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Physical Therapy for Frozen Shoulder

Physical Therapy for Frozen Shoulder
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Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis) is characterized by joint stiffness and pain in the shoulder. It is accompanied by pain that gets worse around the evening time and becomes harder to lift and/or rotate the shoulder. 

There are normally no critical discoveries in the patient’s set of experiences, clinical assessment or radiographic assessment to make sense of the deficiency of movement or torment.

There are 2 categories of frozen shoulder which are divided into primary and secondary capsulitis. Primary frozen shoulder is frequently connected with diabetes, and with a patient that has no known indication of diabetes, he or she may be tested for it as well. Other than diabetes, they can also be from thyroid or Parkinson’s disease. 

Secondary adhesive capsulitis can happen after shoulder wounds or immobilization. Usually, after an injury, the patient is advised not to move the shoulder for a length of time, which may or may not trigger a frozen shoulder and delay recovery time.

There are 3 stages to the frozen shoulder which are comprised of freezing, frozen, and defrosting stages. The 1st st stage can last anywhere between two to nine months in which the pain will be at its peak. 

At the frozen stage (which can keep going for a year) is where the pain will start to decrease with a loss of the shoulder’s range of motion, particularly the forward movement as well as the rotational movement. The defrosting stage is where the patient will encounter a progressive return of movement which can take five to twenty-six months.

Doctors will often recommend NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) for the pain and stiffness. However, if the pain gets intolerable, the doctor may use a steroid injection to reduce inflammation which in turn will help with the pain. One thing to note is that studies have shown using steroids along with physical therapy had a greater impact on recovery than the injection alone. 

It is best to get a jump-start on physical therapy as soon as possible to shorten the length of time you have to go through with having frozen shoulder. Your treatment and exercises will vary depending on the stage that you are in. The physical therapist will also advise you to perform specific exercises at home that will boost your recovery. 

If you or someone you know is suffering from shoulder pain, it is strongly advised to check with the doctor early on and to see a physical therapist at Physical Therapy Great Neck, NY. Remember that this is a long process. Give yourself patience and grace as there will be ups and downs. 

Also Read: What Should You Know About Shoulder Injury Rehabilitation?

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Importance of Sleep for Recovery after Injury

Importance of Sleep for Recovery after Injury
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In this day and era, a lot of people are having a tough time going to sleep, staying asleep, or getting enough sleep. We as human beings are trying to adapt to living with all the technology around us while at the same time dealing with the demands and stress of life, and even still living through COVID.

Sleep is important for recovery. Our brain does a lot of things during sleep that helps with recovering from mental stress as well as from physical injuries. If you get enough hours of sleep, your body releases hormones to regulate cortisol (your stress hormone) which in turn indirectly affects the way you recover. The less stressed you are, the your body is heading towards the optimal state for recovery. You will end up getting a better quality of sleep in turn and your sleep cycle will improve.

During sleep your body also releases growth hormones which helps to repair damaged tissue. Being sleep deprived will prevent this and y our recovery rate will be on the decline.

How Do I get Enough Sleep?

Stay away from technology and white light 1 – 2 hours before bedtime. It is pretty tough these days especially with all the smartphones and Netflix binge. Set up an alarm for yourself, get in the habit of turning everything off and dim the lights if you can.

You can do some reading or journaling with a yellow/orange light on. Perhaps do some reflections/meditations, or some light stretches or a nice hot bath from the hard day at work. Your body will thank you for it and you will fall asleep more readily. Dedicate the time you will go to bed to get your self at least 6 – 8 hours of sleep.

Exercise can help too but avoid it right before bed as it can keep you up. It has shown to reduce and manage your stress better, improve your cardio, and losing an extra couple of pounds will improve your insulin resistance that in turn will help you keep the weight off. The heavier you are, the worse it is for your knees and ankles, your circulatory system, your heart, and even on your mind.

Your sleep position can be important too. If you are a back sleeper, the pillow can be relatively flat as it just needs to support the curve on the neck. Get more guidelines from Physical Therapy New York, NY. Therapist will guide you.

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Importance of a Strong Grip

Importance of a Strong Grip
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Grip strength is important in a variety of situations, from activities of daily living to sports and other hobbies. This motion involves the muscles of the hand and the forearm.

