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We’re Grateful This Holiday Season

We’re Grateful This Holiday Season

Gratitude is common theme around our clinics these days. As we reflect on the past year, we have so much to be grateful for.

We know that our patients come to us with challenges to overcome and pain that’s altering their lives. We try our best to make therapy fun and strive to be that glimmer of hope that let’s you know that things will get better, and that we’re here to face those challenges with you.

We’re Grateful This Holiday SeasonAn important piece of the puzzle belongs to our team members, whom we’re so thankful for – those who truly have our patient’s best interests at heart. This year we expanded our business with the addition of clinics in Caledonia, Comstock Park, and Allendale. And we’ve been blessed to have been able to help so many people overcome pain, fatigue, and challenges within their lives.

While 2018 has been one for the books, none of it would have been possible without YOU – our patients, friends, corporate clients, and partners – for that we say thank you. We genuinely wish each and every one of you the happiest of holidays and the hope that 2019 is your best year yet!

We’re Grateful This Holiday Season

Make 2019 your year to shine. If you’re experiencing pain of any kind, remember that we’re always here to help. Take advantage of our free consultations, where you can talk about your pain and symptoms, one-on-one with a physical therapist, who can help determine if physical therapy is right for you.

5 Tips To Avoid Pain After Shoveling

5 Tips To Avoid Pain After Shoveling

Anyone who’s from Michigan can relate – you wake up in the morning and look out the window expecting to see green grass but instead you’re greeted with 6 inches of snow. It looks pretty from inside, the first snow of the season always does. Then you realize you’ve got an entire driveway to shovel before heading off for work. Ugh…is it spring yet?

Oftentimes we don’t realize the effort that it takes to push snow. We’re focused on getting it out of the way but the next day the pain and soreness kicks in. Snow shoveling is a repetitive activity that can cause muscle strain, especially to the lower back and shoulders. We’ve put together some tips and stretches to help you avoid pain after shoveling.

Tips to avoid injury and pain after shoveling

  • Lift smaller loads of snow.
  • Bend your knees, keep your back straight, and lift with your legs rather than your back.
  • Use a shovel with a shaft that lets you keep your back straight while lifting. A short shaft will cause you to bend more to lift the load. Using a shovel that’s too long makes the weight at the end heavier.
  • Step in the direction in which you are throwing the snow to prevent the low back from twisting, as excessive twisting puts pressure on the spine.
  • Take frequent breaks, stand up straight and walk around periodically to extend the lower back.

Stretches and exercises to avoid pain after shoveling

Getting ready to head out and tackle the sidewalks? Here are a few stretches and exercises you can do to avoid pain after shoveling.

5 Tips To Avoid Pain After Shoveling

Physical Therapist, Julie Blodgett, shows Frosty the proper way to stretch your low back to avoid pain after shoveling.

● Low back: Stand up straight, place your hands toward the back of your hips, and bend backwards slightly for several seconds.

● Hamstrings: While holding onto something for support, straighten your leg out and place your heel up on a chair, tighten your thigh, and pull your toes towards your body. Feel the stretch in the back of your leg. There’s no need to bend forward and it’s better if you don’t. Just stand up tall and keep both legs active. Hold for 10 breaths and repeat on the other side.

● Quads: Holding onto something for support, stand up straight and bend one leg, grabbing your foot up near your buttocks. You should feel this stretch in the front of the thigh of the bent leg as you hold for 10 breaths. Repeat on the other side.

Core: While standing, imagine pulling your belly button in towards your spine and engage your abdominal muscles without letting your pelvis tuck under. Hold for 5-10 seconds while breathing normally and repeat a few times. This exercise uses the innermost layer of abdominal and back muscles.

● Mindfulness: As you’re shoveling, focus on the rotating movements happening in your hip joints. Place your finger on the front of your hip joints (located at the top of each thigh near the groin) and practice a few sways side to side, simulating raking. Avoid letting the rotation happen at your waist—this will cause unnecessary movement around your lumbar spine.

 

If you’re experiencing pain after shoveling snow or you have complaints of back pain, neck pain, or shoulder pain, schedule a free consultation with one of our physical therapists. We can work together on a few stretches and exercises specifically for the areas where you feel pain.

A Young Athlete Turns to Physical Therapy to Treat Pain

When you’re 13 years old and all you want to do is play basketball, it’s tough to sit on the sidelines because of pain. Grady understood this feeling all too well. The pain he felt in his knee, both during and after physical activities, kept him from running and playing basketball. An all-around athlete, and typical kid, the last thing Grady wanted was to sit out due to adolescent knee pain. That’s when he and his family turned to physical therapy.

“When Terri tested my muscle strength I was very surprised at how weak I was,” said Grady. “She explained why my hip and stomach muscles were important to my overall physical abilities and said that if we worked hard together, I could get even better at my sport because I would have more control of my body.”

Grady Before

Grady performed a set of exercises before his physical therapy treatment began. Adolescent knee pain is evident – throughout the exercises his knee is positioned poorly, bows inward, and collapses.

Grady was determined to get better, so together, he and Terri worked consistently on a personalized set of exercises to help strengthen his whole body, with the ultimate goal of strengthening his knees to prevent further pain and injury.

“Grady was such a trooper,” said Terri. “He knew he had pain and did the exercises I asked him to do to get better – even planks, which were his least favorite exercise of all!”

As a strong an dedicated athlete, Grady was anxious to get back to playing basketball, football, and running. Once his physical therapy treatments were complete, we compared his before and after videos and saw  an improvement in his body awareness, coordination and neuromuscular control which will allow him to be a safer athlete.

Upon completing his physical therapy treatments, Grady showed improvement in his strength, coordination, and endurance.

In Grady’s case, physical therapy was an excellent treatment choice to relieve his adolescent knee pain. After just a few weeks of physical therapy treatments he was back to playing the sports that he loves, running around, and enjoying all the perks of being a kid.

At some point in our lives, we all experience unexplained pain. Typically caused by a weakness or imbalance in the muscles, these types of issues can often be successfully treated with physical therapy. If you’re repeatedly feeling pain while running, exercising, or moving in general, consider giving physical therapy a try. We even offer free consultations where you can sit down and talk with a physical therapist, one-on-one, to see if physical therapy is the right choice for you.

 

To learn more about how physical therapists treat adolescent knee pain, click here.

LOCATIONS

Allendale > 6173 Lake Michigan Dr.
Caledonia > 9321 Cherry Valley
Cedar Springs > 308 S. Main
Comstock Park > 4615 W. River Dr.
Coopersville > 25 Conran
Grant > 17615 W. Moore
Lowell > 2050 W. Main
Norton Shores > 6022 Harvey
Sparta > 31 Ida Red
Wayland > 709 West Superior

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