All posts by Teresa Stockton

Sports Overtraining Physical Therapy

Sports Overtraining: Reaching Your Tipping Point

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Sports Overtraining Physical Therapy

Pushing your body to be the best that it can be is a good thing that can yield great results, but sometimes going too heavy on your body’s odometer might be damaging for you in the long run and can even result in injuries that are detrimental to your fitness goals. Overtraining is doing too much, too often, and past the point of your body’s ability to recover quickly.

Since it’s always better to prevent an injury than to have to treat it after the fact, we thought it would be helpful to share signs you can look out for if you think you’ve reached your tipping point.

Signs and Symptoms of Sports Overtraining

  • Persistent aches, pains, or muscle soreness
  • Elevated resting heart rate
  • Decreased agility, strength, endurance, and overall performance
  • Increased susceptibility to infections
  • Chronic or overuse injuries
  • More frequent bouts of illness
  • Feeling irritable, agitated, or depressed
  • Loss of appetite or excessive thirst
  • Headaches
  • Excessive fatigue, sluggishness, or insomnia
  • Becoming restless and losing focus

Although sometimes your body may not be able to keep up with the level of fitness you’d like to perform, it’s important to remember that there is a delicate balance between achieving optimal conditioning and overdoing it.

How to Avoid Sports Overtraining

  • GET ENOUGH SLEEP – This is when our bodies rebuild & repair and our immune system recovers
  • PROPER NUTRITION – Make sure to eat proper nutrients, including plenty of lean meats, fruits, and vegetables
  • EXERCISE SMARTLY – Find a balance & avoid workouts that are too intense for you
  • EASE INTO IT – Follow a structured plan that increases your activity incrementally and safely
  • MONITOR STRESS LEVELS – Remember to breathe during any rigorous activity to remind your nervous system to keep your body calm
  • PROPER RECOVERY TIMETake one or two days between workout sessions or alternate intensity levels for each workout
  • ACTIVE REST – Try less intense exercises such as yoga, stretching, or foam rolling

Even the healthiest of activities should be enjoyed in moderation. If you’re noticing that you’re feeling run down, your performance is suffering, you’re getting sick more often, and you keep getting injured, it’s time to change your routine. Take time off, dial back your intensity, cross-train to add variety once you’re adequately rested, and visit a physical therapist to deal with an injury.

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shin splints

7 Ways Physical Therapists Treat Shin Splints

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shin splints

Here are 7 ways a physical therapist can help treat pain and symptoms associated with shin splints:

Pain Reduction: The RICE principle is the first step to recovery (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). Manual therapy and Kinesiotaping may also speed up recovery and reduce swelling.

Gait and Footwear Analysis: An analysis of how a person walks and runs is an important part of treatment. The wrong mechanism of walking can transmit a great deal of force through the shin to the knee and hip. In such situations, physical therapists will correct gait patterns and recommend footwear with shock-absorbing capacity.

Muscle Stretches and Strengthening: The tibial and peroneal muscles are attached to the shin and must be stretched adequately before any form of exercise. Physical therapy includes various stretches of the foot that will help stretch and warm up these muscles. Strengthening damaged muscles can also help.

 Activity Modification:  Physical therapists may suggest alternative activities to minimize stress on the shinbones. These can include swimming and cycling.

Increase Range of Motion (ROM): Exercises for the hip, knee, ankle, and foot improve blood circulation, reduce inflammation and relieve pain. A home exercise program may also be implemented.

Arch Support:  The absence or collapse of a normal foot arch can lead to shin splints. Physical therapists will recommend appropriate orthotics that can be custom-made for the patient and provide the proper amount of arch support.

Return to Sport: If you are an athlete, your therapist may tailor exercises that are specific to strengthening the areas needed to perform your sport. Modified use of your muscles may also be discussed and implemented. Return to your sport may be gradual to prevent re-injury.

To learn more about shin splints please visit our PTandMe injury center on this website by clicking here.

