Safety On ICE!

adventure, cold, cross country skiing

 

Winter has officially arrived! Here in Maine, we have received our first snow accumulation which has caused many surfaces outdoors to be slippery. Walking on the snow and ice can be a difficult task, causing a much higher risk for falls resulting in injuries to the hip, hand, back, etc. Here are some tips on what to do when the ground is icy/snow covered:

  • Avoid locking up your knees; walk with flat foot with knees slightly bent
  • Take short steps
  • Stop by Cadillac Mountain Sports for some ice traction slip-on or metal cleats
  • Keep your hands out of your pockets and if necessary, keep your arms out by your side for balance
  • Walk on less-smooth surfaces if possible (grass, gravel, sand)
  • Keep your body weight with your center of gravity directly over the feet as much as possible for added stability

If a slip-and-fall does unfortunately happen, or if you have any questions about training or physical therapy, contact UBE via phone: (207) 992-4000 or email: admin@ube-more.com.

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You Are More Than An MRI

Here at UBE Physical Therapy, we work with many patients of varying deficits and limitations. One of the most frequent cases that we receive are patients with back pain.

We have many patients that have come into physical therapy with the immediate want for an image and a concrete diagnosis. While understanding what is wrong and a proper diagnosis is important, there are many times in which imaging may cause more harm than good.

Just because a patient has a “degeneration” reading on an MRI, does not make their presentation a cookie-cutter “back patient”. As shown in the resource below, there is a very high percentage of healthy individuals who have signs of degeneration noted on an MRI. Your physical therapists (and medical professionals in general) should be mindful to focus on the patient, and not just a diagnosis or image reading.

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Imaging, and specifically MRIs are not the enemy. Imaging is an appropriate tool used for certain injuries and pathologies. However, it is important to keep in mind, an MRI can show more than the clinical presentation. On the flip side, a patient can have significant pain, receive an image, and be told there is nothing wrong.

Your UBE physical therapist will treat you and your clinical presentation. If you have any questions about training or physical therapy, contact UBE via phone: (207) 992-4000 or email: admin@ube-more.com

  Consistency with Physical Therapy

There are countless reasons for a patient to come to physical therapy, as well as countless benefits of physical therapy.

At the start of your physical therapy journey, your therapist will develop a “plan of care” at your first session with your personal goals in mind. That plan of care will include how many visits they think will be beneficial to come per week, as well as, duration to reach your goals.

If a patient misses their scheduled appointment, that causes a prolonged time for possible disability/limitations, as well as, a longer period it will take for you to reach your goals.

By missing treatment visits, your therapy will be longer than previously stated during your initial evaluation. This causes an increased time that you have to manage your pain and limitations. While our therapists love to see their patients, they want therapy to be as successful and efficient as possible.

Some benefits of physical therapy include:

1. Decreasing Pain: Pain can severely impact your quality of life. Your UBE physical therapist is trained in hands-on techniques and will instruct you on pain education to reduce pain levels.

2. Avoid Surgery and Opioids: evidence has shown that PT is an effective alternative to both surgery and medication. (http://www.moveforwardpt.com/benefits/default.aspx)

3. Take Full Advantage of Movement: pain-free movement is crucial to high quality of life no matter your age or activity level.

Post-race stretching

Although November is upon us, there are still plenty of upcoming area races to compete in before (and maybe after) the snow flies!  UBE’s Katy Wellman, PT, DPT, demonstrates a few key stretches to help with your post-race recovery.

Complete each stretch below two times, holding for 30-45 seconds per side.

Piriformis stretch: Due to infrequency of lateral movements, the piriformis (located deep in the lateral buttocks) muscle frequently becomes tight.

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Calf stretch: With the constant heel-toe movement of running, the calf can become very tight.
 

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Tensor fasciae latae (TFL): the TFL is a frequent culprit of tightness in the hip all the way down the knee due to the TFL continuing into the iliotibial tract (ITB).

Happy racing!

 

Soreness vs. Pain

There have been many observations made and questions asked about having a physical therapy clinic in a gym. One frequently asked question has been how to determine the difference between soreness and pain.

It is important to understand the difference between muscular soreness and pain. While is a healthy an anticipated result of exercise, pain is unhealthy and an abnormal response. The line between the can be difficult to recognize, and the ability to be able to differentiate between as sore muscle and actual pain is important in decreasing the chance of injury.

Muscle soreness:

  • Tender when touching muscles, tired or burning feeling while exercising, minimal dull, tight and achy feeling at rest
  • Onset occurs during exercise and/or 24-72 hours after activity
  • Improves with stretching, following movement (“warm-up discomfort”)
  • Worsens with immobility

Pain:

  • Ache, sharp pain at rest or when exercising
  • Occurs during exercise and can last for >3 days if not addressed
  • Improves with R.I.C.E (rest, ice, compression, and elevation)
  • Worsens with continued activity

If you are you’re experiencing extreme pain or pain lasting longer than 1-2 weeks you should seek the advice of a physician or physical therapist.

