Celebrating Recovery – Ryan’s Story

On December 31, 2017 Ryan, an active 29-year-old was months away from his wedding when he saw his life flash before his eyes. He got into a severe auto accident in the desert and was rushed via helicopter to a nearby hospital. He suffered a brain bleed (subarachnoid hemorrhage), multiple fractures to his left eye … Continue reading “Celebrating Recovery – Ryan’s Story”

On December 31, 2017 Ryan, an active 29-year-old was months away from his wedding when he saw his life flash before his eyes. He got into a severe auto accident in the desert and was rushed via helicopter to a nearby hospital. He suffered a brain bleed (subarachnoid hemorrhage), multiple fractures to his left eye and facial bones, and a fracture to his lower neck. He was in critical condition – unable to breathe, move his neck or walk.

Watch the short video to see his inspiring journey!

In the following weeks, he had multiple surgeries to reconstruct his face and broken jaw. After surgery, Ryan was unable to open his mouth to eat, drink or smile. That’s when he was referred by his Doctor to Lindy First, DPT to improve his neck and jaw mobility.

At the start of physical therapy, Ryan was unable to fit one finger in his mouth, smile or turn his head more than a few degrees to the side. Imagine only being able to turn your head two inches.  He was determined to get better in anticipation of his summer wedding. After months of focused manual therapy and reeducation of his muscles, Ryan is now fully functional, has full mobility of his neck and can eat anything he pleases, including a nice juicy burger. He is now happily married and can smile at his beautiful bride.  

Congrats to Ryan and his amazing progress and determination to get well!

 

Run Forrest Run!

Running 101 – A Beginner’s Guide Running it seems simple enough right? Stand up, move your legs and just go as far as you can. WRONG! While it looks easy, running involves preparation that requires gradual mileage advancement to safely become a healthy runner. Running Prep: 1. Plan a Running Schedule – It will not be enough if you only run … Continue reading “Run Forrest Run!”

Running 101 – A Beginner’s Guide

Running it seems simple enough right? Stand up, move your legs and just go as far as you can. WRONG!

While it looks easy, running involves preparation that requires gradual mileage advancement to safely become a healthy runner.

Running Prep:

1. Plan a Running ScheduleIt will not be enough if you only run once a week if you are really trying to get into it.  Twenty minutes, 3 times a week is recommended.

2. Think about minutes, NOT miles – do not focus on the miles when starting out, focus on the length of time you run and intermittently plan longer slower runs and shorter quicker runs to progress your speed and power.

3. Invest in the right pair of shoes – this is one of the most, if not the most, important prep step. Go to your nearest sports store or running shoe store and get properly fitted for a pair of running shoes. Make sure to walk around in them before you buy to get the right fit. If needed ask your Physical Therapist for recommendations on types of running shoes and on custom or over the counter sole inserts for additional comfort.

4. Invest in appropriate workout gear – moisture-wicking fabric for tops and bottoms will keep you cooler and drier as your running increases.

5. Perfect your form – proper form is vital in running to prevent injury. keep your head straight, hands relaxed, shoulders back, hips stable, lean forward, don’t lift your knees too high, aim for a mid-foot strike and light steps, breathe deeply (inhale through nose and exhale out your mouth)

 

Healthy Ways to Incorporate Running into Your Exercise Routine

As mentioned above, running burns about 100 calories per mile. If losing weight is your top priority, then running is a great cardio calorie burning activity to add to your routine.

Take your time easing into the sport. Your legs will be sore, if you feel acute pain anywhere, stop running for a few days and let your legs recover. This will help to prevent injuries. As Physical therapists we recommend Foam Rolling before and after each run – purchase a foam roller from us next time you visit!

Learn the difference between soreness and fatigue. This is a major factor in building your running routine. Your Physical Therapist can help explain the difference.

Cross-training can help. Swimming, biking or total body workouts are great activities that will not wear out your running muscles.

STRETCH! Pre and post run stretching is important for overall skeletal health. Warm up your muscles with some easy hamstring/calf/quad/hip stretches and finish off any run with stretching to break up any tightness that may occur after your run.

Here are some great key exercises we at IPT recommend when running:

Use a Foam Roller – pre and post run this is great to do on your calves and quads. Purchase a foam roller from us during your next visit! 

