Tag Archives: Exercise

Low Back Pain (LBP) Top 5 Exercises to Reduce Back Pain

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How to Reduce Low Back Pain
Over time, we develop arthritic changes in our back due to normal wear and tear. Below are a list of exercises that can help reduce lower back pain. These exercises will help you, in time, return you to your normal activities and improve your quality of life.

Top 5 Exercises to Reduce Back Pain

1. LOWER TRUNK ROTATION
Lie on your back with your knees bent.
Keep your feet and knees together and lightly rotate your spine.
Stop the stretch when you feel your hips coming off of the table. Only rotate to approximately 45 degrees and rotate back and forth like a windshield wiper.
Repeat for 2 minutes.
Low back pain

2. ABDOMINAL BRACING
Lie on your back with your knees bent. Slightly elevate your hips but not high enough to where it comes off of the table. Simultaneously, squeeze your abdominal muscles down towards the table. Continue to breathe.

Hold this for 10 seconds and rest for 10 seconds. Repeat for 2 minutes.

Low back pain
Low back pain

3. SINGLE KNEE TO CHEST
Bring one knee to your chest.

Hold for 5-10 seconds. Repeat alternating legs to your chest for a time of 2 minutes.
Low back pain

4. FIGURE 4 STRETCH
Cross on ankle over to the opposite knee and press down on the resting leg. You should feel the stretch in your hip.

Hold this stretch for 30 seconds if you can tolerate it. Repeat for 3 repetitions, then switch legs.
Low back pain

5. PIRIFORMIS STRETCH

Cross one ankle over to the opposite knee. Pull the resting knee across your body and up towards your chest. (You should aim for your opposite shoulder as a reference). This stretch should be felt over the crossed leg buttock.

Hold for 30 seconds if you can tolerate it. Repeat for 3 repetitions on each leg.
Low back pain

Written by Laura Cifre, OTR/L, PT, DPT, Director at Green Oaks Physical Therapy – Irving, Texas.
To learn more about Green Oaks Physical Therapy click here.

shin splints

7 Ways Physical Therapists Treat Shin Splints

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shin splints

Here are 7 ways a physical therapist can help treat pain and symptoms associated with shin splints:

Pain Reduction: The RICE principle is the first step to recovery (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). Manual therapy and Kinesiotaping may also be used to speed up recovery and reduce swelling.

Gait and Footwear Analysis: An analysis of how a person walks and runs in an important part of treatment. The wrong mechanism of walking can transmit a great deal of force through the shin to the knee and hip. In such situations, physical therapists will correct gait patterns and recommend footwear with shock absorbing capacity.

Muscle Stretches and Strengthening: The tibial and peroneal muscles are attached to the shin and must be stretched adequately before any form of exercise. Physical therapy includes various stretches of the goot that will help stretch and warm up these muscles. Strengthening damaged muscles can also help.

 Activity Modification:  Physical therapists may suggest alternative activities to minimize stress on the shinbones. These can include swimming and cycling.

Increase Range of Motion (ROM): Exercises for the hip, knee, ankle and foot improve blood circulation, reduce inflammation and relieve pain. A home exercise program may also be implemented.

Arch Support:  The absence or collapse of a normal foot arch can lead to shin splints. Physical therapists will recommend appropriate orthotics that can be custom made for the patient and provide the appropriate amount of arch support.

Return to Sport: If you are an athlete, your therapist may tailor exercises that are specific to strengthening the areas needed to perform your sport. Modified use of your muscles may also be discussed and implemented. Return to your sport may be gradual to prevent re-injury.

To learn more about shin splints please visit our PT & Me injury center on this website by clicking here.

National Athletic Training Month

March is National Athletic Training Month

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March is National Athletic Training Month

Why We ATC?

ATHLETIC TRAINERS are highly qualified, multi-skilled health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention, and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions. They can work in a variety of settings, including high schools, middle schools, universities, professional sports teams, hospitals, clinics, performing arts, club sports teams, and more. Athletics trainers decrease the liability on coaches, ensure a quicker and safer return to play, and reduce the risk of injuries for athletes of all ages. To learn more about the great things our ATC’s do — search for one of our PT & Me athletic training locations by clicking here!

