Tag Archives: Physical Therapy

gardening ergonomics

Gardening Ergonomics

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gardening ergonomics

It’s that time of year again. Time to exchange snow shovels and winter boots with gardening tools and watering cans. While the warmer weather brings on a new sense of happiness and energy, we need to remember to use proper body mechanics and follow general safety to avoid muscle aches and potential serious injuries. The number one injury associated with gardening is low back pain.

Here are a few tips to make your gardening experience more enjoyable and less painful.

LIFTING:
Lifting heavy objects such as bags of soil, planters and mulch improperly can lead to low back strains and/or sciatic pain. Other options include moving half of the soil/mulch to a separate pot before lifting the bag or planting in to smaller pots that are easier to maneuver. Using a garden cart or wheelbarrow can also assist with moving heavy gardening materials. Remember to lift with your legs, avoid simultaneous lifting and twisting and keep heavier objects close to your body to avoid injury.

PLANTING:
Prepping the soil can also be a difficult and tedious task requiring prolonged forward bending and frequent changes in position. Try prepping the planting bed by using long-handled gardening tools. Once the soil is ready, plant from a kneeling position using either a kneeling stool or a cushion. Remember to avoid twisting at the spine. Those with known chronic low back pain may want to consider planting in to pots, flower boxes or raised flower beds to avoid further injury.

WEEDING:
Most people dislike weeding their gardens and flower beds. Options to reduce the need to do so include using plants as ground cover or using mulch in your flower beds to minimize weed growth. If using a weed spray, look for bottles that have a sprayer hose to allow you to stand upright while treating your problem areas.

MOWING THE LAWN:
Another task that most people find tedious. When able, use an electric start mower. The action of pulling a cord to start your mower is the most common cause of low back injuries. If you must use a pull start mower, remember to bend at your knees and maintain the natural curve of your spine while reaching for the cord. Make sure you tighten your abdominal muscles just before pulling the cord in order to support your spine. If using a push mower, remember to maintain proper upright posture and take breaks as needed.

Remember to listen to your body. Take frequent breaks and change positions when you start to experience aching, cramping or fatigue. Stay hydrated and wear sunscreen. If you do happen to experience low back pain or any other injury, remember to contact your physical therapist. They can help alleviate your symptoms as well as educate you on proper body mechanics.

gardening

GARDENING STRETCHES
Stretching before you start gardening can help you from experiencing pain later. Here are some stretching techniques to help get you started!

1.) Fold your hands together and turn your palms away from your body, but this time extend your arms overhead. You should feel the stretch in your upper torso and shoulders to hand. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat eight times.

2.) Place your hand just above the back of the elbow and gently push your elbow across your chest toward the opposite shoulder. This is a stretch for the upper back and shoulder. Stretch both the right and left arms. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat eight times.

3.) Raise one arm overhead. Bend the elbow. Place the opposite hand on the bent elbow and gently push the elbow back further. This is a stretch for the triceps. Stretch both the right and left arms. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat eight times.

4.) Extend an arm in front of you, making sure the elbow is completely straight. With your palm down, take the opposite hand and bend in the wrist downward. Then turn the palm up, and stretch the wrist backwards. This stretches the forearm and wrist muscles. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat eight times.

The warm-up exercises were developed by professional hand therapists who are occupational and physical therapists specializing in the treatment of the hands, arms and shoulders. These exercises and tips have been designed to supplement more commonly known gardening safety practices that concentrate only on preventing back injuries.
For more information visit: www.asht.org

common basketball injuries

Common Basketball Injuries

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Whether you are a weekend warrior or involved in youth sports, athletes ages 5-75 can experience injuries from playing the games they love. Physical therapists are adept at working with patients suffering from common basketball injuries and can help in a variety of different ways.

One of the most common basketball injuries is an ankle sprain. An Ankle sprain is a partial or complete tear of the ligaments that support the ankle. Ankle sprains may be caused by falling or sudden twisting of the ankle, such as:
• Stepping on an uneven surface or in a hole
• Taking an awkward step when running, jumping, or stepping up or down
• Having your ankle roll over when playing sports or exercising called inversion of the foot

Physical therapy intervention is the standard for treatment of ankle sprains. Treatment for the acute ankle sprain is based primarily upon the RICE principles: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. This is followed quickly by a program of exercises and functional training to reduce the likelihood of chronic ankle instability. Balance and “proprioceptive” training are critical components of the rehabilitation process. In the case of a severe sprain and subsequent chronic instability, surgical intervention may be indicated.

