Tag Archives: physical therapy

DIZZY? Top 10 Facts about Vestibular Disorders

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What’s so important about a vestibular disorder and, more important, what the heck is it? First of all, it’s very important and, if you are over 40 years old, you have a 1 in 3 chance of experiencing a balance problem at some point in your lifetime. A balance disorder can be a life altering condition if untreated. The Physical Therapists at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates may help determine if you have a balance disorder. This week is Balance Awareness week so it’s a perfect time to discover if you have a vestibular disorder.

Are you:

  • Dizzy when walking?
  • Off balance when getting out of bed?
  • Have trouble walking in the dark?
  • Lose balance if you bend over?

Here are some facts from the Vestibular Disorder Association to give you a better understanding of how your balance system might be affected and when you should see a physician.

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1.The vestibular system includes parts of the inner ear and brain that process sensory information involved with balance.

2. Over 35% of US adults aged 40 years and older (69 million Americans) have had a vestibular dysfunction at some point in their lives.

3. Vestibular disorders may be caused by disease, injury, poisoning by drugs or chemicals, autoimmune causes, traumatic brain injury, or aging. Many vestibular disorders occur from unexplained causes.

4. Symptoms of vestibular disorders include dizziness, vertigo (a spinning sensation), imbalance, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), fatigue, jumping vision, nausea/vomiting, hearing loss, anxiety, and cognitive difficulties.

5. Vestibular disorders are difficult to diagnose. It is common for a patient to consult 4 or more physicians over a period of several years before receiving an accurate diagnosis.

6. There is no “cure” for most vestibular disorders. They may be treated with medication, physical therapy, lifestyle changes (e.g. diet, exercise), surgery, or positional maneuvers. In most cases, patients must adapt to a host of life-altering limitations.

7. Vestibular disorders impact patients and their families physically, mentally, and emotionally. In addition to physical symptoms such as dizziness and vertigo, vestibular patients can experience poor concentration, memory, and mental fatigue. Many vestibular patients suffer from anxiety and depression due to fear of falling and the loss of their independence.

8. Common vestibular disorders include benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Ménière’s disease, labyrinthitis, vestibular neuritis, and vestibular migraine.

9. In the US, medical care for patients with chronic balance disorders exceeds $1 billion per year.

10. The Vestibular Disorders Association (VEDA) is the largest patient organization providing information, support, and advocacy for vestibular patients worldwide.

If you have symptoms, consult your physician for a diagnosis. And remember, our Physical Therapists can help you assess your balance and get you “back on your feet”. Sarasota Orthopedic Associates offers physical therapy in all three locations convenient to Sarasota, Manatee, and Charlotte counties. For more information, visit our website at www.SOA.md or call us at 941.951.2663. We offer same and next day appointments when needed.

Top Ten list from: Vestibular Disorders Association, Portland Oregon at www.Vestibular.org

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH JULIE GLADDEN BARRE, MD

We are so proud to introduce you to Orthopedic Surgeon, Julie Gladden Barre, MD.  Dr. Barre has a specialty in Sports Medicine and treats all ages from high school athletes to  couch potatoes to weekend warriors to professional athletes. You may find her professional bio on our website, however, we wanted to  spend a few minutes with Dr. Barre and get to know her on a more personal level.  Read about it here:

Barre headshot color

What inspired you to become a physician?

Since I was very young I have always had compassion for those in need and this carried into my initial professional calling as a physical therapist. I loved helping people who had been through an injury or surgery and eventually when drawn into management, my love of patient care continued to lure me back to hands on treatment of those in need. I then decided to return to school and become a physician.

Why orthopedics?

With my unique background as a therapist I understood the process of those who were injured requiring surgery and the often grueling process required to get back to what brings someone joy in life. The human body and the increasing active lifestyle of people in today’s world is what has always fascinated me and propelled my love of Orthopedics.

What do you love most about your job?

I love meeting people every day and finding out about their lives and occupations. My job is so satisfying and I thoroughly enjoy being able to help get people back on their feet again as well as help them get back to their normal activities of daily living or get back on the field or golf course or tennis court.

