Success stories from Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City: after several failed treatment attempts, Danielle finally finds a path to pain relief with us

Danielle is a female swimmer who came in to see us with a chief complaint of right hip and knee pain. Her pain began after running a half marathon two years ago, and afterwards, she attended physical therapy at another practice and experienced a reduction in her symptoms. But while training for an upcoming half marathon, her symptoms returned once again and began to intensify. An MRI revealed that Danielle had a tear of a structure called the labrum in her right hip, and a joint injection was performed, which led to only a minimal reduction in symptoms. She also underwent another course of physical therapy, but this did not lead to any significant reductions in her pain either. Once Danielle decided to first visit Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City, she could not run or attend yoga classes due to pain on the side and front of her hip.

While performing a comprehensive evaluation, Danielle’s therapist Jon found that she had signs of both hip dysplasia and joint laxity. Hip dysplasia is a condition in which the socket of the hip doesn’t fully cover the ball of the upper femur (thighbone), while joint laxity is a term used to describe joints that are too loose, or lax. Danielle also displayed too much internal rotation of both her hips, stood with significant knee recurvatum (too much backwards motion of the knee), and had poor stability of her core muscles while performing exercises that postured her in right hip extension. Finally, it was found that she had limited external rotation of her hip, weak hip muscles, and squatted with right lower extremity valgus. After completing this evaluation, Jon confirmed her diagnosis as a right hip labral tear and greater trochanteric bursitis.

What we did at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City to help Danielle improve

Before beginning treatment, Danielle stated that her primary goals were to return to her running routine, independent gym workouts, and yoga classes after completing her program. Danielle’s treatment started with an aggressive hip and core strengthening routine that focused on exercises to improve the extension of her right hip and strengthen a specific set of muscles called the hip abductors. Next, Jon incorporated some strengthening exercises at the end range of her hip internal rotation. Although the goal here was not to necessarily increase her range—since it was already too great before she started treatment—it was still important to focus on end range strength here so that Danielle was strong through her entire range of motion. This was key a key component of Danielle’s treatment and different than what she had worked on with previous physical therapists. She also worked on maintaining the flexibility of several muscles on the outside of her hip, including the iliotibial band, tensor fasica latae, and quadriceps muscles.

Once Danielle completed her personalized treatment program, she noticed a significant reduction in her pain levels and was able return to her running routine without noticing any pain. Getting to this point took a great deal of one-on-one time with Jon and further evaluation of her condition and response to treatment. Eventually, this process helped Danielle understand that her hip laxity/dysplasia was the main obstacle that was interfering with her ability to improve, which unfortunately cannot be changed by physical therapy because it’s an anatomical problem. However, Jon told her that if she continued with her core strengthening exercises in specific positions, hip strength at the end range, and flexibility exercises for the muscles of her hip, it is possible for her to become pain-free in the future.

Danielle had this to say about her physical therapy experience with us: “Jon was attentive and knowledgeable in diagnosing the source of my injury and how to resolve it. We worked together on a movement treatment plan that reduced my pain and allowed me to more my hip more easily. Now, when I do my exercises regularly, I can run, ski, do exercise classes, and stand for long periods of time (all previously problems!) without pain.”

Jon and the rest of the staff at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City are thrilled to see Danielle finally find an effective solution for her condition, and we wish her continued, pain-free success in the future. If you’re dealing with some pain of your own that’s holding you back in any way, we’d like to help you next in achieving similar outcomes to Danielle. Contact us at 212-317-8303 to schedule an appointment today, or click here to read our last blog for more information on hip dysplasia.

Overcome your hip pain with a personalized New York City physical therapy program

Hip impingement syndrome, or femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), is a fairly common and painful condition that results from too much friction between bones in the hip joint. Hip impingement is often caused by repetitive movement of the hip, which is why it’s frequently seen in sports like soccer and football. But in other cases, a condition called congenital dysplasia can lead to changes in the hip that will go on to cause hip impingement later in life. Regardless of its cause, hip impingement leads to bothersome symptoms that can interfere with patients’ lives, but all cases can be effectively managed with a course of New York City physical therapy.

