Elements For Physical Therapy Success

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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.

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.

Male patient having consultation with doctor or psychiatrist who working on diagnostic examination on men's health disease or mental illness in medical clinic or hospital mental health service center

Is Hand Therapy Right for You?

At Contact Physical Therapy, we are happy to offer hand therapy to our patients. For those of you who didn’t know hand therapy was a thing you may be thinking… what are the reasons I would need to see a hand therapist? Well, we are here to break that down and tell you. If you have any questions wondering if hand therapy is right for you, feel free to give us a call, we would be happy to help!

 

Hand therapy is a type of rehabilitation performed by an occupational or physical therapist with patients that suffer from conditions affecting the hands and upper extremities. Patients who are candidates for hand therapy may have been in an accident or trauma leaving them with scars, burns, wounds, injured tendons, nerves, fractures, amputations of the fingers, hands, arms, etc. Other candidates may be ones who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow and other chronic problems such as arthritis or stokes.

 

A hand therapy specialist can provide:

  • Accurate assessments, immediate care and effective treatment to reduce treatment time
  • Faster recovery results in decreased medical costs
  • A continuum of care eliminating the needs for multiple medical providers
  • Functional outcomes ensuring a faster return to work and productive lifestyle
  • Most comprehensive care for their patients

 

Still wondering if you should see a hand therapist for your pain? Below are common reasons hand therapy would be good for you.

 

  1. You have injured your fingers playing sports. Many times these types of injuries will get taped up and forgotten until weeks later when the fingers become problematic. When this is caught early, a hand therapist can often treat these injuries with minimal visits. If this sounds familiar with the sports star in your life, it may be time to give a hand therapist a call!
  2. Wrist Fractures. This common injury can be more complicated than you think. Hand therapists can work one on one with you and your injury to determine the best exercises and treatment for your specific wrist fracture.
  3. Elbow Fractures. Elbow fractures can be stubborn to treat and regaining range of motion can be lengthy. Seeing a hand therapist can lessen your treatment time and get you on a quicker path to recovery or sent to a specialist to better help you.
  4. Carpal tunnel syndrome. This can be in your hand or arm and you are feeling a tingling, severe pain, muscle weakness or numbness by a pinched nerve.
  5. Arthritis. Intermitted sharp pains, swelling, stiffness or decreased range of motion in any part of your upper extremities caused by infections, normal wear and tear and some diseases.

 

All these are reasons you should see a hand therapists, plus many more. If you think hand therapy may be right for you or if you have any questions, give us a call. We would be happy to answer any questions and get you scheduled with a hand therapist!

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.

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.

Physical Therapy Stretches for Headaches and Migraines

You know the days when your pain splitting headache feels too much to bare? When light and noise are ultra-sensitive and all you want to do is curl up into a dark quite room? Well, did you know physical therapy can help with headaches and migraines?

Headaches come from a dysfunction of the central nervous system (the brain and the spinal cord) that involves the nerves and blood vessels which result in the pain. Medications affect the nerves system in the attempt to reduce the pain, whereas physical therapy works on the muscles and joints to elevate the pain. Those who benefit most from physical therapy for treatment of migraines and constant headaches are those who experience them frequently.

Physical therapy techniques can be applied at the start of a headache to reduce the pain and longevity. Stretching exercises can be helpful when the start of a migraine occurs and to prevent ones in the future.

A good stretch that helps alleviate the tension in your lower neck is to gently tuck your chin to your chest. You can lace your fingers behind your head and slowly rock your head from side to side to loosen up this area.

Another stretch to help alleviate tension is to sit on your left hand while bringing your right hand over your head and touching your left ear. Bring your right ear to your right shoulder. You should feel a stretch on your left side. Holding for 10 seconds and repeating on the other side.

Finally, shoulder rolls will help loosen up your shoulders and your lower neck. Start by rolling your shoulders forward 5 times and then roll them backward.

All these stretches can be performed at the start of a headache to reduce the pain. These stretches can also be performed before bed to ease tension before falling asleep, especially helpful after a stressful day.

Stretching daily can also help reduce the headaches before they even start and doing them twice a day for about 15 minutes can help with headache and migraine prevention.

Regular physical therapy treatments can also help in chronic headaches and migraines. Each headache is caused by different factors and consulting your physical therapist can help you come up with a solution to rid yourself of these painful problems.

