Where Can I Play Pickleball in Louisville, Kentucky?

Pickleball has been America’s fastest-growing sport for three years running, with over 2.4 million new players since 2019. Described as a cross between ping pong, tennis, and badminton, Pickleball is accessible for people of all ages and backgrounds. It’s addictive and fast-paced, and if you haven’t tried it yet, it’s about time!   

There are now over 10,000 pickleball courts in the United States, an all-new USA Pickleball Association, first-time national tournaments, and local leagues in every corner of the country. In Louisville, there are at least 15 free public courts that host weekly (and sometimes daily) events for players of every level. 

Here’s the lowdown of where you can play in Louisville, KY, as of June 2022.

Facilities And Parks With Pickleball Courts in Louisville, KY

EP Tom Sawyer Park

The state-of-the-art pickleball complex at EP Tom Sawyer State Park boasts a total of 16 outdoor courts and 4 seasonal indoor courts. The outdoor courts are free and open to the public, 7 am until dusk, 7 days a week. These courts can be reserved for a fee. There is currently an ongoing summer ladder league for all levels of play. The indoor courts are available during the winter months for $5/person. To learn more or reserve a court, contact the Recreation Office at 502-429-7270. 

Charlie Vettiner Park

On June 6th, 12 new pickleball courts opened at Charlie Vettiner Park, located at 5550 Charlie Vettiner Park Rd in South Louisville. As part of a $1.3 million investment in the park, other improvements included repaving and rehabilitation efforts.

Wyandotte Park

Wyandotte Park, located near Churchill Downs at 1104 Beecher St, offers 6 pickleball courts. The courts are well-lit at night, and there is an ongoing Wednesday evening summer league at this facility. 

Pickleball Euphoria

According to their Facebook page, “Pickleball Euphoria is the first dedicated Pickleball facility in Louisville, KY featuring 3 indoor courts with outdoor surface and a pro-shop on-site. Owners & certified teaching pros, Josh & Stephanie, have actively played & competed in pickleball tournaments since 2017. PE strives to provide a top-notch facility, attracting players of all skill levels with offerings of hourly court rentals, lessons, clinics, skills & drills, paddle demos, round robins, leagues, open play and special events.”

Pickleball Euphoria is a highly-active community of pickleball-players that invites involvement at all levels. It is located at 4209 Gardiner View Avenue, near I-264 at Newburg and Poplar Level Rd. To learn more, visit pickleballeuphoria.com

Springhurst

Pickleball at Springhurst (via the Louisville Sports Academy) offers 3 reservable indoor Pickleball courts, private and group lessons, leagues, and more. See more at http://www.springhurst.com/sports/pickleball or visit their Facebook page

Berrytown Recreation Center

Berrytown Recreation Center, located at 1300 Heafer Rd in the east end, has 3 indoor pickleball courts, available on Wednesday and Fridays from 10 am – 12 pm. Call recreation director Jon Pilbean at (502) 456-8148 for more information. 

Northeast Louisville YMCA

The Northeast Louisville Family YMCA offers 3 indoor pickleball courts, free for YMCA members. To learn more, click here

Hounz Lane Park

Hounz Lane Park, located at 2300 Hounz Ln across from EP Tom Sawyer Park, offers 3 outdoor courts for public access and free play.

Des Pres Park

Des Pres Park, located at 4709 Lowe Rd, Louisville, KY 40220, offers 3 outdoor courts, open dawn to dusk. 

The following local parks have at least 1 pickleball court: Sun Valley Park, Riverside Gardens Park, PeeWee Park. 

Facebook Groups To Join

If you want to keep tabs on the Louisville pickleball community, there are several public Facebook groups that post regular updates concerning upcoming events around town. 

  • Derby City Pickleball is the largest group, with over 2,000 members. 
  • Louisville Pickleball, another popular Facebook group, currently has around 1,500 members. 
  • Louisville Beginners Pickleball is a private group with over 400 members, designed to promote an inclusive space for those new to the sport.
  • E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park – Pickleball is a Facebook group created to share information about pickleball programs and events, specifically about EP Tom Sawyer State Park.
  • Pickleball Squad is another local forum that shares local information, especially concerning play at Wyandotte Park and the YMCA. 
  • Pickleball Forum is a worldwide Facebook group designed for discussion of all-things-Pickleball. Boasting over 68,000 members, this is the largest Pickleball page on the web. 

