Pickleball Training and Prevention of Injuries

Pickleball Training and Prevention of Injuries

Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports not just in Naples but worldwide. Injuries can occur and proper training and professional care can help prevent being sidelined. This article offers tips for pickleball training and injury prevention.

Can PTs Give Nutrition Advice? 

Can PTs Give Nutrition Advice? 

Doctors of Physical Therapy are experts of movement and healing: but can they offer nutritional counseling? Many clients ask us such questions. This post serves to elaborate on this topic and more…

Exercise is Not Enough for Weight Loss

Exercise is Not Enough for Weight Loss

Exercise is pushed by PTs, the APTA, and so many professionals for the way to lose weight. Unfortunately data show that exercise is not enough: diet plays a huge factor and PTs need to shape-up and get current in order to provide best care.

Dr. Wells Speaking with Dr. Robin Roth: Hyatt Naples, Tues Feb 26 at 6pm

Come and check out Dr. Roth and I speaking on health and nutrition next week at the Naples Hyatt. Walk away with new research and health tips to make 2019 a better year. Click the link below to learn more and register for free. Naples Daily News Physical therapy


#health #Naples #physicaltherapy

Early Physical Therapy Means Less Opioids

Early Physical Therapy Means Less Opioids

In a recent study published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) found that early use of physical therapy for lower back pain can correlate to a a 10-15% reduction in opioid use. Such a study highlights the power of exercise, manual therapy, and some of the evidenced-based modalities PTs can use, such as dry needling.

With such promising evidence, why aren’t patients seeking physical therapists (PTs) for many orthopedic and pain issues? First, many patients don’t realize that they have direct access to PTs. This means they can go straight to their PT and skip the medical doctors “Rx” or referral. Second, physicians often like to prescribe medications first before recommending other therapies; medical doctors are specialists in medicine and they receive little training and education in exercise and nutrition. Third, only about 10-20% of patients that are actually referred to PT choose to go! Perhaps these individuals have had bad experiences with PT or feel that PT was a waste of time in prior ailments. Such feelings can be understandable given the insurance industry has squeezed PTs into forming factory-like practices and limiting sessions/visits.

The amazing thing is that our practice offers you an actual solution. Having a cash-based, concierge practice, our team offers direct access with little to no restrictions. Our appointments can be fulfilled quickly and we can work on a variety of issues with various treatments without insurance squeezing our time or scrutinizing our methods. More importantly: the client pays for what they get! Providing our level of service, if patients don’t get better, then they don’t pay. How many insurance PT clinics offer this such guarantee?

The bottomline from this study is that if you have pain seek your PT and skip the pain killers.

Reference: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2718095

Home Health PT: Do Your Need More Therapy?

Home Health PT: Do Your Need More Therapy?

Have you recently been sent home from the hospital after an illness or surgery and received Home Health Care physical therapy? More often than not patients that receive Home Health Care physical therapy are short changed due to time constraints and productivity measures with physical therapist too busy with paperwork. As a result, therapy sessions are cut short and the time that is supposed to be spent on exercise is actually spent on paperwork.

Within the past couple years my team and I have been Consulting with Physicians and surgeons to provide an additional level of Home Health Care physical therapy gives the patient more exercise and additional oversight. We work with the existing physical therapists and their medical teams ensuring that rehabilitation exercise is delivered to the most. Often times we also serve as advocates for the patients and can catch early signs of issues when the Home Health Care team is discharged and move on.

Our personal training services give us the extra Edge to work with patients so it does not violate Medicare. We can also transition into maintenance physical therapy after Medicare PT exits the case.

If you are a physician or surgeon interested in our services, contact us through our contact page.  if you're patient or a family member consider utilizing our services or set us up in advance to a surgery so that we can help you or your family member the most!



Text Neck: Real or Fake?



