All posts by Teresa Stockton

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PT News November 2018

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PT News PTandMe

This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout November, 2018. Featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

Seeing a physical therapist first with Direct Access

1. Seeing A Physical Therapist First, Through Direct Access, Improves Outcomes and Saves Money
Written by Mishock Physical Therapy & Associates with six physical therapy locations throughout Montgomery, Berks and Chester, PA Counties.

With direct access, getting the help you need has never been easier. Direct access is a law that allows you to seek care from your physical therapist without a physician referral. This means that as a patient, you can call us directly if you have an injury, pain, stiffness, or weakness that you want evaluated.  Read more


things you should know about vertigo

2. Things You Should Know About Vertigo
Written by the Therapy Team at Momentum Physical Therapy with 12  physical therapy locations throughout Greater San Antonio.

While anti-nausea medication and rest can help, there are ways to treat vertigo without medication. Vertigo can be helped with physical therapy. BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo), commonly described as having “loose crystals in the inner ear,” is the most common type of treated with physical therapy.  Read more

Questions to ask before surgery

3. Questions To Ask Before Choosing Surgery
Written by the Therapy Team at The Center for Physical Rehabilitation with 6, but soon to be 7, physical therapy locations throughout the Greater Grand Rapids Area.

Having surgery can be an intimidating process. Know what your surgical goals are. Are you looking to return to normal daily life functions or do you have plans to return to or start into high-level fitness/athletics? Read more

lack of exercise worse than smoking

Lack of Exercise Worse than Smoking, Diabetes, and Heart Disease

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lack of exercise worse than smoking

As physical therapists, it is our job to promote movement and overall well-being.  Exercising regularly is linked to better physical and mental health and can help to prevent or delay heart disease, strokes, certain types of cancer, and diabetes. What is perhaps less known is that not being active can be harmful to your health. This lifestyle, called sedentary, has been linked to a number of preventable diseases. Researchers wanted to assess the impact of a sedentary lifestyle on all-cause mortality. The study, published in JAMA, suggests that a sedentary lifestyle has a larger impact on our health than previously thought.

About the study
The study by Jama included 122,007 participants at an academic medical center. The mean age of the participants was 53 years and they were 59% male. Among these, 13,637 died during the study.

The study followed participants for median of 8.4 years. Their physical fitness was measured using exercise treadmill testing and they were arranged by age and gender into the following performance groups:

  • Low—less active than 25% of participants
  • Below average—less active than 49% of participants
  • Above average—more active than at least 50% of participants
  • High—more active than at least 75% of participants
  • Elite—more active than almost 98% of participants

The study found that death from any cause was lowest among elite category. Death rates were highest among those in low category. It also found that the increase in risk of death linked to sedentary behavior was equal to or greater than the risk of death from smoking, diabetes, and heart disease.

How Does This Affect You?

Cohort studies are observational studies. These studies simply observe events as they unfold, but do not interfere or introduce factors that can affect the outcome. While they can’t show direct cause and effect, they can show a possible link between two factors. A large number of studies have found that sedentary behavior affects health, however this is the first that showed it may be as significant as smoking, diabetes, or heart disease.

If you are sedentary, start moving. Make changes in small increments to help you adjust. Starting a workout routine can be a challenge, but with the help of a physical therapist, you can learn how to get started and safely build up to a regular routine. Work toward at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity aerobic activity. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Start with short episodes of activity. Try doing 3-4 bouts of walking for 10 minutes at a time, spread throughout the day.
  • Try out different activities to see which work best for you.
  • Look for opportunities to move during the day. Take stairs instead of the elevator, park a little further away, or walk instead of taking your car. Little bits can add up and help you reach longer goals.

If you are already active, keep it up! Make sure to schedule activity into your daily routine.

Need help getting started? We have some great ideas for you here!

exercise tips starting a workout program


2008 physical activity guidelines for Americans Summary. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion website. Available at: Accessed October 25, 2018.

Mandsager K, Harb S, et al. Association of cardiorespiratory fitness with long-term mortality among adults undergoing exercise treadmill testing. JAMA Netw Open. 2018;1(6):e183605. Available at: Accessed October 25, 2018.

physical therapy after a car accident

Who Pays for Physical Therapy After a Car Accident?

