Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Kinesio Tape

Kinesio Tape 

With the Olympics going on this week, I have gotten many questions regarding all the tape being worn by the many different athletes. It is Kinesio tape, which has many different uses and effects on the body.

There are different brands of tape on the market that utilize some of the same properties. However, in the late 1970's Dr. Kenzo Kase, a chiropractor in Tokyo, developed Kinesio tape and the Kinesio tape method. It was constructed to facilitate the body's healing process and extend the benefits of treatment.

What is Kinesio tape and how does it work?
The tape is 100% latex free made from cotton fiber strips. It is hypoallergenic and is water resistant to allow consumers to wear it for multiple days. The tape was designed to not limit range of motion and to effectively facilitate or inhibit a muscle action. It can also be used to decrease swelling or bruising that arise from injury or surgery.

When the tape is applied, it creates a microscopic lift of the skin allowing for improved blood flow. It has the ability to decrease inflammation, promote muscle re-education and prevent injury. This is why we see many athletes apply it before a competition.

Kerra Pietsch, LPTA, CFNC
Andover Physical Therapy

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth This Summer

This fruit salsa is a sweet salsa made from diced fruit and served with cinnamon chips. 
This will be a hit at any get together! Enjoy! 



                      Cinnamon crisps
                       -10 flour tortillas (10")
                       -Cooking spray or Olive oil spray
                        -1/3 cup white sugar
                        -1 tsp cinnamon
                       Fruit salsa          
                       -2 granny smith apples
                        -1 lemon
                        -1 cup finely diced melon (your favorite variety) or kiwi.
                        -1 lb strawberries
                         -1 lb raspberries
                        -4 tbsp preserves (I use raspberry)


             Cinnamon crisps
             1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cinnamon and sugar. Set aside. 
            2. Working with 3 tortillas at a time, spray both sides of the tortilla and sprinkle each side lightly with                     
                 cinnamon sugar.
           3. Stack 3 tortillas and using a pizza cutter, cut tortillas into 12 wedges. Place on a baking sheet and 
              bake 8-11 minutes or until crisp. 

              Fruit salsa 
              1. Zest the lemon and set aside. Peel and finely chop apple, squeeze 2 tsp lemon juice over apples and 
                  mix well to combine. 
             2. Finely chop strawberries and melon. Gently combine all ingredients, the raspberries will break apart a
                 a bit but that's what you want. Allow to sit at room temp for at least 15 minutes before serving. 


Kaitlyn Grell, LPTA 
St.Francis Physical Therapy 

Friday, July 29, 2016

To Flip Flop or Not?

Summertime seems like it's just around the corner, and that means ditching the boots and tennis shoes for flip flops.... right? Wrong! We need to take care of our feet all year long. Our feet support our entire body, and the right support underneath them is important. It can be quite an adjustment for the feet to go from supportive footwear all winter long, to sandals and flip flops that offer little-to-no support. In fact, since the mechanics of the feet can impact joints further up the body when walking or standing (we call this the kinetic chain), slipping into those floppy sandals can affect the knees, hips, and low back as well. Have you ever noticed your low back starting to hurt after standing too long in flat shoes? Well then it's time to add a little support back under those feet.

If your feet don't have the right kind of support, and you do a lot of walking or standing throughout the day, you may even begin to develop pain in the feet or heels. It is common for people who don't wear appropriate footwear to experience pain like this, known as plantar fasciitis. This is just one of the injuries that can result from not taking proper care of your feet. The bottom line is: if you must wear those cute sandals you just bought for summer, wear them on a day that you're not going to be doing too much activity. If you have a long day of walking or standing ahead of you, be nice to your feet and give them the proper support with tennis shoes or supportive dress shoes. You can even add extra arch support with an over-the-counter orthotic if the shoe doesn't have it already built in. Your feet, and the rest of your body, will thank you!

If you do develop pain in the feet, or another related injury, you can always call your local physical therapist or speak to your physician about treatment options.

Paige Koehne, PT, DPT, CMTPT
Physical Therapist 
Andover Physical Therapy 

Friday, July 22, 2016

I hope everyone is having a great summer!  This week I found myself finalizing preparations for the fall high school athletic season to begin at St. Francis High School.  I unpacked the recently arrived athletic training room supplies, reviewed the athletics emergency plan, and made plans for the fall sports round-up and fall athletic training coverage schedule.  
As I prepare for the start of the fall athletics season, so are coaches, athletes, and parents.  One aspect that tends to sneak up on athletes and parents is making sure the athlete has a completed current preparticipation physical exam (PPPE) on file at the high school.  The Minnesota State High School League requires athletes to have an updated PPPE completed every 3 years before ANY physical activity participation in a sport. 
Preparticipation physical exams have a health history and an exam section.  The health history section is completed by the athlete and parent/guardian and alerts the examining health care provider to potential health care concerns that may need to be addressed prior to athletic participation.  The exam is to be conducted by the appropriate health care professional licensed to provide physicals in the state of Minnesota (Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants)
The goals of a PPPE are:
• To identify medical conditions that may require further evaluation and treatment before participation
• To identify orthopedic conditions that may require further evaluation and treatment, including physical therapy, before participation
• To identify athletes at risk of sudden death
• To identify at-risk adolescents and young adults who are at risk for substance abuse, STDs, pregnancy, violence, depression, and so on
If athletes and parents are unsure if an updated PPPE is due they can check by either logging onto the high school athletics registration site or by calling the St. Francis High School Athletic department.  If a PPPE is due, scheduling with your family physician is a good place to complete this exam.  Now is also a great time to be on the lookout for free PPPEs being offered by clinics at select dates and times between now and the start of the athletics season.
Let’s have a great fall athletics season!

