Tag Archives: injury

More Enjoyable Bike Ride

8 Tips for an Enjoyable Bike Ride

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Optimizing your bike and clothing isn’t just for competitive racers. Even if you’re just looking to ride a few miles recreationally, you can be more comfortable and have more fun by following our tips for a more enjoyable bike ride!

1. Check Tire Pressure
If your tires are too soft, you have a much higher chance of “pinching” a tube, causing a flat. Low pressure also increases rolling resistance, making it more difficult for you to ride at a normal speed. Check the sidewall of your tires for recommended pressure range; it doesn’t need to be at the maximum, but be sure it’s at or above the minimum.

2. Seat Angle
Everyone has a different preference on exact seat angle and position, but it should be roughly level. Deviations of 1-2 degrees up or down are OK, but don’t point up or down too much. This can place unnecessary pressure on pelvic soft tissue or the hands/wrists.

3. Seat Height
An old belief about seat height was that you must be able to touch the ground with both feet when sitting on the saddle. If you are very new to cycling, this does improve your ability to stay upright at very slow speeds. A seat that is too low, can put excess pressure on your knees and back, making it less efficient. A “proper” seat height has the knee at about 30 degrees of bend at the lowest point in the pedal stroke.

4. Stay Hydrated
Carry water with you on any ride longer than 30 minutes (shorter in hot conditions). You can use a backpack-style hydration pack, or a simple water bottle and cage. Almost all bicycles have bolts to hold a water bottle cage. Whichever method you choose, get familiar with it and get in the habit of using it often.

5. Know How to Change a Tube
Carry the items needed to replace a tube in the event of a flat tire. Your local bike shop can help you with choosing these items. These can all be carried in a bag under your seat. You don’t need to be Nascar pit-crew-fast at it, but you want to know how to fix a flat tire so you don’t end up stranded.

6. Like Lycra
Very few people think of bike shorts as a good fashion statement. However, if you’re riding more miles, especially in warm weather, they provide comfort that can’t be matched with basketball or running shorts.

7. Be Visible
Along with the bike shorts, make sure your t-shirt or jersey is a bright color that will keep you visible in traffic. If there is a chance you’ll be riding near or in darkness, be sure to have at least a rear and preferably also a front light on your bicycle.

8. Riding Shouldn’t Hurt
Sure, if you’re looking to get a hard workout or ride fast, your legs will feel the burn. However, if your body and bike are working together properly, riding shouldn’t cause any joint pain. If you can’t ride without getting neck, back, hip, or knee pain, consider having a professional look at either your body or your bike fit. Better yet, have a physical therapist who is versed in bike fitting address both at the same time. The answer to most aches and pains is rarely just in one area (bike fit or bodywork), and a combined approach will usually work best for alleviating pain and getting the most out of your ride.

bike_couple

Let Physical Therapy help you before your pain turns into an injury.

What an ache tells you:
•  It’s the first clue your body is telling you something is wrong.
•  Your body can accommodate the ache, but eventually, a breakdown will happen.
•  While you accommodate to your ache, weakness, and lack of flexibility start.
•  Once you have a breakdown, the pain will begin, and more than likely you will stop doing the activities you currently enjoy.

How physical therapy can help prevent sports injuries:
•  Modify exercise routines when you have a minor ache and pain (This does not always mean you need to stop exercising!)
•  Get assessed for weakness and flexibility issues to address biomechanical deficits.
•  Educate on faulty or improper posture or body mechanics during exercise
•  Educate and help with techniques on exercises that help your muscles stretch farther. Flexibility training helps prevent cramps, stiffness, and injuries, and can give you a wider range of motion.
•  Correct muscle imbalances through flexibility and strength training.
•  Alleviate pain.
•  Correct improper movement patterns.

Common Cycling-related pain and injuries that Physical Therapy can treat:
•  Low Back Pain
•  Neck Pain
•  Foot numbness
•  Shoulder pain
•  Muscle strains
•  Hand pain/numbness

This information about having a more enjoyable bike ride was written by Advanced Physical Therapy, a physical therapy group that uses progressive techniques and technologies to stay on the forefront in their field. Their staff is committed to providing patients with advanced healing techniques. For more information click here.

Struggling with an ache, pain, or simply need help getting your bike fitted? Our team can help make sure you get the most out of your time on your bike!

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Athletic Injuries PTandMe

3 Types of Athletic Injuries

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Did you know that most athletic injuries can be boiled down into three main categories?  Acute, Overuse and Chronic.  Physical therapists that specialize in sports medicine, help athletes experiencing pain get back in their sport.  From the time of the injury through recovery and performance, the licensed physical therapists that partner with PTandMe have the know-how and experience to get rid of your pain.

1.) ACUTE: Usually a result of a single traumatic event within the last five days. Examples: fractures, sprains, dislocations, muscle strains.

2.) OVERUSE: Subtle and occur over time, making them challenging to diagnose and treat. Examples: swimmer’s shoulder, runner/jumpers knee, Achilles tendonitis, shin splints.

3.) CHRONIC: Usually has lasted at least three months or more.

