Is Stretching a Real Form of Exercise?

You probably already know there are a ton of different factors that contribute to maintaining your health. Getting a full night’s rest, staying hydrated during the day, and eating well-balanced meals are the most commonly shared tips when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, maintaining your heart health and nervous system. However, this is just scraping the surface, as there are so many other aspects of your body that need full support.

It’s not easy to maintain an ideal health, but paying attention to stiff joints and sore muscles will pay off in supporting you on your journey to a healthier lifestyle. One of the most fundamental aspects of physical therapy is stretching, and for good reason! Even though most people look at stretching as a pre-workout or post-workout activity, stretching actually has a long list of benefits that should be taken into account if you’re looking to improve your health.

Some of the basic benefits to stretching are as follows:

  1. It can improve your mental health. Stretching your muscles is very helpful in alleviating physical and mental tension.Alleviating tension in the muscles is helpful in alleviating tension in the mind. Yoga is a particularly popular form of stretching which focuses on mindfulness and meditation during stretching processes.
  2. It can help you prevent the need for surgery. Stretching provides our bodies with a means to keep our muscles warmed up and ready for exercise. This in turn decreases the chances of a muscle strain or sprain, and therefore also cuts down on the chance of you needing expensive surgery to repair the injury.
  3. Your range of motion will improve. Stretching regularly helps your muscles to extend fully, which can improve your range of motion over time! This means you’ll be more flexible, and it’s also very helpful with the prevention of injuries as well.
  4. It relieves muscle pain and tension. Stretching helps to alleviate muscle pain and discomfort throughout your body. Certain stretches are meant to help relieve back pain, some are meant for shoulder or neck pain, and so on. It’s a good idea to consult a physical therapist first about specific issues with pain before practicing targeted stretching exercises at home by yourself.
  5. Blood circulation will be improved. Your heart and musculoskeletal system will be improved by stretching regularly. Sometimes muscles can become extremely tight, and won’t receive enough oxygen. This can be painful. Stretching improves blood flow to your joints and muscles, further reducing your risk of being injured.

Getting Started With A Stretching Routine

Make sure when you start to stretch that you have plenty of space around you to move. Using a yoga mat is a great option to create a safe and supported area where you can gain traction easily. Remember to wear loose clothing so as not to constrict your limbs; you’ll be able to move much more freely!

As you stretch, remember to drink lots of water as well. Stretching might not feel like an intense exercise like running or doing push-ups, but it’s still very important to stay hydrated and support your muscles. To get more information on starting a good stretching routine, contact our office to make an appointment with a physical therapist. Contact us today! 

How Can Physical Therapy Can Give You Relief From Hip and Knee Pain?

Do you find yourself saying “no” to certain activities because of your hip or knee pain? Physical therapy may be a great option for you, whether your pain is experienced when you’re sitting or moving. We want to help you get back to your regular routine, so be sure to call our office for a consultation with a licensed physical therapist, and learn how we can help relieve your pain.

Why Is Hip and Knee Pain A Serious Problem?

The hips and knees are the largest joints in your body. They work closely with each other for optimum mobility and to support your body’s weight. Needless to say, they have a pretty big job to do, so it’s important they’re performing at their best.

What Are Hips and Knees Made Of?

Your knee is comprised of several ligaments and muscles Knee pain is actually the second most common cause of chronic pain. Failing to address this kind of pain can cause huge issues in your life.

Your hip joint consists of two parts: the femoral head and the acetabulum. The femoral head is the round, “ball-shaped” piece of a bone, and the acetabulum is the socket the femoral head fits into. Ligaments connect the femoral head to the acetabulum.

Just like the knees, hips are complex, and both types of pain can affect people at any age.

What Kinds of Knee Pain Are There?

Knee pain can be a direct side effect of any number of injuries or diseases. It can also come about as a result of a car accident, a bad fall, or a sports related injury. Some of the most commonly experienced types of knee pain include:

  • Gout
  • Ligament strains and sprains
  • Overuse (example: too much running on rough, hard ground)
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Anterior injuries
  • Fractures around the knee

Knee pain can affect your overall mobility as well as reduce your strength and affect muscle control.

