Marathon Training: Two Perspectives

sneaker.pngAs we creep closer and closer towards marathon weekend, our very own Tina Cardenia PT, DPT, CFMT and Victoria LaManna (Vicky) PT, DPT, CLT, PRPC were kind enough to share their stories about preparing for the 2018 New York City Marathon. Vicky will be running her first marathon on November 4th, 2018 in order to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis Research. Tina was gracious enough to volunteer her expertise in orthopedic physical therapy to help Vicky have the best run possible for a great cause. If you are interested in donating to support MS research, please donate here and read more about their stories below. If you are interested in hearing more about our orthopedic and sports program here at Beyond Basics Physical Therapy, give us a call at 212-354-2622.

From the Runner’s Perspective

victoria2016

Victoria LaManna (Vicky) PT, DPT, CLT, PRPC

This year I am participating in my first ever marathon in the NYC Marathon for Team TischMS. Truly, this is my first ever 5k, Half Marathon, or Full Marathon. I am traditionally an anaerobic, (short bursts energy) exerciser. I have played soccer, dabbled in Muay Thai kickboxing, yoga, and weight lifting for exercise. The mind-body challenge of running a marathon (and doing it all for a great cause!) appealed to me. But where to start?

Luckily, I am in a profession that specializes in exercise, injury screening, and prevention, as well as injury rehabilitation. One of my co-workers has also run a few marathons and pointed me in the right direction for a training schedule. To further help ensure success in my training process, I also started physical therapy and made sure I got on my co-worker Tina’s super busy schedule.

vicky.pngShe first tested my core strength, checked hip mobility and strength, as well as spine and rib cage mobility. All areas that are important for efficient running. Tina found that I had poor core-first responses to outside forces, meaning that every time my foot hit the ground while running, my core was not firing to connect my lower extremities to my trunk. This could definitely be why I was experiencing right low back pain with running, and it could actually lead to further injury and result in not being able to RUN at all! Tina also found limitations in my breathing, rib cage, and thoracic mobility. Other than back pain, my first main complaint a few weeks into training was that I could not breathe. While you could chalk that up to poor conditioning, it was something that was felt immediately in runs – as if I just did not have the capacity to take a breath in. This is where we started our treatment – rib cage and thoracic spine mobility.

From there, Tina continued treating based on observation of my running pattern. She continued to work on hip, spine mobility and core control based on what she saw was insufficient in my running. My breathing improved greatly, as well as my mobility. I began to run completely pain-free with ease.

About 2 months away from Marathon Day, I injured my right foot trying to complete a 16-mile training run. I was unable to walk without pain and was limping around the office. Tina quickly observed that I had a bone in my foot and ankle that were compressed and out of alignment. Her work to align my foot and ankle, working all the way up again through my hip and trunk helped me to get back to pain-free running.

I am all set to run the NYC Marathon Sunday, November 4th! I am incredibly thankful to Tina for helping me to get through my training pain-free, manage an injury along the way, and quickly get me back on track for race day. And I am thankful for Team TISCH for allowing me the opportunity to join their team and support a great cause that affects many men and women.

Are you training for a marathon? Looking to improve your running form? OR even improve your golf swing? I would highly recommend seeing a physical therapist for an injury prevention screen for any and all sports, recreation or exercise. Setting yourself up for optimal movement and mechanics will enhance your activity, as well as reduce the risk of injury. It worked for me!!

 

From the Therapist’s Perspective:

Tina Cardenia PT, DPT, CFMT

Tina head shot

Victoria LaManna is such an inspiration. She volunteered to run the NYC marathon this year with little to no running experience and I was lucky enough to help prepare her! I have been working with Victoria for the past 6 months and I am amazed by how far she has come and how much she has already accomplished. Each week during our PT sessions there were a couple of things that I would look at to monitor her progress. I would observe her running, assess her core with tests called the Lumbar Protective Mechanism* and the Elbow Flexion Test*, her standing posture, her single leg stance, double leg squat, single leg squat, her glut and hamstring strength and how it connects to her trunk, and trunk rotation range of motion.

