Tag Archives: Physical Therapy

carpal tunnel

Carpal Tunnel Causes, Relief, and Treatment

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carpal tunnel

What is carpal tunnel and why does it hurt so much?

The carpal tunnel is a small space at the wrist in which the median nerve and nine tendons pass through. The median nerve travels on top of the tendons through the tunnel. The tunnel itself is made up of your wrist bones and along the top of the tunnel is a thick fibrous ligament called the transverse carpal ligament. If the tendons become swollen (tenosynovitis) or if the tunnel size itself decreases because of injury, compression to the median nerve can occur. Symptoms may include: pain during pinching and gripping, a feeling of clumsiness – the inability to hold things, numbness in the fingers at night, or a radiating pain up the arm.

Risk factors at home and at work

There are many factors that can contribute to pain in the carpal tunnel, but these are some of the most common causes.

  • Repetition – Overuse can occur with light forces. Irritation of the tendon can be caused by rapid, repetitive activity without a break. Decreased blood flow to the nerves and tendons may be caused by holding or gripping an object without relaxation.
  • Force – The muscles of the hand and fingers are contracted when gripping or pinching. These contractions place stress on the tendons that go through the carpal tunnel. Higher forces are more likely to expose you to greater risks.
  • Bending – The tendons in the carpal tunnel can be irritated by bending your hand. Bending your hand up, down, or sideways may inflame the tendons in the carpal tunnel.
  • Vibration – Nerves are especially susceptible to vibration. Common causes of vibration of the nerves in the carpal tunnel are power tools, steering wheels, or other mechanized equipment.
  • Impact – Your hand is not a tool. Hitting, moving, or jerking objects may damage the structures of the wrist. Even using a hammer transmits sudden force to these delicate structures.

Practicing prevention

The first line of defense against Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is reducing the risk factors that may lead to CTS. Look carefully at your equipment and tools and try to eliminate the forces that are risk factors. This can include bending, vibration, impact, and repetition.

  • Tool Handles – A handle should have an optimum grip span of about 2 ¼ inches.
  • Gripping Surface – Use rubberized coating or tubing on your gripping surface. This will lower the grip strength required to hold onto the tool.
  • Reduction in vibration – Place a rubber or gel material on the handles or utilize gloves with rubber inserts to reduce vibration.

Home treatment

  • Ice – Use an ice pack on the palm and wrist area for 10 minutes after intensive hand activities. This can be followed by the wrist stretches.
  • Rest – Rest your hands after frequent, forceful, or repetitive activities that last 30 – 60 minutes. Try doing a different activity which is not as stressful to your wrist and hand.

carpal tunnel

If your pain does not subside, call your physical therapist to schedule an appointment. Physical therapy may be able to reduce pain and remove the need for surgery.

physical therapy near me

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PT News June 2019

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

1. 8 Great Pelvic Floor Stretches to Do During Pregnancy
Written by Ability Rehabilitation with multiple locations throughout Orlando and Tampa Bay.

retching and strengthening your pelvic floor muscles during pregnancy can help relieve your aches and pains — and alleviate stress and tension too. Pelvic floor stretches will also help you have an easier delivery and decrease your risk of urinary incontinence later on.  Read more

 

get active square

2. Get Active to Stay Active

Written by Rebound Physical Therapy, a privately owned, outpatient physical therapy practice throughout Central Oregon.

Summer is a time to have fun and spend time outdoors. It is an opportunity to enjoy the sunshine. It’s a time when you can go out for a walk and roll down the windows and take in everything that nature has to offer, allergies and all. Read more

 

3. For Shoulder Relief Try These Home Remedies

Written by Sport and Spine Physical Therapy with 4 physical therapy locations in Southern, WI.

