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Summer Solstice
Summer Solstice is here which means… IT IS THE FIRST DAY OF SUMMER! Solstices happen twice a year, in June and December. The summer solstice happens June 21, when the SUN is directly overhead the Tropic of Cancer. Astronomers and scientists use the date of the summer solstice to mark the beginning of summer! Western Berks Physical Therapy would like to welcome you to summer!

Spreading healing, love, peace

and compassion

on this Summer Solstice!

   
Tai Chi for Fibromyalgia Relief
Tai chi is proving to be an effective option in the management of pain for individuals with fibromyalgia. In a randomized controlled trial, researchers studied 226 adults with fibromyalgia over a one year period. The participants of the trial were placed into 2 different groups to study the effectiveness of aerobic exercise and tai chi for relieving Fibromyalgia symptoms. The most effective trial group at relieving pain associated with Fibromyalgia was the twice-weekly, tai chi group. Compared with the aerobic exercise group, the tai chi group reported the most significant improvement. The tai chi group reported better scores than the aerobic group on depression, coping, and anxiety. Researchers believe the mind-body approach of tai chi contributes to its effectiveness and suggest it may be useful in reducing opioid use. “By improving psychological wellbeing, coping, and self-efficacy, tai chi mind-body exercise may help to bolster confidence of patients with fibromyalgia to engage in behaviors that help them manage their symptoms and to persist in those behaviors," researchers write. "Tai chi might also help buffer the negative impact of fibromyalgia on the patients' physical and psychosocial wellbeing." However that’s not to say that aerobic exercise is not effective at providing pain relief and health benefits as well. All groups, tai chi and aerobic exercise, reported decreased use of drugs including analgesics, antidepressants, and muscle relaxers. Try out a Tai Chi class today and get your mind and body aligned! With the help of a dedicated Physical Therapist, you can develop a customized treatment and exercise plan which includes Tai Chi classes to provide effective pain relief for whatever is troubling you. To find a Physical Therapist near you check out this link!   http://aptaapps.apta.org/findapt/default.aspx?navID=10737422525&UniqueKey    
ASK A PT

Why does my neck hurt when  I turn my head to back up my car?

That pain you feel when turning your head while backing up your car is probably due to tightness in the muscles of your neck and upper back, often the result of years of poor posture. To improve your posture, keep your neck in a “neutral” position, with your chin more tucked in than pushed forward. When you walk, stand, or sit, pretend that a string is pulling you from the top of your head, elongating your neck and spine. While driving, adjust the seat so that you are neither too far nor too close to the steering wheel and pedals. In addition, the Doctors of Physical Therapy at Western Berks Physical  Therapy can provide you with exercises to do at home to help reduce your pain!  
The Opioid Crisis Continues

  In March, President Trump signed a 2018 budget bill that includes more than $3 billion for opioid efforts. The plan allocates $500 million in grant funding for research on opioid addiction, development of opioid alternatives, pain management, and addiction treatment; $20 million for telemedicine and distance learning in rural areas to help address opioids; and $1 billion among states and American Indian tribes.   This is just one recent development related to the nation's opioid crisis. Our friends at MoveForwardPT put together a summary of other opioid-related news that is just too important to overlook. Each bold headline is a clickable link that will take you right to the source for more information on the topic!   Opioid Painkiller Is Top Prescription in 10 States  Hydrocodone/acetaminophen (brand name Norco or Vicodin) is 1 of the most commonly filled prescriptions in the United States, according to an analysis by GoodRx, an online prescription cost service.   Americans Take More Pain Pills—but not Because They're in More Pain  Despite levels of chronic pain similar to Italy and France, researchers say Americans consume 6 to 8 times as many opioid painkillers per capita.   The Opioid Crisis Is Surging In Black, Urban Communities  Because African Americans have "historically been less likely" to be prescribed pain medication, it probably protected them from the initial wave of opioid addiction that hit white suburban and rural areas, says a DC physician who treats patients with opioid use disorder. But with the introduction of fentanyl, opioid overdose deaths among black individuals in urban counties are increasing at a faster rate than in suburban and rural areas.   ER Visits for Opioid Overdose Up 30%, CDC Study Finds  Increases were highest in the Midwest and lowest in the Southeast. The largest state-level increases were in Wisconsin, Delaware, and Pennsylvania, while Kentucky saw a slight decrease.   No one should live in pain and no one should put their health at risk in an effort to be pain free. Physical Therapy is a wonderful alternative to opioids in order to manage pain effectively. Choose physical therapy to manage your pain without the risks and side effects of opioids.   Source: http://www.apta.org/PTinMotion/News/2018/03/28/OpioidRoundupMarch2018/
Physical Therapist’s Guide to Concussions

