AlterG is Going for the FourPeat! It’s Penn Relays Week!

Oh man. Can you feel the hype right now?! I’m telling you, the air at HQ is so thick with excitement, you could cut it with a butter knife.

Last year’s crew

Or maybe that’s just the sweat lingering in the air from our valiant Penn Relays team putting in their last workouts before the big day this Friday.

Continue reading “AlterG is Going for the FourPeat! It’s Penn Relays Week!”

Vegas in 24: A “Funky Fresh” Update!

Well, hello there, all you cool, gravity-defying cats! I know I promised you more Achilles love this week, but sometimes in the blogging-biz, you have to make room for breaking news. So instead, I am going postpone our Achilles talk until next week, in order to bring you the long-awaited part dieu to my Andy “Funky Fresh” Funk interview. You may recall our last post on this Ironman altruist and his audacious “Vegas in 24” mission, in honor of the Pink Lotus Foundation, but if not, go give yourself a quick refresher; I’ll wait right here…  Continue reading “Vegas in 24: A “Funky Fresh” Update!”

Your Achilles is Trying to Say Something; Listen Up!

I am lucky enough to work in a place in which it is totally normal to stand up in the middle of a meeting, perch myself on a chair, and crank out some eccentric heel drops. I am also lucky that my coworkers haven’t filed a formal complaint with HR yet over my recurrent dad-joke refrain: “My Achilles is a-killin’ me!” Perhaps they take pity on my tendinous plight, or perhaps they chalk it up to “Jana-antics,” of which this is actually a pretty mundane example.  Continue reading “Your Achilles is Trying to Say Something; Listen Up!”

How To Treat Neurological Problems With Physical Therapy

The phrase “physical therapy” most likely stirs up images of runners, gymnasts, and bodybuilders nursing fractures and sprains.

But physical therapy also helps with conditions that disrupt the nervous system, which can occur in patient populations like seniors and those in skilled nursing facilities.

AlterG client Karen Shuler, PT, DPT, owns Lifestyle Physical Therapy, LLC in Lake Wylie, South Carolina. For most of her 24 years as a physical therapist, she has worked with people who have neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease. Continue reading “How To Treat Neurological Problems With Physical Therapy”

How Exercise For Breast Cancer Patients Empowers Them For The Fight

If you have patients who have been through breast cancer treatment, you know they’re on a brutal uphill climb. And the battle doesn’t end after the cancer is in remission.

The lump may be removed, but people deal with the psychological trauma of how their lives have changed after treatment. Plus, they may be struggling with limited function of their arms and shoulders after surgery and radiation.

Exercise and physical therapy, however, can be very effective tactics before, during, and after breast cancer treatment. Continue reading “How Exercise For Breast Cancer Patients Empowers Them For The Fight”

4 Things Physical Therapy Professionals Wish Patients Knew

As a physical therapist, you know your business inside and out. You understand your patients’ expectations, frustrations, and challenges, and you adapt to accommodate them.

But that’s not a two-way street.

Patients rarely know what challenges physical therapists face behind the scenes. Four physical therapists share the things they wish their patients knew.

1. I Hate Dealing With Your Insurance

“I wish my patients knew how terrible their insurance company is,” says AlterG client Kevin Rausch, PT, MPT, President of Rausch Physical Therapy & Sports Performance in Laguna Niguel, CA. “Their insurance companies make it difficult to provide fantastic, outstanding care.”

They often limit how much rehab patients can receive, which means patients don’t always get the full treatment they need.

Rausch encourages patients to pursue physical therapy if it will benefit them despite an insurance company’s limitations. There are self-pay options, or arrangements you can work out with care providers.

2. I Don’t Just Want To Get You Better—I Want To Teach You How To Prevent Injury

Making sure that patients understand proper movement and motion is paramount for physical therapy patients, says AlterG client Adam Wille, PT, MSPT at Midwest-based Athletico Physical Therapy.

“And that’s what we do here,” he stresses. “When we assess our patients, we let them know if they have the appropriate range of motion, strength, and motor control to perform the activities they are involved in.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Just because you have done an activity doesn’t mean that when you’re walking, lifting, running, landing, and pushing off, you’re performing these activities with proper mechanics and control,” explains Adam. “And that’s often why people end up in physical therapy.”

The goal is to educate patients on proper motion, strength, and mechanics while doing not only exercise, but any daily activity.

