Your Smartphone Could Be Rapidly Aging Your Spine

Millions of Americans are frequent smartphone, tablet, Kindle, and computer users and can spend hours on end looking down at their devices which can result in a rounded shoulder and forward head posture. Spending excessive time in dysfunctional postures as well as lack of exercise, stretching, and postural stabilization can lead to increased flexion of … Continue reading “Your Smartphone Could Be Rapidly Aging Your Spine”

Millions of Americans are frequent smartphone, tablet, Kindle, and computer users and can spend hours on end looking down at their devices which can result in a rounded shoulder and forward head posture. Spending excessive time in dysfunctional postures as well as lack of exercise, stretching, and postural stabilization can lead to increased flexion of our lower cervical vertebrae and the upper thoracic vertebra, increased “flattening” of our upper cervical vertebrae, and tightness in the muscles at the base of our skulls. This posture, along with rounded shoulders, can result in face, jaw, or skull pain, headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain, disc degeneration, and overall stiffness of our neck and shoulder muscles. Weakness in our back musculature, elevating your head to high while sleeping, and prolonged periods of time reading can also contribute to forward head posture. This modern-day phenomenon is widely known as “text neck”.

So, what exactly is “text neck” and what are these contemporary conveniences doing to our bodies?Image result for text neck image"Symptoms of text neck: 

  • Headaches, due to tightness or tension in the muscles attaching to the skull (suboccipitals) 
  • Upper crossed syndrome- tightness of the upper trapezius, levator scapula, pectoralis major and minor along with weakness of the deep neck flexors, middle, and lower trapezius. 
  • Stiffness and or pain in the neck 
  • Possible disc compression or narrowing of the spine 
  • Changing of the structure and shape of the cervical or thoracic spine. 
  • Decreased lung capacity 

A surgeon-led study that published in Surgical Technology International assessed what impact surgeons’ head and neck posture during surgery—a posture similar to that of smart-phone texters—has on their cervical spines. With each degree that our heads flex forward (as we stare at a screen below eye level), the strain on our spines dramatically increases. When an adult head (that weighs 10 to 12 pounds in the neutral position) tilts forward at 30 degrees, the weight seen by the spine climbs to a staggering 40 pounds, according to the study. 

How prevalent of a problem is this?

According to the study, the average person spends 14 to 28 hours each week with their heads tilted over a laptop, smartphone or similar device. Over the course of a year, that adds up to 700 to 1400 hours of strain and stress on our spines. As a result, the number of people dealing with headaches, achy necks and shoulders and other associated pain has skyrocketed.  

What to do to combat this issue?

Ergonomic work desks placed at the appropriate heights and angles can greatly reduce our tendency to adopt this maladaptive forward head posture as well using the correct number of pillows while sleeping. 

Reducing time on our smart devices to less than 1 hour and taking breaks every 30 minutes while completing computer work or reading are great ways to reduce excessive time looking down. Performing exercises that lengthen commonly affected and shortened muscles such as our upper trapezius, neck muscles, and pectorals will help to alleviate tension and soreness in the head and neck. Finally, performing activities that reinforce proper postural alignment such as chin tucks and scapular stabilizer strengthening are key tools to improve upper quarter endurance and reduce forward head/rounded shoulder posture. 

Over time, this type of poor posture can have a cumulative effect, leading to spine degeneration, pinched nerves and muscle strains. Scheduling an appointment with a physical therapist can help people learn how to interact with their devices without harming their spines. The PT will prescribe an at-home program that includes strategies and exercises that focus on preserving the spine and preventing long term damage.

For more information please contact Innovative Physical Therapy at 619-260-0750 to speak with one of our therapists today!

Research from:

T oh SH, Coenen P, Howie EK, Straker LM. The associations of mobile touch screen device use with musculoskeletal symptoms and exposures: a systematic review. PLoS One 2017; 12(8): e0181220. Accessed 18 July 2019.

