All posts by Teresa Stockton

prevent joint pain physical therapy

6 Ways to Find Relief and Prevent Joint Pain

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prevent joint pain physical therapy

Joint pain is a common issue that can have many causes and can lead to an array of complications. Joint pain affects such a large percentage of the population. It is estimated that by the year 2030, 67 million—one in every four American adults—will have doctor-diagnosed arthritis. That doesn’t mean that we have to live in pain. It’s important to understand your pain and to take the steps needed to make sure it doesn’t lower your standard of living.

So, what are some great ways to relieve and prevent joint pain?

Going to Physical therapy

Physical therapy is a good solution for treating various joint pain symptoms. Physical therapists can help prevent or delay joint replacements, manage symptoms of arthritis/ chronic joint pain while providing tools to minimize pain or further damage to the joint, and help acutely injured joints recovery from injury. Improving flexibility and range of motion in the affected joints is also a key component in most physical therapy programs.

Getting enough movement and exercise

Even though the natural inclination for a person experiencing joint pain would be to move as little as possible, movement and light exercise will often time do the exact opposite, and be a great ally on your journey towards pain relief.

Good exercises for those who suffer from inflammation causing joint pain are aerobics, water aerobics, bicycling, burst training exercises, social activities that include movement, Tai Chi, light weight lifting, and yoga.

Go for a massage

Massaging the affected joint can be a treat, especially for joint pain occurring in the hips and knees. You can have this done at a treatment center, or have a professional who provides this type of service come to your home, but this is also something that a loved one can do for you, or that you can do yourself. An infographic from spa-hotels.ie has shown the benefits associated with massage therapy, including reducing joint pain and stress levels.

Maintain an ideal weight

Having a high BMI can cause joint pain. The more weight on the joint, the more effort is needed to move and support the body. Introducing movement and light exercise to a daily routine, as well as working towards a healthier diet, can reduce the strain on the joints. Before beginning an exercise regimen, it is important to consult your healthcare provider. A physical therapist or physician can introduce an exercise program that is tailored to your needs and ability level.

Eat an anti-inflammatory diet

Making the change to an anti-inflammatory diet is a great way to naturally alleviate joint pain. The Mediterranean diet is a good example of what anti-inflammatory eating habits should look like. One thing to be aware of is the fact that some of the most inflammatory foods out there are dairy and gluten products.

In order to mitigate joint pain through diet would be to eat a healthy amount fruits and vegetables, berries and nuts, various types of spices and herbs, as well as teas, such as green tea or ginger tea. Processed meats, fast food, artificial sweeteners, refined sugars, and chips should be cut as much as possible. Working with a nutritionist can help introduce long-term meaningful changes to a diet plan.

Get enough sleep

Believe it or not, the quality and quantity of sleep is a factor in pain relief. New research suggests that irregular sleep contributes to pain in a variety of ways, including the ability to tolerate pain. By adjusting your posture at night to keep pressure off of the painful joints, the body is able to more easily relax and allow for sleep. Exercising and remaining active throughout the day should also help you get better sleep at night.

As joint pain has become common, we tend to accept it as something we can’t really control. However, when looking at the most common causes for joint pain, we can clearly see that a sedentary lifestyle, high anxiety levels produced by stress, and unhealthy food choices are leading causes related to the issue in question.

In order to prevent inflammation, as much as in the purpose of relieving joint pain, we have to make better decisions regarding our way of living. This means creating an environment for ourselves and for our families where movement is valued and practiced on a daily basis. It also means that we should make an effort in order to ensure that there’s always a bit of time during the day to help clear one’s head by engaging in mindful practice, or by taking up a relaxing leisure activity. Equally important, it is essential to set dietary boundaries and to respect our body by not constantly abusing it with food that’s poor in nutrients, and lacks all of the advantages healthy food brings to the table when talking about the general health of the human body.

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PT News April 2019

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This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout April 2019. We are excited to begin a new year of new posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

shoulder impingement

1. The Truth Behind Shoulder Impingement
Written by Spectrum Physical Therapy with 3 physical therapy locations in Connecticut.

Shoulder impingement (Subacromial Impingement Syndrome) is a condition of the shoulder that results in pain felt at the front of the shoulder, under a bone called the acromion process, that is often worse with repetitive or frequent overhead activity.  Read more

 

what is certified hand therapy

2. What is Certified Hand Therapy?
Written by the Therapy Team at Momentum Physical Therapy with multiple physical therapy locations throughout Greater San Antonio.

