Recover from Car Accident Injuries with Yoga and Massage

New Heights Physical Therapy provides exceptional physical therapy for car accident recovery in Portland OR and Vancouver WA.

Car accidents can be traumatic, both emotionally and physically. If you’ve been in an accident, your body needs to be evaluated and treated for all injuries, to allow a full recovery and prevent them from becoming chronic pain.

Physical Concerns with Car Accident Recovery

There are two areas of the body that need to be evaluated after a car accident:

  • Muscular: The body is put through a huge amount of shock when in a car accident. The abrupt stop of the car can strain the muscles past their normal range. The impact of the car itself can cause significant trauma and damage to the muscles.
  • Skeletal: The most obvious injury to the skeletal system is the impact of objects during a car accident, but there’s another source of injury: when muscles are pulled out of alignment, they can also “pull” at the skeleton, creating complications and further chronic conditions.

Physical Therapy and Auto Injuries

Although physical therapy is not the only necessary treatment after a major accident, it can be a major part of recovery. Physical therapy involves the evaluation of how muscles interact with the skeleton, and treatment of any problems with this function. Because a motor vehicle accident can cause trauma to both muscles and bones, physical therapy is especially crucial to restore function and reduce pain.

After any significant injuries are treated by a doctor, you may be referred to a physical therapist. Depending on the extent of your injuries, a wide range of physical therapy might be prescribed, including aqua therapy, massage therapy, muscle manipulation, and at-home exercises. It is crucial to only engage in those activities that have been approved by your doctor and your physical therapy. Car accidents can cause significant trauma, and underlying conditions aren’t always readily diagnosed after an accident. Please–always seek the guidance of a medical professional before attempting any new exercise.

Yoga and Massage for Post Accident Treatment

Both yoga and massage therapy can be very helpful over the long term. Your physical therapist will need to complete a careful evaluation before any decisions are made, and will need to clear any new activities.

  • Gentle yoga provides stretching and joint movements, with very little pressure or twisting motions. Active yoga should be avoided, and any positions that put strain on joints or muscle groups should be cleared by your physical therapist. 
  • Massage therapy can help to loosen joints and pulled muscles, smoothing out engaged muscles and helping to restore function. 

Once you’ve been cleared to engage in these activities, your physical therapist can help you put together a plan of action!

Physical Therapy and Your Accident Trauma

Bodies need time to heal. Physical therapy can be a huge part of that healing process, as you relearn to use muscle groups. New Heights Therapy has significant experience with post-crash recovery, and we can help! Read more about how we treat car accident injuries like whiplash, or contact us today to schedule your first physical therapy consultation, and start your road to recovery!

Physical Therapy for Hip Replacements

New Heights Physical Therapy provides exceptional physical therapy for post-op hip replacement in Portland OR and Vancouver WA.

Hip replacements are necessary in a variety of situations, whether because of direct physical injury, or because of cartilage degeneration. If you’re about to receive a hip replacement, or in the post-operative stage of recovery from a hip replacement, you may be concerned about your recovery process. At New Heights Therapy, we’re committed to providing helpful information for all of our patients, and committed to providing the best in physical therapy services! Hip replacement surgery is a major one, and requires proper care and support.

We want to encourage everyone who is recovering from a hip replacement to consult their surgeon before structuring a recovery plan. While we can give general information about hip replacement recovery, you should always have the guidance of a medical professional who understands your specific surgery before any exercises should be done. Every hip replacement is different, and requires a different recovery plan!

Movement After Hip Replacement

Depending on why you got the hip replacement, the specific surgery, and the type of replacement, your needs post-op are going to be different from another patient’s.

  • We recommend asking your surgeon exactly what kind of movements, and how soon, you should start doing after surgery.
  • Again, because everyone is different, we cannot recommend a specific timeline–but your surgeon will be able to!
  • Movement is an important component of healing, because it circulates blood and other healing mechanisms or the body, and it also prevents muscle atrophy or stiffness.
  • While most surgeons will give you a detailed recovery sheet, make sure you understand when and how post-op movement is going to be incorporated into your recovery plan.

