Physical Therapy – Treatment for Orthopedic and Sport Injuries

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Seeking Treatment for Orthopedic and Sport Injuries ?

During an initial evaluation with a new patient I’m often told, “I thought the pain would go away on its own,” or “my doctor gave me this anti-inflammatory medication,” or “I found some exercises online.” Time or medication may temporarily improve symptoms, but frequently the pain will reoccur without Physical Therapy treatment. Aspirin and Ibuprofen, even cortisone injections, can help with symptom related to orthopedic and sport injuries, but will not fix WHY you got pain in the first place.

In my fellowship the mantra was always  “find the cause of the cause of the pain.” That means that even though your knee, back, shoulder, neck, etc. might be hurting, the fact is that a movement dysfunction caused the pain, unless there was another major cause like a large mechanism of injury from a slip and fall, or a bike accident. Consequently if all you do is symptom management, then the symptoms will return if you didn’t fix why the pain occurred in the first place. The bottom line is, get treatment early for acute injury to both recover from the injury and prevent a chronic pain and movement dysfunction that could lead to more pain in the future, potentially in a different body part.

I have treated countless people that have had many old and untreated injuries that they allowed to become chronic issues. Over time these issues led to more pain, often in other body parts. For example, an old knee meniscus tear for which they had no therapy can lead to changes in how they walk, run, squat, etc. and then they have foot pain, hip, and eventually back pain.

Acute treatment is faster, CHEAPER, and likely to have a more complete recovery of function. If you have a chronic issue, do not let it get worse; get Physical Therapy treatment now.

Many people have low level underlying conditions that aren’t relevant until they perform certain activities. For example, I treat many people who hurt themselves after New Year’s resolutions to exercise and consequently push their body beyond what the body can tolerate. If you wonder if you are safe for certain activities, you need to make sure your organs are OK to exercise. First have your family doctor check to see if your heart and lungs are in good enough shape to exercise. Then you should have a physical therapist see if you have any range of motion deficits, weaknesses, or movement dysfunctions that can make injury more likely.

See the list of conditions treated on our website to see if you have a common and treatable condition.

Services – Holland Physical Therapy

In Michigan, as of Jan. 1st, 2015, Physical Therapist’s can legally evaluate and treat patients without a physician referral, but the limit is 21 days of treatment then a referral is necessary. Some insurance companies don’t cover without a physician’s referral yet. I recommend calling your insurance provider to check to see if you need a referral first. We will verify your benefits for you before treatment as well.

Most orthopedic and sports injuries are treatable with physical therapy, but there are issues NOT appropriate for Physical Therapy treatment. At Holland Physical Therapy, our #1 job is to decide if a patient is or is not an appropriate candidate for Physical Therapy treatment. When orthopedic conditions are Physical Therapy -treatable, you should be able to find some position of comfort, and I should be able to provoke and relieve your pain during the evaluation.

Pain that is not changeable needs to be evaluated by a medical doctor for a more serious condition such as fracture, infection, or systemic pathology. I won’t hesitate to refer a patient to a medical doctor if I feel that I can’t help that patient.

Below are some things to watch out for that would need to be screened by a Medical Doctor first:

  • Violent Trauma, especially if you hear a snap, crack, or are unable to bear any weight on your leg
  • Constant, worsening, and non-mechanical (joint and soft tissue) pain
  • Any history of cancer, systemic steroid use, or HIV
  • If you are systemically unwell (fever, weight loss, loss of appetite, nausea,  or bowel/bladder issues)
  • Widespread Neurological symptoms (major loss of sensation, dizziness or loss of strength)
    •  A specific loss of strength in an arm or leg that can be described by a single nerve issue is Physical Therapy treatable, but if an entire limb is weak, that is not a normal response to a single nerve root lesion
  • Any structural deformity
  • Pain in the very young or very old
  • When the onset of back pain is late in life without any previous back pain

We offer free 10 minute injury screenings. If you have questions or wonder if physical therapy is right for you, give us a call at 616-355-4284 or check on our website to see what conditions we commonly treat.

Ford Reinink PT, DPT,  FAAOMPT
Director of Clinical Operations for Holland Physical Therapy
www.Holland-PT.com[/av_textblock]

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