Ankle Sprain and Pain

Ankle Sprain and Pain

It is very common to find the ankle joint afflicted by injuries and the most common form is sprain. Anatomically, various ligaments that are stretched or torn surround the ankle joint when it is forced to land in varied unnatural positions. This is of common occurrence during exercises, playing certain sports or accidentally.

The usual presentation could be an individual landing his foot forcefully on an uneven surface or the foot is turned inwards suddenly with force. This force in-turn stresses the ligaments that normally help stabilize the outer part of the joint. There might be a history of sudden snap/pop when this type of injury happens.

The ankle sprain ranges in severity from grade-I to grade-III, depending on the extent of injury to the ligament. An examination of the ankle reveals swelling and discoloration due to the accumulation of blood and fluid. The X-ray is an integral part of diagnosis as it rules out the possibility of fracture. An MRI examination provides a conclusive picture of injuries to various ligaments.

Prolonged immobilization in cases of ankle sprain is a common treatment error. Early mobilization stimulates collagen bundle orientation thereby promoting healing and regaining the range of motion.

Improper rehabilitation may result in instability vis-à-vis a balance deficit that increases the risk of re-injury. Returning to activity without proper healing or inadequate rehabilitation can also lead to instability. Patients can be declared fit to return to normal activity only after taking into consideration the following points:

1. When there is a full range of motion of the ankle.
2. Ability to walk without a limp.
3. 80-90 per cent strength when compared to normal ankle.
4. Pain-free hopping possible on the affected limb.

The patients not treated adequately experience a feeling of “giving away” of the ankle. On an uneven surface, while climbing stairs, such individuals are good candidates for recurrent ankle sprain.

Treatment at the initial stage aims at reducing post-injury swelling, bleeding and pain especially during the first 24 hours. Hot fomentation should be avoided as it increases swelling. Avoid Aspirin intake (as it prolongs the blood clotting time thereby increasing bleeding).

Give rest to the affected joint. Keep the leg and foot elevated by placing a pillow. This will reduce pain and swelling. Give ice treatment for 15-20 minutes every one or two hours.

PROTECTION OF THE ANKLE during the initial healing phase is extremely important. Taping, ankle stir-up, brace/crepe bandage and in severe cases leg cast is applied. In some cases crutches are used until pain-free weight bearing is achieved.

Once pain-free motion is attained, strengthening exercises are advised with a stretch band. Sitting on the floor/ chair, looping band over the foot with the heel on the floor ankle is moved outwards/ inward, upward and downward.

Heel/toe raises: Standing on a step with heels slightly off the step, slowly rise up on toes and then slowly bring the heel down. When this is easily done, exercise only the injured ankle in a pain-free motion.

Balance exercises: While standing, raise one foot off the floor and balance on the other foot for a count of 15. Increase the count gradually to 30. Start this exercise with your eyes open, and later on close the eyes also.

Return to activity is advised when the distance travelled by patient is no longer limited by pain then patient can progress to 50 per cent walking and 50 per cent jogging.

Chronic ankle laxity treatment becomes more tedious as it requires proper rehabilitation exercises over a period of time in order to improve the range of motion, to enhance strength and bring stability. If ankle pain is managed properly and well in time the incidence of chronic pain can be effectively reduced.

Tennis Elbow Exercise – A Treatment for Tennis Elbow

Tennis Elbow Exercise – A Treatment for Tennis Elbow

Do you have a tennis elbow? If yes, then you’ll definitely learn something from this. Tennis elbow is a Repetitive Stress Injury, so the first thing you might want to do is rest it so that it can begin to heal itself. During the first stage of injury called the Acute Stage, you should follow the R.I.C.E principle. Rest, avoiding all activity that worsen the injury; Ice, if inflammation is present, icing the affected area is suggested; Compress; and Elevate, this helps to keep the swelling to lower levels.

However, if you think that exercise is out of the question, then think again. Tennis Elbow Exercise is a main element in the formula for recovery. The key is doing a proper tennis elbow exercise for rehabilitation and not to harm your tennis elbow.

After the pain of tennis elbow has subsided, having and to some extent increasing muscular strength through tennis elbow exercise will help you improve and diminish the risk of chronic tennis elbow. You may want to start with the tennis elbow exercise of stretching and strengthening exercise routines called isometrics, which focus on the gentle stretching, like wrist flexion, wrist extension and wrist rotation, and are performed twice a day. Make sure that your elbow is extended and the arm is straight to increase the range of stretch, holding each stretch for twenty to thirty seconds and stretching only to the point of comfortable area. You can also squeeze a tennis ball to strengthen small muscles of the hand and arm; this is a simple isometric exercise but can do a lot for your recovery. Gradually increase the amount of work you are doing to improve strengthening of the muscle but remember that you want to help the area not re-injure it.

