All posts by Teresa Stockton

PT News PTandMe

PT News April 2021

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This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout April 2021. We are excited to bring you current physical therapy-based posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

1. Physical Therapy Can Relieve Your Arthritis Pain in These 4 Ways

Written by Cornerstone Physical Therapy with multiple locations throughout Ohio.

Physical therapy is one of the highest-rated treatments for arthritis pain. While so many people think of physical therapy as a treatment for following an injury or after a devastating health condition like a heart attack or stroke, utilizing physical therapy for arthritis pain is both highly effective and recommended.  Read more

 

2. What is Proprioception Injury Prevention?

Written by O.S.R. Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy practice with 4 locations in Minneapolis. 

Proprioception injury prevention is simply using your body’s sense of orientation to prevent an injury. Thinking about how you’re moving, what’s around you, and your position can help you stay clear of acute injuries. Acute sports injuries are some of the most painful injuries for an athlete. An injury is physically painful. But, it can also be emotionally painful as you’re sidelined for days and even months until you recover.  Read more

 

ACL Soccer Knee

3. Second ACL Tear 7 Times More Likely in Young Athletes

Written by Custom Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy group with 3 locations near Reno, NV.

If you return to knee-strenuous sporting activities (e.g. soccer, volleyball) within 9 months of your ACL reconstruction and you are 25 years old or younger, you are 7 times more likely to sustain a second ACL tear! Those who returned to their sport 12 months after surgery fared substantially better.  Read more

We hope you enjoyed our picks for the PT News April 2021 edition.

Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!

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Athletic Injuries PTandMe

3 Types of Athletic Injuries

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Did you know that most athletic injuries can be boiled down into three main categories?  Acute, Overuse and Chronic.  Physical therapists that specialize in sports medicine, help athletes experiencing pain get back in their sport.  From the time of the injury through recovery and performance, the licensed physical therapists that partner with PTandMe have the know-how and experience to get rid of your pain.

1.) ACUTE: Usually a result of a single traumatic event within the last five days. Examples: fractures, sprains, dislocations, muscle strains.

2.) OVERUSE: Subtle and occur over time, making them challenging to diagnose and treat. Examples: swimmer’s shoulder, runner/jumpers knee, Achilles tendonitis, shin splints.

3.) CHRONIC: Usually has lasted at least three months or more.

COMMON CAUSES OF INJURIES:

  • Improper training and technique
  • Incorrect equipment fitting and support
  • Anatomic or biomechanical issues of athlete
  • Catastrophic event on or off the field

football injury

OVERUSE INJURIES AND BURNOUT
Overuse/overtraining injuries and burnout are a major problem for adolescent athletes. Both can occur when students participate in sports year-round with no “off season”, or have insufficient recovery time between practices and games.

WATCH for typical burnout signs:

  • Pain during or after activity, or while at rest
  • Lack of enthusiasm for practices or games
  • Dip in grades

PREVENT overuse injuries and burnout with these simple tips:

  • Allow enough time for proper warm-up and cool down routines
  • Rest 1-2 days per week or engage in another activity
  • Focus on strength, conditioning or cross training during the “off season”

Did you know that 50% of all sports injuries to student athletes are a result of overuse?

SPRAIN
Sprains result from overstretching or tearing of the joint capsule or ligament which attaches a bone to another bone.

STRAIN
Strains, also referred to as pulls, result from over-stretching or tearing a muscle or tendon, which attaches a muscle region to a bone.

CONTUSIONS
Contusions or bruises are an injury to tissue or bone in which the capillaries are broken and local bleeding occurs.

TEARS
Tears are a complete separation of the tissue fibers.

Physical therapy and athletics go hand in hand. In many cases, your PT may be a former athlete that experienced an injury in their youth, and as a result found a passion for rehabilitating others. If you are experiencing pain, or have already had an injury, don’t wait to talk to your physical therapist. The faster you ask for help the faster you can get back into your sport.

For more information about physical therapy and sports medicine – try the links below:


       

This article about athletic injuries was provided by PTandMe physical therapy partner: The Center for Physical Rehabilitation. More information about the Center and their locations throughout Grand Rapids, MI can be found on their website at www.pt-cpr.com

Common Orthopedic Injuries

Most Common Orthopedic-Related Injuries

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Common Orthopedic Injuries

If you feel pain after a fall, sporting accident, or sudden movement, it is recommended that you have yourself checked by an orthopedic specialist. This is important to assess if you have sustained injuries that have affected your joints, bones, and connective tissues.