Use a lacrosse ball or similar type of ball for IT band discomfort– The TFL (tensor fascia latae) is the muscle attached to your IT band which is really where the discomfort lies. Using a lacrosse ball you can dig into the muscle and release the tension

Stretch your Hip Flexors with Lunges– This is where a lot of tension lies for runners. Your hip flexors act as a rubber band to spring your legs forward and back. Doing front, side and rotating lunges will warm up your hip flexors and legs and mobility

Squat – doing squats will work your quads, glutes and hamstrings. This will build a strong foundation for your running

The American Physical Therapy Association has a great guidebook on training, racing and building a strong running regime, written and approved by Physical Therapists worldwide. For more information on running and some helpful tips/tricks read  HERE and reach out to your local Physical Therapist.

Sciatica, Radiating Pain and Neural Tension

If you’ve ever experienced radiating pain down the back of your leg you’ve probably been told you have “Sciatica”. Sciatica is a gross term referring to irritation along the sciatic nerve typically felt in the buttock, down the back of the leg, and possibly the foot. Radiating pain down the back of the leg can … Continue reading “Sciatica, Radiating Pain and Neural Tension”

If you’ve ever experienced radiating pain down the back of your leg you’ve probably been told you have “Sciatica”. Sciatica is a gross term referring to irritation along the sciatic nerve typically felt in the buttock, down the back of the leg, and possibly the foot. Radiating pain down the back of the leg can come from many different sources such as a herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, and spinal stenosis.

Another possible impairment that can cause radiating pain down the back of the leg is neural tension. Neural tension is described as abnormal physiological and mechanical responses created by the nervous system components, when their normal range of motion and stretch capabilities are tested.

Nerves can be stretched! Believe it or not nerves can be stretched but should be done so in an appropriate fashion. Holding a neural stretch like a muscle stretch for a prolonged period of time can end up increasing symptoms and you should consult your physical therapist before performing these neural glides.

Do You Suffer from Thumb Pain?

We use our thumbs for almost all daily activities, including gripping, grasping, pulling, and pushing.  It is no wonder why there are so many people that suffer from pain in their thumb(s).  The thumb joint is one of the most mobile joints in our body.  Because of this mobility there is potentially an increase in … Continue reading “Do You Suffer from Thumb Pain?”

We use our thumbs for almost all daily activities, including gripping, grasping, pulling, and pushing.  It is no wonder why there are so many people that suffer from pain in their thumb(s). 

The thumb joint is one of the most mobile joints in our body.  Because of this mobility there is potentially an increase in stress on the joint and connective tissues.

Where does this pain come from? Pain can come from inflammation of the connective tissues called tendons and ligaments, and/or from the joint itself.  Overuse of the thumb can cause wear and tear of the articular cartilage of the joint.  It can also cause inflammation of the tendons.  Ligament problems usually occur when there is trauma to the thumb joint.

The following is a list of diagnoses given for thumb pain with their symptoms:

Thumb Sprain – “Jammed thumb”

  • Injury to the ligaments of the thumb.  The ligaments connect the bones at the base of the thumb.
  • Symptoms- thumb pain, joint stiffness, muscle soreness

De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

  • Inflammation of the tendon on the thumb side of the wrist
  • Symptoms – thumb pain, wrist pain, swelling, pain with grasping, pain with making a fist

Trigger Finger

  • Inflammation of a tendon causing the thumb to get stuck in a bent position and then snap to straighten
  • Symptoms – thumb pain, stiffness, feeling a lump

Carpel Tunnel Syndrome

  • The median nerve gets compressed at the wrist between the transverse ligament and the carpal bones.
  • Symptoms – thumb pain, numbness, tingling   index and middle finger pain, numbness, tingling

Osteoarthritis of the Thumb Joint

  • Wearing of the cartilage at the joint, located at the base of the thumb.  The joint is called the carpometacarpal joint.
  • Symptoms – swelling, pain, stiffness, decreased strength with gripping, pinching

 

What do you do if you have pain?  Conservative treatment is the most effective means of treating the thumb.  Resting the thumb and avoiding aggravating activities is important to begin the healing process.  Wearing a thumb spica splint can be very beneficial.  Taking anti-inflammatory medication (if approved by your MD), and icing can help to decrease the swelling and inflammation.  Working with a physical therapist can help to expedite the recovery. A physical therapy evaluation can help to determine where your pain is coming from.  Use of modalities to decrease inflammation, mobilization techniques to increase range of motion, and strengthening exercises are all tools used to help restore function and get you back “on your game.”

