People sometimes say I smile a lot. A smile can go a long way for me or for someone else who is hurting. I grew up with joint pain, especially in my knees. I have had three knee surgeries, lots of physical therapists, and way too much pain. I now have Rheumatoid Arthritis in most of my joints. I am about to undergo hip replacement because the arthritis has attacked and destroyed my hip. My doctor suggested Aquatic Therapy to help me prepare for surgery, lose weight, and keep moving. I honestly didn’t want to try it. I have been through PT before with little relief. However it has been the best! Sometimes I don’t want to come, either I am having trouble walking, moving, it hurts too bad, or I’m just too extremely tired and worn out. Regardless of how I feel when I get into the pool I always feel better when I get out. With aquatic therapy I have been able to build strength and endurance. Sometimes you just have to grin and go forward. Life is a one time opportunity. I have found the entire staff, from the office associates to the assistant therapists to the actual therapists to be supportive, caring, and real. The PT’s sometimes push when I don’t feel that I can do anymore, yet they are able to reign me in when I try to do too much. You can see when people truly care about their job and the people they are helping. I see a special bond between the patients and the staff here that reveals they are well liked and have the person’s very best interest at heart. The staff members here at CPAT have touched my heart, given me some grace to continue to walk through life, and I watch them touch others. They are remarkable people who have come together to touch lives.
He is not your average total knee replacement patient. He began his long term relationship with PT after being injured in Vietnam. He suffered shrapnel injuries to both legs and almost lost his left let to amputation. Fortunately he was able to keep everything but his kneecap. Since that time he has undergone a total of 17 surgeries, including total knee replacements and revision on both legs. Less than two months after his most recent revision he is walking with a cane, when he remembers it. When asked what words of wisdom he could impart to other patients, he got straight to the point: “It takes A LOT OF HARD WORK to get where you want to be”. ~JW
According to the American Physical Therapy Association, physical therapists teach self-management skills to people with all types of conditions, including fibromyalgia. Physical therapists can show people with fibromyalgia how to relieve symptoms of pain and stiffness in everyday life. These health care professionals teach people with fibromyalgia how to build strength and improve their range of motion. They show them ways to get relief from deep muscle pain. And they can help people with fibromyalgia learn how to make sensible decisions about daily activities that will prevent painful flare-ups.
What Is Physical Therapy? Physical therapy focuses on the treatment, healing, and prevention of injuries or disabilities. Regular physical therapy programs may help you regain control of your fibromyalgia as you focus on lifestyle changes rather than on the chronic problems of pain, stiffness, and fatigue.
Proper posture, which your physical therapist will help you with, allows efficient muscle function. That results in your being able to avoid undue fatigue and pain. In addition, the therapist may use slow stretching exercises to help you improve muscle flexibility. Relaxation exercises that the therapist will show you will help you reduce muscle tension.
How Can a Physical Therapist Help my Fibromyalgia? A licensed physical therapist has a background in anatomy and kinesiology–the study of movement. If you have fibromyalgia, this allows the therapist to develop specific stretching and strengthening programs to meet your individual needs.
Physical therapists work with all types of patients–from infants to adults. They provide health services that help restore function, improve mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities. Working one-on-one with people, physical therapists help restore overall fitness and health.
How Can Physical Therapy Help Relieve Fibromyalgia Pain? While there is no known cure for fibromyalgia, physical therapy may help ease the symptoms of pain. It can also help reduce stiffness and fatigue. In addition to exercise, physical therapists use a wide range of resources–from deep tissue massage to ice and heat packs for hydrotherapy. With these tools, physical therapists can help people with fibromyalgia use their muscles, stretch for flexibility, and move their joints through range-of-motion exercises.
The benefit of physical therapy is that it allows a person with fibromyalgia to work closely with a trained professional who can design a fibromyalgia-specific treatment program. The therapist documents your progress and gauges whether you’re practicing good therapy habits, alignments, and movement patterns when doing “homework” or exercises at home.
The ultimate goal of physical therapy is for you to learn the specific exercises and then do them daily at home.
Why Does a Physical Therapist Use Hydrotherapy? Hydrotherapy with moist heat or cold packs works by stimulating your body’s own healing force. For instance, cold compresses reduce swelling by constricting blood vessels. Conversely, warm, moist compresses on painful areas dilate blood vessels. That increases the flow of blood, oxygen, and other nutrients and speeds the elimination of toxins.
Hydrotherapy works well for almost all types of pain, including fibromyalgia pain. Cold compresses may reduce the pain of an injury, such as a sprain or strain. Moist heat may give relief to fibromyalgia’s chronic muscle pain or trigger point pain. You may use a moist heating pad, a warm, damp towel, or a hydrocollator pack. You can also stand or sit on a stool in the shower and let warm water hit the painful area on your body.
