• Understanding the Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disorder that can significantly disrupt a person’s quality of life. When the disease first develops, patients may seek massage therapy or acupuncture to relieve the tender, swollen, and stiff joints. Typically, the disease affects the smallest joints first, such as the fingers and toes. Over time, the symptoms may spread to the larger joints.

    You can watch the accompanying video to hear about one woman’s experience with rheumatoid arthritis. As an avid volleyball player and active mom, she was distressed that her RA symptoms interfered with her daily routines. Now that she’s been diagnosed and is receiving treatment, she can return to doing the things she loves.

    Here at Manhattan Total Health, your wellness and quality of life are our top priorities. Call (917) 720-2689 to request an appointment for physical therapy or massage therapy at our New York, NY offices.

  • Answering Common Questions from First-Time Physical Therapy Patients

    A physical therapist can help athletes and non-athletes alike. This treatment modality is appropriate for people who are recovering from an injury or looking for non-surgical treatments. Physical therapy can also help you if you’re recovering from surgery, are interested in improving your range of motion, or are undergoing intensive athletic training. If you’ve never worked with a physical therapist before, you likely have some questions about the process.

    What should I bring to my appointment?

    You should always bring your insurance card and related paperwork to any medical appointment. In addition, you should bring any medical documents, such as imaging scans, if you had those completed at a different facility. Bring the contact information for your primary care doctor. You can also bring a list of questions and concerns to discuss with the physical therapist.

    What should I wear to physical therapy?

    Physical therapists recommend that you wear loose, comfortable clothing to each session. Wear athletic sneakers too. If you use any assistive devices, such as crutches or a walker, you should bring them.

    Do I really have to do the exercises between appointments?

    It’s common for physical therapists to give their patients “homework” between appointments. And yes, it really is important that you complete the exercises and stretches as directed. You undoubtedly want to heal and recover as quickly as you can. Completing your routine between your appointments can help you get there. If you experience any problems with the recommended exercises or stretches, such as worsening or new pain, you can call the office to ask if you should discontinue them until your next appointment.

    How many physical therapy sessions will I have?

    No two patients are alike. Your treatment plan will be carefully designed especially for you, with your lifestyle, preferences, and goals in mind. During your first appointment, your physical therapist will explain what you can expect from your treatment plan, including an estimate of how many sessions you might need.

    The professional physical therapists at Manhattan Total Health have extensive experience working with patients with musculoskeletal dysfunction. Our goal is to restore you to your pre-injury functioning as quickly as possible. Call (917) 720-2689 to request an appointment for physical therapy in New York, NY.

  • Is Your Smartphone to Blame for Your Aches and Pains?

    If you are seeing a physical therapist or chiropractor because of aches and pains in your neck and shoulders, you may be surprised to know that your smartphone could be the cause. As people become increasingly addicted to staring at their phones, cases of back and neck pain are skyrocketing in response.

    Watch this video to learn more about pain caused by smartphone usage. When you hang your head to look down at your phone, you put strain on the muscles and joints in your neck, which can cause pain in your neck, shoulders, and back.

    If your smartphone usage is causing you discomfort, Manhattan Total Health can help. To make an appointment with a chiropractor or physical therapist in New York, NY, call (917) 720-2689.

  • Tips for Distinguishing Between Muscle and Joint Pain

    Muscle and joint pain are both very common. You may be more likely to experience them frequently if you’re a professional or amateur athlete, or if your occupation requires repetitive or strenuous movements. When you visit a sports medicine specialist, such as a physiatrist, for muscle or joint pain, you’ll be asked to describe your symptoms in as much detail as possible. This helps your provider determine whether your symptoms are caused by muscle or joint pain.

    Causes of Muscle and Joint Pain

    One of the ways to distinguish between muscle and joint pain is to identify the underlying cause. The potential causes can overlap. For example, both muscle and joint pain may be caused by a sports injury. Other possible causes of muscle pain include the following:

    • Over-activity or excessive exertion
    • Muscle tension or stress
    • Infections, including influenza

    Chronic medical conditions that can cause muscle pain include:

    • Fibromyalgia
    • Lyme disease
    • Lupus
    • Chronic fatigue syndrome

    Joint pain can also be the result of acute or chronic medical problems. Some of the possible causes of joint pain include:

    • Arthritis
    • Soft tissue injury (including ankle sprains)
    • Bursitis
    • Lupus
    • Cartilage damage
    • Broken bones
    • Joint dislocation
    • Fibromyalgia
    • Complex regional pain syndrome

