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Appalachian Physical Therapy helps patients with many different conditions. Please see the diagram below for information on common conditions we treat and how physical therapy can help you.

Gastrointestinal issues is an umbrella term that includes many different conditions that occur in the abdomen and gastrointestinal tract. These conditions include but are not limited to: constipation, diarrhea, gastroesophageal reflux disorder (heartburn), and irritable bowel syndrome. Although these conditions may be caused by dysfunction of the specific organ involved, they may also arise as a result of dysfunction of the supporting connective tissue. Each internal organ is surrounded by a connective tissue capsule. This capsule is connected to a network of connective tissue that supports the organ and allows proper mobility while providing support. This tissue can become damaged due to trauma including purposeful trauma like surgery which can limit the mobility and function of this tissue. Alteration in the mobility of this tissue can result in abnormal forces being placed on gastrointestinal organs which can interfere with normal organ function.

Our physical therapists have extensive training to determine the root cause of gastrointestinal dysfunction. If you, or someone you know, are struggling with gastrointestinal issue and are looking for help, contact us at Appalachian Physical Therapy today to schedule an appointment. One of our Pinehurst, Broadway, or Harrisonburg physical therapists will get you started on the path to recovery and relief.

About Low Back Pain
Low back pain is one of the most common conditions seen by physicians across the country. It is said that over 80% of people will suffer some sort of low back pain during their lifetime. Low back pain can occur for a variety of reasons, but typically all have one or more of the following factors:

· Poor motion and mobility
· Spinal, abdominal or hip weakness
· Poor coordination of the spinal, abdominal and pelvic muscles

While there are many items to mask low back pain, such as medication, it is important to address the true causes of low back pain. Most low back pain is caused by the 3 factors above. When your spinal joints and muscles don’t move properly, tremendous strain occurs in your low back. This causes irritation and inflammation, which build up over time. Typically, low back pain suffers will have more pain after sitting or lying down for prolonged periods, such as getting up from a chair or first thing in the morning after sleeping. With severe pain, reaching or bending down for objects can be limited.

If pain is felt more with prolonged standing or walking, this can be a result of significant hip or spinal weakness, again causing strain to the low back. With weakness in the spinal, abdominal or hip muscles, the amount of force transferred to the back with everyday activities increases. With bending down, the knees are often not used properly, and the muscles of the spine have to do extra work. This sets up the person for injury with lifting or even something as simple as bending down to tie one’s shoes.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy is one of the best choices to treat low back pain. By addressing the three main issues, your normal back movement and strength can be restored. Our physical therapists focus on your posture, spinal mobility, strength, flexibility and the way you move your body (body mechanics). As we observe and measure these indicators, we can detect weak areas and evaluate where your primary problem is coming from.

A thorough plan is then worked out to address your core issues and relieve your low back pain quickly. This allows you to have fast pain relief, improving your spinal range of motion and body strength. We also focus on prevention of future injuries and educate you on proper poster and body mechanic techniques. If you are suffering with low back pain, call us today for fast back pain relief that will get you back to your favorite activities quickly!

Pelvic pain can occur for a number of reasons. This type of pain can be limiting and, for some people, even a bit embarrassing. It can hinder your daily life and prevent you from doing some of your daily tasks or activities you love. Fortunately, pelvic floor rehabilitation can help ease your symptoms of pelvic dysfunction and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles so you don’t experience additional problems in the future. If you are experiencing pelvic pain, contact Appalachian Physical Therapy today to find relief!

How does physical therapy help pelvic pain?

Physical therapy treatments, such as pelvic floor rehabilitation and accompanying methods, have been proven to treat a variety of conditions resulting in pelvic pain. Some of the most common pelvic conditions that physical therapy treats include:

Postpartum pelvic pain. After giving birth, it is common for new mothers to experience strained muscles and/or connective tissue damage in their pelvic floor. Pelvic floor rehabilitation helps in reducing the pain that is being felt, in addition to strengthening any damaged muscles or tissues.