Game & Practice Coverage:

• Early injury detection and intervention
• Quick referral process to local specialists if required
• Concussion safety injury screenings:
• Evaluation of injury
• Recommendation on immediate care
• Quicker return to play

March is National Athletic Training Month

WHAT IS NATIONAL ATHLETIC TRAINING MONTH?
March is National Athletic Training Month, a time to celebrate the positive impact athletic trainers have on work, life and sport. National Athletic Training Month is sponsored by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), the professional members association for certified athletic trainers and others who support the athletic training profession. NATA represents more than 45,000 members worldwide.

ATC SPORTS STATS
All statistics taken from www.atyourownrisk.org

90% of student athletes report some sort of sports-related injury in their athletic careers.
54% of student athletes report they have played while injured.
12% report they have sustained concussions and head injuries from their time on the field.
163,670 middle or high school athletes were reported being seen in the emergency room for a concussion.
300 sports-related deaths of youth anything to prevent injuries.
37% of public high schools employ a full-time athletic trainer.
54% of athletes said they have played while injured.

Eat Well

Eat Well, Exercise Well, Be Well: Dietary and Fitness Guidelines

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Eat Well

When it comes to the secrets of living a healthy life, it seems that there are no secrets. From diet gurus to celebrities, everyone seems to have the answers on healthy living. Since the 1980s, the United States government has also weighed in, with dietary guidelines that it publishes every 5 years. The intent is to provide research-backed diet and physical activity recommendations to reduce the risk of diseases linked to poor diet and activity, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Here is a round-up of the government’s latest key recommendations from the publication, 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

EAT WELL

Calories, Calories, Calories
In recent years, obesity has been a national concern, since it has been associated with serious conditions like cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Controlling total calorie intake is essential to maintaining ideal body weight. If you are trying to lose weight, you will need to expend more calories than you take in. This means getting plenty of exercise and cutting down on foods that are high in calories.

So how many calories should you be consuming? This depends on several factors, such as age, gender, height, weight, and physical activity level. To keep calories under control, you want to focus on eating foods full of many nutrients, especially potassium, fiber, vitamin D, and calcium. You may want to talk with your doctor or a registered dietitian about an eating plan that is right for you. In general, try to keep calories in check. Aim to meet calorie needs, but not exceed them. Reducing portion size and eating more meals at home are great ways to avoid exceeding calorie needs. In addition, eating foods high in nutrients but lower in calories can help.

Foods to Enjoy

  • Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables—Fresh fruits and vegetables are lower in calories compared to processed foods. Focus on color when eating fruits and vegetables. Dark green, red, and orange vegetables are especially packed with good-for-you nutrients. When preparing a meal, try and fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat a lot of whole grains—Examples of whole grains are brown rice, oatmeal, bulgur, and whole-wheat pasta. Your goal should be to make half your grains whole grains.
  • Have more dairy—Focus on low- or non-fat milk, cheese, and yogurt.
  • It is okay to eat certain fats—Some fats are okay to consume in moderation. These are monosaturated or polyunsaturated fats, which are found in foods like nuts and fish.
    Power up on protein—Seafood, lean meats, poultry, beans, and soy products are good sources of protein. Be sure to choose protein foods that are low in saturated fat and calories.

Fruits and Vegetables

Food to Eat Less

  • Limit refined grains—Examples of refined grains are white bread, corn flakes, grits, regular pasta, and white rice. These foods tend to be high in calories and sugar but low in fiber.
  • Limit foods containing added sugars—This includes sugar-sweetened drinks and snacks.
  • Limit foods high in saturated fats—This includes certain kinds of meat and dairy products (whole milk, cream, and butter). Less than 10% of calories should come from saturated fats.
  • Keep trans fat consumption as low as possible—You can do this by limiting foods containing solid fats and partially hydrogenated oils, such as margarine and baked goods.
  • Limit salt intake—Too much of it can increase your risk for high blood pressure, which can lead to kidney damage, heart disease, and stroke. On a daily basis, adults should consume less than 2,300 mg of sodium.
  • If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation —Women should consume no more than 1 alcoholic drink a day, while men should consume no more than 2 drinks a day. Also, keep track of the calories in each drink. Mixed drinks tend to have higher calories.

