All posts by Teresa Stockton

physical therapy online

Now Providing Online Physical & Occupational Therapy Care

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Our partnering clinics are now providing physical and/or occupational therapy care!

There are now two ways to help patients recover from injury:

  • In Person:We are still open and welcoming patients to receive the care they need in our clinic. Click here for more information about the precautions we are taking in the clinics to keep you safe.
  • Online Through Telehealth: Our partnering therapists can still complete a visit for patients that are unable to make it into the clinic.  They will use both VIDEO and AUDIO so that they can have two way communication during these physical and/or occupational therapy visits.

In order to make your telehealth appointment a success, here are the things you will need access to: 

  • Internet access
  • A device with a camera (computer, phone, tablet) that has access to email
  • Space to exercise

online physical therapy

For more information about online physical and occupational therapy services please contact your clinic directly.

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*Not all locations may be set-up for online appointments. 

Your Health is Our Top Priority

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Updated 6/24/2020

Preventing the Spread of Illness

Due to the emergence of COVID-19 we are taking necessary precautions to prevent the spread of this virus and encouraging everyone to take action to stay healthy. While we are all changing our daily routines during this global health crisis, we want to let you know that our doors are still open, and will remain open unless we are told otherwise by our governmental leaders.

We have considered the question of whether or not to stay open from an ethical perspective. The question pertains to whether or not we, as private practice business owners, are contributing to the rise of the infection curve, versus supporting the flattening of it, by remaining open to see our patients.

We want to share that a memorandum was issued on March 19, 2020 by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security which states:

“If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.”

The guidance goes on to further define the “essential infrastructure workers” to include “physical and occupational therapists and assistants”. Their advice to our industry is to strive to stay open and treat the patient population during this pandemic. Therefore, we believe that it is our duty to try to meet this guidance and continue to care for our patients’ physical and occupational therapy needs during this time of crisis.

Since our clinics and its staff are included in the specific definition of “essential” healthcare businesses that should strive to stay open and care for patients, we intend to do just that. We are able to practice within the recommended CDC guidelines and we are following local government mandates. We are here to assist in keeping people healthy; physical and occupational therapists are essential in flattening the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic. We play a key role in keeping people we can help out of physician offices and hospitals. This will not only free up the medical teams to treat those impacted by COVID-19, but also limit the exposure of those seeking care for treatment that a physical or occupational therapist can provide. For those patients who do not need surgery at this time, or if surgery has been delayed, we are here and ready to help get you better.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

Here are the steps we are taking to help to prevent infection and the spread of the virus.

  • Daily screens of all patients, visitors, and employees for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • All employees are wearing face coverings.
  • After each patient encounter, we are washing our hands with soap and water, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • We are routinely cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces such as mats, treatment tables, exercise equipment, computer keyboards and mouse, pens, phones, light switches, door handles, faucets, etc.
  • We are requiring a minimum of a 6-foot space between all patients and employees whenever possible, except to the extent necessary to provide services

Face Coverings:

  • All patients, employees, and visitors are expected to wear a face-covering at all times when in our clinics and offices unless a reasonable exception applies.
  • For those persons that are unable to wear a face-covering due to health, safety, security risk, or personal reasons, please contact your therapist to discuss Telehealth.
  • Wearing a face covering is not a substitute for maintaining 6-feet social distancing and hand washing, as these working together remain important steps to slowing the spread of the virus.

How you can help us maintain a safe environment for yourself and our patients.

  • Please take a minute to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer when you first walk inside.
  • It is allergies season. When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – discard tissue immediately into a closed bin.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • If you have symptoms of any respiratory infection with no fever (e.g., cough, runny nose) please call ahead to reschedule your appointment or a telehealth visit, if appropriate.
  • If you have a fever, please refrain from coming to the clinic until you have been fever-free for 3 days.

More information about the coronavirus can be found on the CDC’s website. If you have any questions or would like to speak with us directly, please don’t hesitate to call any of our locations.

physical therapy near me

Many of our locations are now offering a Telehealth option for patients who are not able to make it in the clinic. More information about Online Physical Therapy Sessions.

