You Don’t Have To Live With Arthritis Pain. Physical Therapy Can Help!

Did you know that arthritis is one of the leading causes of joint pain? It’s true. Arthritis can come from pain in the ankles, knees, hands, elbows, or hips, and it can affect just about anyone! Sometimes it’s a pop in your knee as you descend a flight of stairs, or a painful crack in your fingers when you try to open a jar. There’s a good chance you won’t realize how much you depend on your joints to perform painlessly until you’re experiencing joint pain daily.

Arthritis affects more than 50 million American adults, and is also the leading cause of disability in the United States. Most people believe it’s something that people only experience with old age, but it can actually happen to anyone at any age! More than 300,000 children and infants in the United States alone are diagnosed with arthritis, and unfortunately, this is a struggle that many of these children have dealt with from birth.

One of the best treatments for pain caused by arthritis is physical therapy. Most people think that physical therapy is a treatment only suitable for those who have suffered an injury or have a chronic health condition, but this simply isn’t true. Using physical therapy for the treatment of arthritis pain is very effective and widely recommended.

4 Ways Physical Therapy Can Relieve Arthritis Pain:

  1. It targets your pain through specialized treatments. Hot and cold therapy, therapeutic massage, and chiropractic care all provide optimal pain relief from arthritis. Many physical therapists utilize these forms of therapy.
  2. Physical therapy improves muscle strength, which supports your joints. Weakness in the surrounding muscles can put extra stress on your joints, thereby causing you to experience more joint pain during the smallest movements, like writing or picking up an object.
  3. It improves your range of motion. Physical therapy is a great way to improve your range of motion, which in turn supports optimal joint functionality.
  4. Physical therapists are experts at targeting the source of joint pain. Occasionally arthritis pain may be triggered by an environmental factor. Working with an experienced physical therapist can provide insight into the cause of your pain. Your physical therapist can help you make adjustments to environmental factors to decrease your level of discomfort.

Arthritis can happen to anyone at any age. Though women are more likely to experience joint pain than men, statistics show almost two-thirds of people dealing with pain from arthritis are of working age. This means regardless of gender, those between the ages of 20 and 65 are actually at the greatest risk of developing this type of pain. Learning how to manage arthritis head on is important, and while pain medications can help to reduce the amount of pain you feel, pills don’t fix the problem. This is why physical therapy is commonly referred to as one of the best solutions for the treatment of arthritis joint pain.

If you are experiencing regular joint pain that is interrupting your life, then it’s time to look for help. No matter what age you are, the correct way to ensure that your treatment is right for your personal needs is to consult a physical therapist. The beauty of physical therapy is that it is targeted and personalized treatment created to meet your individual needs. Contact our office today for more information on setting up an appointment with a physical therapist, so you can get back to doing the things you love without arthritis pain.

Thinking About Surgery For Your Chronic Pain? You Have Another Option: Physical Therapy

Do you suffer from constant aches and pains for reasons you just can’t put your finger on? Have you gotten used to feeling a spasm here or there, but summed it up to getting older? Maybe you’ve delayed seeking medical treatment for your problem because you’re afraid of one particular solution: surgery. You have no reason to worry, because there’s another option! Physical therapy could make surgery unnecessary for you. Just contact our clinic to find out more about the non-invasive world of conservative pain management!

What Is Chronic Pain?

When pain occurs as a result of an acute health problem, such as a car accident injury, sports injury or infection, it comes as no surprise to you. Pain in these circumstances is normal and expected, not to mention the fact that it will only last as long as it takes your body to recover from the underlying issue.

Chronic pain is different. It offers no reassurance. This type of pain is ongoing, and lasts longer than 3 months. It may even last a lifetime if the underlying cause is unable to be cured. The pain could appear and disappear unexpectedly, or it might be a continuous issue. Mild annoyance or debilitating problem – chronic pain isn’t fun for anyone.

What Can Cause Chronic Pain? How Can It Affect You?

Chronic pain can be brought about as an effect of an illness or an injury that never healed correctly. Take for example, an internal soft tissue injury might form lumps of scar tissue that make it painful for you to move.

Chronic aches and pains can also be caused by the following issues:

  • Herniated/bulging discs that pinch spinal nerve roots or your spinal cord
  • Musculoskeletal imbalances or weaknesses
  • Arthritis, a degenerative condition causing joints to become painfully inflamed
  • Exertion of specific tissues, causing them to experience strain and constant inflammation
  • Trigger points, which are tight muscle knots that can spasm and refer pain to various parts of the body
  • Systemic problems, such as fibromyalgia

Your ability to move around comfortably and freely can be impacted and limited by chronic pain. The same goes for performing simple everyday tasks or getting a restful night’s sleep. Some chronic pain conditions like sciatica may actually trick you into thinking that they’ve disappeared, only to come back over and over.

