Pulmonary Rehabilitation: Post COVID-19 Recovery

Do you know that Physical Therapy can improve respiratory health? Park Sports is introducing a pulmonary rehabilitation program. Physical therapy is not often thought of as a remedy for complications following COVID-19. Pulmonary Physical Therapy can help to improve the fitness of your respiratory function. The team at Park Sports Physical Therapy is ready to step in by providing vital support to patients recovering from COVID-19.

For cases of COVID-19 that are more serious, long-term respiratory damage is a common after-effect.  Those recovering from COVID-19 may find that their lung-function is impaired to various extent. Some patients become winded from light activity, such as brisk walking. The pulmonary rehabilitation program at Park Sports aims to alleviate some of the residual effects that patients who have suffered from the Coronavirus may experience. Luckily, most cases are mild and the breathing issues are easily addressed through Physical Therapy. One significant advantage of a supervised breathing program is that it can be effectively performed in the safety of your home via Telehealth. Our skilled therapists at Park Sports employ a variety of techniques to help you bounce back from the residual effects of COVID-19 faster by teaching you how to engage your respiratory muscles. Those techniques include but are not limited to diaphragmatic breathing, visualization, biofeedback, and relaxation. 

Our mission at Park Sports Physical Therapy, located all across Brooklyn, New York, is to assist you in the rehabilitation process following severe cases of COVID-19. Whether you are suffering from long-term respiratory impairment because of a chronic lung condition, or as a result of the novel Coronavirus, our practice has you covered. Click Here to find out more about our team of highly qualified therapists. Our community-driven team of highly-educated therapists is here to aid you through your recovery process. 

Pulmonary physical therapy might include:

Pulmonary physical therapy is available not only for those recovering from COVID-19, however. It can also assist those suffering from the following conditions and symptoms:

 

If you find that you have any of these conditions or symptoms, and/or have contracted COVID-19, check-in with your doctor to see if pulmonary physical therapy might be the right thing for you. The data has made it conclusive that pulmonary physical therapy is very effective for treating these conditions and symptoms. Pulmonary physical therapy has been proven to improve respiratory muscle strength, endurance, lung capacity/function, and breathing capabilities.

Click here to request an appointment with us.

Click here for an exercise you can do at home for some pulmonary rehabilitation.

 

 

 

Tips for Runners During the Coronavirus

Social distancing during the COVID-19 epidemic has hampered the activity of most athletes. Whether it is the literal closure of gyms and certain portions of public parks, or simply the anxiety centered around going outside, staying active has become increasingly difficult. Runners are no exception to this rule. 

However, for runners, it is still possible to get in your miles. Not only this, but it is also important to continue getting in your miles. Research shows that regular exercise, assuming you are not sick, boosts immunity, and specifically, it significantly reduces the risk of contagious diseases caused by viruses and bacteria. Hence, if you’re worried about catching the coronavirus, one of your first lines of defense is regularly getting exercise. First and foremost, leading health experts suggest that so long as you keep a 6 feet distance from other people, it is perfectly safe to go out and run. In fact, not only is it safe but –aside from its immune-boosting benefits– it is recommended for the preservation of mental health. 

Aside from keeping a 6-foot distance from other people, there are a few caveats to keep in mind for when you go out on your next run. Firstly, you probably should not drink from water fountains on your water break. According to Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia University, “We don’t have any data about how long the virus remains infectious on water fountains, but, given their proximity to other people’s mouths and noses, I would say you should not.” Next, when you get back from your run, you should take your shoes off before going back into the house. According to Saskia Popescu, an infection-prevention epidemiologist, the data doesn’t definitively suggest that the coronavirus sticks to shoes, “but they carry a lot of gunk in general, so leave them at the door.” This is simply a “better safe than sorry” protocol. Another tip is to find routes that are generally unpopulated. The news has reported repeatedly runners who are violating the 6-foot-distance rule by going to populated tracks to run. Not only is this putting yourself and others at risk, but it has the potential to increase the government’s likelihood to impose more restrictions on outdoor get-togethers, including going on walks or runs, as is what happened in Italy. Generally speaking, sidewalks and ordinary streets are a good option: fewer people are out and about, making adherence to the 6-foot-distance rule easier. Likewise, going on your run in the morning or the evening will make it easier to avoid others while continuing to social distance. An exceptionally good location is here in Brooklyn: Prospect Park! Prospect Park is a quite vast and expansive park, making it easy to keep a reasonable distance from others while still getting in a great run! Finally, if you like, you can wear a mask when you go out for your run. It isn’t necessary, as, transmission of the coronavirus is extremely unlikely by merely going outdoors. Still, for the sake of alleviating some anxiety about going outside, for yourself and others, it might be a good idea to wear a mask. 

