Questioning the Benefits of Custom Orthotics

When it comes to the motivation to work out, there may be nothing more damaging than foot pain. When your feet hurt, it is like your whole body hurts. Every step is a reminder of the discomfort that you are experiencing. When other parts of your body experience pain you find ways to give them a break. You shut your eyes when your head hurts, or be extra careful with your posture when your back hurts. But when your feet hurt you don’t have a lot of options.

Staying off your feet means stepping back from your life, and for many people that really isn’t an option. What’s worse: foot pain is often chronic. This means that the discomfort is likely to linger, leaving you out of your work out game for way longer than you originally anticipated as it will likely grow more and more painful simply trying to get around the office.

To Orthotic or Not to Orthotic: The Big Question

In desperation to find relief, many people seek out support from orthotics to alleviate foot pain. Orthotics range in price and quality. While there are a handful of options that you can find at your local grocery store, others can cost hundreds of dollars and can be customized to your feet. But does shelling out the money for custom orthotics make a difference?

There is actually not a simple answer to this question. Whether or not custom orthotics will alleviate your foot pain depends a lot on the type of foot pain you have, the severity of the pain, and to a large extent your level of physical activity.

The Pros and Cons of Orthotics

The benefit of a custom orthotic is that it is developed to your particular needs. If you go to a podiatrist with foot pain as a result of fallen arches, and your podiatrist creates an orthotic for you that is designed to improve fallen arches, then that orthotic is going to help alleviate your foot pain much better than an orthotic that is designed to reduce heel pain from plantar fasciitis. The issue isn’t necessarily that one orthotic was custom made and the other was store bought. The issue instead was that the orthotics were designed with two different issues in mind.

The problem is that it is often hard to know what is causing your foot pain without going to a foot doctor. Once at the foot doctor, if your podiatrist can create an orthotic that is tailored to your needs, then that orthotic is probably going to be the best option for your pain. That isn’t to say that a non-customized orthotic wouldn’t help. But most likely the one that is designed to help you is going to be better.

So, how well do the orthotics work? The entire point of an orthotic is to alleviate pain while you are walking or running so that you are able to engage in exercise without being held back by chronic foot pain. The orthotic may not be capable of fixing the pain in your foot when you are not wearing your orthotic-laden shoes, but while the orthotics are on your feet, chances are your feet will feel better.

In the end, it is possible that using an orthotic can help you get back in action and reduce foot pain. However, that doesn’t mean that an orthotic is going to fix your problem for good. If you are dealing with ongoing foot pain, contact us to find out how we can help you get back on your feet and feeling your best.

Want to Recover Even Faster? Try Pre-hab!

If you are considering surgery, you are probably well aware of the need for rehab post-surgery. Rehab sessions with a physical therapist are a major part of the process of getting surgery — without the physical therapy of rehab, it is difficult and sometimes impossible to get on your feet again.   What you may not have heard of is pre-hab. Where rehab is physical therapy following surgery, pre-hab is the process of working with a physical therapist to prepare your body for surgery. Pre-hab with a physical therapist has been shown to reduce recovery times and improve outcomes after surgery. It is a valuable tool, one we want to help you take advantage of. Let our physical therapy team help you with pre-hab. Please contact RX Rehab Physical Therapy to speak to a physical therapist and learn more about what pre-hab can do for you!

What Is the Difference Between Rehab and Pre-hab?

Understanding Rehab

When you go through surgery, it is normal to feel some pain and discomfort. The pain can cause you to avoid certain movements. You may also have to limit your movement for a time to ensure proper healing. Unfortunately, not moving can cause serious problems over the long-term. Your body can form adhesions and inflammation can set in. To combat these undesirable outcomes, you need to move.   Rehab is a must following surgery. A physical therapist can help you move safely — movement that will keep adhesions from forming and fight inflammation. Physical therapy also makes you stronger so you can get back to your normal life after surgery.

