- Latest blog entries Mon, 22 May 2017 23:10:41 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Cupping for relief of muscle pain If you were watching the Olympics this year wondering what were the big, red circular marks on the athletes you weren't the only one. As a physical therapist, I had to do some reading to figure out what type of treatment these athletes were going through and for what purpose.

Cupping was made very popular this year in Rio, as almost all athletes were seen trying it at least once after competing. Michael Phelps, the swimmer, had new cupping marks on both shoulder and across the back every time I saw him swim.   Cupping is a type of treatment that promotes blood flow and circulation to an area that may feel tight or even over worked. Small cups are placed on the muscles that the athlete wants worked on. The cups lift the skin off the body through a vacuum, separating the skin from the muscles for 5-10 minutes. This is said to promote blood flow to the muscles and soft tissue, which can help the athlete heal quicker. The area looks bruised after the treatment because blood vessels are being ruptured but there is no harm in this. Increased blood flow to an area will always help with healing and even just making an area feel better.

These athletes are pushing their bodies to the limit every time they compete and sometimes their bodies need a little extra help to heal to be able to perform to the extreme the very next day, and in some cases only hours later.  I heard some athletes explain that they had tried so many other types of treatment like hot tub, massage, and ice machines but cupping seemed to give them more immediate relief with longer lasting effects. "Our bodies are going to hurt after doing this for so long,” said Naddour (USA male gymnist). “It’s the best thing that I’ve ever had and it has saved me from a lot of pain.”

The big, red circular marks left after cupping are a small tradeoff for what benefit these athletes get. Also, this type of treatment can even be done without help from someone else. If you are an athlete or train rigorously, cupping might help with a more speedy recovery.

Contributed by Krista Magnoli, PTA and Nancy K. Whelan, RPT,PA. at

Read More]]> (Physical Therapist) Health Thu, 29 Sep 2016 15:44:13 +0000
Standing Core Exercises Looking for a new way to strengthen your core?

Get on your feet and try some new core strengthening exercises while standing. Let's face it, we all have tried crunches or sit ups to strengthen our abdomen but we all know this gets old fast because it's boring and it doesn't give great results. The FACT is that it is bad for your spine because it creates a lot of compressive force which could lead to fractures over time.

First, it's a good idea to make sure you are able to keep the abdominal muscles contracted through easier exercises before moving to the standing position. Exercises on the hands and knees or plank positions are a great way to progress and will be shown below.

Simple exercises can make the core stronger which helps with reaching, lifting, bending, and leaning that we do all day without even thinking about it.

  1. Try squats with a ball behind you for support. Lift light weights with straight arms in front up to shoulder level as you squat. Even holding an exercise ball or medicine ball as you squat, while keeping your stomach in tight, is a great way to strengthen several muscle groups, as well as your core.squats for a strong core
  2. Then try the squat lifting the ball in a diagonal pattern. This involves combined motions, which also imitates how the body moves throughout our day.
  3. A leaning lunge position is another way to understand how to keep the core tight while performing a movement we do very often throughout the day. Have the feet staggered in a lunge position. With the abdominal muscles tight, lean forward slightly and return back to the starting position. Hold your arms out in front of you for more of a challenge, which also imitates a leaning or reaching motion. Also try a very small rotation motion in the same position, focusing on keeping the stomach in tight and the hip facing forward.

We don’t realize how much the core supports our entire body and how easy it is to let these muscles go with just reaching and lifting activities in day to day life. Unfortunately, this can be the cause of low back pain for many people so functional training is important. There are so many different exercises out there and these are just basic ones to start with. All of these exercises can be more challenging by standing on an uneven surface or on a BOSU. So, stop those crunches and try some exercise that will work the core, arms and legs all in one exercise!

Contributed by Krista Magnoli, PTA @ The Physical Therapy Center www.wpbphysicaltherapycenter

Read More]]> (Physical Therapist) Health Wed, 27 Jul 2016 17:53:00 +0000
Attachments and How They Undermine Your Courage! If there were one item you could take with you when you pass on, what would it be?decisions about life passion

My dear and gracious friend “Aunt Gert” said many times, “Honey, you ever seen a U-Haul truck pull up with the Hearse?” You cannot take it with you! “ An attachment, writes Anthony De Mello in Awareness, is a belief that without something you are not going to be happy. Once you get convinced of that—and it gets into our subconscious, it gets stamped into the roots of our being—you are finished.”

