Category Archives: General Medical

How Do I Know If I Should See A Physical Therapist?

Manual Physical Therapy on FootThis article was written by Ann Wendel, PT, ATC, CMTPT and published in northernvirginiamag.com. 

Most people have heard the term “physical therapist,” yet when asked, they can’t answer the question, “What is physical therapy?” After 20 years in this field, I can honestly say that I still love what I do, and I’m excited to share my profession with you. I want to address some common misconceptions about physical therapy and provide information to help you get the care you need. 

1. Who do physical therapists treat and why?

Physical therapists care for people of all ages in hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, schools, home health agencies, sports and fitness facilities, nursing homes and work settings. Physical therapists often consult with other health professionals to work to improve your mobility.

2. What types of problems can a physical therapist treat?

Physical therapists can help you regain flexibility, joint range of motion, strength, endurance and balance after an injury, accident, illness or surgery. We can also help you minimize the risk of injury by designing an exercise program for you, and we can help you manage a chronic health condition like diabetes, arthritis or fibromyalgia.

3. What kind of degree do physical therapists have?

All physical therapists are currently required to receive a graduate degree–either a master’s degree or a clinical doctorate—from an accredited physical therapist program before taking the national licensure examination that allows them to practice. State licensure is required in each state in which a physical therapist practices. Most physical therapists have a four-year undergraduate degree and a three-year Master’s or Doctorate level degree.

4. Do I need to see my doctor before scheduling physical therapy?

In Virginia, D.C., and Maryland, patients can access physical therapy directly. This means that you can call a physical therapist to schedule an appointment for an initial evaluation without having a doctor’s visit first. We will review your medical history and conduct a very thorough physical exam at your first visit. If the results of our examination lead us to believe that you need to consult with another healthcare professional, we will refer you to the appropriate provider. Studies show that early access to physical therapy positively affects outcomes, so if you are injured, you may be able to schedule a physical therapy appointment to start treatment without waiting for an appointment with a specialist.

5. How do I know if I should see a physical therapist?

If you have pain or discomfort that limits your daily activities like taking off a shirt overhead, fastening your bra, walking up and down stairs or getting in and out of the car, you may benefit from a physical therapy consultation. If you have nagging pain that prevents you from doing activities you enjoy, we can help you determine the underlying cause for your pain, and help you get on the road to recovery. If you have an acute injury, such as an ankle sprain, neck or back pain, or painful shoulder, we can help you through early evaluation and treatment before your injury becomes a chronic problem.

6. What should I expect at my first appointment?

You may be asked to fill out paperwork prior to your first visit. This helps your physical therapist in understanding your past medical history, and informs us of surgeries you have had and medications you take. You may be asked to change into a gown or shorts and a tank top. Your physical therapist will have a conversation with you to review your history and your reason for seeking treatment; then, he/she will conduct a thorough physical examination. Your physical therapist will discuss the findings from the exam, and explain the plan of care to you. You may receive treatment on the first visit depending on time. I spend one hour with all of my patients, and conduct all aspects of the evaluation and treatment myself. Some clinics utilize other staff to oversee the exercise portion of treatment. Our goal is always to find the source of your problem and provide treatment to get you moving again in as short a time as possible. These are just some of the ways that a physical therapist can help you return to your active lifestyle.

To see the original article on http://www.northenvirginamag.com click here.

To Contact Ann Wendel, PT, ATC, CMTPT use www.prana-pt.com

Kate’s Post #Baby-Bod Tummy is NORMAL!

Royal BabyBy Marianne Ryan PT, OCS
Clinical Director MRPT Physical Therapy

This article quotes several parts of an article by Ceridwen Morris and posted on Yahoo.com

What a picture of a fairytale story come true! We all rejoiced in the birth of the first prince of this century with pictures of “a beautiful, healthy baby, a doting, proud father, and a glowing, serene mother. But wait! Look closely. When Kate passes the swaddled heir to her charming William, she reveals a real-life new mom belly. Round as a six month pregnancy. Clear as day.”

What’s up with that?

“Can anyone tell me why Kate’s stomach still looks pregnant after the baby isn’t inside her anymore? I had no idea that happened … Is it fluid or something?”

“Women are often surprised to learn that looking very pregnant is not only normal for the first few hours or days after giving birth but for weeks or more. Women have 40-50% more blood volume during pregnancy; all that excess fluid doesn’t go down overnight.  Also, the uterus must shrink back down to a fraction of the size it was during pregnancy. But it can take about a month or so.”