Jump up↑ Sharan D, Mohandoss M, Ranganathan R, Jose J. Musculoskeletal disorders of upper extremities due to extensive usage of hand held devices. Annals of Ann Occup Environ Med. 2014; 26(22). Accessed 18 July 2019.

Jump up↑ Kwon JW, Son SM, Lee NK. Changes in upper-extremity muscle activities due to head position in subjects with a forward head posture and rounded shoulders. J Phys Ther Sci. 2015. 27; 6:1739–1742. Accessed 18 July 2019.

https://ppsapta.org/userfiles/File/APTA

 

 

Pilates & Prosecco at Innovative Physical Therapy!

Join IPT for a 55 minutes Mat Pilates class followed by a glass of prosecco and lite bites! Get to know our team and see our fitness gym! $20 Reserve your spot here: https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/classic/ws?studioid=495648&stype=-8&sView=day&sLoc=1

Join IPT for a 55 minutes Mat Pilates class followed by a glass of prosecco and lite bites! Get to know our team and see our fitness gym!

$20 Reserve your spot here:

https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/classic/ws?studioid=495648&stype=-8&sView=day&sLoc=1

Yearly Physical Therapy Visits are Just as Important as Any other Health Check Up

You know the drill: During your annual visit, your primary care physician will order a cholesterol test. Combined with an assessment of health measures such as diet and exercise, the results of the cholesterol test will provide your physician with the information she needs to make a recommendation. If the results are positive, you might … Continue reading “Yearly Physical Therapy Visits are Just as Important as Any other Health Check Up”

You know the drill: During your annual visit, your primary care physician will order a cholesterol test. Combined with an assessment of health measures such as diet and exercise, the results of the cholesterol test will provide your physician with the information she needs to make a recommendation. If the results are positive, you might hear: “You’re doing great, keep doing what you’ve been doing!” If the results are unfavorable, then you’re more likely to be told: “I’d like you to walk for 20 additional minutes each day and eat cholesterol-lowering foods like oatmeal.”

Over time, high cholesterol can cause fatty deposits to form in your arteries, putting you in a high-risk category for heart disease and stroke. Similarly, the cumulative effects of poor posture or a muscular imbalance, for example, can take a toll on your body and inhibit your ability to move properly. That’s where a physical therapist comes in: Annual PT “checkups” can catch the musculoskeletal problems that put you at risk for injury or limit your ability to function down the line.

One of the best tools in a PT’s prevention arsenal is the movement screen. By analyzing your fundamental movements with a movement screen developed for their own practice or one that requires certification such as the Functional Movement Screen (FMS™), PTs can get a clear picture of what the future will bring for you. Based on the information gathered, a physical therapist can help you safely reach your fitness goals and teach preventive strategies that can be incorporated into your daily life.

Of course, it’s best to schedule your checkup before you’re experiencing a problem. That way, your physical therapist can establish a baseline based on your functional level at that time and use it to identify changes during subsequent annual visits. The effects of poor posture or a muscular imbalance may not be immediately apparent to you, but they will be to your PT. An annual “checkup” gives your PT an inside look at your musculoskeletal system, which is comprised of your muscles, bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, joints and other connective tissues. It’s important that these essential internal structures are working together to support, stabilize and move your body.

Just as taking an annual trek to the primary care physician helps to monitor your cholesterol levels—and prevent heart disease—yearly physical therapy appointments allow your PT to identify and address any changes in the way you move before they become something more.

For more information regarding physical therapy or to book your Physical Therapy “checkup” call the clinic at 619-260-0750.

