165 Lilly Rd NE, Suite B, Olympia • 360.455-8014

Joyce Mills

Running Shoes… Keep it Simple

How to select running shoes

How to select running shoes

Do you have questions about what to look for in new running shoes?  Well try to keep it simple!  Here are a few ideas and things to think about when picking out your next running shoe. 

  • Make sure your toes and forefoot have enough room.  When you run your foot spreads and swells slightly so you want to have room for that to happen.   It might even be good idea to try on shoes after running when your foot might be the biggest for this very reason.
  • Fit the shoe to your longest toe so you won’t be at risk for rubbing or blisters.
  • If you have a bunion make sure there are no seams or irritating areas over that area.   Check the inside of the shoe with your hand to be sure. 
  • The heel is one area that should be snug.  Your heel should not move up, down or side to side when running.  If it does, you will be prone to blisters.
  • If you wear orthotics, make sure they will fit comfortably in the shoe.
  • The shoe should bend easily behind the ball of the foot.  This is necessary for pushing yourself forward.  If it is too stiff here, you will be wasting energy bending your shoe instead of getting to the finish line. 
  • If you are a trail runner, you might need more rigid sole for protection from the elements otherwise don’t worry too much about the bottom of the shoe. 
  • But most importantly try on several pair and run in them.  Most running shoe stores have a treadmill for the very reason.   



In summary, your body will really do the picking.We all come in slightly different shapes and sizes and you should always pick the shoe that FEELS the best.Most likely the one that feels the best in the store will feel the best on your run.And above all don’t buy a shoe for color, style, price or because it’s the latest fad.Buy a shoe that feels like your favorite pair of jeans.It should be comfortable, supportive and did I mention comfortable!

Vertigo Treatment

Vertigo  taken by "Vertigo 08018" by Nevit Dilmen - Own Photograph. Licensed under " href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/">CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Vertigo taken by “Vertigo 08018” by Nevit Dilmen – Own Photograph. Licensed under Wikimedia Commons.


Have you ever felt like the world is spinning around you?  Do you feel nauseated when you move too fast?  Does it take a minute for you to feel stable when getting out of bed because you feel unsteady?  Do you find yourself closing your eyes when you roll over because things start to move?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might have positional vertigo.


Although feeling like this is scary, the good news is that positional vertigo CAN be treated effectively no matter how long you have had it.  A physical therapist that has been specially trained to assess vertigo will test you to see if you might have a problem with the “level sensors” in your inner ear.  These level sensors are called the semicircular canals.  You have 3 of them in each side of the skull.  It might sound strange but inside these canals are crystals or “rocks” and they sometimes get where they do not belong.  When they are in the wrong place, and you move your head (up, down, right or left), the crystals will continue to send signals to your brain that you are moving even after you have stopped moving the head.  So the brain gets 2 different messages: one from the ears saying that you are moving and one from the eyes saying that you have stopped moving.  The brain is used to getting the same message from the eyes and ears and so it doesn’t know what to do with the different signals and thus it feels like you are spinning.  The spinning sensation does subside usually within seconds as the brain quickly realizes that the eyes are the ones with the correct information. 


Of course there are other reasons that you might be feeling vertigo, dizzy, or unsteady but positional vertigo is a very common reason.  And the good news is that it can be treated quickly and easy.  Nearly 80% of patients with positional vertigo only require one physical therapy treatment session. 


Come in to Comstock Physical Therapy to learn more about positional vertigo and get fully assessed to see if vertigo is truly the reason that you are spinning or feeling off balance.  Don’t think that you just have to live with it because it might be possible to get rid of it and be stable once again! 




Better Balance



Do you ever catch your toe on a floor rug or maybe a slightly raised curb?  Do you find yourself grabbing onto the walls or furniture when you lose your balance?  Do you feel like you should use a cane but don’t want to?  Do you want to prevent a “bad” fall before it happens? 


Well you’re in luck because balance CAN be improved if you work on the right things; no matter your age.  You might wonder, “How can my balance get any better?  It just seems to be getting worse with time.”  It’s true, balance does seem to deteriorate over time but only because our ankles, hips and reaction times get to be less than optimal.  But the good news is that you can improve in all these areas.  The physical therapist will look at your flexibility, strength and reaction time to assess your specific balance needs.  Is it surprising that these few little things could help?  Well here are the basics on HOW it will help:


Flexibility is important in order to “catch yourself” when becoming off balance.  If you are too stiff in the ankles or hips, you won’t have the flexibility to do this with even a small loss of balance which could lead to a fall.  Better flexibility will assist make it easier to get dressed, get in and out of the car as well as moving around the kitchen or workshop. 


Strength is important in both the ankles and hips to regain your steadiness.  The stronger the ankles and hips are, the better your chances of being able to balance yourself with small and larger stumbles.  More strength makes it easier to go upstairs, garden, and travel.  You can always get stronger no matter your age, come in and we will show you how. 


Reaction time will help you react to a stumble quicker and thus making it easier to regain your balance.  We can help you regain that quickness with specific practice on unsteady surfaces.  This will help you when you are on uneven or rocky terrain, and even dancing.  


Come to Comstock Physical Therapy to learn the right exercises to improve ALL these areas!  Don’t be discouraged by your age; anyone can get stronger, faster and more limber if you do the RIGHT exercises.


We can also discuss home hazards that may be putting you at risk for unnecessary falls.  Remember PREVENTION is the best INTERVENTION!

Physical Therapy

165 Lilly Rd. NE, Suite B
Olympia, Washington 98506



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