All posts by Teresa Stockton

shin splints

PT News

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This Month in PT News. Featuring articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

flu

1. Resuming Exercise After the Flu Bug
Written by the Therapy Team at the Jackson Clinics – Northern Virginia

Flu season is in full swing, and along with the regular flu, the new H1N1 virus is infecting thousands of people. Influenza can be a serious illness. Symptoms include fever, chills, headache, body aches, sore throat , runny nose, dry cough and a general feeling of exhaustion and sickness. Read more

New Year Resolution

2. The New Way to Resolve
Written by Allison Whitteberry, PTA at the Center for Physical Rehabilitation – Cascade

According to Statistic Brain, 41% of Americans usually make New Year resolutions. However, after six months, less then half of those American’s have maintained their resolutions. Read more

Shin Splints

3. What You Need to Know About Shin Splints
Written by the Therapy Team at Momentum Physical Therapy – San Antonio, Texas

Shin splints is one of those old health terms that pop up from time to time, like “lumbago.” Lumbago refers to low back pain, which actually can be caused by different things. Read more

Lymphedema

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Lymphedema?

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Lymphedema

Lymphedema can occur in any body part. Some common early symptoms include:

  • Tightness, swelling or thickening anywhere in the extremity. Initially the swelling may fluctuate but over timeit worsens.
  • A burning sensation or tingling sensation radiating down the extremity.
  • Complaints of heaviness or aching of the extremity.
  • Inability to wear rings, jewelry, watches or clothing secondary to edema.

STAGE 1 – Reversible Lymphedema

  • Lymphedema disappears with bed rest and/or elevation especially over night.
  • Edema is soft and pitting, no resistance is felt. Indentations are easily made.
  • No or little fibrosis. No alteration of tissues.

STAGE 2 – Irreversible Edema

  • Protein enriched edema which does not decrease with elevation/nights rest.
  • Connective and scar tissue formation (i.e. fibrosis). Fibrosclerotic changes.
  • Non pitting edema, strong pressure is able to produce pitting.
  • Edema becomes hard. Indentions are difficult to make.

lymphedema

Precautions and Guidelines

  • Maintain a well balanced diet, with low sodium intake. Keep a healthy weight, avoid obesity. Good nutritional guidelines are provided by the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society.
  • Keep the affected arm or leg, clean, and well moisturized. Lotion should be at a relatively low pH balance. The goal is to prevent skin breakdown.
  • Use antibacterial and hypo-allergenic soap when washing.
  • Avoid injections, vaccinations, flu shots, blood draws and IV lines in the affected extremity. Remember, if this is an emergency, it is more important to treat the patient than to worry about putting an IV in the affected arm.
  • If at all possible, avoid having blood pressure taken in the affected arm.
  • Many people enjoy having a manicure. There is always a risk with this but you can decrease your risk by keeping your cuticles moist with lotion and push them back instead of cutting them. You could also consider buying your own manicure set and have the salon use only your tools.
  • When cleaning the house, wear a good quality rubber glove when handling harsh chemicals such as ammonia, bleach, furniture polish, abrasive cleansers etc.
  • Avoid using a razor or depilatory creams for the armpit or leg hair. The safest tool would be an electric razor.
  • When cooking, wear long protective mitts (to the elbow) when taking food out of the oven and when boiling a pot of hot water.
  • It is important to avoid pet scratches, insect bites, spider bites etc. Using an insect repellent may be necessary but remember some brands are very harsh. Look for a natural insect repellent if possible.
  • Avoid sunburn at all cost! Especially if you have received radiation therapy.
  • Be aware of items that can cause a burn such as a curling iron, an iron, space heaters etc.
  • Avoid saunas, hot tubs, and hot showers. Avoid extreme temperatures, very cold or very hot.
  • Avoid lifting or moving heavy objects.
  • Avoid tight fitting clothing or jewelry.
  • Exercise, and be knowledgeable of how exercise effects the lymphedema.
  • Check your skin daily, and call your physician immediately if you notice any adverse changes in your lymphedematous body part or if you have fever and redness.

 

Additional Precautions for Leg Lymphedema

  • Proper shoe wear is essential in avoiding blisters and ingrown toenails, avoid high-heeled shoes.
  • Do not walk bare foot, especially outside.
  • Get all fungal infections treated immediately.
  • Do not receive injections to remove varicose veins in the affected leg.

This information is for educational purposes only. This information should not be used without consultation with your healthcare professional. If you have questions regarding the material or its application, seek professional assistance from your provider. This information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace healthcare professional consultation.

