Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Tips to Reduce Those Gardening Pains!



It’s that time of year again, Gardening season!

I know that as a physical therapist, I often hear from injured patients, “I want to get back to gardening again.” With that being said here are some tips for safe and pain-free gardening.

  1. Stretch first! Do a little light stretching of your quadriceps, hamstrings, and piriformis. 
    • This helps to reduce the strain on your low back and knees
      2. Check your form! 
    • Avoid bending at your back!
      3. Use assistive devices such as foam pads to kneel on or a low stool to sit on                to avoid bending over the whole time and stressing your back!

      4. Watch the length of time you do this activity!
    • Avoid squatting, kneeling, or bending over for more than about 15-20 minutes at a time. 

PTW’s Stephanie McDougal, PT, DPT provides expert clinical care and is a vestibular/concussion specialist at our Montgomeryville Clinic, located in the Costco Shopping center on Upper State Road, just off route 309.   For an initial evaluation, call Steph at 215 855 1160 today for an appointment as soon as possible!


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Running Season = Running Injuries, We have Solutions!

There are a whole lot of us in need of recovery and some treatment with running season upon us, especially with the biggest run in the Philadelphia area, The Broad Street Run, a month behind us! (The first Broad Street Run was in 1980 with 1,576 runners growing to over 40,000 runners in 2012)
Marathons have also exploded in popularity. The first Boston Marathon was in 1897 with only 18 runners. The New York City Marathon in 1971 had 137 runners growing to over 46,500 runners in 2011 and had over 93,000 applicants.
According to a Satterthwaite et al. study in 1999, the injury rate may be as high as 90% for runners training for a marathon. The five most common injuries for runners are patellofemoral pain syndrome, iliotibial band syndrome, plantar fasciitis, tibial stress syndrome, and meniscal injury.(Taunton et al. 2002). 
One thing that's true of runners is that we are crazy about running, and will take a break only when absolutely necessary. Even when we are banged up, we try to figure out a way to keep going. One of the best ways to do this is to continue with cardiovascular training without the repetitive pounding and compressive forces on our bodies.

Crystal Burnick, Broad Street Run Winner pictured above.
Trained & rehabbed on the Alter G.
The Alter-G, anti gravity treadmill, is an amazing way to do just that! It will allow you to get
back on your feet by decreasing the stress on tendons and muscle and with decrease the joint reaction forces through weight bearing surfaces. If you are struggling with one of these five common injuries listed above, or struggling with something completely different, do yourself a favor and look up the Alter-G at the The Physical Therapy and Wellness institute (PTW). PTW has an Alter-G in three of our five locations. They are located in Glenside, West Norriton and now Montgomeryville. 

Call us up, or stop in for a visit and take a free test run and experience the difference. Do your body a favor and take care of it as you have those summer and even fall runs in mind. Make sure that you will be ready run and injury free.
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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Opioids to Physical Therapy...one part of a solution

I recently got back from a conference where the overwhelming discussions were about Narcotics and the opioid epidemic.  Its a daily conversation any with Physical Therapists, Doctors, and most health care providers.  Conversations about collaborative efforts to reduce opioid use included Physical Therapy for pain management strategies, holistic modalities such as electrical stimulation, and TENS units.

Statistics are everywhere that suggest the problem is a large one:

Some statistics via The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which released guidelines in March 2016 encouraging health care providers to try safer alternatives like physical therapy for most pain management:

1. In 2012, health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for opioid pain medication, enough for every American adult to have their own bottle of pills.

2. As many as 1 in 4 people who receive prescription opioids long term for noncancer pain in primary care settings struggles with addiction.

3. Sales of prescription opioids have nearly quadrupled since 1999.

4. Deaths related to prescription opioids have quadrupled.

5. Heroin-related overdose deaths more than quadrupled between 2002 and 2014, and people addicted to prescription opioids are 40 times more likely to be addicted to heroin.

6. More than 165,000 persons in the United States have died from opioid pain-medication-related overdoses since 1999.

7. Every day, more than 1,000 people are treated in emergency departments for misusing prescription opioids.

Do you know someone in pain?

