Preston Memorial Celebrates National Physical Therapy Month

Posted Date: 10/25/2018
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Preston Memorial Celebrates National Physical Therapy Month

There are various benefits of physical therapy in treating neurologic and orthopedic conditions. Patients with illnesses or injuries resulting in pain, loss of range of movement, strength or function may benefit from a physical therapy evaluation to address limitations.

The Preston Memorial Physical Therapy department offers a variety of services to treat a wide range of patient conditions. Manual therapy, aquatic therapy, massage therapy, therapeutic exercise, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, lymphedema therapy, pelvic health services and dry needling are all services available to patients.

In honor of National Physical Therapy Month, PMH PT wishes to highlight three key services offered including lymphedema treatments, pelvic health services and dry needling.

Lymphedema Treatment

Lymphedema refers to the blockage of the lymphatic system, preventing lymph fluid from draining. Such blockages trigger fluid buildup, resulting in swelling of the arms or legs. Patients often suffer from lymphedema after radiation, surgery or trauma. Lymphedema may also occur without a known cause. Common lymphedema symptoms may include feelings of fullness or heaviness, receding or constant swelling, restricted range of motion, aching, recurring infections or thickening of the skin.

PMH Physical Therapy Director, Jody Varda, explained the urgency of lymphedema treatments. “Patients should seek treatment for lymphedema immediately once it is noticed because treatment can reduce or avoid progression of the condition,” Varda said. “It is crucial to seek treatment for lymphedema once the swelling is persistent. Patients should also seek treatment prior to any airline travel or longer trips in a vehicle.”

“Complete decongestive therapy is the gold standard in care of patients who have lymphedema and it is offered at both clinics,” Varda said. CDT includes patient education, skin care, therapeutic exercises, manual therapy and compression therapy.

Additional lymphedema treatments include a light manual technique, similar to massage, over the involved region, compression applied to reduce swelling and education on exercises to be performed at home and activities to be avoided.

Pelvic Health Physical Therapy

Although the topic isn’t widely discussed, pelvic floor issues are exceedingly prevalent among women and men. Pelvic floor dysfunction refers to a change in the normal movement and function of the pelvic floor including weakness, decreased sensation, increased muscle tension and changes in body alignment. “Pelvic floor issues are often left untreated because people are not aware of the services available or are uncomfortable talking about it,” explained PMH Physical Therapist Vanessa Noss.

Issues relating to pelvic floor dysfunction may interfere with daily activities and cause complications such as incontinence, pain or organ prolapse. Preston Memorial Physical Therapy offers patient specific sessions to meet personal goals and address deficits that have occurred.

Pelvic floor therapy sessions treat bowel incontinence, urinary incontinence, general pelvic floor dysfunction, organ prolapse, painful sex, pelvic pain, post-partum pelvic floor dysfunction, post-radiation dysfunction and post-surgical dysfunction.

All treatment sessions involving the pelvic floor are performed in private treatment rooms.

During pelvic floor sessions patients can expect exercises related to bladder retraining, hands-on techniques to address changes in the muscle or bone alignment, modalities to manage pain and inflammation, strengthening of the pelvic floor and stretching and mobility exercises.

“Pelvic health physical therapy is an underserved area, and pelvic health services can benefit many people in the community,” Noss said. “Many people assume they have to just ‘put up with’ pelvic floor issues because they have been told it’s a normal part of aging. However, many dysfunctions of the pelvic floor can be treated and improved.”

Dry Needling Treatment

Dry needling is a technique performed to treat neuro-musculoskeletal issues including pain and movement impairments. During dry needling sessions physical therapists insert a needle without medication or injection through the patient’s skin to treat areas of the muscle. 

“Dry needling treatments allow muscles to relax through the release of proteins and neurotransmitters, stimulating healing when the needle is inserted at the trigger point,” explained PMH Physical Therapist, Eric Beard. “The release of proteins blocks the transmission of pain messages from the brain, allowing the body to feel relief.”

Dry needling is typically used to treat acute and chronic tendonitis, sports related injuries chronic pain, headaches, whiplash and lower back pain. Dry needling may also be beneficial after surgical procedures, motor vehicle accidents or work related injuries.

“Dry Needling can be a great adjunct to physical therapy treatment to aid in quicker pain relief and more efficient healing,” Beard said. “It is used in conjunction with other therapy techniques to treat the whole body to relieve your pain.”

Physical therapy treatment including dry needling will also use joint mobilization, hands-on techniques, therapeutic exercise and modalities to provide a more comprehensive approach. 

Unique therapy treatments are developed by one of our skilled therapists to meet the needs specific to the patient. Physical therapy appointments may be made at our Kingwood and Bruceton locations by calling 304-329-3908 or 304-379-7678.


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