The hip is a ball-and-socket joint in which the “ball” is the thighbone (femur) and the “socket” is the pelvic bone (acetabulum). Both the femur and the acetabulum are covered with smooth articular cartilage that protects the bones and prevents them from rubbing against one another. In addition, another specialized piece of cartilage called the labrum provides a suction seal and helps to further stabilize the hip joint.

In a normal hip, the femur easily fits into a concave section of the acetabulum, and the joint glides smoothly with its additional reinforcements from the labrum and articular cartilage. Hip impingement 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. This rubbing leads to pain and decreases the range of motion of the hip. Other symptoms of hip impingement include stiffness in the thigh, hip, or groin, and pain in the groin area, particularly after the hip has been flexed.

Many cases of hip impingement occur from repetitive activity that involves recurrent movement of the legs beyond their normal range of motion. Athletes in sports like soccer, baseball, football, tennis, and hockey, are therefore all at an increased risk for developing it. A single traumatic injury that damages the hip joint may also be responsible for hip impingement.

Some people actually have hip impingement for their entire lives but aren’t affected by it, while others will eventually go on to notice symptoms. One possible reason for impingement is congenital dysplasia, a condition present at birth in about 1 of every 1,000 babies. In patients with dysplasia, the hip socket may be shallow, which lets the head of the femur slip in and out of the socket, sometimes completely. Although dysplasia is not a common cause of impingement, it can be very painful when it does occur. Patients usually describe the pain to be more like a pinching sensation in certain positions of sitting or hip movement, such as a high kick when dancing.

New York City physical therapy to the rescue

Whether the hip impingement is due to sports activity, congenital dysplasia, or some other cause, all cases can be effectively managed with a course of New York City physical therapy. Each treatment program will vary depending on the patient’s specific condition and involvement in sports, but most will typically consist of the following components:

  • A full-scale evaluation in which the physical therapist will identify specific movements or activities that may aggravate pain and advise against them
  • Recommendations for rest and limiting or temporarily stopping participation in whatever sport caused the injury (when applicable); icing the injured area is also helpful
  • A muscle-strengthening program that focuses on the muscles of the hip, as well as the core and legs, which will also affect the functioning of the hip
  • Manual therapy, in which the physical therapist will gently move muscles and joints to decrease pain and improve motion and strength
  • Movement re-education, which will include self-stretching techniques to help restore normal motion of the hip, back and legs; we will also offer advice on stretches to avoid, like passive stretching, which can be damaging to the hip

So if you’re dealing with any symptoms that might suggest the presence of hip impingement, Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy would like to help. Pete Schultz, DPT and Bridget Dungan, DPT specialize in treating hip pain for active and athletic individuals, and both were recently selected as two of the few physical therapists to complete the Advanced Hip Clinician credential through the Hospital for Special Surgery. Contact us at 212-317-8303 to schedule an appointment today to get started with your personalized New York City physical therapy program, or click here for more information on hip impingement.

Success stories from Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City: Laura’s pain levels significantly decrease after completing treatment

Laura came in for a visit at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City with a complaint of lower back pain that was radiating into her hip joint and buttocks. She noticed the pain on both sides, but it was stronger on the left. Laura reported that she was unable to sit for long periods of time, felt jolts of pain when standing up from a seated position, would wake up feeling very stiff and in pain, and was unable to lift her left leg and put on socks or pants without feeling lots of discomfort.

Laura also told us that her pain has been chronic for over 5 years, and that she had managed it with physical therapy and chiropractic adjustments. She also went through periods of intense pain to lower levels of pain, but has not been free of discomfort for even a day over the last several years. However, in the last few months the pain intensified and the usual approaches to remedy her pain did not help. Despite the pain, Laura has tried to stay physically active and has a passion for cycling, biking most evenings and going for long-distance rides on weekends.

