ELBOW, WRIST, AND HAND

ELBOW, WRIST, AND HAND

About Wrist Fractures
Fractures in the wrist and forearm area are common with falls, as the tendency is to protect oneself during the fall. Common fractures occur in the bones of the forearm near the wrist called the radius and ulna. Two common fractures are called Colles’ fracture and Smith’s fracture. Colles’ fractures typically occur from falls onto an outstretched hand and Smith’s fractures occur from falling backward onto an outstretched hand.

Another common fracture of the wrist and hand is the Scaphoid fracture, which is a small bone in the hand. The scaphoid bone connects with the radius bone of the forearm. Scaphoid fractures are more difficult to heal due to poor circulation to the bone itself.

Fractures are managed medically and depending on the type of fracture and severity you may be placed into a cast or surgically repaired with pins, plates or screws.

How physical therapy helps
During the healing phase typically in a cast or after surgery, the fingers, wrist and elbow become very stiff, range of motion and strength are lost. Physical therapy is very important in the rehabilitative process to help you regain normal range of motion, reduce swelling, resolve pain and regain function of your hand and wrist.

Physical therapy is gentle and will help you quickly resolve your pain while working with your doctor to follow protocol and restore your function. With physical therapy, you can make a complete recovery quickly and safely. Call us today to learn more how we can help you fully recover after a fracture.

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Elbow Pain, Wrist Pain, Hand Pain
Elbow pain can come from a variety of sources, but typically occurs due to an overuse of the elbow joint from repetitive activities. Often bad posture with typing, writing, lifting or sports, makes the tissues around the elbow become irritated.

The elbow actually has quite a few different joints that move in very unique ways. The same bones (radius and ulna) that make up the elbow also form the wrist and play a key role in the movements of the hands. Most of the muscles that make your wrist and fingers move are actually located in the forearm.

Poor posture, repetitive activities such as typing, gripping and twisting can cause tightening in the muscles and tissues of the forearm. This can affect the mobility of the elbow, wrist and even hands. This can lead to chronic inflammation and irritation to these areas.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy helps to relieve elbow pain, wrist pain and hand pain by examining the mechanics of your joints and muscles. By identifying where you are having limitations, analyzing your daily activities and strength of certain muscle groups, the root cause of your pain can be discovered.

A comprehensive plan is then built to improve your range of motion, reduce your pain quickly, soothe stiff and sore muscles and return your strength. In addition, we work with you to educate you on techniques and exercises to prevent future injury or possibly adapt your work environment. Call us today to discover how we can help relieve your elbow pain, wrist pain or hand pain.

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What is Tennis Elbow?
Tennis elbow is a common term for lateral epicondylitis. You don’t have to play tennis to develop this condition, it actually happens frequently with repetitive tasks done in poor postural positions, such as typing at too high of a desk. The muscles that extend your wrist and fingers actually attach to the bony outside of your elbow.

Typically with tennis elbow, severe tenderness will be present around the bony area on the outside of the elbow. This can cause pain with gripping objects, lifting objects, twisting of the forearm and more.

What is Golfer’s Elbow?
Golfer’s elbow is a general term for medial epicondylitis. This is similar to tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis), except that it is on the inside bony area of the elbow. Reasons for this occurring are similar to that of tennis elbow where there is an overuse of the muscles that flex your wrist and fingers. These muscle tendons attach to the inside elbow bony area, and overuse results in irritation.

How physical therapy helps
Tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow can be treated very effectively with physical therapy. Modalities such as ultrasound, heat and ice can assist with reducing swelling quickly in the irritated tendons. Furthermore, hands on therapy for the tissues and joints helps to restore normal joint movement, break up any scar adhesions in the tissue and bring circulation to the area to promote healing.

As the pain subsides, the focus is shifted to making sure your proper range of motion in the elbow and wrist are returned to normal. Gentle strengthening programs are started to help support the affected area and regain your strength. In addition, we educate you on proper posture and techniques to manage work and repetitive activities so the condition does not continue. Call us today to discover how we can help quickly relieve your tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow pain.

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About Nerve Injuries
There are many nerves traveling along the elbow, forearm, wrist and hand. With injuries to the hand, wrist, forearm or elbow, nerve damage can result. Symptoms may be mild such as mild numbness, tingling or abnormal temperature feelings. In severe cases, muscle function and paralysis can occur.

Many nerve injuries occur because of overuse and chronic swelling. This doesn’t allow proper circulation to flow to the nerves, affecting their functioning. Poor posture while doing common activities generally causes overuse injuries and chronic swelling. If you have significant nerve sensations into your arm, wrist or hand, it is important to follow up with us and your physician.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy is very important to the healing aspect of nerve injuries. Whether mild from a small injury or severe after surgery, our experts work with you and your physician to facilitate your recovery.

The emphasis of physical therapy is on removing pressure from around the nerve by restoring normal tissue movement, joint movement and range of motion. Our hands-on therapy serves to soothe and improve circulation, while stimulating nerves to restore normal function. Call us today to discover how we help relieve your nerve pain and restore normal function.

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What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a very common condition and is becoming more frequent. The carpal tunnel is a narrow tunnel in the wrist where major arteries and nerves pass from the forearm into the wrist. One of the primary nerves that pass through this area is called the median nerve. When the ligaments around the carpal tunnel become tight, pressure is applied to the median nerve causing tingling, pain and even loss of sensation to the thumb and first two fingers of the hand.

One of the primary causes of carpal tunnel syndrome is poor posture and repetitive activities such as typing at a computer in the wrong position for many hours a day. The direct pressure on the wrist from the desk along with the repetitive movement of the fingers can lead to a tightening of the carpal tunnel ligaments.

Those at risk of developing carpal tunnel often have neck or shoulder problems on that side that lead to altered posture and movement of the arm. Since the median nerve exits from the neck and passes through the shoulder all the way down to your fingers, carpal tunnel is affected by the flexibility of the nerve higher up.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy is one of the first lines of defense in treating carpal tunnel syndrome. It is non-invasive and effective in eliminating symptoms and stopping them from returning.

Our physical therapy treatments focus on improving the mobility of the wrist and spacing of the carpal tunnel so the pressure is relieved on the median nerve. Hands on treatments mobilize tight joints and stretch tight ligaments. Ultrasound and other modalities can reduce deep swelling relieving pressure on the nerve. Finally, strengthening and range of motion exercises can support the wrist and maintain good posture, helping the normal function of the median nerve.

We also focus on long-term results by training you on specific exercises to perform at home and work. Additionally, we train you on proper postural technique to prevent future reoccurrences. Call us today to discover how we can effectively treat your carpal tunnel syndrome.

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About Tendon Repair & Post-surgery Rehab
Common surgeries in the elbow, wrist and hand involve repair of the vast amount of tendons and ligaments in these areas. Depending on the type and extent of your surgery, your physician will recommend physical therapy to help you recover completely from your surgical procedure.

The fingers, hand and wrist are very tightly packed with tendons, ligaments and intricate structures. This means that swelling is very common in these areas after surgery and can become quite stiff leading to loss of range of motion, gripping, dexterity and normal functioning of the fingers, hand, wrist or elbow.

How physical therapy helps
We work closely with your physician and their protocol to ensure a complete recovery from your surgical procedure. Our gentle and specialized hands-on therapy manages the swelling in your fingers, hand, wrist or elbow. The better this swelling is controlled, the faster your recovery can be. Per your surgical rehab protocol, we will progress your range of motion and eventually begin strengthening of the affected areas.

Our goal is to make sure you have a complete recovery with good use of your fingers, hand, wrist or elbow for everyday tasks. For more details on our post-surgical rehab program, call us today!

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About Sprain / Strain
Sprains and strains are very common in the hand, wrist and elbow. Sprains refer to injuries of the ligaments (connect bone to bone) and strains refer to injuries of the muscles or tendons (connect muscle to bone). Sprains and strains occur from quick over-stretching of the tissues causing micro-tearing and subsequent injury. Swelling begins as part of the inflammation process, causing pain and difficulty with movement.

