FINDING THE ROOT CAUSE

Elite’s Philosophy to Physical Therapy Treatment

Physical therapists are experts in movement. Often times, pain develops because there is an incorrect movement pattern, or a movement dysfunction, that is causing repeated microtraumas to the injured structure. The pain is the problem, but the movement dysfunction is the cause of the cause of the problem – “the root cause.”

At Elite, our physical therapists focus on correcting those movement dysfunctions in order to help improve your patients’ quality of movement and quality of life. This is done through proper manual therapy techniques and/or proper prescribed exercises.

  • If a joint is not moving well or if a muscle is too short, and this is causing the movement dysfunction, we use manual therapy techniques to give the structure more mobility and prescribe the proper exercises to keep it moving.
  • If a joint is moving too much or if a muscle is too long, and this is causing the movement dysfunction, we will prescribe you proper exercises to stabilize the structure and to strengthen those muscles.

 

It is not only important to eliminate the pain, but to correct the movement dysfunction that caused the pain in the first place. If the movement dysfunction is corrected, then the likelihood of the pain returning drastically decreases. At Elite, our clinicians are ultimately focused on finding “the root cause” of a patient’s pain in order to correct their overall movement patterns. It’s what sets us apart!

 

With 2 convenient locations in Coatesville and West Chester, Elite is here for all of your physical and occupational therapy needs!

We’ll Get You Back on Your Feet!

Chronic or acute pain and tenderness at the bottom of the foot or heal could be diagnosed as plantar fasciopathy. The thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot, from the toes to the heel bone, becomes inflamed and results in discomfort.

Often, the pain experienced is at its worst first thing in the morning. As a result, the first few steps of standing or walking for extended periods can increase levels of pain.

 

If Left Untreated, It Can Result In:

  • Chronic pain, hindering regular activities.
  • An irregular gait pattern, due to the pain, inducing foot, knee, hip and/or back issues.

How Physical Therapy Can Help:

A Physical Therapist will begin by conducting a gait analysis and instruct the patient in a series of exercises to correct gait decisions.  These exercises will work to stretch the plantar fascia and associated tendons and muscles, as well as strengthen the lower leg musculature to help stabilize the foot and ankle.  A clinician can also conduct ankle and foot joint mobilizations and manipulations, and dry needling to the calf muscles to minimize pain.

 

With offices in West Chester and Coatesville, our licensed physical therapists are available to see your patients within 24-48 hours. We’re here to help get your patients better faster!

Bursitis Be Gone!

Bursitis can be quite the bothersome ailment!  So—what is it, what causes it, and how can PT help?

What is Bursitis?

Bursitis is the inflammation of the fluid-filled pads (bursae) that act as cushions for the bones, tendons and muscles near your joints. Bursitis occurs when bursae become inflamed and most commonly occurs in the shoulder, elbow and hip.

What Causes Bursitis?

  • Most often by repetitive motions or overuse
  • Direct, minor impact on the area
    • Repeated bumping or prolonged pressure
  • Less often from a sudden, more serious injury.

How can PT help?

A physical therapist can provide various exercises to:

  • Strengthen muscles to prevent pain
  • Reduce pain and swelling
  • Improve range of motion/flexibility
  • Improve posture
  • Learn a home exercise program

As musculoskeletal experts, physical therapists are well-equipped to develop individualized programs to tailor exercises for each patient. Call today to schedule an appointment at one of our two locations in Coatesville and West Chester and get back to healthier, pain-free living!

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 over-loaded 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 in to 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.  Precision Rehabilitation always strives to ensure your patient has the best session to recovery.

Aches and Pains… Oh My!

Over 27 million Americans suffer from arthritis, making it the most common cause of disability in the United States.  Arthritis is defined as joint inflammation, but the term is used to describe around 200 conditions that affect joints, the tissues that surround the joint, and other connective tissue. It is a rheumatic condition with the most common form known as osteoarthritis.

What causes arthritis?

