The term “physical therapy” may conjure images of a trained specialist helping you regain your mobility after a sports or work injury, or after providing post-surgery rehabilitation.

But did you know that a physical therapist (PT) is equipped to help treat a wider variety of physical and mental problems?

Let’s take a look at some of these lesser known ways PTs can help you:

Ø  They can retrain your brain. Following a concussion, stroke, or other type of traumatic brain injury, it can be difficult to walk, exercise, or do any activity that was previously easy. However, physical therapy can be used to teach damaged motor pathways in your brain how to function. Essentially, it helps rebuild the connections between your brain and muscles. A physical therapist with a specialty certification in neurology can provide this kind of rehabilitative therapy.


Ø  They can help restore your equilibrium (balance). If you’re experiencing benign proximal positional vertigo (BPPV), a PT who subspecializes in treating vestibular disorders can guide you through a series of head, neck, and body movements known as the Canalith Repositioning Procedure, or Epley maneuver, to clear your inner ear system of a buildup of calcium carbonate crystal that interferes with normal function.


Ø  They can help you recover from a heart attack. A PT can help you strengthen your heart muscles with basic exercise prescribed carefully to ensure that you don’t push your body too far. This particular regimen reduces risk factors for future heart disease, while improving how your heart heals.


Ø  They can help you breathe a lot easier. If you’re suffering from a chronic lung disease like emphysema, it can make breathing difficult and lead to other problems, such as muscle loss. Using aerobic exercise, a physical therapist can enable you to optimize your breathing patterns and oxygen intake, thereby building muscle, improving your breathing, and clearing your lungs.

Ø  They can reduce your head, jaw, and neck pain. Bad posture and excessive stress can exacerbate jaw and neck pain, as well as tension headaches. A physical therapist can use manual therapy to loosen muscles and tissue, and then postural exercises to treat and prevent these problems.


Ø  They can ease your aching back. A PT can help put an end to low back pain with a combination of postural exercises and active therapy. He or she can lead you through exercises where you bend forwards or backwards to counterbalance your typical posture. Then, a core stability program can help you engage your supporting core muscles more fully.



Ø  They can even help solve your urinating problems. A physical therapist can help you with stress incontinence. This is caused by weak pelvic muscles and can be remedied with pelvic floor exercises that strengthen the muscles and allow you to gain bladder control.


Contact the Tucson Orthopaedic Institute at one of their several area locations to find out if physical therapy is right for your condition. You can schedule an appointment online to be examined by one of their highly qualified, board-certified orthopedic surgeons. At Tucson Orthopaedic Institute, physical therapy is an integral part of recovery, helping strengthen the mind and body for the long journey of life.


The Best Exercises For Rotator Cuff Pain
The Best Exercises For Rotator Cuff Pain

Ask any athlete or avid sports fan and they’ll tell you that shoulder injuries are among the worst you can sustain. Not only are they extremely painful, but they are slow to heal and can limit your activity. That’s particularly true of rotator cuff pain. The pain and loss of mobility from a rotator cuff injury can be daunting, but following the proper protocol for exercise and rest is important for the best pain relief and optimal recovery.

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint. It keeps the head of your upper arm bone firmly within the shallow socket of the shoulder. When the rotator cuff is injured, it causes a dull ache in the shoulder, which often gets worse when you try to sleep on the side of the injury, or exacerbate the injury further with continued activity.

Rotator cuff injuries usually occur when people repeatedly perform overhead motions at work or while playing sports. Repetitive, overhead motions wear down the rotator cuff muscles. That’s why it’s a common injury among baseball and tennis players, as well as painters and carpenters. It can also be the result of a traumatic injury, such as falling onto your arm.

The most common rotator cuff injuries are:

  • Impingement – This occurs when a rotator cuff muscle swells and cramps the space between the arm and shoulder bones, causing pinching.
  • Tear – This occurs when a rotator cuff tendon or muscle is torn.

In any case, the risk of sustaining a rotator cuff tear increases as we age, and the wear on our bodies accumulates. Surgery is an option, but for many people dealing with rotator cuff pain, physical therapy may be a better way to recover.

