Category Archives: Sports and Fitness

Training Injuries

Improper Exercise Leads to Training Injuries

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Training Injuries

The amount of physical activity you need depends on your individual fitness goals and your current fitness level.  It’s important to start within your abilities and to listen to your body’s cues in terms of pain and injury. If you experience a training injury and your body starts to ache past the point of normal muscle soreness, your body is trying to tell you that something is wrong.  For a short time, you’ll be able to push through the ache, but eventually, a breakdown will happen, and weakness and lack of flexibility will begin. Once you have a breakdown, the pain will happen and more than likely you will stop training. We want to help you before you get to a breakdown.

Training Injuries

Training injuries can be sustained from weight training, martial arts training, and sport-specific training. Common injuries include:

  • Strain/Sprain (commonly called a pulled muscle)
  • Tendinitis,  Back/Neck Pain, Tennis Elbow (Inflammation of the tendon fibers that attach the forearm extensor muscles to the outside of the elbow).
  • Carpal Tunnel: Numbness, tingling, or a dull sensation of the thumb, index finger, and middle fingers due to compression to the median nerve in your wrist.
  • Muscle Tear/Rupture
  • Separated or Dislocated Joint (shoulder, hip, knee)
  • Bursitis: Tightness in the hip or pain radiating down the lateral thigh contusion

Running Injuries

Overuse musculoskeletal injuries occur frequently in runners. Proper stretching and training principles can reduce your risk of developing a running injury.

  • Shin Splints: An overuse injury of the anterior or posterior tibialis muscles, characterized by pain or soreness down either side of the shin. Technically, this condition is tendinitis or inflammation of the tendons/muscles that attach to the tibia.
  • Achilles Tendinitis: Inflammation of the Achilles Tendon with possible thickening or thinning of the tendon and associated with pain resulting from overuse, overstretch, or poor flexibility. Hills or jumping activity will exacerbate this condition.
  • Plantar Fasciitis: Inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is the connective tissue supporting the arch of the foot. There may be point tenderness at the heel and arch.  This condition usually occurs with increased mileage or won/unsupported shoes. This condition may lead to heel spurs.

Prevent Injury While you Train

Injury can happen at any time, but there are steps you can take before during, and after your run to help prevent long-term pain. Prior to your run allow yourself at least a five-minute warm-up.  Suggestions include jumping rope, jumping jacks, light jogging, or a combination. After your warm-up takes the time to gently stretch your muscles.  Remember not to bounce.

While you are training it is important to use the proper equipment. This includes shoes for your foot type (high arch, flat foot, neutral foot), comfortable clothing, and appropriate socks. If the shoe is fitted to your foot, you will need to change running shoes every 400 miles. Even sooner if wear has occurred to the foot platform. Also make sure to change the running path often, aka different locations, terrains, surfaces, and directions.  Cross-training is also important.  We recommend using a Stairmaster or elliptical trainer, biking, swimming, yoga, Pilates. After a run, it is important to cool down with more intense stretching than the warm-up.

How Physical Therapy Can Help

TRAINING ASSESSMENTS

  • Educate on faulty or improper posture or body mechanics with training
  • Educate and help with techniques on exercises that help your muscles stretch farther. Flexibility training helps prevent cramps, stiffness, and injuries and can give a wider range of motion.
  • Correct muscle imbalances through flexibility and strength training
  • Endurance training
  • Alleviate pain
  • Correct improper movement patterns

RUNNING ASSESSMENTS

  • Modify training when you have a minor ache and pain (This does not always mean you need to stop training)
  • Get assessed for weakness and flexibility issues to address biomechanical deficits.  A therapist can videotape your running to look for biomechanical deficits that you may have while running
  • Look at foot mechanics for proper shoe type, stability, motion control, and neutral/cushion shoes

Find a PT

We have talented teams of physical therapists throughout the U.S. that can help you get the care you need.  Whether you need training injury prevention or recovery, our specialists have the skills and know-how to get you back to your workout routine or sport safely.

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cold weather exercise tips

Cold Weather Exercise Tips: Running Safety

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Cold temperatures and decreasing daylight hours do not mean that your outdoor running routine has to go into hibernation for the winter. Running through the cold weather can ease the winter doldrums, improve your energy level and help you to be in better shape for the spring/summer. However, it is important to follow our PTandMe cold-weather exercise tips to run safely and comfortably through wintry weather.