A traumatic brain injury causing lasting effects

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that can cause lasting effects on brain tissue and change the chemical balance of the brain. Concussions may cause physical, cognitive, and behavioral symptoms and problems, both short-term and long-term. Every concussion is considered a serious injury by health care providers. If you have experienced a head injury, seek medical help immediately. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 1.6 million to 3.8 million people experience concussions during sports and recreational activities annually in the United States. These numbers may be underestimated, as many cases are likely never reported. There is a common misconception that a concussion must be accompanied by a “black out”, but less than 10% of concussions involve a loss of consciousness.  A physical therapist can assess symptoms to determine if a concussion is present, and treat the injury by guiding the patient through a safe and individualized recovery program. Symptoms of a concussion can be both complex and subtle, with some symptoms appearing immediately while others, days or even weeks later. Read on to see the symptoms you should watch for in anyone who has suffered a blow to the head.   Western Berks Physical Therapy has expanded its professional and expert service in patient care with a growing concern for those who have suffered from a concussion. Because every concussion is different, neurological, orthopedic, and cardiovascular systems will be examined in order to best prescribe a routine to address your particular symptoms and needs in all of your daily activities. Call immediately if you have concussion symptoms!  
ASK A PT

Why does my neck hurt when I wake up in the morning?

If you experience an achy neck upon waking in the morning, your pillow habits could be to blame. You may be using pillows to “overstuff” the space between your neck and the mattress or be sleeping on an older, flattened pillow. Fluffy feather pillows are usually better than foam for providing proper support. Replace them as necessary, every year or so. Your neck pain could also be radiating from your temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Western Berks Physical Therapy can design a program that includes modalities for pain management, and manual techniques for stretching and strengthening to    normalize joint movement. With good self-care and physical therapy, relief can be achieved, which leads to a more comfortable, pain-free lifestyle.      
Preventing ticks on your dog
Western Berks Physical Therapy has expanded its professional and expert service in patient care with a growing concern for those who suffer with Lyme Disease. Just like humans, dogs are very susceptible to tick bites and tickborne diseases. Vaccines are not available for all the tickborne diseases that dogs can get, and they don’t keep the dogs from bringing ticks into your home. For these reasons, it’s important to use a tick preventive product on your dog. Tick bites on dogs may be hard to detect. Signs of tickborne disease may not appear for 7-21 days or longer after a tick bite, so watch your dog closely for changes in behavior or appetite if you suspect that your pet has been bitten by a tick. To reduce the chances that a tick will transmit disease to you or your pets: Check your pets for ticks daily, especially after they spend time outdoors. If you find a tick on your dog, remove it right away. Ask your veterinarian to conduct a tick check at each exam. Talk to your veterinarian about tickborne diseases in your area. Reduce tick habitat in your yard. Talk with your veterinarian about using tick preventives on your pet.

