Exercise Therapy: A Dynamic Form of Physical Therapy

Exercise therapy is a form of physical therapy designed to achieve specific therapeutic goals, depending on the patient. This treatment aims to work toward the reduction of pain, as well as restoration and recovery of musculoskeletal function. If you suffer from chronic pain due to an injury or illness, exercise therapy can help you eliminate pain while simultaneously reestablishing your natural flexibility. Let’s examine exercise therapy further to determine what it is, how it works, and what are the benefits of engaging in this activity.


What Is Exercise Therapy?


Exercise therapy utilizes intensive and repetitive activities for rehabilitation. It is also known as restorative therapy, activity-based recovery therapy, and activity-based therapy in the medical communities. This form of therapy has been an essential part of rehabilitative treatments for decades, and it is a common practice around the world.

The inventors of exercise therapy constructed it according to the principles of exercise science, which makes it incredibly effective for people of all ages. The adaptation of scientific exercise principles to the needs of a patient allows for the creation of a highly customized exercise therapy plan that accelerates individual recovery toward normal function. The benefits of exercise therapy for seniors include increased independence, improved mobility and cognition, reduction of medications, and enhanced overall well-being. Similarly, exercise therapy for athletes can produce incredible results, such as achieving maximum performance and quickly recovering after sports-related injuries.

A well-trained exercise therapist can help you restore your strength, flexibility, and motion after suffering from an injury or undergoing major surgery. Exercise therapy employs specific stretches, exercises, and techniques to address your chronic back pain or other ailments.


Exercise Therapy and Rehabilitation


If you are struggling to walk, move, or get out of bed without assistance, then exercise therapy could be an effective solution for you. Maybe an injury, illness, or surgical procedure left you with a decreased range of motion or mobility. Working with an exercise therapist can target problem areas in your body’s functionality so you can finally start living without pain.

Exercise therapists are knowledgeable about treatment and surgery goals so that they can customize your routine to your specific situation. For example, if you are undergoing treatment for cancer or arthritis, an exercise therapist can help you maximize the effectiveness of treatments, thus leading to faster healing.

Stretching movements form a big part of exercise therapy. Regular stretching motions increase the flexibility of your muscles and joints. If you have tight muscles or stiff joints, even something as normal as reaching overhead can cause severe pain. With proper stretching, your body can recover its elasticity, and you can resume your daily activities.


Restore Your Strength With Exercise Therapy


The goal of exercise therapy is to help you improve the function of your muscles and joints by increasing your endurance and strength. If you are an aging adult, exercise therapy can also postpone the signs of waning health, including loss of balance, coordination, cognition, and range of motion.

Whether you have a damaged or injured knee, shoulder, back, or neck, exercise therapy can help you heal faster and diminish your pain. Consult with a skilled exercise therapist first before trying to do any workouts alone, or you’ll risk further injury.


Begin Exercise Therapy Today With Merge Physical Medicine


Are you experiencing a lack of flexibility and chronic pain due to poor musculoskeletal function? If so, you need a knowledgeable exercise therapist to assess your condition and determine your best route to rehabilitation. At Merge Physical Medicine, we build the ideal physical therapy regimen that focuses on your needs to facilitate the best possible outcome. Call us today at 214-974-4049 or complete the contact form at the bottom of our homepage to request a consultation regarding your situation.

Myofascial Release Therapy: All You Need to Know

Myofascial release therapy is a form of massage therapy commonly used to heal myofascial pain syndrome. Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic pain condition where pressure on sensitive points within specific muscles generates pain in the body. These sensitive muscular locations are also known as trigger points or myofascial tissues. This article will explore myofascial release therapy more closely to outline the process, its benefits, and who is a suitable candidate for receiving the treatment.


What Is Myofascial Release Therapy?


Myofascial release therapy aims to reduce pain by alleviating the tightness and tension inside particular trigger points. However, identifying and locating these trigger points can be incredibly challenging. Localizing the pain to a specific myofascial tissue is not easy. That’s why practitioners apply myofascial therapy over a wide area of tissue and muscle rather than at isolated spots.


How Does Myofascial Release Therapy Work?


Myofascial release treatments appear as a form of massage therapy. Some physical therapists and chiropractors also offer myofascial massage, which can treat the chronic pain caused by trigger points.

The therapist gently massages the myofascial area and feels for any unusually tight or stiff spots. Normal or healthy myofascial tissue is elastic and pliable, so stiffness is a noticeable sign of an issue. Then, the therapist will start stretching and massaging the tight areas by applying light pressure. The practitioner repeats the pressure movements several times on the same trigger point until the tension dissipates completely.

However, the therapist or chiropractor may not be massaging near the area where you are experiencing discomfort. This application occurs because myofascial therapy works on a broad group of muscles that might be responsible for your pain. The treatment reduces tension throughout your body by releasing tightness from trigger points that might reside elsewhere in the extensive muscular system.


