From Our Blog

Health and Wellness – General

Regaining Your Energy After Surgery

Surgery can take a major toll on your body, not just for the obvious reasons. Even a minor surgical procedure requires your body to heal, expending energy and invoking immune responses that can tax your musculoskeletal and cardiopulmonary systems. The more intensive the procedure, the more difficult your recovery may be. Spending time in the […]

Does Mono Mean No Exercise?

Mononucleosis—often known simply as “mono”—has an incubation period of one to two months. Once symptoms appear, recovery can take an additional four to six weeks. Until your physician tells you it is safe to resume more strenuous workouts, avoid any but the mildest exercise (e.g., short walks). In many mono patients, the spleen—a large blood-filtering […]

Maintaining Strength While Undergoing Dialysis

A major advance in treating the kidney failure of end-stage kidney disease is the ability to undergo dialysis—the treatment that removes waste and excess fluid from the blood—at home rather than at a hospital or other outside facility. However, a downside to this development is that a home-dialysis patient is less likely to be seen […]

Managing the Pain of Fibromylagia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition , leaving those who suffer from it struggling with muscle, tendon and ligament pain, as well as fatigue and tenderness throughout the body, where even gentle pressure triggers discomfort. Fortunately, physical therapy exercises can help manage the pain of this debilitating condition. Part of the role of physical therapy is […]

Shed Those Extra Holiday Pounds

The holidays are here once again, with all their edible temptations, and you would like to get into better shape after they have passed. This time you are determined to find an approach that will prevent frustration, keep you motivated and help you achieve your fitness goal. The first thing you need to determine is […]

Keep Your Blood Pressure in Check

To lower the risk of high blood pressure, or hypertension, public health officials have urged Americans to reduce their salt intake. In addition to modifying your diet, however, a sensible exercise program is essential to control hypertension. Significant evidence reveals that moderate exercise for as little as 30 minutes a day may lower blood pressure […]

Transitioning to Indoor Activities

While summer offers opportunities to walk, jog, bicycle, garden, play sports and get into shape, cold weather brings the temptation to eat more, move less and hibernate indoors. Shorter days, frosty air and holiday parties can threaten the fitness gains you made during the summer. Instead of fighting the cold and darkness, you can maintain […]

What Is a Trapped Nerve?

By creating a pathway from the brain to the limbs, nerves make muscles move and allow skin to feel sensations, including pain, temperature and pressure. A blocked, or “trapped,” pathway can impede the nerves’ normal processes, resulting in pain or reduced mobility. Nerves get trapped for a number of reasons, each of which creates its […]

Summer Conditioning for High School Athletes

Any school break can be a training challenge for high school athletes, but summer has unique issues. Not only is the time off from school and practice longer than at other breaks, but summer heat also adds a formidable risk factor. Unquestionably, consistent conditioning is vital for athletes to maintain competitive fitness. The risk of […]

Alleviating Soreness During Car Rides

After a few hours in the car, your body may crack and creak, often painfully. What is it about a simple automobile ride that can cause such dreadful muscle soreness? You are at risk of developing soreness any time you stay in one position for an extended period of time. Some of the most common […]

Individual Solution Key to Repairing a Torn Achilles Tendon

The Achilles tendon, the longest and strongest tendon in the body, connects calf muscles to the heel bone. When it is injured, the treatment is often individualized. For example, a patient recently began physical therapy after surgery to repair an Achilles tendon he had torn playing basketball. When another patient tore his Achilles tendon, he […]

Exercise: Working Out the Details

Why is it recommended that you work out three to five times a week? For decades, experts have known that regular exercise helps to do more than just promote weight loss. It alleviates stress, helps to lower cholesterol, promotes joint health and keeps your blood pressure low. In many ways, these benefits overshadow any weight […]

In-flight Exercises: Staying Fit in the Air

The media has paid a great deal of attention to suggestions that passengers exercise during flights, particularly those lasting four hours or more. Although some reports may have been sensationalized, it is true that exercise reduces the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT is a condition where a clot occurs in a deep vein, […]

Trigger Point Dry Needling

Trigger Point Dry Needling uses small, thin needles to stimulate underlying myofascial trigger points, muscular and connective tissues for the management of many orthopedic conditions, both acute and chronic. By inserting a needle into the dysfunctional tissue, it often leads to a contraction of the muscle which then stimulates a relaxation. This leads to a […]

Spring Into Fitness

As the days get warmer and longer, it is natural to want to spend more time outdoors. And outdoor summer sports provide the perfect opportunity to spice up your fitness routine. It is easy to transfer your indoor gym routine to the great outdoors. Tired of the treadmill? Go hiking. Head spinning from spinning class? […]

Morning Stiffness

Do your joints crack and your muscles ache when you get out of bed in the morning? This could simply be a sign of aging, or it could be a symptom of one of several medical conditions that can cause morning stiffness. If it takes you longer and longer to get going in the morning [...]