What Kinds of Hip Pain Are There?

You might have pain in your groin area or right inside your hip if there are issues with your hip joint. If the pain is on the outside of your hip, it probably is due to issues with your tendons, muscles, and ligaments. It might even be hard for you to stand up if you experience hip pain. Hip pain can also be a result of the following conditions:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Bursitis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sprains
  • Hip fracture
  • Sciatica

Physical Therapy Can Help Alleviate Your Knee and Hip Pain

If any of the conditions or symptoms above apply to you, it’s a good idea for you to see a physical therapist. Your therapist can do an in-depth evaluation of your gait, palpate, range of motion measurements, and run a series of mobility tests to form a custom treatment plan for your hip or knee pain.

Not all treatment plans are created quite the same. Different issues might require other kinds of therapy, such as heat or ice therapy, exercises, and ultrasound therapy. Research shows that joint mobilization techniques can help with long and short-term ailments involving the hip. Even better — there is usually improvement with overall mobility as well!

If you’re suffering from hip or knee pain, make sure you call us to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced physical therapists. They can help reduce or even eliminate your pain, so that you can go back to living a pain-free lifestyle.

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Get Your Hip and Knee Joints Moving Again with These 5 At-Home Exercises

Are your hips and knees feeling stiff, achy, or even painful? Noticing more discomfort in your joints when standing up and moving around? If so, you’re not alone.

This quarantine has taken a toll on many people’s bodies, as it has become much more difficult to maintain the same levels of physical activity at home. However, getting exercise is still very important – especially for your hips and knees!

Your hips and knees were made to move, and when we sit around without exercising them, they can lock up, become tight, and result in discomfort. You may be wondering how you can get the same workouts in your lower extremities without gym equipment – well, we’ve got you covered! Follow the exercises below for both relief and prevention for hip and knee pains – and, as always, if you have any questions about these exercises, don’t hesitate to call or message us.

5 exercises to stretch and strengthen the lower extremities

  • Hip Circles Hips bothering you while stuck at home? Try some Hip Circles! This easy-to-do exercise is exactly what it sounds like – simply lie on your side, raise your top leg and rotate your hip in a circular motion. Then, switch to the opposite direction. Begin by doing 3 reps of 10 with both legs – your hips will be feeling better in no time!

Here is a video for your reference: https://vimeo.com/354635534/ed456c310a 

  • Straight Leg Raise. When stuck at home, sedentary tendencies can cause the knees and hips to lock up, resulting in pain. Get those joints moving again with a Straight Leg Raise. Simply lay flat on the ground and lift your legs until they are straight in the air at a 90 degree angle with the rest of your body. Repeat 3 reps of 10 for both legs. Bonus – this also works your abs!

Here is a video for your reference: https://vimeo.com/253319361/385e6397da 

  • Hip External Rotation Stretch. This is a great stretch for targeting both your hip and knee joints. Begin by sitting on the floor with your feet straight out in front of you. Then, bend one knee across the opposite leg and push down on said knee with your hand – you should feel this stretch in both your hips and knees! Repeat these directions on both sides to get a full stretch.

Here is a video for your reference: https://vimeo.com/396686977/03443a1dcc

  • Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch. If you are looking for a deep stretch, this is the one for you. Kneel on a mat or soft surface. Make sure you’re positioned so your right knee is straight up and the bottom of your right foot is flat on the floor. Extend your left leg behind you so the top of your left foot is flat on the floor. Begin to shift your weight forward and stop when you begin to feel the stretch in your hip. Hold for 30-45 seconds, then switch legs.

Here is a video for your reference: https://vimeo.com/313249747/fc2b99416b 

  • Standing Hip Flex. This one will surely get your blood pumping! Begin by standing up straight and then lift your right knee up in a 90 degree angle in front of you. Then, rotate your leg sideways while keeping that same position by shifting your hip muscles. Hold this position and then slowly rotate your hips back to the front and place your foot back down, flat on the ground. Repeat these same instructions with your left knee, completing 3 reps of 10 on each side. 

