Understanding Musculoskeletal Pain

Musculoskeletal pain occurs in joints, bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Unrealized by many, pain is actually a symptom, not a problem itself; unfortunately, many medical professionals treat pain by immobilizing hurting joints. This approach causes more problems than it resolves; seek orthopedic professionals with an interest in discovering the source of pain and treating the root of the problem to effectively resolve musculoskeletal pain.

Why Musculoskeletal Pain Comes Back

Issues to the musculoskeletal system cause musculoskeletal pain; joints, bones, muscles, tendons can all associated with musculoskeletal disorders. In traditional western medical treatment, the area where pain occurs is viewed via imaging (usually an x-ray); the patient is prescribed pain medicine and is recommended to discontinue use of the injured joint or limb for a period of time. Soon after treatment and patients begin reusing their limbs, the pain returns.

Orthopedists see this scenario play out time and time again; a patient seeks medical intervention due to joint pain. Upon reviewing the patient’s medical history, it is revealed that the patient suffered a previous episode of pain or had a previous injury to a specific joint (injury is one of the common cause of musculoskeletal pain); the prior ailment was “treated” via immobilization in a sling or a brace for a period of four to six weeks.

Following the immobilization period, patients report that their caregiver removes the boot or sling (whatever was being used to stabilize the joint) and declares the patient’s injury to be healed. Patients report being encouraged to resume normal physical activity, which, when they do so, results in renewed pain and problems.

Problems Caused by Joint Immobilization

Obviously, this course of care (injury, immobilization, reuse) is problematic for several logical reasons:

  • Joints after immobilization are weaker due to lack of use
  • Muscles atrophy and ligaments stiffen when constrained / not used
  • Joint fluid congeals when not in use
  • Joints scar during immobilization, which leads to loss of joint mechanics
  • Activity after immobilization causes stress

Even your brain’s neurological control over the musculoskeletal group that is immobilized suffers as it becomes clouded due to lack of use in commanding the unused joint. The result is poor coordination following the removal of a sling, boot, or brace.

The culmination of these mental and physical factors is an increased risk of re-injury and of chronic joint pain.

Accurately Addressing Musculoskeletal Pain

The reality is that immobilizers like braces are too often used to remedy the symptom of pain. Problematically, this solution serves two undesirable purposes:

  • Braces temporarily silence pain – Pain is a good thing as it communicates that there is a problem; when pain is silenced via bracing or medication, then the patient’s chances for re-injury increase
  • Braces can cause joint atrophy – As previously illustrated, lack of use can cause more harm than good in the long run.

The real objective, thus, should be to remedy joint painthrough a thorough assessment of all of the pain-causing structures surrounding the joint. Muscles, ligaments, tendons, fascia, and nerve roots should all be explored in assessing and diagnosing musculoskeletal pain. It is essential to look at the brain’s protective responses associated with a painful point.

Proper assessment must also include looking at the hard-wired protective reflexes that tend to become hyper-aroused when a joint has been hurting for a prolonged period of time. Such reflexes can lead to muscle spasms that persist long after an injury has healed. There is a great deal more to diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal pain than most physicians provide.

As noted, far too many in the medical community are content to image the source of pain, immobilize it, and “treat” it with pain pills. This temporary measure to address musculoskeletal pain is ultimately ineffective.

The physical therapists at the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center in Florida are determined to facilitate change in these expectations. OSPTC physicians will evaluate the painful joint, will explore the anatomy that could be causing the discomfort, and will determine precisely what is causing the problem.

OSPTC patients don’t sit around waiting for a brace to minimize their pain. At the OSPTC, the process is very patient-involved; patients play an active role in getting rid of their pain, getting moving, and beginning a life free of pain. 

With four locations from Crestview to Destin, Florida, the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center is the place to go for sports injuries and for expedient therapeutic recovery. Become an active participant in mitigating your pain; seek the safe, competent and complete relief offered by the experts at the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center, LLC where the only thing you’ll need to brace yourself for is quality care.

