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This article is going to be a little different than our usual format. Rather than highlighting an exercise, answering a rehab question, or breaking down complex pathology, this article is going to focus on how to build and maintain good habits. Our goal as physical therapists is almost always to change a patient's habits in some way. Regardless of what has led a patient into physical therapy or to starting a [P]Rehab program, their goal is often to decrease pain, increase function, and reach their body's full potential, which typically happens by a change in habits! As the new year approaches and many people consider their New Year's Resolutions, I thought this guidance would be particularly timely.ย  Atomic Habits by James Clear is a New York Times bestseller that highlights some simple strategies to build and maintain good habits while eliminating bad ones. This article will highlight some of these strategies along with their application to fitness and rehab. We are here to discuss everything related to atomic exercise habits!

The scapula is one of the least congruent joints in the body. There is no bony articulation between the scapula and the thorax. This is why the scapula can move so easily, essentially it is a free-floating bone that can move into protraction/retraction, elevation/depression, anterior tilt/posterior tilt, internal/external rotation, and upward/downward rotation. We can not change the structure of this scapulothoracic joint, ย however, we can improve scapular control! Scapula position is almost fully determined by the pulling of muscle groups that attach to the scapula. The scapula is the core of the upper body, this is where the force comes in through and gets distributed out of. This article will demonstrate exercises that you can do on your own to improve your scapula control.

Ankle sprains...let's face it. Most of us have had at least one in our lifetime. When you hear ankle sprain, you envision your foot rolling out when stepping on an uneven surface or missing a step down a flight of stairs. Both of these examples are known as a lateral ankle sprain, which account for up to 85-90% of all ankle sprains. These are much more common than other ankle sprains due to the innate mechanism of injury that is more likely to occur in this plane of movement,ย  as well as the weaker soft tissue structures on the outside versus inside of the ankle. However, other ankle sprains do still happen! High ankle sprains are a fairly common injury that is more common in athletics and collision activities. It is important to learn how to rehab a high ankle sprain because it is going to look different than your typical lateral ankle sprain rehab. Follow along as we discuss how to rehab a high ankle sprain!

What is pain and where does it come from? Pain is an output from the brain, it is a real experience that is always unique to that individual, and is dependent on meaning, which is always context-dependent. It relies on biology, ecology, psychology, and sociology! Furthermore, the output of pain depends on past experiences, perspectives, the internal and external environment, emotions, and predictions. Even though it is an output from the brain, pain can be experienced anywhere in the body regardless of the presence or absence of tissue or structural damage. But is pain really all your head then? In this article, we will break down this simple yet complex question to help you better understand where pain comes from as well as pain science!

Lunges are one of the most commonly performed exercises in rehab and general fitness alike - and for good reason. You are able to target different muscle groups or movement patterns just simply by changing up lunge directions from forward, to backward, to sideways, or even into a curtsey squat. Furthermore, the use of certain equipment such as sliders or steps can add a new twist to a traditional lunge to hit your therapeutic goals.ย  In this article, we're going to dissect one of the easiest ways to spice up your lunges by simply changing directions.

If youโ€™ve ever been to a gym where people are lifting weights, youโ€™ve likely seen people wearing weightlifting belts. This begs the question - why are weightlifting belts and exercises paired together? Why do some people only use weightlifting belts with certain exercises versus some people wear weightlifting belts with every exercise? The biggest questions - how do they work, do they actually help you lift more weight, and do they make you โ€œsaferโ€ or prevent injury?ย  In this article, we will explore some of these questions, share our opinions, and let you decide whether a weightlifting belt would be beneficial to your training or not!

Trendelenburg gait, otherwise referred to as a hip drop or trunk lean with walking are all compensatory movement patterns that may lead to back pain, hip pain, knee pain, or SI joint pain over time. There are many reasons this may occur, some of which include pain secondary to a recent injury or surgery, poor hip strength, limited mobility, inhibited hip musculature, developed movement compensations, and much more. It is important to be aware of this movement impairment, as this can lead to problems up and down the kinetic chain. This article will demonstrate excellent exercises to fix your Trendelenburg gait starting with activation, followed by strengthening, and finally movement re-training!

You have pain when you exercise, so you stop going to the gym and see a doctor. The doctor writes you a prescription for Physical Therapy that includes "exercise therapy". Your physical therapist tells you that you need to start exercising, but not to do any exercises that cause you pain! This puts you in a frustrating catch-22 situation, which nobody seems to have the answer to! If you have pain with exercising and need to avoid pain, how can you exercise to reduce your pain?ย  You've heard the phrase "no pain, no gain!" but that doesn't sound very scientific does it? But what is the answer? Should rehab be pain-free? Or should you ignore your pain and just grin and bear it! This article will answer these questions and provide you with scientific strategies to rehabilitate a painful injury!

Are you a runner trying to stay healthy so that you don't have to stop running? If you're looking for exercise solutions for a running injury and want to learn running injury prevention knowledge, you've come to the right place. We have simplified the literature investigating common running injuries to bring you not only our favorite but the most effective runner's prehab exercises. In this article, you will learn runner's prehab exercises that you should be doing as well as the knowledge that will protect you against common running injuries!

Stretching after a workout is very common in recovery programs. 'Tight' muscles that are not properly managed could lead to potential muscle imbalances, abnormal movement patterns and compensatory strategies, and even muscle spasms. The hamstrings are responsible for specific muscle actions in different body regions and contribute to many movements that we perform daily! They too can become 'tight' and as a result, can contribute to some of the issues we mentioned earlier. The positive is that there are many different ways to stretch your hamstrings, with individualized variations! However, as with any movement, there are many ways to do it! And some are much more advantageous than others! For starters, proper hamstring stretching does not mean that you should only be feeling a stretch in your foot! And if you are going to stretch your hamstrings, you must know why you are doing so! In this article, we will show you proper hamstring stretching, and how you can implement various techniques as part of your daily routine to keep you moving often and moving well!