Here is a video for your reference: https://vimeo.com/398211318/e408af2c5c

Questions?

Looking for more assistance with these exercises? No problem! If you have any questions about how to perform these exercises or add more into your daily routine, call or message Therafit at any time. We are here to help you remain active, safe, and healthy at home!

Get Back to Comfort with These Back Exercises – All of Which You Can Do at Home!

Are you feeling back pain after being quarantined to your home? You may be wondering, “Why is this? I’ve barely left the couch!” Well, therein lies the issue.

The sedentary lifestyle that I’m sure many people have experienced since being quarantined to their homes can actually lead to more aches, pains, and discomfort than one may think – especially in the back.

Your body, quite simply, was made to move! With gyms and exercise classes closing down for the time being, it can be difficult to find the motivation to get your daily physical activity while sitting at home. Luckily, there are several easy exercises you can do on your own to relieve your back pain and get moving! 

Always exercise and stretch within your comfort zone. Never push into pain and if you are unsure of doing any of the exercises below, simply consult your physical therapist first.

6 exercises to stretch those back muscles:

  • Lumbar Rotation Stretch in Lying. Back giving you troubles? Try a Lumbar Rotation Stretch in Lying. Lying sideways with your top knee bent and bottom knee straight, gently rotate your torso so your head is facing the opposite direction of your legs. Hold the stretch and then switch sides. This will stretch out your back and get you feeling comfortable once again!

Here is a video for your reference: https://vimeo.com/333092920/1dbb30daae

  • Bird Dog (Leg Slide). With major businesses shutting down, we know how disappointing it is to not be able to attend the weekly yoga classes you enjoy so much. Fortunately, you can bring the same yoga stretches to your own home. Begin on the floor with your knees bent beneath you and your hands flat in front of you, so your back is flat toward the ceiling. Stretch your left arm out in front of you and your right leg out behind you, so your toes are pointing down at the ground. Hold this stretch and then repeat on the opposite side, with your right arm and your left leg. The Bird Dog (Leg Slide) exercise is great at targeting the back muscles to give you that relieving stretch you’re looking for! 

Here is a video for your reference: https://vimeo.com/371130374/85ad5de4ee

  • Hip Bias Lunges (Back Heel Down). Who doesn’t love a good lunge? This is a great exercise to get you moving. As a bonus, it not only targets your back but also focuses on your knee muscles. Begin standing in a slight lunge position with one leg slightly bent out in front of you and the other leg straight behind you. Lean your torso forward so it is almost in a 90 degree angle with the floor (this will cause your back leg to bend, as well). Hold this stretch and continue reps on the side you are on, then switch sides repeating the same steps.

Here is a video for your reference: https://vimeo.com/391227766/dc90917bdc 

  • Standing Hip Abduction 45 Degree Angle Back Arom. This exercise may have a lengthy name, but we promise it’s not that difficult! For this exercise, you will need a chair or something else to steady yourself. Stand with your left hand on the back of the chair and place your right hand on your hip. Keeping your back straight and face forward, slowly kick your back leg out behind you until you feel the stretch in your back. Continue a few reps and then switch sides, placing your left hand on your hip and kicking your left leg out behind you. Make sure to always keep the opposite hand on the chair to steady yourself. 

Here is a video for your reference: https://vimeo.com/285854056/0165cea4f4

  • Standing Shoulder Flex/Hip Extension With Back Arch (Wall). Another exercise that has a lengthy name but is very easy to do! For this exercise, you will begin standing with your hands outstretched directly in front of you on a wall. In a fluid “swinging” motion, extend your right arm and left leg behind you so your back is arched, then bring them both toward the wall. Continue doing this in fluid motions. After a few reps, repeat this exercise on the other side of your body, with your left arm and right leg.

