It’s National Physical Therapy Month

Did you know that October is National Physical Therapy Month?  ONS is proud of our exceptional team of physical therapists, dedicated physical therapy assistants and technicians who help

patients regain mobility in their lives every day.

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) defines physical therapists (PTs) as licensed healthcare professionals who diagnose and manage movement dysfunction and enhance physical and functional status in all age populations.

Here are some interesting facts you may not know about physical therapy:

  • The profession of Physical Therapy was developed during World War One to treat wounded soldiers.

  • The first physical therapists were called “Reconstruction Aides.”

  • The first professional organization for physical therapy, the American Women’s Physical Therapeutic Association, was formed in the 1930s. Back then, women dominated the field. The organization later became, and is still known, as the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

  • The demand for physical therapists skyrocketed during World War Two due to medical advances that saved many lives but created a swell of injured soldiers returning home. The nationwide polio epidemic at this time also increased the demand for physical rehabilitation.

  • Trained physical therapy assistants came on to the scene in the 1970s, when the demand for physical therapists outpaced the number of licensed professionals.

  • Physical therapy is a broad field that includes orthopedics, post-operative care, neurologic rehabilitation, and pulmonary rehabilitation.

  • Physical therapists can also treat vertigo, headaches, dizziness and jaw pain. They help patients recover mobility from stroke, sports injuries and arthritis.

  • According to Forbes magazine, physical therapy ranks among the Top 10 “Happiest Jobs.”

  • The minimum educational requirement to become a physical therapist is a post-baccalaureate degree from an accredited education program. ONS physical therapists hold doctorate level degrees and many are certified in advanced therapeutic techniques.


Getting Ready for the Slopes: Ski Conditioning

chalonChalon Lefebvre is the Clinical Manager and Coordinator for Education at ONS Physical Therapy. Chalon is from Vermont where she was a ski racer and continues to lecture on ski injury prevention, the following is her expert advice for the season:

Certain exercises come to mind when I think about growing up as a ski racer in Vermont. Wall sits, crunches, push-ups, lateral bounds and lots and lots of box jumps got me into shape but were they really the best exercises for ski conditioning? Not necessarily, but they were on the right track. As a physical therapist, I now understand skiing and the biomechanics that go along with the sport. I understand the appropriate exercises that help to prevent injury while conditioning people so they are ready to enjoy the season.

Skiing can be broken down into concentric (muscles shorten/lifting portion of the movement against gravity) and eccentric (lowering portion while lengthening) movements. Skiing starts at the top of the mountain, as you ski down, you perform eccentric movements the entire way, resisting gravity’s pull by controlling your body’s movements. EMG studies have shown that throughout the ski turn, the prime movers and stabilizers change at different points in the turn and therefore it is important to work your muscles in functional patterns consistent with the sport.

1) Lunges are an amazing exercise for skiers. Lunges work the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings. Both your legs are working independently of one another in concentric and eccentric motions. To perform a good lunch, stand with both feet positioned shoulder width apart and step forward with one foot making sure to step far enough so that your knee does not extend past your toes and your shin is nearly vertical, and then step back into the start position. This exercise can progress to walking lunges or by lunging while holding dumbbells in your hands. Once you are proficient, you can make these a plyometric exercise by jumping in between each lunge.

2) Squats, whether one footed and two footed, work your quadriceps and glutes. Start with your feet shoulder width apart with your back slightly arched. Initiate the squat by sitting back and down keeping your weight through your heels. Lower yourself so that your thighs are parallel to the floor (or as low as you can) being careful not to let your knees fall in front of your toes. This exercise should be done at high repetitions for endurance.


3) The Romanian deadlift is one of the best and most functional hamstring exercises. ACL tears often occur because people have a strength imbalance between their quadriceps and hamstrings. Stand holding a barbell or a dumbbell in each hand with your feet shoulder width apart. Maintain the lordosis in your lower back and keep a slight bend in your knees, lower the weight towards the floor until you feel a slight stretch in your hamstrings. Reverse the movement by contracting your hamstrings and glutes and push your hips forward as you return to the starting position. This exercise can also be done on one.

4) Planks and side planks work your abdominals, erector spinae, and glutes. Both of these exercises will provide you with the core strength that you need to be able to hold yourself upright while skiing. Lie on your stomach; place your hands at either side of your chest and tuck your elbows in at your sides. Keep your back flat, and push up onto your toes and elbows so that your body is off the floor. Pull your abdominals into your spine and try to maintain this position for 10 seconds to two minutes. If this is too challenging, this can also be down on your knees. A side plank is done using one arm and on one side at a time.

5) Lateral bounds work on agility and reaction time and when done consecutively will carry over to your ski turns. They can be done one footed or two footed. Create a line on the floor and jump sideways across the line, when your feet land, immediately jump back to the other side. This can be done for time as well as number of repetitions.

