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PHYSICAL THERAPY NEWS 2015

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Tracy Zukowski, our Director of Physical Therapy and Sports Rehab, is publishing a series of articles in local papers to share news and insights in Physical Therapy. Check back frequently to read the articles reposted here. You can also contact us today to sign up for our email newsletter to ensure you don't miss out on any Club or Physical Therapy news.  If you have specific questions for Tracy, you may contact her directly at tracyz@theclub.org.

If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please call 732-636-5151 today. We accept most insurance and are happy to contact yours to determine your benefits. And remember, you have the right to choose your own therapy facility. Choose the one that will treat you the way you want. You can find us at The Club at Woodbridge – 585 Main Street. Where Medicine and Fitness Meet.

PT Spotlight


The Home News Tribune, 5 January 2015. Print.

TORN BETWEEN TWO TREATMENT OPTIONS?

Menisci are the small pads of cartilage in the knee that smooth joint motion. When a torn meniscus is coupled with osteoarthritis, surgical correction is often recommended to alleviate pain. Surgical correction (partial meniscectomy) through an arthroscope involves the insertion of scopes and instruments into the knee joint through tiny incisions and trimming the torn meniscus. While this surgical approach is very effective, research comparing partial meniscectomy (followed by physical therapy) with physical therapy alone revealed no significant difference in pain or function between patients who underwent surgery and those who received only physical therapy. This finding suggests that patients with torn menisci in arthritic knees might want to try physical therapy before committing to surgery. 

Please call 732-636-5151 you have any questions about physical therapy as an alternative to knee surgery or any other sort of major intervention. Our compassionate therapists can provide the hands-on manual therapy that you need to delay or even prevent surgery. We can also help if you have already had surgery, a bad fall, a car accident, or a sports injury.

P.S. A meniscal tear can lead to knee osteoarthritis, and conversely, knee osteoarthritis can lead to a spontaneous meniscal tear through breakdown and weakening of the meniscus.


The Home News Tribune, 12 January 2015. Print.

DON'T SIT STILL FOR THIS

If you are a runner or otherwise engage in daily exercise, you may think you are immune from the harmful effects of sedentary living. However, new evidence suggests that even if a person exercises for 60 minutes per day and largely remains sedentary for the rest of the day, he or she will still have an increased risk of death and disease. Health experts liken this “sitting disease” to smoking: It is bad for you, even if you exercise a lot. This is a problem because research shows that active people who regularly engage in exercise sit just as much as “couch potatoes.” In fact, researchers found that, whether or not they exercise, people spend about nine hours per day sitting.      

Clearly, there are many good reasons to exercise. Our manual therapists can help you design a regimen specifically for you, whether you're a couch potato or a regular runner. We can help you set goals and reach them safely and effectively, no matter what your age.

P.S. The human body is designed to move. If you have trouble getting going, physical therapy may remove obstacles that prevent you from moving.


The Home News Tribune, 19 January 2015. Print.

GOING DOWN THAT SLIPPERY SLOPE

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, falls account for 75% to 85% of skiing injuries, which most commonly involve the knee. To avert these injuries, it is advisable to get into shape before hitting the slopes. With this in mind, skiers should build their fitness on an aerobic base. By either hopping onto a stationary bike or elliptical trainer or walking or running, skiers-in-training should work up to 20-30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week. Along with that, it is very important to stretch before skiing to protect against injury and increase range of motion. Stretching afterward returns muscles to their normal length. Stretching lengthens connective tissue and helps keep bones aligned.

Of course, no matter how good your preventive routine is, sometimes athletes get hurt, on and off the slopes. If you've injured your knee, please call 732-636-5151 right away. Our experienced therapists can provide the hands-on care that you need to get back on your feet and out on the slopes.

P.S. A skier whose quadriceps muscles are burning during a ski run should review his or her technique.


The Home News Tribune, 26 January 2015. Print.

KIDS CUT OFF AT THE KNEES

If there is one statistic that alarms coaches and parents of young athletes, it is that knee injuries among children and teens have increased by more than 400 percent during the past decade. The most dramatic rise in these types of injuries involved torn menisci (cartilage) and torn anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL), which is one of the four major ligaments in the knee. These particular types of sports injuries can more adversely affect youngsters than adults because the repairs can be complex and the healing time can be prolonged while children are still growing. Although there is still debate as to why these injuries are more likely to occur, there is little debate that prevention is a far preferable option. 

If your child has suffered a knee injury or any sort of athletic injury, please call 732-636-5151. Our experienced therapists understand the unique needs of young athletes and we can provide the thoughtful care that they need to get and stay healthy. We can also help kids recover from surgery or a car accident. If you would like to make an appointment, please call our office today.

