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Chronic Disease Relief

Exercise for Chronic Disease Relief

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For people in need of chronic disease relief, exercise can decrease discomfort, improve daily functioning, and enhance overall quality of life. There are many activity choices. Overall, find something that you enjoy doing and a place that is comfortable for you to do it in. Although being physically active is good for anyone, some exercises provide specific benefits. Here is how different types of exercise can help people with specific chronic diseases.

CHRONIC DISEASE RELIEF : TYPES OF EXERCISE
There are 3 basic categories of exercise:

Aerobic Exercise
These are exercises that raise your heart rate through repetitive movement of large muscles groups. The 2 types of aerobic exercise are:

  • Weightbearing exercise —Your muscles work against the force of gravity. Examples include jogging, walking, and dancing.
  • Non-weightbearing exercise —The force of gravity does not play a major role. Examples include biking, swimming, and rowing.

Strength Training Exercise
These are exercises that increase the power, tone, and efficiency of individual muscles by contracting isolated muscles against resistance. An example is lifting weights. The increase in heart rate is short-lived compared to aerobic exercise.

Stretching

These are exercises that improve or maintain the flexibility of your muscles. Good flexibility is important to keeping a full range of motion and decreasing your chances of injury. Ideally, you should stretch after each exercise session.

DISEASE IMPACT
Overall, all 3 types of exercises are important in a chronic disease relief program. However, the list below demonstrates how a certain types of exercise can directly impact your specific health condition.

Heart Disease
Researchers and healthcare professionals have found that regular exercise reduces the risk of having a heart attack, particularly for people with coronary artery disease (CAD).

Specific benefits of exercise for people with heart disease include:

  • Stronger heart muscle
  • Reduced cholesterol
  • Reduced plaque build-up inside the arteries
  • Better weight and blood pressure control

Type of exercise that can reduce risk of heart disease and heart attack: Aerobic

High Cholesterol
Cholesterol is found in cells throughout your body. Although it tends to get a bad rap, cholesterol is actually essential for life. It only contributes to heart disease when you have too much of certain types of cholesterol or too little of other types.

Exercise can help reduce cholesterol, and even better, it can help raise your HDL (good) cholesterol. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. Even short, 10-minute spurts of exercise can help. Exercise also has the added benefit of weight loss, which can also help to lower cholesterol levels.

Type of exercise that has been shown to improve cholesterol levels: Aerobic

Diabetes

Diabetes is a disorder of the body’s insulin production and usage, and it is a major risk factor for coronary artery disease. If there is not enough insulin, glucose (fuel for all cells) cannot get from the blood to the cells. As a result, the body is essentially starved and the glucose builds up in the blood. Exercise can make the cells more sensitive to insulin, and more glucose can move from the blood into cells.

Since exercise changes the way your body reacts to insulin, you may need to check your blood sugar before and after exercising. Talk to your doctor before you begin an exercise program to learn about what your levels should be.

Types of exercise that influence insulin sensitivity and cardiovascular risk factors: Aerobic and strength training

High Blood Pressure
The risk of high blood pressure increases as we age. Exercise can help to lower your risk and even control your blood pressure if it’s already high. Exercise helps with blood pressure by making your heart work more efficiently. This means your heart does not have to work as hard to pump blood, so there is less pressure on your arteries.

A good target for blood pressure is 120/80 mm Hg. Adding moderate physical activities to your normal routines can help you get there. You should aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity on most days of the week. Even several 10-minute spurts throughout the day can help.

Types of exercise that have been shown to lower blood pressure: Aerobic and strength training

Stroke
A stroke occurs when not enough blood is reaching part of the brain. This causes the cells in that area to die. People who have already had a stroke are at increased risk for recurrent stroke or other cardiovascular problems.

A stroke can create some physical impairments. Exercise may improve strength and coordination of the affected muscles. Exercise recommendations may vary depending on the severity of the stroke and the person’s limitations.