PT News PTandMe

PT News June 2020 Live Edition

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PT News PTandMe

This month in PT News we recap the educational videos that our partnering clinics have been sharing to their Facebook followers. We are happy to share with you some great information on topics that can help you more easily live a pain-free life.

back pain physical therapy

1. What Should I Do for My Low Back Pain?

Produced by Cutting Edge Physical Therapy, located in Richmond, IN.

One of the most common questions physical therapists get it what can I do for my low back pain. Take an in-depth look at what your pain is telling you about your injury, how physical therapists treat low back pain, and what you can do to find back pain relief at home.  View Recording

 

go back to the gym safely

2. How to Stay Safe When Getting Back Into the Gym and Sports

Produced by Grand Oaks Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation, located in Spring, TX

As gyms open up, this video goes over how athletes can safely get back into the gym without the risk of injury. Due to COVID-19, athletes who have not been able to continue their regular training routine will have experienced levels of deconditioning. This video goes over what that means and how athletes can safely return to their prior performance levels.  View Recording

 

Knee Pain While Running

3. Why Do My Knees Hurt When Running?

Produced by Wright Physical Therapy, with locations throughout the Magic Valley, Boise, and Eastern ID.

Why does your knee hurt when you run? The partners of Wright Physical Therapy go over the most common reasons runners have knee pain, where you may sit on the Wright PT performance scale, and ways to fix and prevent injury moving forward.  View Recording

 

How to fix your posture

4. Fixing Your Posture So That it Doesn’t Contribute to Neck and Back Pain

Produced by Kingwood Occupational & Physical Therapy, located in Kingwood, TX

How practicing good posture can help reduce pain in everyday activities. It also goes over how thoracic mobility can cause neck and shoulder issues during your day-to-day and sports activities. View Recording

Physical and occupational therapists work hard to help people get back to what they love doing most. If you are in pain or need help recovering from an injury, please find a pt near you and get started on your path to recovery.

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text neck

4 Steps to Prevent Text Neck

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text neck

Did you know that for every inch of forward head posture, it can increase the weight of the head on the spine by an additional 10 lbs?  – Kapandji, Physiology of Joints, Vol. 3

Prevent Neck Pain While Working on Your Laptop or Phone 

text neck

1. Raise your phone: Hold your phone eye level so that you don’t have to tilt your head downward. If you are on a couch or bed, prop your head on pillows as you lay down so that your neck is supported while you use your phone. Using your eyes to look down and not your neck can also reduce symptoms.

2. Stretch: Stretching can release some of the tension built up in your neck from holding the phone in one position throughout the day. Your physical therapist can work with you to recommend certain exercises as well as show you how to do them properly.

3. Be aware of posture: Practicing good posture can help you become more aware of how you hold your neck. Work on keeping your head up and shoulders back.

4. Take breaks: If you notice that your neck starts to hurt, take a break from using your phone and move to either a desktop or another activity altogether.

If your neck pain becomes chronic and you are not able to find relief for your text neck without the use of pain medication, call us to schedule an appointment. Our licensed physical therapists specialize in spine, neck, and back pain.

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Sleep Better Tonight

How to Sleep Better Tonight

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Sleep Better Tonight

THE NECESSITY OF SLEEP

Nutrition and exercise are important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but sleep is often overlooked. We’re going to look at why sleep is important and how you can sleep better tonight.

The National Sleep Foundation Recommends

sleeping recommendations

General benefits of getting a good night’s sleep

  • Having a restful night of sleep is physically restorative, allowing tissues to heal and grow. Energy is also replenished for the next day’s needs.
  • Sleep impacts mental health as well, reducing stress and anxiety. Additionally, sleep helps regulate emotions. In fact, a lack of sleep has been tied to depression.
  • Improved decision making and alertness.
  • Poor sleep habits in athletes increase the probability of fatigue, low energy levels, and reduces coordination and focus.

