How to keep from falling apart in your 50’s and beyond

You probably don’t think about your knees until you’re sitting in the doctor’s office staring down a diagnosis and a possible knee replacement surgery. How did you land here? You did your best to eat healthy and exercised when you could. Now you throw your back out by just looking at heavy objects, and the stairs feel like a marathon. It feels like your body betrayed you overnight and began falling apart at every seam.

This isn’t uncommon, because many people follow the same timeline. You go to high school, enroll in college, get married, and have children. The experiences, passions, and hobbies a person has make them different than someone else, but that’s a basic timeline everyone follows. Unfortunately, there is little time left for healthy living.

Beginning in your early 20s, your life will start to pick up. You’re making career choices, connecting with friends, starting a life with someone else, and possibly starting a family. There’s work, important deadlines, planning and cooking meals, bussing the children between activities, helping them with their homework, bills to pay, aging parents to care for, and by the end of the day, you’re just exhausted. How do you get time to yourself?

This is where we step in.

At Stretch Physical Therapy and Total Wellness, we’ve always been advocates for our patients, empowering them to lead happy, healthy lives. But starting in 2019, we’re making it a bigger part of our mission to prevent you from “falling apart” at age 60. We know life happens, and we know you have responsibilities, hobbies, or plans that may impede a regular wellness routine. Our goal is to help you find ways to introduce a healthy maintenance regimen into your life as early as possible to help you succeed at stay healthy.

Think about it: If a 28-year-old comes in to see us about their neck pain, we can help them find relief pretty quickly. We’ll work on a regular routine at their appointments and give them some basic at-home exercises to try. But if their diet is poor, they remain stationary at work, and they avoid regular exercise, their neck pain will come back. They’ll have to come back to see us for something that was completely preventative, all because they didn’t follow our plan.

This is also a common reason for surgery, but a large number of surgery procedures can be avoided through physical therapy. The concept is simple: Your body know how to heal themselves. For centuries, the human body has been relying on its natural expertise to help humans survive. But what you do aids in that healing. Your neck pain will return – or begin – if you don’t actively work to keep it and other conditions at bay.

The new year is a popular time to set resolutions and try to create a better “you.” Why not take this chance to create a better future for yourself and ultimately, your loved ones, too. There’s always going to be a reason to put off caring for yourself. Maybe you feel too bogged down at work, or your kid has so many weekend tournaments that finding a free minute is impossible. We know it’s hard, but we can help you find time for yourself – and your body needs you to do so.

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment in West Chester OH

Are you searching for plantar fasciitis treatment in West Chester OH?  There is a specific type of care for pain in the heel bone or calcaneus.  How do you know if you have this problem? If you lift your foot off of the ground and push your thumb into the heel area of your foot, you could be suffering from plantar fasciitis.

Most heel pain goes away in a short period of time, either on its own or after treatment. Without treatment the pain can become chronic which means lasting for more than 3 months.  Physical therapy care used to reduce heel pain are clinically proven to reduce pain as compared to no treatment at all. With time, most plantar fasciitis pain goes away but there’s no need to suffer for months when a little conservative, natural physical therapist directed care can help.

Conservative treatment of plantar heel pain – what’s involved

There are numerous over-the-counter remedies for plantar fasciitis but most fall short. First you need to make sure you have plantar fasciitis and your physical therapist can help confirm that you have the condition.

Other conditions that mimic plantar fasciitis.  According to Podiatry Today:

There are a variety of other etiologies (causes of pain) that are commonly associated with heel pain and are often misdiagnosed as plantar fasciitis. A short list of these etiologies includes:

  • plantar fascia tear
  • tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Baxter’s nerve entrapment
  • calcaneal stress fracture
  • calcaneal cysts
  • soft tissue mass
  • short flexor tendon tear
  • gout
  • systemic arthritis (lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis)

Click here for the reference

These conditions are rare compared to the common diagnosis of plantar fasciitis.

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment

All patients that see us first go through an initial evaluation. Once we find the root cause of the problem, rule out if it is plantar fasciitis or the other diagnosis but our treatment approach is:

  • Hands on manual Grade IV/V mobilizations in the Joints of the ankle,
  • Laser, to the entire foot ( based on the protocol).
  • Corrective inserts if necessary.
  • Our specialists will determine if those are needed during your Plan of Care.
  • Once the inflammation is down and pain is down we work to re educate the muscles in functional exercises.
  • We educate the customer on how to prevent reoccurrence and make sure they have a HEP that will help them return to the activities they were doing when the pain occurred.

