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stay safe in the desert summer

Tips To Stay Safe In The Desert Summer Heat

Tips To Stay Safe In The Desert Summer Heat

Does summer feel like it is dragging on? Are you getting cabin fever? Are you tired of not being able to go outside and enjoy your favorite outdoor activities?

The dangers of the Arizona summer desert heat are real and keeping your entire family safe (including your pets!) this summer is important.

Effects of heat exhaustion and/or heat stroke can be dangerous. However, there are several things you can do to help everyone in your family stay safe in the desert summer this season.

Of course, stay inside as much as you can to stay out of the heat and stay cool, but also follow these tips to help everyone in your family stay healthy and safe this summer.

3 Tips To Stay Safe In The Desert Summer Heat

Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated can mean more than just drinking water. There are some foods that can help you stay hydrated as well. Try watermelon, cucumber, coconut water or other foods that help you stay hydrated.

Go out early or late

Run errands early in the day or late at night. If you must go out, try to go early or late — not in the heat of the day.

Clothing matters

Wear light-colored that isn’t tight, but fits loosely around you. This will go a long way in helping to keep you cool.

Also remember to keep your pets out of the heat, keep them cool and keep them hydrated too. They are important members of the family!

The entire staff at Contact Physical Therapy is here to help with the health of your entire family. If there is more than just the desert summer heat keeping you indoors — such as injury or surgery recovery — and keeping you from enjoying your favorite activities, contact the team at Contact Physical Therapy

Our physical therapists can help tailor a program that is right for you and get you back to living the life you love. To get started, contact us today.

stretches for lower back pain

Three Stretches For Lower Back Pain

Stretches For Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is one of the most common complaints from patients. Almost all Americans will experience it in their lifetimes. In fact, statistics show up to 80% will experience it at some point in life.

It does not have to be something that you live with. Depending on the cause, you may benefit from physical therapy to help alleviate your lower back symptoms and pain. In the meantime, some gentle stretching at home may also help. Here are three stretches for lower back pain.

Three Stretches For Lower Back Pain

Knee to Chest

Begin this exercise by lying on your back on the floor with your legs extended and your arms on the floor at your side. Next, bend your left knee so that your left foot is flat on the ground next to your right knee. Wrap your hand around your left knee and slowly bring it in toward your chest. Hold for 30 seconds to one minute and then gently release. Repeat the same on the other side. Complete this stretch for each leg three times or as recommended by your physical therapist.

[Related article: Sciatica Pain and What To Do About It]

Forward Bend

Begin this exercise sitting on the ground with your legs extended straight out in front of you. Use an exercise band (or towel) to help you reach forward and wrap the band around the soles of your feet and grab the band on each side. This will support you as you then gently bend forward with the goal of putting your forehead toward your knees. Keep your back as straight as possible. Do not go to the point of pain. You should just feel a gentle stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and after a brief rest, repeat several times or as recommended by your physical therapist.

Child’s Pose

If you are a fan of yoga, you are probably familiar with child’s pose. Begin this pose on the floor on your hands and knees. Gently sit back, placing your glutes on your heels. Then, bend forward at the hips, extending your palms and arms straight out on the ground in front of you. Your forehead should be touching the ground and your torso should be resting on your thighs. Hold this pose for as long as you would like, although one minute is recommended.

Whether it is these stretches for lower back pain or others, the physical therapists at Contact Physical Therapy can help tailor a program that is right for you to help alleviate your lower back pain.

To get started, contact us today.

physical therapy after a car accident

3 Reasons To Consider Physical Therapy After A Car Accident

Did you know that physical therapy after a car accident can help you in many ways? The pain that you can be left with after a car accident can be long-lasting, especially if your body doesn’t have the chance to heal properly after the accident.

Injuries from car accidents are not always apparent right away. Some of them are such as whiplash, neck or back pain may be noticeable. However, others like chronic headaches or head trauma can stay with you for a long time. 

[Related article: Physical Therapy For Concussion Recovery]

The good news is that a physical therapist can aid in your recovery after you have been injured. Here are three reasons to visit your physical therapist after a car accident.

3 Reasons To Consider Physical Therapy After A Car Accident

Reduced Pain

A physical therapist is a trained expert when it comes to neck pain, back pain and more. Their modalities include manual therapy, and can help alleviate the pain from common car accident injuries.

Safer Healing

Car accident pain can lead to chronic pain. It can also lead to the use of painkillers and put you in a position to suffer for years. Your physical therapist can show you ways of managing the pain without the use of drugs that might otherwise become addicting. It is a safer way to heal.

