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+ QVMC Physical Therapy Center FAQ's


Here are a few topics with simple questions and answers to help you better understand physical therapy, injures and support.

 

ANKLE - FOOT

ARTHRITIS

CERVICAL SPINE

ELBOW

HAND/WRIST

HEADACHES

HIP

KNEE

LUMBAR SPINE

OSTEOPOROSIS

SACROILIAC JOINT DYSFUNCTION

SHOULDER

SPINE CARE BASICS

THORACIC OUTLET SYNDROME

 
 

ANKLE - FOOT
What is plantar fasciitis? Plantar fasciitis is an irritation of the tissue on the sole of your foot from the big toe to your heel.

What is ankle sprain? Ankle sprain is an overstretch of the ligaments of the ankle caused by injury leading to pain, swelling, loss of motion, and difficulty walking.

What is Achilles tendonitis? Achilles tendonitis is an irritation/inflammation of the tendon, which inserts into your heel bone.

What is a fracture? An ankle fracture is a broken bone of the foot usually caused by a traumatic event. The fracture requires casting and/or bracing with the possible use of crutches/canes/walkers, which may all lead to joint stiffness, pain and swelling.

How can physical therapy help? Physical Therapy can help decrease the pain, inflammation and swelling, along with increasing range of motion and strength through a controlled exercise program, helping you to return to normal activities such as walking, stair climbing, and recreational activities.

What can happen if I do not have physical therapy? Untreated, you may continue to experience pain, swelling, joint stiffness, and weakness in the ankle that contribute to difficulties with walking or other daily or recreational activities.
 

 

ARTHRITIS
What is arthritis? Arthritis is a degeneration of joints and spine by one of two methods. One method may be normal wear and tear of the joint and spine through age (osteoarthritis), while another is a disease process (rheumatoid arthritis). Both of these conditions will cause degeneration of the joints, leading to pain and inflammation with decreased motion, problems with weight bearing, and interference with normal functions of the extremities and spine.

How can physical therapy help? Physical Therapy can help reduce the pain and inflammation and help restore motion to allow increased function during normal daily activities.

What can happen if I do not have physical therapy? You may continue to experience pain and difficulties that interfere with your everyday activities and progressively limit your motion.
 

 

CERVICAL SPINE
What is pain/strain/sprain? A pain/strain/sprain occurs after a traumatic experience or poor posture that leads to pain and muscle soreness in the neck region, which may decrease your motion leading to difficulties with driving, sleeping, or your normal work or daily activities.

What is degenerative joint/disc disease?
(Osteoarthritis, spondylosis)
Degenerative joint/disc disease is a progressive degeneration of the bony joints in the neck leading to pain, loss of motion and sleep, as well as other problems. This may affect your ability to perform normal daily/work activities.

What is disc herniation? A disc is a shock absorber located between two bones in the neck. A disc herniation, also commonly called disc bulge, protrusion or rupture, occurs from a disruption in the tissue of the disc leading to neck pains and possibly arm pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, sleep loss, and decreased ability to perform daily activities.

What occurs postoperative? After procedures such as cervical fusion and others, you may experience loss of motion, pain, swelling, muscle tightness and weakness that may interface with your normal daily activities.

How can physical therapy help? Physical Therapy through exercise and other means can help decrease pain, restore motion, relieve muscle tightness and tenderness, reduce swelling, and enhance the normal healing process, leading to a return to normal daily activities.

What can happen if I do not have physical therapy? You may experience a delay in the healing process, continuation of pain and loss of motion which could lead to further joint stiffness, pain, and wear and tear, causing an additional decrease in normal or recreational activities. With disc herniation, present symptoms may continue to worsen, causing further arm pain, weakness, numbness, tingling, and sleep loss that may possibly lead to the need for surgical intervention.

 

ELBOW
What Is epicondylitis? (Tennis or golfer's elbow) Epicondylitis is an irritation/inflammation of the muscle and tendons on the inside or outside of the elbow caused by repetitive trauma. This may lead to pain, swelling, decreased grip strength, and difficulties with normal daily function.