Here is a video for your reference: https://vimeo.com/394420569/71808708d0

  • Neural Mobility SLR (Outward Turn). Looking for a great way to stretch your back, legs, and glutes at the same time? This exercise is for you! Begin by laying down on your back with both arms clasped around your right hamstring. Raise that leg in the air, keeping the left one bent with your feet flat on the ground. Flex your right foot that is in the air so that the bottom of your foot is flat facing the ceiling, then point that foot so that your toes are straight up toward the ceiling. Then, slowly bring that leg back down to a bent position between your hands. Continue for a few reps and then switch legs, repeating the same steps.

Here is a video for your reference: https://vimeo.com/370059225/1087fe3a40

Questions?

If you have any questions about any of these exercises or if you are looking for more ways to relieve back pain during the quarantine, call or message Therafit at any time. We want to make sure you are as comfortable as possible while also staying active at home!

What’s the Difference Between Sprains and Strains?

It is a common misconception that “sprains” and “strains” are interchangeable terms. In reality, there are some key differences between the two. In order to understand how they differ, it is important to first understand what ligaments and tendons are.

Ligaments connect bones to bones within a joint, while tendons connect bones to muscles. When you experience a sprain, you are tearing or overstretching a ligament. Conversely, when you experience a strain, you are tearing or overstretching a tendon.

If you have recently sustained a sprain or strain, or you believe you may have, don’t hesitate to contact us to consult with a physical therapist. We’ll determine the best course of treatment for your needs and get you started on the road to recovery!

Treating sprains and strains:

Mild sprains and strains are often treated with the RICE technique: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. However, when the RICE technique doesn’t work, or if pain is unbearable and/or constant, it is in your best interest to visit a doctor. A doctor may take an X-ray to see if there are any breaks in the bone. If there are no breaks found, the diagnosis is usually a strain or sprain.

Physical therapy is an effective method for treating sprains and strains. No matter how you incurred your injury, our dedicated physical therapists can play a major role in your comeback. One of our licensed physical therapists will use a mix of passive and active treatments to reduce pain, improve strength, and increase coordination. Passive treatments may include massage, ice and heat therapies, electrical stimulation, or ultrasound. Active treatments include targeted stretches and exercises.

A very common type of ligament sprain is an ACL tear, which physical therapy has been proven successful in treating. It has also been proven successful in treating various other types of tears, such as those to the Achilles tendon or hamstring.

Common causes of sprains and strains:

The symptoms of a sprain and strain are much alike, due to the fact that the injuries are very similar in nature. You may experience swelling, muscle spasm, difficulty with range of motion, limited flexibility, or pain around the affected joint. However, there is one main difference in symptoms: with a sprain, you will usually present bruising around the affected joint, whereas this is not always the case with a sprain. Some of the most common causes of sustaining a sprain or strain include:

  • Prolonged repetitive motion.
  • Overexerting yourself.
  • Lifting heavy objects.
  • Slipping and falling.
  • Athletic activities.

There are also certain risk factors that may increase your chances of sustaining a sprain or strain, such as neglecting to warm up before exercising, using improper equipment, practicing improper techniques, being out of shape, or general fatigue.

Find relief for your sprain or strain today!

WebMD states, “Ankle injuries can happen to anyone at any age. However, men between 15 and 24 years old have higher rates of ankle sprain, compared to women older than age 30 who have higher rates than men. Half of all ankle sprains occur during an athletic activity. Every day in the U.S., 25,000 people sprain their ankle. And more than 1 million people visit emergency rooms each year because of ankle injuries. The most common ankle injuries are sprains and fractures, which involve ligaments and bones in the ankle. But you can also tear or strain a tendon.”

Is your sprain or strain limiting your daily life? Find relief with us. Our licensed physical therapists will conduct a comprehensive assessment to determine what the best course of treatment will be for you. Say goodbye to your pain today with physical therapy!