First, try the RICE method – rest, ice, compression, and elevation – immediately following an injury, to reduce pain and swelling. Once the swelling has diminished and your arm is no longer painful to move, there are certain exercises that can help you heal. These include:

  • The Doorway Stretch: Warm up you muscles by standing in an open doorway and spreading your arms out to each side.
  • Grip the sides of the doorway with each hand at or below shoulder height, and lean forward through the doorway until you feel a light stretch.
  • Keep your back straight as you lean and shift your weight onto your toes. You should feel a stretch in the front of your shoulder. Do not overstretch.
  • Side-lying external rotation: Lie down on the side opposite your injured arm.
  • Bend the elbow of your injured arm to 90 degrees and rest the elbow on your side. Your forearm should rest across your abdomen.
  • Hold a light dumbbell in the injured side’s hand, keeping your elbow against your side, slowly raise the dumbbell toward the ceiling. Stop rotating your arm if you feel strain. Hold the dumbbell up for a few seconds before returning to the start position with your arm down. Repeat three sets of 10 up to three times per day. Increase reps to 20 when a set of 10 becomes easy.
  • High-to-low rows: Attach a resistance band to something sturdy at or above shoulder height. Be sure it is secure, so it doesn’t come lose when you pull on it. Get down on one knee so the knee opposite your injured arm is raised. Your body and lowered knee should be aligned. Rest your other hand on your raised knee. Holding the band securely with your arm outstretched, pull your elbow toward your body. Keep your back straight and squeeze your shoulder blades together and down as you pull. Your body should not move or twist with your arm. Return to start and repeat three sets of 10.
  • Reverse fly: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Keep your back straight and bend forward slightly at the waist. With a light weight in each hand, extend your arms and raise them away from your body. Do not lock your elbow. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as you do so. Do not raise your arms above shoulder height. Return to start and repeat three sets of 10.
  • Lawn mower pull: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place one end of a resistance band under the foot opposite your injured arm. Hold the other end with the injured arm, so the band goes diagonally across your body. Keeping your other hand on your hip and without locking your knees, bend slightly at the waist so the hand holding the band is parallel to the opposite knee. As if starting a lawn mower in slow motion, straighten upright while pulling your elbow across the body to your outside ribs. Keep your shoulders relaxed and squeeze your shoulder blades together as you stand. Repeat three sets of 10.

When You Should See a Doctor

These exercises can help build strength and flexibility after a minor rotator cuff injury. However, consult a doctor if you experience symptoms of a more severe injury, including intense pain or a deep ache, swelling, difficulty raising your arm, or difficulty sleeping on your arm more than a few days after your injury.

If you are experiencing chronic pain in your shoulder, contact the Tucson Orthopaedic Institute at one of their several area locations. You can schedule an appointment online to be examined by one of their highly qualified, board-certified orthopedic surgeons. At Tucson Orthopaedic Institute, there are many non-invasive treatment options for diagnosing and treating shoulder pain, and we will work with you every step of the way until your pain subsides. With several area locations, you can request an appointment online for the office closest to you.


Should you see an orthopedic doctor for shoulder pain?
Should you see an orthopedic doctor for shoulder pain?

You may not realize it, but the joints in your shoulders provide a wide range of motion and flexibility. They are what enables you to lift your arms, swing a golf club, swim laps in the pool, and many other activities we take for granted.

Since we rely on the shoulders for so many different activities, it’s important to consult an orthopedic doctor when pain in your shoulder due to injury or wear and tear limits mobility.

Whether you’re a young athlete who recently sustained a fracture, a middle-aged worker whose everyday activities include heavy lifting, or a senior coping with the aging process, there’s no reason to live with shoulder pain when an orthopedic doctor can help restore mobility and relieve your discomfort.

How to Tell When It’s Time to See the Doctor

We all live with occasional aches and pains. Many of them are resolved without medical care and don’t necessarily require the services of an orthopedic doctor. Rarely will you do additional damage by giving shoulder pain reasonable time to get better. But there are signs when a medical appointment may be in order.

One symptom of a rotator cuff tear is when it hurts you to do the same activity over and over. Another is the loss of range of motion. If you can’t bear to reach up over your head to place something on the overhead shelf of your closet, or simply put your hand into your back pocket, then it’s time to see the doctor – especially if the pain is keeping you up at night.

