It can be hard to maintain proper posture, especially if you have a desk job. Following are four keys from Carrington College that can help you sit properly as you work.
Putting these tips into practice can help you avoid the pain and discomfort caused by chronic bad posture. At the same time, it is important to realize that bad posture isn't the only cause of back pain, neck pain and headaches. Talk to your physical therapist if you need help, as he or she may identify the root cause of your discomfort and help you get rid of it.
A special thank you to Monica Gomez for assistance in writing this post.
In 2015, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr had surgery to fix a ruptured disk in his low back.
Since, he has fought complications, including missing almost half of the games last year and now, missing games 3 and 4 of the playoff series against the Portland Trailblazers. Unfortunately, he could be out longer depending on how fast he recuperates.
“I can tell you if you’re listening out there, if you have a back problem, stay away from surgery,’’ Kerr told reporters. “I can say that from the bottom of my heart. Rehab, rehab, rehab. Don’t let anyone get in there.”
While San Ramon Valley Physical Therapy has helped numerous patients recover very well from low back surgery, the key take away from Kerr's message is to make sure you attempt a great rehab program before going under the knife.
In the ABC article, Spine Surgeon Dr. Steven Lee at Muir Orthopedics gives a great perspective confirming that a majority of people do not need surgery and low back pain can be solved in many different ways.
If you have questions about your low back pain, feel free to reach out to us at: email@example.com
A low back MRI can help out a great deal with understanding if there is anything wrong with the anatomical structures (like a fracture, spinal cord damage, or even cancer).
Once major diagnoses are cleared, scary words like "degeneration" and "disk bulge" may appear on the MRI report It is important to realize that these findings are very common in people without any pain.
A few smart researchers performed a study and looked at low back imaging of over 3,000 asymptomatic people of all ages and found some pretty amazing information. See a nice chart of their finding below:
The study's abstract says it best:
"The prevalence of disk degeneration in asymptomatic individuals increased from 37% of 20-year-old individuals to 96% of 80-year-old individuals. Disk bulge prevalence increased from 30% of those 20 years of age to 84% of those 80 years of age."
Imaging findings of spine degeneration are present in high proportions of asymptomatic individuals, increasing with age. Many imaging-based degenerative features are likely part of normal aging and unassociated with pain. These imaging findings must be interpreted in the context of the patient’s clinical condition."
Bottom line: Just because your MRI says there is spine degeneration, don't fret! It's part of the normal aging process. If you have back pain, skilled physical therapy can help get you moving pain-free!
Let us know if you have any questions! firstname.lastname@example.org
On April 2nd, Oakland had their annual Running Festival and some of the staff at San Ramon Valley Physical Therapy got out and participated.
The center four, Drew (aide), Jessica (therapist), Dominick (therapist), and Claire (aide), ran the team relay in 3:57:39 and finished 37th out of 157 teams. Not bad!
Laurel (aide), far left, ran the half marathon in 1:58:19 and Maureen (therapist), far right, also ran the half in 1:38:01, averaging a 7:28 mile, finishing 24th out of 1371 women! Great job ladies!
If your shoulder has been irritating you for a while, there is a good chance there is some weakness. Check out these 4 single arm exercises to get you started!
A band is required, which can be affixed to a door knob. If you need a band, let me know and we can make it happen!
1. External Rotation; 10-15 x 3 sets.
2. Internal Rotation; 10-15 x 3 Sets
3. Single Arm Row; 10-15 x 3 sets
4. Single Arm Band Punch; 10-15 x 3 sets
We hope these exercises help to build strength in your shoulder and possibly help reduce pain in the shoulder (and can even help in some cases with neck and elbow pain!).
Have a great week!.
Patients always ask us “Why does my _________ hurt?” Sometimes, there’s a straight-forward answer (e.g. rolled ankle, lifted a heavy object, bit by a shark while kite surfing). Other times, especially when the pain is chronic, things get a little more complicated…
To get a better idea of how pain works, we can start with a general idea of where it can come from. The body is comprised of different kinds of tissues including skin, fascia, muscles, bones, and nerves. These tissues have sensors that detect injury and send signals to the brain, which then makes a decision: “Where is the pain occurring? How painful is this injury? How does this make me feel? What do I do now?”
With the majority of our injuries, our brains and bodies eventually shrug the pain off, even if it takes a few weeks to do so. Unfortunately, during the complicated cases, the pain signal becomes ingrained in our brains and we begin to experience chronic pain. We all know someone going through this. Taking pain medication becomes as routine as brushing their teeth. However, while medication can help, there is a limit to its effectiveness.
