physiquality blog: will I have arthritis after my knee injury?

As a person who has had five knee surgeries now, this is a very personal subject. One particular pre-op appointment comes to mind. I was living in Los Angeles, and I was preparing for a cartilage implant. After years and years of dance (many on tile floors), I’ve shredded my cartilage, and the doctors agreed this would help to repair the hole in my right knee’s cartilage.

So I go to see my GP for blood work the week before surgery. He looks at what is supposed to be done, looks up at me, and asks when I’m going to have my knee replaced. I dunno doc, can I get through this surgery (that’s supposed to delay a knee replacement) first?

In my own estimation, I was doomed from the beginning. I had arthritis in my right knee at 14. My left knee started sounding like Rice Krispies in my 30s. But I know that if I don’t remain active, I’ll simply put on more weight, and I’ll be more at risk for arthritis, as well as lots of other things. So it’s better to be as active as I can, with the hopes of postponing these other issues and surgeries as long as possible.

Will I have arthritis after my knee injury?

with advice from Mitch Kaye, PT

Unfortunately, if you have a traumatic injury to the knee like an ACL tear, a meniscus tear or even certain types of fractures, your chance of developing osteoarthritis increases significantly.

Osteoarthritis, which is the wearing away of cartilage, can occur normally with years of use, but it can also occur more readily after trauma around the knee. The Arthritis Foundation estimates that 700,000 knee injuries a year account for 12.5% of post-traumatic arthritis cases in the U.S., and they warn that younger athletes with ACL injuries are at risk of developing arthritis before they are 40 years old, often within 10 years of the original injury.

If you’re an athlete who has had one of these types of injuries, it’s not something you probably wanted to hear.

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!

physiquality blog: can physical therapy help with pelvic pain?

Can physical therapy help with pelvic pain?

with advice from Jessica Hice, PT, DPT

Pelvic pain is a symptom that is easy to ignore. When considering talking to a doctor or physical therapist, women (and men) think about the awkward conversations, and the prospect of an invasive examination, and they often decide to postpone such uncomfortable situations.

But like any bodily pain, the longer it continues, the more likely that chronic pain is a sign that something is wrong and needs to be treated.

Pain that continues for six or more months would be considered chronic and worthy of discussion with a healthcare professional, according to the Section on Women’s Health, a subset of the American Physical Therapy Association that offers training for physical therapists who want to specialize in women’s health or pelvic pain. Pelvic pain can present in the lower abdomen, pelvic or perineum, the Section notes, and it could also feel like aching or burning.

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!

physiquality blog: why is physical therapy important after a joint replacement?

Joint replacement surgery has become fairly common in recent years. It has become easier to recuperate from, and the implanted replacements last a lot longer than they used to. In the 1980s, I was told a new knee would last 10-15 years; now, they can last up to 30 years.

The older patients who often get these surgeries may not have been through orthopedic procedures before, and I’ve come across some who shrug off the prescription of physical therapy as unnecessary. Unfortunately, without the strengthening and work done in PT, these patients could end up with the very same chronic pain that drove them to have the surgery in the first place.

To learn more about why PT is such an integral part of joint replacement procedures, read on…

Why is physical therapy important after a joint replacement?

with advice from Shelly Cloughley, PT, DPT, CSCS

Joint replacement surgeries like knee and hip replacements have been on the rise in the new millennium. With many Baby Boomers approaching their 70s, it’s a trend that most likely will continue.

But while patients might think long and hard about what the surgery will entail and the expertise of their surgeon, they don’t often consider the role of physical therapy in their recovery.

A patient’s decision to undergo a joint replacement is often a result of chronic arthritis or pain, as well as a loss of function and quality of life. Throughout the process of rehabilitation, patients are commonly frustrated about meeting their expectations of having the joint replacement. Patients aren’t usually prepared for the discomfort of the process of healing, and the challenges of restoring their full range of motion and building the necessary strength to return to a functional level that fits their lifestyles.

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physiquality blog: what are the causes of dizziness?

