Telehealth Visits Now Offered at Kinetix Advanced Physical Therapy!

During this time of uncertainty as our country navigates through the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the team at Kinetix Advanced Physical Therapy is now offering patients a “virtual” option that ensures both personal safety and continuity of treatment.

Known as Telehealth, or Virtual Physical Therapy (PT) Visits, these online appointments allow patients to directly communicate and follow up with our physical therapists remotely, from the safety of their own homes.

Why Telehealth?

While Kinetix Advanced Physical Therapy is still seeing patients in their Valencia, Lancaster and Santa Clarita clinics, physical therapist and president Tim Eckard says this option ensures those who can’t get out are able to get the PT treatments they need.

“During a time when social distancing isn’t just encouraged, but in some cases mandated, Telehealth is a way those receiving treatment for pain or injury can still meet with a physical therapist,” Eckard said. “Physical therapy remains an essential service, and Telehealth allows us to meet with patients to track progress, review home exercises, and simply ask questions directly to their providers.”

A Telehealth appointment is essentially a video conference between the patient and their Kinetix physical therapist, using a home computer/webcam or a smartphone.

During the visit, patients can discuss treatments and progress, assess function, review rehab exercises, and modify home exercise programs.

Empowering Patients

Telehealth appointments are scheduled just like regular visits, Eckard says. Though with no travel time and expenses, and without the COVID-19 contamination risks involved with leaving one’s home, such appointments can better meet the needs of a certain population of clients.

“With all the unknowns surrounding COVID-19 and the various ways it’s likely to continue affecting our lives moving forward, Telehealth is a way we can ensure all patients – not just those who can make it into the clinic – are empowered to take better control of their health,” Eckard said.

“Not only does it allow them to continue physical therapy treatments,” he added, “but it also allows them the flexibility to determine what appointment best meets personal conditions.”

Eckard added that many private health insurance plans cover Virtual PT Visits.

Schedule Your Virtual PT Visit Today

Kinetix Virtual PT Visits will be hosted through the Doxy.me, a telehealth service. When a Telehealth appointment is made, Kinetix will email patients a HIPAA-compliant link for accessing their virtual session.

For more information about Telehealth and to schedule a Telehealth appointment with the Kinetix Advanced Physical Therapy team, visit kinetixapt.com or call us at 661-288-0300 (Valencia) or 661-974-7033 (Lancaster).

Valencia Wellness: Why Flexibility Matters as You Grow Older

Though it often takes a back seat to strength and cardiovascular fitness, flexibility plays a critical role in ensuring one’s able to maintain a high level of independence and mobility during their Golden Years. 

While our muscles and tendons tend to naturally shrink and tighten as we age, that doesn’t put seniors at the mercy of such changes. According to Valencia physical therapist Tim Eckard, muscle elasticity can be maintained and improved at any age. 

“Staying flexible certainly takes effort, but the payoff is you’ll be able to stay more active and independent while you grow older, which should be all our goals,” said Eckardco-owner and clinic director of Kinetix Advanced Physical Therapy in Valencia, Lancaster and Santa Clarita. 

Flexibility is defined as one’s ability to move muscles and joints through their full ranges of motion. It’s a critical component of mobility, which also involves strength, balance and coordination. 

Poor flexibility, says Eckard, can lead to poor balance, poor posture, and a greater overall feeling of tension in the body. It also affects daily living and the ability to avoid common ailments and injuries often related to aging. 

“Not only do you need to maintain flexibility to accomplish daily tasks like bending to tie your shoes or reaching to grab something from a high cupboard,” Eckard said. “Flexibility is also critical in allowing your body to safely absorb impact and falls, helping you prevent injury later in life.” 

As staying limber is an essential part of maintaining health and happiness while one ages, Eckard offers the following advice for maintaining flexibility: 

Stay Active

The best and easiest first step in staying flexible is to simply stay active every day. Going for walks, playing with the grandkids, dancing, working in the garden, taking yoga or Pilates classes … they all help keep the body warm, loose and strong. Focus on daily activities you enjoy! 

Warm Up Dynamically

Even when you aren’t necessarily exercising, it’s important to keep your muscles and joints loose by doing dynamic movements throughout the day. Movements like neck rolls, arm windmills, walking lunges, etc., take your muscles and joints through their full ranges of motion, keeping them loose and limber. 