What is your biggest challenge?

One of the hardest things to deal with in the field of medicine is when tragedy happens and seeing people go through physical and emotional pain. As a physician it is hard not to feel the pain that patients and their loved ones go through. I like to encourage my patients and establish a team approach so that I am with them every step of the process.

If I weren’t an orthopedic physician I’d be a_______.

I can’t imagine not being a physician, however if I had to choose something it would be a chef. Everyone loves food and I thoroughly enjoy pleasing people through creativity in the kitchen.

Your proudest / happiest moment?

I think my proudest and happiest moment is when I had my son during the 4th year of my orthopedic residency. Residency is a grueling time in life and after going through a full 9 month pregnancy during residency, the morning my son was born was one of the most joyful times in my life.

Where is the most interesting place you’ve travelled? Why?

Guatemala. I helped a medical team during a medical mission trip in college and I was so moved by the people in Central America and how grateful they were for the medical care they received.

Any hobbies? Activities?

Beach activities with family, cooking, travel, attending sporting events, exercise.

 What’s your next adventure?

I would love to take a trip to Europe with my family someday.

Your guilty pleasure food?

A really good coffee and French pastry.

Dr Barre is aligned with the mission of Sarasota Orthopedic Associates to get her patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life.  SOA has three locations and offers same day or next appointments when needed. Check the website at www.SOA.md or call 941-951-BONE (2663) for more information.

FIVE AWESOME WEIGHT LOSS TIPS

biggest loser foods    biggest loser runs

If you’ve been following along, you know we are nearing the final weeks of our “Biggest Loser Challenge” here at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates. Even though our task is coming to a close, we will continue to commit to our new lifestyle of healthy eating and staying fit. Many people have the false notion if they diet, they don’t need to exercise. This is a myth. Exercise is a critical component of weight loss and without it, your dieting may prove unsuccessful.

Here are some tips from Andrea in our Physical Therapy department to guide you through your new lease on life:

Losing weight too fast may halt metabolism and force the body into undernourishment mode and cause fat storage.

  •  You could do more harm when you try to lose weight by drastically cutting calories and going all out on cardio exercise. Constant over-exercise can stress the body and may lead to storage of body fat.
  • Skipping meals may also slow down metabolism and create a decline in the thyroid hormone T3, dopamine, and serotonin. This may increase food cravings and result in weight gain.
  • Try to limit cardio to 40 minute intervals and include short bursts of high intensity training with short rest breaks. Add strength training also to your routine 3 times a week.
  •  Include healthy fats, protein and carbs into each meal. Enjoy a “cheat” meal every 7 to 10 days to jump start your good hormones and keep your body from feeling deprived.

What are YOUR tips that guided you through a successful weight loss program? Share them with us!

As with any new exercise or diet program, always consult with your physician first to give you a “green light” on proceeding. A healthy weight, exercise, and nutritional diet all contribute to your orthopedic health. If you have concerns regarding your bones, muscles, tendons, joints, or spine, we are here to help.  At Sarasota Orthopedic Associates, we offer same day appointments at all our locations when needed. Please go to our website at www.SOA.md for more information.

EVERYONE NEEDS A FOAM ROLLER … A WHAT?

foam roller

We are four weeks into our Biggest Loser Challenge at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates and our staff has been providing helpful fitness information and diet tips. This week we hear from Andrea Gildar in our awesome Physical Therapy department. If you know Andrea, you’ll agree she is full of energy and very fit! Here is her suggestion about a simple, inexpensive fitness tool to make a healthier “you”:

FOAM ROLLING is a great way to self-massage. The rollers work by using pressure against your body to break up adhesions, release rough tissue restrictions, flush out metabolic waste, increase circulation, and speed up workout recovery time. Wow, that’s a lot of benefits for one simple routine.

