Thursday, September 28, 2017

Back to School?...Don't Go with Back Pain!

Back Pack Health and Safety Tips

It is that time of year again. Everyone should know be settled into the school year so now the dreaded homework and project assignments are being piled on. For those kids affected by the Methacton School District strike, they are playing catch-up on the missed work. A major cause of muscle strain and back problems in our youth is due to overloaded backpacks.  Homework assignments and projects lead students to stuff their school bags with heavy text books and folders. Over the course of a full school year this really wears on the spine and can lead to development of scoliosis and muscle injury.

The key to a healthy spine is to balance out the load the spine receives when lifting and carrying objects.

  1.  So first, adjust the straps on the backpack so that they sit securely on your shoulders and that the backpack does not sag too low and pull your spine backward.
  2. Avoid single arm carrying of the backpack as this will through you off balance
  3. If you must take home heavy books try and carry one or two in front of you so that the backpack is lighter and now you have counter weight in the front. Ideally, a backpack should weigh only 15% of the child’s weight.
  4. Finally, if at all possible leave those heavy books at home or in school. Take advantage of the online versions of the books. So if you can use a tablet in school, load the eBook on the tablet. The same goes for home, if you need to use the book in school and don’t have a tablet at school, then load the eBook on your home computer or tablet.

Following these tips will save you from nagging muscle pain and help prevent scoliosis, which is especially common in young females. Taking care of your spine at an early age will minimize the risk of injuries later on in life.

Stop in to PTW West Norriton for more information and consultation on how to keep that young spine healthy!

PTW’s Marc Schottle, DPT is the Clinical Supervisor at our West Norriton office. For an initial evaluation, call Marc at 215 630 0101 today!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Free Healthcare for the rest of the year: Health-O-Nomics 2017

Helathcare services to consider once your deductible has been met

Health-O-Nomics 2017
Feeling pain free again without the healthcare costs!

Health care costs are at an all-time high, with no signs of relief.

Except, for some, right now, your costs are lower now than they were a few months ago!  If you have a deductible healthcare plan, your financial responsibility very well could be met for the year. 

That is good news!
This may be the time of year you get that aching knee looked at by a surgeon, and if you need surgery, consider it before the end of the year.

Or consider getting that aching back evaluated by a Physical Therapist.  You know, the soreness that keeps you from the gym, maybe that aching knee that prevents you from yard work, or the painful shoulder that keeps you up at night, there is low cost relief available right now.  

For some, there is no financial responsibility to visit a licensed professional for the benefits of:

  • Pain relief
  • Education on self-management
  • To get stronger
  • To gain flexibility

We are ready to serve and help you with Anti-Gravity Treadmills (like walking on the moon, pain free!), Aquatic Therapy, modalities for pain relief, with our Doctors of Physical Therapy who can offer solutions to improve your function and performance in 2018.

The Physical Therapy and Wellness Institute has direct access, licensed Doctors of Physical Therapy at 7 locations, where no doctor prescription is required.

What makes you feel good won’t hit you in the pocket!

Robert Babb, PT, MBA is a practicing Physical Therapist and President of the Physical Therapy & Wellness Institute serving the suburban Philadelphia area.  

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Get Knocked Down? Get Back Up Again with the Alter G!

Fall Sports Bring on Fall Injuries-We've Got You Covered!

It’s that time of year again, fall is here!  That means school sports are starting up again and with an increase in activity comes an increase in injuries.  Some injuries may be caused by a collision or may be caused by overuse, and some are more serious than others. But what are some of these injuries and what can a physical therapist do to help?

One of the most common injuries seen during preseason or through overuse during a season is Achilles tendonitis or heel pain. The NFL performed a study that found that Achilles tendonitis is the most prevalent injury amongst players, noting that 33% of these injuries occur during preseason. A physical therapist can help teach the athlete how to properly stretch the muscles that insert into the Achilles tendon and strengthen the muscle surrounding it in a safe way.  Additionally, we can perform hands on techniques to help reduce the inflammation.

Knee pain comes in second for most prevalent injury in fall athletes. Most fall sports are played on grass or turf, which can be uneven or slippery when wet. Some of these conditions or a collision can cause knee pain or potential ligament tears. A physical therapist can work to reduce the symptoms and strengthen the surrounding joints to allow for better mechanics while running on those surfaces.
These injuries may take athletes out of the game for days to weeks due to pain.  However, one of the best parts (in my opinion) of coming to PTW is access to some of the newest technology.  PTW offers 5 Alter G treadmills that these athletes can use to stay active. As I have been recovering from an ankle injury, it has helped me be able to continue to run but without the full impact or pain that I was experiencing while running on the road.
If you have any questions regarding an injury, PTW offers free 15 minute consultations to see if someone would benefit from therapy. Please contact your local PTW office to find out more. 

PTW’s Lauren Nederostek, DPT is a Staff Physical Therapist at our Montgomeryville clinic. For an initial evaluation, call Lauren at 215 855 1160 today for an appointment today or tomorrow!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Canada is getting Opiods right

The new Canadian Guidelines for chronic pain shift away from opiods!

The new recommendations are in sync with APTA’s #ChoosePT campaign, which has been adopted by the Canadian Physiotherapy Association in a collaborative effort to educate the public about physical therapy as a safe alternative to opioids for management of pain.

