All Posts by Back2Action

AUTO ACCIDENTS

What kinds of crash-related injuries do physical therapists treat?

It’s something that anyone who’s ever been in a motor vehicle accident knows all too well: That life-saving trip to the emergency room is often only the first step in the long road to recovery. Injuries from car accidents can impact your life for months or years after the initial incidents.

Among the injuries for which patients often seek physical therapy are whiplash, knee damage, torn rotator cuffs, crushed hands, cracked ribs and damaged lungs — as well as traumatic brain injury, nervous system disorders, stress disorder and nonspecific pain.

Is there more than one kind of physical therapy available after a crash?

which the treatment can be helpful.

One such sub-specialty is called cardiovascular therapy, but for accident victims, it is often related more to the pulmonary system than the heart. Bruised and cracked ribs can interfere with lung capacity, so a heart-lung therapist will work with the patient in order to improve breathing function.

Physical therapists can also provide neurological therapy for people who suffered from traumatic brain injuries as a result of their car accident. Brain trauma can affect balance, strength and the sense of touch, among other serious problems. Physical therapy is often key to improving these conditions after the accident.

Of course, orthopedic damage to the neck, back, knees and shoulders is also helped by “classic” physical therapy. PT for these injuries typically includes specialized exercises and gentle, targeted massage.

Why is it important to start physical therapy as soon as possible?

Depending on your injury, scar tissue can build up along injured muscles, tendons and joints — making the recovery process that much longer if you don’t work on it as soon as possible. PT also helps you avoid “teaching” your body bad habits to make up for your injuries, such as potentially throwing your spine out of alignment because you’re favoring an aching hip.

Finally, any insurance or legal claims you may be seeking will need documentation in order to prove the duration needed for physical therapy treatment.

Our team of dedicated physical therapists can help you with all of these issues, by working with you to determine the scope of physical therapy care that you need, as well as providing any needed professional documentation.

Call us today at Lafayette, CO Center for an appointment, so that you can begin recovery from your motor vehicle accident as soon as possible.

View More Conditions

Back To Action helps patients with many different conditions. Please click on the body areas highlighted in the diagram below for information on common conditions we treat and how physical therapy can help you.

WORK INJURY REHAB

For Injured Workers

Being injured at work can cause significant stress, pain and aggravation affecting your ability to effectively work and provide adequate income for your needs. Our number one priority is to ensure your pain is relieved fast and you can safely return to work as soon as possible. We emphasize the following when it comes to your recovery after a work-related injury:

  • Relieve pain quickly
  • Restore normal range of motion
  • Restore strength, flexibility and stamina
  • Ensure a complete recovery after an necessary surgical procedures
  • Education on how to manage your injury and prevent future occurrences

Talk to your employer or case manager today to discover how we can help you recover quickly from your injury and get back to work safely!

We offer a variety of comprehensive programs for injured workers to help them recover quickly and safely. Once a worker has been injured, it is our goal to restore him/her to optimal function for safe and efficient job performance in a timely manner. We provide effective case management, detailed and timely reports, and positive communication between health care providers, workers, and case managers for the worker’s compensation case.

We assess the worker’s current functional abilities and gather information regarding his/ her job requirements. Treatment is both evaluative and restorative. Therapy will utilize a combination of manual therapy techniques, therapeutic exercises, body mechanics training, modalities, and patient education/ home programming.

For Case Managers and Employers

We offer a variety of comprehensive programs for injured workers to help them recover quickly and safely. Once a worker has been injured, it is our goal to restore him/her to optimal function for safe and efficient job performance in a timely manner. We provide effective case management, detailed and timely reports, and positive communication between health care providers, workers, and case managers for the worker’s compensation case.

We assess the worker’s current functional abilities and gather information regarding his/ her job requirements. Treatment is both evaluative and restorative. Therapy will utilize a combination of manual therapy techniques, therapeutic exercises, body mechanics training, modalities, and patient education/ home programming.

Preventative Care Benefits to Employers:

  • Decreased turnover
  • Increased worker productivity
  • Safer work environment
  • Reductions in lost time
  • Diminished incidence of fraud and abuse

For more information ,Contact Us Today.

PRE-SURGICAL REHAB

Pre-surgical rehabilitation, or “prehab,” is increasingly popular in the surgical and physical therapy communities. Just as “rehab” generally refers to work that patients do to recover after surgery or intense medical treatment, “prehab” is designed to be undertaken prior to that procedure.

What does pre-surgical rehabilitation accomplish?