Foam rollers are approximately six inches in diameter and made of foam or plastic. They can be color coded based on firmness. Using a foam roller is easy:

  • Position yourself over the roller and use your body weight to roll back and forth over trouble spots, or, trigger points.
  • Gradually increase the pressure and hold on the area for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Use the roller for fascial release. Fascial tissue, or connective tissue, surrounds muscles and allows for movement.
  • Target trigger points where knots have developed. Trigger points respond to direct pressure.
  • Rolling increases the blood flow and may also be followed by gentle stretching.
  • When you are foam rolling, it SHOULD hurt, a “good” hurt, but not be painful. Do NOT roll over inflamed areas.
  • Foam rolling is good for foot issues, back issues, tight quads, calves, and shoulders.

The great thing about foam rolling is that it can be done in the privacy of your home. That means it can be part of your daily routine as well as a part of your new healthy lifestyle.

The Physical Therapy department at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates has several foam rollers and our staff will be happy to evaluate you and demonstrate these techniques. The commitment of SOA is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game and back to life. We have four locations and offer same day appointments when needed. Call us at 941-951-2663 for an appointment with one of our orthopedic physicians or our physical therapists. You may also make an appointment through the home page of our website at www.SOA.md

What’s So Special About PHYSICAL THERAPY?

 

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October is NATIONAL PHYSICAL THERAPY MONTH and it’s a time when we honor the special people on our PT team. Where do we begin?

First, let’s look at the definition of Physical Therapy: the treatment of disease, injury, or deformity using various methods of massage, manipulation, temperature, and/or exercise.

pt-hot-pack     hand-therapy-northern-beaches-sydney    pt-exercise    pt-elec-stim

Ok, well that’s sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Maybe not … let’s take a look at how long it takes to become a Physical Therapist. It’s a path of SEVEN YEARS minimum. Typically a bachelor degree is required with a concentration in biology, anatomy, kinesiology, or a similar study in the sciences. Then, after an impressive GPA achievement, a high GRE score, an interview process, and referral recommendations, the candidate is accepted into a physical therapy program of studies for three years. There are even specialties within the field; a few are geriatric, sports rehab, hand, industrial, aquatic (check out our aquatic therapy pool), and vestibular. By now, you probably understand it’s not a simple path to this career, although it’s a rewarding one.

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A Physical Therapist is an expert in the treatment of neuro-musculoskeletal disorders and pain relief. More important, they are educators in helping you understand your body and how to avoid injury after the healing process. Typically at a first appointment, your PT may perform a number of things including an assessment evaluation, discussion of your issue, take a medical history, check your ROM (range of motion), balance, and muscle strength. In therapy they may use modalities such as heat/ice, ultrasound, massage, electronic stimulation, and/or hands-on treatment. You’ll be given a series of exercises with instructions to perform at home that will help you heal and strengthen.

Pain Concept.

The number of visits needed will vary upon your condition. The most important and critical instruction to remember is that YOU are the key to YOUR  recovery. You play an important role in this process. Compliance with your home exercises and following the number of recommended visits to your Physical Therapy appointments will benefit your healing and speed your recovery.

So now you know why we love our Physical Therapy staff. We are grateful to them for all they do to keep us healthy and strong!  The commitment of Sarasota Orthopedic Associates is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life.  For more information or an appointment, go to our website at www.SOA.md or call us at 941-951-2663.  We have four convenient locations and offer same day appointments when needed.

Pssst … Come closer … We need to talk about an embarrassing problem

stress-incontinence

Do you find yourself talking to your friends about how you used to be a runner? You may have run 5k’s, Half Marathons, and even a full 26.2, but now you haven’t run in years because you know when you do, you are going to experience urinary leakage somewhere along the way? You are not alone. One in every 3 women experience this problem, which Physical Therapists call stress incontinence.

Stress Incontinence is a condition where a person experiences involuntary expulsion of urine when pressure within the abdomen increases suddenly, as in coughing, sneezing, jumping, or running. Stress Incontinence is not related to psychological stress, but it can add a significant amount of stress to our lives. It can be so embarrassing it becomes debilitating. It can keep us from wanting to move, much less exercise, compounding the problem. When we become less active we lose our previous fitness level, we get depressed, eat more, and gain weight, making harder to do the things we want to do. It’s a vicious cycle, and it happens to So. Many. Women.