Carpal Tunnel Treatment

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a pain-inflicting nerve disorder that has innumerable causes. Many common carpal tunnel treatment options including surgery, anti inflammatory medication, and immobilization fail to correct the root causes of carpal tunnel symptoms where they occur. Orthopedic solutions are an alternative that target the cause of carpal tunnel syndrome and treat it.

Many do not realize it, but carpal tunnel syndrome is one of those diagnoses that orthopedists have tremendous success in treating, despite never receiving referrals from doctors to handle. This is because medical doctors resolve to treat carpal tunnel syndrome by requiring patients to wear night splints on their wrists for six weeks while taking anti-inflammatories. If that does not solve the problem (which is rarely does, and you’ll soon learn why), then surgery is considered.

But why? Why have surgery or take medications to mask or minimize pain or immobilize wounds when specialists like those of us at Orthopedic and Sports PT are figuring out the cause of the problem and treating it?

Understanding Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is the compression of the median nerve as it passes through the carpel tunnel of the wrist. Common symptoms include pain and weakness when gripping in addition to tingling and numbness in certain fingers of the hand. Symptoms are generally worse during the evening and can ultimately interfere with use of the affected arm.

Carpal tunnel can have many causes.

  • Generally, median nerve compression is an overuse injury caused by excessive, repeated gripping or movements requiring specific, fine movements of the fingers (such as those required to operated a keyboard, a cell phone keypad, or a video game controller).
  • Overuse of the finger tendons as they pass through the carpal tunnel causes swelling and subsequent compression to the median nerve.
  • The underlying cause to the wear and tear on the carpal tunnel is most often due to brachial plexus restrictions as it passes through numerous tunnels between the next and the finger tips.

The brachial plexus is a bundle of nerves that pass through and control the arm. The median nerve is one of the nerves in the brachial plexus bundle.

Diagnosing & Treating Carpal Tunnel

As nerves exit the neck, they can become restricted in the foramen of the cervical vertebrae; from there, they get compressed as the pass through the scalenes under the pectoralis minor as it passes through the pronator teres and finally through the carpal tunnel. The nerve can get compressed at any one of these given areas.

Once the nerve is compressed, blood flow becomes restricted,, which leads to numbness and tingling. So, if you are given night splints for your wrist, but if the compression is occurring anywhere else throughout the arm, then the intervention will not be successful.

Additionally, if the problem is loss of blood flow to the nerve bed, then it makes sense to improve blood flow to the nerve in order to resolve the symptoms. Immobilization of the wrist does nothing to relieve nerve compression nor does it do anything to improve blood flow to the nerve bed.

At Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center, LLC, our physical therapists are trained to treat carpal tunnel by:

  • Looking at the areas where the nerve may become compressed
  • Mobilizing the peripheral nervous system, which reduces nerve compression and helps improve blood flow
  • Finding a course of action that does not rely on surgery, anti-inflammatories, splints or other invasive or immobilizing treatment regimens that generally result in carpal tunnel relapse.

Orthopedics presents an intelligent, viable option to treating the pain and malfunctioning associated with carpal tunnel. Before you defer to surgery or medication for help with your carpal tunnel pain, consider the alternatives to get you out of pain for good.

With four locations from Crestview to Destin, Florida, the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center is the place to go for sports injuries and for expedient therapeutic recovery. Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center has expertise in assessing, diagnosing, and treating the real issues that cause medical problems.  Let Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center, LLC help you find a reliable, nonsurgical solution to your carpal tunnel syndrome and other ailments.

The Ability of an MDI to Diagnose Pain

MDIs or Multidirectional Instability injuries are highly common afflictions that occur both as the result of significant trauma and simply in general. Looking at an MDI to diagnose pain can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack; only by getting to the root of the problem through a proper physical assessment can pain be properly assessed and treated.

What is MDI?