The first step in treating sprains or strains in the wrist, elbow, hand or fingers is to rest, ice and elevate it. With severe limitations in movement you should see your physical therapist right away. There are different levels of sprain or strain from mild to severe. In some cases, the tearing can be complete and even need surgical repair.

How physical therapy helps
In most cases, physical therapy can effectively help you recover from a sprain or strain. We first evaluate the injured area to determine the extent of the injury and ensure that the ligaments or tendons are still intact. After we pinpoint the injured area, we formulate a treatment plan that will quickly relieve your swelling, pain and begin restoring range of motion.

The goal of physical therapy is to restore your normal range of motion and eventually restore normal strength. If you participate in sports or are very active, we work closely with you to make sure that we help you fully recover and can participate in those activities you love to do. Call us today to discover how we can effectively treat your sprains or strains.

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SHOULDER

SHOULDER

About Shoulder Fractures
Fractures in the shoulder occur for a variety of reasons, but typically from a fall onto the shoulder itself. Fractures can occur in seniors also due to osteoporosis (thinning and weakening of bone).

The goal with fracture management is to provide a safe position for the bone to heal (typically around 8 weeks), while maintaining range of motion. As the bone heals, strengthening can begin and rehabilitation back to normal activities is progressed.

At times surgery may be needed to hold the bone together with plates or screws. This stabilizes the bone, but does disrupt muscles and leads to more weakness in the shoulder muscles. Physical therapy is very much needed after this to restore normal range of motion and strength to the shoulder. Recovery times can vary, but traditionally take 12–16 weeks.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy is a very important part of rehabilitation after a shoulder fracture. Whether you are a young person or older, we work closely with you and your physician to make sure your fracture is protected while it heals. We then work closely with you to gradually restore your range of motion, relieve pain, soothe aching muscles and improve your strength.

The goal of physical therapy is to return you to normal activities after the normal course of bone healing. We can prevent long–term damage and address any issues that may have caused a fall onto the arm in the first place. Call us today to learn more how we can help you after a fracture.

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About Shoulder Post-surgery Rehab
There are a variety of shoulder surgeries that may have to be done in order to stabilize the shoulder, repair damaged tendons or ligaments. With the advances in arthroscopic surgery, recovery times for shoulder injuries have improved, however physical therapy is still needed to reduce pain quickly, restore range of motion, improve strength and return the individual to the normal activities they like to do.

How physical therapy helps
Post-surgery recovery can be difficult on sleeping, bathing, dressing and many other normal daily activities we take for granted. Our physical therapists work with you to teach you how to adapt to these activities of daily living while recovering.

Physical therapy focuses on providing you with inflammation and pain control to reduce your pain as quickly as possible while you are recovering. The surgical process can often leave muscles cramped and irritated. Our gentle hands-on therapy is perfect for soothing sore muscles and restoring normal muscle movement.

We work closely with your physician on the correct protocol to rehabilitate your shoulder after surgery. Every person’s surgery is unique and rest assured your recovery is treated as such. According to your protocol, we will help restore your range of motion, increase your strength and help you return to normal activities using your shoulder. Call us today to find out more how we can help you have a complete recovery after shoulder surgery!

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What is Bursitis / Tendonitis?
The ending of the word “itis” is defined as inflammation. Therefore, bursitis is inflammation of a bursa and tendonitis is inflammation of a tendon. A bursa is a fluid filled sac that sits between muscles or tissues to cushion and reduce friction. In the shoulder there is a rather large bursa between the deltoid muscle and joint. This is called the sub-deltoid bursa. This bursa can often become inflamed due to abnormal joint movements, poor posture and weakness of the surrounding musculature. This causes strain to the tissues and excessive friction on the bursa. People tend to feel pain with movement and especially movement out to the side or reaching behind them.

Tendons connect muscles to bones. In the shoulder common areas for tendonitis are in the rotator cuff tendons (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis) and bicep tendons. Pain can be felt deep in the shoulder or in the front of the shoulder. Pain is usually felt as a sharp, catching sensation with certain movements.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy is the first line of conservative treatment for bursitis and tendonitis. Since most bursitis and tendonitis is due to underlying abnormal mechanics of movement and weakness, our trained physical therapists evaluate your movement to pinpoint the exact source of the trouble. Modalities may be used to alleviate pain and discomfort, while hands-on therapy improves joint mechanics and movement.

Finally, gentle strengthening exercises and joint coordination exercises help to restore stability to the affected area and to prevent re–occurrence of the symptoms. Call us today to discover how we can help you relieve your shoulder pain quickly and get back to the activities you enjoy!

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About Sports Injuries
Whether you are a professional athlete, high school athlete or just like to be active and play sports, injuries can occur. Many shoulder sports injuries occur because of a fall onto an outstretched arm or from repetitive overhead actions, such as swimming or tennis. Another reason for shoulder sports injuries is an imbalance which can occur in certain groups of the shoulder muscles if one group of muscles is stronger than another. For example, an athlete that has strong chest muscles, but weak rotator cuff muscles can put themselves at risk of injury.

How physical therapy helps
Our physical therapists are experts at caring for and rehabilitating sports injuries. Our goal is to rehabilitate you back to your favorite sports activities pain-free as quickly and safely as possible. Sports injuries require unique care and rehabilitation, therefore, know that you are in the right hands with us. From mild sprains to recovery after surgery, we have you covered. Call us today to discover how we can get you back in the game quickly!

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Rotator Cuff Injuries
The rotator cuff is a group of muscles surrounding the shoulder. They are made up of the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, sub–scapularis and teres minor muscles. While these muscles are small and not that powerful, they play a critical role in how the shoulder moves. Without your rotator cuff, you would not be able to lift your arm very far from your side. The job of the rotator cuff is to guide the direction of the humerus head down and spin so that it clears the bony shelf above the socket called the acromion. When the rotator cuff is weak, the head of the humerus rides up slamming into the acromion above it.

The rotator cuff takes a lot of abuse over a lifetime and tearing is very common as we age. Many factors can lead to injury to the rotator cuff such as sports injuries, falls onto the shoulder or arm, repeat lifting or movements, poor posture or heavy lifting in abnormal positions.

Rotator cuff tears can be minor, causing pain and inflammation, or major which can require surgery. With surgery, depending on a variety factors such as the quality of the tissue, the extent of the tear and other health factors, the recovery can take between 3-6 months. Physical therapy is a very important part of preparing for surgery and rehabilitating after surgery.

How physical therapy helps
Often, with small tears, physical therapy can dramatically reduce pain, improve function and allow you to lead an active lifestyle without any problems. Our physical therapists will work with you to improve your shoulder range of motion, restore proper joint mobility, reduce inflammation, relieve pain and improve the strength of your rotator cuff.

If surgery is needed, we work closely with your physician to follow his/her protocol on rehabilitation. The beginning of therapy focuses on reducing pain, education on protection of the surgery repair, and maintaining a certain range of motion. Over time, as your physician protocol allows, range of motion is increased, joint mobility is restored and finally very gentle strengthening is begun.

Towards the end of your physical therapy further strengthening and complete range of motion will be attained for your shoulder. All of this is coordinated per the instructions of your physician and we ensure thorough communication with your physician at all times. Call us today to learn more about how we help your rotator cuff perform better and relieve your shoulder pain.

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What is Frozen Shoulder?
Frozen shoulder is a painful shoulder joint condition. In medical terminology it is called “adhesive capsulitis”. How frozen shoulder exactly begins is still a bit of a mystery, however, it typically occurs after a trauma or repetitive injury to the shoulder. Women in the pre and post–menopausal age range are more likely to experience frozen shoulder, however men can also experience frozen shoulder.

With frozen shoulder, the thick capsule of tissue that surrounds the shoulder joint begins to experience chronic inflammation. The body begins a cycle of inflammation and scarring that causes the capsule around the shoulder joint to contract and become limited in its flexibility. This causes very painful range of motion in the shoulder when trying to move the arm.

