Lower Extremity

 

How Is Rehabilitation Used to Treat Neck and Back Pain?

In Physical Therapy we treat neck and back pain by the following interventions: 1. Examination: Take a thorough subjective and physical examination to determine the causes and severity of pain. The examination helps determine what specific interventions need to be done. Each patient is unique in the medical history and interventions should also be individualized to the patient’s progress. 2. Reduce Pain: Especially in more severe pain complaints, it is important to reduce the symptoms to allow for the patient to simply feel less pain. This can include manual therapy to decrease muscle spasms, restricted joint mobility, or decrease nerve irritation. Modalities such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation and traction can also be used. 3. Restore Motion: As pain decreases, it…

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Custom Orthotics and Low Back Pain

Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT The way the foot contacts the ground significantly affects the way your back absorbs compression to the spine. People who are flat foot footed can lead to decreased hip stability and motion. This is due to the foot not being able to provide proper support each time you step or stand on them. Over time the entire leg musculature, most importantly in the gluteal muscles lose their ability to provide proper support. This can lead to increased stress to the back…like jamming your thumb into a wall a thousand times over…you back gets ‘jammed’ or compressed.Proper orthotic fitting can help the feet be placed in better alignment and thus provide proper support for the…

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Can high-arched feet have any complications?

Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT People with high-arches typically have less give in their foot as compared to those with flat arches. It can affect different body parts. With a more rigid support at the arch there tends to be greater forces dispersed at the heel and ball of the foot. Whether it be callouses, neuromas, or spurs many times they are formed due to excessive forces on that area. People with high-arches also tend to walk on their outside of their foot This makes them have more weight-bearing forces to along the outside of their legs. Commonly you see associated problems with ankle sprains, lateral knee pain such as iliotibial band syndrome (ITB), or lateral hip pain. There…

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What can I do for knee pain?

Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT Treating knee pain depends on the location and severity of the symptoms. If it is swollen, you should apply cold packs, compress, and elevate it to reduce swelling. You should consider contacting a qualified physician or physical therapist to assess your injury.  If things are clear for any significant injury – and as swelling calms – determining where the location of knee pain helps guide things you can do to treat it. Commonly pain is in either behind the knee cap or along the inside border. You may get a diagnosis of chondromalcia patella or patelofemoral pain which indicates that your knee cap is not tracking correctly along its groove. And with this pain,…

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How can I prevent repeat ankle sprains?

Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT It is important to improve ankle dorsiflexion after an ankle sprain. Research indicates a loss of ankle mobility with chronic ankle sufferers – primarily in ankle dorsiflexion – which is the motion you need to walk correctly. Reserach also indicates a change in muscle control patterns not only in the ankle but also up the kinetic chain, such as a loss of hip control. Therefore: 1. Improve ankle dorsiflexion: calf stretching, seeing a Physical Therapist to mobilize your ankle and decrease swelling. 2. Ankle stability: ankle circles, resistance bands to strengthen lateral/medial ankle musculature/tendons. 3. Ankle proprioception: standing balance exercises as indicated 4. Hip stability: primarily with gluteus maximus and medius exercises. It is…

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What exercises can help relieve hip pain?

Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT Typically hip pain patients have restricted hip motion. We usually find the gluteal muscles are restricted with trigger points and fascial tightness. 1. Use of foam rolls or trigger point balls along the back and side of the hip can release the muscles around the hip. 2. Lunge stretches to the anterior hip can also help – but please consult with a Physical Therapist to see if this is indicated. 3. Long axis traction: have a friend hold your ankle and pull the leg – length wise – to distract the hip. This can give relief to the hip especially in acute sitatuion. 4. Nerve: something to consider is that the pain in your…

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Besides squats, are there other hip exercises to help my knee pain?

Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT If you’re experiencing knee pain, especially with weightbearing exercises, its best to train the hip in non-weightbearing. This would include bridges to strengthen the gluteus maximus, and side leg raises/clam shells to stabilize the gluteus medius. Focus on improving the gluteus medius without overcompensating with the lateral quadriceps or tensor fascia latae muscles. Once pain decreases in the knee, weightbearing exercises to improve hip stability can then be applied. _________________________ Medical Disclaimer: Motion Stability has created and compiled the content on its websites for your information and use. This information is not intended to replace or modify the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for…

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How do foot related sports injuries affect the body?

Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT I pay particular attention to foot injuries and how it relates to the rest of the mechanics of the body. How the foot hits the ground affects how other joints in the body absorb shock as well as how the muscles around those joints work in sports performance. The most classic example that we see are patients that have a one sided knee, hip or back injury – say the right side. When we take our medical history the patient tells us they sprained their ankle on the same right side ‘way back in high school…but that got better’. But what the patient does not realize is that after the ankle was swollen from…

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Can Strengthening your neck muscles prevent headaches?

Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT There are different types of headaches. One common type is called a cerivcogenic headaches or neck-related headaches. There is lot of research coming out of the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia that has discovered how proper stabilization of the neck muscles can reduce neck pain, whiplash injuries, and cervicogenic headaches. Proper stability of the neck muscles comes first from the smaller muscles closest to the spine. This includes a wafer thin muscle on the front of the cervical spine called the longus colli. A skilled Physical Therapist can instruct a patient how to contract this muscle in isolation and train its endurance. As the longus colli function improves it is important to incorporate…

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What conditions can lead to a ‘groin’ pull?

Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT ‘Groin pulls’ typically are due to over-compensation and poor mechanics in the legs and core stability. Groin pulls comprise mostly of the adductor muscles of the inner thigh. These injuries usually occur with sports that requie cutting, pivoting and side to side movement  such as soccer, lacrosse, and football. It can also occur in runners and cyclists when the hip is required to be used in situations like uphill terrain. Strength deficits with these injuries are not necessarily in the adductor muscles, but instead from the posterior hip muscles – gluteus maximus and medius. The gluteus maximus and medius are the key stabilizing muscles for the hip to be able to plant and pivot…

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Motion Stability