Motivation to exercise is frequently a major issue for people considering beginning physical therapy or remaining active after treatment is completed.
Quotes like “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall” can inspire us. But, as the saying goes, “well done is better than well said.”
So, when it comes to physical activity, how can we turn words into actions?
Step 1: Establish personal objectives.
Before beginning any exercise program, you should determine your short- and long-term objectives. These can be function-specific, such as the ability to go up and down a flight of stairs or walk around a park for an extended period of time.
If you are enrolled in a physical therapy program, ensure that you communicate with your therapist so that he or she can tailor a program to your specific needs and goals. A good short-term goal is to walk for 15 minutes five days a week; a good long-term goal is to participate in a 5K walk. Make sure your goals are realistic and attainable, as being overly ambitious can lead to frustration.
Step 2: Make exercise enjoyable by enlisting the help of a friend.
Participate in physical activity that you enjoy, and then vary it to keep it interesting. Ride your bike with friends, take a kickboxing class, or join a softball league. Try something else if you don’t like it. Invite a friend, family member, or neighbor to participate in your activities. You can encourage each other to keep going and pursue your fitness goals.
Step 3: Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine.
Begin by making small changes to your daily routine to incorporate more activity. This can include taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking further away from the grocery store. Long periods of sitting can be harmful to your health, so taking short breaks to get up and move, even to the water fountain, can be beneficial.
Step 4: Give yourself a reward.
After a tough session, rewards can be as simple as drinking a delicious smoothie or watching an episode of your favorite show. If you achieve a larger goal, treat yourself to a new pair of workout shoes. As you increase your physical activity, you will begin to notice more internal rewards, such as the rush of endorphins after a good workout. Looking forward to these rewards while keeping your overall goals in mind will keep you on track for success.
Get out there and start moving now that you’ve regained your motivation to exercise.
If your motivation wanes, go back over this list and remember, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you do have to start to be great.”Read More
A herniated disc can occur at any point along your spine. Herniated discs are a common cause of back, arm, and/or leg pain in our physical therapy practice.
If you suspect that a herniated disc is causing your pain and dysfunction, please contact us right away to schedule a physical therapy appointment. Our skilled team can help you identify the source of your symptoms and heal the injured disc for long-term relief.
When you should see a physical therapist for herniated disc pain
Physical therapy has been shown in studies to be effective in the treatment of herniated discs. If your symptoms interfere with your daily life or work activities, or if they last longer than two weeks, we recommend that you seek physical therapy services.
Spinal traction, remedial exercises, and non-invasive modalities such as electrical stimulation or diathermy can help heal the injured disc, relieve pain, and help you avoid recurring issues.
If you have been told by a surgeon that you may need spinal surgery to correct the protrusion, physical therapy may be recommended. Many surgeons will advise their patients to work with a physical therapist prior to undergoing a spinal fusion or disc decompression procedure to improve core strength and spinal health. This can improve surgical outcomes while lowering the risk of postoperative complications.
Surprisingly, research shows that even “idiopathic” back pain (pain with no known cause) responds favorably to physical therapy. In other words, even if it’s unclear whether you have a herniated disc, our services can still be beneficial.
How to tell if your back pain is caused by a herniated disc
Spinal discs are small soft structures that exist between the vertebrae. Their primary functions are to absorb shock and maximize spine mobility. These discs are tough and fibrous on the outside, but soft and gel-like on the inside.
A herniated disc occurs when the disc’s tough outer layer (known as the annulus fibrosis) ruptures. This allows the inner gel substance (referred to as the nucleus pulposus) to escape. A ruptured disc can cause an inflammatory response and compress nearby structures such as joint receptors and spinal nerve roots.
Surprisingly, not all herniated discs cause discomfort (especially because the discs themselves are relatively low in innervation and vascularization). When a herniated disc does cause symptoms, they frequently include:
- Pain that improves or “centralizes” (moves toward the spine) when lying down or lying prone
- Pain that worsens with forward flexion or prolonged sitting—forward flexion can also cause pain to “peripheralize,” or move away from the spine.
