Fallen Arches and Ankle Stability

At Range of Motion Physical Therapy we see a lot of people with fallen arches, or who are over-pronating or who have poor ankle stability. These problems can be as result of poor arch strength, ankle sprains that have not been rehabed properly or poor ankle proprioception, among other things.

Over the course of the next couple of blogs I am going to show how to improve arch and ankle strength, while also improving proprioception of the ankle.

I always tell clients it should be possible to correct fallen arches and strengthen weak ankles without the use of orthotics….and the Tripod foot position is the first step.

The Tripod foot position teaches people how to be more aware of their arch so as to correct and evenly balance their weight through their arches, while also helping build the strength and endurance to maintain this position.

This exercise takes a bit of practice and once you have mastered it you can practice it anywhere.

The Foot Tripod position involves allowing your body weight to be evenly distributed among three points of contact with the floor.

the first metatarsal head
the fifth metatarsal head
the heel
With the tripod foot position, weight should not be shifted forward towards the toes or backward on the heel at any point during performance of an exercise. Likewise, weight should not be shifted medially or laterally.

I have attached a video to assist you to master the exercise, once you can hold the position you can progress onto doing some simple movements such as a small squats, but making sure you are maintaining the tripod position throughout the movement. If you lose the position stop, reset and repeat. It may also help to tighten your glutes when squatting to help the stability from the hips to feet.

If you would like to learn more please contact me for an appointment.

- See more at: http://www.romphysicaltherapy.ie/index.php/fallen-arches/#sthash.lzUXqxw2.dpuf

Foam rolling lower body

Foam Rolling Lower Body at Range of Motion Physical Therapy Clinic in Lucan I would always advise athletes to use a foam roller a couple of times a week. Working with triathletes and runners on a regular basis I would recommend integrating Foam roller exercises into their stretch routine.

Foam rolling helps stretch muscles and tendons while also breaking down soft tissue adhesion. fascia and scar tissue. By using your own body weight and a cylindrical foam roller you can perform a self sports massage, break down trigger points, and soothe leg pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, back aches and tightness, while increasing blood flow and circulation to the soft tissues.

It is advisable to use the foam roller a couple of times a week in conjunction with your stretching routine.


Rounded Shoulders

Rounded Shoulders

At Range of Motion Physical Therapy Lucan I see quite a large number of people with postural related issues and injuries, in particular rounded shoulders. A large proportion of us slouch at our desks, also as we walk or stand.

You can do a quick test to see if you have rounded shoulders, stand with your arms relaxed, if your hands hang in front of your tights and your hands face back, your chest muscles may be tight, causing your shoulders to hunch forward. Ideal posture will mean your hands hang more by your side and are facing toward your sides with thumb pointing forward.

Rounded shoulders can develop over time as we repeatedly sit in front of a computer, drive a vehicle, or watch TV slouched in a seat. The habit can start as early as our school years, as we slump forward to carry heavy school bags, sitting at our desks. Also if you lift weights and work your “pecs” to much you can create pectoral (chest) muscles that are so strong that will pull your shoulders forward.

When we slouch with shoulders forward, the muscles in the upper back and neck strain, get overstretch and overwork. As we keep rounding our shoulders, our pectoralis muscles become short and tight. As a result,the mid-trapezius and the rhomboids are overstretch and weak. Smaller muscles that were not designed to be postural muscles have to work hard doing a job they weren’t meant to do and chronic tension develops in the neck, shoulders and upper back.

Reversing Rounded Shoulder Posture

If you want to prevent or fix rounded shoulder posture, you can start with some of the simple exercises I have below, in addition to these exercises you can stretch your pec muscles and correct your posture while going about your daily routine.

The exercises below help to strengthen the muscles between the shoulder blades and upper thoracic region.

The W Exercise: 

Exaggerated Hug Exercise:

The Punch Exercise:

If you would like to learn more about Postural Education please contact me for an appointment.

Understanding Pain

What Is Chronic Pain and Understanding Pain?
Millions of people suffer from chronic pain — pain that lasts longer than six months. Chronic pain can be mild or excruciating, episodic or continuous, merely inconvenient or totally incapacitating.

With chronic pain, signals of pain remain active in the nervous system for weeks, months, or even years. This can take both a physical and emotional toll on a person.

The most common sources of pain stem from headaches, joint pain, pain from injury, and backaches. Chronic pain may originate with an initial trauma/injury or infection, or there may be an ongoing cause of pain. However, some people suffer chronic pain in the absence of any past injury or evidence of body damage.

The emotional toll of chronic pain also can make pain worse. Anxiety, stress, depression, anger, and fatigue interact in complex ways with chronic pain and may decrease the body’s production of natural painkillers; moreover, such negative feelings may increase the level of substances that amplify sensations of pain, causing a vicious cycle of pain for the person. Even the body’s most basic defenses may be compromised: There is considerable evidence that unrelenting pain can suppress the immune system.

Because of the mind-body links associated with chronic pain, effective treatment requires addressing psychological as well as physical aspects of the condition.

What Are the Symptoms of Chronic Pain?
The symptoms of chronic pain include:

Mild to severe pain that does not go away
Pain that may be described as shooting, burning, aching, or electrical
Feeling of discomfort, soreness, tightness, or stiffness
Pain is not a symptom that exists alone. Other problems associated with pain include:

Withdrawal from activity and increased need to rest
Weakened immune system
Changes in mood including hopelessness, fear, depression, irritability, anxiety, and stress
Check out the video to see what you can do to start helping yourself!!


Range of Motion Physical Therapy Newsletter March

Postural Exercises for Rounded Shoulders

Following on from my shoulder impingement piece last month, I decided to talk more about Posture and in particular Rounded Shoulders. As depicted above rounded shoulders is were our shoulders are being pulled forward by tight chest (pec) muscles and our arms hang more to the front of our bodies than the side.

This shoulder position is not the optimum position for when we move and use our arms, particularly for overhead movement. Rounded shoulders can lead to shoulder impingement injuries in people depending on what they do from day to day.

In an attempt to assist clients and help them to correct this postural issue I explain how rounded shoulders develop and the importance of maintaining a correct posture. I also show some simple exercises to strengthen the muscles between the shoulder blades and upper thoracic region.

Below is a link to my website where you can view the clips.

Rounded Shoulders Exercise:

If you would like to learn more about Postural Education please contact me for an appointment.