MDI or Multidirectional Instability is a common affliction of the shoulder. It is a joint disorder than can impact anyone –not just those who have experienced trauma or who have dislocated their shoulder, as many commonly believe. Realistically, MDI can afflict anyone who has not used or who has recently started extensively using his or her shoulder joints after a period of non-use.

The result is a sense of looseness or laxity in which the shoulder joint might be subject so sliding in and out of place (hence the assumption about dislocation).

Diagnosing Pain with an MDI

Problematically, MDI pain is somewhat indistinguishable from other forms of pain. For example, signs and symptoms of an MDI:

  • Pain is typically experienced during an activity
  • Pain when lifting or moving objects
  • Pain during or following exercise
  • A sensation of weakness
  • A sensation of shoulder movement
  • Popping or clicking in the shoulder when movement occurs
  • Tingling or numbing to the afflicted arm
  • Fatigue following activity
  • Loss of performance

It is for these reasons –the fact that the problem can so easily masquerade as something else, that a proper diagnosis is necessary. Only through a targeted discussion regarding the pain and with a detailed physical examination can a proper diagnosis be achieved.

Selecting the Right Care

Respective to diagnosis and treatment, it is essential to take your concerns to the correct type of doctor for your ailment. Just as you wouldn’t seek input from a cardiologist regarding a suspicious mole on your forearm, you should also not consult an internist or surgeon or any other type of specialist regarding physical pain other than an orthopedist.

While these medical doctors are very skilled in their areas of expertise, they have a tendency to misdiagnose ailments due to their exclusive reliance on imaging technologies like MRI and X-ray. While imaging is useful in assisting a diagnosis, it should not be the only resource (as is often the case among non-orthopedic professionals).

Further, pain medication and / or surgery are often the prescribed treatment solutions among some medical professionals. This, too, is problematic. Treatment through physical therapy, which is the result of an accurate diagnosis of the cause of pain, is both safer and more effective.

At the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center in Florida, your MDI pain will be treated with proper attention and respect. Our mission is to diagnose the source of your pain using a series of healthy, noninvasive assessments proven to adequately understand what is causing your pain and further—to understand the cause of your MDI so continued injury and pain can be avoided.

At OSPTC, we listen to you and invite you to be a participant in your healing and recovery process. If you’re ready to stop hurting, come see the wise, experienced, and conscientious health professionals at OSPTC.

With four locations from Crestview to Destin, Florida, the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center is the place to go for sports injuries and for expedient therapeutic recovery. The careful, respectful, and attentive physical assessment of the causes of pain is a specialty of the professionals at Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center, LLC. Their experienced, comprehensive approach to pain diagnosis and treatment will have you feeling better, longer in no time.

Seeing is Believing: Pain Isn’t Always Visible

Far too often, patients experiencing pain are prematurely convinced of a narrative perpetuated as a result of imaging (ex: an MRI revealed a bone spur); however, some ailments are normal products of aging and other factors meaning they may not be the causes of pain at all. Only by using a skilled observational approach, such as those implemented at OSPTC, can the causes of pain accurately be identified.

Why Musculoskeletal Pain Comes Back

The problem with western medicine or medicine performed in the United States is that there is an apparent failure to or at least a failure to attempt to understand the causes of pain and to treat that pain at its source. Believe it or not, despite their comprehensive training, most doctors receive very little educational support in diagnosing and treating pain-causing disorders. This claim is supported in a recent publication titled, A Nation in Pain: Healing Our biggest Health Problem, by Judy Foreman.

girl-leg-painIn her work, Judy claims, “Pain is a bigger problem than heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, combined!” This is the problem that I experience on a daily basis; patients come in to the clinic with an issue that is causing pain. They have already been processed through a system that merits seeing a medical doctor at which point they get an MRI or X-ray, and taking pain pills; the subsequent prescription is for pain pills for anywhere from four to six weeks, yet the results yield no evident relief.