To read my blog about common pickleball injuries and how to prevent them, click here.

If you or someone you love has suffered a sports injury in the Louisville, Kentucky-area, board certified sports medicine physician Dr. Stacie Grossfeld at Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC can help. Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC is accepting new patients, and same day appointments are available. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC today at 502-212-2663.

Patient of the Month: Savannah Schneider

Meet this month’s patient in the spotlight, Savannah Schneider!

Patient of the Month Savannah Schneider

Savannah has been a longtime patient of Dr. Grossfeld. In the 5th grade, Savannah began seeing Dr. Grossfeld for knee issues, specifically patellar dislocation. Savannah’s knee issues stemmed from soccer, a sport in which these sorts of injuries are not uncommon.

Patellar dislocation and patellar instability occur when the patella partially or fully leaves the trochlea, which is a groove in the femur where the patella normally sits and glides. This is a fairly common injury, especially in athletes as it can be caused by contact. Patellar dislocations can cause intense pain and swelling, and usually result in the inability to walk, making them very serious despite the frequency at which they occur. Generally these dislocations are treated with physical therapy and common practices such as resting, applying ice, and using compression. However, individuals who experience recurrent dislocations often need surgery to repair ligaments in the area that can be damaged during the dislocation.

Dr. Grossfeld began Savannah’s treatment with physical therapy, but when it became clear something more was needed, she opted for surgery. Besides a re-injury and subsequent surgery in highschool, Savannah’s patella issues were successfully treated, and with some preventative strengthening exercises she remains healthy today!

That’s not where Savannah and Dr. Grossfeld’s relationship ended though. Interested in pursuing medical school, Savannah was inspired by Dr. Grossfeld and looked to her as a mentor: “I have been a patient of Dr. Grossfeld’s for years and she was a huge part of me deciding to pursue medicine… As a woman in medicine Dr. Grossfeld opened so many doors directly and indirectly.”

From networking to MCAT study book suggestions, Dr. Grossfeld and Savannah built a solid relationship, and Savannah even spent some clinical rotations in the Orthopaedic Specialists office!

Dr. Grossfeld has partnered with both the University of Louisville and Centre College to act as a mentor, and provide internships to students interested in medicine. She is particularly interested in serving as a mentor to encourage female medical students to consider careers in orthopedic surgery.

Savannah studied at the University of Pikeville’s Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine and is now moving on to her residency at the University of Louisville. When she isn’t busy with the heavy workload of med school, she enjoys staying fit with spin classes at CycleBar and playing with her dog Petey. We wish Savannah the best as she continues her professional career! 

Return To Sport After Pediatric ACL Ligament Reconstruction

ACL Injury in Pediatric Athletes, ACL Injury Prevention

Return to sport after pediatric ACL ligament reconstruction and its effect on subsequent ACL injuries, the JBJS 2017.

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are common with estimates suggesting that there are upwards of 100,000 to 200,000 ACL injuries in the U.S. each year. Frequently acl injuries occur during sporting activities that require a lot of jumping, sudden stopping, turning and twisting motions. The anterior cruciate ligament can be injured and torn in a variety of ways. ACL injury rates have historically been notably higher among female athletes than males. Read more about some of the possible reasons for this gender difference.

Board certified sports medicine physician and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Stacie Grossfeld has decades of experience successfully treating patients with all sorts of different types of sports injuries including ACL injuries. In this article Dr. Grossfeld reviews a journal article published in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS) about ACL ligament reconstruction and provides important highlights from the research.

