Brooklyn Half Marathon Crash Course Recap

We had a blast last night hosting the Crown Heights Running Club at our Clinton Hill location for our Brooklyn Half Marathon Crash Course.

The presenters included physical therapist and owner of Park Sports Physical Therapy, Boris Gilzon, PT, DPT, OCS, CHT, Certified Coach for the Road Runner Clubs of America, Nate Turner, and nutritionist, Tara Mardigan, MS, MPH, RD, AKA “The Plate Coach.”

They shared a lot of great information with us. This post will serve as a brief recap of some of the material that was reviewed.

Dynamic Stretching VS Static Stretching

Dynamic stretching is preferred over static stretching. You will want to focus on “warming up” your muscles before a run or undertaking any form of exercise. This can be in the form of jumping jacks, lunges, or any other full body movement. Core exercises are strongly encouraged.

There is no correlation between stretching and preventing injury, but stretching is still very beneficial in other ways. Boris recommends holding a stretch for twenty seconds or more for the muscles to get the full benefit of the stretch.

Tara recommends staying properly hydrated as that also plays a role in the performance and flexibility of your muscles.

Anywhere from 7-10 minutes of dynamic stretching will be enough to get you warmed up.

Cross Training

Cross training is useful, but depending on your goals, whether they be increasing mileage, speed, or endurance, nothing can replace running.

Boris and Nate both recommend strategic planning in terms of setting up a schedule for training to achieve your goals. The example given was a six-month training schedule. Boris recommends starting off with a light workout and running schedule at the very beginning and then increasing the intensity of theworkoutss as time progresses. This allows the body to adapt.

According to Nate, you should plan ahead and find ways to stimulate the climate of the actual race. For instance, if you are training during the colder seasons for a race that takes place during warmer seasons, you should try running in warmer temperatures some days. This could be done on a treadmill indoors with higher heat. Don’t forget to stay hydrated during these experiments!

Identifying Pre-Existing Structural Issues to Avoid Injury

Having a pre-existing injury or structural issue can lead to more serious injuries down the line. Both Nate and Boris strongly advise against working through the pain during training. Structural issues can be evaluated by a medical professional, physical therapist, or even an athletic trainer trained in identifying imbalances in the body.

A physical therapist will be able to assess your body’s strengths and weaknesses and will be able to offer valuable insight as to how you can improve your odds to avoiding injury, whether they be through strengthening exercises, modifying certain movements, correcting postural issues, or stretching and manual therapy.

If you are interested in getting a movement evaluation done by one of our physical therapists, schedule your appointment here.

Increasing Mileage Safely

Boris and Nate mentioned when training for a half marathon or even a full marathon, it’s best to work your way up to running that distance.

Instead of flat-out running thirteen miles, you could distribute a certain amount of miles each day that adds up to the full thirteen miles.

For example, on Monday you run four miles, Wednesday you run four miles, and Friday you run five miles. You can slowly increase your mileage safely in this manner instead of just deciding to run ten miles one day.

Nutrition for Runners

Tara put together an excellent handout reviewing some excellent advice in terms of nutrition, rest periods, and more. Here’s a PDF of the handout for those of you who couldn’t make it last night.

Wrapping Up

To those of you running the Brooklyn Half Marathon, we wish you the best of luck. You have trained hard and whether you aim to break a new personal record, finish the race, or have a set time that you would like to finish, we are here to help.

Want to learn more about Park Sports Physical Therapy and get started? Fill out this form here.

AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill

We are offering a 20% discount to Crown Heights Running Club’s members interested in trying out the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill.

Schedule your first run today! Call 718.230.1180

Learn more about the AlterG treadmill and our rates here.

Injury Prevention for Youth Soccer Athletes Workshop Recap

On March, 28th 2018, physical therapists, Igor Kozlov, DPT, and Aaron Lentz, SPT, gave their first presentation at the new Park Slope United Club House, which just opened up their doors on March, 24th 2018 in Bedford Stuyvesant.

A lot of great material was covered including common injuries that soccer players face during training and games, the FIFA 11+ warm-up, proper footwear for different kinds of turf, and the benefits of the Movement Assessment.

Here’s a brief recap.

What is the Movement Assessment?

A Movement Assessment is an evaluation of your child’s body’s movement. Our therapists will assess your child’s body’s posture and core strength, search for any muscle imbalances, test their flexibility, analyze their gait, and test for balance.

