Get (back) into running… The healthy way!

Whether it is your first time running or if you just took some time off, getting (back) into running can be difficult. When starting out, it is important to follow a series of steps in order to ensure that your body is able to adapt properly to the new, beneficial, and sometime painful demands placed. When returning to running be sure to:

  • Ease into a routine
  • Gradually increase the distance
  • Establish a base of fitness
  • Gradually increase speed and pace

Of this checklist, listening to your body is probably the most important. Although running is not almost the most comfortable, be aware of the warning signs of injury and slowly allow your body to adjust. Rest days are an important part of training and should not be considered bad or weak. It has been shown that taking at least one day of rest per week of training has decreased the amount of injuries in runners. More than one day may be needed for runners over 40 years of age.


Lastly, stretching is a key factor in runners. It has been shown to increase flexibility and decrease injuries if performed regularly post exercise. By putting all of the pieces together running can be an enjoyable and healthy experience!


Call Mathis for a running evaluation to prevent, or reduce, your pain! Also, be on the lookout for videos posted to our social media accounts for tips on stretching, mobility, and other exercises to better yourself!


Thacker, S. B., Gilchrist, J., Stroup, D. F., & Kimsey, D., Jr. (2004). The Impact of Stretching on Sports Injury Risk: A Systematic Review of the Literature. Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine, 371-378. doi:10.1249/01.MSS.0000117134.83018.F7

Pitcher’s Elbow in the Youth Population

Pitcher’s elbow, otherwise known as medial apophysitis is a condition that occurs due to irritation or injury on the inner side (medial side) of the elbow. This condition is becoming more and more common in young athletes, especially baseball players, and can be caused by chronic overuse or lack of recovery between periods of activity. Some signs and symptoms that occur with this condition include:

  • worsening pain on the medial side of the elbow when throwing a ball
  • swelling and tenderness on the medial side of your elbow
  • inability to throw the ball at your normal speed
  • loss of grip strength, loss of accuracy
  • loss of distance when throwing
  • loss of range of motion in elbow joint
  • muscle cramping, discomfort with certain movements of forearm muscles

There are conservative treatment methods to care for pitcher’s elbow. Treatment methods (which can be completed at Physical Therapy!) should be focused on range of motion, strength training, manual therapy, pain management, functional training, and education. To decrease the risk of developing pitcher’s elbow, young athletes should have:

  • pitches per game limits
  • warm-up pitches
  • innings per game pitched limits
  • pitches per year limits

In a study conducted by Olsen et al., when comparing injured versus non-injured baseball pitchers in the same age group, injured players had a higher number of games played in a year, innings played in a game, and pitches thrown in a game.

As a parent or coach, monitoring pitch count can potentially lower the risk of occurrence of pitcher’s elbow in adolescent athletes. This is especially true for pitchers AND catchers. Parents and coaches should also encourage players to stay away from throwing breaking pitches like curveballs until certain ages. Strength and conditioning at practice (other than just throwing) is another option to reduce the risk of adolescent baseball players elbow injuries. Even having home exercise programs that focus on strengthening the muscles of the forearm and around the elbow. Exercises that would be good for this would be: prone and supinated wrist curls, grip-strengthening exercises, and forearm exercises with removable weights. All of these things can potentially keep a young athlete from developing pitcher’s elbow, and learned at Physical Therapy.


Olsen, S. J. (2006). Risk Factors for Shoulder and Elbow Injuries in Adolescent Baseball Pitchers. American Journal of Sports Medicine,34(6), 905-912. doi:10.1177/0363546505284188


Meet your PTA – Nicole Tyson

Where did you grow up?

Beloit, KS

What sports were you involved in growing up?

Tennis, basketball, and softball

What is your favorite holiday?


What inspired you to choose the physical therapy field?

I went to physical therapy as a patient, and then I began working at No Stone Unturned as a technician and fell in love with physical therapy.

What do you find most rewarding about your job?

Helping people overcome injuries or obstacles they are facing is rewarding, and knowing that I can be there to see their progression from start to finish.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) are spells of dizziness brought about when the head is in certain positions. Many times BBPV is noticed when getting out of bed. This problem is due to inner ear complications. BPPV can affect adults of any age, but is mainly seen in seniors. The severity of this condition can affect each individual differently, and could lead to fall and safety risks. The American Physical Therapy Association describes BPPV as occurring when:

“pieces of calcium carbonate material (often called “ear rocks”) break off from a part of your inner ear (the utricle) and move to another part of the inner ear. When you move your head a certain way, the crystals move inside the canal and stimulate the nerve endings, causing you to become dizzy. The crystals may become loose due to trauma to the head, infection, conditions such as Meniere disease, or aging, but in some cases there is no obvious cause.”

Symptoms may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Loss of balance or unsteadiness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • A sense that you or your surroundings are spinning or moving (vertigo)

How Can Physical Therapy Help?

