Tag Archives: Aches & Pains

Hip and Knee Pain Relief with Physical Therapy

There are so many causes of hip and knee pain, from excess weight to sports injuries, advancing age to repetitive motion injuries. Whatever the cause of your hip and/or knee pain, if you are experiencing it regularly you need to find a way to manage it. Many people use medications like anti-inflammatories to minimize their discomfort. However, these medications do have potential side effects, so it can be helpful to find other ways to relieve your pain. Physical therapy may be the solution you are looking for.

An Alternative to Daily Pain Reliever Use – Physical Therapy

If your doctor has told you to take pain relievers every day for your hip and/or knee pain, you should follow your doctor’s recommendations. But it also cannot hurt to ask about alternatives like physical therapy. Working with a physical therapist can help reduce or eliminate your pain in a variety of ways, including:

  • Identify the causes of your hip and knee pain. There may be one or several reasons why you are experiencing hip and knee pain. A physical therapist can examine your movement to help identify things that are contributing to your pain, such as poor posture, unhealthy walking patterns or unhealthy movement patterns at work. Once they identify these kinds of issues, physical therapists can tell you how to correct them.
  • Exercises to increase your strength. Loss of muscular strength can contribute significantly to hip and knee pain because the weaker your muscles get, the more stress is put on your joints. Physical therapy centers around specific exercises designed to target various muscles and strengthen them so that they better support your joints.
  • Exercises to improve mobility and flexibility.Often hip and knee pain can lead to loss of mobility and flexibility – which then increases the wear on your joints and leads to even more pain. Physical therapists can take you through exercises to improve your mobility and flexibility so that you can move your limbs and joints in the fullest range of motion that is available based on your body and circumstances.
  • Heat and ice therapy.Heat can be used to improve your mobility and decrease the amount of pain you are experiencing so that you can move more freely. Ice can also be used to lessen pain from your hip and/or knee as well as to reduce inflammation.
  • Ultrasound therapy.Ultrasound is used by physical therapists to apply heat deeper in your soft tissues to provide pain relief. The heat can improve circulation and aid in healing, which can ultimately reduce the pain you experience day to day.

How Does Physical Therapy Reduce Daily Pain?

You may get pain relief when you are at the physical therapist and going through treatment, but what about when you go home? A major goal of your physical therapist is to heal your injuries over the long term. The various exercises and treatments they use with you will steadily improve your condition so that you experience less pain on a daily basis. As your body gets stronger and more mobile, you are likely to experience less pain in your hips and knees.

Should I Stop Using Pain Relievers?

If your doctor has prescribed you pain relievers it is best to follow the guidance of your doctor. However, you are welcome to discuss physical therapy with your doctor as well. If you find that your pain level has decreased through physical therapy, you can discuss reducing your pain reliever usage with your doctor.

Schedule an Appointment with a Physical Therapist

Please contact Advantage Osteopractic Physical Therapy today to schedule an appointment with a physical therapist for your hip and knee pain. We are standing by to assist you!

Do You Suffer From Frequent Headaches? Physical Therapy Can Help

Physical Therapy Can Help You Head Away From Chronic Headaches

The term “sick headache” might have been coined to describe exactly how you feel today — and every day. A one-off headache encounter can be distressing enough, but frequent or constant headache pain can completely disable you. Many of these headaches have underlying musculoskeletal or biochemical causes — which means that they can be corrected through the right forms of treatment. In many cases, physical therapy turns out to be just what the doctor ordered for chronic headaches.

Anatomy of a Headache: Understanding the Underlying Causes

What is a headache, beyond the simple definition of a pain in the head? There are actually several categories of headaches, each with its own distinct causes and symptoms.

For most sufferers, chronic headaches mean tension headaches. A tension headache can be triggered or aggravated by emotional tension, but the actual mechanism involves physical tension in the muscles of the neck. Tight or strained neck muscles can go into spasm. When spasms overtake certain tiny muscles near the base of the skull, the resulting tugging action irritates a membrane called the dura mater. The dura mater then responds by flooding your head with a vaguely pounding or aching sensation.

