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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.

hand therapy for de quervain's

Hand Therapy For de Quervain’s

If you are experiencing pain along the side of your thumb or if your thumb feels like it “sticks” from time to time, you may be interested to know about hand therapy for de Quervain’s tenosynovitis.

Long-term overuse of the fingers, hand or wrist can cause this. This condition is most likely caused by activities that require repetitive motions such as lifting a child, gardening, golfing, racket sports, carpentry, typing, or piano playing. It can also be caused by rheumatoid arthritis or injury where scar tissue has restricted tendon function.

All of this can have an impact on the tendons found on the side of your thumb and your wrist. When this happens, you may begin to experience symptoms such as pain, swelling, inflammation, and/or difficulty or pain when using your thumb and wrist or trying to grasp hold of or pinch something.

Catching this condition early can help allow hand therapy to be more effective and prevent it from getting worse. If this condition worsens, it can spread to your forearm. The worst case scenario, if left untreated, is that this can lead to permanent damage, or lead to the tendon sheath bursting. Treatment is important.

Hand Therapy For de Quervains Tenosynovitis

Your tendons have been overworked and need to rest as much as possible. Your hand therapist will have suggestions on how to use your thumb, wrist and hand in a way that does not aggravate the condition. He or she will want you to avoid movements that aggravate it. They will also encourage you to take breaks during repetitive motion, such as typing. The wrist may need to be splinted to keep the thumb and hand in a neutral position.

Hand therapy will focus on strengthening exercises. This can help to prevent the condition from getting worse, decrease inflammation, improve mobility of the thumb and prevent this condition from recurring.

If you have already had surgery for this condition, physical therapy can aid in your recovery. Whether it is recovery from surgery, or enlisting the help of hand therapy for de Quervain’s to avoid surgery, you will benefit from working with a hand therapist who can show you ways to treat the condition or prevent it from getting worse.

If you find yourself experiencing any of the symptoms of de Quervain’s listed above, contact the team at Contact Physical Therapy to find a course of therapy that is right for you.

physical therapy for total knee replacements

Physical Therapy For Total Knee Replacements

After surgery, it is recommended that you have physical therapy for total knee replacements (TKR). Physical therapy will start soon after TKR.

The most common reason for a total knee replacement is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a condition in which the cartilage in your joints deteriorates. Often, this happens in the knee. When it does you may notice pain, stiffness, and swelling. Rheumatoid arthritis and/or being overweight may also contribute to the need for a total knee replacement.

How do you know when a total knee replacement is needed? A doctor can evaluate and diagnose your condition, but here are some telltale signs:

  • trouble standing up from a seated position
  • pain in your knee or knees, even when resting
  • trouble with walking
  • difficulty going up and down stairs

What can I expect during physical therapy for total knee replacements?

Physical therapy is important to your recovery from TKR. It will focus on strengthening the muscles in your leg. It will also help you get used to the new knee by teaching it to move and helping you learn to walk on it. Physical therapy will also walk you through climbing stairs again.

Your physical therapist will have you complete exercises to increase range of motion, strengthen the muscles in your leg, and keep the blood flowing throughout your body. Exercises might include quadriceps sets, straight leg raises, ankle pumps, and knee straightening exercises, supported knee bends and unsupported knee bends.

Physical therapy will also focus on soft tissue treatments to prevent issues with being able to fully extend the knee and help minimize scar tissue.

If your condition is caught early enough, physical therapy can help prevent or delay the need for surgery. However, after surgery physical therapy is an important part of your recovery and healing from a total knee replacement.

Our physical therapy team is experienced in physical therapy for total knee replacements and has several convenient locations in the valley to help you through the rehabilitation process after surgery.

To learn more about physical therapy for total knee replacements, or begin your program after surgery, contact us today.

Family in airport

Healthy Happy Traveling

Traveling can be a lot on your mind and your body. Keeping it as smooth as possible is important to keep your stress down with all the other factors that could go wrong. Delayed flights, crowded planes and long lines everywhere, so investing in your health and wellbeing well traveling can make all the difference. A healthy traveler makes a happier traveler. Use these steps to stay healthy during all your future travelers.

 

Staying healthy can dramatically reduce your stress, which is always a beneficial factor when you’re traveling.

