PT

Fayette Encore Patient of the Month, Sherman Lee.

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We would like to recognize our Fayette Encore Patient of the Month, Sherman Lee. Sherman is a native of Fayette, AL and has been coming to our clinic to receive physical therapy after his total knee replacement. He has been receiving therapy treatment for 2 months now and has been improving greatly! Keep up the good work Mr. Lee!

“I have been to Encore before at the Winfield location. This is a great bunch of professionals and I love the way they treat their patients. I want to stay with Encore.”

-Mr. Lee.

“The Link Between Nutrition and Pain Is too Strong to Ignore” via APTA.

By Joe Tatta, PT, DPT, via APTA

Here’s a situation I bet you see all too often in your practice: a patient or client comes to you to overcome pain and increase mobility, and you see almost immediately that working on the mechanics of motion won’t be enough—they could really benefit from some lifestyle changes as well. Frequently, one of those changes involves thinking more carefully about the food they’re putting into their bodies.

Despite Hippocrates’ oft-quoted “Let food be thy medicine,” most physicians receive only a few hours of instruction about nutrition and coaching to help patients change their eating habits. Yet studies like this one from the National Institutes of Health show nutritional education becomes an incredibly useful tool to improve overall health outcomes for patients and specifically reduce inflammation.

As PTs, we are presented with a real opportunity here. Research shows that PTs can play an active role in lifestyle-related interventions such as nutrition. Providing information on nutrition will put you ahead of the curve with your peers while improving your patients’ results.

Early in my practice, I saw how obesity often contributed to my patients’ pain. Once I began providing information on some simple diet and lifestyle strategies with my patients, many lost weight, felt better, and dramatically reduced their pain. Nutrition became the missing link to help my patients manage and relieve pain.

Over time, I’ve found that nutritional screening and informational strategies can make a difference in 5 conditions associated with pain that we often see in our practices:

  1. Inflammation. Copious inflammatory foods, including vegetable oils, populate the Western diet. Most observational and interventional studies show a traditional Mediterranean diet, rich in healthy fatty acids, fruits, vegetables and fiber, provides anti-inflammatory benefits. Among specific conditions, studies show a Mediterranean diet rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants provide anti-inflammatory effects that benefit individuals with rheumatoid arthritis. Epidemiologic and clinical evidence likewise shows an optimal diet can reduce inflammation that, among other things, contributes to metabolic syndrome.
  2. Obesity. As we all know, a vicious cycle ensues as obesity contributes to numerous chronic pain conditions, and the pain in turn can lead to sedentary behavior that increases obesity. Studies prove what I’ve seen countless times in my own practice: weight loss must become a crucial aspect of overall pain rehabilitation.
  3. Osteoarthritis (OA). Studies have shown a relationship between pain and food intake among overweight and obese patients with OA. Fortunately, obesity is the most modifiable risk factor for knee OA. Of course, pain management is crucial to reducing OA symptoms. But even that may have a nutrition connection: one systematic review found scientific evidence to support some specific nutritional interventions–including omega 3 fatty acids–to relieve symptoms among patients with OA. Studies also show various nutrient deficiencies, including vitamins C and D as well as selenium, contribute to OA.
  4. Autoimmune disease. NIH estimates that 23.5 million Americans have an autoimmune disease (compare that with cancer, which affects 13 million Americans). Over 80 autoimmune disorders exist, including Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and type 1 diabetes. Of course, genetic predisposition, environmental factors (including infections), and gut dysbiosis play major roles in autoimmune disease development. But increasingly, researchers believe adverse dietary changes over the past 50 years–including gluten intolerances, altered gut bacteria, and vitamin D deficiencies–also contribute to that increased rate of autoimmune diseases. Chief among those changes is our prevalent high-sugar, high-salt, processed-food heavy diet that paves the pathway for autoimmune diseases. Nutrient-poor diets only exacerbate that problem: evidence shows vitamin D, vitamin A, selenium, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, and flavanol deficiencies contribute to autoimmune diseases.
  5. Prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes affects 29.1 million Americans (that’s over 9% of the population) and paves the way for serious complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations. Diabetic neuropathic pain, a common diabetes complication and the most common form of neuropathic pain, affects over 90% of people with diabetes. Studies show increased musculoskeletal pain in patients with type 2 diabetes adversely impacts body mass index, quality of life, physical function, and physical activity abilities. The link between diabetes and nutrition is a fundamental one that should never be set aside.