Unfortunately, due to the frequency of its occurrence, stress incontinence is joked about amongst friends and accepted as a normal occurrence of aging and post-partum bodily changes. But just because it’s common doesn’t mean it’s normal, and it doesn’t have to continue to be a part of your life.

The answer is simple. Exercise. Knowing which exercises and how to do them without increasing the problem can be more difficult. That is where physical therapy comes into play. Just as with any other muscular injury/dysfunction, physical therapy may help you regain control of the muscles being affected by stress incontinence: your pelvic floor.

Your pelvic floor is a network of muscles that SHOULD act like a taut trampoline, holding your abdominal organs up inside and resisting increases in abdominal pressure even when coughing, sneezing, jumping, or running.  When this network of muscles loses its tone, (due to 9 months of continuously building pressure or any other cause) it descends and can start to act more like a hammock. When muscles are too lax they aren’t as strong and don’t contract as well.

What would I do in physical therapy to help with urinary leakage problems?

  • Exercises for postural correction that put your pelvis and therefore, the muscular network that is your pelvic floor, in a better position for functional strengthening
  • Learn how to complete core strengthening/stability exercises without increasing intra- abdominal pressure
  • Learn specific types of breath work and the connection between the diaphragm and pelvic floor
  • Learn how to control intra-abdominal pressure whenever possible
  • Learn how to properly complete a Kegel using the right musculature, and how to progress incorporating them while engaging in functional activities
  • Create lifestyle changes to decrease frequency/urge for urination; for instance, nutritional changes and scheduled voiding times
  • Learn voiding positions that decrease intra-abdominal pressure to avoid worsening of symptoms

It takes one bold move. You have to start talking about your symptoms of stress incontinence outside of your social circle. Talk about it with someone who can help. There are many different resources. While your primary care physician, OBGYN, or urologist, may have suggestions for how they can help with this issue, they may not be aware of physical therapy as an option. Physical therapy is less invasive than many medical treatments available, and it makes sense to start with the simplest, least invasive method to get you back on track.

You were a runner … You can be that runner again. Let us help you get there. At Sarasota Orthopedic Associates our commitment is to get you back on your feet, back to work, back in the game and back to life. With four locations and same day appointments when necessary, our team of physical therapists and orthopedic physicians treat people of all ages. Learn more about us at www.SOA.md or give us a call at 941-951-2663. Appointments may also be made on our website.

Source: Jennifer Clarkson, DPT, L/CNMT is a Doctor of Physical Therapy at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates, as well as a Licensed Massage Therapist with certifications in Neuromuscular Therapy and Integrated Pregnancy Massage.

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UNLOCKING YOUR BODY’S FULL POTENTIAL FOR GOLF

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Golf is a sport appreciated by people of all ages and abilities. Everyone who plays would like to hit the ball farther and more precisely without low back or neck pain which increases the enjoyment of the game and the longevity of their playing career.

The key to unlocking the full potential in any participant’s golf career lies within that persons “drive” to get their body stronger and more mobile. Improved strength and mobility have the ability to create longevity in anyone’s career whether they are a professional athlete or working at a desk job. The primary area of concern for golfers is becoming stronger and more mobile at the hips, trunk, and thoracic spine. The thoracic spine is an area that is often overlooked in golf as it requires a significant amount of rotation to complete the golf swing. When we create strength and mobility throughout these specific areas, we protect our body from injury and create what every golfer needs, power. Power increases the force we generate when striking the golf ball and allows us to drive the ball farther.

Unfortunately, our bodies are habitual and their worst habit is finding ways to take the path of least resistance; they compensate for our shortcomings. Often times the source of low back and neck pain in golf comes from faulty swing mechanics due to immobility at the hips and thoracic spine. Simply put, the best golfers are able to rotate freely from the hips and thoracic spine, minimizing the risk for injury and pain. Golfers who are less mobile in these areas compensate during their swing, which results in excessive motion through their lumbar/cervical spine and hips and they experience an increased incidence of pain in these areas.

