The Activcore Blog

5 Reasons to See a Physical Therapist if You’re an Overhead Athlete

Have you ever wondered: What does a physical therapist actually do? Aren’t they just for people who have had surgery? Don't they just do massage? How can they possibly help me with my overhead sport? These are some of the questions we hear all the time from athletes.

Well, let's clear this up. Physical therapists are movement experts who optimize quality of life through prescribed exercises, hands-on care, and patient education. Some physical therapists pursue advanced specialization in helping athletes with overhead sports, like volleyball, baseball, tennis, swimming, gymnastics, and track & field events.

Many of these "sports injury specialists" got into physical therapy as a career, after sustaining and recovering from their own overhead injuries. I can include myself among this group. As a former varsity softball player at Cornell University, I have a special interest in overhead athletes of all levels, genders and ages. You can read more about my story here.

As an overhead athlete, you put unique stresses on your body. Therefore, you could benefit from the observant eyes, skilled hands, and thoughtful exercises of a physical therapist in order to stay healthy and at the top of your game. A qualified physical therapist can be your "go-to" person to work on your musculoskeletal system on a preventative basis, not just when an injury crisis strikes.


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Topics: Movement Assessment, Performance training, The Value of Physical Therapy, The Overhead Athlete

Why Should I Add Kettlebells to my Workout?

Posted by Activcore Physical Therapy & Performance on October 3, 2019 at 12:23 AM

Kettlebells are relatively new to the United States. Pavel Tsatsouline, once a physical training instructor in the former Soviet Union, is widely recognized as the Modern King of Kettlebells. His 1998 article in the journal Milo, titled “Vodka, Pickle Juice, Kettlebell Lifting, and other Russian Pastimes,” served as the launching pad for kettlebells in America.

However, those weights that resemble cannonballs with handles have been used in Russia since the 1700s. Archaeologists have even found evidence that kettlebells existed in ancient Greece. Originally used to weigh crops and show feats of strength, kettlebells were eventually used as exercise tools as they are today.


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Topics: Strength Training, The Strength Athlete, CrossFit, Functional Fitness

Why is My Belly Bulging or Pooching Out in the Middle? It Sort of Looks Like I’m Still Pregnant.

Posted by Dr. Rachel Newall, Physical Therapist at Activcore on September 23, 2019 at 12:33 AM

Are you frustrated with trying to get your pre-baby body back? Are you seeing your belly bulge out when you do abdominal exercises or even when you just sit up? Are you nervous and feel like you can’t start exercising because you don’t want to make the bulge worse, have back pain, urinary leakage or just don’t know where to start? If this at all sounds familiar, you may be experiencing symptoms of something called diastasis recti (DR).


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Topics: Pain Relief Treatments, Pelvic floor physical therapy, Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, Pelvic Health, Pregnancy, Post-partum

My Jaw Hurts. Where Does This Pain Actually Come From?

Posted by Dr. Tia Totura, Physical Therapist at Activcore on September 12, 2019 at 12:37 AM

TMJ. What is it good for? Absolutely everything!

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a fancy word for the space between your jaw and your skull. You have two of them, one on either side of your face.

The TMJ is a wonderful thing when it works correctly — allowing you to talk, eat, drink, chew, breathe through your mouth, sing, laugh and yawn. You get the picture, it does a lot. The joint itself is small but really strong. In fact, it can endure up to 250lbs!

So how does something so strong get hurt so often? TMJ disorder (TMJD) actually ranks second only to low back pain, as the most prevalent musculoskeletal problem in the United States!


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Topics: Movement Assessment, Pain Relief Treatments, Jaw pain, Headaches, TMJ, TMJD

Is the Overhead Shoulder Press Safe?