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physical therapy after a car accident

Being involved in a car accident can be a life-changing event. The shock alone from the accident can lead to emotional trauma, particularly if you are injured. Ideally, you will let your insurance company handle all aspects of recuperating any compensation due to you. This will include monies for damage to your vehicle as well as for your injuries. In addition to medical expenses, you will need to collect compensation for lost wages and pain and suffering. If you have to go through physical therapy, you will want to be compensated for those expenses, as well. Ideally, you will not have to pay anything out of pocket for medical expenses.

Who Is Responsible for Your Physical Therapy Expenses in a Car Accident?

If you are injured in a car accident, there’s a good chance you may have to go through physical therapy to enhance your recovery. Your insurance will be able to help you pinpoint the party that is responsible for paying for the therapy. If the accident is deemed as your fault, your insurance company will pay for the therapy up to a certain amount. The exact policy you have will determine what this limit is.

If the other person is at fault, then their insurance will cover your physical therapy expenses. Oftentimes, there is a medical expense limit in place, such as $30,000. If your expenses exceed this limit, this doesn’t mean the at-fault party’s insurance is not going to cover more. In addition to medical expense coverage, the person’s insurance will likely offer you some type of settlement. Never should you accept the settlement if you don’t talk to a car accident lawyer first. This lawyer can help you determine if the settlement is reasonable. Much of the time, the lawyer can speak with the insurance company and get you a settlement that is two to three times as much as the initial offer, which will be of the utmost help when covering your physical therapy expenses.

If the other party does not have car insurance and you are not at fault, your insurance still may provide medical coverage to a certain amount. Beyond that amount, you would have to sue the at-fault party to cover your physical therapy expenses.

How Do I Recover Physical Therapy Expenses From an Accident?

The best way to recover physical therapy expenses is through the at-fault party’s insurance. Your insurance company or the other person’s insurance company may try to offer you a low-ball settlement amount. Have an attorney speak with the insurance companies for you and make sure you receive as much money as possible to pay for your physical therapy expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and more.

How to Prove Your Expense?

No matter who is at fault for the accident, you will have to prove your physical therapy expenses in order to receive coverage for them. Many times, the physical therapist that you receive therapy from will bill the insurance company directly. If not, you will need to provide receipts that outline the services rendered as well as doctor notes detailing how the therapy relates to the injury sustained in the car accident.

Paying for Long-Term Injuries That Require Physical Therapy

Many people who are injured in a car accident will have to go through numerous sessions of physical therapy. Sometimes, these sessions can last for many years, especially if the person has suffered from a severe injury. Hopefully, the at-fault party’s insurance will have a liability coverage limit in place that exceeds what you have to pay for physical therapy. If not, you will have to use the settlement funds to pay for your expenses. You can speak with your physical therapist to determine how long it is predicted that it will take you to recover. From there, a settlement amount can be agreed upon with the at-fault party’ insurance that will likely cover your predicted expenses.

Who Do I Bring a Claim Against for Compensation If I Need Physical Therapy?

The entity to which you will bring a claim against for compensation if you need physical therapy will depend on the details of the accident. If you were at fault, you will need to speak with your own insurance company. However, because insurance language can be difficult to understand and because you likely don’t understand all of your rights, it is extremely important to have a qualified attorney speak with your insurance company for you. A physician can even speak with the insurance company to let them know how extensive your injuries are.

If another person is at fault, your claim will need to be brought against that person’s insurance or that person. Hopefully, you will have a lawyer handling all communications for you, allowing you to focus on your recovery and not have to worry about speaking with insurance companies. This lawyer can speak with your physical therapist to ensure everyone is on the same page regarding your injuries and compensation.

Collecting Compensation for Physical Therapy Costs After an Accident

There is an extensive process that must be followed in order to collect compensation for physical therapy after a car accident. All of the involved steps have to be completed thoroughly and effectively the first time around or the process has to be started over. Receiving all monies owed to you will be of the utmost help in covering your physical therapy expenses. It also will help pay for the daily living expenses that you incur while recovering, which can add up quickly and will become a financial burden since you won’t be able to work.

how do falls happen

How Do Falls Happen?

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Statistics show that the majority (60 percent) of falls happen on the same level resulting from slips and trips. The remaining (40 percent) are falls from a height. This document will summarize information on “falls on the same level” (slips and trips). Falls from an elevation, such as falls from ladders, roofs, down stairs or from jumping to a lower level, etc., will discussed in another document since each type of fall requires different features in a fall prevention program.