You may have heard of Certified Hand Therapists (CHTs) and wondered if they are the only therapists that can treat hand injuries. You may have also wondered why therapists needed a special certification to treat a specific body part. Read more

 

wrist pain

3. The Power (and Weakness) of the Wrist
Written by the physical therapy team at Cornerstone Physical Therapy with 5 locations in Ohio.

A wrist fracture has the potential to impact daily life for an extended period of time. Wrist fractures result from falls, sports activities, and improper lifting. Owing to the complex architecture of the bones, muscles, and ligaments in the wrist and hand, healing can take a while. Read more

diastasis recti abdominal separation

What You Can Do About Diastis Recti (Abdominal Separation)

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diastasis recti abdominal separation

There’s a lot to absorb when you become pregnant. You have a whole new person growing inside of you, and with that the excitement of what they’ll look like — and what kind of mother you’ll be — to this brand new human. And of course, there are a lot of physical changes that women undergo. From morning sickness to foods that seem unpalatable (or highly desirable), our bodies seem to have a mind of their own when pregnant. Along with gaining a healthy amount of weight and planning on what birth will look like for you, there’s also residual effects. One of them that can come with motherhood but can also affect other people is called diastasis recti (abdominal separation).

This condition occurs with the dramatic change in belly structure that happens when women become pregnant. The abdominal walls separate, leading the belly to stick out more. Who else does this affect and how can you deal with it? This graphic explains it.

What is Diastasis? And What You Can Do About it
“What is Diastasis? And What You Can Do About it” on Health Perch

Ask for Help.

If you are unsure of whether or not you have diastasis recti talk to your OB-GYN or physical therapist and ask them to evaluate your core. If you do have abdominal separation, a physical therapy program can give you all of the tools you need to bring the muscles back together.

Physical therapy programs for diastasis recti patients may include:

  • Core stabilization and postural strengthening
  • An abdominal brace to provide support and reduce pain
  • An exercise program designed to stretch overly tightened muscles
  • Education and training on how to lift and carry your baby as your abdomen recovers

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physical therapy for plantar fasciitis pain

Physical Therapy For Plantar Fasciitis Pain

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physical therapy for plantar fasciitis pain

Does your foot or heel hurt with the first step in the morning? Does your foot hurt when you get up from sitting or driving for long periods of time? If the answer is yes, you may have plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is the most common type of foot pain. Plantar fasciitis is the irritation or inflammation of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a thick dense connective tissue that attaches to the heel and ball of the foot. A related problem is a heel spur which is extra bone that may grow from the heel bone. This is in response to the plantar fascia being tight or inflamed, thus pulling on the heel bone.

Inflammation and microtears occur more commonly in sports that involve running, long distance walking, dancing, tennis, basketball and in non-athletes who spend long periods of time walking on unyielding surfaces. Patients with pes planus and heel pronation have an increased likelihood of developing plantar fasciitis because of the increased tension on the plantar fascia caused by these anatomic features. A tight gastrocnemius can result in heel pronation thereby making plantar fasciitis more likely. Cavus feet with relative rigidity also place more stress on the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia also tends to become more rigid with age making it less effective as a shock absorber and more likely to develop microtears.

Common Causes:

  • Too Rapid of an Increase in Exercise Program.
  • Change in Lifestyle (Active to more Sedentary) Causing Sudden Weight Gain or Sedentary to Active.
  • Muscle Tightness and/or Weakness.
  • Poor Biomechanics (movement) at the Foot and Ankle.
  • Inadequate Cushioning in Shoes or Inadequate Shoes.
  • Occupation with prolonged weight bearing on Hard Surfaces.

Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms:

People with plantar fasciitis complain of searing pain at the point of the fascias insertion into the calcaneus. This pain is at its worst with the first few steps upon arising in the morning or after a sustained period of being off their feet. The plantar fascia origin is often extremely tender to palpation. Pain is also increased after long periods of walking, climbing stairs or doing toe raises.

Finding Relief with Physical Therapy:

Physical therapy evaluation generally reveals an antalgic gait pattern especially when first beginning to walk. Often foot is pronated, gastrocnemius is shortened and there is severe pain with palpation of the inferior, medial heel. Most people can experience relief in just a few sessions. However, the longer the pain remains untreated, the longer it will take to heal. It can even become so chronic in some cases other non-conservative treatments are deemed necessary. If you are experiencing symptoms similar to the ones listed earlier you may have plantar fasciitis. If you are diagnosed with plantar fasciitis physical therapy can help you resolve your pain.

