General Physical Therapy
What is Physical Therapy?
Physical Therapy (often abbreviated as PT) is a specialized way of treating physical and functional difficulties. The practice promotes mobility, strength, function, and quality of life. A Physical Therapist examines each patient to determine the treatment plan and what interventions are needed to overcome specific health obstacles.
Our Physical Therapists are licensed and use a variety of techniques that can aid in your recovery. We are a highly specialized and holistic physical therapy clinic that provides you with the resources and knowledge needed for recovery and maintenance of health.
Conditions We Treat
- Pelvic Floor Dysfunctions
- Cancer Rehab
- Sports injuries
- Orthopedic, Spine & TMJ Rehab
- Women’s Health
- Lymphedema Care
Our Holistic Approach
The human body is such a magnificent and intricate machine. To really understand its complexity, imagine the billions of processes going on inside each of us at every moment: Your endocrine system is releasing hormones regulating everything from your mood, sleep patterns and metabolism, to your growth, tissue function and ability to reproduce. Your nervous system is enabling you to tell the difference between a lukewarm bath and a burning flame through magnetic pulses carrying vital information throughout your body.
Here at Rising Sun Physical Therapy, we provide you with a holistic approach, something you may or may not have heard of before. This means that we look at the entirety of a situation in order to address the root cause. We then teach you how to work with your body to promote a more extensive healing process. For example, a patient comes in with complaints about a headache. Headaches could be caused by a number of things. Instead of prescribing the patient with pain medication for the headache, our physical therapists will look at the whole body to figure out where the headache is based. The patient might surprised to discover that the problem was caused by misalignment in the cervical spine, tight muscles, bad posture, or even arthritis!
Our various views, methods, and techniques for treating health problems have made us one of the more highly demanded Physical Therapy practices in the Bay Area. At Rising Sun Physical Therapy we take care of our patients from the moment they step into our clinic. Our therapists seek to understand the root of complex health problems and discuss the best method of treatment. Like any other machine, our bodies deserve attention, proper checkups, and tuneups in order to function to the best of its ability. Don’t let something simple limit you from doing the things you love!
Orthopedic Rehabilitation hones in on problems with the musculoskeletal system. Known as the locomotor system, the musculoskeletal system includes all the muscles, bones, ligaments, and tendons throughout the body. Orthopedic Rehab is a fundamental part of regaining your activity, strength, and motion after injury or surgery.
This form of therapy treats a large array of conditions that pertain to the muscular and skeletal systems including, but not limited to, amputations, joint replacements, fractures, and neck & lower back problems.
Research has shown that individuals who undergo Orthopedic Rehab can often succeed in regaining optimal body function. An early start can increase overall gains, boosting physical strength, endurance, balance, mobility, and independence.
Our therapists who specialize in orthopedic rehabilitation and musculoskeletal services will help you regain your physical functioning after injury or surgery. Treatment begins with an analysis of your particular case and a goal oriented treatment plan.
Our Orthopedic rehabilitation program includes various treatments and are not limited to:
- passive stretching and joint mobilizations
- decrease swelling and increase circulation and healing times
Pelvic floor dysfunction affect people of all ages, of all activity levels, and those recovering from
pregnancy or cancer treatment (e.g. surgery and/or radiation).
What is the Pelvic Floor?
The pelvic floor is a sheet of muscles, ligaments, nerves, and connective tissues that passes through the “floor” of the pelvis and supports the bladder, rectum, and other organs within the pelvic area. Both women and men have a pelvic floor.
The function of the pelvic floor is very important as it supports some of the body’s vital organs and helps with the maintenance and self control of the urinary and anal sphincters. It has a big role in women during pregnancy and birth, as it helps the fetus to rotate forwards and navigate through the pelvic girdle.
More women than men have issues with their pelvic floor one or more times in their life. And nearly half of all women will experience some sort of pelvic floor dysfunction.
What are Pelvic Floor dysfunctions?
Pelvic floor dysfunctions occur when the muscles in the pelvic floor supporting the pelvic organs become weak, tight, or damaged. Some of the main problems with pelvic floor dysfunction include lack of bladder control, lack of bowel control, and/or pelvic organ prolapse. Many of these conditions can be uncomfortable and cause pain in the pelvic region.
A deeper conversation can illuminate urinary and bowel irregularities, pain or pressure in the vagina or rectum, the feeling of a heavy pelvis, muscle spasms, and/or pain or discomfort with sexual intercourse. It is important to talk with your health care providers about these problems as it is common for pelvic floor dysfunction to go avoided or ignored.
You may feel like you are the only one in this situation, but urinary incontinence affects 25 million adult Americans. 26% of women between 18 and 59 have involuntary leakage, 1 of 7 American women ages 18 to 50 have pelvic pain, and 61% go without diagnoses!
