Archive for category Physical Therapy
Performing any type of exercise that exerts added pressure on your spine is the last thing you want to be doing while recovering from a disc injury. This is why aquatic therapy is so important. There are a number of reasons why it is so beneficial.
First, the buoyancy of the water minimizes the weight load placed on your spine. Three fourths of your body weight is supported through buoyancy when you are submerged up to your chest. The buoyancy also supports weak muscles, reduces the risk of injury due to a loss of balance or unintended movements, and creates less impact on your joints. Imagine standing on concrete, jumping up as high as you can, and landing (on your feet of course). A lot of impact and pressure is put on your lower spine as you land. Now imagine doing the same jump in waist high water. As you come down, you almost float down through the water, landing controlled and softly, causing much less impact and compression on the spine. It’s also much harder to jump up in water, which brings up another benefit – drag, or resistance. Water creates natural resistance, allowing the development of muscle strength. The pool is the perfect transition from inactivity to returning to resistance training in the gym. Your abs, lower back, and legs can all greatly benefit from water resistance training. Floats and light weights can also be added to your water regime to further increase resistance.
Another benefit of training in water is that it helps to develop low back stabilization and core muscles, and in turn your balance and stability. Additionally, it helps with increasing your range of motion (especially effective for your hip flexors and abductors as the elimination of gravity allows you to lift your legs higher and easier than you normally could). As you can see, the benefits to training in the pool are many.
And there are more. The hydrostatic pressure of water helps to improve heart and lung function and aids in blood flow to muscles. The warmth of the water helps loosen up tight muscles and reduces pain. The sound of water tends to have a calming effect and may also help diminish the perception of pain.
To do pool therapy requires no swimming experience, so don’t let that stop you. The work is done in a very safe and secure environment, with most of the work being done in the shallow end or against the walls of the pool.
Always make sure you are being supervised by a physiotherapist or kinesiologist who understands your injury.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Rick_Fischer
The Achilles tendon is the thickest and strongest tendon in the body, located at the back of the ankle. It attaches the two calf muscles (the Gastrocnemius and Soleus) to the heel bone (Calcaneus). Its function is to aid these muscles in plantarflexing the ankle (pointing the foot down or rising onto the tip toes) and to store energy in order to perform this explosive movement as required in sprinting and jumping.
Due to the massive demands on the tendon, it is frequently injured. The most common forms of injury are either tendonitis (tendinopathy) or a rupture of the tendon. These are very different injuries, although if left untreated, a case of tendonitis could result in a rupture as the tendon becomes weaker.
A rupture of the tendon occurs most frequently in males in their 30′s or 40′s; with men being ten times more likely to suffer a complete rupture than women.
With a complete rupture it is usually very clear what has happened. There is a sudden pain in the Achilles, often described as being kicked in the back of the leg, usually associated with a loud popping noise. In many cases pain is not severe as nerve endings are also ruptured, reducing the transmission of pain sensations to the brain. The most obvious symptom after the initial injury is the loss of function. The motion of plantarflexion is severely weakened, with the individual unable to lift the heel off the ground or even push the foot away, against resistance.
When observed by a therapist, it is clear that the tendon is ruptured due to a palpable gap in the tendon and a lack of movement on Thompson’s calf squeeze test. Read the rest of this entry »