After pain symptoms are gone and you have full choice of pain free movement of your arm, then you are now ready to start more specific rehabilitation. While stretching and strengthening focuses on gradually increasing the work ability of the elbow, the next level of exercise is for gradually fitting in the movements for your sports or activity. It’s generally like trying to get back to the one that created your injury, and it is important that only gradual work up is done prior to activity levels. Re-injuring ones self is very common at this stage because they tend to subject themselves to too much strain which the elbow is not yet ready to take. During this stage, the elbow strengthening and stretching exercises are still to be continued so as to fully recover from the injury.

Tennis Elbow Braces

Tennis Elbow Braces

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Tennis elbow braces are one way of treating tennis elbow injury. Tennis Elbow injury is an injury that consists of tiny tears in parts of the tendon and in muscle coverings, which result to recurring pain on the outside of the upper forearm just below the bend of the elbow. However, treatment of the tennis elbow injury cannot be relied on tennis elbow braces alone, other treatments like anti-inflammatory drugs and rehabilitation exercises are needed, but tennis elbow braces aid in faster recovery of the muscles.

There are different types of tennis elbow braces suitable for different elbow problems. Here are some of them:

Epicondylitis Clasp
This is one of the types of tennis elbow braces that are recommended by sports injury professionals because of its precision support. It fits around the forearm which takes the strain off the epicondylitis or area where the muscles attach and give precision support to the injured muscles. The epicondylitis clasp should have the correct fit to be effective.

Tennis Elbow Brace
This is a simplified version of the epicondylitis clasp, which wraps around the forearm and takes pressure off the muscle attachments. Some of these braces have additional pads which should be placed over the muscles that attach directly to the epicondylitis. This should be worn as a short term measure to aid recovery and to protect against injury. It can also give you support and aid healing during the day when you have to use your arm for work.

Elbow Heat Retainer/Support
This type of tennis elbow braces supports and protects the elbow joint and helps retain heat produced by the body which improves blood circulation and therefore healing is faster. You can use an elbow support or heat retainer to aid recovery but do not try not to rely on it for long term because this can cause muscle wastage around the joint. You should use it to heal and provide additional support during rehabilitation.

Tennis elbow braces are often recommended by therapists and surgeons for aiding proper rehabilitation of a tennis elbow injury. All of these types of elbow braces are available in different brands, some good quality elbow braces are:

Sportstek Tennis Elbow Support
Simple, effective and liked by consumers. Beige 3mm neoprene with vinyl reinforcement. Regular and Large sizes, it has minimal elasticity. The positioning of the D-Ring over a padded tongue allows some pressure focus.

Nike Tennis Elbow Band
Adjustable elbow band with backle and velcro. Has a pad on the inside of the support which effectively compresses your arms muscles from both sides. This support looks good and is also comfortable, using Stomatex material that expels moisture with minute pumping actions, keeping the skin dry and comfortable.

Victor Elbow Brace
The victor tennis elbow brace with an anti-vibration bar has been designed to secure and support the muscle of the forearm to remove the pull around the elbow and to take more of the strain from those tears.

These are just some of the tennis elbow braces that might fit your need, and there are still a lot of other brands out in the market that you may find suitable for you. You just need to consider the type of elbow injury you have and which type of tennis elbow braces you require.

Choosing The Right Knee Brace

Choosing The Right Knee Brace

Knee braces – also known as knee supports and knee pads – are used primarily as protective gear to address several physical conditions and prevent knee-related problems. These braces are a prominent fixture in sports medicine, particularly with injured athletes. Some sports medicine experts classify knee braces into two simple categories. Functional knee braces are used by patients with an ACL tear, damaged ligaments or other injuries to substitute for the injured body part. Individuals using these braces are able to continue doing some activities without requiring surgery. Although functional braces will never be a perfect or permanent replacement to normal ligaments, they definitely offer adequate protection in low-load situations, giving the knee greater stability compared to having no braces at all.

1. Consult Your Doctor

One who is considering wearing a functional knee brace should consult with a doctor. The decision to use the brace would depend on the particular ligament injured, the sport the individual plays, rehabilitation work taken, and other factors. An injured athlete must realize that strengthening, physical therapy and rehabilitation are more important than using a knee brace, which may help prevent a re-injury but not hasten or contribute much to the recovery or healing process.