P.S. The physical therapist can help children (and adults) avoid sports-related injuries by assessing technique, recommending biomechanical alterations, and providing strength and flexibility regimens designed to protect the body.


The Home News Tribune, 2 February 2015. Print.

HELPING TO WALK YOU THROUGH IT

How good is walking for your health? Let’s review the list of health benefits: Walking has been found to reduce heart disease, balance stress hormones, raise “good” HDL cholesterol levels, and improve both blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Regular strolls have proven to cut a person’s risk of developing memory problems, build bone strength, and maintain healthy body weight. Research has also found that women who walk as little as an hour per week are more likely to live longer than their less active peers. If you are less active than you want to be, enlist the help of a physical therapist in overcoming the pain, restricted flexibility, injury, or condition that prevents you from walking.   

If you'd like to start a walking regimen but are worried about your health, please call our office. Our experienced therapists can provide the hands-on care that you need to improve your fitness level at any age. We'll work with you and your doctor to design a unique regimen tailored to your lifestyle, your body, and your goals. We can help improve your strength, balance, and flexibility, and let you live your life more fully.

P.S. The average U.S. adult takes 5,117 steps per day, but according to the American College of Sports Medicine, a person must double that amount in order to be considered physically active.


The Home News Tribune, 9 February 2015. Print.

STANDING UP TO OSTEOPOROSIS

Although they are encouraged to exercise, women with bone-thinning osteoporosis might wonder if their bones can stand up to the rigors of a workout. If so, a consultation with a physical therapist can help by reviewing bone density measurements and evaluating current fitness and activity levels. It is also a good idea to review medications being taken that might affect balance or cause dizziness. Prior to recommending a specific exercise program, the physical therapist will assess posture and gait, range of motion, muscle strength, and balance. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, an exercise plan should include weight-bearing exercise, resistance exercise, core strengthening, flexibility exercise, and balance training. All should be undertaken with individual limitations in mind.     

Do you have any questions about exercising with osteoporosis? We can provide the guidance you need to exercise safely and effectively, no matter what your age. We can help you recover from a sports injury, a car accident, or surgery.

P.S. Core strengthening, which addresses the muscles attached to the spine, pelvis, and shoulders, provides the stability needed to avert falls.


The Home News Tribune, 16 February 2015. Print.

ACTIVELY MANAGING ARTHRITIS

Arthritis sufferers should resist any inclination to take their pain lying down. Research shows that one of the better ways to relieve joint pain is to engage in regular activity.  With this in mind, anyone afflicted with arthritis is strongly encouraged to plan on getting at least two-and-a-half hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week. It also helps to perform muscle-strengthening exercises twice weekly, which can include using resistance bands or free weights. Lastly, flexibility exercises such as stretching, modified yoga, or tai chi should be included for up to fifteen minutes daily. If limited mobility or reduced strength stands in the way of following these recommendations, a physical therapist can help put arthritis sufferers on the right track.    

You deserve to live with less pain. Our compassionate therapists can work with you and your doctor to design a workout that will increase your mobility and decrease your pain. In addition, we can help you recover from a sports injury, a car accident, or surgery.

P.S. People with osteoarthritis should try to flex their joints through a complete range of motion daily by gently moving joints as far as possible in every direction.


The Home News Tribune, 23 February 2015. Print.

COMBATING AGE-RELATED MUSCLE LOSS

The unfortunate fact of life is that we lose 1% to 2% of our muscle mass per year after age 50, or about 30% between the ages of 50 and 70. As a result of lost muscle in arms and legs in particular, older individuals are likely to find it more difficult to lift such things as groceries. The risk of falls is also greater. At the point when age-related muscle loss becomes severe, it is referred to as “sarcopenia.” The condition itself is harder to define because it is not just a matter of measuring muscle size, but also of evaluating muscle quality and functionality. A physical therapist can help address a diagnosis with a custom muscle-building program.

If you're dealing with strength issues due to age-related muscle loss, please call us at 732-636-5151. Our experienced therapists know how to increase your strength and get you back into the swing of things. Our friendly and compassionate therapists will work with your doctor to create a regimen that addresses your specific needs and unique problems. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please call our office today.

P.S. By some estimates, between 10% and 50% of people over the age of 70 have sarcopenia.


The Home News Tribune, 2 March 2015. Print.

