Tips

Getting The Most out of your Joint replacement

Posted by on Feb 18, 2015 in Tips | 0 comments

Orthopedic surgeons will sometimes choose to replace part, or all of a joint that has been damaged. Hips, shoulders, and knees are the most common sources of pain and loss of mobility that doctors will attempt to fix. But, having this surgery is not enough.   Joint replacement procedures become more and more common every year, but the difficulty of adjusting to a new joint remains a long, involved process. Working with a dedicated physical therapist is the best way to learn how to successfully get the most mobility out of your new joint.   What Physical Therapy Offers   Physical therapy programs include resistance exercises and stretching to help your adjustment after a difficult procedure. In addition, weight training and treadmill exercises will help get your strength back allowing you to get the most out of your replacement.   A Specific Program for You   The pain after a joint replacement can keep you from doing the things you love or keep you awake at night. A physical therapy program tailored to you and your specific circumstances, whether it was a knee, hip, or shoulder replacement, will help get you back on track and ease the pain.   Licensed physical therapists are ready to develop the right program for you, helping you to get back to living your life and stop worrying about the difficulties of joint pain.  ...

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Frozen Shoulder Physical Therapy

Posted by on Dec 3, 2014 in Tips | 0 comments

Frozen Shoulder Physical Therapy

About 2 to 5 % of the population will experience the symptoms of a “frozen shoulder”. Adhesive capsulitis is the technical term, and while it’s exact causes are up for debate, we do know that it is related to scar tissue and results in a stiff shoulder that’s difficult to move. Women seem to be particularly at risk for the condition and it’s usually associated with shoulder surgeries, other conditions like arthritis, and the immobilization of your arm for long periods of time. The condition is marked by a loss of range of movement and pain that worsens over time. Usually physical therapists will break down the condition into four stages: “Pre-Freezing”, “Freezing”, “Frozen”, and “Thawing”. The first stage will usually last 1 to three months and is identified by sharp pains when you move your shoulder. The shoulder is considered “frozen” after 9 or 14 months and stiffness has become a loss of flexibility along with intense pain. “Thawing” is the final stage when pain finally begins to decrease and motion is slowly returning.   Your physical therapist will be able to determine that stage that you are currently facing as well as helping you to regain movement while also reducing pain. For the first two stages, heat and ice treatments as well as simple exercises focused on movement will help. For the final two stages, strengthening exercises will be the focus to help you return to your normal day-to-day activities. In the event that pain has not reduced, your physical therapist might refer you to a pain specialist for anti-inflammatory injections.   Unfortunately, frozen shoulder is not preventable, and currently the best way to handle the condition is through physical therapy as the condition “runs its course”. If you have had a recent problem with your shoulder and are experiencing the sharp pains and limitations associated with “pre-freezing” and “freezing”, schedule an appointment with a physical therapist as soon as possible to start working on the exercises that will help your shoulder to “thaw out” with as little pain and interference as...

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Staying Healthy Through the Holidays

Posted by on Nov 22, 2014 in Tips | 0 comments

Staying Healthy Through the Holidays

Physical therapy isn’t all about stretches and exercises. It’s also about living a more healthy and productive lifestyle overall. The holidays are upon us and with them come all the joy of seeing family and friends, but there are also fattening foods, cold weather, and seasonal illnesses like the flu. Getting the most out of the holiday season and working to maintain your health is easy by following some simple guidelines.   The first thing to do is prepare for travel. Between the different celebrations, you will no doubt be spending some time away from home. Be sure to work with your therapist to develop and master simple stretches and exercises that can be done while you’re away. This will help to make sure that your first visit when back home isn’t too strenuous.   Another important thing to remember is to watch out for germs. This time of year cold and flu virus germs are rampant. Be sure to carry hand sanitizer with you while you’re shopping or out and about to protect yourself. There’s no need to go under quarantine, but keeping an extra eye out for potential areas where you might get sick could save you a lot of time and hassle in the end.   Between those big holiday dinners find time to practice some basic exercises, even as simple as walking. With the cold weather outside, it can be easy to let this slip, but finding even a little bit of time to spend on the treadmill everyday could help make a major difference and let you enjoy indulging in delicious holiday treats all the more.   Lastly, the holidays can be a stressful time between family obligations, searching for presents, and cooking. Take time for yourself, perhaps by even getting a massage to make sure that you are ready to have the best time possible. If you work with a physical therapist on mobility issues, be sure to discuss with them any added stresses like big meals or playing with kids that are sure to be coming your way soon and how to best prepare for...