 

When Is the Time Right for Physical Therapy?

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physical therapy

Often, we end up in physical therapy based on the referral of our physician after dealing with and injury for a certain period of time. However, physical therapy can be used for many different ailments and can actually help cut down the time off work, off of sports and promote healing much faster.

Physical therapy can be used for many of your minor and major injuries. Following surgeries or traumas (accidents, dislocations, fractures, sprains) it can cause a considerable reduction in swelling and allow things to heal 75-80% faster than if without therapy. It has been shown that following surgery, the quicker someone goes for therapy, the less likely they are to stiffen up or have complications due to loss of range of motion. It also helps to significantly reduce pain and swelling.

Physical therapy is not only used following surgeries or sports injuries, but can be extremely helpful in preventing symptoms from getting worse and developing into more problems. If you’ve been having pain in your shoulder for 3 months or so, your body now has altered the way it moves your shoulder and in turn, you have developed some compensation patterns which could cause things to develop into other areas, such as your neck from your altered movements. This then, can lead to more significant problems which could have been easily avoided if therapy had been started and symptoms had gotten under control.

Remember, the quicker you get into therapy following an injury or persistent pain, the quicker your response time will be to therapy. If you are having some issues, talk to your physician about starting therapy. You don’t have to wait until it has a complete impact on your life or your recreational activities. Stop pain in your life and feel better by visiting one of our PT & Me physical therapists today.

PTandMe

PTandMe and How to Find Physical Therapy Near You

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Find Physical Therapy

PTandMe is your online guide to physical therapy. We make it easy for you to look up common conditions, see how physical therapy will benefit you directly, and most importantly, we make it easy for you to find physical therapy.  If you are in pain, and need to find a licensed physical therapist in your area – we are the best place to look. To learn more about Physical Therapy click here.

The PTandMe injury center is unique in that it provides information on common conditions that physical therapists treat as well as gives you a glimpse into what physical therapy treatment may look like for your condition. Physical therapists are the musculoskeletal experts, so when it comes injury or musculoskeletal pain – you are in the right place. The injury center covers diagnoses from head to toe. To visit the PTandMe injury center click here.

PT & Me

In addition to the injury center, PTandMe sends out great health and wellness tips each month through the Therapy Connection newsletter & weekly PT & Me blog posts.  We partner with over 550 physical therapy clinic nationwide, so the topics covered are relevant and directly from licensed professionals in the field. Featured articles, recipes and fun trivia questions make these resources a great learning tool for everyone.

When it comes to finding physical therapy and scheduling your first appointment, PTandMe makes it easy.  We have collected an online database of our partnering clinics throughout the United States so that you can easily access them from your phone or home computer. To find a physical therapist near you visit our “Find a PT” search page by clicking here.

If you are on the fence about going to physical therapy, or simply want more information about it, PTandMe makes it easy for you to find the information you need quickly. The faster you start to treat pain or an injury, the better the long term benefits, so don’t wait to try physical therapy. Get started today and find physical therapy clinics near you!

physical therapy knee pain

How Physical Therapy Helps Knee Rehabilitation

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PT&Me Knee Rehabilitation

Physical therapists can provide more than pre/post surgical knee rehabilitation for patients experiencing knee pain.

What Causes Knee Pain?
The knee is a relatively simple joint required to do a complicated job…to provide flexible mobility while bearing considerable weight. While walking down the street, our knees bear three to five times our body weight. When the knee is overstressed in sports or in everyday activities, these structures can break down — and a knee injury occurs.

Common Knee Problems Seen by Our Physical Therapists:

  • Strain / Sprain
  • Arthritis Pain
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Ligament Sprains
  • ACL Tears
  • Tendinitis (ie: Patellar, Pes Anserinus)
  • Chondromalacia Patella
  • Patellofemoral Syndrome / Knee Pain
  • Pre / Post Operative Therapy

How Physical Therapy Provides Knee Rehabilitation
Rehabilitation acutely after knee surgery or a knee injury primarily centers around decreasing swelling in the knee joint. Even a small amount of fluid inhibits the quadriceps muscle on the front of knee by slowing the signal for movement traveling from the brain to the muscle. Manual techniques to decrease muscle spasm and improve length tension relationships of soft tissue are also incorporated. Gradually, exercises to increase strength, range of motion and functional mobility are introduced.

