Snow Shoveling: Avoiding an Injury

 

Living in New York, we are used to snow storms and snow removal. You should consider a few tips to avoid injuring yourself this winter.

 

Tip 1: You have heard it a million times, but bend your knees to lift the snow. Lift with your legs, not your back.

Tip 2: If it’s a big snowfall, skim off the top 5-6 inches and then scoop the snow from the bottom.

Tip 3: Take breaks to conserve your energy and allow your muscles to rest.

Tip 4: Dress in layers.

Tip 5: If you are using a push shovel, position the handle near your belly button and push. This will help avoid twisting                   your low back and causing injury.

Tip 6: Rest before you shovel the end of your driveway. It’s heavier there due to snowplows clearing the street.

Tip 7: Switch your grip on the shovel every once in a while to use different hand and arm muscles.

 

Keep these tips in mind while you shovel this winter. If you do injure your back or hurt yourself shoveling this year, you can contact Sports PT directly and we can have you seen within 24 hours under Direct Access. Direct Access allows you to be seen by a physical therapist without a physician referral/prescription. If you take care of the injury right away, you may only need a few visits of PT to eliminate your pain.

 

Patient Goes from Chemotherapy to Physical Therapy with a Smile!

 

John Ashworth has been coming to Sports PT of NY in East Syracuse since August 2011 following a surgery he had to remove cancerous cells in his tongue and lymph nodes. After the surgery, he began to experience neck and shoulder pain and hoped that physical therapy (PT) would help.

 

Our friend John is a testament to the human spirit. He never ceases to amaze our entire team with his positive attitude regarding his situation. There were days when he would come to PT feeling weak, fatigued and nauseous. Toward the end of his chemotherapy and radiation, his skin appeared red and almost burned. Some days he would come in right after his treatment when he had not been able to eat and his mouth was so sore he could hardly speak. Let’s be honest, most of us at that point would call it a day but not John. He continues to come in on time for his appointments. Despite so many obstacles, John also does his best to adhere to his home exercise program. Even though he needed to take a few weeks off toward the end of chemotherapy and radiation, he remained positive and determined to continue his PT once he was given the green light.

 

Persistence does pay off because John is now getting visibly stronger and improving his endurance and function each day! He is now able to raise his arms to get dressed and wash his hair with little to no neck or shoulder discomfort, things most of us take for granted.

 

Although John has so much on his own mind, he never stops thinking about others. There have been times when he has brought us gifts from his garden; our favorite was his salsa and artichoke dip…yum! He has taught us all that happiness doesn’t have to be determined by circumstance, but that you are just as happy and positive as you make up your mind to be. We are proud to have John as a part of our Sports PT family.

 

Kinesio® Tape~ Fad or For Real?

 

So what’s the deal with all the colored tape you see elite athletes wearing now? From Keri Walsh to Lance Armstrong to David Beckham to Kevin Garnett, professional athletes in all sports have been seen with a colorful new look.

 

The tape is called Kinesio® Tape and was developed by Dr. Kenzo Kase, a chiropractic doctor and acupuncturist in Japan. Developed in 1979, it was first introduced to rehab hospitals in Japan and was exposed to the international market during the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Kinesio® Tape found its way to the US in 1995 and has become more and more popular since then.

 

So what’s the difference between Kinesio® Tape and other taping methods? First of all, it is completely latex free! Since it is made of 100% cotton and elastic fibers, it is more “breathable” and easier on the skin, allowing people to wear it for up to 3-5 days at a time. In addition, it is water resistant, which helps it stay on even after you shower. It also allows for more normal range of motion than athletic tape and McConnell® tape. Finally, the different ways of applying the tape allow for the different functions and taping effects.

 

The major uses for Kinesio® Tape are the following:

  • Relieving pressure on the skin
  • Improving remodeling of soft tissue (known as fascia) after injury
  • Promoting circulation to decrease swelling
  • Help activate or inhibit specific muscles (e.g. to decrease muscle spasms)
  • Improving joint alignment and motion

 

I recently used Kinesio® Tape on a patient that is a waitress who was overusing her biceps tendon. I put the tape on in a way to inhibit the use of the biceps so that her tendon would perform less work and therefore get some rest. It was not an option for her to stop working in order to rest her arm, so this was a great alternative for her and made a significant difference in her ability to get through her work day.