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sprains-and-strains/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20377943

https://medlineplus.gov/sprainsandstrains.html

Relieving Your Pain the Natural Way – Physical Therapy as the Safer Relief Alternative

It is no secret that the United States is a country with very high levels of medication. With countless over-the-counter drugs for pain management, it can seem simple to turn to drugs for pain relief. It is also a common practice for physicians to prescribe heavier pain relievers, such as the opioids that have resulted in a country-wide epidemic.

While the effects of these drugs can be frightening, there is a safer solution available: physical therapy. Physical therapy is a healthy, safe, and effective way to relieve your pain the natural way. If you are looking for pain relief without the risk of side effects, contact us today to schedule a consultation!

What does physical therapy do?

Our dedicated physical therapists create individualized treatment plans based on the specific needs of each patient. Your treatment plan will vary based on the nature of your condition; for example, if you are suffering from a recent acute injury, we may use massage therapy, ice and heat therapies, ultrasound, and other techniques to ease your pain and jump-start the healing process.

Once you’re safely able to move to exercises without pain, your physical therapist will prescribe gentle stretches, walking, cycling, swimming, or other motions, in order to help mobilize your body. This is done to help your soft tissues move around easier and with more comfort, in addition to helping stiff or arthritic joints stay mobile and lubricated. Strengthening exercises can rehabilitate damaged muscles so they can perform without pain, and they can also help you maintain a straighter posture in order to ease pain from spinal nerve compression.

Physical therapy methods and modalities have been proven to work. In fact, an 11-year study of chronic pain sufferers demonstrated that regular exercise resulted in decreased pain. Effective physical therapy isn’t just the work of the physical therapist — it also depends on the efforts of the patient. We will take the time to educate you about the nature of your pain and the importance of strictly following your routine. All of this will give you the resources you need to live a pain-free life and prevent future injuries from occurring.

The safest pain relief strategy:

We’ve all seen it broadcasted over the media: the serious dangers of opioid medications. These narcotics, which include both prescription medicines and illicit drugs, take the lives of approximately 115 American every day via overdose. Opioids are not only tremendously powerful, but they also have the potential for dangerous interactions with other drugs and they are commonly known for their addictive nature.

Steroids, which are another class of prescription painkillers, also pose serious risks and dangers. Epidural steroid injections are used to relieve pain, but they can also lead to undesirable conditions, such as cataracts, arthritis in the hips, elevated blood sugar, stomach ulcers, and nerve damage. Even ordinary NSAIDs such as ibuprofen can cause stomach bleeding and liver problems. Additionally, pain management drugs only allow for temporary pain relief – meaning you’ll have to take larger amounts for longer periods of time, if you don’t get sufficient treatment for your condition.

With physical therapy treatments, you can sweep all of those risks, worries, and unpleasant side effects aside. While some cases of severe pain might still require some pharmaceutical intervention, physical therapy can help many patients greatly reduce their reliance on painkilling medications, and in many cases, the need for these drugs may be eliminated altogether.

Our highly-trained physical therapists use a combination of techniques to treat a wide range of painful problems, from acute injuries and post-operative wounds to chronic pain syndromes and conditions. Whatever the case may be, you can find relief through physical therapy.

Schedule an appointment for relief!

Pain-management drugs are not the only solution when it comes to relief. Try physical therapy for a safer and natural approach, which will provide you with the relief you need! Confirm your appointment today by calling our office, and get started on your journey toward long-lasting and risk-free relief!

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Get Back to Your Daily Life Quicker with Pre-hab

It is common knowledge that post-surgical rehabilitation is necessary following almost any surgical procedure. This rehab is performed after surgery as a way to enhance the recovery process and help patients regain their mobility.

But did you know you can also participate in rehab treatments before your surgery? Pre-surgical rehabilitation, commonly referred to as “pre-hab,” is a way to help speed up your recovery time even more and make the surgery itself easier on your body. Pre-hab has been proven to both reduce recovery time and improve the overall outcomes of the surgery.

