8 Tips To Help Keep Your Youth Athlete Safe

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youth athlete safe

8 Tips To Help Keep Your Youth Athlete Safe

April is Youth Sports Safety Month! We highly encourage kids to participate in physical activity. Keeping your child active and strong can help set them up for a healthier future. We wanted to take some time this month to share a few tips for keeping your youth athletes safe.

  1. Be prepared:

    Before enrolling your child in a sport, make sure they receive a pre-participation physical.

  2. Meet the coach:

    Make sure that your child’s coach is appropriately experienced in supervising the sport, can provide proper direction in conditioning and injury prevention, and that they are prepared to perform first aid and CPR in case of emergency.

  3. Adequately train:

    Be sure that your child is in the right physical and psychological condition to play their chosen sport.

  4. Play by the rules:

    Be sure that your child is clear about the rules of the game. They are designed to keep athletes safe and organized.

  5. Wear protective equipment:

    Do not allow your child to play without the proper protective gear. Parents, do your research. Be sure that the equipment meets national standards, is in good condition and is properly fitted.

  6. Warm up, stretch and cool down:

    Be sure that your child is participating in low intensity cardiovascular activity to warm up their muscles, and that they properly stretch. Stretching can help minimize the chance of muscle strain or soft tissue injury. Cool down is necessary to loosen the muscles that may have tightened during exercise.

  7. Stay hydrated:

    Make sure your child is prepared with plenty of water during practice and games. It is also important that you help your child understand the importance of staying hydrated outside of practice and games. Click here for a few tips on ways to keep your kids hydrated.

  8. Don’t play if tired or in pain:

    Pay attention to how your child is feeling before practice or games. Be sure that they are properly rested, as fatigue can lead to injury or poor judgment. If they are experiencing pain, be safe and be sure to seek medical attention. If injured, make sure that they take enough time off – or they will run a greater risk for reinjury.

These are just a few of the things you can do to be proactive about your child’s safety. Being proactive is the best way to keep your child safe, and to avoid injury. If your little athlete is injured or in pain, do not hesitate to CONTACT US. Our experienced physical therapists can help them get back to feeling their best and participating in the activities that they love!

back pain

5 Ways You Can Soothe Lower Back Pain At Home

Lower back pain can be tricky to get rid of and may take a bit of trial and error to see what works best for you. There are a few things you can do on your own that can help soothe that pesky pain.

  1.     Strengthen your core –

    Your ab and back muscles help to support your lower spine. These muscles rarely get a good workout during a normal day, especially if you work in an office or spend most of your day sitting.  It is important to specifically target these muscles when working out. Even the simple act of sitting on an exercise ball for 30 minutes a day can help.

  1.     Stretch your hamstring –

    Tight hamstrings are an easily overlooked contributor to lower back pain. Try incorporating these hamstring exercises twice a day.

  1.     Soothe lower back pain with cold or hot –

    Applying an ice pack can help reduce inflammation and can slow down nerve impulses, which keeps the nerves from spasming and causing pain. Applying heat stimulates blood flow and brings healing nutrients to the affected area. It can also block the pain messages being sent to the brain.

  1.     Get some sleep –

    Pain can be a major culprit of insomnia and cause difficulty falling asleep, or staying asleep. Unfortunately, lack of sleep can actually make your back pain worse. Consider seeing a physical therapist to help you break this cycle.

  1.     Release endorphins in your body –

    This can be done through aerobic exercise, massage therapy or even meditation. Endorphins are a hormone made naturally in your body, and can be just as strong as pain medication. When endorphins are released in your body they help block pain signals to your brain. They can also help relieve anxiety, depression and stress; which can all contribute to lower back pain.

If your pain continues to persist or worsen, it would be a good idea to seek professional help. Let one of our experienced physical therapists help you get back to feeling your best, and living the life that you love. Contact us today!

sciatica an back pain during pregnancy

Find Relief From Sciatica Or Back Pain During Pregnancy

 

Pregnancy is an absolute miracle, but it can also cause additional stress on the body. It is important to be aware of the possible changes that occur during pregnancy and ways that you can help your body through the process. The typical changes that the body goes through include weight gain, a shift of one’s center of gravity and hormonal changes; adding back pain or sciatica to that list is not a welcome addition!

What is Sciatica?

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body, individual nerve roots branch out from the spine and lower back and then combine to form the “sciatic nerve.” The term sciatica is used to describe symptoms of leg pain, and occur when the large sciatic nerve is irritated or compressed.

How do I know if I have Sciatica?

