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It’s Women’s Health Week! Questions? We Have Answers!

May 8th through the 14th is Women’s Health Week and the goal is to empower women to make their health a top priority and educate on the steps women can take to improve their health.  During the week, you can get the answers to top questions that are asked about Women’s Health. 

Women’s issues are important and most women suffer needlessly because they are not aware of the rehabilitation programming designed especially for women. Many patients suffer in silence from disorders caused from pregnancy, disease, musculoskeletal injury and surgery, or an unknown etiology.

Women’s Health physical therapists are trained to evaluate and treat the common conditions as well as more extensive diagnoses. The Tx:Team’s Women’s Health Program works with each patient on an individual basis with the ultimate goal of returning you to your daily routine as quickly as possible.  Physical Therapists work alongside you, the patient, to examine, treat, train, and educate.

Many of the diagnoses that women face are sensitive and can make a woman feel embarrassed. It’s time to get the conversations started! Since a women’s health program may be new to a majority of women, there are typically many questions surrounding how the program might help with your diagnosis or problem.

What does a Women’s Health Physical Therapist do?  

Women’s Health Physical Therapists provide specialized physical therapy services to diagnoses specific to women. These clinicians have received additional training for evaluation and treatment of the pelvic floor including both external and internal assessments.

What conditions does the Women’s Health Program address?

  • Urinary Incontinence
  • Pelvic Pain
    • Clitirodynia
    • Levator Ani Syndrome
    • Prudendal neuralgia
    • Vulvodynia/VVS
    • Dyspareunia
    • Coccygodynia
    • Tension Myalgia
  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse
  • Low/Mid Back Pain
  • SI Joint Dysfunction
  • Pregnancy related pain
  • PreNatal/PostPartum Conditions
  • Painful scars (c-section/episiotomy)
  • Diastasis Recti
  • Back Pain
  • Neck/Shoulder Pain
  • Painful Intercourse
  • Sacrococcygeal Joint Dysfunction
  • Osteoporosis
  • Lymphedema Management
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gynecological surgery (pre/post op care)
  • Myofascial Pain Syndrome
  • Pain associated with Interstitial Cystitis & Endometriosis

Tx:Team Women’s Health Physical Therapy programs can be found at FMH Rehabilitation in Frederick, MD. Ladies, it’s time to take the steps to improve your health and Women’s Health Week is the perfect time to start!

A Physical Therapy-First Approach to Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is affecting approximately 116 million people annually and this number continues to grow. According to the American Physical Therapy Association, the cost associated with these issues is $560–$635 billion every year in the U.S. for medical treatment, interrupted work time, and lost wages.

A Physical-Therapy First approach offers solutions to increase functionality, reduce or eliminate pain, and avoid or recover from surgery at much lower costs. At Tx:Team, our FOTO data, Net Promoter Score and patient satisfaction results show that we are consistently delivering superior outcomes and getting employees back to work with higher efficiency and effectiveness. Watch this quick video to learn more about how we address chronic pain issues through physical therapy:

At Tx:Team, we’ve been perfecting this physical therapy-first approach for almost 40 years and we routinely show above average results and much fewer visits than our competitors. Fill out this form to learn more about why working with us is good therapy:

    Please provide your email below to continue the conversation with Tx:Team.

    Physical Therapy to Combat Musculoskeletal Costs

    Musculoskeletal Costs are a top three expense on most health plans, and on some they’re even number one. This trend is not going anywhere, and if anything they are increasing. At Tx:Team, we’re looking to combat that. Dan is here to explain how:

    At Tx:Team, we are committed to getting our patients better faster and getting them out of the seemingly endless healthcare loop. Fill out this form to learn more about why working with us is good therapy:

      Please provide your email below to continue the conversation with Tx:Team.

       

      Tx:Team Has a New Look

      After 38 years in business, Tx:Team has a new look.

      Our rebrand kicks off the next chapter of Tx:Team’s story. Our new brand symbolizes revitalized energy and excitement about where we are going – it is modern, fresh, and relevant. We are building momentum and continuing to forge ahead as a fiercely independent, privately held, therapist-led organization.

