Low Back Pain

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Who hasn’t experienced low back pain?  It is a common complaint by many.  Sometimes lasting a moment, other times days, and for the less fortunate months or even years.  No matter the duration, it is not fun but many a time can be treated with physical therapy.

In our Low Back Pain workshop, we discuss some of the most common diagnoses associated with low back pain.  These included low back pain from a disc in the lumbar spine, lumbar spinal stenosis and lastly based on posture.  Steve Vighetti talked about the common signs and symptoms to hopefully help you identify your low back pain and the best course of treatment.

Kirsten Heath goes on to discuss the various ways to treat the low back pain.  She primarily focused on exercises that addressed mobility, flexibility and lastly strength and endurance.  In the mobility section, she discussed the yoga pose cat/cow also known as cat/dog and how to apply it beyond the typical crawling position to help keep you mobile throughout the day.   In addition, the mobility exercises of single knee to chest and double knee to chest were illustrated.  She then went on to flexibility where she instructed in various piriformis, hip flexor and hamstring stretches that often prove valuable in the low back pain patient.  Lastly, she discussed strength/endurance exercises beginning with abdominal bracing, and the progression to heel taps, bridges, pillow lifts and kegels.

Hopefully those that attended the Low Back Pain workshop learned something informative as well as those who will view it online!  If any comments, questions or concerns regarding these exercises please feel free to comment below, contact your local area physical therapist or if you are in the St. Augustine, FL area contact us at info@vighettipt.com or 904-516-8121.

 

 

Pregnancy Workshop

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When I, Kirsten Heath, was interviewing to join Vighetti & Associates Sports Physical Therapy, a little over two years ago now, Steve talked to me about a program that he began called Bounce Back from Baby.  He was wondering if I would be willing to take over the program, seeing as I am a woman, and theoretically people should be more comfortable discussing pregnancy matters with me.  I said sureee, wanting a job and all but I wasn’t completely convinced with it at the time.  Despite no kids, and definitely no kids two years ago, I have grown to LOVE this program and this topic.  The main reason why… No one talks about pregnancy stuff.  I am not talking about the whole a human is coming out of you part.  But the “trainwreck” (a word Steve loves to use) aspect that your body is post-pregnancy and the drastic changes during pregnancy.  I have long been passionate about preventative physical therapy and I feel as though the during pregnancy and post-pregnancy area is somewhere I can truly help people.

With all that being said, below we talk about the numerous areas that are commonly affected at this time: low back, sacroiliac joint (SI), pelvic floor and overall posture (video one below).  We then move on to discuss what you should avoid while you exercise during pregnancy, immediately following birth and while breastfeeding as well as diastasis recti (video two below).  If you were in the workshop, you also learned how to assess diastasis recti and some common exercises: abdominal bracing, diaphragmatic breathing, kegels and bridges.  Handouts were given and then a group discussion followed where the attendees shared their experiences with each other.

As you learned, this is area of passion for us therefore if any comments, questions or concerns regarding these exercises please feel free to comment below, contact your local area physical therapist or if you are in the St. Augustine, FL area contact us at info@vighettipt.com or 904-516-8121.

 

ACRR Camp 2016: Running Injuries

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We have had the pleasure of being able to speak at the Ancient City Road Runners (ACRR) Summer Camp for the past three years.  This year we even videotaped the beginning of our talk to help share with you all our discussion on common running injuries.  Through interaction with the campers we learned some of their common injuries and discussed general information regarding the injuries, how to treat, number one predictor for injury and when to continue running or not.  Some of the injuries discussed include: stress fractures, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, knee pain, sprained ankle, ITB syndrome and a touch on ACL tears due to audience interest.

After this video was recorded, we went on to do some general screening of the campers to help show them the value of strength training to help keep them injury free and running to their full potential.  Lateral lunges, step back lunges with hold and single leg Romanian deadlifts were then demonstrated and taught to the campers to help provide them with several exercises that are helpful in keeping them running strong.

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We greatly enjoy talking at the camp every year as the campers and staff are all wonderful and attentive and look forward to meeting with them again next year.

