Category Archives: Sports and Fitness

prevent sports shoulder injuries

Tips to Prevent Sports Shoulder Injuries

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prevent sports shoulder injuries

If you have injured your shoulder with a fracture, strain, or a sprain, you need to rehab safely to take care of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. We usually injure our shoulders through either overuse, wear and tear of joints, trauma, or a false movement.

Common shoulder injuries include:

  • Bursitis
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Torn rotator cuff
  • Fracture
  • Dislocation
  • Impingement
  • Arthritis

 

Strengthening the Shoulder Muscles

The best way to avoid shoulder pain is to reduce the risk of an injury from happening. This can be done by working with your shoulder muscles to increase range-of-motion while building joint strength. As you work to strengthen your shoulder start slow and make sure to rest between practices.

If you are experiencing shoulder pain, speak to a health care professional for modified exercises. 
 

Here are some exercises that can help get lessen mild shoulder pain and prevent an injury from occurring.

 

1. External rotation with retraction
This exercise uses a gentle resistance band arm workout to help your shoulder.

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Take a long resistance band in both hands.
  • Have your elbows at your side (bent about 90 degrees) with your palms facing up.
  • Now gently move your forearms out to the side, about 6 to 8 inches.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together as best you can. Your forearms will move out a little bit further.
  • Hold in this position for a short pause, then return to your starting position.

 

2. Side-lying external rotation

  • Lie down on your side on a mat, with your weight on your elbow if you wish.
  • Place a rolled-up towel underneath your top arm (bent) to rest between your arm and your hip.
  • Hold a small weight (1/2kg – 2 kg depending on your size and strength) in your hand.
  • Start with the weight on the floor in front of your body, and rotate your arm slowly from the elbow.
  • Your hand should come up so that your lower arm is almost perpendicular to your body. Don’t go too far, as that will put stress on your shoulder.
  • Gently bring your hand back down, and repeat. Do this exercise slowly.

 

3. Shoulder abduction with anchored resistance
This exercise uses a resistance band anchored under your feet

  • Hold the band in your hand, thumb facing up
  • Lift your arm straight out to the side to shoulder height, and lower it back down.
  • Slowly return to the starting position and repeat for up to 10 reps
  • Switch arms and repeat

 

4. Bilateral shoulder extension
For this exercise, grab your long resistance band and stand with your feet hip-distance apart.

  • Pass the resistance band around the net post, or if you’re doing this at home, around a pillar or another stationary object at hip height.
  • Position yourself far enough away from the anchor point that there is tension in the band.
  • Hold one end the resistance band in your hands with your palms facing up, and your thumbs rotated outward.
  • Keeping a tight hold of the resistance band, bring your arms back (keep them straight) until it is against your side.
  • Bring your shoulder back and squeeze your shoulder blades together.

 

When is it time to get help?

Shortly after an injury or pain, you should start with the first steps of recovery rest, ice, and protection. If your shoulder pain doesn’t subside, a physical therapist can help guide you through a treatment plan tailored specifically to your needs. If you experience pain while doing an exercise program, stop immediately, and consult your healthcare provider.

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Physical therapy for basketball players

Physical Therapy for NBA Players

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Physical therapy for basketball players

Playing basketball is all about speed, fast breaks, agility, and high-impact movements. It is a vertical sport that includes jumping and landing activities that might lead to injuries.

Some of the best NBA players’ careers have been ruined because of injuries. This makes the need for physical therapists important, especially for NBA players.

A physical therapist working with basketball players knows the key factors that help minimize injury risk and maximize performance.

Certain injuries are more common in basketball and can impact a player’s overall performance in the game.

Here are the most common basketball injuries.

1- ACL and MCL Injuries

ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is one of the key ligaments that connect the thigh bone (femur) to the shinbone (tibia). It helps stabilize your knee joint. ACL injury happens when a player stops suddenly or changes the direction, resulting in stretching and tearing in the knee tissue.

On the other hand, MCL refers to a thick band of tissue on the inside of your knee that connects the thigh bone to your lower leg. MCL (medial collateral ligament) injury happens when the side of your knee is hit hard. It could be due to a collision with another player.

2- Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are common in basketball, caused by overextension or a loss of balance when moving quickly. Basketball players are most likely to injure their ankle when they slow down, pivot, or land after a jump.

When the ankle rolls outward, the ligaments that connect the bones can stretch and tear. The injury could be as minor as stretching and as major as complete tearing of the ligamentous complex.

