The Truth About Growing Pains

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growing pains

The Truth About Growing Pains

Does your child really have “growing pains?”

The truth is, there is no proof that growing bones can cause pain in your child’s legs. However, there are too many children between the ages of 3 to 16 that complain of leg pain for it to be ignored.

Growing pains occur in around 25 percent to 40 percent of all children. It is most often seen between the ages of 3 to 5 and then again between 8 to 12 years of age, but children of any age can experience growing pains prior to a growth spurt.

The pain that your child can experience with growing pains will more than likely be in the front of their thighs, in their calves or behind their knees. The joints do not hurt. Leg pains are usually felt more at night or evening just about bedtime. The pain is not felt every day and the intensity varies from one child to the next. Some children have severe pain at night that does wake them from sleep, while others do not. Pains brought on from growing, like other illnesses, can affect each child differently as to the exact location of the pain and the intensity.

These leg pains are normally stronger after your child is physically active and your doctor may advise you to give him something for the pain such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Some other ways to help your child when growing pains occur include: massaging the area, having them stand up and stretch (try these kids’ yoga poses) or use a heating pad. Another home remedy is to use a moist towel warmed in the microwave.

 

If you notice that the joints are swollen or red then visit a doctor or physical therapist to help you figure out the problem! There are not physical signs of growing pains and growing pains do not have any type of distinguishing symptoms other than pain in the legs. Your child will not run a fever or hurt any place else besides the ones mentioned above. If you notice other symptoms such as fever, or red and swollen joints, then this could be something more serious.

If you’re worried that your child’s knee pain could be something worse than just growing pains, come see one of our experienced physical therapists.

pain

5 Simple Habits That May Lead To Pain Or Injury

Have you ever heard of “The Compound Effect”? The idea that simple habits repeated over time will eventually lead to a certain outcome. Take working out, for example. You might not see the results of your sweat session over night, but if repeated over time you will begin to see dramatic results. Sadly, the compound effect also applies to negative habits.

Here are a few simple habits you need to be aware of that may eventually lead to pain or injury:

  1.     Too much time spent on phones or tablets –

Texting or looking down at your mobile device for any length of time puts excessive strain on your neck. This habit is especially harmful for kids; too much phone or tablet time has shown to result in altered biomechanical and structural differences with the growth of the spine. Some immediate effects include hand and neck pain. It is important to be conscious of posture when using these devices, try raising your devices to eye level and limit the amount of time spent on them.

  1.     Improper sleeping habits –

We have all woken up at one time or another with some sort of pain in our neck, shoulder or back. If this continues to happen multiple nights in a row, it may be a good idea to try out some other sleeping positions or pillow options. There are many pillow options for comfort and support; it may take a bit of trial and error to find what works best for you. The general rule is that it is best to use a pillow that keeps your cervical spine in neutral alignment. It is worth taking the time to find what works best for you. Sleeping on your back is the best position to allow your entire spine to rest.

  1.     Habit of carrying a purse or backpack that is too heavy –

The most common mistake is consistently carrying a heavy purse or briefcase on one side of the body, it is easy to get in the habit of using your dominant arm but if you must carry a heavy bag make sure to at least alternate arms. The uneven load can cause your shoulders to become uneven and eventually strain your neck muscles. This is not a new bad habit; men and women have been struggling with this issue for quite some time. Here is some great info on the possible negative effects of this habit and ways to help fix it.

  1.     Wearing the wrong shoe size –

Wearing the wrong shoe size can lead to injury, but the problem is most people don’t realize they are wearing the wrong shoe size. While you might typically wear size 8, your running or hiking shoe should typically be ½ sized to a whole size bigger; same with dress shoes, the shoe shouldn’t fit too snug. Speciality running stores like Road Runner Sports and Sole Sports are great options for helping you make sure your athletic shoes are a good fit.

  1.     Improper vision prescription or over use of LED lights –

Poor vision caused by improper prescription or over use of LED lights is an easily overlooked habit that can lead to serious pain. This habit can cause the development of forward head posture due to squinting and leaning forward to view a computer screen or mobile device screen. Forward head posture not only leads to possible pain, but also has shown to be a reason for many injuries, new and chronic.

If you are currently experiencing any pain as a result of these bad habits, make an appointment with us today! Let us help you get back to feeling your best.

 

Plantar Fasciitis

Experiencing Foot Pain in the Morning? Plantar Fasciitis Could Be the Problem

We all experience foot pain every once in a while. It could be from standing on your feet all day, wearing uncomfortable shoes, or other health conditions like arthritis, diabetes, or lupus. But have you ever experienced excruciating pain in the arches of your feet during your first few steps in the morning? If you have, you might be suffering from plantar fasciitis.

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repetitive hand injuries

9 Ways You Can Prevent Repetitive Strain Hand Injuries

Put Down the Phone to Prevent Repetitive Strain Hand Injuries

repetitive hand injuries

You may not realize just how much time you spend on your smartphone or iPad, but too much texting and scrolling can cause repetitive stress injuries on the hands and fingers. This constant movement could be hurting your joints.

What are repetitive strain injuries?