  • Excessive wear and tear on the joints
  • Obesity
  • Work-related injuries
  • Post-traumatic accidents
  • Sports injuries

Signs of Arthritis

  • Pain and stiffness first thing in the morning
  • Joints ache after prolonged walking, driving, climbing stairs
  • Reduced range of motion of the joint
  • Swelling and reduced range of motion

How can PT help?

  • Improve joint mobility
    • Joint mobilization
    • Stretching/balance exercises
    • Improve strength
  • Decrease pain
    • Ice/heat with compression and elevation
    • Electric stimulation

Need help addressing arthritis pain?  Call 610-466-7060 and schedule your evaluation at one of our two convenient locations in Coatesville and West Chester!

All Hands on Deck!

Have you heard the phrase “manual therapy”? No, it doesn’t mean cookie cutter physical therapy treatments listed in a handbook… Manual therapy is the assessment and treatment of neurological, cardio-respiratory, and orthopedic problems through hands-on interventions. A skilled manual therapist can evaluate and address diagnoses by rolling up their sleeves and feeling their way through treatment.

The objective of manual therapy is to treat the neuro-orthopedic component of any disorder by focusing on the cause of disease or condition itself. The treatment can utilize massage, myofascial release, soft tissue mobilization, joint and nerve mobilization, joint manipulation, and muscle energy techniques.

Benefits of manual therapy

  • Effective for acute and chronic pain
  • Helpful in relaxing muscles and breaking up scar tissue
  • Useful in increasing joint movement beyond restricted range of motion
  • Aids in reducing painful muscle spasms

While manual therapy is a great resource to utilize during treatment sessions, that’s not all we put to action at Elite. A variety of exercises, equipment-based therapy (such as dry needling or electronic stimulation), and ultrasound may be incorporated. Each patient is different, so a full assessment is completed prior to launching a course of treatment to ensure the plan is customized to each patient.

When it comes to reliable, highly skilled clinicians, we’ve got you covered!

Migraines? We’ve Got You Covered from Your Head to Your Toes!

Suffer from headaches or migraines?  You are not alone.  Headaches are the third most common pain complaint worldwide.  The cause can be anywhere from sinus problems, vascular complications, or tumors.  However, a large majority are caused by muscular and joint issues, such as muscle tension and tightness, disc pathology, lack of neck motion, poor posture, or tightness in the back between the shoulder blades.  Desperate for relief?  Just want to feel normal again?  Consider giving physical therapy a try!

How does physical therapy help headaches? First off, a licensed physical therapist will assess the patient to determine the type of headache: tension, migraine, or secondary pain stemming from an underlying condition. This will allow them to pinpoint the root cause of the problem. Second, dependent upon the type of pain, the physical therapist can manually address the issue using several techniques: heat or ice, soft tissue mobilization/massage, cervical traction, stretching, strengthening exercises, and/or posture education. This will allow them to alleviate a headache or migraine quickly and effectively. From there, the physical therapist can provide the patient with specific, custom exercises to address any future flare-ups on their own. In some cases, a physical therapist can address and relieve headache and migraine pain as quickly as one visit, but results may vary based on the severity of each individual case.

If you suffer from headaches or migraines, give Elite Therapy Solutions a call! With offices in Coatesville (610-466-7060) and West Chester (610-696-3305), our licensed physical therapists are available to see you within 24-48 hours. We are here to address any aches or pains, from your head to your toes!

Sciatica–A Real Pain in the Butt!

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is a term used to describe the symptoms of leg pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness that travel down the low back via the sciatic nerve in the back of the leg. Sciatica describes the symptoms one experiences, not a diagnosis. A herniated disc, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, and spondylolisthesis can all cause sciatica.

What risk factors are associated with sciatica?

  • Smoking
  • Tall height in older age groups (50 to 60 years)
  • Obesity and excess weight
  • Genetic susceptibility
  • Vitamin B 12 deficiency
  • Physical deconditioning from a sedentary, inactive lifestyle
  • Certain types of occupation (such as truck drivers, carpenters, or machine operators)
  • Poor work ergonomics

What are the signs/symptoms?