3- Fractured Kneecaps

In basketball, the kneecap fracture is mainly caused when the player lands directly on the kneecap. This can also happen if the knee is in a semi-flexed position during a fall.

The pain in this injury is felt behind the kneecap, where the knee meets the thigh bone. The pain is the result of excessive joint pressure due to poor kneecap alignment, affecting the joint surface behind the kneecap.

4- Hip and Thigh Contusions

Pelvis, hip, and thigh injuries in professional basketball players are extra-articular strains and contusions.

Hip and thigh contusions are common in sports like basketball, soccer, and football due to player-to-player contact. A sudden force to the quadriceps muscle causes the injury, which can significantly damage the tissue. This force is usually caused by another player, a sport attribute, or a misplaced fall on a severe object.

5- Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Patellofemoral pain syndrome refers to the pain in the front of the knee and around the kneecap. Sports players who participate in games that involve running, jumping, or squatting, frequently are more likely to face patellofemoral pain syndrome.

The increase in training intensity or volume puts repeated stress in the knee, resulting in pain behind the kneecap. Players with a tight hamstring, weak thigh, and hip muscles are at a higher risk.

 

Physical Therapy for Basketball Players

Physical therapy helps players avoid injury in the first place with targeted training. Most physical therapy programs for basketball players include stretching, strengthening, and conditioning.

1- Stretching Exercises for Inflexible Areas of the Body

After an evaluation, a physical therapist can work closely with athletes do determine the best treatment plan moving forward.  Some common stretches used for basketball players include:

● Rotating stomach and side stretch
● Squatting leg-out groin and adductor Stretch
● Single heel-drop calf and Achilles stretch.

These basketball stretches are best after the workout to improve flexibility.

2- Strengthening Exercises for Weak Muscles or Muscle Imbalance

Every basketball player has a difference in strength, power, and stability between their right and left legs. The players’ dominant leg plays a role in imbalance. Players prefer to use the stronger leg, which increases the chances of injury when the weaker leg is forced to use. To help identify these imbalances, a physical therapist may recommend a Functional Movement Screening (FMS). An FMS is a quantifiable method of evaluating basic movement abilities, and will help your therapist determine and address areas of weakness and imbalance.

3- Manual (Hands-on) Therapy to Address Any Sore or Painful Areas

Manual therapy involves kneading and manipulating soft tissues and joints, which increase circulation, reduce scar tissue, relax muscles, and decrease pain. This hands-on approach combined with a full treatment plan often yields faster recovery times.

4- Basketball-specific Training That Mimics the Action on the Court

Basketball training should be relevant to the game to produce desired results. A basketball player’s training must go from highly general to very specific. The goal of basketball conditioning is to create a practice that is highly specific to the game. This maximizes players’ focus on skill and tactical development while reducing the chances of injuries during the match.

Final Thoughts

Injuries like ACL, MCL, and ankle sprains are more common in basketball. Prevention of injuries is an essential aspect of an athlete’s healthcare. Comprehensive physical therapy programs are generally provided to the NBA players. If you are in pain or looking to avoid a basketball injury on the court, please find the physical therapist nearest you.

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Fitness after injury

Getting Back To Fitness After Injury: How To Do It Safely

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Fitness after injury

If you’re taking part in a sport and training regularly to hit peak performance, you’ll understand the impact an injury can have. Lost training days, empty pages on the diary, targets to revise and thoughts going around your head – what do I do now? The number one rule is don’t try to carry on. You could make the injury worse. Even if you feel okay, there’s a good chance you’ll pick up an injury somewhere else because you’re moving unnaturally by trying to protect the injured area.

The first step with minor injuries like muscle pulls or sprains is to get some ice on the injured area. That helps increase blood flow and starts removing waste from the injury. If your injury is more serious, get to a doctor or physical therapist for an assessment.

Healthcare professionals now recognize the health benefits of exercise and take a more positive attitude to injuries sustained through sport — that wasn’t always the case. But, qualified physical therapists specialize in sports injuries so you can be confident of expert advice, and a sympathetic ear.

Getting Back To Fitness After Injury

Look ahead

When you know the extent of your injury, it’s time to start looking ahead with a positive mindset. Forget the initial disappointment and frustration. Recovery programs are based on progressive exercise, not weeks or months of non-activity. Work out how you’re going to get your regular training and fitness routines back on track. Investing in a fitness tracker could help motivate you and keep track of your progress.

Top tip: Avoid the cookie jar. You know that old cliché ‘no pain, no gain’, now think ‘no train, weight gain.’

