Physical Therapy’s Scope of Practice Extends Beyond Aches and Pains

Physical Therapy’s Scope of Practice Extends Beyond Aches and Pains

 

Physical therapy is an obvious choice when you’ve sprained an ankle or developed tennis elbow, but what about when you need to boost your mood? Though highly skilled in methods that improve mobility and reduce pain following an injury, physical therapists can also play a key role in improving a patient’s mental health.

 

Exercise, a core component of any physical therapy regimen, is known to benefit patients with mild to moderate mood disorders such as depression. Depression is an underlying condition often associated with chronic illnesses and orthopedic injuries that limit mobility and participation in daily activities. With depression affecting one in 10 Americans at some point in their lives, physical therapy is another avenue to diagnose and treat the associated symptoms.

 

Physical activity reduces feelings of anxiety, depression and stress by improving the patient’s cognitive function and self-esteem. Moreover, studies have shown that aerobic exercise decreases overall tension levels, elevates and stabilizes mood and improves sleep. Because exercise’s mind-altering effects are temporary, however, patients should work with a physical therapist to develop a regular exercise routine to ensure continued benefits.

 

Patients can expect to work closely with a physical therapist to develop a custom treatment plan based on a thorough assessment and detailed patient history. Our PTs are trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression and identify the ways in which mental health disorders interfere with a person’s ability to enjoy life. Each individual care plan includes some combination of flexibility, strength, coordination and balance exercises designed to achieve optimal physical function.

 

Physical therapists may be trained to identify and treat a wide range of movement disorders including sprains and strains but they’re also adept at identifying and reducing symptoms of depression. Developing behaviors that maintain good mental health is an important part of overall health and wellness, and it’s never too late to get started.

 

Call us today to set up your consultation for a PT guided exercise program you can carry out in our gym at Rehab Dynamics in Covington or Mandeville. Using our Wellness Plan you come use our gym for only $30 a month with the oversight of our PT techs and PTs.

 

Give us a call to join us, (985) 871-7878! 

Dry needling with electrical stimulation

Just as there is not one way to treat each patient, there are different practice methods to dry needling. Dry needling is treatment option during physical therapy that can expedite healing and alleviate pain.

 

We have several PTs that are certified in dry needling. Here’s a short clip of Dennis Romig, MSPT, administering dry needling on the low back. Dennis uses the needles with electrical stimulation and allows the needles to stay in place for a few minutes.

The Graston Technique

We wanted to refresh your memory on a soft tissue treatment technique called Graston. Our team at Rehab Dynamics utilizes the Graston Technique in conjunction with other manual therapy.

 

The Graston Technique was developed by amateur athlete David Graston. He was frustrated with his success during his rehabilitation and soon began developing a number of instruments to treat his soft tissues. He began to see signs of personal recovery and began to collaborate with personnel at Ball State University and Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie, Indiana. The Graston Technique and instruments were then born as a result.

 

The Graston Technique is described as “an innovative, evidence-based form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization that enables clinicians to detect and effectively break down scar tissue and fascial restrictions, as well as maintain optimal range of motion.”

 

Common Conditions Treated:

Achilles tendonitis and other types of ankle pain

IT Band Syndrome

Plantar Fasciitis and other foot pain

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and other painful wrist problems

Fibromyalgia

Lumbar strain

Tennis and Golf Elbow

Adhesive Capsulitis (Frozen shoulder)

Rotator Cuff Tendonitis and similar types of shoulder pain

Cervicothoracic sprain and other neck pain

Patellofemoral disorders and other painful knee issues

shin splints

scar tissue

trigger finger

Caesarean and post-Mastectomy scarring

 

Benefits of Graston Technique:

A decrease in the overall treatment time required for an injury

Quicker recovery/rehabilitation

Less need for the use of anti-inflammatory medication

Resolution of chronic conditions thought to be permanent

 

Call us today with questions on how Graston Technique could help you in your recovery! (985) 871-7878

9 Things You Should Know About Pain (article from APTA)

9 Things You Should Know About Pain

1. Pain is output from the brain. While we used to believe that pain originated within the tissues of our body, we now understand that pain does not exist until the brain determines it does. The brain uses a virtual “road map” to direct an output of pain to tissues that it suspects may be in danger. This process acts as a means of communication between the brain and the tissues of the body, to serve as a defense against possible injury or disease.

2. The degree of injury does not always equal the degree of pain. Research has demonstrated that we all experience pain in individual ways. While some of us experience major injuries with little pain, others experience minor injuries with a lot of pain (think of a paper cut).

