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Power Wellness Blog

  • CTE in Football and Impact Sports

    Posted on 10/6/2017 by Melissa Bloom, P.T., DPT, NCS | Comments

    CTECooler temperatures, students returning to school and the start of another football season are all the telltale signs of fall. And with football back, reports of concussion will inevitably follow. While advancements continue to be made in regards to concussion prevention and treatment, the long-term effects of head trauma, specifically chronic trauma encephalopathy (CTE), remains a huge concern.

    You may have previously heard of CTE from the movie “Concussion,” or even from recent media reports. CTE is a tough topic for me. My trouble with the conversation is that there are a lot of unknowns and uncertainties. With the potential for serious injuries, there is the chance for panic and decisions made on emotions versus science. Moreover, ignoring the conversation leads to misinformation. So, it’s time we talk about CTE; what is it and what it means for the future of football.

    What is CTE?

    CTE is a progressive neurodegenerative disease associated with repetitive head trauma. CTE involves cellular pathological changes similar, but different, to Alzheimer’s disease. The buildup of Tau protein in the brain causes cell death, atrophy and abnormal functioning. CTE can currently only be diagnosed after death by examining the brain… MORE >

    Categories: Physical Therapy  

    Low Back Pain and why Physical Therapy Works!

    Posted on 9/13/2017 by Andrew Piraino, P.T., DPT, OCS, CSCS | Comments

    Low BackLow back pain is common. It’s so common that about 80 percent of adults will at one point experience this condition. It ranks among one of the top reasons to see a physician and costs the United States more than $100 billion dollars every year.

    When faced with an episode of low back pain, it’s easy to go into crisis mode. You may be routed through various specialists and receive various imaging tests, such as X-rays and MRI. These tests can reveal scary findings, such as “herniated discs,” but don’t panic.

    First, many of these findings are normal. Researchers have found that in adults without low back pain, two of out three have an abnormality at one disc or more. This makes imaging of limited use, unless something like a fracture is present that needs surgical management. Physicians agree; the American Academy of Family Physicians recommends against any imaging for low back pain for the first six weeks unless serious signs are present, such as trauma.

    Often, you may be referred for physical therapy. You may have some familiarity with various exercises and hands-on treatment provided by therapists. But why is physical therapy unique, and what exactly does it do?

    Physical therapists today are doctoral-level… MORE >

    Categories: Physical Therapy  

    Finding the Right Food to Fuel Your Body

    Posted on 8/23/2017 by Colleen Boucher, P.T., DPT | Comments

    Healthy NutritionWearing proper clothing, getting the right amount of sleep and practicing proper stretching techniques are vital to an athlete’s success. But, just as is important is eating the right foods. A proper diet will allow athletes to remain active, maximize function and minimize risk for injury. Eating the right foods will also address factors that may limit performance such as fatigue, which can cause deterioration in skill or concentration during an event.

    Using guidelines from the American College of Sports Medicine, we believe practicing these tips will help athletes remain active in their favorite sport. What and when you eat prior to physical activity makes a big difference in the way you perform and recover.

    Eat three to four hours before your workout and make sure you’re eating food that not only contains adequate amounts of proteins and carbohydrates, but also provides sustainable energy, speeds recovery time and boosts performance. Early fatigue caused by malnutrition can result in improper mechanics, creating predisposition to injury.
  • Athletes should eat a diet that gets the bulk of its calories from carbohydrates, an athlete’s main fuel. Eating foods such as breads, cereals,… MORE >

    Categories: Physical Therapy  

Exercising and Water Sports in the Summer

Posted on 7/20/2017 by NovaCare Rehabilitation and Select Physical Therapy | Comments

ExerciseHeatThe dog days of summer are upon us, but you don’t have to stop exercising outside just because of the warmer temperatures. NovaCare Rehabilitation’s Paul Hansen, ATC, from our Minnesota community, and Select Physical Therapy’s Andy Prishack, P.T., ATC/L, center manager, from the Fair Oaks, VA center, explain how to keep safe while enjoying some of your favorite summer activities.

• Avoid exercising between the hours of 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. as that is considered the hottest part of the day. Limit high intensity workouts to either early morning or early evening hours when the sun’s radiation is minimal.

• Stay hydrated by drinking a glass or two of water before you head outside. If possible, carry a bottle of water or even a hydration pack and take a drink every 15 minutes even if you’re not thirsty. The easiest thing to do is pay attention to the color of your urine. Pale and clear means you’re well hydrated; if it’s dark you need to drink more fluids.

• Wear clothing that’s light in color, lightweight and has vents or mesh. Microfiber polyesters and cotton blends are good examples. The lighter colors will help reflect heat and the cotton material will help with the evaporation of… MORE >

Categories: Physical Therapy  

Batter Up! Baseball and Softball Injury Prevention

Posted on 6/12/2017 by Heather N. Wnorowski, P.T., DPT, OCS | Comments

BaseballAcross the country, baseball and softball season is in full swing. Whether it’s at a backyard barbecue or an official game, athletes of all skill levels are taking part in America’s favorite pastime.

Over the past few years, a large emphasis has been on the youth athlete and overuse injuries in pitchers. We have learned to monitor pitch counts, plan structured rest and encourage multi-sport participation with athletes.

But what about outfielders, catchers and the weekend warriors who enjoy playing in their neighborhood league?

Common injuries aside from the shoulder and elbow exist in youth and adult baseball/softball athletes, such as back pain, knee pain and Achilles injury. Many overhead athletes have concurrent complaints of back pain or contralateral knee pain (knee pain opposite of their throwing arm). Why?

When you think about baseball and softball, a player is doing rotational movements that require the entire body. Unless they switch hit, these rotational patterns are always to the same side. What then happens is they may overdevelop certain muscular groups on one side in comparison to the other. In doing so, this can cause overuse injuries of these groups or we may injure or… MORE >

Categories: Physical Therapy