This creates a baseline for them to improve upon. A Movement Assessment is useful for catching any inefficiencies in the body early on that can lead to injury. This assessment has proven to be an invaluable tool for many of the athletes we see at our practice.

Imagine your child being able to run with greater efficiency and producing less strain on their muscles and joints, or having the knowledge to jump, land, and pivot with a lower chance of injury.

Our therapists can help your child gain greater insight and control over their body, which will lead to greater athletic performance.

 

The FIFA 11+ Warm-up

The FIFA 11+

Aaron and Igor mentioned the importance of stretching and warming up before training and playing in any matches. The FIFA 11+ warm-up routine was created as an injury prevention program. Coaches and parents should be mindful and remind their young athletes to do a proper warm-up.

Recent studies have shown that the most common injuries in youth soccer players are torn ACL’s, Hamstring strains/tears, and ankle injuries.

Research has shown that implementing the FIFA 11/11+ warm up statistically decreases the number of injuries during soccer. The warm-up can be implemented before a game, practice or just kicking the ball around with friends.

The FIFA 11 is a series of warm-up exercises that are broken up into three parts.

Part 1 includes all running exercises, there are a series of 6 activities to be performed in part 1.

Part 2 is all about exercises that utilize plyometrics, balance training, and strength training. Part 2 includes another 6 exercises which can be changed to a more challenging level as the athlete improves.

Part 3 is the last section where there is just one exercise that again focuses on running. In part 3 the level of difficulty can be changed based on the ease of completion of the athlete performing the warm-up.

Download the FIFA 11+ warm-up sheet here.

 

Osgood-Schlatter Knee Pain
Medical Illustration originally sourced from https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/osgood-schlatter-disease-knee-pain/

Osgood-Schlatters (Knee Pain)

Osgood-Schlatters is an overuse injury that is more common among boys from the age of 9-15 and during growth spurts. The presentation and symptoms are a pronounced bump below the knee cap, that is painful with activity, but the pain decreases with rest. The details of the injury affect the patellar tendon at its insertion point on the tibia and may affect the growth plate. Osgood-Schlatters can be diagnosed with a radiograph. This injury is caused by a lot of running and jumping activities.

Read more about Osgood-Schlatters here.

Proper Footwear

The last topic that was discussed was proper footwear for playing soccer. The shoe should fit snug with just a little room for the toes to move. Proper soccer shoes should be worn while playing soccer, not running shoes or cross trainers or basketball shoes. This cannot be stressed enough!

For indoor play, there are specific indoor soccer shoes that should be worn. When playing on artificial turf there are specific turf cleats that aren’t as long and have more cleats on the bottom of the shoes.

When playing in wet or long grass that is softer the cleats should be a little longer to provide more grip while playing.

Schedule Your Child’s Movement Assessment with Our Expert Physical Therapists Today.

Fill out my online form.

Brooklyn Half Marathon Crash Course w/ Crown Heights Running Club

Monday, April 9th, 2018 @ 7:00 PM

Park Sports Physical Therapy – Clinton Hill
973 Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11238

Register for the Brooklyn Half Marathon Crash Course

The presentation will be given by Boris Gilzon, PT, DPT, OCS, CHT the owner of Park Sports Physical Therapy and an avid runner and triathlete, Nathon Turner, Certified Coach, Road Runner Clubs of America, and Nutritionist Tara Mardigan, MS, MPH, RD, AKA “The Plate Coach”.

Are you a runner looking to build speed, improve your endurance, and increase mileage safely to prep for the Brooklyn Half Marathon?

Park Sports Physical Therapy would like to invite the members of the Crown Heights Running Club to a free crash course to help improve performance and prevent injury.

The topics being covered include:

  • How to prevent failure in critical joints and avoid structural imbalances.
  • Muscle efficiency – making sure opposing muscle groups are performing in harmony.
  • Proper running form and how to spot deficiencies.
  • Benefits of training with the AlterG Anti Gravity Treadmill.
  • Nutrition for runners.
  • Reviewing your current training plan.

We’ll have a short Q&A section at the end the presentation.

Space is limited to 25 people. Reserve your spot today!

Register for the Brooklyn Half Marathon Crash Course

Questions? Email us at info@parksportspt.com or call 718.230.1180.

