Category Archives: Neck

PT News PTandMe

PT News January 2019

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PT News PTandMe

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

neck pain

1. Improving your Bed & Workstation Setup can Help Reduce your Neck Pain
Written by Sport & Spine Physical Therapy with 5 physical therapy locations throughout Southern Wisconsin.

The neck has an incredibly important job to do. It supports the head and allows us to move it in a wide range of directions so that we can better navigate the world around us. But because of how frequently it’s used and its position in the body, the neck is also a very common location for pain, and sometimes all it takes is one bad night’s sleep to ruin your day.  Read more

 

Dry Needling

2. What is Dry Needling and How Does it Work?
Written by the Therapy Team at Momentum Physical Therapy with 12 physical therapy locations throughout Greater San Antonio.

You may have heard of acupuncture, but have you heard of dry needling? If you’re up for trying new things to help with your physical therapy, keep reading to get more information on dry needling and how it works in physical therapy.  Read more

Work Injury Patient

3. Rehabilitation Program Gets Man Safely Back to Work After Two Different Operations
Written by the physical therapy team at Ability Rehabilitation with locations throughout Greater Orlando and the Tampa Bay Area

Carlos needed two different surgical procedures three years apart to repair a torn rotator cuff and an injured bicep muscle. But he also had a family to support and a paycheck to earn; he didn’t have the luxury of taking an extended leave of absence from work. Read more

Cervical Headache Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy for a Cervical Headache

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Cervical Headache Physical Therapy

What is a Cervical Headache and How Can Physical Therapy Help?

Cervical headaches are most often found in people around the age of 33, are usually one sided, and begin in the back of the head and radiates. A cervical headache is usually caused by agitation of the nerves exiting the skull or is a result of trauma, sustained postures, stiffness and general neck pain to the upper cervical segments.

Headaches are a common occurrence in daily life, and occur for a multitude of reasons. Usually, they pass without issue, and sometimes they might require Tylenol. However, sometimes the headaches are more severe and either remain present and linger, or recur at consistent (or inconsistent) intervals. When the headache begins in the back of the neck or following neck pain, it is likely a cervicogenic headache.  These headaches occur when there is a dysfunction in the upper cervical spine (upper neck), agitating nerves that share a pathway with the nerves that supply the jaw and temples.  These headaches often accompany stiffness in the neck, usually to one side or direction, and often react to postures (looking down, looking up, sleep, etc.). These headaches are mechanical in nature, meaning the movement and positions of joints are the cause of the headache. Therefore, movements either active or passive in the neck can change the stimulus that alerts the brain, causing pain.

Physical therapy, including manual therapy, repeated movements, exercise and posture education are the most effective treatment for these headaches. Further, and the best news of all, reduction does not take a long time, with relief usually in the initial visit and resolution in 4-5 visits.

How Physical Therapy for a Cervical Headache Typically Works

There are multiple types of headaches. Often a simple exam and a few questions can rule in or out cervical headaches as the cause. Very rarely are expensive imaging and testing needed to achieve a diagnosis. Following an initial evaluation, a physical therapist will have the basis for understanding:

  • How the headache is effecting function
  • Where the headache symptoms are coming from
  • Whether or not a red flag condition may be present
  • A direction to move the patient in to remove pain
  • Whether another headache type is present (migrain or tension headache) and how to proceed

When the initial evaluation is over the physical therapist will:

  • Identify the pain causing movement, posture, or spinal segment
  • Gear treatment around self management and the repetition of movements
  • Provide endurance exercises to help stabilize the neck
  • Use manual therapy may as needed to improve recovery times
  • Educate patients about posture and prevention

As physical therapists, our goal is not just to reduce the patient’s pain now, but to give them the tools to prevent injury and pain in the future. As a result our  headache physical therapy treatment plans include a good bit of patient education, including the best ways to manage headaches that may occur in the future. If you have a nagging headache that won’t go away, call your physical therapist to schedule an appointment and start feeling better today.

This article was written by the experienced physical therapists at STAR Physical Therapy. STAR physical therapy currently has over 65 locations throughout TN and provide a variety of specialty services to their surrounding communities. For more information about STAR visit them online at www.STARpt.com

Think you may have a Tension Headache instead? Find out in the PTandMe Injury Center

Seeing a Physical Therapist After an Accident

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Anyone who has been involved in an accident and is now struggling to cope with a resulting injury should seriously consider visiting a physical therapist. The documented benefits of physical therapy are numerous, and in many cases physical therapists are able to greatly improve their patients’ quality of life. Whether you are mildly hurt or are suffering from a long-term debilitating injury, read on to learn what physical therapy is, which types of accident injuries physical therapists commonly work with, and about the numerous benefits of physical therapy

What is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy is a type of rehabilitation aimed at bringing injured patients back up to their optimal level of health via various treatments and exercises. Physical therapists create patient specific plans designed to enable the patient to perform their daily tasks at the highest possible level of function. While a physical therapist will set different goals for different patients, common goals of therapy include:

  • Improving physical function and movement
  • Decreasing/managing the patient’s pain
  • Preventing re-injury
  • Increasing the patient’s strength, endurance, range of motion and flexibility

Wondering how physical therapy helps achieve these goals? While different therapists may approach these goals in slightly different ways, physical therapy programs rely mostly on progressive exercises and manual therapy in order to reach a patient’s goals. For example, a therapist will generally start you out with simple stretches and gradually work towards more challenging exercises tailored to suit your injury, limitations, and recovery goals. Additionally, manual therapy, such as soft tissue mobilization and joint mobilization, can help decrease a patient’s pain, reduce swelling, and restore motion.

Accident Injuries that Physical Therapists Commonly Work With

While physical therapists are well equipped to assist patients with minor as well as serious injuries, many people who visit a physical therapist in Houston do so because of a long-term debilitating injury that they suffered as a result of a boat, truck, or car accident. For example, physical therapists commonly work with patients who have been involved in an accident and are suffering from:

  • Back and neck pain
  • Arm and shoulder pain
  • Leg and knee pain
  • Foot and ankle injuries
  • Hand injuries
  • Decreased range of motion

car accident

The Benefits of Physical Therapy

Individuals who are injured in an accident often find that attending physical therapy improves their well-being in a number of different ways. While each case and each patient are different, the benefits commonly associated with physical therapy include:

  • Pain Management: Many people who are injured in an accident attend physical therapy primarily in order to reduce or eliminate the pain caused by whiplash, disc herniation, fractures, and other injuries. The therapeutic exercises and manual therapy techniques utilized by physical therapists are often able to help reduce a patient’s pain and allow them to rely less on pain medication.
  • Can Help Avoid Surgery: In some circumstances physical therapy has been known to help a patient avoid having surgery altogether. This can be beneficial as surgeries sometimes involve a lengthy recovery, not to mention the inherent risk of undergoing the surgery itself.
  • Quickens Recovery: Individuals who attend physical therapy after an accident often recover much faster than they otherwise would have. Additionally, these individuals also tend to ultimately achieve better range of motion and muscle strength than those with comparable injuries who did not attend rehab.
  • Helps Prevent Chronic Pain: People injured in car accidents often suffer from chronic pain and other symptoms long after the accident occurred. Additionally, some car accident injuries, if left untreated, will worsen over time. Fortunately, accident victims who promptly attend physical therapy tend to experience much less chronic pain than they otherwise would.

Of course, if you have been injured in a wreck due to another person’s negligence, you may wish to speak with a car accident lawyer for help. Indeed, an attorney can help advocate on your behalf to ensure you receive the compensation necessary to pay for your recovery.