Photo credit: Beth Bischoff for Women’s Health
Are you considering starting a new fitness program, but don’t know “squat” about the best way to begin? A squat, done properly, uses lots of muscle groups from core to toe so an improper squat can be a sign that your body is compensating for tightness or weakness in several key areas. This article in Woman’s Health
explains how to do a preliminary assessment of your fitness level by taking a look at the way you perform squats.
Better yet, why not make an appointment with a fitness professional trained in the Functional Movement Screen (FMS)? FMS is a ranking and grading system that documents movement patterns that are key to normal function. It was developed by a physical therapist, Gray Cook, and athletic trainer, Lee Burton to identify limitations and inefficient movement patterns.
The screen consists of seven movements which combine coordination, mobility and stability. As the client is put through these movement patterns, asymmetries and limitations are easily identified. Early identification of these issues can prevent future injuries and help you get a safe start to your new fitness program.
E & A Therapy has fifteen clinicians certified in providing Functional Movement Screens. Read more about FMS, or call the location closest to you if you are interested in making an appointment to work with one of our physical therapists.
Knowing is not enough; we must apply.
Willing is not enough; we must do.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Rachel Shimko knows what it’s like to drag yourself to physical therapy. She’s been there.
In fact, she credits a knee injury, sustained while skiing in 1992 and the rehabilitation that followed as the spark that lit the way to her career as a physical therapist.
“I remember thinking, this is really cool. I could do this,” she said.
A Passion for Physical Therapy
Rachel started her career as a personal trainer in a physical therapy office, but she soon found that she wasn’t challenged enough in that role and she returned to school, graduating from Widener in 2003 with a doctorate of Physical Therapy.
For a while, she worked by day as the manager of a skilled nursing facility and at night as a physical therapist. Ultimately, however, it was her love of helping people recover from orthopedic injuries that won out.
“I love working with a variety of patents, but I realized where my passion was,” she said. She says she loves working at Apex in Pottstown-Coventry because she gets to help patients with all sorts of mobility and pain issues. “I love knowing I have an impact,” she said.
Leading by Example
Rachel isn’t working two jobs anymore, but her schedule is still busy. It’s not always easy to fit exercise into her work week, but she knows it’s necessary to stay in shape for her job, which requires long hours on her feet. Her regular exercise program includes running, in addition to strength training at the gym at least twice a week.
“If I don’t do it, my knee will definitely act up,” she said, and that’s a lesson she tries to drive home to her patients.
“I tell them I know what you are going through. I know it’s hard,” she said, but she also tells them that her experience has taught her that doing the work in physical therapy can yield big results.
“If someone comes in with a herniated disc and low back strain, I also encourage them to make changes to their diet and activity level a little bit at a time,” she said. And when physical therapy is complete, she stresses the importance of maintaining those changes by committing to a home exercise program of basic stretches or by going to the gym.
A Taste of Success
Her approach is holistic. She encourages patients to make small changes toward a healthier lifestyle, and that too is a lesson she’s learned from experience.
While growing up on a farm in Unionville, Pennsylvania, she had lots of opportunities to be active, but she admits her farm girl diet wasn’t always healthy. “The more butter the better,” she said. After moving closer to Philadelphia, she started to explore new kinds of food and healthier ways of cooking. “I love to try out new recipes with more flavor” and less butter, she said.
Get your questions answered by the experts!
Join Dr. Nicholas Pagano, DPM and Jane Fagan, PT, DPT as they talk about common foot and ankle problems.
The place is Born to Run in Lafayette Hill from 1 to 3 pm.
Hope to see you there!
Exercise provides significant reduction in low back pain.
Standing in the grocery checkout line, you’ll see any number of fitness magazines proclaiming exercise to be the cure for just about everything, except low back pain. The common misconception is to avoid back exercises if you have a sore back.
Clinical research suggests that exercise plays a major role in the management of chronic lower back pain. Studies show that exercise provides significant reduction in pain and disability for patients with low back pain. Physical therapist directed exercises, such as the McKenzie method and spine stabilization exercises, decrease recurrent pain. Exercise could just be the most effective way to reduce recovery time from low back pain while simultaneously strengthening back and abdominal muscles. We have posted a 6 video series of back exercises that are routinely performed during physical therapy with the assistance and guidance of a physical therapist. Please click here to view the videos on our website.