Slips happen where there is too little friction or traction between the footwear and the walking surface.
Common causes of slips are:
• Wet or oily surfaces
• Occasional spills
• Weather hazards
• Loose, unanchored rugs or mats, and flooring or other walking surfaces that do not have same degree of traction in all areas


Trips happen when your foot collides (strikes, hits) an object causing you to lose the balance and, eventually fall.
Common causes of tripping are:
• Obstructed view
• Poor lighting
• Clutter in your way
• Wrinkled carpeting
• Uncovered cables
• Bottom drawers not being closed, and uneven (steps, thresholds) walking surfaces

Find a physical therapist near me

Click here to see the Fit2Wrk presentation: Slips and Falls in the Workplace

For more information about balance and fall prevention click the links below:

PT News PTandMe

PT News October 2018

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PT News PTandMe

This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout October, 2018. Featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

Kicking injury aside Rebound Physical Therapy Review

1. Kicking Injury Aside and Back on the Field
Written by Rebound Physical Therapy with 10 physical therapy locations throughout Bend, OR and the surrounding communities.

Physical therapists help patients with all kinds of disabilities or injury. Read about Kaylee’s journey through rehab as she goes from being a soccer athlete to having to relearn how to walk, and eventually get back into her sport.  Read more


Transitioning Indoor Activities

2. Transitioning to Indoor Activities
Written by the Therapy Team at The Jackson Clinics with 18  physical therapy locations throughout Northern VA and soon branching into Maryland.

While summer offers opportunities to walk, jog, bicycle, garden, play sports and get into shape, cold weather brings the temptation to eat more, move less and hibernate indoors. Shorter days, frosty air and holiday parties can threaten the fitness gains you made during the summer.  Read more

women's health

3. The Importance of Physical Therapy on Women’s Health: All You Need to Know
Written by the Therapy Team at Cornerstone Physical Therapy with 5 physical therapy locations in Ohio.

Ever since the #1 New York Times bestseller entitled “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus” by John Gray was published, more and more people have asked the question “What makes men and women so different?” Read more

5 Most Common Sports Injuries

Top 5 Most Common Sports Injuries and How to Avoid Them

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5 Most Common Sports Injuries


Injuries are a byproduct of sports, no matter if you are a professional athlete or just a sports enthusiast. You may go to extra lengths to prevent them and avoid the pain and trouble, put prevention can only go so far when you’re trying to achieve performance. Depending on the type of physical activity that you are engaging in, some injuries might occur more often than others. In this article, we will be talking about the most common of them and also, what to do to avoid suffering from them.

1. Ankle Sprain

Scary official numbers tell us that every day, about 25.000 people end up spraining their ankle in the United States. This is probably the most common injury among people of all ages. However, it doesn’t necessarily result from playing sports. It can also happen while you’re walking on the street or walking down some stairs. Nevertheless, the problem with ankle sprains resulted from playing sports like basketball, soccer, tennis or volleyball is that they can be more serious because of the increased force and speed at which the injury occurs. Naturally, this means that the time needed for recovery is longer and the treatments costlier.

Ankle sprains have three degrees of severity, according to doctors:

  • Grade 1: Minimal damage to the ligaments, just some slight stretching;
  • Grade 2: A loose ankle joint and partial tearing of the ligament, more pain is involved;
  • Grade 3: The most severe case, very unstable ankle joint, a complete tear of the ligament.

The good news is that an ankle sprain is preventable if you truly want to avoid going through all that trouble and pain. Here are a few tips:

  • Practice ankle strengthening exercises and stretching before every exercise session;
  • If you’ve had a sprain before, always wear preventive braces before and while playing sports;
  • Practice balance training regularly so that your ankle will become stronger and your body will gain more control over various types of exercises and positions;
  • Wear proper footwear for the surface you’re exercising on and for the sport you’re practicing.

2. Shoulder dislocation

Shoulder dislocation is also among the most common injuries that you can get. It usually occurs when your upper arm bone goes out of the shoulder socket where it should normally stay. This kind of injury is often caused by a nasty fall, a tackle in football for example, or by any other type of strong collision. Apart from football, rugby and hockey are the two other high contact sports where shoulder dislocations occur most frequently. However, surfers, tennis players, weightlifters and cyclists can also suffer from it, but not as frequently.