Resources: https://ppsapta.org

2020 Health Check

We highly recommend adding a trip to your physical therapist to your annual healthcare rounds this year to: Decrease your risk of injury Improve your overall health Live an active life Decrease daily aches and pains To feel good as your go through your daily routines Much like getting a physical and checking your overall … Continue reading “2020 Health Check”

We highly recommend adding a trip to your physical therapist to your annual healthcare rounds this year to:

  • Decrease your risk of injury
  • Improve your overall health
  • Live an active life
  • Decrease daily aches and pains
  • To feel good as your go through your daily routinesImage result for physical therapy benefits

Much like getting a physical and checking your overall health from your primary doctor, a physical therapist can address the specific needs of your musculoskeletal system, which is comprised of your muscles, bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, joints and other connective tissues.

A musculoskeletal evaluation can ensure that these essential internal structures are working together to support, stabilize and move your body.

But why would I see a physical therapist if I am not currently injured?

Most people assume physical therapy is for those with current injuries or post-surgery. Physical therapy can help prevent future injury and help decrease pain that you may not consider chronic but could be avoided.

Maybe you’re an athlete, being sidelined by an injury can ruin a season, match, game, race etc. Maybe you’re an active weekend warrior – hiking, rock climbing, cycling. Being active opens up the possibility of injury if you are not careful and take care of your body. Don’t miss out on what drives you because of pain. Maybe you’re a middle-aged adult who wants to maintain good balance,  be active and keep up with your kids and grandkids.

No matter what stage you are in life, everyone can benefit from a physical therapy check up to learn about our bodies and become educated on how to strengthen and maintain a healthy and pain free body.

What Happens During the Evaluation?

During your annual Physical Therapy Check-up at Innovative Physical Therapy your physical therapist will review your medical history and perform a series of tests to check your strength and ability to coordinate and move your body from head to toe.

Knee pain San Diego

Your strength, flexibility, mobility, balance and overall function will be tracked from year to year. Just like with your physician, your physical therapist will pay special attention to any problems or concerns you are having. Often, patients have small complaints which can be easily solved with a bit of advice and home exercises recommended by your physical therapist at the check up!

Based on the information gathered, the PT is equipped to design an individualized program to prevent injuries and will capture an overall picture of your musculoskeletal health that can be compared from year to year.

Start your year off right and give your body the physical check-in it needs!

With the help of your physical therapist, you can move better, feel better, save money and prevent injuries!

Please call to schedule your annual physical therapy checkup today to receive a discounted price of $75 for a musculoskeletal evaluation for 30 min (normally $120).

Innovative Physical Therapy, “Solutions in Motion”

619-260-0750

info@innovativept.net

Pain Science – How Pain Affects Us

Dr. Justin LaLonde PT, DPT continues his expertise on pain with a video talking about adjusting our state of mind in which pain and stress levels affect us. Learn misconceptions and truths about pain and the science behind it. video by : Justin LaLonde PT, DPT @ Innovative Physical Therapy

Dr. Justin LaLonde PT, DPT continues his expertise on pain with a video talking about adjusting our state of mind in which pain and stress levels affect us. Learn misconceptions and truths about pain and the science behind it.

video by : Justin LaLonde PT, DPT @ Innovative Physical Therapy

Pain Myths & Truths -Here’s What You Need to Know!

Pain often is viewed as a bad thing or a misfortune placed upon us. In reality pain is just an alarm signal that is trying to tell us something about our body – typically that message is that something needs to change. Pain can help drive behavioral changes that help reduce the chance of further … Continue reading “Pain Myths & Truths -Here’s What You Need to Know!”

Pain often is viewed as a bad thing or a misfortune placed upon us. In reality pain is just an alarm signal that is trying to tell us something about our body – typically that message is that something needs to change. Pain can help drive behavioral changes that help reduce the chance of further breakdown or injury.

Without it, we could do some serious harm to our bodies without realizing it. Deciphering what specific pains mean is what we need to do a better job at so that we can embrace it and learn from it. It is impossible to go through life avoiding pain, so when we experience it, let’s try to better understand what our body is trying to tell us.

