How To Take The “Ouch” Out Of Elbow Pain

If you have ever experienced elbow pain, then you know how it can wreak havoc in your day.

 

The simple act of typing on a keyboard, using a mouse, opening a jar, or squeezing a ketchup bottle - all can cause pain when your elbow is unhappy.

 

In my latest video, I provide several options to decrease elbow pain, whether it is on the outside of the elbow (tennis elbow = lateral epicondylitis) or on the inside of the elbow (golfer’s elbow = medial epicondylitis).

 

Elbow pain does not discriminate. It doesn’t care if you are an athlete, an office worker, or a machinist. When it hurts, it prevents you from doing what you need and want to do.

 

You have lots of options that you can do from home. Watch the video to learn more.

 

Or, if you try these options, and your symptoms are stubborn and still don’t want to go away within 7-10 days, then I recommend you contact your local Doctor of Physical Therapy so they can direct you in your next steps....

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How To Recognize Signs And Symptoms Of Tennis Elbow

It’s summertime and many people increase their activity level as they get outside more. Some people may choose to complete more outdoor projects with their yard - mowing, weeding, gardening, and DIY projects. Others may choose more recreational activities like kayaking, cycling, tennis, and golf.

 

What do all these activities have in common?

 

Gripping!

 

That’s right, whether they are gripping hand tools, the oars of a kayak, or the handle of a racquet, everyone participating in any of the above activities must grip.

 

Excessive gripping or a sudden increase in gripping can increase the risk of lateral epicondylitis - aka tennis elbow. Increased gripping can also increase the risk of medial epicondylitis, or golfer’s elbow, too. What’s the difference?

 

Tennis elbow is pain on the outside of the elbow whereas golfer’s elbow is pain on the inside of the elbow.

 

How do you know if you might have either tennis elbow or...

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When this “I Just Slept Wrong On My Neck” Becomes That “When Will My Neck Pain Go Away?”

Neck pain is one of the most common reasons I see people in my office. Patients often say,

 

“I don't know why my neck started hurting…I think I must have slept wrong.”

 

“My neck hurts worse in the morning when I get up...it’s just really stiff.”

 

“My neck is fine in the morning but gets worse throughout the day.”

 

“I hear all this popping and cracking in my neck when I turn my head. It’s kind of sharp when I turn to check my blind spot.”

 

Even though every single person has the common complaint of neck pain, the root cause of their neck pain is different in each of their complaints.

 

Let me walk you through my brain when I hear these complaints:

 

“I think I slept wrong on my neck” - Most of the time this complaint is going to be related to a muscle strain, specifically the levator scapulae muscle. One end of the muscle attaches on the cervical vertebrae closest to...

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Check 1, Check 2, Check 3...For Your Posture Check

One of the most common injuries I see in my office is poor posture. In fact, regardless of the primary reason a patient comes to see me for physical therapy, I could argue that 99% of my patients have “abnormal posture” as a secondary injury.

 

A twenty-something-old started physical therapy a few weeks ago. His primary complaint was shoulder blade pain with reaching forward. His secondary problem was occasional low back pain.

 

Guess what the root cause of his problem is?

 

POOR POSTURE!

 

Yes, I am screaming at the top of my lungs because posture affects EVERYTHING!

 

If your shoulders are rounded forward, your neck is forward, your mid-back is slumped, and your lower back lacks its normal curve, then you will have problems.

 

Why?

 

Because your entire body is more forward than it is supposed to be so your center of gravity is also forward. Your body does not work as efficiently when our center of gravity is in front of hips and...

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5 Steps To Getting Rid Of Pain...Regardless Of What That Pain Is!

What’s the biggest pain you have experienced?

 

A broken bone?

A sprained ankle?

A splinter?

A root canal?

Pregnancy?

Surgery?

 

Regardless of the type of pain or the cause of the pain, I anticipate the #1 thought you are thinking of is “How do I get rid of the pain?”

 

Here’s 5 Steps You Can Take Immediately When Pain Begins?

