Plantar Fasciitis: How Physical Therapy Can Help

Discussion with Sarah Ryerson from Athletico Physical Therapy about Plantar Fasciitis: characteristics that make someone more susceptible to plantar fasciitis; recommended stretches and exercises to prevent plantar fasciitis; some of the latest treatments for plantar fasciitis that Physical Therapists at Athletico are using.

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. This condition impacts the plantar fascia, which is a thick band of fibrous connective tissue on the bottom of the foot that extends from the heel to the toes. Based on its location and makeup, the plantar fascia is ideally positioned to maintain and support the arch on the bottom of the foot. However, it is not designed to be the primary stabilizing structure. Read more in related article: https://smwhome.net/2019/01/28/plantar-fasciitis-how-physical-therapy-can-help/

Sarah possesses 17 years of clinical experience as a physical therapist in the orthopedic setting. Additionally, she is a Certified Athletic Trainer a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and is certified in the Graston method of soft tissue mobilization and Virtual Gait Analysis. With a passion for teaching, Sarah worked as a lab assistant at Northern Illinois University and co-taught in the PTA program at College of DuPage for 9 years.

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What Your Heart Rate Means to Your Health

By Andrew Grahovec with Contributions by: Abbey Corcoran, PT, DPT for ATI Physical Therapy

With every movement and minute of exercise your body goes through during the day, your heart doesn’t always beat with regularity. If healthy, your heart will adjust to the speed of your daily activities to accommodate the need for oxygen, but this may not be the case for everyone. Each individual’s body has its own way of adjusting to their activities, but an unusually high- or low-resting heart rate could be cause for concern. Knowing your pulse, at rest and during exercise, can help identify potential risks for heart attacks or diseases. One way you can do your heart a favor and help decrease these risks is by having good cardiorespiratory fitness.

Cardiorespiratory fitness refers to the ability of the heart and lungs to supply the exercising muscles and tissue with oxygen-rich blood during physical activity. Having good cardiorespiratory fitness can help decrease your risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), a person dies every 38 seconds from cardiovascular disease. Living a healthy and active lifestyle can lead to a healthy heart, decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease and help your overall health and well-being.

Assessing your heart rate

One way to assess how well your heart is functioning is by monitoring your heart rate. A normal resting heart rate ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute (BPM). To determine your resting heart rate, place your middle and index fingers on the thumb side of your wrist. There, you will find a pulse and you can count the beats. You can count the number of beats within a 10 second timeframe and multiple that number by six to find your resting heartrate. In a healthy individual, your heart rate can reveal how efficient your heart is working.

Your heart rate is determined by how efficiently your heart pumps blood throughout your body per beat. There are four chambers in your heart that help with this process, however, the most important chamber for determining your heart rate is the left ventricle. The left ventricle is responsible for pumping oxygen-rich blood to the entire body. If your left ventricle can pump a larger volume of blood throughout your body per heartbeat, then it will take fewerbeats per minute to distribute the same amount of blood.

Endurance athletes, such as marathon runners and cross country skiers, who have very high cardiorespiratory fitness, have a stronger and larger left ventricle. This makes it possible to pump out higher volumes of blood with each beat resulting in a lower resting heart rate due to the fewer beats per minute to pump out the same amount of blood through the body. This allows endurance athletes to have resting heart rates as low as 40 bpm. The lower your resting heart rate is, the more efficient your heart is working.

Is your resting heart rate high?

If your resting heart rate seems irregular, it may not be time to run to a doctor just yet. Resting heart rates can be affected by many factors including air temperature, emotions and medication. Higher air temperatures and humidity levels increase your heart rate to help keep your body cooler. According to the Cleveland Clinic, heart rates increase by 10 bpm for every degree your body temperature elevates. Emotions such as excitement, surprise and anxiety can also elevate the heart rate due to the activation of your sympathetic nervous system (SNS). Your SNS is responsible for the “flight or fight” response and increases body responses, like your heart rate. If your heart rate seems too low or too high, check your medication to see common side effects that may influence heart rate and consult your doctor.

Lowering your resting heart rate

Regular exercise can help decrease your resting heart rate. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week for adults or a combination of the two. “Moderate” exercise is categorized as exercising at 65 to 75 percent of your max heart rate and “vigorous” exercise is 76 to 95 percent of your max heart rate. To determine your maximum heart rate, take 220 and subtract your age. Then, multiply that number by 0.65 and 0.75. This will give you two numbers, the range you need to be considered exercising at a moderate intensity level. For example, if an individual was 50 years old, their predicted heart rate max would 170 beats per minute (220-50) and their heart rate zone for moderate intensity exercise would be 111-128 beats per minute. If you are just beginning to exercise, start in the lower ranges such as 65 percent to improve your tolerance to the exercise program then slowly work your way up.

Beginning a new exercise program can be intimidating, especially if you have various health conditions. If you are unsure where to begin, you can see your local physical therapist. Our trained staff are experts in prescribing exercise programs to a variety of health conditions.