WELL-HEELED ARE NOT SO WELL OFF

If you wear high-heeled shoes, you are likely placing yourself at risk for more than discomfort. Wearing a high-heeled shoe forces the foot into a plantar-flexed position, shortens the fibers in the calf muscles, and makes the Achilles tendon stiffen (instead of flex) with each step. As a result, you are more susceptible to muscle fatigue and potential injury. Equally important is the fact that the altered gait caused by wearing high heels does not subside once the shoes are taken off. In fact, habitual wearers of high-heeled shoes walk in a perpetually foot-flexed manner even when they walk barefoot. As a result, they often experience discomfort and muscle fatigue as well as face a higher risk of strain injuries.  

If you are already suffering from the consequences of wearing high heels, please call 732-636-5151 to make an appointment. Our hands-on therapists will work with you to improve your gait as well as help you recover from any injuries to your foot, ankle, or calf. In addition, we can help you are suffering after a car accident or sports injury.

P.S. High-heel-induced changes in gait affect women as early as age 25, not just older women with longer histories of wearing heels.


The Home News Tribune, 9 March 2015. Print.

ON THE PERIPHERY

 “Peripheral artery disease” (or PAD), which affects about 8 million people in this country and becomes more common with age, involves narrowing of the peripheral arteries, particularly of the pelvis and legs. As a result, those afflicted with this condition experience symptoms such as cramping, pains, and/or tiredness in leg or hip muscles while walking or climbing stairs. These symptoms typically subside with rest but return when walking resumes. Actually, walking is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of developing PAD because exercise enhances the function of blood vessels; improves microcirculatory (small vessels, such as capillaries) function; and reduces age-related arterial stiffness. Even mild exercise makes it significantly less likely that people will develop this potentially limb-threatening condition. 

Of course, PAD isn't the only chronic condition that can benefit from exercise.  Most conditions are improved by a regular exercise regimen, as long as it is careful, thoughtful, and appropriate. Let our experienced therapists create a regimen specifically based around your needs, your goals, and your unique situation. We can help you work out effectively and safely, no matter what your situation. 

P.S. Those at increased risk for peripheral artery disease (PAD) include smokers, diabetics, and those with high blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol levels.


The Home News Tribune, 16 March 2015. Print.

HELPING SENIORS GET A GRIP

You may be able to infer more about a person with a weak handshake than you might think. Over the past 30 years, nearly three dozen studies have found that a weak grip in middle-aged and older individuals is linked with future disability and premature mortality. Moreover, weak grip has been associated with osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. While it is quite normal for grip strength to weaken after reaching its peak in middle age due to decreased physical activity, rapid deterioration could be indicative of a health problem. Physical therapists can measure grip strength with a hand-held dynamometer, but everyone should be aware that a weak grip in an older person may be indicative of the need for attention. 

Whether you are dealing with a weak grip or trying to address an underlying issue, please call our office for an appointment right away. Our physic al therapists can work with your doctors to help you with specific ailments. In addition, we can design a specific exercise regimen just for you to improve your general overall strength and balance.

P.S. Older patients are cautioned to postpone elective surgery if they are assessed as having an overly weak grip.


The Home News Tribune, 23 March 2015. Print.

ARE HIPS CONNECTED TO KNEES?

You may not see a direct relationship at first, but the strength of your hips affects the function of your knees. The connection is largely a matter of stability in that the hips work with other “core” muscles (abs and back) to balance, align, and support the low back (and below). As a result, weak hips may be an overlooked cause of common sports-related maladies such as “runner’s knee” as well as low-back pain among non-athletes. If the major muscles on the outside of the hip are not sufficiently strong to keep the leg stable, the thighbone may move inward while walking or running, resulting in the thighbone rubbing against the back of the kneecap to wear away cartilage.  

If you've noticed that you're feeling pain in your knees or hips or lower back, then you should call 732-636-5151. Our experienced therapists know how to improve your hip strength and improve the functionality of your knees. We will work with your doctor to create a regimen built around your specific needs, goals, and limitations.

P.S. In the non-athlete, hips that are weak and inflexible place extra stress on back muscles, which can throw the vertebrae out of alignment.


The Home News Tribune, 30 March 2015. Print.

FEEL THE AFTERBURN

Not only does vigorous physical exercise burn calories, it also results in an “afterburn” that continues to burn calories that feed a revved-up metabolism. How long does this “afterburn” effect last? While previous studies have suggested that the body continues to burn about 30 calories up to 20 to 30 minutes after exercise, more recent study suggests something more. When researchers had ten healthy young men ride stationary bikes for 45 minutes, it was found that they burned an average of approximately 500 calories. When the men’s metabolic rate was then measured (using oxygen consumption as an indicator), they burned an average 190 extra calories over the next 14 hours, even though some slept.   

