Since the cause of Fibromyalgia is unknown and a major symptom is widespread pain, how can therapy help treat it?

Symptoms of fibromyalgia typically include restless sleep, fatigue, and morning stiffness, but can also include headaches and sometimes depression. Although there are differing treatments, mild exercise can counteract pain from fibromyalgia the best. Exercise will reduce the risk of small injuries to muscles and help with sleep. Exercise should consist of stretching, strengthening, and conditioning with low impact aerobics (i.e., swimming, walking or biking). The intensity is based on the individual's ability and pain level. Heat, ultrasound and massage or myofacial release techniques are often also very helpful. Any questions, call CRC.

I experience a very sharp stabbing pain in my heal after I have been sitting for a while or when I get up and walk first thing in the morning. What could be causing the problem?

You may have some excessive tightness in the bottom of your foot (plantar fascia), your heel or your Achilles tendon. You may need to stretch your foot and Achilles tendon consistently throughout the day for a couple of weeks. Arch supports may help relieve the pressure placed on your heel. We will gladly instruct you in a thorough stretching program which will help to decrease your pain and provide you with specific instructions on how to prevent this from reoccurring. We also have a variety of treatments to help reduce pain and inflammation. Call CRC for more information.

Is there a safe and effective treatment for lower back pain during pregnancy?

For about 50-60% of pregnant women lower back pain is inevitable. The abdominal muscles become less effective as supportive structures as the abdomen is stretched due to the growing fetus and hormonal changes that occur causing the ligaments to relax. The pregnant female may experience sacroiliac pain,lower back pain and nocturnal pain,which is usually associated with muscle fatigue and sacroiliac dysfunction. Physical therapy is a very safe and effective treatment and can provide welcome relief for lower back pain during pregnancy. Ask your Physician if physical therapy may be helpful for you.

I recently retired and have started playing tennis, a favorite high school sport. I have developed a painful elbow. Could this be tennis elbow?

Yes. Tennis elbow is a condition in which the extensor muscles of the wrist are strained by an unusual amount of stress. Pain along the lateral (outside) border of the elbow and the muscles over the forearm is typical. In medical terms we call this lateral epicondylitis. Pain along the medial Inside) border of the elbow is called golfers elbow. Most commonly these are both treated with conventional physical therapy. Rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medication and specific exercises for flexibility and strengthening are beneficial.

My daughter has poor posture. What problems can this cause and can Physical Therapy help?

Good posture is extremely important, especially as it prevents future problems. If you have poor posture your bones are not properly aligned and your muscles may become stretched and weak or strained. Poor posture can certainly cause pain. The Physical Therapist can evaluate posture and give specific strengthening and stretching exercises where appropriate. These exercises can improve posture or at the very least prevent the posture from getting progressively worse.

The older I get the less comfortable and steady I feel on my feet. Can Physical Therapy do anything to make me feel more steady and safer on my feet?

Absolutely! A loss of balance without dizziness can be related to weakness/tightness in the lower extremities. Poor proprioception (one of the body's mechanisms for balance) can have a big influence on a person's ability to determine their body position. Physical Therapy has shown to be of great benefit in retraining and in increasing proprioception through balance and strengthening exercises.

We are now using the WII FIT virtual computer game at all four of our clinics to help increase a patient's strength and balance.

I've heard that Physical Therapy can help with the problem of incontinence. How does it help?

Physical Therapists who specialize in incontinence treat the pelvic muscles just as they would any other muscle of the body. The pelvic muscles are evaluated for strength, coordination, and tone. The patient is taught exercises for strengthening, relaxation, body mechanics,techniques to decrease urge, and bladder irritants to avoid. Patients are usually seen once a week for four to six weeks. Incontinence can occur in males as well as females. Read More

My wife recently suffered a stroke and is upset about her inability to do things "normally". Can Physical Therapy help her?

Daily activities can be difficult and sometimes seem impossible to perform after a stroke, but with help from professionals trained in physical rehabilitation, it will not be as frustrating. A Physical Therapist will evaluate strength, endurance, range of motion, walking difficulties, and pain levels in order to design the appropriate program. We also provide occupational therapy services for activities of daily living and strengthening the upper extremities. These programs consist of coordination skills and repetitive isolated movements to retrain and strengthen. For support in the recovery process, call CRC today!!

My physician told me that I have Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). Can physical therapy help me?

BPPV results from a disturbance in the flow of fluid in the semicircular canals of the inner ear. The fluid in these canals flows over receptors that send signals to the brain regarding the position of the head in space. Disturbances in this flow can result in dizziness. Physical Therapy treatment of BPPV is very effective and quite simple. An intervention called the "Epley's maneuver" has been shown to be 80% effective in the treatment of accurately diagnosed BPPV in just one evaluation and treatment session.

