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  • Easing Pregnancy Pains: Prenatal Pelvic Floor Exercises & Physical Therapy

    Pregnancy is a beautiful journey, filled with anticipation and excitement. However, it also brings about significant changes to your body as it works to accommodate the growing child. The pelvic floor, which plays a crucial role in supporting the bladder, uterus, and bowels, is greatly impacted by pregnancy. As such, maintaining your pelvic health should be a priority during pregnancy and childbirth. Prenatal pelvic floor exercises, physical therapy, and occupational therapy can work to alleviate common pregnancy pains, empowering expectant mothers to embrace this special time with greater ease and confidence. Understanding Pelvic Floor Health During Pregnancy The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that form a hammock-like structure at the base of the pelvis. Among its many functions, the pelvic floor supports the pelvic organs, helping to control the bladder and bowel, as well as facilitating sexual function. During Pregnancy, the pelvic floor undergoes significant changes due to hormonal shifts, increased pressure from the growing uterus, and the weight gain associated with carrying a baby. These changes can lead to various issues such as urinary incontinence (involuntary loss of urine) and pelvic pain. Additionally, the pelvic floor muscles can become weak or tight, leading to discomfort and potential complications during and after labor and delivery. Benefits of Prenatal Physical Therapy Prenatal pelvic floor therapy is a specialized form of occupational and physical therapy designed to address the unique needs that arise due to pregnancy. By focusing on techniques tailored to support the pelvic floor during pregnancy this therapy offers many benefits: Managing Urinary Incontinence One of the most common issues experienced during pregnancy is urinary incontinence (involuntary loss of urine). Prenatal physical therapy can help with urethral closure and intra-abdominal pressure management, reducing the likelihood of involuntary urine leakage. Relief for Pelvic Pain Many people experience pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy, often due to the strain placed on the pelvic floor muscles, changes in postural alignment, and increased joint mobility. Pelvic floor therapy utilizes targeted exercises and manual techniques to alleviate discomfort and improve pelvic alignment. Enhanced Postpartum Recovery By laying the groundwork for a strong, flexible, and functional pelvic floor, prenatal PT can contribute to a speedier postpartum recovery. This is beneficial for both vaginal and c-section deliveries, as it can aid in the healing process. Improved Sexual Health Pregnancy can impact sexual function for some, but pelvic floor therapy can help address issues such as pain, discomfort, or decreased sensation. By promoting pelvic floor relaxation and strengthening, this therapy can help to promote better sexual health during and after pregnancy. Prenatal Pelvic Floor Exercises A common misconception is that you need your pelvic floor to be stronger, when in reality a lot of pregnant women could benefit from having more mobility in their pelvic floor. In the videos below, Pelvic Health PTA Oriana Barger demonstrates some prenatal pelvic floor exercises you can try at home. These exercises are great for relieving low back pain throughout your pregnancy! Screenshot or download these videos for later! At-Home Exercises for Low Back Pain During Pregnancy These three pelvic floor exercises are perfect to do at home since they require no equipment. Assisted Squats - grab on to a chair or other piece of furniture to support yourself. Child's Pose - repeat this with your toes pointed in and then with your toes pointed out. Hip Excursion Walk - this movement it great for combating the pregnancy "waddle!" 3D Pelvic Matrix Sit on a Swiss exercise ball and do the following movements with your hips. Rock Forward and Backward Rock Side to Side Make Circles Clockwise and Counterclockwise Make Your Pelvic Floor a Priority Prenatal pelvic floor therapy offers a multitude of benefits for expectant mothers, addressing common issues associated with pregnancy and preparing the body for childbirth and beyond. By working with a skilled physical therapist who specializes in prenatal care, you can optimize your pelvic health and enjoy a more comfortable and confident pregnancy journey. Whether you're experiencing pelvic pain, bladder problems, or simply want to proactively support your body during pregnancy, prenatal physical therapy may be just what you need to thrive during this transformative time. Did You Enjoy This Blog? Subscribe to our mailing list to get more blogs sent straight to your inbox! Emily McGuire is a Marketing Associate and staff writer for Rehab United. With a Bachelor's degree in International Business from UC San Diego, she is a California native with a passion for writing, digital marketing, health, and wellness. Medically Reviewed By: Whitney Landis, PT, DPT, FAFS, a physical therapist, Director of Pelvic Health, and Fellow of Applied Functional Science. Whitney graduated with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Chapman University in 2010 and has taken numerous continuing education courses pertaining to Women’s/Pelvic Health through Herman and Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute and Pelvic Guru. She has also completed the Gray Institute of Functional Transformation (GIFT) Fellowship in 2015.

  • De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis: Treatments & Hand Therapy

    Our hands play a crucial role in almost everything we do. From typing on a keyboard to picking up groceries, our hands are constantly in motion. However, when pain and discomfort strike in the wrist and thumb, it can significantly impact our ability to perform even the simplest tasks. This is where understanding conditions like De Quervain’s tenosynovitis becomes essential. What is De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis? De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is a syndrome that affects the tendons on the side of your wrist that run into your thumb. These tendons are responsible for controlling the movement of the thumb, allowing it to move smoothly as you grasp and pinch objects. This condition affects two tendons in the wrist, the extensor pollicis brevis and the abductor pollicis longus. These tendons pass through a sheath as they go through the wrist; when this area becomes inflamed the tendons cannot freely pass through without pain. What causes De Quervain’s Syndrome? The following factors contribute to this syndrome: Repetitive Movements & Overuse: Activities that involve repetitive hand and wrist motions, such as typing, gardening, or playing tennis, can aggravate the tendons in the wrist. Direct Trauma: Injury to the wrist or thumb, such as a fall or blow to the hand can contribute to symptoms. Risk Factors: Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or pregnancy may increase the risk of developing this condition as they cause swelling in the body. This condition can also come into effect after pregnancy due to fluid retention and from holding the baby in certain ways – in these cases, the condition is sometimes colloquially referred to as “Mother’s Thumb.” De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis Treatment Options There are several treatment options available for this condition: Rest: giving the affected hand and wrist adequate rest can help alleviate symptoms and prevent further irritation. Ice: applying ice to the area can reduce pain and swelling. Splinting: wearing a splint or brace can immobilize the area to relieve pressure on the tendons. Medications: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be recommended to reduce pain in the short term. Hand Therapy: working with a physical or occupational therapist can help overcome this condition by improving strength, flexibility, and range of motion. Hand Therapy for De Quervain’s Syndrome Physical therapy and occupational therapy are both great treatment options to address not only the symptoms but the causes of your pain. The goal of a PT or OT treatment plan is to reduce pain and inflammation and get you back to a pain-free life! Treatment might include: Exercises and stretches to enhance strength and mobility. Assessment of postural abnormalities that may be contributing to symptoms. Soft tissue mobilization techniques using manual therapy and scraping tools (known as gua sha or IASTM) to improve tissue pliability and blood circulation. Kinesiotape or splints may be used to offload stress on the tendons. Prevention strategies to avoid re-injury. Rehab United Can Help De Quervain’s tenosynovitis can be a painful condition, but with proper understanding, treatment, and prevention strategies, individuals can effectively manage their symptoms and regain functionality in their hands and wrists. If you suspect you may be experiencing symptoms of De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, don't hesitate to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. Rehab United’s physical therapists and occupational therapy hand specialists are dedicated to providing solutions tailored to you. Did You Enjoy This Blog? Subscribe to our mailing list to get more blogs sent straight to your inbox! Emily McGuire is a Marketing Associate and staff writer for Rehab United. With a Bachelor's degree in International Business from UC San Diego, she is a California native with a passion for writing, digital marketing, health, and wellness. Medically Reviewed By: Dana Abbott, OTR/L, an occupational therapist specializing in the hand and upper extremities. Dana attended San Jose State University earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy and continued on to complete additional internship in Hand Therapy. She worked directly under the President of American Society of Hand Surgery for seven years, taking many Hand Therapy courses nationally alongside him, as well as successfully completing a two-year Hand Therapy course by Kaiser Permanente.