    Signs and Symptoms of Muscle and Joint Pain

    Muscle and joint pain may feel achy or sharp, and it can range in severity from mild to debilitating. Muscle pain can also feel like a burning or cramping sensation. Aside from pain, other symptoms you may experience in the joints include:

    • Loss of range of motion, flexibility, and strength
    • Joint weakness
    • Joint stiffness
    • A grating sensation
    • An audible popping or clicking sound with movement

    Other symptoms you may experience with muscle pain include:

    • Muscle weakness
    • Muscle tenderness
    • Muscle spasms

    Along with understanding the specific types of symptoms you have, it can be helpful for the healthcare provider to know when they developed. Let your provider know how you injured yourself, if you were previously diagnosed with a related medical condition, and whether you’ve already tried treatments for pain relief.

    If you have muscle or joint pain, you need rapid relief that lasts. Call Manhattan Total Health at (917) 720-2689 to request an appointment at our locations in Gramercy, Midtown, Wall Street, Grand Central, or the West Side. We offer complete sports medicine services in New York, NY, including chiropractic care, physical therapy, and acupuncture.

  • Should You Exercise if You’re in Pain

    Exercise is often uncomfortable. That comes with the territory when you’re pushing yourself to be your best. However, there is a difference between feeling uncomfortable and being in pain. How do you know when you should push through the discomfort of a tough workout and when you need to stop and see a sports medicine specialist? Here is what you need to know.

    Mild burning is your muscles working.

    It’s normal to feel some mild burning pain when you’re working out. As your push your muscles, lactic acid and the addition stress on them cause a mild burning sensation that is indicative of the pressure that they’re under. This pressure is a good thing, since it is a sign that you’re effectively targeting your muscles with your exercise technique. This kind of burning should stop when the activity stops. If it doesn’t, then you should cease exercising until you consult with a physical therapist or sports medicine specialist.

    Joint pain is not a normal part of exercise.

    There is no kind of exercise that should induce joint pain. If you feel joint pain during your workout, you should stop your activity immediately. In some instances, joint pain may improve after resting for a few days, but it can also indicate a serious issue that could get worse with increased activity. If you’re experiencing joint pain, seek treatment before returning to your usual workout.

    Sudden, intense pain could indicate an injury.

    If you experience a sudden, intense pain when you are exercising, you could have a muscle or ligament tear, a sprain, or a fracture. In each case, the injury will become more severe with increased activity. Stop exercising in the case of an intense pain that hits suddenly, so you can pinpoint the cause and reduce the risk of exacerbating the injury.

    Manhattan Total Health has physical therapists, sports medicine specialists, and physiatrists in New York, NY to help you stay active and healthy. If you’re dealing with pain during or after exercise, call us today at (917) 720-2689.

  • Should You Consider Trigger Point Therapy?

    Do you suffer from acute or chronic pain? One possible treatment option may be trigger point therapy, a form of massage therapy. You might also hear it referred to as myofascial trigger point therapy or neuromuscular therapy. The goal of this pain management technique is to locate and release trigger points, which are like “knots” in the muscle. Trigger points are very tense areas of muscle fibers that may form in response to an injury.

    Understanding Trigger Point Therapy

    All trigger points are found in the skeletal muscle. They can cause pain in their immediate area, as well as referred pain in other areas. In addition to pain, trigger points can restrict movement and result in muscle weakness. A massage therapist can find these trigger points and apply gentle, steady pressure combined with movement to release them. The application of firm pressure perpendicular to the muscle will often result in a local twitch response, which is the temporary and visible or palpable contraction of the muscle. The local twitch response tells the massage therapist that he or she has found the right spot to release the trigger point.

    Identifying the Conditions Trigger Point Therapy Can Help

    Trigger point therapy is known to benefit patients with a wide range of painful conditions. It might be right for you if you suffer from any of the following:

    • Acute or chronic low back pain
    • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain or disorder
    • Headache
    • Migraines
    • Carpal tunnel syndrome
    • Tinnitus
    • Sciatica
    • Osteoarthritis

    Trigger point therapy can also benefit patients with sports injuries. It may help relieve pain to the extent that patients can actively participate in physical therapy.

    Learning What to Expect from Trigger Point Therapy

    If you decide to give trigger point therapy a try, the therapist can explain what to expect. Sometimes, the therapist will only use manual techniques to manipulate the knots in the muscle. Other therapists may use a dry needling technique, which involves the insertion of a needle into the trigger point.

