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Tag: female-athlete

We are growing again!

Added on August 4, 2016 by BodycentralPT

We are growing again!
It's back to school time for everyone and soon we will all be in full-swing "work" mode. Summer vacation is coming to an end. All summer long we have been working diligently on improving and expanding our services and footprint in Tucson!
On August 22nd, we will open our 5th location- The Bodycentral Physical Therapy Sports & Concussion Center.
This facility in Marana- 3601 W Cortaro Farms Road will be a great addition to our practice. If you have been to the Ultimate Sports Asylum location, then you have an idea of what this facility will be like. It is an open floor plan with high ceilings- equipped like a professional sports facility with rubberized flooring and a turf area for running, jumping, agility drills....well, you name it.
This location also has private treatment rooms and it features a concussion rehabilitation center. This specialized area will be used for our concussion evaluations and treatment programs that need a special environment. The decor in this facility is pretty amazing as well...I don't want to give away all the details because I want you to come for the open house party. Let's just say it will be pretty cool.
We are excited to be able to better serve our Marana and Northwest Tucson patients - and I'm sure you will be happy to have us closer to you to save the driving time!
Stay tuned for more updates.
Dr. Tonya Bunner (Co-Founder/CFO) and I want to say a heartfelt "Thank you" to all of our past and current patients- it is because of you that we do what we do. Also thank you to the medical community that has supported us over the years. We are blessed to be a part of Tucson and this great southern Arizona region.
Jennifer Allen,PT,DPT,OCS,SCS,CHT
Co-Founder/COO Bodycentral Physical Therapy



Hip Injuries in Baseball & Softball

Added on April 29, 2015 by DrJAllen

Hip Injuries in Baseball & Softball

When we talk about overuse injuries in baseball and softball, we generally discuss upper extremity conditions. Although those injuries are the most common, we are seeing more awareness and discussion of injuries to the hip.

How Do Injuries to the Hip Happen?

The activities of batting and throwing place high demands on the hips and put them at risk for injury. For instance with overhand pitching, during the wind up phase, a flexion and rotational force is placed on the hip. During the cocking phase, the hips are further apart and more loading stress is placed on them. As the pitcher moves from acceleration through the follow-through phases, the hips go through additional loading and rotational stresses. With Softball pitching, rotational forces occur in both the hips as the pitcher moves from a static standing position through the follow-through phase.

With Batting, during the stance or coiling phase, torque is placed on the back hip. As the batter moves through acceleration and follow-through, additional rotational forces are placed on the hips.

These are all normally occurring stresses that are just part of the games of baseball and softball. With normal stresses, there is a potential for injury. The potential for injury increases with the following risk factors:

1) Poor Biomechanics- Improper technique with any of the phases of batting, throwing or pitching can cause increase pressures and torque in the hip

2) Deficits in Mobility or Functional Movement- limitation in movement in any of the joints of the Lower body or Spine can contribute to increased problems in the hips

3) Deficits in Strength & Endurance- Weakness in the muscles of the hips or general "core" muscles can cause instability and result in increased pressures in the hips with activity. Fatigue can also play a part in these types of injuries- Arm fatigue is monitored for pitchers to alleviate the possibility of upper extremity problems, but we should also be monitoring lower body fatigue. If the lower body is weak or starts to break down, pitching accuracy will suffer and may be the first sign of fatigue.

4) Deficits in Proprioception/Balance- strength and flexibility are important, but being able to have balance on one leg and being able to shift weight and control motion is an important aspect in injury prevention. With poor balance, or awareness of body position, joints may move beyond their limits or may place undue strain on soft tissues that support them

5) Joint Abnormalities: abnormalities inside the joint may predispose players to certain types of joint "impingement" or pinching with movement. Repeated strain at these end ranges of motion can create pain and inflammation

Symptoms of Hip Injury

Symptoms of hip problems may be subtle at first and may just be tightness in the hip or buttock area. Other symptoms may include groin pain or aching into the thigh. As symptoms worsen, pain may be experienced at night or with the first few steps after sitting for a prolonged period. These symptoms are a sign that something is wrong in the area- the player should seek medical advice at the onset of these symptoms.