Here are a few misconceptions about pain followed by some truths that may help change the way you view your pain.Image result for pain charts

Pain Common Beliefs/Misconceptions: 

  1. Pain means something is wrong with me

  2. Pain is always a bad thing

  3. My diagnosis (knee arthritis, bulging disc, rotator cuff tear, etc) explains why I have pain

  4. Medical imaging will tell me why I’m in pain

  5. My body is broken because of my pain

  6. I need someone to fix me

  7. I need to stop activities because I am in pain

  8. Pain can be completely avoided

  9. Only one thing contributes to my pain

  10. Passive modalities will get rid of my pain.

 

Pain Truths: 

  1. Hurt does not always mean harm

  2. Pathology/anatomical changes most likely won’t explain WHY you’re in pain

  3. Pain is not typically caused by a mechanical issue

  4. Pain can’t fully be explained by a medical image (ie: MRI, Xray)

  5. You ARE NOT your diagnosis

  6. There is no quick fix and you will need to make actual changes – commitment and consistency!

  7. A good health professional will not FIX you, but instead give you the tools to facilitate fixing yourself!

  8. You are NOT broken!

  9. YOUR BODY IS RESILIENT!

  10. Pain is a good thing – it tells us something about our body, we just need to be better at analyzing and deciphering what it means

  11. Pain is multifactorial and often requires multi-disciplinary care

Pain is not always a negative, pain is a sign that you need to alter, enhance or strengthen! The human body is a miraculous machine that can heal itself and with the help of professionals, Physical Therapists, personal trainers, etc you can maintain and keep your body pain free!

 

Blog researched and written by: Dr. Justin LaLonde PT, DPT

 

Pain – How can I get rid of it? Will I always be in pain?

These are common questions we tend to ask ourselves when we experience pain. These are also questions we tend to get in our clinic when treating patients. But there is something more we should be asking about pain. What is it? What does it mean? What is my body and brain telling me? The answer … Continue reading “Pain – How can I get rid of it? Will I always be in pain?”

These are common questions we tend to ask ourselves when we experience pain. These are also questions we tend to get in our clinic when treating patients. But there is something more we should be asking about pain. What is it? What does it mean? What is my body and brain telling me? The answer to these questions will give us the power and knowledge to interpret our own pain and give us the knowledge and tools to help us get out of pain.Image result for pain

Pain is a common sensation and experience that nearly everyone experiences at some point in time during their lives. Pain is commonly associated with damage in our bodies, but this is not always the case. In a very short explanation, pain is an unpleasant output created by the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) that is meant to help our bodies by driving behavior change. This means there are many inputs to our brains that assist in the creation of this output –  these include internal and external factors. 

Internal factors include:

  • Sensation, our nervous system’s state (relaxed vs stressed)
  • Inflammation, and hormonal levels

Extrinsic factors include:

  • Emotional responses
  • Our environment
  • Relationships
  • Cultural/societal context.

This means pain does NOT equal damage. In many cases like a muscle tear or ankle sprain, pain is related to  tissue damage, but dissipates as it heals. In other cases, pain is gradual and diffuse without any apparent cause. This is a type of pain brought about our brain’s interpretation of everything going on around us and within our bodies.

There are many instances when something should be painful, but isn’t, and when something shouldn’t be painful, but is. Everyone has experienced a time when they have a small cut and it doesn’t hurt until you look at it – that’s because your brain constructs context around the situation and pain is the output. Think if you were hiking and sprained your ankle, all of a sudden, a mountain lion appears – you bet that ankle isn’t going to hurt and you’re going to run for your life! 

So, pain is all about context and how our brain’s perception of that context. Therefore, pain is not an enemy, but an informant. Unfortunately, when we are in pain, many times it is difficult to get out of that pain.  Understanding where pain comes from and what it means is the first step in getting rid of it.