  • Pay attention to temperature and wind chill: If the temperature drops below zero F or the wind chill is below -20F, you should hit the treadmill.
  • Protect your hands and feet: It is estimated that as much as 30% of your body heat escapes through your hands and feet.
  • Dress in layers: It is important to start with a thin layer of synthetic material such as polypropylene, which wicks sweat away from your body. stay away from cotton as a base layer as it holds moisture and will keep you wet. If it is really cold out, you will need a middle layer, such as polar fleece for added insulation.
  • Avoid overdressing: You should feel a slight chill off your body the first 5 minutes of winter running; after that, you should warm-up.
  • Protect your head:  Wearing a hat that will help prevent heat loss is very important.
  • Do not stay in wet clothes: If you get wet from rain, snow or even from sweat in chilly temperatures, you are at risk for hypothermia. It is important that you change wet clothing immediately and get to warm shelter as quickly as possible.
  • Stay hydrated: Despite the cool weather, you will still heat up and loos fluids through sweat. The cool air also has a drying effect, which can increase the risk of dehydration. Make sure you drink water or sports drinks before, during and after you run.
  • Remember sunscreen: Sunburn is still possible in the winter. It is also important to protect your lips with lip balm.
  • Take it easy when it is frigid: The colder the temperature becomes, the greater your risk for a pulled muscle when running in the cold, so warm up slowly and run easily on very cold days.
  • Run in the wind: If at all possible, head out into the wind, so that on your return run, the wind will be at your back when you are sweaty and could catch a chill.

Looking for help with a nagging injury? Find a physical therapist near you.

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For more cold-weather exercise tips to keep you safe this winter check out the articles below!

Staying Warm in Winter PTandMe  Winter Safety PTandMe  Snow Shoveling Safety PTandMe

Holiday Exercise Routine

Add Some Holiday Fun to Your Exercise Routine

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Holiday Exercise Routine

The majority of adults in the United States are not physically active on a regular basis. Only 30% get the recommended amount of physical activity. Lack of time is the most often cited reason for not getting in enough exercise. When the holiday season begins, the lack of time issue only becomes more problematic. For most people, even for those who do exercise regularly, this means that daily exercise slips to the bottom of the long list of things to do during the holidays. You know that list: gift shopping, party hopping, and traveling to see family and friends. Take some time to figure out what you can and can’t control. Then, work on the elements you can control to help with your time management. Here are some ways you can stay on track and have some fun with your exercise routine throughout the holidays.

Find a Holiday Race to Join
Knowing you need to be physically prepared may be the motivational tool you need in terms of keeping you consistent with your workouts. Realizing that all your training will have an additional benefit, other than improved fitness, may also improve your chances of sticking with it. Most holiday-themed races have opportunities to dress up adding even more fun to the mix!

Find or Create the Perfect Holiday Workout Playlist
It’s hard not to love Mariah Carey’s all I want for Christmas is you – it’s also a great song to workout to.  Are you a Spotify user? Try this playlist during your next workout. Is iTunes your jam? They have a holiday classics remix playlist that’s perfect for a holiday workout.

Get a Workout Partner
Some people find that working out with a partner helps motivate them and keep them consistent in terms of getting to the gym or hitting the pavement. Knowing that someone is waiting for you can motivate you on the days you don’t feel like getting out of bed to exercise. Find someone with a similar schedule and treat yourselves after your workouts – Grab a cup of coffee together or plan a trip to a holiday market afterward. You’ll feel great, and be able to check some things off of your to-do list!

Set Some Holiday Related Goals
Rather than dragging yourself to the gym each day to shed those extra holiday pounds, set a fitness goal for the holiday season.

Try writing down what you want to accomplish during the two-month period from November 20 to January 20. Choose a goal such as losing 5 pounds, increasing your strength, or improving your time in a mile run. Don’t make exercise a penance for the holiday cookies you ate. Make it a personal goal unrelated to holiday revelry. Your goals need to be flexible and in line with your capabilities, needs, values, and available resources. They should be challenging, but also realistic. Measure the baseline of where you are now and decide where you would like to be on a certain date in January.

Have fun this holiday season and add some cheer to your regular workout routine. Mixing it up will keep your routine fun, fresh, and will be something you can more easily stick to. Getting started on a new workout routine? We have some great tips to help you get started safely. Need help with an injury so that you can get back to your exercise routine? Look no further. We have wonderful teams of therapists throughout the country that specialize in sports rehabilitation.