- Pain in the arm or leg, numbness, tingling, and weakness (if the herniated disc compresses on an adjacent nerve root that innervates the affected limb)
- Neck or back pain, stiffness, and muscle spasms at the injured disc level
A herniated disc is similar to a bulging disc in that the disc tissue may protrude from its normal position but will not rupture.Read More
Regular exercise is an excellent way to improve and maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, if you don’t stretch before and after your workout, you’re not getting the most out of your workout routine.
Stretching, according to the Mayo Clinic, “can increase flexibility and improve your joints’ range of motion, allowing you to move more freely.” And having equal flexibility on both sides may help protect you from injury.”
Stretching before and after a workout has several specific benefits, and a physical therapist can help you figure out which stretches are best for you!
How can working with a physical therapist help me get more out of my workouts?
Stretching exercises provide so many important benefits that it’s easy to see why we use them so frequently in physical therapy.
It is critical to ensure that you stretch properly before and after your workouts. A physical therapist can design an exercise routine tailored to your specific needs. Whatever type of exercises you do, physical therapy can help you get the most out of them.
To help you feel better and stay healthy, physical therapy can combine targeted stretches with strength-building exercises, massage therapy, ultrasound therapy, heat or cold therapy, and many other techniques.
Your physical therapist can also advise you on the best stretches for your current physical condition and the type of activity you’re doing. It’s also critical to do the right exercises in the right order. We can make sure you’re stretching correctly for your needs and show you how to do so safely. Scheduling an appointment with a qualified physical therapist is a great first step in learning more about the correct techniques and stretches for the types of physical activity you are participating in.
What types of stretches are the most effective?
There are several types of stretches that can be done before and after a workout. It’s critical to understand which types are best for you and when to use them in a workout.
- Ballistic stretching entails bouncing movements that push muscles beyond their normal range of motion.
- Dynamic movements are those that are not held but cause muscles to stretch. These are frequently performed to prepare your muscles for movement.
- Static stretching entails holding a specific stretch for 10 to 20 seconds. This type of stretch should be done after a workout and should feel comfortable.
Fascia is tissue that connects to muscles, bones, and ligaments to provide support throughout your body.
Fascia is elastic and can stretch and move as one with the rest of your body when it is working properly. However, fascia can tighten and stiffen as a result of intense workouts, poor posture or movement patterns, stress, and lifestyle factors, restricting movement and even causing pain.
Unfortunately, traditional stretching does not always release tight fascia. To release those tight muscles and tissue, direct pressure from a massage therapist, or a tool like a foam roller, or even a lacrosse ball, is required. Muscles and fascia must be supple and elastic in order for muscles to move and function properly.
Benefits of Foam Rolling
1. Enhances Range of Motion and Performance
Exercise, injury, and lifestyle choices can cause fascia tightening and trigger points, or “knots.” These knots are what limit mobility as well as performance. Foam rolling can help to break up those knots and restore muscles and soft tissue to normal function, thereby increasing range of motion. With a greater range of motion, you can improve your workout performance by fully engaging muscles to increase strength and power.
2. Relieves Muscle Pain and Promotes Recovery
Fascia provides support and protection to your muscles. Fascia can tighten as a result of overuse, injury, or even inactivity, causing inflammation and irritation. Foam rolling helps to break up those knots, which can improve circulation to your muscles and connective tissues. Your muscles will recover faster and with less soreness if you have better circulation and more oxygen.
3. Muscle Relaxation
Foam rolling, like deep tissue massage, applies direct pressure to tight muscles and knots, allowing them to relax and release tension. “Rolling” over your muscles and trigger points has the same effect as a massage therapist kneading your muscles.
4. Muscle Lengthening & Injury Prevention
Foam rolling, like the increasing range of motion, allows you to stretch your muscles more effectively. Foam rolling lengthens muscles and dissolves scar tissue, which can prevent you from reaching your deepest stretch. It enables muscles to return to their normal length, allowing for proper muscle function. There is far less risk of injury when your muscles are stretched and function properly.
5. Restore Muscle Imbalances
Foam rolling allows your body to perform better because it can relax tight muscles, improve range of motion, and lengthen muscles. It assists in correcting muscle imbalances by relaxing overactive, tight muscles and allowing proper movement to strengthen weak, underactive muscles.