Kick the Pain of Gout

In this age of gyms on every corner and fitness-focused reality television shows and entire networks, it’s easy to think of a high-impact workout as a panacea for all kinds of physical ailments. But the truth of the matter is far more complex. For people suffering from gout, choosing which exercises to do and when [...]

The Tale of the Brightly Colored Tape

As you watched the games from Rio this summer, you may have noticed a significant number of athletes wearing brightly colored tape on their knees, shoulders or torsos. Fans of this tape, invented in 1979 by a Japanese chiropractor, claim it can enhance athletic performance by prolonging the effects of physiologic work. Traditional athletic taping [...]

Minimizing Your Risk of Zika Virus

Since Zika virus was first discovered nearly 70 years ago, minor outbreaks in humans have occurred throughout the world, usually in tropical regions, with the first large outbreak occurring about 10 years ago. Recently, scientists have connected Zika virus with birth defects. As the climate continues to change, Zika virus will likely become more prevalent [...]

Stand Up to Pain in the Seat

It suddenly happens: Your butt hurts when you sit down. What can you do about it? Because a myriad of musculoskeletal problems can cause pain in the buttocks, this problem is tricky to diagnose. Among our first goals will be to answer these questions: Is the pain chronic or acute? Is the pain truly in [...]

Keep Cool and Stay Hydrated

As temperatures climb, it’s important to satisfy your thirst when you are active—especially during workouts—even if you don’t feel thirsty yourself. But what fluids are best to drink when you exercise? Sports drinks or water can be a matter of personal preference, but unless you are pushing yourself very hard in hot, humid conditions, water [...]

Hammering Out the Truth About Copper

Although people have believed in copper’s curative power for arthritis and back pain for thousands of years, no solid scientific evidence proves that copper in bracelets or incorporated in back braces relieves joint or back discomfort. In fact, many studies have demonstrated that copper has no more impact on pain than does a placebo. A […]

Exercise Helps Control Asthma

Asthma affects the daily lives of nearly 19 million adults in the United States. Typical asthma symptoms include shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, coughing and wheezing. Physiologically speaking, these symptoms are due to a lack of airflow through the lungs due to triggers—such as allergens, diet, pollution, smoking and weather—that cause inflammation, mucus […]

Massaging Away Muscle Pain

Strenuous exercise creates minuscule muscle tears. In response, your body releases cytokines, which create inflammation as a by-product of your muscles trying to repair themselves. Recent research has demonstrated that massaging muscles after they have been worked to full exertion helps reduce the body’s production of those inflammation-causing chemicals, which theoretically means less post-workout soreness. […]

Putting Your Hernia Mesh to the Test

If you are having hernia surgery, chances are you have encountered the term “mesh” in discussions with your physician. Hernias occur when part of your intestine or abdominal fat bulges through a hole in the abdominal wall. To repair a hernia, surgeons often use a special type of sterile woven mesh (typically made from polypropylene […]

The Mythical Powers of a Copper Bracelet

The myth that copper and magnets have some kind of curative effect on arthritis has been around for ages. However, there is no scientific evidence to prove that copper bracelets—or any type of magnet—actually relieve joint pain. The belief in copper’s healing power evolved eons ago when the powerful mythical Greek goddess Aphrodite was linked […]

“As Seen on TV” Might Not Work for You

Many of the fitness programs advertised on television can be used safely—by some people. Those people are most likely to be young, strong and relatively free of physical limitations, injuries or recurring “problem” areas such as knees or shoulders. If that doesn’t describe you, then you should probably refrain from making that toll-free call or […]

Do Muscle Creams Eliminate the Need for Exercise?

