By Michael Basten, PT, DPT
President/CEO of Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy

“Good Enough” Means You Won’t Spend Enough Time to Fully Rehabilitate Your Injury

When it comes to physical mobility, are you prepared to settle for a good enough solution? That may work when you are making small decisions, like picking which size band-aid, but when it is your mobility that is on the line you need to have a full recovery focus. This is an extreme example, but the fact remains: if you settle for good enough, you will never do everything you want to do.

When it comes to your physical health and pain-free mobility, full injury recovery should be the target. It is easy to be drawn to the first solution that provides more comfort and functionality than you have today—even if it only offers a marginal improvement. We call this solution good enough. True, this solution will provide basic functionality, but it can also cause doubt and certainly will not help you achieve the best result. When having a full recovery focus you shouldn’t feel:

  • Worried about your recovery
  • Overwhelmed
  • Frustrated
  • Skeptical
  • Stressed (physical, financial, emotional, or mental)

Seeking full recovery is a journey with no shortcuts and no finish line. A journey that will lead to amazing and fulfilling results. At Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy our therapists embrace the journey. We understand that good enough is a dangerous stopping point… to aim for good enough is to end up incredibly mediocre… also keep in mind that good enough is only good enough for so long.

What is a Full Recovery Focus™?

A Foothills therapist will take you, your pain, and your full recovery seriously. We don’t believe a good enough recovery is good enough. In fact, no one deserves just a good enough recovery, no matter what their situation may be, our goal is to do everything we can to help you get your full, healthy life back. Our Full Recovery Focus™ difference is evident from your very first visit. Your enthusiastic and committed therapist takes you, your pain, and your situation seriously as you discuss what full recovery looks like. Together you will map out a hands-on customized plan to get you there. Your therapist will work to prevent unnecessary diagnostics in your recovery that can increase out of pocket costs and impact your long-term well-being. Our therapists can work with your doctor to explore pre-surgery, post-surgery, and no-surgery options for your full recovery.

Pre-Surgery, Post-surgery & No surgery

We know a full recovery starts before your surgery even happens. That’s why we’re with you from the beginning to the end. You can book an appointment without needing a referral from your doctor, and we can work with your doctors to develop a pre-surgery and a post-surgery plan. If it is possible, we will help you avoid surgery altogether. Our goal is always your full recovery.

Locally Trusted & Convenient

No one likes being in pain longer than they have to. With dozens of locations in Phoenix, you can get in to see your therapist quickly. You will never wait longer than 48 hours after booking your appointment. That’s why we’re the physical therapy organization local Arizonans have trusted for over 20 years. We have helped more than 500,000 patients get out of pain and back to doing the things they love. Your recovery sessions will be planned out so that you move through your recovery as soon as possible and get back to feeling like yourself and enjoying your life again.  And you won’t need to worry about insurance. We accept most major insurance carriers, including competitive cash pay options.

Get rid of crippling pain and enjoy full rehabilitation from your injury. 

We don’t give up on our patients once their recovery reaches “acceptable,” whatever that might mean. We make every effort to steer our patients away from a good enough recovery and guide them on their journey to full recovery.

Schedule an appointment today.

Dementia can be a scary, overwhelming, and isolating diagnosis. While there is no known cure for dementia, there are plenty of things patients and loved ones can do to prevent cognitive decline. Dr. Michelle Bogert, clinic director of the Paradise Valley clinic, and Dr. Mayy Deadrick, a family practitioner at Manzanita Medical Center share how doctors and physical therapists can work together to prevent and treat the symptoms of dementia.

What is Dementia?

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “Dementia is not a single disease; it’s an overall term — like heart disease — that covers a wide range of specific medical conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease.  Disorders grouped under the general term “dementia” are caused by abnormal brain changes. These changes trigger a decline in thinking skills, also known as cognitive abilities, severe enough to impair daily life and independent function. They also affect behavior, feelings, and relationships.