To put it succinctly, prehab shortens rehab. For patients who have pre-planned joint replacements or other reparative operations, pre-surgical rehabilitation helps reduce the time and challenges of post-surgery rehabilitation.

After surgery, patients must re-learn how to move again. Much of that need comes from the lack of muscle mass and flexibility that their existing condition caused. In addition, the surgery itself often involves some pain and stiffness in the following days and weeks.

Pre-surgical rehabilitation is designed to help you regain some of your lost strength and flexibility before you even have the surgery, as well as build up your ability to heal more quickly after your operation. When done correctly, prehab can dramatically decrease the time and pain associated with post-surgical recovery.

What happens in "prehab"?

Assuming you have enough planning time, your pre-surgical rehabilitation sessions would start about six weeks before your operation, depending on what your doctor advises. We’ll also help you evaluate your goals and your concerns. (Many patients worry about climbing stairs after surgery, for example, or even that first walk to the hospital bathroom.)

During your sessions, you’ll be working on building your overall strength and endurance, so your body bounces back from the surgical trauma. In addition, your physical therapist will help structure a plan that meets the challenges of your particular surgery, such as building upper body strength if you’re going to be getting around on crutches.

What can I expect from pre-surgical rehabilitation?

Studies show that patients who participate in pre-surgical rehabilitation experience these specific benefits:

  • Increased stamina and confidence. Not only will you have more aerobic endurance and muscle strength to take on postoperative routines, but you’ll have the confidence in having already built up the strategies for doing so.
  • Increased mobility. Prehab gives you the physical flexibility you’ll need to work through post-surgical stiffness. Our physical therapists also coach you on techniques for maintaining your balance, and compensating for limbs you can’t fully use while you are recovering.
 With pre-surgical rehabilitation, our highly trained team of physical therapists will put together the right program to ensure that your post-surgical rehabilitation is as brief and painless as possible.

Call us for a consultation, or
make an appointment online.

POST-SURGICAL REHAB

As your surgery nears, getting through the operation itself is probably all that’s on your mind. But once you’ve successfully cleared that hurdle, you may find that the real work is about to begin. No matter how much of a miracle worker your surgeon is, that skillful work can be undone without proper post-surgical rehabilitation.

The two main areas of concern for anyone after an operation are loss of strength and loss of mobility. Our physical therapists work on these muscle and joint issues so that not only are the specific areas on which you were operated on given plenty of attention — but your overall endurance and flexibility will also be improved. This comprehensive approach to physical therapy after an operation allows you to bounce back more quickly.

Which operations should be followed with physical therapy?

Of course, not every post-surgical period can be improved upon with physical therapy. But in many cases, this type of rehab speeds up the recovery process. Here are a few operations for which physical therapy is usually recommended as a follow up:

  • Rotator cuff tear repair
  • Hip, shoulder and knee joint replacements
  • Ligament tears of the knee (ACL, LCL, MCL, and PCL)
  • Arthroscopy and meniscus repair
  • Spinal surgery
  • Additional operations resulting in weakness or stiffness

How does post-surgical rehab speed recovery?

Operations such as joint replacements and spinal surgeries can result in mild to extreme discomfort. Our dedicated team of physical therapists can help reduce this pain in a number of ways, from applying ice, gentle massage or low-pulse electrical devices, to gently manipulating your muscles to ease tension.

Once your pain is under control, physical therapy can begin to address the challenges of your specific surgery. If you had knee replacement or ligament repair work, for example, moves that strengthen your knees will be part of your recovery.

Of course, being laid up can affect your body in ways that extend beyond the area of surgery. You might lose muscle mass, or even develop breathing problems, in some instances. Your physical therapist will work with you to rebuild your strength and endurance, while also working the specific surgical areas.

Ready for a Consultation?

Whether you’re planning ahead or don’t know until after your surgery that you’ll need additional help getting back on your feet, call us as soon as possible. We’ll help evaluate your post-surgical rehabilitation areas of focus and talk you through when you can expect to be back to your normal routine!

TMJ / TMD (JAW PAIN)

Do you suffer from headaches, grinding of your teeth, clicking of your jaw or even ear pain? These can all be signs of Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome, also known as the temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD). This a disorder of the jaw muscles and nerves caused by injury to the TMJ, which is the joint between your jaw and skull. The injured temporomandibular joint leads to pain with chewing, clicking, and popping of the jaw; swelling on the sides of the face; nerve inflammation; headaches; tooth grinding; and sometimes dislocation of the temporomandibular joint.