Regain Function

Physical therapy focuses on increasing range of motion, rebuilding strength, and allowing you to function and be mobile again like you once were. If your physical abilities have been compromised due to the car accident, physical therapy can help you gain those back.

Physical therapy after a car accident can be an effective way to treat many injuries and the pain that comes along with what happened. Reach out to the physical therapists at Contact Physical Therapy to get on the road to healing from car accident injuries.

To get started, contact us today.

Home Remedies To Alleviate A Stiff Neck

Home Remedies To Alleviate A Stiff Neck

Did you wake up with a stiff neck? Is your neck sore or is it not moving as easily as it once did? If so, you will be glad to know that there are simple home remedies that can help you to alleviate your pain. If you find that is not enough, a physical therapist at Contact Physical Therapy can also help show you ways to alleviate the pain that accompanies your condition.

Sometimes getting a stiff neck is as simple as sleeping on it wrong. Maybe you woke up with it. Or, worse yet, maybe you did something to injure your neck that immediately caused the pain. Stiff neck symptoms are characterized by: 

  • inability to turn neck all the way and/or without pain
  • having to turn the whole body to look to the side
  • may be accompanied by headaches, neck or shoulder pain and/or possibly arm pain
  • may be accompanied by pain when turning the neck

The main cause of a stiff neck is typically a strained muscle or soft tissue sprain. A stiff neck usually lasts up to 7 days, but what you do can determine if it stays away once it goes away. You can also do some things to help minimize your pain while you recover. The good news is that a physical therapist or some simple at home remedies may be able to help.

Home Remedies To Alleviate A Stiff Neck

  • Rest: rest for a couple days, but not longer than 1-2 so that your muscles don’t become weakened
  • Cold therapy: apply ice for the first 1-2 days to help get inflammation down
  • Heat therapy: use heat to instigate blood flow to the area to promote healing
  • Stretching: ask your physical therapist to show you some gentle stretches that can be done to help alleviate the pain and stiffness that comes along with a stiff neck
  • Get out and walk: walking can get blood and oxygen circulating throughout the body and can help to ease your condition.

If your stiff neck lasts more than a week or if you have more severe symptoms along with it (fever, nausea, vomiting) visit a doctor as these could be signs of a more serious condition.

Whether it is some simple stretching techniques to help alleviate the pain associated with a stiff neck or recover from another injury, the physical therapists at Contact Physical Therapy can help tailor a program that is right for you. 

To get started, contact us today.

sciatica pain

Sciatica Pain and What To Do About It

The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back to the buttocks down to the leg. Sciatica is pain that you feel along this area when something isn’t functioning properly. This could be compression of the nerve and/or the sciatic nerve being irritated.

Sciatica is not a diagnosis, but it is a description of the pain. If you have had it, you will recognize it immediately. It can be unbearable at times. The good news is that by working with a physical therapist at Contact Physical Therapy, you may be able to see relief from sciatica pain.

Ways To Relieve Sciatica Pain

A physical therapist may work with you in several different ways to help you overcome your sciatica pain. This could be through exercising, stretches, strengthening, and more.

Exercises

Exercises such as low impact aerobics might be a good way to help overcome your sciatica pain. Also pool therapy may help.

Stretches

One huge way to overcome your sciatica pain is through stretching. There are specific stretches that your physical therapist can recommend to help you relieve your pain. Stretching may focus on the hamstrings.

Strengthening

Completing strengthening exercises for the supporting structures of your body (the spine, muscles, ligaments, and tendons supporting the back) can help to provide pain relief as well. Your physical therapist will recommend strengthening exercises to help you overcome your pain.

[Related article: Elements For Physical Therapy Success]

More Ways To Relieve Sciatica Pain

What are some other things you can do to help relieve your sciatica pain? Although you may be tempted to rest when you are experiencing this pain, physical therapists recommend not resting for more than a day or two because it could add to your pain. Instead, after a brief period of rest, keep moving to aid your body in healing.

Physical therapy can be effective in helping to treat sciatica pain. A physical therapist at Contact Physical Therapy can help tailor a program that is right for you.

To get started, contact us today.

balance problems

How Physical Therapy Can Help Balance Problems

If you or someone you love is experiencing balance problems, did you know that physical therapy may be able to help? If you are finding it difficult to perform simple tasks such as standing, walking, or sitting, if you find yourself swaying or have difficulty staying stable or upright, you may be experiencing balance problems.

If you are over the age of 70, your chances can be as high as 75% of having balance that isn’t normal. This can be caused by aging, among other things, including problems with the muscles, joints, or inner ear. Sometimes medications can cause the problem, or if you are not active enough, it can be a factor as well.

