Last updated 2 days 3 hours ago
Trigger Point Dry Needling (TDN) is a therapeutic technique used by the physical therapists at Virginia Sportsmedicine Institute, in which a thin needle is inserted into an irritated muscle. A taut muscle has a knot or trigger point that is painful and can potentially cause stiffness and restricted motion resulting in dysfunction for patients. A fine needle is used to deactivate or shut down painful or knotted areas in the muscles. By inserting the needle into these tight areas, we can elicit a “twitch response” or a brief contraction followed by long lasting relaxation. TDN is an extremely effective and efficient method to release these irritated segments.
Most patients will not even feel the needle penetrate the skin. But once it is advanced into the muscle, the feeling of discomfort varies from patient to patient. Usually a healthy muscle feels very little discomfort with insertion of the needle; however, if the muscle is sensitive and shortened, or has active trigger points within it, the patient may feel a sensation much like a muscle cramp or tooth ache.
Typically, positive results are apparent within 2-4 treatment sessions, but can vary depending on the cause and duration of the symptoms, and overall health of the patient. TDN is an effective treatment for acute and chronic pain, and rehabilitation from injury, with very few side effects. This technique is unequaled in finding and eliminating neuromuscular dysfunction that leads to pain and functional deficits.
Common conditions treated with Dry Needling include:
· Rotator Cuff Injuries
· Achilles Tendonopathies
· Lateral Epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
· Medial Epicondylitis (golfers elbow)
· Patellar Femoral Syndrome
· Patellar Tendonitis
· Shin Splints
· Hamstring Strain
· Groin Strain
· Piriformis Syndrome
· Sciatica or Low Back Pain
· Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
· Neck Pain
· Compartment Syndrome
· De Quervains
· Muscle tears
Nirschl Orthopaedic Center is a leader in sports medicine and general orthopedic services. In addition Virginia Sportsmedicine Institute physical therapy has been rated one of the top sports medicine clinics in the area. If you have an orthopaedic injury, schedule an appointment with one of our doctors today by calling our Arlington, VA location at (703) 525-2200. Visit our websites at www.nirschl.com and www.vasportsmedicine.com to learn more about our services. For more info on orthopaedic issues visit our blog at www.nirschlorthopaedic.com
Last updated 17 days ago
More than 600,000 knee replacements are performed each year in the United States. With an aging population staying in the workforce longer and obesity on the rise, demand for total knee and hip replacement surgery is expected to exceed 3.5 million procedures per year by the year 2030.
Joints can be damaged injuries, disease or normal wear and tear causing pain, stiffness, and swelling. Osteoarthritis is the breakdown of a joint’s cartilage and affects 27 million Americans. Articular cartilage is the smooth white tissue that covers the end of bones where they come together to form joints. Healthy cartilage in the joints allows the bones to glide over each other for easy movement. Breakdown of cartilage causes the bones to rub against each other causing stiffness, pain and loss of movement in the joint.
Causes of Arthritis
Effects of Arthritis
Soreness after overuse/activity
Stiffness in the morning or at the end of the day
The future is bright for those who choose to have a total joint replacement to achieve an improved quality of life through greater independence and healthier, pain-free activity.
Is it time to talk to a doctor about joint replacement surgery?
Does your affected joint hurt one or more days per week?
Does the pain interfere with your sleep?
Is it painful for you when you perform everyday activities?
Are pain medications no longer working?
Is joint pain limiting your participation in activities you love?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you may be ready to learn more about joint replacement surgery.
If you have joint pain or any orthopaedic injury, contact the experts at Nirschl Orthopaedic Center in Arlington, Virginia. Schedule an appointment with our orthopaedists today by calling 703-525-2200 or visit our web site.
Last updated 29 days ago
Arthritis anywhere in the body can range from moderately uncomfortable to debilitating. When you have arthritis of the knee, it can be particularly troublesome because it interferes with your mobility. If you think you may have arthritis of the knee, it is best to see an orthopedic doctor for evaluation. An orthopedist can provide treatment options to help you manage your arthritis and preserve your quality of life.
Types of Knee Arthritis
Knee arthritis can occur in one of three types: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or post-traumatic arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative and progressive condition that wears away the joint cartilage over time, while rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory illness that damages the cartilage. Post-traumatic arthritis occurs when there has been an injury to the knee, sometimes years after the injury occurred.
Symptoms of Knee Arthritis
Regardless of the type of knee arthritis, the symptoms are similar. You may feel stiffness or swelling that makes bending the knee difficult or uncomfortable. Weather conditions may seem to aggravate your discomfort. You may feel as though your knee is locked, or it could buckle from beneath you from weakness. Pain can worsen after physical activity, but is often worst upon rising after sleep or other inactivity.