I saw that Vicky’s main limitations when I was observing her run were her limited trunk rotation towards the right, poor landing control on both of her legs especially her right one, and running with her feet turned out. One of the main things I looked for when observing Vicky run is the force transfer through her body from her feet to her trunk, and how the force translates through the rest of her body. It looked as though the force transfer wasn’t as efficient as I would have liked and this repetitive stress through her back and legs could potentially lead to injury.

tina and vickyVicky’s limitation with trunk rotation correlated to one of her complaints of having difficulty breathing during her runs. It seemed as though she was only able to get a good breath through only one side of her body. Upon examination, I found that she was limited into rib cage expansion especially on the right side. After some rib mobilization and breathing inhalation retraining and working thoracic spine rotation Victoria was able to rotate more symmetrically and reported an increased ease of breath with running.

Vicky’s lack of control with landing while running meant that she had a lack of eccentric (the motion of an active muscle while it is lengthening) control through her pelvis, causing compression through her back every time she lands. This could explain the low back pain Vicky has been experiencing. To address this, I worked on increasing the mobility and range of motion through her hips, pelvis, and back. I then worked on retraining her body with specific neuromuscular techniques called Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) and specific exercises to help Vicky create a core first strategy with her running. This means, with every step and every movement Vicky is able to initiate with her core muscles first, which prevented her from overusing her bigger muscles which tend to fatigue quickly and can lead to injury and pain.

Vicky was running with her feet turned out causing poor force absorption from her feet up to her body. This style of running can also result in muscle overuse injuries and pain over time. This could have also been contributing to her complaints of shin splints while running. To work on this, I evaluated Vicky’s foot and ankle mobility, her knee tracking with squats, and single leg squats. With knee tracking, I noticed that she went into valgus with both of her knees, but it was worse on her right. Valgus means that her knees were “knocking in” which was an issue of having weak hip strength as well as lack of mobility and flexibility through some of her leg muscles and joints.  I did a lot of manual work to restore good range of motion and mobility and a lot of muscle retraining and drills to train Vicky to use those muscles appropriately and to be able to carry it over into her running.

After all this training and all the hard work that Vicky has been putting into running, Vicky’s running form now looks great! She has much more mobility through her trunk, is able to control her landing much more efficiently and is able to connect her feet for a better push off during running! Even as Vicky increased her mileage, she kept reporting to me how much easier her runs have been feeling, how much easier it was to breathe and how much more ease of motion she had through each run, and I couldn’t be more proud of her hard work!

*The Lumbar Protective Mechanism and the Elbow Flexion Test are special tests that come from the Institute of Physical Art. If you would like to learn more about their approach to PT, click here.

What’s Neater Than Your Peter (a series on male sexual dysfunction): A Bend in the Road: Peyronie’s Disease

aerial photography of vehicle parked on beach near bushes
Photo by The Lazy Artist Gallery on Pexels.com

Fiona McMahon PT, DPT Pronouns: She, Her, Hers

Hello everyone! This is our second addition to our What’s Neater Than Your Peter series. In this series, we will be taking deep dives into penile and testicular health. Our first edition covered the ins and outs of premature ejaculation. Check out what we already have written on penile and testicular health by referencing the articles listed at the end of this blog.

Peyronie’s disease is an often distressing condition resulting in a curvature of the penis, pain and sometimes erectile dysfunction and loss of penile length. Unsurprisingly, a disease like Peyronie’s can come with huge psychological burdens. Up to 48% of patients with this condition suffer depression. Peyronie’s disease (PD) can have a huge impact on your life, but the more you understand it, the more you can do to treat it. In this blog, we will be discussing the potential causes of PD, treatments including emerging treatment to aid in reducing pain and improving the function and aesthetics of your penis.

