ABCDE… Of Sun Cancer Prevention

With summer coming to an end, we thought it would be beneficial to go over some basic information regrading skin cancer prevention and early detection. With an increase in outdoor activity comes an increased risk of skin cancer. Skin cancer is by far the most common type of cancer in the United States and in … Continue reading “ABCDE… Of Sun Cancer Prevention”

With summer coming to an end, we thought it would be beneficial to go over some basic information regrading skin cancer prevention and early detection. With an increase in outdoor activity comes an increased risk of skin cancer. Skin cancer is by far the most common type of cancer in the United States and in fact more episodes of skin cancer are diagnosed than all other cancers combined!!! The number of skin cancer cases continue to go up in the United States. 

Skin Cancer is most often caused by excessive exposure to Ultraviolet rays. Most exposure comes from the sun but there are also man-made sources of UV light, such as tanning beds and sun lamps.  Early detection of skin cancer is key, as most forms of skin cancer are easily treatable if caught early.

Good news is you only need your eyes and a mirror to detect changes in your skin. Here is an easy way to remember what to look for by using the ABCDE’S of skin changes. 

A – Asymmetry – One half of the mole doesn’t look like the other half

B – Border – Irregular border

C – Color – Different color than normal

D – Diameter – An increase in Size of mole or mark 

E – Evolving – If a mole becomes elevated, increase in size or color change

S – Symmetry  – If one side of the mole looks different than the other side

You don’t have to wait to see your dermatologist to have your skin checked out, being proactive and constantly monitoring your skin can be very important to your health. If you notice any changes in your skin or moles immediately get in to see your dermatologist. We hope you had a safe and healthy summer, always wear sunblock and protective clothing when outdoors!!!

Do You Know What it Takes to Remain Upright and Steady?

Balance is the interaction of three systems: the visual, vestibular, and the proprioceptive system. Visual System – Your eyes play a significant role in balance. Giving you a picture of where you are in relation to things surrounding you. There are sensory receptors in your retina called rods and cones. Rods help vision in low … Continue reading “Do You Know What it Takes to Remain Upright and Steady?”

Balance is the interaction of three systems: the visual, vestibular, and the proprioceptive system.

Visual System – Your eyes play a significant role in balance. Giving you a picture of where you are in relation to things surrounding you. There are sensory receptors in your retina called rods and cones. Rods help vision in low light situations and cones help with color. These are associated with balance because when light hits the rods and cones, impulses are sent to your brain that give you cues on how you are oriented relative to objects around you.

Vestibular System – An organ located in the inner ear, is responsible for maintaining general equilibrium. The receptors in the vestibular system provide information that lets you sense forward and backward, as well as upward and downward movement and to detect rotation of the head while keeping the eyes still. The vestibular system has direct control over the eyes so they can directly compensate for head movements. This is what connects the visual and vestibular systems together, about 20% of the nerve fibers in the eyes interact with the vestibular system.

Proprioceptive System – Muscles and joints. Proprioception is the process where the body can change muscle contraction in direct response to information regarding external forces, giving it the ability to sense the orientation of your body in your environment. A best example is how we can tell that an arm is raised above our head, even when our eyes are closed. Stretch receptors in your muscles keep track of your joint positions in your body.

These three systems that create your balance all work together to keep you mobile and functioning. Continuing to strengthen these systems can prevent injury and fall risk.

 

Test your balance today with your IPT therapist and see where you stand! (pun intended!). Ask about our balance test and receive balance exercises and tips to improve your overall balance health!

Studies have shown that if health care providers deliver screenings for fall risk that as many as 45,000 fewer falls can occur and over $442 million in expenses for said falls would drop.

In our Video Newsletter this month we will show you exercises for balance and how you can decrease your fall risk.

The Importance of Strength Training

Over the years much has been documented about the importance of cardiovascular fitness. Until recently, however, little attention has been given to strength training, which is a very important component to a balanced fitness program. The misconception is that strength training will “bulk” you up and lead to decreased flexibility, this is simply not true. … Continue reading “The Importance of Strength Training”

Over the years much has been documented about the importance of cardiovascular fitness. Until recently, however, little attention has been given to strength training, which is a very important component to a balanced fitness program. The misconception is that strength training will “bulk” you up and lead to decreased flexibility, this is simply not true. Yes, one can train for muscle hypertrophy, or increased muscle mass, however that is only if you train that way. Given the correct program designed to reach your personal goals, strength training has many benefits to your overall physical and mental health such as:

  • Increased strength of bones, muscles, and connective tissues (tendons and ligaments), which can decrease risk for injury, decrease risk for developing certain diseases (osteoporosis), and improve overall function.
  • Increased muscle mass, again not necessarily bulking up. Most adults lose approximately ½ pound of muscle per year after the age of 20. This is largely due to decreased activity levels. Lean muscle mass is a big component of metabolism, the more lean muscle we have the higher our Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) that directly correlates with number of calories burned throughout the day regardless of activity levels. As muscle mass increases, RMR increases, making it easier to maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Enhanced quality of life. As strength increases, the effort required to perform daily tasks will be less taxing on your body. Additionally, strength training can improve sleep quality, decrease stress levels, and improve body image.