Treatments Offered Include:

  • Comprehensive evaluation with an emphasis on determining the source of the problem
  • Individualized and specific exercise programs
  • Manual therapy (hands-on treatment)
  • Modalities as needed
  • Work and sport specific simulations
  • Progressive home program to help restore independence and self-management

Knee Rehabilitation Goals:

  • Reduce Pain
  • Improve Mobility
  • Movement Awareness/Gait Training
  • Functional Strength
  • Patient Education

For more information on knee injuries visit our PT & Me Knee Injury Center page by clicking here.

The PT & Me Injury Center goes over diagnoses on how physical therapists treat specific injuries.

To find or search for a local participating PT & Me physical therapy clinic in your local area please click here.

PT News

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This Month in PT News. Featuring articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

1. Stay Injury-Free This New Year
Written by the Therapy Team at Integrated Rehabilitation Group – Puget Sound Region, WA

This new year, health clubs across the country typically enjoy a membership boost as eager souls sign up to make good on their resolutions to “get fit.” Read more

2. Don’t Let Your Asthma Freeze You Out of Winter Workouts
Written by the Therapy Team at the Jackson Clinics – Northern Virginia

Avoiding asthma attacks while exercising in winter is best accomplished by preventing cold, dry air from getting into your bronchial airways. One way to do this is to exercise indoors when it is cold. Read more

3. Living Our Mission Statement: Being a Catalyst of Change In 2018
Written by Colleen Norris, Partner/Practice Administrator – Overland Park, KS

I have been in healthcare for almost 40 years and the changes that have occurred over that time have been tremendous. I’ve seen everything from patient care innovations, new payment methodologies, advancing technology, improved workflow processes and my personal favorite… a focus on outcome data. Read more

PT & Me Clinics Give to Families in Need During the Holidays

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During the holiday season we are thankful for what we have, but we understand some families might not be as fortunate due to hardships, unforeseen circumstances or health related issues. We at PT & Me try to instill compassion and kind-heartedness into all of our clinics that are a part of us. These are just a few ways of how our dedicated clinics are giving back to those in need within their communities this holiday season…

Madison Spine & Physical Therapy is organizing it’s 2017 Spread the Warmth Winter Clothing & Blanket Drive on December 22nd, 2017. If you live in the New York City or New Jersey area please support their charity campaign by donating today!

Items Needed Are:
• Jackets
• Blankets
• Boots
• Gloves
• Hats
• Scarves
• Sweatshirts
• Pants
• New Undergarments

Call (201) 982-3050 for donation pick up.

On December 22nd Madison Spine and their employees will drive into NYC with the donations and hand them out to those who could use a little warmth!
You donate, we deliver! Let’s all come together and make a difference!

For more information on Madison Spine and Physical Therapy click here.

Pinnacle Therapy Services is organizing Operation Breakthrough. They are collecting items throughout the month of December to donate in the Kansas City area. Operation Breakthrough is an organization that has been helping Kansas City families since 1971. They provide a safe, loving, and educational environment for children in poverty and empower their families through advocacy, emergency aid and education. If you are able, please help Pinnacle help local, underprivileged families. Items can be dropped off at any Pinnacle Therapy Services location.

DONATIONS NEEDED

Non-Perishable Foods:
• Cereal – Cold & Oatmeal
• Boxed Meals
• Canned Fruit
• Hearty Soups / Chili
• Crackers
• Hamburger/Tuna Helper
• Tuna
• Canned Chicken
• Mac & Cheese
• Canned Vegetables

Other Items:
• Diapers: Size 3 & Up & Wipes
• Toothpaste/Toothbrushes for Children & Adults
• Toilet Paper
• Deodorant
• Bath Soap
• Feminine Hygiene Products
• Laundry Detergent
• Cleaning Items
• Children’s Toys

For more information about Operation Breakthrough click here.
For more information about Pinnacle Therapy Services click here.

Thank you for your generosity! Happy holidays!

labral tear physical therapy

ATC Tip: The Labrum

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Anatomy of the Shoulder
The shoulder can move in almost every plane of motion, it’s the most mobile joint in the human body; but more mobility = more instability. The shoulder joint is often described as a “ball in socket,” but it’s wide range of motion makes it a highly vulnerable joint. We have a network of soft tissue structures, such as the rotator cuff and ligaments, whose main job is to keep the humeral head in its assigned seat. However, often these muscles alone are not sufficient as they can become weak or tight and thus less efficient. The labrum is a small ring of cartilage that provides additional stability to the shoulder joint.

