All posts by Teresa Stockton

soccer injuries

Prevent Common Soccer Injuries with Physical Therapy

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soccer injuries

Soccer is a great way to build endurance, improve speed, and stay fit, all while enjoying being a part of a team. However, it does not come without it’s risks. By regularly performing quick, complicated movements combined physical contact, injuries can range from mild sprains and strains – to those that may require surgery like a torn ACL. Risk of injury is no reason not to play soccer, though. Soccer players just need to be aware of the risks and know what steps they can take to play as safely as possible.

1. Sprains

Sprains are common soccer injuries. They often happen to the ankle or knee. The pivoting and lateral movements of soccer contribute to these injuries. To avoid unnecessary risk, always check the condition of the field before you play. Do not play on fields that are uneven or have holes or rocks on them. Also, proper footwear and appropriate strength and balance training are the key to prevention.

2. Strains

Muscle strains can be caused by:

  • Pulling a muscle too far in a direction it does not want to go
  • Contracting a muscle hard against resistance
  • Contracting a muscle hard when the muscle is not ready

The most common muscle strains in soccer occur with groin muscles, hamstrings, and quadriceps. A muscle strain won’t send you to the emergency room, but it can be painful and can keep you off the field for a few days or weeks. Strains occur frequently in soccer due to constant stop and go movement, or taking a longer stride than muscles can handle. Good flexibility and strength can lower your chances of muscle strain. Start with a warm up, then stretch the areas that are most likely to suffer a strain. Make sure that you are also doing strengthening exercises before the season begins. Wearing well-fitted cleats with appropriate spikes (longer spikes in softer turf and shorter spikes on dry, hard turf) may also help prevent strains.

3. Fractures

The majority of soccer-related fractures are also in the lower extremities . Fractures often occur as a result of contact, so wearing protective gear like shin guards is important.

4. Head Injury

Closed-head injury is most often the result of a collision between players or from not heading the ball properly. Correct heading involves use of the forehead to contact the ball, the neck muscles to restrict head motion, and the leg muscles to to propel the body from the waist. You may want to consider strengthening your neck muscles to prepare them for heading. You can use your hand to provide resistance against your head. Then, use your neck muscles to turn your head right, left, forward, and backward. Wear a fitted mouth guard to protect your mouth and teeth. You may also want to consider protective eye-wear.

Preventing Soccer Injuries with Physical Therapy.

By working with a physical therapist for injury prevention you get the opportunity to work with an expert of the human body. A physical therapy team will be able to target specific muscles in the legs to strengthen and prepare for the movements performed regularly from athletes of all performance levels. For example, to help prevent an ACL Tear  they may provide an athlete with multi directional knee stability training.  In regard to head injuries a physical therapist may ask you to complete baseline testing, giving coaches and athletic trainers the ability to track your cognitive progress in case of a concussion.

Physical therapists can also help by working with teams to create more effective warm-up exercises designed specifically for your sport and ability levels.

After an Injury Occurs

If you have experienced a soccer injury that doesn’t recover after a few days of rest it may be time to consult a physical therapist or your primary health care provider.  Pushing through pain while trying to remain active in a sport may lead to a more severe injury as well as improper healing of the affected muscles. By going through a physical therapy program, athletes are not only given all of the tools needed to recovery from the initial injury, but also the education and exercises needed to prevent injury in the future.

REFERENCES:

Asken MJ, Schwartz RC. Heading the ball in soccer: what’s the risk of brain injury? The Physician and Sportsmedicine. 1998;26(11).

Boden BP, Kirkendall DT, Garrett WE Jr. Concussion incidence in elite college soccer players. Am J Sports Med. 1998;26(2)238-41.

Metzl JD, Fleischer GR. Sports-specific concerns in the young athlete: soccer. J Pediat Care. 1999 April.

Soccer and the brain. University of Washington website. Available at: https://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/soccer.html. Accessed Accessed January 18, 2017.

Soccer injury prevention. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00187. Updated September 2013. Accessed January 18, 2017.