      In July 2021, founder Greg Jennings transitioned majority ownership of Tx:Team to his longtime executive leadership team, who will guide the company through its next 40 years. Tx:Team was built on a solid foundation focused exclusively on providing high-quality therapy services. This remains the core of who we are, even as we adapt and change to meet the needs of all we serve. No matter what happens in the healthcare industry, we find ways to differentiate ourselves and deliver innovative rehabilitation solutions.

      When we were founded in 1983, our clients were primarily skilled nursing facilities. Since then, we have transitioned to working with hospital systems, senior living communities, and employer-based clinics.  As we evolve, so too does our brand.  We are now recognizable as Tx:Team, a national provider of physical, occupational, and speech therapy services operating in multiple states. We help our patients lead happier, healthier, and more active lives, which in turn, benefits the organizations we serve. We pride ourselves on being authentic and transparent.  We deliver customized therapy programs on behalf of our clients, and our nationally recognized outcomes speak for themselves.

      Satisfaction doesn’t stop with our patients and partners; it extends to our associates as well. We believe that therapy is fundamentally a human-to-human interaction, and we hire people who are excellent at healing. Tx:Team was founded by a therapist and is still operated by therapists.  We know how our therapists feel because we have walked in their shoes. Throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are proud to say we have not furloughed staff or eliminated positions, but instead, have found ways to keep our workforce intact and to continue providing exceptional patient care. We value our people because Tx:Team is our people.

      As we move forward with this new phase of Tx:Team, rest assured that we are still focused on providing the best in physical, occupational, and speech therapy. Tx:Team’s mission has always been to give everyone the best possible care, and that is never going to change. It is not just a mission statement up on the wall, it is the core of who we are. Working with us is good therapy.

       

      Is It Safe to Go to Rehab?

      Many people are wondering…is it safe to go to a therapy clinic? During the pandemic, many people have adjusted their lives; working from home, less social activities, and simply staying sedentary on the couch.

      All of these lifestyle changes can result in an increase of mild and chronic pains as well as a decrease in functional abilities. This is where physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology can step in and help.

      Delaying procedures, reducing spending on preventive care and chronic care could and oftentimes causes negative long-term impacts on a person’s health. A survey by the Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP) found…

      • 72% said that the pandemic has in some way impacted their health care.
      • 41% have delayed care during the pandemic.
      • 53% of seniors have delayed care.
      • 60% with chronic conditions have delayed care.
      • 38% will continue to delay care in the near future.

      Physical, occupational, and speech therapists are considered essential workers and have played an important role throughout the pandemic. Therapists’ treatment plans are individualized and specifically address function to improve a patient’s quality of life while also treating pain and preventing future problems.

      There are many conditions that physical, occupational, and speech therapists can treat to help patients avoid hospital visits. Therapists have been identified as professionals who can effectively deliver interventions to not only help patients with chronic pains which have been mounting up over the past months but they can also help those suffering from anxiety and depression, which has become more prevalent during COVID-19.

      Fortunately, we don’t have to change our clinic practices during this time because we have always operated in a one-on-one capacity with our patients.  Tx:Team is also ultra-focused on the safety of our patients and our clinics by social distancing from other patients and following all recommended CDC guidelines. Our clinics are working extremely hard to ensure cleanliness for each patient through proper sanitation; all equipment and areas are sanitized after each patient’s treatment. Our therapists are also well-trained on the use of PPE and hand hygiene.

      Our treatment philosophies remain the same – you will continue to get the same great service individualized for you in a one on one atmosphere that we have been delivering since 1983. Don’t ignore or delay possible care for a condition that physical, occupational, or speech therapy can help.  Come back to rehab confident that your safety and care is our top priority.

      What is Physical Therapy

      Physical therapy is a branch of rehabilitative healthcare that includes the evaluation, assessment, and treatment of individuals with limitations in functional mobility.

      Physical therapists are trained to assess your condition and help you regain maximal functional mobility and independence. They use a variety of treatment modalities and techniques to help you move better and feel better.  Treatment is highly individualized, cutting edge, and research-based to return patients to their optimum functional level.

      Often part of a rehabilitation team, physical therapists provide hands-on therapy, exercises and stretching maneuvers to patients with chronic conditions or serious injuries to ease pain and facilitate health and wellness.

      Through focused home exercise plans and individual attention, these professionals help patients restore their range of motion, build strength, improve flexibility and manage pain as they recuperate.