  • How Pelvic Floor Therapy Can Treat Prolapse

    Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is a common and often uncomfortable condition that can significantly affect a person's quality of life. While it may be a sensitive topic, understanding how pelvic floor therapy can effectively treat prolapse is crucial for those experiencing it. In this blog post, we'll delve into what pelvic organ prolapse is, its causes and symptoms, and how pelvic floor therapy serves as a vital tool in its treatment and management. What is Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP)? Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the pelvic organs, such as the uterus, bladder, or rectum, descend from their normal positions and bulge into or out of the vaginal canal or anal opening. This condition is often the result of weakened or damaged pelvic floor muscles and connective tissues. POP can vary in severity and may involve one or more pelvic organs. Causes of Pelvic Organ Prolapse Several factors can contribute to the development of pelvic organ prolapse, including: Childbirth: Vaginal childbirth can weaken the pelvic floor muscles and tissues, increasing the risk of prolapse, especially in women who have had multiple pregnancies or difficult deliveries. Aging: As individuals age, the supportive tissues of the pelvic floor naturally weaken, making POP more common among older adults. Hormonal Changes: Decreased levels of estrogen during menopause can lead to tissue atrophy and weakening of pelvic support structures. Chronic Constipation: Frequent straining during bowel movements can put excessive pressure on the pelvic floor and contribute to prolapse. Heavy Lifting: Engaging in heavy lifting activities or jobs that require significant physical effort can strain the pelvic floor muscles and increase the risk of prolapse. Symptoms of Pelvic Organ Prolapse The symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse can vary depending on the organs involved and the severity of the condition. Common signs and symptoms include: Feeling of Pressure or Fullness: Many individuals with POP describe a sensation of fullness or pressure in the pelvic region. Vaginal Bulging: Some may notice a bulge or protrusion in the vaginal area, which may be more prominent during activities like standing, walking, or lifting. Pelvic Pain: Discomfort or pain in the pelvic region is a common symptom, often accompanied by a dragging or aching sensation. Difficulty with Bowel or Bladder Control: POP can affect bladder and bowel function, leading to urinary incontinence, frequent urination, or difficulty with bowel movements. Pelvic Floor Therapy for Pelvic Organ Prolapse Pelvic floor therapy is a non-surgical and highly effective treatment option for pelvic organ prolapse. Here's how it works: Assessment: The first step is a thorough evaluation by a specially trained therapist. They assess the severity of the prolapse, identify contributing factors, and create a personalized treatment plan. Pelvic Floor Exercises: The therapist teaches pelvic floor muscle exercises. These exercises help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, providing better support for the pelvic organs. Biofeedback: Biofeedback techniques may be used to help individuals learn how to properly contract and relax their pelvic floor muscles. Manual Therapy: The therapist may use hands-on techniques to address muscle tension and improve tissue mobility in the pelvic area. Lifestyle Modifications: Patients are educated about lifestyle modifications, including proper lifting techniques, dietary changes, and strategies to avoid constipation. Electrical Stimulation: In some cases, electrical stimulation may be used to help stimulate and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Pessary Fitting: In certain situations, a pessary, a silicone device inserted into the vagina to support the pelvic organs, may be recommended and fitted by the therapist. Benefits of Pelvic Floor Therapy for POP Pelvic floor therapy offers several benefits for individuals with pelvic organ prolapse: Non-Invasive: It provides a non-surgical, conservative approach to managing and often improving the symptoms of POP. Improved Quality of Life: Many individuals experience a significant reduction in symptoms, such as discomfort, pain, and pressure, which greatly enhances their overall quality of life. Prevention: Pelvic floor therapy can help prevent the progression of POP, particularly when diagnosed and treated in its early stages. Enhanced Pelvic Floor Function: Through targeted exercises and education, individuals can regain strength and function in their pelvic floor muscles. Rehab United Can Help Pelvic organ prolapse is an uncomfortable condition, but it doesn't have to rule your life. Pelvic floor therapy is a proven and non-invasive approach to managing and improving the symptoms of POP. If you or someone you know is dealing with pelvic organ prolapse, consider consulting with a healthcare professional who specializes in pelvic floor therapy. With the right guidance and treatment, you can regain comfort, confidence, and control over your pelvic health. Did You Enjoy This Blog? Subscribe to our mailing list to get more blogs sent straight to your inbox! Emily McGuire is a Marketing Associate and staff writer for Rehab United. With a Bachelor's degree in International Business from UC San Diego, she is a California native with a passion for writing, digital marketing, health, and wellness. Medically Reviewed By: Whitney Landis, PT, DPT, FAFS, a physical therapist, Director of Pelvic Health, and Fellow of Applied Functional Science. Whitney graduated with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Chapman University in 2010 and has taken numerous continuing education courses pertaining to Women’s/Pelvic Health through Herman and Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute and Pelvic Guru. She has also completed the Gray Institute of Functional Transformation (GIFT) Fellowship in 2015.

