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We'll be at SAYREVILLE DAY this Saturday 9/15!

We'll be at SAYREVILLE DAY this Saturday 9/15!

Hello Mana Physical Therapy followers. We will be at Sayreville Day this Saturday at Kennedy Park from 12-4pm. There will be lots of food, entertainment, and rides for the kids!

 Posted From Sayreville Recreation on Facebook

Posted From Sayreville Recreation on Facebook

Come to see us at our table and grab some swag! We will have t-shirts, water bottles, and more that you can WIN with a spin on the prize wheel.

We hope to see you on Saturday!

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Throwing Athletes & The Risk of Injury

Throwing Athletes & The Risk of Injury

A pilot study was recently published in Orthopedic Physical Therapy Practice which looked at balance deficits in throwing athletes (specifically baseball players) and whether or not it could determine injury risk.  The study was a small sample size of just baseball pitchers but it did highlight some interesting points. The results showed that approximately 30% of the participants increased their injury risk after throwing an average of 30 pitches.  Further, the study highlighted a significant decline in performance on the Y-balance test following pitching.  

With any athlete, the concern is always keeping the individual healthy.  For baseball pitcher specifically we worry about shoulder, elbow, hip, and back issues that can start to develop as a result of poor transfer of energy during a pitch.  As such, there parameters put in place to avoid injury such as age-related restrictions on pitch count.  This article highlights that injury prevention tactics should also involve a thorough evaluation of the athlete including dynamic balance.  

At Mana Physical Therapy we provide each of our athletes with the dedicated time necessary to assess fully for range of motion, strength, and balance issues. Each evaluation is tailored specifically to that athlete’s sport in order to enhance outcomes following therapy and ensure a quick return to sport or an injury-free season.  Call 732-390-8100 today to schedule. 

 Shoulder Rehabilitation Physical Therapy Degeneration 

Study Reference: 

Schroeder, Stacia and Gorman, Sharon L. “Decrease Balance and Injury Risk in Adolescent Baseball Pitchers”.  Orthopedic Physical Therapy Practice.Volume 30, number 3 (2018): 156-9. 

What is MANUAL THERAPY?

What is MANUAL THERAPY?

At Mana Physical Therapy, we pride ourselves on being advanced orthopedic practitioners with refined manual therapy skills, but what does that mean for you?  

What is Manual Therapy?

Manual therapy is the use of hands-on techniques to reduce pain and/or restore mobility.  These techniques include mobilizing and manipulating soft-tissues, such as muscles, and bone/joints in order to increase circulation, reduce adhesions, relax muscles or improve range of motion.  All of the above will ultimately help to reduce pain.  

Three Manual Therapy Techniques Commonly Used

Joint mobilizations: This technique involves a physical therapist using his/her hands to help loosen up a joint and improve its range of motion.  Joint movement is not something a patient can achieve on their own and is often effective in helping to alleviate pain related to muscle spasms.  Muscles tend to spasm because a joint has become restricted and until the normal joint motion is restored, the muscles around that area will usually continue to spasm.

Soft Tissue Mobilization/Myofascial Release:  Once joint motion improves, the soft tissues may continue to have tension.  This is when a physical therapist will implement soft tissue mobilization techniques.  These involve movement of the tissue to improve fluid dynamics, decrease myofascial adhesions (scar tissue) and decrease pain/tension in the area. Specifically techniques such as instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization, kneading and dynamic cupping are effective in achieving the above outcomes.  

High velocity-low amplitude thrust techniques:  These techniques involve taking a restricted joint to the end of its available range and thrusting (about ⅛ of an inch) to the end of the joint’s range of motion.  The technique is an aggressive joint mobilization technique but only moves the joint within its normal anatomical limit. It is very effective for stiff joints, when indicates and does not increase pain or damage the joint.   

 manual therapy physical therapy rehab sciatica low back pain rehabilitation

Is It Painful? 

Manual therapy is not meant to hurt, but there may be some discomfort felt because your physical therapist will be working on a painful or restricted area.  However, manual therapy is designed to help improve the patient’s symptoms; this is why actively communicating with your physical therapist is crucial to success with manual interventions.  A full assessment of your condition is alway completed before starting any hands-on technique and the techniques are then individualized to fit your specific needs and tolerance.  