Working with patients suffering these and other conditions, I’m often impressed how optimal nutrition becomes the needle-mover to alleviate pain and help people heal. So how can a PT incorporate these considerations into practice? Here are a few simple tactics you can use right now:

  1. Ask nutrition-related questions during your initial consultation. Simple things like “do you take a multivitamin” or “about how many vegetable servings do you eat a week” can help lead to gradual dietary tweaks that yield impressive results.
  2. Have your patients keep a 24-hour food diary. Beyond establishing adherence and accountability, asking patients to write down everything they eat for 24 hours provides insight to their daily eating habits. Once you have that insight, you can help them gradually improve those habits.
  3. Offer some simple information. Rather than impose a major dietary overhaul, ask patients to do things that don’t seem so overwhelming; for example, to increase their water intake, or eliminate processed foods and sugar.
  4. Create simple, attainable goals. Begin by allowing your patients to experience success in some way. You might ask a patient to lose 5 pounds over 3 weeks, or provide information about incorporating more omega-3 fats into their diet combined with their exercise program. These goals are doable, and they can provide your patient with the confidence to take on more challenging targets.
  5. Offer your patients other ways to access information on better nutrition. Providing your patients with collateral sources of information—a helpful blog post, or an engaging book on nutrition—helps to reinforce the idea that the benefits of what they’re doing are well-established, and that they’re not alone in their journey toward healthier living. During a subsequent visit, ask patients if they got anything out of what you shared. The more reliable, readable information they receive, the better the chances that they’ll begin to become genuinely interested in the topic themselves, and for the long run. Over time, I’ve even had a few patients recommend books and blogs to me. Refer patients to nutrition and dietary professionals when their needs exceed the professional scope and your personal scope of practice.

If you’ve incorporated nutritional screening and information into your practice, what did you find was the most challenging aspect? Did you see results when patients made those changes? Share your thoughts below.

Joe Tatta, PT, DPT, is a board-certified nutrition specialist and functional medicine practitioner who specializes in treating lifestyle-related musculoskeletal, metabolic, and autoimmune health issues. He is the creator of the Healing Pain Online Summit and The Healing Pain Podcast, and is the author of Heal Your Pain Now: A revolutionary program to reset your brain and body for a pain-free life by Da Capo Press. Learn more by visiting www.drjoetatta.com/apta.

Tillman’s Corner Athlete of the Month, Ava Balliviero.

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Congratulations to Tillman’s Corner Encore Athlete of the Month, Ava Balliviero! Ava is a senior athlete at Alma Bryant High School. She has been a member of the Lady Hurricanes Soccer team for 5 years and wears jersey #17. Ava has also won 2nd place in the Southern Shootout Soccer Competition. After graduation next spring, Ava plans to attend college to major in physical therapy. She is the daughter of Tessie Balliviero.

7 Myths About Physical Therapy

 

People everywhere are experiencing the transformative effect physical therapy can have on their daily lives. In fact, as experts in the way the body moves, physical therapists help people of all ages and abilities reduce pain, improve or restore mobility, and stay active and fit throughout life. But there are some common misconceptions that often discourage people from visiting a physical therapist.

It’s time to debunk 7 common myths about physical therapy:

1. Myth: I need a referral to see a physical therapist.

Fact: A recent survey by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) revealed 70% of people think a referral or prescription is required for evaluation by a physical therapist. However, all 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC) allow patients to be evaluated by a physical therapist without a physician’s prior referral. In addition, 49 states and DC allow for some form of treatment or intervention without a physician referral or prescription (Michigan being the exception). On January 1, 2015, patients in Michigan will be able to do so, as well. Some states have restrictions about the treatment a physical therapist can provide without a physician referral. Check out APTA’s direct access summary chart (.pdf) to see the restrictions in your state.

2. Myth: Physical therapy is painful.

Fact: Physical therapists seek to minimize your pain and discomfort—including chronic or long-term pain. They work within your pain threshold to help you heal, and restore movement and function. The survey found that although 71% of people who have never visited a physical therapist think physical therapy is painful, that number significantly decreases among patients who have seen a physical therapist in the past year.

3. Myth: Physical therapy is only for injuries and accidents.

Fact: Physical therapists do a lot more than just stretch or strengthen weak muscles after an injury or surgery. They are skilled at evaluating and diagnosing potential problems before they lead to more serious injuries or disabling conditions—from carpal tunnel syndrome and frozen shoulder, to chronic headaches and lower back pain, to name a few.

4. Myth: Any health care professional can perform physical therapy.

Fact: Although 42% of consumers know that physical therapy can only be performed by a licensed physical therapist, 37% still believe other health care professionals can also administer physical therapy. Many physical therapists also pursue board certification in specific areas such as neurology, orthopedics, sports, or women’s health, for example.

5. Myth: Physical therapy isn’t covered by insurance.

Fact: Most insurance policies cover some form of physical therapy. Beyond insurance coverage, physical therapy has proven to reduce costs by helping people avoid unnecessary imaging scans, surgery, or prescription drugs. Physical therapy can also lower costs by helping patients avoid falls or by addressing conditions before they become chronic.