  • Relieving the Spin: How Physical Therapy For Vertigo Alleviates BPPV Symptoms

    Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) can be an incredibly disorienting and unsettling condition. Characterized by brief but intense episodes of vertigo triggered by specific head movements, BPPV can significantly impact one's daily life and overall well-being. The good news is that BPPV can be effectively treated with physical therapy, specifically vestibular therapy, helping individuals regain their sense of balance and conquer the dizziness. What is BPPV? BPPV is a common inner ear disorder that causes brief episodes of intense spinning or vertigo. These episodes occur suddenly and are typically triggered by specific head movements. BPPV occurs when tiny calcium carbonate crystals, known as otoconia, become detached from their usual position within the inner ear and travel through the semicircular canal. Signs and Symptoms Recognizing the signs and symptoms of BPPV is crucial for seeking timely treatment. Common indicators include: Vertigo: The hallmark symptom of BPPV is a strong sensation of spinning or whirling, often brought on by changes in head position. This sensation can last for just a few seconds to a minute. Nausea and Vomiting: Vertigo in BPPV episodes can be severe, leading to nausea and sometimes vomiting. Unsteadiness: Individuals with BPPV often feel unsteady, as if they might fall, especially when getting out of bed or looking up. Nystagmus: During a BPPV episode, abnormal rapid eye movements, known as nystagmus, may occur. A healthcare professional can detect this through an examination. Diagnosis of BPPV Diagnosing BPPV typically involves a combination of patient history, physical examination, and specific tests. The diagnostic process includes: Patient History: The healthcare provider will inquire about the patient's symptoms, their onset, duration, and any specific triggers. Physical Examination: The provider will perform a physical examination that may include evaluating the patient's eye movements and coordination. Dix-Hallpike Test: This is a common diagnostic maneuver used to provoke BPPV symptoms. During the test, the patient's head is moved into specific positions while the provider observes for nystagmus and reports of vertigo from the patient. Treatment Through Physical Therapy Vestibular therapy is a specialized form of physical therapy used to treat and improve the symptoms caused by vestibular disorders. This form of therapy is a highly effective and non-invasive treatment for BPPV. Here's how it works: Assessment: The physical therapist conducts a thorough assessment to determine the type and location of the BPPV (which ear canal is affected). Epley Maneuver: The Epley maneuver is a well-established technique used to treat BPPV. It involves a series of guided head positions to transfer the loose otoconia back into their correct position within the inner ear. Education: Physical therapists educate patients on how to avoid triggering head positions and movements that can exacerbate BPPV symptoms. BPPV Treatment Demonstration Benefits of Physical Therapy for BPPV Physical therapy offers numerous advantages for BPPV patients: Quick Relief: Many patients experience a significant reduction in vertigo and other BPPV symptoms after just one or two sessions of physical therapy. Non-Invasive: Physical therapy is a non-surgical and drug-free approach, minimizing potential side effects and complications. Improved Quality of Life: By addressing the root cause of BPPV, physical therapy significantly improves a patient's overall quality of life, restoring their sense of balance and reducing the fear of vertigo. Rehab United Can Help Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo can be unsettling, but it is treatable, and physical therapy is an effective tool for managing this condition. If you or someone you know is grappling with BPPV, consider seeking the expertise of a physical therapist. With their guidance and the appropriate maneuvers and exercises, you can regain your equilibrium and enjoy a life free from the disruptive symptoms of BPPV. Don't let vertigo spin you out of control; physical therapy can help you find stability once more. Did You Enjoy This Blog? Subscribe to our mailing list to get more blogs sent straight to your inbox! Emily McGuire is a Marketing Associate and staff writer for Rehab United. With a Bachelor's degree in International Business from UC San Diego, she is a California native with a passion for writing, digital marketing, health, and wellness. Medically Reviewed By: Brittany Hollenbeck, PT, DPT, FAFS, CERP, BFRC,a physical therapist, certified vestibular physical therapist, and Clinic Director of Rehab United in La Mesa. She received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2015 from San Diego State University and has stayed at the forefront of evidence-based treatment techniques through various continuing education courses. She has treated numerous injuries and disorders involving musculoskeletal, nervous system, and vestibular pathologies with great success.

  • The Road to Recovery: The Importance of Post-Surgery Physical Therapy for Rehabilitation

    Undergoing surgery is a significant step on the path to recovery, but the journey doesn’t end in the operating room. Physical therapy plays a crucial role in the healing process, restoring mobility and ensuring a safe and smooth transition back to daily life. In this blog post, we’ll explore the importance and benefits of physical therapy after surgery. What is Post-Surgery Physical Therapy? Post-surgical physical therapy is an integral phase of the rehabilitation process that is designed to address the unique needs of individuals recovering from surgical procedures. Whether it’s joint replacement, orthopedic surgery, or any other surgical intervention, this form of physical therapy is tailored to enhance your recovery and promote optimal outcomes. Benefits of Post-Surgical Physical Therapy In post-op PT, your physical therapist will help facilitate your recovery, including regaining movement and preventing injuries. If you aren’t sure if you will need physical therapy after surgery, consult your doctor on the best course of action. If you do pursue PT, here are some of the benefits you can expect to see: Pain Management Post-surgery physical therapy aims to manage and alleviate the pain associated with a surgical procedure. Therapists promote blood flow through various exercises, reducing inflammation and stiffness, which are major pain contributors. Manual therapy techniques like massage and joint mobilizations can further ease discomfort and improve muscle function, offering long-term pain management solutions. Restoring Range of Motion Restricted mobility is a common concern after surgery. Scar tissue and inactivity after a surgery can lead to long-term stiffness if not addressed properly. Post-op physical therapy focuses on gradually restoring range of motion with gentle stretching and mobility exercises to promote flexibility and ensure smooth, pain-free movement. Regaining range of motion also improves balance and coordination, reducing the risk of falls and injuries, especially for older adults or those with joint replacements. Strengthening Muscles & Joints Post-surgery physical therapy includes targeted exercises to restore strength in weakened muscles and joints. Targeted exercises progressively rebuild muscle strength and endurance, allowing patients to return to daily activities and exercise routines sooner. Stronger muscles and joints also provide better stability and support, preventing future injuries and enhancing overall function. This is crucial for athletes, individuals with physically demanding jobs, or those prone to falls. Preventing Complications Complications such as muscle atrophy, stiffness, infection, and scar tissue can arise after surgery. With a carefully crafted rehabilitation plan, physical therapists work to minimize these complications, promoting a smooth recovery process. During post-op PT, a physical therapist will continually monitor the surgical incision to ensure that it is healing properly, with minimal scarring and no signs of infection. Creating a Personalized Rehabilitation Plan Each individual’s journey through post-op recovery is unique, and a one-size-fits-all approach simply won’t suffice. A physical therapist will assess your specific needs, considering factors such as the type of surgery, your overall health, and pre-existing conditions. This personalized approach ensures that the rehabilitation plan aligns with your lifestyle and goals. Pursuing post-surgery physical therapy is an investment in your long-term health. Whether you’ve undergone surgery or are planning for an upcoming operation, consulting a skilled PT is imperative for your recovery. The expert physical therapists at Rehab United are here to help you achieve a safe and successful recovery! Did You Enjoy This Blog? Subscribe to our mailing list to get more blogs sent straight to your inbox! Emily McGuire is a Marketing Associate and staff writer for Rehab United. With a Bachelor's degree in International Business from UC San Diego, she is a California native with a passion for writing, digital marketing, health, and wellness. Medically Reviewed by: Arturo Valle, PT, DPT, FAFS, CSCS, STMT-1, BFR-1, CCI, is a Physical Therapist, Clinic Director of Rehab United in Escondido, and Director of Rehab United’s Quality Assurance Program. As a graduate of USC’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, Dr. Valle has always emphasized the implementation of Evidence-Based Practice into all plans of care. Throughout his 12 years of experience, Dr. Valle has treated thousands of orthopedic-related and sports injuries and mentored countless Physical Therapists and Students of Physical Therapy.

