Live Life Again Pain-Free

How Physical Therapy Can Help Children with Torticollis

Torticollis is a clinical condition characterized by tightening of the sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle on one side of the neck, resulting in the tilting of a child’s head to one side. It can occur due to abnormal positioning of the baby within the uterus or due to injury to the SCM muscle. It may also be associated with other conditions affecting the skull, neck and spine. Over time, torticollis can result in permanent shortening of the muscles and may require surgery, so it is best to treat this condition as quickly as possible.

The condition is usually diagnosed in the first 3 months after the birth of the baby, and treatment should be initiated as quickly as possible.

A physical therapist is a licensed expert in the musculoskeletal system and can put together a treatment program for conditions involving the bones, joints and muscles. Physical therapy plays an important role in the treatment of children with torticollis. The therapist will prescribe a variety of exercises to help strengthen the muscles of the neck and treat torticollis.


Improving Quality of Life for Children

Physical therapy helps restore quality of life for adults and children.

Gentle stretching exercises and manual techniques are used to gradually increase the length of the muscle fibers. Such treatment techniques reduce pain, increase movement, improve posture and prevent the deterioration of this condition.

A well-known form of exercise for children with torticollis is called ‘tummy time’. The child is encouraged to spend more time on its tummy. This promotes core strength and helps stretch the muscles in the neck.

A physical therapist will also work actively with caregivers and parents. Parents are made aware of what is required at home. A coordinated approach enables the child to receive the right care 24 hours a day.

The goals of physical therapy in treatment of torticollis.

The primary objective is to increase movement in the neck region. In essence, the child should be able to tilt the head side to side, rotate the neck, look up, and touch the chin to the chest. Restoring posture in the head and neck region also helps with balance and normal development in weight shifting methods such as sitting, standing and walking.


Helping Your Entire Family

To get the best outcomes as quickly as possible, children need to feel comfortable and safe in a treatment environment. A physical therapist can make the treatment experience fun and rewarding for your child using the right environment, tools and language to make your child receptive to the activities involved in recovery. All this can be achieved while measuring progress and achieving milestones. The result – your child gets better, faster.

Parents play a big role in the treatment process. The right home environment includes positioning devices such as neck pillows, blankets and foam wedges to facilitate symmetrical positioning of the head and neck. Correct positioning of the child during day-to-day activities, active stretching techniques and careful monitoring for signs of regression are important responsibilities for parents. The good news is – you are never alone as a parent. Your physical therapist is always here to help.

Physical therapy is an important part of our lives, for children and adults. Your physical therapist has an arsenal of treatment options such as stretching, strengthening, manual techniques and more. Call us today to learn more. We can help you, your child and your whole family.

Physical Therapy for Joint Replacement

New Joints for a New You – Physical Therapy for Joint Replacement

The decision to have a joint replacement is a big step involving major surgery and significant rehabilitation times. Patients will need to work closely with their surgeon and physical therapist for a return to full functionality and the new lease on life that a joint replacement can provide.

Knee and hip joints make up the majority of replacements, but the ankle, elbow, shoulder and wrist joints can also be replaced. During the procedure, the damaged portion of the joint will be removed and replaced with a ceramic, plastic or metal device that allows the joint to work normally.

A number of conditions can cause deterioration of a joint or the surrounding cartilage resulting in pain and disability, the most common of which is osteoarthritis. Joint replacement is typically the final option when medication, physical therapy, or changes in lifestyle don’t provide sufficient relief from pain and the risk of disability.


6 PT benefits for joint replacement

Physical therapy is an essential part of joint replacement therapy. Depending upon the joint that has been replaced, patients will need to relearn how to stand, walk, lift or grasp objects. Physical therapy helps:

  • Strengthen the muscles and ligaments around the joint
  • Reduce scarring around the joint
  • Promote mobility
  • Regain full range of motion
  • Ease pain
  • Regain balance, coordination and functionality

An important part of the rehabilitation process with physical therapy will be the use of assistive aids for mobility and a physical therapist will show patients how to use them effectively. Individuals will learn new ways of performing everyday tasks and ergonomic adaptations that will make life easier during recovery.