Type of exercise for stroke recovery: Aerobic, strength training, and stretching

Cancer
Studies suggest that people with cancer who do not have depression have a better chance of survival than those who do. Exercise is a great way to avoid depression and improve your overall mood. It’s not clear exactly how exercise impacts mood, but it probably works by causing the brain to release chemicals, like endorphins, and increase body temperature, which can have a calming effect.

Types of exercise found to boost energy and mood: Aerobic and strength training

Lung Disease
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema and chronic bronchitis, is the most common form of lung disease in adults. Exercise improves activity levels and decreases symptoms.

Types of exercise shown to improve respiratory ability: Aerobic

Arthritis

Continuous motion is essential for the health of your joints, especially arthritic ones. Regular exercise promotes strength and flexibility, and helps preserve the resiliency of joint surfaces.

Types of exercise shown to improve joint health: Nonweightbearing aerobic, strength training, and stretching (water exercises are ideal)

Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a bone-thinning disease that can lead to fractures. Weightbearing exercises maintain bone density and strength by tipping the balance in favor of bone formation. Weightbearing activities include walking, jogging, hiking, dancing, stair climbing, tennis, and other activities that you do while on your feet.

Type of exercise shown to improve bone density: Weightbearing aerobic and strength training

In any condition, a well-rounded exercise program will have all 3 types of exercise involved. Aerobic exercise will increase your endurance and ability to get through longer workouts. Strength training will build muscle strength and allow you to tolerate higher intensities as well improve balance and agility. Stretching can decrease stiffness and increase mobility.

Talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise program. You can also consult with an exercise specialist to help you develop a routine.

by Carrie Myers Smith, BS

RESOURCES:
National Institutes of Health
http://www.nih.gov

The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
http://www.aossm.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:
Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology
http://www.csep.ca

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

REFERENCES:
Depression. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated February 11, 2016. Accessed March 23, 2016.

Exercises for arthritis. Arthritis Foundation website. Available at: http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/exercise/. Accessed March 23, 2016.

Fagard RH. Exercise characteristics and the blood pressure response to dynamic physical training. Med Sci Sports Exerc 33. S484-S492; 2001.

Gordon NF, Gulanick M, Costa F, Fletcher G, Franklin BA, Roth EJ, Shephard T. AHA scientific statement: Physical activity and exercise recommendations for stroke survivors. Circulation. 2004;109: 2031-2041. Circulation website. Available at: http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/109/16/2031.full. Accessed March 23, 2016.

Junnila JL, Runkle GP. Coronary artery disease screening, treatment, and follow-up. Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice. 2006 Dec; 33(4).

Onitilo AA, Nietert PJ, Egede LE. Effect of depression on all-cause mortality in adults with cancer and differential effects by cancer site. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2006 Sep; 28(5): 396-402.

Physical activity for cardiovascular disease prevention. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated December 21, 2015. Accessed March 23, 2016.

Physical activity guidelines for Americans. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated January 9, 2013. Accessed March 23, 2016.

Weightbearing exercise for women and girls. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Ortho Info website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00263. Updated October 2007. Accessed March 23, 2016.

Last reviewed March 2016 by Michael Woods, MD Last Updated: 5/8/2014

EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.

PT News

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

1. Decreasing Cartilage Loss in Osteoarthritis
Written by the Therapy Team at The Jackson Clinics Physical Therapy – Northern Virginia

Although some over-the-counter nutritional supplements have been advertised as capable of rebuilding cartilage in arthritic joints, the claims most often do not stand up under scientific scrutiny. Read more

2. Treating Degenerative Meniscus Tears
Written by the Therapy Team at The Jackson Clinics Physical Therapy – Northern Virginia

During the aging process, the fibrous cartilage between the thighbone (femur) and the shinbone (tibia) within the knee can degenerate and become prone to tearing. Read more

3. Five Stretching Tips Before You Workout
Written by the Therapy Team at Momentum Physical Therapy – San Antonio, TX

As temperatures start to warm up, many of you will start to hit the streets, trails, and parks to exercise outdoors. Read more

Guidelines to Prevent Throwing Injuries

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In this third intallment of our series to prevent throwing injuries, we examine the proper ways to exercise and prevent throwing injuries in baseball. If you have any sudden significant increase in pain, swelling, or discoloration while performing or following exercise, discontinue immediately and contact your primary care provider.


