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Orthopedic Physical Therapy

5 Important Questions To Ask Your Physical Therapist Before Starting Treatment

Physical Therapy Questions To Ask Before Starting Treatment

If you are starting physical therapy for the first time or someone returning for another round of treatment but trying a different clinic, ask these five crucial questions before you begin treatment. These questions will help you make more educated decisions about your health while avoiding setbacks, wasting time, and insurance benefits. Ask these questions over the phone before your first appointment or during the initial evaluation to ensure your treatment plan is clear and in line with your goals and expectations.

 

Best Physical Therapy

Question 1: What specialized training do you have to treat my particular condition?

Each physical therapy practice specializes in different types of rehabilitation, and each therapist that works at the practice also has their own specific education and certifications. Make sure to ask your therapist if they treat your condition or symptoms regularly and what credentials they have that will benefit you during recovery. 

The American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties list ten specialties, which is always great to identify to start:

  • Orthopedics
  • Cardiovascular and Pulmonary
  • Clinical Electrophysiology
  • Geriatrics
  • Neurology
  • Oncology
  • Pediatrics
  • Sports
  • Women’s Health
  • Wound Management

On top of that, there are individual certifications and continued education for therapists, such as:

  • DPT– Doctor of Physical Therapy
  • OCS- Orthopedic Certified Specialist
  • MLD- Manual Therapy Certified
  • ATC- Athletic Trainer Certified
  • PAS- Postural Alignment Specialist
  • COMT- Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist
  • BRM- Barbell Rehab Method
  • BFR- Blood Flow Restriction Training
  • IASTM– Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Manipulation

And many more.

Question 2: Who will I be working with for each visit? Will it be the same person each time?

Many people run into this problem in as little as a couple of appointments. They have an initial evaluation with a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) and return to their second appointment to find out they will be working with a physical therapy assistant or a physical therapy technician.

Technically, this is ok as long as a licensed DPT is present in the clinic area, but it could lead to some problems with the quality of treatment moving forward. A PTA or PT Tech does not attend the same amount of schooling or have the same experience as a DPT.

If you or someone from your family is a fall risk, has new questions at each appointment, or requires special attention, it may be best to find who you will be working with each time. 

At Balanced Physical Therapy, all of our patients get treated by a licensed and certified Doctor of Physical Therapy. We believe this is the best way to provide the safest, most effective care for everyone. Patients experience different symptoms and feel better or worse daily. With Dr. Robert Litzenburg and Dr. Tori Gasperoni working individually with each patient for all appointments, they can adjust treatments quickly, provide timely and accurate education, and notify primary care doctors when necessary.

Mt. Clemens Physical Therapy

Question 3: How much time will I get with my physical therapist? How much time will I spend with an assistant, tech, or aid?

A great follow-up question to question number two is to find out the specific details of how much time you spend with each person. Confirm exactly what your treatment will look like if you are getting treatment from a physical therapy clinic that splits up your treatment time between a doctor, the assistant, and/or aid.

Sometimes certain therapy places will have the DPT or PTA perform manual skills at the beginning or end of treatment and exercises under the supervision of a tech/aid/or assistant.

Question 4: How long will each physical therapy appointment be? And how long will I be attending physical therapy?

These two questions for your physical therapist will give you a better idea of how long your recovery process will take. While an exact time may be difficult for any healthcare professional to provide for new patients, you can still gain valuable insight, even if it’s a general estimate.

Appointment times vary from clinic to clinic and typically range from 30 minutes to 45 minutes, up to an hour. At Balanced Physical Therapy, we always say time is valuable and something to consider seriously (which is why we treat every patient for 1 hour). From the surface, patients can flat out get more done in an hour than they can in 30 minutes, allowing them to progress better and/or more quickly. Other patients recover a little slower and can’t rush through an entire treatment program like others, which is another reason more time should be allowed.

Question 5: What will I do at each appointment with my therapist?

Each patient is different and requires specific treatments more than others. Knowing what you will be doing at a physical therapy session for the first week, month, and months after is crucial.

Pain management, strength, flexibility, mobility, biomechanics, and sports-specific exercises are a few possible things to work on during an appointment. Ask this question to make sure what you are doing is safe, will contribute to better outcomes, and help you achieve your long-term goals.

