Meet Your PT: Sonia Saini, PT, DPT, OCS

Sonia Saini Therapydia Mid City Physical Therapist

Therapydia Mid-City physical therapist Sonia Saini PT, DPT, OCS takes some time to share what surprised her most about physical therapy as a profession and her favorite way to unwind after a long day.

Motion is Lotion

When did you know that you wanted to be a physical therapist?

When I was in highschool I used to take my grandma to her Physical Therapy appointments and I saw the relationship she developed with her PT (and they didn’t even speak the same language). Over time I witnessed the positive impact he had in her life and it made me want to dig deeper into the profession and here I am today.

What’s your favorite song to get you motivated?

“Get Low” by Lil Jon. Not your typical motivational song but it works for me every time!

What is the biggest challenge involved in being a PT?

The research is constantly changing and we are continually finding the things we may have learned in school or in prior research may no longer be valid or as effective. But, I see this as a positive thing because it prevents us as a profession from being complacent and forces us to stay on our toes and keep growing.

How do you like to stay active?

I am originally from California and one of my favorite things to do is hike because I love being outdoors. But, running is and will always be my first love and go to for exercise.

What surprised you the most about the physical therapist profession?

What surprised me the most is how many people do not know the level of education Physical Therapists have. We have to go through a rigorous doctorate level program and at the end of it develop a solid foundation and clinical knowledge base to treat our patients. Additionally, we are able to be specialized in a variety of settings such as orthopedics, pediatrics, and neurology to name a few to better help many different patient populations.

Are you currently pursuing any further education/certifications?

I received my OCS (Orthopedic Clinical Specialist) this year. In the near future I would love to dive deeper into Concussion, Post-Cancer, and Women’s Health rehab.

What’s your go-to breakfast?

Greek yogurt with fruit and banana pancakes if I want to treat myself.

What do you wish everyone knew about physical therapy?

I wish everyone knew that Physical Therapy is not a quick fix and there is no magic pill to healing. It takes commitment, effort, and honesty by both the clinician and patient to get back on the road to recovery. In the process many wonderful long-lasting relationships are built.

What is the most important personality trait that a therapist must have?

Staying humble. It is important that no matter where a therapist is in their career or what specialities/certifications they may have that they always strive to learn and evolve not only for themselves but also for their patients.

What do you do to de-stress/unwind?

Spending time with my loved ones laughing and joking. If I am unable to do this, I prefer to be outdoors somewhere near the water to ease my mind.

Finish this sentence: On Saturday mornings, you can usually find me…

In the park jogging with my dog.

What is your favorite piece of wellness advice to offer?

Motion is Lotion. Outside of Physical Therapy, whatever makes your mind and body happy just do it because some movement is better than no movement as long as it makes you feel good!

Learn more about Sonia and the other Therapydia Mid-City physical therapists.

Office Ergonomics: Simple Tips to Keep Moving Throughout the Day

sitting-office-neck-pain-back-pain-shoulder-pain

For those who work at an office job, sitting at a desk all day is pretty unavoidable. As most people come to find out, long periods of inactivity day after day isn’t the best thing for our joints and can lead to neck pain, shoulder pain and back pain. Therapydia physical therapist Michelle Fell, PT, offers a few simple tips to keep us all moving throughout the day.

• Park far away from your building to get a brisk walk in before and after work
• Take the stairs instead of the elevator
• Bring a water bottle to work and make yourself get up throughout the day to fill it up at the water fountain. Hydration and movement, great!
• Set a timer to remind yourself to stand up throughout the day and move around!

Visit our Resources page for more information on how to avoid neck pain, shoulder pain and back pain.

3 Exercises for Tennis Elbow

tennis elbow exercises new orleans physical therapy

Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is a result of repetitive activities that cause the tendons in your elbow to become overloaded. The condition can not only be annoying but also worrisome as your livelihood may depend on performing motions that put you at risk. Symptoms such as tight or spasming muscles, pain when you extend or lift up the wrist, feelings of heat or tingling in the hands, and arm weakness can all be combatted with the assistance and expertise of a physical therapist.

For help with elbow discomfort, try these three stretches to target weakened areas along your arm that may be contributing to symptoms of pain.

#1: Forearm Stretch

To stretch the extensor tendons at the lateral part of the elbow.

• Extend your forearm straight out
• Flex your wrist down, put a little pressure on your fingers
• Pull toward your body
• Hold for 30 seconds

• Release and repeat two more times

#2: Wrist Extension

Strengthens the extension of the wrist, prevents recurrence of tennis elbow symptoms.