  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty communicating
  • Difficulty with visual and spatial abilities
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Difficulty reasoning or problem-solving
  • Difficulty handling complex tasks
  • Personality changes
  • Difficulty with planning and organizing
  • Difficulty with coordination and motor functions
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Inappropriate behavior
  • Paranoia
  • Agitation
  • Hallucinations

Physical Side Effects of Dementia

As dementia progresses, physical complications become more severe. The physical side effects that physical therapy can address are:

  • Stiff muscles
  • Loss of balance or coordination leading to falls
  • Weak muscles
  • Fatigue

How Physical Therapy Can Help

While physical therapy can’t cure or eliminate the symptoms of dementia, there’s a lot we can do to help slow symptoms and improve the quality of life for our patients. When creating treatment plans for dementia patients, we typically focus on:

  • Fall risk. By improving balance, stability, strength, and coordination through physical therapy, we’re able to reduce falls for our patients, keeping them healthy and active, longer.
  • Stiff muscles. Keeping patients active and mobile through age- and ability-appropriate exercises help relieve stiff muscles. This helps them to move more comfortably and enjoy their daily activities.
  • Muscle weakness. It’s vital for dementia patients to keep working on strengthening and utilizing their muscles so they don’t become sedentary and lose the ability to participate in their normal activities.
  • Heart and cardio health. The higher our cardiovascular function, the more capable our body is to fight off disease. Dementia is no different. We’re not marathon training, but giving patients the ability to elevate their heart rate just enough to see improvements in cardiovascular health. This is important for giving them the strength to fight the bigger battle.
  • Cognitive abilities. We’re not playing brain games or anything, but endorphins and neuron development play a large part in keeping our patients sharp. The increase in activities can improve (or slow the decline of) memory, elevate patients’ mood, and improve their overall quality of life.

Physical Activity & Dementia Prevention

Years ago, doctors thought that you couldn’t grow neurons. However, now we know there are many lifestyle factors we can control to generate neurons and combat any possible effects of dementia before it begins. Regular physical activity, through a combination of cardiovascular exercise, balance, and mobility, is one of the best ways to promote healthy brain activity and generate your cognitive reserve.

Final Thoughts

Dementia can be an isolating and terrifying diagnosis for patients and loved ones. What I hope to educate patients and families on is that, if you have a collaborative team, it doesn’t have to be a lonely diagnosis. There are so many preventative things we can do to help improve their overall quality of life. For the patient, I want them to know that even if you have the genetics for dementia, you can make a huge reduction in your chance of getting it. For the family, I want them to know there are things you can do for your loved ones to keep them happy longer.

Are you or a loved one struggling with a dementia diagnosis? Or, are you looking for ways to stay healthy and active to prevent dementia? 

Schedule a free assessment today to see how physical therapy can help you live a healthier, happier life.

It is the middle of November and you are at your son’s club baseball or daughter’s club softball game and you have been informed your child’s teammate is having to sit out this tournament because their arm hurts.  Or even worse, this may be your son or daughter who is needing to sit out. As a father to 3 baseball players who all play club/travel baseball, I have seen this firsthand.  It is stressful for the player, the family, and the team. It happens more often than one would think. In the blog below, we will talk about overuse arm injuries in throwing athletes. As well as some of the reasons for them and what to do about them.

Early specialization and the rise of club/travel teams

Youth sports are competitive, there is no doubt about it, and today’s parents (and kids) have the stress that their kids have to play club sports in order to stay competitive. Club or travel ball teams now dominant youth sports and have become a lucrative business model for coaches. With this development, we have also seen the rise of kids playing one sport year-round or one-sport specialization.