What Causes Peyronie’s?

Peyronies, classified by Francois Gigot de la Peyronie, the personal physician of King Louis the XV, is thought to occur due to microtrauma to the delicate blood vessels and tissues of the penis during intercourse. This microtrauma is thought to cause inflammation, irritate nerves, and can eventually cause plaques to form in the tissues of the penis. These plaques can result in curvature of the penis, erectile pain, and dysfunction. It usually occurs in older folks; however 10% of its sufferers are under age 40. Microtrauma during intercourse is not necessarily considered the sole cause of PD. PD has been seen in men who have never had sex and can be more prevalent in people with certain conditions. PD is often seen in men who have changes in the gene that expresses transforming growth factor- b1. It is also seen in men with diabetes, men with Dupuytren’s contracture, and plantar fibromatosis. PD is now more often regarded as a disorder of healing.

Peyronies can be divided into both an acute and chronic phase. The acute phase occurs within 6 months of the onset of symptoms. After 6 months the condition is considered to be stable; however in an article by Chung in 2015; 50% of people with PD will experience progression of the disease if left untreated.

 

What Treatments are Available for PD?

There are a small minority of patients who spontaneously get better after having PD. For the majority of people, further treatment is required to resolve this disease. The techniques that have been extensively studied for the treatment of PD are oral medication, injection into the penis, traction devices, extracorporeal shock wave therapy, and surgery. Many of these techniques are considered pretty invasive and many men opt to try oral medications first. The currently available data fail to show good long-term effects; however, the field is rapidly developing new drugs. Some common medications prescribed for PD include vitamin E, Potaba, Colchicine, Carnitine, and more. Their respective mechanisms of actions are varied and include working to reduce inflammation, downregulate tumor growth factor B 1, and to reduce the size of plaques within the penis. Injections of collagenase, to break up plaques in the penis have been shown to improve penile deformity somewhat, as well as the calcium channel blocker, verapamil. Obviously, many people find the idea of injecting medication into their penis overwhelming, but so far, current studies are showing that injection may work better than the medication. Extracorporeal shockwave therapy is another non-surgical option for men seeking help for PD. In severe and stable cases, patients may opt for surgery to correct PD especially after failing less invasive modalities.

Can What you do at Beyond Basics Physical Therapy Help PD?

Currently, there is no research available that directly examines the role physical therapy has in treating PD. It just has not been done yet. That said pelvic floor physical therapy (PFPT) has been shown to treat the comorbid conditions associated with PD effectively, i.e. the painful spasm of the pelvic floor as well as the downstream effects of bladder, bowel, ejaculatory issues and pelvic and genital pain conditions. Our therapists are trained to recognize decreased mobility due to scar tissue and adhesions, as well as tight and restricted muscles that may also contribute to an asymmetrical look of the penis. Furthermore, although it has not been looked at directly, myofascial release and scar tissue mobilizations have been shown to reduce adhesions in other tissues, thus treating these restrictions within the penis and surrounding areas may be effective for reducing pain and deformity in the penis.

If you think physical therapy can help or have any questions, call us today.

More Male Pelvic Pain Resources

What is Neater than your Peter? A Guide to Penile Health and Function Part 1: Premature Ejaculation

All About Testicles

LGBTQ+ Topics: Special Considerations for People with Prostate Cancer in the LGBTQ+ Community

 

Prostatitis What it is and What to do About it

Dell’Atti L, Galosi A. Sonographic pattern of peyronie’s disease in patients with absence of palpable plaques. Int Braz J Urol. 2018; 44: 362-9

Chung E. Peyronie’s disease and low intensity shock wave therapy: Clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction rate in an open-label single arm prospective study in Australian Men. Korean J Urolo 2015; 56775-80

Kayes O, Khadr R. Recent advances in managing Peyronies disease [version 1; referees: 2 approved] F1000 Research 2016. 5