Crown Heights Running Club

Learn more about Crown Heights Running Club

 

Injury Prevention Workshop for Youth Soccer Athletes

Presentation by Aaron Lentz, SPT & Igor Kozlov, PT, DPT of Park Sports Physical Therapy

Wednesday, March 28th, 2018 @ 7PM

Park Slope United
260 Jefferson Avenue, 2nd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11216

RSVP to the Workshop Here

Join us for our very first injury prevention workshop at Park Slope United’s clubhouse presented by one of our physical therapists from Park Sports Physical Therapy.

This workshop is designed to inform parents of children playing soccer about some of the common injuries that can occur on the field during training or matches and what to do in the event of those injuries occurring. We’ll also review the most common injuries among soccer players, how to self-treat, what to look out for more serious injuries, and more.

Here are some other topics that we’ll be covering during the workshop:

 

  • Proper stretching before and after training and games.
  • Post-injury signs.
  • Common knee and ankle injuries.
  • Concussion symptoms.
  • Purchasing proper footwear for both indoor and outdoor soccer.
  • Landing and cutting mechanics.
  • Flexibility vs. Hypermobility.

 

To RSVP call 347-301-9613 or email  team@parkslopeunited.com or sign up on Eventbrite.

 

About Park Sports Physical Therapy

Park Sports Physical Therapy & Hand Therapy has been treating patients of all ages for over 20 years in Brooklyn. With three locations – two in Park Slope and one in Clinton Hill, patients have access to sports rehabilitation, vestibular rehabilitation, pelvic floor therapy, pre & post operative rehabilitation, Scoliosis Treatment / Schroth Therapy, and pediatric physical therapy.

About the Presenter

Igor Kozlov, PT, DPT - Physical Therapist

Igor Kozlov, PT, DPT

Physical Therapist

  • Received his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Hunter College
  • Attended courses focused on manual therapy at the Institute of Physical Art (IPA) and Maitland Australian Physiotherapy Seminars (MAPS)
  • Pre and Post Operative Rehabilitation

Read Igor’s Full Bio

Spinal Stabilization Exercises and Their Role in Alleviating Lower Back Pain

By Boris Gilzon, PT, DPT, OCS, CHT

The Effectiveness of Spinal Stabilization Exercises for Back & Neck Pain

There is no standard approach treating chronic lower back and neck pain. Although this may be unfortunate for many patients to hear, the good news is that there are many conservative methods to alleviate pain.

While conditions like degenerative disk disease, spondylolesthesis, lumbar and cervical radiculopathy are rarely cured completely by conservative measures alone, physical therapy does offer a fair amount of pain relief in the long run.

By utilizing spine stabilization exercises, our physical therapists are able to help patients reduce back and neck pain. This is an active form of treatment requiring the patient to perform exercises to strengthen the muscles and improve the stability of the spine.

Igor assisting his patient with a spine stabilization exercise.

Patients suffering from chronic spinal pain should be leery of physical therapists who mainly offer passive modalities. Examples of passive modalities include heat, electrical stimulation, and massage. Patients should be aware that passive therapeutic modalities do not have sufficient evidence to support their use in chronic spinal conditions.

Spinal stabilization exercises offer the empowerment of the patient and have plenty of research and evidence to support their effectiveness.

Pilates offers an excellent variety of spine stabilization exercise.
Pilates offers an excellent variety of spine stabilization exercise.

Extensive benefits in treating the spine of those who suffer from lower back pain have been discussed extensively in medical literature. Physical Therapists specializing in the spinal disorders are trained in recognizing the factors that affect spinal stability.

Igor Kozlov, DPT treating patient using TRX for back exercise

Components Affecting Spinal Stability

The concept of spinal stability is relatively new with research beginning during the 1970’s.

There are three components that affect spinal stability.

The first component is the passive spinal element: the bone and ligamentous structures. Studies of the cadaver spine in which the bones and ligaments are intact but the muscles were removed showed to buckle under about 20 pounds.

Spinal Ligaments - Medical Illustration Originally Sourced from Kenhub.com
Ligaments of the thoracic spine: posterior (a), anterior (b), lateral (c) and posterior with vertebral arch removed (d). 1, anterior longitudinal ligament; 2, posterior longitudinal ligament; 3, intervertebral disc; 4, ligamentum flavum; 5, intertransverse ligament; 6, supra- and interspinal ligament; 7, radiate ligament; 8, costotransverse ligament.
Originally sourced from: https://musculoskeletalkey.com/anatomy-of-the-thorax-and-abdomen/

The second component of spinal stability are the muscles that surround the spine. The muscular component provides a necessary ‘stiffening” of the spinal segment. In a healthy spine, a very modest level of muscular activity can create a sufficiently stable joint. In a degenerative disk disease, for example, there is more demand on the surrounding musculature. More strength and endurance reserve is needed to overcome an injury and pain.

