by Jennifer Dunn, DPT
One works with a physical therapist due to some sort of pain, injury, or functional limitation. Physical therapists often give patients a few exercises to work on at home to get them moving better. It can seem time-consuming, but sneaking a few PT exercises into one's day can make a world of difference in physical recovery. Here are a few ideas on how to make it work.
Set A Phone Alarm
Consider a recurring alarm. For example, set it for shortly after you will get home at the end of the day or at a time when you typically have a break in your day.
Some exercises can be done while you are completing other tasks (e.g. stretching, strength, posture, or balance exercises):
Make PT Time "You" Time
This is 10-15 minutes when you can focus on yourself and taking care of your own body
by Jill Grider, PT, DPT, Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Have you ever felt a sensation of uncontrollable spinning despite not being in motion? You may remember this experience from playing as a kid when you would spin in circles super fast and then abruptly stop. Or maybe you’ve felt this spinning after drinking a little too much alcohol. This sensation of uncontrollable spinning is referred to as vertigo. Many people experience vertigo as a result of dysfunction with their vestibular system which is comprised of different parts of the brain and the inner ear. The most common vestibular disorder causing vertigo is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo aka BPPV.
BPPV is a prevalent disorder in which a person experiences acute bouts of vertigo when they move their head in certain directions. Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo is a mouthful but it makes sense when you break it down.
Benign: not malignant
Paroxysmal: comes on suddenly
Positional: occurs immediately following a change in positions
Vertigo: is accompanied by a sensation of spinning
The vertigo symptoms last anywhere from a few seconds to a couple minutes. The vertigo is often accompanied by complaints of nausea, vomiting, and imbalance. Common movements that trigger the vertigo are rolling over in bed, rinsing hair in the shower, and bending over.
So what causes this involuntary sensation of spinning in BPPV? You may have heard of having crystals in your inner ear. These crystals are called otoconia. In BPPV, these crystals are knocked loose in the inner ear. Most often these crystals spontaneously dislodge for no known reason but sometimes it occurs after a head trauma or inner ear infection. These loose crystals move with gravity when you move your head in certain directions. The loose crystals stimulate hair cells in your inner ear when you move one direction which confuses the brain into thinking you’re moving another direction. In response, the brain triggers an involuntary oscillatory movement of the eyes which makes it seems like the room is spinning. The loose crystals eventually settle and stop moving which then allows the spinning to cease. This is a simplified version of the process but this is the general gist of how BPPV works.
BPPV and its accompanying symptoms can have a significantly negative impact on a person’s quality of life. Increased fatigue, difficulty concentrating, depression, and social isolation are often reported alongside vestibular disorders. The great news is that a trained physical therapist (PT) can easily treat your BPPV. The PT accurately diagnoses which part of your inner ear the crystals are loose. From there, the PT places you in a series of very specific positions that utilize gravity to put the crystals back where they belong. This doesn’t merely mask your symptoms but it actually fixes the problem. BPPV is a very treatable disorder so don’t hesitate to seek help if you think you may have it. We want to get you back to living the life you love without a fear of the spins! In the meantime, vestibular.org is a wonderful resource to help answer any questions.
Schedule a consult with Staszak Physical Therapy & Wellness Center today at 541-505-8180.
by Jennifer Dunn, DPT
Plagiocephaly, the flattening of one side of the head, is a relatively common condition in infants.
Plagiocephaly is associated with uncontrollable factors such as multiple births, positioning in the womb, premature birth, and presence of torticollis, or a tightening of one side of the neck that causes the infant's head to be turned in one direction.
Plagiocephaly and torticollis are also associated with controllable factors after birth such as positioning. Unaddressed plagiocephaly and torticollis can lead to permanent aesthetic changes such as head shape asymmetries, jaw malalignment, and ill-fitting head gear (hats, helmets) or glasses. Plagiocephaly and torticollis do not affect your infant's brain or typical development.
Fortunately, both plagiocephaly and torticollis are often successfully treated through physical therapy and variable positioning throughout the day. For a deeper look into plagiocephaly and treatment options, click here.
If you are concerned about your infant's head shape or positioning, a physical therapy evaluation may be appropriate. Call our office today to schedule an evaluation: 541-505-8180
Oftentimes when we think about physical therapy, we typically think of rehabilitation for adults who have an injury or who need post-surgical care. But did you know physical therapy can be quite helpful for children, too? Pediatric orthopedic physical therapy is designed to keep your child doing what they do best — playing. We can help address any head or neck asymmetries in infants as well as sports injuries in children of all ages.
We can help with:
The typical evaluation process includes assessing skeletal alignment, muscle length, strength, and coordination. Your child's treatment plan will be tailored to any imbalances found in the evaluation process. No matter what the issue is, the goal is always to facilitate typical infant and child development to decrease future injury risk, promote the enhancement of gross motor skills, and keep your child moving.
