Independence From Pain Through Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can be your answer to independence from joint and muscular pain. Chris Stulginsky from Ayrsley Town Rehab explains how treating the underlying cause of pain is the only way to be truly pain free. No more just treating the symptom, solve the problem that’s causing the pain!
Ayrsley Town Rehabilitation (ATR) provides performance-enhancing, preventative and rehabilitative programs and services that maximize functionality and promote well-being in patients of all ages and abilities.

Visit us online to learn more at: http://ayrsleyrehab.com/

Advertisements

Knee Pain Doesn’t Always Mean Surgery

As discussed in the video, chronic knee pain doesn’t always mean surgery. Our patient, Rosa Underwood’s* experience demonstrates how physical therapy helped resolve her chronic knee pain, even though she had been advised that surgery was her only option.

Patient Spotlight: Rosa Underwood*

The Issue: I had severe knee pain, constant arthritis pain in my right knee that was affecting my quality of life. The limited mobility affected my ability to shop, play with my grandchildren, garden, enjoy myself in general. I was fearful of being stigmatized professionally because of my limping and the possibility of not working due to needing knee surgery. I was miserable.

How was your physical therapy treatment? The physical therapy felt immediately empowering! I felt that I had an active role in getting better and the better I understood how muscles functioned the more I realized I was not helpless, that a lot of my pain was due to extra stress being put on my knee because of how I moved at many joints and that my knee was not going to crack in half.

The moment things changed: Chris found that I was compensating by clenching my jaw, he treated that and my knee pain decreased significantly. I thought, “What just happened?” My knee pain was decreased significantly, and I was able to garden that weekend kneeling with very little pain, I have not been able to do that in months.

The difference over the past few weeks is incredible… I am walking longer, my attitude is hopeful, I don’t describe my pain as severe…I play with my grandchildren and enjoy myself again. I have not worn a knee brace or wrapped my knee since. My doctor is pleased with my progress and so am I! The ATR team is truly outstanding!

The Therapist’s take: Rosa had significant movement restrictions in her knee, ankle, and hip which piled on top an existing arthritic condition. Her Gluteal muscles were not firing much, and her knee was not able to get straight. It is a common compensation pattern, inhibited gluts put more pressure on the muscles that surround the knee. We tested her glut, it was strong, but she was clenching her jaw. Retesting with a relaxed jaw decreased the glut strength drastically. Palpation revealed increased tenderness at her right masseter, and quick, patient-directed release resulted in the gluteal muscles firing again so they tested strong with a relaxed jaw. With the gluts back on line, it took pressure off of the knee and the patient’s squat test improved dramatically. This is a great example of how the pain is rarely problem, it is the symptom of dysfunction. This is why we examine and treat function, treating structure alone without addressing function rarely leads to long term success.

*Use of quotations and names are with permission of patient

Patient’s Report 35% Pain Relief with New Laser Treatment in Charlotte Physical Therapy Clinic

In May of 2009 Ayrsley Town Rehabilitation debuted the ML830 Laser in their clinic, over the last five months, patient have reported, on average of a 35% reduction in pain with the laser and the implementation of preferred provider protocols.

PRLog (Press Release) – Sep. 30, 2009 – In May, Ayrsley Town Rehabilitation (ATR), a physical therapy clinic in southwest Charlotte, introduced the ML 830 Laser in their clinic. According to the results of the company’s internal study, patients treated with the ML830 Laser have reported a 35% reduction of pain after a 10 minute treatment.  “It has gotten to the point, where I am no longer surprised by the results,” said Christopher Stulginsky, PT who is not only the managing partner of ATR but also the regions only certified premier provider according to the distributor’s website.  “We have had success with people of all ages and with multiple body sites and conditions. Most of our success has been with carpal tunnel, arthritis pain, post surgical rehab, with people who have been in car accidents, and those who have back pain.” Stulginsky has also had success with adolescent sports injuries as well. “They always seem to like the idea of being treated with something that Olympic and NFL athletes use.”

For more information about this and other treatment programs at Ayrsley Town Rehabilitation please contact them at 980.939.1580.