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PT News February/March 2022

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This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout February and March 2022. We are excited to bring you current physical therapy-based posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

1. Worker’s Compensation: What Is A Job Analysis?

Written by ARC Physical Therapy+ with locations throughout  Missouri, Kansas, and Iowa.

A functional job analysis is the first and most critical step of a comprehensive injury management program. The job analysis is the cornerstone for determining the essential functions of the position and associated physical demands required as well as for developing testing to determine the physical capabilities of an employee.  Read more

 

physical therapy for headaches

2. Physical Therapy Tackles Cervicogenic Headaches Head-On

Written by Jaco Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy practice with locations throughout Oahu, Hawaii.

Are you noticing headaches on one side or the back of your head? Are you feeling worse at the end of your workday or headaches that worsen with computer usage or driving? You may be suffering from cervicogenic headaches. Thankfully, they are treatable with physical therapy!  Read more

 

How to Sleep Better

3. How you sleep matters.

Written by Riverview Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy group with locations throughout Maine.

How you sleep matters. Are you waking up with lower back discomfort or neck soreness that you didn’t go to bed with? You may be sleeping wrong.

Try sleeping on your back or on one of your sides. Sleeping on your stomach is never advised. Just think about it, would you spend your workday with your head turned 90 degrees to the side for 6-8 hours? Of course not.  Read more

We hope you enjoyed our picks for the PT News February/March 2022 edition.

Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!

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Ice or Heat When in Pain

Ice vs. Heat When in Pain

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Ice or Heat When in Pain

A question physical therapists get frequently asked is whether to use ice or heat on an injury. Here are some general guidelines to help in many scenarios. If you have certain conditions such as fibromyalgia, Reflex Sympathetic Disorder (RSD), or rheumatoid arthritis, your sensory pathways are affected and don’t fall into the typical response patterns.

Ice is for injuries and after activity and heat is for loosening and relaxing tissues, used before activity.

ICE

  • The first 24 – 48 hours after an acute injury onset, use ice. This is true even for simple muscle sprains or pulls.
  • After an activity, at the end of the day or when swelling is present, use ice. When things are inflamed, the more you do throughout the day, the more inflamed the area will get. Ice will assist in decreasing pain, inflammation, and swelling.
  • Ice can also be used for chronic conditions like overuse injuries to help control inflammation.

Ways to Ice:

  • Ice cubes in a plastic bag
  • Wet, frozen towel
  • Gel ice packs

Things to know about icing:

  • Don’t ice for more than 20 minutes
  • Let your tissues fully re-warm before re-icing
  • 20 minutes on, 40 minutes off is a good rule for icing multiple times
  • If you’re icing in an area with superficial nerves (elbow), don’t ice for more than 10 minutes
  • You never want to ice before an activity. You want your muscles warm, not cold!
  • Ice can aggravate symptoms of tightness and stiffness.

HEAT

  • Heat is typically used to help relax or loosen tissues.
  • Heat will bring more blood flow to the area.
  • Heat is usually used in conditions that are more chronic. This helps stimulate blood flow to the area.
  •  Heat, when needed, is used before activity assisting more blood flow to help loosen and relax the muscles.

Ways to Heat:

  • Heating Pad
  • Hot, wet towel

Things to know about heating:

  • Avoid heating for long periods
  • Don’t use heat when sleeping to avoid burns
  • Heat can make inflammation significantly worse.

If your pain doesn’t subside after a few days, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for help. We can evaluate your injury or pain and get you back on your path to recovery.

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BONUS!

Looking for an ice pack and can’t find one? No worries. Making your own ice pack at home is practical and easy.

hand in ice pack

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of rubbing alcohol
  • gallon-sized Ziploc bag

Directions:

  • Pour the water and rubbing alcohol into the bag ** Double the bag for extra protection against breakage.
  • Zip the bag shut removing as much air as possible.
  • Place the bag in the freezer until the liquid reaches a slushy mixture.
  • When ready, wrap the bag in a towel or pillowcase before applying it to the skin. (DON’T NOT APPLY BAG DIRECTLY TO SKIN)
Why we Love Physical Therapy

Why We LOVE Physical Therapy!

