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PT News PTandMe

PT News October 2021

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PT News PTandMe

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

Arm Pain

1. Arm Pain? Check the Neck!

Written by JACO Physical Therapy with multiple locations in O’ahu, HI.

Do you have a deep ache or weird sensation in the shoulder, elbow, or hand? Does it come and go? Does it get worse when you stay in one position for too long, sometimes spreading into other areas? Do you massage or “shake it out” to get relief?  Check the neck!  Read more

 

get active square

2. Marathon Series: 4 Parts

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

Welcome to the blog and video series of my marathon training! I want to preface that this series will not be a detailed training plan, but a combination of reflection, describe shared principles in rehab and running, and a showcase of the clinician talent at CPR. Read more

 

Groin Strain

3. Pulled Groin or Sports Hernia? How to Tell the Difference

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

It’s one of the most painful moments of any athlete’s life. Doing a fast cut-over during practice or twisting too much to avoid another player, suddenly you feel a sharp pain in your inner thighs and up into your groin. Clearly, you’ve strained your groin – but, is this strain just a pulled groin or sports hernia?…  Read more

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

Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!

physical therapy near me

What do Physical Therapists Do

Physical Therapists Do More Than Treat Pain

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What do physical therapists do

October is our favorite month of the year because it is National Physical Therapy Month!  This month-long celebration is here to recognize the impact physical therapists make in restoring and improving motion in people’s lives. What do physical therapists do? Physical therapists work to improve strength, flexibility, and independence, by working to remove pain, injury, and weakness!

Here are a few of the reasons patients come to physical therapy each day!

Physical Therapy treats pain

To Reduce or Eliminate Pain: If you are experiencing pain, physical therapy can help you treat the cause and not just the symptoms of your pain. Physical therapists work one-on-one with patients to achieve long-term solutions without the use of expensive prescriptions or tests, saving them both time and money.

physical therapy postpones surgery

To Prevent or Postpone Surgery: While surgery can be the best course of treatment for certain diagnoses, there is increasing evidence demonstrating that conservative treatments like physical therapy can be equally effective and cheaper for many conditions. One study showed that physical therapy can lower patient treatment costs by 72 percent, and it has been proven to remove or reduce the need for surgery in many cases. In the event that surgery is needed, a pre-op visit can help make recovery easier and safer.

physical therapy prevents falls

To Improve balance and prevent falls: According to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of injury and death for Americans over 65. Fall prevention programs offered by physical therapists are designed to increase independence with functional activities, functional mobility, and safety awareness while decreasing fall risk.

physical therapy prevents sports injuries

To Prevent Sports Injuries: Physical therapists work with athletes on many levels to prevent injury while promoting improved performance. By evaluating body movements and muscle strength, physical therapists can help you solve what body mechanics need to be corrected and create an injury recovery program for you to ensure a safe return to your sport with a competitive edge.

physical therapy covid recovery

To Regain Strength after COVID-19: Even patients that weren’t hospitalized can experience multiple symptoms that may last several weeks or even months. Our therapists will provide you with a comprehensive evaluation to develop an individualized treatment plan to overcome your impairments and restore your strength.

physical therapy can help you achieve health goals

To Reach Overall Health Goals: Physical therapy can help those that have had trouble with mobility or are looking to improve strength and overall health. Physical therapists can tailor programs to each patient’s ability levels in order to improve confidence and independence while reducing the risk of future injury.

Physical therapists work collaboratively with their patients to empower them to reach their individual goals, meet their needs, and overcome their challenges. In many cases, patients develop a lifelong relationship with their physical therapist to maintain optimum health and movement abilities throughout their lifespan. Now that you know what physical therapists do, if you or anyone that you know need physical therapy services, contact us today to have a physical therapist come to your home and make October your healthiest month yet!

physical therapy near me

MedRisk (2021). Statistics Spotlight: Physical Therapy Reduces Costs [Online]. Available from: https://www.medrisknet.com/statistics-spotlight-physical-therapy-reduces-costs/ [Accessed 7 October 2021]. 

 

Cancer Fatigue Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy can Help Battle Cancer Related Fatigue

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Should you Consider a Physical Therapy Cancer Fatigue Program?

Cancer treatments are rigorous and can take a toll on the body. If you are feeling tired all the time you’re not alone. The number one complaint of cancer patients, affecting 78% to 96% of those undergoing treatment, is cancer related fatigue(CRF). The goal in Physical Therapy is to help you become as independent as possible. Anyone who experiences signs and symptoms of pain or loss of function would benefit from an individualized physical therapy program.

Physical therapy can help you recover from:

  • Chronic pain
  • Leg pain
  • Shortness of breath after light activity
  • Difficulty walking short distance
  • Difficulty performing daily tasks
  • Extreme weariness and tiredness
  • Difficulty paying attention or concentrating

What to Expect from A Physical Therapy Cancer Fatigue Program

Licensed Physical Therapists provide specialized therapeutic services that address the needs of CRF patients. Therapy sessions last approximately thirty minutes to one hour, depending on the patient’s tolerance. The average number of visits per week is 2-3. The physical therapy program is concurrent with cancer therapy and may last throughout the entire treatment phase. Most programs require a thorough physical therapy evaluation and a team approach with your physician is maintained.