While I have never experienced vertigo (short of watching Hitchcock’s masterpiece, who in any case distorts what vertigo means), my husband has dealt with BPPV for some time. I have watched him wake up in a completely different world, one where he can barely put one foot in front of another. Thankfully, rehabilitation therapy and some positioning exercises can help, which is why I was happy that this month’s topic was dealing with dizziness.

This post was primarily written by our contributor, but it needed some editing. I added an intro and rearranged the content to help readers understand the topic better.

What are the causes of dizziness? Can occupational therapy help?

with advice from Chase Webre, OTR, CHT

It is a Monday morning, and you wake up in bed like normal. But when you sit up, the world crashes around you. The room appears to be spinning, and you can’t get it to stop. Your balance is unsteady. You feel like you might collapse or faint. What could cause this?

The causes of dizziness can be broken down into four categories, explains occupational therapist Chase Webre: Otologic (inner ear), central/neurologic (brain), medical, and psychological. If you start to suffer from dizziness, it is best to first see a physician to determine which of these categories your dizziness will fall into. If your problem falls into the central/neurologic, medical or psychological categories, a doctor is most likely the best healthcare professional to start treating the condition.

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!

physiquality blog: how to lace your running shoes

I have mentioned before that I am not a runner. But I can appreciate how your shoes affect your sport. As a dancer, whenever I wear shoes, they have to be anchored to my feet securely, no matter what kind of shoes I’m wearing or what I’m doing. So this running post made more sense to me than most.

How to lace your running shoes

with advice from Orthopedic Rehabilitation Specialists

For most of us, when we purchase a new pair of sneakers, we keep the laces the way they are when we tried them on. We might have a preference on how they are laced, but it’s primarily aesthetic — do you want the lace at your toes to be outside the grommets or inside?

But when it comes to running shoes, lacing is one of many aspects that becomes strategic. There are particular ways to lace your shoes for arch support, wide feet, numb toes… The list is longer than most people’s daily runs.

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!

physiquality blog: consider getting wet to get better.

While I’ve never had the opportunity to do aquatic therapy, it makes sense to me. Strengthening in the water, as compared to land, would help when you’re transitioning from non-weight-bearing status to using a leg again, for example. Or if your balance is poor. I’m always amazed with how our member clinics use innovative ways to help their patients get better.

What are the benefits of aquatic physical therapy?
Consider getting wet in order to get better.

with advice from Kelly Lenz, PT
and Blair J. Packard, PT, MS

When most people think of physical therapy, they probably think of treadmills and stationary bikes, hand weights and elastic bands — plus the medical tables on which patients can be treated. Without getting wet.

So why might aquatic physical therapy be just as beneficial, or even better?

“Aquatic therapy allows a gravity-reduced environment in which to exercise,” explains Kelly Lenz, a physical therapist and co-owner of Clinton Physical Therapy Center, a Physiquality network clinic in Tennessee. “This allows a variety of patients to move more freely without undue stress on their body.”

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!

physiquality blog: running away from injury

I might have mentioned before… I’m not a runner. Even when I’m being chased. It’s just not my thing — I’m too accident- and injury-prone to consider it.

But if you do run, there are many way to reduce your chance of injury. Our experts had several important points about what to do before, during and after you run to make sure you return to your house injury-free.

Running away from injury

with advice from Lori Francoeur, PT, MSPT, CSCS,
Jeff Rothstein, MS, CSCS, TSAC-F, CES, USAW and Polar

Running is a common way to stay fit — in theory, all you require is a good pair of running shoes. But running can also lead to a variety of injuries. Our experts talked to us about the most common running injuries and how to avoid them.

According to Jeff Rothstein, the Director of Sports Enhancement for the PT Center for Sports Medicine, a Physiquality clinic in Akron, Ohio, the most common running injuries are to the foot, knee and back. Jeff notes that having the right running shoes is essential for avoiding injury.

Lori Francoeur, a physical therapist at Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy Center in Arizona, agrees. She explains that runners should wear a “good supportive shoe that will provide adequate support and cushioning for your arch and heel.”