Additionally, the 830 Laser can be used over orthopedic hardware, pacemakers and over adolescent growth plates without side effect, which is not necessarily the case with traditional ultrasound and electric stimulation.  “The laser, which is the first on the market approved by the FDA, uses light to assist the local lymphatic response, it does not use heat or electricity, which can be contraindicated in certain scenarios,” said Stulginsky, who continued, “people need to know this information, they need to know what they have available to them. It is the only way to navigate healthcare today, to be armed with knowledge and explore their options.”

Many patients have been successfully treated at ATR since they opened their doors last October. Amelia is one of them and certainly agrees with Stulginsky’s assessment. She is a grandmother of one and recently had surgery for a torn rotator cuff, “I was going to have to wait for a while before I could get my surgery. I thought there was no point in going physical therapy, and that I couldn’t without a referral.  One day I was just in so much pain, a client recommended Chris to me, and I realized he could see me without a referral; he started working with me and helped the healthy muscles stay strong and help manage my pain with the laser.  I had not slept well it quite some time, but after one laser treatment I slept through the night. I am way ahead of schedule after my operation; I attribute that to Chris, seeing him before surgery and the use of the laser,” said Amelia.

Keith is a full time barber and  works at a local restaurant on the weekend, he has gone to ATR for treatment. “All day I am cutting hair, I can feel it in my forearm and wrist. I need for my hands to work. That laser thing is amazing. I feel relief within the first few minutes.”  Keith was also in a car accident many years ago, and after a busy weekend at the restaurant, he feels his old injury.  “Just the other day, after working on the weekend, I could barely stand up to cut hair, Chris was able to get me in and help lower my pain so that I could get through the day”

Annie is a chronic pain patient with severe osteoarthritis, multiple bulging discs, radiculopathy, entrapped nerves at L4 and L5 with trochanteric bursitis and peripheral neuropathy. She has tried many different treatments including medication, acupuncture and steroid injections.  “After my first treatment I cried in the bathroom the next morning because for the first time in many years I was not experiencing that horrible grinding pain.”

For more information about this and other treatment programs at Ayrsley Town Rehabilitation please contact them at 989.939. 1580.

###

Ayrsley Town Rehabilitation (ATR) was opened by Christopher Stulginsky and Alex Gomez in October of 2008 in The Town of Ayrsley, a New Forum community in southwest Charlotte.

Christopher Stulginsky, PT is the managing partner and treating physical therapist at ATR. Christopher is a 2003 graduate of the masters in physical therapy program at The Rangos School of Health Sciences at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. After graduation he spent 4 years as a travel physical therapist working throughout the United States. His travel background afforded him the opportunity to learn various techniques and about different technologies that were being used around the country. Additionally, Christopher has worked in multiple settings and multiple institutions including: The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD; Friday Harbor Physical Therapy in Friday Harbor, WA; Mercy Hospital, West Suburban Sports and Rehab Clinic and Westlake Hospital’s Outpatient Back and Spine clinic in Chicago, IL.

Charlotte Clinic Offers Affordable Payment Options for Treatment as Deductibles Reset in New Year

With the new year, comes a reset in insurance deductibles, with high cost deductibles, many avoid treatment, which makes situations worse. This Charlotte clinic offers options to patients for manage the costs of their health care needs.

 PRLog (Press Release) – Jan. 27, 2010 – As the calendar has flipped to 2010, individuals who have medical insurance once again encounter and, are understandably concerned about their high medical insurance deductibles.  Insurance deductibles vary from insurance plan to insurance plan and in most cases they are a number negotiated between insurance company and their employer. The deductible is the amount that the employee is responsible for before the insurance coverage begins.

With some plans the deductable is a total medical deductable, with some there is a total family deductable, and with other plans there is a separate deductable for different medical services.  It is understandable that after a busy and usually expensive holiday season, individuals put off medical treatment because of the deductable of their plan.

Ayrsley Town Rehabilitation feels that high cost deductibles should not interfere with those who want and need pain relief.  “There is no reason that just because the calendar has changed that treatment should stop or be avoided. Pain does not stop after the new year, why should treatment?” says Chris Stulginsky, PT who is the managing partner of Ayrsley Town Rehabilitation in the Steele Creek area of Charlotte, NC.

