Benefits of Dry Needling Physical Therapy

Benefits of Dry Needling Physical Therapy

  • Fox Physical Therapy Dry Needling DN Miami

Learn how Dry Needling Physical Therapy can quickly relieve you from pains and soreness caused by injuries

What is Dry Needling and how can it eliminate your pain?

Dry needling is an invasive treatment technique, in which thin monofilament type needles are inserted into the muscles, ligaments, tendons, subcutaneous fascia, scar tissue, and nerves Dry Needling has been around for years, however, it is a relatively new treatment to many including patients in Florida since being approved in July 2020 for certified therapists. DN is being used successfully with professional athletes, weekend warriors for chronic pain, neck pain, headaches, low back pain, knee osteoarthritis, plantar fasciitis, sacroiliac joint pain, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff tendonitis, and many other common musculoskeletal conditions. At Fox Physical Therapy many of our doctors are certified in this therapyDry Needling, and patients can receive this type of therapy at our Miami and Boca Raton offices.

How does Dry needling work?

Dry Needling can target a vast number of structures in the body including scar tissues, tendons, ligaments, myofascial trigger points (MTrPs), bones, teno-osseus insertion sites, and neurovascular sites. With needle insertion, elicits a healing response through the release of chemical mediators at the brain known as endogenous opioids that repair and rebuild tissues along with improving blood flow with healing chemicals to that area. Depending on the tissue targeted, DN can reduce acute and chronic pain through the release of MTrPs within a muscle, improve range of motion through the breakdown of scar tissue, and help to heal chronically injured and degenerative tissues.

Is Dry Needling the same as Acupuncture?

Dry Needling is a western approach to medicine that differs from Acupuncture in the ideology of the application. Physical therapists using Dry Needling are specific to the tissues targeted to elicit the release of a chemical and cellular response at the neuromuscular level to reduce pain and improve function. Acupuncturists follow oriental medicine to insert needles along lines called meridians to restore energy flow through the human body known as “chi”.

Does Dy Needling hurt?

Dry Needling can be uncomfortable for patients. Pain, muscle cramps, and muscle twitches can be felt with the insertion of needles that occurs for short periods. When specifically targeting muscles, twitches and cramps are likely to occur if a Dry Needle is placed through an MTrP. This elicits a local twitch response (LTR), a quick reflex of a muscle that helps to relax, reduce chemical stress, and improve the flexibility of that tissue. Following Dry Needling, it is normal to feel soreness through the area for up to 2-3 days. The soreness after treatment is not intended to prevent functional activities or should be severe as that is a sign of overtreatment to an area.

What conditions does Dry Needling help with?

  • Acute and chronic injuries including but not limited to those below:
  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Plantar Fasciitis (Foot Pain)
  • IT Band Syndrome
  • Muscle Strains
  • Low Back Pain
  • Herniated or Bulging Discs
  • Sciatica
  • Stenosis
  • Neck Pain
  • TMJ Syndrome
  • Migraines/Headaches
  • Epicondylitis (Tennis/Golfers Elbow)
  • Upper Back and Shoulder pain
  • Piriformis Syndrome
  • Degenerative joint disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Scar formation
  • Chronic pain
  • Post-Surgical pain and dysfunction

Is Dry Needling Safe?

Yes. Physical therapists must be certified through one of the educational seminars that include hands-on practice and clinical skills.

Contraindications to Dry Needling that should be discussed with the therapist include:

  • Open wounds
  • Metastatic cancer
  • Infections
  • Impaired clotting ability or patients on anti-coagulant medications
  • Pregnancy, depending on the tissue being targeted
  • Pacemakers, depending on the tissue being targeted

Contact us today to learn how dry needling therapy can help you.

Fix Your Lower Back Pain by Strengthening the Gluteus Medius Muscle

  • stand up desk can solve frequent back problems miami boca raton

If you get frequent lower back pain that is not an underlying disease, the issue is likely due to a weak Gluteus Medius Muscle.

The Gluteus Medius is one of the three gluteus (butt) muscles that play a role in stabilizing the hips. The other two areas being the Gluteus Maximus and the Gluteus Minimus. The Medius muscle begins on the outer surface of the Illium, the hip bone, and attaches to the greater trochanter of the femur (a bony landmark at the top/outer side of the thigh bone). Its fibers run in a superior/inferior direction anchoring the pelvis to the femur. 