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!

physiquality blog: how will rehabilitation therapy help me get better?

It’s always a pleasure when my clients’ worlds collide. Right as I’ve been working with one client to expand from continuing education for physical therapy to include occupational therapy and speech-language pathology, this post came up for another client. So while I was happy to get the source materials from our members, it wasn’t difficult to understand the subtle differences between these practitioners.

How will rehabilitation therapy help me get better?

with advice from Randy Gustafson, PT, MS, MOMT, OCS,
Michelle Kessell, OTR/L, CHT,
and Jan C. Key, MA, CCC/SLP

The goal of rehabilitation therapy is to improve a patient’s health and wellbeing after an injury or illness. It’s a broad umbrella term that covers a variety of therapies. At PTPN, the parent company of Physiquality, therapists fall into three categories: physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech/language pathology, sometimes referred to as speech therapy.

Physical therapy

Physical therapists are experts in biomechanics and the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems. In other words, says Randy Gustafson, the owner and director of Mesa Physical Therapy (a Physiquality network member in San Diego, California), “Their advanced degree focuses on learning everything about how the body moves.” Physical therapy incorporates specific exercises to strengthen muscles and improve function. Therapists utilize an integrated approach that includes modalities and manual therapy, he adds.

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!

physiquality blog: injury prevention for dancers

As a dancer who has had multiple knee surgeries after 30+ years of training, this is a subject that is near and dear to my heart. I have spoken with physical therapists in the past about whether I would have tried some of these techniques to reduce my chance of injury, but thinking back to my 16-year-old self, I don’t know that I would have. And as my problems stemmed from a combination of nature and nurture — genetically misaligned knees that couldn’t handle the years of dance training with a turnout — there’s a part of me that doubts any additional exercises could have averted the surgical procedures.

But there are many other dancers that could avert serious injury by listening to their bodies and strengthening the muscles that oppose those used in dance. For more, read on for the advice from our physical therapist and trainers who work with dancers.

Injury prevention for dancers

with advice from Elisabeth Wheeler, PT, DPT
Ann Cowlin, MA, CSM, CCE,
Mark Salandra, CSCS,
and Wayne Seeto, OT, MSPT

Most dancers know that one of the challenges of the performing arts is to make it look easy, effortless – and painless. According to Elisabeth Wheeler, a physical therapist who works with dancers at Allegheny Chesapeake Physical Therapy in Pennsylvania, up to 90% of dancers will have an injury at some point during their training. So whether you are a professional dancer in a company, or one who takes classes for physical (and mental) activity, it is important to pay attention to your body in order to avoid injury.

Elisabeth notes that dancers can have a variety of injuries throughout the body:

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!

physiquality blog: what every golfer should know about injuries

Some weeks it’s a struggle to get qualified information for my posts on health and wellness. And then there are weeks like this, where I had three highly-qualified experts contact me with pages of excellent information. While I don’t play golf myself, I understand the dangers of overuse and wanted to share as much advice as I could from these three PTs.

What every golfer should know about injuries

with advice from Brandon Brackeen, PT, DPT,
Marc Schoettle, PT, DPT
and Chris Wickel, PT, DPT, Cert. MDT

Whether you just started hitting the links or have been playing golf for years, understanding the variety of injuries that can result from playing golf will help your game, as well as your overall wellness.

For beginners, says Chris Wickel, a physical therapist at Conshohocken Physical Therapy (a Physiquality member in Pennsylvania), injuries can often happen because of poor body mechanics. While many people may think it’s simple to pick up a set of clubs and hit the links, a bad golf swing can lead to years of bad habits (and bad scores).

If you’re new to the sport, consider taking some lessons with a teaching pro — the PGA certifies teachers who can ensure that you learn the game with proper form. If you’ve tried playing and have felt pain during your swing, consider consulting with a physical therapist, whose musculoskeletal expertise can reduce pain and improve your game. As a Titleist Performance Institute Certified medical professional, Chris is an expert in evaluating a player’s golf swing and pinpointing where an error occurs in its mechanics.

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!