Retraining Muscle Memory After Hip Surgery

After a hip replacement, your other muscle groups are going to naturally work in different ways. Depending on the type and placement of your hip replacement, you may find that your hip is in a slightly different place, or at a slightly different angle, than you’re accustomed. In order to prevent further injury, it’s important to have a physical therapist or other medical professional examine your muscles, how they’re moving, and how your muscle memory is changing or should change.

Professional Help for Hip Replacement Recovery

Reports vary on the efficacy and importance of formal physical therapy as a post-op treatment for hip replacement. While some patients find they need the emotional and physical support of a structured program, other patients are content to perform exercises at home without the aid of a therapist. Whatever your preference, we want to help make your hip replacement recovery as easy and as pain-free as possible! If you would like to explore physical therapy as a part of your recovery from hip replacement surgery, give New Heights Physical Therapy a call. We’d be happy to consult with you, detailing helpful exercises and supporting you through recovery!

Recovery for Post Breast Cancer Surgery

New Heights Physical Therapy provides excellent support and recovery for post breast cancer surgery in Portland OR and Vancouver WA.

Recovery for Post Breast Cancer Surgery

Breast cancer can be treated in several ways. Surgery is often part of the picture to enable the oncologist to get rid of all of the cancer. The surgeon may remove the entire breast, which is known as a mastectomy, or they may only remove part of the breast. While this is often a life-saving treatment, it can result in some unwanted side effects, such as lymphedema.

What Is Lymphedema?

At its most basic, lymphedema is a swelling of the lymph nodes. In the post breast cancer surgery recovery time, it may occur in the lymph nodes of the arm, chest, breast or hands. It may occur for only a brief period, or it may continue for years following the treatment.

Lymphedema happens gradually as the lymphatic fluid can no longer drain as it once did. This happens because some of the lymph nodes around the breasts or armpits have been removed as part of the surgery to prevent or treat the spread of cancer. The symptoms of lymphedema may include the following:

  • Numbness and tingling
  • Aching
  • Difficulty moving the arm
  • Swelling in the arm, chest, hand or armpit
  • Inflexibility
  • Tight skin

How Does Lymphedema Limit Arm Movement?

When the shoulder and underarm area is stiff or sore, it can be difficult to move the arm. The shoulder joint is a special type of ball-and-socket joint that is designed to move in all directions. However, individuals with lymphedema here may find that they cannot lift the arm above the height of the shoulder, or that they cannot swing it as far to the front or the back as they once could.

How Can Physical Therapy Help with Post Breast Cancer Surgery?

Physical therapy has proven helpful in many cases of lymphedema. During recovery from post breast cancer surgery to improve range of motion in the joint, thus reducing stiffness and weakness. New research from early 2018 shows that even one session can improve arm movement. Plus, it was shown that an individualized physical therapy program can further improvement movement.

A physical therapist can help individuals know what exercises are safe after surgery, and can help patients move past the post-surgical discomfort to discover full range of motion. Therapy can also decrease fatigue and improve one’s overall quality of life.

Professional Therapy For Post Breast Surgery Recovery

Research continues to show the amazing benefits of physical therapy for improving body dynamics. In particular, it can help dramatically in those who have undergone surgery for breast cancer, helping them feel more like themselves once again. By being able to return to their normal ways of life quickly, patients can feel empowered to live healthfully and happily despite their prior diagnoses. If you think you could benefit from physical therapy, call New Heights Therapy today! Our staff of therapists would be more than happy to work with you, helping you recover from breast cancer surgery.

Restless Leg Syndrome

New Heights Physical Therapy provides physical therapy services for restless leg syndrome in Portland OR and Vancouver WA.

Physical Therapy and Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless legs is characterized by by a feeling of itching or crawling on the legs. This sensation makes the individual want to move the legs constantly, and he or she will bounce, jiggle or rub them. It can be frustrating for the person afflicted with the condition, as well as for the people around him or her. It can be particularly brutal at night when the individual wants to get some sleep, but is kept awake with restless legs. September 23 is dedicated to awareness of this condition, in the hopes that increased education can lead to relief and an eventual cure.

