Lisa received her Bachelor of Science from Duke University in 2008 where she played rugby for 4 years. She then went on to receive her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Boston University. She is a board-certified sports clinical specialist and completed her sports physical therapy residency from Proaxis Therapy in Greenville, SC where she completed a research study involving humeral adaptation differences between high school baseball and softball players. Lisa has worked at several sports medicine clinics working with athletes of all ages and skill levels. She has participated in clinical research, assisted in teaching in residency programs, and has volunteered at local high schools and colleges assisting in the athletic training room and with on-field coverage of events. She currently works for the Women’s Tennis Association which fulfills her passions of working with high-level athletes as well as traveling.
Dynamic Mobility work and dynamic warm-ups prior to activity can help reduce injury risk and increase range of motion. This will allow for better strengthening through a full range of motion and increased efficiency in movement. Transcript: "What is the role of stretching in strengthening muscles? Well, I would say that there's still very limited evidence that static stretching does anything, but dynamic mobility work and dynamic warm-ups prior to activity are really helpful for injury risk reduction. But also, the more range of motion and mobility that you have, then you can do strengthening through a full range of motion. You're going to get more cross-bridge formation. You're going to get more ability to strengthen the full length of the muscle instead of just small sections of it. So I don't know that I would ever still recommend static stretching prior to doing strengthening, but mobility work that's dynamic to warm up the tissue and prep it for the strengthening and loads that are going to be implemented onto it can be really helpful not only for injury risk reduction but for being able to strengthen through a full range of motion, which will then translate to probably more efficient movements if you're an athlete or just things that you need to do throughout your life if you're a general population patient."
Yes, I use the TM instrument with my athletes to warm up tissue before activity. I use it to look for any restrictions in the involved area as well as surrounding structures. Transcript: "As a PT, are you a user of IASTM instrument? Yes, I use it quite a bit with my athletes. They tend to respond really well to it. I find that I have the most success using it before an activity. So either before they do their rehab exercises, before they have individual workouts, or before they go on court. I like to use it to warm up the tissue. So say someone's having some patella tendon pain, I'll use it not only on the tendon itself, but also kind of all around the quad to see if there's any restriction to the tissue in the quadricep. I'll also look at their anterior tib, just any other structure that might be having kind of like fascial pull or interconnection with the involved area. But I do use it pretty regularly."
One of the biggest challenges I faced as a physical therapist was not anticipating how hard it would be to fight for the best interests of athletes against people who see them as commodities. It's also emotionally taxing when an athlete gets injured, as I invest a lot of my mental and emotional energy into their health. Transcript: "What challenges have you faced as a physical therapist that you did not anticipate? I think there's a lot, especially working in sports. From the outside, if you've never been involved in it, it just seems like a lot of glamour and like a really awesome opportunity. And I do love working in sports. That's why I'm in it. But I think that there's a lot of challenges, challenges and pressure that come along with that. Sometimes I didn't realize how hard it would be and how many battles I would have to fight just to do what's best for the athlete. It's amazing how many other people involved don't really have the athlete's best interests at heart. And so it's hard to have to fight with some people who only see dollar signs or the athletes as a commodity when you care about them, not only their health, but them as like a whole person. And so I think that that can be really challenging and really draining. And even though I knew that it would kind of be something that happens in sports, I think when you're in the middle of it, it's hard to really anticipate just how hard and taxing that can be at times. I think also just how kind of emotionally tiring it can be when you're very invested in an athlete and then getting better. I personally kind of go all in, so it takes up a lot of my mental and emotional energy if one of my athletes has a big injury. So I don't think I fully anticipated the depth of that."
If you are experiencing a lot of night pain, changes in your bowel or bladder function, loss of sensation in your arms or legs, or saddle anesthesia (loss of feeling in your inner thighs), it may be a sign of something more serious and should be looked at by a medical professional. Transcript: "How does one differentiate between a strained lower back and a more problematic injury? I would say that with a really problematic back injury that you would want to see somebody about, there's a few what we call red flags. For example, if you're having a lot of night pain, if you're having a change in your bowel bladder function, if you're losing sensation, so your arms feel tingly or you don't have full sensation or your legs feel tingly or you don't have full sensation, if you're having something that's called saddle anesthesia, so the inner part of your upper thighs, you aren't feeling fully, those can all be signs of something more serious and something that you would want to get looked at. A lot of times, low back pain, even if it's really uncomfortable, if you're not having those symptoms are something that can be resolved just with corrective exercises and physical therapy, but those other things that I mentioned are more serious and probably something that require follow-up."
When I was working in the Outpatient Clinic, I tried to remember as much as I could from the intake forms. Making sure I say those things verbally out loud to the patient so they know I paid attention. Trying to make a personal connection with the patient or athlete by asking about themselves or their family can go a long way. Also trying to be positive and smiling and generally welcoming can help create an inviting atmosphere. Transcript: "What strategies do you use to create an inviting atmosphere for your patients when they come in for an appointment? I think that one of the biggest things, so when I was working in outpatient clinic, I always tried to remember as much as I could from their intake forms. Whenever I'm a patient, I think it's really frustrating to have to repeat something that I've just written down or spent 15 minutes filling out on a piece of paper. So, making sure that I say those things verbally out loud to the patient so that they know that I paid attention to everything that they wrote down. I also think that trying to make a personal connection with a patient or an athlete, asking them about themselves or their family, and not just something about their injury, can go a long way and be really important. I think that the more trust you can get on your first visit, the more buy-in you're going to get, and then the better their overall rehab is going to go. So, those are some of the things that I like to implement the first time that I'm working with a patient or an athlete, in addition to just trying to be as positive and smiling and just kind of a generally welcoming disposition as I can be. For more information, visit www.FEMA.gov"
The biggest misconception about young children is that they should not lift weights. Research has shown that kids as young as 8 or 9 can safely lift weights, as long as it is supervised closely and done with proper form. Young children should also do other forms of strengthening work such as bodyweight exercises, stability work, and balance work. Transcript: "What is the biggest misconception about young children lifting weights? I would say that they shouldn't do it is probably the biggest misconception. There was a lot of thought for a while that it could affect their growth or their bones. And now we really know that that's not true. They've shown that kids as young as like even nine, eight or nine can lift weights safely. You just need to have really close supervision, be really mindful of their form and mindful of the fact that they're growing. So you have to keep in mind the fact that their skeletal system is growing as well as their muscular and tendinous systems are growing as well. And they also grow at different rates. So I just think as long as you're aware of all of the nuances of working with a child that it's totally safe for them. And to just always keep in mind that young children or children in general aren't just small adults. They respond differently to stimuli and their bodies respond differently. But I think that in the biggest misconceptions are just that they can't lift and that they shouldn't. Which if they're playing sports then I think that they should be doing strengthening work even if it's just a lot of body weight stuff, stability work, balance work, it's going to be really beneficial for them."