Soccer injury prevention. Stop Sports Injuries website. Available at: http://www.stopsportsinjuries.org/soccer-injury-prevention.aspx . Accessed January 18, 2017.

PT News PTandMe

PT News September 2018

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PT News PTandMe

This September in PT News. Featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

Juvenile Arthritis

1. Childhood Arthritis and How Physical Therapy Can Help
Written by Cornerstone Physical Therapy with 5 physical therapy locations in Ohio.

Juvenile arthritis (JA) isn’t a specific disease, but an inflammatory and autoimmune condition in youngsters under age 16. JA affects approximately 300,000 children just in the U.S. and it’s classified within seven different types, depending upon a range of symptoms and coconditions. Read more

 

shoulder physical therapy

2. Hands-on physical therapy effective for common shoulder conditions
Written by the Therapy Team at Rehab Associates with physical therapy locations throughout Central, VA.

Shoulder problems are one of the more common issues that affect the musculoskeletal system, as its prevalence in the general population has been reported as high as 4.8%. The most common shoulder condition that causes pain is shoulder impingement syndrome (SIS), which often results from too much overhead activity.  Read more

Tummy Time

3. Tummy Time Positions
Written by the Therapy Team at The Center for Physical Rehabilitation (CPR) in Grand Rapids, MI and the surrounding communities.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies are placed on their backs for sleeping and on their tummies for supervised play time as part of their daily routine. So many of our carriers, including car seats, car seat stroller combos, bouncers and swings put our kids into a supine (aka, on their backs) position and make it more challenging to incorporate tummy time into your day. Read more

physical therapy and ovarian cancer

Physical Therapy and Ovarian Cancer

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physical therapy and ovarian cancer

Every 23 minutes, a woman is diagnosed with ovarian cancer, which is the number one cause of gynecologic cancer deaths. September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and in honor of that, here is some information on what exactly ovarian cancer is and how adding physical therapy into a treatment plan can be beneficial.

What is Ovarian Cancer?

Ovarian Cancer is a disease where different types of malignant tumors develop in the ovaries and eventually can spread to the pelvis and abdomen in later stages. Early on, it is easier to treat and the treatments are more successful. Unfortunately, the disease is most often caught in the later stages when its harder to treat because this is when the symptoms first start to present themselves. Other lesser health problems share many early symptoms of ovarian cancer such as fatigue, changes in menstruation, and bloating, which leads to ovarian cancer often being misdiagnosed as more common health issues.

Physical Therapy and Ovarian Cancer

Because physical therapy may not be the first route of healthcare cancer patients think of, most people are unaware of how helpful it can be to add it into a cancer patients exercise regimen. There is recent research on how adding physical therapy into a patient’s treatment plan can improve daily function, quality of life and health. Not only can it be helpful during treatment, but also during recovery. Because of the ever-increasing survival rate of cancer, more recovery strategies, like physical therapy, are being studied.

The course of treatment for cancer is grueling and leaves many patients exhausted and sometimes incapable of doing mundane tasks. Individualized exercise programs can be designed by physical therapists to be both safe and practical for each patient. There are certain things that should be taken into consideration by your physical therapist while discussing a new exercise program:

  • Current Exercise Regimen
  • Physical Limitations
  • Capabilities During/Post Treatment

It is recommended to do both moderate and vigorous exercises before, during, and after the treatment of ovarian cancer to improve the outcome as well as prevent recurrence. Some examples of this are:

  • Moderate Bike Riding
  • Brisk Walking
  • Badminton
  • Hiking
  • Jogging
  • Basketball

There are certain things that should be taken into consideration by your physical therapist while discussing a new exercise program:

  • Current Exercise Regimen
  • Physical Limitations
  • Capabilities During/Post Treatment

The main focus of creating an exercise program for a cancer patient is to simply increase heart rate and muscle flexion through minimal physical exertion in order to boost tolerance for treatments. Things you can expect to be included in a physical therapy program for ovarian cancer patients may include:

  • Flexibility Exercises
  • Strength Training
  • Range-of-Motion Training
  • Light Resistance Exercises
  • Cardiovascular Activity

If you are interested in adding physical therapy to your treatment plan, talk to your doctor to refer you to a physical therapist who specializes in working with oncology patients.