Stress fractures are also seen frequently. A stress fracture is a tiny crack in the bone from chronic overuse. It is typically caused by repeated stress or overuse.
Causes include:
• Increasing the amount or intensity of an activity too quickly
• Switching to a different playing or running surface
• Wearing improper or old shoes
• Stress fractures can worsen by continued physical stress. Smoking can also make

Rest is the first thing you can do for a stress fracture. This includes avoiding the activity that caused the fracture and any other activities that cause pain. Rest time required is at least 6-8 weeks. Once you are ready to restart activity your physician may prescribe physical therapy. They may begin with non weightbearing activities, such as swimming, cycling, use of an Alter-G treadmill. Next, weight-bearing, nonimpact exercise may be prescribed. Gradually, low-impact activity, starting with walking, will be added to your treatment. Once you can do fast-paced walking with no pain, your physical therapist will give higher impact activities, such as light jogging.

spinning basketball

HAND INJURIES are also commonly seen in basketball. If you experience a finger injury, a hand therapist will work to make sure your fingers heal correctly and reduce the risk of long term damage.

A Boutonniere injury is usually the result of a forceful blow to the bent finger and causes a disruption of the central slip of the extensor tendon insertion at the level of the middle phalanx. The middle joint (PIP) is unable to fully straighten. If left untreated, a PIP flexion contracture can result and chronic deformity ensue. Acute boutonniere injuries are treated with PIP extension splinting continuously 4-8 weeks. Chronic boutonniere injuries with PIP flexion contractures are treated with dynamic splinting to improve passive PIP extension and static splinting for at least 4 weeks once full PIP extension is achieved.

Mallet injuries are seen commonly with ball sports and result when the terminal extensor tendon is torn from the attachment on the bone. When this occurs, a small fragment of bone may be avulsed from the distal phalanx and the end of the finger droops down and cannot be straightened actively. X rays are necessary to determine the course of treatment. Bony mallet injuries may require surgical correction. Most of these injuries can be treated conservatively with continuous DIP extension splinting for 6-8 weeks.

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PT News March 2021

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This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout February and March 2021. We are excited to bring you current physical therapy-based posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

Sports Injury Physical Therapy

1. 5 Common Sports Injuries: Causes, Prevention, and Treatment

Written by Wright Physical Therapy with multiple locations throughout Idaho.

Sports injuries happen, and they usually occur when engaging in sports or exercise. Sports injuries can occur due to overtraining, lack of conditioning, and improper form or technique. Failing to warm-up increases the risk of sports injuries.  Read more

 

The Cost of Being Sedentary

2. The Cost of Being Sedentary

Written by The Jackson Clinics, an outpatient physical therapy practice with multiple locations throughout Northern Virginia. 

While it might be easy to list off all of the benefits of exercising, we don’t typically talk about the cost of being sedentary.  In fact, a recent study by Jama followed over 100,000 adults for more than 8 years and measured their fitness using a treadmill. The participants were arranged by age and gender into performance groups:  Read more

 

Work From Home Pain Relief

3. Work-at-Home Pain Relief

Written by JACO Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy group with 4 locations throughout Oahu, HI.

We have found that many of our patients are still working from home and spending more time than they anticipated working at a less-than-ideal workstation. We’ve been seeing complaints of neck pain, back pain, and wrist pain that is caused by strain from poor body mechanics while working.  Read more

We hope you enjoyed our picks for the PT News March 2021 edition.

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PT News January 2021

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This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout December 2020 and January 2021. We are excited to bring you current physical therapy based posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

1. Shoulder Pain Treatment

Written by Riverview Physical Therapy with multiple locations throughout Southern Maine.

If you are looking for shoulder pain treatment in Southern Maine, the information below will help you make a better decision as well as help you avoid unnecessary and expensive healthcare treatment. There are seven common diagnoses that cause shoulder pain and usually respond very well to physical therapist directed treatment. These diagnoses are:  Read more

 

Snow Shoveling

2. Prevent Low Back Pain While Shoveling Snow

Written by Rehab Associates of Central VA, an outpatient physical therapy practice with multiple locations throughout VA. 

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. FAQ About 3 of the Most Common Knee Conditions

Written by Evergreen Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy group with locations throughout MI.

