Category Archives: Blog

Back to School Nutrition

Back to School Nutrition

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Back to School Nutrition

It’s almost time for school to start and we wanted to spend some time on Back to School nutrition! We have made it through most of the summer and it is time to take a moment and really think about how we would like to prepare our families for this coming school year so that we can all stay healthy. Most of us get excited about the barbeques and the summer parties where we usually eat burgers, fried chicken, French fries, pizza, potato salad, and that yummy barbeque brisket! But believe it or not, these foods are harder to digest during the summer because they require a strong digestive fire in the stomach and are naturally more insulating-which makes them perfect foods to eat come fall or wintertime!

You see, every season the qualities in nature change, and the qualities of the harvest change, which both influence every one of us. In the winter we are naturally more able to digest meat, poultry, dense root vegetables, and nuts when your digestive strength is naturally more potent. Although in the summertime, our body’s digestive strength is weaker and its digestive acid reduces in the summer which helps to avoid the risk of overheating, which might seem like a problem- but in comes Nature. It harvests certain fruits and vegetables in abundance during the summertime that are readily available and don’t require a big furnace to be properly cooked to be digested. Summer foods are cooked all summer long by the sun, on the vine, and when they are harvested, they are ready to be eaten to keep us energized.

If you or a loved one is feeling a bit boggy or bloated, with a bit of weight gain, indigestion, or is constipated, it might be because the body tends to accumulate the heat of the summer, therefore, weakening digestive strength. Overworking and overheating can trigger heartburn and other digestive issues related to excess stomach acid production. Eating cooling foods that are harvested in the summer can help with this. Extra servings of raw or lightly steamed vegetables and eating fruits will help you cool down naturally.

Here are some examples:

  • Cherries: support the health of joints, muscles, the cardiovascular system, lymphatic movement, and blood sugar balance through its high phenolic and anthocyanin content, also found to enhance exercise during and after by achieving quicker recovery times
  • Celery: a powerhouse for your digestive system, which is full of fiber and rich in antioxidants that have been shown to remove free radicals and helps to eliminate the bile sludge and gallbladder stones that might be causing inflammation, heartburn, acid reflux, and weight gain
  • Cilantro: is a good source of Vitamins A, K, and C, as well as copper, manganese, iron, magnesium, and calcium, also known as a natural blood purifier and detox agent (lead detoxifier), which will aid in inflammatory conditions such as arthritis
  • Watermelon: stacks up as 92% water and is very cooling by nature by removing heat because of its mild diuretic properties and is known to have great anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Athletes use it to build muscle because of its exceptionally high source of citrulline, which is used in the body as a precursor to human growth hormone (HGH)
  • Bell Peppers(All Colors): as a vegetable, it contains the highest source of Vitamin C at a whopping 157% DV(Daily Value) per cup, offers great amounts of phytonutrients such as beta-carotene and Vitamin B6, which are all great for protecting your skin from sun damage

Consider these tips if your digestion slows down as summer forges on:

If you are going to enjoy those yummy harder-to-digest foods, have them as a part of your lunch, during the middle of the day when your body’s digestive strength is at its peak
While it IS OK to eat these foods at this time, do your best to eat smaller portions of the barbeque and larger portions of fruit and vegetables.

Take a look at the list of foods below that are in harvest during the summer, add them to your grocery list, and make it a point to eat more of them!

Remember, there are no bad foods. The goal is not to stay away from “bad foods” but to enjoy more seasonal foods by shifting your focus on in-season foods throughout the year. Nature always provides the antidote to the extreme of each season with the ideal harvest to keep you and your family strong, healthy, energized, and focused this school year. Now more than ever, our health is at the forefront of our minds where it should be!

Summer Grocery List/Summer Harvest Foods:

Source: lifespa.com/pitta-diet

Vegetables/Fruit

  • Asparagus
  • Leafy Greens
  • Bell Peppers
  • Watermelon
  • Apricots
  • Apples
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherries
  • Celery
  • Cilantro
  • Kale
  • Radishes
  • Grapes
  • Guavas
  • Mangoes
  • Melon (All types)
  • Snow Peas
  • Watercress
  • Zucchini
  • Okra
  • Artichokes
  • Cucumbers
  • Jicama
  • Lettuce
  • Peaches
  • Pineapple
  • Plums
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Avocadoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Lemons

Need to have a physical injury looked at before going back to school? Reach out to one of our partnering physical therapy clinics.

