Timely news about NMSMC and the sports medicine industry.
Did you know that only about 25% of the population have a foot type that is considered to be well-aligned? Another 25% are called under-pronators (also called “supinators”). People with this type of foot have very high arches and the foot doesn’t roll the normal amount when walking, or may be roll to the outside part of the foot. The rest of us, myself included, belong to a group called over-pronators (“pronators” for short)....
October is National Physical Therapy Month. Besides treating injuries and movement problems, physical therapists are also interested in general health maintenance and improvement....
One of the first things patients are anxious to return to after having a knee replaced is riding their bike. The problem with getting back on the bike is the amount of knee bend required to ride a standard bike. A standard bike usually requires that the rider have at least 110 degrees of knee bend to fully move the pedals through a cycle. Most patients will eventually obtain 120 degrees of knee bend, but this can sometimes take several months.
Finally; Fashionable and Supportive Sandals!
One of the biggest challenges PT’s have when treating patients with foot problems is finding summer footwear that can give them support. Orthotics (link to previous orthotic post) are a great way to correct foot problems, but they unfortunately do not work in sandals. Chocco’s and Birkenstocks have good foot beds, but some patients are looking for less substantial sandals for cruising downtown or at the beach.
What’s Blue, Pink, or Black, and wrapped all over? Can it help with healing an injury?
By now you have seen strips of brightly colored tape adorning the arms, legs, and torsos of many top athletes. But more than just fashion is driving this trend. The tape is called Kinesio tape. Many athletes believe it helps them reduce their injury risk, improve their performance, and treats all sorts of aches and pains.
Kinesio Tape is a relatively new type of rehabilitation tool developed by Dr. Kenzo Kase that is used to treat a variety of orthopedic, neuromuscular, neurological, and medical conditions. This taping method, which was developed in the 1980s after many years of research, has just recently become popular and has shown results that would have been unheard of using older methods and materials.
This week we were able to speak with Adam R. Wilson, PA-C, from Harborside Spine & Sports Center. Adam is a graduate of Central Michigan University's PA program. He focuses on treating musculoskeletal injuries and chronic pain using an array of treatments including Ultrasound-guided procedures and lifestyle modifications. We asked Adam to discuss the difference between acute and chronic pain.
What is you medical background?
I am a physician assistant with greater than 5 years of experience treating acute and chronic pain, including sports related injuries.
What is the difference between acute and chronic pain?
Acute pain happens as a result of an injury and serves as a warning of damage to the body. It is usually associated with active inflammation. The pain will normally dissipate when the underlying cause is either treated or has healed.
Chronic pain is pain that lasts greater than three months. In some cases, this could happen even though the underlying cause has healed. Chronic pain can be associated with tense muscles, decreased mobility, and even emotional changes.
What types of treatments do pain-management clinics offer?
Pain management clinics offer many treatments to address acute and chronic pain including: suggesting exercises or referral to physical therapy for a more comprehensive program, proper bracing or immobilization, injections and medications. We basically provide non-surgical treatments of joint, muscle or nerve pain.
What are some of the more common conditions you treat?
Common conditions that I treat are acute and chronic low back pain, arthritis of the shoulder, hip, and knee, and ligament/tendon issues.
If a person is experiencing pain, how long should they wait before they speak to their physician?
They should schedule an appointment for any injury that does not seem be following the normal healing process. They should also be evaluated if they seem to be “stuck” at a certain phase of the recovery process. Other possible signs that should prompt someone to speak to their medical provider soon would be: severe bruising, persistent swelling beyond a day or two, or redness and warmth of the injured area.
At what point in the treatment process is it helpful to visit a practice that specializes in pain management?
Again, whenever things do not seem to be responding to initial treatments like, exercise, physical therapy and over the counter medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen.
By: Mary Sullivan, PT
It seems that we always want to move faster than our bodies will let us. As people age, the difference between the speed we can move and the speed we want to move seems to grow larger. Along with this widening gap, we also see an increase in a person’s fear of falling. When these changes become significant, people tend to stop moving around as much, becoming more sedentary. Unfortunately, this does not help either problem. The fact of the matter is, the less we do, the weaker we get. And the weaker we get, the more likely we are to fall.
Another factor which contributes to movement and balance is our posture. For example, I am sure you have seen people leaning forward, looking down at their feet as they walk. This will lead to shorter steps, with the person walking on their balls of their feet. See this video for an example (keep in mind that not everyone with this type of gait has Parkinson’s).
If someone is moving too fast when they start to walk and is already leaning forward, there is only one way to go, and that’s on your nose. Fortunately there is something we can all do about this!
1) Keep Moving! – The more you can move, the stronger you will be. Some easy ways to move throughout the day: walk up and down the hallway for a few minutes, walk around the block, climb some stairs for a few minutes, stand up and sit down in your chair until your legs feel tired, etc. It’s that easy!
