Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Achilles Tendinosis

The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the human body and is very vulnerable to injury, probably because of its limited blood supply and the variety of forces to which it is subjected during activity. If treatment and rest is not implemented in the early stages of tendon injury and pain, known as Achilles Tendonitis, and chronic overload of the tendon continues, the tendon eventually develops microscopic tears in it. This is known as Achilles tendinosis and because of the poor blood supply to the tendon, the ability to heal these microscopic tears is limited and tearing of the tendon continues. Enlargement of the tendon, weakness and scar tissue formation results, which causes further pain and potential for tendon rupture

Undue strain to the Achilles tendon results in over 230,000 Achilles tendon injuries per year in the U.S. alone. The undue strain could be caused by a variety of factors, including:
  • tightness or weakness of the leg, knee, hip, or back muscles
  • high or low arches, poor foot biomechanics
  • uneven leg lengths
  • alternating between high (2”) heels and exercise shoes
  • sudden (rather than gradual) increases in training, such as running faster, further, or up steeper hills.

Treatment focuses on addressing any factors which could be contributing to undue strain, such as providing customized orthotics to correct poor foot biomechanics, a very carefully designed program of stretching and strengthening, and modalities to encourage increased blood supply to the tendon, such as laser therapy and soft tissue mobilization.

For more information on Achilles tendinosis or treatment options for Achilles tendon pain, please contact Ascent Physical Therapy at 970.949.9988


Its that time of month again to take advantage of our free laser clinic. Here at Ascent Physical Therapy we use low level laser therapy (LLLT), also known as cold laser to help treat a variety of conditions including carpal tunnel, arthritis, muscle and joint pain, plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, heel spurs and swelling. It works by stimulating and energizing the cells in the injured area, to repair and strengthen at a remarkably fast rate.
The benefits include:

- It can relieve acute and chronic pain
- Increases the speed, quality and tensile strength of tissue repair
- Increases blood supply
- Stimulates the immune system
- Stimulates nerve function
- Helps generate new and healthy cells and tissue
- Promotes faster wound healing
- Reduces inflammation

This month the clinic is being tonight, 30th November 2010, from 4pm-7pm. Call (970) 949-9966 to schedule a free ML830 laser treatment.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Featured Physician of the Month - Dr. Terrell Joseph

Dr Terrell Joseph, MD
Specialty: Hand and Upper Extremity/Knee Surgery
Vail-Summit Orthopaedics

At Ascent Physical Therapy, we know how lucky we are to have such talented medical professionals in the Vail Valley. We welcome and encourage collaboration and would like to recognize this month's featured physician, Dr. Joseph's. Take a moment to read about Dr. Joseph's contribution to the Valley's healthcare system and his commitment to your health.....

After graduating from Vanderbilt and LSU Medical School in 1999, Dr. Joseph continued his training at the Charity Hospital in New Orleans as an Orthopaedic Surgeon. In 2004, he went on to New Zealand to do Specialty Fellowship training in Arthroscopic Knee Surgery and Sports Medicine. Following on from this, Dr. Joseph completed a second Fellowship in Upper Extremity and Hand Surgery in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Dr. Joseph's orthopaedic interests include ACL reconstruction, arthroscopic meniscus surgery, ski and snowboard trauma. He also has expertise in treating tendinitis, carpal tunnel, hand and wrist problems.

When he is not at work he enjoys the mountain lifestyle with his wife and two small children. Paddling whitewater, making stained glass, as well as breeding and training Labrador Retrievers are some of his favorite activities!

TOPIC OF THE MONTH - Backpacks and Back Pain

Backpacks are frequently a necessary item for carrying school supplies as well as being a fashion accessory for today’s school children. They are also a frequent contributor to back pain in kids, and can lead to a life time of back problems. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission a 300 per cent increase in backpack related injuries has occurred since 1996.

Backpacks can contribute to pain when they are overloaded, packed incorrectly or worn improperly. The maximum weight carried in a pack should be no more than 15 per cent of the child’s body weight. For smaller children this may be only a few large text books. Improperly distributed loads can also increase chances for injury. Many kids hastily stuff the packs, increasing load on the spine. Wearing the pack over one shoulder unevenly distributes forces on the back.

When choosing a backpack a good design is important. Padded shoulder straps and a waist belt will distribute forces more appropriately. Multiple compartments allow smaller items to be found easier and allows better packing. Proper sizing is also important in distributing forces correctly.

When wearing a pack loading it correctly is important. Heavier items such as large books should be closest to the back and weights should be distributed evenly side to side. Both shoulder straps should be worn at all times along with a waist belt. These straps should be adjusted so they are snug but not overly tight. When standing for long periods taking the backpack off will relieve forces from the spine.

Taking time to get a proper backpack for your kids and teaching them how to use it can help them avoid a lifetime of back pain.