Yafi F, Pinsky R, Sangum P, et al. Treatment advances in the treatment of peyronie’s disease. Andrology. 2015 Jul;3(4):650-60

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

awareness cancer design pink
Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán on Pexels.com

Fiona McMahon, DPT

Have you noticed an increase in the amount of pink on just about everything the last couple of days? The increase of pink everything is because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Breast Cancer is an extremely common cancer. According to the Nation Breast Cancer Foundation, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Men can also get breast cancer, however, it is much rarer for men to develop breast cancer. Luckily with early detection and treatment of early stage and localized cancer, the 5-year relative survival rate is 100%. That being said, early detection is crucial and it is important to catch breast cancer early to ensure the best possible outcome. Let’s take some time to review the signs of breast cancer and recommended screening protocols.

Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer

  • Change of Sensation/ texture of the Breast or Nipples
    • Lumps, change in texture in the breast, nipple, or underarm area
  • Change in appearance of Breast or Nipple
    • Swelling
    • Shrinkage
    • Dimpling
    • Change of nipple orientation
  • Discharge from nipple

Detection

Recommended Screening:

Mammogram

  • Recommended every 1-2 years for women who are 40 years old or older.
  • May be recommended for women who are under 40, but have increased risk of breast cancer.

 

Genetic Testing

For some types of breast cancer, there is a very specific link to a person’s genes and her or his risk of developing breast cancer. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are genes that are responsible for the production of certain tumor-suppressing proteins. In some populations, there are mutations in these genes that disable their tumor-fighting properties. These gene mutations are relatively rare and currently, screening is recommended just for individuals with increased risk of harboring these mutations. According to the National Cancer Institute, individuals who are at higher risk and should consider genetic testing are:

  • Individuals who have a male relative who has developed breast cancer
  • History of BRCA related cancers within family history
  • People of Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish ancestry
  • Breast Cancer diagnosed before age 50 in family
  • Multiple cases of breast cancer in family

Individuals that test positive for BRCA mutations may consider increased screening, prophylactic surgery or chemoprevention.

Mastectomy and Physical Therapy

Mastectomy, removal of the breast is currently the most common treatment for breast cancer. Some women chose to have their breasts reconstructed after their mastectomy and others do not. It is obviously a very personal choice.  Like any surgery, mastectomies require close postoperative care to ensure maximal function and recovery.

You may have read the last sentence, and thought, “What is the function of the breast, besides breastfeeding and for sexual pleasure?” The breast lies in an important intersection in the body. The armpit (axilla) contains bundles of nerves, blood vessels, and lymph vessels that course through it, serving the arm down to the fingers. After a mastectomy, their course can be interrupted by scar tissue, radiation damage (if your treatment included radiation), causing painful conditions such as nerve entrapments, frozen shoulder, and lymphedema, ( a backup of lymph fluid, if left unchecked can cause permanent damage and deformation of the arm).

victoria2016Victoria LaManna, DPT, CLT, is our lymphedema expert. If you have had a mastectomy and are unsure about lymphedema care, she is an excellent resource. She will be able to instruct you in self- care and lymphedema prevention measures. Physical therapy can also help to release scar tissue in the breast and upper arm area, regain strength in the arm, and ultimately improve your function. Visit us, and read up on Victoria’s bio here, as well ask on our website at:  www.beyondbasicspt.com/lymphedema

Sources:

http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/. Accessed: September 24, 2016

National Cancer Institute. BRCA1 and BRCA2: Cancer Risk and Genetic Testing. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/genetics/brca-fact-sheet#q1. Accessed September 25,2016

http://www.beyondbasicspt.com/lymphedema

Life After Giving Birth: Trying to Get Back to Competing After Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP)

