Long COVID? No Thank You!

The U.S. is officially two years into the COVID-19 pandemic and we are continuing to see it’s effects on our communities and families. Many who are infected with COVID-19 have been able to recover, but there is still a portion of survivors who are suffering from on-going symptoms. Mallory Yu of NPR reported, “A study published in JAMA Network Open found that about 30% of participants across multiple age ranges reported persistent symptoms more than six months after their COVID-19 infections.” Yu goes on to explain that there were an estimated 200 symptoms that patients are experiencing post COVID, ranging from the nervous system to the brain to the musculoskeletal system. 

These symptoms that follow COVID, or the patients that suffer these symptoms, are known to be suffering from “Long COVID” or could be called “long haulers.” And recovering from these long-term conditions can be difficult when assimilating back into everyday life. If there is an occupation where someone stands on their feet all day, or has to teach a class of students, recovery can now look impossible. Instead of waiting for symptoms to go away on their own, or accepting that this might be a new reality, there are ways to start improving your strength, mobility, balance, and overall confidence. Thankfully, physical therapy is here to help!

 

There are multiple kinds of recovery a person can experience. A person can go through recovery after a surgery, after an injury, or even after an illness. With physical therapy, a patient is able to see increased strength, use adaptations in their everyday life to make tasks easier, and create more stability physically and mentally. There are some long term symptoms of COVID that may stick around, but with the help of a physical or occupational therapist, navigating those symptoms to get back to normalcy becomes much easier. But in the best case scenario, physical therapy can relieve those symptoms! Terry G., a former patient of Elite Therapy Solutions, stated, “I want to thank the whole crew for the 8 weeks of rehab here.  It has been a tremendous comeback after 5 weeks in the hospital battling COVID-19.  I am back to almost all of my normal activities thanks to them!”

 

Do not let COVID slow you down, call today for physical therapy so good, it’s Elite!

Benefits of PT Post-Operation

A surgery can be life changing, and the recovery process can vary from person to person. Whether it’s a hip replacement, knee replacement, or anywhere else in your body, physical therapy can help! Physical therapy can be vital in the healing process for many reasons. It increases blood flow, flexibility, range of motion, and it can even discourage scar tissue from forming. The many benefits combine to contribute to an overall lack of pain coming out of recovery. When there is less pain and swelling, a patient does not need to use as many pain killers or other extra medication to cope post-operation. Instead you can have a shorter recovery time, increased mobility, and more money in your pocket!

Once you master your mobility, a physical therapist can assess your needs and show you how to potentially alter your everyday activities to make your days of recovery easier. A physical therapist can show you how to correctly get out of bed, lean down to the bottom shelf of a grocery store, and guide you through the best ways of navigating to not only heal quicker but prevent complications in the future!

 

Without the necessary movement, stretching, and exercises after surgery, a patient’s condition could continue to get worse. The lack of blood flow and increased risk of scar tissue development makes the muscles stiff and immobile, making the site of surgery weaker than before. As a result, a patient’s weaker muscles make it a harder transition to normalcy, and could impact them negatively down the road. Instead of coming out of any surgery feeling defeated, weak, or discouraged, physical therapy can bring you back to your daily life, new and improved!

National Active Aging Week

We are all aging, every second of every single day, and that is something worth celebrating! This week is National Active Aging week, and it doesn’t mean that we are all actively aging; but it means that we should all try to remain active while we age. Regardless of if you are 23, 43, or 63, continuing to stay active is crucial to our health and that is what this week is all about.

Did you know, as we age, our physician visits increase by 30%? Our body is more susceptible to wear and tear as we get older, which keeps us from doing the things we love. Some of the most common conditions that individuals over 50 years old suffer from are:

  •         Arthritis
  •         Osteoporosis
  •         Joint Replacement
  •         Balance Disorders
  •         Overall Deconditioning and Muscle Weakness

Thankfully, we have seen amazing results at managing these conditions after going through physical and occupational therapy with Elite.

Everyday activities like gardening, going grocery shopping, and so much more can be made easier. Don’t let your age keep you from doing what you love, let us help you get back and better than ever!

Becoming Balanced

We are all seeking balance in our lives, between work and home and everything in between. But what about physical balance? Balance problems can be caused by a number of conditions including: 

  • Stroke 
  • Arthritis 
  • Diabetes 
  • Multiple Sclerosis 
  • And so much more! 

