I have an -itis! Now what?

You’re going about your business, doing what you love (or maybe don’t at the moment) and a nagging pain comes on out of nowhere. It comes and goes, usually with activity, but it’s not bad so you ignore it. It comes back again a few days later, but it’s still not terrible. Slowly but surely, however, over months or even weeks or days, the frequency and intensity of the pain increases to the point it interferes with your activities, or even your work.Oh no! (1)

What do you do now?

Many people seek out physicians and imaging, which usually results in a diagnosis of some sort of -itis. Plantar fasciitis, bursitis, tendonitis, etc. They go through the gamut of x-rays, doctors, receiving pain medication and sometimes even injections or other more invasive procedures. They may or may not have been told to stop doing activities they love, or to take it easy at work. Then things get even worse.

It seems like a never-ending downward spiral that can’t be reversed, but that’s because most are going down the wrong path.

Most of the time pain that comes on out of nowhere, and not due to a sudden trauma like a fall or an accident, is due to an imbalance in the body. Some areas are too tight, some too weak, some just plain not activating at all! Your body is good at compensating for these off-kilter systems until it’s just pushed too far. The pain you feel is the last domino falling in a domino effect that has probably been happening for months, if not years.

But how do you stop and reverse it for good? See a movement specialist, a Physical Therapist, someone that can spend the time with you to ask you questions and watch you do many different movements to identify the first domino that fell causing this chain of changes and compensations. They can then prescribe exercises and possibly other treatments or suggestions, such as taping, change of footwear, massage, dry needling, etc. to help resolve your symptoms and get you back in action!

Stop injuries BEFORE they happen!

As 2015 is coming to a close, many are looking forward to 2016 and are preparingtext herefor new goals. Some may want to be able to hike a few miles, while others have an aggressive race schedule planned. Whatever your goals, nobody wants to have to slow or stop their progress due to an injury.

Accidents do happen but most injuries are directly or indirectly related to physical imbalances. Mobility and strength issues have usually been present, unnoticed for months, years, or even decades before any ailment comes to one’s attention, but with an increase of activity and strain on the body, people get sidelined.

The good news is that it is preventable! Seeing a physical therapist before an injury happens for a general assessment can reveal deficits that make a person prone to injury.

To celebrate the opening of Physical Learning & Health, LLC, Dr. Tonya Yanok,$50 special PT, DPT, will be offering a special on screenings at Transform HQ in Lakewood for the remainder of 2015, which will include an assessment of strength and mobility, as well as identification of problem areas and recommendations to help eliminate them and avoid future injury.

Screenings will cost $50 for a 50-minute session, normally $120. To make an appointment, call 216.322.5789, or submit an email with this contact form.

**Please note, these screenings are intended for those currently uninjured, as a current injury requires a full physical therapy evaluation. Also, this screening, although it aids in preventing injury, is not a guarantee that injuries will not happen in the future.**

A Life In Flexion: A Culprit of Shoulder, Neck, and Back Pain

Our American lifestyle lends itself to a lot of bad posture and forward flexion, the cause of many musculoskeletal dysfunctions and injury down the road. As we slouch in our chairs and couches, with our heads craned forward at computer screens, smart phones, steering wheels, our body is slowly brought forward.  This postural shift results in muscles either lengthened and weakened or shortened and tight, pulling many of our joints and body mechanics out of alignment.

One way to combat these problems is to simply stop relying on our chairs for ALL of our support. Bring your back off of the chair and arms off of the armrests, making sure your feet are both planted on the ground with your hips and knees at 90 degrees. If you are unable to achieve this posture due to the seat height, adjust where you can.   Make accommodations to your seating, such as placing a small stool or book under your feet – an old phone book works wonders! It’s also important to bring your head back so it is aligned over your shoulders. If someone were to look at you from the side, your ear should line up over the edge of your shoulder.

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 12.11.47 PM

Due to this life in flexion, the most common weakness arises in the middle back.  This instability can cause neck, back, or shoulder pain down the road. One exercise everyone should know to combat this are scapular retractions. While seated with good posture, as listed in the previous paragraph, bring your shoulders back as if you are trying to pinch your shoulder blades together.

These are two simple suggestions that can alleviate some discomfort, however if you are suffering from any pain during your day and these two suggestions have not successfully relieved the issue, find a local Physical Therapist to identify the culprit of your concerns. In Ohio, Physical Therapy is direct access, meaning that a physician referral is not required to see a Physical Therapist.