Screening for Risk Factors

A comprehensive baseball or softball program should include Pre-season screening, followed by preseason and off-season corrective actions to address any problems or deficits found during the screening process.

An ideal screen should include the following:

1) A regular pre-season Physical

2) Biomechanics Assessment- video assessment in slow motion during hitting/throwing or pitching

3) Flexibility & Strength screening

4) Screens of Specific Functional Movement Patterns

5) Balance & Stability Screens

The best injury treatment advice is to Avoid injury in the first place. Prevention strategies are the Key to keeping players healthy during their careers- if that is Little League Baseball...or all the way through the Majors.

Treatment for Hip Related Injuries

There are many conservative Physical Therapy treatments available for these types of hip injuries. Hands-on techniques, or manual therapy are an important part of rehabilitation as well as specific exercises to fix any muscle imbalances that may exist. Prior to returning to play, video biomechanical analysis is vital to look at throwing, pitching and hitting. This will help identify any mechanical or technique issues that could be causing problems in the hips.

Dr. Jennifer Allen is a Physical Therapist, Board Certified Clinical Specialist in the Areas of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, as well as a Certified Hand Therapist. Sports Programming at Bodycentral Physical Therapy includes Biomechanics assessment, video movement assessment, Injury Prevention, and individual and team performance enhancement. For more information visit www.BodycentralPT.netor call 520-325-4002.






Fastpitch Softball Injury Treatment and Prevention

Added on April 1, 2015 by DrJAllen

Fastpitch Softball Injury Treatment and Prevention

Fastpitch Softball Injury Treatment and Prevention

Spring is in full swing and we are right in the middle of Fastpitch softball season, one of my favorite times of the year. Along with the good, we sometimes as healthcare practitioners see the bad. This time of year, particularly in the early season, we begin to see the overuse injuries that are common with the sport.

A lot of emphasis is put on the prevention of injury in baseball players, and I couldn't agree more with what we do in the field of sports medicine to prevent and treat those injuries. We are getting better at identifying risks for injury and are addressing them to a higher degree in baseball.

I do feel we can do a better job for fastpitch softball players. Pitchers in fastpitch softball have repetitive use of the pitching and throwing arm, and are at risk for injury just as our baseball players are. There is a misconception that pitching a softball is somehow "safer" and less problematic than pitching a baseball. As time goes on, we are discovering that this is really not true. Forces on the shoulder and elbow can reach up to 95% of what are experienced in baseball pitchers (1, 2). Girls and women participating in fastpitch softball are susceptible to similar injuries in the shoulder and elbow as our baseball players.

Common Injuries/Painful Areas:

Anterior shoulder pain (pain in front)        

-       During the softball pitching motion, when the arm is in the "pitch delivery phase", there are significant distraction forces on the shoulder which make the Pectoralis major and Subscapularis muscles susceptible to injury. The Pectoralis Major is a large anterior chest muscle and the Subscapularis is part of the Rotator Cuff. These forces are similar to the forces seen in baseball pitchers.(1)

Elbow Pain

-       Distraction forces at the elbow make those tissues susceptible to overuse injury


Posterior Shoulder pain (pain in back of shoulder)

-       The posterior shoulder muscles (deltoid, infraspinatus, and teres minor) are injured while contracting to decelerate the arm during delivery of the pitch. Shoulder joint laxity can be a problem that leads to this type of pain problem. (1)


Prevention & Treatment: Bullet Points to Recognize as Factors

-       Proper pitching mechanics- Many factors can affect the ability to maintain good pitching mechanics. Musculoskeletal restrictions, weakness, and problems with balance can contribute to break downs in mechanics.