Deep Muscles of the Back
Deep Muscles of the Back. Medical Illustration originally sourced from: http://pulpbits.net/7-deep-muscles-of-back-anatomy/the-deeper-muscles-of-the-back/

The third component of spinal stability are the neural elements: the central nervous system and peripheral nerves. They are akin to an orchestra conductor, coordinating the performance of various muscles, making sure they are firing at the right time, at the right amount of force.

Spinal Cord Nerves Originally Sourced from Health Jade
Spinal Cord and Nerves – Medical Illustrations originally sourced from https://healthjade.com/spinal-cord/

Multiple studies have shown patients with lower back pain make a “repositioning error” in which their spine would resume to its original position causing pain after performing a certain movement more than patients with a healthy, stabilized spine.

In physical therapy language, we call it a poor postural control.

Specific physical therapy exercises and treatment has shown effectiveness in treating chronic spinal pain.

Lumbar stabilization exercises improve muscular function which can, in turn, compensate for the structural damage to the spinal segment. A thorough dynamic assessment of the spine helps identify postural deficits.

A thoughtful exercise program is designed for each individual by the physical therapist based on their initial testing and evaluation. The most tangible benefit of a lumbar stabilization is that it gives a patient the tools to control their pain.

Interventional Pain Management

Going beyond the scope of physical therapy, interventional pain management is another passive option for chronic spinal pain. This approach serves as a temporary source of relief for patients dealing with low or medium levels of lower back pain. These techniques include performing procedures directly at the level of your dysfunction.

A pain management physician gains access to the areas causing lower back or neck pain by penetrating the surface of the skin. There is a plethora of interventional pain management options for the diagnosis and treatment of the spinal pain.

Epidural steroids are the most common example of the interventional spine management. However, the accuracy and effectiveness of interventional methods in managing lower back pain are not always clear.

In the comprehensive review article published in Pain Physician, 2013 Apr:16, the authors conducted a systematic review of literature in order to collect evidence for the effectiveness of various interventional pain management techniques in the treatment of chronic spinal pain.

The author came to the conclusion that the evidence was fair to good in 52% of therapeutic interventions. The evidence for diagnostic value fared slightly better at 62%.

One significant drawback of all passive techniques is that they do not require a participation of the patient. Without an active engagement of the patient, there is a limited self-control and independence in managing their own condition.

Do you suffer from chronic neck or back pain? Our therapists can help. Schedule your appointment today.

Fill out my online form.

How Physical Therapy Works To Eliminate Knee Pain

By Boris Gilzon, PT, DPT, OCS, CHT

In a 2006 health survey conducted by the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), knee pain was reported as the second most common cause of chronic pain in America.

Another surprising statistic comes from the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine. They reported that “the knee is the most commonly injured joint by adolescent athletes with an estimated 2.5 million sports-related injuries presenting to [Emergency Departments] annually.”

Some studies even show us that there has been an increase in the amount of knee replacement procedures over the last few years. Researchers say this is caused by two major factors: the first being the obesity epidemic and the second being that we are living longer lives. While living longer is great, it also puts more years of wear and tear on our bodies which can lead to osteoarthritis.

So what can you do to prevent knee pain or if you already suffer from knee pain, how can you better manage it and get out of pain?

The knee joint can only move in one plane, like a door hinge, and does not accommodate well to external stress that falls outside of its natural axis. For example, imagine being pushed from the side while your feet are firmly planted. This is the most common mechanism leading to a knee injury. Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries, as well as meniscus tears, normally occur this way.

The knee joints bear multiples of your body weight in running and jumping. Climbing up the stairs, for example, loads your knee joint 2.5 times your body weight.

The knee is considered a biomechanical link between the hip and the ankle/foot complex. Dysfunction in any of these joints can negatively affect the others in the chain. Repeated abnormal stress can take a toll on the knee joint.

Knee pain is one of the most common conditions our therapists treat in our clinics. Our therapists know how to take care of a variety of injuries and conditions for people of all ages. Early intervention of knee pain will improve your quality of life, mobility, and prevent loss of muscle strength and instability.