This matters the most when we remember that the spine rests upon the sacrum, a portion of the pelvis, specifically at the L5-S1 junction. Providing a foundation for the vertebral column can help in reducing back pain that is felt from prolonged standing and/or walking. Instability of the vertebrae can result in disproportionate compression of an intervertebral disc, causing nerve irritation prevalent in low back pain. 

More often than not, a patient will walk through our doors with reports of low back pain, and after some investigative work, we’ll learn that their job requires daily long hours of sitting. Jeong et. al1 demonstrate that the Gluteus Medius provides that stability to the pelvis when our body needs it. However, after sitting in a chair for many hours every day, these muscles will atrophy and no longer perform their designated job for months. This can result in vertebral instability, as mentioned above or worse, to leave a person susceptible to graver spinal cord injury when dealing with bigger movements such as deadlifting or squatting. 

How to Strengthen the Gluteus Medius Muscle

This article aims not to scare you from performing these movements; it is more the opposite. One of our strongest recommendations to those experiencing low back pain is to purchase a standing desk, which now creates a need yet again for those Gluteus muscles to stabilize the hip. We also frequently recommend performing exercises that target the Gluteus Medius, such as clamshells, bridges, sidestepping, side planks, as safe movements that re-introduce the patient to healthy activity while developing the musculature around the hip. 

To conclude, when treating low back pain, often a Physical Therapist elects to focus on establishing “core” strength by concentrating on the Transverse Abdominis and Abdominal Oblique muscles. Choosing to develop the Gluteus Medius is an alternative approach that many patients have experienced more relief than core work. If you’re someone who has no pain but is apprehensive about lifting, or if you are currently experiencing low back pain, the Gluteus Medius is a solid place to start. [1]

  [1] Jeong UC, Sim JH, Kim CY, Hwang-Bo G, Nam CW. The effects of gluteus muscle strengthening exercise and lumbar stabilization exercise on lumbar muscle strength and balance in chronic low back pain patients. J Phys Ther Sci. 2015;27(12):3813-3816. doi:10.1589/jpts.27.3813

Thoracic Spine High-Velocity Low Amplitude Technique

  • Thoracic Spine High-Velocity Low Amplitude Technique fox physical therapy miamii-boca-raton

Learn How the Thoracic Spine High-Velocity, Low Amplitude Technique can help those suffering from neck pain, cervicogenic headaches, and shoulder pain

Thoracic spine high velocity, low amplitude technique (HVLAT) is proven to benefit those presenting with primary complaints of neck pain, cervicogenic headaches, and shoulder pain.

A study by Cleland 2020 demonstrated that those who received thoracic spine manipulation exhibited a reduction in pain at 1 week and improvements in disability at 1 week, 4 weeks, and 6 months; thus it was concluded by the author that those patients with neck pain and no contraindications to manipulation shoulder receive thoracic spine manipulation regardless of clinical presentation.

In another study, it was concluded that 6-8 sessions of upper cervical and upper thoracic manipulation were shown to be more effective than mobilization, and exercise in patients with cervicogenic headaches and effects were maintained at 3 months. Lastly, in a study conducted by Dunning et al 2015, patients with shoulder pain who received upper thoracic HVLA thrust manipulations showed significant reductions in pain and disability and improvement in perceived level of recovery.

For more information on the thoracic spine high velocity, low amplitude technique, and to schedule, a consultation contacts us today.

Fox Physical Therapy Teladoc Services

Fox Physical Therapy Teladoc Services

Fox Physical Therapy Now Serving Patients in Miami and Boca Raton Through Teladoc-Telerehabilitation

We are currently keeping our doors open, and have launched our teladoc-telerehabilitation program to allow patients to continue their care without coming into the office. We understand how important it is to receive treatment and we have created the ability for therapists and patients to interact.

How to Schedule Physical Therapy Telreab

You have the option to speak on the phone or over a phone app called Simple Practice. Our program is HIPPA compliant and will be a video conference call with a therapist. We accept all major insurance carriers and now most insurance companies are now covering teladoc-telerehabilitation.  We can put you will be seen by a doctor one on one.

If you are interested in telehealth please call our main office 305-735-8901, and we can get you scheduled.

What is Fox Physical Therapy doing to prevent transmission of the Coronavirus?