An MRI revealed that Laura had disc herniations in her lower spine, and with this diagnosis in hand, we performed a thorough evaluation to determine how she was limited by her condition. We found that Laura was unable to bend to her side or touch her toes, and experienced some pain with rotation. The examination also revealed spasms in two sets of muscles in the back, tightness and weakness in the gluteal muscles, weakness in left hamstring muscles, and tightness in muscles of the hips and IT band.

How we helped Laura achieve her goals at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City

Before beginning treatment, Laura stated that her primary goal was pretty straightforward: she wanted therapy to reduce her pain so that she could perform daily activities and engage in sports without pain. To help Laura accomplish her goals, first we focused on reducing the tone of all her tight muscles and released trigger points utilizing needling and cupping techniques. Then, utilizing motor point acupuncture, we worked on changing the motor inhibition and weakness in her core and gluteal muscles. Strengthening these muscles helped Laura to use appropriate muscles while cycling instead of relying on her back and hip muscles, which should serve as a support.

After completing treatment, Laura no longer has pain when standing up, and she can put socks and pants on without pain as well. She is also able to sit for long hours—which her job occasionally requires—and her pain is significantly lower after many hours of cycling. She still feels achy after wearing heels or walking long distances, but we are currently working to resolve that, too.

Laura had this to say about her overall experience: “Thank you for giving my happiness back. For me cycling is happiness, and because of you, I am able to do it!”

Helping patients overcome their impairments to experience happiness again makes us happy as well, and it’s exactly what we focus on accomplishing with every patient that walks through our doors. So if any type of pain or physical limitation is holding you back from happiness or enjoying life, we’d like to help you next. Contact Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City at 212-317-8303 to schedule an appointment today, or click here to read our last blog for more information on acupuncture.

Acupuncturist Mila Mintis identifies 5 things you may not know about the practice

In this day and age, nearly everyone has heard of acupuncture. Because of celebrities like Kim Kardashian posting pictures with needles in her face during her facial rejuvenation sessions and athlete Kobe Bryant using it for ankle injury, acupuncture has made its way from the dark dungeons of Chinatown into the most prominent offices of Manhattan. Pain is the most common condition treated by acupuncture. However, many people do not know that this medicine has healing abilities that stretch far beyond just pain management.

Mila Mintsis, L.Ac. is a leading certified acupuncturist who practices here at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City. Below, she discusses 5 things that you may not know about acupuncture:

1. Acupuncture decreases anxiety

In our fast-paced society, with increasing demands of work and family life and the challenges of finding balance between them, it is no wonder that such a high number of people suffer from anxiety. The statistics show an increase in usage of anxiety medications and in my practice, close to 90% of clients report feeling anxious on a near-daily basis. The bad news is that acupuncture will not solve your work or family problems. But the good news is that it will make you more equipped to deal with life’s challenges. Studies show that acupuncture increases production of endorphins, reduces prefrontal cortex activity and blocks production of stress hormones, which results in a relaxation response. Patients report feeling euphoric and experience a deep state of relaxation following treatments. Want to try acupuncture for anxiety but anxious about needles? Don’t be. People are often surprised by how gentle and comfortable of a procedure it is, and many fall asleep during treatments.

2. Acupuncture clears up allergies

Allergies are an ever-present epidemic. You, as well as people you know, may be suffering from allergies. There are many theories as to why generations before us did not suffer from allergies as much as we do, but there are few solutions being offered. Recent studies have warned that allergy medications can impair brain function and increase the risk of dementia. Luckily, acupuncture can provide a relief from allergy symptoms without any side effects. There are two main mechanisms behind this effect: First, it modulates cytokines, which are secreted by the cells of the immune system and help to reduce inflammation. Secondly, it reduces IgE levels, which are the immunoglobulins that react to allergens and produce the “allergic response.” After treatments, people report reduction in nasal congestion, sneezing and itching and say they can breathe again. For the best results, treatments must be done a few weeks before the allergy season begins. In addition, dietary modifications such as elimination of dairy and sugar are recommended for longer-lasting relief.

