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Challenging conventional wisdom — Should we use ice to treat injuries?

by Maria Fermoile, PT, DPT, OCS
Alliance Rehabilitation, Fresno, CA

Challenging conventional wisdom — Should we use ice to treat injuries?

There is and has been a long-term debate about the merits of using heat or ice as a treatment after injury. Despite years of research, education, and even anecdotal evidence from healthcare professionals and trainers, much confusion has surrounded the issue.

To this day, the conventional thinking has been that ice should be used in the first 24-48 hours after injury to decrease inflammation (swelling) and pain. In 1978, Dr. Gabe Mirkin coined the term “R.I.C.E.” (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), and this concept became the standard in treatment of acute injuries and post-surgical patients.

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Why physical therapy is important after surgery

with advice from Mitchel Kaye, PT,
and John Milne, M.D., M.B.A., FACEP

Why physical therapy is important after surgery

You’ve been dealing with chronic pain for months, and have talked to your doctor about surgery. It’s been scheduled and now you’re anxious about getting through the day. But what do you do the day — or the week — after the operation?

Many patients focus so much on the hours spent at the hospital that they don’t consider the importance of rehabilitation after the operation. If your doctor has prescribed physical therapy after your surgery, it’s because he believes it will be a key part of your recuperation. Here are some of the reasons you may need to do PT after your operation:

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What you should know about arthroscopy

by Kim Gladfelter, PT, MPT, OCS, FAAOMPT

What you should know about arthroscopy.

Arthroscopy is a procedure used to investigate a multitude of joint-related symptoms by actually looking inside the joints. Similar to a telescope with a light source, the light aspect is necessary to “light up” the joints and to magnify the structures contained within the joint.

Arthroscopy is typically performed under local or general anesthesia, and sometimes under spinal or epidural anesthetic. Some of the common symptoms arthroscopes examine are swelling, pain and joint instability.

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Relieving neck pain

with advice from Gini Davis, PT, MA

Relieving neck pain

Neck pain is a common and debilitating problem. While some cases can be caused by serious conditions, according to Gini Davis, a physical therapist and owner of Crescent City Physical Therapy (a Physiquality member in New Orleans), the most common cause of neck pain is poor posture. This can be due to a variety of reasons:

  • Sitting and standing incorrectly.

While it’s easy to recognize when someone else is slouching, it’s much harder to correct the behavior in ourselves. As Kristina Holland noted in a previous Physiquality blog, “Good posture takes self-awareness and effort to maintain correct alignment, whereas poor posture is giving in to the constant pull of gravity.”

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What is osteoporosis? Can it be prevented?

What is osteoporosis? Can it be prevented?

As we age, our bodies are not as healthy as they were when we were younger. Muscles are slower to react. Joints are not as fluid as before. And bones are weaker than they were in our youth.

Osteoporosis is a bone disease most commonly found in older women, particularly those of Caucasian or Asian descent. Literally translated as “porous bone,” osteoporosis happens when bone density has decreased and the bones have become brittle. Unfortunately, the early symptoms of osteoporosis are easy to miss, like back pain or stooped posture. This is why most people don’t find out that they have the disease until they break a bone.

Your bones are constantly changing and creating new bone cells. When you’re younger and growing, your body creates more bone than it loses. This shifts as we reach our mid-20s, when our bodies slow down the process and we’ve reached our peak bone mass, or bone thickness.

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How to adapt your workout as you age

How to adapt your workout as you age.

As you get older, it’s easy to let your exercise regimen slip away. Schedules get more complicated with work, spouses and children. Bodies don’t respond as well to high-intensity workouts or longer bouts of activity. But it’s important to stay active for the long run — for a variety of reasons.

As we age, the goal of our activity may shift from weight-loss or general health to more specific goals. Injury and even death from falls is an unfortunate trend for older adults — as adults approach their 70s, they need to consider how to improve their balance and reduce their chances of falling.

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The importance of a good night’s sleep

by Maria Fermoile, PT, DPT, OCS
Alliance Rehabilitation, Fresno, CA

The importance of a good night's sleep

In today’s world, there are so many demands on our time, pulling us in different directions. It’s often tempting to stay up late or to get up early just to get things done. So why is this bad for us?

Sleep gives our body the chance to maintain and repair our basic systems. Muscles, hormones, the brain and nervous system, the digestive tract — they all need a chance to recuperate from a hard day’s work. This is why a lack of sleep affects both our mental and physical health. It is associated with increased risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and system-wide inflammation. Lack of sleep can also affect our immune system, our cognitive abilities (i.e., our mental capacity), and our mood and mental health.

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What is fibromyalgia? Can physical therapy help?

How can physical therapists help people with fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a condition that, for many people, is associated with more questions than answers. However, physical therapists, as experts in musculoskeletal problems, are an important resource for people who have fibromyalgia.

Let’s start with what fibromyalgia is: Due to its varied symptoms, fibromyalgia can be difficult to diagnose. People with fibromyalgia usually have widespread pain throughout the body, often accompanied by tender points, muscles and joints that are particularly susceptible to pain and movement. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.”

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The material and information contained on this Web site is for information only and is not intended to serve as medical advice or consultation.

Consult your personal physician before beginning any exercise program or self-treatment.