Your physical therapist may recommend that you use moist heat for a few minutes just before and after stretching or doing resistance or aerobic exercise. Doing so will make the exercise less painful and more effective. If you want to use moist heat to decrease fibromyalgia pain, you might try it twice daily, about 15 minutes each time. Some people with fibromyalgia prefer alternating the ice compresses with the moist heat to get the most benefit.
What Other Tools Does a Physical Therapist Use for Fibromyalgia? The physical therapist may use different types of tools with fibromyalgia patients including: ~deep tissue massage ~low-impact aerobic conditioning (water aerobics) ~pain relief exercise ~stretching and strengthening exercises ~TENS units (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) ~ultrasound
I would like to thank everyone at Chesapeake Physical and Aquatic Therapy for all the help you have given me during the time I have been receiving therapy there. Your kindness and expert treatment is much appreciated! It means a lot to those of us who are suffering from chronic pain and discomfort. Hope is the greatest gift of all! ~RM
Intercourse pain, or dyspareunia, can cause problems in a couple’s sexual relationship. In addition to the physically painful sex, there is also the possibility of negative emotional effects, so the problem should be addressed as soon as it becomes evident.
What causes Painful Sex in Women?
In many cases, a woman can experience painful sex if there is not sufficient vaginal lubrication. When this occurs, the pain can be resolved if the female becomes more relaxed, if the amount of foreplay is increased, or if the couple uses a sexual lubricant.
In some cases, a woman can experience painful intercourse if one of the following conditions is present:
*Vaginismus. This is a common condition in which there is a spasm in the vaginal muscles, mainly caused by the fear of being hurt.
*Vaginal infections. These conditions are common and include yeast infections.
*Problems with the cervix (opening to the uterus). In this case, the penis can reach the cervix at maximum penetration, so problems with the cervix (such as infections) can cause pain during deep penetration.
*Problems with the uterus. These problems may include fibroids that can cause deep intercourse pain.
*Endometriosis. A condition in which the endometrium (tissue lining the uterus) grows outside the uterus.
*Problems with the ovaries. Such problems might include cysts on the ovaries.
*Pelvic inflammatory disease. The tissues deep inside become badly inflamed and the pressure of intercourse causes deep pain.
*Ectopic pregnancy. A pregnancy in which a fertilized egg develops outside of the uterus.
*Menopause. The vaginal lining can lose its normal moisture and become dry.
*Intercourse too soon after surgery or childbirth.
*Sexually transmitted diseases. These may include genital warts, herpes sores, or other STDs.
*Injury to the vulva or vagina. These injuries may include a tear from childbirth or from a cut (episiotomy) in the perenium (area of skin between the vagina and the anus) that is made during labor.
How Can Painful Sex in Women be Treated?
Some treatments for painful sex in women do not require medical intervention. For example, in the case of painful sex after pregnancy, wait at least six weeks after childbirth before attempting intercourse. Make sure to practice gentleness and patience. In cases in which there is vaginal dryness or lack of lubrication, try water-based lubricants.
Some treatments for female sexual pain do not require a doctor’s care. If vaginal dryness is due to menopause, ask a health care professional about estrogen creams or other prescription medications. Other causes of painful intercourse also may require prescription drugs.
For cases of sexual pain in which there is no underlying medical cause, sexual therapy might be helpful. Some individuals may need to resolve issues such as guilt, inner conflicts regarding sex, or feelings regarding a past abuse.
Call a doctor if there are symptoms such as bleeding, genital lesions, irregular periods, vaginal discharge, or involuntary vaginal muscle contractions and ask for a referral to a certified sex counselor if there are other concerns that need to be addressed.
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Debbie Bridges, MD on March 12, 2010
We at Chesapeake Physical & Aquatic Therapy want to assist and help make your life as productive as possible. If you have any questions concerning this issue please call one of our two locations and someone can answer your questions.
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Guidelines for healthy adults under age 65
Do moderately intense cardio 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week OR Do vigorously intense cardio 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week AND Do 8 to 10 strength-training exercises, 8 to 12 repetitions of each exercise twice a week.
Moderate-intensity physical activity means working hard enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat, yet still being able to carry on a conversation. It should be noted that to lose weight or maintain weight loss, 60 to 90 minutes of physical activity may be necessary. The 30-minute recommendation is for the average healthy adult to maintain health and reduce the risk of chronic disease.
CPAT is a great place to come when dealing with any kind of disability. With cervical spondylitis every couple of years the pain in the neck and shoulders has shown up causing me to come to CPAT. They have always been successful in getting the pain and range of motion back to normal as possible. My hat comes off to all the staff who had a hand in my improvement and discharge. Thanks for all you do!!!