Key to physical therapy success: Speak up early & often about how an injury limits the everyday activities that are most important to you.
What Brings You to Physical Therapy Today?
When you kick off a new project at work, chances are you spend a fair amount of time setting
and reviewing goals. These goals help you—and those you’ll be working with—get a clear sense
of what you’re looking to achieve and begin to map out a plan of attack. Along with specific
goals, you also probably find it helpful to set some key milestones to ensure that you stay on
task and to prevent your motivation from waning.
These same principles apply when going to physical therapy for an injury. Communicating what
you hope to get out your therapy sessions can help your physical therapist to individualize...
Fall: An unexpected event in which the participants come to rest on the ground, floor, or lower level.
Falls are a major health concern among older adults. More than one third of older adults fall each year and fall rates increase with advancing age. Falls are the leading cause of injury deaths, the most common cause of non-fatal injuries, and the most common reason for hospital admission due to trauma in older adults. Every hour, there is one death and 183 emergency department visits for falls-related injuries among older adults. More than 95 of hip fractures are caused by falls.
Risk Factors for Falling
Research shows that a cumulative effect of multiple inter-...
Jennifer Broxterman, Msc, RD wrote an excellent article entitled “7 Lifestyle strategies to stay strong, healthy and independent longer”. I am providing some excerpts from that article here to highlight some simple nutrition and lifestyle changes that can dramatically improve quality of life.
Modern medicine can help us live longer, so what’s the point of eating the right foods and taking the right supplements? Well, we don’t want to just live longer. We want to live well! We want a quality of life that allows us to travel and enjoy our retirement, to run around our grandchildren without aches and pains and to generally enjoy life feeling good in our bodies, minds and hearts....
Got back pain? You’re not alone. Eighty percent of Americans suffer from low back and neck
pain at some point in their lives. Let that sink in. With such great odds that you—or someone
close to you—will one day become a statistic, wouldn’t it make sense to arm yourself with
preventive strategies and knowledge? Physical therapy is a good place to start.
By performing a thorough evaluation, a physical therapist can identify the muscular, postural
and skeletal limitations that could one day lead to an episode of back pain. As part of the
assessment, she will observe as you perform a series of exercises and then gather an account of
Recently we have seen a rise of diseases in children that in the past had only been seen in adults. Things like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure are being seen more frequently in children. One of the best ways to combat the rise of these diseases is to make sure that your kids are getting enough physical activity.
The Department of Health and Human Services has developed guidelines recommending that youth ages 6-17 participate in 60 minutes or more of physical activity 7 days/ week. This is total activity time, so 1 hour, 2 30 minute sessions, or 4 sessions of 15 minutes each in a day would all satisfy this recommendation. Most of this activity should be at either...
A wrist fracture is a break in one of the bones near the wrist. In the United States, 1 out of every 10 broken bones diagnosed is a wrist fracture. Injury can occur as a result of a trauma, such as falling while playing sports or simply tripping when walking down a sidewalk. Children are susceptible to wrist fractures because of the high-risk sports they commonly play. A child may sustain a wrist fracture falling off a bike, playing football or soccer, or falling off playground equipment. Wrist fractures are also common in women after menopause, and frequently occur in the elderly population due to falls. A physical therapist can help individuals who have sustained a wrist fracture...
When to Choose Physical Therapy for Pain Management
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sales of prescription opioids have quadrupled in the United States, even though "there has not been an overall change in the amount of pain that Americans report."
In response to a growing opioid epidemic, the CDC released opioid prescription guidelines in March 2016. The guidelines recognize that prescription opioids are appropriate in certain cases, including cancer treatment, palliative care, and end-of-life care, and also in certain acute care situations, if properly dosed.
But for other pain management, the CDC recommends nonopioid approaches...
Physical therapists are movement experts who help people reduce pain, improve or restore mobility, and stay active throughout life. But there are some common misconceptions that often discourage people from seeking physical therapist treatment.