As a health care company, we feel it is our duty to take part in helping to reduce the spread of the virus. We also understand that some patients really need treatment right now, especially if you had recent surgery, accident, or otherwise that is severely impacting your ability to function. As such, we will remain open to ensure patients get the care they need. We want to let you know that we are doing everything in our power to provide a clean and safe environment for our patients. This includes all staff washing hands in between patients, wearing gloves, masks if available, and constant cleaning of all surfaces with a disinfectant that kills coronaviruses. We will also be following the guidelines in regard to social distancing and ensuring that patients maintain a reasonable distance from others.

What can You do to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus?

If you are a patient of Fox Physical Therapy and you feel any symptoms, PLEASE do not come in for therapy. According to the World Health Organization, the three most common symptoms are fever, dry cough, and fatigue. Shortness of breath is an additional symptom that may indicate a more difficult situation. Take a look at the symptoms chart below for further detail. Current guidelines state that if you are feeling symptomatic, then please engage in a self-quarantine and contact your medical provider from your home.

How to Treat Frozen Shoulder

  • how to treat frozen shoulder pt miami boca raton

Frozen shoulder: An interventional approach to improving functional mobility.

By Dr. Tyson Young, PT, DPT, CSCS

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition that affects the shoulder in which it becomes painful and stiff due to the shrinking of the surrounding capsule. This condition may occur following an injury to the shoulder, including the rotator cuff capsule, or labrum. However, it may also come about insidiously. Frozen shoulder is linked to conditions such as diabetes and thyroid disease. This condition typically occurs in three stages: freezing, frozen, and thawing, and can take up to 18 months to reach full recovery. Patients can have difficulty performing everyday tasks that require reaching with the affected upper extremity, including, but not limited to, reaching into overhead cabinets, washing their back, fastening a bra strap, washing their hair, etc. This condition affects roughly 2-5% of the population. However, I have had the opportunity to work with several of these patients recently and would like to describe my treatment approaches to restore functional mobility.

Step 1: Passive Mobility

 Any time the goal set forth is to increase mobility, it is essential to keep in mind that there are several variables to consider. Real tissue change takes extreme dedication, and I tell my patients it takes months of intense and frequent repetitions to achieve this change. Most immediate change occurs due to neurophysiological relaxation. For example, I am performing a hamstring stretch on a patient, and the first repetition is held for 30 seconds, and then returned to the starting position. When I attempt to perform this stretch for the second repetition, often, the leg can move into a further range of motion. The muscle has not increased its overall length within this time frame, but instead, the muscle has relaxed due to the nervous system response. This is strictly a short-term response. However, we can utilize this to our benefit if performed correctly. I begin my mobility work with passive interventions to decrease pain and to guard, as well as promote increased joint and soft tissue mobility via the aforementioned neurophysiological relaxations. Typical responses include joint mobilizations, soft tissue mobilization, active release technique, passive range of motion, stretching, and foam rolling. 

Step 2: Active Mobility

After any passive intervention has increased the patient’s ROM, it is crucial to follow this with active mobility exercises in which the patient moves actively into the end range. This allows us to re-educate the nervous system to fire into the newly acquired range of motion. I like to describe this process with the following example. Performing passive interventions in isolation are like typing the perfect essay and exiting off of your work without saving. However, active mobility is essentially saving the progress made. Interventions that I employ for active movement include a dynamic range of motion, controlled articular rotations (CARS), progressive angular isometric loading (PAILS), and regressive angular isometric loading (RAILS).

 Step 3: Load 

The final step in my mobility sequence includes loading the tissues. There are several ways this can be done, including resistance training. However, the approach that I utilize with the highest frequency includes eccentrics. This is the phase of a muscle contraction in which the muscle is lengthening. Eccentrics have been repeatedly shown in the literature to create true tissue-level changes in flexibility.

Utilizing this sequential progression, I have had great success with my patients, and have seen much quicker functional gains than the previously mentioned 18 months. A frequent question that I am asked is, “how often should I perform my mobility exercises?” and my response is as often as possible but at a minimum one time/daily. However, with any intervention given to the pathological population, it is essential to monitor response and consistently re-assess. One rule of thumb that I give my patients is to expect some discomfort when performing mobility exercises. However, there should not be immense amounts of pain. It is crucial to have an understanding of pain vs. strain; when pushed too far, we can initiate an inflammatory response. Following any mobility work, it is vital that symptoms return to baseline values at a relatively quick rate, and should return within 24 hours. Should the symptoms last longer than this, an immediate re-assessment should occur from a medical provider.