From "afterburn" to ergonomics, understanding how your body works can make your life and your health much better. If you have any questions, please talk to one of our experienced therapists. We pride ourselves on providing a comprehensive and informative atmosphere for our patients, including preventative care. Reaching your highest level of performance is our ultimate goal.

P.S. In the study mentioned above, the young men pedaled fast enough to use 70 percent of their maximum oxygen intake.


The Home News Tribune, 6 April 2015. Print.

COLD HARD FACTS

It’s becoming increasingly popular for elite and amateur athletes to submerge themselves in cold water or ice baths to reduce muscle soreness. While these treatments may effectively reduce muscle inflammation that can lead to stiffness, swelling, and soreness a day or more after a workout, some wonder if they can cause harmful side effects. Several studies have been conducted in which athletes spent 5-24 minutes in water between 50 and 59 degrees F. In other cases, the water was colder and athletes were asked to get in and out of the water at set times. However, none of the studies compared cold-water immersion to other therapies. It is only known that cold-water immersion treats muscle soreness better than doing nothing.

Our therapists stay up to date on all the latest research on athletic therapies and we can answer all your questions about how to best help you recover from a game. We can also help if you've incurred an injury, including rotator cuff tears, tendinitis, tennis elbow, herniated discs, meniscus tears, or ACL injuries.

P.S. Physical therapists generally recommend that ice packs be applied to sore muscles, sprains, and strains no longer than 20 minutes per hour.


The Home News Tribune, 13 April 2015. Print.

UP TO YOUR ANKLES

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that an estimated 25,000 ankle sprains occur  every day. Whether a person is exercising or inadvertently steps off a curb or into a rut, it is relatively easy to twist, roll, or stretch the foot beyond its normal range of motion. As a result, the ligaments that hold the ankle bones in position may stretch abnormally or even tear, causing a sprain. Severity can range from a Grade 1 sprain (some tenderness and swelling, but still able to walk) to Grade 3 (swelling, pain, and inability to walk for several days). Especially in the latter case, if a sprain is not properly treated and rehabilitated, improper healing and chronic pain may result.

If you've sprained your ankle, it's imperative that you call 732-636-5151 for an appointment right away. Our therapists work with your doctor to create a regiment that will get you back on your feet quickly and safely. In addition, we can help those who are recovering from a car accident, surgery, or a bad fall.

P.S. Grade 2 and worse sprains require physical therapy to retrain torn ligaments.


The Home News Tribune, 20 April 2015. Print.

EXERCISE AND PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Parkinson’s disease, which currently affects about one million Americans, is usually diagnosed among individuals in their 60s. The brain disease is primarily detected by assessing outward symptoms such as tremor (shaking), a stooped posture, and a shuffling gait. While treatment may involve drugs that replenish levels of the brain chemical dopamine, exercise remains one of the best ways to both prevent and treat Parkinson’s. Exercising in middle age may lessen the chance of getting the disease  later on. For those in the early stages of Parkinson’s, physical therapy can help build strength and maintain range of motion. There are also various exercises that help people avoid falls. In addition, aerobic exercise may exert a protective effect on brain tissue. 

Preventing or delaying Parkinson’s disease is just one of many reasons to exercise, no matter what your age. If you would like to start an exercise program or if you’re combating the effects of a disease, please call 732-636-5151. Our experienced therapists understand the unique needs of those in the middle years, regardless of health, and we’ll work with you to craft a regimen suited to your goals and needs

P.S. The Parkinson’s patients who are in better shape score higher on cognitive and muscle control tests and may also live longer.


The Home News Tribune, 4 May 2015. Print.

MORE MUSCLE MASS, LESS DIABETES RISK

During these times of concern over the increased incidence of diabetes among the general population, it is notable that recent research shows that boosting lean muscle mass may exert a protective effect. In fact, every additional ten percent of skeletal muscle mass has been found to reduce insulin resistance by 11% and lower the risk of transitional diabetes, prediabetes, or diabetes by 12%. Insulin resistance describes a condition in which muscle, fat, and liver cells do not respond properly to insulin, which is the hormone produced by the pancreas that helps cells utilize glucose for energy. As a result of excess glucose buildup in the blood stream, the stage is set for diabetes. Building muscle improves the insulin response.             

If you are interested in increasing muscle mass in order to prevent diabetes, or for any other reason, please call our office at 732-636-5151 to make an appointment with one of our experienced therapists. We provide hands-on care that you’ll need to increase your muscle mass safely and effectively.

P.S. “Sarcopenia,” the gradual loss of muscle mass that begins to occur at around age 45, has been linked to protein deficiency and lack of exercise.


