The nameplate on the door in the Medical Arts Building was unassuming: “Rob Mahon.” It didn’t say “miracle worker,” “swami,” or any of the other voodoo words I’ve heard used to describe Mahon, a holistic physical therapist. His small office was unassuming, too: a simple training table in the middle of a tidy carpeted room, with a floor lamp to make it homey. The room felt more office space than witch doctor.
Last year, I saw brussels sprouts popping up on menus at all different types of restaurants—and I loved it! Growing up, most of us thought these bite-sized veggies were smelly and gross. Today, though, it’s hard to go wrong when they are caramelized, and grilling is one of the easiest ways to do it. Add the sweetness of onions (or even a high-quality pancetta, if your heart desires) and this is one bandwagon you’ll be sure to jump on. Read more »
As fall leaves come floating down, there’s a good chance you’ll have some raking to do. But bad form while raking—or during any repetitive motion, such as lifting weights, using tools, painting, working at a computer, and of course, swinging a tennis racket—can lead to a bad case of tennis elbow. This tenderness over the outside of the elbow can make your regular routine very painful.
Why does it happen? The combination of a powerful grip with excessive wrist extension (think revving a motorcycle) can put a strain on the tendon that attaches to the outside of the elbow. Overuse of this tendon over time can cause small tears that then heal and lay scar tissue, limiting motion and causing pain each time you try to grasp and lift.
The best prevention for tennis elbow is taking breaks during your activity and stretching your forearm muscles after a warm-up. This video demonstrates the proper way to stretch your forearm muscles. Read more »
Shoulder tendonitis is inflammation due to overuse of the bicep and rotator cuff tendons. The rotator cuff muscles incase the shoulder joint, and when they are injured, they swell. Because these muscles are surrounded by bone, the swelling causes pressure to build within the muscles. The result: the muscles are compressed and there is a loss of blood flow to the small blood vessels. If untreated, tendonitis can worsen, leading to an eventual weakening of the tendon structure. This can lead to a tear of the tendon or the muscle attached to it.
Common causes of tendonitis include poor posture, lack of flexibility due to failure to stretch, weakness and imbalances in shoulder muscles, and repetitive and forceful overhead movements. This injury is commonly seen in tennis and squash players.
Recently, there has been an abundance of shoulder tendonitis due to the latest trend in tennis: top-spin. In the past, the classic way of hitting a tennis ball was hitting it flat on the forehand motion. The latest style of forehand is “Nadal-style,” with lots of top-spin. This motion puts tremendous amounts of force on the anterior aspect of the shoulder. Ironically, when sports and orthopedic doctors examine patients’ shoulders to rule out impingement tendonitis, they put the arm in the replicate position of a forehand thus eliciting pain due to creating impingement. Read more »