What Causes Restless Leg Syndrome?

Restless leg syndrome affects millions of people. Researchers have not been able to pinpoint a cause for this condition. There are some situations that can make it worse or could be linked to restless legs, including:

  • Pregnancy
  • Having parents who had restless legs
  • Being deficient in iron
  • Peripheral neuropathy

Can Home Remedies Help?

The most obvious remedy that people use to stop restless legs is getting up and moving. Leg movement can often only help for a very short period of time. Here are some alternative remedies for reducing symptoms:

  • Hot or cold therapy: icing the legs, or taking a warm bath to relax the leg muscles before bed.
  • Decreasing caffeine intake
  • Decreasing alcohol intake
  • Giving up smoking
  • Taking a vitamin D supplement
  • Massage
  • Regular exercise
  • Deep breathing exercises
  • Yoga

Can Physical Therapy Help Restless Legs?

Exercise is a huge component of any restless leg treatment program, and a trained physical therapist can play a major part in prescribing the right program for getting the joints moving. Gentle joint pressure, hot and cold therapy, and manual manipulation can also be used during the physical therapy session to provide long-lasting relief.

In addition, a physical therapist can teach individuals techniques and exercises that they can use at home to decrease symptoms on their own. Leg exercises in particular can help contract the problematic muscles and can re-oxygenate them with fresh blood. Ellipticals and rowing machines are popular choices for this reason. Physical therapy can also manipulate the pelvis and feet, to increase functionality throughout the entire area.

Professional Help for Restless Leg Syndrome

A physical therapist has a vital role in calming the symptoms of restless leg syndrome to help patients get relief. With regular treatments, individuals can regain good sleep patterns, feel more relaxed when they are at rest, and experience better quality of life overall. At New Heights Physical Therapy, we practice cutting edge and proven methods of relieving restless leg syndrome, and we would love to help you find some relief!

Invisible Conditions

New Heights Physical Therapy provides relief and physical therapy for invisible conditions in Portland OR and Vancouver WA.

If you have been accused of “faking” an illness, you are certainly not alone. Many people struggle with health problems that don’t have a definable cause or currently available diagnostic criteria. While these conditions may be difficult to diagnose, they do create real problems, including pain, fatigue, and other life-altering symptoms. If you have one of these invisible conditions, you may be able to find relief with physical therapy.

Symptoms of Invisible Conditions

Invisible disabilities or conditions can have a variety of symptoms, including the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Pain
  • Difficulty with concentration or memory

The symptoms could be related to hundreds of different conditions, and they may even come and go. You may be accused of faking your symptoms, or you might have gone through multiple rounds of testing, only to be told that you’re in perfect health. It can be incredibly frustrating to be told that “nothing’s wrong”, and many patients give up on ever resuming their normal lifestyle. You should know that there are doctors and physical therapists that understand what you’re going through, and new research is being conducted on a daily basis to discover the cause of these invisible conditions. Your symptoms are real, and many studies have shown that these conditions do exist.

What Are the Most Common Invisible Conditions?

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome is one of the most common invisible disabilities with extreme fatigue as its main characteristic.
  • Fibromyalgia is similar to chronic fatigue syndrome but is set apart by the focused tenderness in nine major spots around the body possibly caused by pain receptor issues.
  • Endometriosis is characterized by extreme pain in the lower abdomen especially during a woman’s period. Although you may try to push through these symptoms for a while, believing that they are not really as bad as they seem, diagnosis can reveal extra tissues in your ovaries or Fallopian tubes.
  • A variety of thyroid conditions can also create a host of ambiguous complaints caused by high or low levels of thyroid hormones.

How Can Physical Therapy Help Invisible Conditions?