Start slowly

You’ve got the good news; your injury can be treated. You can’t wait to get back but don’t be tempted to rush recovery. If your physical therapist prescribes a course of treatment or exercises, stick to it and complete the course. You might think you’ve recovered and can get back to your normal training levels. Just ask around – hands up, who had to go back to physical therapy again?

Any exercise in your recovery period must start easy— and be progressive. So, easy jogging maybe, light stretches and simple exercises to flex and strengthen the injured area. If you’re running, the grass is easier on the legs than the road and the uneven surface can actually strengthen joints by making them work harder.

An alternative approach is to exercise in a different way. Swimming and cycling, for example, don’t affect the weight-bearing joints and muscles like running. But you’re still getting a good cardio workout. Whatever you do, make sure you can handle the work without strain. The same goes for the physical therapist’s exercise routines. Follow the instructions carefully.

Plan your return

Now you’re in recovery mode, you can start thinking about a return to normal levels. Put some realistic dates in your diary — can I make the big game, that local competition, or one of my favorite races? Targets for recovery are just as motivating as targets for competition. But, don’t be ruled by them, your recovery could take longer. Complete recovery comes first.

It’s also important to think about the injury. What caused it? Was it poor form, excessive training with no time for recovery between sessions, worn-out shoes if you’re a runner, or just an unfortunate accident?

Understanding the cause of the injury can help you plan your sessions when you eventually return to fitness. Think about reducing the duration or intensity of your training sessions, to begin with. Then plan a sensible, progressive build-up.

Follow hard days with easy days if you train every day and include one day of complete rest or different types of exercise every week. Make sure you build recovery into your program — overuse is a major cause of injuries.

Improve all-round fitness

If you haven’t included alternative exercises in your training programs before, think about it now. Most sportspeople focus on the muscle groups specific to their sport and ignore the rest. That can lead to an imbalance in the body and could be an underlying cause if you suffer frequent injuries.
Ask your physical therapist for advice. They will almost certainly recommend exercises to strengthen the core, plus some fitness routines to strengthen antagonistic muscle groups. Better all-round fitness can put you in great shape for improved performance when you return.

Recovering from non-sports injuries

While much of the focus of exercise-based recovery has been on sports injuries, recent research at Columbia University’s Zuckerman Institute has highlighted the potential importance of exercise for patients recovering from a stroke or serious brain injuries. It is said that exercise and physical therapy is just as important for these patients as speech therapy.

Experiments with mice indicated that mice given a complete rest were slower to return to normal functions than mice that re-engaged earlier with an activity like using whiskers for detection. Looking at the potential for people, the researchers believe that introducing simple exercise tasks earlier can stimulate and re-activate important areas of the brain and promote faster recovery.

Consider booking an online physical therapy appointment

Although we strongly recommend consulting a physical therapist, COVID-19 has made it difficult for them to offer normal assessment and treatment services in person. Fortunately, we work with some fantastic physical and occupational therapists who provide a range of assessments, recovery programs and can help you get back to your routine fitness after injury.

To find out more, contact our friendly team. Here you can learn about an injury, how physical therapy can treat it, and find a physical therapy clinic in your area.

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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PT News PTandMe

PT News June 2020 Live Edition

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PT News PTandMe

This month in PT News we recap the educational videos that our partnering clinics have been sharing to their Facebook followers. We are happy to share with you some great information on topics that can help you more easily live a pain-free life.

back pain physical therapy

1. What Should I Do for My Low Back Pain?

Produced by Cutting Edge Physical Therapy, located in Richmond, IN.

One of the most common questions physical therapists get it what can I do for my low back pain. Take an in-depth look at what your pain is telling you about your injury, how physical therapists treat low back pain, and what you can do to find back pain relief at home.  View Recording

 

go back to the gym safely

2. How to Stay Safe When Getting Back Into the Gym and Sports

Produced by Grand Oaks Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation, located in Spring, TX

As gyms open up, this video goes over how athletes can safely get back into the gym without the risk of injury. Due to COVID-19, athletes who have not been able to continue their regular training routine will have experienced levels of deconditioning. This video goes over what that means and how athletes can safely return to their prior performance levels.  View Recording

 

Knee Pain While Running

3. Why Do My Knees Hurt When Running?

Produced by Wright Physical Therapy, with locations throughout the Magic Valley, Boise, and Eastern ID.

