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9 Questions to Ask to Find the Right Physical Therapy Provider for YouWe 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!
Pain Free Pregnancy and a Smooth BirthAs your physical body changes and accommodates to the needs of your growing baby, you may experience pain or discomfort. Physical therapy can be invaluable for remedying common discomforts like back pain, strengthening your pelvic floor and enhancing your body’s ability to have a smoother pregnancy, birth and recovery. A proactive strength, flexibility and stabilization program can be beneficial in preventing or decreasing the intensity of painful symptoms, making your pregnancy experience a more positive one. Providing a customized therapy plan for your entire pregnancy & post partum experience,Western Berks Physical Therapy offers the highest level of evaluation and treatment techniques. Reduce discomfort and make your pregnancy the best it can be with the help of our skilled therapists, Dr. Deborah McKim, PT, DPT, MTC and Dr. Jennifer Estes, PT, DPT. Experience our expertise in the examination and treatment of the following diagnoses: Urinary and fecal incontinence Constipation Enuresis Encopresis Sexual dysfunction Chronic pelvic pain Vulvodynia Vaginismus Anismus Levator ani syndrome Vulvar Vestibulitis Interstitial cystitis S/P pelvic floor reconstructions Pubic symphysis separation Dyspareunia Endometriosis
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A Physical Therapist’s Guide to GardeningAfter a long winter many of us can’t wait to get into the garden! However, if you’ve spent the winter hibernating indoors with limited physical activity, you may be at risk for injury as you head outside to tackle your spring “to-do” list. If you engage in physical activity without preparation for all the bending, twisting, reaching, and pulling that comes with yard work, you may potentially find yourself dealing with muscle aches; back, shoulder and knee strains; back disc bulge or herniation; or shoulder, elbow and knee pain. Here are a few tips to avoid the pain: Call Western Berks Physical Therapy and schedule an evaluation to develop an exercise plan to help prepare you for yard and garden work. Start slow and stick to your exercise plan. Warm up by walking and stretching. Use tools to reduce risk and strain on your body while doing yard work. Drink water and stay hydrated. Take breaks to allow yourself rest even if you don’t feel tired or strained. Stop at the first sign of pain. Any persistent pain lasting more than 48 hours should be addressed by a physical therapist or other medical professional. It is more effective to treat new and recent injuries rather than those lingering for a few months. Our Physical Therapists have many techniques to help teach you ways to modify activities with the goal of allowing you to continue enjoying all your favorite spring time activities while reducing your risk of pain. Call now for a free consultation!
The Questions You’ve Always Wanted to Ask About Pain During PregnancyFrom discomfort, pain, and even urinary incontinence, we’d like to answer a few questions we know you’ve been wanting to ask about Physical Therapy during pregnancy. Is pain during pregnancy normal? For many, the general response to pain during pregnancy is, "It's just because you're pregnant. It will go away after you give birth." However, that's not what research shows. Research has shown that for 80% of women, if pain or urinary incontinence hasn't resolved itself 3 months postpartum, it's not going to. A study published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found, for example, that among women who reported having urinary incontinence at 3 months, 76.4% reported having it at 12 months postpartum. Preventing incontinence before childbirth can stave off problems postpartum. At Western Berks Physical Therapy, our Doctors of Physical Therapy can cure urinary incontinence in as little as 4 weeks through confidential, private, and non-invasive treatment. Is exercising during pregnancy healthy and safe? American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise most days of the week throughout pregnancy. Women who exercise throughout pregnancy recover and lose their weight faster. They're at a reduced risk for problems with their pregnancy, and their babies are healthier. At Western Berks Physical Therapy we can come up with a customized plan to help you work an exercise routine into your daily life. Whether you are working long hours or have other children at home, we can show you how you can exercise through the day to relieve pain and strengthen muscles. My entire body aches, can physical therapy help with that? During pregnancy, the most common areas where women experience pain are the pelvic girdle, lumbar region, and hips. This is due to hormonal changes and because a woman's center of gravity and body mass are changing. A study showed that 30% of women who have untreated pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy later become chronic pelvic pain patients. However, just because you are pregnant doesn't mean you have to live with pain. It is treatable through physical therapy! The highly skilled pelvic floor therapists at Western Berks Physical Therapy help you avoid pain and incontinence during pregnancy and postpartum. Our therapists can treat any pain pregnant women are experiencing including neck, shoulder, back, mid-back, or hip pain. Every woman should have a physical therapy pelvic health checkup postpartum. If left untreated, pain can persist well into the future, but pain can be prevented or cured through effective physical therapy. Our physical therapists are here to help you! Call now to schedule a free consultation and discover what physical therapy can do for you!