6. Myth: Surgery is my only option.

Fact: In many cases, physical therapy has been shown to be as effective as surgery in treating a wide range of conditions—from rotator cuff tears and degenerative disk disease, to meniscal tears and some forms of knee osteoarthritis. Those who have recently seen a physical therapist know this to be true, with 79% believing physical therapy can provide an alternative to surgery.

7. Myth: I can do physical therapy myself.

Fact: Your participation is key to a successful treatment plan, but every patient still needs the expert care and guidance of a licensed physical therapist. Your therapist will leverage his or her specialized education, clinical expertise, and the latest available evidence to evaluate your needs and make a diagnosis before creating an individualized plan of care.

 

**For more on this article, visit: http://www.moveforwardpt.com/Resources/Detail/7-myths-about-physical-therapy

“A Person’s a Person, No Matter… What!” – Wheelchair Etiquette, written by Jeanne Weeks.

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“A Person’s a Person, No Matter…..”

Horton, the elephant, a popular children’s book character of Dr. Seuss, vows to take care of the tiniest people living on a tiny flower he carries around by his trunk. He faces obstacles from others in his journey but he meets his goal to treat all with respect and protect even the smallest.

For 30 plus years, I have worked with children with disabilities as a pediatric physical therapist. These children may have movement, visual, hearing, behavior and/or speech issues. The most fragile of these children appear to be the ones who require a wheelchair or stroller to get where they are going with or without help.

Each child in a wheelchair is usually accompanied by a parent, family, friend or caregiver.  Many have shared their frustrations with me about how strangers, classmates, extended family,people in a waiting area at the doctor’s office, or those at the checkout in a store responded toward their child. The stares, inappropriate comments, or looking beyond the child in a wheelchair are all negative responses that have been shared.

My response to that child or family is that when people see someone that appears different they feel awkward or uncomfortable and truly don’t know how to respond appropriately. To assist the general public in knowing how to comfortably respond to a child in a wheelchair I make the following suggestions.

  1. The wheelchair may catch your eye but focus your vision more closely on the child seated in the wheelchair.
  2. Look and speak directly to the child. Complement them on their beautiful eyes, pretty clothes, or toy they may carry. The child may respond with words or gestures. Continue your conversation with them as you would with any other child their approximate age.
  3. If the child does not respond with words or gestures, engage in a conversation with their caregiver. Keep it positive, encouraging and act interested not asking awkward questions.
  4. If you ask about his/her disability, the child and family may feel like you are treating him/her as a disability, not as a person.
  5. Be sensitive about physical contact. Avoid patting a child on the head, rubbing their arm or touching their wheelchair. Children with disabilities consider their equipment as part of their personal space. Of course if you are given permission, do so.
  6. Keep in mind that children in wheelchairs may be more compromised in their immune systems so don’t touch or stand too close to them to share your germs.
  7. Always ask before you help and ask how before you act. Children in wheelchairs want to be treated with independence. Offer assistance only if the caregiver or child appears to need it. Open a door, carry a package or bag, or assist in any way that would benefit the child.
  8. In your conversation, use “child with a disability” instead of “disabled child”, avoid outdated descriptions like “handicapped” or “crippled” and use “wheelchair user” instead of “wheelchair bound”.

And always remember, “A person’s a person no matter how small or young or using a wheelchair.” 🙂

This article was written by Jeanne Weeks, PT and Director of Pediatric Rehab for 
Ocean Springs Neurosciences Hospital in Mississippi. 

 

Elbow pain: Lateral Epicondylitis (aka, Tennis elbow)

The technology boom of the past decade has not only made our lives easier (debateable), but also caused a surge in overuse injuries. Smart phones, i-pads, and laptops (to name a few) have become as common TV’s and cars to every household in America. The age of instant access to information and social media has made keeping up with news, family and friends much easier but has come at a price. Elbow pain, specifically Lateral Epicondylitis, and Carpal Tunnel syndrome (a topic for another day) have become more common and can become extremely debilitating if not treated in a timely manner. Keep in mind that it can take as little as 3 weeks for an injury to become chronic and therefore seeking early intervention can literally be the difference in a successful outcome and months of pain and discomfort. Unlike most injuries, Lateral Epicondylitis is a problem that almost anyone can diagnose, as long as you know what signs to look for.

First, What is Lateral Epicondylitis? Simply stated, lateral epicondylitis is overuse tendonitis of the wrist and finger extensors. Pain and discomfort are felt on the outside of the elbow and can run down the forearm into the various muscles (muscles that make up the back of the hand). The muscles on the back of the wrist are very small and they all come together and insert just above the elbow.