INTERNAL ROTATION WITH SHOULDER AT 90 DEGREES OF ABDUCTION
Attach band high up on a doorway and face away from door. Hold band and move your arm out sideways away from your body until your arm is parallel with the ground. Bend your elbow to 90 degrees and point your fist toward the ceiling. Rotate from your shoulder bringing your hand forward while keeping your arm parallel to the floor and your elbow bent to 90 degrees.


EXTERNAL ROTATION WITH SHOULDER AT 90 DEGREES OF ABDUCTION
Attach band high on a doorway and face toward the door. Hold band and move your arm out sideways away from your body until your arm is parallel with the ground. Bend your elbow to 90 degrees and point your fist toward the door. Rotate from your shoulder bringing your hand away from the door while keeping your arm parallel to the floor and your elbow bent to 90 degrees.


SHOULDER INTERNAL ROTATION AT SIDE
Attach band to the doorway at chest height. Stand perpendicular to the doorway with the arm you are exercising closest to the door. Keep your arm at your side with a towel roll under the arm and bend the elbow to 90 degrees. Bring your hand toward your stomach while keeping the elbow bent to 90 degrees.


SHOULDER EXTERNAL ROTATION AT SIDE
Attach band to the doorway at chest height. Stand perpendicular to the doorway with the arm you are exercising furthest from the door. Keep your arm at your side with a towel roll under the arm and bend the elbow to 90 degrees. Bring your hand away from your stomach while keeping the elbow bent to 90 degrees.

This information was written by Advance Rehabilitation Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy group with 24 locations in Georgia and Florida. Advance Rehabilitation is a physical therapy practice that focuses on providing the highest quality rehabilitation services. We specialize in physical therapy, sports medicine, industrial rehabilitation and athletic training. Our staff includes highly-trained professionals that serve as a bridge between injury and recovery to help patients get back to pre-injury status as quickly as possible. For more information click here.

See the entire Guidelines to Prevent Throwing Injuries series here:

   Prevent Throwing Injuries

   prevent throwing injuries

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Baby Mechanics

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Proper lifting mechanics is important for everyone, especially for a new mom. Caring for a young child/infant significantly increases the strain to one’s low back. Luckily, there are steps that one can make to decrease that strain and reduce the risk of injury.

Always remember to: lift the child/infant close to you and bend through your legs versus your back.

As your baby begins to gain more independence and mobility, lower the height of his mattress to keep him safe. Be aware that the lower mattress height can increase strain on your back, so lower the mattress height as gradually as possible. When lifting your baby in or out of the crib, keep baby as close to your body as possible while keeping your back straight and bending through your legs. For older babies, help him get into a sitting position before lifting him out of the crib. Once baby can stand, lift him out of the crib from a standing position.

Just like lifting baby out of the crib, keep her as close to you as possible, bend through your legs and keep your back straight. Keep your abdominal muscles tight as you lift her up. If possible, get into a deep squat position to lower your center of gravity before picking up baby.

Avoid the “hip shift” position with baby propped on one hip while shifting your body to that side. Instead hold baby in front of you with his legs out on either side of you. If you are going to be holding baby for an extended period of time, use a baby carrier to keep your baby supported in a neutral alignment.

Tummy time isn’t just good for babies! During tummy time, get down on your stomach too. Stretching out on your stomach is good for you, and it also allows you to better interact with your baby.

During story time, be aware of your posture and always sit up straight. Place a pillow behind your back for extra support.