These are just a few of the benefits of strength training and why it is important that you add resistance training to your exercise routine. Some good basic starting exercises can be found in the box below. Aim for 8-12 repetitions per set, with 2-3 sets as a starting goal per exercise. The 12th repetition should be difficult, but without compensating. Try to add strength training 2-3x a week, allow for at least one rest day in between especially if you are inexperienced or getting back into it. Alternate muscle groups, legs one day and upper body the next time. Remember to breathe and have fun.

Exercise Muscle Group
Leg Press Quadriceps, Gluteals
Leg Curl Hamstrings
Chest Press Pectorals
Pull Down Latissimus Dorsi
Lateral Raise Deltoid
Triceps Press Triceps
Biceps Curl Biceps
Sit up Abdominals
Heel Raise Gastrocnemius/Soleus

 

Run Forrest Run!

Running 101 – A Beginner’s Guide Running it seems simple enough right? Stand up, move your legs and just go as far as you can. WRONG! While it looks easy, running involves preparation that requires gradual mileage advancement to safely become a healthy runner. Running Prep: 1. Plan a Running Schedule – It will not be enough if you only run … Continue reading “Run Forrest Run!”

Running 101 – A Beginner’s Guide

Running it seems simple enough right? Stand up, move your legs and just go as far as you can. WRONG!

While it looks easy, running involves preparation that requires gradual mileage advancement to safely become a healthy runner.

Running Prep:

1. Plan a Running ScheduleIt will not be enough if you only run once a week if you are really trying to get into it.  Twenty minutes, 3 times a week is recommended.

2. Think about minutes, NOT miles – do not focus on the miles when starting out, focus on the length of time you run and intermittently plan longer slower runs and shorter quicker runs to progress your speed and power.

3. Invest in the right pair of shoes – this is one of the most, if not the most, important prep step. Go to your nearest sports store or running shoe store and get properly fitted for a pair of running shoes. Make sure to walk around in them before you buy to get the right fit. If needed ask your Physical Therapist for recommendations on types of running shoes and on custom or over the counter sole inserts for additional comfort.

4. Invest in appropriate workout gear – moisture-wicking fabric for tops and bottoms will keep you cooler and drier as your running increases.

5. Perfect your form – proper form is vital in running to prevent injury. keep your head straight, hands relaxed, shoulders back, hips stable, lean forward, don’t lift your knees too high, aim for a mid-foot strike and light steps, breathe deeply (inhale through nose and exhale out your mouth)

 

Healthy Ways to Incorporate Running into Your Exercise Routine

As mentioned above, running burns about 100 calories per mile. If losing weight is your top priority, then running is a great cardio calorie burning activity to add to your routine.

Take your time easing into the sport. Your legs will be sore, if you feel acute pain anywhere, stop running for a few days and let your legs recover. This will help to prevent injuries. As Physical therapists we recommend Foam Rolling before and after each run – purchase a foam roller from us next time you visit!

Learn the difference between soreness and fatigue. This is a major factor in building your running routine. Your Physical Therapist can help explain the difference.

Cross-training can help. Swimming, biking or total body workouts are great activities that will not wear out your running muscles.

STRETCH! Pre and post run stretching is important for overall skeletal health. Warm up your muscles with some easy hamstring/calf/quad/hip stretches and finish off any run with stretching to break up any tightness that may occur after your run.

Here are some great key exercises we at IPT recommend when running:

Use a Foam Roller – pre and post run this is great to do on your calves and quads. Purchase a foam roller from us during your next visit! 

Use a lacrosse ball or similar type of ball for IT band discomfort– The TFL (tensor fascia latae) is the muscle attached to your IT band which is really where the discomfort lies. Using a lacrosse ball you can dig into the muscle and release the tension

Stretch your Hip Flexors with Lunges– This is where a lot of tension lies for runners. Your hip flexors act as a rubber band to spring your legs forward and back. Doing front, side and rotating lunges will warm up your hip flexors and legs and mobility

Squat – doing squats will work your quads, glutes and hamstrings. This will build a strong foundation for your running

The American Physical Therapy Association has a great guidebook on training, racing and building a strong running regime, written and approved by Physical Therapists worldwide. For more information on running and some helpful tips/tricks read  HERE and reach out to your local Physical Therapist.