We need to be looking at all the factors that could be causing our pain:

  • Sources of actual tissue damage
  • Beliefs about pain
  • Emotional responses
  • Thoughts
  • Sources of stress
  • Societal/cultural influences

We live in a time where our brains are processing more data in a day than ever, which is also a major contextual factor in unconscious stress. But remember, pain can be a good thing – because it is the process of our brain’s telling us something needs to change. So the questions of how can I get rid of my pain, and will I always be in pain are much more complicated than we initially think. We cannot avoid pain, so understanding it can help immensely!Image result for pain

Physical therapists can help decipher different aspects of our lives that can be contributing to pain. Luckily for us, science is beginning to understand the many different types of pain and what it means for our bodies. Physical therapists are at the forefront of pain science and can help many people regardless of what type of pain is occurring. Give us a call at Innovative Physical Therapy and schedule an assessment with a Physical Therapist to help you get out of pain and truly understand what it means for you! 

Here are some great references online and a great book to help understanding pain: 

https://www.noigroup.com/about/

https://theprehabguys.com/pain-science/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_3phB93rvI

Book: Explain Pain by Lorimer Mosely and David Butler

Blog researched and written by: Dr. Justin LaLonde PT, DPT.

 

An Inside Look into IPT – Get to Know What We Do!

In honor of National Physical Therapy Month, take a sneak peek into the everyday activity of IPT and some of the many modalities used to help rehab, strengthen and support our patients and their everyday lives!

In honor of National Physical Therapy Month, take a sneak peek into the everyday activity of IPT and some of the many modalities used to help rehab, strengthen and support our patients and their everyday lives!

Why Physical Therapy Should be Your First Line of Defense

Seeing a PT first may lower a patient’s total cost of care, bypassing imaging scans, opioid prescriptions, and other therapies that could be unnecessary or even harmful. If you have experienced a soft-tissue injury, you may be a good candidate for receiving care directly from a physical therapist. A soft-tissue injury is an injury that … Continue reading “Why Physical Therapy Should be Your First Line of Defense”

Seeing a PT first may lower a patient’s total cost of care, bypassing imaging scans, opioid prescriptions, and other therapies that could be unnecessary or even harmful.

If you have experienced a soft-tissue injury, you may be a good candidate for receiving care directly from a physical therapist. A soft-tissue injury is an injury that does not affect the bone. These injuries affect muscles, tendons, ligaments and other soft tissues. 

Acute examples include:

  • Sprain
  • Strain
  • Swelling
  • Contusion / bruising

Soft-tissue injuries resulting from overuse may include:

  • Tendinitis
  • Bursitis
  • ArthritisImage result for benefits of physical therapy

You may be asking, how can PT work for me?

  • PT helps manage pain 
    • Doctor-prescribed opioids are appropriate in some cases, but they just mask the pain without addressing the cause of the pain. Opioid risks include depression, overdose, and addiction, plus withdrawal symptoms when stopping use.
  • PT can help avoid surgery 
    • While surgery is unavoidable in some cases, physical therapy can help avoid surgery for others. By eliminating pain, assisting with healing, and improving physical health, physical therapy can help heal injured tissue and facilitate mobility all on its own, thus eliminating the need to go under the knife
  • PT can help avoid further or future injury 
    • One of the key aspects of physical therapy involves assessing the weak areas in the patient’s body and formulating a PT plan that helps strengthen these vulnerable points. 
  • PT improves mobility and balance 
    • Therapeutic exercises can restore mobility, make walking and moving around safer, and can even improve coordination and balance in patients who are at high risk for falls.
  • PT can help with general health issues 
    • By increasing physical activity, you can also reduce your risk of other chronic diseases.
  • PT can help manage age-related issues 
    • One of the less obvious advantages of physical therapy is that it helps handle and manage many age-related health problems including joint pains, arthritis, and osteoporosis. PT is a safer and more conservative approach for older patients, as it gives them a less traumatic alternative than undergoing joint replacement surgery. 
  • PT can help maximize your movement
    • Physical therapists can identify, diagnose and treat movement related issues. Each treatment plan is custom designed for each person’s individual challenges and outcome goals. The benefit of physical therapy can help you live pain free and increase your quality of life.
  • PT can help manage diabetes and vascular conditions 
    • Physical therapy can help manage your blood sugar through exercise. The exercise mainly consists of the right mix of aerobic exercises and weight strengthening exercises.