Are aches and pains getting in the way of your daily activities or starting an exercise program?

If simple home interventions are not helping to lessen aches, pains and discomfort, it’s time to see a physical therapist. Stop by your nearest ATI Physical Therapy clinic for a complimentary screening and get back to your regular exercise routine.

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What To Know About Victor Oladipo’s Quad Injury

Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo suffered a torn quadriceps tendon in his right knee and will miss the remainder of the NBA season, the team announced Thursday. Surgery will be required to repair the tendon.

Dr. Adam Yanke, a sports medicine orthopedic surgeon from Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, and head team physician for the Windy City Bulls answers three questions about the injury and expected recovery.


Q: What exactly is a ruptured quadriceps tendon?

A: The quadriceps tendon attaches the entire quad muscle to the kneecap or the patella and allows you to straighten your leg. This tendon can commonly have inflammation in it that causes pain but it can occasionally also rupture. This injury is more common in individuals over 50 years of age but can happen in younger, athletic patients as well. Typically this happens from the tendon being overloaded but can also be due to some underlying tendon disease that weakens the tissue before injury.

Q: How do you repair a torn quadriceps tendon?

A: There are multiple ways to fix a quadriceps tendon tear with regards to specific surgical technique. Regardless of the specifics, they all involve an open approach to directly visualize the tendon. Once you can see the tear directly sutures are placed through the tendon and they are either brought through drill tunnels or anchors in the patella to perform the repair. Typically the soft tissue adjacent to the tendon called the retinaculum is also torn and this requires repair as well.

Q: What is the rehab and recovery process?

A: The recovery after quadriceps tendon repair typically involves a period of immobilization in a brace for 4-6 weeks. After this time, we work aggressively on range of motion try to eliminate any stiffness. There is always a balance between healing and motion and it is important to have both be successful for return to play. Some patients do get back to full activity without pain or restrictions, however there is a subset that still have discomfort in that area or have issues with building up muscle strength. In general its a successful procedure with good outcomes but can take up to 6 months for complete recovery.


Dr. Adam Yanke’s clinical interests include advanced arthroscopy, shoulderImage replacement, and a special focus on patellofemoral dysfunction and cartilage restoration. Dr. Yanke is a team physician for the Chicago Bulls, Windy City Bulls, Chicago White Sox and DePaul Blue Demons.

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Concussions in Cheerleaders: Symptoms and Treatment

By Tara Hackney, PT, DPT, OCS, KTTP for Athletico Physical Therapy

Cheerleaders are commonly seen on the sidelines of school and professional sporting events, but the sport is no longer reserved for the sidelines. Cheerleaders have their own competitions where they are in the spotlight. Competitive cheerleading participation is on the rise with teams ranging in age from 5 years old through college.

All-Star cheerleading is the name used to refer to cheer groups created for competition and not associated with any school or team. Competitive cheerleading is divided into groups according to age and each group has different levels according to experience. Cheerleaders perform tumbling, stunting and pyramids as part of their routines. As with any sport, injuries can occur.

Did you know that the most common injury in competitive cheerleading is concussions? The overall injury rate in cheerleading is low; however of those injuries, concussions account for 31.1 percent.1 You may be thinking this high rate of concussions would be from cheerleaders falling and landing on their heads. However, the cheerleading position that suffers the most concussions are the bases, the athletes who support the flyers in the air by holding them up and catching them. This position is at risk for concussions as a flyer may fall on top of them, or from a foot or elbow hitting them in the head as the flyer comes down from a stunt. In fact, it is more likely in cheerleading for a concussion to occur after contact with another athlete than with contact with the floor.

Concussion Symptoms

Any one or more of the following signs and symptoms may indicate a head injury:

  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Coordination or balance issues
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Light and noise sensitivity
  • Feelings of sluggishness
  • Memory or concentration problems
  • Altered sleep patterns

Signs observed by coaches or other team members that may indicate a concussion has occurred:

  • Stunned or confused appearance
  • Forgets arm motions or cheers
  • Confused about formations in routines
  • Unsure of surroundings
  • Moves clumsily
  • Loss of consciousness (long or short)
  • Personality or behavior changes
  • Forgets events right before or after a blow to the head

If a head injury or concussion is suspected, the athlete should not return to play prior to 24 hours after the initial incident and should be cleared by a physician prior to returning to sport.

Concussion Management

Concussion management is evolving through research. There is strong evidence to support an active approach to rehabilitation of concussions. Physical therapy is one way to help manage the symptoms following a concussion. Physical therapy can include management of neck pain and headaches, balance exercises, progression of exercise tolerance and cardiovascular activities, and vision training. Ideally, an athlete will complete a graded exposure program that starts with symptom limited activity, progress through light aerobic activity, and transition to sport-specific incremental intensity training. Finally, the athlete will be cleared to practice prior to being cleared to compete.

Speed of recovery after concussion is individualistic for each athlete and may be affected by severity of trauma, area of the brain injured, age, gender, past medical history, and previous history of concussions.

Please visit our Concussion Page to learn more about our services.

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