Treatments and Specialized Services Provided
Sprains and Strains
Whether caused by injury or a result of a simple slip, a sprain or strain can be quite limiting and painful. A sprain or strain occurs when a joint exceeds the available flexibility and the soft tissue structures that naturally maintain the joint in proper alignment are injured. Common sprains include ankle, knee, and shoulder injuries. Strains commonly occur at the neck and lumbar areas. Physical therapy emphasizes thermal/ice and electric modalities to increase local circulation, soft tissue mobilization to relax tight muscles in protective spasm, and therapeutic exercises to improve joint mobility, strength and stability.
Low Back Pain
If you are like most people, you will have at least one backache in your life. While such pain or discomfort can happen anywhere in your back, the most common area affected is your low back. This is because the low back supports most of your body's weight. Low back pain is the #2 reason that Americans see their doctor -- second only to colds and flus. Many back-related injuries happen at work, but you can change that. There are many things you can do to lower your chances of getting back pain and we can show you how. Physical Therapy emphasizes relief of pain and improvement of mobility.
Neck pain caused by a cervical (neck) spine disorder is a very common problem for many adults. The cervical spine is composed of many different anatomic structures, including muscles, bones, ligaments, and joints. Each of these structures has nerve endings that can detect painful problems when they occur. The different parts of the cervical spine are normally well balanced and able to handle all of the movements, stresses, and strains of the body gracefully. However, when the different parts of the cervical spine are injured or start to wear out, your neck can be a significant source of pain and discomfort. Therapy consisting of thermal and electric modalities, joint and soft tissue mobilization, posture training and strengthening exercises can be very beneficial in reducing pain, numbness, spasm, and reduced mobility.
Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation
Sports Medicine is the field of medicine concerned with physical fitness and the diagnosis and treatment of injuries sustained in sports activities. Our staff of well-trained professionals assess and treat injuries that result from playing sports whether you are a weekend warrior or a professional athlete. Our state-of-the-art equipment and hands-on procedures will help diminish your pain and regain your strength and agility.
Arthritis and Rheumatic Disorders
Gentle, regular exercise eases the pain and stiffness of arthritis. In fact, the right type of movement therapy actually protects your joints against further damage. Physical therapy can be an important element of your arthritis care by working to help reduce pain, restore mobility, increase functioning, improve strength and flexibility, and prevent any unnecessary disability. We will evaluate your condition and determine what particular treatments will benefit you, for example, from weight reduction to heat application to a wrist splint and create a program tailored to your needs. Exercises for strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, and range of motion may be prescribed. These exercises can make your arthritis less crippling by improving joint function and lessening the pain. Since arthritic joints should be exercised every day, a clearly diagrammed full home exercise program will also be prescribed by our therapists.
WOMEN'S HEALTH - PELVIC FLOOR DYSFUNCTION/PELVIC HEALTH
The pelvic floor is responsible for providing support for our internal organs, helping to control urination and bowel movements, and contributing to healthy sexual function. Pelvic floor dysfunction and other pelvic health related issues are more common than one may think. Unfortunately, because this is a sensitive issue and can be difficult to discuss, most people frequently go untreated and may suffer in silence. The good news is that much can be done for many of the common conditions that impact pelvic health. Examples of some of these common problems include incontinence, pelvic pain syndromes, diastasis rectus abdominis (a separation of the abdominal muscles), pelvic organ prolapse, and sexual dysfunction.
Nicole Shires, our specially trained and credentialed physical therapist in pelvic health, is an important part of the pelvic healthcare treatment team. Dr. Shires will begin by performing a comprehensive initial examination and then plans a program of treatment that may include manual therapies, biofeedback techniques, a variety of specific therapeutic exercises targeting the involved structures, and dietary or behavioral changes that may be indicated to improve the patient’s function. Pelvic health physical therapy aims to relieve symptoms, reduce pain, and restore normal function. Physical therapy is often prescribed following abdominal and pelvic surgeries to assist the patient in reaching the maximum potential recovery.