Here is a list of some of the reasons for specialization:

  • The more my child plays, the better they will be.
    • This statement is true, the more you practice a specific skill you will get better at it. But, being good at a sport is multi-faceted and so many things go into being “good”. The repetition of the sport is only one piece.
  • If they don’t continue to play, then they will lose their spot on the team.
    • This is the stress that all parents deal with being part of the travel team sports (including myself!). But we need to understand that this is just not true, it will not be the end of the world if your child takes a season off. It may actually be a good thing!
  • The coach of the team makes his living running travel teams.
    • As adults, we need to make a living and provide for ourselves and our families. If someone can make a living coaching the game they love then more power to them. We as parents need to remember that the coaches and organizations need to keep their teams full and playing year-round to ensure their businesses are successful. For this reason, we must be our children’s loudest and best advocate.

Individualized coaching versus a general strength and conditioning base:

This follows with early specialization and the stress placed on parents for their children being the starting shortstop on their team (or fill in the blank). If you are looking to get individual coaching lessons, there is no short supply of coaches offering these services.  The same travel ball coaches are probably offering lessons or there are numerous facilities/coaches that offer coaching lessons.  This is definitely a great resource to improve your skill set and I have used them for my kids. They need to be spending time working on strength, flexibility, balance/coordination, speed, and agility.

Our bodies need and crave variability which we can get playing more than one sport but if they only play one sport then it is even more important that we supplement activities like:

  • Strength and Conditioning Activities
    • The number one thing coaches look for at the higher levels of sports (high school and above) is the player’s physical attributes – strength, speed, and quickness. Of course, athletic ability is very important but that can be worked on; they want to see that athletes are athletic.
  • Playing Outside
    • When kids go outside and play, they run, jump, skip and perform activities that translate to them being more coordinated, agile, and not mention happier.
  • Play other sports for fun…
    • Who said that every game played has to be serious and played to win? Grab a basketball, go to the park and shoot some hoops.  Have fun!

So what do I do to keep my child from hurting his arm?

Research has shown the #1 reason for youth arm injuries is lack of rest. Kids are simply playing too much and not getting enough rest and recovery time in between playing. Here are a few tips to help keep your child’s arm healthy throughout the travel ball season:

  1. Keep an eye on their pitch count and recovery
    • There are great resources to help guide you in understanding how much rest your child should get based on how many pitches they have thrown. I recommend Pitch Smart by Major League Baseball (mlb.com/pitch-smart).
  2. Develop a Routine to Take Care of their arm

    • All ballplayers need to be doing a strengthening program to address all the muscles of the shoulder to ensure they have the strength and endurance needed to handle the stresses placed on it with throwing. We at Foothills Sports Medicine are a great local resource when looking to develop an Arm Care Program (foothillsrehab.com).
  3. Work on strengthening your legs and core.
    • The force to throw a baseball fast does not come from your arm but actually comes from your legs and core. So if you want to throw the ball harder and take the stress off your arm then get your legs stronger!! Our FAST trainers are a great resource to help build bigger legs (fast-training.com).

 What do I do if my child’s arm is hurting?

As a physical therapist and a father of baseball players, I get asked this question both in the clinic and at the ballpark. Here are my suggestions if your child’s arm has been hurting from playing baseball or softball.

Stop Playing and Take a Break

Seems pretty obvious but as I said earlier there can be a lot of stress involved in playing on a team from not wanting to let the team down to your child not wanting to stop playing. But if he or she has been having some complaints from some time then the first thing is to stop playing to allow the injured area (shoulder, elbow, etc.) to rest and allow the things to calm down. If things do not get better then see a physical therapist.

Go See a Physical Therapist to Assess your Child

Once you have shutdown your child from playing and they are still having pain, then the next step is to have them assessed by a medical professional as you want to rule out anything serious and then get a good plan to get them healed and back playing.

One Tip, see a professional that has experience working with throwing injuries as it does make a difference!! It is important to get the correct diagnosis and plan set up. Arizona is a Direct Access state, so that means you do not need a referral from a doctor to see a physical therapist. PTs are a great first provider to see these types of injuries as they can assess the athlete and deem if a referral to a physician is warranted.