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Why we Love Physical Therapy

This Valentine’s day we wanted to tell you why we LOVE physical therapy! There are a million reasons, but these really hit close to home.

1. The human body is fascinating

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a machine that works as well or better than the human body. We see people with all kinds of injuries and pain – and for the most part, with a little help from us (okay, sometimes a lot!), the body will heal. The human body has around 640 muscles in 13 major muscle groups, working together to keep you moving. We love diving in to find out where your pain comes from, what caused it, and how we can get everything working smoothly again.

2. We can provide an alternative to surgery

We love that we get to provide an option for patients that might not be ready or are unwilling to try surgical options. Sometimes surgery is needed, and we’ll recommend someone we know and trust, but we love helping people achieve success with non-invasive techniques.

3. We get to make a difference in our patients’ lives

As physical therapists, few things are more rewarding than watching the small victories of our patients as they work towards their ultimate goals. Being a part of those first moments of success, whether it be a few extra degrees of mobility, that first step without pain – whatever the circumstances… those moments are what keep us coming back to the clinic each day. When patients walk through those doors for the first time, we know they are not at their best, but we’re going to work our hardest to get them back and better than ever!

4. We love seeing the impact of our work in the community

It’s hard not to smile when you see a former patient make the team without red-shirting the season. Or when we hear that one of our seniors is independent and expecting visits from their grandkids. Health is something a lot of us take for granted until we don’t have it. Seeing our patients active, happy, healthy, and out in the community is one of our favorite things.

We LOVE our physical therapy family, and we’re not alone.

Our best advocates happen to be current and former patients. Check out the great things they are saying about our PTandMe physical therapy family.  If you’ve been through a rehabilitation program, please consider leaving feedback for your clinic – It really does make a difference.

Reputation Reviews

To find a physical therapy clinic near you click the button below.

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Heart Disease to Healthy Hearts

Healthy Hearts This February

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Heart Disease to Healthy Hearts

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. Uncontrolled high blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke. In fact, more than 67 million Americans have high blood pressure. People with high blood pressure are four times more likely to die from a stroke and three times more likely to die from heart disease, compared to those with normal blood pressure.

According to the Office of Disease Prevention you can make healthy changes to lower your risk of developing heart disease. Controlling and preventing risk factors is also important for people who already have heart disease.

To lower your risk you can:

  • Watch your weight.
  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
  • Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
  • Get active and eat healthy.

A Snapshot: Blood Pressure in the U.S. Make Control Your Goal. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, the first and fourth leading causes of death for all Americans. High Blood Pressure Basics. 1 in 3 adults have high blood pressure. High blood pressure contributes to ~1,000 deaths/day. When your blood pressure is high, you are 4 times more likely to die from a stroke, and you are 3 times more likely to die from heart disease. 69% of people who have a first heart attack, 77% of people who have a first stroke, and 74% of people with chronic heart failure have high blood pressure. Annual estimated costs associated with high blood pressure: $51 billion, including $47.5 billion in direct medical expenses. Blood Pressure Control. Only about half of people with high blood pressure have their condition under control. Reducing average population systolic blood pressure by only 12–13 mmHg could reduce stroke by 37%, coronary heart disease by 21%, deaths from cardiovascular disease by 25%, and deaths from all causes by 13%. Make Control Your Goal, Every Day. Check your blood pressure regularly—at home, at a doctor’s office, or at a pharmacy. Eat a healthy diet with more fruits, vegetables, potassium, and whole grains and less sodium, saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol . Read nutrition labels and lower your sodium intake. Most of the sodium we eat comes from processed and restaurant foods. About 90% of Americans eat too much sodium. Quit smoking—or don’t start. 1-800-QUIT-NOW or Smokefree.gov. Adults should limit alcohol to no more than 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men. Get active and maintain a healthy weight. Aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every week. This infographic was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention in support of achieving the Million Hearts® initiative goal to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.
The American Heart Association also has some great resources on their website including tips to stay active, and how to make every move count!