Who Is a Good Candidate for Myofascial Release Therapy?


If you suffer myofascial pain syndrome, you will benefit significantly from myofascial release therapy. Many patients who experience chronic migraines or headaches have also reported long-lasting relief from myofascial massage. Gently massaging the stiff muscles in and around the head and neck can help to prevent headaches and migraines. Myofascial therapy is also beneficial to people with venous insufficiency, where their blood accumulates in the deep veins of the leg.

Physical trauma, inflammatory illness, and recent surgery can create trigger points that ultimately lead to pain. A myofascial massage can help you speed up the recovery process and better manage pain without having to depend on powerful pain medications.


Are There Any Risks?


Myofascial release therapy comes with few risks. Whether you want to reduce your back pain or release some tension, a myofascial massage can do wonders for you. However, you should avoid myofascial release therapy if you have:

  • Fractures or broken bones
  • Painful wounds, injuries, or burns
  • Very weak or fragile bones
  • A condition that requires you to take blood-thinning medications
  • Deep vein issues

Moreover, if you are allergic to lotions, gels, or certain oils, you might not be suitable to seek a myofascial massage. Primarily, you need to consult with a physical therapist to ensure myofascial release therapy is the right solution for your situation.


Receive Myofascial Release Therapy at Merge Physical Medicine


Are you experiencing unexplained muscular tightness that causes you discomfort? You may be a suitable candidate for myofascial release therapy. The expert staff at Merge Physical Medicine can evaluate your situation and provide a myofascial massage to lessen your pain and increase your muscular flexibility. Merge Physical Medicine is the home of tried-and-true physical therapy treatments. Our friendly in-house staff provides a warm, welcoming environment and is eager to help you get on the road to enjoying a better quality of life. Experience the Merge Physical Medicine difference today by filling out our online contact form or calling us at 214-974-4049 to request a consultation.

5 Best Exercises to Rehab a Rotator Cuff Injury

A rotator cuff injury is one of the most common issues faced by athletes and hardcore fitness enthusiasts. The rotator cuff is a group of muscles that surround your shoulder joint and keep the top of your upper arm bone stabilized. In other words, your rotator cuff helps you move your arm freely in all directions.

There are two types of rotator cuff injuries: a tear or an impingement. A tear involves ripping a muscle or tendon in your rotator cuff. It is severely disabling and will require restoration. Impingement is when a rotator cuff muscle becomes swollen and reduces the space between your arm and shoulder bones.

Regardless of the type of injury, physical therapy exercises can help you recover faster and reduce pain. We recommend that you should speak to an experienced physical therapist before attempting to do any exercises, but here are five of the best exercises for rehabbing a rotator cuff injury.


Shoulder Exercises for a Rotator Cuff Injury


A rotator cuff injury can lead to dull pain in the shoulder, making it difficult to sleep peacefully or carry out your daily activities. The following physical therapy routines are effective in aiding relief and recovery in rotator cuff injuries.


Standing Row Pose


You will need a stretching band for this exercise. Attach the band to a sturdy object. Face the band and pull it by standing back. Hold it in your hand and start bending your injured arm at the elbow, then pull it back down. Repeat the motion several times as instructed by your physical therapist.


Isometric Pose


Also known as static exercise, this movement involves placing the palm of your injured side against a solid object, such as a wall or a door. Then push against the object until you start to feel pain. Since this exercise doesn’t require movement, you can perform it within a week of your injury, if you’re not in any pain.


External Rotation Pose


This exercise aims to strengthen your rotator cuff muscles and help you gain back your range of motion. For this exercise, bend the elbow of your injured arm to a 90-degree angle and keep your upper arm close to your chest. Start moving your forearm from one side to the other. Continue doing this maneuver until you start feeling a little pressure on your shoulder. You can also use a lightweight dumbbell to increase the resistance.


Pendulum Pose


The pendulum exercise can increase the mobility of your shoulder. Stand and place your uninjured arm on a still surface, such as a railing or table, then bend it a little forward. Now, swing your injured limb in front of you in slow circular movements. Start with making small circles and gradually increase the size of the loops.


Crossover Arm Pose


Relax your shoulders and start stretching your injured arm across your torso to the other side. Hold it with your other uninjured arm. Stay in this position until you feel a slight pressure in your muscles, and then repeat.


Additional Treatment for Rotator Cuff Injuries


In addition to these exercises, you can also alternate applying a warm compress and an ice pack to your injury. The best method for treating a rotator cuff injury is to discuss the issue with an expert physical therapist who has experience in sports medicine and physical therapy. This consultation will ensure you receive the appropriate care immediately and don’t suffer any further damage.


