Tag Archive: physical therapy

Factors and Different Treatments for the Dreaded Scoliosis

Scoliosis is a condition that causes the spine to curve forming a “C” or “S” shape. The curved spine can irritate and stretch nerves, strain joints comprised of two bones, affect the posture, and make muscles fatigued. It causes pressure on the disks between the spinal vertebrae making them inefficient shock absorbers and causes strain with pressure on facet joints of the spine. The cause is unknown and there is no cure. Managing symptoms associated with the condition is the main course of treatment.

 

The single worst symptom is pain. The condition impacts quality of life and is a long-term disability. The curve is not usually painful but when changes cause it to become painful, it is debilitating. For some patients, over-the-counter medication helps them cope with the pain and discomfort, while others require stronger pain relievers that are taken several times a day. Pain is individualized and each person perceives it differently. Pain medications are not a long-term solution because they have no impact on the source of the pain.

 

There are several factors that affect how well the nerves work to decrease pain. These factors are:

  • Genes
  • Environment
  • Medication
  • Personal beliefs or perception

Surgical intervention is generally recommended when the curve is greater than 40-degrees

The most common pain is due to muscle strain as the individual tries to compensate for the curve while completing activities of daily living. (getting dressed, taking a bath, cleaning…)

The basic treatments for muscle strain include over-the-counter pain relievers, hot packs, cold compresses for inflammation, and rest. Often a brace is worn but can be uncomfortable and burdensome. Surgical intervention depends on the progression of the condition.

 

Finding appropriate treatment(s) begin with:

  • Talking to your healthcare provider
  • Participating in alternative therapies
  • Wearing a brace for support, if able to tolerate
  • Possible surgical intervention

 

Physical Therapy can help with pain management by incorporating exercises to improve back strength and flexibility. Stretching often is recommended. If an activity causes increased pain, stop doing it and rest. Other recommended therapies and programs include Pilates and Yoga to promote balance, develop deep and superficial muscles, and relax the mind.

 

Other treatments and therapies that can help alleviate pain and improve coping skills include:

  • Chiropractics
  • Massage Therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Steroid or Anesthetic Injections
  • Counseling
  • Surgical spinal fusion

Counseling can include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy allows a counselor and patient to identify ways to manage and cope with pain and limitations. It can help the individual to overcome beliefs or behaviors that aggravate or cause more spinal damage and leads to the identifying techniques, like meditation, that help with mental ability to deal with pain (coping skills).

 

Surgical intervention is generally recommended when the curve is greater than 40-degrees. It is done to ensure the curving stops. Without surgery, the spinal curve would continue to increase by 1-2 degrees annually. But surgery has risks, so alternative therapies are recommended first.

Closed Fracture Treatment and Infection Prevention

A closed fracture is a broken bone that does not break through the skin. There are four commonly seen closed fractures. These fractures include wrist fractures, hip fractures, ankle fractures and spinal compression fractures. Hip fractures and spinal compression are often seen in the elderly. Fractures require emergency treatment. If neck, back or hip injury is suspected or if there is exposed bone do not move the person.

 

Diagnosis of fractures can generally be made through physical examination and x-rays. A compression fracture or a wrist fracture may not show on an x-ray. In this case, a CT or MRI can be used to locate the fracture. Often, the fracture will only be immobilized and a repeat x-ray done in 10-14 days when the healing makes the fracture more visible. With a skull fracture, a CT may be done, rather than an x-ray, to determine if there is brain injury secondary to the fracture.

 

Factors that predispose bones to fractures are:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Advanced age
  • Endocrine and GI issues
  • prolonged use of steroids
  • inactivity
  • smoking and alcohol

 

Treatment of these fractures is dependent on the severity and can include the following:

 

  • Reduction
  • Cast, sling or walking boot for immobilization
  • External fixation – intervention used with traumatic soft tissue injury and open fracture
  • Internal fixation – Surgical intervention with placement of pins, screws, plates, or rods.

 

Additional treatment includes medications for pain and to prevent infection.

 

A cast or other form of immobilization is meant to hold the bones in proper alignment and to provide protection from additional injury. Reduction is when the bone is set back in place to heal. Some fractures are realigned and held in place through internal fixation or external fixation. External fixation is a way to hold fragments of fractured bone together using metal pins with a compression device attached on the surface of the skin.

