Excel PT: The Core Of The Problem

THE NEWSLETTER ABOUT YOUR HEALTH AND CARING FOR YOUR BODY Health Tips Newsletter

GETTING TO THE CORE OF THE PROBLEM

The human body’s core consists of various muscles which work together to stabilize the spine and coordinate movements. Since humans are one of the few mammals that are bipedal and walk upright, it is essential that the muscles which contribute towards this function are aligned and working properly.

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By Mike St. George, PT, DPT

INSIDE : • Getting To The Core Of The Problem • 4 Core Activation Tips

• Exercise Of The Month • Featured PT

www.excelphysicaltherapy.com

THE NEWSLETTER ABOUT YOUR HEALTH AND CARING FOR YOUR BODY Health Tips Newsletter

GETTING TO THE CORE OF THE PROBLEM

(continued from outside)

INSIDE : • 4 Core Activation Tips • Featured PT

• Exercise Of The Month • Patient Success Spotlight

There is a frequent misunderstanding of what comprises the “core”, as a common thought is that having “six-pack abs” is equivalent to a strong and efficient core. In actuality, the rectus abdominis muscles are primarily responsible for the 6-pack look, but this is just one muscle group. Strength and overdominance of this one muscle group can lead to issues and deficiencies elsewhere. The rectus abdominis needs to work in coordination with other muscles in a process

At Excel Physical Therapy, our therapists work one on one with patients to reduce these compensatory issues and teach individuals how to “activate” and use the proper muscles. The instruction to “tighten your core” may be confusing for many, especially if they have deficits in this area. This is where a skilled physical therapist can provide assistance. Compensations may present differently per individual, which is why doing generic exercises will not always fix a problem. Every individual should be properly evaluated first to find where their deficits reside, so they can have an appropriately targeted treatment plan implemented into their plan of care. Our therapists use hands-on techniques and corrective exercises to ensure that our patients are completing the proper task with the right muscles and that they are not just going through the motions. We ensure that each individual understands how they are moving, so they have the ability to maintain good movement on their own once the course of physical therapy treatment is completed. Having a stable core is essential for everyday function and overall health, but it is commonly overlooked as the cause for many issues. Sources: Dienn,J.,Reeves,N.,Kawchuk,G. (2019)MotorControlChanges inLow-BackPain:Divergence inPresentationsandMechanisms. Journal inOrthopaedicandSportsPhysicalTherapy.1-24

By Mike St. George, PT, DPT

physical therapists describe as “motor control”. This is basically the way our central nervous system acts to coordinate posture or a specific movement task. Having pure strength in a muscle group, such as being able to complete sit-ups with a heavy weight on your chest, is an achievement, however, it is more important to ensure that the body can use all of the core muscles together to ensure that the spine and pelvis are moving appropriately during any given task. When there is a deficiency in the function of the core, compensation occurs. This may be present in the form of low back pain, hip pain, pelvic issues, and leg pain due to these areas taking on more stress and loads.

PENNSYLVANIA ALLOWS DIRECT ACCESS TO PHYSICAL THERAPY WITHOUT A PHYSICIAN REFERRAL CONTACT US TODAY TO LEARN IF YOUR INSURANCE CARRIER COVERS THIS SERVICE

Eric Medaglia-Kurtz, PT, DPT Eric is a therapist at our Newtown Square clinic location. Read his full profile here: FEATURED PT

4 Core Activation Tips

1. How did you decide to become a physical therapist and what motivates you to work with patients? Ultimately, it combines a lot of things that I enjoy: helping people, working in healthcare, working with my hands, solving puzzles,

adapting to challenging and different situations, to say a few.