Sciatica, Radiating Pain and Neural Tension

If you’ve ever experienced radiating pain down the back of your leg you’ve probably been told you have “Sciatica”. Sciatica is a gross term referring to irritation along the sciatic nerve typically felt in the buttock, down the back of the leg, and possibly the foot. Radiating pain down the back of the leg can … Continue reading “Sciatica, Radiating Pain and Neural Tension”

If you’ve ever experienced radiating pain down the back of your leg you’ve probably been told you have “Sciatica”. Sciatica is a gross term referring to irritation along the sciatic nerve typically felt in the buttock, down the back of the leg, and possibly the foot. Radiating pain down the back of the leg can come from many different sources such as a herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, and spinal stenosis.

Another possible impairment that can cause radiating pain down the back of the leg is neural tension. Neural tension is described as abnormal physiological and mechanical responses created by the nervous system components, when their normal range of motion and stretch capabilities are tested.

Nerves can be stretched! Believe it or not nerves can be stretched but should be done so in an appropriate fashion. Holding a neural stretch like a muscle stretch for a prolonged period of time can end up increasing symptoms and you should consult your physical therapist before performing these neural glides.

Do You Suffer from Thumb Pain?

We use our thumbs for almost all daily activities, including gripping, grasping, pulling, and pushing.  It is no wonder why there are so many people that suffer from pain in their thumb(s).  The thumb joint is one of the most mobile joints in our body.  Because of this mobility there is potentially an increase in … Continue reading “Do You Suffer from Thumb Pain?”

We use our thumbs for almost all daily activities, including gripping, grasping, pulling, and pushing.  It is no wonder why there are so many people that suffer from pain in their thumb(s). 

The thumb joint is one of the most mobile joints in our body.  Because of this mobility there is potentially an increase in stress on the joint and connective tissues.

Where does this pain come from? Pain can come from inflammation of the connective tissues called tendons and ligaments, and/or from the joint itself.  Overuse of the thumb can cause wear and tear of the articular cartilage of the joint.  It can also cause inflammation of the tendons.  Ligament problems usually occur when there is trauma to the thumb joint.

The following is a list of diagnoses given for thumb pain with their symptoms:

Thumb Sprain – “Jammed thumb”

  • Injury to the ligaments of the thumb.  The ligaments connect the bones at the base of the thumb.
  • Symptoms- thumb pain, joint stiffness, muscle soreness

De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

  • Inflammation of the tendon on the thumb side of the wrist
  • Symptoms – thumb pain, wrist pain, swelling, pain with grasping, pain with making a fist

Trigger Finger

  • Inflammation of a tendon causing the thumb to get stuck in a bent position and then snap to straighten
  • Symptoms – thumb pain, stiffness, feeling a lump

Carpel Tunnel Syndrome

  • The median nerve gets compressed at the wrist between the transverse ligament and the carpal bones.
  • Symptoms – thumb pain, numbness, tingling   index and middle finger pain, numbness, tingling

Osteoarthritis of the Thumb Joint

  • Wearing of the cartilage at the joint, located at the base of the thumb.  The joint is called the carpometacarpal joint.
  • Symptoms – swelling, pain, stiffness, decreased strength with gripping, pinching

 

What do you do if you have pain?  Conservative treatment is the most effective means of treating the thumb.  Resting the thumb and avoiding aggravating activities is important to begin the healing process.  Wearing a thumb spica splint can be very beneficial.  Taking anti-inflammatory medication (if approved by your MD), and icing can help to decrease the swelling and inflammation.  Working with a physical therapist can help to expedite the recovery. A physical therapy evaluation can help to determine where your pain is coming from.  Use of modalities to decrease inflammation, mobilization techniques to increase range of motion, and strengthening exercises are all tools used to help restore function and get you back “on your game.”

Why Medical Massage Therapy May Be What You’re Searching For

For years massage was seen as a luxury; something you would do to “treat yourself” and only to be had on special occasions. Now, more than ever, medical experts have agreed that massage therapy has many more benefits other than just to get you to finally relax. A few benefits of medial massage include: – … Continue reading “Why Medical Massage Therapy May Be What You’re Searching For”

For years massage was seen as a luxury; something you would do to “treat yourself” and only to be had on special occasions. Now, more than ever, medical experts have agreed that massage therapy has many more benefits other than just to get you to finally relax.

