Website      Getting Started      Life After Treatment      About Us      Contact Us
Greetings on this November Day! I hope you are doing well! Each month I try to bring you cases that I believe are relevant, in hopes that they can help you, either personally or perhaps in relating them to someone you know. This month I want to share with you two different stories that could have had a completely different ending. Unfortunately this happens way too often!
The first case is that of a young sixty seven year old patient who came into our clinic thinking he needed spine surgery. He recently had a MRI and had been to a spine specialist. He was told by the spine specialist that he needed back surgery immediately. The second case is actually one that involves my sister who was 40 years old at the time. She too had seen a spine specialist and also had an MRI. She was also told she needed surgery immediately for her neck. This happens everyday. I realize you may be in severe pain, but I would like you to know, if it was my back or neck, I would be getting a second opinion and I hope after reading this you will be of the same mindset.

Spine surgery most often, has a major affect on your life and lifestyle. Spine surgery is too serious to take lightly. I realize you may know someone who had spine surgery and is doing well. They may say they had the same exact injury as you. Please don't believe them. No two injuries or people are alike. Believe me, it is worth the time to have a second opinion.

I'll now share with you how these two stories ended up. My sixty seven year old patient did indeed want another opinion, but he was afraid, based on the specialist's remarks, that he might lose his strength and feeling in his legs in a short period of time. After calming him and his wife down we were able to quickly get him to a remarkable neurosurgeon. This surgeon thought this patient might benefit from a week of corticosteroids and physical therapy. He thought this patient may be able to avoid surgery! Yes that is correct. A neurosurgeon said no to surgery! To be honest, I had no idea if we could help this patient. I wondered, myself, if surgery might be the answer, but like this surgeon, I wanted to give this patient my all in order to avoid surgery.

Well this neurosurgeon was correct. This patient did not need surgery. This conservative surgeon, believed and ended up being right. We all learned a valuable lesson! In my sister's case, she sent us the MRI as she lived in Delaware. I brought it to the same neurosurgeon, who read the MRI and said he would not think of cutting her based on the MRI. He recommended physical therapy.

My sister ended up flying in to get treated by us everyday for a week. In that time her pain decreased by 70% and she felt that she could overcome her problem without surgery. She returned back to Delaware, we got in touch with a physical therapist there that we knew and he was able to help her get back to 100%.

Once again, as I do every month, by sharing real patient stories, I am trying to educate and motivate each and every one of you to challenge the first opinion that may come along, especially when it entails surgery. Even though you may have serious pain I am hoping by sharing these stories, that you will do everything in your power to get at least two opinions from two different surgeons in completely different practices.

Spine pain is terrible and can bring the toughest person to their knees. However, like most pain, if you can get the proper help and guidance, you most likely will be able to weather the storm and pain and get the best care needed for your individual case. In doing so, nine times out of ten, you can avoid surgeries you may not need. In doing so
,  you may be able to avoid something that will have a major impact on the future lifestyle of not only you, but of the loved ones around you.

If you have any questions about your pain or in the direction your pain is being handled, please call and let us know your concerns. We can help you get another opinion. We can help you address your pain as quickly as possible. We can help you get back to a pain free life!

Health Information
Physical Therapist's Guide to Hamstring Injuries
A hamstring injury occurs when 1 or more of the 3 hamstring muscles or tendons (a type of soft tissue connecting the muscle to the bone) tear. It is 1 of the most common injuries of the lower body, particularly affecting athletes participating in sports such as football, soccer, or track. After tearing a hamstring muscle, a person is 2 to 6 times more likely to suffer a subsequent injury. Surgery is required to treat the most severe cases. However, in most cases, hamstring injuries are managed with physical therapy.

Hamstring injuries occur when excessive force is placed across the muscles. This typically happens during sudden starts or stops when running, a rapid change of direction with "cutting" or jumping maneuvers, or when the muscle is overstretched by activities such as sprinting, hurdling, kicking, or heavy lifting.

Risk factors for hamstring injuries include:
  • A history of prior hamstring injury
  • Muscle imbalances (particularly hamstring weakness)
  • Poor flexibility (muscle tightness)
  • Inadequate warm-up before activity
  • Muscle fatigue
How Does it Feel?
When a person injures a hamstring muscle, the symptoms are related to the severity of the injury. Mild hamstring strains often just feel like a pulled or cramping muscle; you might not even realize you have pulled your hamstring until you stop performing the activity, or until the next day, when you might have soreness, tightness, or bruising. However, more involved injuries can be painful, and your symptoms might include:
  • A sudden, sharp pain in the buttocks or back of the thigh
  • A feeling of a "pop" or tearing in the muscle
  • Bruising within hours or days after the injury
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness to touch
  • Difficulty sitting comfortably, lifting the leg when lying down, or straightening the knee
  • Difficulty walking, resulting in a limp
How Can a Physical Therapist Help?
Your physical therapist will design an individualized treatment program specific to the exact nature of your injury and your goals.

The First 24-48 hours Physical therapy may include:
  • Resting the injured area by avoiding aggravating activities, such as walking or working out. If you are having notable difficulty walking, crutches may be recommended.
  • Applying ice to the injured area 3-4x/day for 15-20 minutes (with a towel placed between your skin and the ice).
  • Applying a compression wrap to the area to aid in decreasing swelling and pain.
  • Referral to another health care provider for further diagnostic testing (if needed).
Range of motion
It is common for muscles and joints to become stiff after an injury. As your pain decreases, your physical therapist will begin gentle flexibility exercises, such as stretching your hamstring muscles.

Muscle strength
Hamstring strengthening will be an essential part of your rehabilitation program. Your physical therapist will compare the strength of the muscle groups in each leg, and prescribe specific exercises to target areas of weakness.

Manual therapy
Many physical therapists are trained in hands-on "manual" therapy to move and manipulate muscles and joints to improve motion, flexibility, and strength. These techniques can target areas that are difficult to treat on your own.
Functional training
As you regain the flexibility and strength in your hamstrings, it will be important to teach your body how to move so you no longer put excessive stress on the previously injured area. Your physical therapist will develop a functional training program specific to your desired activity.

In the event that the severity of your hamstring injury requires surgical treatment, a physical therapist will guide your postoperative rehabilitation. Your physical therapist will communicate with your surgeon to ensure complete and consistent postoperative care.

* article from

MPT News & Happenings
During the month of November, we will be collecting non-perishable food items for Thanksgiving baskets for those in need.
Please consider donating. Thank you yo
Fran's Favorite Quotes
"Be Kind. Look For Goodness"

Voted "Best Physical Therapy"
9 years in a row!


McDonald Physical Therapy


 Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter