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.

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.

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/

How Physical Therapy Helps with Life After COVID19

It is no secret that COVID19 has changed our world. Patients who have been in the ICU due to COVID may experience post-intensive care syndrome (PICS) which involves health problems from the ICU stay that may persist after the patient leaves the hospital. The second edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (PAGA), reports that approximately 80% of US adults and adolescents are insufficiently active. Many of these individuals have mobility issues or aches/pains preventing them from achieving these activity guidelines.

How Can PT Help?

  • Improve aerobic capacity while patients’ levels of exertion are being monitored
  • Break the cycle of inactivity
  • Increase balance/flexibility
  • Lower risk of falls
  • Improve strength and stability
  • Improve gait
  • Raise confidence level in exercise

At Elite, we are committed to providing excellent patient care and education to improve the lives of those in our community. Give us a call to schedule an appointment at one of our 2 convenient locations in Coatesville (610-466-7060) and West Chester (610-696-3305).

Use it or Lose it! Prevention of Deconditioning

What is deconditioning?

Deconditioning refers to a physical decline in function. During this time of isolation and social distancing, deconditioning can occur very easily. Deconditioning causes diminished muscle mass, decreased muscle strength by two to five percent per day, weight gain, changes in joint structure and muscle shortening. This can then result in increased falls, functional decline, increased frailty, and overall limited mobility.  It is important to stay active and continue to move, especially now, to maintain physical abilities and prevent these effects.

How can PT Help?

  • Increase balance/flexibility
  • Lower risk of falls
  • Improve strength and stability
  • Improve gait
  • Raise confidence level in exercise

Weight Loss & PT

Physical Therapy and Weight Loss
Often when you see a physical therapist, it is to recover from an injury or help alleviate a painful condition. In some cases, the pain you are experiencing can be linked to weight gain. Weight loss is a hot topic in our society and many people struggle with weight control, making it one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions each year.

Carrying too much weight can have several adverse effects on our bodies, including:
• Limited endurance
• Limited movement and flexibility
• Increased fatigue
• Frequently being short of breath
• Pain in various parts of the body

How Can PT Help?
Two of the major keys to weight loss are eating healthier and staying active. In terms of movement, physical therapy can play a key role.
Your physical therapist will perform a full assessment of your body and health, target areas of concern, and customize an exercise program designed to reduce and eliminate your pain and make you healthier. They will also teach you the correct form for each exercise, so you can perform them with minimal pain. If one of your concerns is carrying around too much weight, a physical therapist can demonstrate specific exercises that will help get rid of the excess pounds.

The Importance of Good Posture

Posture can be defined as a position of the body or the arrangements of body parts relative to one another. Posture is often thought in relation to the spine, but it also includes your extremities. Posture can be good, bad, or somewhere in between. Posture is important when standing, sitting and even when lying down.

So why is good posture so important and poor posture so bad? Well, it all starts with the way we are made. Our body is made a little bit like a puzzle. All our body parts are designed to fit together in way that creates the least amount of stress on the joints, discs, ligaments, and muscles. When we start to deviate from this ideal posture and spend more time in poor postures, we put stress extra stress on the joints, discs, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Anywhere the body deviates away from ideal posture and alignment stress is put on that area of the body.

So how can PT help? Physical therapy always includes an assessment of posture, analysis of how the patient’s posture is contributing to the current problem, education on how to improve posture, and interventions including hands on treatment and exercises to improve posture.