However, you’re not alone in your struggle! Did you know that almost 116 million Americans suffer from chronic pain? It’s true. Thankfully, there are multiple helpful solutions to managing this issue.

Is Physical Therapy Right For Your Chronic Pain?

Let’s face it. Medication only provides temporary relief from chronic aches and pains. One might assume that the only long-term option for pain relief is expensive surgery. However, surgeries that fuse joints or remove pieces of vertebral discs can actually do you more harm than good, and you should also take into account the time it’ll take you to recover! This is where physical therapy comes in.

Physical therapy is a safe, effective, non-invasive, drug-free answer. Physical therapists can decrease and control your chronic aches and pains in the following ways.

  • Increasing your flexibility with stretching exercises
  • Teaching you exercises that target specific joints or muscles
  • Massage therapy, which will loosen/break down adhesions and trigger points while calming inflamed tissues
  • Ultrasound therapy to block pain signals and promote healing
  • Loosening tight muscles with heat therapy
  • Prescribing strengthening exercises to help your body support itself more easily
  • Reducing swelling and inflammatory pain with cold therapy

You deserve to achieve the comfortable life you seek without spending thousands on surgery. Call our physical therapy office to schedule your consultation with one of our therapists and receive a personalized treatment program!

Sources:

Stop Relying On Opioids To Manage Your Pain. Physical Therapy Can Help!

Do you depend on drugs like oxycodone or hydrocodone just to make it through your day without crippling pain? Do you find yourself watching the clock anxiously until it’s time for your next dosage? If you answered yes to either of these questions, it’s possible you’re on the brink of opioid dependence.

You might be wondering how these drugs are affecting your long-term health, and with good reason! Opioid dependence can be a deadly situation.The good news is that you can kick your dependence on opioid drugs without ending up trapped by debilitating pain, thanks to the solutions provided by physical therapy. Contact our physical therapy office today to get started on this healthy, drug-free approach to pain management.

What Are Opioids, And How Do They Work?

Opioids are strong painkillers that are often prescribed to offset the effect of severe chronic pain. Traditionally, they are derived from substances in the poppy plant. Morphine, oxycodone,codeine, and hydrocodone are opioids that can relieve pain where other drugs fail.

It is common for doctors to prescribe these to patients dealing with pain due to cancer, acute injuries, and neurological or musculoskeletal pain. Subsequently, they can also produce feelings of euphoria, which in turn makes them substance that is extremely abused and addictive in both legal and illegal forms(such as heroin).

By attaching to opioid receptors in the brain and other structures of the body, opioids prevent the receptors against receiving pain signals. Simultaneously, the opioids trigger the release of large amounts of dopamine, a substance that gives a feeling of pleasure.

The Danger of Opioid Addiction

Opioids do more harm than good. These drugs are so effective at seemingly “getting rid of” the pain, but unfortunately, the painkilling and pleasurable benefits of opioids come at a terrifying price. The issue is that people become addicted to opioids because of the euphoric highs they experience while using them.

As a result of long-term opioid usage, the body builds up a tolerance to the drugs, and then will require larger doses in order to achieve the same effects. This ultimately leads to a very strong, very dangerous level of addiction.

It’s no surprise that more than 11 million Americans abuse opioids. Sadly, escalating tolerance levels in opioid users can result in them taking a fatal dose. Two-thirds of all overdose deaths in the U.S. are related to some form of opioid.

Physical Therapy Can Kick Opioid Dependency.

Opioid dependence can be avoided. Physical therapy is an excellent and safe alternative to drugs. An experienced physical therapist can prescribe you customized treatment method that will help joints move more freely, loosen tight muscles, reduce inflammation, build up muscle strength, and help decrease the effects of neurological problems (for example, herniated discs and pinched nerves).

Physical therapy might be for you if:

  • You’re having issues with addiction and depression or physical side effects as a result of continued opioid usage (or you want to avoid these issues altogether!)
  • You have a chronic, incurable pain condition that might otherwise you to use opioids for your entire life
  • You have musculoskeletal or neuromuscular pain
  • Treating the underlying cause of the pain, instead of simply numbing it, is your ultimate goal

Even if your pain cannot be depleted entirely through physical therapy, treatment may still ease your symptoms enough so that you don’t have to take the maximum dosage of painkillers any longer. However, please be aware that if you’re currently dependent on opioids, your doctor must supervise any changes in dosage.

Your opioid dependency can stop today. Call our office to set up a time for a consult with one of our physical therapists about drug-free pain management options.