Physical therapists take the time to educate each plantar fasciitis patients on how to prevent a recurrence of pain. They provide preventative stretching programs that can be done at home, instruct on what to look for when purchasing new shoes, and if necessary, help patients adapt their current lifestyle to prevent re-injury.

physical therapy near me

For relief at home before your evaluation try these!

plantar fasciitis stretch
Frozen Can Roll
Take a frozen food can and roll your foot forwards and back.

plantar fasciitis exercise

Towel Grab
Grab and pick up a towel or dishcloth using only your toes.

 

 

More Articles about Plantar Fasciitis:

Plantar Fasciitis

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PT News March 2019

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This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout March 2019. We are excited to begin a new year of new posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

trigger finger

1. What Triggers Trigger Finger?
Written by Rebound Physical Therapy with physical therapy locations throughout Bend, OR and the surrounding areas.

Trigger Finger seems to be a diagnosis many people are familiar with but not actually sure what the diagnosis entails and what can be done to prevent or treat it.  Read more

 

biceps tear

2. Patient Regains Use of Arm After Biceps Tear Surgery
Written by the Therapy Team at Ability Rehabilitation with multiple physical therapy locations throughout Central Florida.

After his biceps tendon repair surgery, Rob’s right arm was in a fragile state; it was locked at the elbow and Rob was fearful of moving it and causing further injury. Read more

 

pain neuroscience

3. Physical Therapists Undergo Pain Neuroscience Education
Written by the physical therapy team at ARC Physical Therapy+ with locations across Kansas, Missouri and Iowa.

Evidence has shown that neuroscience educational strategies focused on teaching people in pain more about the biological and physiological processes involved in their pain experience, changes patient beliefs regarding their pain, thus reducing the threat of pain. Read more

joint protection

Better Joints For A Better You

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joint protection

Painful joints in your hand(s) can slow down how you function during the day. You may even be taking medication to control that pain. We would like to show you some joint protection techniques- this is one way to help decrease the pain, plus help protect your joints for the future. So what is joint protection? Joint protection is a simple way to change how you complete a normal activity to avoid putting stress and strain on the joints, causing less pain. Occupational Therapists (OT) have been teaching joint protection for over 20 years, by putting less force on the small joints in the hand; this can not only lead to pain relief, but also create less “wear and tear” on the joint. The next time you do an activity that results in pain to your hands, stop for a minute, and try to figure out what is causing the pain and what you can modify to make the activity less painful.

Here are some simple suggestions for changes to make to decrease the pain in your hand.  This does not have to cost a lot of money.  A little creativity can do the trick once you know what causes your pain. Many people complain of pain while writing, pinching, turning the key in the car, and can usually isolate the pain to the base of the thumb. One reason for this discomfort, for every 1 pound you pinch at the thumb tip, it delivers 12 pounds of force to the base of the thumb.

Most of the time the best way to modify your activity involves the slogan: “Bigger is Better”. The larger the pen, handle, key, utensil etc. the less force you apply to the joints in your hand. Regarding pens or pencils, especially if you write a lot, buy a bigger/wider pen, use a pen grip, or make your own using foam or soft tape. Below are some examples:

large pen grip  pen grip 2

Using spring loaded scissors take a lot of pressure off the base of the thumb, for those who use scissors consistently, most fabric stores carry this type of scissors. No matter what your “tool of trade” is you can always make the handle bigger for paintbrushes, on your tooth brush, any handle that is difficult or painful to grip. When opening jars, use your palm to turn the lid instead of your finger and thumb.

  

Believe it or not some simple ideas for gadgets can also help ease the pain to your hands. Again think of the things around the house, kitchen in particular, that causes increase pain. Here are a few solutions to some common problems causing pain to the hand(s). These gadgets can be found from kitchen stores, to dollar stores, and medical companies specializing in adaptive equipment. Sometimes just knowing what to look for is half the battle. Again, sometimes you can use foam or tape to build up handles on your favorite tools.

  • Use an electric can opener, or at least a manual can opener with big handles (especially the handle you turn).
  • A wide variety of jar openers are available, some can even attach under the cabinet. If not you should at least use a non-skid rubber surface to open all jars so you apply less force with your hands.
  • Paring knives, regular utensils, potato peelers all come with extra wide firm handles – they are also dishwasher safe.
  • Big plastic spoons, spatulas, tongs are made with wide handles.
  • Apple slicers, ice cream scoopers, pizza slicers, garlic press all come with easy to grip handles allowing use of your arm versus the small joints of your fingers.