Not All Rehab Programs are the Same…

Physical therapy is normally the first thing recommended for arm injuries in overhead athletes. Seeing a physical therapist will help ensure your child is on the correct program and will recover as quickly as possible. The other piece of the rehab program in the throwing program. It is imperative that a throwing program is implemented prior to being released to their sport to ensure their arm has been conditioned to handle the stresses. This is biggest thing that I see missed when a patient comes to see me with a recurring arm injury.

We at Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy/FAST have the knowledge, skill, and compassion to help keep your baseball/softball player’s healthy and on the field. Contact a clinic near you for further information and questions.

 

In a world of high stress and high demanding jobs, many people are spending more time at their desks. In an effort to be more productive and meet deadlines, people are maintaining static postures to complete their work. This static positioning can lead to physical ailments such as increased stress hormone production, postural strain, decreased muscle mass and overuse injuries. The good news is that these issues can be prevented with a few simple changes!

First, take a break every 30 minutes from your desk.

You can set a timer on your computer to remind you to get up and take a walk, talk to a colleague, or get a drink of water. This will allow you to get increased blood flow to your body and will give your eyes a much-needed break from the screen.

Next, check your desk set up for proper posture! 

The ideal positioning at your desk should look like this:

 

An ergonomic evaluation may be necessary, and some companies will provide you with one and make accommodations. A pull-out keyboard can minimize wrist and shoulder strain. A hi-low desk can help you change positions often and a chair with good lumbar support can reduce low back stress. The computer monitor should be at eye level or slightly below.

Finally, do some stretches and exercises at your work station.

Some examples include chin tucks, scapular retractions, thoracic extension, and rotation stretches. Performing these activities will maintain flexibility and reduce muscle imbalances.

A few simple changes at your desk can minimize your risk of injury and pain. Remember, maintaining your health is important in order to meet those deadlines and be a productive worker!

For further questions feel free to get in contact with a Foothills Sports Medicine physical therapist near you!

 

Many people are searching for a new diet or the latest fad to lose weight, feel healthier and increase energy. Eighty percent of how your body looks is based on nutrition. You can work out all you want but until you change your eating habits you will not see optimal results. Clean eating is a healthy approach to nutrition and food. It can improve your energy levels, weight, and overall health. You can actually eat more than you did before by choosing better food options.

There are six principles of clean eating.

  1. Choosing whole, natural foods
  2. Eliminating processed foods
  3. Choosing unrefined over refined foods
  4. Including protein, carbohydrates and fat in each meal
  5. Watching out for fat, salt, and sugar intake
  6. Eating 5‐6 small meals throughout the day

Clean Foods vs Processed Foods

The idea of clean eating involves eating whole foods that are rich in nutrients. You’ll want to stay away from processed foods as they contain high levels of salt, sugar, and fat. All of these components essentially increase your risk of health problems. Refined foods have been processed or altered so they are no longer in their natural state. This results in a loss of beneficial nutrients and fibers. Refined foods are easy to indulge in and can leave you feeling unsatisfied. They may consist of white flour, white rice, pastries, sodas, sweets and breakfast cereals with added sugars.

Why should you eat several small meals in a day?

Eating several small meals a day sufficient in protein, veggies, fruits, and whole grains helps to speed up your metabolism and helps your body by burning fat. Eating like this can strengthen cells, organs, and systems in our body. They help our bodies function properly and aid our immune system in fighting off illness, disease and age-related changes. When we skip meals or eat unhealthy foods, we deprive our bodies of nutrients that requires us to function and fight off health issues. Snacking throughout the day on healthy foods helps curb our appetite. It also helps to avoid overeating. Eating small meals increases our metabolism and keeps our energy at high levels all day long. It can also help to stabilize blood sugar levels. Cravings stop because you are constantly fueling your body. Undereating and skipping meals puts your body into starvation mode and you are more likely to eat unhealthy foods or overeat when you feel deprived and hungry. Your five to six meals a day should contain complex carbs and lean proteins. These macronutrients when eaten together give you a sense of fullness and satisfaction. This will help your body feel full longer.