For aching muscles following surgery or from arthritis, you have probably considered using a variety of topical creams and gels for pain relief. Some of these pain relievers contain salicylates, the same ingredient that gives aspirin its pain-relieving quality. Some contain capsaicin, while others use ingredients that relieve pain by providing a counterirritant. When applied, […]

TENS Ways to Alleviate Pain

One approach used in a rehabilitation program, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) uses an electric current to stimulate muscles to contract. Electrical impulses are thought to interrupt messages sent by pain receptors from the nerves to the brain. If the brain does not receive these messages, it does not recognize pain, and you do not […]

The Broken Bone You Never Knew You Had

Considering that most patients with osteochondritis dissecans are adolescent boys, the explanation of the condition is sure to win points for sheer gross-out potential. Characterized by pain, limited range of motion, and a popping or locking sound in the joint, osteochondritis dissecans occurs when a small piece of cartilage breaks off from the end of […]

Blood Clots: Don’t Bring Them on Your Holiday Trip

The coming holidays and winter breaks mean traveling for many people. But spending more than four hours in a car, bus, train or plane leaves you at moderate risk for blood clots in your legs caused by a lack of circulation. These can sometimes break free and travel to the lungs, causing a potentially fatal […]

Physical Therapy: Wet or Dry?

When you are in pain, floating around weightless in a pool of warm water—the rationale behind aquatic therapy—sounds appealing. Therapeutic water programs allow us to restore function and strength without having to fight gravity, while bringing the benefits of the natural pain-relieving aspects of water. For those who have weight-bearing restrictions or balance issues, aquatic […]

Morning Stiffness Can Be a Pain

A common ailment, morning stiffness can stem from a number of conditions from the mundane to the exotic. In an otherwise healthy individual, morning stiffness can simply be the result of fluid accumulation in the spinal disks during the night. This can result in stiffness or pain in the back. Preventing this condition can be […]

The Hot and Cold of Physical Therapy

Heat applied before exercise or treatment and ice applied afterward are standard physical therapy interventions. Why? Because heat maximizes the benefits while cold minimizes any microdamage from physical therapy. Heat expands the blood vessels in the area to which it is applied. As the blood vessels expand, more blood flows into the area, bringing with […]

A Measured Response to Longer Limbs

The pediatrician seems concerned that your child’s arms and legs seem longer than normal. Will he or she just grow up to be tall? A good pediatrician screens children for signs of syndromes that might not be apparent to parents. Particularly long limbs are possible indicators of at least two: Marfan syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. […]

Pillow Talk: Physical Therapy for Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition in which you stop breathing, temporarily, in your sleep, often multiple times an hour. As the name suggests, something blocking an airway causes the problem. The implications of untreated OSA can include excessive daytime fatigue, high blood pressure and a greater risk of stroke or heart attack. In […]

Combat Fatigue from Blood Pressure Medications

The dizziness and tiredness caused, at first, by most blood pressure medications are enough to put anyone off from taking them. But with exercise you can reap the benefits of your medication and minimize any fatigue that comes your way. Better still, some strategies simultaneously combat fatigue and reduce blood pressure. If your blood pressure […]

Dialysis and Exercise: A Perfect Match

Patients often ask whether they can exercise while undergoing dialysis. The answer is yes, with permission of your physician. Staying as fit as possible reduces the likelihood of hospitalizations and improves quality of life. It is a natural mood elevator and can help relieve the depression that can accompany dialysis dependency. Since patients on dialysis […]

Regain Strength After Meningitis

Bacterial meningitis is a potentially life-threatening infection of the meninges, the covering of the brain and spinal cord. The infection, caused by pathogens common in the environment and found in the nose and respiratory system, can result in a swelling of the tissues around the brain, which interferes with blood flow and can produce paralysis […]

Pillow Talk: Does Your Pillow Affect Your Sleep?

Pillows-dozens of them promise you a pain-free night’s sleep. Some claim to relieve neck pain. Others say they align the spine. Many of these pillows are expensive. But do they really work? The answer is: It depends. Many factors determine the effectiveness of a pillow in reducing pain and improving sleep. These include the part […]

Pain Pump First—Then Rehabilitation

Often used for up to four days after surgery, pain pumps allow a patient to administer medication on an as-needed basis through a catheter to the specific part of the body experiencing pain, typically nerves or incised tissues. These devices effectively help avoid complications that might result from taking the pain medication intravenously, which introduces […]

Improving Quality of Life for Ataxia Sufferers

People with ataxia lack muscle coordination when they perform voluntary movements such as walking or picking up objects. A sign of an underlying condition, ataxia can also affect speech, eye movements and the ability to swallow, and may be caused by alcohol abuse, stroke, head trauma, brain tumor, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis or a defective […]