3. Despite what diagnostic imaging (MRIs, x-rays, CT scans) shows us, the finding may not be the cause of your pain. A study performed on individuals 60 years or older who had no symptoms of low back pain found that 36% had a herniated disc, 21% had spinal stenosis, and more than 90% had a degenerated or bulging disc, upon diagnostic imaging.

4. Psychological factors, such as depression and anxiety, can make your pain worse. Pain can be influenced by many different factors, such as psychological conditions. A recent study in the Journal of Pain showed that psychological variables that existed prior to a total knee replacement were related to a patient’s experience of long-term pain following the operation.

5. Your social environment may influence your perception of pain. Many patients state their pain increases when they are at work or in a stressful situation. Pain messages can be generated when an individual is in an environment or situation that the brain interprets as unsafe. It is a fundamental form of self-protection.

6. Understanding pain through education may reduce your need for care. A large study conducted with military personnel demonstrated that those who were given a 45-minute educational session about pain sought care for low back pain less than their counterparts.

7. Our brains can be tricked into developing pain in prosthetic limbs. Studies have shown that our brains can be tricked into developing a “referred” sensation in a limb that has been amputated, causing a feeling of pain that seems to come from the prosthetic limb – or from the “phantom” limb. The sensation is generated by the association of the brain’s perception of what the body is from birth (whole and complete) and what it currently is (post-amputation).

8. The ability to determine left from right may be altered when you experience pain. Networks within the brain that assist you in determining left from right can be affected when you experience severe pain. If you have been experiencing pain, and have noticed your sense of direction is a bit off, it may be because a “roadmap” within the brain that details a path to each part of the body may be a bit “smudged.” (This is a term we use to describe a part of the brain’s virtual roadmap that isn’t clear. Imagine spilling ink onto part of a roadmap and then trying to use that map to get to your destination.)

9. There is no way of knowing whether you have a high tolerance for pain or not. Science has yet to determine whether we all experience pain in the same way. While some people claim to have a “high tolerance” for pain, there is no accurate way to measure or compare pain tolerance among individuals. While some tools exist to measure how much force you can resist before experiencing pain, it can’t be determined what your pain “feels like.”

Read more about Pain and Chronic Pain Syndromes.

The American Physical Therapy Association launched a national campaign to raise awareness about the risks of opioids and the safe alternative of physical therapy for long-term pain management. Learn more at our #ChoosePT page.

Author: Joseph Brence, PT, DPT, FAAOMPT, COMT, DAC

Why you should visit your PT before your next run!

Why You Should Visit Your Physical Therapist Before Your Next Run

Summer is here and that means everyone from the elite runner to the weekend hiker will be out and about trying to shake off the winter blues. As you increase your activity level, you may find that you aren’t as physically capable as you once were, or maybe you have been ignoring a nagging pain for far too long or perhaps there’s a longer race distance looming on the horizon.

 

Whatever the reason, just as a regular oil change promises to keep your car running at its peak performance, an evaluation by a physical therapist may be just what you need to rev up your own engine and get back on the road safely. A recent health segment that aired on The Today Show, featuring sports medicine physician Dr. Jordan Metzl and a team of physical therapists from the Hospital for Special Surgery, shared tips for staying healthy as we enjoy a number of summer activities from bike riding and running to kayaking and swimming.

 

Under the supervision of a physical therapist, you can learn exercises that will strengthen muscles and prevent injuries and will be given tools to ease pain and recover faster. Physical therapists are trained to take care of the entire kinetic chain, that is, all of your muscles from head to toe. When you take your car in for an oil change, the mechanic changes the oil, replaces the oil filter and inspects your tires, air conditioning, battery and more. You’ll likely head home with a list of future needs such as rotating the tires or changing the air filter and your car will be good to go for the next 3,000 to 5,000 miles.

 

Similarly, a physical therapist is trained to evaluate your strength, body mechanics, posture and mobility, and to set reasonable goals for your recovery or fitness aspirations. By gathering a thorough assessment of your strengths and limitations, the physical therapist will devise a therapy plan that includes a home exercise and maintenance component.

 

In many parts of the United States, summer is a fleeting season but here in south Louisiana we it is just beginning to be the season for road races! So, what are you waiting for? Making an appointment with a physical therapist might be the difference between puttering through life and riding at high performance. Call us (985) 871-7878 and ask for a free consultation. Just Barbara you read it on the blog!