1. Strengthening Perform specific strengthening exercises that engage all the layers of your abdominal wall, pelvic muscles and spinal muscles. Lying on your back, place your hands on your lower abdomen. Try to activate the transverse abdominis muscles beneath your hands drawing the muscles together towards your belly button. Keep breathing while you do this and hold for 10 second counts. Repeat 10 times and do 3-4 times a day, even while you stand! 2. Balance Stand close to a wall so you can keep your hands on it for this exercise. While standing, keep your abdomen tight and try to stand on one foot. Hold for 10 seconds each foot and repeat 5 times a day. Enhancing your balance engages the nerves that control the core muscles, helping everything work together. 3. Move Try to avoid sitting for prolonged periods, but if you must sit for work, try to break up the day with standing for 1-2 minute periods every 30 minutes. Keep working on tightening up your abdominal muscles while sitting, standing and lying down. Walk for 15-30 minutes a day, focusing on your posture and abdominal muscles. 4. After pregnancy Pregnancy severely stretches out the abdominal wall and many women can suffer from a condition called diastasis recti. Carefully strengthening your core muscles is essential for long term spinal rehabilitation after child birth. Talk to one of our physical therapists today about options to ensure a complete recovery, even years after your last pregnancy. If you are suffering with pain and want to improve your core strength, call us today to learn how we can help you!

2. In your words, what makes Excel Physical Therapy different from other physical therapy clinics? Our four tenants of practice: integrity, passion, excellence, and accountability. I see them time in and out, day after day. I’ve never known another company to have the employees all voluntarily stay late on a Friday for a few hours and just discuss how to better treat patients. 3. What was your most memorable patient experience? I’m currently treating a woman who has been dealing with some chronic pain issues for the last several years since being in a car accident. She has basically neglected using her left arm and has severely restricted her life activities to compensate. She was unable to hold a cup of coffee in her affected arm due to shooting pain. She has been concerned that when she has a child, she won’t be able to take care of her. She recently cried tears of joy due to regaining significant use of her arm, substantially decreased pain, and finally getting back to some exercise activities that she hasn’t done for years. These kinds of people are the reason I got into what I do.

4. If you could be any animal, what would it be and why? I would be an Elephant; they’re intelligent, strong, and overall really great animals!

5. If you could describe yourself in one word what would it be and why? Happy; I try and maintain a cheerful attitude and remain optimistic at all times, while still recognizing the realities of a situation.

6. What do you like to do in your off time, outside the clinic? I like to stay physically active with different types of exercise; I enjoy cooking and going out to try new restaurants.

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Patient Success Spotlight

Art Museum Area - Philadelphia

Bala Cynwyd

Bensalem

Berwyn

Blue Bell

Business District - Philadelphia

Center City Philadelphia

Chalfont

Cherry Hill New Jersey

Emmaus

Exton/Lionville

Start on hands and knees, hips and shoulders at 90°. Execute by lifting one arm straight out in front. At the same time, lift opposite leg straight back. Return to start position and repeat 5 times each side. Four Point + Arm and Leg Raise EXERCISE OF THE MONTH “When I started at Excel Physical Therapy the pain in my lower back and buttocks had me leaning to my right side whether I was sitting or standing. Sitting was extremely uncomfortable. The 15 minute drive to work left me too uncomfortable to sit at my desk. This was after months of PT at another organization. During my initial visit with Jean Scott, PT, DPT at the Levittown location a thorough evaluation was completed and a game plan was laid out for my improvement. Needless to say I was skeptical yet hopeful. I was given a series of exercises to do at home which would supplement and complement the treatments I was receiving in the clinic. Jean went over each segment of the home exercises. She was able to ensure I was using proper techniques, posture, and form. This was very different from my previous experience where I was given a handout and sent on my way with very little coaching. Sure enough by the 2nd week I could begin to feel improvement. Jean was an excellent listener and communicator. I was able to express my reservations, questions, and concerns and she was able to understand and address them with empathy and compassion. My confidence was soaring as the discomfort I was feeling subsided. I can now sit, stand and walk distances that I couldn’t for the preceding 7 to 8 months. I am back to doing some running and doing so without pain. I couldn’t be happier with my experience at Excel Physical Therapy from start to finish. I recommend their services and care to all!!” - J.K. (Levittown) “I am back to doing some running and doing so without pain. I couldn’t be happier with my experience...”

Glen Mills

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Horsham

Jenkintown

King of Prussia Kennett Square

Lancaster

Lafayette Hill

Levittown

Media

Newtown Square

Northeast Philadelphia

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Pottstown - Coventry

Royersford

Society Hill - Queen Village

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Washington Square

West Chester

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