Thursday, April 17, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Heather Moore

POSTED: Thursday, April 10, 2014, 10:20 AM

My clinic sees a lot of athletes, and one question I ask every patient on their initial evaluation is, “What have you been doing at home?” The most common answer is, “Nothing.” 

Many people tell me that when they felt pain, weeks and even months ago, they just ran or exercised through it until it got bad enough that they could not do their sport anymore. So they rested for two weeks, four weeks, two months, then they went back to their sport and the pain came back. Sometimes, the pain comes back worse. No matter how long they rested, the pain returned and sometimes worse and in more spots then it was before they took time off.

Why doesn’t the pain stay away after a period of rest?

POSTED: Thursday, March 27, 2014, 5:00 AM
Filed Under: Heather Moore | Running

With the weather breaking and the Broad Street Run approaching, people are going to begin hitting the pavement after a long winter indoors. Many people will begin ramping up their mileage and some people will start noticing pain. When do we need to pay attention to the pain? When do we just run through it? 

One of the biggest mistakes runners make—and the reason my clinic is full of patients—is that people’s first response to pain is to stop running. Many people will feel pain and the pain will increase and as the pain increases the first thought is to stop running. The thought is that by stopping, the pain will disappear.  However, by just stopping running and not treating it, the pain will not go away. For the first couple days or weeks the pain may lessen because the inflammation will go down, but you will not have fixed the problem. 

Below are listed some common running injuries and some ways to treat them initially. Ignoring them is not the answer. They need to be addressed as the pain is felt. It needs to be stated that if you feel pain it is best to have that pain diagnosed by a medical professional so that the most proper plan of action can be put into place. 

  • Shin splints: Shin splints are pain felt up the shin. Shin splints are commonly felt by runners as distances increase. There are many fads on the internet to treat shin splints and every runner will offer you his/her own take on what they have experienced or feel is the fool-proof method for treating shin splints. 

POSTED: Tuesday, March 4, 2014, 4:00 AM
The arms race: Strengthening for the upper body (iStockphoto)

I am always amazed when athletes come to me who have done some of toughest races in the world and I ask them to do twenty push-ups and they cannot. People seem to ignore the arms and the upper body even though the lungs, which feed your muscles with oxygen and can only function at maximal capacity if the arms and shoulders are in the best shape possible, are housed in the rib cage supported by the muscles of the arms and the shoulders. Ignoring the arms does not allow the body to function at the most efficient and strongest that it can.

Working out the arms does not mean bench pressing the most you can or lifting as much weight over your head.  This can be detrimental to your athletic performance, instead of beneficial. The most effective exercises for the arms can most often be done with just your body weight, especially if you are not used to working out your arms.

The most important thing to remember when you are working out any body part is to watch your form.  Improper form can lead to incorrect training and injury. Many people when they lift their arms often use the upper trapezius muscles. The upper trapezius muscle is found on the top of the shoulder.  These are generally very strong and like to be active when moving the arms, especially if the arms are trying to lift too much weight. 

POSTED: Tuesday, February 25, 2014, 5:30 AM

More and more studies are showing the health risks of sitting at your desk for too long. Heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancers have all been shown to increase in those individuals that lead a sedentary lifestyle. Studies are beginning to equate sitting to smoking in terms of harm to overall health.

Compound that with sitting at home and watching television when you get home and people fail to realize how long they are truly sitting in a day. Sitting for an hour can already start to have harmful effects. We have become a culture of sedentary individuals.

There are small things that you can do every day that will make you a less sedentary person. The difficulty for most people is getting started. However, once you used to doing these things then they will become habits as opposed to things that you constantly have to think about on a daily basis. Start small and work up to some of the ones that take more time and thought. Getting up for five minutes can change how your body is reacting.

POSTED: Tuesday, February 18, 2014, 5:30 AM
Filed Under: Heather Moore | Working Out

With the snow and cold and workout boredom setting in, many people have already lapsed on the New Year’s resolutions set only a few weeks ago. They’ve fallen into not exercising and resuming old patterns of letting work, kids, social schedules get in the way of leading a healthier and happier lifestyle.

The good news is it is never too late to get back on the workout wagon and resume achieving those goals that you set a little over a month ago. There are a few things to consider as you begin to work on creating the new you that you wanted to do so just shortly ago.

1. Avoid workout boredom. Most people fall off the workout wagon because there are so many times in a row you can hop on a treadmill, the elliptical, the bike and just mindlessly go for a half hour or hour. Eventually it becomes old and when you lose sight of your goals you can justify replacing this time with so many other more pressing things.

POSTED: Tuesday, January 28, 2014, 5:30 AM
DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 12: Quarterbacks Peyton Manning #18 and Brock Osweiler #17 of the Denver Broncos stretch before a game against the San Diego Chargers at Sports Authority Field Field at Mile High on December 12, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

The newest buzz word on the field is dynamic stretching. I have seen many variations of this—some correct, some incorrect. Some people have taken to static stretching, bouncing a little bit and calling it dynamic stretching. Others are just flat out running and skipping and calling that dynamic stretching.

But what is dynamic stretching? Is it better than the static stretching that has been used for so many years?

First let me start by saying that static stretching, where you hold a position for more than 30 seconds in order to elongate the muscle, is still safe. In fact, it should be done AFTER the activity. These types of stretches are designed to target the muscle groups, one at a time and to lengthen them, not necessarily to do anything else. Once you have completed your sport, run, workout, it is good to go through some gentle stretches where you hold a position for 30 seconds or more, stretching a number of different muscle groups.