Putty: You can purchase these relatively easily from a sporting goods store or online. You can practice squeezing it for about 5 min per day to improve strength and motion. 

If you already have a stress ball at home, it works perfectly too. But if the stress ball itself is too hard for you, you should purchase the easiest level of putty to practice with, as there are different levels of rigidity.

Dumbbell Grip: If you have a dumbbell, you can grip it normally and walk across the room and back (Farmer’s Walk). Perform about 5 – 10 rounds. It should be heavy enough that it is difficult to hold onto by the 4th round or so. 

Pincher Grip: You can grab the head of the dumbbell instead of where you would grab it normally and perform the farmer’s walk, 5 – 10 rounds.

For more information, you can contact Physical Therapy New York, NY

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Preventing Injuries During Snow Days

Preventing Injuries During Snow Days
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It’s been a long winter and snow can pile up on any day. But let’s face it. If you need to shovel then you know how tough it can be on your back and your joints. Here are some ways that you can do to prepare for it.

Get Your Temperature Up

Before going outside, make sure that your joints and muscles are warmed up. You will need to do some active stretching – meaning using movements in the joints that you will perform in order to shovel.

One example is performing squats 10 – 20 reps using just your body weight to open up your hips, knees, and back. 

Another variation is to do a split-squat. Just spread your feet apart shoulder width apart with one leg forward by about 2 ft. Then you would perform a small squat for 10 – 20 reps as well, and repeat on the other side. This is to prepare for the motion you will be doing while shoveling. 

You Need the Right Equipment

For obvious reasons, you will need to dress appropriately to keep those muscles and joints warmed up. It is easy for them to get stiff pretty quickly if you are not dressed right and you will be prone to injury. Wear your winter jackets, hats, and gloves.

If you know that it’s going to snow, you should check how your shovels are. Make sure it’s not bent or rusted. Otherwise, you are going to have a hard time with a broken shovel and will be putting in twice the effort. Investing in a good shovel is worth your while but if you can afford a snowplow, you can avoid a lot of the physical work.

Shoveling

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “use your legs, not your back!” Try not to double-over as you’re shoveling as that will put a lot of pressure on your back. Try to squat down with one leg forward and one leg back as you shovel the snow in front of you. Remember to take your time and take breaks in-between. If you can get more people to help you, ask them – especially if you have a lot of ground to cover. Shoveling can be a great workout but not so much as to break your own back for it. 

If you end up being injured…

If you pull your back, roll your ankle, or experienced a slip-and-fall, you can call up your physical therapist or Physical Therapy Fresh Meadows, NY and come in for an evaluation. If it’s not too serious, the physical therapist can work on you that day and provide tissue and mobility work, apply modalities for the pain, prescribe you certain exercises/stretches to perform towards healing. 

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Trying to Join the Gym This New Year?

Trying to Join the Gym This New Year?
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It’s the New Year and many of us are trying to go back to the gym that we’ve been donating every month too. Perhaps it is the first time joining one. Whatever the situation might be, it’s important to think about your goals first.

Are my goals clear? What is the reason for my goals? These things have to be logical and attainable in order to make and keep up the habit. Perhaps the reason why you didn’t go back enough was one of these reasons. Or it could be that you were injured in one shape or form. 

Develop a short-term and long-term goal. Our brain needs to see the result to feel the reward on the mental and emotional levels. Having step-by-step, short-term goals that are attainable will give you the sense of reward that you need. For example, losing 5 pounds for the 1st month is an attainable goal. Make it challenging but not too challenging as that is for the long-term goal. 

Why you do what you do is important as well. “To be healthy,” seems clear but it’s still very vague. Why do you want to be healthy? Are you overweight? Perhaps losing a total of 30 pounds will let you be in the healthy weight range that’ll be beneficial for your heart as well as easy on your knees that’s been bothering you for the past year. Something like this can also be your long-term goal. After achieving your long-term goal, it’ll be management as well as developing your new goals and/or reasons.

Start easy. Perhaps going back or joining the gym is too intimidating right now because of how much work you may have to put into it or maybe because of the pandemic. Either way, the most underrated exercise can be the best one. Walking. Walking for a whole 30 minutes without any stopping has been more than beneficial to lose fat. It’s been studied many times and proven as a fact. Walk around the block many times to avoid the stoplights or just go to the park with a stopwatch. 

