In this day and age we are so used to a pill to help us “heal” anything and everything. For many injuries and pain, pills can minimize the discomfort but do not take care of the real issue. When you don’t want to rely on medication and want to take care of the real problem, there is physical therapy.
So what is physical therapy exactly?
Physical therapy is noninvasive treatment for the body using movement, stretching, and strengthening to rehabilitate. Your therapist works with you to improve your flexibility, strength, and function.
What are the benefits of physical therapy?
Why would people choose physical therapy over surgery or medication?
A lot of the time, people just want a “quick fix”. Physical therapy can be as quick as one or two visits, or in some cases can take a 2 or 3 visits per week for a couple months. It is not a magic pill and it can take time and putting in the work, but in the end it is often quicker and less expensive than the alternatives. A few reasons to consider physical therapy include:
Dealing with pain? Give us a call to set up a FREE consultation to see if physical therapy is the best option to effectively treat and eliminate the source of your problem. You may be able to avoid surgery, medications, and the discomfort of living with your pain or issue. 616-662-0990
By: Becca Popma
It is interesting to walk into a gym and watch how people exercise. Some people hurry through their reps, while others are very slow and precise. Some look as though they are using their entire body when exercising, while some are very still and have few moving parts. The common theme is that people can look very different when performing the same exercise. So, you might be asking, which is the best way?
I’m glad you asked, because I am very passionate about performing exercises correctly. First of all, it’s important to do things correctly so you do not injure yourself. Using poor form, or too much weight with an exercise (which will create poor form) will often lead to injuries. Secondly, using incorrect form involves compensation, which we will discuss further. Third, if you hurry through your reps, you will not get nearly as much benefit as if you do slow, controlled reps.
Let’s examine each of these points further. In terms of form, we want to not only perform the exercise correctly in order to achieve the desired results, but we also don’t want to injure ourselves. Proper exercise technique not only maximizes the benefit of the exercise, but it puts you in the safest position to perform the exercise. Using the proper amount of weight will allow you to use correct form and avoid compensation, which can lead to injury.
People often compensate when they have a weak muscle or group of muscles. The body is very good at compensating, but unfortunately long term compensation will lead to dysfunction, which leads to pain. An example would be someone with shoulder weakness. Say they are performing shoulder presses, and the shoulder cannot handle the amount of stress that is being placed upon it. The brain will tell other muscles to help, which could include the neck muscles or even the low back. Continued performance of this compensation can lead to issues in other areas of the body.
Tempo of exercise is also important. The most common error is to perform the exercise too fast. This often involves using momentum to swing the weight upward, and allowing the weight to fall back down. Proper technique involves controlling the weight; lifting it slowly and precisely, then lowering it down slowly and precisely. Slow, controlled exercise is much more safe and effective. I would much rather see someone perform 10 slow, controlled reps than 30 fast, uncontrolled reps.
That is just a quick summary of the importance of exercise form. If you would like more information, or would like to have us check out your exercise form, we have the PT’s for you! Give us a call at 616-662-0990 and we’ll make sure that you’re getting the maximum benefit from your exercises!
By: Mason Riegel, PT
FMS Level 1 & 2 Certified, SFMA Certified
Physical therapy is a great first option when you are injured, because it’s non-invasive and highly effective for many types of aches and pains! If you do require physical therapy, consider coming to see our caring team at Hudsonville Physical Therapy. We want to help you get better quickly! Here are a few ways we stand out:
1. Our facility has a very experienced staff! Our 3 therapists have over 70 years of combined experience. Our therapists love to learn and take continuing education courses to learn the latest research and techniques, to make sure you’re getting the most effective treatment.
2. Our clinic offers one-on-one treatment with a licensed Physical Therapist. We don’t use aides or assistants, and we try to keep patients with their same therapist every session because we believe this one-on-one attention with the same therapist will result in the most effective treatment.
3. We are in network with almost all insurances (including Medicaid and Medicaid products), and are one of the most cost-effective options in West Michigan. Insurance surverys (including Priority Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medicare Plus Blue, and Blue Care Network surveys) rank us in their top tiers for effectively utilizing visits and helping patients recovery quickly.
4. Our clinic offers early appointments (starting at 6:30 am), appointments over the lunch hour, and after school times, as late as 5:15 pm.
Remember, you have a choice and can go wherever you want for physical therapy. We would love to help you through your recovery process. If you have any questions about scheduling, cost and insurance, or your injury, please call us at 616-662-0990.
By: Brian Colvin, PT
Meet the Therapist: Mason Riegel, PT
1. What drew you to be a physical therapist?
My original goal was to become a physical therapist for a college or professional sports team. Once I completed PT school I realized that I enjoyed working will all types of people (not just athletes), so I decided to work in an outpatient orthopedic clinic, which is perfect for me!
2. What are some of your favorite populations to work with or diagnoses to treat, and why?
I really enjoy all types of patients, but my favorite is working with athletes, regardless of the diagnosis. If I had to choose a favorite diagnosis to treat, I would say any type of shoulder diagnosis.
3. What does the Functional Movement Systems (FMS) program do for athletes?
Our FMS Performance Training Program is a sport specific workout that helps improve athletic performance and reduce the risk of injury by identifying an athlete's potential problem areas (through the FMS screen) and implementing workouts to address their specific deficits.
4. What are some of your favorite things to do outside of work?
I love to golf, and I enjoy home improvement projects.
Steve Bartz, PT