If you have been inside a gym or physical therapy office, you may have heard the phrase “stretch your calves.” This phrase can mean so many different things to so many different people. Let’s take a few minutes to clear up the confusion, and ensure everyone gets the most out of their exercise routine.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Imagine a scene that may be familiar to you: You are moving through your day when suddenly, a migraine hits. You may have to call into school or work. You may become nauseous or dizzy. You feel pain in your head and neck. You may even only be able to feel better if you lay down in a dark, soundless room alone and wait for the migraine to pass or your medication to begin working. Migraines are a debilitating condition with over 3 million US cases each year and become very common from age 6 to above 60. But did you know there are more options for you than just medications and lifestyle changes? Physical Therapy is a worthy option to assist in the treatment and may even help you get better faster.
Most of us have had an instance where we stepped funny and twisted our ankle or knee, maybe stretched our shoulder too far, or tripped and injured our wrist. These are examples of an acute injury. Acute injuries are usually the result of a single traumatic event. This is in contrast to a chronic injury that occurs with repetition and over time. Swelling is a common occurrence after injury. Swelling is a normal reaction to injury; however, the swelling reaction is excessive sometimes. Let’s look at what happens when your body has swelling after an injury.
Neck pain is a common cause of pain and lost work time in the United States and is one of the most common reasons that patients seek healthcare, with the majority of patients choosing to visit their primary care physicians first. Primary care providers may prescribe medication, imaging, and specialist referral. Once the patient sees the specialist, they may be referred to physical therapy. However, current evidence shows that early access to physical therapy, particularly via direct access (direct access to physical therapy, without the need for a referral or prescription from your physician), has been shown to decrease healthcare costs overall and improve outcomes.