The effects of phone, tablet, and television screens:

  • Suppresses melatonin, the hormone responsible for the sleep/wake cycle.
  • Keeps the brain alert, delaying the onset of relaxation.
  • Devices wake people up from sleep with alerts, messages, etc.

You can actually see how well you prepare your body for sleep each night by completing a Sleep Hygiene Index (SHI).  According to the National Sleep Foundation, Sleep hygiene is a
variety of different practices and habits that are necessary to have good nighttime sleep quality and full daytime alertness.

For an improved quality of sleep

  • In addition to the above points, the use of devices may keep work-related stressors at the bedside. Try to spend the 30 minutes prior to sleep device-free.
  • Get in a routine. If you are not sleeping the recommended duration, try going to bed 10-15 minutes earlier each week.
  • Add exercise to your daily routine.
  • Avoid taking naps in the afternoon.

Finding the Right Sleeping Position

Sleeping is one of the most important things that we can do for our bodies. Our bodies utilize this time for recovery and sleeping in a position that causes pain can prevent the body from recovering. Therefore, finding an appropriate sleeping position that results in your body feeling at ease is very important.

Common Position to Avoid While Sleeping:

Studies have shown that sleeping on your stomach can put a lot of stress on the lumbar spine. Naturally, the lumbar spine is curved, however, while sleeping on your stomach, the spine becomes even more curved and results in more stress put on the ligaments of the spine. Furthermore, this can cause additional stress on the cervical spine and neck. Stomach sleepers have to turn their head to either side while sleeping and as a result “this locks up the neck and does not allow blood to flow to the proper places while sleeping, thus acting as a barrier to recovery from daily stress” (Total Performance, 2012) If you do enjoy sleeping on your stomach, consider putting a pillow under your hips to help reduce back pain.

Positions to Consider While Sleeping:

Sleeping in the fetal position is probably the most popular position to sleep in. It helps ease low back pain and is a great position for mothers-to-be.

Sleeping on your back puts less stress on your head, neck, and spine and makes it easier for your spine to maintain a neutral position. It also helps fight acid reflux due to the elevated position of the head and the position of the stomach being below the esophagus. Most studies have shown that one of the best sleeping positions is on the back with a pillow underneath your legs. While many patients complain that this sleeping position is painful or causes snoring, others have found relief due to the many benefits.

Sleeping on your side can also decrease stress on your back. Sometimes a pillow between your legs or under your trunk may also be beneficial to decrease stress on your back.

Sleep Better
How to Sleep Better – Facebook Live by Spring Klein Physical Therapy

 

As physical therapists, we understand the importance of sleep. Part of rehabilitation is educating patients on how to sleep in a position that won’t aggravate the injury as they heal. If you are in pain and having trouble sleeping, or if you wake up from sleep with pain, please let us know so that we can help.  We want you to get a good night sleep and wake up feeling refreshed!

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Stay Mentally and Physically Active

How to Stay Physically and Mentally Active During Isolation

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Stay Mentally and Physically Active

Self-isolation during the coronavirus pandemic has come as quite a shock to many of us – especially those who are used to a more active lifestyle. And while we are waiting for the day when we can safely return to life as we once knew it, let’s focus our efforts on staying active both physically and mentally even though we are stuck in our homes.

Here are eight tips to get you motivated and started:

1. Do some stretches

As your body is now moving less than it is used to (and probably less than it needs to), you need to find new ways to keep it active.
You can start by doing some morning and evening stretches. There are simple routines you can try even if you are not very fit that will get your blood flowing and prevent your muscles from getting stiff.

2. Get up every hour

Set a reminder on your phone to go off every hour, as a way to trigger yourself to get up. Whether you are in a chair or on the couch at the time, get up, walk around a bit, and move your arms and legs. Stretches will be fine here too, but you can also incorporate some light exercises. Even seniors can do a light cardio workout or lift some moderate weights if the doctor allows.

3. Do an online workout

Everyone seems to be streaming their workouts these days, so you’re bound to find something you like. There are Pilates workouts you can try, there’s yoga, there are ballet-inspired classes, but you can also just do some bodyweight work, do indoor walking, and so on.
Just make sure that the intensity and activity level of the workout you are choosing to watch matches your actual fitness levels.

