Physical Therapy for Low Back Pain

Low Back Pain: A growing concern

Back pain is a huge problem- it has or will affect most of us. The current estimate is that 80% of people will experience back pain at least once. It is the single biggest cause for disability, the third most common reason for doctor visits, and one of the most common reasons for missing work.

It’s also expensive. Back and neck pain make up the biggest healthcare expense in the US, totaling $134 billion spent in 2016. The next two most expensive conditions were diabetes- $111 billion in spending- and ischemic heart disease at $89 billion.  Diabetes and heart disease being so expensive to treat doesn’t surprise most folks- they can both lead to other major problems, require long term medication, could require surgery, and can be fatal. Back pain won’t kill you, doesn’t require long term medication, and usually doesn’t require surgery.

So, why is treating back pain so expensive?

The first reason is that back pain is so common. The second reason is that our current system isn’t very good at following clinical practice guidelines. Current recommendations include starting with activity modification, and active treatments like physical therapy. Research backs this up, showing better outcomes and lower costs with early PT.

If you find yourself with low back pain, it is important to understand that there is an outstanding chance that you will recover from your low back pain in the near future.  The good news: 60% of of people with back pain will recover within 1-3 weeks, and 95% will recover within 12 weeks using early PT.

Unfortunately, only 2% of people with back pain start with PT, and only 7% get to a PT within 90 days. At the same time, a study looking at about 2.5 million people with back pain in JAMA showed that 32.3% of these patients received imaging within 30 days of diagnosis, and 35.3% received imaging without a trial of physical therapy. Both of these things go against current practice guidelines for treatment of back pain, and drives up healthcare costs for the patient.

Aligning Low Back Pain Treatment to Practice Guidelines

The right treatment for you should include treatments proven to help recovery. However, traditional insurance plan benefit designs don’t incentivize the use of non-invasive care options. Also, many care providers generate revenue from back pain treatments like injections and imaging, driving up costs, extending recovery time, and reducing use of recommended therapies like PT.

Insurance plans are taking notice, and major insurance carriers are addressing the barriers to care that keep patients from receiving the physical therapy they need to get better. United Healthcare (the largest insurer in the US) and TRICARE (the insurance system used through the US Military) are waiving the payment owed by the patient for up to three PT sessions in an attempt to improve the use of what the Defense Health Agency calls “high value” treatment for low back pain. The theory is that once a person understands the benefits from PT treatment, they’re likely to go back for more.

Does this mean that you could eventually get physical therapy for free? Maybe! The fact that such a major insurers are looking into the value of PT  for back pain is great news for everyone. This could improve the lives of millions of people every year while reducing the huge cost of treating low back pain for the country. This seems like a win for everyone involved!

Back Pain Treatment at Millennium Therapy

Physical Therapists at Millennium Therapy offer personalized treatment plans to patients suffering from back or neck pain. Our therapists use specialized techniques such as myofascial release, ASTYM, ultrasound, gentle hands-on techniques to relax muscles, and dynamic or static pelvic traction. Your Millennium therapist will take the time to ensure you really understand the techniques being used, and the source of your pain or discomfort.

Jill Kuyava, PT in Hudson, IA, knows many patients have tried physical therapy before, but are surprised at the difference when coming to see her, “I’ve had patients who have been to 3 or 4 other physical therapy clinics before and never had a therapist touch them.” Specializing in manual therapies and PRI methodologies, working with Jill was a much better experience for her patients, “the patients think it’s quite refreshing to really be able to understand the techniques being used.” For back pain patients, Jill focuses on education, and manual techniques that get the patient better faster.

Your Millennium Therapy PT can help give you the tools treat your dysfunctions and get back to life. Appointments are available in clinic, via telehealth, or by home visit. To schedule an appointment, call your nearest clinic, or complete the form below to be put in touch with a PT in your area.

 

Covid-19 Recovery and Rehabilitation

Development of Covid-19 Recovery and Rehabilitation Program

Millennium Therapy has worked tirelessly to develop programs to reduce the effects of Covid-19 on nursing home residents and staff. These therapy processes developed by Millennium Therapy for our nursing home partners has resulted in dramatically reduced Covid-19 mortality rates: 69-78% lower than state average.

