All posts by Teresa Stockton

5 reasons why you need PT

Top 5 Reasons Why you Need Physical Therapy

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5 reasons why you need PT

Did you know that physical therapists can do so much more than help you recover from an injury?  Research shows that the faster you initiate care, the lower the cost and the faster you can return to the game of life. Get the care you deserve when you need it. We’ve listed our top five reasons why you need physical therapy – so check it out!

1. YOU ARE IN PAIN

If you are experiencing pain, physical therapy can help you treat the cause and not just the symptoms of your pain. Physical therapists work one-on-one with patients to achieve long term solutions without the use of expensive prescriptions or tests, saving them both time and money.

2. PREVENT SURGERY

Physical therapy works to reduce pain and heal injuries. It works so well in fact that in many cases it has been proven to remove or reduce the need for surgery. In the event that surgery is needed a pre-op visit can help make recovery easier and safer.

3. FALLEN MORE THAN ONCE IN THE PAST YEAR

According to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of injury and death for Americans over 65. Fall prevention programs offered by physical therapists are designed to increase independence with functional activities, functional mobility, and safety awareness while decreasing fall risk.

4. PREVENT SPORTS INJURIES

Physical therapists work with athletes on many levels to prevent injury while promoting improved performance. By evaluating body movements and muscle strength – physical therapists can tailor programs not only to the sport but to the individual athlete. Injury recovery programs are also available.

5. REACH OVERALL HEALTH GOALS

Physical therapy can help those that have had trouble with mobility or are looking to improve strength and overall health. Physical therapists are able to tailor programs to each patient’s ability levels in order to improve confidence and independence while reducing the risk of future injury.

Physical therapists are trained to help patients in a variety of different ways. If you believe that you need physical therapy you can easily find a PT near you and get started today!

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Low Back Pain (LBP) Top 5 Exercises to Reduce Back Pain

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How to Reduce Low Back Pain
Over time, we develop arthritic changes in our back due to normal wear and tear. Below is a list of low back pain exercises that can help reduce lower back pain. These exercises will help you, in time, return you to your normal activities and improve your quality of life.

Top 5 Exercises to Reduce Back Pain

1. LOWER TRUNK ROTATION

Lie on your back with your knees bent.
Keep your feet and knees together and lightly rotate your spine.
Stop the stretch when you feel your hips coming off of the table. Only rotate to approximately 45 degrees and rotate back and forth like a windshield wiper.
Repeat for 2 minutes.
Low back pain

2. ABDOMINAL BRACING

Lie on your back with your knees bent. Slightly elevate your hips but not high enough to where it comes off of the table. Simultaneously, squeeze your abdominal muscles down towards the table. Continue to breathe.

Hold this for 10 seconds and rest for 10 seconds. Repeat for 2 minutes.

Low back pain
Low back pain

3. SINGLE KNEE TO CHEST

Bring one knee to your chest.

Hold for 5-10 seconds. Repeat alternating legs to your chest for a time of 2 minutes.
Low back pain

4. FIGURE 4 STRETCH

Cross one ankle over to the opposite knee and press down on the resting leg. You should feel the stretch in your hip.

Hold this stretch for 30 seconds if you can tolerate it. Repeat for 3 repetitions, then switch legs.
Low back pain

5. PIRIFORMIS STRETCH

Cross one ankle over to the opposite knee. Pull the resting knee across your body and up towards your chest. (You should aim for your opposite shoulder as a reference). This stretch should be felt over the crossed leg buttock.

Hold for 30 seconds if you can tolerate it. Repeat for 3 repetitions on each leg.
Low back pain

Written by Laura Cifre, OTR/L, PT, DPT, Director at Green Oaks Physical Therapy – Irving, Texas.
To learn more about Green Oaks Physical Therapy click here.

 

For more information about back pain, physical therapy click the links below.

beware bed rest for back pain  chronic back pain  low back pain relief

recovery after an injury

The 4 Stages of Recovery After an Injury

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recovery after an injury

Soft tissue injuries are commonly categorized depending on a time frame beginning with the date the injury occurred. Physical therapy programs can help make recovery after an injury easier on the body.  Physical therapists are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of soft tissue injuries. They can also determine your phase of healing and the best techniques to continue the path to recovery.

Stage 1: Acute Stage | Protection Phase

A soft tissue injury is termed as acute from the initial time of injury and while the pain, bleeding, and swelling is at its worst. Your body’s aim at this point is to protect your injury from further damage. The usual time frame for your acute symptoms to settle is two to four days post-injury, but this can vary depending on how you treat your injury.

