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Don’t Stress Out About Stress Fractures

Telma Grant, P.T. Private & OHIP physiotherapy and Chiropractic. If you're in pain, call us. We can help.
A stress fracture, also known as a fatigue-induced fracture, consists of one or more small cracks in the bone. It is associated with a pattern of overuse, commonly seen in the lower extremity in athletes.

Causes

Repetitive motion is one the mechanisms that result in a stress fracture. The muscles become fatigued and are unable to absorb ground force, which is transmitted to the bone. This overload results in stress fractures over a period. High impact sporting activities that result in this injury include:

  1. Track and field activities
  2. Basketball
  3. Tennis
  4. Gymnastics

Symptoms

The main symptom is pain in the extremities which worsens with activity and subsides with rest.

Diagnosis

As with any bone injury, the confirmatory diagnostic test is an x-ray. In some cases, a CAT scan or MRI is requested if the x-ray is not conclusive.

Treatment

The pain stimulus is the body’s natural mechanism to protect itself from severe self-inflicted injury. The rule of thumb for immediate treatment is:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation

Rest (and limited weight bearing) is an important aspect of stress reduction on the bone and surrounding joints. Shoe inserts also help with shock absorption.

Stress Fracture Injury Prevention Tips

If something is tingling, numb or hurting, it is time to stop what you are doing and seek medical attention. If a stress fracture is ignored, the condition can get worse and escalate to a more serious injury. A stress fracture is an early sign of bone destruction, and it must be treated quickly and proactively. It is generally associated with dull, aching pain in a general area. As it progresses, the pain can escalate to sharp, piercing pain in a localized area. Ignoring a stress fracture will lead to further bone deterioration. This can result in long-term consequences ranging from increased recovery time to joint deformity.

If you are participating in ongoing, repetitive activity or a high impact sport, it is important to rest periodically from the task and do the following:

  • Massage the limbs and joints
  • Stretch the muscles
  • Relieve the pressure by reducing weight-bearing on the affected joints

Anti-inflammatory and analgesic medication can help with pain relief. A physician may recommend prescription medication for pain relief and refer patients to physical therapy.

No Need To Stress – Your Physical Therapist Can Help

Recovery from stress fractures is a gradual process. Bone fragments need time to heal. The primary objective of physical therapy during the healing process is to prevent further injury. Once the healing process is complete, it is even more important to seek the counsel of a physical therapist. The therapist will design an exercise program geared towards gradual, progressive recovery of full function of the bones, muscles, and joints.

Physical therapy is an excellent choice for non-surgical treatment for mild to moderate cases of stress fractures. Some of the techniques used by physical therapists include:

  • Cold compress to reduce swelling
  • Strengthening the limbs and joints
  • Bracing with splints to reduce load on the affected joints
  • Ergonomically designed footwear
  • Psychosocial rehabilitation for the professional athlete, looking for a speedy, successful and complete recovery

If you or someone you know has, or is at risk for a stress fracture, give us a call. We’ll be sure to take the stress away.

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How Physio Helps Biceps Tendinitis

Telma Grant, P.T. Private & OHIP physiotherapy and Chiropractic. If you're in pain, call us. We can help.

The biceps tendon connects the biceps muscle in the upper arm to the elbow. The tendon acts like a tough connective tissue. The inflammation of this tendon is bicep tendinitis. Physical therapy can help reduce pain and regain mobility.
Causes

Some of the causes of biceps tendinitis include:

  • a fall that injures the shoulder
  • excessive weight lifting
  • overuse from recreational and sports-related activities
  • a sudden twisting motion of the shoulder

Symptoms

  1. Pain at the front of the shoulder joint that extends down the arm i.e. the biceps muscle.
  2. Weakness in the shoulder
  3. Decreased range of motion of the shoulder joint
  4. A visible change in the shape and appearance of the front of the arm

Bicep Tendinitis Prevention Tips

Once a diagnosis is confirmed using evaluation techniques and an ultrasound scan, conservative treatment involves rest, ice and progressive physical therapy. Medical treatment involves the use of over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen and aspirin. A physician may recommend prescription pain killers. In extreme cases, surgery may be required. An orthopedic surgeon can relieve swelling by opening the lining around the tendon and removing the inflamed tissue. Physical therapy plays a significant role in post-surgical recovery.

Prevention Tips

If you are engaged in ongoing, repetitive arm activity at work or home, make sure to rest periodically and do the following:

  • Massage the shoulder, arm and elbow
  • Stretch the muscles surrounding the shoulder and elbow
  • If your arm is tingling, feeling numb or aching, it is time see your physician. If ignored, the condition can become painful and disabling.

