We moved!

We are pleased to announce the opening of our Sports Medicine Physical Therapy and Sports Performance gym in Newport News, Virginia.  The gym is located at 680 Oyster Point Road, Newport News, 23602.  Our clinic features state of the art equipment that makes physical therapy fun!  The new sports medicine gym includes a pitching lane, a Biodex dynamometer, AlterG anti-gravity treadmill, a state of the art lifting platform complete with CHKD Sports Medicine logo, and additional cardiovascular and resistance training equipment.  In addition, we offer Dartfish® video motion analysis to analyze pitching, jumping and landing, and running mechanics.  For appointments in Newport News, please call 757-668-6235 or fax 757-668-4858.

Tech Center 1Tech Center 2Tech Center 3

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Summer Celebrations and Fireworks Safety

By: Nicole Skipper, ATC

 

Fireworks Banner.jpg

As the long, warm summer days start, so do the firework displays.  As beautiful and fun as these exhibitions are, safety is essential to avoid trips to your nearest Emergency Department.

Fireworks Hurt

National Council On Firework Safety recommendations:

  • Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
  • Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
  • A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities.  Never give fireworks to children.
  • Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
  • Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
  • Do not hold a fireworks item in your hand.
  • Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
  • Never relight a “dud” firework.
  • When using fireworks always have a connected hose, bucket of water, or other water source nearby.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them into metal or glass containers.
  • Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trashcan away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
  • Ensure all pets and animals are away from fireworks noise.
  • With the rise in stress-related disorders affecting American service men and women, pay special consideration to individuals who may be sensitive to loud noises in proximity to your fireworks show.

Kids and adults also enjoy the hands on fun of sparklers.  Although smaller and more accessible, sparklers still “account for more than one-quarter of emergency room fireworks injuries.”

SparklersSparklers safety recommendations:

  • Only use outside.
  • Light only one sparkler at a time.
  • Use a lighter that keeps your hand away from the flame, such as a butane or barbecue lighter.
  • Keep sparkler pointed away from the body.
  • Maintain 6 feet between individuals with sparklers.
  • Only use with adult supervision.
  • No running with sparklers.
  • Have a bucket of water nearby for easy disposal.

Have a great summer and remember to be safe and enjoy the show!

Resources:

  1. National Council on Fireworks Safety (http://www.fireworkssafety.org/).
  2. National Fire Protection Association (http://www.nfpa.org/).
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Soccer Specific Functional Return to Sport Exercises

By: Alicia Doolittle, DPT

As sports medicine physical therapists, we strive to return youth athletes to full participation in sports and recreational activities. We build strength, endurance, and improve balance, mobility, and neuromuscular control in order to return them safely to the field and reduce the risk of future injury. I believe that the most challenging part of any rehabilitation program occurs when our young athletes are ready to progress from basic therapeutic exercises to functional return to sport drills.

Despite our best efforts in the clinic, it is nearly impossible to effectively mimic the environment our patients will encounter during a game situation, or even at practice.  In the clinic, athletes are able to focus their full attention on the task at hand. In a game situation, they must be aware of their own field position, the position of other players on both teams, location of the ball, and much more. Not to mention, positions of everyone and everything are constantly evolving.

My background as a soccer player who has battled injuries has made me realize that no matter how strong and fit you feel towards the end of rehab, it is important to incorporate ball skills, touch, accuracy, and control into your program prior to stepping out onto the pitch.  If you can confidently feel and control the ball, with your head up, you are able to better split your attention and avoid “tunnel vision” during a game or practice. Furthermore, “incorporating the soccer ball and soccer-specific equipment (shoes)…is not only important to enhance soccer-specific neuromuscular stabilization strategies but also to promote a positive psychological attitude in rehabilitation.”

The following exercises, which incorporate a soccer ball, can be performed at home or in the clinic.

Single Leg Stance on foam with volleys:

SLS Volleys

 

 

 

Stand on one leg on a piece of foam (or folded up pillow). A partner throws the soccer ball to you and you volley the ball straight back to them with the inside of your foot 10 times. Repeat with instep. Perform with both right and left feet.