Treatment consists of modalities such as:

to help control inflammation and pain. Gentle movement can be added to maintain mobility.

Stage 2: Sub-Acute Stage | Repair Phase

A soft tissue injury is termed as sub-acute when the initial acute phase makes a transition to repairing the injured tissues. This phase commonly lasts up to six weeks post-injury when your body is busy laying down new soft tissue and reducing the need to protect your injury as the new scar tissue begins to mature and strengthen.

  • Modalities are still used as needed for inflammation.
  • Strengthening exercises are added as tolerated to stabilize around the injured area and begin to increase function.

Stage 3: Late Stage | Remodelling Phase

Your body does not magically just stop tissue healing at six-week post-injury. Healing is a continuum. At six weeks post-soft tissue injury your healing tissue is reasonably mature but as you stretch, strengthen and stress your new scar tissue it often finds that it is not strong enough to cope with your increasing physical demand.

When your body detects that a repaired structure is still weaker than necessary, it will automatically stimulate additional new tissue to help strengthen and support the healing tissue until it meets the demands of your normal exercise or physical function.

The period between six weeks and three months post-injury is commonly referred to as the remodelling phase.

  • Treatment will focus on progression back to pre-injury level and modality use is minimized.
  • Strengthening exercises are more dynamic and in several planes of motion.

Stage 4: Final Stage | Ongoing Repair and Remodelling

The final stage of tissue repair can last from 3 months up to 12 months. Scar tissue needs time to properly align and gain tensile strength needed for the forces placed on it. This phase focuses on improving the quality of the new tissue and preventing re-injury.

  • Treatment will be sport and activity specific to prepare for demands placed on the injured site.
  • Education on preventing re-injury is key!

Every injury faces its own challenges and breakthroughs. For more detailed information about a specific soft tissue injury reach out to your physical therapist. They can bring you successfully through each stage of recovery after an injury.

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PT News PTandMe

PT News August 2019

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PT News PTandMe

This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout August 2019. We are excited to begin a new year of new posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

Physical Therapy Direct Access

1. Physical Therapy Direct Access is Coming to Texas
Written by Momentum Physical Therapy with multiple locations throughout Greater San Antonio.

Starting September 1, 2019, it will be easier to get Physical Therapy in Texas, thanks to local San Antonio State Representative, Ina Minjarez (D) who drafted HB29, a handful of other State Reps who co-sponsored the bill, the Texas Medical Association, and the Texas Orthopedic Association.  Read more

 

House workout

2. Get Your Housework(Out) Done!

Written by Rebound Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy practice with locations throughout Bend, OR and the surrounding communities. 

Let’s get honest for a second though and realize not all moments are adventure packed (at least for your average community member). Here are some fantastic ways to make even the down time productive and moving you in a healthy direction… and you get the chores done! Read more

 

AEW Ability Rehab

3. Ability Rehabilitation Played Key Role at AEW’s Two Florida Based Events

Written by Ability Rehabilitation an outpatient physical therapy practice with locations throughout Greater Tampa and Orlando.

Florida-based Ability Health Services & Rehabilitation worked closely with All Elite Wrestling (AEW) to provide athletic training and physical therapy care to the wrestlers at the recent FYTER FEST and FIGHT FOR THE FALLEN events, which both took place last month in Daytona Beach and Jacksonville, respectively. Read more

Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!

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Game Day Nutrition

What to Eat Before, During, & After a Game

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Game Day Nutrition

What athletes eat can have effects on game day performance. It’s important to eat foods that will fuel the body and provide enough energy during the game. Carb-loading, however, is not a beneficial strategy for everybody. Loading up on carbs has both its pros and its cons for different athletes. With this in mind, we have put together our game day nutrition general list of some foods to consider before, during, and after a game.

Before the game

Carbohydrates provide the primary fuel for exercising muscles. Athletes should focus on eating carbs, which are broken down in the small intestine. Limit intake of fat and protein, which are processed in the stomach and can cause cramping and indigestion with exercise.

Consume (3-6 hours before)
  • Pasta
  • Baked potatoes
  • Lean meat
  • Fresh tacos
  • Cheese in a healthy meal
  • Healthy cereal with milk
(2-3 hours before)
  • 12-16 oz. of water, fruit or vegetable juice
  • Bagel with peanut butter
  • Yogurt
  • Granola bars
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Fresh fruit
Avoid
  • High fiber foods – broccoli, baked beans, bran cereal
  • High-fat foods – eggs, meat, cheese
  • Sugar, soda, candy
  • New foods

During the game

Hydrate based on length and intensity of the activity. Replace fluids according to thirst and weather.

