Physical Therapy in Williamsburg

PARK SPORTS IS NOW IN WILLIAMSBURG!

Physical therapy in Williamsburg has a new dimension!

We are proud to announce the opening of our brand new location in North Williamsburg. Park Sports is bringing new physical therapy services to the Williamsburg and Greenpoint neighborhoods of Brooklyn: hand therapy, runner’s assessment, women’s health, and the treatment of adolescent and adult scoliosis.

Our new building on Driggs Avenue is an elegant, meticulously restored 19th-century factory.  A tastefully designed and artfully executed renovation of this old building preserved the Victorian charm, but added the modern amenities of the 21st century. Our ceiling-high arched windows and exposed brick are a bridge between classic comfort and modern elegance.

CONVENIENT LOCATION

Just one block from McCarren Park, Park Sports Physical Therapy’s Williamsburg office is now welcoming clients from neighboring Greenpoint. The proximity to the park makes this new location a convenient stop for runners pre- or post- work out.

Our new gait analysis and human performance programs are geared not just to our sports rehabilitation clients, but to any patient who wants to improve their function. We can help no matter what your goals are: whether it’s to compete in the NYC Marathon or just climb ten steps.

We augment our expertise with the latest technology; our anti-gravity treadmill (Alter-G), state of the art running assessment software, and video analysis. In a recent online review, Williamsburg joined Park Slope as one of the best neighborhoods for runners in Brooklyn. We’re excited to provide the best in therapy and rehabilitation to a whole new neighborhood.

UNPARALLELED PHYSICAL THERAPY EXPERTISE

Park Sports’s board certified clinical specialists in orthopedics, scoliosis, and women’s health are excited to see clients from North, South, and East Williamsburg, and Greenpoint. As a participating member of the Hospital for Special Surgery and Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Networks, our practice is proud to meet their rigorous clinical standards. And now, starting in October of this year, we are excited to start providing acupuncture treatment to our clients!

You can make appointments for Physical Therapy in Williamsburg directly from our website. We look forward to seeing you there!

Our spacious exercise studio!
The new Williamsburg office is bright and spacious, with state-of-the-art physical therapy equipment and old-world charm.

 

 

 

Hamstring Injuries

Hamstring injuries can be painful and set you back weeks if not properly recognized and treated.  Strain to the hamstring occurs when one or more of the three hamstring muscles or tendons (at the back of the thigh) is torn, either partially or completely. It is one of the most common injuries of the lower body. While hamstring injuries are most often associated with athletes participating in sports involving high-speed running, such as football, soccer, or track, anyone with a hamstring runs a risk of a hamstring injury. There is also great risk of hamstring re-injury. In fact, after tearing a hamstring muscle, a person is two to six times more likely to suffer a subsequent injury. In most cases, hamstring strain injuries are successfully managed with physical therapy.

“Hamstring strains are one of the most frequently occurring injuries in sport. They can be challenging and frustrating to treat because of the high recurrence rate. Hamstring strains account for 12–16% of all injuries in athletes.”
The National Center for Biotechnology Information

Symptoms of a Hamstring Injury

  • Pain in the back of your thigh, either behind your knee, in the muscle belly, or near your buttock
  • Difficulty fully straightening your knee without pain
  • Hard to take large steps or walk quickly, or pain experienced with climbing stairs
  • Discomfort with running

In most instances, there is pain associated with a hamstring injury. The range of pain can be from mild to severe. As the hamstring covers a large portion of the back of the leg, the exact location of symptoms may vary from person to person.

Causes of Injury

A hamstring injury may come on suddenly, typically as the result of a quick motion that occurs with running or cutting maneuvers while participating in sports. Occasionally, you can suffer a hamstring strain by simply moving the wrong way while getting up from a chair or while walking and running.