Pelvic floor dysfunction can be caused by a number of specific conditions. These conditions may be due to pregnancy or childbirth, insidious onset, infections, poor posture from chronic low back or SI dysfunction, trauma (e.g. injury from falling), or even the result of surgery. Some disorders include, but are not limited to, disorders of the bladder (e.g. IC, Prostatitis, Prostatodynia), disorders of the bowel (IBS, abdominal pain, pressure, discomfort, and bloating), sexual dysfunctions, pelvic dysfunction, or post surgical issues.
How to get rid of pelvic pain
There is help beyond Kegel exercises and pads that hide symptoms as opposed to healing them. Our Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy program helps to relieve symptoms, discomfort, and embarrassment. Because our therapists have years of experience with evaluating and treating pelvic floor dysfunctions, we not only address the issue, but help you on the road to recovery.
Some things you can expect from an evaluation and treatment with us:
Our biggest goal at Rising Sun Physical Therapy is to give you the best experience and outcomes to achieve your health goals. We work with you and your other health care providers as a team, send written reports with updates regarding your progress, give written protocols, engage in one on one sessions with our patients, provide email access to our therapist throughout the treatment, and provide access to all our informative health talks and information on various topics.
A cancer diagnosis changes everything. It can be a brutal wake up call that takes people out of their seemingly normal life to a flurry of tests and procedures. Things start to move fast after the diagnosis and there may be a bunch of decisions that need to be made regarding treatment and care.
Typically cancer is treated through surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or a combination of all of these. Yet if you have done your research, you know the side effects of this necessary treatment can open a patient up to additional risks both during and after treatment. Some common side effects include weakness, fatigue, reduced range of motion in the affected area, problems with coordination and balance, decreased endurance, pain, discomfort, and/or swelling.
Because of this long list of symptoms, some people will choose to pair their cancer treatment with physical therapy. This is because the various techniques physical therapists use aim to reduce pain and discomfort.
How physical therapy helps with cancer treatment
Physical therapy can help in all stages of cancer treatment, from initial diagnosis, through active treatment, and during the recovery period.
In Germany, physical therapy has been a regular tool in the cancer fighting arsenal for over a decade. Here in the U.S. the importance of rehabilitation after cancer treatment, or using it to help maintain health during cancer treatment, has been slow to catch on. Only in recent years has its importance been acknowledged by leaders in the field.
Research shows that physical therapy treatment during and after cancer treatment can effectively improve the quality of life for patients. Physical therapy during cancer treatment can help reduce the patient’s risk for complications like lymphedema, poor selfimage, impaired range of motion, or even nerve impingement. The key to lowering the risk is early intervention.
Before cancer treatment begins a physical therapist can evaluate a patient to get baseline measurements as well as an assessment on the level of functioning and general physical health. After evaluation the therapist can advise patients on ways to maximize physical health before treatment starts. Physical therapists also educate patients about the risk factors for lymphedema, a swelling condition that sometimes results from damage to the lymphatic system (see lymphedema).
During cancer treatment physical therapy helps patients maintain a sense of physical well-being and function and can aid in pain management. Proper instruction at this stage can reduce the risk of side effects. A good PT teaches patients how to increase function in affected limbs/areas without strenuous exertion. Post treatment physical therapy can restore full possible function for patients. It also helps them transition back to work, hobbies, and regular life.
What is Lymphedema?
Lymphedema is the swelling that occurs in the arms or legs caused by the damage or removal of the lymph nodes during cancer treatment. It results in a blockage of the lymphatic system, which also hosts part of the immune system. Due to the blockage it is more difficult for lymph fluids to drain well and the fluid buildup leads to swelling.
Some symptoms of lymphedema include swelling in the arms or legs, a heavy or tight feeling, restricted mobility, discomfort, persisting infections, and/or fibrosis (thickening of the skin). Swelling can range from little change in size of limb, to a major change that almost fully restricts movement.
If you have been diagnosed with lymphedema, you may feel overwhelmed, embarrassed, or even isolated as you try to cope with this condition. It may become frustrating to hear that there is no cure, and that you “just have to live with it”. Rest assured, we want you to know that there is treatment available and you, too, can receive the assistance you need!
In fact, Bettina, the founder of Rising Sun Physical Therapy, was motivated to work with cancer patients after personally surviving breast cancer and having to cope with an onset of lymphedema. Although a lymphedema treatment program can require a lot of effort, she speaks from experience when saying that there is a brighter path ahead.
At Rising Sun Physical Therapy, we dedicate a great deal of time to educating the medical community and health insurance companies about this condition. Even with the rise of lymphedema research, it is still uncommon for healthcare providers to know about the condition’s treatment options.
