Knee Pain and How Physical Therapy Can Help

Knee pain or discomfort is one of the most common orthopedic issues individuals face. Before you start physical therapy for knee pain, your therapist will start with a thorough evaluation and assessment of your entire leg from hip to foot. Once assessed, your physical therapist will prescribe you a personalized treatment plan including exercises and modalities. This will help reduce your knee pain and improve mobility.

3 Different Types of Knee Pain

If you experience knee pain, it is important to determine if the pain is acute, sub-acute, or chronic in nature. This can help guide proper diagnosis and treatment.

  • Acute Pain: Usually the most severe and occurs 1-7 days after injury. During this time, you should rest the knee and let the injured structures heal before initiating any motion.
  • Sub-Acute Pain: This occurs from 2-6 weeks after injury. This is a good time to initiate gentle motion around the knee to help regain mobility.
  • Chronic Knee Pain: Pain lasting greater than 8-12 weeks. Knee pain that is chronic should be evaluated by your healthcare provider.

Your physical therapist will choose the proper treatment based on your knee pain’s location and symptoms. Remember to check with your physician if your knee pain is severe or lasts longer than a few weeks.

If you develop acute knee pain, follow the RICE principle, which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.

What Can I Expect During Physical Therapy for Knee Pain?

If you are referred to physical therapy for knee pain, the initial visit is important to ensure correct diagnosis and proper management. During this visit, your physical therapist will interview you to gather information about the history of your problem, about the aggravating and relieving factors, and about any past medical history that may contribute the overall problem. From the information gathered during the history, a focused examination will be conducted.

Treatment for Knee Pain

After a focused examination has been completed, your physical therapist can work with you to initiate the correct treatment. It is very important for you to be active and engaged in the program. Often, exercises to help strengthen and improve the mobility of the knee will be prescribed. You may be required to perform exercises at home as well as part of a home exercise program.

Exercise should be your main tool for treating your knee pain. Exercises to help your knee pain may include:

  • Quad sets and straight leg raises
  • Short arc quads
  • Exercises to strengthen your hips (Your hip muscles help control the position of your knees. Weakness here may cause knee pain.)
  • Lower extremity stretches
  • Balance exercises

Your PT will tell you how often to perform your exercises at home, and he or she should monitor your progress when you visit the PT clinic. He or she may also perform other treatments while you are in the PT clinic. These may include:

  • Ultrasound
  • Electric stimulation
  • Kinesiology taping
  • Application of heat or ice
  • Soft tissue massages or knee joint mobilization

Keep in mind that passive treatments like ultrasound or estim have not been proven to be the most effective treatment for knee pain. They may feel good, but your focus with PT should be on restoring functional mobility. You should discuss the overall goal of each treatment so you have an understanding of what to expect.

If knee pain persists for more than two to three weeks or occurs as the result of major trauma, a visit to a physician or health care provider is recommended.

From Gateway Rehab & Wellness Center

The knee is a major joint in the body that is responsible for walking, climbing stairs, and rising from a seated position. Pain in the knee can limit one or all of these activities. By working with your physical therapist at Gateway Rehab & Wellness in Mission Viejo, CA, and keeping the knee joint mobile and strong, problems with knee pain may be avoided, and your mobility can be maintained.

5 Shoulder Stretches To Relieve Pain – Physical Therapy

Here are some exercises you can do if you are experiencing shoulder pain.

Shoulder pain is one of the most overlooked problems, and more often than not, we tend to shrug it off as something that gets better on its own. But as with any physical injury, if we leave it alone, it can become a big problem in the long run, which is why you might want to consider getting help from a physical therapist to help resolve your shoulder pain. Typically, one of the main types of exercises a therapist will give you is stretching. Stretches work on improving flexibility and relieving tension in your shoulders, reducing pain and restoring normalcy. For shoulder physical therapy issues, here are five common and effective stretches to relieve shoulder pain that your physical therapist might suggest.

1. Shoulder Rolls

This is one of the most natural stretches to relieve shoulder tension. To perform this correctly, stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, and let your arms hang loosely by your side. Roll your shoulders forward, then upward, and finally backward in a fluid motion. Repeat this smoothly around ten times, and then perform the rolls from back to front.