-       Pitching while fatigued. There are pitch counts available for baseball for different ages to help as a guideline to prevent arm fatigue. Best advice is to stop throwing when arm fatigue starts, regardless of pitch count. Below is a recommendation for fastpitch softball pitch counts as described by S. Werner, PhD.

-       Lower Extremity and "core" strength- Hip position and lower body control is important in the ability to produce force during the pitching movement. Weakness in the lower body can result in more reliance on the arm for force generation, and can lead to injury.

-       Shoulder and Scapular stability- strength and stability in the arm is important, but in addition to that, there must be adequate strength in the muscles that stabilize the shoulder blade. If scapular stability is not present, that again results in smaller shoulder muscles generating and controlling forces.

-       Treatment of the softball athlete and return to play must consider all of these issues. Video Throwing and pitching analysis is an integral part of diagnosis and treatment of the "causes" of painful conditions. A thorough musculoskeletal and entire body functional analysis is important to identify restrictions that can lead to upper extremity overuse. Rehabilitation of the throwing athlete should include hands on treatment, video analysis and biomechanical analysis, and a progressive return to overhand throwing- followed by return to pitching. Missing any of these components can put an athlete at risk at developing another injury.




Fast pitch softball pitch count recommendations as suggested by SL Werner, PhD based on her research (3):

       10U – 60 Windmill pitches per day max followed by one day rest

       12U- 70 pitches per day max followed by one day rest

       14U- 80 pitches per day max followed by one day rest

       16U- 90 pitches per day max followed by one day rest

       18+- 100 pitches per day max followed by one day rest

Dr. Jennifer Allen is a Physical Therapist, Board Certified Clinical Specialist in the Areas of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, as well as a Certified Hand Therapist. Sports Programming at Bodycentral Physical Therapy includes Biomechanics assessment, video movement assessment, Injury Prevention, and individual and team performance enhancement. For more information visit www.BodycentralPT.netor call 520-325-4002.



1.     Barrentine SW, Feisig GS, Whiteside JA, Escamilla RF, Andrews JR. Biomechanics of windmill softball pitching with implications about injury mechanisms at the shoulder and elbow. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 1998;28: 405-414.

2.     Werner SL, Murray TA, Levy M, Smith SL, Plancher KD, Hawkins RJ. Reports to the coaches: softball pitching at the 1996 Olympic Games (monograph on the Internet). Steadman Hawkins Sports Medicine Foundation; 2001 Available from:

3.     Leland, G. (Fastpitch Softball TV Show). (2014, April 16). How to Softball Drills & Tips: Softball Pitch Counts. Retrieved from




Added on March 28, 2015 by DrJAllen



Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world, and is becoming more and more popular in the United States. With close to 27 million players in the United States and Canada alone, understanding injuries in this sport is vital. FIFA (Federation Internationale Football Association) began tracking injuries to soccer players in 1998. Since then several other organizations have followed suit and have begun taking a look at how many and what types of injuries are most prevalent in the sport.

A study by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) suggests that in professional soccer, a 25-player team can expect close to two injuries per player during any one season. Researchers state 70% of those injuries are lower extremity in nature, 15% are head and neck injuries, 8% are in the trunk/spine, and 7% are in the arms/upper extremity. Out of these injuries, they state 80% are player to player contact in nature and the other 20% are non-contact injuries.

Common injuries seen in the lower extremities include: MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament) Knee injuries, Achilles tendon and Ankle Injuries. ACL injuries are also a concern and are a serious injury, but are not seen as frequently as the other injuries listed. Common injuries to the head and neck include concussions (1/3 of all head injuries), and sprains, strains of the spine. Groin injuries are one of the most common muscle injuries in the sport. Injuries in this area can be adductor muscle strains, pelvic instability, or sports hernias. This can be a challenging injury to deal with as a player as many of these injuries turn into chronic issues.