Sternocleidomastoid (SCM) Muscle Pain

Sternocleidomastoid (SCM) Muscle Pain

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Sternocleidomastoid (SCM) Muscle Pain
Patients with complaints of ear pain or fullness could have Sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle pain.

Sternocleidomastoid (scm) muscle pain typically brings complaints of dizziness or sudden hearing loss, headache or jaw pain, even when everything appears to be normal. If this is the case it might be time to consider a muscular or mechanical reason for the symptoms. Many patients with these complaints are referred to physical therapy clinic after months of testing that are inconclusive and often negative. We have found the sternocleidomastoid muscle is often the source of the patient’s complaints.

Pain and Symptoms Associated with the Sternocleidomastoid

Sternal Division
This is the muscle head that connects to the breastbone (sternum).
Pain may be felt in these areas:

  • Cheek and jaw
  • Sinuses
  • Back of head at the bottom of the skull
  • Around one eye
  • Top of head

It may also be associated with these symptoms:

  • Tearing of eye
  • Visual disturbances when viewing parallel lines
  • Chronic “sore throat” when swallowing,
  • Chronic dry cough

Clavicular Division
This is the muscle head that connects to the collarbone (clavicle).
Symptoms may be felt in these areas:

  • Pain across the forehead
  • Frontal sinus-like headache
  • Earache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Car-sickness
  • Faulty weight perception of held objects
  • Hearing loss in one ear

Physical Therapy can help patients experience Sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle pain relief in as little as one visit.
A physical therapist will evaluate the patient to determine which part fo the Sternocleidomastoid Muscle is causing the patient pain, as well as the sensitivity levels of trigger points. Once a treatment plan has been determined our licensed physical therapists will work with patients on certain exercises and stretches designed to increase flexibility and strengthen the Sternocleidomastoid muscle. Hands-on manual therapy techniques are used to relax the muscle to help reduce pain levels. Dry needling may also be utilized to give relief to multiple trigger points.

 

This article was written by the physical therapists at Quad City Physical Therapy, located in Davenport, IA. More information about Qaud City PT can be found at www.quadcityptandspine.com

What Happens to your Body After Pregnancy

What Happens To Your Body After Pregnancy

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What Happens to your Body After Pregnancy

Congratulations! You have just brought home a new bundle of joy. Now it is time for feeding every two hours, diapers, little sleep, and a flurry of casseroles and visitors. It is so easy for mom to forget to take care of herself.

Research shows that there are a number of processes that occur in the body after giving birth that make it important to focus on maternal nutrition, exercise, mental health, and physical recovery (Walker & Grobe, 1999; Wilcox et al., 2018). For example, gestational weight gain is normal but can present a challenge when the weight is hard to lose after delivery. That extra weight can be stressful to the mom and can actually lead to additional mental and physical health issues in the future (Cuco, et al, 2006). Pelvic pain is another stressful side effect of giving birth. Understanding your postpartum pelvic pain is extremely important to your recovery as a new mom. This type of pain is very normal to experience as your pelvic bones expand and loosen while preparing your body to give birth. In turn, this expansion will make your ligaments much looser, especially after birth. More than a third of women end up with pelvic floor disorders which can lead to other serious issues that should be checked out by your doctor.

Following a physician-approved exercise plan and making necessary lifestyle changes can have a beneficial effect on both the mom and the baby as energy increases, moods stabilize, and physical activity becomes less taxing. In addition, a diet that targets low sugar and beneficial fats can reduce inflammation and improve both the recovery from childbirth and the nutritional value of breast milk (Raffelock, 2003).