How Is This Different Than a Massage? 

Some aspects of manual therapy are very similar to massage, however, manual therapy addresses very specific restrictions in soft tissues and joints. It is a therapeutic treatment performed by a licensed physical therapist who has extensive knowledge of anatomy.  

Can I just Stretch and Exercise?

While both of these are important, exercise and stretching alone cannot target specific areas like manual therapy can.  Exercise is of course a valuable part of physical therapy and research shows that manual therapy combined with exercise is the more effective treatment than either performed in isolation.  

Bottom Line: 

Manual therapy involves hands-on techniques which are tailored to your condition. Manual therapy can address all areas of the body and is extremely effective when combined with therapeutic exercise.  At Mana Physical Therapy we take the time to assess your specific needs and developed an intervention program right for you. If you are experiencing any aches, pains or just have some general questions on how we can help you, give us a call! 

Resources:

Abbott, J.H. et al. Manual therapy, exercise therapy, or both, in addition to usual care, for osteoarthritis of the hip or knee: a randomized controlled trial. 1: clinical effectiveness.  Osteoarthritis and Cartilage.  2013; 21, 4: 525-34.  

Bang M, Deyle G. Comparison of Supervised Exercise with and without Manual Physical Therapy for Patients with Shoulder Impingement Syndrome. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy 2000; 30: 126-137.

Niemisto L, Lahtinen-Suopanki T, Rissanen P, Lindgren K, Sarna S, Hurri H. A Randomized Trial of Combined Manipulation, Stabilizing Exercises, and Physician Consultation Compared to Physician Consultation Alone for Chronic Low Back Pain. Spine 2003; 28: 2185-91.

KNEE ARTHROSCOPY: A Case Study

KNEE ARTHROSCOPY: A Case Study

Recently I had a patient come to me complaining of right knee pain which started several months ago; 

The patient is a female in her mid-fifties and recounted no trauma to her knee, but has been avoiding using her right leg in such activities as walking up/down stairs or getting in/out of a chair.  She also reported of difficulty with bending/straightening her knee occasionally and a feeling of “weakness” in her knee with prolonged walking.  The patient at this point in time did not have a consult with her primary care physician or orthopedic at this time, but was scheduled for an appoint in about 2 weeks. Objective findings included pain with active movement of right knee, especially toward end range knee flexion and extension, decreased strength in her right knee and hip without increase in pain levels, and decreased balance/proprioception as measured by single limb stance time and compared to the left leg.  

The patient was started on a range of motion and strengthening program for right hip and knee within patient’s tolerance.  The second visit the patient reported of decreased pain in her knee while trying to move the covers in bed with her leg.  Fast forward a few weeks: the patient has had her X-ray/MRI and saw an orthopedic doctor.  The imaging revealed a tear in her medial meniscus and degenerative changes in the right knee.  Per the patient, the orthopedic doctor told her she needed to have surgery in order to have less pain in her knee.  At this point, I have a long discussion with my patient regarding arthroscopic knee surgery outcomes and the research which does not support meniscectomy is appropriate for all patients with tears on MRI and further still the strong recommendation against arthroscopic surgery in degenerative knees.  

Ultimately, the patient opted for the surgery because her orthopedic told her she needed it. I thought for some time about this particular situation.  It is not the first patient I have seen who has had a positive finding on imaging for meniscal involvement who’s doctor recommended or insisted on surgery.  Up until this point in time there had only been 1 other patient of mine who opted for surgery rather than a course of conservative care or physical therapy.  I began to think, “what am I doing wrong in trying to educate my patients?”  “what am I missing?”  Then I thought, “why are there orthopedic doctors out there recommending a surgery that is not supported in the evidence?”  So for this blog post I wanted to provide some educational information regarding evidence and knee surgeries.  Please do not mistake me, there are definite indications for knee surgeries and knee surgery can be successful, but surgery is not indicated for ALL meniscus injuries or degenerative knee conditions.   