March 30th is National Doctor's Day!National Doctor's Day was created to show appreciation to physicians for their leadership in the prevention and treatment of illness and injury. The first Doctor’s Day was celebrated on March 30, 1933, when the wife of Dr. Charles B. Almond set the day aside to honor physicians everywhere. This was the anniversary of the first time general anesthetic was used in surgery. In 1990, President George Bush officially declared March 30th as "National Doctor’s Day”.
Modalities vs. Manual TherapySome patients arrive at their first physical therapy appointment expecting to receive hot packs and instructions on how to complete a series of exercises. Electrical muscle stimulation, heat and ice are all considered modalities. A modality is a type of electrical, thermal or mechanical energy that causes physiological change to relieve pain. To explain more, our friends at Western Berks Physical Therapy made a handy little video below!
So what other treatments are available other than modalities?This brings us to Manual physical therapy! Manual physical therapy is a specialized form of physical therapy delivered with the hands as opposed to a modality. In manual therapy, therapists use their hands to put pressure on muscle tissue and manipulate joints to decrease pain. Manual physical therapy is proven to restore mobility to stiff joints and reduce muscle tension in order to return you to more natural movement without pain. It can also provide effective relief for patients with chronic and acute back pain from soft tissue injuries such as a back muscle strain or a pulled ligament.
WARNING: NOT ALL PHYSICAL THERAPY CLINICS ARE CREATED EQUAL!While all physical therapists have the option to use manual therapy in their practices, many therapists don't spend the time or the resources to become proficient in this area of practice. Make sure to research physical therapy providers near you before making your decision on where to attend therapy! Remember that YOU have the choice of where you would like to go for therapy. When a physician provides a prescription for physical therapy, it can be “filled” wherever YOU want, not where the doctor tells you. Some physicians with their own physical therapy office will tell their patients that they must use the doctor’s facility for rehabilitation. That is simply not true! In fact, it is unlawful to practice what is known as “self-referral”. We suggest finding a provider who is highly skilled in manual therapy and one that uses manual techniques aimed at relaxing tense muscles and restricted joints in order to decrease pain and increase flexibility.
Where you go to therapy DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE! Choose wisely.
Relieve Your Headaches with Physical Therapy
Headache pain can vary from being a slight annoyance to completely debilitating. Many headaches stem from poor body posture and position. Poor posture can put stress on the cervical spine which houses delicate nerves that can become inflamed. By examining the body and paying close attention to symptoms, our skilled physical therapists can develop a plan of care to lessen and alleviate your headaches. Avoid adding an additional medication and choose Western Berks Physical Therapy for non-surgical treatment for facial or headache pain. Using manual techniques we will improve the motion of the neck, which reduces stress and strain. Your therapist will also create a customized home exercise routine to improve muscle strength and posture. If you suffer from headaches and want relief now, visit us online at WesternBerksPT.com to learn more and schedule an appointment.
My Back Pain Always Returns! What Can I Do?After the common cold, the most reported reason Americans miss work is back pain. Unfortunately, once you have experienced back strain or injury, it can easily become a recurring problem. Many cases of back strain are due to the way we live. Unless you implement lifestyle changes, the same muscles and ligaments that were initially injured keep repeating the same patterns, never allowing them to properly heal or be protected. Even worse, a recent study discovered that our natural inclination to avoid using sore or damaged muscles causes us to “compensate,” using inappropriate muscle groups in ways that normally produce pain. That’s why physical therapy is so important for back injuries. Since shortened, weak or inflexible muscles are often responsible for causing back injuries in the first place, we will focus on increasing flexibility, balance and strength in the spine, and its surrounding muscles (especially the core, trunk, and the quadriceps). Beware: designing a physical fitness program yourself can do more harm than good. By going too far, too fast, you can actually create more back strain. Leave it to the experts!
We can analyze the cause of your injury and the elements you need to improve on. That can help keep your back pain from coming…back! Schedule your back consultation today!