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Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida in Bradenton want you to wear proper footwear for all occasions and to be cautious with flip flops

Different occasions call for different attire, and to complete your get-up, proper footwear is always essential.  Basketball shoes are necessary to protect the ankles during basketball play, while running shoes are designed specifically to give runners certain advantages on the track or trail, and the same goes for tennis, cycling, baseball shoes and so on.  For this warm weather, many decide to suit the occasion with open-air footwear like sandals and flip-flops, but unfortunately, too much time wearing them can be more harmful than you expect.

While flip-flops are certainly a comfortable choice that allow your feet to breathe and be exposed to the warm spring and summer air, the truth is that this comfort also comes at a cost.  Occasional use of flip-flops—to the beach, for a brief walk, around the yard—doesn’t pose any real dangers, but constantly wearing them for an extended duration may cause some harm to various parts of your body and can lead to pain or injury.

The issue is that most flip-flops aren’t designed like shoes, and they lack any real arch support, heel cushioning and shock absorption to help protect your feet.  Also, while using flip-flops, most people tend to grip their toes at the “thongs” to hold them in place, which strains the muscles in the foot and causes you to adjust the way you walk (gait).

Over time, this change in gait will lead you to start using muscles and joints in an abnormal way, and this process can result in problems in the foot all the way through to the lower back.  One of the most commonly treated injuries that can result from excessive flip-flop use is plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the connective tissue along the bottom of the foot.  Other injuries include shin splints, metatarsalgia, Achilles tendinitis, calf strains, hip pain and lower back pain.

This certainly doesn’t mean you should stop wearing any flip-flops at all times, but only that you should be smart about which ones you wear and do so in moderation.  Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida recommends the following footwear tips:

  • Sport sandals offer more support for your arch than flip-flops and a heel strap alleviate pressure in the front of your foot. If you decide to still wear flip-flops, choose a pair made of firm materials with stiff soles; leather is a far better choice than plastic or other flimsy materials
  • Make sure your flip-flops fit properly and be sure to replace any old or worn-out pairs with a newer, more supportive pair
  • Only wear flip-flops for short periods of time and don’t use them for long hikes, any other instances where you’ll be walking for a while or while playing sports
  • Avoid running or jumping in flip-flops, which can lead to further injuries
  • If you experience any pain, apply ice to the painful area and try switching to a more supportive pair of flip-flops; contact a physical therapist if pain persists.

Don’t let the temptation of wearing flip-flops constantly cost you an injury.  At Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida in Bradenton, FL we can provide further assistance on footwear selection and can treat any pain you may be experiencing from flip-flops or other bad footwear choices.  Call us at 941-264-1414 to schedule an appointment.


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Exercising In Water

Get in the water to prevent injuries in Bradenton

We’d like to remind you that exercising in water is a great way to change up your normal routine.  In fact, it may even lead to greater benefits than land-based exercise and help you avoid injuries in Bradenton.  Here’s why: exercising on land is certainly a great way to stay active and fit, but it comes with downsides as well.  Doing it on a regular basis puts high-impact stress on your muscles and joints, which can result in muscle soreness, stress fractures and injury.  In turn, this can make exercising more difficult and eventually lead to less activity and fitness.

On the other hand, getting active in the water—whether that be swimming or water-based (aquatic) exercise—is much kinder to the body.  Instead of the firmness of land, swimming and aquatic exercise are performed in an environment with buoyancy, which alleviates the pressure on joints.  This environment is especially ideal for clients with load-sensitive injuries like low back pain and hip or knee osteoarthritis, and many of these clients can do more in the water than they can on land.  Aquatic exercise has also been found to increase strength, endurance and posture, improve the mobility and flexibility of joints, and reduce overall pain and fatigue.

If injured clients are able to comfortably tolerate these water-based exercises, eventually they can work towards improving their strength and flexibility and make their way towards tolerating exercises on land.  This type of approach can ease the transition from struggling to perform any exercises to being able to do so on land.