 knee joint pain tendinitis lumbar relief acupuncture arthroscopy avoid surgery

knee joint pain tendinitis lumbar relief acupuncture arthroscopy avoid surgery

Below is a link to a great podcast through ClinicalAthlete where an orthopedic surgeon discusses why he has changed his practice mentality and is trying to educate the public and doctors alike regarding evidence-based practice.  The other is a link to a clinical practice guideline regarding recent recommendations for knee surgery.     

http://www.clinicalathlete.com/clinical-athlete-podcast/2018/7/8/episode-11-ineffectiveness-of-knee-scopes-when-sounding-good-isnt-good-enough

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5426368/

Fourth Of July Safety Tips from our Physical Therapist

Fourth Of July Safety Tips from our Physical Therapist

Fourth of July is upon us and with it the season for outdoor BBQs and activities. Here are a few tips to keep you healthy and safe during the holiday! 

DON’T LIFT ALONE!

With the high temps in the forecast tomorrow a cooler with some cold drinks is sure to be a staple for your bbq, but do not lift it alone! Make sure to bend at the knees to get down to a level where the cooler is more level with your body, then use your legs to stand up rather than bending at the waist and lifting with your back. This will help you to avoid low back pain. 

HYDRATE!

Speaking of drinks, it’s important to get plenty of fluids before, during and after activity!  Consuming soda and alcohol is not going to do the trick.  Make sure to have WATER, especially with the heat we are having! 

 Hydration Water Physical Therapy Rehab Muscles Joints

STRETCH BEFORE YOU PLAY!

Backyard sports are a great way to spend time outside with friends, but make sure to do a dynamic warm-up and stretch before.  Do a light jog, some high knees or butt kicks, and stretch out your legs, arms and back before and after activity. Stretching can help to mitigate injury and soreness.  

WATCH YOUR POSTURE WHILE YOU PREP! 

While preparing those burgers and tossing those salads, try to stand on a padded surface and keep your weight distributed equally between both legs.  Choose a work area that is level to your arms when they are bent to 90 degrees.  This will help you to maintain good posture and avoid hunching over the surface you’re working at. 

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ENJOY YOURSELF!

These tips will help to keep you healthy during the holiday and make sure you can fully enjoy the day! However, if you have any persistent pain or discomfort following your backyard BBQ, give us a call at MANA PHYSICAL THERAPY today by calling 732-390-8100! 

            

Acupuncture; Getting to the point.

Acupuncture; Getting to the point.

What is Acupuncture?

When most people think of acupuncture they think of some mystical ancient medicine but may not know what it is or how it works. Acupuncture is the insertion of extremely fine filament needles into specific points along the body. These points follow 12 main meridians that run from the top of your head to the tip of your toes. Meridians are named for the different organs in your body such as the heart and spleen. Acupuncture needles are solid, sterile, single time use needles that are about as fine as a strand of hair. They are so fine that 40 acupuncture needles will fit into a standard hypodermic needle. Most individuals are pleasantly surprised that acupuncture is not painful and they feel calm and relaxed during treatment. Acupuncture is a full body treatment that is used to balance your body and each treatment is custom tailored specifically to you and what you are coming in for. Acupuncture is used to treat both acute and chronic pain, gastrointestinal complaints, anxiety, depression, fertility, vertigo and much more.  

 

 

So that covers what acupuncture is but how does it actually work?


You will often hear acupuncturists talk about “Qi” as being the body’s energy and say Qi needs to flow smoothly or it results in pain and disease, but what is Qi really? Qi being translated to mean energy might be a mistranslation or at least an incomplete one. Qi in the body likely refers to your body’s nerves. They are electrical after all and acupuncture points have been found to have dense areas of nerves. These nerves are able to relay information back to the brain to release chemicals such as endorphins, serotonin and more. Endorphins are your feel good chemicals and can block pain. Some are even stronger than morphine. Serotonin is a natural mood stabilizer that reduces depression and anxiety and is also found in the digestive system to control bowel movements. From these two chemicals alone, we can already start to treat painful conditions, depression, anxiety and gastrointestinal upset. Acupuncture needles are inserted into appropriate points to trigger the release of these chemicals and in this way we are able to teach your body how to self-regulate again. Acupuncture uses your own body to heal itself. Schedule an appointment at Mana Physical Therapy with COURTNEY, our licensed Acupuncturist, to learn more about what acupuncture can do for you.

 acupuncture acupuncturist pain relief therapy rehab rehabilitation East Brunswick NJ

Why Our Desk Jobs Are The Worst Thing For Us

Why Our Desk Jobs Are The Worst Thing For Us

Why Our Desk Jobs Are The Worst Thing For Us

Most of us out there have been told to sit up straight, don’t slouch.  But not many of us have been told “Don’t sit for so long, get up, move around”, unless of course you’ve been to the clinic and seen me!  

