Physical Therapists in Fishkill, Dutchess County, NY

Foam Rolling: What Is It Good For?

Due to the high levels of stress our bodies endure during both athletic and recreational activities, it is an all too common occurrence to experience soreness and performance decrements, sometimes up to 72 hours after the activity. This soreness in part is due to a process our muscles go through in order heal and recover after performing increased physical activities, and is a constant focus in both the athletic performance and rehabilitative fields. The technique of foam rolling has grown increasingly popular over the last several years as we gain further understanding of its potential benefits regarding both recovery and athletic performance.

Currently, there are two main protocols with regard to foam rolling and how to achieve the most benefits: foam rolling prior to activity, and foam rolling after activity. According to current research, foam rolling prior to physical activity has shown temporary improvements with individual’s flexibility, ROM, blood flow, and endorphin levels, all of which serve to improve physical performance and decreased risk for injury during that bout of exercise.

Alternatively, foam rolling after physical activity has been shown to improve an individuals inflammatory response, decrease musculature excitation, and improve post activity blood flow, all of which help to speed up recovery and decrease post-activity soreness. Due to the potential benefits of foam rolling both prior to and after activity, the most successful inclusion of foam rolling in a recreational or athletic program is during both the warm-up and cool-down periods of exercise. Proper technique with foam rolling is imperative in order to receive the most benefits both prior to and after activity, so check out this month’s Exercise Of The Month video for further details on the most effective method for foam rolling.



5 Common Golf-Related Injuries…And Why They Happen


Its officially Spring, and as the days get longer and the air gets warmer it will be time to get back on the golf course before you know it! As we move from our relaxed winter months into our more active spring and summer months, it’s important to remember we must prepare our bodies for the increased stresses we will place on it. Understanding some of the more common injuries associated with golf and what may be causing them can help lead you to a longer and healthier season. Below is a list of the 5 most common golf-related injuries and what may be causing them:

Medial Epicondylitis: Commonly referred to as Golfer’s Elbow, it’s a type of tendinitis that produces pain in the inside portion of an individual’s elbow. Typically an individual will experience this condition on their back hand, and may be due to difficulty with positioning during the backswing, or decelerating their swing during follow through.

Lateral Epicondylitis: This is noted as the most common golf-related injury for amateur golfers and is commonly referred to as Tennis Elbow. This condition is a type of tendinitis that produces pain on the outside portion of an individual’s elbow, and typically affects the lead arm. This injury may be due to difficulty transferring force from the trunk to the club during the downswing, or attempting to produce too much force from arms alone.

Back Strain: Typically associated with the lower back, however, can affect any portion of the spine, this is a condition in which the muscles surrounding the spinal area either get overworked or overstretched causing irritation. This condition is noted as the most common injury associated with professional golfers, and may be due to decreased trunk mobility, decreased core stability, or difficulty decelerating during follow through.

Rotator Cuff Injury: This condition refers to several possible injuries in which the rotator cuff muscles of the shoulder either become strained and inflamed or tear due to being overworked. This condition typically affects the lead arm of an individual and may be due to decreased mobility during the backswing, difficulty transferring force from the trunk to the club during the downswing, or difficulty decelerating during follow through.

Wrist Strain: This condition typically affects an individual’s lead arm, and is an injury to the muscles that surround the wrist and forearm due to being overstretched or overworked. This condition may be due to decreased mobility in the wrist during the backswing, or difficulty decelerating during follow through.


Being prepared for physical activity is always the best line of defense in order to help reduce your risk for injury, and beginning in April of this year, Harrison Fitness and Wellness will be offering athletic screening services in order to help expose weaknesses and inefficiencies that may predispose an individual for injuries. The screening will cover areas such as posture, balance, strength, flexibility, and movement patterns in order to collect the most comprehensive picture of an individual’s readiness for athletic activities. Call to schedule your appointment today, spots will be limited and reserved on a first come, first serve basis.

Don’t forget to check back every month for more information on physical activity, injury prevention, and health care.