Avid swimmers should be stretching regularly

  • Latissimus dorsi: largest back muscle; primary function is to bring the arms to the body and stability many everyday movements; to stretch this muscle, try the overhead latissimus dorsi stretch, the seated torso stretch and the child’s pose (click here for stretch descriptions)
  • Pectoral muscles: the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor muscles are located in the front of the chest; tightness of these muscles can restrict shoulder range of motion; to stretch these muscles, try the behind-the-chest stretch, doorway chest stretch

Swimming team and get in the water a bit more often.  Swimming or partaking in aquatic exercise can help you avoid and recover from injuries in Bradenton, and keep you fit while doing so.  Our therapists at Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida in Bradenton, FL can offer tips on how to best approach a new water workout.  For the swimmers out there dealing with stiffness that may be interfering with their stroke, we can also offer treatments to address your issues.                          Contact us at 941-264-1414 to schedule an appointment today.

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Let Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida help you ‘Spring’ back into your favorite activities without injury in Bradenton

With the start of Spring and many clear days on the way, many of us take this time to pick back up some of our favorite outdoor activities.  For some of you, this can mean bringing your prized garden back to life and spending countless hours planting, shoveling and watering your plants.  For others, spring opens up the door for running, biking, hiking or playing golf, tennis or pickleball Learn More, to name just a few of the many physical activities in the outdoors.

Regardless of the way in which you take advantage of this improving climate, it’s important to keep in mind that every activity comes with some risk of injury.  This is not only true for various forms of exercise, but also when gardening for extended periods of time.  But have no fear: at Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida, we’ve got you covered.  We can explain what behaviors may be risky, offer tips and guidance, and create a program that will all help reduce your risk for injury in Bradenton.

How to practice safe gardening

Both the knees and the back can be injured from gardening.  Much of this has to do with the fact that about 80-90% of gardening movements are performed in a bent position.  All this bending and kneeling can lead to aches and pains developing in the knees.  In addition, bending forward for too long can reverse the spine’s natural curvature and strain muscles and ligaments in the back.  The repetitive twisting that’s also a part of gardening and the fact that many of these motions are performed repeatedly all combine to create a recipe for knee or back pain.  To reduce your risk for injury, we recommend these tips:

  • Try to stay in a position on “all fours” using your knees and both hands, with your back flat, as much as possible; if you can place something under your stomach in this position, it will be even more useful
  • When raking, try to keep your elbows close to your body and use your legs for most of the moving instead
  • When you shovel, pivot with your hips and shoulders moving together, and avoid twisting
  • Take breaks every 15 minutes or so and perform more back bends during this time
  • Change positions regularly and be aware of how your body feels; if you notice any region of the body getting sore, switch over to another task

 Avoid injury when returning to exercise

Injuries from exercise are common this time of year, and they usually occur when clients train too hard or too intensely for too long, or when they jump back into activities too quickly.  What often happens is that individuals are eager to pick up their training or activities right where they left off.  Unfortunately, even if you’ve been exercising in the gym or elsewhere with a modified routine, switching to outdoor activities will engage your muscles and joints in ways that they may not be ready for.  As a result, they can be more vulnerable to a number of different injuries.

To avoid an injury when getting back into your exercise routine—or starting a new one—visit us for some guidance and keep the following pointers in mind:

  • We can provide you with specific exercises to strengthen and stretch your muscles to prepare you for your activity of choice
  • If you plan on getting into running, look into finding a training program that can instruct you as to how much you should be running each week and how to increase your training
  • Ensure that your shoes and other equipment is up to date and not worn out, and replace them accordingly if need be
  • Hydrate sufficiently before, during and after exercising
  • Don’t exercise with any lingering pain beyond minor aches or soreness; this can be a signal of the onset of a more severe injury

Spring can be a fantastic time to bounce into a more active, healthier lifestyle for you.  Don’t let an unexpected injury in Bradenton, FL prevent you from taking full advantage of all that the next few months have to offer. Follow these tips and come visit us at Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida in Bradenton, FL for additional guidance on how to make your spring injury-free.  Call us at 941-264-1414 for more information or to schedule an appointment today.














Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida in Bradenton celebrates our 1st Anniversary of “Helping You Move Without Pain”

Today, Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida is proudly celebrating One-Year Anniversary in Bradenton, FL! We are so proud to be serving our community by proving exceptional physical therapy care, by highly-qualified therapists and outstanding customer service.

Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida is a 100% physical therapist-owned outpatient clinic that specializes in the evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation of individuals with pain or injury in any area of the body.  As a private physical therapist-owned clinic, we’ve always prided ourselves on the many benefits we offer over treatment you may receive in hospitals and other large-scale practices.  These include more one-on-one time spent with your physical therapist during each visit, less time and fewer sessions for you to accomplish your goals, and a lower overall cost for you.

Our highly skilled physical therapists are rehabilitation specialists that have extensive education and training in the diagnosis of injuries and conditions, and in creating evidence-based treatment programs. These programs are always customized based on each patient’s needs, abilities and goals, and include manual therapy techniques, exercise prescription and other therapeutic modalities, which are all designed to help you get Moving Without Pain!

It’s for these reasons that Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida has received such high praise and accolades. During our first year, we have Helped members of our community Move Without Pain and have treated various diagnosis, including: Back Pain, Knee Pain, Hip Pain, Sciatica, Shoulder / Neck Pain, Vertigo/Dizziness and more. Many of our patients refer us to their family and friends and return to us for other issues they may experience.  Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida has been reviewed as one of the best PT clinics in Bradenton, with a perfect 5-star rating on Google Read Reviews.

At Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida in Bradenton, FL, we’re honored to have served all of you over the past year and are extremely grateful for what we’ve accomplished, but we plan on continuing to grow and improve our practice moving into the future.  To find out how we can help you Move Without Pain, give us a call at 941-264-1414 for more information or to schedule an appointment.


Thank You for trusting us with your health!



Our Bradenton Physical Therapists can customize a ‘heart-healthy’ treatment plan that’s right for you

February is American Hearth Month, and the goal of the month-long campaign is to spread awareness of the importance of good heart health and the dangers of heart disease.  Through efforts like these, there has been some significant progress in the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, and millions of Americans now live healthier and longer lives as a result.  But in spite of the improvements made, there is still much work to be done.

Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S.  Every year about 715,000 people experience a heart attack, while another 600,000 die from heart disease, which accounts for about one out of every four deaths.  These numbers may seem staggering, but they reflect just how big of a danger heart disease is.

There are many ways to improve your heart health and reduce your chances for any heart complications, but at the absolute top of that list is exercise and physical activity.  Exercise helps the heart become more efficient and better able to pump blood throughout the entire body, and doing it regularly is essential to maintaining a healthy heart.

Regardless of whether or not someone is at risk for heart disease, exercise is a central component of every physical therapy program we prescribe.  In addition to the treatments we provide within our clinic, we also recommend that each of our patients engage in some form of physical activity to improve their overall health on their own.  This is fundamental to physical therapy, and we always work with patients to determine the best possible exercises for them based on their health and abilities.

At the same time, we understand that patients with bad cardiovascular health and those with a history of heart disease may be nervous to engage in any physical activity.  People with heart disease often have limitations like physical weakness, balance problems and struggle with some basic physical tasks like walking up stairs.  Others have difficulty performing the exercises that may be prescribed to them, or simply don’t understand what they should and should not be doing.

With this in mind, we can create “heart-healthy” exercise programs that are designed specifically for patients with heart issues.  Regardless of your concerns, we will work with you individually every step of the way to ensure that the exercises you’re completing are safe and best for you.  We will also monitor your vital signs and look for any abnormal cardiovascular symptoms as we figure out what exercises you’re capable of and enjoy doing the most.  The goal of physical therapy here is to help build back your endurance, which will help you function more independently and perform daily activities more easily.

Other lifestyle changes that we recommend to improve heart health include maintaining a healthy diet with lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, monitoring your blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides regularly, and quitting smoking if you’re a smoker.  If you experience stress on a regular basis, it’s also important to find ways to reduce your stress levels.  There are many ways to alleviate stress and not all practices work on everyone, but meditation, yoga and getting regular physical activity are all considered effective.