Runners, like all athletes, are susceptible to injuries. Research indicates that runners show an injury rate that ranged from 2.5 to 33 injuries per 1000 hours of training in novice runners and 17.8 injuries per 1000 hours of running in recreational runners. During this time, it can be hard to find treatment for such injuries. Many physical therapy practices have shut down due to the COVID-19 epidemic. We here at Park Sports Physical Therapy, however, are still taking on patients. An outline of Park Sports Physical Therapy’s guidelines during this time can be found here. Still, in short, we are currently offering physical therapy sessions via telehealth, which is essentially physical therapy guided coaching through video/audio online chats. The results of a study done by the Yale School of Medicine indicates little difference in effectiveness between in-person and telehealth physical therapy sessions. So if you are injured, feel free to request a telehealth PT session with us at Park Sports Physical Therapy. 

If you are injured and would like to do some exercises on your own, here are three that are particularly helpful for runners. All of these movements will require a lacrosse ball. While these cannot nearly equal having an actual physical therapy session, they can certainly bring you some relief through self-soft tissue treatment for muscle soreness:

Lacrosse Ball Shin Smash: 

This movement is particularly useful for knee, ankle, and foot soreness.

  • Source: Becoming a Supple Leopard by Dr. Kelly Starrett DTP  

Lateral and Anterior Compartment Shin Mobilization: 

If you are dealing with issues such as foot soreness, soreness associated with shin splints, strange downstream soreness, knee soreness, and/or ankle soreness, this movement can be helpful.

  • Source: Becoming a Supple Leopard by Dr. Kelly Starrett DTP  

Planter Surface Smash: 

Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition that is extremely common for runners. And also, generally speaking, foot soreness is widespread amongst runners. One way to ease foot soreness is to roll your foot on a lacrosse ball: 

  • Source: Becoming a Supple Leopard by Dr. Kelly Starrett DTP  

If you adhere to the above guidelines, you can continue your running routine while maintaining proper social distancing guidelines. Likewise, you can be sure that if any injuries arise during this time as a result of your runs, Park Sports Physical Therapy will have your back with our telehealth physical therapy sessions. Stay healthy, and keep trotting! 

Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy During Social-Distancing

This blog post is written by Samira Panjaki, PT, DPT

What is telehealth for pelvic floor physical therapy?

Pelvic floor physical therapy can be used to treat a variety of symptoms in both men and women. Conditions range from sexual pain to urinary and fecal incontinence. While an in office visit is the ideal way to be fully evaluated, making a telehealth appointment for your pelvic floor symptoms is a great way to get started. Furthermore, since telehealth is done in the comfort of your own home it eliminates any anxiety you may have about a pelvic exam.

What are pelvic floor exercises?

A recent study conducted at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (1) looked at women’s baseline knowledge of pelvic floor exercises and pelvic floor disorders. The study found that while the subjects had high baseline knowledge regarding pelvic disorders, they did not know about exercise and therefore they were not inclined to perform pelvic floor exercises. This is where your pelvic floor physical therapist can help.

What will happen during my treatment?

As part of your treatment program your pelvic floor physical therapist at Park Sports Physical Therapy will conducted a thorough subjective exam via teleconferencing. Furthermore, your PT will create an exercise program for you that can be done in the comfort of your own home. Depending on what is found on an initial evaluation your PT will create an individualized exercise program for you. This may include stretching the pelvic girdle muscles, strengthening of pelvic, abdominal, hip, and back muscles, breathing and relaxation techniques, and functional activities aimed to retrain your muscles.

Why is having access to your physical therapist so important in your plan of care?