4. Walk when it is safe

If you live in an area where you are still allowed to take walks, make sure you take advantage of this option. As little as 30 minutes of walking a day will suffice to keep you healthy.

Don’t neglect the rules of social distancing while you are outside – and remind yourself you need to prevent yourself from touching your face.

5. Read and write

Self-isolation is a great time to catch up on some reading – whether you have a novel on your bookshelf you can’t seem to get to or choose to download something to your Kindle, make sure you keep your mind engaged with a new read.

You can also add journaling to your routine, and spend a couple of minutes every day writing down your thoughts (with pen and paper). It doesn’t have to be anything in particular – just enjoy expressing your thoughts and feelings for the day.

6. Watch something you haven’t seen yet

Since all kinds of streaming services are now turning out to be our savior, make sure you use them to their fullest. But don’t just keep staring at a screen all day.

Set aside sometime each day (or each week) for watching a program, and don’t overdo it. You can focus on documentaries, old classics you haven’t seen yet, or the latest Netflix sensation. Your favorite feel-good movies are also a welcome distraction.

7. Try something new

Everyone online keeps telling you, you should learn a new skill, but this is not imperative. You can, however, try doing something you don’t usually do. This can be something as simple as a new recipe, brushing your teeth with the other hand, doing your hair differently, sleeping on the other side of the bed – anything that will be a new experience for your body or mind is a good choice.

8. Make plans for later

Even though you may not be able to go outside or travel, you can still mentally prepare and experience some of the things you will be doing once the danger lifts.

You can start jotting down the places you want to visit, things you want to buy and do, and do little mental walks to your favorite places. And don’t let these exercises make you feel bad because you don’t have access to them now. Focus on the feeling of joy they cause, and let yourself feel the pleasure.

While self-isolation is certainly not a pleasant experience, it is only ever as bad as you let it be. Focusing on the positives instead of the negatives will help you get through it easier – and sooner.

PT News PTandMe

PT News May 2020

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PT News PTandMe

This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout April & May 2020. We are excited to bring you current physical therapy based posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

1. COVID-19 Scientific Update and Masks

Written by Mishock Physical Therapy with multiple locations throughout Berks & Montgomery Counties in PA.

The fact that many people are asymptomatic is excellent news; however, it also means that COVID-19 could be spread to those most vulnerable unknowingly. This is why vigilance in continuing the CDC prevention techniques (frequent hand-washing, wear a face mask, clean and disinfect, social distancing, stay home when sick, cover cough or sneeze) is critical as we open up our communities.  Read more

 

2. Keeping You Safe While Serving Your PT Needs

Written by Momentum Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy practice with multiple locations throughout Greater San Antonio, TX 

What are we doing to keep our clinics a safe place to receive care? Below are the steps we have taken to ensure the safety of our patients and staff is preserved. Read more

 

3. Heart Rate Zone Training

Written by The Center for Physical Rehabilitation an outpatient physical and hand therapy practice with locations throughout Greater Grand Rapids, WI.

Wanting to make good use of your extra time at home? Take a look at the facts below to learn how to use heart rate zones to increase your cardiovascular fitness. Modes of cardio: walking, running, biking, swimming.  Read more

Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!

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prevent pain caused from repetitive movements

Tips to Prevent Pain Caused by Repetitive Movements

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prevent pain caused from repetitive movements

The modern lifestyle involves a lot of repetitive movements. Whether it’s industrial labor or computer-related work like typing, the chances are it has given you injuries. Even in your normal day to day life, using smartphones or tablets can really wear away at you. Much of this is related to a condition called repetitive strain injury and can range in severity. Mild aches in your extremities can develop into severe pain if not maintained or checked on. However, there are some ways you can prevent pain caused by repetitive movements.

The key to preventing pain is ensuring there are measures in place to stop it from happening in the first place. For personal situations, it’s sometimes a matter of common sense and caution. In the workplace, things can be more uncertain, so here are some tips.