If you need help finding exercises and activities that fit your lifestyle and abilities talk to your physical therapist. PT’s specialize in the science of movement, so who better to ask! If you don’t have a physical therapist make sure you check out our PT finder and get started on your path to a healthy heart this February!

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PT News January 2022

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PT News PTandMe

This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout January 2022. We are excited to bring you current physical therapy-based posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

physical therapy after a car accident

1. Physical Therapy gets Patient Walking Again after Serious Accident

Written by Ability Rehabilitation with multiple locations throughout  Central, FL.

In the US, 30 million children, and teens participate in organized sports with more than 4 million injuries each year. The majority of these injuries occur as sprains and strains of the upper and lower extremity. (Hopkinsmedicine.org) Many of these injuries are preventable with proper exercise training, which ultimately reduces health care costs and minimizes lost playing time keeping the athlete on the field or court.  Read more

 

2. Get Moving Again with these Helpful Tips

Written by Cornerstone Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy practice with locations in the Columbus, Ohio area.

Did you know that 80 percent of the U.S. population falls short of the Physical Activity Guidelines recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services? Millions of Americans are risking serious health consequences simply because they do too much sitting and not enough moving around. Read more

 

Pelvic Health for Men

3. Is Pelvic Rehab Just for Women?

Written by The Center for Physical Rehabilitation, an outpatient physical therapy group with locations throughout Greater Grand Rapids, MI. 

Pelvic floor physical therapy has long been identified as “Women’s Health.” But the fact remains that everyone is in possession of a pelvic floor. Men can experience pelvic floor dysfunction or pelvic pain for a multitude of reasons that can successfully be treated with physical therapy. Male pelvic floor dysfunction has the same definition as female. The pelvic floor is unable to correctly relax and coordinate muscle use, noting issues with urination, bowel movements, pain, or sexual dysfunction.  Read more

We hope you enjoyed our picks for the PT News January 2022 edition.

Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!

physical therapy near me

winter sports safety

Winter Sports Safety

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winter sports safety

The first snowfall is exciting. It’s a signal to strap on the skis and skates, or even jump on a sled. Days spent playing in the frosty snow can be jam-packed with fun, but like any activity, you need to play safely. Winter activities can lead to the same bumps and bruises of every sport, but there’s the added concern of how to safely stay outside in cold temperatures. To help with that we have compiled a few winter snow safety strategies to help you avoid some of the most common winter sports injuries.

General Guidelines

No matter what your winter sport is, it is important to take a few minutes and make sure you know how to be safe.
Suggestions include:

  • Don’t wait until the last minute. Start strength training the muscles you will need a month or so ahead of time. This will help you get into proper shape.
  • Make sure you are in good physical condition for activities in the cold. If you are unsure, check with your doctor.
  • Warm-up with light exercise for 5 minutes before you engage in any sport.
  • Make sure your equipment and protective gear are in good condition and fit well.
  • Always wear the appropriate protective gear for your sport.
  • Dress properly for the cold. Protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia.
  • Wear several layers of tops and pants under warm jackets. Wear hats and water-resistant gloves. Face masks may be necessary for very cold weather.
  • Protect your eyes from snow glare with shatter-proof sunglasses or goggles with UV protection.
  • Take lessons to improve your ability. Better skills will allow you to adjust to changing conditions.
  • Many organizations, like the National Ski Areas Association, recommend the use of helmets for downhill winter sports to prevent head injury.

