Medical Machines

January 28, 2009 by Rebecca Deal  
Filed under Massage & Wellness, Physical Therapy

Modern physical therapy often involves the use of modalities. Modalities are anti-inflammatory machines designed to reduce swelling around an injured body part.   During the acute phase of an injury (generally lasts 1-6 days), inflammatory byproducts enter the traumatized area to remove debris and limit bleeding.   The inflammatory phase is characterized by heat, swelling, pain, redness, and loss of function.  The more quickly this phase is resolved, the lower the probability of joint destruction, excessive pain, swelling, weakness, immobilization, and loss of function.  Using anti-inflammatory modalities can accelerate patient progress toward more active participation in rehabilitation and expedite therapy goals for an early return to function.

Electrical Stimulation

Electrical stimulation has a wide variety of clinical applications in physical therapy.  Electrical stimulation is based on the principles of charged particles flowing to reduce inflammation and control pain.  Clinical units generally use two different types of currents to electrically stimulate muscles.  An interferential current is a waveform produced by the interference of two different medium frequency alternating currents from separate channels.  An interferential current is set up with four electrodes in an “X” pattern over a large body part.  A premodulated current uses one channel to deliver a continuous waveform with a medium frequency and a fluctuating current amplitude.  Premodulated electrical stimulation is delivered with two electrodes evenly spaced over a small, inflamed area.  Electrical stimulation treatments are often combined with temperature modalities (hot packs, cold packs) at the end of a physical therapy session for fifteen minutes to control swelling after activity.

Transcutaneous Electrical Neuromuscular Stimulation (TENS) is a popular electrical stimulation modality for controlling pain.  According to the gate control theory of pain, activation of A-beta nerve fibers can inhibit the transmission of the pain signal from the spinal cord to the brain.  Electrical stimulation, when set with appropriate parameters, can selectively activate the A-beta nerve fibers and block the brain from receiving the pain signal from the body.  TENS units deliver a low voltage current and the patient feels a strong, but comfortable tingling sensation.  Patient-friendly TENS units are available for home use at affordable prices.  A physical therapist can give you product recommendations and detailed instructions on how to set the TENS unit for maximum pain relief.  Contact the therapy team at North Tahoe Physical Therapy for pricing and information.

Ultrasound

Ultrasound is a medical machine that uses sound waves to penetrate into tissue for both thermal and non-thermal healing effects.  Ultrasound functions under the principles of piezoelectricity: the ability to change shape in response to an electrical current.  An electrical current is applied to the crystal in the ultrasound “wand” called a transducer.  The piezoelectric crystal responds to the current by expanding and contracting, creating an ultrasound wave.  This wave is able to penetrate through skin using a conducting gel to tissue depths of 1-3mm to bring blood to the injured site and stimulate healing.  Macrophages are cells that work to localize the inflammatory process and recruit repair cells.  The ultrasound machine increases macrophage activity to consolidate inflammation and accelerate the cellular repair response.

Ultrasound treatment can be performed using either a continuous or pulsed setting for duration of eight minutes. Continuous wave ultrasound is used to produce heat and warm the tissues.  Pulsed wave ultrasound recruits macrophages is recommended for anti-inflammatory effects.  During the ultrasound treatment, the patient may feel a minimal sensation from the ultrasound wave.  The patient may perceive warmth from the ultrasound conductive gel.  Ultrasound can be done for a single session or repeated in consecutive treatments to produce the desired anti-inflammatory effects.

Iontophoresis

Iontophoresis is transdermal anti-inflammatory drug delivery using a low voltage direct current to move charged ions across the skin barrier. Ions are transported through skin pores to deliver Dexamethasone (a corticosteroid recommended for the treatment of inflammatory conditions) in the manufacturer recommended 40mA.minutes dosage.  This machine is set up with the medicated, active electrode over the inflamed tissue and a ground electrode at a distant site.  The patient perceives a light tingle under the medicated patch for the duration of the treatment.   Iontophoresis can be done one time, for several sessions consecutively, or in combination with other modalities to produce an overall anti-inflammatory effect.

Modern physical therapy now has several anti-inflammatory modalities from which to choose during the acute phase of healing.  Other medical professionals (MDs, chiropractors, and acupuncturists) may introduce you to similar tools in treatment designed to control inflammation.  Now that you understand the concept of inflammation and how each modality works to reduce swelling and decrease symptoms you can help your medical team make an educated decision about what combination of medical machines will work best for your body under each condition.

Massage & Wellness

December 28, 2008 by admin  
Filed under Uncategorized

Wellness Center, Therapeutic Tune-ups and Massage

More than just Physical Therapy

You do not need to be injured to enjoy our Wellness services. We offer programs to help you stay well.