A dislocated shoulder is a very visible problem, as you will immediately notice the deformed shape it will take after an injury and you will feel a lot of pain. If you’re lucky, your arm bone might go back into the shoulder socket on its own, but if it doesn’t do that, a doctor is the only one who can fix your problem. Thankfully, you can also prevent your shoulder from becoming dislocated:

  • Do strengthening exercises for your rotator cuff muscles so that you can decrease your chances of a shoulder dislocation;
  • Wear a shoulder brace or some kind of support while doing physical exercise or playing sports, especially if you have suffered from a dislocated shoulder before;
  • Invest in a resistance band and use it for exercises. Also, do some push-ups and shoulder shrugs to avoid a shoulder dislocation.

3. Knee Sprain

A knee sprain resulted from physical exercise is very similar to an ankle sprain. It happens when the ligaments in the knee become either stretched, partially or completely torn. The four ligaments in your knee that can be affected by a knee sprain are the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments, and the medial and lateral collateral ligaments. People or professional athletes who play football, soccer, and basketball, as well as cyclists, tennis players and runners often end up suffering from knee sprains. Often, this injury is the result of an abrupt directional change or a hit to the knee area from either side of it.  There are a few ways in which you can avoid this very common injury. Here are some of them:

  • If you maintain your body weight under control and don’t go overboard you are less likely to injure your knee in any way because they won’t have to sustain so much pressure;
  • Warm up before your exercise session by biking, jogging or walking;
  • Strengthening exercises for your quadriceps, calf, and hamstring muscles will also help you prevent knee sprains.

4. Lower back injuries

Most people are affected by lower back injuries at one point in their lives, no matter if they’re professional athletes or not. However, people who play a sport or are physically active usually end up with common back strains. Those are, in fact, a group of injuries that affect the soft tissue of the spine like ligaments, muscles, blood vessels, and tendons. There are many causes of back strains like obesity, trauma, poor posture, etc. Even lifting something heavy or moving suddenly can cause such an injury. Here is how to prevent a lower back strain:

  • Stretching helps a lot in these cases. So, if you have a sedentary job, try to get up as often as possible and walk around;
  • Spine and lower back muscle strengthening exercises can help a lot when it comes to preventing injuries;
  • Always warm up your back before doing any type of exercise. Also, after your routine, apply some ice on your lower back area in case you feel it sore or tight.

5. Hamstring strain

A hamstring strain is definitely one of the most common sports injuries and regardless of what sport or type of physical activity you have done, you most likely suffered from it. The biggest problem with it is that it can last for a very long time, and sometimes, you carry it for your entire life. Stopping suddenly can cause a hamstring strain, as well as running and jumping. In most cases, it’s caused by failure to warm up before routines, and poor flexibility and balance. However, there are a few things that you can do to avoid and prevent it:

  • You always need to properly warm up before doing any kind of exercise;
  • Massage your hamstring before starting your routine;
  • Strengthen your quadriceps and glutes to relieve the pressure off your hamstring.

All in all, it seems that certain injuries resulted from various types of sports and physical exercises are very common among people of all ages. Fortunately, there are certain things that you can do in order to avoid them. The truth is that certain injuries are sometimes unavoidable no matter how hard you try, but just a bit of precaution might go a long way.

This guest post was writte by Benjamin Holeman, an amateur pickleball player and a writer for
He thinks that sport has many benefits and that’s why he wants more and more people to play sports.

soccer injuries

Prevent Common Soccer Injuries with Physical Therapy

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soccer injuries

Soccer is a great way to build endurance, improve speed, and stay fit, all while enjoying being a part of a team. However, it does not come without it’s risks. By regularly performing quick, complicated movements combined physical contact, injuries can range from mild sprains and strains – to those that may require surgery like a torn ACL. Risk of injury is no reason not to play soccer, though. Soccer players just need to be aware of the risks and know what steps they can take to play as safely as possible.

1. Sprains

Sprains are common soccer injuries. They often happen to the ankle or knee. The pivoting and lateral movements of soccer contribute to these injuries. To avoid unnecessary risk, always check the condition of the field before you play. Do not play on fields that are uneven or have holes or rocks on them. Also, proper footwear and appropriate strength and balance training are the key to prevention.

2. Strains

Muscle strains can be caused by:

  • Pulling a muscle too far in a direction it does not want to go
  • Contracting a muscle hard against resistance
  • Contracting a muscle hard when the muscle is not ready

The most common muscle strains in soccer occur with groin muscles, hamstrings, and quadriceps. A muscle strain won’t send you to the emergency room, but it can be painful and can keep you off the field for a few days or weeks. Strains occur frequently in soccer due to constant stop and go movement, or taking a longer stride than muscles can handle. Good flexibility and strength can lower your chances of muscle strain. Start with a warm up, then stretch the areas that are most likely to suffer a strain. Make sure that you are also doing strengthening exercises before the season begins. Wearing well-fitted cleats with appropriate spikes (longer spikes in softer turf and shorter spikes on dry, hard turf) may also help prevent strains.