      Who benefits from Physical Therapy?

      If you have an injury or illness that results in pain, physical impairment, limited movement, or a loss of function, a Physical Therapist can help.  Some patients are referred to physical therapy from his or her physician, but others seek therapy directly.

      The benefits of physical therapy include:

      • Prevent the onset and or slow the progression of conditions resulting from injury, disease, and other causes
      • Pain management with reduced need for opioids
      • Avoiding surgery
      • Improved mobility and movement
      • Recovery from injury or trauma
      • Recovery from stroke or paralysis
      • Fall prevention
      • Improved balance
      • Management of age-related medical problems

      Physical therapists treat people across the entire lifespan. Many therapists have certifications or specializations to treat a certain population, like children, the elderly, or athletes. Regardless of age, if you have impaired mobility, a physical therapy evaluation may be warranted to offer treatment and a strategy to improve function.

      Physical Therapy and Safe Pain Management

      No one wants to live in pain. But when it comes to treating pain, where do you turn?

      Before you fill a prescription for opioids, consult with a physical therapist to discuss your options. “Given the substantial evidence gaps on opioids, uncertain benefits of long-term use and potential for serious harm, patient education and discussion before starting opioid therapy are critical so that patient preferences and values can be understood and used to inform clinical decisions,” the CDC states.

      Seek Out Physical Therapy at the Onset of Pain

      When pain begins, don’t try to self-diagnose or treat yourself. Physical therapy is the most conservative and least intrusive approach to managing your pain, which makes it a great first step. Not only can physical therapy successfully alleviate most pain, but it can also keep your pain from returning. A number of studies have even shown that PT can often be as effective as surgery for providing pain relief in some patients.

      A physical therapist can help identify the injured tissue (bone, muscle, tendon), and can put together treatments to help promote healing and reduce stress on the injured area. Your PT will be able to offer advice on how you can safely return to your normal activities without further damaging the injured tissue. With the assistance of your physical therapist, you’ll be able to recover faster and minimize risk of future injury or illness.

      How Can a Physical Therapist Help?

      A physical therapist educates patients on how to prevent or manage their conditions so they will achieve long-term health benefits. A PT can help any individual who needs assistance in the following: pain management, avoiding an orthopedic surgery, improving mobility and movement, recouping from an injury or trauma, recovering from stroke or paralysis, fall prevention, improving balance, or management of age-related medical problems.

      Having pain-free movement is crucial to your quality of life, and PTs can help identify and treat your movement problems. Your PT will design a treatment plan that is tailored to your needs, challenges, and goals. Waters Anchor physical therapists work every day to improve the health, mobility, and quality of life for their patients. For an effective treatment option, choose physical therapy to manage your pain.

      6 Myths About Physical Therapy

      Physical therapy is changing the way people overcome debilitating pain and lack of mobility. It is a conservative, cost-effective approach to restore function. However, common myths and misconceptions often discourage people from utilizing physical therapy. Tx:Team DPT, Megan, is here to debunk some of those myths.

      Myth #1: Physical therapy is only used following an accident or an injury.

      False. Physical therapy is often used to treat nagging pain due to sustained postures, abnormal movement patterns, and repetitive stress. Physical therapists are skilled at evaluating and diagnosing musculoskeletal issues and can be effective in treatment of these underlying causes, potentially preventing issues from becoming a bigger problem.

      Myth #2: Physical therapy is painful.

      Otherwise known as, “No pain, go gain,” this myth is partially false. Post-treatment soreness can occur; however, the goal of physical therapy is to mitigate pain and correct dysfunction. The physical therapist that you work with can adjust your treatment program, modify movements and exercises, and minimize discomfort to help you achieve your goals. The main goal of 95% of patients seen in the clinic is to decrease pain, so most of the time, that’s our goal too.

      Myth #3: It hurts, so I shouldn’t move it.

      Usually false. In some cases, it may be recommended that you rest and allow tissues to heal, so always check with your physical therapist first. But in most cases, the opposite is recommended. It’s usually more beneficial and will actually speed up recovery if you move the injured area. Most of the research out there suggests that early mobility leads to a faster recovery. The more you move, the better your outcomes. Or as we in the therapy world often say, “motion is lotion.”