The treatment of closed fractures is highly dependent on age, patient preference and surgeon preference

External fixation is used when:

  • there is an open fracture with soft tissue damage
  • fractures with deficient bone (osteoporosis)
  • Infection

 

Rehabilitation begins right away because long-term immobilization causes muscles to become stiff. It takes 4 to 6 weeks to heal depending on the severity of the fracture and surrounding damage. Physical Therapy begins rehabilitation and has several goals.

 

The goals of Physical Therapy include:

  • promoting circulation
  • preventing clots
  • enhances the healing process
  • Once the cast is removed, exercise in a pool is beneficial and promotes mobility. The water also relaxes muscles making movement easier.

 

Treatment of closed fractures is highly dependent on age, patient preference and surgeon preference.

For Patients with Lymphoedema – Decongestive Lymphatic Therapy Could be Key

What is Lymphoedema?

Lymphoedema is a chronic disorder characterized by swelling tissue (usually a lump) with fluid rich in proteins. It can either be a developmental problem (meaning there is no cause per se) or secondary and associated with some sort of precipitating event. These secondary causes include:

● Surgical causes:
○ Sometimes removal of lymph nodes – such as in breast cancer surgery – can result in lymphoma
● Radiation treatment for certain cancers can scar the nodes and vessels.
● Cancer. Certain types of cancer can invade the lymphatic vessels and this can result in lymphoedema
● Infection often invades the lymph nodes and causes them to swell.

If you have lymphoedema you might suffer from a number of symptoms including:

● Swelling of a limb. This can occur in part of the leg or arm or the entire limb.
● The affected limb will typically cause heaviness and tightness
● The limb will have restricted movement
● There may be aching or discomfort
● There may be recurrent infections of the surrounding skin (cellulitis)
● There might be a hardening of the skin.

What is decongestive lymphatic therapy?

A decongestive lymphatic drainage is a specialized form of physical therapy offered at a number of specialist centers across the country. The decongestive lymphatic therapy consists of four distinct components:

● Compression bandages are applied to complement the exercises in the therapy to move fluid out of the limb.
● Skincare is undertaken to reduce the chances of skin breakdown (which is a big infection risk in these patients)
● Exercises will be undertaken with a physiotherapist to improve the lymph drainage in the affected limb
● The therapist will also undertake specialist massage techniques known as manual lymphatic drainage that stimulated the flow of fluid through the system and reduces the swelling.

The treatment is intensive and can be every day for a number of weeks. After this initial phase patients typically move to the maintenance phase whereby they maintain good lymph flow with exercise and home self-massage techniques.

Does decongestive lymphatic therapy work?

There is a growing body of literature that suggests decongestive lymphatic therapy is a safe and effective treatment for patients with lymphedema that resulted following breast cancer surgery (eg a mastectomy with axillary clearance). A study conducted at the University of Texas looked to see whether the therapy worked on this patient group even if they had had the therapy before. They found that in both patients who had had the therapy before and naive patients, there was a statistically significant reduction in the mean size of the limb. This is great news for sufferers!

If you our somebody you know is suffering from lymphoedema, either following a surgical procedure or for development reasons – contact a specialist physiotherapy center who and provide one to one support and a personalized treatment plan to help reduce the swelling and get you back on your feet.

Physical Therapy After Total Hip Replacement

One of the most commonly performed orthopedic surgeries is a total hip replacement (THR). The surgical techniques and prosthesis used for a THR have improved over the years, allowing the patient to now achieve optimal recovery and less pain. Physical therapy is an important aspect in a successful, full recovery after hip replacement.

In the Hospital

Right after your total hip replacement, a physical therapist begins working with you to restore joint motion and strength. Initially, therapy begins in physical therapy1the hospital the day after surgery. A therapist shows you how to get in and out of bed, ways to get into the shower and car, and how to walk using a walker or crutches. In addition, the therapist has you perform simple exercises in bed to prevent blood clots, such as gluteal squeezes and tightening the thighs.

After a hip replacement, some patients received additional physical therapy in a rehabilitation facility before going home. This will depend on the age of the patient, what the home environment is like, and functioning when discharged from the hospital. The physical therapist works with the patient using exercise equipment for strengthening and mobility. Balance exercises are used to decrease risk of falling. In addition, the physical therapist uses heat to warm up tight muscles and ice to reduce soreness and swelling.

Avoiding Dislocation

After a total hip replacement, there are some considerations the physical therapist follows to help you decrease risk of dislocating the new hip. With the posterior approach hip replacement, you cannot bend the hip past 90 degrees, must avoid crossing your legs, and cannot rotate the hip inward. Maneuvers to assist with avoiding these activities include use of a raised toilet seat and shower chair, use of a pillow between the knees, and using an orthopedic device to put on shoes and socks.