Understanding Pre-hab

Pre-hab with a physical therapist helps you get a jump-start on the recovery process. It can even make surgery more successful. Physical therapy designed for pre-hab works to strengthen your body before the surgery. It also reduces inflammation, which can make the job of the surgeon easier.   You can think of pre-hab as stocking away health for a later time. Spending even a few sessions with a physical therapist builds up your health account, so when you are out of the running for a while post-surgery, you have more strength to draw on. Instead of starting out rehab with a fully depleted account, you will have a reserve already — one that will make your rehab work more successful and faster.

How Much Does Pre-hab Help?

Physical therapy for pre-hab is a pretty easy concept to understand. But has it been proven? The answer is a definite, “Yes!” According to the Arthritis Foundation, a study conducted by three universities in Boston — one of them being Harvard — demonstrated that patients who engaged in pre-hab had much better outcomes following surgery.   Working with a physical therapist before surgery makes it possible to get out of the hospital faster, too. A good example of this can be seen in knee replacement patients. Patients who went through physical therapy for pre-hab before knee surgery are able to meet the requirements to get out of the hospital more quickly than those who did not go through physical therapy prior to surgery.   In most cases, knee replacement patients must walk a certain distance and travel up several stairs before they can leave. For patients that have worked with a physical therapist before surgery, meeting these requirements is easier to do. Their bodies are stronger due to physical therapy. Even after surgery, they are stronger than those who have not worked with a physical therapist.

Your Source for Pre-hab

The benefits of physical therapy for pre-hab are undeniable. So, how do you sign up? We are here to make getting pre-hab as simple and convenient as possible. Please contact our team to schedule an appointment with a physical therapist. Let us help you get stronger to improve your surgery outcome!  

Bogged Down by Pain? Try These 5 Quick Tips for Less Pain and More Energy

If you’re hurting and need quick relief, your physical therapist can help. In a customized physical therapy program, you’ll learn some highly effective pain relief techniques that can also help boost your energy. Our physical therapy providers are experienced with all types of pain, and can help you live a pain-free life at last. Get in touch with RX Rehab Physical Therapy now to schedule your physical therapy appointment. 

1. Take Breathing Breaks

Sure, you breathe all the time, but it’s not focused breathing. As your physical therapist can tell you, focused breathing can really help relieve your pain and may even give you that little extra energy burst you need to keep going with your day. Every few hours, take a few minutes to stop, close your eyes, and breathe deeply. Breathe in deeply through your nose, filling your lungs as completely as possible. Then, breathe out through your mouth, keeping lips pursed a bit to really push the air out. Focus on nothing but your breathing for a few minutes and you’ll be amazed at what a difference it can make. 

2. Get Moving

Many people underestimate the importance of moving, but it’s something you’ll learn in physical therapy. When you’re hurting it may seem more instinctive to curl up in a ball, but that’s the worst thing to do. Force yourself to get up and move around every hour or so. Even if you just take a simple walk around the room or around your office, this can help you hurt less and feel more energized. You don’t have to do a full physical therapy session to feel the benefits of movement, so practice this every day at home as well as with the help of your physical therapist.

3. Adjust Your Sitting Habits

Your sitting habits can make a big difference when it comes to pain and energy levels. Your physical therapist may recommend some simple adjustments that help. For example, a lumbar cushion can help relieve pressure from your lower back. Simply by avoiding pain, you’ll feel less sapped of energy! Your physical therapy team can offer customized tips based on your work environment.

4. Improve Your Posture

Posture improvement can make a huge difference in how you feel overall. Your physical therapy program can help you improve your posture, and it’s something that you’ll carry with you long term. Simply standing and sitting with shoulders back, chest out, and a straight spine instead of a slumped-over one is a great start. Your physical therapist can guide you towards posture habits that alleviate pain and pressure, which in turn gives you more energy to face the day. 

5. Drink More Water

Did you know that you’re supposed to drink between half an ounce and one ounce of water for each pound of your body weight each day? Drinking enough water means that you’ll avoid dehydration, and this in turn allows you to avoid problems like muscle cramps, headaches, and overall fatigue. Water is always the healthiest option, so try to keep plenty of water close at hand as you move throughout your day. You’ll notice that you feel less pain and increased energy. The bonus is that it can help keep your appetite under control, which may in turn help you avoid gaining extra weight! Physical therapy is a great way to recovery from injury or illness to feel your very best. Use the tips above to supplement your custom physical therapy program for optimal success. Contact our Highland, UT office anytime to get help from experienced physical therapists who can help you escape pain for good. 

