Elite's Blog

Search for articles about "Everyday Health", "Fitness", or "Physical Therapy" or anything else you may be interested in.


We’ve got you covered, from your head to your toes

Did you know June is National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month? If you suffer from frequent migraines or headaches, consider consulting with a physical therapist.

Headache pain is the third most common pain complaint worldwide. Both headaches and migraines can be caused by a variety of conditions including but not limited to sinus problems, vascular complications, or tumors. However, a large majority are caused by muscular and joint issues, such as muscle tension and tightness, disc pathology, lack of neck motion, poor posture, or tightness in the back between the shoulder blades.

So how can physical therapy help those suffering from headaches or migraines? …And is it actually effective?

First off, a licensed physical therapist will assess the patient to determine the type of headache: tension, migraine, or secondary pain stemming from an underlying condition. This will allow them to pinpoint the root cause of the problem. Second, dependent upon the type the pain, the physical therapist can manually address the issue using a number of techniques: heat or ice, soft tissue mobilization/massage, cervical traction, stretching, strengthening exercises, dry needling, and/or posture education. This will allow them to alleviate a headache or migraine quickly and effectively. From there, the physical therapist may be able to provide the patient with specific, custom exercises to address any future flare-ups on their own. In some cases, a physical therapist can address and relieve headache and migraine pain as quickly as one visit, but results may vary based on the severity of each individual case.

If you suffer from headaches or migraines, give Elite Integrated Therapy Centers a call! With 7 offices across the Upstate, our licensed physical therapists are available to see you within 24-48 hours, no referral required. We are here to address any aches or pains, from your head to your toes!

New Home, Same Enjoyable Experience

Have you noticed a new physical therapy office on Grove Road? Look again! It’s Elite Integrated Therapy Centers. No, we’re not new. We’ve been in the Upstate community for 13 years. In 2006, Ben Hangen, PT, DPT, OCS and Paul Hecker, PT, DPT, OCS opened two physical therapy clinics in Anderson and Greenville with one goal in mind: to create the most enjoyable physical therapy experience in the Upstate. Now, with 7 clinics spanning the I-85 corridor, the Elite team focuses on making local residents better, happier, and healthier, and we absolutely deliver.

Don’t just take it from us…hear what our patients have to say:

“…the people here have been just absolutely wonderful to me. They listen. They just gave me so much confidence.” –Barbara V.

“There is a real generosity of spirit here. Everyone is very loving and supportive and kind. I saw different ranges of ages from little children to elderly people. Everyone was treated with warmth and kindness. A lot of integrity and concern. It’s a very supportive and nourishing environment, encouraging everyone to do their best.” –Terri J.

“When I came in, I was in a lot of physical pain. Now, as I have gone through the course of physical therapy, the pain has been relieved and I feel like a new person. I left with an experience every time knowing that I felt better than when I arrived.” –James

“…staff is inspiring and encouraging and although the sessions are challenging the results are undeniable. I am stronger, pain free and running faster and longer than ever before.” –Tim M.

“I am constantly smiling during my time at Elite. I feel wonderful. I feel loved, like everyone cares about the needs and care of the patient, and I wouldn’t recommend anyone to a place other than Elite.” –Marvin M.

At Elite, we welcome patients of all ages: children to seniors and everything in between. We see a wide variety of diagnoses, including but not limited to muscle & joint pain, strength & conditioning, vertigo, women’s health, headaches, and TMJ. But that’s not all. Our services aren’t just limited to physical therapy….we offer occupational therapy, fitness & wellness, and massage therapy.

Curious as to what we can do to help you? Give us a call, send us an e-mail, or visit us in person or online. With 7 offices and growing, Elite’s got the Upstate covered!

Summer’s on it’s Way

It’s been a long, cold winter spent indoors waiting for warmer weather to arrive. Now that we’re getting our first glimpses of Spring, that means Summer is rapidly approaching, and there’s no better time to prep for hours of outdoor activities, weekend warrior-ing, and the inevitable “swimsuit season”. Here are a few tips to kick start a healthier lifestyle to keep you going through the Fall!

Drink lots of water
Such a simple step, but it has a great impact! Did you know, when you are dehydrated, your body can mistake thirst pangs for hunger pangs? Before you grab for that over-processed snack pack to tide you over until supper time, try drinking a glass or two of water. Chances are, you are dehydrated and your body thinks that you are hungry instead. Also, try substituting beverages you would normally drink for a glass of water.

Eating smaller portions
Reducing your portion size by only 20% can make a big difference in your drive to create healthy eating habits.

Don’t forget fiber and protein
Fiber allows your body to be able to move fat and waste through your system more quickly, while protein takes longer to digest. Both give you that “full” feeling longer, making your tummy happy until your next meal.

