Muscle knots- causes and treatment

Read this topic if you want to know about musculoskeletal pain arising from muscle knots.

Muscle knots

Muscle knots are tender spots in muscle or fascial tissues that are scientifically termed as myofascial trigger points. In the active phase these trigger points are very sensitive and produce intense pain in the surrounding body parts, depending upon their location in the body.

Many times, trigger points are formed without producing any pain and you feel it only when you press on them, and they are responsible for tenderness and dull aching sensation in surrounding body parts.


There is no single reason for myofascial restrictions form muscle knots. It is common to have myofascial restrictions secondary to practicing poor posture that is mainly seen with sedentary lifestyle. Psychological stress and anxiety are other common factors for generating tension in muscles and be the reason for trigger points. Also, muscle injuries from repetitive motions and heavy lifting are one of the reasons for myofascial tightness leading to painful trigger points in body. Muscle sprain, strain or tear are also responsible for forming muscle knots in the body.


Trigger points can form anywhere in the body. The common areas of the body where you develop muscle knots are area between neck and shoulder (Trapezius), lower back, side of thigh (IT band), lower leg (calf and shin). You may also experience them in hamstring, mid back, forearm.

These muscle knots are harmless in nature, but they create body pain. One may feel pain is arising from conditions like tension headache, back pain, neck pain, rotator cuff pain, tennis elbow, radiating pain in extremities; however, the underlying reason is muscle knot. Thus, myofascial restrictions are misleading, they produce symptoms similar to other musculoskeletal conditions. Musculoskeletal specialists like Physical therapists are experts in detecting underlying muscle knots which might be the reason for your symptoms.


In some cases, it is possible to self-treat these muscle knots. Using a fingertip, apply firm pressure on the muscle knot and hold or make small circles, this helps to reduce the tension in that area and gives quick pain relief. One can use tennis ball for stubborn muscle knots. If pain continues then it is recommended to see a physical therapist near you. Physical therapy has number of options to work on trigger points and myofascial restrictions. Some of them are myofascial release technique, deep tissue massage, therapeutic stretching, pulsed ultrasound, dry needing, mechanical vibration, electrical stimulations. Along with these physical therapy techniques postural re-education, office ergonomics for desk job and strengthening exercises are also important factors to prevent these muscle knots forming again.

About Potential physical therapy

Our physical therapist performs different manual therapy techniques like myofascial release, deep tissue massage, IASTM, therapeutic stretching along with personalized exercise program according to individual needs. We use evidence-based approach to educate and treat you that speeds up your pain relief. In most cases physical therapy will be enough to recover from myofascial trigger point pain. Contact us today to learn more about our programs and how they can help you relieve your trigger point pain.


Difference between physical therapy and chiropractic care

Do you know the difference between physical therapy and a chiropractic care? We examine similarities and differences in this quick-read article.

Many patients do not know the difference between physical therapy and chiropractic care. They both treat same conditions and body parts. They both treat and manage pain and improves mobility without using medicine or shots. This article will guide you on how to choose between physical therapy and chiropractic care when you have pain and mobility issues.

Similarities between physical therapy and chiropractic care

First, let us see the similarities between these two professions. Physical therapist and chiropractor are licensed health care professionals. Both professionals keep their license active with continued education courses. Both primarily focus on treating pain with natural way without injections, shots and surgery. They both use hands on approach and manual techniques to fix the underlying issue causing pain.

Difference between physical therapy and chiropractic care

Next, let’s see the difference between physical therapy and chiropractic care. Physical therapy focuses on injured body part along with the adjacent body parts causing pain or mobility issues, so treatment approach depends on body movements and functions as a whole. Chiropractic care focuses on finding spinal and muscular malalignments that might be leading to pressure within nervous system and causing chronic pain. Physical therapy focuses on reducing pain and improving ability to perform daily activities in the pain free range. On the other hand, chiropractic focuses on achieving pain relief and fixing spine alignment.

Along with above mentioned differences, there is one more difference which is related to the treatment approach both use to treat patients. When injury or illness affects strength, mobility, balance and endurance physical therapy mainly uses manual therapy techniques like myofascial release, deep tissue massage, instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization, joint mobilization and other techniques along with stretching and exercises to reduce pain and improve mobility and strength and assist natural healing. Chiropractic care mainly perform spine manipulations and joint adjustments along with other manual techniques to allow the body heal naturally after any injury or illness or chronic pain.

If you are currently experiencing back pain or chronic pain, both physical therapy and chiropractic care could help you to manage pain and improve quality of life. It really depends on the type of treatment you are looking for. Use this information and perform some of your own research to make the best decision for you.

If you’d like to meet with a physical therapist in Malvern, PA, contact us today to learn how physical therapy can help you to manage pain.