2. Arm Circles

Much like the shoulder rolls, arm circles also improve flexibility in the shoulder and relieve tensed muscles. To perform arm circles, make sure that you have enough space around you to hold your arms out straight. Stand with your back straight, and stretch your right arm out in front of you. In a circular motion, lift your arm straight up without bending it at the elbow, then rotate it all the way back to bring it to the initial position. Repeat this movement around ten times on each side.

3. Forward Bends

This exercise helps relax the back of your shoulders, and works wonders after you’ve had a long day at work. Stand with your feet wide apart, stretch your arms backward, and lock your palms behind your back. Open your chest and bend forward at the hips, simultaneously lifting your locked hands over your head. Bend as much as you can and hold this pose for a few seconds before you get back up. This particular exercise is great for shoulder physical therapy pain relief.

4. Shoulder & Neck Stretches

This is one of the most basic stretches, and it’s something most people perform naturally in order to relieve painful shoulders. To perform these stretches, bend your head to the right, trying to touch your right shoulder with your right ear. Exert gentle pressure on your left temple to further stretch your head to the right. Hold this pose till you feel the muscles in your left neck and shoulder stretching, and then repeat this on the other side.

5. Cross-Arm Stretch

Another effective stretch that’s easy to perform, the cross-arm stretch requires you to stand up straight and stretch your right arm across your chest without bending the elbow. Use your left arm to gently pull your right arm until you feel a comfortable pull at your right shoulder. Hold this pose for a few seconds and then repeat the stretch on the other side.

As always, remember that even though most of these stretches can be performed at home, it’s advisable to consult with a physical therapist if your shoulder pain is unbearable or chronic, or refuses to go away over time. A medical professional’s opinion and assistance can help you get to the root of the problem and eliminate it if possible.

What to do if pain continues?

If you are having shoulder pain, you will want to consult your physical therapist. Often times, when we injure our shoulder it might involve shoulder blade injuries or it might involve some issues around external rotation in the shoulders. Again if you want to relieve shoulder pain through physical therapy, try these exercises to relieve pain but if it continues visit us at Gateway Rehab & Wellness Center, we are here to help.

Physical Therapy at Gateway Rehab & Wellness Center in Mission Viejo, CA

Is Physical Therapy Really for Me?

Many people wonder if they are a candidate for physical therapy or if physical therapy can help their ailment. For physical therapists, however, this is an easy question to answer: Most people can benefit from physical therapy, whether their condition varies from a simple ankle sprain to a complex neurological disorder. You may benefit from physical therapy even if you are not injured. Physical therapists, as movement experts, can help you prevent potential injury or illness.

Physical therapy is a conservative treatment method addressing the management, healing, and prevention of injuries and disabilities. I believe this to be very true. Physical therapy uses non-invasive and non-medical tools to help improve total body function.

Physical therapists focus on relieving pain, promoting healing, restoring function and movement, and facilitation and adaptation associated with the injury. Therapy also focuses on ergonomics or body mechanic training, fitness, and wellness. As you can see, physical therapy can play a role in most people’s lives. Regardless of your age, if you have a problem with normal mobility, you may benefit from working with a physical therapist to help you return to optimal function.

A list of some of the most common reasons to seek physical therapy includes:

  • Neck pain and low back pain
  • Arthritis in one or multiple joints
  • Fractures and other orthopedic conditions
  • Bowel or bladder incontinence
  • Problems with balance or mobility
  • Chronic fatigue and weakness
  • Pre- and post-surgical conditioning and strengthening
  • Cancer recovery
  • Fitness and wellness education including weight loss and prevention of osteoporosis
  • Respiratory problems / poor cardiovascular endurance
  • Cardiac rehab
  • Knee, ankle and foot problems
  • Shoulder, arm, hand and wrist problems, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and shoulder tendonitis
  • Pre- and post-partum programs
  • Neuro-rehabilitation, such as post-stroke and spinal cord or head injury
  • Wound care such as diabetic wounds and non-healing traumatic or post-surgical wounds
  • Common sprains and muscle strains
  • Work-related injuries such as repetitive motion injuries, slip, and fall accidents and other trauma
  • Sports-related injuries

If you are still confused about whether you need physical therapy or not, discuss your options with your physician. They will be able to guide you in the right direction.

Come See Us At Gateway Rehab & Wellness Center

If you are having difficulty moving around due to pain, loss of range of motion or decreased strength, you may benefit from working with a physical therapist. If you are looking to avoid getting injured, checking in with your physical therapist is a good idea. We can help devise strategies to prevent future episodes of pain or injury.