Having an exercise program overseen by your PT will improve your chances of success. A study published in 2018 found that long long-term adherence to pelvic floor exercises in women was influenced by having personalized instructions as well as aids that served as reminders (2).

At Park Sports Physical Therapy your pelvic floor physical PT will provide you with exercises sheets and educational handouts with easy to follow instructions. Most importantly your PT will check in with you frequently to keep you accountable. If you are ready to take the next step in improving your pelvic health click here to request telehealth appointment!

Sources

1.Goodridge, SD. et al. Association of Knowledge and Presence of Pelvic Floor Disorders and Participation in Pelvic Floor Exercises: A Cross-sectional Study. Female Pelvic Med Reconstr Surg. Jan 25 2020.
2. Venegas M, Carrasco B, Casas-Cordero R. Factors influencing long-term adherence to pelvic floor exercises in women with urinary incontinence. Neurourology and Urodynamics. 2018;37:1120–1127.
3. Image credit here

Home Exercise for Scoliosis.

This blog post is written by Kristin Romeo PT, DPT, OCS, Certified Schroth Practitioner.

 

Kristin Romeo, PT, DPT, OCS

Home programs are an important part of the Physical Therapy regimen for those with Scoliosis. Integrating safe movements and strengthening exercises into your daily routine helps keep your body strong and stable. Below is a quick strengthening exercise that is safe for those with a spinal curvature and doesn’t require any equipment. Set aside at least ten minutes a day to keep your body strong and healthy.

Sitting Axial Elongation and Expansion:

  • Sit in a chair with feet planted firmly on the floor. Sit with good posture and do not lean against the back of the chair. Put hands on your shoulders with elbows pointing outwards, forearms parallel to the floor.
  • Try to maintain a small arch in your low back and take a big inhalation through your nose. As you breathe in, try to reach your spine tall by reaching the crown of your head upwards to the ceiling.  Gain as much height as you can and expand your ribs wide. Be mindful not to shrug up your shoulders as you breathe.
  • Slowly release the air through pursed lips while making a “ssss” sound to slow down the exhalation. Try to maintain the height you gained during the inhalation and keep muscles activated during your exhalation.
  • Repeat for three sets of ten breaths.

 

Keeping up with the exercises prescribed to you by your Schroth Physical Therapist is important to keep your spine healthy as you age. It’s critical to keep a good exercise routine while you’re home because of the COVID-19 pandemic (and always!) as you don’t want to lose the progress you’ve worked so hard to make. Stay strong and stay healthy!

Learn more https://www.schrothmethod.com/

 

Hands-On learning with Maitland Australian Physiotherapy at Park Sports PT

We at Park Sports Physical Therapy had the privilege of hosting and participating in a wonderful manual therapy course titled The Essential Spinal Seminar. Below I am excited to share some information about the “Maitland Australian Physiotherapy Seminars” or MAPS, what “manual therapy” means in the context of physical therapy, and our experience overall. 

Genya, Melissa, Kristen and Abbe with our wonderful instructors!

A Little Bit About Manual Therapy, Maitland Australian Physiotherapy Seminars (MAPS), and The Maitland Australian Approach

In the PT profession, manual therapy can refer to several types of hands-on or tool assisted treatments used to alleviate pain, stiffness, swelling, and many other impairments. These interventions can range from light-handed techniques such as those often used during manual lymphatic drainage techniques, to deep pressure methods used for trigger point release, to high velocity/low amplitude thrust maneuvers used to safely elicit a “cavitation” (most commonly referred to as “cracking”), and more.  

Maitland-Australian Physiotherapy Seminars (MAPS) is a leading organization dedicated to promoting research-based continuing education in the field of manual and orthopedic physical therapy, with a focus on improving the consistency, efficacy and empathy with which these manual approaches are used in clinical practice.

The course we hosted, titled the “Essential Spinal Seminar”, focuses on the assessment and treatment of our clients’ symptoms originating from the neck, upper back or thoracic spine, and lower back or lumbosacral spines.  The MAPS’s “Maitland Australian Approach” is founded on the “Bio-Psycho-Social model”, which emphasizes the importance of focusing on the biological, psychological and social aspects of our clients’ chief complaints together in order to address their needs as a person, and not just the body part listed on their prescription.

