• What to Expect in Physical Therapy After Shoulder Surgery

    Patients with severe shoulder injuries, such as rotator cuff tears, often work with a physical therapist during an initial course of noninvasive treatment. This is because doctors prefer to treat injuries without resorting to surgery whenever possible. If your injury doesn’t respond well to nonsurgical treatments, you’ll receive a comprehensive rehabilitation plan after your surgery, and this plan will include physical therapy to support your recovery.

    Non-Shoulder Movement

    Physical therapy can start soon after shoulder surgery, but it won’t involve strenuous activities until you’re further along in the recovery process. Initially, you’ll generate movement in the affected arm , while keeping the shoulder still. This is accomplished with flexing exercises of the wrist and elbow. You can also expect to do pendulum exercises, which involve the following steps:

    • Stand next to a table, placing your unaffected hand on it for support.
    • Bend at the waist so the upper body is parallel to the floor.
    • Let the affected arm hang down naturally.
    • Move your body in a circular fashion to cause the affected arm to move in circles.

    Passive Movement

    The next stage in your recovery involves passive movement exercises. Passive movement helps keep the shoulder joint flexible, without requiring the area to do any of the work. The physical therapist will gently move your arm in specific ways. Don’t hesitate to give feedback about any discomfort you experience. Later on, you may be shown how to do assisted exercises by yourself, using your unaffected arm to support the other arm.

    Range of Motion

    When the doctor determines the shoulder is healed enough to generate active movement, you’ll start working on range of motion exercises. Your physical therapist might show you how to do shoulder abduction exercises, and internal and external rotation exercises.

    Strength Training

    Usually, patients begin gentle strength training exercises at around the same time that they start range of motion exercises. You’ll likely use elastic bands and light dumbbells initially. Once you’re fully recovered, you can begin building strength more aggressively.

    At Manhattan Total Health, we firmly believe in the body’s ability to rehabilitate itself with the right program of physiatry, physical therapy, and massage. You can receive complete care for your rotator cuff tear at our locations in New York, NY. Call us today at (917) 720-2689.

  • Tips for Discussing Your Chronic Pain Symptoms with Your Doctor

    Chronic pain is a complex issue, and it requires a team approach. Board-certified physiatrists , physical therapists, and massage therapists may all play a role in your recovery. But before you can get started on your personalized treatment plan, you’ll need to help your doctor understand exactly what you’re experiencing. He or she needs to know about the exact locations, severity, and sensations of pain you feel.

    The Location of Your Pain

    Chronic pain may be localized, or confined to a specific area, or it can be widespread over a larger area. It’s also possible to have chronic referred pain, which is felt away from the area where it originates. Point out where you feel pain, and explain whether it feels like the pain is right at the surface of your skin, or whether it feels deeper, like bone pain.

    The Frequency of Your Symptoms

    Your doctor may ask you to keep a written record of when you experience symptoms. Specifically, he or she will need to know:

    • When your symptoms first began
    • Whether you feel pain continuously or intermittently
    • Whether your pain occurs or worsens during specific times or with certain activities
    • How long a pain episode lasts, if the pain is intermittent

    The Severity of Your Pain

    This is often the most difficult part about describing chronic pain to a doctor. Some patients try to downplay their symptoms, while others exaggerate them for fear of not receiving treatment otherwise. Regardless of how severe your chronic pain is , you can rest assured that your doctor only wants to help you feel well again. To help your doctor understand the severity of your pain, consider the following questions.

    • Does your pain affect the way you move?
    • Do you have to limit your activities or ask for help with tasks?
    • Does your pain get so bad that you hold back tears?
    • Is your pain manageable, but causing you worry and affecting your quality of life?

    Additionally, consider using a comparison. Some people describe headaches as feeling like a hammer is pounding on their head, for example.

    Manhattan Total Health offers a complete range of sports medicine services in New York, NY, including physiatry. Our board-certified medical doctors will work one-on-one with you to get you back on the path to wellness. Call us today at (917) 720-2689, and check out our website for information about physical therapy and chiropractic care to treat chronic pain.

  • Could You Benefit from Working with a Personal Trainer?

    Personal training sessions are a smart investment for both casual and serious athletes, especially during the injury recovery process. A sports medicine professional will likely refer you to a physical therapist for the initial rehabilitation process. Once you’ve graduated from professional physical therapy, you can move on to work with a personal trainer to get back to your pre-injury condition.

    You’ll work one-on-one with your personal trainer to develop a structured program of exercises that target specific muscle groups and your overall physical conditioning. Personal trainers are experts at providing just the right blend of physical challenges and encouraging guidance. Plus, when you work with a personal trainer to improve your strength and flexibility, he or she will make sure you perform the exercises in a way that minimizes your risk of a recurrent injury.

    Manhattan Total Health is pleased to offer personal training sessions to our valued patients. Give us a call today at (917) 720-2689 with your questions about our sports medicine services in New

  • Coping with Back Pain During Pregnancy

    As your baby grows, the pressure on your lower back increases. Pregnant women often experience persistent low back pain, especially during the third trimester. There are many safe ways to relieve back pain, including scheduling massage therapy sessions at regular intervals. Massage can also help you relax and de-stress, both of which are important for a healthy pregnancy.

    In addition to massage therapy, try taking warm baths and using a heating pad, as recommended by this featured video. If your doctor clears you to exercise, try gentle workouts like yoga, swimming, and walking, which will improve your core strength to reduce the strain on your back.

    The wellness team at Manhattan Total Health wants to help you have a pain-free, comfortable pregnancy with our massage therapy and chiropractic care available in New York, NY. Call (917) 720-2689 to request an appointment at one of our five locations.