Shoulder pain can be one of the most disabling problems to deal with. Whether you realize it or not, you use your shoulder pretty frequently throughout most days, as it permits practically any movement that involves your arms. Read more

exercise benefits mental health

Senior Tip: How Physical Exercise Benefits Mental Health

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exercise benefits mental health

We all know the importance of exercise in our lives. Exercise keeps our body, soul, and brain, healthy. It keeps us fit physically as well as mentally. According to Senior Guidance, older adults who exercise regularly have lower rates of getting any kind of mental illness. Moreover, exercise also helps in treating anxiety and depression. Many people believe that with growing age, exercise loses its effect. Hence, there is no need for elderly people to strain their bodies. That’s just not true. Exercise benefits mental health at every age.

Per health experts, regular exercise is highly beneficial for elderly people. It would not only let them live an active and healthy life but would help in increasing their life span. If you want to be physically, emotionally, and mentally fit, try doing regular exercise. Exercise benefits mental health by keeping seniors active and healthy, which would further help them live independently.

A regular, healthy part of senior living should be to find the motivation to do regular exercise. Routine exercise will help older adults become mentally strong and fight mental conditions like depression and anxiety, which are quite common at their age.

Benefits of exercise for aging adults and golden oldies include:

1. Helps You Sleep Better

One of the most common problems faced by senior people is the lack of sleep. As we get older, we tend to have a lighter and less deep sleep. Various researches have proved that exercise boost sleep. Regular exercise improves the quality of sleep. Physical activity like exercise increases the time of deep sleep, which further helps in boosting the immune system and controlling anxiety and stress. Moreover, exercise results in energy expenditure, which makes you feel tired, which results in longer and peaceful sleep.

2. Helps to Maintain the Level of Chemicals in Brain

Brain chemicals or neurotransmitters are responsible for how we feel, physically as well as mentally. This holds true for young and elderly people. Regular exercise stimulates the production of brain chemicals- dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. Regular exercise boosts the release of these brain chemicals, which help us in improving our overall well-being. Exercise stimulates the production of norepinephrine, which counters the effect of stress response in our body. Exercise gives a relaxing and calming effect on our brain and body because of the release of serotonin. Hence, regular exercise is essential for senior people as it helps in maintaining the level of brain chemicals, which decreases mood disorder symptoms, reduces stress, and gives a feeling of calmness and relaxation.

3. Boosts Energy Levels

Fatigue is very common among elderly people. Exercise does not only help in overcoming fatigue but also increases the energy level in the body. Just taking a simple walk in the fresh air not only refreshes your mood but would also boost your energy levels. While exercising, we use the energy which is stored in our body and start making more of it. Sitting and remaining inactive will not bring any change in the state of fatigue. However, getting involved in some physical exercise will make you feel active.

4. Reduces the Muscle Tension

Muscle tension is another common health problem faced by elderly people. Prolonged semi-contracted state in muscles results in muscle tension. This further results in muscle pain and muscle spasm. One of the major causes of muscle tension is lack of exercise. In addition to this, with age, people start losing muscle mass and strength. Older adults who spend most of their time in remaining sedentary faces more muscle related problems. Tense muscles generally lack oxygen and vital nutrients. Exercise increases the flow of blood to muscle cells, which further increases the oxygenation in muscles.

5. Decreases the Risk of Falls

The risk of falls is much higher in older adults. Falls are quite dangerous for them as it not only causes physical damage to the body but also hampers their independence. Recovery time after falls increases with growing age. Regular exercise or enrollment in a fall prevention physical therapy program increases muscle strength and flexibility. Physical exercises result in better bone density, which makes bone stronger and reduces the risk of getting fractures and osteoporosis. Exercise reduces the risk of falls by improving coordination and balance.

6. Makes You Happier and Boosts Positivity

Regular exercise brings positivity in life and makes you feel happier. Exercise stimulates the release of the happy hormone ‘Dopamine’ in our brain. This hormone is very essential for feeling happiness. Studies state that with age, the dopamine level decreases in our brain. This makes regular exercise more important for senior adults.

