It’s our job as parents and professionals to be aware of the changes these young athletes are going through and to not push them too hard.
For today’s topic, I’d like to shine a light on a specific type of client we see in our practice: Young athletes.
It’s not uncommon for us to see kids, who are involved in sports, experiencing pain that doesn’t stem from a contact-related injury. It might manifest as muscle strains or be found in the knees, heels, or back. This type of pain comes from a larger cause: growth.
As puberty starts to take effect and young athletes hit their growth spurts, they develop injuries seemingly without a cause—they aren’t necessarily training or playing any harder nor are the injuries occurring while they compete. So what’s the reason behind this?
Well, when a body is growing, the bones grow first. As the bones grow, the attached muscles are now being stretched, and this is the very reason teenagers lack much flexibility; their muscle growth can’t keep up with the pace of bone growth. By virtue of this natural growth process, the muscles are already being torn, and it’s compounded by the extra flexibility and dynamic mobility required for competition.
The other thing that happens is bone growth leads to added mass, and with the extra weight the body is now carrying, the muscles have some catching up to do.
As it concerns these teenage athletes, there are some key points to be aware of and encourage:
They sleep a lot. Their body is both growing and healing, which means they should be sleeping at an above average rate to prevent injury. On top of this, they should be getting lots of fluids, eating properly, and maybe even going to fewer practices in favor of getting more rest.
Some of the common areas of pain are in the ankles, knees, hips, etc., and is most frequently seen in young athletes participating in sports where there’s an emphasis on running.
It’s our job as parents and professionals to be aware of the changes these young athletes are going through and to not push them too hard. In this way, we have to act as the jockey, pulling in the reins on that thoroughbred horse and making sure our kids aren’t overexerting themselves when going through this period of development.
If you have further questions regarding injuries of any kind and at any age, please contact us by phone at 703-372-4445 or visit our website at ChironPtVA.com. We’d love to assist you however we can!
Whether you’re a professional athlete or not, physical therapy is the best way to recover from your injuries. Here is what a recommended treatment schedule looks like.
A common question that we get is “How often should I come in for physical therapy?” The simplest way to answer this is by using an analogy. If a professional athlete is injured, they get cared for daily, sometimes multiple times a day. The reason they’re getting that care is that they get better faster. The more time and attention that they get, the faster they will heal.
You’re no different than a professional athlete in that sense. Your body heals the same way as theirs and getting that type of care is important. You don’t need rest days with therapy like you do with training and exercise. Physical therapy is always worked at a submaximal level so that you don’t strain your muscle. You’re just trying to exercise it, engage it, and reduce pain and inflammation. This modified level of exercise allows your body to come back faster so you don’t strain it.
If we can all get physical therapy every day, why don’t we all do it? That’s when life comes in. The professional athlete gets it daily because that’s their job. If you were in a rehab hospital, you would get therapy multiple times a day as well.
Once you’re home, that’s where the difficulty comes in. Being able to get to therapy with all that you’ve got going on can be really difficult.
Ideally, you should be getting therapy every day while you need it, but that’s not always plausible. If you’re able to come in three times a week, however, that’s a great baseline to help speed that healing process. You can’t just come in two times one week and once the next and wonder why you’re not making progress. If you come in regularly and frequently, you’ll be able to manage your busy lifestyle while managing your healing. It’s all about that continuity of care.
If you have any questions for us about physical therapy in the meantime, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
People try to define this term in many different ways, and many assume it’s synonymous with how good you are in your profession. We don’t define “quality care” as being the best therapist, though. Nor do we define it as having the best technology at your fingertips or the best facilities.
What really defines quality care for us is the patient’s experience—not just how your therapist treats your injury, but how they treat you as a person. That experience isn’t just based on your relationship with your therapist, but your whole experience while undergoing care.
That care starts with the first phone call you make to the office and how you’re spoken to during that process of setting up your appointment. You may have to divulge financial information or discuss insurance issues in this situation, so the people you speak to here are just as important in creating a quality experience as the therapist, themselves.
Then, once you come in for your first appointment, how are you greeted? When you meet with your therapist face to face for the first time, do they really understand how your life has been impacted? Aside from just fixing your injury, how has that injury impacted you?
From the moment you contact us, our team is dedicated to making your experience the best it can be. Let’s face it—this is the best of a worst-case scenario. You’re hurt, and you didn’t plan on undergoing physical therapy. Nobody ever plans on undergoing physical therapy. You’re doing it because something forced you to, so we make sure you’re cared for throughout the entire process.