Work-related and more specifically desk-job related musculoskeletal problems are one of the leading causes for work leave/sick days.  So why is this and what can we do about it?  

Sitting for prolonged periods can start to decrease the mobility in our hips and low back.  Sitting keeps our hip flexors shortened (those are the muscles at the front of our hips/legs) which limits the amount of hip extension we are able to achieve (hip extension is bringing the leg backward past the body).  In walking we require 15-30degs of hip extension, if you are unable to achieve the required amount of movement then the back tends to compensate.  This leads to low back pain and even sciatica. Even further, the detriments of sitting are not limited to those who lead a sedentary lifestyle, runners can experience chronic ankle (achilles) or heel/foot pain from decreased hip mobility as a result of prolonged sitting.  

The thing about sitting for 8 hours a day is that no one can maintain proper posture for that long.  People will tend to sacral sit, or slouch/recline in the chair which then switches off our core muscles, further contributing to back and hip issues.  Or people try to overcorrect their posture and sit with a posture that is too erect with an increased arch in their low back. These individuals may also be trying to find stability while sitting by using their bony anatomy for support rather than their muscles.  This again can lead to increased lower back pain and discomfort.  But sitting all day does not only affect our lower backs and hips, it can have a significant impact on our neck and shoulders.  We often sit with a rounded shoulder and forward head posture or slumping.  This weakens the deep stabilizers of the neck and our postural support at the muscles surrounding our shoulders leading to neck pain, shoulder pain and even headaches. 

 Correct Posture Lumbar Spine Stenosis Lumbago rehab east brunswick NJ

So with all this what can we do to fix it?

FIRST: GET UP! Not just at lunch time or the end of the day, get out of your chair frequently and just stand or take a lap around the office.  If you are on the phone a lot, take some calls standing. The more often you extend your hips throughout the day the better off you’ll be.  

SECOND: Look at your desk setup.  Make sure your computer is at eye level.  If you use a laptop, see if you can have a laptop stand and a separate keyboard so that the screen can be at eye level.  Make sure your feet are planted firmly on the ground when you’re sitting and the mouse/keyboard are comfortably within reach.  

THIRD: Sit with a neutral spine.  You want to find the midway point between both increased arch in the back and increased rounding of the back and try to maintain your sitting posture there.  Now this may not be something you are familiar with.  So give us a call!  

If you have are having any aches and pains while working or even after work, give us a call immediately.  Some problems resolve in a few days on their own, but some do not and rather than wait for your problem to become chronic give us a call at Mana Physical Therapy.  We can evaluate your posture, mobility and even give you some pointers on desk setup!

 workplace posture lumbar stenosis lumbago scoliosis rehab

Why We All Should Be Squatting

Why We All Should Be Squatting

Why We All Should Be Squatting

The squat is a great way to assess functional ability and movement. It allows us to look at trunk stability and extremity mobility.  But why should you care?  Squatting is an activity we are required to do daily (think of toileting, getting in/out of a chair or car).  In fact there are more and more women who are delivering babies in a deep squat position! If you look at cultures outside the United States they eat meals in a deep squat position or wait for the bus in a squat, a lot of these countries tend to have less low back and hip pain.

But squatting is bad for your knees, especially a deep squat!

Well no, this is actually not true.  There is no increase strain placed on the knee joint during a deep squat than squatting to 90 degrees (the height of a chair) if you squat with good form.  A lot of the stigma around squatting is because people are not squatting properly. Look at a child who is bending down to pick up a toy off the floor.  They have perfect squat form and guess what? They don’t have knee pain.  