While a woman is pregnant, there are specific changes in hormones that allow for the development of the baby’s skeleton and structures. As many moms-to-be can tell you, there are often visible changes in her hair, nails, and teeth that suggest a shift of her chemistry to help the baby form correctly (Gonzalez-Jaranay, et al., 2017). In fact, there are pretty specific changes in the bone density and the balance between bone degradation and bone repair (Gulson, Taylor, Eismen, 2016). While many of these processes reverse naturally after childbirth, some women (5-37% of all new moms) continue to experience poor posture, low back pain, and general muscle weakness (Bivia-Roig, 2018; Ferreria & Alburquerque-Sendin, 2013). Physical therapists can assess the problem and then create goals that focus specifically on the activities of a new mother.

Some states requires a physician’s prescription for starting physical therapy but many states now have some form of direct access where no prescription is needed. You can search for a local physical therapist by going to PT&Me.com and entering your zip code. Maternal health supports baby health. Take the time today to care for new moms

References:

Bivia-Roig G, Lison JF, Sanchez-Zuriaga D. Changes in trunk posture and muscle responses in standing during pregnancy and postpartum. 2018;13(3): 10.1371/journal.pone.0194853

Cuco G, Fernandez-Ballart J, Sala J, Viladrick C, Iranzo R. Dietary patterns and associated lifestyles in preconception, pregnancy and postpartum. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2006;60(3):364-71.

Gonzalez-Jaranay M, Tellez L, Rao-Lopez A, Gomez Moreno G, Moreu G. Periodontal status during pregnancy and postpartum. PLoS One 2017;12(5): doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.brenau.edu/10.1371/journal.pone.0178234

Gulson B, Taylor A, Eisman J. Bone remodeling during pregnancy and post-partum assessed by metal lead levels and isotopic concentrations. Jrnl Bone. 2016;5(5): https://doi-org.ezproxy.brenau.edu:2040/10.1016/j.bone.2016.05.005

Rafflelock D. Pregnancy and postpartum nutrition. Total Health2003;25(3):3.

Walker LO, Grobe S. The construct of thriving in pregnancy and postpartum. Nurs Science Quart. 1999;12(2): 151-157.

Wanderley C, Ferreria S, Alburquerque-Sendin F. Effectiveness of physical therapy for pregnancy-related low back and/or pelvic pain after delivery: A systematic review. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice. 2013;29(6):419-431.

Wilcox S, Jihong Liu C, Turner-McGrievy A, Burgis J, Wingard E, Dahl A, Whitaker M, Schneider L, Boutte A. A randomized controlled trial to prevent excessive gestational weight gain and promote postpartum weight loss in overweight and obese women: Health in pregnancy and postpartum (HIPP). Contemporary Clinical Trials 2018;66:51-63.

Tips for Seniors: How to Avoid Injuries During Sports and Exercise

Tips for Seniors: How to Avoid Injuries During Sports and Exercise

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Tips for Seniors: How to Avoid Injuries During Sports and Exercise

Our bodies change with age. It may not be a pleasant thought, but at least most changes are gradual. One thing that does not change as the body ages is the need for physical activity. Physical activity promotes physical and mental well-being. Before you head out the door, learn why your risk for injury is higher as you get older.

As you age it’s possible to notice a couple of significant changes:

  • Tendons and ligaments lose some of their elasticity. This can lead to reduced range of motion in the joints, making these areas more prone to injuries. And unfortunately, older bodies tend to take a bit longer to recover from injuries.
  • A loss in muscle. This loss usually begins in the mid-40s (earlier if you are inactive) and may decline as much as 10% after the age of 50. This muscle loss can certainly mean a decline in physical abilities and make it easier to gain weight. Fortunately, regular exercise can significantly slow this muscle loss. If you do not use your muscles regularly, the tissues become weaker and less compliant.

Although older adults accumulate a variety of injuries, the most common injuries involve sprains (stretching or tearing of a ligament) and strains (stretching or tearing of a muscle or tendon) around the shoulders, knees, and ankles. These injuries may only cause minor soreness or stiffness. People often do not recognize soreness as a problem, and they work through the pain. This may lead to more soreness and injury. Other common injuries include tennis elbow, Achilles tendinopathy, and shin splints.

