Why Choose Physical Therapy for Noninvasive Back Pain Relief?

While many seek surgical solutions for back pain, the odds of surgery being successful in treating back pain are slim; a noninvasive alternative to surgery that boasts longer success rates is physical therapy. Physical therapy diagnoses back pain and treats issues without surgery, MRI, or injections.

Using Surgery to Treat Back Pain

A commercial during the Oscars portrayed a happy patient who claimed to have suffered from back pain and to have gotten relief from neurosurgery. The patient in the commercial appeared to be about 50 years old. Many with pain end up looking toward surgical solutions, but there’s a thought: what about back pain relief without surgery?

Why Surgery is a Flawed Solution

back-painAs an Orthopedist, in my observation, approximately 90% of back surgeries are done in error. Here’s why I say that:

  • Physical exams are limited. Medical doctors do very little by way of a physical exam to determine what the broke structure is.
  • They rely on MRIs. Medical doctors order Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to image the broken structure. They base their diagnosis on the image’s information with little reliance on evidence from a physical exam.

I know this to be accurate because I have interviewed thousands of patients in the course of my 24-year career, and this is what they report.

Following the procedure, surgeons offer limited alternatives.

  • Pills: Pain pills and medications are the first course of post-surgery “treatment.” Often, these pills are addictive and do not actually facilitate healing; rather, they mask pain. Patients can become addicted because these are incredibly strong medications and because of the satisfying result of pain being disguised.
  • Injections: If pills are not successful in the “treatment” of pain, then injections are typically offered. As with pills and other medications, injections do nothing to genuinely resolve any issues; rather, they make pain.

The problem with disguising pain following major surgery is that you might believe your body to be doing better than it actually is; this makes you vulnerable to reinjure yourself (and possibly more significantly than before you had surgery) leading you to need more intervention. Because you are already in the care of a medical doctor, you are more like to return to the same doctor for treatment; you will possibly be recommended for another course of surgery, and the cycle will invariably repeat itself.

Back Pain Relief without Surgery, Injections, or MRI

In reality, most medical experts concur that while back surgery can be used in the treatment of some back pain, it is rarely necessary for the treatment of back pain; further, with surgery, in the even the surgery is successful (surgery is not always successful) back pain usually returns within two months.

If you are not treating your back pain with surgery, then what are your options? Well, unlike surgery, which is invasive, physical therapy provides noninvasive solutions focused on achieving an accurate diagnosis and rehabilitating the injury or ailment.

Physical Therapists Diagnose Pain & Treat Problems

therapy-centerThe physical therapists at Orthopedic and Sports Therapy are experts in diagnosing the true causes of back pain. The physical therapists use a series of physical exams to target the part of your anatomy that is not working.

Once a diagnosis has been made, the physical therapists will work with you and will help you use your own body to heal itself through physical activities and hands on manipulation. At Orthopedic and Sports Therapy, we see pain as a symptom, not the problem, which is why we are not in the business of masking pain.

Rather, our expertise is in determining the source of your pain:

  • Muscle
  • Tendon
  • Disc
  • Nerve root
  • Fascia
  • Dural restriction,

and in treating you accordingly. Without the intervention of invasive, painful, and damaging surgeries, MRIs, X-Rays, pills, or injections, we have the ability to diagnose and treat your back pain. Our goal is to keep you whole and make you feel good. Doesn’t that seem like a better way to address pain? We certainly thing so.

With four locations from Crestview to Destin, Florida, the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center is the place to go for sports injuries and for expedient therapeutic recovery. When you’re in pain and looking for safe, competent, and complete relief, look no further than the experts at the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center, LLC. They’ll get you up and running in no time.

Are Shots Good for Shoulder Pain?

The burden of should pain can often easily be temporarily alleviated with a shot; however, pain always returns, and the shot’s chemicals can lead to more significant problems over time. Physical therapy provides a safe, healthy approach to treating shoulder pain that is proven to be effective over the long term.

The Hazards of Masking Shoulder Pain with Shots

shoulder-painTreating shoulder pain with shots is a common practice because shots provide quick, temporary alleviation of pain; however, this is not a good idea. Shots only function to disguise pain. Given that pain is only symptomatic of the problem and is not the problem itself, treating a symptom is not a lasting or even a healthy way to ameliorate discomfort.

Think of it this way, if you had the flu and that flu resulted in nausea and all you did was treat the nausea but not the flu, provided you could live forever with the flu, you would always be treating the nausea because the flu would never go away because you weren’t treating it. The same concept is applicable relative to shoulder pain. If you are only treating the pain but not the cause of the pain, then you will always be dealing with pain.