Mount Clemens Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy For Work Related Injuries

Occupational Therapy

A work injury is a common fear for many people across Michigan and the United States. Autoworkers, stockers/order fillers, construction workers, retail associates, and even nurses all have repetitive tasks that make them susceptible to injuries. Looking closer, every workplace has its dangers such as hazardous chemicals, unsafe tools, and poor ergonomics. If an injury occurs at work, it can be difficult for a person to adjust from a pain-free life where a person can make a living; to recovering and returning to a routine.

Occupational therapy is a great tool available for any employee injured on the job to help alleviate the confusion about what is wrong with the body and provide rehab expertise so you can return to work without risking another injury or more damage.

Occupational Therapy

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy (OT) is an all-natural healthcare specialty focused on helping people of all ages with workplace-related injuries return to a pain-free, active life and improve how a person performs activities at work. The procedure involves diagnosing the injury type, the severity of the injury, what factors at work or throughout the body contributed to the damage, and creating a plan to return to work safely.

Specifically, occupational therapy includes therapeutic activities to improve mobility, body mechanics, coordination, stability, and employability. Patient education also provides workers with practical techniques for managing any symptoms caused by a work-related injury and putting preventive measures to ensure further damage doesn’t occur.

Common Work-Related Injuries

Cumulative Trauma Disorders (CTDs) are injuries caused by repetitive motions. CTD’s can be thought of as minor stress injuries that accumulate and worsen over time. A CTD can result from several things such as muscle imbalances, inefficient workstation setups, or just performing a task a thousand (or more) times a day for many years.

Injuries that fall under CTDs include:

  • Clinical syndromes (inflammations of the tendons such as tennis elbow)
  • Nerve compression disorder (for example, carpal tunnel syndrome)

carpal tunnel from working

Other common injuries that require Occupational Therapy include sudden injuries. These are injuries that happen quickly because of poor work safety standards or accidents such as:

  • Slips, Trips, or Falls
  • Overexertion and Muscle Strains
  • Bone Fractures and Dislocations
  • Neck Injuries (including whiplash)
  • Back Injuries ( such as herniated disc)

Why is Occupational Therapy Important?

Being injured in the workplace, either by an accident or repetitive stress, can severely limit or completely change someone’s life. Occupational therapy benefits injured workers by allowing them to regain function after an injury so they can return to work confidently and safely.

In the process, injured workers learn the specific triggers that put them at risk for re-injury, how to handle a flare-up, and ways to adjust to limitations when returning to work.

Occupational therapy can help workers return to normal after common work-related injuries. It allows them to work more confidently and strengthen/maintain their bodies for many years after discharge.

Occupational Therapy Benefits

Regain Strength and Prevent Further Injury

When a worker sprains, strains, or breaks a muscle, ligament, or bone, the body becomes weakened. Occupational therapy strengthens the injured body part and surrounding areas so that you have better protection from being hurt again in the future. In the case of a CTD, rehabilitation of a tendon or ligament can include implementing proper techniques for repetitive tasks that can cause that injury.

After a sudden injury such as a disc herniation, learning proper body mechanics for pushing, pulling, and lifting is one of the best ways to prevent future accidents. In the process, your therapist will also use natural methods to decrease pain so that you can work on more advanced exercises.

Mount Clemens Occupational Therapy

Avoid Surgery

With CTDs, if you and your doctor can catch an injury early enough, it is possible to reverse sufficient damage to avoid surgery. When a person takes advantage of the therapist’s expertise and comprehensive therapy plan, occupational therapy offers an opportunity to ease pain and regain function without going under the knife.

Eliminate Pain and Minimize Surgery Complications

After a workplace injury, occupational therapy can introduce methods for pain reduction, including splints, taping, and manual massage techniques.

After corrective surgery, occupational therapy will provide you with the best therapy treatments to return to full functionality quickly and safely. Communicating with your therapist, attending every appointment, and following a home exercise program can be critical in preventing setbacks, surgery complications, and re-injury.

Retain Independence

One of the most frightening parts of an injury from work is how it may change a life. No one wants to give up their hobbies or not have a source of income, so losing independence because of an injury is can be a scary thing. Occupational therapy offers ways to help heal your body and provides new methods for adapting the world to your body’s unique needs.

How Balanced Physical Therapy Helps With Worker’s Comp Injuries

After you’ve been hurt, you just want to feel better. We understand your concerns and fears, which is why we provide full 1-hour appointments with a licensed and certified therapist. With no double or triple bookings, we make sure injured workers are our number one priority. Our therapists are known for working with your doctors and worker’s comp case managers so that you get the care and documentation as quickly as possible.

