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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.   

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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! 

            

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