Preparing Your Plate
Remembering which foods to limit, and which to eat more of, may be daunting. To help you remember, the United States Department of Agriculture created a simple image of a sectioned plate as a guideline for healthy eating. The Choose My Plate guidelines emphasize nutrient-dense foods and beverages, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low- or non-fat milk, beans, and nuts. If remembering how much and what to eat is a chore, you can just keep these simple things in mind to ensure that you are eating well when you sit down for a meal:

  • Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables.
  • When eating grains, make sure half your grains are whole grains.
  • Choose fat-free and low-fat (1%) milk products.
  • Avoid oversized portions.
  • Enjoy your food, but be mindful of how much you are eating. Try to eat less.
  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
  • When cooking, try to use less or no salt in the recipe. When you eat your meals, do not add any extra salt. Over time, you will adjust to less salt in your food.

You can find specific information on the ChooseMyPlate website.

Exercise Well
A nutritious diet and exercise go together for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. To achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity each week. Some examples of activities are brisk walking, biking, and swimming. Before starting any kind of exercise program, be sure to check with your doctor if you have any health issues that may limit your exercise program.

Be Well
Guidelines provide the foundation for a healthy lifestyle. But living a healthy lifestyle takes discipline and a positive attitude. Working with your doctor and perhaps other professionals, like a dietitian or fitness trainer, can be helpful in keeping you motivated and on track for reaching your health goals. Also, a healthy lifestyle should not be a chore, but something enjoyable.

Make exercise fun—a weekend hike, a lunch-hour walk with co-workers, or a pick-up game of basketball with your neighbor are just some ideas. And when mealtimes roll around, put on your creative chef hat! Come up with new approaches to breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus that incorporate fresh, nutrient-dense foods, and get friends and family involved in preparing meals. Experiment with herbs and spices to flavor your meals instead of the old salt standby. Armed with guidance, support, and motivation, a healthy lifestyle is within your reach!

Written by Marjorie Montemayor-Quellenberg, MA

RESOURCES:
Choose My Plate—US Department of Agriculture
http://www.choosemyplate.gov

Eat Right—Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
http://www.eatright.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:
Health Canada
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

Dietitians of Canada
http://www.dietitians.ca

REFERENCES:

2015-2020 Dietary guidelines for Americans. US Department of Agriculture and US Department of Health and Human Services. Available at: https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/. Accessed February 14, 2017.

BMI calculator. ChooseMyPlate—US Department of Agriculture website. Available at: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/weight-management-calories/weight-management.html. Accessed February 14, 2017.

Dietary interventions for cardiovascular disease prevention. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated February 5, 2015. Accessed March 9, 2015.

What is MyPlate? US Department of Agriculture ChooseMyPlate website. Available at: https://www.choosemyplate.gov/MyPlate. Accessed February 14, 2017.

Last reviewed February 2017 by Michael Woods, MD, FAAP

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

PT News

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

ski

1. Skiing and Thumb Injury
Written by the Therapy Team at the Jackson Clinics – Northern Virginia

Skiing falls can often cause injury to the inner ligament of your thumb, caused by the force of the pole against this area of the hand during a fall. This area, a band of fibrous tissue connecting the bones at the bottom of the thumb, is known as the ulnar collateral ligament. Read more

crash

2. Amazing People Make A Difference: Megan and Earl’s Story
Written by the Therapy Team, ARC Physical Therapy+ – Topeka, Kansas

Earl Bayless was riding in his work truck on December 21, 2016 when his driver fell asleep, causing a major accident. Their truck flipped several times in the air and skidded a block down the road before coming to a stop and leaving Earl to wonder what just happened. Read more

rowing

3. 6 Benefits of Rowing
Written by the Therapy Team at Momentum Physical Therapy – San Antonio, Texas

If you are looking for a low-impact workout that targets multiple areas of the body while getting your heart rate up, rowing might be the right exercise for you! Read more

Sports Drinks

Hydration & Supplements: Sports Drinks vs. Energy Drinks

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hydration, energy drinks, sports drinks, chocolate milk, muscle, cramps, electrolytes, nutrients, supplements, nutrition, water, hydrated

It’s important to stay hydrated during physical activity. While water is still the best choice for hydration, other acceptable options are available. Do you know what is most effective for your workout?