In order to help patients navigate a climate with high insurance deductibles or a situation where there is no insurance at all , Ayrsley Town Rehabilitation offers discounted private pay rates as well as discounted multiple treatment rates all of which can be applied to the patient’s deductable. “We have plans in place to make things affordable for patients, most people are hesitant to even contact a medical facility to ask about payment possibilities, we encourage everyone to call and ask, we can help find what  option is best for each individual,” said Stulginsky.

“It is something for both patients and providers to consider as we continue to give our patients the best total care that we can.”

For further details on this or many other affordable pain relief programs at Ayrsley Town Rehabilitation please contact Chris Stulginsky, PT at 980.939.1580.
__________________________________________________________________

Christopher Stulginsky, PT is a 2003 graduate of the physical therapy program at the Rangos School of health Sciences at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. He is a certified member of the Prehab Network and a Certified Provider in use of the ML 830 Laser, the first cold laser approved by the FDA for pain. He has worked at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD and in various Sports Medicine clinics around the country. Currently, he is the managing partner or Ayrsley Town Rehabilitation, a physical therapy clinic in Charlotte, NC.

Local Clinic Introduces New Aquatic Program

Ayrsley Town Rehabilitation offers first aquatic therapy pain relief and therapy program in the Steele Creek section of Charlotte, NC.

PRLog (Press Release) – Jun. 23, 2010 – Charlotte, NC:

(Steele Creek) – On June 1, 2010, Ayrsley Town Rehabilitation started offering aquatic physical therapy to the healthcare consumers of southwest Charlotte.

“Aquatic therapy is a great way to decrease pain,” states Chris Stulginsky, PT of Ayrsley Town Rehabilitation.

“It is the closest thing we can get to being weightless, it unweights the joints and allows people to do more and work on true solutions for their pain relief. Because they are able to move more easily, clients strengthen their muscles to take pressure off of the joints over time.”

Myrtle Williams, a client who participates in the aquatic program agrees.  “I can do more in the pool then I can on the land, it helps me move around better without the pain. I can exercise without soreness the next day.”

Stulginsky continues on, “The aquatic program assists us in providing comprehensive pain solutions. It is an added plus to our already established Back Pain, Fibromyalgia, Orthopaedic Rehab and Prehab for Pregnancy Programs. Though it varies from plan to plan, in most cases the therapy is covered by health insurance, including Medicare.”

Stulginsky adds, “The aquatic program is another component to assist us in addressing the pain and rehabilitation needs of the people of south Charlotte and the Lake Wylie corridor.”

Summer Foot Pain is Preventable

As the weather gets nicer many change their footwear and increase activity. This often results in foot and ankle pain. With simple preventative exercises, individuals can reduce chances of experiencing this pain & get treatment if it does get worse.

PRLog (Press Release) – Apr. 24, 2012 – With the days getting longer and the weather getting warmer, summer is right around the corner. As a result, many will be spending more time outside exercising, doing yard work and enjoying,  “shorts and flip flop weather”.

“Who doesn’t love this time of year?” says Chris Stulginsky, physical therapist and owner of Ayrsley Town Rehabilitation.  “It’s a great time to get outside with your family and friends to enjoy the weather; however foot and ankle pain often follows.”

There are many ways to work to prevent these types of injuries with very little effort. “Alternating footwear, and performing stretches, like a standing gastrocnemius stretch and standing soleus stretch, are very important.”

Many of these problems are preventable, but despite one’s best effort, they still may start developing pain in the foot and ankle.

“When the pain is interfering with your life, it is very important that these types of maneuvers are performed correctly. They may seem easy on the paper your doctor has given you or on the internet; however, I would say, almost everyone we see needs some level of correction,” stated Stulginsky.

The body’s desire to do things efficiently is a positive in many ways, but in a case where pain has set in it often results in compensation and improper technique. “Many times we find our patients are not performing their exercises correctly and are reinforcing the very issues that are cause a great deal of their pain. Additionally, dysfunction in the hip and knee often change the way the foot hits the ground and also contributes to the pain,” says Stulginsky.

Many disorders, such as plantar fasciitis, tarsal tunnel, tendonitis and heel pain, all present very similarly and are typically treated with footwear modification and potentially with injections. One commonly over-looked component is the nerve in that area, which needs to be treated with a specific and targeted treatment plan.