You can start this 3 times a week for about 2 weeks then move on to doing 5 – 7 days a week. You would shed pounds and keep it off more than you think, and you can add 5 to 10 minutes increments. You will develop your cardio and perhaps you add some speed by moving onto a jogging and then to running. Maybe you will start to add weights as your muscles are toning and developing tolerance to the exercise “pain.”  

As mentioned earlier, as you achieve your short-term goals, it is perfectly normal to change your long-term goal because you will feel different and much better. You may even join a running group, join a 5k race, or even a half-marathon. Maybe even a dancing class to keep the weights off while having fun. 

If you start to lift, perhaps you’ll join a cross-fit or some type of defensive martial arts class to keep you going. Again, remember to start with small goals. You will gain them and your body and your mind will thank you for it. For more information you can contact the Physical Therapy New York, NY.

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Cold Weather and Arthritic Pain

Cold Weather and Arthritic Pain
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Fall is already here and you probably experienced the cold front already. This is the time that your arthritis mostly flares up because of the temperature. So what can you do? There is actually a lot you can do for yourself to help manage your pain and to reduce the frequency of arthritic flares.

The first thing would be your diet. The holiday season is here and your guilty pleasures of eating processed meats and foods high in sugar will definitely get in the way of being pain-free. You don’t have to avoid it completely. Enjoy the day that you are celebrating with your family. 

What you can do is limit your intake of these types of food because they will increase the inflammatory response in your body that will cause those flare-ups. Know when to hold back and eat more leafy greens and foods that won’t cause inflammation and your efforts will add up.

The second would be the most obvious – staying warm. You will want to layer up, especially around the area where you get the attacks. If you have it in your extremities, especially in your hands, it is important to wear gloves made for arthritis which provide compression that increases blood circulation. It is also important to keep a hot pack handy a few minutes a day to keep the area in constant circulation and warmth for a smoother joint movement, to feel better.

Another way is to get some sunlight. During this season, the morning comes late and the sun goes down earlier. Perhaps you are just staying inside because it’s so cold. Chances are, you may not be getting enough of the sun to get the daily vitamin D that you need. Low levels of vitamin D have been associated with more flare-ups as well as lower tolerance to pain. 

You can take vitamin D supplements but also adding at least 20 – 30 minutes of a daily brisk walk can be highly beneficial to you. As mentioned previously, you get your vitamin D naturally as well as getting cardiovascular activity in your walk which increases your circulation, temperature, and muscle tone.

The next thing is, you guessed it, exercise. As mentioned earlier, exercise will help strengthen the surrounding muscle around the joint. This puts less pressure on the joint and therefore, fewer flare-ups. 

In physical therapy, you will be taught exercises that will help target the muscles surrounding your specific joint. It’s important to be taught the exercises in the correct way, or preferably in a modified way to meet your current conditions. 

Perhaps you have less range of motion or have other underlying conditions that get in the way of performing an exercise. Speak to your physical therapist about the exercises that you can do. They can not only help with your exercises but provide some manual therapy, tissue work, and stretches to relieve the stiffness in your body to optimize your body for exercise and maintain or increase your level of fitness. 

You may need to visit more frequently in the beginning, but as you get better you can probably go in once a while to relieve the stiffness as well as update your exercise program to either modify or advance into it as you get stronger. One thing to note is that you can also incorporate yoga and pilates to help. 

Yoga will help with the flexibility and toning of the muscles and pilates strengthens the muscle, bone, as well as joints. Get in touch with your Physical Therapy New York, NY for an evaluation and find out what your best options are today.

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Preventive Physical Therapy for School Athletes

Preventive  Physical Therapy for School Athletes
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Do you have a child signed up for a sports team? Or perhaps you are in a team yourself. Chances are, he or she may acquire some type of injury during their sports activities. If one will train their coordination, balance, and motor control based on their sports – preventative physical therapy can help avoid injury or lessen the degree of injury with a faster recovery rate.

It is very common to have injuries among athletes. Some of the most common injuries are rolled ankles, strained hamstrings, and rotator cuff tears. These can occur because of wear & tear, repetitive movements through non-optimal motions of specific joints, over-training and/or not enough rest in between training.

Rolled ankles – common in any sports that involve running and jumping. Once a rolled ankle occurs, it is quite easy to re-injure the same ankle because most of the time, the athlete often needs to get back into the get sooner than the body demands.