 

  1. http://www.apta.org. Accessed Oct. 26, 2017

Why are so many young athletes getting severe, season-ending injuries?

Over the past decade, it appears that more and more athletes are being sidelined with season-ending injuries. While there are many differing reasons for injuries that are out of the athlete’s control, here are a few possible reasons that can be self-managed:

Lack of proper warm-up and/or cool-down

  • There are still many teams that have improper/inefficient warm-ups, causing athletes to be ill-prepared for competition, as well as possibly increasing the athlete’s chance for injury.

Lack of “base/foundational strength” prior to start of season

  • While overall condition and strengthening is important, there are many athletes that go straight into their season (going from couch/computer to court).

Overall decrease in stabilization muscles

  • Technology has benefitted many kids with the knowledge-base for the digital-age; However, this can also have an impact if kids are staying indoors.
  • Because more kids are staying indoors, there are less chances to get outdoors (running/jumping/etc.), causing a decrease in overall strength and stabilization in muscles

Athletes have been using UBE strength training in conjunction with physical therapy, as needed, to prepare for their upcoming sports to gain/maintain strength and stabilization.  If you have any questions about training or physical therapy, contact UBE via phone: (207) 992-4000 or email: admin@ube-more.com

October is National Physical Therapy Month!

October is the month in which we have the chance to celebrate the power of Physical Therapy. As PT’s, we have the opportunity to play a significant role in helping people overcome both physical and mental hardships of an injury.

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Come check out UBE Physical Therapy for a FREE 30-minute consultation to assess your needs and how you can improve your overall health and wellness.

 

 

Physical Therapy FIRST

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Set up an appointment to see the doctor, wait a few weeks, see doctor, get referred to physical therapy, wait another few weeks, THEN see a PT.

Wouldn’t it be easier to just get straight in to see your physical therapist?

You can!

Many are unaware that instead of going straight to the doctor for an injury, you can go straight to a physical therapist first.

Not only will you cut out the waiting period, but often, physical therapy is used as a means of conservative treatment before other options are explored. Instead of immediately turning to prescription drugs or invasive surgery for treatment, your physical therapist can trial more conservative modalities, hands on work, and strengthening exercises to help lead you towards health and healing.

Here are just a couple of reasons why physical therapists should be the first step:
• Weight training and bone health with osteoporosis/osteopenia
• Physical therapy during cancer treatment
• Pre-surgical rehabilitation
• Avoiding surgery: Strengthening of supporting muscles may help to avoid going under the knife.

Is your child’s backpack too heavy?

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Some of the backpacks that kids bring home today seemingly weigh more than the kid themselves. These heavy backpacks can lead to pain and soreness, progressing towards musculoskeletal issues in the future if not addressed.

Some signs that may mean the backpack is too heavy are:

  • Pain between the shoulder blades when wearing the backpack
  • Indentations or red markings on the shoulders
  • Complains of tingling and/or numbness in the hands or arms

Here are a few key components on backpacks to consider, preventing these problems from occurring:

  • Fit: The base of the backpack should rest centered in the middle of the back. Both shoulder straps should always be worn on top of the shoulder as well as under the arms, with the arms having the ability to freely move.
    • Avoid the backpack sagging down to hips/buttocks.
  • Weight: The backpack should not weigh more than 10% of the student’s bodyweight.
    • While it is important to be prepared for classes, being judicious with what is placed in the backpack each day is important.
  • Structure: The ideal backpack would have padded shoulder straps with hip and/or sternum straps to equally distribute weight as well as prevent frequent movement/friction of the backpack.

Low back and core stabilization

Low back pain is the most common musculoskeletal diagnoses and cause of activity limitation and work absence in the U.S. Here are 3 exercises (with variation) that may help reduce your risk of injuring your lower back.

Bird Dog: This exercise requires a lot of balance and core strength, improving trunk and back muscles.
Start with just an arm raise and then progress to leg lift. Once those movements become easy, alternate arm/leg (as shown below).

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Dead Bug: This exercise (with variations for increased progression) assist with activation of spinal stabilizers. With all variations of dead bug, the spine and pelvis are in a neutral position with the abdominals braced.

The first version consists of pushing your lumbar spine into the ground, bringing your arms and legs straight up into the air, and holding that position. Start with 10 seconds and increase up to 30 seconds.

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Once the first version of dead bug becomes too easy, you can progress the exercise by alternating arm and leg extension (as shown below). Continue to focus on your spine and pelvis in a neutral position with the abdominals braced.

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The final progression is using a loop band (placed around your feet).

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Bend your knees 90 degrees and bring your arms straight up. Alternating arm and leg extension (as shown below), focusing on your spine and pelvis in a neutral position with the abdominals braced.

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Plank pull down: Start in a high plank position holding the end of a band in each hand with the band stabilized/anchored in the middle. Focus on your spine and pelvis in a neutral position with the abdominals braced. While stabilizing on a single arm, pull the band in the opposite arm back (into the position of your front pocket). Alternate arms and repeat 5-10 times each arm.

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