Common Non Body Part Specific Ailments We Treat
At In Motion O.C., we excel in helping our patients overcome and manage their sports-related injuries and physical ailments. Treatment varies based on each patient’s unique needs, body and injury, which is why our expert team of doctors of physical therapy develop individualized therapy programs for all of our patients. We treat an expansive list of injuries, including the common ailments listed below and much more.
Arthritis refers to joint pain caused by inflammation or irritation. Arthritis can develop in most joints and occurs as a result of cartilage reduction via aging or joint overuse. There are many types of arthritis and symptoms may vary, but common symptoms include aching joint pain, joint stiffness and joint swelling.
Treatment for arthritis depends on the location and type of the condition but may include medication, joint replacement surgery, steroid injections and physical therapy. Physical therapy treatment for arthritis focuses on strengthening and stretching the muscles surrounding the affected joints to alleviate some of the painful symptoms.
Bursitis is a condition that affects small fluid-filled sacs in the joints called bursae. Bursae are responsible for cushioning the joints and decreasing friction between bones and tissue. Bursitis develops when the bursae become inflamed or irritated by repetitive impact during sports and other day-to-day activities, including leaning on the elbows and kneeling while gardening or cleaning floors. Common areas susceptible to bursitis include the knees, elbows, shoulders and hips. Symptoms of bursitis include pain, swelling, achiness and redness at the affected joint.
Treatment for bursitis involves resting, protecting the affected joint with pads, physical therapy and icing after physical activities. Bursitis may be successfully managed at its onset using a variety of treatment interventions, but more severe or prolonged cases can require steroid injections or even surgery.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a wrist condition that develops as the result of pressure on the median nerve that controls the movement of the thumb and fingers. Symptoms include tingling, weakness and numbness in the hand. Carpal tunnel is commonly caused by repetitive activities that place the wrist joint in an upward or downward position for prolonged periods of time, including typing, playing video games and playing piano, as well as using power tools that vibrate through the hands.
Carpal tunnel may be treated by physical therapy, wearing wrist splints, sleeping with a wrist brace and avoiding movements that overextend the wrist joint. If carpal tunnel has been left unmanaged, treatment may involve steroid injections or even surgery for more severe cases. Addressing symptoms at their start is imperative to avoiding more invasive and painful treatment options.
A herniated disc occurs when one of the soft gel-like discs between the vertebrae of the spine slips out of place and protrudes into nerves and surrounding tissue. Symptoms of a herniated disc include pain in the lower back or along one side of the body, unexplained muscle weakness, and pain that worsens with movement and activity. Herniated discs typically develop with aging, as the natural degeneration of the discs makes them more prone to slipping during exercise, heavy lifting or normal daily activities.
Treatment for a herniated disc may include muscle relaxing medication, steroid injections and physical therapy. Surgery may be necessary in rare cases. Physical therapy for herniated discs focuses on improving posture, strength and flexibility to reduce the pain and symptoms resulting from the injury.
Sciatica results from pain along the sciatic nerve that spans from the spinal cord in the lower back through the hips and down the leg on either side of the body. Pressure on the nerve caused by a herniated disc, bone spur and other sources of inflammation narrows the sciatic nerve and send pain down the lower half of the body. Symptoms of sciatica can include pain extending from the lower back to the back of the leg, numbness, tingling and difficulty moving the affected leg. Sciatica typically only affects one side of the body.
Treatments for sciatica include physical therapy and stretching, bed rest, alternating hot and cold application, and anti-inflammatory medication. Noninvasive treatment can alleviate the symptoms of sciatica. In severe cases resulting from herniated discs and other ailments, surgery may be necessary to eliminate the pain.
Scoliosis is an abnormal sideways curve of the spine that typically occurs during puberty. While the cause of scoliosis is unknown, genetics play a role in its development. Because scoliosis produces visible asymmetry to the spine, it is typically easy to diagnose. If left untreated, scoliosis can cause lung problems, chronic back pain and other serious conditions.
Treatment options for scoliosis are limited since it cannot be fully cured. However, back braces worn during puberty may reset and straighten the spine over time. In some cases, spinal surgery may be used to permanently keep the spine straight. Physical therapy may be utilized before or after surgery and to manage ongoing scoliosis. Muscle strengthening exercises can be used to support the muscles surrounding the spine. Stretching and mobility exercises may also be prescribed to decrease or eliminate a limited range of motion.
Tendonitis is a common condition that involves inflammation or irritation of a tendon. Tendons are thick cords in the body that attach muscle to bone. Because tendons are present all over the body, tendonitis can occur around any joint. Commonly, tendonitis occurs in the elbow, knees, shoulders, wrists or heels and may be referred to by other names like tennis elbow, pitcher’s shoulder and more.
Tendonitis is caused by the repetition of specific motions that place stress on the joint. Many patients with tendonitis develop it from frequent exercise and improper stretching or warmup. Jobs that involve repetitive movements or placing the body in awkward positions, as well as poor form when exercising, may lead to tendonitis. Treatment involving rest and physical therapy should be sought out at the condition’s onset, as avoiding treatment may lead to tendon rupture, a much more serious injury.
Overcoming Injury at In Motion O.C.
If you suffer from any of the above ailments or anything not listed, then schedule a physical therapy consultation at In Motion O.C. to discuss treatment and recovery. Call us today at 949-861-8600 to schedule your appointment.
*This information about physical therapy for non-body part specific ailments was reviewed by Dr Natalie Thomas, PT, DPT. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us here.