This exercise helps develop lumbar and core stability and strength, with simultaneous extremity movement patterns. Thank you to our aide Caity for performing the exercise in this video.
This exercise helps develop lumbar and core stability and strength, with simultaneous extremity movement patterns. Thank you to our aide Caity for performing the exercise in this video.
ART is a state of the art soft tissue system/movement based massage technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. Headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, knee problems, and tennis elbow are just a few of the many conditions that can be resolved quickly and permanently with ART. These conditions all have one important thing in common: they are often a result of overused muscles.
Over-used muscles (and other soft tissues) cause painful scar tissue due to:
1. Acute injuries such as pulls, tears, collisions
2. Accumulation of small tears seen in many athletes
3. Prolonged poor posture and repetitive work activities
by Olivia Barton on the RockTape blog:
I just want to say that I am SOOO glad I discovered RockTape. I am 23 years-old and I suffer from a small central disc protrusion with associated annular tear and central canal and neural foramina on my L5-S1… paired with some mild scoliosis…crazy right? I have been dealing with this issue since was about 14. I have been through a lot of trial and error trying to relieve the pain. From physical therapy twice, acupuncture and cortisone shots… Physical therapy didn’t work for me and acupuncture worked but it wouldn’t last long enough and getting an appointment on a military base (shout to our veterans and military spouses!) is about near impossible. Last year my back pain became SO severe that I couldn’t do any leg related workouts because It would feel like my back was being physically crushed; it really took a toll on my mental state and physical state. Then the best thing ever happened…. I stumbled upon RockTape. As an individual who has been through some serious pain and suffering – to the point of not being able to walk for days at a time, I’m always down to try things that might take even 20% of my pain away. So I bought some.
I first tested RockTape on my five-hour plane ride – plane rides are the worst because I usually can’t even go more than ten minutes without feeling SO uncomfortable with having to adjust my seating position or get up and walk around. I used to directions on how to apply for the lower back, two pieces vertical and one piece horizontal. IT. WAS. INSTANT. RELIEF. It was like a cortisone shot. I felt such relief in my first minutes of having RockTape on that I cried; I was pain free again – all my tightness and tension from my lower back, down to my hamstrings was gone! As for my plane ride? Awesome! I did wiggle around once, but I didn’t have to get up AT ALL and I even fell asleep because I was so comfortable. UGH it was such an awesome plane ride haha.
My next test was trying RockTape in the gym… you bet your butt it was AMAZING!! I was able to do TWENTY box jumps in a row without stopping because my back wasn’t a bother (before I could barely do six in a row without having to stop) I was also able to do my squat cleans and presses without pain (and able to go into a deeper squat). I was feeling so great, I did a banded glue workout (this usually kills my back) and was able to work through it with, you guessed it, no pain! RockTape has forever changed my life. I cannot thank the people RockTape enough for creating such an amazing product that allows sport-loving, weight lifting people like me to be able to do the things we love to do. I wish I could thank each and every one of you personally and you could see the happy tears that roll down my face. Thank you, thank you, thank you! 2017 was a horrible year and it kicked my butt. I vowed to make 2018 my year and I’m off to amazing start thanks to RockTape!!! STAY AWESOME!!!!!!!!
Sending so much love your way!!
Mana Physical Therapy has been chose for the Expertise.com list of the Best Physical Therapy in East Brunswick for 2018! Along with some other fellow practices in the surrounding areas, Mana Physical Therapy was selected based on our reviews and reputation. We are honored to be included on this list!
Check out the feature at the following link:
Our aide Alison demonstrates a single leg squat on a Bosu ball. After being unable to complete the movement on her own, once RockFloss is applied, she is able to complete the squat. This improves the proprioception and tissue gliding between her fascia and muscles.
Danielle MItko earned her Master’s of Science in Physiotherapy from the CAPTE-accredited program at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland. Danielle returned to the States for her last clinical placement in 2013 and received her license in early 2014. Prior to studying abroad Danielle attended Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey where she earned her bachelor’s in biological sciences.