In this article, researchers analyzed return to sport after pediatric ACL ligament reconstruction and its effect on subsequent ACL injuries and found the following:

  • 91% of pediatric ACL reconstructions, if the patient is less than 18 years of age, return to the same sports that they played prior to their ACL injury and surgery.
  • 84% of the patients returned to the same sport, while 91% of them just returned back to playing sports.
  • 19% sustained a graft rupture on the side the surgery was performed and 13% sustained a graft rupture on the contralateral side.
  • So, in total, 32% of the patients who had an ACL injury and subsequent surgery had a second ACL injury. This is notably high when compared to the adult population which is between 2% to 4% recurrent ACL injury after ACL reconstruction.

One common denominator in this particular study involved the fact that the patients that returned back to sport too early, less than six months, had a higher incidence of recurrent pathology and the longer they waited the less chance of recurrent ACL injury occurred.

Getting sidelined by an ACL injury as a youth athlete, or at any age, can be very frustrating. It is always beneficial to be aware of the ways you can prevent injuries like an ACL tear in advance.  In fact, there are a variety of injury prevention programs specifically designed to prevent ACL injuries in youth athletes.

If you or someone you love is suffering from what may be an ACL injury, seeking out experienced medical attention is an important step in the journey towards healing. Dr. Stacie Grossfeld has been treating children, teens and adults with ACL injuries in the Louisville, Kentucky-region for decades. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call 502-212-2663 today.

Osteoporosis and Gender: What You Need to Know

Osteoporosis in Men and Women, Symptoms & Differences

Your bones are not as inert and fixed as you may think. Bone is actually a living tissue that responds to stress. As we age, sometimes our bone cannot regenerate as fast as it needs to, resulting in osteoporosis: a disease marked by weak, brittle bones that are very prone to fracture. Osteoporotic fractures affect one-third of women and one-fifth of men over the age of fifty. The hip, wrist, and spine are all especially susceptible to Osteoporotic fracture. Besides fractures, osteoporosis can cause height loss and even changes to the curvature of the spine. Osteoporosis is an extremely serious disease, especially for older individuals. However, osteoporosis can occur at any age, so everyone, regardless of their age, should be on the lookout for the disease.

Osteoporosis in Women

Men and women experience osteoporosis at very different frequencies and levels of severity. Women are much more likely to suffer from osteoporotic fractures, with 75% of all osteoporotic hip fractures occurring in women. Bone density begins to naturally decline around the age of 30, and women experience a much quicker decline than men because we have a reduction of estrogen, especially after menopause. After menopause, women lose 2% of their bone mass every year! What makes the situation worse is the fact that women already have lower BMD (Bone mineral Density) to start with than men. Because of these factors women older than 45 spend more days in the hospital from osteoporosis than breast cancer, diabetes, and heart attacks. Many of these women are not identified as having osteoporosis even though they are in the hospital with an osteoporotic fracture, leaving many of these fractures untreated. Consequently, there is an 86% chance of sustaining a second osteoporotic fracture in these patients. 

Osteoporosis in Men

Despite the fact that men experience less osteoporotic fractures on average than women, osteoporosis is still an extremely serious matter for men. Fracture rates for women with osteoporosis are higher than men, but mortality rates tend to be higher for men. Men have a one year mortality rate of 20% after an osteoporotic hip fracture, which is higher than women. While men may suffer from osteoporosis less than women on average, it is in no way an uncommon diagnosis for men: Lifetime risks for men to experience an osteoporotic fracture is 27% higher than the risk of prostate cancer. For more facts about osteoporosis in men read this article on the matter.

Prevention

These facts and statistics paint a very concerning picture for men and women alike. Luckily, osteoporosis is preventable with the right blend of weight-bearing exercise and a calcium and vitamin D rich diet. Check out this article for more details on preventing osteoporosis! Although men and women experience the disease at varying frequencies and levels of severity, it is important for everyone to work on preventing osteoporosis. Taking an active role in your own health is a necessary part in preventing serious diseases like osteoporosis. That said, it is always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional when dealing with your bone health.

If you or someone you love is concerned about the effects of osteoporosis, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon can help. Dr. Stacie Grossfeld is double board certified in both orthopaedic surgery and sports medicine and she has decades of experience successfully helping people throughout Louisville, Kentucky and southern Indiana. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call: 502-212-2663 today.

