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.

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/

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.

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