  • Conquering Hip Pain: Physical Therapy & Other Treatments

    Hip pain can be a hindrance to daily life, limiting our ability to comfortably perform routine activities. Depending on the cause and severity, seeking effective treatment could be crucial for restoring mobility and alleviating pain. Today, we’ll explore the common causes of hip pain and some of the treatment options available to you. Common Causes of Hip Pain Before exploring treatment options, it's important to identify the underlying cause of your hip pain. While this blog post outlines some common factors, consulting a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis is crucial. They can provide a personalized assessment and treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. Muscle Imbalances – Weak or tight muscles around the hip joint can lead to instability and pain. Muscles like the hip flexors can be strained with exercise or overuse. Injury or Trauma – Accidents, falls, or exercise-related injuries can damage the structures in and around the hip joint. Bursitis – Inflammation of the bursae, fluid-filled sacs that cushion the hip joint, can result in pain and limited mobility. Labral Tears – The labrum is a cartilage ring lining the hip socket. Tears, often due to sports injuries or overuse, can cause pain and instability in the joint. Hip Impingement – When abnormal bone shapes in the hip joint run against each other, it can cause pain and stiffness. Sciatica – Compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back through the hips and down each leg, can cause radiating pain in the hip and leg. Arthritis – Conditions like osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis can cause inflammation and pain in the hip joint. Treatment Options for Hip Pain Treatments for hip pain will vary depending on the severity of the condition and its cause. You should always consult a physician before pursuing treatment of any kind. Here are some of the avenues you can explore to treat hip pain: Rest – For mild hip pain, try resting and avoiding any intense physical activity for a few days to see if the pain resolves on its own. Pain Relievers – Over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen or ibruprofen can help manage pain and inflammation in the short term. However, if you have persistent pain or severe pain, it is best to consult a doctor about more long-lasting treatment options. Physical Therapy – Often the first line of treatment, physical therapy can help to address the root cause of the hip pain. A physical therapist works to alleviate pain and promote recovery; reducing symptoms of the underlying condition or injury and facilitating proper healing. Invasive Procedures & Surgery – For more severe conditions, a doctor may recommend specific injections or surgical procedures. Physical therapy is often recommended after surgery to improve recovery outcomes. Physical Therapy for Hip Pain Physical therapy offers a non-invasive treatment option which can address the causes of hip pain and provide long-term relief. Treatment often includes the following methods: Exercise Therapy – Tailored exercises to strength and stretch specific muscle groups and improve overall hip function. Building strong and stable muscles around the hip is essential for a well-rounded recovery. Manual Therapy – Hands-on techniques, such as massage or joint mobilization, alleviate pain and swelling and improve flexibility and range of motion. Education & Lifestyle Modifications – Guidance on proper body mechanics, posture, and lifestyle adjustments to prevent further strain on the hip joint. Pain Management – Advice on how to best manage pain to promote comfort and healing. Rehab United Can Help Hip pain doesn't have to dictate your lifestyle. With the guidance of a skilled physical therapist and a comprehensive treatment plan, you can achieve lasting relief and regain your mobility. Whether through tailored exercises, manual therapy, or other treatment options, taking proactive steps toward hip health can set you on the path to a pain-free and active life. Embrace the healing journey and rediscover the joy of movement! Did You Enjoy This Blog? Subscribe to our mailing list to get more blogs sent straight to your inbox! Emily McGuire is a Marketing Associate and staff writer for Rehab United. With a Bachelor's degree in International Business from UC San Diego, she is a California native with a passion for writing, digital marketing, health, and wellness. Medically Reviewed by: Arturo Valle, PT, DPT, FAFS, CSCS, STMT-1, BFR-1, CCI, is a Physical Therapist, Clinic Director of Rehab United in Escondido, and Director of Rehab United’s Quality Assurance Program. As a graduate of USC’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, Dr. Valle has always emphasized the implementation of Evidence-Based Practice into all plans of care. Throughout his 12 years of experience, Dr. Valle has treated thousands of orthopedic-related and sports injuries and mentored countless Physical Therapists and Students of Physical Therapy.