Expecting mothers can experience burning, tingling, numbness or weakness that originates in the lower back and travels through the buttock and down the large sciatic nerve in the back of each leg. Typically sciatica will occur in one leg, and can result in sharp pain that may make it difficult to stand up or walk. Most would assume that sitting down, or lying down, will provide relief from the pain – but in fact, the pain caused by sciatica can be worse when sitting down. Symptoms can be infrequent and irritating, or can even be constant and cause you to lose normal function of your body.

How do I find relief from back pain and sciatica?

Physical therapy can relieve the back and sciatic pain experienced during pregnancy in only a few sessions. Treatment typically includes two sessions a week for 2-3 weeks. Your physical therapist will also educate you on various stretches and exercises you can do at home to help alleviate pain and discomfort. With hands-on soft tissue work and various modalities, experienced physical therapists can help you enjoy this joyous time of your life, rather than suffer through it.

Are you experiencing back pain or sciatica during pregnancy? Contact us now. Our physical therapists are experienced in working with expecting mothers to relieve pain and get back to enjoying the miracle of pregnancy.

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.

 

Love Your Joints

Five Easy Ways To Love Your Joints

It’s Valentine’s Day, which means the topic on everyone’s mind is love and relationships! So what better time to talk about the most important relationship you will ever have, which is the relationship you have with your own body. You only have one body for your entire life, so it is extra important to learn how to give it the love and support it needs. 

Here are 5 easy ways to show your joints the love they deserve:

Cut the Caffeine –

We all need that extra boost of energy once in awhile, but do your best to avoid that second and third cup of coffee. Studies have shown that extra caffeine can weaken your bones and cause joint pain. There are also plenty of other reasons to cut the caffeine!

Start Taking Yoga Classes –

Yoga has been a popular trend for thousands of years, and for good reason! It is a low impact exercise that is easy on the joints; while exercises like kickboxing, step aerobics and more can be hard on the joints. Yoga allows you to strengthen your body and your mind, and put your joint pain at ease.

Consume More Calcium –

A diet rich in calcium is key to keeping your bones healthy and strong, and can lower your risk of osteoporosis.  Milk, yogurt, kale, figs, salmon or calcium supplements are all great sources of calcium.

Choose Function Over Fashion –

These beautiful high heels may seem like a good idea right now, but unless they are an absolute necessity, your joints will love you for choosing shoes that don’t just look good but work well too. Shoes should be flexible, supportive and allow your toes to move around in order to help minimize or eliminate joint pain

Schedule An Appointment With Your Healthcare Provider –

Request an examination of your joints from head to toe, then ask for more tips on protecting your joints from daily wear and tear. It is never too early to start showing your joints the love they deserve by learning self-management or prevention techniques.

Are you already experiencing joint pain? Schedule an appointment at Contact Physical Therapy to have one of our physical therapists or hand therapists evaluate your joint pain and help you get back to living the life you love.

national physical therapy month

National Physical Therapy Month

October is National Physical Therapy Month!

national physical therapy month

Celebrate National Physical Therapy Month with us by learning a little more about how physical therapists can help you recover from injury.

Common Injuries Physical therapists can help patients recover quicker from injuries by restoring movement and decreasing pain.

We can help our patients:

  • Restore strength, flexibility and endurance
  • Control pain more effectively, often decreasing the need for long term use of medications
  • Avoid re-injury both during and after recovery
  • Develop better health and fitness habits

Medical Conditions Physical therapists help reverse the debilitating effects of many chronic conditions such as arthritis and diabetes.

We can help our patients:

  • Restore strength, flexibility and endurance
  • Assist in controlling pain, often decreasing the need for long term use of medications
  • Return to normal activities
  • Stay as independent as possible
  • Develop improved health and fitness regimens

General Motion  Physical therapists can help create happier, healthier patients through a coordination of care with all healthcare providers.

We can help our patients:

  • Decrease pain, and increase motion resulting in a happier patient
  • Improve overall movement allowing patients to perform the activities they love
  • Do the activities they love resulting in healthier lifestyles and enhanced quality of life

Surgery  As a healthcare provider, we would all like to help our patients avoid surgery. If surgery is needed, we can help our patients to:

  • Improve and regain strength, flexibility, and endurance
  • Effectively control pain
  • Return to activities of daily living quicker
  • Educate and prevent re-injury
  • Develop a better health and fitness regimen

Services We Offer:

Don’t forget to thank your physical therapist for what they do!

To learn more about our physical therapy services, contact us today or follow us on Facebook!

 

 

Information modified from www.moveforwardpt.com

Get to Know the Contact Physical Therapy Team: Q&A

We thought it would be fun to give you a chance to get to know our physical therapists a bit better.  Find out what Contact Physical Therapy’s own Noah, Dallas, Jim, Jeff, Brendan Karen and Steven had to say below!