3. Acupuncture can help you get pregnant

Yes, you heard me right. After pain management, fertility is probably the most sought-after treatment by acupuncture. Often performed in conjunction with Western medicine treatments, acupuncture has shown to increase the success of pregnancy rates. Acupuncture increases blood flow to the uterus; decreases anxiety and stress (which often come as a result of being unable to conceive), and regulates hormone levels. Some studies show that receiving acupuncture before and after the embryo transfer in assisted reproduction therapies greatly increases the odds of implantation, leading to live births. There are occasions where the man’s health impedes a successful pregnancy. Acupuncture has been found to improve sperm quality in cases of male infertility. In any case, it seems that both parties can benefit from treatments to increase their odds of conception.

4. Acupuncture helps digestion

Digestive complaints are another issue that has been plaguing our society. Often, when I ask my patients about their digestion, they will say that it is “good” or “normal.” Unfortunately, frequent bloating and infrequent bowel movements is the new definition of normal. Many are unaware that for good health, bowel movements have to occur daily, and frequent bloating is a sign that your body is not properly digesting the food and assimilating nutrients. Proper digestion starts with proper nutrition and Chinese medicine offers specific dietary plans according to your individual digestive issues. In addition to dietary changes, acupuncture can improve digestion by promoting the parasympathetic state, which is also known as “rest and digest”. Most of us are constantly on the go and chronically stressed, which results in sympathetic dominance or “fight-or-flight mode”. It is our body’s way of responding to and dealing with stressful situations. This sympathetic dominance physically impedes proper digestion. Creating a favorable parasympathetic state, as acupuncture does, helps to heal digestive complaints.

5. Acupuncture can get rid of your headaches

Whether you suffer from tension headaches or migraines, acupuncture can help. A study conducted at Duke University, showed that acupuncture was better at treating headaches than aspirin. Other studies have proven acupuncture to be a valuable tool as well. Tension headaches differ from migraines and other headaches in their etiology and therefore acupuncture approaches each with a different strategy. One of the reasons we get headaches is due to constriction of blood vessels, which reduces circulation, and can induce headache pain. Needle stimulation at specific areas on the body increases circulation and induces blood vessel dilation, which can alleviate pain. Tension or spasming in the upper back and neck muscles due to emotional stress or excessive computer use can produce a referred pain into the head, causing tension headaches. Placing needles into involved muscle groups induces relaxation in the muscle tissue and eliminates headaches. During treatments, patients often describe a pleasant warming sensation in the back, and they feel immediately better. And most importantly, acupuncture is safe and has no side effects, unlike some medications.

I hope this information was helpful and insightful. And remember, life can be painful but suffering is always optional. If you have any conditions discussed above, acupuncture may be right for you. Call Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City at 212-317-8303 to schedule an appointment today, or click here for more information on acupuncture.

Success stories from Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City: Jaymes can comfortably reach without pain after 8 weeks of treatment

A patient named Jaymes came in to see us at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy due to some debilitating shoulder issues. Jaymes had been experiencing pain, stiffness, and a clicking sensation in both of his shoulders, which was interfering with his ability to stand, reach, and carry photography equipment at his job. He also noted that he was limited when trying to reach overhead or across his body, and he often felt a weakness in his arms from fatigue after long days of photo shoots.

The first step in the treatment process for Jaymes was a full-scale evaluation of his mid-to-upper spine, as well as the muscles surrounding the shoulder. Results showed that Jaymes had severely limited flexibility when rotating this region of the spine, as well as limitations when moving his shoulders in a number of directions. Additional findings from Jaymes’ evaluation included the following:

  • Increased sensitivity, pain, and stiffness in the mid-to-upper spine and the shoulder joints
  • Significant muscular restrictions throughout neck, upper back, shoulders, chest wall, and hips
  • A decreased ability to dissociate scapulothoracic movements of the shoulders
  • Severe kyphotic posture when standing and sitting, which caused Jaymes to hunch his back
  • Inefficient breathing with a lot of breath-holding while lifting, bending, and squatting maneuvers
  • Poor strength in a number of the muscles of the upper back and shoulders

Based on this evaluation, Jaymes was diagnosed with a condition called T4 syndrome, which is also known as upper thoracic syndrome.

