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Functional Movement

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.

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 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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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

Ankle Sprains: Not Just A “Walk-It-Off” Injury

Ankle Sprains: Not Just A “Walk-It-Off” Injury

Ankle Sprains: Not Just A “Walk-It-Off” Injury

If you roll your ankle while walking, running or playing a sport you probably don’t seek treatment.  In fact, most of us will probably continue the activity and at the very most wear an ankle brace.  An ankle sprain can create poor balance and effect the way the body moves.  This occurs because the proprioception at the ankle has been damaged.  Proprioception is the brain’s way of knowing where your body is in space and being able to safely negotiate within your environment.  It is what allows us to close our eyes and touch our finger to our nose or walk on grassy, uneven ground without falling.  The brain receives this information from receptors in the muscles, tendons and ligaments throughout the body.  When you “roll” your ankle, then these structures can become damaged and result in poor balance.  Without proper retraining to regain this function at the ankle, you are at increased risk for future and possible more serious ankle injuries. Just one ankle sprain can increase your chances for recurrent ankle sprains by as much as 70%.  AND about 50% of recurrent ankle sprains end up with chronic pain or instability.   

A systematic review of 2 RCTs with 703 and 1057 patients determined that completing a supervised rehabilitation program focusing on balance and coordination for a minimum of 6 weeks after an acute ankle injury substantially reduced the risk of recurrent ankle sprains for as long as a year.

BOTTOM LINE
See a Physical Therapist.  A physical therapist has the tools necessary to ensure your symptoms improve and there are no long-term deficits as a result of your ankle injury.  They will perform a thorough evaluation of your ankle movement, strength, balance/proprioception and develop a plan of care tailored to your needs in order to avoid ankle sprains in the future.   

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References:
Patrick OM, Hertel J. Systematic review of postural control and lateral ankle instability, part II: is balance training clinically effective? J Athletic Trng. 2008;43:305-315.
Hubbard, Tricia J. and Wikstrom, Erik A.  Ankle sprain: pathophysiology, predisposing factors, and management strategies.  J Sports Med. 2010; 1: 115–122.

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.

Running season is finally here! Don't Let runner's knee hold you back!

Running season is finally here! Don't Let runner's knee hold you back!

Runner’s Knee

One of the most common injuries with running is knee pain and often times it presents itself as patellofemoral pain syndrome or Runner’s Knee.  

What is patellofemoral pain syndrome?

PFPS occurs due to improper tracking of the kneecap between the condyles of the femur (thigh bone).  As you bend and straighten your knee the kneecap should move down and up respectively. When the above does not occur it can create friction, inflammation and pain in the area.  

Why does this occur?  

Most often the kneecap does not move properly  due to muscular imbalances between the quadriceps (front of the thigh); hamstrings (back of the thigh) and gluteals (buttock).  This can be a result of increased tension in the iliotibial (IT) band, stiffness at the ankle joint, hip or back, or improper running technique.  

What can we do?

At Mana Physical Therapy we can do a thorough evaluation of your movement patterns to identify strength and flexibility deficits.  Through video analysis, we can assess your running technique and develop a plan of care tailored to your specific needs.

Call Mana Physical Therapy today to address your runners' knee or other running injuries, at (732) 390-8100.

 

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Quadruped Diagonals Resisted with Neutral Spine

Quadruped Diagonals Resisted with Neutral Spine

This exercise helps develop lumbar and core stability and strength, with simultaneous extremity movement patterns. Thank you to our aide Caity for performing the exercise in this video.