Physical Therapy For Total Knee Replacements

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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.

woman stretching in bed after wake up.

Why it Pays to Stretch Before Getting out of Bed

Does that morning alarm clock go off and the instant dread set in? Changing your morning routine by adding some relaxing techniques instead of constant rush and chaos can get you a little more excited to start your day. Too many of us wake achy and tired. Start your morning routine with stretching and see why it pays to stretch before you get out of bed.

 

Start by setting up your morning, at night. Sitting all day at the office, then the dinner table and then off to bed to do it all over again can quickly lead to a sore and achy morning. While laying in bed at night, do a few stretches to help promote better sleep and leave you feeling less achy and tight in the morning.

 

Short on time in the morning? Aren’t we all… The investment of time doesn’t have to be outrageous to help you feel better throughout your day. Even a short, simple routine can set you up to feeling better throughout your day. Give yourself a few extra minutes for your morning stretches, that’s it! You can do it, all it takes is one less push of the snooze button.

 

Speaking of the snooze button, some light stretching before reaching the coffee pot will give your body extra energy and have you feeling less sleepy before placing your feet to the ground. So, maybe you will go for one less cup of coffee by adding a few morning stretches.

 

Here are a few stretches you can add to your morning routine to get your day off on the right foot.

 

  1. Single-leg knee hug. Start by lying flat on your back with both knees bent and feet flat on your mattress. Bring one knee to your chest, wrapping your arms around your leg in a hug. While breathing, slowly straighten the alternative knee, until your leg is flat against the bed. Repeat on the other side.
  2. Wake up your body. Many of us, with little time in the morning and in a constant rush, jump out of bed before our body has had time to fully wake up. While your still lying in bed- on your back- start by circling your ankles for a few deep breaths. Then flex and point your feet a few times. After your ankles feel slightly warmed up, it’s time for the wrists. Lift your arms straight up towards the ceiling and circle your wrists in both directions for a few breaths. Finally, bring your hands by your sides and slowly rock your head from side to side. These moves will help wake the body up before you even have to sit up!
  3. Spine stretch. Start with your right leg lying straight on the bed and bringing your left knee to your chest. Cross your left knee over your straight, right leg, towards the mattress. Straighten your left arm out to the side, away from your body. Slowly look away from your left hand and back to it, holding this stretch for a few breaths. Repeat on the other side.

 

Starting with one or all of these simple stretches can help you feel less tight and achy before your day even gets started. Allow yourself to slowly wake up with these stretches, giving your morning a calming start. Try it tomorrow and see if it helps your aches and pains!

Baby at PT office

Physical Therapy for Babies and Kids

Physical therapy can be a great tool for health and wellness as adults, but did you know that babies and kids can benefit from physical therapy too? Physical therapy is a safe, natural and effective way to help and cure pain and injuries as well as correct misused muscles.

 

Infant physical therapy can be considered as one of the most effective forms of rehabilitative treatment for babies who need assistance with muscle control, balance, milestones, and more. Many physicians recommended physical therapy for infants who have developed disorders, regardless whether they developed from birth injuries and genetic abnormalities.

 

Each person, child and baby are different from one an other. Each individual treatment will vary according to disability, disorder or pain relief. Babies who are born prematurely often hold their shoulders close to their ears and a common goal for these babies is to help maintain proper posture with gentle massage and pushing the infant’s shoulders down. This treatment might be different to a baby who has a genetic abnormality. Common exercises will also very depending on the age of the baby and the disorder.

 

Your doctor or physician can recommend physical therapy If they feel your child may need it. Other way to know if your child may need physical therapy:

  • Fails to meet development milestones during the first year of life
  • Favors one side of the body and/or tilting the head to one side only
  • Has poor posture
  • Has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, torticollis, and other neuromuscular disorders
  • Has floppy and/or stiff muscle tone
  • Has excessive or limited joint mobility
  • Has difficulties with balance and coordination

 

Doctors often recommend physical therapy for kids and teens who have been injured or have movement problems from an illness, disease or disability.