How to Avoid Injuries During Sports and Exercise

To live a longer, more productive life, you have to exercise. You may need to exercise at a lower pace or for shorter periods of time than you did when you were younger. Remember that you may not be able to play hoops to the level of your 30-year-old colleagues, or play as many back-to-back tennis matches as you once could. This is a great time to make some changes to your routine and play smart. Before you get started, follow these tips so you can avoid injuries during sports and exercise:

  • Get a basic medical screening. Talk with your doctor. Find out if you have any conditions that would put you in jeopardy while exercising. If you have a chronic condition that is limiting, you may be able to work out an activity plan within the scope of your ability.
  • Find a balanced exercise program. Do not rely on one sport to keep you in shape. Follow a program that includes cardiovascular activity, strength training, and stretching.
  • Warm up before and cool down after physical activity. Adding a few minutes to your warm up can make your workouts smoother. Cold muscles are more prone to injury, which is why you are asking for trouble if you skip the warm-up. Try some light jogging or walking.
  • Keep it regular. You will not make gains in fitness by cramming your activity into the weekend. Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity every day.
  • Take lessons. Hire a trained professional such as a physical therapist or licensed athletic trainer to help you attain and maintain proper form in your sport, even if it is weight training.
  • Get the right equipment for your sport. You want to make sure the gear you use for your activity is in good shape and used properly. Think about the condition of your shoes, or if you will need a helmet.
  • Follow the 10% rule. When you are ready to increase your activity level, do so in 10% increments. In other words, increase activity small increments per week. This rule also applies to working with weights.
  • Be cautious about adding new exercises. Whether you are a seasoned fitness enthusiast or new to exercise, avoid taking on too many activities at once. Add activities gradually.
  • Listen to your body. Pay attention to the messages your body is sending you. If your knees hurt after you ski, find an easier ski run or maybe think about a different activity that does not hurt your knees.
  • Be careful about jumping right back into your routine. Gradually return to your workout routine if you had to take a brief time out because of illness or injury. If an injury requires additional help make sure to follow the return-to-play guidelines provided by your physical therapist.
  • Seek professional help if you injure yourself. Consult your physical therapist for injuries that are not relieved with home care. Some injuries require medical treatment and will not go away on their own.

Old age no longer means less activity. In fact, it means quite the opposite. The more active you are the better your body will age. Play smart, listen to your body, and you will find more abilities than limits. For help finding a workout that fits your lifestyle and ability levels don’t hesitate to call your physical therapist. They have the expertise and skills needed to help keep you active and safely avoid injuries during sports and exercise.

RESOURCES:

Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
www.health.gov

Sports Med—American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
http://www.sportsmed.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Healthy Canadians
http://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca

Public Heath Agency of Canada
http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca

REFERENCES:

Effects of aging. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00191. Updated September 2009. Accessed October 26, 2016.

Making physical activity a part of an older adult’s life. Center for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/getactive/olderadults.html. November 9, 2011. Accessed October 26, 2016.

Physical activity guidelines for Americans. United States Department of Health and Human Services website. Available at: http://www.health.gov/PAGuidelines. Accessed October 26, 2016.

Sports injury prevention for baby boomers. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00178. Updated August 2011. Accessed October 26, 2016.

Last reviewed October 2016 by Michael Woods, MD  Last Updated: 12/10/2014

exercise tips

Exercise Tips to Get You Moving

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exercise tips

Becoming physically active requires a conscious effort for most adults. Develop an exercise program to fit your individual goals. Be sure to consider ways to increase your activity levels throughout the day. Every little bit helps! If you find it too challenging to fit 30 minutes of activity into your day, break it up into 10 to 15 minute intervals and accumulate your activity throughout the day.

Exercise Tips to Activate your lifestyle.
Challenge yourself to move more! Find ways to become more active in your daily living. For example, you can:

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
  • Take a 10 minute stretch or walk break at work.
  • Turn on the music and vacuum.
  • Wash your own car – and your neighbor’s too.
  • Do strength-training exercises in front of the TV
  • Park in the furthest parking space and walk.