Rest assured that when you work with Balanced Physical Therapy, your health and recovery will be cared for by most professional staff (we do not use techs or aids to provide our treatments for our patients. With flexible appointment times for early morning and late evenings, we are always ready to help anyone in Mount Clemens, St. Clair Shores, Clinton Township, Fraser, and other surrounding areas of Macomb County.

Our primary focus is getting back to living with the joy and confidence you had pre-injury. To find out more about our occupational therapy treatments, insurance coverage, or appointment availability, give us a call at (586) 741-5806.

 

 

Physical Therapy For Athletes

Benefits Of Physical Therapy For Athletes

Physical Therapy For Athletes

Physical therapy and sports medicine for athletes focus on the mechanics of your moving body. How an athlete’s body moves, what muscles and ligaments are used in each movement, and what are the strengths and weaknesses to work on in order to fully recover.

Working with a physical therapist will aid athletes in getting back on their feet (metaphorically and literally) quicker, safer, and more efficient.

Sports Injury Doctor

 

What is Physical Therapy?

Working with a Physical Therapist for athletes is like calling an auto mechanic for your car when you see a check engine light. Just like a mechanic will run the engine, listen for unusual noises, and watch the engine at work, your physical therapist will do the same after an athlete is injured.

In sports medicine, a physical therapist is a diagnostician. First, they assess the movements of your body to provide an accurate injury diagnosis, determine why the injury occurred, and consider other risk factors for future injuries. After your initial evaluation, your physical therapist will make a personalized treatment plan that includes a combination of hands-on orthopedic manual techniques, improving muscle strength, stability of the joints, optimizing mobility, and decreasing pain.

Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy

For instance, if you’ve injured your Achilles tendon, they’ll examine it by checking the range of motion, level of pain, and how strong the associated muscles are. Then, a treatment plan to get you back on your feet is drawn up, including strengthening techniques, flexibility techniques, and other things designed to bring strength and mobility back.

Physical therapy is designed to bring function back after an injury holistically. What’s more, it’s also meant to prevent sports injuries by educating about proper moving techniques before the tendon ever ruptures.

Why is Physical Therapy Important for Athletes?

Relive Pain, Restore Function, and Prevent Future Injuries are the most important goals for athletes after suffering an injury.

Pain when moving is always unpleasant, but more so for athletes. Physical therapy has techniques for immediate pain relief (such as dry needling, Kinesio taping, or cupping therapy) to make all athletes more comfortable so they can progress to more advanced exercises in order to return to competition.

In addition, a physical therapist specializing in sports medicine has methods for bringing your body back from injury to get your body back into peak performance. Assessing what went wrong in your body allows them to formulate how to fix it and give tangible methods for strengthening the injury.

After an injury, strength, and mobility can be compromised. For instance, rolling your ankle on the field means it’s tender for a long time afterward and not supporting your weight as well. Maybe it won’t support your weight to run down the field anymore, or it supports your weight but hurts so much you can’t see the ball anymore. 

Physical therapy will help build the strength in that ankle back to where it was before the injury, eliminating the pain of that injury, as well as safeguarding against future damage. 

Sometimes an injury can take a long time to heal. In the meantime, strength is lost, and it can feel insurmountable to get it back. In physical therapy, we focus on regaining that strength safely and healthily to protect against re-injury. As a result, some people even feel stronger than before the injury.

Reducing Pain and Understanding Your Body

A physical therapist has specific training to understand your body and how sports injuries can happen. In physical therapy, we focus on fixing pain and reducing and preventing it. Physical therapists can suggest correct techniques and help you determine what works best for your body to keep it strong.

Sports Medicine Doctor

Then, we’ll work one-on-one with you to show you the proper procedures so that these sensitive areas of your body are taken care of so well you won’t have to worry about them. These strengthening techniques don’t only fix what’s broken but also help keep them from breaking.

The Value of Balanced Physical Therapy

When doing physical therapy, you want to choose professionals at the top of their field. Our doctors are movement specialists who understand how your body moves during your sport and all the stresses that come with training and competing at a high level.

With Balanced Physical Therapy, you are treated as individuals with unique needs. Our athletes work one-on-one with a certified Doctor of Physical Therapist and are not passed around between assistants, techs, or aids. Each treatment is 1 hour, allowing for the safest, most professional care.