Hopefully this has given you some ideas to modify the tasks that are painful to your hand(s). Occupational Therapists in particular Certified Hand Therapists (CHT) are your best resource for any injury or condition to your hand or upper extremity. A CHT works with patients with a variety of upper extremity disorders, including but not limited to tendon/nerve disorders & lacerations, fractures, inflammatory disorders, and nerve compressions. Many patients seeking the care of a hand therapist also suffer from such chronic problems as arthritis or neurological conditions. A hand therapist works closely with the physician to provide a continuum of care for patients.

This article was written by Kingwood Occupational and Physical Therapy in the Houston, Kingwood area. More information about the physical therapy Kingwood location can be found at www.kingwoodotpt.com

gardening ergonomics

Gardening Ergonomics

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gardening ergonomics

It’s that time of year again. Time to exchange snow shovels and winter boots with gardening tools and watering cans. While the warmer weather brings on a new sense of happiness and energy, we need to remember to use proper body mechanics and follow general safety to avoid muscle aches and potential serious injuries. The number one injury associated with gardening is low back pain.

Here are a few tips to make your gardening experience more enjoyable and less painful.

LIFTING:
Lifting heavy objects such as bags of soil, planters and mulch improperly can lead to low back strains and/or sciatic pain. Other options include moving half of the soil/mulch to a separate pot before lifting the bag or planting in to smaller pots that are easier to maneuver. Using a garden cart or wheelbarrow can also assist with moving heavy gardening materials. Remember to lift with your legs, avoid simultaneous lifting and twisting and keep heavier objects close to your body to avoid injury.

PLANTING:
Prepping the soil can also be a difficult and tedious task requiring prolonged forward bending and frequent changes in position. Try prepping the planting bed by using long-handled gardening tools. Once the soil is ready, plant from a kneeling position using either a kneeling stool or a cushion. Remember to avoid twisting at the spine. Those with known chronic low back pain may want to consider planting in to pots, flower boxes or raised flower beds to avoid further injury.

WEEDING:
Most people dislike weeding their gardens and flower beds. Options to reduce the need to do so include using plants as ground cover or using mulch in your flower beds to minimize weed growth. If using a weed spray, look for bottles that have a sprayer hose to allow you to stand upright while treating your problem areas.

MOWING THE LAWN:
Another task that most people find tedious. When able, use an electric start mower. The action of pulling a cord to start your mower is the most common cause of low back injuries. If you must use a pull start mower, remember to bend at your knees and maintain the natural curve of your spine while reaching for the cord. Make sure you tighten your abdominal muscles just before pulling the cord in order to support your spine. If using a push mower, remember to maintain proper upright posture and take breaks as needed.

Remember to listen to your body. Take frequent breaks and change positions when you start to experience aching, cramping or fatigue. Stay hydrated and wear sunscreen. If you do happen to experience low back pain or any other injury, remember to contact your physical therapist. They can help alleviate your symptoms as well as educate you on proper body mechanics.

gardening

GARDENING STRETCHES
Stretching before you start gardening can help you from experiencing pain later. Here are some stretching techniques to help get you started!

1.) Fold your hands together and turn your palms away from your body, but this time extend your arms overhead. You should feel the stretch in your upper torso and shoulders to hand. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat eight times.

2.) Place your hand just above the back of the elbow and gently push your elbow across your chest toward the opposite shoulder. This is a stretch for the upper back and shoulder. Stretch both the right and left arms. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat eight times.

3.) Raise one arm overhead. Bend the elbow. Place the opposite hand on the bent elbow and gently push the elbow back further. This is a stretch for the triceps. Stretch both the right and left arms. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat eight times.

4.) Extend an arm in front of you, making sure the elbow is completely straight. With your palm down, take the opposite hand and bend in the wrist downward. Then turn the palm up, and stretch the wrist backwards. This stretches the forearm and wrist muscles. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat eight times.

The warm-up exercises were developed by professional hand therapists who are occupational and physical therapists specializing in the treatment of the hands, arms and shoulders. These exercises and tips have been designed to supplement more commonly known gardening safety practices that concentrate only on preventing back injuries.
For more information visit: www.asht.org

opioid crisis physical therapy

CDC Launches Opioid Campaign in Hard-Hit States

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The U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched a campaign to reduce overdose deaths from prescription opioid painkillers. Between 1999 and 2015, more than 183,000 people in the United States died from prescription opioid overdoses such as OxyContin (oxycodone) and Vicodin (hydrocodone). The goal of the CDC’s Rx Awareness campaign is to increase knowledge of the risks of prescription opioids and stop inappropriate use. Personal accounts from recovering opioid abusers and people who’ve lost loved ones will be featured. “It only takes a little to lose a lot” is the campaign tagline. It will be featured in videos, audio ads, social media ads, internet banners, web graphics, billboards and posters. Campaign ads are planned to run for the next 14 weeks in Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Mexico and Ohio. The campaign will expand to other states as more funding becomes available. “This campaign is part of CDC’s continued support for states on the frontlines of the opioid overdose epidemic,” CDC Director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald said in an agency news release. “These heartbreaking stories of the devastation brought on by opioid abuse have the potential to open eyes and save lives,” she said. In 2015, 12.5 million people in the United States misused prescription opioids. Every day, more than 1,000 people are treated in emergency departments for prescription opioid misuse and more than 40 people die from prescription opioid overdoses. Prescription opioid abuse is also a major risk factor for heroin use. About three-quarters of new heroin users misused prescription opioids before using heroin.