What is arm, forearm, and elbow pain? Arm, forearm, and elbow pain may be caused by various injuries because of stress, trauma, degeneration, or other activities. This pain may lead to loss of motion and strength in this region, along with a decreased ability to perform normal daily activities with your arm or hand.

What occurs postoperative? After surgeries such as metal implants, nerve transplantation, or tendon release, you may experience inflammation and pain along with decreased motion and strength that may interfere with your normal daily activities.

How can physical therapy help? Physical Therapy through exercise and other means can help enhance the normal healing process leading to faster recovery, assist in decreasing the pain, along with restoring motion and strength, thereby assisting your return to normal daily and recreational activities.

What can happen if I do not have physical therapy? You may experience a delay in the normal healing process and continuation of pain that may result or lead to further loss of motion and difficulty in performing your daily activities.

 

HAND/WRIST
What is carpal tunnel syndrome? Carpal tunnel syndrome is a compression of the median nerve at the wrist level, leading to pain, tingling, and numbness in the thumb, index, long, and ring finger.

What is a tendon laceration? The tendon connects the muscle to the bone allowing the fingers to bend or straighten. The laceration or cutting of a tendon often requires surgical repair in order to restore motion.

What occurs postoperative? Surgery often presents postoperative symptoms including stiffness, swelling, pain, and sensitive scarring.

What Is A Fracture? A fracture is a sudden breaking of a bone. Fractures most often need to be immobilized for healing.

How Can Therapy Help? Therapy can decrease the pain and numbness of carpal tunnel syndrome while teaching preventative measures to decrease the chance of reoccurrence. With tendon lacerations, therapy will initially provide splints needed to protect the surgery, postoperative therapy can help decrease pain, swelling, sensitive scarring, along with restoring strength and motion to allow normal hand function.

What can happen if I do not have physical therapy? With carpal tunnel syndrome, pain, numbness, and tingling may worsen. With tendon lacerations, swelling and stiffness may occur. With postoperative symptoms, pain, swelling, and scarring may worsen and motion may be lost. With fractures, loss of motion of the involved joint may occur that leads to difficulties using your hand for daily activities.

 

HEADACHES
What is a muscular tension headache? A muscular tension headache is caused by tightness of the muscles in the base of the skull, which may be secondary to trauma, postural problems, or stress. This can lead to difficulties in the ability to concentrate or read, perform activities while looking down such as computer work, or normal activities around the house.

How can physical therapy help? Physical Therapy can help decrease the tightness of these muscles in the base of the skull, improve posture and range of motion, thereby relieving headaches and allowing you to return to normal work or daily activities.

What can happen if I do not have physical therapy? You may continue to experience persistent headaches that interfere with your normal activities.
 

 

HIP
What is arthritis? Arthritis is an inflammatory degenerative condition of the bony joint of the hip. This may lead to an inflammation of the fluid-filled sac caused by repetitive trauma.

What is hip pain? Hip pain may be caused by various activities such as trauma, overuse and degenerative changes, and may lead to increased pain, loss of motion, and decreased weight bearing, all of which affect your normal daily activities.

What is a fracture? A hip fracture is a broken bone of the hip usually caused by some traumatic episode. This usually requires casting and/or bracing and possibly the use of crutches/canes/walkers, which all may lead to joint stiffness, pain and swelling. This could affect your ability to walk, climb stairs, or perform other normal daily activities.

What occurs postoperative? After surgeries such as total hip replacement or metal implants, you may experience inflammation and pain along with decreased motion and strength, which may interfere with your normal daily activities.

How can physical therapy help? Physical Therapy can help decrease the pain and inflammation, along with restoring hip motion and strength through a controlled exercise program, helping you to return to your normal daily activities, including walking.

What can happen if I do not have physical therapy? You may continue to experience pain in the hip. This could lead to loss of motion and strength, interfering with your weight bearing and leading to functional difficulties with your normal daily or recreational activities.
 