Making Pain Leads to Muscle and Tissue Damage

When you have a shoulder injury, you have muscle and joint dysfunction; this is what causes your pain. When you get an injection, as noted, you are stopping the pain; however, the underlying joint dysfunction remains, and the tissue subsequently continues to deteriorate, albeit, pain free, since you have masked the pain with medication.

Further compromises to your muscle and tissues stem from the chemicals used to create the injections as those chemicals:

  • Break down tissues
  • Weaken tissues
  • Makes tissues unhealthy

This leads to further problems that could have otherwise been prevented with less invasive approach that targeted the problem and not just the pain.

The Healthy Way to Treat Shoulder Pain

Physical Therapy Provides Cost-Effective Safe Pain Relief

stretchThe best way to resolve the problem is to accurately diagnose the cause of the pain and discomfort and to eliminate the mechanical issue; this intervention is provided through physical therapy, the result of which is that you will return the joint to its optimal efficiency. As a result of this approach to treatment:

  • The tissue will become healthier
  • Chances for renewed pain are lessened

In addition to the health benefits of using physical therapy to treat shoulder ailments is that physical therapy is less expensive than the more invasive alternative, shots.

The doctors as Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy are well-trained professionals with expertise in addressing problems related to shoulder pain. These physical therapists are highly knowledgeable about shoulder function and have several hands-on techniques they can use to help you treat your shoulder pain in a safe, effective, healthy, and noninvasive manner. They will get your joints back to optimal function while preserve the integrity of your shoulder tissue.

With four locations from Crestview to Destin, Florida, the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center is the place to go for sports injuries and for expedient therapeutic recovery. When you’re in pain and looking for safe, competent, and complete relief, look no further than the experts at the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center, LLC. They’ll get you up and running in no time.

Foods that Reduce Inflammation

Typical Causes & Symptoms of Inflammation

Inflammation actually gets a bad rep. Inflammation is our body’s natural response to ward off dangerous, foreign, or unhelpful organisms; however, there are times where our body –in response to certain other issues (arthritis, to name one) will initiate an inflammatory reaction despite there not being any unnatural presences within the body.

So, while we typically think that inflammation is some kind of swelling problem that is purely problematic, the reality is that there is actually a healthful purpose for inflammation. Additionally, inflammation is more than just swelling.

Signs of inflammation include:

  • Stiffness and lack joint mobility
  • Swelling (this is sometimes accompanied by a warmth to the afflicted area, but it does not have to be)
  • Redness of the afflicted area
  • Fever and chills
  • Fatigue / exhaustion
  • Headache
  • Lack of appetite

Importantly, signs of inflammation closely mimic signs of a blood clot, which means that it is important to take any indication of an episode of inflammation that is not in response to a bacterial or viral ailment seriously.

Using Diet to Reduce Inflammation

Unbeknownst to many, a chronic condition of inflammation can cause a plethora of medical ailments such as stroke (also symptomatic of blood clot disorders), heart attack, cancer, etc. Though genetics absolutely play a role in your tendency toward inflammation, there are ways for you to take control of your physical health.

The first and most important line of defense is in your diet. We have to eat every day, and as it turns out, there are multiple food products that naturally help the body fight inflammation. These defenders are fruits, vegetables, proteins, and alliums; they should be incorporated into your diet on a regular basis.

  • Good Fats: Years ago, fat got a bad reputation, but it has since been discovered that fat is not only essential, but it can also be very, very good. That said, there are healthy fats and unhealthy fats. Saturated fats such as those found in refined sugar products should be avoided. Healthy fats, however, such as those found in fish (like salmon), nuts (such as almonds or walnuts), and cold-pressed oils (like extra virgin olive oil), should be incorporated into the diet.
  • veggie-girlDark, Leafy Greens: When your mother said to eat your vegetables, she was right. Dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, Swiss chard, broccoli, collards, etc. are packed with essential vitamins (E) and with cytokines, which are inflammatory molecules.
  • Whole Grains: If you ever wondered if there was a difference between the food items labeled whole grains and those not, you should know that there is, and those items identified as whole grains can help you (further, they have a higher fiber content). So, start branching out and trying healthy alternatives to rice and pasta like farrow and barley and quinoa.
  • Spices: Many spices like those found in exotic cuisine (turmeric and ginger, for example) are known inflammatory reducers. Other like basil and parsley are also beneficial, so spice up your menu and reduce inflammation at the same time.
  • Alliums: Speaking of spicing up your menu, alliums like garlic and onions are immune-friendly inflammation-reducers. Garlic is known for having similar effects to anti-inflammatory medication while onions have similar mitigating effects.
  • Berries: raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries all have distinct positive impacts on reducing inflammation whether it is in the joints or in the digestive tract. Either way, it’s a perfect reason to add a serving of succulent berries to your morning portion of whole grain steel cut oatmeal.
  • LowFat Dairy: Speaking of digestive inflammation, non- or low-fat yogurt and milk are known for fortifying the body in the fight against rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Vegetables: Tomatoes, colored peppers, and other fresh produce selections are beneficial as a part of both a well-balanced diet and as combatants to inflammation. Tomatoes not only provide a delightful burst of umami to the palate, they also contain lycopene and are proven to reduce lung inflammation. Interestingly cooked tomatoes are more healthful than raw ones, though, both are extremely desirable.