 

  • Take Action - Doing nothing will not work. Even if you decide to rest and apply ice, you are still taking action
  • Pay Attention To What You Are Feeling - Do not ignore your pain. Pain is your body’s way of screaming for your attention. Pain is your body telling you something is wrong. If you just fell and your wrist is painful and shows a deformity, your body is shouting at you to get an x-ray! If you have a splinter, your body is telling you that your finger hurts and the splinter needs to be removed. If you are experiencing labor pains, your body is telling you the baby is on the way! Pay attention to your...
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How To Improve Knee Strength

Have you ever had difficulty standing up from a chair or squatting down to pick up a laundry basket?

 

Have you ever felt weakness in your legs and struggled to go up and down stairs?

 

If you answered “Yes” to any of these scenarios, then it’s very likely that your legs aren’t as strong as they should be.

 

In a recent video, I describe three exercises that can help increase knee strength so that your legs can start feeling stronger.

 

Strengthening the muscles in your legs is key to protecting your knee joint. When your gluteal, quad, and hamstring muscles are weak, they cannot accept the forces you place on your body during daily activities like walking, going up and down steps, and squatting to lift a laundry basket from the floor. If your muscles don’t do the work to absorb those forces, then your joints will. Strengthening + flexibility promotes bone health, joint health, and easier mobility.

 

If it is a constant battle...

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How To Recognize Signs and Symptoms of Patellar Tendinitis

With Spring arriving and the weather getting warmer, I tend to see more injuries related to overuse activity. For example, many people increase their walking or running distances. They also may do spring cleaning around the house which translates into more trips up and down the stairs. An increase in yard work naturally occurs too as the snowblower is winterized and the lawn mower is powered up.

 

Whichever activity you are getting more involved in, it is important to recognize when your activity is too much or you did too much too quickly. In one of my recent videos, I discuss the signs and symptoms of patellar tendinitis. If you are having knee pain, this video will walk you through what to look for and what your next steps should be.

 

You don’t have to live with pain. Pain doesn’t have to be part of the aging process or something you have to experience as you increase your activity level or get back into sports. Pain is present to let you know something is...

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How To Recognize Signs and Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month and it’s important to learn more about recognizing the signs and symptoms associated with Parkinson’s Disease:

 

  • Decreased Balance
  • Tremors
  • Weakness
  • Gait Changes
  • Altered Posture

 

In a recent Facebook video, I reviewed these signs and symptoms plus went into detail regarding a few solutions to improve these areas of difficulty.

 

I also encourage you to visit the Parkinson’s Foundation website to learn more about various resources available to you or a loved one. You can also take a short quiz at #KnowMorePD now

 

Exercise, physical therapy, and nutrition can play important roles for patients with Parkinson’s Disease. If you have questions, I encourage you to speak up and learn as much as possible so you can manage PD in the most optimal way. I’m happy to start a conversation with you!

 

To Your Best Health,

Dr. Jeanette

 

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6 Tips To Reduce Falls At Home

I have fallen down the steps twice - once when I was in physical therapy school and once after I was married but before we had kids.

 

The first time I fell was because I was in a hurry so I was running down the stairs between the floors in my graduate housing apartment complex. Racing down any stairs can be dangerous but try doing that while also looking through your mail to make sure you put stamps on the envelopes!

 

Not a good idea!

 

As I looked at the last envelope, I thought I was on the landing to the next set of stairs and I missed the last step. I fell crashing down with my backpack on top of me and my envelopes all scattered about. Despite the pain, I hobbled my way to my physical therapy class. The lesson for the day was gait abnormalites and I was now the lead candidate for everyone to observe my antalgic gait pattern! Not fun! My left ankle was swollen like a tennis ball and very painful. I did receive the nice benefit of electrical stimulation and ice...

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What A Baby And Usain Bolt Have In Common

If you have ever watched a baby learning to walk, you can see them struggle to learn how to coordinate their balance for hands and knees crawling to walking on two feet. They typically pull themselves up by grabbing on to furniture or people to steady themselves. The name “toddler” implies toddling around as they continue to get a feel for walking.

 

Contrast the image of a baby learning to walk with an Olympic runner like Usain Bolt from Jamaica. This elite athlete has advanced his balance to a level where he propelled himself forward at speed so fast in 2009 that he broke the 100 meter dash record in 9.58 seconds. 

 

The image of the baby learning to walk and Usain Bolt crossing the finish line may seem like extreme opposites but they have one thing in common: BALANCE.

 

Both the baby and the sprinter must develop balance to propel themselves forward. The baby is at the beginning stages of developing balance when they are first learning how to pull...

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