Rib pain: The buck can stop here.

Meet today’s guest blogger:

Gus Gutierrez, PT, OCS, FAAOMPT
Gus is an owner of and serves as clinical director of BRPT-Lake, a multi-clinic private practice that specializes in the treatment of orthopedic patients and sports-related injuries. He received his Orthopedic Certified Specialization distinction in 1994 and then again in 2004. He is certified as a Level 2 Manual Therapist and is Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists. He has over 23 years of clinical experience and working with athletes on all levels. Gus has been certified in Astym since 2001.  He is also certified in Kinesiology Taping and as an Active Release Technique practitioner for the upper extremity, lower extremity and spine.

Often times patients who develop rib pain with no known etiology (cause) are processed through the medical system undergoing countless medical diagnostic tests and consultations.  Physical therapy needs to be part of the assessment team to determine whether treatment for soft tissue and joint restrictions can be helpful.  Often time these patients respond very quickly to manual therapy techniques including joint manipulation, mobilizations and Astym for the intercostal soft tissues. Continue reading Rib pain: The buck can stop here.

What is De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis?

Meet today’s guest blogger:

Kristy Uddin, OTR/L, Astym Provider
Integrated Rehabilitation Group, Inc.
Locations throughout the greater Puget Sound, Washington area
Pacific Avenue Hand Therapy – (425)374-2846
Snohomish Physical Therapy – (360)568-7774

Two of the main tendons to the thumb pass through a tunnel (or series of pulleys) located on the thumb side of the wrist. Tendons are rope-like structures that attach muscle to bone. Tendons are covered by a slippery thin soft-tissue layer, called synovium. This layer allows the tendons to slide easily through the tunnel. Any swelling of the tendons located near these nerves can put pressure on the nerves. This can cause wrist pain or numbness in the fingers.

Continue reading What is De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis?

Tendonitis: Why Won’t It Go Away?

Because it’s probably tendinosis.  Often, chronic tendonitis (also spelled tendinitis), which lasts more than 6 weeks is really tendinosis (also spelled tendonosis).  The difference is that acute, short-term tendinitis is thought to be caused by inflammation, which is an active immune response of the body to a perceived threat.  The acute, inflammatory tendonitis can be treated and usually resolved within several weeks by icing the area 3 to 4 times daily for 20-30 minutes, resting, and taking over-the-counter or prescription strength anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen. Continue reading Tendonitis: Why Won’t It Go Away?

What is Astym treatment?: Astym Definition, Part III

Scientific studies have shown an increase in fibroblast recruitment and fibroblast activation with Astym treatment, which reveal the body’s underlying physiological response to Astym.  These studies highlight the regenerative mechanism of Astym treatment and help us understand how Astym treatment results in the regeneration of soft tissues. There also appears to be a neurological component to the Astym treatment process as evidenced by immediate changes in pain perception (often pain is immediately reduced) and strength measures (strength often immediately increases) following treatment. Continue reading What is Astym treatment?: Astym Definition, Part III

What is Astym treatment?: Astym Definition, Part II

Astym treatment is effective in resolving many soft tissue problems, including chronic tendinopathies, tendon pain, tendon injury, stiffness, restricted movement, limited function and other conditions associated with adhesions or scar tissue that can occur after trauma or surgical intervention. It is also quite effective on sprains, strains, and other acute and sub-acute soft tissue injuries.  Continue reading What is Astym treatment?: Astym Definition, Part II

What is Astym treatment?: Astym Definition, Part I

Astym treatment is a regenerative therapy provided by specially trained (and certified) physical and occupational therapists.  Instruments are applied topically (on top of the skin) to locate dysfunctional (unhealthy) soft tissue, and to transfer pressure and shear forces to the underlying soft tissue structures.  The protocols, the force, and direction of the treatment induce a healing/regenerative response in tendons, muscles, and other soft tissue structures.  Astym treatment stimulates tissue turnover, scar tissue resorption, and the regeneration of tendons, muscles and other soft tissue structures. Therapy is typically provided twice weekly for three to four weeks and is done in conjunction with eccentric loading, stretching, and functional exercises. Continue reading What is Astym treatment?: Astym Definition, Part I

Heel Pain: Most Common Cause is Plantar Fasciitis

The tough band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes is called the plantar fascia.  It supports the arch of your foot, and when it becomes irritated or degenerated, then you have what is called plantar fasciitis (other names include: plantar fasciosis, which indicates degeneration, and plantar fasciopathy, which includes both degeneration and the inflammation indicated by plantar fasciitis).  This condition affects up to 2 million Americans each year.

