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Power Wellness Blog

  • Q and A with Katie McBee – Physical Therapy vs. Opioids

    Posted on 11/10/2017 by Select Physical Therapy and NovaCare Rehabilitation | Comments

    OpioidsFor the management of some types of pain, prescription opioids can certainly help. However, there is not enough evidence to support prolonged opioid use for chronic pain. We sat down with Katie McBee, P.T., DPT, OCS, M.S., CEAS, regional director of our WorkStrategies Program, to ask her a few questions regarding opioid use, chronic pain and the benefits of physical therapy as a safe alternative to prescription medication.

    In your opinion, what are the main reasons for the opioid epidemic in the United States?
  • There is no simple explanation as to what caused the opioid epidemic in the United States. Opiates are not a new drug and have been abused at other time periods in American history, but not nearly to the extent that is happening now. Initial research on opiate medications said they were effective and safe and addiction was rare when used for short-term pain1. The development of FDA approved OxyContin in 1995 had labeling that stated iatrogenic addiction was “very rare,” and a widespread marketing campaign to physicians started to build medical providers’ confidence in prescribing these medications to decrease pain-related suffering2. Add to that the 2001 standards… MORE >

    Categories: Physical Therapy  

Thinking Pink and Thriving After Cancer

Posted on 10/31/2017 by Valerie L. Bobb, P.T., DPT, WCS, ATC | Comments

Breast Cancer RibbonOctober is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and a time to honor to those who have been affected by the disease. Approximately one in eight (12 percent) women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, so chances are you have been touched by somebody who has had breast cancer. The good news is breast cancer death rates continue to decrease each year. This leaves women (or men!) free to live a full life once they have recovered from treatment.

Any type of surgery can leave a patient with restriction in their neck, shoulder or arms, fatigue from chemotherapy or radiation and at risk for bone loss. However, physical therapists trained in treating cancer can design a program to regain motion, return to a healthy exercise program and return to all those things you love. That is why you fought so hard to overcome cancer!

Exercise is shown to reduce nausea, pain and stress and maintain a good weight. With your doctor’s permission and a physical therapists help, you can begin a program that focuses on moderate cardiovascular training, light weight training, flexibility and stress reduction.

Specific shoulder range of motion and strength exercises can help recovery from breast surgery,… MORE >

Q and A with Trent Nessler – ACL Injuries and the ACL Play it Safe Program

Posted on 10/19/2017 by NovaCare Rehabilitation and Select Physical Therapy | Comments

Trent ACL Play It SafeOne of the most devastating injuries in sports today is the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. We sat down with Trent Nessler, P.T., MPT, DPT, national director of sports medicine innovation, to ask him a few questions regarding ACL injuries and his exclusive evidenced-based ACL Play it Safe Program.

What are three measures that can be taken to prevent ACL injury?

If you were going to break it down into three measures, these would be:

Education – Almost 80 percent of ACL injuries are non-contact in orientation. This means there is no contact with another player or structure, but typically result from a rapid change in direction or jumping motion. There are certain movement patterns that put an athlete at greater risk for these non-contact injuries. Using a baseline movement screening process is critical to identifying those at risk. The results should further guide training that can be implemented throughout the season to reduce the athlete’s risk of injury.

It is also imperative for athletes, coaches and parents to understand that when you address movements that are associated with non-contact ACL injuries, they see a… MORE >

CTE in Football and Impact Sports

Posted on 10/6/2017 by Melissa Bloom, P.T., DPT, NCS | Comments

CTECooler temperatures, students returning to school and the start of another football season are all the telltale signs of fall. And with football back, reports of concussion will inevitably follow. While advancements continue to be made in regards to concussion prevention and treatment, the long-term effects of head trauma, specifically chronic trauma encephalopathy (CTE), remains a huge concern.

You may have previously heard of CTE from the movie “Concussion,” or even from recent media reports. CTE is a tough topic for me. My trouble with the conversation is that there are a lot of unknowns and uncertainties. With the potential for serious injuries, there is the chance for panic and decisions made on emotions versus science. Moreover, ignoring the conversation leads to misinformation. So, it’s time we talk about CTE; what is it and what it means for the future of football.

What is CTE?

CTE is a progressive neurodegenerative disease associated with repetitive head trauma. CTE involves cellular pathological changes similar, but different, to Alzheimer’s disease. The buildup of Tau protein in the brain causes cell death, atrophy and abnormal functioning. CTE can currently only be diagnosed after death by examining the brain… MORE >

Categories: Physical Therapy  

Low Back Pain and why Physical Therapy Works!

Posted on 9/13/2017 by Andrew Piraino, P.T., DPT, OCS, CSCS | Comments

Low BackLow back pain is common. It’s so common that about 80 percent of adults will at one point experience this condition. It ranks among one of the top reasons to see a physician and costs the United States more than $100 billion dollars every year.

When faced with an episode of low back pain, it’s easy to go into crisis mode. You may be routed through various specialists and receive various imaging tests, such as X-rays and MRI. These tests can reveal scary findings, such as “herniated discs,” but don’t panic.

First, many of these findings are normal. Researchers have found that in adults without low back pain, two of out three have an abnormality at one disc or more. This makes imaging of limited use, unless something like a fracture is present that needs surgical management. Physicians agree; the American Academy of Family Physicians recommends against any imaging for low back pain for the first six weeks unless serious signs are present, such as trauma.

Often, you may be referred for physical therapy. You may have some familiarity with various exercises and hands-on treatment provided by therapists. But why is physical therapy unique, and what exactly does it do?

Physical therapists today are doctoral-level… MORE >

Categories: Physical Therapy