Passing the NPTE: Tips for Success

The NPTE is the board examination that stands between Physical Therapy school graduates and their licenses. For many it is the final formal test of their knowledge before entering the working world. Others, just the beginning. Here are a few tips that will hopefully aid in your preparation.

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The Importance of Touch

Touch is a very crucial element that can affect the way a person acts. How it can be implemented in the clinic and the physiological responses from it can help determine the overall outcome of a treatment. Here's why touch is important in our everyday lives... 

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Residencies: Preparation and Finding the Right Fit

There are a lot of different opinions out there about the value of residency and fellowship training. Is it something that everyone should do? Should everyone enter residency training immediately following graduation? What residency model is best?

The answer to these and many other similar questions is... it depends. I will be beginning a sports residency program later this year and I have some strong feelings regarding residencies and fellowships.

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Stretching: Good or Bad?

Stretching is an important intervention that is done by many individuals for different reasons, but is the type of stretching performed good or bad for the designated goal? Here we compare 3 categories to determine which is best. 

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A Primer on Concussions

As physical therapists and physical therapy students, we are well equipped to evaluate address many of the deficits that occur as a result of a concussion. Plus, our profession is also in a good position to educate the public about concussion safety in athletics. Whether or not you feel like you know enough about concussions, the signs and symptoms and treatment strategies are concepts that are a part of our physical therapy education. Here are some basics about concussions, including links to some very comprehensive resources.

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Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo: An Overview

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is a condition caused by loose debris in the semicircular canals of the inner ear that sends false signals to the brain about the head's position in space. This causes an often severe sensation of the room spinning around you, a sensation known as vertigo.

This article provides a brief overview on the involved mechanism, the assessment, and available treatment options.

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Life Inside Canine Rehabilitation

Being a physical therapist and performing rehabilitation on everyday patients is part of our job and what we went to school for. But what is it like to conduct the same types of treatments... on a dog? In this post, I share what it's like to be a canine rehabilitation specialist and the challenges that go along with it. 

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The Impact of Kinesiophobia and Pain Catastrophizing on Pain

Pain is a hot topic in the world of physical therapy right now. However, there is a great deal of complexity in how pain is exhibited, experienced, and modulated. Two ways in which the perception of pain can be increased in our patients are kinesiophobia and pain catastrophizing. 

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Blood Pressure Basics in Physical Therapy

Whether you work with high-level athletes or high-level couch potatoes, monitoring a patient’s blood pressure at rest and during exercise can offer very useful information to a clinician. It can mean the difference between a safe and effective treatment session and a trip to the emergency room. Whether you believe it to be necessary or not, the dangers of uncontrolled and prolonged hypertension are very real.

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How Yoga Can Be Effective

After recently attending a few yoga sessions, I have discovered great benefits towards my personal health. Here are those benefits and how yoga may be right for you. 

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Integrating Strength and Conditioning Principles in Physical Therapy

As physical therapists, our "thing" is that we are experts in human movement. Therapeutic exercise is a major component in most plans of care with all patients. We are educated to cater that exercise to address the specific impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions - I think most physical therapists are pretty at this. But, where it seems many PTs and PT schools may fall short is in determining appropriate exercise dosage for each patient.

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Building Rapport for Improved Patient Outcomes

Establishing and maintaining an open line of communication with patients is integral to facilitating the rehabilitation process. Patients need to know that their problems and concerns are being heard. More importantly - they need to know that you as a clinician care.

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Inside Your Toolbox: Laser Therapy

We all have heard or seen laser therapy one time or another but what exactly is it and how can it affect our treatment strategy? Some may buy into its technique and effects while others may be skeptical. Hopefully this summary will clear up some answers. 

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Does Foam Rolling Work?

Foam rolling is a commonly used technique in both the fitness and rehabilitation worlds. Some use it to reduce soreness, whereas others may use it to improve range of motion. As physical therapists and physical therapy students, foam rolling may be something you include in a home exercise program for your patients, and you may even foam roll yourself. On the other hand, maybe you don’t think it is an effective modality for producing any appreciable change.

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Reflections From Our Clinical Internships

Internships are a time for students to apply all of that textbook knowledge they have been slaving away to learn. It allows them to finally experience something they've been waiting for since day one - direct patient interaction and treatment. Here are our experiences from our current clinical internships involving various settings.

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Common Postural Deviations and Proposed Fixes

Postural training is an integral part of any comprehensive plan of care. Poor posture can have the consequence of affecting things such as muscle force production, diaphragmatic excursion, and even one's emotional state. 

Here are some of the more common types of poor posture seen in the every day population as well as some stretching and strengthening exercises that can be used to address each of them.

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Popular Questions Answered Regarding Orthopaedic Residency and Pain Science

Have you ever had questions about an orthopaedic residency or any residencies in general? Here are a few answers to those popular questions along with some regarding pain science! 

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Performance-based Functional Tests for Return to Sport

When rehabilitating an athlete from a lower extremity injury, such as an ACL reconstruction (ACLR), how do you determine that athlete’s readiness to return to sport (RTS)? Do you base it on time since the injury or surgery? Do you use strength of the injured limb as compared to the non-injured limb? Is your decision-making process completely subjective, or does it include some sort of objective measure?

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Inside Your Toolbox: Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy

A stroke can have a devastating effect on an individual's quality of life and independence. Physical therapy is an integral part of the rehabilitation process.

Is constraint-induced movement therapy a reasonable and effective treatment approach for these patients? 

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Inside Your Toolbox: Dry Needling

There are many different tools that therapists can implement when treating a patient. Each and every one of these tools are unique in their own way. Is dry needling one of those effective tools to use? 

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