Stretch & Hold

Called static stretching, these bend-and-hold-type stretches (think touching your toes) help increase flexibility by putting light tension on your muscles and joints for 30 to 60 seconds at a time. These stretches work best after a brief warmup or following a workout or activity, though it can also be beneficial (and relaxing) to do them early in the morning or just before going to bed. 

Use a Foam Roller

These affordable tools for self-massage will, when used properly, help release tension that develops over time in the muscles and connective tissues. This, according to the Mayo Clinic, helps increase flexibility and improve mobility. 

Visit a Physical Therapist

Not sure where to start? Whether you’re already active and limber or wish to start down a path toward increased flexibility, visit your local physical therapist. After reviewing your medical history and assessing your current flexibility levels, a physical therapist will establish a personalized strategy for helping you reach your mobility and lifestyle goals. 

Create Heart-Healthy Habits During Heart Month

February is American Heart Month, a time when health professionals like Valencia physical therapist Tim Eckard strive to raise awareness about maintaining and improving cardiovascular health. 

The month also serves as a sobering reminder that, as a society, we must do a better job of preventing heart disease, which continues to be the leading cause of death in the U.S. 

“I believe the stats show about one in every four American deaths is due to heart disease,” said Eckardco-owner and clinic director of Kinetix Advanced Physical Therapy in Valencia, Lancaster and Santa Clarita – a statistic confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). 

On the flip side, the CDC also reports that about 200,000 cardiovascular-related deaths each year could have been prevented. If achieved, that would be a nearly 30 percent reduction. 

“In a lot of cases, heart disease can be traced back to factors that are preventable – things like the lack of physical activity, obesity, high blood pressure and/or cholesterol, an unhealthy diet, smoking and so on,” Eckard added. “These are factors related to lifestyle, and they’re all things that can be improved by changing habits.” 

For example, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), fewer than 5 percent of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity every day. Yet, daily exercise remains one of the best tools we have in the prevention and control of heart disease. 

“Getting your recommended 150-plus minutes of exercise each week is key to controlling your weight, lowing your blood pressure and strengthening your heart, all important aspects in the prevention of heart disease,” Eckard said. “It also helps improve the way your body reacts to stress, which is another key element.” 

While regular exercise is critical, the American Heart Association notes that its combination with other preventative measures can pack a mighty punch when it comes to preventing cardiovascular disease. These include: 

Heart-Healthy Eating

Nutrition also plays a crucial role in preventing heart disease. One’s risk can be lowered by eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats, while cutting back on sodium, saturated fats, processed sugars and alcohol. 

Keeping a Healthy Weight

The more body fat you have and the more you weigh, the more likely your chances of developing a number of issues including heart disease. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, a body mass index between 18.5 and 24.9 represents a healthy weight. 

Managing Stress

Chronic stress can contribute to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular risks. Exercise is a great way to help manage stress, but see your physician for other treatment options. 

Quitting Smoking

This is a no-brainer. If you smoke, you simply must quit. 

“Along with healthy eating, movement and exercise are central to keeping a healthy weight, managing stress and warding off potential disease,” Eckard said. “If there’s something keeping you from regular activity – something like pain, disability or other movement limitations – consider visiting a physical therapist for a solution to living a healthy, active life.” 

Exercise to Ease Chronic Anxiety This Year 

A new year offers the potential for new opportunities and experiences. For those who struggle with general and consistent anxiety, however, the prospect of the new year and the expectations that come with it can be tricky to maneuver. 

It’s with this in mind that Valencia physical therapist Tim Eckard reminds us that one of the most natural and effective ways to ease anxiety symptoms any time of year is through regular exercise. 

“Going for a walk, taking a bike ride, hitting the gym or signing up for an exercise class … they all can be powerfully effective tools for easing anxiety and its effects on your life and health,” said Eckardco-owner and clinic director of Kinetix Advanced Physical Therapy in Valencia, Lancaster and Santa Clarita. 

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), an estimated one in five adults and one in three teens experience chronic anxiety disorder each year. This disorder is defined as anxiety that’s persistent, excessive and routinely triggered by situations that aren’t actually threats. 

Though it’s a psychological condition, Eckard says anxiety can take a toll on one’s physical health. 

“High stress and anxiety have been linked to higher blood pressure and a greater risk of heart disease and stroke,” said Eckard. “Also, those who have high levels of anxiety tend to be more sedentary and avoid challenging situations, which can also have long-term health consequences.” 