About Potential Physical Therapy:

Our physical therapist designs a personalized exercise program and manual therapy techniques according to individual needs. We use an evidence-based approach to educate and treat you that speeds up your pain relief. We teach proper form of exercises and home exercise program for faster recovery. In most cases physical therapy will be enough to recover from lower back pain. Contact us today to learn more about our programs and how they can help relieve your pain.

Experience the difference physical therapy can make for you.

Schedule your call at (610) 249-0001



At-home care for Frozen Shoulder pain relief

If you are worried about losing shoulder range for daily activities, here are tips for at-home care that you can do to help find Frozen Shoulder pain relief.

Frozen shoulder is also known as adhesive capsulitis: a condition in which the one has following symptoms:

  • Shoulder stiffness
  • Shoulder pain in all directions
  • Reduced mobility
  • Difficulty for lying on it

When your shoulder freezes due to injury or trauma, it is considered a secondary frozen shoulder. It occurs due to not moving the arm for long time and keeping it in a brace after injury.

In a second type of frozen shoulder, the connective tissue surrounding the joint becomes inflamed, scarred, and tight, which contributes to a loss of mobility to the shoulder joint. There are four stages of frozen shoulder with symptoms of pain, stiffness, and decreased daily function.

  • Inflammation: lasts 6-10 weeks
  • Freezing: lasts for 6 months with increased pain
  • Frozen: lasts 4-6 months with decreasing pain but stiffness continues
  • Thawing: lasts 6 month – 2 years

Activities that are difficult to perform with Frozen shoulder are:

  • Lifting or carrying a bag
  • Reaching behind the back or to back pocket or to high shelf
  • Putting on a shirt
  • Sleeping on your side

Now there is a natural way for frozen shoulder pain relief. Physical therapy plays important role in teaching you to manage pain. A Physical therapist guides you on the best ways to complete tasks with the shoulder motion that you have. Simple stretching exercises for the shoulder and hot packs at home helps to manage shoulder pain. It also helps to improve joint mobility. Continuing stretching exercises provided by your physical therapist assists you to manage Frozen shoulder pain naturally without medications or injections.

It is important to remember a few things when performing stretching at home for your frozen shoulder pain relief. First, warm up your shoulder before performing your frozen shoulder exercises. The best way to do that is to take a warm shower or bath, or use a hot pack for 10 to 15 minutes. Remember to stretch to the point of tension but not pain while performing the frozen shoulder exercises.

If the pain is not managed by stretches at home and your shoulder mobility impacts your daily activities, then seeing a physical therapist can make a difference. Physical therapists use a combination of manual therapy, stretching exercises and home exercise programs to treat Frozen shoulder. Learn here how can physical therapist help you manage pain and increase mobility to perform daily activities with frozen shoulder.

Here are some Frozen shoulder stretching exercises you can perform at home to relive pain and improve shoulder mobility.

About Potential Physical Therapy:

Our physical therapist designs a personalized exercise program according to your individual needs. We use an evidence-based approach to educate and treat you that speeds up your recovery. We teach proper form of exercises and home exercise programs for faster recovery. In most cases, physical therapy will be enough to recover from Frozen shoulder.

CONTACT US today to learn more about our services and how they can help you relieve pain.


Call us at (610) 249-0001 with any questions and we will be happy to assist you.


ACL injury rehab in Malvern, PA

ACL injury rehab in Malvern, PA

It is difficult to be knocked out of your favorite game due to injury.  This post will help those who no longer participate in the sports because of ACL injury. Understand how physical therapy plays important role in your recovery.

ACL injury can occur in two different ways:

In contact mechanism a blow to the outer side of the knee results not only ACL tear but also in MCL and medial meniscus, usually termed the “Unholy triad” injury; whereas in non-contact mechanism lower leg twists on a planted foot.

Common symptoms after ACL injury:

Knee pain or swelling that lasts for 48 hours, instability and popping or giving out while walking, inability to put weight on knee while walking, knee bending to guard injured area are the common signs and symptoms one may experience after ACL injury.

What do you experience after ACL injury?

In acute stage, knee cannot bear weight and the person needs assistance while walking; while in complete tear, there is instability, and the knee gives out while walking.

In cases of acute sprain or partial tears, conservative treatments are enough for return to a desired level of function as long as you are not returning to sports or high-level work activities.

Conservative treatment includes RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) followed by Physical therapy exercises after acute phase of healing.

Physical therapy exercises play important role after ACL injuries.

Whether or not you need surgery, physical therapy helps to regain normal ROM (range of motion), balance control, normalization of gait, strengthening of muscles that support and stabilize knee joint during functional activities.