Sources:

 

How to Improve Your Balance By Increasing Your Core Strength

The relationship between core strength and balance is something that has been widely discussed within the physical therapy field for several years. Your trunk contains multiple core muscles that work to prevent physically limiting conditions, such injuries, lower back pain, or balance and gait disorders. When your core is strong, it helps keep you upright and decreases your risk of falling. If you are interested in learning more about how our services can improve your balance, contact us today!

How are core and balance related?

There are three systems in your body that help to control your balance: The visual system, the vestibular system, and the proprioceptive system.

The visual system refers to the messages that your brain and eyes send to each other, in order to help you see. Your eyes send signals to your brain about your position in relation to the world around you.

The vestibular system refers to the liquid in your inner ear that functions as a sort of “carpenter’s balance,” in order to keep you level. If you’ve ever felt dizzy, it generally means that the liquid in the vestibular system is a little bit off-balance.

The proprioceptive system is the one that involves your core. Proprioception nerves are sensory nerves that situate throughout the body. They make you aware of your posture and aware of spatial things around you.

In order to stay balanced, one must have equilibrium in all three systems. A weak core is one element that can make you feel off-balance and cause you to fall down.

The impact of core muscles on stability:

When many people think of core muscles, they immediately picture the abs – but there are so much more! In fact, there are two separate groups of core muscles: the inner core and the outer core.

The inner core muscles are attached to your spine and they help to stabilize your core. The outer core muscles work in conjunction with the inner core muscles whenever you need to move your body from point A to point B – or, essentially to do most physical activities.

When we think of “core stability,” we are thinking of the inner core muscles. When we think of “core strength,” we are thinking of the outer core muscles. Engaging in physical therapy will help you to train both your inner and outer core muscles, in order to achieve better balance and movement.

PT treatments for core building and improved balance:

Core strength can be improved upon without pricy gym equipment. Many physical therapists will recommend a simple and quick exercise known as the “drawing in maneuver.”

To accomplish this exercise, begin by standing up straight with your hips in line with the rest of your body. Suck in your stomach, as if you were drawing your belly button in toward your spine. Then, walk around with your belly button still drawn in.

Ideally, your core muscles should be strong enough to hold that position for at least 30 seconds. However, if you are out of shape, you may have to build up to this time. This should be a painless exercise, so if you notice any pain while performing it, make sure you stop immediately. Once your core begins to build more muscle, your physical therapist will move you on to more difficult exercises, such as yoga, planks, or bridges.

If you have been struggling with your balance, we can help. Contact us today to learn how our core strengthening services can improve your balance and get you back on your feet!

Staying Healthy As We Age: The Importance of Physical Activity

It’s pretty common to be less active the older we get, but if we want to remain as healthy as possible, we must incorporate as much physical activity into our daily lives as we can! Thankfully there are many easy ways to increase your levels of activity that most people can include in their every day routine. Call Therafit today for more information about how you can increase your physical activity and lead a healthier life.

How Can I Increase My Physical Activity?

Below are seven great ways to add more physical activity into your routine.

  1. Bike Rides – Do you live in a rural area? If so, great! This is a wonderful opportunity to get your bike out of the garage and go for a spin. Even if you don’t live in a rural area, no worries. Lots of suburban/urban areas have bike trails and paths. Bike riding is a fun and easy way to get a good workout into your day.
  2. Adopt a Furry Pal – Getting a dog can keep you active and provide numerous health benefits, (especially if it’s a puppy, they have lots of energy and encourage you to get out and exercise with them!) If you own a dog already, make sure you’re walking your pet every day. The Mayo Clinic even suggests borrowing a dog if you don’t have one, so ask your friends if you can spend some time with Fido when they’re busy!
  3. Stairs Instead of Elevator – If you live in an apartment building or work in a high-rise building with tons of floors, you definitely have a good opportunity to get a work out in. Even if you only have a few flights to go, over time it’ll make a noticeable difference.If you’re coming back from lunch with a friend, tell them you’ll meet them at the top and then take the stairs!
  4. Park Farther Away – Do you run a lot of errands every week? Although it might seem like a great idea to find a spot as close to the front of the store as possible, parking in a spot far away provides an extra opportunity to get some walking in for the day.
  5. Sitting on the Floor – This is a great option for when you’re folding laundry, watching TV, or enjoying a book. Sitting on the floor isn’t just for kids! It can increase your activity level even as an adult, because you’ll find that you naturally stretch your limbs and move more to reach things while sitting on the floor.
  6. Swap Out Your Riding Lawn Mower – Using a push mower to cut your grass is a great way to get this chore accomplished while also getting in some daily activity. Strengthen those muscles!
  7. Stand Up – If you work sitting in front of a computer for most of the day, you should consider getting a standing desk that lets you stand up while you work. If you don’t have a standing desk, getting up and walking around every half hour to hour or so will really improve your overall level of physical activity.

