Tag Archives: Physical Therapy

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.

physical therapy near me

 

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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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

gardening ergonomics

Gardening Ergonomics

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gardening ergonomics

It’s that time of year again. Time to exchange snow shovels and winter boots with gardening tools and watering cans. While the warmer weather brings on a new sense of happiness and energy, we need to remember to use proper body mechanics and follow general safety to avoid muscle aches and potential serious injuries. The number one injury associated with gardening is low back pain.

Here are a few tips to make your gardening experience more enjoyable and less painful.

LIFTING:
Lifting heavy objects such as bags of soil, planters and mulch improperly can lead to low back strains and/or sciatic pain. Other options include moving half of the soil/mulch to a separate pot before lifting the bag or planting in to smaller pots that are easier to maneuver. Using a garden cart or wheelbarrow can also assist with moving heavy gardening materials. Remember to lift with your legs, avoid simultaneous lifting and twisting and keep heavier objects close to your body to avoid injury.

PLANTING:
Prepping the soil can also be a difficult and tedious task requiring prolonged forward bending and frequent changes in position. Try prepping the planting bed by using long-handled gardening tools. Once the soil is ready, plant from a kneeling position using either a kneeling stool or a cushion. Remember to avoid twisting at the spine. Those with known chronic low back pain may want to consider planting in to pots, flower boxes or raised flower beds to avoid further injury.

WEEDING:
Most people dislike weeding their gardens and flower beds. Options to reduce the need to do so include using plants as ground cover or using mulch in your flower beds to minimize weed growth. If using a weed spray, look for bottles that have a sprayer hose to allow you to stand upright while treating your problem areas.

MOWING THE LAWN:
Another task that most people find tedious. When able, use an electric start mower. The action of pulling a cord to start your mower is the most common cause of low back injuries. If you must use a pull start mower, remember to bend at your knees and maintain the natural curve of your spine while reaching for the cord. Make sure you tighten your abdominal muscles just before pulling the cord in order to support your spine. If using a push mower, remember to maintain proper upright posture and take breaks as needed.

Remember to listen to your body. Take frequent breaks and change positions when you start to experience aching, cramping or fatigue. Stay hydrated and wear sunscreen. If you do happen to experience low back pain or any other injury, remember to contact your physical therapist. They can help alleviate your symptoms as well as educate you on proper body mechanics.

gardening

GARDENING STRETCHES
Stretching before you start gardening can help you from experiencing pain later. Here are some stretching techniques to help get you started!

1.) Fold your hands together and turn your palms away from your body, but this time extend your arms overhead. You should feel the stretch in your upper torso and shoulders to hand. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat eight times.

2.) Place your hand just above the back of the elbow and gently push your elbow across your chest toward the opposite shoulder. This is a stretch for the upper back and shoulder. Stretch both the right and left arms. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat eight times.

3.) Raise one arm overhead. Bend the elbow. Place the opposite hand on the bent elbow and gently push the elbow back further. This is a stretch for the triceps. Stretch both the right and left arms. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat eight times.

4.) Extend an arm in front of you, making sure the elbow is completely straight. With your palm down, take the opposite hand and bend in the wrist downward. Then turn the palm up, and stretch the wrist backwards. This stretches the forearm and wrist muscles. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat eight times.

The warm-up exercises were developed by professional hand therapists who are occupational and physical therapists specializing in the treatment of the hands, arms and shoulders. These exercises and tips have been designed to supplement more commonly known gardening safety practices that concentrate only on preventing back injuries.
For more information visit: www.asht.org

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PT News February 2019

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

1. Cold Weather Exercise Tips
Written by IRG with physical therapy locations throughout Puget Sound, Seattle and the surrounding areas.

Are you planning to take your exercise outside this winter? Here are a few things to keep in mind for pre-and-post workouts in the elements this season.  Read more

 

2. Can I Exercise Safely with a Cold?
Written by the Therapy Team at The Jackson Clinics with physical therapy locations throughout Northern Virginia and Maryland.

The average adult gets one to six colds every year, with symptoms lasting a week to 10 days. Should you let these colds interrupt your exercise routine? Probably not, as long as you pay attention to what your body tells you. Read more

 

3. Physical Therapy for the Treatment of Osteoporosis
Written by the physical therapy team at Mishock Physical Therapy & Associates with locations throughout Montgomery, Berks and Chester, PA counties.

Osteoporosis is the leading cause of fractures in the elderly. It is a disease which causes diminished bone mass and leads to a decrease in bone quality which results in increased risk for bone fractures. Fractures can lead to functional disability, chronic pain, and at times, early death. Read more

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PT News January 2019

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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

seniors start exercising

Seniors: It’s Never Too Late to Start Exercising

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seniors start exercising

For years, seniors have attributed their aches, pains, and illnesses to the normal aging process. Age is often used as a reason to avoid exercise. But a regular exercise program can improve the quality of your life and help you avoid illness, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. As always, you should consult with your health care provider before starting any exercise program.