Repetitive strain injuries (RSI) such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis and bursitis can be both painful and debilitating.  Symptoms may include pain, numbness, throbbing, tightness or a dull ache in one concentrated area.

How can you prevent repetitive strain injuries to your hand?

Do you have trouble gripping things or feel pain in your thumbs or wrists when typing or texting? You may have a form of repetitive strain injury. Learn how to protect your hands from repetitive strain injuries.

9 ways you can prevent repetitive strains:

  • Put your phone down—cut down on the time you are texting, swiping and clicking
  • Rest—avoid any actions that hurt your hand
  • Take breaks—stretch your hands and fingers during the day
  • Ice the swollen area
  • Anti-inflammatory medication may help ease the pain
  • Practice good posture while texting and typing—keep your head and shoulders back to help prevent upper body pains and strains
  • Call people instead of texting them if possible
  • Regular exercise, stretching and strengthening may help prevent strain on your hands and fingers
  • Reduce your keystrokes—keep your text messages brief, use abbreviations or voice recognition software to write messages

Get the Upper Hand with These Hand Facts:

  • There are more than 25 bones in each of your hands
  • The first recorded handshake was found in an Egyptian hieroglyphic
  • Studies show that holding hands can decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol
  • A friendly touch can increase the release of oxytocin which promotes feelings of trust, devotion and bonding
  • 10-15% of the population is left-handed
  • 1 in 100 people are naturally ambidextrous—they can use both hands equally well
  • Want to be a hand model?  Hand modeling requires certain criteria:  an even skin tone, even and nicely shaped nails, straight fingers and a smooth-looking complexion to name a few

If you or your patients feel pain in the fingers or wrists Contact Physical Therapy will help get to the bottom of pain and provide treatment to prevent further injury.

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Proper posture

Proper Posture Helps Reduce Back Pain

Proper posture

Do you have good or poor posture? Check yourself right now as you are reading this- are you sitting upright or have totally sunk into your chair?

Without the daily reminders from parents or teachers of “sit up straight!” and “don’t slouch!”, it is harder to remember to do just that.

In order to prevent neck and back injuries, strong flexible muscles are a must to support the spine’s natural curves. In order for your back to be healthy, the spine’s curves must be in balanced or neutral alignment at all times in both stationary activities, and with movement. A lot of conditions such as sciatica disc trouble, low back pain, whiplash, neck pain, pinched nerves and arthritis have one thing in common: each condition can feel better or worse by the way you align and balance your head, neck and back as you go about your daily activities.

Proper Posture Checklist

  • Are you holding your head straight?
  • Are your shoulders in line with your ears?
  • Are your shoulders level?
  • Are your hips level?
  • Is your chin parallel to the floor?

Tips for Improving Posture

• Keep your shoulders level and support your arms while sitting

• Change your position when performing an activity for a long period of time

• Pull your stomach muscles in

• Think “tall” while you are standing

• Sit in a chair with a straight back with your back supported and feet flat on the floor

• Keep your weight down and exercise regularly

• Sleep with a pillow that supports your neck comfortably

• Do Planks, Wall Squats and crunches to help you stand and sit with correct spinal alignment.

There are key benefits to improving your posture that will make a world of a difference. Proper posture allows you to breathe properly, increasing your concentration and thinking ability. Most importantly, it will help with avoiding health complications. Over time, bad posture habits can result in structural changes to the body that can affect physical appearance and reduce functioning of joints and muscles. The sooner you begin practicing good posture, the better.

At Contact Physical Therapy, we provide one on one contact and a direct treatment approach with each patient. It is our goal to return every patient to their active lifestyle.

hand therapist

Physical Therapy and Hand Therapy

Patients can have numerous questions regarding physical therapy and hand therapy, what to expect and why it may be the best option for them. So, to help you answer those patient questions, we interviewed Noah Arenson, PT and Karen Thomas, OTR/L, CHT.


physical therapistWhy do you think physical therapy may be the best treatment plan for me?

Noah: The initial evaluation with determine that fact. The advantage of undergoing physical therapy is learning your body’s limitations and discovering how to address them to your

advantage. If we do not identify impairments we can address through physical therapy, we would discuss with your healthcare provider a more appropriate route for care.

How involved will you be in my day-to-day therapy?

Noah: Each session would involve hands-on manual treatments, as indicated, followed by progressive therapeutic exercise specific to your individual goals. I, or your assigned physical therapist, would be involved directly throughout the entire visit every visit.

Will I see the same physical therapist for each appointment, or will I be assigned a different therapist each time?

Noah: You will see the same physical therapist from the initial evaluation until your last appointment. You will not work with anyone but your assigned physical therapist.

What are some things I can do on my own, at home, to improve my condition?

Noah: Depending on what we discover through the initial evaluation, we will identify the specific muscle groups to strengthen, stretch or coordinate. A home exercise program is provided at the first session and progressed throughout your time of care. Open communication with your therapist is important in reaching your rehabilitation goals.

hand therapistWill I experience pain or discomfort during my visit?