6. Immune System Boosting
A healthy myofascial system corresponds to a healthy immune system. Your lymphatic system detoxifies and maintains the health of your system. Lymph, also known as lymphatic fluid, runs along your body’s facial plane. When the fascia in your body is tight, it restricts lymph movement. Foam rolling loosens tight fascia, allowing proper detoxification and immune function.
With computer and smartphone use at an all-time high, the prevalence of neck disorders is greater than ever. Many of us suffer from sore necks on a regular basis as a result of spending hours on our devices, whether at work or at home.
Staring at a screen all day might cause the neck muscles that surround the joints to deteriorate. As a result, they wear down and become overstressed. Continued use of computers, smartphones, and even driving can result in long-term neck dislocation. Neck pain may necessitate physical treatment.
Stretching your muscles throughout the day might help relieve neck pain. Take regular pauses when using your computer or smartphone. Avoid keeping your neck in a forward position for long periods of time. Here are some stretches you can do at work or at home:
- Stretch each side of your body 10 times from your ear to your shoulder.
- Push your shoulders back 10 times or more.
- Roll your shoulders 10 times or more in a repetitive motion.
- Return your head to your hands or the headrest of a chair and keep the position for 30 seconds or more.
- The stretches mentioned above are only a few simple stretches that may assist ease your sore neck.
Positions for Sleeping
Incorrect sleep posture is another prevalent cause of stiff necks. Have you ever woken up with a stiff neck that you couldn’t bend? You’re not by yourself. Take extra precautions to avoid sleeping on your stomach or with your head at an awkward angle. This will considerably lessen the likelihood of waking up with a hurting neck.
Simple Treatments for Minor Neck Pain
- Try sleeping without a pillow on a firm mattress. Lie as flat on your back as possible.
- Allow your spouse or partner to gently massage the aching spot.
- Exercise in slow motion, side to side, down and up, ear to ear. This will gently stretch the muscles in your neck.
- Apply heat or ice to the affected region. Use ice for the first two to three days, then only heat after that. A heating pad, compress, or a hot shower can be used to provide heat. When using a heat-related treatment, take care not to fall asleep.
If your neck pain or soreness persists, contact OC Sports and Rehab at our Foothill Ranch Physical Therapy, Placentia Physical Therapy, Mission Viejo Physical Therapy, or Lake Forest Physical Therapy locations.Read More
The IT Band, also known as the iliotibial band, is a tough fibrous tissue on the outside of the leg. It extends from the hip all the way down to the knee. IT Band Syndrome or IT Band Tendinitis are terms used to describe problems with the IT Band.
IT Band tendinitis or syndrome does not appear suddenly, despite how it may appear. You will not fall down the stairs and then have IT Band syndrome the next day. It takes time to grow, and you will most likely overlook the early warning signs. It usually begins with a pang of pain on the outside of the knee. However, this niggle can be overlooked. And ignoring it gives it time to worsen and become more irritated. Ignoring it does not make it go away; in fact, it makes it worse.
The discomfort in the knee eventually becomes unbearable and cannot be ignored. You may be unable to run, climb stairs, cycle, or walk without limping. When the pain is strong enough, it can lead you to stop in your tracks. The issue is that if you go to your doctor and they do an X-Ray or an MRI, there is no problem that will show up on any of these that is related to IT Band Syndrome; you need someone like a physical therapist to feel the muscles to confirm that it is indeed IT Band syndrome.
What Causes IT Band Tendinitis?
- Type of footwear
- Weakness of muscles
- Tightness in areas of the body
- Running form
How Can IT Band Syndrome Be Treated?
- Footwear – When dealing with IT Band difficulties, the easiest item to adjust and address is footwear. You should always walk in good sneakers that are custom-fit to your foot. While there is inflammation, do not stroll in bare feet or flip-flops. Even around the home, you should walk in appropriate supportive running shoes to relieve as much pressure as possible from the IT Band.