Orthopedic doctors recommend that you don’t treat any orthopedic injuries on your own or wait them out as it might lead to permanent damage. Some of the most common injuries orthopedic and sports injury clinics attend to include:

Fractures

Fracture is a prevalent risk, especially for those that engage in contact sports. Fractures have two primary classifications: simple and compound. The most common fractures in sports occur in the ankle, foot, wrist, collarbone, and hand.

A fractured bone can be extremely painful, and the area around the fracture often swells instantly. If you suspect you have a fracture, it is recommended that you seek medical attention right away.

Groin Strains

Groin strains often occur when you change direction drastically while exercising. Groin strains can also be attributed to overstretching of the groin muscles. Some of the most common symptoms of groin strain include swelling, bruising, and muscle spasms.

Hamstring Injuries

Hamstring injuries often occur when exercising or running. The hamstrings can get injured when they are overworked or stretched too far. In some instances, the muscle can also tear.

Individuals with hamstring injuries can feel severe pain in the back of their thighs. Some people will also feel a “pop.” Hamstring injuries can also cause bruising or inflammation at the back of the thigh.

Ankle Sprains

When the ankle is bent or twisted the wrong way, a sprain can occur. Ankle sprains can also happen if you wear improper footwear or get injured while playing sports. While a mild ankle sprain can get better with rest, severe cases will require orthopedic care.

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common orthopedic injuries

About the author

Dr. Charles R. Kaelin received his medical degree from the University of Louisville, Kentucky, and completed his orthopaedic training at Orlando Regional Center in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Kaelin also received training in Sports Medicine at Alabama Sports Medicine with Dr. Lemak, specializing in sports medicine and workman’s compensation injuries. He has been a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) since 1990. He is a charter member of the International Cartilage Research Society, a Founding member of the AAOS Education Enhancement Fund (AAOS), and a past editorial board member for the American College of Sports Medicine Health and Fitness Journal.

Depending upon the injury, patients may benefit from physical therapy for further rehabilitation. Our licensed orthopedic professionals work each day to help patients back to the activities they love most. Find the location nearest you today!

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gardening ergonomics

Gardening Ergonomics

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gardening ergonomics

It’s that time of year again. Time to exchange snow shovels and winter boots with gardening tools and watering cans. While the warmer weather brings on a new sense of happiness and energy, we need to remember to use proper body mechanics and follow general safety to avoid muscle aches and potentially serious injuries. The number one injury associated with gardening is low back pain. If you have experienced a recent injury or pain, we can help you recover.

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Here are a few tips to make your gardening experience more enjoyable and less painful.

LIFTING:
Lifting heavy objects such as bags of soil, planters, and mulch improperly can lead to low back strains and/or sciatic pain. Other options include moving half of the soil/mulch to a separate pot before lifting the bag or planting into smaller pots that are easier to maneuver. Using a garden cart or wheelbarrow can also assist with moving heavy gardening materials. Remember to lift with your legs, avoid simultaneous lifting and twisting and keep heavier objects close to your body to avoid injury.

PLANTING:
Prepping the soil can also be a difficult and tedious task requiring prolonged forward bending and frequent changes in position. Try prepping the planting bed by using long-handled gardening tools. Once the soil is ready, plant from a kneeling position using either a kneeling stool or a cushion. Remember to avoid twisting at the spine. Those with known chronic low back pain may want to consider planting in to pots, flower boxes or raised flower beds to avoid further injury.

WEEDING:
Most people dislike weeding their gardens and flower beds. Options to reduce the need to do so include using plants as ground cover or using mulch in your flower beds to minimize weed growth. If using a weed spray, look for bottles that have a sprayer hose to allow you to stand upright while treating your problem areas.

MOWING THE LAWN:
Another task that most people find tedious. When able, use an electric start mower. The action of pulling a cord to start your mower is the most common cause of low back injuries. If you must use a pull start mower, remember to bend at your knees and maintain the natural curve of your spine while reaching for the cord. Make sure you tighten your abdominal muscles just before pulling the cord in order to support your spine. If using a push mower, remember to maintain a proper upright posture and take breaks as needed.