Weak or underdeveloped neck muscles may be naturally vulnerable to tightness and spasms. Accident injuries (including whiplash) can push the skull off-center in relation to the neck, subjecting the neck muscles to abnormal stresses. (A headache that specifically involves the upper cervical spine is termed a cervinogenic headache.) Even routine postural problems can cause neck strain and tension headaches. For instance, if you stare down at your smartphone for hours each day, you can develop a painful problem known as “text neck” which also promotes headaches.

Other kinds of headaches, while less common, can prove even more debilitating. Cluster headaches are a prime example. These intense headaches strike one side of your face in clusters of attacks. These headaches have been associated with cervical spinal abnormalities.

Migraines are even more notorious for causing nausea, light/sound sensitivity, faintness and vision problems on top of brutal headaches. Migraines sometimes occur as a complication of concussions; they are also triggered by exposure to specific stimuli such as lights, sounds, or foods.

How Our Physical Therapist Can Reduce Your Discomfort

Our physical therapist can help you get to the bottom of your headache problem. If your headache is cervinogenic in nature, we may need to work on your neck. For instance:

  • Exercises that strengthen and loosen your neck muscles can help to ease the stresses that set off your headaches.
  • Chiropractic adjustment can correct skeletal misalignment issues that place your neck muscles under unnatural strain. These adjustments can also help to reduce cluster headache attacks.
  • Laser therapy and massage therapy can both relax tight neck tissues and speed recovery to injured muscles.
  • Corrective exercises and postural/ergonomic changes can help you steer clear of “text neck” and other occupational headache triggers.
  • If your migraines are the result of a recent concussion, a carefully-administered course of physical therapy can actually help you recuperate from that concussion more quickly.
  • Our physical therapist can help you identify other migraine triggers and suggest strategies for avoiding them in your everyday life.

Ready to Overcome Headache Pain? Give Physical Therapy a Try

You’re not doomed to go through life plagued by frequent headaches. If you’re ready to free yourself from this burden, give physical therapy a try. Contact our physical therapist today at Advantage Osteopractic Physical Therapy to learn more about our headache treatment options!

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Pain Shouldn’t Be a Part of Your Everyday Life. Take Back Control With Physical Therapy!

Manage Your Pain, and Manage Your Life

As you may have already learned the hard way, chronic pain can hurt more than just your body. Conditions that limit your mobility and prevent you from pursuing your favorite activities can make you feel a gut-wrenching loss of control over your own life. The sheer endless onslaught of pain can also promote serious mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. If you’re not living the life you want, you can change that life by changing your approach to your chronic pain problem. That’s where physical therapy can come to your rescue.A

The Physical, Mental and Emotional Impact of Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a lingering source of distress by definition. Pain that goes on for months or years at a time can wreck your life, especially if you know that irreversible damage lies at the root of the pain. As a result, you may experience any or all of the following torments:

  • Lifestyle limitations– Your life was a lot more fun, varied and involving before chronic pain came along. Now that you can no longer play your favorite sport, pursue a beloved hobby, play with your kids or work at your job, you feel understandably bored and frustrated.
  • Learned helplessness– Chronic pain can lead to a psychological response known as learned helplessness, especially when your chosen pain-fighting techniques aren’t getting results. Eventually you stop even trying to combat the waves of pain and the limitations that they impose on you.
  • Depression and anxiety– There is a clear, well-established link between chronic pain and equally debilitating mood disorders. One study found that 77 percent of chronic pain sufferers also suffer from depression. Major, long-term depression can have its own negative effects on your health, from sleeplessness and fatigue to difficulty concentrating. The unpredictable or frightening aspects of chronic pain, from its impact on your medical bills to concerns over a serious illness, can also cause intense anxiety or aggravate a pre existing anxiety disorder.

