Advance with PT

Get Your Life Back

Physical therapy has multiple facets. Although the word 'therapy' implies treatment of injuries, the entire scope of a physical therapist extends well beyond 'therapy'. In fact, we can help improve every aspect of your life by improving movement and transforming the health of your bones, muscles, and joints.

Children, adults and seniors (and in some cases, infants) can benefit from physical therapy. Together can raise the bar on every aspect of your physical capability, by helping you perform every single movement more efficiently. Imagine if you could walk faster and climb stairs without getting out of breath. Imagine being able to lift heavy boxes you couldn't lift before and being able to play sports with your children and grandchildren. Imagine being able to go out in the community with family and friends without having to worry about leakage? Ask yourself this "What if I could turn back the clock and become a healthier version of myself?".

Your physical therapist will help you establish the foundation for a healthy lifestyle. Some foundational principles include:

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Stretching: Find a way to include stretching into your daily routine. Associating it with something you normally do every day, like brushing your teeth or letting the dog out, can make it easier to remember. You can set vibration alerts on your phone to remind you to take a break from work. Simply stand up, step away from the computer and stretch your neck and back. It doesn't have to be anything elaborate. Keeping healthy muscles and joints mobile throughout the day helps improve health and vitality.

Hydration: A well-hydrated body is a necessary foundation for physical health.  Make it easy to keep drinking throughout the day by keeping a water bottle at your desk. Remember to sip water at regular intervals. Don't wait till you are thirsty, because the thirst reflex is a delayed indication of hydration. If you wait till you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.

Core Stabilization: Balance in the human body is almost as important as balance in life. Challenging yourself a little every day can strengthen your core muscles (abdominal region, trunk and lower back) and improve proprioception. Try standing or sitting, close your eyes and hold your arms out at shoulder height. Now try picking one leg up, slowly, beginning by lifting your heel and rolling forward through your toe. Try to hold your leg up for a few seconds. When you put your foot back down, do it slowly, setting down your toe, then the ball of your foot, and finally your heel. Try to increase the duration of the one-legged stance each day.

As 2018 ends, this is an ideal time to renew your commitment to your health and well-being. Physical therapy is a viable alternative to surgery and medicine. In fact, it can help improve everyone's fitness and energy levels. Physical therapy can certainly help with pain relief, restoration of function and improvement in strength and mobility, but there is a lot more that your therapist can do for you.

Hip Pain

Don’t let your pain be a pain in the butt.

Have you ever had a nagging pain in the region of the pelvis or hip? Pain or discomfort in the pelvic region and the hip may be related. Since the hip is a weight bearing joint, pain and discomfort in the hip can cause problems with sitting, standing and walking.

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The bones, muscles, and ligaments of the hip and pelvic region act as protection for internal organs such as the bladder. Depending on the severity of the injury, pain in this region, such as a hip fracture, may cause difficulty when urinating and/or abdominal pain.

Pelvic pain can have many sources including chronic pain and fractures in the pelvis. Participation in athletic programs, bicycling injuries and vehicle accidents may cause fractures in the hip.

Low-impact injuries in the elderly are usually precipitated by osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. Falls are a major area of concern for the elderly. Causes include deterioration in balance, impaired vision and unintended obstacles like slippery floors, rugs and even pets. Fractures as a direct result of falls in the elderly can lead to complications such as cardiovascular disorders, pulmonary problems and infections.

A period of rest and recovery is essential after any injury, but hip and pelvic fractures pose unique challenges. An extended period of bed rest is needed to allow time to heal. Reduced muscle tone and weakness may ensue. It can also result in a reduction in joint mobility. Physical therapy helps mitigate the effects of bed rest. Once a patient is weight bearing, a therapist can facilitate recovery using some of the following methods:

Joint and Soft Tissue Manipulation – Specialized techniques help restore movement, and therapeutic massage is used to reduce muscle tension, control pain and facilitate range of motion.

Customized Exercise Programs – Specialized routines are tailored to the individual abilities of the patient and can be performed with or without equipment. The method increases strength, maintains tone and sustains range of movement.

Training with Assistive Devices – Physical therapists provide patients with help in learning to move with crutches, canes, wheelchairs, and walkers.

No one wants to experience pain and discomfort, especially the kind that prevents you from doing simple things like sitting, standing and walking. From a human anatomy standpoint, pain in the hip and pelvis affects your ability to bear weight on those joints. In fact, problems in the lower back are related to hip pain and vice versa.

Once we gather all the information from you, we use our training and insight to formulate a treatment program designed for your unique needs. If you or someone you know has experienced a pelvic fracture or you have any questions about physical therapy, please give In Touch Physical Therapy a call today at 507-451-7888. We will present you with several options to work with us, and answer any questions you might have.