A few benefits of medial massage include:

– Chronic pain relief

– Quicker recovery to injuries and auto accidents

– Stress relief

– Increased circulation

– Increased range of motion

– Decreased insomnia

– Decreased anxiety

– Decreases poor posture

A medical massage differs from a relaxation massage because the therapist uses a problem solving approach to reach the shared goal between the client and therapist to structurally change the body within to relieve pain. The massage is approached with the deep intent of improving conditions and achieving functional outcomes. In medical massage, it is necessary to receive multiple sessions to attain real results. That is why it is important to work with the same therapist as much as possible. Your therapist will get to know you, your background, and your body. They will know what modalities work best for you as an individual and be able to customize the massage so that you may get the maximum benefit from each session.

A unique advantage that Innovative Physical Therapy provides is having a massage therapist in house. With Nationally Certified Massage Therapist, Alissa Haight in the office, patients are able to continue muscular treatment after they are discharged from physical therapy. Many patients use massage as a way to maintain their recovery so they don’t relapse.   Patients may also couple it with their treatment to quicken their recovery time. The therapists are able to communicate with each other to come up with the most effective treatment plan.

A medical massage at Innovative Physical Therapy is not limited to patients. It is open to anyone seeking a quality massage that can change their life for the better. Please speak with our front desk or ask for Alissa Haight for more information.

Healing Times

Dr. Jared Brown, DPT, takes us through some healing times for various muscle, ligament and tendon injuries.

Dr. Jared Brown, DPT, takes us through some healing times for various muscle, ligament and tendon injuries.

When Lower Back Pain Turns Into A Herniated Disc

Herniated Disc – MRI Findings and Low Back Pain So you’ve been recently diagnosed with a herniated disc, bulging disc, or disc protrusion. That’s okay! First off herniated discs are commonly treated with conservative approach of physical therapy, corrective exercise and activity modification. Also is the herniated disc causing your pain or is it due … Continue reading “When Lower Back Pain Turns Into A Herniated Disc”

Herniated Disc – MRI Findings and Low Back Pain

So you’ve been recently diagnosed with a herniated disc, bulging disc, or disc protrusion. That’s okay! First off herniated discs are commonly treated with conservative approach of physical therapy, corrective exercise and activity modification. Also is the herniated disc causing your pain or is it due to another impairment or movement limitation? In a study done by Brinjikji et. Al it was shown that 3,110 people ranging from 20-80 years of age had a herniated disc but none of them reported having low back pain! Some of us right now could be walking around with a herniated disc and not experience any symptoms what so ever. It is important to be evaluated for movement impairments if you are experiencing low back pain to isolate the cause of your symptoms.

Patient Inspiration: Carrie Miller

  From Carrie Miller to Dr. Jared Brown, DPT on April 17th: ” Jared! I made it! I’ve run 32 marathons and that was the most insane weather I’ve ever run in! 30mph winds in our face the whole way and upper 30s and constant downpour of rain. I felt pretty good though! I just … Continue reading “Patient Inspiration: Carrie Miller”

 

From Carrie Miller to Dr. Jared Brown, DPT on April 17th:

” Jared! I made it! I’ve run 32 marathons and that was the most insane weather I’ve ever run in! 30mph winds in our face the whole way and upper 30s and constant downpour of rain. I felt pretty good though! I just ran by feel and went with it. My mantra was “overcome”. I stayed positive and ran with a poncho for 24 miles! I qualified for next years Boston by nearly 10 minutes and did better than expected. Shoulder is doing ok too! Now onto the London marathon on Sunday!!  “

Dr. Jared Brown, DPT’s patient Carrie Miller has been keeping busy running 32 marathons! She most recently qualified for the Boston Marathon by 10 minutes and did better than she anticipated. With 30mph winds in the upper 30s and constant downpour of rain, Carrie persevered and came out on top.

Carrie was post op RTC (return to clinic) repair on her shoulder. She was unable to actively lift and with the help of Dr. Jared Brown, DPT and the Innovative Physical Therapy team, Carrie got her shoulder back to full range of motion and could run again. Congratulations Carrie, IPT is beyond proud of you and your accomplishments.

  

Not only is Carrie an avid endurance runner, she is also a coach! Carrie holds two certifications — she is USA Track and Field (USATF) Level 1 certified by the National Council of Accreditation of Coaching Education as well as certified by the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA). Learn more about Carrie, her life and coaching at http://www.onpacecoaching.com/