Tuesday, October 8, 2019
Tuesday, August 27, 2019
|by Sally Fansler, PT|
Move over, tennis and golf – here comes pickleball! A new favorite pastime among Baby Boomers, this sport combines elements of badminton, tennis and ping-pong. In recent years, it has become popular with older adults because of the smaller court, lower net, and slower ball speed. The rules are fairly straightforward and easy to learn, so pickleball easily becomes a fun social activity. It can be played indoors or out, in singles or doubles.
Over the past decade, however, the pickleball craze is taking hold at all age levels. Teenagers often play it in their physical education classes, and it is showing up as an intramural sport on college campuses. According to the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA), the sport has seen a 650% increase in numbers over the past six years. On-site pickleball courts are now being built not only at many retirement communities, but also as part of community park districts. The equipment – wooden paddles and plastic, whiffle-type balls – is also affordable, making it accessible to be enjoyed by a wide range of people.
Here is the pickleball rule overview:
- The serve must be underhand and below the waist—and it must be made at least one foot behind the baseline, struck diagonally crosscourt. Only one serve attempt is allowed.
- Only the team serving the ball is able to score points, which take place when the opposite side fails to return the ball or commits other faults, such as hitting the ball out of bounds.
- When the ball is served, the receiving team must let it bounce before returning, and then the serving team must let it bounce before returning, thus two bounces.
- After the ball has bounced once in each team’s court, both teams may either volley the ball (hit the ball before it bounces) or play it off a bounce (ground stroke).
- The two-bounce rule eliminates the serve and volley advantage and extends rallies.
- With doubles, both players on the serving team have the opportunity to serve and score points until they commit a fault
- Games normally go to 11 points, with the leading team needing to be 2 points ahead to win
Lakeshore Sport & Fitness in Chicago is planning an intro to pickleball class on Sundays in the fall of 2019. Please contact LPRacquet@LakeshoreSF.com for more information. The Chicago Park District is also growing their program and information on additional places to play can be found here: https://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/taxonomy/term/2210
Tuesday, July 23, 2019
|by Constance Taras, PT|
|Picture A: Herniated disc Picture B: Piriformis spasm|
For nerves to stay happy, they have to have enough of three main elements: movement, blood flow, and space. Addressing these factors help guide our treatment of nerve pain.
- Increasing Movement: Nerves don’t really stretch, but we can perform glides to slide them along their track and keep them from adhering to surrounding tissues.
- Increasing Blood Flow: Heat increases blood flow and is typically a good line of treatment for nerve injuries to promote healing.
- Increasing Space: We want to ensure there aren’t any structures compressing the nerve such as a bulging disc, a muscle in spasm, or narrowed vertebral foramen (bony space where the nerve exits the spinal column). A variety of manual techniques and self-stretches and exercises may be prescribed to improve the space around the nerve.
In more chronic or extreme cases, irritation or compression of a nerve can cause weakness to the affected muscle as nerves also innervate (or give “electrical power” to) muscles. The muscles most commonly affected by sciatic nerve injury are the hamstrings (which bend the knee), anterior tibialis (which can result in foot drop), calf, and other ankle/foot muscles. Weakness in any of these groups can result in decreased balance, difficulty with stairs and prolonged walking, and feeling like your leg is going to give out on you.
Understanding where your pain is coming from is the first step to recovery – then having it properly treated by a physical therapist is the next best step. At Lakeshore Physical Therapy we treat these type of injuries and pathologies all of the time. We feel confident that we can identify the source of your sciatica and quickly get you pain-free!
Check out our recent Instagram post @lakeshorephysicaltherapy to see videos of some suggested exercises to treat your nerve pain!
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Friday, May 3, 2019
|by Lauren Sweeney, Office Manager|
At its core, gardening is no different than any other kind of exercise: it requires movement in multiple planes of motion, and can put strain on the knees and the back. As such, a warmup prior to gardening - a quick walk around the block, some stretches - can help prevent soreness later. As you are gardening, think about how your body is feeling: have you been crouching for a while? Doing a repetitive motion? If you find you're getting sore in one position or during one activity, change your body position or take a break. It can be tempting to plant those last five tomatoes and just be done, but switching to shoveling mulch or taking a water break can give your body the change it needs to get the job done.
