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Choosing the Right Physical Therapist

Choosing the Right Physical Therapist

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Choosing the Right Physical Therapist

Whether it be from radiating pain down your leg from a herniated disc, or a frozen shoulder insidiously appearing, physical therapists provide non-invasive treatments that can give patients their life back when pain and dysfunction dominate their day-to-day happenings. Physical therapists manage a wide variety of ailments,
often quickly transitioning between rehabilitation for a reconstructed knee or shoulder, to eliminated debilitating cervicogenic headaches, to helping your newborn infant right their head when torticollis develops. When it comes to choosing the right physical therapist, most people have no idea what qualifies them to manage such a wide variety of diagnoses so efficiently and effectively.

Physical therapists are often considered to be an insurance-reimbursed personal trainer. So many times, patients enter my clinic asking for a “few stretches” so they can get back on their way. Therapy, however, encompasses more than providing patients with a workout. A physical therapist’s knowledge and education provides them with the foundation to not only treat your immediate diagnosis but to identify secondary diagnoses that may have been missed in your initial physician’s examination and to manage all of the concurrent problems that develop during your recovery. To do this, extensive knowledge and understanding of anatomy and all of the body systems is necessary.

Collegiate Physical Therapy Degrees

Physical therapists now need to attend school for a minimum of 7 years. This includes 4 years of prep work for the highly competitive application to graduate school, which tacks on the addition 3 years, at minimum. While in graduate school, a physical therapy student gains extensive knowledge of every system within the body. In addition to the obvious musculoskeletal system, the cardiovascular, neurological, and pulmonary systems are studied at length. This gives physical therapists the foundation for caring for a wide variety of patients including those with cystic fibrosis, acute heart attacks, spinal cord injuries, and ACL reconstructions. Clinical rotations are also fundamental to a physical therapist’s education. 20 percent of the physical therapist’s education is spent on full-time clinical rotations through most fields of practice. At the completion of graduate school, a physical therapist is awarded their degree, qualifying them to sit for the national physical therapy board examination. Some of the most common degrees that physical therapists have earned are:

PT (Physical Therapist)

A bachelor’s degree in physical therapy. This was the degree offered for years throughout

MPT (Masters of Physical Therapy)

A 2-year post-baccalaureate degree that provides graduates with the entry-level education necessary to be eligible for the board examination. This degree is no longer offered, in favor of all exiting students now receiving the DPT degree.

DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy)

A 3-year post-baccalaureate degree that provides graduates with the entry-level education necessary to be eligible for the board examination. The added year in school is meant to provide students with more time in clinical rotations, exposure to business and management practices, and further education in research methods. This degree is now the standard for entry-level education and prepares students for direct access to physical therapy.

Additional Certifications

Much like physicians and nurses, school and learning do not stop when the graduation hat is tossed in the air; school is only the beginning of a life-long education process. Continuing education is the cornerstone of a therapist’s career. New research is always being published and medical techniques are always evolving within the broad field of medicine. Staying knowledgeable of these changes is necessary for a therapist to continue to provide their patients with superior care. Continuing education not only provides physical therapists to further their education on the latest and greatest but allows them to develop specializations in specific areas within the field. While every therapist takes a board exam at the end of school to become board-certified, therapists can also receive additional board-certifications when mastery of a subfield
is obtained. A few of the common additional certifications in the outpatient physical therapy field are listed below.

OCS (Orthopedic Certified Specialist)

A board-certified specialization in orthopedics that is earned beyond the entry-level degree which recognizes advanced clinical knowledge, skills, and abilities
in the orthopedics field. Candidates need to log a minimum of 2,000 direct patient care hours in their specialization field of practice and pass a
board examination to earn the distinction.

CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist)

Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists apply scientific knowledge to improve an athlete’s individual training and performance. They may also make recommendations regarding nutrition and injury prevention. This certification is offered by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

Cert. MDT (Certified in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy)

This certifies a physical therapist in providing mechanical diagnosis and therapy of the spine, a method that has been proven to be both effective and efficient in the treatment of spinal pathologies. This certification is offered through the McKenzie Institute and requires candidates to participate in a four-part certification course, as well as pass a written and clinical examination upon completion of the course.