People often assume awkward positions and behaviors due to the pain and mobility issues associated with a poorly operating joint. An important aspect of physical therapy is helping patients regain and maintain proper posture and relieve pressure on the neurological system that can impede recovery success.

Recovery typically requires two to four months following a joint replacement, depending on the patient and joint that was replaced. The goal of physical therapy will be for patients to improve their mobility by two weeks following surgery with a return to regular activities by 12 weeks after the procedure.

Physical therapy before and after

Your physical therapy following a joint replacement will focus on pain relief and restoration of movement. Your body will need time to get used to the new joint and one of the best ways to accomplish that is through a physical therapy-based exercise program.

Your individualized plan may include at-home exercises, along with therapeutic massage and hydrotherapy to promote movement and relieve pain. Electrical stimulation, ultrasound and manual manipulation may be employed to aid in the healing process and maintain mobility, along with cupping, acupuncture and dry needling to relieve pain.

Part of your surgical and rehabilitation strategy may include pre-surgical physical therapy to strengthen the body, particularly in the area in which the replacement will take place. Physical therapy prior to surgery is effective for speeding recovery time and reducing the need for post-surgical care, allowing you to return to your normal routine quicker.

Pre-surgical therapy provides you with the opportunity to make accommodations and changes at home that will be needed following the surgery such as shower benches or handrails in strategic locations, along with a long-handled grabber that will be helpful for reaching items.

Joint replacement therapy can give you a new lease on life with greater, pain-free mobility to enjoy a more active lifestyle. Physical therapy before, during and after a joint replacement will help you recover quicker, reduce the risk of potential complications, and help you return to your favorite activities.

Amazing Benefits of Physical Therapy to Female Athlete Triad

The Female Athlete Triad is a group of interrelated conditions that affect female athletes, particularly teenage athletes. It is widely believed that an energy imbalance is the cause, combined with competitive forces. This disrupts eating patterns and body image for female athletes. Despite the fact that this is common in athletes, several aspects of the triad are seen in non-athletes as well

The three medical conditions associated with the triad are:

  1. Disordered eating: anorexia, purging, induced vomiting
  2. Amenorrhea: adverse impact on menstrual cycles
  3. Osteoporosis: low bone mass/density


There are times when the athlete exercises excessively while the body is experiencing an energy deficit. A reduced caloric intake combined with malnutrition leads to a pattern of disordered eating.

The pressure to ‘be thin’ is compounded by a society that idolizes celebrities and pop stars. This can result in compulsive dieting and exercise. For a growing teenage athlete, bone density can be compromised if there are deficiencies in protein, vitamins and calcium. For female athletes participating in figure skating, ballet and gymnastics in particular, awareness is critical.


Coaches, parents and guardians should be aware of the following warning signs:

  • Rapid weight loss or marked leanness
  • Obsession about weight, body image and food.
  • Shin splints that don’t heal
  • Reduced participation or loss of interest in sports


Treatment involves:

  1. Prevention of compulsive dieting by working with a sports nutritionist.
  2. Increasing the strength of muscles, ligaments, bones and joints.
  3. Be in a progressive exercise program designed by a physical therapist.

Physical therapy for athletes begins with a detailed evaluation of the flexibility, strength, range of motion and athletic goals.

The physical therapist is a critical member of the healthcare team and works closely with a coach and athletic trainer. The physical therapist may use a combination of the following treatments:

  • Ultrasound to heal connective tissue (tendons and ligaments).
  • Manipulative therapy that includes stretching and massage.
  • Resistance training to increase muscle strength.
  • Cold compress for acute injuries and heat to relax muscular spasms.
  • Low-level laser use for muscle and connective tissue injuries.
  • Functional Electrical Stimulation to restore strength in the muscles.
  • The use of tape to support muscles and assistive devices as needed to support joints.


Physical therapy can keep young athletes healthy, strong and safe, but success begins with the right attitude towards the inner and outer self. Every physical active female should take three simple precautions to protect against the triad:

Eat healthy meals at regular intervals. Use nutritional supplementation if necessary.

Discuss menstrual irregularities (or sudden fluctuations in body weight) with your physician.