      Myth #4: I need to see my doctor/surgeon prior to going to physical therapy.

      False. Patients have direct access to physical therapy. This means that you can see a physical therapist without a doctor’s prescription.  Some insurance plans require a prescription to utilize physical therapy services, so always check with your individual insurance provider. When accessing a Physical Therapist first, there are also the potential cost savings in co-pays, prescriptions, and imaging that could potentially be avoided.

      Myth #5: Physical Therapy is just massage.

      False. Physical Therapy is a multifaceted approach to restoring function which often includes, but is not limited to, manual techniques such as massage.  Neuromuscular re-education, exercise and activities, and the use of therapeutic modalities are also treatments used in your recovery. Your plan of care is specific to you based on your functional limitations and activity restrictions. The massage or manual  techniques are just one part of the comprehensive approach that may target specific tissues to complement other interventions within a treatment session.

      Myth #6 I have to go to a clinic to be treated by a Physical Therapist. 

      Not at all! With today’s technology, a patient is able to receive evaluation and treatment through telerehab platforms that enable virtual visits with your physical therapist from the comfort of your home.

      The Lymphedema Superheroes among us

      Today, Tx:Team celebrates Lymphedema Day and the work of therapists to serve those living with Lymphedema. Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists perform really incredible work so that their patients regain the strength and confidence to live a life they thought was out of reach. One of our own therapists, Amy Rutherford, pursued a specialty in Lymphedema therapy early in her career, and today, we highlight the care and compassion that she provides to the residents of Frankfort, Indiana.

      Amy works at IU Health Frankfort Hospital, located about an hour northwest of the state’s capitol, Indianapolis, in its more rural Clinton County. In her area, she mostly sees Lymphedema patients coming in with swelling of the lower extremities from COPD and diabetes. For Amy, she appreciates how simple lifestyle changes can greatly affect her patients and reduce the burden of Lymphedema on their lives.

      What’s Lymphedema?

      Lymphedema is a diagnosis of body swelling that is caused from damage to the lymphatic system. Whereas healthy bodies can manage their fluids and dispose of waste properly, bodies with damaged lymph nodes can build up the fluid that would normally be filtered out. On the outside, we see that buildup of fluid looking like an arm or leg that’s been blown up like a balloon.

      In early stages, Lymphedema is easily treatable and reversible. However, the signs of this stage are so subtle that they can be very difficult to detect. A patient might feel tight in clothing or they’ll need to loosen the notch of their wristwatch. By the time the body is noticeably swelling, Lymphedema has typically progressed into a lifelong chronic condition that can significantly interfere with someone’s quality of life.

      How does Lymphedema affect a person’s life?

      A swollen arm or leg can make it difficult for a person to get dressed in the morning because their body is heavier, and they might not fit in the clothes they usually wear. It can be more difficult to do some of life’s basic routines, like bathing, for example. Little things that we don’t think about in our everyday lives- like washing our feet- can suddenly become near impossible because it’s too straining to reach passed the swelling to the feet.

      It’s not just a physical condition. You can imagine that not being able to fit in your normal clothes and going out in public with a large swollen arm could affect your self-confidence. And if you can no longer wash your feet, you probably feel less clean than you’d like to be. For these reasons, Lymphedema can take a toll on a person’s mental health. Feelings of embarrassment and depression can creep in and linger throughout the day.

      Just about all superheroes don’t wear capes.

      Day in and day out, Amy is committed to making her patients feel healthy and great about themselves. She provides not only her expertise, but also compassion for her patients’ lives. When a patient arrived unable to properly clean himself, she knelt down to wash his feet. Really wash his feet of likely weeks of grime. “Cleaning a patient,” she says, “is work that really creates a bond. It’s work that reminds you of the biblical act of washing feet to show your care for another.” Encouraging patients to use proper soap and lotions, like Dove and Eucerin, and getting them to be a little more active in their day has undoubtedly improved the lives of many. We remember how simple, yet genuine care can impactfully change lives.

      So today, we thank Amy Rutherford for almost twenty years of work in her field. Lymphedema is a debilitating and frustrating condition that can bring a lot of pain into patients’ lives. Therapists like Amy, who have committed themselves to treating Lymphedema, offer support that restores independence and dignity to those they serve.