Consume
  • Drink 16-32 oz. per hour for workouts longer than 1 hour
  • Water – for activity shorter than 1 hour
  • Sports drinks – for activity longer than 1 hour
  • Watermelon and orange slices are good for halftime
Avoid
  • High sugar snacks and drinks – candy, soda, fruit juice
  • Energy drink, caffeine
  • Refined carbs – bread, pasta
  • Sugar and caffeine may upset the stomach leading to lower performance

After the game

Hard exercise depletes the body of carbohydrates, which are essential for speeding recovery. Proteins are necessary to repair and develop muscle tissue. Athletes should begin to build their body’s supply of both these nutrients within the first 30 minutes after exercise

Consume (in between or after events)
  • Drink 16-32 oz. per hour for workouts longer than 1 hour
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
  • Turkey sandwich
  • Protein, power bars
  • Yogurt
  • Hummus and/ or cheese and crackers
  • Nuts
  • String cheese
  • Raw veggies
Avoid
  • Concession candy
  • High fat, fried foods
  • Energy drinks, soda
  • Large, low protein meals

Injured? Need to find a sports nutritionist to design your game day nutrition plan? Reach out to a physical therapy clinic near you to get a local recommendation and find the help you need!

physical therapy near me

Read our article on carb loading:

Pros and Cons of Carb Loading

aerobic exercise

5 Unique and Fun Ways to Do Aerobic Exercise

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aerobic exercise

Keeping our bodies healthy and active can be a chore. A well-balanced diet and regular exercise are important but not always fun. Even Zumba class can get old after some time. But there are things we can do to liven up our daily need for movement and luckily, they don’t need to cost a lot.

1. Batch Cooking

Do you want to get your steps in on a recovery day? Maybe you take Sunday’s off from the gym, but you don’t want to be a complete sloth. Try a couple of hours of meal prep before the week gets started. Begin with an easy internet search for some yummy recipes or perhaps discover a food that’s new to you.

2. Mowing the Lawn

The last thing many of us want to do is trudge up and down the lawn in the hot summer sun but this aerobic exercise can burn over 300 calories an hour. It all depends on the type of mower and the terrain, but this activity will keep you fit and make your home look great.

3. Gliding … in your living room

Gliding discs are an uncommon but effective workout that is easy and fun. Like sliding on hardwood floors when we wear socks, these inexpensive plastic discs can be used on carpet, tile and wood flooring without damaging the surface. These discs engage the entire body to maintain balance while working out the legs and booty.

4. Intense Stair Climbing

Have you heard of competitive stair climbing? Yup, there are athletes that race up the stairs of the Empire State Building. Maybe climbing up an Aztec ruin isn’t realistic, but even if you live in a single-story home, there are probably stairs near you. Just look at your office or go to a local park. Don’t fret if there is only one set of steps. Just climb the same flight until your heart rate is elevated.

5. Housework

Chores, whether it’s washing dishes, taking out the trash or vacuuming, are all necessary but uninspiring tasks that come with being an adult. Next time you sit down to watch a show, get up and clean every time a commercial comes on. Challenge yourself to get a task done within the commercial break. If you are paying for a streaming service that doesn’t have commercials, then set a timer to go off every 10-15 minutes and then set it again for 2-3 minute chore breaks. Like mowing the lawn, your body will get the movement it needs, and you also get a nicer living environment.

Make huge strides in aerobic fitness by using these fun and alternative ways to get your heart pounding. Keep it interesting by adding variety to your daily routine and the long-term health benefits are inevitable.

If you need help finding ways to be active ask your physical therapist.  PTs specialize in movement and can be a great resource!

physical therapy near me

This guest post was written by Erika Long. She loves corgis, curry and comedy. Always searching for the next great snuggle, flavor or laugh, she inspires people to live their best life now. When not writing, Erika can be found at her local brewery dominating Harry Potter trivia night.

PT News PTandMe

PT News July 2019

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PT News PTandMe

This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout July 2019. We are excited to begin a new year of new posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

when your arm is a pain in the neck

1. When Your Arm is a Pain in the Neck
Written by The Jackson Clinics with multiple locations throughout Northern Virginia and Maryland.

