Most patients seek physical therapy care because they hurt or they cannot participate in desired activities. Sudden injuries or accidents can damage muscles, bones, and joints, and result in the need for physical therapy. However, the majority of physical therapy patients treated at OrthoKnox suffer injuries resulting from repetitive stresses or age-related wear and tear. To treat these common injuries, physical therapists must not only address the source of the pain itself, but also focus on changing the behaviors and habits that lead to this injury.
The majority of functional limitations and pain are caused by repetitive traumas. In some cases, such as degenerative discs in the back/neck or rotator cuff tissues, the tissue itself is damaged or worn before any significantly noticeable pain or activity limitations are noted.
Changing habits is critical to alleviating repetitive injuries, repetitive strains, and degenerative tissue related complaints. Patients should listen to their physical therapist as PTs are well trained in anatomy, posture, and movement patterns—and can explain why and how lifestyle changes will help alleviate pain and, in time, improve positional tolerances and activities.
Below are a few examples of how changing habits can improve pain and function:
- Wear supportive foot wear over flimsy flats
- If your foot excessively pronates, this can lead to plantarfascitis in the foot, patellofemoral pain in the knee, contribute to hip bursitis, and potentially worsen symptoms of lumbar degenerative discs.
- Sit with better posture
- Sitting upright with feet on the floor and an erect spine can improve headaches and neck pain, as well as decrease pinching of the rotator cuff.
- Exercise, as increased activity can:
- Decrease pain by stimulating the release of pain controlling hormones.
- Increase muscular strength to help stabilize joints and decrease joint strain.
- Improve flexibility to decrease stress on joints and decrease joint strain.
Changing daily habits can greatly improve function and pain! Seek out a physical therapist to help address your needs.
Written By: Michael Hoag, PT, DPT, MBA, OCS, MTC, Operations Manager at OrthoKnox Physical Therapy.
Call (865)251-3044 to schedule a Physical Therapy appointment at OrthoKnox!