Merge Chiropractic & Wellness Treats Rotator Cuff Injuries


Have you suffered a rotator cuff injury? Are you seeking a solution to the pain and inability to move your shoulder correctly? At Merge Chiropractic & Wellness, we will construct a custom physical therapy regimen for your ailment to facilitate the best possible outcome. Call us today at 214-974-4049 or complete the contact form at the bottom of our homepage to schedule a consultation.

Why Physical Therapy Matters for Pain Management

In 2015, the medical researchers at the University of Pittsburgh carried out a unique experiment to evaluate the efficiency of physical therapy for pain management. They split a group of patients suffering from a spinal injury: half received physical therapy treatment, and the other half underwent surgery, as suggested by their doctors).

The results showed that even though the patients underwent different treatments, the results were identical. This award-winning research study demonstrated that by choosing physical therapy, patients could substantially lower their healthcare costs and still alleviate their debilitating pain.

Of course, physical therapy is not a substitute for surgical treatments in all cases. However, it could be an effective alternative for some people, especially if your doctor suggests it as a possible solution. Let’s look into physical therapy and examine its ability to relieve pain.


How Physical Therapy Can Help You Eradicate Pain


A dedicated physical therapist can help you manage your long-term pain for a variety of issues, including slip-and-fall injuries, sports injuries, and even old age. According to the American Pain Society, staying mobile can significantly reduce chronic or acute pain. Motion-based exercises such as Qigong, Tai Chi, or yoga poses can diminish your chronic pain and discomfort. In addition to lowering pain, these physical therapy routines can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, which tend to accompany a painful injury or illness. Performing regular exercises under the guidance of a skilled physical therapist or chiropractor can also alleviate pain sensitivity and muscular tension in the spinal cord and joints.

Doctors also recommend physical therapy for sports injuries as it can help people suffering from musculoskeletal conditions. However, if you are injured, you must perform these exercise routines with the assistance of a medical professional or a physical therapist only. A good therapist, such as the staff at Merge Chiropractic & Wellness, will evaluate your ability to perform specific movements and then guide you toward speedy recovery and improved mobility.

Several studies by leading medical institutions, including Harvard Medical School, show that physical therapy routines improve the lives of people suffering from acute or chronic pain. For example, if you or a loved one is experiencing constant pain in the abdomen due to inflammation (costochondritis), a physical therapist can help you modify your activities to lower physical stress factors. If you suffer from lower back pain or osteoarthritis knee pain, physical therapy can make sleeping, sitting, and walking a lot easier for you.


Stop Living With Pain and Get Your Life Back With Physical Therapy


Are you tired of not being able to get out of the bed in the mornings easily? Does your joint pain stop you from taking stairs? If your illness is impacting your daily activities and disrupting your life in general, it might be time to talk to a physical therapist.

Physical therapy may not be a cure-all to all your illnesses and injuries, but neither is a drug prescription. Many patients experience a variety of side effects from consuming several pills a day, and unfortunately, they get used to it. You can use physical therapy as a beneficial tool to manage your pain, and unlike prescription drugs, it doesn’t pose any adverse side effects or risk of addiction.

At Merge Chiropractic & Wellness, we will construct a custom physical therapy regimen to facilitate the best possible outcome for you. Call us today at 214-974-4049 or complete our contact form at the bottom of our homepage to schedule a consultation.

I’m a Senior: Am I A Good Candidate For Physical Therapy?

When most people think about effective treatment for arthritis, Parkinson’s, or even cancer, they think of surgery and prescription medications. But what if physical therapy is the answer?

In the last few years, physical therapy has come to be known as vital to the treatment and rehabilitation of anyone who is either ill or injured. And especially for older adults and seniors, physical therapy works both as a tool to recover from an injury and prevent several physical ailments.

If you are living the golden years of your life, physical therapy can improve your health in many ways.


Importance of Physical Therapy for Seniors


It Prevents Fall Injuries


One of the biggest hazards faced by the elderly is fall-based injuries. The fall itself can lead to severe physical damage and pain, but it can also result in a variety of other health issues. As reported by the National Council on Aging, one senior is treated in the emergency room for a fall every 11 seconds. In fact, 1 in 4 Americans aged 65+ falls every year.

Physical therapy can dramatically reduce these numbers because it improves the flexibility of aging muscles and joints. Whether you are a relatively healthy older adult or you suffer from an ailment, physical therapy should be a crucial part of your routine as it can protect you against falls.


It Helps Manage Cancer Treatment


It may come as a huge surprise to some but physical therapy has shown incredible promise in aiding the seniors with their cancer treatment. Since the treatment of cancer comes with many negative – and painful – side effects, physical therapy can assist you by decreasing pain and improved flexibility.

