Articles tagged with: range of motion

Injury Profile: Strain (Pulled Muscle)

Muscle PullWhat is it?

As the name implies this injury occurs when the muscle is pulled or stretched beyond its capacity cause the fibers or tendons to tear. Strains can be rated mild, moderate or severe depending on how many muscle fibers are torn.

  • Mild: few muscle fibers torn, accompanied by mild bruising and pain.
  • Moderate: a lot of muscle fibers torn, noticeable bruising and it hurts pretty bad.
  • Severe: a total tear (muscle can ball up because there’s no more tension), really bad bruising and PAIN LOTS OF PAIN!

Muscle spasms and swelling are also common when you pull a muscle.

What are the risk factors?

  • Physical activity, especially sports that involve running, jumping or kicking (think soccer, football,  hurdles etc).
  • Tight muscles
  • Muscle fatigue or overexertion
  • Cold weather

AHHH!!!! I think I just pulled a muscle- what do I do?

Take a deep breath and remember a simple food: RICE. Ok so rice itself might not help in this situation, but it might help you remember these other things:

R- Rest, stop using the muscle!

I- Ice, yep dig out the cold stuff and apply to reduce swelling. Never apply ice directly to the skin, use a towel, nearby T-Shirt or mascot costume to protect your skin from freezing. Leave the ice on for 15-20 minutes and then allow your body to rest for 45-60 minutes before applying again.

C- Compression, wrap the area with a soft ACE- bandage to help reduce swelling.

E- Elevation, prop up the affected area to the level of your heart or at least as close as you can get. This will keep blood from pooling around the injury which is good because even though huge bruises are cool, blot clots are NOT.

Another trick to help your body sort itself out is to fire the opposite muscle. What could this possibly do to help? Running along your muscles are never fibers that help keep track of how much they are stretched. When your muscle is pulled beyond what it should this whole system gets messed up and the nerves can be irritated which equals pain. When you fire the opposite side it’s like hitting a reset button which can help those nerves to get re-aligned with the muscle. This also helps you to keeps circulation going to that area so the tissues can be fed and heal.

NOTE: To fire the opposite muscle doesn’t automatically mean that it’s on the opposite side of the body. Instead of thinking about location think about action. If the muscle you hurt is supposed to lift your arm then fire the muscles that are supposed to lower your arm. These actions should be done against resistance without actually moving the affected area.

When should I come into get therapy?

There are two ways to look at this: first you can wait and see if it heals on its own. If you still have pain and limited range of motion after a while then definitely see a medical professional to get some help. At Synergy we can break up scar tissue, and reduce pain using techniques like myofascial release, strain counterstrain and total motion release.

The other school of thought is why not stop permanent damage before it starts? To that end some professional sports teams have a therapist onsite with them to start therapy as soon as you get the injury. Lymph drainage therapy is particularly helpful right away because it helps reduce swelling while maintaining circulation to the area. Unfortunately most of us can’t our butler/physical therapist right over when we pull a hamstring trying to impress the kids… so then what? By coming in for an appointment right after the injury you can get it checked by a professional so see how bad it is, get training in how to take care of yourself and maybe even get some gentle treatment to help prevent further damage. Empowered by that information you can better take care of the injury yourself and then come in if it doesn’t get better (hey that sounds a lot like the first way!).

Synergy Healthcare offers physical therapy, occupational therapy in Spokane, WA. Our highly trained therapists are ready to get you back on track fast! We try to prepare helpful articles that can help enrich your life. Have a question you want answered? Email us at info@synergyspokane.com or call at 509-413-1630 for more information. Comment below or give us a shout-out on Facebook– we love to hear whats on your mind!

 

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Weekend TBB Training

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Staff training on Total Body Balancing Technique

 

TBB was developed by  John Wernham D.O. as a way to scan the total body during one treatment and reveal areas of restriction and dysfunction. The technique utilizes principles of osteopathy enabling the therapist to discover and treat chronic pain, decreased range of motion and while increasing flexibility.

TBB takes approximately one hour and is painless, gentle and relaxing for the patient who lies on the table during the process. You might think of it as an “active” massage, that not only reduces pain, muscle spasms, fascial tension but increases joint mobility and postural alignment. It influences all systems in the body while normalizing the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems resulting in the desired “total body balance”.

Suppose you have chronic sciatic pain and you have gone to the doctor for pain medication, the chiropractor for adjustments and the physical therapist for exercise, but the pain keeps coming back. TBB is a technique that takes your WHOLE body:  skeletal, muscular, fascial, nervous system, lymph and blood flow, into consideration and attempts to restore balance, homeostasis to the entire system so the body can heal itself. When used on a regular basis it could quite possibly prevent problems from occurring in the first place.

If you are interested call Synergy Healthcare 509-413-1630 and schedule an appointment with one of the therapists skilled in the TBB method.  Your body will be happy you did!