Use a nursing pillow under baby to help prop her up closer to you. Bring baby to you instead of leaning forward towards her to avoid strain. Placing a pillow behind your back can provide extra support and help you maintain the proper posture. If you are bottle feeding or for older babies, place a pillow under the arm that is supporting baby’s head to decrease the strain on your shoulder and neck. Although making eye contact with baby during a feeding can help strengthen your relationship with baby, it can cause strain on your neck. Be sure to bring your head to a neutral position throughout the feeding to decrease the tension on your neck.

baby car seat

When lifting a car seat, be sure to keep the car seat as close to your body as possible. Bend through your legs and keep your abdominal muscles tight as you pick up the car seat. Instead of carrying the car seat in one hand at your side, use both hands to hold and carry the car seat in front of you whenever possible.

Getting the car seat in and out of the car can be tricky. Remember to keep the car seat as close to your body as possible, keep your abdominal muscles tight and your back straight. If your car seat is placed in the middle position in your car, put one leg up into the car to protect your back while keeping the car seat close to your body.

This information was written by Metro Spine & Sports Rehabilitation, an outpatient physical therapy group with locations in the Chicago Loop and Lakeview areas. At Metro Spine & Sports Rehabilitation, their number one priority is the patient. For more information click here.

concussion treatment

Concussion Treatment and What to Expect

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Concussion treatment

CONCUSSION TREATMENT AND WHAT TO EXPECT

  • Our goal is to alleviate all concussion related symptoms so that you may return to a normal, symptom free life.
  • Vestibular, oculomotor, cognitive and cardiovascular exercises will be incorporated into your treatment. Some exercises will bring on symptoms, which is normal. By introducing symptoms in a controlled manner, we are retraining the brain to adapt to these demands.
  • To monitor your symptoms while you are here, imagine that when you come in you have a “gas tank” or work capacity of 100%. We would like to work until your brain is at 50%. The goal is to fatigue your brain to make it stronger, not to make it hurt.
  • In the first 24 hours after therapy, you may experience an increase in symptoms, fatigue and emotional changes.
  • Routine activities such as work and school may bring on symptoms. you should work until symptoms appear, then rest until they are gone. Finding your limit and not going beyond it will contribute to your success.
  • Symptoms can be limited at home, school and work by minimizing screen time, especially at night and learning when your body and brain need to rest.
  • Exercises will slowly increase in duration and intensity as your treatment progresses and your brain begins to heal.

This information about concussion treatment was written by Rehab Associates of Central Virginia, they are dedicated to working with one another as a team across their sub-specialty practices and their our physician partners. For more information click here.

More PTandMe articles about concussions can be found here:

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Physical Therapist

Want to be a Physical Therapist?

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PHYSICAL THERAPIST
WHAT DO THEY DO?
PTs are health care professionals who provide rehabilitation for musculoskeletal issues.
Rehabilitation includes programs focused on:

  • Strengthening
  • Range of motion
  • Balance training
  • Functional training
  • Gait training
  • Return to work programs
  • Pain reduction

Physical therapist’s goal is to return patients to a normal life, that is pain free.

HOW TO BECOME A LICENSED PHYSICAL THERAPIST?
1.) Bachelor’s degree, that includes required Prerequisites for PT schools of your choice.
2.) Doctorate degree from credited school which includes a number of hands on clinical experiences.
3.) Apply & sit for licensure exam in state, you choose to work.

PTleg

PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT
WHAT DO THEY DO?
Work as part of the Rehabilitative team to provide physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of the physical therapist.
PTAs implement:

  • Selected components of patient/client interventions (treatment)
  • Obtain data related to the interventions provided
  • Make modifications in selected interventions either to progress the patient/client as directed by the physical therapist

HOW TO BECOME A PTA?
1.) Attend CAPTE – accredited associated program
2.) Apply & sit for licensure exam

JOB SETTINGS: Any setting in which a PTA can work

ATC

CERTIFIED ATHLETIC TRAINER
WHAT DO THEY DO?
Certified Athletic Trainers (ATCs) are health care professionals who work alongside physicians to provide:

  • Preventative services
  • Emergency care
  • Clinical diagnosis
  • Therapeutic intervention
  • Rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions

Certified Athletic Trainers can help you avoid unnecessary medical treatment and disruption of normal daily life.

