Back Pain and Physical Therapy

Back Pain and Physical TherapyWithin a three-month period of time, 25% of Americans will experience pain in the lower back. The pain is generally mild and eventually subsides. There are however times when the pain will not disappear, it returns or worsens.

At Fusion Physical Therapy, we have patients that have undergone unnecessary surgeries, prescribed pain medicine and have large expensive medical bills to pay. Physical therapy is a more cost-efficient treatment that should be considered first.

At Fusion Physical Therapy one of our trained physical therapists may perform the following treatments to relieve back pain:

  • Modalities

Modalities decrease pain with passive physical therapy, which means the treatment or therapy is performed on the patient. Modality treatment includes heat/ice packs, TENS units and ultrasounds

  • Back Pain exercises

Back pain exercises are active physical therapy treatments, which means the patient completes some form of exercise or activity. The following back pain exercises may be experienced during your physical therapy appointment:

  • Strengthening: 15 minutes of strengthening exercises will help strengthen the lower back
  • Core strengthening exercises: These exercises include crunches, sit-ups, leg raises, abdominal machines and hyperextension lower back exercises
  • Stretching: stretching your hamstring is an extremely effective exercise for lower back pain
  • Low-impact aerobic conditioning: low impact aerobics are highly recommended for long term pain reduction. This includes walking, water therapy, swimming or riding a bicycle. Thirty to forty minutes for three times during the week is highly effective for reducing back pain.

Abdominal exercises as well as lower back exercises should be completed at home in addition to the treatments performed in the therapy clinic. If the home exercises are not completed eventually the lower back problems and pain will occur again and may even cause a loss of fitness in the trained muscles. It is crucial to follow the treatment plan and stick to the prescribed exercise program for the prescribed amount of time.

Contact Fusion Physical Therapy at 580-699-5455 or online at Our skilled physical therapists will work with you to create a customized treatment plan that will strengthen and provide stability in the back which will significantly reduce the pain.

Digital Disabilities and Physical Therapy

Technology and Digital DisabilitiesThe age of technology has great benefits such as the ability to communicate with our family and friends frequently, the ability to receive information quicker and the ability to work more efficiently. However there are also disadvantages of this technology such as the side effects that our bodies experience. As we spend more and more time typing on our keyboards, thumb scrolling, tapping our screens we also begin to experience fatigue in our neck, pain in our thumbs, aches in our forearms and discomfort in our wrists. A new term is trending due to these technology ailments; ever heard of digital disabilities? These include text neck or cell phone elbow.

Text Neck is pain and damage to the neck. This pain is caused from the constant movement of your neck looking down at your tablet, cellphone or other wireless devices for prolonged periods of time. Text neck is rapidly becoming common as the reliance of our wireless devices increases. The longer we keep our heads down from the constant typing, swiping and tapping, the more stress we place on our muscles. The movement of bending the neck to look down happens with other activities besides texting but ithe issues resides with the frequency. Looking down to text, scroll through Facebook or check emails just adds more activity to our spine.

The symptoms of text neck are as follows:

  1. Pain in the Upper Back
  2. Shoulder Pain
  3. Pain down your arm and into your hand

Prevention of text neck:

  1. Keep your phone at eye level.
  2. Put your cellphone down and walk around after 20 or 30 minutes of looking down texting, etc.

Treatment of text neck are as follows:

  1. Increase your core muscles. This will support your upper body, which includes your neck.
  2. Strengthen your neck muscles and increase your neck’s flexibility.

Our trained physical therapists at Fusion Physical Therapy will partner with you to create a customized physical therapy program that will include core muscle exercises as well as neck strengthening exercises to minimize the strain on your neck.

Cell phone elbow, also known as cubital tunnel syndrome, is another trending term. Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is a common nerve compression syndrome in the upper extremities. This nerve compression may occur when the elbow is flexed for longs period of time, such as speaking on the phone.

The symptoms of cell phone elbow are as follows:

  • Pain/Numbness/Tingling in the small and ring fingers as well as the forearm
  • Fatigue/Weakness in hand creating difficulty in opening jars and various other activities

Prevention of Cell Phone Elbow is as follows:

  1. Use a hands-free headset or hands-free mode on your phone
  2. While talking on the phone switch hands frequently

Treatment of Cell Phone Elbow is as follows:

  1. Manual Therapy
  2. Prescription Medication
  3. Surgery

At Fusion Physical Therapy our customized treatment plan will consist of a variety of treatments including manual therapy exercises and activities. We will also educate you on the proper stretches that will place the least amount of stress on the elbow as well as exercises that strengthen the elbow.