Our Experience with the Essential Spinal Seminar

Prior to our first day, we spent a large number of hours over several weeks reviewing the history of MAPS and the Maitland Australian Approach, delving into many pertinent research articles discussing up-to-date nuances of modern, evidence-based manual physical therapy, and buffing up our spinal assessment and manual therapy intervention skills.

Day 1: The Low Back

We began day 1 by introducing ourselves to our fellow classmates, who included physical therapists from all over the trig-state area and clinical settings ranging from hospitals, to pediatric clinics, to other outpatient private practices. After quickly reviewing our pre-course materials and some great one-liners from our instructor, we dove straight into a hands-on assessment and intervention of the low-back (lumbar and sacral spines). We reviewed how to assess for different directional preferences, how to differentiate between symptoms stemming from nerve versus joint versus muscular concerns, and how to systematically address our findings using joint mobilization techniques.

Perhaps most importantly, we reviewed time and time again the importance of listening to our clients, addressing the impairments our clients described instead of the impairments we might expect, consistent re-assessment to ensure that our chosen intervention is having the desired effect, with a chance to change things up if things do not go as initially planned. We ended day 1 excited about the knowledge we had gained and the colleagues we had met, extremely grateful for the two patients who had so graciously given their time to serve as models, and a little hungry considering we had finished all of our free bagels by lunch time.

Day 2: The Neck and Upper Back

Day 2 consisted of similar hands-on lessons, this time focusing on the evaluation and treatment symptoms stemming from the neck (cervical spine) and mid-back (thoracic spine). Our patient model today was Genya, one of the amazing physical therapists at Park Sports’ Fulton Street location, who shared with us her story of her immovable rib. Again, we gained valuable knowledge, and Genya gained some more pain-free range with twisting and rotating her body, and Patrick bought us more bagels.

Overall, as a group we ended the seminar with a renewed sense of focus on the assessment and application of applying our manual therapy techniques, and an appreciation for the way in which the Maitland Australian Approach emphasizes individualizing treatment to the client’s specific needs (biological, psychological and social). We felt empowered by our new knowledge, and have already begun implementing these powerful skills within our offices with clinically significant results. Feel free to ask us about our experience and any questions you may have. 

 

Addressing Neck, Shoulder and Back Pain with a Scalenes Trigger Point Release at Home

In the context of physical therapy, massage therapy, orthopedics and other clinical settings, you may have heard the term Trigger Point being used to explain the cause of some of your symptoms. Today, we are going to focus on what these trigger points are, how they might contribute to some of the symptoms you may be feeling, and describe in detail a Scalenes trigger point release technique. Why do we care specifically about the Scalenes Muscles? Your scalenes, as we will describe below, are frequent culprits when it comes to neck, shoulder, scapula and arm pain. In addition, they are often affected by anxiety, stress and poor posture, all of which we are dealing with more than ever during these challenging times!

For additional information regarding trigger points, we highly recommend Clair and Amber Davies’s The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief.  In addition to more information on the scalenes trigger point release, there you will find excellent descriptions of common trigger points, referred pain patterns, and self-treatment guides.  Unless otherwise specified, most descriptions and images below come from this very helpful resource.

What are “Trigger Points”?

Clinically speaking, the term Trigger Point refers to any painful point that develops within muscle tissue. They can be present within any muscle, and tend to develop after long-term or inappropriate stress is placed on that muscle (see below for examples of stressors). Trigger points can be thought of as “active” or “latent”. Fernández de Las Peñas et al (2017) conducted an international consensus review to establish clinically relevant definitions for “active” versus “latent” points, and came up with the following distinctions:

  • Active Trigger Point: causes a clinical pain complaint
    • Always tender,  and may prevent full muscle lengthening (make your muscles feel tight)
    • Cause muscle weakness
    • When compressed, refers a patient-recognized pain, and/or motor phenomenon (i.e. twitching)
    • When stimulated may cause a local twitch response of muscle fibers compressed within the patient’s pain tolerance
  • Latent Trigger Point: clinically inactive with respect to spontaneous pain
    • Painful only when palpated (meaning “touched” or “pressed on”)
    • May have all the other clinical characteristics of active TPs
    • Always has a taut band that increases muscle tension and restricts range of motion

What are your Scalenes?