Remember to listen to your body. Take frequent breaks and change positions when you start to experience aching, cramping, or fatigue. Stay hydrated and wear sunscreen. If you do happen to experience low back pain or any other injury, remember to contact your physical therapist. They can help alleviate your symptoms as well as educate you on proper body mechanics.

gardening

GARDENING STRETCHES
Stretching before you start gardening can help you from experiencing pain later. Here are some stretching techniques to help get you started!

1.) Fold your hands together and turn your palms away from your body, but this time extend your arms overhead. You should feel the stretch in your upper torso and shoulders to your hand. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat eight times.

2.) Place your hand just above the back of the elbow and gently push your elbow across your chest toward the opposite shoulder. This is a stretch for the upper back and shoulder. Stretch both the right and left arms. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat eight times.

3.) Raise one arm overhead. Bend the elbow. Place the opposite hand on the bent elbow and gently push the elbow back further. This is a stretch for the triceps. Stretch both the right and left arms. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat eight times.

4.) Extend an arm in front of you, making sure the elbow is completely straight. With your palm down, take the opposite hand and bend in the wrist downward. Then turn the palm up, and stretch the wrist backward. This stretches the forearm and wrist muscles. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat eight times.

If you are experiencing pain, trust a licensed professional. Our therapists will help identify the cause of your pain and work with you to help it go away, and prevent pain and injury in the future.

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The warm-up exercises were developed by professional hand therapists who are occupational and physical therapists specializing in the treatment of the hands, arms, and shoulders. These exercises and tips have been designed to supplement more commonly known gardening safety practices that concentrate only on preventing back injuries.
For more information visit: www.asht.org

common basketball injuries

Common Basketball Injuries

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Whether you are a weekend warrior or involved in youth sports, athletes ages 5-75 can experience injuries from playing the games they love. Physical therapists are adept at working with patients suffering from common basketball injuries and can help in a variety of different ways.

One of the most common basketball injuries is an ankle sprain. An Ankle sprain is a partial or complete tear of the ligaments that support the ankle. Ankle sprains may be caused by falling or sudden twisting of the ankle, such as:
• Stepping on an uneven surface or in a hole
• Taking an awkward step when running, jumping, or stepping up or down
• Having your ankle roll over when playing sports or exercising called inversion of the foot

Physical therapy intervention is the standard for treatment of ankle sprains. Treatment for the acute ankle sprain is based primarily upon the RICE principles: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. This is followed quickly by a program of exercises and functional training to reduce the likelihood of chronic ankle instability. Balance and “proprioceptive” training are critical components of the rehabilitation process. In the case of a severe sprain and subsequent chronic instability, surgical intervention may be indicated.

Stress fractures are also seen frequently. A stress fracture is a tiny crack in the bone from chronic overuse. It is typically caused by repeated stress or overuse.
Causes include:
• Increasing the amount or intensity of an activity too quickly
• Switching to a different playing or running surface
• Wearing improper or old shoes
• Stress fractures can worsen by continued physical stress. Smoking can also make

Rest is the first thing you can do for a stress fracture. This includes avoiding the activity that caused the fracture and any other activities that cause pain. Rest time required is at least 6-8 weeks. Once you are ready to restart activity your physician may prescribe physical therapy. They may begin with non weightbearing activities, such as swimming, cycling, use of an Alter-G treadmill. Next, weight-bearing, nonimpact exercise may be prescribed. Gradually, low-impact activity, starting with walking, will be added to your treatment. Once you can do fast-paced walking with no pain, your physical therapist will give higher impact activities, such as light jogging.

spinning basketball

HAND INJURIES are also commonly seen in basketball. If you experience a finger injury, a hand therapist will work to make sure your fingers heal correctly and reduce the risk of long term damage.

A Boutonniere injury is usually the result of a forceful blow to the bent finger and causes a disruption of the central slip of the extensor tendon insertion at the level of the middle phalanx. The middle joint (PIP) is unable to fully straighten. If left untreated, a PIP flexion contracture can result and chronic deformity ensue. Acute boutonniere injuries are treated with PIP extension splinting continuously 4-8 weeks. Chronic boutonniere injuries with PIP flexion contractures are treated with dynamic splinting to improve passive PIP extension and static splinting for at least 4 weeks once full PIP extension is achieved.

Mallet injuries are seen commonly with ball sports and result when the terminal extensor tendon is torn from the attachment on the bone. When this occurs, a small fragment of bone may be avulsed from the distal phalanx and the end of the finger droops down and cannot be straightened actively. X rays are necessary to determine the course of treatment. Bony mallet injuries may require surgical correction. Most of these injuries can be treated conservatively with continuous DIP extension splinting for 6-8 weeks.