Danielle takes an individualized approach to management of her patients and believes the best patient care comes from tailoring treatment to the person not the diagnosis. Danielle has taken courses such as Maitland, Mulligan and Spinal Manipulation, to progress her manual skills, as well as Functional Movement Taping, Pilates and Runner’s Rehab to further expand her skillset. Danielle is currently preparing to become a board certified specialist in Orthopedics in early 2018.
In addition to her passion for physical therapy, Danielle has coached gymnastics for 15+ years and volunteers on the high school level from time to time. This experience has provided her a unique insight into working with athletes, including but not limited to dancers, gymnasts, football and soccer players.
In her free time, she enjoys working out, whether it be running, weight lifting, snowboarding or playing with her dog. Most importantly she loves anything which involves spending time with her family.
By Our Therapist, Danielle Mitko
Protect your back this winter with these tips!
If you or someone you know is experiencing back pain, contact a Physical Therapist to receive treatment immediately!
FACT: EARLY PHYSICAL THERAPY INTERVENTIONS FOR BACK PAIN LEAD TO BETTER REDUCTION IN PAIN LEVELS AND DECREASE CHANCES FOR CHRONICITY.
In the following video, Dr. Nicholas Cifelli explains the SFMA exercise, Hip Hinge with Dowel, as demonstrated by our wonderful aide, Alison.
Kristen Giancaterino is a licensed, board certified, and graduate of the nation's leading Acupuncture college, the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) in New York City. Her training consisted of thousands of hours of Clinical experience at the college’s busy downtown community clinic. The academic program also consisted of thousands of hours of classroom, outside study, and externship time. This includes but is not limited to; advanced needling techniques, tui na massage, five element acupuncture, cosmetic acupuncture, and the treatment of orthopedic, pediatric, and modern western diseases.
Her focus is treating chronic pain, anxiety, stress, and many other modern diseases. Kristen has had great success in treating:
In addition to completing the Acupuncture program, Kristen is also a certified in administering therapeutic grade essential oils and a practitioner of the Raindrop Technique. She is licensed as Acupuncturist under the New Jersey state board of medicine. Kristen has achieved board Certification from the NCCAOM, consisting of Acupuncture, Biomedicine, and Oriental Medicine.
Kristen developed a love for Acupuncture as college student while getting treatments for stress, back pain , and UTI’s at local acupuncture college near her home town. She discovered a drug-free solution to ailments that plagued her and was inspired. After enrolling in Pacific College’s Master’s program, Kristen participated in a externship at New York University-Hospital for Joint Diseases called Initiative for Women with Disabilities. IWD is a multi-disciplinary women’s medical center where women are treated for a wide variety of disabilities and chronic autoimmune conditions. In addition to weekly acupuncture treatments, she interacted with medical staff and social workers to plan the best course of health care for patients.
Kristen has seen & felt the benefits of Oriental Medicine and Essential Oils on one’s spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical health and wants to provide you with a worry-free, stress-free recovery from your illness or ailment.
Call Mana Physical Therapy today at 732-390-8100 to schedule your acupuncture appointments with Kristen!
In the following video, Dr. Nicholas Cifelli explains the SFMA exercise, Single Leg Bridge with Core Activation, as demonstrated by our wonderful aide, Alison.
In the following video, Dr. Nick Cifelli explains a Modified Clinical Test of Balance (CTSIB TEST), while being demonstrated by our wonderful aide, Alison.
In the following video, Dr. Nick Cifelli explains the Half-Kneeling Chop exercise, while being demonstrated by our wonderful aide, Alison.
If you are one out of the every five people on this planet who owns a smart phone, now is the time to start thinking twice about looking down at your phone to check email or Facebook.