5 Underrated Running Spots in Louisville

Running is a great way to stay healthy and fit this summer. Even regular casual jogging has been shown to reduce cardiovascular disease and lengthen life. Running has also been linked to better mood and memory. Unlike lifting weights and cycling, running requires almost no special equipment, making it extremely beginner friendly. With only a pair of running shoes pretty much anyone can start incorporating running into their fitness regiment. That said, you may not have any ideas about where to run. Thankfully for residents and visitors, Louisville has tons of great parks and running paths to check out. Here are five great underrated spots to check out on your next run.

5 Underrated Running Spots in Louisville

Iroquois Park Overlook

Iroquois park offers plenty of tough hills, and – if you’re willing to make the climb – some great views. Try heading to the park’s scenic overlook for a great view of Louisville from above. The overlook is perfect for a breather halfway through your run, which you may need after making the climb!

Bernheim Fire Roads and Trails

Bernheim Forest and Arboretum is a great option for runners looking to get off the pavement. With many miles of gravel fire roads and well-maintained dirt trails, Bernheim is wonderful for some soft surface running. In addition to saving your joints some stress, Bernheim offers a peaceful atmosphere in the beautifully preserved forest. 

Tom Sawyer Park

It’s no secret that E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park is a great running spot. With a mile-long gravel fitness path and plenty of dirt trails, the park is a popular choice for runners. What many people don’t realize though is that the park is often used as a cross country course, and has even hosted multiple NCAA Cross Country Championships! Because of this, the park has miles of frequently cut grass fields perfect for soft surface running. 

Big Four Bridge

Starting your next run at the Big Four Bridge will give you a unique experience. The bridge gives runners a great view of both the Louisville skyline and Ohio river. Additionally, this route offers a chance to explore the neighborhoods of Jeffersonville and the Ohio River Greenway, both of which lie on the Indiana side of the bridge. 

5 Underrated Running Spots in Louisville

Iroquois Bridle Path

Iroquois park’s bridle path is a hidden gem for runners. Like the overlook mentioned above, the bridle path offers great scenic views. The path also allows runners a chance to get off the pavement, which is always a good idea if possible. Because of its close proximity to the park’s stables, the multi-use bridle path is sometimes used for walking horses. As long as runners are attentive and courteous while using the path, this can be a great opportunity to see some horses without even heading to the track!

Bonus: Your Own Neighborhood

Sometimes the best place for a run is right out your own front door. Running in your neighborhood is great for getting a quick run into a busy schedule. Many people don’t realize how great low traffic subdivisions and neighborhood roads are for running. Plus, it may be an opportunity to meet other runners in your neighborhood! So next time you need to fit a run into your busy day, try running from home. 

Now that you’re equipped with some great running locations, there is nothing stopping you from pursuing your health and fitness goals. As with all exercise and training though, it is important to remember to ease into things. Starting with too much mileage too quickly is a recipe for disaster, and will subject you to injuries like runners knee, shin splints, and the dreaded stress fracture. Luckily these injuries are all preventable and treatable. Check out this blog post for some advice on avoiding common running injuries. 

If you are experiencing knee pain, knee arthritis, or any orthopaedic injury, you can trust the professionals at Orthopaedic Specialists to help you recover. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Grossfeld and the experts at Orthopaedic Specialists, call 502-212-2663 today!

Knee Replacement Surgery: How To Prepare For Optimal Recovery

Considering a knee replacement in Louisville? Learn more here

Knee replacement surgeries are common; in fact, over 800,000 are performed in the United States each year. What’s more, they’re usually extremely successful in the long-term; after 15 years, over 90% of replacement knees are still functioning. Knee replacement surgery can provide a significant reduction in pain and increase mobility for those suffering from arthritis and other knee conditions. 

That being said, your lifestyle choices can have a huge impact on the outcome of your surgery, such as how quickly you recover. The decisions you make before the procedure will affect your short-term recovery progress as well as the long-term possibility of needing a second knee replacement. That’s why it’s vital to be informed about what you can do for yourself in the months and weeks leading up to surgery. Follow along for some of my top tips concerning knee surgery preparation and recovery. 