Synergy Healthcare offers physical therapy, occupational therapy and Lymphedema Therapy in Spokane Valley, WA. Our highly trained therapists are ready to get you back on track fast! We try to prepare helpful articles that can help enrich your life. Have a question you want answered? Email us at info@synergyspokane.com or call at 509-413-1630 for more information. Comment below or give us a shout-out on Facebook– we love to hear whats on your mind!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Move From Muscle Pain to Flexibility with ATM lessons

 

What can you expect if you come to an Awareness Through Movement® Class?

ATM ® is a  group lesson in a casual, relaxed setting. They can be done lying or sitting on the floor, sitting on a chair or in standing. The overall goal is to make sure the student is as comfortable and relaxed as possible. Plan to wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing that will not restrict your movement. Learning and awareness are optimal when a person is not stressed, uncomfortable or in pain.

Verbal instructions are given directing movement sequences and focusing awareness on particular areas of the body or how to improve posture.  Lessons are not demonstrated but rather described, allowing the student’s brain and body a chance to “learn” the movement from conception. The lessons start out with simple movements based on infant development, such as: lifting the head, reaching with the hand, rolling over, or crawling. Then, as the student progresses the lessons become more involved, exploring optional movements to use with daily functions or more complex combinations. There are no right or wrong ways to do a movement, only your way. During a lesson you “explore” the different options and combination of movements your brain and body come up with, improving your flexibility and range of motion.

ATMs have two basic rules: first, move only in your comfort zone. Not what you think the instructor wants you to do, not what the person next to you is doing.  Your body interprets the instructions as your brain figures them out. The idea is work smarter not harder. The lessons take you beyond your normal limits by finding new combinations of ways to move. Second, carry out the instructions only as long as you are aware of what you are doing. If the mind begins to wander, if the movement becomes mechanical, stop, rest and then resume.

Awareness is key to learning, “if you know what you are doing, you can do what you want”, a favorite saying of Moshe Feldenkrais, the founder of The Method. There are hundreds ofATMs that each address unique functional movements demonstrating how the whole body needs to participate as a unit. Each lesson is structured to include thinking, sensing, awareness, movement and imagination.

ATM lessons can often produce surprising and pleasing results. Making a seemingly impossible action easy, Feldenkrais lessons allow us to question our assumed limitations. Though our range of motion may be mechanically limited, there are no limits to the quality of movement. These lessons re-ignite early childhood impulses to move, explore, learn and can be actually fun!

The Feldenkrais Method works with each person from pediatrics to geriatrics and everyone in between.  This process is for people any ability or level of mobility, helping them explore how they move, increasing flexibility, promoting relaxation, decreasing tension, improving dynamic posture with overall positive effects on well-being and increased vitality. If you are experiencing pain and stiffness with movement or you would just walk more efficiently ATMs may be for you.

Watch ATM in action!

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Think you might like to try one? Call Synergy Healthcare in Spokane Valley at 509-413-1630 to find out our current schedule of ATM lessons. Or email Nora Graebner, GCFP at norag@synergyspokane.com with questions or comments.

Synergy Healthcare offers physical therapy and occupational therapy in Spokane Valley, WA. Our highly trained therapists are ready to get you back on track fast! We try to prepare helpful articles that can help enrich your life. Have a question you want answered? Email us at info@synergyspokane.com or call at 509-413-1630 for more information. Comment below or give us a shout-out on Facebook– we love to hear whats on your mind!

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What Physical Therapy can do for Scar Tissue

The formation of scar tissue following surgery

The formation of scar tissue following surgeryThe body is a closed system, safely sealed from the outside world.  The openings of the body are highly protected areas that have many failsafe features to keep what comes in and out of the body well regulated.  This ensures that the systems inside our body can function effectively without any major insults.

If the body is forced open at any other location (i.e. surgery or injury), the body will produce scar tissue in an attempt to support the damaged area and begin repair.  This scar tissue will be created very quickly in an attempt to reseal the skin’s barrier and keep the exposed area from opening further. Its purpose is two-fold: to protect through immobilization, so as not to allow for further injury of the inflicted area; and to expedite healing by quickly generating an effective and necessary closure of the wound.

As the body normally replaces cells in our tissues,  new connective tissue will be laid down in a fairly organized fashion.  Scar tissue, however, will be created as fast as possible.  The body needs to complete this job quickly to maintain its seamless barrier against infection from the outside world.  To effectively immobilize the area the scar tissue will adhere to as much of the body’s tissue as possible to ensure a strong and lasting support.  The scar tissue has no regard for what it adheres to, be it an artery, nerve, ligament or organ.  It simply needs a place to anchor its support.  This haphazard attempt at correction creates tension and stress on areas of the body that the individual parts were not meant to handle. If scar tissue wraps around an artery or nerve significant tensile forces might be directed through these structures creating increased pain or detrimental restrictions in blood flow.

In this regard, scar tissue is like an iceberg.  You can only see the surface of the scar.  Deep to the external scar can be a vast reaching web of strong connective tissue that grabs on to anything it can.  These connections can limit range of motion in a lot of different ways.  Many people recover well after surgery and need no further intervention; however, some people have a tendency toward dramatic scarring with significant post-surgical problems.   In this case, there are two main ways to address these problems.

