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It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional level athlete or enjoy taking a jog around the block once a week, you never want to pull a muscle. Not only is this uncomfortable, but it can also keep you away from the activities you love for an extended period of time.

While a pulled muscle is always a possibility, there are some basic steps you can take to prevent this injury:

·      Strength training: Weak muscles are more likely to pull than strong ones. So, if you get into the habit of strength training your entire body, you can strengthen your muscles and lessen the likelihood of injury.

·      Stretch: By stretching, you reduce tension in muscles, which improves range of motion. Subsequently, there’s less chance that you’ll pull a muscle. Remember to stretch both before and after exercise.

·      Warm-up: It only takes a few minutes to warm-up before exercise, but it can go a long way in helping prevent a pulled muscle (among other injuries).

Doing these things will help you prevent a pulled muscle, and all the discomfort that follows.

If you suffer this injury, get off your feet and treat yourself immediately. From ice to rest to massage, there are many ways to speed up the recovery process.

Jennifer Ferdinand, owner of Serendipity Wellness Studio in Burke, VA, has been practicing massage therapy and esthetics since 2006. She is nationally certified through NCBTMB, and licensed in Virginia for both Massage Therapy and Esthetics.

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Runner’s knee is most often associated with overuse, however, this ailment can also be the result of direct trauma, misaligned bones, weak thigh muscles, and problems with your feet.

If you have reason to believe you’re suffering from runner’s knee, don’t hesitate to receive a professional diagnosis. Only then will you know what you’re up against, which will allow you to implement the right treatment plan.

The best treatment for runner’s knee includes:

·      Extended rest: Try to avoid anything that makes the injury worse, such as running or standing for too long.

·      Ice: Icing your knee for 20 minutes at a time, three times per day, can help reduce swelling and pain.

·      Elevate your leg: When sitting or lying down, do your best to elevate your leg. This can help to quickly reduce swelling.

·      Stretch: Increased flexibility and strength, especially in your quadriceps, can speed up healing and help you prevent the same type of injury in the future.

·      Physical therapy: Consult with your doctor about whether physical therapy can help speed up your recovery, improve strength and flexibility, and prevent future trouble.

Although runner’s knee can be painful, there are many treatment techniques you can use to your advantage. With the right approach, it won’t be long before you’re feeling better and back on your feet.

Jennifer Ferdinand, owner of Serendipity Wellness Studio in Burke, VA, has been practicing massage therapy and esthetics since 2006. She is nationally certified through NCBTMB, and licensed in Virginia for both Massage Therapy and Esthetics.

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Over the years, arthritis treatment has come a long way. While it’s important to follow the direction of your medical team, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should shy away from home treatments.

There are a variety of ways to treat your arthritis without medication, including but not limited to the following:

·      Get more exercise: Not only does this help you maintain flexibility in your joints, but it can also help you maintain a healthy weight. Rather than rely on weight-bearing exercises, such as jogging, opt for riding a bicycle or swimming.

·      Use cold and hot therapy: For example, if you’re dealing with joint pain and swelling, cold treatment is best. However, if stiffness is causing you trouble, opt for the use of a heating pad or electric blanket.

·      Try massage therapy: A massage can help reduce pain in arthritic joints, increase blood flow, improve range of motion, and reduce stiffness. While self-massage can help at home, don’t hesitate to visit a local spa for a professional massage.

Although arthritis has a way of slowing you down, there are steps you can take to fight back. When you combine the help of your medical team with these home treatments, you’ll find more relief than you ever imagined possible.

Jennifer Ferdinand, owner of Serendipity Wellness Studio in Burke, VA, has been practicing massage therapy and esthetics since 2006. She is nationally certified through NCBTMB, and licensed in Virginia for both Massage Therapy and Esthetics.

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A low back strain can strike when you least expect it. For example, you’re feeling good during your workday and then something suddenly happens when you quickly stand up from your seat.

Although a low back strain can be both painful and uncomfortable, there are a variety of treatment strategies you can use to seek relief. Consider the following:

·      Ice therapy: Not only can this reduce pain, but it can also eliminate swelling. Do this for 20 minutes at a time, every three to four hours.

·      Apply heat: After three days of icing, switch over to heat therapy. You can use a heating pad and/or soak in a hot bathtub. Either way, it can help loosen the muscles and promote blood flow.

·      Get support: For example, you may want to wear a supportive belt until your injury heals. This can be uncomfortable at first, but you’ll get used to it after a day or so.

·      Opt for physical therapy: It’s not always necessary, but physical therapy can help you build strength in your back as to avoid the same type of injury in the future.

·      Get a massage: You don’t want to do this too soon, but once you’re on the road to recovery it can help you relax and speed up the recovery process.

The next time you’re dealing with a low back strain, experiment with one or more of these treatment strategies. You’re likely to find something that brings relief.

Jennifer Ferdinand, owner of Serendipity Wellness Studio in Burke, VA, has been practicing massage therapy and esthetics since 2006. She is nationally certified through NCBTMB, and licensed in Virginia for both Massage Therapy and Esthetics

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When you come down with a cold, you want nothing more than to lay in bed until it subsides. Unfortunately, life goes on and you need to push through your day.

While it’s never easy to fight off a cold, there are some simple steps you can take to shorten the duration and ensure that you get back on your feet as quickly as possible. Here are three things to try:

·      Get more sleep: This doesn’t mean you should stay in bed all day, but you should definitely attempt to add a couple extra hours to your nighttime routine. This goes a long way in giving your body the time it needs to recover.

·      Exercise: No, you don’t want to spend three hours at the gym lifting weights. However, it doesn’t hurt to get your body moving, as exercise is known to strengthen the immune system. Ride a stationary bike for 20 minutes. Take a walk around the block to get your blood flowing. A little bit of exercise can go a long way.

·      Eat a balanced diet: This is important at all times, but especially when you’re fighting a cold. Implement a balanced diet with a heavy focus on liquids and food that is gentle on your throat and stomach.

Doing these things may not immediately cure your cold, but they can definitely help shorten the duration. Don’t wait a single day to experiment with one or more of these tips.

Jennifer Ferdinand, owner of Serendipity Wellness Studio in Burke, VA, has been practicing massage therapy and esthetics since 2006. She is nationally certified through NCBTMB, and licensed in Virginia for both Massage Therapy and Esthetics.

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