What causes TMJ syndrome?

Multiple factors contribute to the muscle tightness and dysfunction that characterize this condition. Most often, poor posture and neck alignment change the pull of the muscles that make your jaw move. This causes painful grinding and irritation of the TMJ. Other causes may include:

  • Poor alignment of or trauma to the teeth or jaw
  • Teeth grinding
  • Poor posture
  • Stress
  • Arthritis or other inflammatory musculoskeletal disorders
  • Excessive gum chewing

A lot can be done to help TMJ, first starting with a thorough evaluation of your problem with our expert physical therapists. Once the root cause of your problem has been discovered, a comprehensive plan can be developed to quickly relieve your pain and restore natural movement to your TMJ. Furthermore, our physical therapists will teach you techniques for regaining normal jaw movement for long lasting results.

The focus of physical therapy for TMJ is relaxation, stretching, and releasing tight muscles and scar tissue. In most cases physical therapy can resolve TMJ and prevent the need for surgery. However, in cases where surgery is absolutely necessary, physical therapy is a vital part of the recovery process, as it helps minimize scar tissue formation, muscle tightness and allows for a complete recovery.

For more information ,Contact Us Today

VESTIBULAR REHAB

Where does vertigo and dizziness come from?

Whether you experience them independently or at the same time, dizziness and vertigo both stem from similar issues involving your inner ear and your vision tracking systems. Dizziness stems from a “disconnect” between these systems and your joints and muscles. Vertigo is believed to happen if the tiny crystals that are located in your inner ear become dislodged. This displacement leads to bouts of extreme disorientation when you move your head.

The causes of the inner ear disruptions resulting in dizziness or vertigo aren’t always known. Sometimes a head injury is the obvious culprit, while other times migraines, prolonged periods of lying down or even medication may result in the conditions.

What are the main symptoms?

Almost everyone has experienced dizziness at some point. It’s a feeling of disorientation, combined with not being sure you can stay upright or think clearly. Vertigo tends to have all of those symptoms, with the added challenges of feeling as if you’re being spun around, or even shaken. Both sensations make it extremely difficult to even move slightly, let alone drive or perform routine tasks.

How does vestibular therapy help?

Vestibular therapy is a kind of physical therapy that is geared specifically to inner ear disorders. First, you’ll receive a complete evaluation. After all, dizziness and vertigo can impede people in many different ways, so it’s important to determine exactly how the problem is affecting your balance and movement.

Our highly trained team will evaluate a number of factors, including reflexes, balance, leg strength and overall habits of movement. This allows us to put together an individualized treatment plan for you.

In many cases, patients receive instant relief from specialized head movements. These gentle adjustments are designed to dislodge crystals, when the problem is vertigo, or simply re-orient your senses, as with general dizziness. One or two sessions can often resolve the problem.

If additional treatment is needed, coordination and balance exercises will be part of your vestibular therapy. This training is devised to give you confidence in your ability to move without falling or stumbling, while also decreasing the symptoms of the vertigo or dizziness. In addition, the therapy will teach you how to maintain this ability on your own, which diminishes the risk of injury if future bouts of vertigo or dizziness occur.

Our expert physical therapists have years of training in movement and balance analysis.

Come in today for a free balance and fall prevention screening with one of our vestibular therapy specialists.

BALANCE & GAIT TRAINING

Bad falls are a constant worry for seniors and others who have physical challenges. And those worries aren’t unfounded. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths and serious health problems in the U.S.

Improving your walking skills — technically known as your “gait” — and your balance are interrelated challenges. Physical therapy helps you master these skills to decrease your risk of injury, while at the same time increasing your confidence and independence.

What are the benefits of balance and gait training?

Balance and gait are inextricably linked because they tend to impact one another. Even if you don’t think you’re in danger of falling over, that “running out of steam” while walking that you’re attributing to aging muscles could be something else. The problem might actually be slowing reflexes, which make moving around seem more strenuous than it is. By the same token, poor posture and gait can throw off those reflexes.

In fact, the balance and gait systems both rely to some extent on a complex number of body systems that include the inner ear, the eyes, the joint-muscle-nerve system, and of course cognitive functions. Therapy that improves gait and balance works with all of these systems to keep them functioning in harmony.

Gait and balance training has a range of benefits, with avoiding injuries being at the top of the list. Beyond lessening your chances of falling or feeling dizzy, you’re also more likely to feel confident with your footing. In addition, those aches and pains from poor posture are likely to decrease as well.