 

 

Soccer Vision Dance:

With your head up, look to the right/left/behind while you move around the ball in a circle with a skipping motion alternating feet on the ball. Repeat moving in the opposite direction. Try not to disturb the ball.

Roll and Catch:

 Roll the ball toward the center of your body catching it with the opposite foot. Repeat with the opposite foot. Increase difficulty by adding 2 or 3 rolls before each catch. Try and pick your head up to improve your peripheral vision.

Soccer clock:

Start with the ball under your foot, straighten your leg and roll the ball away from you to the 1 o’clock position, then pull back at a slight angle while hopping on your stance leg. Work your way around the clock, finishing at the 12 o’clock position. Repeat with the opposite leg.

 References:

  1. Soccer Aerobic Conditioning: The Home Workout. Sacramento, CA: Soccerobics inc.; 1993.
  2. Bizzini M, Hancock D, Impellizzeri F. Suggestions From the Field for Return to Sports Participation Following Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: Soccer. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2012;42(4):304-312. doi:10.2519/jospt.2012.4005.

 

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How to recognize Plantar Fasciitis

By: Adam Mistr, ATC

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common foot injuries experienced by runners and many athletes in general.  It can become a debilitating injury if it is not treated in a timely manner, but it can be easily managed and possibly even prevented.

Foot AnatomyThe plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue in the foot that runs along the sole of the foot, connecting the calcaneus (heel) to the metatarsal heads (base of the toes).  A common overuse injury occurs when this band becomes inflamed and irritated over time.  This is one of the most common causes of heel pain experienced by athletes of all levels of experience.  Pain is primarily felt where the fascia attaches to the calcaneus, but pain through the arch is also common.

If ignored, the pain can become chronic causing you to alter your gait patterns which in turn can lead to knee, hip, and back problems.  If treated early enough, the pain can be managed, and a return to sport can be very quick.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a normal route to take in order to reduce the pain associated with plantar fasciitis.  Stretching, strengthening, NSAIDs, and orthotics can all be used to help combat the symptoms of plantar fasciitis.  In more severe cases, steroid injections and surgery could be warranted.

Stretching is the best way to help alleviate pain associated with plantar fasciitis.  As the fascia becomes inflamed, it becomes very tight and decreases your ability to stand on your toes.  The best way to stretch is to pull the toes upward to elongate the fascia.  This should be done before and after performing exercises for the foot.

Common exercises to help in the treatment and management of plantar fascia include massaging your foot with a golf ball or frozen water bottle.  This exercise can help reduce the inflammation and increase the range of motion of the foot and toes.

OrthoticsThe use of shoe inserts or custom orthotics can provide the arch and plantar fascia additional support to help in the reduction of pain and inflammation.  Over the counter inserts can be found at your neighborhood drug store or sporting goods store.  A custom orthotic is made from a mold of your foot and is done in your doctor’s office.  These are more expensive, but can provide much better support than an over-the-counter version.

Prevention

The best treatment for plantar fasciitis is prevention.  If you experience any heel or arch pain, you should begin with rest from your current level of activity.  Incorporating toe stretches into your pre- and post-workout stretching routine can help decrease your pain.  Those that suffer from chronic plantar fasciitis should consider orthotic inserts for athletic participation if not for everyday use.  With the proper treatment and care, plantar fasciitis can be managed with minimal time missed in your respective sport or activity.  Should you begin to experience any of the signs and symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis, please see your certified athletic trainer at your school, or call your primary care physician to schedule an appointment for evaluation of your symptoms and injury.

 

References:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/plantar-fasciitis/basics/definition/con-20025664

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/plantar-fasciitis-topic-overview

http://running.competitor.com/2013/03/injury-prevention/five-do-it-yourself-remedies-for-plantar-fasciitis_50264

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Feel The Burn That Is Burnout

By: Dave Lehan, ATC

Overtraining 1In today’s ultra-competitive world of sports, coaches and parents are looking for that competitive edge. The thought process is with more training and more practice, the better the athlete will be. Given this trend it is no surprise that burnout is on the rise. A large number of young adolescent athletes do not limit their sport to a given season and are involved in year round organized athletics. All in the pursuit of athletic success, creating pressure to begin high intensity training and to what is called sport specialization. Even the term burnout has been given a new name of Overtraining Syndrome where an imbalance in the equation of training equals workout plus recovery, and in today’s sport world young athletes are not given adequate recovery time.