HOW DO I BECOME A CERTIFIED ATHLETIC TRAINER (ATC)?
1.) Graduate from a bachelors or master’s degree program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).
2.) Pass the certification examination conducted by the Board of Certification (BOC).
3.) Once certified, he/she must meet ongoing continuing education requirements in order to remain certified.
4.) Athletic trainers must also work under the direction of a physician and within their state practice act.

JOB SETTINGS

  • Colleges & Universities
  • Hospital & Clinical
  • Occupational Health
  • Military
  • Performing Arts
  • Physician Extender
  • Professional Sports
  • Public Safety

This information was written by Advance Rehabilitation Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy practice with locations in Georgia and Florida, that focuses on providing the highest quality rehabilitation services. For more information click here.

repetitive strain injury

Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI): Prevention Tips for Strain and Injury in the Workplace

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The Following are Seen as Causes of Repetitive Strain Injury:

  • The overuse of muscles in our hands, wrists, arms, shoulders, neck and back
  • The area is affected by repeated actions, which are usually performed on a daily basis over a long period
  • The repetitive actions are done in a cold place
  • Forceful movements are involved
  • Workstations are poorly organized
  • Equipment is badly designed
  • The individual commonly adopts an awkward posture
  • There are not enough rest breaks

RSI

Prevention 101: Nine Easy Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Developing Repetitive Strain Injury:

  • TAKE BREAKS when using your computer. Every hour or so, get up and walk around, get a drink of water, stretch whatever muscles are tight, and look out the window at a far off object (to rest your eyes).
  • Use good posture. If you can’t hold good posture, it probably means it’s time for you to take a break from typing. If you are perpetually struggling to maintain good posture, you probably need to adjust your workstation or chair, or develop some of the support muscles necessary for good posture.
  • Use an ergonomically-optimized workstation to reduce strain on your body.
  • Exercise regularly. Include strengthening, stretching, and aerobic exercises. Yoga and pilates may also be helpful.
  • Only use the computer as much as you have to. Don’t email people when you could walk down the hall or pick up the phone and talk to them. It’s not only better for your hands – it’s friendlier. Think before you type to avoid unnecessary editing.
  • Don’t stretch for the hard-to-reach keys, e.g. BACKSPACE, ENTER, SHIFT, and CONTROL… basically everything but the letters. Instead, move your entire hand so that you may press the desired key with ease. This is crucial when you are programming or typing something where non-letter keys are used extensively.
  • Let your hands float above the keyboard when you type, and move your entire arm when moving your mouse or typing hard-to-reach keys, keeping the wrist joint straight at all times. This lets the big muscles in your arm, shoulder, and back do most of the work, instead of the smaller, weaker, and more vulnerable muscles in your hand and wrist. If you find it difficult to do this, then your shoulder and back muscles are probably too weak. It is OK, and in fact a good idea, to rest your elbows/wrists when you are not typing.
  • Use two hands to type combination key strokes, such as those involving the SHIFT and CONTROL keys.
  • When writing, avoid gripping the writing utensil tightly. Someone should be able to easily pull the writing utensil out of your hand when you are writing. If your pen or pencil requires you to press too hard, get a new one (my favorite is Dr. Grip Gel Ink).

Article provided by Fit2WRK. The information noted above is a summary of one of the components of Fit2WRK.

cracking knuckles

True or False: Cracking Your Knuckles Can Lead to Arthritis

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Crack. Pop. Click. These sounds jump from the joints of the many children and adults who are in the habit of cracking their knuckles.

If you cracked your knuckles as a child, you may have been warned that it could cause you to develop arthritis later in life. Is this true? Probably not, according to a handful of studies on the subject. While cracking your knuckles may not cause arthritis, some researchers believe that habitual cracking could create some problems later on. Not to mention that the incessant pops and clicks are likely to be a major annoyance to those around you.