What we did at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City to help Jaymes improve

Before beginning treatment, Jaymes stated that his goals were to reduce his pain levels, improve his posture, and regain flexibility throughout his upper body. He also wanted to improve his general fitness and flexibility habits in the long term.

The first part of treatment consisted of manual therapy that followed an impairment-based approach. The sessions would start with manual therapy and then slowly progress into postural training, followed by exercises for the home and long term maintenance. Each session would include some combination of the following techniques:

  • Joint manipulation and mobilization of the mid-to-upper spine
  • Soft-tissue massage
  • Taping techniques to improve posture
  • Electrotherapy, ultrasound, or laser therapy
  • Cupping and the Graston Technique
  • Training in standing, lifting, and carrying ergonomics
  • Postural restoration and integration techniques
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises of the neck, shoulder, and upper back
  • Exercises for flexibility and stabilization of the core muscles throughout spine

After 6-8 weeks of physical therapy, Jaymes noted that he experienced a decrease in flare-ups of his back and shoulder pain. He reported feeling stronger at work with improved stamina and posture. Although his left shoulder still clicks occasionally, there is no pain, and he is able to reach further overhead and across/away from his body during daily activities—something he recalled never being able to do very well.

Jaymes had this to say about his outcome after therapy: “It feels strange to slouch like I used to—almost as if my body is unable to be hunched over like that anymore. I didn’t realize how much more I can and am supposed to reach overhead—my arm is going new places!”

Jaymes’ story is a testament to how physical therapy can help patients achieve their full potential, which in some cases, they might not even be aware of. We are thrilled to see how pleased Jaymes is with his treatment, and wish him continued success. If you’re experiencing any issues of your own that are holding you back, Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City would like to help you next. Contact us at 212-317-8303 to schedule an appointment today, or click here to read our last blog more information on T4 syndrome.

A lesser-known condition called upper thoracic syndrome may be responsible for your back pain in New York City

Of all the regions of the body, the spine ranks as one of the most common in which pain occurs. Back pain can result from a wide range of injuries and conditions, and in many cases, it may be difficult to identify any cause at all. But there is also a condition called upper thoracic syndrome, which is considered one of the lesser known and under-recognized causes of upper back pain in New York City. Upper thoracic syndrome leads to symptoms in the back and down to the hands that can be a disturbance to your daily life, but our physical therapists are equipped to correctly diagnose and treat this bothersome condition.

The spine can be divided into the following five segments moving from its top at the skull to the base: cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral, and coccyx. The thoracic spine is located right below the neck (cervical spine), starting at the shoulders and spanning 12 bones—or vertebrae—to the lower back region, or lumbar spine. Upper thoracic syndrome, or T4 syndrome, indicates that there is pain in the 4th vertebrae of this thoracic segment of the spine.

Upper thoracic syndrome primarily develops from an injury to this region of the spinal cord. These types of injury typically result from repeated bending, arching, lifting, or twisting movements of the upper back, which causes damage to the joints of the thoracic spine. Upper thoracic syndrome can also be caused by poor posture, particularly from protruding the head too far forward while sitting or standing, as well as slouching.

For patients with upper thoracic syndrome, symptoms may be varied depending on how severe the condition is, but some of the most common symptoms include pain in the upper back and/or arms, a tingling sensation in the arms and/or hands, extreme hot or cold temperature sensation in the hands, and a heavy feeling in the arms. Less common symptoms include neck pain, pain radiating towards the chest, muscle spasms, and stiffness.