So, how does exercise help ease anxiety? Eckard points out four ways this happens: 

Your brain chemistry changes. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals, like dopamine and endorphins in the brain, which contribute toward making you feel calmer and happier. 

General tension diminishes. Whether working out, competing, playing or dancing, moving your body reduces general muscle tension in the body, decreasing your general feeling of anxiety. 

You get distracted. Exercising can have a distracting effect, diverting your mind from the things about which you are or have been anxious. It’s also been shown that exercising outdoors, in nature, can calm your mind. 

You give your brain a boost. Several studies have shown that regular exercise can maintain, and even improve, cognitive function in the brain. That means exercise can actually help you strengthen your ability to weather high-stress situations. 

“On its own, exercise may not completely solve your anxiety issues,” Eckard said, pointing out that those suffering from chronic anxiety should discuss options with their personal physician. “When possible, though, studies show that regular exercise should be part of any natural, long-term treatment for anxiety.” 

And, if you struggle to stick with a consistent exercise regimen, Eckard offers a few tips. 

“Don’t just join a gym. Find an activity or activities you enjoy,” LAST said. “Recruit a friend or friends for some social support, and set a SMART goal. This acronym describes a goal that’s specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based.” 

Also, visit a physical therapist if pain, discomfort, weaknesses or chronic conditions are keeping you from exercising safely and consistently. Following an initial assessment, a PT can develop a personalized exercise program that best aligns with your individual circumstances and goals. 

Find Relief from Holiday Tension Headaches with Physical Therapy

The fact that the season of giving, joy and celebration can also be our most stressful time of year is one of the worst kept secrets of the Holidays.

And yet, year after year, we charge forward, often fighting through tension-type headaches to complete our shopping, plan for get-togethers with friends, and fulfill all our family obligations.

But why fight through the headaches, asks Valencia physical therapist Tim Eckard, when a physical therapist can often provide relief from tension-type headaches by correcting the problems that cause the pain?

What is a Tension Headache?

“A tension headache often starts with pain or dysfunction at the back of the head or neck – discomfort that can spread around your head, and even to your eyes,” said Eckard, co-owner and clinic director at Kinetix Advanced Physical Therapy in Valencia, Lancaster and Santa Clarita.

“What we as physical therapists can do, after a thorough examination and a series of questions, is determine the likely causes of your headache. Then, we can treat these causes.”

According to the World Health Organization, a tension-type headache (TTH) is the most common primary headache disorder in the world, typically related to stress or associated with musculoskeletal problems in the neck.

One study published in the U.S. Library of Medicine called tension-type headaches the second-most common illness worldwide, affecting 80 to 90 percent of people at least once in their lives.

Tension headaches, as they’re often called, are frequently described as a feeling of pressure or tightness, often like a band around the head that spreads into or from the neck.

According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), these headaches may be caused by stress, fatigue, poor posture, or problems with the neck or jaw – like an injury.

How Physical Therapy Can Help

“Once we determine the cause of your tightness and pain, a PT can work with you to correct the underlying problem that’s leading you to experience these headaches,” Eckard said.

“This can be fatigued muscles from bad posture, or a lack of strength or mobility in your neck and shoulders.”

Often, treatments will focus on three areas: improved posture, improved strength in the upper back, neck and shoulders, and improved mobility in the neck and spine through stretching and pain-reducing movements.

This is also known as manual therapy.

“We’ll not only provide relief through treatments in the clinic, but physical therapists also work with people to correct the issues which caused the headache in the first place, be it improving posture or simple changes in lifestyle,” said Eckard. “PTs always treat with an eye toward future prevention.”

If the Holiday Season has already become a headache for you this year, schedule an assessment with the Kinetix Advanced Physical Therapy team to learn more about what’s causing your tension headache and how it can be successfully and affordably treated through physical therapy.

No Time for Exercise? Make Time for Movement.

Don’t have time for exercise? Perhaps it’s time to reframe what true exercise looks like, says Valencia physical therapists Tim Eckard. 

“Exercise doesn’t require a gym, special equipment or a high intensity,” said Eckardco-owner and clinic director of Kinetix Advanced Physical Therapy in Valencia, Lancaster and Santa Clarita. “Down to its core, exercise is simply movement. Despite being busy, most of us have plenty of time to move around every day. The key, then, is to optimize these moments to your benefit.” 

