Did you know you can find most of the gear we use around the clinic online? It's a great way to keep up with your therapy and maintain an injury-free lifestyle. Here are a few of our favorite things.
Note: These are Amazon Affiliate links, but it's all gear we believe in and use with our clients on a daily basis.
The Stick Travel Stick
The stick roller is a great addition to your foam roller or theracane. It is even more accessible and easier to travel with. We like the stick roller for more tender areas especially in the lower leg that are more sensitive with the foam roller. The stick roller is great for quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves allowing you to control how much pressure you use to release tension. The stick allows you to work in localized sections throughout the area of treatment.
The Theracane is a great tool to have for those nasty recurrent knots. The theracane is easy to travel with and allows the you to apply as much pressure as tolerable by placing the S curve along the spine, shoulder blade, neck and upper trapezius and perform your own soft tissue trigger point release. The long handle makes it easy to control with your arms without having to be in an awkward position or to have to create strain to the arms by reaching overhead. This is also a nice conjunction to a tennis or lacrosse ball as often times you can not control the pressure as much with the ball at the wall or floor as you can with the cane.
This strap is great for warm up and cool down to allow you to get a deeper passive stretch. The strap allows you to get into a stretch unassisted and allow you have control over how far you push into the range of the stretch. We recommend this strap for clients to allow ease in stretching and guide the strap as the tissue become more flexible and more comfortable throughout.
The over the door pulley is great for individuals lacking shoulder overhead range of motion. The pulley assists the motion by allowing the opposite uninvolved arm to pull down on the pulley’s while the involved shoulder can be stretched at ease overhead. We highly recommend these for our post-operative shoulders such as rotator cuff, labral repair, and frozen shoulder. However, this is a nice addition for home to decrease stiffness in healthy shoulders and limit strain or tendinitis that can occur secondary to tightness or arthritis.
This foam roller is a stander 36inch firm roller. We like the length of this foam roller to allow our clients to lay on this long way against the spine. The length allows you to keep a neutral spine while opening up the chest wall and shoulders after a long day’s work sitting. You can also perform soft tissue mobilization as you would through out the shoulders, hips, low back, hamstrings, calves as you would with other foam rollers.
There are a lot of great pillows on the market. The gals at Smith PT have personally found improved sleeping and decreased morning stiffness with this pillow. The contour of the pillow helps with spinal alignment.
The wedge pillow is great for post-operative clients especially shoulder and neck who can not tolerate passively laying flat. The wedge allows the shoulders and neck to maintain neutral position without the limbs hanging or dangling in a dependent position. We highly recommend this pillow for post-operative rotator cuff repair to transition from recliner to bed with more comfort.
There are many orthotics out there. We like that these are affordable and deem results from many of our clients based on comfort and performance. We do recommend you consult a podiatrist if you have one or if you currently wear custom orthotics.
The foot roller allows you to massage, roll and stretch the arch of the foot. You can freeze the roller to allow anti-inflammatory components for a sore heel, arch, or foot after a day at work or post run or cycle for recovery.
This wedge pillow is great for those of you that have low back pain or tailbone pain with prolonged sitting in the car. We love this wedge cushion to help maintain upright posture and distribute pressure in the low back and thighs. The U-cut out helps relieve pressure around the sacrum and tailbone along with taking away pressure along the sciatic nerve pathway.
The half foam roller is a nice piece of equipment for stretching the calves, laying supine to open the chest wall, and for balance and strength work. We often use the ½ foam roller to add an unstable surface using both sides for uneven terrain. You can do single leg balance work, squatting, weight shifting and many more. This ½ foam roller is durable but easy to store.
Theraputty comes in different colors indicating different resistance. The green color-coded putty is a medium strength. Putty is a great tool to use for individuals experiencing hand, wrist, and elbow pain. The putty is used to strengthening the hand and fingers to improved fine motor skills along with strengthening the muscles that extend from your fingers to your elbow. We often recommend exercises with putty for post-operative hand, finger, or elbow, along with elbow tendonitis such as golfers or tennis elbow.
The BOSU ball is an amazing piece of equipment to ramp up beginner body weight exercises. This piece of equipment is very versatile and can be used to enhance strengthening exercises along with added instability to your exercise routine. We love using the BOSU to make the foot and ankle intrinsic muscle work harder. The BOSU often challenges your balance to force your muscle to work harder in order to find your center of mass, therefore making muscle kick on that can often be hard to facilitate otherwise.
The stability ball pictured above is 65cm. They do come in different sizes based on your height. In the clinic we use the stability ball to work upper and lower body, along with core. The stability ball is great to perform seated exercises, exercises on your back, exercises with the ball supported under your stomach, and for more challenging exercises to be performed in the plank position. The stability ball forces the body to control and support the exercise ball while stabilizing the spine and working the limbs surrounding. We also love that the ball will support and force the spine to maintain neutral position adding safety to the low back and neck.
If you have been a current patient of ours, you will notice we love to work on soft tissue mobilization. We feel the soft tissue needs maintenance and release to keep strong and mobile. These tools are great to allow you to perform your own soft tissue self-mobilization at home.