Blog

Let's Clear the Air About Headaches

If you're suffering from headaches, and you're a long term headache sufferer, you've been to every doctor and specialist without any true answers. You're in pain, and this is the time to come to Agilus. 

85% of headaches come from your neck. This is what we call "cervicogenic," and it comes from your neck and head posture. It also comes from your breathing.

So many of us have seen so many medical providers with the same effect: you get another pill, another medicine, and you still have pain. If you have chronic headaches, and you have never seen anybody about them, Agilus may be a good place to start. As physical therapists, we are going to evaluate your musculoskeletal system and evaluate your posture.  

If indeed you need something other than our medical intervention, we can assist you in finding the right medical provider. WE can help you get through the medical maze to find the care you need to get you back to a normal life.

Let's clear the air about some of the medications we have to take for pain and headaches. Medicines are only designed to be used in the short term. Anti-inflammatories will stop the natural healing process. Once we get past that first step of inflammation for the healing process, we go through the additional steps needed to remodel the cells. 

Sometimes we take medicines and they rob our body of much-needed vitamins and nutrients. Sometimes taking a certain medication for a long-term solution causes the same symptoms you are taking the medicine for in the first place. It’s a vicious cycle. Medicine is not always the answer.

If you have been taking medication, and you aren’t seeing the results you need, call us at Agilus, and let’s help you through this process naturally. 

 

TMJ - Could it just be your posture?

TMJ

TMJ dysfunction affects more women than men and is typically diagnosed for the first time when patients are in their 20s-40s, though the symptoms may have existed for much longer with lesser severity. The early signs of TMJ disorder are often overlooked. For those with TMJ pain, physical therapy can help with:

  • Alleviating pain
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Reducing muscle spasms
  • Releasing scar tissue when applicable
  • Relaxing surrounding muscles, tendons and ligaments

One of the most common causes of TMJ disorder is bad posture. Sitting at desks and hunching over keyboards can place the neck, spine and jaw at an unusual angle, putting undue pressure and strain on the area. Conditions in which arthritis is a symptom can cause pain in the jaw joint.

Stress can result in chronic jaw clenching and teeth grinding, both of which can cause damage and strain on the joint. The disc that cushions movement of the joint can become displaced, resulting in the popping and clicking noises associated with TMJ dysfunction.

More than 10 million people have been diagnosed with TMJ disorder. Other reported symptoms with the condition include jaw fatigue, particularly when chewing, along with ringing in the ears, neck pain and even dizziness.

Physical Therapy: The HOLISTIC Approach

Physical therapy treatments can be applied to any part of the body. The methods employed by a physical therapist will focus on relieving pain and inflammation, obtaining the restful sleep you need, and help you retain mobility.

Physical therapy will help you:

  • Relieve pain
  • Sleep better
  • Increase stability, endurance and balance
  • Improve flexibility and mobility
  • Strengthen the body
  • Improve neurological function
  • Aid in preventing disability

Physical therapy treatments work with the body’s own healing abilities to release endorphins, the body’s natural pain relieving chemical. It’s one of the reasons that physical therapy is so effective. Treatments are equally beneficial for residual pain from a previous injury or surgery.

It’s a holistic approach that will be part of a multi-faceted treatment program that may also include nutritional and supplement recommendations. A variety of foods can result in an increased level of inflammation, along with medications and other substances.

What is Myofascial Release?

 

Myofascial release techniques encompass a variety of soft tissue therapies to treat pain, relax muscles, improve circulation and lymphatic drainage, and increase mobility. Physical therapists are masters of the methods that employ gentle touch and stretching to promote healing and relieve chronic conditions.

Skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments often become stiff, sore, and tight following an injury or trauma and are present in a myriad of chronic diseases. Pain in one area of the body often originates in another location entirely. The exact location within the anatomy where the pain originates is referred to as a trigger point and it can be manipulated through myofascial release techniques.

To protect itself, the body responds to pain, injury and chronic disease syndromes by trying to isolate the damage to a single location. The reaction can produce tension, swelling, stiffness and restrictions extending through multiple layers of interconnecting tissue that can reach to the bone. Pressure within the body can occur that’s been measured at up to 2,000 psi. 