Benefits of PT for athletes 

Physical therapists are movement specialists with extensive schooling in order to determine limitations or imbalances of joints. Seeing a PT as an athlete will give a certain edge to your performance and ensure you are working towards your peak potential, improving power, endurance, flexibility, range of motion, etc. 

Learn more about physical therapy and the many benefits, treatments and modalities we at Innovative Physical Therapy use today by asking one of our team members or calling in at 619.260.0750.

Written and researched by : Dr. Monique Lassaga-Bishop
Facts sourced from: www.slsportstherapy.com & www.movementforlife.com

The History of Physical Therapy

National Physical Therapy month is celebrated in October to recognize the impact physical therapy has had on the medical profession and to encourage community awareness on the benefits that physical therapy has on treating chronic or acute pain.   So how did the profession of physical therapy get started?   Little known is how far back in … Continue reading “The History of Physical Therapy”

National Physical Therapy month is celebrated in October to recognize the impact physical therapy has had on the medical profession and to encourage community awareness on the benefits that physical therapy has on treating chronic or acute pain.  

Physical therapists and physicians work together to treat children at a New England poliomyelitis clinic in 1916.

So how did the profession of physical therapy get started?  

Little known is how far back in history the idea of physical therapy goes.   There are documented records as early as 430 BC that Hippocrates recognized the benefits of massage, manual manipulation and water therapy for pain relief.  It wasn’t until much later towards the end of the 19th century with the establishment of orthopedics in medicine, the outbreak of polio  and with women recruited in WWI to restore function to injured soldiers, that modern day physical therapy as we know it was recognized as a profession.    

It is recorded that the Swedish scholar and fitness enthusiast, Per Hendrik Ling, is given credit for being the first to recognize physical therapy as a profession when he established the Royal Central Institute of Gymnastics in 1813 for manipulation and exercise.  He recognized the benefits exercise and manual manipulation had on restoring function and movement in people with disabilities. In 1887 the Swedish National Board of Health & Welfare was the first to register practitioners working in Ling’s institute as physical therapists.   

Other countries were soon to follow as they recognized the benefits of physical therapy.  In 1896, nurses in England formed the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. In 1913 New Zealand started one of the earliest schools of physical therapy at the University of Otago.  In 1914 a school for “Reconstructive Aides”, a term used for those practicing physical therapy was established in the United States at the Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington DC.   

As the profession continued to gain recognition, the first physical therapy research in the US was published in March of 1921.  That same year, the American Women’s Physical Therapeutic Association was established by American physical therapist Mary McMillan.  Due to her extensive contributions to the profession, Mary McMillan became known as the “Mother of Physical Therapy”. 

Mary McMillan, circa 1921

The demand for physical therapists became even greater during WWII and the polio epidemic during the 1940’s and 1950’s.   By late 1940’s, the physical therapy association changed its name to what is known today as the American Physical Therapy Association, or APTA. The goal of the APTA is to further advancements in physical therapy practice, research and education.  Current membership is over 100,000.

Reconstruction Aides treat soldiers at           Fort Sam Houstan, Texas, in 1919

The month of October is the time physical therapists across the country celebrate and encourage everyone to raise awareness of physical therapy as a cost-effective and safe alternative to medication and in many cases surgery.  According to the APTA, physical therapy is “a safer way to manage pain.”  

If you, a friend or family member is suffering from chronic or acute pain, recent or unresolved injury, please consult with your local physical therapist who will design a plan specific to your needs and goals. 

Written by : Marilyn Johnson PT, facts and references from : APTA and Wikipedia.