Should I use heat of ice after an injury?

Initially, after an injury, i.e. strain, sprain, or contusion, use ice. Ice will cause the blood vessels to constrict which will decrease circulation to the injured area, so that swelling can be minimized and pain reduced. Use ice for the first 1-3 days. Heat can be used after the third day following the injury, or when pain and swelling are under control. Heat will increase circulation and will help the healing process. Avoid using heat immediately after an injury, as this may increase both swelling and pain.

When reading about fitness, experts are constantly talking about "core" strength. What are the benefits?

"Core" strength should be an important part of any fitness program. "Core" strength or "trunk" strength involves the abdominal muscles and also the many layers of back muscles. By strengthening both areas, you will have a stronger center. A strong center means that you will be able to stabilize more effectively when using your arms and legs. This is important for sports like golf and tennis or for activities around the house, i.e. vacuuming, laundry, painting. Trunk strength can improve your balance and also prevent injuries.

What is shoulder impingement syndrome?

Impingement syndrome is a condition that results when the tendon of the supraspinatus muscle becomes inflamed and swells and begins to rub on the undersurface of the acromion process of the scapular (shoulder blade). This condition often results from repetitive movements at or above shoulder level. Studies have shown that if this condition is left untreated, the impingement may eventually result in a partial tear of the rotator cuff. Treatment may include anti-inflammatory med's., cortisone injections, surgery and physical therapy for range of motion and strengthening exercises.

What is Physical Therapy and what services does CRC provide?

P. T. is a conservative treatment method utilizing modalities such as heat/cold therapy, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, massage, soft tissue and joint mobilization, therapeutic exercise, including stretching, strengthening, and postural modification. Overall fitness, wellness and patient education round out the goals of Physical Therapy. Read More

What are the most common diagnoses that a Physical Therapist may treat?

A recent survey by the American Physical Therapy Association shows that frequent diagnoses include (but are not limited to): low back pain, neck pain, shoulder ,arm, wrist, and hand problems, knee , ankle, or foot problems, carpal tunnel syndrome, sprains and muscle strains, arthritis, cardiac rehabilitation, rehabilitation after a serious injury, chronic respiratory problems, stroke, problems with balance, disability in newborns, hip fractures, fitness and wellness education, and lymphedema. Physical therapists can treat patients on a physicians referral or without a referral for 30 days.

Are knee injuries, especially tears of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) , becoming more common in female athletes?

Studies comparing male to female susceptibility to injury of ACL have shown women have considerably higher rate of injury. Factors such as techniques and skill of the player, improper shoe wear, and the playing surface contribute to injury rates. Strength training for women is critical with an emphasis on being in shape before they play their sport. Women are generally more flexible then men, but a program of strengthening and stretching is essential for all athletes involved in sports. Balance and agility training may enhance proprioceptive function and also reduce the rate of injury.

Are your kids carrying their back pack on one shoulder?

If so, carrying their back packs on one shoulder compresses their thoracic outlet. All the nerves and blood vessels going to their hands and arms travel through this area. When it is compressed, the added pressure to the nerves and blood vessels can cause pain, numbness and tingling in their hands. This tingling is often made worse by overhead activities as common as raising their hands. Compression in this area can also cause neck pain, and even pain into their middle and lower backs by their joints and ribs becoming irritated.

My Physical Therapist told me to hold a stretch for 30 seconds and do this 4 times resting in between sets. Why can I not just hold it for 2 minutes consecutively instead of resting in between sets?

A muscle can reach its maximal stretch point by holding for a period of 30 seconds. If you allow the muscles to relax in between stretching sets, it will be able to reach a longer maximal stretch point each time, therefore increasing the flexibility even more. If you were to hold for two minutes consecutively the muscle would only reach one stretch point and not go further.

My son continues to sprain his ankle playing basketball. Should he wear a brace?

Chronic ankle sprains may be the results of weak ankle muscles, or ligament damage. An ankle brace can be helpful for short term stabilization following an injury. If an ankle does not fully recover in the first place a re-sprain is likely. The best answer for long term support, however, is to stabilize through strengthening. Immediate treatment for a sprain should include rest, ice and elevation. Afterwards, strengthening, balance, and proprioception training will help prevent further injury.

My mother always told me to sit up straight. Is good sitting posture really important?

Yes, it is! Many people come to the Clinic complaining of neck and/or back pain, which has no apparent cause. The first thing we address is posture. With gravity pulling on our bodies all day long we tend to develop poor postural habits. This adds stress to our joints, muscles and ligaments. Simply changing the way you sit will produce amazing results.

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