Here are a few examples of how to eliminate all processed foods from our diet and begin a healthier lifestyle:

1. Eliminate sweets – even healthy snacks can contain high amounts of sugar. Be sure to read the nutrition label.

2. Smart snack options – reach for snacks like: unsalted nuts, popcorn, fruits, veggies, hummus, string cheese, etc.

3. Choose brown instead of white – by choosing brown rice, pasta, and bread you will absorb more vitamins, fiber, and iron which are considered disease-fighting nutrients.

Foods eaten in their complex state with fiber and nutrients gives the body healthy benefits. Some of the health benefits include a healthier heart, brain, immune system, weight loss, healthier teeth and gums as well as healthier skin. Clean eating is not considered a diet but a lifestyle change. It takes about twenty‐one days to develop a long‐lasting habit. Make this change the best habit you have made for yourself and your future. Your body will thank you for it!

Learn more about how to live a healthier lifestyle with the help of our physical therapists! Schedule an appointment today with Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy.

What is Direct Access and Why is Direct Access Important?

Direct access refers to the ability of patients to be directly seen by a physical therapist for evaluation and treatment without being referred by a doctor or other healthcare practitioner.

Arizona is a state that allows this; not all states allow direct access. However, recent data shows that the effect of direct access on our practice appears to be less than anticipated. From talking with many of my patients over the past couple of years it is evident why. First, people don’t know about it. Second, the field of physical therapy has not done a good job of educating the community about direct access and it’s benefits.

Using direct access in physical therapy practice requires both a high level of confidence and competence in clinical judgment, decision making, and skill.

In 1993 the first physical therapy program transitioned from a master’s degree to a doctorate degree. As of 2015, all PT programs in the US are now a doctorate program. The curriculum of the doctorate programs is significantly more extensive and comprehensive. Now, physical therapists are free to develop the type of referral relationships that exist among other professional groups by serving not only as the recipient of referrals but also as a referral source.

Using direct access has many advantages.

1) It saves time, money, and stress with no need for a time-consuming trip to a doctors office

2) Helps patients become more actively engaged in their healthcare decision making

3) Develop more collaborative relationships with other health care professionals

4) Improves patient access to care

5) Can become a part of a patient’s routine for injury prevention, fitness, and health

6) Improve physical therapy outcomes and get better results

How can direct access improve your physical therapy results?

Expert opinion has described the prevalence of low back pain experienced by modern society as an “epidemic”. Low back pain is acute, subacute, recurrent, or chronic. Given the high prevalence of recurrent and chronic low back pain and the associated costs, clinicians should place a high priority on preventing recurrences. Most acute low back pain cases are diagnosed as “non-specific” meaning that a pathoanatomical cause of the pain is not determined. As a patient, this may seem frustrating. But, the good news is that non-specific low back pain often resolves on its own after a few weeks.

On the other hand, numerous studies have demonstrated that the right type and amount of early treatment may help prevent acute low back pain from developing into a chronic condition. Unfortunately, what often happens is a patient doesn’t know about direct access. If their acute low back pain does not resolve then they will try to get in to see a doctor. Many patients are referred to physical therapy. The amount of time that passes from the onset of acute low back pain to the time I finally get to see the patient, the condition has now become chronic in nature and will take longer to rehabilitate.

At Foothills we can help to avoid this from happening. If you feel pain, you can go to our website and search for a location near you. Give the clinic a call. They can then verify your insurance and coverage or speak with you about cash pay rates. Schedule an appointment today and #GetYourMoveBack. 

 

Did you know that wearing a backpack wrong or choosing the wrong type of backpack can lead to lower back pain in children and teens? Studies over the years have started paying more attention to the proper use of backpacks in school, due to the frequency of increased low back pain being reported to doctors. Researchers estimate that 30 out of 100 children and teens will experience back pain, this can be a result of overstuffing backpacks or even just wearing them wrong for style. Here are some tips to avoid increased back pain in children by wearing the proper type of backpack as well as the correct use of the backpack.