Women’s Health and Physical Therapy

Women's Health and Physical TherapyPelvic pain is becoming more and more discussed among women as well as urinary and/or bowel incontinence. All of these symptoms are a result of pelvic floor dysfunction which is caused by pregnancy, childbirth, surgery, chronic coughing, chronic constipation, trauma as well as aging. At Fusion Physical Therapy our women’s health physical therapist, Jackie Saravane can help!

A women’s health physical therapist can help you alleviate pelvic floor pain as they understand the impact of hormones and how they impact a condition, injury or dysfunction as well as the recovery process. They also realize that each woman is very different and they come with many different concerns that range in ages from young athletes to postmenopausal women. For example, a younger active athletic female requires a very different treatment than a pregnant woman or a woman who has already delivered a baby.

Many young athletic females experience foot, knee and back pain which tends to limit their ability to perform at a high level. I bet you weren’t aware that foot and knee pain can be caused by back pain. This type of problem is identified by our trained women’s health therapist as she has the knowledge and competency to identify these problems and address them which in turn allows you the ability to recover quickly.

Pregnant women and those who have experienced child birth most likely have experienced pelvic pain along with back pain as pregnancy and childbirth place a significant amount of strain on a woman’s body, especially the pelvic floor. Challenging and difficult deliveries can result in pelvic pain, incontinence or even pelvic organ prolapse. Our skilled women’s physical therapist can help by:

  • reducing pelvic and back pain that was caused during pregnancy
  • improving the stability of the pelvis
  • eliminating incontinence and pain
  • preventing the need for surgery or even medication

Jackie Saravane also treats the following symptoms:

  • Bowel Incontinence
  • Constipation
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Lymphedema
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pelvic Pain
  • Urinary Incontinence

Contact Jackie today at 580-699-5455 or visit us at to make an appointment with Jackie Saravane, our trained women’s health physical therapist, who will partner with you to create a customized treatment plan.

Women’s Health: Pain While Having Sex – Dyspareunia Treatment

dyspareuniaHave you ever experienced pain while having sex? Then you may suffer from dyspareunia, a recurrent or persistent pain with sexual activity that affects approximately 10% to 20% of women in the United States. This condition can result in a lack of desire for sexual intercourse and damper the relationship a woman has with her partner as sexual intercourse should be associated with pleasure and not pain. When the pelvic muscles in the pelvic floor tighten then Dyspareunia may occur. However, there are women who experience dyspareunia as a result of yeast infections, vaginal dryness or even post-childbirth.

Dyspareunia can be categorized into two types: 1) entry and 2) deep. Entry Dyspareunia occurs when the pain is felt at the entrance of the vagina and deep dyspareunia pain occurs with deep penetration. Dyspareunia tends to have a negative impact on a woman which include negative perception of their body, issues with their relationships, and challenges with their efforts to conceive a baby.

While there are several factors that cause dyspareunia, the five most common causes of dyspareunia are as follows:

  1. Vulvodynia
    1. Burning pain in the vulva that may be continuous or may occur every once in a while. Sometimes it is triggered by touch or pressure, including intercourse or long periods of sitting.
  2. Vaginismus
    1. Pain that occurs when vaginal muscles of the pelvic floor involuntarily or persistently contract when vaginal penetration is attempted. These contractions prevent sexual intercourse and/or make sex painful.
  3. Inadequate Lubrication
  4. Vaginal Atrophy
    1. Thinning, drying and inflammation of the vaginal walls due to a lack of estrogen.
  5. Postpartum Dyspareunia

Physical Therapy is a great treatment option for Dyspareunia. At Fusion Physical Therapy, Jackie Saravane, our physical therapist who specializes in women’s health will create a customized plan that will address all of the facets of the pelvic floor. Her treatment plan may consist of a pelvic physical exam, pelvic floor massage as well as bladder manipulation and retraining. The retraining phase includes teaching you to identify the correct muscle groups and how to consciously relax those muscle.

Contact Jackie today to schedule an appointment via phone at 580-699-5455 or online at

Migraines and Physical Therapy Options

migrainesMigraines are the 6th most disabling illness in the world and approximately 37 million experience migraines. Every 10 seconds someone is being admitted to the emergency room complaining of head pain. The proper pain relief for headaches and migraines might just be found in physical therapy.

