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.

Suffering from Sciatica Pains? Find Relief Today

Lumbar radiculopathy, commonly referred to as sciatica, is a common condition that many people experience. It occurs as a result of irritation to the sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve of the body. It stretches from the lumbar spine through the buttocks, and pain from irritation is typically felt in the lower back. However, sciatica pain can also ensue in the buttocks, thigh, or lower limbs, which can pose challenges in mobility. Sciatica is commonly caused by a herniated disc; however, a back trauma or disc degeneration can also result in the condition.

Treating sciatica with physical therapy:

A physical therapist may use several types of treatments to reduce your sciatica pain and symptoms. Active treatments include motions, stretches, and specific exercises, aimed at reducing pain and accelerating healing. A physical therapist will also teach you different motions that you can do at home in order to manage your pain. If a physical therapist discovers any weak muscles, you will be given corrective exercises for core strengthening.

The strengthening exercises in your physical therapy treatments focus not only on the lower back, but also on the hip muscles, abdominal muscles, and glutes. All of the exercises you participate in will help strengthen the spinal column (including your tendons, ligaments, and supporting muscles) while also keeping the spine in proper alignment.

The stretching exercises in physical therapy target muscles that are inflexible and tight. Hamstring stretching is an important part of a physical therapy treatment program to alleviate sciatica. An aquatic exercise program may also be recommended by a physical therapist. You can do exercises easily with the buoyancy of water.

Passive treatments may include massage therapy, ice and heat therapies, electric therapy, or ultrasound. All of these different modalities help reduce pain, stimulate blood flow, and accelerate healing. Massage therapy is typically conducted for sciatica relief, as it helps alleviate sciatic nerve pain. It loosens up tight back muscles that may be pressing on the sciatic nerve, and it increases the release of endorphins for pain relief. Ice and heat therapies are also common, as they help ease pain, relax muscles, and reduce inflammation. Electrotherapy may also be applied, which uses electricity to also aid in reducing pain, strengthening muscles, ramping up circulation, and improving physical function.

Do you have sciatica?

Sciatica is diagnosed through a physical examination and an evaluation of medical history. A CT scan or MRI may be also be performed, in order to locate the root cause of sciatica. According to Move Forward PT, “Conservative care like physical therapy often results in better and faster results than surgery or pain medication.” Once you are diagnosed with sciatica, a physical therapist will work with you to manage and relieve the condition. This includes:

  • Increasing strength.
  • Improving motion.
  • Reducing sciatica pain.
  • Educating you on how to stand, bend, and twist.
  • Improving flexibility.
  • Returning to normal activities.

Schedule your consultation today:

If you are looking for an effective, safe, and non-invasive approach to sciatica treatment, physical therapy is your best option. PT treatments work to target the root of the problem by applying extensive assessments, in order to determine the best individualized treatment plan for every patient’s needs. These will be dependent upon the severity of each patient’s condition and will help to relieve pain and improve function.

Physical therapy is one of the most successful ways to treat sciatica. In addition to in-clinic treatments, your physical therapist will also provide you with targeted stretches and exercises you can do at home, in order to combat any sciatica pains you may feel in the future. Your risk of sciatica can be significantly reduced by practicing proper body mechanics, maintaining proper posture, and staying in shape, with the help of your physical therapist.

If you have been living with sciatica, or you think you may be experiencing sciatica symptoms, don’t hesitate to schedule your consultation today. Our licensed physical therapists will meet with you to perform a comprehensive exam that will help determine what the best treatment plan will be for you. Don’t let your sciatica pain dictate your life any longer – find relief today with physical therapy

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Improve Your Health, Strength, and Physical Activity with These 4 Simple Tips!

It’s not always easy to be active. We’ve all been there – letting the dumbbells collect dust in the garage, throwing the yoga mat in the storage closet, constantly walking by the running shoes without a second glance. However, once you get in the habit of being habit, it becomes much easier. With these 4 simple tips, you can achieve an active lifestyle even with your busy schedule!

1. Trick yourself into exercising.

It can be hard to find the time to exercise throughout the day – so try sneaking it in! Physical therapy often prescribes small changes to a person’s routine, in order to make the adjustments manageable. Some simple ways to be more active during your daily tasks include:

  • Opting for the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator.
  • Exiting the bus one stop early and walk the rest of the way.
  • Parking farther away from your destination and walking the extra distance.
  • Maintaining your yard – raking leaves, shoveling snow, mowing the lawn, etc.
  • Taking the dog on walks with the whole family.
  • Walking up and down the field while your children are playing sports.

2. Maintain a healthy diet.

Maintaining a healthy diet doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to spoil yourself with treats every now and then. Nutrition is all about balance – so just make sure you balance those treats with some healthier choices. This includes:

  • Snacking smart. It is good to snack! – as long as it’s healthy. So instead of those pretzels, try grabbing some peanuts. Snacking keeps you at your best so that you can sustain your energy and stay positive.
  • Avoiding “meal skips.” Many people think that dieting includes “eating less,” but skipping meals can be just as detrimental to your nutrition as over-eating. Eating consistently provides your mind and body with the fuel necessary to help you get and stay active. It also helps you avoid your blood sugar dropping, which can lead to nervousness, irritability, and a whole host of other problems.
  • Implementing Uncle Sam’s recipe for health. “What is this?” you may ask – it is essentially the following: lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products; some lean meats or meat substitutes, including beans, eggs and nuts; and minimal saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt, and added sugars.