Thanks for reading from all of us here at Harrison Physical Therapy.


5 Ways to Reduce Muscle Soreness After Activity


Soreness after increased activity is a common occurrence for both beginner and experienced individuals. It occurs as our muscles heal from the new activity and is known in the medical and fitness world as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, or (D.O.M.S.). Typically the soreness experienced after activity progresses gradually within a 24 to 48 hour period and resolves within a week after the activity is performed. There are several different theories as to why our bodies go through this specific mechanism of healing; however, current research has determined several specific interventions as being effective in order to prevent and reduce muscle soreness.

[list line=”no” style=”style1″]

1) Stretching: Stretching major muscle groups out prior to and after exercise has been shown to consistently decrease the effects of post-exercise soreness. Stretching prior to physical activity will help improve an individual’s flexibility, thus allowing for improvement in the efficiency of movement. Stretching after physical activity will stimulate the muscles to relax through receptors called Golgi Tendon Organs. Stretches should be held for 30-60 seconds and repeated for 3-5 repetitions for each position.


2) Cold Modalities: After increased physical activity, our muscles have to heal and recover, which results in an increase in inflammation. The use of cold modalities, such as ice immersion, ice massage, and cold packs have long been used by medical professionals and athletes to decrease the inflammatory response after an injury. Ice constricts the vessels in our body that allow inflammation to travel, also known as “vasoconstriction”, thus reducing the accumulation of inflammation in working muscles. By reducing the amount of post-exercise induced inflammation through cold modalities, we can help decrease soreness and improve our recovery process in a much quicker manner. *Note: Consult with a medical professional before beginning cold modalities to ensure proper set up and technique.


3) Massage: Massage by a qualified professional has been shown to have several impacts on the reduction of D.O.M.S. Massage has been shown to improve blood flow, increase delivery of oxygen, decrease formation of adhesions within muscle tissue, and decrease the pooling of inflammation. By increasing the amount of good nutrients around our working muscles and decreasing the amount of hormones responsible for allowing our brains to acknowledge pain, we can decrease the perceived level of soreness, ultimately getting back to exercise sooner.


4) Water and Electrolyte Intake: Our bodies sweat as a normal occurrence when our core body temperature rises during physical activity. As this process continues it actively takes water away from working muscles in order to help cool our body down, and continues until our body returns to normal temperature levels. Without the proper amount of water and nutrients needed during strenuous activity, the function and efficiency of muscles can decrease, leading to an increase risk for exercise induced soreness to occur. It’s important to remember that proper hydration takes time and should begin well before you start your activity and continue after you are done with the activity.


5) Exercise: While “pushing through it”, isn’t always the best treatment approach, light activity performed after an onset of post-exercise induced soreness can have a number of beneficial effects, such as increased blood flow, reduced inflammation, and increased endorphin levels (hormones that have pain relief effects on the body). Additionally, by continuing to perform light activities in order to help reduce soreness you will also help your body adapt to the new demands that you are now requiring of it, thus reducing the risk of D.O.M.S from reoccurring.

*Note: It is important to remember that not all soreness after exercise is D.O.M.S. It may require consultation with a medical professional if symptoms worsen or persist.

Don’t forget to check back every month for more information on physical activity, injury prevention, and health care.

Thanks for reading from all of us at Harrison Physical Therapy.

The 3 Keys to a Safe & Effective Warm-Up Routine

It’s that time of year again!! It’s officially 2019, and with every New Year comes newly formed resolutions that help us strive to be better than we were in our previous year!! If your New Year’s resolutions include getting back to the gym and attempting to live a healthier lifestyle, then learning the proper way to warm-up prior to physical activity will not only help improve your activity level and achieve your resolutions, but will also reduce your risk for injury as you start this year. All of us at Harrison Physical Therapy want to show you how to properly structure a generalized warm-up in order to help achieve your New Year’s goals.

