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Rehabilitation Articles

Physical Therapist on Building Better Posture

Bad posture can lead to health problems.

What Is Good Posture, And Why Is It Important?
"To me, good posture is carrying your body in a way that is mechanically safe," Patel says. "So, that means that your spine is in its natural curves, which allows the muscles to activate from the inside out, and gives us a solid foundation for when we need to move.

"If we sit in poor posture for long periods of time, essentially our brain begins to create a strong connection between the way that we're sitting and how we want our muscles to be activated all the time. So we begin to create these pathways, which are essentially shortcuts. And so instead of our brain being wired to access movement in a mechanically sound way, it then starts to access movement more from the outside in, which essentially sets us up for injury down the line."

Achilles Tendon Rupture

What Is the Achilles Tendon?  
A tendon is a band of tissue that connects a muscle to a bone. The Achilles tendon runs down the back of the lower leg and connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. Also called the heel cord, the Achilles tendon facilitates walking by helping to raise the heel off the ground.

What Is an Achilles Tendon Rupture?
An Achilles tendon rupture is a complete or partial tear that occurs when the tendon is stretched beyond its capacity. Forceful jumping or pivoting, or sudden accelerations of running, can overstretch the tendon and cause a tear. An injury to the tendon can also result from falling or tripping.

Achilles tendon ruptures are most often seen in "weekend warriors" typically, middle-aged people participating in sports in their spare time. Less commonly, illness or medications, such as steroids or certain antibiotics, may weaken the tendon and contribute to ruptures.


Adductor Muscle Strain

What is an Adductor Muscle (Groin) Strain?
An adductor muscle strain is an acute injury to the groin muscles on the medial aspect (inside) of the thigh. Although several different muscles can be injured, the most common are the Adductor Longus, Medius, and Magnus, and the Gracilis.

Strains reflect tears of the muscle-tendon unit, due to forceful contraction of the muscles against resistance, often during an eccentric load. Eccentric refers to a muscle contraction while the muscle is lengthening, versus concentric, in which the muscle shortens during the contraction. Most weight-lifting involves concentric contraction; “Negatives” during bench press is an example of an eccentric contraction.

Tears can occur at muscle origin or insertion, at the muscle-tendon junction, or within the belly of the muscle(s). Most commonly, tears occur at the muscle-tendon junction. Uncommonly, the tendon injury occurs at the site of its’ bony attachment.

Strains can be graded I-III based upon their severity. Grade I involves a mild strain with some injury, bleeding, tenderness, but no significant fiber disruption. A Grade II injury involves injury to the muscle-tendon fibers but the overall integrity of the muscle-tendon unit is preserved. A Grade III injury involves disruption leading to a loss of overall tendon integrity. Most adductor muscle strains are Grades I or II.

Soccer injury: Six of the Most Common Injuries Soccer Players Suffer

Soccer is one of the most common sports in the world. It is estimated that over one-quarter of a billion people play across the world. Participation in soccer is rising, so it should be no surprise that the rate of soccer injury is high. In this article, I discuss soccer injury, including six of the most common soccer injuries and their typical treatments.

Ankle sprain
An ankle sprain is an extremely common soccer injury. Inversion injuries (or what many people think of as rolling the ankle) can injure the ligaments on the lateral side of the ankle, causing an ankle sprain. The injury can be a mild sprain that causes the athlete to miss a few days or a week or two. Or it can keep an athlete out of soccer for 4 to 6 weeks. Surgery is rarely needed for an acute ankle sprain. Ice, rest, a brace or taping, and physical therapy are some of the measures used to help an athlete return to play.
Jones fracture
The metatarsals are the long bones of the foot. A Jones fracture refers to a fracture in a specific location along the fifth metatarsal. The fifth metatarsal is the long bone on the lateral (outside) side of the foot beneath the little toe. This particular fracture typically occurs at the junction between the base of the bone and the midshaft (long, cylindrical middle portion of the bone).

Athletes who suffer a Jones fracture face a difficult challenge. This fracture is tough to get to heal without surgery. Due to the risk of nonunion in athletes, orthopedic surgeons often choose to fix the fracture surgically. Surgery usually involves placement of a screw inside the bone across the fracture. If nonoperative treatment, such as a cast or a boot, is attempted, close observation with regular x-rays is critical to ensure that the fracture is healing appropriately.

Common Football Injuries

Football is a rough sport, and despite the helmets, pads, braces, and supports, injuries are a common part of the game. The combination of the size of the players, speed of play, and physical nature of the game makes football injuries quite common.

Sprains and Strains
Sprains and strains are the most common type of football injury. Treatment of sprains and strains usually is best accomplished by the "R.I.C.E." method (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate).