If your you are considering PT or opiod use, check this out from;;

The risks of opioid use outweigh the rewards.
  • Potential side effects of opioids include depression, overdose, and addiction, plus withdrawal symptoms when stopping opioid use. 
  • CDC guidelines and experts agreed that opioids should not be considered first line or routine therapy for chronic pain
Opiods just mask the pain.

  • Opioids reduce the sensation of pain by interrupting pain signals to the brain. 
  • Physical therapists treat pain through movement while partnering with patients to improve or maintain their mobility and quality of life. 
Finally, from the American Physical Therapy Association, we find:

      Opioids Largely Ineffective for Low Back Pain
      CDC Recommends Safe Alternatives Like Physical Therapy Over Opioids
      60% of Adults Prescribed Opioids Have Leftover Pills
      Nearly 1 in 3 on Medicare Received Prescription for Opioids in 2015
      One-Third of Long Term Opioid Abusers Say They're Addicted or Physically Dependent
      Using Opioids Could Lead to Depression
      Physical Therapy First for Low Back Pain Lowers Costs
      Physical Therapy First for Knee Osteoarthritis and Meniscal Tears is Effective

Consider Physical Therapy first if you are in pain, it may save you money, and in some cases, addiction to narcotics.  At The Physical Therapy & Wellness Institute, we can get you in within 24 hours to help you reduce your pain today.

Robert Babb, PT, MBA, is owner and practicing Physical Therapist at the Physical Therapy & Wellness Institute located in Lansdale, Montgomeryville, Quakertown, West Norriton, Glenside, Harleysville, and Souderton, Pa. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Lasting Impressions

Lasting Impressions

As the July boards have just past, new graduate physical therapists anxiously await to find out their board results after months of preparation have come to an abrupt halt. During this time of year, I can’t help but reflect upon this past year when I was in their shoes just one year ago.

As a novice, I thought that test was the biggest hurdle I was going to have to overcome as a new physical therapist. Flash forward to July 23rd, 2017, where early mornings and late nights, finishing notes, and fixing billing errors is my new norm. But what I didn’t anticipate would be the lasting relationships I have made this past year. Relationships with patients, co-workers, patients, office staff, nurses, and doctors are what make me able to even have a job as a physical therapist.

I have learned quickly that in order for my patients to get the best care, I must be able to communicate with their other health care team members. I never anticipated that, in addition to my job duties of hands on treatment and documentation, that I would be going to meet doctors to carry out clinical discussions, all with the common goals to from new relationships in order to obtain patients and progress and successfully treating those patients.

So what have been some of the key concepts of this networking and relationship building experience? Well, for starters, establishing patient rapport and making sure my patients know that I am their listening ear, cheerleader, and health care provider is by far the utmost importance.  Then comes networking with physicians. I think of this like dating but in the health care profession. Learning about physicians on a personal and professional level. What do they like to do as hobbies? How do they communicate? Is it by phone, email, text? Which like detailed updates on patients? Which do not want you to contact them unless there is an issue?  All of this information helps develop relationships in order to have a smoother patient- doctor-PT relationship.

The past year have been one of meeting memorable patients, developing relationships with local physicians, and giving back to the community with health care related talks. I look forward to what the next year will bring and to see what new lasting impressions will be made. 

PTW’s Catie Grumbein, DPT is the Clinical Supervisor at our Montgomeryville clinic. For an initial evaluation, call Catie at 215 855 1160 today for an appointment as soon as possible!

Monday, July 3, 2017

The Truth Behind Concussions

More Than a Ringing Bell…
Within the last couple years, concussions have come to the forefront of injury prevention, especially in regards to sports. However, in addition to slamming into another person, you can get concussions from motor vehicle accidents and falls. As more research has come out, concussions are more than just a knock on the head; there are chemical and metabolic changes that occur in the brain.

Cascading Chemicals
A concussion occurs when there is a shearing or stretching of the axons of a neuron (see picture). When this happens, a number chemical changes occur in the brain and the normal balance in the brain is thrown off and some chemicals are concentrated in the wrong area. When those neurons try to fire later, those chemicals prevent normal function. So when you try to read, exercise, drive, work, etc., you get tired quickly and might experience headaches, fatigue, nauseousness, or dizziness. Think of your brain like a muscle: after an injury, both do not function properly and need time to heal before returning to normal activity.


What Can Physical Therapy Do?
Like muscle injuries, physical therapists can be essential in helping to recover from a concussion. About 80% of concussions resolve themselves within 10 days. It is the other 20% that require further care. Since our expertise is exercise, we are able to gradually re-introduce exercise in a controlled environment, monitoring symptom response and progress when patients are ready. We can also perform balance and visual-motor exercises; both systems can be effected concussion. As symptomatic response (headaches, fatigue, dizziness) decreases, we are able to slowly add in more complex activities to help the brain return to normal function. Over time, these activities can improve the balance of chemicals in the brain to the point where normal function levels are restored.

If you have questions on what else can physical therapists can do for concussions or think you might be a candidate for physical therapy, give any of our seven locations a call. Some links below are also great sources for more information on concussions and concussion physical therapy.

 PTW’s Sean Vanin, DPT is the Clinical Supervisor at our Quakertown clinic. For an initial evaluation, call Sean at 215 538 9911 today for an appointment as soon as possible!

APTA Article Beyond Rest: Physical Therapists and Concussion Management

UPMC Sports Medicine Center “Concussions Facts and Statistics”

Center for Disease Control and Prevention “Traumatic Brain Injury and Concussion”