J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2013;43(5):351. doi:10.2519/jospt.2013.0503

Debunking Myths behind the Deadlift

how to dead lift properly miami boca raton florida

Research shows that doing proper deadlifts DO NOT lead to lower back injuries.

We have all heard the saying that performing deadlifts is the worst thing you can do for your lower back, or you may know people who have horror stories about deadlifting and how it causes your discs to herniate immediately. This statement is not only an extremely outdated way of thinking but more dangerously, it feeds into the rhetoric that the human body is some weak and fragile thing that can break down at any second. Most exercise (whether performed in the gym or a physical therapy clinic) when performed incorrectly or when inappropriately loaded can lead to a potentially devastating injury. Taking that into consideration, the physical therapy community needs to stop shunning the deadlift as the culprit causing lower back pain and transition to using this movement (hip hinging) as a way to relieve pain and restore function.

What does the research say about deadlifting?

You should never blindly believe something just because it is on the internet, so let us provide you with facts supported by research. (Welch et al 2015.) Published a research study looking at the effects of a four-month free weight resistance training routine on patients with chronic low back pain incorporating deadlifts, squats, and step-ups. Their findings showed statistically significant improvements in fatty infiltrate of the lumbar muscles, a 72% decrease in pain scoring, 76% improves in disability measurements, and increases in quality of life assessments. Another study, Asa 2015, took patients with chronic low back pain. It had one group do deadlift training while the other group did low load exercises to target specific impairments, and both groups saw significant decreases in pain intensity as well as increases in strength and muscle endurance measurements.

The Nachemson Chart, which is a measure of intradiscal pressure (pressure on spinal discs) in response to compressive load, shows that prolonged sitting in a slouched position places almost as much compressive load as a deadlift. However, directly sitting leads us to stop activating our glutes due to constant compression on the soft tissue and reciprocal inhibition of the hip flexors. A proper deadlift builds posterior chain strength, core stability, and allows us to train our glutes to reduce strain on our spine with daily activities.

Overall, the main reason I am an advocate for deadlift training is that it can teach the patients a fundamental movement pattern; a proper hip-hinge (getting our hips to move without our low back flexing or rounding). One of the most important things to address when teaching a proper hip-hinge is the ability of your abdominal musculature to maintain a neutral spine (aka core stability). Educating our patients on how to deadlift incorporates lumbopelvic dissociation, core stability, and glute strengthening, and all 3 of these factors are all essential to any proper treatment of the low back.

Who can perform deadlifts?

I am not advising that a 65-year-old osteoporotic person should be performing deadlifts on day one of physical therapy evaluation. However, with proper treatment, education, and guidance, even this patient should eventually be able to complete an appropriate hip hinge. There are parameters for when a person is ready to begin deadlifting under load, such as patients with lower intensity of the pain (<60mm on the pain VAS) and with better lumbar spine endurance (>60 seconds on the Biering-Sorensen Test). A properly trained physical therapist can help a patient with low back pain progress towards doing deadlifts. The physical therapist should be a biomechanics and movement analysis expert and be able to discern which lower back patients would benefit from deadlift training (a vast majority in my opinion).

As a physical therapist myself, I can personally vouch for deadlifts in terms of treating LBP. I suffered a weight lifting injury in 2018 and was experiencing horrible low back pain and shooting pain down my left leg whenever I tried to get into/ out of my car, put on my shoes/ socks, and sit down for prolonged periods. After reducing my pain levels, my home exercises incorporated a lot of hip hinge training, core stabilization, and glute activation for me to properly learn how to deadlift. With time, patience, and progressively loading my spine via deadlifts and squats, I am now completely pain-free and without question much stronger than I was before my injury.

In conclusion, I think it is time to put to bed the stigma behind that deadlifting (especially heavy weight) is dangerous and should never be done in therapy. On the contrary, I think with proper coaching and progression, this exercise is one that will help strengthen your lower back and reduce the risk of future injury.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

New Physical Therapy Office Location Brickell


Fox Physical Therapy Opens A New Office In Brickell, Downtown Miami Florida

Fox Physical Therapy, Miami’s premier orthopedic and sports physical therapy center, is proud to announce that as of July 30, 2019, we have expanded with the opening of our third location in the Brickell area in Miami, Florida. Fox Physical Therapy is located inside Move Lift live in the stand-alone blue buildingthe new Brickell location will offer patients a hands-on, results-based approach to addressing a wide range of work, auto, orthopedic, and sports-related injuries or post-surgery therapy. This location will also offer an opportunity for future patients that work in the area to maximize their day by visiting us on their lunch break, before or after work.

