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Posts Tagged ‘ physical fitness ’

5 Reasons Why Stretching Will Benefit Your Overall Health

Thursday, February 20th, 2020

Stretching is an important part of physical therapy, and many physical therapists will include specific stretches into their sessions. Strength and endurance are both undeniably important; however, stretching is a crucial part of anyone’s exercise regimen, whether you are an athlete or someone coping with aches and pains. Stretching helps in increasing flexibility, which can alleviate pain and make other aspects of treatment easier – even strength and endurance!

What does stretching do?

Stretching has a lot of benefits that we don’t always think about. Some of these benefits include:

Improving range of motion.

Range of motion consists of how well your joints can move in all directions. This influences every movement you make! If you have a constricting condition, such as arthritis or an injury, your range of motion can be hindered. Whether it’s turning your head to see behind you while driving, or bending your knee freely while running, range of motion is crucial for both daily life and for fitness pursuits. Stretching can help reduce stiffness and increase flexibility, therefore improving your range of motion. 

Finding relief in unexpected places.

Sometimes we forget how interconnected our bodies are. It is obvious that if we experience back pain, we should stretch out our backs. However, sometimes stretching your legs during physical therapy can provide unexpected relief to your back, as well. In fact, your hamstrings, upper thighs, and hips can all play a big part in creating lower back pain relief. Likewise, improving your posture through stretching your torso can provide the kind of support you need to keep your spine from compressing, which helps you avoid shoulder and neck pain. Essentially, stretching different parts of your body can provide relief to places you may not have considered!

Enhancing performance.

This point is especially true for athletes. The more you condition your muscles, joints, and ligaments, the greater advantage you’ll have in your sport. For example, bodybuilders recover from their reps much quicker when they stretch as a cool-down. Golfers can achieve a longer reach by increasing their range of motion in their hips and shoulders. Swimmers can even out their strokes by perfecting their balance through stretching. If you are an athlete, stretching can play a crucial role in your performance.

Preventing injuries.

When muscles are tight or tense, the likelihood of injury increases. This occurs because that particular part of your body isn’t working at its peak performance, even though you might be. When you stretch, you’re loosening up your muscles, in addition to increasing range of motion and improving balance, which all factor into injury prevention. All of these factors can prevent you from making the types of moves that lead to injury, whether it’s coming down too hard on one foot, twisting your back further than you should, or taking a fall due to lack of balance.

Improving circulation.

Stretching can reduce stress, but that isn’t the only reason it’s good for your heart and your musculoskeletal system. In fact, stretching plays a key role in almost every aspect of your physical abilities. Tight muscles constrict available oxygen supply, essentially robbing themselves of the nutrients they need. Stretches help reverse the process. When you stretch frequently, you’ll also get the benefit of increased blood flow to your joints and throughout the body. 

We can help!

There are additional ways that stretching can help improve your quality of life, whether you find a sense of pride in being limber or relaxation in taking time to stretch out your body. When you’re ready to add stretches to your daily routine, consider getting started through physical therapy. Our physical therapists can talk you through which types of stretches may be best for you, whether it be static, dynamic, pre-activity, or post-activity. Contact Priority PT today to learn more about how our team can help you create a stretching treatment plan, and how our services will benefit you!

Why Use Opioids When You Can Find Natural Relief? 

Monday, February 10th, 2020

We’re all aware of the opioid crisis plaguing the nation. It’s scary – it’s as if every time we turn on the news, we hear another story about the epidemic. 

Approximately 11.5 million people in the United States misused the painkilling drugs they were prescribed, costing an estimated $504 million in economic costs. According to researchers, it is believed that numerous people are even being denied jobs due to a failure to pass opioid-free drug tests. In 2016 alone, opioid overdose claimed the lives of 116 people each day. As frightening as this sounds, for some people the pain relief from opioids may seem like the only option. 

However, physical therapy has been a proven method for providing long-lasting pain relief – without the risks of harmful drugs. Give Priority Physical Therapy today to find out how you can rid yourself of opioids and start on a natural, easy, and beneficial pain-relief plan!

Why physical therapy?

Opioids mask pain without treating the underlying cause of it. Physical therapy not only helps with relieving pain but also addresses the condition that is causing the pain in the first place. A physical therapist is a medical professional, trained in the science of movement. Through advanced diagnostic procedures, our physical therapist can uncover the source of your pain and find ways to address it for long-term health and mobility.

The effects of physical therapy also don’t stop with the body – it helps to improve your mental health, as well.  Chronic pain and prescription pain medication use can lead to depression, anxiety, and isolation. Physical therapy will help get your body moving and working normally again, releasing feel-good chemicals called endorphins. Working with a physical therapist will also give you a partner in your pain relief journey. This sense of community can help address the mental toll pain takes on a person, in a way that opioids cannot.