Sports Drinks
Sports drinks are ideal for athletes looking to hydrate and replenish after long, intensive exercise (usually greater than 60 minutes). Sports drinks contain a combination of electrolytes, carbs, minerals, and vitamins. This combination of nutrients serve to restore lost fluid and sodium levels. Additionally, the sugary carbs found in sport drinks provide athletes a boost of natural energy to aid in recovery.

hydration, energy drinks, sports drinks, chocolate milk, muscle, cramps, electrolytes, nutrients, supplements, nutrition, water, hydrated

Energy Drinks
Energy drinks are never a good option for athletes. While these beverages do provide an apparent energy boost, the effects are temporary. Energy drinks contain few helpful macronutrients, like carbs, and instead use the stimulant caffeine to create an artificial boost of energy. These high concentrations of caffeine can act as a diuretic thus increasing dehydration risks. Too much caffeine can also cause jitters, dizziness and headaches leading to decreased performance. High doses of caffeine have been linked to cardiac emergencies.

Chocolate Milk?
Effectively recover with chocolate milk. Low-fat chocolate milk makes a simple yet effective post-workout snack. Offering just the right mix of carbs and protein, this tasty drink refuels your body and helps muscles through recovery. Drink up!

Out Smart Muscle Cramps:
Painful muscle cramps can quickly sideline an athlete. While the root cause is still being researched, dehydration, muscle imbalances and improper warm-up are likely factors. Follow these basics to help prevent muscle cramps:

  • Stay hydrated, make sure your athlete does not start the practice/game dehydrated.
  • Pack a refillable water bottle to drink throughout the day.
  • Consume a balanced diet with healthy amounts of sodium.
  • Bolster weak muscle groups with functional, plyometric and strength training.
  • Practice foam rolling and static stretching in tight areas.
  • Incorporate a dynamic warmup.

Written by the Therapy Team at the Center for Physical Rehabilitation – Grand Rapids, Michigan.
To learn more about the Center for Physical Rehabilitation click here.

Exercise Diabetes

Role of Exercise in Type 2 Diabetes

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Role of Exercise in Type 2 Diabetes, Healthy Eating

Lifestyle changes play an important role in managing type 2 diabetes. Activity decreases blood glucose and regular exercise helps by improving the way your body uses glucose.It can also reduce the risk of diabetes complications like heart disease.

How it Works
Glucose is a type of sugar that is used for energy. It is present in the blood and stored in the muscle and liver. A hormone called insulin helps most of the glucose move from the blood into cells. For those with type 2 diabetes, the body is resistant to insulin and over time the body has trouble making insulin at all. As a result, glucose has trouble getting to the cells, the body doesn’t get enough energy, and glucose builds up in the blood.

During exercise your working muscles have a greater need for energy and therefore glucose. As a result, glucose can enter the muscles and cells with far less insulin. This leads to a drop in blood glucose levels during exercise and for a few hours after while the muscles recover. This causes an immediate though temporary decrease in blood glucose.

Over time, regular activity can make the body less insulin resistant during activity or rest. This can lead to more long term benefits and may lead to a decrease in the need for medication.

In addition to helping control diabetes, exercise can also improve your overall health by decreasing weight, the risk of cardiovascular disease, and blood vessel damage.

Role of Exercise in Type 2 Diabetes, Healthy Eating

Exercise Recommendations
It is important that you talk to a doctor before starting an exercise program. You and your doctor can work together to choose an exercise program that is right for you.

For greatest benefits, you will need to do both aerobic exercises and strength training. Aerobic exercises include things like walking, bicycling, and swimming. Strength training exercises and classes use things like weight machines, free weights, and resistance bands. Adults should aim for:

  • At least 150 minutes per week of moderate-to-vigorous intensity aerobic exercise
  • 2-3 days of strength training per week
  • Try not to go more than 2 days without some type of activity

Look for opportunities during the day to add to your overall activity level. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, take a short walk during the day, or walk instead of taking the car. Even 10 minutes of activity can provide some immediate benefits.