Quadriceps and hamstring strengthening are crucial in ACL rehab exercises as it may help to avoid or delay the surgery. ACL rehab alone may be enough for elderly people, or those who do not want to return to sports or high-level activities. Also, research shows that pre-op ACL rehab gives positive long-lasting effects after surgery and speeds up surgical recovery.

Performing these ACL rehab exercises under an expert’s supervision is important to ensure that the exercises are appropriate and the progression is right for you; otherwise, you may risk your ACL recovery and end up with a weak supporting structure around the knee which could lead to an unstable knee and the re-injuring of your knee in the future.

Learn more about how can a physical therapist help in ACL injury recovery. If your knee pain persists after conservative treatment at home after injury, schedule an appointment with Potential Physical Therapy to start your care with specialist guidance.

Here are few strengthening exercises you may perform to strengthen the knee joint after ACL injury.

ACL injury/reconstruction rehab exercises

ACL injury can result from twisting the knee on a planted foot, from bending the knee back too far after landing from a jump. One may have pain and swelling, or the knee might buckle or give way with ACL injury. Physical therapy exercises plays important role in recovery before or after surgery. Here are few strengthening exercises that help during recovery.

Posted by Potential Physical Therapy on Thursday, May 28, 2020

About Potential Physical Therapy:

Our physical therapist designs a personalized exercise program according to individual needs for your ACL injury. We use an evidence-based approach to educate and treat you that speeds up your recovery. We teach proper form of exercises and home exercise programs for faster recovery. In most of the cases physical therapy will be enough to recover from an ACL injury. Contact Potential Physical Therapy today to learn more about our programs and how they can help relieve your pain.

Call (610) 249-0001 with any questions and we will be happy to assist you.



Back pain relief without medicine or injections

Back pain relief without medicine or injections

Are you sick of lower back pain controlling your life? Good news is you can relieve your back pain naturally without medicine or injection.

Low back pain is a very common condition. About 80% of adults experience back pain at some point of time in their life. Good news is most of the time the back pain goes away on its own in two to six weeks. In some cases it can stay longer or can occur recurrently.

Among the different types of back pain mechanical/non-specific back pain is most common. Origin of this type of pain includes strain, trauma, poor health, poor posture, lack of physical activity.

Poor postures or movements burden lower back:

Prolong sitting in a desk chair without good lumbar support is the very common reason seen these days in population working in front of computer. Standing for long period of time without proper weight distribution in both legs burdens back muscles. Repeated bending, frequent and repeated turning and twisting creates overuse injury. Heavy lifting without proper bio mechanics create tension in the back. Apart from these common reasons smoking, overweight, physically strenuous work, anxiety, stressful or dissatisfying job are the common factors that may increase chances of getting back pain.

Staying active is the most effective way to relieve and prevent back pain.  Physical therapy helps to relieve back pain naturally without medicine or injection and reduces healthcare monetary burden. Healthcare providers recommend physical therapy first than any other intervention.

Performing aerobic exercises like walking, swimming, stationary bicycle, along with stretching and strengthening exercises, provide great benefit to recover faster. Exercise too soon in the recovery phase may worsen the symptoms. It is recommended to talk to your physical therapist to learn which exercises are good to start with to avoid re-injury to muscles.

Things to do at home to relieve back pain:

Rest is important; however, research shows that physical activity during recovery has more benefits over resting. Therefor, staying active is much important. Ice pack for 15-20 min for every 2-3 hours over the area of discomfort. Use it for 24-72 hours after first episode of pain, and after that start using hot packs. Add natural supplement like turmeric in your diet. Learn here how turmeric/curcumin has potential to reduce back pain naturally.  Practice good postures in the office and daily activities as it helps to reduce stress on muscles and spine.

Benefits of exercises:

It improves the blood circulation and thus reduces inflammation and speeds up healing process, strengthens core muscles and improves posture. Exercise increases stamina, reduces weight and keeps back healthy and strong.

It is recommended to perform exercises with a specialist’s supervision; however, if you are performing exercises at home and still do not see any improvement, or if your lower back pain persists for more than few days or becomes worse, schedule an appointment with Physical Therapy to start your care.

Learn here how physical therapist can help you to relieve your lower back pain naturally without medicine/shots.

Here are few stretching exercises you can do at home to relieve lower back pain.

About Potential Physical Therapy:

Our physical therapist designs a personalized exercise program according to individual needs. We use an evidence-based approach to educate and treat you in a way that speeds up your recovery. We also teach proper forms of exercises along with manual therapy, electrotherapy modalities for faster recovery. In most of the cases physical therapy will be enough to recover from lower back pain.

Contact Potential Physical Therapy today to learn more about our services and how they can help you relieve pain.


