Wellness | Physical Therapist Gives Running Injury Prevention Tips

rehab, PT, physical therapy, software, billing, notes, SOAP notes, EMR, rehab-software, rehab-billing, rehab-notes, rehab SOAP notes, rehab-EMR, PT-software, PT-billing, PT-notes, PT SOAP notes, PT-EMR, Physical Therapy software, Physical Therapy billing, Physical Therapy notes, Physical Therapy SOAP notes, Physical Therapy EMRThere’s a difference between throbbing your-legs-are-tired pain, and sharp you-need-to-stop pain.

The throbbing pain is easier to manage than the sharp pain, said local physical therapist Jennifer Frontiero of Wind City Physical Therapy.

Running is hard on joints, and while there may be pain — mainly dull, tired pain — you need to be careful not to push the sharp, intolerable pains.

Most running injuries, Frontiero said, are to the hips, knees and ankles. Shin splints are also among the most common injuries.

Injuries can range from minor aches and pains that need a mild pain reliever, ice and rest, to major injuries that require a visit to the doctor or physical therapist.

There are some base guidelines to help prevent injury, Frontiero said. The first, and most important, is stretching.

Stretching not only helps pain from forming after workouts, but also can prevent more serious injuries later in your training program.

But, if you do feel more than a gentle ache or pain, there are some simple tips to help keep you out of the doctor’s office and on the trails.

If you start to feel pain in your shins, hips, knees or ankles, don’t keep running harder and longer.

It’s difficult, Frontiero said, to cut back on miles. But, in order to give your body time to recover, try to at least stay at the same number of miles until the pain subsides.

You may also want to change the running terrain and speed. Try to find flat surfaces that require less pounding down hills. If you’ve been increasing your speed, slow it back down to a point where the pain lessens.

Cross-training can also be a good idea. Frontiero recommends running in water, both because it works similar muscle groups and because there is little to no impact to harm your joints.

Most importantly, don’t run yourself to the point where the pain is unbearable. It’s OK to stop and walk, and OK to reduce your miles or slow down. Running the correct number of miles is good, but staying healthy and injury-free is better.

Wellness | The Adult Presidential Fitness Test

There are two types of fitness:

Performance-related fitness is linked to athletic performance (for example: a 50-yard dash time or the ability to maneuver around obstacles quickly) and is linked to speed, reaction time, and coordination.

Health-related fitness is linked to fitness components that may lower risks such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or low back pain. Health-related physical fitness includes the following components:

  1. Aerobic fitness – ability of the heart and lungs to deliver blood to muscles,
  2. Muscular strength and endurance – enough to do normal activities easily and protect the low back,
  3. Flexibility – ability to move your many joints through their proper range of motion, and
  4. Body composition – not too much body fat, especially around the waist.

The activities featured on this adult fitness test are provided as a way for you to get an estimate of your level of aerobic fitness, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility and your body composition. The results on each test provide you with a measure from which you can track your progress in each area as you become more physically active.

Am I healthy enough for testing?

Use the Preparticipation Screening Questionnaire provided by the American Heart Association and the American College of Sports Medicine to figure out if you are at high or low risk for cardiovascular events during exercise testing. By completing this questionnaire you can decide if it is safe to take these tests or if you should take additional steps prior to completing the test.

The risk associated with exercise or exercise testing varies with a person’s health status. Exercise testing performed on healthy adults results in a low number of abnormal cardiovascular events, such as dizziness, fainting, irregular heartbeats, and sometimes, heart attack. The same tests performed on adults with some diseases or risk factors for diseases place them in a higher-risk category for cardiovascular events. During exercise testing, the overall risk in adults is low with about 6 abnormal cardiovascular events per 10,000 people tested (American College of Sports Medicine. (2005). Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, p. 12-13).

Assess your health needs by marking all true statements.


You have had:

__ a heart attack

__ heart surgery

__ cardiac catheterization

__ coronary angioplasty (PTCA)

__ pacemaker/implantable cardiac defibrillator/rhythm disturbance

__ heart valve disease

__ heart failure

__ heart transplantation

__ congenital heart disease


__ You experience chest discomfort with exertion.

__ You experience unreasonable breathlessness.

__ You experience dizziness, fainting, blackouts.

__ You take heart medications.

Other health issues

__ You have diabetes.

__ You have asthma or other lung disease.

__ You have burning or cramping sensation in your lower legs when walking short distances.

__ You have musculoskeletal problems that limit your physical activity.

__ You have concerns about the safety of exercise.

__ You take prescription medication(s).

__ You are pregnant.

If you marked any of the statements in this section, consult your healthcare provider before engaging in exercise. You may need to use a facility with a medically qualified staff.

Cardiovascular risk factors

__ You are a man older than 45 years.

__ You are a woman older than 55 years, have had a hysterectomy, or are postmenopausal.

__ You smoke, or quit smoking within the previous 6 months.

__ Your blood pressure is greater than 140/90 mm Hg.

__ You do not know your blood pressure.

__ You take blood pressure medication.

__ Your blood cholesterol level is greater than 200 mg/dL.

__ You do not know your cholesterol level.

__ You have a close blood relative who had a heart attack or heart surgery before age 55 (father or brother) or age 65 (mother or sister).

__ You are physically inactive (for example, you get less than 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on at least 5 days per week or less than 20 minutes of vigorous physical activity on less than 3 days per week).