The good news is that improving the strength and mobility in these key areas of our body is much simpler than one might think. With the help and guidance of a Physical Therapist, or strength and conditioning specialist trained in human performance, one can achieve an improved, pain free golf swing. This will allow you to enjoy playing pain free golf for many years to come and might even help lower your handicap!

Sarasota Orthopedic Associates treats people of all ages at four convenient locations and offers same day appointments when needed. We are a comprehensive orthopedic facility including Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Aquatic Therapy. Visit our website at www.SOA.md  for more information. Our commitment is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life.

Source: Austin Jensen, PTA, LMT, CSCS is part of the Physical Therapy team at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates who earned his BS degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion from Florida Atlantic University in 2011, Physical Therapist Assistant degree from Keiser University, CSCS Certification from the National Strength and Conditioning Association and is also a Licensed Massage Therapist.

SUMMER IS A PERFECT TIME FOR POOL THERAPY

pool therapy

One of the advantages living in Florida is our sunny weather year round so it is not unusual to have daily access to a pool, whether at a private home, community development, or a local Y. Even if you’re in a climate with cold winter temperatures, there are gyms offering year round swimming. From an orthopedic perspective, swimming is one of the most beneficial exercises you can do, and better yet, it can be so much fun that you don’t think of it as exercise.

When prescribed as Aquatic Therapy, there are many techniques and forms of bodywork. Applications include those for spine pain, musculoskeletal discomfort, post-operative rehabilitation, and disabilities or disorders. It may be most beneficial when non-weight bearing exercises are needed or when normal range of motion is limited due to pain, inflammation, or rehabilitation.

Water has properties that provide resistance which are beneficial in exercising. Because of these properties, the muscles actually work harder when submerged in water compared to doing that same exercise on dry ground. Try to imagine running through water and how much more difficult it would be and how much more time it would take to cover the same distance as running a mile on land. Submersion into the water makes it harder to move because of the buoyancy. This resistance also helps tone muscle and improve balance.

Pool exercise can also burn calories. An average 30 minute pool exercise routine can burn off approximately 300 calories. The water also helps reduce body fatigue as it supports so much of the body weight. Pool exercises, done three or four times a week, could result in weight loss and be fun in the process!

Water is also known to have an added benefit on the body and brain. There is a theory called “blue mind” that suggests being close to, in, over, or under the water makes us happier and healthier. For this reason, yoga studios and massage spas incorporate waterfalls into their décor. The gentleness of being near or in the water sends a soothing feeling of relaxation and can lower blood pressure.

PT Pool

Pool therapy has become a widely accepted form of exercise and is now offered in many gym facilities, parks, and community developments. The Arthritis Foundation has even partnered with many YMCA’s across the country in a program called PACE, or People with Arthritis Can Exercise. In fact, they have an excellent website with great tips for a water walking routine. Always check with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen. http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/exercise/workouts/simple-routines/water-walking.php

At Sarasota Orthopedic Associates we have an on-site therapy pool at our Bahia Vista location as well as a team of expert physical therapists at our offices. To learn more about us, click here or call us at 941-951-2663 for an appointment.

 

Sources: brainline.org; SOA.md website; Wikipedia; Arthritis Foundation

BACK TO LIFE: MANAGING YOUR HIP PAIN

    hip pain woman

Hip pain is a very common complaint we hear from patients at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates. A decrease in mobility may make your daily activity problematic, depending on the severity. Did you know hip pain stems from many different causes?

We typically think of a broken hip as a condition suffered by the elderly, however hip fractures can occur in younger patients, particularly from a traumatic injury such as a serious fall, sports injury, or auto accident. These injuries may also involve labral tears, impingement, avascular necrosis (loss of blood to the bone), bursitis, and muscle tears.

The most common condition we see as a cause of hip pain is osteoarthritis (OA), also known as degenerative joint disease. This is the wear and tear of the joints occurring when the cartilage (or cushion) between joints breaks down. Characteristic indicators of OA might be pain, stiffness, swelling, and/or loss of mobility. Currently there is no cure for arthritis, however there are many ways to help manage it.

hip pain

Whether trauma or arthritis, at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates we begin with a comprehensive evaluation to ensure an accurate diagnosis. Typically we you will have a digital x-ray taken on-site in our office at your first appointment. Having on-site technology allows for a prompt diagnosis. Knowing the exact problem is essential to determining the best treatment options for you.