Why does your knee hurt when you run? The partners of Wright Physical Therapy go over the most common reasons runners have knee pain, where you may sit on the Wright PT performance scale, and ways to fix and prevent injury moving forward.  View Recording

 

How to fix your posture

4. Fixing Your Posture So That it Doesn’t Contribute to Neck and Back Pain

Produced by Kingwood Occupational & Physical Therapy, located in Kingwood, TX

How practicing good posture can help reduce pain in everyday activities. It also goes over how thoracic mobility can cause neck and shoulder issues during your day-to-day and sports activities. View Recording

Physical and occupational therapists work hard to help people get back to what they love doing most. If you are in pain or need help recovering from an injury, please find a pt near you and get started on your path to recovery.

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Stay Active While Social Distancing

4 Ways to Stay Active While Social Distancing

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Stay Active While Social Distancing

Most of us have found ourselves at home looking for things to do. Even though we may not be able to make it to the gym or to a group class with friends, there are still ways to stay active while social distancing at home.

Here are our top 4 ways to keep moving.

  1. Go for a walk or run: Getting some fresh air and going for a walk or run in an uncrowded location is a great way to get some exercise in. The CDC recommends 6 feet of distance between yourself and others, so make sure you choose a path or trail that allows for space.
  2. Do housework: You have stocked up on cleaning supplies; now it’s time to get some exercise out of it! Whether it’s washing dishes, vacuuming, or dusting, the time spent on your feet and moving around can add up to a fully productive and active day – not to mention the result of having a clean living space.
  3. Have a dance party: It might not be the same as a traditional Zumba class, but all you need to get the party started is some music that can get you moving. Whether it be salsa, a line dance, or maybe even the floss, dancing is a sure way to get your heart rate up.
  4. Living room resistance training: Squats, lunges, planks, and push-ups can all be done at home without the need of a gym or weights. These exercises use your body weight to help train. If you need guidance on getting started or making sure you have exercises that you can do safely, please call us for help.

We hope you have fun staying active with these exercise ideas. If you need help getting started or have questions, please reach out to any of our physical therapy clinics. They can work with you to create an in-home exercise plan that works for you and your ability levels.

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Physical Therapy for Golfer's Elbow

Physical Therapy for Golfer’s Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis)

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Physical Therapy for Golfer's Elbow

Golfer’s Elbow, medically known as medial epicondylitis,  is a painful condition where the tendons that attach to the inside of the elbow become inflamed due to repetitive use of the hand, wrist, forearm, and elbow. It often occurs with repetitive activities such as swinging a golf club or tennis racket, work or leisure activities requiring twisting and gripping such as shoveling, gardening and swinging a hammer. It can also appear in other sports-related activities such as throwing and swimming. Medial epicondylitis is most commonly seen in men over the age of 35 but can be seen in any population. If these symptoms sound familiar, than going to physical therapy for golfer’s elbow may be just what you need.

What is causing your elbow pain?

Medial epicondylitis affects the group of muscles that are responsible for bending the wrist, fingers, and thumb and that rotate the wrist and forearm. The tendons that connect those muscles to the medial epicondyle (bump on inside of elbow). Tendons are made up of collagen fibers that are lined up next to each other. The repetitive forces pull on those tendons creating pain and tenderness. Without treatment, those tendons can eventually pull away from the bone. Acute injuries to your elbow can create an inflammatory response which can cause redness, warmth, and stiffness in your elbow.

Medial epicondylitis is most often caused by an abnormal arrangement of collagen fibers. This condition is called tendinosis. During tendinosis, the body doesn’t create inflammatory cells as it does during an acute injury. Instead, fibroblasts are created which help make up scar tissue to fill in the spaces between the collagen fibers. This increase in scar tissue can lead to increased pain and weakness in the tissues. Physical and hand therapy is the most common nonsurgical treatment for medial epicondylitis. Your therapist will perform an evaluation where he/she will ask you several questions about your condition, pain level and other symptoms you may be experiencing. He/she will perform motion and strength testing on your entire upper extremity. Your therapist will also palpate your arm to determine which tendon(s) may be inflamed. He/she will use special tests designed to deferentially diagnose your condition from others that may have similar presentations, such as Cubital Tunnel Syndrome.