Medical conditions may also cause balance problems. From diabetes and arthritis, to multiple sclerosis, stroke, and Parkinson’s disease — all of these can cause issues with your balance.

Symptoms of Balance Problems

If you are wondering if your problems might be related to balance, here is what to look for: falling, stumbling, dizziness, tripping, and swaying are all indications that you may have a balance problem.

The good news is that by working with a physical therapist at Contact Physical Therapy, your balance problems may improve. A physical therapist can work with you to help you improve your balance and reduce your risk of falling. This is so important, especially as we age because falling carries the risk of injuring yourself as well.

[Related article: Goals of Physical Therapy]

Your physical therapist can help you improve strength, mobility, flexibility and posture. All of these things will help you to overcome any issues you may be experiencing with your balance.

The best way to deal with balance problems is to do everything you can to prevent them from happening in the first place. Physical therapists recommend staying active and mobile and avoiding a sedentary lifestyle to prevent balance issues. If you have fallen, be sure to talk to your doctor or physical therapist so that he or she can begin to assess your condition and help to determine what caused the fall and prevent it from happening again, thus preventing further injury.

Since some balance problems can be caused by eye and ear conditions, have your vision and hearing checked regularly to help prevent balance problems as well.

Physical therapy can be effective in helping to treat balance problems. A physical therapist at Contact Physical Therapy can help tailor a program that is right for you.

To learn more, contact us today.

physical therapy for concussion recovery

Physical Therapy For Concussion Recovery

Physical therapy for concussion recovery can be a helpful thing to consider if you have been injured. If you have dealt with a concussion and you need help, check with your physical therapist. A physical therapist can direct you on getting the help you need as soon as possible.

[Learn more: Elements For Physical Therapy Success]

What is a concussion? A concussion is a brain injury. It happens when your brain is shaken violently. If your head is directly hit, a concussion might happen to you. The same is true if you are enduring whiplash. Changes in the functioning of the brain might occur when these things take place.

A physical therapist can help you in many ways such as:

  • Recovery and rest. Your physical therapist will let you know the reasons why you need to limit your physical activities.
  • Restoring endurance and strength. Your physical therapist will teach you how to restore the power of your body without making the symptoms of the illness worse.
  • Improving balance and stopping the dizziness. Your physical therapist may use vestibular physical therapy with you to help you recover.
  • Reducing headaches. Your physical therapist will work hard to find out the causes of your headaches so you can get the relief you need.

Remember that your concussion is an injury in your brain. This type of injury might bring about a lot of problems that a physical therapist can help you with.

Talk to your physical therapist as soon as possible. In the state of Arizona, you have direct access to seeing your physical therapist without first receiving a physician’s referral. He or she understands that every concussion that every person has is different and can work to tailor a treatment program that is right for you.  

Physical therapy for concussion recovery can be an effective way of managing your injury. A physical therapist at Contact Physical Therapy can help.

To get started, contact us today.

Osgood-Schlatter disease

Osgood-Schlatter Disease Causes and Treatment

Osgood-Schlatter Disease is a condition that is characterized by painful inflammation in the area under the knee and can develop in children and teenagers during a growth spurt. Below is what you need to know about Osgood-Schlatter disease causes and treatment if your child is experiencing pain and how physical therapy can help.

Causes of Osgood-Schlatter Disease

At the adolescent period when growth is at a peak in adolescents, the rate of growth of some of their tendons and muscles differ in the sense that they do not grow at the same rate.

When exposed to physical activity, the varying sizes of the quadriceps muscle puts pressure on the growth plate close to the shinbone. As a result of the pressure, the growth plate becomes vulnerable to irritation. The irritation causes a painful swelling below the kneecap which is the start of the Osgood-Schlatter disease.

[Related article: The Truth About Growing Pains]

Treatment of the Osgood-Schlatter Disease

Osgood-Schlatter disease normally ends on its own after the end of a growth spurt. By that time, however, the focus is put on easing the pain and inflammation. It is important to know that self-diagnosis is not recommended and so it is important to consult your healthcare practitioner.

Treatment of Osgood Schlatter disease might also include:

  1. Taking pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen
  2. Reducing intense physical activity so as to relive the knee of pressure
  3. Icing the affected area after physical activity
  4. Stretching
  5. Wearing a knee brace
  6. Physical therapy

Restricting intense physical activity is highly advised so as to reduce the inflammation and give the affected area time to recover. Patients can, however, participate in less demanding exercises such as swimming or cycling during their recovery process.

