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Better and Not Broken

Better and Not Broken 2020 Resolution January has arrived, and with the new year comes a sudden surge in fitness participation.  January’s well-intentioned training efforts produce many of the physical therapy patients we treat in February and March.  Fitness folks that morph into physical therapy patients travel remarkably similar paths.   For those returning to exercise, I have some suggestions that will keep you in the gym and out of the clinic. Choose Joint Friendly Exercises Many of the training tools in the typical fitness facility limit movement to one joint.  Seated knee extension, prone leg curls, seated shoulder abduction, and seated hip abduction wedge the body into artificial alignments in an effort to place load on one muscle.  Older, overloaded,…

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Habit Helpers

Habit Helpers Getting Better at the Fitness Process Fitness is a motivational mind game.  The psychology department at the University of Michigan has found that it takes six to eight weeks to develop the habit of exercise.  If you can get a participant to remain consistent for that period of time, their chances of staying with a program will be good.  Setting appropriate goals provides the ongoing psychological reinforcement necessary to develop and maintain the fitness habit.  The type of goal you choose can make a big difference in your chances of success. Most fitness clients set outcome goals—they want to lose twenty pounds, drop two dress sizes, run a 10 kilometer race, perform ten pull ups, etc…  Outcome goals…

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Listen to the Athletic Trainers

Listen to the Athletic Trainers NATA Guidelines for Sports Participation The National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) has released new guidelines for children’s sports participation.  Athletic trainers are on the front line of the growing youth sports injury battle.  Trainers work in the school setting and they see all of the injured children--not just the ones with insurance coverage.  More than any other profession, they witness the results of year round, single sports participation. The recommendations from NATA are more stringent than the ones handed down by various physician groups.  As a physical therapist that has witnessed an exponential increase in youth overuse athletic injuries, I agree with all of NATA’s suggestions.  Go online and read the New York Times article,…

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Modification for Constant Progress

Modification for Constant Progress I see two extremes among fitness enthusiasts in the way that they handle injuries. The first is “Meathead Mike” who has the “no pain, no gain” mentality.  Mike has pain but he ignores it, keeps exercising the painful area, and the pain increases. Eventually, the pain impacts other exercises and activities of his daily life outside of the gym. Finally, when he can no longer comfortably drive his car to work or can’t pick up his children, he goes to the doctor to be diagnosed with severe tendonitis, a torn rotator cuff, or meniscus tear. Mike doesn’t know how to quit, so even with his diagnosis, he will continue to train. Our next personality is “Delicate…

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The Home of Golf

The Home of Golf Walking the Golf Courses of Scotland My wife and I took an eight-day trip through Scotland.  The countryside is beautiful and driving on the left side of very slender roads is an adrenaline-charged experience.  Scotland is the birthplace of golf and the Scots are proud participants in this ancient sport.  I was surprised to find that the Scots walk when they golf.  In Inverness, Glasgow, Edinburgh, up and down the stunning hillsides of Skye--no golf carts.  People of all ages easily travel through eighteen holes of fairly hilly golf course terrain.  Most of the over forty golfers used push carts, and I saw several sixty plus golfers who used a battery-powered cart.  All of the younger…

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Get The Most From Your Physical Therapy Treatment

Get The Most From Your Physical Therapy Treatment Top Tips See the Same Physical Therapist at Every Session. First and foremost, you need to see the physical therapist--not the physical therapy assistant, not the athletic trainer, and not a massage person. Shrinking physical therapy insurance payments have created innovative methods of providing “physical therapy” with less expensive employees. A consistent set of well-trained eyes and talented hands is one of the best ways to assure that every session of your physical therapy treatment is beneficial. Communication between co-treating physical therapists is often poor. I know it should be recorded in the clinic notes, but today’s documentation is written to optimize billing and not patient care. You will get the best…

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