Myofascial pain has multiple components that require specialized therapy. Many conditions, diseases, syndromes and injuries can result in trigger points that cause immediate pain and effects that can linger far into the future. Symptoms may appear immediately or even years later and patients may not associate the original injury with the current pain.

Myofascial techniques are beneficial for conditions ranging from migraines and TMJ pain to lumbar problems, fibromyalgia and carpal tunnel. Chronic fatigue syndrome, mastectomy pain and neurological dysfunction can all be addressed successfully with myofascial release to relieve pain, foster mobility and reduce the potential for disability.

We may utilize therapeutic massage, dry needling and acupuncture to loosen and strengthen tissues. Therapies work with the body’s own healing abilities to help remove toxins that collect at injured and inflamed locations and direct circulation where it’s needed most.

We can integrate other physical therapies with myofascial release. Compression and the gentle stretching and movements of clinical Pilates and yoga reinforce the effects of massage therapy. Depending upon the patient and the source of the pain, electrical stimulation, aquatic therapy and ultrasound may be incorporated into a treatment and management plan.

Our physical therapists are skilled in myofascial techniques for pain relief, restoring functionality and releasing the tension, inflammation and pressure that accompanies injuries and chronic disease. Myofascial therapies are effective for treating current, prior and chronic conditions and injuries to enhance motion, reduce the potential for disability and improve quality of life.

Fibromyalgia Therapy at Agilus

Let’s clear the air about Fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia is a very confusing diagnosis. It’s a label given to people with pain in multiple parts of their body. We sit down and try to find the root cause of these problems. That cause could be as simple as posture. Sometimes fibromyalgia is an accumulation of symptoms and inflammatory responses due to inflammation. Or it could be a gut problem.

We need to find out if you’re sleeping properly. We need to make sure you’re moving and eating appropriately. Most of the time we can help anybody with Fibromyalgia. It’s pretty amazing.  Call us to see if we can help. 

The Facts About Fibromyalgia

 Fibromyalgia Pain


Those who are diagnosed with fibromyalgia are happy to finally know what’s wrong, but they’re often depressed when they contemplate living with the condition. There’s no cure for fibromyalgia, but physical therapy is effective in alleviating the symptoms and improving quality of life.


No one knows for sure what causes the disorder, but it’s believed that fibromyalgia amplifies the way the brain processes pain signals. The condition is marked by pain, stiffness and fatigue. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and patients experience flare-ups during which symptoms worsen.


Sleep disorders and poor sleep quality due to restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea are common. Individuals experience mood and memory problems and have difficulty paying attention or concentrating. Other symptoms that individuals may experience include depression, cramping in the lower abdomen and headaches.


More women develop fibromyalgia than men. People who suffer from TMJ disorder, tension headaches, anxiety or depression, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are more likely to develop fibromyalgia, as are those with rheumatic diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.


Some cases of fibromyalgia can be linked to a trigger that includes excessive psychological stress, trauma to the mind or body, or an infection or surgery. Other instances are a collection of symptoms that accrue over time. The disorder tends to run in families, indicating a genetic link.

Chronic Pain and the War on Opiods

Chronic Pain? What is that? It is PERSISTENT PAIN. Our sleep patterns, our attitude, everything changes with pain. Opiods isn't the answer. We don't want to manage your pain, we want to get rid of it. Let's find the pain and FIX IT.

Let's Clear the Air About Car Accidents

 

What do you do? It's confusing. Do you go to the emergency room? Do you get in the ambulance? Do you go to the walk-in clinic? So many times due to just the adrenaline and the excitment of the accident, we tell the poice office that we're ok. And then you go home and your neck starts hurting, you get a headache, you get muscle spasms. Then you get up in the morning and you can't walk. 

Where do you start? You can start at Agilus. 

You can come and get a physical therapy assessment, get an evaluation, and we can help you work you way through this system. If we determine physical therapy is where you need to start, we will go from there. In some instances, we find problems that are out of the scope of our practice, and we can call in the appopriate specialists. 

If you begin physical therapy early, and this turns into a litigation, we have early documentation that can assist your attorney and defense team to help you resolve this matter. 