The Scalenes are a muscle group that help stabilize, flex (bend forward), laterally flex (tilt the head to the side), and rotate the neck. They also help raise your upper two ribs when you inhale, meaning they are working every time you breathe. However, they work HARDEST during labored breathing, i.e. during vigorous activity, coughing, sneezing, or during periods of anxiety (hence, why they may be more bothersome to some people at this time!)

Where are your Scalenes?

  • Anterior Scalene: the front-most scalene muscle, lies between the SCM (sternocleidomastoid) and the neck vertebrae and is almost completely hidden
  • Middle Scalene: is behind the anterior scalene, more on the side of the neck, with its lower half free of the SCM
  • Posterior Scalene: almost horizontal, behind the middle scalene in a triangular groove just above the collarbone (clavicle) and below the front edge of the upper trapezius (the bulkier muscles that help you shrug your shoulders)

What do Trigger Points in the Scalenes Feel Like?

As described above, trigger points themselves can create a number of different sensations. If you have trigger points throughout your Scalenes that are more active, you may feel some pain or symptoms throughout your shoulder blade/scapula, shoulder joint, side of your arm, forearm and fingers, up to your neck, into your chest, or in a combination of some or all of these locations.

Trigger points in your Scalenes, when pressed on, can produce particularly “strange” sensation, sometimes described as “nervey”, “weird”, “burning” 

What causes the development of trigger points within the Scalenes?

1. Not-So-Great Breathing

Improper breathing patterns such as chest breathing (breathing so that your chest rises with every breath) or nervous hyperventilation will overtax the scalene muscles. Who is prone to these types of breathing patterns?

  • Those experiencing emotional tension, anxiousness or stress (for example, anyone who might currently find themselves in either social isolation OR working in close proximity with ill individuals…).
  • Individuals with chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma or emphysema that make breathing more labored.
  • Individuals with new or worsening respiratory conditions such as pneumonia, bronchitis, allergies, or a common cold that result in constant coughing.

2. Improper Body Positioning

  • Working for long hours with the arms out in front of the body can be very stressful for your Scalenes, including working at your computer. Pulling, lifting, and carrying heavy loads can also cause stress, including rearranging heavy furniture or an intense day of spring cleaning.
  • Carrying a heavy grocery bags or backpacks.
  • Maintaining improper posture – your Scalenes are largely responsible for managing the weight of the head, which is quite heavy! Any posture you assume where your head is not supported, or that puts your head in front of or behind your upright torso creates an imbalance and puts an additional burden on them.

So, what can you do at home to address symptoms that might be caused by Scalenes Trigger Points?

First, try to adjust some of the habits that might be creating them in the first place:

  • Focus on proper diaphragmatic breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing refers to breathing so that your belly rises with every breath instead of your chest or shoulders. This type of breathing is often used during meditation and relaxation sessions and can help with mental as well as physical stress. This video from Mass General Hospital helps demonstrate good diaphragmatic breathing technique.
  • Focus on maintaining good, neutral posture in sitting, standing and sleeping positions. To do this while sitting and standing, you can think about “reaching” your head straight up towards the ceiling, almost as if it is being pulled up by an invisible thread – feel yourself “creating space” in between each vertebrae as you elongate your spine. While lying down, focus on giving your head and legs proper support so that your spine, head and hips remain as aligned as possible. For some quick tips, you can watch this video, or feel free to reach out to a Physical Therapist for a more targeted consultation!

 

Next, try a Scalenes Trigger Point Release technique!

