Rolling Towards Better Health

In between regular massage treatments, it is important to maintain your muscular health with self-massage. One great way to do that is through foam rolling. It is an inexpensive way to sustain range of motion and lengthen the muscles while increasing flexibility. The consistent practice of self-massage is one that athletes use to keep their … Continue reading “Rolling Towards Better Health”

In between regular massage treatments, it is important to maintain your muscular health with self-massage. One great way to do that is through foam rolling. It is an inexpensive way to sustain range of motion and lengthen the muscles while increasing flexibility. The consistent practice of self-massage is one that athletes use to keep their body in top form, improve their workout and dramatically decrease the risk of injury. It is something that every person should be doing to better themselves. 

Foam rolling is a technique used to achieve myofascial release. Myofascial release is when you apply a consistent force to soft tissue over an extended period of time. It helps to smooth the muscle fibers while increasing the blood circulation and nutrient flow to the affected area. The rush of fresh blood helps to break up the sedentary blood in the tissue. It provides oxygen and glycogen to fatigued muscles, rejuvenating them. 

The risk of injuring oneself is reduced through foam rolling because it helps to decrease the recovery time after a strenuous workout. It helps to break up the lactic acid that gets built up in the muscle tissue during the workout. It reduces inflammation, helps to break up scar tissue and relieve joint stress. Once the muscle fibers are smoothed out with the roller, the various muscles are able to glide past one another with less friction, lessening the likelihood to be damaged or injured. 

There are a variety of foam rollers on the market. The color of the roller will depict its firmness. The grey roller is the least dense and best designed for beginners as it allows movement between the muscles, bones and roller. The green roller has a medium firmness and provides a medium massage pressure. The black roller is a hard pressured self-massager, best for the experienced foam roller. The dimpled roller is design to achieve a deeper massage to trigger points. It is best used on the back and shoulders to get a deeper release. 

Ask your physical therapist or massage therapist which roller is best suited for you. Inquire which exercises are best for your ailments and learn the proper way to roll to get the maximum benefit.  

Tennis Elbow Vs. Golfer’s Elbow – Do You Know the Difference?

Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis), is a painful condition of the elbow caused by overuse or repetitive wrist extension activities. Wrist extension activities include: excessive typing, performing tennis backhand motion, and performing household chores such as dusting or window washing.  True tennis elbow is acute inflammation of the wrist extensor muscle tendon junction as it attaches … Continue reading “Tennis Elbow Vs. Golfer’s Elbow – Do You Know the Difference?”

Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis), is a painful condition of the elbow caused by overuse or repetitive wrist extension activities. Wrist extension activities include: excessive typing, performing tennis backhand motion, and performing household chores such as dusting or window washing.  True tennis elbow is acute inflammation of the wrist extensor muscle tendon junction as it attaches to the bone. The tendon becomes damage from overuse and leads to pain with active wrist and elbow movements. This pathology can turn into a chronic condition known as Lateral Epicondylosis which degeneration of the tendon without the natural inflammatory process.  This can lead to thickening and scarring of the tendon causing it to break down.

Golfer’s Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis), is a painful condition of the elbow caused by repetitive wrist flexion activities or gripping activities.  Similar to Tennis Elbow, there is localized acute inflammation of the common wrist flexor tendon as it attaches to medial epicondyle of the elbow. Activities of daily living that can increase symptoms are: shaking hands, turning a doorknob, or lifting weights.

Both conditions can get worse without proper treatment or if ignored can turn into a chronic pathology. Physical therapy is proven to be able to successfully treat these two pathologies and allow for return to normal activities much quicker and prevent them from returning.

Stay tuned for our video showing various stretches and exercises to prevent and heal tennis and golfer’s elbow.

#ChoosePT – Help End Opioid Addiction by Choosing Physical Therapy

We at Innovative Physical Therapy along with the APTA (American Physical Therapy Association) want to spread the word and raise awareness of physical therapy as a safe and effective alternative to opioids for the treatment of chronic pain conditions. Learn more about the #ChoosePT initiative at www.moveforwardpt.com    

We at Innovative Physical Therapy along with the APTA (American Physical Therapy Association) want to spread the word and raise awareness of physical therapy as a safe and effective alternative to opioids for the treatment of chronic pain conditions. Learn more about the #ChoosePT initiative at www.moveforwardpt.com

 

 

Osteoporosis – All About Them Bones!

Osteoporosis literally means “porous bone.” Bones that were once strong become weak, brittle and susceptible to fractures.  It is a silent disease because there are no symptoms. Breaking a bone is often the first indication of osteoporosis. An estimated 54 million people suffer from low bone mineral density or osteoporosis. Our bones are a living … Continue reading “Osteoporosis – All About Them Bones!”

Osteoporosis literally means “porous bone.” Bones that were once strong become weak, brittle and susceptible to fractures.  It is a silent disease because there are no symptoms. Breaking a bone is often the first indication of osteoporosis. An estimated 54 million people suffer from low bone mineral density or osteoporosis.

Our bones are a living tissue and in a constant state of remodeling. With this remodeling, there is a level of bone breaking down and new bone being made. A person’s bone mass reaches its peak in his/her late 20’s.  Osteoporosis occurs when the loss of bone is greater than the creation of new bone.

There are a number of factors that can increase the likelihood of developing osteoporosis. Some of these risk factors are out of your control including:

  • Age, older > risk
  • Sex, female > male
  • Race, white or Asian descent > all others
  • Family History
  • Body Frame Size, smaller frame size > risk
  • Medical Conditions including diabetes, autoimmune disorders, hyperthyroidism
  • Medications including steroids, acid reflux meds

Risk factors that place you at risk and can be controlled include:

  • Cigarette Smoking
  • Excessive Alcohol Consumption
  • Poor Diet low in calcium
  • Sedentary Lifestyle

The first step in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis is determining if there is significant bone loss.  Your physician may recommend a non-invasive bone density test, DEXA scan. This test measures the strength and thickness of your bones. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends a DEXA scan for any woman 65 years old or older and any younger woman with a history of a fracture.

If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, lifestyle changes may be necessary to improve bone density and prevent fractures. Weight bearing exercises and performing correct body mechanics are just two factors that may need to be addressed. Your physical therapist would be a valuable resource to help educate you on appropriate exercises, body mechanics and ergonomics, and balance activities to improve bone density and prevent falls and fractures.

For further information please check out the National Osteoporosis Foundation website, www.nof.org.

 

How to Keep Your Balance with Dynamic Balance Exercises

Dr. Brandon Brym, DPT takes us through some dynamic balance exercises. Dynamic balance is defined as the ability to move the body outside of its base of support or the act of maintaining postural control while moving. This should be a consistent part of your exercise routine.

Dr. Brandon Brym, DPT takes us through some dynamic balance exercises. Dynamic balance is defined as the ability to move the body outside of its base of support or the act of maintaining postural control while moving. This should be a consistent part of your exercise routine.

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.