During the Covid-19 crisis, schedule a virtual Telehealth visit with one of our experienced therapists

Top 4 Benefits of Post-Operative Physical Therapy

After any surgery, bones, muscles, and soft tissue undergo a healing process. Full recovery following an operation is going to require some physical therapy. There are many benefits of post-operative physical therapy. PT speeds recovery and helps you return to normal functioning. Proper stretching and exercises to strengthen and improve balance, control, and mobility will help. Without proper treatment, the body may not heal correctly.

Reduced Pain

Post-operative PT will start with controlling pain and swelling from surgery. Rather than masking the pain with medication, a physical therapist curbs pain at its source. Some methods your therapist might use include stretches, heat and ice packs, massage, cold laser, ultrasound and electrotherapy. Reducing discomfort makes it easier to do the mobility and strengthening exercises you need to make a full recovery.

Improved Mobility

When surgery restricts your range of movement, physical therapy can speed recovery. An individualized set of stretches and exercises will meet your specific situation. Your therapist can then adapt the plan as healing progresses. Plus, PTs have expertise in assistive devices like crutches and braces that keep you safe while your body heals.  Keep reading about more benefits of post-operative physical therapy.

Strengthened Muscles

Muscles are vital components of balance and mobility. Building strength in the core and back is foundational to getting back to top shape. Targeted exercises boost the performance of muscles surrounding the surgery site. The goal of strengthening exercises is to improve functionality and increase endurance. 

Enhanced Stability

Balance is an essential part of staying safe after surgery. Balance exercises from seated and standing positions boost flexibility. Strengthening the core, back, and pelvis improves balance as well. Often post-operative physical therapy includes programs like pilates, which increases the body’s core stability. 

Get The Most Benefits of Post- Operative Physical Therapy

Post-operative physical therapy guides your return to normal functioning. Pain reduction techniques elevate the need for opioids, and exercises improve balance, muscles, and movement. 

We want to help you get your body back in shape after surgery. Call us at 201-833-1333 to schedule an appointment. 

Healthy at Home: Staying Active to Reduce Stress

With COVID cases on the rise, more people are hunkering down. Part of staying healthy at home includes maintaining the wellbeing of the body and mind to reduce stress. Bad habits while working from home can increase stress and lead to all sorts of problems—anxiety, body aches, weight gain. Keeping active and sticking to a schedule promotes physical and mental health during self-isolation. Here are a few ways to reduce stress with healthy activities.

Make Daily Schedule

When you’re home all day, it’s easy to fall into bad habits. Sure, streaming Netflix or playing Candy Crush can help you wind down. But, during lockdown and/or restrictions on out of home activties, screen time can quickly overwhelm your life. One solution is to schedule a daily routine of meals, activities, exercise, and sleep/wake times. Sticking to your plan will help you stay active and healthy at home. 

Exercise

One thing to include in your daily routine is exercise. Any form of exercise is enough to boost endorphins and reduce stress. There are plenty of ways to stay active at home with little or no additional equipment. Choose one you enjoy, or try something new each day, such as:

  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Jumping rope
  • Climbing stairs
  • Dancing
  • Yoga
  • Tai chi
  • Weightlifting
  • Gardening

Home-cooked Meals

Include meal preparation as part of your daily routine. We know it’s tempting to order DoorDash every day of quarantine. However, cooking at home is healthier and cheaper. Not to mention, creative activities like cooking and baking positively impact mental wellness. Online cooking classes are a great way to stay active and creative at home. So, grab some curbside groceries and get cooking. 

Meditation

In addition to staying active, include time in your schedule to wind down. There are plenty of meditation apps and guided relaxation videos out there. But, some of you are thinking, “meditation isn’t for me.” Meditation doesn’t have to mean sitting in lotus position saying, “ohm.” You could listen to peaceful music, spend time in prayer, walk around the block. The point is carving out quiet time to calm your mind.

A balance of exercise, healthy meals and relaxation go a long way toward maintaining physical and mental wellness. Sometimes keeping your body healthy requires physical therapy. Enjoy individualized treatment in the comfort of your home. Schedule a telehealth appointment online today.

Keep Your Human Connections

During these times we are all facing, pick up the phone and talk to people you care about. It can make a big difference in their day, as well as yours.

COR’s Essential Personnel Program

Hello Everyone!
 
Our office re-opened after being closed for approximately two months and during that time we have been developing a performance program to give back to all our essential workers.  Through this program, our team wants to help people who have been dealing with nagging pains that have not been resolved and be relieved with appropriate physical therapy services.  If you have any questions about this promotion, please feel free to reach out to us.
 