Make Fitness fun!
The secret to a successful fitness program is enjoyment! Choose physical activities that you enjoy doing. This could mean walking, playing tennis, biking or joining a team sport.

  • Consider trying something different, such as yoga or kick boxing.
  • Coach a youth sports team – your rewards will be many.
  • Enter a race – it will motivate you.
  • Plant a garden and share its beauty and bounty.
  • Make Sunday walks or hikes a weekly tradition.
  • Set up a morning walking or biking club; exercise buddies can help you be honest.

Anticipate the unexpected.
Lousy weather, travel (both business and pleasure) and the ups and downs of daily life can play havoc with your best-laid fitness plan. Always have a backup plan. If it is raining have an indoor activity to do, If you are taking a trip, throw in your walking shoes or a jump rope and fit in exercise when you can.

In addition being stronger and more fit aerobic exercise has so many health benefits.  If you need help getting started or need some motivation contact your physical therapist. They can work with you to create an exercise plan that works for you and your ability levels. You are never too old to be more active!

This article was written by the physical therapists at IRG Physical Therapy Group  – with multiple locations throughout Washington State. For more information about IRG Physical Therapy visit them online at www.irgpt.com 

Cervical Headache Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy for a Cervical Headache

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Cervical Headache Physical Therapy

What is a Cervical Headache and How Can Physical Therapy Help?

Cervical headaches are most often found in people around the age of 33, are usually one sided, and begin in the back of the head and radiates. A cervical headache is usually caused by agitation of the nerves exiting the skull or is a result of trauma, sustained postures, stiffness and general neck pain to the upper cervical segments.

Headaches are a common occurrence in daily life, and occur for a multitude of reasons. Usually, they pass without issue, and sometimes they might require Tylenol. However, sometimes the headaches are more severe and either remain present and linger, or recur at consistent (or inconsistent) intervals. When the headache begins in the back of the neck or following neck pain, it is likely a cervicogenic headache.  These headaches occur when there is a dysfunction in the upper cervical spine (upper neck), agitating nerves that share a pathway with the nerves that supply the jaw and temples.  These headaches often accompany stiffness in the neck, usually to one side or direction, and often react to postures (looking down, looking up, sleep, etc.). These headaches are mechanical in nature, meaning the movement and positions of joints are the cause of the headache. Therefore, movements either active or passive in the neck can change the stimulus that alerts the brain, causing pain.

Physical therapy, including manual therapy, repeated movements, exercise and posture education are the most effective treatment for these headaches. Further, and the best news of all, reduction does not take a long time, with relief usually in the initial visit and resolution in 4-5 visits.

How Physical Therapy for a Cervical Headache Typically Works

There are multiple types of headaches. Often a simple exam and a few questions can rule in or out cervical headaches as the cause. Very rarely are expensive imaging and testing needed to achieve a diagnosis. Following an initial evaluation, a physical therapist will have the basis for understanding:

  • How the headache is effecting function
  • Where the headache symptoms are coming from
  • Whether or not a red flag condition may be present
  • A direction to move the patient in to remove pain
  • Whether another headache type is present (migrain or tension headache) and how to proceed

When the initial evaluation is over the physical therapist will:

  • Identify the pain causing movement, posture, or spinal segment
  • Gear treatment around self management and the repetition of movements
  • Provide endurance exercises to help stabilize the neck
  • Use manual therapy may as needed to improve recovery times
  • Educate patients about posture and prevention

As physical therapists, our goal is not just to reduce the patient’s pain now, but to give them the tools to prevent injury and pain in the future. As a result our  headache physical therapy treatment plans include a good bit of patient education, including the best ways to manage headaches that may occur in the future. If you have a nagging headache that won’t go away, call your physical therapist to schedule an appointment and start feeling better today.