Encourage them to talk to their physician about seeing a physical therapist for safe ways to manage pain.

(information is from the American Physical Therapy public campaign  to battle the opioid epidemic.
 http://www.apta.org/PTinMotion/News/2016/6/7/ChoosePTCampaignLaunch/)

Bob Babb, PT




Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Running + Improper Warm Up/ Stretching = INJURY!


With the weather warming up, there is nothing better than getting outside for a great run!  Unfortunately that can lead to the aches, pains, sprains, pulls, associated with running.  Proper warm up and stretching, as well as some other little tips and tricks, can help keep the pain at bay so you are on your way!

- Warm up and build up to higher intensity running such as speed work or hills.  This increases blood flow to muscles and reduces the risk of injury

- Stretch lightly before a run, but more so after.  Stretching a warmer muscle is more effective and research shows stretching after exercise is more successful at lengthening tissue.  This reduces injury risk as well

- Using a foam roller or stretch stick after running can also provide a little "micro-massage" and has been shown to reduce post exercise soreness and can reduce muscle irritation that leads to nagging injuries that will hold you down this season!

Even if you follow these steps, injuries can occur for runners of all skill levels.  Symptoms of these types of injuries can include:

- Pain during, after, or at the beginning of a run
- Stiffness in a joint or muscle
- Swelling
- Weakness in a muscle
If you have any of these symptoms, call one of our physical therapists for a free consult to check it out!  The sooner you address an injury, the faster we are able to get rid of it! We are experienced at evaluating and treating runners to get you on your way after your injury as quickly as possible.

 PTW’s Jim Fagnani, DPT is the clinical supervisor of our West Norriton office.  For an initial evaluation, call for an appointment today at 610-630-0101 for an appointment as soon as possible, no prescription needed!  Our use of specialized manual techniques, modalities, and treatment regiments will help reduce inflammation and scar tissue, restore strength, and improve range of motion.  Also, use of the Alter G anti-gravity treadmill at our locations can provide a more efficient rehabilitation; keeping you running pain during your treatment.  This works hand in hand with your recovery, allowing pain free return to sport, but also prevents loss of cardio-vascular conditioning, among other positives! 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A Modern Approach to Treating Chronic Pain



A Modern Approach to Treating Chronic Pain

                Many of us are forced to deal with 
chronic pain on a daily basis, and if we don’t deal with it directly then we have friends, family and coworkers that do. Chronic pain is a condition that directly affects approximately 100 million Americans. Classically, pain has been viewed as a conscious motivator to protect our body. Basically, it is a warning system to alert us to tissue damage. However, this view of pain may be too simplistic.
                Pain has ties to both internal and external stimuli. For example, if you have a terrible day at work and come home in a bad mood just to stub your toe, then you will perceive your pain to be more severe. But, if on that same day you are given a promotion and substantial raise, then the stubbed toe will not cause you to perceive the same level of pain. What this boils down to is that pain is not merely a physical experience. While the physical aspect of pain is a large component we must understand the emotional, social, and cognitive aspects of pain. Here at PTW, we have the background and
 knowledge necessary to best understand and create
 an individualized approach to managing pain.
                Perhaps our greatest tool as physical therapists is education. We have a responsibility to educate our patients so they better understand what chronic pain is and what we can do to help manage it. There are real changes in neural pathways that promote the perception of pain despite the absence of painful stimuli. What this means is that we become sensitized to pain over time. As physical therapists, it is our duty to guide our patients and give them the tools necessary to help manage their pain. In order to better understand and develop an individualized treatment approach to managing your chronic pain, then you must consider consulting a physical therapist to help improve your quality of life through restored function. 

Resources:  http://www.painmed.org/patientcenter/facts_on_pain.aspx

PTW’s Christian Barrett, DPT provides expert clinical care and is a vestibular specialist/TPI certified PT at our Lansdale Clinic, located on South Broad Street.   For an initial evaluation, call Christian at 215-855-9871 today for an appointment as soon as possible, no prescription needed!