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.

Success stories from Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City: Darby returns to her running routine after just five weeks of treatment

Darby came in to see us at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City after experiencing some ankle problems. She had been training for the NYC Marathon when she started noticing pain, swelling and tenderness on the inside of her right ankle. These issues were getting in the way of Darby’s training plan, so she got proactive and sought out a solution at our clinic.

Upon the initial evaluation, Darby’s therapist noticed that her swelling and tenderness were located right over the posterior tibialis tendon.  This tendon holds up the arch of each foot and provides support to the feet, and for this reason, it’s one of the most important tendons in the leg. A movement screening also showed that Darby had decreased stability in her right ankle and foot, difficulty controlling her knees from moving inward during a single leg squat and reduced flexibility of both calf muscles.  Strength testing revealed some weakness at her outer hip muscles as well. Based on these findings, Darby was diagnosed with posterior tibialis tendinitis, which is an inflammation of the posterior tibialis tendon.

When Darby’s ankle was less painful and the swelling went down, she was analyzed on the treadmill to see if her running form might be contributing to the ankle pain.  We found that she tended to land with excessive crossing over of her right foot, which leads to an increased demand on the posterior tibialis muscle to stabilize the ankle when accepting weight. This was likely a contributing factor in Darby’s injury.

What we did at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City to address Darby’s injury

To target Darby’s ankle problems, treatment started with Active Release Technique to improve her calf flexibility and ankle mobility.  Next, she followed an exercise program that consisted of foam rolling, calf stretching, hip strengthening, and balance/stability exercises performed on one leg.  An emphasis was placed on hip and ankle/foot stability when she completed all standing exercises.  Once Darby was ready to ease back into running, her therapist gave her cues to help her reduce crossover landing on the right.  She was also given a specific warm-up routine to complete before each run.

After just five weeks of therapy that included a progressive return to her running routine, Darby successfully completed a Ragnar Race, during which she ran a total of 18 miles.  She how has her eye on the NYC Marathon in November, and we have no doubt she will shine there.

Here at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City, we’re thrilled to see that Darby was able to get back into her running routine so quickly and that her plan to run the NYC Marathon has not been jeopardized by her injury. So if you’re experiencing any pain of your own, whether it’s related to running or not, we invite you to come in for a visit so that you can experience similar outcomes to Darby. Call us at 212-317-8303 to schedule an appointment today, or click here to read our last blog.

Running injuries in New York City like shin splints can really slow you down, but they can be properly managed with physical therapy and training modifications

If you consider yourself a runner, you’ve probably at least heard of shin splints. If you’re an avid runner that’s been doing so regularly for most of your life, then there’s a strong chance that you’re also familiar with them on a personal basis. But what exactly are shin splints and what are the best ways to address them? “Shin splints” is actually a general term to describe pain felt along the inside or front edges of the shin, which results from damage to one of the tendons in this area. There are generally two types of shin splints—anterior and posterior—with posterior shin splints being less common and involving the posterior tibial tendon. These New York City running injuries can be a nuisance to your exercise regimen, but physical therapy and some basic training changes are usually all that’s needed to address them.

The posterior tibial tendon is one of the most important tendons of the leg, and it serves as one of the major supporting structures of the foot. This tendon attaches the calf muscles to the bones of the inside of the foot, and it holds up the arch of each foot and provides support to the feet while walking, running and during just about any other weight-bearing activity. It’s also particularly important to runners, as it is prominently used when plantar flexing the ankle (pointing the toes downward) and inverting the ankle (rolling it inward).

Injury to the posterior tibial tendon can occur as a single incidence or as gradual damage over the course of time. An acute, one-time injury, such as a severe fall can tear the tendon on the spot or cause it to become inflamed. More commonly, the tendon becomes damaged from repeating the same activities over and over without enough time to recover, which makes it an overuse injury. Increasing your training load too quickly, regularly running or training on hard or angled surfaces, and wearing improper footwear like shoes with low arches all increase the chances of damaging the posterior tibial tendon. Naturally, runners have the highest risk here, but people with flat feet or high arches are also at an elevated risk.

Repeated damage to this tendon eventually leads to inflammation, and the result is a condition called posterior tibial tendinitis, which may also be referred to as posterior shin splints. The primary symptom of these shin splints is a dull, aching pain along the inside rear of the shin, which may be located on either side of the bone or in the muscle.

This pain tends to arise during activities when pushing off the foot, and the area may also be painful to the touch.

What we recommend for these New York City running injuries

Posterior shin splints can really slow you down and might even force you to stop running or exercising for an extended period of time, but there are actually some simple solutions to address this problem and help you overcome it in no time. Our physical therapists recommend the following for these New York City running injuries:

  • Always wear properly-fitting shoes, especially while running or working out; talk to our physical therapists or go to a specialty shoe store to have your gait analyzed, which will help you determine which shoes are best
  • Slowly and gradually build your fitness level rather than making extreme changes at any time
  • For the avid runners, try integrating some cross-training into your exercise routine like swimming or biking to reduce pressure on your legs
  • If shin splints continue to be an issue, our treatment programs typically consist of:
    • Static stretching exercises for the two calf muscles
    • Eccentric and concentric strengthening exercises for the calf and possibly the ankle, lower core and gluteal muscles as well
    • Deep tissue massage and ultrasound to address pain in the shin

For most patients, shin splints will improve after making these changes to your training routine, but for stubborn cases and those that have been going on for a while, a course of physical therapy may be necessary to address the problem. So if you’re dealing with long-term shin splints or any other lingering pain that’s been bothering you, Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy is here to help. Call us at 212-317-8303 to schedule an appointment today, or click here for more information on shin splints.