Four keys to maximize your physical therapy visits to recover faster and more completely!
For over six years now, I have been practicing physical therapy (PT) at the Fit Stop in our Heber City location. I love my job. I think that we as physical therapists have one of the most important and gratifying jobs out there. We are able to play a pivotal role in decreasing pain and improving our patient’s function and quality of life in a very safe and non-invasive way. One of the best aspects of my job is being able to see my patients get better. The majority of musculoskeletal injuries out there respond very well to PT treatment. However, sometimes it doesn’t quite work out that way. Sometimes, a patient does not improve as much as he/she hoped. This can be very frustrating for both therapist and patient, especially since nowadays the cost for care is generally quite expensive for the patient. Most patients have significant deductibles that need to be paid off before their insurance will even pay a dime for the PT. Then, even after the deductible is met, ever increasing co-pays can deter a patient from even seeking care in the first place. Considering these factors alone, it is understandable that a patient could get discouraged if progress with PT is not perceived to be meeting expectations.
So what can be done to give you the best chance possible of reaping maximum benefit from your PT? From my experience over the last few years, successful PT patients generally share a few of the following common characteristics…
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Achilles Tendonitis (AT) is a relatively common pain in the Achilles tendon, the major tendon that connects the heel bone to the calf muscles. As with any term that contains the suffix “itis”, AT indicates inflammation of the Achilles tendon. This condition can affect anybody, but is most common in active populations (runners) who have experienced some sort of increase in training intensity or duration. It has been reported that 50% of runners will experience AT at some point in their life. Repetitively pushing off from the ball of the foot over miles of training can definitely cause some pain and inflammation. If you’ve been running or playing extra hard lately, have a pain in the heel or lower calf area that has been lingering for more that a few days, and is quite tender when pushed on, you probably have the dreaded AT. So, what now? Well, you are in luck, because today on the Fit Stop blog Toby Bluth, PT, DPT is breaking down Achilles tendonitis: what it is, why you get it, and steps you can take to help it to feel better! Keep reading for more!
We’ve all been there before. You have an injury that, for some reason, is hanging around a lot longer than it should. You’ve “tried everything” including ice, ibuprofen, rest/taking time off, and every rub/salve/pain patch you can find, and yet your pain persists. What gives? How come you just can’t heal like when you were younger (we get that question A LOT!)?? Well chances are you’re doing a lot to treat the SYMPTOMS of your pain, but nothing to address the CAUSE of your pain. Today one of our specialists, Jared Beckstrand, PT, DPT, is discussing why you might be hurting for longer than necessary and what you can do to start to feel better. Keep reading for more!
At some point in life, your neck will likely cause you pain. Neck pain is right up there with pain related to the low back as far as how common it is. According to some sources, the burden placed on the economy because of neck pain, is second only to low back pain. In fact as many as 54% of individuals have experienced some neck pain in the past 6 months. Once this neck pain comes, it is very likely to stay for a long time and to come back again after it has initially resolved. So you can see that neck pain truly is a pain in the neck for a lot of people (including myself). My job as a physical therapist is a physically active job, requiring physical exertion at times that puts a bit of stress on my upper back and neck. By the end of my work week, I go home with a pretty tired, and sometimes outright painful neck. So what is the deal? What is typically causing our neck pain and why is it so common after all?
As physical therapists we frequently see patients who are recovering from some kind of surgery. Knees, hips, shoulders, backs, and necks are among the most popular post-surgery issues that we work with. In the United States joint related surgeries are increasing at a rapid rate. For example, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), in the USA between the years 2000-2010, total knee replacement surgery (TKA) rates doubled. In fact, the TKA is the most common inpatient surgery being performed nowadays. From shoulder surgery (which is the most common in our clinics), to knee and back surgery, there certainly is a time and place for these surgeries. However, the cost, time away from work for recovery, and risk associated with these surgeries is significant, and I often remind my patients of these factors when considering surgery. Most of the time, my patients seem pleased with the outcome of their surgery. However, as the obviously biased PT that I am, I often wonder – could this surgery have been avoided using conservative physical therapy? Well today, I am going to answer that question.
As physical therapists, the most-common injury that we hear about in our clinics is back pain. In fact statistics show that as many as 9 out of 10 people will experience significant back pain in their lives. Whether you’re 22 or 82, chances are that if your back doesn’t hurt now, it probably will one day in the future!!
While nobody is completely immune from hurting there are actually some crucial steps that you can take that have actually been proven to decrease back pain throughout our lives. Today one of our back pain specialists, Jared Beckstrand, PT, DPT, discusses 5 tips to ensure a lifetime of quality activity free from lower back pain. Keep reading for more…
Are you a “pillow zealot”? When you go on vacation, do you have to bring your “special” pillow with you, because you just can’t sleep without it? I know a few people who fall into that category (in fact, I am married to one!) and maybe you are one of them yourself! For some people, sleep is very difficult to attain, without that special pillow.
As a physical therapist, I work a lot with people that struggle with neck pain. Usually at some point during our treatment sessions the question comes up, “What kind of pillow should I be using? Can you recommend one?” Today one of our spine pain specialists, Toby Bluth, PT, DPT, will be answering those very questions! Find out which pillow is the best for stomach, side, and back sleepers and unlock the key to your best night’s rest!
“It feels like someone is digging an ice pick in the bottom of my foot.”
As an orthopedic physical therapist, there are few injuries we treat that are as debilitating as plantar fasciitis. This sharp, stabbing pain in the bottom of the foot happens with every step the person takes. As one who has experienced it before I can tell you three things for sure about plantar fasciitis: 1) it’s difficult to treat, 2) it takes time, patience, and consistency to treat, and finally 3) there is hope and it can be cured! Today on the Fit Stop Blog our foot and ankle specialist, Toby Bluth, PT, DPT, is discussing this miserable issue… what it is, why you get it, and some home exercises you can do to help it feel better! Keep reading for more…
Muscle strains – what they are and what you can do to help heal them.
We’ve all been there before (some of us more than others!) – it’s that one lift that was too heavy, the one sprint that was too fast, and even that one motion that tweaked things just right. Yep – today we’re talking pulled muscles here on The Fit Stop Blog! As a physical therapist this is a problem that I encounter in my patients on a daily basis. Knowing what they are and knowing the steps you need to take after it happens is vital to improving healing time and maximizing your potential for recovery. Today is all about muscle pulls – what they are, how they happen, and information you need to know to help you make a speedy and complete recovery.
Planks are one of our most-recommended exercises to increase abdominal strength. As far as core exercises go, you would be hard-pressed to find one single exercise that works as many muscles as efficiently as planks do. But what happens when planks hurt? One complaint that I hear often from my patients is that they feel a “pinch” in their lower back while doing planks. Today on the Fit Stop Blog I wanted to share with you the top three reasons why you may be experiencing back pain while planking and what you can do to correct this problem. We’ve even included some video instruction to explain it to you a little more effectively! Check it out below…