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Fitness, with a Side of Dysfunction?

This time of year, many people are focused on fitness so it’s worth taking a look at what fitness really means. The dictionary defines fit as “sound physically and mentally, healthy.” Using that definition, many “fitness” routines fall short of the goal. If you don’t enjoy running and dread every workout, you’re probably falling short of the “sound mentally” portion. Exercise should be enjoyable, reduce stress, and leave you feeling better, not worse.

Exercise should also leave you feeling better physically. If you can run a good time in a 5k, but have aches and pains for days after, you’re not “sound physically.” If you are increasing your PR in the squat rack, but your joint pain is increasing right along with it, you’re not “sound physically” either. Sure, some muscle soreness and fatigue after a hard workout is normal. But if you’re having pain that doesn’t go away, sore joints, or trouble moving after exercise, you’re probably developing movement dysfunction along with your fitness.

Go back to the dictionary and you’ll find that dysfunction is “impaired or abnormal functioning.” So movement dysfunction is impaired or abnormal movement. When someone has a movement problem like a sore joint, limited range of motion, or strength loss, the brain finds a way to get the body to do what it wants. That usually means moving in a way that is less than optimal. For a while, it works. But eventually it leads to injury. As a concrete example, think of someone who has trouble bending one knee doing squats. When one knee bends further than the other, it will cause one side of the pelvis to drop lower than the other. Now that the pelvis isn’t level, the spine bends towards the high side to stay balanced. When that one side of the pelvis drops lower than the other one, it also usually rotates. Now the spine has to bend to the side and twist to keep you upright. This works for a while, but as weight gets added to the squat, and the repetitions add up so does the risk for a back injury.

Pain during workouts, or pain and soreness that don’t go away after can be warning signs of a movement dysfunction. If you’re experiencing any of these, your physical therapist is a movement expert who can help. PTs are trained to analyze movement, and figure out the root cause of problems. They can then design a program to treat the cause and correct the abnormal pattern. There is no need to wait until you’re injured to see your physical therapist. In fact, it’s preferable not to. Getting minor problems fixed early means fewer visits to the PT, less pain, and not having your workouts put on hold by injury.

Jaw Pain?

Physical therapy can help individuals suffering from jaw and facial pain associated with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). The TMJ is one of the most used joints throughout the body, as it is responsible for chewing, talking, and yawning. This joint consists of the temporal bone of the skull and the mandible (jaw bone) and is separated by a small disc that allows the joint to glide properly. However, alterations in the TMJ such as too little or too much movement can result in pain and disability. Jaw pain has also recently been associated with neck pain and headache as well causing an update in the name of the disorder to Temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD) or craniofascial pain. 

TMD can result in the following symptoms: 

  • clicking/popping of the jaw 
  • facial pain 
  • headaches 
  • pain around the ear 
  • pain or discomfort with chewing 
  • locking/catching of the jaw 

TMD can be caused by frequent clenching or grinding of teeth, trauma, and poor posture. Poor posture causes the jaw to be pulled posteriorly due to the attachment of muscles surrounding the joint. As a result, this leads to altered teeth contact, changes in joint space, and increased stress on the muscles responsible for chewing. There is research supporting physical therapy as a treatment to improve jaw pain and function. 

If you are experiencing symptoms that appear to be related to the temporomandibular joint, schedule an appointment at Breakthru Physical Therapy today for an examination! 

Casey Lohne Scholarship

Casey was an active member of the Shawnee High School Community: he was a 4 year participant on the track and
field team, as well as a yearly participant in stage crew for the annual play. However, it was his outstanding effort serving as a manager of the football team that made Casey famous!

Partnering with Patrick McGlynn as a Manager, Casey was an important member of the Shawnee Football Championship team for the past 3 seasons. Always positive, always enthusiastic, Casey was the ultimate team manager – never missing a practice or team event. Casey handled his responsibilities professionally and proudly. At games, Casey provided a constant source of motivation as he passionately cheered on his teammates and encouraged the crowd to get involved.  Casey just graduated in June and was eager to start at Salisbury University this fall.

He will be missed by the entire Renegade family, and our thoughts go out to his Mother, Beth, Father, Craig, and brother, Aidan. 

Any amount is welcomed and appreciated by the players coaches and parents of the Shawnee football program.

***We are accepting donations at our Medford Taunton Forge and Medford @ Medford Fitness offices.***


Physical Therapists Diagnose Movement “Illnesses”

For people who are sick, going to the doctor and getting a diagnosis is common sense. But who do you see for diagnosis if you’ve got a movement “illness”? If your knee hurts when you go hiking, you can’t get on and off the floor to play with your kids, or you can’t lift things to do your job, who do you see?

Physical therapists are experts in human movement with doctoral level training and should be your first stop for movement issues. After a comprehensive evaluation, a PT will give you a movement diagnosis. Like a medical diagnosis, your movement diagnosis will describe what’s causing your difficulty with movement. Some examples would be difficulty standing from a chair secondary to decreased force production, scapular down rotation syndrome, or lower crossed syndrome. 

Human movement is complex and influenced by many factors, including the pulmonary,nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, integumentary and musculoskeletal systems. Because of the complexity of the movement system, getting the diagnosis right can be difficult. Physical therapists have extensive training and expertise in human movement and should be your go-to practitioner for movement issues. Getting an accurate diagnosis is important because it sets the road map for treatment. 

Once your movement “illness” is correctly diagnosed, your physical therapist can design the correct treatment plan for your issues. Before you know it, you’ll be back to work or play and moving as well as if not better than before!