Hopefully you have learned much about common running injuries from the video provided.  If you have any comments, questions or concerns please feel free to comment below, contact your local area physical therapist or if you are in the St. Augustine, FL area contact us at info@vighettipt.com or 904-516-8121.

 

Swim & Surf Workshop

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With it being summer time, we thought our latest workshop topic of Swim and Surf was perfect!  Despite the tropical storm and rain, we had a good number of attendees and want to thank all who came out to join us.  For those of you that were unable to make it, we videotaped a fair portion of the event and have included it below for your viewing pleasure.

The event started out discussing common swim and surf injuries by owner and physical therapist Steve Vighetti.  The swimming injuries were recorded and discussed in the following video, with an emphasis on low back, neck and shoulder injuries.  Surfing injuries were also discussed by physical therapist Kirsten Heath, talking about the most common being hit by a surfboard, hitting the ocean floor or getting caught in water turmoil.  She discussed making sure to perform protected pain-free motion after such injuries that result in bruises or cuts.  Also, if cuts were deep enough to bleed to ensure that the scar tissue is massaged and worked on during the healing process to make sure that normal mobility is maintained in the future.

Low back was the first area to be discussed and was led by Kirsten Heath in which exercises such as abdominal bracing arose.  Abdominal bracing was shown with a progression from simply lying on your back to bridges and heel taps.  Other exercises touched on include cat/cow, plank with rotation and supermans in the following video.

Next up addressed the neck and shoulder.  These two were combined as when examining and when treating the neck and shoulder, one cannot be addressed without the other.  They very much work in sync and this is shown through the exercises discussed during the workshop.  The exercises included below by Kirsten Heath include chin tucks, thoracic or upper back mobility and sphinx (great exercise for surfers especially!).

Neck and shoulder stretches were next on the agenda and touched on by Steve Vighetti.  Stretches included: pec major, biceps, triceps, lats, upper trap, levator scap and scalenes.

Lastly were exercises that were important for strengthening the neck and shoulder.  These included Is, Ys, and Ts for the upper back and around the shoulder blades, specifically the low/mid traps, rhomboids and triceps.  Shoulder external rotation was discussed with a loop of theraband or with bands to help strengthen the rotator cuff muscles.  Serratus wall slides were also included which are important for addressing the outside part of the shoulder blade, the serratus anterior.

Hopefully you have learned much from the numerous videos shared with you all today from our latest workshop on Swim and Surf.  The goal was to provide you with exercises both for stretching/mobility and strengthening to help keep you active and swimming/surfing!  If you all have any comments, questions or concerns please feel free to comment below, contact your local area physical therapist or if you are in the St. Augustine, FL area contact us at info@vighettipt.com or 904-516-8121.  We hope you to see you at our next workshop on Bounce Back from Baby, July 25th!

 

Orthopedic Clinical Specialist: Kirsten Heath

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Many of our past and current patients know our staff physical therapist, Kirsten Heath as she has been with us since our separation from the athletic club in 2014.  However, what you may not have known is she has been dedicated to learning as much as she can by putting herself through an optional Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency right after obtaining her doctorate in physical therapy.  The culmination of the residency program was to apply for and take the board exam for physical therapy orthopedics which occurs only once a year, and she did just that this past March…Now if you are one of our Facebook followers I am sure you have heard by now that she passed her exam, and is a full fledged Orthopedic Clinical Specialist!!!  Now she is not only reported to be a great physical therapist by her patients and colleagues but by the Board of Orthopedic physical therapy as well.

So if you see her out and about, give her a shout out and a congratulations!  Or come stop in if you are suffering from your own orthopedic injury and have the specialist check it out!

Foam Rolling

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Our most well attended workshop to date was our “Foam Rolling and Stretching” workshop that took place this past May 2nd, 2016.  We didn’t think we could turn the sole topic of foam rolling into an hour long workshop, but your interest proved us wrong and the workshop was turned into just that!  So that simply means we owe you all a stretching workshop in the future.

We plan to re-visit both the topics of foam rolling and stretching in the fall (as two separate workshops) so if you missed this most recent one, do not fret as it will happen again!  But our next workshop is more summery in nature, it is our Swim and Surf Workshop on Monday June 6th at 6pm where we will be discussing common injuries, how to address them and how to avoid them and improve performance!  So stay tuned for that.