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REFERENCES:
2020 physical activity guidelines for Americans. US Department of Health and Human Services website. Available at: https://health.gov/sites/default/files/2019-09/Physical_Activity_Guidelines_2nd_edition.pdf  Accessed November 17, 2020.

The Surgeon General’s call to action to prevent and decrease overweight and obesity. US Department of Health and Human Services’ Surgeon General website. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK44206. Accessed November 17, 2020.

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PT News October 2021

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This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout Sept/October 2021. We are excited to bring you current physical therapy-based posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

Arm Pain

1. Arm Pain? Check the Neck!

Written by JACO Physical Therapy with multiple locations in O’ahu, HI.

Do you have a deep ache or weird sensation in the shoulder, elbow, or hand? Does it come and go? Does it get worse when you stay in one position for too long, sometimes spreading into other areas? Do you massage or “shake it out” to get relief?  Check the neck!  Read more

 

get active square

2. Marathon Series: 4 Parts

Written by The Center for Physical Rehabilitation, an outpatient physical therapy practice with locations throughout Greater Grand Rapids, MI. 

Welcome to the blog and video series of my marathon training! I want to preface that this series will not be a detailed training plan, but a combination of reflection, describe shared principles in rehab and running, and a showcase of the clinician talent at CPR. Read more

 

Groin Strain

3. Pulled Groin or Sports Hernia? How to Tell the Difference

Written by O.S.R. Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy group with 4 locations in MN.

It’s one of the most painful moments of any athlete’s life. Doing a fast cut-over during practice or twisting too much to avoid another player, suddenly you feel a sharp pain in your inner thighs and up into your groin. Clearly, you’ve strained your groin – but, is this strain just a pulled groin or sports hernia?…  Read more

We hope you enjoyed our picks for the PT News October 2021 edition.

Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!

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Pros and Cons of Carb Loading

The Pros and Cons of Carb-Loading

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Pros and Cons of Carb Loading

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

What is Carb-Loading?

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

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

The Benefits of Carb-Loading

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

The Pitfalls of Carb-Loading

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

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

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Read more information about Game Day Nutrition.

Game Day Nutrition

 

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PT News August 2021

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This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout August 2021. We are excited to bring you current physical therapy-based posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

ACL Knee Pain

1. Knee ACL and Lower Extremity Injuries: Can we prevent them in our young athletes? 

Written by Mishock Physical Therapy with multiple locations in Montgomery, Berks, and Chester Counties.

Lower extremity injuries make up 66% of all sports injuries, the knee being the most commonly injured joint. (Med Sci. Sports Exerc. 2002) The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four ligaments in the knee that holds the thigh and leg bones together. The ACL ligament is often injured in sports. The ACL ligament tear often requires orthopedic surgery (ACL reconstruction). It is estimated that 350,000 ACL reconstructions are performed annually in the USA. Over 100,000 of these repairs happen in NCAA athletes per year, alone.  Read more

 

Core Strength Improve Balance

2. Strengthening Your Core Can Improve Balance

Written by One to One Physical Therapy & Aquatics, an outpatient physical therapy practice with locations in Lake Worth, Boca Raton, & Delray Beach, FL. 

Did you know that strengthening your core muscles is linked to developing better balance? It’s true! When your core muscles are strong, they have a better chance of preventing you from experiencing chronic lower back pain and developing other injuries. They also prevent you from losing your balance or falling over. A strong core helps to keep you in an upright position, especially as you get older and develop more of a risk of falling and hurting yourself. Read more

 

Mountain Biker Physical Therapy

3. Freeride Mountain Biker Carson Storch Pushes the Limits

Written by Rebound Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy group with locations throughout Greater Bend, OR. 

In the sport of freeride mountain biking, taking big risks often produces big rewards. Professional freerider Carson Storch knows this firsthand. The 28-year-old Bend native has spent the last decade competing in high-profile slopestyle and freeride competitions and starring in mountain biking film projects in which he pushes the limits of the sport…  Read more

We hope you enjoyed our picks for the PT News August 2021 edition.

Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!

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PTandMe was recently recognized as one of the Top 100 Physical Therapy Blogs Online by feedspot.com!

Child has a possible concussion

What Should You Do if Your Child Has a Possible Concussion

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Child has a possible concussion

What Should You Do if Your Teen or Child Has a Possible Concussion?

