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6 Ways to Manage Painful Trigger Points

What is a trigger point?

Travell and Simons defined a Trigger point as, a hyperirritable spot in the muscle belly that elicits a pain response somewhere else when compressed. Pressure on the trigger point can produce a muscle twitch as well.

All of us have trigger points throughout our bodies, but they are not painful. Life, toxins, and injury can result in exciting the trigger points. The trigger point can then create satellite trigger points; which can result in pain and muscle spasms.

Managing trigger points can improve the performance of the muscle and reduce overall pain in the body.

Self-manage trigger points in the following ways:

1. Self-trigger point release with:

  •   Tennis ball
  •   Lacrosse ball
  •   Spiny ball
  •   Theracane

2. Roll tissues after exercise and athletic performance with:

  •  Foam roller
  • Massage stick

3. Compression or vibration Therapy:

  • Hypervolt vibration tool
  • Minisphere vibration tool
  • Theragun

When self-treatment does not work it is time to seek professional help:

  1. Dry Needling – Physical Therapy
  2. Deep Tissue Massage – Massage Therapist
  3. Graston Technique or instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization – Physical Therapy

These tips are not to replace recommendations by your physical therapist or physician. This is for information only.  Never start a new self-treatment routine without consulting your physician or physical therapist.

Insurance Deductible Explained

Understanding Your Health Insurance deductibles can save you money in 2021, so today we are going to answer two very important questions. How do I  meet my deductible and why do I have have to pay my deductible?  Now is a good time to discuss this topic as you may have met your deductible. Understanding what this means can assist you in planning for major healthcare expenses and save you a few dollars in 2021. 

Why Do I have to Pay my Deductible?

When you choose a healthcare plan, you are entering into an agreement with the insurance company. You agree to pay a certain amount of your healthcare services before your insurance company is obligated to share in the cost of those services. When your healthcare provider bills your insurance company for services rendered, they are legally bound to charge you for those services if your deductible is not met. 

When choosing a healthcare plan, make sure the deductible amount is an amount you can afford. If you have a lot of healthcare expenses, it may be better to choose a plan with a lower deductible. This can result in a higher monthly premium, but reduce your overall cost for the year. Having a large deductible that you are unable to pay can result being sent to collections for unmet payments to your healthcare provider. Be informed and make the best decision that works for you. 

How Do I meet my Deductible?

A frequent question at our clinic is: I have already met deductible. Why am I having to pay my deductible for physical therapy? When you pay for a service that payment goes towards your deductible, but there are a couple of factors that can make you think you have met your deductible when you have not. 

    1. Your insurance company has rules to determine how much of your payment for a service goes towards your deductible.  Every dollar you pay may not count toward your deductible. 
    2. Once you receive a service from a provider, the provider can take up to a year to submit a claim.  When the provider does not immediately submit their claim the insurance company has no way of knowing that you have made a payment toward your deductible. In the eyes of the Insurance Company your deductible is not met and you will have to pay toward it until it is. 

 Multiple providers can send in claims at the same time, so money is applied toward your deductible in the order that the claims are received.  If you pay your deductible in advance to a provider ,that is slow to submit their claims, you will be owed a refund for your payment.

The key is to educate yourself on your Health Insurance benefits and track your cost. Every time you use your health insurance, your insurance company will send you an explanation of benefits (EOB) explaining how much you owe the provider. Look at the EOB to track your expenses and ask for a refund if you have over paid. 

Know your insurance benefits

Ultimately, you are the one responsible for understanding your insurance benefits. It is best for you to call your insurance company and know what your costs are before you receive healthcare services. Doing this will allow you to budget for your healthcare cost and NOT receive unexpected bills. 

How to save on Healthcare in 2021

On January 1, 2022 you will have to start paying toward your deductible again. This will  increase your cost for receiving healthcare services. You can reduce your healthcare expenses by receiving services in 2021. Some insurance plans reset the deductible on October 1, 2021. You can find your benefit period on your insurance card. 

You can be seen At Lifestyle Physical Therapy without a prescription. Our Doctors of physical therapy can perform a free screen to determine if physical therapy is the best approach for you.  Now is the best time to get back to doing the things you love without pain or fear of falling. 

Call or text our offices today at 803-831-1454. Katie and Lauren are standing by to verify your insurance and schedule your appointment. 

This Article is intended for education Purposes only. Insurance plans are individual. Your plan may not fit in the scenario above. Consult your insurance company to fully understand your deductible and health insurance plan.

Exercise and COVID-19

I know many of you are wondering if your efforts at the gym will make a difference if you contract COVID-19. Dr. Abarno has been looking at the research and the results are interesting. I would like to introduce you to Ryan Abarno DPT.  Dr. Abarno is the new Clinical Director at Lifestyle PT and he has been looking into research studying Cardiorespiratory fitness and complications from contracting COVID-19. Dr. Abarno specializes in Orthopedic Physical Therapy and the science of exercise. He is a competitive power lifter giving him a unique perspective on how exercise influences the human body. I hope you enjoy today’s post.

At this point we all are probably feeling a bit of pandemic fatigue thanks to Covid-19 (and we’re all probably a little tired of hearing about it). It has impacted lives on a scale that has not been seen in generations and its effect on society may be long lasting. However, being the optimist that I am, every situation, good or bad, serves as an opportunity to learn. As we get closer to the one year mark from which Covid-19 made its appearance known, we have found that there are ways we can reduce our chance of getting the virus and there are also things that we can do to improve how our bodies respond to the virus.

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