Manage pain safely with physical therapy. Physical therapy is a safe non-invasive form of treatment for patients experiencing musculoskeletal pain or injuries. Great candidates to be referred to physical therapy instead of prescribing pain pills include:

  • A patient that has had pain for more than 90 days
  • A patient that complains of pain disturbing their sleep or daily activities
  • A patient that has a history of substance abuse or has been on pain medication for an extended period of time
  • A patient that expresses an interest in avoiding opioids

Try Physical Therapy and experience the difference. For more information about what physical therapy can treat. Visit the PTandMe Injury Center.

For more information, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on prescription opioids.

HealthDay News

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
The information in this article, including reference materials, are provided to you solely for educational or research purposes. Information in reference materials, are not and should not be considered professional health care advice upon which you should rely. Health care information changes rapidly and consequently, information in this article may be out of date. Questions about personal health should always be referred to a physician or other health care professional.

EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.

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PT News February 2019

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PT News PTandMe

This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout February 2019. We are excited to begin a new year of new posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

1. Cold Weather Exercise Tips
Written by IRG with physical therapy locations throughout Puget Sound, Seattle and the surrounding areas.

Are you planning to take your exercise outside this winter? Here are a few things to keep in mind for pre-and-post workouts in the elements this season.  Read more

 

2. Can I Exercise Safely with a Cold?
Written by the Therapy Team at The Jackson Clinics with physical therapy locations throughout Northern Virginia and Maryland.

The average adult gets one to six colds every year, with symptoms lasting a week to 10 days. Should you let these colds interrupt your exercise routine? Probably not, as long as you pay attention to what your body tells you. Read more

 

3. Physical Therapy for the Treatment of Osteoporosis
Written by the physical therapy team at Mishock Physical Therapy & Associates with locations throughout Montgomery, Berks and Chester, PA counties.

Osteoporosis is the leading cause of fractures in the elderly. It is a disease which causes diminished bone mass and leads to a decrease in bone quality which results in increased risk for bone fractures. Fractures can lead to functional disability, chronic pain, and at times, early death. Read more

athletic trainer

Who is an Athletic Trainer?

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athletic trainer

Athletic trainers hold at least a four year degree from a BOC (Board of Certification) accredited institution. They are licensed, certified health professionals working with athletes on and off the field. Generally they are the first responders when injuries occur during sporting events.

Athletic trainers work closely with coaches and parents and will refer athletes to other health care professionals such as physicians, physical therapists and surgeons when needed.

Athletic trainers hours are determined by sports schedules. Typically they are available after school and stay until sporting events have concluded.

IN THE TRAINING ROOM ATHLETIC TRAINERS

  • Prepare athletes for competition by taking preventative measures such as equipment fitting, taping and bracing
  • Assess athletes with acute and chronic injuries to determine their participation status
  • Perform sport-specific rehabilitation on injured athletes
  • Provide opportunities for strengthening and conditioning
  • Work with sports staff on proper warm up, game day preparation and on/off season conditioning
  • Educate athletes, coaches and parents on sports medicine strategies, nutrition and sports psychology

running back

DURING THE GAME ATHLETIC TRAINERS

  • Support athletes during sporting events
  • Manage any type of musculoskeletal issues including:
  • Shoulder, hip, knee, elbow, hand and ankle injuries
  • Facial injuries
  • Neck and back injuries, spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries like concussions
  • Triage and wound care
  • Heat-related illnesses
  • Fractures and dislocations
  • Catastrophic injuries

This information was written by the Center for Physical Rehabilitation, an outpatient physical therapy group with five locations in Western Michigan. The Center specializes in all inclusive physical therapy services, such as: Sports Medicine, Orthopedic Post-Surgical and McKenzie Therapy. Our state-of-the-art facilities are conveniently located around Grand Rapids with extended hours. Independent and locally owned since 1994, we have the freedom to work with the most qualified healthcare professionals. For more information click here.