Eat healthy snacks between meals
Eating small, healthy snacks throughout the day keeps you from overeating during meals and stabilizes your blood sugar. However, it’s important to understand which snacks you should eat and which snacks you should pass up. A common misconception is to grab for the high-carbohydrate snacks, such as pretzels or yogurt… While these foods are relatively healthy, they are not very filling, leaving you unsatisfied before the next big meal. Stick to snacks high in protein and fiber, such as nuts, legumes, or “portable fruits”, such as strawberries, oranges, or peaches.

Keep your body guessing
A common myth in exercising is to do the same workout routines, such as crunches or push-ups, on repeat. Stop! After the first 20 or 30 reps, your body gets lethargic and you end up “cheating”, therefore not getting the full effect of the exercise and potentially causing damage to your musculoskeletal system. Be sure to change up your exercise routine every 30-90 days to keep all muscle groups continually engaged.

If you need help reaching your personal goals in time for Summer, give us a call to set up a consultation with one of our Fitness and Wellness coordinators in Greenville and Anderson!

Dry Needling… Getting to the Bottom of a Sticky Situation

By now, you’ve probably heard of (or may have even been stuck by) the popular treatment method in physical therapy today: dry needling. Although this technique may seem to be relatively new to healthcare, its origin dates back to the 1940s. Research proved that patients were responding to “wet needling”, or the introduction of a supplement or medication through a needle, without actually being injected. Fast forward to present day, healthcare professionals are finding dry needling beneficial for those experiencing:

• Acute/chronic injuries
• Headaches
• Neck/Back pain
• Tendinitis
• Muscle Spasms
• Sciatica
• Hip/Knee pain
• Muscle strains
• Tennis/Golfer’s Elbow

How does it work?
A dry needling certified physical therapist will insert a solid filament needle into your muscles, which activates trigger points and treats muscle pain. This technique is typically used when a physical therapist can’t reach particular muscle groups or relieve pain with their hands alone. You’re probably wondering, what is the difference between dry needling and acupuncture? While both procedures use a solid filament needle, dry needling improves muscles function through breaking up trigger points and resetting the muscle, whereas the traditional Western medicine acupuncture approach focuses on meridian points in the body. For patients with an aversion to needles, the question arises, ‘does it hurt?’. Typically, dry needling isn’t painful. However, reactions to dry needling can vary and muscle soreness tends to be the most prevalent among the possible side effects of treatment. Keep in mind, as goes with any form of exercise, when working muscles that have been stagnant, soreness is expected.

Some reactions to needling can be quite funny! Patients have been known to giggle uncontrollably, sweat, fall asleep, twitch, or cry (tear reaction).

While this is a great treatment method to use, dry needling isn’t for all patients. A certified, licensed physical therapist will be able to assess appropriate patients on a case by case basis. If this isn’t the tool is needed, it remains in the toolbox!

Interested in seeing if you’re a candidate for dry needling? Elite Integrated Therapy Centers has dry needling certified physical therapists at all 7 locations. Just a phone call away, their team can help you schedule an appointment within 24-48 hours—no referral needed!

Cross Your Heart

While this time of year is typically associated with Valentine’s Day, there’s another reason to keep your heart in check. February is American Heart Month and, now more than ever, efforts are being made to increase awareness of cardiovascular disease, educate the general population, and take preventative measures to keep your heart healthy. Here in South Carolina, heart disease is still the leading cause of death. Fortunately, 80% of heart disease and stroke events can be prevented by:

• Increasing physical activity
• Eliminating tobacco use
• Adjusting diet and maintaining healthy weight
• Getting plenty of sleep
• Managing stress
• Getting regular health screenings
(monitor your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and diabetes)

Who is at risk?
Cardiovascular issues can affect anyone, but symptoms and risk factors can fluctuate based on a number of variables such as age, gender, ethnicity, and lifestyle choices. For example, although heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, women are believed to be more at risk than men as symptoms aren’t as easily identifiable. In order to raise awareness by educating those at higher risk, there are programs and campaigns in place at local and national levels geared towards very specific demographic groups.

How can ELITE help?
By definition, physical therapy improves quality of life for people of all ages who have medical conditions, illnesses, or injuries that limit their regular ability to move and function. But that’s not all! Physical therapy can be utilized as a preventative measure for various conditions—cardiovascular health included. Significant improvements in blood pressure, weight, quality of life, and other health indicators can be made through exercise under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist, in conjunction with other health professionals such as primary care physicians, dietitians, health and wellness professionals, etc. In fact, studies show habitual physical activity helps reduce and sometimes prevent symptoms in patients with cardiovascular disease.

Need assistance starting a preventative exercise routine, or looking to transition to a higher level program?
Think of Elite Integrated Therapy Centers as your partner in establishing a healthier lifestyle! Just a phone call away, their team can help you schedule an appointment with a licensed physical therapist within 24-48 hours—No referral needed!