A healthy diet can be used preventatively or defensively against inflammation. By eating well, you can reduce your likelihood of suffering from inflammation and suffering the negative, painful effects of inflammation.

With four locations from Crestview to Destin, Florida, the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center is the place to go for sports injuries and for expedient therapeutic recovery. Safe, informed, comprehensive care and preventative treatment are priorities at Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center, LLC, so if you think you’re suffering from inflammation, schedule a visit to learn more about your health as well as how you can control inflammation through diet and a healthy level of activity for your body.

Why Physical Therapy & Exercise Should be Used to Treat Ankle Sprains

Though ankle injuries are extremely common, knowledge regarding how to treat a sprained ankle is less common. While immobilization is an important part of the early stages of healing, without exercise to improve strength and flexibility, you run a significant risk of reinjuring yourself.

How Physical Therapy Treats Ankle Pain

Sprained ankles are one of the most common injuries with as many as 25,000 incidents occurring per day. Sprained ankles are classified in three “grades” with one being the lowest and three being the highest. Grade one sprains need no medical intervention and should be treated via tolerable stretching and strengthening, isometric exercise, and weight bearing provided none of these actions exacerbate the condition.

Grade two and three sprains necessitate physical therapy as more damage has been done to the ankle. In these situations, physical therapists help you to strengthen your injured ankle and to regain full functional range of your ankle.

The Phases of Ankle Sprain Recovery


When injuries occur, it is because the ankle’s ligament fibers have been damaged.

  • ankleGrade 1: Ligament fibers have sustained some slight stretching and some damage
  • Grade 2: Ligament fibers have been torn partially.
  • Grade 3: Ligament fibers have been torn completely.

In Grade 1 and 2 injuries, there is a method of treatment called the RICE treatment. The acronym RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

  • Rest: Do not walk on the ankle following injury.
  • Ice: Apply ice immediate after injury to suppress swelling; ice can be applied for 20-30 minutes per day three to four times per day. Wrapping should also be used to minimize swelling and pain.
  • Compression: Wrap the ankle with bandages to provide support.
  • Elevate: Lift the ankle above your heart level for 48 hours.

This is the first phase of the rehabilitation process for all ankle sprains; sprains recover in a three-step process.

  • Phase 1: This is the resting, protecting, and immobilizing stage of recovery. The purpose of this stage is to reduce swelling and to protect the ankle while it is still fragile. This stage lasts one week.
  • Phase 2: This is the very important stage in which the ankle regains movement and functionality including flexibility. Range of motion and strength are also regained during this stage. This stage lasts one to two weeks.
  • Phase 3: This final stage involves returning to normal. Patients start with activities that do not involve turning their ankle, and they build up to ‘normal’ activities that do put increasing demands on the ankle (sports like tennis or basketball). This stage lasts for weeks to months.

Immobilize then Exercise

You will note that immobilization is a part of the healing process; however, it is only a component of the first phase of the process. Many people believe that protocol in treating a sprain is to immobilize the injury, which is why when a person has a sprained ankle (even a Grade 1 sprain), they will have the injured apparatus wrapped and will avoid using it even for walking short distances (even after the first week of injury). The misconception is that the ankle has to rest in order to heal; they neglect to respect exercise and stretching’s role in healing.

jogging-coupleThe reality is that extensive immobilization after an ankle sprain can actually increase the risk of re-injury. Exercise and physical therapy are thus essential for avoiding chronic pain and for mitigating the risk of re-injury. Additionally, it is important to complete the entire curriculum of care and healing recommended by your physical therapist. This includes trusting your physical therapist when they say that it is time to transition from immobilization to stretching and regaining strength and range of motion.

