Pain Relief - Performance - Results

Manhattan Physical Therapy

Manhattan Physical Therapy and Pain Center is a leader in pain relief and injury recovery located in Midtown New York City. The four specialized physical therapists on staff go beyond standard physical therapy by challenging their client???s bodies to build core strength, flexibility, and increase range of motion.

Manhattan Physical Therapy and Pain Center has an excellent track record of success treating back pain caused by strains, degenerative disc disease, piriformis syndrome, spondylolisthesis or whiplash injuries.

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Sore Muscles: Should I be using a Foam Roller?

Chances are you have seen a foam roller a few times, and chances are better you are not 100 percent certain how to use one. This blog will help give you an idea of what it is for and how it works.

The number one cause of muscle tightness is stress, and stress is something that we all have to one degree or another. Muscles can also be tight because of injury or overuse.

Muscle tightness will also put pressure on nerves which can lead to numbness, tingling and pain. These impairments can be a real detriment to physical therapy and eventual healing of the body and body part.

Like any other tool, proper use of a foam roller is paramount. There is a chance of discomfort over tight muscles and the knots, locations of particularly tight muscle tissue. The user’s body weight is used to break the knots, but the discomfort should not be to the point of excruciating pain. Those who may find pain too much could be using the roller incorrectly.

At Manhattan Physical Therapy and Pain Center, we may use a foam roller as a part of the required therapy for a patient. The goal is two-fold: break muscle tightness and improve flexibility. This can be in conjunction with stretching or independently. Regardless, there are benefits to a foam roller when used as a part of overall physical therapy.

We have a variety of rollers available here, ranging from soft to firm and some with spikes. All rollers have their specific purpose and the therapists have extensive knowledge in their usage.

It is not a wise decision to go out and randomly purchase a foam roller with the idea of doing personal physical therapy. This can be counter-productive and even dangerous. Improper use of a foam roller can actually impede the therapy and hard work you have already put in with us.

Should you need physical therapy and are interested in adding a foam roller to your current therapies, be sure to ask. We are always ready to accept new patients. Our goal is to return you to your previous state and activity level as quickly as possible. Need more information? Feel free to contact Manhattan Physical Therapy and Pain Center today!

Manhattan Physical Therapy and Pain Center has been providing professional therapy in New York, NY. Call (212) 213-3480 to talk to a therapist today.

Therapy before Joint Replacement Surgery Shows Benefits

Joint replacements are no fun. Neither is the recovery period after surgery.

The good news is physical therapy before a joint replacement speeds up recovery, saves money and cuts down on the amount of post-operative care.

The American Physical Therapy Association looked at a recent study involving 4,733 Medicare patients who had knee or hip replacements. “A new study has found that as few as 1 to 2 sessions of preoperative physical therapy can reduce postoperative care use by 29% for patients undergoing total hip or knee replacement, adding up to health care cost savings of more than $1,000 per individual,” states the article.

The study in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery said the apparent benefits don’t come from strengthening muscles. That makes sense. One or two physical therapy sessions are not going to build a lot of muscle tissue.

The sessions made a difference in “the way it prepared patients for postoperative rehabilitation.”

In other words, people went to therapy once or twice before their surgery. They learned what would be expected after the operation. They came out of the operation ready to work.

That makes sense too. If you know what’s expected, you can better rise to meet the challenge. If you know what you are going to do, you can mentally prepare yourself ahead of time.

If a joint replacement is in your future, talk with your surgeon about pre-operative therapy. Mention the American Physical Therapy Association article, the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery study and this blog. If you think one or two sessions of therapy, to get ready for what is to come will help, then contact us to set up an appointment.

We’ll walk you through everything you can expect to do after the surgery. We’ll explain what therapy you’ll do and what that is supposed to help.

Summer is here: Keep Your Body Injury Free

Summer normally means vacation, relaxation and activities. This also means there is a real chance for injuries. It is not something anyone wants to think about, but they do happen. Injuries from sports, bicycling, playgrounds, amusement parks and swimming are common. Here are a few things to consider for optimal safety.

1. Warm up – No exercise should begin without warming up your muscles and joints. Stretches and shaking arms and legs is perfect. Be sure to cool down as well using similar activities.