Pelvic Health

Ever since the #1 New York Times bestseller entitled "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus" by John Gray was published, more and more people have asked the question "What makes men and women so different?". Gray's use of analogies and metaphors to highlight key differences between genders has made the book a modern classic. 

Although Gray's work was focused on relationships between spouses, it is important to understand that there are several physical and physiological attributes that are unique to women, and physical therapy plays an important role in women's health, more specifically pelvic health.

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For example:

  • Incontinence

  • Pelvic pain

  • Sexual Dysfunction

Some of the fundamental physical differences between men and women include:

  • Men have more muscle mass than women.

  • Women tend to have a higher proportion of body fat than men. This fat is generally stored in the breasts, hips and buttocks.

  • Men tend to have more body hair (especially facial hair)

Physical therapists understand the physical differences (and unique needs) between the male and female population and we are uniquely qualified to assist men and women to live healthy, pain-free lives.

Exercises and techniques to treat issues specific to pelvic health may include:

Muscle retraining – This creates body awareness (how you get in and out of your car, how you bend to pick things up, how you sit, overall posture, etc.) and improves movement patterns. Muscle retraining is also beneficial for those struggling with different diagnoses such as incontinence, urgency, pelvic pain, and pre/post-pregnancy. 

  • Exercise Therapy – helps improve mobility, strength, and endurance. This also strengthens bones and joints. One exercise many people know is the Kegel. The Kegel is one way to strengthen a weak pelvic floor and can be very beneficial, however some pelvic floor related symptoms require relaxation instead of the strengthening.  

  • Modalities – Application of biofeedback, heat and/or ice, electrical stimulation therapy, and massage therapy to reduce pain, stiffness, and swelling.

  • Manual therapy – helps improve joint and soft tissue flexibility and mobility by using repetitive and specific hands-on movements and motions.

A women's health physical therapist can also assist men with pelvic floor related complications. There are many other ways your women's health therapist can assist you with your specific needs. For example, did you know that a Women's health therapist can also assist men with pelvic floor related issues also?

At In Touch Physical therapy, each physical therapy program is different and is customized to the patient's needs. Women and men have unique physical and physiological attributes that physical therapists take into consideration. In fact, a section of the American Physical Therapy Association is dedicated to specialization in women's health. At our clinic we have two therapists who have been trained in treating pelvic floor dysfunctions.

Physical therapy can make a difference to every member in your family at some point. Give us a call today at 507-451-7888, and ask us about what we can do for you.

Just remember to #ChoosePT

Tennis Elbow

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The In’s and Out’s of Elbow Pain

Did you know that there are two well-known repetitive strain injuries common in the elbow? One is Tennis elbow and the other is Golfer’s elbow and they are not restricted to those who play tennis or golf. In both of these conditions’ tendon damage causes soreness and/or pain around the elbow. In this article we will be focusing on Tennis elbow, in which symptoms are noted on the outside of the elbow or the lateral epicondyle. The symptoms of tennis elbow are noticeable when the palm is turned upward. When damage occurs to these tendons in the forearm makes wrist movements and forearm rotation painful and can limit day to day activities.

Tennis elbow is considered a repetitive movement injury. The name is derived from repetitive movements that commonly occur when playing tennis. In fact, any repetitive movement from consistent turning and twisting can cause tennis elbow. Examples include working on an industrial machine, desk job, and other sports. Sometimes, tennis elbow can actually be caused by a direct blow to the tendons of the elbow area.

Did you know that a physical therapist can help relieve pain and restore motion and strength to the arm, wrist, fingers, and elbow? Our therapists can help you with the recovery as well as injury prevention and future recurrences of tennis elbow.

Your physician may recommend prescription medication to reduce pain and inflammation. The physical therapist will work closely with the physician to improve circulation, promote healing and help restore full function as quickly as possible.

If you or someone you know has pain in your forearm that interferes with daily activities, ask your physician if physical therapy is right for you. You can also contact us directly at In Touch Physical Therapy and we'll be happy to schedule an appointment right away.

At In Touch Physical Therapy, we will design an exercise program that is geared towards your specific needs, abilities and goals and help you. Don't suffer with the constant pain and restrictions of tennis elbow anymore. Contact our office today at 507-451-7888. Our goal is to help you. We'll be your ticket to a speedy recovery.