In an every expanding medical field with alternative treatments growing by the day, it is important to know your professional’s qualifications for their treatments and the knowledge they bring to each individual case. Mastery in a field often requires years of education and years of experience. While your therapist may provide a relaxed environment filled with what seems like simple exercise and manual techniques, he or she brings to your individual situation skills that have taken years to develop.

If you need help choosing the right physical therapist, find a physical therapy clinic near you and ask them about their specialties.  Many physical therapists are proud of their skill sets and will be happy to go over any questions you may have!

physical therapy near me

 

concussion baseline testing

Post Concussion Recovery: Why Baseline Testing is Important

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Concussion Baseline Testing

Concussions are serious

Medical providers may describe a concussion as a “mild” brain injury because concussions are usually not life-threatening. Even so, the effects of a concussion can be serious.

Once an athlete has been suspected of having a concussion… when is it safe to go back to play? The answer is different for everyone, but there are few baseline tests that medical professionals can administer to make sure that a gradual return to play, work and activity is safe and won’t lead to further damage.

When an athlete has a concussion, it’s important to know how much their functional and cognitive abilities have been affected. With a baseline test you give medical professionals an accurate starting point to correctly evaluate the impact of the injury.

FAQs about Concussion Baseline Testing

Concussion baseline testing is a pre-season exam conducted by a trained health care professional. Baseline tests are used to assess an athlete’s balance and brain function (including learning and memory skills, ability to pay attention or concentrate, and how quickly he or she thinks and solve problems), as well as for the presence of any concussion symptoms. Results from baseline tests (or pre-injury tests) can be used and compared to a similar exam conducted by a health care professional during the season if an athlete has a suspected concussion.

Baseline testing generally takes place during the pre-season—ideally prior to the first practice. It is important to note that some baseline and concussion assessment tools are only suggested for use among athletes ages 10 years and older.

How is baseline testing information used if an athlete has a suspected concussion?

Results from baseline testing can be used if an athlete has a suspected concussion. Comparing post-injury test results to baseline test results can assist health care professionals in identifying the effects of the injury and making more informed return to school and play decisions.

Education should always be provided to athletes and parents if an athlete has a suspected concussion. This should include information on safely returning to school and play, tips to aid in recovery (such as rest), danger signs and when to seek immediate care, and how to help reduce an athlete’s risk for a future concussion.

What should be included as part of baseline testing?

Baseline testing should include a check for concussion symptoms, as well as balance and cognitive (such as concentration and memory) assessments. Computerized or paper-pencil neuropsychological tests may be included as a piece of an overall baseline test to assess an athlete’s concentration, memory, and reaction time.

During the baseline pre-season test, health care professionals should also assess for a prior history of concussion (including symptoms experienced and length of recovery from the injury). It is also important to record other medical conditions that could impact recovery after concussion, such as a history of migraines, depression, mood disorders, or anxiety, as well as learning disabilities and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

Baseline testing also provides an important opportunity to educate athletes and others about concussion and return to school and play protocol.

Who should administer baseline tests?

Baseline tests should only be conducted by a trained health care professional such as a physician, physical therapist or trained ATC.

Who should interpret baseline tests?

Only a trained health care professional with experience in concussion management should interpret the results of a baseline exam. When possible, ideally a neuropsychologist should interpret the computerized or paper-pencil neuropsychological test components of a baseline exam. Results of neuropsychological tests should not be used as a stand-alone diagnostic tool, but should serve as one component used by health care professionals to make a return to school and play decisions.

How often should an athlete undergo concussion baseline testing?

If baseline testing is used, research suggests that most components of baseline testing be repeated annually to establish a valid test result for comparison. Baseline computerized or paper-pencil neuropsychological tests may be repeated every 2 years. However, more frequent neuropsychological testing may be needed if an athlete has sustained a concussion or if the athlete has a medical condition that could affect the results of the test.