How our therapists manage patients with this type of back pain in New York City

If you’ve been experiencing a number of these symptoms continuously over time, there’s a chance you may have upper thoracic syndrome; however the only way to be certain is after undergoing a thorough evaluation from one of our physical therapists. If a diagnosis is confirmed, physical therapy is regarded is one of the most effective methods for managing upper thoracic syndrome. At our clinic, a typical treatment program for this type of back pain in New York City will typically include the following components:

  • Joint mobilization and manipulation of the thoracic and cervical spine
  • Soft-tissue massage
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises for the muscles of the upper back
  • Exercises to improve the stability of the core muscles
  • Education on how to minimize further symptoms, such as using the right posture, not sitting for too long, taking frequent breaks, and getting enough rest

Just because upper thoracic syndrome may not be as well known as other back-related conditions doesn’t mean it can’t still be a nuisance to your life. So if your upper back pain in New York City is holding you back from functioning normally in any way, we’d like to help. Contact Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City at 212-317-8303 to schedule an appointment today, or click here for more information on upper thoracic syndrome.

Success stories from Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City: Charles experiences significant reductions in pelvic pain after 10 weeks of treatment

Charles had been experiencing pain around his genital and perineal area, as well as sensitivity in his lower abdomen. Together, these issues were making it difficult for him to stand and perform the duties of his labor-intensive job. His symptoms were also interfering with work, social, and personal spheres of his life, as the only way to temporarily alleviate his pain was through pre-emptive or forced urination. Eventually, Charles decided that his problems needed to be addressed, so he came in to see us at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City for treatment.

After performing a complete evaluation of Charles’ pelvic girdle, hip and pelvic floor muscles, his therapist found that he had severely limited flexibility in all directions, and increased sensitivity, pain, swelling and stiffness in his lower abdomen. Additional exam findings included a significantly elevated resting tone in his pelvic floor muscles, a decreased ability to dissociate his pelvic, lumbar and hip movements, poor posture while standing, and inefficient breathing—which included holding his breath while lifting, bending, and squatting. As already mentioned, Charles also had faulty toileting habits, as he would often urinate to relieve his pain, regardless of whether he actually needed to urinate. The resulting diagnosis from this assessment was pelvic pain.

Before beginning treatment, Charles stated that his goals were to reduce his pain levels and regain flexibility throughout his hip and pelvis. He also wanted to improve his posture and urinary habits and work towards enhancing his work and personal/social life.

How we addressed Charles’ issue at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City

Based on the evaluation, Charles was given recommendations to retrain his bladder and help him establish a normalized urination schedule. He was first instructed to perform exercises designed to improve the flexibility of his hip, lower back, and lower abdomen. To relax the muscles of his pelvic floor—which are located at the bottom of the pelvis—Charles completed diaphragmatic and breathing re-education and biofeedback. Finally, he was re-educated and trained on how to increase his awareness, and given strategies to improve his posture and lifting mechanics to decrease stress in his pelvic floor.

After completing 10 weeks of physical therapy, Charles reported that his pelvic pain had improved by about 90%. He noted that his urination has become normalized, and he has been able to perform his job and even work overtime without any interference from pain or a need to urinate. He also enjoys his home-exercise program, which has become part of his new morning routine, and is currently looking forward an extended vacation with his wife without any concerns for a flare-up or return of his symptoms.

Charles had this to say about his overall experience with us: “Pelvic floor physical therapy, with all its exercises, stretches and education, has helped me immensely. It’s unbelievable that the pain I’ve suffered with for years and was unresponsive to medications has resolved and can be controlled with my exercises. I’m so grateful!”

We couldn’t be happier to see how pleased Charles is with his outcome, and we are confident that he will continue to improve as he sticks with his home-exercise program. Charles’ story shows that some people live with pain or impairments for years before trying physical therapy, but once they do, it doesn’t take very long to experience notable changes. So if you are currently in pain or being held back by any type of movement-related issue, we invite you to contact Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City at 212-317-8303 to schedule an appointment today. You can also click here to read our last blog for more information about male pelvic pain.

Our New York City physical therapists are equipped to treat male pelvic pain, a condition which may not be getting the attention it deserves

When issues related to the pelvic area come up, most of the attention seems to be on women and conditions like pelvic floor dysfunction and urinary incontinence. While these problems are certainly worthy of the attention given to them, it’s important to point out that men can also experience issues in the pelvic area. Pelvic pain is fairly common in the male population, yet many men don’t bring up their condition to doctors out of embarrassment or lack of awareness on what might be causing it. With this in mind, we’d like to inform you that our New York City physical therapists are capable of treating male pelvic pain, and we encourage all men to seek out our services if they are having problems.