Do you check your phone often? Notice the burn in your neck or arm? Last year, I had a patient who had numbness down his left arm when he looked down at his phone or screen. Was this "text neck", the phenomenon of neck pain caused by frequent checking and texting from a mobile phone? Perhaps...it clearly was cervical radiculopathy, or a compressed/irritated nerve root in the neck. Fortunately my keen PT skills and few steroids later helped to get this patient back to work and pain-free neck movements. But it left me wondering -- did the phone lead to his issue?

A recent study done in Brazil puts into question whether "text neck" even exists. They took pictures of these kids as they looked at their phones, had experts analyze the pictures, and then cross-referenced the postures in the pictures with reported neck pain. This study did not show an association between text neck and neck pain in 18–21-year-old young adults. The findings challenge the belief that neck posture during mobile phone texting is associated to the growing prevalence of neck pain.

Obviously more goes into neck pain than simply posture: exercise status, nutritional care, psyche, medications, and more. Check out the article, pay attention to your posture (maybe), and contact us to learn more!


Neck Pain at the Office


Anyone who has spent anytime writing a blog (like this one), paying bills online, or simply grinding away at their desk job at work knows neck pain. Neck pain strikes most Americans, second only after lower back pain. Among all occupations, office workers have the highest risk for neck pain. Nearly half of workers experience some type of neck pain each year!

What can you do prevent neck pain? In our Physical Therapy Journal (PTJ) this January, researchers offered some vital evidenced-based recommendations:

  • Strengthening your neck and shoulder muscles if you have pain. A Doctor of Physical Therapy can easily guide you to the best specific exercises to meet your needs. So, if you have pain, skip the chiropractor or physician and directly seek out your PT!
  • Perform routine physical activity and exercise like walking, cycling, and weight training. This can improve your muscle endurance, reduce sensitivity to pain, and boost your mood -- all of which may prevent neck pain.
  • Preventing neck pain through ergonomic aids may offer only a small effect for generalized workers -- it may help those in pain, which again is something a physical therapist can help you with.

Neck pain has a significant cost and impact to work and our economy. Even if you are not employed, neck pain from office tasks can be burdensome and impact your activities of daily living. If this is you and you are in the Naples, Bonita Springs, or Marco area, use our Contact Us tag and set up a consultation today!

Does California Cause Cancer, or Just its Coffee?

Does California Cause Cancer, or Just its Coffee?


A California judge recently ruled that some stores must label coffee as potential cancer-causing because it contains a compound known as acrylamide (https://www.yahoo.com/news/apnewsbreak-california-judge-coffee-needs-212748202.html). The unfortunate reality in this situation is that the defendants of the case, the coffee industry, did not have an opportunity to really express the potential health benefits of coffee. Research has shown that coffee is a strong antioxidant, reducing the risk of some neurological decline and Parkinson's, as well as promoting GI motility, which may reduce the risk of gut cancer. Large epidemiology studies show that coffee may even reduce the risk of death by roughly 6-15%, with consumption up to 6 cups per day. As such, does coffee really cause cancer from acrylamide?

Very unlikely. If there is any industry the California government and lawyers should be attacking it would be the potato chip and French fry manufacturers. Potato chips and french fries have the largest concentration of acrylamide (https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf020889y#/doi/abs/10.1021/jf020889y). Analyzing a report from the FDA, it shows coffee to report ~90 parts per billion (PPB) on average in most coffees. Meanwhile potato chips and french fries stack in at ~300 to 400 PPB. Of course, the acrylamide level referenced in the court case may have been higher than 90 PPB, but shouldn't there be a sign warning for potential cancer on the package of your potato chips or menu for twisty fries? The big issue here is we're just discussing one compound, acrylamide. The cancer caused by alcohol and meat seemingly get a pass.There are countless carcinogens out in the world…should California have a sign posted on its borders as you enter: this state is known to cause cancer?

