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National Physical Therapy Month: Pt 1

October is finally here! The weather is beginning to get a little cooler, pumpkin spice things are everywhere, the arguments over who loves/hates candy corn have started, and National Physical Therapy Month is upon us! The APTA started this celebration of physical therapists and our profession in 1992 and has continued to promote and encourage this wonderful profession for the past 25 years!     Each year there is a theme to National Physical Therapy Month and the theme for 2017 follows the APTA Move Forward campaign #ChoosePT. The APTA is encouraging the community to #ChoosePT as a safer alternative to opioids for the treatment of non-cancer related pain.  Opioids have become a “go-to” medication for patients with pain, but…

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Why can sitting lead to back pain?

Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT Sitting, especially for a long time, can put undue stress on the low back structures. There is a clinical term called ‘creep phenomenon’ that describes how prolonged sitting can hurt the back. ‘Creep’ is like holding the ends of a piece of hard taffy and then watching it slowly stretch out over time. Similarly, with prolonged sitting the structures of the lower back can slowly deform and tissue breakdown occurs. This breakdown can include the muscles, fascia, ligaments, joints, and intervertebral disc in the back. Eventually with enough microtrauma to the tissues back pain occurs.     _________________________ Medical Disclaimer: Motion Stability has created and compiled the content on its websites for your information…

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Are there alternative treatments for back pain?

Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT Even though Physical Therapy is not considered as an ‘alternative treatment’, what a specific Physical Therapist provides may be alternative to the ‘stereotypical’ regimen of hot/cold packs, electrical stimulation, traction, and basic exercises to improve core stability. At our facility, we determine the type or category of pain the patient is experiencing as well what factors are contributing to the pain. This can include joint, nerves, or soft-tissue tissue pathologies. We also assess muscle and movement control patterns that can cause undue stress on the back. We then investigate if there are other factors such as vitamin / hormonal deficiencies, food allergies, or other systemic issues that could potentially be a source of back…

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What are natural treatments for nerve pain?

Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT In Physical Therapy, nerve pain can be treated naturally through techniques called ‘neurodynamics’. According to Michael Shacklock in Australia, a worldwide leader in nerve pain and rehabilitation, there are three major areas to address. This includes the mechanical sites that can compress a nerve, the nerve itself, and the tissue the nerve innervates. First, nerve pain can be caused by a tissue that pinches on it. This could be a herniated disc, a muscle spasm, or arthritic changes in the spine. Such treatments as mechanical traction or soft tissue massage around the pinched area of the nerve can alleviate the nerve pain.Second, the nerve itself can become injured. Physical Therapists use manual therapy techniques…

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What is Tennis Elbow?

Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT Tennis elbow is pain that occurs on the outside aspect of your elbow is traditionally due to repetitive overuse of the forearm musculature. Tennis elbow is common with people performing repetitive tasks with their hand and arms. This can include manual labor jobs, repetitive typing, or sporting activities. Tennis elbow pain can also be caused by elbow joint degeneration, a bursitis or nerve compression from the neck that causes referred pain to the elbow. Trigger points of muscles around the elbow can also cause referred pain in the elbow.     _________________________ Medical Disclaimer: Motion Stability has created and compiled the content on its websites for your information and use. This information is not…

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Can Strengthening your neck muscles prevent headaches?

Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT There are different types of headaches. One common type is called a cerivcogenic headaches or neck-related headaches. There is lot of research coming out of the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia that has discovered how proper stabilization of the neck muscles can reduce neck pain, whiplash injuries, and cervicogenic headaches. Proper stability of the neck muscles comes first from the smaller muscles closest to the spine. This includes a wafer thin muscle on the front of the cervical spine called the longus colli. A skilled Physical Therapist can instruct a patient how to contract this muscle in isolation and train its endurance. As the longus colli function improves it is important to incorporate…

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Why is back pain such a medical mystery?

Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT Many patients are fixed solely on what medical imaging says structurally about their spine and how it causes their back pain. This includes disc herniations, joint degeneration, or stenosis. Patients should understand that other factors can cause back pain as well. This can include poor muscle control and movement patterns, nerve pain, referred pain from muscle trigger points, and even the fascia around the back can cause pain. Food allergies or internal organ dysfunction can also cause referred pain in your back.Even pain itself is a mystery. Over the last decade there has been growing research on what pain is and how it presents itself, what the medical community calls Pain Sciences. Although we…

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