 

After an injury, physical therapist work with the child to decrease pain and improve movement, just as they would for an adult patient. The treatment could include teaching the child exercises designed to help them regain strength and range of motion.

 

It is important than every child have the ability to perform their job of playing. Physical therapists are concerned with a child’s ability to participate in daily movement activities as well as sports. Treatment may be used for children who play sports and want to avoid injury on and off the field.

 

Contact Physical Therapy is here to answer your questions and see if physical therapy is the best option for your child or infant.

Types of Physical Therapy

Physical therapy has been practiced for ages. Documents show physical therapy being practiced in 460 BC by Hippocrates when he introduced the idea of manual manipulation for pain relief. It has since grown from more of a massage type practice then, to multiple different types you see in modern day physical therapy, today. Physical therapy has advanced and grown over the years to the many types you may or may not know about.

 

Geriatric Physical Therapy

As people age the need for routine physical therapy may grow with them. Getting older can be tough on the Skelton and muscles. When the body is younger, you may compensate for pains or things such as bad posture, but as you get older those problems become harder to ignore. Misuse of the body may also increase the need for physical therapy as you age. Your muscles become weaker and you may not be able to compensate for the way you were previous living. Physical therapy can help fix or reverse pain and damage. It is safe, effective and less stressful than surgeries or medication.

 

Orthopedic Physical Therapy

This type of physical therapy may be on you are familiar with. This type is designed to help you and your body recover after a surgery to strengthen your muscles that you injured. You may be surprised by the positive effects that physical therapy has on the body. Whether the injury is old, reoccurring or rebuilding strength after a surgery, therapy can target key muscle groups to get you back to your healthy self.

 

Neurological Physical Therapy

Problems with your neurological system such as: spinal cord injuries, stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, brain injuries or cerebral palsy all strike at the nervous system. The nervous system is how your brain controls your body. Most of these disorders are chronic which mean they are unlikely to be healed completely, but physical therapy can have a great positive impact on life with these disorders. Therapists can teach small therapeutic exercises which can make the effects on muscles and movement become more manageable.

 

Cardiovascular/Pulmonary Physical Therapy

Cardiopulmonary physical therapy has a main goal about building independence if you have a serious problem with your heart or circulation. These problems could include: heart attacks or pulmonary fibrosis and therapy can help you grow strength in target muscles to help improve your endurance.

 

Physical therapy includes all these and more. If you think physical therapy may be right for you call our office to talk about your pain and options.

Kids Lunch

Healthy Back To School Lunch Ideas

It’s that time of year again. It’s time to set the alarm clocks for early wake up calls, busy mornings and running off to catch the bus. It’s time for back to school! Kids and parents are both equally excited to hear the school bells ring, but the thought of making healthy and nutritious lunches everyday may sound daunting. If you’re running out of ideas before the first spelling test, then read below for healthy back to school lunch ideas.

There are a few things that may make lunchtime easier for you and your children.

  1. Have your child help assemble their lunch. If they have a hand in picking out what goes inside their lunchbox, they will be more inclined to eating it come lunch, yes even their veggies.
  2. Pack lunches the night before. Mornings are hectic enough, take some of the pressure off of you and start it the night before.
  3. Find the balance of food that isn’t leaving them hungry, but they aren’t coming home with a waste of uneaten lunch leftovers.
  4. Encourage a small special treat if there is enough veggies and protein to make up for it. (Think yogurt, small piece of chocolate, chocolate covered almonds, etc.)
  5. Small containers with lids keep food fresh and it doesn’t get smashed along the way.

Keep lunches interesting this year and avoid the guilty feeling come May when you realize you stopped with the healthy lunches after the first week of school.

 

Option #1- Homemade Lunchable

Turkey and Cheddar Roll Ups

Carrots

Fresh berries

Yogurt

Trail mix

*Ditch the bread with this homemade lunchable. Add organic wheat crackers for something a little extra.

Option #2- Greek Day!