Early intervention, even int he smallest of injuries, is incredibly important to keep that minor injury from snowballing into something chronic. We look at your injury, and we look at your whole body. We look at your life, your work, what you do for fun. Each one of our lives are unique and different. We view you as a whole person, not just an injured body part.

We can guide you through this process. We have our staff in our billing department and supportive personnel that can work with your insurance company to find out how you can get the therapy you need, get over this accident and return to work. 

We are trained listeners

We are trained listeners
 
One of the biggest complaints that patients have is that their medical provider doesn’t really listen to them. Physical therapists may have a preference for certain treatments, but the therapist should be willing to listen, be open to other options, and willing to alter therapies to meet the needs of the patient.


Every patient should consider the following when choosing a physical therapist.

  • Is the physical therapist licensed
  • Are physical therapist assistants licensed/certified
  • Is the therapist experienced in the patient’s condition if a special need exists
  • Accepts the patient’s insurance
  • Is the therapist in the insurance company’s network
  • Submits insurance claims
  • Offers discounts or pay-in-full programs

When patients are exploring their physical therapy options, it’s important to factor in the location of the practice and its hours. The clinic should be conveniently located to the patient’s home or work when appointments are needed. The hours of operation are equally important. Those who work multiple jobs or the night shift may need early morning, late evening, or weekend appointments.


Patients should examine the therapist’s cancellation policy. Some practices charge a fee for a missed or cancelled appointment and the cost may be significant. Individuals should also pay special attention to how easy it is to obtain an appointment. Pain and injuries respond better when they’re treated promptly.

Yes, it's YOUR choice

Yes, it's YOUR choice
 
Choosing a physical therapist is a personal decision and one that shouldn’t be made in haste. One of the best ways to locate a therapist is by asking family, friends, co-workers or primary care physician for recommendations. An online search can also be conducted or visit the American Physical Therapy Association website.


While all physical therapists are highly trained and educated professionals, some choose to specialize in specific areas of expertise. Some physical therapists specialize in all aspects of pregnancy related needs, while others choose to concentrate on sports injuries, rehabilitation for stroke or accident victims, pediatrics, neurology or geriatrics. It’s important that patients select a physical therapist that has experience in their particular condition.


Try to schedule a consultation with the physical therapist(s) that are being considered. Patients should feel comfortable with their physical therapist, be able to ask questions and talk with them freely about their condition and treatment. Having a rapport with the physical therapist is critical for effective treatment.


A physical therapist may choose to operate their practice where they devote their entire time to one patient at a time. Others work with two to three patients at the same time within the same time frame. Depending upon the nature of the individual’s condition and preference, a patient may opt for one choice over the other. Another important consideration is if the patient will see the same therapist for each appointment.

Traumatic Brain Injury and PT Benefits

Traumatic Brain Injury
 
Physical therapy can be a life-changing treatment for people who have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI). A TBI is diagnosed when an injury to the brain damages or changes the way it functions. Blows to the head, car crashes and falls are the most common causes of TBI and many of those injuries are initially diagnosed as a concussion.


It’s typically only when changes in behavior or physical function appear that a traumatic brain injury is recognized. It’s not just football players and military personnel that can sustain a TBI. Children under age four are prone to falls and head injuries during play or as the result of some type of abuse. Even a “mild” concussion is a form of traumatic brain injury.


Vehicle accidents and sports injuries are the primary cause of TBI in 15-19 year olds, while falls are the most common cause of TBIs in older people. Symptoms vary widely depending upon the location of the injury and the part of the brain that’s affected. Patients may need to relearn how to perform tasks others take for granted.


Mental, physical, emotional and behavioral changes occur, but there’s no way to predict what those alterations will be or the severity. People may have problems with memory, vision, hearing and balance. Problem solving abilities may be impaired, along with the ability to pay attention. The person with the TBI often doesn’t know the changes have taken place or that they’re acting any different than usual.

The Importance of Sleep and Your Recovery

Oday Lavergne, with Agilus Health, talks about the importance of sleep.

Agilus Health

Oday Lavergne talks about Agilus Health and the services they offer.