For patients with skeletal irregularities, maintaining muscle strength as well as building muscle is particularly important. Physical therapists can provide a list of gentle exercises that help keep patients muscles moving and accelerate recovery. A routine of back-healthy activities may include stretching, swimming, yoga, walking, and movement therapy to improve coordination and develop proper posture and muscle balance. Any mild discomfort felt at the start of these exercises should disappear as muscles become stronger.
- Contributed by: Joseph Ruhl, PT, Partner, E & A Physical Therapy
The Philadelphia Rock and Roll Half Marathon is one of the most popular races in Philadelphia. With the race gun going off on Sunday, September 18th, runners are in the final stretches of their long training programs. Most runners have ramped up to their
Meseret--Female Winner, 2010
maximum long training run and have logged their highest weekly mileage, leaving their bodies primed for injury. One of the easiest ways to prevent injuries in the final two weeks is to begin tapering your running. Tapering means running less and resting more. Most athletes who have been training for a race 10 weeks or more find tapering the hardest part of the training program as they feel they will lose conditioning. This does not occur. In fact, strength improves as your muscles have time to recover, inflamed tendons have time to heal and your immune system gets stronger.
After the race, unfortunately some aces and pains can become a problem. The most common injuries we see are over-use injuries in nature. If pain does not resolve in a week after the race, it is wise to seek out a Sports Physical Therapist for a quick check-up.
Starting September 20th, Excel Physical Therapy and their partners, Apex Physical Therapy are offering free injury or free Functional Movement Screenings at the following locations:
1. The Valley Forge Running Co. ***
305 Second Ave.
Collegeville, PA 610-489-8090
2. Philadelphia Runner–Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011 5:30-7:30. Along with Excel PTs, Dr. Michael Ross-Sports Medicine specialist with The Rothman Institute will be on hand to answer any questions.
Wilmington-West Chester Pike (Rt. 202)
Glen Mills, PA 610-558-9100
3. Philadelphia Runner–Thursday, Sept. 22nd, 2011–after the group run! 7:30-8:30pm
16th and Sansom
13 E. State Street
Media, PA 610- 627-0600
*** Functional Movement Screens (FMS) also.
Good Luck with your race!
Excel Physical Therapy and Apex Physical Therapy have merged to form E & A Physical Therapy. The new company will provide the Philadelphia area with excellent rehabilitation services for musculoskeletal conditions and other injuries.
Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) August 4, 2011 — Two of the largest privately owned physical therapy businesses in the region have merged to form a new company. Excel Physical Therapy of Philadelphia, PA and Apex Physical Therapy of Blue Bell, PA, are now consolidating operations as E & A Physical Therapy. The new practice, headquartered in Plymouth Meeting, will feature 22 locations and 60 physical therapists.
E & A Physical Therapy draws from the experience of both brands, creating a company that will expertly rehabilitate those with musculoskeletal injuries, sports injuries and post-surgical conditions. Physical therapy offers a cost-effective alternative to surgery, disability and medication, and active adults can maintain a better quality of life through the use of personalized rehabilitation and exercise programs.
Todd Logic, PT from the Apex ownership team, said that the two companies’ values and patient-centered philosophy made for a perfect match.
“We are energized to strengthen our brand, grow our market share and demonstrate the excellence that physical therapists can provide,” he said.
“We want to continue to attract the highest quality of physical therapist and provide the one-on-one service that makes our treatment approach so effective. This merger will help us do that well into the future,” said Jeff Ostrowski, PT from the Excel ownership team.
About E & A Physical Therapy
E & A Physical Therapy provides rehabilitation for musculoskeletal conditions in outpatient clinics throughout the region under the brands Excel Physical Therapy & Fitness and Apex Physical Therapy & Fitness. The company employs 60 therapists in 22 locations.
For more information, please contact Sarah Walmsley, PT Director of Marketing at Swalmsley(at)excelphsyicaltherapy(dot)com.