 

Take Stretch Breaks

Sitting for too long will cause stiffness and fatigue. Neither of which you want to bring to your destination. Take time to get up and walk around if room and flight conditions permit it. If you aren’t able to walk around, at least switch positions when possible.

 

Stay Hydrated

Dehydration can lead to many ailments including headaches, muscle cramps, reduced attention span, fatigue and more. It also can make your skin look tired and aged, which no one wants to look back on in vacation photos. Drink plenty of water. When you think you have drank enough, drink more. Bring your own water bottles on the plane so you don’t have to rely on the little cups and the flight attendants to keep you hydrated.

 

Snack Wisely

Bring your own in-flight snacks. Think protein, healthy, and filling so the tempting, salty potato chips don’t bring you and your hydration down.

 

Wash your face, hands and seat

Traveling is a breeding place for germs. Wash your face and keep it clean during your flight. Try to avoid wearing your makeup. Keep your hands clean and wash them constantly. Transferring germs from your hands is the quickest way to get sick. Finally, keep sanitizing wipes handy so you can wipe down your seat, tray table, and arm rests. Wiping down these areas is one of the biggest tips from flight attendants- they must know something we don’t.

 

Watch your knees

Try to keep your knees at a 90-degree position. If you’re too short, use your carry on to rest your feet on. This will help your posture and blood flow.

 

Breathe

Find breathing exercises that bring you to a calm, relaxed state. When you are traveling you can call on these exercises to keep you calm, give you some resting time and allow you to clear the toxins from your body by breathing. You could also use these exercises if you experience any anxiety of fear from flying. These can help relax you and get your mind to a calm state.

 

When you are traveling for work or play, the last thing you want when stepping off the plane is the beginning of a sickness. Following these simple tips can keep you healthier while flying and traveling.

child and adult holding red heart with stethoscope, heart health

Staying Heart Healthy

During this month that is often times associated with love, we wanted to keep the love flowing and pumping in all the right places. This means taking care of your heart. Are you taking the steps for keeping your heart healthy? Let us help with these daily tips to give your heart the love it deserves.

 

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States. There are steps you can take to help lower your risk or prevent heart disease.

 

Eat Healthy- This is a common cure for many diseases and ailments, but very important for overall health. It is important to have a balanced diet filled with wholesome foods.

 

Get Active- Go outside, take walks, hit the gym or do whatever activity it is to keep your body looking and feeling good. Exercise not only helps you look good on the outside, but keeps you feeling good on the inside, as well. Remember that every time you are active you are doing good things for your body.

 

Stay at a healthy weight- Applying the above tips will help keep your body at a healthy weight, keeping your heart healthy along the way.

 

Manage your stress levels- stress can be a huge factor to many health problems, but is hard on your heart. Recognizing you may be stressed, what is causing that stress and managing it is important for a healthy heart and lifestyle.

 

Quit smoking- Smoking doesn’t have any health benefits and this includes being hard on your heart. Quit smoking and stay away from second hand smoke. Your heart will thank you by lowering your risk for heart disease.

 

Control your cholesterol and blood pressure- Knowing and controlling your cholesterol and blood pressure is an important factor for being heart healthy.

 

Know your risk- Everyone is at risk, but if you aren’t following the above steps, your risk may be greater for heart disease. Your may also be at a greater risk if you are a woman older than 55 or a man over the age of 45. Family history could also put you at risk if your father, mother, brother or sister had heart disease.

 

The good news is, there are plenty of simple steps you can do to take control of keeping your heart healthy and reducing your risk for heart disease.

How to Boost Your Immune System

It’s that time of year. It seems like everyone around you is sniffing, sneezing, coughing and everything in between. It can make you feel like you’re walking around in a pool of germs. How can you avoid it? There are tips you can apply to your daily life to boost your immune system.

 

Your immune system is a complex function within your body composed of a lot of different things, so the idea of boosting your entire immune system as a whole isn’t scientifically correct, but you can take steps to improve your overall health and keep your system fighting germs.

 

Get enough sleep. Sleep is huge for your whole body to function correctly. It helps you manage stress, which could suppress your immune system with increased cortisol levels and keep your body fighting hard.