I find it interesting that when I first meet with a patient and inquire, “What are you here for today?” that the answer is always the same. Responses I receive such as, “I have herniated disc,” and “I have a bone spur,” reveal that the patient has already received professional medical information that leads them to believe they are broken.

To this I ask ‘why?’ Just because one has been told that an MRI or X-ray shows an anatomical variation, which invariably must be the cause of their pain that does not make it so. The reality is that most changes seen on an MRI or X-ray show normal changes within the human body that are the result of aging but that have no bearing on pain.

The Placebo Effect

Considering the following claim that MRIs and X-rays are no good at diagnosing pain complaints. Those are useful only if my therapist and I are unable to find anything wrong during our routine therapy exam. The real problem is that once you have viewed your X-ray or MRI, you start to believe that what is happening is abnormal and the cause of your problems. Once you start to believe this, it is difficult to remove your pain through conventional intervention.

This is because 30% of any treatment is placebo, which means that if something is meant to work, it will work to a degree of up to 30% because you’re relying on the narrative that it is intended to work (and therefore, it must work). On the contrary, if you do not believe the placebo narrative, there is a 30% higher likelihood that any proposed intervention that it will not work.

The Significance

So, why is this issue concerning? It’s problematic because 30% of treatment left subject to the placebo effect is actually the most important part of any treatment you try. In other words, if you visit a surgeon or physician and are made to believe that you have a bone spur, then you will not believe that any treatment for any ailment other than a bone spur is beneficial.

Thus, before you accept the diagnosis resulting from imaging or even another MD or chiropractor, consider the healthy, non-invasive, results-driven alternative approach of a physical therapist at the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center (OSPTC), and let their doctors figure out why you are really in pain, and let them help you fix it.

With four locations from Crestview to Destin, Florida, the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center is the place to go for sports injuries and for expedient therapeutic recovery. Rather than relying on images, these medical experts read your body’s signals to understand what problematic before treating real issues. Let Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center, LLC diagnose, treat, and resolve issues causing you pain.

Why Choose Physical Therapy for Noninvasive Back Pain Relief?

While many seek surgical solutions for back pain, the odds of surgery being successful in treating back pain are slim; a noninvasive alternative to surgery that boasts longer success rates is physical therapy. Physical therapy diagnoses back pain and treats issues without surgery, MRI, or injections.

Using Surgery to Treat Back Pain

A commercial during the Oscars portrayed a happy patient who claimed to have suffered from back pain and to have gotten relief from neurosurgery. The patient in the commercial appeared to be about 50 years old. Many with pain end up looking toward surgical solutions, but there’s a thought: what about back pain relief without surgery?

Why Surgery is a Flawed Solution

back-painAs an Orthopedist, in my observation, approximately 90% of back surgeries are done in error. Here’s why I say that:

  • Physical exams are limited. Medical doctors do very little by way of a physical exam to determine what the broke structure is.
  • They rely on MRIs. Medical doctors order Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to image the broken structure. They base their diagnosis on the image’s information with little reliance on evidence from a physical exam.

I know this to be accurate because I have interviewed thousands of patients in the course of my 24-year career, and this is what they report.

Following the procedure, surgeons offer limited alternatives.

  • Pills: Pain pills and medications are the first course of post-surgery “treatment.” Often, these pills are addictive and do not actually facilitate healing; rather, they mask pain. Patients can become addicted because these are incredibly strong medications and because of the satisfying result of pain being disguised.
  • Injections: If pills are not successful in the “treatment” of pain, then injections are typically offered. As with pills and other medications, injections do nothing to genuinely resolve any issues; rather, they make pain.

The problem with disguising pain following major surgery is that you might believe your body to be doing better than it actually is; this makes you vulnerable to reinjure yourself (and possibly more significantly than before you had surgery) leading you to need more intervention. Because you are already in the care of a medical doctor, you are more like to return to the same doctor for treatment; you will possibly be recommended for another course of surgery, and the cycle will invariably repeat itself.