What you can do to be Healthier, Stronger, and More Active!

The tennis shoes collecting dust. The yoga mat curled in the back of your closet. The gym membership that hasn’t seen you in, well, months. Like you need any more proof that sticking to an exercise routine is tough. Hey, whoever said New Year’s resolutions can’t be made in any time of the year?

Never fear. We’ve got a list of tips to help you grow healthier, stronger and more active — and we’re willing to bet these suggestions will provide at least a little motivation to put those stretchy pants to good use. Contact RX Rehab Physical Therapy today!

Conquer the Pain

By now you’ve probably heard the stats. Chronic pain can put a major cramp in an exercise routine, and yet over half the country suffers from some sort of debilitating pain. So what’s a person to do when they want to be healthier, stronger and more active? Get themselves to a physical therapist — pronto. Physical therapy can help alleviate pain better than popping a pill or sitting on the couch, and the results are often permanent. 

Physical therapy can help with all types of chronic musculoskeletal and neuropathic types of pain, from ongoing headaches to fibromyalgia. A physical therapist can manipulate your bones and joints to reduce discomfort. She can work with you to form an exercise and movement plan that lessens your pain and increases your mobility. A physical therapist can also help with laser therapy, massage or microcurrent stimulation — all in the name of getting you up moving and living life to the fullest.

Think Positive

All that mind over matter stuff really works. Research shows that a positive attitude can boost your immune system and increase your energy levels. Your body believes what you think, so try to focus on maintaining an attitude of gratitude and look for the positive even in the midst of turmoil. If you’re ever feeling stuck or unsure how to creep out of a negative disposition, repeat the following mantra: I have the power to create change. Because you do.

Eat Well

Don’t think for a minute we don’t love our hoagie rolls or dipped-in-milk cookies. Quite the contrary, we love to spoil ourselves with treats. Just try to balance those delicious yummies with a well-rounded, healthy diet. Here are some tips to get you going:

  • Consider Uncle Sam’s recipe for health: lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products; some lean meats or meat substitutes, beans, eggs and nuts; and minimal saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt and added sugars.
  • Avoid skipping meals. Eating consistently provides your mind and body with the fuel necessary to help you get and stay active. It also helps you avoid your blood sugar dropping, which can lead to irritability, nervousness and a whole host of other problems.
  • Snack smart. It’s okay… Let’s rephrase that. It’s good to snack. Doing so keeps you at your best so that you can sustain your energy and stay positive. Choose peanuts over pretzels.

Be Sneaky

That’s right. We give you permission to be sneaky when it comes to exercise.

Physical therapy often prescribes small changes to a person’s routine in order to make the adjustments manageable. Some ways that even a physical therapist would approve of include:

  • Park farther away from your destination and walk the extra distance;
  • Walk up and down the field while your children are playing sports;
  • Take the dog on walks with the whole family;
  • Exit the bus one stop early and walk the rest of the way;
  • Opt for the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator; and
  • Rake leaves, shovel snow or otherwise maintain your yard.

Whether you’re 22 or 72, whether you’re suffering from chronic pain or simply need more motivation, living a life healthier, stronger and more active will improve your physical and mental health. 

If you’d like help developing a plan or alleviating pain, contact our Highland, UT office to see how physical therapy can help you get living more fully.

5 Benefits of Therapeutic Massage for Athletes

As an athlete, you already know that you’ve got to maintain optimal health if you want to keep playing the sport you love. Physical therapy with an experienced physical therapist is a big part of that, especially when you’re recovering from an injury. One of the main parts of a good physical therapy regimen after an injury involves therapeutic massage. Below, you’ll learn five of the best benefits of therapeutic massage for athletes. Call RX Rehab Physical Therapy now to learn more about how massage can help you live pain-free.

1. Improved Circulation

Regular massage during your physical therapy program can improve circulation considerably. Better circulation means that your muscles get the blood supply needed to prevent stiffness and tension. Your muscles will work and feel better after therapeutic massage.