Trigger Point Therapy Treatment in Mission Viejo, Ca.

The human body is made of a network of muscles, joints and tendons. Trigger point therapy taps into the bodies internal network of muscles and tissue to unlock common chronic and injury related pain caused by tension and stress. Continuous movement can irritate tissue, and over time may lead to trigger points developing.

Ultimately when muscle tissue remains contracted for long periods of time they can harden and create little nodules that massage therapists can feel for during a trigger point massage. trigger point therapy helps reduce pain, relive tension and asissts in promoting better range of motion. Not only is this form of therapy great for releasing an area that is knotted up, but it also promotes healthy circulation and help muscles regain full function.

Is trigger point therapy right for me?

Simple activities like driving in your car for an extended period of time, poor posture, overdoing a daily exercise routine as well as other daily actions can cause strain and promote the buildup of stress and tension in your muscles.

There is a common misconception that people who do get trigger point massage undergo high levels of pain during the treatment and will be sore for days following the massage in order for the therapy to be helpful. However, the reality is the purpose of trigger point therapy is not to provide more pain but rather help reduce pain and heal injured tissue.

Our massage therapists incorporate deep tissue massage during trigger point therapy, so you can enjoy the relaxation of the massage experience coupled with the rehabilitative benefits that trigger point provides.

Here are some of the primary benefits of trigger point therapy.

Trigger point therapy can be extremely effective in treating many common muscular conditions and injuries such as:

  • Sciatic pain
  • Migraines
  • Shin splints
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • chronic pain in joints like a stiff neck or back
  • rotator cuff injuries

Start your trigger point therapy today!

Have questions about trigger point therapy? We are here to help! Contact Gateway Rehab & Wellness Center in Mission Viejo today! Schedule a consultation and see how we can help you get relief from pain!

What Is Regenerative Therapy (Stem Cell Therapy) And How Does It Work?

So you’ve heard about stem cells on TV, you’ve heard reporters talking about stem cell research, tests and even experiments with cloning.

At this point you may be wondering what exactly is regenerative medicine(stem cell therapy), and what are the practical applications for stem cell therapy? Is it something that you or a loved one could benefit from?

Stem cell therapy is a new and innovative therapy process that has the potential to not only treat
symptoms but also heal tissue by regenerating healthy cells.

Regenerative medicine, also called stem cell therapy, is a process that promotes the repair of
diseased, damaged or dysfunctional tissue.

At Gateway Rehab & Wellness center in Mission Viejo, CA, we offer regenerative therapy for our patients who have meniscus tears, arthritis, chronic knee pain, ligament and tendon injuries.

So How Does Stem Cell Therapy It Work

Stem cell are simply the body’s raw materials, from which all specialized cells and their functions are generated. These cells whether in a lab or in the body can be used to divide and form more of that same cell call daughter cells.

Daughter cells either self-renew and become new stem cells or become specialized cells with a specific functions. The unique thing about stem cells is they are the only type of cell in the body that can generate new cell types.

The cells used in regenerative medicine are grown in a lab. These stem cells are converted to specialize into a specific type of cell. In our case, orthopedic related illness and injury such as osteoarthritis.

By actually manipulating stem cells in a lab setting to act as a particular cell. The specialized cells are then used to implant into a patient and the diseased or injured tissue can begin healing or regeneration.

Stem Cell therapy in Mission Viejo

Here at Gateway Rehab & Wellness Center we are proud to offer regenerative medicine to our patients. Stem cell therapy can be an alternative choice to surgery and should be discussed with your doctor.

If you have any questions about regenerative medicine at Gateway please don’t hesitate to call us call now (949) 454-8811.

Holiday Raffle is Back!

Don’t forget to get your raffle ticket on your next visit to be entered into a weekly drawing during the month of December. You will be given a raffle ticket at each visit and receive five tickets for each new patient you refer.

Join Us This Christmas In Adopting A Family!

As 2019 is winding to a close, Christmas is right around the corner. We know thoughts are starting to shift to the holidays and so are ours! Get togethers to plan, gifts to buy and trees to decorate. The holiday season can also become very busy, and with all the details to take care of we oftentimes find ourselves stressed. So many of us have everything we need but still end up overwhelmed. Unfortunately this can lead to our holiday joy being swept away in the hustle and bustle of the season.