We provide a proven, effective lymphedema treatment facility. Our gold standard treatment program includes Lymph Drainage Therapy, Compression Therapy, exercise for recovery, and self-care goals. Our certified lymphedema specialists can help you decrease the symptoms and manage your lymphedema.
In addition to participating in the treatment program, we encourage our patients to take care of their overall health, including healthy nutrition, deep relaxation, journaling, and professional emotional support. All of these techniques aid in helping the lymphatic system stay healthier and will aid in a quicker, more effective healing.
Treatment of lymphedema includes four main components of complex decongestive physiotherapy:
1. Lymph Drainage Therapy
2. Compression Therapy
What to expect during lymphedema treatment
At your first appointment you will see a certified complex decongestive physiotherapist. You will receive a personalized care plan, and be given the knowledge about the therapeutic technique and educational materials of self-care.
During this initial visit, your therapist will go through your medical history and assess the condition of your lymphedema symptoms. This assessment determines the best course of action, taking into account the size of the affected limb and the duration of the lymphedema. We will set therapeutic goals based on your needs and condition. The frequency of your treatments will depend on the evaluation results and status of your symptoms.
Stages of Lymphedema Treatment
The course of Lymphedema Treatments are composed of the three following stages:
Stage I – The Intensive (Getting Relief)
The purpose of Stage I is to reduce the symptoms of lymphedema. This is the most intense and difficult stage in the program. The good news is that it does get easier as you learn and become more familiar with the process.
This stage may require daily treatment until the swelling is reduced to a baseline determined by you and your therapist. The number of treatments needed may be more or less, depending on the extent of your symptoms. This phase may last anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks.
Subsequent visits after the initial evaluation will include manual lymph drainage, specialized bandaging, exercises, and beginning instruction in self-care and how your body works. Your therapist is available to answer any questions about your personalized treatment plan.
We encourage you to bring someone with you to your treatment sessions. This could be a family member, friend, church member, a neighbor, or anyone you trust who is willing to be part of your self-care program and support you. We will teach you and your guest the self-care techniques to support your treatment program.
By the end of the intensive therapy, your swelling or limb size will be reduced and you will both feel and move better. The feeling of “heaviness” will be lessened and your clothes will fit again.
That is when we will measure and fit you for the appropriate compression garment, which you will wear from now on to control your swelling.
Stage II – Supportive Care (Self-Care Instruction)
During Stage II, you will learn how to support and effectively care for the lymphedema symptoms. Treatment frequency during Stage II may reduce to twice, then once per week, for 4 to 8 weeks.
When you enter the supportive care stage of your therapy, your swelling will have reduced considerably and we will have been fit for and started using your compression garments. The work, however, has not come to an end. At this point your physical therapist will guide you toward greater comfort through self-care.
During this stage you will continue with the lymph drainage therapy. You and your support team will be instructed on skin care specific to lymphedema, the do’s and don’ts of your condition, and supportive exercises. Your therapist will ensure that you know how to bandage your limb and how to use the compression garments appropriately. You will also be instructed on how to maintain the reduced size of your limb by keep the edema under control.
At the end of stage II you’ll graduate from physical therapy. You will be independent, capable of handling your own bandaging, compression therapy, lymph drainage therapy, exercise and skin care. At this point you’ll move into stage III, long-term care and maintenance.
Stage III – Maintenance (Long-Term Care)
Long term maintenance of the results achieved during your intensive therapy is the key to well-being. In the maintenance phase you are expected to do daily self-care: compression, self-lymph drainage, exercise, and skin care. It is imperative to manage the swelling at all times to prevent regression.
We recommend that you schedule periodic treatments with a certified lymphedema specialist in order to maintain your wellness and positive therapeutic results. Treatments during this stage will include lymph drainage therapy, re-evaluation for compression garment needs, and review of your self-care program.
Our experience indicates that treatment monthly, or every other month, strongly improves self-care management among patients.
If you are an athlete, participate in sports, or are highly active, injuries can be a frequent occurrence. They can happen while taking part in organized sports, training, fitness, or even from a bad fall or improper posture. Other causes may be poor exercise habits, inadequate warm-ups, or absence of conditioning. No matter how small the injury, it can turn into bigger problems down the line and eventually hinder normal activity.
Coping with injuries often requires the attention of a physical therapy. Physical rehabilitation helps patients regain their body’s functionality after an injury and seeks to improve on bad habits to prevent future injuries.
Some of the most common sports injuries include sprains, strains, knee injuries, swollen muscles, shin splints, fractures and dislocations. Each sport comes with its own injury risks and participants should be knowledgeable and address issues when they arise.