What does balance and gait training entail?

First, we’ll evaluate your gait to determine potential problems with strength and posture. Simple movements to test balance are also part of the assessment. Together, these basic evaluations point us in the direction of what to focus on in terms of therapy.

Hip and ankle weakness often leads to balance problems, as does poor posture. Strength and flexibility movements can help counteract these problems. These are often as simple as leg lifts while seated in a chair, or “knee marching.” We may also practice standing on one leg, walking heel-to-toe, or tracking the movement of your thumb with your eyes as you move it in various positions.

Ready to “balance” your life again?

With our dedicated team behind you, you’ll regain confidence in navigating challenging terrain and learning how to avoid dizzy spells. You may even be able to leave that cane or walker behind!

Call us today for a consultation so you can regain your
independence as soon as possible.

SPORTS INJURIES

Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a serious athlete, sports injuries are a fact of life. A twisted ankle or an aching back can usually be treated at home. But for those breaks and tears that call for immediate medical attention, or those pains that just aren’t going away, physical therapy is often a critical part of the healing process.

COMMON SPORTS INJURIES

Whether it’s an immediate, dramatic break or damage that accumulates over time, sports can do some serious damage. The workout-related problems we frequently treat include:

Repetitive stress conditions. Arthritis and tendonitis often stem from sports moves like swinging a racket or throwing a ball. Joints and muscles can become inflamed in vulnerable areas, including shoulders, elbows, hips, ankles and knees.

Torn tendons and ligaments. Those dramatic jumps, twists and stretches can result in equally dramatic “snapped” tissues, especially in the knees, shoulders and groin. Surgery followed by physical therapy is often the prescription.

Strained back. Sometimes that sore lower back pain just won’t go away with basic home care. In such cases, we’ll work with you to rebuild strength and flexibility.

Fractures and breaks. When you have a bone injury during a game or workout, a trip to the emergency room usually results in a cast to promote healing. But as your bone is recovering, the muscles around it are weakening. Physical therapy helps to strengthen the affected area following a fracture.

Rehab Therapy

Some sports injuries require surgery or other medical procedures as the first line of defense. In fact, postoperative physical therapy is key for transitioning back to normalcy. Similarly, when your injury requires a cast or some form of bracing, our team will help you rebound from the diminished strength and range of movement that happens while the limb is out of commission.

Prevention

Athletes know that the best way to avoid injury or re-injury is to build up strength and flexibility. Working out at the gym is great, but our physical therapists will guide you through specific moves that help you avoid future injuries based on your sport and your specific build. We’ll also talk you through strategies you can implement when you’re back on the field.

Get “Back To Action” ASAP

Don’t wait to begin your sports injury recovery or prevention program. Our dedicated team is trained in the specific art of dealing with sports injuries, and we’ll have you back to fighting form in no time!

Call us to schedule an appointment to get back
to the sport you love as soon as possible.

NEUROLOGICAL DISORDERS

NERVE INJURIES, NEURALGIA AND NEUROPATHY

Nerve injuries, including neuralgia and neuropathy can present with a wide variety of symptoms in different parts of the body. The important aspect to investigate is why did these symptoms start? Typically symptoms occur from abnormal pressure or irritation to a nerve or group of nerves. For example, during an accident a nerve was overstretched in the neck from whiplash. This now sends tingling and numbness sensations to the outside arm and shoulder.

Peripheral nerve injuries can occur from accidents, constriction, surgical procedures, disease and repetitive actions. Common nerve injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome, whiplash, brachial-plexus syndrome, tarsal tunnel syndrome and surgical procedures. Nerves take a significant amount of time to regenerate and grow back together, depending on the severity of the nerve injury.

Neuralgia refers to pain caused by nerves. There are a variety of different causes for this pain from abnormal pressure, disease and even medication toxicity. Neuralgia often refers to non-specific pain that can occur in the arms or legs. Symptoms can vary from tingling, numbness, to even burning or sharp pains.

Neuropathy refers to a disease state of nerves. This typically occurs in people who suffer from diabetes as this damages the nerves, especially in the feet. In addition, circulation issues can cause neuropathy to occur in the feet, legs or hands. Various factors, which contribute to poor circulation, can often be improved. This in turn improves the neuropathy to varying degrees. Neuropathy can be especially problematic as the lack of sensation in the feet, can lead to cuts or injuries without the person knowing. Since circulation is usually compromised, the chances for infection become high.