Treatments for Knee Arthritis
The treatment that your orthopedist recommends will depend on both the type of knee arthritis you have and how far it has progressed. Non-surgical options include wearing or using supportive devices to reduce strain on the joint, physical therapy or exercise, and taking measures to become healthier overall. Your orthopedist may also prescribe medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs, pain relievers, drugs to support joint health, or others. An orthopedic surgeon can perform corrective surgery if your condition is not responding to non-surgical techniques and medications.
For more information about treating knee arthritis, contact Nirschl Orthopaedic Center. We can diagnose the type of arthritis you have and devise a treatment plan to give you relief. Call (703) 525-2200 to schedule an appointment with our orthopedist, or visit our website to learn more about our orthopedic doctors.
Last updated 1 month ago
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2006 knees were the most common site of joint pain among Americans over the age of 18. Knee pain can be caused or worsened by various activities including injury, genetics, alignment, gait patterns and posture. Pain around the knee cap area is known as Patella Femoral Compression Syndrome (PFCS).
Patella Femoral Compression Syndrome or Excessive Lateral Pressure Syndrome (ELPS), is caused by tight structures on the lateral or outside of the knee. This tightness often causes the patella (kneecap) to be pulled laterally so that it no longer tracks in its set groove. The normal movement of the kneecap is an up and down glide along a groove in the femur (the thigh bone). The kneecap slides up in the groove when the knee is straightened and slides down when the knee is bent. When the kneecap is pulled sideways out of the groove and to the outside of the knee, the undersurface of the kneecap grinds against the bony ridges and wears down causing pain. The pain is due to rubbing of the kneecap against the groove and from a stretch that is placed on the inside/medial structures (e.g. joint lining and ligaments). As the kneecap continues to grind over time, it can cause Chondromalacia a progressive breakdown of the under surface of the patella.
The most common complaint of patients with patella femoral syndrome is pain, located on both sides of the kneecap. They may also experience discomfort under the kneecap. Pain maybe localized or it can be diffuse throughout the front of the knee. There may be a popping or grinding feeling of the knee as well. Swelling is not very common with patella femoral syndrome, however, it can occur. When it does, the knee will look puffy and may feel tight.
Reasons the patella may slide out of its groove:
· Tight structures on the outside of the knee
· Muscular weakness of the medial/inside quadriceps muscle (the VMO)
· Weak hip and gluteal muscles
· Excessive pronation of the feet (flat feet)
· Kneecaps that point inward (“knock-knees”)
· Poor flexibility of the hip, thigh, and calf muscles
· Overuse or training errors
· Trauma to the knees
· Gradual onset of “achy” pain
· Pain behind, around, or underneath kneecap
· Pain climbing/descending stairs or hills
· Pain during or after running
· Pain with squatting
· Pain during or after prolonged sitting
· Possible snapping, popping, or grinding of the knee
· Stretching tight lateral knee structures
· Stretching hip, thigh, and calf muscles
· Strengthening the muscles around the hip
· Strengthening the quadriceps muscle
· Functional and sport-specific activities
· Balance training
· Custom or over-the-counter Orthotics
· Patellar (kneecap) Taping
Recent studies have shown that weakness at the hips can cause biomechanical problems associated with patella femoral syndrome. Hip weakness creates an inability to adequately control movements of the femur (thigh bone) during activities. Instead of maintaining normal, good alignment, the femur collapses in towards the midline of the body. When the femur collapses in, it causes the femoral groove to shift and rotate under the patella, resulting in over stress of the patella femoral joint. This will also result in a "lateral riding" patella, a common component of patella femoral syndrome. Strengthening of the hip muscles helps to control this motion, providing a more stable femur during activity.
If you are dealing with an orthopaedic injury please give us a call to schedule an appointment. Nirschl Orthopaedic Center is a leader in sports medicine and rehabilitation. Schedule an appointment with an orthopedic doctor today by calling our Arlington, VA location at (703) 525-2200. For more information on knee injuries and other orthopaedic conditions you can visit our website.
Last updated 2 months ago
October is National Physical Therapy Month! The goal of this month long celebration is to raise awareness of the important role that physical therapists and physical therapy assistants play in helping people of all ages engage in healthy lifestyles, decrease pain, and restore and improve motion in people’s lives.
Thousands of physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and physical therapy students nationwide celebrate by reaching out to their community and consumers to educate them about the many benefits of physical therapy.
Stop by our physical therapy office during the month of October and you will find fun and helpful facts about physical therapy including handouts on adjustments you can make to your work station and proper body mechanics to prevent or decrease back pain. In addition, we have many sport-specific informational fact sheets showing ways to help decrease sports injuries in our young athletes. You might even find some small treats for our patients.
Be sure to visit Virginia Sportsmedicine Institute in October and see what we have planned for National Physical Therapy Month. We encourage you to browse our physical therapy website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to learn about the many benefits of physical therapy.