- Strengthening– You must undertake activities to strengthen the weak muscles. There are exercises for each muscle group, but it is critical that you visit a physical therapist before beginning so that you can identify which muscles are weak and need to be developed before jumping in.The glue medius is a muscle that is frequently weak in people and plays an important role in hip stabilization. View our hip physical therapy videos for assistance with hip and abdominal strengthening exercises. Hip hikes are depicted in this video. You must stand on one leg, maintain your knee straight, and lower and then elevate your hip. Take your time with this. Repeat this 30 times on each side, aiming for three sets. You do not need to worry about gaining weight because your goal is to increase both endurance and strength. If you execute this correctly, you should feel a burn in your standing leg.The following strengthening exercise is simply a side leg kick. Maintaining independent balance while standing on one leg will also help strengthen the leg and relieve pressure on your IT Band. Standing on one leg, kick the opposing leg out to the side and back at a nearly 45-degree angle. This is also demonstrated in the video. This will also strengthen several hip muscles. You don’t want to add weight to this, so go slowly and deliberately. Doing three sets of 30 of these is a good way to begin strengthening, and if you can finish those sets without difficulty, you can progress to the next exercise.
- IT Band Stretching and Loosening – While there are no real helpful stretches for the IT Band, some people swear by the stretch where you put your hip against the wall. If you find that stretching helps you, keep doing it. Although unpleasant, the foam roller is the most effective technique to loosen up your IT Band. Foam rolling the IT Band is an effective approach to loosen it up and make it less painful over time. Many individuals quit foam rolling their IT Band because it is too painful, yet this is exactly when you should be doing it.When it is unpleasant to foam roll the IT Band, this indicates that there are many knots in the muscle, which can cause pain and be the single reason for the pain you are feeling. It is critical that you loosen them in order to feel healthier. Stretching will not help you relax these knots; only foam rolling can.Begin by resting on your side with the foam roller on the afflicted IT Band. Place the top leg in front of you on the floor. To relieve the most strain on the IT Band, place the top leg in front with the foot flat on the floor. This is demonstrated in the video. Pushing up on your hands and rolling your foot along the IT Band Make sure you don’t slide off the IT Band. When you’re rolling, make sure you stay on your side. It is simple to rotate and roll on the rear of your leg or to roll more on the front of your leg, but this will prevent you from rolling the IT Band. Even though it is less unpleasant and enticing, stay on the sidelines and apply the IT Band.
Many of the patients we meet at our physical therapy office hold desk jobs, yet it can be challenging to find the time to be active in sedentary settings. Unfortunately, a lot of people come to discover that their sedentary jobs have a negative impact on their health and ability to execute their jobs.
Do you need advice on how to enhance your physical activity? Check out these practical suggestions from our hardworking team of physical therapists!
- Addressing prior injuries. If you’re in discomfort, it’s challenging to concentrate and feel at ease at work. And even though we are aware that sitting for more than 7 to 8 hours a day is linked to health issues, the concept of boosting your physical activity can occasionally feel like a great challenge. You can identify and treat underlying health issues by speaking with a physical therapist. Our therapists don’t simply try to cover up the discomfort; they also utilize evidence-based, non-invasive approaches that help your body recover itself. Physical therapists may help you improve your posture, core strength, and other aspects of your health so you can operate more effectively both at work and outside of it. They can also give expert advice on ergonomic changes for your business.
- Use a pedometer. According to research, using a basic pedometer (you can get incredibly cheap models online and in sporting goods stores) can help you walk more each day. Such factual information can motivate you and encourage you to move more regularly than you might otherwise. You might even think about persuading a few coworkers to join the “pedometer club” and start a friendly competition to determine who can walk the most throughout an average workday or workweek!
- Use the workplace as a gym! Create strategies for moving more on and around your workspace. Can you park a little further away from the structure? Give a 10-minute walk around the school or neighborhood during your lunch break? lieu of using the elevator, use the stairs? Instead of sending an email or text, why not take a walk down the hall and talk to your coworker or employee?
- Drink plenty of water. Drinking plenty of water while working has several advantages, including maintaining the health of your tissues and joints, increasing focus, reducing headaches, and, yes, increasing the frequency with which you need to leave your desk to use the restroom.
