Charitable Giving at Sports PT

Sports PT President Lynn Steenberg presenting a check to Leola Rodgers of the Golisano Children's Hospital


So what happens at Sports Physical Therapy of NY when we’re NOT treating patients? Lots of important things of course, but a huge priority for our company and our employees is giving back to the community.


Since our inception in 2005, the employees at Sports PT have supported over 30 different charitable organizations across our 22 facility footprint. When the tsunami hit Southeast Asia in 2004 followed by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, we established the American Red Cross as our official partner for charitable giving. To date, employees have contributed over $75,000 to local, regional, national and international relief efforts led by the Red Cross.


It’s just as common however for individual Sports PT facilities to rally around a cause in support of a patient or family member. Earlier this year, our Central New York employees raised money for the Golisano Children’s Hospital in Syracuse following the loss of a former co-worker’s child. In March, the staff at Sports PT 92nd Street put a team together for “Climb to the Top” in NYC to benefit Multiple Sclerosis in support of one of their own patients suffering from the disease. And just a couple of weekends ago, a group of our NYC employees participated in New York Cares “Spring Greening” Day which involved planting, mulching, composting, and painting in parks around the city.


What’s the motivation? We’re all busy right? The short answer is that it’s one of our values as a company, our Care in Motion. But truly, that wonderful value is inspired and lived by our company President, Lynn Steenberg. “Giving back is part of my genetic make-up and upbringing. I truly believe that you get back so much more than you give. Everyone can make a difference in this world in some way!”


What cause is near and dear to your heart? We’d love to know!


Is Tennis Elbow Hurting Your Game?


Tennis elbow is the more common name given to lateral epicondylitis. Lateral epicondylitis is often characterized by pain over the outer aspect of the elbow and pain with gripping and wrist motions. The most commonly involved structure is the extensor carpi radialis brevis tendon followed by the extensor digitorum communis tendon. Both of these muscles originate at the elbow and are responsible for extending the wrist and controlling wrist motions.


Lateral epicondylitis is referred to as tennis elbow because of the high incidence of this condition in tennis players. Ten to fifty percent of tennis players will have symptoms at some time in their career.1 The risk of injury increases with poor stroke mechanics, improper grip size, striking the ball off center, and harder court surfaces.1 Tennis elbow is not only specific to tennis players, but can also be problematic in many other individuals.


Treatment for tennis elbow may consist of bracing, corticosteroid injections, and/or physical therapy. Physical therapy often consists of stretching, strengthening, pain relieving modalities, and education on ergonomics and/or mechanics to avoid further aggravation. If conservative treatment fails, surgery may be indicated to decrease the pain and improve the muscle function of the wrist extensors.


The earlier treatment is sought for tennis elbow the sooner one can get back to full function.



1. Placzek JD, Boyce DA. Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Secrets. 2nd edition. St Louis, MO: Elsevier Inc; 2006: 391-392.


Is Bikram Yoga Right for You?


Many of you might be asking what is Bikram Yoga and is it right for me. Bikram Yoga, developed by Bikram Choudhury, is a specific practice of yoga that involves 26 postures completed over 90 minutes in a room heated up to 105 degrees with 40% humidity.1 This practice of yoga is supposed to help to develop better strength, flexibility, and balance for the mind and body. Bikram Yoga may or may not be the right form of exercise or yoga for you. In order for you to decide, you need to better understand the benefits and risks of Bikram Yoga. Of course, it is always a great idea to check with your physician before starting any kind of new exercise.


All of the postures of Bikram Yoga were specifically developed to help promote maximal health and function of all of your organs, joints, muscles, ligaments, and veins by stretching and bringing oxygenated blood to 100% of your body.1 Through these poses, you are improving muscle flexibility, joint mobility, joint range of motion, improving circulation, and strengthening against gravity. Also, the compression and extension poses help to stretch and flush the internal organs and nerves allowing them to better function and communicate with the rest of your body.1 This in turn is supposed to help you to live a healthier and more peaceful life. A 2010 study by Mukherjee and colleagues showed that Bikram Yoga was beneficial to improve skeletal health in pre-menopausal women (average age of 44). Women who participated in Bikram Yoga had higher bone mineral density compared to non-practicing women of the same age. This evidence suggests that Bikram Yoga could help to prevent bone loss and osteoporetic fractures.