A Word from Our Physical Therapists

October is National Physical Therapy Month. As part of this month, we wish to let our patients know just how much we appreciate them. Because of your continuous support, we have been able to effectively help our patients achieve optimal health and wellness for over 20 years. We hope that with your support, our business will continue to grow and expand in the coming years. We are dedicated to continuous learning and strive to practice the most current training and treatment techniques to help you return to activity as soon as physically possible. Without you, we would not be able to continually provide you with a path to better health!

Many of our patients experience back pain. Often people will experience back pain following less strenuous activities like picking up the laundry, working in the garden, or even reaching over to tie a shoe. Whatever the cause, once you have low back pain, it can be tough to deal with. According to the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society, approximately 25% of U.S. adults reported having low back pain lasting at least one day in the past three months and 7.6% reported at least one episode of severe acute low back pain within a year. Low back pain is the most common cause of work-related disability in persons younger than 45 years in the United States and 85% of people in the US will experience an episode of LBP at some point during their lifetime. Fortunately, LBP resolves for the vast majority within 2-4 weeks. For those cases that don’t resolve within 2-4 weeks, it can be very debilitating and can turn into a chronic condition if not dealt with appropriately. Causes of back pain generally are attributed to an acute traumatic event, but they may also be caused by cumulative trauma. An acute traumatic event can vary from twisting one's back when taking out the trash to being involved in a motor vehicle accident. Cumulative trauma tends to occur more commonly in the workplace or from repetitively putting undue stress on your back through daily activities.   

Here are a few simple tips to help with your back pain.

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Ice - for the first 24-48 hours after the injury, place ice on the affected area for 15-20 minutes, using a towel to separate the ice pack from the skin to prevent damage. Heat can be used 48 hours after the injury.

Rest - try placing a pillow between or under your knees to reduce any unnecessary pressure on your back to reduce pain during sleep.

Lift with your legs - watch your posture when you are lifting heavy objects. Keep your back flat, keep the object close to your body, bend your knees, and keep your core tight.  Avoid bending or twist at the waist. 

Get a physical therapy evaluation - They can perform a thorough evaluation to identify factors that may be contributing to your back pain including flexibility, strength, joint mobility, posture. 

Repetitive Strain Injury

The rule of thumb for a repetitive strain injury (RSI) is to reduce further strain and rest the limb that may be tingling, numb or hurting. It is important to identify the symptoms as early as possible and seek help.

It is very common for athletes, musicians and writers to ignore the symptoms of a RSI. In order to prevent further injury and the resulting disability of RSI, it is best to seek the advice of a physical therapist.

Prevention Tips

If you are engaged in ongoing, repetitive activity on the job or during sports and recreational activities, it is important to rest periodically from the task and take note of the following:

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  • Massage the limbs and joints

  • Stretch the muscles

  • Maintain hydration

  • Look for signs of overuse

  • If symptoms get worse, seek a physical therapist without delay

Physical Therapy Treatment

Conservative physical therapy management includes the following:

  • Strengthening the limbs and joints

  • Postural retraining

  • Bracing with the use of splints and wrist pads

  • Ergonomic intervention

  • Psychosocial rehabilitation

Identify, Prevent, and Manage Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). Ask Your Physical Therapist How!

Repetitive strain injury (RSI) occurs as a result of overuse or misuse of the body and it generally affects the upper extremities. It has been reported that approximately 60% of all occupational injuries can be attributed to RSI. This causes a significant decrease in productivity on a personal and professional level.

Causes

RSI usually occur in the fingers, elbows and wrists. The wrist joint experiences a great deal of stress as it is constantly used to perform simple tasks such as writing and typing. RSI is also quite common with musicians due to repetitive hand movements. 

 Symptoms:

The stress placed on the soft tissue (muscles, tendons, nerves, arteries and veins) of the extremities results in compression or entrapment as a result of inflammation. Common symptoms include:

  • Tingling

  • Pain

  • Stiff achy joints

  • Intermittent numbness

If left untreated, these symptoms can lead to serious conditions such as: 

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome CTS

  • Tendonitis

  • Tenosynovitis

  • Ganglionic cysts

We Will Get You Back on Track... Always

The goal of physical therapy in RSI is to reduce pain, improve motion and restore strength. Since RSI is a chronic injury and develops over time (and is often ignored in the early stages), a physical therapy rehabilitation program is essential.

It provides a long-term solution to prevent further injury and regain quality of life. As your physical therapists, we know that daily life comes with its fair share of stress, and we don't want you to have to deal with yet another source of (physical) stress in the form of RSI. At In Touch Physical Therapy, we are here to help you, and are committed to help you get better, faster.

Call us today at (507)-451-7888 to learn how we can help you recover from RSI and get you back on track with your job, and your life.