• Use a 1-3 pound weight (no more than 3 pounds)
• Support your forearm on a surface or table
• Lift your wrist up and slowly lower it all the way down
• Complete 10-15 repetitions, 2-3 times daily

#3: Pronation Supination

Strengthens the supinators of the forearm, helping to decrease the recurrence of tennis elbow.

• Hold the weight on the end, forearm supported on a surface or table
• Rotate your arm upward and back
• Complete 10-15 repetitions, 2-3 times daily

Do you know the difference between soreness and pain?

The attached article describes the difference between soreness and pain. People often don’t seek help until they are experiencing pain that limits them from participating in their fitness regimen of choice. We can help you stay injury free on your path to becoming the best version of yourself.

Our bodies move in the path of least resistance, meaning if you have limited range of motion in one area of your body, another area will pick up the slack. This is often referred to as a compensatory movement pattern. Over time with increased training loads and volume this can lead to injury. By having a movement assessment performed prior to starting a fitness program we can help you restore movement patterns and decrease your injury risk while improving your performance.

Call us today to schedule your movement assessment and let us guide you to optimal performance. 504.324.8345

http://www.moveforwardpt.com/Resources/Detail/soreness-vs-pain-whats-difference

Sciatic Pain, Are You Suffering? Louisiana Residents Now Have Direct Access to Physical Therapy!

LOUISIANA RECENTLY PASSED A BILL ALLOWING PATIENTS DIRECT ACCESS TO PHYSICAL THERAPY WITHOUT A DOCTOR’S REFERRAL! CALL US TODAY TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH ONE OF OUR DOCTOR’S OF PHYSICAL THERAPY AND LET US HELP YOU GET MOVING IN THE RIGHT AND PAIN FREE DIRECTION!! 504.324.8345

Top 10 Most Burning Questions for Sciatica

Therapydia NOLA
504.324.8345
hello@therapydianola.com

1. Q. How long is this going to take to go away?
A. It depends…it depends on YOU.

In general, it takes 4 to 8 weeks to go through the first 2 phases of healing (no pain, all movement and strength back to normal.

It may take another 1 to 4 months to get back to all activities you want to do…depending on how active you are. This is the third phase of healing.

Here are some variables that determine how fast someone can heal;
√ Overall health. Healthy people heal faster. Young people heal faster.
√ Other health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, tobacco use, alcohol abuse and body weight all influence healing rates and make the time to heal longer.
√ Diet. People who consume more nutrients in their calories (Dr. Joel Fuhrman calls this “Nutrarian”) heal faster than those who primarily eat processed foods.
√ Rest levels. Our bodies need sleep and rest to rebuild. A lack of sleep slows healing time.
√ Stress levels. People who have high levels of stress heal more slowly.
√ Sedentary lifestyle. People who sit all day for work or to watch TV heal more slowly.
√ People who follow advice and instruction from top level healthcare professionals heal more quickly than those who do not follow through with care.
√ People who are highly aware of their daily postures and habits heal more quickly, because they can adjust habits such as sleep or sitting positions more quickly.

2. Q: How long before I see improvements?
A: Most people we see in the clinic feel better in 2 to 3 visits or within 1 to 2 weeks. If you go longer than 2 weeks without feeling better or moving better, you may be wrong about the cause of your sciatica.
Because we offer one on one care with our patients, your therapist can and will reassess you progress before and during you visit to assure you are getting the care you need to meet your goals.

3. Q: Can I be completely healed or will this come back again:
A: Most people we see who complete the 3 Phases of Healing (meaning they no longer have pain, motion and strength are back to normal and they’re back to doing all the activites they want to do without pain) have a minimal chance the pain will return. The stronger the person is, the less likely the sciatica symptoms will come back.

Your body is a bit like a car. If you take care of it, regularly change the oil and keep it running and fine tuned, there is little chance it will break down. If you ignore it, it is very likely to break down and be in need of repair.

4. Q: Do I need any special equipment?
A: At Therapydia NOLA we use a minimalist approach. We do no use big fancy equipment. [Our model focuses on one on one hands on physical therapy.] We use a variety of techniques including, manual therapy, instrument assisted manual therapy, dry needing, SFMA, and if needed, we have a traction unit in our private treatment room. All patient treatment plans for both in clinic and at home exercises are tailored to each individual and monitored closely by their Doctor of Physical Therapy. Our patients are never handed off to an assistant or tech.

5. Q: Should I use heat or ice on my leg?
A: The cause of most sciatica (pain, numbness or tingling in the leg) is in the lower back. Ice or heat on the leg will not change this.

