physical therapy

Improve Mobility and Motion Without Surgery

By: Dan Durham, Physical Therapist/Owner

When you’re in pain, you’re open to pretty much any solution that makes you feel better. In most cases, doctors are likely to recommend pain medication or even surgery to cure what ails you.

If you read my last blog, you know how I feel about choosing physical therapy to treat chronic pain instead of using opiates to mask it. If mismanaged, or prescribed unnecessarily, opiate medications can lead to some serious issues, up to and including opiate addiction.

And now, researchers are discovering that physical therapy can be an alternative to surgery that’s just as effective and much less costly.

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Stretching Helps Prevent Knee and Ankle Pain

By: Sara Miller, Physical Therapy Assistant

Teenagers. They think they know everything.

kids-playing-soccer

Both of my teenage daughters (16 and 13) play sports. Soccer, basketball, track, cross-country; you name it, they play it. Between them and their friends, it seems like we are constantly treating knee and ankle/foot issues.

It’s tough getting kids to stretch before playing sports. Often, they will rush though the process because, quite frankly, it’s not a lot of fun. But what they don’t realize is that having a good stretching program can help alleviate much of the pain and inflammation that they deal with during the course of a season. This is especially important for younger people, whose bodies are still growing and developing.

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Coming Back from ACL Reconstruction

Basketball-Player-psd61793Of all sports injuries, the ACL is the most dreaded to athletes. At nearly 200,000 occurrences annually, ACL-related injuries are some of the most common knee injuries in sports and have ended careers.

About 70% of ACL injuries are non-contact. That means it could stem from how you move, particularly while playing sports that involve quick cutting, pivoting, and jumping.

Other experts believe it could just be that we’re more prone to these types of injuries due to lifestyle and environmental factors. One thing that all experts agree on is that a loud pop or snap coming from your knee means you’re in for a long road of rehabilitation. Continue reading

How Effective are Video Games with PT?

As a physical therapist, it’s so ironic to me that video games, which are often regarded as a leading cause of sedentary lifestyles among kids, can be used as a beneficial tool in physical and occupational rehabilitation. But whether you want to call it ‘Wii-habilitation’ or ‘exergaming,’ more studies are coming out that prove just that. Continue reading

What is the ‘Holiday Headache’?

holiday-headacheIf you suffer from chronic headaches, the holiday season can cause numerous unwanted problems no matter how much you love this time of year. With holiday parties comes indulging in all sorts of food, especially trigger foods and alcohol, which can result in the onset of a headache. Continue reading

Are you in pain, or are you just sore? Do you know how to tell the difference?

pain or sorenessMuscle soreness is a common, healthy result of exercise. In a way, it can be welcomed, because it’s a reminder that your workout was productive. However, if what you’re feeling is pain, it could be an indicator of injury.

Any time you put stress on your body, you will experience some type of physical discomfort. It’s important to know if that discomfort is soreness or pain to prevent long-term injury. Continue reading

Sharp pain and loss of motion are symptoms of a frozen shoulder

141030But don’t let that scare you. A frozen shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis) will come and go, and physical therapy can help you maintain your range of motion with as little pain as possible. Without PT, a frozen shoulder sufferer can expect a long road.

This is one of the most common ailments among laborers, especially in the East Liverpool area, where a large number of industrial workers live. I’ve found this to be a very frequent reason for workers’ compensation claims. Continue reading

When pain has you firmly planted on the couch, any type of movement sounds like torture – but physical therapy and exercise are better pain management options than medication.

backpainWe’ve all been there. You finish working in the yard, cleaning the house, or playing with some very active kiddos, and the idea of any kind of movement is the absolute last thing on your mind. When your knees creak like door hinges, or your back feels like you’ve been carrying sacks of flour all day, the common and immediate response is, “Just let me lay down for a bit.”

And while a heating pad with a dose of pain medication may sound like a sensible alternative to exercise, it does nothing to address the cause of the pain. Continue reading

pre-surgical physical therapy improves outcomesMake no mistake – joint replacement is a major operation. However, since it’s not usually an emergency situation, you can plan for it and work it into your schedule.

This is an important fact to remember because it gives you an opportunity to work up to the surgery with some pre-surgical physical therapy.

Depending on the patient and the required surgery, pre-surgical physical therapy can help shorten your post-op hospital stay, as well as greatly reduce your odds of needing post-surgical discharge to an in-patient rehab facility by as much as 73%. Continue reading