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!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Be Active! Even in the winter…



Be Active! Even in the winter…

Don’t let the cold weather and snow limit your daily activity levels. During the winter season, it is easy to let physical activity drop by the waist side. The days are shorter and nights colder, which will typically limit our activity levels.
Recent studies from the Mayo Clinic, have shown the increased number of health risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle or more importantly, a lifestyle with too little exercise. The studies recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise a week to help prevent or manage chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer among other illnesses.
American Academy of Family Physicians (2015) mentions tips to reduce sedentary time, including taking a brief standing break at your desk every 30 minutes, using the stairs instead of the elevators, walking to your co-workers desk to ask a question instead of emailing, etc. Although sometimes these tips are not feasible, the take home message is that reducing the amount of time sitting throughout the day will correlate to better health.
Spring is around the corner, but we don’t have to wait for spring to increase our activity levels and promote a healthier lifestyle!
Some of my recommendations to add a little exercise into your daily routine while being inside include:
Climbing the stairs- stair climbing requires recruiting the largest muscle groups (the legs) which is a great way to burn calories and improve aerobic capacity.
Wall Squats- Have a bare wall in your home? Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 repetitions 2 times per day to help build leg strength.
Chair sits- perform 10 to 20 sit-to-stands a few times per day using a sturdy chair. To make it more difficult, try not to push up with your arms.
These exercises are basic but effective for when the weather is not nice enough to go outside or when you are just too busy or tired from work to go to the gym.



 PTW’s Marc Shoettle, DPT is an excellent Direct Access Certified Physical Therapist that can further explain any of the exercises above, or help if that nagging pain just won't go away!  For an initial evaluation, call Marc at 610 630 0101 today for an appointment as soon as possible!

 
References:
1)      Owen N, Sparling PB, Healy GN, Dunstan DW, Matthews CE. Sedentary Behavior: Emerging Evidence for a New Health Risk. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2010;85(12):1138-1141. doi:10.4065/mcp.2010.0444.
2)      Biswas A, Oh PI, Faulkner GE, Bajaj RR, Silver MA, Mitchell MS, et al. Sedentary Time and Its Association With Risk for Disease Incidence, Mortality, and Hospitalization in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Ann Intern Med. 2015;162:123-132. doi:10.7326/M14-1651
3)      http://www.aafp.org/news/health-of-the-public/20150127sitting.html
4)      Nonexercise Activity Thermogenesis in Obesity Management
Villablanca, Pedro A. et al. Mayo Clinic Proceedings , Volume 90 , Issue 4 , 509 – 519

Friday, February 5, 2016

SUPERBOWL WEEKEND and the controversial CONCUSSION topic...



I have a concussion..what's next?!



According to the league, there were 182 reported concussions from 2015 regular-season games. There were 115 in 2014, 148 in 2013, and 173 in 2012. NFL senior VP of health and safety policy Jeff Miller said the league is figuring out why the number rose so much this season.    -  ESPN 
http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/14672860/nfl-says-diagnosed-concussions-way-season 



So what to do if you have been diagnosed with a concussion?
1.       Listen to the MD and relax.  After a concussion the brain’s metabolic activity increases greatly and if you don’t rest like they advise you to you may end up with a metabolic deficit leading to difficulty healing your brain.
2.       Limit computer and cell phone use.
3.       Take naps when tired.   It’s your body telling you it needs to
rest and reboot.
4.       You might even need some time off from school or work.
MOST concussions resolve in about 7-10 days if you follow the MD’s directions, but for those whose symptoms do not subside you may be having delayed healing due to having a postconcussional syndrome. If this is the case, it’s time to see a vestibular/concussion specialist.

Don’t worry we have one here at PTW! Just call Stephanie McDougal, PT, DPT at our Montgomeryville location for an evaluation. 

 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!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Say "NO" to 6 More Weeks of PAIN!




NO SHADOWS HERE!

We learned from Bill Murry in Groundhog Day that if you keep doing the same thing, expect the same results.  Folks with chronic pain often know this feeling, attempting some of life’s simplest activities only to have a joint pain or back attack, year after year.

Other than these 9 athletes http://healthguides.healthgrades.com/article/9-famous-athletes-who-overcame-arthritis )  , We know there are about 100 million folks out there with chronic pain, causing loss of work, recreation, and functional abilities sometimes for years.  Chronic pain can be severe, intermittent, and usually is defined as pain > 6 months. 
Common sources of chronic pain include joint pain, often from arthritis, tendonitis, labral tears, and meniscus tears.  The pain that occurs radiates from the joint or spine, creating a “cause and effect” cascade that affects the muscles (weakens), the joint space (narrows it), or the tendons (shortens, stiffer), all affecting function.  At some point, folks need to change routines, activities, to break out of the “degenerative cascade” of chronic pain.



That’s where a professional can help.

Hands on manual techniques!
In our clinics, we often will help folks having challenges managing chronic pain, often our hands, modalities, and education.  Understanding the cause is often as important as treating the pain. Movement is the common theme in the article mentioned above, as experts of movement sciences, Physical Therapists can help! 

Call us today for a break in the cascade of chronic pain. 

Robert Babb, PT, MBA
Bob is the founder and President of The Physical Therapy & Wellness Institute. He is a licensed Physical Therapist with over 33 years of experience in the
Physical Therapy field, starting as a Physical Therapist technician/assistant in
 the U.S Navy in 1983. Bob has lectured nationally the business of physical therapy
 and has authored numerous industry articles on the subjects of aquatic therapy,
orthopedic skills, and management principles.  He is a graduate of Temple University,
and served 6 years in various physical therapy centers while in the United States Navy.
 Since 2002, his work at PTW has helped the team treat over 25,000 new patients,
open five locations, and employ over 45 local residents.