2. Improved Immune System

Sickness can be extra hard on athletes. Just one bad cold or flu can keep you out of the game you love for weeks — and you might feel less than your best for quite a while after that, too. Fortunately, massage helps boost your immune system’s natural defenses. During massage, your body is prompted to power up its natural cytotoxic capacity, which basically means that you’ll be better able to fight off germs, bacteria and illness more effectively.

3. Less Scar Tissue

When you’re injured, your body forms adhesions — bands of tough scar tissue — around the injury. These adhesions can restrict your movement, cause serious pain, and can delay your recovery for a very long time if they’re not treated. Your physical therapy massage can deal with those adhesions very efficiently. Your physical therapist can use specific targeted techniques that break up the adhesions, which unbinds your muscles. This is a very important component of your physical therapy program because being adhesion-free is important for both pain relief and for your range of motion.

4. Muscle Relaxation

While muscle relaxation is the best-known benefit of massage, it takes on a whole new importance for an athlete. Muscle soreness, tightness and pain are all things that you expect as an athlete — but the good news is that you can greatly decrease these issues with regular therapeutic massage. Even after you’ve completed a physical therapy program following an injury, you might benefit from regular massages with your physical therapist.

5. Improved Posture

Massage, when coupled with other kinds of physical therapy, can do a lot of good for your posture. Massage helps bring your body into an optimal place of alignment, which can naturally improve your posture. Better posture has multiple benefits for athletes. When you’ve got good posture, your body can move at its peak, all the time — and this means that you’re playing your sport with a bit of a natural advantage built in.

As an athlete, your body needs to be in the best condition at all times. This means that after an injury, you’ve got to recover with the help of a physical therapy program designed by an expert physical therapist. It also means that you need to recognize the importance of health maintenance. Something as simple as a therapeutic massage once or twice a month can help you feel your very best, and this means that you’ll be able to be at your peak for every game.

If you’re looking for noninvasive solutions for pain and injury or if you just want to be the best athlete you can be, contact our physical therapists now to get started with an expert physical therapist.

5 Ways Physical Therapy can Put the Spring Back in Your Step!

Do you currently have an acute or chronic pain condition affecting your daily life? Maybe you’re struggling with back pain, a sports injury or impairments following an auto accident. Perhaps you have someone in your family who is experiencing pain and dysfunction. Whatever you or your loved ones are facing, we encourage you to contact RX Rehab Physical Therapy to schedule an appointment with a physical therapist.

Our physical therapists are experts in human movement and employ a wide range of drug-free, non-invasive techniques that benefit our patients in many ways — far beyond “just” symptom management. Check out these top five reasons why working with a physical therapist can help you reclaim the healthy, active lifestyle you want and deserve:

1. Pain-relieving techniques used in physical therapy have a low risk of side effects.

Unlike many medications and invasive procedures, physical therapy services have a very low risk of side effects while remaining highly effective for reducing pain, swelling, inflammation and other impairments related to injury, illness, and disease. Physical therapy techniques require less downtime and can be modified and safely used on everyone from infants to seniors.

2. Physical therapy services are completely customizable.

A standard physical therapy plan of care is completely individualized to the patient. The chief aims of any plan of care are to address the patient’s unique goals, resolve his or her impairments, and optimize his or her recovery, functional independence and long-term health. These outcomes can be achieved through physical therapy techniques such as:

  • Therapeutic exercises
  • Manual therapy, like massage and joint mobilizations
  • Neuromuscular re-education, like balance training
  • Modalities, like dry needling, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, diathermy, orthotics and prosthetics fitting, and kinesio taping

After undergoing a thorough examination with your physical therapist, you’ll receive an individualized treatment plan that can accelerate your healing. This plan is modified to meet your specific needs and lifestyle and relies on your feedback throughout the process, giving you a more active role in your recovery.

3. Physical therapy can help you avoid opioids.

The current opioid abuse epidemic in our country suggests that these potentially harmful drugs are frequently overprescribed. The CDC recommends physical therapy before opioids for the management of many types of chronic pain. Plus, treatment techniques used in physical therapy are “evidence-based,” meaning they are tested in scientific research studies in order to determine their efficacy, effectiveness and safety.