With shorter, cooler days ahead of us and the Holiday Season just around the corner, this is often the time of year when exercise is most likely to take a back seat to other obligations – possibly even disappearing for days at a time. 

But with the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition suggesting adults need at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate activity each week, Eckard advises people to not underestimate both the long- and short-term benefits of movement … especially this time of year. 

“Regular exercise often helps reduce stress and improve focus and energy levels, while also improving your mood during the shorter, darker days leading into the Holiday Season,” Eckard said. “This, of course, is in addition the more wide-ranging health benefits most people are familiar with.” 

What can you do, then, if you find you don’t have time to hit the gym or go for that morning jog? Eckard offers the following tips for turning seemingly typical daily moments into opportunities for exercise: 

Take Mobile Meetings: Walking is one of the best and most inclusive exercises out there. So, next time you have a meeting scheduled with a reasonably small group of people, suggest making it a mobile meeting by walking and talking outdoors, through the hallways of your building, or whatever setting is most pedestrian friendly. 

Rethink the Stairs: It’s a no-brainer that taking the stairs instead of the elevator can offer you a dose of additional exercise each day. Beyond this, though, make the stairs part of a greater routine. Even if you have no place to go, burn off some steam by walking the stairs over breaks and during the lunch hour. 

Take Work to the Gym: While you don’t necessarily need a gym to exercise, it definitely pays to take advantage of the membership — if you have one. But, don’t go there in lieu of work. Go there with work. Catch up on reading, emails or other “housekeeping” tasks while walking, pedaling or using the elliptical. 

Pour Yourself into Housework: Whether indoors or out, don’t underestimate the effectiveness of housework as exercise! Just throw on some music, pick up the pace, and throw yourself wholeheartedly into the efforts of cleaning and maintaining your home.  

Visit a Physical Therapist: If other factors such as pain, endurance or movement limitations are keeping you from making exercise a priority in your life, or you simply need help finding a regimen that works best for you, visit with one of the physical therapists at Kinetix Advanced Physical Therapy. A physical therapist will assess the source of your limitations or discomforts and provide a path toward leading a more active and healthful life. 

5 Fitness Myths during National PT Month

VALENCIA, CA – When only one in three adults get the recommended amount of physical activity their bodies need each week (according to the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition), Valencia physical therapist Tim Eckard says it’s difficult to find fault when an individual is making an effort to exercise … even if the effort’s slightly misguided. 

But since October is National Physical Therapy Month, and physical therapists are the medical community’s preeminent experts in movement, fitness, and musculoskeletal function and injury, Eckard views this month as an opportune time to correct what he sees as a few common misconceptions about exercise. 

“Some of the more common personal goals people make revolve around health, fitness, and weight loss, and we as physical therapists are dedicating to supporting these goals through a number of individualized services,” said Eckardco-owner and clinic director of Kinetix Advanced Physical Therapy in Valencia, Lancaster and Santa Clarita. “In doing so, though, it’s important to us that people work toward these objectives in a safe and healthful manner – one which most efficiently moves them toward their goals.” 

In this spirit, here are five exercise myths Eckard finds to be common among many fitness-minded people: 

  1. Stretching before exercise prevents injuries. Perhaps surprisingly, research suggests there’s no connection between pre-workout stretching and injury prevention. In addition, stretching before an activity or competition can actually weaken performance. So instead, warm-up dynamically before a workout by walking, jogging, doing lunges and leg/arm swings, etc. Stretching is incredibly important, but do your stretches independent of your workouts. 
  2. The more, the better. For the more goal-driven crowd, a pedal-to-the-metal approach to fitness can seem the quickest and most efficient way to better health. However, it’s critical workout intensity and length remain in line with one’s current fitness levels and limits. It’s also important to schedule recovery, or off-days, into your routine. Failing to do so can increase your injury risk as well as the risk of burnout.
  3. Cross-training is for athletes only. Cross-training is simply working activities into your regimen that differ from your preferred or usual activities. The goal is to improve your overall fitness level by challenging your cardio, strength, and balance in different ways. Such “training diversification” will help maximize your workout potential while helping to prevent overuse injuries and burnout, so everyone should do it.
  4. Aerobic is more important than strength training. Whether it’s because some are concerned about too much “bulking up” or they feel spending their limited time on ellipticals and stationary bikes will maximize their efforts, cardio is often a focus for those seeking to improve health. It shouldn’t be the only focus, however. Muscular fitness is just as important as cardio for such issues as weight management, bone health, injury prevention, and so on. 
  5. If sore or injured, rest is always best. Wrong again. While rest has a long history as a go-to response to soreness, pain, and injury, research now suggests movement and “active recovery” can actually speed up the healing process, specifically when guided by a physical therapist. 