3. Fractures

The majority of soccer-related fractures are also in the lower extremities . Fractures often occur as a result of contact, so wearing protective gear like shin guards is important.

4. Head Injury

Closed-head injury is most often the result of a collision between players or from not heading the ball properly. Correct heading involves use of the forehead to contact the ball, the neck muscles to restrict head motion, and the leg muscles to to propel the body from the waist. You may want to consider strengthening your neck muscles to prepare them for heading. You can use your hand to provide resistance against your head. Then, use your neck muscles to turn your head right, left, forward, and backward. Wear a fitted mouth guard to protect your mouth and teeth. You may also want to consider protective eye-wear.

Preventing Soccer Injuries with Physical Therapy.

By working with a physical therapist for injury prevention you get the opportunity to work with an expert of the human body. A physical therapy team will be able to target specific muscles in the legs to strengthen and prepare for the movements performed regularly from athletes of all performance levels. For example, to help prevent an ACL Tear  they may provide an athlete with multi directional knee stability training.  In regard to head injuries a physical therapist may ask you to complete baseline testing, giving coaches and athletic trainers the ability to track your cognitive progress in case of a concussion.

Physical therapists can also help by working with teams to create more effective warm-up exercises designed specifically for your sport and ability levels.

After an Injury Occurs

If you have experienced a soccer injury that doesn’t recover after a few days of rest it may be time to consult a physical therapist or your primary health care provider.  Pushing through pain while trying to remain active in a sport may lead to a more severe injury as well as improper healing of the affected muscles. By going through a physical therapy program, athletes are not only given all of the tools needed to recovery from the initial injury, but also the education and exercises needed to prevent injury in the future.


Asken MJ, Schwartz RC. Heading the ball in soccer: what’s the risk of brain injury? The Physician and Sportsmedicine. 1998;26(11).

Boden BP, Kirkendall DT, Garrett WE Jr. Concussion incidence in elite college soccer players. Am J Sports Med. 1998;26(2)238-41.

Metzl JD, Fleischer GR. Sports-specific concerns in the young athlete: soccer. J Pediat Care. 1999 April.

Soccer and the brain. University of Washington website. Available at: Accessed Accessed January 18, 2017.

Soccer injury prevention. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: Updated September 2013. Accessed January 18, 2017.

Soccer injury prevention. Stop Sports Injuries website. Available at: . Accessed January 18, 2017.

PT News PTandMe

PT News September 2018

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PT News PTandMe

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

Juvenile Arthritis

1. Childhood Arthritis and How Physical Therapy Can Help
Written by Cornerstone Physical Therapy with 5 physical therapy locations in Ohio.

Juvenile arthritis (JA) isn’t a specific disease, but an inflammatory and autoimmune condition in youngsters under age 16. JA affects approximately 300,000 children just in the U.S. and it’s classified within seven different types, depending upon a range of symptoms and coconditions. Read more


shoulder physical therapy

2. Hands-on physical therapy effective for common shoulder conditions
Written by the Therapy Team at Rehab Associates with physical therapy locations throughout Central, VA.

Shoulder problems are one of the more common issues that affect the musculoskeletal system, as its prevalence in the general population has been reported as high as 4.8%. The most common shoulder condition that causes pain is shoulder impingement syndrome (SIS), which often results from too much overhead activity.  Read more

Tummy Time

3. Tummy Time Positions
Written by the Therapy Team at The Center for Physical Rehabilitation (CPR) in Grand Rapids, MI and the surrounding communities.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies are placed on their backs for sleeping and on their tummies for supervised play time as part of their daily routine. So many of our carriers, including car seats, car seat stroller combos, bouncers and swings put our kids into a supine (aka, on their backs) position and make it more challenging to incorporate tummy time into your day. Read more

physical therapy and ovarian cancer

Physical Therapy and Ovarian Cancer

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physical therapy and ovarian cancer

Every 23 minutes, a woman is diagnosed with ovarian cancer, which is the number one cause of gynecologic cancer deaths. September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and in honor of that, here is some information on what exactly ovarian cancer is and how adding physical therapy into a treatment plan can be beneficial.

