Easing Pain With the Power of Physical Therapy

As we move throughout our daily lives, occasional aches and pains are an expected hiccup. Sometimes we can stretch our discomfort away or ease the edge with ibuprofen, but what about when pain refuses to be run off? What do you do when it becomes a chronic feature in life?

Methodist Hospital for Surgery urges you to consider one of the safest and most effective routes for pain management. Physical therapy (PT) can improve your mobility and range of motion and alleviate pain associated with injury, surgery and degenerative bone and joint diseases. In turn, it can eliminate the need for costly surgeries and reduce dependency on highly addictive opioids.

So ask yourself—could PT be your solution for chronic pain?

Will my pain respond to physical therapy? How do I know if it’s an ideal treatment for me?

PT has been proven to be effective for numerous types of pain, including back, hip, knee and shoulder pain. Joint pain of almost every kind benefits from this kind of treatment. For traumatic injury, such as muscular or ligament tears, or degenerative diseases, including osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease, PT can not just alleviate pain and improve mobility, it can eliminate the need for surgery.

How long do I have to participate in physical therapy for it to be effective?

The best PT programs are rooted in attentive, one-on-one care in which your therapist routinely re-evaluates your functional mobility. Because everyone who seeks PT has a unique performance goal, it is impossible to say how long your need for PT will last—your program may require one month or three. Instead, you and your therapist should work on developing a list of functional performance goals that will help determine when you can satisfactorily step away from PT.

Do I need a referral to get started with physical therapy?

We advise you to check with your insurance provider first and foremost, since they may require a referral or preauthorization. You should also consider specific state laws regarding the pursuit of PT. In Texas, you can request an initial screening without a referral or prescription, but ongoing treatment will require a medical diagnosis that warrants PT.

Take advantage of physical therapy’s proven power to heal. For more information and office locations, visit us online at


Warming Up for Summer Activities

Whether swimming laps at the pool, joining a competitive baseball or softball league, running trails at your favorite park or simply playing a game of HORSE with a good friend, summer is one of the best times of the year to get outside and be active.

Yet, before you get started, it’s crucial to always warm up and stretch properly to help avoid injury. And while there are numerous ways to help get your body primed and limber, these are some of the best methods to use:

Dynamic Stretching

It’s been found that static stretching can actually hinder your body’s performance when exercising, so dynamic movement and stretches are much better for warming up all those muscle groups. Stretches such as lunges, squatting, arm circles, butt kicks and leg kicks move you through a continuous range of motion and help loosen your body up properly.

Foam Rolling

If you have one readily available, utilizing a foam roller before and after your workout keeps your muscles relaxed and capable of moderate to strenuous exercise. Also, post-work out rolling helps your muscles regenerate and grow more efficiently.

Just Jump

Yes, seriously. Jumping rope or in place for 5-10 minutes will get your heart rate and body temperature up, loosening up your arms, legs and core. Obviously, don’t over exert yourself and do however much that your body or fitness level will allow and build from there.

Speaking of jumping, jumping jacks address all major muscle groups and open up your flexibility and range of motion significantly. Try substituting in a few sets of 20 pre-workout to help get that blood flowing.


Nothing demonstrates flexibility and stretching quite like yoga. While there are many stages and degrees of difficulty to the art, performing basic functions allows the body to regulate oxygen through the bloodstream and loosen up and stretch those major muscle groups. Obviously, don’t go above and beyond your body’s limits the first few times, but begin incorporating different positions in as you become accustomed and more flexible.

Get to Walking – The easiest way to warm up and cool down after any exercise or sport is walking. You’re able to help regulate your breathing and, depending on the amount of energy you plan to exert, can adjust your speed accordingly.

Clearly, there are multiple ways to help get your body prepared for any physical activity or sport you want to participate in. If you have fallen victim to strains, sprains or other injuries, contact the physical therapists at Methodist Hospital Surgery are get back on the road to recovery today.


Improving Quality of Life with Physical Therapy

What do you think of when someone mentions physical therapy (PT)? If you find yourself believing that physical therapists are called on scene only after someone has suffered a traumatic injury or stroke, allow us to reacquaint you with this particular medical specialty.

PT has numerous applications, for everything from orthopedic pain and neurological conditions to autoimmune disorders and even asthma. And as you may have already guessed, there are various types of PT, too, including orthopedic, acute care, post-operative care, neurologic rehabilitation and more.

In reality, once you look at all that can be accomplished with PT, you’ll probably realize that you or someone close to you could benefit greatly from a consultation and treatment plan.

What can a physical therapist do for me?

PT is about improving quality of life. That may mean reducing pain, improving physical function or limiting the effects of a disability or impairment. The most common reasons people seek help from physical therapists include:

  • Joint Pain (affecting hips, knees, ankles or shoulders, including arthritis)
  • Sprains, Strains & Sports Injuries
  • Post Operative Pain/Limited Function
  • Vertigo & Balance Disorders
  • Spinal Stenosis & Scoliosis
  • Cardiac & Stroke Rehab
  • Degenerative Diseases (e.g. cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s, Guillain-Barre syndrome, etc.)
  • And more!

But did you know that PT is also valuable in preventative care? The basics of PT focus on posture, increasing strength and flexibility, and improving coordination, which makes it an ideal way to prevent sports or work-related injuries, arthritic and joint pain, and complications of certain spinal conditions.

How does a physical therapist determine my needs?

Your initial PT evaluation will usually include a basic physical examination and several functional tests. But don’t worry—your therapist isn’t looking for an Iron Man competitor and therefore does not expect impressive feats of physical strength.

Instead, functional tests look at range of motion, general patterns of movement, flexibility and overall strength, as well as posture while sitting and standing. In addition, your therapist will ask several questions related to daily activities, work environment, current physical complaints and your expectations for therapy.

Following the initial evaluation, your therapist will walk you through a proposed treatment plan, which may include physical exercises and stretches, heat and/or ice therapy, massage, electrical stimulation, manual therapy and more.

So what are you waiting for?

Clearly, there are a multitude of reasons to consider a visit with your nearby physical therapist. Whether you’re struggling with pain or mobility issues today, or want to prepare your body for a specific physical endeavor, a physical therapist can help you better understand your body, the way it moves and how to care for its structure.

If you believe PT could be the ideal method to manage or prevent pain, treat an injury or stay on top of a disability, contact the outpatient physical therapy team at Methodist Hospital for Surgery.