Many times, the initial discomfort results from nerves in the neck being pinched because the shoulder blade is not positioned correctly. Raising your arm above your head takes the stretch off the nerve and provides relief, but carrying something like a bag of groceries increases the stretch on the nerve, thus escalating the pain.  Read more

 

hydrate

2. Hydration During Exercise and Competition

Written by Mishock Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy practice throughout the PA’s Montgomery, Berks, and Chester Counties. 

The fact that the body is made up of 60% water, and the brain 85%, makes water an essential nutrient for bodily function. Without adequate hydration, sports performance will be negatively affected, and serious illness, or death, can occur. Read more

 

rotator cuff exercises

3. 4 Exercises for Rotator Cuff Strength

Written by Spectrum Physical Therapy with 3physical therapy locations in CT. 

This week, we will go over the rotator cuff anatomy, and provide you with 4 of our go-to exercises for strengthening the rotator cuff! Read more

Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!

physical therapy near me

AEW Physical Therapy for athletes

PTandMe Goes Backstage with Ability at Fyter Fest and Fight for the Fallen

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AEW Physical Therapy for athletes

You may have noticed that PTandMe is working with AEW, All Elite Wrestling, to provide physical therapy and athletic training services backstage to their athletes. Our talented physical therapy partners at Ability Rehabilitation have been on-site at their most recent Florida Events (Fyter Fest and Fight for the Fallen) and we wanted to catch up with some of the team, Jon and Sacsha to see how it went.

Q: What did you think of your first live AEW wrestling event? 

Ability – Sacsha (A-S):  I was completely impressed by the amount of planning and choreography it takes to wrestle

Ability – Jon (A-J):  It was a very unique experience for me; it was my first experience with professional wrestling, not just in sports medicine, but in general. There’s more to pro wrestling than I thought.

Q: Who were you most excited to see backstage? 

(A-S): JR!

Q: Which match was your favorite?

(A-J): I thoroughly enjoyed the first match at Fyter Fest. It featured Best Friends, SCU, and Private Party.

Q: What type of injuries did you see? 

(A-J): A lot of the injuries were chronic of the back and neck. It was mostly general soreness, tenderness, etc. of those regions. We also had some head injuries including a laceration on the top region of the head that needed 12 staples.

Q: What was most surprising to you about working ringside and backstage with AEW? 

(A-S):  How caring each wrestler/staff is towards another when an injury occurred.

Q: What advice would you give to wrestlers to prevent injury? 

(A-J):  Continue to stretch and foam roll routinely in your off-time and prior to workouts to limit the long term, lingering injuries. Also, watch out for barbed wire and chairs.

Q: What’s the biggest difference between working a high school football game and a pro wrestling event?

(A-S):  Based on this event I feel that football requires more preventative treatments such as taping, verses wrestling is busier after each fight for post-event treatment.

(A-J):  The crowd is much more into the sport than the average crowd of a high school football game, and the athletes were much more appreciative of the services than an average high school football player (probably due to maturity).

Q: Any other comments about your experience?

(A-S): Thank you so much for setting up this amazing opportunity to work with these talented wrestlers!

A huge THANK YOU!  goes out to both Ability Rehabilitation’s physical therapists and certified athletic trainers, as well as to All Elite Wrestling (AEW) for letting us take part in their athlete’s well-being backstage. If you are looking for a physical therapist for your team or sports injury we have over 500 locations to choose from in our Find A PT page.

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More photos from these events can be found on our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages so make sure to like and follow PTandMe!

recumbent bikes

How Recumbent Bikes Can Help You with Physical Therapy

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recumbent bikes

Recumbent bikes are fantastic pieces of gym equipment for rehabilitation and physical therapy. Their design and intent make them easy to use, with little strain on sore or injured joints, tendons, and ligaments. They also allow you to strengthen muscles during the process of recovering and after.

What is a Recumbent Bike?

A recumbent bike is a stationary bicycle that has a bucket seat. Instead of sitting directly over the pedals, the pedals are more forward centered on the machine. This makes it easier to use the bike, putting less strain on your knees, back, and hips, all while strengthening your muscles.

Recumbent bikes are seen in home gyms, fitness centers, and physical therapy rehabilitation facilities. Sometimes they are used simultaneously with a traditional upright pedal bike. However, they are typically used more as a graduated process, from a recumbent to a conventional bicycle.

Why are Recumbent Bikes Used in Physical Therapy?

Due to their design, recumbent bikes put less strain on your back, hips, and knees. When you are recovering from injury or surgery, the goal is to rehabilitate you back to the point you were before that event. Sometimes, depending on the circumstances, this can take considerable time. Starting slow is a good way of reducing the risk of hurting yourself, all while providing gentle exercises to regain lost muscle tone and strength.

