Stretches For Lower Back Pain

It's Physical Therapy Month and we heard from SIMEDHealth Physical Therapy Assistant Katherine Flores








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Why Physical Therapy May Be a Better Pain Reliever Than Medication

According to the Health Services Research Journal, patients that use physical therapy as a first treatment saw 72% fewer costs than those who did not. This month is Physical Therapy Awareness Month, and we are taking the time to highlight SIMEDHealth Physical Therapy. We talked to David Ochs, a physical therapist at SIMEDHealth Physical Therapy, about what injuries can be treated with outpatient PT and how it compares against prescribed pain medication. 


  1. What is physical therapy?

 Ochs says, "Outpatient physical therapy is a medical service that specializes in movement disorders and limitations of some form. This type of therapy provides a complete treatment plan designed by a licensed physical therapist. The plan focuses on a patient's improvement of their overall functional level, whether their function is restricted by pain, stiffness, spasms, weakness, acute or chronic problems. Treatment incorporates specific exercises for balance, strength, range of motion, and endurance with education on techniques to improve their daily activities." Physical therapists are directly involved in every step of the patient's journey from the initial evaluation to recovery. 


 2. What are some injuries and ailments that can benefit from early physical therapy?

Physical therapy can help a wide variety of people. Some of these conditions include:

  •  Orthopedic limitations such as sprains, strains, joint replacement, or rotator cuff surgeries 
  • Neurological disorders like Parkinson's or Multiple Sclerosis 
  • Rheumatologic diseases such as Arthritis or Fibromyalgia  
  • Pulmonary disorders such as COPD 
  • Chronic and acute neck, thoracic or low back spinal conditions 
  • Headaches
  • Vertigo, balance limitations
  • Hand and wrist problems like carpal tunnel syndrome


 3. What tools do physical therapists use to help their patients?

Patients receive treatments with a variety of equipment and tools. Ochs explains, "The primary 'tool' a physical therapist uses is their hands. Through palpitation, manipulation, and massage, the PT helps diagnose and treat the problems. Other tools include a heated pool, treadmills, stationary cycles, balance boards, ultrasounds, resistive therabands, custom hand splints, foot orthotics, taping, cuff weights, and resistive pulleys, to name a few." This list may seem overwhelming, but the physical therapist is there every step of the way to guide the patient on how to use them. Also, not every patient will be using every piece of equipment. Their PT develops with them a personalized treatment plan outlining which tools they will use to help them best recover. 


4. How could physical therapy be a better pain reliever than medication?

"A significant benefit to using physical therapy is the education a patient receives in regards to how to manage their ailment and pain at home," says Ochs. Patients are taught at home exercises, and the PT and the patient work together to decrease and hopefully resolve the current pain. These at-home exercises will always be available to patients to start early in the event that their pain becomes a recurrent problem. By attacking the pain source earlier in the recovery, the patient is often able to suppress the pain better and more rapidly resume their regular functions. Physical therapists can assist with a plan that helps maximize pain reduction while continuing to improve their functional status at the same time. 


Click here to schedule an appointment with your physician to determine is Physical Therapy is appropriate for you. 

Learn How to Massage: Give the Perfect Holiday Gift

One person giving another person a shoulder massage.
The holidays are almost here, and SIMED Massage Therapist Eze Guillermo in Gainesville wants you to be able to give the perfect gift to your friends, family, and loved ones. 
In the videos below, he goes over how to give a perfect back, neck, and shoulder massage. The massages will help relieve stress and neck pain that can build up during heavy computer use and other activities.
Below, we review step-by-step how to give a good neck massage. Enjoy!

Before You Begin the Neck Massage

Before starting the massage, make sure your friend or loved one is lying down face up on a bed, couch, or comfortable spot on the floor. Make sure their arms are up against the sides of their body. 
Place one of your hands gently under your friend’s neck as support.