The Home News Tribune, 18 May 2015. Print.

LESS OF A LOAD TO BEAR

While more than 80% of knee-replacement patients are satisfied with the results, anyone afflicted with osteoarthritic knees should entertain more conservative treatment before opting for surgery. Among the most effective and simplest of such first-line treatments is weight loss. Every step exposes the knees to a force equal to three to five times a person’s body weight. Thus, even a loss of just five pounds can have a noticeable effect on reducing the pain of osteoarthritic knees. According to one study of overweight or obese individuals, every pound of body weight lost resulted in a fourfold reduction in the stress placed upon the knees. Physical therapy can help with weight loss by introducing a muscle-strengthening/flexibility/balance program that makes exercising easier.  

We know that painful knees can affect every aspect of your life. Let us help. Whether you’re trying to avoid surgery or recovering from it, we can offer the hands-on help you need to improve your strength and lessen your pain. We can also help if you're dealing with pain in your back, shoulders, wrists, hands, or hips.

P.S. While lack of exercise makes it more likely that a person will develop knee osteoarthritis, avoiding exercise makes the arthritis worse.


The Home News Tribune, 1 June 2015. Print.

CORE CONCERNS

If you’ve been hearing a lot about “core conditioning” these days, there is good reason. Core muscles not only include abdominals, but also those of the hips, pelvis, and low back. Some trainers go even further to include all the muscles between the sternum and knees. By focusing on these muscles, which help stabilize the spine and pelvis and also play a key role in transferring energy from the torso to the smaller muscles of the arms and legs, the whole body can be made to move more efficiently. Not only are strong core muscles needed to perform everyday activities such as walking, sitting, standing, picking things up, and getting in or out of a car, they also help prevent injury.

If you’re dealing with back or neck pain, there’s a good chance that improving your core strength will help. Our experienced therapists can provide you with a regimen that is tailored to your unique needs and goals. And always remember that you have the right to choose where you receive therapy. Choose a facility that will treat you the way that you deserve.

P.S. One study shows that young athletes who suffer injuries have weaker core muscles around their hips compared to non-injured athletes.


The Home News Tribune, 15 June 2015. Print.

IS IT REALLY TENDONITIS?

Tendonitis, or inflammation of the tendons, is widely thought to be the cause of tendon pain. However, the fact is that these fibrous tissues that attach muscle to bone do not contain many blood vessels. Thus, it is difficult for them to become inflamed. Instead, it may be the synovial sheath that surrounds the tendons that may be inflamed, in which case tenosynovitis is the source of pain. Also, people over the age of 50 should take into account the fact that age-related tendon degeneration can lead to tendon pain. “Tendinosis” results from collagen degeneration, which causes many microscopic tears that inadequate blood circulation has limited ability to heal. Tendinosis is not helped by anti-inflammatories, but physical therapy may bring improvement.  

If you are suffering from tendonitis, then you should call our office. Our experienced therapists can provide the thoughtful advice and assistance that you need to get and stay healthy.  We can also help if you’re recovering from a car crash, a bad fall, or an athletic injury. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please call our office today.

P.S. Tendinosis can be effectively treated by ceasing the aggravating activity, followed by physical therapy that shows patients how to alter their biomechanics and a course of physical therapy that helps speed collagen formation.

Source: JH Health After 50 JUL12 (w.c.120)(PT0612A)


The Home News Tribune, 29 June 2015. Print.

ELBOW YOUR WAY BACK INTO CONTENTION!

Tennis players are often sidelined by “tennis elbow,” which is medically referred to as “lateral epicondylitis,” or inflammation of the extensor tendon. This affliction of the tough, inelastic bands that connect muscles to bones may result from sudden trauma; however, it is usually a consequence of accumulative wear due to repetitive motion. Rest helps,  and a number of treatments are available. The physical therapist might recommend that active players perform wrist curls with a 2- to 3-pound dumbbell. With the arm bent at the elbow, raising and lowering the weight slowly at the wrist both lengthens and strengthens the muscle. The lowering “eccentric contraction” phase of the curl stimulates tendon-producing cells (tenocytes) to deposit healthy cells at the injury site.

Elbow pain can affect every aspect of your life, no matter what the cause. Let our experienced therapists help you. We can provide hands-on care that you need to regain movement in your elbow. And always remember that you have the right to choose where you receive therapy. Choose a facility that will treat you the way that you deserve.

P.S. You don’t have to play tennis to get “tennis elbow,” which also afflicts gardeners/landscapers, house/office cleaners, carpenters, mechanics, assembly-line workers, and others.


