Category Archives: Tips for PT

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The Truth about Basketball Injuries and Recovery

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No matter how long you’ve been playing basketball, or how talented you are, injuries are a fact. It’s not even a question of if; it is simply when will you 7612278_lbe injured and how long will you take to recover. Moreover, what will the recovery look like? Many players imagine the worst: immobilization, pain, and lifelong changes to skills and abilities. But are those realistic outcomes?


Common basketball injuries involve the knees, ankles, feet, lower back, and even the eyes. The statistics don’t lie–you’re more likely to be injured during practice or when playing for relaxation than during a competitive game. The good news is that most (around 75%) basketball injuries are relatively minor: strains, sprains, and bruises. The bad news? Of the remaining 25% of injuries sustained during basketball, most required a recovery period of one to three weeks. Only about 3% of all basketball injuries required surgery. It is possible, however, that over time, repeated damage or stress to joints may necessitate surgery, even if there is no single injury sustained during basketball participation.


If you are injured playing basketball, it’s likely you will be directed to see an orthopedic or sports medicine specialist. In addition to rest, there are many interventions a specialist may recommend that can increase your function and overall fitness, allowing you to get back on the court faster. These include:


  • Graston Technique©
  • Kinesio Taping™
  • Tai Chi Classes
  • Functional Strength Training
  • Electrical Stimulation
  • Heat or Cold Therapy
  • Massage Therapy
  • Clinical Exercise


All these treatment options take time; there are no quick fixes. Just like in basketball, there are no shortcuts to developing skills. But, with patience and dedication, an injury while playing basketball doesn’t have to end your playing days. With proper diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation, it’s possible to come back stronger than ever. Request an appointment today to learn about your treatment options if you have experienced an injury on the basketball court.

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Feeling Hot, Feeling Cold, Feeling Better?

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If you’ve been in physical therapy before, you may remember your physical therapist using hot or cold on the affected area. But why? And how do heat and cold help with injury repair and recovery?


Hot Stuff

The practice of using warmer temperatures to aid healing is called vasodilation. Heat draws blood to an area, increasing oxygen and nutrient availability while more swiftly carrying away waste.21291155_l Heat also relaxes tense muscles, reduces muscle spasms, and prepares those muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints for exercise and stretching.


There are many ways heat therapy can be applied. Dry or moist heat sources include: heating pads, compresses, paraffin, hydrotherapy/whirlpool (where the affected area is immersed in water), and chemical/gel packs. It’s important not to leave any heat therapy in place too long (no more than 20 minutes) or to use too hot a heat source, as burns or other damage could occur. Heat therapy should feel warm and may dull aches and pains, but never apply anything hot to the point of discomfort.


Cold as Ice

Actually, applying ice directly to the skin is a terrible idea. But cold therapy, or cryotherapy, can be incredibly helpful by producing vasoconstriction, which slows circulation. By slowing circulation, the body is encouraged to decrease swelling in a muscle or joint, or prevent swelling after an exercise.


Cold therapy is usually applied with commercial cold packs, ice cubes (though never directly against the skin), iced towels/compresses, and forms of hydrotherapy/whirlpool. Like heat therapy, cold therapies should be applied for a limited amount of time, no longer than 15 minutes, to prevent pain or damage. As cold is applied, you may feel cold, then a hot sensation, then an ache, and finally numbness.


For Professional Use Only

When used properly, heat therapy and cryotherapy can be an invaluable part of managing your discomfort during physical therapy and speeding your recovery. It is important to have your hot and cold therapies administered by a physical therapist in order to make sure you get the correct treatment and duration, as well as to maintain your safety. Request an appointment today to start using hot and cold therapies!

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Four Great Ways To Support A PT Patient!

Physical therapy is designed to work weak muscles, enhance functionality, and improve endurance (without causing harm). Sometimes, that means PT can be an uncomfortable process. If someone in your life is going through PT to rehabilitate an injury, it can be hard to know best how to help. Here are our favorite ideas to make a PT patient’s day!


  • The Right Gear. Having the proper equipment makes any job easier, and physical therapy is no different. Anything from a stylish gym bag to a gift certificate for workout-friendly apparel 14336781_lcan be both useful and appreciated.
  • Clean-Up. Let’s face it, no one looks their best fresh from an intense workout. Small items like dry shampoo, quick wipes, hand sanitizer, and sweatbands can mean a lot to someone who is pooped from working hard. An after-the-gym toiletries kit makes a great option.
  • Food and Drink. Depending on the person, you might select a gift card to a smoothie shop, a cheery travel tumbler, or even a subscription to a monthly box of healthy snacks. If your friend doesn’t have as much support at home, they would love it if you brought them a frozen meal they can just pop in the oven or microwave after a long day.
  • Entertainment. Load up an mp3 player for your friend with soothing music during repetitive PT homework, or gift them a subscription to a streaming video service such as Netflix or Hulu. Many people enjoy audiobooks, and many libraries offer free downloads to patrons.


Finally, don’t be afraid to ask your friend or relative what they need, then listen carefully to what they say. PT patients can always use a little extra love and support, often in ways we may not expect. Even offering to help your friend sort their mail might be a great boon. If you’re ready to start your own physical therapy journey, request an appointment today.





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Three Mobile Apps To Make Physical Therapy Easier

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Physical therapists can pack a lot into a session–enough that remembering just how, or what, or how many reps of an exercise to do can be tricky (especially if you’re on certain medications as part of your treatment plan). If, like so many of us, the app store is a go-to source for solutions, you may be disappointed. The FDA and legal teams alike must carefully scrutinize apps designed for patients dealing with medical treatment before launching in the American market. On one hand, this means apps are more secure and well researched; on the other, there just aren’t many options–and the legalese employed to make sure patients don’t “go rogue” and use these apps without any professional guidance can make it hard to understand what an app even offers.

That said, there are definitely some gems out there, which can, when used appropriately, potentially help you get more from your physical therapy program. Here are our picks.


Rehab Minder

Free (but lots of in-app purchases)

Rehab Minder is a collaborative tool you can use with your PT. The app comes programed with a variety of injury types, and a long list of potentially helpful exercises commonly prescribed to people recovering from these injuries. Your PT can guide you through which exercises you should do at home. When you do each exercise, you simply go to it on the list, set a time, and write notes before and after each set. Then, your PT can review the notes for more accurate insight into how your at-home program is working for you.



PT exercises won’t work well if you are running on too little sleep. Your body needs time to recover and rebuild. There are a variety of decent sleep apps out there, many of which focus on sleep tracking or “smart alarm” systems–which are fantastic, but can sometimes fail to address issues with falling asleep at all. We like pzizz because it focuses on helping users actually get the kind of deep, restful sleep they need. The app provides customized soothing sounds, and voice instructions to help guide users to sleep. The audio element is backed by solid research making it a very effective tool for anyone who knows how much sleep they need but struggles to conk out early enough.



Recovering from an injury or surgery can be as difficult emotionally and psychologically as it is physically. Happier is basically a social media site where users can only share positivity. It’s cheesy, sure, but scrolling through it offers a great reminder of how much there is to be excited about. You can add in your contacts, or just scroll through featured posts for a big dose of cheer.

In need of some PT? Request an appointment here!

Sprains, strains, fractures, oh my! Pain and impaired mobility are serious business, but there is hope. At Advanced Physical Therapy of Freehold, our professional therapists collaborate with physicians to provide care that alleviates pain, restores function, and gets you back in the game faster. We encourage you to learn more about our team — and what we do best.