 

KNEE
What is anterior knee pain? (Patellar tendonitis, chondromalacia, patellofemoral pain) Patellar tendonitis is an irritation and/or inflammation of the tendon in front of your knee below the kneecap (patella) secondary to repetitive trauma. Chondromalacia is a weakening or degeneration of the cartilage behind your knee cap. Patellofemoral pain is pain around your kneecap that is caused when your kneecap is not moving correctly. All of these conditions can lead to increased pain, swelling, loss of motion and/or stiffness, and pain and difficulty with daily activities such as squatting, stair climbing, kneeling, and changing positions from sitting to standing.

What occurs postoperative? After total knee replacement surgery, arthroscope, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), meniscus, and medial collateral ligament (MCL) repairs, you may experience difficulties with walking, bending, kneeling, stair climbing, stooping, and other functional activities.

What is a contusion/ligamentous injury/meniscal injury? A contusion is a bruise of the muscle or bone secondary to trauma. A ligamentous injury is a partial/complete tear of the ligament(s) in the knee secondary to trauma. A meniscal injury is a damage of the cartilage between the bones of the thigh and the calf. All are usually associated with pain, swelling, difficulties with stability, walking, and other functional activities such as kneeling, stooping, or stair climbing.

How can physical therapy help? Physical Therapy can help decrease the pain and inflammation, and enhance the normal healing process through a controlled exercise program, thereby restoring strength, range of motion, and a return to functional daily and recreational activities.

What can happen if I do not have physical therapy? You may experience a delay in the normal healing process, and persistent symptoms or worsening of your symptoms that can lead to further pain and loss of motion resulting in increased difficulties that interfere with your normal daily activities.
 

 

LUMBAR SPINE
What is degenerative joint/disc disease? Degenerative joint/disc disease is a progressive degeneration of the bony joints in the spine leading to decreased back motion, pain, sleep loss, and other problems. This may affect your ability to perform normal daily and work activities.

What is pain/strain/sprain? A pain/strain/sprain occurs after a traumatic experience or poor posture that leads to pain and muscle soreness in the back region, which may lead to functional difficulties with driving, sleeping, and/or your normal work or daily activities.

What is disc herniation? A disc herniation, also commonly called disc bulge, protrusion or rupture, occurs from a disruption in the tissue of the disc leading to low back and possibly leg pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, sleep loss, and a decreased ability to perform daily activities.

What is spondylolisthesis? A spondylolisthesis occurs when there is a defect in one of the vertebra (bone) of the back leading to tissue trauma, pain, swelling, and decreased function in daily activities such as weight bearing and sitting, and interfering with work and functional activities.

What is spinal stenosis? Spinal stenosis is a degenerative process that leads to bone accumulation narrowing the spaces where the spinal cord and nerves are located. This can lead to leg pain with walking activities, general low back pain, weakness, loss of flexibility, and an interference in your normal daily activities.

What occurs postoperative? After procedures such as lumbar fusion and disc surgery, you may experience loss of motion, pain, swelling, muscle tightness, and an interference in your normal daily activities.

How can physical therapy help? Through a controlled exercise program and other means, physical therapy can help reduce pain and inflammation, and enhance the normal healing process, while increasing flexibility, strength, standing and walking tolerances, along with other functional and normal daily activities.

What can happen if I do not have physical therapy? You can experience a delay in the healing process with continuation of pain and further loss of motion, leading to joint stiffness and pain, interfering with your normal daily or recreational activities. Some conditions may proceed to a state where surgical intervention is required.

 

OSTEOPOROSIS
What is osteoporosis? Osteoporosis is caused by a decrease in bone material density leading to postural changes and an increase in chances for fractures. The process may interfere with your ability to perform normal transitions from sitting or lying to sitting, when using your arms in an overhead position, and other disruptions of your normal activities.

How can physical therapy help? Physical Therapy can help address the limited movement or functional loss through an instructional and controlled exercise program leading to increased use during functional activities.