Back Pain Relief without Surgery, Injections, or MRI

In reality, most medical experts concur that while back surgery can be used in the treatment of some back pain, it is rarely necessary for the treatment of back pain; further, with surgery, in the even the surgery is successful (surgery is not always successful) back pain usually returns within two months.

If you are not treating your back pain with surgery, then what are your options? Well, unlike surgery, which is invasive, physical therapy provides noninvasive solutions focused on achieving an accurate diagnosis and rehabilitating the injury or ailment.

Physical Therapists Diagnose Pain & Treat Problems

therapy-centerThe physical therapists at Orthopedic and Sports Therapy are experts in diagnosing the true causes of back pain. The physical therapists use a series of physical exams to target the part of your anatomy that is not working.

Once a diagnosis has been made, the physical therapists will work with you and will help you use your own body to heal itself through physical activities and hands on manipulation. At Orthopedic and Sports Therapy, we see pain as a symptom, not the problem, which is why we are not in the business of masking pain.

Rather, our expertise is in determining the source of your pain:

  • Muscle
  • Tendon
  • Disc
  • Nerve root
  • Fascia
  • Dural restriction,

and in treating you accordingly. Without the intervention of invasive, painful, and damaging surgeries, MRIs, X-Rays, pills, or injections, we have the ability to diagnose and treat your back pain. Our goal is to keep you whole and make you feel good. Doesn’t that seem like a better way to address pain? We certainly thing so.

With four locations from Crestview to Destin, Florida, the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center is the place to go for sports injuries and for expedient therapeutic recovery. When you’re in pain and looking for safe, competent, and complete relief, look no further than the experts at the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center, LLC. They’ll get you up and running in no time.

Are Shots Good for Shoulder Pain?

The burden of should pain can often easily be temporarily alleviated with a shot; however, pain always returns, and the shot’s chemicals can lead to more significant problems over time. Physical therapy provides a safe, healthy approach to treating shoulder pain that is proven to be effective over the long term.

The Hazards of Masking Shoulder Pain with Shots

shoulder-painTreating shoulder pain with shots is a common practice because shots provide quick, temporary alleviation of pain; however, this is not a good idea. Shots only function to disguise pain. Given that pain is only symptomatic of the problem and is not the problem itself, treating a symptom is not a lasting or even a healthy way to ameliorate discomfort.

Think of it this way, if you had the flu and that flu resulted in nausea and all you did was treat the nausea but not the flu, provided you could live forever with the flu, you would always be treating the nausea because the flu would never go away because you weren’t treating it. The same concept is applicable relative to shoulder pain. If you are only treating the pain but not the cause of the pain, then you will always be dealing with pain.

Making Pain Leads to Muscle and Tissue Damage

When you have a shoulder injury, you have muscle and joint dysfunction; this is what causes your pain. When you get an injection, as noted, you are stopping the pain; however, the underlying joint dysfunction remains, and the tissue subsequently continues to deteriorate, albeit, pain free, since you have masked the pain with medication.

Further compromises to your muscle and tissues stem from the chemicals used to create the injections as those chemicals:

  • Break down tissues
  • Weaken tissues
  • Makes tissues unhealthy

This leads to further problems that could have otherwise been prevented with less invasive approach that targeted the problem and not just the pain.

The Healthy Way to Treat Shoulder Pain

Physical Therapy Provides Cost-Effective Safe Pain Relief

stretchThe best way to resolve the problem is to accurately diagnose the cause of the pain and discomfort and to eliminate the mechanical issue; this intervention is provided through physical therapy, the result of which is that you will return the joint to its optimal efficiency. As a result of this approach to treatment:

  • The tissue will become healthier
  • Chances for renewed pain are lessened

In addition to the health benefits of using physical therapy to treat shoulder ailments is that physical therapy is less expensive than the more invasive alternative, shots.

