Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City proudly offers Active Release Techniques for patients

Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City would like to proudly inform current and prospective patients that our therapists are certified in Active Release Techniques® (ART), a state-of-the-art soft tissue system/movement-based technique developed and patented by P. Michael Leahy, DC, CCSP.  ART is primarily used to treat conditions related to adhesions or scar tissue in overused muscles, and its goal is to restore smooth muscle movement of tissues and release any trapped nerves or blood vessels to get you pain-free and back to moving properly.

Dr. Leahy developed, refined and patented ART after noticing certain patient symptoms were related to soft tissue changes only felt by hand.  By observing how patients responded to the techniques and making appropriate changes, he’s been able to effectively resolve over 90% of patients’ problems with these treatments.

ART is effective for treating a wide variety of muscle, ligament, tendon, fascia and nerve conditions, including headaches, back pain, shoulder pain, knee problems, tennis elbow, shin splints, sciatica and carpal tunnel syndrome.  Though these conditions derive from different sources, they are similar in that they all usually result from overused muscles.

Overused muscles and other soft tissues undergo changes such as small tears and insufficient oxygen, and these changes can cause the body to create tough, dense scar tissue that prevents patients from moving freely in the affected area.  Over time, as scar tissue builds up, muscles become shorter and weaker, which can cause reduced range of motion, loss of strength and pain.

Every ART session is a combination of both examination and treatment.  Below are some highlights:

  • A certified practitioner will use their hands to evaluate texture, tightness and mobility of soft tissue
  • Using hand pressure, the practitioner will treat abnormal tissues with precisely-directed tension and very specific patient movements
  • The treatment protocol consists of over 500 specific moves unique to ART
  • The practitioner performs the first three levels, but the fourth requires the patient to actively move the affected tissue in prescribed ways while tension is applied; this is considered one of the major advantages of ART

If you’re experiencing any soft tissue problems and are interested in ART, visit us at Dynamic Sports in New York City, where we’ll be able to diagnose your condition and determine if ART is the right treatment for you.

Improve your mobility to better ensure a safer golf swing and a reduced chance of injury

Golf is one of the more popular recreational sports in the U.S., especially among older adults, with at least 25% of the 26 million regular golfers in the country being 65 or older.  Though golf isn’t a contact sport, many of the dynamics of its swing put significant demands on the body, which can lead to a number of golf-related injuries.

Multiple injuries can arise due to golf, but by far the most common is low back pain (LBP), accounting for up to 34% of all golfing injuries.  LBP usually occurs over time rather than from a single traumatic incident, and its onset is most likely due to poor swing mechanics that increase pressure on the spine.  Therefore, taking measures to improve your golf swing could make the difference in keeping you injury-free on the course.

Mobility is a combination of normal joint range of motion and proper muscular flexibility, and it’s essential for proper swing mechanics.  Hip mobility is important because the hips and lumbar spine are linked, and any lack of mobility in the hips will transfer to the spine, while thoracic (chest) mobility shortcomings can often lead to shoulder issues.  Mobility training for these regions, which can be administered by your therapist at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy, can not only prevent injury but may also improve your overall golf performance by building strength and increasing flexibility.

In addition to mobility training, the following tips will help ensure you’re swinging properly and taking appropriate safety precautions:

  • Use proper posture: keep your feet shoulder-width apart and distribute your weight evenly on both feet; avoid hunching over the ball
  • Stay smooth throughout your swing (especially during the impact and follow-through phase) and don’t overemphasize any part of your body for hitting power
  • Don’t overswing by hitting the ball too hard or too fast, but instead keep it consistent and take nice, easy swings
  • Warm up before playing with a brisk walk, some stretching and practice swings, and ease into the game gradually
  • Perform strengthening exercises, particularly for your core, which will lead to better club speed

For additional information on mobility training for your golf game or for any other joint or muscle issues, visit us at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City and we’ll provide whatever assistance you may need.

 

How to identify hip impingement syndrome and avoid complications like labral tears

Hip impingement syndrome, or femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), can be a painful condition that results from too much friction between bones in the hip joint.  In a normal hip, the thighbone (femur) fits into a concave section of the pelvis (acetabulum) like a ball-and-socket, and a soft tissue called articular cartilage lines the two surfaces and helps them glide smoothly.  FAI arises when small bony projections (bone spurs) develop along either the femur or acetabulum, causing these bones to rub against each other directly without protection.

Strangely, some people have FAI their entire lives and aren’t affected by it, while others will notice the symptoms (pain or stiffness in their groin or outside of the hip), especially during turning, twisting or squatting motions.  If identified regularly over time, these symptoms usually indicate hip damage that will likely progress, and it’s imperative that you modify your activities and/or seek advice from a medical professional.

Unfortunately, FAI does not heal on its own; however, it’s entirely possible to manage FAI with certain strategies and prevent further complications like labral tears.  Labral tears occur in the labrum, a piece of cartilage that can be seen as the gasket of the acetabulum that holds the femur tightly in place.  Symptoms are similar for the two conditions and labral tears can often be caused when FAI worsens, but may also develop through repetitive motion in sports like hockey, golf and soccer, or as the result of a single injury to that area.

Due to their common characteristics, treatment for both conditions is generally similar:

  • Try to identify the source of the problem and lay off that activity until pain subsides
  • Conservative treatment, particularly physical therapy, is considered the best initial course of action, with exercises designed to improve range of motion and strengthen muscles in that area
  • Though many cases will improve with conservative treatment alone, in extreme situations when pain persists, surgery is sometimes recommended

If you happen to experience any hip pain and suspect FAI or a labral tear, please see your physical therapist at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City.  We will find what works for you, such as Active Release Techniques and hip strengthening exercises to tend to the problem and avoid further complications.

Make these final preparations to get the most out of your New York City marathon

The New York City Marathon is right around the corner, and as the Sunday, Nov. 3 date approaches, marathon runners can take solace in knowing they’ve already done most of the hard work in their training, and all that’s left to do now is make a few final preparations before taking the 26.2 mile plunge.

While each runner should prepare in their own way with whatever works best for them, Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City provides some tips below to help ensure all runners are ready to go on race day:

  • Taper
  • Tapering is a controlled decrease in mileage and intensity that allows the body to repair itself and restock its fuel supplies before racing
  • It’s usually recommended to start tapering 3-4 weeks before a marathon, so if you haven’t started already, begin tapering now
  • Reduce mileage gradually to the point that you’re running 30-40% of your peak mileage during the final week before the marathon
  • Diet
  • Staying fueled before and leading up to the big day is essential for a successful race
  • Focus on certain foods and avoid others, and as a rule of thumb, try to consume 50-65% of your calories as complex carbohydrates (e.g. whole grains), 20-25% as lean protein and 15-25% as unsaturated fats
  • If you’re hungry in between meals (which is completely normal for marathon runners) eat healthy snacks like mineral-rich fruits and vegetables and stay away from processed foods and sugars
  • Hydration
  • Be sure to stay properly hydrated before, during and after the race
  • Drink at least an entire bottle of water on race day before it starts
  • Be careful not to overdo it, however, as over-hydrating can lead to hyponatremia (water intoxication)
  • Miscellanea
  • Trim your toenails a few days before the race to avoid blisters and other foot problems
  • Check the forecast and prepare your clothes and shoes appropriately; make sure shoes and laces are in good shape and dress in layers if necessary
  • Eat a light meal about an hour before the race (e.g. bagel, toast, banana)

To work out any last-minute aches or pains, feel free to visit us at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City.  We wish all marathon runners a healthy and successful race.