Many physical therapy clinics have therapists that have been trained in baseline testing software and techniques. Physical therapists can also specialize in return to sports programs for athletes that have experienced concussions.  The decision of when you go back to your sport can be a critical one… especially if you go back to soon. Prevent this by having an accurate baseline available for your healthcare professionals.

Need Physical Therapy? Find a PT Near You!

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more information can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/headsup/

Additional articles from PTandMe about concussions can be found here:

concussion physical therapy   

concussion treatment   

Cancer Fatigue Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy can Help Battle Cancer Related Fatigue

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Should you Consider a Physical Therapy Cancer Fatigue Program?

Cancer treatments are rigorous and can take a toll on the body. If you are feeling tired all the time you’re not alone. The number one complaint of cancer patients, affecting 78% to 96% of those undergoing treatment, is cancer related fatigue(CRF). The goal in Physical Therapy is to help you become as independent as possible. Anyone who experiences signs and symptoms of pain or loss of function would benefit from an individualized physical therapy program.

Physical therapy can help you recover from:

  • Chronic pain
  • Leg pain
  • Shortness of breath after light activity
  • Difficulty walking short distance
  • Difficulty performing daily tasks
  • Extreme weariness and tiredness
  • Difficulty paying attention or concentrating

What to Expect from A Physical Therapy Cancer Fatigue Program

Licensed Physical Therapists provide specialized therapeutic services that address the needs of CRF patients. Therapy sessions last approximately thirty minutes to one hour, depending on the patient’s tolerance. The average number of visits per week is 2-3. The physical therapy program is concurrent with cancer therapy and may last throughout the entire treatment phase. Most programs require a thorough physical therapy evaluation and a team approach with your physician is maintained.

Consider it a stepping stone approach towards your recovery.

  • Address pain—which in turn can alleviate fatigue
  • Use non-drug based treatments such as physical modalities:
    – Soft tissue & joint mobilization
    – TENS
    – Heat/Cold
  • Coach patient on how to exercise
  • Alleviate musculoskeletal dysfunction
  • Improve posture
  • Combat effects of bed rest
  • Help to maintain muscle strength and flexibility, and restore muscle balance
  • Help to decrease depression by increasing endorphins
  • Improve balance
  • Improve endurance
  • Core body strengthening

Lady bandana

The Motivation Behind a Cancer Recovery Program

From a physical therapy perspective, one of the main reasons for helping cancer patients comes from seeing individuals for pain problems who were S/P cancer and chemo/radiation. When asked about their the post-treatment care, they said that either; there was none provided, or that they got a few sessions with a lymphedema nurse. Their fatigue and pain symptoms were not addressed.

In looking at what was offered in the community (with the exception of lymphedema nurses) there appeared to be no one addressing the cancer patients—once medical treatment had been completed.

Previous advice for cancer patients was often to get more rest and avoid activities that are physically challenging. Recent studies have shown that exercise was found to be effective in preventing or reducing CRF. No adverse effects of exercising have been reported. Identified as “remarkably underutilized”, exercise is one of the few interventions suggested to diminish CRF and other psychosocial symptoms. If you are struggling to regain your strength and endurance talk to your physical therapist and see if they offer a cancer-related fatigue program that can help you get back to doing the things you enjoy.

Information Provided by PTandMe Physical Therapy Partner, Advance Rehabilitation. Advance Rehabilitation has locations throughout GA and Northern FL. More information about Advance Rehabilitation can be found on their website at www.advancerehab.com.

For more information on cancer-related physical therapy programs click here:

    
PT News PTandMe

PT News September 2019

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PT News PTandMe

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

1. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Written by Spectrum Physical Therapy with three locations in New London County, CT.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a type of injury called a peripheral nerve entrapment. What this means is that it is a condition in which the median nerve gets compressed and irritated as it passes through a structure called the carpal tunnel, located on the palm side of your wrist. The carpal tunnel is formed by the carpal (wrist) bones and connective tissue and protects the median nerve and finger flexor tendons as they pass through the wrist.  Read more

 

2. Tommy John Elbow Ligament Injuries in Football Quarterbacks: Why are there significantly fewer injuries than in baseball pitchers?