  • Hands-On Healing: Trigger Finger Treatments for Lasting Pain Relief

    Our hands are remarkable tools that we rely on for countless tasks daily. However, when one of the fingers develops an unexpected hitch, it can be both uncomfortable and concerning. One such condition that affects the smooth operation of our digits is trigger finger, a common ailment with distinctive symptoms and various treatment options. In this blog post, we’ll discuss trigger finger, shedding light on its symptoms and the available treatment avenues. What is Trigger Finger? Stenosing tenosynovitis, commonly known as trigger finger, is a condition affecting the tendons in the fingers or thumb. The tendons that control the movement of our fingers become inflamed, making it difficult for them to glide smoothly within the tendon sheath. This inflammation can result in a variety of symptoms, from mild discomfort to the more noticeable catching or locking of the affected digit. Common Symptoms of Trigger Finger Finger Stiffness: Individuals with trigger finger often experience stiffness in the affected digit, which can be more pronounced in the morning. Pain and Tenderness: The base of the finger or thumb may become painful and tender, especially when pressure is applied. It can sometimes feel as though there is a lump where the finger meets the palm – this is a nodule where the tendon has become bunched. Catching or Popping Sensation: A distinct catching or popping sensation may occur when bending or straightening the affected finger. Swelling: Inflammation of the affected tendons can lead to swelling, contributing to discomfort and reduced flexibility. Finger Locking: In severe cases, the finger may lock in a bent position, requiring manual assistance to straighten. Understanding the Causes Trigger finger can result from a variety of factors, including repetitive hand movements, gripping activities, and certain health conditions like diabetes. Overuse or strain on the hand and finger tendons can lead to inflammation and the development of trigger finger symptoms. Treatment Options for Trigger Finger Rest and Modification of Activities: Providing the affected hand with adequate rest and avoiding repetitive or forceful activities can help alleviate symptoms. Splinting: Wearing a splint to keep the affected finger straight can reduce strain on the tendons and promote healing. Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or corticosteroid injections may be prescribed by a physician to reduce pain and inflammation. Hand Therapy: Engaging in targeted exercises under the guidance of a hand therapy specialist can enhance finger flexibility and strength. Surgical Intervention: In severe cases where conservative measures are ineffective, surgical procedures may be considered to release the affected tendon sheath. The Role of Hand Therapy in Trigger Finger Management Hand therapy is a specialized field of rehabilitation that focuses on treating conditions affecting the hand, wrist, and arm. In the case of trigger finger, hand therapy can offer several benefits: Customized Exercises: Hand therapists create personalized exercise regimens to improve finger mobility and strength, addressing your specific needs. Joint Mobilization Techniques: Therapists use hands-on techniques to mobilize and improve the movement of affected joints, reducing stiffness and promoting flexibility. Education and Ergonomics: Hand specialists educate individuals about ergonomic principles and hand care techniques to prevent exacerbation of trigger finger symptoms. Scar Management: For those who have undergone surgical intervention for trigger finger, hand therapists assist in scar management to optimize healing and prevent adhesions. Overcoming Trigger Finger Trigger finger can be a challenging condition, impacting the daily lives of those affected. Seeking timely medical attention, exploring various treatment options, and incorporating hand therapy into the management plan can significantly improve outcomes and restore hand function. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of trigger finger, don't hesitate to consult with a healthcare professional and consider the valuable support that hand therapy can provide in your journey to recovery. Did You Enjoy This Blog? Subscribe to our mailing list to get more blogs sent straight to your inbox! Emily McGuire is a Marketing Associate and staff writer for Rehab United. With a Bachelor's degree in International Business from UC San Diego, she is a California native with a passion for writing, digital marketing, health, and wellness. Medically Reviewed By: Arturo Valle, PT, DPT, FAFS, CSCS, STMT-1, BFR-1, CCI, is a Physical Therapist, Clinic Director of Rehab United in Escondido, and Director of Rehab United’s Quality Assurance Program. As a graduate of USC’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, Dr. Valle has always emphasized the implementation of Evidence-Based Practice into all plans of care. Throughout his 12 years of experience, Dr. Valle has treated thousands of orthopedic-related and sports injuries and mentored countless Physical Therapists and Students of Physical Therapy.

  • Bouncing Back from a Pulled Hamstring: How Physical Therapy Can Ease Hamstring Strains

    Hamstring strains, also referred to as pulled hamstrings, are a common woe for athletes and fitness enthusiasts, often sidelining individuals from their favorite activities. If you experience repetitive or worsening hamstring strains, it may be time to consider changing your approach. In this blog post, we’ll explore the causes of a pulled hamstring and illuminate how physical therapy can play a pivotal role in recovery and prevention. Understanding Hamstring Strains: The hamstring is a group of three muscles running along the back of the thigh. These muscles control movements like hip extension, knee flexion, and leg rotation. This muscle group is prone to strains from overuse, muscle imbalances, and inadequate warm-up. A hamstring strain occurs when the muscle fibers are stretched beyond their capacity, leading to microscopic tears and, in severe cases, significant injury. Common symptoms of a strain include pain, tenderness, stiffness, and swelling. More intense symptoms can occur in cases of extensive injury. The Role of Physical Therapy in Hamstring Strain Recovery Physical therapy can help those with hamstring strains recover safely and learn to prevent these injuries in the future. Here are some methods a physical therapist could employ to help with recovery: Comprehensive Assessment: A skilled physical therapist will conduct a thorough evaluation to determine the extent and severity of the pulled hamstring. This may include gait analysis and tests to assess your range of motion and flexibility. Understanding the specific nature of the injury is crucial for developing a tailored treatment plan. Gradual Rehabilitation Exercises: Physical therapists design a progressive exercise program that starts with gentle, controlled movements and gradually intensifies as the hamstring heals. These exercises focus on flexibility, strength, and proprioception to promote a well-rounded recovery. Eccentric Strengthening: Eccentric hamstring exercises, which involve lengthening the muscle while under tension, are particularly effective in the later stages of rehabilitation. Physical therapists guide patients through these specialized exercises to rebuild strength and flexibility. Functional Training: As healing progresses, physical therapists introduce functional exercises that mimic real-life movements. This step is crucial for ensuring that the hamstring is ready to meet the demands of daily activities and, for athletes, the rigors of their sport. Prevention Strategies: A key aspect of physical therapy is educating individuals on preventing future injuries. This includes guidance on proper warm-up routines, muscle-strengthening exercises, and techniques to enhance flexibility. Rehab United Can Help A pulled hamstring may disrupt your daily routine, but with time and professional help, it can be overcome. Physical therapy offers a structured and effective path to recovery, addressing the root causes of the strain and guiding you toward renewed resilience. If you have experienced a hamstring strain, consider scheduling a consultation with one of Rehab United’s physical therapists. With guidance and commitment, you can bounce back even better than before. Did You Enjoy This Blog? Subscribe to our mailing list to get more blogs sent straight to your inbox! Emily McGuire is a Marketing Associate and staff writer for Rehab United. With a Bachelor's degree in International Business from UC San Diego, she is a California native with a passion for writing, digital marketing, health, and wellness. Medically Reviewed by: Arturo Valle, PT, DPT, FAFS, CSCS, STMT-1, BFR-1, CCI, is a Physical Therapist, Clinic Director of Rehab United in Escondido, and Director of Rehab United’s Quality Assurance Program. As a graduate of USC’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, Dr. Valle has always emphasized the implementation of Evidence-Based Practice into all plans of care. Throughout his 12 years of experience, Dr. Valle has treated thousands of orthopedic-related and sports injuries and mentored countless Physical Therapists and Students of Physical Therapy.

