What is Cervical Radiculopathy?

Cervical radiculopathy is a common neck problem and regarded to as the “sciatica of the neck.” Like sciatica, cervical radiculopathy symptoms normally include pain, weakness, or numbness in areas served by the affected nerve. The nerve root is compressed in one of the segments of the neck, so nerve decompression is important. One will feel pain in only one side of the body. For example, one might feel shooting pain in the shoulder or even along the entire arm and into the hand and fingers.

Consulting a physical therapist for treatment is the way to find out the root of the problem. Is the joint not moving well? Is it occurring because a cervical disk is pushing back into the nerve root? Or is the pain a result of muscle spasms?

A physical therapist can perform a simple joint accessory motion technique while the patient is lying in supine (on your belly). The therapist assesses whether the nerve is able to be decompressed by observing joint mobility. Reproduction of pain or joint stiffness allows the therapist to tell whether or not the joint is the source of pain. Cervical radiculopathy can be treated effectively once the source is found- whether or not it is a local issue.

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Runner’s knee is a common diagnosis given to individuals with patellofemoral pain syndrome or, simply, knee pain. It is one of the most common knee complaints of both young athletes and the elderly population. PFPS describes pain felt behind the kneecap, in the patellofemoral joint. This is where the patella articulates with the femur, or thigh bone.

With PFPS, the knee cap is causing subabnormal friction against the femur, thus causing pain behind the knee. Consult with a physical therapist to figure out why the friction exists. The therapist will answer other questions like- Why is the patella not moving up and down the way it should? Is the pain due to hip weakness?

Physical therapy intervention can be a very effective short and long-term solution for PFPS. It’s even possible to feel pain-free within six weeks of starting a physical therapist guided rehab program. With failure to respond to treatment, surgery may be required to repair severely damaged or arthritic joint surfaces.

The aim of physical therapy is short-term reduction of joint pain and inflammation. This is followed by correcting the cause to prevent long-term recurrence.

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica refers to pain radiating along largest nerve in the body, the sciatic nerve. This nerve branches from your spinal cord and extends directly through your hips, down to your feet. Sciatica is caused by compromises to the nerve like irritation or inflammation. Symptoms include stiffness, numbness, muscle weakness, and shooting pain down the back of the leg.

The most common occurrence of sciatica is when a herniated disk, spinal bone spur, or spinal narrowing compresses a portion of the sciatic nerve. These apply pressure on the nerve, producing pain or numbness anywhere from the hip and lower extremity, typically on one side of the body. Those suffering from sciatica often assume they have a leg injury because of symptom location.

Although symptoms associated with sciatica may be severe unbearable, a few weeks of non-operative treatment involving improvement in joint mobility and strengthening to promote stability can help to decrease their effects. Candidates for surgery might include those who have severe sciatica associated with significant weakness or chronic sharp pain inhibiting pain-free leg movement or bowel movement. IF you don’t suffer from the advanced symptoms of sciatica, physical therapy can help you feel better.

DIY Sciatica Pain Relief:

If you ever feel sciatic pain referring down the leg on either side of the body, your sciatic nerve may be entrapped in your the muscles of your leg. The following videos demonstrate exercises you can do at home to help you floss the sciatic nerve through those muscles or fascia in order to facilitate nerve decompression.

What is Shoulder Impingement?

Patients often come in to physical therapy with a diagnosis of shoulder impingement but have no idea what this actually means. Physical therapy has been found to be valuable in reducing pain and disability in patients with shoulder impingement. Effective involvement consist of therapeutic exercises focusing on strengthening the rotator cuff and scapular stability; also stretching to decrease capsular tightness.
Tendons of the rotator cuff, nerves, and a fluid filled cushion called a bursa all have to fit through a very small space between the shoulder blade, clavicle, and humerus. In a “normal” uninjured shoulder, there is enough space for everything to fit without a problem. However, injuries and the aging process can cause this space to get smaller. There are many reasons why this space can “close down” including inflammation, bone spurs, and degenerative changes that come with use and age. When the space gets small, there is not enough room for the tendons, nerve, and bursa and when they rub together, it creates a pinch or “impingement”

Symptoms of impingement are generally worse with overhead reaching, reaching behind the back during dressing, sleeping on the injured side, and lifting. If you have these symptoms, a physical therapist can evaluate your shoulder and design a treatment program to restore the proper space in your shoulder joint.

Core Exercises for Runners

The importance of core strength for runners is often overlooked. Most of the time, runners tend to focus more on building strong leg and calf muscles with little emphasis on core muscles. Runners must realize the tremendous running gains possible that can be made through increased core strength. “Core” covers the deep and superficial abdominal, back, and pelvic/hip muscless. Training these muscles ensure a strong, proper running form and injury prevention.

Scarsdale Location

NY Sports and Spinal Physical Therapy
838 Scarsdale Ave
Scarsdale, NY 10583-5318
Phone: 914-722-9200


MON - THU: 7:30 AM - 8:00 PM

FRI: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

SAT - SUN: Closed

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