      Amy is just one of our Certified Lymphedema Therapists. We are thankful for all our CLTs and the work they do.

       

      Lymphedema & Physical Therapy

      Christina Kuzma, Manager of Business Development at Tx:Team, successfully battled breast cancer this year using physical therapy as an integral part of her treatment plan. She says that the one thing she would have done differently is to start physical therapy sooner. She began therapy the day after surgery with stretches and massages to target her lymphatic system. Despite her success, she thinks that her body would have been better prepared for the pain and stiffness if she had practiced therapy in the weeks leading up to her surgery. These pre-operation exercises are especially important when thinking about post-operation outcomes that can hinder a patient’s success. An example to consider, which often goes undetailed, is Lymphedema. Christina’s symptoms during radiation did not flare to become Lymphedema; however, reports show that having an extensive surgery, such as mastectomy, paired with radiation can increase the odds of facing Lymphedema six-fold.

      WHAT’S LYMPHEDEMA?

      Lymphedema can occur from any compromise to the lymphatic system; however, Lymphedema is especially common among breast cancer survivors because it can happen when lymph nodes are missing, impaired, or removed. Swelling will ensue if this system begins to have problems draining excess fluids, waste, or toxins from the body. Most commonly in breast cancer patients, the swelling shows in the arm or hand, and sometimes in the underarm, chest, trunk, or back. It can be a very serious, debilitating, and painful problem.

       

      To identify Lymphedema, know that it develops gradually; however, early detection is important. Uncomfortable sensations, like tingling or numbness, in any of the listed common areas precedes visible swelling of those parts. Some patients will also report feeling full or heavy, and others report decreased flexibility and tightness. Including a Lymphedema assessment in a routine follow-up visit with a doctor at most, 6 months after surgery, could substantially decrease the physical, emotional, and financial burdens of Lymphedema on breast cancer survivors. Early detection treatment and even a pre-surgical rehab visit can vastly improve your outcome if diagnosed with Lymphedema.

      MEET KIM BROWN

      Kim Brown is a Tx:Team Physical Therapist at FMH Rehabilitation Crestwood, in Frederick, Maryland. While she did not treat Christina directly, Kim is all too familiar with the diagnosis and treatment for patients just like Christina.

      Kim is trained and certified in Lymphedema treatment. Seventy-five percent of her clients are breast cancer patients. Due to the sensitivity of this condition, which balloons the body and causes intense, uncomfortable pain, Kim treats Lymphedema with private and personal care. According to Kim, “Success is defined by the empowerment of patients, with hopes of not only regaining their strength and living pain-free, but also regaining self-esteem and authority over their condition.”

      For that reason, education about Lymphedema is a big part of Kim’s job.  “Most patients haven’t tried much besides medication to cope with their pain or persistent disability,” says Kim.  It’s likely that for that reason, many patients arrive thinking that there’s no real opportunity to improve. However, alongside the use of manual therapy and bandaging to heal tissue and reduce swelling, Kim and her team of therapists teach their patients how to exercise and manage their condition on their own.

      There are few comprehensive studies conducted on Lymphedema in breast cancer patients, and as a result, Lymphedema can often be brushed over in conversation. Christina Kuzma reports that she only knew about Lymphedema thanks to a co-worker. Otherwise, Lymphedema was only mentioned to her quickly in a doctor’s visit as a potential outcome. Despite this serious lack of information and discussion, you are not an outlier if you experience this swelling and it deserves immediate attention. One study reports that in the first 18 months of recovery from breast cancer surgery, 1 in 10 patients experience Lymphedema. By 18 months, about 30% of patients have, or have had Lymphedema. Irrespective of these odds, it is most important to educate yourself on Lymphedema and keep tabs on the changes in your body as it undergoes intense and stressful circumstances.

      LIVE YOUR LIFE, PAIN-FREE

      It cannot be said enough how important it is to care for the health of your body and those you love. Circumstances can quickly change and you may feel out of control, but know that living comfortably is within reach. Especially to cancer patients, Kim Brown insists that there is always room for improvement. She says, “Beating cancer isn’t the end of your journey. Don’t accept weakness, fatigue, and pain as a part of your life post-cancer. Talk to your doctor and maintain that your goal is to return to the state that you were in before cancer came into your life.”

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