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All Posts in Category: Blog

Physical Therapy for Achilles Tendinopathy

Achilles tendinopathy is an irritation of the Achilles tendon, a thick band of tissue along the back of your lower leg that connects your calf muscle to your heel. The Achilles tendon helps balance forces in your leg. Tendinopathy refers to any problem with the tendon and can be a long-term or short-term issue. This condition results when the demand placed on the Achilles is greater than its ability to function, which can happen after an injury or repetitive irritation.

The severity of acute injuries is graded based on the amount of damage to the tendon. Grade I injuries are mild strains and disruption of a few fibers, which causes mild to moderate pain, tenderness, swelling, and stiffness. Grade II injuries are moderate strains and disruption of several fibers, which causes moderate pain, swelling, and difficulty walking. Grade III injuries are complete ruptures of the tendon, often characterized by a popping sound, immediate pain, and inability to bear weight. Grade III injuries typically require surgery to repair.

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Get the Most Out of Surgery With ‘Prehabilitation’

While most physical therapists will not recommend surgery unless there is clearly no other avenue for a patient’s recovery, there are certainly a wide array of circumstances that warrant going under the knife. Following surgery, most patients should undergo a bout of rehabilitative physical therapy to steer the postoperative recovery process in a positive direction. However, recent research indicates that although rehabilitation is definitely important, it may not actually be enough to get the most out of a treatment.

In addition to postoperative rehabilitation programs, many modern health care providers have begun recommending 4–8 weeks of exercise-based physical therapy before undergoing surgery. This pre-emptive therapy is sometimes called prehabilitation, and it can offer a host of benefits for surgical patients. These advantages include faster recovery times, fewer days spent in the hospital, lower incidence rates of surgical complications, less pain, higher activity levels, and general improved fitness following surgery. All these benefits converge to bring about a happier, healthier patient who is more likely to return to doing what they love without worry.

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Prevent Back Pain While Gardening

Gardening can be an enjoyable and relaxing pastime, but it is surprisingly hard on your body. Because gardening involves a lot of bending, it requires you to put your back in awkward positions. This prolonged flexion of the spine places stress on your back that can strain ligaments, muscles, and even discs that cushion the vertebrae.

Fortunately, there are precautions you can take to prevent low-back pain and long-term damage to your spine, and they begin before you even put on your gloves.

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Why Your Heel Aches Every Morning

The Skinny on Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is among the most common of these injuries, affecting upward of 2 million Americans every year and accounting for more than 11 percent of all foot injuries that send patients to a specialist. If you’re suffering from persistent foot pain, it’s important to understand the basics of the syndrome. Armed with this knowledge, you can determine whether the symptoms of plantar fasciitis match your own and figure out the best way to heal your injury.

The heel of the foot is a complicated network of muscles and ligaments, all supported by a thick band of tendons called the plantar fascia. This structure holds up the arch of the foot and undergoes tension as the foot bears weight. As you walk, the plantar fascia elongates and tightens repeatedly, acting like a spring that conserves energy and facilitates a proper gait.

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What Knee Pain Sufferers Need to Know And How They’re Treated

The human leg is a delicate and incredible instrument, developed and slowly perfected over millions of years of evolution. But complication comes with a price: a heightened risk of injury. Our knees, especially, can succumb to any number of issues. Chief among them is patellofemoral pain syndrome, also known as runner’s knee.

Normally, as you bend your knee, the patella, or kneecap, glides along the femoral groove, a track in our femur cushioned by cartilage. The muscles and ligaments of the leg work to keep the patella sliding normally along this groove. However, if something is amiss and the patella doesn’t ride normally through the track, it will begin to slide to the side. This forces the patella to rub and grind against the edges of the femur. As the problem worsens, it can irritate the joint, which results in kneecap pain and deterioration of the patellar surface.

According to PhysioWorks, approximately 25 percent of the American population experiences aching kneecaps at one time in their lives, but it’s even higher in athletes. Often, pain will begin after a period of overuse, like after ramping up training or performing high-intensity training. This is usually the result of a muscle imbalance and tightness in the quadriceps, hamstrings, and hip muscles. However, it can also arise from internal anatomical factors, such as naturally poor patellar tracking, improper foot posture, or weak hip control.

Patellofemoral pain is localized in and behind the kneecap, but it can cause swelling and pain that may spread throughout the structure. This pain is usually the worst after climbing hills or stairs, squatting, running, hopping, or sitting for long periods of time.

Patellofemoral pain is complicated and extremely common, and it can easily lead to more serious conditions such as patellar tendinitis or arthritis. Luckily, it’s usually treatable with careful exercise and physical therapy. Treatment often involves the initial mitigation of pain symptoms, followed by exercises that restore range of motion, a battery of stretches, and a muscle-strengthening regimen designed to even out any imbalances. After a few months of treatment, most patients are able to return to playing sports and living pain-free.

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Have You Tried Physical Therapy for Diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition in which the body does not produce enough insulin, or does not react normally to insulin. When either of these circumstances occur, levels of glucose in the blood become too high, which can lead to health problems.

Physical activity and exercise are important and effective in lowering high blood-glucose levels, and physical therapists can help people with diabetes improve or avoid related problems. They can also teach sedentary people how to increase their daily physical activity in safe, effective, and enjoyable ways.

Individuals with diabetes are at risk of complications like heart disease, heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, eye disease, kidney disease, nervous system disease, peripheral vascular disease, skin issues, cell death, amputations, and premature death. Once someone has been diagnosed by a physician, a physical therapist can evaluate their symptoms and the physical problems associated with the condition and provide individual, specialized treatments.

Physical therapy for diabetes is meant to help those with the disease participate in safe, effective exercise programs to improve their ability to move, perform daily tasks, reduce pain, and lower blood glucose levels. After a physical therapist reviews an individual’s blood glucose record and examines them for skin wounds, the therapist will then conduct an assessment of the individual’s strength, flexibility, endurance, and balance.

The physical therapist will then choose specific activities, treatments, exercises, and stretches to help restore normal movement, strength, flexibility, endurance, balance, coordination, pain levels, and healthy blood glucose levels. The therapist will also discuss activity goals and prescribe at-home exercises to speed up recovery.

Diabetes is a condition with many serious complications. However, physical therapy can reduce those complications while simultaneously improving physical fitness and lowering blood glucose levels. Talk to your physical therapist about diabetes treatment today.

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