Kind regards,
The Churchill Rehab Team

Churchill’s New Standard of Care!

Hello Churchill Family!

We want to be sure you feel safe for your physical therapy visits as our community starts moving again. Some of the steps we are taking include frequent washing of tables/equipment/handles, utilization of masks by everyone in the building, adhering to social distancing guidelines, and having our room sanitized daily.  If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to us.  We have returned to the office and seeing limited in-office visits at this time. We are here to help with all your orthopedic concerns!

Here is a round-up of recent content, enjoy!

Office Virtual Tour…We have implemented new changes in our clinic to keep our team and patients safe…https://www.instagram.com/p/CAbCj1unilr/?igshid=tr5fui50sjsb

Office Setup and Safety Protocol…Check out our new office design and use of personal protective equipment (PPE)…https://www.instagram.com/p/CAgBxYNssUa/?igshid=pw4hmkxlwcod

Quarantine Upper Body Edition…Here is a short demonstration of several exercises that you can do at home to stay active and strong!…https://www.instagram.com/p/CALAe-FnL-l/?igshid=n17giv1kkako

Kind Regards,

The Churchill Orthopedic Rehab Team

Churchill Reopening May 20, 2020

To Our Churchill Family,

We hope you and your families are well and safe during these very trying times.  Above all else, these are the things that are most important.

We wanted to take a moment and thank all of you who have helped us with our telehealth program.  Your willingness to allow us continue your care in a new format for everyone just reinforces how wonderful our patients are and how much you trust us.  We’ve always known how special our patients are and we truly value and appreciate each of you.

Now that the state is beginning to reopen, we wanted to let you know that we are in the process of reopening the practice and what we are doing to keep everyone safe.  We are going to open on a “limited” basis in the beginning.  We will have a staggered schedule to ensure no more than 2 therapists and 2 patients in the facility at a time.  We have rearranged the equipment to ensure proper social distancing and we have secured masks, face shields and gloves to ensure the risk of exposure is minimized for patients and staff alike.  The office is being professionally disinfected and it will continue to be done on a regular basis as well as our own between patient sanitizing procedures.   We have also purchased a new air filtration system which filters 99.97% of contaminants to the size of 0.3 microns.  This is smaller than the virus particles and is a significant added measure of safety.

We are looking to reopen on Wednesday, May 20.  You can call the office at 201-833-1333 or talk to your therapist directly to set up you schedule.  We can’t wait to see you all again!!

Yours in good health,

The Churchill Rehab Family

Important Notification Regarding COVID-19

To our patients, both current and future,

In an abundance of caution and concern for your health and well being, as well as that of our team, we are closing our office effective 3/18/20 until further notice. During this time, please check our website, Facebook, and  Instagram for important updates. If, however, you are in significant pain, we will make arrangements to see you in the office to try to remedy your pain. You may also schedule a “Telehealth” visit with one of our experienced therapists. “Telehealth” visits can be scheduled on our website. Please call or email us at provider.churchillorthopt@gmail.com if you have questions or health concerns.

Thank you and stay safe.
The Churchill Orthopedic Rehab team.

Ways to Reduce Swelling

Ways to Reduce Swelling

In our last blog, Dr. Breitinger defined what makes up the components of inflammation. In our next segment, we will briefly discuss ways to control and reduce joint inflammation whether acute (new injury) or chronic (lasting more than one month).

First, and most importantly, you need to identify the reason for a swollen joint.

  • Did you sustain an injury?
  • Was a new activity performed?
  • Did you perform TOO MUCH of that new activity?

Sometimes it can be the cumulative stress of a regular activity that pushes your joint behind its normal capacity. Often times, the new or repetitive stress lowers a joints normal tolerance, and then your daily activity keeps the joint irritated.

Classically, we have been conditioned to use the mantra, RICE, for inflammation control:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation

Complete REST, which some may take literally, is not the best method. First you need to stop or reduce the activity that is causing the overstressing. Mobility WOD founder and Physical Therapist Kelly Starrett uses the phrase to “Decongest the joint”.  He emphasizes light, or non-stressful activity as a way for your muscles to pump the fluid out of the joint. If you are just lying on your couch, the fluid in that joint has the potential to remain.

For decades, ICE has been the preferred method for reducing inflammation. I completely agree with this statement, especially if you sustain a new injury, which causes immediate swelling and/or bruising. However, after 48 hours of that cycle starting, the arguments can me made to use either ice or heat.  There continues to be a discrepancy on which method is better, with the research still lacking on which is superior, despite the aforementioned conventional wisdom that ice is better.  Because ice and heat can both work as pain control methods, I always defer to my patients which method they prefer.  In my eyes, it’s better to use what typically works for them, instead of getting resistance for something they dislike.