The physical therapists at the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center are fully trained and have years of expertise in assessing and treating sprained ankles, so trust them to tell you when it’s time to start moving again because you can also trust them to help you every step of the way.

With four locations from Crestview to Destin, Florida, the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center is the place to go for sports injuries and for expedient therapeutic recovery. When you’re in pain and looking for safe, competent, and complete relief, look no further than the experts at the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center, LLC. They’ll get you up and running in no time.

Hip Weakness: A Cause of Runner’s Knee

Runners often fatigue their knees, which leads to pain and injury. Though many assume the pain is symptomatic of knee injury, it is actually often representative of another culprit: weak hips. Under the guidance of a physical therapist, you can quickly and safely strengthen your hips and fix your knees, which will get your running again.

Why You’re Running with Pain

Iliotibial (IT) band tendinitis and patella tendonitis (better known as runner’s knee) are typical ailments that most often plagues runners (however, it can afflict others as well). IT band tendinitis is considered to be an overuse injury in which the IT band that runs along the outer side of the thigh becomes inflamed. The IT is a stabilizing component of the leg’s musculature. As the knee flexes and contracts, the IT band is integral in stabilizing the outside of the knee.

Signs of Knee Injury

Pain is the primary indicator that an injury has occurred; however, injury can sometimes start in places other than in the knee itself.

  • holding-kneeAchilles pain
  • Muscle pains
  • Prickles or tingles when making impact
  • Pain when running down hill
  • Radiating pain in the thigh
  • Pain behind the knee
  • Knee popping

These ignorable pains and discomforts can rapidly become issues that are impossible to ignore as the pain becomes constant. When pain is allowed to progress, you are often so uncomfortable that you are unable to run.

Fixing Your Knees Through Your Hips

Though earlier thought attributed knee injury in runners to the knees themselves, orthopedic researches have gone on to discover that hip weakness is a much more likely culprit in causing knee injury in runner.

One study conducted used 25 runners. Of those, 15 were injured; 10 were not. The 15 injured runners received a hip strengthening intervention for their hip abductors for a period of three weeks. Strength was measured before and after the intervention. Findings in this particular study demonstrated that strength was increased and that pain and stride-to-stride knee joint variability was reduced.

Other studies have confirmed these results. In fact, any publication intended for running enthusiasts now support that hip strengthening exercises are the most effective and efficient way to avoid knee injury and into recover following a knee injury.

Given the newness of these studies, there is way one can fully claim that knee injuries are symptomatic of a weak core (note that the core includes more than just the abdominal muscles; it also encompasses hips and glutes as well); however, they are comfortable in making the connection and pointing out that if you are experiencing knee pain, a smart place to start trying to heal is in hip strength.

When to Call Your Physical Therapist

Because there is no way for you (the individual) to know with complete confidence whether or not weak hips is the cause of your knee injury or knee pain, you will expedite your recovery by going directly to see your physical therapist for a diagnosis.

Your physical therapist can determine the precise location of the knee pain (front or side) and prescribe a care regimen that will fix the problem. While there is a high likelihood that hip strengthening will be part of your care, there is a chance that other exercises will also benefit you. By going to physical therapy, you can heal correctly and learn valuable strengthening and stretching exercises that will keep you out of the doctor’s office and on the beaten (jogging) path.

With four locations from Crestview to Destin, Florida, the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center is the place to go for sports injuries and for expedient therapeutic recovery. When you’re in pain and looking for safe, competent, and complete relief, look no further than the experts at the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center, LLC. They’ll get you up and running in no time.

Recognize the Signs of Osteoarthritis Pain: Top 3 Signs

Osteoarthritis can easily mask itself as other problems; by knowing and recognizing the signs as well as the likelihood that you are a sufferer, the sooner you can seek intervention. Physical therapy has proven to benefit those suffering from osteoarthritis pain.

Osteoarthritis: A Hidden Disease

Running is a way of lifeIt’s often far too easy to become accustomed to pain and to “assume that it’s nothing”. When we do this, we run a higher risk of that “nothing” pain becoming something. Osteoarthritis pain is highly common and has a myriad of symptoms and areas in which it impacts making it difficult to identify.

Type of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis can occur in nearly any part of the body including:

  • Hip
  • Knee
  • Foot and ankle
  • Hand
  • Spine
  • Shoulder

Osteoarthritis is a joint disease, so anywhere your body is jointed is vulnerable.