The Home News Tribune, 13 July 2015. Print.

TOO HOT TO TOUCH?

Heat treatment (thermotherapy) should never be applied to a soft-tissue injury within 72 hours of its occurrence. Doing so will only cause blood to collect in the affected area, resulting in more swelling. Instead, follow the RICE prescription (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation). After 72 hours, heat should only be applied under the supervision of a physical therapist or other medical professional. Once the initial bleeding has stopped, the application of heat will help stimulate the flow of blood, nutrients, oxygen, and cells that will help the injury heal. The application of heat can be especially helpful in the treatment of torn muscles and tendons after the initial pain, swelling, and inflammation have dissipated.

Of course, sometimes RICE isn’t enough. If you need physical therapy so that you can fully recover from your injury, please call 732-636-5151. Our experienced therapists provide the thoughtful care that you need to get and stay healthy after a bad sprain or other soft-tissue injury.  We can also help if you’re recovering from a car crash, a bad fall, or an athletic injury.

P.S. Heat may be used to increase the elasticity of soft tissues, decrease muscle spasm, and reduce joint stiffness, all of which lead to earlier rehabilitation.


The Home News Tribune, 27 July 2015. Print.

STRIKING A BALANCE

Ankle sprains, which occur when a ligament becomes stretched or torn, are a very common soccer injury. Because they often lead to pain and prolonged instability, soccer players of all ages should want to know what to do to prevent ankle sprains from happening in the first place. One of the few analyses to study soccer players shows that those with unequal ankle strengths were more prone to suffer ankle injuries. Thus, it’s important to have ankle strength professionally evaluated before the season begins. As a player cuts or lands from a jump, it is vital that  he or she has symmetrical activation of the two sets of ankle muscles to help the joints absorb the impact and prevent damage. 

Whether you’re trying to prevent a sprained ankle or have already suffered from one, you need to talk to one of our professional therapists. We can provide the help you need to get back on your feet and back out on the field. We also offer the good advice necessary avoid a bad sprain before it occurs. In addition to athletic injuries, we can help if you’re recovering from surgery or a car accident.

P.S. It is important for athletes of all types not to land from a jump stiff-legged. The knees should bend to help absorb the force of landing.


The Home News Tribune, 10 August 2015. Print.

POOLED EFFORTS

Rehabilitation of knee replacement patients is geared toward getting them back on their feet as soon as possible. Recent research shows that beginning aquatic therapy within a week after surgery  helps knee replacement patients initiate gait training that helps build confidence and ensure recovery. Aquatic therapy on a submerged treadmill enables patients to engage in activity earlier than if they had to wait to support their weight on land. As a result, aquatic therapy helps preserve muscle strength. The buoyancy of the pool also helps patients and physical therapists work on balance and proprioceptive control without the risk of falls. Knee replacement patients also generally look forward to working in water and are less likely to avoid appointments. 

Are you thinking about knee replacement? Let our compassionate therapists provide the aquatic therapy that will help get you back on your feet quickly and safely.  We can also help if you’re recovering from a car crash, a bad fall, or an athletic injury. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please call our office today.

P.S. Water’s viscosity provides an excellent source of resistance for strengthening for knee replacement patients undergoing rehabilitation.


The Home News Tribune, 24 August 2015. Print.

HOW PERVASIVE IS ARTHRITIS?

Would it surprise you to learn that nearly one-quarter (22%) of U.S. adults have been told by a doctor that they have arthritis? A poll of tens of thousands of individuals by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also shows that the percentage of adults who said that their joint pain and other arthritis symptoms limited their usual activity participation rose from 8.3% to 9.4%. This translates to 21 million American adults who experience difficulty climbing stairs, dressing, and performing other daily activities. Much of the increase in arthritis and arthritis-related limited endeavors stems from obesity. The percentage of people hobbled by arthritis is twice as high among obese individuals as those of normal (or under-) weight. 

If you’re dealing with arthritis, please call us immediately. Our experienced therapists can provide the help you need to reduce your pain and improve your mobility.

P.S. A physical therapist can help arthritis sufferers improve their flexibility, increase their muscle strength, and engage in exercise that will help them break the downward spiral of inactivity that obesity imposes upon them.


The Home News Tribune, 7 September 2015. Print.