golf ball on tee

What to expect from Physical Therapy for Golfer’s Elbow

  • Pain Management: this can include Mechanical Diagnosis & Therapy, ice, ice massage, moist heat, electrical stimulation, and ultrasound.
  • Range-of-Motion Exercises: stretches and mobility exercises to help maintain proper movement in your elbow, forearm, wrist, and hand.
  • Strengthening Exercises: progressive resistive exercises to help build strength in your arm, elbow, forearm, wrist, and hand. These can include weights, medicine balls and/or resistance bands. This will also include your Home Exercise Program.
  • Manual Therapy: used to ensure full, pain-free movement is achieved and can include joint mobilizations, manual muscle stretches, and soft tissue massage.
  • Neuromuscular Re-education (Functional Training): used to help you return to your prior level of function for both home and work activities. Will include retraining proper movement patterns with necessary modifications based on the current level of function and patient limitations.
  • Patient Education: used to help retrain patients on proper postural control during everyday activities including dressing, self-care, work, and sports activities. This can include helping return a patient to their specific sport, such as making adjustments to their golf swing or throwing technique.

Once you’ve completed physical therapy for Golfer’s Elbow you’ll want to do everything you can to prevent this from reoccurring. This can occur by maintaining proper awareness of your risk for injury during your daily movements. Key things to keep in mind:

1. Maintain proper form during all repetitive movements both at work and at home.
2. Continue your Home Exercise Program in order to maintain proper strength in your shoulder, elbow, forearm, wrist, and hand.
3. Use proper posture and body mechanics with lifting or carrying to avoid any undue stress on your joints and tendons.

This information was written by Plymouth Physical Therapy Specialists, an outpatient physical and hand therapy group with fourteen locations in the surrounding Plymouth, Michigan area. At Plymouth Physical Therapy Specialists, they are committed to using evidence-based treatments in their practice. This means that their therapists utilize the most current and clinically relevant treatments in their approach to rehabilitation. For more information click here.

how to run with bad knees

How to Run with Bad Knees: Pain Prevention & Care

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how to run with bad knees

The biggest fear of every runner is that their joints are going to start to ache and prevent them from running. You can actually never know when something like knee or ankle pain could occur, but you should know the most common reasons that happen and how to prevent it.

Maybe you had a knee injury when you were younger and it could start showing up again while running. Also, a meniscus tear is another problem that could make your knees ache as well as the jumper’s knee. There are simply many reasons for this pain to show since knees are gentle and the impact of feet to the ground puts too much stress on them. Luckily, there are many ways to prevent this and take proper care of your knees and tendons around them which will enable you to run without any difficulties.

Wear the Right Shoes

Feet are very complex and if you don’t take care of them while running, you will find more problems occurring in them, your knees and even hips. It is all connected and you have to protect your foot in order to avoid any further aches and problems. Running is a high impact sport and puts plenty of stress on feet, ankles, and knees and wearing proper shoes will help you run easily and reduce any risks of injury and pain.

Your job is to find the right shoes that will provide proper support for your toes, heel, and arch. Also, the sole should be comfortable and thick enough to provide amortization during running. Not only will running become even more fun, but you will manage to save your knees from stress, provide comfort for your feet and avoid and prevent any ankle pain and injuries.

Don’t Skip the Strength Training

Strength training is good for your entire body. Proper strength exercises will make your muscles more strong and flexible which is an important part of preventing any pain and injuries. If your lower-body muscles are weak, you should try to make them stronger. You can perform plenty of different exercises, such as lunges and squats and you will manage to make your thighs and knees stronger and more balanced. Also, don’t forget to work on your core and stability, because those will keep your knees and hips protected while running and even help with performance.

Lean Forward While Running

If you’re experiencing any knee pain during or after your running session, it could be that your technique or posture is off. Maybe you are not leaning forward enough and this puts even more stress to your joints, making your knees hurt. So, to prevent this, lean your trunk slightly forward while running, and you will manage to reduce the load placed on your joints, including knees. This will in return lower the risks of discomfort and injury on your knees and ankles.

Don’t Overtrain

It is essential to know your body and listen to it and know when it’s tired. Too much intense training will only bring negative effects and increase the risks of injuries and pain. If you’re already experiencing knee pain, think about how much you’ve run in the last couple of days and see if that was maybe too much for your body. Your body needs proper rest in order to stay healthy, injury-free and to make progress. If you run one day, make sure to rest the next day, or adjust the amount of time you spend running in one take. Take care of your body, let it rest, and you will reach your goals fast and avoid pain.

Knees are delicate. No joint in your body will give in eventually if you’re putting too much stress on it every day. So, make sure your running technique is right, invest in proper shoes and take it easy. You will be able to run faster and longer if you gradually increase the intensity.

If you are looking for help with your knee pain or would simply like to improve your running posture please don’t hesitate to reach out to your local physical therapist. Many clinics have running programs that are designed specifically to help keep people on the pavement pain-free!

