Why Katie Became A Physical Therapist

October 20, 2020 – As physical therapists we all have chose this line of work for a variety of reasons. Some may be personal and others may not be. In this week’s blog we are going to meet Katie, one of our physical therapy assistants, and learn more about her and why she chose physical therapy.

Katie was born and raised in Grand Island, Nebraska. After graduating from Grand Island Senior High, Katie attended the University of Nebraska Omaha where she received her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science. After completing her Bachelor’s degree Katie then attended Clarkson College where she obtained her Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant degree graduating Summa Cum Laude. Katie is a current member of the American Physical Therapy Association and the Nebraska Physical Therapy Association. Katie has been an employee of Witte Physical Therapy since 2016 and works primarily in our Louisville clinic. She has been an invaluable asset in the treatment of different patients across the age spectrum.

Katie writes:

I chose to be a physical therapist assistant to incorporate my interests of the human body, exercise and helping people as I get to experience all three each day. By being a physical therapist assistant I enjoy the direct daily patient care and relationships I form with various patient populations. Physical therapy means to me helping patients find ways through various techniques reach their personal goals whether big or small. Physical therapy offers many different specialties and healing pathways to cater to each patient and their particular needs. 

At Witte Physical Therapy we have a great team with a variety of different backgrounds and interests to treat the patient as effectively as possible. It is this team that allows us to treat each patient individually based on the patient’s needs. Katie’s outlook on why she chose physical therapy is present in all our team members leading to a patient first physical therapy experience!

Call us at 402-234-3333 in Louisville or 402-298-4747 in Plattsmouth to come in, meet us, and receive a free consultation!

Insurance vs Cash Pay, which is best?

October 13, 2020 – Often, we get the following question, “Does my insurance cover physical therapy”? I wish this were a simple answer, but unfortunately it cannot be. Many insurance companies offer multiple plans that result in many different answers to the above question.

United HealthCare does not provide the same coverage as Aetna. Blue Cross Blue Shield does not provide the same coverage as Medica. Medicare does not provide the same coverage as UHC AARP Medicare Advantage. This can be confusing for a patient to navigate. At Witte Physical Therapy we will work to provide you with the most complete answer we can get from your insurance company on your cost. This answer means that we will work to find out your deductible, out of pocket maximum, co-payment, co-insurance, and visit limits to put together your costs as best we can providing you the most complete information possible. Most of the time these costs are controlled and determined by your insurance plan and not by Witte Physical Therapy, but we can help you navigate what this means and what your options are.

If you do not have any insurance or your insurance coverage requires you to pay too much out of pocket you have the option of paying for therapy via cash pay. This means that you pay for your visit each time without submitting anything to your insurance company. Witte Physical Therapy offers competitive cash pay rates for our services and will work with you to understand what your options are and what is best for you.

Give us a call today in Louisville at 402-234-3333 or Plattsmouth at 402-298-4747 to learn how Witte Physical Therapy will give you the best bang for your buck!

October is Physical Therapy month!

October 6, 2020 – There are many celebrations that occur throughout the year. National Pizza Day, National Donut Day, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, etc. All these dates are especially important for their own reasons and should be given their fair share of attention. Another month that deserves some recognition is National Physical Therapy month. This occurs every October. In this month’s blog series, we are going to focus on National Physical Therapy month and what it means for Witte Physical Therapy.

At Witte Physical Therapy it has always been our goal to treat as many different issues, ages, and people as we efficiently as possible. We have worked hard to add staff that supplements our team and adds new experiences and expertise onto our staff. This allows us to have “big city expertise in a small-town clinic”. Our staff includes:

    1. Kayla Mammen: orthopedics, vestibular and balance
    2. Natosha Siemek PT, DPT: orthopedics, pediatrics, women’s, and pelvic health
    3. Christi Sieler, PT, DPT: orthopedics, vestibular, women’s health
    4. Dan Witte, PT, DPT, OCS: certified orthopedic specialist, functional dry needling, Graston, cardiovascular
    5. Katie Alvarado, PTA
    6. Melissa Schultze, PTA

This diverse staff allows us to work together to provide a team approach and treat most patient issues that come through our door. In addition to what is list above we also work with geriatric patients, post stroke and other neuromuscular patients. We can use aquatic therapy, cupping, and taping to help speed up your treatment plan.

We have worked hard to try to create an all-inclusive physical therapy clinic. We work with multiple school districts to provide educational opportunities for the local students. We provide free consultations to all our patients to help them navigate the best possible path for them through the healthcare system. We have also opened Witte 24/7 Wellness as another avenue for patients to continue with the rehab after therapy or for the public to have 24/7 access to a fully equipped fitness facility.