Quit Smoking, Tobacco, and Nicotine Use

Smoking not only increases the risk of medical complications after knee surgery, but smokers are proven to be far more likely to need a second knee replacement surgery in the long-term.

A study recently published by the University of Missouri School of Medicine found that “patients with tobacco use had a nearly 10% increased rate of reoperation, a 10% increased rate of surgery within two years and a 3.2% higher rate of above-knee amputation when compared to the healthy patient population.” 

The positive side of these statistics is just how quickly you may be able to change your outcome. Studies have found that quitting or reducing smoking just weeks prior to surgery can have a remarkable impact. According to the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, if you quit smoking 4-6 weeks before surgery and continue for 4 weeks after, you can reduce your risk of complications by up to 50%! 

How does smoking harm the body, exactly? It is well known that toxins in nicotine weaken the immune system and escalate inflammation throughout the body. This, in turn, increases the risk of infection, harms the formation of scar tissue, and reduces body-wide oxygen supply. To learn more about the many effects as smoking as well as some ways you can receive help during cessation, visit this CDC page.  

Prepare Your Space

After surgery, you may have difficulty walking and moving around for several weeks. You won’t be able to drive or perform many daily activities during this time. That’s why it’s important to prepare your home in the weeks prior to reduce undue stress on your mental and physical health as well as reduce the risk of re-injuring yourself. If you live somewhere with a lot of stairs, consider moving around your living area to stay on one level. Rearrange any tripping hazards, like toys, awkward furniture, or cluttered spaces. Communicate with your loved ones who will be providing care for you. Do you have meals covered? Who will provide transportation? How will your kids get to school? Answering all of these questions in advance is crucial. 

Start Strengthening Your Knee 

Strengthening your knee before surgery can have a weighty impact on the efficiency and length of your recovery. While you shouldn’t do any exercise that exacerbates pain, there are many moves you can attempt. This excellent blog from Healthline outlines some exercises you can do while laying down. These include: thigh squeezes, side-lying straight leg raises, straight leg raises, clamshells, and more. Of course, before performing any exercises, consult with your doctor. Everyone’s knee is different and should be approached with different levels of care. 

Prepare to Slow Down

If you are a consistently active person or athlete, such as a runner, swimmer, biker, or walker, it’s important to prepare yourself for a reduction in mobility and activity levels in the weeks after surgery. Remind yourself that your sacrifices now will only enable you to be stronger than ever in the future. And remember: once you’ve reached a certain point in recovery, your doctor will actually recommend aerobic and cardio activities to rebuild strength and range of motion in your knee. That’s why it’s important to take that initial post-op rest time as seriously as possible. 

Lose Weight

For those suffering from obesity or morbid obesity, weight loss before surgery can be very impactful on quality of life, knee function, and mobility in the short-term and long-term. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, healthy protein sources, and foods rich in Calcium, Vitamin D, and Vitamin C can also improve bone health, immunity, and overall wellness.

Ask Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask your surgeon or orthopaedic specialist questions prior to surgery. Sometimes people can be intimidated in a medical setting, or don’t know what to ask. Be sure to cover all the bases: Is surgery my best or only option? How will this surgery impact my daily life? What does my recovery time look like? What risks are associated with the surgery? What can I do to recover as quickly and efficiently as I can? 

While knee replacement is absolutely the best decision for many people, I’m always an advocate for alternative options to surgery when possible. Read my blog about some ways you may be able to avoid a knee replacement here.

If you are experiencing knee pain, knee arthritis, or any orthopaedic injury, you can trust the professionals at Orthopaedic Specialists to help you recover. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Grossfeld and the experts at Orthopaedic Specialists, call 502-212-2663 today!

 

Patient of the Month Jeffrey Robinson

Meet this month’s patient in the spotlight, Jeffrey Robinson!

Since 2003, Jeffrey has worked as an auctioneer. 

