Frequently Asked Questions

Question: I was in a car accident 2 years ago and now I am working with a computer, which has increased both my headaches and neck pain. Should I see a chiropractor again or a P.T?

Answer: A chiropractor may adjust your neck, which may be helpful temporarily, but without strengthening the muscles around the shoulder and neck and making changes to your workplace environment your symptoms will likely return. A PT is educated in manual therapy techniques to adjust your spine, and is educated in specific exercise protocols to strengthen the shoulder and neck. The PT is also trained in ergonomic assessments to make the necessary changes with your computer, chair and posture. We are able to use different modalities to expedite your healing process. We are highly trained professionals with extensive education in all aspects of rehabilitation.
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Question: "I was involved in an Motor Vehicle Accidents (MVA) several years ago, with low back and hip pain. Now that I have increased my activity level and recently had a baby, my back pain has returned. I saw a chiropractor a few times, but it only helped for a few days. What could a physical therapist do to help me?"

Answer: A physical therapist has extensive education in all aspects of physical rehabilitation. They are specifically educated to evaluate the anatomical structures through special tests and thus ascertain the structure that may be involved. After diagnosing the faulty structure, manual therapy techniques can be corrective and alleviate pain. Soft tissue massage and gentle indirect techniques may realign dysfunctional systems. We are Pilates certified with a professional reformer in clinic to teach core strengthening exercises to maintain the corrected structure in a pain free and functional manner. Pilates core strength is especially important after recent pregnancies, as pelvic floor muscles and deep abdominal muscles often need re-education to stabilize the spine and pelvis. Modalities such as Iontophoresis, which induces a steroidal medicine through an electrode patch, usually decreases the inflammation, and thus decreases pain. This is a noninvasive and safe treatment that has high success rate. We have use of ultrasound and electrical stimulation, which also enhances and facilitates recovery. Kinesio taping is used to stabilize the pelvis and low back for comfort during the day, and can be applied at home. The PT guides you with education and changing your work environment through ergonomic education, in addition to the manual therapy and individualized therapeutic exercise instructions.
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Question: I fell last week on my shoulder and now the pain and stiffness have increased, so that I can't lift my son into his car seat or fasten my bra without severe pain. Can PT help, and how?

Answer: If you experience sharp, severe pain with any movement of your shoulder or intense tingling in your hand, you should see your doctor.

Otherwise, a PT can diagnose the shoulder to see if you have strained your rotator cuff muscles that support the arm into the shoulder, or if you might have sprained the supporting ligaments and rule out a fracture with specific tests. After evaluating the shoulder and making the proper diagnosis, the PT is trained to use modalities to decrease the inflammation, ease the pain and reduce the swelling. A PT has extensive manual therapy education to improve mobility of the shoulder and decrease muscle spasms. We can use Kinesio tape to support the shoulder while it is healing. We design an exercise program to specifically treat your symptoms to both strengthen and improve flexibility.
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Question: My 12 year old daughter started playing soccer last month and now complains of knee pain around the knee cap that increases when she runs, walks downhill or even when she sits too long at school. We have iced and she has taken ibuprofen, but the pain and stiffness increase with almost any activity. What can a PT do to help her?

Answer: It sound like she may have Patella-Femoral syndrome, a problem with the knee cap (patella) not tracking correctly in the thigh(femur) and creating swelling and pain under and around the knee cap. This happens occasionally with young females as their hips develop and the quadriceps (thigh) muscles pull on the patella, creating an imbalance in the knee structure. The symptoms usually increase with walking downhill, stairs, running, especially in sports like soccer. A PT can diagnose the pelvis, knee and ankle/foot structures to ascertain where soft tissue or joint restrictions may be as well as identify muscular weakness or inflexibility. Manual therapy techniques to adjust involved structures are helpful, along with modalities to reduce swelling and improve muscle strength. Specific therapeutic exercises designed for the area of dysfunction are taught, and she will perform exercises in the clinic, and then transfer this program to her home or to a gym. Kinesio taping helps to realign the kneecap and support weakened structures while she is increasing her strength.
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Question: "I started a walking program recently after having gained weight this winter. Now I have heel pain that hurts when I walk, when I take my first step in the morning, and even after sitting for more than an hour. Help! What can I do, and would physical therapy help?"

Answer: First, you should see your doctor, and s/he may suggest a night splint which helps decrease foot pain that you experience with that first step in morning. Your doctor might also advise some stretches and prescribe anti-inflammatory (Aleve or similar). A physical therapist can dramatically expedite your healing from heel pain! We generally use modalities, such as Iontophoresis, an electrical patch that induces a cortisone medicine directly to the affected area. This is safe, noninvasive, and effective. Manual therapy and massage help improve soft tissue mobility, and joint mobilization will help to reduce muscle spasm and stiffness around the foot. There are also various taping techniques to support the foot in proper alignment. We look at the entire system to ascertain why the symptoms started, so we can treat the problem. We also evaluate your back, pelvis, hip, and knee, as sometimes these areas are responsible for the foot pain.

We will guide you with proper exercises to both strengthen and improve mobility of the hip, knee, and foot. A good supportive shoe with raised heel surface, such as Dansko, often decreases heel pain with walking. Please contact us so we can evaluate your individual structures and solve the problem before it becomes chronic!
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We work with all insurance companies.