Tag Archives: Back Pain

TSPT – Back to School 2016

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Do you know how much your child’s backpack weighs? According to the APTA if it’s more than 15 percent of his or her body weight, then it could hurt your child’s back. Millions of students in the United States carry backpacks to and from school, often overloaded with books, supplies and equipment.  Weight of the backpack and improper use can result in injury to the skeletally immature child.

During adolescence kids are going through growth spurts and so their bones and posture are vulnerable to injury.  Injury can result when a child carrying a heavy backpack uses bad posture or shifts there weight abnormally to adapt a heavy load.  These adaptations can cause pain from disk injury, improper spinal alignment and deformity.  In addition, the muscles of neck, shoulder region and lower back can be strained leading to injury.  In more advanced cases, a child may even experience nerve compression and damage.

Some of the warning signs that a problem may be arising include back pain, fatigue, red marks on the shoulders, tingling or numbness in the arms and a shift or leaning in one direction.

The American Physical Therapy Association has set forth guidelines that should be used with backpacks to reduce the risks associated with them.  These recommendations include:

–       Backpacks should be worn on both shoulders for equal weight distribution, and the height  should fall two inches below the shoulder blades and sit at waist level.

–       It should have padded shoulder straps, which distribute the weight in the bag evenly over his/her shoulders.

–       Shoulder straps should fit comfortably on the shoulder and under the arms, so the arms can move freely.

–       The bottom of the pack should rest in the contour of the lower back.

–       Keep the load 10-15% or less of the child’s body-weight.

–       Organize the contents of the backpack by placing the heaviest items closest to the back

–       Carry only those items that are required for the day

TheraSport Physical Therapy can help you and your child choose a proper backpack that fits your child properly.  Additionally, our physical therapists can help your child improve their posture, correct muscle imbalances and manage the pain from improper backpack use.  TheraSport has two board-certified McKenzie credentialed practitioners to help with all spinal related problems.

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TheraSport Physical Therapy – Summer Activity

Now that the weather is warming up people are venturing outside to garden, tend the lawn, and play outdoor sports. It is important to keep in mind,
while enjoying outside activities to be mindful of body positioning and
extensive time doing activities to avoid injury.

Common summer activities such as gardening and lawn care can be damaging to the back and spine. Constantly bending over, twisting, pulling, while doing
these activities after a winter of being sedentary could result in an injury or aggravate a preexisting one.

Just like in sports, it is important to warm up before play, the same goes
for marathon gardening or lawn mowing. Warming up tissues and muscles before you begin working will not only help keep your body healthy it will also diminish the chance of injury.

TheraSport Physical Therapy has two locations in New Jersey. Contact us today to find out more!
WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, NJ
P.856.256.8393
14 Parke Place Blvd.  #D
Sewell,  NJ  08080
info@therasport.org 

MERCHANTVILLE, NJ
P.856.661.0200
30 W. Maple Ave.
Merchantville,  NJ 08109
info@therasport.org

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TheraSport Physical Therapy

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If you’re a fitness advocate, active adult or professional athlete with a sports-related injury, the expert team of TheraSport Physical Therapy can help.

As one of the premier South Jersey sports medicine facilities, we are dedicated to diagnosing and treating sports-related injuries, from stress fractures to runner’s knee and tennis elbow, as well as sprains and more complex injuries that result from athletic activities.

Our Board Certified Physical Therapists have extensive experience in adolescent through adult, amateur or professional sports medicine. At TSPT, we also treat public and private school athletes and numerous collegiate and professional sports teams.

We offer ImPACT testing to all athletic school programs. ImPACT is the abbreviation for Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing. It is a computerized test which takes approximately 20 minutes to administer. The ImPACT test measures verbal and visual memory, processing speed and reaction time.

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Be out on the links all season long…

TheraSport Physical Therapy Sports Medicine

Summer is right around the corner, and if you love golf as much as Brad in our Merchantville office, you’ll be out on the links all season long.

Golfers are susceptible to overuse injuries, such as tennis/golfers elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, and chronic back pain. These injuries can occur due to repetitive motions such as gripping the golf club, bending over to putt, or setting up for a shot.

If you suffer from any of these chronic issues, make an appointment with Maryann in our Merchantville, NJ TheraSport Physical Therapy office. She can set you up with a consultation with, Dr. Jennifer Perno, who is a board-certified sports injury specialist, and can help get you back into the swing of things.

