Do you avoid going to the gym because you pulled a muscle? Have you stopped running because you suffered an injury? Does your lower back hurt even when you are motionless and standing? Perhaps you are suffering from neck and shoulder tension from sitting at a desk all day. We all deal with aches and pains here and there but if yours interferes with your quality of life or is prohibiting you from completing your normal tasks on a day-to-day basis, you have come to the right place. Whether you are seeking pain relief or would like to get back to your active lifestyle, we are here to help.
Empire Physical Medicine is a full-service physical medicine and rehabilitation facility with two convenient locations in Manhattan. Our medical experts diagnose and treat conditions, injuries and illnesses which affect the musculoskeletal system. Our goal is to help get you feeling your best so that you can move optimally and pain-free. Our objective is to rehabilitate your body as a whole, not just the area of concern, and we work collaboratively to achieve that.
We treat a wide variety of conditions including back pain, neck pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel, sports injuries such as torn ACL’s and torn rotator cuffs, to illnesses that affect the musculoskeletal system like osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia. After an initial visit with our medical doctor, a customized treatment plan will be prescribed to you based on your state of condition, previous medical history and mobility goals. Our team of experts work together to follow through on your treatment plan and provide you with the highest level of patient care.
Sports Medicine and Physiatry –
Sports medicine is the branch of medicine centered around the treatment, prevention and care of athletes. We treat injuries such as torn ACL’s and rotator cuffs, ankle sprains, knee injuries, tennis elbow and much more through non-surgical modalities. We have a sports medicine physician onsite and a team of physical therapists working cohesively to get you back on track to your active lifestyle. We are here to help you improve your performance, prevent injuries, and rehabilitate any injuries you may have sustained in your sport.
Our board-certified medical doctor specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation, or physiatry. This branch of medicine aims to restore functional ability and quality of life to those with disabilities or physical impairments. We treat musculoskeletal conditions affecting the muscles, ligaments, nerves, tendons and bones. If you feel restricted in your movements or your pain is hindering your quality of life and impeding on your day-to-day functions, you could greatly benefit from seeing a physiatrist.
We also offer EMG services, otherwise known as electromyography or nerve test, to record and evaluate any pinching of the nerves and their effect on the muscles. This will give us a better idea of the condition of your nerves and muscles.
Physical Therapy – Physical therapy is the treatment and care of an injury or condition through physical means such as stretching, massages and exercises versus surgery or drugs. The goal of physical therapy is to improve your mobility and function and eliminate aches and pains. A common misconception about physical therapy is that it is only beneficial for athletes and those needing to rehab an injury. The truth is it can be used to treat a wide variety of conditions and anyone and everyone can benefit from it. Even if you are not involved in any sports, you could be prescribed physical therapy treatment. In fact, the majority of our patients go through physical therapy for poor ergonomics and desk-related aches and pains.
Normally a referral is required but we have a medical doctor on-site who prescribes the physical therapy, saving you time and energy. Depending on the area you’re looking to rehabilitate, our physical therapists will work with you on a set of customized exercises specific to your condition. The physical therapists will work with you to retrain your muscles to properly move again. The repetitive and structured exercises are designed to allow you to regain function and mobility like you had prior to your injury or pain. It is important that you perform these exercises under the guidance of a physical therapist to prevent further injury.
Physical Therapy goes beyond just stretching and strengthening exercises. Typically modalities like electrical stimulation, ultrasound and massage are used as well which help to promote healing and decrease pain by increasing the much needed blood flow to an affected area. Our physical therapists may also use heat or cold therapy depending on the type of injury you have, the stage of the injury and its location.
Our physical therapists will provide you with the education and tools needed to continue your physical therapy regimen at home to further solidify your results. They will show you small adjustments you can make in your day-to-day routine to prevent future injuries. These small adjustments may include proper ergonomics at the desk or the proper way to distribute your weight when you run.
We also offer medical massage therapy in conjunction with your physical therapy treatment to further alleviate your pain. Medical massage therapy offers several benefits. It helps stimulate blood flow to the muscles to speed up the body’s natural healing process. Massage therapy also helps break up scar tissue and relaxes the muscle. We can also target your pain points and work on its surrounding structures.
Spinal Decompression – Spinal Decompression is a highly effective form of traction treatment for those suffering from chronic neck and back pain. It can be used to treat herniated, bulging or slipped discs. In our office, we use the state-of-the-art DRX9000 and DRX9000C spinal decompression systems. These systems work by providing traction forces to the compressed structures of your spine to alleviate the pressure off the spinal and cervical cord.