 Western Eastern Squat Healthy Core Habits Physical Rehab Therapy East Brunswick NJ

Bottom Line: 

The squat is a great functional activity and should be part of our daily lives.  This is not to say everyone out there should start squatting immediately as mentioned before improper squat form can lead to injury/pain.  If you are already squatting regularly and are having pain or cannot seem to achieve a deep squat, give us a call at Mana Physical Therapy. If you have not been squatting and want to start, give us a call as well!  At physical therapy we will perform an in depth assessment of your movement, strength and flexibility in order to develop a plan that works for you! Remember the squat can give us a great way to evaluate overall functional ability and movement.  

 Asian Squat Squatting Rehab Knee Knees Back Core Spine Lumbar Physical Therapy
Gorsuch, J., et al. The Effect of Squat Depth on Multiarticular Muscle Activation in Collegiate Cross-Country Runners. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2013. 27(9), 2619-25.

Hartmann, H., et al. Analysis of the Load on the Knee Joint and Vertebral Column with Changes in Squatting Depth and weight Load. Sports Medicine. 2013. 43(10), 993-1008.
Schoenfeld, B. J. (). Squatting Kinematics and Kinetics and Their Application to Exercise  Performance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 24,  3497-3506.

 

 

   

Join Us at "Ready, Set, Summer!", Saturday June 23rd

Join Us at "Ready, Set, Summer!", Saturday June 23rd

We will be kicking off the summer on the first Saturday of the season! Join us at the Brunswick Square Mall for an afternoon filled with treats, music, and kid-friendly activities. Come stop by to say hello and stay for the fun!

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Quick Tips for Cycling From A Physical Therapist

Quick Tips for Cycling From A Physical Therapist

Quick Tips for Cycling

Summer is practically here and cycling is a great way to get outdoors and exercise during these warm months.  But how can you do it safely and avoid any aches and pains?  Here are a couple key things to keep in mind. 

Make sure you have the proper bike fit

Knee pain is often related to saddle and/or cleat positioning in over 85% of cases.  Because cycling involves the repetitive pedaling, small adjustments in positioning can make a dramatic impact on knees.  Your seat height should allow for slight knee bend at the bottom of the pedaling motion and keep your hips from rocking back and forth on the saddle. 

Mobility/Flexibility and Strength

Cycling is not just about the knees.  Because the knee is a simple hinge joint, the position and control of the knee occurs at the hip, ankle and even low back.  Similarly, 65% of the total work to propel your bike comes from hip extensors, your gluteals (butt muscles) and hamstrings along with your quadricep.  Decreased mobility and strength deficits in these areas can result in compensatory patterns which can lead to improper pedaling technique and pain.

Trunk Stability

While your power may come from your hips and knees, endurance and stability comes from a strong core.  Poor deep abdominal strength and endurance can lead to loss of proper form and increased low back pain.  Further, as the posture at the trunk decreases, weight is shifted onto the arm which can lead to increased shoulder and neck pain. 

Consult a Physical Therapist at Mana Physical Therapy! They can provide you a comprehensive evaluation of mobility/flexibility, strength and stability which may be causing pain or increasing your risk for injury in the future. They can also help to discuss proper training techniques and refer to a bike fit professional in order to keep your riding through the beautiful summer months!

Set up your consultation today by calling 732-390-8100.

 Cycling Biking Injury Injuries Knee Pain Back Lumbago Cervicalgia Joint Bone rehab

Spring Has Sprung! 7 Tips to Avoid Aches and Pains While Gardening

Spring Has Sprung! 7 Tips to Avoid Aches and Pains While Gardening

7 Tips to Avoid Aches and Pains While Gardening

Common gardening activities, such as digging, planting, weeding, mulching, and raking can cause stress and strain on muscles and joints.

The following tips can help minimize aches and pains:

1. Get moving before you garden.

A 10 minute brisk walk and stretches for the spine and limbs are good ways to warm up.

2. Change positions frequently to avoid stiffness or cramping.

Be aware of how your body feels as you work in your garden. If a part of your body starts to ache, take a break, stretch that body part in the opposite direction it was in, or switch to a different gardening activity. For example, if you've been leaning forward for more than a few minutes, and your back starts to ache, slowly stand up, and gently lean backwards a few times.

3. Use a garden cart or wheelbarrow to move heavy planting materials or tools.

Lift with your knees and use good posture while moving a cart or wheelbarrow.

