Tag Archives: back injury

PT News

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

back

1. My Back Pain Always Returns! What Can I Do?
Written by the Therapy Team at the Jackson Clinics – Northern Virginia

After the common cold, the most common reason Americans miss work is back pain. Unfortunately, once you have experienced back strain or injury, it can easily become a recurring problem. Read more

uncommon

2. Uncommon Injury and Treatment Process
Written by Steve Retan AT, ATC, the Center for Physical Rehabilitation – Grand Rapids, MI

Having worked as an athletic trainer for the last 23 years, I have treated and rehabilitated countless injuries.  However there are times that athletes sustain injuries that I have not seen before.  One such injury occurred to a high school hockey player after colliding with an opponent during a game. Read more

ankle

3. Tips for Improving Your Ankle Mobility
Written by the Therapy Team at Momentum Physical Therapy – San Antonio, Texas

It’s important for a physically active body to achieve a stable balance between each active joint for maximum performance. In order for all of this to happen, ankle mobility is essential and is the root for several exercises or workouts! Read more

ice hockey injuries

Common Ice Hockey Injuries

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Ice hockey is one of the most popular sports played in North America. Physical therapy can provide specific treatment to a number of specific ice hockey injuries. Here are a few injuries that can happen during a hockey game or practice:

Common Ice Hockey Injuries

BACK INJURIES
Hockey players are at risk for low-back injuries due to the flexed (forward) posture of skating and the frequent hyperextension (backward) stress. Low-back pain and/or a pulled muscle are the most common injuries. Stretching of the hip flexors along with strengthening of the back and abdominal muscles will help avoid these injuries.

HIP INJURIES
The hip joint and groin muscle are susceptible to injury due to the mechanisms of the skating stride. Some of the most common soft tissue injuries in hockey players include a groin strain and a hip flexor strain. Off-season strengthening and dedicated stretching before and after practice are important to prevent these injuries. In addition, a direct blow to the outside of the hip can cause a hip pointer or trochanteric bursitis. Hockey pants with reinforced padding over these areas may help protect them.

KNEE INJURIES
The medial collateral ligament is the most susceptible to a sprain because of the leg position – pushing off the inside edge of the skate blade – and contact to the outside of the knee. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) disruption and meniscus tears (torn cartilage) can also occur but are less common in hockey that in other sports such as football, soccer and basketball.

hockey_goalie

SHOULDER INJURIES
The most common shoulder injuries in hockey are a shoulder separation and a broken collarbone. These injuries occur from direct contact of the shoulder with another player, the boards or the ice. Treatment can include a sling, rest and in serious cases surgery.

ELBOW INJURIES
The point of the elbow is a frequent area of contact, which can result in the development of bursitis. Thick and scarred bursal tissue (which feels like bone chips, but isn’t) can be a source of recurrent inflammation. The best prevention method is wearing elbow pads that will fit well and have an opening for the elbow, soft padding and a plastic outer shell.

WRIST INJURIES
A fall on the outstretched arm or contact with the boards that forces the wrist up or down, may cause a fracture. Players should try bracing themselves against the boards using their forearms instead of their hands.

lifting safety PTandMe holidays

When Lifting During the Holidays…

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During the holidays back injuries become more prevalent as patient maneuver themselves up and down ladders and stairways while carrying or lifting heavy objects. A little bit of lifting safety can go a long way to keeping the holidays merry. When Lifting large or heavy objects make sure you:

1. SIZE UP THE LOAD
Check to ensure the load is stable and balanced.

2. PLAN THE JOB
Consider all possibilities. Is the path clear? What is the weight of the load? How much stress will be placed on your back? Is there traffic, a tripping hazard, a doorway to go through, or a stairway to go up or down? Avoid carrying an object that requires two hands to hold, either up or especially down, a flight of stairs.

3. ESTABLISH A BASE OF SUPPORT
Use a wide, balanced stance with one foot in front of the other. Make sure you have firm footing and that your feet are a shoulders-width apart. This staggered stance gives you the stability of not falling over and being able to secure the load.

4. BEND YOUR KNEES, KEEP YOUR HEELS OFF OF THE FLOOR AND GET AS CLOSE TO THE OBJECT AS POSSIBLE.
Always lift with your legs and not your back.

santa

5. BE CERTAIN YOU WILL BE ABLE TO MAINTAIN A HOLD ON THE OBJECT WITHOUT HAVING TO ADJUST YOUR GRIP LATER.
You can use gloves to help maintain an adequate grip, but don’t rely on gloves because they can de-sensitize the fingers making you unable to feel the object.

6. LIFT GRADUALLY with your legs without using jerky motions.

7. KEEP THE LOAD CLOSE TO PREVENT ARCHING YOUR LOWER BACK.
As you begin the lift, tighten your stomach muscles and keep your head and shoulders up. The closer the load is to your spine, the less force will be placed on your back.