It's time to debunk 7 common myths about physical therapy:
1. Myth: I need a referral to see a physical therapist.
Fact: A recent survey by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) revealed 70% of people think a referral or prescription is required for evaluation by a physical therapist. However, a physician’s referral is not required in order to be evaluated by a physical therapist. Some states have restrictions about...
How fast is fast enough? About 100 steps per minute might be a reasonable goal, but your mileage may vary.
Walking can be a wonderful way to get exercise. But do you ever wonder if you're moving briskly enough to benefit your heart? There's a quite a difference between a leisurely neighborhood stroll and a purposeful gait when you're late for the bus. Now, new research suggests that a pace of about 100 steps per minute qualifies as brisk walking for many people (see "Take this in stride: A study of walking speed").
Using that cadence as a benchmark might make sense for some — but not all — people, says Dr. Beth Frates, who directs wellness programming for the Stroke...
Losing weight, strengthening muscles, and increasing flexibility may help you stave off joint replacement.
You may be putting off a doctor visit to address knee or hip osteoarthritis because you believe it will end with joint replacement surgery, but that's not always the case. "Exercise and weight loss are actually the first line of defense," says Dr. Eric Berkson, director of the Sports Performance Center at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. "It may help prevent the pain and prevent surgery."
The main component of joint surgery avoidance is strengthening the muscles that support your joints. The quadriceps in the...
When I’m dragging and feeling tired during the occasional low-energy day, my go-to elixir is an extra cup (or two or three) of black French press coffee. It gives my body and brain a needed jolt, but it may not help where I need it the most: my cells.
The cellular basis of being tired
What we call “energy” is actually a molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP), produced by tiny cellular structures called mitochondria. ATP’s job is to store energy and then deliver that energy to cells in other parts of the body. However, as you grow older, your body has fewer mitochondria. “If you feel you don’t have enough energy, it can be because your body has problems...
If you're bothered by neck pain, you have plenty of company. Doctors estimate that seven out of 10 people will be troubled by such pain at some point in their lives. But if you were to ask each of these people to describe their neck pain, you would probably get seven different stories.
By clearly describing your specific neck symptom, or combination of symptoms, you can help your doctor determine what's wrong and how to help.
Here are the most common types of neck pain.
Muscle pain. Aching or sore neck and shoulder muscles may occur in response to overexertion or prolonged physical or emotional stress. The neck muscles may develop hard knots that are tender to the...
Are you among the millions of Americans who have high aspirations for how you’ll spend the extra time during your post-retirement years? Whether you plan to travel the world, pick up fly fishing, spend more time woodworking or sign up for a golf league, your physical fitness level will be a factor.
A 2010 study* suggests that the fitness declines we typically attribute to advancing age are largely caused by living sedentary lifestyles—which are on the rise due to the prominence of desk jobs in the workplace and activity-limiting personal technologies including smart phones and voice-activated remote controls in the home. Still, this runs contrary to the widely held belief that any...
Did you think that you’re likely to walk more than 100,000 miles over the course of your lifetime?
That’s like circling the earth four times at the equator. But as important as your feet are, it’s all too easy to neglect them -- until they start to hurt.
You can take some steps to avoid getting foot pain, though. Here are seven ways to support your feet, so they will continue to support you.
1. Stay at a Healthy Weight
Your feet bear the weight of your entire body, and the more weight they support, the harder they need to work.
“The best way to prevent foot pain is to keep your weight down,” says Paul Talusan, MD, clinical assistant professor of orthopedic...
Chronic pain and insomnia are an unhealthy combination. According to the National Sleep Foundation, chronic pain disturbs the slumber of one in five Americans at least a few nights a week. But you can start to break the vicious cycle of pain and insomnia by maintaining sleep-friendly behaviors, known as sleep hygiene.
Whether from a bad back, arthritis, or headaches, chronic pain puts you in double jeopardy. “When you lose the restorative sleep, it enhances your subjective perception of pain,” says Dr. Padma Gulur, a pain medicine specialist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.
During the day, people can manage their chronic...