Conditions & Treatments

Learn more about conditions and treatments.

Become informed about common issues and physical therapy treatments available to you at Superior Physical Therapy.

(Click on a question for the answer)

Injuries to the ACL or anterior cruciate ligament occur frequently in activities that involve sudden changes in direction such as basketball, volleyball, or soccer. Excessive pressure or a hard twist on the ACL can tear it, causing the knee to give out so that it cannot support the weight of the body. The ACL functions in the following ways: it prevents hyperextension of the knee, it prevents the lower leg from moving forward on the upper leg, it assists in stabilizing the knee in side-to-side movements, and it also assists in controlling the amount of rotation of the lower leg at the knee joint. It is vital that an injured ACL is accurately diagnosed and treated in order to prevent further damage to other structures inside the knee.

The goals of therapy for ACL injuries are to decrease pain and swelling, increase range of motion, strength, and return the patient to optimal function.

Therapy for ACL injuries may include:

    1. Manual therapy techniques to assist with alignment and joint mobility
    2. Massage therapy to decrease scar tissue and increase range of motion
    3. Exercises to improve strength, balance and coordination
    4. Modalities such as ultrasound, vasopneumatic compression and electrical stimulation to help control the inflammation and assist the healing process
    5. Education about body mechanics that will help reduce the stress on the knees

Injuries to the ankle occur when the ligaments that connect the bones of the foot are stretched beyond their normal limits. This causes the ligament fibers and small blood vessels to tear. Sprained ankles can occur due to a wide array of factors. Some of these factors include:
previous ankle injuries, joint instability, inherited flaws in the joint structure, excessive stress on the joint, or other causative factors. Without proper rehabilitation and strengthening of the joint, the ankle may remain unstable and painful following a sprain.

The goals of therapy for ankle sprains include decreasing pain and swelling, increase range of motion, strength, and return to optimal function.

Therapy for ankle injuries may include:

    1. Modalities such as ultrasound or electrical stimulation
    2. Exercises to resolve stability, balance and strength
    3. Brace or taping to provide support
    4. Education about body mechanics that will help reduce stress on the ankles and help prevent future ankle sprains

A fracture or broken ankle is a condition that results when excessive trauma, twisting, or stress is placed on the bones of the ankle joint. The ankle joint is made up of three bones: the tibia (shinbone), fibula (the lower leg bone), and the talus (anklebone). One or more of these bones can break during a fall or blow to your ankle.

The most common type of broken ankle is a fracture to the end of either the tibia or fibula called a malleolus (the bumpy bones at the sides of the ankle). These bones assist in supporting the joint and allow your foot to rock from side to side. They may be injured when your ankle rolls inward or outward.

The goals of therapy for ankle fractures include decreasing pain and swelling, increase range of motion, strength, and return to optimal function. Any foot or ankle injury requires medical attention. Prompt realignment and treatment of any ankle or foot fracture is imperative to your healing.

Therapy for ankle injuries may include:

    1. Exercises to help stretch, strengthen, and restore range of motion
    2. Modalities such as ultrasound, vasopneumatic compression, and electrical stimulation
    3. Education about behaviors that will reduce the stress on your joints

Arthritis is usually caused by wear and tear in the joints, generally associated with aging. Other common causes can be associated with prolonged poor posture, injuries including overuse of joints and obesity. Arthritis is characterized by recurring pain or tenderness in a joint, stiffness or swelling in a joint, obvious redness or heat in a joint, or the inability to move a joint.

There are no medical cures for arthritis at this time. However, physical therapy has proven to be effective in strengthening muscles, decreasing pain, and improving movement, posture, and independent function; benefits that make it much easier to live with arthritis.

Therapy for treating arthritis may include:

    1. Gentle passive movement
    2. Muscle stimulation
    3. Therapeutic exercise
    4. Self management techniques to protect the joints
    5. Education about behaviors that will reduce the stress on your joints

Back pain is a common complaint and can result from a number of daily activities including routine activities such as housework, gardening, or reaching for an object. The lower back supports much of the body’s weight, because of this it is subject to the most mechanical stress, which can lead to injury.

Some common causes of back pain include:

    1. Stress
    2. Poor posture
    3. Improper body mechanics
    4. Muscle strains
    5. Muscle weakness
    6. Ligament sprains
    7. Disk problems
    8. Sciatica
    9. Obesity
    10. Arthritis
    11. Pregnancy

Our therapists assess the type of pain and cause in order to determine the most effective treatment. Physical therapy treatment can provide relief for people suffering from acute or chronic back pain. In conjunction with treatment, our therapists encourage you to manage your back pain by prescribing specific exercises that you can perform on your own.

Therapy for back pain may include:

    1. Manual therapy techniques to assist with alignment and joint mobility
    2. Massage therapy to decrease scar tissue and increase range of motion
    3. ASTYM (a soft tissue mobilization technique)
    4. Exercises to improve balance and coordination
    5. Modalities such as ultrasound to help control the inflammation and assist the healing process
    6. Education about body mechanics that will help reduce stress on the back

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