Physical therapy can decrease your pain in these and other invisible conditions by using a variety of treatment modalities. Therapy can improve mobility in the joints, muscle tone and flexibility, and decrease long-term fatigue. By using your muscles and joints correctly and often, you can decrease the pain, inflexibility, fatigue, and stiffness that often accompanies many of these conditions. Your therapist may use a combination of manipulation, exercise, electrical stimulation, and hot or cold therapy.

If you’d like to see if physical therapy can help you manage your symptoms, call New Heights Physical Therapy today! We’ll work with you to find the best treatment for your body.

Postpartum Physical Therapy

New Heights Physical Therapy provides postpartum physical therapy services in Portland OR and Vancouver WA.

Postpartum Physical Therapy

Doctors are starting to recognize more and more that regular doctor and physical therapy visits are necessary post-delivery. Ongoing care after delivery is typically limited to one visit, six weeks after delivery. A special task force from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has recently embraced the idea of a “fourth trimester”, or ongoing care for postpartum mothers that extends beyond one doctor’s visit.

Injuries After Pregnancy

Delivery can have a variety of complications, and not all of them are immediately felt or seen after delivery. Postpartum moms can experience a range of physical injuries or disorders, including:

  • Perineal tearing
  • Pelvic floor dysfunctions
  • Mid-line separation of the abdominals
  • Urinary or fecal leakage
  • Tailbone pain
  • Lower back, hip, or pelvic pain
  • Pain with intercourse/orgasm
  • Constipation
  • Uterine, rectal, vaginal, or bladder prolapse

The Importance of Postpartum Physical Therapy

Any injury, if left to heal itself without proper recovery, can develop further complications, including muscle imbalance, worsening of symptoms, and scar tissue. Depending on the severity of the injury, these complications could lead to chronic pain and other conditions. Postpartum pain is typical, but if you have symptoms of a more serious injury, schedule a doctor’s appointment or treatment with a physical therapist.

How Can Physical Therapy Help After Pregnancy?

If you’re a postpartum mom who’s concerned about injuries or pain, during or after pregnancy, a postpartum physical therapy examination can help determine and identify the injury that was caused. A licensed physical therapist can also help heal and strengthen the underlying structures and muscles involved in the injury.
At New Heights, we understand how important postpartum physical therapy can be for a mother. We’ll work with you to identify any possible injuries, creating a specialized program to heal and strengthen your body. Don’t wait for an injury to heal itself–schedule an appointment for postpartum physical recovery today!

Understanding Golfer’s Elbow

New Heights Physical Therapy provides treatment options for golfer's elbow in Portland OR and Vancouver WA

Golfer’s Elbow vs Tennis Elbow

Golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylitis, is the strain or damage to the muscles and tendons surrounding the elbow. It can also be referred to as “climber’s elbow”. Golfer’s elbow specifically refers to pain or damage felt on the inside of the elbow. The main cause is repetitive or intense usage, and any movement that strains the inside of the forearm can cause golfer’s elbow. Pain or damage that occurs on the outside of the elbow is called tennis elbow, and while these two conditions occur in different areas of the elbow, they are treated in exactly the same way.

What Causes Golfer’s Elbow?

  • Overuse
  • One-time direct injury, like falling on the elbow
  • Ill-fitting sports equipment, like golf clubs or tennis rackets
  • Lack of general fitness or proper conditioning

The most important thing to remember is that golfer’s elbow is typically an overuse injury. Avoid straining the elbow further by ceasing the activity that caused the injury. If you haven’t done an activity (like golfing or rock-climbing) in some time, take it easy and go slowly. Your elbow needs time to regain strength and conditioning.

Signs and Symptoms of Golfer’s Elbow

Golfer’s elbow commonly begins with a mild strain, with pain being felt on the inside of the upper forearm. Golfer’s elbow can cause pain anywhere from the wrist to the elbow joint itself. As the pain gets worse or progresses further along the forearm, symptoms advance to weakness and stiffness. Movement restriction is common as the pain increases, and you may even experience tingling or numbness.