How will physical therapy benefit me?

With physical therapy, you will not only find ways to relieve your pain but also ways to improve your overall function. Physical therapists work hard to get to the root of your problem, in order to correct it. Unlike opioids, physical therapy helps to enhance the healing of your body – providing long-term relief, as opposed to short-term. 

Our physical therapist will employ a series of treatments for your condition, which may include ice and heat therapies, manual therapy, stretches, or ultrasound. Your treatment plan will also address strength, flexibility, and overall mobility, in order to get you back to your normal physical function. 

Over 116 million people struggle with chronic pain, which greatly hinders their abilities to stand, walk, run, work, and move as they wish. Our physical therapist will address all of these functions and will work with you to get you back where you want to be. One of the main goals of physical therapy is to improve the overall quality of life, which our physical therapist will be dedicated to helping you achieve.

So, why are opioids so bad?

It may be difficult to understand why opioids are so dangerous for so many people – to understand, you have to know that the processing of pain goes deeper than what you feel physically. Much of the pain you feel is processed by your brain. 

For example, every time you stub your toe on a coffee table, pain receptors are sent to your brain. You feel the physical pain, and as a response, your brain releases chemicals to try and ease it. These chemicals act as natural opioids by slowing your breathing, blocking the pain signals, and bringing you back to a state of well-being. 

However, if you are suffering from chronic pain, surgical recovery, or a severe injury/trauma, your brain cannot produce enough opioids to keep up with the demand for pain relief. Because of this, pain-killing medications are often prescribed. Prescription medication mimics the chemicals your body naturally produces, acting to relieve pain – but it does not help your body heal. 

Since your condition will remain the same without an alternative form of treatment, people often feel as if they need to take higher doses as their bodies become used to the drug. This is the main reason why overdoses occur.

Ditch the drugs today!

Physical therapy is a drug-free way to manage your pain while improving your health. Pain medication may seem like a simple solution, but the risks far outweigh the benefits. Don’t let yourself be a part of the opioid epidemic. 

If you are ready to say NO to opioids and YES to physical therapy, contact Priority PT to schedule a consultation with a physical therapist today! They would be more than happy to discuss how they can help you achieve a full, pain-free, and functional life.

Do You Know The Difference Between Sprains and Strains?

Monday, January 20th, 2020

We’ve all been there – walking down the street, not paying attention when suddenly your ankle slips off the curb. There’s immediate pain, but it’s difficult to determine if it’s an injury that will go away on its own with a little RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) treatment, or if a visit to the doctor will be necessary. 

The best way to find out if you’re experiencing a sprain or strain that warrants medical attention is to consult with a physical therapist.

Physical therapy for sprains and strains:

Physical therapists are highly trained medical professionals in the field of movement. They can help you recover from your sprain or strain, in addition to helping you prevent further injury in the future. Physical therapy is a proven and efficient way to provide relief, and in many cases it eliminates the need for harmful drugs or invasive surgery. 

For a sprain or strain, physical therapy treatments typically follow three steps. In the beginning, pain relief is the primary goal. Our physical therapist will provide you with one or several pain-relieving services, such as ice and heat therapies, manual therapy, electrical nerve stimulation, stretching, or ultrasound. 

After the pain has been managed, our physical therapist will focus on healing the injury. He or she will help you regain your range of motion in the joint that was sprained, or will help strengthen the muscles that were strained.

Once your injury is healed, the focus will be on preventing future injury. Unfortunately, once you have sprained a joint or strained a muscle, you are much more likely to do it again in the future. However, physical therapy can help prevent that from happening! By providing strengthening exercises, our physical therapist will help you build muscle around the injured area, greatly reducing your risk of injuring it again in the future. 

So – how do I know if I have a sprain or strain?

That’s one of the most common questions people ask when they hurt a part of their body: is it a sprain or strain? While they may seem similar, the distinctions are actually easier to make than you may think. In order to know the differences between a sprain and a strain, you must first know the differences between a tendon and a ligament.

Tendons are strong, fibrous tissues that connect bone to muscle. Ligaments are similar connective tissues to tendons, although instead of connecting bone to muscle, they connect bone to bone.

 A strain occurs when the tendons attaching your muscle to bone are stretched too far or torn. A strain can be acute, meaning that it happens as an immediate response to an injury, or chronic, meaning that it has developed over time due to performing the same repetitive motions over and over. 

A sprain occurs when the ligaments connecting your joints are damaged. This can affect your ankles, knees, elbows, or wrists. With a sprain, the joint is so violently twisted that the tissues are stretched or torn. The pain may be mild, subsiding in a few minutes or hours, or it can be more severe, requiring physical therapy or even surgery.

