Category Archives: Pain Management

Manual Therapy Treatment for Concussions

Following a concussion, symptoms such as headaches, light sensitivity, dizziness, cognitive difficulty, emotional irritability, depression, and sleep disturbances can often linger. Waiting for the symptoms to improve is a frustrating experience that can impact all areas of an individual’s life. Physical therapists skilled in manual therapy including Craniosacral Therapy, Visceral Manipulation, and Neural Manipulation have observed improvement in many clients’ symptoms post-concussion. These specific manual therapies are gentle therapies that follow the osteopathic principles that structure and function are interrelated. Craniosacral therapy improves the motion restrictions in the craniosacral system which consists of the meninges, bones, and cerebrospinal fluid from the head to the coccyx (base of the spine). Visceral manipulation is a manual therapy developed by a European osteopathic physician Barral that uses gentle, but specific manual forces to improve the mobility of the organs and the connective tissues. Barral Neural Manipulation works to improve the fascial mobility that surrounds all of our nerves allowing the freedom of motion needed for optimal function.

A recent study published by Gail Wetzler and colleagues confirms manual therapy can improve concussion recovery. In the study of 11 male retired professional football players, these specific manual therapies resulted in statistically significant improvements in pain intensity, ROM, memory, cognition, and sleep. For specific changes observed, here is a link to the research study. http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/acu.2017.1222

Gail Wetzler PT was here at Restore Motion this weekend teaching the therapists who already have trained in these manual techniques how to better use these skills to treat individuals with post- concussive symptoms.

 

Written by: Stephanie Bloom, PT

 

“For information on what to do if you or your loved one sustains a concussion, please refer to https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/recovery.html

Image Source: https://www.flagspin.com/youth/youth-flag-football-concussions

 

Is this Backpack Too Large?

What to look for in a Backpack:

  • Wide, padded shoulder straps distribute the weight over a larger area around the shoulders. This avoids that “cutting into the shoulders” feeling.
  • Chest and waist straps also help distribute the load of the pack. Use of a chest strap (and/or waist strap) decreases load that would completely weigh on the shoulders if it were not used.
  • Padded back cushions the load as it rests on the back. Some backpacks feature no padding directly over the spine – This is favorable because it creates a comfortable “cut out” for the spine bones. It decreases load contact directly over the “spinous processes” of the bones.
  • Multiple compartments even out the load and are preferable to one large cavernous compartment.   It makes retrieving items easier as they don’t all fall into one single “pit” of the pack.

Consider the size of the backpack wearer—the overall length of the backpack should not go below the waist of the wearer.   Appropriately sizing the shoulder straps to distribute weight evenly over both shoulders and using the chest or waist strap can help the pack sit at the waist of the wearer.

Wear the pack with both shoulder straps not just one strap over one shoulder—Really! Wearing the pack on one side contributes to neck, shoulder and hip strain in addition to back pain.

Avoid filling the pack too full. It is too full if the wearer has to lean forward to bear the weight. This can contribute to bad posture and back pain. Full packs can cause havoc when the wearer turns and unknowingly knocks into people or priceless artwork.

Rolling packs have their advantages and disadvantages as well:

  • Some school lockers aren’t big enough to accommodate the rolling packs.
  • Need to be carried over stairs or rough terrain.
  • May be a trip hazard.

When using a rolling pack remember to switch arms frequently and to engage core/abdominal muscles to balance the strain on the body.

Written by: Miriam Graham, PT

Pilates and Your Game

 

PILATES AND YOUR GAME
The Pilates principles of core stabilization address posture, breathing, muscle performance and motor control. Pilates sessions break down faulty movement patterns, and enable the practitioner to work on new movement strategies. Pilates can be integrated into any rehab phase, from the most acute to advanced sport-specific training.

Q: What is Pilates and how do you say it? 
A: Pilates (pronounced Pi-La-Tees) in named after Joseph Pilates who first devised the exercise program during the Second World War. Pilates is a form of exercise that concentrates on the “core” or trunk area, including the stomach and low back, promoting strength and flexibility in a controlled manner. People who do Pilates often describe themselves as getting “longer and leaner”. 

Q: I have some friends who do Pilates mat classes and others who do it on equipment. Is there a difference?
A: Pilates can be done on a mat or the floor, but it can also utilize equipment called reformers that resemble a table with different springs and attachments that alter resistance. There are many different pieces of equipment that are now being used in a Pilates program.

Q: Is it better to take classes or do private lessons?
A: Pilates is a very specific form of exercise, and it is best taught on an individual basis initially. Progressing into small group classes can then be done. Of greatest importance is learning from a highly-qualified Pilates instructor.

Q: Would doing Pilates regularly improve my sports performance?
A: Many people think that powerful tennis strokes come from the arms and shoulders. This is untrue. The power comes from proper weight transfer and rotation of the trunk and hips region. A strong “core” will certainly help the tennis game, and Pilates is an excellent form of exercise for the core region. Pilates can also be made “sport specific” by doing arm and leg movements whilst keeping the trunk stable. In fact, many of the top professional players are now incorporating Pilates into their fitness program to improve their game.

Q: Will I become more flexible and be able to move better?
A: Quite possibly, and in addition to strengthening, Pilates also increases flexibility and will improve any sporting performance. It will even carry over to your golf game!

Q: I have a chronic back problem, is Pilates a good idea?
A: Pilates can be extremely effective for back pain patients. We have seen tremendous results with our caseload of patients, and it is a low impact form of exercise that can be undertaken by people with many different physical conditions. If you already suffer from an ailment, make sure that your Pilates instructor understands the condition and teaches you appropriately.

 

Written by: Reshma Rathod
Picture from: www.premapilatesbarre.com