While you are alive, attachments, whether to material items or social values, may make you feel safe and comfortable, yet they limit your enjoyment of new experiences in the present moment. In A New Earth Eckhart Tolle reprimands us, “Ego-identification with things creates attachment to things, obsession with things, which in turn creates our consumer society and economic structures where the only measure of progress is always more. The unchecked striving for more, for endless growth, is a dysfunction and a disease.” 

Do you seek security through an attachment to your home? Your ethnic group? Your denomination? Your job title?

The decision to be content with only the material world or to strive after the spiritual world is always your choice. Do you have a staunch attachment to some belief that prevents you from manifesting your courage? Do you hover in scarcity mentality and unconsciously stay attached to the almighty paycheck while your dreams wither for lack of spiritual nourishment? Are you willing to let go of your possessive attitude toward everything? What do you pine for?

Try making a list of the things to which you are attached. Review your list and assess where and how these attachments found a home in your psyche. Stopping your attachment and learning to become indifferent to the outcome should not be confused with loss of spirit or passion. Spirit and passion remain constant. Saint Teresa discovered that attachments “are an expression of an inner hunger.” Tolle continues, “Attachment to things drops away by itself when you no longer seek to find yourself in them.” Non-attachment centers you in Being and all its daily joy.

Make courage your daily legacy.

Sandra Ford Walston is known as The Courage Expert. She is a speaker and coach who has written numerous books including COURAGE The Heart and Spirit of Every Woman, the follow-up book The COURAGE Difference at Work:: A Unique Success Guide for Women and non-gender FACE IT! 12 Courageous Actions that Bring Success at Work and Beyond.

Read More]]> (Sandra Ford Walston) Life Sun, 11 Oct 2015 19:52:16 +0000
Baby Carrier Designed for Moms and Babies I am proud to say that I have recently become a new mom! I felt very lucky to have such a great group of moms around me to give such great advice during and after my pregnancy. I have to admit that one of the best pieces of advice I received was about using the Baby Bjorn carrier. As soon as my baby was old enough to be in one of these carriers I started using it because it really gave me so much more freedom to use my hands but still have the much needed closeness to my new born.

Before I started using the carrier, I started to get shoulder and back pain from lifting the heavy car seat, and as a Physical Therapist I knew I had to change something fast! The car seat is just too heavy to be lifting in and out of the car, even if it is only to go a short distance. A carrier is so simple to use and instead of lifting a heavy car seat, only the baby is lifted. Using a carrier can also save new moms from low back pain because it is more ergonomically correct when compared to just holding the baby in your arms. The weight of the baby is in the front of you instead of being to one side as is often the case if you are holding the baby on your hip or over the shoulder.

Believe it or not, the carrier is actually good for your baby as was well because it puts their hips in an ideal position, and there is less risk for hip dysplasia or hip dislocation as they grow.

Take my advice, enjoy your new baby and avoid any unwanted low back or shoulder pain by using a baby carrier instead of carrying that heavy car seat. It made a world of difference for me and my baby LOVES it too!

Contributed by Krista Magnoli, PTA @ The Physical Therapy Center in West Palm Beach, FLorida.

Read More]]> (Physical Therapist) Health Tue, 25 Aug 2015 16:56:11 +0000
Back pain relieved in sitting? Do you have low back pain after just a few minutes of walking or standing? Do you get relief from your back pain as soon as you sit? Do you have less pain if you lean forward when you walk? Are you able to walk a longer distance with less pain if you hold on to a shopping cart or walker? you answered "yes" to these questions you may be suffering from spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis typically affects older adults because as we age there is a narrowing where the nerve exits the spinal column, which causes pain.

There are certain exercises that a physical therapist can show you to help relieve this pain when standing or walking. Exercises that change the position of the spine will actually help open up the spinal column and relieve pain, but these exercises must be done correctly. Strengthening the core and the muscles on either side of the spine will also help improve your ability to stand and walk for longer periods of time.

As a physical therapist, I treat many older adults with spinal stenosis and they typically have very poor posture. The head and shoulders come forward and the spine starts to round forward as well. This type of posture is difficult to correct and can be dangerous for your balance because it can cause you to fall forward. Spinal stenosis can be painful but also cause other problems like poor posture, balance loss, and muscle weakness.

See a physical therapist if you are limited in walking and standing because of pain and learn how to manage your pain with simple exercises.

Contributed by Krista Magnoli, PTA and Nancy Whelan, PT @ The Physical Therapy Center in West Palm Beach, FLorida.

Read More]]> (Physical Therapist) Health Tue, 28 Jul 2015 20:41:09 +0000