What can happen if I do not have physical therapy? You may continue to experience difficulties in activities such as transferring from lying to sitting or overhead activities that may lead to loss of motion in the affected joints.

 

SACROILIAC JOINT DYSFUNCTION
What is sacroiliac joint dysfunction? Sacroiliac joint dysfunction is pain located in the buttock region where your pelvis joins your spine associated after trauma, childbirth, or other experiences. This pain may cause you to have difficulties with loss of motion during weight bearing activities, such as walking and sitting, and cause a disruption in your normal daily activities.

How can physical therapy help? Physical Therapy can help restore the normal motion at this joint, help decrease any pain and inflammation, and help stabilize this area through specific exercises, which may help you return to daily activities.

What can happen if I do not have physical therapy? You may experience a delay in the healing process, which can lead to further pain and loss of motion, and increased interference with your daily activities.

 

SHOULDER
What is rotator cuff impingement? Rotator cuff impingement is a pinching of the shoulder muscle or bursa, which may occur secondary to muscular weakness, bony structural changes or poor posture, causing pain, dysfunction or bursitis.

What is bursitis? Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursa of the shoulder, causing painful arm movements. The bursa, a fluid-filled sac, is usually located near joints to reduce friction.

What is adhesive capsulitis? Adhesive capsulitis, or frozen shoulder, is a chronic inflammation in the shoulder joint, leading to a tightening of the ligaments and joint that results in decreased motion and function, pain, and sleep loss.

What occurs postoperative? After procedures such as rotator cuff repairs, arthroscopes, and debridement, you may experience loss of motion along with pain, swelling, muscle tightness, and weakness that may interfere with your normal daily activities.

How can physical therapy help? Physical Therapy can reduce the pain and swelling, along with enhancing the normal healing process, and help return strength and motion through an individualized rehabilitation program, thereby returning you to your normal daily activities.

What can happen if I do not have physical therapy? You may experience a delay in the healing process, which can lead to scar tissue formation, loss of motion, and/or loss of function with your arm.

 

SPINE CARE BASICS
What are spine care basics? Spine Care Basics is a 2-hour educational training and exercise program for small groups of back or neck-injured patients. This class teaches self-care for the spine as well as prevention of further injuries.

Who can most benefit from spine care basics? Patients with sub-acute or chronic back or neck pain are best suited for this training. It is imperative that those with recurring back pain learn how to manage it to prevent further injury.

What is included in spine care basics? A brief history and evaluation of each patient are performed. The anatomy of the spine, correct posture, safe body mechanics, and proper lifting techniques are then addressed. Participants practice specific back stretching and strengthening exercises, as well as learn detailed back care for everyday activities. Information on nutrition, relaxation, and conditioning exercises is also included.

 

THORACIC OUTLET SYNDROME
What is thoracic outlet syndrome? Thoracic outlet syndrome is a compression of the nerves and arteries as they exit your neck and travel down your arm. This can lead to numbness and tingling in the entire arm and hand, vascular changes, loss of motion, muscular weakness, and difficulties with daily activities such as gripping, lifting, and overhead motions.

How can physical therapy help? Physical Therapy can identify the factor for causing compression and help alleviate this area through postural, strengthening, and flexibility exercises. This will lead to a decrease in pain, or numbness and tingling, along with increased strength and range of motion, with a return to your normal daily activities.

What can happen if I do not have physical therapy? Your symptoms may continue to persist and even worsen with continuation of pain/numbness/tingling and difficulties with the functional use of your arm.

 

Insurance: We accept most insurance plans including Medicare, Medicaid, many commercial insurances and many others. If you have questions about your insurance we can help.

Bilingual staff and interpreters are available for our Spanish-speaking patients.

Specialty referrals are available on-site.

 

 

Quincy Valley Medical Center
908 Tenth Avenue Southwest  Quincy, WA 98848
Tel: (509) 787-3531  |  Fax: (509) 787-2016

 

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