Sports Physical Therapy & Injury Prevention

Rehabilitation of injuries should focus on a global approach to treatment. If the injury is to the knee, Therapists need to focus on not only the function specifically of the knee, but also on the flexibility, strength, and neuromuscular control of the entire lower extremity. They must also make sure there is stability in what we traditionally refer to as the "core", which includes the abdominals, spine, and pelvis. Treatment should include Biomechanical Analysis of the lower body, and can include video analysis of movement, which helps identify break down in mechanics which can result in re-injury.

Concussion return to play is a staged program aimed at returning the player safely to play as they progress through a series of stages. These include full rest, working on aerobic capacity, strength, and progression to sport specific play, returning to non contact activity, and then resuming full sport activity. Based on current recommendations, this process should be a minimum of seven days. At any of the stages, if symptoms return, the player does not progress to the next level.

Injury Prevention techniques involve many approaches:

-       FIFA has instituted the FIFA 11+ Injury Prevention Program that includes a warm-up, preventative exercises, balance and agility exercises

-       Dynamic Warm Ups- These are active warm ups aimed at getting the body ready for activity. We no longer advocate jogging, then doing passive stretching before an event. Dynamic warm ups improve performance as well as decrease injury rates

-       Biomechanical Analysis and Player Specific interventions- each individual player is different, and each player has weaknesses, tightness and biomechanical problems that may dispose him or her to injury. Using video analysis and functional screening tools, Therapists can identify areas of potential injury and intervene with a custom program for the individual player.

-       The medical profession has begun to gather helpful information in the area of concussion and is identifying risk factors for concussion. At this time, we are developing concussion prevention activities based on the most current research, which includes core strengthening, postural control retraining, and specific cervical spine strengthening.


Ekstrand J, Hagglund M, Walden M. Epidemiology of muscle injuries in professional football (soccer). Am Journal Sport Med. 2011;39:1226-32.

Jones N. Update: Soccer injury and prevention, concussion, and chronic groin pain. Current Sports Medicine Reports. 2014: 319-325.

Dr. Jennifer Allen is a Physical Therapist, Board Certified Clinical Specialist in the Areas of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, as well as a Certified Hand Therapist. Sports Programming at Bodycentral Physical Therapy includes Biomechanics assessment, video movement assessment, Injury Prevention, and individual and team performance enhancement. For more information visit www.BodycentralPT.netor call 520-325-4002.



BODYCENTRAL Spine & Athlete Performance Center- Now Open!

Added on March 16, 2015 by BodycentralPT

BODYCENTRAL Spine & Athlete Performance Center- Now Open!
Announcing the New BODYCENTRAL Spine & Athlete Performance Center
On March 9, 2015 the Bodycentral Spine & Athlete Performance Center opened on 7493 E Tanque Verde Rd. The Therapists at this Clinic are true specialists in the non-surgical treatment of the Spine & in treating Athletes from the Elite Olympian to the Armchair Quarterback.
Using hands-on manual therapies, movement education, and therapeutic exercise, the therapists at the Spine Center are tackling difficult spine problems including:
Low Back Pain
Incontinence & Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Pelvic Pain
Spondylosis & Spondylolisthesis
Cervical/Neck Pain
Rib Pain and Dysfunction
Sacroiliac Pain and Dysfunction
Pregnancy Related Pain
Tailbone Pain
Post surgery-- lumbar spine, cervical spine, TMJ
In the Athlete Performance Center:
Treatment for:
Shoulder, Knee, Hip, Foot & Ankle Conditions
ACL Reconstruction patients
Total Joint Patients
Rotator Cuff Injuries and Post Surgery
Elbow, Wrist & Hand Conditions
Tendonitis of all Varieties
Performance Enhancement Programs:
Gym Membership
Running Program- Strength/Conditioning, Injury treatment and Prevention
Video Gait Analysis
Baseball & Softball Programs
Soccer- ACL Prevention & Performance Enhancement Programs
Most Insurances are Accepted at the facility for injury treatment. Self Pay options also available.
New patients being accepted now- Call 520-325-4002 to schedule.



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