New Years Resolution Injuries

New Years Resolution Injuries

Many of us decide to improve our health with a New Years resolution to begin working out again. This is a great idea but you should consider a few things before beginning.

  • Do I have any painful joints or muscles?
  • Have I had any orthopaedic surguries?

If either of these are true then you should contact Sterling Physical Therapy to have these areas evaluated. We can give you modifications and information on how you can workout safely so you don’t irritate these areas.

After two to four weeks of the new program you may begin to notice aches and pains that do not go away by the next day. If you try some rest or over the counter anti inflammatories and the problem is still there contact Sterling Physical Therapy so we can evaluate and fix the problem before it gets worse.

The only way to have success with your 2013 resolutions is to be consistent with your workouts. You can’t be consitent if you hurt or are injured.

Good luck with your goals for 2013!!!

Where would you go? What would you do? A Physical Therapist’s journey through neck surgery.

As I enter my fifteenth year as a physical therapist I’m faced with a question many of my patients ask me…”What should I do? Where should I go?” I have decided to make lemonade out of lemons and let you in with pictures, videos, and interviews with my surgeon. This unique view of my recovery will give you a real world view of what happens from surgery through physical therapy and back to full activity.

To give you some background I’ve been involved with sports from seventh grade on and my two favorites were football and wrestling. In college I played football at Central and ironically never had a neck injury. As an offensive guard you tend to hit your head or take blows that affect your neck on every play, so I assumed at some point I’d have some neck issues. Around the age of thirty I started having right sided neck pain and some radiating pain down my right arm into my thumb and index finger. Since I’m a physical therapists I’d have colleages work on my neck and give me relief. I was able to continue this way for ten years, it is quite remarkable I was able to continue with only physical therapy when I saw how bad the xray and MRI was (thanks to everyone that worked on me!). This shows the power of physical therapy to keep people going.

During this fall football season while covering the Pella High Football sideline for injuries I began having more pain and symptoms with my right hand. I made the decision to move forward and seek treatment, this process started with choosing a surgeon, if you’ve talked with anyone you know that spine surgery can relieve symptoms but carries inherent risks so I needed to get this decision right. Over the years I’ve worked with many spine surgeons which helped make my decision, so I choose Dr. Lynn Nelson of Des Moines Orthopaedic Surgeons (DMOS). Dr. Nelson has an impecable reputation and also understands ex-athletes as he is one of the team physicians for the Des Moines Buccaneers.
On my first visit Dr. Nelson did xrays, and I can honestly say my jaw dropped when he showed them to me. Bonespurs, arthritis, decreased disc height…after we went through this we scheduled an MRI. The MRI confimed it, severe right sided herniated disc with bone spurs compressing on a nerve root at the C5-C6 level.
The next question I asked Dr. Nelson was, “What would you do if you were me?” He gave me a number of options but with my job and what I want to do physically the only option was surgery, a C5-C6 Anterior Cervical Discectomy Fusion.

I had the surgery in December, stay tuned for recovery pictures, videos and updates from Dr. Nelson!

Female Athlete Triad

There are many pressures in sports and particularly for the young female athlete. Those pressures can turn into real problems that affect their health and performance in sports. As the summer  continues many of our young female athletes will begin training for fall sports or may already be involved in camps or club sports.

This Female Athlete Triad, is a group of problems that can start as a small problem and snowball into more serious issues. When we see female athletes with repetative injuries we screen them for this problem.

The key signs of the triad are:

  • Irregular or absent menstral cycles.
  • Always feeling tired or fatigued.
  • Problems sleeping.
  • Stress fractures or recurring injuries.
  • Decreasing food intake/striving to be thin.
  • Cold hands and feet.

The best treatment is to prevent the problem which comes with education and early identification. Coaches can do a lot to educate their athletes.

  • Remind your athletes that eating is an important part of successful training and performance.
  • Focus on health and a positive body image, do NOT focus on body weight.
  • Support athletes throughout their training and competition, as well as during their everyday life.
  • Mobilize available resources – nutritionists, athletic trainers, physical therapists, counselors, and physicians.

If you are an athlete or parent and suspect a Triad problem seek out treatment before the problem becomes worse.  If you want further information go to here – .

