Category Archives: Back Pain

Physical Therapy Treatments for Running & Jogging Injuries

Running seems simpler and easier to everybody as all of us start running as toddlers and many of us continue with this activity throughout either for play, sports or exercise. But if the correct form is not maintained, this simple act can lead to serious injuries.

What causes running injuries?

When you start running for fitness, you particularly become prone to running injuries. There are certain stages at which you become more vulnerable to running injuries, like:

  • During the initial 4 to 6 months of running
  • Returning to running after injury
  • Increase in distance of running
  • Increase in speed

But the fact is, during these vulnerable stages, most of the injuries occur due to the training errors. Apart from these, there are several other factors that also contribute towards the running injuries. These are the factors that runners can avoid or prevent:

Training Errors: The most common cause of running injuries is the erroneous training regime. Inadequate stretching, frequent changes in mileage, heightened hill training, interval training and inadequate rest between training sessions all together make up for training errors.

Defective Running Shoe: An athlete should always select the footwear that fits comfortably and can accommodate his particular foot anatomy. You should replace your shoes after its mileage exceeds 500-600 miles.

Surfaces for running: The surface on which you run needs to be smooth, flat, soft and adaptable. Try to avoid concrete or rough road surfaces. Moreover, try to avoid hills initially as they place stress on knees and ankles.

What are the Common Running Injuries?

Most of the running injuries cause by applying repeated force over a long period of time. Whether you are a newbie or vet; sudden changes in training volume can cause any of the following injuries:

Runner’s Knee: When you experience a consistent tender pain around or behind the kneecap; it is a sure sign of patella femoral pain syndrome or runner’s knee. The repetitive force, downhill running, muscular imbalance and weak hips putting stress on the knee cap can cause the condition.

Achilles Tendinitis: The swelling of tissues connecting your heel to lover-leg muscles is known as Achilles Tendinitis. Rapid increase in mileage, improper footwear, tight calf muscles and flat foot contribute towards the condition.

Plantar Fasciitis: Inflammation, irritation or tearing of plantar fascia; tissue on the bottom of the foot is known as plantar fasciitis. Runners experience extreme stiffness or pain in the arch of the foot due to the condition.

Shin Splints: When the muscles and tendons covering the shinbone become inflamed and runners experience stabbing sensations in the shin; the condition is called shin splints.

Stress Fracture: Stress Fractures are the tiny cracks in the bones that occur due to repeatedly applying the greater force than the legs can bear.

Patellar Tendinitis: It is an overuse injury which leads to tiny tears in patellar tendon that connects kneecap to the shin bone.

Pulled Muscles: When due to overuse or inflexibility, a muscle is overstretched, it can tear fibers and tendons causing pulled muscles

Side stitches: Awful pain on the side of the stomach formally known as exercise-related transient abdominal pain (EJAP) caused due to diaphragm spasm because of overwork or poor running posture

Bursitis: Bursitis of hip develops because of the inflammation of a bursa between the hip and the tendon.

What are the Physical Therapy treatments suggested for Running Injuries?

A physical therapist begins treating an injured runner by conducting physical evaluation and asking questions about his running habits, regime, equipments and techniques. The therapists usually begin by suggesting patients to take rest and modifying his/her running habits. In order to prevent recurring injuries; physical therapists develop pre-and post-workout routines for them with strength work, warm-ups, stretches and cool-downs. Other specific treatments may include:

For knees: Physical therapists may suggest stretching and strengthening of hamstring, quadriceps and hip musculature along with cold therapy. Modalities like ultrasound and supportive or corrective taping techniques may also be applied.

For ankle pain and sprains: Physical therapists may suggest strengthening exercises to enhance stability. Foot orthotics may be suggested. Moreover physical therapists may also suggest massage, ice, ultrasound or electrical stimulation for tissue healing.

For Achilles Tendon Pain: Most of the times, therapists suggest rest and limited use as these are best to treat the problem. Apart from this, a therapist may also suggest heat and cold therapy, ultrasound and massage therapy to reduce swelling.

For Foot: Special shoe inserts or foot orthotics and other modification are suggested so that shoe fits properly. Therapeutic exercises accompanied by modalities like manual treatment techniques and ultrasound may also be suggested.

For Shin Splints: Deep tissue massage may be used to reduce inflammation. Supportive taping may also be applied to alleviate stress within the affected region.

For Plantar Fasciitis: Arch supports, soft-tissue massage are used to alleviate pain. Calf stretches before and after workouts may also help.

For Bursitis: Therapists will suggest stretches to restore full hip motion and to reduce friction.

Contact Alliance Physical Therapy for the expert diagnosis and state of art treatment of your pain and injuries. Our diligent team of physical therapists use patient-proven techniques and state-of-art technologies to make you as healthy and fit as before.

