We’ve all tweaked our ankles at some point in our lives. Some of us have even done it so forcefully that we have sprained a ligament, broken a bone, or strained a muscle. Hopefully, you took appropriate care and are feeling better, but often in my practice, I hear the dreaded phrase, “oh yeah, that’s my bad ankle. It never got better after I did (insert something youthful and nostalgic here).”
There are two forms of untreated ankle issues I see in the clinic regularly. The painful ankle that is effectively avoided or the stiff ankle that the patient thinks is normal. Both can have long-term effects on ankle health and wear and tear on the knees, hips, and even low backs.
The American Physical Therapy Association describes Physical Therapists as “movement experts who improve quality of life through prescribed exercise, hands-on care, and patient education.” As physical therapists, with our patient’s help, we shape their goals around what improves their specific quality of life. Often, we picture athletes returning to sports or patients relearning how to walk. Less commonly, we think about the importance of injured workers returning to their jobs without limitations. It’s easy to understand why the rehabilitation process for return to sport is so intense and personalized for a patient. The rehabilitation process for return to work should be just as intense and personalized to assist the employee in reaching their goals.
“I don’t really have the words right now, definitely not the right ones at least,” this was the quote from Odell Beckham Jr. following his 2nd ACL tear during Superbowl LVI. Most people know that an ACL tear is a common knee injury that requires a long, tenacious recovery. Once an ACL is torn, the risk of re-tear or tearing the opposite side is 20-35% more likely4. The above statistic may be alarming and is why ACL reconstruction rehabilitation needs to be taken very seriously.
Completing an Occupational Therapy program for an upper extremity injury helps many individuals regain the skills and abilities to return to their jobs and daily activities. However, significant injuries will sometimes require additional time to improve endurance, strength, safety, and confidence to return to work. These select individuals may benefit from Work Conditioning, an individualized rehabilitation program created and overseen by a therapist and designed to help an injured worker cross the bridge between acute therapy and return to work.
The importance of sleep cannot be overstated. Recent research has discovered links between poor sleep and “hypertension, obesity, type-2 diabetes, impaired immune functioning, cardiovascular disease, arrhythmias, mood disorders, neurodegeneration and dementia, and even loneliness.” The causes for poor sleep are vast, but as it relates to physical therapy, sometimes pain can be the cause. Have you ever had a night you just can’t seem to get comfortable because your neck, back, or shoulder hurts? Next thing you know, the alarm clock is ringing, and you’ve barely slept at all. You drag through the next day at work, aren’t productive, and then go home only to experience the same poor night of rest again. Let’s look at ways to improve sleep that is disrupted due to shoulder pain. Sleep position is the most important piece when it comes to shoulder pain. An improved sleep position can truly make the difference maker between a restful and unrestful slumber. The following sleep position modifications may help provide additional support to the arm/shoulder to reduce pain.
Isn’t hip dysplasia something dogs have? The short answer is yes, but humans can also have hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia has become increasingly more prevalent over the past decade, as hip dysfunction can be a source of pain. So, what is it? A typical presentation of hip dysplasia can be when the acetabulum (the portion of the hip joint attached to the pelvis) does not fully cover the femoral head (the hip joint’s ball). However, it may vary based on a variety of factors. Hip dysplasia can be diagnosed at birth, during childhood, or even as a young adult. Hip dysplasia is most common in females born from a first pregnancy and breech delivery.
In medical terms, a stroke is a loss of blood flow to part of the brain, which damages brain tissue. This impairment can occur in any part of the brain, which can have numerous effects, ranging from vision, auditory, speech, hearing, swallowing, balance, emotional control and/or motor control. A stroke is one of the few “invisible” conditions that affect a person in various ways. Below you will find the top four things you can do to help your loved one through their recovery process.
In 2018, Bunt and his colleagues found “knee pain affects approximately 25% of adults, and its prevalence has increased almost 65% over the past 20 years, accounting for nearly 4 million primary care visits annually.”1 There are a number of causes for knee pain, and in many cases, physical therapy and exercise can help address the pain. Let’s take a look at five common exercises that can help reduce knee pain.