My Knee Hurts…So Why am I Strengthening my Hips and Core?

Have you ever had nagging pain in the front of your knee with running, squatting, going down stairs, or sitting? If you answered yes to any of these, chances are you may have been experiencing what is known as Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS). Although it is one of the most frequently diagnosed knee injuries, the underlying cause of PFPS is vague and controversial. Pain around the knee cap (aka patella), with the absence of other structural injury, is typically diagnosed as PFPS. Proposed causes of PFPS include poor knee alignment, muscle imbalances, tightness of muscles in your thigh, limited ankle mobility, or flat feet.


How can you get rid of your knee pain? With a variety of possible causes, one thing is for sure; poor knee alignment (as seen below) needs to be corrected. This type of knee alignment causes your patella to move the wrong way and may eventually lead to pain. The ability to prevent this knee position comes from the muscles of your hip. Furthermore, research shows that people diagnosed with PFPS have weak hip muscles.1  A study demonstrated that a six-week exercise program that improved hip strength and flexibility of muscles in your thigh had a 93 percent success rate in reducing pain.2



What does this have to do with my core? Well, we can all agree that the picture above is bad news for your knees. A recently published study showed that when women actively contracted their core during a single leg squat activity, their knee alignment significantly improved.3 So train your core and hips and keep your knees healthy.


Giving Back Across NY State


John Andrew Holmes once said, “There is no better exercise for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” At Sports Physical Therapy, we take Mr. Holmes’ call-to-action seriously. You will find every location of ours actively engaged throughout the year in helping others.


For example, after Superstorm Sandy devastated so many last October, you found all 21 of our clinics collecting donations of cleaning supplies, clothing, food, and small appliances to give to those impacted. There were over 10 carloads of items collected and delivered to the New York City area.


During the holidays last December, 17 of our clinics participated in Salvation Army programs such as Toys for Tots and Adopt-A-Family, or supporting local agencies trying to help underserved populations enjoy their holidays.


Each month, our Administrative Office holds a $2 Tuesday lunch. All the money raised at these lunches goes to a non-profit organization in need. To date, we’ve raised over $300 to help agencies like the American Red Cross, Vera House of Central New York, and the Central New York Food Bank. And, if that’s not enough, the staff in this office sells tickets for staff to wear jeans to work. That effort has raised over $500 and has helped agencies like North Area Meals on Wheels (Liverpool, NY), University Methodist Church Food Pantry, and others.


We have numerous employees who are active with community walks and runs, helping to raise money for agencies like the Arthritis Foundation, American Heart Association, and Juvenile Diabetes. Their efforts have helped raised hundreds of dollars just in the last year!


We thank you for your support of our efforts. Together, we are making a difference in the lives of many!


Recognizing the Symptoms of a Blood Clot


The New York Mets seemed to be one of baseball’s unluckiest teams when it came to injuries this past season. Among the many injuries sustained, pitcher Dillon Gee was lost for the season due to a blood clot in his pitching shoulder.


Gee threw 8 innings and got the win versus the Chicago Cubs on Saturday, July 7. The following day, he complained of numbness in his fingers. By Monday, he was diagnosed with a blood clot in his shoulder. Soon after, Gee underwent a procedure to break up the clot with a catheter.


So the question arises: How does something like this occur in a young, healthy, active individual? The answer is somewhat unknown at this time. However, it is most important to recognize the symptoms of a blood clot, and to know what to do if you suspect that you may have one.


Blood clots are often referred to as deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. They are often thought to occur in sedentary individuals and affect mostly the lower extremities. The truth is that blood clots can affect anyone, can occur anywhere in the body, and have the potential to be a life-threatening situation. If not treated promptly and effectively, a blood clot can break off and travel to the lungs, resulting in a pulmonary embolism. A pulmonary embolism is a critical event requiring immediate emergency medical care.


It is important to recognize the symptoms of a blood clot. Symptoms include:

–         Heaviness, weakness, achiness or numbness in the fingers or toes

–         Moderate to severe swelling in the area often accompanied by warmth of the area

–         Unrelenting pain that is difficult to resolve and severe tenderness to the touch

–         Discoloration and skin changes

–         Large distended veins


Any of these symptoms are a reason for immediate medical attention. Blood clots can be treated effectively and safely if recognized early. So, let your body be your guide; play it safe because sometimes it can really be a matter of life and limb.