Items in AFP with MESH term: Physical Therapy Modalities

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Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis - Article

ABSTRACT: Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain in adults. The disorder classically presents with pain that is particularly severe with the first few steps taken in the morning. In general, plantar fasciitis is a self-limited condition. However, symptoms usually resolve more quickly when the interval between the onset of symptoms and the onset of treatment is shorter. Many treatment options exist, including rest, stretching, strengthening, change of shoes, arch supports, orthotics, night splints, anti-inflammatory agents and surgery. Usually, plantar fasciitis can be treated successfully by tailoring treatment to an individual's risk factors and preferences.


Common Conditions of the Achilles Tendon - Article

ABSTRACT: The Achilles tendon, the largest tendon in the body, is vulnerable to injury because of its limited blood supply and the combination of forces to which it is subjected. Aging and increased activity (particularly velocity sports) increase the chance of injury to the Achilles tendon. Although conditions of the Achilles tendon are occurring with increasing frequency because the aging U.S. population is remaining active, the diagnosis is missed in about one fourth of cases. Injury onset can be gradual or sudden, and the course of healing is often lengthy. A thorough history and specific physical examination are essential to make the appropriate diagnosis and facilitate a specific treatment plan. The mainstay of treatment for tendonitis, peritendonitis, tendinosis, and retrocalcaneobursitis is ice, rest, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, but physical therapy, orthoties, and surgery may be necessary in recalcitrant cases. In patients with tendon rupture, casting or surgery is required. Appropriate treatment often leads to full recovery.


Diagnosis and Management of Positional Head Deformity - Article

ABSTRACT: In children with positional head deformity (posterior plagiocephaly), the occiput is flattened with corresponding facial asymmetry. The incidence of positional head deformity increased dramatically between 1992 and 1999, and now occurs in one of every 60 live births. One proposed cause of the increased incidence of positional head deformity is the initiative to place infants on their backs during sleep to prevent sudden infant death syndrome. With early detection and intervention, most positional head deformities can be treated conservatively with physical therapy or a head orthosis ("helmet").


Vertebral Compression Fractures in the Elderly - Article

ABSTRACT: Compression fracture of the vertebral body is common, especially in older adults. Vertebral compression fractures usually are caused by osteoporosis, and range from mild to severe. More severe fractures can cause significant pain, leading to inability to perform activities of daily living, and life-threatening decline in the elderly patient who already has decreased reserves. While the diagnosis can be suspected from history and physical examination, plain roentgenography, as well as occasional computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging, are often helpful in accurate diagnosis and prognosis. Traditional conservative treatment includes bed rest, pain control, and physical therapy. Interventional procedures such as vertebroplasty can be considered in those patients who do not respond to initial treatment. Family physicians can help patients prevent compression fractures by diagnosing and treating predisposing factors, identifying high-risk patients, and educating patients and the public about measures to prevent falls.


Treatment of Lateral Epicondylitis - Article

ABSTRACT: Lateral epicondylitis is a common overuse syndrome of the extensor tendons of the forearm. It is sometimes called tennis elbow, although it can occur with many activities. The condition affects men and women equally and is more common in persons 40 years or older. Despite the prevalence of lateral epicondylitis and the numerous treatment strategies available, relatively few high-quality clinical trials support many of these treatment options; watchful waiting is a reasonable option. Topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroid injections, ultrasonography, and iontophoresis with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs appear to provide short-term benefits. Use of an inelastic, nonarticular, proximal forearm strap (tennis elbow brace) may improve function during daily activities. Progressive resistance exercises may confer modest intermediate-term results. Evidence is mixed on oral nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, mobilization, and acupuncture. Patients with refractory symptoms may benefit from surgical intervention. Extracorporeal shock wave therapy, laser treatment, and electromagnetic field therapy do not appear to be effective.


Temporomandibular Joint Disorders - Article

ABSTRACT: Temporomandibular joint disorders are common in adults; as many as one third of adults report having one or more symptoms, which include jaw or neck pain, headache, and clicking or grating within the joint. Most symptoms improve without treatment, but various noninvasive therapies may reduce pain for patients who have not experienced relief from self-care therapies. Physical therapy modalities (e.g., iontophoresis, phonophoresis), psychological therapies (e.g., cognitive behavior therapy), relaxation techniques, and complementary therapies (e.g., acupuncture, hypnosis) are all used for the treatment of temporomandibular joint disorders; however, no therapies have been shown to be uniformly superior for the treatment of pain or oral dysfunction. Noninvasive therapies should be attempted before pursuing invasive, permanent, or semi-permanent treatments that have the potential to cause irreparable harm. Dental occlusion therapy (e.g., oral splinting) is a common treatment for temporomandibular joint disorders, but a recent systematic review found insufficient evidence for or against its use. Some patients with intractable temporomandibular joint disorders develop chronic pain syndrome and may benefit from treatment, including antidepressants or cognitive behavior therapy.


The Physical Therapy Prescription - Article

ABSTRACT: Numerous guidelines recommend physical therapy for the management of musculoskeletal conditions. However, specific recommendations are lacking concerning which exercises and adjunct modalities to use. Physical therapists use various techniques to reduce pain and improve mobility and flexibility. There is some evidence that specific exercises performed with the instruction of physical therapists improve outcomes in patients with low back pain. For most modalities, evidence of effectiveness is variable and controlled trials are lacking. Multiple modalities may be used to treat one clinical condition; decisions for the treatment of an individual patient depend on the expertise of the therapist, the equipment available, and the desire of the attending physician. A physical therapy prescription should include the diagnosis; type, frequency, and duration of the prescribed therapy; goals of therapy; and safety precautions.


Treatment of Nonmalignant Chronic Pain - Article

ABSTRACT: Nonmalignant, chronic pain is associated with physical, emotional and financial disability. Recent animal studies have shown that remodeling within the central nervous system causes the physical pathogenesis of chronic pain. This central neural plasticity results in persistent pain after correction of pathology, hyperalgesia, allodynia, and the spread of pain to areas other than those involved with the initial pathology. Patient evaluation and management focus on pain symptoms, functional disabilities, contributory comorbid illnesses, and medication use or overuse. Treatment of chronic pain involves a comprehensive approach using medication and functional rehabilitation. Functional rehabilitation includes patient education, the identification and management of contributing illnesses, the determination of reachable treatment goals and regular reassessment.


Hip Impingement: Identifying and Treating a Common Cause of Hip Pain - Article

ABSTRACT: Femoroacetabular impingement, also known as hip impingement, is the abutment of the acetabular rim and the proximal femur. Hip impingement is increasingly recognized as a common etiology of hip pain in athletes, adolescents, and adults. It injures the labrum and articular cartilage, and can lead to osteoarthritis of the hip if left untreated. Patients with hip impingement often report anterolateral hip pain. Common aggravating activities include prolonged sitting, leaning forward, getting in or out of a car, and pivoting in sports. The use of flexion, adduction, and internal rotation of the supine hip typically reproduces the pain. Radiography, magnetic resonance arthrography, and injection of local anesthetic into the hip joint confirm the diagnosis. Pain may improve with physical therapy. Treatment often requires arthroscopy, which typically allows patients to resume premorbid physical activities. An important goal of arthroscopy is preservation of the hip joint. Whether arthroscopic treatment prevents or delays osteoarthritis of the hip is unknown.


Improving Physical Therapy Referrals - Editorials


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