Disclaimer: Superficial heat or ice treatments can irritate the skin if too hot or cold, and left on for prolonged periods of time. Please check skin integrity regularly and avoid over treating (For ice, greater than 20 min).

COMPRESSION, in the form of wraps, neoprene bracing, or ACE bandages are excellent ways to control swelling from worsening, especially after an initial injury. They act as subtle barriers to restrict increasing joint volume. They also keep the area warm and stimulate skin receptors, which can be soothing for some.

Disclaimer: Compression should not be tight enough to cut off circulation or leave marks on the skin.

ELEVATION, can also aid in swelling reduction by limiting blood from pooling in the joint, especially in the lower leg (if indicted). Keeping the involved limb above the heart has shown beneficial results, especially with acute swelling.

Medication: While it is not within a physical therapist scope of practice to recommend specific types of medications, over the counter NSAIDS (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories) can have a big impact on swelling and pain complaints associated with a joint injury, should it not cause significant side effects.

 Disclaimer: NSAIDS should not be used more than 4-5x/week or over two-week period. If so, they should see a physician for further consultation, if they haven’t already done so.

Lastly, swelling can persist for other non-injurious reason including;

  • Decreased sleep
  • Increased life stress
  • Poor nutrition

A physical therapy consultation can further meet your individual needs and help get to the root cause of your issue.

Schedule an appointment today!

Gabriel Scher, DPT, SCS

But what is inflammation?

You may hear your Physical Therapist, Medical Doctor, or the general public talking about inflammation in the body…but what is inflammation?

Straight from Merriam-Webster, “inflammation is a local response to cellular injury that is marked by capillary dilatation, leukocytic infiltration, redness, heat, and pain that serves as a mechanism initiating the elimination of noxious agents and of damaged tissue”.

More simply put, inflammation is your body’s way of trying to protect and then start healing itself. Inflammation needs to occur in order for infections to clear and for wounds to heal, however, if inflammation lasts too long then it can actually cause harm to the body.

It is important to distinguish between acute and chronic inflammation.

Acute inflammation increases in severity quickly and normally only last for a few days. Examples could be immediately after twisting an ankle or cutting your finger, appendicitis or a sore throat. Medical News Today describes the symptoms of acute inflammation of the skin following the acronym “PRISH”:

Pain = the inflamed area is likely to be painful to the touch because chemicals that stimulate nerve endings are released and this increases the sensitivity in that area

Redness = the inflamed area is likely to be red because the capillaries in the area are filled with more blood than normal; capillaries need to enlarge so that fluids/proteins can move between the blood and cells more easily

Immobility = the inflamed area may become less functional/mobile

Swelling = the inflamed area may become built up with fluid

Heat = the inflamed area may become warm to the touch because more blood flows to the area

Chronic or long-term inflammation can persist for months to years. Different cells are involved…instead of healing the body, these cells release toxins that cause additional harm to the surrounding tissues and other structures.

Chronic inflammation can present as fatigue, mouth sores, chest pain, abdominal pain, fever, rash, and joint pain. Some examples would be Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and asthma. Medical News Today states that chronic inflammation can result from the following:

  • Failure to eliminate the cause of acute inflammation
  • Autoimmune disorders attack normal healthy tissue, mistaking it for a pathogen (bacteria, virus, or other microorganisms)
  • Exposure to a particular irritant over a long period of time (ex: industrial chemical)

A very important thing to note is that if inflammation is not treated appropriately, it can potentially cause additional problems such as atherosclerosis (plaque build-up inside arteries), some cancers, hay fever, and more.

In many circumstances, Physical Therapy can help to control acute inflammation and to work towards eliminating chronic inflammation. A physical therapist can aid in managing pain caused by inflammation while also taking a look at the bigger picture – what is causing this inflammation and what else has been affected because of this inflammation? Treatment plans can vary greatly and must be customized to each individual, however, potential treatment could include therapeutic exercises, manual therapies and/or use of modalities, such as laser therapy. Overall, the major goals of these interventions are to reduce swelling/pain, increase strength/range of motion, and encourage proper function. If you are suffering from inflammation, Physical Therapy can play an important role in getting you back to being you.

Call to schedule an appointment today in order to determine the best course of treatment based on your specific needs.

References:

Nordqvist, C. (2017, November 24). “Everything you need to know about inflammation.” Medical News Today. Retrieved from
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/248423.php.