7. Reduces the Risk of Developing Dementia

Recent studies show that inactivity increases the chances of Dementia among seniors, requiring memory care or assisted living at later stages of the disease. Dementia is an umbrella that covers various mental conditions, including judgment impairment, memory loss, etc. Regular exercise increases the blood flow to the brain, which keeps the cells healthy. Moreover, exercise increases the production of brain chemicals and growth factors, which helps in keeping existing cells healthy and also helps in the growth of new brain cells, which results in increasing memory and control thinking.

Regular exercise is essential for everyone irrespective of age. Exercise benefits mental health by reducing stress, depression, and anxiety. Just make sure to make exercise a part of your everyday regime. It will help you in living a healthy and happy life.

Please consult your healthcare provider before starting an exercise program. If you are looking for help developing an exercise routine that fits your needs and skill level, please reach out to your physical therapist for guidance.

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Post Surgical Rotator Cuff Physical Therapy

Post Surgical Rotator Cuff Physical Therapy

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Post Surgical Rotator Cuff Physical Therapy

A patient will typically be referred for rotator cuff surgery when 90% or more of the tendon is torn. The most common causes for rotator cuff injuries are aging, overuse of overhead activities and heavy lifting. Surgery should never be taken lightly, so we wanted to take some time to inform you about what to bring before surgery, things that can help you immediately after and then give an idea of what to expect as you go through a post surgical rotator cuff physical therapy treatment plan. These are general guidelines. More specific expectations can be given by your healthcare provider.

Items to bring with you before rotator cuff surgery

  • Sling
  • Ice Pack or Cold Therapy Unit

Using your sling

  • You will usually wear for about 4 weeks. (Removing only to wash up and do exercises)
  • Avoid ANY active reaching or lifting up to 6 weeks
  • Getting Dressed
    – Place involved arm in sleeve first.
    – Put your belt in pants first.
    – Slip on shoes is recommended.
  • Sleeping
    – It may be more comfortable sleeping in a recliner instead of a bed.
    – Support your arm with a towel roll or pillow if lying down.
  • Avoid showering for the first couple of days.  (Once able to shower, lean over to let your healing arm hang away from your body, while you use the other to wash.)

Icing your shoulder (Ice Pack or Cold Therapy Unit)

  • Ice for 20 minutes in your waking hour for the first few days.
  • Decrease to 3-5 times a day as needed for pain.

General Care

  • Change dressing daily as recommended by your physician/nurse.
  • No driving especially if right arm and if taking pain medications.
  • Walk around your home at least 1 time each hour to prevent blood clots.
  • Begin therapeutic exercises as soon as instructed

After being cleared for physical therapy, the normal course of a POST-SURGICAL rotator cuff physical therapy has been described as having five stages:

Stage 1: Immobilization

There is a mandatory period of rest for the arm following a rotator cuff surgery. The tendons have been repaired but need to wait through the biological healing phase in order to be able to accept the strain of moving the arm. This period may last 4-6 weeks and may be intermittent with the therapist being able to do slight motions to the arm to keep the joint from getting stiff.

Stage 2: Passive motion

During and after the immobilization phase, you’ll begin performing passive motion exercises. At first, the therapist will provide the muscle to move the arm, but over time, you’ll be educated in the use of pulleys, stretch straps and table stretches to allow the joint to move while keeping the muscles fully relaxed.

Stage 3: Active-Assisted motion

Once the shoulder has achieved full expected passive motion, and with the permission of the surgeon, your therapist will begin active-assisted motion. This type of exercise uses less than 100% of the surgical shoulder’s power to move the arm. The therapist may instruct you in pendulum exercises that employ gravity and momentum. Self-ranging exercises use the uninvolved arm to move the involved arm, either against the weight of gravity or lying down so that the weight of gravity is minimalized. The surgical arm’s responsibility will slowly increase up to 100% of the weight of the arm. Then, you’ll be ready for active motion.

Stage 4: Active motion

The active motion phase begins when the arm is able to carry its own weight against gravity but is not yet ready to lift, push or pull objects. During this phase, your therapist will demonstrate safe motion patterns of the shoulder and shoulder blade. They will monitor the coordination of movement between the muscles to check for specific weakness that could put strain on the repair. Once you can achieve full expected active range of motion against the weight of gravity, and with your physician’s approval, you’ll be ready to add weight.