Neck Massage

1. Start by doing a stroke along the base of your friend or loved one’s neck down towards the person’s back with your fingertips. Make sure your fingers push down enough to stretch the levator scapulae muscle.
2. If you feel any tense tissue or muscle, stop moving your hand along the path and leave your fingers pressed into the tense area to relieve the stress.
3. While working the muscle or shoulder point, you can gently squeeze the back of the neck to relieve tension with your other hand.
4. Once you have worked out the kink in the muscle, you can continue down the path towards the back of the neck.
5. Lightly pinch and pull with the base of your thumb the traps or the muscle at the base of your neck at the back of your body next to your shoulder. Squeeze deeper into the base of the neck and slowly pull outwards along the muscle.
6. Switch to pressing your knuckles gently into traps (muscles on the top of your back at the base of your neck). Press into the muscle with your knuckle and slowly turn your muscle a few degrees clockwise and repeat.
7. Next, find the bone behind the person’s ear. Slide your fingers off the bone, down towards the tissue below it.
8. With one or two fingertips, begin to glide down the side of the neck towards the base.
9. Don’t forget to ask your friend or loved one how the pressure feels against their neck. Always make sure to check in with the person you are massaging to ensure they feel okay. 
10. Follow the stroke down the neck to the squishy cave at the base of the neck. Then follow along the cave at the base of neck around the back of the neck.
11. Slide your fingers up and down the muscles on the side of the neck.
12. Finish by curling your fingers a small amount and gliding them along up from the base of the neck towards the back of the head. You’ll eventually hit a stop at a part of the skull called the sub-occipital ridge. Lightly pull the head away from the body to stretch and separate the muscles and bones. 
13. Glide your hands slowly away from the person’s neck.
14. That completes your message!
Your friend should be feeling great and grateful after you’ve finished your massage. If reading the instruction wasn’t enough, you can also watch the video below that illustrates how to give a neck massage. Then, watch the video on how to do a proper back and shoulder massage. 

Watch the video on how to do a neck massage:

Watch the video on how to do a back and shoulder massage:

To learn more about SIMED Massage Therapy in Gainesville, call 352-373-6565 or schedule an appointment online
SIMED offers Physical Therapy in Gainesville, Ocala, Chiefland, and Lady Lake. 
Gainesville: (352) 373-6565
Chiefland: (352) 493-2122
Lady Lake (The Villages): (352) 259-0842
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Back Education Classes Now in Ocala, the Villages

Flyer for SIMED Physical Therapy Back Education Classes with person with back pain

Does your back pain limit you?

SIMED Physical Therapy now offers Back Education Classes in Ocala and the Villages.

In this ONE hour class, you will learn:

1. Correct posture
2. Body mechanics
3. Positioning
4. Basic exercises for relief

Classes are only $45 a person.

Call SIMED Physical Therapy for class times and to sign up while spots are still available!

Women's Health Physical Therapy Available Today

Flyer for SIMED Women's Health Physical Therapy in Gainesville, Ocala, and Lady Lake

Did you know SIMED offers Women's Health Physical Therapy? Reclaim control of your body.

SIMED offers women's health physical therapy at our Gainesville, Ocala, and Lady Lake locations. 

You can get treatment for: 
- Muscle Weakness
  - Bladder and Bowel Dysfunction
  - Frequency and Urgency Issues
  - Incontinence - Bowel and Bladder Leakage
- Pelvic and Perineal Pain
- Low Back Pain
- Post Prostate Procedures
- Cystocele and Rectocele

Gainesville: 352-373-6565
Ocala: 352-351-5019
Lady Lake: 352-259-0842

Filamae Garnica, SIMED's Women's Health Physical Therapist in Gainesville, Ocala, and Lady Lake


Meet the SIMED Women's Health Physical Therapist:

Filamae Garnica will be working with patients for the Women's Health Physical Therapy.

She is knowledgable and trained to treat conditions specific to women.

She can recognize and help patients with a variety of problems and help them restore control over their bodies.

Don't wait to change your life! Talk to your doctor or call your SIMED Physical Therapy location today.

Learn about our other physical therapies.



SIMED Physical Therapist Cindy Miller Featured in Magazine

Innovation Ocala featured SIMED Physical Therapist Cindy Miller and SIMED Physical Therapy in their October magazine. 

Helping People Heal Well, Move Well, and Live Well

Cindy Miller's innovative treatment strategies provide one-on-one, customized care and a lasting difference in your health.

Submitted by Cindy Miller, Clinic Manager and Therapist, Fit For Life Physical Therapy and SIMED Physical Therapy

Walking into Cindy's office, you won't be surprised to see New York Yankees memorabilia - to include several shots of Derek Jeter - and Florida Gator’s logos. Her love for sports and staying active has enabled her to strive for excellence in her career as a physical therapy assistant and clinic manager. Her upbeat, vibrant personality is one of many character traits that keep patients motivated and committed throughout some of the hardest times in their life! ~ Christina Chinenden

Cindy Miller Physical Therapy Article in Innovation Ocala

Q: What is your business and what kinds of things do you provide for the community?