4. Give your knees a break.

Use knee pads or a gardening pad. If kneeling or leaning down to the ground causes significant pain in your back or knees, consider using elevated planters to do your gardening. If kneeling on both knees causes discomfort in your back, try kneeling on one and keep the other foot on the ground.

5. Maintain good posture.

Use good body mechanics when you pick something up or pull on something, such as a weed. Bend your knees, tighten your abdominals, and keep your back straight as you lift or pull things. Avoid twisting your spine or knees when moving things to the side; instead, move your feet or pivot on your toes to turn your full body as one unit.

6. Take breaks.

If you haven't done gardening or other yard work in a while, plan to work in short stints, building in time for breaks before you start feeling aches and pains.

7. Keep moving after you garden.

End your gardening session with some gentle backward bending of your low back, a short walk and light stretching, similar to stretches done before starting.

Gardening Aches & Pain Back Pain Lumbar Cervical Neck Scoliosis Arthritis Bone Spurs Tendinitis


Author: Andrea Avruskin PT, DPT
from: https://www.moveforwardpt.com/Resources/Detail/gardening

See A Physical Therapist FIRST For Your Back Pain!

See A Physical Therapist FIRST For Your Back Pain!

See A Physical Therapist FIRST For Your Back Pain! 

Back pain is the number one cause for work-related disability and the number one reason for work absences.  In fact, 80% of people will experience back pain at some point in their lives.  Acute low back pain is defined as pain that lasts a few days to a few weeks.  People do not often seek input from a healthcare professional with this type of back pain.  If symptoms persist for greater than 12 weeks, then it is classified as chronic. 20% of people who experience acute low back pain will continue to have symptoms at 12 weeks and as much as up to  1 year.  See a physical therapist first!

With Direct Access laws now in place in New Jersey, you can start physical therapy right away, without a prescription or referral from your doctor!

A physical therapist can be your first line of defense when you experience low back pain and can help to ensure your problem does not turn chronic.  At physical therapy, you will receive a thorough evaluation and individualized treatment which will help you to manage your symptoms and decrease the amount of time spent out of work.  Research supports the use of physical therapy for treatment of low back pain including but not limited to spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease. In many cases physical therapy is more effective and less costly than other treatments such as surgery.  

If you are experiencing any discomfort in your low back, give us a call at MANA PHYSICAL THERAPY (732-390-8100) and schedule an evaluation to see how we can help you! 

 Back Pain Injury Facts Injuries physical therapy causes rehab lumbar

Posture Is Important, BUT WHY?

Posture Is Important, BUT WHY?

Posture Is Important, BUT WHY?

We’ve all been told since we were children “sit up straight, don’t slouch”. To which we would roll
our eyes and swear our parents didn’t know anything. And I don’t think I need to tell you that
our parents were right.

I’d like to say that over the course of time we are becoming more aware of our posture, but it
seems the opposite is happening. With technology at the forefront of our lives, society has
become dependent on tablets, smartphones and computers.
And what does this mean for our posture? It means there’s no hope for any of us to sit up
straight and not slouch.

If you’re reading this blog post, you’re most likely sitting at a computer or on your phone and I’ll
bet you just adjusted your posture...There’s been an epidemic taking over our nation…”Text
neck”. This is the term used to describe an increased forward head position or looking down
which is largely due to the increased use of smart devices.

This increase of forward head position increases the amount of weight on the cervical spine. In
a neutral position, the head weighs about 12 pounds, if you tilt your head forward just 15 degs,
the amount of pressure through the neck more than doubles to 27lbs. And if you bend your
head forward 60 degs (which is probably the most common position for using our phones) the
amount of pressure through your neck increases to 60lbs.

So I know this might be hard for you to imagine...but 60lbs is 5x the amount our cervical spine is
designed for...that’s equivalent to about 4 average bowling balls or half an octopus...did that
help?

What does this mean and why should we care? With our heads in this position we are
essentially reversing the normal curve of our spines leading to increased neck pain, HA, upper
back pain and can even affect our lower back.