At the beginning of frozen shoulder it is very painful and range of motion becomes limited. This can be around 4–8 weeks in duration. After that, motion is very limited in the shoulder, but often not as painful. Depending on the severity of the condition, it can take sometimes up to a year to resolve and improve range of motion.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy can make a big difference in shortening the time it takes to recover from frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis). By coming to therapy as early as possible, the inflammatory cycle can be significantly reduced, limiting scarring and contraction of the shoulder capsule. In turn, physical therapy, along with medication can limit the pain and ensure a faster recovery.

Our physical therapists work with many frozen shoulder patients to reduce pain quickly and restore range of motion to the shoulder. Physical therapy treatments focus on hands–on therapy and specialized exercises to maintain as much range of motion as possible during the inflammatory phase of frozen shoulder. During the “thawing” phase we work with you to improve range of motion in your shoulder and restore strength.

It can take quite awhile for the motion to be restored to the shoulder, but by coming to physical therapy, we can help you recover as quickly as possible. Call us today to find out how we can help you relieve your frozen shoulder pain!

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About Labrum Tear
The labrum is a thick ring of cartilage around the socket part of your shoulder joint (glenohumeral joint). The labrum acts like a cup for the head of the humerus to sit in (like a ball inside a cup). The labrum gives stability to the joint and also helps to cushion as the shoulder joint moves.

The labrum can tear with injury from a blow to an outstretched arm or from repetitive injuries overhead. Sometimes, a labrum tear can be involved when the rotator cuff is torn. A common tear is called a SLAP lesion (Superior Labral tear from Anterior to Posterior). This is a tear of the labrum from the top part in front to back. This often needs surgical repair and we work with your physician on their protocol to rehab your shoulder after surgery.

How physical therapy helps
Most often, labral tears are fixed surgically and need physical therapy after the procedure. We work very closely with your physician to follow their protocols for rehabilitation to your shoulder. Physical therapy involves a progress of your range of motion per the protocol and towards the end restoring motion. In the meantime, pain, swelling and function are addressed. Call us today to find out we can help you recover after a labral tear.

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About Dislocation
Dislocation of the shoulder typically occurs from falling onto an outstretched arm or a blow to the side or back of the shoulder when falling on it. This can happen in different sports activities or falls. Dislocations are managed medically to relocate the head of the humerus bone. Depending on the severity of the dislocation, your physician will typically prescribe physical therapy to help stabilize the shoulder joint and protect it during a recovery phase.

With frequent dislocations, the shoulder can become unstable as many structures in the shoulder get damaged and become too lax. By strengthening the muscles around the shoulder, stability can be increased in the shoulder, preventing future dislocations.

At times, dislocations can be quite severe and lead to tearing of cartilage, tendons, ligaments or muscles. In this case, surgery is often needed. After surgery physical therapy is an important part of recovery and returning to normal activities.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy is very important after a dislocation. Our physical therapists work with you closely to protect the joint while it heals, teach you how to take care of your injury and gently rehabilitate your shoulder. During the healing phase, your shoulder will be protected and pain will be addressed.

Per your physician’s protocol we will gradually increase your range of motion, maintaining your joint stability. Further into therapy, gentle strengthening is performed to improve the muscle support around the shoulder. Ideally, full range of motion and strength is recovered allowing you to return to normal activities and with the knowledge to protect your shoulder from further injury. Call us today to find out how we can help you quickly recover from a shoulder dislocation.

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Shoulder Pain
The shoulder is the most complex joint in the human body. It has to move through more than 180 degrees of motion in many directions, rotate, slide and spin. There are a variety of muscles that have to work in concert to ensure the shoulder joint tracks properly with everyday activities. It is made up of the humerus bone, scapula (shoulder blade) and clavicle (collar bone). There are technically 4 joints that make up the entire shoulder complex.

Poor posture, weakened muscles, injury and lack of proper range of motion can all factor into shoulder pain. Shoulder pain is typically felt in the muscles between the shoulder and neck, as well as the outside shoulder radiating down. Where your pain is can determine what structures are involved.

It is important to note that just because your pain is felt in one location, that is not usually the source of the trouble. For example pain on the outside of the shoulder can be from an impingement of the joint or problems with the rotator cuff muscles. However, this can be caused by poor positioning and functioning of the shoulder blade, which is the real culprit. Treat the source of the problem and the irritation will resolve.

How physical therapy helps
It is important that when you have shoulder pain, you have our experts evaluate your motion, strength, coordination and joint mobility. By determining the root cause of your pain, we can then treat it effectively for fast pain relief, improved motion, strength and return to normal activities. The goal is to restore your normal shoulder movement without pain. Call us today to discover how we can quickly resolve your shoulder pain and get you back to the activities you love.

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What is a Shoulder Sprain / Strain?
A sprain in the shoulder involves the ligaments while a strain involves the muscles around the shoulder. A sprain / strain typically occurs because the tissue has been overstretched too quickly, resulting in micro-tearing of the tissue. This results in painful inflammation, typically increased with movement and use of the damaged tissue.

The damage from a sprain / strain can be minor or major, depending on the severity of the injury, person’s health and age. As we age, our tissue becomes less elastic and becomes more prone to tearing.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy is a very important part of the recovery from a sprain / strain. First the focus is on reducing pain and inflammation while maintaining or regaining range of motion. After the inflammatory phase is coming to an end the focus shifts to attaining full range of motion then gradual strengthening of the injured areas to regain normal strength. Towards the end of treatment, focus is shifted to the coordination of the shoulder joint and education towards preventing future injury. If you have suffered a sprain or strain, call us today as soon as possible to start feeling relief and getting back to normal activities.

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BACK

BACK

About Back Sprain / Strain
It can be quite easy to sprain or strain your back. A sprain refers to an overstretching injury of your ligaments in your spine, whereas a strain refers to an overstretching injury to your muscles. There are hundreds of small muscles in the spine, which guide the intricate movements of each bone and multi-level joints. This delicate ballet of movement can get into trouble when heavy lifting is involved.

The majority of people sprain or strain their back when they combine lifting with twisting. The best way to avoid an injury to the low back is to use your legs when lifting, bending at the knees and keeping your back fairly straight. If you have to turn while lifting, move your feet, otherwise the strain of lifting while twisting can cause injury.

Tearing of the tissues occurs during a sprain / strain. While this is often not a full complete tear, the resulting damage can cause significant swelling and pain to occur deep in the back. Typical healing times can take at least 6-12 weeks for complete healing.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy is very important in your recovery from a back sprain / strain. The sooner we can see you, the better. After the injury, it is important for you to receive therapy to reduce the inflammation process as quickly as possible. Often, the root cause of the problem is limited motion in the hips or pelvis and even mid-back which causes abnormal forces in the low back.

Our therapists work with you to loosen any restricted areas, improve movement, quickly reduce your pain and strengthen your core muscles to prevent injury. It is vital that you complete a full course of therapy to ensure that you don’t reinjure your back again. Studies have shown that people who do not properly retrain their core muscles after a sprain / strain injury are more likely to re-injure their back again. Call us today to discover how we can help you quickly relieve your back pain and get back to the activities you enjoy.

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About Low Back Pain
Low back pain is one of the most common conditions seen by physicians across the country. It is said that over 80% of people will suffer some sort of low back pain during their lifetime. Low back pain can occur for a variety of reasons, but typically all have one or more of the following factors:

· Poor motion and mobility
· Spinal, abdominal or hip weakness
· Poor coordination of the spinal, abdominal and pelvic muscles

While there are many items to mask low back pain, such as medication, it is important to address the true causes of low back pain. Most low back pain is caused by the 3 factors above. When your spinal joints and muscles don’t move properly, tremendous strain occurs in your low back. This causes irritation and inflammation, which build up over time. Typically, low back pain suffers will have more pain after sitting or lying down for prolonged periods, such as getting up from a chair or first thing in the morning after sleeping. With severe pain, reaching or bending down for objects can be limited.