  • A Joint Effort: Hand Arthritis Treatments & Therapy Solutions

    Arthritis is a prevalent condition that affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide. While arthritis can impact various joints throughout the body, hand and wrist arthritis can be particularly bothersome given how frequently we use them in our daily lives. Today, we will explore the different types of arthritis, their symptoms, and how they can be alleviated with treatment. Types of Arthritis Osteoarthritis – This is the most common form of arthritis and occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of bones wears down over time. In the hands and wrists, osteoarthritis can cause pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion. Rheumatoid Arthritis – Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that primarily targets the synovium which lines the joint cavity. The synovium is responsible for the production of synovial fluid, which is essential for lubricating the cartilage surfaces in the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis in the hands can cause joint pain, swelling, redness, and limited range of motion. Psoriatic Arthritis – Linked to the skin condition psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis can affect joints as well, causing inflammation and swelling. In the hands and wrists, it may lead to stiffness, pain, and difficulty moving the fingers. Symptoms of Arthritis in the Hands & Wrists Hand arthritis symptoms can vary in severity depending on the type and stage of the condition. The symptoms listed below are meant to help you consider if you may have arthritis however, we recommend seeing a physician to get a professional diagnosis before pursuing treatment. Pain: Persistent pain, often described as aching or throbbing, is a hallmark symptom of hand arthritis. Stiffness: Arthritis can cause stiffness in the hands and wrists, particularly in the morning or after long periods of inactivity. This stiffness may improve with movement. Swelling: Inflammatory types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis, can result in swelling of the joints. This swelling may contribute to discomfort and reduced function. Reduced Range of Motion: As arthritis progresses, the range of motion in the hands and wrists may diminish, making simple tasks like gripping objects or typing on a keyboard more challenging. Hand Arthritis Treatment Hand therapy is a valuable, non-invasive treatment option for managing arthritis in the hands and wrists. Here are some ways in which a hand therapy specialist can provide relief: Exercise Programs: Therapists can guide you through hand exercises for arthritis. This personalized exercise program can help improve joint flexibility, strength, and overall function. Hand Arthritis Treatments: Exercises & Therapy | Rehab United Pain Management Strategies: Hand arthritis therapy incorporates various pain management techniques, such as heat and cold therapy, to reduce discomfort and inflammation in the affected joints. Manual Therapy: Hands-on techniques performed by hand therapy specialists, such as massage and mobilization, can help alleviate pain, reduce muscle tension, and improve joint mobility. Taking Back Control Living with arthritis in the hands and wrists can be challenging, but hand therapy offers a proactive approach to managing the condition. Through customized exercise regimens, joint protection strategies, and pain management techniques, therapists help individuals with arthritis to enjoy an improved quality of life. If you or someone you know is struggling with arthritis in the hands and wrists, consider consulting with a specialized therapist at Rehab United to explore our tailored solutions for hand arthritis treatment! Did You Enjoy This Blog? Subscribe to our mailing list to get more blogs sent straight to your inbox! Emily McGuire is a Marketing Associate and staff writer for Rehab United. With a Bachelor's degree in International Business from UC San Diego, she is a California native with a passion for writing, digital marketing, health, and wellness. Medically Reviewed By: Arturo Valle, PT, DPT, FAFS, CSCS, STMT-1, BFR-1, CCI, is a Physical Therapist, Clinic Director of Rehab United in Escondido, and Director of Rehab United’s Quality Assurance Program. As a graduate of USC’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, Dr. Valle has always emphasized the implementation of Evidence-Based Practice into all plans of care. Throughout his 12 years of experience, Dr. Valle has treated thousands of orthopedic-related and sports injuries and mentored countless Physical Therapists and Students of Physical Therapy.

  • How to Fix Tech Neck: Correcting Forward Head Posture

    In a world full of smartphones, tablets, and laptops, it's no wonder most of us end up glued to our screens for hours. The digital era has made life more convenient and connected, but it has also brought about some new health concerns. Tech neck has been garnering a lot of attention lately as a growing issue among tech users. What is Tech Neck? Tech neck or “text neck” refers to a forward head posture caused by spending prolonged amounts of time looking down at a phone or computer. The condition is characterized by tension and discomfort in the neck and shoulders. The posture so many of us adopt while looking down at our devices puts repeated pressure on our necks. Over time, this compromises the natural curve of the neck, leading to a hunched posture in which the neck and head are drawn forward so that they are no longer in alignment with the rest of the spine. Beyond soreness, tech neck can cause headaches, a reduction in neck mobility, tingling or numbness in the hands, and, in severe cases, chronic pain. To test if you have forward head posture, stand with your back against a wall, if your head does not touch the wall, your head is too far forward. Tips to Prevent Tech Neck: Simple Lifestyle Changes To prevent or fix forward head posture, we must become more conscious of the way we use our devices, and make lifestyle changes to improve our neck health. Here are some simple tips to help you avoid the pitfalls of tech neck: Maintain Good Posture: Be conscious of your posture while using devices. Keep your head up and shoulders relaxed, maintaining a neutral spine position – ideally, your rib cage and hips should be parallel. If you are sitting often, try to keep both feet planted on the ground or on a footrest, as crossing your legs can make it more difficult to maintain good posture. Take a Screen Break: Incorporate breaks in your screen time each day. Take a moment to stand up, stretch, and move around at regular intervals to relieve tension in your neck and shoulders. If you often lose track of time, try setting a timer for yourself to take breaks. Use Ergonomic Accessories: Investing in a few ergonomic accessories could help you avoid tech neck. If you spend a lot of time on the computer, consider getting a stand to raise your monitor or laptop to eye level, this will help you spend less time tilting your head downwards. For a more in-depth look at proper posture while using a computer, check out our desk ergonomics blog post. When using your phone, try to get into the habit of holding your phone closer to eye level or consider getting a phone stand to elevate your phone for you. If you work at a desk most of the day, ensure you have a chair that facilitates good posture, and consider getting a standing desk to help take some pressure off your back. Exercise Regularly: Strengthening the muscles in your neck, shoulders, and back through regular exercise can provide support and reduce the risk of developing tech neck. How to Fix Tech Neck: Stretches to Correct Neck Posture Try doing these exercises during your screen breaks to facilitate better posture and strengthen your neck muscles. Chin Tucks Begin with your head looking straight ahead, your ears should be over your shoulders. Pull your chin back toward your chest, as if you are making a double chin, feeling the stretch in the back of your neck as those muscles lengthen. Hold for 5 seconds before returning to the starting position. Repeat 10 times, stopping if it feels painful. Neck Flexion Stretch Tuck your chin as though you are making a double chin. Place your hand on the crown of your head, so that your arm crosses your forehead. Gently pull your head towards your chest, feeling the stretch as it lengthens the muscles at the back of your neck. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, repeating 3 times. Hand-to-Ear Stretch (Trapezius Stretch) Reaching over your head, place your hand on the opposite side of your head, so that your fingertips touch the top of your ear. Tuck your other arm behind your back. Applying gentle force, pull your head down towards your shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds, feeling the stretch in the side of your neck and your trapezius muscle. Repeat on the other side. Lateral Neck Stretch Begin with your head turned to one side, with your chin pointed down toward your armpit. Using the opposite hand, place your fingers under your ear on the same side. Slowly lift your chin up and to the opposite side, as though you are drawing a diagonal line with your chin. Slide your fingers down your neck toward your shoulder as you do so. Repeat for 1 minute on each side. Bonus Desk Stretch: Seated Abdominal Twist Begin in a seated position with both feet planted on the floor. Cross your forearms in front of you, holding them about shoulder height. Slowly rotate your upper body to one side, keeping your hips in place. Return to the middle and repeat, rotating to the other side. Professional Treatment for Tech Neck If tech neck is causing you pain and discomfort, it may be time to see a professional. Physical therapy can be a highly effective, non-invasive approach to treating and preventing forward head posture. Tech neck treatment aims to address the root causes, strengthening the neck and shoulders while promoting proper posture. The experts at Rehab United in San Diego can help you achieve a healthy, pain-free neck posture. A Healthy Relationship with Tech As we navigate the digital era, we need to prioritize our health and well-being. By being mindful of screen use and adopting preventative measures, we can mitigate the effects of tech neck. Investing in your health today will pay dividends in the long run. Embrace a healthier digital lifestyle, and consider physical therapy as a valuable resource on your journey to wellness. Did You Enjoy This Blog? Subscribe to our mailing list to get more blogs sent straight to your inbox! Emily McGuire is a Marketing Associate and staff writer for Rehab United. With a Bachelor's degree in International Business from UC San Diego, she is a California native with a passion for writing, digital marketing, health, and wellness. Medically Reviewed By: Arturo Valle, PT, DPT, FAFS, CSCS, STMT-1, BFR-1, CCI, is a Physical Therapist, Clinic Director of Rehab United in Escondido, and Director of Rehab United’s Quality Assurance Program. As a graduate of USC’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, Dr. Valle has always emphasized the implementation of Evidence-Based Practice into all plans of care. Throughout his 12 years of experience, Dr. Valle has treated thousands of orthopedic-related and sports injuries and mentored countless Physical Therapists and Students of Physical Therapy.

