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!

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

Staying Active Through COVID

COVID has really put a damper on activities that we would normally do. It is important to stay active and healthy, even if that means doing things inside or by ourselves! Below are some activities that can help to keep you active and safe during the COVID & Winter Season.

Tip 1: Get Busy Moving!

It is important to keep our bodies active and moving during this time in which we can become more sedentary staying inside and away from others. This winter try some new activities like taking a virtual exercise class. Elite Therapy Solutions’ own Occupational Therapist, Maddie, holds free virtual exercise classes which you can tune in live to on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays through Brandywine Valley Active Aging Facebook page. For more information and to get involved, please email jorge@bvactiveaging.org.

Tip 2: Try your hand at a new hobby!

Keeping busy and active is important, and what better time to pick up a new hobby than during the cold winter months? Try getting involved in a crafting project like knitting, sewing, or scrapbooking. If arts and crafts aren’t your thing, try a hobby such as indoor gardening. It is a quick way to get involved in something that will keep you active each day and will produce either beautiful flowers or a yummy garden treat.

Tip 3: Get Organized

We typically think of getting organized during the spring season when we do our “spring cleaning”. However, with the colder months approaching, now would be an ideal time to get rid of those old and unwanted items, to make room for the new and exciting. Try starting with just one room or closet at a time – out with the old and in with the new (year)!

Tip 4: A Brisk Walk

Even though its cold outside, that does not mean you need to stay indoors 24/7. Getting fresh air has been shown to improve mood, increase blood circulation, and help in cardiovascular health. A long walk is not necessary, so bundle up, and try just walking up and down the driveway…as long as there isn’t snow and ice that is!

Tip 5: Cook a New Meal

During this time where things can get boring and are often the same thing repeatedly, why not try switching it up and trying a new menu item! New cookie and soup recipes are a good way to stay warm and cozy both inside your home, and inside your body. Don’t forget to stay hydrated as well! Drink plenty of fluids.

With COVID affecting everyone, it is important to find the positives in our lives. Try some of these tips to keep you active and safe during the cold winter and COVID months.

Fall Prevention

Did you know…

Adults age 65 or older:

  • 1 out of 3 adults fall each year
  • Falls are the leading cause of injury death, and the most common cause of nonfatal injury & hospital admission for trauma

Many people who fall, even if they are not injured, develop a fear of falling. This fear may cause them to limit their activities, which leads to reduced mobility and loss of physical fitness, and in turn increases their actual risk of falling.

Balance: A person can become disoriented if the sensory input received from his or her eyes, muscles, joints, or vestibular organs sources conflict with one another.

  • Joints and Mechanoreceptors– As joints age, mechanoreceptors become less sensitive.
  • Cerebellum and Brain– Movements and neurological function decreases as we age.
  • Inner Ear- Vertigo is a common cause of falls.
  • Sense of Sight– Vision decreases as we age and diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in
  • Sense of Touch– Diabetic neuropathy can mean loss of feeling, which can lead to poor balance.

How can Physical or Occupational Therapy help?

  • Evaluate each patient to find which of these symptoms are affecting the ability to balance.
  • Review the patient’s medical history
  • Review the patient’s medication list
  • Perform a clinical observation
  • Berg balance scale test
  • Specific tests for vertigo

Physical Therapy Vs Occupational Therapy

Have you ever wondered what Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy are and how they differ? While there are numerous differences, the primary distinction between the two disciplines of PT & OT is that physical therapy’s main focus is gross motor function, or large muscle movements, while occupational therapy focuses on how the patient uses fine motor, or small muscle movements, and cognitive skills to perform tasks that are meaningful to them. To learn more, check out the video below.