If pain is felt more with prolonged standing or walking, this can be a result of significant hip or spinal weakness, again causing strain to the low back. With weakness in the spinal, abdominal or hip muscles, the amount of force transferred to the back with everyday activities increases. With bending down, the knees are often not used properly, and the muscles of the spine have to do extra work. This sets up the person for injury with lifting or even something as simple as bending down to tie one’s shoes.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy is one of the best choices to treat low back pain. By addressing the three main issues, your normal back movement and strength can be restored. Our physical therapists focus on your posture, spinal mobility, strength, flexibility and the way you move your body (body mechanics). As we observe and measure these indicators, we can detect weak areas and evaluate where your primary problem is coming from.

A thorough plan is then worked out to address your core issues and relieve your low back pain quickly. This allows you to have fast pain relief, improving your spinal range of motion and body strength. We also focus on prevention of future injuries and educate you on proper poster and body mechanic techniques. If you are suffering with low back pain, call us today for fast back pain relief that will get you back to your favorite activities quickly!

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About Mid back pain
Mid back pain refers to pain in the “thoracic” spine. This is the area from the shoulders down to the mid back area. Pain in this area can be for a variety of reasons, but typically occurs from poor posture or a forward slouched posture. With this posture, your back muscles stretch out, causing weakness.

Pain can often feel like a burning or sometimes shooting pain to the mid back area. At times, pain can even feel like it is radiating under the shoulder blade. However, with most mid back pain, it can be difficult to really pinpoint the area it is hurting.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy is very important in treating mid back pain. Our physical therapists work with you to discover spinal areas that may not be moving ideally. This limitation in movement can cause strain on the sections above and below that affected area. By improving spinal joint mobility, soothing sore muscles and restoring posture, your mid back pain can be relieved quite quickly.

We then educate you on proper strengthening and postural techniques to maintain your gains in therapy. Call us today to discover how we can relieve your mid back pain quickly and return you to a pain-free life.

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What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is the term used to describe radiating pain into the buttock that can travel down the back of the thigh. Often this pain is achy and spread out along these areas. Sciatica is a result of irritation to the sciatic nerve, which travels deep in the buttock and down the back of the leg. In about 20% of people, the sciatic nerve pierces through the piriformis muscle deep in the buttock instead of under it. This can make the sciatic nerve more susceptible to irritation and pressure from the piriformis muscle. The piriformis muscle helps guide hip movement, but can become very tight with prolonged sitting. This increased tightness causes pressure and irritation to the sciatic nerve causing pain.

What is Radiating Pain?
Radiating pain to the leg doesn’t necessarily mean you have sciatica, but it does tell you that something is wrong. Irritated muscles and tissue often can radiate pain. Spread-out, achy pain is often indicative of this type of problem. Sharp, stabbing pain with numbness or tingling is more nerve irritation or compression occurring in the low back or leg. These types of sensations typically occur to specific parts of the leg.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy is one of the best treatments for Sciatica and radiating pain into the leg. It first takes a thorough evaluation to determine where your problem is starting. Our physical therapists take time to examine the movement of your spine, hips and legs. Range of motion, strength, joint mobility and muscle condition are assessed by our physical therapists. After we determine the root cause of your problem, we put together a comprehensive plan to quickly relieve your pain, relieve your radiating symptoms, improve your range of motion, improve strength and help you to prevent future episodes.

With gentle, specialized hands-on techniques we work to improve your spinal and hip mobility, reducing pressure on your sciatic nerve. In addition, modalities such as heat, ice, electrical stimulation and ultrasound may be used to reduce inflammation and resolve your pain quickly. We then perform gentle stretching and strengthening exercises to restore your normal motion and strength. This results in lasting effects that will stop your pain from returning. Call us today to find out how we can relieve your Sciatica and radiating leg pain, returning you to the activities you love.

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What is Spinal Arthritis?
Spinal Arthritis is a very common area for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The low back takes a tremendous strain throughout our lifetime, supporting the body, moving, sitting and repetitively bending. In addition to these contributing factors, arthritis can also be affected by genetics, age, previous injuries, diet and exercise.

With abnormal forces on the back, the cartilage on the joints at each level of the spine can rub down causing even wear, build up of bone and eventually bone on bone rubbing. This can result in painful movement of the spinal joints and chronic, achy pain in the low back. Much like an arthritic knee, the spinal joints are helped through restoring natural movement, improving support from the spinal muscles and proper posture.

What is Spinal Stenosis?
Spinal Stenosis is a condition that typically goes hand in hand with spinal arthritis. Spinal stenosis refers to a narrowing of the central spinal canal or the canals where the nerves exit the spine to the lower legs (called foramen). These canals are made up of overlapping spinal bones (vertebrae) over another. With degeneration of the spinal joints, collapsing of the disc height or abnormal bone growth, the canals can narrow. This leads to rubbing and even pressure on the nerves, which can cause a multitude of symptoms.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy can have a very positive effect on patients with spinal arthritis and spinal stenosis. While our therapists cannot revert your arthritis degeneration, we can restore more natural movement to the spinal joints, improve flexibility to increase joint fluid circulation, improve spinal muscle strength and educate you on correct posture and prevention techniques.

The result is that you can do more, with less pain. Often, patients report significant reduction in pain and improvement in daily activities from just a few short weeks of physical therapy. Call us today to find out more how we can help you have pain relief from spinal stenosis!

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What is Herniated or Bulging Disc?
A disc is a jelly like, fluid filled sac that acts as a cushion between the bones of your neck (vertebrae). Your discs change as you age, drying out and becoming more brittle. In addition, as the discs dry out with age, the change in height between the vertebrae decreases, causing changes in posture and function. In younger adults, the center of the disc (nucleus) is held in place by many rings of the disc (picture a cross section of a tree trunk). With minor or major injuries, poor posture and strain, these rings can rupture allowing a pressing outward of the disc nucleus. Finally, as the nucleus reaches the outer edges, the disc can begin to bulge, which in turn can rub and irritate nerve roots exiting your spine.

In more severe cases, the disc can become herniated, which further presses into the spaces where nerves are exiting. Symptoms can range from localized pain, to numbness / tingling to a specific part of the shoulder, arm or hands. In more severe cases complete lack of sensation, muscle weakness and paralysis of an area of the upper extremity can occur.

Changes in posture, strength and range of motion can all affect the positioning of the disc and how much bulging or herniation is occurring.

How physical therapy helps
The good news is that the majority of bulging and herniated discs can be treated conservatively with physical therapy. By working with your medical history, symptoms and testing, our physical therapists can determine what areas have been affected.

A thorough plan is then created to relieve pressure on the disc by improving joint function, muscle strength and posture. Modalities, such as ultrasound or electrical stimulation may be used to reduce pain, muscle spasm or inflammation. Our therapists work with you to recover lost strength and range of motion. In addition, we then train you on the correct exercises to maintain good posture and reduce the risk of future episodes. Call us today to discover how we can help relieve your pain quickly and restore your function!

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What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a very common condition in women after the age of 40, but men do suffer from this condition too. Osteoporosis is a thinning of the bones due to the change in calcium depositing and uptake. As we age, this cycle tends to take out more calcium than is put into our bones. Common areas for osteoporosis are in the spine and hips.

Osteoporosis makes people more susceptible to fractures from ordinary activities. Often, compression fractures in the spine a crumbling of the bone. A lot can be done to address osteoporosis and even improve bone strength. This comes from strengthening exercises, medication, a good walking program and proper nutrition.

How physical therapy helps
Since strengthening is a critical part of osteoporosis management, physical therapists are experts in preparing a coordinated, easy-to-do exercise program to target specific osteoporotic areas. Often, people with osteoporosis will also have limited spinal and hip movement, which increases the stresses on bones. Physical therapists are experts at treating these limitations and restoring your body to a more optimum state.

We work in conjunction with your doctor to program out a specific treatment plan for you ensuring a road to stronger bones and injury prevention. Call us today to discover how we can help your osteoporosis!

