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)
Playing a sport is a great way to be active, stay in shape and gain many mental benefits as well. However, there is also risk for physical and/or brain injury in any sport; some more than others. The following infographic provides great insight to these numbers and will allow for proper precautions to be taken where possible. Whether your child is on a little league or a high school team, or if you’re a in a “weekend warrior” league and even the pros, you need to be aware of the dangers present in the sport you’re involved with and what you can do to reduce the chance for injury. Knowing what risks may be faced gives parents, coaches, schools and the individual athlete the chance to be better prepared and reduce the chance for injury. Please click the photo below for more information and to view the infograpgic.
Our Society Hill team really made a big difference for this patient! Way to go guys! Woohoo!
“Just another way to thank Courtney, Vi, Brandi, Tony, Adam & Lauren for all of their assistance and laughter in my journey back to back health!
Courtney was especially instrumental in my recovery. I truly appreciate her academia along with her caring and patient personality.”
Shoulder instability is a common injury that occurs during contact and non-contact activities. It is the result of increased laxity (looseness) of the joint capsule and weakness in the shoulder area, specifically the rotator cuff muscles. With a weak rotator cuff, there is an increased risk of developing this “laxity” from overuse. Instability can also develop from a traumatic injury, such as a dislocation. Physical therapy can help to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles and those around the shoulder blade to get you back to doing what you want and help prevent reinjury.
Laxity in the capsule creates looseness in the integrity of the joint. Instability is created when the arm is placed in certain positions and gives the individual a sense that the shoulder is “slipping” out of the socket. Swimmers and pitchers are at high risk due to the repetitive overhead movement of the arm creating the most common reason for shoulder instability; overuse.
Of course the symptoms, location and intensity will all vary. Below are some common symptoms to watch out for if you experience shoulder pain:
- Pain with pushing, pulling, or carrying heavy objects
- Pain when performing an overhead activity
- Pain during or after exercise
- A feeling that the shoulder is “shifting” (including in bed at night)
- Fear of putting the shoulder in certain positions
- Numbness and tingling sensations in the affected arm
- Clicking and popping sensations with movement
- Weakness when performing athletic movements, especially overhead and away from the body
- Loss of performance ability in sport activities
- Fatigue with repetitive activity*
A mobility assessment of the shoulder joint in various positions will help a Physical Therapist determine if it’s shoulder laxity leading to instability or another type of injury. They will also include strength tests of the rotator cuff and scapula (shoulder blade). These checks, along with a thorough patient history will aid the PT in making a determination. X-rays or an MRI may be ordered by a physician for a more detailed diagnosis.
Once your Physical Therapist evaluates the extent of muscular imbalances and areas of weakness, they may recommend that you modify or stop movements that exasperate the injury. Alleviating the inflammation and pain should be the first step in treatment. Your PT or physician may also suggest a sling to help with the pain and show you the appropriate way to apply heat and ice to lessen any discomfort.
The program your PT creates will include exercises to build the shoulder’s stability and strength, with a gradual increase to more dynamic and challenging movements specifically geared toward your goals and activity. Manual therapy techniques may be used in conjunction with physical strength training to optimize the results. After your range of motion and strength are restored you will be able to progressively participate in your sport or activity on an interval basis.
How can you prevent shoulder instability? Preventing instability of the shoulder falls into 3 categories:
- Strengthening and stretching the scapular muscles and the muscles of the rotator cuff. Athletes may perform scapular and rotator cuff strengthening exercises 3-4 times per week.
- Some overhead athletes need to stretch the posterior capsule with instability.
- Monitoring the volume of activity performed. This practice is just as important as strengthening exercises. Baseball players will often use pitch counts to avoid overuse injuries, while swimmers attempt to maintain weekly yardage totals.
- Maintaining proper form and technique. Good coaching on proper form and technique by a qualified coaching professional can be a valuable asset in preventing injuries in the young athlete population.*
If you feel you may be suffering from instability of the shoulder, please contact the Excel or Apex Physical Therapy clinic nearest you to schedule a consultation.
*Move Forward – PT’s Guide to Multidirectional Instability
Another great success story, thanks to our amazing PT Hannah Leatherman at our Apex Chalfont clinic. Keep it up, Hannah!
I had been suffering from dizziness and balance problems for over a year when I first came to Apex. I was unable to work and do every day activities, which was very depressing. After working with Hannah for a couple of weeks things began to improve and they continued to improve drastically in the weeks following. Hannah is wonderful to work with, she was very encouraging and an expert with vestibular disorders. I had no idea why I was so dizzy, but she knew exactly what to do to make my symptoms better. I would recommend Hannah to anyone needing vestibular therapy. Apex is a great place, everyone was very kind and nice to work with! I feel like I have my life back again. 🙂
Doing squats is for more than just building strong leg muscles and having a nice backside. Doing them properly and consistently provides many additional health benefits for the whole body. Deep squats are a natural movement for us as children, but as we grow and mature we tend to utilize this position less and less. This in turn creates a reduced amount of strength, mobility and flexibility. Even beyond the lower body, deep squats help with overall core and upper body conditioning, so these areas are affected as well. The deep squat is considered a compound exercise, where it utilizes multiple muscle groups to complete the movement. It is one of the best all-inclusive exercises one can perform to help gain strength, balance, flexibility and prevent injuries. Click the photo below for five of the top reasons to squat deep and how it helps in these areas.
5 Reasons to Full Squat
By James Speck