After more than a year of Zoom meetings and watching Netflix shows, many Coloradans are trying to resume more physical activities.
Denver physical therapist Dr. Jamie Bovay says he is seeing a surge in activity-related injuries, especially to backs, shoulders, and knees.
“It can be a little confusing because you want to be more active, so you rush out to be more active, but that's not always the answer,” said Bovay, owner of KinetikChain Denver.
Dr. Bovay advises a slow and structured approach to resuming activity.
One of his patients, Thomas Stevens, injured himself playing tennis after taking a three-month break.
“I worked from home, sat around, ate a lot of Cheez-Its, and I didn't really do anything,” Stevens said.
When the tennis courts reopened, Stevens tried to go back to his pre-pandemic routine, playing tennis for three hours one day. He said he believes that’s what caused him to develop plantar fasciitis in his right foot.
Dr. Bovay said people who have been inactive may have lost muscle strength, and developed certain muscle imbalances that need to be corrected. His program offers exercises patients can do at home, as well as in-house treatments like manipulation, dry needling, kinesiotaping, and instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization.
“Having a structure can really make the difference between you getting back to your activities pain-free better than ever or not getting back to them at all,” Bovay said.
After a few months of treatments at KinetikChain, Stevens is now playing in tournaments again.
"You have to be patient, and the second thing is follow through," Stevens said. "You've got to do the stretching, the strengthening exercises. So you have to put into it too."