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Preparing your first physical therapy appointment


March 25, 2020

So you’ve signed up for your first physical therapy appointment...now what? You might be wondering what to expect, what to bring, who you will see, and what paperwork will be involved. If you have never been to our offices or to any physical therapy, you might be curious about what to expect. Here at North Platte Physical Therapy, we want all your experiences at our clinics to be easy, straight-forward, and comfortable. Rest assured that we will do our best to welcome you, make you feel at ease, and get you on your way to restored health in a timely manner. 
 
Before your visit, please download and print the intake forms, fill them out prior to your appointment, and bring them with you to your first visit. This will save you time in-office, and you can take as much time as you need to fill them out. See our first time physical therapy visit page and click on the appropriate forms button to correspond with your location. Also bring your doctor’s referral with you (your prescription for therapy) and any relevant diagnostic reports you may have (x-ray, MRI, etc.).
 
For your appointment, wear comfortable clothing that will allow the physical therapist access to the body part for which you are being seen. We suggest that you arrive 10 – 15 minutes before the start of your first scheduled appointment to complete the registration process. When you arrive, we will take your filled-out paperwork, any diagnostic reports, and get a copy of your insurance card and driver’s license. After that, the first part of your initial evaluation involves an interview, where you will meet with your therapist to discuss your medical history, the story of what brings you into therapy.
 
Be prepared to answer questions such as:
  • What types of symptoms are you experiencing?
  • How long have you been experiencing these symptoms?
  • What aggravates and eases these symptoms?
  • How did it start?

Please be sure to tell your physical therapist about any previous physical therapy treatment you may have had, as well as the results. Come ready with questions! This is your time to ask whatever questions you may have. The next step will be your examination.  
 
After your interview and evaluation, we will explain our assessment of your condition and your individual plan of care. After that, we will begin your treatment. And since you will only spend two to three hours a week receiving treatment with us, follow-through with your home exercise program will help you attain your goals much faster. After your appointment, please remember to check in with our receptionists on your way out. They will coordinate your follow-up treatments.
 
Thank you for choosing North Platte Physical Therapy. We suggest you browse through our common physical rehabilitation questions page, and check out our locations page for directions to the facility that is most convenient for you. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
 
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How physical therapy can help Osteoporosis


March 18, 2020

If you have random aches and pains, it can be a nuisance. But when do you know when an ache and pain is more than just a minor pain? When do you know your pain is actually osteoporosis? Osteoporosis is a bone disease, and while it can make life a little harder for you there are things you can do to make things a little easier - including physical therapy.

What is Osteoporosis? 
Osteoporosis is a bone disease that causes bones to become brittle and thin - resulting in painful and injuries. Many women develop osteoporosis, including those with a thin frame or who are progressing through the aging process. However, physical therapists can help you treat and overcome the condition. If you or someone you know has developed osteoporosis, it can help to understand the many treatments that physical therapists can provide.

Prevention
While injuries from osteoporosis won’t ever be 100% preventable, some of the best physical therapists in and around the Wyoming area can help you prevent injuries through physical therapy.
Weak bones can impair your ability to function properly, inflict you with many bone fracture injuries, and prevent you from performing basic tasks. As a result, the preventative treatments of physical therapy are especially beneficial for osteoporosis patients. The therapy experts can provide advice to help you avoid injuries while maintaining a productive life and fulfilling daily functions. For instance, the professionals can teach you how to use proper body mechanics, rotate your body, and lift objects without straining your spine. The sessions would also substantially improve your balance. The therapists can help you maintain a steady and balanced posture, use proper walking techniques, and avoid falling down while standing or walking. 
 
Exercises
There are a few different types of exercises that you can do that will help you to overcome the symptoms and struggles of osteoporosis. Physical therapy can teach you a diverse range of stretch routines. The stretches can help treat the condition by relieving the pain, rehabilitating past injuries, and by increasing your flexibility to avoid future injuries. Several aerobic, resistance, and spine exercise routines can also help treat osteoporosis. The experts can guide you through exercise routines during the sessions and teach you routines that you can perform at home. The exercises provide many benefits. For instance, exercise routines can help strengthen your bones, build your muscles, and improve your ability to complete tasks without incurring injuries. Each osteoporosis patient requires a different routine that addresses their specific issues. As a result, physical therapy experts can develop and customize exercise routines according to what would be most conducive for your body and most effective for your condition.
 