- Perform quick workouts throughout the day. Stop what you’re doing at least once every hour and take a few minutes to perform some basic stretches or exercises. These can be completed in your office’s solitude or even in public (hey, maybe you’ll motivate your coworkers!). Ask a physical therapist to create a customized program for you that will take into account your unique demands and work requirements.
In the United States alone, there are more than 100 million people who suffer from chronic pain. Therefore, if you have chronic pain, you are not alone.
Standard painkillers have so many undesirable side effects that you can’t rely on them to completely treat your pain, leaving you to wonder whether you’re just doomed to suffer from it.
Fortunately, there is another approach that might work. Chronic pain has been demonstrated to be effectively treated by physical therapy. You might be able to drastically lessen your discomfort with the appropriate treatment strategy.
How can a physical therapist assist in easing my chronic pain?
- TENS, Ice Therapy, Heat Therapy
Physical therapists can manage your current discomfort using a range of strategies at their disposal. To assist reduce inflammation and lessen some of the pain you’re experiencing, they can utilize techniques like transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), hot and cold therapies, and more. Additionally, these treatments can enhance your body’s capacity for healing.
- Safe Movements
Most people are not completely conscious of how they move during daily activities. You can be causing your chronic pain by bending over, lifting, walking, running, sitting, or moving in some other way. Your pain can be considerably reduced by learning how to fix the problems with your movements. Your physical therapist will examine you during your initial visit and monitor how you perform various movements, such as walking, to look for any potential issues. Once they have identified the problem areas, they can show you how to fix them to prevent unintentionally making your chronic pain worse.
- Flexibility Improvement
Enhancing your flexibility might also aid with pain relief. When you have an injury, it is typical for your body to try to compensate for the discomfort in some way. This can result in undesirable movement patterns that you might not even be aware of. The way your body adjusts to the injury may be helpful at first, but over time it will cause damage to other sections of your body. You are probably going through this type of situation if you feel particularly constrained or locked up in some way. Your body can be slowly relaxed through physical therapy, allowing you to resume healthy movement. Your physical therapist will collaborate with you to reduce the stress on your body so that it can move properly and to strengthen the muscles around the joint so that you can continue to use the proper motion patterns.
- Strength Training
Your physical therapist could give you some exercises to strengthen your muscles and soft tissues depending on your condition. Given that exercise can be difficult in and of itself, especially initially, it may seem weird that medical research advises getting stronger when you are in pain. But there are valid reasons to make an effort to fortify you. Pressure on nerves in your joints, such as your spine, knees, hips, elbows, or other joints, is frequently the source of persistent pain. Strengthening the muscles around those joints will improve their ability to support you, relieving some of the pressure on your nerves.
What should I know about chronic pain?
Some people experience chronic pain in the absence of any prior injury or visible signs of physical harm, such as a sprained back or a significant infection, or there may be a continuing cause of pain, such as arthritis, cancer, or an ear infection. Elderly people with persistent pain often have these conditions.
Headache, low back pain, cancer pain, arthritis pain, neurogenic pain (pain brought on by damage to the peripheral nerves or the central nervous system itself), and psychogenic pain are some of the common complaints associated with chronic pain (pain not due to past disease or injury or any visible sign of damage inside or outside the nervous system).
A person could have two or more chronic pain syndromes that coexist. These ailments can include vulvodynia, endometriosis, fibromyalgia, inflammatory bowel disease, interstitial cystitis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia. If these illnesses have a common cause, it remains unknown.
Find relief from your ongoing pain today
We want you to know that if you’re dealing with chronic pain, we’re here to support you. Our physical therapy staff can create a customized treatment plan to help you manage your pain and enhance your quality of life. Do not hesitate to get in touch with OC Sports and Rehab right away to arrange a consultation!Read More
Our team of Physical Therapists helps thousands of patients recover from surgery each year.
We are convinced that working with a physical therapist can expedite your recovery and allow you to return to your active lifestyle whether you are having a knee replacement, back surgery, or another operation.
Can physical therapy help me recover from surgery faster?
Your optimal post-surgical strategy will depend on your individual needs, according to advice from a qualified physical therapist. You should book a physical therapy appointment as soon as you are aware of the date of your operation.