  • Pain – Sciatica pain may be constant or intermittent. The pain is usually described as a burning sensation or a sharp, shooting pain.
  • Altered sensation. Numbness, tingling, and/or a pins-and-needles sensation may be felt at the back of the leg.
  • Weakness may be felt in the leg and foot. A feeling of heaviness in the affected leg may make it difficult to lift the foot off the floor.

What can PT do to treat sciatica?

  • Restore pain-free functional movement patterns
  • Relieve lower back, buttock, thigh, and leg pain
  • Reduce muscle spasm
  • Restore function of the lumbar spine and the sacroiliac joint
  • Improve mobility of the lower body
  • Prevent future pain flareups and reduce fear associated with movement

Sciatica can be a real pain in the butt! Our physical therapists at Elite Therapy Solutions are here to help! Give us a call at 610-466-7060 to schedule an appointment or speak with one of our therapists.

Time for a heart-to-heart with Elite Therapy Solutions!

February is the month of the heart; from Valentine’s Day with your sweetie to heart health with your medical providers because February is American Heart Month!  Now more than ever, efforts are being made to increase awareness of cardiovascular disease to educate the general public on preventative measures to keep your heart healthy.  In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death in Pennsylvannia1. Fortunately, 80% of heart disease and stroke events can be prevented by:

  • Increasing physical activity
  • Eliminating tobacco use
  • Adjusting diet and maintaining healthy weight 
  • Getting plenty of sleep
  • Managing stress
  • Getting regular health screenings (monitor for blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and diabetes)

 

Who is at risk?

Cardiovascular issues can affect anyone, but symptoms and risk factors can fluctuate based on several variables such as age, gender, ethnicity, and lifestyle choices. For example, although heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, women are believed to be more at risk than men as symptoms aren’t as easily identifiable.

 

How can PT help?

By definition, physical therapy improves quality of life for people of all ages who have medical conditions, illnesses, or injuries that limit their regular ability to move and function. But that is not all! Physical therapy can be utilized as a preventative measure for various conditions—cardiovascular health included. Significant improvements in blood pressure, weight, quality of life, and other health indicators can be made through exercise under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist, in conjunction with other health professionals such as primary care physicians, specialists, dieticians, health and wellness professionals, etc. In fact, studies show habitual physical activity helps reduce and sometimes prevent symptoms in patients with cardiovascular disease.

 

Call us today at 610-466-7060 to discuss how we can improve your heart health!

1Pennsylvania (22 April 2020)  Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/states/pennsylvania/pa.htm

From Back Pain to Back in Action

Low back pain is one of the most common diagnoses our physical therapists treat – and for good reason! Over 80% of Americans will experience an episode of low back pain at some point during their lives1. Physical therapy is an effective, safe, and cost-conscious way to treat this condition and help people get back to living their best lives. While there are many treatment options for handling back pain, physical therapy should be considered a first line of defense.

According to a study published in Health Science Research, patients who saw a physical therapist first when they started experiencing back pain, compared to patients who waited to see a physical therapist or never saw one at all, had the following results2:

  • Lower out-of-pocket costs
  • Lower pharmacy costs
  • Lower outpatient costs
  • 87% less likely to need an opioid prescription
  • 28% less likely to need imaging services
  • 15% less likely to make an emergency room visit.

Not only are there financial benefits to using a safe alternative such as physical therapy, but research shows that the sooner a patient comes in for an appointment, the faster they recover. This can help prevent an acute problem from becoming a chronic one. That is why we always strive to get your patients in quickly – usually within 24 to 48 hours! With 2 convenient locations, we are ready to help your patients all across Chester County get back and better than ever.

1Study: Seeing a PT First for LBP Lowers Overall Costs, Reduces Chances of Later Opioid Prescription. (2018, May 24). Retrieved from http://www.apta.org/PTinMotion/News/2018/05/24/PTFirstForLBP/

2Freburger, J. K., Holmes, G. M., Agans, R. P., Jackman, A. M., Darter, J. D., Wallace, A. S., . . . Carey, T. S. (2009, February 09). The Rising Prevalence of Chronic Low Back Pain. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4339077/