But, Recovery and Rehabilitation for Covid-19 doesn’t stop there. Using the knowledge we gained in developing courses of care for active Covid-19 cases, we have developed a plan of care for Covid-19 Long Haulers.

What is a Covid-19 Long Hauler?

Covid-19 Long Haulers are those who have recovered from Covid and are no longer contagious, but still experience symptoms. It is estimated that around 1/3 of people will have recurring symptoms after their initial Covid-19 recovery. These ‘Covid Long Haulers’ can have symptoms that last weeks or months past initial recovery. Symptoms that remain after recovering from Covid vary greatly, and can effect all age groups.

Millennium Therapy’s Covid-19 Recovery and Rehabilitation Program helps Covid Long Haulers recover from the multitude of physical and emotional setbacks associated with Covid-19, like:

    • Deconditioning
    • Fatigue
    • Congestion
    • Breathing Issues
    • Cardiopulmonary Training
    • Strength and Endurance
    • Balance Deficits

What are the treatment options?

In order to be treated in our clinics, a patient must be Covid-19 recovered and be able to pass our clinic’s screening protocols. If the patient is not strong enough to start therapy in the clinic, or has an active Covid-19 diagnosis, most insurance plans will allow us to start therapy in home or via telehealth.

If you or anyone you know are suffering from long term symptoms of Covid-19, contact any of our outpatient clinics to schedule an appointment today!

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Aquatic Therapy at Millennium Therapy Eagle Grove

Millennium Therapy in Eagle Grove has the only therapeutic pool in Northwest Iowa

If you are suffering from pain, stiffness, mobility restrictions, or have struggled with traditional physical therapy- Aquatic Therapy can help you meet your goals! Aquatic Therapy utilizes the properties of water to decrease weight bearing and lessen impact on joints making movement, and progress towards your goals, easier. Meanwhile, therapeutic temperatures help alleviate pain.

Aquatic Therapy at Millennium Therapy takes place at our in-house pool. Our pool is the only therapeutic pool in Northwest Iowa. The therapeutic pool is 3-5 feet deep, and kept at warmer than usual temperatures. Our therapists will enter the pool with you to help guide your exercises and provide manual therapies.

For your comfort, our facility provides locker rooms with showers to ease the transition from pool to land. Patients enter the pool via chair lift or low incline ramp. During therapy, you may choose to wear a swimsuit or shorts and a t-shirt, whatever is most comfortable. We also offer a sauna and hot tub, and welcome our patients to enjoy moist heat benefits post therapy!

Benefits of Aquatic Therapy:

  • Buoyancy, Fluid Resistance, and Drag
  • 88-92 degree water temperature to Reduce Pain
  • Hydrostatic Pressure
  • Viscosity for improved core strengthening
  • Gross Motor Development
  • Improved Range of Motion
  • Balance
  • Facilitation of Normalized Movement for land based ADLs

 

Reasons to consider Aquatic Therapy:

  • Pre-Surgical Therapy
  • Therapy for Bariatric Patients
  • Joint Pain or Arthritis
  • Muscle Sprains and Strains
  • Athletic Injuries
  • Chronic Pain
Pool at Millennium Therapy Eagle Grove

Learn More:

Want to know if Aquatic Therapy is right for you?

Give us a call at 515-448-4599 or Request an Appointment:

Request an Appointment

We accept most insurance plans, and insurance is verified prior to the start of any therapy.

 

Managing Lymphedema with a Certified Lymphedema Therapist

What is Lymphedema?

Lymphedema is swelling in your arms or legs due to a obstruction of lymphatic pathways. Lymphatic pathways are what carry tissue fluid out of an area. If lymphedema is left untreated, swelling from the obstructions can take over your body part. The swelling can impair your ability to live your life the way you want to.

Lymphedema patients who have been educated on their condition often think that nothing can be done since you can’t “cure” lymphedema. Even though lymphedema is something you will have for the rest of your life, therapy with a Certified Lymphedema Therapist (CLT) can be very effective.  A CLT can teach better management of lymphedema symptoms, reduce exacerbations, and improve your quality of life.

Managing chronic conditions like lymphedema can be confusing and frustrating. Here is what to expect when you see a Certified Lymphedema Therapist:

What to Expect: Your Appointment with a Certified Lymphedema Therapist

History of Lymphedema Treatment

At the initial evaluation, a thorough medical history is taken to determine the type of lymphedema and if any prior treatments have been completed.  It is discussed if the patient has already been educated on or has started on daily compression.