“We are excited to be able to bring our expertise into Brickell and the surrounding neighborhoods of Coral Gables and South Miami. We understand the need for top-quality evidence-based care in this area and that is what we excel in!” said Owner and Licensed Physical Therapist Dr. Brett Fox PT, DPT, OCS, COMT.

This location will be led by Clinical Director Dr. Eric Alexander, DPT, OCS, Cert. MDT, CSCS who has been a part of the Fox Physical Therapy team for four years now. “I’m excited to provide specialized orthopedic and spine care to the Brickell community. Our goal at Fox PT is to help active people in Miami return quickly from injury and I feel this clinic fills a pressing need for skilled physical therapy in that area of the city” 

My (insert body part) cracks every time I… Is that bad?

  • hands cracking physical therapy miami boca raton

Does your body often make craking, popping, clicking, grinding noises when you move?

By: Dr. Ashley O’Rourke

This is one of the most frequently asked questions I get on a day-to-day basis. A patient will be on the table and say to me “my shoulder cracks every time I raise my arm…is that bad?” or “I feel a click in my knee every time I extend it…how do I get it to stop?”. The reality is that there are many explanations for these sounds- most of which are often entirely harmless if not accompanied by pain. There are, however, some cases in which the sounds should be addressed with the general rule of thumb being: any of these sounds occurring in a joint that is not accompanied by pain are typically nothing to worry about.

Let’s Differentiate the Noises:

Popping: all joints are surrounded by synovial fluid. Think of this as your body’s natural oil. It lubricates the joints to decrease friction between the surfaces. Changes are pressure- which can occur with movement- can cause gas bubbles to form within the fluid. When these bubbles implode or “pop” the sound associated with “cracking your knuckles” is produced. To physical therapists and chiropractors, this sound is known as a “cavitation”. They are painless, do not cause damage, and often even relieve symptoms (at least temporarily). It takes time for this gas to build back up, which is why you cannot repeatedly crack the same joint over and over and over again. While one should not be worried about cracking their knuckles from time to time, repeated attempts over a short period of time should be avoided as this can eventually cause changes in the joint capsule or train the brain into thinking they “need” to perform this activity over and over again (forming a habit) when in fact it is not necessary.

That being said, a “popping” sound coming from the lower leg that occurs after landing from a jump shot while playing basketball or in the knee after cutting/pivoting on the soccer field could indicate serious injury such as an Achilles rupture or ACL tear- both of which would most often be heard/felt in conjunction with pain.

Snapping: There are other sounds that are not serious, but over time could lead to chronic injury. An example of this could be snapping in the outside of the knee. In the beginning, this snapping sensation may be quite annoying, but not cause any pain. It is by no means an emergency, however, with repetitive motion and frequent activity this friction that occurs as the connective tissue (iliotibial band) rubs against and snaps over the thigh bone can cause inflammation and irritation of the tissue leading eventually to pain. Similarly, people can experience a like feeling in the hip known as the “snapping hip phenomenon.” This can be due to tightness in the muscles/tendons rubbing over the bone.

Clicking: this sound can sometimes be problematic if it is a result of connective tissue abnormalities such as a torn meniscus in the knee or torn labrum in the shoulder/hip. These would both be typically associated with pain. Additionally, sometimes a clicking sensation can be felt in the knee cap which can indicative of a tracking issue where the knee cap does not stay perfectly in the groove that it is meant to stay in. While this may not cause additional symptoms in the short term, it too could cause pain in the long term like patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) or generalized knee pain caused by muscular imbalances that lead to abnormal stresses to be placed upon the knee.

Shift/Clunk: This sound/sensation can be a little more concerning and indicative of instability or laxity in the joint leading to subluxation or full dislocation. People with joints that are “too loose” may experience clunking when the two joint surfaces rub together. Seeking treatment would be indicated to work on the stability of the joint through strengthening the tissue around it in order to prevent dislocations that could result in tissue damage such as torn ligaments/joint capsule damage etc.

Grinding: This type of sound is most often associated with general degeneration of cartilage within a joint, such as osteoarthritis, and occurs when there is bone on bone contact. This sound may increase over time as it is normal for joint surfaces to change with age.