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Article was written by Vanessa Delgado. Vanessa is a nutrition enthusiast, who is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science degree in Human Nutrition and Foods at the University of Houston

Resources:

https://lifespa.com/superfoods-summer-edition/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22280223/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15219719/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2874510/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23692746/
https://lifespa.com/why-you-should-eat-cherries-in-the-summer/
https://lifespa.com/8-foods-gallbladder-sludge/
https://explore.globalhealing.com/foods-that-help-heartburn/
https://lifespa.com/the-benefits-of-cilantro-and-coriander/
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=14
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=31
https://lifespa.com/064-cool-your-pitta-this-summer/ 
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=50 

Hot Weather Exercise Tips

Hot Weather Exercise Tips

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Hot Weather Exercise Tips

As the temperatures continue to rise, we have decided to put together a few hot weather exercise tips to consider while staying active and for staying hydrated through the summer.

Set your alarm: Sunrise is generally the coolest time of day, so get up and get out early. It may be more humid, but it is generally still hot at sunset because the ground radiates accumulated heat.

Hydrate: It is recommended to drink at least eight ounces of liquids prior to heading outside to exercise and 6-8 ounces of fluids every 15 minutes, switching between water and an electrolyte drink. Remember to drink plenty of fluids post-exercise to speed recovery.

  • Remember to drink water and other fluids throughout the day. Carry a water bottle with you or grab a drink each time you pass a water fountain.
  • Drink 16oz of fluid 2-3 hours before exercise
  • Drink an additional 10oz of fluid 10-20 minutes before exercise
  • Consume 20-40oz of fluid for every hour of exercise
  • Always have water available. Take a bottle to work, the gym or wherever you are headed, and remember to use it.
  • Drink up any time you are in the sun. Just being outside can lead to dehydration
  • Children and the elderly are more susceptible to dehydration
  • Finally don’t rely on thirst as a signal to drink water. Thirst is actually a sign that the body is under stress and by the time you feel thirsty, dehydration has already begun to set in. Other symptoms of dehydration include dry mouth, irritability, headache, weakness, dizziness, cramps, nausea, and fatigue. Even mild dehydration can lead to diminished performance, the elevation of core body temperature, and increased cardiovascular strain.

Acclimatize: It is advisable to gradually build up your tolerance for exercising in warmer conditions

Wear Technical Fabrics: Technical fabrics wick sweat from your body to keep you cool. Also, wear a visor to keep the sun out of your eyes, not a hat, which traps the heat.

Slow Down: For every 5-degree rise in temperature above 60 degrees F, slow down your activity intensity by 5%

Protect: Use sunscreen to protect your skin and prevent sunburn.

Be realistic: Do not overestimate your level of physical fitness; set realistic exercise goals.

What happens if I feel pain after a workout?

Keep in mind that even when you follow these hot weather exercise tips, some discomfort and muscle soreness is to be expected. If your pain does not resolve within a few days, that is when it’s time to ask for help. Your body may be able to accommodate your pain for a short period, but if left alone, you may begin to experience weakness, a lack of flexibility, and even additional injury if your body moves to avoid the pain by overcompensating with other muscle groups. The sooner you ask for help the better. During your physical therapy first visit, we will evaluate your injury and from there we can:

  • Alleviate pain
  • Correct improper movement patterns
  • Correct muscle imbalances through flexibility and strength training
  • Modify training when possible
  • Educate you about faulty or improper posture or body mechanics with training

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Vacation During Physical Therapy

Going on Vacation During Physical Therapy

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Vacation During Physical Therapy

For most of us, vacation equals relaxation, catching up with loved ones, or even some much-needed fun in the sun. We all deserve a break from time to time from our work schedules and daily tasks, and going on vacation during physical therapy this time of year isn’t uncommon. However, missing a few exercises between physical therapy visits can run the risk of losing some of your hard-earned progress. With just a little forethought and planning, you can stay active and healthy throughout your trip. If you are going on vacation during your rehabilitation program, here are a few key things you can do.