Consider that sciatica is “inflammation”. So if you’re inflamed, do you want to put heat on it and make it more inflamed? Or ice to calm the inflammation down? We have seen some people use ice on the lower back to calm down the inflammation temporarily.

6. Q: Which exercises should I do:
A: The best exercises for you depend on what the cause of your sciatica is.

We cover the 3 most common causes;
Herniated discs
Stenosis, arthritis
Pelvic or SI joint problem

Each has a series of gradually more advanced exercises. Your therapist will address this and design your exercise program.

7. Q: How often should I do the exercises: And do I need to do them forever?
A: Most people we work with in the clinic for sciatica do the exercises at least once per day, every day. Some will do them up to 3 times per day.

Doing the same exact exercises for years without changing could be a mistake. In general, to get stronger, your exercise should progress and get more difficult. With training your body adapts.

Keep in mind, there are 2 rules for training;
1. Everything works.
2. Nothing works forever.

One of the best programs you can move on to once you complete the 3 Phases of Healing for your sciatica is a consistent walking program. People who walk every day have less risk of reinjuring their back and sciatica.

8. Q: What do I need to do for complete care? Am I going to relapse?
A: The best thing to do for sciatica, if you are worried about it coming back again in the future, is to complete all 3 Phases of Healing.

Phase One is where you focus on getting rid of the pain, numbness and tingling.
Phase Two is where you focus on getting normal movement back and full strength.
Phase Three is where you go back to previous activities you want to do.

We will want to know what your previous activities were before your sciatica, once you are at phase 3 we will guide you back into those activities slowly, after a couple of months we will want to re-check your progress. However, it is very important that you also continue your home program of exercises to insure your body continues to get stronger.

Some people will have a relapse. We will then take a look at the activity and at the program to help them get back on the right track. As mentioned before, people who are stronger recover more quickly. It is usually only one to two visits before that person is on the right track again.

9. Q: How do I know the cause of my pain?
A: There are 3 common cause of pain and here are some general guidelines for each;
-People with sciatica from herniated disc usually have pain bending forward, twisting, coughing or sneezing. The sciatic pain they experience is usually sharp and runs specifically down the back of the leg, possibly into the foot. Herniated disc sufferers are usually 35 years of age or younger.
-People suffering from sciatica because of stenosis or arthritis usually answer yes to these 3 questions;
50 years of age or older?
Pain with standing or walking?
Relief with sitting?
-People suffering with sciatica from SI Joint or Pelvic problems usually have pain with sitting for long periods of time. The sciatica they experience is usually on the outside of the thigh. Symptoms may include heaviness of one leg or feeling twisted.

10. Q: Which position should I sleep in?
A: On your back is best. Next would be on your side. Last would be your stomach.
Regardless, it is best to keep your spine in a neutral position and not twisted to the left or the right, keeping it’s natural curve. Pillows or folded towels can be placed under your knees, side, or feet to help you sleep in the least painful position for you.

Tasty Tuesday: Satisfy That Sweet Tooth With A Healthy Snack

Are you looking to satisfy your sweet tooth? Don’t waste those calories on junk food! Try this recipe! These fried bananas are a great way to have sweet treat! They are also great with oatmeal for breakfast! Kids love them! Give them a try! Simple, tasty, and good for you!
HAPPY TASTY TUESDAY FROM THERAPYDIA NOLA!

http://rachelschultz.com/2013/05/15/fried-honey-bananas/

 

 

Food For Thought Friday: Make A Simple Change

Today’s Food For Thought Friday is simple. A simple challenge to make one healthy food swap for a week. Perhaps carbonated water instead of a diet soda. Stevia instead of sugar or sweetener packets. Brown rice instead of white rice. Anything you chose, just one swap for one of your favorite unhealthy foods or drinks. Let us know how you feel next Friday!! That’s it!
HAPPY FOOD FOR THOUGHT FRIDAY FROM THERAPYDIA NOLA!!!!

Weighing In On Wednesday: Eating Well One Step At A Time

It has been said time and again that diets do not work! Short term goals can be met, but long term health is not. It is important to develop a way of eating that is both nutritious and easy to follow. This means you will most likely need to take baby steps and make small subtle changes over time. Doing it this way increases the likelihood that you will be successful! Meet with your doctor, discuss your specific dietary needs, and put your plan into action! The following is a fantastic article that explains how to make changes over time that will change the way you feel about “dieting”.

HAPPY WEIGHING IN ON WEDNESDAY FROM THERAPYDIA NOLA!

http://www.aunaturalenutrition.com/articles/the-non-stressful-way-to-a-healthy-diet