If you have any questions that pertain to physical therapy, free consultations, or Witte 24/7 Wellness please all us at 402-234-3333 or 402-298-4747!

Is No Pain, No Gain Correct?

September 29, 2020 – Today is the last installment of our September blog series about pain. There is a common saying we all have heard, “no pain, no gain”. Is this true? In therapy we often spend a lot of time educating our patients on what pain is and how to deal with it. Does there need to be pain to see results? The answer is yes and no.

Pain is often the body’s way of signaling to us that something is wrong. Pain can be an early warning sign that we need to adjust what we are doing to avoid a new injury or making an old injury worse. Pain does not always mean stop, but it should mean slow down and re-evaluate what we are doing. If no pain, no gain is not the right way to push our body then what do we do?

Soreness is a better way to look at the intensity at which we are doing things. This can be thought of the initial period of pain or the “hurts so good” pain. We can feel this with certain activities or stretches. You can also think of how your form affects soreness or pain. If you are squatting and you are starting to get tired, then your form will start to suffer. If you push through this too much, then that soreness can quickly turn into pain due to poor form.

woman using foam roller after workout

In summary it is important to understand what pain is and how it can be affecting you. If you get a sharp pain during a workout you are probably doing too much or doing something wrong and you need to stop immediately. If you are not feeling any soreness after a workout you are probably not doing enough.

Give Witte PT a call at 402-234-3333 in Louisville or 402-298-4747 in Plattsmouth for a free consultation to discuss your current fitness, issues you are having with getting over pain or getting back in shape, or to discuss any other health issues you may have.

  1. References
    1. https://athleticperformanceinc.com/blog-posts/post/24/busting-the-myth-no-pain-no-gain.html#:~:text=No%20pain%2C%20no%20gain.,hard%20enough%2C%20is%20not%20true.
    2. https://www.ucihealth.org/blog/2019/04/no-pain-no-gain

Do You Have A Pain Diary?

September 22, 2020 – We have reviewed in September a lot of different informational topics about pain. We have learned the different types and what it is. We have learned some strategies to help manage it. Next, we need to learn how to track and understand our own pain. This is especially important when we are having pain some days and not others. A pain diary can help you and your healthcare provider have a better understanding of what things are causing issues for you.

What to put in our pain diary?

  1. We want to keep track of when our pain occurs and at what intensity. Often a scale of 0 to 10 is used. A score of “0” is no pain and a score of “10” is so much pain you feel like you need to go to the ER.
  2. We want to track what type of pain we are feeling. Burning, sharp, throbbing, stabbing, etc, are all descriptive words you can use.
  3. We want to track what our emotions are at the time of our pain.
  4. We want to track how long the pain lasts.
  5. We want to track what makes the pain better. These are non-medication pain improvers such as position, ice, heat, etc.
  6. We want to track if we take any pain medication for our pain. Then we want to track what our pain level is at 60 minutes after we have taken the medication.
  7.  

Once we have several, incredibly detailed entries in our pain diary we want to share that information with our medical providers. This can be extremely useful in figuring out what method of treatment we will start with in order to help you manage, improve, and hopefully eliminate your pain.

If you are in pain, follow these simple steps. First, start to record a pain diary. Second, call us in Louisville at 402-234-3333 or in Plattsmouth at 402-298-4747 to set up a free consultation to discuss your pain and your pain diary. Let us help you find the next step to help you alleviate your pain as efficiently as possible!

References:

  1. https://www.everydayhealth.com/pain-management/keeping-a-diary-can-help-you-manage-pain.aspx#:~:text=A%20pain%20diary%20or%20journal,better%20help%20you%20manage%20pain.&text=Keeping%20a%20diary%20can%20help%20uncover%3A,Important%20changes%20in%20your%20condition
  2. https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Health/aftercareinformation/pages/conditions.aspx?hwid=abk1346

MOVEMENT, it can cure your pain!

September 15, 2020 – Our September blog series has focused on pain. We have learned about the different types of pain and the mistakes we make when we are in pain. Now let us get onto the good stuff! Let us learn how we can help with our pain. This week we are going to focus on how exercises and modalities can help alleviate your pain.

Often when we first start to feel pain, we go to the standard things to try first. We try ice, rest, and medication to help our pain go away. Often these items can help to lessen the pain but rarely due they treat the source of your pain. Physical therapy can help treat the source of you pain and keep you off the meds! Physical therapy cannot treat all types of pain, but we can help identify where your pain is coming from and then work with you to get you on the right track with therapy or, if needed, another medical provider to treat the source of your pain.