Skiing and Snowboarding

Skiing and snowboarding have their own special equipment. The right equipment and the right fit are as important as knowing what you are doing. This will reduce your risk of injury.
Here are some other things you need to know:

  • Take lessons from an expert. Evidence supports that beginners are hurt more frequently. The quicker you improve, the safer you will be on the slopes.
  • Stick with your abilities. Do not attempt to ski a slope that is beyond your personal abilities. Ski-marked trails and observe trail signs. Rest when you get tired.
  • Be sure that equipment is properly maintained and clean—no dirt or salt between boots, bindings, and the binding mechanism.
  • Properly adjust bindings to reduce the chance of leg injuries. Test your ability to escape bindings by standing in the skis, then twisting to release the toe and heel pieces
  • Wear the proper gear for snowboarding. This includes snowboarding pants, wrist guards, arm guards, and shin guards.
  • When approaching the lift, be aware of pieces of clothing that could become entangled.
  • Wear a helmet specifically designed for snow sports.
  • Always ski or board with a buddy.
  • Know and observe all the rules about crossing a trail, passing, and stopping.
  • Wear sunscreen.
  • Wear bright colors.
  • If you are cross-country skiing for long distances, take snacks, water, extra clothes, and first aid supplies with you. Take a cell phone if you will be skiing in a remote area.

BOSU Balance, Endurance, and Strengthening Exercises to help you Stay Healthy on the Slopes

Exercises provided by North Lake Physical Therapy, located in Portland Oregon

Make sure you’re safe on the slopes by going to see your physical therapist. A Physical therapist can evaluate your injury, start a treatment plan, and most importantly, make sure you’re able to get back out enjoying your winter sports and activities.

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Physical Therapy for Type 2 Diabetes

Physical Therapy for Type 2 Diabetes

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Physical Therapy for Type 2 Diabetes

If you are looking for better ways to manage your Type 2 Diabetes or are simply trying to get ahead of it by preventing it, read on because we may have some tips for you!

Just under half a billion people are currently living with diabetes worldwide. That number is projected to increase by 25% in 2030 and 51% in 2045. Diabetes is a worldwide health problem characterized by the body’s inability to break down sugar due to the inefficiency of the hormone insulin, which can lead to several complications, including the disproportionate impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on people with this condition. Diabetes can affect people of all ages and can be associated with muscle weakness, decreased endurance, balance problems, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, and musculoskeletal impairments. “Up to 80% of patients referred for outpatient physical therapy have diabetes or are at risk for diabetes, providing an opportunity for us as physical therapists to intervene.” – JOSPT

Diabetes can affect a person’s ability to move easily due to issues associated with joint mobility limitation and tissue changes, resulting in thicker and stiffer collagen tissues in tendons, skin, and discs, increasing a person’s risk for injury.

One of the best ways physical therapists help patients combat all these underlying issues is, you guessed right, Exercise!

Researchers in the United Kingdom found that exercise reduces your risk of developing the disease by almost 25 percent. So how much exercise is enough? The quantity of exercise is important because the positive effects on blood sugar drop 72 hours after you’ve finished your activity. This means that instead of trying to get your exercise in once a week — such as on the weekend — you should spread out your activities throughout the week. The American Diabetes Association recommends 150 minutes of exercise per week of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. However, those with peripheral neuropathy, nerve damage commonly caused by diabetes, shouldn’t perform any weight-bearing activities.

The best exercise program for those with type 2 diabetes should include a combination of aerobic, resistance, and endurance training. We can also provide patients with a fall prevention program designed to increase independence with functional activities, functional mobility, and safety awareness while decreasing fall risk.

Here are some of the exercises recommended during physical therapy for Type 2 Diabetes:

  • Walking – The only thing necessary to complete this activity is a good pair of shoes and a trail, path, or sidewalk. Taking a brisk walk 3 to 5 times a week will put you on your way to meeting the recommended exercise recommendation goals.
  • Stationary Bicycling – This is a low-impact exercise that can help strengthen muscles, and limit joint pain.
  • Swimming – This is another activity that puts very little strain on the body’s joints but gives you a whole-body workout at the same time.
  • Aerobic dance – Zumba is an example of aerobic dance that encourages you to move around freely! Not only will this exercise your body, but it will give you a chance to connect with others that are looking to improve their health in similar ways to you.
  • Resistance band exercisesUsing resistance bands will allow you to train in a very different way than usual. Although, to use them properly, consulting with a physical therapist is a good idea. Your therapist can help you learn the safest ways to use the bands. They can also assist you with appropriate exercises for your health and fitness level.
  • YogaYoga can improve flexibility & joint health. It can provide a mental boost as well.