Keep track of us and what is new on our TheraSport Physical Therapy Facebook page!

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Vestibular Neuritis: Navigating the Real World – A Case Study

On The Level – A Quarterly newsletter of the Vestibular Disorders Association
Vestibular Neuritis: Navigating the Real World – A Case Study
By Jennifer Liss, DPT (Editor: Sherron Laurrell, vestibular patient)

This case study outlines challenges facing clinicians when treating vestibular neuritis in patients who continue to work full-time in highly stimulating vestibular environments.

Jen Beasley, a 37-year old first grade teacher, was referred to me by her ENT in December, 2014. She had awakened a month earlier with severe dizziness and nausea. After attempting to push through, holding on to the walls at school as she went through her day, she was diagnosed with vertigo by her family doctor and sent home with anti-nausea medication. Two weeks later, Jen saw an Urgent Care doctor who saw fluid in her ears and attributed it to allergies. Jen eventually ended up in bed as the dizziness and nausea exhausted her. Her ENT referred her to me with a diagnosis of BPPV.

During our first meeting, we spent time talking about her symptoms and situation. I suspected Jen was not dealing with “simple” BPPV and was likely suffering with either vestibular neuritis or labyrinthitis.

The most important component of any patient evaluation is getting a good history.

Key subjective elements a clinician should look for to differentially diagnose vestibular neuritis include:
•    Onset – 2 to 4 days extreme nausea, vertigo, and imbalance. By the time they see the physical therapist they should be  SLOWLY improving. Episodes usually follow a cold/flu or sinus infection.

•    Hearing loss distinguishes labyrinthitis from vestibular neuritis. Treatment plans from a PT perspective are the same. An    ENT/ audiologist should be consulted about the hearing loss.

•    Increased symptoms with movement in visual fields, such as computer use, crowded places, TV.

•    Balance – impaired stability with gait especially with un-level or darkened environments.

•    Motion sensitivity – increased symptoms with position changes, quick turns. THIS IS USUALLY THE ONLY SYMPTOM WITH A BPPV PATIENT.

•    Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI) – usually in the moderate disability range.

Key objective elements include:

•    Most important tests are Head Thrust and Dynamic Visual Acuity (DVA). If these 2 tests are positive and you have normal oculomotor & neurological exams; this is usually a peripheral vestibular insult verses a central insult such as stroke.

•    Frenzel goggles to rule out BPPV with Hallpike maneuver, performing the test at slow to medium speed. Hallpike test is negative if there is no sign of a torsional nystagmus.

•    Dynamic Gait Index (DGI) After a comprehensive work up we concluded that
Jen’s diagnosis was vestibular neuritis.

As we put together the plan for her vestibular rehabilitation, the biggest challenge was limiting stimulation in her work environment. Jen’s job responsibilities involve constant head movement, frequent turning and excessive visual & auditory stimulation.

Early on, she had to modify her work duties as much as possible. One of her “extra” responsibilities was supervising children during bus duty. A medical excuse note eliminated this from her daily schedule. Because her work environment was heavily loaded with vestibular stimulation, it was difficult to progressively load her vestibular system during therapy as I would normally recommend. I had to be careful with her home program. Visual retraining is essential to recovery of normal function but it has to be progressed more slowly for active patients like Jen than for patients who are retired or in less stimulating work environments. I taught Jen strategies such as limiting head movement and focusing her eyes when she felt “overloaded.”

It is essential to teach patients that vestibular exercises should increase dizziness for 5-10 minutes but if the symptom increase lasts, they are overloading an impaired system.

Jen needed to accept that this would not be a smooth recovery because of her work environment. She hit her first setback at week 4, which is common. Many patients are driven to see steady weekly progress. At about week 4, they increase their home exercise program and try to do more at work because they are feeling better. Consequently, they will have a 2+ day spike in symptoms from doing too much. This is when we have “emotional chat” days for encouragement and counseling to accept that the road to recovery isn’t always easy and modifications need to be made along the way.

Jen has learned to modify her activities while continuing her VRT exercises in my office and at home. She has seen overall improvements and is feeling hopeful. Although it may take longer than she would like, I expect Jen to make a full recovery of normal vestibular function.