Let’s Focus On Something Better Together

However, there are families that can’t afford to buy their children Christmas presents this year. Families that won’t be able to make plans to decorate a tree, because they just can’t afford it and still put food on the table. We want to kick off the joy in the holidays by adopting a family and giving them a special Christmas this year. Here at Gateway Rehab & Wellness Center we believe in giving back to our community, and what better way to spread holiday joy than to help parents in our very own community give their kids the Christmas they deserve!

You Can Help Us Adopt A Family

We will be collecting donations at our offices and all gifts and proceeds will go to making a family’s Christmas a memorable one. Please feel free to call us at (949) 454-8811 or visit us to get more information. Thank you!

Let’s get this holiday off to a great start by giving!

What Happens When You Go to a Chiropractor?

“I can’t deal with this back pain any longer.” That’s what you tell yourself after years of discomfort and a life you don’t particularly enjoy. So you finally decide it’s time to do something about it. You call your local chiropractor and make an appointment without really knowing what to expect. Sure, chiropractic centers revolve around alleviating pain. But how will the chiropractor handle your situation? Will the treatment be painful? Keep reading as we explain what happens when you visit a chiropractor for the first time.

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  1. Clinical exam – Expect the in-office clinical exam to be extensive and include the following three areas:
    1. Patient history and symptoms – When and how did the pain start? Did it begin as a result of an injury? What activities worsen the pain? These are all questions you should expect to answer in this part of the exam. A wellness center will also inquire about family medical history, pre-existing medical conditions, as well as current health providers/treatments.
    2. Chiropractic exam – At this stage, your chiropractor will perform tests such as blood pressure, respiration, reflexes, etc. They will also want to assess a range of motion, muscle strength, and neurological integrity.
    3. Diagnostic studies – In some instances, a chiropractic clinic will want to conduct diagnostic studies that may reveal pathologies and identify any structural abnormalities. Doing so allows the staff to more accurately diagnose a condition.
  2. Patient diagnosis – The aforementioned above leads to a specific diagnosis. Expect your chiropractor to not only explain the condition but also develop an individualized treatment plan. With chiropractic, there is no cookie-cutter approach. Just because millions of people have back pain doesn’t mean all of them receive the same treatment. Remember that the goal of a chiropractic adjustment is to restore the body to its natural state of optimal health. Your rehabilitation center may also go so far as to recommend a set length of chiropractic care.
  3. Chiropractic treatment – Now it’s time to get you back to feeling your best. Chiropractic treatment may consist of any of the following:
    1. Adjustments to joint dysfunctions
    2. Modalities to improve soft tissue healing and pain control
    3. Strengthening exercises to improve muscle balance, strength, and coordination

Ultimately, a chiropractor’s focus is to remove whatever is interfering with the body’s natural healing ability. Here at Gateway Rehab & Wellness Center, we take a whole-body approach to overall health. Our local chiropractic team works in unison to get you back to that previously active lifestyle. We are proud to offer the following services:

  • Stem cell therapy
  • Chiropractic care
  • Physical therapy
  • Spinal decompression
  • Trigger point injections
  • Sports injury rehab
  • Supartz
  • Massage therapy
  • Physical medicine
  • Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)   

Going to a chiropractor for the first time can be unnerving. At Gateway Rehab & Wellness Center, we make the entire experience comfortable and affordable. When you step into our office for an initial consultation, our mission becomes implementing a wellness program that’s tailored to your needs.  

Don’t let that pain continue to worsen and control your day-to-day activities. Call us now to book your appointment.

How Chiropractic Helps Pregnancy

Chiropractic works wonders for a variety of patients. But did you know that regular chiropractic adjustments can be incredibly effective for pregnant women, in particular? Think about this for a moment: You want the absolute best when it comes to prenatal and postpartum care. But you also don’t want to deal with any risky side effects. This is where holistic care, such as chiropractic, comes into play. Keep reading to learn just a few of the ways chiropractic care can benefit a pregnant woman.