Karen: This will depend on your diagnosis. If you have a condition such as a wrist or finger fracture and are coming out of a cast or brace, the wrist and fingers can be stiff or uncomfortable when motion is initiated. Certified Hand Therapists are trained to respect pain and the healing structures of the injury. Most patients tolerate treatment well & note improvement the first session.

How long will each hand therapy session be?

Karen: Sessions are usually 1-1.5 hours, allowing for one-on-one manual therapy, modalities of heat, ice and ultrasound as needed, and exercises and instruction in home exercises and care.

What are the most common injuries or conditions requiring hand therapy?

Karen: Conditions we commonly treat include fractures (shoulder, elbow, wrist & fingers), tendon lacerations and repairs, trigger finger or trigger thumb, carpal tunnel or cubital tunnel syndrome or release, rotator cuff syndrome or repair, deQuervain’s tendonitis, all upper extremity tendonitis conditions, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and infections.

How do you determine what course of hand therapy treatment is best for me?

Karen: During your first visit you will undergo an initial evaluation including questions about your pain, symptoms, functional abilities, range of motion and sensation and strength measurements. Your therapist will identify problems and work with you to set goals. In some instances, your diagnosis may have a set protocol for splint duration and when you will be able to fully move and strengthen your arm/hand. You and your therapist will then review your protocol, goals and plans.

mesa physical therapy

Men’s Health Awareness Month

fathersdayMen’s Health Awareness Month

Men tend to be more aggressively active on the weekend, which can lead to an increased risk of injury. To highlight Men’s Health Awareness Month, and Men’s Health Week (10th-16th), we’ve listed helpful tips on common male injuries to help you, or the men in your life, lead a healthy and safe life.

 

Ankle Sprains

It is common for men to turn or twist an ankle while playing a weekend game of basketball or football. Although these may be difficult to avoid in some cases, proper warm-up and stretches performed prior to activity can help reduce the chances of injury.

Groin Pulls

A quick side-to-side motion can sometimes cause a strain of the muscles on the inner thigh. These are very common in hockey, soccer, football and baseball. To treat a groin pull, ice and rest. These pulls often heal on their own, but if it doesn’t, consult a healthcare provider.

Hamstring Strain

Running sports and activities with a quick kicking motion of the leg can cause hamstring strains. Strains can also occur in water sports when there is a sudden forward bending motion. These injuries can take a while to heal, so it is imperative to ice, rest and consult a physical therapist on how to speed up the recovery.

Shin Splints

If a strenuous and sudden running program is started without proper planning, shin splints can occur. Running on different and uneven surfaces can cause pain down the front of the lower leg. Rest, ice and over the counter anti-inflammatory medications may relieve most of the pain. If it persists, see a healthcare provider to rule out a more serious injury such as a stress fracture.

ACL Injuries

One of the most severe injuries athletes may experience is an ACL injury. A sudden twisting while the foot is planted can cause an ACL tear. An audible ‘pop’ may be heard, followed by discomfort and swelling. Rest, ice, compression and elevation are important during the first stages of this injury. If the injury is sustained, it is important to see a physician for evaluation. To stay active, surgery is often required.

Tennis Elbow

Golfing and tennis are very popular sports for many men. Frequent swings and poor body mechanics can contribute to this overuse injury. Unfortunately, one of the most common remedies for this condition is rest, however there are some other treatments that may be of benefit. Be sure to ask a physical therapist or physician what you can do to manage your elbow pain for a safe return to sports.

baseball injuries

Common Baseball Injuries and Fun Facts

Spring Training is here and we wanted to share some fun facts with you and common baseball injuries to look out for!

common baseball injuriesArizona Baseball Fun Facts

Chicago Cubs

Mesa has been hosting the Cubs since 1952. Previous to Hohokam Park and Fitch Park, the Chicago Cubs Spring Training facility was called Rendezvous Park.

Arizona Diamondbacks

The Diamondbacks have the first Major League Baseball spring training facility in the nation to be built on Native American land.

San Francisco Giants

The original Scottsdale Stadium was built in 1956 and served as the former Cactus League home of the Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Oakland A’s and now the San Francisco Giants.


Most Common Baseball Injuries

In Children Eye Injuries are the most common baseball injuries in children, while as many as 45% of pitchers under the age of 12 have chronic elbow pain.

In Teenagers Other than lacerations and bruises, the most common teenage baseball injuries are sprains and strains. However, pitchers suffer the most from overuse injuries. About 58% of high school pitchers suffer from an overuse injury of the elbow or shoulder.

In Professionals Recent studies show the most common baseball injuries among fielders include hamstring & groin strains. While pitchers tend to strain/tear ligaments in the elbow or rotator cuff.


A quote from the Diamondbacks Strength Coach, Nate Shaw!

“From my perspective, the warm up is one of the most important parts of the day. It prepares athletes for a day consisting of reactive movements in every plane. Our goal with the warm up is to have athletes go through a series of planned movements, lubricating the joints and raising the body temperature enough to sweat. A rise in core temperature and preemptive motion in all directional planes are two of the bigger themes for us, especially during spring training.”

To purchase tickets to a Diamondbacks spring training game, visit The Arizona Diamondbacks website.

Are you or your child experiencing one of the above listed conditions? Contact Us today to schedule an injury assessment!