Factors Contributing to Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is generally caused by stress to the joints, so anyone with prior joint injury is a potential candidate for the disease. Additionally, anyone who has a family member who has osteoarthritis may be at a greater chance of having issues due to genetics.

Individuals who are obese or overweight or who are of a certain age (post-menopausal women or men who are of the same age as women at that age) are also at an increased likelihood to be vulnerable to osteoarthritis suffering.

Signs of Osteoarthritis

Like many disorders, the symptoms of osteoarthritis can easily be mistaken for other issues; however, if you start to observe the most common symptoms of osteoarthritis and you believe you are a candidate for the disease, get tested; the sooner you can start a therapeutic regimen to mitigate the issues, the better off you will be.

  • Pain and Stiffness: Pain worsens after activity and lessens during times of rest. Pain can also occur at night or during periods of rest; pain is most often detected at the joint.
  • Crackling Joins (Crepitus): Movement of the joint will be accompanied by ‘crackling’ or a grating.
  • Bone Spurs: Bony outgrowths at the joint site will occur and will get larger over the course of time.

Swelling and fluid collection at the joint site are other signs to look out for. Again, if you have signs of osteoarthritis and feel you are a candidate for osteoarthritis, get checked sooner than later. Physical therapy has proven to help patients suffering from osteoarthritis pain; the more quickly patients seek intervention, the longer and more effective the treatment will be.

From Crestview to Destin, with four locations, the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center is the place to go for sports injuries and for expedient therapeutic recovery. When you’re in pain and looking for safe, competent, and complete relief, look no further than the experts at the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center, LLC. They’ll get you up and running in no time.

Do Bone Spurs Cause Pain?

Bone spurs are often believed to be a source of pain and can be mistreated as a result. By understanding the real source of pain, patients suffering from bone spurs can treat their ailments properly with physical therapy.

bone spur ankle image
credit: diary of a medical scientist

The Underlying Causes of Bone Spurs

People commonly arrive in the office who have neck, shoulder, and feet pain and report that they, “have bone spurs.”  The implication of this complaint is that the bone spurs are the immediate cause of the problem.  The reason many patients believe that bone spurs are the source of their problems is because a physician has taken an X-ray and has advised them as such.

The reality is that this is a misidentification of the problem.  Here are the reasons why:

  • First, press on your bones (elbow, fingers, skull, etc.). Is there pain?  The answer is no because bones do not hurt.
  • Second, a bone spur is a symptom, not a pathology.

What is a Spur?

A spur is an indication of chronic instability.  The laxity of ligaments and the looseness of joints leads to sloppy movement between joints.  The body’s response to this is the development of a new bone known as a spur.

The contributing factors to this condition are poor posture as such contributes to cervical spurs, chronic rotator cuff weakness, which causes shoulder spurs, and chronic big toe stiffness, which causes heel spurs.

The real cause of pain when one has a spur is not the spur itself; rather, it is the muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and neural tissues that cause pain.

How Physical Therapy Helps

credit:orthostream.com
credit:orthostream.com

At Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy, our physical therapy doctors are trained to examine joints and to determine any areas of instability.  We then use exercise to stabilize the area and soft tissue massage along with other manual techniques to ameliorate and eliminate the pain.

The outcomes have been described as ‘amazing’; no surgery or medications are required, so if you have been diagnosed with a bone spur or believe you have a bone spur, then contact any one of the four Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy clinics for a consultation.

From Crestview to Destin, with four locations, the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center is the place to go for sports injuries and for expedient therapeutic recovery. When you’re in pain and looking for safe, competent, and complete relief, look no further than the experts at the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center, LLC. They’ll get you up and running in no time.

 

 

 

Bone on Bone

Most think the only way to treat bone-on-bone pain is via surgery; however, physical therapy can pose a long-term healing alternative that is less invasive and is less painful for those who suffer from bone on bone discomfort.

Physical Therapy as an Alternative to Surgery

  • Have you been told your knee or hip is “bone on bone”?
  • Have you ever been told that you have limited options other than injections or joint replacement, or that a specific malady is the reason for your pain?

Knee XrayIf so, then you should be advised that you absolutely do have other options. Why? Because,the supporting structures surrounding any deteriorating joint are often the culprits in producing the pain and dysfunction associated with osteoarthritis. These supporting structure are the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerve branches. Treatment of these supporting structures often leads to less pain and improved function.