An orthopedic doctor will provide a comprehensive examination to determine the cause and severity of your shoulder problem. In addition to a physical exam, you will be asked important details about the pain, such as when it started, how it has progressed over time, and what specifically causes the problem to get worse or better.

Next, the doctor will examine your shoulder to see how it moves and where it actually hurts. He or she will also gauge how strong the components of the rotator cuff and other muscles around the shoulder are. An X-ray may be necessary to see the structural integrity, or even an MRI to examine the soft tissue components of the shoulder, including the muscles, tendons, and cartilage.

From there, treatment for your shoulder pain could range from non-invasive therapy options to surgical repair. Most shoulder problems will improve with physical therapy over time, and injections can help decrease the pain and inflammation. However, if nonoperative treatments fail to relieve the pain, arthroscopic surgery may be recommended.  The procedure uses small incisions for very thin instruments such as a scope, that enables people to recover more quickly and with less pain after the operation. 

Don’t Shoulder Your Pain Alone

If you are experiencing chronic pain in your shoulder, contact the Tucson Orthopaedic Institute at one of their several area locations. You can schedule an appointment online to be examined by one of their highly qualified, board-certified orthopedic surgeons. At Tucson Orthopaedic Institute, there are many non-invasive treatment options for diagnosing and treating shoulder pain, and we will work with you every step of the way until your pain subsides.

Is it carpal tunnel or arthritis?
Is it carpal tunnel or arthritis?

In our hectic, busy world, our limbs get quite a daily workout – especially at work. Too much stress, strain, and repetition working with your hands can lead to hand and wrist pain. But is that numb and tingly sensation you’re experiencing a symptom of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

It can be hard to tell unless you know the characteristics of each condition. Both are easily confused because they cause the same type of pain and discomfort in hands and wrists. However, they are quite different in terms of their cause and how they are treated. 

Let’s compare the two…

Identifying RA

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder in which chronic inflammation affects the small joints in your hands or feet. It occurs when your immune system mistakenly targets the lining of your joints, resulting in painful swelling that can cause severe joint problems.

Symptoms of RA include:

·       Morning stiffness that can last for hours

·       Tender, swollen joints

·       Rheumatoid nodules - firm bumps of tissue under the skin on your arms

·       Fever, fatigue, and weight loss

At its outset, RA affects your smaller joints, particularly the ones that attach your fingers to your hands and your toes to your feet. As the condition progresses, these symptoms usually spread to your wrists, knees, ankles, elbows, hips and shoulders.

Currently, there is no cure for RA, but there are medications that treat it by reducing joint inflammation, thereby relieving pain and slow joint damage. If you are diagnosed with RA, your rheumatologist may recommend occupational or physical therapy designed to help you protect your joints and keep them flexible. However, If RA has already severely damaged your joints, you may need surgery.

How to tell if it’s Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

There is a narrow space that’s formed between the bones and ligaments in the center of your wrist called the carpal tunnel. Through this space runs the median nerve — which controls the sensation in your thumb, index finger, and middle finger.

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the tendons that also run through the carpal tunnel become inflamed, irritating the median nerve and causing pain, numbness, and tingling in your hand and arm.

This numbness and tingling affects your thumb and first two or three fingers – but not your pinky finger – and extends up your forearm. It can be triggered by any repetitive motion, by holding a phone, or gripping the steering wheel while driving.  You may feel weakness in your hand and tend to drop things you’re holding. That’s because of the numbness or weakness of the thumb’s pinching nerve.

In the early stages of CTS, it gets better if you shake your hand. Mild cases of CTS also can be relieved by taking frequent breaks to rest your hand, avoiding activities that worsen your symptoms, or using cold packs to reduce any swelling.   

However, if these methods don’t relieve your symptoms within a few weeks, you should consult your doctor. Carpal tunnel syndrome is treatable with splinting, medications, injections, rest, and even surgery.

If you are experiencing chronic pain in your hands or wrists, contact the Tucson Orthopaedic Institute at one of their several area locations. You can schedule an appointment online to be examined by one of their highly qualified, board-certified orthopedic surgeons. At Tucson Orthopaedic Institute, there are many non-invasive treatment options for diagnosing and treating hand and wrist pain, and we will work with you every step of the way until your pain subsides.


