Ask the PT: About Low Back Pain

Q: What does it mean if my back pain has worsened and now extends into my leg?  What can physical therapy do to help? A: Low back pain is typically caused by degenerative changes to the lumbar spine [L/S] joints, changes to the intervertebral disc, muscle spasm, or any combination of this group.  Normal “wear and tear” or improper lifting mechanics can lead to these changes and low back muscle…

Ask the PT: About Running and Hip Pain

Q:  I am getting a lot of pain from my hip to the outside of my knee which increases particularly with running. What is happening and what can I do? A:  A common running injury that affects this area is called ITB Syndrome (or Iliotibial Band Syndrome). This typically occurs with long distance runners and is usually an overuse issue. The IT Band is a thick band of connective fibrous…

Ask The PT: About Elbow Pain

Q; My elbow has started to hurt after frequent gardening.  What did I injure and what can I do to decrease pain? A; A common overuse injury occurring at the elbow is tendonitis.  This is basically an inflammation of the tendons that attach to either the inside portion of the elbow [medial epicondylitis], also called golfer’s elbow, or the outside portion of the elbow [lateral epicondylitis], also referred to as…

Ask the PT: About Longevity

What should I know about the role of exercise and longevity? by David Dansereau,MSPT I was recently asked this question by Emma Picard of the Attleboro based Sun Chronicle for their weekend edition focusing on Longevity  (read her article online here).  My response was simple yet this answer is often ignored and its effectiveness overlooked.  As PT’s we know this answer well and prescribe this to all our patients.  Exercise…

Ask the PT: About Ankle Pain

I sprained my ankle last year but still have ankle pain, especially when playing sports.  What can I do? Response by Karen Sullivan, PT of PT Cumberland Chronic ankle pain is a problem that can occur following single or multiple trauma events to the foot/ankle structures, most likely a ligament sprain.  Anyone who has played sports or even walked on uneven terrain has probably experienced a lateral ankle sprain.  Medial…

Ask the PT: About Headaches

I have had headaches for years and medication hasn’t been helping as much.  Can physical therapy help with my headaches? Thomas Almeida, MSPT, President/Clinical Director Headaches (HA), unfortunately, are a prevalent condition affecting thousands and causing impairments to many activities of daily living.  There are many triggers that may cause HA’s, including food, medications and environmental elements, however nearly ¼ of HA’s are classified as cervicogenic or HA’s which arise…

Ask the PT: About Knee Pain

I recently developed pain and a crackling sound in the front of my knee when gardening.  It’s worse when I get up from the ground or squat down to lift things.  What can I do to alleviate this? Response from Dustin Renaud,MPT of PT Cumberland The likely source of the crackling or grinding experienced in your knee is a condition called chondromalacia patella (or CMP).  This condition occurs when the knee…

Ask the PT: About Overuse Injuries

As spring approaches, do you have any suggestions for someone who is planning on returning to outdoor activities? As the warm weather and spring approach, many people begin looking forward to outside recreational activities and road races.  Such an increase in activity can often result in overuse injuries affecting the lower extremities and feet. To prevent chronic injuries such as shin splints, heel pain and longitudinal arch/fascia pain people must…

Ask the PT: About Improving My Balance

How do I Build Better Balance? Response from PT Cumberland Physical Therapist David Dansereau, MSPT Balance, a task we mastered early in life, seems simple enough. But as we age or encounter an injury or illness, balance may need to be relearned. Balance is controlled by a complex combination of your visual, muscular and neurological sensory systems that all work together.   To build better balance, the nervous system must…

Ask The PT: About Shoulder Pain

I don’t recall injuring my arm, but I have noticed a slight ache and pain in my shoulder when I try to lift my arm or reach back behind my body.  Why would this happen and what can I do to fix it? Thomas Almeida, MSPT, President/Clinical Director Often times, pain in the shoulder can be directly linked to the rotator cuff tendon being inflamed or partially torn.  However, if…

Ask the PT: About Arthritis and my Balance

How has arthritis impaired my balance? Response from PT Cumberland Physical Therapist David Dansereau, MSPT One of the most common causes of falls,  particularly as we age,  is related to arthritis and inflammation in our joints.  This happens because the small receptors in joints that are constantly talking to your brain telling you what position your joints are in can become impaired.   This sophisticated balance feedback mechanism is also…