Now back to the matter at hand, FOAM ROLLING!  In this workshop we started off with discussing how foam rolling works and why we should be doing it, aka the logistics to convince you how important this is to make a part of your regular routine!  So see below, to learn more.

We often get asked…what kind of foam roller should I get?  Should I get a black, white, green, orange etc?  What about a PVC pipe?  One with ridges is that better?  Or should I get one with the knobs?  What is the best for me?  In the following video, we discuss the various types of foam rollers but feel free to contact us with more questions as we just scratched the surface!

Next up: how long should you foam roll for? Research doesn’t say, but we give our clinical decision on the length of time to foam roll.  We do discuss that when you find a sensitive spot, a possible trigger point to hold that position for 60-90 seconds until the areas becomes less sensitive/relaxes.  We also explain when to foam roll and why it is beneficial to do so, i.e. flexibility, or recovery.

Ok, now everyone’s favorite part…How do you foam roll?  And where should you foam roll?  The following videos will discuss numerous different areas of the body and how to foam toll, what to avoid and how to make the foam rolling more or less intense.

Foam Roll: Quadriceps & Adductors

Foam Roll: Butt (Gluts, Piriformis, Hip Rotators), Hamstrings & Calves

Foam Roll: IT Band

Foam Roll: Upper Back

Foam Roll: Latissimus Dorsi (Lats)

Foam Roll: Quadratus Lumborum (QL or the sides of your low back)

Hopefully you have learned much from the numerous videos shared with you all today from our latest workshop on Foam Rolling.  You should now know why you should foam roll, the benefits of doing so, how long to foam roll, when you should do it and where.  If you all have any comments, questions or concerns please feel free to comment below, contact your local area physical therapist or if you are in the St. Augustine, FL area contact us at info@vighettipt.com or 904-516-8121.  We hope you to see you at our next workshop on Swimming and Surfing, June 6th!

 

 

Get Better, Faster with Physical Therapy

Timely care is the most important factor when experiencing an injury or pain.  Accessing your physical therapist as the first line of care for conditions such as back pain, joint injuries or muscle pain improves outcomes and can reduce costs.  The below video created by Eric Chaconas, physical therapist with Vighetti & Associates Sports Physical Therapy, and the student advocacy group at the University of St. Augustine explains why seeing your physical therapist first is so important.

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At Vighetti & Associates Sports Physical Therapy, we specialize in using the most advanced treatment techniques to keep you active and enjoying the things you love to do.  Often times we are able to help patients avoid unnecessary imaging and surgical procedures through our cutting edge rehabilitation approach.

Many people do not know that you can come to a physical therapist directly, but in the case of our physical therapy clinic, we see more than 90% of our patients before they even see a doctor!  This way our patients are able to avoid the wait to see a medical doctor, and can come to see us quicker which allows us to send them back to doing the things they love.  As our motto says, your performance is our passion and we want to make sure that you continue to do the things you love!

 

If you have any comments, questions or concerns feel free to comment below, contact your local area physical therapist or if you are in the St. Augustine, FL area contact us at info@vighettipt.com or 904-516-8121 as your performance is our passion!

Meet Eric Chaconas PT, PhD, FAAOMPT

For those of you that have not yet heard, we have a new physical therapist!  So if you see him around town or in the clinic, please take a moment to welcome him as a part of the Vighetti & Associates Sports Physical Therapy staff!

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Dr. Eric Chaconas is a physical therapist specializing in orthopaedics and sports rehabilitation.  He works with clients who desire improved physical performance and those experiencing pain or recovering from musculoskeletal injuries.  In addition to practicing at Vighetti and Associates Sports Physical Therapy, Dr. Eric Chaconas holds faculty and administrative positions at the University of St. Augustine.  He has an active research agenda focused on shoulder rehabilitation and leads the Florida Physical Therapy Association as a board of directors member.  Dr. Eric Chaconas provides practicing physical therapists an array of continuing education seminars surrounding the topic of exercise prescription and manual therapy around the country.