Safety Steps
Certain diabetes medication can lead to a dip in blood glucose called hypoglycemia. Talk to your doctor to understand if this may be a problem for you. Be aware of signs of hypoglycemia during exercise such as dizziness, shaking, or confusion. If you have these symptoms, stop exercising and manage hypoglycemia. Let your doctor know about any episodes, since your medication may need to be adjusted.

Diabetes can also affect the nerves and blood flow to the feet. Inspect your feet frequently, since diabetes can sometimes lessen your ability to feel pain from a foot injury.

Keep in mind that exercise is only one piece of an overall diabetes management plan. You will also need to control your blood glucose levels with good nutrition.

by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA

RESOURCES:
American Diabetes Association
http://www.diabetes.org

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
http://www.cdc.gov

CANADIAN RESOURCES:
Health Canada
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

Public Health Agency of Canada
http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca

REFERENCES:

Physical activity for type 2 diabetes. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T270048/Physical-activity-for-type-2-diabetes. Accessed February 20, 2017.

Physical activity is important. American Diabetes Association website. Available at: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/fitness/physical-activity-is-important.html. Updated December 27, 2016. Accessed February 20, 2017.

What we recommend. American Diabetes Association website. Available at: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/fitness/types-of-activity/what-we-recommend.html. Updated May 19, 2015. Accessed February 20, 2017.

Last reviewed December 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael Woods, MD, FAAP  Last Updated: 12/22/2017

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

shin splints

PT News

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

flu

1. Resuming Exercise After the Flu Bug
Written by the Therapy Team at the Jackson Clinics – Northern Virginia

Flu season is in full swing, and along with the regular flu, the new H1N1 virus is infecting thousands of people. Influenza can be a serious illness. Symptoms include fever, chills, headache, body aches, sore throat , runny nose, dry cough and a general feeling of exhaustion and sickness. Read more

New Year Resolution

2. The New Way to Resolve
Written by Allison Whitteberry, PTA at the Center for Physical Rehabilitation – Cascade

According to Statistic Brain, 41% of Americans usually make New Year resolutions. However, after six months, less then half of those American’s have maintained their resolutions. Read more

Shin Splints

3. What You Need to Know About Shin Splints
Written by the Therapy Team at Momentum Physical Therapy – San Antonio, Texas

Shin splints is one of those old health terms that pop up from time to time, like “lumbago.” Lumbago refers to low back pain, which actually can be caused by different things. Read more

PT News

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

1. Stay Injury-Free This New Year
Written by the Therapy Team at Integrated Rehabilitation Group – Puget Sound Region, WA

This new year, health clubs across the country typically enjoy a membership boost as eager souls sign up to make good on their resolutions to “get fit.” Read more

2. Don’t Let Your Asthma Freeze You Out of Winter Workouts
Written by the Therapy Team at the Jackson Clinics – Northern Virginia

Avoiding asthma attacks while exercising in winter is best accomplished by preventing cold, dry air from getting into your bronchial airways. One way to do this is to exercise indoors when it is cold. Read more

3. Living Our Mission Statement: Being a Catalyst of Change In 2018
Written by Colleen Norris, Partner/Practice Administrator – Overland Park, KS

I have been in healthcare for almost 40 years and the changes that have occurred over that time have been tremendous. I’ve seen everything from patient care innovations, new payment methodologies, advancing technology, improved workflow processes and my personal favorite… a focus on outcome data. Read more

PT News

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

1. How to Deal with Chronic Joint and Muscle Pain
Written by the Therapy Team at Cornerstone Physical Therapy – Gahanna, OH

All of us have experienced pain and discomfort in the muscles and joints at some point, especially with age. In most cases, the use of over the counter medications, hot/cold packs and rest help resolve the problem. Read more

2. Pain at the Mall
Written by the Therapy Team at the Jackson Clinics – Northern Virginia

As the outside temperatures drop, people contemplating undertaking an exercise program often consider walking at the mall. Benefits include a controlled climate, an absence of traffic, security and easily available restrooms and water. Read more

3. Quality of Care in Rehab
Written by the Ian M. Campbell, DPT at Intermountain Physical Therapy – Boise, ID

What does quality care mean in rehabilitation? One can drive through their city and likely notice multiple physical therapy (PT) clinics. Some may be privately owned and operated, others run by local hospitals. Read more