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#Get PT 1st For Back Pain

Chances are, you or someone you know has had back pain. Each year 15% of the population has their first episode of back pain, and over the course of our lives, 80% of us will have back pain. Even though back pain is common, the medical community does a poor job managing it.  Stories of chronic pain, opioid use, multiple surgeries, and a lifetime of disability are far too common.

Let’s look at some of the common treatments for low back pain and see how they stack up against physical therapy:
Medication Low back pain is the #1 reason for opioid prescription in the US, however in 2106, the CDC recommended against the use of opioids for back pain in favor of “non-drug treatments like physical therapy.”

Imaging

Having an X-ray or MRI for back pain is common, however it’s rarely needed or helpful.
Research has NEVER demonstrated a link between imaging and symptoms. As we age,
degenerative changes on imaging is common.
● 90% of people age 50 to 55 have disc degeneration when imaged, whether they have
symptoms or not
● In 2015 a study that looked at 1,211 MRI scans of people with no pain found that 87.6%
had a disc bulge
● Just getting an image increases the chances that you’ll have surgery by 34%

Surgery

The US has sky high rates for back surgeries – 40% higher than any other country and 5x higher
than the UK. You’d think that with all the back surgeries we do, we’d be pretty good at it but the
outcomes are terrible!

A worker’s comp study looked at 725 people who had spinal fusions VS 725 people who didn’t.
The surgical group had:
● A 1 in 4 chance of a repeat surgery
● A 1 in 3 chance of a major complication
● A 1 in 3 chance of never returning to work again

Physical Therapy

● Current clinical practice guidelines support manual therapy and exercise
● Research proves that early PT lead to better outcomes with lower costs, and decreases the risk of surgery, unnecessary imaging, and use of opioids
● A study of 122,723 people with low back pain who started PT within 14 days found that it decreased the cost to treat back pain by 60%
● Unfortunately only 2% of people with back pain start with PT, and only 7% get to PT within 90 days.

Despite the data showing that PT is the most effective, safest, and lowest cost option to treat low back pain, most people take far too long to get there. Almost every state has direct access, meaning that you can go directly to a physical therapist without a doctor’s referral. If you see your doctor for back pain, and PT isn’t one of the first treatment options, ask for it!

National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

In honor of National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, Breakthru is urging you to be active everyday! Regular physical activity increases your chances of living a longer, healthier life! Building fitness into your schedule has immediate benefits, including better sleep, lower blood pressure, less anxiety, as well as long-term benefits such as reduced risk of heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes, dementia, and eight types of cancer! Additionally, weight-bearing exercise such as walking and lifting weights will help reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis.

The U.S. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans were recently revised to include a multifaceted approach to physical activity for older adults:

  • Aim for a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity each week. There is no longer a 10-minute minimum per bout of exercise; any amount of physical activity is now preferable to no physical activity.
  • Do muscle strengthening activities at least 2 days a week. This includes lifting weights, using exercises bands, or body weight exercises.
  • Focus on balance training for better stabilization and avoidance of falls

You’d be surprised by how many daily activities and hobbies count as exercise. Moderate intensity activities include but are not limited to:

  • Brisk walking or jogging
  • Dancing
  • Swimming
  • Sports such as biking, golf, basketball, tennis, and skiing
  • Yard Work such as mowing the grass (push mower), raking leaves, or laying mulch
  • Housework such as vacuuming and mopping

 

Muscle strengthening activities include but are not limited to:

  • Lifting weights
  • Using exercise bands
  • Body weight exercises such as squats, pushups, and climbing stairs
  • Hiking/biking on steep terrain
  • Canoeing/kayaking
  • Lifting/moving furniture or while performing yard work

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to build fitness and sports into your daily routine! One of the best ways to stay motivated is to do what you love. If you enjoy doing it, you’re more likely to stick to it. No matter what physical shape you are currently in, you can find something that will work for you.