Hummus

Pita Bread

Cucumbers

Chicken Breast

Cherry Tomatoes

Oranges

*Including something sweet, like fruit, will encourage children to learn that fruits can be the sweet special treat and not something loaded with fake sugar.

Option #3- Deli Bar

Meat and Cheese Kabobs

Red Peppers

Pretzel Thins

Organic Fruit Snacks

Apples

*Watch for added ingredients in kid’s snacks like high fructose corn syrup, fake sugars, etc. that you wouldn’t want them to eat.

Option #4- Mexican Day!

Cheese, black bean and corn quesadilla

Guacamole

Salsa

Tortilla Chips

Strawberries

*Beans are a great way to add some protein without being noticed much.

Option #5- Protein for Lunch

2 Hard Boiled Eggs

Veggies with Organic Ranch

Grapes

Cheddar Cheese

Piece of dark chocolate

*Frozen grapes are great in the summer months. The sweet ice-cold treat tastes more naughty than nice.

Option #6- The Classic with a Twist

Organic peanut or almond butter with Jam

String cheese

Homemade fruit leather

Gold Fish

Yogurt

*Homemade fruit leathers are surprisingly easy to make, and many recipes can be found on Pinterest. Make some on the weekend and have them ready to go for lunches!

Option #7- Pizza Party

Leftover Veggie Pizza

Cucumbers and Hummus

Grapes

Popcorn

*Homemade popcorn will make any kid happy and this healthy snack is filled with fiber!

Option #8- Eata Pita

Whole wheat pita with grilled chicken and bell peppers

Yogurt with berries

Sugar snap peas

Chocolate covered almonds

*Grill an extra chicken breast at night to make lunch prep simple!

Option #9- Fancy Sandwich

Tuna or favorite lunch meat on a croissant

Root chips

Banana

Apples with peanut butter

*Many chips are loaded with fat, but root chips are a great way to eat healthy without missing that familiar crunch with your lunch.

Option #10- Leftovers

Leftover pasta, meat, etc. from Dinner

Side salad

Apple sauce

Animal cookies

*Give you imagination a break. Who doesn’t love some leftovers!

Opioids

Physical Therapy VS Opioids

Many Americans suffer through back and body pain. Often times people jump to the conclusion of intense back surgery or masking the pain with opioids. Both of these could have highly dangerous outcomes and could prolong or worsen your problem. Before you jump to conclusions, physical therapy may be able to ease or solve your pain without drugs or surgery.

A study conducted by The University of Washington in Seattle, Washington and George Washington University in Washington, D.C., showed that patients who saw a physical therapist before trying other treatments such as surgery or an opioid prescription had an 89 percent lower probability of needing such treatments. This study also concluded that patients of physical therapy have a 28 percent lower probability of having any advanced imaging done as well as a 15 percent lower probability of making one or more ER visit.

Physical therapists have specialized knowledge in pain management and how to correct your body to relieve yourself of pain, such as lower back pain. Therapists can guide patients through regimens and exercises to strengthen and improve muscles which can ease pain.

If you are deciding if physical therapy is right for you vs other options consider these points.

The risk of opioids outweigh the rewards- potential side effects of include depression, overdose, and addiction, in addition to withdrawal symptoms when stopping opioid use. Because of these risks experts believe that opioids should not be the first option or routine therapy for chronic pain.

Pain lasts 90 days or more- Pain is considered chronic at this point. The CDC guidelines state that nonopioid therapy is preferred for chronic pain and opioids only should be considered if the benefits for both pain and function outweigh the risk to the patient. Try to consider physical therapy as a first option for chronic pain relief.

Pain is related to low back pain, hip, knee or fibromyalgia- Physical therapy has shown high evidence stating that exercise as part of treatment for these conditions can help reduce and heal pain.

If opioids are prescribed for pain- It is recommended to receive the lowest effective dose and still be combined with nonopioid therapies, such as physical therapy.

Before starting any opioid treatments consult with your doctor and physical therapist to find the best treatment for you and your pain.