While lying on a bed, the motorized traction gently stretches your spine. The gentle traction has two benefits. It helps pull the bulging disc material back into the disc. It also allows water and nutrients to flow back into the discs to accelerate the body’s natural healing process. The sessions last about a half-hour and can be done in the comfort of your work clothes. It is painless and our patients report it to be very relaxing. You may be a good candidate for spinal decompression therapy even if your condition has not improved with physical therapy treatment.
If you’re unfamiliar with this type of treatment, it might sound painful. Patients report the treatment itself to be very relaxing, however, with some even falling asleep. The treatment doesn’t take too much time out of your day either, with each session lasting approximately a half-hour, enabling you to feasibly do it during your lunch break.
Prolotherapy – Prolotherapy, also known as proliferation therapy, is a safe and effective injection-based treatment for treating joint injuries and conditions. Prolotherapy is mainly used to treat injured ligaments and joints and can be used in the knees, back, elbows, shoulders and other joints. It can also help alleviate the pain associated with conditions such as arthritis or degenerative joint disease.
Prolotherapy is administed via an injection made up of a concentration of irritants, usually dextrose or sugar water, to a specific ligament. Doing this will create inflammation to the site. This then triggers the body’s natural healing response to heal and repair the damaged ligaments surrounding the joints. The body will start to strengthen the damaged ligaments which in turn will stabilize the joint over time. Pain will start to disappear once the joint can be better supported. Patients will require a few shots over the course of a few months to half a year for prolotherapy to be most effective. Depending on how chronic your condition is, you may be a good candidate for this type of treatment.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy – Platelet rich plasma therapy is similar to prolotherapy in its delivery and goals, however the distinguishing difference is the substance being injected – your own blood. PRP works by specifically concentrating a solution made of your platelets, the body’s natural healing agents, to the area of concern or injury to speed up the healing process. It is a two-step treatment process which is done in the same visit.
First, a small amount of your blood is taken. From that sample, we can extract its platelets, your blood’s healing agent. The blood is placed into a centrifuge which separates the platelets from the rest of the compounds that make up your blood. The end result provides for a high concentration of platelets which can then be injected to the injured area or painful joint. This stimulates the number of reparative cells onsite and provides a boost to your body’s own natural healing process. It is commonly used for chronic tendinitis, sprains, tears in the ligaments or cartilage, and osteoarthritis.
Acupuncture – this form of traditional eastern medicine is an ancient healing art which has been used for thousands of years. Recently, it has become more omnipresent in the Western hemisphere. Acupuncture is administered through finely thin and sterile needles. These needles are inserted at specific points of your body, or acupuncture points, depending on your ailments and what you’re trying to treat to stimulate progressive healing. Many find their acupuncture sessions to be very calm and relaxing.
While acupuncture can be used to treat a wide variety of conditions including sinus issues and weight loss or smoking addiction, it is primarily used for pain relief. It can be very helpful in treating osteoarthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia and sciatica. Studies have also shown it to be an effective treatment for migraines and hypertension.
It is very important that you see someone trained and licensed in acupuncture as to avoid any injuries, or complications. Onsite at Empire Physical Medicine, our acupuncture treatments are delivered by our medical doctor or our licensed acupuncturist. For best results, we recommend it as an ongoing treatment in collaboration with your physical therapy. The number of sessions required will depend on your condition, however, and some will feel better in just a few sessions.
Viscosupplementation for knees – Your cartilage has a layer of hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance found in your joints. Its function is to act as a shock absorber for your joints and as a lubricant so that bones can move smoothly over each other. If you suffer from osteoarthritis, you have smaller concentrations of hyaluronic acid in your joints which can cause your joints to wear and tear at a faster rate. To resolve this, we can replenish these fluids through viscusupplementation.
During this medical procedure, a gel-like lubricating fluid comprised of hyaluronic acid is injected into the knee joint. In doing so, the lubricating fluids can be replenished to reduce pain and facilitate movement. This thick fluid can reduce swelling and pain in your arthritic joints. Viscosupplementation may be for you if you have tried other conservative treatments with no desired results. It is most effective when done in conjunction with gentle stretching and strengthening exercises for the knee.
Conclusion: The hustle and bustle of New York City can have a lot of wear and tear on our bodies. Often times, the fast pace can get the best of you. Between your busy work schedules and your jam-packed personal life, New Yorkers may often find it difficult to prioritize their health and wellness. Sit back, relax and improve your overall well-being and health at our facilities. We hope you see our office as an oasis in this concrete jungle we call home and enjoy the serenity. We are glad you are here to take the first step towards pain-relief.