2. Water, water everywhere – Water is the most important thing you need during the summer. Staying hydrated is key, as the real dangers of heat exhaustion and stroke can be life threatening. Even if you don’t think you need any water, drink some anyway.

3. Footwear – Ahh; summer and flip flops go hand in hand. Great for slipping on and off for the beach, not so good for distance bicycling, walking or hiking in the mountains. Make sure you wear appropriate shoes for these activities.

4. Safety gear – Some think a bicycle helmet looks dorky and dumb. Looking dorky and dumb while on a bicycle is better than looking dorky and dumb on the pavement with a gashed wound in the head. See my point?

5. Intensive exercise early and late – Your body will adjust to hot weather over time, but until that happens, limit your strenuous activities for the cooler parts of the day. As you feel better, you can increase and change workout routines.

Make sure you keep an eye on the family and yourself. Kids love running and playing, but they need to hydrate like anyone else. Know your own limits, and do not push beyond what you think is a safe level. There are no rewards for getting hurt. Be safe; enjoy your summer!

For more safety tips like these, contact Manhattan Physical Therapy and Pain Center. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Physical Therapy for Everyday Living

Most of us think of physical therapy in terms of recovery from a catastrophic health event, such as a stroke or a severe bone fracture. In truth, physical therapy can also be helpful in solving more common heath problems, like headaches, and in avoiding health problems altogether. Indeed, almost all exercise can be considered a former of physical therapy.

At least three components of physical therapy can benefit everyone day to day. Such therapeutic exercise should include endurance training, resistance training and flexibility training.

Endurance training will help you gain energy and stamina for running a marathon or running the gauntlet on a busy day at work. By walking, running or cycling as little as 20 minutes a day, 3 times a week, you will see results.

Resistance training will increase balance and strength. Such training can take different forms including lifting free weights or by pushing or pulling continuously on an immovable object.

Flexibility training assists with range of motion and includes activities ranging from basic stretching to highly controlled machine-based exercises.

Therapeutic exercise is important not only after medical emergencies but for day-to-day life. For more information, search through our website or give us a call (212-213-3480).

Simple Exercises to Relieve Back Pain

The medical community has known for years that arthritis responds well to mild exercise. Now comes word that back pain is often best treated with exercise.

“The group of patients [with back pain] who stayed active showed a higher reduction of back pain. The difference in pain level between the two groups [one with exercise, one without] was not substantial. However, at both time points the ability to function was substantially greater in the group of patients who stayed active,” states a report at Spine Health.

The Mayo Clinic has this simple set of exercises for people who have back problems. About 15 minutes a day is all you need.

Yoga is another exercise that is good for people with back pain. Yoga offers simple, easy moves that are low-stress and low-impact. Breaking Muscle has five yoga exercises to try if you have back pain.

Why does exercise help alleviate the pain? The Mayo Clinic has an answer. “Though you might think exercise will aggravate your joint pain and stiffness, that’s not the case. Lack of exercise actually can make your joints even more painful and stiff. That’s because keeping your muscles and surrounding tissue strong is crucial to maintaining support for your bones. Not exercising weakens those supporting muscles, creating more stress on your joints.”

In other words, use it or lose it. You have to exercise to keep your muscles in shape. Sitting around all day means your muscles lose tone. Stiffness sets in. That means even more pain when you finally decide to start some exercises.

If you are having back pains, talk with your doctor first. If he thinks exercise is a good idea, but you’re not sure where to start, we can help.

We’ll teach you what exercises you can do. Not all back exercises require you to be on the floor. We can also show you simple exercise equipment you can buy and use at home.

How to Exercise Independently and Safely

As a physical therapy patient, your overall health and return to normal, daily activities is the primary goal. If you are allowed and feel up to it, taking on some personal exercise is not a bad idea. Be sure to check with your therapist and the physician overseeing your treatment. Here are five good tips to keep in mind as you start your exercise routine.