Injuries can also happen in daily life from even the smallest movements. Having an understanding of your daily movements and posture will greatly help you reduce the risk of injury.
Rising Sun Physical Therapy takes a comprehensive approach to natural pain, symptom management, and preventative care. An important aspect that we consider during treatment of pain symptoms is that each person is unique and will respond to therapy differently.
We are interested in helping you restore your function by discovering why your body is not functioning properly. We look at the body as a whole from the perspective of functional health: how all the parts work together during daily activities like picking up your child, getting out of bed, brushing your teeth, sitting at your desk, walking up the stairs, or working out in the gym.
We use hands-on therapy to assist your body in returning to its optimal health. With appropriate exercise and the changing of old habits, you can learn to maintain your ideal function and return to a symptom-free or manageable lifestyle.
What is Hands-on, or manual, therapy?
Hands-on therapy, or manual therapy, is a specialized form of physical therapy delivered with the hands, as opposed to the practitioner using a device or machine. In manual therapy, practitioners use their hands to balance and stabilize the joints, muscles, and all the different systems in the body to offer you pain relief and help restore your ability to function.
At Rising Sun Physical Therapy, we are experts in manual therapy, with advanced knowledge in:
We strongly believe that manual therapy works best when combined with self-care, therapeutic and fitness exercises, and healthy habit changes.
In addition to therapy for pain management, we encourage you, our patients, to care for your total health. Total health care can include the use of stress relieving techniques for deep relaxation, journaling for health, wholesome nutritional support systems, and emotional support. We also encourage body detoxification to speed up recovery and optimize your healing. This will help your body systems to stay healthier and support deeper healing even beyond physical health.
What to expect in treatment
A therapist will examine the area(s) where you are experiencing pain and the muscles, nerves, soft tissues and other body systems in order to determine the cause of your pain. Your therapist will evaluate your strength, posture, and movement, and ask questions to gain insight into the history and progression of your condition. The therapist may also ask questions about your diet, exercise routine, general stress level, and the occupational, personal and emotional demands you place on your body.
You will leave the first appointment with a basic understanding of your issues, an initial treatment plan, a specialized exercise to help relieve your symptoms, and recommendations for manageable lifestyle changes.
Stages of Pain Management Treatment
Stage I – The Intensive (Getting Relief)
The purpose of this stage is to reduce your symptoms.
This stage is more intense and frequently requires several treatments per week for several weeks. The number of treatments needed per week may vary, depending on the severity of your symptoms, the recommendations made at the initial evaluation, and your personal goals.
Treatment includes manual therapy techniques, re-educating your muscles for optimal function, and verifying that your body will be able to make the changes needed. It also includes learning specialized exercises to reduce your symptoms, self-care instruction, and developing an understanding of how your body works. The exercises and home program will adjust over time as you progress and your needs change.
Our therapists are available to answer any questions about your personalized treatment plan.
By the end of the intensive therapy phase, you will feel relief of your symptoms, and your pain level will be diminished, though you may not be ready to manage the symptoms completely on your own.
Stage II – Supportive Care (Self-Care Instruction)
When you enter stage II your physical therapist will help guide you toward greater comfort through self-care.
During this stage we will continue with manual therapy, but the emphasis will be on self-care. You will learn how to effectively care for yourself. We will help you stabilize your symptoms, and create a solid understanding of what to avoid or alter to help manage in your daily life.
Together, we will create a long-term exercise plan and help you get strong enough to get back to the activities you love. You’ll get insight on how to manage life’s difficulties without losing control of your body.
The treatment frequency will reduce during this stage to once a week with the duration dependent on your therapist’s assessment of your needs and your personal goals.
After your body has been optimally balanced and you are able to manage your symptoms on your own, you will graduate from physical therapy and move into phase III of the Natural Pain Management Program.
Stage III – Wellness (Long-Term Care)
Maintaining the results achieved in therapy on a long-term basis is the key to well-being. Managing symptoms well is vital to leading a happy and fulfilling life.
Our experience has shown that patients who participate in their recovery actively, by changing their habits and continuing to follow a self-care program, will have the best end-results. They will be able to maintain the results achieved in therapy and many continue to improve. That’s why it is essential to continue with the home program you developed with your therapist during the intensive and supportive phases.
Once patients have graduated from physical therapy and know their daily self-care routine, many choose to continue with monthly manual therapy for support. We encourage all our patients to review their self-care program with a therapist from time to time and update the program as needed.
To support patients in this stage of recovery we developed our Wellness Rejuvenation Programs. On your last visit as part of the pain management program your therapist will be happy to help you choose a wellness program to help ensure you maintain your optimal health.
Remember, we want you to succeed and live a happy and fulfilling life.