On the other hand, prophylactic knee braces are more of a preventive measure for healthy athletes. However, research has yielded unclear results if such a brace prevents knee injuries. Although some athletes using prophylactic braces have shown lower MCL tears, other factors have also contributed to injury risk reduction. These factors include the kind of sport played and conditioning, position and other player attributes.

Apprehension has also emerged over the possibility that a prophylactic brace may actually be a hindrance to knee movement and even increase the likelihood of injury. Research shows that this is not the case, as long as the knee brace is correctly fitted and firmly in place.

2. Commercial Knee Braces

The Futuro Knee Support Stabilizing Large is one of several knee braces available in the market. The brace is designed to give athletes or individuals with weakened tendons, muscles or ligaments stable and comfortable support and prevent any re-injury. The Futuro can also be worn the whole day or when the user feels discomfort in doing some activities. The brace also does not hinder movement even as the knee is stabilized.

Magnetic therapy is integrated into Magnetic Wave Knee Support. This brace comes in small/medium and large/extra large sizes and features 12 magnets spread strategically in the neoprene material. The HoMedics knee support also applies heat therapy and cold therapy for aches, sprains and other injuries. The brace also fits the user securely with loop closures and a hook.

The single-size Mueller Sport Care Knee Support Open Patella is used for arthritic knees and minor strains and sprains. The support is made from a soft neoprene blend that enables body heat retention to relieve pain and help maintain knee flexibility. The support is also designed with an open patella, adjustable straps, stretch nylon, and trimmed, smooth edges to ensure a comfortable fit, prevent chafing and easy wear and removal.

3. Knee Braces With Specific Applications

– Arthritic knee braces are made for individuals with arthritis
– Tese braces are also called unloader braces
– These are designed to eliminate pressure on knee joints
– Post-operative braces are designed to immobilize knee joints after an injury or surgery
– Magnetic knee braces work on the assumption that magnetic fields promote various health benefits
– Elastic braces are the ideal option, as they adjust to the natural contour of the knee and leg

Equine Physical Therapy – As With That of Humans but For Horses

Equine Physical Therapy – As With That of Humans but For Horses


Athletes have benefited from sports physical therapy; just so, equestrian sports horses have been better of from equine physical therapy.

The practice is only a new one, yet for the care of our horses, it is remains important to learn what equine physical therapy can do apart from its limitations. All the same, the basic approaches of equine physical therapy are already that helpful in warming up and stretching the horse prior to competition and the application of cold and heat if such injury ever occurs – very much like sports warm-ups and injury prevention. Equine physical therapy developed from people who believe that horses’ physiological make up is also susceptible to the same injuries or disease that the bodies of human athletes are also prone to having. In fact, most practitioners of equine physical therapy are previous sports trainers and therapist or dual- specialists.

The best equine physical therapists are those referred by veterinarians and those who are affiliates of the National Equine Therapists Association, an organization formed in 1987 aiming to improve the standards of equine physical therapy by advocating the establishment of a certification exam for equine therapists as just one of their major goals.

Other goals of equine therapists are parallel to those that the physical therapists seek to reach. They include pain reduction, restoring range of motion, restoring strength, and injury prevention. Equine physical therapy for horses employs a number of methods and techniques ranging from simple stretching exercises to use of sophisticated equipment. And as these therapeutic methods and techniques are useful in many ways, they are non-invasive in nature. However, once the horse’s condition becomes visibly severe, the on-going process must be reversed and rehabilitation ensues as a much more challenging task. This is how equine physical therapy could be that sophisticated.

And while the athletic trainer or sports therapist of the human sports-med works adjunct with the sports physicians/orthopedics, the role of the equine horse therapist is also to work cooperatively with the veterinarian in the setting up and carrying out of conditioning and rehabilitation programs for sports horses. He administers first aid to the injured, utilizes protective devices or injury preventive equipment, and applies therapeutic equine modalities to ease the discomfort of injury and facilitate exercise. Horse stretching and heat and cold therapy are just among his specialties – ice, heat, water, electricity, light, sound, exercise, and stretching – very much like human sports therapy. After all, equestrian and horse-race are also sports very well- loved by humans.

Sprint for a Sports Physical Therapy Career

Sprint for a Sports Physical Therapy Career

Do you like sports? Are you into one? Are you a big fan? If YES then you might find Sports Physical Therapy as a hot choice for a career.

Sports Physical Therapy is among the fastest growing specialty areas in physical therapy. Widely know as Sports Medicine, sports physical therapy has been an age-long practicum for human athletes. Competitors’ sports therapists ranging from football to gymnastics have utilized a variety of approaches to help maintain physical fitness and to assist in the recovery process of their athlete-patients when injury occurs to a joint, muscle, ligament, or tendon. But did you know that the earliest sports physical therapy practitioners are professional athletes themselves?