While surgery is sometimes the only way to treat a physical condition, the more conservative approach is to first try physical therapy. If physical therapy eliminates your pain or helps you heal from injury, there may be no need for surgery. And, if you do need to undergo surgery, pre-surgical physical therapy can often put you into better physical condition to withstand the surgery, and possibly help provide a better recovery outcome.

Surgery and Other Invasive Procedures Carry Risks

The fact is, anytime an invasive procedure is performed on a patient, there are risks. Although the exact risks often depend on the exact type of surgery you are having, here are just a few general risks surgery exposes you to:

·        Whenever your body is cut open, it exposes you to the possibility of infection

·        Bleeding problems can occur during surgery

·        Blood clots can be caused by surgery

·        Occasionally, complications from the anesthesia may occur if the patient has a reaction to   anesthesia drugs.

·        Anesthesia can cause aspiration, or breathing food or fluid into the lungs. This can be serious.

·        Anesthesia can cause elevated heart rate and blood pressure in some patients during surgery

Physical Therapy Benefits

Physical therapy has long been used as a conservative treatment before surgery is considered. Now, medical studies are showing that physical therapy can sometimes be as effective as surgery:

·        Studies have shown that physical therapy can be as effective as surgery in providing pain relief for some lower back conditions, such as spinal stenosis.

·        The New England Journal of Medicine published a study that found physical therapy to be as effective as surgery for treating meniscal tears and knee osteoarthritis.

·        A study conducted at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital found that patients with degenerative disk disease responded as well to physical therapy as to surgery.

·        Physical Therapy has been found to successfully treat patients suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome

As more studies are completed, many doctors believe physical therapy may provide a non-invasive method of treatment for many patients, allowing them to avoid surgery.

Physical Therapy Helps Your Body Heal Itself

Our bodies are designed to heal themselves of certain conditions, given the proper treatment options and nutrition. Surgery should rarely be the only treatment offered, unless it is an emergency situation.

Doctors are recognizing that physical therapy treatment plans are effectively helping their patients. Part of this is because treatment plans can be custom-designed for the patient’s individual goals, needs, and challenges.

As researchers discover the positive impact of physical therapy on patients’ conditions, instead of undergoing surgery, more doctors are recommending physical therapy, first, as a non-invasive, more gentle way of healing the body.

If you are considering surgery, and are looking for less invasive treatment options, contact the Tucson Orthopaedic Institute to schedule an appointment today. Visit one of our several area locations, to be examined by one of our highly qualified, board certified orthopedic surgeons. Our goal is to provide the most appropriate, least invasive treatment necessary for your condition.



Can Physical Therapy Help Your Back Pain?
Can Physical Therapy Help Your Back Pain?

Surprising Results When a Scientific Study Compared Surgery with Physical Therapy (Exercise) for Back Pain Treatment

A study on patients suffering from lower back pain due to lumbar stenosis (a narrowing of the space inside the lowest part of the spinal canal) was conducted on 169 Pittsburgh-area men and women with lower back pain due to lumbar spinal stenosis. All agreed to have surgery. Half would have surgery immediately, while the other half would wait. While waiting, the second half of the study group participated in a specifically designed physical therapy program, rather than going through with the scheduled surgery.

Both groups showed the same benefits throughout the recovery period, from 10 weeks after surgery to two years later. Both groups had no difference in pain levels and physical function.

Meanwhile, the surgery group had twenty-two participants (25%) who experienced surgery-related complications like repeat surgery or a surgery-related infection, while eight of those in the physical therapy group (10%) reported worsening symptoms as a complication.

This study shows that physical therapy, or exercise, is as effective as surgery for many patients with certain low back pain.

Standard Care: Conservative Treatment for Back Pain, Before Considering Surgery

Usually, doctors will try to initially treat back pain with conservative measures. Some of these treatment methods include:

·        Pain relievers

·        Anti-inflammatory medications

·        Injections of corticosteroids

If these methods fail, they will most often recommend surgery to their patients.

