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Heat or Ice for Low Back Pain? Why You Should Choose Movement Instead

Posted on by Andrew C. Thomas PT, DPT, OCS, TPS, CSCS, COMT, CEEAA, FAAOMPT
Society has trained us that when we get an injury, or have an ache or pain, we should always choose either heat or ice to try and relieve the discomfort. One of the most common questions that physical therapists get is whether someone should use heat or ice to relieve back pain. The issue with both modalities is that they are passive, and one study found the depth of therapeutic levels of tissue temperature change is one cm. Most tissues that individuals are looking to target with their heat or ice are much deeper, so you are not effectively applying the modality to the depth you want. So, what is the best thing that we can do for our low back pain? Movement! (more…)

Importance of Work Conditioning For Employers and Employees

Posted on by Brian Whittington, PT, DPT, CMTPT
In 2019, the CDC estimated that 2.4 million workers sustained work-related injuries. Work injuries carry a unique set of stress for the injured worker combining the recovery challenges with the unknown ability to return to work. Many patients are prescribed physical or occupational therapy to address pain and loss of function associated with their injury. Often, the injured workers can fully recover and return to their prior physical ability. Yet achieving this goal only addresses one of the two concerns for the injured worker. After regaining function, the injured worker is often left wondering if they will be able to make a full return to work. (more…)

3 Things You Didn’t Know About Men’s Health Specialists

Posted on by Nate Mancillas, PT, DPT, MS CSCS
When someone thinks of men’s health, most people’s first thought is a magazine with the newest Avenger on the cover. For others, the definition of men’s health may be a yearly prostate screen. Still, for others, it might be making time for mental and physical health with exercise and self-care. These are certainly important aspects of men’s health, though maybe not the magazine cover. (more…)

Exercises to Strengthen Your Golf Swing

Posted on by Owen Campbell, PT, DPT, OCS
“If I just got into the weightroom four times a week and lifted a bunch of weights, I’d be driving the ball 300 yards like the pros!” Raise your hand if you have ever had that thought run through your head. The funny thing about the best drivers and ball strikers on the PGA tour is that some of them look like they haven’t seen the inside of a weightroom in years, yet they still hit it straight and far. The reason is that brute strength is far less important than timing and control in the golf swing. Thankfully, you don’t need bumper plates and kettlebells to get another few yards. (more…)

Why You Should Choose PT First for Low Back Pain

Posted on by Andrew C. Thomas PT, DPT, OCS, TPS, CSCS, COMT, CEEAA, FAAOMPT
Low back pain is a common disorder that affects 84% of adults at some point in their lives. The good news about this is that most back pain gets better without needing imaging (Xrays, MRIs). In most cases, imaging is an unnecessary intervention, particularly in the first six weeks, that costs a significant amount of money to patients. One study found no long-term difference between patients who underwent surgery and those who only did conservative management (therapy) for sciatica. Also, it was found that low back fusion surgery was not more effective than conservative management (therapy) when treating chronic low back pain in patients with lumbar spine pathologies and leads to greater long-term complications such as instability above and below the level of fusion. (more…)

How PT Can Help You Shake Your Frozen Shoulder

Posted on by Kevin Lohbeck, PT, DPT
Adhesive capsulitis, or as it is more commonly referred to, frozen shoulder, is a severe and long-term problem. It affects 3-5% of the general population, women slightly more than men, typically between 40-60 years old, and is 4x more likely in people with diabetes. The cause of primary adhesive capsulitis is unknown, but secondary adhesive capsulitis occurs when there is already known primary injury to the shoulder. However, the recovery process can be faster with physical therapy, and you can return to your previous full function. There are three phases of frozen shoulder: freezing, frozen, and thawing. (more…)

The Benefits of Work Conditioning Following Occupational Therapy

Posted on by Erik Krol, MOT, OTR/L
Completing an Occupational Therapy program for an upper extremity injury helps many individuals regain the skills and abilities to return to their jobs and daily activities. However, significant injuries will sometimes require additional time to improve endurance, strength, safety, and confidence to return to work. These select individuals may benefit from Work Conditioning, an individualized rehabilitation program created and overseen by a therapist and designed to help an injured worker cross the bridge between acute therapy and return to work. (more…)

How To Do Your First Pull-Up

Posted on by Tanner Neuberger, PT, DPT, TDN Level 1
My first experience with pull-ups was back in elementary school for the presidential fitness testing that we all had to go through. I remember seeing my classmates being able to perform numerous repetitions, and I remember how I felt when I couldn’t do any. When testing came around during my 6th-grade year, I could finally perform one pull-up! I felt on top of the world that day. Looking back at that testing, it seems like a simple task but intimidating at the same time. There’s a bar hanging off the wall, and all you have to do is pull yourself up high enough that your chin passes the bar; it all sounds so easy. But, for some, it’s just as big of a challenge as I went through. I want to help you be able to do your first pull-up, and for those of you who already can, I want to help you increase your proficiency with them. Once you can do them, the world can become your gym as you’ve added a new exercise to do regularly. Are you playing with the kids at a park? You can use the monkey bars to get a back workout in. (more…)
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