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What is Spondylolisthesis?
Spondylolisthesis is a condition by where one spinal bone (vertebrae) is not in alignment with the other. Typically, a slippage forward is found in the very low back at the 4th or 5th lumbar (low back) vertebrae. This is due to a stretching out of the ligaments that hold the bones together or possibly a fracture. With poor posture and weakened abdominals as well as spinal muscles, the increase in the angle of the spine becomes too much over time and misalignment of the bones occurs.

Symptoms can be mild such as general fatigue to the low back, achy pain or severe symptoms if there is compression on the nerves exciting the spine or spinal cord. There are varying degrees of severity. Most fall into a mild to moderate category that can be stabilized with improved posture and muscle strengthening. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to fuse the area and bring stability back.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy helps to bring stability and support to the low back pain allowing the muscles to create more support for the overstretched ligaments. We work with you and your physician to create a program that improves mobility in other spinal areas that may be inflexible, strengthen key muscles to stabilize the spine and educate you on the proper techniques to maintain spinal stability.

Other areas may need to be addressed such as hip weakness, poor balance or radiating symptoms to the legs. Physical therapy can help treat the root source of these symptoms and get you back to feeling great quickly. In the event that surgery is required we will be with you every step of the way to ensure a thorough recovery.

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What are Degenerative Diseases?
Degenerative diseases of the spine fall under the categories of Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) or Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD). In the spine, this is typically due to age and genetics. The wearing down of the joints or discs causes loss in normal height of the bony segments in the back. This can cause excessive joint pressures, bone on bone rubbing and increased inflammation. Typically with DDD or DJD comes stiffening of the spinal joints and weakening of key spinal muscles.

How physical therapy helps
While the degenerative process cannot be reversed, there is a lot that can be done to improve mobility, reduce pain, improve strength and improve function. Physical therapy is the ideal, non-invasive treatment that helps to improve spinal flexibility, core muscle strength, reduce pain and improve posture. All of these contribute to less pain and a return to normal or modified activities. Call us today to discover how we can help your back pain and return you to the activities you love!

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About Compression Fractures
Compression fractures in the low back typically occur in older individuals and those suffering from osteoporosis. However, with severe trauma, such as in an accident, the force can cause a compression fracture in the bones of the spine (vertebrae). There are many minimally invasive surgical procedures today that can stabilize the broken area, such as kyphoplasty.

The goal with managing compression fractures is to stabilize pieces of bone from moving around and allow time for the bone to heal. Dealing with a compression fracture can be quite painful. Difficulty with getting up/down from bed, a chair and even difficulty walking are experienced.

How physical therapy helps
Our physical therapists work with your physician’s protocols for compression fractures. Based on your individual difficulties, we work with you to gently rehabilitate your spinal movement and strength. Our physical therapists have years of training in helping patients with back injuries and will work with you to relieve your pain, improve your mobility, strength and get you back to normal activities as soon as possible. Call us today to discover how we can help you relieve your back pain and get back to normal activities!

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HIP

HIP

About Post-surgery Rehab
Other types of surgeries for the hip are fracture repairs using pinning or repair from trauma. The amount of force it takes to break bone means that the soft tissues around the hip are most likely significantly injured also. After surgery, due to limited movement, range of motion is lost as well as strength, rather quickly. Since walking is a very complex action of different muscles moving in a coordinated action, it can be difficult to walk after a hip surgery.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy is an important part of the rehabilitative process after a hip surgery. Depending on your surgery and your physician’s protocols, we will gently progress you through a structured rehabilitation program. The goal is to restore pain-free range of motion in the hip while maintaining surgery recovery protocols. Finally, walking coordination, balance and strength are improved so you can return to normal pain-free walking. Call us today to learn more about our post-surgery rehabilitation program.

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Difficulty walking
It takes us at least 12 months as a baby to learn the fundamentals of walking. It takes even longer to learn how to walk properly and eventually run. Walking is very complex and requires good balance, the ability to know where your joints are in space (proprioception), the ability to know how your joints are moving (kinesthesia), good range of motion and strength.

As we age, with declining activity, or after an injury, walking can become difficult. With previous injuries or pain in the knee or hip, our walking pattern can change leaving us with a limp or even worse, back pain. Changes in posture can also be responsible for changes in walking patterns.

When walking patterns change, abnormal stresses and strains with everyday activities can be transmitted to areas it shouldn’t. For example, if you have knee pain and you begin to limp, the other hip and your spine now have to take double the weight. This can lead to pain and dysfunction in those areas also. The good news is that if you have difficulty walking, you can be helped. Physical therapists are the experts uniquely trained to do so.

How physical therapy helps
One of the main specialties of physical therapy is helping people to walk normally. This takes a thorough evaluation of your range of motion, strength, walking patterns, balance and coordination. By discovering in what area you have difficulties we can paint a picture of why your walking is not as it should be.

We then coordinate a treatment plan that will address your range of motion, pain, coordination, balance and strength. The end result is the ability to walk without the need of an assistive device such as a cane or walker, safely and smoothly. Call us today to discover how we can help you walk better!

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About Total Hip Replacement / Partial Hip Replacement
When the hip has suffered a significant trauma such as a fracture or with long-term arthritis that is affecting your ability to move and walk, a total hip replacement surgery may be needed. In a total hip replacement surgery, the socket of the hip joint and head of the femur are replaced. With a partial hip replacement either the head of the femur is replaced or the socket of the hip. There have been many advances in the technology of the total hip replacement prosthesis and procedures allowing for less invasive surgery and faster recovery times.

Typically people have suffered for a while before having surgery, leading to changes in walking, muscle strength and function. Physical therapy before surgery in general has shown to help the speed and quality of recovery after surgery.

How physical therapy helps
Working with your physician’s protocols, we coordinate a thorough rehabilitation program to get you back to normal walking as soon as possible.

Typically, you may start physical therapy in the hospital the day after your procedure. In the hospital, basic movements and function such as getting up and down out of chairs, basic walking and strength are addressed. After discharge from the hospital it is very important to continue with outpatient physical therapy at our practice.

We complete the rehabilitation cycle, further restoring your range of motion via your physician’s protocols, restoring normal walking, balance, hip coordination and alleviating pain. We continue to reinforce safety precautions with your hip movement while you heal. The end result of physical therapy is being able to return to most normal activities pain-free. Call us today to learn more about our post-surgery rehabilitation program.

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What is Piriformis Syndrome?
The piriformis muscle is deep in the buttocks and helps with rotating the hip. The sciatic nerve typically dives underneath the piriformis muscle as it makes it way down to the leg. With excessive sitting, loss of movement in the hips or trauma, the piriformis muscle can press down onto the sciatic nerve. Typically, mild symptoms cause aching deep into the buttock and often radiating pain to the outer thigh. With more severe cases, tingling, numbness or severe pain can radiate down the thigh.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy is very effective in treating piriformis syndrome. By analyzing your hip range of motion, muscle function, walking and posture we can determine the right approach to treating the affected area. With specialized hands-on therapy and specific exercises we help regain lost range of motion, reduce pain quickly and improve symptoms into the leg.

We teach you easy to do exercises and modified activities you can do at home to prevent the reoccurrence of the symptoms. Call us today to learn more how we can help you relieve the pain and symptoms from piriformis syndrome.

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About Hip Pain and Thigh Pain
Hip pain is typically felt in 3 places, the groin, outer hip or deep buttock. Depending on where the pain is focused corresponds to the dysfunction around that area. The hip joint is incredible as it moves through a large range of motion, while bearing the weight of the body and providing stability.

Most hip pain stems from limited motion of the hip causing abnormal pressures to different muscles, tendons or ligaments around the area. With acute pain, it can be felt deep in the groin or outer hip. However, with more severe irritation, radiating pain can even be felt into the thigh or knee.

