TIGHT HAMSTRINGS are a common contributor to BACK PAIN!
There are lots of ways to stretch your hamstrings, and here's one:
Find a step or chair to prop one foot up on, and lean forward at the hips, pulling your belly button toward your thigh (not hunching over to bend your back). Lean until you feel a mild to moderate stretch in the back of your thigh, and hold for about 30 seconds on each side.
This may help your low back pain, because your hamstrings affect your pelvis position, and this can put stress on your low back.
Remember, there are LOTS of causes of back pain, so it's always best to get it checked out by a PT or your Dr!).
By: Lisa Bartz, C-EP
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
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
We are seeing more and more people who come into therapy having done some for a fair amount of research on their conditions. We applaud this and strongly encourage our patients to be as educated as possible about their condition and how to resolve it.
However, one of the major pitfalls that we frequently see is when someone comes in believing a certain exercise or approach will guarantee them success. Unfortunately, every person’s situation is unique. Often, these “cookie-cutter” approaches are a convenient way to pacify or imply a quick fix to your problem.
As physical therapists, we believe that a program customized to your specific, individual condition will yield the best and most efficient results for your rehabilitation, which might look different than that of another person struggling with pain in the same body area. We want to use a laser-focused approach rather than a scattered, catch-all approach. Tailoring the program to meet your specific needs will focus your intention on your specific goals and deficiencies rather than being overwhelmed by too much information in an inefficient program. Not only is this more efficient, it is also safer and more likely to be effective since we identify the cause of the problem in your evaluation.
For example, back pain could be caused by arthritis, a disc bulge, inflammation, or something completely different. Although these may manifest in a similar back pain, the treatments for these different causes would look completely different.
The Internet provides a vast amount of information, some good, some bad. You can learn a lot about your condition and potential treatment options by doing a little research. Try to look at things from all points of view – not only as a patient, but also as a physician, or even a physical therapist! Typically, there is not a “magic cure” that guarantees complete healing to a particular body part, but knowing your treatment options is a powerful tool in helping you decide which course of action to take.
By: Steve Bartz, PT
We see many people who are frustrated with the speed in which they are progressing. They feel that they should be ready to return to their usual sports or activities right away without having to go through the healing and rehabilitation process.
It is important to remember that your body is trying to heal itself, but this is a process. Soft tissue healing, such as a moderate to severe sprain or strain, can take up to six weeks to recover. Bone fractures often take weeks to heal and after surgery many people have a combination of bone and soft tissue issues that have been surgically addressed and need to heal.
Here are some tips to help you through this process from verywellfit.com:
1. Learn about your injury. The more you know about the injury and healing process the more comfortable you will be when you experience pain, stiffness, or even frustration about how things are progressing. You may be ahead, behind or right on track of the typical healing process. By knowing what to expect you can reduce your anxiety about what lies ahead.
2. Accept responsibility for your rehabilitation. It is important to accept responsibility for your rehab program, because only you can control how well you will do with your rehab. While the physical therapist is important, without actively participating in your rehab, you are doomed for failure.
3. Maintain a positive attitude. Try to focus on what improvements you are making rather than your deficits or where you aren't progressing as quickly. You need to be realistic about your condition, but you also need to be optimistic about where you’re headed. Then, when you do see improvements, this will reinforce the behaviors you will need to continue.
4. Have good support. Try to surround yourself with friends, family members, physicians and therapists who will support and encourage you in your recovery. Besides the sense of support, these individuals will hold you accountable for your program.
5. Set appropriate goals. Discuss with your therapist a timeline and set goals along that timeline. This helps you objectively measure where you are at in your program. Ask your physician and physical therapist their expectations for your recovery as well.
6. Maintain your fitness level while injured. Work with your therapist to help establish a fitness routine that will not hinder your recovery from your current condition. Often times someone with a leg injury can aggressively work their upper body and core without having a negative impact on the recovery time for their leg. The same holds true for a hand injury in that you can work your legs more aggressively without hindering your recovery time. A higher level of fitness often helps improve your tolerance to perform various exercises as well as functional activities.
By: Steve Bartz, PT
Most people visit a doctor or a physical therapist when they are in pain. When a patient comes to see me, he/she will typically have a diagnosis from their doctor such as low back pain, or shoulder impingement. The patient will be eager to tell me where they hurt. The location of pain is obviously helpful to know, but my job is to successfully determine the cause of the pain.
First, let’s talk about why we have pain. Pain is basically a warning signal, letting us know that something is wrong. Interestingly, the source of the pain (the location where the pain is coming from) is often different from the cause of the pain (the dysfunctional areas in our body that lead to altered movement mechanics and then compensatory pain). Here is an example: Say someone comes to see me because their right shoulder started hurting, with no specific injury. The patient will be focused on the painful area, but I need to evaluate the surrounding areas (such as the cervical spine, thoracic spine, scapula, and elbow) to determine if dysfunction somewhere else has resulted in movement compensation and pain in the shoulder. If my only focus is on reducing the pain, we could do modalities (heat, ice, ultrasound, EStim) to the painful area, or have the patient take pain meds or anti-inflammatory meds. This may help to temporarily relieve the pain, but it does not correct the dysfunction that led to the pain, and will result in only short term gains at best. However, if I find the dysfunction and identify the cause of the pain, we can work to correct the dysfunction and fix the problem. That will not only result in improvement in symptoms, but also a long term fix to keep the pain from returning!