CUTTING YOUNG FEMALE ATHLETE'S INJURIES

While female athletes are every bit as enthusiastic as their male counterparts, they unfortunately are two to ten times more likely to sustain anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) strains. The greater incidence of this type of knee injury is largely due to the fact that, while both boys and girls grow in height during puberty, girls’ muscles often don’t develop as much as boys’ muscles do. While the subsequent muscle imbalances make girls more likely to sustain ACL injuries, they can overcome this increased risk by warming up correctly before games and practices. By focusing on a warm-up program that involves strengthening, balance, and agility exercise, young female athletes have been able to reduce their incidence of leg-overuse injuries by 35%.

Our experienced therapists understand the unique needs of teenaged athletes, male and female. If your daughter has suffered an ACL strain, or any other sports injury, contact us today. Our experienced therapists can provide the hands-on help that your child needs to get back on the playing field. In addition, we can also help if you’re recovering from a car crash, a bad fall, or an athletic injury.

P.S. Twenty minutes is not too long for a female high school basketball or soccer player to devote to pre-game and pre-practice warm-up sessions compared to the rehabilitation time and expense that knee or ankle surgery entails.


The Home News Tribune, 21 September 2015. Print.

WEIGHTLIFTING STRENGTHENS THE BRAIN

One of the most disturbing symptoms of aging is the prospect of dementia. However, there is good news to report on the fight against cognitive impairment as new research shows that resistance training improves cognitive performance among seniors with mild cognitive impairment. Past studies have shown that both aerobic training and resistance training enhance cognitive performance and function in healthy older adults and individuals with mild cognitive impairment. The latest research goes a step further by comparing the effectiveness of both types of exercise among seniors (specifically women between the ages of 70 and 80) with mild cognitive impairment. In this group, aerobics improved fitness and balance but did not bring the cognitive improvements that weightlifting did.  

If you’re a senior who wants to add weightlifting to your workout, for whatever reason, please call us to make an appointment with one of our experienced therapists. We will work with you and your doctor to design an exercise regimen just for you, building it around your unique goals and limitations. And always remember that you have the right to choose where you receive physical therapy.

P.S. A growing body of evidence shows that physical therapists can help seniors better cope with a variety of aspects of aging and may even help slow mental and physical strength.


The Home News Tribune, 5 October 2015. Print.

GETTING TO THE CORE OF BACK PAIN

If you are overweight, losing those extra pounds may help do more than reduce your diabetes or heart disease risk. Extra weight also contributes to disc degeneration in the spine, particularly the lower (lumbar) spine. In addition, the spine is stabilized by muscles that run up and down in back of the vertebral column. These muscles keep the spine straight and fight forces (added weight, lifting, etc.) that bend the spine forward. To support their efforts, it helps to strengthen abdominal muscles. However, if you have a medical condition that makes it difficult for you to do sit-ups and other core-strengthening exercises, seek the help of a physical therapist to design a regimen specifically for you.     

No matter what your weight, if you’re dealing with back pain then we can help. Our experienced therapists can provide the hands-on therapy that you need to reduce your pain, increase your strength, and improve your flexibility.  In addition, we can also help if you’re recovering from a car crash, a bad fall, or an athletic injury

P.S. Many sources of back pain can be relieved without resorting to surgery.


The Home News Tribune, 19 October 2015. Print.

HAND SIGNALS

If you perform a lot of repetitive motions with your hand(s), you may be a prime candidate for “carpal tunnel syndrome,” which is caused by compression of the median nerve. If tendons in the carpal tunnel (through which the median nerve enters the hand) become inflamed and swollen, they can squeeze the nerve. The resultant pain, tingling, and numbness in the hand and wrist are the first indications you will have of a problem. To avoid potential long-term problems (loss of feeling in fingers and permanent weakness in the thumb), it is important to seek immediate treatment. The physical therapist can recommend easy hand and wrist exercises that ease the strain on tired wrists to keep them flexible.

Do you have any questions or concerns about carpal tunnel or any other sort of wrist pain? We can help. We will work with you to reduce the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and prevent them from coming back. We can also help if you’re recovering from a surgery or bad fall or if you’re suffering from arthritis or back pain.

P.S. You may first notice symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome at night, which may be relieved with shakes of the hand. Do not dismiss these early symptoms.


The Home News Tribune, 2 November 2015. Print.

TREATING HERNIATED DISCS

The symptoms of a herniated intervertebral disc vary greatly depending on the location and size of the herniation. In fact, some people do not even realize that they have herniated discs. However, when a herniated disc presses on a nerve, the pain, muscle weakness, and numbness can be so great that sufferers may consider surgery, but this should only be considered as a last resort. In the meantime, it may help to reach out to a physical therapist. He or she can provide non-invasive therapies such as ultrasound and diathermy to project heat into affected tissues. Manual therapy may also help relieve pain and increase mobility. Traction may prove useful and preclude the need for more drastic measures.