 

Avoid tobacco smoke. It undermines the basic immune functions and raises the risk of sicknesses in everyone, including children by secondhand smoke.

 

Drink less alcohol. Excessive drinking impairs the immune system. During the time that sickness is on a rise, it could be wise to ditch the wine and beer at dinner time to keep you healthy. You could try a Kombucha, not only are they healthy for your gut, it could give you a fix for craving an adult beverage.

 

Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats. These will provide the nutrients your body needs to keep fighting illnesses. Avoid processed foods, fried foods and try eating at home more often.

 

Get some sunshine. A little time outside can increase your vitamin D levels. Lower vitamin D levels correlate with a greater risk of respiratory infection. Make sure you are properly protecting yourself from the sun, as well. If you have a risk of skin cancer, you could look into vitamin D supplements.

 

Add vitamins into your diet. Speaking of supplements, adding some beneficial vitamins can keep you going strong throughout cold and flu season. Vitamin C and Zinc are good vitamins to add to your daily routine.

 

Wash your hands. This may seem obvious, but it can be a very important reminder. When you’re out in public places, you never know who is sick and what germs are floating in the air. Anytime you come home, you should make it habit to go straight to the sink and wash your hands. Avoid touching your face and use antibacterial wipes at the stores before touching common areas, like shopping carts.

 

Drink water. Another simple, and maybe obvious reminder, but during the colder months people often forget about drinking enough water. You want to stay hydrated to keep your body functioning at full capacity to ward off any sicknesses.

 

Keep yourself healthy by applying these tips to boost your immune system and keep your sick days at a minimum!

Making Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick

Every year it’s the same thing. The ball drops and you have every intention to breaking all your bad habits. Then before you know it, your back to your old ways without realizing how you slipped back there. You can change that this year by taking these steps to making your new year’s resolutions stick.

 

Some people find the new year as a fresh start, a new beginning. Maybe that’s not you and you find it to be daunting, but you really want to be successful. You can be! Try these steps to make 2019 your best year yet.

 

Start Small

Make resolutions you can keep. If you want to start exercising and this is new to you, start with 3 days a week. Start with a commitment you know you can keep and won’t become overwhelming by jumping from nothing to thinking you’re going to get to the gym every day. You will become burnt out and it will be easier to stop all together- something you’re trying to avoid.

 

Change Your Outlook

If “new year’s resolution” isn’t working for you, try thinking of them as goals, or visions. Set a goal for yourself and check in every few months to see that you are on track with accomplishing those goals or tackling smaller ones, leading up to the bigger goal in mind.

 

Change One Behavior at a Time

If you have multiple “bad habits” you’re trying to break, you may not be able to accomplish them all at once. Take it one step at a time. You don’t have to go into the new year thinking you must change your entire life, at once.

 

Don’t Beat Yourself Up

Miss a week at the gym? Don’t stress. Start new, without feeling guilty. Guilt will ruin your progress. Don’t spend too much time stressing on things you have stumbled over. Move on and keep moving forward.

 

Talk About It

Let your friends and family in on your goals or resolutions. They may be likely to share theirs and you can keep each other accountable with following through. You may even find they have a similar resolution and you can do them together!

 

Ask For Support

A friend or family may have accomplished a goal you have, in a previous time. Ask them how they got there! Don’t be shy when asking for help. Other people can have a step by step process to reach the end goal and this process could be beneficial to you.

 

Plan Ahead

Mark your calendars with workouts. Plan your computer and phone time during the week, so you can follow through with spending less time online on the weekends, or whatever your resolutions are. Think about how you will accomplish them and make a plan rather than saying you want to change something and winging it. This could make you much more successful in the new year.

 

This could be your year to shine. This could be the year you accomplish everything you set out to do. Just remember speed bumps are just that- small bumps, plans can lead towards success and take it one day at a time! Happy New Year, everyone!

Couple jogging

Fitness Lover Gift Guide

Have a fitness lover in your life? You know the type, someone who will stick with their New Years Resolutions? Well we have a gift guide for you. Give them something they are sure to love and keep them healthy in the new year!

 

Gifts for Runners

 

New running shoes- This requires a little sneakiness to find their shoe size if you don’t already know it, but there’s nothing better and more inspiring to hit the track than slipping on your new running shoes. And don’t think a gift card goes unnoticed. This gives them the freedom to pick out their favorite brand and maybe get something they wouldn’t have gotten themselves.