Note from Fiona McMahon PT, DPT

In this blog, our guest writer is talking about pelvic girdle pain (PGP), which can often get confused with pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD), although they are related, they are different conditions. For pelvic floor dysfunction, we often caution against just strengthening the pelvic floor. Often times the pelvic floor muscles are over tightened and tense and strengthening often can worsen the situation. Pelvic girdle pain refers to issues around the pelvic bones and sacrum. Both can occur during pregnancy but often require different treatment approaches. If you have pain, come see us at BBPT.

ball court design game
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

Exclusively written for BeyondBasicsPTBlog.com

By: AvaFreya

Back in college, I used to be an avid tennis player and even had the chance of representing my school in intercollegiate tournaments. I would wake up at 5 am for three-hour training sessions all the while trying to balance my studies. But after college, the corporate life sucked me in, and I was lucky if I got to play for an hour every other week.

Then after childbirth, my life consisted of trying to raise a beautiful baby boy. I haven’t picked up my racket in months. It’s not because I don’t have time for things other than raising my child – I’ve been blessed with a husband who assumes his fair share of the responsibility. What’s holding me back is my physical state. The pelvic girdle pain (PGP) I experienced during pregnancy never really went away postpartum. In truth though, it is not uncommon. The American Physical Therapy Association notes that many women continue to have the symptoms of PGP after birth.

It’s a scary thought not to be able to do something you used to love so much. Compared to other stories I’ve heard, my case can be considered mild, but I had to seek help if I wanted to play again. Beyond Basics Physical Therapy led me to Pilates and I learned to channel my breathing in a way that it gently engages my pelvic floor [ remember this may be appropriate for PGP but not necessarily PFD]. It has been a great way to reintroduce strength to my core, considering that pregnancy has changed my body in more ways than one. When I get nostalgic and look at pictures from my glory days, I barely recognize myself. Where are the muscular legs, rock hard abs, and enviable arms? Not in this 34-year-old body of mine, that’s for sure. But I’m committed to gaining control over my body and getting back to the court.

But in the five months that I’ve been doing painstaking therapy, my sacroiliac joint feels a lot better, and I no longer feel stiff. During my recovery, Serena Williams was a great inspiration to me. For one, she’s a fantastic player, and Coral identified her as the highest paid female tennis player. More importantly, though, she’s a mom who never used her pregnancy as an excuse not to get a hold of her life. She probably even went through the same pain many other women, and I did. When I was bed-bound during my pregnancy, my idol was playing in the Australian Open while she was 8 weeks pregnant and even won the final.

Not all women’s bodies are the same or even experience pain similar to mine, but Williams continues to be my inspiration on and off the court. I have been playing tennis with my trainer—sometimes with my husband—and we sometimes play for as long as my stamina allows it. Torquing my hips doesn’t worry me anymore, in fear of a sudden crack of my bones anymore. On excellent days, I think that my backhand is even returning. Although I suspect that it will be a long time before I regain the level, I was playing at during college

Note from Fiona McMahon, PT, DPT at Beyond Basics Physical Therapy

We are so grateful to have AvaFreya share her experience of returning to tear up the court post baby! Everyone’s story evolves so differently with pregnancy and childbirth, which is what makes it both terrifying, exciting, and momentous, all the same time. The truth is some women bounce back on their own, (lucky duckies), others find it to be much more complicated. We recommend coming to visit a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist during pregnancy and after you give birth to guide you to a program that is right for you. We often run into women, who with the very best of intentions, started down a path that actually made them worse! Often times we see this with women doing excessive Kegels when their pelvic floor is already too active secondary to weakness somewhere else in the body. Frankly, it’s a total bummer and delays getting back to the things you love. If you have recently had a baby or are currently preggers, you owe it to yourself to see a pelvic floor physical therapist who can advise you on exercises to do on your own or treat you more intensively if you need it. Your time and your health are way too precious.

