Motion Stability's Blog


How do I manage my back pain on a daily basis? by charlestlee

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Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT

First, remain positive. Many people dealiing with chronic back pain can become discouraged and even depressed that their pain does not let them do what they want to do. This can lead to a fear-avoidance belief that takes them away from doing activities that they physically should be able to do. 

From there it is important to establish 2-3 activites during the day that cause back pain – such as sitting, standing, or household activities such as vacuuming. It is just as important to determine the time in which the pain begins. Many patients will complain of pain with a prolonged/sustained activity after 10-20 minutes. What this means is that the muscle endurance of your body is fatiguing quickly and pain begins 10-20 minutes later as increase stress to your spine is occuring.

Like a marathon runner who is hurting and conditioned to run 2 miles. The runner knows well enough not to run 20 miles thereafter, as they will end up hurting themselves. They will instead train to run 2-3 miles until they can condition themselves to increase their distance without hurting worse.

Likewise, with chronic back pain, it is important to stay active, but stay just short of the time that your pain exacerbates itself. As a physical therapist can teach you ways to decrease your pain and improve your stability and movement, slowly you will be able to improve your time in activities that used to hurt you early on. As things progress, you will gain the confidence to do things you couldn’t do before with less pain. We call this ‘pacing’.

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Can physical therapy strengthen weak bones? by charlestlee

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Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT

Physical Therapy can focus on improving bone strength through proper prescription of exercise base therapy to properly gauge the intensity and load on a patient with weaker bones, such as osteoporosis, fractures, atrophic diseases. This could be through aquatic therapy, anti-gravity support systems, and other modified weight-bearing exercises. It is important to have an experienced Physical Therapist to know how to properly dose the intensity/duration of exercises to stimulate proper bone growth/density without over or under doing it.


How can I prevent repeat ankle sprains? by charlestlee

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Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT

It is important to improve ankle dorsiflexion after an ankle sprain. Research indicates a loss of ankle mobility with chronic ankle sufferers – primarily in ankle dorsiflexion – which is the motion you need to walk correctly. Reserach also indicates a change in muscle control patterns not only in the ankle but also up the kinetic chain, such as a loss of hip control.
Therefore:
1. Improve ankle dorsiflexion: calf stretching, seeing a Physical Therapist to mobilize your ankle and decrease swelling.
2. Ankle stability: ankle circles, resistance bands to strengthen lateral/medial ankle musculature/tendons.
3. Ankle proprioception: standing balance exercises as indicated
4. Hip stability: primarily with gluteus maximus and medius exercises. It is important to find a specialized Physical Therapist that can specifically help facilitate you gluteal muscle patterns.
5. Specific training for sports/function: proper footwork in your sports can help decrease you chance of ankle sprains as well.



Does stretching decrease the chance of getting injured? by charlestlee

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Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT

Most people present with imbalances in muscle forces. This may include anterior – posterior muscles and specific muscles affect joint mechanics. It is recommended that you have a qualified health practitioner assess your body mechanics to make recommendations what muscles should be elongated, and then other that should be stabilized to improve the efficiency of you body.

Also consider tight muscles may be due to an underlying irritated nerve. Many people with old sciatic nerve injuries feel tightness in their hamstring, however attempting to over-stretching the hamstring can aggravate the nerve again.