1. Go at the pace of the day – Each day will vary. Some days you will want to climb Mt. Everest, and some days you will not want to climb out of bed. This is normal and expected. There are any number of factors that goes into this equation: time of the day, personal fatigue level, last meals and even a current level of stress. Plan your exercise around what your body is telling you. The goal is, and always has been, a challenge to your body. There is a difference between an “ow” and hurt. Stay with the norms of exercise: stretching pre and post, rest muscle groups and proper hydration.

2. Practice does not make perfect – This is something many misunderstand. Perfect practice makes perfect, particularly in strength training. Use the correct form and method for not only optimum training but to minimize chance of injury.

3. Core first; the rest will follow – Stabilizing muscles need to be trained to a minimum level of strength before moving on. Your physical therapist may be able to give you some guidance in this field. Again, good form and technique is vital and skipping over parts may be detrimental.

4. Slow and steady wins – If you are still in a physical therapy program, your overall physical movements may be limited. It is good to challenge yourself but do it wisely. Do not think you can go from a steady walk to running a good clip in a week. The same can be said for weights. Increasing everything at once: weight, reps and sets can not only be too much on your body, it can be dangerous.

5. Get the right help – The well-toned gentleman at the gym or one of the gym employees may know something about exercise, but they are not physical therapists or physicians. You need to get information from people experienced with you and your situation. Do not be afraid to ask questions about your exercise.

Reasons to Contact a Physical Therapist for Back Pain Treatment

If you are struggling with back pain, physical therapy can be an important part of your overall treatment process. With the right physical therapy exercises, you can strengthen the muscles in the back to help prevent further injury, increase function and decrease pain.

The Need for a Physical Therapist

Patients need to work with a physical therapist for back pain treatment. Unfortunately, many patients make their back injuries worse by trying to tackle these exercises without the right guidance. A physical therapist is the right choice because:

•    Therapists are properly trained in body mechanics.
•    Therapists can help teach patients how to avoid further injury.
•    Therapists understand the proper progression of exercises.
•    Therapists can help reduce inflammation and pain.

With the help of a qualified therapist, you can reduce your pain and move forward with less risk of a re-injury.

Components of Back Pain Treatment

Physical therapy for back pain treatment involves two basic components: passive therapy to reduce pain and active exercises to strengthen the back.

Passive therapy uses ultrasound, ice, heat and TENS units to treat the inflammation and pain. These treatments are done to the patient, rather than requiring the patient to actively exercise. If the pain is severe, the patient may need these treatments before active therapy can even be considered.

Once the pain is under a little bit of control, the patient will be ready for active therapies. This therapy includes exercises designed to reduce pain in the back. This begins with exercises to stretch the back and the muscles that connect to the back. Stretching should be done daily.

Active exercises focus on strengthening the core muscles to prevent future pain. Aerobics, lumbar stabilization exercises and even simple walking can all work together to reduce lower back pain. Active exercises should only begin after the tight muscles have been stretched. A physical therapist is able to diagnose the source of the pain and choose the right exercises to provide relief and strengthening.

If you are considering physical therapy for back pain treatment, schedule an appointment with Manhattan Physical Therapy & Pain Center.

Using Ice and Heat for Endurance Injuries: The Pros and Cons

People have been using heat and cold therapies to address their endurance injuries for a long time. Knowing what heat and ice can do and how to avoid problems can help you make the most of these effective therapies.

Ice Therapy (Cryotherapy): Pros and Cons

Endurance injuries typically involve a lot of swelling, which can increase pain and make movement difficult. Ice therapy is a very common way to treat endurance injuries for the following reasons:

•    Easy access. Ice therapy can be done at home, the gym or anywhere that a person has access to cold substances.
•    Reduces swelling. Ice causes the blood vessels to constrict. This is the body’s way of holding in heat and maintaining body temperature. This also helps reduce swelling at the site of an injury.
•    Pain reduction. Ice slows down nerve activity, which allows the patient to feel less pain.

There are a few downsides to ice therapy. Namely:

•    Tissue damage. Ice packs that are too cold and left on the body for too long can actually damage the skin and other parts of the body.
•    Short-lasting. As an ice pack sits on the body, it warms up. The effectiveness of an ice pack is short-lived.