Evidence for the Health Claim
Your knuckles are the joints in your fingers and toes. They are located where two bones meet, and they are bathed in a liquid called synovial fluid, which lubricates the joints. Sometimes a bubble of gas develops in the synovial fluid, and when the joint is manipulated in certain ways (eg, when a person is bending or compressing his or her hand), the bubble can burst, making an audible popping or cracking sound.

Arthritis is an extremely common problem for older adults, with the majority of people over age 65 having signs of the condition. There are two major forms of arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis results from inflammation of the joints, and can cause pain, redness, swelling, and eventually deformity and loss of function. Osteoarthritis, the most common form, results from wear and tear on the joints over time, which is why it tends to affect older adults.

While there is no reason to believe that knuckle cracking would lead to rheumatoid arthritis, it makes sense that habitual trauma to a joint might eventually cause tissues to break down and wear away leading to osteoarthritis. In fact, some researchers have reported cases of people who habitually cracked their knuckles and went on to develop osteoarthritis or other joint problems. For example, in a case report published in the British Medical Journal, researchers report that a man who habitually cracked and popped many of his joints had damage in his right hand indicative of arthritis.

Another study published in the Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers simulated the act of cracking knuckles and found that the energy used to crack your knuckles is enough to damage the cartilage in your joints.

Do these reports mean knuckle cracking can lead to arthritis? Or are they just chance findings, since so many people develop osteoarthritis whether they crack their knuckles or not?

Evidence Against the Health Claim
While individual reports may cite cases in which voracious knuckle crackers develop arthritis, other studies tell a different story.

In 1975, Dr. Robert L. Swezey and Stuart E. Swezey conducted a study of 28 nursing home residents who could recall whether or not they had cracked their knuckles earlier in life. After performing x-rays on the participants’ hands, the researchers concluded that there was no link between habitual knuckle cracking and arthritis.

Another study, published in the Annals of Rheumatic Disease, looked at a group of 300 habitual knuckle crackers. The researchers found that the participants who cracked their knuckles regularly did not experience more cases of osteoarthritis. Knuckle crackers, however, were more likely to have hand swelling and reduced grip strength in their hands. Whether the knuckle cracking caused the swelling and loss of hand function or those with hand problems were just more likely to crack their knuckles, the researchers could not say.

Researchers also compared a group of people with osteoarthritis in the hand with those who did not have the condition. The two groups were asked whether they cracked their knuckles and, if so, the duration and the frequency of this behavior. When the researchers analyzed the findings, they found no correlation between knuckle cracking and the development of osteoarthritis.

knuckles

Conclusion
Some people who crack their knuckles do it out of habit or boredom. Many others say it helps relieve joint pain and tension, and allows for greater range of motion in their joints. If you are in the habit of cracking your knuckles, the evidence available today suggests that it will not cause you to develop arthritis. While some insatiable knuckle crackers may go onto to develop problems down the road, the occasional painless cracking is probably harmless.

Keep in mind, though, that while cracking your knuckles seems like nothing more than an innocent, mindless habit, for the person sitting next to you, it may be just as irritating as the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard.

by Krisha McCoy, MS

More PTandMe articles about arthritis can be found here:

   

 

REFERENCES:

Brodeus R. The audible release associated with joint manipulation.J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1995;18:155-164.

Castellanos J, Axelrod D. Effect of habitual knuckle cracking on hand function.Ann Rheum Dis. 1990;49:308-309.

Protapapas MG, Cymet TC. Joint cracking and popping: understanding noises that accompany articular release.J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2002;102:306.

Swezey RL, Swezey SE. The consequences of habitual knuckle cracking.West J Med. 1975;122:377-379. Available at: http://www.pubmedcentral.gov/picrender.fcgi?artid=1129752&blobtype=pdf. Accessed July 11, 2006

Watson P, Hamilton A, Mollan R. Habitual joint cracking and radiological damage.Br Med J. 1989;299:1566.