The knee is the largest and one of the most complex joints in the body. It primarily joins the thighbone (femur) to the shinbone (tibia), but also includes the kneecap (patella) and fibula in the lower leg. These bones and the muscles that surround them are connected through a series of ligaments, tendons, and cartilage (menisci) which collectively stabilize the knee and allow it to bend, twist, and rotate…  Read more

 

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Vestibular Physical Therapy

Vestibular Physical Therapy

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Vestibular Physical Therapy

Vestibular Dysfunction

It is estimated that 35% of adults aged 40 years or older in the U.S. have experienced some sort of vestibular dysfunction — approximately 69 million Americans. Many people who suffer from acute dizzy spells can be helped by physical therapy. Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is characterized by a brief episode of vertigo (spinning) every time your head moves into a specific position. Common causes for this disorder are trauma to the head (concussion, motor vehicle accident, etc.) and acute infection, but frequently the cause is unknown. Patients usually complain of a spinning sensation being provoked by lying down, rolling over in bed, bending over, or looking up. Common activities that can provoke this sensation include getting out of bed, gardening, washing hair in the shower, and going to the dentist or beauty parlor.

vertigo diagram

Common Symptoms

  • Vertigo: The perception of movement/spinning, either of the self or the environment
  • Dizziness: General term that describes light-headedness, floating sensation, or faintness
  • Imbalance: Disequilibrium is a feeling of being off-balance or a loss of equilibrium

 

Uncommon Symptoms

  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of coordination
  • Difficulties with memory and concentration
  • Headaches/neck pain

 

How Do You Know if You Need Vestibular Therapy?

80% of older adults over the age of 65 have experienced dizziness with 50% being due to Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV).

  • Do you feel unsteady?
  • Do you lose your balance and fall?
  • Do you feel like you are falling, the room is spinning, or get dizzy when you lay down?
  • Do you like you are moving when you are standing or sitting still?
  • Do you feel light-headed?
  • Do you have blurred vision?
  • Do you ever feel disoriented, such as losing your sense of time or where you are?
  • Or if you’ve been diagnosed with BPPV, labyrinthitis, vestibular neuritis, Meniere’s syndrome, migraine-related dizziness, cervicogenic dizziness

Video provided by Advance Rehabilitation (GA)

What to Expect from Vestibular Physical Therapy?

Our goal for vestibular physical therapy patients is to decrease feelings of vertigo and dizziness, improve balance, posture control, gaze stability, overall endurance, and conditioning, and increase safety.

We use exercises that provide small, controlled, and repeated “doses” of the movements and activities that provoke dizziness to de-sensitize and fine-tune the brain. Physical therapists provide comprehensive Balance and Vestibular Rehabilitation. They perform specific treatment protocols for specific diagnoses, with a focus on alleviation of symptoms and return of function. Treatment for vestibular rehabilitation may include, but is not limited to:

  • Patient Education
  • Home Exercise Program
  • Repositioning Maneuvers
  • Habituation Exercises
  • Balance Exercises
  • Conditioning Exercises
  • Functional Activities

 

When you Go for a Vestibular Physical Therapy Visit

  • Wear comfortable clothes that allow you to move freely
  • Bring a list of your current medications, especially those prescribed for your s/s
  • You may experience dizziness or an increase in symptoms initially. If possible, have someone with you for the first couple of appointments to assist you home if needed

For more information about vestibular disorders and vertigo, please don’t hesitate to reach out to any of our highly trained teams of physical therapists nationwide. We are here and ready to help.

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Information for this post provided by Agility Spine & Sports Physical Therapy (locations throughout Tucson, AZ)

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PT News December 2020

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This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout November & December 2020. We are excited to bring you current physical therapy based posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

blood clots while traveling

1. Blood Clots: Don’t Bring Them on Your Holiday Trip

Written by The Jackson Clinics with multiple locations throughout Northern Virginia and Maryland.

The coming holidays and winter breaks mean traveling for many people. But spending more than four hours in a car, bus, train or plane leaves you at moderate risk for blood clots in your legs caused by a lack of circulation. These can sometimes break free and travel to the lungs, causing a potentially fatal pulmonary embolism. The longer you are immobile, the greater your risk of developing a blood clot.  Read more

 

Physical Therapy for Cancer Patients

2. How Physical Therapy Can Benefit Cancer Patients

Written by Wright Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy practice with multiple locations throughout Idaho. 