One technique is further surgery to cut out the scar tissue formation, but this may activate the body’s natural reaction to formulate more scar tissue.  Another technique is to manually release scar tissue using mild and progressive self-applied techniques.  These techniques can be taught to a patient and can then be done by them at home.  They are part of a home stretching/exercise program that can be taught in the treatment room and then re-addressed in following visits.  Scar tissue release techniques are relatively easy to learn, once you get the feel for it.  If you are having issues following a surgery, all of our therapists know how to treat this issue. Don’t be left with unexplainable pain or limitations after medical intervention. Come see us and find out if there is more that you can do to improve your health.

Synergy Healthcare offers physical therapy, and occupational therapy  in Spokane Valley, WA. Our highly trained therapists are ready to get you back on track fast! We try to prepare helpful articles that can help enrich your life. Have a question you want answered? Email us at info@synergyspokane.com or call at 509-413-1630 for more information. Comment below or give us a shout-out on Facebook– we love to hear whats on your mind!

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What are the causes of low back pain?

lower back pain
Skier without Back pain

Lookin good…No Pain

You know what? Lower back pain is like the annoying IRS. It will get you no matter who you are; man, woman, American, Canadian, athlete, couch potato, actor, banker, I could go on.  Just like people pay money to get the most out of their tax return, why not learn more about lower back pain so you can live your life to the fullest?  Two of the major causes of lower back pain are an overuse injury and degenerative changes of spine.

First of all, you need to listen to your back. Your back is more likely to get injured if your job requires lifting constantly. Have you ever experience a burning sensation in your back while lifting a heavy load? This is probably muscle fatigue. Basically, your back is telling you that you are working too hard. There are many theories of what causes the burning sensation; lactic acid, free radicals, etc. The bottom line is you will fall apart if you keep on doing what you are doing! Muscle strain and lower back pain are the products of over used muscles.

I have several strategies for my patients to avoid lower back pain. First, I encourage my patients to take a short break (1 to 5 minutes) every hour depending on the physical demands of their job. Second, I instruct them to lift correctly. Those lifting techniques will reduce excessive stress acting up on their back and spine. It prevents potential injury and damage from work. Last but not least, I prescribe a set of abdominal core and range of motion exercises to my patients. It will strengthen their back and abdominal area while keeping their back flexible.

Beside muscle strain; wear and tear of the body could also create lower back pain. Degeneration such as osteoarthritis impact the small joints (facet joints) between your vertebrae and generate back pain. Imagine a high pitched noise when you open up a rusty gate; this is a serious matter when it happens in your back!  Also, a herniated disc in the lumbar area would narrow down the intervertebral disc space. It creates extra pressure on the nerve root that can lead to  pain, numbness, and tingling sensation in your back and legs.

Physical therapy or chiropractic treatments are effective ways to fight against lower back pain. Synergy Healthcare offers physical therapy, occupational therapy and massage therapy in Spokane Valley, WA. Our highly trained therapists are ready to get you back on track fast! We try to prepare helpful articles that can help enrich your life. Have a question you want answered? Email us at info@synergyspokane.com or call at 509-413-1630 for more information. Comment below or give us a shout-out on Facebook– we love to hear whats on your mind!

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Lymphatic Drainage Technique- What is it?

water drop for DCG

Lymphatic Drainage Technique

Lymphatic Drainage Technique Relieves or Reduces headache, muscle Pain, toxins, chronic Pain, symptoms of fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and swelling.  Manual Lymph Drainage is a non-invasive massage technique developed in Europe in the 1930s. It is a safe, gentle and painless, hands-on technique that drains excess fluid from the tissues and also has detoxifying effects. The practitioner uses their hands and fingers stimulating gentle, wave-like movements that activate lymph and interstitial fluid circulation as well as stimulate the functioning of the immune and parasympathetic nervous systems. Increased lymph circulation can, in turn, have a myriad of beneficial effects. These include: increased range of motion, decreased fibrosity of scar tissue, decreased localized pain, and improved healing. It has also been shown to increase speed and quality of healing post minor surgery and/or injury.

Please Note: At this time, none of the clinicians at Synergy are qualified to treat patients with severe lymph edema.

History

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) was developed by the Danish physiotherapist, Dr. Emil Vodder, in the 1930s. The therapists at Synergy have been trained in Lymphatic Drainage Therapy, developed by French physician, Bruno Chikly, MD, DO (hon.)

Synergy Healthcare offers physical therapy, occupational therapy and massage therapy in Spokane Valley, WA. Our highly trained therapists are ready to get you back on track fast! We try to prepare helpful articles that can help enrich your life. Have a question you want answered? Email us at info@synergyspokane.com or call at 509-413-1630 for more information. Comment below or give us a shout-out on Facebook– we love to hear whats on your mind!

 

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