Posts made in December, 2014

Orthopedic Injuries and Skiing

Posted by on Dec 23, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Orthopedic Injuries and Skiing

  It’s winter, which means holidays, parties, travel, and for many people, the opportunity to take advantage of nature by going skiing. Snow skiing can be a fun activity for the whole family, but it opens you up to the possibility of some severe orthopedic injuries. Here is some information on common injuries that occur on the slopes and how physical therapy can help.     Torn ACL   One of the most common orthopedic injuries sustained while out skiing is a torn ACL. The ACL is one of four ligaments that help keep the knee working properly. Along with the PCL, these two ligaments help your knee move from front to back. While injury to PCL is rare because of its location, the ACL is torn or sprained easily when the knee is overextended. Pushing you knee beyond its usually limits is  easy to do when you were swerving down a snowy mountain, so if you hear a pop at the time of injury, the ACL is most likely the culprit.   Stress Fractures   Muscles do a lot to absorb shock from everyday activities, but when they get tired or absorb more shock than normal, it can lead to small fractures on the bones. Taking to the slopes with improper gear, or before you are really ready is an easy way to give your muscles more than they can handle and sustain a small fracture of this nature. Though painful, it can be hard to tell that you’ve actually broken a bone, so be very careful, especially with more inexperienced skiers to not take these injuries too lightly. Thinking that it’s nothing can lead to further damage, the best thing to do if you suspect a stress or hairline fracture is stay off of it and seek medical attention.   Bulging Disks   The vertebrae of the spine feature flexible disks of cartilage that help to absorb shock as you move, the disks “bulge” when you sustain enough of a shock vibrating up your spine that disks compress and their soft core protrudes. This can be an incredibly painful situation, but it’s also extremely common with even every day activities, much less the physical exertion of skiing. When you are moving around fast and more than you are used to, you are putting your back at risk for bulging disks.     If you are considering taking to the slopes this winter season, talk to a physical therapist about particular exercises to help get your body ready for the added stress and shock. Many of these situations are avoidable by using proper protective gear, being safe, and making sure that your body is totally prepared for the athletic endurance skiing...

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Spinal Conditions and Physical Therapy

Posted by on Dec 17, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Spinal Conditions and Physical Therapy

The spine is made up of vertebrae, which are held together by muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Intervertebral discs provide cushions for the vertebrae and help them to protect the nerves that make up the spinal cord.   That’s a lot of small, sensitive pieces to be controlling a part of the body that is crucial to governing your movement and feeling.   Unfortunately something as simple as straining too hard, sitting with poor posture, or sustaining even a minor injury can lead to spinal pain and spinal cord injury that will affect your nerves and  mobility.   The lower back is particularly susceptible to damage and pain, especially in people who suffer from arthritis, or osteoarthritis—a condition that occurs with the spine degenerates and losses its flexibility. Repetitive action, genetics, and increased weight all put you at risk for spinal cord injury and spinal pain. Sine the spinal cord is a bundle of nerves including the sciatic nerve running all the way down the leg, common symptoms of injury include burning sensations in legs and feet, numbness throughout the body, and the feeling of pins and needles.   If you have experienced these sensations, or consistent pain the lower back area, you may have sustained a spinal cord injury. Physical therapy works to lessen pain by treating the areas that are experiencing these sensations and strengthening all of the structures that support the spine.   By developing exercise routines within your capability, you can increase the power of your muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments to improve any current damage and help save you from further injury.   Spinal injuries can be serious though, and might have consequences that aren’t immediately apparent. If you suspect at all that you have suffered an injury to the spine, seek a consultation with a physical therapist or doctor as soon as possible to know the extent of the injury and determine the best next...

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What is Balance Physical Therapy

Posted by on Dec 10, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

What is Balance Physical Therapy

A fall can happen to anyone at any time, but people who are over 80 years old, have conditions that cause confusion, low blood pressure, or have undergone surgery that limits mobility of the knee are at high risk. Falls can be stressful and lead to more serious problems, so working with a physical therapist to make your home as safe as possible and using specialized balance therapy is the best way to stay safe from further injuries. A physical therapist will assess your vision, blood pressure, and medical history to determine how at risk you re for falls. From there, they will work with you to determine how steadily and quickly you are able to walk and stand up. These evaluations will help a therapist to build specialized exercises that test and eventually improve your balance.   Under your therapist’s guidance, you will be able to practice activities that provide safe obstacle courses to help condition your body to your particular limitations. Dance steps, walking in circles, standing on one leg, and strengthening the core muscles are all common exercises that will help you to better cope with your weaknesses and avoid the hazards that might cause you to fall at home.   Your therapist will also work with you to manage fear and give you the education you need to take your mobility back into your own hands. They can also examine your home to look for physical hazards and help you to re-arrange and re-organize your space to optimize it for your abilities. Falls are preventable and with the help of a physical therapist you can get balance back on your feet and in your...

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Frozen Shoulder Physical Therapy

Posted by on Dec 3, 2014 in Tips | 0 comments

Frozen Shoulder Physical Therapy

About 2 to 5 % of the population will experience the symptoms of a “frozen shoulder”. Adhesive capsulitis is the technical term, and while it’s exact causes are up for debate, we do know that it is related to scar tissue and results in a stiff shoulder that’s difficult to move. Women seem to be particularly at risk for the condition and it’s usually associated with shoulder surgeries, other conditions like arthritis, and the immobilization of your arm for long periods of time. The condition is marked by a loss of range of movement and pain that worsens over time. Usually physical therapists will break down the condition into four stages: “Pre-Freezing”, “Freezing”, “Frozen”, and “Thawing”. The first stage will usually last 1 to three months and is identified by sharp pains when you move your shoulder. The shoulder is considered “frozen” after 9 or 14 months and stiffness has become a loss of flexibility along with intense pain. “Thawing” is the final stage when pain finally begins to decrease and motion is slowly returning.   Your physical therapist will be able to determine that stage that you are currently facing as well as helping you to regain movement while also reducing pain. For the first two stages, heat and ice treatments as well as simple exercises focused on movement will help. For the final two stages, strengthening exercises will be the focus to help you return to your normal day-to-day activities. In the event that pain has not reduced, your physical therapist might refer you to a pain specialist for anti-inflammatory injections.   Unfortunately, frozen shoulder is not preventable, and currently the best way to handle the condition is through physical therapy as the condition “runs its course”. If you have had a recent problem with your shoulder and are experiencing the sharp pains and limitations associated with “pre-freezing” and “freezing”, schedule an appointment with a physical therapist as soon as possible to start working on the exercises that will help your shoulder to “thaw out” with as little pain and interference as...

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