    The talented massage therapists, acupuncturists, and chiropractors at Manhattan Total Health look forward to helping you achieve your health goals. You can call (917) 720-2689 to request an appointment for medical massage therapy in New York, NY. We welcome patients with acute and chronic injuries, and those who are seeking injury prevention care.

  • Tips for Reducing the Risk of Tennis Injuries

    Tennis is a fantastic full-body workout, but it does exert considerable stress on your joints and soft tissues. Physical therapists recommend doing a thorough stretching routine before and after you play. You can see a sample stretching routine when you watch the accompanying video.

    This tennis expert demonstrates lower body and upper body stretches. He starts with giant steps, which involves touching the knees to the hands while walking. You’ll also see him demonstrate standing and running butt kicks, the Frankenstein walk, the Djokovic tilt, and multiple upper body stretches with a resistance band.

    If you do sustain an injury or you’d like to work with a physical therapist on an injury prevention plan, you can contact Manhattan Total Health at (917) 720-2689. Our physical therapists in New York, NY, have extensive experience working with patients with tennis-related injuries.

  • How Long Should Patients Attend Physical Therapy After an Injury?


    Physical therapy is a commonly recommended treatment modality for patients who have sustained musculoskeletal injuries. The length of your course of physical therapy depends on the type and severity of your specific injury, and your pace of progress. The physical therapist will start by doing a thorough evaluation. Then, he or she uses this information to develop a customized treatment plan. Your treatment plan will explain how many times per week you’ll attend physical therapy and how long you can expect it to last.

    Every patient experiences a different rate of progress. In general, soft tissue injuries may heal in about six to eight weeks. The average fracture should heal in about eight weeks. If your injury results in chronic pain, such as chronic lower back pain, then it’s generally recommended that you continue to attend physical therapy for as long as you continue to experience improvements in your symptoms, strength, flexibility, and range of motion.

    For professional physical therapy in New York, NY, you can turn to Manhattan Total Health. Call (917) 720-2689 to find one of our sports medicine facilities near you.

  • Questions to Ask During Your First Physical Therapy Appointment


    Physical therapy is good option for dealing with both acute and chronic pain. It can help to reduce or even eliminate the need for pain medication while ensuring a healthy recovery from musculoskeletal issues. With physical therapy, you don’t just focus on alleviating the pain but also on building up muscle strength and learning movement techniques that will reduce the risk of future injury. If you’re starting therapy for the first time, asking your physical therapist these questions during your appointment will help you get a better idea of what to expect from the process.

    Why am I in pain?

    By asking this question, you can discover two important things about your pain. First, you will learn exactly what kind of injury your physical therapist thinks that you have, so you can better understand the source of your pain. Second, you will learn some of the reasons the injury may have happened. For example, your physical therapist may blame a repetitive motions or exercising without stretching or conditioning appropriately. This information will help you understand ways in which you can avoid another injury in the future.

    How long do you think I will need physical therapy?

    Physical therapy doesn’t cure pain and injuries overnight. It usually requires committing to a few sessions per week for an extended period of time. Your physical therapist may not be able to give you a precise treatment timeline, but having an idea of what to expect will help you to plan accordingly.

    What will I need to do between appointments?

    Only part of your physical therapy will happen at your appointments. Your physical therapist will also give you tasks to do at home, such as certain exercises or instructions to use heat or ice on your injuries. It’s important to know what is expected of you and to follow these instructions, in order to get the best results from therapy.

    Find out more about how physical therapy can help you manage chronic and acute pain by contacting Manhattan Total Health. To schedule an appointment for professional physical therapy in New York, NY, please call (917) 720-2689.

  • Could You Benefit from a Medical Massage?


    When many people think of massages, they envision spa days and relaxation. However, massages can have many health benefits, particularly when it is performed by a provider who is experienced in delivering medical messages. Medical massage is frequently used as part of a physical therapy treatment plan to deliver fast pain relief.

    Medical massage could be right for you if acute or chronic pain is impacting your ability to engage in your normal activities. It helps to boost circulation while reducing inflammation. It can deliver an instant reduction in discomfort and be an important part of achieving long-term pain relief, since it can be targeted specifically at the source of your pain. Many people experience improved range of motion as well as less stress, which in turns helps to alleviate their other symptoms.

    Manhattan Total Health provides medical massage in New York, NY alongside our physical therapy services for a wide range of conditions. Find out more or schedule an appointment by calling (917) 720-2689.