I want to emphasize that patient education is essential for ALL vestibular patients. They need to know the reasoning behind what they are doing, be warned about pitfalls that may happen along the way, and most importantly, that compliance is key to vestibular success!

Editor’s Note: Jennifer Liss is certified in vestibular rehabilitation by Susan Herdman’s VRT certification course at Emory University. TheraSport Physical Therapy offices are located in New Jersey, where Jennifer has practiced for 16 years. Jennifer can be reached at JLiss@Therasport.org

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Knowlegde. Experience. Results. Let Our Expertise Expedite Your Recovery!

What is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy is a form of treatment for when health issues make it hard to move around and do everyday tasks. Physical Therapy regularly helps you move better and may relieve pain that you have from an injury or illness. It also helps improve or restore your physical function and your fitness level to get back to your daily activities.

The goal of physical therapy is to make daily activities easier after surgery or ease the issues of a chronic illness. For example, physical therapy may help with walking, going up stairs, or getting in and out of bed.

Physical therapy can help with recovery after some surgeries. Your doctor may suggest physical therapy for injuries or long-term health problems such as:

•  Back pain or injuries/illnesses of the Back such as a herniated disc.
•  Tendon or ligament problems, an example would be an anterior cruciate
ligament (ACL) injury, a meniscus tear, or plantar fasciitis.
•  Arthritis conditions such as Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
•  Injuries of the spine such as Spinal stenosis
•  Neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease
•  Vestibular issues such as vertigo or post concussion syndrome

What does a physical therapist do?

At TheraSport Physical Therapy, our highly skilled physical therapists will examine you and create a treatment plan. Depending on your health and condition, your therapist will help you with flexibility, strength, endurance, coordination, and/or balance.

If you have an injury or complication from an illness, your therapist will first reduce your pain and swelling if you have any. Then he or she will work with you to increase your flexibility, strength, and endurance.

Physical therapy almost always includes some form of exercise. Stretching, core exercises, moderated weight lifting, and walking are some physical therapy methods we use at our facilities. Your physical therapist will also construct an individual exercise program so you can keep up with your therapy at home.

Our therapists may use manual therapy, and techniques such as heat, cold, massage, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation during your therapy program.

Contact TheraSport Physical Therapy for a consultation at one of our two New Jersey locations.

TSPT WASHINGTON TWP.
14 Parke Place Blvd Ste D
Sewell, NJ 08080
(856) 256-8393

TSPT MERCHANTVILLE
30 W Maple Ave
Merchantville, NJ 08109
(856) 661-0200

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Let TSPT Help Keep Your New Years Resolution!

People try to get a jump start on their fitness as the New Year rings, however, many of are going about it the wrong way. Unfortunately some injuries don’t get better with just working out, or without a proper physical therapy routine. The main reason for most injuries lingering, of this nature: too much repetition or stress to the injury in too short of time. At TheraSport Physical Therapy, we know it is important to communicate to the individual how crucial it is to build up a fitness routine slowly and carefully, keeping in mind proper nutrition and adequate rest.

Keep your New Years Resolutions with these tips:

Eat Well. Stay Hydrated. After the holidays you may be reaching for cold weather comfort food, but eating fruits and vegetables while drinking water throughout the day can provide you with improved energy. Proper nutrition will also give your muscles the right nutrients they need to limit inflammation and facilitate increased metabolism.

Warm Up. Stretch. Give yourself at least 10-15 minutes prior to your workout to warm-up your body. Dynamic stretches are also a great way to start a workout and get your blood flowing before you move into your cardio or workout routine.

Build Resistance. Recover. If you are sore for more than 3 days following a workout than you probably went a little too hard a little too much. To avoid injury you must build up your routine and recover properly. At TheraSport Physical Therapy we provide a proper exercise program that will give your body exactly what it needs to build strength, stamina, with time for recovery.

Call TheraSport Physical Therapy today, to make an appointment with our skilled physical therapists. Our therapy team will discuss a program that is suitable for you to keep those New Year’s Resolutions! Even if you aren’t prone to injury, your therapist can give you some education on proper technique and form in order to keep you injury-free.

Let TSPT help you with your fitness New Year’s Resolution plan. Call one of our two conveniently located New Jersey facilities now, to get you started! Ring in the New Year by being healthy and injury-free and let us help you every step of the way!

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