Are you looking for a drug-free, affordable solution to your pain and movement problems?
Physical therapy is a great first-line treatment for most muscle and joint problems. Clinically proven to reduce pain and dysfunction, physical therapy also saves you time and money.
Although other kinds of practitioners will offer some of these treatments as “physical therapy,” it’s important for you to know that physical therapy can only be provided by qualified and licensed physical therapists.
The cornerstones of physical therapy treatment are:
- Patient education – Physical therapy is not something done TO you. It requires your participation. This requires you to have a good understanding of what is going on in your body and why we do certain activities or exercises a specific way. This has the added benefit of giving you the tools you need to address any future flare ups or recurrences on your own.
- Therapeutic exercise – Exercise needs to be specific to your goals and take into account any other conditions you may be dealing with. Our therapists choose exercises that are right for you and design your exercise program to help you get back to doing the things you are looking forward to doing as fast as possible.
- Functional Training – This is probably the most important component of any physical therapy program. Unfortunately, it is often overlooked. As you get stronger and improve your mobility it is critical that you learn to do the movements you do regularly CORRECTLY. There is a right way to get up from a chair, go up the stairs, lift a box from the floor, carry a pot of soup etc. Learning how to move correctly is the key to avoiding future aches and pains.
- Hands-on Manual Therapy – Sometimes people ask “do you do massage?” The short answer is we do the treatment that will get you better, faster. This often requires a hands-on approach. Sometimes this means massage but more often it means loosening up your joints to allow better movement without pain. This is called “mobilization” or “manipulation”. Your physical therapist will determine the safest and most effective treatment for you, based on your condition.
Physical therapists are the provider of choice for a variety of conditions. For any of these issues, time is critical. The longer a problem goes on, the harder it is to treat.
Depending on the particular needs of a patient, physical therapists may also “mobilize” or “manipulate” a joint (that is, perform certain types of movements at the end of your range of motion) or perform certain soft tissue techniques to muscles to promote proper movement and function.
If you have pain in your knee you may experience difficulty with activities like getting out of a chair, going up or down stairs, and possibly even walking. It is not uncommon to start having other health related problems when your walking is limited. You may start to gain weight and have more difficulty maintaining your blood pressure or sugar as you do less activity.
Knee pain can be the result of arthritis, tendonitis, torn meniscus or torn/sprained ligaments among other possible conditions.
Many people think the only solution is medication, injections or even surgery. However, this is frequently not the case. Many recent studies have found that patients do just as well with physical therapy as with knee surgery.
As a matter of fact, many insurance carriers now insist that people go through physical therapy BEFORE they get additional imaging (MRI, X-ray etc) or treatment. This is because the outcomes are often excellent, without the cost and risk associated with more invasive treatments.
If your knee pain has been holding you back from doing the things you NEED to do, we can help get you back on your feet (yes… pun intended!).
Total Knee Replacement – The prospect of a total knee replacement is scary. The surgery, while short, requires a length and often painful recovery. However, there are some things you can do to improve your chances of a successful outcome as well as improved recovery. We call these the 3 Ps.
- Prehab – This is done BEFORE your surgery. Strengthening the leg and improving your mobility can improve the chance of successful outcome significantly.
- Plan – Know where you plan to do your physical therapy once you are discharged home. This way you can schedule your first outpatient physical therapy appointment in advance and don’t need to delay.
- Participate – Recovery after surgery requires you to be diligent about your therapy and your home exercises. The more consistent you are, the better your recovery process will go
Hip pain is often felt in the groin and can be mistaken for back or groin issues. That’s why every patient needs a thorough evaluation to determine the actual source of their pain.
The earlier the pain is addressed the less time it takes to resolve. Chronic conditions tend to take much longer to treat so don’t delay seeking help!
There are a few common causes of hip pain.
Arthritis – Osteoarthritis is very frequently experienced in the hip and is the most common cause of total hip replacement surgery. The pain makes it difficult to walk and makes the hip very stiff. It is also common to feel (or even hear) crunching or grinding in the hip. This happens when the cartilage protecting the bone gets worn away.
Bursitis – The bursa, or fluid filled sac, on the outside of the hip can become inflamed. This leads to pain with prolonged inactivity, lying on the hip, or walking/running or standing. The pain is usually felt on the outside of the hip and in the leg.
People with bursitis often have difficulty sleeping due to pain when they are lying on that side. Limited walking ability can also lead to weight gain and other health problems.
This condition is often treatable with physical therapy alone. However, if your physical therapist determines that additional medical intervention is warranted they will refer you to a provider who can help.
Fractures – Commonly seen after a fall, hip fractures (usually involving the femur bone) are generally treated surgically with internal hardware (screws, plates etc.) put in to hold the bone together. After surgery, physical therapy is the most critical component of recovery. The goal is to get you back to doing the things you were doing before you fell.
Total Hip Replacement – Whether the result of a fall or arthritis, Total Hip Arthroplasty (or replacement) is often performed. After having this surgery patients expect to get back to doing the things they love to do, and our goal is to help you get there.