Second, What are the symptoms? 1. Tender to touch, just above the elbow on the back of the forearm. The area will definitely be sore due to the inflammation. 2. Pain with picking up weighted objects such as a jug of milk, coffee cup, etc., and even something as simple as typing on your laptop. The pain noted in this area can run the entire gammit from sharp pain to a dull, achy feeling. The pain generally subsides when the affected hand is at rest. 3. Noted weakness. Noticeable weakness with gripping activities along with pain in the above mentioned area is a sure fire indicator that you may have lateral epicondylitis. It is not uncommon for me to have patients tell me that they have problems with dropping objects (usually making a mess). 4. Pain with resistance. Make a fist on the hurt arm. Push down on the back of the affected hand with the uninjured hand and that can elicit pain in the elbow. If all these symptoms are present, BAM, you have just acturately diagnosed yourself with Lateral Epicondylitis.

Now I know you are extremely proud of yourself and you should be but ultimately I’m sure you really just want to stop hurting. Let’s talk about the important stuff, the steps to recovery. What to do: 1. Ice. But you say, I hate ice. Believe me, early on, ice is your friend. Putting an ice pack on the painful area for 15 minutes 4-5 times a day greatly enhances your chances of saving a copay. 2. Medication. My medication of choice is Aleve. 2 in the morning and 2 at bedtime for a week is where I generally start. Ibuprofen or Motrin is an acceptable substitute. These medications are called NSAIDS and can be affective at fighting muscular inflammation. If you are unable to take NSAIDS, consult your physician for alternative medications. 3. Rest. It’s simple but true. Making a conscious effort to limit the use of the affected hand greatly improves your chance of success. Trust me, I get it. This is easier said than done, but if you don’t use the affected arm, it won’t hurt. Continuing to use the injured arm increases the inflammation in the tendons and delays healing. 4. Bracing. I struggled with whether or not to mention tennis elbow braces but I do feel they can help manage your pain but here is my disclaimer. Make sure you use them correctly. Proper application is key. If you are unsure of how to properly apply the brace, seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.
In conclusion, Lateral Epicondylitis is not something that you have to run to the doctor with. We mentioned that time is important and it is but give yourself 1 week of managing your symptoms with these simple steps and if the pain improves, then give yourself another week, if it doesn’t, seek the advice and counsel of your family physician. Remember, early intervention and treatment is important to kicking that unwanted uncle out of the house before he wears out his welcome.

This article was written by one of our PT, ATC, Matt Moorer. 

The Cullman Times – Best Therapy Award Winner

One of our PTA’S, Sharon Edens, holding our best therapy award! Thanks city of Cullman — We are proud to be your physical therapy provider!

BEst Physical Therapy in Cullman

2015 Encore Symposium

We would like to thank everyone who registered and participated in the Symposium this year. With 215 participants and multiple CEUs earned, it was truly a great success! We would like to give a huge thank you to all of the guest speakers, sponsors (pictured below), Tony Kennon, the City of Orange Beach, and the Wharf employees for making the symposium simply outstanding. A special thank you to Paul Henderson, Bo Shirey, Jason and Bridgette Henderson, Jordan King, Darlene Morris, Katy Chauvin, John Hurt, Trina Garmon, and Dewayne Fortenberry who directed and organized the symposium. We are so thankful for all of our awesome ATCs, PTs, OTs, directors, and staff members who make our company the best!

We enjoy helping people get back in the game as quickly as possible. That’s why we do everything we can to keep our staff prepared to serve patients, schools, and athletes. “We love to see you Move.”
Encore Symposium 11Encore Symposium CEUs Encore Symposium 8 Dr. Emblom and sons Encore Symposium
Encore Symposium 6 Encore Symposium 4 Encore Symposium 3

Encore Symposium Bo Shirey Jordan King Encore Symposium Encore Symposium Bo Shirey Elisabeth Bernier Encore Symposium 12 Encore Symposium 10 Encore Symposium 9 Encore Symposium 7 Encore Symposium 2 Bo Shirey Encore Symposium Barry Dale Encore Symposium

– Sponsors –

Theraband

Theraband

Matrix

Matrix

Quest Orthotics and prosthetics

Quest Orthotics and Prosthetics

Ossur American

Ossur American

Electro Medical

Electro Medical

Alert Services

Alert Services

Russellville Encore Athlete of the Month, Kristen Camp.

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Congratulations to the Russellville Encore Athlete of the Month, Kristen Camp! Kristen is a senior, multi-sport, athlete from Hackleburg High School! She plays volleyball, basketball, and softball for the Lady Panthers and her awards consist of the following: Team Captain for Basketball, Marion County All Tournament Basketball Team, and the NAC All Tournament Award. After graduation, she hopes to play college basketball while working towards obtaining a bachelors in Theatrical Arts. Kristen is the daughter of Rosemarie Camp and Steve Kenney. Good Luck the rest of basketball season, Kristen! Keep up the good work!