The doctors as Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy are well-trained professionals with expertise in addressing problems related to shoulder pain. These physical therapists are highly knowledgeable about shoulder function and have several hands-on techniques they can use to help you treat your shoulder pain in a safe, effective, healthy, and noninvasive manner. They will get your joints back to optimal function while preserve the integrity of your shoulder tissue.

With four locations from Crestview to Destin, Florida, the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center is the place to go for sports injuries and for expedient therapeutic recovery. When you’re in pain and looking for safe, competent, and complete relief, look no further than the experts at the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center, LLC. They’ll get you up and running in no time.

Why Physical Therapy & Exercise Should be Used to Treat Ankle Sprains

Though ankle injuries are extremely common, knowledge regarding how to treat a sprained ankle is less common. While immobilization is an important part of the early stages of healing, without exercise to improve strength and flexibility, you run a significant risk of reinjuring yourself.

How Physical Therapy Treats Ankle Pain

Sprained ankles are one of the most common injuries with as many as 25,000 incidents occurring per day. Sprained ankles are classified in three “grades” with one being the lowest and three being the highest. Grade one sprains need no medical intervention and should be treated via tolerable stretching and strengthening, isometric exercise, and weight bearing provided none of these actions exacerbate the condition.

Grade two and three sprains necessitate physical therapy as more damage has been done to the ankle. In these situations, physical therapists help you to strengthen your injured ankle and to regain full functional range of your ankle.

The Phases of Ankle Sprain Recovery

When injuries occur, it is because the ankle’s ligament fibers have been damaged.

  • ankleGrade 1: Ligament fibers have sustained some slight stretching and some damage
  • Grade 2: Ligament fibers have been torn partially.
  • Grade 3: Ligament fibers have been torn completely.

In Grade 1 and 2 injuries, there is a method of treatment called the RICE treatment. The acronym RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

  • Rest: Do not walk on the ankle following injury.
  • Ice: Apply ice immediate after injury to suppress swelling; ice can be applied for 20-30 minutes per day three to four times per day. Wrapping should also be used to minimize swelling and pain.
  • Compression: Wrap the ankle with bandages to provide support.
  • Elevate: Lift the ankle above your heart level for 48 hours.

This is the first phase of the rehabilitation process for all ankle sprains; sprains recover in a three-step process.

  • Phase 1: This is the resting, protecting, and immobilizing stage of recovery. The purpose of this stage is to reduce swelling and to protect the ankle while it is still fragile. This stage lasts one week.
  • Phase 2: This is the very important stage in which the ankle regains movement and functionality including flexibility. Range of motion and strength are also regained during this stage. This stage lasts one to two weeks.
  • Phase 3: This final stage involves returning to normal. Patients start with activities that do not involve turning their ankle, and they build up to ‘normal’ activities that do put increasing demands on the ankle (sports like tennis or basketball). This stage lasts for weeks to months.

Immobilize then Exercise

You will note that immobilization is a part of the healing process; however, it is only a component of the first phase of the process. Many people believe that protocol in treating a sprain is to immobilize the injury, which is why when a person has a sprained ankle (even a Grade 1 sprain), they will have the injured apparatus wrapped and will avoid using it even for walking short distances (even after the first week of injury). The misconception is that the ankle has to rest in order to heal; they neglect to respect exercise and stretching’s role in healing.

jogging-coupleThe reality is that extensive immobilization after an ankle sprain can actually increase the risk of re-injury. Exercise and physical therapy are thus essential for avoiding chronic pain and for mitigating the risk of re-injury. Additionally, it is important to complete the entire curriculum of care and healing recommended by your physical therapist. This includes trusting your physical therapist when they say that it is time to transition from immobilization to stretching and regaining strength and range of motion.

The physical therapists at the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center are fully trained and have years of expertise in assessing and treating sprained ankles, so trust them to tell you when it’s time to start moving again because you can also trust them to help you every step of the way.