COMMON CAUSES OF INJURIES:

  • Improper training and technique
  • Incorrect equipment fitting and support
  • Anatomic or biomechanical issues of athlete
  • Catastrophic event on or off the field

football injury

OVERUSE INJURIES AND BURNOUT
Overuse/overtraining injuries and burnout are a major problem for adolescent athletes. Both can occur when students participate in sports year-round with no “off season”, or have insufficient recovery time between practices and games.

WATCH for typical burnout signs:

  • Pain during or after activity, or while at rest
  • Lack of enthusiasm for practices or games
  • Dip in grades

PREVENT overuse injuries and burnout with these simple tips:

  • Allow enough time for proper warm-up and cool down routines
  • Rest 1-2 days per week or engage in another activity
  • Focus on strength, conditioning or cross training during the “off season”

Did you know that 50% of all sports injuries to student athletes are a result of overuse?

SPRAIN
Sprains result from overstretching or tearing of the joint capsule or ligament which attaches a bone to another bone.

STRAIN
Strains, also referred to as pulls, result from over-stretching or tearing a muscle or tendon, which attaches a muscle region to a bone.

CONTUSIONS
Contusions or bruises are an injury to tissue or bone in which the capillaries are broken and local bleeding occurs.

TEARS
Tears are a complete separation of the tissue fibers.

Physical therapy and athletics go hand in hand. In many cases, your PT may be a former athlete that experienced an injury in their youth, and as a result found a passion for rehabilitating others. If you are experiencing pain, or have already had an injury, don’t wait to talk to your physical therapist. The faster you ask for help the faster you can get back into your sport.

For more information about physical therapy and sports medicine – try the links below:


       

This article about athletic injuries was provided by PTandMe physical therapy partner: The Center for Physical Rehabilitation. More information about the Center and their locations throughout Grand Rapids, MI can be found on their website at www.pt-cpr.com

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.

PT can Help

Elf Injuries and How PT Can Help: Part 1 of 3

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It’s that time of year, when we check in on Santa’s helpers to see if they can use some physical therapy. With their heavy lifting and high demand job they’re always experiencing injuries. Our new elf friend Ziggy, is the perfect patient for physical therapy. Let’s see how PT can help Ziggy!

Here’s part of his story…

Ziggy was working late one night in the North Pole. When all of a sudden… he lifted a large toy scooter and fell over on to his back. OUCH!

elf on PT & Me website

Luckily, Santa and his elves have an amazingly good north pole internet provider, and Ziggy was able to go online to the PTandMe website and find great physical therapy clinics in his area.

elf on pt table

Now Ziggy is at one of PT & Me’s physical therapy clinics with one of our trusted therapists to help relieve him of all his back pain. He will be back to making more toys real soon, just in time for the holiday!

See Ziggy’s complete physical therapy experience here!

elf injuries physical therapy PTandMe   Elf on the Shelf Physical Therapy

elf injuries

Special thanks to Action Physical Therapy, in Houston, TX, for accommodating the demanding work schedule of Santa’s elves. Click Here for more information about Action Physical Therapy.

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.

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

When Is the Time Right for Physical Therapy?

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Often, we end up in physical therapy based on the referral of our physician after dealing with and injury for a certain period of time. However, physical therapy can be used for many different ailments and can actually help cut down the time off work, off of sports and promote healing much faster.

Physical therapy can be used for many of your minor and major injuries. Following surgeries or traumas (accidents, dislocations, fractures, sprains) it can cause a considerable reduction in swelling and allow things to heal 75-80% faster than if without therapy. It has been shown that following surgery, the quicker someone goes for therapy, the less likely they are to stiffen up or have complications due to loss of range of motion. It also helps to significantly reduce pain and swelling.

Physical therapy is not only used following surgeries or sports injuries, but can be extremely helpful in preventing symptoms from getting worse and developing into more problems. If you’ve been having pain in your shoulder for 3 months or so, your body now has altered the way it moves your shoulder and in turn, you have developed some compensation patterns which could cause things to develop into other areas, such as your neck from your altered movements. This then, can lead to more significant problems which could have been easily avoided if therapy had been started and symptoms had gotten under control.

Remember, the quicker you get into therapy following an injury or persistent pain, the quicker your response time will be to therapy. If you are having some issues, talk to your physician about starting therapy. You don’t have to wait until it has a complete impact on your life or your recreational activities. Stop pain in your life and feel better by visiting one of our PT & Me physical therapists today.

PTandMe

PTandMe and How to Find Physical Therapy Near You

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Find Physical Therapy

PTandMe is your online guide to physical therapy. We make it easy for you to look up common conditions, see how physical therapy will benefit you directly, and most importantly, we make it easy for you to find physical therapy.  If you are in pain, and need to find a licensed physical therapist in your area – we are the best place to look. To learn more about Physical Therapy click here.

The PTandMe injury center is unique in that it provides information on common conditions that physical therapists treat as well as gives you a glimpse into what physical therapy treatment may look like for your condition. Physical therapists are the musculoskeletal experts, so when it comes injury or musculoskeletal pain – you are in the right place. The injury center covers diagnoses from head to toe. To visit the PTandMe injury center click here.