This thorough history helps the therapist determine the approach and lymphedema pathways that will be used during manual lymphatic drainage and treatment.  Measurements are taken of both limbs or area that the lymphedema has settled in for a baseline measurement and to track progress.

Lymphedema Education

The patient and their family are educated on how the lymphatic system works. This is helpful in understanding how to better manage lymphedema. Proactive lymphedema management reduces any risk of skin breakdown, infections, and limited mobility. Strength and balance testing may also be performed.  Then the lymphedema pathways are slowly cleared with manual lymphatic drainage.

Manual Drainage

Many who live with lymphedema have tried some sort of elevation or daily compression. However, many don’t realize there are more options to help better manage their lymphedema. Getting these patients set up on a home lymphedema pump is very beneficial. Treatments will still include manual lymphatic drainage. But a CLT can get the patient properly fitted for daily compression garments.

Lymphedema Management Supplies

Due to a variety of financial restrictions for a lot of lymphedema patients, many think they can’t afford wraps, compression stockings/sleeves, or home pumps. However, a Certified lymphedema Therapist has many connections with these types of companies and representatives. There are waivers available to low income patients to get them the equipment they might need to better manage their lymphedema and symptoms.

Lymphedema Treatment for Cancer Patients

Cancer patients can develop lymphedema as a side effect of their cancer treatment. The treatments and procedures done for the cancer are taken into consideration. Any surgical interventions done can change which lymphatic pathways are used to re-route the lymphedema fluid.  These patients may see a quicker response to the manual lymphatic drainage vs chronic lymphedema patients, because they usually haven’t had the swelling quite as long. However, patients that have to go through radiation will find slower progress due to the restrictions and hardening of the skin and pathways following this treatment.

Learn More

Lymphedema Therapy is available at Millennium Therapy locations in Clarence, Eagle Grove, Fort Dodge, and Independence. Home based therapy may also be available. Contact your nearest location for more information. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Why you should see your Physical Therapist to Reach your Fitness Goals

Physical Therapists aren’t just for people that are injured or have had surgery. Physical Therapists can also help healthy people improve their fitness, and seeing a PT for this reason has many benefits! When you see a Physical Therapist to improve your fitness, you’ll get an assessment of your strength, range of motion, posture, and movement patterns. By using a Physical Therapist to coordinate your fitness routine, you’ll get a customized program that can also reduce your risk for injury.

 

You Want a Baseline

When you see a physical therapist to improve your fitness, you’ll get an assessment of your strength, range of motion, posture, and movement patterns. This not only helps your physical therapist design a customized program just for you, it gives them a baseline to compare things to in the future should you start having pain or suffer an injury.

You Want Expert Guidance

Sure, other professionals could help with your fitness routine, but the fitness industry is not well regulated. Some certifications just require an online certification after paying a fee. There are no licenses or other requirements to use many fitness titles. Becoming a physical therapist requires at least a bachelors degree, and most Millennium Therapy therapists hold doctorates in their field. A physical therapist is a true member of your healthcare team. Every physical therapist has passed a national board exam and maintains a state license. Every Millennium Therapy physical therapist is a verified expert in human movement.

You Want to Prevent Injury

Physical Therapists don’t just work to heal injuries, they are also experts in preventing them. After a thorough assessment, a PT can help you design a program that will not only help you reach your fitness goals, but that can address any issues that increase your risk for injury.

You Want Unbiased Advice

Yoga instructors will want you to do yoga. Personal trainers will want you to come to their gym. Pilates instructors will want you to do Pilates. Strength coaches will want you to strength train. A physical therapist doesn’t have bias or vested interest as to what type of fitness regimen you choose. They are only interested in helping you reach your goals.

You Have a History

If you have some kind of history that affects your ability to exercise, a PT is the best person to help you design a fitness regimen. It doesn’t matter if it’s an old injury from athletics or work, back pain that comes up from time to time, COPD, arthritis, or heart disease, a PT can help you safely work around it and meet your fitness goals.

 

Millennium Therapy PTs are ready to help you meet your goals! Appointments are available in clinic, via telehealth, or by home visit. To schedule an appointment, call your nearest clinic, or complete the form below to be put in touch with a PT in your area.

Request an Appointment