 

Some people will respond well to the techniques, so it is worth looking into and seeing if it can work for you!

 

Meet Sarah Todd

 

One of the benefits of being on the leadership team at Sports PT is having the opportunity to interact with all of our offices and employees across the state. With such a diverse and interesting group, I thought I would dig a little deeper into the minds and matter of various employees!

 

Today we travel to Long Island to learn a little bit more about Sarah Todd, PT, DPT. Sarah has a BS in Exercise Science and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy, both from Sacred Heart University. She has been with Sports PT for two years, and currently manages our facility in Rockville Centre, Long Island.

 

Kelly: Sarah, why did you choose to become a Physical Therapist?

Sarah: I knew I always wanted to do something in the medical field so I could help people get better.  For me, physical therapy combined my love of sports and my love of people.

 

Kelly: Do you have a professional or personal “philosophy” you’d like to share with us?

Sarah: Risk more than others think is safe, care more than others think is wise, dream more than others think is practical, expect more than others think is possible.  – Cadet Maxim

 

Kelly: I like that! Thinking of the many patients you’ve treated over the years, is there one that has impacted you the most? If so, why?  

Sarah: I had the privilege of treating a young child with cancer. His infectious laughter and love of life was so refreshing.

 

Kelly: What do you enjoy most about working at Sports PT?

Sarah: Being part of a family. Working at Sports PT places me on a team of great therapists who similarly strive for excellence and go above and beyond for their patients and colleagues.

 

Kelly: Describe “The Perfect Day-Off”.

Sarah: A morning run on the beach and an afternoon barbeque with my family.

 

Kelly: Where do you call “home”?

Sarah: Hempstead, NY. I love living on Long Island. It is where my family is, where the best beaches are, and where I feel at home.

 

Kelly: Any special activities or hobbies you enjoy outside of work?

Sarah: Triathlons, photography, gardening and cooking.

 

 

Next stop…Brooklyn, NY! Stay tuned.

 

Sitting for Prolonged Periods

 

We now live in a time where many of us are sitting for most of the day at work. What do we then do after we commute home in our car, bus, or train? The answer is probably sit for dinner, then sit and watch TV. With the workforce becoming increasingly more computerized and less manual labor, a new breed of couch potato-related problems have emerged.

 

The Facts:

 

Prolonged sitting (more than half the day) leads to increased risk of:

  • Heart disease
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Obesity
  • Some types of cancer

            Click here to find out more about these risks.

 

Sitting takes a toll on our musculoskeletal system:

  • Sitting shifts a person’s center of gravity to the middle of their chest rather than the hips, increasing stress on the neck and shoulder muscles. This can lead to nagging neck pain at the end of the day.
  • Another common complaint from prolonged sitters is low back and/or sciatic pain, a burning pain that travels down the back of the leg. A flexed sitting posture increases pressure on the discs in the lower back and also decreases blood supply to the nerves making them more irritable.

 

What can be done?

I get it…you need to sit at work. However, there are a few things you can do to decrease the bad effects of prolonged sitting. One thing I commonly suggest is to set a timer for 30 minutes on your Outlook calendar or use a kitchen timer. When it dings, get up and walk a little bit. It’s easy to get caught up in work and lose track of time, so the timer is a great method to remind your body to move and get some blood flowing. Another recommendation is to make your workstation inconvenient. Put that printer across the room. Move your calendar to the bookshelf. Get your phone off your desk. This will force you to get out of the chair. You could also do some stretching or exercise while watching TV instead of sitting on the couch. This will not only feel good, but can help to counteract some of the risks of prolonged sitting.

