Pain

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.

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.