physical therapy

Walk this way

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").

Avoiding knee or hip surgery

exercise

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."

Physical therapy

The 7 faces of neck pain

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.

How Physical Therapy Helps Retirees Keep Dreams Alive During the Golden Years

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.

Our best balance boosters

Primacare Physical Therapy tips on boosting balance

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.

Easy ways to improve your balance

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.

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