Stage 5: Strengthening

The strengthening program may start out slowly. Be patient! The muscles are relearning how to work together so inflammation of the tendons and bursae are still a risk in this phase. Your therapist will recommend exercises that you can do at home in order to improve the arm’s tolerance for strength and to reduce the strain on the arm when you come into therapy. Over time, the therapist will demonstrate ways that you can safely use the arm for pushing up from a chair, pulling a door open, reaching into a cabinet and other activities of daily living.

Post surgical rotator cuff physical therapy care can vary based on the patient’s needs and ability levels. Depending upon the severity of the tear, physical therapy can work with patients to heal the tendon and reduce pain. To find a physical therapist near you click the button below.

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PT News May 2019

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

nutrition strategies

1. Effective Nutrition Strategies
Written by The Center for Physical Rehabilitation with 8 physical therapy locations throughout Greater Grand Rapids, MI.

How do you stay on target with eating healthy and being active? Between work schedules, kids schedules, appointments, and change of plans, finding time to exercise and eat right can sometimes feel impossible. Read more

 

physical therapy for headaches

2. Physical Therapy Can Help Headaches
Written by Mishock Physical Therapy and Associates, a privately owned, outpatient physical therapy practice throughout Montgomery, Berks and Chester Counties.

Headache pain is the third most common pain complaint worldwide. Some people suffer from the occasional headache, but others suffer from daily, chronic headaches which can be disabling, interfere with one’s ability to work and result in decreased quality of life. Read more

 

Does Mono Mean no exercise

3. Does Mono Mean No Exercise?
Written by The Jackson Clinics with 21 physical therapy locations throughout Northern Virginia and Maryland.

Mononucleosis—often known simply as “mono”—has an incubation period of one to two months. Once symptoms appear, recovery can take an additional four to six weeks. Until your physician tells you it is safe to resume more strenuous workouts, avoid any but the mildest exercise. Read more

low back pain relief

Low Back Pain: There is relief

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low back pain relief

Understanding back pain: You’re not alone & there is relief

Low back pain affects nearly everyone at some stage of life and is one of the most common ailments seen in medical practices. It is referred to by many different names including lumbago, lumbar sprain or strain, slipped or bulging disc, degenerative arthritis, or, when it extends into the leg, sciatica. Research suggests that between 60% – 75% of the population who experience back pain once will experience recurring or chronic problems. Most patients will not consult their physician for first-time problems their back, so you may be one of the thousands worldwide who continue to have recurring problems with their back.

To most people, their low back pain is confusing and frustrating. Many times it starts without warning and for no obvious reason. It will interfere with the performance of basic daily activities and the ability to get a good night’s sleep. Then, often the pain will subside just as unexpectedly as it started. When in acute pain, most people are unable to think clearly about the trouble and simply seek pain relief. When episodes of back pain subside, most will then go on to forget about their back trouble. Due to a lack of understanding of the specific nature of the back problem, we are unable to deal with the problem ourselves and are unable to prevent future episodes.

The majority of back pains are mechanical in nature, meaning that they are caused by problems with the moving parts of the spine. Therefore, certain movements that you make and positions you adopt can lead to the onset or worsening of pain. A very common example of this is patients who complain of worsening pain with bending forward for prolonged periods. Also, sitting for prolonged periods at work or while driving will bother these individuals and they might find it hard to get up from a sitting position. In some cases, it might even take a few minutes to be able to stand upright properly.

If you are like most patients with mechanical low back pain, you are better when you can move around frequently and worse when you have to remain in one position for long periods. You feel better when you are walking or are able to change positions frequently. There are times in the day where you will be much better and might even have no pain at all, and there are times when it is much worse. There are some whose pain will have worsened to the point that it is constant and the changing of positions is necessary to simply find some relief from the pain.

