Wrist pain can occur due to several reasons and can be acute or chronic. A pain is categorized as chronic when it lasts for more than 3 to 6 months, gradually worsens or reoccurs even after medical treatments. Chronic wrist pain can be due to work-related musculoskeletal disorders, overuse injury to muscles, ligaments etc. It can also be a side effect of prolonged use of medications or being in wrong postures for extended periods. As per CDC, arthritis and wrong ergonomics are some of the main factors leading to chronic wrist pain. Continue reading “Chronic Wrist Pain: Guide to Conservative Pain Management”
Who hasn’t had neck pain at some point in their life? Neck pain is probably one of the most common chronic pain complaints of today’s world, which results mostly from the improper use of electronics (eg. improper monitor alignment, improper use of cell phones, etc) and bad posture causing muscle or ligament strain. The pain can be greatly reduced or even alleviated by performing some simple neck exercises and stretches. The list below will guide you through these neck exercises as well as stretches that help in reducing neck discomfort and pain.
Communication is crucial in health care. The form of communication can be immediate, FYIs, or education to patient and or family members. Effective and timely communication builds trust among team members, patient and care providers. Here are few tips of effective communication.
Just like any isometrics, elbow isometrics are used and prescribed to reduce muscle or tendon pain and swelling. Few common conditions like tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) or golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis) make elbow isometrics more important than isometrics of other joints. In this article, I discuss how to perform two main elbow isometrics with printable handouts. This is Elbow flexion isometric and elbow extension isometric. Continue reading “Isometric Exercises to Strengthen Elbows and reduce Elbow Pain”
Wrist Isometric exercises are used to reduce pain and manage the swelling. These exercises are done in the early case of injury, or while the wrist is in a cast or in an immobilizer. Isometric exercises do not allow any muscle lengthening or any visible movement in the body. So it is little tricky to understand and to perform correctly. However, with help of clinician, you can learn how to perform this exercises accurately. In this article, I want to describe some important wrist isometric exercises. Continue reading “Wrist Isometric Exercises: How to exercise Wrist when in Cast”
Wrist pain is extremely common among athletes, healthcare professionals and anyone who is involved in lifting/carrying of heavy/large objects. A small pull here and there, happening over time, can easily damage wrist muscles or ligaments. An injury due to overuse of wrist can result in chronic wrist pain. On the other hand, a forceful sudden pull is capable of tearing the ligaments or muscles around wrist immediately causing an acute onset of pain. I will discuss how to treat and prevent both acute and chronic wrist pain. Continue reading “Exercises to Relieve Acute or Chronic Wrist Pain”
This is a quick reference guide to perform Physical Therapy Cardiopulmonary evaluation. For details on history taking and general guidelines for PT evaluation reference card, click here.
Breathing is how every cell in our body gets oxygen. This oxygen passes through the bloodstream. At the cellular level, this helps in ATP formation and thus energy production. Breathing is one of the most important involuntary actions. Many times, we are not even aware of our breathing pattern. We only start paying attention to it when we realize we are not getting “enough air”, constantly “out of breath” (AKA SOB), or having difficulty breathing. Consequently, this turns into a visit to a doctor or ER. In my previous article, I discussed COPD, which is one of the major disorders that makes people feel out of breath. Here, I want to discuss few strategies to perform breathing exercise correctly.
Pain is defined as a feeling or sensation that is not pleasant or comfortable. Pain can be mild, moderate or severe. It can bearable or unbearable. It may or may not disrupt one’s daily life or functional level. But the truth is, no one wants to live in pain. In addition, no one should put their health at risk in an effort to be pain-free. I will focus on some very effective and non-pharmacological pain management techniques in this post.
Since 1999, Americans have increasingly been prescribed opioids. This includes painkillers (like Vicodin, OxyContin, Opana, and methadone), and combination drugs (like Percocet). In some situations, prescription opioids are an appropriate part of medical treatment. However, opioid risks include depression, overdose, and addiction, plus withdrawal symptoms when stopping use. As a result, people addicted to prescription opioids are 40 times more likely to become addicted to heroin. Continue reading “Managing Chronic pain without addiction – A guide to Pain Management without Opioids”
In my previous article, I talked about isometric exercises for hips and knees. Here, I want to discuss two major isometric exercises for low back pain, which greatly help in dealing with lower back pain. Some of the more complex isometric exercises are planks, push-ups, or holding certain yoga poses. However, They are more strenuous and intense exercises that should be performed by a healthy person with proper guidance. The two basic isometric exercises that are demonstrated in this article can be used in the acute stages of lower back pain or lower back injury. Continue reading “Two isometric exercises for low back pain”
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a respiratory disorder that decreases the efficiency of air moving in and out of lungs. This causes difficulty in breathing. In COPD, the airway in lung loses its normal shape and elasticity. COPD leads to many systemic problems as well. As per COPD foundation, COPD is an umbrella term that describes progressive lung diseases. It includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis, refractory (non-reversible) asthma, and some forms of bronchiectasis. Continue reading “Signs and symptoms of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)”
Hip pain is becoming very common. This pain can originate from several sources like arthritic changes, weakness of muscles, some recent or history of the labrum or ligament tears, postoperative pain and weakness. Hip discomfort can also occur if one is constantly using wrong positions while walking, sitting, standing or exercising. In this article, I am going to discuss some important hip exercises. The article is aimed to discuss general exercises for the hip. Remember, I am not discussing any diagnosis specific exercises here rather these are strengthening exercises concentrating hip to reduce pain, increase mobility and flexibility. Continue reading “Five Hip Exercises to Increase Muscle Strength”
Isometric exercises help reduce pain and improve mobility in cases like arthritis, hip pain, and knee pain. This is the first exercise that a PT will perform to assess muscle strength and level of pain. Therefore, Isometrics are not only important as pre-operative measures but also help in speedy recovery after injury or surgery. The key with isometric exercise is to have no visible movement. Basically, you are trying to contract a muscle and hold that contraction for few seconds in a pain-free range. Gradually, you should be able to hold the contraction for a longer period and perform a stronger contraction – this is how it progresses. My previous article described isometric exercises in detail. In this article, I am going to discuss important isometric exercises for hip and knee pain. Isometric exercises that help in hip and knee pain are quads, hip abduction and adduction, hip flexion, and hip extension. I’ll explain each exercise in detail below. Continue reading “Four Isometric Exercises to Reduce Hip and Knee Pain”
Overview of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)/Pinched Median Nerve
Carpal tunnel syndrome or CTS is caused by a pinched nerve in the carpal tunnel. Physical Therapists use various stretches and exercises to help treat and prevent CTS, which is also the most common form of median nerve impingement. The goal for CTS or pinched median nerve exercises is to stretch the (wrist and finger) flexors and strengthen the (wrist and finger) extensors. In this post, I am going to discuss both in detail, which should help alleviate symptoms related to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome .
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or CTS?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is the most frequent and well known median nerve compression. Carpal tunnel is an anatomical compartment (canal) bounded by bones of the wrist and transverse ligament (thick fibrous bend). The median nerve passes through this canal along with few other tendons and goes to fingers. Any conditions, that causes an increase in pressure in this tunnel, can push/squeeze/impinge the nerve inside this tunnel. This, in turn, brings symptoms like numbness, tingling, inability to hold or grasp an object etc.. This is called carpal tunnel syndrome or CTS.