Types of Knee Injuries

There are two categories that a knee injury can fall into: 1) acute/traumatic and 2) chronic/repetitive stress. Acute injuries are when the incidents occur immediately, like a fall, car accident, landing in a strange way, twisting/pivoting quickly, etc. Many sports injuries, especially sprains and strains, fall under this category.

Chronic injuries are caused by repetitive stress over a long period time. Poor posture and/or body mechanics can play a major role in chronic conditions. Physical therapy can be very beneficial in correcting these issues.

Osteoarthritis

osteoarthritis knee joint
Osteoarthritis of the knee joint. Medical illustration original source: http://drcolinmacleod.com/platelet-rich-plasma-arthritis

Knee pain can be caused by degenerative changes in osteoarthritis. Arthritis is when the cartilage cushioning the bones wear down leading to swelling, stiffness, and pain.

Unfortunately, in the cases of the knee pain due to severe osteoarthritis, Physical therapy intervention is limited and one should consult with an orthopedic doctor to assess whether a total knee replacement is appropriate.

Knee pain is more commonly seen in people who do not yet have visible arthritic changes on radiographic examination. Those people are engaged in various physical activities while struggling with the knee pain during and after the activity.

Anterior Knee Pain aka Runner’s Knee

knee medical illustration patella
The patella “floats” between the thighbone and shinbone in the trochlear groove. Medical illustration original source: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/patellofemoral-arthritis/

Anterior knee pain or the “Runner’s Knee” is related to an abnormal motion of the kneecap in the trochlear groove. It causes an irritation and eventual wearing out of the cartilage on the back of your kneecap. The knee pain gets worse when you first stand up, run and going downstairs. The knee pain worsens while performing your physical activity.

Patellar Tendonitis aka Jumper’s Knee

patellar tendonitis
Patellar Tendonitis Medical Illustration Original Source: https://www.vivehealth.com/blogs/resources/patellar-tendonitis

Patellar tendonitis, also known as “Jumper’s Knee,” is another activity related condition that is caused by repetitive motion. The knee pain, in this case, originates in the patellar tendon. A structure that connects your quadriceps muscle to the lower leg through the kneecap. When your quadriceps muscle is overloaded it causes an inflammation of the tendon, thus contributing to the knee pain. The symptoms are usually more pronounced when you are at rest and when you initiate your activity. In more severe and chronic cases the knee pain prevents you from participating in sports.

Knee Pain Rehabilitation and Treatment

The key in the rehabilitation of the knee pain is a correct biomechanical analysis of your kinetic chain. An exercise regimen performed at the proper angles and positions. Prescribed activities help to avoid further irritation of the joint and yet strengthening the weak elements. If you suffer from the knee pain, it does not mean that you need to halt your physical activities. Physical Therapist at Park Sports have the tools and knowledge to get you ‘back in the game”.

Do you currently suffer from knee pain? We can help. Get started by filling out the form below.

Fill out my online form.

 

Now Offering Pay-As-You-Go Rates for the AlterG Antigravity Treadmill in Clinton Hill

Sean “P. Diddy” Combs using the AlterG AntiGravity Treadmill
Twitter post of Sean “P. Diddy” Combs using the AlterG AntiGravity Treadmill

The Perfect Solution for Recovering Athletes

If you’re a Brooklyn athlete and recently sustained an injury or underwent surgery on your lower body we have the perfect solution to get you running sooner. The AlterG Anti Gravity Treadmill uses NASA’s patented Differential Air Pressure Technology to “unweight” you, making it possible to run at a fraction of your body weight. You’ll be able to improve your aerobic conditioning and put less stress on your joints – hips, knees, and ankles – while maintaining strength and endurance.

Not Just for Athletes

The AlterG can also benefit:

  • Senior Citizens looking to stay active
  • People with obesity looking workout and lose weight
  • Anyone with past injuries or arthritis looking to workout with less impact and stress on their joints

Rates & Monthly Memberships

Your first 30-minute trial run is only $20.00 (normally $25.00). Call 718.230.1180 to schedule your first run!

 

Time Price
Under 30 Minutes  $1.00/minute
30 Minutes $25.00
30 Minutes – Three Scheduled Sessions $50.00
Monthly Memberships Price
Up to 45 minutes – Three Scheduled Sessions Per Week $100.00
Up to 90 minutes – Three Scheduled Sessions Per Week $200.00

Want more information? Fill out the form below.