PT & Me

In addition to the injury center, PTandMe sends out great health and wellness tips each month through the Therapy Connection newsletter & weekly PT & Me blog posts.  We partner with over 550 physical therapy clinic nationwide, so the topics covered are relevant and directly from licensed professionals in the field. Featured articles, recipes and fun trivia questions make these resources a great learning tool for everyone.

When it comes to finding physical therapy and scheduling your first appointment, PTandMe makes it easy.  We have collected an online database of our partnering clinics throughout the United States so that you can easily access them from your phone or home computer. To find a physical therapist near you visit our “Find a PT” search page by clicking here.

If you are on the fence about going to physical therapy, or simply want more information about it, PTandMe makes it easy for you to find the information you need quickly. The faster you start to treat pain or an injury, the better the long term benefits, so don’t wait to try physical therapy. Get started today and find physical therapy clinics near you!

physical therapy knee pain

How Physical Therapy Helps Knee Rehabilitation

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PT&Me Knee Rehabilitation

Physical therapists can provide more than pre/post surgical knee rehabilitation for patients experiencing knee pain.

What Causes Knee Pain?
The knee is a relatively simple joint required to do a complicated job…to provide flexible mobility while bearing considerable weight. While walking down the street, our knees bear three to five times our body weight. When the knee is overstressed in sports or in everyday activities, these structures can break down — and a knee injury occurs.

Common Knee Problems Seen by Our Physical Therapists:

  • Strain / Sprain
  • Arthritis Pain
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Ligament Sprains
  • ACL Tears
  • Tendinitis (ie: Patellar, Pes Anserinus)
  • Chondromalacia Patella
  • Patellofemoral Syndrome / Knee Pain
  • Pre / Post Operative Therapy

How Physical Therapy Provides Knee Rehabilitation
Rehabilitation acutely after knee surgery or a knee injury primarily centers around decreasing swelling in the knee joint. Even a small amount of fluid inhibits the quadriceps muscle on the front of knee by slowing the signal for movement traveling from the brain to the muscle. Manual techniques to decrease muscle spasm and improve length tension relationships of soft tissue are also incorporated. Gradually, exercises to increase strength, range of motion and functional mobility are introduced.

Treatments Offered Include:

  • Comprehensive evaluation with an emphasis on determining the source of the problem
  • Individualized and specific exercise programs
  • Manual therapy (hands-on treatment)
  • Modalities as needed
  • Work and sport specific simulations
  • Progressive home program to help restore independence and self-management

Knee Rehabilitation Goals:

  • Reduce Pain
  • Improve Mobility
  • Movement Awareness/Gait Training
  • Functional Strength
  • Patient Education

For more information on knee injuries visit our PT & Me Knee Injury Center page by clicking here.

The PT & Me Injury Center goes over diagnoses on how physical therapists treat specific injuries.

To find or search for a local participating PT & Me physical therapy clinic in your local area please click here.

labral tear physical therapy

ATC Tip: The Labrum

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Anatomy of the Shoulder
The shoulder can move in almost every plane of motion, it’s the most mobile joint in the human body; but more mobility = more instability. The shoulder joint is often described as a “ball in socket,” but it’s wide range of motion makes it a highly vulnerable joint. We have a network of soft tissue structures, such as the rotator cuff and ligaments, whose main job is to keep the humeral head in its assigned seat. However, often these muscles alone are not sufficient as they can become weak or tight and thus less efficient. The labrum is a small ring of cartilage that provides additional stability to the shoulder joint.

How Does a Labrum Become Damaged?
Direct trauma, shearing forces, or repetitive stress can cause damage to the labrum. Often, this damage will present as a tear in the labrum, which can restrict motion, decrease strength, and cause pain in the shoulder. Picturing that ring of cartilage, imagine a roughening of the edges of the bowl-like golf tee, or even a rip that flaps when the ball is spun around. It is not uncommon for a shoulder dislocation or subluxation to be accompanied by a labral tear; chronic shoulder instability can also lead to labrum injury.

What Does a Labrum Do?
Because the “ball and socket” is so shallow, the shoulder joint is often described, quite accurately, like a “golf ball sitting on a tee.” To picture the shoulder labrum, imagine a ring around the outer edge of a golf tee, effectively deepening the overall bowl shape, almost suctioning the humerus into the space. The labrum helps stabilize the shoulder by making the “ball” more difficult to remove from the “tee.”

How Can I Prevent a Labrum Injury?
The best way to prevent a labral tear is to strengthen the musculature surrounding the shoulder joint. The best case scenario is all of the muscles are working together to keep the shoulder joint moving fluidly through its full range of motion. Important within this group of muscles are the muscle that control the shoulder blades. By strengthening the stabilizing muscles individually and functionally, it helps them stay balanced and strong with the other, stronger muscles (like the RTC). The other way to prevent a labrum tear is to avoid excessive contact, repetitive overhead motions, and falls.

This article about athletic injuries was provided by PT & Me physical therapy partner: The Center for Physical Rehabilitation. More information about the center and their locations throughout Grand Rapids, MI can be found on their website at www.pt-cpr.com

To see a shoulder strengthening program visit our Sports Medicine Tip Page by clicking here.