Why should you care about your posture?

By maintaining a good posture one can benefit by:

Keeping bones and joints in the correct alignment so that muscles are being used properly;
Decreasing the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces;
Decreasing the stress on the ligaments holding the joints of the spine together;
Preventing the spine from becoming fixed in abnormal positions;
Preventing fatigue because muscles are being used more efficiently, allowing the body to use less energy;
Preventing backache and muscular pain;
Contributing to a good appearance.

Posted on 10/23/19 by Mark DeGarmo, DPT

Contest Annoucement !!!!!

It is time for the announcement that I posted about earlier. The contest will officially start today.

Island PT has updated our website:

Please visit the website to learn all about our approach to treating patients. We will be doing a raffle before Thanksgiving. If you like, share or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, you will be eligible to win a $50 gift card. The more times you like or share, the better your chances to win! This will include liking the pages and posts.

We appreciate all of you taking your time to visit us on social media. We are having a great time posting. Feel free to share with your friends as well!

Posted on 10/25/19 by Sheila Woodard, Office Administrator and Billing Specialist

Dry Needling

What is Dry Needling (DN)?

Dry needling is a treatment used by a trained Physical Therapist to help treat trigger points. The term “dry” refers to no medication or solution being used in conjunction withthe “needling”, hence it is not an injection. So what are trigger points? They are tight bands or “knots” in your muscles that can limit movement as well as cause pain and dysfunction. DN targets these trigger points using small monofilament needles similar to those used in acupuncture. The small needle is used to deactivate the trigger points to decrease pain and restore mobility and function. This targeting of muscle tension is what differentiates DN from acupuncture. It can be used for a variety of ailments including neck pain, shoulder pain, back pain and more. Our outcomes with DN are amazing!

We offer this treatment as a stand-alone service or within a treatment plan. Make an appointment or stop by to see if dry needling could help.

Posted on 11/1/19 by Lisa Harkness, DPT 

What is Myofascial Pain ? 

We’ve all had one, a palpable “knot” in your neck muscles that hurts when you press on it, but “hurts so good” to have it massaged. Physical therapists call them myofascial trigger points, but what are they, how do they form, and how do you treat them?

In general, these trigger points are due to muscle overload over time, when muscle demand exceeds the capacity for the muscle to recover. This can happen from repetitive low-level chronic overload, like bad posture, or come from a quick maximal force that exceeds the muscle’s strength, like a whiplash injury.

When this overload happens, a group of muscle fibers gets stuck in a contracted position restricting blood flow to the muscle and causing painful inflammatory chemicals to build up inside the trigger point. This pain is both localized at the knot, but can also refer pain to other places. For instance, trigger points in the suboccipital region (base of the back of the skull) frequently refer pain up and around to the front of the head, causing tension headaches that are commonly mistaken for migraine headaches. This can happen all over the body, from the glutes and legs to the back and shoulders.

There are various ways to treat trigger points. Dry needling goes directly into the trigger point to cause a twitch response and release the knot. Massage and soft tissue mobilization can bring blood flow to the area and help “reset” the muscle. Exercise causes a rhythmic contraction and relaxation of the muscle to aid in restoring normal blood flow. Stretching and heat can also help promote healing.

Treatment strategies like this can take care of some of the symptoms of myofascial pain, but what about the underlying cause? Physical therapists are musculoskeletal experts who are specifically trained to find and treat trigger points, but treating the symptoms alone is insufficient to prevent them from returning. Often times patients suffering from myofascial pain also need to strengthen and stretch specific muscles to correct any imbalance that caused the trigger point to form in the first place. If you are unsure what may be causing myofascial pain in your life, make an appointment with one of our therapists and we will do a thorough examination to find the source of your symptoms and educate you on ways to reduce your pain and prevent the recurrence of chronic pain.

Bron C and Dommerholt J. Etiology of Myofascial Trigger Points. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2012 Oct; 16(5):439-444. Doi: 10.1007/s11916-012-0289-4.

Posted on 11/15/19 by Katie Hicks, DPT

Tennis Elbow and Physical Therapy

Tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis is a painful condition of the lateral elbow often associated with overuse. Treatment and management of this condition varies enormously in part because the pathology is not always understood.

Historically this condition has been labeled as “tendonitis,” which means inflammation of the tendon. Tendon inflammation is rarely the cause of tendon pain. “Tendinosis” refers to micro-tears in the tendon and is associated with overuse of the tendon. In the majority of cases, lateral epicondylitis is better described as tendinosis and needs to be treated as an “overuse” condition rather than simply inflammation.


Overuse: Typically related to repetitive activity either with sport (think tennis, weightlifting or golf) or with occupation (referring to activities like keyboard entry, painting, plumbing, carpentry or cooking).

Age: Most common between ages 30-50, but if related to poor technique can come on at any stage of life.

Change In Activity: Frequently symptoms start after a change in type or frequency of activity; either sport, recreational or work-related. Typically, people may develop this condition if beginning a new activity with which they are unfamiliar or is new to them.

Symptoms: Normally begin slowly and gradually worsen over weeks or months. Pain or burning over the lateral elbow, sometimes extending down the forearm to the wrist. Loss of grip strength. The pain increased by forearm activities-such as shaking hands, holding a racquet, using a tool and gripping of objects.


Conservative treatment will be successful in greater than 90% of cases. Better outcomes are achieved when treatment is initiated earlier. Anti-inflammatory medication and/or a local steroid injection are useful in conjunction with physical therapy to assist in allowing a more progressive exercise program.

Relative Rest: A short period of rest from aggravating activities may be needed to initiate healing. Successful physical therapy involves re-introducing activity gradually once the patient is responding to the eccentric exercise program.

Ice: Patient education in the use of ice is important. Ice should be applied immediately after aggravating activities (sport, work, etc).

Manual Therapy: Soft-tissue release techniques are applied to prevent adhesions at the tendon attachment and to release tightness in the opposing muscle group (the flexors). Joint mobilization to the elbow has been found to improve grip strength, decrease pain and improve function. Physical therapists are trained in manual therapy to assist with the healing of tennis elbow.

Posted on 1/30/20 by Mark DeGarmo, DPT

Can I Get a Testimony!!!!

I am a 77-year-old retired university professor and a certified Master SCUBA Diver. I have logged several hundred dives in the Caribbean in recent years. In the last few years, there has been a noticeable decline in my sense of balance and lower body strength. This decline is greatly amplified when trying to make it across an undulating boat deck with 60 pounds of gear on my back. Last year the owner of a dive operation on a tiny Dutch island in the Caribbean said to me, after noting my struggles, "That can be remedied. You need to find a good Physical Therapist who can give you some fun exercises instead of having you stand around on one leg." And then added that she was a P.T., but that her license had expired.

When I got back to Charleston, I had my doctor refer me to a P.T. That wasn't a good experience so I began asking around and got consistently good reports on Island P.T. on Johns Island. So I had my doctor refer me to Island P.T. That's where I met Crissy. She spent the first session evaluating my balance and lower body strength, and prescribing balance and strengthening exercises. We have two half-hour sessions per week. Each session is a reevaluation of strength and balance. Followed by increasing degrees of difficulty when goals are met. After 10 sessions, the increase in strength and balance is remarkable. Already, I have a greater sense of security on stairs and on uneven ground. Given the progress so far, I am sure I will be able to go back to the Caribbean next Spring and Summer and enjoy diving without the struggles. #Physicaltherapyworks #Islandphysicaltherapy