Physical therapy treatments like massage, compression therapies, and motion-based exercises can significantly improve the quality of life for cancer patients.


It Helps With Incontinence


Many elderly people experience urinary incontinence and thankfully, physical therapy can provide lasting relief in this area as well. With the help of pelvic floor exercises, you can strengthen your sphincter muscles and pubic bone muscles to maintain control over them.


It Improves Cognition


If your elderly loved one is suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s, they can experience improved cognitive functioning with the help of a qualified physical therapist. Several studies have proven that increased levels of physical exercise result in reduced risk of dementia, so it’s a sterling preventative measure as well.

For aging adults whose cognitive abilities have already declined, a physical therapy routine can help them be more aware of their physical environment and risks for danger, reducing the risk of self-injury.


It Reduces Pain


Seniors suffering from chronic pain as a result of osteoarthritis or other issues can find lasting relief with the help of regular physical therapy treatments. Since most aging adults are not good candidates for surgery-based solutions or pain-relieving drugs. Physical therapy can be their most important tool in combating pain.


It Improves Overall Physical Well-Being


Since falls and subsequent injuries can pose a severe threat to the elderly, it’s important for them to maintain proper strength, balance, and dexterity. The benefits of maintaining a good, healthy posture are often overlooked in seniors, but it can prevent a lot of health problems.


Manage Pain and Maximize Wellness at Merge Physical Medicine


Just because you are aging, it doesn’t mean you have to lose your mobility and functionality! A reliable and proven physical therapist should be an essential member of your health care team so they can help you maintain your balance and agility.

Ready to get on the path to reduced pain and improved quality of life? Reach out to Merge Physical Medicine to schedule a consultation by completing our contact form at the bottom of our homepage, or call 214-974-4049.

What Are Trigger Points and Why Do They Matter?

It’s been long known among the medical community that among the most common causes of pain are trigger points, also known as myofascitis or myofascial pain syndrome. Unfortunately, it’s also the most ignored health issue that doesn’t get much attention.

Even though physicians and expert chiropractors are aware of trigger points, in theory, very few of them know how to identify, locate, and treat them.


Trigger Points and How They Impact You


A trigger point is a very sensitive spot in your muscle that continuously sends pain signals to your brain via the nervous system. If you don’t seek immediate medical attention, it can eventually turn into a chronic pain issue.

Trigger points generally imitate tense muscle fibers or tiny hard knots. When pressed, they will feel painful. In most patients suffering from chronic lower back pain, trigger points are usually the culprit.

Some people have a tendency to ignore the painful spots on their bodies; they think the pain will go away on its own. But in the case of trigger points, the pain will only increase and get worse if left untreated. It may also lead to fatigue, food allergies, and other health issues if you don’t get it checked out.

Also, the ill-effects of trigger points are not limited to pain. It can result in too much tension, causing your muscles to shorten. If one or more of your muscles are experiencing trigger points, you won’t be able to stretch those muscles to full length, and your range of motion will be reduced.

Moreover, it will also make your muscles weak. When a muscle has a trigger point, it faces resistance and thus, gets weaker with time. However, proper treatment and physical therapy routine can restore strength to the affected muscles.


Why You Should Seek Trigger Point Treatment


what are trigger points

Other adverse effects of untreated trigger points include numbness and loss of coordination/balance in muscles. But these are all temporary issues that can be remedied with physical therapy. If you or your loved one is experiencing muscle weakness, shortness, or limited range of motion, it’s advised to consult with a skilled physical therapist or chiropractor right away.

Failure to treat and eliminate trigger points can lead to:

  • Chronic pain
  • Further injury
  • Loss of muscle function and strength
  • Disability

If the person suffering from trigger points is an older adult, it is critical for them to seek medical care and physical therapy for seniors, otherwise, it can cause permanent disability.


Trigger Point Symptoms


Here are some of the most common signs that trigger points might be present in your muscles:

  • Diminished range of motion from muscle shortening
  • Weakness in muscles (with/without atrophy)
  • Involuntary trembling of muscle fibers
  • Poor balance and/or coordination
  • Excessive sweating in a certain spot, such as palms, face, underarms, etc.

These symptoms may go unnoticed within the general population but if you are an athlete, it will be much more pronounced. Trigger points are known to render athletes unable to perform optimally and in some cases, are debilitating. Thankfully, physical therapy for athletes can help restore muscle strength and help achieve maximum performance.


Maximize Performance and Minimize Pain With Merge Physical Medicine


Merge Physical Medicine is the home of tried-and-true physical therapy treatments. Our friendly in-house staff provides a warm, welcoming environment, and is eager to help you get on the road to enjoying a better quality of life.

Experience the Merge Physical Medicine difference today by filling out our online contact form or calling us at 214-974-4049 to schedule a consultation.