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What can Kate do to help her belly heal and flatten faster?

Studies have shown that compression helps to heal wounds faster, even post baby-bod bellies, but it has to be the correct amount of compression. To facilitate healing there should be enough elastic in the garment to compress the belly without pressing so hard that the garment takes over the work of the abdominal muscles.

Many of you may have seen articles written about celebrities who claim wearing very tight abdominal binders for a few months helped them to develop a flat tummy after childbirth. Nothing could be further from the truth!

As a physical therapist who specializes in treating postpartum women, I would like to give a warning that tight abdominal binders will not help to flatten your tummy; and using an abdominal binder actually weakens stomach muscles. Another problem with abdominal binders is that they create compressive downward forces which push internal organs down towards the worn out muscles at the bottom of the pelvis (pelvic floor muscles). This can lead to problems such as chronic urinary leakage and pelvic organ prolapse.

The answer to how to help heal and flatten your post baby-bod tummy is to wear a compressive garment that will help to encourage your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles to contract and to hold your organs “up and in”. So, you need to wear a garment that will offer compressive support at the bottom of your pelvis and your tummy. As I mentioned before, you need to use just the right amount of compression. “Shape wear” under garments, the ones we see advertised all over the internet, are too tight and can weaken the abdominal muscles. To date, I am not aware of a garment available on the market that I can recommend. So, for now, try using a sports top, like a yoga top, and underpants with enough elastic to give your pelvic floor support.

Should you have a baby over 40? Essentially Fit Radio Show

Essentially Fit RadioMarianne was recently interviewed by Wess Murray for his Essentially Fit radio show on the subject of “Should you have a baby over 40?”

During the 50 minute show they discussed a number of issues including:

 

  • Why you must take care of your joints during pregnancy.
  • Having a 2nd child later in life: what steps should you take?
  • Exercise after childbirth The pros and cons of having a baby after 40
  • How modern technology has made it possible to have children
  • How to have realistic expectations when losing weight after a baby

Click here to listen to the show

You can also download the show here from I Tunes

Myth Buster on How to Prevent Heart Disease

ID-10024387By Marianne Ryan PT, OCS

An article in the online newspaper, Sott.net, has an interesting article about why eating a low fat diet will NOT decrease your risk of developing heart disease. In fact, low fat diets are the cause of cardiovascular disease!

Bet you didn’t know that.

Dr. Dwight Lundell, a heart surgeon with 25 years experience, busts the myth that heart disease is caused by high blood cholesterol. He goes on to explain that inflammation in the artery wall is the real cause of heart disease and how to prevent it.

Lundell explains why the mainstream American diet and obesity causes inflammation which leads to developing “heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and finally, Alzheimer’s disease”. The two main culprits are:

  • Highly Processed Carbohydrates (sugar, flour and all the products made from them)
  • Excess consumption of Omega-6 Vegetable Oils like soybean, corn and sunflower that are found in many processed foods and used as preservatives.
    Click Here to read more.

Posture Posture Posture…..Is This You?

For years I have tried to educate my patients, friends and family on the importance of good posture.

In our current world, where we seem to spend over 50% of our waking hours either using a computer, texting on our iPhones, or reading our Kindles, most of us complain about headaches, back pain, neck pain and other forms of i Pain”.

Did you know that the typical american teenager sends or reads an average of 3,417 texts a month? (according to a new survey from the analytics firm Nielsen)

Here are 3 fabulous videos on posture. See how you can make some minor changes in your every day activities to reduce the risk of developing back and neck pain, arm and wrist strain, and repetitive stress injuries.
Enjoy and feel free to share with your friends!

Traveling for Business

On Your Cell Phone

At Home

Constipation During Pregnancy and Postpartum

tn_good mommy tummy 2x3“Constipation is so common that it’s rare for new moms not to experience it”

Wondering when you’ll start to experience constipation? Which foods pack the most fiber and how much do you need?

For the full article click here

Very thorough and well written article discussing a woman’s physical therapy experience with lower back pain. She also goes on to mention that her sister is months away from receiving her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree and how she learned that physical therapy is a great alternative for the treatment of lower back pain instead of taking medication. The author went into further detail and discussed the growing field of women’s health physical therapy which is devoted to treating such unique issues as incontinence, pelvic/vaginal pain, endometriosis, prenatal and postpartum musculosketelal pain, osteoporosis, rehabilitation following breast surgery, and conditions specific to female athletes.