A study published online in JAMA Neurology in February 2021 found that over five seasons, 72% of concussions and 67% of head impact exposure occurred in practice, not gameplay. As a parent, you should be aware of the signs and symptoms of a concussion as well as what your next steps should be during recovery.

As a parent, if you think your child or teen may have a concussion, you should:

  • Remove your child or teen from play.
  • Keep your child or teen out of play the day of the injury. Your child or teen should be seen by a health care provider and only return to play with permission from a health care provider who is experienced in evaluating for concussion.
  • Ask your child’s or teen’s health care provider for written instructions on helping your child or teen return to school. You can give the instructions to your child’s or teen’s school nurse and teacher(s) and return-to-play instructions to the coach and/or athletic trainer.

DO NOT try to judge the severity of the injury yourself. Only a health care provider should assess a child or teen for a possible concussion. Concussion signs and symptoms often show up soon after the injury. But you may not know how serious the concussion is at first, and some symptoms may not show up for hours or days. The brain needs time to heal after a concussion. A child’s or teen’s return to school and sports should be a gradual process that is carefully managed and monitored by a health care provider.

How Can I Keep My Teen or Child Safe?

Sports are a great way for children and teens to stay healthy and can help them do well in school. To help lower your children’s or teens’ chances of getting a concussion or other serious brain injury, you should:

Help create a culture of safety for the team.

  • Work with their coach to teach ways to lower the chances of getting a concussion.
  • Talk with your children or teens about concussions and ask if they have concerns about reporting a concussion. Talk with them about their concerns; emphasize the importance of reporting concussions and taking time to recover from one.
  • Ensure that they follow their coach’s rules for safety and the rules of the sport.
  • Tell your children or teens that you expect them to practice good sportsmanship at all times.
  • When appropriate for the sport or activity, teach your children or teens that they must wear a helmet to lower the chances of the most serious types of brain or head injury. However, there is no “concussion-proof” helmet. So, even with a helmet, it is important for children and teens to avoid hits to the head.

In every scenario, it is important to receive an accurate diagnosis from a healthcare professional. Physical therapy can play an important role in monitoring the healing process after a concussion has occurred. As physical therapists, we are trained in the step-by-step process of monitoring the post-concussed patient and safely returning them to their previous activities. Getting diagnosed and seeking medical attention immediately is crucial to a healthy recovery. For more information about concussions visit www.cdc.gov/concussion.

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Hot Weather Exercise Tips

Hot Weather Exercise Tips

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Hot Weather Exercise Tips

As the temperatures continue to rise, we have decided to put together a few hot weather exercise tips to consider while staying active and for staying hydrated through the summer.

Set your alarm: Sunrise is generally the coolest time of day, so get up and get out early. It may be more humid, but it is generally still hot at sunset because the ground radiates accumulated heat.

Hydrate: It is recommended to drink at least eight ounces of liquids prior to heading outside to exercise and 6-8 ounces of fluids every 15 minutes, switching between water and an electrolyte drink. Remember to drink plenty of fluids post-exercise to speed recovery.

  • Remember to drink water and other fluids throughout the day. Carry a water bottle with you or grab a drink each time you pass a water fountain.
  • Drink 16oz of fluid 2-3 hours before exercise
  • Drink an additional 10oz of fluid 10-20 minutes before exercise
  • Consume 20-40oz of fluid for every hour of exercise
  • Always have water available. Take a bottle to work, the gym or wherever you are headed, and remember to use it.
  • Drink up any time you are in the sun. Just being outside can lead to dehydration
  • Children and the elderly are more susceptible to dehydration
  • Finally don’t rely on thirst as a signal to drink water. Thirst is actually a sign that the body is under stress and by the time you feel thirsty, dehydration has already begun to set in. Other symptoms of dehydration include dry mouth, irritability, headache, weakness, dizziness, cramps, nausea, and fatigue. Even mild dehydration can lead to diminished performance, the elevation of core body temperature, and increased cardiovascular strain.

Acclimatize: It is advisable to gradually build up your tolerance for exercising in warmer conditions

Wear Technical Fabrics: Technical fabrics wick sweat from your body to keep you cool. Also, wear a visor to keep the sun out of your eyes, not a hat, which traps the heat.

Slow Down: For every 5-degree rise in temperature above 60 degrees F, slow down your activity intensity by 5%

Protect: Use sunscreen to protect your skin and prevent sunburn.

Be realistic: Do not overestimate your level of physical fitness; set realistic exercise goals.