Treatment

  • Your physical therapist will help you avoid motions and positions that cause pain.
  • Once the pain subsides, manual therapy and therapeutic exercise begin. The therapist will create a plan for:
    • Muscle strengthening
    • Joint mobility
    • Postural retraining
    • Supporting the shoulder and arm in a sling
    • Ergonomic intervention
    • Facilitating a safe home environment

We Will Get You Back in the Game

Biceps tendinitis is the type of condition that feels like an inconvenience at first, but it is not something that should be brushed aside. This condition has the potential to escalate, causing severe pain and reduced movement in the elbow joint. This can impact the patient’s quality of life and interfere with day-to-day tasks like holding a pen, working at a computer, lifting things, driving, cooking and cleaning.

A pain relief intervention plan involving collaboration between your physician and physical therapist is crucial for long-term healing. In fact, physical therapy helps in the prevention and the post-surgical rehabilitation of the shoulder and elbow joint.

A therapist can create a carefully designed recovery and rehabilitative routine. This routine may consist of several treatment procedures and techniques available to help facilitate healing of the biceps tendon and mobility in the shoulder and elbow joints. If you or someone you know has symptoms of biceps tendinitis or any health issue that limits strength and movement, we can certainly help. As your preferred physical therapists, we promise to use our professional judgement, experience and interest in your well-being to help you get ‘back in the game’ as quickly as possible.

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Physio for Hip Pain & Total Hip Replacement

Total-Hip-Replacement

Total hip replacement (THR) is a surgical procedure to replace a damaged hip joint with a new artificial/prosthetic implant. Physio is essential before and after surgery in order to minimize complications. Physio for hip pain also reduces recovery time and restores hip joint function as quickly as possible.

Musculo-skeletal conditions that may require THR

An impaired hip joint can result in pain and motion restriction for daily activities like sitting, standing, walking and commuting. Some of the conditions that could potentially damage the hip joint include:

  • Trauma
  • Tumors
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteonecrosis

Signs and symptoms include moderate to severe hip pain and joint stiffness. Since the hip is a weight bearing joint, pain and discomfort in this region can interfere with the ability to walk and result in gait imbalances.

This can trigger several biomechanical adjustments in the lower body and lead to low back pain, knee pain and ankle pain. Over a period, this can cause several limitations in function. It is important to consult with a physician and detect hip joint abnormalities as soon as possible to prevent long-term damage.

Benefits of Physio for Hip Pain

In the event of a scheduled THR surgery, physio can speed up healing and rehabilitation of the hip joint before and after surgery.

Before surgery

A baseline measurement of the strength and flexibility is performed. The patient is educated about precautions to take prior to the surgery and positions / movements to avoid after surgery. Objects and furniture may need to be re-arranged to make sure important objects are within reach.

After surgery

Several procedures and modalities can be used by the physical therapist to facilitate recovery after surgery. These include:

  • Ultrasound to heal connective tissue (tendons and ligaments).
  • Manipulative therapy that includes stretching and massage.
  • Resistance training to build muscle strength.
  • Cold compress and heat to relax muscle spasms.
  • Low-level laser use for muscle and connective tissue injuries.
  • Functional electrical stimulation to restore muscle strength.

The Importance of the Initial Evaluation

Your physio understands that when it comes to your recovery, every little detail matters. That is the reason your therapist will conduct a detailed initial evaluation. This includes objective measurements of the strength, flexibility, and mobility of the hip joints.

The physio will identify functional limitations of the patient and establish a gap between the prior level of function and intended level of function.

Once the physiotherapist determines this gap and analyzes diagnostic tests like X-rays and MRI scans, an effective treatment program can be created. This consists of specific procedures and modalities.

Treatment for mild hip problems is generally conservative. It includes medications and physical therapy. Physical therapy can also help before and after THR surgery. After a brief period of hospitalization, the patient may need several weeks, potentially months of physio to achieve full recovery.

If you or someone you know is complaining of hip pain, call our office today. We will do everything we can to help.

 

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RICE and MEAT & Physio

RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) - humorous medical acronym for the treatment of certain leg and foot injuries; colorful sticky notes, white chalk handwriting on blackboard

When you hear the words rice and meat, we won’t blame you for thinking about food!

In the physio world, the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) has long been the recommended treatment for sports injuries. It is a recognized way to handle injuries, but recent reports suggest that ice and complete rest might delay recovery. Complete rest causes the muscles surrounding the injury to tighten, causing the potential for further injury once the activity is resumed. Though ice is useful in the short window immediately after the injury, it can impede the healing process over time.