Physical Therapy Puts You Back in the Driver’s Seat

Simply taking action and trying a new weapon on your chronic pain can make you feel better by giving you back your feeling of control. You’ll feel even better once your physical therapy program starts to tame your pain and restore your mobility. A caring physical therapist provides you with all kinds of tools, beginning with a better understanding of your pain’s causes and effects. You’ll receive valuable education on how you can use physical therapy for a lifetime of drug-free pain management.

Then there’s the physical therapy itself. Strength training, flexibility exercises, massage, laser therapy, TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), dry needling, heat or ice treatments, and acupuncture can all work together to reduce your pain and inflammation. A long-term physical therapy pain management plan can even include techniques to “rewire” your brain. We can show you how to alter your relationship with your pain, enabling you to pursue your exercises and other treatments with more energy and enthusiasm. As your pain recedes, your mood stabilizes and your sleep quality improves. Best of all, you will feel like you’re calling the shots for your life once again.

Take Command, Starting Today — by Contacting Our Physical Therapist

Don’t let chronic pain tell you what to do or how to feel. Reclaim command over your life, starting today. Contact our physical therapist at Advantage Osteopractic Physical Therapy to learn more about our pain-busting methods. You’ll be taking the first step toward a happier existence!

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Stand Up to Your Back Pain! Physical Therapy Can Help Relieve Chronic Low Back Pain.

Got low back pain? Then get a physical therapy referral!

Physical therapy is a leading profession involved in the diagnosis and treatment of low back pain. In fact, low back pain is one of the most common reasons people come to work with a physical therapist. Researchers in our field have even developed concise and comprehensive practice guidelines to help therapists manage this condition in their patients.

Keep reading to learn how physical therapy can help you find meaningful relief from your lower back pain!

1. Many known risk factors for low back pain are preventable—a physical therapist can help you modify these.

Low back pain is so common that most people will have it at least once in a lifetime. It’s not always clear what triggers back pain in the first place, and most experts agree that there are usually multiple issues at play, including activity level, occupation, age, family and medical history, and the presence of other health conditions like smoking, obesity, and diabetes.

A physical therapist can work with you to help you identify and modify your preventable risk factors. For example, sitting too much is correlated with lower back pain. By helping you control your pain and improve your physical function and ergonomic environments, a physical therapist makes it easier for you to increase your physical activity level and minimize the amount of time you spend sitting.

2. A physical therapist can design customized treatment plans that can relieve and resolve your condition.

Based on the current clinical practice guidelines created by the American Physical Therapy Association’s Orthopaedic Section, a person presenting with low back pain can be classified into one of several distinct treatment categories, based on a thorough examination. This type of systematic categorization is cost-effective and beneficial, since it helps patients receive services specifically designed for their needs.

Thanks to their extensive training, a physical therapist can skillfully tease out hidden issues contributing to your back pain condition, such as nerve impingement, movement incoordination, poor core muscle activation, and range of motion limitations. These are issues that are often overlooked or under-addressed by other professionals—and explains why interventions that just provide symptom relief are often not effective in the long-term.

In other words, if underlying issues like instability or incoordination aren’t addressed, your issue is likely to recur! By addressing the underlying causes of your back pain and then systematically managing these issues with personalized treatment based on research, a physical therapist can alleviate your symptoms and reduce your likelihood of chronic suffering.

3. Treatments provided by a physical therapist are drug-free, non-invasive, and safe for all ages.

The risk for low back pain tends to increase with age, but people of all ages can struggle with this broad condition. Fortunately, physical therapy services that are proven effective for low back pain—including corrective exercises and spinal manipulation—are safe and appropriate for folks from all walks of life. If a specific service is contraindicated for you, your physical therapist can deliver plenty of other treatments to support your healing.

Lastly, physical therapists are experts at identifying how low back pain limits a person’s participation in daily activities, and how these limitations can be resolved or compensated for. After all, your progress outside the clinic matters even more than your progress inside the clinic! Our physical therapy team at Advantage Osteopractic Physical Therapy always looks for the bigger picture of your condition and will help you modify your daily tasks in a way that will make you feel successful, safe, and confident.