By the time you are done reading this article (and, please, no slouching while reading) you will be clued in on some actionable tips you can put into practice right now to combat “the smart phone slump,” and eliminate or greatly reduce the pain and problems that come along with it.
In a study conducted by Dr. Kenneth K. Hansraj, Chief of Spine Surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, it was found that as the human head tilts forward the forces seen by the neck surge. When we hold our head in a healthy, neutral position, the forces to the cervical spine are about 10-12 pounds. But look what happens when we tilt our head forward:
This graph from the study described above shows the effects of the tilt that accompanies cell phone use.
Repetitive increases in stress of this nature may lead to all sorts of neck problems, including early wear and tear, degeneration, and possibly the need for surgery.
You may look at the photo below and think nothing of it, because this is what we typically see when we are out and about, and it is even the stance we are accustomed to taking when using our own smart phones and devices.
Looks pretty normal, right?
But let’s take a closer look, and see what Dr. Hansraj was referring to in his research.
Here's what is actually happening.
With the help of a plumb line and angle lines, we can see this man’s head is tilted at approximately 45 degrees. That means our coffee shop guy has gone from putting the normal 10-12 pounds of weight on his neck to a massive 49 pounds!
Every day, people like you and I spend an average of two to four hours with our heads tilted over reading and texting on our smart phones and devices. Cumulatively this amounts 700 to 1,400 hours per year of excess stress placed on the cervical spine. To make matters even worse, high school students are spending an extra 5,000 hours bent over reading, texting, and typing on their devices. Imagine the impact that is having on our necks and backs!
The following are my simple and easy tips for eliminating the smart phone slump and avoiding these negative side effects:
Hold your phone at eye level when typing on your phone. This may look funny, but it will force you to hold your head, neck, and shoulders in a better position.
My favorite thing about holding the phone at eye level is that it has a built-in time restricting feature, and not to mention a slight embarrassment factor. As in: you will notice when you hold your phone at eye level your shoulder muscles tire quickly, and it just looks funny.
This will force you to only use your phone for short periods of time, whereas when you sit and comfortably look down at your phone, you may be able to use your phone for long periods without experiencing any form of discomfort (physical or social).
Hold your phone at eye level to avoid excessive tilting.
If you are at home or in a setting where you feel comfortable being on the floor, then lie down on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Hold your phone over your face to text and surf the Internet. This position will put your head in the same plane as your shoulders, and will allow the muscles of your neck and upper back to relax.
Just like tip number one, your shoulder muscles will quickly begin to fatigue in this position - which is a good thing! This will heighten your awareness of the amount of time you are spending using your phone.
Or lie on your back to help the neck and upper spine relax.
If your phone has a voice transcription feature, learn how to use it and talk your text messages, social media posts, and emails. This may take a little time to get accustomed to, but your neck, shoulders, and back will thank you.
The most drastic, highly recommended, and by far most effective of all of my tips: remove social media, email, and games from your phone. I know this might sound crazy, but think about it - there was a time in your life when you didn't have social media, much less even a portable cell phone.
Instead, try scheduling designated time to handle your emails and social media from your computer where you can set up your ergonomics to support good body positioning as you type.
Avoiding the cell phone slump is simple and anyone can do it. It just requires a little self-discipline and awareness. But it’s worth doing for the difference it will make in your neck, back, and the rest of your body, too!
Over the last few years, Physical Therapists have begun introducing a variety of exercises that utilize Foam Rollers to reduce pain and improve flexibility. Once learned, these exercises can be used on a daily basis to improve flexibility and circulation while massaging sore and tired muscles and reducing stress associated with inflammation, scar tissue and joints.
Once used by dancers and elite athletes, foam rollers have grown in popularity at local gyms, rehabilitation settings and even at home. The actual foam cylinders vary in length, diameter and hardness. Patients and athletes can use foam rollers to exercise nearly every body part. In fact, they are proving to be more effective than traditional static stretching.
