October is more than national pumpkin spiced everything month, it is also National Physical Therapy Month. If you are an athlete, are over 60, or have had any serious injury, you have no doubt spent time ~ some painful and some pleasant ~ with these key players in the recovery business.
This is the month when we give thanks to all the endlessly patient physical therapists who work with us to help us heal from injuries and chronic issues, and to restore, maintain and improve our mobility. The people who give us exercises to do every day at home, and hardly ever fuss when we confess that we skipped them to watch reruns of Seinfeld on TV.
OrthoCarolina employs over 80 Physical Therapists,who play a big role in patient rehabilitation, and whose work is critical to how OrthoCarolina helps their patients maximize long-term health benefits and recovery. You can read up HERE on why 13 of these PTs chose this field.
And you can follow OrthoCarolina on Facebook or Twitter for weekly tips from their Physical Therapists, like the ones we’ve rounded up below:
New Tips This Week!
For minor uncomplicated injuries, the general course of treatment to be expected is this: a little ice, a little heat, slow movements, and then quicker movements.
Mark Miele, PT,MPT, Cert.SMT, Cert. DN, Dip. Osteopractic, CSCS
Get up and move during the day. We are simply not designed to sit as much as modern society requires us to. Set a timer on your computer or phone and get up at least every 30 minutes. This can be as simple as standing up to do a couple of stretches or walking to the bathroom. Standing desks are a great option for part of the day to break things up. This is true for children as well. – Chris Gabriel, PT, OCS, CSCS
Whatever you do, whatever your job, always maintain proper posture.
— Zen Abanilla, PT, OrthoCarolina University
There is no way to truly prevent a fall, but to minimize risk use your eyes, slow down, build leg muscles, practice and have fun! Dancing is an effective way to improve balance, coordination, strength and endurance. — Donna Goodwin, PT, OrthoCarolina Matthews
Need to ice a sore area fast? Freeze water in a 5 oz paper cup, peel the top inch away and rub the ice directly on the area for about two minutes to get it numb. You’re done! — Mark Miele, PT,MPT, Cert.SMT, Cert. DN, Dip. Osteopractic, CSCS
Week 3 of #PTMonth Tips from Ortho Carolina
Skipping, high knee marching and dynamic leg swings prepare the body for exercise or sport without risking injury or overstretching. – Chris Gabriel, PT
Photo credit Lance Cpl. Jacob Barber (https://www.dvidshub.net/image/530843) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
On crutches? They should have about a three-finger height clearance from the padded top to the armpit. – Mark Miele, PT,MPT, Cert.SMT, Cert. DN, Dip. Osteopractic, CSCS
Photo credit Pagemaker787 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
One of the best, most inexpensive ways to treat plantar fasciitis at home is to roll/massage the underside of your foot on a frozen water bottle. – Ken Breath, PT, ATC, LAT, Cert DN
Poor posture increases the stress and strain we put on our spine and key joints and increasing our risk of injury. Practicing neutral standing yoga postures can help retrain posture. – Jenni Freie, PT, DPT, OCS
If there is ever a question about when to use ice or heat, remember that in general, the only thing you should not put ice on is frostbite. – Mark Miele, PT,MPT, Cert.SMT, Cert. DN, Dip. Osteopractic, CSCS
Photo source: By Mamun2a – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35334013
Week 2 of #PTMonth Tips from Ortho Carolina
Make a homemade ice pack: Fill Large Ziplock bag with 1 cup of rubbing alcohol and 2 cups water
Try to get as much of the air out of the bag before sealing it shut
Place the bag and its contents inside a second freezer bag to contain any leakage
Leave bag in freezer for at least an hour
It’s more flexible than most store bought ice packs and easy to use
Emily Allen, PTA, OrthoCarolina Gastonia
How you sit is important. Focus on using the “90-90-90 position” while sitting at work. Your ear should be on top of the shoulder, the shoulder should be on top of the hip (for spinal alignment), and your elbow should be bent at a 90 degree angle. If your arms are winged out it can dramatically increase the tension in your neck and shoulder area. Your hips should be at a 90 degree angle as well as the knees and thighs – all 90 degrees. Your feet should rest flat on the floor. For shorter people, a footrest under the feet can help achieve the 90 degree angle.
Carol Green, PT, COMT
Work exercise into your day. You don’t have to designate an hour for exercise…build exercise into your daily activities. Do hip kicks while waiting for the coffee pot in the AM, balance on one leg while brushing your teeth, park farther away from the store entrance & use good squat form and mechanics while unloading the washer/dryer, etc. – Craig Duggan, MPT, ATC, LAT, PES
Movement is your friend. Spend at least five minutes a day moving your body throughout its entire range of motion. If you sit all day, be sure to stretch out the opposite direction. Stretch your arms up high and lean backwards. Stretch your hamstrings and your calves by bending as far forward as you can. See how far you can twist your body each way to lengthen your trunk muscles. Breathe deep from your belly.
– Zen Abanilla, PT, OrthoCarolina University
Foam rollers are a great investment, though you can also use them at the gym. Roll around and find the tense spots or knots in the muscle and roll gently over them (just don’t overdo it). There is some debate as to whether it’s best to roll before or after exercise but I prefer before in order to maximize mobility prior to performing certain movements or lifts.
– Tyler Brady, PT, DPT, Cert. DN. OrthoCarolina University
Week 1 of #PTMonth Tips from Ortho Carolina
High planks build core strength and can improve an athlete’s form and speed. – Jenni Freie, PT, DPT, OCS, OrthoCarolina Pineville
How hard should you push a stretch? If you cannot hold a conversation while you stretch, you are pushing too hard. – Mark Miele, PT,MPT, Cert.SMT, Cert. DN, Dip. Osteopractic, CSCS, OC Gastonia
Train in what you will wear race day. Don’t buy a new pair of shoes right before a big running race. – Meredith Bumgarner, MS, OT/L
Do ONE thing every day that is good for your BODY: eat a healthy snack, start reading a new book or magazine, sit outside for 20 minutes, take the stairs, balance on one leg for 30 seconds, take a deep breath and really listen to your breathing, drink a glass of water, try 10 wall pushups, stretch your hamstrings, belly laugh or just SMILE!!” — Donna Goodwin, PT, OC Matthews
Fat is your friend, but choose the right kinds. Choose foods high in Omega 3 fatty acids, they are good for your heart and can reduce inflammation in your body — fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, raw nuts – walnuts, almonds, olive oil, avocados. – Chris Gabriel, OCS, CSCS