First steps to injury recovery

  • See your doctor to be sure you get an accurate diagnosis
  • Visit a physical therapist to start treating the pain and to start working on restoring your normal mobility
  • Avoid aggravating activities that can cause pain or prevent normal tissue healing of your hamstring

Evaluation

At Park Sports, we regularly treat hamstring and other sports injuries. Many of our therapists are current and former athletes so we understand the importance of strength, range of motion, and rehabilitation when it comes to performance and daily life. Treatment starts with an initial evaluation. All hamstring injuries are unique so the initial evaluation phase is vital time for us as we work to prepare an individualized treatment plan. During our evaluation we will:

  • Determine the Range of Motion (ROM) of your hip and knee. Hamstring strains typically limit the amount of motion and flexibility around the hip and knee joints
  • Measure the strength of your hamstrings and surrounding muscles
  • Check on how your hamstring pain limits your ability to perform normal activities. We will watch you walk, run, climb stairs, or jump, depending on the severity of your condition

Treatment

  1. The main goals of physical therapy for a hamstring strain include restoring normal flexibility and ROM, regaining normal strength, controlling pain and swelling, and helping you get back to optimal function.
  2. Ultrasound is a deep heating treatment that can help improve circulation and extensibility around the injured tissues of your hamstring.
  3. Massage. Massaging the injured tissue can help improve scar tissue mobility. The effects of deep stripping massage results in an increased hamstring length rather quickly, improving flexibility, but does not affect the strength of the muscle.
  4. Kinesiology taping techniques help improve the way your hamstring muscle functions. Kinesiology taping can also be used to decrease swelling and bruising around your hamstring muscles.
  5. Ice may be used during the acute phase of injury to control swelling and to decrease pain that you are feeling.
  6. Moist heat packs help relax your hamstring muscles and to improve tissue extensibility prior to stretching.

We will also prescribe specific exercises for you to do in the clinic, and a home exercise program for you to do on a regular basis.

Get Back and Better

Hamstring injuries have a history of returning and we want you to get back to your life and be in a better physical place. Studies show that physical therapy can help the hamstring heal properly. In addition, our therapists will work with you on balance, posture and other everyday motions that will help to reduce re-injury. For more information or a free evaluation of your injury, please contact us.

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Shoulder Injuries: The Rotator Cuff

Shoulder injuries and pain are frequent complaints we encounter at Park Sports Physical Therapy. There are many factors involved in the diagnosis of shoulder pain. A skillful clinician looks at the whole picture – your posture, the entire kinetic chain including your core and lower extremities musculature, the spinal alignment and most importantly, your shoulder blade mechanics. After all, shoulder pain is most often just a manifestation of a deeper problem.

One problem we often see concerns shoulder injuries to the Rotator Cuff.

Rotator Cuff Tendinitis

Shoulder injuries to the Rotator cuff such as Rotator Cuff tendinitis affects the tendons and muscles that help move your shoulder joint. It is often preceded by the shoulder impingement syndrome, when the tendons of the rotator cuff get “squeezed” by the bony elements. It is a result of faulty mechanics during shoulder elevation, which leads to irritation and inflammation of the tendon and eventually to tendinitis. This condition usually occurs over time and reflects a certain athletic lifestyle or profession that requires repetitive arm and shoulder movement.
Sometimes rotator cuff tendinitis can occur without any known cause. Most people with rotator cuff tendinitis are able to regain full function of the shoulder without any pain.

Symptoms

The symptoms of rotator cuff tendinitis tend to get worse over time. Initial symptoms may be relieved with rest, but the symptoms can later become constant. Symptoms that go past the elbow usually indicate another problem.

Some symptoms include:

  • Pain and swelling in the front of your shoulder and side of your arm
  • pain triggered by raising or lowering your arm
  • a clicking sound when raising your arm
  • stiffness
  • pain that causes you to wake from sleep
  • pain when reaching behind your back
  • a loss of mobility and strength in the affected arm

Rotator Cuff Tears

There are two kinds of rotator cuff tears. A partial tear is when the tendon that protects the top of your shoulder is frayed or damaged. The other is a complete tear. A complete tear goes all the way through the tendon or pulls the tendon off the bone.

Physical Therapy Treatment

If you have a shoulder injury to the rotator cuff such as rotator cuff tendinitis or a rotator cuff tears, you’re not alone. It happens to millions of people every year. It’s a common cause of shoulder pain. The right treatment can make you feel better, keep a small injury from getting worse, and help you heal. For many people, physical therapy (PT) is the answer. It may be all you need to treat an injured rotator cuff.

At Park Sports our program includes personalized exercise, monitored application of ice and heat, detailed massage from a trained specialist, and specific equipment to help return your shoulder back to its normal range of motion. Our role is not just to treat your pain. We want to help you get back to doing the things you enjoy pain free and with a new understanding of how your body functions to help reduce future injury.