Post Surgical Orthopaedic Rehabilitation
Post-surgical rehabilitation is a vital step in returning to normal activities as soon as possible. To accomplish this goal, physical therapy will treat any residual pain, improve range of motion and posture, and increase your strength and fitness levels. Our objective is to help you reach the goals as determined by the physical therapy assessment to re-establish your normal lifestyle. Often times after surgical procedures, patients are afraid to move and become very stiff and fearful that they may do additional harm if they move. We recognize these fears and understand what treatments are most appropriate at various stages of their recovery. Physical therapy care can expedite the recovery process in many ways including providing the information to safely rehabilitate an injury improving overall function and quality of life and preventing musculoskeletal complications. We employ modalities and procedures along with therapeutic exercises and manual therapy to maximize a patient’s recovery potential.
Following immobilization in an arm or leg cast, the involved joints are stiff, tight, sometimes swollen, and the extremity is often weak. Following our examination of the patient’s range of motion, strength, function, skin condition, and sensation, our staff will initiate a course of modalities and exercise to improve motion, gain strength, and function. If the cast was removed from the leg, treatment will include gait training as well.
The practice of ‘dry needling’ involves the insertion of a flexible, very thin acupuncture needle into a trigger point and is typically used to treat the pain associated with injuries and muscle dysfunction. A trigger point is a tender area in a tight band of muscle which causes pain when pressed or squeezed. Trigger points and their referred pain patterns have been well-documented since the 1960s. Trigger points may be the source of symptoms for diagnoses such as back and leg pain, hip bursitis and tendinitis, carpal tunnel, tendonitis, heel and arch pain, and others. Often following the initial dry needling visit, the patient experiences pain relief, increased range of motion and improved functional mobility. Dry needling is one of many tools we use to improve motion and relieve pain.
Vertigo and Dizziness
Dizziness is a complaint commonly heard by physicians. Dizziness can be unpleasant, inconvenient, and sometimes debilitating. It is often associated with imbalance and falls, and it can result in decreased independence and increased risk of serious injury. It can also interfere with the ability to enjoy or participate fully in activities. Dizziness can occur spontaneously, as is the case with the most common vestibular dysfunctions. It can also occur with a decrease in activity level, such as post-operatively, after a stroke, following a hospitalization, and with a number of orthopaedic and neurologic conditions. In order to properly assess one's condition, we perform a thorough evaluation of a patient's vestibular function, strength, flexibility, walking, balance, and function. Most conditions associated with dizziness respond well to a specialized type of physical therapy called vestibular rehabilitation. Vestibular rehabilitation works to reduce or relieve symptoms, decrease fall risk, improve balance, and promote a return to full activities.
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, or the jaw joint. The TMJ’s are the small joints in front of each ear that attach the lower jaw (mandible) to the skull. They allow you to perform such functions as opening and closing your mouth, chewing, speaking, swallowing, etc. TMJ diseases and disorders refer to a complex and poorly understood set of conditions, manifested by pain in the area of the jaw and associated muscles and limitations in the ability to make the normal movements of speech, facial expression, eating, chewing, and swallowing. Conditions that routinely affect other joints in the body, such as arthritis and trauma, also affect the TM joint. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research of the National Institutes of Health indicates that 10.8 million people in the United States suffer from TMJ problems at any given time. Our staff will assess the joint mechanics, pain location and muscular imbalance of the jaws and initiate treatment that may include combinations of the following: ultrasound, ice/heat, electrical stimulation, muscle stretching, massage, postural reeducation, and manual therapy (joint mobilization). Home exercises emphasizing neuromuscular training for muscle coordination problems is often included in the treatment plan to help alleviate pain and dysfunction. Post operative TMJ patients benefit from physical therapy techniques to reduce pain, improve motion and function of the TMJ.
Isokinetic Testing and Training
Isokinetic rehabilitation is a form of strengthening exercises using sophisticated, computerized equipment that enables the patient to work on muscle rehabilitation in a controlled manner at differing speeds than are possible with more conventional exercise equipment. An isokinetic rehabilitation program can be easily tailored with concentric and eccentric components that closely resemble muscle actions during occupational and sports activities. Isokinetics are commonly used in ACL (knee reconstruction) and rotator cuff (shoulder) post-surgeries.
Our therapists are trained in assessing a patient’s need for orthotics (braces) including individually molded and fabricated shoe inserts for plantar fasciitis or heel spurs. In addition, bracing may be recommended for stroke patients with foot and ankle instability and patients with knee instability and pain, elbow tendonitis (Tennis Elbow), and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Our therapists have advanced education and training in the use of various soft tissue techniques and joint mobilizations to improve range-of-motion and functional mobility. Often times manual therapy is combined with various stretching techniques to diminish pain and improve movement.