Tag Archives: Sports injuries

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

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.

Avoid common baseball injuries

10 Ways To Avoid Common Baseball Injuries

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Avoid common baseball injuries

According to an article published by the Journal of Athletic Training, youth baseball players reported throwing-arm pain 74% of the time. They also reported that UCL reconstructions between 2003 and 2014 increased 343%, with 56.6% in those aged 15 to 19 years. With the increase injuries related to the pitching athlete, we wanted to take a minute and focus on what you can do to help prevent common baseball injuries from happening to your athlete.

WHAT ARE COMMON BASEBALL INJURIES?

  • The most common baseball injuries include mild soft tissue injuries, such as muscle pulls (strains), ligament injuries (sprains), cuts, and contusions (bruises).
  • Although baseball is a non-contact sport, most serious injuries are due to contact — either with a ball, bat, or another player.
  • The repetitive nature of the sport can also cause overuse injuries to the shoulder and elbow.

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WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PREPARE FOR THE SEASON?

  • Physical exam. A pre-season physical exam is important for both younger and older players. The goal is to prevent injuries and illnesses by identifying any potential medical problems. These may include asthma, allergies, heart, or orthopedic conditions.
    Warm-up and stretch. Always take time to warm up and stretch.
  • Warm-up with some easy calisthenics, such as jumping jacks. Continue with walking or light running, such as running the bases.
  • Gentle stretching, in particular your back, hamstrings, and shoulders, can be helpful. Your team coach or athletic trainer may provide a stretching program.

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10 WAYS TO AVOID COMMON BASEBALL INJURIES

ASMI GUIDELINES TO HELP PROTECT PITCHERS FROM SHOULDER AND ELBOW INJURIES:

Pitching

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1. Don’t throw too much:
Daily, weekly and annual overuse is the greatest risk to a pitcher’s arm health. Numerous studies have shown that pitchers who throw more pitches per game and those who do not adequately rest between appearances are at an elevated risk of injury. While medical research does not identify optimal pitch counts, pitch count programs have been shown to reduce the risk of shoulder and elbow injury in Little League Baseball by as much as 50% (Little League, 2011). The most important thing is to set limits for a pitcher and stick with them throughout the season.

2. Don’t pitch through arm fatigue:
Individuals are 36 times more likely to develop shoulder and elbow injuries when routinely pitching with arm fatigue.

3. Don’t pitch more than 100 innings per year:
If an athlete throws over 100 innings they are 3.5 times more likely to be injured than those who did not exceed 100 innings pitched.

4. Don’t throw more than 8 months per year:
Athletes who throw > 8 months per year are 5 times as likely to suffer an injury requiring surgery of the elbow or shoulder. Pitchers should refrain from throwing for at least 2-3 months per year and avoid competitive pitching for at least 4 months per year.

5. Don’t pitch on consecutive days:
Pitchers who pitch on consecutive days have more than 2.5 times greater risk of experiencing arm pain.

6. Don’t play catcher following pitching:
If the player catches the following pitching they are 2.7 times more likely to suffer a major arm injury.

7. Don’t play on multiple teams at the same time:
There is an increased risk of injury due to the difficulty in monitoring pitch limits and rest time. If the player is on multiple teams, make meticulous efforts to keep track of the number of pitches thrown to allow adequate rest.

8. Don’t forget the shoulder in strength and conditioning programs:
Numerous studies have shown that deficits in upper extremity strength and mobility are strongly correlated to serious arm injuries. Shoulder and forearm strengthening exercises can build strength, endurance and motor control which can prevent injury.

9. Be cautious with throwing curveballs and sliders:
While existing research has not consistently shown a strong connection between the curveball and injuries, Yang et al., found that amateur pitchers who threw curveballs were 1.6 times more likely to experience arm pain while pitching and Lyman et al, found that youth pitchers who throw sliders are 86% more likely to experience elbow pain.

10. Be cautious with the radar gun:
Radar guns do not directly cause harm to a pitcher, however, the gun may cause the pitcher to throw beyond their normal comfort level. This could create an arm strain.

Don’t redshirt this season. Physical therapists can work with athletes to make sure certain muscle groups can accommodate the strain and movements necessary to perform well in your sport. Be proactive and work towards a great season with PT!

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athletic trainer

Who is an Athletic Trainer?

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Athletic trainers hold at least a four year degree from a BOC (Board of Certification) accredited institution. They are licensed, certified health professionals working with athletes on and off the field. Generally they are the first responders when injuries occur during sporting events.

Athletic trainers work closely with coaches and parents and will refer athletes to other health care professionals such as physicians, physical therapists and surgeons when needed.

Athletic trainers hours are determined by sports schedules. Typically they are available after school and stay until sporting events have concluded.

IN THE TRAINING ROOM ATHLETIC TRAINERS

  • Prepare athletes for competition by taking preventative measures such as equipment fitting, taping and bracing
  • Assess athletes with acute and chronic injuries to determine their participation status
  • Perform sport-specific rehabilitation on injured athletes
  • Provide opportunities for strengthening and conditioning
  • Work with sports staff on proper warm up, game day preparation and on/off season conditioning
  • Educate athletes, coaches and parents on sports medicine strategies, nutrition and sports psychology

running back

DURING THE GAME ATHLETIC TRAINERS

  • Support athletes during sporting events
  • Manage any type of musculoskeletal issues including:
  • Shoulder, hip, knee, elbow, hand and ankle injuries
  • Facial injuries
  • Neck and back injuries, spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries like concussions
  • Triage and wound care
  • Heat-related illnesses
  • Fractures and dislocations
  • Catastrophic injuries

This information was written by the Center for Physical Rehabilitation, an outpatient physical therapy group with five locations in Western Michigan. The Center specializes in all inclusive physical therapy services, such as: Sports Medicine, Orthopedic Post-Surgical and McKenzie Therapy. Our state-of-the-art facilities are conveniently located around Grand Rapids with extended hours. Independent and locally owned since 1994, we have the freedom to work with the most qualified healthcare professionals. For more information 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

March is Athletic Training Month!

ATHLETIC TRAINERS (ATCs) 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.

Athletic Trainers Provide 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 are 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.

Looking for help with an injury? Don’t go back on the field too soon. Our licensed physical therapists can get your athlete back in the game safely. 

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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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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.

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.