His calling began in his 20s. Every weekend, he and his father would look in the newspaper for local auctions to attend, just for fun. What began as a weekly bonding activity morphed into a time-honored ritual; so much so, that when Jeffrey’s father developed Parkinson’s Disease, they kept trying to make it happen. 

When Jeffrey’s father started struggling to stand up, they decided to go to auction houses, which would allow him a place to sit. While at an auction house, Jeffrey’s father mentioned to him, in passing, that he should be an auctioneer. Jeffrey took it to heart. 

Jeffrey immediately started a three month apprenticeship and took an auctioneer test, which he passed. Then, while at a Kentucky Auctioneers Association (KAA) convention, he entered an  Apprentice Auctioneer bid calling contest. He won first place out of 23 people. 

20 years later, he’s still hooked.

“I love the interaction with people. The ability to put a smile on someone’s face and create a conversation just by running my mouth is awesome… I enjoy knowing by this gift I can raise money to help others…[It] is a great feeling. Being a Freemason, part of our motto is faith, hope, and charity, and I love helping charities and those less fortunate.”

Jeffrey’s skill as an auctioneer draws crowds far and wide. In fact, he often gets told, “I like to come just to hear you talk.” He loves the interaction with people, especially seeing their excitement. 

He auctioneers many local charity auctions, including those for Barktown Animal Rescue, St. Jude Target Family House, Scottish Rite Rally, Rhett’s Syndrome, and several for veterans. 

He’s currently looking forward to the Childhood Cancer Family Fund’s Trivia Night and Auction: Music Edition, held at Bearno’s on May 14th. This incredible event will raise money to buy Christmas presents for cancer patients and their families at the St. Jude Target Family House. Learn more and sign up here.

Jeffrey and his wife at Barktown Animal Rescue

 

Patient of the Month Gail Tucker

Meet this month’s patient in the spotlight Gail Tucker!

When COVID hit in March of 2020, Gail and her husband Dale (like many others) found themselves with a lot of extra time on their hands. Instead of going to the Northeast Branch YMCA, 4-5 times a week for the fitness center and water aerobics classes, they decided to walk. After a few weeks, their daily 3 mile walk turned into 5 miles. Little did they know they would hit over 3,000 miles in their effort to keep walking throughout the pandemic.

“Initially, we took our walks here in our neighborhood and then started venturing further out. Dale wore a pedometer and everyday I would record our distance.”

“We had plans in the summer of 2020 to visit both sons and their wives in Philly & DC, but because of the lockdowns we decided we would walk to them virtually instead. I always have to have a purpose and each activity is best when it accomplishes at least two things. So, in July of 2020, we arrived “virtually” at our son’s and wife’s door in DC (596 miles). Then because we “love our children equally,” we went on to Philly (664 miles) and got there the next month. We were so disappointed to not see them and this was a way to think about them daily! We didn’t end up seeing the “kids” for 1 1/2 years and that was so hard. I hope I never take that for granted again.”

As a patient of Dr. Grossfeld, Gail has received injections into her knee, gearing her up for these long walks, including hills. Dale (who has also had two gel shots, one in each knee) walked every single mile of the journey with her. It was a Team Tucker experience!

In a continued effort to give structure to otherwise long and lonely days, #TeamTucker virtually participated in the Triple Crown Races, and explored parks previously unknown to them! The Parklands and Bernheim Forest being among some of their favorites.

“When we started venturing out of the county, we would scream when we crossed a county line like we were on a European exploration. We met lots of new people on our walks and lost some additional weight on the journey. We went through several pairs of running shoes and all in all, the walking was the highlight of these difficult years. Now we have returned to the Y, but we don’t go as often. On the days we don’t go, we walk at least 4 miles. We have an exercise DVD we use at home and a big garage in our condo where we walk on unpleasant days.”

We hope you’ll join all of us at Orthopaedic Specialists in continuing to cheer on Team Tucker as they explore all of the “unknown roads ahead.”