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  1. It restores pelvic balance – The reality is that you will experience pelvic changes during pregnancy. There’s not really any way to get around it. A pelvis that isn’t in line can actually restrict the amount of the room the baby has to develop. An experienced chiropractor can adjust the pelvic balance to prevent this from happening, also known as an intrauterine constraint. What exactly will this do? Well, restoring pelvic balance can lessen the chances of having breached babies or needing a cesarean delivery.
  2. It restores poor posture – It’s well-documented that many women struggle with back pain during pregnancy due to the extra weight they must carry in the front of their body. Note the protruding abdomen can increase the curve in the back, causing pain and posture issues. Treatment at a local chiropractic clinic can restore proper posture and prevent the stress of pregnancy from causing long-term pain and posture issues.
  3. It controls pregnancy symptoms – Experts confirm that some of the uncomfortable symptoms associated with pregnancy can be alleviated with chiropractic. Even just a simple adjustment often goes a long way helping the woman maintain her health, relieve joint and neck pain, and control symptoms of nausea during pregnancy.
  4. It may reduce labor and delivery time – Chiropractic care focuses on taking care of the nervous system and removing anything which interferes with the body’s natural healing ability. Consequently, many pregnant women find their bodies are better prepared to go through the childbirth process after regular chiropractic visits. Think of the nervous system as the engine that makes our bodies go. When it works properly, the entire body does as well. So it’s not surprising that many women who receive chiropractic treatments during pregnancy tend to have shorter labor and delivery times.
  5. It restores the body to its natural state of optimal health – Your chiropractor takes a holistic, all-encompassing approach to health. Don’t be surprised if the treatment plan involves a combination of adjustments, massage therapy, trigger point therapy, nutrition, and counseling to positively impact your health and the health of your baby.

Mission Viejo’s Trusted Chiropractor

At Gateway Rehab & Wellness Center, we take a proactive approach to your pregnancy. Our chiropractor uses special techniques to keep you safe and comfortable during adjustments. Before reaching out to our rehabilitation center, please contact your OB to double-check that chiropractic is right for you.

We want to help your pregnancy be as comfortable as possible. See how you can benefit from chiropractic care at Gateway Rehab & Wellness Center. Call us now to book your appointment.

How Chiropractic Benefits Athletes

Did you know that high-impact sports can place the same amount of strain on the body as a car accident? If you play football, hockey, lacrosse, or even basketball, what do you currently do to combat those inherent physical setbacks? Stretching and yoga are great places to start, but they only do so much. It’s why more athletes are receiving chiropractic care today than ever before. Those who get routine adjustments tend to enjoy improved performance, improved range of motion, better flexibility, and increased blood flow. 

When you see a chiropractor, their main focus should be simple: Adjust the spine and remove whatever may be interfering with the body’s natural healing ability. A chiropractic adjustment is all about reducing the subluxation, which leads to an increased range of motion. Doing so reduces nerve irritability, muscle spasms, pain, and improves overall function. Keep in mind that both high-impact and low-impact athletes can benefit from routine adjustments. For the aforementioned high-impact athletes, chiropractic increases performance and flexibility while simultaneously lowering the risk of injury. It’s a bit different for low-impact athletes. Let’s say you play golf or tennis, for example. Regular adjustments can help relieve whatever strain is being placed on the body.

   So what exactly should you expect during a chiropractic adjustment?

Your chiropractor will likely apply a quick thrust to a vertebra for the purpose of correcting both its position and movement. Be aware that adjustments usually come with an audible release of gas in the spinal joints that sounds like a “crack.” Don’t be alarmed, though, as this is perfectly normal. Most of the time, patients feel relief immediately.

We think of our adjustments as an avenue to restore the body to its natural state of optimal health. Chiropractic care is just the tip of the health and wellness iceberg, so to speak. It’s why we also provide physical therapy, massage therapy, stem cell therapy, etc.

“Injuries sometimes just happen”

Sports injuries refer to the kinds of injuries that usually occur during sports or exercise. As an athlete, you know that injuries sometimes just happen outside of your control. Still, an alarming percentage stems from poor training practices, improper equipment, lack of conditioning, or insufficient warm-up and stretching. At Gateway Rehab & Wellness Center, we specialize in treating chronic injuries. These result from the repeated overuse of joints and/or muscle groups. To provide more context, structural abnormalities, and poor techniques can develop chronic injuries.

Patients who come to our rehabilitation center often do so as a last resort. Little did they know we should have been their preferred choice in the first place! During your first appointment, we will evaluate what’s ailing you and come up with an individualized approach to get you back on track and back on the field. It really is as simple as that. There’s no cookie-cutter strategy where we simply mask the symptoms. Our chiropractic clinic will have you feeling better, faster.

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