Physical Therapy Treatment for Spinal Stenosis

According to a study made, as many as 75% of us suffer from back pain or neck pain at some point of our lifetime. Spinal Stenosis is also one of such causes of back pain that affects the bones of your back by narrowing the openings within the bones.

What do we mean by Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal Stenosis is a condition causing the narrowing of spinal canal which in turn puts too much pressure either on the spinal cord or the nerve roots. Staying active and exercising regularly is the most efficient way to treat Spinal Stenosis. This condition can occur both in the neck or the lower back.

What are the most common causes of Spinal Stenosis?

Most of the major causes of Spinal Stenosis are related with the ageing process of spine. It may occur due to:

  • Gradual degenerative ageing process of spine
  • Thickening and calcifying of spinal ligaments
  • Bone spurs due to the enlargement of bones and joints that occurs due bone stress
  • Dehydration of spinal discs between the vertebrae due to age
  • Spinal osteoarthritis that is accompanied by the overgrowth of bone formation or bone spurs
  • Flattening of discs due to normal ageing and wear and tear
  • Spinal injuries, tumors and bone diseases like (Paget Disease) may also lead to Spinal Stenosis

What are the signs and symptoms of Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal Stenosis may cause the following symptoms including:

  • Weakness, pain, tingling or numbness in the arms, legs, trunk or shoulders
  • Muscle weakness
  • Diminished reflex cramping in the arms or legs
  • If your Lumbar Spine is stenotic, you may feel pain radiating from the low back and into the buttocks and legs
  • If a nerve root is being pushed on due to the narrowing of space within the spine, you may feel pain radiating to nerve which reduces with sitting

What are the Physical Therapy treatment options opted to treat Spinal Stenosis?

Your physical therapist will design treatment program for you depending upon the evaluations’ and your personal goals as well. He will suggest a treatment program that will be a combination of different exercises:

  • Stretching exercises may be suggested to eliminate stress on joints and to improve flexibility as well
  • Work ergonomics to improve your posture at work
  • Strengthening exercises may be recommended to support your spinal joints for strong arms’ and legs’ muscle
  • Manual therapy may be administered to improvise joint mobility
  • Deep tissue massage therapy may be used to release tension in the soft tissues
  • Hot and cold therapies may be applied alternatively to eliminate inflammation, muscle spasms, pain and swelling
  • TENS and Ultrasound therapy may be used to treat muscle cramping, stiffness and pain
  • Aquatic exercises may be suggested to help your body to exercise without putting pressure on the spine

Contact Alliance Physical Therapy for the state-of-art and efficient treatment of any of your musculoskeletal problems or diseases. Our professional and diligent Physical Therapists use patient-proven methods and top-notch techniques to treat your problems and help you to get back to your work as early as possible.

How to Avoid Back Pain during Gardening Season?

Back Pain Physical Therapy

Back Pain Physical Therapy

Warming up of weather and occasional glimpses of yellow orb in the sky excites most of us to get out in our gardens and make preparations for the spring time. Gardening is an excellent and vigorous outdoor and therapeutic activity but it also sends many of us to the doctors and physical therapistsBack Pain is the most common symptom among the people with gardening habits.

Gardening can be compared to athletic activities which involve lot of twisting, lifting and bending. So before getting your hands into plants warm-up properly, follow these easy quick tips and get ready for the day in dirt:

  • Warm up with light movements and go for a brisk walk to increase your flexibility.
  • Do not bend repeatedly. Try to do your work by kneeling or sitting.
  • Lift the gardening tools and equipments carefully. Instead of putting pressure on your back and hips, let your arms, leg and thighs carry the load by bending properly at your knees.
  • Make use of long-handled tools for proper grip and to eliminate back strain.
  • Practice proper and good body mechanics i.e. do not work in the similar position or posture for long time.
  • Keep your back in the proper alignment to reduce unnecessary strain.
  • Use stools and upside down buckets to sit comfortably and use pad to kneel to avoid knee pain.
  • Take frequent breaks, Stand up and walk around in-between the gardening activities.
  • Never bend and twist your back at the same time.
  • Stand up like you are getting out of the chair, i.e. keeping your back straight.
  • If you feel pain in certain area, apply ice or cold pack to the affected area and do not resume the activity till the pain subsides.
  • Concentrate on your legs and core while lifting heavy bags of soil, digging with a shovel and carrying water hoses.
  • To lift heavy items like; dirt bags, garden tools or planting material, use garden cart or wheel barrel
  • Use joint friendly tools so that you can stand straighter and can easily grip the handles as well

Contact Alliance Physical Therapy for the expert diagnosis and state of art treatment of your pain and injuries. Our diligent team of physical therapists use patient-proven techniques and state-of-art technologies to make you as healthy and fit as before.