This article was written by the experienced physical therapists at STAR Physical Therapy. STAR physical therapy currently has over 65 locations throughout TN and provide a variety of specialty services to their surrounding communities. For more information about STAR visit them online at www.STARpt.com

Think you may have a Tension Headache instead? Find out in the PTandMe Injury Center

PT News PTandMe

PT News July 2018

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PT News PTandMe

This Month in PT News. Featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

1. Early Referral to Physical Therapy for Low Back Pain Reduces Cost and Improves Outcomes
Written by Mishock Physical Therapy with physical therapy locations throughout Montgomery, Berks and Chester, PA Counties.

Low back pain (LBP) is a common and costly medical condition associated with significant physical pain, impaired function, and loss of productivity. LBP is the leading cause of disability in the US exceeding $100 billion per year in treatment, reduced productivity and lost wages. Approximately, 70 million adults have LBP in any given 3 month period of time. (Health Stats, 2015). Read more

 

groin pain

2. Men. Do You Feel Like You’ve Been Kicked in the Groin?
Written by the Therapy Team at Ability Rehabilitation with Physical Therapy locations throughout Central, FL

Are you experiencing groin pain without a known injury? Do you have urinary hesitancy, urgency or frequency? Have you been diagnosed with prostatitis, and given antibiotics but achieved little to no relief?  Read more

hand stretch

3. Improve Your Mobility with These Range of Motion Exercises
Written by the Therapy Team at Desert Hand and Physical Therapy in Phoenix, AZ

Range of Motion Exercises, or ROM exercises, are important movement patterns designed to regain mobility in a joint such as the shoulder, knee, wrist or fingers. Regularly moving your joints can help reduce pain, keep your joints flexible, and improve strength and balance. Read more

Pros and Cons of Carb Loading

The Pros and Cons of Carb-Loading

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Pros and Cons of Carb Loading

Carb-loading diets have recently become popular in the sports and fitness community as a way to improve stamina and boost energy levels by increasing muscle glycogen levels by about 50%. Carbohydrates are your body’s main energy source when exerting yourself, and complex carbs such as legumes and whole grains are an essential part of every athlete’s diet. Carb-loading, however, is not a beneficial strategy for everybody. Loading up on carbohydrates has both its pros and its cons for different athletes.

What is Carb-Loading?

Carb-loading involves increasing carbohydrate intake around one to four days before a sporting event. Excess carbohydrates are stored in the muscle as glycogen, which offers a source of protein during physical exertion. The idea of carb-loading is to maximize glycogen stores in muscles before a competition, helping to improve stamina.

Loading up on carbs before an event works best for endurance sports such as marathon running, long-distance cycling, cross-country skiing, and lap swimming. It’s not as effective, however, for high-intensity team sports and everyday training. In general, carb-loading is best reserved for activities that involve more than 90 minutes of nonstop moderate to high-intensity exertion.

The Benefits of Carb-Loading

When applied to a training routine properly, carb-loading can help athletes to go for longer without experiencing fatigue. Normally, only small amounts of glycogen are stored in muscles, and when this supply runs out, exhaustion sets in. Carb-loading increases glycogen stores in tissues, giving individuals more energy at their disposal to use during a competition. Eating plenty of carbohydrates also helps to build muscle mass and prevent age-related muscle loss.

The Pitfalls of Carb-Loading

Following a carb-loading diet can cause more harm than good for certain populations. Casual gym goers and high-intensity sports teams should avoid too many carbohydrates, as such a meal plan can lead to water retention and weight gain. Not only will this affect physical performance, but may have long-lasting health implications. Carb-loading can also cause digestive problems such as bloating. Many foods that are rich in carbohydrates also contain dietary fiber which, while beneficial in small amounts, can lead to constipation and diarrhea in large doses.

While carb-loading can be beneficial for some individuals, it’s not necessarily an ideal strategy for all athletes. Eating an excess of carbohydrates only increases stamina for those who are competing in long-distance or endurance events. For daily workouts and most popular sports, carb-loading can actually detract from performance and lead to weight gain and digestive issues.