Treating Golfer’s Elbow

The most important first step is to stop overusing the elbow. Avoid the activity that caused the pain in the first place, and make steps to avoid any movement that continue to compromise the joint. Because golfer’s elbow is a soft-tissue injury involving muscles and tendons, the following steps (R.I.C.E.R) should be taken:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation
  • Referral

If the R.I.C.E.R. regimen is followed within the first 48-72 hours, the injury is much more likely to heal faster and without further complication. Once ice has been applied on and off again for three days or so, heat and massage should be used to prevent scar tissue and to speed up the healing process.

When most of the pain has been reduced or removed entirely, the elbow joint, tendons, and muscles should be stretched and rehabilitated to regain their former strength. Your elbow has been compromised, and it needs to be restored to proper conditioning. If pain or stiffness lasts longer than a couple of weeks, it may be time to consider physical therapy.

Golfer’s Elbow Prevention

  1. Listen to your body. Golfer’s elbow is an overuse injury, meaning that at some point pain was produced in the elbow, and the activity was continued anyway. The science of how muscles are formed and are maintained is still being researched, but we do know that if a muscle is not allowed to heal, the injury or strain will continue to get worse. When you feel strain that is intense or sharp, stop!
  2. Strengthen and condition. Your elbow works because of an intricate network of tendons and muscles. When those parts of your body haven’t been properly stretched or strengthened, they are more prone to strain. Make sure if it’s a new activity, or one you haven’t done in some time, that you take it slowly and carefully. It takes time to properly condition muscles, joints, and tendons!
  3. Rest, therapy, and modifications. If golfer’s elbow is a recurring source of pain for you, consider bracing and strapping, modifying or replacing sports equipment, taking extended rests, or going to physical therapy. There may be another injury co-occurring, making it difficult for the elbow to truly heal. Our bodies are made up of a network of interconnected muscles, and every area of the body is affected with an injury–even just on the elbow!

If you’re having difficulty healing, or you feel that the injury is getting worse, it’s probably time to consult a physical therapist or doctor. Repeated or prolonged injuries can produce scar tissue, making it ten times more difficult to heal the next time. By resting and treating the injury, you are respecting your body and preventing a worse injury.

The Importance of Gait Analysis

New Heights Physical Therapy offers Gait Analysis in Portland OR and Vancouver WA

What is Gait Analysis?

Gait analysis is a commonly misused term. Most people think of being fitted for running shoes in a sports-footwear store as gait analysis, but gait analysis should be a carefully monitored, scientific evaluation of gait–in other words, an analysis of the patterns, angles, and positions of hips, knees, and feet while walking or running. While sports-footwear stores can offer a generalized recommendation, they lack the scientific equipment necessary to make a true evaluation of your body’s patterns and functions.

Do I Need My Gait Evaluated?

When a physical therapist evaluates your gait, they are evaluating much more than how a shoe fits: they’re evaluating your injury history, your present physical condition, and the steps you may need to take to properly train or condition your entire body.

Gait analysis is used to identify past or present injuries or issues, repeated habits that may lead to injury, and preventative therapies to strengthen and condition the lower half of the body. It’s an important step for anyone with a present injury, recurring injuries, or future plans to train seriously for an activity or sport. Areas of the body considered during gait analysis:

  • Hips
  • Knees
  • Ankles
  • Feet

Your body is a network of interconnected muscles, tendons, and joints. Any injury or bad habit in one area of the body can lead to overuse, strain, or more serious injuries in another part of the body. Gait analysis is the first step to identifying and changing harmful patterns before they can cause serious damage.

New Heights Physical Therapy Offers Running Evaluations

We offer gait analysis in the form of running evaluations, as part of our wide range of physical therapy services. By identifying problem areas, habits, and recurring injuries, we can help you walk or run in a way that is helpful, rather than harmful, for your body. It’s always best to prevent an injury before it occurs, and our running evaluations can help to determine the best training and habit-changing methods for you.