If you’re going on vacation during physical therapy the first thing you should do is talk to your physical therapist about a home exercise plan (HEP) that you can take with you so you’ll know exactly what you can do while you are away. Then, take a look at your itinerary and see what time you’ll have available for your exercise program. By planning ahead you’ll be more likely to follow through.

Second, plan times during your trip when you can do your HEP. It can be ideal to fit your routine first thing in the morning so you don’t have to worry about it the entire day. Lunchtime is another good option since it’s when your body is naturally most active. Making use of your breaks instead of a set time each day can also work.

Whether flying or driving, you’re likely going to be doing a lot of sitting and waiting at the beginning and end of your trip, which is a great time to get those exercises in. Also, try to take advantage of breaks during your vacation whether you’re…

  • Waiting for an uber
  • About to start a tour
  • Getting ready to eat
  • In a longer-than-it-should-be theme park line

Taking just a few minutes throughout the day to do some stretching and the prescribed exercises will help keep you from losing all those hard-fought gains you worked on with your physical therapist.

Finally, if you’ve had a major injury or are recovering from surgery, ask your physical therapist for advice on how to prevent re-injury while you are away from the clinic. By listening to your physical therapist, sticking to your home exercise plan, and avoiding situations that could increase your pain/injury, you should be able to have an amazing vacation full of fun!

If you are experiencing pain or loss of motion, we highly recommend you see one of our licensed and very talented physical therapists before going on vacation. Even if you haven’t started treatment yet, we can give you ways to keep from reinjuring your body further and get you on the schedule for your return.

physical therapy near me

PT News PTandMe

PT News June 2021

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PT News PTandMe

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

Beach Activities

1. Our Top 10 Beach Activities

Written by The Jackson Clinics with multiple locations throughout Northern, VA.

Summer is here and, despite the cicadas and lack of a proper Spring season, it’s time to get out and enjoy the sun. We asked our team to share their favorite beach activities. From building sandcastles to creating fantastic smoothies, our Top 10 list delivers fun and affordable activities for the whole family!  Read more

 

2. Managing Return to Work Aches and Pains

Written by The Center for Physical Rehabilitation, an outpatient physical therapy practice with locations serving Greater Grand Rapids, MI. 

Over the past several months, many people have experienced an extended time away from work due to the covid-19 pandemic but recently employees have gradually begun returning to their regular work routine. As we return to our places of employment and re-adjust to the physical demands of our jobs, we undoubtedly will experience an onset of aches and pains. Thankfully a majority of these aches and pains will resolve on their own or with some basic interventions.  Read more

 

Frozen Shoulder Physical Therapy

3. 5 Keys to Treating a Frozen Shoulder

Written by Wright Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy group with locations throughout ID. 

We explore the meaning of stiff shoulder as it refers to a sub-optimal range of motion for performance that is physically and, at times, mentally debilitating. The lack of motion from a stiff shoulder can have a significant impact on daily living, vocation, and recreation. There are 5 key principles for treating the “frozen” shoulder. These apply to all shoulders which lack range of motion, regardless of the particular diagnosis.  Read more

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

Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!

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Four Exercises you can do at Home

Four Exercises You Can Do at Home While Watching TV

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Four Exercises you can do at Home While Watching TV

Watching television can be a fun way to spend a night at home, especially when there are so many great shows to choose from. Many conversations now start with, “Did you watch that new show on Netflix?” While it is fun to binge-watch a television show, sitting for long periods can be detrimental to your health. Fear not – we have 4 Exercises you can do at home while watching TV

Here are some exercises you can do while enjoying a good show!