If you believe you are in need of osteoporosis treatment, be sure to contact North Platte Physical Therapy. Our award-winning staff is proud to provide exceptional and personalized physical therapy treatment throughout Wyoming and Nebraska. We can implement comprehensive treatments to help you rehabilitate from injuries, overcome the symptoms of osteoporosis, and maintain a happy and productive life.
 
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What your knee pain means and when you should get help from your Wyoming physical therapist


By Erika Bynon - March 11, 2020

Knee pains - they can be overwhelming and even scary if you’re an athlete. No matter what the cause, knee pains can affect anyone no matter the age or gender. What makes knee pains a little complicated is that knee pains can be attributed to a horrific injury, a slight tweak, or even a medical condition. While we cannot diagnose anyone via internet, here are some common knee injuries and their symptoms.

Injuries
While there is a wide array of injuries that can cause knee pain, here are some of the most common: 
  • ACL: This one is particularly worrisome for athletes as sometimes it can be career ending. An ACL injury is when you tear the anterior cruciate ligament (a ligament in your knee that connects your thigh and shin bone). This can be extremely painful and often occurs when there is a sudden movement or change in direction.
  • Meniscus: Your meniscus is a cartilage (of course also located in your knee) that helps to absorb shock - think of it as a stabilizer. Typically this can be torn if you are placing weight on your knee, and then suddenly twisting it in a different direction.
  • Fractures: If you’ve broken or fractured a bone before you know the pain - but we can almost guarantee you’d certainly know! It’ll be extremely painful and often times you won’t be able to put any pressure on it.

Risk Factors
Some knee pain can be caused from medical conditions - including excess weight and a true lack of any strength or flexibility. To help mitigate this, we recommend ensuring you are active (even if it’s just walking) and try to focus on healthy eating. Your primary care physician can help you with this!

See a Doctor
  • Everyone responds differently to pain and injury. While the following are decent guidelines as to when you should seek a doctor’s assistance, if you have any doubts or concerns we recommend you see a doctor or physical therapist promptly!
  • Unable to full extend or bend your knee
  • Have excessive swelling
  • Severe pain
  • Unable to put full body weight on your knee

At North Platte Physical Therapy, we are here to help meet your needs. We serve the communities of Wyoming and Nebraska with 22 clinics offering a full range of physical therapy services. Contact us today for more information.
 
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How Wyoming physical therapy can help an ankle sprain


March 5, 2020

Ankle sprains are painful conditions that can hinder your ability to stand or walk properly, perform daily chores, or fulfill tasks at work. Although ankle sprains are one of the most common orthopedic injuries, physical therapists can help relieve the pain and restore the proper functioning of your ankle more quickly than with no treatment. We’ve compiled our Ankle sprain 101 guide - so you can start to identify symptoms, and so you know how to take care of your ankle until you are able to seek medical attention.

Symptoms
Most ankle sprains happen when your foot is awkwardly planted on the ground while you abruptly twist or rotate your body, which can tear ligaments in your ankle. Pain is a common symptom of a sprained ankle. The torn ligaments often facilitate an aching or throbbing sensation that can develop immediately after incurring the injury and then linger for an extensive period of time. Swelling is another symptom of a sprained ankle. The swelling is caused by blood rushing to the damaged ligaments, and the swollen mark can remain concentrated on your ankle, or the mark can spread and expand to envelop your entire calf and foot area. As always, never self-diagnose yourself. It’s important that you seek help from a primary care physician or physical therapist if you think you might have an ankle sprain. 