Fill out my online form.

Shoulder Impingement Syndrome Treatment

Written by Nicole Liquori, DPT
Edited by Alex Ariza

In this article, we take a look at the process of one of our sports rehabilitation therapists, Nicole Liquori, DPT. From the initial evaluation to the treatment plan to the patient’s progress throughout, we will get to see and understand the physical therapist’s perspective. On the flip side, we’ll also get to see the patient’s point of view.

Conrad arrived at our facility with complaints of pain and loss of range of motion in his right shoulder. In early 2017, Conrad had been in a swimming accident which left him with transient paralysis. He regained full function of his arms and legs within a few weeks of the accident but was left with the residual weakness of both upper and lower extremities.

Upon evaluation, Conrad demonstrated signs and symptoms consistent with a diagnosis of shoulder impingement syndrome. Conrad presented with rounded shoulders and weakness of his postural and rotator cuff musculature which can strongly affect the mechanical relationship of all joints associated with shoulder mobility.

Conrad’s symptoms included pain and restricted motion when lifting his arm above head and reaching behind his back.

Our treatment initially focused on restoring his normal shoulder and scapular range of motion (as compared to his left shoulder) using mobilization, soft tissue work and passive/active assistive range of motion. Once we were able to establish the normal glenohumeral rhythm – the coordinated motion of the scapula and humerus experienced during shoulder movement – we moved into scapular and rotator cuff strengthening and stabilization activities.

We focused on functional movements that would translate into his activities of daily living (i.e., reaching for a cup in a high cabinet), as well as recreational activities (i.e., throwing a ball, swimming, etc.).

Conrad’s treatment was cut short secondary to surgery on his spine, but prior to discharge, Conrad had returned to performing most everyday tasks, as well as throwing a ball overhand without pain.

In Conrad’s Own Words

I highly recommend Nicole Liquori at Park Sports PT. After a serious accident, I was unable to raise my arm over my head. I couldn’t throw a ball or swim with an overhand stroke. Nicole changed that in the space of two months. A combination of deep massage, passive movement and guided exercises brought back pain-free use of my shoulder. Her knowledge is apparent in her explanations of the functional basis for the exercises. Her skill is demonstrated in her wonderful touch. She confidently employs just the right amount of force in the right places. On top of that, Nicole is sympathetic and encouraging. She has all the qualities of a first-rate therapist and she helped me immensely.

Conrad L.

Do you currently suffer from Shoulder Impingement Syndrome? We can help. Schedule your appointment today.

Fill out my online form.

Couples that do Physical Therapy Together…

Married couple, Michael and Lila R., are longtime patients of Park Sports Physical Therapy. Michael is a lifelong athlete having run 26 marathons during his lifetime. He has also been a member of the Prospect Park Track Club, a local running club in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Michael has over 30 years of running under his belt. That’s a whole lot of miles!

His wife Lila, also an athlete, has spent most of her life swimming and running.

Lila’s first experience at Park Sports started back in 2011. She came in with a rotator cuff condition. One of our therapists treated her and got her back to swimming fairly quickly. Lila recommended her husband, Michael also get treated at Park Sports after her positive experience.

Michael suffered from arthritis in both his knees. It was when he tripped and injured his iliotibial band that he came in for treatment. He was feeling a snapping sensation whenever he would walk up and down stairs.

Kristin Romeo, DPT became both Michael’s and Lila’s therapist, often times seeing them at the same time for treatment. For Michael, Kristin used manual therapy, stretching, strengthening exercises, and worked on improving his balance on the injured leg.

During the interview, Michael and Lila spoke very highly of Kristin, saying “Kristin is attentive, listens to your needs, and makes sure that the problem area is getting the right treatment.”

“The sessions hold me accountable,” Michael mentioned. The exercises have helped him greatly throughout his treatment. He’s progressed to the point where he no longer feels any snapping sensation walking down the stairs.

Lila similarly was very pleased with her progress.

Michael and Lila, being older in age, both realize the importance of maintaining balance to avoid falls. Physical therapy has proven to be quite useful in that regard.

Both Michael and Lila recommend the services at Park Sports highly saying, “almost all our friends in the neighborhood go to Park Sports for physical therapy. This is a great place that offers excellent care. The therapists that work here are excellent. We couldn’t be happier with Kristin’s care.”