If RICE is out, what method should you use instead? It’s called MEAT.

MEAT stands for “movement, exercise, analgesics, and treatment”.

The theory is simple. To recover as quickly as possible from an injury, continue to move the affected joint as much as possible throughout the recovery period. Use common sense and remain within the limits of pain. Your body will tell you what it can, and cannot handle. The inflammation following an injury is part of the body’s natural healing process. Increased blood flow to the area that helps repair the damaged tissue. The continued application of ice to an injury after the first few hours could, in fact, a hindrance to this natural healing process.

MEAT is Good for the Body

M for Movement

Maintaining range of motion in the injured joint is an important aspect of recovery. Your physio will guide you regarding specific do’s and dont’s with exercise. As a general rule, the more you move, the quicker you will heal. Listen to your body, since pain is an indication that something isn’t right. Your therapist will help you maintain mobility in the joints surrounding the injury. This will reduce the formation of scar tissue and decrease recovery time.

E for Exercise

As the pain reduces, you will be encouraged to increase the duration and intensity of exercise under the watchful eyes of the physical therapist. A progressive routine of exercises will increase strength, improve balance and facilitate recovery. The primary objective during this stage is to promote healing while avoiding re-injury.

A for Analgesics

‘Analgesic’ is a medical term for pain relieving medication. It is best to consult with your physician to determine the most appropriate medications. Your doctor may recommend that you start with over-the-counter medication. If it is not effective, your doctor may prescribe prescription medications including steroids.

T for Treatment

A physio plays an important part in long-term recovery following any injury. Physio treatment includes a variety of procedures and modalities, including therapeutic exercise, ultrasound, manual therapy and neuromuscular re-education using advanced techniques. A physio can restore, retrain and improve the joints and muscles in the human body.

Limitless – Looking Beyond RICE and MEAT

We believe that human potential is limitless. Physios have a reputation as ‘recovery specialists’ since we help heal bones, muscles, and joints.

Regarding what we can do for you, injury recovery is just the tip of the iceberg. Physios can help athletes achieve peak performance, can help seniors live a healthy lifestyle and can help every single person live life with energy and vitality.

So how can we help you? The answer may surprise you. Perhaps we can help you relieve aches and pains. Perhaps we can help you become stronger and more flexible. Remember – injury or not, we are always here to help you. It’s what we love doing, and we have dedicated our lives to improving the health of our patients and our community. So schedule an appointment today, and let’s meet (no pun intended) to see what we can do for you.

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Laser Acupuncture for TMJ

TMJ Treatment at Telma Grant, P.T.

This article shows that acupuncture is effective for those with jaw pain.

2 reasons why I like this article:

1. It named the seven most commonly used Acupoints for jaw pain and why they wre used. Three are local jaw points, three are neck points and one is Li4.

2. 2. It explains the view of western medicine and Chinese medicine on acupuncture analgesia.

For the full article, click here.

 

 

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Physio for Diabetes – Your Weapon Against Diabetes

Telma Grant, P.T. Private & OHIP physiotherapy and Chiropractic. If you're in pain, call us. We can help.

Physio for diabetes. More than 29 million people in the U.S. have diabetes and it affects both adults and children. Diabetes occurs when the body can’t make sufficient insulin, doesn’t make any at all, or can’t utilize what it does manufacture. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that enables people to use the glucose (sugar) they consume in foods to provide energy for the body to work and play.

There are three types of diabetes. Type 1 is known as juvenile diabetes since it typically begins in childhood. It’s an autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks the pancreas resulting in little, if any, insulin production. Type 1 diabetes requires daily insulin injections.

Type 2 diabetes is often referred to as adult onset diabetes and individuals may or may not require daily insulin injections. Type 2 diabetes can sometimes be managed with exercise, diet and oral medications. It also has a strong genetic component and is exacerbated by high-carbohydrate diets and lack of exercise. It can occur at any age, but is often seen in older adults.

Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy and ordinarily disappears after childbirth, but the mother will have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes at any time thereafter.

Many of the symptoms of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can be subtle, often overlooked, and are only discovered after long-term damage to the body has already occurred.

Patients with diabetes may experience:

  • Fatigue
  • Hunger
  • More thirst than normal
  • Increased need to urinate
  • Increased breakage and hair loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry mouth and itchy skin
  • Injuries and wounds that heal slowly
  • Yeast infections
  • Pain, numbness or tingling in legs and feet

People with type 1 diabetes often experience unplanned weight loss even though they haven’t made any changes in their diet. In type 1 diabetes, the body can’t utilize the food that’s being consumed and the body begins to burn fat and muscle to produce energy. As the body burns fat, ketones are produced and when they build to dangerous levels, nausea and vomiting can occur.