Elderly women with physical therapist

Goals of Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is sought out for many different reasons, but may have the same end goals in mind. Physical therapy is often the first choice when feeling aches and pains and could be the answer for nagging pain without big surgeries, or constant medication. People see a physical therapists for all types of reasons with the same goal of your relief, often in mind.

Rehabilitation and recovery may be the end goal for you physical therapy visits. Regardless of the reasons that led you to physical therapy, the thought of finally feeling relief is at the top of your mind. Regular visits to your physical therapist will help achieve this. PT will improve your pain or movement restrictions. If prescribed to do so- seek out a physical therapist so you too can feel freedom of your pain.

Prevention of injury may be another goal when visiting your local physical therapy office. While this is a seemingly broad group of people, athletes and people who live an active lifestyle tend to be the ones who have this on their mind. By practicing and learning movement in the proper form can prevent injuries and physical longevity can be improved. Treatment for this can include dynamic stretching and resistance training. Here at Contact Physical Therapy we have therapists who specialize in sports therapy and can get yourself or your young athlete ready for his or her upcoming sports season.

Optimal function and movement of the human body is another goal of those who see a physical therapist. People consider this when they are feeling pain when doing normal tasks such as walking, bending, etc. Physical therapy can help get their bodies back to a normal function without pain. Treatment is personalized, based on the person’s goal. This can even be led to living a healthier lifestyle and become able to improve the longevity of athletic activities.

Finally, prescribing a personalized plan for your individual needs to keep you active and free of pain is a goal of physical therapy. After an assessment of your pain or what you would like to achieve while visiting a physical therapist, he or she will discuss with you a plan to accomplish this. Some plans may take longer than others and require your help out of the office. Most of your daily life is not spent inside a physical therapy office and the therapist will teach you proper ways to move and heal to avoid further injuring yourself or future injuries.

If any of these issues are threatening your way of life, it may be time to seek physical therapy so you too can have freedom of pain and a healthy lifestyle. As always, consult your doctor to see if physical therapy may be the right treatment for you.

Young female runner warming up

Tips for Working Out in the Heat

The summer temperatures are starting to really heat things up. Is this effecting your workout routine? There are many ways to keep your fitness consistent despite the rising thermometer with tips for working out in the heat.

Staying healthy all year round is important to maintain a consistent lifestyle for your overall health. Avoiding any “yoyo-ing” effects in your weight and health is often advised. Many people say: summer bodies are made in the winter, but what about when the heat gets cranked up and the thought of your outdoor run becomes exhausting to even think about? Follow these tips when working out in the summer to keep you healthy all year long.

 

  1. Stay Hydrated: It is important to not only drink water while working out, but downing the H2O before and all day after. With the rising temps, there is a greater risk for dehydration.

 

  1. Stay cool while you sweat: If your plan on working out outside, in the sun, invest in a cooling towel. Before you start your workout, get it wet, ring it out and put it behind your neck to keep you cool. This will help keep your blood at a lower temperature, in turn keep you cooler for longer.

 

  1. Think about your clothing: Wear clothing that is moister wicking, loose or less than what you would wear in cooler temps. Summer is not the time to run in a sweatshirt with hopes of extra detoxing and weight loss.

 

  1. Know when it’s too hot: Keep an eye on upcoming temperatures when you plan on taking your workout outside. If there are any heat warnings, switch up your workout to stay indoors. Also avoid working out in the hottest part of the day which may mean getting up earlier or working out later. Now is not the time to push yourself. You know your body best and when it is simply too hot, change your plan.

 

  1. Embrace your vacation workouts: Heading north or to the beach? Take advantage of getting out of the desert and take your workout outside then. Find a path lined with pines or run near the water for cooler temps. Make sure you have a plan and know where you’re going when you’re in an unfamiliar place.

 

  1. Brush up on your in-home workouts: On the days where the temperatures are just too brutal, open up your internet and find a workout you can do in your living room. Many blogs have full workouts that require little to no equipment and can be done in small places.

 

Don’t let the summer heat ruin your workout plans. You can stay healthy in the heat with few tips or small changes that will keep you happy and healthy. Remember to drink water and allow time to cool off after your workouts!