Being a great athlete requires knowing how to take care of your body. That’s how sports med developed. Athletes attended to their physical health as well as to those of their team mates. Today, sports physical therapy has evolved into a distinctive specialty as it now focus on the effects of any form of exercise or physical activity aside from basic prevention or enhancement of physical performance to help injured athletes recover.

The field has grown expansively as more and more people in general, not just athletes, starts to become aware of their health as reflected in their fit bodies. The role of the sports therapists has become more and more important as they are called upon to help people achieve optimal health and peak physical performance by designing fitness activities, exercise programs for schools and health clubs, and special conditioning programs, while also teaching people in general some special knowledge and skills on injury prevention and strength, endurance, or agility training.
The Sports Medicine term for Sports Physical Therapy is in fact not secluded to the treatment of only athletes. Sports Physical Therapy is a treatment of anyone involved in physical exercise. Sports physical therapy is more accurately defined as healthcare for anyone who plays sports as well as those who perform exercise. This means that sports physical therapy, aside from its primary focus on acute/chronic injury prevention, also includes management of medical problems caused by exercise, treatment of chronic disease with exercise, and even specific exercise needs for children or women.
Aside from hospitals and clinics, sports physical therapists also work for community health centers, consulting groups, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, private sports medicine clinics, fitness centers, sports facilities, organizations for the handicapped, government health agencies, home health agencies, and schools, including high schools and colleges. Many sports physical therapy practitioners are also technically self-employed in a private practice even though they work in much the same way and setting. But forget that you can work privately for a ‘Beckham’ – you’re making more people fit!

Different types of Physiotherapy

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Just as there is with any type of medicine, there are also different types of physiotherapy.
Physiotherapists practice in many different areas and physiotherapy is used to treat a variety of conditions, illnesses and diseases as well as in rehabilitation of patients who have suffered a broken bone, back or neck injury or even a stroke or heart attack.

One of the most common types of physiotherapy involves those who work with back and neck injury patients. These therapists gently manipulate the spine to either lessen stiffening from a neck injury, ease muscle tightness in the neck or back, or even manipulate a herniated disc back into place. These physiotherapists are very familiar with the spinal column and how it affects our health. Many people seek treatment from such physiotherapists whenever they have a back or neck injury, both of which are very common. Others seek treatment from such physiotherapists to alleviate symptoms from migraine headaches, which many believe is the result of a misaligned spinal column.

Other different types of physiotherapy include therapists who work with people who are immobilized in a hospital. Although they may not be able to move, for many different reasons, it is imperative that blood circulation continues in their extremities. Although there are special “boots” that patients can wear to continue blood circulation in their legs, physiotherapists often work with such patients, including those in a coma, to insure that movement continues in the extremities and atrophy does not occur.

Still yet other types of physiotherapy involve working with injured people who are trying to walk again after a spinal injury or stroke. This takes much time and can be painful for the patient, but he reward can be the difference of spending the rest of their lives in a wheelchair or being able to use their legs again. In cases such as this, a physiotherapist is invaluable and can make a great impact on the patient’s life. This is one reason why, unlike doctors, physiotherapists make a concerted effort to befriend their patient and establish a bond.

Other types of physiotherapy concentrate on helping those with illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Cystic Fibrosis, Muscular Dystrophy and other disabling and life threatening conditions. Others treat children and are called pediatric physiotherapists. They mainly concentrate on children with disease present at birth or those with broken bones.

There are many different types of physiotherapy and all have a great benefit to the medical community. Over the past few decades, more people have opted to go into this profession that offers patients recovering from illness, accident, surgery or who have a disease or condition that requires movement, a chance to live a longer, more productive and pain-free life. Physiotherapists practice in hospitals, rehab facilities and even in private offices. Some physiotherapists specialize in treating homebound patients, such as the elderly, and make home visits periodically to maintain movement for those who are bedridden or unable to walk.

Physiotherapy is a growing science and well respected in the medical community. There are many different types of physiotherapy and newer developments within this scientific field are emerging all of the time.

SHOULDER REHABILITATION

SHOULDER REHABILITATION


Summary: Basic exercises are a part of shoulder rehabilitation.

Watching a championship game in the front row is like living a dream. Well not if you’re supposed to be playing in the game. Aside from getting the gold, athletes are also concerned with maintaining a healthy and an injury-free career life.

But athletes are not the only ones who encounter problems that would require shoulder rehabilitation. While this is indeed common in the sports scene, non-athletes who have injured their shoulders in accidents may need to go through shoulder rehabilitation as well.