 

For more reading on pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, please check out these blogs:

 

Stop Doing Kegels: Real Pelvic Floor Advice For Women (and Men)

Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

Lace up or Feet up? Running During Pregnancy

Why Do I Still Look Pregnant?!: Diastasis Recti, Part I

Why Do I Still Look Pregnant: Part II

Mind the Gap: Diastasis Recti Abdominis and What We Don’t Know: Part I

Mind the Gap Part II: Improving the Look and Function of the Mommy Tummy (Diastasis Recti)

 

 

 

We have offices in both midtown and downtown locations. If you recently have had a baby or are pregnant, please give us a call at

 

212-354-2622 (Midtown)

 

212-267-0240 (Downtown)

 

We are offering free phone consultations in both locations for a limited time!

 

 

How to Make PT Work for You!

Fiona McMahon PT, DPT (Pronouns: she, her, hers)

action adult athlete blur
Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

Okay, you’ve got the referral in your hand. You have found the clinic that seems perfect for you. You are ready to improve your health and go to physical therapy (GO YOU!). But what if it doesn’t work? Your Aunt Gladys did great after her treatment and is back to hiking after a hip replacement, but your brother Dale is still struggling with his knee pain. Why? Will you be like your dear auntie or will you be like Dale? Is there anything you can do to improve your chances of absolutely rocking physical therapy (PT)? The answer is yes. There is a lot you can do to help speed your progress in PT.

One of the most common questions I get as a physical therapist, second only to “why did this happen to me?” is “how long will it take to get better?”. The answer is variable and to explain my answer, I hop in the way-back machine and bring back a picture of a standard distribution from high school.

standard dist

 

I explain that most of my patients fall in the middle of the bell curve, and are seen for 7-10 visits. These patients tend to be pretty regular with appointments and more or less do there home exercise program regularly, with room for lapses due to normal life events. The middle is a really good stable place to be.

Now, there are always people far from the middle on the right side who just blow me away with how much better they do and how quickly they improve. They tend to be folks who don’t have many other conditions going on medically, manage stress well and tend to keep pretty healthy lives. These folks also tend to be very dedicated about adhering to their home exercise plan. Also, in my clinical experience, this accelerated group tends to not have had their condition for a long time, which speeds their recovery.

What about people on the left side, who stay in PT for a long time? This is definitely a tough group to be in and you can end up in this group due to factors both inside and outside of your control. People in this group may have many conditions contributing to why PT is taking so long. They also may not be able to keep regular appointments due to outside circumstances and adhering to a home program may be difficult, or they may have other medical conditions complicating recovery. Though this group is a challenging group to be in, we can still work on speeding up PT in small ways just as we can in other groups.

We can’t always control our lives, how long we’ve had conditions, and our medical histories, but everyone has the ability to make the most out of PT. In this blog, we will discuss the factors that are in your and your physical therapist’s control to get the best out of your physical therapy experience.

Set Realistic Goals with Your Physical Therapist

When we physical therapists meet a new patient, we always make PT goals to help guide our treatment. These tend to be pretty dry and based on things like range of motion, strength, etc.,. But really, what is most important is what you want to do. Often times we think exclusively of our pain at the expense of function. Think very specifically about what you want to do or what you could do if your pain was more manageable. Do you want to dance? If so, for how long? What type of dancing? Do you want to sit at work comfortably for 1-2 hours? Do you want to get on the floor and play with your 1-year-old? Being specific about your goals serves a dual purpose. It helps us zero in on exactly how to conduct our treatment and it provides you with motivation when life gets crazy, PT gets hard or you have a setback, and the last thing you want to do is your home program.

 

Get Regular

We work a lot on constipation here at Beyond Basics, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Regular appointments can help us augment a term we call “carry over”. Carryover is one of the most important things we try and achieve as physical therapists. It’s all well and good to improve pain, range of motion, or strength but if it only lasts a day or two, what good is it? Many of the things we do are cumulative and may require a few visits relatively close together to get things to stick. A practical way to get regular appointments is to schedule way out in advance to ensure you get the appointments that best fit with your schedule. I often have my patients schedule 10-12 appointments out. With the best case scenario being they don’t end up needing them, which is fantastic but they have them if they need them. I also encourage my patients to get on our clinic’s waitlist if they can’t get appointments. Many physical therapists will experience cancellations during the week, and can often fit patients in when it appeared at first that they were completely booked. If you can’t get in, speak up. Physical therapists don’t want you to lose your progress either, they will often work with you to make sure you get seen.