What is Ovarian Cancer?

Ovarian Cancer is a disease where different types of malignant tumors develop in the ovaries and eventually can spread to the pelvis and abdomen in later stages. Early on, it is easier to treat and the treatments are more successful. Unfortunately, the disease is most often caught in the later stages when its harder to treat because this is when the symptoms first start to present themselves. Other lesser health problems share many early symptoms of ovarian cancer such as fatigue, changes in menstruation, and bloating, which leads to ovarian cancer often being misdiagnosed as more common health issues.

Physical Therapy and Ovarian Cancer

Because physical therapy may not be the first route of healthcare cancer patients think of, most people are unaware of how helpful it can be to add it into a cancer patients exercise regimen. There is recent research on how adding physical therapy into a patient’s treatment plan can improve daily function, quality of life and health. Not only can it be helpful during treatment, but also during recovery. Because of the ever-increasing survival rate of cancer, more recovery strategies, like physical therapy, are being studied.

The course of treatment for cancer is grueling and leaves many patients exhausted and sometimes incapable of doing mundane tasks. Individualized exercise programs can be designed by physical therapists to be both safe and practical for each patient. There are certain things that should be taken into consideration by your physical therapist while discussing a new exercise program:

  • Current Exercise Regimen
  • Physical Limitations
  • Capabilities During/Post Treatment

It is recommended to do both moderate and vigorous exercises before, during, and after the treatment of ovarian cancer to improve the outcome as well as prevent recurrence. Some examples of this are:

  • Moderate Bike Riding
  • Brisk Walking
  • Badminton
  • Hiking
  • Jogging
  • Basketball

There are certain things that should be taken into consideration by your physical therapist while discussing a new exercise program:

  • Current Exercise Regimen
  • Physical Limitations
  • Capabilities During/Post Treatment

The main focus of creating an exercise program for a cancer patient is to simply increase heart rate and muscle flexion through minimal physical exertion in order to boost tolerance for treatments. Things you can expect to be included in a physical therapy program for ovarian cancer patients may include:

  • Flexibility Exercises
  • Strength Training
  • Range-of-Motion Training
  • Light Resistance Exercises
  • Cardiovascular Activity

If you are interested in adding physical therapy to your treatment plan, talk to your doctor to refer you to a physical therapist who specializes in working with oncology patients.

Sternocleidomastoid (SCM) Muscle Pain

Sternocleidomastoid (SCM) Muscle Pain

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Sternocleidomastoid (SCM) Muscle Pain
Patients with complaints of ear pain or fullness could have Sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle pain.

Sternocleidomastoid (scm) muscle pain typically brings complaints of dizziness or sudden hearing loss, headache or jaw pain, even when everything appears to be normal. If this is the case it might be time to consider a muscular or mechanical reason for the symptoms. Many patients with these complaints are referred to physical therapy clinic after months of testing that are inconclusive and often negative. We have found the sternocleidomastoid muscle is often the source of the patient’s complaints.

Pain and Symptoms Associated with the Sternocleidomastoid

Sternal Division
This is the muscle head that connects to the breastbone (sternum).
Pain may be felt in these areas:

  • Cheek and jaw
  • Sinuses
  • Back of head at the bottom of the skull
  • Around one eye
  • Top of head

It may also be associated with these symptoms:

  • Tearing of eye
  • Visual disturbances when viewing parallel lines
  • Chronic “sore throat” when swallowing,
  • Chronic dry cough

Clavicular Division
This is the muscle head that connects to the collarbone (clavicle).
Symptoms may be felt in these areas:

  • Pain across the forehead
  • Frontal sinus-like headache
  • Earache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Car-sickness
  • Faulty weight perception of held objects
  • Hearing loss in one ear

Physical Therapy can help patients experience Sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle pain relief in as little as one visit.
A physical therapist will evaluate the patient to determine which part fo the Sternocleidomastoid Muscle is causing the patient pain, as well as the sensitivity levels of trigger points. Once a treatment plan has been determined our licensed physical therapists will work with patients on certain exercises and stretches designed to increase flexibility and strengthen the Sternocleidomastoid muscle. Hands-on manual therapy techniques are used to relax the muscle to help reduce pain levels. Dry needling may also be utilized to give relief to multiple trigger points.


This article was written by the physical therapists at Quad City Physical Therapy, located in Davenport, IA. More information about Qaud City PT can be found at