Sometimes pain is caused by a lack of movement. Our joints, muscles, ligaments, or tendons get stiff, damaged, or loose hydration causing pain when we move. Often the best medicine for this is to get moving again! Movement allows our body to rehydrate the joints, warm up the muscles, and improve blood flow. These items are paramount in getting moving and feeling better. Remember, we are made to move. Sitting and resting too much is bad for our health and bad for our bodies. Physical therapy can help to get you moving again. We can start in a way that is less painful and controls any pain and work you back into a normal movement pattern that can get you back to working out, gardening, playing with your grandchildren, back on the playing field, etc.

Image may contain: one or more people, text that says 'Another Great Patient Testimonial "THE STAFF IS REALLY GOOD AT PIN-POINTING EXERCISES TO HELP YOU DO THE THINGS YOU WANT TO BE ABLE TO DO, THEY ALSO MAKE IT FUN! Keith G.'

Sometimes we do need modalities to help take the edge off the pain. These modalities can make it easier to try to move and get back on track fighting the cause of the pain. Modalities could include ice, heat, TENS, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, compression, massage, and activity modifications. Ice, heat, compression, massage, and TENS can be completed at home if you have the right equipment. However, all of these can be done by your physical therapist. Remember, moist heat feels better and travels deeper into our bodies than dry heat, such as a heating pad. TENS units can be purchased without a physician’s script, but often you get what you pay for. Your physical therapist can help you identify what modalities may be best for your situation, get your pain under control faster, and then help you get moving to cure the cause of you pain.

At Witte Physical Therapy our number goal is to get you back to doing what you want and need to do. We do not worry about our goals, because our goals are your goals! Give us a call at 402-234-3333 in Louisville or 402-298-4747 in Plattsmouth to schedule your free, no obligation consultation and let’s begin to discuss your pain and what we can do to help you!

Biggest Mistakes You Can Make When You Are In Pain

September 8, 2020 – Last week we learned about what pain is and what are some of the different types. Now that we understand those items, we can begin to look at how to deal with pain. There are some misconceptions about how we should deal with pain. Today we will look at those misconceptions and work to get a better understanding of a positive way to deal with pain.

Here are some common mistakes:

  1. Thinking it will go away: Trying to give it some time to get better or self-treating with over the counter pain meds can make it worse. If you pain is not improving in a few days or does not completely improve in a few weeks, then get in to see someone. This could be your primary care physician, a specialist, or a therapist. Often the sooner you start treatment after the pain starts the quicker it will heal.
  2. Avoiding exercise: Often bed rest is the worst thing you can do for pain. Starting to get moving can be the first step to helping to alleviate the pain. This could be some simple stretches or going for a short walk. If you are afraid you could make it worse consult your physician or therapist for their advice and recommendations on how to start to increase your activity.
  3. I need surgery now: Surgery is not the cure all answer for every problem. Often surgery brings in more risks, such as infection, complications, or just being ineffective. An ineffective surgery still requires healing time and now you are trying to work on more than one problem. Often, insurance will require more conservative treatments prior to approving surgery. Use prescribed medications, therapy treatments, and DME products prior to seeking surgery.
  4. You do not talk about being depressed: Pain can cause depression. Pain that is present daily affects our lives constantly. If you are adjusting what and how you do things daily due to pain, avoiding social events due to pain, or just staying in more due to pain, all these issues can cause depression. It is normal to be depressed and it does not mean it is permanent. Talk to your physician, friends, or spouse about how you are feeling.

Recognizing these mistakes can help you understand how you are feeling about your pain and how it is affecting you. Now that you have a better understanding of what pain is, what types of pain there are, and how you can avoid making mistakes due to your pain you can begin to work on making your pain better. Starting next week, we are going to explore some options for improving you pain.

If you are having pain and feel like these are some of mistakes you are making please call us at 402-234-3333 in Louisville or 402-298-4747 in Plattsmouth to set up a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your pain. Let us help you get on the right track for your needs!

References

  1. https://www.today.com/health/7-big-mistakes-make-pain-worse-1C9402310

Are you in pain?

September 1, 2020 – Unfortunately, at some point in our lives we are going to experience pain. It could be pain from a loss, pain due to an injury, or several other types of causes. We need to understand what pain is and where it is coming from to treat it and help it get better.