If you’re not aware of your heart health and on top of making changes if needed, now is the time.  Our Bradenton Physical Therapists are here to help by customizing a “heart-healthy” treatment plan.  Contact Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida at 941-264-1414 for more information or to schedule an appointment.





Our Therapists offer a realistic game plan for upholding your New Year’s resolutions

New Year’s resolutions vary widely across the board, but there are some popular ones that stand out. Unsurprisingly, about one-third of all people make weight loss the primary goal of their resolution, with another 15% aiming to start a new exercise program in the New Year. Despite this, regardless of what resolutions are made, only about 12% of people actually stick to their resolutions for the next 12 months. A common problem is starting out strong with ambitions that are too high, a regimen that’s too difficult and not addressing those aches or pain that could prevent them from meeting their goals.

That’s why, Physical Therapy should be seen as an essential first step to getting in shape, as we can fix any painful issues or injuries you have that may be preventing you from engaging in exercise. Once we determine the source of your pain, we’ll create a program designed to alleviate pain and improve your functional abilities, so exercise will come much easier. In addition, our physical therapists will perform movement screens and provide proper exercise instructions to help you become more independent when you engage in whatever exercises you prefer.

Most injuries and painful conditions can be addressed with basic treatments through physical therapy and will improve with time and a focused effort. The problem is when people with aches or pains wait for months or years to actually do anything about them, which can lead to more serious, longer-lasting (chronic) problems that will take even longer to fix.  We encourage you to make your health a priority in 2019, and if you have a lingering injury or some pain that you’ve been dealing with for a while, you should make a resolution to see us sooner rather than later for treatment.

Continuing to “Help You Move Without Pain”

At Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida, everything we do has always been with one primary mission and one specific goal in mind: “Helping You Move Without Pain”. Our therapists are here to help you achieve your resolution goals and make 2019 a stellar year. Contact us at 941-264-1414 to find out how we can help you and to schedule an appointment today.



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November Is National Diabetes Awareness Month

Physical therapy may be your answer for managing diabetes complications in Bradenton

This month is American Diabetes Month, which is a call-to-action put forth each November by the American Diabetes Association, whose mission is to prevent and cure diabetes, and to improve the lives of all those affected by it.  Diabetes is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S., and though many people may not realize it, physical therapy is one of the best ways to address your diabetes complications.

Diabetes occurs when the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or the cells in the body fail to recognize the insulin that’s there.  Insulin is a hormone that allows the body to use glucose (blood sugar) for energy by transporting it from the blood into cells.  About 26 million Americans have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, while another 80 million or so have pre-diabetes, in which glucose levels are abnormal but not yet considered diabetic.  Both types of diabetes can lead to similar symptoms such as increased thirst and hunger, extreme fatigue, blurry vision and increased urination, as well as other resulting complications that can interfere with daily life.

About 50% of diabetics will also experience a condition called diabetic peripheral neuropathy.  This complication is the result of poor circulation throughout the body and can lead to pain, tingling and numbness, as well as decreased balance and proprioception, which can cause an abnormal gait and increase the risk for falls.  Unfortunately, peripheral neuropathy can’t be reversed, but physical therapy can help by retraining sensory receptors in the legs to compensate for these changes.  By addressing these impairments, physical therapy can improve balance and function, and reduce fall risk.

Another major problem with diabetes is that poor circulation and other factors significantly increase the healing time for injuries.  This may prevent diabetics from staying as active as they’d like and could discourage them from exercising.  Aside from medication and dietary changes, physical activity is considered a cornerstone of diabetes treatment, and it’s an essential component of any treatment plan, Learn More.

For this reason, we encourage all of our diabetic patients to get regular physical activity and also provide treatment programs that include different types of exercise and soft tissue mobilization techniques.  Most programs consist of aerobic and resistance training, as combining the two of them has been found to be very beneficial for glucose levels.  These interventions increase blood flow to injured areas and will help advance the healing process, which means patients recover from injuries as quickly and safely as possible.

