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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 reconstructionsbetween 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.
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:
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!
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!
How do you stay on target with eating healthy and being active? Between work schedules, kid’s schedules, appointments, and change of plans, finding time to exercise and eat right can sometimes feel impossible. Read more
CrossFit is no longer a form of exercise performed in small gyms; it is a phenomenon that has taken the world by storm. At its roots, CrossFit is a popular form of exercise utilizing high-intensity fitness programming that incorporates elements from many disciplines: including weightlifting, traditional cardiovascular exercise (running, jumping rope, biking, rowing), and basic gymnastic movements. Read more
3. Lymphedema Therapy – You Don’t Have to Live with Chronic Swelling
One cause of chronic swelling could be lymphedema. This is a condition where swelling occurs in the extremities due to a compromised or damaged lymph system. Lymph is the fluid that bathes the cells with needed nutrients, oxygen, and white blood cells provided by the circulatory system. Read more
Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!
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: It is estimated that 40% of body heat is lost through 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 easy 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.
For more cold-weather exercise tips to keep you safe this winter check out the articles below!
This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout November 2019. We are excited to begin a new year of new posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!
1. Low Back Pain – A Powerful Guide
Written by Wright Physical Therapy with multiple locations throughout the heart of the Magic Valley, Boise and Eastern Idaho.
Daily, we see patients who are concerned about the course they should take to heal their back pain. Our aim with these individuals is to utilize a skilled classification system and evidence-based treatments to aid in identification and treatment of Low Back Pain (LBP). Read more
As I was shoveling the snow off my driveway this week, I quickly realized that I needed to adjust my technique or I was going to pay for it later. Injury can result from repetitive movements with a general lack of awareness and variability in movement and may be prevented with some easy steps. Read more
3. Relieving Your Pain the Natural Way – Physical Therapy as the Safer Relief Alternative
It is no secret that the United States is a country with very high levels of medication. It is also a common practice for physicians to prescribe heavier pain relievers, such as the opioids that have resulted in a country-wide epidemic. While the effects of these drugs can be frightening, there is a safer solution available: physical therapy. Read more
Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!
Early specialization in one sport has become a trend in youth athletes across the country. This shift is one that has young athletes training year round to develop a specialized skill be able to play at the highest level of competition. Read more
2. Food is Your Fuel
Written by Rebound Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy practice with locations throughout greater Bend, OR.
Truth: we are not nutritionists. That said, after a bit of trial and error and working with patients and various health professionals, we have picked up on these and common do’s and dont’s. Lindsey Hagen, PT, and healthy running nut discusses the importance of balance in your diet and making sure you do what is best for your body, as they say, “You do you…” Read more
3. Climbing Stairs – One Step at a Time
Written by The Jackson Clinics an outpatient physical therapy practice with locations across Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa
Although going up the stairs may feel challenging, some people experience more pain going down. This is because your muscles have to work hard to control your weight as you descend. If you have suffered from knee problems in the past or continue to have problems, it is probably time to look at increasing strength to make navigating stairs less difficult. Read more
Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!
Medical providers may describe a concussion as a “mild” brain injury because concussions are usually not life-threatening. Even so, the effects of a concussion can be serious.
Once an athlete has been suspected of having a concussion… when is it safe to go back to play? The answer is different for everyone, but there are few baseline tests that medical professionals can administer to make sure that a gradual return to play, work and activity is safe and won’t lead to further damage.
When an athlete has a concussion, it’s important to know how much their functional and cognitive abilities have been affected. With a baseline test you give medical professionals an accurate starting point to correctly evaluate the impact of the injury.
FAQs about Concussion Baseline Testing
Concussion baseline testing is a pre-season exam conducted by a trained health care professional. Baseline tests are used to assess an athlete’s balance and brain function (including learning and memory skills, ability to pay attention or concentrate, and how quickly he or she thinks and solve problems), as well as for the presence of any concussion symptoms. Results from baseline tests (or pre-injury tests) can be used and compared to a similar exam conducted by a health care professional during the season if an athlete has a suspected concussion.
Baseline testing generally takes place during the pre-season—ideally prior to the first practice. It is important to note that some baseline and concussion assessment tools are only suggested for use among athletes ages 10 years and older.
How is baseline testing information used if an athlete has a suspected concussion?
Results from baseline testing can be used if an athlete has a suspected concussion. Comparing post-injury test results to baseline test results can assist health care professionals in identifying the effects of the injury and making more informed return to school and play decisions.
Education should always be provided to athletes and parents if an athlete has a suspected concussion. This should include information on safely returning to school and play, tips to aid in recovery (such as rest), danger signs and when to seek immediate care, and how to help reduce an athlete’s risk for a future concussion.
What should be included as part of baseline testing?
Baseline testing should include a check for concussion symptoms, as well as balance and cognitive (such as concentration and memory) assessments. Computerized or paper-pencil neuropsychological tests may be included as a piece of an overall baseline test to assess an athlete’s concentration, memory, and reaction time.
During the baseline pre-season test, health care professionals should also assess for a prior history of concussion (including symptoms experienced and length of recovery from the injury). It is also important to record other medical conditions that could impact recovery after concussion, such as a history of migraines, depression, mood disorders, or anxiety, as well as learning disabilities and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.
Baseline testing also provides an important opportunity to educate athletes and others about concussion and return to school and play protocol.
Who should administer baseline tests?
Baseline tests should only be conducted by a trained health care professional such as a physician, physical therapist or trained ATC.
Who should interpret baseline tests?
Only a trained health care professional with experience in concussion management should interpret the results of a baseline exam. When possible, ideally a neuropsychologist should interpret the computerized or paper-pencil neuropsychological test components of a baseline exam. Results of neuropsychological tests should not be used as a stand-alone diagnostic tool, but should serve as one component used by health care professionals to make a return to school and play decisions.
How often should an athlete undergo concussion baseline testing?
If baseline testing is used, research suggests that most components of baseline testing be repeated annually to establish a valid test result for comparison. Baseline computerized or paper-pencil neuropsychological tests may be repeated every 2 years. However, more frequent neuropsychological testing may be needed if an athlete has sustained a concussion or if the athlete has a medical condition that could affect the results of the test.
Many physical therapy clinics have therapists that have been trained in baseline testing software and techniques. Physical therapists can also specialize in return to sports programs for athletes that have experienced concussions. The decision of when you go back to your sport can be a critical one… especially if you go back to soon. Prevent this by having an accurate baseline available for your healthcare professionals.