Many people are concerned with the extreme heat associated with Bikram Yoga. The purpose of the heat is to allow the body to become more flexible. This will allow you to get the maximum benefit from each posture. Along with improving flexibility, the extreme heat also allows you to get rid of the body’s toxins from the glands and organs through sweating which allows you to flush these impurities out of the body and live a healthier life.1


Some of the negative affects of Bikram Yoga include nausea, dizziness, fainting, muscle soreness, and psychosis. The nausea, dizziness, and fainting is often associated with dehydration due to exercising in extreme heat. This can be avoided with making sure that you are hydrating enough before class; it is recommended that you drink an additional 64-80 ounces of water beyond the recommended normal daily intake of 64-80 ounces of water.1 It has also been speculated that salt and potassium supplements help to replenish the electrolytes you loose during the excessive sweating and in turn decrease these side effects.1 Muscle soreness and joint pain are common if you are not practicing with good focus on each posture. You need to make sure you are in proper alignment, not pushing through the poses too quickly, breathing correctly to promote good oxygen flow and not being too aggressive with the stretching. A less common side effect is a yoga-induced psychosis which is usually associated with someone that is psychosis-prone.3 A documented case of this occurred in July 2007 when a 33 year old male with prior hallucinogen-induced psychosis (10 year remission) began to have auditory/visual hallucinations and became aggressive during a Bikram Yoga class.3 The article included that prior to the class he was eating poorly, sleeping poorly, and was dehydrated which also contributed to the psychosis episode during his Bikram training.


Many people can not fully understand the essence of Bikram Yoga until they try it. The important thing is to better understand the benefits and risks and decide if this is something you would like to try. Many people have said it has changed their lives forever and others feel that they would never want to try this kind of exercise. What do you think?


Is NY Knicks Wonder, Jeremy Lin, Out for the Season?

Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty


As a lot of you know, Jeremy Lin, point guard for the New York Knicks, underwent surgery on his knee to repair a torn meniscus. This is really unfortunate for the Knicks because Lin was playing well, and they are fighting for the last playoff spot in the Eastern conference. Lin’s timeframe to return to action was put at 6 weeks.


Although you might not hear about meniscus injuries in sports as much as you do an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear or Achilles tendon rupture, we see a large population of individuals both athletes and non-athletes alike that suffer meniscal injuries each year. The meniscus is a “C” shaped structure in the knee composed of cartilage. It sits between your femur (the thigh bone) and tibia (the shin bone). You have two in each knee, a medial (inside) and lateral (outside) meniscus.


The meniscus has many functions, the most important being shock absorption as your leg supports your body weight, but the meniscus also aides in joint stability, joint nutrition and proprioception. The meniscus is typically torn when someone is twisting, turning, or changing directions with their foot planted on the ground. Symptoms can include swelling, pain along the joint, clicking, and even locking of the knee in some cases. The treatment options for a meniscus tear are typically one of three including rehabilitation (Physical Therapy, PT), menisectomy (removal of injured portion via arthroscopic surgery), or meniscal repair (surgical fixation via arthroscopy). There is also a less common technique called a meniscus transplant, where surgeons replace the injured meniscus with one from a cadaver.


Factors for determining which treatment option will lead to the best recovery are the location and size of the tear. The inner portion of each meniscus is avascular, meaning it does not have a blood supply. Tears in the avascular portion are often removed instead of repaired because of the limited potential to heal. Meniscal repairs are most successful when tears are in the vascular portion of the meniscus, which is located along the outside of the meniscus.


Let’s hope Lin’s injury was in an area with good blood supply, because with the amount of running, cutting, twisting, and jumping in basketball, he is going to need strong, healthy knees. I personally don’t think Jeremy Lin will see any more playing time this season, especially because if the Knicks make the playoffs, they will likely face the Chicago Bulls or Miami Heat, and won’t be around for too long. Do you think Lin will make a comeback this season?


Reference:  Dutton M. Orthopaedic examination, evaluation, and intervention. 2nd ed. McGraw Hill; 2008.


Saratoga PTs Host a Community Education Night

The best teachers always know that learning should be fun. How many Physical Therapy clinics do you know open their door to the community to educate, treat aches and pains, raffle off prizes and supply refreshments? Well, we know one, and so do 37 other people from the Saratoga community. On March 7th, our Saratoga team rolled out the welcome mat to the community for a free evening of education and fun where common injuries and strategies to avoid these injuries were discussed.