Our doctors also have experience working with male and female athletes of all levels in a vast range of sports, including:

  • Track-and field
  • Football
  • Soccer
  • Basketball
  • Swimming
  • Gymnastics
  • Wrestling
  • Performance Arts
  • ..And more

Physical Therapy Prevents and Heals Sports Injuries

There are multiple disciplines in sports medicine. Depending on age, sports, and injury type, Balanced Physical Therapy has options that are proven to get you back to competing. Contact Us Today to speak with one of our licensed and certified Doctors of Physical Therapy or to get started with an initial evaluation.

 

Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization

IASTM: Manual Therapy For Movement Restrictions, Tension, and Pain

What is IASTM in Physical Therapy?

Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) is a type of manual massage therapy used by physical therapists. Commonly known as the Graston Technique, this type of treatment can be beneficial for many people with movement restrictions, tension, and pain.

The Taylor and Francis journal defines IASTM as “a skilled intervention that includes using specialized tools to manipulate the skin, myofascia, muscles, and tendons by using various direct compressive stroke techniques.”

Tightness, tension, and pain while sitting at office

What does IASTM Do?

Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization helps break down restrictions, reduce pain, and facilitate healing by addressing musculoskeletal problems at the cellular level.

At the musculoskeletal level, a facial restriction is often a combination of scar tissue and adhesions built up over time. Ortho Bethesda does a great job explaining that “Scar tissue and adhesions essentially act like superglue in your body. When scar tissue is created after injury, new cells are laid down excessively and in a disorganized manner. Scar tissue/ adhesions prevent the muscle or other tissues from lengthening appropriately.” 

IASTM is a way for physical therapists to use controlled microtrauma to stimulate a natural inflammatory response. When your body produces an inflammatory response, it triggers a series of events that include reabsorption of excess scar tissue and fibrosis that is causing restriction.

Additionally, IASTM also triggers a vascular response resulting in increased blood flow and improved healing. There is even a neural effect throughout pain receptors along the skin responsible for managing pain.

Who can benefit from IASTM?

IASTM treatment can be beneficial for a variety of impairments and conditions. It can be beneficial for many people undergoing orthopedic surgery, people that sit for long hours in an office, and athletes after intense training or injuries. Your physical therapist may provide you this manual therapy for impairments such as:

  • Limited mobility
  • Pain with motion
  • Loss of range of motion
  • Decreased muscle recruitments
  • Excessive scar tissue formation 

More specific conditions that benefit from the application of IASTM include:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Neck Pain
  • IT Band Syndrome
  • Heel Pain/ Achilles Tendinitis
  • Ankle Sprains and Strains
  • Back Pain
  • Shin Splints
  • Post Surgical Hip and Knee Replacements
  • Musculoskeletal Imbalances
  • Rotator Cuff Tendinitis
  • Myofascial Pain and Restrictions

Physical Therapy for Neck Pain

For certain conditions, instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization may not be recommended. These can include having:

  • Unhealed Fracture
  • Hematoma
  • Hemophilia
  • Uncontrolled Hypertension
  • Open Wound
  • Patient Hypersensitivity 

What to expect during and after an IASTM Treatment

IASTM treatments during physical therapy sessions are often paired with a warm-up such as heat, stationary bike, elliptical machine, or light jogging to make the tissue more pliable. After a warm-up, your therapist can begin working with stainless steel, plastic, or titanium instruments that contour to your body in order to find the specific tissue and muscles that are restricted.

Tools used by Physical Therapist for IASTM

Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization starts with gentle pressure and steadily increases in order to effectively treat the areas causing pain and movement restrictions. At Balanced Physical Therapy, we encourage open communication and let our therapists know when the pressure becomes too uncomfortable to tolerate.

After the IASTM treatment, most patients follow up with more exercise to help restore better movement patterns. Some soreness after treatments is considered normal; patients should not panic because it does go away and gets less severe with multiple treatments. If you are attending physical therapy anywhere from 2-3 times per week, a noticeable result can be felt by the 3rd or 4th appointment (sometimes even on the first treatment). When IASTM is combined with exercise, stretching, and a focused effort on home exercises, patients can progress reasonably quickly through their recovery.

If you would like to learn more about IASTM or are experiencing pain, tension and movement restrictions give us a call to speak with a therapist. Our team is always ready to help you make the best decision with regard to your overall health and wellness.