While they can be used for many aspects of a rehabilitation or exercise routine, foam rollers are commonly used after a workout with the primary goal of gaining range of motion in a particular muscle mass or joint or to help reduce the muscle pain associated with a vigorous workout. The person using a foam roller uses their body weight and applies direct pressure to the given muscle mass. The person is able to adjust the pressure and rolling motion provides a massaging action as well as a neuromuscular stimulus.
Foam rollers can help reduce muscle pain. Arising from various sources, muscle pain can be due to trigger points which are areas of the muscle that have been injured. In theory, the inner most contractile fibers (Actin and Myosin) are “locked” together and are not able to release due to damage to the Sarcomplasmic Reticulm (SR), whichis responsible for the up-take of calcium. The calcium ion is essential for the contraction to occur, but if it is not re-absorbed it does not allow the fibers to “un-lock” causing a “trigger point” to form. The use of the foam roller helps to massage the trigger point area and enhances blood flow into the injured muscle tissue which helps to “heal” the SR.
Muscles that are exercised aggressively are subject to micro damage that leads to pain. The pain that develops following a vigorous exercise routine is a result of swelling of the individual muscle cells. This is referred to D.O.M.S. or delayed onset muscle soreness. The cell swells due to the damage and the pressure rises within the cell. The foam roller can be used to massage the swollen muscles and helps to reduce the pain. The gentle massage of the damaged muscle tissue helps to stimulate blood flow and “pump –out” the excess fluid that accumulated in the cell.
Most recent research has indicated that the use of a foam roller post exercise greatly enhances range of motion and reduces muscle pain that is associated with aggressive exercise. The foam roller can be used in conjunction with a manual stretching program. There is some concern regarding the use of static stretching and its effect on the strength of the stretched muscle group. There are studies that have shown a reduced capacity to generate force following static stretching, but the foam roller has not been linked to this decrease in force potential. The foam roller can be used at any time during the rehabilitation session and can have a drastic effect on the range of motion of the joints in the “rolled” body part.
Physical Therapists incorporate foam rollers into their treatment protocols to enhance range of motion, massage sore and tired muscles and help stretch tight muscles that can produce poor posture. Scientifically, there is no set number of repetitions or amount of time that is a standard for foam roller use. It is standard practice to have the person perform the foam roller routine daily for several weeks or until their symptoms have resolved. It is believed that a maintenance program of use can help to prevent the symptoms from returning.
Foam rollers are used extensively in many healthcare settings and have grown in popularity due to their effectiveness and ease of use. The person using the roller can perform the routine without additional help. The increase in flexibility and the decrease in muscle pain helps to restore normal function in the involved body part.
Excerpt by by ACE Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine Institute,
“People in pain are poor decision-makers,” says the investigative journalist Cathryn Jakobson Ramin, author of a new book, Crooked: Outwitting the Back Pain Industry and Getting on the Road to Recovery.
Approximately 80% of Americans experience back pain at some point in their lifetime with millions in chronic pain. Many people are lost as to what to do and are taking unnecessary addictive opoids leading to tolerance to the drug causing the pain to escalate. In some cases the increased pain is actually caused by the opoids.
Also consider this: In a poll at a 2009 conference in Bonita Springs, Florida, 99 out of 100 surgeons who were asked whether they’d elect to have lumbar fusion surgery if it were recommended to them said “absolutely not.”
The truth is, as Ramin’s extensive research indicates, all that most people need to do is keep moving. At Mana Physical Therapy we are committed to listening to your story, getting you moving, and helping you meet or exceed your goals for Physical Therapy.
Author: Amir Khan
Excerpt from: https://www.everydayhealth.com/weight/acupuncture-for-weight-loss-were-all-ears-8823.aspx
The key to shedding those holiday pounds may be in your ear, according to a small new study published in the journal Acupuncture in Medicine. Researchers from Kyung Hee University in South Korea found that acupuncture performed on five specific points on the outer ear was effective at helping patients lower their BMI, more so than acupuncture done on a single point or at random.