Do you sit for hours and hours every day? Many of us do. Two staff physical therapists, Jeff Fear, PT, MPT, and Shane Connors, MSPT, DPT, spoke about “The Painful Truth about Sitting”. These PTs have treated hundreds of patients with pain resulting from sitting for too long. They highlighted that sitting for too long can wreak havoc on our posture contributing to neck and lower back pain. In fact, office workers, have a higher risk for developing neck pain compared to the general population.1 Exercise can help to minimize the negative effects of prolonged sitting. Some creative strategies were shared with the audience to combat these negative effects. The main recommendation was to practice active sitting. Some examples of active sitting are putting objects that you use most often farthest away from you, setting a timer every 30 minutes for a “get up and walk” reminder, or using a smaller water bottle so you have to keep getting up to refill it.

The second lecture of the evening was polar opposite from the first lecture. Apparently, once we get up form our chairs, many of us become runners. Twenty-five to 70% of runners report overuse injuries each year.2 Our Facility Manager, Alison Synakowski, PT, DPT, OCS, ATC, CSCS, and staff therapist, Jennifer Szymanski, PT, DPT, discussed “Common Injuries in Runners and the Importance of Cross Training”. Although running is great exercise, it is not enough to keep our bodies healthy. Cross training, or alternative exercise to running, can help to minimize the risk of injury, strengthen muscles that are not used during running, and can also improve your cardiovascular fitness. Both PTs suggested to get moving with multiple activities to decrease your chances of overuse injuries. Activities such as swimming, cycling, using the elliptical machine, and even walking are great alternatives to running.

With lots of Q&A throughout the evening, past patients reuniting with their PTs, and delicious refreshments, it’s safe to say that all involved learned something new and had fun!


Good Balance and Fall Prevention Go Hand in Hand

According to the CDC, 1 out of every 3 adults over 65 has a fall. The reasons behind this number are numerous: a slowing down of reflexes, decreased flexibility in the ankle and foot, changes in body mass distribution, loss of muscle strength in the lower legs, loss of sensation at the bottom of the foot, changes in vision, and other medical issues, such as drug-related dizziness and confusion.


Falls can cause both fatal and nonfatal injuries and are a major focus of rehabilitation for older adults – no matter what the diagnosis. Good balance is needed for getting in and out of a bathtub, stepping over an obstacle, going up and down the stairs, remaining standing if you are pushed (think about a crowded NYC subway), and stepping onto a slippery surface.


It is important to try and maintain as safe an environment as possible: make sure that your floors at home are clear of any obstacles (e.g. rugs, electrical cords) over which you may trip, make sure that your rugs don’t slip easily on the ground (a rug grip can help), and keep night lights on, especially in the most cluttered parts of your home, so that you can easily navigate past potential obstacles.


If you are experiencing loss of balance, it would be a good idea to talk to your doctor to see if any of the medications you are taking may be contributing to this. If not, see a physical therapist who would be able to diagnose your specific balance issues and help you improve them in order to be safer in the streets and at home.


Aching Back? Throbbing Knee? Direct Access May Be All You Need!


You wake up one morning and your back doesn’t feel just right. What do you do?

1)  Nothing. You dread a trip to the doctor. You’ll wait a while and see how it feels. It gets worse.

2)  You decide to call for a doctor’s appointment. The last time you dealt with back pain you were out of commission for            a week or more. The first available appointment is in 5 days.


In either scenario, you’re waiting longer than necessary to get the attention and treatment you may need. This can result in an increase in pain, decrease in mobility, lost time from work, additional appointments and testing, and more money out of pocket.


The good news? There is another option many people are not aware of offering Direct Access to physical therapy services. In New York State, you can seek treatment from a physical therapist without a prescription/referral from a physician.


Here are a few reasons why this is a great path to choose:

1)  Physical therapists are highly skilled and educated licensed healthcare professionals trained to evaluate                              musculoskeletal and movement-related injuries.

2)  You’ll get immediate care for your orthopedic injury or ailment—no waiting.

3)  Fewer physician and specialist visits mean less money out of pocket. (1, 2)

4)  Our goals are to reduce your pain, improve your mobility, and restore your function. Whether your activities are sport-         related, work-related or simply activities of daily living, our job is to help you get back to them again!


Now picture this…

You wake up one morning and your back doesn’t feel just right. You remember your cousin was recently in physical therapy following knee surgery so you give him a call. He has very good things to say about his experience at Sports Physical Therapy of NY so you find the closest Sports PT location and give the office a call. You explain your situation and an appointment is offered that same day. A thorough evaluation is conducted, a treatment plan implemented and you head home armed with knowledge and an action plan for recovery. Option #3 never looked so good!