1. Selecting the Correct Type of Backpack:

When buying a new backpack, it is important to look at the different types, styles, and sizes. Backpacks good for proper posture include 2-straps for the shoulders as well as added straps at either the waist or chest. An extra strap at the waist can help distribute the weight of the backpack at the hips taking some pressure away from the shoulders. A chest strap helps keep the shoulders in a better postural position, avoiding rounded shoulders, and will keep the backpack from moving side to side.  The size of a backpack should vary depending on the size of the child or teen and should not be too large in size to avoid promoting heavier weight loads; some studies suggest not exceeding 10 to 20 percent of the child’s body weight.

2. Properly Wearing the Backpack:

Wearing a backpack by using only one shoulder strap is a bad habit to break. Usually, this occurs for fashion or when students are in a hurry. When kids and teens wear a backpack they should be using both straps as well as any additional chest or waist straps to offload and evenly distribute weight. This will also keep the backpack from sliding side to side and causing stress on one side of the body if they bend or twist a certain way. Backpacks should also be adjusted to sit high on the back and shoulder for better comfort. This should cause the backpack to sit above the hips and will avoid increased stress through the spine caused by the weight of the backpack.

3. Offload the Backpack when Possible:

Students should be sensible about taking off their backpacks when on the bus and standing around class/campus. Putting away their backpacks in a locker when they don’t require specific classroom materials is one way to offload your backpack. Offloading their heavy books into cars or lockers when they aren’t needed for that day will help avoid increased strain through the spine too. Heavy backpacks can ultimately lead to changes to the natural curves of the middle and lower back and cause strain to the muscles and joints of the lower back and rib cage.

4. Adjust the Straps Depending on the Type of Clothing

Depending on the season and time of year, some students might need to adjust shoulder straps to bulkier clothing or winter coats. It is important for students to loosen the straps when taking off their backpack, and then readjust or tighten the straps back to a better position each time they use their backpack. This ensures the backpack sits properly on the upper back of the student as well as evenly distributes the weight to avoid strain.

Things to keep in mind when buying a new backpack for your children and teens are all the different types of backpacks and making sure the backpack is fitted properly for each individual. If your child is already prone to back pain, there are specific backpacks sold that are for a student with back pain and will work to avoid further increased symptoms. There are many types of backpacks and styles that will make your child happy but also will keep them healthy.

If you have any further questions on backpacks and symptoms of back pain from your children or teens contact a Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy near you!

Are you having trouble sticking with your exercise program because you’re bored with your usual program? Do you feel that you need to try something new but are afraid of re-aggravating an old injury? Do you feel like you need to improve your cardio and lose a few pounds? Do you feel there’s just not enough time to exercise? Or maybe it’s just too hot? There are a ton of excuses that we make up for not exercising. Being in the desert heat doesn’t make it easier. However, there is a perfect way to address everything listed above and even more with just one type of activity which is aquatic therapy.

Why Aquatic Therapy?

Aquatic therapy serves as a tool for many types of ailments and age groups. It’s not just for people with significant swimming experience or for a specific age group. Aquatic therapy can assist those with various musculoskeletal issues, such as, for pain relief, tight muscles, sore or arthritic joints, but also for strength building, balance training and resistance training. Neurological issues, such as those with a medical history of stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and Multiple Sclerosis would greatly benefit too.

Benefits:

  • Decreased edema
  • Decreased pain
  • Increased blood supply to the muscles/Increased circulation
  • Increased buoyancy
  • Increased metabolism
  • Increased joint movement
  • Increased muscle power
  • Increased balance
  • Increased endurance

Did you know that Arizona is one of the most popular states for pool service companies in the country? And if there are more pool companies, there are definitely more pools! Whether you have your own private pool, or just use a public pool at a gym, there are many convenient opportunities to take advantages of this multi-beneficial exercise activity.

With locations all over the valley, we have a convenient clinic next to you. Come in to Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapist to Get Your Move Back.