Having flexible hip joints with strong muscular support is key to a healthy back. When the hips don’t move like they should, the normal forces of walking, bending and squatting are transferred to the spine instead of the hips.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy can quickly relieve hip and thigh pain. Our physical therapists perform a thorough evaluation to determine exactly where your pain is coming from. By assessing your hip range of motion, strength and joint mobility, we determine where your limitations are and formulate a treatment plan that will take care of the root cause.

By improving your joint mobility, strength and range of motion, we help you restore normal pain free walking and activities. Give us a call today to discover how we can help you quickly relieve hip pain and thigh pain.

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What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is a term used to describe radiating pain into the buttock that may travel down the back of the thigh. Often this pain is achy and spread out along the buttock and back of the thigh.

Sciatica typically comes from irritation to the sciatic nerve, which travels deep in the buttock and down the back of the leg. In about 20% of people, the sciatic nerve pierces through the piriformis muscle deep in the buttock, instead of underneath it. This muscle helps guide hip movement, but can become very tight with prolonged sitting. This tightens causes pressure and irritation to the sciatic nerve causing pain.

Radiating pain to the leg doesn’t necessarily mean you have sciatica, but it does tell you that something is wrong. Irritated muscles and tissue often can radiate pain. Spread-out, achy pain is often indicative of this type of problem. Sharp, stabbing pain with numbness or tingling is more nerve irritation or compression occurring in the back or leg. This typically occurs more to specific parts of the leg.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy is one of the best treatments for sciatica and radiating pain into the leg. It first takes a thorough evaluation to determine where your problem is stemming from. Our physical therapists take time to examine the movement of your spine, hips and legs. Range of motion, strength, joint mobility and muscle condition are assessed by our medically trained physical therapists.

After we determine the root cause of your problem, we generate a comprehensive treatment plan to quickly relieve your pain, radiating symptoms, improve range of motion, improve strength and help you to prevent future episodes.

With gentle, specialized hands-on techniques we improve your spinal and hip mobility, reducing pressure on your sciatic nerve. In addition, modalities such as heat, ice, electrical stimulation and ultrasound may be used to reduce inflammation and resolve you pain quickly. We also perform gentle stretching and strengthening exercises to restore your normal motion and strength, resulting in lasting effects that will stop your pain from returning. Call us today to find out how we can help relieve your sciatica and leg pain, returning you to the activities you love.

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About Osteoarthritis of the hip
Osteoarthritis of the hip can be painful as the hip is needed to move with sit to stand, walking, squatting and bending. The hips take a lot of wear and tear over the years leading to a degeneration of the cartilage that lines the joint. As the cartilage wears over time, the joint becomes stiffer and the muscles of the buttocks generally weaken over time. This compounds the effects on the hip causing grinding and wearing. In advanced stages, bony spurs can form around the joint and even change the shape of the joint.

Most minor to moderate cases of hip osteoarthritis can highly benefit from physical therapy. In advanced stages a total or partial hip replacement may be needed to repair the damaged joint. Physical therapy in the hospital and outpatient facilities is highly important in the recovery from a hip replacement surgery.

How physical therapy helps
The pain associated with osteoarthritis of the hip comes from inflammation in and around the joint from wear and tear. Tight muscles, tendons, ligaments and tissues occur with osteoarthritis further limiting joint movement. In addition, weakness of the buttock muscles and hip rotators generally occurs because of the loss of movement.

Physical therapy can improve joint mobility, range of motion and muscle strength. Our hands-on therapy and specialized exercises normally achieve a marked improvement in your hip range of motion. First we thoroughly evaluate the mechanics of your hip joint, walking and hip muscle coordination. By pinpointing the specific areas that need attention, we formulate a plan to quickly relieve your pain, improve your motion and walking. Call us today to find out more how we can help your osteoarthritis hip pain and walking.

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What is Trochanteric Bursitis?
The ending of the word “itis” is defined as inflammation. Therefore, bursitis is inflammation of a bursa and tendonitis is inflammation of a tendon. A bursa is a fluid filled sac that sits between muscles or tissues to cushion and reduce friction. In the hip there is a rather large bursa on the outside between the bony area (tronchanter) and the thick band of tissue stretching from your hip to your knee (iliotibial band). This is called the tronchanteric bursa.

This bursa can often become inflamed due to abnormal joint movements, poor posture and weakness of the surrounding musculature. This causes strain to the tissues and excessive friction on the bursa. People tend to feel pain with prolonged walking or standing. It is often, very tender to touch on the outer hip and thigh.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy is the first line in conservative treatment for trochanteric bursitis. Since most bursitis is due to underlying abnormal movement and weakness, our trained physical therapists evaluate your movement to pinpoint the source of the trouble. Modalities may be used to alleviate pain and discomfort, while hands-on therapy improves joint mechanics and range of motion.

Finally, gentle strengthening exercises and joint coordination exercises help to restore stability to the affected area and prevent re-occurrence of the symptoms. To find out more on how we can help your hip bursitis call today!

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Hip Sprain / Strain
Sprains refer to injuries of the ligaments (connect bone to bone) and strains refer to injuries of the muscles or tendons (connect muscle to bone). Sprains and strains occur from quick over-stretching of the tissues causing micro-tearing and subsequent injury. Swelling begins as part of the inflammation process, causing pain and difficulty with movement.

The first step in treating sprains or strains in the hip is to rest, ice and elevate it. With severe limitations in movement you should see your physical therapist right away. There are different levels of sprain or strain from mild to severe. In some cases, the tearing can be complete and even be in need of surgical repair.

How physical therapy helps
In most cases, physical therapy can effectively help you recover from a sprain or strain. We first evaluate the injured area to determine the extent of the injury and ensure that the ligaments or tendons are still intact. After we pinpoint the injured area, we formulate a treatment plan that will quickly relieve your swelling, pain and begin restoring range of motion.

The goal of physical therapy is to restore your normal range of motion and restore normal strength. If you participate in sports or are very active, we work closely with you to make sure you fully recover and can participate in those activities you love to do. Call us today to discover how we can effectively treat your sprains or strains.

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KNEE, BALANCE, AND WALKING

KNEE, BALANCE, AND WALKING

Knee Sprain / Strain
Sprains refer to injuries of the ligaments (connect bone to bone) and strains refer to injuries of the muscles or tendons (connect muscle to bone). Sprains and strains occur from quick over-stretching of the tissues causing micro-tearing and subsequent injury. Swelling begins as part of the inflammation process, causing pain and difficulty with movement.

The first step in treating sprains or strains in the knee is to rest, ice and elevate it. With severe limitations in movement you should see our physical therapists right away. There are different levels of sprain or strain from mild to severe. In some cases, the tearing can be complete and even be in need of surgical repair.

How physical therapy helps
In most cases, physical therapy can effectively help you recover from a sprain or strain. We first evaluate the injured area to determine the extent of the injury and ensure that the ligaments or tendons are still intact. After we pinpoint the injured area, we formulate a treatment plan that will quickly relieve your swelling, pain and begin restoring range of motion.

The goal of physical therapy is to restore your normal range of motion and eventually restore normal strength. If you participate in sports or are very active, we work closely with you to make sure that we help you fully recover and can participate in those activities you love to do. Call us today to discover how we can effectively treat your sprains or strains.

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About Meniscus Injury
The meniscus is a ring of cartilage on the lower part of the knee (the tibial plateau) that the end of the large femur bone rides on. The meniscus is responsible for providing cushioning and stability of the knee joint while guiding movement. It is connected on the outer edges to the thick ligaments around the knee. The inside part of knee (medial meniscus) bears more weight and often sustains more damage than the outside part (lateral meniscus).

The meniscus is supposed to be smooth to ensure good gliding of the knee when it is bending. With injuries, poor alignment or weak musculature, the meniscus can become bruised and even torn. The outside edges of the meniscus have more blood flow than the inner portions. This means, depending on the area were the damage is located the healing process can be slow.