If you are a back pain sufferer, be encouraged that most patients can get significant help with their back pain. Exercise and activity need to be a regular part of your management strategy, but the exercise must be specific to your problem. Your program should include a daily walking program if possible. Management of your back problem is each individual’s responsibility, but we are here to help you. You may benefit from an individualized consultation with a physical therapist with specific training to evaluate mechanical spine disorders if your pain does not subside.

Common Back Problems Seen by Physical Therapists:

  • Strains & Sprains
  • Herniated Discs
  • Degenerated Discs
  • Sciatica
  • Piriformis Syndrome
  • Spondylosis
  • Spondylolisthesis

Low Back Pain Quick Assessment

If 3 or more Yes’s are present then the patient would likely benefit from a Mechanical Diagnosis and Physical Therapy Examination.

The more YES’s that are present, the higher the probability of a successful outcome with a mechanical examination.

  • Are symptoms present for less than 16 days in the most recent exacerbation? Yes or No
  • If the patient has lower extremity symptoms, are the symptoms above the knee? Yes or No
  • Does the patient’s low back pain vary in intensity? Yes or No
  • Do movements or positions change the patient’s symptoms? Yes or No
  • Does the patient have a hard time standing after sitting? Yes or No
  • Are the symptoms worse after bending, stooping, or sitting? Yes or No
  • Are the symptoms usually worse in the morning? Yes or No

physical therapy near me

For more information about back pain, physical therapy click the links below.

Low Back Pain Physical Therapy  chronic back pain  beware bed rest for back pain

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PT News April 2019

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

shoulder impingement

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

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

 

what is certified hand therapy

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

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

 

wrist pain

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

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

fall prevention at home

Fall Prevention: Risks & Tips in your home

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fall prevention tips at home

While falls can happen anywhere, more than half of them happen in the home. One in every three adults 65 and older fall AT HOME each year in the U.S. One of the easiest ways to help prevent a fall is to make sure that certain tripping hazards are addressed and removed. We’ve compiled a short list below to help you get started.

COMMON WARNING SIGNS FOR FALLING ARE:

  • Feeling pain or stiffness when you walk
  • Needing to walk slower or to hold on to things for support
  • Feeling dizzy or unsteady when you get up from your bed or chair
  • Feeling weak in your legs
  • You take more than one medication
  • You have problems seeing
  • You have had at least one fall in the past year

RISKS TO CONSIDER WHEN FALL PROOFING YOUR HOME:

Lighting

  • Is the lighting adequate, especially at night?
  • Are stairwells well lit?
  • Is there a working flashlight in case of power failure?
  • Can lights easily be turned on even before entering
    a dark room?

Surfaces

  • Are there any wet surfaces that are frequently wet?
  • Are steps and stairs in good repair and the
    appropriate rise?
  • Do steps have handrails in good repair?

Trip Hazards

  • Are there throw rugs in the walking path?
  • Does the family pet often sleep in walking paths?
  • Is the carpet in good repair without tears or fraying?
  • Are there extension cords or raised door sills in the walking paths?
  • Is there a clear path from the bed to the bathroom?

If you feel that you are at risk for falls, talk to your physical therapy provider. Most physical therapy clinics offer fall risk assessments that can help determine any areas of risk. By participating in a fall prevention program, you can reduce the likelihood of a fall and increase the ability to live independently. Fall prevention programs mainly focus on core strength, flexibility, and patient education.

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FLYR_FallPrevention_HomeFalls

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


    
physical therapy for plantar fasciitis pain

Physical Therapy For Plantar Fasciitis Pain

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physical therapy for plantar fasciitis pain

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

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

Common Causes:

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

Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms:

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

Finding Relief with Physical Therapy:

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

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

physical therapy near me

For relief at home before your evaluation try these!

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

plantar fasciitis exercise

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

 

 

More Articles about Plantar Fasciitis:

Plantar Fasciitis

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PT News March 2019

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PT News PTandMe

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

trigger finger

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

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

 

biceps tear

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

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

 

pain neuroscience

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

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