Home Physical Therapy

Once you go home, the physical therapist will visit you 3-4 times each week to improve hip strength, mobility, and flexibility. Common therapy exercises include:

  • Buttock contractions – Tighten muscles and hold to a count of 5.
  • Abduction exercise – Slide leg out to the side as far as possible and then back.
  • Quadriceps set – Tighten thigh muscles and try to straighten knee. Hold for 5-10 seconds.
  • Straight leg raises – Tighten thigh muscles with knee straight. As muscles tighten, lift leg sever inches from bed and hold for 5-10 seconds.
  • Standing exercises – These include standing knee raises, hip abduction, and hip extensions.
  • Walking and full weight-bearing – These exercises are used to help you perform light everyday activities.

physical_therapy

Recovery at Home

Don’t be surprised if you feel fatigued right after surgery. This will improve over the next few weeks, however. You should arrange to have someone help you out for 1-2 weeks after your total hip replacement. The exercises given to you by your physical therapist are an essential part of recovery.

You should be able to stop using crutches or a walker, and resume normal leisure activities within 6 weeks of the surgery. However, it could take up to 12 weeks for pain to completely resolve. Your new hip is continuing to recover for up to 2 years after the operation, which involves scar tissue healing and restoration of muscles.

Orthopedic and Sports Performance Institute in Gilbert AZ offers top surgeons specializing in joint replacement (hip and knee), along with sports medicine too. Most insurance is accepted with patients being seen from all over the Valley including Mesa, Chandler, Queen Creek and Scottsdale too! Call us today.

How Is CrossFit Different From Other Exercises

You may run to increase endurance, strengthen your muscles with weightlifting or cycle to increase your overall fitness. However, with CrossFit you get all-in-one. This is the primary reason why CrossFit is so hugely popular. If you want to know further, here are the reasons that make CrossFit different and manifold times better than other exercise regimes:

Variety and versatility: CrossFit ensures you are well rounded with the greatest variety of exercises possible. CrossFit facilities design workout schedules that attend to your specific needs. The nature, speed, duration and grouping of exercises are constantly changed.

crossfit gilbert az

Far from routine: Routine tends to bore out most people. CrossFit facilities like design workout schedules that are far from routine. Everyday you are faced with new challenges. CrossFit offers you the best variety of exercises possible. This is the very reason that will draw you to CrossFit facility: you can workout here for months on end without ever having to repeat a workout schedule twice!

It Regularly Measures Your Fitness: CrossFit introduces the concept of benchmark workouts which are tested every three to six months to find if you are progressing towards attainment of complete physical fitness.

Fun and interactive: CrossFit are completely different from other gyms in terms of social involvement. Your idea of a gym is most probably exercise frenzy people with ear buds working out while being engaged in their own thoughts. However, CrossFit in Gilbert Az does not fit into this boring, old model and is like a social club where exercisers meet new people, share thoughts and jokes while working out with enthusiasm.

crossfit in gilbert az

Incredible functionality: CrossFit builds a strong you so that you can perform challenging physical activities as easily as your social heroes. Therefore, CrossFit focusses on squats, push-ups, deadlifts and other specialized exercises that improves your flexibility and strength to the extent that you can execute demanding physical activities faster than ever before.

The perfect combination of cardio and strength exercises: CrossFit is all about developing your body in all spheres. So, instead of concentrating on endurance or strength alone, it combines exercises in a manner that improves both simultaneously. CrossFit asks you to perform two things: 1. Repeat an exercise as many times as possible within a given time and 2. Repeat other exercises as many times as possible till your cry for rest. Alternating both increases both your endurance and strength.

crossfit in gilbert

ts Pro-Paleo: CrossFit also takes care of your diet by recommending you to follow a Paleo diet and holds Paleo challenges to encourage you to adapt to a new, healthier diet based on lean meats and healthy fats.

An exercise hybrid: CrossFit learns from a number of sports and training methods like gymnastics, plyometrics, weightlifting and others to improve its exercise regimes. The adoption of newer and varied techniques and programmes makes CrossFit regimes more interesting and physically challenging.

High intensity exercises: CrossFit exercises are extremely challenging pushing you to achieve newer heights every time. High intensity exercises help build your muscle mass, increases your anabolic threshold and has other associated fitness benefits.

JOIN OUR E-MAIL LIST!