  • Sit-To-Stand
  • Leg Figure Eights
  • Elevated Mountain Climbers
  • Tricep Dips

Exercises You Can do At Home While Watching TV

Need help getting started? These exercises will not work for everyone and should not be done if you are experiencing pain. An on-site or telehealth visit with a physical therapist can show you the safe way to exercise, the right number of repetitions, and how to progress the exercises correctly. Remember that all bodies are a little different; physical therapists can teach what is right for YOU!

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Looking for more?

Check out our recent blog on stretches you can do at work!

Stretches you can do at work

office ergonomics

The Ergonomic Workstation

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Having an ergonomic workstation means that your desk and the things on it are arranged in such a way, that they prevent injury and are well within reach and use. An ergonomic workstation also promotes good posture. Posture is the position in which you hold your body upright against gravity while standing, sitting or lying down. An ergonomically designed workstation promotes good posture and helps to:

  • Keep bones and joints in the correct alignment so that muscles are being used properly.
  • Help decrease the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces that could result in arthritis.
  • Decrease the stress on the ligaments holding the joints of the spine together.
  • Prevent the spine from becoming fixed in abnormal positions.
  • Counter fatigue because muscles are being used more efficiently, allowing the body to use less energy.
  • Prevent strain or overuse problems.
  • Avert backache and muscular pain.

Proper ergonomics plays an instrumental role in how effectively you accomplish work and will help prevent suffering from work-related injuries due to strain and overuse. In the diagram below you will find both sitting and standing workstation recommendations to achieve a proper ergonomic workstation.

seated ergonomic workstation

SITTING: Body position guidelines

  • Lower back supported by a lumbar curve
  • Bottom & Thighs distributed pressure
  • ARMS minimal bend at the wrist
  • The area behind the knee not touching the seat
  • Feet flat on the floor or on a footrest
  • Wrists and hands do not rest on sharp or hard edges
  • The telephone should be used with your head upright (not bent) and your shoulders relaxed (not elevated)

 

Standing Ergonomics

STANDING: Working Guidelines

  • Precision Work – above elbow height
  • Light Work – just below elbow height
  • Heavy Work – 4-6 inches below elbow height

 

Setting Up Your Ergonomic Workstation

Video Provided by North Lake Physical Therapy

Physical and occupational therapists have experience working with patients to improve posture and ergonomics. Some clinics have therapists that go into the workplace and arrange a patient’s workplace, making it ergonomically efficient. For more information or to find a therapist near you

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Stretches you can do at work

Stretches You Can Do at Work

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Stretches you can do at work

Need to take a movement break? Sitting at a desk all day can take a toll on your health and can lead to chronic health conditions such as heart disease, obesity, and more. If you work at a desk or sit for the majority of your day, you need to schedule activity and movement breaks into your day.

We have put together a few stretches to help:

  • Enhance Flexibility
  • Improve Circulation
  • Promote Relaxation
  • Decrease Healthcare Costs
  • Promote Awareness of the need for regular exercise

Movement Break Stretches You Can Do at Work!

Stretches you can do at work

Perform these stretches 5-10 minutes before the start of work and after any work break of more than 15-30 minutes.  Our talented teams of physical therapists can work with you to create a stretching program that’s specific to the muscle groups you use during your daily work routine. Find one near you today for more information.

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Looking for More?

Check out these 4 exercises you can do at home while you watch TV  Small changes can make a big difference!

Four Exercises you can do at Home

5 Ways to Overcome Stress at Work

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There is a close relationship between health and productivity. It is important to raise awareness about employee’s well-being as we celebrate National Employee Wellness Month. Many of the most effective stress control mechanisms are surprisingly physical in nature.  Encouraging them in the workplace can have a positive impact on the health and productivity of workers.

So how do we overcome stress? What can we do NOW, to help keep our mental health strong?