 

And these balance disruptions can be disrupted within the body from vision to the muscular system, all the way to the inner ear. There are multiple ways to treat these systems with physical therapy. With muscle strengthening and stretching, position training, and inner ear retraining, you could feel good as new!  

 

After balance is treated, the benefits are endless. Patients will experience less falling, and with that, comes confidence in their abilities to do more activities. Overall balance, mobility, and strength is increased which leads to more movement, better posture, and increased flexibility. If you would like to see these results, schedule your appointment today!  

Stay on (the) Track!

Did you know that 40 million people in the United States run regularly? However, it also comes with a high risk of injuries. Yearly, up to half of runners report an injury. Some of the most common injuries associated with running include:

  • Runner’s knee
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Shin splints
  • Hamstring injuries
  • Plantar fasciopathy
  • IT band syndrome
  • Stress fractures
  • Sprained knees and ankles

 

While physical therapy can treat many of these overuse injuries, we want to share some tips to keep you healthy and safe on your next run

  • Cross-train – weightlifting to strengthen quads and hips; yoga to increase flexibility.
  • Stretch after your run.
  • Your longest run should only make up 20% of your weekly total mileage.
  • Don’t increase mileage by more than 10% per week.
  • Get running shoes that fit properly and feel comfortable. 
  • Change your running shoes every 350 – 500 miles.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Consume adequate calories, carbs, healthy fats, and protein.
  • Beginners should start with intervals of walking and running.

 

 

1 Callahan, Lisa. “Running Injuries of the Lower Extremities.” UpToDate, 28 Oct. 2018, www.uptodate.com/contents/overview-of-running-injuries-of-the-lower-extremity.

2 7 Most Common Running Injuries. Pt Health, 23 Apr. 2018, www.pthealth.ca/blog/the-7-most-common-running-injuries/#.

School’s Back, Game On!

As we approach the end of the summer, we all know what that means…back to school time. Student athletes are gearing up for their preseasons after a year of quarantine, and as the games begin the injuries are bound to follow. Did you know, high school sports contribute to almost 2 million injuries each year? From sprained wrists to back pain, we are here to help your children bounce back to the sports they love! But before they step foot on the field, here are some tips we suggest in order to prevent any athlete’s seasons from getting cut short.

 

1. Stretch: It is crucial that every athlete stretches before and after any practice or game to keep the muscles loose.

2. Don’t play when you are injured: Continuing to play while injured could lead to more injuries or worsening any condition.

3. Rest: When you overwork your muscles they are more prone to strain and pain, it is important to take rest days when needed.

4. Drink water: Proper hydration is key to keep your muscles moving and your body feeling good. When we sweat we lose water and we need to replenish it after any activity.

Bye Bye Back Pain!

Did you know that nearly 80% of all Americans will experience an episode of low back pain at some point in their lives? …Or that back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide and a leading contributor to missed workdays?

The good news: Physical Therapy can not only relieve the pain but fix the cause of chronic back pain!

Our clinicians at Elite Therapy Solutions have extensive experience treating pain due to:

• Muscle or ligament strains

• Bulging or ruptured discs

• Arthritis

• Osteoporosis

• Skeletal irregularities

• Posture

Seeking physical therapy first can also both save time and money. Compared to patients who waited or never saw a Physical Therapist, those who went to physical therapy first had lower out-of-pocket costs, pharmacy costs, and outpatient costs. They were also 87% less likely to need an opioid prescription, 28% less likely to need imaging services, and 15% less likely to make an emergency room visit.

Research has also proven that the sooner a patient is treated, the faster they will recover. We offer appointments within 24-48 hours for this reason! With 3 convenient locations, we’re here to help your patients feel their best with the most enjoyable PT experience!

5 Tips for Summer

Summer is finally here!  It’s been a long winter, spent lounging in those big baggy sweaters, hoodies, or sweatshirts and forgetting about that “itsy bitsy, teeny weeny, yellow polka dot bikini” hiding in the depths of your dresser drawer. Before you start panicking about swimsuit season, here are 5 tips to flatten that stomach and tone your limbs just in time for summer!