Many times, meniscus injuries are mild to moderate and can be rehabilitated with physical therapy. However, at times surgical intervention may be necessary to clean and shave down the torn areas of the meniscus. Physical therapy is very important in the full recovery after this surgical procedure.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy is a very important part of recovering from a meniscus injury. Most injuries are mild and involve small tears, bruising or irritation. Physical therapy can pinpoint where there are limitations in movement of the knee joint and weakened musculature support. By pinpointing the mechanisms of injury, our treatments can focus on reducing your pain and swelling quickly. Then, we focus on improving your range of motion, joint mobility and strengthening to make sure your meniscus receives the necessary support.

If surgery is necessary, we work closely with your physician and the rehabilitation protocol. The primary focus is on eliminating swelling quickly, resolving pain, improving range of motion, restoring normal walking and strengthening the supporting muscles around the knee. We then show you what to do to maintain a healthy knee with physical activities and sports. Call us today to see how we can help you recover quickly from a meniscus injury.

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About Knee Tendonitis
The ending of the word “itis” is defined as inflammation. Therefore, tendonitis is inflammation of a tendon, which connects muscles to bones. Commonly, the tendon that connects your quadriceps muscle to the tibia bone (quadriceps tendon above the kneecap and patellar ligament below the kneecap) can become inflamed resulting in a condition also known as jumper’s knee. This thick tendon runs over the top of your kneecap and attaches to the tibia bone below. This structure can often become inflamed due to abnormal joint movements, poor posture and weakness of the surrounding musculature. This causes strain to the tendon with resulting pain during repetitive movement and especially with squatting or kneeling down. Other areas of tendonitis in the knee can occur such as the back, outside or inside of the knee.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy is the first line in conservative treatment for tendonitis. Most tendonitis is due to underlying abnormal mechanics of movement, walking and weakness. Our trained physical therapists are experts in evaluating your movement to pinpoint the source of the trouble. Modalities may be used to alleviate pain and discomfort, while hands-on therapy improves joint mechanics and movement.

Finally, gentle strengthening exercises and joint coordination exercises help to restore stability to the affected area and prevent re-occurrence of symptoms. To discover how we can help your knee tendonitis call us today!

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About Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tears
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is an important ligament that checks the forward sliding of the tibia bone on the femur bone in the knee. This ligament can be injured with sports or falls, especially with blows to the knee from the side, while the foot is planted on the ground.

The ACL can be sprained which means it is still intact. If ruptured it is completely broken. When an ACL injury involves a sprain, there is typically swelling that occurs in the knee and a feeling of instability with walking. Sprains are classified according to their severity, with grades 1 through 3. Grades 1 and 2 are often treatable without surgery, while grade 3 is most often a complete tear and typically requires surgery.

With a sprain, the ligament is overstretched and micro-tearing results, causing pain and inflammation. There is little blood flow to the ligaments and they get most of their nutrition from the joint fluid. This means, that their healing is a lot slower than most other tissues. Depending on the severity of the sprain and joint stability the potential for future injury can increase.

With grade 3 ACL tears, surgery is most likely needed to repair. Physical therapy is vital to the rehabilitation after this surgery. Recovery does take time and the goal is to protect the surgery site, maintaining stability while getting back into walking and eventually running.

How physical therapy helps
Our physical therapists work with patients of all ages, especially those who have sustained ACL tears through sports activities. We work closely with your physician to examine the stability of your knee after the ACL injury. There are specific tests that we perform to assess how stable the ligament is and what course of action is best to resolve your pain and return you to activities as soon as possible. Most grade 1 and grade 2 sprains can be rehabilitated without the need for surgery and our physical therapists will discuss your options.

If surgery is needed for your recovery, rest assured that you are in the right hands for your rehabilitation. We work closely with your physician’s rehabilitation protocols. The priority is to manage your pain and swelling after surgery and gradually increasing your range of motion in the knee per your post-surgery protocol.

As time progresses, we work to gain your strength back in the knee, improve stability of the joint, get you back to walking normally and eventually back into advanced movements, including running. Call us today to discover how we can help you bounce back after an ACL tear.

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About Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Tears
The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) is an important ligament that checks the backward sliding of the tibia bone on the femur bone in the knee. This ligament can be injured with sports or falls, especially with blows to the front of the knee while the foot is planted on the ground.

The PCL can be sprained which means it is still intact. If ruptured it means it is completely broken. When a PCL injury involves a sprain, there is typically swelling that occurs in the knee and a feeling of instability with walking. Sprains are classified according to their severity with grades 1 through 3. Grades 1 and 2 are often treatable without surgery, while grade 3 is most often a complete tear and typically requires surgery.

With a sprain, the ligament is overstretched and micro-tearing results, causing pain and inflammation. There is little blood flow to the ligaments and they get most of their nutrition from the joint fluid. This means, that their healing is a lot slower than most other tissues. Depending on the severity of the sprain and joint stability the potential for future injury can increase.

With grade 3 PCL tears, surgery is most likely needed to repair. Physical therapy is vital to the rehabilitation after this surgery. Recovery does take time and the goal is to protect the surgery site, maintaining stability while getting back into walking and eventually running.

How physical therapy helps
Our physical therapists work with patients of all ages, especially those who have sustained PCL tears through sports activities. We work closely with your physician to examine the stability of your knee after the PCL injury. There are specific tests that we perform to assess how stable the ligament is and what course of action is best to resolve your pain and return you to activities as soon as possible. Most grade 1 and grade 2 sprains can be rehabilitated without the need for surgery and our physical therapists will discuss your options.

If surgery is needed for your recovery, rest assured that you are in the right hands for your rehabilitation. We work closely with your physician’s rehabilitation protocols. The priority is to manage your pain and swelling after surgery, gradually increasing your range of motion in the knee per your post-surgery protocol.

As time progresses, we work with you to gain your strength back in the knee, improve stability of the joint, get you back to walking normally and eventually back into advanced movements including running. Call us today to discover how we can help you bounce back after a PCL tear.

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About Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Tears
The medial Collateral ligament (MCL) is an important ligament that checks the side to side sliding of the femur bone on the tibia bone in the knee. This ligament can be injured with sports or falls, especially with blows to the outside of the knee while the foot is planted on the ground. It is common for the MCL to be injured along with the medial meniscus.

The MCL can be sprained which means it is still intact. Ruptured means it is completely broken. When a MCL injury involves a sprain, there is typically swelling that occurs in the knee and a feeling of instability with walking. Sprains are classified according to their severity with grades 1 through 3. Grades 1 and 2 are often treatable without surgery, while grade 3 is most often a complete tear and typically requires surgery.

With a sprain, the ligament is overstretched and micro-tearing results, causing pain and inflammation. There is little blood flow to the ligaments and they get most of their nutrition from the joint fluid. This means, that their healing is a lot slower than most other tissues. Depending on the severity of the sprain and joint stability the potential for future injury can increase.

With grade 3 PCL tears, surgery is most likely needed to repair. Physical therapy is vital to the rehabilitation after this surgery. Recovery does take time and the goal is to protect the surgery site, maintaining stability while getting back into walking and eventually running.

How physical therapy helps
Our physical therapists work with patients of all ages especially those who have sustained MCL tears through sports activities. We work closely with your physician to examine the stability of your knee after the MCL injury. There are specific tests that we perform to assess how stable the ligament is and what course of action is best to resolve your pain and return you to activities as soon as possible. Most grade 1 and grade 2 sprains can be rehabilitated without the need for surgery and our physical therapists will discuss your options.

If surgery is needed for your recovery, rest assured that you are in the right hands for your rehabilitation. We work closely with your physician’s rehabilitation protocols. The priority is to manage your pain and swelling after surgery and gradually increasing your range of motion in the knee per your post-surgery protocol.

As time progresses, we work with you to gain your strength back in the knee, improve stability of the joint, get you back to walking normally and eventually back into advanced movements including running. Call us today to discover how we can help you bounce back after a MCL tear.

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About Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) Tears
The lateral Collateral ligament (LCL) is an important ligament that checks the side to side sliding of the femur bone on the tibia bone in the knee. This ligament can be injured with sports or falls, especially with blows to the inside of the knee while the foot is planted on the ground.

