Manual Therapy: Scar Tissue Massage

scar tissue massage in Portland OR - New Heights Physical Therapy

Surgery, fractures, sprains, and even cuts can lead to injured tissues that cause scar tissue. While this is part of the normal healing process, it can become an issue if the scar develops improperly and is left untreated. Many people are unaware of the problems associated with scar tissue and are led to believe they will have to live with the lumpy, unattractive scar for the rest of their lives. This is where physical therapy can help! At New Heights Therapy, we’re dedicated to providing our patients with helpful information and compassionate service that will aid the healing of scar tissue.

Causes of Scar Tissue

When an injury to a muscle, tendon, skin, or ligament in the body occurs, the inflammatory system will begin to heal the injury site. During this process, old debris in the injured area is cleaned up before new cells are brought in that will eventually become healthy tissue. Some of the new cells are collagen cells, which is what causes scar tissue. Normally, collagen is aligned in specific ways that promote strength in the tissues. However, the body does not know how to arrange collagen cells after surgery or injury, causing them to clump together, lose their natural structure, and cause scar tissue. The good news is that this newly developed scar tissue is not inherently permanent and can be remodeled to look like normal, healthy tissue once more.

3 Reasons Why Scar Tissue Management is Important

Once scar tissue develops, it’s essential to work on promoting healthy tissue as soon as possible before possible problems arise. Remodeling the scar makes it so the injured tissue can tolerate the stress and forces the body encounters every day from regular activity. Tissue remodeling can help in three ways:

  • Decrease pain
  • Improve range of motion in surrounding joints and muscles
  • Restore normal mobility and function

Using Physical Therapy to Promote Healthy Tissue

Before undergoing treatment, it is necessary to consult with your both your doctor and your physical therapist before proceeding with any treatment. In cases where scars are not fully healed, massage could delay healing or even open and expose the scar to bacteria or infection. If you have scar tissue that has fully healed, a physical therapist may perform scar tissue massage to help with the remodeling process. Massage promotes the gentle stretching of the scar tissue, helping align the collagen fibers

Scar Tissue Massage Techniques

When you start physical therapy for scar tissue management, there are several procedures your therapist will perform to help heal scar tissue:

  • Lubrication. A small amount of baby oil, lotion, or vitamin E oil may be used to keep the scar and surrounding skin pliable during massage.
  • Cross friction massage. This involves using one of two fingers to massage the scar in a direction perpendicular to the line of the scar. Performed for 5–10 minutes, this technique ensures proper alignment of collagen fibers.
  • Myofascial release. In this technique, the hands are used to slowly and lightly massage the skin and underlying tissues around the scar. Your physical therapist can feel for restrictions of tissue, also known as fascia, and work to improve movement in those areas.
  • Instrument assisted massage. A relatively new technique, instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (ISATM) involves using specialty stainless steel instruments of various sizes to massage and mobilize tissues, helping break up the built-up collagen cells.

Along with these massage techniques, stretching and flexibility exercises may also be implemented to help elongate and improve the mobility of injured tissues.

Professional Help for Scar Tissue Management

Physical therapy can play a vital role in properly treating and healing scar tissue. Whether you’ve developed scar tissue after a surgery, a car accident, or a cut, fracture, or burn, it’s important to talk to a physical therapist to learn how scar tissue massage can help promote remodeled tissue. At New Heights Physical Therapy, we are trained in helping patients treating their scar tissue through a variety of techniques. Give us a call today to start healing your scar tissue!

FAQs About Scar Tissue Massage

Can PT help scar tissue?
Yes, physical therapy will help improve movement and the healing of scar tissue.

Can you massage away scar tissue?
Yes if the scar is no more than two-years-old. We perform three different massage techniques to help heal scar tissue including, cross friction massage, myofascial release, and instrument-assisted massage.Is it good to massage scar tissue?
Yes, there are different massage techniques physical therapists use to break down scar tissue and collagen cells. This helps align the collagen fibers.

Can massage break down scar tissue?
Yes. the body does not know how to arrange collagen cells after surgery or injury, causing them to clump together and lose their natural structure. Massage breaks them down and helps align the collagen fibers.

