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Louisville NE 68037 & Plattsmouth NE 68048

Happy 4th of July!!!

7/4/23

Normally on Tuesdays we post a blog about a physical therapy or health topic that is aimed at providing our readers some basic insight into a certain topic. With Independence Day falling on a Tuesday our blog this week will focus on this holiday. 

With the adoption of the Declaration of Independence one of the first steps in the formation of the United States occurred. Through years of sacrifice and growth our country has become a story of success and perseverance. I believe that many of our citizens can point to sacrifices they have preserved through that have lead to their own growth and success. 

Our clinics have the privilege of working with and treating several active duty military members, veterans, and their families. This is a great honor to work with these people in order to help them get back on track, stay healthy, and return to their normal lives and duties. Without people like those who serve in our military and in our government we would not be celebrating Independence Day or living in a country with the rights and freedoms that we get to enjoy.

Please take some time today to reflect on this day and its meaning and to give thanks to those who go above and beyond to protect it!

How to Warm Up and Cool Down for Volleyball

September 13, 2022

When we think of fall ball, the first sport that comes to mind is football, right? Football is one of the greatly loved and favorited games of the season. However, volleyball is rapidly rising as one of the most popular sports, not only in the country, but in the world! It is enjoyed by men and women alike and attracts a wide variety of fans. For us volleyball players, we may start learning basic skills of the game as early as seven years old. Some hone in on those skills, perfect them, and play competitively all year round. Others may just play seasonally and focus on various recreational activities in the off-season. No matter which category you fall under, it is necessary to take care of the muscles and joints in your body to avoid a volleyball injury.

                Warm-ups and cool-downs are an important part of an athlete’s workout. They help prep the tissues for a higher level of activity and allow for those same tissues to relax and recover afterwards. Without taking proper care of your body before practice or competition, you leave yourself at a much higher risk of injury. Any injury, whether it be minor or serious, leaves the body damaged. Damaged tissue or muscle takes time to heal, which athletes can’t always afford. You may be working towards a “W” on a Thursday night in your high school gym, a trophy to add to your college’s display case, or a medal around your neck on the world stage. No matter what level you participate in, you must take good care of your body in order to perform at your peak.

                Volleyball is a specific sport that requires specific movements in order to play the game correctly and competitively. As with any sport, it is important to prep the specific muscles and joints you know you’ll be using most during your competition. There are a few keys stretches and exercises you should always keep in mind when preparing to play.

  1. Pectoral stretch (A):

A pectoral stretch is as simple as placing your hands and forearms on the walls that form a corner, placing one foot forward, and leaning into the corner. This particular stretch opens up the chest cavity and stretches the pectoralis muscle which helps bring your arm forward into a serve or spike motion. We use this muscle quite a bit during a match, so naturally it will sit a little tight during our down-time. Keeping this muscle stretched out will help prevent any excess soreness following competition.

  1. Arm circles (B):

Arm circles are easy to complete, as shown above, and are a great warm-up for not only the shoulder joint, but the muscles surrounding the joint. Creating a broad movement, such as circles, at the joint, will draw blood and warmth to the tissues, improve the elasticity or flexibility, and decrease your risk of strains or tears with fast, abrupt motions such as blocking or hitting.

  1. Sumo Squats (C):

A Sumo squat is a great exercise to warm up the hips, knees, and ankles. If you think about your position on the court, you are sitting in a half-squat position for a majority of the match. This position allows us to either quickly pass or hurry to our hitting spot. By completing squats before-hand, you will loosen the muscle tissue and again, decrease your risk or straining or tearing.

  1. https://drnotley.com/pectoralis-major-corner-stretch/
  2. https://www.spotebi.com/exercise-guide/big-arm-circles/
  3. https://www.popsugar.com/fitness/photo-gallery/36123288/image/36123503/Sumo-Squat

The cool-down following your game is just as important as your warm-up. By failing to properly relax those muscles after a couple hours of high-level activity, your body will experience excess soreness, tightness, and discomfort. The tighter the muscles are in a resting state, the less likely they are to extend and stretch in an active state. This could lead to injury and make it difficult to continue playing. Exercises any volleyball player can use to cool down are as follows:

  1. World’s Greatest Stretch (D):

This stretch is a great way to calm down all muscles used throughout your volleyball match. It allows for a stretch throughout the entire body and the joints to open up and move into full range. You will be able to gain mobility and decrease your risk of soreness afterwards.

  1. Cat/Cow Stretch (E):

You may have seen this completed in a yoga class before. The cat/cow stretch allows for full range of motion of the spine-all the way from the neck to the tailbone. When we are playing volleyball, we engage our core and use all of our postural muscles to complete key techniques such as passing, serving, hitting, and setting. If we neglect to stretch our spine and postural muscles, we will lose mobility. Once mobility is lost, our technique will be limited and less efficient.

  1. Walking:

As with any cool-down, walking is going to be a great way to decrease heart rate, improve oxygen intake, and promote function within the tissues, muscles, and joints. We like to say in therapy “Motion is lotion”. As long as you keep the body moving, you will decrease your risk of pain and discomfort following competition. A moderately-paced walk for 10-15 minutes is recommended for a proper cool-down.

  1. https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/how-do-worlds-greatest-stretch/
  2. https://www.popsugar.com/fitness/How-Do-Cat-Cow-Pose-26662589

Gait Abnormalities and Physical Therapy

September 28, 2021

What are they?

Gait abnormalities can be a number of things that cause you to have a gait issue that is not normal. The could be defined as a limp, a “dead leg”, or dragging of your foot to name a few. Gait abnormalities account for nearly one in five falls in older adults.