PT News PTandMe

PT News March 2021

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This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout February and March 2021. We are excited to bring you current physical therapy-based posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

Sports Injury Physical Therapy

1. 5 Common Sports Injuries: Causes, Prevention, and Treatment

Written by Wright Physical Therapy with multiple locations throughout Idaho.

Sports injuries happen, and they usually occur when engaging in sports or exercise. Sports injuries can occur due to overtraining, lack of conditioning, and improper form or technique. Failing to warm-up increases the risk of sports injuries.  Read more

 

The Cost of Being Sedentary

2. The Cost of Being Sedentary

Written by The Jackson Clinics, an outpatient physical therapy practice with multiple locations throughout Northern Virginia. 

While it might be easy to list off all of the benefits of exercising, we don’t typically talk about the cost of being sedentary.  In fact, a recent study by Jama followed over 100,000 adults for more than 8 years and measured their fitness using a treadmill. The participants were arranged by age and gender into performance groups:  Read more

 

Work From Home Pain Relief

3. Work-at-Home Pain Relief

Written by JACO Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy group with 4 locations throughout Oahu, HI.

We have found that many of our patients are still working from home and spending more time than they anticipated working at a less-than-ideal workstation. We’ve been seeing complaints of neck pain, back pain, and wrist pain that is caused by strain from poor body mechanics while working.  Read more

We hope you enjoyed our picks for the PT News March 2021 edition.

Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!

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Ice or Heat When in Pain

Ice vs. Heat When in Pain

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Ice or Heat When in Pain

A question physical therapists get frequently asked is whether to use ice or heat on an injury. Here are some general guidelines to help in many scenarios. If you have certain conditions such as fibromyalgia, Reflex Sympathetic Disorder (RSD), or rheumatoid arthritis, your sensory pathways are affected and don’t fall into the typical response patterns.

  • The first 24 – 48 hours after an acute injury onset, use ice. This is true even for simple muscle sprains or pulls.
  • After an activity, at the end of the day or when swelling is present, use ice. When things are inflamed, the more you do throughout the day, the more inflamed the area will get. Ice will assist in decreasing pain, inflammation, and swelling.
  • Heat, while it feels good, is contraindicated in most situations or when inflammation or swelling is present.
  • Whether heat or ice is used, you shouldn’t need to apply to the area of injury for longer than 20 minutes.

Things to know about icing:

  • Don’t ice for more than 20 minutes
  • Let your tissues fully re-warm before re-icing
  • 20 minutes on, 40 minutes off is a good rule for icing multiple times
  • If you’re icing in an area with superficial nerves (elbow), don’t ice for more than 10 minutes
  • You never want to ice before an activity. You want your muscles warm, not cold!

If your pain doesn’t subside after a few days, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for help. We can evaluate your injury or pain and get you back on your path to recovery.

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Looking for an ice pack and can’t find one? No worries. Making your own ice pack at home is practical and easy.

hand in ice pack

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of rubbing alcohol
  • gallon-sized Ziploc bag

Directions:

  • Pour the water and rubbing alcohol into the bag ** Double the bag for extra protection against breakage.
  • Zip the bag shut removing as much air as possible.
  • Place the bag in the freezer until the liquid reaches a slushy mixture.
  • When ready, wrap the bag in a towel or pillowcase before applying it to the skin. (DON’T NOT APPLY BAG DIRECTLY TO SKIN)
cold weather safety

Keeping Extremities Warm in Winter

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OUTDOOR SAFETY
Highlights
• Dress warmly and stay dry.
• Wear a hat, scarf, and mittens.
• Avoid frostbite.
• If you have to do heavy outdoor chores, dress warmly and work slowly.
• Avoid walking on ice or getting wet.
• Notify friends and family where you will be before you go hiking, camping, or skiing.
• Avoid traveling on ice-covered roads, overpasses, and bridges if at all possible.
• If you are stranded, it is safest to stay in your car.

When the weather is extremely cold, and especially if there are high winds, try to stay indoors. Make any trips outside as brief as possible, and remember these tips below to protect your health and safety.