To schedule an examination for your child, please give our clinic a call at 541-505-8180. The therapists at Staszak Physical Therapy & Wellness Center are here to help.
Stenosis is a term that describes the narrowing of a space. When we're talking about your back, stenosis is when there is a narrowing of the space around the nerve roots that come out from the spinal cord.
What causes stenosis?
One common cause is from a disc bulge or herniation. This is when one of the discs between your vertebrae bulges out from where it belongs and if the bulge is bad enough, ruptures allowing the shock-absorbing material to come out from the disc into the nerve canal.
Another common cause of stenosis is from arthritic changes, like bone spurs and degeneration, that form over several years of wear and tear on your back.
If we trace the cause back even further, the main cause for stenosis really stems from having a weak abdominal core. When your core is weak, you are more prone to overarching your lower back while sitting or standing. This excessive force, over time, creates the perfect storm for developing disc bulges, herniations, and arthritic changes. It doesn't take much pressure at all for the nerve to get irritated which is why stenosis can be problematic.
What can you do?
One of the best things you can do if you suffer from stenosis is to see a physical therapist. After conducting a thorough examination, a physical therapist can develop a treatment plan to help you work on your posture, core strength, and relearn proper body mechanics. These conservative measures help you achieve relief and, if surgery is warranted, recover more successfully.
At Staszak Physical Therapy & Wellness Center, located in downtown Eugene, we are deeply knowledgeable in working with people who suffer from lower back pain and stenosis. Give us a call today to schedule an assessment with one of our physical therapists at 541-505-8180.
Many patients who have never experienced physical therapy before tend to think physical therapy is just exercise programs and hot and cold pack regimens. While these both can be utilized in a physical therapy treatment program, manual therapy is proven to reduce recovery times and increase a patient’s range of motion and strength.
Manual therapy is the use of a physical therapist’s hands to relieve pain and restore mobility. While this might sound like a massage, manual therapy includes kneading and manipulating soft tissue such as muscles to increase circulation, reduce scar tissue, and relax muscles to reduce pain.
Manual therapy can also include joint mobilization and manipulation, where the physical therapist uses measured movements at different speeds and forces to move bones and joints. This action loosens tight tissue around joints and helps with flexibility, mobility, and pain. When used in conjunction with an individualized exercise program, manual therapy can help restore function in the treated area.
Does Manual Therapy Hurt?
Manual therapy doesn’t have to hurt, although there can be some discomfort since physical therapists are actively manipulating a painful or tight area.
Before beginning manual therapy, a physical therapist will have a consultation with you to understand your unique condition and baseline your current range of motion, strength, and flexibility. Physical therapists will modify the amount of force they use depending on the injury and if the pain is chronic, acute, or post-surgical. After treatment, you may experience some soreness for a day or two, but usually, you'll see an immediate increase in your range of motion and experience reduced pain levels.
Recovering from surgery can be long and arduous. However, having a care and rehabilitation plan in place before your surgery can help speed up recovery time and lead to a stronger you. Depending on the complexity and scope of your procedure, physical therapy could be an excellent addition to your recovery plan. Physical therapy provides many benefits to your mind and body after surgery. Here are some benefits to including physical therapy in your recovery plan.
It is important to get moving as soon as possible after surgery. Learning exercises to move the muscles of your previously injured area will help ensure proper range of motion and increase your mobility. Your physical therapist will work with you to create a personalized plan to improve your overall strength to help prevent re-injury.
During surgery, our muscles develop scar tissue and become irritated. Proper exercise and stretching techniques help to reduce the amount of scar tissue development. Also, these techniques will help build muscle memory to ensure you maintain proper body alignment throughout your healing.
Working towards your goals with the physical therapist will put you on a track to success. Your individualized plan will teach you proper body mechanics. After recovery, you will have the tools to stay strong and prevent future issues. Being proactive in your recovery is the best way to stay both mentally and physically healthy.
Avoid Opioid Dependency
Physical therapy can diminish pain and the need for pain medication. The CDC released guidelines for prescribing opioids and recommended that physical therapy should be used in conjunction with the medicines to reduce the risk of dependency. The sooner you can live pain-free without pain medications the less risk you have of developing a dependency on the drugs.
Staszak Physical Therapy & Wellness Center, located in downtown Eugene, is here to help with all of your post-surgical physical therapy needs. If surgery is unavoidable, we will develop a plan with a post-op goal intended to help you recover, get strong, and stay strong. Call today to speak with our caring staff to get your plan started. (541) 505-8180
One aspect of starting a workout regimen that people dread is the soreness that comes with it. The day after a workout can be tough for even the most dedicated gym goers. It is important to recognize the difference between soreness and a sports-related injury.
Soreness is very common and naturally occurring caused by muscles stretching and growing during and after workouts. Typically, you will notice the first signs of soreness either the night of or the morning after your workout. With soreness, you may feel weak and have aching pains in the muscles that you used at the gym. In addition, you may have tenderness and stiffness. To treat soreness, ice the muscles that are causing you trouble and continue light activity that keeps you moving but doesn’t cause extra stress to the impacted muscle groups. Normal activity should resume once you feel strong enough to do so.