Work Environment:

Setting up your work area for the day can be an important start. Workshops or industrial areas must be cleared of hazards and potential accidents. If you work at a desk or on a computer, set your chair up in a way that will reduce strain. Many cases of repetitive movement occur from being forced to work around your environment. The best method is prevention, and having your workplace accommodate you is a much simpler solution.

Regular Breaks:

Set regular breaks during your shift, incorporate stretches and exercises into these free periods. Even if you don’t have time for exercise, making use of small windows is good. If you’ve been stuck to a desk all day, try walking around the office or walking over to co-workers instead of emailing or messaging them.

If you’re a laborer in a warehouse, swap up positions, or rotate duties with a co-worker. An essential part of reducing repetitive movement is breaking off when you can and giving your body a change of pace. This is especially important on long workdays where you’re more likely to be worn out at the end of your shift.

Posture & Strain:

Bad posture can be the cause of many injuries, especially for the back and neck. If you work sitting down, make sure you have a proper office chair that can stand being used for over six hours a day. Laborers are taught how to handle heavy loads, making use of their knees and arms to reduce strained postures.

A lot of repetitive strain can come from tense muscles. This can be a result of many things, including stress or hyper-focusing. It’s important not to overdo any actions: try softer keystrokes or a relaxed grip — these will greatly reduce strain.

Repetitive movement still happens outside of the workplace, and the chances of developing injuries are just as common. If you are experiencing pain visiting a physical or occupational therapist can help you find the relief you need. Potential injuries caused by repetitive movement can be mitigated when addressed early. Physical and/or occupational therapy is a great way to help the body recover from and prevent future overuse injuries.

General Well-being:

On top of these, keeping your personal lifestyle as healthy as possible is also beneficial. Regular exercise and a good diet will promote toned muscles, healthy blood flow, and an overall stronger recovery system for your body. It also helps prevent some symptoms of repetitive strain, which include fatigue and weakness.

While repetitive movement is common in everyday life, that doesn’t make it any less important when avoiding injuries. The strain caused by such movement always has the chance to develop into severe pains that could require surgery. It can be prevented, however, with a good mix of preparation and attention.

Chronic repetitive strain injury pain left untreated may result in surgery. If your RSI pain has not gone away or continues to worsen please reach out to a local rehab provider for help. The faster you seek help, the sooner the body will recover.

physical therapy near me

Author bio:
After a long day’s work, Harper turns to yoga and meditation to successfully relax and destress. She’s also drawn to the Blues and easy-listening music. Check out her written pieces on her personal blog, Harper Reid.

Stay Active While Social Distancing

4 Ways to Stay Active While Social Distancing

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Stay Active While Social Distancing

Most of us have found ourselves at home looking for things to do. Even though we may not be able to make it to the gym or to a group class with friends, there are still ways to stay active while social distancing at home.

Here are our top 4 ways to keep moving.

  1. Go for a walk or run: Getting some fresh air and going for a walk or run in an uncrowded location is a great way to get some exercise in. The CDC recommends 6 feet of distance between yourself and others, so make sure you choose a path or trail that allows for space.
  2. Do housework: You have stocked up on cleaning supplies; now it’s time to get some exercise out of it! Whether it’s washing dishes, vacuuming, or dusting, the time spent on your feet and moving around can add up to a fully productive and active day – not to mention the result of having a clean living space.
  3. Have a dance party: It might not be the same as a traditional Zumba class, but all you need to get the party started is some music that can get you moving. Whether it be salsa, a line dance, or maybe even the floss, dancing is a sure way to get your heart rate up.
  4. Living room resistance training: Squats, lunges, planks, and push-ups can all be done at home without the need of a gym or weights. These exercises use your body weight to help train. If you need guidance on getting started or making sure you have exercises that you can do safely, please call us for help.

We hope you have fun staying active with these exercise ideas. If you need help getting started or have questions, please reach out to any of our physical therapy clinics. They can work with you to create an in-home exercise plan that works for you and your ability levels.