Runners or people who are on their feet for long periods of time often get plantar fasciitis.  Also, people who are middle-aged, overweight or pregnant are susceptible to getting plantar fasciitis.  One of the most common symptoms of plantar fasciitis is foot pain in the morning getting out of bed or foot pain after getting up following prolonged sitting.  Once the foot loosens up it usually gets better unless you spend a lot of time on your feet or go running.

How can you get better?

Drugs to reduce inflammation are commonly prescribed and should help if the cause of the pain from plantar fasciitis is inflammation.  However, most long term plantar fasciitis is likely caused by degeneration of your plantar fascia, and in that case, medication to reduce inflammation will be ineffective to resolve the condition, although it may give some temporary pain relief. Rest, splints, stretches and modified shoes are also commonly recommended. Again, these treatments may also be effective if the condition is caused by inflammation, however, they will not be effective if the plantar fasciitis is caused by degeneration.

Plantar fasciitis caused by degeneration will often recur when resting is over, splints are removed, stretching is stopped or different shoes are worn.   Modifiying your lifestyle can help in certain cases, but the downside is that you have to keep it up.  To me, that is an indication that you haven’t cured the underlying problem, but rather you are constantly treating the symptoms and you are learning to live with the inconvenience.

Although it is not fully understood, researchers and a growing number of health care professionals recognize that almost all cases of chronic plantar fasciitis are due to degeneration of the plantar fascia, and treatment should involve stimulating regeneration of the affected tissue.  This link will show you some of the scientific evidence – histologic findings – that confirm this view: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12756315.  Right now, there are very few approaches that focus on regenerating healthy tissue.  However, a good treatment option that focuses on stimulating regeneration and has a high rate of success for plantar fasciitis is Astym treatment.   You can see what Astym treatment is like by clicking here:  http://astym.com/video

Internal Scar Tissue/Adhesions Limit Movement and Cause Pain

Over time, internal scar tissue or adhesions can build up in your joints, muscles, tendons, and soft tissues.  It can be caused by working your body too much, injury (such as sprains, strains and trauma), surgery, disease, or just by moving and not being in absolute perfect physical condition or having perfect “form” when you move.  Stiffness and many of the aches and pains that we have after reaching a “certain age” are due to the build up of internal scar tissue and adhesions.  Astym treatment is effective at reducing or eliminating internal scar tissue or adhesions.

Once the scar tissue and adhesions are reduced or removed, stiffness, and aches and pains often go away.  Astym’s resolution rates (outcomes) for scar tissue and adhesions related pain are impressive.  Click on this link to see how many people resolve their conditions after Astym treatment: http://www.astym.com/Content/documents/ASTYM%20Outcome%20Report.pdf.  These outcomes were submitted by independent clinicians from all across the country.

About Thomas L. Sevier of Astym

Thomas L. Sevier, MD, FACSM is a double board certified physician, consultant, author and medical researcher. As a team physician and event physician, he has provided medical coverage for many high-profile sporting events. Dr. Sevier established the first ACGME accredited Sports Medicine Fellowship in the United States, and has served as a faculty member at two universities. He has helped pioneer important advances in rehab and sports medicine, and writes extensively for peer-reviewed journals, scientific publications and books. Dr. Sevier regularly speaks on medical and rehabilitation matters, and serves as an expert resource for medical and popular media outlets. Dr. Sevier is one of the few physicians who has been granted fellowship status in both the American College of Sports Medicine and in the American College of Physicians. 

Tendonitis vs. Tendinosis: Know what you have and how to treat it.

Tendons are the tough tissue that connects your muscles to your bones.  Often, tendons become painful and limit movement.  For years, almost all conditions of painful tendons were referred to as tendonitis.  Tendonitis (also spelled tendinitis) literally means that a tendon has inflammation, so doctors usually treated tendonitis by trying to reduce inflammation.  This kind of treatment had very little success.  Today, research has now shown us that chronic tendonitis only rarely has an element of inflammation.  Continue reading Tendonitis vs. Tendinosis: Know what you have and how to treat it.

Restore – Revitalize – Recover