Pain When Working? 7 Tips to Help You Improve your Posture.

Do you currently work at a job where you are constantly sitting or working at a computer screen for a long period of time?

When working on your computer or desk for long periods of time, ever notice how sore your neck, mid-back, and low back get? You try and try to find a comfortable position but can never find it?

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After long periods of sitting we naturally tend to lean our necks and heads forward, slump our shoulders and round our lower back. We all have a picture in our minds of “perfect” posture, however, I feel it may be a little overrated. “Perfect” posture is difficult to maintain and almost impossible to keep.

The important part of posture is to perform a “reset” every so often. It’s important to just have the awareness of HOW we are sitting. Having this awareness allows us to constantly keep our posture in mind.

So here are 7 tips to help you improve your posture and to help you when you are having pain or tightness when working:

  1. Always take a standing/walking break every half hour or so. Doing so for even a couple minutes really helps in taking you out of that “bad” posture. Make an excuse to get up every so often!
  2. When sitting, have the computer monitor at eye level. Having the computer at eye level takes strain off the back of your neck from looking down constantly. So even if you have to prop the monitor up with books or papers, make sure it’s not too low.
  3. Place a towel rolled up on the lower part of your back. Doing this will help in maintaining the natural curve of your lower back and will give the tactile cue to sit up a little straighter.
  4. Make sure your feet are flat on the floor. Doing so gives you a solid base and prevents you from leaning too far forward or back.
  5. Keep your knees at 90 degrees. This helps keep you close enough to the desk so that you’re not leaning too far forward with your neck or lower back.

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6. Perform chin tucks every 15-30 minutes. This exercise is EASY to do at your desk and helps to “reset” your cervical posture (aka gets your neck into better position). Check out our IG AlphaPhysios Video for the exercise!

7. Perform the doorway stretch. This will help open up the chest and decrease “tightness” within the front of the shoulders. Hold for 30 seconds for 2-3 reps.

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Try these tips out and you should see a difference in how you feel at the end of your work day!

 

Dr. Jomar Farrales, PT, DPT

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Weekly Motivation

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Here’s your motivational quote for the week!

I feel a lot of us have doubt about what we can accomplish. But how would you ever know if you NEVER got started? There’s always that potential you would have never tapped into because you never tried.

I struggle with this a lot – self-doubt, worries, time commitment, etc. Its happened all throughout my undergraduate studies, during PT school, and even now as a clinician. It’s always the hardest to get started with something but what drives me is my view of my future. What drives you? Is it your family, your health, your friends? Always have your purpose set and this will make getting started much easier!

Don’t wait til tomorrow to get started on what you REALLY want ! Get started today and doors/opportunities will open up to you by DEFAULT!

Dr. Jomar Farrales, PT, DPT

Athletic Focus: Tommy John Surgery

It’s baseball season and I’ve heard this term been thrown around a lot recently. We hear the term all the time within the baseball world, “(blank) is having Tommy John Surgery”. It’s happened to the best of pitchers – Tim Hudson, Jose Fernandez, Matt Harvey, Yu Darvish, etc. The list goes on and on.

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But what is it exactly? Well, the surgery itself was named after the first baseball player to ever receive the surgery, Tommy John, and the surgery involves repairing the Ulnar Collateral Ligament.

This ligament is located on the inside part of the elbow connecting the ulna bone to the humerus. During the pitching motion, specifically during the “Cocking Phase”  the inside portion of the elbow is placed under a high amount of stress  when decelerating and accelerating the arm to throw a pitch.

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Over time, this high frequency of stress can start to cause micro-tears within the ligament, until it eventually becomes fully torn. The surgery involves drilling holes within the humerus and ulna bone where a new tendon is grafted through the bones as so.

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Full recovery takes about 1 to 1.5 years.  During the recovery process, the pitcher is taken through a graded pitching program that limits the amount and velocity of throws. Physical therapy is ESSENTIAL and absolutely required to recover! Physical therapists will focus on reducing pain/swelling, improving joint mechanics of the scapula/shoulder/elbow, improving range of motion, increasing muscular strength, and improving dynamic stability. While the specifics are a lot to cover, those are the main objectives of PT after Tommy John Surgery.

While the recovery process is extensive and long, pitchers usually return to have successful seasons! Just as with any post-surgical process, Physical Therapy is necessary in recovery and healing!