To understand why pelvic pain occurs, it’s important to understand a bit more about what the pelvic floor is. The skeletal muscles of the pelvic floor are located at the bottom of the pelvis and wrap around the underside of the bladder and rectum to provide this region with support. Just as spasms of the neck and shoulder can lead to headaches, spasms of the pelvic floor muscles can lead to pain and other symptoms in this region.

When these spasms occur, patients may feel pain in the penis, testicles, perineum—which is often described as feeling like “sitting on a golf ball”—lower abdomen and lower back. Other possible symptoms related to pelvic pain may include urinary urgency or frequency, erectile dysfunction, and painful bowel movements. Together, these symptoms can be a nuisance to everyday life and make it a challenge to function normally.

How our New York City physical therapists address male pelvic pain

At Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy, our New York City physical therapists are trained to treat a wide array of painful and bothersome conditions, and one of these is male pelvic pain. Our therapists can help patients by evaluating the pelvic floor with an internal examination and by using a device called surface electromyography, which assesses the tone and strength of the pelvic floor muscles by placing electrodes on this area. After completing the evaluation, a treatment plan will be designed, which usually consists of the following:

  • Joint mobilization performed by the therapist to improve the mobility of the joints and pelvis, as well as the alignment of the spine
  • Soft-tissue mobilization, also performed by the hands of the therapist, to restore the length of muscles and relieve muscle spasms
  • Whole-body strengthening and stability exercises, and correction of abnormal movements
  • Modalities like biofeedback electrical stimulation, which help to retrain muscles and reduce symptoms

Men who are experiencing pelvic pain may still be hesitant to seek out help, but if you fall into this category, we can assure you that there’s nothing to be embarrassed about, and our treatments work. So for any men who are interested in addressing their pelvic pain or any other painful conditions, contact Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy at 212-317-8303 to schedule an appointment today, or click here for more information on male pelvic pain.

Success stories from Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City: Emily becomes pain-free and can carry bags again after completing treatment

Emily came in to see us at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City with long-standing complaints of neck and upper back pain.  Her pain was dull and localized to both shoulder blades, and it got worse when she spent long period of time sitting, using a backpack or carrying bags. She had received chiropractic treatment over the past few years for her pain and had multiple Botox injections into the muscles surrounding her shoulder blades to decrease her symptoms.  Though the Botox injections provided some temporary relief, the symptoms would consistently return a few weeks after the injections.

Upon Emily’s first visit, she told her therapist that she had previously been diagnosed with dystonia, a movement disorder that causes a patient’s muscles to contract uncontrollably and results in repetitive movements or abnormal postures. Emily’s therapist was not confident that this condition was responsible for her symptoms, so he performed a thorough evaluation to get a better idea of what was going on.

After completing the evaluation, the therapist found that Emily presented with classic symptoms of a condition called upper crossed syndrome: tightness and tension in her chest and neck muscles, with weakness and elongation in her upper back, neck, and core muscles. Emily had decreased flexibility of her neck, most notably when rotating it in the left direction, which recreated the pain in her left shoulder blade.  Additionally, her neck range of motion was significantly better when tested lying down than when standing, which led the therapist to believe that the issue was more related to her stability than her mobility. Emily also presented with poor core stability when she was pushed laterally in half-kneeling and standing positions.

Emily stated that her goals were to be pain-free while sitting at her desk, and she also wanted to initiate an independent gym program without any complaints of neck or back pain.  In addition, she hoped that undergoing physical therapy would help her to understand the root of her symptoms and that she would no longer need any more Botox injections to manage her pain.

Emily’s treatment program from Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City

To decrease the tone of the muscles surrounding her neck and shoulder blades, Emily received a manual therapy intervention called Active Release Technique.  Joint mobilizations were also utilized to increase the flexibility of her neck into left rotation.  Exercises to strengthen her core were also employed in a variety of positions, including lying on her back, lying on her stomach, half-kneeling, and standing. Finally, a set of stabilizing exercises for her shoulder and rotator cuff were also used to increase the strength and endurance of these muscle groups.