If pain or injury is keeping you from getting a full dose of exercise and physical activity each week, Eckard suggests visiting a physical therapist. Highly educated and licensed health care professionals, physical therapists are experts at helping people reduce pain, improve/restore mobility, and ultimately lead to more healthful active lives. 

5 Exercises for Improving Balance, Preventing Falls 

When we’re young, falls are treated as teaching opportunities. “Get back on your feet, brush yourself off and keep moving toward your goals,” we were told. 

But as we age, falls take on a much greater significance. According to Valencia physical therapist Tim Eckard, when someone of advanced age falls, they tend to suffer greater distress to their health as well as their pocketbooks. 

“A fall can greatly impact a senior’s ability to live an active, healthful and independent life,” said Eckardco-owner and clinic director of Kinetix Advanced Physical Therapy in Valencia, Lancaster and Santa Clarita. “In fact, where older adults are concerned, a fall can have a spiraling effect on their overall quality of life during years typically set aside for much-deserved rest, relaxation and fun.” 

Unfortunately, though, falls are an epidemic among seniors in the U.S. 

According to the National Council on Aging, an older adult is treated for a fall in a U.S. emergency room every 11 seconds, making it the most common cause for nonfatal, trauma-related hospital admissions among this group. 

In addition, the average health care cost for each of these falls is approximately $35,000 per patient. 

“Older bodies are simply more susceptible to serious injury when falls occur,” Eckard said. “And, while there are some things seniors can do to keep their bonds strong and flexible enough to better absorb a fall, the best course of action is to just prevent falls from happening to begin with. This starts with improving balance.” 

Eckard points out that, like strength and cardiovascular conditioning, balance is something that can and should be improved through regular exercise. He suggests seniors try these five exercises to help improve their balance: 

Standing March: As the name says, march in place for up to 30 seconds, slowly raising and lowering your knees throughout. Vary the surface on which you march (i.e., hard floor to the back yard) for more of a challenge. 

Heel to Toe: Starting with both heels touching the wall, put one foot in front of the other so the heel touches the toes of the opposite foot. Repeat with the other foot, as if you’re walking a chalk line. Go for 20 steps each round. 

Weight Shifts: With your feet hip-width apart, shift your weight to one side, lifting your other foot off the floor just a few inches. Hold this pose for up to 30 seconds, then shift and hold on the other leg. Increase reps per your ability. 

Single-Leg Balance: Starting with the same stance as above, now lift one leg from the floor, bending it back at the knee. Hold for up to 30 seconds, then do the same with the other leg. Increase reps as your balance improves. 

Group Classes: If you feel your balance is strong and you’ve mastered the above exercises, trying a group session that focuses on core strength and balance. Pilates is an example of such a class. 

“If you’re new to any of these exercises, help balance yourself initially by leaning on a table, chair back or wall for safety’s sake,” Eckard said. “Make these simple exercises part of your daily routine.” 

And, if you’re a senior or soon-to-be senior who doesn’t currently exercise regularly, it’s smart to start any new fall-prevention effort by first getting a balance assessment from a physical therapist, like those at Kinetix Advanced Physical Therapy. Through a balance assessment, a physical therapist can determine your level of functional balance while pinpointing areas of concern that can be addressed through an individualized fall-prevention regimen. 

Kinetix Advanced Physical Therapy, To Stretch or Not to Stretch? Tips to Optimize Flexibility

Many have grown up with the understanding that, whenever you’re about to work out, compete or otherwise push your body, it’s important to stretch immediately before the activity in order to prevent injury and perform your best. 

Yet, despite these long-held beliefs, Valencia physical therapist Tim Eckard says – perhaps surprisingly – that there’s little evidence to support this theory.  

“Today’s evidence suggests that there’s no connection between injury prevention and stretching – static, or reach-and-hold-type stretching – before a workout,” said Eckardco-owner and clinic director at Kinetix Advanced Physical Therapy in Valencia, Lancaster and Santa Clarita. “Performance-wise, there’s also no consistent connection, with some studies even suggestions that stretching before an activity or competition can actually weaken performance.” 