Pain following abdominal surgery. If you are recovering from a recent surgical procedure, pelvic floor rehabilitation can help in breaking up scar tissue, improving strength, and regaining range of motion in your abdomen/pelvic region.

Endometriosis. Endometriosis can affect the bones, muscles, ligaments, and nerves in the pelvic region. Pelvic floor rehabilitation can help reduce the pain and bloating that you may be experiencing with endometriosis, in addition to strengthening the pelvic floor muscles.

Urinary incontinence. A physical therapist can help determine the root of your problem with urinary incontinence, rather than simply treating the symptoms. Pelvic floor rehabilitation will focus on strengthening the muscles under your bladder in order to treat and eliminate incontinence issues.

  • Constipation. Pelvic floor rehabilitation can loosen and relax the muscles in your pelvic and anal areas, which can help relieve and eliminate constipation.

While these are just a few of the most common conditions of pelvic dysfunction that can be treated with physical therapy, there are a number of additional pelvic conditions that PT treatments can relieve. For example, painful intercourse and infertility problems may also be improved with pelvic therapy. Some less common conditions that can be treated also include pelvic organ prolapse, dyspareunia, and diastasis recti.

How will I benefit?

The muscles, tendons, and ligaments that comprise the pelvic floor all serve an extremely important purpose, as they support the core of your body. One of our highly trained Pinehurst, Harrisonburg, and Broadway physical therapists can help in relieving your pelvic pain, improving your flexibility, and increasing your overall functionality.

The treatments involved in your pelvic floor rehabilitation plan will be dependent upon the results of your initial assessment. Your injury or condition will be evaluated during a physical examination, and then a qualified physical therapist will form a treatment plan that will address your specific needs. This will typically include several forms of exercise and massage to reduce pain, lessen symptoms, and potentially heal your condition.

Our Pinehurst, Harrisonburg, and Broadway physical therapy office is equipped with the resources necessary for treating all forms of pelvic pain. In many cases, our treatment methods can help provide relief and recovery for problems that patients have been facing for years. If your pelvic pain is limiting you, contact Appalachian Physical Therapy today to begin your path toward long-lasting relief!

Pelvic pain can occur for a number of reasons. This type of pain can be limiting and, for some people, even a bit embarrassing. It can hinder your daily life and prevent you from doing some of your daily tasks or activities you love. Fortunately, pelvic floor rehabilitation can help ease your symptoms of pelvic dysfunction and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles so you don’t experience additional problems in the future. If you are experiencing pelvic pain, contact Appalachian Physical Therapy today to find relief!

How does physical therapy help pelvic pain?

Physical therapy treatments, such as pelvic floor rehabilitation and accompanying methods, have been proven to treat a variety of conditions resulting in pelvic pain. Some of the most common pelvic conditions that physical therapy treats include:

Pain following abdominal surgery. If you are recovering from a recent surgical procedure, pelvic floor rehabilitation can help in breaking up scar tissue, improving strength, and regaining range of motion in your abdomen/pelvic region.

Urinary incontinence. A physical therapist can help determine the root of your problem with urinary incontinence, rather than simply treating the symptoms. Pelvic floor rehabilitation will focus on strengthening the muscles under your bladder in order to treat and eliminate incontinence issues.

Constipation. Pelvic floor rehabilitation can loosen and relax the muscles in your pelvic and anal areas, which can help relieve and eliminate constipation.

While these are just a few of the most common conditions of pelvic dysfunction that can be treated with physical therapy, there are a number of additional pelvic conditions that PT treatments can relieve. For example, painful intercourse and infertility problems may also be improved with pelvic therapy. 

How will I benefit?

The muscles, tendons, and ligaments that comprise the pelvic floor all serve an extremely important purpose, as they support the core of your body. One of our highly trained Pinehurst, Harrisonburg, and Broadway physical therapists can help in relieving your pelvic pain, improving your flexibility, and increasing your overall functionality.

