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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?

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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!

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00586-017-5444-5

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/

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.

http://www.painmedicinenews.com/Primary-Care/Article/10-17/When-the-Last-Resort-Fails-Failed-Back-Surgery-Syndrome/44735