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WELCOME Michael O’Reilly PT, DPT, Physical Therapist

The Spine and Health Center of Montvale welcomes Michael O’Reilly, PT, DPT, Physical Therapist to our Team.


I have Bursitis and Tendonitis! What is it?

I get so many patient’s that are diagnosed with bursitis and tendonitis and they have absolutely no idea what it is.  All they know is that they went to their doctor, they looked at the area of complaint for a second or two.  They saw that the patient can move the body part ok, but they had pain. The answer…BURSITIS or…..TENDONITIS.  What the heck is bursitis and tendonitis.  Lets begin by getting a definition, then we will break it down by location, the mechanism of injury and ultimately how to get rid of it (which is obviously the most important thing).


First, lets break the word down.  Burs- stands for bursa.  A bursa is a fluid-filled sac lined by a membrane.  It provides a cushion between bones and tendons and/or muscles around a joint. This helps to reduce friction between the bones and allows free movement. Bursae are filled with synovial fluid and are found around most major joints of the body.  -Itis stands for inflammation.  Therefore, when we put it together bursitis stands for inflammation of a bursa.  The most common locations for bursitis are in the shoulder, elbow and hip. But you can also have bursitis by your knee, heel and the base of your big toe. Bursitis often occurs near joints that perform frequent repetitive motion.  If you have bursitis, the affected joint may feel achy or stiff, hurt more when you move or press on it and may look swollen or red.  A lot of my patients get bursitis from throwing a baseball or lifting something over their heads repeatedly, leaning on their elbows for long periods of time, excessive kneeling like my carpet guys or scrubbing floors like my cleaning people and my patients that sit for long periods of time, especially on hard surfaces.  Does this remind you of someone?


Again, lets break it down.  Tendon-stands for a thick elastic band that attaches the muscle to a bone.  -Itis again is inflammation.  So putting it together means inflammation of a tendon.  Sometimes the tendons become inflamed for a variety of reasons, and the action of pulling the muscle becomes irritating.  If the normal smooth gliding motion of your tendon is impaired, the tendon will become inflamed and movement will become painful.  There are too many causes for tendonitis to even list.  Anything that you do can case tendonitis if the right mechanisms are there.  Unlike bursae which are not located all over the body, every muscle has a tendon so tendonitis can occur anywhere.  The most common sites are at the base of the thumb, elbow, shoulder, hip, knee and achilles tendon.



So I have Bursitis and/or Tendonitis, what do I do?  Usually by the time my patients get to me they have tried a long period of “wait and see”.  I usually tell people to avoid the “wait and see” mentality all together.  I know its tough these days, when you look everything up on the internet and it says that most things will go away on its own.  Although, this may be true sometimes, it is definitely not true all the time.  My philosophy is that if your body can handle it, your body won’t even let you know you have something wrong.  By the time your body gives you conscious awareness of a problem (a symptom) for example pain, swelling, redness, spasm, fever it should be looked at by a professional.  Again, most things are not severe, but what if there is something severe going on and you don’t have it checked by a professional, now we have a problem.  The worst thing that can happen with a non-serious condition is that your doctor sends you home and tells you that there is nothing wrong.  However, when you don’t go to a professional and there is something serious going on, the worse case scenario can be very severe. (just my two cents!!!).  Back to the treatment.  The first thing anyone wants to do when they have bursitis/tendonitis is stop the activity that caused it from happening.  Continued irritation will only make the condition worse.  If you are throwing you need to stop throwing, if you are kneeling you need to stop kneeling.  A lot of times just eliminating the mechanism of injury will heal the problem.  Another modality to use is ice.  If you look back into my heat vs. ice blog you can learn more about the benefits of ice.  Anti-inlammatories are helpful for these conditions as well because as we said -itis is inflammation so taking an anti-inflammatory will help reduce the inflammation and help with the overall pain.  I tell all my -itis patients that if you got it once you may be prone to getting it again so strengthening is usually very helpful to prevent further episodes.  There are a few cases that do not respond to general therapies like a just listed so more aggressive or advance therapies are available.  In my office we offer a class IV 15 watt laser therapy to heal tendonitis and bursitis.  We perform techniques like Active Release Technique (A.R.T.) and Graston technique.  We use Kinesio Tape and other supports to help.  Our physicians perform cortisone injections and even P.R.P. injections for the very advanced cases.  This is not the only way to treat it but a very effective combination is usually very successful with my patients.  If treated properly a full recovery is expected and when done correctly therapy prevents the prevalence of further episodes as well.

Dr. Kelly and Dr. Pete have completed the NSCA strength and conditioning symposium!

   Over this past weekend in association with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors (ANJC) sports council, Dr. Kelly Blundy and Dr. Peter Wohl completed a 16 hour symposium for the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).  So many topics were covered including sport specific plans for strength, exercises, stretches, nutrition, etc.  The plans are for the in-season athlete as well as off-season, pre-season and post-season athletes.  These programs are designed for athletes of all levels and ages, from the junior high school child that wants to gain weight and power to the professional  athlete.

   We would like to invite any athletes that are looking to perform better and develop more strength, power and endurance to come on by.  We are now capable of handling full programs throughout the year.  With this knowledge, The Spine and Health Center of Montvale is now equipped to handle athletes at a much higher capacity.  Our programs will now be designed to not only improve performance, but to prevent injury as well.

   Please contact the office with any questions or to make an appointment.  Call us: 201-746-6577

Car Accidents

   I don’t know why, but recently a lot of patient’s have asked me about car accidents.  As many of you know I have worked a lot over the last 10 years with people who were involved in car accidents.  Although it may seem like a very daunting thing, treatment of these injuries are usually very successful with Chiropractic Care and Physical Therapy treatment.  I have been working with Personal Injury Protection Benefits (That is the motor vehicle insurance that you would use if you got into an accident) and will help you get all the coverage you need.  For some reason the car insurance companies try to make these benefits as confusing as possible for people to receive, so let me see if I can clear some things up.