Our services include:

• Myofascial ReleasePost-Surgical
• Recovery and Rehabilitation
• Pilates-Based Movement Therapies
• Massage
• Personal Training
• Cardiovascular conditioning
• Sports-specific training
• Weight control and management
• Classes and workshops

Therapeutic Tune-ups (Save Time and Money)

Get 15 minutes of treatment and pay a small fee without worrying about doctor’s prescriptions or insurance issues.

These are minor treatments for pains, strains, and sprains. Have you ever awoken with a kink in your neck and wished someone could treat your discomfort for just 15 minutes that day? Or perhaps you twisted your ankle or flared up your knee during a hike and wished you could get some minor attention to prevent this from getting worse. Then you realize that a massage is costly and takes time. In general, to see a Physical Therapist, you would need to see your doctor first, get a prescription, then call the PT office and schedule. Perhaps your insurance does not cover Physical Therapy.

What if you could just walk into the PT’s office, get 15 minutes of treatment and pay a small fee without worrying about doctor’s prescriptions or insurance issues. Well, that is exactly why we created Therapeutic Tune ups. Now, you can walk into North Tahoe Physical Therapy, talk to the therapist about your issue, and receive a 15 minute treatment for only $35. Treatment may consist of massage, Myofascial Release, craniosacral therapy, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, stretches or spinal mobilizations. It just depends on what your body needs.

Benefits:

1) Direct Access to a therapist. No need to see an MD first
2) Less waiting time between injury and treatment
3) The sooner treatment occurs means quicker recovery time.
4) No insurance issues
5) Low cost
6) Brief appointment times

Orthopedic Massage

Orthopedic Massage is a form of manual therapy that specializes in the treatment of musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction.  In addition to the benefits of traditional massage such as relaxation and increased circulation, orthopedic massage has several other treatment goals.  These include increasing the range of motion, decreasing and managing pain, and normalizing musculoskeletal function.  The therapist works to dissolve adhesions in muscle and connective tissue, lengthen connective tissue, balance muscle function by strengthening weak muscles and releasing tight ones, as well as normalize the position of soft tissue, restore joint function, release entrapped nerves, and facilitate normal neurological function.

A session typically lasts from ½ hour to 1 hour.  The work will be both gentle and deep.  For lasting results, the therapist will want to see the patient 2-3 times a week initially, as frequency is the key.  During the course of a session, the therapist will evaluate the entire body and address the body as a whole, to see how is responding to the injury.  The therapist will then specifically address the area of trauma to increase the fluidity in the tissue and range of motion in the effected joints.   This can be done by a postural evaluation, checking passive range of motion, or movement analysis.

Simply call 775-831-6600 and schedule your appointment
Walk-ins welcome

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and Physical Therapy

June 12, 2008 by Jane O'Brien  
Filed under Physical Therapy, Women's Health

North Tahoe Physical Therapy June 11, 2008

The term pelvic floor refers to the sling of muscles, ligaments, and fascia which spans from the front of the pelvis at the pubic bone to the posterior pelvis at the tail bone. The purpose of the musculature is to support the pelvic organs (uterus, colon, and bladder), allow for control of the outlets (urethra and rectum) and provide tone for sensation for the sexual functions. It is important for this area to have proper muscle tone. Excess tone of the muscles can cause difficulty sitting, pain during intercourse, hip and low back pain or retention. Diminished tone may lead to incontinence, organ prolapse and possibly decreased sexual response.
Commonly, people associate pelvic floor dysfunction with incontinence. However, there are a myriad of diagnoses that fall under this category such as overactive bladder, pelvic pain, prolapsed uterus, painful periods (dysmenorrhea), interstitial cystitis, coccyx pain, painful intercourse, and many others. Symptoms may limit a man or woman’s ability to perform daily activities, cause a change in exercise habits and create embarrassment. Problems in this area are often not discussed with medical professionals and therefore, go untreated.

Many physical therapists have specialized training that can benefit men and women with issues of the pelvic floor. These therapists utilize every aspect of their physical therapy training to evaluate patients and to provide intervention to overcome these dysfunctions. Treatments may consist of a combination of many techniques. Exercises such as “Kegels,” which are geared for this area, greatly enhance muscle function when performed properly. Relaxation techniques may be utilized to assist with decreasing tone and pain. Manual techniques, such as Myofascial Release and soft tissue massage are often used to relieve tension. Biofeedback is used to increase awareness of proper muscle recruitment or to quiet overactive muscles. Electrical stimulation may be used to recruit and train pelvic floor musculature or to relieve pain. Joint mobilizations are often utilized to restore pelvic alignment and motion. In addition, patient education can assist with prevention of dysfunction.