Sterling Physical Therapy Fact #1

I have been a Physical Therapist since 1997. During my time working with patients we have identified common questions that most patients have. I have made these into a list of four facts as they pertain to Sterling Physical Therapy, in an effor to educate patients and the public.

Today I’ll discuss fact #1. “If your physician suggests physical therapy, you have the right to choose Sterling Physical Therapy.*”  This comes as a surprise to many people, they assume that they have no choice and need to do exactly what the physician says. We educate patients that they are the untimate consumer of health care for their body and they need to exercise this right. Many times when you are not given a choice for where to go for physical therapy or you are referred to a clinic where a physician holds a financial interest, a hidden reason exists….money. The evidence against physician self referral continues to build with a new study published in the Archives of Special Surgery showing that financial incentives linked to ownership of either specialty hospitals or ambulatory surgery centers influence the frequency of outpatient orthopedic surgical procedures.  A Washington Post article focused on the over-utilization of imaging tests and the problems this can cause for patients and the health care system in general. In 2010 a report by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) dealt a heavy blow to physicians who self refer patients to their own physical therapy services.

R. Scott Ward PT, PhD, President of the APTA, wrote “Although it was no surprise to those of us in the physical therapy profession, the MedPAC found that over the past 5 years certain services provided by physicians, including physical therapy, have experienced rapid volume growth. The report cites several studies that have found physicians with a financial interest in physical therapy initiate therapy for patients with musculoskeletal injuries more frequently than other physicians and that physician-owned physical therapy clinics provide more visits per patient than non-physician-owned clinics. Moreover, says the MedPAC report, there is evidence that some diagnostic imaging and physical therapy services ordered by physicians are not clinically appropriate.”

Some people will also submit that in hospitals where there is no financial stake by the physicians, an effort is made to refer patients “in their system” which in turn is a form of Referral for Profit. Finally in an era of increasing health insurance premiums this type of referral pattern drives up your premiums. We all want to save money and not be part of a pattern that costs us more every year in insurance premiums.

So remember the next time your at your physicians office and they tell you that you need Physical Therapy, tell them you want to go to Sterling Physical Therapy (Sterling PT fact #1). Sterling is locally owned and locally invested in our community. From our inception we have specialized in orthopaedic, sports, and workers compensation cases and choosing us will not make your health insurance premiums rise.  Our mission statement is “Personal Care. Proven Results” and we look forward to sharing this experience with you the next time you need physical therapy.

*Sterling will consult with your physician if appropriate.

Travis Sterling PT, OCS, CSCS

Clinic Owner

Board Certified Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist

Area Teens Participate in Pella’s Amazing Race Challenge

Sterling Physical Therapy sponsored the Amazing Race event on March 18—the Pella version for area teens, similar to the nationally syndicated reality television game show.

Organized by the Pella Aquatic Center, the Pella Art Center, and the Pella Public Library, ten teams of two teens swam, danced, ran, and crafted their way through the various race events.

“We feel it is important for kids to participate in physical activity and to make it fun,” said Katie Dreyer, youth services librarian at the Pella Public Library. “The Amazing Race was a way for us to incorporate a lot of different challenges into one program and highlight fun physical activity as some of those challenges.”

Given the clinic’s previous triathlon sponsorship and healthy living goals, sponsoring the event was an easy choice for Sterling Physical Therapy.

“[We are] committed to the community, and particularly interested in any activities that promote good health. When we were contacted to be part of this event it was a no brainer,” shared Travis Sterling, owner of Sterling Physical Therapy.

Teams had five different challenges to complete—beginning at the indoor pool. There, teams had to find a total of five dollars in coins, while pulling their teammate around in an inner tube. Then, after being transported to the Community Center, teams performed a Dutch Dance in wooden shoes, for which Mayor Dobernecker was a judge. After the dance, teams ran an obstacle race in the gym and made tulips at the Art Center. Finally, teams rushed to the library to complete a library skills challenge.

Research from the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion shows that nearly half of all young people aged 12-21 are not vigorously active on a regular basis, and that physical activity declines dramatically with age during adolescence.

“[The challenge] was for physical activity for the teens and to offer a fun and exciting program for teens during Spring Break,” said Dreyer.

Sterling works with patients of all ages, including teenagers. Learn how the clinic’s therapists help Knoxville athletes overcome injuries by watching the video at left.