__ You are more than 20 pounds overweight.

If you marked two or more of the statements in this section you should consult with your physician or other appropriate health care provider before engaging in exercise. You might benefit from using a facility with a professionally qualified exercise staff to guide your exercise program.

__None of the above

If you marked this statement you should be able to exercise safely on your own without consulting your physician or other appropriate health care provider.Reprinted with permission by the American College of Sports Medicine.

Is the test right for me?

The adult fitness test is for people aged 18 and older who are in good health.

Article Source:www.adultfitness.org

Wellness | The Role of Physical Therapists in Treating and Preventing Obesity


As more and more physical therapists are becoming Doctors in Physical Therapy, I think it is important that we take a step up from what we are “used to doing” and start treating patients as whole instead of just addressing their injuries.  Fortunately, I am not alone in this view as more PT clinics are taking on the wellness mantra in helping their patients not only recover from injury, but to also educate them on how to live a healthier lifestyle as part of their care.

 Obesity is a condition we should all be addressing with our patients.  We already know the effects being overweight can have on the various musculoskeletal structures in the body and I do not believe it is necessary to list them here.

But, as Doctors of Physical Therapy, we also need to be conscious of how obesity affects the other body systems and be able to provide education and strategies for our patients who are obese to consider.  This might include helping them find their motivation for getting healthier, getting them started on a basic exercise routine with follow-up on a consistent basis to make sure they are hitting their exercise plan goals.

It also may include nutrition counseling.  Now I am not saying we have to be experts in nutrition planning, but we should at least have a few “tools in our bag”- basic meal planning recommendations, referrals to good dieticians, or high quality supplement weight loss products for them to consider.

Sometimes I hear other therapists complaining that this should not be our role – that we should not make nutrition recommendations.  I say “Why not?”  If we are truly going to call ourselves Doctors, then nutrition planning is a key component to helping a patient with their health.

Additionally, we know how to read and decipher the research behind various nutrition strategies, so we should consider it another education opportunity that we should use to help our patients while bringing in more money for our practices depending on the strategy(s) we use.

We recently incorporated such a strategy in our clinic and it has turned out to be very successful for both our obese patients and in increasing our revenue stream.  We aligned ourselves with a natural products company called Qivana.  This company has a metabolic reset supplement system that was developed by one of the leading physicians in metabolic research, Dr. Donald K. Layman (Google his research).

The supplement system we are providing our patients who are looking to lose weight is backed by years of evidenced based research and was tested by a third party for quality and effectiveness prior to Qivana bringing the product to market.

Furthermore, the system provides a meal plan guide for individuals who use the products.  Our clients have had great results using this product system and it has helped us establish ourselves as a wellness facility, which opens new doors for us revenue wise.

More importantly, we are able to play a bigger role in the overall care of our obese patients in helping them eat healthier and see positive weight loss results.   I also have a new source of great testimonials from happy patients who we were able to help from a nutrition standpoint.

If you are interested in learning more about how we incorporated Qivana’s supplement system into our practice, please feel free to contact me via e-mail at smessineo@allaccesspt.com.

Wellness | Body Mechanics for Everyday Living

PT, physical therapy, software, billing, notesBy Elizabeth C. Finch, PT, Co-owner G&E Therapies

Does your back hurt? Do you have difficulty with daily functional activities? Back pain can limit your life and make you miserable. There are many reasons for back pain. It can be a congenital problem or pain from an accident but the most common cause is repetitive poor body mechanics. As a Physical Therapist (PT) I see people who frequently mistreat their spine and the small muscles supporting the spine. Proper body mechanics are simple and can be incorporated into every day life. Keep these few simple rules in mind and you will be on the way to a healthier, stronger you!

Maintain the natural curves in your back when moving around your environment. Excessive bending will put undue stress on your discs that are located in-between your vertebra. Your disc is a tiny shock absorber between your vertebrae. The disc is soft in the center and has a hard ring around the outside. You can maintain the natural curve in your back, by tightening your abdominal muscles while moving and lifting.

Always lift with your legs and your buttock muscles. They are the strongest muscles in your body. The muscles in your back are small and weak. This makes them susceptible to tearing, spasm or strain. Bend you knees and get down low, keeping your feet shoulders width apart! This will ensure you use the correct muscles to perform the lift properly.

Keep the object you are lifting close to your body and in-between your shoulders and your hips. If you lift an object and hold it arms length away from your body, it increases the weight of the object and the stress on your back exponentially!

Test the load prior to lifting it! Prepare your body and mind for the weight you are about to lift. Shift the load slightly first to test the weight, size, and stability of the object you are about to move.

Push! Don’t pull! Pushing an object keeps the small of your back in the proper alignment. When you pull, the spine loses it alignment and opens up. It is like a jelly donut; if you put too much pressure on one side of the disc, the jelly spurts out. The jelly touches your nerves and then you have pain! Disc injury may not happen the first or even the 100th time, but repetitive stain will take its toll.

Lift heavy objects with a buddy. Communication is the key. This will insure you are both ready to move the heavy weighted object. If you need to lift alone, do it in increments and watch your body mechanics.

NEVER twist. Pivot your feet during the move. Twisting puts stress on the spine and small muscles in the back! It provides the perfect opportunity to injure your back!

Clear the path! If you are in a cluttered area, you can fall over objects in your way.

If you incorporate these few simple tips into your everyday life, you can prevent unnecessary loss of work and repetitive strain to your back. If you have further questions about body mechanics or would like a work evaluation, contact your local Physical Therapy (PT) clinic. Get on the road to a happy, healthier you!