The exercises to participate in will however depend on the practitioner’s advice depending on the extent of the affected area. In some cases, some children are advised to completely quit certain sports until they are fully recovered.

[Related article: Physical Therapy For Babies and Kids]

Physical therapy can be effecting in helping to treat Osgood-Schlatter disease. A physical therapist at Contact Physical Therapy can help tailor a program that is right for your child.

To get started, contact us today.

physical therapy success

Elements For Physical Therapy Success

While your physical therapy program may begin in our office, your physical therapy success ends at home. There are many things that will help you find the results you are looking for from physical therapy. While sessions in our clinic are an important part of that, what you do afterwards is just as important, if not more important to your success.

Your physical therapist will partner with you to help you achieve the results you are looking for. He or she will tailor a treatment plan that may include a combination of education, ergonomics, and exercise to help you succeed. Success is based on an achievement of the physical therapy goals you set for yourself and a return to the quality of life that you experienced prior to your injury or onset of the pain.

Elements For Physical Therapy Success At Home

The information and materials that your physical therapist will provide you, along with ergonomic support at home or at work, plus a home exercise program will all work together to help you succeed. Together with your physical therapist, implementing each one of these things will lend itself to your physical therapy success.

Patient Education

A physical therapist understands how the body moves and how those movements may be impacting your condition, symptoms, or pain. He/she will help you understand this. They are your partner to help you feel better. The information that your physical therapist gives you will help equip you for healing.

Whether this information comes in the form of conversation in the clinic or handouts to take home, make notes of the important points to remember. This information gives you a better understanding of the “why” behind the “what”. When you understand why your physical therapist is outlining the program for you that they are, it will help you to take action on those recommendations.

Ergonomics

Ergonomics refers to how well an environment, usually a workspace, fits you and lends itself to efficiency, productivity, and reduces stress on your body as you complete your work or tasks. Your environment should fit you, not the other way around. When we conform our bodies to fit into an environment (think work environment, such as a desk) it can cause pain and injury, and additional stress on our bodies.

With proper ergonomics, your body should remain in a neutral position. For example, at a work desk this means that your chin is parallel to the floor, your feet are flat on the floor, with elbows bent at a 90 degree angle. You should also have proper back support. Proper ergonomics will reduce stress on the body, prevent injury, and will also help you maintain the results of your physical therapy program.

Home Exercise Program

Your home exercise program is just as important as your physical therapy sessions in our clinic. A home exercise program will help you obtain the best results. The goal of physical therapy, as well as your home exercise program, is to return you to the quality of life you once enjoyed as much as possible. As you progress, your home exercise program may need updated so continue to check-in with your therapist as needed.

Physical therapy success is achieved through a combination of things. Your physical therapist will partner with you to provide education about the “why” and “what” of your condition. Proper ergonomic equipment, tools, and resources will help to maintain the results you have worked so hard to achieve. A home exercise program will keep you on the right track.

Whether it is due to injury, pain, or another condition, a physical therapist at Contact Physical Therapy can help tailor a program that is right for you.

To get started, contact us today.

direct access physical therapy in Arizona

Direct Access Physical Therapy In Arizona

There are many benefits of direct access physical therapy in Arizona, yet many patients are not aware of this option. Direct access means that you are able to seek care and treatment from a practitioner, such as a physical therapist, without first needing a referral from your primary care physician to do so.

In other words, you do not need a referral from another medical specialist in order to see a physical therapist.

Physical therapists are required to complete a state licensing exam. A physical therapist is a trained healthcare professional and expert. They can evaluate you and recommend a treatment plan. Then, they will help you carry out your treatment plan. You do not have to wait for or pay for another appointment first. Also you do not have to wait for a referral. If physical therapy is not an appropriate course of action, they will let you know as well. If this is the case, your physical therapist can refer you to the appropriate healthcare practitioner.

Benefits Of Direct Access Physical Therapy In Arizona

In Arizona, direct access allows you total and unrestricted access to your physical therapist. There are many benefits of direct access. These include:

  • you can be your own best healthcare advocate
  • you have access to more choices for your healthcare
  • your treatment options are less expensive
  • you can receive the care you need more quickly

Your physical therapist is an advocate for you and your health and can help improve your healthcare outcomes. Your physical therapist can be the first line of defense when it comes to any pain affecting the muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, and more. Visiting a physical therapist first can save you time and money by accessing them directly instead of waiting on a referral.

Now that you know more about the benefits of direct access physical therapy in Arizona, for an evaluation by a licensed physical therapist contact us today.