With four locations from Crestview to Destin, Florida, the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center is the place to go for sports injuries and for expedient therapeutic recovery. When you’re in pain and looking for safe, competent, and complete relief, look no further than the experts at the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center, LLC. They’ll get you up and running in no time.

Hip Weakness: A Cause of Runner’s Knee

Runners often fatigue their knees, which leads to pain and injury. Though many assume the pain is symptomatic of knee injury, it is actually often representative of another culprit: weak hips. Under the guidance of a physical therapist, you can quickly and safely strengthen your hips and fix your knees, which will get your running again.

Why You’re Running with Pain

Iliotibial (IT) band tendinitis and patella tendonitis (better known as runner’s knee) are typical ailments that most often plagues runners (however, it can afflict others as well). IT band tendinitis is considered to be an overuse injury in which the IT band that runs along the outer side of the thigh becomes inflamed. The IT is a stabilizing component of the leg’s musculature. As the knee flexes and contracts, the IT band is integral in stabilizing the outside of the knee.

Signs of Knee Injury

Pain is the primary indicator that an injury has occurred; however, injury can sometimes start in places other than in the knee itself.

  • holding-kneeAchilles pain
  • Muscle pains
  • Prickles or tingles when making impact
  • Pain when running down hill
  • Radiating pain in the thigh
  • Pain behind the knee
  • Knee popping

These ignorable pains and discomforts can rapidly become issues that are impossible to ignore as the pain becomes constant. When pain is allowed to progress, you are often so uncomfortable that you are unable to run.

Fixing Your Knees Through Your Hips

Though earlier thought attributed knee injury in runners to the knees themselves, orthopedic researches have gone on to discover that hip weakness is a much more likely culprit in causing knee injury in runner.

One study conducted used 25 runners. Of those, 15 were injured; 10 were not. The 15 injured runners received a hip strengthening intervention for their hip abductors for a period of three weeks. Strength was measured before and after the intervention. Findings in this particular study demonstrated that strength was increased and that pain and stride-to-stride knee joint variability was reduced.

Other studies have confirmed these results. In fact, any publication intended for running enthusiasts now support that hip strengthening exercises are the most effective and efficient way to avoid knee injury and into recover following a knee injury.

Given the newness of these studies, there is way one can fully claim that knee injuries are symptomatic of a weak core (note that the core includes more than just the abdominal muscles; it also encompasses hips and glutes as well); however, they are comfortable in making the connection and pointing out that if you are experiencing knee pain, a smart place to start trying to heal is in hip strength.

When to Call Your Physical Therapist

Because there is no way for you (the individual) to know with complete confidence whether or not weak hips is the cause of your knee injury or knee pain, you will expedite your recovery by going directly to see your physical therapist for a diagnosis.

Your physical therapist can determine the precise location of the knee pain (front or side) and prescribe a care regimen that will fix the problem. While there is a high likelihood that hip strengthening will be part of your care, there is a chance that other exercises will also benefit you. By going to physical therapy, you can heal correctly and learn valuable strengthening and stretching exercises that will keep you out of the doctor’s office and on the beaten (jogging) path.

With four locations from Crestview to Destin, Florida, the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center is the place to go for sports injuries and for expedient therapeutic recovery. When you’re in pain and looking for safe, competent, and complete relief, look no further than the experts at the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center, LLC. They’ll get you up and running in no time.

Recognize the Signs of Osteoarthritis Pain: Top 3 Signs

Osteoarthritis can easily mask itself as other problems; by knowing and recognizing the signs as well as the likelihood that you are a sufferer, the sooner you can seek intervention. Physical therapy has proven to benefit those suffering from osteoarthritis pain.

Osteoarthritis: A Hidden Disease

Running is a way of lifeIt’s often far too easy to become accustomed to pain and to “assume that it’s nothing”. When we do this, we run a higher risk of that “nothing” pain becoming something. Osteoarthritis pain is highly common and has a myriad of symptoms and areas in which it impacts making it difficult to identify.

