stretch your muscles before and after you are done shoveling. Stretching will help your heart get pumping and loosen your muscles.
  3. Bend with your knees and not with your back. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart with your knees bent as you shovel the snow.
  4. Always toss the snow forward. By doing so, you’re avoiding twisting your body and preventing additional strain.
  5. Stay hydrated; make sure you drink plenty of water. Drink before, drink during, and drink after. Shoveling is quite the work-out.

The weather outside is frightful, but our offices are so delightful. And since you’re stuck in the snow…Shovel smart and stay warm! We hope our shoveling tips are helpful. Stay tuned for more winter themed blogs to help you survive this season.

Plantar Fasciitis in the City: Foot Injuries

What body part has 28 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments and 19 major muscles? It’s the same body part that touches the floor first thing every morning and constantly gets tortured and squeezed into tight situations on special events and occasions. The correct answer is your feet. Yes it’s your feet that on average take 8,000-10,000 steps per day.

Whether you’re flaunting those 4 inch Jimmy choos or stepping into a pair of your favorite running sneakers, your feet deals with plenty of pain every day. Running is one of the best form of exercise and cardio, but it can also do serious damage to your feet. Each step a runner takes can cause an impact of up to four times their body weight. That means a female runner weighing 132 pounds, can have an impact of up to 528 pounds each time her foot hits the ground. There are plenty of injuries that can occur within the foot and it becomes especially difficult for marathon runners to avoid them.

According to Dr. Jonathan Cluett, the most common injury that occurs within the foot of runners is Plantar Fasciitis. This injury “is a syndrome of heel pain due to inflammation of the thick ligament of the base of the foot. A tight, inflamed plantar fascia can cause pain when walking or running, and lead to the formation of a heel spur.” Most people that suspect they may have Plantar Fasciitis will know first thing in the morning because the first steps of the day is the most painful.

Our Orthopedic Massage Therapist Robert Steele provides several ways to help prevent and treat Plantar Fasciitis. They include:


  • Give your foot a break.
  • Cut back on activities that will cause pain to your foot. Take a few days off from running and prolonged standing or walking before runs or planned outings.
  • Resting will decrease the pain, as well as help reduce inflammation.


  • Wear proper footwear.
  • Get shoes that provide good arch support and cushion.
  • Get shoe inserts to relieve pressure over the tender area.
  • An example would be Gel Heel Cups. It provides padding directly over the area of most pain.


  • It may seem impossible, but try to avoid hard surfaces.
  • Stay away from playing or running on concrete.
  • Run on a treadmill when training.


  • To reduce the pain and diminish some of the symptoms, try putting ice on your heel.
  • Clever tip: Take a frozen water bottle, place it on the floor and place your foot on top of the bottle. Roll your foot on the bottle back and forth for about 10-15 minutes.

Don’t let Plantar Fasciitis prevent you from completing the marathon. All the pain, months of intensive training and cautionary measures taken to prevent pain will be worth it once you cross that finish line. RUN FASTER.

About.Com, Orthopedics