Track exercise and calorie expenditure.

An environment that makes the female athlete feel safe and comfortable encourages honest conversations that help identify underlying problems. If you suspect that someone in your family has some of the symptoms associated with the triad, seek medical attention immediately. Physical therapy is an important part of long-term treatment of this condition. In fact, physical therapy can help most individuals to live a healthy, improved quality of life. Call us today to schedule an appointment. Your success is our success.

Balance and Strengthening for Ankle Sprains

The ankle is the most common site of sprains in the human body. An ankle sprain can happen to anybody at a time when you least expect it. Normally, it occurs after a sudden unnatural twisting of the foot which can tear the ligaments of the ankle. An ankle injury affects every aspect of your daily life, most notably your ability to walk and drive.
The symptoms and sign of ankle sprains may vary depending on the severity. There might be tenderness, bruising, swelling and stiffness. Walking can be painful if the ankle sprain is serious.

A mild ankle sprain may not require a doctor’s attention but if any of the following happen after you twisted your ankle, consult your doctor.
• Uncontrollable pain even after taking medications
• You are unable to walk or cannot walk without severe pain.
• The ankle is swollen beyond normal and is not improving within 5-7 days.

Ankle sprain can be prevented by:
• Wearing shoes that give the proper support for the ankle.
• Maintain the strength and flexibility of the ankles. Consult a physical therapist for strengthening exercises


Balance and Strengthening Exercises Reduce Chronic Ankle Sprains

Strength and balance exercises, which can be designed for you, can be effective at reducing the risk of ankle sprains and painassociated with the injury. Strength training utilizing the muscles that turn your foot in (these muscles are called the invertor muscles) and turn your foot out (these muscles are called the evertor muscles) may lower the incidence of ankle sprains..

Balance intervention training involves an assortment of strength training exercises. A physical therapist will teach you how to safely conduct these exercises so you eventually can perform them at home or your training facility.

Balance intervention training involves an assortment of strength training exercises. A physical therapist will teach you how to safely conduct these exercises so you eventually can perform them at home or your training facility. Try one of these sets:

  1. A single leg stance on the floor
  2. Single leg stance while the opposite leg swings.
  3. Single leg squats on the floor at a 30 to 45 degree angle.
  4. Single leg stance while performing a sports activity such as catching or dribbling.
  5. Try a double leg stance on a balance board and rotate in a clockwise and then counterclockwise direction.
  6. Conclude with another single leg stance.

It is still important to warm up the muscles before attempting these exercises.  Try a light jog or jogging in place, backward running, or running forward with knee lifts for 30 seconds.  Power and strength exercises such as squats may also provide the additional ankle support.

Again, these are all exercises that should be practiced and learned with your physical therapist to ensure safety and proper technique.


Physical Therapy and Your Training

Depending on your needs, you physical therapist may recommend balance training using a ‘balance board’, which is an excellent way to stabilize and strengthen the muscles in the foot.

Combined, all the things your physical therapist can teach you can result in a significant reduction in the risk of injury to the ankle. This is especially valuable for athletes, individuals in jobs that require standing all day and women who spend a lot of time in heels.

If you want to strengthen your ankle and minimize the possibility of an ankle injury, all you need is a simple balance training program from your physical therapist.

Call now to schedule an appointment. We’ll not only treat you for any ankle injuries, but we’ll teach you an exercise program to minimize the risk of ankle injuries going forward


How to Enjoy Outdoor Activities.. Without Back Pain

Outdoor activities like gardening are a healthy and enjoyable way to live an active lifestyle. When the weather is nice, the outdoors are hard to resist. However, a lack of warm up and stretching can lead to aches and pains, even injuries.

A reduction in activity during winter leads to a decrease in physical conditioning. As a result, people tend to overestimate their physical abilities (and limits). Pain from gardening in the lower back, and aches in the shoulders, neck, knees and joints from cleaning the garage, or from other outdoor activities are common.

When the body engages in a strenuous activity, combined with uncomfortable and awkward positions, it responds with pain and sometimes, injury.  As physical therapists, we work with many individuals who experience strains and overuse injuries. The most common cause is an insufficient warm-up and the absence of a stretching routine.

