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Lumbar disc herniations: Spontaneous healing and the accuracy of MRI

2/8/18 8:54 AM

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Magnetic resonance imaging, more commonly known as MRI, can be a valuable and important tool but how reliable is it? MRI’s are utilized by many physicians in the diagnosis and management of musculoskeletal injuries. An important thing to keep in mind is that 

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Written by Rachel Boccard.

Rachel is a licensed physical therapist currently accepting new patients in our Onondaga Hill and Liverpool locations.

Topics: back pain, Low back pain

Pain: How do I deal with it?

12/15/17 7:55 AM

Pain is a normal experience that everyone has to deal with at some point: it is inevitable. The suffering from pain is what you can control. Research is showing

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Written by Garry Campbell, PT.

Garry is currently practicing as a Physical Therapist in our Cicero Location.

Topics: Knee Pain, back pain, Low back pain

How your golf swing can lead to increased back pain

8/3/17 12:00 PM

 

Those who play the game of golf know the physical strain it can place on the entire body especially the lower back. The last thing any golfer wants to do is to miss a few rounds of golf  because of pain or injury. Anyone who watches golf on TV can tell you that the days when players were out of shape and overweight are gone. Nowadays, each player follows a rigorous training program to stay at the top of their game throughout the year. Here are a few tips to keep you at the top of your game.

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Written by Garry Campbell.

Garry Campbell, PT is currently practicing as a Physical Therapist in our Cicero office.

Topics: Low back pain, healthy habits, GOLF, strengthening, stretches

Low Back Pain During Pregnancy

3/30/17 11:31 AM

 

Prevelance:

 

It is estimated that approximately 50% of pregnant women will experience some kind of low back pain during their pregnancy, or during the postpartum period.  Of those that experience low back pain, only about 50% of them will seek advice from a healthcare professional; with only 70% of those women actually receiving treatment.

 

Causes:

 

  • Mechanical:  Weight gain during pregnancy, increased abdominal size, shifting of the center of mass forward; all can increase the stress on the low back.  When the abdominal muscles stretch to accommodate the growing uterus, muscle fatigue typically occurs which results in an increased load on the spine.  Another common finding is weakness of their gluteus medius, or the outer glute/hip muscle.
  • Hormonal:  Relaxin is a hormone secreted during pregnancy, and it causes your ligaments to get lax, which in turn can cause your pelvis to become unstable.  This includes not only the SIJ (sacroiliac joint), but the entire low back resulting in instability of the pelvis and poor alignment of the spine.

Symptoms:

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Written by Taryn Bader.

Taryn Bader, PT is currently practicing as a Physical Therapist in our Onondaga Hill location.

Topics: back pain, Low back pain, pregnancy, taping

LOW BACK PAIN AND PHYSICAL THERAPY: WHAT'S EFFECTIVE?

8/26/16 2:04 PM

Low back pain is a very prevalent and costly condition. It is common for people dealing with low back pain to ask themselves “What do I need for treatment and where should I go?” Of the people who seek outpatient physical therapy services, 50% of them seek it for low back pain. But what’s the most effective treatment approach?

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Topics: Low back pain

4 MYTHS ABOUT BACK PAIN

2/22/16 11:22 AM

As a Physical Therapist, I am asked a lot of questions about low back pain. With so much information available to us online from various sources - both reliable and unreliable, both too general and too specific, it is hard to know what to believe is truth or the best practice for most individuals. These are general guidelines to get you started based upon the common questions I am asked.


 

Sitting:

 

I know I have a lot of comfy places to sit at home, couch, recliner, love seat and this is often where I end up sitting at the end of the day. I have had many patients come and say they sit on their couch with their feet on the coffee table or sit in their recliner with their feet up.  They say, it feels great while sitting there, then it is painful getting up due to low back pain. This is because your spine is flexed or rounded especially when you have your feet up. This is one position you want to try and avoid at home. Try to sit with your feet on the floor and try not to slouch when sitting at home.  Try sitting in a more upright chair, kitchen chair or dining room chair. I know these aren’t as comfortable but they are better for your back.

 

 

Ice or heat?

 

If you just hurt your back yesterday, then ice is the answer. Ice is good for new or acute injuries for 24-48 hours. Ice helps to decrease the blood flow to the area which helps to decrease pain and inflammation. If an area is swollen or bruised, use ice.  Now if you have had back pain fo

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Written by Laura Donlan.

Laura Donlan, PT is contributing author to our blog. She has been a Highland Dancer for over 20 years and specializes in treating dancers - getting them back to their sport!

Topics: hip pain, Low back pain, pain, tips, back pain, lumbar pain

WORK SMARTER, NOT HARDER TO BEAT LOW BACK PAIN

2/4/16 10:49 AM

Back pain is quite common, around 80% of the population will experience it at some point in their lives. What is causing it? More often than not, too much bending and twisting can create more low back pain. Since everything is in front of us, we bend thousands of times during the day. If we are able to decrease the amount of bending we can do just a little bit, this can make a big difference in developing back pain.