If you have a surgery coming up and you’re looking for an effective way to prepare, contact us today to consult with one of our licensed physical therapists about pre-hab.

The many benefits of pre-hab:

Pre-hab has been proven to significantly enhance the recovery process for those who decide to partake in it. In fact, in a study published by the Arthritis Foundation, three universities in Boston demonstrated that patients who engaged in pre-hab had much better outcomes following surgery.

Working with a physical therapist before surgery makes it possible to get out of the hospital faster. For example, studies done on knee replacement patients concluded that the patients who went through pre-hab treatments before their knee surgery were able to meet the requirements to get out of the hospital much quicker than those who did not go through any physical therapy prior to surgery.

In most cases, knee replacement patients must walk a certain distance and travel up a certain amount of stairs before they can leave. For patients that have worked with a physical therapist before surgery, meeting these requirements is easier to do. Their bodies are stronger due to physical therapy; therefore, they are able to recover much faster.

What’s the difference between rehab and pre-hab?

Rehab

It is completely normal to feel some pain and discomfort following surgery. It may feel difficult to make certain movements, and you will likely have to limit your physical activity for a set amount of time after your procedure. However, it is important to make sure you are still getting the movement you need, so you can regain your optimum function following surgery. This is where rehab comes in.

Rehab is a must following surgery. A physical therapist can help you move safely, in ways that will fight inflammation and keep adhesions from forming. Rehab treatments with a licensed physical therapist will also help increase your strength, so you can get back to your normal life after surgery.

Pre-hab

Pre-hab with a physical therapist helps you get a jump-start on the recovery process, and it can allow for a more successful surgical process. It reduces inflammation and increases strength, which can make the job of the surgeon (and your body’s natural healing response!) much easier. While rehab works to strengthen your body after surgery, pre-hab works to strengthen your body before the surgery.

Spending even a few sessions with a physical therapist will help improve your overall health before undergoing your procedure, so you’ll have more strength stored up to help you along your recovery. Instead of starting out rehab feeling fully depleted, you will already have some built-up strength to make the process much easier on yourself.

Make the most of your surgery:

The benefits of pre-hab treatments are immeasurable Contact us today to schedule your appointment and find out how our pre-hab services can help you. Our dedicated physical therapists will create a personalized treatment plan for your specific needs, in order to improve your strength before your surgery. If you want to get back to your daily life quicker by ensuring a quicker recovery rate and smoother outcome, don’t hesitate to contact us! Make the most of your surgery by participating in pre-hab treatments today.

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Decrease Your Pain and Increase Your Energy with These 5 Easy Tips

Are you looking for a way to relieve your aches and pains so you can get back to living your life comfortably? If so, our treatment services can greatly benefit you! Our dedicated physical therapists can provide you with the tools you need to decrease your pain and increase your energy, so your daily life will be easier than ever. There are a vast number of conditions we treat, and our main goals are to help you find relief and prevent your likelihood of further pain occurring. By incorporating these 5 easy tips into your daily life, you’ll find that your days are much less painful and more energetic!

1. Maintain proper posture throughout the day.

Posture improvement can make a huge difference in how you feel overall. Your physical therapist can design a treatment plan that will focus on improving your posture, which is something that you can carry with you long-term. Simply standing and sitting with shoulders back, chest out, and spine straightened (instead of slumping over) is a great start. Your physical therapist can guide you towards posture habits that alleviate pain and pressure, which will give you more energy to face the day.

2. Change your sitting positions.

The way in which you sit can make a big difference when it comes to pain and energy levels. Simply by avoiding pain, you’ll also feel less drained at the end of the day. Your physical therapist can also recommend some simple adjustments based on your work environment, that may help reduce pain and improve your sitting positions. For example, a lumbar cushion can help relieve pressure from your lower back.