Fractures account for one-quarter of all serious football injuries (i.e. injuries that require hospital care). Commonly fractured bones include the finger, wrist, and leg.

Why Do My Legs Hurt?

The lower parts of your legs take the brunt of your day-to-day life. You shouldn’t have to be in pain, though.
Medical treatments can help if your doctor says you have a condition like leg cramps, blood clots, or issues with the nerves. But you can do things at home that help, too.

Bones, Joints, and Muscles

Muscle cramp. It can strike in your sleep or in the middle of the day. This sudden, tight, intense lower leg pain is sometimes called a "charley horse." When it takes a grip, it can get worse quickly. It happens when your muscles are tired or dehydrated. Drink more water if you're prone to leg cramps.

It might help to gently stretch or massage the area where your muscle has tensed up. Stretch your legs properly before you exercise, too.

What Is a Rotator Cuff Tear?

A rotator cuff tear is a common injury, especially in sports like baseball or tennis, or in jobs like painting or cleaning windows. It usually happens over time from normal wear and tear, or if you repeat the same arm motion over and over. But it also can happen suddenly if you fall on your arm or lift something heavy.
Your rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and tendons that stabilize your shoulder joint and let you lift and rotate your arms.

There are two kinds of rotator cuff tears. A partial tear is when the tendon that protects the top of your shoulder is frayed or damaged. The other is a complete tear. That’s one that goes all the way through the tendon or pulls the tendon off the bone.

Do I Have a Herniated Disc?

Back pain can sneak up on you when you least expect it. One minute you're sitting comfortably in front of the TV, and the next you try to stand up, and -- ouch! -- a sharp pain radiates through your lower back.

What’s causing it? Could you have a slipped or herniated disc? Chances are you might.

Your spine is made up of 26 bones called vertebrae that are cushioned by soft discs made of a jellylike substance. These discs are what allow you to move your spine around and bend over.

But if a disc between two vertebrae starts slipping out of place, it can irritate the surrounding nerves and cause extreme pain. The condition is called a slipped, ruptured, or herniated disc.

Joint Pain

Joints form the connections between bones. They provide support and help you move. Any damage to the joints from disease or injury can interfere with your movement and cause a lot of pain.

Many different conditions can lead to painful joints, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, gout, strains, sprains, and other injuries. Joint pain is extremely common. In one national survey, about one-third of adults reported having joint pain within the past 30 days. Knee pain was the most common complaint, followed by shoulder and hip pain, but joint pain can affect any part of your body, from your ankles and feet to your shoulders and hands. As you get older, painful joints become increasingly more common.

Physical Therapy after a Hip Replacement

Hip replacements are one of the most commonly performed orthopedic surgeries. Having been performed since 1960, the surgical technique and prosthesis used have been perfected to allow the patient optimal recovery of functioning with less pain. Having the surgery is only half the battle when it comes to the new joint. Physical therapy is the other important aspect in a full and successful recovery.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

What is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo?
Vertigo is a very specific kind of dizziness: the feeling that you’re going around and around or that the inside of your head is spinning. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is the most common cause of this condition.

Each part of the name describes a key part of the inner-ear disorder:
•    Benign means it’s not very serious. Your life is not in danger.
•    Paroxysmal means that it hits suddenly and lasts a short time.
•    Positional means you trigger the vertigo with certain postures or movements.

It's common, and usually can be treated in a doctor’s office.
In rare cases, the problem can be serious if it increases your chances of falling. If you get these attacks often, it could point to other medical conditions. They’re often hard to diagnose, though.

Herniated Disc (Disc Herniation of the Spine)

How are the spine and its discs designed?
The vertebrae are the bony building blocks of the spine. Between each of the largest parts (bodies) of the vertebrae are the discs. Ligaments are situated around the spine and discs. The spine has seven vertebrae in the neck (cervical vertebrae), 12 vertebrae in the mid-back (thoracic vertebrae), and five vertebrae in the low back (lumbar vertebrae). In addition, in the mid-buttock, beneath the fifth lumbar vertebra, is the sacrum, followed by the tailbone (coccyx).

The bony spine is designed so that vertebrae "stacked" together can provide a movable support structure while also protecting the spinal cord (nervous tissue that extends down the spinal column from the brain) from injury. Each vertebra has a spinous process, which is a bony prominence behind the spinal cord that shields the cord's nerve tissue. The vertebrae also have a strong bony "body" in front of the spinal cord to provide a platform suitable for weight-bearing.

Tips from the Experts

Tips from the Experts

Tennis and Golfers Elbow

Although you may have never handled a tennis racquet or a golf club, you may very well have suffered from a dull achiness or a sharp pain on either side of your elbow which limits your ability in using your arm. Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow, or lateral epicondylitis and medial epicondylitis, are only two of extremely common overuse injuries of the elbow.

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