Shoulder rehabilitation as with other types of rehabilitation, focuses in the restoration of the normal functions before the impairment. An exercise program or therapy prescribed to the patient signals the start of the rehabilitation stage. However, medical experts said that rehabilitation actually begins from the time the patient has been seen by a health care practitioner, and ends right after the patient’s release.

There are two very common injuries to the shoulder that necessitates shoulder rehabilitation. These are: Subacromial Syndromes and Shoulder Instability. The first lesion means a rotator cuff tear which is characterized by frequent shoulder pains. The aim of shoulder rehabilitation for this particular injury is to bring back the muscular balances between the elevators and depressors. A person suffering from instability of the shoulder would need shoulder rehabilitation as it will restore the muscular balance between internal and external rotators of the shoulder.

Reducing activity, compressing the injured shoulder, elevating the injured shoulder above heart level, and taking in medications like anti-inflammatory, are only some of the things that comprise the dislocated shoulder rehabilitation. Its objectives include strengthening the muscles, increasing flexibility, and establish painless movements. Extreme injury cases however, would mean avoidance of activities that would cause shoulder pains.

There are shoulder rehabilitation exercises that have to be done on both sides of the body to maintain balance. Doing these exercises can increase the strength of both shoulders and may prevent the occurrence of injury to either one of the shoulder. Some of the shoulder rehabilitation exercises that you may be required by your doctor to practice are: shrugs, bicep curls, triceps curls, chest raises, saws, pendulum swings, shoulder rotation, shoulder flexion, towel stretch, and flexed elbow pull. Your doctor may prescribe other exercises instead of or on top of the ones mentioned earlier depending on the nature and intensity of the injury. There are also exercises that don’t necessarily require movements from the injured area, some of which are: stationary bicycle, walking, jogging, and swimming (if pain is tolerable).

Shoulder rehabilitation and therapy should be based on the degree of injury that a person has and its response to the treatments. Exercises and physical activities should all be done according to the doctor’s prescriptions for a more successful shoulder rehabilitation.

How Physiotherapy Can Help With Sports Injuries

How Physiotherapy Can Help With Sports Injuries

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When players have sports injuries, they turn to physiotherapy for rehabilitation.
Physiotherapy, also called physical therapy, offers help whether the player is having surgery to correct the damage or not.

One example of the many sports injuries is an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. This is an injury to the knee. It is one of the common sports injuries in people who play sports that challenge their knees, such as hockey, skating, skiing, basketball, and of course, football. It can limit the range of a player’s motion in that leg, and make the leg weak.

Surgery is sometimes done for these sports injuries, but physiotherapy is always a part of the treatment. The three major exercises done to start the healing process of ACL are heel slides, quad sets, and straight leg raises.

Heel slides are exercises for ACL sports injuries that are easy to understand, but may be painful to do at first. One simply lies on the bed or floor with the foot down. Then, one slides the foot slowly towards the buttocks until it hurts a little, and slides it back. This and the other exercises help prepare the knee for surgery or to heal without it.

Another of the sports injuries that physiotherapy is used for is tennis elbow. One might get tennis elbow from playing tennis, certainly, but it can also come about from any activity that involves twisting the wrist.

Sports injuries like tennis elbow are treated with a comprehensive plan of physiotherapy. Exercises are explained and assigned. Another common procedure for sports injuries is the use of ultrasound. Ultrasound is a way of applying heat deep into the muscle for pain relief.

Electrical stimulation can be used to keep pain from being felt through the nervous system. It is used for tennis elbow and many other sports injuries. Massage and manual therapy can also be used for physiotherapy.

Massage is one of the forms of soft tissue manipulation. However, soft tissue manipulation is to muscles what chiropractic is to bones. It deals not only with muscle, but with tendons and connective tissue as well. It is a specialized field of physiotherapy that has been used for people with sports injuries on many occasions.

As many children’s sports teams are becoming ever more competitive, sports injuries among youngsters is increasing. Often, a well-meaning parent will tell the child to shake it off and keep playing. It is even more important for children to get adequate physiotherapy than it is for adults. Children are just developing, and a problem in childhood can lead to lifelong pain.

Some sports injuries happen because something physically traumatic happens to your body. Someone runs into you as you run with the football towards the end zone, for example. Other times, it is simply a matter of the physical demands you put on your body.

Physiotherapy is instrumental in the healing of many sports injuries. Many professional sports teams have physiotherapists on their staffs. In fact, either ACL or tennis elbow can become permanent conditions without the use of physiotherapy procedures.