Bonus Tips for Safe Exercise

Exercise should be a safe, enjoyable, and positive experience. Here are some exercise tips for individuals with diabetes.

  • Check Your Blood SugarIt’s important to check your blood sugar every 30 minutes during exercise, and four hours afterward to make sure that you’re maintaining proper blood sugar levels.
  • Check Your Feet/Shoes – People with this condition are at risk for diabetic neuropathy, which is a type of nerve damage that can mostly occur in the legs and feet. Diabetic neuropathy can lead to serious complications, including ulcers, infection, and bone & joint pain. Make sure to wear clean socks and shoes that fit you well. Look inside your shoes before wearing them to make sure there is nothing in them that might hurt you or make you feel uncomfortable. Always examine your feet before and after activity for blisters, redness, or other signs of irritation.
  • Hydration and Snacks – Staying hydrated is essential to avoid any injury. It is also important to have some fast-acting sugary food available in the event of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar levels. This is critical for individuals who are on insulin and have type 1 diabetes.
  • Warm-Up/Cool Down – We encourage you to warm up for 5 minutes before starting to exercise and cool down for 5 minutes in the end. If you begin to feel uncomfortable, you should rest for a few minutes and see how you feel. Use the “talk test” to make sure you are not pushing yourself too hard. If you become short of breath and you can’t talk, then slow down. As your fitness level improves over time, you’ll be able to exercise at a higher intensity and chat with others while having fun exercising.

Physical therapy for Type 2 diabetes can help patients address weakness, balance problems, lack of activity, and more. As mentioned before, skipping regular physical activity for more than two days in a row can lead to glucose intolerance and insulin sensitivity, so it is important that you maintain your physical therapy appointments and follow our home exercise instructions. We can help you manage your diabetes together and help you live a happy healthy life.

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PT News PTandMe

PT News December 2021

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PT News PTandMe

This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout December 2021. We are excited to bring you current physical therapy-based posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

Core Strength Improve Balance

1. Injury Prevention and Durability: The Significance of the “Core”

Written by Mishock Physical Therapy with multiple locations throughout  Montgomery, Berks, and Chester Counties.

In the US, 30 million children, and teens participate in organized sports with more than 4 million injuries each year. The majority of these injuries occur as sprains and strains of the upper and lower extremity. (Hopkinsmedicine.org) Many of these injuries are preventable with proper exercise training, which ultimately reduces health care costs and minimizes lost playing time keeping the athlete on the field or court.  Read more

 

Boxing Physical Therapy

2. Boxing: Making an Impact in Physical Therapy

Written by Intermountain Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy practice with locations in Caldwell, Nampa, and Meridian, ID

Boxing is a full-body fitness and rehabilitation strategy that, in addition to general fitness, can be applied to a variety of conditions seen and treated by Physical Therapists and Physical Therapy Assistants.  Boxing has health applications for both neurologic and pathologic conditions, with significant research focusing on four common conditions addressed by physical therapy. Read more

 

3. The McKenzie Method

Written by ARC Physical Therapy+, an outpatient physical therapy group with locations throughout Greater Kansas City. 

“The most compelling part of the McKenzie Method is that it allows the patient to take a more active role in managing their pain,” Megan Westman, DPT, Certified MDT, explains. “It provides the patient’s tools to prevent further pain as well as improve centralization and reduction of symptoms in between each PT visit.”…  Read more

We hope you enjoyed our picks for the PT News December 2021 edition.

Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!

physical therapy near me