WHAT WE KNOW
Most people know that with age, come certain physiological changes. Studies show that we lose the following as we age:
• Lean muscle tissue—Most of us will lose muscle mass as we get older. We usually hit our peak muscle mass early—around age 20—and begin losing muscle mass thereafter.
• Aerobic capacity—The aerobic capacity is the ability of the heart and the body to deliver and use oxygen efficiently. Changes in the heart and decrease in muscle tissue decrease aerobic capacity.
• Balance—As we age, our ability to balance decreases, making falls and injuries more likely. The loss of muscle is a major contributor to losses on balance.
• Flexibility—Our joints and tendons lose some of their range of motion with age, making it difficult to bend and move around comfortably.
• Bone density—Most of us reach our peak bone density around age 20. After that, bones can become gradually thinner and weaker, which can lead to osteoporosis.

Fortunately, regular exercise can help delay some of these changes and give you the energy you need to do everyday activities like walking, shopping, and playing with your grandchildren. Exercise may even help decrease depression and stress, improve mood and self-esteem, and postpone age-related cognitive decline.

By adding endurance, strength, flexibility, and balance training into your routine, you will be healthier, happier, and more energetic.

senior push ups

ENDURANCE
Decades ago, doctors rarely recommended aerobic exercise for older people. But we now know that most people can safely do moderate exercises. Studies have shown that doing aerobic exercise just a few days a week can bring significant improvements in endurance.

Aim to get 30 minutes of moderate exercise—such as brisk walking, bicycling, or swimming—at least 5 days a week. You do not have to do 30 minutes at once—you can break these sessions up into two 15-minute sessions or three 10-minute sessions. Moderate exercise will cause your heart rate to rise and your breathing to be slightly elevated, but you should still be able to carry on a conversation.

STRENGTH
It is not just aging that makes people lose muscle. One of the main reasons older people lose muscle mass is that they stop exercising and doing everyday activities that build muscle.

Building stronger muscles can help protect your joints, strengthen your bones, improve your balance, reduce the likelihood of falls, and make it easier for you to move around in general. Even small changes in your muscle size and strength—ones that you cannot even see—will make things like walking quickly across the street and getting up out of a chair easier to do.

Aim to do strength exercises (eg, weight lifting) every other day, or at least twice a week. For each exercise, do three sets of 8-12 repetitions.

FLEXIBILITY
Increasing your overall activity level and doing stretching exercises can markedly improve your flexibility.

To improve the flexibility—or range of motion—of your joints, incorporate bending and stretching exercises into your routine. A good time to do your flexibility exercises is after your strength training routine. This is because you muscles will already be warmed up. Examples of exercises that you may enjoy include Tai chi, yoga, Pilates, and exercises that you do in the water.

By regularly stretching, you will be able to move around easier. You may also feel less stressed, and your posture will improve.

BALANCE
Just becoming more physically active will improve your balance and decrease your risk of falling. If you add some basic balancing exercises to your exercise routine, you will begin feeling more stable on your feet. Balance exercises can be done just about anywhere and usually require no more equipment than a chair.

Keep in mind that if you are having severe problems with balance, a fall prevention physical therapy program can be a great way to regain your balance, increase strength or improve flexibility.

GETTING STARTED
To avoid injury, start slowly. Add one or two sessions a week at first and progress from there as you begin to feel stronger. A physical therapist, or other health professional, can help develop a program that will be both safe and effective. Check with your local fitness or community center, which may offer exercise classes designed especially for older adults. Check with your primary health care provider if you are planning to participate in vigorous activities.

Remember, it is never too late to start exercising. The sooner you start, the sooner you will start feeling healthier, more energetic, and less stressed.

RESOURCES:
American Heart Association
http://www.heart.org

The President’s Council on Physical Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition
http://www.fitness.gov

CANADIAN RESOURCES:
Health Canada
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

Public Health Agency of Canada
http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca

REFERENCES:

Effects of aging. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00191. Updated September 2009. Accessed April 4, 2016.

Exercise and physical activity: your everyday guide from the National Institute on Aging. National Institute on Aging website. Available at: http://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/exercise-physical-activity-your-everyday-guide-national-institute-aging-1. Updated February 16, 2016. Accessed April 4, 2016.

Physical activity: glossary of terms. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/physical/terms/index.htm#Moderate. Updated June 10, 2015. Accessed on April 4, 2016.

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PT News December 2018

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

Shedding Holiday Pounds

1. Shed Those Extra Holiday Pounds
Written by The Jackson Clinics with physical therapy locations throughout Northern Virginia and Maryland.

The holidays are here once again, with all their edible temptations, and you would like to get into better shape after they have passed. This time you are determined to find an approach that will prevent frustration, keep you motivated and help you achieve your fitness goal.  Read more

 

Snow Shoveling

2. Prevent Low Back Pain While Shoveling Snow
Written by the Therapy Team at Rehab Associates of Central VA with 11 physical therapy locations throughout Central Virginia.

As I was shoveling the snow off my driveway this week, I quickly realized that I needed to adjust my technique or I was going to pay for it later. Injury can result from repetitive movements with a general lack of awareness and variability in movement and may be prevented with some easy steps.  Read more

Fire fighter workers compensation

3. One Fire Captain’s Story: From a Workers’ Comp Injury to a Full Recovery
Written by the Therapy Team at ARC Physical Therapy+ with locations across Kansas, Missouri and Iowa

Bryan Bogue, the Fire Captain with the City of Independence, Missouri Fire Department was on a medical call and needed to lift a heavy bag over a concrete wall. It seemed like a fairly straightforward task until he raised his arms and felt a tendon snap in his elbow. The pain was immediate and severe. Read more