STOP – CONTRAINDICATIONS: Before moving onto the technique, it is important for us to make you aware of some of the reasons you should not continue. We always recommend consulting with a healthcare professional before attempting any self-release technique if there is a possibility of fracture, nerve damage, cardiovascular disease or blood vessel compromise in the area you plan to massage. If you have been through a recent physical trauma or accident, or have experienced any of the following symptoms, do not attempt this technique, and seek medical attention:

  • Dizziness and/or unsteadiness
  • Diplopia (double vision or visual field loss)
  • Dysarthria/dysphasia (difficulty speaking or finding the right words)
  • Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing or sudden hoarseness of voice)
  • Drop attacks (sudden collapse without loss of consciousness)
  • Nystagmus (uncontrolled sideways movement of the eyes)
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Numbness or paraesthesia (altered light touch sensation), particularly around the mouth

 

Scalenes Self-Trigger Point Release Technique 

In order to fully address any pain or symptoms that might be coming from scalenes trigger points, it is important to move as methodically as possible through all 3 major branches of the scalenes: Anterior, Middle & Posterior. Below we have described how to find each branch and perform your self-release technique. 

General Guidelines:

  • Clip or file your fingernails prior to starting this technique – long nails are not your friend when digging into the side of your neck!
  • Use short strokes in either a straight line, no more than half an inch long, or in small circular strokes, both performed with 1-2 fingers. For hard to reach places, feel free to use a lacrosse ball or tennis ball (this applies more to techniques being used for muscles of the back, hips and legs that are bulkier and/or harder to reach with your hands).
  • Make sure you focus on performing strokes at multiple points throughout each muscle, instead of focusing on just one point over and over. 
  • Focus on performing 10-12 strokes per tender spot, 3-6 times per day
  • When pressing on a trigger point, you should feel no more than a 4 or 5 on a scale of 1-10 pain, 1 being very minimal pain, 10 being “emergency room level pain” or “the worst pain you have ever felt”
  • If you can feel your pulse under your fingers, do not press down! You have found your carotid or subclavian pulses, which are great for helping you know you are alive, but not great for finding places to press down hard.
  • Don’t be too concerned about getting the massage exactly right. As long as you are aware of and adhere to the contraindications listed above, pay attention to your symptoms and pain level, avoid pressing on pulse points, and check-in with how you are feeling before and after your self-treatment, it is highly unlikely that you will cause yourself any harm! That being said, if you feel at all uncomfortable with performing this technique, or have additional questions you’d like answered before trying it out, feel free to reach out to a Physical Therapist for help!

Anterior Scalene

  1. Get your fingers between the neck vertebrae and the sternocleidomastoid (SCM) – the SCM will feel like a “rope of muscle” that runs from your ear down to your sternum.
  2. Grip the SCM between the fingers and thumb, of the opposite hand, as if you were going to massage it. 
  3. Let go with your thumb and with your fingers pull the entire SCM about two inches toward the windpipe. 
  4. With your fingers, press directly back – this should pin the anterior scalene against your vertebral column in order to create nice pressure underneath your fingertips.

Middle Scalene

  1. Repeat steps 1-3 above.
  2. Starting just below your ear, press into the side of your neck. You may feel some “bony knobs” under your fingertips – these are the transverse processes (or sides) of your vertebrae. You want to make sure that you are in front of these knobs. Otherwise, you are likely massaging muscles in the back of your neck (which, to be fair, is not bad at all, but just not what you are looking to do right now).
  3. You can confirm that you are in the right position by quickly taking a few short, repeated breaths – you should feel the muscle twitching below your fingers. 
  4. On the side of the neck here, use the same stroke you used for the anterior scalene. 
  5. Follow this muscle all the way from just below the ear down to the middle of the collarbone.

Posterior Scalene

  1. Push your middle finger under the front edge of the trapezius muscle near where it attaches to the collarbone. 
  2. Press downward and drag your finger an inch or so toward your neck in a short, straight line parallel to your collarbone. In this case, the bone you might feel under your fingers is your first rib.

 

Feel free to try this Scalenes trigger point release out at any point throughout your day. If you have any questions or comments, certainly feel free to reach out! We are open for new visits and telehealth sessions to address your needs throughout this time.  Thanks for reading!

References:

Davies, Clair. The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief (A New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook) (p. 101). New Harbinger Publications. Kindle Edition. 

Fernaindez De Las Penas, C., & Dommerholt, J. (2017). International Consensus on Diagnostic Criteria and Clinical Considerations of Myofascial Trigger Points: A Delphi Study. Pain Medicine, 19(1), 142-150. doi:10.1093/pm/pnx207

Also, feel free to read up on more helpful techniques at home, such as Telehealth for Brooklyn-based Physical Therapy and Increasing Shoulder Range of Motion.