According to WebMd, “one study shows that people who got PT for a rotator cuff tear did just as well as those who had surgery.”

Surgery

If nonsurgical treatment isn’t successful, your doctor may recommend surgery. Most people experience full recovery after having rotator cuff surgery. We also treat many patients after rotator cuff surgery to help them recover quickly and in a way that sustains their health and the healthy future of their rotator cuff.

Please contact us for more information about Park Sports and rotator cuff injuries.

Park Sports PT is a Participating Member of the Hospital for Special Surgery Rehabilitation Network.

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Runner’s Injury Prevention Workshop Recap

We want to give a big thank you to all of you who came out to the Runner’s Injury Prevention Workshop. Boris and Julie really enjoyed presenting and getting to know more about your running goals.

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Recap

Whether you run recreationally, competitively, or for fitness, the information we shared last night is 100% applicable to you. We covered a lot of material, so we wrote up a brief recap for you and those who couldn’t make it out to our event.

Biomechanics of the Foot

foot pronation and supination chart

Boris and Julie discussed what pronation and supination is and how it can affect your foot if there is a mechanical abnormality. They mentioned individuals’ variations in the foot and ankle structure and how it is connected to the rest of your leg higher up. Other variables play a part in how fast, how long, and efficiently you run. They touched on proper running mechanics and emphasized the form over the speed and distance.

When you run your body experiences impact many times your body weight on each stride. It’s important to understand how your feet land to make the appropriate adjustments. A physical therapist or personal trainer specializing in gait analysis can help in this regard.

The Importance of Core Strength

core muscles

One cannot overstate the importance of core strength in any physical activity and this includes running. Your core ensures your body’s stability, balance, proper posture, and control. Strengthening your core comes with many benefits including injury prevention. In regards to running, when your core muscles – your pelvis, abdominal, hips, and back – all work in sync, you are able to remain solid as your foot strikes the ground. If you are a long distance runner, you know how important maintaining proper posture is. A strong core will improve your running time, endurance, stamina, and help reduce the chances of injury.

Strengthening Your Glutes

Glutes Breakdown

Your glutes are made up of the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. They all play an important role during your run. We want to make sure that each of these muscles is strong so that other parts of your body aren’t overcompensating for their lack of engagement.

Your gluteus medius and minimus are abductors and help move your legs away from your body. The gluteus maximus is used for hip extension.

Julie mentioned that too much sitting can lead to weak glutes since they are not activated in that position. On the opposite end, your hip flexors shorten since sitting keeps them in a contracted position. Both Boris and Julie recommend that you do the following exercises:

  • Glute Bridge
  • Lunges
  • Squats
  • Clamshells

Dynamic Stretching

Dynamic Stretching

Although recent research has shown that stretching before a run does not help to prevent injury, there are some benefits to stretchings.

Both Boris and Julie encourage dynamic stretching in which your body is moving while you stretch. This ensures that your muscles are warmed up and ready to go.

Common Tight Spots for Runners

We suggest that you keep a close eye on these parts of the body before, during, and after your run.

  • ITB
  • Achilles
  • Hip Flexors
  • Hamstrings

Plantar Fasciitis

plantar fascitiis

Some of you had concerns about plantar fasciitis. Your plantar fascia is a thin ligament that lies on the bottom of your foot. It connects from the heel all the way to the front of your foot. It helps to support the arch of your foot and plays an important role in walking and running mechanics. If you suffer from heel pain after a run, chances are high that you suffer from plantar fasciitis which is the inflammation of this ligament. Symptoms are described as a shooting pain near the heel. The pain is usually worse in the morning or after long periods of rest.

When you run there is a lot of pressure and force pushed on the plantar fascia. This can cause inflammation and tightness.

There are many factors that can contribute to plantar fasciitis. Tight calf muscles or having a high arch can both play a role in plantar fasciitis. Seeing a physical therapist can help identify these issues and provide a treatment plan to manage pain or prevent pain altogether.

Are you currently experiencing pain from running? Participating in races anytime soon? Our highly trained physical therapists can help.

Running can put a lot of strain and stress on your body. Seeing a physical therapist can help you address any biomechanical issues such as muscle imbalances, gait, or tightness to prevent injury, improve your performance, and keep you running for life.

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Want to learn more about the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill and give it a try at our Clinton Hill location on Fulton Street? Schedule your first run here.

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.

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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: https://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.

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