The treatments involved in your pelvic floor rehabilitation plan will be dependent upon the results of your initial assessment. Your injury or condition will be evaluated during a physical examination, and then a qualified physical therapist will form a treatment plan that will address your specific needs. This will typically include several forms of exercise and massage to reduce pain, lessen symptoms, and potentially heal your condition.

Our Pinehurst, Harrisonburg, and Broadway physical therapy office is equipped with the resources necessary for treating all forms of pelvic pain. In many cases, our treatment methods can help provide relief and recovery for problems that patients have been facing for years. If your pelvic pain is limiting you, contact Appalachian Physical Therapy today to begin your path toward long-lasting relief!

Information coming soon!

Information coming soon!

Information coming soon!

Information coming soon!

What is Piriformis Syndrome?

The piriformis muscle is deep in the buttocks and helps with rotating the hip. The sciatic nerve typically dives underneath the piriformis muscle as it makes it way down to the leg. With excessive sitting, loss of movement in the hips or trauma, the piriformis muscle can press down onto the sciatic nerve. Typically, mild symptoms cause aching deep into the buttock and often radiating pain to the outer thigh. With more severe cases, tingling, numbness or severe pain can radiate down the thigh.

How physical therapy helps

Physical therapy is very effective in treating piriformis syndrome. By analyzing your hip range of motion, muscle function, walking and posture we can determine the right approach to treating the affected area. With specialized hands-on therapy and specific exercises we help regain lost range of motion, reduce pain quickly and improve symptoms into the leg.

We teach you easy to do exercises and modified activities you can do at home to prevent the reoccurrence of the symptoms. Call us today to learn more how we can help you relieve the pain and symptoms from piriformis syndrome.

What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is the term used to describe radiating pain into the buttock that can travel down the back of the thigh. Often this pain is achy and spread out along these areas. Sciatica is a result of irritation to the sciatic nerve, which travels deep in the buttock and down the back of the leg. In about 20% of people, the sciatic nerve pierces through the piriformis muscle deep in the buttock instead of under it. This can make the sciatic nerve more susceptible to irritation and pressure from the piriformis muscle. The piriformis muscle helps guide hip movement, but can become very tight with prolonged sitting. This increased tightness causes pressure and irritation to the sciatic nerve causing pain.

What is Radiating Pain?
Radiating pain to the leg doesn’t necessarily mean you have sciatica, but it does tell you that something is wrong. Irritated muscles and tissue often can radiate pain. Spread-out, achy pain is often indicative of this type of problem. Sharp, stabbing pain with numbness or tingling is more nerve irritation or compression occurring in the low back or leg. These types of sensations typically occur to specific parts of the leg.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy is one of the best treatments for Sciatica and radiating pain into the leg. It first takes a thorough evaluation to determine where your problem is starting. Our physical therapists take time to examine the movement of your spine, hips and legs. Range of motion, strength, joint mobility and muscle condition are assessed by our physical therapists. After we determine the root cause of your problem, we put together a comprehensive plan to quickly relieve your pain, relieve your radiating symptoms, improve your range of motion, improve strength and help you to prevent future episodes.

With gentle, specialized hands-on techniques we work to improve your spinal and hip mobility, reducing pressure on your sciatic nerve. In addition, modalities such as heat, ice, electrical stimulation and ultrasound may be used to reduce inflammation and resolve your pain quickly. We then perform gentle stretching and strengthening exercises to restore your normal motion and strength. This results in lasting effects that will stop your pain from returning. Call us today to find out how we can relieve your Sciatica and radiating leg pain, returning you to the activities you love.

Information coming soon!

Do you ever feel unsteady, as if you may fall or topple sideways without warning? Do you have trouble standing, sometimes experiencing the “spins” even when you’re standing still? Do you experience pain in your hips, knees, or other joints when you walk or move in certain ways? If so, you may be suffering from a balance or gait disorder.