Many Doctors Now Consider Physical Therapy/Exercise as Part of Treatment Plan to Treat Back Pain Patients

Many doctors now consider a well-designed physical therapy program as an important step to treat patients with back pain, before making any final step toward surgery.

This, of course, depends on the cause of the back pain, and the overall condition of the patient’s health. For instance, immediate surgery may be necessary if there is so much pressure on the nerves that:

·        It becomes difficult to control bladder or bowel function

·        Muscles around the pelvis or upper legs become weak

·        Pain can’t be controlled with strong medicine

In these cases, surgery may be the only option for relief.


What to Expect If Your Doctor Recommends Physical Therapy or Exercise

If your physician considers you to be a good candidate for physical therapy or exercise to relieve your back pain, there are a few things you should know.

First, congratulations. You may be able to avoid surgery or medication to treat your back pain. Surgery may seem like the definitive fix, but it’s never a guaranteed success, and there is always a possibility for complications with any surgical procedure.

Second, any exercise or physical therapy program will not only be difficult at first, it is likely to cause pain. This is because your back pain may have caused you to limit certain movement. When your therapy has you begin to move all those muscles and ligaments again, they will be stiff and sore. It is the old story of “no pain, no gain”.

Also, if patients do not perform all recommended exercises or do not devote enough time to their program, physical therapy or exercise is not likely to alleviate pain.

However, if you commit to your physical therapy or exercise program, you should eventually find relief, just like the participants in the scientific study. Also, you will find continued exercise beyond the assigned therapy time may, in fact, further strengthen you back and help you to maintain better posture, which should help to prevent recurring pain.

Lastly, never engage in any physical therapy or exercise program when you are experiencing back pain without your doctor’s approval. This is very important, as your doctor will be able to determine exactly what you should, and should not do with your back.

If you are experiencing back pain, request an appointment at the Tucson Orthopaedic Institute at the location nearest you, to be examined by one of their highly qualified, board-certified orthopedic surgeons. They will use the latest diagnostic tools and years of experience to determine the cause of your pain, and suggest the best treatment options available. You deserve to live a pain free life.





You Could Be Suffering From Plantar Fasciitis
You Could Be Suffering From Plantar Fasciitis

If you are experiencing these types of symptoms, you may be suffering with Plantar Fasciitis.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of pain in the heel and bottom of the foot.  It is estimated to affect 1 in 10 people at some point in their lifetime, and most commonly affects people between 40-60 years of age.

Running along the bottom of your foot is a thick band of tissue, a ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes. This is called the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia supports the arch of your foot.

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia. This inflammation is thought to be caused by tiny, microscopic tears that occur in the fibrous tissue by straining that ligament. It is more common in people who are overweight, and those who wear shoes with inadequate support. If you have plantar fasciitis, you may notice that the sole of your foot hurts more as the day goes on, hurting the most when you climb stairs or stand for an extended period.

Even More Risk Factors

Repeated strain on the plantar fascia ligament can cause pain and swelling. This is more likely to happen if:

·        Your feet roll inward too much when you walk (excessive pronation)

·        You have high arches or flat feet

·        You are overweight

·        You wear shoes that don’t fit well, or are worn out

·        You have tight Achilles tendons or calf muscles



Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis

The cost of treating plantar fasciitis in the United States has been estimated at about $284 million each year. And, since plantar fasciitis is caused by stress placed on the foot by the mechanics of walking, no single treatment works best for everyone. Fortunately, about 90% of plantar fasciitis cases will improve within six months with conservative, non-invasive treatment. Some of the more common treatments include:

·        Rest

·        Applying heat

·        Applying ice

·        Calf-strengthening exercises

·        Techniques to stretch calf muscles, Achilles tendons, and plantar fascia

·        Weight reduction in the overweight or obese

·        Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)

·        Custom-fit orthotics/shoe inserts

It is important that you receive a specific diagnosis and subsequent treatment for plantar fasciitis from your doctor, as ignoring this condition may result in chronic heel pain that hinders your regular activities. Implementing your own, unscientific methods of minimizing the pain, like altering the way you walk, might lead to foot, knee, hip or back problems.


If you suspect you may have plantar fasciitis, request an appointment online to visit Tucson Orthopaedic Institute. Come visit the ortho specialists to diagnose your foot pain, at one of our several area locations. You deserve to continue your life with full mobility, and pain free feet will help keep you going!