A: I am employed with Fit For Life Physical Therapy and SIMED Physical Therapy as a Therapist and Clinic Manager. We provide quality one on one Physical Therapy from a hands on manual based approach. We treat various orthopedic disorders, post-operative rehab such as joint replacements, rotator cuff repairs and spinal surgeries, gait and balance disorders, vertigo and woman's health, just to name a few. Along with quality physical therapy care, education to our patients is an integral part of our process. By taking the time with them to explain the issues we have found, our approach is aimed to help them return to function and lifelong tools to maintain their gains they have made in therapy is essential.

Q: What does Ocala mean to you?

A: To me, 0cala is a melting pot. We have a very diverse community here which makes working with people even more enjoyable. We have the locals that grew up here, those who are here after retiring from the north, and people of all ages that are moving from South Florida looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the southern cities.

Q: What most prominent quality makes a successful leader?

A: My proactive approach and leading by example. Customer service is key. Spending time with patients is key. I try to make my patients feel like they are part of our family versus just a number and hope that my staff recognizes that and follows my lead.

Q:What advice would you give to young professionals?

A: Don't stop learning once you graduate. To me, the learning process of treating patients just begins when you start employment. Utilize your veteran peers for continued knowledge, skills and growth.

Q: What do you envision for the future?

A: Continued growth for our company. Great things are to come on the horizon!

Q:What is your favorite verse or quote?

A: "lmpossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. lt's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.“ -Muhammad Ali

Q: What makes you different from other businesses or other people in your field?

A: Our one on one approach. You will not just be brought in to our clinic, put in a room on modalities then transferred out to our gym to perform an unsupervised exercise program.

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: Continuing to always try and better myself. Not to become stagnant. 0h...and Gator Football and Yankees Baseball!

Cindy Miller is a Physical Therapist Assistant and Clinic Manager of the Southern Market at Fit For Life Physical Therapy and SIMED Rehabilitation Physical Therapy, a seasoned
therapist of 16+ years with specialties in manual therapy, sports medicine, cervical disorders, cervicogenic and migraine headaches and gait and balance disorders. To learn more. please visit their website at or call her at 352-351-5019 (Ocala) or 352.259.0842 (Lady Lake).

Visit one of our four locations and see what
physical therapy can do for you!


4343 N Newberry Rd, Suite 4
Call: 352-373-6565


3305 SW 34th Circle, Suite 203

Call: 352-351-5019


1315 NW 21 st Ave., Suite 3
Call: 352-493-2122

Lady Lake (The Villages}

929 N US HWY 441, Suite 504
Call: 352-259-0842

SIMED Physical Therapy Hosts Free Lecture on Falling

Free Lecture for people with a history of falling

Do you have a history of falls or feeling of unsteadiness on your feet?

SIMED invites you attend our free lecture: "It's Not the Sky Falling, It's Me" in Ocala. The lecture will be Monday, August 14th, at 5:30 PM in the Ocala Physical Therapy Department, 3305 SW 34th Cir., Suite 203. 

Seating is limited, and RSVP is required. To RSVP, please call the Physical Therapy Department at 352-351-5019 or stop by Suite 203 to sign up in person by August 10th.

Light snacks will be provided, and we look forward to seeing you there.

SIMED Flyer for Free Physical Therapy Lecture

SIMED welcomes Massage Therapy

SIMED Physical Therapy is now providing Massage Therapy!

Massage therapy spans a wide variety of therapeutic approaches, working to improve an individual’s health and wellbeing through the hands on manipulation of muscles and other soft tissues of the body. Massage therapy can be very effective for conditions such as migraine headaches, back and neck pain, as well as muscle strains. Benefits of massage therapy can be seen in relief related results related to muscle tightness, spasms from postural stress and reduce post-operative adhesions. Positive benefits can include increase joint flexibility. 

SIMED’s Massage Therapy at Physical Therapy offers several massage modalities to meet you and your loved one needs.

Massage Modalities

  • Sport Massage
  • Deep Muscle Massage
  • Deep Tissues Massage
  • Polarity Therapy
  • Reiki
  • Swedish Massage
  • Thai Massage
  • Myofascial Release Therapy

Schedule an appointment

Initial appointment is 1 hour.
Follow ups are 30 & 60 minutes sessions.

Most insurances accepted.