Easing Back Into Running After Time Away

Ready to Start Running Again? Learn How Here

Running is a wonderful physical activity that may also be one of the simplest for people to enjoy. All you need are some sneakers and comfortable clothing and off you go. Not only can running help you maintain a desirable weight, but it is also a great way to make your muscles stronger, to build strong bones, and increase your overall cardiovascular well-being.

According to 2020 estimates from the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, approximately 15% of the U.S. population participates in some type of jogging or running activity on a regular basis. It is likely that the COVID-19 pandemic has only increased this behavior, in part because many people had limited access to gyms, or chose to avoid more crowded indoor fitness venues.

If you trying to get back into running after an extended period on the sidelines, there are some helpful tips to consider. Whether you have been sidelined by an injury that has made it painful or impossible to run, or you’re just trying to increase your physical activity after being sedentary for a while, there are some important things to consider if you are getting back to running after having not done it for a while. 

Follow along for some helpful info as you begin to implement a new running routine.

10 Tips To Make Your New Running Routine Easier

1. Be realistic.

Many people remember how easy running was when they were kids, teens and even young adults. It is important for you to be realistic about your fitness level and body as you start any new exercise routine including running. While you can certainly aim to realize great success at every life stage, setting realistic expectations will make the journey much more enjoyable.

2. Take time to stretch before and after you run.

Establishing a stretching routine before and after you run is advisable, regardless of your age and abilities. While people’s bodies tend to vary in terms of flexibility and typical pain points, it is important for you to figure out a good stretching routine that works for your needs. Not only will stretching help to reduce your risk of injury, but it will also help to reduce the muscle soreness you will likely experience, especially in the beginning of your new running routine.

3. Listen to your body.

When it comes to running, and most physical activity for that matter, the old saying “no pain, no gain” is not a great thing to follow. It is very important that you tune into your body and that you pay attention to just minor tweaks, aches and pains. If you listen and act accordingly, you will greatly reduce the risk of a more serious injury that keeps you from being able to continue your running plan.

4. Set some realistic goals.

Having goals for your running routine can help you see the progress you are making, even in small increments. Whether you jump in with both feet and sign up for a local road race, or simply have a set distance you want to work up to, mapping out a plan with some actionable steps towards achieving set goals is a great way to help yourself stay motivated and focused on the bigger picture of your effort.

5. Consider an approach that involves both running and walking.

If you were a one-time runner trying to ease back into the activity after time off, you may look at walking as something lessor than running. The fact is, walking has just as many health benefits and is often much easier on your muscles and joints. If you are easing back into a running routine after time off, incorporating a walk and run approach is often more comfortable and sustainable, especially in the first few weeks.

6. Make sure to get the right footwear.

While there are hundreds of different sneaker options to consider, it is essential that you choose some supportive high-quality footwear as you get back into a running routine. Going to a store that specializes in running is helpful for some people who may benefit from a gait analysis and other experienced advice, based on unique preferences, body builds, injury history, dynamics with your feet, etc.

7. Hydrate more than “normal.”

Many times when people start running again, especially in colder weather, they forget to drink more fluids to make up for all that they are losing during physical activity. Even though you may not feel like you are sweating in the colder months, you most definitely are, so making hydration (especially water) a top priority is very important. 

8. Time your meals to avoid cramps and stitches.

If you have ever had a bad cramp during a run you know why this topic is an important one to discuss. Many times people experience stomach aches while running from undigested food sitting in their stomachs. Try to think strategically about what you eat and when you eat it. While there isn’t one perfect approach or food that fits for every person, learning what works well for you is essential. Many runners like to run early in the day before they have eaten to try to avoid the likelihood of some type of food-related cramping. Yet others have to eat something before running, regardless of the time of day, just to have adequate energy to power through. Experiment with some different options and figure out what works best for you. 

9. Consider keeping a journal.

As with many physical activities, some days you’ll feel better than others and you won’t be sure why. If you keep a running journal to document distance, pace, food/diet, your course, etc. it will help you better identify patterns in your running. You may be able to see if there are certain times of day or weeks of the month when your running seems easier or harder. You may also gain insight into which foods make you feel best before your activity.