Home Program

The home program is one of the most important parts of physical therapy. Even if you are going to PT relatively frequently, 3 times a week or so for one full hour, you are still spending less than 2% of your time in PT, versus 98% of your time in the real world. Although I truly believe in the work of myself and my colleagues, most people really need to take PT home with them in terms of their home program. It takes a lot to change how your body moves and works. Muscles take time to grow, the nervous system takes time to learn how to use them and or calm down, and inflammation takes time to go away. It often takes a lot, either a large injury or years of repetitive microtrauma to get yourself at a point where you find yourself in need of physical therapy. It can take a lot of consistent work to get to recovery. A good home exercise program can really help shorten your time at physical therapy and ensure that the results you achieve stick around for the long haul.

Don’t Let Perfect be The Enemy of the Good

Some physical therapists can prescribe a ton of exercises. They usually do this because they see the potential for your improvement, but sometimes neglect the fact that the real world exists and spending over an hour a day on physical therapy is not always possible. Yours truly is often guilty of this. If you feel overly burdened by your home exercise program (HEP in PT lingo), don’t throw the whole thing out. Pick 1 or 2 exercises you can do consistently until you next see your PT. When you see your PT next, discuss your HEP with them. Your HEP may need a revamp, or your physical therapist may work with you to find ways for you to be more consistent with your HEP, or they may help you to prioritize your exercises into “must do”, “should do” and “nice to do” exercises. We don’t take offense to this type of frank talk, because it helps us help you get better.

Your HEP Should Evolve as Your Needs Evolve

The super buff guy or girl at the gym isn’t lifting the same amount as the day he or she started lifting weights. As he or she got stronger, they progressively increased the challenge of his or her program. The same thing should happen with PT home programs. Your program may not change week to week but the program should be regularly updated as you improve. If this isn’t happening ask your therapist why your plan has not progressed, they may have a good reason or they may welcome the nudge to push you to harder activities.

Do Your Research

Physical Therapy practices can vary a lot and some can be better suited to fit your individual needs better than others. What do you value? Would you rather have 1 on 1 time with your physical therapist, or would you thrive in a place surrounded by other patients working out together? Does your physical therapist have an interest in treating your condition? Has your physical therapist contributed to the field in ways outside of clinical practice, like getting advanced certifications, teaching new students, or contributing to the literature? The website of a prospective clinic is a good place to start. Often times, you can find information on what the general treatment approach is like, as well as the personal biographies of physical therapists you may be working with to see if they will be a good match. If you still have questions, call the clinic. Often times the front desk can set you up with someone to answer your questions.

At Beyond Basics Physical Therapy, we value 1 on 1 treatment in order to give our patients the most individualized treatment possible. We believe this treatment allows us to treat our patients as efficiently and return them to full function sooner. We are the experts on pelvic floor dysfunction in both adults and children, but also offer expert treatment for orthopedic conditions with advanced orthopedic physical therapists. We offer phone consults to our patients to help them determine if we are the best clinic for them. If you are thinking we might be a good fit for you, give us a call today at 212-354-2622 for our Midtown location and 212-267-0240 for our Downtown location.

Finding a good PT and going to physical therapy can seem like a lot, and sometimes it is. That being said, the rewards are often so spectacular. There is nothing like being able to do what was once painful or extremely difficult with the help of physical therapy or avoiding a surgery because of physical therapy. When setting out on your journey remember: do your research, do your HEP, and be open with your physical therapist about what’s not working and what is. After that, the sky’s the limit.

Fiona McMahon PT, DPT treats at our Midtown location

fiona2018