Here are a few ways to overcome stress and put a positive spin on your day and minimize stress levels:

  • Take Deep Breaths for an easy 3-5 minute exercise, sit up in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and hands on top of your knees. Breathe in and out slowly and deeply. Deep breathing oxygenates your blood.
  • Exercise causes your body to release endorphins and it helps clear the mind. Get up, and walk for a few minutes. If you can’t leave your desk, stretch! Stretching is a therapeutic exercise.
  • Eat Right and avoid sugary, fatty snack foods. Fruits and vegetables are always a good healthy option. Keep several at your desk and enjoy them.
  • Listen to Music, playing calm music has a positive effect on the brain and body. If you are feeling overwhelmed, take a small break and listen to your favorite tune. One recommendation is listening to ocean or nature sounds.
  • Schedule Time with family or friends to combat stress and/or loneliness by calling or meeting them after work. Schedule a group lunch outing or zoom with coworkers and have it on your calendar as something to look forward to.

The physical consequences of unattended stress can be far-reaching and, at some point, become more permanent than chronic. Chronic, non-traumatic pain typically does not require surgery, but it does require the skills of an experienced physical therapist to evaluate and treat the root of the problem. FIND A PT today and schedule an appointment!

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REFERENCES:www.healthsearch.com, healthline.com, helpguide.org, and article by Elizabeth Scott, M.S., About.com Guide
www.corporatewellnessmagazine.com/article/june-is-national-employee-wellness-month

Top 5 Benefits of Cross Training

Top 5 Benefits of Cross-Training

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Top 5 Benefits of Cross Training

We’ve all had exercise ruts: Our weight loss stalls, our strength seems at a standstill, and every workout feels like misery. If that’s happened to you, there’s something that your body might be trying to tell you: cross-train.

All athletes have physical specialties, and as a result, they tend to focus on and train the major muscle groups that are used primarily in their specific sport. Cross-training helps to create muscle confusion, which combats boredom and exercise plateaus. What it involves is adding in a new-to-you exercise sequence, or a faster or unusual workout type, to keep your body on alert for responsiveness and adaptation.

TOP 5 Benefits of Cross-Training

  • Decreased Risk of Injury
    Through cross-training, an athlete is less likely to get an overuse injury. Instead of overusing the same joints over and over, cross-training allows athletes to employ a variety of muscle groups.
  • Better Aerobic Capacity
    Limiting an athlete to one activity can cause burn-out. By doing different exercises, they are instead able to switch to new activities when a body part feels sore. For example, if you are a runner with shin pain, you can stop running and do swimming, rowing, or other non-impact activity, allowing you to continue to work on your stamina.
  • Increase in Overall Strength
    Research has shown that strength training can increase overall performance. By increasing strength, athletes can run faster, throw harder, and jump higher. For instance, weightlifting can increase performance more than just simply practicing certain skills.
  • Develop Dynamic Flexibility
    By working out multiple muscle groups, athletes can develop much greater dynamic flexibility than when you focus on one area of the body. New muscles, joints, and ligaments are “warmed up” and lengthened by trying new exercises or activities.
  • Aid in Healing
    In some cases, cross-training can allow the body to recuperate faster from injury; this is because other exercises can directly improve the condition caused by regular activity. Using alternative exercises allows the body to heal and in many cases will also help stretch and strengthen parts of the body that are in pain.

Physical therapists work with athletes to improve performance, prevent injuries, and aid in recovery.  If you are in pain or are looking for ways to improve in your sport find a physical therapy clinic near you!

physical therapy near me

This article was written by the rehabilitation team at  The Center for Physical Rehabilitation – with locations throughout greater Grand Rapids, MI.

Physical Therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Physical Therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Physical Therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that rheumatoid arthritis usually begins between the ages of 20 and 40. This disease may cause deformity and pain due to the weakening of bone joints and ligaments.

Rheumatoid arthritis is typically diagnosed through blood tests or looking at the bone structures through imaging tests, such as computed tomography (CT) scan, X-rays, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

These methods reveal the severity of rheumatoid arthritis and help plan out the appropriate treatments for the disease.

Usually, medications are prescribed to ease the pain and other symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. However, other non-pharmacological methods like occupational therapy and physical therapies are also done to help patients manage this disease.

Benefits of Physical Therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis

The Arthritis Foundation says physical therapy can help people with arthritis to move safely. Physical therapy (PT) can increase joint strength, improve mobility, and maximize the ability to perform life activities.