POSTED: Friday, January 24, 2014, 5:30 AM
Filed Under: Heather Moore | Working Out

With the New Year upon us, many people have made their resolutions to get back into shape. Some people are intimidated by the gym and avoid going at all cost, looking for home solutions in order to achieve results. With a high intensity interval training program, results can be achieved in a short amount of time.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is the latest fitness craze because you can burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time. It helps to increase strength and builds a cardiovascular base. It is also a way to get in a total body workout. The idea is to keep moving through the exercises and not to stop. It is continuous. But in the end you should feel like your body got a complete workout in a short amount of time. With a proper diet this is all you need to get in shape for 2014.

The exercises shown in the video are body weight exercises. When you are able to complete the number of repetitions or prescribed time then you may begin adding weight. Make sure that you're performing the exercise correctly, as poor form is often what leads to injury and decreased results with these types of programs. The desire to perform the most amount of repetitions is the goal, but it is also to perform the desired form. Otherwise, you are training the wrong muscle groups and doing yourself a disservice.

POSTED: Thursday, January 16, 2014, 5:30 AM
Rumble roller pictured above. (via

The world of foam rolling has evolved since I became a subscriber over ten years ago. The first foam rollers to come out were exactly that, 3-foot pieces of white foam. There were no alternatives. If I told someone to go and purchase a foam roller they did. There were no questions surrounding which one, how are they different, and which one is for me? That has all changed. Google “foam roller” and 10 different pictures pop up.

Many people discontinue foam rolling because they find it too painful. True, foam rolling can and sometimes should hurt but that is not always the case. It is certainly not the case if it means you do not do it. Foam rolling should be done every day, whether healthy or injured, for at least 10 minutes. Choosing the correct foam roller will help you adhere to the regime and prevent injuries.

It is also recommended that you have more than one foam roller. One should be gentler, like the white or black foam which will allow it to be used whether injured, recovering from an injury or every day maintenance and one that is more aggressive like the Rumble Roller. The Rumble Roller should be able to be used on a daily basis when there is no pain. Here is a basic list of the different types of foam rollers that are available and which one might be right for you.

  1. Standard, white foam roller. This is a usually 3 feet long and 6 inches in diameter. This is the easiest and gentlest of the foam rollers. It can be used on almost anyone. This is a good one if you have not started foam rolling because it hurts too much. While it still may be uncomfortable on this one you will find that it is much less then on the more aggressive foam rollers.
  2. Black foam roller. This looks just like the white foam roller, but uses a higher density foam. This is one I recommend purchasing to have as your go-to foam roller if you are injured and cannot tolerate one of the firmer foam rollers. This will maintain its form and still provide you with a great roll out.
  3. The Grid. This is a step up from the black foam roller. It has very little give to it and if you are nursing a sore muscle it can be painful. This is not a great starting point, but it is a good roller to have when you move past being able to tolerate more than just foam.
  4. Firm rumble roller. You need to be healthy to have this, but it is a fantastic tool for any athlete. I highly recommend purchasing this model or the extra-firm as your go-to, everyday roller. This is excellent for getting into hamstrings and gastroc muscles that may be sore as well as helping to correct illiotibial band issues and piriformis pain.
  5. Extra firm rumble roller. This is the most aggressive foam roller on the market. Yes, it has extra firm spikes on it. A better self massage tool does not exist. It will aid in keeping your muscles pliable and ready to go. This one should only be used when you have worked your way up to it, it can be very painful.
About this blog

Whether you are a weekend warrior, an aging baby boomer, a student athlete or just someone who wants to stay active, this blog is for you. Read about our growing list of expert contributors here.

Robert Senior Sports Doc blog Editor
Alfred Atanda, Jr., M.D. Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.
Robert Cabry, M.D. Drexel Sports Medicine, Team physician - U.S. Figure Skating, Assoc. Team Physician - Drexel
Brian Cammarota, MEd, ATC, CSCS, CES Symetrix Sports Performance, athletic trainer at OAA Orthopaedics
Desirea D. Caucci, PT, DPT, OCS Co-owner of Conshohocken Physical Therapy, Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Michael G. Ciccotti, M.D. Rothman Institute, Head Team Physician for the Phillies & St. Joe's
Julie Coté, PT, MPT, OCS, COMT Magee Rehabilitation Hospital
Peter F. DeLuca, M.D. Rothman Institute, Head Team Physician - Eagles, Head Orthopedic Surgeon - Flyers
Joel H. Fish, Ph.D. Director - The Center For Sport Psychology, Sports Psychology Consultant - 76ers & Flyers
R. Robert Franks, D.O. Rothman Institute, Team Physician - USA Wrestling, Consultant - Philadelphia Phillies
Ashley B. Greenblatt, ACE-CPT Certified Personal Trainer at The Sporting Club at The Bellevue
Cassie Haynes, JD, MPH Co-Founder, Trap Door Athletics, CrossFit LI Certified
Eugene Hong, MD, CAQSM, FAAFP Team Physician - Drexel, Philadelphia University, Saint Joe’s, & U.S. National Women’s Lacrosse
Jim McCrossin, ATC Flyers and Phantoms
Kevin Miller Fitness Coach, Philadelphia Union
Heather Moore, PT, DPT, CKTP Owner of Total Performance Physical Therapy, North Wales, Pa.
David Rubenstein, M.D. Main Line Health Lankenau Medical Center, Team Orthopedist - Philadelphia 76ers
Justin Shaginaw, MPT, ATC Aria 3B Orthopaedic Institute, Athletic Trainer - US Soccer Federation
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