Find relief for your sprain or strain today!

If you have a sprain or strain that needs treatment, contact Priority PT. We will set up a consultation with one of our physical therapists for you, so you can discuss what treatments may benefit you. Don’t wait to seek treatment – find relief today!

The Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Consider Physical Therapy

Friday, January 10th, 2020

According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, approximately 100 million Americans live with chronic pain. So, if you are living with chronic pain, or pain lasting three months or longer, you are not alone. 

 

Unfortunately, that also means that the dependency on prescription medications is continuously growing. In the year 2013, doctors across the U.S. prescribed nearly a quarter of a billion opioid prescriptions – that’s roughly a bottle per person in the United States.

 

This demand for pain-management drugs has caused the opioid crisis we’re all too familiar with today. Opioids are both dangerous and addictive when taken for extended periods of time or in large amounts. Because of this, many Americans are understandably looking for safer pain relief alternatives.

 

Physical therapy is a natural, safe, and non-invasive way to treat chronic pain. To learn more about how physical therapy can help you find relief, without the need for dangerous pain-management drugs, contact Priority Physical Therapy today.

How can I benefit from physical therapy?

Our physical therapists are movement experts, fully equipped to treat your chronic pain symptoms. They will create a treatment plan targeting your specific needs, in order to provide the best passive and active therapy treatments for your condition. 

There are many benefits to physical therapy; however, the top 5 include:

1. An improved physical function.

Participating in physical therapy is an engaging process that can inspire you to take a more active role in your pain management. Physical therapy sessions last anywhere from 30-60 minutes, allowing you to work closely with your physical therapist to achieve your goals. At the end of the day, physical therapy is the only natural, risk-free, and active method of pain relief, providing long-lasting effects.

2. A personalized treatment plan.

In addition to your passive treatments, your physical therapist will create an active exercise plan for you that is specifically tailored to your recovery process. Physical activity can help in reducing your pain significantly, in addition to reducing swelling, improving range of motion, promoting healing, and increasing overall strength and endurance.

3.  Safe and non-invasive treatments.

Some common treatments that physical therapists provide include massage, ultrasound, joint mobilization, electrical nerve stimulation, and diathermy. These are all natural treatments that have a very low risk of side effects, especially when compared to other methods of pain relief, such as surgery and medication.

4. Treatments supported by credible medical professionals.

Rigorous study and strong research are just two of the many ways that the successes of physical therapy have been proven. These studies have provided credible evidence toward physical therapy treatments, illustrating how they can significantly reduce a vast number of pain-related conditions. The implementation of care backed by scientific research allows physical therapists to greatly improve their patient outcomes.

5. Relief that targets the source of the pain.

Part of the reason why physical therapy is so successful is because it gets to the base of the problem in order to alleviate pain completely, rather than just masking the issue. Pills may be easier to pop in your mouth for pain relief, but their success is short-lived. The effects of many medications only last for 12-24 hours, meaning you’ll have to continually pop pills if you want to maintain your relief. Essentially, it masks the pain but doesn’t fix the problem.

Fortunately, physical therapy does. Your physical therapist will perform a thorough evaluation at your initial appointment, in order to determine where the pain is stemming from and what the best treatments for it will be. Physical therapy gets to the root of the problem in order to provide long-term relief, whereas medication only works in the short-term.

 

Discover the benefits of physical therapy today!

 

Are you living with pain? Are you looking for a natural way to treat your pain? If so, look no further. We can help you get the treatment you need so you can live a pain-free life, without the risks of opioids!

Don’t Join the Opioid Epidemic. How Physical Therapy Can Help Ditch the Pain Meds.

Wednesday, December 4th, 2019

It seems like every time you turn on the news there is another story about the opioid epidemic gripping the country. There is good reason for the panic. In 2016 alone, 116 people died each day from opioid-related drug overdoses. Some 11.5 million Americans misused prescription painkillers in some way, costing an estimated $504 million in economic costs. Some researchers even feel that many people who would otherwise be able to work are sidelined because they would fail a drug test. As mind-blowing as these numbers are, to a person who uses prescription pain medication for pain relief, opioids may seem like the only option. Fortunately, there is another way to manage your pain. Call Priority Physical Therapy today to find out more about how physical therapy can help you ditch the pain meds for good.

Pain & Opioids

To understand why opioids are so dangerous, you first have to understand how your brain processes pain. Let’s say you bang your knee on the doorjamb. Pain receptors in your skin register that something happened to your knee. Those receptors send signals to your brain and spinal cord. There, your brain processes those signals as pain, and your body produces natural opioids to stop them. These chemicals slow your breathing, create a feeling of well-being and block pain signals so you can return to a pain-free state.