A proper warm-up should include these three parts in order to gain the most benefit prior to physical activity:

General non-fatiguing activity:

This typically includes activities such as light jogging, elliptical training, rowing, static bicycle training etc. for anywhere from 5-10 minutes at a moderate difficultly level.

The purpose of this portion of a warm-up is to help increase heart rate, increase blood flow to working muscles, increase musculature temperature, and begin perspiration.

These activities help prepare the body to perform movement more efficiently, thus decreasing the risk for sustaining a musculoskeletal injury.



This is where an individual will perform stretching activities for the specific muscles that will be used during the activity such as hamstring stretching, calf stretching, gluteal stretching etc. in order to help allow for improved ranges of motion prior to physical activity, and therefore decrease an individual’s risk for injury.

Stretching activities are typically performed for 30 seconds and repeated between three to five times for each muscle group. (*Note: For individuals participating in higher level activities or athletic events, dynamic stretching is the preferred method for improving mobility prior to activity, and would be performed at this time. Check out this month’s Exercise of the Month video for more information and examples*).

Sport or activity specific movement:

This is where an individual will perform the specific movement they wish to train that day, but at a much lower intensity than during their actual workout. This portion of a warm-up is typically performed directly before the training activity, and the purpose of this is to prepare an individual for the specific activity demands during that workout.

The sport or activity specific portion of a warm-up is typically performed for 1-2 sets at low to moderate intensity. For example if an individual is performing a bench press then beginning with 2 sets of 10 repetitions of a lighter load prior to beginning the workout will help prepare their body for the demands specific to that activity, thus decreasing that individual’s risk for injury.

Final Notes:

It’s also important to note that the benefits of a proper warm-up do not last forever. Typically there is a transition period of five to ten minutes between warm-up activities and workout activities in order for the benefits of a warm-up to be sustained. Waiting longer than ten minutes will allow both your heart rate and the blood flow to working muscles to decrease, thus increasing an individual’s risk for injury when performing new or increased physical activities.

Don’t forget to check back every month for more information on physical activity, injury prevention, and health care.

Thanks for reading from all of us here at Harrison Physical Therapy.

A New Kind of Resolution


As we head into the new year, many of us will sit down for that yearly tradition: deciding on a few “New Year’s Resolutions” to focus on in the coming year. Interestingly enough, these resolutions tend to be pretty similar from year to year (such as “lose weight”…”exercise more”…etc). Funny how that happens, isn’t it?

What if, this year, you decided to make a new kind of New Year’s Resolution? Instead of focusing on losing weight or exercising more, consider making a resolution to finally take care of that nagging issue which has been limiting your ability to fully enjoy your life! Some of us deal with back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, or knee pain which we know we should take care of “one of these days,” but somehow we just never get around to it. Whether it’s affecting your fastball or just making it difficult to go up and down stairs, why not make 2017 the year to finally take care of these issues?

You may not realize it, but there is a very easy way to get this process started. You guessed it…Physical Therapy! With “Direct Access” laws in NY state, you can see one of our physical therapists first – without needing to see a doctor for a prescription! Our physical therapists can perform a thorough evaluation to determine if you are a candidate for physical therapy, and can develop an appropriate treatment plan for your specific condition. If we feel that your condition requires a specialist, we can even refer you to a local health care professional (physician, surgeon, or podiatrist) who will best address your concerns. Regardless, physical therapists can help you finally get to the bottom of your specific condition.

In fact, sometimes just by making the decision to address these aches and pains can lead to many more improvements over the course of the year!

“An object in motion tends to remain in motion…” – Newton’s First Law of Motion

Many of our patients say that their rehabilitation programs are just the “spark” that they needed to get back into a life of fitness and wellness. Once you’re feeling better, it becomes easier to move and to participate in your daily activities. This makes it easier to keep up with an exercise program…which can eventually lead to weight loss, better health, and better quality of life!

This year, make it your resolution to finally take care of that ache, pain, or problem that has been limiting your enjoyment of life, and make 2017 your best year yet! Call us at (845)896-3750 to schedule a consultation.