When faced with cancer, having the right medical and support team becomes exponentially more critical. Oncology teams skillfully lead the way in managing a myriad of symptoms and complications that arise. In conjunction with oncology teams, physical therapy is an integral part of healthcare as they help patients regain their functional strength and balance. Physical therapists are serviceable in managing edema and a multitude of other cancer-related dysfunctions in addition. Read more

 

Physical Therapy

3. Are You Missing Out on Free Physical Therapy?

Written by Momentum Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy group with locations throughout Greater San Antonio.

Have you met your annual insurance deductible? If you have, it’s a great time to come in to see your physical therapist! Many find they can access physical therapy at low or no cost after their deductible has been met. Most deductibles reset on January 1st, so NOW is the time to take advantage of your access to physical therapy.   Read more

 

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PT News November 2020

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This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout October & November 2020. We are excited to bring you current physical therapy based posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

Holiday Home Exercise Program

1. 15 Minute Holiday Home Exercise Program

Created by Mishock Physical Therapy with 7 Convenient locations throughout Montgomery, Berks, and Chester Counties.

The goal of the Mishock Physical Therapy Holiday Home Exercise program is to promote the development of the individual’s ability to become strong in fundamental movement patterns (relative maximum strength) that are critical to improving function and preventing injury. The scientifically based program trains the body’s major muscle groups by focusing on the core, upper, and lower body strength through fundamental movement patterns. Read more

 

Stretching

2. 9 Ways Stretching Can Improve your Health and Wellness

Written by Cornerstone Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy practice with multiple locations throughout Ohio. 

Is stretching part of your daily life? If not, it should be. Stretching is a great way to start your day and it comes with a wide range of benefits. Don’t know where to start? Don’t fret! Our licensed physical therapists can help you create a stretching plan that will work best for you. To find out more about how daily stretches and improve your quality of life! Read more

 

breast cancer physical therapy

3. Recovery During and After Cancer Treatment: A Therapist’s Role

Written by Rebound Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy group in Bend, OR, and surrounding areas.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and it also is National Physical Therapy Month. As a physical therapist and certified lymphedema therapist, I am very passionate about working with patients during their journey with breast cancer.   Physical therapists (and occupational therapists) play an important role in the recovery after breast cancer treatments.  These treatments can include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.  Patients can experience side effects from treatments that can impact their daily lives.  Read more

 

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post mastectomy physical therapy

Post-Mastectomy Physical Therapy

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The word cancer is a scary one. Even though we all hope that it never becomes part of our lifetime of trials, more often than not, we know someone that has had, or is currently dealing with cancer. It is a testament to the medical community that so many women are able to wear the pink ribbon as a sign of triumph and pride, but we still mourn with those that wear it as a sign of remembrance and loss. More than once, while talking with women that have begun treatment for breast cancer, the topic of whether or not to have a mastectomy has come up. It’s not a decision taken lightly, often one with multiple concerns about what happens after surgery. Will the cancer be gone for good? Will it hurt? How long will it take to recover? A physical therapy post mastectomy program can help address these issues.

Physical Therapy can’t answer all of those questions, but one thing a physical therapy post mastectomy program can do is aid in the overall recovery process by focusing on regaining strength and increasing the range of motion in your shoulder and arm. Early intervention by a physical therapist can help women regain full function following mastectomy surgery, regardless of whether or not a woman has had reconstruction. Rehabilitation is always tailored to each patient’s specific needs. Not every patient experiences the same recovery, and as such physical therapists are prepared to help patients experiencing a multitude of symptoms – some have been highlighted below.

Size, location and the type of mastectomy are important considerations when choosing a type of treatment. Exercises to maintain shoulder range of motion and arm mobility may be prescribed as early as 24 hours after surgery.  These exercises are important in restoring strength and promoting good circulation. As rehabilitation progresses these exercises may be modified to meet new goals.

After mastectomy surgery, patients may experience tightness around the surgical site. This is caused by scar tissue formation. The result can be very dense tissue under the incision, which is painful and can restrict range of motion.  The restricted range of motion puts a woman at risk for a painful condition known as frozen shoulder. Early treatment by a physical therapist can help reduce the pain and help regain functional range of motion and strength.