The LCL can be sprained which means it is still intact. If it is ruptured it means it is completely broken. When a LCL injury involves a sprain, there is typically swelling that occurs in the knee and a feeling of instability with walking. Sprains are classified according to their severity with grades 1 through 3. Grades 1 and 2 are often treatable without surgery, while grade 3 is most often a complete tear and typically requires surgery.

With a sprain, the ligament is overstretched and micro-tearing results, causing pain and inflammation. There is little blood flow to the ligaments and they get most of their nutrition from the joint fluid. This means, that their healing is a lot slower than most other tissues. Depending on the severity of the sprain and joint stability the potential for future injury can increase.

With grade 3 LCL tears, surgery is most likely needed to repair. Physical therapy is vital to the rehabilitation after this surgery. Recovery does take time and the goal is to protect the surgery site and maintaining stability while getting back into walking and eventually running.

How physical therapy helps
Our physical therapists work with patients of all ages, especially those who have sustained LCL tears through sports activities. We work closely with your physician to examine the stability of your knee after the LCL injury. There are specific tests that we perform to assess how stable the ligament is and what course of action is best to resolve your pain and return you to activities as soon as possible. Most grade 1 and grade 2 sprains can be rehabilitated without the need for surgery and our physical therapists will discuss your options.

If surgery is needed for your recovery, rest assured that you are in the right hands for your rehabilitation. We work closely with your physician’s rehabilitation protocols. The priority is to manage your pain and swelling after surgery and gradually increasing your range of motion in the knee per your post-surgery protocol.

As time progresses, we work with you to gain your strength back in the knee, improve stability of the joint, get you back to walking normally and eventually back into advanced movements including running. Call us today to discover how we can help you bounce back after a LCL tear.

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About Total Knee Replacement
A total knee replacement surgery may be needed when the knee has suffered a significant trauma or due to severe arthritis. In a total knee replacement surgery, the ends of the femur and tibia bones, and backside of the kneecap are replaced. With a partial knee replacement either the end of the femur bone or tibia is replaced. There have been many advances in the technology of the total knee replacement prosthesis and procedures allowing for less invasive surgery and faster recovery times.

Typically people have suffered for a while before having surgery, leading to changes in walking, muscle strength and function. Physical therapy before surgery in general has shown to help with the speed and quality of recovery after surgery.

How physical therapy helps
Working with your physician’s protocols, we coordinate a thorough rehabilitation program to get you back to normal walking as soon as possible.

Typically, you start physical therapy in the hospital the day after your procedure. After progressing from the hospital, it is very important to continue with outpatient physical therapy in our practice.

We complete the rehabilitation cycle, further restoring your range of motion via your physician’s protocols, restoring normal walking, balance, knee coordination and alleviating pain. We ensure that we continue to reinforce safety precautions with your knee movement while you heal. The end result is being able to return to most normal activities pain-free. Call us today to learn more about our post-surgery rehabilitation program.

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About Poor Balance / Risk of Falling
Did you know that one out of three adults aged 65 and older fall each year? Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries. Our ability to balance when walking or moving can change for a number of reasons. As we age, there is a natural loss of balance due to slowing down of reflexes, muscle weakness and tissue changes. In addition, arthritis in the ankles, knee or hips can affect balance. Furthermore, any neurological changes such as Parkinsons Disease, spinal cord injuries, nerve injuries, back problems and much more can play a role in diminished balance.

Our ability to balance relies mainly on 3 factors. Our ability to perceive movement comes from the nerve sensors in our joints and muscles, our vision and the position of our head in space through the vestibular system in the inner ear. When any one of these factors is not optimum, our ability to balance is affected and our risk for falling greatly increases.

The good news is that there is a lot than can easily be done to improve your ability to balance, which improves your walking and makes the risk of falling significantly less.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy is the main treatment for poor balance and reducing the risk of falls. It begins with a thorough evaluation of your walking, balance, coordination, joint movement, range of motion and strength. In the case of neurological conditions, more testing is done to determine visual tracking and your vestibular system function, which contributes to your balance.

After discovering the root cause of your balance difficulties, we program a treatment plan that will improve your ability to balance, walk and negotiate many different uneven terrains such as grass, sand, stairs and more. In addition, if you use a cane or walker, we can instruct you in the proper use of that adaptive equipment. Physical therapy goes a long way to improving your balance and setting you on the safe path to enjoying activities you love. Call us today to learn more how we can improve your balance and walking!

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About Knee Pain
The knee is the most complex joint in the body. It has to bear the weight of the body while moving through an incredible range of 130 degrees or more. When running the knee absorbs up to 6 times the weight of your body in force! In a lifetime, it is estimated that the average person will take over 216 million steps and walk 108,000 miles. With this amount of use, at times things can go wrong and lead to knee pain.

Most knee pain stems from the loss of what is called “accessory motions”. Accessory motions are the knee’s smaller movements that are sliding side-to-side, back and forth as well as spinning and rotating. Without consistent stretching and especially without being very active, the tissues around the knee become tight. In addition, if the muscles in the front or back of the knee become weaker, that can lead to more abnormal forces on the knee joint.

All of these problems lead to increased friction and wear on the knee. The normal response is one of inflammation that can be felt as pain in and around the knee. A good rule of thumb is that if your pain is achy, a lack of normal joint fluid flow is occurring as well as possible decreased circulation around the knee to the muscles and tissues. However, with sharp pain during movement, an area in the knee is being severely pressed upon and the movement of the joint is not normal.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy is one of the most important treatments for knee pain. Whether it is from a sports injury, tight musculature, altered joint mechanics or arthritis, we can help!

The first step is to pinpoint the exact mechanism of why your knee pain is occurring. We perform a thorough evaluation of your posture, knee motion, knee and hip strength, walking analysis and joint mobility. From this we can discover the main reason for your knee pain and formulate a treatment plan that will alleviate it quickly.

Our physical therapists perform hands-on therapy to improve your knee joint mobility, reducing pain quickly. Modalities such as ultrasound may be used to reduce swelling and pain. Specific exercises will be performed to enhance your leg strength and address any unbalanced muscles that are contributing to your knee pain. Call us today to find out how we can quickly and effectively alleviate your knee pain!

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About Knee Post-surgery Rehab
Other types of surgeries for the knee are fracture repairs or ligament / tissue repair from trauma. The amount of force it takes to break bone means that the soft tissues around the knee are most likely significantly injured also. After surgery, due to limited movement, range of motion is lost as well as strength. Since walking is a very complex action of different muscles moving in a coordinated fashion, it can be difficulty to walk after a knee surgery.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy is an important part of the rehabilitative process after a knee surgery. Depending on your surgery and your physician’s protocols, we gently progress you through a structured rehabilitation program. The goal is to restore pain-free range of motion in the knee while maintaining surgery recovery protocols. Finally, walking coordination, balance and strength are improved so you can return to normal pain-free walking. Call us today to learn more about our post-surgery rehabilitation program.

Recommended Treatments

About Knee Post-surgery Rehab
Other types of surgeries for the knee are fracture repairs or ligament / tissue repair from trauma. The amount of force it takes to break bone means that the soft tissues around the knee are most likely significantly injured also. After surgery, due to limited movement, range of motion is lost as well as strength. Since walking is a very complex action of different muscles moving in a coordinated fashion, it can be difficulty to walk after a knee surgery.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy is an important part of the rehabilitative process after a knee surgery. Depending on your surgery and your physician’s protocols, we gently progress you through a structured rehabilitation program. The goal is to restore pain-free range of motion in the knee while maintaining surgery recovery protocols. Finally, walking coordination, balance and strength are improved so you can return to normal pain-free walking. Call us today to learn more about our post-surgery rehabilitation program.

Recommended Treatments

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We’re Hiring!
We Have an Immediate Opening for a Physical Therapist in Harleysville. Resumes Can Be Sent to linda@totalperformancept.com

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