Why Physical Therapy Sometimes Fails

Part 2 of a 3-part series

You religiously attend your therapy session and perform the home program, but you don’t seem to be making improvements. You appear to have hit a plateau. Maybe some of the pain that brought you to therapy is returning, but you are still completing the daily exercise routine. Or your strength is decreasing. Frustration rears its ugly head. Who’s to blame? You? The therapy team? According to John Iams, the developer of the PRRTTM, there are 50 reasons physical therapy may fail with a home program compliant patient. In this three-part series, the top 10 will be discussed.

#4…..Bone Spurs

A bone spur is a small outgrowth of bone caused by local inflammation, such as injury, arthritis, or tendonitis. Bone spurs typically form in the soles of the feet, on the heel, and in the spine next to degenerated discs.

Bone spurs can cause pain, numbness, weakness, or limited joint movement all of which can lead to disappointing result in physical therapy.

 

 

 

 

#5…..Statins

According to WebMD, statins are a class of drugs, available by prescription, which lowers blood cholesterol, thereby helping to reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke. Statins reduce the LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides, and raise HDL ‘good’ cholesterol.

Although statins help reduce the chance of heart attacks and stroke, they also come with some side effects including headaches, insomnia, drowsiness, dizziness, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. Some of the most serious side effects include muscle inflammation, increased CPK (creatine kinase) that can lead to muscle pain and sometimes takes a long time to resolve, and rhabdomyolysis, which due to muscle inflammation and damage causes pain, weakness, and eventually leads to kidney damage.

Before stopping any medications, including statins, it is important to talk to your doctor. Consider speaking to a dietician, as diet changes and exercise may affect your cholesterol levels.

#6….Inflammation

Inflammation causes are broad, from age, diet, environment, nerve compression, injury, and overuse. Inflammation can be acute, lasting only a couple of weeks, or chronic, lasting months and years.

Acute inflammation is the body’s natural reaction to injury. The extra fluid dilutes poisons, causes pressure that restricts movement and attracts the cells that clean up damaged tissue. It also attracts the cells that lay down restricting fibers called adhesions. Removing acute inflammation quickly allows for better healing.

Chronic inflammation is not normal, as the body continues to try to heal an area that really doesn’t need healing. Adhesions continue to build, unnecessarily restricting tissue and joints.

Depending on what’s causing the chronic inflammation, depends on how to resolve the issue. Changing your diet, compression hose, and exercise can help. Talk to your physician, dietician, and us for suggestions to help reduce your chronic inflammation and encourage healing.

As you can see, there is so much more to physical therapy than just exercise. Sometimes we must look at other factors. Follow next month’s newsletter as we discuss insomnia, nutrition, pH imbalances, and hypothyroid.

 

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