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Education for Patients/Athletes

Summary of the science from the Journal of Orthopedic and

Sports Physical Therapy (JOSPT)


Running and Osteoarthritis

"Recreational runners had less chance of developing knee and hip arthritis compared to nonrunners/sedentary individuals and competitive runners. The researchers concluded that running at a recreational level for many years may be safely recommended as a general health exercise, and benefits hip and knee joint health. Their findings indicate that remaining sedentary and forgoing exercise increases your rate of knee and hip arthritis, compared with regular recreational running. However, high-volume and high-intensity training also may increase your risk for arthritis."

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Painful and Tender Muscles: Dry Needling Can Reduce Myofascial Pain 

"Myofascial pain syndrome, or trigger points, can be a source of pain and limit function. Dry needling is a specialized treatment for trigger points provided by some physical therapists. It is one possible treatment option, usually combined with other techniques including exercises, to manage myofascial pain. Your physical therapist can perform a thorough evaluation to help determine if you are a good candidate for this treatment as part of a program designed to reduce your pain and improve your function."

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Plantar Fasciitis: Will PT help my foot pain?

"If you have foot pain, evidence suggests that physical therapy will help you recover faster and cost you less than if you do not receive this treatment. This study also indicates that physical therapists are quickly adopting the recommendations in the updated clinical practice guidelines on plantar fasciitis. Therapists’ use of manual therapy increased from 78% in 2007 to 94% by 2011, while their use of supervised rehabilitative exercises increased from 85% to 91% during this same period. If you have been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, physical therapy offers evidence-based treatment options to help you recover from your pain."

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Painful Shoulder

"For patients with persistent shoulder pain, exercise therapy was just as effective as a corticosteroid injection in the short term and shoulder decompression surgery in the long term. In addition to shoulder exercises, manual therapy can help to decrease pain and improve shoulder mobility. The authors also recommended against using laser, ultrasound, extracorporeal shockwave, or pulsed electromagnetic energy therapy"

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Optimizing Recovery After Achilles Tendon Pain

"Your physical therapist will likely prescribe strength training to aid your recovery. Strength training exercises may use your body weight for resistance, and additional weight may be added to help make your calf muscles stronger. These exercises are typically performed slowly for the best results. If your pain began recently, your physical therapist may use a treatment called iontophoresis, which delivers a medicine (dexamethasone) to the painful area to reduce soreness and improve function. Your physical therapist can help guide your recovery from Achilles tendinopathy, decreasing pain, improving mobility, and restoring muscle power."

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Recovery After Knee Meniscal or Cartilage Injury

"Protected weight bearing, early movement, and supervised rehabilitation—including therapeutic exercise and neuromuscular stimulation—offer the strongest evidence for patient improvement. Your recovery should include in-clinic treatment and exercises at home. You will use crutches to allow you to walk while enabling the injury or surgical site to heal. You may need crutches for up to 8 weeks."

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Anterior knee pain - What should I strengthen?

"People with this type of knee pain get better with physical therapy. Specifically, the combination of hip and knee strengthening exercises has been found to reduce your pain and help you return to full activity. Exercises that are designed to strengthen your thigh (quadriceps) and hip (abductors, lateral rotators, and extensors) muscles are all beneficial for those with patellofemoral pain. The evidence suggests that these exercises should be done 3 times a week for at least 6 weeks"

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Running: Improving Form to Reduce Injuries

"Research shows that runners can improve their running mechanics using visual and/or audio feedback training while being coached by a physical therapist. As a result of improved running form, runners may reduce their risk of injury. In addition, evaluation and correction of running form may benefit those who have knee or leg pain when running. If you already have a running-related injury or want to reduce your risk of sustaining one in the future, this kind of supervised feedback can help. For more information on improving your running form, as well as other strategies to reduce your risk of injury during running, contact your physical therapist specializing in orthopaedic and sports-related injuries."

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