In order to prevent this, one would train in balance and reflex movements as well as strengthening the lower extremities and the core muscles. An example of balance training would be standing on one leg for 10 seconds and increasing the time as he or she gets stronger. Another form of advanced balance exercise can be standing on a Bosu ball or a balance board.

In preventing hamstring strains, the athlete would need to strengthen the hamstring muscle, increase flexibility in the quadriceps muscle, and train instability and core. Training stability can be done by balance exercises such as standing on one leg, same as for the ankles. You can also perform lunges which trains both hamstring and quadriceps muscle at the same time.

For rotator cuffs, it is important to strengthen in different planes of motions of the shoulder as well as for the surrounding muscles.
Exercises using the elastic bands are a great way to strengthen the shoulders – moving in external and internal rotation, abduction and adduction, flexion and extension, and even doing hand walks on the wall moving in different directions with the bands around the wrists are great ways to strengthen the rotator cuffs.

In Physical Therapy New York, NY, your physical therapist will work on the athlete based on the need of the athlete as well as adding different and complex activities to involve specific movements for the specific sports. Your insurance may not cover for preventative physical therapy. You can call your physical therapist to ask for specific pricing for preventative physical therapy and ask what they can do for your child or for yourself.

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Physical Therapy for Bell’s Palsy

Physical Therapy for Bell’s Palsy
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Bell’s Palsy

Bell’s palsy is a sudden paralysis of the facial muscles from damage to the cranial nerve. The exact cause of this is not yet fully known however, it can result from different conditions.

Who Can Bell’s Palsy Affect?

It can occur in people who have diabetes, pregnancy, a viral infection, or other neurological disorder that causes paralysis or certain inflammatory diseases.

When a person gets Bell’s palsy, the facial paralysis can go away in a few months but it can last longer. It’s important to check with your doctor first to get the right diagnosis for your treatment and let it heal correctly.

What Can Happen?

It can be problematic with your daily life when you do get Bell’s Palsy. One of the issues is the drooping of the face, leading to discomfort and impediment in speech. Not only that, the mouth can also drool since it’s drooping.

The eye can also dry out because your eyelid may not close properly. Your doctor will then prescribe some eye drops for you to use to keep it lubricated.

These are some of the problems that can get in the way of a person’s social/work life.

How can Physical Therapy help?

Your physical therapist of Physical Therapy New York, NY will work on the affected muscles manually and stimulate the facial muscle using a specific machine as needed. He or she will help you with certain facial movement exercises in order to correct and strengthen your facial muscles. 

You can also do the exercises prescribed by your physical therapist at home as well. Combination with physical therapy and exercise will lead to a quick recovery and less suffering than going through with it blindly for months at a time.

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How to Fix Your Rounded Shoulders?

How to Fix Your Rounded Shoulders?
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If you work or play long hours in front of the computer, the desk, or on the phone, chances are you may have rounded shoulders. The problems that can arise from this can be headaches, shoulder pain, back pain, or even nerve pain.

How Can I Fix My Rounded Shoulders?

Through exercise!

Prepare to get on the floor with a rolled-up towel. For these exercises, you will lay down face down with the rolled-up towel underneath your forehead.

T’s: You will spread your arms to form a T with your torso. Lift your thumbs towards the ceiling and raise you arms up and down. Squeeze for a good second at the top and come back down. Perform 10 – 20 reps, 3 – 5 sets. Start with low reps and work your way up.

Y’s: Same way but with your arms forming a Y with your torso. Lift your arms up and down towards the ceiling with a good second at the top and come back down. Perform 10 – 20 reps, 3 – 5 sets.

W’s: Form a W. Lift your thumbs up and down with the ceilings. Perform 10 – 20 reps, 3 – 5 sets.

I’s: Start the same with your arms straight up next to your ears moving your arms up and down. Perform 10 – 20 reps, 3 – 5 sets.

Swimmers: With just your arms, start with palms facing down with arms next to your ears. As if you are swimming, wave your arms towards your hip, with both hands ending up behind your lower back, palms facing towards the ceiling. Then return to starting position. Perform 10 – 20 reps, 3 – 5 sets.