Other Noises: sometimes a painful or non-painful “pop” can be heard during manual therapy- perhaps while a PT is moving a knee after surgery. This sound can be indicative of the breaking up of scar tissue and may be beneficial if it leads to improved mobility.

Free Consultation

If you are uncertain whether you are experiencing a normal joint sound or something problematic, let the qualified doctors at Fox Physical Therapy assess the tissue to determine whether intervention is warranted. Give us a call today for a free consultation.

Spinal Manipulation Treatment for Cervical Radiculopathy


Randomized Clinical Trials show Thoracic Spinal Manipulation to be an effective treatment for Cervical Radiculopathy

If you have symptoms of pain/tingling/numbness in your shoulder/arm or hand, it is likely a result of a problem stemming from your neck commonly known as cervical radiculopathy, and it is most commonly associated with a cervical disc derangement or other space-occupying lesions, resulting in nerve root inflammation or impingement. As a result of the nerve being compressed, it can send these symptoms down the arm and into the hand. Generally speaking, the further down the arm the signs travel the worse off it is. This is called peripheralization. When pressure is relieved in the neck and upper extremity, hand symptoms may disappear or move toward the area that is producing them- the point of origin (the neck). This concept is called centralization and is a good thing. This means that you are closer to recovering from your condition.

So does something as simple as cracking your neck help?

This is a question that people have wondered for years is does cracking your neck help to relieve the pain? Recent evidence supports that it does! The use of high velocity, low-amplitude (HVLA) thrust manipulation of the thoracic spine- or upper to the mid-back area- is evidenced to increase ROM and decrease pain more than the non-thrust mobilization of the same joints. In a study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, one session of thoracic manipulation resulted in improvements in pain, a disability rating, cervical ROM, and deep neck flexor endurance in patients with cervical radiculopathy. Immediately after treatment and around the 48-to-72-hour window following the procedure, the manipulation group had at least moderate improvements in symptoms compared to the sham manipulation group. The manipulation group also had moderate to substantial changes over time.

But is it safe? Could it worsen the symptoms?

In the same study, adverse reactions were also recorded and indicated that this should not be a concern. No increases in the neck, arm, or hand symptoms were reported immediately after the treatment or at the 48-to-72-hour follow-up. Additionally, no soreness lasting more than 3 hours was reported.

The findings of this study support clinician decision to use spinal manipulation for both immediate and short-term benefits for patients with cervical radiculopathy and support that thoracic manipulation specifically, in patients with cervical radiculopathy, is an effective early treatment option.

What are the sounds you hear with “popping or cracking” joints and where are they coming from?

This has also been a hypothesized subject for quite some time. The “popping sound” phenomenology is still not fully understood. Traditionally it has been accepted that the “popping sound” is a result of gas bubble collapse, but it is unclear whether or not this is true.

When there is a “pop”- formally known as a “cavitation,” it has also been unclear exactly where the sound is coming from until now. The popping sound, or high-frequency vibration, should be expected as the desired effect of HVLA thrust manipulation provided from an external force that creates motion at the joint level. The sound is one of the main features that define an HVLA thrust manipulation.

According to a recent study titled “Unilateral and Multiple Cavitation Sounds During Lumbosacral Spinal Manipulation” practitioners performing spinal manipulation at the low back-pelvis area, or lumbosacral region (specifically L5-S1), should expect multiple popping sounds that most often occur on the upside or the downside facet articulations, but not typically both. There is, however, still question as to whether the multiple “popping sounds” found in this study emanated from the same joint or adjacent ipsilateral or contralateral facet joints. Therefore, it cannot be determined whether or not it is possible to isolate a single spinal segment during HVLA nor whether the relief felt by the patient is due to “correcting” a single-targeted joint dysfunction or multiple at once. The methods also may not necessarily be able to explain all of the audible sounds during HVLA thrust manipulation.

The study WAS able to determine that the “popping sounds” were no more likely to occur on the upside [176 ipsilateral pops] or the downside [144 contralateral] pops) during [60] HVLA thrust manipulations, but they were almost always unilateral with only 2% of cases resulting in “popping sounds” occurring on both sides. Further research is needed to investigate the remaining unknowns.

Who can perform this treatment for me?