Blood Pressure Medicine + Exercise = Recovery from Stroke

About every 45 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke, making it the leading cause of long-term disability. Survivors are often left with physical deficits and fear of suffering another stroke. As a stroke survivor, you can do two things to reduce the risk of a second stroke: control your blood pressure with […]

Paget’s Disease: Treating with Physical Therapy

A slow-progressing bone disease that typically afflicts older adults, Paget’s disease involves excessive and abnormal remodeling of bone. Throughout our lives, bone continuously breaks down and “re-forms” new bone; cells called osteoclasts absorb this broken-down bone matter, and osteoblas ts create new bone. Paget’s disease creates an imbalance in the way these cells interact, resulting […]

Combat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome with Physical Therapy

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complex and debilitating disease whose cause is unknown, although it is thought to be associated with various viral infections. People with CFS experience severe fatigue that can last for months. Normal daily activities may leave them exhausted for more than a day, a fatigue unrelieved by bed rest or […]

Heart Failure and Physical Therapy

Aweakened heart unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs results in congestive heart failure (CHF). When this happens, fluid builds up in the extremities, causing the legs, ankles, feet and fingers to swell. Fluid also accumulates in the lungs—a condition called pulmonary edema—causing shortness of breath, especially during activity or when lying […]

Microfracture Surgery: Resurfacing

Microfracture surgery can repair damaged knee cartilage, the material that cushions bones at their joints. First, surgeons make a one-quarter inch incision on the affected knee and then insert an instrument into the joint to poke small holes (microfractures) into the bone just below the end of the damaged cartilage. Blood clots cover the damaged […]

Evidence-based Physical Therapy

Over the last 10 to 15 years, health care providers have focused more on using evidence-based medicine to determine what works best for their individual patients. This involves basing treatments on objective tests of effectiveness published in scientific literature, rather than on just anecdotal, subjective observations made in the office. While seeking out the appropriate […]

Peripheral Artery Disease: Get the Blood Flowing Again

Say you have experienced intermittent pain in your legs after walking or climbing stairs, but you brush it off as an unfortunate side effect of aging. Maybe you have noticed that the hair on your lower leg is growing more slowly or that the skin looks paler on your leg than on the rest of […]

Training in Planes

Many trendy buzzwords and catch phrases are often used in fitness circles, with the phrase “training in planes” heard quite frequently. The concept, which has nothing to do with aviation, sounds interesting, but what does it really mean? Simply put, every move we make involves one of the following three planes of motion in the […]

Don’t Let Pain Cramp Your Style

Significant pain affects many of us. In fact, at one or more points in their lives, about 45% of Americans will experience such persistent pain that they will seek treatment. Pain is the most frequent reason medical care is sought and the number one cause of lost productivity in the workplace, costing employers $80 billion […]

Reducing Surgical Screw Complications

To fix a broken bone internally into position and support it until it is able to bear weight, surgeons have turned to new materials such as stainless steel, cobalt and titanium, which are compatible with the body and rarely cause allergic reaction or implant failures. While metal screws made from these materials are widely used, […]

Strengthening Your “Heart” Following Angioplasty

People who have undergone angioplasty followed by stent placement generally have better blood supply to the heart muscle than do other people. That increased blood supply means that you should be able to participate in more physical activity than you did before the procedure. Not only is exercise safer than it was before your angioplasty […]

Take a Break From Your Computer

You may already know that repetitive body movements from sports such as golf, tennis or running can create wear and tear on muscles and bones that, over time, can lead to serious injuries or degenerative arthritis. But you probably don’t know that working or playing video games on your computer for long periods of time […]

Continued Shoulder Pain After Decompression Surgery

Shoulder impingement syndrome, the condition that often results in decompression surgery, can cause pain as you perform your daily activities. Therefore, it is understandably frustrating when you continue to experience pain after surgery. Luckily, chances are that this new discomfort will be short-lived, especially with good postoperative care. In most cases, decompression—a procedure performed to […]

TENS: A Drug-free Way to Relieve Pain

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) may sound futuristic—even scary—but this method of pain relief is actually a great drug-free way to relieve discomfort from injuries or chronic conditions. When the TENS equipment is used, patches called electrodes are applied to your skin (“transcutaneous” means “through the skin”) and are attached to a small, battery-operated device […]

Keeping Your Exercise Program on Track

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Coping with a Mysterious Pain Syndrome

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