  • Unlock Your Potential: Eccentric Hamstring Exercises for Strength & Flexibility

    Today, we embark on a journey to explore the profound benefits of eccentric hamstring exercises, an integral component in preventing and recovering from hamstring injuries. Gain insights into the anatomy, understand the advantages, and master essential exercises to enhance your hamstring strength and flexibility. As always, remember to consult with a physician before attempting these exercises, particularly if you're dealing with an existing injury or hamstring pain. Understanding the Hamstrings Let’s begin by understanding the critical role the hamstrings play in your daily activities. The trio of muscles, the semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and biceps femoris, run along the back of your thigh, influencing everything from walking to jumping. The Hamstring is very dynamic in nature and travels diagonally across both the hip joint and the knee joint. As well, it translates posterior to anterior at the knee indicating that it plays a huge role in controlling the transverse plane (rotation). As the foot hits the ground the tibia internally rotates and the hamstring engages in eccentric control of that motion, as well as managing to engage in the control of the side-to-side frontal plane, and even the sagittal plane or knee flexion. This trio of muscles influences everything when it comes to gait, running, cutting, changing direction, and jumping. What Is Eccentric Exercise? On a basic level, eccentric movement is the lengthening of a muscle-tendon junction. This is what happens in everyday motion, in every step we take. When doing eccentric exercises, we are performing a more targeted form of this movement. Eccentric stretches focus on lengthening the muscle under tension, making them a powerful tool for simultaneous strength and flexibility improvement. These are essential components of the healing process, playing a vital role in any recovery plan. Benefits of Eccentric Hamstring Exercises Discover the numerous advantages these exercises bring to the table, making them a staple in your injury prevention and recovery routine. From promoting muscle healing to enhancing overall function, eccentric hamstring exercises are a holistic approach to hamstring care. Promote Muscle Healing: Eccentric exercises encourage the flow of blood and nutrients to the muscle, aiding in the healing process. Increase Muscle Length: These stretches help increase the length of your hamstrings, reducing the risk of re-injury. Enhance Strength: Eccentric exercises strengthen the muscles while stretching them, creating a balanced and stable muscle group. Improved Function: By increasing flexibility and strength, you'll regain normal function more quickly. Essential Exercises for Hamstring Flexibility Explore our suggested list of crucial eccentric hamstring exercises designed to boost flexibility! We have selected these stretches from a long list of options because they are beginner-friendly and easy to do at home or the gym. See our demonstrations and note how these exercises ensure the hamstring is challenged in all three planes of motion. Detailed instructions accompany each exercise, ensuring you perform them correctly and feel the gentle stretch in your hamstrings. If you would like to see these stretches in motion, check out our hamstring exercise tutorial video on Instagram! Standing Hamstring Stretch Stand up straight with feet shoulder-width apart and place one foot in front of you. Flex your front foot upwards at the ankle, keeping your heel on the ground. Slowly lean forward from your hips, keeping your back straight and arms outstretched towards your front foot. Pulse in 3 directions, forward, left, and right. Repeat on the alternate leg, you should feel a gentle stretch in your hamstrings. Single-Leg Straight-Leg Deadlift Stand on one leg with a slight bend in the knee. Slowly lower your torso toward the floor while keeping your back straight. Reach for the floor with your hands while extending the other leg behind you. Return to the starting position and repeat, alternating legs. Raised Leg Hamstring Stretch Standing in front of a raised platform like a box or bench, raise your leg to rest your heel on the platform. Keep your grounded foot pointed straight ahead. Slowly bend forward, extending your arms toward your toes. Repeat this motion, adding pulses to either side using the opposite arm as the direction you are reaching. Repeat the exercise on the alternate leg. Eccentric Hamstring Exercises for Strength Single-Leg Straight-Leg Deadlift with Weight Stand on one leg with a slight bend in the knee, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Slowly lower your torso toward the floor while keeping your back straight. Reach for the floor with your hands while extending the other leg behind you. Return to the starting position and repeat, alternating legs. Swiss Ball Hamstring Curl Exercise Lie on your back with your legs straight, resting your heels on top of an exercise ball. Keeping a neutral spine position, lift your hips up parallel to your chest. Pull your heels towards your glutes, rolling the ball under your feet. Maintaining this raised posture, slowly slide your heels away from your body, returning to the starting position. Nordic Hamstring Curl Exercise Begin with knees on the ground and torso upright. You will need a counterweight on your heels, this can be done by having someone hold down your heels, by using a Nordic strap, or by hooking your heels under a piece of weighted furniture. With a weighted exercise ball in front of you, cross your arms over your chest and slowly bend at the knee, leaning forward until you reach the ball. Adjust the depth or distance you travel as you gain more strength. This is a difficult exercise and should be done successfully in smaller ranges before progressing. Raise yourself back upright, feeling your hamstrings supporting you. Advice on Eccentric Exercises Eccentric hamstring exercises are a valuable tool in preventing and healing hamstring injuries. These exercises can improve muscle flexibility, strength, and overall function. It is essential to approach these exercises with caution; stop the exercise if you begin to feel significant pain. If you are currently injured or experiencing hamstring pain, do not attempt these exercises until you have consulted with a physical therapist or physician. Consider Physical Therapy for Hamstring Recovery At Rehab United, our dedicated team can create a personalized recovery plan tailored to your needs. A physical therapist is the most well-positioned practitioner to manage and treat musculoskeletal injuries, so it’s imperative to find one you trust to help you through this process. Empower yourself with knowledge and actionable steps to improve your hamstring health. Visit Rehab United for expert guidance and take the first step towards a stronger, more flexible you. Your hamstrings will thank you! Did You Enjoy This Blog? Subscribe to our mailing list to get more blogs sent straight to your inbox! Emily McGuire is a Marketing Associate and staff writer for Rehab United. With a Bachelor's degree in International Business from UC San Diego, she is a California native with a passion for writing, digital marketing, health, and wellness. Medically Reviewed By: Bryan Hill, PT, FAFS, CF-L1, BFRC, is the Chief Executive Officer and co-owner of Rehab United Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy. Bryan received his bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy and Health Sciences from the University of New England and has been a physical therapist in the San Diego community since 1998. Through a close professional and personal relationship with renowned therapist Gary Gray, and as a member of the inaugural class of The Gray Institute for Functional Transformation (GIFT) fellowship, Bryan has been a strong advocate, pioneer, and expert in the principles of Applied Functional Science. Throughout his experience as both a clinician and an educator in the field, Bryan has not only treated a wide range of patient/athlete demographics and diagnoses, but has helped inspire and lead San Diego’s aspiring clinicians to become the future of medicine.