Could Your Foot Pain Be Caused by a Problem With Your Back?
Could Your Foot Pain Be Caused by a Problem With Your Back?

While it doesn’t seem like there should be such a connection, considering how sensitive and large the back is, foot pain can in fact be related to your back. It is not uncommon to have pain in the legs or feet without any significant lower back pain, yet the problem is still originating in the lumbar region of the lower back. Blame the funny way our nerves work sometimes, sending signals all over the place.


You might blame that foot pain on the sciatic nerve

If a nerve root in the lower back – or lumbar area of the spine – is irritated or compressed, this lower back condition can cause pain to radiate along the sciatic nerve all the way to the patient’s foot.

The sciatic nerve is a large nerve that begins near the base of the spine, extending downward through the lower extremities, traveling through the hips, buttocks, and legs, before coming to an end in the feet near the toes.


Symptoms of Sciatica

As we age, the lumbar spine begins to deteriorate and weaken. This can impact the sciatic nerve, and lead to symptoms of sciatica, including:

·        Pain

·        Numbness

·        Tingling

·        Weakness

·        Slower reflexes

·        Muscle spasms

The sciatic nerve is very important, as it sends sensory and motor information to much of the lower body. The sciatic nerve is what sends the commands which allow for basic movement, such as walking and sitting. When this nerve becomes constricted, inflamed, or compressed in the lumbar spine, often due to degenerative spine conditions that develop in the lower back, the set of symptoms is known as “sciatica”.


Conditions that can cause sciatica

There are several degenerative spine conditions which can lead to the impingement or compression of the sciatic nerve, including:

·        Lumbar degenerative disc disease

·        Facet disease

·        Lumbar spinal stenosis

·        Lumber herniated disc

·        Foraminal stenosis

·        Isthmic spondylolisthesis

·        Osteoarthritis


Treatment Options

Once your doctor diagnoses the cause of your pain as sciatica, a series of conservative treatment options may be recommended. Often, a combination of these treatments can sufficiently manage the problem. These may include:

·        Activity modification

·        Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications

·        Epidural injections

·        Low-impact exercises

·        Stretching techniques

·        Physical therapy

When these conservative approaches to managing sciatica fail, it may be necessary to consider addressing the underlying cause with surgery.


If you are experiencing pain in your foot, or lower extremities, contact the Tucson Orthopaedic Institute at one of their several area locations. You can schedule an appointment online, to be examined by one of their highly qualified, board-certified orthopedic surgeons. At Tucson Orthopaedic Institute, there are many non-invasive treatment options for diagnosing and treating sciatica, and we will work with you every step of the way until your pain subsides.




How Orthopedists Use Imaging For Your Care
How Orthopedists Use Imaging For Your Care

The word “imaging” in the medical world, refers to the use of various forms of technology to provide a diagnostic look at different structures and processes in the body. Orthopedists use imaging to determine if an injury or condition has caused harm to the musculoskeletal system, including the muscles, bones, ligaments, cartilage, tendons, and even nerves. The two most common types of diagnostic imaging tests are X-rays and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging). However, there are many other types of scans that can be used for diagnosing and even helping treat certain orthopedic conditions.

If you are experiencing an injury or condition affecting your musculoskeletal system, medications and physical therapy are usually the first methods of treatment that your orthopedist likes to use. If these treatments are not enough or are not effective in relieving your pain, surgery can help. However, before making an accurate diagnosis and choosing a treatment, orthopedists use diagnostic imaging as a means to get a closer inside look at the inside of the body. For example, imaging can be done of a specific joint to see if a condition such as arthritis may be causing severe chronic pain, and whether any abnormal structural changes are present.

At Tucson Orthopedic Institute, we have state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging equipment and technology to help our orthopedic doctors accurately identify, diagnose, and treat patients suffering from various musculoskeletal problems. Imaging is beneficial, because, when an orthopedist sees the results from the imaging test, this helps them be able to give a patient a diagnosis as early as possible, which helps avoid further complications from developing. 