Migraines are a pain that is far more intense that just a bad headache. Migraines are a genetic neurological disorder in the central nervous system which results in the pain and neurological symptoms associated with a migraine headache. Other diseases or disorders such as head injury and brain tumors do not cause migraines. The recurring, severe and throbbing pain usually affects only one side of the head however there are cases where the entire head experiences pain. These painful episodes that affect one side of the head as well as the entire head in some cases are known as migraine attacks and usually last between four and 72 hours.

Unfortunately, migraine attacks are often accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • Visual disturbances
    • Aura is a visual disturbance in which nearly 25% of migraine sufferers experience and it usually lasts less than an hour
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Intense sensitivity to sound, light, touch and smell
  • Extremities or face experience tingling or numbness

Most migraine sufferers have moderate or severe pain and experience 15 migraine days per month. Because the pain of the migraine is intensely painful, most Migraine sufferers and are not able to participate in normal activities.  In fact, most of the time they try to find a quiet, dark room.

Migraine sufferers and the treatment plan varies by person as there really isn’t a cure for migraines. We highly recommend our patients to log things in order to begin to identify the triggers and figure out how to avoid those triggers. We also recommend to our migraine sufferers that they need to manage their stress better, improve their sleep habits by going to bed earlier and modify their diets.

Many headaches are associated with muscle and joint pain while others are caused by sinus issues, tumors and vascular problems. Physical therapy can help treat the headaches that are caused by muscle tension and tightness, disc pathology, lack of neck motion or poor posture.

Since migraines are affected in the central nervous system in which medication is often prescribed. Physical therapy involves treating the muscles and joints which is different for each patient therefore the physical therapy treatment will be differently based on the extent to which muscles and joints are involved in the migraine.

At Fusion Physical Therapy in order to determine the problem areas we will perform an evaluation and will create a customized treatment plan to relieve the pain in those areas. We will use heat and/or ice, soft tissue mobilization, muscular releases, muscle stretches if the pain is in the neck or surrounding areas. We will also spend time with each patient to educate them on posture and body mechanics. Contact us today via phone at 580-699-5455 or online at for quick pain relief.

Interstitial Cystitis

Trigger Point Dry NeedlingPhysical Therapy is now being recommended by physicians for the treatment of interstitial cystitis (IC). Physical therapy is used to help ease IC symptoms and pain. Painful bladder syndrome, aka Interstitial cystitis, is a chronic condition that causes bladder pain, bladder pressure and sometimes pelvic pain. The pain ranges from mild discomfort to severe.

Your bladder stores urine and is a muscular, hollow organ. When the bladder is full most people experience an urgency to pee. This expansion of the bladder signals the brain through the pelvic nerves that it is time to pee. However, with interstitial cystitis the signals get mixed and you feel the need to urinate more often with smaller qualities of urine than most people.

Interstitial cystitis symptoms vary from person to person and over time. Many women claim that the flare up occurs periodically during menstruation, sitting for long periods of time, during stress exercise and even during and after sexual activity. The symptoms and signs may include the following:

  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Many trips to the restroom to pee but only small amounts of urine trickle out (could be up to 60 times a day)
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • A persistent, urgent need to pee
  • Pain or discomfort while the bladder fills and relief after urinating

Interstitial cystitis can create a number of complications such as:

  • Emotional troubles
    • Emotional stress that leads to depression can be the result of uninterrupted sleep and chronic pain associated with interstitial cystitis
  • Reduced bladder capacity
  • The bladder wall stiffens and allows your bladder to hold less urine
  • A lack of sexual intimacy and problems in personal relationships
    • Frequent urination and the pain associated may strain your personal relations, this includes sexual intimacy
  • Reduction in Quality of Life
    • Frequent urination and pain can hinder your social activities, work and other daily life activities

If you suffer from urinary urgency, frequency, and burning but do not have an infection you will have a greater chance of benefiting from physical therapy. During your visit at Fusion Physical Therapy our trained women’s physical therapist will conduct a pelvic floor physical therapy evaluation, which helps to determine if pelvic floor dysfunction is a contributing factor to the interstitial cystitis symptoms. She will work with you to create a custom treatment plan that may include manual techniques, education that reduces anxiety associated with this illness as well as home exercises.

Contact us today at 580-699-5455 or visit us at to make an appointment!