 

1.  Drink lots of water: Such a simple step, but it has a great impact! Did you know, when you are dehydrated, your body can mistake thirst pangs for hunger pangs? Before you grab for that over-processed snack pack to tide you over until supper time, try drinking a glass or two of water. Chances are, you are dehydrated and your body thinks that you are hungry instead. Also, try substituting beverages you would normally drink for a glass of water.

2. Eating smaller portions: Reducing your portion size by only 20% can make a big difference in your drive to swimsuit bliss and become a lasting healthy lifestyle habit.

3. Don’t forget fiber and protein: Fiber allows your body to be able to move fat and waste through your system more quickly, while protein takes longer to digest. Both give you that “full” feeling longer, making your tummy happy until your next meal.

4. Eat healthy snacks between meals: Eating small, healthy snacks throughout the day keeps you from overeating during meals and stabilizes your blood sugar. Here’s the kicker though: it’s important to understand which snacks you should eat and which snacks you should pass up. A common misconception is to grab for the high-carbohydrate snacks, such as pretzels or yogurt… While these foods are relatively healthy, they are not very filling, leaving you unsatisfied before the next big meal. Stick to snacks high in protein and fiber, such as nuts, legumes, or “portable fruits”, such as strawberries, oranges, or peaches.

5. Exercise regularly: Finally, a common myth to flattening your tummy is to do hundreds of sit-ups or crunches per day. Stop! There is no such thing as spot burning fat zones. And after the first 20 or 30 reps, your body gets lethargic and you end up “cheating”, therefore not getting the full effect of the exercise and potentially causing damage to your musculoskeletal system. The best way to tone up in time for summer is to eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. 

 

With these tips in mind, you can get your body swimsuit ready in no time!

Carpal Tunnel….. to relief!

Carpal tunnel syndrome, also called median nerve compression, is a condition that causes numbness, tingling, or weakness in your hand. This happens because of pressure on your median nerve, which runs the length of your arm, goes through a passage in your wrist called the carpal tunnel, and ends in your hand.

Patients with carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated with physical therapy or surgery. Although surgery may be considered when the symptoms are severe, more than a third of patients do not return to work within 8 weeks after an operation. Based on the potential side effects and risks of surgery, patients often ask if they might try physical therapy first.

According to the Journal of Orthopedics and Sports Physical Therapy, research shows that after 1 year, patients who had physical therapy that focused on manual therapy of the neck and median nerve, combined with stretching exercises, had outcomes similar to those of patients who had surgery. However, the physical therapy patients experienced faster improvements at the 1-month mark than did patients whose condition was treated surgically. This research supports the decision of patients who wish to try physical therapy first before considering surgery.

For those diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, physical therapy offers strong evidence-based treatment options to help them recover. Evidence indicates that physical therapy is not only as effective as surgery to treat this condition, but the patient will see improvement up to two months faster.  Do you suffer from CTS?  Are you looking for the tunnel to relief? Schedule your physical therapy evaluation with us today for therapy so good, it’s elite!

No Pain, No Gain… Myth Busted!

The assumption made in the statement of “no pain, no gain” is that the more strenuous and painful the exercises the quicker the recovery. That is not the case. Your body can be overloaded by pushing too far. This is what causes overuse injuries. An exercise done with excessive loads or repetitions can actually do more harm than good. Patients often come into physical therapy with scared or preconceived notions that their therapy session will be painful. They know that physical therapy will make them better but believe this healing might come with pain.

What you should be feeling?

Muscle soreness from a day or two of doing exercises is normal, however, exercising should not be painful. Your body thrives under the right conditions of movement and exercise. Inactivity in our muscles leads to weakening and dysfunction of your body.

What about physical therapy?

Your physical therapist may use techniques that create some limited pain, however, if you are experiencing more than slight discomfort, you should let your physical therapist know right away. Slight pain is sometimes necessary when working to change dysfunctional soft tissue, breaking adhesions in the joint capsule to improve motion, or when performing specific exercises involving mobilizing the nervous system. Generally, the exercises that you will be performing in physical therapy as well as any home exercises your therapist will assign you should never be painful, as this may increase swelling by taxing the joint or muscle. If we create too much inflammation this will result in prolonged and delayed recovery. 

To answer the question, when exercising, pain will not improve the workout or your condition. Slight pain during your physical therapy session will be monitored by a licensed therapist.  At Elite Therapy Solutions, we always strive to ensure your patient has the best session to recovery.