Call Us if You Need Plantar Fasciitis Treatment Help

Physical therapy is all-natural, conservative, cost-effective, and is clinically proven to be effective.  Don’t let your heel pain linger for weeks or months. The sooner you address it the sooner you can get back to the things you enjoy.

Click here to visit our contact page or call us at (513) 874-8800.

Both our West Chester and Mason clinics have well-trained therapists that treat plantar fasciitis.


Lower Back Pain Treatment in West Chester Township

If you are looking for lower back pain treatment in West Chester Township, this post may help.

Understanding common causes of low back pain can help you make better treatment choices.  In most cases (>95% of the time), lower back pain can be successfully managed with conservative care like physical therapy.

Below is a list of three common causes of lower back pain.

Problem #1: Sacroiliac Dysfunction

Sacroiliac dysfunction (commonly called SI dysfunction), is common among pregnant women and patients that have sustained a fall onto their tailbone.  It is one of the tougher conditions to diagnose because it is often undetected on x-rays or MRIs.

Sacroiliac dysfunction is a problem with one or both of the joints between the sacrum and ilia (a region of the hip bones).

When you think about SI dysfunction, you should think about a stack of blocks.  The foundation of the stack of blocks (which is really your spine vertebrae), is called the sacrum.

But when the block at the bottom or foundation is out of line, the whole stack of blocks quickly has problems

Many people get injections, surgeries and medication for the L4, L5 vertebrae, when the hidden cause is actually the SI Joint (which can be found inside the pelvic bone).

Here are some indicators that you might have a sacroiliac joint dysfunction:

  • Pain during sitting and driving
  • Pain getting in and out of a car
  • Pain rolling over in bed
  • Common during childbirth when the body releases hormones to relax ligaments
  • Pain that is very broad, and hard to pin to any one area…With pain often wrapping around the outside of the leg

Since abnormalities are common on x-rays and MRI, SI joint dysfunction can go unnoticed.  However, a thorough evaluation that considers the entire kinetic chain, from the feet up through the spine, can help identify sacroiliac dysfunction.

Problem #2: Disc Issues

Disc pain is commonly felt in in the right or left-center of the lower back and often refers down the buttock into the thigh.  It’s characterized by sharp pain and is often made worse with sitting and forward bending.

With a disc problems, you will typically be able to point to the exact area the you are experiencing pain and run your finger down your buttock and thigh to precisely describe the discomfort.

Sciatica, or pain and paresthesia (numbness, and tingling), when caused by a herniated disc, can pinch a nerve in the lower back and cause decreased blood flow to the involved nerve root and cause radiating pain down into the leg and even the ankle and foot.

A herniated disc can happen to just about anyone.  It’s common in people in their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s.  As we age, herniated discs are less common; however, with the aging process, it’s not uncommon to develop this next condition called degenerative disc disease.

Problem #3: Spondylosis, Stenosis, and DDD

The reason that we discuss these 3 conditions at the same time is that they often present concurrently.

When one hits 50 years-old, almost everyone has some sort of age-related change on x-ray or MRI.  Positive diagnostic tests at this age are commonplace. In fact, 95% of people over the age of 50 show at least one of these 3 things on an X-Ray.

But just because it is common doesn’t mean that it can’t be improved.

What happens is, as you age, your discs between vertebrae will start to shrink (which is why most people get slightly shorter as they age). It’s very easy to tell someone that is suffering from these conditions, because they will be leaning forward on their shopping cart (in an attempt to increase the space in between vertebrae), or will commonly be heard saying that they need to sit down for a minute (because their pain goes away when sitting down).

Someone with Spondylosis will feel a more general pain and tingling down the leg, will have the pain disappear when they sit down and will typically experience stiffness in the morning.

We Hope This Information Helps and Here’s Some Additional Research About Why You Should See a Physical Therapist First

There are numerous scientific studies that demonstrate the importance of seeing a physical therapist first for the treatment of lower back pain.  Consider this one:

Early physical therapy following a new primary care consultation was associated with reduced risk of subsequent health care compared with delayed physical therapy. Further research is needed to clarify exactly which patients with LBP should be referred to physical therapy; however, if referral is to be made, delaying the initiation of physical therapy may increase risk for additional health care consumption and costs. Reference:

Fact is, seeing a physical therapist first is not only safe (with little to no risks of side effects), in comparison to traditional medical care, it can save you a lot of money.