DRESS WARMLY AND STAY DRY
Adults and children should wear:
• a hat
• a scarf or knit mask to cover the face and mouth
• sleeves that are snug at the wrist
• mittens (they are warmer than gloves)
• water-resistant coat and boots
• several layers of loose-fitting clothing

Be sure the outer layer of your clothing is tightly woven, preferably wind-resistant, to reduce body-heat loss caused by wind. Wool, silk, or polypropylene inner layers of clothing will hold more body heat than cotton. Stay dry—wet clothing chills the body rapidly. Excess perspiration will increase heat loss, so remove extra layers of clothing whenever you feel too warm. Also, avoid getting gasoline or alcohol on your skin while de-icing and fueling your car or using a snowblower. These materials in contact with the skin greatly increase heat loss from the body. Do not ignore shivering. It’s an important first sign that the body is losing heat. Persistent shivering is a signal to return indoors.

AVOID FROSTBITE AND HYPOTHERMIA
When exposed to cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced. Prolonged exposure to cold will eventually use up your body’s stored energy. The result is hypothermia or abnormally low body temperature. Body temperature that is too low affects the brain, making the victim unable to think clearly or move well. This makes hypothermia particularly dangerous because a person may not know it is happening and won’t be able to do anything about it.

Hypothermia is most likely at very cold temperatures, but it can occur even at cool temperatures (above 40°F) if a person becomes chilled from rain, sweat, or submersion in cold water.

Frostbite is an injury to the body that is caused by freezing. Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and color in affected areas. It most often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, or toes. Frostbite can permanently damage the body, and severe cases can lead to amputation. The risk of frostbite is increased in people with reduced blood circulation and among people who are not dressed properly for extremely cold temperatures.

AVOID EXERTION
Cold weather puts an extra strain on the heart. If you have heart disease or high blood pressure, follow your doctor’s advice about shoveling snow or performing other hard work in the cold. Otherwise, if you have to do heavy outdoor chores, dress warmly and work slowly. Remember, your body is already working hard just to stay warm, so don’t overdo it.

UNDERSTAND WINDCHILL
The Wind Chill index is the temperature your body feels when the air temperature is combined with the wind speed. It is based on the rate of heat loss from exposed skin caused by the effects of wind and cold. As the speed of the wind increases, it can carry heat away from your body much more quickly, causing skin temperature to drop. When there are high winds, serious weather-related health problems are more likely, even when temperatures are only cool.

AVOID ICE
Walking on ice is extremely dangerous. Many cold-weather injuries result from falls on ice-covered sidewalks, steps, driveways, and porches. Keep your steps and walkways as free of ice as possible by using rock salt or another chemical de-icing compound. Sand may also be used on walkways to reduce the risk of slipping.

snow war

BE SAFE DURING RECREATION
Notify friends and family where you will be before you go hiking, camping, or skiing. Do not leave areas of the skin exposed to the cold. Avoid perspiring or becoming overtired. Be prepared to take emergency shelter. Pack dry clothing, a two-wave radio, waterproof matches and paraffin fire starters with you. Do not use alcohol and other mood altering substances, and avoid caffeinated beverages. Avoid walking on ice or getting wet. Carefully watch for signs of cold-weather health problems.

BE CAUTIOUS ABOUT TRAVEL
• Listen for radio or television reports of travel advisories issued by the National Weather Service.
• Do not travel in low visibility conditions.
• Avoid traveling on ice-covered roads, overpasses, and bridges if at all possible.
• If you must travel by car, use tire chains and take a mobile phone with you.
• If you must travel, let someone know your destination and when you expect to arrive. Ask them to notify authorities if you are late.
• Check and restock the winter emergency supplies in your car before you leave.
• Never pour water on your windshield to remove ice or snow; shattering may occur.
• Don’t rely on a car to provide sufficient heat; the car may break down.
• Always carry additional warm clothing appropriate for the winter conditions.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU GET STRANDED
Staying in your vehicle when stranded is often the safest choice if winter storms create poor visibility or if roadways are ice covered. These steps will increase your safety when stranded:
• Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna as a signal to rescuers and raise the hood of the car (if it is not snowing).
• Move anything you need from the trunk into the passenger area.
• Wrap your entire body, including your head, in extra clothing, blankets, or newspapers.
• Stay awake. You will be less vulnerable to cold-related health problems.
• Run the motor (and heater) for about 10 minutes per hour, opening one window slightly to let in air. Make sure that snow is not blocking the exhaust pipe—this will reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
• As you sit, keep moving your arms and legs to improve your circulation and stay warmer.
• Do not eat unmelted snow because it will lower your body temperature.
• Huddle with other people for warmth.