 

 

Helping Overseas in Haiti

 

This past December, I joined forces with For Hope International, a non-profit organization, to travel south to the Caribbean for my fourth medical missions trip to serve and treat the people of Haiti. For Hope International works very closely with Haitian medical professionals and students, both educating them through practice and empowering them to better treat their own people in need. I have worked in various parts of the country – from more rural areas like Port Salut in December 2009 before the earthquake, to working at the GHESKIO clinic in the heart of Port-au-Prince with a rehab team of physical and occupational therapists in March 2010 following the devastating earthquake. The 7.0 magnitude quake killed several hundred thousand and left likely double or triple that figure with serious disability.

 

During my most recent trip, I provided rehabilitation consultations and services out of an established medical clinic in Carrefour, Haiti, with which For Hope International has partnered. We saw a variety of conditions and injuries requiring rehabilitation, some more and some much less similar to those we see here in the U.S.. I was able to provide crutches and canes to those in need that were donated by local Sports PT of NY clinics and their patients. I treated many patients with back pain resulting from manual labor and postural stress (often seamstresses) that benefited from education on body mechanics and correction of maladaptive behaviors. I also worked with a lot of patients that had suffered from strokes, some who weren’t even aware that they had experienced one, and others with amputations or fractures caused by trauma during the quake.

 

It is a great opportunity working so closely with American and Haitian medical students and physicians, each one of us realizing how much we stand to benefit from learning just a little more about what each other does. Each experience has been extremely different and rewarding in its own way, giving me a whole new perspective on the patients and people with whom I work every day. If there is one thing someone reading this could take away, it would be that there is always hope for rebuilding, even when the mainstream news gives an update on progress that is less than promising.

 

For more information or to get involved, visit For Hope International.

 

Mesi anpil (Thank you very much),

Dan Freed-Pastor

 

Smoking Effects on Healing

 

Are you a smoker? If so, you may be slowing down your progress in getting back to your normal activities. Recent studies show that smoking slows down ligament, tendon, and bone healing. If you recently broke a bone, tore a muscle or a ligament, it will take longer to heal than your non-smoking friend. A broken bone usually heals in 4-6 weeks, but x-rays of bones exposed to cigarette smoke show that the bone healing is delayed by 1.5 times compared to non-smokers1, 2.

 

If you recently had a back fusion and you are a smoker your fusion will heal slower than that of a non-smoker. Orthopedic surgeons will often suggest that you quit smoking prior to surgery to promote a better outcome. Some surgeons will not even perform surgeries on a smoker because they are at such a high risk of failure. If you have a torn muscle in your shoulder and you decide to have surgery, nicotine will actually inhibit new blood vessels from forming. Nicotine also causes your blood vessels to constrict, decreasing blood flow and nutrients to the injured area causing your torn muscle repair to be weaker than that of a non-smoker3.

 

We all know that smoking is bad for you – this is just another reason to consider quitting so that you can improve your quality of life.

It’s Game Day at Sports PT Queens!

 

 

Super Bowl XLVI is around the corner and many of us, in some way, participate in “Game Day”. This past month at Sports PT, “Game Day” has taken on new meaning. We’ve brought a new team into our franchise, Sports PT Queens, and they’re kicking off “Game Day” in a brand new stadium, with brand new turf on a freshly lined field. We want our supportive fans to know where to find us and to feel confident that we’ll be delivering the same winning record in our new stadium. Our play book is below and we hope you’ll come by to cheer us on!

 

Our Stadium

Our new Queens location is located on the 4th floor of the Newsday Building in Kew Gardens, NY, minutes from Forest Hills and conveniently located off the E & F trains at the Union Turnpike-Kew Gardens Station. We offer a large, open treatment area with plenty of windows to let in the natural light.

 

Our Roster

Nans Bernardo, physical therapist, will be making all the big plays in the quarterback seat, while Loretta Guerra, Patient Services Coordinator, has earned her spot as offensive coordinator.

 

Our Team Philosophy

Effective, evidence-based care in a friendly, fun and compassionate environment. On behalf of the Queens staff, we look forward to providing you the best Sports PT has to offer at our new location!

 

For hours and additional information, visit our Queens office online at Sports PT Queens.

 

Sports PT Queens

80-02 Kew Gardens Road, 4th Floor

Kew Gardens, NY 11415

P 718.263.7500

Email queens@sptny.com