Noah Arenson, PT

Where did you meet your spouse?

I met my wife at church – we have known each other since childhood.  Though being a few years apart in age, we never dated until our college years

If you could pick one song to be theme song to your life, what would it be?

Let it Be. Most times in life we need to let it be…

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Scandinavia and Great Britain. My family is Norwegian, wife’s is Irish. Would take the kids to visit ancestral homelands.

If you could be an animal, which one would you be and why?

An eagle or hawk. The ability to fly would be fantastic. Or a jellyfish – so I can just float and let it be…

Dallas Lato, PT

If you could have one super power, what would it be? If I had one super power it would be to never grow old.  I’m getting the slowdown, aches and pains slowly coming on. It would be great to stop the march of old age.

What is your special talent? I think I am a friendly person.  I find I can connect with patients easily and always have a good time finding out about my patients, their lives and their stories.

If you were going to write a book, what would it be called and what would it be about? Live life laughing. It would be about how life is about good times, family, friends and always laughing when you can.

 

Jim Irvin, PT

Would you rather sky dive or bungee jump?

Sky dive.  I would love to see the view from far up.  Plus, if you crash, it would be quick.  Bungee jumping sounds like a dislocation waiting to happen.

What is the best prank you have ever pulled on someone?

I had a patient give me a coupon to a restaurant which I used. I thanked her and she proceeded to bombard me with 20-30 coupons from the same restaurant. I couldn’t possibly use all of these so I offered one to another PT in our clinic Dallas. He doubted he would use it.  I gave him a second one, and a third one. Finally, he asked how many coupons could I possibly have and to just throw them all away. I told him, “Oh, you’ll know when I run out.” For the next several months I stashed coupons all over Dallas’ work station, his motorcycle helmet, the ceiling of his treatment room, underneath a treatment table. You name the place, I probably stashed a coupon there. I even had his wife in on it to put a couple coupons up at his house.  He finally told me that there was no possible location that I could put a coupon that he would not be able to find. That was a challenge I eagerly accepted. I continued the onslaught of coupons for over two years.  t drove him mad…. The funniest part about the story is that there is still a coupon in his possession that he has no idea about.

Which TV show do you watch that is your biggest guilty pleasure?

I absolutely love 24. Since season 1 that show has got me hooked.  I also like The Following. Kind of dark, but the suspense is great. On the lighter side of things I really like Modern Family. It is the first show that has made me laugh out loud since Seinfeld.

Jeff Gardner, PT

What is your most embarrassing moment?

My most embarrassing moment was when I was 11-12 years old and I would always tease my little brother and one night my older brothers became sick of my teasing, so they taped me to our basketball hoop in the front yard with nothing but my underwear on. All the neighbors taking their nightly walks were pretty surprised what they saw at the Gardner household.

What was the best present you have ever received?

The best gift I ever received and will always be grateful for is my amazing wife and incredible kids. Cheesy but true!

IF you could play any sport professionally, which one would you play and why?

Ever since I was young, I have loved playing basketball with my older brothers and dreamed about playing in the NBA. Too bad I was born with short genes!

Brendan Cousineau, PT, MPT, CSCS

If you could have one super power, what would it be?  

X-ray vision to help confirm or rule out certain patient diagnoses.

What is your most embarrassing moment?

I was hit in the private area while running to first base by a quick, but errant throw from the shortstop during a men’s softball game.  It took about a minute for the pain to subside as I walked around the baseline while my teammates and the ump were chuckling.

What is your special talent? 

I am a true body mechanic treating a wide range of diagnoses.

If you could play any sport professionally, which one would you play and why?

Baseball, as that has been my favorite sport to play over the years.

Karen Thomas, OTR/L, CHT

If you were going to write a book, what would it be called and what would it be about?

The book would be about all of my wonderful experiences as a hand therapist. I have had the privilege of meeting and treating great people/patients, as well as, working with the best hand surgeons. I have had patients beat all odds and regain their hand function and teach me how to be better in my field.

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Australia

What was the best present you have ever received?

My first cutting horse, Frank (Doc Gunsmoke Jr.)

Steve Kremer, OT, CHT

What is the best prank you have ever pulled on someone? 

I came out of the kitchen with a grenadine soaked towel making it look like I had suffered a major cut to my hand.

If you could pick one song to be theme song to your life, what would it be?

Lunatic Fringe.

Would you rather sky dive or bungee jump? Why? 

Sky dive.  A better view.

 

Thank you for reading! Read more about our therapists here.

We will also be sharing these answers in Facebook, so stay tuned!