Dustin Eslinger, MA, ATC
Athletic Trainer
Physical Therapy Consultants, Inc.

Friday, July 8, 2016


Feeling burnt out in your typical exercise routine? Trying more of a cross-training approach may help.

What is cross-training? 

Cross-training is a method of physical training which a variety of exercises and changes in body position or modes of exercise are utilized.

Why is cross-training beneficial?

Reduce the risk of injury or help heal from a current injury.
  • By exercising different muscle groups, individuals are able to exercise more frequently and for longer durations. Spreading out the stress over different muscles and joints decreases overloading a certain group such as when only performing running. 
Improve overall total body fitness.
  • Developing muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness will allow and individual to improve their functional capacity with daily and recreational activity.
Maintain consistency with exercise.
  • With cross-training an individual is less likely to become a victim of boredom, adhering to a routine. Again due to working multiple muscle groups cross-training allows the individual to prevent injury and sticking with a program. 
Incorporating cross-training into a routine can be simple. Try varying the type of activity from workout to workout such as running one day, biking the next, then swimming the next. Or even alternate within the same workout (biking 10 min, walking 10 min, elliptical 10 min). 

There are many different forms of exercise such as biking, swimming, running, strength training, taking a group fitness class, etc. Allowing yourself to try new things will help keep you safe and keep exercising more interesting!!

Kerra Pietsch, LPTA, CFNC. 
Andover Physical Therapy

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Managing Your Pain With Physical Therapy

We've all been there at one point or another -- whether it be chronic or acute pain, it can be debilitating to your day to day life. Often times, we are under the impression that pain medication is our only option to reduce pain; especially when it’s seemingly never-ending pain. 

You may have heard the recent buzz about opiates in the media. The use of prescription opiates has been on a steady rise for years. In 2012 alone, there were 259 million prescriptions written for opiates by primary care physicians (APTA). That is an extremely alarming number! It can be very easy to get caught up in taking pain medications; as your body develops a tolerance for the dosage you start on, your provider may up your dosage so that you can get the same results. This is a definitive way to lead to opiate abuse and accidental overdose, when the only thing you are looking for is some kind of pain relief.

So where does physical therapy come into play in this situation? Well we all know that when you're in pain, the last thing you may want to do is get up and move. However, there is incredible evidence that this may be in fact one of the best things you can do for yourself. Physical therapy has the potential to teach patients how to alleviate their pain and show them simple, everyday exercises they can do to manage their pain.

Along with pain typically comes fear of movement and certain situations. Although this may seem beneficial to an extent, not moving creates stiffness, weakness, and in return, more pain. This cycle will continue and has the possibility of taking over your life. No matter how chronic your pain may be, physical therapy has the education and tools to help alleviate your discomfort.

Conditions PT can Treat: Common Techniques used in PT: 
  • Fibromyalgia *Massage
  • Arthritis *Movement Exercises
  • Neuropathic Pain *Therapeutic Exercise
  • Sprains/Strains *Ultrasound
  • Headaches *Traction
  • Post Surgical Disorders *Posture Reinforcement
  • Neurological Disorders *Trigger Point Dry Needling
  • General Weakness *Patient Education
  • Chronic neck & back pain *Balance/Gait Training
  • Tendinitis   *Pool therapy
.....and so much more!

**As each individual may be different in the care they require, if you are unsure if physical therapy can help your unique condition, contact your primary care physician or local physical therapist to get you on the right track!
When it comes to making the healthiest choice for your body, why not start the most natural route? Instead of masking your pain with medication every day, let's get to the root of the problem and get you feeling better long term! 

If you are interested in learning more about the role of physical therapy vs. pain medication, check out the APTA website for some incredible sources:
APTA.ORG or follow the #ChoosePT movement on Facebook and Twitter. 

Alyssa Hart 
Clinic Coordinator Assistant 
Physical Therapy Consultants 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The History of the National Athletic Trainers' Association Annual Meeting

Later this month the 67th annual National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) Clinical Symposia and Expo. will be held in Baltimore, MD.  During this event more than 10,000 Athletic Trainers will gather to attend educational presentations on best practices in Athletic Training, reconnect with past colleagues and educators, network with other health care professionals, and see the newest technologies within the profession.  The Annual NATA Symposia is also a great place for Athletic Trainers to re-energize and restore the motivation and drive that leads to having a successful professional career.

The profession of Athletic Training had several attempts over the years to organize and establish an annual meeting for individuals who provided care for athletes.  The idea was to get these individuals together to discuss ideas to best care for injured athletes and to make sports safer.  The first attempt occurred when the Association of College Track and Field Coaches and Trainers formed in Philadelphia in June, 1918.  World War I was taking place and it was decided that time and resources should go towards the war effort, so the organization was postponed.  In 1938, at the Drake Relays in Iowa the original National Athletic Trainers’ Association formed.  Timing of this organization was not great, either.  The Great Depression was still ongoing and World War II was about to begin.  This organization eventually failed.

The first NATA Symposia as we know it today was organized by the help of Kevin Cramer and the Cramer Chemical Company and was held June 24-25, 1950 in Kansas City, MO.  A total of 258 Athletic Trainers, coaches, administrators, and physicians registered for the event.  The event was a success and it has continued to grow in content and number of attendees almost every year since.  If you are an Athletic Trainer I highly recommend attending the Annual Meeting when you have the opportunity.

Dustin Eslinger, MA, ATC
Athletic Trainer
Physical Therapy Consultants, Inc.