Fitness, rehab and pain reduction receive most popular topic honors among 74 blog posts during 2012

Akron, Ohio–The Thera-Band® Academy, established to scientifically document the benefits of exercise and pain management, supports health care practice through research and education. The Thera-Band Academy Blog, which was launched in 2009, encourages connectivity and communication on exercise and pain management to enhance the patient/health care provider relationship. The blog is written and managed by Phil Page, Ph.D., P.T., A.T.C., C.S.C.S., F.A.C.S.M., director of clinical education and research for Performance Health.

“I’m not surprised by this year’s top 10 list as more and more health care providers and consumers are looking for evidence to support healthcare interventions, particularly on the Internet,” stated Page. “With the often intimidating amount and complexity of information available, I wanted to provide summaries of impactful research in a method that could easily be understood by professionals and consumers.” The top 10 stories were chosen based on the number of views they received in 2012.

Top 10 Academy Blog Posts

1. Medically supervised exercise program significantly improves fitness and mobility in obesity patients. Twelve-week weight loss and mobility study, developed by Mary E. Sanders, Ph.D., F.A.C.S.M., R.C.E.P., Katie B. Lyons, M.S. III, and Quang T. Nguyen, D.O., F.A.C.E., resulted in 20 percent of prebariatric patients opting out of surgery. The program incorporated Thera-Band First Step to Active Heath® kit.

2. Which is better for shoulder diagonals: Thera-Band or Dumbbells? Researchers from the University of Cincinnati assessed the activation of scapular muscles. The results showed that Thera-Band exercises provide similar levels of EMG activity to using dumbbells, which is consistent with findings of other researchers who compared EMG levels during isotonic and elastic resistance.

3. Thera-Band exercise and foam rolling help IT band syndrome in runners. Researchers at the University of Calgary in Canada presented a study, “Changes in Gait Biomechanics After a Six-week Rehabilitation Program for Runners with Iliotibial Band Syndrome.” The study incorporated Thera-Band elastic bands and foam rollers. Dr. Reed Farber, lead author, reported that hip muscle strength significantly increased while pain levels significantly decreased.

4. The “Clam-Shell” hip exercise. Dr. Dawn Gulick published a clinical application article on a popular hip external rotation exercise, the “Clam-Shell,” which stated that the exercise and variations on the exercise can “reduce knee valgus, improve patellar tracking and decrease the risk of knee injury in patients with patello-femoral pain syndrome.” Gulick’s variations of the Clam-Shell exercise incorporated Thera-Band resistance bands and band loops.

5. Thera-Band exercise program can improve lower limb biomechanics in females. Brazilian researchers conducted a study on the effectiveness of an eight-week, three-phase exercise program. The results showed significant improvement in functional hop performance, hip and knee strength and single-leg squat kinematics. The authors concluded that their exercise program was indeed effective at improving lower limb biomechanics in females.

6. Current concepts in muscle stretching for exercise and rehabilitation. Page published a review of 60 clinical trials evaluating the effectiveness of different stretching techniques, outcomes and population. The question, “Should we stretch or not stretch” continues to be asked by those who exercise, lead exercise programs and perform exercise research. The answer will likely always be “it depends,” because there are many variables to consider with stretching intervention studies.

7. Thera-Band hip exercise reduces anterior knee pain. Dr. Khalil Khayambashi and colleagues performed a randomized controlled trial of hip exercise on females with patellofemoral pain. The trial showed that a simple eight-week Thera-Band exercise program with only two hip exercises significantly reduces pain in females with anterior knee pain.

8. Shoulder muscle activation levels during range of motion exercises. Researchers compared muscle activation during different active-assisted range of motion (AAROM) exercises, which are usually performed to begin muscle activation when it’s necessary to protect healing tissue. The authors found that all gravity-minimized activities, including the Thera-Band 90 to 160 degree flexion exercises, would be appropriate “in the earliest stages of a rehabilitation continuum to regain active motion.”

9. Thera-Band exercise program can reduce the need for shoulder impingement surgery. Swedish researchers published a randomized, controlled double blind clinical study on 102 patients with chronic subacromial impingement syndrome (SAIS) lasting greater than six months. Significantly more patients in the specific exercise group using Thera-Band elastic tubing reported successful outcomes.

10. Novel Thera-Band exercise reduces pain and improves function in knee osteoarthritis. Researchers in Taiwan created a novel exercise program with Thera-Band elastic bands for older adults with knee osteoarthritis. Three progressive colors of Thera-Band resistance in various combinations were used for a sitting leg press exercise. Statistically significant improvements were observed in the Thera-Band exercise group compared to the control group in the chair-stand, 10-minute walk and timed-up-and-go tests.

About the Academy

The Thera-Band® Academy was formed to scientifically document the benefits of resistance exercise and pain relief, guide the company in its development of new products and exercise programs, and to promote therapeutic exercise and pain management through professional and consumer education. The academy website is a unique resource that connects healthcare professionals and consumers to the ever growing body of knowledge on exercise. Registration is free and provides access to the largest database of rehab exercises, protocols, research and education in the world.

About Performance Health

Featuring leading brands like Thera-Band®, Biofreeze® and Pedigenix®, Performance Health offers a broad portfolio of products for the therapy, rehabilitation, wellness, massage, podiatric and performance markets. In addition to market-leading products, Performance Health provides practice building support, evidence-based protocols, clinical and product education, turn-key dispensing and pain management solutions. For more information, visit