All rehabilitation professionals (PT’s, OT’s, Chiropractors) have talents and skills for treating the body. However, the most talented professionals have the ability to accurately diagnose the cause of your problem so that they can treat it correctly to achieve long term success. No matter how good our skills are, if we can’t identify what is causing your pain, we will not be able to treat it properly.
Fortunately for you, the PT’s at Hudsonville Physical Therapy are skilled at both diagnosing the cause of your pain, as well as treating the dysfunction to give you lasting improvement. Remember, don’t just treat the pain…let us help you find the cause so that we can correct the problem!
By Mason Riegel, PT, (SFMA, FMS 1 & 2 Certified)
Lets be honest, sometimes it can be scary going to a new doctor appointment! There are new people, a new office, and figuring out insurance. We strive to make you feel as comfortable as possible while working to help you move better! Below are some expectations for your first appointment with us.
If you go to the doctor and he or she suggests physical therapy, your doctor’s office will fax over a referral over to us and we will call you, or they will have you call to set up an appointment. During that phone conversation we will ask you how you heard of us, for a phone number to reach you at, and what insurance you have. We will tell you if your insurance is in-network with us before your first appointment (we are in-network with all major insurances in Michigan). We will ask you to bring your insurance card with you, and your referral if we don’t have it yet. When we set up the appointment, we will ask you to arrive 10 to 15 minutes early before your scheduled time to do some paperwork. Our paperwork includes a registration form, a medical history, and a short survey asking you to rate your pain level with different activities.
What to wear:
Your first appointment will start with an evaluation and then your therapist will begin treatment. It is the most convenient if you’re able to wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing so the therapist can access your area of injury better and so that you can move around easier. The therapist will also tell you what they think the best course of treatment is for you, including how many times a week you may need and how long they believe you will have to come in order to get back to feeling better.
For the initial appointment we allow for between 30 minutes and 1 hour. Appointments after that usually last 30-45 minutes.
We will scan your insurance card into our system and check your eligibility and benefits while you are in your appointment. We will let you know what your benefits are from what we were told on the phone but we do recommend that you also verify it yourself. When we talk with the insurance company about your benefits it is an estimate of what you owe, not a guarantee.
If you have any questions or concerns, or would like to set up an appointment, call us at 616-662-0990.
By: Becca Popma
People often have pain in their bodies that they hope will just heal on its own. Many go for days, weeks, and even months, but see no change and get discouraged.
If you are one of those wondering if getting physical therapy will help, we have a free, no-strings-attached option for you.
At Hudsonville Physical Therapy you can set up a completely free consultation with one of our licensed physical therapists.
They will sit down with you and evaluate whether PT is a good option for you. They will give an honest opinion on if they think we can help, and if so, explain what physical therapy for your condition would look like, and how they can help you.
This first step has helped many people make an informed decision on whether to move forward with this type of treatment.
Make a decision today to take a hold of your health and start feeling better! Our staff is available and committed to serving you in any way we can.
To set up a free 15-min consultation just call our office at 616-662-0090.
By: Sherri Prins
Often people will attend physical therapy with their own ideas of what they need to do in order to improve. I once had a 15 y/o female with complaints of neck pain and stiffness.
She had been attending sessions for chiropractic manipulation for the last several years prior to trying physical therapy. Her main complaint during our initial conversation was that her neck was stiff; that she always felt the need to “crack it” to loosen it up. Therefore I expected her to have a very stiff neck with limited mobility.
However, when I checked her range of motion, she had the most motion of any patient that I had ever evaluated! She could sit in a chair and turn her head so far that she could almost look behind her! The result of excessive manipulation was excessive mobility, but without stability. Her problem was not that her neck was stiff, but that it was excessively mobile and needed muscular support.
Conversely, I have had patients who were extremely strong and had excellent muscle tone, but were unbelievably stiff, lacking mobility in order to move normally.
Our goal in physical therapy is to develop an optimal balance of strength and stability. People need to have good range of motion in their joints, flexibility in their muscles, and strength in their muscles in order to have the body function at peak performance. A good physical therapist is able to evaluate these areas and prescribe the necessary corrective measures to achieve this optimal balance of mobility and stability.
By: Mason Riegel, PT
There are not many things in the world that are free, especially that will benefit your health, so let us help you with a FREE 15 minute consultation. The purpose of a consultation is to help you decide what you need; do you need to start physical therapy or do you just need to know exercises to do? Our physical therapists will guide you at your consultation appointment on what is the best option to help you get feeling better! If you and the therapists decide you will need physical therapy, then we at HPT check your insurance benefits and set you up with an initial evaluation. If you and the therapists decide not to do physical therapy, then you are sent on your way typically with exercises or some knowledge of what is going on with your body to help you get moving and feeling better again, or a recommendation on seeing your doctor or a specialist if needed. Call us to schedule your free consultation!
By: Rebecca Popma
Steve Bartz, PT