After 12 weeks of consistent physical therapy, Emily was discharged without complaints of pain or limitation in her neck flexibility.  She joined an independent gym and has initiated a general conditioning program, during which she didn’t experience any issues.  She is also able to sit at her desk pain-free all day, and can carry packages and her bags without any problems.

Emily had this to say about her outcomes after physical therapy: “My experience was great, and in addition to greatly helping my neck pain, I also learned a lot about the causes of my pain, which has been very helpful as I continue to work on staying pain-free.”

We’re thrilled to see Emily thriving after completing her treatment program with us, and we wish her continued, pain-free success in the future. If you’re experiencing any painful issues of your own, we’d like to offer our services to you. Contact Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy at 212-317-8303 to schedule an appointment today, or click here to read our last blog on upper crossed syndrome.

Poor posture can lead to a painful muscle deformity over time, but our New York City physical therapists can effectively treat it with advice and exercise

Whether it’s been from our parents in our earlier years or from the many recommendations about our workstations today, it feels like we’ve always been told to “sit up straight.” A great deal of fuss has been made about posture and trying to keep the body properly aligned at all times, but just how important is it, really? It turns out that using good posture is extremely important, as practicing bad postural positions in the long term can lead to a number of problems, one of which is upper crossed syndrome (UCS). This painful condition results from a muscle deformity in the upper body, but our New York City physical therapists can effectively address it with advice and a specific set of exercises.

UCS refers to a particular way in which the muscle groups of the neck, shoulders and chest become arranged. Most cases of UCS develop from using poor posture regularly for a long period of time. The posture that is most closely associated with UCS is standing or sitting with the head pushed forward rather than aligned over the spine, which is a popular position that people use when they are watching TV, reading, riding a bike, driving or looking down at a smartphone, laptop or computer.

Using this poor posture for a while leads to several changes in the muscles of upper body. It primarily affects the upper trapezius and levator scapula muscles, which are the back muscles of the shoulders and neck. In the first stage, these muscles become extremely strained and overactive, and then, the muscles in the front of the chest—major and minor pectorals—become light and shortened. When these muscles are overactive, the surrounding counter muscles in the area are underused and become weak. As a result, the overactive and underactive muscles can overlap, which causes an “X-shape” to develop.

Patients with UCS display rounded shoulders and a neck that is bent forward because of the improper configuration of the muscles. The deformed muscles put strain on the surrounding joints, bones, muscles and tendons, which can cause a variety of symptoms. These include neck pain, headaches, weakness in the front of the neck, strain in back of the neck, pain in the upper back and shoulders, jaw pain and fatigue.

How our New York City physical therapists typically address UCS

The best way to treat UCS is by making lasting changes to your posture and following a specific set of exercises designed for this muscle deformity. Some patients with UCS may feel lots of discomfort when stretching, but not being physically active can actually lead to additional problems like soreness and stiffness. This is why it’s crucial to become engaged in exercises that will improve your condition. Our New York City physical therapists typically manage UCS patients with the following:

  • Posture advice and education: since poor posture is the main culprit of UCS, one of the main components of treatment will be training you to change your posture for the better in all the positions you hold throughout the day
  • Stretching exercises: focuses on improving flexibility of the muscles in the upper body that have become shortened or tightened
  • Strengthening exercises: targets the muscles of the neck and upper back that have become weakened by UCS
  • Manual therapy: one of the most effective treatments for UCS, in which the therapist uses their hands to relieve pain and stiffness in order to engage better movement of the body

Fortunately, UCS is not considered a serious condition unless it progresses into later stages without treatment, at which point it can become far more difficult to treat. This is why our New York City physical therapists strongly recommend seeing us at the first signs of UCS, so that it can be properly managed before it progresses further. Contact Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy at 212-317-8303 to schedule an appointment today, or click here for more information on UCS.