How long does it take scar tissue to heal after surgery?
Every patient and surgery is different but it typically takes about 6-8 weeks for scar tissue to heal.

How do you break down scar tissue?
To break down scar tissue we first lubricate the affected area with baby oil, lotion, or vitamin E oil. Then we’ll perform different massage techniques including cross friction massage and myofascial release which help improve the alignment of collagen fibers and improve movement. We may also use a steel instrument to break up the built-up collagen cells.

Can you stretch out scar tissue?
We often use kinesiology tape on an injury as it provides a low-intensity stretch to help properly align collagen cells.

Does physical therapy help with scar tissue?
Yes, a physical therapist will massage the scar tissue to promote healing and help align the collagen fibers. A physical therapist will also help improve your range of motion and help alleviate any pain.

Ultrasound Imaging of Musculoskeletal Disorders

Ultrasound Imaging for Musculoskeletal Disorders with tips provided by New Heights Physical Therapy

Ultrasound imaging is a safe and standard procedure that has been used for decades, but is becoming more widely available. This noninvasive approach helps physicians and physiatrists diagnose and treat medical conditions, including musculoskeletal disorders. In addition to a clinical exam, using ultrasound imaging to help diagnose issues is a low-cost, reliable, and painless medical procedure that can aid in managing musculoskeletal disorders. Here at New Heights Therapy, we’re dedicated to aiding our patients and that begins with accurate, reliable diagnoses. Here’s how ultrasound imaging helps us do just that and more!

How Does Ultrasound Imaging Work?

An ultrasound imaging device is made up of a transducer, a transmitter, a receiver, a monitor display, and often a digital storage medium for collecting the images or videos. Ultrasound imaging involves the use of a transducer and ultrasound gel to collect high-frequency sound waves, which travel through the body and encounter acoustic interfaces. These interactions are then reflected back to the transducer and finally formed into images by use of a computer. These images can show the structure and movement of the internal organs as well as blood flowing through blood vessels.

What Can Ultrasound Imaging Help Diagnose?

While no single imaging method can diagnose all musculoskeletal disorders, ultrasound imaging can aid physiatrists in the first steps of diagnosing a variety of problems, including but not limited to the following:

  • Tendon tears or tendonitis of the rotator cuff, patellar tendon, Achilles tendon, and more
  • Ligament sprains or tears
  • Masses or fluid collections and inflammation or effusions in the joints
  • Nerve entrapments, including carpal/tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Chronic or acute muscle injury

 

What are the Advantages and Limitations of Ultrasound Imaging?

The benefits of using ultrasound imaging in diagnosing musculoskeletal disorders are plentiful.

  • Ultrasound examinations do not use ionizing radiation (as used in x-rays), so patients are not exposed to any radiation.
  • An ultrasound exam is noninvasive and not painful to patients, and patient comfort is of the utmost importance to any physical therapist carrying out the exam.
  • The procedure yields high-resolution imaging, which in some cases is even more productive than MRI or CT in assessing soft tissue structures (tendons and nerves).
  • Ultrasound imaging is a faster procedure than taking an MRI and allows for quicker, real-time examinations.

As with all procedures, there are a few limitations to ultrasound imaging, such as its inability to penetrate bone/intra-articular structures or deeper structures inside some patients. However, ultrasound imaging is a great procedure for physical therapists in treating their patients due to its ability to diagnose musculoskeletal disorders.

How Can Physical Therapists Use Ultrasound Imaging?

With ultrasound imaging becoming more readily available for physical therapists to use in helping their patients, it is becoming very common in the practice of physical therapy. That said, some special training is required for physiatrists to incorporate it into their practice. Not all ultrasonographic transducers yield high enough resolution for musculoskeletal evaluation, and not all physical therapists or physicians are as familiar with specialized techniques necessary for this type of imaging. At New Heights Therapy, we’re dedicated to ensuring physical therapists are as knowledgeable as possible when it comes to diagnosing patients. Our upcoming two-day seminar on medical imaging will cover the basics of ultrasound imaging for local physical therapists interested in this innovative practice.

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.