6011fe216c8502439dc2949f knee pain

Improve Post-Op Recovery with Prehabilitation

What is Prehabilitation?

Prehabilitation, or “Pre-hab”, is a proactive measure for patients scheduled for orthopedic surgeries. A surgeon or primary care physician will often prescribe patients “prehab” to help prepare them for physical and lifestyle changes associated with surgeries.

Studies show that patients who move better, feel better, and feel stronger tend to do better. This article can be useful for patients considering or expecting orthopedic surgery. You can also find some specific tips at the end of each section about some common spine, knee, shoulder, and foot surgeries.

 

What are the benefits of prehabilitation?

‍Patients who attend physical therapy before surgery can improve physiological, mental, nutritional, and lifestyle health. Orthopedic surgery can be thought of as a marathon, meaning the preparation put before actually running the race will ultimately help your overall performance during and after it.

Physical Therapy Before Surgery

Tip #1: Timing, Type, Setting, and Costs

When considering a prehab program prior to surgery, important things to consider are timing, type, setting, and costs.  

The U.S Department of Health and Human Services published a study related to patient outcomes of major joint replacement surgeries (Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA) and Total Hip Arthroplasty (THA). The evidence showed that when your rehabilitation occurs (timing), what the training consists of (type), where your rehab occurs (setting), and out-of-pocket or insurance costs are the most important things to consider for patients, surgeons, and therapists.

Physiological benefits of prehabilitation

If your surgeon has prescribed physical therapy prior to surgery, you can improve the function, strength, and conditioning of your body many weeks ahead.  A physical therapist can evaluate you and come up with a treatment plan that includes aerobic exercise, strengthening, and stretching, and pain management.

Improve Recovery After Knee Replacement

Studies show aerobic exercises such as low-impact cycling or walking as an effective nonpharmacological option for patients undergoing total joint replacements. Patients can often expect a decrease in pain symptoms, joint tenderness, and better overall function for daily activities.

Tip #2: Getting Prehab

The best way to get started with prehab is to work individually with a physical therapist.

If you are dealing with insurance issues and the number of appointments available, we recommend talking with your doctor, surgeon, or local physical therapy clinic. They may be able to direct you to some free prehab education classes or come up with a treatment plan that can be done at home.

Mental benefits of prehabilitation

‍Mental health is one of the most important and often overlooked aspects of orthopedic surgery. It is natural for patients to feel stressed and anxious before surgery. Attending physical therapy can be extremely useful to help get you prepared mentally and feel confident.

Tip #3: Make use of downtime

It is common for patients to wait multiple weeks before entering the operating room, this time can be used to get acquainted with your physical therapy clinic, your therapist, and surgical procedure. Learning how to modify daily activities, transferring positions, and using crutches or walkers can help reduce your hospital stay and home care costs.

Nutritional support from prehabilitation

Nutrition plays an important role when recovering from orthopedic surgery. Physical Therapists can assist you with fine-tuning your diet to improve blood circulation, manage glucose uptake and insulin resistance while reducing oxidative damage to blood vessels.

Daily Nutrition For Orthopedic Surgery

Tip #4: Avoid high-fat meals

Adults expecting an orthopedic surgery of any kind diets should limit fat intake to less than 35% of their daily calory intake. A high-fat meal close to surgery can increase the risk of blood clots and inflammation at the surgical site.

 

Lifestyle support from prehabilitation

Physical therapy can help patients adjust to various lifestyle changes associated with surgery recovery. Helping you prevent fall-related injuries, work from home tasks, and things like sleeping or showering.

Tip #5: Home Preparation For Knee and Hip Surgery

Move things you use frequently above waist level, prepare food ahead of time, and make sure your bed, armchair, car, and toilet seat are at safe levels before you leaving the hospital.

Question about Prehabilitation?

Balanced Physical Therapy is dedicated to providing everyone an equal opportunity for a full recovery. Contact us with any questions you have about insurance, treatments, and the rehabilitation process.

Sciatica Symptom

Sciatica: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments To Know

A simple guide to a common problem. We cover the sciatic nerve anatomy, elated pain, and physical therapy treatments proven to relieve sciatica.

Sciatica is a term used to describe pain along the sciatic nerve. The Sciatic nerve is made up of five nerve roots; two at the lumbar spine (lower back) and three at the sacrum (lowermost part of the spine). These nerve groups combine to make up the left and right sciatic nerve.