About The Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association Founded in 1956, the Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association champions the success of physical therapist-owned businesses. Our members are leaders and innovators in the health care system. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) represents more than 85,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants and students of physical therapy nationwide. For more information, please visit www.ppsapta.org.

National Wellness Month

August is National Wellness month! Wellness encompasses more than just nutrition and exercise. It’s about total well-being, including mental health and stress management, sufficient sleep, ergonomics and postural awareness, keeping up to date on doctor and dental appointments, an self-care. It involves not only personal well-being, but also relationships and interactions with others, including family, friendships, and coworkers. If even just one of these areas is lacking, it can leave you feeling unbalanced and discontent with your life.

But there are many things you can do to achieve total wellness in your life! Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Set mini-goals to help improve your diet, such as drinking more water or cutting back on sugar.
  • Develop a nighttime routine that you can stick to to help you wind down and get restful sleep.
  • Try to move as much as possible. If you can’t fit in a full workout, set a timer to get up and move around or stretch every 30 minutes.
  • Take 15-30 minutes to schedule your annual doctor appointments and dental visits. This is especially important if you are in any sort of pain!
  • Take time for yourself! Whether it’s coffee with a friend, reading a book, or catching up on your favorite show, doing something you love without any interruptions can help you feel balanced!
  • Keep a journal of your goals, thoughts, or what you are grateful for.
  • Practice spirituality, whatever that might mean for you.

Additionally, you can utilize your community to help you reach your wellness goals! Last January at Breakthru’s first annual fair, we hosted several local businesses that strive to help people achieve optimal wellness.

These include:

  • The Center, Life in Balance in Medford, where holistic practitioners offer balance, healing, and spiritual exploration. https://www.thecenterlifeinbalance.com/
  • FLOAT in Marlton, which offers relaxation through epsom salt float pools, saunas, and yoga/meditation. https://floatsnj.com/
  • Breakthru Massage Therapy, offering various massage techniques to relax, de-stress, and reduce pain at our Medford Taunton Forge location on Saturdays and Sundays. Call 856-396-2250 to book an appointment.

Take time this month to work on you! Think about what wellness looks like for you, then make a plan to bring it to life! Just a few small steps is all it takes to get yourself feeling your best and improve your overall well-being!

Young Woman Shares Experiences with Juvenile Arthritis and Physical Therapy

Juvenile arthritis affects nearly 300,000 children in the United States. It’s not a disease in itself, but rather an umbrella term used to describe the many autoimmune and inflammatory conditions or pediatric inflammatory diseases that can develop in children under the age of 16. It’s a lifelong condition, but typically it’s manageable when appropriate measures are taken to mitigate and alleviate its painful and potentially limiting manifestations.

In this episode of Move Forward Radio, Christina Iversen shares her experience with juvenile arthritis, having dealt with it since the age of 2. Now a young adult, she knows well what it’s like to contend with the physical, emotional, and social effects of growing up with a condition that’s typically associated with older adults. She shares her story of trials, triumph, and, above all, hope for children who share her condition—and for parents and family members seeking to do all they can to ensure that those with juvenile arthritis nevertheless experience life to its fullest.

Click here to listen now.


5 Ways Men Can Take Charge of Their Health

Do you know the top health threats for men? The most common causes of death for men in the U.S. are heart disease, stroke, cancer, and chronic lower respiratory disease. Although some of the risk factors for these health issues are hereditary, often times they arise over many years of poor health choices. Fortunately, there are several simple lifestyle choices men can take to reduce their risk for such conditions and take charge of their long-term health.

1. Don’t smoke. Smoking increases the risk for several types of cancer and respiratory disease. Even if you are a smoker, quitting will significantly reduce the negative impacts on your body and reduce your risk for disease.

2. Eat better. Even a few changes in an otherwise poor diet can help the body get the nutrients it needs to fight disease. Drinking more water, and choosing fresh produce, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats as often as possible help reduce the risk for certain cancers, heart disease, and stroke.

3. Get up and move. Breaking a sweat at least a few days a week is important for cardiovascular health, but even something as simple as standing and moving around can have health benefits. For every 20-30 minutes of sitting, stand up and move around for 3-5 minutes. Walk while talking on the phone and take the stairs instead of the elevator. Move as much as possible.

4. Chill out. Chronic stress can significantly contribute to risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Meditation, breathing exercises, and guided imagery are great, but even something as simple as listening to music or reading an inspirational quote can help calm the mind.

5. Get enough sleep. Sleep is vital to our bodies, but it tends to be the first thing people sacrifice in their busy schedules. Not only does adequate sleep help your body heal and rejuvenate, it will also help you be more productive in maintaining other healthy habits.

By incorporating a few simple changes into their daily lives, men can take control of their health and reduce their risks for common men’s health threats. For more information and resources on men’s health, visit www.cdc.gov and www.nih.gov.

Scoliosis: Things to look out for!

You know your child better than anyone else.

If you notice something different about their posture like one shoulder is higher than the other or a part of their spine seems to be protruding out or curved to the side, schedule a FREE consultation with a Breakthru Schroth Expert.




    • Is one shoulder higher than the other?
    • Is one arm farther away from the body?
    • Are the hips level?
      • Is one side of the rib cage higher than the other?
      • Is the lower back uneven?
      • Are the hips level?
      • Is one shoulder higher than the other?
      • Do the hips look even?
      • Is one side of the rib cage higher than the other?
      • Does the back look overly rounded?

For questions or concerns, please email us.