Why Medical Massage Therapy May Be What You’re Searching For

For years massage was seen as a luxury; something you would do to “treat yourself” and only to be had on special occasions. Now, more than ever, medical experts have agreed that massage therapy has many more benefits other than just to get you to finally relax. A few benefits of medial massage include: – … Continue reading “Why Medical Massage Therapy May Be What You’re Searching For”

For years massage was seen as a luxury; something you would do to “treat yourself” and only to be had on special occasions. Now, more than ever, medical experts have agreed that massage therapy has many more benefits other than just to get you to finally relax.

A few benefits of medial massage include:

– Chronic pain relief

– Quicker recovery to injuries and auto accidents

– Stress relief

– Increased circulation

– Increased range of motion

– Decreased insomnia

– Decreased anxiety

– Decreases poor posture

A medical massage differs from a relaxation massage because the therapist uses a problem solving approach to reach the shared goal between the client and therapist to structurally change the body within to relieve pain. The massage is approached with the deep intent of improving conditions and achieving functional outcomes. In medical massage, it is necessary to receive multiple sessions to attain real results. That is why it is important to work with the same therapist as much as possible. Your therapist will get to know you, your background, and your body. They will know what modalities work best for you as an individual and be able to customize the massage so that you may get the maximum benefit from each session.

A unique advantage that Innovative Physical Therapy provides is having a massage therapist in house. With Nationally Certified Massage Therapist, Alissa Haight in the office, patients are able to continue muscular treatment after they are discharged from physical therapy. Many patients use massage as a way to maintain their recovery so they don’t relapse.   Patients may also couple it with their treatment to quicken their recovery time. The therapists are able to communicate with each other to come up with the most effective treatment plan.

A medical massage at Innovative Physical Therapy is not limited to patients. It is open to anyone seeking a quality massage that can change their life for the better. Please speak with our front desk or ask for Alissa Haight for more information.

Healing Times

Dr. Jared Brown, DPT, takes us through some healing times for various muscle, ligament and tendon injuries.

Dr. Jared Brown, DPT, takes us through some healing times for various muscle, ligament and tendon injuries.

When Lower Back Pain Turns Into A Herniated Disc

Herniated Disc – MRI Findings and Low Back Pain So you’ve been recently diagnosed with a herniated disc, bulging disc, or disc protrusion. That’s okay! First off herniated discs are commonly treated with conservative approach of physical therapy, corrective exercise and activity modification. Also is the herniated disc causing your pain or is it due … Continue reading “When Lower Back Pain Turns Into A Herniated Disc”

Herniated Disc – MRI Findings and Low Back Pain

So you’ve been recently diagnosed with a herniated disc, bulging disc, or disc protrusion. That’s okay! First off herniated discs are commonly treated with conservative approach of physical therapy, corrective exercise and activity modification. Also is the herniated disc causing your pain or is it due to another impairment or movement limitation? In a study done by Brinjikji et. Al it was shown that 3,110 people ranging from 20-80 years of age had a herniated disc but none of them reported having low back pain! Some of us right now could be walking around with a herniated disc and not experience any symptoms what so ever. It is important to be evaluated for movement impairments if you are experiencing low back pain to isolate the cause of your symptoms.

Patient Inspiration: Carrie Miller

  From Carrie Miller to Dr. Jared Brown, DPT on April 17th: ” Jared! I made it! I’ve run 32 marathons and that was the most insane weather I’ve ever run in! 30mph winds in our face the whole way and upper 30s and constant downpour of rain. I felt pretty good though! I just … Continue reading “Patient Inspiration: Carrie Miller”

 

From Carrie Miller to Dr. Jared Brown, DPT on April 17th:

” Jared! I made it! I’ve run 32 marathons and that was the most insane weather I’ve ever run in! 30mph winds in our face the whole way and upper 30s and constant downpour of rain. I felt pretty good though! I just ran by feel and went with it. My mantra was “overcome”. I stayed positive and ran with a poncho for 24 miles! I qualified for next years Boston by nearly 10 minutes and did better than expected. Shoulder is doing ok too! Now onto the London marathon on Sunday!!  “

Dr. Jared Brown, DPT’s patient Carrie Miller has been keeping busy running 32 marathons! She most recently qualified for the Boston Marathon by 10 minutes and did better than she anticipated. With 30mph winds in the upper 30s and constant downpour of rain, Carrie persevered and came out on top.