3. Positivity goes a long way.

If you go in with a positive mindset, exercise and eating right will become significantly easier. Research shows that a positive attitude can boost your immune system and increase your energy levels. Even if you aren’t really excited about getting up to go for a run, your body will believe what you think. Essentially, “fake it ‘til you make it” – because that mantra really works!

4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Did you know that over half of the United States suffers from some sort of limiting pain? Chronic pain can significantly hinder your quality of life, but physical therapy can fortunately help correct it. It is a natural, non-invasive, safe, and effective way to manage and treat pain. In many cases, it can even eliminate the need for harmful pain-management drugs or surgical correction. The best part of all is that physical therapy provides long-term relief, while other methods may only work in the short-term.

Physical therapy can help with all types of chronic musculoskeletal and neuropathic pain, from ongoing headaches to fibromyalgia. A physical therapist can manipulate your bones and joints to reduce discomfort. Your physical therapist will work with you to form an exercise and movement plan that lessens your pain and increases your mobility.

Contact us today!

No matter what age you are, our physical therapy treatment programs can help you get up and moving. If you’re looking to improve your health, strength, and physical activity, don’t hesitate to contact us today! We’ll get you started on a plan that will help your life your life to the fullest.

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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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Relieve Your Lower Back Pain with These 3 Simple Steps

If you have been living with lower back pain, you know how limiting it can be. While it may seem simple to relieve the pain with prescription medications, our current opioid epidemic has left people in search of less harmful solutions. Fortunately, physical therapy can be that very solution.

A study published by BMC Health Services states that physical therapy has been known to prevent habit-forming dependencies on prescription medication and reduce the overall health cost that a patient will have to pay for pain relief. Additionally, physical therapy focuses not only on the pain you are currently facing, but also on preventing your pain from returning in the future.

Your physical therapist will work closely with you provide simple pain-relief strategies that you can carry into your daily life, even after your treatment sessions are complete. 3 of these strategies include:

1. Alternating between hot and cold remedies

Alternating hot and cold compresses or packs on your lower back can help in providing significant pain relief. If you prefer one remedy over the other, it is not necessary to alternate every time, but often alternating the two extremes can help provide a fuller range of benefits.

Heat works to increase your circulation, and when your body experiences that extra blood flow, your healing properties are initiated in your bloodstream. Hot compresses and packs also ease pain by blocking the painful “signals” that run from the nerves in your lower back to your brain. However, cold packs can also come to the rescue with their ability to numb pain, halt spasms, and reduce swelling in the affected area.

During physical therapy, you’ll receive expert applications of these ice and heat therapies. Your physical therapist can also recommend the best types of hot or cold remedies for your specific condition. As a general rule, ice packs and heating pads are good all-around options, as both are effective, inexpensive, and readily available.

2. Working those hamstrings

While it is not something that back pain sufferers always consider, your hamstring muscles can play a key role in whether or not your lower back joints become over-stressed. When the backs of your upper thighs are too tight, your lower back has to work overtime, in order to compensate. Stretching your hamstrings helps to lengthen those muscles, which can help to soothe your lower back — especially when it’s in spasm.

A physical therapy session can help you identify specific stretches for your hamstring muscles, and will help in explaining how the two muscles affect one another. In the meantime, try bending over and reaching for your toes twice a day. Don’t strain as you reach down, and try not to lock your knees. If you feel any pain at the outset, discontinue the exercise, and talk to your physical therapist about alternative hamstring lengthening exercises.

3. Balancing your activity with rest

Bed rest is a common initial prescription for lower back pain in some cases. It is especially true if your pain comes from an injury or re-injury. In fact, resting while applying ice packs is a time-honored way of reducing swelling in the first day or two. However, for chronic lower back pain, moving around is a much better medicine than lying around. Physical activity releases your natural endorphins, which have both mood-lifting and pain-killing properties.

Of course, it is important not to overdo your workouts before consulting with your physical therapist. Keep it simple by taking a light walk or getting some household chores done, in order to limber up your back and release those helpful endorphins. If a brace helps in relieving your pain, wear it to support your lower back as you move.

Physical therapy is an important exercise option. It delivers both the benefit of exercise and the watchful eye of a professional to make sure you are using proper technique and remaining sage. Your physical therapist can warn you about moves that risk re-injury and will work with you on both flexibility and strengthening moves. These exercises are meant to build up the muscles that support your spine, in order to ease pain on your lower back. They also help provide greater range-of-motion as you work through that back stiffness.

Find relief today:

If you are in need of extra assistance for managing our lower back pain, don’t hesitate to contact our office today. One of our dedicated physical therapists will be happy to meet with you to discuss treatment and simple lifestyle changes that can help decrease the severity and frequency of your lower back pain episodes. Call TheraFit Physical Therapy today to get started on your path toward lower back pain relief!

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