Unlike soreness, an injury will typically show itself as a sharp stabbing pain. If this occurs, it is time to see a doctor. Sometimes though, an injury is not as obvious and can disguise itself as common soreness. The difference between an injury and soreness is the length of recovery. Soreness should only last a few days, and anything longer than that could potentially be a sign of underlying injury. If movement is hindered and home treatments like icing are not working, it is time to make an appointment to let a professional determine what is causing your pain.
Physical therapy can help in both treating an injury and preventing injuries from occurring in the first place. Before you begin a workout regimen, consult a physical therapist to determine what your body can handle and to learn proper techniques when working out. If an injury occurs, a physical therapist can create an individualized workout plan to get you back to full strength and back in the gym.
For more information about the differences between soreness and injury and how physical therapy can help with these problems call us at 541-505-8180. At Staszak Physical Therapy & Wellness Center, our team of therapists and trainers wants to help you reach your full potential. We will focus on you and your situation to create a plan that will help you achieve your goals.
Treatment after an automobile accident is critical. While these types of incidents are unexpected, knowing what to do can be the difference between recovery and long-term problems. Develop a plan now, so you are ready if this unfortunate event occurs, and you can save yourself from lifelong complications.
See your doctor
After every accident, it is important to consult with a physician to ensure that no clear and present injuries need to be addressed. This step is necessary because injuries aren’t always as obvious as you would think. Once you have been cleared by the doctor, then you can begin taking steps to recover from the event.
Controlling inflammation at home
One thing that happens when you are in an automobile accident is the stretching and tearing of muscles. In turn, this type of muscle strain can lead to muscle damage and constant inflammation, causing pain. To stop these muscles from hurting it is vital that you get the inflammation under control. Several steps can be taken at home to control the inflamed muscles. Anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen are highly effective at controlling inflammation. Treating the injured area with an ice pack is another way to calm down the damaged muscles.
At Staszak Physical Therapy & Wellness Center, located in downtown Eugene, we want to help you recover from the unexpected. We have many methods at our disposal to use if you are injured. Also, we also take pride in providing you the skills needed to regain strength and proper body positioning. Not only do we target your specific issues, but we teach you effective exercises to get you back to feeling better and on with your life. We focus on each individual to craft the best possible treatment plan. If you follow the plan we create, it is possible for you to feel better than ever.
If you find yourself in need of care after an automobile accident, we are ready to help. Our friendly and professional staff is here to help you get back to full health. Feel free to call us at 541-505-8180, and we will set up a time to see you and create a plan that is best for you and your individual needs.
A pelvic floor disorder or pelvic floor dysfunction is when the ‘bowl’ of muscles in the pelvis and perineum are too weak or too tight. It can affect both men and women and is associated with dysfunction in other local structures, including the hip and lower back, coccyx and other joints of the pelvis itself.
Contributing factors include constipation and other abdominal problems, pregnancy or childbirth, poor posture, or trauma such as a fall onto the coccyx. Some people experience pelvic floor dysfunction simply because they spend too much time sitting at a desk, or from repeated heavy lifting.
If you have a pelvic floor disorder, you might feel that you can’t complete a bowel movement, or that you need to have several bowel movements all within a short period. Pelvic floor disorders can also cause pelvic pain and sexual dysfunction.
How Physical Therapy Can Help
Pelvic disorder results in muscle and connective tissue becoming tight or imbalanced. This reduces blood flow and can makes tissues very sensitive. It can also disrupt local tissue drainage, pelvic organs such as the bladder, and other local joints, nerves and muscles. Fortunately, physical therapy can fix this issue and/or provide relief.
A physical therapy session will normally involve:
Physical therapy for pelvic disorders will normally start with connective tissue manipulation. This will make it easier to treat the underlying trigger points. It will increase blood flow to the area and relax the pelvic floor somewhat.
A pelvic disorder is not a cookie cutter problem. Treating a pelvic disorder is not as a simple as strengthening a single group of muscles. There is a whole system to consider when it comes to restoring function, improving muscular support, and eliminating pain. You need a physical therapist who has the expertise to give you the individual examination and analysis that your problem requires.
We will also take your diet into consideration. By improving your dietary habits, you can achieve optimal organ function.
Here at Staszak Physical Therapy & Wellness Center, we are dedicated to returning you to full health. You can trust us to give you the individual attention required to get to the root of any problem and the advice to prevent it from occurring again.
If you are suffering with a pelvic floor disorder, you can get in touch with us for a consultation. We won’t only recommend our therapies, but we will also make sure you receive the proper education required to take care of yourself going forward.
For more information about how we can help with pelvic floor disorders, please give us a call at 541-505-8180. Our physical therapy office is located in downtown Eugene at the corner of West 11th Avenue and Ferry Street.
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