The common types of imaging we use include:

  • Digital X-rays: Helps identify pain, fractures, and joint issues
  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
  • CT Scan: A CT will create a 3D image of the bones and soft tissues
  •  Bone Density Scan: This lets doctors get a closer look at the inside of people’s bones. It is mostly used to diagnose people with conditions such as osteoporosis.

Have any other questions about how we use diagnostic imaging tests, or need to schedule an imaging test? Call our East Tucson office at (520) 784-6200 to get started.



Popular Physical Therapy Methods
Popular Physical Therapy Methods

Whether it’s a short-lived pain from a sporting injury or long-term pain from conditions like arthritis, pain can be difficult to live with and manage. From helping arthritic pain and bursitis, to the recovery from broken and fractured bones, and sprains and strains, physical therapists are highly educated healthcare experts in the movement and function of the human body, called kinesiology. 

Physical therapists have a special aptitude for assessing the human body and helping restore it back to optimal performance after injury or surgery. Many people experience pain at some point in their lives, whether it is acute or chronic. Physical therapy has been known to improve function for patients experiencing hip, knee, shoulder, and lower back pain. It may also be an effective method in reducing pain for patients with conditions such as tendonitis.

Armed with cutting edge equipment and a huge background of knowledge, PTs can help diagnose and treat many common conditions and disorders affecting movement and function, which often disrupts and affects someone’s ability to live their life normally. Often, doctors turn to physical therapy methods to try and relieve pain and restore function, before turning to surgery as a last resort.

Therefore, armed with cutting edge equipment and a huge background of knowledge, physical therapists can help diagnose and effectively treat many common problems, and most importantly improve or restore mobility, relieve pain, and reduce the need for surgery and prescription drugs.

Physical therapy is an essential part of total patient care, especially when recovering from injury or surgery. Having a good quality of life depends on our health, and if people are in constant pain and suffering, life can be difficult to navigate. That’s why physical therapists can make all the different in your treatment and recovery process. Attitude and motivation are two important psychological factors that often affect the outcome of a situation. PT’s are trained to encourage their patients, helping them reach their goals, whether they are long-term or short-term.

Physical therapist’s work with their patients on a one-on-one basis, track their progress through treatment, and really make a difference in their lives, by getting them back on their feet, and lifting their spirits, encouraging the patient to keep moving forward. Whether the patient's problem is a result of injury or disease, the physical therapist is a rehabilitation specialist with one goal in mind: helping patient’s recover by restoring optimal function and mobility, and preventing further disability.

Your PT will complete a full evaluation before making an accurate diagnosis.

Therapeutic exercise and functional training are the cornerstones of a physical therapy treatment plan. Depending on the particular needs of a patient, in order to promote proper movement and function, physical therapists will work with individuals to prevent loss of mobility by developing fitness and wellness oriented programs, for healthier and more active lifestyles.

Popular physical therapy methods include:

  • Ice and heat therapy: Ice is best for swelling and inflammation, while heat is best for muscle spasms and tightness
  • Laser therapy: Uses wavelengths of light to stimulate healing 
  • Exercises: Exercise is a main go-to strategy to treat and prevent pain. These aren’t just exercises like you do at the gym, PT exercises are specially chosen and specifically tailored to help treat the patient’s specific problem. These exercise techniques are hand-picked to help patients move better by strengthening certain muscles, and addressing any imbalances that may exist.

To learn more about the popular physical therapy methods, call us in East Tucson at (520) 784-6200, Northwest Tucson at (520) 382-8200, or Oro Valley at (520) 544-9700, or request an appointment online.


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Tucson Orthopaedic Institute - East Office
5301 E. Grant Road
Tucson, Arizona 85712
Phone: (520) 784-6200
Fax: (520) 784-6187
Monday – Friday: 8 am – 5 pm
Tucson Orthopaedic Institute - Northwest Office
6320 N. La Cholla Blvd., Suite 200
Tucson, Arizona 85741
Phone: (520) 382-8200
Fax: (520) 297-3505
Monday – Friday: 8 am – 5 pm
Tucson Orthopaedic Institute - Oro Valley Office
1521 E. Tangerine Road, Suite 101
Oro Valley, Arizona 85755
Phone: (520) 544-9700
Fax: (520) 618-6060
Monday – Friday: 8 am – 5 pm