Numbness and/or nerve sensitivity at the surgical site can develop post-mastectomy. Manual therapy can help restore sensation and relieve nerve pain. In severe cases, a chronic condition known as post-mastectomy pain syndrome may develop.  This is caused by scar tissue impinging on nerves. Physical therapy can be very effective at releasing scar tissue and reducing this nerve related pain.

Axillary node dissection can lead to a condition known as cording or axillary web syndrome.  Cording presents as a moderate to painful tightening, which appears as “cords” emanating from the armpit and extending down the arm. Cording significantly restricts range of motion and arm function. Manual therapy and therapeutic stretching helps to resolve this condition quickly.

Radiation treatment after mastectomy surgery can exacerbate posture and range of motion problems, causing fibrosis and skin tightness. Manual therapy can remediate these issues and may prevent them from ever becoming a problem.

The Benefits of Exercise and Physical Therapy post mastectomy treatment programs can differ greatly as seen above, but there are a few benefits that all patients can benefit from:

  • Improved shoulder range of motion
  • Improved shoulder strength
  • Improved functional mobility
  • Improved posture
  • Decreased pain at the surgical site
  • Decreased edema on the affected side
  • Improved sensation at the surgical site

Meeting with a physical therapist before surgery can help you feel more at ease and more confident in your overall recovery goals. It’s never too early to ask questions! To find a physical therapy clinic near you click here.

For more information on cancer related physical therapy programs click here:

    

 

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PT News September 2020

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This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout September 2020. We are excited to bring you current physical therapy based posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

1. Virtual Total Body Fitness Workout

Created by The Center for Physical Rehabilitation with locations throughout Greater Grand Rapids, MI.

This bodyweight-only class is sure to get your heart rate up and muscles burning! With modifications available to increase or decrease the intensity, this exercise circuit is great for everyone! Not ready to resume in-person classes? No problem! Check out this Virtual Fitness Class options here! Read more

 

2. Excercise Improves Learning

Written by The Jackson Clinics, an outpatient physical therapy practice with multiple locations throughout Northern Virginia. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, e-learning platforms have quickly become how many children will learn this Fall. As a result, our kids will experience a sharp jump in their screen time. Now, more than ever, we need to help to counteract this rise in sedentary time with some good old fashioned exercise and playtime!  Read more

 

3. Minimizing Opioid Use Through Physical Therapy

Written by Wright Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical and hand therapy practice with locations throughout Southern, ID.

Chronic pain affects nearly one-third of the American population and is, more often than not, disabling. The assurance of repose can sound promising no matter which pain relief option is presented, even if the option is the introduction of habit-forming prescription medications. Despite the daunting stats, there is great news! Physical therapy (PT) is powerful as a highly recommended alternative to the use of dangerous and addictive pain medications.  Read more

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PT News August 2020

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This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout June & July 2020. We are excited to bring you current physical therapy based posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

1. Sports Periodization Can Help You Peak and Avoid Overuse Injuries

Written by Physical Therapy Plus with locations in Clinton, Hackettstown, and Washington, NJ.

As unfortunate as it is true, injuries and sports go hand in hand. An average of 8.6 million injuries in sports and recreational activities occur each year, which equates to about 34 injuries for every 1,000 individuals that participate. While some minor injuries might only lead to a short gap in participation, others can end seasons and lead to long-term complications if not rehabilitated properly.  Read more

 

sport specialization

2. Baseball Throwing Injuries

Written by Mishock Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy practice with multiple locations throughout Montgomery, Berks, and Chester Counties. 

Most states have moved away from self-quarantine and are now resuming the “new normal” with COVID-19 in our midst. From March through June, youth and adolescent sports were canceled. Sports organizations are now trying to play catch up by squeezing spring and summer sports into July and August. With this ramp-up in games, we have seen a significant increase in sports-related injuries, especially baseball throwing injuries. Two such injuries are growth plate injuries of the throwing elbow and shoulder.  Read more

 

3. Get Back In The Saddle With Help from a Hand Therapist

Written by Rebound Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical and hand therapy practice with locations throughout Bend, OR.

Reaching out your arm to brace for a fall is instinctual. It’s no surprise, then, that some of the most common mountain biking injuries are fractures of the wrist, hands, fingers, and elbows. When a bike’s front tire hits a rock or loose dirt, it can cause the rider to fly off the bike and land on an outstretched arm.  Read more

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