Type of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis can occur in nearly any part of the body including:

  • Hip
  • Knee
  • Foot and ankle
  • Hand
  • Spine
  • Shoulder

Osteoarthritis is a joint disease, so anywhere your body is jointed is vulnerable.

Factors Contributing to Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is generally caused by stress to the joints, so anyone with prior joint injury is a potential candidate for the disease. Additionally, anyone who has a family member who has osteoarthritis may be at a greater chance of having issues due to genetics.

Individuals who are obese or overweight or who are of a certain age (post-menopausal women or men who are of the same age as women at that age) are also at an increased likelihood to be vulnerable to osteoarthritis suffering.

Signs of Osteoarthritis

Like many disorders, the symptoms of osteoarthritis can easily be mistaken for other issues; however, if you start to observe the most common symptoms of osteoarthritis and you believe you are a candidate for the disease, get tested; the sooner you can start a therapeutic regimen to mitigate the issues, the better off you will be.

  • Pain and Stiffness: Pain worsens after activity and lessens during times of rest. Pain can also occur at night or during periods of rest; pain is most often detected at the joint.
  • Crackling Joins (Crepitus): Movement of the joint will be accompanied by ‘crackling’ or a grating.
  • Bone Spurs: Bony outgrowths at the joint site will occur and will get larger over the course of time.

Swelling and fluid collection at the joint site are other signs to look out for. Again, if you have signs of osteoarthritis and feel you are a candidate for osteoarthritis, get checked sooner than later. Physical therapy has proven to help patients suffering from osteoarthritis pain; the more quickly patients seek intervention, the longer and more effective the treatment will be.

From Crestview to Destin, with four locations, the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center is the place to go for sports injuries and for expedient therapeutic recovery. When you’re in pain and looking for safe, competent, and complete relief, look no further than the experts at the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center, LLC. They’ll get you up and running in no time.

Do Bone Spurs Cause Pain?

Bone spurs are often believed to be a source of pain and can be mistreated as a result. By understanding the real source of pain, patients suffering from bone spurs can treat their ailments properly with physical therapy.

bone spur ankle image
credit: diary of a medical scientist

The Underlying Causes of Bone Spurs

People commonly arrive in the office who have neck, shoulder, and feet pain and report that they, “have bone spurs.”  The implication of this complaint is that the bone spurs are the immediate cause of the problem.  The reason many patients believe that bone spurs are the source of their problems is because a physician has taken an X-ray and has advised them as such.

The reality is that this is a misidentification of the problem.  Here are the reasons why:

  • First, press on your bones (elbow, fingers, skull, etc.). Is there pain?  The answer is no because bones do not hurt.
  • Second, a bone spur is a symptom, not a pathology.

What is a Spur?

A spur is an indication of chronic instability.  The laxity of ligaments and the looseness of joints leads to sloppy movement between joints.  The body’s response to this is the development of a new bone known as a spur.

The contributing factors to this condition are poor posture as such contributes to cervical spurs, chronic rotator cuff weakness, which causes shoulder spurs, and chronic big toe stiffness, which causes heel spurs.

The real cause of pain when one has a spur is not the spur itself; rather, it is the muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and neural tissues that cause pain.

How Physical Therapy Helps


At Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy, our physical therapy doctors are trained to examine joints and to determine any areas of instability.  We then use exercise to stabilize the area and soft tissue massage along with other manual techniques to ameliorate and eliminate the pain.

The outcomes have been described as ‘amazing’; no surgery or medications are required, so if you have been diagnosed with a bone spur or believe you have a bone spur, then contact any one of the four Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy clinics for a consultation.

From Crestview to Destin, with four locations, the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center is the place to go for sports injuries and for expedient therapeutic recovery. When you’re in pain and looking for safe, competent, and complete relief, look no further than the experts at the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center, LLC. They’ll get you up and running in no time.