Compared to surgical alternatives, this relief can be achieved relatively quickly by means of physical therapy between 2-4 weeks. Best of all, the overall function of the joint often improves enough that you may be able to put off having a potentially costly and painful joint replacement for years, and sometimes, indefinitely. The treatment alternative offered by physical therapy is relatively painless; it often involves soft tissue massage to the appropriate structures, mobilization of the peripheral nervous system, and exercise to improve strength, flexibility and balance.

Why Isn’t Physical Therapy More Frequently Recommended?

These facts beg the question as to why your physician has not already recommended this treatment for you?  The reality is that 90% of physical therapy practices are corporately owned with a business model that emphasizes productivity over patient care. Thus, their treatment is protocol-based exercise and modalities, such as ice and electrical stimulation.  At orthopedic and sports physical therapy, our business model is patient care-based and outcome-oriented.  Productivity is taken care of by referrals made from happy clients/patients. Our therapists are trained to assess muscle, tendon, ligament, and neural tissue, determine the cause of the dysfunction, and to treat it based on each patient’s individuality.

Hand XrayPatient Testimony

For example, during a recent patient encounter with you, a 75-year-old female arrive at the office with a right knee that was “bone on bone” according to her doctor. His recommendation was surgery or medication; however, her friend told her about our clinic.  During her first visit, she looked at me and said, “You can’t fix my knee; it’s bone on bone.”

I replied, “I can’t change the cartilage deterioration in your knee, but I can see if it is the cause of your problem.”

In four visits, over a 10-day period, she went from walking with a limp, to having no pain in her knee, and she was back to walking two miles a day.

The change was staggering.  My client found she was angry that no one else in the medical field recommended the option of physical therapy to her and that she had to find out from a friend.

Therefore, if you have hip or knee pain, and your only intervention has been X-rays, MRIs, medication, and a recommendation for surgery, give us a call and let us see if we can get you off the meds and back to moving and living a life free of pain.

From Crestview to Destin, with four locations, the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center is the place to go for sports injuries and for expedient therapeutic recovery. When you’re in pain and looking for safe, competent, and complete relief, look no further than the experts at the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center, LLC. They’ll get you up and running in no time.

 

How to Avoid Knee and Ankle Sprains on the Beach

Spring Break is a fun time of year; however, it can easily go awry if you get a sprained ankle or knee while at the beach. The sand’s instability makes it easier to sustain such injuries; however, by being physically fit and by being careful, these injuries can be avoided during Spring Break.

Avoid Putting a Strain (or a Sprain) on your Spring Break

There is nothing more enjoyable than being able to take a Girl at the Beachweek out of winter to enjoy Spring Break at the beach; however, there is nothing less pleasant than having to spend that week sitting on the sidelines due to an ankle or knee sprain you got in the sand.

Because beach sand creates an unstable environment, it becomes a more common location for individuals to sprain or strain a vulnerable area like a knee or an ankle.  Injury to a knee or ankle can take seconds while the physical therapy needed to recover from such a sports injury can take weeks.  The best way to handle a knee or ankle injury is to not get one at all.

Taking Steps in the Right Direction (to Avoid Injury)

Sprains most often occur as a result of the following actions:

  • Running
  • Turning
  • Falling
  • Landing

When you run, jump, fall, etc. on the beach, you increase the likelihood of injury during these activities because you will be taking off from and landing on a soft, unstable ground.

Fun at the BeachSo, knowing this, here are some tips for avoiding pain and sprain during your time at the beach:

  • Avoid Hazardous Activity: Minimize your chances of injury by not running and jumping unless you’re engaged to do so. If you’re a jogger and want to run on the beach, make sure you’re adequately trained and strengthened to do so.
  • Do Strengthening Exercises before your Visit: Lots of people want to get in tip top shape appearance-wise for spring break, but few consider getting their muscles ready to adapt to the beach. Do some simple exercises to build strength especially if you plan to engage in sporting activities on the beach.
  • Take Your Shoes Off: Shoes –even flip flips—can cause instability in the sand that your muscles have to account for. You have more control if you are barefoot in the sand.

Girl SnorklingBy being safe and practical and following the above-listed tips, you can take safe steps to avoid getting a knee or ankle sprain on the beach.  That said, if you do get injured, start by resting and icing the injured ankle. Don’t hesitate to contact a sports and physical therapist clinic like the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center to begin treatment as they can help get you back on your feet, so you can get the most out of your Spring Break.

From Crestview to Destin, with four locations, the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center is the place to go for sports injuries and for expedient therapeutic recovery. When you’re in pain and looking for safe, competent, and complete relief, look no further than the experts at the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center, LLC. They’ll get you up and running in no time.