Carrie was post op RTC (return to clinic) repair on her shoulder. She was unable to actively lift and with the help of Dr. Jared Brown, DPT and the Innovative Physical Therapy team, Carrie got her shoulder back to full range of motion and could run again. Congratulations Carrie, IPT is beyond proud of you and your accomplishments.

  

Not only is Carrie an avid endurance runner, she is also a coach! Carrie holds two certifications — she is USA Track and Field (USATF) Level 1 certified by the National Council of Accreditation of Coaching Education as well as certified by the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA). Learn more about Carrie, her life and coaching at http://www.onpacecoaching.com/

Time Heals All Wounds

How Long Will it Take My Injury to Heal? One of the first things most people think about after an injury or surgery is, how long will the recovery time be? While sometimes recovery can only take a couple days or weeks, more intrusive injuries can take months or even a couple years to fully … Continue reading “Time Heals All Wounds”

How Long Will it Take My Injury to Heal?

One of the first things most people think about after an injury or surgery is, how long will the recovery time be?

While sometimes recovery can only take a couple days or weeks, more intrusive injuries can take months or even a couple years to fully recover from.

Below is a chart based on AVERAGE recovery times for different injuries (photo image courtesy of @drcalebburgess via Instagram)

As you can see muscle soreness has the shortest recovery time with only a few days of recovery. To relieve muscle soreness remember to always stretch before AND after workouts, roll out sore muscle areas with a foam roller, ball or stick, adding ice/heat when needed for extra relief.

Muscle strain and ligament sprains will take longer; anywhere from a couple days to a couple weeks depending on the severity. Resting, switching between ice and heat, and staying elevated are essential for initial strains/sprains. You can go directly to your physical therapist to assess.

Tendon and bone injuries are more severe than a strain or sprain. Seeing a physician for this type of injury should be done immediately after injury occurs. An outpatient program of physical therapy will most likely be part of your recovery which will give you the tools needed to regain muscle strength, movement and overall health.

Cartilage repair and ligament grafs are the most time sensitive on this chart. This will have required surgery and outpatient programs including physical therapy. Your physician and physical therapist will have created a specified program for you and your specific injury filled with manual therapy, at home exercises, ice/heat/electrical stimulation sessions and possible massage therapy.

Always speak to your physician/physical therapist directly when it comes to your injury/situation. All issues can heal differently and on a different timeline than above. It is important to give yourself the right time and care needed to fully recover.

Sleep Tips for Lower Back Pain

Best Sleeping Positions For Low Back Pain Sufferers Sleeping position and sleeping posture are very important for all of us to be aware of. A poor sleeping position can worsen and even be the underlying cause of neck and low back pain. Certain positions can place unnecessary pressure on our necks, hips, and low back. … Continue reading “Sleep Tips for Lower Back Pain”

Best Sleeping Positions For Low Back Pain Sufferers

Sleeping position and sleeping posture are very important for all of us to be aware of. A poor sleeping position can worsen and even be the underlying cause of neck and low back pain. Certain positions can place unnecessary pressure on our necks, hips, and low back.

It is most important to maintain the natural curve of the spine when lying in bed. This can be accomplished by ensuring the head, shoulders, and hips are in alignment, and that the back is properly supported keeping your spine in a neutral position. For people experiencing neck and/or low back pain at night, trying out the following postures may provide relief.

1. Sleeping on the back with knee support 

Lying on the back is usually considered to be the best sleeping position for a healthy back. This position allows for even distribution of weight along the full length of the body’s largest surface. It also minimizes pressure points and ensures proper alignment of the head, neck, and spine. Try placing a small pillow under the knees to provide additional support and help maintain the natural curve of the spine.

2. Sleeping on the side with a pillow between the knees

 Although lying on the side is a popular and comfortable sleeping position, it can pull the spine out of position. This can strain the lower back and neck. Correcting this is easy. Anyone who sleeps on their side can simply place a firm pillow between their knees. This raises the upper leg, which restores the natural alignment of the hips, pelvis, and spine.

3. Sleeping in the fetal position

A curled-up fetal position may help those with spinal stenosis or tight lower back. Adopting a curled-up fetal position may bring relief during the night, because lying on the side with the knees tucked into the chest reduces  extension of the spine and helps open up the joints.