The researchers performed either five point acupuncture, single point acupuncture or sham acupuncture, which is when needles are placed at random, on the ears of 91 overweight adults with a BMI of 23 or more, and asked all of the patients to adhere to a restrictive diet. The patients given the five point acupuncture saw a 6.1 percent BMI reduction over eight weeks, compared to 5.7 percent of the single point group. The sham group did not see any BMI reduction.
“Auricular acupuncture therapy is based on the understanding that the external ear represents all parts of the human body, including the internal organs, and provides acupuncture points corresponding to these parts,” the researchers, led by Sujung Yeo, MD, a researcher at Kyung Hee University, wrote in the study. “Auricular acupuncture therapy for obesity has been reported to be relatively safe, economical, effective and to reduce body weight by decreasing the desire to eat.”
The difference between five point and single point acupuncture was thought to be mild, researchers said, and this study shows that while five point is more successful, it is not markedly so. However, 24 of the study participants dropped out before the end of the study, 15 of which belonged to the sham acupuncture group, which may have skewed the results.
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Previous studies have shown ear acupuncture to be very effective for weight loss, said Houman Danesh, MD, director of integrative pain management at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, though how it works is still unclear.
“Mainly the way it works is through appetite suppression,” Dr. Danesh said. “But how it does that is the million dollar question. From an Eastern medicine point of view, your body is out of balance. Acupuncture corrects that imbalance, you stop overeating.”
“From a western medicine point of view,” he added, “acupuncture is thought to affect your brain. It releases endorphins, which is probably part of the mechanism.”
Acupuncture can also affect your nerves, which can further reduce your appetite, said Jamie Starkey, lead acupuncturist with the Cleveland Clinic Center for Integrative Medicine.
“A lot of the nerves in the ears can stimulate other nerves,” she said. “Acupuncture works by stimulating your ear nerves, which affect your vagus nerve and, in turn, affects your gut and suppresses your appetite.”
Patients can expect to lose up to 5 pounds over the course of a two-month treatment, Danesh said, but while it is effective, it’s not for everyone.
“If you’re looking to lose 50 to 100 pounds, this is definitely not the way to go,” he said.
And while acupuncture is effective, it’s not a panacea for obesity, Starkey said.
“These improvements are temporary,” she said. “While they are using the technique, they are seeing improvement. But once the treatment ends, they often regain the weight. It’s important to realize that acupuncture does help, but you cannot ignore diet or exercise.”
“The goal of acupuncture is wellness,” Starkey added. “You have to utilize every tool you have available to kick start your metabolism and weight loss, and acupuncture does just that. But it’s not a magic bullet.”
Our Acupuncturist, MK Park, specializes in weight loss acupuncture treatments.
Call 732-390-8100 today to schedule your appointment.
Author: Michelle Schoffro Cook
Excerpt from: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/the-health-benefits-of-regular-acupuncture.html
According to Chinese legend, wounded soldiers who were struck with arrows often recovered from the puncture wound to discover other afflictions had also gone. And, so began the art of acupuncture. Since its inception over 5000 years ago, there have been thousands of research studies proving the healing effects of needling the body in specific locations.
The idea behind acupuncture is that there are hundreds of points or acupoints that surface on the skin of the body. These wells of energy are connected below the surface like rivers of energy; however, blockages caused from injury, infection, stress, poor diet, or other factor, causes these rivers of energy, or meridians, as they are called to become blocked. Similar to a dam, the energy stops flowing properly and the result is any number of possible health problems, including: pain, inflammation, fatigue, and illness. To restore health, practitioners of Chinese medicine needle specific points to free the flow of energy, thereby alleviating any of the possible illness symptoms along with the energy blockage.
Because restoring energy flow in the body can alleviate a wide variety of possible symptoms and health conditions, acupuncture can be beneficial for almost any health condition. Most people feel a sense of deep relaxation during the treatment and often a boost in energy afterward. They may experience a reduction in pain and an improvement in sleep quality.