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For more information about winter safety visit: http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/index.asp

For more PTandMe cold weather safety tips to keep you out of harm’s way this winter check the articles below!

snow shoveling safety PTandMe   Winter Safety PTandMe

COVID Recovery for healthy individuals

Introducing REHAB-19

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REHAB-19 COVID Recovery for healthy individuals

It’s not uncommon for patients that experience a milder form of COVID-19 to experience longer-lasting symptoms.  To help patients combat these lasting physical ailments we have created a Rehab-19 Program designed specifically to restore energy for healthy active bodies.  If you have recovered from COVID-19 and you’re not quite feeling like yourself yet, our licensed team of physical therapists can help get you the rest of the way.

physical therapy near me

 Some impairments that can last several weeks or months after COVID include:

  • Decreased lung capacity
  • Decreased strength
  • Decreased balance, mobility, and difficulty walking
  • Decreased endurance
  • Abnormal breathing patterns
  • Muscle aches and pain
  • Musculoskeletal pains from coughing/bed rest
  • Chronic fatigue

To help patients overcome these obstacles, our clinicians will provide patients with a comprehensive evaluation to develop an individualized treatment plan to overcome impairments. Once your evaluation is complete, you will begin to work on your personalized reconditioning program.  Both in-clinic and virtual appointments through Telehealth are available for this treatment plan.

The types of strategies that may be included in your REHAB-19 recovery program may include:

By choosing to go to physical therapy for a REHAB-19 program you will be back to your normal energy levels in no time. Our clinicians are experts at helping patients get back to their best selves.  The benefits of physical therapy after COVID-19 include:

  • Improve cardiopulmonary endurance/stamina
  • Improve balance and mobility
  • Return to work, sports, hobbies, and normal activities
  • Restore flexibility and strength
  • Improve breathing mechanics

Rehabilitation programs for patients that have spent time in the ICU are also available. If you are having trouble getting back to your former activity levels, or simply don’t quite feel like yourself, we’re here to help!

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Heart Disease to Healthy Hearts

Healthy Hearts This February

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Heart Disease to Healthy Hearts

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. Uncontrolled high blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke. In fact, more than 67 million Americans have high blood pressure. People with high blood pressure are four times more likely to die from a stroke and three times more likely to die from heart disease, compared to those with normal blood pressure.

According to the Office of Disease Prevention you can make healthy changes to lower your risk of developing heart disease. Controlling and preventing risk factors is also important for people who already have heart disease.

To lower your risk you can:

  • Watch your weight.
  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
  • Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
  • Get active and eat healthy.

A Snapshot: Blood Pressure in the U.S. Make Control Your Goal. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, the first and fourth leading causes of death for all Americans. High Blood Pressure Basics. 1 in 3 adults have high blood pressure. High blood pressure contributes to ~1,000 deaths/day. When your blood pressure is high, you are 4 times more likely to die from a stroke, and you are 3 times more likely to die from heart disease. 69% of people who have a first heart attack, 77% of people who have a first stroke, and 74% of people with chronic heart failure have high blood pressure. Annual estimated costs associated with high blood pressure: $51 billion, including $47.5 billion in direct medical expenses. Blood Pressure Control. Only about half of people with high blood pressure have their condition under control. Reducing average population systolic blood pressure by only 12–13 mmHg could reduce stroke by 37%, coronary heart disease by 21%, deaths from cardiovascular disease by 25%, and deaths from all causes by 13%. Make Control Your Goal, Every Day. Check your blood pressure regularly—at home, at a doctor’s office, or at a pharmacy. Eat a healthy diet with more fruits, vegetables, potassium, and whole grains and less sodium, saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol . Read nutrition labels and lower your sodium intake. Most of the sodium we eat comes from processed and restaurant foods. About 90% of Americans eat too much sodium. Quit smoking—or don’t start. 1-800-QUIT-NOW or Smokefree.gov. Adults should limit alcohol to no more than 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men. Get active and maintain a healthy weight. Aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every week. This infographic was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention in support of achieving the Million Hearts® initiative goal to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.
The American Heart Association also has some great resources on their website including tips to stay active, and how to make every move count!

If you need help finding exercises and activities that fit your lifestyle and abilities talk to your physical therapist. PT’s specialize in the science of movement, so who better to ask! If you don’t have a physical therapist make sure you check out our PT finder and get started on your path to a healthy heart this February!