4. A physical therapist can identify hidden factors contributing to your dysfunction.

A physical therapist won’t just “mask” your pain. Our therapists identify and resolve underlying factors contributing to your current condition and increasing your risk of chronic issues. Common factors include shortened muscles, scar tissue, range-of-motion limitations, muscle activation problems, impaired ergonomics and body mechanics, and postural imbalances. If factors like these are left unaddressed, your symptom relief would likely be temporary at best.

Through services such as patient education, work-hardening programs and other techniques previously mentioned, a physical therapist can address both symptom and cause.

5. A physical therapist can help you maximize functional mobility, capacity and performance.

A physical therapist helps his or her patients improve endurance, core stability, coordination, agility, and other physical skills that can carry over into better performance in sports and everyday life. This is essential for young active people as well as the older population looking to avoid age-related debility.

 

In other words, our physical therapy team can manage your injury or disease now as well as help prevent injury in the future.

 

Ready to find some long-lasting solutions to your pain? To schedule an appointment with a physical therapist today and get started on your journey back to health and healing, contact our Highland, UT physical therapy clinic today.

Getting to the Root of the Problem! Don’t Mask the Symptoms With Meds

Chronic pain and other types of pain can put a dent in your lifestyle. If you’re suffering from pain, be sure to give RX Rehab Physical Therapy a call to learn how our physical therapists can get you on the path to a pain-free life. Don’t make the mistake of relying on meds, as meds only mask the symptoms. Physical therapy is a natural treatment and a non-invasive treatment that works. You won’t have to curl up with pain in bed anymore.  

Using Meds for Pain: It’s Really Just Masking the Problem

Taking painkillers to rid yourself of pain may seem like a good solution, but it’s really not. Over-the-counter meds like aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen can have side effects. Taking a lot of aspirin can cause your stomach to bleed and can also cause kidney damage. Acetaminophen can result in kidney damage. Ibuprofen can cause both kidney and stomach problems. Prescription opioids like codeine, oxycodone and morphine can lead to addiction. Other possible side effects of pain meds include respiratory depression, constipation, anxiety and nausea. Not only does taking meds for pain just mask the problem, it may cause you another one.

The Natural Treatment of Physical Therapy

Sometimes even the thought of exercising may make you sweat but in reality, exercise is one of the absolute best treatments out there for chronic pain. By participating in a physical therapy routine you will see just how effective exercise can be for all types of chronic musculoskeletal and neuropathic pain.

 

Physical therapy is a natural treatment for a variety of root causes of chronic pain, including:

  • Chronic headaches
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Disc degeneration disease
  • Disc herniation

 

A physical therapist has a wide variety of treatment options to offer for pain. Movement therapy, massage therapy, cold laser therapy, microcurrent stimulation and the manipulation of joints and bones are just a few of the methodologies that physical therapists have in their toolbox. All of these treatment modalities help reduce pain, reduce inflammation, accelerate healing and improve daily function.

From Diagnosis to Treatment: The Role of a Physical Therapist

Consulting with a physical therapist can reduce your recovery time. That’s because a physical therapist will treat your entire body by identifying the root cause of pain. A physical therapist will perform an assessment to determine where your pain is coming from. This healthcare professional will develop an individualized treatment plan that is designed to target the root cause of pain. Physical therapists include a comprehensive exam process, which includes a full medical history. Selected tests are done to identify movement-related disorders. For a specific diagnosis, all of the collected exam data is carefully reviewed.

 

Physical therapy entails both active and passive treatment. Active physical therapy treatment may include exercises, motions, stretching and aquatic therapy. Passive therapy treatment may include ultrasound, massage therapy, heat therapy, cold therapy and electric stimulation. You can feel confident that a physical therapist will develop a treatment plan that is just for you and your needs.

 

If you’re in pain, there is an effective solution other than pain meds or surgery. Contact our Highland, UT office today to learn how our physical therapists can help you live a pain-free lifestyle. All of our physical therapies are seasoned and certified. Our goal is to get you back in the game, on the road to recovery and to help you live life to its fullest.