Physical Therapy in Times of the Coronavirus

Physical Therapy in times of Coronavirus is challenging, but our Park Slope location is open and we continue to provide services. Physical Therapy is an essential business. Our providers prioritize your safety while we are working toward your recovery. We have implemented aggressive screening techniques before each patient visit. We are constantly monitoring information about the coronavirus as it becomes available from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), following directives of our local government.

We understand that recovery is time-sensitive and it is important for us to make sure that there is minimal interruption in your Physical Therapy.

Park Sports’ Response to the Coronavirus

Here are the specific steps we are taking to protect your safety:

  1. We provided our staff with the best possible protection, including commercial-grade N-95 masks and gloves.
  2. We reduced treatment area density and see only one patient an hour with no other patient present in the same room.
  3. We are sanitizing treatment areas after each patient including exercise equipment, door handles, light switches, treatment tables.
  4. We’re using EPA approved cleaners that kill coronavirus and other infectious agents.
  5. We are washing our hands frequently after each contact and are using alcohol-based sanitizers.

As always, we remain committed to your health and recovery. We understand your safety concerns and if you would like to speak to your provider directly please do not hesitate to call us or send us an email at info@parksportspt.com.

If you are now working remotely, or want to continue therapy in your home, we offer telehealth services.

Click here to request telehealth appointment!

We encourage you to stay informed on the situation about coronavirus in NYC. Below are some additional resources from the CDC about the virus:

CDC Frequently Asked Questions: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.htm

World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

New York City Department of Health: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-main.page

Telehealth for Brooklyn-based Physical Therapy

“Telehealth” is a buzz word that has been getting a lot of attention lately, and we believe, for the right reasons! Telehealth is an innovative way to make high quality care more accessible to patients. Park Sports is thrilled to announce that we are now able to serve orthopedic, post-operative, and pelvic floor needs through a HIPAA-compliant telehealth platform. All our clinicians are available for the video appointmentTelehealth Physical Therapy in Brooklyn

 

How It Works

Call our office today to schedule an appointment with one of our well-respected Doctors of Physical Therapy. A friendly receptionist will help to verify your insurance coverage and set up a time slot. You will receive an invitation link with your scheduled appointment time, which will also provide any pre-appointment instructions. Make sure that you have good internet access and are in a safe place to perform exercises! Once you are in your virtual session, your provider will assess your injury and create a treatment plan. They will then provide home exercises and help to answer any questions, as well as make follow up appointments. To learn more about it please visit the American Physical Therapy Association webpage https://www.apta.org/PTinMotion/News/2020/3/16/TelehealthCOVID19/ 

 

Why Telehealth

  •     Easy to use high quality digital and audio platform
  •     Great for individuals who cannot leave their homes
  •     Ensures safety and prevents exposure to anyone who may be sick
  •     Decreases long wait times for in-person care
  •     Assists in acute injuries such as spraining an ankle
  •     For chronic injuries such as long term low back pain
  •      It allows the provider to monitor home programs in real home environments.
  •     Provides access to large groups such as sports teams

 

Moving Forward

While treating virtually does not completely take the place of in-person care, during times of environmental constraints such as the Covid-19 pandemic, it allows us to better help you on your road to recovery. Your safety and healing have always been, and will always be, our number one priority at Park Sports! Telehealth is clearly an excellent tool to ensure continuity of care and may even lead to creative ways of thinking about care delivery in the future. Call us to trial the Telehealth platform today!

 

Written by Lacey Salberg, PT, DPT 

 

Hand Injury in Rock Climbers

Hand injuries for climbers follow a specific pattern that is known to and best-treated by Certified Hand Therapists.
Brooklyn Hand Therapy

Human fingers are not designed to carry 3-4 times body weight. This is how much pressure our phalangeal joints carry in a “crimp” position during a climb. In climbing athletes, Middle and the Ring digits’ are mostly involved. Chronic injuries include tendinitis and muscle strains. Digital pulley tears are very common among rock climbers we see in our Brooklyn Physical and Occupational practice. The causes vary. Some are cumulative: overtraining and poor planning. Some are acute like a sudden loss of footing. A similar injury may happen in other sports: gymnastics, basketball, weight lifting, contact sports. However, rock climbers’ finger injuries are unique.