At Fox Physical Therapy, all of our clinicians can perform the thoracic manipulation treatment described above. Additionally, Dr. Fox, Dr. ‘O’Rourke, Dr. Alexander, and Dr. Espinosa are all SMT-1 certified having completed additional continuing education specifically in Spinal Manipulation Therapy. Let us help you today!

Why You Should See a Doctor of Physical Therapy When You First Get Injured 

doctor of physical therapy

Why You Should See a Doctor of Physical Therapy When You First Get Injured

Studies show that seeking treatment from a physical therapist can speed up healing time, reduce medical expenses, and lessen the need for pain medication

A Doctor of Physical Therapy is trained to evaluate and treat a variety of conditions ranging anywhere from chronic lower back pain to stroke. But why see a physical therapist before another provider? According to a study of 150,000 insurance claims, patients with low-back pain are actually better off seeing a physical therapist first in regards to alleviating their pain. The study, published in Health Services Research, found that those who saw a physical therapist at the first point of care had an 89 percent lower probability of receiving an opioid prescription (therefore avoiding the risk of addiction), a 28 percent lower probability of having advanced imaging services performed (saving the patient money), and a 15 percent lower probability of an emergency department visit. It did, however, show a 19 percent higher probability of hospitalization- but why is this a good thing?
This higher rate of hospitalization indicates proper referrals by PTs to specialized care when pain does not resolve by addressing potential musculoskeletal causes first and, instead, may indicate a more serious issue such as an underlying systemic condition-heart condition, renal failure, cancer etc. Not only can physical therapy make you feel better, but it can reduce the cost of unnecessary imaging, reduce potential dependence on pain medication and “catch” potential underlying conditions early leading to better treatment options and outcomes for such conditions.

Why seek care from a Doctor of Physical Therapy versus a traditional Physical Therapist?

The ability to recognize and properly refer patients who present with conditions that do not appear to be musculoskeletal in nature is one reason why seeing a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), would be advisable versus seeing a traditional Physical Therapist Assistant or Technician. This ability to screen patients for various non-musculoskeletal conditions is one reason why the doctorate level degree was developed in the first place. These DPTs have had additional coursework focused on recognizing yellow and red flags for general medical conditions that may not be treatable with physical therapy. They have also had more education on the nature of such comorbidities leading to a more holistic approach to therapy.

Did you know that a physical therapist can specialize in certain injury types and sections of the body?

Although 42% of patients know that physical therapy can only be performed by a licensed physical therapist, 37% still believe other health care professionals can also administer physical therapy. What they may also not know is that additionally, many Doctor’s of Physical Therapy choose to pursue board certification by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) in specific areas such as neurology, orthopedics, sports, pediatrics, geriatrics, electrophysiology, cardiovascular & pulmonary and/or women’s health. This means that if you are seeking treatment from a DPT with these credentials, you have the opportunity to obtain more specialized care.

Specialty Physical Therapy Credential Designations:

In order to become specialized PTs must: 1) have current licensure to practice physical therapy in the United States, Puerto Rico, or the Virgin Islands; and 2) have at least 2,000 hours of direct patient care in the specialty area (25% of which must have occurred within the last 3 years). Additional specific requirements are required by each specialty area. PTs must pass the specialist certification examination and be recognized by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties to use the above designations.
• CCS (Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Certified Specialist)
• ECS (Clinical Electrophysiologic Certified Specialist)
• GCS (Geriatric Certified Specialist)
• NCS (Neurologic Certified Specialist)
• OCS (Orthopaedic Certified Specialist)
• PCS (Pediatric Certified Specialist)
• SCS (Sports Certified Specialist)
• WCS (Women’s Health Certified Specialist)

What is the difference between a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Physical Therapy Assistant or Physical Therapy Technician?

Physical Therapist (PT): Physical therapists are licensed professionals who have completed an accredited physical therapist program (degrees have evolved from 4-year bachelor degrees to 7-year clinical doctoral degrees) and have passed a licensure examination.
Physical Therapist Assistants (PTA): are educated at the associate degree level. Depending on state law, they may be licensed, certified, registered, or unregulated depending on the state. PTAs may only provide physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist (PT). They may not perform evaluations, re-evaluations, discharges or alter the plan of care. They may only execute the plan of care established by the PT.
Physical Therapy Technician: have no regulatory designator. Physical therapy aides and technicians are on-the-job-trained workers in the physical therapy clinic who assist the PT/PTA with tasks related to physical therapy services. They are not eligible for license, certification, or registration.
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