“Why Did My Pain Come Back?”

Have you ever had an injury that you thought was resolved, but then some of the symptoms return a little while later? Did you think that you would have to live with this pain for the rest of your life?

Many of our patients tell us similar stories about a pain/injury that would resurface now and again, sometimes completely debilitating them or at least keeping them from being able to exercise for a while. And unfortunately many of them thought they would “just have to live with it” and occasionally be laid up by it … until they found us.


Difference Between “Physical Therapy” and “Physiotherapy”

Difference Between “Physical Therapy” and “Physiotherapy”

Difference between physical therapy and physiotherapyMany people ask me, “What is the difference between physical therapy and physiotherapy?” Some claim that physiotherapy indicates more of a hands-on manual therapy approach to rehabilitation, while physical therapy indicates a more exercise-based approach to rehabilitation. In my opinion, however, these terms are synonymous.

The distinction probably stems from the fact that outside the United States (at least until the last 5 years or so), treatment of musculoskeletal conditions by physiotherapists was much more hands-on manual therapy based than in the U.S. Luckily, manual therapy training and its popularity have skyrocketed in the U.S., and many more physical therapists are also becoming certified, highly skilled manual therapy specialists. Additionally, most Americans would use the term “physical therapy” to describe what people outside the U.S. would typically call “physiotherapy”, although there may be very little or no difference in the actual treatments provided.

Dealing with Pain or Injury in the Greater Austin Area?

The most important question to ask if you are considering any treatment option has nothing to do with which term is used to describe a PT clinic, rather the training and treatment approach of the practice itself. Wherever you decide to get treatment, ensure that the therapists provide hands-on manual therapy techniques along with the therapeutic exercises for rehabilitation common to most physical therapy clinics in the U.S. In most cases, you will get much more complete and faster results by utilizing hands-on treatments along with exercises as opposed to only doing exercises and stretches.

In the following FAQ video, we answer the related question:

Are physiotherapy and physical therapy the same thing?

(From the video transcription) Ben: The terms “Physiotherapy” and ‘’Physical Therapy’’ are interchangeable. It just depends on where you are in the world. Some people in the U.S. will use the term “physio”, but for the most part, Americans use the term “physical therapy. I think it’s one of the only places where ‘’physical therapy’’ is used because now the two terms are pretty synonymous. Jarod: Yep, they’re synonomous. Although some out there might say “No. Physical therapy is more exercise-based and physiotherapy is more hands-on manual based,” they think that because, outside of the U.S. until the last ten years, physiotherapy involved much more hands-on manual therapy training. Here, it was more exercise-based, but now manual therapy is widely taught and practiced by American physical therapists as well.   And finally, concerning my own physical therapy practice in Austin, I’m often asked:

Why did you choose the name “Carter Physiotherapy” rather than “Carter Physical Therapy”?

The answer is two-fold:

  1. Carter Physical Therapy was already taken by a PT practice on the West coast.
  2. I am a dual U.S.-Australian citizen and feel somewhat of a connection with the term “physiotherapy” as well.

In conclusion: Although you’ll find that different PT practices either use physical therapy or physiotherapy to describe their services, they basically mean the same thing today, both in the U.S. and abroad. Click here for more information on the treatment philosophies and methods you can expect at our PT clinic in Austin.

How to Adjust your Chair and Computer to Avoid Neck Pain

How to Adjust your Chair and Computer to Avoid Neck Pain

Aside from those who come to my office with neck pain due to a trauma or car accident, I would estimate over 90% of my patients with neck pain develop that pain, at least in part, due to poor posture.

With more and more people spending an ever-greater amount of time sitting at desks, the number of people developing serious neck pain and dysfunction is also increasing.  A great deal of this pain could be avoided if people were to set up their desk space in a way that promotes and supports good posture, and if they were also adamant about maintaining these proper postural positions.

I find myself explaining appropriate postural positions and ergonomic desk set-ups on a weekly basis, so I decided to write an article and make a video about this issue.

Based on the video above, whether or not you have a desktop or a laptop, it is likely you will need an adjustable keyboard tray.  Here is a link to one of my favorites.  Note, you may be able to save money if the 17 inch version is big enough for you. You can also opt for the “standard tray” rather than this “adjustable tray” which essentially just gives you more adjustments for the mouse pad area (though if you have wrist or elbow issues, I would stick with the adjustable tray).

If you are using a laptop, here is a link to a wireless keyboard you can connect to it. If this one doesn’t suit your needs, just look around on Amazon for one that does. Here are general directions for connecting the keyboard to the laptop wirelessly.

If your chair is not adjustable in the ways described in the video, here is a link to the fully adjustable chair in the video.  With all that said, if you read this post on the dangers of sitting still and fully supported all day long, you may want to try this swiss ball chair. You can still attain very good posture with this type of chair… you just have to work at it throughout the day, which is likely much better for your health. All the angles of the body and placement of the computer/keyboard demonstrated in the video still apply.

If you have any questions about posture or neck pain that are not addressed in this article or video, please feel free to contact me at any time.

Flying in for Formula One? Here’s how to Keep your Low Back Feeling Good while you’re in Austin

Flying in for Formula One? Here’s how to Keep your Low Back Feeling Good while you’re in Austin

So Formula One is coming to the great city of Austin, Texas and there will be many people flying in from out of the country to see the races. These long flights can do a number on the body and especially the low back. There are a great number of things that can contribute to and/or cause low back pain, but today I’d like to focus on one that commonly affects people having to sit through long flights.

I rarely see a patient with low back pain whose “hip flexors” are not at least partially involved in their symptoms. So what are the hip flexors? And how can they cause back pain? I think this is most easily explained with a video …  (more…)

Injury Prevention for Walking/Running Programs – presentation for RunTex ATX TRAINING groups

Injury Prevention for Walking/Running Programs – presentation for RunTex ATX TRAINING groups

Last Saturday, I had the privilege of working with the RunTex ATX TRAINING groups and providing some information about avoiding injuries as they work toward their inspiring goals. More specifically, I taught about hip muscles weaknesses that are predisposing factors to many back, hip, and knee injuries I treat in the clinic. We covered:

  1. How specific Hip muscle weakness can lead to different types of injuries
  2. How anyone can test themselves to see if they have these issues
  3. Some simple exercises that can be done to strengthen the muscles and avoid injury (more…)

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