Information on what causes them?

These abnormalities can be caused by a variety of issues. They could be an injury to muscle, bone, ligament or tendon. They could be an injury to some part of the nervous system. They could be from an issue that was present at birth, such as cerebral palsy or club foot, or a newly diagnosed condition later in life, such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease.

The signs and symptoms?

The signs and symptoms of these issues could include pain, swelling, inability to bear weight without compensation, popping, clicking, decreased motion and flexibility, decreased power, and strength, decreased sensation, burning or tingling are just a few to name.  

Treatment?

Physical therapy will initially focus on analyzing your gait pattern and working to determine what the cause of your gait abnormality is. Some gait issues are fixable by addressing the system that is causing the issue. Some gait issues are correctable by using compensatory patterns or assistive devices to make your gait more efficient and safer. Some gait issues are not correctable but can be made safer for you to get around in your home or community with the help of a physical therapist. Physical therapists are movement experts and can help you improve your quality of movement and quality of life.

Expectations?

At your first visit you should expect a physical therapist that is there to get to know you, your current complaints, and your goals. Using this information and the information they gather during their evaluation they will set up an individualized treatment plan that will help you reach your goals and get back to your life faster. Treatments could include modalities for pain control, manual therapy to help with muscle, soft tissue, and joint healing, and exercises to restore motion and strength all aimed at addressing your gait abnormalities and ultimately the goals that you define that are important to you.

 

Resources:

https://www.choosept.com/guide/physical-therapy-guide-gait-dysfunctions

3 Tips to Maintain a Healthy Diet

August 31, 2021 – Many people with health conditions such as chronic pain, obesity, high blood pressure, and pre-diabetes are instructed to improve their diet and activity levels. However, there is little education out there to help people improve their diets unless we do our own research. For instance, US students receive less than 8 hours of required nutrition education each school year (40-50 hours are needed to help change behaviors). Nutrition is something that can play a huge role in the things we do. It can affect our mental health, physiology, and can ultimately affect movement. For this reason, physical therapists have been equipped with basic tools necessary for nutrition improvement. Below are some steps with information and tips to maintain healthy nutritional habits.

  1. Drink half of your body weight in fluid ounces. At least half of this needs to be water.
    1. Info: You may notice more trips to the bathroom, but the bladder is designed to adapt and should normally adjust after a few weeks.
    2. Tips: Buy an insulated water bottle you like to reduce plastic use, keep your water cold, and help you keep track of your water intake. (Example: 3, 24 fluid ounce water bottles should be consumed for a 145-pound individual)
  2. Avoid highly processed foods whenever possible.
    1. Info: Two-thirds — or 67% — of calories consumed by children and adolescents in 2018 came from ultra-processed foods, a jump from 61% in 1999, according to a peer-reviewed study.
    2. Tips: A general rule would be to avoid boxed food items and start spending most of your grocery shopping in the outer aisles (produce, meats, cheeses, nuts, and whole grains like beans and seeds)
  3. Learn when produce is in season and take advantage of generally better priced and better tasting produce.
    1. Info: For more information to find when produce is in season in your state visit: https://www.seasonalfoodguide.org/
    2. Tips: Make healthy eating fun by visiting your local farmer’s markets and stands while they are available. Find local farmers and green houses who grow produce or online services that deliver to buy all year round. Pick a few favorite items and grow them outside in a garden, pots or even indoor!

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/nutrition/school_nutrition_education.htm

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2782866?guestAccessKey=c646e502-898f-443b-8558-d90a74e35415&utm_source=For_The_Media&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=ftm_links&utm_content=tfl&utm_term=

https://www.signaturehealthinc.org/blog/blog-feed/how-to-maintain-a-healthy-diet-year-round-while-improving-your-mental-health/

Blood Flow Restriction Therapy and Training

April 20, 2021 – Strength and muscle mass are largely important for not only human performance, but also for health a longevity. Studies have shown that muscle mass is a predictor of disease and mortality. For someone to make gains in strength and muscle mass, a person must lift weights at greater than 70% of their 1 rep maximum. However, there is another more convenient method which can be used to make strength gains.

Blood flow restriction (BFR) training is a therapy tool used by physical therapists that has been proven safe and effective in improving strength and muscle mass. BFR involves applying a cuff-like tourniquet placed over the closest part of the arm or leg being strengthened.

The tourniquet is inflated, reducing blood flow from the muscle area. This creates increased oxygen demand for the muscles during exercise. This increased demand causes the muscle to work harder than normal to contract (so instead of 70%, only 20-35% of the 1 rep maximum or less is needed!)

When training with BFR, the user should never feel pain, numbness or tingling. Muscle “burn”, on the other hand, is expected. It may feel uncomfortable during the training process but will feel like you got a great workout after!

Here are some examples of when BFR training can be useful:

  •             Post surgery: strengthening when full weight bearing is prohibited, to retrain weakened muscles

  •             Elderly: safe strengthening to improve function and prevent falls

  •             Athletes: maintaining muscles mass during season
  •             General fitness

  •             Improve Aerobic Endurance
  •             Osteoarthritis: improve muscle function and prevent surgery
  •             And many more!

Give us a call today in Louisville at 402-234-3333, in Plattsmouth at 402-298-4747 to schedule your FREE consultation and learn more about blood flow restriction training!

 

Resources:

https://www.rpsports.com/blog/2020/4/6/kaatsu-implications-for-the-elderly-and-competitive-athletes