Although this is just a taste of what I would include in a ski conditioning program but are some of my favorite exercises for keeping my clients injury free and having fun on the mountain.

ONS Physical Therapist, Betsy Kreuter on How Even Men Can Be Diagnosed with Osteoporosis!

Betsy Kreuter, PT, CLT
ONS Physical Therapist Betsy Kreuter, PT, CLT

According to The National Osteoporosis Foundation, as our population ages, even more men will be diagnosed with osteoporosis. As many as one in four men over the age of fifty are more likely to break a bone due to osteoporosis than they are to get prostate cancer. Approximately 2 million American men already have osteoporosis.  About 12 million more are at risk.  Many of the risk factors that put women at risk apply to men as well. For example family history, smoking, drinking too much alcohol, not exercising, taking steroid medicines, and having low testosterone levels are all risk factors for men. Visit the National Osteoporosis Foundation to learn more about men and osteoporosis. 
There are things you can do to minimize your risk factors for osteoporosis.  Speak to your physical therapist for recommendations on exercises and instructions in proper posture and body mechanics.

To learn more about osteoporosis, bone anatomy, fracture prevention exercises to promote bone health, updates on treatments, measures to promote strong bones and personal risk factors, attend a free health seminar on October 14, 2014 at Greenwich Hospital in the Noble Conference Room.  Orthopedic surgeon Steven Hindman, MD, endocrinologist Renee Ileva, MD and physical therapist Betsy Kreuter, PT, CLT will present a free health seminar and answer questions. For more information and to register visit

ONS Launches Women’s Sports Medicine Center

WSMC group photo cu
Women’s Sports Medicine Panel

ONS is pleased to announce the opening of the Women’s Sports Medicine Center. The physician and physical therapy team—Katie Vadasdi, MD (Orthopedic Surgeon, Sports Medicine Specialist), Gloria Cohen, MD (Primary Care Sports Medicine Physician, Olympic team physician), Tamar Kessel, MD (Physiatrist, Interventional Sports and Spine) and Laura Liebesman, PT (Director of ONS Physical Therapy with PT specialties in golf mechanics, orthopedics and spine)—treats active women of all ages and levels of sports activity through a multidisciplinary and coordinated approach. In addition to being experts in their fields, the team consists of current and former athletes and fitness enthusiasts who know first-hand what it takes to train and excel in a sport.

“The Women’s Sports Medicine Center at ONS is about women treating women,” said
Dr. Vadasdi, an accomplished tri-athlete who has completed two Ironman competitions, is an alpine climber and has ascended Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Rainier and the Grand Teton.

“We are female athletes and health care professionals, and we understand that female athletes have specific needs,” Vadasdi continued. “We gear our multi-disciplinary approach to address injury prevention and treatment, as well as health maintenance.”

The ONS Women’s Sports Medicine Center specializes in the medical team concept to provide diagnoses for acute, sub-acute and chronic sports-related musculoskeletal complaints, including shoulder instability, rotator cuff tears, tennis/golf elbow, hip impingement, knee injuries, tendonitis, concussions, stress fractures and musical sprains and strains. The Center will also act as an advisory resource for women’s sports teams and treatments for individual players.

Katie Vadasdi, MD, Gloria Cohen, MD, Tamar Kessel, MD and Laura Liebesman, PT are available to speak at women’s organizations and wellness events, conferences, specialized clubs (e.g., running, swimming and figure-skating) and community centers. Selected topics include “Female Athlete Triad,” “Shin Splints and Stress Fractures,” “Injury and Prevention for the Female Cyclist,” “Exercise in Pregnancy and Postpartum,” “Dance Injuries: Readiness for Pointe,” “ACL Injury Prevention for Athletes” and “Back Pain and Spinal Stress Injuries.”

On Tuesday, November 5 at 6:30 p.m., Greenwich Hospitalwill host a Women’s Sports Medicine Forum, “Women Treating Women.” The event, which takes place in the Noble Conference Room, will feature the ONS Women’s Sports Medicine experts in a panel discussion regarding the latest diagnostic and medical management techniques for injuries and conditions common in female athletes.

The public is invited to bring their sports injury or fitness-related questions and get answers from a team of physicians who have provided medical support to five Olympic Games, international biking and fencing championships, and medical coverage for the Columbia University sports teams and Greenwich High School sports.

ONS is an advanced multi-specialty orthopedic and neurosurgery practice serving patients throughout Fairfield and Westchester Counties and the New York Metropolitan area. ONS physicians provide expertise in the full spectrum of musculoskeletal conditions and injuries, sports medicine, minimally invasive orthopedic, spine and brain surgery, joint replacement and trauma. For more information, visit, or call (203) 869-1145