Tips for a Pain-Free Holiday Season


With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we’re officially getting into the busy holiday season! Whether it’s hosting dinner at your house or traveling to spend time with your loved ones, this tends to be a busy time of the year.

Unfortunately, after the fun is over, sometimes we’re left with pain and soreness in our muscles & joints. Long hours standing, preparing meals, cleaning the house, driving our cars, flying on airplanes, or even sitting on couches…all of these seemingly “simple” tasks can quickly turn into aches and pains which can last long after the holidays are over.

Whether you’re currently recovering from an injury, or just want to avoid one, take a minute to read through a few tips & tricks from the therapists at Harrison Physical Therapy to help you make this a memorable – and pain-free – holiday!


If it’s your turn to host a holiday party this year, that probably means that you’ll be doing some meal preparation. Typically, this involves a lot of standing, bending and lifting items to/from the fridge or oven, and repetitive motions such as stirring, chopping, or mixing. All of these activities may result in sore muscles, achy joints, and stiffness in your lower back and neck.

[list line=”yes” style=”style2″]

  • Take frequent breaks when preparing meals. A mix of brief walking and sitting can help to prevent pain from creeping up on you when cooking and preparing meals. Standing too long can really take a toll on your body!
  • When lifting heavy objects, be sure to lift with your legs. Avoid bending or twisting your back and keep the object as close to your body as possible to avoid over-straining your muscles. Ideally, if you have someone who can help you with this, now is the time to ask!



If you’re one of the millions of people traveling to a loved one’s home for Thanksgiving, be aware of the effect that prolonged sitting can have on your body. Lower back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, and knee pain can be made worse by sitting for a period of time. If you’re currently dealing with pain, the seemingly innocent act of sitting can make it much worse.

[list line=”yes” style=”style2″]

  • If you’re driving (or a passenger in a car), be sure to take frequent rest stops. Get out of your car and walk for at least one minute before continuing your drive. A sneaky trick is to be sure to drink a lot of water as you drive…not only is it good for you, but it will force to you stop frequently to use the restroom!
  • If you’re flying to your destination, be sure to take frequent breaks from sitting. Walk to the restroom on the plane just to get some movement, as prolonged sitting in a tight space on an airplane can be a recipe for stiff joints and muscles. And for good measure – before you board the plane, be sure to walk a bit and perform some “heel raise” exercises to get the blood flowing in your legs. This helps to prevent blood clots from forming on plane rides – a very real danger that you can help to prevent with the right action!



So maybe you don’t have to travel, and maybe you don’t even have to prepare any meals. But don’t be fooled – sometimes not enough activity can be just as dangerous as too much…especially if you’re recovering from an injury.

[list line=”yes” style=”style2″]

  • Be sure not to spend too much time sitting on that couch! While it might be soft and comfortable, if you spend too much time sitting on a couch, it results in a lot of pressure on your lower back, neck, and other joints in your body. Try to resist the urge to just “chill” for the day – be sure to get some physical activity. And no, moving your fork to your mouth doesn’t count as exercise!


Whatever your plans for this Thanksgiving, know that you can prevent aches and pains from happening just by following some (or all) of these simple tips!

Above all, we wish you and your family a very Happy Holiday Season!

Why Harrison PT?


What continues to drive Harrison Physical Therapy’s growth? Why do we get so many repeat customers and referrals from past patients? Why do specialists from major medical centers look to us to take care of their patients? Why are we able to recruit the best physical therapists in the area? The reason is simple: better therapists, better care, located in an office that strives to provide the highest level of care in a setting dedicated to getting you better.

People do not need to live with the pain or physical deficits that they did in the past. With the cost of healthcare skyrocketing, physical therapy is playing a bigger role than ever before. If you can fix a shoulder, elbow, hip, knee, ankle or spine condition with a couple a visits to Harrison PT and save the cost of multiple MD visits, MRIs, and surgery, then why wouldn’t you? Why would you just see the physical therapist down the hall from the doctor’s office, the one that is closest to your house or the guy who works in your gym when you could take a short ride to Fishkill and have access to some of the most highly recruited physical therapists who have training and expertise that is second to none?