Physical therapy for the pelvic floor dysfunction is relatively new and not widely known by many medical professionals in the USA. There are only a handful of Physical Therapists who are trained in Pelvic Floor therapy in Northern Nevada. But, Pelvic Floor Dysfunction is common. Just consider the number of commercials from the pharmaceutical industry promoting drugs aimed at treatment of these issues. Numerous surgeries are advocated as an answer for many pelvic floor issues. Many are unsuccessful. Physical Therapy can provide tremendous relief for Healthcare consumers who want to take control of their symptoms and overcome them without the use of longterm drugs or surgeries.

When choosing a physical therapist for treatment of a pelvic floor dysfunction, it is important to inquire of their training, experience and outcomes with this area to ascertain if they are qualified to treat this area. The Section on Women’s Health of the American Physical Therapy Association offers training and mentoring leading to a certificate program called the Certificate of Achievement in Pelvic Physical Therapy (CAPP). Approximately 150 PT’s have received the CAPP to date. To find a Physical Therapist who is trained to work with Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, one can contact the Section on Women’s Health of the American Physical Therapy Association. The web site is http://www.womenshealthapta.org/. The website provides articles and resources for consumers to learn more. One can also log onto www.northtahoept.com for further information and treatment options.
Jane O’Brien, MSPT is a physical therapist at North Tahoe Physical Therapy who provides services for the pelvic floor, orthopedics and pain. She is a candidate for the CAPP expecting to complete her certificate in summer 2008.

-Jane O’Brien, MSPT

Massage & Wellness

February 1, 2008 by admin  
Filed under Massage & Wellness, Services

Therapeutic Massage

Wellness Center, Therapeutic Tune-ups and Massage

More than just Physical Therapy

You do not need to be injured to enjoy our Wellness services. We offer programs to help you stay well.

Our services include:

• Post-Surgical Recovery and Rehabilitation
• Myofascial Release
• Pilates-Based Movement Therapies
• Massage
• Personal Training
• Cardiovascular conditioning
• Sports-specific training
• Weight control and management
• Classes and workshops

Therapeutic Tune-ups (Save Time and Money)

Get 15 minutes of treatment and pay a small fee without worrying about doctor’s prescriptions or insurance issues.

These are minor treatments for pains, strains, and sprains. Have you ever awoken with a kink in your neck and wished someone could treat your discomfort for just 15 minutes that day? Or perhaps you twisted your ankle or flared up your knee during a hike and wished you could get some minor attention to prevent this from getting worse. Then you realize that a massage is costly and takes time. In general, to see a Physical Therapist, you would need to see your doctor first, get a prescription, then call the PT office and schedule. Perhaps your insurance does not cover Physical Therapy.

What if you could just walk into the PT’s office, get 15 minutes of treatment and pay a small fee without worrying about doctor’s prescriptions or insurance issues. Well, that is exactly why we created Therapeutic Tune ups. Now, you can walk into North Tahoe Physical Therapy, talk to the therapist about your issue, and receive a 15 minute treatment for only $35. Treatment may consist of massage, Myofascial Release, craniosacral therapy, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, stretches or spinal mobilizations. It just depends on what your body needs.

Benefits:

1) Direct Access to a therapist. No need to see an MD first
2) Less waiting time between injury and treatment
3) The sooner treatment occurs means quicker recovery time.
4) No insurance issues
5) Low cost
6) Brief appointment times

Orthopedic Massage

Orthopedic Massage is a form of manual therapy that specializes in the treatment of musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction.  In addition to the benefits of traditional massage such as relaxation and increased circulation, orthopedic massage has several other treatment goals.  These include increasing the range of motion, decreasing and managing pain, and normalizing musculoskeletal function.  The therapist works to dissolve adhesions in muscle and connective tissue, lengthen connective tissue, balance muscle function by strengthening weak muscles and releasing tight ones, as well as normalize the position of soft tissue, restore joint function, release entrapped nerves, and facilitate normal neurological function.

A session typically lasts from ½ hour to 1 hour.  The work will be both gentle and deep.  For lasting results, the therapist will want to see the patient 2-3 times a week initially, as frequency is the key.  During the course of a session, the therapist will evaluate the entire body and address the body as a whole, to see how is responding to the injury.  The therapist will then specifically address the area of trauma to increase the fluidity in the tissue and range of motion in the effected joints.   This can be done by a postural evaluation, checking passive range of motion, or movement analysis.

Simply call 775-831-6600 and schedule your appointment
Walk-ins welcome