Alternating arm and leg: Start on your hands and knees. Extend your right arm forward next to your ear and at the same time extend your left leg until it’s straight. Hold for a good second. Repeat on the other side. Perform 10 – 20 reps, 3 – 5 sets.

Shoulder Shrugs: Just as it’s stated, you will stand with both arms on your sides at a relaxed position and raise it up to a shrug. Then come down to the relaxed position in a controlled manner instead of dropping them straight down. Perform 10 – 20 reps, 2 – 5 sets.

Shoulder Retraction: Start with elbows bent at your sides. You will extend your arms forward, then bring them back so your hands are by your side, right underneath your chest level. The motion is like performing rows with a cable machine or as if you are skiing. Remember to retract your shoulders when you pull back – imagine there is a pencil between your shoulder blades and you are squeezing it in place. Perform 10 – 20 reps, 2 – 5 sets.

Open Book: Start by laying down on your back with your knees bent. Then turn to the left. Your knees should still be bent, with your left leg and left arm on the floor. Your left arm should be in front of you extended out. Your right arm should lay on top of the left arm, palms touching each other. Then slowly turn your arms out towards the right as if you are turning a page. Do this nice and slow to feel the motion and stretches. Perform 10 reps. Next, turn on your right and repeat the same thing you did with the left, 10 reps. Do this 3 – 5 sets.

Pec stretch: At the doorway, have your forearms touching the doorway, elbows bent at 90 degrees. Step forward with one foot. You will feel a stretch on your chest. Hold this position for 20 – 30 seconds. Perform 3 – 5 reps. Note: if your doorway is too big, you can do this one side at a time. If you are using your right forearm on the edge of the doorway, then use your right foot to step forward.

Do these exercises every day. You should start to see some improvements little by little. Remember, it can take a long time depending on how long you’ve had shoulders and how flexible you are. 

If you experience any sharp pain during or after exercise, stop and consult your doctor first. There could be other underlying issues that need to be addressed first. Otherwise, you may need supervision by a physical therapist of Physical Therapy New York, NY to modify the exercise or manipulate the joints and muscles to get the right results.

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How to Reactivate Your Glutes?

How to Reactivate Your Glutes?
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Glute Amnesia is the inability to contract or activate your glutes. Having inactive glutes can lead to back, hip, and/or knee pain. One of the reasons why that it can occur is because of the lack of the right muscles in the area. 

There is tightness in certain back and hip muscles, and weakness in the deeper core and glute muscle group. This can lead to problems in your lower back and hip area, commonly known as Lower Cross Body Syndrome. 

The hamstrings become the dominant muscle in movement, leading to tight or restrictive hip flexor muscles – which in turn can lead to knee and low back pain because of the muscles connected to them. 

Hamstrings can become dominant because of prolonged periods of sitting and other various reasons. This will interfere with developing the glute muscle – as both glutes and hams are primary drivers of any hip extension action – e.g. squats, deadlifts, lunges, step-ups, pelvic bridges, hip thrusts, etc. When you remove glutes from the equation you end up overworking the hams.

If your hamstrings are tight or short, they will limit hip joint mobility. The compensation pattern we see as a result of this tightness is the toe-touch pattern – which is when more movement is forced to come from your lower back instead of a hip extension. 

You can combat dominant hamstring by ham lengthening movements before moving onto gluteal activation exercises which allows increasing the range of motion in your hips for optimal gluteal exercise. 

1. Hams Stretch: You can begin by laying down on your back. You can grab a towel or a belt around one foot and lifting that leg until you feel a stretch. You can hold this for 20 – 30 seconds, 3 – 5 times. 

2. Choose exercise that will create strength and/or stability in a greater range of motion

3. Active Leg Lower – great for stimulating hams length while simultaneously causing you to engage your core to provide better pelvic stability 

4. Perform at a Doorway: Lay down face up w/ one leg leaning straight up against the wall while the other legs go out through the doorway but start with the leg bent. Extend the bent leg straight down on the floor to start. Then lift the straightened leg towards the other leg. It may not reach all the way.

There are other exercises you can do to increase gluteus activation. Consult with your physical therapist of Physical Therapy Queens, NY to find out if you have glute amnesia or other conditions. 

They will have a better understanding of how your body works, release any other tightness in the area that you may not be able to do take care of by yourself through manual therapy, and will modify exercises to fit your body’s need.

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