Trigger Point Dry Needling in Physical Therapy

Trigger Point Dry NeedlingTrigger Point Dry Needling (TrP-DN), a specialized technique that is creating a buzz in the physical therapy world, is a very effective treatment which reduces soreness and tenderness associated with trigger points. Trigger points are hyperirritable spots in a muscle. Our physical therapists at Fusion Physical Therapy are trained to effectively treat patients with face, neck, lower back, shoulders, arms, feet and hands utilizing TrP-DN.

What is Dry Needling?

TrP-DN desensitizes and deactivates trigger points in an invasive manner by using an acupuncture needle. In order to manually cause a local twitching response in the muscles, a small, disposable yet sterile solid filament needle is repeatedly inserted into the myofascial trigger point.

Why an Acupuncture Needle?

The needle passes through the skin and therefore a less invasive needle should be used. Since an acupuncture needle is solid and very fine then it doesn’t hurt like o a hollow injection needle does.

What are the benefits of Dry Needling?

  1. Improved blood flow
  2. Releasing of tight muscles
  3. Provides a longer lasting pain relief
  4. Elimination of tension
  5. Immediate relief of symptoms
  6. Increased healing time
  7. Aids in creating pain free range of motion
  8. Reduced pain and healing of:
    1. Chronic Muscles
    2. Tendon and Joint Injuries
  9. Helps with getting you back to exercising and enjoying daily activities

Who benefits from Dry Needling?

Those individuals with sports injuries, chronic pain or overuse injuries will benefit the most from trigger point dry needling.

What conditions are treated by using Dry Needling?

  1. Frozen shoulder, shoulder and arm pain
  2. Headaches and neck pain
  3. TMJ pain
  4. Low back, hip, buttock, quadriceps and hamstring pain
  5. Plantar Fasciitis

How long will each session take?

The amount of time for each session really depends on the size of the treatable area. However, a typical session should last about 30 minutes. There is a strong possibility you may need up to six sessions however results will be experienced in as little as one treatment.

How will I know if Dry Needling is working?

After one treatment your muscle will feel tired and sore as if you had just completed a great workout or too much activity. This might last for one to two days however the pain should be reduced and you should be able to perform your daily activities. The chronic injury should start to improve and a continued reduction in pain should happen after a day or so.

At Fusion Physical Therapy our trained and skilled physical therapists main goal is to help you get back to a pain free range of motion whether that is with trigger point dry needling or various other techniques.

Peezing – Peeing at the Same Time as You Sneeze

PeezingPeeing at the same time as you sneeze is commonly known as peezing.  Peezing often occurs during any type of physical movement such as coughing, jumping, sneezing, or running as these types of activities put pressure on your bladder. Peezing can signify a symptom of stress incontinence and is common among women, especially after childbirth. If you are a peezer, you are not alone.

Urinary incontinence occurs when undesired urine leaks out. Most people who experience urinary incontinence tend to have issues with holding their urine and being able to start peeing. At the bottom of the pelvic bone you will find muscles that are attached and run front to back to form a hammock. This hammock structure lifts to support the internal organs and control the sphincter muscles. The pelvic-floor muscles also help stabilize the pelvic bones, support the lower back and help with sexual function.

There are several different types of urinary continence:

  1. Stress Incontinence
  2. Urge Incontinence
  3. Mixed Incontinence
  4. Functional Incontinence
  5. Urinary Frequency

When the bladder experiences increased pressure and the pelvic-floor muscles are too weak to control or maintain continence, stress incontinence occurs. The urethra is surrounded by the pelvic floor muscles and is to assist in keeping the urethra closed while pressure is being placed on the bladder. Stress incontinence is often the result of pelvic-floor muscle dysfunction and may be a result of following:

  • Post pregnancy and childbirth
    • Pregnancy and labor puts tremendous amount of stress and/or pressure on the bladder which tends to result in trauma to the pelvic-floor muscles
  • Episiotomy (a surgical procedure sometimes used to ease childbirth)
  • Injury or trauma, such as a pelvic fracture
  • Surgery in the vagina or rectum
  • Inflammation, such as cystitis
  • Lack of exercise, or a sedentary lifestyle

At Fusion Physical Therapy, our women’s health specialist, Dr. Jackie Saravave, will partner with you to create a customized treatment plan. Each treatment session includes a detailed evaluation of symptoms and medical history. She will also spend time with you discussing your pain and/or the muscles involved and how Physical Therapy will help you.