How therapy helps

Physical and occupational therapy are very good treatment options for people with nerve injuries, neuralgia and neuropathy. A thorough evaluation is done of nerve function including strength, sensation, coordination of movement, range of motion, dexterity and more. The body depends on feedback to heal properly and therefore, improving strength, range of motion, coordination and balance, nerves can heal better, muscles can function properly and pain can be reduced.

There are many different pain management strategies that our therapists can train you on and modalities that can help soothe symptoms quickly. In addition, any long-term adaptations to work, function and lifestyle can be done with bracing or assistive devices.

STROKE (CVA)

A stroke is referred to as a Cerebrovascular Accident and is the sudden death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen. This occurs when the blood flow to a particular portion of the brain is restricted from a clot or bleed. Depending on where the stroke occurred in the brain, how extensive the damage was and the duration, dictate the severity of the symptoms and recovery.

Common symptoms of stroke are a slurring of speech, facial droop, weakness or loss of function in one side of the body, either in the arm, legs or both. Immediate emergency medical attention is needed if these symptoms begin. Stroke can affect cognitive function, speech, the ability to swallow, walking, balance, strength and function.

After medical management, rehabilitation is needed to assist the person in regaining as much function as possible. The brain and nervous system is very plastic in it’s ability to adapt for the damaged area. Many people are able to regain most function in their affected limbs, speech and enjoy life with modifications.

How therapy helps

Physical therapy is a vital part of the recovery of a person who has suffered a stroke. A thorough evaluation is done in various stages of the rehabilitation process to determine progression in strength, transfers, walking, balance, range of motion and safety. Our physical therapists approach the care of each person as an individual adapting the best rehabilitative process to each case. A great deal is done to ensure the safety of the person with normal transfers from sit to stand, getting in / out of a car, stairs and uneven terrains. In addition, the strengthening and exercising of muscles provides positive feedback to the nervous system to accelerate adaptation and function.

Occupational therapists work very closely in the process to improve upper extremity and hand function. Learning to write, improving dexterity, movement of the elbow and shoulder are crucial components to functional use of the arm. In addition, occupational therapists assist in cognitive improvements, and especially adaptations to daily activities such as dressing, caring for oneself, cooking and work activities. Many of these skills we take for granted have to be re-learned.

Speech therapists work with muscle deficits of speech, swallowing and facial expressions. In addition, cognitive challenges can help increase the functioning of the brain to problem solve many of life’s daily activities.

For more information, Contact Us Today

FOOT AND ANKLE

Why are feet and ankle problems so common?

Our feet bear the brunt of everything we do in our daily lives once we're upright. They absorb the shock impact of all of the steps, stumbles and heavy jogging strikes that we ask of them. And, of course, we often "ask" this while wearing high heels, or other footwear with virtually no support where it's needed.

In fact, the lower part of our body is such a complex interplay of bones, tendons and joints that it shouldn't be a surprise when some sort of problem eventually shows up. You probably won't be able to "outrun" some level of ankle or foot pain in your lifetime, whether you're a sports junkie or a couch potato. Ironically, both a very active lifestyle and an extremely sedentary one can lead to foot and ankle pain, and aging is often a factor as well.

What types of conditions can be helped with physical therapy?

With the legs' tibia and fibula bones coming together at the ankle and arching over the foot's talus bone, problems in your feet can influence ankle pain, and vice versa - as well as put stress on your knees, and throw off hip and spine alignment. For that reason, the number of problems addressed by physical therapy relating to feet and ankles is fairly substantial. Conditions include:

  • Balance and mobility issues
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Sprained ankles
  • Collapsed arches
  • Non-specific foot pain
  • Arthritis of foot and ankle
  • Sports injuries
  • Post-surgical rehabilitation

What happens in physical therapy?

Our dedicated team of physical therapists are trained to evaluate what you will need to work on, based on existing medical information. We’ll also evaluate your walk and your ability to move your feet and ankles in various positions.

Because so many foot and ankle issues stem from inflammation, causing a kind of seizing-up effect, much of physical therapy will likely focus on simple movements that encourage flexibility and range of motion. In addition, if your ankles aren’t able to properly support your weight, strengthening exercises might also be an important part of your therapy.

Our team of physical therapists will also teach you how to improve your posture when walking and running, if gait issues are resulting from — or even causing — your foot and ankle pain.

Are you ready to take the “first steps” toward making the rest of those steps pain-free?

Call us today at Lafayette, CO Center for an evaluation, so that you can begin your journey to healthy, strong feet and ankles.