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Physical Therapy for Golfer's Elbow

Physical Therapy for Golfer’s Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis)

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Physical Therapy for Golfer's Elbow

Golfer’s Elbow, medically known as medial epicondylitis,  is a painful condition where the tendons that attach to the inside of the elbow become inflamed due to repetitive use of the hand, wrist, forearm, and elbow. It often occurs with repetitive activities such as swinging a golf club or tennis racket, work or leisure activities requiring twisting and gripping such as shoveling, gardening and swinging a hammer. It can also appear in other sports-related activities such as throwing and swimming. Medial epicondylitis is most commonly seen in men over the age of 35 but can be seen in any population. If these symptoms sound familiar, than going to physical therapy for golfer’s elbow may be just what you need.

What is causing your elbow pain?

Medial epicondylitis affects the group of muscles that are responsible for bending the wrist, fingers, and thumb and that rotate the wrist and forearm. The tendons that connect those muscles to the medial epicondyle (bump on inside of elbow). Tendons are made up of collagen fibers that are lined up next to each other. The repetitive forces pull on those tendons creating pain and tenderness. Without treatment, those tendons can eventually pull away from the bone. Acute injuries to your elbow can create an inflammatory response which can cause redness, warmth, and stiffness in your elbow.

Medial epicondylitis is most often caused by an abnormal arrangement of collagen fibers. This condition is called tendinosis. During tendinosis, the body doesn’t create inflammatory cells as it does during an acute injury. Instead, fibroblasts are created which help make up scar tissue to fill in the spaces between the collagen fibers. This increase in scar tissue can lead to increased pain and weakness in the tissues. Physical and hand therapy is the most common nonsurgical treatment for medial epicondylitis. Your therapist will perform an evaluation where he/she will ask you several questions about your condition, pain level and other symptoms you may be experiencing. He/she will perform motion and strength testing on your entire upper extremity. Your therapist will also palpate your arm to determine which tendon(s) may be inflamed. He/she will use special tests designed to deferentially diagnose your condition from others that may have similar presentations, such as Cubital Tunnel Syndrome.

golf ball on tee

What to expect from Physical Therapy for Golfer’s Elbow

  • Pain Management: this can include Mechanical Diagnosis & Therapy, ice, ice massage, moist heat, electrical stimulation, and ultrasound.
  • Range-of-Motion Exercises: stretches and mobility exercises to help maintain proper movement in your elbow, forearm, wrist, and hand.
  • Strengthening Exercises: progressive resistive exercises to help build strength in your arm, elbow, forearm, wrist, and hand. These can include weights, medicine balls and/or resistance bands. This will also include your Home Exercise Program.
  • Manual Therapy: used to ensure full, pain-free movement is achieved and can include joint mobilizations, manual muscle stretches, and soft tissue massage.
  • Neuromuscular Re-education (Functional Training): used to help you return to your prior level of function for both home and work activities. Will include retraining proper movement patterns with necessary modifications based on the current level of function and patient limitations.
  • Patient Education: used to help retrain patients on proper postural control during everyday activities including dressing, self-care, work, and sports activities. This can include helping return a patient to their specific sport, such as making adjustments to their golf swing or throwing technique.

Once you’ve completed physical therapy for Golfer’s Elbow you’ll want to do everything you can to prevent this from reoccurring. This can occur by maintaining proper awareness of your risk for injury during your daily movements. Key things to keep in mind:

1. Maintain proper form during all repetitive movements both at work and at home.
2. Continue your Home Exercise Program in order to maintain proper strength in your shoulder, elbow, forearm, wrist, and hand.
3. Use proper posture and body mechanics with lifting or carrying to avoid any undue stress on your joints and tendons.

This information was written by Plymouth Physical Therapy Specialists, an outpatient physical and hand therapy group with fourteen locations in the surrounding Plymouth, Michigan area. At Plymouth Physical Therapy Specialists, they are committed to using evidence-based treatments in their practice. This means that their therapists utilize the most current and clinically relevant treatments in their approach to rehabilitation. For more information click here.