When you have chronic pain, severe injury, surgery or significant trauma, your brain cannot produce enough opioids to keep up with the demand. Prescription medication mimics the chemicals your body naturally produces, relieving pain, but they do not help your body heal.

Physical Therapy: A Natural Treatment

Since opioids mask the pain without treating its underlying cause, many people are choosing to forgo pain meds altogether in favor of a more natural treatment. Fortunately, physical therapy not only helps relieve pain, it addresses what is causing the pain in the first place. A physical therapist is a highly trained medical professional, but he or she also is an expert in the science of movement. Through advanced diagnostic procedures, your physical therapist can uncover the source of your pain and find ways to address it for long-term health and mobility. Best of all, physical therapy is a drug-free way to manage chronic pain.

Unintended Benefits of Physical Therapy

A physical therapist’s job is not only to manage pain, but also to improve function. Your physical therapy program may include stretches, ultrasound, manual therapies and a combination of ice and heat for pain relief, but it will not stop there. Your physical therapist will begin to address mobility, flexibility and strength as they apply to the activities of your daily life. If you are one of the more than 116 million people who struggle with chronic pain, chances are you are also limited in your ability to walk, stand, run, move, work, play and perform daily activities. Physical therapists address all of these functions and more as they work with you to strengthen your body, improve your balance and stability and enhance your quality of life.

The unintended benefits of physical therapy don’t stop with the body. They reach your brain as well. Chronic pain and prescription pain medication use can lead to anxiety, depression and isolation. Working with a physical therapist gives you a partner in your pain relief journey. This sense of community can help address the mental toll pain takes on a person in a way that opioids cannot.

Don’t join the opioid epidemic. Contact our physical therapist today and find out how physical therapy can help you live a full, pain-free, functional life.

Sprains, Strains and Ankle Pains! What You Need to Know and When to See a Therapist.

Wednesday, December 4th, 2019

There you are, walking through the park on a bright summer day when suddenly you find a hole with your foot. Before you know it, you are in pain, collapsed in a crumpled heap, hoping no one saw your graceful fall. What do you do? How do you know whether it is an injury that will go away on its own, and when should you call a physical therapist? The best way to find out is to contact one today to find out if your sprain, strain, or ankle pain warrants more attention.

What’s the Difference Between a Sprain and a Strain?

When it comes to ankles, this is one of the most commonly asked questions of a physical therapist. It’s actually much easier to differentiate between the two than you might think. But before we can talk about the difference between a sprain and a strain, you need to know the difference between a tendon and a ligament. Tendons are strong, fibrous tissue that connects bone to muscle. Ligaments are similar types of strong connective tissues that bond one bone to another bone.

A sprain happens when the ligaments of a joint (your ankle, knee, wrist, elbow, etc.) are twisted so violently that these strong connective tissues are stretched or slightly torn. Typically, with a sprain, the joint remains in place. A sprain can be mild resulting in only a few minutes or hours of pain, or it can be more severe, requiring physical therapy or even surgery.

A strain happens when the tendons that connect a muscle to bone are stretched or slightly torn. There are two types of strains—acute and chronic. Acute strains happen as a result of an injury. You may slip on ice and fall, straining a muscle in your leg while you try to balance yourself. Chronic strains happen when you perform the same motion over and over. Gymnasts, tennis players, golfers, and other athletes are likely to develop strains when they are not properly conditioned, do not stretch, or use improper equipment.

How Can Physical Therapy Help a Sprain or Strain?

Interestingly enough, working with a physical therapist has more benefits than simply regaining your strength after an injury. These medical professionals are highly trained movement experts who not only can help you recover from a sprain or strain, they can help you prevent injuries in the future. A physical therapist also offers drug-free pain relief that keeps you mobile and strengthens your body.

Physical therapy for a sprain or strain typically follows three steps. In the acute phase of the injury, pain relief is one of the primary goals. Severe sprains or strains are often painful. If surgery is warranted to reconnect a ligament or tendon or repair a muscle, pain management will often make the difference between a patient who works hard in therapy and one who does not. A physical therapist will offer several pain-relieving techniques—ice, heat, ultrasound, TENS, massage, and stretching. They will also teach patients how to administer these treatments on their own.

In the second phase of physical therapy, your physical therapist focuses on healing the injury. Typically, the first two phases go hand in hand as your physical therapist works to help you regain motion in the joint where the sprain happened or the muscle that is strained.

Once the injury has healed, a physical therapist will move on to preventing future injury. Once you have sprained a joint, you are more likely to do it again without proper therapy. The same goes for strains. Strengthening muscles around an injured area can often keep you from experiencing future problems.

For more information or to find out more about physical therapy’s effects on sprains and strains, contact us today.