Contact Fusion Physical Therapy at 580-699-54544 or visit our website at to set up an appointment to meet with Dr. Saravave to create the best treatment plan for you that will allow you to enjoy your daily activities with less peezing.

The Achilles Tendon

One of the most common tendons to rupture is the largest tendon known as the Achilles tendon and stretches from the bones of the heel all the way to your calf muscles. When the Achilles tendon is injured, the pain is mild and creates a burning sensation and is stiff. There are approximately 30,000 people in the United States aging from 30 to 49 who experience a torn or ruptured tendon.

While there are many different type of treatment for the Achilles tendon injury, physical therapy is one of the more successful and common ways to treat any type of Achilles tendon injury. At Fusion Physical Therapy we will create a customized therapy plan that may include the following

  • Strengthening Exercises
    • A customized exercise plan will be created for you that will strengthen the tendon which may have lost strength during the time of healing
  • Stretching Exercises
    • Stretching exercises will also help the tendon heal without causing long term pain
  • Cold Therapy
    • Our therapists may use cold packs and ice massages which decrease blood flow and should decrease pain and swelling
  • Heat Therapy
    • We may also choose to use moist hot packs, heating pads or paraffin to increase blood flow which causes your muscles to relax as well as heals the body tissues
  • Deep Massage
    • A deep massage increases blood circulation and helps the tendons prevent injury in the future

The above are treatments are non-surgical treatments for any type of Achilles tendon injury. If your injury is severe you may require surgical treatment. Physical Therapy will be recommended from your physician after the surgery has occurred. At Fusion Physical Therapy we will partner with you and your physician to create a customized treatment plan which will increase your mobility and get you back to your normal daily activities. Within 3 to 8 weeks after surgery our treatment options would include the following

  • Therapeutic Exercises
  • R.I.C.E. (Protection-Rest-Ice-Compression-Elevation)
    • PRICE controls inflammation while allowing healing and recovery to take place
  • Manual Therapy
  • Trigger Point Dry Needling (TrP-DN)
    • TrP-DN aids to alleviate soreness and tenderness that is associated with trigger points

Contact Fusion Physical Therapy today and one of our trained Physical Therapists will treat your Achilles tendon injury and get you back to normal functioning.

Things to Know About the Pelvic Floor

Pelvic Floor
There are several health issues that a woman deals with that affect the pelvic floor and include urinary incontinence, pelvic pain and bowel problems. Childbirth, chronic constipation, pregnancy, surgery, chronic coughing, trauma and aging a few types of issues women experience which may cause pelvic floor muscle tension, incoordination and weakness. There are many myths about women’s health and we are going to address two of them below.

Myth 1: Kegel exercises will enhance my sex life.
Truth: Kegels can actually make it worse
Many women do not understand the pelvic floor, how it is made up and it’s function. The pelvic floor is comprised of 14 muscles that each have different tightness and weakness. Kegel exercises actually contract and relax the muscles of the pelvic floor.

The most important thing to remember with Kegel’s is to identify the right muscles to contract and relax. Tightening all of your muscles can lead to further problems whereas not tightening them enough or having too much weakness, which is commonly encountered after C-Sections and vaginal births, can create several different problems. There are several pelvic floor dysfunctions such as GI, back pain, vaginal pain, hip, urethra pain, constipation, urinary frequency and incontinence. At Fusion Physical Therapy, our specialized women’s health physical therapist will address any dysfunctions or problems by properly diagnosing which muscles are compromised and partner with you to create a customized treatment plan.

Myth 2: Urinary Incontinence is just a part of getting old.
Truth: Urinary Incontinence generally indicates a larger health issue.
Have you ever coughed, sneezed or laughed and a small amount of urine leaked out? This is called stress incontinence and many joke around and call them “squirts” or “peezing”. Even if you have had kids, the experts say this is not at all normal.

Urinary Incontinence can be one of many symptoms that can lead to other issues that worsen as women get older. The pelvic floor holds your uterus and bladder in place above your vagina. When you start to experience pain in the lower back and elsewhere along with urinary incontinence an alarm will signal that the abdomen and the pelvic floor have been compromised. At Fusion Physical Therapy, our specialized women’s health physical therapist can help treat these symptoms through customized treatment plans that focus on the abdomen, pelvic floor, lower back, diaphragm as well as other areas.

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction is not something to overlook and you are never too old to address these issues and correct them before major health issues arise. Contact Fusion Physical Therapy at today to set up an appointment to meet with our trained women’s health physical therapist and create the best treatment plan for you.