As most gardening is done on the ground, knees can suffer. If you will be spending a while in a kneeling position, consider knee pads or a gardening pad to reduce pressure. If kneeling is difficult, a bucket or low chair can allow you to plant from a seated position. Gardening using raised beds can help reduce strain as well, as they do not require the gardener to get quite as low to the ground, and when shoveling or raking, be sure to keep knees soft (rather than locked).
Many gardening tasks also require a lot of our core and our backs, so it is important to be mindful of them. When moving heavy materials, such as stone or bags of mulch or soil, be sure to use proper lifting mechanics (bending from the hips, turning feet to move loads rather than twisting or lifting). If something is too difficult to lift alone, use a wheelbarrow or ask someone for help. Try not to overload shovels or trowels, and use a hose for watering instead of lugging around a watering can, especially for hanging plants.
When you are done for the day, finish up with some light stretching. And don't forget to take breaks for food and water! It is easy to misjudge the amount of work we have been doing when we are engaged in a task like gardening. If you do experience a new pain working outside, don't hesitate to stop in our office - we'd be happy to help you get back to enjoying your garden.
Monday, April 8, 2019
|by Constance Taras, PT|
Typically, the more traditional approach is to apply ice to musculoskeletal injuries, but the type of musculoskeletal injury is important. For acute injuries that are swollen, warm, and painful (such as ankle sprains), ice can temporarily numb the area and decrease pain signals from the nerves, therefore decreasing pain. Ice also constricts the surrounding blood vessels so that less fluid and fewer cells arrive at the injured area. While this could theoretically slow down healing to the area as it does restrict the flow of healing mediator cells (leukocytes) to the area, it also means that less swelling is present. Less pressure on all the surrounding structures could mean less pain and improved range of motion.
However, what if we are dealing with a more chronic injury? Chronic injuries often suffer from decreased blood flow to the injured area, and as a result have a harder time healing. Application of heat, therefore, is the more beneficial modality, as it increases the rate that blood and repairing cells reach the injured site to improve the overall healing process. We also tend to recommend heat over ice in the case of a muscle in spasm or a tight muscle: the improved tissue extensibility provided by heat helps to relax shortened and tensed muscles in order to decrease spam and ultimately pain. Heat also allows improved stretching and increased range of motion, whereas ice could cause the muscle to tighten further, decreasing range of motion at a joint.
But an equally important factor to consider is how heat or ice makes you feel! If ice makes your pain worse or vice versa then it may not be the best option for you, even if clinically it makes more sense (unless it is contraindicated by other health conditions, such as diabetes, Raynaud’s disease or hypertension). If you are unsure what is the best modality for you and your specific injury, reach out to a Lakeshore physical therapist to help you build a customized plan!
Malanga et. al. Mechanisms and efficacy of heat and cold therapies for musculoskelatal injury. Postgrad Med 2015; Early Online 1-9.
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
|by Sally Fansler, PT|
Now, I am a pen-and-paper person at the core so my Office Manager, Lauren, has had to gently nudge me toward the simplicity of digital organization over the years. It has felt like such a success to streamline and digitize many of the day-to-day processes in our physical therapy clinics. Our online patient calendars are synced between both clinics for ease of scheduling and access. Each employee’s schedule is color-coded and clear. Our Google Drive folders are available at a finger’s tap to share research articles, doctor recommendations, or a running program with our patients. And since we already operate within the Google ecosystem, the Google Keep app is the best and appeals to my love of the traditional sticky notes! We create notes and lists, reminders, and check off completed tasks in vivid color.
As with many medical offices, all physical patient care charts are gone and replaced by electronic medical records, creating efficient, secure, and compliant documentation that is accessible from anywhere. Innovation and technology changes can make anyone apprehensive, especially for those of us who have become accustomed to doing work in a particular way. However, the new technology benefits are making our daily processes smoother and helping maintain our office productivity as well.
It is always a work in progress, but once you start to build a trusted organizational system that you use regularly, you can turn a hectic day to an efficient and calm one. It feels great to leave the clinic each day with a clean inbox and a clutter-free desk. With solid systems in place, we can relax and focus on what we do best – patient care.