 Posture Correction Scoliosis Rehab Physical Therapy correct slouching

What can we do?
Hold our phone/tablets at eye level: tuck your elbows in to your sides like so and keep the
screen at an angle in which you can see it without having to bend your head
GET UP! Don’t sit for more than 20-30 mins, even you if you just stand to stretch or take a lap
around your office, when you sit back down you will be more mindful of your posture
Come visit Mana Physical Therapy. Physical therapy can help you to improve your posture by
working to improve ROM, joint mobility and alleviate pain. Additionally we can help to
strengthen the postural muscles which help to support the head and neck. Our bodies are great
compensators and will take the path of least resistance, retraining your posture is not easy and can often times feel uncomfortable, but in the long run you’re protecting your muscles, joints and
improving your overall health.

If you have any further questions regarding posture or any other aches and pains please call to schedule your appointment with Danielle at MANA PHYSICAL THERAPY (732) 390-8100.

Debunking Four Myths About Arthritis and Exercise

Debunking Four Myths About Arthritis and Exercise

By Danielle Mitko, PT, MSPT

Myth #1: “Exercise will make my joint pain/arthritis worse”

MOTION IS LOTION! Moving our joints actually improves lubrication in the joint and can help
increase flexibility.”

Myth #2: “I have arthritis, I have not exercised in the past and should not start now”

It is never too late to start exercising. Exercise is recommended for all types of arthritis and has
actually been shown to slow the progression of arthritis.

Myth #3: “I can only do low impact activities because of my arthritis”

Research actually supports the use of high intensity training in individuals with arthritis (both hip
and knee). This means that performing activities such as squats and step ups with weight is
actually recommended. Always be sure to consult a healthcare professional before engaging in
exercise.

Myth #4: “Pain is a bad thing”

Pain should always be used as a marker. People often confuse joint pain (stiffness/tightness)
with muscular fatigue/work (burning); if you are exercising and feeling a burning or strain in the
muscles, this is okay, this is a normal response to exercise. In fact you want this to occur in
order to build muscle.

If you have arthritis pain, contact us at Mana Physical Therapy! We can help alleviate the pain and educate you on proper exercise technique and prescription. Please call us at (732) 390-8100 to schedule your appointment today. 

 Arthritis join pain relief geriatric elderly injuries rehabilitation

Dear RockTape, THANK YOU for managing my chronic back pain.

Dear RockTape, THANK YOU for managing my chronic back pain.

by Olivia Barton on the RockTape blog:
https://www.rocktape.com/dear-rocktape-thank-managing-chronic-back-pain/

 Chronic back pain relief with RockTape

I just want to say that I am SOOO glad I discovered RockTape. I am 23 years-old and I suffer from a small central disc protrusion with associated annular tear and central canal and neural foramina on my L5-S1… paired with some mild scoliosis…crazy right? I have been dealing with this issue since was about 14. I have been through a lot of trial and error trying to relieve the pain. From physical therapy twice, acupuncture and cortisone shots… Physical therapy didn’t work for me and acupuncture worked but it wouldn’t last long enough and getting an appointment on a military base (shout to our veterans and military spouses!) is about near impossible. Last year my back pain became SO severe that I couldn’t do any leg related workouts because It would feel like my back was being physically crushed; it really took a toll on my mental state and physical state. Then the best thing ever happened…. I stumbled upon RockTape. As an individual who has been through some serious pain and suffering – to the point of not being able to walk for days at a time, I’m always down to try things that might take even 20% of my pain away. So I bought some.

I first tested RockTape on my five-hour plane ride – plane rides are the worst because I usually can’t even go more than ten minutes without feeling SO uncomfortable with having to adjust my seating position or get up and walk around. I used to directions on how to apply for the lower back, two pieces vertical and one piece horizontal. IT. WAS. INSTANT. RELIEF. It was like a cortisone shot. I felt such relief in my first minutes of having RockTape on that I cried; I was pain free again – all my tightness and tension from my lower back, down to my hamstrings was gone! As for my plane ride? Awesome! I did wiggle around once, but I didn’t have to get up AT ALL and I even fell asleep because I was so comfortable. UGH it was such an awesome plane ride haha.