How Do We Become Inactive?

There are few causes of inactivity, which can include everything from a busy schedule to a physical condition that prevents you from being as active as you should be. If you don’t engage in enough physical activity, you might struggle with weak muscle tone or aching joints. According to the Arthritis Foundation, the more inactive you’re being, the easier it is for you to become tired. There are lots of other physical ailments that come with inactivity, such as:

  • Weakened Bones
  • Hormonal Imbalance
  • Poor Blood Circulation
  • Increased Inflammation/Swelling

Make sure you’re getting enough activity in every day to avoid these issues!

Physical Therapy Can Help You Lead a More Active Lifestyle!

If you’re suffering from side effects of an inactive lifestyle, physical therapy could be the answer. A physical therapist can provide manual therapies that will not only increase your flexibility, but also improve your range of motion. They can also give you at-home exercises to do as well! Most likely, you will have a physical therapy program created especially for you and your needs.

If you want to lead a life without pain and stiffness, then it’s important to stay as active as possible. You want to keep your muscles, tendons, and joints flexible! Try adding a couple of the ways to exercise (listed above) to your daily routine to keep moving. Don’t forget, working with a licensed physical therapist can also help you stay fit and healthy! Contact Therafit today to find out how we can help you get back to an active lifestyle.

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!

5 Quick Tips for Less Pain and More Energy

Millions of individuals live with varying degrees of pain while also experiencing limited amounts of energy. There are several quick and effective ways you can increase your energy levels while reducing pain. Incorporating physical therapy into your regular routine is one way to limit pain. Call Therafit Physical Therapy for more information regarding the use of physical therapy for pain relief.

1. Change Your Diet

What you eat can have an enormous impact on how much pain you experience and the amount of energy you have throughout the day. There are several foods that can help reduce pain and inflammation while also raising energy levels.

  • Cherries – Eating cherries is a delicious way to increase antioxidant levels, which can reduce inflammation and inhibit pain.
  • Ginger – The ginger plant, which is often used as a spice, can help reduce migraine pain, muscle achiness and nausea.
  • Salmon – This wonder food provides omega-3 fatty acids that aid in reducing neck, back and joint pain.
  • Hot Peppers – Even a half-teaspoon of powdered pepper each day may help reduce arthritis pain.

2. Check Your Mattress

You spend approximately one-third of your time sleeping. This means the quality of your mattress can affect how you feel during your waking hours. While it used to be believed that a firm mattress was usually better for those suffering from most types of pain, you’re now recommended to choose a mattress according to your sleep style.

  • Firm Mattress – Those who sleep on their back may feel better with a medium to firm mattress.
  • Soft Mattress – Side sleepers generally will want to try a softer mattress.
  • Memory Foam – Individuals who tend to toss and turn and sleep in a variety of positions should try a memory foam mattress.

3. Boost Natural Endorphins

Exercise can release endorphins, which are feel-good chemicals in the body that can naturally reduce pain. It may seem more difficult to exercise while experiencing achy joints and muscles, but even a moderate amount of physical activity can help you feel better long after your workout is over. Other ways to naturally release endorphins include listening to your favorite music, eating chocolate and smelling the soothing scent of lavender.

4. Reduce Stress

Stress can contribute to both emotional anxiety as well as physical pain. You need to have several quick stress-busters in your bag of tricks to reduce anxiety whenever it pops up. A warm bath is a quick way to instantly soothe aching muscles and joints while calming your nerves. Even simple breathing techniques can limit pain and energize your body. Take two or three deep breaths, and then slowly release them. Always make sure to breathe through your nose to get the most benefits.

5. Visit a Physical Therapist

Physical therapy can do wonders for addressing pain and limited energy. A trained physical therapist can offer several types of methods to not only provide pain relief for symptoms but to treat the source of your pain. Some of the specific treatments a therapist might use include the following:

  • Heat or Cold Therapy – Heat can warm tendons and muscles so they move easier. Ice can reduce inflammation.
  • Massage Therapy – A physical therapist can massage and manipulate specific joints and muscles to reduce pain.
  • Aquatic Therapy – Water can stimulate nerves and provide resistance for exercise and strength training.
  • Ultrasound – Ultrasound produces sound waves that can assist in blocking pain signals to the brain.

Incorporating these tips into your daily routine can help reduce the amount of pain you’re experiencing while providing an energy boost. Contact our Fayetteville or Hazel Green office today to find out how physical therapy can be part of helping you enjoy a pain-free life!

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

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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