As we help you recover, we’re concerned with not just your injury, but how well you’re able to transition back into your daily activities. If it’s not possible to transition back into all of your daily activities, we help you with your ability to adapt.
In other words, we define quality care as whether you felt cared for or not. We want you to feel cared for from the moment you walk through our door to the moment you leave.
So remember, if you ever have any questions for us or there’s anything we can help you with at all, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help.
Fall prevention becomes more and more important as we get older. The No. 1 reason that people fall is that they have poor balance. As we get older and have less balance, that creates a greater chance of falling, which is the No. 1 injury as we age. Today we are going to show you a few simple ways to tell if you are having balancing issues and how you can improve them if you are.
First, can you walk up a flight of stairs without holding onto anything? Can you walk down the stairs without holding on to anything? When you walk off a curb, are you walking straight or to the side? As we get older, we tend to walk with a wider gait to make up for our lack of balance. These subtle changes in our movement lead to a lack of balance and make it difficult to react when we stumble or move onto an uneven surface.
This can be especially hazardous in scenarios where there’s nothing for you to hold on. You can’t reach out and grab anything in the middle of an icy street, for example. Circumstances like these could lead to a number of different injuries.
The first thing you can do to test your balance is simply standing on one foot. You should be able to maintain your balance for 10 seconds on both sides. Next, close your eyes while you do the same thing.
These tests are not only great ways to measure your balance, but also to practice and improve it. Better still, you can do them anywhere. The more you practice these, the better you will be at balancing and the safer you will be in the event that you do lose your balance. The quickness of your reaction is directly related to your balance.
If you are having any difficulty with balance or simply have a fear of falling, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email today so we can help out. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Poor posture when using technology can create a lot of unnecessary pain, and today we’ll address how you can correct it.
As technology becomes more and more integrated into our daily lives, a posture-related ailment we like to call “tech neck” has also become more prevalent.
Whether typing at an office desk or scrolling through our phones, many of us spend a large portion of our days with our heads down and our eyes glued to screens.
When we sit with our shoulders rounded and our head forward, it puts more strain on the muscles in our upper back. And as these muscles become more tired throughout the day, we tend to lean forward even more to compensate for the strain.
Instead of resolving the issue, though, this adjustment in posture can cause a lot of tension in a person’s neck.
Even if you can’t avoid periodically slipping into such a position, there is a simple exercise that can mitigate some of the associated problems it can lead to. Five times each hour, sit straight up in your chair with your arms at your sides, then hold your shoulder blades together for 10 seconds. By doing this so often, slouching will eventually become less comfortable than sitting with good posture.
When using a computer, tucking chair in under your desk, pulling your keyboard closer to you, and keeping your elbows at your side will help facilitate a more comfortable, and less straining, position. When using a cell phone, hold it up higher and look down with your eyes instead of with your entire head. Following these tactics will be essential in helping you to prevent tech neck.
If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon
Today we’ll be answering some common questions related to physical therapy.
Today we’d like to address a few of the most common questions people have concerning physical therapy. In covering these questions, we’ll discuss why, and how soon, a person should go to physical therapy, as well as what physical therapy is meant to achieve in general.
We treat a wide variety of injuries in our own physical therapy practice, including everything from muscle strains to back and neck injuries, and beyond. We also tend to see a high volume of sports-related injuries.
But type of injury aside, how can someone know whether the injury they’re suffering from is worth pursuing physical therapy?
We’ve all overexerted ourselves and woken up with a sore back, but the difference between these injuries and the ones that may require physical therapy is how long, and how severely, they affect us. In short, physical therapy can be a prudent option for any injury that doesn’t resolve itself in a couple of days.
Also, the belief that you must go to a doctor before seeking physical therapy is a common misconception. The sooner you start treatment, the sooner you can start to heal. And while conventional wisdom may lead you to think that resting at home is the best way to heal, this is not the case.
Often, lying around doing nothing simply de-conditions your body from the daily tasks made difficult by your injury. This will make you weaker over time and make it even more difficult for you to regain the level of strength you had prior to your injury. Seeking physical therapy, rather, is a much more effective way to get back into your normal routine.
Even if you aren’t sure about whether the nature of your injury makes you a good candidate for physical therapy, there’s no harm in giving it a try. Our team would be happy to assess your injury and, if necessary, start treatment on the spot. Our job is to do whatever we can to make sure you start feeling better as soon as possible—whether by providing you with treatment or referring you to an appropriate physician.
If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.