There are 3 basic types of pain: nociceptive, neuropathic, and “other”.

    1. Nociceptive: This type of pain is the most common type. You feel it with strains, bug bites, stubbing your toe, etc. This type of pain can change with positions, movements, or loads.
    2. Neuropathic: This type of pain comes from damage to the nervous system. This type of pain can include sciatica, MS, alcoholism, etc.
    3. Other: The other type of pain can be a result of the combination of the first two types or be something completely different, such as fibromyalgia.

There are other ways to try to classify pain. These include:

    1. Acute: New and sometimes sudden pain.
    2. Chronic: Pain that has been around for a while. Most likely comes from chronic pain.
    3. Breakthrough: Sharp bouts of new pain that can happen with certain movements, activities, or as pain killers are not as effective.
    4. Nerve: Caused by damage or stress to a nerve. Often feels like a zinger, burning, or achy pain that is not relieved with normal pain meds.
    5. Referred: Often caused by an internal organ or other non-musculoskeletal structure that gives us the sensation of the pain happening in a different area of the body.
    6. Phantom: Occurs when our brain feels pain in a part of the body that has been removed.

Having a better understanding of what pain is, where it is coming from, and how it is affecting you can make it easier to treat. At Witte Physical Therapy we know all pain is different and affects everyone differently. We will work hard to understand how your pain affects you and then build a program that is specific to you to help you improve your pain as quickly as possible. Call us in Louisville at 402-234-3333 or Plattsmouth at 402-298-4747 to schedule your free consultation today and let us help you get on the road to being pain free!

References

  1. https://www.painscience.com/articles/pain-types.php
  2. https://www.macmillan.org.uk/cancer-information-and-support/impacts-of-cancer/pain
  3.  

What to do between the bells?

August 25, 2020 – Children are no different than us. They get stressed and often have too much on their plate throughout the day. We can talk to them about getting off their devices and getting moving, but sometimes they do not have the time or energy either.

Here are a few examples of some exercises that can be done quickly in between classes:

    1. In standing run your hands down the front of your legs to the floor and then walk your hands out on the floor as far as you can and then walk them back to return to your starting position
    2. Lunges
    3. Sit on the edge of your chair with your hands behind you. Using your arms lower you butt down to the floor and then push up with your arms to return to a seated position (tricep dips)
    4. Walking butt kicks
    5. Sit on the edge of your chair with your hands behind you. Bring your knees up to your chest using your core muscles and then return your feet back to the floor. (seated crunches)
    6. Reach for the sky by standing as tall as you can and stretching your hands as high and back as your can

Walking Lunges: How-To, Variations, Benefits, Safety, and More

  1.  

Doing these simple exercises for a few minutes in between classes can help keep the blood flowing, keep your muscles stretched and flexible, and improve strength to those muscles we don’t use while we are sitting and learning.

If you experience pain or issue with any of these exercises give us a call at 402-234-3333 in Louisville or 402-298-4747 in Plattsmouth for a free consultation.

References

https://www.theshorthorn.com/life_and_entertainment/6-quick-exercises-to-do-between-your-classes/article_a86e35f0-be36-11e5-b17f-27fcd9fa6500.html

https://www.healthline.com/health/exercise-fitness/walking-lunges

Sit Up Straight!

August 18, 2020 – We have spoke about posture several times before. Its role in shoulder pain, its role in how your child carries their backpack, and today its role in their attentiveness at school.

Good posture leads to a decrease chance of injury and less energy being spent on muscles and joints that must be supported differently in a bad position. Good posture leads to an environment that makes it easier for them to see the front of the classroom, hear the teacher, and focus on what they should be focusing on.

Graphic design of correct or incorrected posture at the school desk.... |  Download Scientific Diagram

How can parents and teachers make sure that good posture is maintained throughout the day? Feet should be flat on the floor and hands and elbows resting comfortable on the desk without affecting shoulder height. Children should be given breaks throughout the day to get up and move. During floor time allow the children to lay on their stomachs with the heads in their hands propped up by their elbows. This allows for an extension biased posture instead of the flexion biased posture they are kept in at their desks all day. Posture checks should be done quarterly as kids will grow throughout the year.

If your child continues to have pain or issues with their posture call us at 402-234-3333 in Louisville or 402-298-4747 in Plattsmouth to schedule a free consultation to get them back on the right path to success in the classroom.

References

https://blog.neolms.com/students-posture-affect-learning-outcomes/

https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Graphic-design-of-correct-or-incorrected-posture-at-the-school-desk-A-Correct-posture_fig2_283711053