While you can use a recumbent bike for strength training, they are more often used as a way to work the same muscle groups as an upright bike, but with less trauma to the joints. If you have arthritis or a tendon injury, a recumbent bike is a great starter bike to get you on the road to recover or, at least, be more active.

Recumbent bikes do provide a cardio workout with less strain on the heart. With a goal of increasing heart rate and blood circulation, you can still get a great cardio workout with less stress on your joints.

If you have balance issues, a recumbent bike is often recommended over an upright bike. For patients recovering from a stroke, they can get a cardio workout in, without the worry of falling off the bike. Since you are seated and can be seat-belted in for added safety, a recumbent bike is a good alternative.

Some physicians specifically write their orders that no upright bikes be used for the treatment of their patients. This is because an upright requires you to have a weight-bearing tolerance for standing and mounting the machine. With a good recumbent bike, you can move the seat to the side, and the patient can get on the bike with minimal stress. If they are recovering from back, hip, or knee issues, this is an important differentiating feature between the two types of bikes.

Can You Do Resistance Training on Recumbent Bike?

Yes, you can do resistance training on a recumbent bike. Depending on the model and style of the bike, there are various ways to increase the resistance. If you are rehabbing an injury, the amount of resistance you will want to use will be minimal, so that you don’t hurt yourself. However, you can increase the amount of resistance, giving you a great workout as you heal and progress.

If you are using a recumbent bike in a home gym, you can get a fantastic cardio workout without straining your back and hips.

Recumbent bikes are a great tool in the physical therapy realm. They are also extremely beneficial for home and fitness gyms where you may have some limitations but still desire a great cardio workout.

Please consult your healthcare provider before starting an exercise program. 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.

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carpal tunnel

Carpal Tunnel Causes, Relief, and Treatment

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carpal tunnel

What is carpal tunnel and why does it hurt so much?

The carpal tunnel is a small space at the wrist in which the median nerve and nine tendons pass through. The median nerve travels on top of the tendons through the tunnel. The tunnel itself is made up of your wrist bones and along the top of the tunnel is a thick fibrous ligament called the transverse carpal ligament. If the tendons become swollen (tenosynovitis) or if the tunnel size itself decreases because of injury, compression to the median nerve can occur. Symptoms may include: pain during pinching and gripping, a feeling of clumsiness – the inability to hold things, numbness in the fingers at night, or a radiating pain up the arm.

Risk factors at home and at work

There are many factors that can contribute to pain in the carpal tunnel, but these are some of the most common causes.

  • Repetition – Overuse can occur with light forces. Irritation of the tendon can be caused by rapid, repetitive activity without a break. Decreased blood flow to the nerves and tendons may be caused by holding or gripping an object without relaxation.
  • Force – The muscles of the hand and fingers are contracted when gripping or pinching. These contractions place stress on the tendons that go through the carpal tunnel. Higher forces are more likely to expose you to greater risks.
  • Bending – The tendons in the carpal tunnel can be irritated by bending your hand. Bending your hand up, down, or sideways may inflame the tendons in the carpal tunnel.
  • Vibration – Nerves are especially susceptible to vibration. Common causes of vibration of the nerves in the carpal tunnel are power tools, steering wheels, or other mechanized equipment.
  • Impact – Your hand is not a tool. Hitting, moving, or jerking objects may damage the structures of the wrist. Even using a hammer transmits sudden force to these delicate structures.

Practicing prevention

The first line of defense against Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is reducing the risk factors that may lead to CTS. Look carefully at your equipment and tools and try to eliminate the forces that are risk factors. This can include bending, vibration, impact, and repetition.

  • Tool Handles – A handle should have an optimum grip span of about 2 ¼ inches.
  • Gripping Surface – Use rubberized coating or tubing on your gripping surface. This will lower the grip strength required to hold onto the tool.
  • Reduction in vibration – Place a rubber or gel material on the handles or utilize gloves with rubber inserts to reduce vibration.

Home treatment

  • Ice – Use an ice pack on the palm and wrist area for 10 minutes after intensive hand activities. This can be followed by the wrist stretches.
  • Rest – Rest your hands after frequent, forceful, or repetitive activities that last 30 – 60 minutes. Try doing a different activity which is not as stressful to your wrist and hand.

carpal tunnel

If your pain does not subside, call your physical therapist to schedule an appointment. Physical therapy may be able to reduce pain and remove the need for surgery.

physical therapy near me