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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.

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

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

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.