Have a Pain Free Holiday!

The holidays are here! No matter what you celebrate around this time a year, there are so many traditions to follow. Whether it is lighting candles, rolling out cookie dough, or decorating a tree, there are tons of beautiful moments to share with your family and friends. So many of these activities involve your upper extremities, and what if you were hindered because of hand, wrist, or arm pain? Thankfully we are here to help!

With the help of occupational and physical therapy, we can get you back to making holiday memories with your friends and family. 

 

First, we would want to look to strengthen and mobilize the muscles that are impacted. We would want to build up the muscles that may be weaker and hope to improve the overall movement of any sort of joint or muscles that may be affected. This can be done with various stretches, exercises, and hands on manipulation from our therapists!

 

Next, we would want to analyze any activities you wish to complete and see if there is any way to modify your activities to complete them pain free. This could involve repositioning your hand and wrist placement to use other muscles that may be stronger. This new placement could take pressure off of underperforming muscles, giving yourself less pain. Or we could implement  different gadgets that could be used instead of doing everything by hand. For example, tubing could be added to utensils to make a grip bigger, this way you use larger muscles in your hand then smaller muscles that may be weaker. 

 

Finally, we would be here to support you every step of the way, whether it be in one of our clinics or in your home! We are happy to visit your home and assess for safety, furniture placement, and modifying everyday activities to keep the pain from recurring even after the holidays are over. 

 

Elite is happy to help you be your best this holiday season and into the new year. Call today to schedule therapy so good, it’s Elite!

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!

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!

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. 

Lets get moving again!

In honor of National Senior Health & Wellness Day being celebrated this Wednesday, May 26th, we wanted to share with you the benefits of physical therapy for Senior patients. Seniors benefit in numerous ways from physical activity and physical therapy including:

  • Improve balance, gait and endurance to reduce fall risk
  • Maintain strength, healthy joints and muscles
  • Increase joint mobility
  • Help reduce or control blood pressure
  • Reduce the risk of diabetes and other chronic diseases
  • Ease symptoms of stress and anxiety
  • Reduce and prevent arthritis joint swelling and pain
  • Increase the ability to live independently

Most importantly, physical therapy can help Seniors strengthen weak muscles and increase mobility. It can also improve endurance, so that the patient can enjoy physical hobbies like gardening or golf for longer periods of time.

Overall, physical therapy can give Seniors back their independence and make daily tasks easier. Working with the staff at Elite will not only reduce pain, but it will also help improve overall strength and ability and reduce the risk for falls or injuries, helping patients maintain a higher quality of life.

What we do at Elite… Evaluate each patient individually to find which symptoms are affecting their ability to maintain the best quality of life. Our physical therapists then formulate a plan of care made up of manual therapy and exercises.

  1. Medical history
  2. Medication review
  3. Clinical observation
  4. Berg balance scale
  5. Complete Physical Therapy Treatment

Know of a senior in your life that could use physical therapy?  Have them visit us at one of our two convenient Chester County locations in West Chester and Coatesville!  We’ll get them active and help those pesky aches and pains!

Tendonitis is a PAIN!

Tendonitis is characterized by inflammation or irritation of a tendon — the thick fibrous cords that attach muscle to bone. The condition causes pain and tenderness right outside a joint. While tendinitis can occur in any of your tendons, it’s most common around your shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees and heels. When tendons become irritated or inflamed, acute pain and tenderness make it difficult to move the affected joint.

       

If left untreated…

  • Tendonitis may become chronic
  • Can also lead to:
  • Weakening of the tendon (tendinosis)
  • Rupture of the tendon/permanent damage to the affected tissues

How can PT help?

  • Reduce pain
  • Strengthen muscles around damaged tendon to help avoid similar injuries in the future

Manual Therapy can…

  • Stimulate change in the tissue if the body is unable to do so on its own
  • Change the movement of a joint and the surrounding tissue by way of:
    • Joint manipulation/mobilization
    • Soft tissue mobilization

When it comes to reliable, highly skilled clinicians, we’ve got you covered from your head to your toes! Visit us at one of our two locations in West Chester or Coatesville, today!

Benefits of Pre-Operative Rehabilitation

While physical rehabilitation post-surgery seems to be standard operating procedure, did you know pre-operative rehabilitation is just as important?  In fact, implementing a rehabilitative program prior to surgery can actually cut down on recovery time, complications, and even healthcare costs!

Following surgical procedures, patients often experience a decline in strength and function, as well as increased inflammation, pain, and swelling.  Keeping this in mind, over a clinically suggested 6-week time frame prior to surgery, a physical therapist will assess the patient for muscle and joint strength, ability to move and perform day-to-day tasks, and degree of independence; all of which are crucial in creating the patient’s individualized pre-surgical rehabilitation plan.  From there, the goals of this plan are simple:

  • Mentally prepare patient for surgery
  • Reduce pain and inflammation
  • Restore range of motion
  • Improve muscular control of the affected area
  • Normalize movement patterns prior to your surgery
  • Improve overall well-being and fitness
  • Gain a good understanding of the exercises that you will perform immediately after surgery

By addressing key muscles, joints, and tissue anticipated to be affected by the procedure ahead of time, physical therapists are able to enhance post-operative outcomes.  According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), participating in just 1-2 pre-operative rehabilitative sessions can reduce postoperative care by 29%, which translates into healthcare savings of more than $1000 per individual. 

*study based on patients with total knee or hip replacement

https://drayerpt.com/pre-post-operative-care/

http://www.actionsportphysio.com/en/health-tips/therapy-related/prehab/

http://www.apta.org/PTinMotion/News/2014/10/2/PreOperativePT/

http://www.apta.org/PTinMotion/2016/2/Prehabilitation/

http://www.pivotalmotion.physio/what-we-do/pre-post-rehabilitation/

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!