In 1979, The World Health Organization (WHO) originally published a list of conditions that can be healed by regular acupuncture treatments, and then refined the list based on scientific proof of the effectiveness of acupuncture for certain health conditions. According to WHO, regular acupuncture has been proven to improve the following list of conditions or symptoms:
The World Health Organization also found that there are a wide variety of other conditions that benefit from acupuncture but additional research is needed. These additional 63 conditions include:
Keep in mind that there are different styles of acupuncture, typically divided under two main classifications: scientific or traditional Chinese methods. Scientific acupuncture is the form practiced by many chiropractors, physiotherapists, and other medical professionals in the West and tends to primarily involve needling points in the area of the pain or affliction. For example, needling the points around the knee if the knee is injured or inflamed. More traditional Chinese methods may involve needling the points around the knee but may also involve points that seem completely unrelated on other parts of the body.
Also, acupuncture needles are much finer than those used for other medical procedures like vaccinations. Most people barely feel them but if you’re still not comfortable with the idea of needles, you can reap many of the same health benefits with regular acupressure treatments (using finger pressure on acupoints instead of needles.
Avoid using acupuncture if you have a bleeding disorder (like hemophilia), are taking blood thinners, are pregnant, or are prone to abrupt falls in blood pressure.
MK Park, our licensed Acupuncturist at Mana Physical Therapy, can help with any of these conditions, as well as those that are more complicated. He is currently treating all day on Fridays. Call 732-390-8100 today to set up your appointment!
An excerpt from: https://www.spine-health.com/blog
I remember the moment I first injured my back very clearly, even though it was 7 years ago. Though I was an active, healthy, 46-year-old man with no previous spine issues, I felt a sharp twinge of pain in my lower back as I lifted groceries out of the trunk of my car.
The pain was noticeable, but bearable, so I just took some over-the-counter pain medicine and ignored it.
A few days later, I started to notice a mild tingling sensation in my right leg. I mentioned this to my friend, who is a physiotherapist, and she recommended I call my doctor right away.
I didn’t take her advice to call the doctor right away, and as I hit the 3-week mark after my original incident, the pain in my back grew worse, and the tingling in my leg was getting progressively more bothersome. Looking back, I wish I had gone to see my doctor sooner. Finally, I made an appointment with my doctor.
My doctor referred me to get an MRI, and I was consequently diagnosed with a herniated disc at the L4-L5 segment.
I was happy to hear my doctor did not recommend surgery. He prescribed a course of NSAIDs and instructed me to start some gentle exercises.
After 6 weeks of taking my pain medication I was still in quite a bit of pain, so my doctor recommended I see a physiotherapist (similar to a physical therapist in the United States).
My physiotherapist provided hands-on treatment and recommended stretches to do at home. The stretches I found particularly useful were the back extensions like these:
The goal of these stretches is to increase the size of the nerve canal, which has been compressed as a result of the herniation.
I spent a lot of time extensively researching my condition. As a result of all this research I was convinced I needed to try acupuncture. I figured that I may as well give as many potential therapies a try.
I booked an appointment at a local acupuncture clinic. The exercises were helping, but I was still in pain. It was rather daunting at first to enter a darkened room and allow a stranger to stick needles into me. But, my experience with acupuncture was very positive, and it provided almost instant relief. After 10 sessions, I was pain free, and I credit a big part of my healing to it.
I continue to work on staying pain free by doing my stretches and getting acupuncture as needed. I hope my story can give anyone searching for natural pain remedies hope.
We thank our reader, Dan, from BackSpasmAdvice for sharing his story with us, and we hope it gave some of you inspiration to keep looking for a treatment that works for you.
Keywords: East Brunswick, Acupuncture, Acupressure, Low Back Pain, Sciatica, Pain Relief, Physical Therapy, Stretching,