To truly overcome pain, an active approach is necessary to re-train the brain and body to tolerate more movement and lead to a normal lifestyle. However, what a patient can do to be active is not always clear and sometimes even scary due to the fear of making the pain worse or causing further injury.
If this is sounding all too familiar, a physical therapist can help by first discussing your pain experience and how the pain is being a detriment to your quality of life. From there, you and the physical therapist can collaborate to formulate a specific plan to get you back to kite surfing in safer waters.
Check out this short video for better understanding of pain and general ideas for better pain management. For a more specific plan on what you can do to address pain, contact our clinic to schedule a visit so we can discuss ways to help you.
I recently came across a study that found from 2007-2011, almost 1 million people went to their doctor for plantar fasciitis, accounting for over 5.7 MILLION visits. Pretty amazing how prevalent of an issue foot and heel pain is in America. What was even more staggering was that only 7% of those patients went on to see a physical therapist to help treat their symptoms. Really??
While plantar fasciitis is difficult to treat, physical therapy, from a good clinician, should, at the very least, be able to minimize your discomfort, Yes, passive modalities are helpful (ultrasound, iontophoresis, ice, TENS, etc.) but hands-on treatment, further understanding of the cause of your symptoms, and a solid home exercise program that is correctly followed should give you significant relief. We see it in our clinic every day.
Don't blame the heel spur, please.
Another interesting study looked at people with and without plantar fasciitis and found almost 50% of people WITHOUT plantar fasciitis had a heel spur. The study further went on to say that "key radiological features that differentiate the groups were not spurs but rather changes in the soft tissue."
2 (of many) Things to Try:
1. Toe/Achilles Complex Stretch - 5 sec holds 10x; 3-5 x per day, especially in the AM and before you hit the sack.
2. Ball on soft tissue - 2-5 minutes 3-5 x per day...especially in the AM and before bed time.
Please come and see us if you have been having persistent heel pain. There is a good possibility we can help get rid of your symptoms. Let me know if you have any questions: email@example.com
Happy New Year!
With exercise and fitness, there is always the next newest and best thing.
With that being said, never forget the fundamentals! They should apply to any of the new routines and exercises you are encorporating.
With core stabilization exercises that are preformed on your back or in a plank, you should always start with and maintain a posterior pelvic tilt. What does that mean? Check out the pictures below:
Whatever the core exercise try and keep a posterior pelvic tilt to limit the back's involvement in the exercise.
Try it! Lay on your back and arch yor low back off the ground. Reach under and feel how tight your low back muscles are and then reach around and feel how loose your abs feel. . Now press your low back into the ground and feel your abdominals turn on; this is a posterior pelvic tilt. Magic. Please notice the angle of the wast line in the pictures above!
This goes for planks, scissors, marching, and leg lifts (especially leg lifts!!! No hands under your butt and back arching!).
This applies when we are asking the spine to be straight and not for any flexion (ex: sit ups) or rotation (ex: Russian twists) exercises.
If you have any questions, feel free to let me know!
A quick Google search for "knee arthritis" brings up about 29,500,000 results in a fraction of a second. The Arthritis Foundation offers 25 treatments for Hip and Knee Arthritis...and 10 of them are medications!! Wow. But at the top of the list is exercise! No pill required.
While exercise is great, we should be able to be more specific on what can help. A further look into the research shows that hip strength is one of the biggest culprits of knee OA.
Hip strength...it could really be just that simple...
A research article in this month's copy of the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy looked at 5 different studies with 237 people and found "moderate" hip abductor (glute) strength deficits in people with knee osteoarthritis.
So what to do? Yes...nice, easy, specific, and effective hip strenghtening exercises.
Want to see a great video from Aaron Swanson, DPT, that covers these exercises in more depth? Aaron has a band around his knees in all of them. If you need a band, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can make it happen!
Sufficient shoulder mobility is important to minimize injury to the shoulder (obviously), but also the neck, spine, and entire arm. We are constantly checking the 2 below motions on patients who come to with any issue from the waist up; anything ranging from headaches to carpal tunnel.
If you notice one side is limited and/or painful compared to the other side, give us a call and see how we may be able to help.
Check out this great 5 minute video on various shoulder mobility exercises. It was created by Dan Pope, a physical therapist who has many great posts (@ www.fitnesspainfree.com). I figure a guy that looks like Aaron Rodgers and has a better body than me is better suited to make a YouTube video for this sort of thing. Check it out!
The therapists at SRVPT have a variety of backgrounds and are interested in sharing our knowledge with you! Check out their bios for more specific information.