If you need help, have any questions, or would like to discuss your back pain, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.

If you are in severe pain, need immediate help, or have a referral from a physician, family member or friend, please click here to visit our contact page and we will get you scheduled as soon as possible.

I used to play sports, what happened to me?

I hear this a lot from older clients. Heck, I’ve heard it from myself when I went through ACL rehabilitation. Once a high level athlete, always a high level athlete. At least in our minds we are. The fact is that muscle takes 1-2 weeks to lose strength if it is not going through a workout program. Muscle responds very specifically to the strains that are placed upon it. Unfortunately as we get older, people do not exercise as often as they should. I’m guilty of this as well.

We tend to forget all the practices and conditioning that we did in order to be prepared to play in these events. We just remember the games themselves. Then we skip all the preparatory exercising that is needed in order to perform at that level. We go straight to playing pick up games.

Unfortunately, our bodies change as we age too. Without properly exercising, the muscle fibers actually change composition. The muscles become more use to long term activation. They get used to just holding us upright because standing and walking are the primary exercises we do. The muscles we use in sport require more faster activating muscle fibers. That means if we try to do fast acting movement with slow moving muscles, we’re going to have a bad time.

This is why it is important to see somebody educated in the performance of muscles to better prepare us for our activities.

Dr. Mark Geise, PT DPT

This is Hard

A lot of times we hear clients say that a seemingly easy exercise is surprisingly difficult. The most common time I hear this is when I ask somebody to hold their balance while they stand on one foot. Seems like an easy enough task right? Go on try it yourself.

Chances are that if you don’t actively practice this then it’s going to be pretty difficult. Wobbling back and forth are normal as long as you’re not at risk of falling over. There are several different reasons for why this easy exercise needs to be practiced. Every time you walk, you should be standing on one foot even if for a moment. If you can’t stand on one foot, you’re at risk for losing balance while you walk. If you’re not standing on one foot while you’re walking, then you’re not taking long enough strides. An important factor in determining if a person is at risk for a fall was the speed they were walking. Slower walking was actually predictive of falling.

Several reasons could be why this exercise is difficult. One is that practice makes perfect. Not trying it occasionally will make it difficult. Secondly, there are 3 systems in play when you’re trying to balance. The musculoskeletal system will try to keep your bones and muscles in position to stay upright. Your muscles need to be strong enough to keep you in a proper position. Your inner ear provides a lot of feedback to your brain which tries to determine how your head is positioned. Lastly, your joints have joint sensors that send feedback to your central nervous system. This keeps your brain informed of where your joints are.

So this is why we provide this exercise to patients. It challenges several systems at once. It helps determine if there are more than one system with problems. If standing on one leg is too easy, try doing it with your eyes closed!

Dr. Mark Geise, PT DPT

Should I be worried that my knees are clicking?

Joints do snap, crackle, and pop at times and this is normal. However, if your knees click or pop EVERY time you do a motion such as going up/down stairs, standing/sitting, or squatting that is something that you need to address before it becomes a problem.

The clicking that you hear is your knee caps pushing against your knee while in motion. This happens due to muscle imbalances in your body, either your hip is weak and your knees are caving in with bending or the arches in your ankles are weak and your knee is again caving in and causing this sound. If you don’t start addressing these muscle imbalances soon the bones wear down and arthritis could begin to form.

Here’s a quick test for you, stand in front of a mirror or have someone watch you, and perform a squat. Watch (or have your friend watch) to see if your knees are staying in line with your feet, or if your knees are moving in between your feet, also listen for any clicking sounds. If either of these are the case you may have ankle instability or hip weakness. You should see your Physical Therapist for an evaluation to make sure that this problem does not get worse.

Do I have to do my exercises for the rest of my life?

People often think, “Do I have to keep doing all of these exercises for the rest of my life?” after coming to therapy and performing weeks of exercises, getting hands on care from your therapist, then getting back to your pain free life. This is a great question, and the answer is both yes and no.

Let me explain: If you are performing 10-20 minutes of exercises on a daily basis, there is no need to continue to perform this many exercises. However, I have a question for you: Do you brush your teeth every day? Why? To prevent you from having cavities, would it make sense to perform a few exercises every day to prevent you from having your pain again?