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Physical and Occupational Therapy

Posted by on Nov 18, 2014 in Tips | 0 comments

Physical and Occupational Therapy

Physical therapy gets discussed a lot for anyone that has a chronic physical condition, is in need of surgery, or lives with pain. But, the term occupational therapy comes up regularly in the same conversations. Both of these types of therapists, physical therapists and occupational therapists are working toward the same general goal: helping people. There a lot of ways in which these two professionals use the same techniques and methods to achieve this goal, and many in which they differ. If you’ve wondered exactly what the difference is between these two types of therapy, now is the time to clear up the confusion.     Physical Therapy   A physical therapist is a specialist in movement of the human body, their primary concern is a patient’s ability to move properly, and so they focus on pain reduction, function, preventing long-term disability. They will often work with patients to help them prevent losing movement or to regain as much mobility as possible after a traumatic incident like surgery or an accident.   Physical therapists are most concerned with the structures of the body like ligaments, joints, and tissues. They can diagnose dysfunctions that are affecting movement and then use their knowledge of exercises, and specialty equipment like ultra sound machines, to lessen pain. They attack a person’s disorder and problem physically.     Occupational Therapy   Occupational therapists will work with people who are facing many of the same issues, and often times they might employ some of the same techniques of pain relief and exercises to help people deal with pain and gain back mobility, but their primary concern is addressing the way people will now function in their daily life.   Both at home and at work, an OT will perform on-site assessments and make recommendations to help a patient adapt to their environment with new restrictions or impairments. While the physical therapist is primarily concerned with relief from a condition, the occupational therapist shows patients how to get the best quality of life while living with a condition.       Both of these professions are aimed at patients’ suffering from pain and physical limitations and giving them back their independence and relief. A physical therapist is qualified to make recommendations about adapting a lifestyle to better suit new restrictions just like an occupational therapist can treat pain, but with the combination of their specific expertise, people can both achieve their best physical potential and learn how to best live with any restrictions that can’t be...

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What Is a Neurological Disorder?

Posted by on Nov 11, 2014 in Tips | 0 comments

What Is a Neurological Disorder?

Out of the many problems and disorders that physical therapists help patients overcome, some of the most serious and complicated can be neurological disorders. According to the World Health Organization, a neurological disorder is a disease that affects the central and peripheral nervous system, meaning the brain, spinal cord, cranial nerves, peripheral nerves, nerve roots, autonomic nervous system, and muscles. Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, dementia, strokes, migraines, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, and head traumas can all be classified under this umbrella of varied disorders. These conditions all stem from physical problems with the brain or associated structures of the body, and they should not be confused with psychiatric illnesses.   A mental illness  affects a person’s thoughts and behavior. Of course, certain neurological issues, like Alzheimer’s, might also change a patient’s personality or perception, but unlike these diseases, a mental illness will not have a physical component that a doctor can point to on a scan and say that it is the cause.   Hundreds of millions of people around the world suffer from neurological disorders. Strokes claim the lives of approximately 6.2 million people, more than 50 million people suffer from epilepsy, and it is estimated that 35.6 million people deal with dementia, the majority of those cases being brought on by Alzheimer’s.   Some of the main signs to look for that might indicate a neurological issue includes sudden problems with memory and concentration, blackouts, slurred speech, and the loss of use of a limb. If you or a loved one have been experiencing these issues, they could be the sign of a larger problem that requires the intervention of a neurosurgeon or neurological physical...

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Common Sports Injuries

Posted by on Oct 4, 2014 in Tips | 0 comments

Common Sports Injuries

There are many injuries that can be sustained while practicing physical activities. From your regular exercise routine to playing sports, rotator cuff tears, wrist sprains, and hernias can happen to anyone at any time. Knowing the signs of these common injuries will help you to know when it’s serious and time to seek professional help. Rotator Cuff Tears   A torn rotator cuff means sever pain and immobility in your shoulder. The rotator cuff itself is made up of the muscles that help keep your arm in place in the socket, these muscles can get torn by constant wear and tear, repetitive stress, or moving in a sudden, jerking motion. You might have sustained a rotator cuff tear if you have pain at night while lying on your shoulder, while lifting or lowering your arm, and especially if you notice a crackling sensation when moving through certain positions.   Wrist Sprains   Sprains of the wrist can range from mild to severe, but they all involve damage to the ligaments between one bone and another in the wrist. The most common cause of sprain is falling and landing on an outstretched hand. If this has happened to you, look for the signs and symptoms of sever sprain: swelling, persistent pain, bruising, and a feeling of tearing or popping inside the wrist.     Sports Hernia   Any sports activities that involve significant twisting of the body can result in a hernia, the tearing of tissue in the lower abdomen or groin. If you have a hernia you will experience severe pain in the groin area. Often times this pain will lessen with rest, but then return and increase in severity with physical activity.     If you have sustained any of these injuries, or suspect that you might have more than a minor ache or pain after exercising, seek the help of a medical professional. Physical therapists are trained to diagnose many of these injuries, and will work with you to develop a unique plan of stretches, exercises, and pain alleviation to get your body back in shape as fast as...

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