How Does a Labrum Become Damaged?
Direct trauma, shearing forces, or repetitive stress can cause damage to the labrum. Often, this damage will present as a tear in the labrum, which can restrict motion, decrease strength, and cause pain in the shoulder. Picturing that ring of cartilage, imagine a roughening of the edges of the bowl-like golf tee, or even a rip that flaps when the ball is spun around. It is not uncommon for a shoulder dislocation or subluxation to be accompanied by a labral tear; chronic shoulder instability can also lead to labrum injury.

What Does a Labrum Do?
Because the “ball and socket” is so shallow, the shoulder joint is often described, quite accurately, like a “golf ball sitting on a tee.” To picture the shoulder labrum, imagine a ring around the outer edge of a golf tee, effectively deepening the overall bowl shape, almost suctioning the humerus into the space. The labrum helps stabilize the shoulder by making the “ball” more difficult to remove from the “tee.”

How Can I Prevent a Labrum Injury?
The best way to prevent a labral tear is to strengthen the musculature surrounding the shoulder joint. The best case scenario is all of the muscles are working together to keep the shoulder joint moving fluidly through its full range of motion. Important within this group of muscles are the muscle that control the shoulder blades. By strengthening the stabilizing muscles individually and functionally, it helps them stay balanced and strong with the other, stronger muscles (like the RTC). The other way to prevent a labrum tear is to avoid excessive contact, repetitive overhead motions, and falls.

This article about athletic injuries was provided by PT & Me physical therapy partner: The Center for Physical Rehabilitation. More information about the center and their locations throughout Grand Rapids, MI can be found on their website at www.pt-cpr.com

To see a shoulder strengthening program visit our Sports Medicine Tip Page by clicking here.

dry needling physical therapist

What is Trigger Point Dry Needling?

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Trigger point dry needling PTandMe

TRIGGER POINT DRY NEEDLING uses small, thin needles to stimulate underlying myofascial trigger points, muscular and connective tissues for the management of many orthopedic conditions, both acute and chronic. Physical therapists use dry needling as a safe, effective, and efficient treatment technique to release painful hyper-irritable spots within a band of skeletal muscle. By inserting a needle into the dysfunctional tissue, it often leads to a contraction of the muscle which then stimulates a release. This leads to a reduction of pain, improvements in flexibility and a restoration of normalized movement when combined with corrective exercises.

WHAT IS A MYOFASCIAL TRIGGER POINT?
A myofascial trigger point is a hyperirritable spot within a taut band of skeletal muscle that produces local or referred pain. The trigger point can lead to increased pain, decreased flexibility and decreased muscle function if not treated. Trigger point dry needling is a safe, effective and efficient treatment technique to release these painful spots.

WHAT TYPE OF PROBLEMS CAN BE TREATED?

Muscle dysfunction can be the primary or secondary contributing factor to many neuromusculoskeletal conditions, which can include:

•  Repetitive Stress Injuries
•  Tendonitis or Tendinopathy
•  Muscle Strains
•  IT Band Syndrome
•  Patellofemoral Dysfunction
•  Plantar Fasciitis
•  Neck Pain or Headaches
•  Rotator Cuff Impingement
•  Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
•  SI Joint Dysfunction
•  Sciatica

Dry needling

This treatment is NOT acupuncture. Modern dry needling is based on Western neuroanatomy and modern scientifi c study of the muscles and nervous system. This modality can only be done by trained clinicians.

If you are interested in Trigger Point Dry Needling, find a physical therapist near you and ask for more information.

PT News

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This Month in PT News. Featuring articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

1. How to Deal with Chronic Joint and Muscle Pain
Written by the Therapy Team at Cornerstone Physical Therapy – Gahanna, OH

All of us have experienced pain and discomfort in the muscles and joints at some point, especially with age. In most cases, the use of over the counter medications, hot/cold packs and rest help resolve the problem. Read more

2. Pain at the Mall
Written by the Therapy Team at the Jackson Clinics – Northern Virginia

As the outside temperatures drop, people contemplating undertaking an exercise program often consider walking at the mall. Benefits include a controlled climate, an absence of traffic, security and easily available restrooms and water. Read more

3. Quality of Care in Rehab
Written by the Ian M. Campbell, DPT at Intermountain Physical Therapy – Boise, ID

What does quality care mean in rehabilitation? One can drive through their city and likely notice multiple physical therapy (PT) clinics. Some may be privately owned and operated, others run by local hospitals. Read more