 

Dr. Jomar Farrales, PT, DPT

The Glorified Massage Therapist

First and foremost this is absolutely NOT a knock on massage therapists or anyone who practices a type of massage as treatment. But I wanted to take the time in this post to talk about how Physical Therapy is perceived and how we as a profession still have a lot of work to do about educating the public about just how valuable physical therapy is and on exactly what we do.

So I was talking to my fianceé one day and she was telling me a story of her interaction with one of her coworkers. At this point in time we were in Pennsylvania and I was in my last semester of PT school at Misericordia University.

She was telling her coworker that I was almost done with school and that I’d soon be a Doctor. After talking back and forth, her coworker proceeded to say something along the lines of “Physical therapists are just glorified massage therapists.”

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After hearing this, I couldn’t help but feel somewhat insulted – and like my opening sentence read THIS IS NOT A KNOCK ON MASSAGE THERAPISTS. But I felt somewhat insulted because I was thinking to myself .. “I haven’t been going to school for almost 7 years to be labeled as a glorified massage therapist.”  But then after thinking about it for a little longer I finally understood, and honestly, I couldn’t blame them for their perception.

Many people have a differing view on physical therapy and the reason why is because there is no standard to how PT is really done. Everyone knows what to expect when going to a physician’s office, dentist, chiropractor, or to a massage therapist. When a patient comes to me for physical therapy I ask them if they’ve ever had PT services before and more often than not they either say “No, I haven’t” or “Yes, but it was so different”.

As PT’s we need to do a better job of educating patients on what physical therapists do and what our role is. We are MOVEMENT EXPERTS. We are PAIN EXPERTS. We know our human anatomy in and out from where a muscle connects, how it works, and what happens when a muscle becomes injured. We are experts on human biomechanics and kinesiology and why a person might be compensating in how they run, walk, or lift. We know so much about the human body from the cardiovascular system to the nervous system. We know how to prescribe exercises for deconditioned individuals, the geriatric population, children, and even powerlifting, CrossFit, and bodybuilding. We are experts on how to make certain movements or motions easier to perform. We literally know EVERYTHING about the human body and as PT’s we need to keep educating our patients on our role and how we CAN HELP.

So as a profession we need to continually educate the public and what it is we do by getting involved in the community, getting involved in social media, and continually educating our patients on a daily basis about our role in THEIR HEALTH. We don’t just give massages (although we do that pretty well! LOL) – we do a host of other things. I’m hoping through this blog and through our social media accounts that you can get a better understanding of the profession that I truly care about!

Dr. Jomar Farrales, PT, DPT

 

Dr. Mike Montalbano, PT, DPT

Hi all! My name is Michael Montalbano and I am the other Alpha Physio. Very excited to be here blogging to all of you so here’s my intro! I received my Doctorate of Physical therapy and Bachelors of Science (Exercise Science) from the University of Scranton in a straight-through 7-year program. I am currently preparing for the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE), which is coming up next week!

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I am extremely passionate about Physical Therapy as a profession and I believe in it whole-heartedly. Another passion of mine is weightlifting, just like my colleague, Dr. Jomar Farrales. More specifically, I have been training in power lifting for a few years. I have utilized much of what I’ve learned from DPT school to better my movement patterns and overall improve my lifting capabilities.

We will be creating a very important section for our DPT student followers on advice when it comes to preparing for, and eventually passing the NPTE to obtain your license and begin your PT career! Our mission here with Alpha Physios is to spread knowledge with regard to movement. As humans, we are meant to move! Our jobs as physical therapists are to ensure that our patient’s movement patterns are appropriate for rehab, prehab, and life in general! Thank you for reading and please subscribe to our blog by inputting your email address through the “Follow” button so you can receive notifications on our new posts!

 

 

The First Step is the Hardest.

This is the very FIRST blog post of the Alpha Physios! Like the title says, it’s difficult and sometimes intimidating to put yourself out there especially in the open web where you’re free to criticism. But as an important person once told me and a group of my peers, “Be comfortable, being uncomfortable!” So, I’m finally taking the next step with my personal and professional development.

We are super excited for this opportunity to be able to serve YOU!

I guess the very first blog post should be somewhat of an introduction right?

My name is Dr. Jomar Farrales, PT, DPT. I currently reside in Providence, Rhode Island and work full-time at Elite Physical Therapy. I attended school at Misericordia University in little Dallas, PA where I received a Bachelor’s in Health Care Management and my Doctorate in Physical Therapy all within 6.5 years. I am passionate about helping others and getting them back to doing what they LOVE to do! Continue reading