At Harrison PT we always encourage potential patients to come in to take a quick tour of the facility and have a brief meeting with one of our therapists about how we can assist them. Once people visit our facility, our enthusiasm and dedication is often contagious and patients leave motivated to attack their injury knowing that they have the right team to work with them.

Harrison PT has the most friendly and thorough office staff who will assist you in verifying any insurance benefits and can schedule you with one of our top therapists who treat orthopedic and sports injuries on everyone from adolescents to patients into their 90s. We alter each treatment to meet your specific goals and needs and promise to do our best to make your rehabilitation a positive experience and help you achieve your highest functional level possible. Do not hesitate to call Harrison PT today!

What Is Rotator Cuff Tendinitis?


Rotator cuff tendonitis, often called shoulder tendonitis, is a common condition affecting the shoulder joint. The rotator cuff is comprised of four muscles that help stabilize the shoulder when it moves. However, there is a particularly poor blood supply to the rotator cuff, making it a fairly common site of injury for patients of all ages. Symptoms can include pain and weakness with lifting, performing overhead or reaching activities, or while sleeping. It is not unusual for a patient with rotator cuff problems to describe a history of several years of constant or intermittent symptoms.

Physical therapy treatment for rotator cuff tendonitis includes a combination of modalities (moist heat, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and ice) and soft tissue mobilization/massage to aid in the healing process. Treatment will also focus on range of motion and stretching to restore flexibility as well as strengthening exercises to develop the rotator cuff and surrounding muscles. Patients generally begin to see an improvement in their condition within the first month and usually make a full recovery within two to three months. However, if tendonitis is not addressed it can progress to a tear, which can make rehabilitation more challenging and may even necessitate surgical intervention. The good news is rotator cuff surgery followed by rehabilitation performed by a qualified physical therapist usually has a good outcome and allows patients to return to their active lifestyle.

My Physicians Have Their Own Physical Therapy Practice. Can I Still Come to Harrison Physical Therapy?


The short answer is YES. Any time physical therapy is ordered, you the patient/customer have the legal right to choose the place that you feel will give you the best care available. However, some of our previous patients have wrongfully assumed that they are not able to attend our facility because the treating physician has recommended their own or another facility. A physician can recommend that you see the physical therapist(s) working for them, but they cannot force you to attend their own practice. You have the right to choose which physical therapy practice you would like to attend.

In our experience, the area physicians highly respect Harrison Physical Therapy and they have not had any problems with patients requesting to be treated at our facility. In fact, we have treated many of the area’s physicians and nurses and they themselves can attest to the outstanding care we provide. At Harrison Physical Therapy there is a reason that our most recent survey indicated that 98% of our patients felt that their problem or complaint “greatly improved.” Come see why are we the leader in rehabilitation in the Hudson Valley.

Got an injury? Come see us first!


Did you know that New York State has direct access to physical therapy? Patients can now attend up to 10 treatments within 30 days without a prescription. If you have an injury, ache, or pain that is limiting your ability to enjoy life to its fullest, call now and do not delay your treatment.

For the most part, the majority of non traumatic injuries should start with physical therapy. If physical therapy fails, then the use of medications, injections, MRIs, and surgery come into play. Having treated thousands of patients over the past twelve years, Harrison Physical Therapy has worked with nearly all of the specialists in the area who treat musculoskeletal injuries, and we can help guide you through the process of choosing a specialist if necessary. We can help you answer questions like: What type of specialist do I see? An orthopedist, physiatrist, neurologist, pain management specialist, rheumatologist, or podiatrist? If I have a shoulder injury or a back injury, do you recommend the same person? We will help direct you to the person who we have seen the best results from and who we feel can help you with your specific need. At Harrison PT, we help you get results!