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Francine Noël-Ford, DPT Questions and Answers


Q: I've had this back pain and just cannot get rid of it. Is there anything besides medication that I can do?
A: A physical therapist can make an assessment of where your pain is coming from. Whether it is chronic or acute, muscle, bone or joint related, there are a variety of pain modalities that can be used. These can be heat/ ice, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, massage and stretches. Later some trunk strengthening/ core stabilization will be incorporated in order for you to be able to return to your normal activities. Your treatment may also include education in proper body mechanics during activities of daily living or ergonomics at work so you will be less likely to get hurt in the future.


Q: My elderly mom is getting smaller and her back keeps rounding more and more. Is there any thing besides taking calcium she can do?
A: If she had a bone density test done and has been diagnosed with osteoporosis, then a physical therapist can help to prevent the progression of the disease. A physical therapist can make an assessment to determine at what level of activity she should exercise. The exercises regimen should include some type of weight bearing activity, which helps bone formation. This can be as simple as walking or using light weights. Her program should also include upper back extension activities to help decrease the rounding forward of her back. A simple task for this is to lie as flat as tolerable 1 time per day for just 10 minutes. This may help her to continue living an active life.


Q: I sprained my ankle. Now, every time I take a step I feel like my foot is not holding me up. Is there anything I can do?
A: A physical therapist will be able to determine the associated joint stiffness, and muscle and ligament weakness. The ligament is what was stretched when you sprained your ankle, and is what provides you stability. Your exercise program should include range of motion for the stiffness and strengthening/ proprioception activities for the weakness. Balancing activities at various levels will also strengthening your ligaments. Schedule an appointment at our office today to get yourself back to normal.


Q: It’s kind of embarrassing, but I am leaking urine at odd times. Sometimes it happens when I laugh, stand up, or even shower. Is there anything physical therapy can do?
A: A physical therapist will be able to determine if you are dealing with stress or urge incontinence or a combination of both. Your pelvic floor muscles may be weak and/ or your bladder empties at the wrong time. Your bladder can be retrained to void at appropriate times and a physical therapist can help you strengthening your pelvic floor muscles. Exercises may include Kegels, but also biofeedback with an EMG so that you are able to “see” that you are working the right muscles and getting stronger. On average most patients notice improvements within 3-4 visits.


Q: I’m sitting at my computer all day at work. I’m hurting in my neck and shoulders and my hands get numb. What can I do?
A: You may be dealing with Carpal tunnel syndrome or thoracic outlet syndrome, which is caused by muscle tightness in your neck and shoulders pressing on your vascular system. A physical therapist will be able to differentiate between the two problems and address both. If you visit our office, you will be taught stretches to perform while at your desk and provided information on how to set up your work station in an ergonomically correct way so as to eliminate as much stress on your neck, shoulders, and wrists as possible. Your treatment in the clinic will address the pain and weakness also so you can tolerate your work better.


Q: I’m starting to limp and feel stiff in my hip. Also I get some catching when I get up from sitting, can physical therapy help?
A: You may be experiencing the beginning of hip osteoarthritis. A physical therapist will be able to assess the loss of range of motion and strength as well as your gait pattern. You may be able to allow down the progression and eliminate or reduce your symptoms through physical therapy. Your treatment may include the use of deep heat such as ultrasound or diathermy for the pain, and hip joint mobilization to improve your range of motion. You will also be started on a hip flexibility and strengthening program on a maintenance basis, so the symptoms do not return. Set up a time to meet with us and we will do our best to help you stay active.

Rehabilitative or preventive physical therapy for you and your family


Your health and wellness aren’t just important to us. They’re important to those who care about you and depend on you. As a family- oriented health provider, Back to Basics knows the power of relationships. That also includes our one-on-one relationship with you, as well as our relationships with your general practitioner, OB-GYN or any other referring Physician. We all work best when we all work together.


Back To Basics Physical Therapy
7768 Williamson Road
Roanoke, VA 24019
P: 540.985.0500
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