 

Wireless Headphones- Anyone would love this gift, but a runner will especially appreciate not getting tangled up in their headphone wires when they’re pushing themselves to go that extra mile.

 

Gifts for the Gym-Goer

 

A Duffel Bag- Make their trips to the gym easier. A nice, new and clean bag that they can use to hold their extra clothes, water bottle, protein bars, shoes, etc. is great for the loved one that hits the gym before or after work. They need something to tote all their stuff in everyday. Every time they pack it up they will think of you!

 

Leggings- Is your gym goer a girl? I bet she would love a new pair of leggings. They have everything from plain black to ones with crazy patterns. You can even find cheap options on Amazon. We’re talking $20 cheap! A new pair of leggings could mean more motivation to hit the gym with them, so pick out a new pair for yourself too!

 

Foam Rollers- Someone who loves to workout needs this in their life. Help them relieve their sore muscles with a foam roller. You can often times find this as discount store like TJ Maxx. This will help them prevent injuries and keep their bodies lose. It is also light, so they can throw it into that new duffle bag you got them!

 

Gifts for the Yogi in your Life

 

Yoga Mat- Do you know someone who never misses a yoga session? All that yoga could mean it’s time for a new mat. Get them a gift that will get plenty of use and keep them calm in the new year.

 

Grippy Socks- Looking for something to slide into a fitness lover’s stocking? Grippy socks could be just the thing. These will help keep their bare feet from slipping in yoga, barre and Pilates classes. Not to mention keep their toes warm in the cold winter months!

 

Finding the perfect gift can be challenging, but finding a gift that will keep them healthy and active in the new year is something you can feel good about giving. We hope you have a wonderful holiday season with your families! Stay warm, stay safe and stay healthy!

Holiday Stress

How to Deal with Holiday Stress

Do they holidays have you stressed? Between parties and finding the perfect gift, it can tend to become overwhelming and the real meaning behind the season gets lost in the hecticness. Don’t let this happen to you this year. Stay calm and happy throughout the season with these tips of how to deal with holiday stress.

 

Be realistic about gift giving. Have a big family and every year it seems to get bigger? Talk with them, maybe instead of finding the perfect gift for all your extended family suggest doing a secret Santa and only focus on one member. This will save you both time and money and you dedicate more time to one gift than searching for your cousin’s aunt’s sister who will be joining you this year.

 

Money have you stressed? Set a budget and stick to it. An easy way to do this is have a list of people you would like to get gifts for and start writing ideas down, then you can cross them off or refer back to your ideas when you are out shopping, instead of mindlessly piling things into your cart. Another tip is to set your budget and use cash. Have an envelope dedicated to present money. Seeing the money physically dwindle will help you make better gift decisions.

 

Get outside and exercise. Clear your mind and let it wander to things that aren’t holiday related and your growing to do list. Don’t forget about your health and happiness this season. If you start to feel stressed, take a walk, get some fresh, brisk air and relax.

 

Eat healthy and wholesome foods. The holidays are often back to back parties and celebrations which can be fun, but also bloating. Keep your healthy eating habits on track when you can. Bring snacks, like vegetables, when you’re out shopping so you don’t become starving and pull up to a drive thru window. Don’t forget your greens, they will give you energy and when you’re indulging in an extra cookie you won’t feel as guilty. Don’t forget to drink your water. When it becomes colder outside, sometimes we forget about water, but keeping up with water intake is important.

 

Learn to say no. This could mean saying no to another party or saying no to yourself when thinking you need to get someone another gift. Be mindful this holiday season with all your decisions and it will leave you happier come the new year.

 

Get plenty of sleep. Don’t let late night wrapping, baking and cleaning keep you up. Get to bed so you feel rested and have a clear mind come morning time. Plan out your days and evenings so you don’t get to the end of the month and have too much to do and start pulling all-nighters to get it done. Sleep is important for health and happiness. Plus, Santa only comes if you’re sleeping.

 

Happy Holidays, everyone! We hope you all have a wonderful time with your families over the season and with these tips, it can be a calm relaxing time with your loved ones.