Yard work is another example. Awkward (and unfamiliar) body positions during mowing, trimming, seeding and raking are uncomfortable for the body. When performed over an extended period, a chronic, painful condition can emerge.

Why You Should (Not) ‘Sleep it Off’….

Previous injuries, lack of exercise, obesity, and existing chronic conditions increase the risk of injury. Pain may range from mild to severe. Many people assume a good night’s sleep will cure the problem, but pain often worsens upon rising the next morning. When the body is ‘pushed past its limit’, an injury occurs, and physical therapy is needed.

Physical therapy plays a significant role in identifying a baseline level of conditioning, and improving it over time. Physical therapists use an arsenal of techniques including skilled manual therapy, carefully selected strengthening exercises, joint stabilization methods and more to prevent, and help in recovery after an injury.

During the initial evaluation, a therapist will determine your goals and ask questions such as “How much time do you spend gardening?”, “What is your favorite outdoor activity and when was the last time you engaged in that activity?” and more. Valuable information is gathered, which allows the therapist to build a customized plan tailored to the needs of the patient. With years of extensive training in anatomy and movement, the therapist will not only recognize your limit but also assist you in gently (and progressively) push your body to reach its limit, under careful supervision. It is a well known scientific fact that this increases your physical capabilities over time.


A Healthy and Happy Summer

The biggest mistake made by most people is to ‘wait until you need help’. The problem is – the injury gets worse the longer you wait. The sooner the therapist can evaluate you, the better.

The best time to seek physical therapy is when you don’t have aches and pains, and when you’re preparing for outdoor exercise. Your physical therapist will examine your joints, movement, muscles, posture, gait and much more. Using a variety of scientific tests, the therapist will assess your functional goals and create a plan to help you prevent injuries, so your body is prepared for all outdoor exercises. The therapist may recommend clinical Pilates, low-impact aerobics, strength training or yoga. The therapist may decide to use therapeutic massage and manual therapy techniques, along with heat and cold treatments.

Also, the therapist can evaluate your home and work environment and recommend equipment to ease stress and strain on your joints. Adjustments to the workplace can also help prevent overuse injuries, strains, and sprains. If needed, the therapist will also advise patients on the most efficient and biomechanically correct ways to sit, stand, lift and even get in and out of a car.

Outdoor activities help you stay healthy and happy. A physical therapist at your side will help you safely do the things you enjoy, without having to worry about injuries. Call us today and we’ll make sure you have a safe, healthy and happy summer outside!

What is Physical Therapy

Physical therapists (PTs) are health care professionals who evaluate and treat individuals of all ages, from newborns to the elderly, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their ability to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives.

PTs examine each individual and develop a plan using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. In addition, PTs work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness- and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.

Physical therapists provide care for people in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and nursing homes. State licensure is required in each state in which a physical therapist practices.

The physical therapist as the person who helps patients function better and feel more confident. The Physical therapist is:

  • Known as: Coach/Teacher
  • Delivers: Knowledge
  • Offers: Independence
  • Focus: Understanding
  • Traits: Experts, advisers

Where Does pain Come From

There are several causes of pain, and they can be related to the mind, the body or caused by general stress. We live in a stressful world, and the most common causes of pain are:

1) Strain associated with day to day life
We live in a world that is increasingly stressful. Strain associated with professional or personal pressure can force additional strain on your overloaded, weak muscles. We make it a priority to strengthen your muscles in a systematic, progressive manner so you can finally live the pain free life that you deserve.

2) Anatomical problems associated with bones, discs
The wrong type of motion and lifting techniques can cause a breakdown of weak tissues. We teach you the best way to use your muscles and joint and enable you to move and function with optimum efficiency

3) Deterioration in joints
The gradual deterioration of joint integrity is an unfortunate effect of aging. Repeated motion associated with activities can cause muscle weakness and joint destruction, especially if an individual is overweight. We enable you to be become stronger and healthier, thereby minimizing the effects of joint deterioration.