A Physical Therapist can help you recover from BPPV with certain techniques such as the Epley maneuver, and the Sermont maneuver. As BPPV can be a reoccurring condition, the Physical Therapist can show you different exercises in order for the “ear rocks” to reposition into the correct portion of the inner ear. Usually it can be significantly improved in only 1-3 treatments!

Call Mathis Physical Therapy & Hand Center to schedule an appointment! (785)539-9669


Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BBPV) Symptoms. (n.d). Retrieved February 03, 2017, from

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BBPV). (2016, December 30). Retrieved February 03, 2017. From

Electrical Stimulation

Electrical stimulation (E-Stim) may be used clinically for multiple reasons. Those reasons may be for analgesia or for the production of a muscle contraction.

Electrons are negatively charged particles with a very small mass. When these electrons move, it is termed electrical current. These electrons travel from a high potential to a low potential. E-Stim uses this technology to excite nervous or muscle tissues.

E-Stim units have the capability or producing multiple types of currents. Interferential (IFC) is the commonly used mode for analgesia as mentioned earlier; whereas Russian, is used for muscle reeducation. Russian can help patients with neurological deficits by conducting an action potential. This action potential is a nervous signal that activates a muscle contraction. This signal is produced by the instrument and transmitted through the electrodes directly on the desired muscle.

Electrodes are placed on or around the patient’s painful location site. The addition of heat or ice to electrical stimulation can be used to improve outcomes.

Indications for use:

  1. Muscle reeducation
  2. Pain relief
  3. Muscle pump contractions
  4. Retardation of atrophy
  5. Muscle strengthening
  6. Increasing range of motion
  7. Decreasing edema
  8. Tendon healing
  9. Ligament healing

Prentice, W. E. (2009). Therapeutic modalities: for sports medicine and athletic training (6th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill.

Doucet, B. M., Lam, A., & Griffin, L. (2012). Neuromuscular electrical stimulation for skeletal muscle function. Yale J Biol Med85(2), 201-215.

ACL Prevention

Can ACL injuries be minimized with proper strengthening and training?

Anterior Cruciate Ligament tears are one of the most common injuries found in the lower extremity and unfortunately happen at an alarming rate. They happen more frequently amongst the female population. This is thought to occur due to sport specification amongst female athletes, anatomical makeup, hormones, neuromuscular and biomechanical gender differences. These are all predispositions that researchers believe make female athletes more susceptible to ACL injury versus their male counterparts. ACL injuries often happen from non-contact rotary forces that are associated with planting and cutting, hyperextension, or by violent quadriceps contraction which in turn pulls the tibia forward on the femur.

So, the question is, can ACL injuries be minimized with proper strengthening and training programs? The answer is yes, they can in fact be minimized. Research from a multitude of case studies and controlled trials have shown that various strengthening and training programs have reduced the occurrence of ACL injury amongst both male and female athletes. It has been shown that neuromuscular training paired with plyometric training has significantly reduced an athlete’s risk of having ACL injury.


Types of neuromuscular training would include:

  • Single leg balancing on airex pad
  • Single leg balancing with reach outs
  • Single leg balancing while catching a medicine ball
  • Single leg balancing with manual resistance
  • Squats on BOSU ball

Types of Plyometric training would include:

  • Ladder drills
  • Box jumps
  • Scissor jumps
  • Vertical jumps over cones
  • Unidirectional line jumps
  • Multidirectional line jumps
  • Squat jumps
  • Z jumps

Doing a training program similar to the one above that incorporates neuromuscular training with plyometric training would be beneficial for any male or female athlete young or old because it helps strengthening your musculature and neuromuscular awareness. It will not completely diminish the chances of you injuring your ACL but it will increase your odds of not.



Hewett, T. E. (2005). Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries in Female Athletes: Part 2, A Meta-analysis of Neuromuscular Interventions Aimed at Injury Prevention. American Journal of Sports Medicine, 34(3), 490-498. doi:10.1177/0363546505282619

Larson (2016, November). The Knee Joint Powerpoint.

Toscano, L., & Carroll, B. (2014). Preventing ACL Injuries in Females: What Physical Educators Need to Know. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 86(1), 40-46. doi:10.1080/07303084.2014.978418

Did You Know? It’s National PT Month!

mathispt-logoDid You Know??

It’s October, which means it is national physical therapy month. Our physical therapists (PTs) take pride in providing exemplary patient care across a wide population. PTs undergo extensive research and education in post-graduate universities and maintain up to date on the latest research by completing 20 continuing education units (CEUs) each year.   At Mathis, we can assist patients to restore and improve function and mobility in response to many ailments, pain, and disorders.

This October, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is utilizing public awareness. The focus is on choosing safe alternatives to opioid consumption to alleviate pain. There are circumstances where opioids are appropriate, but may include several side effects. Physical therapy is one of these safe alternatives! To show support, you can join the campaign by using the hash tag #ChoosePT.