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Written by Laura Donlan.

Laura Donlan, PT is contributing author to our blog. She has been a Highland Dancer for over 20 years and specializes in treating dancers - getting them back to their sport!

Topics: Low back pain, back pain

Less Low Back Pain is only a Stand up & a Stretch Away

3/17/15 2:05 PM

Do you....

Consider yourself a healthy person? 

Know that even if you get the recommended amount of aerobic exercises (30 minutes per day), by sitting at your desk the majority of the day you can still be considered to lead a sedentary lifestyle? 


Prolonged sitting contributes to shortened or tight muscles....

Sitting for the majority of the day can have a great effect on the health and function of your spine. Have you made the connection that sitting can cause low back pain? 

In the sitting position, your chest is closer to your knees, which only means one thing… all of the muscles in between are shortened or tight. When your muscles are too tight, your body can not move naturally. With prolonged sitting, the muscles at the front of the leg, specifically the hip flexors (illiopsoas group) become very tight. 

If you refer to the image below, you can see that sections of the muscle originates on the lumbar vertebrae and attaches to the top of your femur (the long bone of your thigh).

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Written by Christine Whitney.

Christine Whitney is a licensed physical therapist and contributing author.

Topics: Posture, hip pain, Low back pain

10 Tips for a Better Workstation Setup

3/11/15 10:57 AM
Does your job require you to sit at a desk for the majority of the work day? If so, how is your workspace set up? 


Is it ergonomically correct? 


What does that even mean?!

According to OSHA, ergonomics is defined as “fitting a job to a person.” It is intended to help lessen muscle fatigue, increase productivity and reduce the number of work-related musculoskeletal injuries. Having the proper ergonomic workspace set up is very important, especially when it comes to maintaining good posture and a healthy spine. 


How does your work station measure up?
The next time you are at your desk, use these 10 tips to better your workspace and decrease your chances of injury due to postural faults...


  1. Sit as close as possible to your desk. By sitting closer to your desk, this will allow you to reach your keyboard or answer your phone while maintaining an upright, erect posture. No slouching forward! Your desk should be at the height of your belly button.

  2. Sit with your bottom back against your chair. Do you sit at the edge of your chair? By sitting with your bottom all the way back against the back of your chair, you are providing support to your lower back and you are able to use your arm rests to better your posture.

  3. Ensure you have good lumbar support. Most chairs have some lumbar support, but it may not be enough for everyone. If there is room between the curve of your lower back and your chair consider rolling up a bath towel or purchasing a lumbar roll to support your lower back. You will be surprised how supporting your lower back with force better posture! Not sure where where to get your hands on a lumbar roll? Each of our office locations have them on hand for purchase.

  4. Sit with your Hips and knees bent to 90 degrees. 

  5. Are your feet touching the ground? If your feet are not flat on the ground, use a foot rest (shoe box or telephone book) so that your feet are flat and supported.
  6. Use your arm restsYour elbows should parallel to your shoulders and should be bent to 90 degrees. By resting your elbows on the arm rests you are able to take some pressure off of your shoulders and helps you sit up tall. 

  7. Use your wrist rest only for rest! The wrist rests on your keyboards are great, but only use them when taking a break from typing. Avoid typing with your wrists pulled back (which may be caused when placing your wrists on the rest while typing). Keep your wrists in a neutral position to avoid injuring the tendons and nerves that pass through your wrist to your hand. 

  8. Eyes at the top of the computer screen. ONLY after you have adjusted your chair to fit your body, next, adjust your computer screen. When sitting up tall, your eyes should be parallel to the top of your computer screen. If you are unable to adjust the height of your screen, request a computer monitor lift or use books to increase the height of the screen.

  9. Keep frequently used objects close to your body. The objects that you use the most during the day, like your keyboard should be reached with the elbows bent at 90 degrees. Other frequently used objects, like your phone, stapler or books should be able to be accessed without having to fully straighten your arm. Like my dad always says, “Work smarter, not harder!”

  10. Rest breaks! If you find yourself slouching forward, having aches in your neck, back or shoulders - stand up and stretch! 
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Written by Christine Whitney.

Christine Whitney is a licensed physical therapist and contributing author.

Topics: Posture, Low back pain, healthy habits, tips, proper posture

Holiday Shopping: Score the Deals, Not the injuries.

11/24/14 5:12 PM

HDTV’s, laptops, clothes…the amazing deals of Black Friday are upon us, and with all of this comes some potential pain too! While you are busy shopping and taking advantage of all the great deals, we often forget about ourselves and what we are doing to our bodies. Here are some quick tips to help you come out of Black Friday with only financial pain…

Remember it is a marathon, not a sprint! Black Friday is a daylong event and you need to pace yourself. This means you will want to sit and take rests as needed, especially those of you with arthritis in the back who may have increased pain with walking and standing. 

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Written by Jeffrey Romans.

Jeff Romans, PT is a contributing author to our blog and a great resource on Physical Therapy.

Topics: Low back pain, arthritis, back pain, exercises