  If you suffer from Lyme disease, The staff at Western Berks Physical Therapy can teach you personalized and gentle exercises to relieve symptoms and reach increased activity levels. In addition, a customized diet plan from our Nutrition and Wellness consultant can be coordinated that may aid Lyme patients by steering them toward energy-boosting meals and snacks. Our team effort is a vital part of the recovery process to return each and every patient back to an active, pain-free lifestyle. All treatments are customized to each individual to ensure optimal treatment results as no two patients are identical. Working with your physical therapist to set obtainable goals will boost your confidence and drive. Call Western Berks Physical Therapy today to schedule an evaluation. We will set up a treatment plan to manage and relieve your Lyme Disease symptoms.
Post Partum Exercise

Creating an Exercise Routine After Birth

Starting a new workout routine is challenging enough on its own, let alone after giving birth. Between feedings, changing diapers and coping with changes to your body after pregnancy, you may be feeling overwhelmed about starting to exercise again. At Western Berks Physical Therapy our therapists, Dr. Deborah McKim, PT, DPT, MTC and Dr. Jennifer Estes, PT, DPT can develop an exercise program to get you excited about exercising again. Along with a safe, manageable routine they can help ease any post-partum discomfort with our Pelvic Floor Therapy. Find out more about Pelvic Floor Therapy and all our other services on our website at www.WesternBerksPT.com.  
Lyme Disease: What you Need to Know

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month

Western Berks Physical Therapy has expanded its professional and expert service in patient care with a growing concern for those who suffer with Lyme Disease. Lyme Disease is an inflammatory infection caused by the bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted through tick bites. In the eastern United States, Lyme is spread by the deer tick, known as the black-legged tick (lxodes scapularis.) Lyme Disease can interfere with daily activities due to the fatigue and lethargy that can occur from the disease. Symptoms of Lyme Disease are not necessarily the same for every infected individual, however the most common early signs of the disease include flu-like symptoms and a rash. Late-stage Lyme Disease symptoms can occur weeks, months, or even years after the initial exposure. These symptoms can include: Constant fatigue Muscle pain Joint pain or swelling Tingling/numbness or burning sensations Headaches with neck and back stiffness Poor balance The staff at Western Berks Physical Therapy can teach you personalized and gentle exercises to relieve symptoms and reach increased activity levels. In addition, a customized diet plan from our Nutrition and Wellness consultant can be coordinated that may aid Lyme patients by steering them toward energy-boosting meals and snacks. Our team effort is a vital part of the recovery process to return each and every patient back to an active, pain-free lifestyle. All treatments are customized to each individual to ensure optimal treatment results as no two patients are identical. Working with your physical therapist to set obtainable goals will boost your confidence and drive. Call Western Berks Physical Therapy today to schedule an evaluation. We will set up a treatment plan to manage and relieve your Lyme Disease symptoms.
Questions to Ask Your Physical Therapist

9 Questions to Ask to Find the Right Physical Therapy Provider for You

We have created a quick question checklist below to ensure you are making the right choice when searching for the right physical therapy provider! Is the physical therapy provider conveniently located? Most treatment plans call for 2-3 visits per week depending on your plan of care. Make sure that the office you select is convenient for you to visit multiple times per week. Do they have appointment hours that fit around my schedule? You have a busy life outside of therapy, so make sure that the appointment hours the clinic has works around your schedule. Many clinics, usually private practice facilities, offer evening hours. Does the provider accept my insurance? Therapy can be costly without insurance so make sure that the clinic accepts your insurance or offers a self-pay option. What if I am in intense pain, is the provider Direct Access licensed so that they can see me right away without a prescription? Do they offer free consultations to see if therapy is the right choice for me? What are the provider’s therapy techniques? We suggest finding a provider who is highly skilled in manual therapy and that uses manual techniques aimed at relaxing tense muscles and restricted joints in order to decrease pain and increase flexibility. Does the physical therapist specialize in the type of treatment I need? How many patients does each physical therapist see at each time? Some physical therapists will treat one on one while others may treat two or three patients at one time. Individualized attention is important to effective physical therapy so be sure to inquire about this. Will I see the same physical therapist for each appointment, or will I be assigned a different therapist each time? Scheduling with the same physical therapist for each appointment can help you develop a good relationship that may help your therapy outcome. On the other hand, scheduling your appointments with the first available therapist may be helpful to accommodate your busy schedule. Make the most out of your physical therapy treatment and receive the best possible care by doing your homework on which provider is right for you! If you are new to physical therapy, these easy, quick questions will make sure that you are in the right hands!