3. Stay hydrated.

Did you know that you’re supposed to drink between half-an-ounce to one-ounce of water for each pound of your body weight each day? By drinking enough water each day, you’ll be able to avoid dehydration, as well as other undesirable issues, such as headaches, muscle cramps, and overall fatigue. Water is always the healthiest option, so try to keep plenty of water close to you as you move throughout your day. You’ll begin to notice that consistent hydration will lead to lessened pain and increased energy. It can also help keep your appetite under control, which may help you avoid gaining extra weight!

4. Get moving!

Moving is an integral part of any physical therapy program, as it is essential to relieving painful symptoms and improving your overall function. If you are in pain, it may seem better to remain sedentary until it goes away; however, exercising can actually help relieve your symptoms much quicker. By getting up and moving around every hour or so, even if you just take a simple walk around the room or around your office, you can help decrease your pain and boost your energy. You don’t have to do a full physical therapy session to feel the benefits of movement – practicing this every day can also benefit your body in several ways.

5. Pay attention to your breathing.

It is important to take breaks while you exercise, and to focus on your breathing while you do so. Focused breathing can help relieve your pain and may even give you that little extra energy burst you need to keep going with your day. Every few hours, take a few minutes to stop, close your eyes, and breathe deeply. Breathe in deeply through your nose, filling your lungs as completely as possible. Then, breathe out through your mouth, keeping lips pursed a bit to push the air out. Focus on nothing but your breathing for a few minutes and you’ll be amazed at what a difference it can make.

Schedule a consultation for more help:

Physical therapy helps patients feel their best. If you’d like further assistance from the tips above, contact our office today! Our physical therapists would be happy to meet with you for a consultation to discuss the best treatment plan for you, so you can live your highest quality of life!

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Treat Your Back and Neck Pain with Our Advanced PT Methods

Did you know that studies say approximately 90% of people will be plagued by back or neck pain at some point in their lives? While it is a common complaint, it can sometimes be difficult to determine where the pain is originating on your own.

Sometimes pain in one area can travel to another part of the body. For example, if your pain is originating in your back or neck, it can sometimes also be felt in the head, arms, or legs. As pain progresses, it is possible for it to travel further from where it is rooted. Fortunately, physical therapy can help you manage your pain, and in many cases, eliminate it altogether. To find our how our advanced physical therapy methods can benefit you, contact our office today.

The benefits of physical therapy:

Physical therapy for back pain and neck pain is focused on the structures that support the spine. This includes the tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints. Your treatment will include both active and passive forms of physical therapy, in order to achieve optimum relief, function, and injury prevention for the future.

Active physical therapy for neck and back pain typically includes specific exercises, stretches, adjustments, in order to manage or relieve your pain altogether. In some cases, aquatic therapy may be recommended, as the buoyancy of water takes pressure off of the cervical and lumbar spine while you’re performing the exercises.

Passive physical therapy includes different modalities, such as massage therapy,  ice and heat therapies, ultrasound, or electrotherapy. Massage therapy is used to reduce pain and relax the muscles. Ice or heat therapies help to reduce swelling and pain, in addition to increasing blood flow for healing. With electrotherapy, electrical impulses are sent to the sensory nerves, in order to alter pain signals. It’s a mildly warm sensation that reduces pain and relaxes muscles.

How can I get started?

Before your physical therapy treatments even start, a physical therapist will perform an examination to determine the root cause of your back or neck pain. A strength test will be performed and a goniometer may be used to measure your range of motion. You will be asked to perform certain tasks in order to determine your functional mobility.

Spinal mobility will be also measured through palpation, in order to locate sore or tight muscles. Your full medical history will be evaluated, in addition to your symptoms, in order to determine the nature and severity of your condition. Once your examination is complete, your physical therapist will design a personalized treatment plan that will target the cause of your back or neck pain and focus on providing relief.

What will my treatment plan look like?