9 Benefits of Physical Therapy

Physio for diabetesPhysical therapy is beneficial for those who have been diagnosed with diabetes and individuals with pre-diabetes, also known as insulin resistance. Pre-diabetes occurs when glucose levels are elevated, but haven’t yet reached diabetic proportions.

Physical therapy is effective for:

  • Better utilization of glucose
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduce the risk of heart disease
  • Weight loss
  • Reduced nerve disease
  • Fewer skin problems
  • Improved muscle function and flexibility
  • Pain relief
  • Lower risk of amputations

People with diabetes are at increased risk of numerous problems that accompany the disease. Damage to nerves is common, resulting in pain and disability. High blood pressure, peripheral vascular disease and stroke are very real concerns.

If not controlled, diabetes damages neurological systems that can cause blindness and one of the greatest threats to diabetics is kidney disease. Injuries heal slowly and can quickly transition into life threatening wounds that won’t respond to antibiotics and limbs that must be amputated.

Physio for Diabetes

Physio for diabetesManaging diabetes with physical therapy has multiple benefits ranging from more efficient use of glucose and weight loss to improved muscle tone and strength. Aerobic exercise and resistance training are highly effective therapies for managing diabetes and helps relieve pain, expand range of motion, increase flexibility, and improve balance and coordination.

Your physical therapist may choose clinical Pilates, yoga or tai-chi to address movement and weight problems. He/she can also provide nutritional counseling and dietary supplements that are specially designed for your diabetic needs. Assistance is available if you need mobility aids such as crutches, canes, walkers or wheelchairs.

Orthotic devices and shoes can be prescribed to lessen pain, alleviate sores, stabilize the gait and align the body. Your physical therapist can evaluate and care for injuries and show you how to protect your feet from wounds – particularly if you have little or no sensation remaining.

Exercise plans will be adjusted as needed as your overall physical conditioning improves. Your physical therapist has a wide array of therapies that can be used to provide you with the exercise you need to manage glucose levels, lose weight, and improve your health. Hydrotherapy is an effective treatment for improving the body that also relieves the effects of gravity and weight on the body, making it easier to move.

Therapeutic massage may also be utilized to stimulate the immune system, rid the body of toxins and reduce blood pressure. The therapy is beneficial for improving circulation, easing pain, and relieving the stress of dealing with a chronic disease.

Diabetes is a systemic problem that affects every organ in your body. Your physical therapist can help you manage the symptoms and health risks associated with the disease, assist in your continued mobility, and aid you in maintaining overall health.

Physical therapy had a wide variety of therapies that can be utilized to manage the symptoms and effects of diabetes.

Exercise is a key component in the management of diabetes and your physical therapist can create a custom exercise program that’s tailored to your fitness level and mobility level.

Continue reading Physio for Diabetes – Your Weapon Against Diabetes

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Use of Physio, Bracing and TENS for knee OA

Telma Grant, P.T. Private & OHIP physiotherapy and Chiropractic. If you're in pain, call us. We can help.

Physio exercises and knee brace for knee OAOARSI recommends use of physio exercise, knee bracing  and TENS for OA of the knee

The Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) developed recommendations for the management of hip and knee osteoarthritis. This analysis resulted in 23 recommendations based on a critical appraisal of existing guidelines, evidence and the consensus opinions of a 16 member international, multidisciplinary group of experts from four medical disciplines (primary care, rheumatology, orthopedics and evidence-based medicine). These recommendations include the use of physio exercises and bracing for treating knee OA.

Four Recommended Treatments:

23 treatment guidelines for the management of hip and knee OA were identified from OARSI’s literature search. Four of which were:

Physio Exercises

Patients with symptomatic hip and knee OA may benefit from referral to a physiotherapist for evaluation and instruction in appropriate aerobic, muscle strengthening (home-based quadriceps muscles strengthening) and range of motion exercises.

Education

All patients with hip and knee OA should be given information and education about the objectives of treatment and the importance of changes in lifestyle, exercise, pacing of activities, and other measures to unload the damaged joint(s).

Knee bracing

For patients with knee OA and mild/moderate varus or valgus instability, a knee brace can reduce pain, improve stability and diminish the risk of falling.

TENS

TENS can help with short-term pain control in some patients with hip or knee OA.