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

Recently Ben Roethlisberger, quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, sustained an ulnar collateral ligament tear and subsequent surgery, ending his football season. Elbow injuries in football players are uncommon with 92% of the injuries being traumatic (contusions and dislocations), (Ortho J Sports Med 2019). Ulnar collateral ligament injuries in football quarterbacks are even more uncommon. Read more

 

Fire fighter workers compensation

3. Firefighter and Active Dad Gets Back to Work and Life 

Written by ARC Physical Therapy+ an outpatient physical therapy practice with locations across Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa

Marcus Winstead is a firefighter, husband, and father who enjoys leading an active lifestyle with his wife and three children.  “I’ve been a firefighter for 13 years”, Marcus explained. “Throughout that time, I’ve been on numerous calls and in very unique and challenging situations. As luck would have it, I was injured during a training exercise. I had two-disc injuries (protrusion and extrusion between L4-L5/L5-S1).” Read more

Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!

physical therapy near me

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!

physical therapy near me

 

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!

physical therapy near me

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

Back Pack Safety

Back Pack Safety 101

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Back Pack Safety
With summer coming to an end and the need for school supplies and backpacks returning, here are a few tips to keep in mind when shopping with your child. Continue below for back pack safety tips to make sure your kids don’t have any unnecessary back pain this year.

Size

  • Should Not Extend Above Shoulders
  • Should Rest In Contour Of Low Back (Not Sag Down Toward Buttocks)
  • Should Sit Evenly In Middle Of Back

Fit

  • Shoulder Straps Should Rest Comfortably On Shoulders And Underarms, With Arms Free To Move – Tighten Shoulder Straps To Achieve This Fit
  • Tighten Hip And Waist Straps To Hold Pack Near Body
  • Padded Straps Help Even Pressure Over The Shoulders

ThinkstockPhotos-78779211

Weight Of Pack

  • Should Never Exceed 15% Of The Child’s Weight To Avoid Excess Loads On The Spine

BackPack Weight Charts

Lifting Of Pack

  • Proper Lifting Is Done By Bending The Knees, Squatting To Pack Level, And Keeping Pack Close To Body To Lift First To Waist Level And Then Up To Shoulders

Carrying The Pack

  • Keep Both Shoulder Straps In Place And Pack Centered
  • Spinal Forces Increase With Distance From The Body’s Center

Posture

  • Uneven Stresses On The Spine Can Cause Muscle Imbalances. This Can Lead To Pain And Possibly Functional Scoliosis.

If your child does start to complain of constant back pain, talk to your pediatrician and make sure that it isn’t a more serious issue such as scoliosis.

Scoliosis is a medical condition in which the spine is curved either front to back or side to side and is often rotated to one side or the other. It can occur at birth (congenitally), develop over time having no obvious cause, but often seen related to posture and growth (idiopathically) or due to an injury or the other condition (secondarily), such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy. The most common type is adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. It usually develops between the ages of 10 and 15, during periods of rapid growth. There are two kinds of curves, single or “C” curves and double or “S” curves. “C” curves are slightly more common than “S” curves. The curve can occur in the upper back (thoracic), lower back (lumbar), or a combination of both.

Strength for necessary upright postures of daily life is essential. Sometimes it cannot be maintained due to a “growth spurt,” fatigue from daily postural demands or poor postural habits common among adolescents. A physical therapist can analyze a patient’s history, habits and activities which may be contributing to their curvature and symptoms. Common findings include tightness and decreased motion and strength in the hips and pelvis, causing the lumbar spine to compensate with side bending and rotation. Treatment will include muscular re-educating techniques and manual techniques to restore motion, posture training, specific strengthening and home exercises.