Benefits of Rest Days

Rest days are just as important as working out. Sometimes the mindset is to go hard every day in the gym to hit your goals, and your body isn’t getting the time to recover from all your hard work. There are many benefits to rest days when you’re toning up, losing weight or maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

We need to allow time for our bodies to rest between workouts. Not giving yourself rest days is doing more harm than it is good. Movement is good every day, but intense training shouldn’t be done every day.

Training your body without giving it the opportunity for rest can lead to many harmful side effects including: decreased performance, fatigue, poor sleeping patterns and more. Studies have shown that two active rest days, weekly is ideal for many people. Consult your trainer or physical therapist to see how many rest days would be best for your body.

One of the harmful side effects to over training is often times; injury. When your body is over worked without given the proper time to recover, you may risk the possibility or injuring yourself, resulting in staying away from gym for much longer than your rest days.

You could also become burnt out from constant training. This can become a prolonged cycle of rollercoaster weight loss from going too hard and stopping and likely doomed to be repeated. Your rest days will fit well within your schedule to keep you living a healthy lifestyle that can be done for the rest of your life.

Resting is just as important as working out as it is an equal part of building muscle, strength and endurance. Working out breaks down your body tissues and the rest days allow your muscles, nerves, bones and tissues time to repair. This cycle is how stronger muscles are made so taking away a part of that, will decrease your strength.

This regeneration process also requires food, water, sleep and the right nutrients like protein and vitamins to grow back stronger. Without the combination of all these things the body cannot function properly within your training process.

Giving your body all the proper foundation, it needs will keep you healthier for longer. Working out is a stepping stone for wellness and with that comes rest days. Keep this in mind the next time you find yourself in the gym for days in a row for an upcoming event, vacation or holiday and remember your hard work will pay off with the rest days.

Why You Should Take Vitamin C Daily

Think vitamin C is only good to take in the winter when you feel the sniffles coming? Think again. Vitamin C is one of the safest and most effective nutrients, some experts say. While you may think it’s only good to drink mixed in your water to avoid sickness, it also has other benefits and reasons why you should take vitamin C daily.

You may know that vitamin C fights off immune system deficiencies, but did you know it helps with prenatal health and eye disease? Experts are even saying the more they study vitamin C the more they are uncovering new benefits to it and are linking it to immunity of living longer.

Vitamin C is also great for muscle recovery. Adding this to your daily vitamins will help your muscles repair quicker after workouts in addition to all the other benefits vitamin C has. If you aren’t already taking vitamins daily, this is a great vitamin to start with. Consult your doctor to see what vitamins are best for your body and health.

Vitamin C has also been shown to improve skin health and wrinkles. Many beauty products have vitamin C in it, that is applied directly to the skin. Taking a daily pill will also be beneficial since good skin starts from within.

Other benefits of vitamin C include:

 

  • Strengthening the immune system after it has been depleted by stress, which affects most of our society. Vitamin C has also been shown to have positive effects for those who struggle with addiction as it is the first nutrient that is depleted from alcoholics, smokers and obese individuals.

 

  • Prevent or decrease the length of a cold. This may be the reason you are currently taking this vitamin, which is a great reason to keep it going. You can reduce your risk of cold and flu by adding a little vitamin C daily.

 

  • Post workout repair. The body breaks down the muscles during a workout and vitamin C can help in recovery. It is necessary for the growth, development and repair of all body tissues, including the formation of collagen.

 

  • Reduces skin aging. Vitamin C affects cells on the inside and out of the body. Studied have shown that those with higher vitamin C intake were associated to those with a lower likelihood of a wrinkled appearance on their skin as well as less dry and better skin-aging appearance.

 

Most people are not getting the essentials vitamins and nutrients from their diets alone and supplement with a daily vitamin regimen. Adding a vitamin C can positively affect many areas in your life from your immune to your skin. Vitamin C can be found in every grocery and health store to keep you healthy, happy and active all year long.