At Mathis Physical Therapy, we offer many services. Some services include: spine care, hand therapy, ASTYM, singularity wellness, and dry needling. With the direct access bill (HB 2066) that was passed in March of 2013, patients no longer need a referral from a physician. This means you can visit us directly to evaluate joint dysfunctions, mobility issues, and pain. A PT will conduct a thorough evaluation, educate the patient, continue care, and individually tailor a treatment and rehabilitation regimen.,_PT,_PhD.aspx


Cupping Therapy

Cupping Therapy

Cupping therapy is a form of ancient Chinese practice that is used to release blood to an area in hopes of reducing pain or increase circulation to a specific area of the body. This technique is accomplished by creating a vacuum on the skin with a small glass cup in order to draw blood to the surface. In order to create the suction, fire or air suctioning is typically used. In order to reduce friction on the skin, oil or cocoa butter is placed on the skin prior to the cup.

Some hazards have been seen with this type of therapy technique. There have been incidences of burning the patient or worsening their symptoms instead of causing a beneficial outcome. Typical side effects include bruising, soreness, and skin irritation. Cupping has been considered safe to use when it is performed by a trained health care professional. It should not be performed on people with underlying health conditions due to findings where there have been more serious side effects.

Although there are hesitations to using cupping, many benefits have been observed. Muscle tension, low back pain, high blood pressure, carpal tunnel syndrome, migraine headaches, and many more conditions have been improved by cupping therapy. Cupping was used in the most recent Olympics and has continued to become more popular in the United States. If other forms of therapy have been unsuccessful, cupping may be a fitting option.

It is essentially up to the clinician and the patient to determine if cupping is a suitable form of therapy. This type of therapy is individualistic and should be carefully considered before performing.



Al Bedah Abdullah M.N., Khalil Mohamed K.M., Posadzki Paul, Sohaibani Imen, Aboushanab Tamer Shaaban, AlQaed Meshari, and Ali Gazzaffi I.M.. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. August 2016, ahead of print. doi:10.1089/acm.2016.0193.

Cupping | NCCIH. (2016, August 19). Retrieved September 27, 2016, from

Dharmananda, S. (1999, March). Cupping. Retrieved September 27, 2016, from

Warming Up

Why Do We Warm Up?

Often we find ourselves busy with little time to exercise and if we do find that time we are already thinking about the next thing on our “To Do” list. With being busy and in a hurry we often overlook warming up before exercise, which has more benefits than we may think. Here are a few reasons why we have clients warm up before physical therapy and also apply to any physical activity.


Benefits of a Proper Warm Up:

  • Increased Muscle Temperature – Warming up before exercise does exactly that; the temperature inside the muscles increases. Warm muscles both contract more forcefully and relax more quickly. A warm muscle also decreases the risk of overstretching a muscle.
  • Blood Vessels Dilate – This reduces the resistance of blood flow allowing blood to move more quickly throughout the body giving muscles the nutrients they need and reduce stress on the heart.
  • Improved Range of Motion – By properly warming up a greater range of motion through dynamic and static stretching can be achieved.
  • Injury Prevention – Studies have shown that muscle tears occur more often when the muscles are cold or not warmed up.

From these studies we can see that Enhanced performance and Injury Prevention are the two leading benefits of properly warming up. After reading this you may be thinking about trying to warm up next time you go to the gym, so here are a few tips.


Warming Up:

  • How Long Should I Warm Up? Studies aren’t conclusive but most studies recommend between 10-20 minutes.
  • What Should I Do For Warm Up? A low-intensity aerobic activity such as walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, or others as well. The exercise you do for warm up should work the muscles you plan to use during exercise.

So next time you go to the gym try a proper warm up and know that you are preventing injuries first and foremost and may enhance performance as well.



School is starting, but don’t forget to exercise!

It’s that time of the year, school is starting up again! As it does, it is important to not forget about scheduling time into your busy schedule for exercise. Whether you are a morning person, afternoon person, or night owl it is important to continue exercising. Research has shown that exercising regularly can promote weight loss, help you feel more alert throughout the day, increase energy, boost your metabolism, and help you sleep well.

With all we have going on between work, class, studying, or social gatherings it may be best to exercise in the morning. It will give you a head start to your day and give you an energy boost. Also, it will allow you to get it done before anything else comes up in your day. Some who try to schedule exercise in the afternoon or evening end up skipping it because they are too busy or too tired. Morning exercise can be a great way to start your day on a positive note, and use the momentum and sense of accomplishment to tackle other challenges throughout the day. Below are some steps to keep in mind when staring a morning exercise routine.running clipart

  • Choose a set time you can commit to everyday or every other day, and set your alarm for that time.
  • Be sure to get a good nights sleep. Sleep is important to allow the body to recover. Try to plan 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
  • Set out your workout gear and clothes you will wear for next day the night before. This will avoid hurrying around in the morning to get everything put together before you start. It will also keep you motivated to get up and get dressed instead of hitting the snooze button.
  • Plan your exercise routine out ahead of time. Know what exercises you are doing, for how long, and where you are going to do them.
  • When you get up in the morning and before you start exercising, set aside breakfast so you’ll have a meal ready when you get back.

It doesn’t matter what you do, but do something you enjoy! That way you’re more likely to complete it. exercise clipart


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