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Protect Knees with the Right Kind of Warm-up

The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) helps to stabilize the knee and connects the femur and tibia bones. ACL injuries can happen with sudden movement changes or bad landings, especially in sports like soccer, basketball and football. They are occurring more frequently and seem to be more common in females. Due to the increase of these injuries, researchers have developed what is known as neuromuscular training to help athletes learn how to move in ways to decrease the likelihood of injury. Click the photo below for the full article.

 

Spring has Sprung!

After the long-hard winter we had this year, Spring is a most welcomed friend for us! It’s time to get back outside to enjoy the warmer weather, time to get moving again, time to try new things. As you delve into a new routine or get back to your old favorites, take a look at these tips from Kevin Miller, Fitness Coach for the Philadelphia Union, to help with different goals.

 

Do You Really “Knee”d Surgery for a Meniscus Tear?

According to a recently published study, that question is open for debate!

You may have a neighbor or relative who felt a “twinge” in their knee when they pivoted or went into a deep squat. The pain was enough to go to a physician and an MRI revealed a “Menicus tear.” What happens next, Physical Therapy (PT) or surgery? According to researchers in Finland, who studied two sets of patients —one group that received surgery and another that was led to believe that it had—no significant differences in improvement between the groups were observed after one year. 

In addition, a separate study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reports that arthroscopic surgery for a torn meniscus is the most common orthopedic procedure performed in the U.S. The study showed that approximately $4 billion is spent annually for an estimated 700,000 surgeries.1   The results from the Finland study indicate PT may help lower these costs and possibly avoid undue surgery.

meniscus_01a

The meniscus is a crescent shaped pad of cartilage in the knee between the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone). The meniscus acts as a cushion and helps disperse body weight, lessening friction that is caused through movement. When torn, a meniscus tear could become lodged between the femur and tibia limiting movement.  That is definitely a reason to have surgery. But, many times there is only pain, no locking or catching. These are the patients who tend to do better with PT. So, is surgery necessary for a meniscus tear?

 “Surgery did provide a slight advantage in certain areas early on, …but the differences disappeared by the end of the 12 months.”Physical Therapy addresses weaknesses by strengthening muscles, tightness by stretching joints and creates more efficient movement with functional exercises, which for some, can be enough to alleviate the need for surgery.

 

  1. JewishJournal.com, “Knee Surgery Ineffective for Many Cases of Torn Cartilage”, January 3, 2014
  2. The Wall Street Journal, “Fake Knee Surgery as Good as Real Procedure, Study Finds”, December 25, 2013

A Round of Applause for Apex’s Lionville Clinic!

Daniel AllenA wonderful success story for Dan Allen and his staff at our Apex Lionville clinic! Way to go guys!

My Success Story at Apex Physical Therapy and Fitness Center

I had bilateral knee replacement surgery on December 3, 2013 and after spending a week in Bryn Mawr rehabilitation Hospital, I needed additional physical therapy to regain my abilities to walk, work and exercise. I had never been in physical therapy, so at 64 a new experience awaited. To say that I was apprehensive was an understatement. Although the occupational and physical therapy sessions at Bryn Mawr were very helpful, I had little expectation that I would find the same level of care and professionalism at a local facility. I could not have been more wrong. The care and treatment I received at Apex was every bit as professional, plus the benefit of establishing a truly “working” relationship with a therapy professional made my rehabilitation a definite success. Dan Allen was not only the Clinical Director at Apex, but my personal therapist. From the first day (12/16/13) to my graduation (2/27/14) he handled every situation in my rehabilitation with a clear purpose and direction. He was very attuned to the ups and downs of my personal mindset as we experienced much success and a few down days. He pushed when I needed it and I would be constantly surprised at my progress without even being conscious of the strides we were making weekly and sometimes daily. The few down days were handled with understanding and encouragement, but never without reinforcing the purpose of the journey.

Dan and Apex were exactly what I needed and my observation of the other patients over the ten weeks was that they too were receiving what they needed. There was definitely a team and open tone to the sessions at Apex. I was surprised how many other patients would offer encouragement and positive feedback to each other in a genuine regard for each other. This does not happen by accident. In summary, I am three months into recovering from a major surgery and looking forward and expect a full recovery and I can state honestly I would not be at this wonderful point without Apex, Dan and his staff. I would not hesitate to unconditionally recommend Apex to anyone needing physical therapy from professionals who absolutely care about their patients and their needs.

TPM

Foam Rollers – Choosing the Right One

Foam rolling is a form of self-massage that helps to lengthen muscles, break up scar tissue and adhesions and increase blood flow. It’s beneficial for anyone, both the athlete and non-athlete alike, to do on a daily basis. You may experience tender spots or muscle compensation just from sitting at a desk all day or because your body is healing from an injury. Sometimes rolling these trigger points may be painful or uncomfortable. This should not stop you from performing this, as it is more proof your body needs it. Start with a few minutes a day and gradually increase the time as your body allows. Of course, for any excessive pain, you should consult your physician or physical therapist. Over the years this practice has gained more popularity, and with that more options to choose from when purchasing a foam roller. If you’re ready to start a foam rolling program, but not sure what you need, check out the link below as a helpful guide. (Click photo)

Foam Rollers