New Health Model for PTs: Wellness and Prevention

Insurance physical therapy at your hospital or local clinic is steeped in tradition: find the one problem, focus on it, and fix it. The services are reimbursed based on a fee-for-service model. The more care the more payment that is given, regardless of outcomes or future setbacks. Physical therapist's (PT) education skews also towards the model of problem-based learning, exam, and intervention. Lost in the mix of the insurance and educational maelstrom is the patient: what other issues are lurking, how do they address the "whole" patient and not just the one body part or pain, and how can they continue living healthy and happy?

Fortunately a new model of PT practice emerged. The Health-Focused Therapy Model (HFPTM) promotes PTs to recommend notions like smoking cessation, regular physical activity, and even nutrition, when/where appropriate. Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham produced the new model which hopes to only enhance what PTs currently offer.

Your Doctors of Physical Therapy at Wells PT embrace, endorse, and put into practice the Health-Focused Therapy Model of care. From smoking cessation, exercise interventions, physical activity promotion, and nutritional counseling, Dr. Wells and Lauzon want the best for the whole YOU -- not just your knee or shoulder. Use the Contact tab on our webpage to set up your consultation today for the best Physical Therapy you've ever had.



Balance training is a useful intervention in rehabilitation of postural stability impairments as well as in training programs for performance enhancement. Active elderly people should be challenged with balance and proprioception exercises. One scientifically-based approach, the Sensorimotor Training, has shown great success. It can be characterized as a progressive balance training program using unstable surfaces such as foam pad, air disc, exercise ball which provide adequate challenges to the active senior. Proper balance training will enhance their postural stability and improve their activity level.


-Dr Lauzon

Low Back Pain: Exercise and the Mind

Lower back pain, even chronic lower back, responds positively to exercise, according to a recent large Cochrane review. For years we knew exercise, physical therapy (PT), and education could could help people recover from acute lower back pain. The effect on exercise on chronic lower back pain was questionable at best until this Cochrane review came out. Despite the positive news, many physical therapists still question what are the best exercises and what other factors are important to recovery.

A fantastic article published from a member of the Chartered Society Physiotherapy in the United Kingdom highlighted the importance of psychology with recovery of chronic lower back pain. The author sites:

Furthermore, he said that that negative language and beliefs about the body, such as describing it as ‘a broken machine’ or suffering from ‘wear and tear’, can affect the outcome of an intervention. 

It appears the beliefs and attitudes of a person can have a majority of impact on recovery from lower back pain. It is important to see the recovery from lower back pain as a team effort, with you, your PT, and often family helping you through recovery. Our expert staff have the skills to guide you through exercises and some psychologic tools to guide you through low back to full recovery. In rare cases we use a sports psychologist trained in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help even more. 

Call or mesaage us today for a consult in Naples, Bonita, or Marco Island.

New Year's

Many New Year's post go up a few days before and after the the big day. My team and I wanted to do something different and stand out. We are a week after New Year's, here are some pointers (or gentle reminders for some) to improve your health.

New Year Resolution by Dr. Anik Lauzon:

The new year is here! Another year to live, love and laugh has started. It’s also time to make lifestyle changes and take our health back on track.  Every year, we begin the new year with  good intentions thinking we will be committed to this new year’s resolution. In reality, most of us fail to be compliant with our new intentions, thus the year passes by and our resolutions are long gone. The “New Year Resolution” expression sometimes seems like a longtime goal that can’t be achievable.  We all hear that an active lifestyle and  healthy food are the most important elements for good health. Making continuous healthy choices can be challenging for some people even if they know all the benefits. What if instead of trying to focus on a year-long goal, we would decide to make changes the very first day of the year, the next day, and within the first week? Here are some examples of action you can take the very first day of the year:

-Take the stairs instead of the elevator

-Add vegetables to your meals and snacks

-Take a walk or play outside with your children instead of watching TV

-Place water in the fridge instead of soda or juice

-During week-end, prepare healthy meals for the week

-Include green, leafy vegetables in every meal

-Instead of sugary desserts, have fresh fruits

-Replace meat for grains and legumes a couple meals per week

Once we start changing one simple thing at a time, it does not feel overwhelming. Every healthy change we make will benefit our body and its function. We will no longer call it a “ New Year Resolution”, but instead a healthy lifestyle that can be maintained all year and all life long. Remember, every little change makes a difference!