Therapy starts by making sure your hip is moving as well as possible with as little pain as possible and then progresses to building strength and helping you walk without a limp. Most people who have hip replacement surgery and follow up with physical therapy do very well and can return to their prior level of function.
As with Total Knee Replacement, remember the 3 Ps. Prehab. Plan. Participate.
Whether you are dealing with chronic neck pain, arthritis, whiplash, or just a stiff neck in the morning, having limited neck mobility creates all kinds of difficulty getting through the door. Even things like talking to other people become challenging when you can’t turn your head without pain. That’s not even considering driving, working etc.
If you are experiencing neck pain don’t wait for it to resolve on its own. This can prolong the process and may even lead to chronic pain.
Is reaching into a high cabinet difficult? Do you have pain when you shower or get dressed?
Are you having difficulty driving or reaching the seatbelt because of shoulder pain? How about carrying a purse or briefcase? Do you have shoulder pain when you lie in bed?
These are just some of the activities shoulder pain can affect. Whether your pain is caused by a rotator cuff injury, bursitis, arthritis or some other shoulder problem, shoulder pain can be very limiting to activities of daily living.
The good news is most shoulder problems can be completely resolved with physical therapy and don’t require medication, injections or surgery. Our physical therapists have been extremely successful in getting patients back to doing the activities they need to do without pain or limitations.
Low Back Pain / Sciatica
One of the most common problems people seek help with, low back pain or sciatica is highly treatable with physical therapy.
The most critical part of therapy is diagnosing the source of the pain. This determines the treatment plan.
What exactly is sciatica? Sciatica is pain running down the sciatic nerve. This can start in the lower back or buttock and travel all the way down the back or outside of the leg to the toes.
Some of the most common causes of low back pain or sciatica are:
Bulging disc – Between the vertebrae are discs filled with fluid. If these discs “bulge” out they can put pressure on the spinal cord or the nerves coming off the cord and create pain either right there or traveling down the leg. Disc related pain is usually worse with bending forward, such as when sitting.
Spinal Stenosis – Spinal stenosis means a narrowing of the space where the nerve travels. (This is often what happens with arthritis.) With narrower spaces there is more pressure on the nerves, often leading to pain. Lumbar, or lower back, stenosis is usually worse in standing and walking and is often relieved by leaning forward (like when pushing a shopping cart).
Sacroiliac Joint (SIJ) Dysfunction – The Sacroiliac joint is where the pelvis meets the spine. This area can become inflamed and lead to pressure on the nerves. This condition is frequently worse when staying in one position (sitting or standing) for too long, and gets better as you start to move.
Do you have pain when you first stand up from bed in the morning or after sitting for a while? This is often the result of plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the tissue on the bottom of the foot. Frequently, this is seen together with a heel spur.
This condition can take a long time to resolve and we can help you learn the right stretches or pain relieving techniques to minimize your pain and speed up your recovery process.
Arthritis is also a common culprit in the cause of foot pain, especially in the big toe. As with arthritis in other joints, improving your strength, flexibility and range-of-motion can help you deal with the pain and walk without limping.
Ankle sprains or fractures are very common and recovery can take a long time. Building up strength and stability around the ankle can take time but the results are often very good. Physical therapy is critical in making sure that one ankle injury doesn’t become a chronically sprained or painful ankle.
Difficulty Walking or Balance Dysfunction
Don’t I need an MRI or X-Ray before doing physical therapy?
Many people think it is necessary to have X-rays or MRIs before doing physical therapy. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only is it unnecessary, it is frequently detrimental.
Physical therapists look at what you can and cannot do or what does or doesn’t cause pain. Based on this information, along with various other tests, we determine what the cause of your problem really is and the best treatment approach to make you better.
MRIs on the other hand don’t take into account how you move or what you can’t do. They are just a picture. Often, findings on an MRI are “positive” but the problem may have existed for a long time without causing pain. If that’s the case, something else may be causing your pain and “treating the MRI” may not help.
The clinicians at Forward Physical Therapy are highly trained in the evaluation, treatment, and prevention of orthopedic and sports injuries. We provide care based on the current best evidence and use state-of-the-art rehabilitation equipment to facilitate a rapid recovery for even the most involved patients.
We know that getting patients back to their active lifestyles is a top priority, and that physical therapy here at Forward Physical Therapy is a great first step in the process.
Experience and cutting-edge modalities, that used to be only available to professional athletes, are now available to the community members we serve. We take pride in providing one-on-one attention, in a warm and caring environment, to each of the patients that come through our doors.
We see a variety of patients each with their own specific needs, daily demands, and personal goals. That’s why we take the extra time to provide a customized program to each new patient we see.
Services We Provide
- Post-Surgical Orthopedic Rehabilitation
- Acute, Chronic Rehab
- Joint Replacement Rehab
- Spine Rehabilitation/Core Stabilization
- Sports Injury Rehab