If you’re having difficulty healing from a current injury, it’s probably time to consult a physical therapist or doctor. Repeated or prolonged injuries can produce scar tissue, making it ten times more difficult to heal the next time. By resting, treating, and evaluating the cause of an injury, you are respecting your body and preventing more damage from occurring.

Impacts of Bad Posture

Poor posture results from reoccurring lifestyle habits over time and can prove difficult to break. Physical therapists are here to help when the effects of incorrect posture begin to cause chronic pain and discomfort.

What are various types of bad posture?

Many of the chronic aches and pains felt by people can be attributed to poor posture while sitting, standing, and walking. Poor posture place pressure on the spine, bones, joints, tendons, and ligaments that are designed to support the body. It can spark pain from pinched, crushed, or otherwise damaged nerves. Below are a few types of different types of bad posture that are common.


Slouching is easily one of the most common poor posture techniques most people are guilty of falling into at least occasionally. Proper standing and walking posture should have your thumbs facing forward, and the palms turned towards the body. Any other position suggests a slouch.

Forward Lean

Leaning towards the table, a computer, or your smartphone while sitting is considered poor posture.

Incorrect Seating

Placing the buttocks to close to the edge of a chair, or too far back is what produces an uncomfortable lean and pressure on the spine.

Knee Placement

Proper placement of the knees when sitting can reduce back and hip strain. Your feet should be flat on the ground and the knees slightly above the level plane of the thigh for correct positioning and posture.

What are the long term effects of bad posture?

Continuous use of poor posture will catch up over time. You will begin to feel increasing amounts of pain when at rest, or in motion due to stress on joints, spine, and the entire body-support system. A few bad posture side effects are

  • Lower back pain
  • Hip and leg pain
  • Shoulder and neck pain
  • Headaches
  • Acid reflux
  • Muscle tingling and weakness, and more
  • How to Fix Bad Posture

Fixing poor posture is a matter of staying aware of how you are sitting, standing, and walking on a daily basis. Catching and correcting poor posture behaviors is the ultimate solution. Stand with your chest outward and shoulders straight. Stretch your spine every time you get up. Use proper pillow support under your head and neck. Another way to improve your posture is to strengthen core muscles and increase your flexibility.

Participate In Our Free Workshop!

We would like to invite you to come to our free workshops that discuss the causes and treatment methods available for back pain. It will be a one-of-a-kind learning experience in how to live pain-free. Contact us at New Heights Therapy to find out more about treatment options for pain resulting from chronic poor posture. We are available to help you in both Portland OR and Vancouver WA.

Physical Therapy for Women’s Health

Physical Therapy for Women's Health. New Heights Physical Therapy in Vancouver WA and Portland OR.

Physical Therapy for Women’s Health

Physical Therapy for Women’s health is specialized treatment for a number of women specific health problems. An evaluation is done to first establish what type of treatment will be best for you. Treatment plans can vary in length depending on the type of treatment needed and the extent and nature of your problem. It is important that this treatment is followed through with suggested exercises at home to prevent further pain from occurring. Common physical therapy for women’s health include;

  • Pelvic floor dysfunction including incontinence or prolapse
  • Gynecology surgery
  • Pregnancy related issues
  • Pain related issues including painful intercourse, painful menstruation, amongst others
  • Postnatal exercises
  • Osteoporosis

These are all prevalent problems that women face daily. Often times, if these problems are left untreated, they can lead to other, more serious issues. Seeing a specialist for help can ease pains and/or complications providing for a more comfortable day-to-day life.

Nutrition and Healing

Although it is important to have a well-balanced diet day-to-day, if you are seeking physical therapy for surgery related treatment, nutrition is vital to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Eating well-balanced and properly proportioned meals will keep your body at its best. Well-balanced meals will help your body get the sufficient vitamins is needs during the healing process.

A well-balanced diet includes staying hydrated. Drinking plenty of water can help your body heal in a more timely manner. Staying away from water can cause your body to work harder and in turn, you will feel the exhaustion. Physical therapy will cause your body to dehydrate faster due to the work you are doing. It is very beneficial to drink water before, during, and after a visit to the physical therapist.