Before developing a special rehab program, a therapist would probably perform a thorough physical assessment.
Both before and after your operation, physical therapy can help you regain as much strength, endurance, flexibility, and a better range of motion as you can.
In fact, both pre-surgical and post-surgical rehabilitation have been scientifically demonstrated to have advantages, according to the American Physical Therapy Association. Physical therapists can teach you exercises you can do at home or use a range of manual therapies on you.
In addition, a therapist might utilize electrical stimulation, heat, or ice. To ensure that you are ready for surgery and can recover quickly and completely, you should get started as soon as you can.
Are you wondering why physical therapy is so crucial during the recovery period from surgery? We hope to stimulate your curiosity for three reasons.
1. Make recuperation faster.
Our bodies are extremely strong and capable of self-healing. Physical therapists can provide non-invasive, drug-free services and practices that can work with the body to cure itself rather than just masking symptoms.
Your physical therapy team can assist you in staying on track during your recovery period so you can swiftly regain and enhance your strength, balance, range of motion, endurance, and overall function by decreasing discomfort and lowering the chance of problems.
2. Avert difficulties.
Any surgical procedure carries some degree of risk for problems, such as postoperative bleeding, infections, restricted range of motion, and hardware failure. Working with a physical therapist may assist in lowering your risk of complications, which lowers stress, saves money, and safeguards both your short-term and long-term health.
For instance, physical therapists are qualified to instruct you on how to walk and carry out daily activities safely. Your physical therapist can instruct you on how to adhere to these limits and advance or adjust them appropriately over time if your surgeon advises that you follow specific precautions or activity restrictions for a while after your procedure.
To further safeguard your recovering tissues and assist you in securely moving around, physical therapists can also recommend and fit adapted devices like walkers and braces.
As a supportive intermediary between you and your surgeon, your physical therapist can also inform him or her of your requirements and progress. This will enable speedier communication amongst all of your medical team’s key players in the event that any issues develop.
3. Control and lessen discomfort.
A physical therapist can give you exercises to do, perform manual interventions like massages on you, and use non-invasive techniques to treat your pain in a way that may even lessen your need for painkillers like opioids.
While various physical therapy procedures help decrease inflammation, edema, and stiffness, many of the techniques we use directly affect the central nervous system to help modify pain signals that are transmitted to your brain.
Of all, discomfort is common and expected after some procedures, such as hip and knee replacements, and by taking your painkillers as directed, you can take part in physical therapy to the fullest extent possible. Therefore, it’s crucial to discuss your alternatives for pain medications with your doctor and to never stop or start taking any medicine without doing so first.
Nevertheless, research demonstrates that physical therapy is a secure substitute for or helpful addition to efficient pain treatment in the post-surgical window. So make sure to ask your doctor for a referral to a physical therapist as well!Read More
Numerous soft tissues in our body shield important organs and muscles. But when we get hurt, our soft tissues get destroyed, which has a negative impact on how we use our various bodily parts. The Graston Technique is a fantastic treatment to think about using to address this problem. The Graston Technique sometimes referred to as soft-tissue instrument-assisted mobilization, uses a variety of gentle skin-massaging devices to gently massage the skin. This allows the practitioner to locate any restriction points and break up any existing scar tissue. A physical therapist in Selden can provide you with the care you need if you want to benefit from what the Graston Technique has to offer.
What Conditions Does the Graston Technique Treat?
- Achilles tendonitis / other ankle injuries
- Plantar fasciitis / other foot pain
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Rotator Cuff Syndrome
- Shin splints
- Scar tissue
- Tennis elbow
- Lumbar Strain
Along with other medical ailments, soft tissue issues are treatable using the Graston Technique. The Graston Technique can lessen chronic pain and shorten the amount of time you need to recuperate in addition to treating pain in the afflicted body regions. Your pain can be relieved by trained physical therapists who are skilled in their field, and the Graston Technique is an excellent method for healing soft tissue. Your injuries will be rehabbed by our skilled staff at OC Sports and Rehab in our Lake Forest, Foothill Ranch, and Placentia locations until you are totally recovered.Read More