10. Diversify your routine.

Even if you are very focused on establishing a new running routine, it is very important that you also incorporate other physical activities to make the running more enjoyable. This includes some activities that help to strengthen your arms and core, for example. Depending on your age and overall health, it may also include more low impact activities including cycling and swimming, where you can still get plenty of cardio benefits without the same amount of stress on your body. Many people who have been successful running over the life course note that days off can be as important as days on. Keep the big picture in mind and don’t let your enthusiasm to get back to running lead you to an overuse injury.

If you are currently sidelined by an injury and are unable to participate in the activities that you enjoy, seek out qualified medical help. For those in the Louisville, Kentucky-region, Dr. Stacie Grossfeld is here to serve you. Dr. Grossfeld has decades of experience as a double board certified sports medicine physician and orthopedic surgeon. Perhaps even more importantly, Dr. Grossfeld is an athlete and is passionate about sports. She understands the frustration that can come from injuries, and she works with athletes to help get them back on the road to recovery as quickly and successfully as possible. For more information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Grossfeld, call 502-212-2663 today. New patients are welcome, and we accept almost every type of insurance.

What is Mueller-Weiss Syndrome? Understanding Rafael Nadal’s “Rare” and “Incurable” Foot Condition

Mueller-Weiss Syndrome is a “Rare” and “Incurable” Foot Condition

Rafael Nadal is one of the biggest names in professional tennis. As a former World #1 and current World #5, the 35 year-old Spaniard has won the most Grand Slam men’s singles titles in history. He won the Australian Open this January, and appears to be vying for major wins during the upcoming clay-court season. 

Despite this recent victory, Nadal has actually been struggling with an ongoing foot condition for over a year. Known as Mueller-Weiss Syndrome, this rare, degenerative disease has caused him chronic, “day-by-day” suffering, forcing him to pull out of last year’s Wimbledon and completely derail his 2021 season. In a recent interview, he admitted that he often thought his entire career may be over. It has only been through months of recovery and training that he has reached a point where he feels comfortable playing again. 

So, what exactly is Mueller-Weiss Syndrome?

Besides being under-diagnosed and rarely-understood, it’s a form of “adult-onset spontaneous osteonecrosis of navicular bone causing mid and hindfoot pain and deformity.” This means that blood flow is cut off from the navicular bone (located in the top-middle of the foot), resulting in degeneration, fragmentation, and deformity. 

What are some symptoms of Mueller-Weiss?

Generally, Mueller-Weiss begins as a persistent, subtle pain in the navicular bone. This can last for months. Then, as the condition progresses, the pain can become increasingly severe, even disabling. 

What causes Mueller-Weiss?

Mueller-Weiss is most common in middle-aged women. There are different suspected causes of the condition. Trauma, such as an acute athletic injury, may cause it. Osteochondritis, or the “death” of a joint or bone, can be a cause as well. Overuse may be a factor. Due to the rarity of the disease, causes largely remain unknown. 

How do you recover from Mueller-Weiss?

There is no “best choice” treatment option for Mueller-Weiss. Many doctors prefer a more conservative approach to managing symptoms. If severe pain persists for longer than six months, however, surgery may be recommended. This can include methods such as “open triple fusion” and “talonavicular-cuneiform arthrodesis.” Recommended orthopedic procedures will depend on each patient’s unique case. 

How will Mueller-Weiss affect Rafael Nadal in the long-term?

Nadal received surgery in September 2021 that allowed him to play again, but this doesn’t mean that his Mueller-Weiss is going away. Due to the nature of the disease, the degeneration and deformity of the navicular bone will likely continue to cause him pain and occasional flare-ups. It’s difficult to determine how this will affect his career in the long term. But, for now, we can safely say he’s back in the game!

If you or a loved one experiences pain associated with a sports-related injury in the Louisville, Kentucky-area, board certified sports medicine physician Dr. Stacie Grossfeld at Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC can help. Orthopaedic Specialists is currently accepting new patients, and same day/telemedicine appointments are also available. For additional information or to schedule an appointment today, call 502-212-2663.