8. PIVOT
Don’t twist. Move your feet in the direction of the lift. This will eliminate the need to twist at the waist.

Information can be found at: http://www.tdi.state.tx.us/pubs/videoresource/stpbkinj.pdf

Safe Lifting Practices

Safe Lifting Practices: Back Injury Prevention

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Whether you are getting ready for a move, or need to lift things at work, it’s important to use safe lifting practices. Don’t end up with a hurt back – use these tips to keep yourself injury free.

• ESTABLISH A BASE OF SUPPORT: Use a wide, balanced stance with one foot in front of the other. Make sure that you have firm footing and that your feet are a shoulders-width apart. This staggered stance gives you the stability of not falling over and being able to secure the load.•

• KEEP YOUR EYES UP: Looking slightly upward will help you maintain a better position of the spine. Keeping your eyes focused upwards helps you keep your back straight.

• GET A GOOD GRIP: with your palms and make sure you have an adequate hold on the object. Be certain you will be able to maintain a hold on the object without having to adjust your grip later. You can use gloves to help maintain an adequate grip, but don’t rely on gloves because they can desensitize the fingers and make you unable to feel the object.

• LIFT GRADUALLY WITH YOUR LEGS: without using jerky motions. By using your leg strength, your chance of lower back injury is greatly reduced.

• TIGHTEN YOU STOMACH MUSCLES: as you begin the lift and keep you head and shoulders up.

• PIVOT  DON’T TWIST: Move your feet in the direction of the lift. This will eliminate the need to twist at the waist.

• WEIGHT: A lighter load normally means a lesser risk of injury. The weight of the object should be within the capacity of the person to handle safely.

• HANDLING: It is easier to pull or push a load than it is to lift, put down or carry.

• KEEP THE LOAD CLOSE: Holding a 20 lb. object with your hands 20 inches from the body creates more compressive force on your low back than holding it 10 inches away. This is because the muscles in your back have to work to counterbalance the weight when it is further from the body. As the compressive force on your low back increases, so does the risk of muscle strains, ligament sprains and damage to the disks in the spine.

• FREQUENCY: The more times a load is handled, the more tired the muscles become, making it easier for the person to be injured.

• DISTANCE: The farther the load has to be moved, the greater the risk of injury.

• DURATION TIME: Where the job involves repetitive movements, reducing the time spent on handling will help to ensure the movements are not causing unnecessary strain.

• FORCES APPLIED: Forces should be applied smoothly, evenly and close to the body. Forces exerted should be well within the capacity of the person, and the person should maintain proper posture.

• NATURE OF THE LOAD: Loads that are compact, stable, easy to grip, and capable of being held close to the body are much easier to handle.

• TERRAIN: Rough ground, steep slopes, slippery and uneven floors, stairs and cluttered floors make moving a load awkward and increase the chance for injury.

• ENVIRONMENT (CLIMATE & LIGHTING): If it is too hot, too humid, too cold or the lighting is inadequate, the capacity to work safely is reduced.

• CONDITION OF THE WORKPLACE: Safe and comfortable working conditions, with adequate space to perform the task, and tools and equipment that are well-maintained, make their job safer.

• AGE/GENDER: Young and old workers alike may be at an increased risk of injury from manual materials handling activities. Ensure abilities of employees are in line with functional job requirements.

• TRAINING: Proper training for the specific task is vital to reduce injury.

• TEAM LIFTING: If one person cannot lift or move a heavy, large or awkward object safely, organize a team lift. Team lifting reduces the risk of injury, reduces fatigue and makes the task much easier.

• RAISE/LOWER SHELVES: The best zone for lifting is between your shoulders and your waist. Put heavier objects on shelves at waist level, lighter objects on lower or higher shelves.

• AVOID LIFTING FROM THE FLOOR: Lifting from the floor can greatly increase your risk of injury for two reasons. Firstly, it is difficult to bring objects close to your body when picking them up from the floor, especially large objects where your knees can get in the way. Secondly, your low back must now support the weights of your upper body as you lean forward, in addition to supporting the weight of the item you are lifting. Lifting the same 20lbs from the floor more than doubles the amount of force on your low back when compared with lifting is from waist height. Even a one pound object lifted from the floor increases you risk of injury if you use a bent over posture.

• GET HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT: Don’t try to lift heavy or awkward loads on your own. Even though the muscles in your upper body may be strong enough to handle the load, the muscles, ligaments and disks in your lower back may be injured because of the additional forces they have to withstand. Get help from a co-worker, and whenever possible, use a cart, hand truck or other mechanical device to move the load for you.

PROPER LIFTING TECHNIQUE

proper lifting

IMPROPER LIFTING TECHNIQUE

improper lifting

POSTURE

Posture diagram

GOOD POSTURE

good posture

BAD POSTURE

bad posture