Overhead (OH) shoulder exercises are some of the most commonly performed exercises across all exercise and fitness domains. With the ever growing participation in resistance training and functional fitness, such as Crossfit, overhead shoulder exercises have become a staple in developing muscle and strength in the shoulders. These exercises can include a variety of movements from an overhead shoulder press, pull up, overhead squat, handstand, barbell snatch, clean and jerk, and multiple variations of exercises where your arms are in a position above your head. For the sake of this article, I am going to specifically address movements where you are pressing or holding a weight overhead.


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Topics: Strength Training, The Strength Athlete, CrossFit, Functional Fitness

As a New Mom, Why Am I Peeing My Pants?

You are a tired new mom, finally out for a run. This is your time - you get a small break - a little time alone. It’s finally fall and beautiful out. You tie your shoes and start down the block. All is right with the world, UNTIL - hard stop. Wait….Was that PEE?? 


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Topics: Pelvic floor physical therapy, Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, Urinary Incontinence, Pelvic Health

How Much Do You Value Physical Therapy?

Posted by Activcore Physical Therapy & Performance on August 27, 2019 at 1:09 AM

As co-pays for physical therapy visits approach $50, it’s only natural to start questioning if you’re really getting your money’s worth.

Was my physical therapist prepared, ready, and on time for my session? Did I feel like I was the center of attention, or just a number? Did my physical therapist really listen to me and address my needs? Did I get pushed off to a technician or aide? Could I have just done those exercises at home? Did I get any closer to reaching my goals?

These are some of the questions you should ask yourself after each session in order to help determine the value of your physical therapy. You shouldn’t leave an appointment wondering if it was worth your time. After all, you have enough to worry about. Instead, you should feel totally confident that you made the right choice when it comes to your health.


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Topics: The Value of Physical Therapy

What Can Princeton University Learn From Activcore?

Posted by Activcore Physical Therapy & Performance on August 19, 2019 at 1:02 AM

Michelle Cesan, former Princeton University Field Hockey Player and member of the USA National Field Hockey Team, had been dealing with back issues for over a year. She reported, “Though I was able to get temporary relief through heat, massage and chiropractic means, nothing lasted more than a day.” Her coaches, trainers and doctors were unsure of the root cause of her symptoms, since both the MRI and bone scan were negative. Michelle was beginning to think she would have to live with the pain. That was until an Athletic Trainer from Princeton University recommended Activcore.


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Topics: Movement Assessment, Pain Relief Treatments, Performance training

Activcore Discusses the Topic of Pain

Posted by Activcore Physical Therapy & Performance on August 12, 2019 at 11:48 PM

The War on Pain has begun! But in order to defeat this enemy, we first have to understand it.


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Topics: Pain Relief Treatments

Activcore Helps Professional Hockey Players Develop a Smarter, Balanced Body

Posted by Dr. Nick Passe, Physical Therapist at Activcore on August 6, 2019 at 3:38 PM

Three times a year, I have the exciting opportunity to teach about the power of neuromuscular activation to the Washington Capitals NHL Hockey Team.

The Capitals first installed Redcord suspension systems into their athletic training facilities in 2011; and since then, they have been utilizing the equipment and my training methods as part of their workout routine for NHL and farm team players.


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Topics: SFMA, Movement Assessment, Performance training

How Can Push-Ups Relieve Low Back Pain?

Posted by Activcore Physical Therapy & Performance on July 23, 2019 at 9:19 PM

Two physical therapy studies here suggest push-ups in slings are superior to ground based push-ups for improving function of the lumbar muscles. Low back pain patients responded well to this type of muscle activation.


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Topics: Pain Relief Treatments, Redcord research, Performance training

What Can a Functional Movement Assessment Do For You?

When evaluating clients early in my career, I would always focus just on their painful areas. When treating those painful spots, I would sometimes be successful, but often I would have to search elsewhere on the body in order to achieve any significant relief of pain. I had no clear cut path or system to zero in on the actual source of their pain. That was until I took the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) a few years ago with Mike Voight as the head instructor.


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Topics: SFMA, Movement Assessment, Pain Relief Treatments