5 Tips for Eating Healthy in the New Year

With the new years comes the new year resolutions. Every year we make promise ourselves we will hit the gym more, eat healthier, and better our daily routines. What often happens with these resolutions is they fall to the side when life comes in and we don’t have a set plan for how to accomplish our resolutions we thought long and hard about. So, here are five tips to stay on track with healthy eating in the new year!

 

  1. Up your fiber intake. Chances are, you aren’t getting enough fiber in your daily life. The average American only gets 14g of fiber per day which can be less than half of the recommended daily intake! Adding more fiber into your diet can help you slim down, prevent cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and a number of cancers. You can find fibers in grains, berries and other fiber rich foods! Fiber can also keep you fuller for longer so no more late night hunger spikes!
  2. Eat more vegetables. Piling on the veggies will be a wonder for your waistline. Adding veggies into your meal will allow you to fill up on nutrient rich foods instead of the bad stuff. Adding a salad before your meal will make you feel less hungry once you get to your main course, keeping yourself from over indulging! You can also add your veggies in your morning smoothie. Many vegetables like: spinach, zucchini and mushrooms can go unnoticed and pack a powerful punch of your daily recommended serving!
  3. Cook at home often. When you cook your own food, not only do you know exactly what goes into it, you appreciate your meals more. So, hop onto Pintrest and whip up something you have been craving! With all the food blogs out there, there is a healthy hack for about every recipe! Have fun with experimenting with new things!
  4. Eat more Omeg-3s. Upping the amount of omega-3s will help keep your blood pressure down and also has been studied to improve your mood. Omega-3’s can be found in seafood and have the good kind of fats! Try to eat two servings of fish per week. If you’re not into seafood add some flax into your smoothies!
  5. Hold the sugar. Get your sweet fix with fruit or try other natural sweeteners such as honey or agave, steering away from refined, processed white sugar. Going on a 30 day sugar detox can help reset the body from craving the sticky stuff! Keeping sweet stuff out of the house can better help you control your sugar intake, so try to stay clear of the donut and candy aisle at the grocery store.

 

Staying on track can be the hardest part of your new years resolutions, but a few small steps can make the task seem more manageable. Take each day one at a time and before you know it your new healthy habits will be second nature.

Benefits of Physical Therapy After Surgery

Physical Therapy for Knee Injury

 

 

You finally got the surgery done you’ve been putting off. But what do you do in the days or weeks after this surgery on the road to recovery? Many doctors prescribe physical therapy after your surgery in order to recover properly. Often times though people schedule and go through the surgery and think they are done.

Post operation physical therapy can be very beneficial for an efficient and correct recovery. Physical therapy treatment can also be just as important as the surgery itself. If you had the surgery for a specific pain, you will want your body to heal properly after the cause of the pain has been fixed.

Physical therapy can help you regain mobility after surgery. This can be very important for those who had surgery on their hips or knees. In order to get moving again some treatment may be required. You may need this for just your daily activities like walking, or gardening, or even for extreme activities such as hiking or running in a race!

Physical therapy after surgery will also promote healing. The therapists will make sure your body is healing correctly and avoid any new or worsening pains. They will help build muscles and get you to your post op goals.

Seeing a physical therapist will also help keep you involved in your recovery. They will know what could be too much too soon and make sure nothing is overdone. They will also celebrate with you over small and big victories during your recovery. Surgery takes a lot from the body and can’t be healed in a day. A consistent treatment program will insure you are taking your recovery properly and reaching your goals.

Physical therapy will also help you strengthen your body so It has the power it needs to be able to heal you. Many physical therapy techniques work your muscles allowing you to become stronger in the process. This will increase your strength, improve muscle function and range of motion.

Treatment will also aid in the relief of tight or sore muscles. Stiff muscles and joints make normal tasks such as, climbing the stairs or reaching the cabinet above the fridge, hard to complete. Proper stretching can preserve these functions. Also, after surgeries, scar tissue can form and it is important to stretch these areas to scar tissue doesn’t get in the way of your rehabilitation.

So, the next time you or a loved one have to undergo a surgery, make sure you keep in mind the benefits of physical therapy after your operation. This will allow you to stay healthy and active after your surgery, just as you were before!