Rest
Rest. Rest. Rest. Rest is likely going to be incorporated in your physical therapy recovery plan. For instance, the therapists can apply cold treatments to relieve the symptoms associated with the injury. The cold packs can decrease the swelling, alleviate the pain, and reduce the effusion of the affected area. The therapists can also provide compression wraps or socks to help optimize the rest treatment. The gentle compression applied by the wraps can help remove the swelling from the area, relieve the pressure from your ankle, and protect your leg during the rehabilitation process.  

Exercises
The best Wyoming physical therapists can also teach you stretches and exercises that can accelerate the ankle sprain rehabilitation process. Many stretches can help reduce the pain, increase the range-of-motion of your ankle, and restore the proper functioning of your leg. The therapist can perform stretches on your ankle during the sessions and then show you effective stretching techniques that you can perform in your home. Exercise routines can also help treat ankle sprains. During the sessions, the therapists can customize and develop specific routines according to which types of exercises would be most appropriate for your body and for your condition. These exercises can then accelerate the recovery process, strengthen your ankle, and prevent you from incurring similar ankle injuries in the future.  

Contact North Platte Physical Therapy to treat your sprained ankle. Our expert staff has acquired a prestigious reputation throughout Wyoming and Nebraska for providing exceptional and customized physical therapy treatments. We provide each client with the care and attention they deserve, we have access to the most superior treatment techniques available, and we would be glad to implement a treatment program that can alleviate the symptoms of your sprained ankle and maximize the functioning of your body.
 
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The physical therapy practices you should incorporate daily


February 27, 2020

Stretching and physical activity is key in physical therapy. Although you might not always need it, incorporating physical therapy exercises (particularly the stretching portion) will help improve your life more than you know! Everyone enjoys feeling their best, and light activity/stretching is the way to do so. We’ve compiled some of our favorite stretches, and why you should do them, all in one place! If you are considering getting in to a new physical activity routine, don’t hesitate to reach out to your Wyoming/Nebraska physical therapist or your primary care physician. 

The following are common stretches that we recommend, as well as things we have used with clients in the past. Give them a try - it should take five minutes!
  • Runner’s Stretch - The easiest way to describe this is that it looks like a lunge, except you have a knee on the ground! Lean forward into the stretch and hold for thirty seconds. REpeat on both sides.
  • Standing Toe Reach - Stand with your feet together, and bend at the waist. You’ll extend your arms straight in front of you and try to reach your toes. Hold for thirty seconds. 
  • Arm Circles - This is a good way to keep moving! Hold your arms straight out so they are at your side, even with your shoulders. Next all you have to do is make 10-20 circles forward and backward. 

There are some benefits to stretching and light activity every day. Here are the two of the biggest benefits from regular stretching/physical activity.
Muscle Strength: Everyday activities can be much easier if you have some built-up muscle strength. It particularly comes in handy when performing yard work or moving boxes, but we can promise it won’t just make household chores easier! Improved muscle strength will have you feeling better and healthier in no time. 
Flexibility: This one is a big one - through regular physical activity and stretching your flexibility will increase. This too will have you feeling better, but it will also help to prevent injuries that can happen if you overexert your muscles. 

It can be hard to fit physical activity in to your schedule, we recommend the following: 
  • Schedule - Create a schedule that you can stick to! For example, we have several clients who fit into a workout in the mornings around 7 am. Once you get into a habit, it’ll become easier. 
  • Prioritize - Prioritizing your workout is important. It’s easy to let work, children, and household chores get in the way but if you have an hour to watch TV you have 20 minutes to get a stretch in! Do both at the same time!
  • Workout Buddies - If you need to be held accountable, a workout buddy is the best way to do that! Once you start setting gym times to meet up it’ll become much easier.

If you are experiencing any pain, or are looking to get into a physical fitness routine, your primary care physician or physical therapist can help. Here at North Platte Physical Therapy, are here to help meet your needs. Physical therapy can be essential in healing from any knee-injury, and with proper care you can be back to your normal routine in no time. We serve the communities of Wyoming and Nebraska with 22 clinics offering a full range of physical therapy services. Contact us today for more information.


 
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