Diabetes can really get in the way of your physical wellbeing, but there are many measures that can be taken to address these problems.  Visit Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida, where we can effectively manage diabetes complications in Bradenton, FL. Call us at 941-264-1414 for more information or to schedule an appointment.



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October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida in Bradenton

can effectively address side effects from breast cancer treatment


In addition to recognizing physical therapy with National Physical Therapy Month, October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign intended to increase awareness of the disease and the screening tools and treatments available for it.

As the second most common type of cancer in women, breast cancer will affect 1 in 8 women at some point in their lives, and about 240,000 new cases are diagnosed in the U.S. each year.  In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida in Bradenton, FL would like to explain the assistance we can offer women during the recovery process from breast cancer treatment.

Many women diagnosed with breast cancer will go on to have some type of surgery, which may include a breast biopsy, lymph node biopsy or removal, lumpectomy, mastectomy or breast reconstruction, in addition to other treatments.  Following these surgeries and other treatments like radiation or chemotherapy, many patients experience pain and stiffness in the chest, shoulder and back muscles, as well as nerve irritation that can cause numbness, pain and a tingling sensation.  These issues are secondary complications from the treatments necessary to resolve the cancer, however the problems that they can cause for women can be resolved under the care of a skilled physical therapist.

Recovery will vary for each patient depending on the severity of their cancer and specific treatments used, but these side effects will often reduce flexibility and range of motion, which can prevent women from returning to their normal daily activities and significantly decrease their quality of life.  In addition, any woman that’s undergone various treatments and hospitalizations in their fight against cancer is usually very deconditioned due to lack of physical activity and will have additional difficulty functioning normally due to limited endurance and strength.

This is where we come in, as our physical therapists can perform expert evaluations to identify each patient’s rehabilitation needs based on their condition and the side effects they’re experiencing.  Once a patient is medically cleared for physical therapy—which usually occurs after adequate healing of an incision, if necessary—patients will undergo a program to increase their strength, range of motion and endurance so that they can go about their days more easily and with less pain. Most importantly, the patient will be able to return to their prior level of function, or maybe even better!   Some highlights of our program to address side effects associated with breast cancer treatment include:

  • A series of basic exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles of the back, shoulder, chest and arms to prevent stiffness and reduce pain; the arms and shoulders are often particularly affected by treatment, and increased flexibility will help to improve posture and reduce pain
  • A supervised, gradual return to exercise, which can also reduce nerve irritation and fatigue
  • Targeted exercises to help reduce the risk for lymphedema, or chronic swelling that usually occurs in the arm on the same side of surgery
  • A focused effort to help patients regain their independence in daily activities by simulating those that they may be having difficulty with

Recovering from breast cancer treatment on top of the breast cancer should be celebrated, and you should not be burdened with the physical side effects that it can cause. At Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida, FL it’s our goal to tend to any side effects you may be experiencing and help you return to your pre-treatment physical activity levels, ultimately “Helping You Move Without Pain.”  To find out more about our program for addressing side effects from breast cancer treatment or to schedule an appointment, contact us at 941-264-1414.



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National Hispanic Heritage Month

Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida proudly celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month!

National Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 until October 15, and here at Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida, we are proud to honor and recognize the Hispanic and Latino community.

The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week and the date of September 15 has been used in recognition of the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries. Since then, it has grown into an entire month, and each year Americans observe it over the same span of dates. The designation is meant to celebrate the histories, cultures, contributions and important presence of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the country. Hispanics have had a profound and positive influence on our country, and their impact should be acknowledged throughout the month.

Sonia Nina Mullis, our Co-Owner and COO, was born and raised in the Dominican Republic. She believes that growing up in a Hispanic family taught her several valuable lessons that have shaped her into the person she is today, and particularly values the strong commitment to family, faith, hard work and service that’s central to Hispanic and Latino culture. Sonia and her husband Dr. Jonathan Mullis, Owner and CEO of the clinic, have two beautiful bilingual girls that enjoy eating both Dominican and American food and love to dance!