The nerve is one component that can affect all of these areas. It commonly presents symptoms in one area but and is radiating from problems in other areas.  “Just like muscles and tendons, nerves get tight as well,” says Jackson Bellis, DPT who is the newest addition to ATR’s clinical team. “We have found that using nerve mobilizations with our patients is gentle, effective and can have fast results.”

Recently, Roger Goforth presented to the ATR team with a diagnosis of tarsal tunnel. “I was in excruciating pain. Things I took for granted all my life such as showering, walking barefoot and getting dressed were difficult.”

The tarsal tunnel runs along the inside of the ankle and provides sensation to the entire bottom surface of the foot. This area typically gets squeezed between the tissue behind the ankle bone on the inside of the leg.

“With the use of gentle neural mobilizations and a technique we call a tarsal trace we have significantly diminished Mr. Goforth’s pain,” says Bellis.

When performed by a skilled clinician, neural mobilizations are effective because both the nerve and the surrounding tissue get relief from issues causing inflammation.  The neural tissue becomes hypersensitive, and as a result, it is harder for the nervous system to perform and recover.

Goforth is a believer. “After 3 treatments I was able to walk and stand barefoot with very little pain for the first time in a year. The results have been nothing short of amazing.”

Charlotte Area Clinic Making Strides in Knee Pain Treatment

Knee Pain affects 18-20% of US population and many are frustrated with treatment and feel that surgery is the only option. Recent treatment breakthroughs at a local physical therapy clinic are helping patients who feel they have run out of options.

PRLog (Press Release) – May 11, 2012 – Knee Pain is a very common condition that is reported by 18-20% of the U.S. population. It affects the way one walks, works and lives. It can make hobbies and leisure activities such as going for a walk with your husband or wife, playing with your kids, and fitness activities very difficult.

Any pain or dysfunction at the knee can result in back, hip or foot and ankle pain. There are many common causes to knee pain, most of which are as a result of overuse or improper mechanics.

“During our evaluations, we often find that pain is the symptom of dysfunction elsewhere. Treating it without looking at the entire kinetic chain may offer some short term relief, but it does not address the cause of the problem and often leads to a more chronic condition,” says Chris Stulginsky, PT who is the owner of Ayrsley Town Rehabilitation.

Cortez Curtis has had pain in the front of his knee for three years. “I have been to 4 different doctors. They all took x-rays and told me I needed to exercise and lose weight. I was frustrated because I was never told what specifically to do and exercise made my knee worse.”

The knee pain located in the front of the knee was indicative of a problem elsewhere. “During the initial evaluation, Cortez was not getting much hip extension at all. Decreased hip extension typically results in increased bending of the knee, rotating the hip to the outside or positioning the foot and ankle outward while walking. In Cortez’s case he had compensated with external rotation at the hip, the knee followed suit and we had our issue.”

For the most part the primary motion of the knee is bending or straightening, which is called flexion and extension respectively; however, there is mild rotation at the knee joint which often goes unnoticed and can easily cause a great deal of dysfunction and pain throughout the joint.  The popliteus is a muscle that crosses from the outside of the knee to the inside of the knee at a 40 to 45 degree downward angle and is primarily responsible for this movement. The muscle also attaches to the lateral meniscus and often mimics meniscal derangement.

“Many knee exams are performed in sitting or while lying down. Traditional knee tests were negative. After watching Cortez walk just a few feet I had some clarity on what was going on, and confirmed it with further examination”, added Stulginsky.“When he started pressing on my knee, he was right on it,” says Curtis, who explained that for 3 years he has had difficulty playing with his kids, putting his feet on the ground when getting out of bed, and making it through his shift without intense discomfort.

Stulginsky says, “After seeing this presentation a number of times in the last few years, we have developed a protocol for this issue, which includes a simple, 2 step, self-care program. Everyone is built a little differently, it is not the same exact thing for every individual, but the themes are similar.

“I felt an instant difference,” said Curtis. “After two treatments, my pain is down 75%. Playing with my kids is easier, shifts at work are better.”

This dysfunction can cause a great deal of pain in many people, including competitive runners and weekend warriors. Stulginsky states that if this is the primary cause, it can be addressed relatively quickly in a very conservative, non-invasive fashion without medication or injections.

Mr. Curtis concludes, “I am happy that someone can finally tell me what was going on with my knee, and I have a solution that is fast, effective and easy enough that I can do it on my own.”