For example, research released by Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism in 2011 found that the vertical jump heights of young and middle-aged men actually declined when participants stretched beforehand. In contrast, the same study found heights increased after warming up dynamically, or using dynamic stretching. 

What is Dynamic Stretching?

“Dynamic stretches can best be described as a lower-intensity version of the exercises and movements you plan to perform during your activities or while you’re competing,” Eckard said. “A light jog, some leg swings, lunges, high-knees, arm and shoulder rotations … all these movements can be part of a dynamic stretching routine, depending on the activity you’re about to do.” 

Such dynamic warm-ups help you break a sweat, sure, but it does so much more. According to Eckard, dynamic stretching ensures your muscles are well-supplied with oxygen, promoting optimal flexibility and efficiency. 

Dynamic stretching, however, can only optimize your current level of flexibility. Static stretching is still vital in maintaining and improving your body’s level of overall flexibility … just not right before an activity. 

So, when’s the ideal time to maintain and improve flexibility through static stretching? Eckard offers the following guidelines: 

Stretch Daily

 Just as you should try to get a certain amount of exercise in each day – both cardio and strength training – it’s also important to dedicate 10 to 15 minutes to daily static stretching. Typical static stretches are held for anywhere between 15 to 60 seconds at a time, with each movement repeated two or more times. 

Eckard suggests setting time aside for stretching either first-thing in the morning or just before going to bed. 

Stretch During Cool-Downs

Cooling down after an activity helps the body transition from a higher intensity to a resting or near-resting state. While slowed-down exercises (similar to those during dynamic warm-ups) may be included as part of a cool-down, this is also a great time for static stretching. 

As consistent tightness in the muscles and joints can put one more at risk of pain and injury, Eckard suggests those who regularly exercise or compete have an annual physical therapy exam. During a PT exam, weaknesses in flexibility, strength and movement can be identified and properly addressed before they manifest into injuries. 

Parents: Be Aware of the Signs of Sports Injuries

As student-athletes train over the summer, preparing to head back to the practice fields later this season, injuries are going to happen. Despite concerted efforts to reduce and prevent sports injuries, Valencia physical therapist Tim Eckard pointed out that it’s impossible to eliminate them from sports. 

In order to ensure injuries are diagnosed and treated quickly, before they worsen, Eckard said it’s paramount parents and guardians are able to quickly identify the signs of possible injury – ailments that aren’t always obvious during practice or competition, but which may manifest later on at home. 

“Whether it’s because they’re concerned about playing time or feel they can tough it out, student-athletes won’t always admit when they’re hurt or injured,” said Eckard, co-owner and clinic director of Kinetix Advanced Physical Therapy in Valencia, Lancaster and Santa Clarita. “But even when a youth or teen is convinced it’s not that bad, that they can walk it off, etc., he or she could still be doing themselves harm by not getting treatment as soon as possible.” 

This is when it’s important for a parent or guardian to get involved, he said. 

“By just knowing some of the obvious signs that a young athlete isn’t just sore but is actually injured, parents can play an active role in ensuring injuries are diagnosed and treated as soon as possible, preventing further damage from occurring,” said Eckard. 

Signs to watch out for include: 

  • Headaches, lightheadedness or dizziness, which may indicate a concussion. 
  • Limping or an appearance of pain when putting weight on and/or using a particular part of the body. 
  • Difficulty standing, sitting, stepping or moving around normally. 
  • Tingling, numbness or weakness in the limbs, fingers or toes. 
  • Difficulty sleeping. 
  • Sharp pain during practice, games or any physical activity. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 30 million children and adolescents in the U.S. participate in youth sports. Just the high school-aged students within this group account for around 2 million injuries and 500,000 doctor visits each year. Of those under 14, 3.5 million receive medical treatment for sports injuries. 

“‘No pain, no gain’ doesn’t apply to youth sports, and there should be no such thing as ‘toughing it out,’” Eckard said. “If your child or teen is showing any of these signs, it’s important you get them evaluated as soon as you can.” 

In many cases, visiting a physical therapist can be an ideal starting point for such evaluations. Trained to provide sports injury assessments for athletes of all ages, physical therapists like those on the Kinetix Advanced Physical Therapy team will triage the injury and, if necessary, provide direction if further diagnosis and treatment is necessary.