In honor of National Physical Activity and Sports month, challenge yourself to get more physically active in the month of May!

See for yourself how good it can make you feel! If you need a little boost, Breakthru’s fitness coaches can help you get motivated and stay on track. Schedule your free consult today!

Shoulder Stability in the Overhead Athlete

The shoulder is one of the most complex parts the body. It consists of four separate joints that are linked together by multiple muscles, tendons, and ligaments that provide both mobility and stability to the shoulder. The shoulder is a “ball and socket” joint with the socket portion being shallow and therefore providing very little stability via the bony anatomy. As a result, you have to rely on other structures to keep your arm securely inside the shoulder blade. When your arm is at rest your shoulder is primarily stabilized by the joint capsule that fully encloses both the ball and the socket. During arm movement the stabilization process is much more complex and requires the four muscles of your rotator cuff to fire to maintain proper positioning of your shoulder joint. 

The action of lifting your arm up above your head requires movement from both your shoulder blade and your arm in order to reach your full range of motion. For this movement to be performed correctly, it requires the proper muscle firing patterns in the shoulder complex. Athletes tend to forget about the small stabilizing muscles of the rotator cuff during their workouts and instead focus on the larger muscle groups, i.e. the pecs, deltoids, lats, etc. These big muscle groups, especially the “pushing” muscles which are used frequently in sports, can become overdeveloped in comparison to the small stabilizing muscles and result in injuries from this muscle imbalance. One of the most common issues from a muscle imbalance like this is that the small rotator cuff cannot compete with the larger muscles and is unable to perform its job of providing small rotational movements to the ball part of the joint to prevent it from hitting into the socket during arm movements. 

It is important to remember that the rotator cuff is not only firing during athletic activities, it is also responsible for proper positioning of your arm and shoulder blade while you sit with good posture. Since these muscles are required to fire constantly throughout the day it is important that they are trained in very high repetitions to increase endurance. Increasing the endurance of the rotator cuff during the offseason will also assist in maintaining the integrity of the muscles throughout the season of an overhead athlete. During the season, the rotator cuff experiences plenty of stress through the deceleration portion of throwing or shooting. This repetitive stress causes the rotator cuff to “stretch out” and lose the ability to function at 100%. This is why it is important to remember that overhead sports require full kinetic chain movements for maximum power.  It is vital to keep the core and hips strong and mobile as well in order to decrease the stress placed across the shoulder during the throwing or shooting motion. 

A proper off season strengthening program is necessary to minimize an athlete’s risk of injury and to maximize his or her success during the season. There are various “prehab” shoulder programs available for athletes to follow online, but it is important to remember that not all shoulders are created equally and different sports place different demands on the body. The shoulder must be managed differently while the athlete is in season and after the season to allow for proper recovery of the muscles in the joint. In conclusion, each and every shoulder is created differently and must be managed following specific guidelines catered to each individual. It is crucial to find the correct balance of mobility and stability for the overhead athlete to be able to reach his or her peak performance.

Click HERE to check out a short video of exercises that you can do at home to help improve your shoulder stability!

  • Use a light weight and keep your elbow tight in against your side as you rotate your arm until your palm is parallel to the ground.
  • If you want to challenge your athlete and add core strengthening into the exercise; have them perform this exercise in a side-plank position to increase the difficulty of the exercise by incorporating oblique and glute activation.

By: Dr. Abigail Dingle, PT, DPT, OCS, SCS, CSCS

Thank You!

THANK YOU to all of our loyal Breakthru Believers for voting for us!

We are proud to annouce that Breakthru has WON 2019 BEST of South Jersey for Physical Therapy for our 7th Year in a Row! 

 

Life is a Movement Journey, Here’s How PT Can Help

Now that spring has arrived, temperatures are starting to rise in many parts of the country. And
that means the transition from heating our homes to cooling our homes is right around the
corner. No matter what method you use to cool your home during the warm spring and summer
months (central air conditioning, window units, or fans and dehumidifiers), each spring you cross
your fingers that your approach still works. If not, you might be calling an expert for a tune-up,
or in extreme circumstances, you might need a complete overhaul.