  • Empowering Lives: How Physical and Occupational Therapy Treatments Can Help With Multiple Sclerosis

    Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic neurological condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It can lead to various physical and cognitive challenges, making everyday tasks and activities more difficult. However, there's hope on the horizon in the form of physical and occupational therapy. In this blog post, we'll explore how these therapies can play a crucial role in improving the lives of individuals living with MS. Understanding Multiple Sclerosis Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that attacks the protective covering of nerve fibers, causing communication problems between the brain and the rest of the body. Common symptoms of MS include fatigue, muscle weakness, balance issues, numbness or tingling, and difficulty with coordination. As MS progresses, individuals may face mobility challenges and limitations in their daily activities. Physical Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis Physical therapy (PT) is an essential component of comprehensive care for individuals with MS. Here's how it can help: Assessment and Goal Setting: The physical therapist assesses the patient's current physical abilities and works with them to set achievable goals. These goals can range from improving balance and strength to enhancing mobility and managing pain. Strength and Flexibility Training: PT programs include exercises that target muscle strength, flexibility, and endurance. These exercises can help individuals with MS maintain or improve their physical function. Gait and Balance Training: Many individuals with MS experience difficulty walking and maintaining balance. Physical therapists provide specific exercises and techniques to improve gait and balance and to reduce the risk of falls. Pain Management: MS-related pain is common and can be challenging to manage. Physical therapists employ various modalities, such as heat therapy and manual techniques, to alleviate pain and discomfort. Mobility Aids and Adaptive Equipment: Physical therapists can recommend and teach the proper use of mobility aids and adaptive equipment, like canes or wheelchairs, to enhance independence. Occupational Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis Occupational therapy (OT) focuses on helping individuals with MS maintain or regain independence in their daily activities. Here's how OT can be beneficial: Functional Assessments: Occupational therapists assess a person's ability to perform daily tasks such as dressing, bathing, cooking, and driving. They identify areas where assistance or modifications are needed. Adaptive Techniques: OTs teach individuals strategies and adaptive techniques to overcome limitations. This may include using assistive devices or finding alternative ways to complete tasks. Cognitive Rehabilitation: MS can impact cognitive functions such as memory, attention, and problem-solving. Occupational therapists work on cognitive rehabilitation to improve these aspects, allowing individuals to better manage their daily lives. Energy Conservation: Fatigue is a common symptom of MS. Occupational therapists help individuals learn how to conserve energy and prioritize activities to avoid excessive exhaustion. Home Modifications: OTs can recommend home modifications, such as installing grab bars, ramps, or lifts, to create a safer and more accessible living environment. The Synergy of PT and OT Physical and occupational therapy often work hand in hand to provide holistic care for individuals with MS. While physical therapy focuses on improving physical function, occupational therapy focuses on overcoming the practical challenges faced in daily life. This synergy can result in a significantly improved quality of life for those living with MS. Rehab United Can Help Multiple Sclerosis may present significant challenges, but physical and occupational therapy offer hope and practical solutions. These therapies can help individuals regain mobility, improve function, manage pain, and enhance their overall quality of life. If you or someone you know is living with MS, consider consulting with healthcare professionals who specialize in physical and occupational therapy to create a personalized and comprehensive treatment plan. Together, these therapies empower individuals with MS to live their lives to the fullest. Did You Enjoy This Blog? Subscribe to our mailing list to get more blogs sent straight to your inbox! Ariela Liberman is a Marketing Associate and a staff writer for Rehab United, with a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies. Born and raised in San Diego, she is a Southern California native with a passion for writing, digital marketing, health, and wellness. Arturo Valle, PT, DPT, FAFS, CSCS, STMT-1, BFR-1, CCI, is a Physical Therapist, Clinic Director of Rehab United in Escondido, and Director of Rehab United’s Quality Assurance Program. As a graduate of USC’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, Dr. Valle has always emphasized the implementation of Evidence-Based Practice into all plans of care. Throughout his 12 years of experience, Dr. Valle has treated thousands of orthopedic-related and sports injuries and mentored countless Physical Therapists and Students of Physical Therapy.

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