Do you have a herniated disc? Before contemplating surgery, please call our office. Our experienced therapists will work with your doctor to devise a unique regimen just for you. In addition, we can also help if you’re recovering from a car crash, a bad fall, or surgery.

P.S. A herniated disc involves rupturing of the fibrocartilagenous material that surrounds the disc and the release of the disc’s center portion, which contains a gelatinous substance.


The Home News Tribune, 16 November 2015. Print.

HIGH HEELS HURT KNEES

Women may feel sexy wearing high heels, but they are also likely to feel pain. According to one study, healthy women who wore two-inch heels increased the torque on the inside of their knees by 23% compared with going barefoot. (“Torque” is the rotational force applied around an axis or joint, such as the knee.) Thus, high-heeled women are subjecting themselves to sufficient force to damage their knee cartilage and cause arthritis. This helps explain why twice as many women as men experience osteoarthritis of the knee. In light of this information, women are encouraged to preserve their health by wearing low heels and saving high heels for special occasions. Suffering for fashion is overrated.

Foot or knee pain can color every activity in your life, whether it’s been caused by high heels or a sports injury. Let us help you. Our experienced therapists can provide the hands-on help that you need to reduce your pain and even prevent future injuries. And remember, you have the right to choose your own physical therapy facility. Choose one that will treat you the way that you deserve.

P.S. The stress that high heels place on the forefoot often results in stress fractures, which cause pain, swelling, and tenderness.


The Home News Tribune, 30 November 2015. Print.

THE "POPEYE EFFECT"

When mothers tell their children to eat more spinach “so that (they) will get big muscles  like Popeye,” there may have been more truth to the advice than they knew. It seems that people of all ages can boost muscle strength  simply by eating the green-leafed vegetable. According to researchers working in the lab, the nitrate found in spinach, beet root, chard, and lettuce exerted a “powerful effect” on elevating muscle strength. Lab animals fed nitrates for a week had much stronger muscles, particularly in the legs and feet, than animals not fed nitrates. The nitrate-fed animals also had higher blood concentrations of two proteins involved in the body’s calcium balance, which plays a role in muscle contraction.

Of course, just eating greens alone won’t help. You need to exercise to build muscles. Let our experienced therapists work with you to design a regimen that is tailored to your specific goals, whether those are building muscles or improving balance or restoring motion.

P.S. According to the study mentioned above, a person needs to eat only about seven to ten ounces of fresh spinach daily to get sufficient nitrates to build stronger muscles.


The Home News Tribune, 14 December 2015. Print.

MAKING A QUALITATIVE DIFFERENCE

The fact that physically fit individuals live longer is hardly lost on Baby Boomers (in particular). However, the benefit of being fit does not stop there. Recent research shows that fit 50-year-olds are less likely to get chronic disease as they get older than their more sedentary counterparts. This finding is based on a study of nearly 19,000 healthy men and women whose cardiorespiratory fitness was measured on a treadmill at age 50. More than two decades later, both men and women with the best fitness levels experienced less incidence of eight chronic conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and colon cancer. These individuals did not just stave off chronic diseases until later; they avoided many entirely. 

No matter what your age, if you’re interested in improving your fitness, please call 732-636-5151. Our experienced therapists can provide guidance that you need to improve your overall fitness. And always remember that you have the right to choose where you receive therapy. Choose a facility that will treat you the way that you deserve.

P.S. If a physical shortcoming or injury compromises your ability to exercise or play sports at a vigorous level, the physical therapist may help you get over your difficulty.


The Home News Tribune, 28 December 2015. Print.

JOINT-SPARING MEASURES

If you are considering joining the 770,000 Americans who undergo hip- or knee-replacement surgery each year, you might want to make sure first that you have exhausted preventive measures that may help avoid surgery. The most important of these steps involves losing weight if you are carrying extra pounds. For every extra pound you carry, you place three pounds of additional pressure on the knees and six additional pounds on the hips. Thus, if you have arthritis, research indicates that you stand to cut your knee pain in half by losing fifteen pounds. If you ultimately turn to joint-replacement surgery for relief, losing extra weight will place you in a better recovery position.

Of course, no matter what your weight, if you’re experiencing knee pain, then you should call our office for an appointment right away. Our compassionate therapists provide the hands-on care that you need to reduce your knee pain and increase your mobility. We can also help you lose weight, if that’s an issue.

P.S. If sore and weakened knees or hips are preventing you from exercising and losing weight, a physical therapist can recommend exercises that are gentle on the joints and will help build surrounding muscles (thereby taking stress off joints).


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