Heat Therapy: Pros and Cons

Heat can be administered to an injury through a variety of methods including heating pad, microwavable pad and air-activated heat pack. The pros of heat therapy include:

•    Pain relieving. The major advantage of heat therapy is that it helps relieve intense muscle pain.
•    Transportable. Heat therapy can be done just about anywhere, at the gym, at home or at work.

The downsides of heat therapy include:

•    Burns. Sometimes heat therapy gets a little too hot. Patients are advised to ease into a heat therapy treatment to avoid further injury.
•    Can increase swelling. Injuries that are prone to swelling will swell more when heat is applied because heat increases circulation in the injured area. For these injuries, patients should use ice.

Before you apply heat or ice to your endurance injuries, speak with your chiropractor to find out which method is best for your needs. Call Manhattan Physical Therapy and Pain Center today and we’ll help you find the relief you need to get back on your feet.

The Benefits of Physical Therapy for Arthritis

Arthritis, that inflammation of the joints that causes pain, swelling and limited movement, can be a debilitating illness, causing stiffness and pain with every movement. For some arthritis patients, physical therapy can help improve range of motion and reduce inflammation. While it can’t cure arthritis, physical therapy can provide several benefits.

Prevent Loss of Joint Use

The end result of arthritis is loss of use of the affected joint. With the help of a physical therapist, arthritis patients can learn how to push their joints through a full range of motion safely. By carefully moving a patient through the exercises, a physical therapist can help encourage ongoing use of the joint.

Restore Lost Movement

Arthritis may not be curable, but some of the movement lost because of the disease may be restored with physical therapy. Physical therapists focus on flexibility and increasing a patient’s range of motion, so an arthritis patient can restore lost movement due to the stiff and painful joints. If physical therapy begins early, it can help reduce some of the symptoms of arthritis and restore range of motion to affected joints.

Improve Strength

People suffering with arthritis may not use their muscles as much as they should, because movement hurts the inflamed joints. A physical therapist can help restore that strength with carefully planned movements that do not make the inflammation worse, but do restore muscular strength. A body that has strong muscles is less prone to injury as well, even with the problems associated with arthritis.

Physical therapy should be used as part of an overall arthritis treatment plan, and the sooner you start treatment, the more effective your physical therapy treatment will be. While it is not a cure, many patients experience significant benefits from physical therapy, giving them a new lease on life. If you are struggling with pain and stiffness from arthritis, Manhattan Physical Therapy can help with carefully targeted physical therapy techniques, so you can get some relief as you seek to remain fit and healthy in spite of your condition.

Why You Should Consider Sports Therapy before Your Next Big Game

The benefits of sports therapy to help with the pain and discomfort of recovery after an intense workout are well-known, but many athletes are not aware of the fact that they can improve their performance and lessen their chances of injury with treatment before they take to the field. Manhattan Physical Therapy & Pain Center can help athletes prepare for the big game through functional movement screenings and treatment for muscle imbalance and weakness. Here are some reasons why you should schedule an appointment before your next performance.

Improved Performance

Sports therapy focuses on reducing muscle imbalance and the negative effects it causes. These imbalances decrease the body’s ability to perform. This means that investing in sports therapy before important athletic performances can actually increase your body’s ability to respond and play well.

Decreasing Injury Risk

Injuries are common during important games and athletic performances. When you are pushing your body as hard as you can, you are pushing your muscles and joints to the extreme. Add muscle imbalances to the picture, and you have a body that is prone to injury. Muscle imbalances create muscles that are chronically semi-contracted, specifically in the back and neck, making them more prone to injury because they exist in a chronically weakened state. Sports therapy focuses on restoring balance to improve the strength and resilience of these muscles.

Decreasing Recovery Time

After a strenuous athletic performance, your body goes into recovery mode. The muscles must repair damage caused during the game, and that requires proper circulation and balance. Sports therapy can help shorten recovery time, allowing your body to recover faster because it is functioning properly. This can reduce the amount of post-game pain you feel and get you back on the field quickly.

When you are preparing for the next big game, you need to be at your best. Contact Manhattan Physical Therapy & Pain Center to schedule a sports therapy treatment so you will be prepared for the stress and trauma your body will endure during your next performance.