Physical therapy can help alleviate rheumatoid arthritis. Usually, PT routines include exercises that enhance balance, flexibility, coordination, and strength.

During therapy, your physical therapist will engage you in activities and exercises to help you maintain proper posture.

A PT can also assist you in using walkers and canes and suggest modifications that can help ease pain and improve everyday functions.

Exercises to Help with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Some people with arthritis fear exercise. However, exercise can actually help reduce the disability risks of arthritis.
Doing light exercises regularly can help strengthen muscles and boost flexibility that may help support joint function in rheumatoid arthritis. These constant movements may also help improve your emotional state and reduce fatigue.

The following low-intensity exercises are recommended for people with rheumatoid arthritis.

  1. Walking
    Low-impact and straightforward exercises are great for rheumatoid arthritis. Make sure to start your pace slowly and constantly drink water to stay hydrated. Walking promotes aerobic conditioning and boosts your mood.
  2. Stretching
    Stretching can help reduce joint stiffness, promoting flexibility among people with rheumatoid arthritis. Developing a stretching routine may help improve your range of motion. You can start your stretching routine with a warm-up for three to five minutes and proceed with mild stretching. Remember to hold the stretch for 10 to 20 seconds before releasing the stretch. You can repeat each stretch exercise two to three times.
  3. Cycling
    Low-impact aerobic exercises like cycling benefit the joints. Cycling may have beneficial effects on your cardiovascular health, which may be at risk when you have rheumatoid arthritis. You can ride a bike outside or cycle on a stationary bike with the supervision of a physical therapist.
  4. Yoga and Tai Chi
    Building your strength through these low-intensity exercises may increase your muscle strength and joint flexibility. These activities encourage flowing movements and deep breathing that are also advantageous for balance to avoid falls.
  5. Hand Exercises
    One of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis is joint pain, especially in the smaller joints of fingers.

Here are some helpful hand exercises that you can try.

  • Making a Fist
    Start this simple exercise by stretching out your hand with your fingers straight, and then slowly draw them together to form a fist. Make sure that your thumbs are not tucked under your fingers. Hold the fist for a minute and repeat it as many times as you want.
  • Pinching Fingers
    Start by opening your hand again. With your thumb, try and touch each finger and press it firmly by doing a pinch action. You can hold the pinch for a second or two before moving to the next finger.
  • Stretching Fingers
    You can do this stretch by slowly and gently opening your hand and stretching out your fingers for several seconds. This stretch can strengthen the muscles and reduce the stiffness of finger joints.
  • Lifting Your Fingers
    Place your hand facing down on a flat surface. One by one, slowly lift each of your fingers, starting from your thumb to your pinky. Hold the finger lift for a second or two before lowering it.

Other Physical Therapy Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis

There are passive ways that PT can help with rheumatoid arthritis. A physical therapist performs these treatments.

Massage Therapy
This relaxing treatment can help target specific muscles and release tension. Massage can also stimulate healthy blood circulation and manage stress.
Note that massage therapy is not recommended for painful joints during a rheumatoid arthritis flare-up.

Hydrotherapy
This type of therapy involves submerging the affected area or the whole body into warm water to relieve arthritis pain.
Hydrotherapy can be passive therapy or active therapy. Some physical therapists assist rheumatoid arthritis patients in performing light movements and exercises in the water.

Cryotherapy Therapy
This therapy is performed by putting a cold compress on the affected area to reduce swelling and help alleviate pain.

Heat Therapy
Heat therapy is done by placing a warm towel on the affected area to promote circulation. This therapy may also stimulate blood flow and soothe muscle tension and pain.

Ultrasound
Therapeutic ultrasound uses vibrations from sound waves to reduce stiffness and pain, improving joint function.

For help with your arthritis pain please reach out to a physical or occupational therapist near you.  We can work to manage your symptoms and still keep you doing the activities you love most!

physical therapy near me

This article was written by Ruth Riley. She is an educator, writer, literary enthusiast, and a regular contributor at Motherhoodcommunity.com. By utilizing her expertise in teaching and writing, she wishes to educate more people and provide insight into health and wellness.