Cervical Radiculopathy

Cervical radiculopathy is the result of pressure on the nerve roots running out of your neck either by disc herniation, narrowing of the spine, or arthritis. The results of which can cause neck pain and stiffness and/or arm pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness. Patients do not need to experience neck pain when dealing with radicular symptoms.

Physical therapy diagnosis includes assessing cervical spine range of motion and upper extremity strength, sensation, and deep tendon reflexes. Other more specific testing can include assessing segmental spine mobility in order to understand at what level the radiculopathy resides. Your physician will usually take X-rays in order to view potential bone and alignment abnormalities. If symptoms persist, an MRI can be used to view soft tissue that could be pinching on a nerve root.
Potential initial treatment from your physician may include medications such as anti-inflammatories, pain medication, muscle relaxors, and oral steroids.

Your physician can prescribe physical therapy which will use stretching and strengthening exercises, joint and soft tissue mobilization techniques, and traction to relieve neck and arm pain as well as restore range of motion, mobility and strength.

As a last resort epidural steroid injects and surgery may be required if symptoms progressively worsen, extremity strength is lost, or finger dexterity is lost. Steroid injections target the inflamed area more specifically than taking an oral steroid will. Surgical procedures may include cervical discectomy and cervical fusion. Discectomy being the removal of the damaged part of the disc while fusion would be the complete removal of the disc nucleus and a subsequent fusion of the adjoining vertebra.

In any case, your physician will be your source for diagnosing the type of pathology and ordering the proper tests and treatments. Physical therapy will be one of your primary treatment options.

Submitted by Brian Manning, MPT, CSCS

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GAC Baseball Classic at TR Hughes

WHEN: April 18-19, 2014

WHERE: TR Hughes Ballpark






Please see the attached flyer for more details and information!

GAC Baseball Classic 2014 Schedule

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Nate Wilmes is Busy Again!

Excel Sports and Physical Therapy stives to get involved in the community and to educate people on topics that are pertinent. Nate Wilmes gave another presentation to over 150 soccer officials at Parkway West on Wednesday, March 13. The topic was proper warm-up and stretching before and after games.

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Andrew Honerkamp is a junior at Fort Zumwalt South High School with cerebral palsy who has a dream of being on Sports Center. KSDK and USA Today have picked up the story along with a huge Twitter following to make his dream come true.


Here is a clip from his preparation for an experience as a guest sportscaster on KSDK with Rene Knott. Way to go!



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Buffalo Chicken Dip

16 oz. canned chicken breast packed in water, drained
8 oz. Low-fat cream cheese
2 cups low fat cheddar cheese
½ bottle hot sauce (such as Frank’s), adjust to taste

Drain the chicken and shred it. Mix the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and hot sauce in a Crockpot. Stir in the chick and cook on high for 1 hour or low for 2 hours.

Servings: 24
Calories: 90 Fat: 4.8g Carbohydrates: 1.1g Protein: 9.9g

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Skinny Puppy Chow

This recipe is for the Puppy Chow lovers out there that hate the 365 calories in 1 cup of Puppy Chow. This recipe is good for those athletes wanting a sweet snack.

2 cups Fiber One Honey Squares
4 tbsp “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter”
2 tbsp Creamy All Natural Peanut Butter
2 servings Truvia All Natural Sweetener
1 pkg of Fat-Free Sugar-Free Vanilla Pudding Mix
2 squares of Reduced Fat Chocolate Almond Bark

In a large mixing bowl, melt butter, chocolate almond bark, and peanut butter in the microwave. After the mixture is melted, pour cereal into the mixture and stir gently. Let the mixture cool for a good 20 minutes. After the mixture has hardened, pour the mixture into a large zip lock bag and add the box of pudding mix. Shake gently until coated.

Servings: 4
Calories: 100 Fat: 2g Carbohydrates: 18g Protein: 2g Fiber: 5g

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Injection Therapy

Receiving injections into the knee / shoulder for pain is a common practice. There are different types of injections available. The most common is corticosteroid injections, but you may also be a candidate for viscosupplemation (hyaluronic acid), plate rich plasma, or stem cell therapy. The most research has been performed on the effects of corticosteroid and viscosupplementation injections.

Patients receiving corticosteroid injections typically find some relief for three to four weeks. It takes three to five days for the medicine to take effect, reaching maximal benefit within seven to ten days. They can then resume their usual activities with less pain.

Viscosupplementation is performed with the injection of hyaluronic acid which is naturally found in joints. Hyaluronic acid is a lubricant for joints. The injection is thought to help replace some of the lubricant that is lost with conditions such as osteoarthritis. There can be a delay in the effect of the medication taking up to three weeks before a patient may recognize pain relief. This injection can be repeated every six months.

Platelet Rich Plasma injections involve taking blood from the patient, spinning and separating it in a centrifuge (a device that spins a liquid to separate it into its separate parts). The blood separates into platelet poor plasma, platelet rich plasma, red blood cells, and buffy coat / white blood cells. The platelet rich plasma is then injected back into the patient at the site injury which may include a tendon or joint.

Stem cell therapy is not yet approved by the FDA and a patient must pay out of pocket for such a treatment. This involves taking mesenchymal stem cells found in adipose (fat) tissue, bone marrow, umbilical cords, periodsteum, or synovium. The mesenchymal stem cells are able to differentiate and develop into other types of tissue. The hope is to inject these cells into an injured area to reduce inflammation and possibly repair the tissue such as cartilage. Research is still being conducted in this area.

Often times, a doctor may have you begin physical therapy to address any musculoskeletal imbalances that may be contributing to your symptoms after an injection.

– from a presentation by Dr. Halstead at the St. Louis Soccer Conference held by Washington University Physicians

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Excel Sports and Physical Therapy is looking for an athletic trainer for the summer season. The position will run from May1, 2014 through September 15, 2014. Interested applicants should contact Nate Wilmes at nwilmes@excelsportspt.com.

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March is National Athletic Training Month!

March is National Athletic Trainers Month, and during
March, athletic trainers across America are being recognized for their
commitment to helping people prevent injuries and stay healthy and active.
Athletic trainers are allied health care professionals. Highly educated and dedicated
to the job at hand, athletic trainers can be found in high schools and
colleges, corporations, professional sports, the military, performing arts and
clinics, hospitals and physician offices. Please visit nata.org for more
information about the athletic training profession.

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Nutrition and the Female Athletic Triad

Just how important is your nutrition to your physical health? Find out in a particular instance here.

Nutrition Staves Off Female Athlete Triad Syndrome

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