Arthritis: Exercise and Food for Your Joints

More than 80% of older adults over the age of 65 have some form of osteoarthritis, also more commonly known as arthritis. In fact,  arthritis has more than doubled in the last 50 years! How did we get to this point? Is it just a matter of better Imaging or are we actually seeing a change within our bony structures? More importantly what can we do to prevent the continual growth of osteoarthritis within our population?

The answer lies within several studies that were published recently. Epidemiologists and researchers going back and measuring our skeletons of our ancestors have shown that physical exercise and activity have been a integral part of our lifestyle and bodies. With modern technology and changes to our lifestyle we have become less agrarian and less active. As a consequence our bones and bodies have changed. We have gained a little bit more weight, or joints have not gotten used to not being used, and we suffer from other ailments related to changes within our diet. In a study just this year in the Journal of American Medical Association shows that weight gain and lack of physical exercise is probably the biggest driver for inflammatory arthritis.

Studies show that the current American diet promotes inflammation and can actually worsen arthritis. Several studies show that those that are on a plant-based Mediterranean style diet have less inflammation and are less likely to have osteoarthritis. From excessive fat, excessive meat consumption, and pro-inflammatory processed foods help to drive arthritis.

Some of the best things that we can do for arthritis include exercise and lifestyle changes. The exercise that can offer the best benefit typically involves strengthening the muscles around the joint. For example for knee and hip arthritis, exercises that strengthen the upper thigh muscles and hip muscles has been shown to improve strength, function, and pain. Another component that can greatly help physical therapists and patients alike, is a drastic change in Foods consumed. Adopting a plant-based diet will likely offer the biggest anti-inflammatory benefit for those with arthritis. In addition a plant-based diet will confer benefits for the heart, blood sugars. Diabetes, body weight, and mental health.

So, as you're considering getting a steroid injection, surgery, or even a joint replacement, consider that exercise and diet probably have a bigger role in treating your arthritis than the traditional medical model. Because in the end, with the exception of joint replacement, there are no other truly evidence-based treatments for joint arthritis. Contact us today to schedule a consult for our physical therapist to evaluate you and provide you with a maintenance Physical Therapy Program specific to your arthritis needs.

Source: https://www.villages-news.com/osteoarthritis-doubled-past-50-years/

Gluten: Friend, Foe, or Just Food?

Unless you have been living under a rock the last 5 years, the gluten free movement has produced massive shifts in product lines, menus, and people. Gluten, a protein, found in wheat has been around for thousands of years. How did it go from an essential food, in some areas of the world, to a eschewed substance of inflammation and disease?

Let us start first with facts: gluten allergies occur in less than 1% of the population. Those allergic can have skin rashes, intense gut pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and malnutrition. A researcher studying children in Belgium after World War II saw these findings in young kids after their country went from near famine to feasting on poinds of bread. Shortly after, the substance gluten was isolated and taken out of their diets to improve the kids' symptoms: it worked and so started the investigations that lead to celiac disease.

Celiacs disease is an inflammatory bowel disease due to gluten. The gold standard diagnostic test is a gut biopsy. Celiacs disease is autoimmune in nature; the body attacks the gut as gluten passes through after consumption. Celiacs was well-known in Europe for decades, perhaps due to its identification in Belgium. In the United States, little was known about celiacs, let alone gluten, save for the last decade and a half. The question that remains with many: can you have gluten sensitivity and not an allergy?