As a parent of two varsity sport athletes, both basketball and softball, I can say that my daughters where under tremendous pressure to focus on one sport. Both daughters where often told by coaches and trainers at a very young age that they needed to give up the other sport and concentrate on one if they expected to reach that elite level. Both daughters said they enjoyed each sport equally and looked forward to the changing of one season to the next and that each sport had its own joy. Both daughters enjoyed the competition and strived to do their best but did not want to give up one sport for the other. As a parent, I could see by the end of one season they were ready for a change and new challenges. By participating in multiple sports, my daughters enjoyed different teammates, different coaches, and different experiences from season to season and this allowed them to grow in many different ways.

As an Athletic Trainer, I have seen evidence that shows specialization is counterproductive and leads to young athletes leaving the sport they love. As a high school Athletic Trainer I have seen elite players leave the sport they love for one reason and one reason only: they can no longer commit to the tremendous demands on their time for year round sports. An example is youth baseball. Some players are asked to play in the spring, a summer league, a wooden bat league, a fall ball league and finally commit to weight training with indoor hitting and throwing clinics during the winter months. Baseball is not alone in this high-intensity training program many sports employ this same model in the pursuit of athletic success. Studies have shown that most elite/professional athletes played multiple sports growing up. David Epstein, author of Extraordinary Athletic Performance, maintains that research shows elite athletes played multiple sports in their youth and did not specialize until their adult life. The American Academy of Pediatrics has come out against youth sport specialization stating young athletes may go through a variety of psychological and physiological changes including chronic muscle and joint pain, personality or mood changes, and increased injuries and illness.

How much is too much? This can be a hard question to answer when it comes to practice duration and intensity for young athletes. Each athlete is different and what works for one does not mean it will work for another. Here are some simple parameters to help reduce burnout in young athletes.

  • Maximum sport activity 5 days per week
  • Seasonal rest (2-3 months off per year)
  • Participation on one team per season
  • Focus on appropriate nutrition and sleep
  • Limit tournament play

These are just a few ideas for coaches and parents to implement and it is important for coaches and parents to talk with their young athletes to make sure they are working at the level appropriate for the athlete. Next, what are the signs coaches and parents can look for which may indicate an athlete is experiencing Overtraining Syndrome?

These signs can be easily overlooked; it is important for both coaches and parents to be cognitive of their young athlete’s mental well-being and able to recognize small changes.

  • Lack of emotion after a win or loss
  • Decrease in performance both in sports and classroom
  • Apathetic towards their sport
  • Unusual focus on aches and pains
  • Withdrawal from teammates

As an Athletic Trainer, I can in my high school athletes a desire not to play their sport anymore when they have a tendency to spend more time in the training room and not wanting to return to practices or games. The athlete tends to complain about more nagging injuries and seem happy not to return to activity while having an injury to blame for his or her inability to return.

Athlete HuddleFor coaches, parents and athletes the focus needs to be more on the sport as a means of developing teamwork, leadership, improved sports skills and a way to enhance fitness and well-being, especially at younger ages. Sports should be fun, something the athlete gets enjoyment and a satisfaction of pride for doing something well, and focused on developing friendships. Sports should be less about scholarships, pro contracts, medals and year round training. Sports should be more about the psychological and physiological well-being of young athletes.

References

  1. John P. DiFiori MD , Holly J. Bejamin MD, Joel Brenner, MD MPH, Andrew Gregory, MD, Neeru Jayanthi, MD, Greg L. Landry, MD, and Anthony Luke, MD MPH. Overuse Injuries and Burnout in youth Sports, Clinical journal of sports medicine.
  2. Phil Maffetone, Overtraining syndrome, MAF
  3. Childernscolorado.org/new and featured articles/for parents/overtraining.
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