After you complete your therapy there are most likely 2-3 exercises that you should be performing to keep your strength up and prevent you from having your problem return. This should only take 5 minutes or so 2-3 days a week. You want to keep the muscles that have a tendency to be weak strong to keep your pain away.

Dr. Christopher Aeschliman, PT, DPT

Chronic Pain

Today, I had another client come in today with lower back pain. She told me she had sciatica symptoms. She felt pain in her back initially however the pain that shoots down her legs is the most debilitating. She feels like sometimes she can’t stand up all the way.

Unfortunately for her, she’s been dealing with this for over half a decade. The pain limits her from walking, standing long periods of time, and at this point she’s afraid to return to work as a nurse. Nursing is a very active highly demanding physical job. The fear is completely understandable and the fear is very rational.

Dealing with chronic pain can be life consuming, altering our lifestyles in ways that people without chronic pain do not realize. I personally have had a ACL reconstruction on my R knee. I went to months of prehab and even more months of rehab after surgery. It still aggravates me to this day. I realized that my knee hurt when I was walking for prolonged periods, or sitting for prolonged periods. I never thought I’d be able to play soccer again so I would skip workouts. I would avoid any activity that may cause pain. I “knew” it would cause pain.

Recently, I came across an article on chronic pain and it helped enlighten my knowledge on the subject. They found that the pain signal to the brain not only was coming from the source of pain BUT was also coming from memory.

Another article was showing how pain pathways from the source of pain may actually interfere with motor output. This means that the pain is actually discoordinating muscles, which is going to lead to more pain.

Given these two thoughts, it makes sense why a client would need more than just strengthening to solve their problem. The client needs solutions that address these other factors as well. This is a common problem that needs to be addressed appropriately.

Dr. Mark Geise, PT, DPT

Back Pain And Sciatica Treatment Options

Stop Spending Money on ineffective treatments and gadgets when managing pain.

Costs of Surgery 100-300K+ (Insurance will cover this if your deductible is Met)

Cost of Injections $150-400/injection ( Short lived and causes more damage)

Cost of Going to The Dr first for Pain (Time, waiting for medications to work, time off work, time back to Dr to say Pain medications are not working, Costly X-Rays, CAT scans and MRI’s that reveal no problem. Or your spine looks like the spine of a 90 year old.) Could be up to 2 months of your time. Pain still continues.

Dr refers you out to see a PAIN Specialist for injections. Cost $150-400/injection. (Typically the injections will last the longest the first time, then future injections cause damage but are still a bandaid and does not FIX the problem. )

Finally you get to see a P.T. in a hospital setting that gives you silly exercises that are temporary and in effective.

Then off to your Ortho Dr. You are a GREAT candidate for surgery. You see where this is going right?

From what my patients tell me, this process can take 6 months to a year. But barely any relief and you have missed so much work and have spent possibly your deductible. This is our current IN-Network system. So now that your deductible is met you want to only see providers that are any in network provider. I understand, you have spent a lot of Time and Money and want your insurance to now cover your treatment.

The problem with this model is that you will only reach the GOALs set forth by your insurance company. Typically if physical therapy is the option of treatment selected you can now be happy to reach a level of 3/10 pain by using your insurance card. Most people believe that PT does not work, because they chose a PT that was an in network provider that chose to get paid a discount from their insurance and because they are reimbursed so low they will need to see several people at one time to cover the expenses they have. This system does not work to effectively FIX your back pain or any other pain for that matter. You will see temporary results in this system. ( BTW, after this many will seek surgery because of the time) Ouch!

The choice that we recommend is much cheaper, saves time and will help you better understand your body and the pain you are experiencing.

Seeing a Therapist that specializes in Hands on Treatment first, followed by neuro re-ed, muscle energy techniques, Laser, Dry needling and cupping followed by some exercise. (Not hours of exercise) Will effectively FIX your pain and help you to return to doing the things you LOVE TO DO. The cost of this Model. Under $2000.00 to be fixed. In most cases it can be under $1000.00 for the total treatment. Better yet, you don’t need to see your Dr first, go in for X-Rays or expensive MRIs and will get relief the very 1st visit. Typically in 10-12 treatments you are done and better understand how to prevent the pain from coming back. Which treatment will you choose? Ready to FIX your pain? Reach out to me today A Better You… One Stretch At A Time.

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