Many doctors and researchers are binary regarding gluten's issues. Some strongly feel that gluten wrecks havoc on your gut, promotes inflammation, and can promote other diseases like obesity. Unfortunately, the studies for such notions are limited in scope, small in size, or flawed in their methods. In many studies, participants are given doses of isolated gluten to eat, which is unrealistic given we eat whole foods. As we eat whole wheat bread, for instance, any inflammation boosted by gluten is more than negated by the whole wheat's anti-inflammatory properties such as vitamins, fiber, and sterols. Moreover, several studies have highlighted how taking out a whole grain products, like wheat, can negatively impact your heart disease risk, gut, and blood profile. Gluten free (GF) options tend to be low in fiber, higher in sugar, and cost 3 times as much as regular products. As such, going GF may not be a best option for you. Regardless, people will still state they feel better without gluten, or at least moderated gluten consumption. This makes sense, as if you ate any food excessively you likely with see several side effects. Eat 2 bags of broccoli and you will likely have gas and bloating from the sulfur.

Why do TV doctors, oddball neurologists, some dieticianss, and even a few PTs recommend all their patients avoid gluten? Misinformation perhaps, or simply it is popular. Do the right the thing: ask questions, seek answers through testing and elimination dieting, and enjoy this great Freakanomics podcast: The Demonization of Gluten http://freakonomics.com/podcast/demonization-gluten/

Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS)

Chronic lower back pain is one of the leading causes of permanent disability. Often people with chronic low back pain will try multiple forms of treatment including Physical Therapy, medications, and injection therapy. Once they've exhausted all these efforts, many resort to surgery as the answer for their pain. Unfortunately only 35% of these cases are successful, particularly when Fusion is involved. As such, a group of pain management specialist recently have begun to use the diagnostic "label" of failed back surgery syndrome, or FBSS.

In the article below you can read how many pain specialists feel adding this additional "label" as a beneficial step. I would partially agree that the "label" is beneficial because some Physicians and surgeons are in denial that back surgery can fail. Some surgeons see patients with continued back pain after surgery as fakers or addicted to pain medicine. Physical therapists, as well as modern educated surgeons and Physicians, know that surgery is not always the answer for chronic lower back pain. Moreover, I strongly feel that simply adding a label is not enough.

As a physical therapist, I argue that simply adding a label may not be as beneficial as what occurs in the next steps after a patient is diagnosed or labeled. A large majority of patients with chronic lower back pain never seek psychological counseling. Emerging pain science Concepts are beginning to show that many of these patients with chronic lower back pain, as well as other forms of chronic pain, have larger issues at play. Many of these issues include anxiety, altered pain responses, depression, and chronic systemic inflammation from poor nutrition and lifestyle factors. Physical therapist are being armed with the knowledge of addressing some of these psychological Concepts through cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques, modern pain science techniques, as well as nutritional counseling.

Our team at Wells Physical Therapy embraces many of these Concepts and can help you or our friend through chronic pain. Contact us today for a consultation and enjoy the below article.


Arthritis, Athletes, and The Missing Piece

Arthritis: to play sports or not to play sports? The study below highlights the higher prevalence of hip and knee replacements due to osteoarthritis following professional rugby play. We know exercise and sport can help prevent arthritis but where is the line when a player pushes too much and compromises their joints? More research is needed to help support athletes through their life.

Also, I wonder how diet might impact these outcomes? We know trauma to the knee increases the odds of OA. But what about mitigating flare ups through food and improving strength with PT to prevent surgery? More studies needed...


Nutrition and Physical Therapy: holistic and effective

Nutrition has long been a subject of much health discussions. Headlines are a buzz with the next diet fad or study linking food to causing or stopping chronic diseases. PTs help patients through these tough times of chronic disease and pain, only to miss the impact food has on patients.

Dr Wells will be rolling out a book for showing the connection between food and pain, arthritis, desurgical healing, and heart disease. A continuing education course is currently being developed to help PTs counsel patients and improve their lives.

Stay in the loop at: https://www.facebook.com/nutritionPT/