Monday Memo 11/27/17

Ode to Physical Therapy

Oh my back, its aches never cease

No solace is found while perched upon a chair

I bend or I twist, yet still I find no peace

I am unable to work or play, this is remarkably unfair

My doctor suggests medicines with unpronounceable names

Their efforts were formidable but no match for this torment

He proposed ice or heat, neither succeeded I must lament

It seemed I was out of options and my discomfort would remain

However, my pain and troubles found relief in Physical Therapy

Who knew movement and exercise could do so much to help me


Every time I pitch the ball my shoulder erupts in pain

I practice and lift, so why does it feel so tired and weak

I attempt to ignore these twinges but it is in vain

My endurance is waning and the rest of my season looks bleak

X-rays and MRIs come back unmarked by injury

These images say nothing is wrong, but I know better

I can feel the laxity in my shoulder, it needs to be stronger

My doctor knows what to do and who can answer my plea

A few weeks in Physical Therapy and my shoulder is like new

Without my PT, I could never have made my MLB debut


Boston, New York, and Chicago are a few of the races I’ve done

Marathons are my hobby, but I am afraid these days are over

Each mile means more hip pain, and enduring it is not fun

But I jog through the ache because I’ve always been a runner

However, after months of nagging I realize rest is not the cure

I visit my regular PT who promises my marathon days can continue

I need some stretching and strength training, and maybe new shoes

My PT made me stronger, decreased my pain, and was quick to reassure

I am back to running and will cross many more finish lines

All thanks to physical therapy and their essential guidelines


Everyone has aches anywhere from their head to toes

But it’s hard to know who can make them go away

With so many options, the question is “where should I go?”

You may think first should be a doctor, surgeon, or an x-ray

But that list forgets to mention a viable option

Your possible answer can be found in the subject of this poem

Physical Therapy may be the solution to your ongoing problem

There is no reason to prolong your pain so take some action

Schedule an appointment with your local PT

And hopefully their interventions bring you glee!


-Caroline Talda, SPT




November 27, 2017 |

Monday Memo 11/21/17

Chest-Supported Y w/ External Rotator Emphasis
As a former competitive swimmer, I’m no stranger to shoulder pain. It’s been a problem I’ve had to deal with for a long, long time dating back to my junior year in high school and my first experience with physical therapy. It’s common knowledge in the strength/therapy world that there are three areas that deserve extra emphasis when preventing shoulder injury.

  1. Scapular Stabilizer Function
  2. External Rotator Function
  3. Thoracic Mobility

While the Chest-Supported Y has always been a staple exercise for training stability of the scapular (shoulder blade), there is a very simple tweak to help tie in those external rotators.


Enter today’s exercise: The Chest-Supported Y w/ External Rotator Emphasis!

By adjusting your grip and holding the end of the dumbbells that is closer to your pinkie, you create a very unique effect!


What this adjustment does is provide a moment arm that provides an INTERNAL ROTATION torque to the glenohumeral joint. In response, your EXTERNAL ROTATORS must work extra hard! In addition, apply TEMPO to these movements, emphasizing a pause at the top and a slow, controlled descent.


With this simple tweak, your classic lower trap exercise becomes a potent way to also integrate external rotator function as well. It’s tweaks like these that can create highly efficient & effective (p)rehab programs!


For best results, I like to precede this movement exercises that emphasize controlled rotation through the shoulder and thoracic spines, such as Thoracic Bridges, Prone to Supine Primal Rolls, and Kettlebell Armbar Variations!


Charles Badawy SPT, CSCS, USAW
University of Pittsburgh – Class of 2019


BONUS: This tweak can very easily be applied to other scapular stability exercises such as Prone T’s, W’s, & V’s! Give them a shot!

November 21, 2017 |

Monday Memo 11/13/17

Physical Therapy in Portland

  Three weeks ago, four of my classmates and I had the opportunity to attend the National Student Conclave in Portland, Oregon. As Mercer-Marquette Challenge representatives for the University of Pittsburgh, we were offered the opportunity to travel and participate in this conference, which is solely focused on student PTs and PTAs. While at the conference we attended several different sessions that focused on various areas of physical therapy, student leadership, and professional development.


There were courses on navigating our post-professional career and residency options, keeping our foot out of our mouth as new PTs, building a career in travel PT, adaptive sports, lymphedema, and how a beer changed one PT’s life. There were many courses to choose from and there was something that piqued each of our interests during each workshop session. Along with the talks, there was an exhibit hall with recruiters from across the country. We spent time each day in the exhibit hall talking with different companies and finding out which groups might be a good fit for each of us when we graduate. I was fortunate enough to have a connection with a company from the exhibit hall and just had a follow up phone call with them to discuss options as I near graduation.


In addition to the conference, there were several opportunities for us to get out and explore Portland. Portland’s motto is “Keep Portland Weird”, and the city did not disappoint. There was a PT Pub night the first night of the conference that supported the Mercer-Marquette Challenge and ended up being an excellent opportunity to network as well. Also, we attended a PT PAC party the next evening that supported the PT political action committee, which advocates for our profession at the federal level. The evening after the conference was over, we were able to take time to check out Rogue Brewery and have dinner across town. We also took time to explore the cultural district and took a ride up a gondola to get a view of the city.


The trip was an excellent blend of professional development and exploration of a new city. I encourage any student PTs to consider attending the conference in the future as a way to enhance your networking skills as well as a chance to explore the world of physical therapy outside of school.

-Annie Martucci

November 13, 2017 |