3. It Doesn’t Have To Be Painful

The motto, “No pain, no gain” does not apply to physical therapy, but your patients may feel otherwise.
“A lot of people come into PT and the first thing out of their mouth is, ‘How bad are you going to hurt me?’ or ‘Why does this feel so bad?’” says AlterG client Steven Marano, PT, DPT, OCS, Facility Manager at Midwest Orthopedics in the Chicago-based Rush University Medical Center.
“I think it’s important to understand that PT should be based on the patient’s symptoms,” Steven cautions. “If something is hurting and it’s giving you more pain as you do it, it’s probably not appropriate for you to be doing, whether that’s a hands-on treatment from the therapist or an exercise.”

So, pain is not a sign of success. In fact, it signals that something is wrong, which means the physical therapist needs to monitor this, let the patient know it’s a problem, and then adjust the treatment plan accordingly.

But pain is not to be confused with muscle soreness.

“You have to educate the patient on the location as to where they would be sore from working the muscle,” Steven explains.

“If people could understand going into it that PT shouldn’t be painful, I think the compliance to PT would probably be a lot higher,” he adds.

4. Diet And Exercise Really Are Key
“I wish patients knew the research the way that we do to understand how effective exercise and diet are,” says AlterG client Karen Shuler, PT, DPT at Lifestyle Physical Therapy in Lake Wylie, SC.

Your patients probably hear an endless mantra from other healthcare providers about the benefits of a healthy diet and regular exercise, but it’s not just lip service. It really does make a difference. “I think we’re so immune to hearing it that we don’t realize it really can reverse some of the health issues, and the degeneration and dysfunction in our bodies,” adds Karen.

The disconnect comes in because your patients understand how diet and exercise improve general health, but not how it relates to particular health conditions, which might make all the difference.

“I think we’ve got to be more specific and explain it to people,” she says. “For example, someone who quit smoking can almost completely reverse peripheral artery disease.”

“Or with the Parkinson’s program that we do, I have a hard time getting them to understand that the exercise is their medicine,” Karen adds. “The patient and their family members do begin to see its effectiveness because their functional performance is better throughout the day.”

Want to keep your patients comfortable during treatment and get them better quickly under their insurance coverage? Want to prevent injury or just get your patients up and moving? Contact a rep at AlterG who can tell you about an innovative and effective workout that patients love.

Pediatric Pain Management: How PTs Can Help Adolescents Overcome Chronic Pain

Adolescents have a hard enough time navigating life. But navigating those formative years with a painful chronic condition—such as juvenile arthritis, multiple sclerosis, or severe injuries—makes life that much harder.

Struggling with chronic pain when you’re a teenager isn’t just painful. It can lead to problems like obesity, and compound issues of insecurity or poor social adjustment. Continue reading “Pediatric Pain Management: How PTs Can Help Adolescents Overcome Chronic Pain”

Physical Therapy Boosts Orthopedic and Bariatric Surgery Outcomes for Obese Patients

Most people recognize that an exercise program is critical to weight management and weight loss. But for adult obese patients who are prospects for bariatric or orthopedic surgery, this concept is a double-edged sword.

Exercise to achieve weight loss is necessary to prepare for both types of surgery and improve outcomes.

For bariatric patients, it means they are more likely to keep the weight off. For orthopedic patients, it means the joint surgery is more likely to be successful, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). Continue reading “Physical Therapy Boosts Orthopedic and Bariatric Surgery Outcomes for Obese Patients”

The Psychology of Motivation: How to Get Your Patients to Stay the Course

Motivation is a funny thing. Some people will strap on their running shoes and hit the gym, even on a bad day. Some wouldn’t go even if you offered to pay for membership and drive them.

Here’s how to tap into the psychology of motivation to get your patients moving in the right direction: toward recovery and successful completion of physical therapy treatment. Continue reading “The Psychology of Motivation: How to Get Your Patients to Stay the Course”

Physical Therapy: Yeah, it’s for You!

We’ve all been there before: blindsided with an injury that takes us out of the game, out of our job, or even totally out of commission. Oftentimes, we look for shortcuts and symptomatic relief in the form of anti-inflammatory or pain medications, when it would really be in our best interest to get to the root of our problem and maybe (gasp) actually solve it! How are we supposed to play detective to the labyrinthine mysteries of our corporeal ailments, though?

Stephan Venter, rockstar PT extraordinaire at Aurora Active

Who really knows what’s going on in there, right? Well, luckily for us all, we can pass off that onerous burden to the experts: those physiology super-sleuths and rehab superheroes known colloquially as Physical Therapists.

Continue reading “Physical Therapy: Yeah, it’s for You!”