There are several different causes of back and neck pain, which is why our dedicated physical therapists take the time to design an individualized treatment plan for each patient. Some of the most common conditions leading to back and neck pain are:

  • Sprains and strains. It’s not uncommon for athletes to incur sprains and strains to the neck or back regions when engaging in sports.
  • Sudden traumas or injuries. Sudden damage to the neck or back, such as a sports collision or whiplash, may result in back or neck pain.
  • Improper posture. Poor posture can cause unnecessary strains on the back and neck, resulting in pain and discomfort.
  • Disc herniation. A herniated disc occurs when the gel-like material of the disc bulges or leaks out.
  • Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the “wear and tear” on the facet joints, which causes friction when bending. This can also result in a pinched nerve root, which can cause sciatica.
  • Degenerative disc disease. Degenerative disc disease occurs when there is “wear and tear” on the spinal discs.

Whatever the cause of your back or neck pain may be, physical therapy can help. If you’ve been limited by pain, contact our office today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced and caring physical therapists. Don’t let your pain dictate your life – seek treatment today to relieve your condition and live comfortably once again!

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The Top 5 Ways Proper Posture can Help Alleviate Back Pain

Everyone has heard the importance of sitting or standing up straight. However, maintaining proper posture at all hours of the day is usually easier said than done.

Many people experience back pain due to poor posture. Sitting and standing up straight allows for proper spinal alignment, which can prevent back pain. However, it can be difficult to get in the habit of practicing proper posture if you are already in the habit of slouching or hunching over. Fortunately, physical therapy can help correct your bad posture habits and help you incorporate healthy ones into your lifestyle through targeted strengthening exercises and stretches.

If back pain has been limiting your life, don’t wait to find relief. Schedule your consultation today and see how our services can help treat your back pain while simultaneously improving your posture!

How can proper posture relieve back pain?

Your spine is designed to operate in a very specific way. When you move, sit, and stand in ways that disrupt the correct operation of your spine, you may eventually create undesirable problems over time.

With the help of your physical therapist, practicing good posture is one way that can work with your spine in order to minimize your back pain. Physical therapy treatments will provide educational resources for good posture and will help you discover several healthy movement patterns for relieving pain. 5 of the greatest benefits of maintaining proper posture include:

1. It helps improve physical function.

When we think of posture, many of us picture an image of static positions – such as sitting at a desk or standing up straight. However, proper posture can be (and should be) incorporated into everything we do.

Through physical therapy treatments, your physical therapist will guide you on how to maintain proper posture during all of your favorite activities, such as walking, running, and playing sports. The improved posture you adopt in each activity will lessen the wear and tear you put on your spine, which minimizes the risk of developing back pain from these activities.

2. It prevents damaging changes to the anatomy of your spine.

The ways in which you use your spine can actually cause changes to your anatomy. The stress caused by sitting hunched can eventually lead to damage of your muscles, joints, spinal discs, and the nerves and blood vessels that travel through your spine. Fortunately, in many cases, the damage can be reversed if you engage in targeted physical therapy treatments and learn how to maintain proper posture.

3. It enhances blood circulation.

When you maintain proper spinal alignment, your veins are not constricted by the pressure of your vertebrae. Your spine contains numerous components that all require good circulation, in order to operate correctly and regenerate from damage.

When your physical therapist guides you through different physical therapy exercises to help with your posture, your alignment will return to the intended shape required for optimal circulation.

4. It increases your strength and flexibility.

If you have struggled with poor posture for a while, there is a good chance that it will be difficult to maintain proper posture in the beginning. It may take some time in physical therapy to gain the strength and flexibility necessary to keep your ideal posture. Fortunately, the work you do with your physical therapist to achieve your physical goals will lead to greater overall fitness. The stronger and more flexible you get, the less likely you are to suffer from back pain on a regular basis.

5. It helps you avoid pain from improper techniques.

Good posture is a vital component of lifting objects without injury. When you lift and fail to use good posture, there is a much greater chance that you will wind up hurting your back.

Ask your physical therapist about proper lifting posture. He or she can show you how to lift correctly and guide you through some exercises to clarify the right posture.

Find relief today:

Are you ready to improve your posture and relieve your back pain? If so, call to confirm your appointment today! We’ll help you get started on the right track toward a pain-free life. Your back will be happy you did!

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