7 Tips For Scar Management

DIY Advice From a Physical Therapist

Scar Management

For some, a scar might be a symbol of pride – a battle wound, so to speak. For others, though, scars don’t rank high on their favorite physical features list. Most of us want to minimize the appearance of scars and the physical consequences that can accompany them – itching, stiffness, tenderness, and pain1,2.

Although scars can occur from wounds and burns, for our purposes here, let’s focus on how best to manage post-surgical scars.

Why Kids Should Play More Than One Sport

And the Drawbacks of Early Sport Specialization

Early Sport Specialization

Kids sports nowadays have gotten more and more intense. It seems like parents are signing their kids up for private coaching and travel teams before they learn to tie their own shoes. Ever since the world saw the results of a father taking his 2-year old son to the golf course every day, parents and coaches have taken notice.

As much as we’re pressured into specializing our kids early in their sport – from coaches, schools, peers, other parents, travel teams – there is much evidence showing that early sport specialization has its detriments. On the flip-side, though, multi-sport participation proves to be very beneficial.

Let’s take a closer look…

Cracking Joints: What’s That Sound?

Cracking Joints Sound

I’ve never been able to crack my knuckles. Growing up, cracking your knuckles was a sign that you were a cool kid – similar to double-jointedness or being able to wiggle your ears. Then, once about the third grade hit, teachers started telling us cracking your knuckles was bad – that it would eventually lead to arthritis and an inability to have normal-functioning hands. That same belief carried over to when our knees started popping when we squatted down. If knuckle-cracking was bad, the knee-popping must be bad, too, right?

Which joints crack for you? Your knuckles? Knees? Shoulders? Hips? Ankles? Neck?

What is it that actually causes the cracking sound inside your joints? Is it bad? Should you be concerned? Let’s explore…

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Time In Physical Therapy

A Patient’s Guide Written By A Physical Therapist

physical therapy goals
This is a guest post by Randal Glaser, PT, DPT, OCS, CEAS I. He is the Co-founder of Jetset Rehab Education, a continuing education company for Rehab Professionals. You can check out Jetset’s blog and podcast (which will both feature yours truly soon!). Follow Jetset on twitter and instagram for exciting con-ed opportunities in exotic locations, and for Randal’s incredible photography skills.

As a Physical Therapist, I’ve worked with – and treated – a lot of patients. I’ve had experiences with satisfied patients who have called me a miracle worker. On the flip side, I’ve also had patients who disagreed with my treatment altogether. And then there are those who were simply indifferent. If I’m completely honest with myself, I can reflect on – and learn from – each experience, regardless of the outcome, to improve patient care moving forward.

Over the years, I’ve taken notes on how to better my interactions with patients to get the best possible results.  I’ve also noticed that, although each patient is unique, those who have successful outcomes share a common set of attitudes and disciplines.

I’d like to share with you these best-patient-practices, which I hope can serve as a guide to help you get the most out of your time in physical therapy.

When Driving Becomes a Pain in the Butt

4 Tips For Comfortable Car Rides

Buttock Pain from Driving

So, you’re taking a summer vacation this year – driving to the cabin with the family? The river? The lake? Six hours in the car isn’t so bad. You’ll leave early to miss the traffic and make sure to use the restroom beforehand so you won’t have to stop. You’ve made the drive dozens of times before, no problem. Then you feel it – halfway there you start squirming in your seat, shifting from one cheek to the other. An hour goes by and you’ve adjusted the backrest four times with no relief. Finally, you admit it: this drive is becoming a pain in the butt!

We’ve all been there. You got a new car, you tried pillows, adjusted the seat, yet nothing seems to make a difference. So, what causes this buttock pain during long car rides and what can you do about it?

What Can Balance Training Do for You? [Exercise Progression Video]

Balance Exercise

What do a 15-year-old soccer player and an 85-year-old bridge player have in common? They can both benefit from balance training. Bobby’s goal is to prevent another ankle sprain. Edna’s goal is to prevent another fall. Whoever you are: young or old, fit or sedentary, athlete or office worker, you can benefit from balance training.

Let’s take a look at what systems in your body contribute to balance, why balance training is so important for different groups of people, and – most importantly – how you can improve your balance with a progression of exercises…

America’s Opioid Crisis Ends With You and Me

We Are The Problem and the Solution

Opioid Painkiller Crisis

There’s an opioid crisis going on in America and most of us don’t even realize it. With increasing reports of chronic pain over recent years, Americans are searching for something to take the edge off. The easiest, most convenient solution? Opioids. The problem? We’re consuming more of them than ever before.

The Truth About What Motivates You

Plus 3 Motivation Tips For Fitness

What Motivates Marathon Runners

Motivation is everything. Without it, you wouldn’t be where you are today – taking steps to enhance your body, mind, finances, relationships, etc. Or maybe you’re like me and some of these areas in your life have become stagnate. Maybe you’re looking for ways to improve but can’t seem to muster the energy, focus, and perseverance. Have you stopped to examine what actually motivates you?

For our purposes here, let’s put motivation in the context of exercise and fitness. You’ve likely experienced times when you’ve been unable to stick to an exercise routine or diet, right? We tend to blame it on any number of things: lack of time, too expensive, too hard, not fun…

On the flip side of the coin, you’ve also been a part of an exercise program or sport that you completely rocked. You’re teaching that yoga class now. You’re on your fifth half-marathon. You’ve been playing Sunday morning hoops for fifteen years straight. You walk 3 times per week, rain or shine.

What makes the difference? What does it take to motivate you?

Stretching: When To Do It, How To Do It

When and How You Should Be Stretching

I don’t stretch as much as I should – that’s what I caught myself telling a friend over dinner the other night. He had asked me what my thoughts were about stretching – when to stretch, how often, for how long, etc. As I was informing him of my knowledge on the subject, I felt a certain sense of guilt in regards to my own stretching regiment because, in all honesty, I don’t really stretch that often.

But I’m a Physical Therapist! I’m supposed to embody total health all day, every day! Shouldn’t I be stretching morning, noon, and night?

Maybe you’re like me. Maybe you feel like you should be stretching more. Or maybe you feel like it’s unclear why you’re stretching in the first place and what kind of benefit it will have.

Well, I’ve got some good news for us both: how you stretch and when you stretch is more important than spending more time stretching…

The 5 Weakest Areas of Your Body and How To Strengthen Them

Strengthen Weak Muscles

Weakness is a relative term. We tend to think of weakness in comparison to other people. For instance, I am weaker than ‘The Rock’ (first person who came to my mind). But what about weakness of certain muscles in your own body relative to others? There are several important groups of muscles that tend to be weak in many people.

Maybe you’ve been neglecting to strengthen some of the weakest areas of your body without even knowing it…