In the case of a less serious hip injury, Physical Therapy may be all that’s needed to extend your range of motion and manage your condition. PT and regular low impact exercise, such as bike riding or walking, may strengthen your muscles and help relieve discomfort in the joints. NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) or aspirin may be helpful, although should not be used on a long term basis. Other options include cortisone injections and PRP (platelet rich plasma) however, PRP is not a covered benefit of insurance and there is currently not enough scientific data to validate its effectiveness. It is important to know that nothing currently will regrow cartilage nor correct alignment.

hip injection

If measures to alleviate hip pain fail, you may want to explore a discussion with us about hip replacement surgery. You may be surprised to learn that hip replacement surgery can mean a relative quick recovery time. Everyone is unique so your timeline could be longer or shorter depending on individual circumstances. You will likely be in the hospital for about three days. A day or two after surgery you will start moving with assistance. Physical therapy will be fundamental to an optimal recovery. After 12 weeks, you may be able to resume normal activity under consent from your surgeon. In every case, it’s vitally important to discuss your situation with a skilled surgeon and listen closely to their advice.

The team of physicians at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates are experts in diagnosing and treating your condition. We have four convenient locations (Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, Venice, and Bradenton) and are able to accommodate same day appointments when needed. Cal us at 941-951-2663 for an appointment or click HERE to view our website.

Sources: SOA website; WebMD; Arthritis Foundation; American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

BAD TO THE BONE: Treating Knee Pain

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The knee is a very complex joint with many components making it vulnerable to a variety of injuries. When damaged, it can seriously impact your quality of life. Knee pain is one of the most common reasons people visit an orthopedic physician. Difficulty standing and walking can greatly diminish your sense of independence. The GOOD news is that most collective knee pain problems are treatable.

The CAUSES OF KNEE PAIN are many, including injury and disease. Injuries of the knee commonly seen tend to be damage to the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, and the meniscus. There are an estimated 2.5 million sports-related injuries a year just by adolescent athletes alone. A fracture is most often caused by trauma such as a car accident, a fall, or sports contact; the most common broken bone in the knee is the patella, more generally known as the kneecap.

Fast facts on knee injuries:

  • The highest knee injury rates occur in people between the ages of 15 to 24.
  • Sports participation is a high risk factor for knee injuries.
  • 60% of high school sports-related injuries occur in the knee.
  • Female basketball and soccer athletes are as much as 8 times more likely to suffer an ACL injury than a male.
  • Young athletes suffering an ACL injury will have an increased risk of arthritis as they age.

Orthotics-for-knee-pain

Avoiding knee injuries:

  • Warm up properly prior to exercising or participating in sports.
  • Wear proper footwear with a good fit.
  • Don’t increase sports or exercise workouts suddenly.
  • Wear knee guards in sports activities.
  • Maintain strong, flexible leg muscles.
  • Always, always, always … Use a seatbelt when driving.

The MOST WIDESPREAD DISEASE affecting the knee is arthritis, which is caused by the gradual wearing-away of cartilage. Primary symptoms are pain, swelling, and stiffness in the knee. Currently, there is no “cure” for arthritis, however there are options, both surgical and non-invasive. Depending on the amount of arthritic damage, treating knee pain may often be done without surgery. These options may include one or a combination of physical therapy, weight control, injections, medications, bracing, exercise, and strengthening. When considering knee replacement surgery, the physicians and physical therapists at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates have a wide array of experience and expertise.

Whatever the cause of your knee pain, from sports injury to trauma to arthritis, the 13 physicians at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates are here to help alleviate your discomfort. We have four convenient locations. Browse here to view our physicians and their specialties or call us at 941-951-2663 to make an appointment.

Sources: SOA.md website; MediLexicon International; arthritis.org; webMD