What does Sciatica feel like?

‍Pain is normally one of the first symptoms a person suffering from sciatica experiences. This pain can either be constant or intermittent down one leg( although both legs can experience this pain). The most common symptom of sciatica is a sharp, burning feeling. Other sciatica symptoms include:
  • Electric shock-like, shooting pain
  • Numbness and tingling feeling at the back of the leg
  • Throbbing or pulsating pain
  • Dull aching feeling
  • Discomfort that comes or goes
  • Weakness at the lower back, leg, or foot

What causes Sciatica?

‍Some of the most common reasons for the onset of sciatica include:
  • Herniated or Slipped Disk that puts pressure onto the nerve roots. The Cleveland Clinic (https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/12792-sciatica) estimates that about 1% to 5% of people will experience a slipped disk at some point in their lives. When too much pressure is applied to the vertebrae of the spine, it can “push” out a disk causing it to bulge( herniate). A herniated disk along the lower portion of the spine can put pressure on the sciatic nerve.
  • Degeneration (https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/sciatica/sciatica-causes) of the tissues along the lumbar spine, facet joints, and the actual vertebral bone can all cause pressure to the sciatic nerve through compression and inflammation.
  • Spinal Stenosis is the actual narrowing of the spinal canal (the passageway where your sciatic nerve runs through). Spinal Stenosis is most common for people over the age of 60, resulting in pinching of the sciatic nerve.
  • Spondylolisthesis occurs when one vertebra slips out of line with the vertebrae above it. A good example of this is when the L5 vertebra slips forward over the S1 vertebra, causing sciatic nerve compression. Spondylolisthesis is most common with young adults and can result in pain along the right and left sciatic nerves.
  • Osteoarthritis and the bone spurs (jagged edges of bone) that develop with age can also compress the sciatic nerve.

What are the treatment options for sciatica?

‍Most often, patients experiencing acute or chronic sciatica will receive nonsurgical treatments by their primary care physician or spine doctor. Nonsurgical treatments for sciatica often include rest, physical therapy, medications, or therapeutic injections. Physical Therapy can be one of the most beneficial treatments for sciatic pain. Combining pain management techniques with flexibility and strengthening exercises can be a long term solution for patients to:
  • Restore pain-free functional movements
  • Relieve lower back, buttock, thigh, and leg pain
  • Reduce muscle spasms
  • Improve lower body mobility
  • Promote a better soft tissue healing environment for the lower back
  • Prevent future flare-ups
  • Restore function of the lumbar spine and sacroiliac joint

What should I expect when going to physical therapy for Sciatica?

‍If you have received a referral for physical therapy to treat your sciatica, the first step would be to undergo an initial evaluation with a licensed Doctor of Physical Therapy. This first appointment serves to provide your therapist with a baseline knowledge of your current condition. Your physical therapist will use this time to learn about your specific sciatic symptoms, past medical history, lab tests (MRI or X-rays), lifestyle habits, and short/long-term goals. Your therapist will also test specific functional movements such as range of motion, flexibility, posture, and reflexes. From there your therapist will craft a therapeutic program designed to reach your goals based on the results found from the initial evaluation. A typical sciatica treatment program will consist of passive and active techniques. Depending on the severity of symptoms, your physical therapist will progress these techniques as required. Passive techniques for sciatic nerve pain serve to help patients with promoting blood flow, reduce muscle spasms, and decrease pain. The passive portion of a sciatica treatment program can consist of modalities such as:
  • Hot/Cold packs
  • Traction
  • Manual Therapy
  • Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation (TENS unit)
  • Neuromuscular Electric Muscle Stimulation.
Active techniques for sciatica serve to improve leg mobility and range of motion, strengthen core muscles, stretch tight muscles such as the hamstrings, and encourage the flow of nutrients and fluids throughout the body. Active physical therapy techniques may include:
  • McKenzie Method
  • Abdominal and Back Exercises
  • Abdominal and Back Stabilization
  • Hip Mobilization
  • Functional stretching of the hamstrings, quadriceps, and deep lower back muscles
It is best to seek treatment for sciatica as early as possible. Pain symptoms often progress and flare-ups become more common as you age. To make an appointment with one of our physical therapists call (586) 741-5806 and one of our friendly staff will assist you with the process.