What happens if I feel pain after a workout?

Keep in mind that even when you follow these hot weather exercise tips, some discomfort and muscle soreness is to be expected. If your pain does not resolve within a few days, that is when it’s time to ask for help. Your body may be able to accommodate your pain for a short period, but if left alone, you may begin to experience weakness, a lack of flexibility, and even additional injury if your body moves to avoid the pain by overcompensating with other muscle groups. The sooner you ask for help the better. During your physical therapy first visit, we will evaluate your injury and from there we can:

  • Alleviate pain
  • Correct improper movement patterns
  • Correct muscle imbalances through flexibility and strength training
  • Modify training when possible
  • Educate you about faulty or improper posture or body mechanics with training

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Top 5 Benefits of Cross Training

Top 5 Benefits of Cross-Training

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Top 5 Benefits of Cross Training

We’ve all had exercise ruts: Our weight loss stalls, our strength seems at a standstill, and every workout feels like misery. If that’s happened to you, there’s something that your body might be trying to tell you: cross-train.

All athletes have physical specialties, and as a result, they tend to focus on and train the major muscle groups that are used primarily in their specific sport. Cross-training helps to create muscle confusion, which combats boredom and exercise plateaus. What it involves is adding in a new-to-you exercise sequence, or a faster or unusual workout type, to keep your body on alert for responsiveness and adaptation.

TOP 5 Benefits of Cross-Training

  • Decreased Risk of Injury
    Through cross-training, an athlete is less likely to get an overuse injury. Instead of overusing the same joints over and over, cross-training allows athletes to employ a variety of muscle groups.
  • Better Aerobic Capacity
    Limiting an athlete to one activity can cause burn-out. By doing different exercises, they are instead able to switch to new activities when a body part feels sore. For example, if you are a runner with shin pain, you can stop running and do swimming, rowing, or other non-impact activity, allowing you to continue to work on your stamina.
  • Increase in Overall Strength
    Research has shown that strength training can increase overall performance. By increasing strength, athletes can run faster, throw harder, and jump higher. For instance, weightlifting can increase performance more than just simply practicing certain skills.
  • Develop Dynamic Flexibility
    By working out multiple muscle groups, athletes can develop much greater dynamic flexibility than when you focus on one area of the body. New muscles, joints, and ligaments are “warmed up” and lengthened by trying new exercises or activities.
  • Aid in Healing
    In some cases, cross-training can allow the body to recuperate faster from injury; this is because other exercises can directly improve the condition caused by regular activity. Using alternative exercises allows the body to heal and in many cases will also help stretch and strengthen parts of the body that are in pain.

Physical therapists work with athletes to improve performance, prevent injuries, and aid in recovery.  If you are in pain or are looking for ways to improve in your sport find a physical therapy clinic near you!

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This article was written by the rehabilitation team at  The Center for Physical Rehabilitation – with locations throughout greater Grand Rapids, MI.

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PT News April 2021

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This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout April 2021. We are excited to bring you current physical therapy-based posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

1. Physical Therapy Can Relieve Your Arthritis Pain in These 4 Ways

Written by Cornerstone Physical Therapy with multiple locations throughout Ohio.

Physical therapy is one of the highest-rated treatments for arthritis pain. While so many people think of physical therapy as a treatment for following an injury or after a devastating health condition like a heart attack or stroke, utilizing physical therapy for arthritis pain is both highly effective and recommended.  Read more

 

2. What is Proprioception Injury Prevention?

Written by O.S.R. Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy practice with 4 locations in Minneapolis. 

Proprioception injury prevention is simply using your body’s sense of orientation to prevent an injury. Thinking about how you’re moving, what’s around you, and your position can help you stay clear of acute injuries. Acute sports injuries are some of the most painful injuries for an athlete. An injury is physically painful. But, it can also be emotionally painful as you’re sidelined for days and even months until you recover.  Read more

 

ACL Soccer Knee

3. Second ACL Tear 7 Times More Likely in Young Athletes

Written by Custom Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy group with 3 locations near Reno, NV.

If you return to knee-strenuous sporting activities (e.g. soccer, volleyball) within 9 months of your ACL reconstruction and you are 25 years old or younger, you are 7 times more likely to sustain a second ACL tear! Those who returned to their sport 12 months after surgery fared substantially better.  Read more

We hope you enjoyed our picks for the PT News April 2021 edition.

Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!

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