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...
If you find yourself dealing with back problems on a regular basis, it’s worth making sure that your everyday habits are “back-friendly.”
When done without proper form, routine activities — vacuuming the house, working at your desk, driving, gardening, or even sleeping — can take a toll on your back. Be kind to your back by following these tips:
Choose good seating. Your office chair should provide good back support — ideally, with an adjustable backrest, lumbar support, armrests, and wheels). Arrange your workspace so you don’t have to do a lot of twisting to reach for frequently used items.
Travel light. Don’t overload briefcases, purses, or backpacks.
At a "big box" store or airport, you've probably seen workers wearing corset-like back belts. Once worn only by weight lifters, these belts are supposed to protect the back when lifting something. With back problems accounting for nearly 20% of all workplace injuries and costing anywhere from $20 billion to $50 billion a year, it's no surprise that some companies require their workers to use these belts.
But do they work? Several studies have cast some doubt on whether back belts (also called back supports or abdominal belts) help protect workers' backs or reduce sick time and workers' compensation claims. One report, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association,...
One in three people ages 65 or older will suffer a fall. It's time to assess your balance and improve it.
Many older adults focus on exercise and diet to stay healthy. But one of the worst offenders to health—poor balance—is often an afterthought. "I see a lot of older adults who are nonchalant about balance," says Liz Moritz, a physical therapist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Unfortunately, imbalance is a common cause of falls, which send millions of people in the United States to emergency departments each year with broken hips and head injuries. But there are many things you can do to improve your balance. The strategies below are some of the most...
Basketball is the most popular youth sport in the US. A study by the National Athletic Trainers Association found that 22% of male basketball players have an injury that causes them to miss playing time each year. 42% of the time, that injury is to the ankle or foot, making this the most injured area.
Some other common injuries to basketball players include:
1. Muscle strains such as a groin pull, quadriceps, hamstring, or calf strain
2. Knee ligament injuries such as ACL, LCL, MCL tears or sprains
3. Ankle sprains, including high ankle sprain
4. Ankle fractures
5. Overuse injuries such as patellar tendonitis, IT band pain, shin splints
Chances are that you probably haven’t given much thought to how your neck and back are faring in the era of the smart phone, but studies show that you most certainly should. It’s practically a reflex these days to pull out our smart phones when we’re standing in line, sitting at the airport or riding the subway. And while it’s great that we rarely need to venture beyond our pockets for entertainment, our bodies are beginning to retaliate—and mourn the pre-texting days.
So, what exactly are these contemporary conveniences doing to our bodies? A surgeon-led study that published in Surgical Technology International assessed what impact surgeons’ head and neck posture during surgery—a...
The body systems responsible for balance can be affected by gradual changes due to aging or side effects of medications. There are also a host of health problems that can lead to unsteadiness on your feet. But many stability problems caused by aging or conditions such as arthritis, stroke, Parkinson's disease, or multiple sclerosis respond well to exercises designed to improve balance.
Most likely, you already engage in some activities that help sharpen balance, especially if you're an active person. Other balance-strengthening activities are routinely taught in classes held at many YMCAs and senior centers. For example:
Walking, biking, and climbing stairs strengthen...
A recent article in the Huffington Post titled “Doctors Have Been Treating Lower Back Pain All Wrong,” revealed what we’ve known all along: physical therapy is a solid solution for patients with low back
pain. In fact, physical therapy and other alternative treatments are being pushed as the first-line of defense before invasive and costly interventions including surgery, medication and imaging.
The Huffington Post article reported on new guidelines by the American College of Physicians (ACP), released to change the tides on one of the most common reasons Americans make a
doctor’s appointment. Low back pain surprisingly ranks second behind the common cold in conditions...
Patients can no longer be passive players in the game of health. Studies show that informed patients are not only more engaged during physical therapy but also reap the benefits in overall health and well-being.
Those who understand why they’ve been referred to physical therapy, are actively engaged in the process, and develop useful self-management skills are more likely to achieve lasting results. With a few pointers, building one’s health literacy doesn’t have to be an overwhelming prospect.
To get the most out of your rehabilitation, it’s important to keep an open line of communication with your physical therapist. Your physical therapist is a wealth of knowledge and...
You just left the doctor’s office with a script in hand to see a physical therapist for an injury or illness that’s preventing you from moving properly. Even though the physician shared some background information on the services, you have never been to physical therapy before and don’t know it all works. What’s the next step?
Select a Physical Therapist.
Deciding where to go for physical therapy can be a daunting process but with a little guidance, you can easily find the best fit for you. Start by talking to friends and family members about where they’ve gone for physical therapy, ask your doctor for a few recommendations, and search online for locations in your community...
Celebrating the end of one year and the beginning of a new one has become synonymous with establishing resolutions for the 12 months ahead. Marking the new year with a list of goals—whether lofty or simple—is a chance to improve upon the year prior.
The practice requires a bit of introspection to identify the areas of life that weren’t quite up to snuff and a commitment to making changes. Either way, resolutions aren’t for the faint of heart, as the follow-through might be the hardest part of the whole process. In fact, a mere 8% of people achieve the goals they set for themselves on New Year’s Eve, according to research out of the University of Scranton.
When most people hear the words “physical therapy,” they immediately think of rehabilitation for someone with a sports injury. And while that’s accurate, physical therapists work with many types of patients, presenting with a wide variety of injuries, conditions and diseases. In fact, the profession of physical therapy can be divided into many distinct practice areas.
According to the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS), there are nine areas in which physical therapists can receive advanced certification. A few of these specialty areas, which cover most of the injuries, diseases and age populations treated by physical therapists, include:
The symptoms of major depressive disorder, the most common type of depression, range from an overwhelming feeling of sadness and loss of interest in most activities to insomnia and cognitive difficulties. Medications—including antidepressants such selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)—and psychotherapy are common treatment options but some experts are now singing the praises of a cheap and easy alternative: exercise. Many experts are studying whether exercise, either alone or in combination with other treatments, can help those suffering from depression, a mental illness that affects 25% of Americans. A review study published in ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal titled “Is...
Primacare Physical Therapy announces the opening of its 7th location in Atlanta. The new clinic is located in Johns Creek GA. This will serve the population of N. Fulton and Forsyth County