Watson P Kernohan WG, Mollan RA. A study of the cracking sounds from the metacarpophalangeal joint.Proc Inst Mech Eng. 1989;203:109-118.

3/17/2011 DynaMed’s Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed’s Systematic Literature Surveillance: Deweber K, Olszewski M, Ortolano R. Knuckle cracking and hand osteoarthritis.J Am Board Fam Med.2011;24(2):169-174.

EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.

soccer injury

Returning from a Soccer Injury

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Soccer is the most played sport in the world and is the number one sport in many countries. It is a great cardiovascular workout that combines aerobic and anaerobic movements. However, due to the sudden changes in pace and the speed at which the game is played there is a high chance of a soccer injury.

Sports injury expert Dr. David Geier reveals that that the six most common soccer injuries are ankle sprains, joint fractures, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear, meniscus tear, adductor strain, and hamstring strains. These injuries are due to the amount of stress a soccer player will put on their leg joints. The good news is that through physical therapy these injuries can be recovered from.

Ankle Sprains
The ankle sprain is the most common and least serious soccer injury. The most common recovery method is to put ice on the ankle to stop the swelling, strap it, and lightly exercise it through physical therapy. One effective motion exercise is to sit on a chair with the foot flat on the floor and gently move the knee from side-to-side to stop it becoming stiff. A player should be out for a maximum of six weeks.

ACL
An ACL soccer injury can leave a player out of the game for much longer. For example, an ACL tear may require surgery (making a new ligament) in order to return to the pitch. While surgery may be required, physical therapy is definitely needed to help rebuild knee strength. The exercises will include mobility and strength exercises such as knee flexion and extension, heel slides, and isometric quadriceps exercises. As the knee joint gets stronger, plyometric drills will be introduced to the therapy to see whether the knee is strong enough to play competitive sport. These exercises may include resistance band jumps, hopping exercises and box jumps.

soccer_injury

Hamstring Strains
After knee and ankle injuries the next most common injury are hamstring strains. These are often caused through a combination of sudden explosive moments and overuse. We have all seen a soccer, football, or basketball player burst forward only to suddenly stop and crumple to the ground. That is nearly always a hamstring injury. Depending on which grade of hamstring injury the player has will change the therapy needed. If it is a grade one injury then as the muscle slowly heals the player will use ice alongside resting. Function training will also be required to regain strength and flexibility. A grade two or three injury may require surgery.

Career Threatening Injuries
A career threatening injury is the biggest risk of playing soccer. However, there is hope for injured and senior soccer players. Walking Soccer, which was developed in 2011 in England, according to British newspaper The Telegraph, allows those with mobility injuries to keep playing. As the name suggests running is outlawed, which in turns takes much of the risk and pressure off of the leg joints that can be easily injured.

The new game has been endorsed by English soccer legends such as Alan Shearer, who according to journalist Dan Fitch who works for news site Betfair Soccer who preview the Champions League fixtures in Europe, is the third fastest player to score 50 goals in the English Premier League. Shearer himself is retired and told The Telegraph that after retiring he couldn’t play the sport he made his name in due to persistent injuries. Walking Soccer has allowed Shearer and other ex-pros to play without the worry of injuries or heavy contact from other players. For amateurs and professionals alike walking soccer is a godsend.

Soccer injuries can be serious and more often that not require physical therapy to recover from. Even if you have suffered a serious injury there is still hope through new sports such as Walking Soccer.

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PT News

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

thinking healthy

2. What You Eat Affects Inflammation and Healing
Written by Meghan Russo, PTA at the Center for Physical Rehabilitation – Grand Rapids, MI

Did you know that many foods can decrease or increase inflammation and help to decrease pain? Read more

running couple

3. Tips for Beginner Runners
Written by the Therapy Team at Momentum Physical Therapy – San Antonio, TX

If you think running is not for you – think again. Read more