Monday, January 25, 2010

How to Avoid Knee Pain (as featured in January's Newsletter)

Knee pain is the most common musculoskeletal complaint that brings people to their doctor, and with today's increasingly active society, the number of knee problems is increasing. Fortunately knee pain can be relieved and possibly avoided with these simple steps.

1. Strengthen your gluts – research has shown that knee injuries, including ACL tears and ‘runners knee’ can occur when glut muscles, specifically gluteus medius, are weak.

2. Maintain a healthy weight – being overweight makes women four times more likely, and men fives time more likely to develop osteoarthritis of the knee.

3. Stretch – The hamstrings and hip adductors often become tight, as a result of being overworked due to weak glut muscles. This muscle imbalance can result in compressive forces on the knee joint, leading to knee pain.

4. Strengthen your core – a weak core can result in poor spinal alignment, which has a knock on affect to the position of your knees. Strengthening your core muscles will allow your knees to be in the best position for movement without joint compression.

5. Pay special attention to your feet – Foot biomechanics has a huge effect on the rest of your body, especially your knees. Being flat footed, over pronating, wearing high heels (which can cause tight calf muscles) or not changing you running shoes regularly could increase your risk of developing knee pain.

If you have problems with your knees, make an appointment at Ascent Physical Therapy today – (970) 949 9966. We can evaluate the source of your pain and develop an appropriate treatment protocol to help relieve those knee symptoms.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is an injury of the main ligament in the arch of your foot. The plantar fascia runs from heel to toe across the bottom of your foot and acts as the main soft tissue support of your arch.

The main symptom of plantar fasciitis is heel pain. Some people will feel pain throughout the entire arch of the foot. Frequently symptoms are worst first thing in the morning or the first steps after sitting for a prolonged time. As symptoms increase any walking or weight bearing activity can become painful and debilitating.

Plantar fasciitis is usually caused by repetitive stress on the arch because of abnormal foot mechanics. With over pronation the foot widens and elongates excessively pulling on the plantar fascia. With a high arch or supinated foot the plantar fascia becomes shortened and tight and is susceptible to abnormal force. In both cases extra tension on the fascia can cause abnormal force where it attaches to the heel bone causing tissue damage and inflammation.

Treatment consists of two stages. The first stage is decreasing any acute inflammation. The second stage is changing the mechanics of the foot to decrease stresses on the fascia and prevent re-injury. To decrease initial pain anti-inflammatory treatments are indicated, including oral anti-inflammatories, ice, taping, soft tissue mobilization, and physical therapy modalities such as low level laser. To improve mechanics of the foot stretching of the fascia and calf muscles are very important to reduce stress. Custom foot orthotics are also important in long term management of plantar fasciitis. Properly supporting the arch will reduce stress on the fascia, allowing it to heal and preventing future injury.

If you have questions about plantar fasciitis or custom foot orthotics, contact Ascent Physical Therapy at (970)949-9966 and one of our therapists will be happy to help.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pre-employment Screening

Keith McCarroll, PT and Owner of Ascent Physical Therapy will be speaking at a Safety Seminar for local businesses on how 'Pre-Employment Screening could help save on Workers Compensation'. The lecture is being held in association with the Vail Valley Safety Group, members of the Vail Valley Partnership. Companies, such as Pinnacol Assurance, Arrow Insurance, HUB International Southwest and Vail Valley Partnership are sponsoring this quarterly event. It is being held at 9:30AM at Edwards Ambulance District Building, in Edwards, CO, on Friday 15th January 2010. Please call Ascent Physical Therapy for more information - (970)949-9966, or Michelle Kobelan at Vail Valley Partnership (970) 477-4001

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Year, New Team.

Ascent Physical Therapy is proud to announce two new members of our team, Helen Bradley, PT and Leigh Ann Bryan.

Helen is a graduate of Cardiff University in Wales. She has worked several years with the National Health Service in the United Kingdom specializing in Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy including extensive time doing spinal rehabilitation. Helen has also been involved in sports medicine with the Lincoln Rugby Club and Royal Navy Cricket Team. Helen is an avid snowboarder and works as an instructor at Vail Resorts in her free time.

Leigh Ann is the new Clinic Manager. After graduating with a BA in Bioinformatics from Houston, Texas, she saw the light and moved to Colorado in 2008. She will be attending graduate school to earn her MS in Physician Assistant studies in August. With an interest in Orthopedics, she is happy to be working in a PT clinic.

Monday, January 4, 2010


Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is a painless, sterile, non-evasive, drug free treatment which is used to treat a variety of pain syndromes, injuries, wounds, fractures, etc. This treatment can be used for the control of pain when conventional therapies have been ineffective or the acceleration of healing from injuries is desired. There are no pulsating shocks felt or heat used. Statistically 75-80% of patients notice immediate improvement in their condition. The number of treatments depends upon the severity of the condition.

For more information on LLLT for the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome, read this interesting study by General Motors. For some recent research the blog by THOR has some great abstracts.

At Ascent Physical Therapy we offer a free laser clinic once a month.

This month the clinic is being held on Tuesday, Jan 26th 2010, from 4pm-7pm. Call (970) 949-9966 today to schedule a free ML830 laser treatment.