These disorders can be physically and mentally disrupting and can develop from various reasons. A variety of underlying musculoskeletal and neurological disorders can cause or aggravate a balance or gait problem. Luckily, physical therapy can help significantly reduce your symptoms or correct your condition altogether. For more information on how you can steady your balance and gait troubles, contact Appalachian Physical Therapy for a screening today!

Balance and gait disorders: defined

Balance and gait disorders belong to a family of functional problems that interfere with your positional awareness, your normal means of walking or running, and your ability to keep yourself upright.

Balance and gait disorders are closely related, but they do have some distinct differences. Mayo Clinic defines a balance disorder as anything that causes you to feel as if you are “spinning,” or in danger of falling, even if you are sitting or standing still. Balance disorders are both physical and mental, as your brain may think you are moving, even when you are not.

Gait disorders can cause abnormal movements to the way you walk and run, and these can become exaggerated with age. According to Move Forward Physical Therapy, gait disorders account for 17 percent of senior falls.

How do balance and gait disorders develop?

There can be many causes of balance and gait disorders, as they can develop from many different underlying conditions. For balance disorders, many are related to issues in the vestibular system, which is a delicate collection of fluid-filled chambers and sensory nerves, located in the inner ear. The vestibular system is responsible for your sense of position, also known as “proprioception.”

Some common vestibular conditions resulting in balance disorders include:

  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). This occurs when calcium debris breaks off in the inner ear, causing issues with balance.
  • Neurological issues. This may include Parkinson’s disease, brain injury, or stroke. Anything that affects your neurological system can also impact your balance.
  • Injury or ailment. Even if your brain and nervous system are working in harmony with one another, a sudden injury, disease, or other ailment causing muscle weakness can interfere with your balance and make it difficult to keep yourself upright.

Much like balance disorders, gait disorders can also develop from the symptoms of neurological or neuromuscular issues. Any condition that impairs nerve or muscle function may lead you to walk in an abnormal manner. However, gait problems can also appear as the result of underlying musculoskeletal problems, such as overuse injuries, abnormal foot arches, plantar fasciitis, or uneven muscle support that may make you favor one side of your body more than the other. Old injuries may also affect your gait if they never healed correctly, as the internal scar tissue may limit the range of motion in your hips, knees, or feet.

How will physical therapy help with my balance or gait disorder?

Physical therapy can provide you with the tools you need to relieve the symptoms of your balance or gait disorder, and in many cases, it can help you recover completely from your condition. Your Harrisonburg, Broadway, and Pinehurst physical therapist will conduct a comprehensive physical evaluation to examine your balance, gait, stance, medical history, and symptoms, before creating a personalized treatment plan deemed for your specific needs. This treatment plan may include:

  • Strengthening exercises. Your evaluation will help determine what problem areas in your body may need help. Your physical therapist will provide you with strengthening exercises that will build up your muscles, thus making it much easier for you to move around and reduce your risk of injury.
  • Stretches. Stretching will help improve your flexibility and your range of motion. This will give you more control and quicker reactions with your movements, also reducing your risk of injury. It will also keep your muscles from becoming too tight and stiff.
  • Vestibular rehabilitation. This physical therapy treatment works to improve your vision, nerves, muscles, and vestibular system as a whole, in order to maintain steady balance. If you are suffering from BPPV, our Harrisonburg, Broadway, and Pinehurst physical therapists will provide you with specific exercises that will move the calcium debris to the correct parts of your ear.
  • Gait retraining exercises. Sometimes, abnormalities in gait can be corrected through a “retraining” where you learn proper techniques. In a study cited by the Arthritis Foundation, patients suffering from osteoarthritis-related gait disorders were able to successfully alter their gait through treadmill exercises.

If you are suffering from a balance or gait disorder, contact Appalachian Physical Therapy to schedule a screening with one of our dedicated physical therapists. We’ll help you get back on your feet in no time!