Frozen Shoulder Treatment – Regaining Mobility Through Physical Therapy

Written by Edward Umheiser, PT, DPT
Edited by Alex Ariza

Injuries to the shoulder are fairly common in everyday life. Strains and sprains resulting from repetitive activities such as throwing a ball or twisting your arm while reaching behind your car seat happen all the time, and usually heal on their own in only a few days. But what happens if your shoulder suddenly starts to lose its normal range of motion for an unexplained reason?

In this article, I would like to talk about the diagnosis known as adhesive capsulitis, more commonly referred to as frozen shoulder.

What is Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder is a fairly common diagnosis, but is not well understood and does not always have a known cause. Many people develop frozen shoulder following a surgical procedure to the shoulder, or after an injury that results in the shoulder needing to be immobilized for a short period of time. However, in some cases, some people develop symptoms with no known trigger.

The symptoms are fairly clear-cut – a marked loss of normal range of motion and stiffness of the shoulder joint that may or may not be accompanied by pain.

This shoulder stiffness affects motion in all directions such as reaching up in the air or trying to place the hand behind the back or behind the head. Adhesive capsulitis begins as an inflammatory process within the shoulder and leads to scar tissue formation which can restrict shoulder motion.

For some people, this scar tissue formation can lead to pain in the shoulder joint, especially with movement and during the evening hours while trying to sleep.

The Stages of Frozen Shoulder

Physical Therapist, Edward Umheiser, DPT treating patient with frozen shoulder.
Physical Therapist, Edward Umheiser, DPT treating a patient with frozen shoulder.

There are several stages of frozen shoulder each with their own unique characteristics:

Inflammatory Stage

The inflammatory stage lasts approximately three months and is characterized by pain with shoulder movement in most directions. Pain is often sharp with movement at the end of the range, and there is an ache at rest. Pain is also commonly felt at night, making it difficult to fall asleep.  The range of motion may still be normal at this early stage.

Freezing Stage

Edward Umheiser, DPT measures the shoulder's range of motion.
Edward Umheiser, DPT measures the shoulder’s range of motion.

The freezing stage typically lasts 3-9 months. This is when flexibility of the shoulder begins to reduce due to pain. At this time, people often begin to notice difficulty reaching overhead, or reaching behind their back. This stage, known as the frozen stage, is when the stiffness is most severe. The inflammatory process inside the shoulder joint is starting to decrease at this stage so pain is lessened or non-existent. Over the past several months a thick layer of scar tissue has formed around the shoulder capsule, which makes it difficult to move. This is the stage when most people are diagnosed with frozen shoulder.

Thawing Stage

Edward Umheiser, DPT treating a patient with frozen shoulder. With consistent physical therapy sessions, a patient can begin seeing an increased range of motion.
Edward Umheiser, DPT treating a patient with frozen shoulder. With consistent physical therapy sessions, a patient can begin seeing an increased range of motion.

Finally, the thawing stage is when shoulder motion gradually starts to return to normal. This stage can last anywhere from 9 months to two years and may leave some minor limitations in shoulder range of motion afterward.

Treating A Frozen Shoulder

Edward Umheiser, DPT teaching the patient shoulder exercises.
Edward Umheiser, DPT teaching the patient shoulder exercises.

Physical therapy along with treatment provided by your doctor such as cortisone injections are the first line of defense in reducing the time a patient may experience the symptoms related to a frozen shoulder.

A doctor will typically take some images of the shoulder to rule out other possible structural involvement such as the rotator cuff or the labrum.

At that point, physical therapy treatment 2-3x a week is generally recommended where manual shoulder stretching, massage, mobilization, and exercises are performed to keep the shoulder as pain-free as possible, and to help increase the range of motion.

It is also important to continue to perform the prescribed stretching exercises at home under the guidance of a physical therapist. Generally, the time it takes for a frozen shoulder to “thaw” can be halved under physical therapy treatment. Most patients do not need surgical intervention to correct this diagnosis.

Steps to Take If You Suspect Having a Frozen Shoulder

If you have noticed that you have a lot more difficulty with overhead shoulder motion following a shoulder injury, let your doctor know. If this has persisted for several months, it may be a sign of adhesive capsulitis. An orthopedist can help you make that diagnosis, and physical therapy can help you get onto the road to recovery.

Schedule Your Physical Therapy Appointment Today To Begin Frozen Shoulder Treatment

Fill out my online form.