My next test was trying RockTape in the gym… you bet your butt it was AMAZING!! I was able to do TWENTY box jumps in a row without stopping because my back wasn’t a bother (before I could barely do six in a row without having to stop) I was also able to do my squat cleans and presses without pain (and able to go into a deeper squat). I was feeling so great, I did a banded glue workout (this usually kills my back) and was able to work through it with, you guessed it, no pain! RockTape has forever changed my life. I cannot thank the people RockTape enough for creating such an amazing product that allows sport-loving, weight lifting people like me to be able to do the things we love to do. I wish I could thank each and every one of you personally and you could see the happy tears that roll down my face. Thank you, thank you, thank you! 2017 was a horrible year and it kicked my butt. I vowed to make 2018 my year and I’m off to amazing start thanks to RockTape!!! STAY AWESOME!!!!!!!!

Sending so much love your way!!

Meet Danielle Mitko, Our New Physical Therapist

 Danielle Mitko Mendez PT MSPT FMT best Physical Therapist Therapy East Brunswick

Danielle MItko earned her Master’s of Science in Physiotherapy from the CAPTE-accredited program at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland.  Danielle returned to the States for her last clinical placement in 2013 and received her license in early 2014.  Prior to studying abroad Danielle attended Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey where she earned her bachelor’s in biological sciences.

Danielle takes an individualized approach to management of her patients and believes the best patient care comes from tailoring treatment to the person not the diagnosis.  Danielle has taken courses such as Maitland, Mulligan and Spinal Manipulation, to progress her manual skills, as well as Functional Movement Taping, Pilates and Runner’s Rehab to further expand her skillset.  Danielle is currently preparing to become a board certified specialist in Orthopedics in early 2018.

In addition to her passion for physical therapy, Danielle has coached gymnastics for 15+ years and volunteers on the high school level from time to time.  This experience has provided her a unique insight into working with athletes, including but not limited to dancers, gymnasts, football and soccer players. 

In her free time, she enjoys working out, whether it be running, weight lifting, snowboarding or playing with her dog.  Most importantly she loves anything which involves spending time with her family. 

Winter Snow Shoveling Tips, Save Your Back!

Winter Snow Shoveling Tips, Save Your Back!

By Our Therapist, Danielle Mitko

Protect your back this winter with these tips!

  1. When shovelling snow try to lift lighter loads and choose a shovel where the handle is not too short to avoid bending too much at the back.
  2. The back does not tolerate twisting motions as well as other movements so try to avoid this by facing the direction you want to unload the snow
  3. TAKE BREAKS!  Shovelling is a heavy activity, take periodic rests and perform some back extensions (standing upright with hands on hips and bending backward) to take a break from all the forward bending during shovelling.

If you or someone you know is experiencing back pain, contact a Physical Therapist to receive treatment immediately! 

FACT: EARLY PHYSICAL THERAPY INTERVENTIONS FOR BACK PAIN LEAD TO BETTER REDUCTION IN PAIN LEVELS AND DECREASE CHANCES FOR CHRONICITY. 

 Snow Shoveling Back Injuries Pain Winter Relief
 Proper Form Hip Shoulder Impingement Injury Pain 

SFMA Half-Kneeling Chop With Band

SFMA Half-Kneeling Chop With Band

In the following video, Dr. Nick Cifelli explains the Half-Kneeling Chop exercise, while being demonstrated by our wonderful aide, Alison.

Physical Therapy may be as Good as Surgery for Common Back Problems

Physical Therapy may be as Good as Surgery for Common Back Problems

“People in pain are poor decision-makers,” says the investigative journalist Cathryn Jakobson Ramin, author of a new book, Crooked: Outwitting the Back Pain Industry and Getting on the Road to Recovery.

Approximately 80% of Americans experience back pain at some point in their lifetime with millions in chronic pain.  Many people are lost as to what to do and are taking unnecessary addictive opoids leading to tolerance to the drug causing the pain to escalate.  In some cases the increased pain is actually caused by the opoids.

Also consider this: In a poll at a 2009 conference in Bonita Springs, Florida, 99 out of 100 surgeons who were asked whether they’d elect to have lumbar fusion surgery if it were recommended to them said “absolutely not.”

The truth is, as Ramin’s extensive research indicates, all that most people need to do is keep moving. At Mana Physical Therapy we are committed to listening to your story, getting you moving, and helping you meet or exceed your goals for Physical Therapy.

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