2) Sit and Stand Tall! – All those reminders from your Mom and Grandma really were important. If you stay up tall you will have less back and neck pain along with feeling more stable. You need to keep your body over your base of support (feet), not in front of it. An easy way to remember to sit up tall is to set your rear view mirror of your car at the beginning of the week in the morning, and then don’t adjust it. If you are looking at the ceiling when you check your mirror you know you need to sit up.
3) Go at YOUR Speed! – Rushing to get somewhere fast can only lead to problems, especially with all the ice and snow we’ve seen recently. The store or doctor will always be there if you are a little late. The more momentum you build up, the less control you have and the more likely you are to fall.
If your speed and balance haven’t been what they used to be, call us to schedule a free consultation.
This is just a quick post today about a really interesting article I came across on NPR. It is called What Nuclear Bombs Tell Us About Our Tendons. It’s a short read, so I won’t quote the entire text here. What I found interesting about the article is how long it truly takes for our tendons to heal/regenerate as we age....
Ergonomics is a special interest area of mine, so I’m going to try to resist the temptation to make this post into a thesis paper. I’ve found over the course of my career that when treating someone with spine or extremity pain that works a desk job, the patient’s outcome is much better and their treatment time is much shorter when we address their desk setup within the first few sessions of PT. This usually involves making a visit to their workplace to observe their workstation. If a patient’s treatment is the very best they can hope to receive, but they’re spending their 8+ hour workday in a poor work position, it will take them a lot longer to get better....
(Not this kind)
Image courtesy of entertainment.howstuffworks.com
This question is one we get asked quite frequently when treating patients, especially those with neck, back, and/or hip pain. Big mattress companies have us convinced that there is a magic bed out there, and if you can just find the right one, you can finally wake up in the morning without stiff joints. Or you can jump on the bed with a glass of wine a few feet away, whichever best helps you get your day started, I suppose.
by Jeff Samyn, PT, OCS, CSCS
Physical therapists, and most medical professionals for that matter, often see fluctuations in patients seeking care for certain problems. For example, we might not see a patient with TMJ problems for 3 months, but then we suddenly have 4 referred in a week. I had just that experience lately with female runners between the ages of 25-40. Much of this advice is true for male runners as well.
Headaches are an occasional occurrence for many of us and a part of daily life for some of us. There are several different varieties of headaches; migraine, tension, cluster, and sinus. The images below show where different types of headaches tend to manifest....
“Jelly Belly” is not a medical term found in the literature but any woman who has had a baby knows what “Jelly Belly” means. During pregnancy, we understand that the uterus enlarges with the growing baby and, along with that, the abdominal muscles stretch. Once the baby is delivered, the uterus gradually shrinks down to its pre– pregnancy size (breast feeding assists with this) but the abdominal muscles need some help to return to their pre-pregnancy tone and length. Abdominal muscles are skeletal muscles – they need to be contracted and used to restore tone and function. It is for this reason that abdominal exercises become necessary; but don’t start with crunches just yet! Yes…..you read that correctly. Let’s talk about why....
Bow season is coming up soon, and PT’s across Michigan are getting ready to see some sprains and strains associated with drawing a bow. Bow hunters are especially prone to shoulder strains when the season starts because they rarely condition themselves before heading out to practice. Here are a few tips to get you in shooting-shape and avoid losing precious time during the season.
1. Start exercising important muscle groups at least 2 months before opening day. This might come a little late this year, but keep it in mind next August.
2. Always stretch and warm-up the upper body before shooting.
3. Ice any areas which ache immediately after shooting.
4. If it hurts, don’t pull!
Injuries Commonly Seen in Hunters
1. Shoulder tendonitis/impingement- Toothache-like sensation in the shoulder joint, commonly caused by weak shoulder blade muscles; pain increases with use
2. Wrist or elbow tendonitis- dull ache in the wrist or on top of the elbow; caused by lots of small tears in the tendons which cross these joints
3. Low back strain- pain may be sharp, stabbing, achy, or just tight-feeling; many, many different causes; lots of different treatments
If you already have a sore shoulder, back, or other joint going into the season, meeting with a physical therapist can help you fix the problem before its time to start practicing. To get started, call one of our facilities for a free consultation or see your doctor and ask for a prescription for physical therapy.
Northern Michigan Sports Medicine Center is pleased to announce the launch of our new website!...
Just a quick post today about a subject I frequently get asked about. I recently found a great article on The Science of Sport website which discusses some recent research about muscle cramps during exercise. The focus is on runners, but I think the theories proposed will apply to many different types of endurance athletes. The article gets a little technical in some areas, but I think the take away concepts are very interesting. Enjoy!