5 best strategies to alleviate knee pain

Knee pain a very common problem that can occur at any age group. Learn strategies to help alleviate pain, and how Potential Physical Therapy in Malvern, PA can help.

One may have knee pain secondary to trauma/injury at very young age; athletes are most prone to have ACL injury causing knee pain; osteoarthritis is the common cause of knee pain in older adults; and the list goes on. In this article we examine common knee problems and how they affect one’s ability to function, and what common strategies are to assist in alleviating knee pain.

Common knee problems:

Anterior knee pain

Patello-femoral pain/chondromalacia patella

Patellar tendinitis/Jumper’s knee

Knee osteoarthritis

IT band friction syndrome

Quadriceps muscle strain

Meniscal tear

Ligament tear (ACL/MCL/PCL/LCL)

Most of the knee problems result in loss of flexion range and extension, swelling within joint, less motion and increased stiffness and reflex quadriceps inhibition that may cause quadriceps lag. A patient with arthritis can also develop disturbed balance responses. In a few cases, depending upon age, the pathophysiology or cause of the pain is crucial to determine in order to take care of the underlying problem right away and prevent it from getting worse. Not attending to the underlying issue could lead to the need for knee replacement surgery.

Following are the 5 best strategies one can incorporate in their daily routine for long term pain relief:

  1. Control pain with the help of an ice pack for 20 min if it is acute pain (< 3months) and use a hot pack for 20 min if it is chronic pain (> 3months).
  2. Maintain muscle function and prevent joint adhesions by gentle muscle setting exercise like quad sets at different angles and stretching exercise e.g. Quadricep stretches, Hamstring stretches, TFL/ITB stretches.
  3. Protect the joint by wearing a knee brace/sleeve or by using assistive devices. It is strongly recommended that you see a physical therapist before deciding which option is best for you.
  4. Avoid bed positioning that promotes knee flexion contracture.
  5. Make functional adaptations till the point that your pain is relieved and your muscles are strong enough to perform ADLs without discomfort. Examples for functional adaptation may include the minimization of stair climbing, the use of elevated seats on commodes, and the avoidance of deep seats or low chairs.

Along with these strategies it is wise to perform strengthening exercises to achieve long-term pain relief.

Learn more about exercises for knee/patella pain


Every knee pain is different and needs a specific approach to be treated, and for this reason it is important to consult a physical therapist or doctor before starting any exercise program.

Call us if you have any question about your knee pain, we will be happy to assist you.

Contact Potential Physical Therapy


Reference articles:

Precautions to take before Knee Replacement Surgery

How to properly prepare before Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee replacement is a serious undertaking that leaves an impact on your present and future. Is there a knee replacement on the calendar in your future?  In this article we lay out the homework you need to do to ensure best and positive outcomes from your knee replacement surgery.

  1. Plan For It


Before you set a date for surgery, think about how knee replacement will affect your life and how you’ll deal with the changes. Things can be quite stressful for some time, so start prepare yourself to have a smooth and successful surgery with rapid recovery.


  1. Ask Queries


Visit your doctor and gather some important information regarding the surgery. How long the surgery will take? What type of rehab will you be facilitated in? What type of devices and equipment will be used? Ask these types of questions and jot down the answers to ensure the credibility of the doctor’s services and whether the information will benefit you or not.


  1. Lose Weight If Required


It is always said that the body tends to recover from any ailment or surgery faster if you are physically fit. Because of this, it is better to get in shape ahead of time so you are able to recover more quickly for your knee replacement surgery. You can consult with your doctor to know which exercises may be better for you before your treatment. If you are a bit heavy, then losing some weight can lessen the stress on your knees.


  1. Quit Bad Habits


Bad habits like smoking or drinking slows down the recovery process. Moreover, these habits can cause infections before or after surgery. Quitting these habits can help to jump start your health recovery and make your wounds heal as soon as possible.


  1. Medication Adjustments


You might be taking medications for other health reasons, so it is important to consult with your doctor about this prior to surgery. Ask your doctor whether you can continue with your prescribed medicines or if you will need to stop. This step will ensure that you don’t face any complication during or after the treatment.  


  1. Practice


Before treatment, start learning the physical therapy exercises that will be required afterward. This will allow you to start them right away instead of taking precious time after surgery to learn them.


These key steps are important to complete before you head into your knee replacement surgery. Also make sure to move items in your home that may hinder your movement so it is easier to get around. Clear your room and hall area to get enough space for moving crutches or using a walker. Aside from all of these tips, also make sure to always follow the instructions given to you by your doctor.

If you are still unsure of the precautions you should take prior to your knee replacement surgery, then contact us  to get the best knee replacement treatment and know about the precautions to take before and after the surgery.  All the Best!