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Avoid common baseball injuries

10 Ways To Avoid Common Baseball Injuries

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Avoid common baseball injuries

According to an article published by the Journal of Athletic Training, youth baseball players reported throwing-arm pain 74% of the time. They also reported that UCL reconstructions between 2003 and 2014 increased 343%, with 56.6% in those aged 15 to 19 years. With the increase injuries related to the pitching athlete, we wanted to take a minute and focus on what you can do to help prevent common baseball injuries from happening to your athlete.

WHAT ARE COMMON BASEBALL INJURIES?

  • The most common baseball injuries include mild soft tissue injuries, such as muscle pulls (strains), ligament injuries (sprains), cuts, and contusions (bruises).
  • Although baseball is a non-contact sport, most serious injuries are due to contact — either with a ball, bat, or another player.
  • The repetitive nature of the sport can also cause overuse injuries to the shoulder and elbow.

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WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PREPARE FOR THE SEASON?

  • Physical exam. A pre-season physical exam is important for both younger and older players. The goal is to prevent injuries and illnesses by identifying any potential medical problems. These may include asthma, allergies, heart, or orthopedic conditions.
    Warm-up and stretch. Always take time to warm up and stretch.
  • Warm-up with some easy calisthenics, such as jumping jacks. Continue with walking or light running, such as running the bases.
  • Gentle stretching, in particular your back, hamstrings, and shoulders, can be helpful. Your team coach or athletic trainer may provide a stretching program.

.

10 WAYS TO AVOID COMMON BASEBALL INJURIES

ASMI GUIDELINES TO HELP PROTECT PITCHERS FROM SHOULDER AND ELBOW INJURIES:

Pitching

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1. Don’t throw too much:
Daily, weekly and annual overuse is the greatest risk to a pitcher’s arm health. Numerous studies have shown that pitchers who throw more pitches per game and those who do not adequately rest between appearances are at an elevated risk of injury. While medical research does not identify optimal pitch counts, pitch count programs have been shown to reduce the risk of shoulder and elbow injury in Little League Baseball by as much as 50% (Little League, 2011). The most important thing is to set limits for a pitcher and stick with them throughout the season.

2. Don’t pitch through arm fatigue:
Individuals are 36 times more likely to develop shoulder and elbow injuries when routinely pitching with arm fatigue.

3. Don’t pitch more than 100 innings per year:
If an athlete throws over 100 innings they are 3.5 times more likely to be injured than those who did not exceed 100 innings pitched.

4. Don’t throw more than 8 months per year:
Athletes who throw > 8 months per year are 5 times as likely to suffer an injury requiring surgery of the elbow or shoulder. Pitchers should refrain from throwing for at least 2-3 months per year and avoid competitive pitching for at least 4 months per year.

5. Don’t pitch on consecutive days:
Pitchers who pitch on consecutive days have more than 2.5 times greater risk of experiencing arm pain.

6. Don’t play catcher following pitching:
If the player catches the following pitching they are 2.7 times more likely to suffer a major arm injury.

7. Don’t play on multiple teams at the same time:
There is an increased risk of injury due to the difficulty in monitoring pitch limits and rest time. If the player is on multiple teams, make meticulous efforts to keep track of the number of pitches thrown to allow adequate rest.

8. Don’t forget the shoulder in strength and conditioning programs:
Numerous studies have shown that deficits in upper extremity strength and mobility are strongly correlated to serious arm injuries. Shoulder and forearm strengthening exercises can build strength, endurance and motor control which can prevent injury.

9. Be cautious with throwing curveballs and sliders:
While existing research has not consistently shown a strong connection between the curveball and injuries, Yang et al., found that amateur pitchers who threw curveballs were 1.6 times more likely to experience arm pain while pitching and Lyman et al, found that youth pitchers who throw sliders are 86% more likely to experience elbow pain.

10. Be cautious with the radar gun:
Radar guns do not directly cause harm to a pitcher, however, the gun may cause the pitcher to throw beyond their normal comfort level. This could create an arm strain.

Don’t redshirt this season. Physical therapists can work with athletes to make sure certain muscle groups can accommodate the strain and movements necessary to perform well in your sport. Be proactive and work towards a great season with PT!

physical therapy near me

 

exercise tips

Exercise Tips to Get You Moving

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exercise tips

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

Exercise Tips to Activate your lifestyle.

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

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

Make Fitness fun!

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

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

Anticipate the unexpected.

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

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

physical therapy near me