Dedicating yourself to your health and rehabilitation takes a lot of time and effort. We want to help you achieve your goals to regain full function. Here are a few tips to help you benefit from your PT experience.

1. Consistency

When your physician refers you to physical therapy, they usually recommend a series of visits for your plan of care. It is crucial to stay as consistent with your frequency of visits. The visits work by building upon each other, and when patients are consistent, they will progress in their exercises, function, and goals quicker. Consistency leads to better results!

2. Goals

Before coming in for your initial evaluation with a therapist, be sure to jot down a couple of goals that you want to achieve during your rehabilitation. Sure, we all want less pain and more mobility and strength; if you can make your goals more specific and functional, the therapist will be able to more-clearly direct and progress your rehabilitation. Examples include, being able to pick up your grandson, to be able to train for a half marathon by October, and to be able to go up and down the stairs at your house.

3. Preparing for your Session

If you’ve never been to physical therapy before, then you will want to make sure that you dress in comfortable loose-fitting clothes for stretching. After all, we want to stretch your hamstrings, not your jeans. Sessions are usually performed out in the gym where you will be neighboring with many other patients. It creates a wonderful dynamic atmosphere, and I’ve even watched patients become friends over the years. Please remember to be mindful of others by silencing your phone and avoiding any perfumes or scents.

4. Home Exercise Program

When you hear the words “H-E-P”, you should start getting excited! This is your PT homework that will be provided to you by your physical therapist or tech at the very beginning of your sessions. I can’t stress enough that the patients who routinely do their exercises and integrate the corrections given to them far excel those who do them on occasion. If you’re not sure if you’re doing an exercise correctly, ask! We are here to answer any of your questions to help promote a regular exercise routine. That said, when you are discharged it is routine practice to keep up with your HEP as you will continue to see improvements well past your last visit.

5. Posture

Our posture is so important in daily function. Even if you are coming in for an ankle sprain and I pick up on bad postural habits, I will be the first to address it. I like to provide preventative care on posture. The bottom line is make your work or anything you’re working on come to you. For example, placing a pillow under your elbows while reading on the couch can help with your posture.

6. Integration

Although we mostly address your orthopedic concerns, I can’t stress enough how much I have to remind people to improve their overall health in terms of staying hydrated, making healthy choices for clean eating and incorporating appropriate stress management techniques. This is not limited to exercises, meditation, breathing techniques and yoga. When you treat the body as a whole you are a much more likely to advance your goals.

If you have any further questions about maximizing your visit, don’t hesitate to discuss them with a therapist. Find a Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapist location near you and Get Your Move Back!

Imagine that while waiting at a stop light in your car you look into the rearview mirror only to see a car barreling at you without any indication that it’s going to stop. You instantly tense up as it impacts the back of your car and your head moves forward and backward possibly hitting the steering wheel or headrest with the force that is transferred through the car to your body. A couple of days later, you start to feel a persistent pain in your neck, shoulders and back. This pain is associated with a condition commonly called whiplash.

Fortunately for us, whiplash is a treatable condition. It is recommended that you be evaluated by a physical therapist as soon as possible following a motor vehicle accident to rule out more serious injuries. If left untreated, whiplash can lead to more chronic pain, muscle changes and even changes to your sensory systems.

Physical therapy for treating whiplash would involve decreasing pain, increasing neck mobility, increasing muscle strength and increasing overall endurance for functional activities. Specifically, treatment may include:

  • electrical stimulation (TENS)
  • cupping
  • intramuscular dry needling
  • manual soft tissue work
  • manual joint movements
  • postural exercises
  • strengthening exercises
  • vestibular exercises
  • re-training of the sensory systems
  • breathing exercises
  • training in work positions

Recovery time from whiplash can vary from as little as a few days and as long as a few months. It is important that you give your body some time to recover. Once your body is fully recovered you will be able to return to your prior level of activity safely.

If you ever experience neck, shoulder or back pain schedule an appointment at Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy to Get Your Move Back!