Just like an AC system that has probably been dormant for many months of the year, a body
that hasn’t been physically engaged on a regular basis may have trouble getting started again.
And yet, this time of year, the warm temps draw many people to city and suburban streets,
tracks and trails, ready to take that first run of the season. A good percentage of these spring
runners haven’t kept up their strides throughout the winter. It should come as no surprise that a
4-mile run for a previously inactive person is going to stir up a few aches and pains.

Especially as we age, our ability to move undergoes changes. But whether we’re talking about a
college student or a retiree, returning to an activity without proper planning is a recipe for
disaster. That’s where physical therapy comes in. Physical therapists are trained to treat injuries
and ease pain, but they can also help their patients prevent injuries and safely prepare to
participate in new activities.

Think of physical therapists as “movement consultants” who can ensure that your body is
physically ready to tackle a new challenge—or resume a favorite leisure activity. Here’s another
example to illustrate what we’re talking about: Let’s say that you play in an adult soccer league
and you’re preparing to play in your first game of the season in a few weeks. You probably hung
up your cleats when the last season ended months ago, but expect to pick up just where you left
off. But it’s simply too much to ask for your 2019 debut on the field to be on the same level as
the last game of the previous season, when you likely had reached peak performance.

This is a good time for your PT to step in and help you shake off the rust. The rehab professional
can customize an exercise plan to help you slowly return to sport and avoid an injury that could
sideline you for the whole season. Or like cleaning the filters before firing up your air
conditioner for the first time this year, the rehab expert can help to ensure that your body is
prepared to return to its former activity level following a hiatus.

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Balance Problems? We Can Help!

Balance problems occur when there are deficits in any one or more of the following:

  • Vision: ocular deficits
  • Inner Ear: vestibular deficits
  • Musculoskeletal: muscle weakness, joint restriction
  • Proprioception: awareness of your body in space

Symptoms can be varied and may include one or more of the following:

  • Vertigo, dizziness
  • Motion sensitivity
  • Visual disturbances
  • Loss of balance
  • Falling, fear of falling

All of which can contribute to a diminished quality of life, secondary loss of muscle strength and flexibility, increased anxiety, and depression.

A variety of factors can cause balance and vestibular problems including but not limited to the following:

  • Medical conditions such diabetes, arthritis, CVA, brain injury, concussion, MS, Parkinson’s disease
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Muscle weakness
  • Joint mobility restrictions
  • Medications
  • Dehydration
  • General aging
  • Inner ear deficits

How Can Physical Therapy Help?

A physical therapist will conduct a thorough evaluation including an in depth medical history, a physical examination to determine deficits in strength, ROM, sensation, vision, inner ear, balance, gait and falls risk assessment.

Information obtained during the evaluation will be used to develop a personalized plan to address deficits, improve strength and mobility, normalize gait and decrease risk of falls and injury.

Common Physical Therapy Goals:

  • Reduce risk of falls
  • Eliminate or minimize vertiginous symptoms and motion sensitivity
  • Reduce anxiety and fear of falling
  • Improve ROM
  • Increase strength and stability
  • Improve balance and compensatory strategies
  • Improve postural alignment
  • Improve and normalize gait

Breakthru Your Balance Issues,

Schedule Your FREE Balance Screen Today!

 

 

New Year, New You!

Build the foundation that will transform YOU to your BEST SELF with our New Year, New You Program!  
Start with a FUNCTIONAL MOVEMENT SCREEN to allow our Fitness Professionals to make programming decisions with precision and purpose to help you maximize your training potential!  
We’ll give you the tools to address all aspects of your health and compliment your fitness program to make 2020 your best year yet!

  ONLY $199  

*Some restrictions apply.  See store for details*  

 

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