First – They like to use words and phrases that most of us don’t understand;
MVA – stands for Motor Vehicle Accident, PIP – stands for personal injury protection, DPR- stands for decision point review (this is the authorization that the insurance companies require for treatment), Medpay – this is the part of the insurance that the doctor’s will bill for the benefits in the case of the car accident.  Unless specifically chosen, you medical/health insurance will not pay for care when is due to a car accident.

Second – They make you think that your insurance will go up.  In the states of New Jersey and New York (which are the states that The Spine and Health Center of Montvale usually serve) the law is No Fault.  No Fault means that the any person insured in those states, if they were involved in a car accident, will have to use their own Auto Insurance first.  This is just the State law and nothing to be worried about, especially if you were not at fault.  When the insurance carrier determines who is ultimately at fault then that person may have an increase in rates.  For example, if you were sitting at a red light and another car hit you from behind (rear-ended) then although there is no possible way it is your fault, you will still have to file a claim with your own insurance (in most cases) to cover the expenses.  This would include auto body work and medical care.  After all is said and done, the insurance companies will determine the party at fault (with the help of the police report) and that is the party who will ultimately be responsible for the accident.

Third – You do not need an attorney or a lawsuit in order to treat for injuries sustained in a car accident.  The Auto Insurance policy that you pay for every month or quarter or year has a part of the policy that is responsible for the payment of your medical claims.  When there is significant injuries, something permanent for example; scars, fractures, etc., you may want to consult with an attorney that can represent you in this matter.  You may be entitled to a settlement due to the injuries that you sustained.  My recommendation is to use an attorney that is familiar with car accidents.  Sometimes you family friend who does real estate doesn’t necessarily keep up with all the changing tides of personal injury law.

Fourth – Do not wait to come in to get an evaluation after an accident.  It is very common that the symptoms of a car accident, like a whiplash, will take a long time to express themselves.  It is a lot easier for the patient and the doctor to have these injuries evaluated as quickly as possible.  A lot of times treatment can prevent many severe aches and pains from getting so bad.  If treated in the acute phase, it is often found to speed up the recovery process and prevent long term chronic pain.

I hope this helps, especially the people who had questions.  Always feel free to call me and ask, I would be happy to help.


<p><!--<a href="http://shcnj.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/first-snow1.jpg"> <img class="aligncenter" title="first-snow" src="https://shcnj.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/first-snow1-150x150.jpg" alt="" width="150" height="150"></a>--></p>
<p><strong>Now that the snow is obviously here, I want to make sure you protect yourselves from getting hurt. &nbsp;</strong></p>
<p>A recent poll points to snow shoveling as the leading cause of back and neck pain during the winter months. "Chiropractors are finding that some patients experience back and neck pain as a result of improper snow shoveling technique," said Dr. Dennis Mizel, President of the Ontario Chiropractic Association. "Improper technique can be anything from bending at the waist instead of the knees to throwing snow instead of pushing it. When you combine improper technique with the average weight of one shovelful of snow (five to seven pounds) it becomes even more evident that this is a serious problem for both adults and the children who help them."</p>
<p>We find at The Spine and Health Center of Montvale that back problems always surface in patients during the winter, especially those who are not used to participating in challenging physical activity on a regular basis.&nbsp; Activities that require exertion that is more than someones normal daily routine like as winter sports or pushing stuck cars can cause back injuries. However, snow shoveling is the number one reason patients present with back pain in the winter.</p>
<p><strong>Don't let winter be a pain in the back - 'Lift light, shovel right.' Here are a few things to help prevent you from getting hurt:</strong></p>
<p>1. Warm-up. Before beginning any snow removal, warm-up for five to ten minutes to get the joints moving and increase blood circulation. A good warm-up should include stretches for the back, shoulders, arms and legs. This will ensure that your body is ready for action.</p>
<p>2. Don't let the snow pile up. Removing small amounts of snow on a frequent basis is less strenuous in the long run.</p>
<p>3. Pick the right shovel. Use a lightweight push-style shovel. If you use a metal shovel, spray it with Teflon first so snow won't stick.</p>
<p>4. Push, don't throw. Push the snow to one side and avoid throwing it as much as possible. If you have to throw, avoid twisting and turning - position yourself to throw straight at the snow pile.</p>
<p>5. Bend your knees. Use your knees, leg and arm muscles to do the pushing and lifting while keeping your back straight.</p>
<p>6. Take a break. If you feel tired or short of breath, stop and take a rest. Stop shoveling immediately if you feel chest or back pain.</p>

“Paint’s Not Dry Yet…”

You’re a few weeks into your Chiropractic care and you’re starting to feel better. You want to get back to your routine as soon as possible. There’s a ton to do around the house, you’ve got a family to take care of and you can’t wait to get back to the gym. You have an urgency to start ‘living’ again. Problem is… the paint’s not quite dry yet.

It’s not uncommon to feel ‘done’ after a few adjustments. When the innate recuperative abilities of your body kick in, you might look and feel remarkably new – like a fresh coat of paint. But like a fresh coat of paint, looks can be deceiving. What seems completely dry (healed) on the surface may still have a few tacky areas underneath. If you jump the gun and try to re-hang the fixtures, you might ruin the finish and need to start all over again.

Complete and thorough healing requires time. Even though you may feel like your old self after a few Chi- ropractic sessions, it’s no green light to go back to your old activities. The stabilizing phase of care (where you feel so good you wonder why you’re still coming in) is where all the ‘paint curing’ happens. Give your body the time it needs to completely dry and you’ll be happier with the end results.