Over the last 20 years research has been done to analyze injury distribution and injury risk involved. As the sport becomes more professionalized we see more involved injury patterns in our Williamsburg and Park Slope Brooklyn locations (because of our proximity to rock climbing gyms). Our rock-climbers physical therapy patient population is statistically consistent with the national average: an overwhelming majority of them are Hand injuries.

Know what to do when it happens.

Finger pulleys are fibrous anatomical structures around your digits that keep you tendons close to the bone. There are several, but the ones over the proximal and the middle phalanx, A-2, and A-4 are in the most vulnerable position. If damaged, your tendon pulls away from the bone. Resulting “bowstringing” of a tendon reduces its efficiency. Athletes often report a loud pop when it happens. Immediate pain is swelling ensue with a visible tendon bulge on the palmar surface of the hand. In the long run, if left untreated, it can lead to a loss of strength and motion in your hand.

Hand Therapy facilitates recovery

The good news is that most of finger pulley injuries do not require surgery and heal in approximately 4-8 weeks. During the healing, your body lays down collagen to repair the damage. It could be problematic as uncontrolled healing can lead to tissue adhesions. Skillful Physical or Occupational Therapy intervention guides healing. It prevents unnecessary scar formation and ensures the smooth gliding of the tendons. Hand therapists at our locations in Williamsburg, Park Slope, and Clinton Hill can fabricate a Pulley Protection Splint. The splint is effective and provides support while you gradually return to climbing. The specialized taping technique keeps tendon closer to the bone and thus assumes the function of a pulley.
Evidence suggests that any of the external support is not useful in preventing injury. The preventive program should include core strengthening and shoulder stabilization exercises.
Park Sports board-certified hand therapists are here to help!

Sports Rehabilitation for Runners


A piece of good news for those who decide to become runners later in life.

A recent study in the British Journal of Medicine discovered that distance running for middle age beginners did not cause more damage to your knees but may actually refurbish them by reducing an already existing wear and tear. Marathon Running May Be Good for Your Knees. For a Physical Therapy practice involved in Sports Rehabilitation for runners, the article is invaluable.

A surprising finding for health care professionals involved in Sports Physical Therapy.

Researchers followed a group of novice runners during their preparation for the London Marathon. MRI scans were performed before they started training for the marathon and after the event. A surprising finding was that some damages they saw on the first scan unexpectedly got better in the post-marathon studies. How it is accomplished on the cellular level remains uncertain. Possibly, by generating and releasing endorphin-like chemicals or increasing the stability of the joint through improved neuromuscular control.  On the negative note, there was more wear and tear in the tissues surrounding the knee cap, a condition associated with overuse syndrome. The good news is that patellar-femoral syndrome ( knee cap irritation) can be successfully treated with Sports Physical Therapy. We refer to it as anterior knee pain. It is the most common Sports Physical Therapy condition found in distance runners.

Strengthening the muscle supporting the joint can fight off arthritic changes.

One probability brought up in the article was that exercising the muscles surrounding the joint had a healing effect on the joint. Although there is plenty of evidence to support the benefit of low-intensity aerobic activity for the arthritis symptoms (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16305269), a high-intensity repetitive weight-bearing activity, like training for a marathon, was thought to potentially cause damage. Surprisingly, the opposite seems to be the case. https://parksportspt.com/brooklyn-sports-rehabilitation/ The study supports our view that more exercise creates more benefits. Our clinics in Park Slope and Williamsburg specialize in Sports Rehabilitation and geared towards rehabilitation of the runners. From my personal experience as a competitive runner and working with hundreds of endurance athletes, I could see a measurable improvement in symptoms after individually designed and properly administered exercise program. Improving muscular control and re-balancing the muscle groups around the join accomplishes this goal. Sports Physical Therapist would implement an individualized program after properly identifying deficiencies in muscle performance during specifically chosen tasks. It is important to note that the aforementioned study did not measure additional variables such as training protocols, cross-training, and nutrition.