The vibrant role of Hispanic patients at Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida

We also really enjoy serving the Hispanic and Latino population at PT Doctors. In our history of treating many different patients, we’ve noticed that many of our Hispanic and Latino patients are some of the most dedicated to their treatment. We’ve seen that they are hard working and driven by their goals, so they can get back to caring for their family or to their jobs. Seeing this hard work and dedication has made it a pleasure to treat these patients, and their positive impact has also played a role in enriching our culture at the clinic.

Regular physical activity and maintaining good overall health is especially important for Hispanics and Latinos, and we can help with recommendations here as well. At Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida, we can assist these patients in order to prevent the development of many health conditions. We will address any underlying problems they might have and determine which activities are best suited to fit their lifestyle and abilities.

Our therapists will work to empower each individual to get the greatest possible health benefits out of the things they enjoy doing in a manner they are most comfortable with. In addition, we will always consider these patients’ cultural, religious and personal preferences when making any treatment decisions, and communicate openly with them during this process.

We proudly honor the Hispanic and Latino community and encourage all of our other patients and readers to observe the importance of National Hispanic Heritage Month as well. For any injuries or painful conditions you may be having, contact Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida in Bradenton, FL at 941-264-1414 to schedule an appointment. For more information on National Hispanic Heritage Month, click here.

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Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida Warns You Of The Dangers Of Text Neck

Have you ever found yourself in the following situation: you’re in a public place—a doctor’s waiting room, on the bus or train, or even a café—and when you look around to survey the area, most of the people you see are crouched over their portable electronic devices, “in the zone,” with their necks tilted forward and backs arched?

If it seems like these occurrences are becoming increasingly regular, or if you’ve noticed yourself being one of those people staring at a screen, it’s safe to say you’re not alone.

Text neck is a fairly new diagnosis that’s caused by flexing the neck for extended periods of time, usually from too much time spent looking at a smart phone or tablet.  It’s classified as a repetitive strain injury, and in a day when many people spend so much time a day on their devices, the prevalence of text neck is now growing rapidly.

Biologically speaking, our necks were not made for texting.  Neck muscles and joints can handle our normal everyday movements, but they are not built to withstand being overstretched for countless hours every day.  The average human head weighs about 10 pounds in a neutral position (with ears over shoulders), but the further the head tilts forward, the more the pressure increases on the neck.

So when you spend much of your free time sending texts or watching the latest viral video, you’re pushing your neck past its limits, and over time, text neck can result.  Aside from neck pain or soreness, the condition can also lead to headaches, shoulder, arm or wrist pain.  In severe cases, it can even cause muscles to adapt to fit the flexed position, which can reverse the natural curvature of the neck and make it painful to straighten it.  With long-term practice in this position, herniated discs of the spine may also occur.

Though it’s far-fetched and unnecessary to recommend ditching your smartphone or tablet, there are some important measures you can take to reduce your chances of getting text neck.  Here are some basic steps to take next time you pull out your device:

  • Take regular breaks every few minutes while using your phone to look upwards or straight ahead while tucking the chin back towards the neck; sometimes it’s even helpful to set the timer on your phone
  • Dictate messages instead of typing them out whenever possible
  • Put a pillow or something on your lap to rest your arms on so that you are able to hold your phone up and eye level
  • Use the app Text Neck Indicator (only available for Android), which alerts users if the smartphone is being viewed at a dangerous or safe angle
  • Perform postural strengthening exercises, which will build up muscles in the neck and shoulders to better prepare them for the strain from craning; focus on upper back strengthening, like rows, to accomplish this
  • Perform stretching exercises to increase flexibility and range of motion, especially for the chest and side neck (upper trap) muscles

At Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida in Bradenton, FL, we understand the importance of smartphones, but we don’t like to see patients in pain from overusing these devices.  If you’re experiencing pain or soreness that may be from too much texting, we can help with exercises and other advice on minimizing neck strain.  For more information on how to prevent text neck or to schedule an appointment, call us at 941.264.1414.