In regards to his education, Eric Chaconas received his Bachelor of Science, in Exercise Science at Towson University in 2002.  He then went on the receive his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at University of St. Augustine in 2005 and most recently his PhD in physical therapy, at Nova Southeastern University in 2015.

Above and beyond formal education, he became a Certified Strength and Conditioning  Specialist in 2006, the same year he received his Manual Therapy Certification.  Then in 2008 Eric Chaconas completed his Fellowship in Orthopaedic Manual Therapy.

Last but not least he is an active part of the St. Augustine community.  This is evident by Eric Chaconas’ role as a board of directors member and volunteer healthcare provider at Good Samaritan Wildflower Clinic and as a volunteer for Pink up the Pace, a breast cancer fundraising organization.

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As you can see above, Eric Chaconas is a BUSY man and therefore works a select schedule at Vighetti & Associates Sports Physical Therapy.  He has already begun seeing physical therapy patients at the clinic though so if you are in the St. Augustine area and are in need of a physical therapist, feel free to contact us today to schedule at 904-516-8121 or info@vighettipt.com.

4 Steps to Eliminate Shoulder Pain

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Time was made to present on the topic of 4 ways to eliminate shoulder pain this past February 23rd, 2016 with Kirsten Heath PT, DPT by the newest member of our staff,  Eric Chaconas PT, PhD, FAAOMPT.  In addition to his part time work with Vighetti & Associates Sports Physical Therapy, he is also the Assistant Program Director and a Professor at the University of St. Augustine.

Eric is particularly passionate about shoulder pathology and rehab as evident by his PhD work in the area.  During the workshop he discussed the basic anatomy of the shoulder, several more commonly known diagnoses such as rotator cuff injury/tear, frozen shoulder and shoulder laxity, and as the workshop was titled, the 4 steps to eliminate shoulder pain.

1st STEP was addressing thoracic mobility or upper back mobility during which Kirsten Heath discussed two exercises that can be used to maintain and/or increase mobility.

2nd STEP was shoulder blade strength with an emphasis on performing 2x more pulling exercises than pushing.

3rd STEP was to address rotator cuff strength with increasing in difficulty exercises demonstrated from by your side to in front of your head.

4th/Final STEP was emphasized as many people don’t progress far enough and get to this point.  It consisted of progressive closed chain (or when your hand is in contact with a surface, floor/wall etc) and overhead activity.  It is important as we utilize numerous muscles around our shoulder when performing closed chain exercises that will help keep our shoulders strong, and to be strong overhead for the shoulder is essential for everyday activities and especially when weight lifting.

Much more detail is included in the video below of what was previously mentioned so please check it out if you want some exercises to help you with the various steps or are curious about different shoulder conditions.

Also, during the workshop we practiced many of the exercises that were discussed, so below is some of the instruction on the thoracic mobility exercises and several of the shoulder exercises.

As always, If you have any comments, questions or concerns feel free to comment below, contact your local area physical therapist or if you are in the St. Augustine, FL area contact us at info@vighettipt.com or 904-516-8121.  Otherwise, we hope you learned something from the videos about how to best maintain shoulder health!

Running Related Injuries

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The good news is…we have been BUSY!  Bad news…this blog post with the videos from our Running Related Injuries workshop on February 1st, 2016 has taken a while to be edited and uploaded.  But, it is ready now!

In this workshop we planned to discuss 5 common running related injuries that we often see in the clinic, which included Plantar Fasciitis, ITB Syndrome, Hamstring Strain, Achilles Pain and Dead Butt Syndrome.  Due to audience interest, we also discussed the different types of Shin Splints as well as a little added bonus.  In addition, we took the time to separate each injury’s information so that you are able to pick and choose which video is pertinent to your current needs, so hopefully you will find the information convenient and useful.

As always, If you have any comments, questions or concerns feel free to comment below, contact your local area physical therapist or if you are in the St. Augustine, FL area contact us at info@vighettipt.com or 904-516-8121.  Otherwise, enjoy the videos below for each running related injury and a short video with generalized advice for our injured runners.

Plantar Fasciitis

ITB Syndrome

Hamstring Strain

Achilles Pain

Dead Butt Syndrome

Shin Splints

General Advice for our Injured Runners

 

 

 

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