What to Avoid

We pride ourselves in quality and commitment towards our patients. You want to avoid facilities that are run like factories and take their time to schedule you or treat you the right way. You also want to avoid facilities with outdated equipment and therapists with little or no experience.

What sets us apart is our commitment to quality and reputation. We are known as the leading providers of physical therapy in our community and make every effort to uphold the highest standards in customer service. Our testimonials speak for themselves. We will provide you with personalized, individual care that you will not find in any other physical therapy facility, period.

Healthy Lifestyle

Self Help Tips For a Pain-Free Life

Never push yourself past your own limit
Remember, each one of us has a certain limit. Always judge your limits, instinctively on a scale of 1 to 10. For example, 1 is relaxing on a Saturday reading the newspaper. 5 is carrying groceries. 8 is carrying groceries and walking up the stairs at a fast pace, while you are out of breath and 10 is 10 is a maximum effort, where your heart races faster than ever before. As a general rule, never push yourself to beyond 6-7, especially if you have a prior injury or are recovering from an injury. Always push yourself under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist at Horizon Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation.

Be physically active
You must keep your bones, muscles and joints in a constant state of motion. Never resign yourself to the couch, or think that ‘exercise is not for me”. The best way to fight pain and recover from injury is to stay active and maintain your fitness level.

Stretch and strengthen your muscles at least twice a week.
Make sure your muscles are properly stretched and strengthened under the supervision of your physical therapist. It is common for aches and sprains to occur, as a direct result of muscles that are tight (inflexible) or weak.

The Discomfort of Hip Bursitis

Hip bursitis is a painful condition, especially if an individual has had a pre-existing hip injury. Athletes involved in repetitive movements like running or bicycling are likely to experience bursitis.

Occasionally, the pain of hip bursitis can be dull and achy. It may also spread to the lower back. The inside of the hip (towards the groin area) can also get affected.Bursitis is the swelling of the bursa, which is a small cushion-like sac containing fluid. It is a protective sac that surrounds joints. The hip bursa is located over the outside part of the hip bone (also known as the trochanter).

This protective sac is also present in other joints like the knee, shoulder, and heel. When the bursa becomes inflamed, the pain is usually sharp and intense.

Traditionally, a physician may decide to treat the pain and discomfort of bursitis with medication. Weight loss to minimize load on the joint and surrounding tissues may also be recommended. A physical therapist can play an important role in the design of a safe, effective exercise program to strengthen muscles and improve joint mobility without pain and discomfort.


Prevention with Physical Therapy

A vicious cycle of pain and inflammation can result in progressive joint stiffness and muscle weakness, as the body tries to limit the extent of pain associated with bursitis. When pain levels subside, a physical therapist can help the individual restore mobility and strength.

The first step with physical therapy is a detailed evaluation to determine the extent of motion, strength, flexibility and the status of tissues surrounding the joint. This may require advanced tests. After gathering the right information, the therapist can plan a safe, effective exercise program to help the individual

recover as soon as possible. It’s important to maintain full range of motion in the hip joint, and strengthen the surrounding muscles after a period of warm up and stretching. Certain postures may need to be avoided. All of this will be outlined and documented by the physical therapist, who will guide the patient throughout the recovery process.

The primary objective of physical therapy is to reduce pain by improving mobility and restoring muscle balance gradually. Supervised exercise is important in the early stages, followed by a progressive home exercise program consisting of hip strengthening exercises. The intensity of these exercises will be judged by the physical therapist.


Physical Therapy Can Kick Start Healing

If you or someone you know is suffering from hip pain, a physical therapist can diagnose the condition to determine whether bursitis is a likely cause.

Since the hip is a major weight bearing joint, it is important to treat hip bursitis as quickly as possible. Left untreated, the condition can become extremely painful and trigger low back pain and postural imbalances.

Your physical therapist program may suggest mobility exercises like bicycling and strengthening exercises like leg raises, — depending on your current condition. It is highly recommended that you consult your physical therapist before beginning any exercises if you have hip pain. This will minimize stress on inflamed tissues and help you avoid pain and further injury.

Stop the frustrating cycle of pain and inactivity. Call us today for an assessment. Don’t let hip pain get in the way of a healthy, active lifestyle.