Consider it a stepping stone approach towards your recovery.

  • Address pain—which in turn can alleviate fatigue
  • Use non-drug based treatments such as physical modalities:
    – Soft tissue & joint mobilization
    – TENS
    – Heat/Cold
  • Coach patient on how to exercise
  • Alleviate musculoskeletal dysfunction
  • Improve posture
  • Combat effects of bed rest
  • Help to maintain muscle strength and flexibility, and restore muscle balance
  • Help to decrease depression by increasing endorphins
  • Improve balance
  • Improve endurance
  • Core body strengthening

Lady bandana

The Motivation Behind a Cancer Recovery Program

From a physical therapy perspective, one of the main reasons for helping cancer patients comes from seeing individuals for pain problems who were S/P cancer and chemo/radiation. When asked about their the post-treatment care, they said that either; there was none provided, or that they got a few sessions with a lymphedema nurse. Their fatigue and pain symptoms were not addressed.

In looking at what was offered in the community (with the exception of lymphedema nurses) there appeared to be no one addressing the cancer patients—once medical treatment had been completed.

Previous advice for cancer patients was often to get more rest and avoid activities that are physically challenging. Recent studies have shown that exercise was found to be effective in preventing or reducing CRF. No adverse effects of exercising have been reported. Identified as “remarkably underutilized”, exercise is one of the few interventions suggested to diminish CRF and other psychosocial symptoms. If you are struggling to regain your strength and endurance talk to your physical therapist and see if they offer a cancer-related fatigue program that can help you get back to doing the things you enjoy.

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Information Provided by PTandMe Physical Therapy Partner, Advance Rehabilitation. Advance Rehabilitation has locations throughout GA and Northern FL. More information about Advance Rehabilitation can be found on their website at www.advancerehab.com.

For more information on cancer-related physical therapy programs click here:

    
benefits of a home exercise program

Why Should I Do My Home Exercise Program?

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benefits of a home exercise program

When a patient walks in for physical therapy, one of the things they are sent home with is a home exercise program. But why do they do that? Aren’t they supposed to take care of everything while you are in the clinic?  These are questions that may run through your head, but what exactly are the benefits of a home exercise program? If you’re on the fence about whether or not to take your HEP seriously, we’re here to tell you why you should.

  • Continuation of forwarding progression in rehabilitation: Physical and occupational therapists tailor each program to the abilities and strengths of each patient. A patient that completes their home exercise program is more likely to excel in the one-on-one sessions at the clinic and experience fewer setbacks in rehabilitation.
  • Increases level of mobility and endurance: Exercise in the home is designed to continue the progress of the clinic visit by increasing a patient’s flexibility and stamina. A good home exercise program allows a patient to increase function and improve muscle memory so that progress is gained rather than lost from one visit to another.
  • For some patients, therapy doesn’t end at discharge: A home exercise program can help a patient remain pain-free and functional without having to pay for repeat visits and costly medical bills. For patients experiencing chronic pain – a home exercise program is a ticket to staying out of the doctor’s office.

Despite the benefits of a home exercise program, patients have trouble following through on their home exercise program goals. We’re going to go over some of the more common excuses:

  • I don’t have time, because life at home is too busy: It can be hard, especially for those running a household with multiple schedules to accommodate. However, a physical therapist can offer suggestions on working these into your schedule. Some exercises can be done at work, at home, on the playground. If time is truly a concern then don’t be afraid to let the therapist know.
  • It hurts: Some pain is considered normal – it’s a normal part of the exercise. However, if you are doing an exercise and something feels wrong, let your physical therapist know immediately. Don’t wait until your next appointment and tell yourself you will take care of it then. It could be something as simple as not doing the exercise correctly and they can talk you through it over the phone. Communication is a large part of rehabilitation and your therapist wants to know if something is causing concern.
  • Not motivated: Not seeing the point of the exercises your therapist gave you – ask them why it is so beneficial. Going to see a physical therapist 2-3 times a week alone without doing home exercises will not be enough to maintain muscle strength and flexibility. Healthy habits begin with persistence. If you need motivation talk to your therapist, they are born motivators and want nothing more than to watch you succeed. Enlist the help of family or friends to keep asking about your progress.

Physical therapists may utilize print copies of exercises or they may choose to go utilize a digital version that you can access from a mobile device. No matter the delivery, the goal for each is the same. To help you heal more effectively. If you have questions about your home exercise program and what it contributes to your recovery talk to your physical therapist. Education and understanding are crucial to making sure your experience in recovery is successful. If you need help finding a physical therapist to answer your questions, we have you covered in our “Find a PT” section.

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Pros and Cons of Carb Loading

The Pros and Cons of Carb-Loading

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Pros and Cons of Carb Loading

Carb-loading diets have recently become popular in the sports and fitness community as a way to improve stamina and boost energy levels by increasing muscle glycogen levels by about 50%. Carbohydrates are your body’s main energy source when exerting yourself, and complex carbs such as legumes and whole grains are an essential part of every athlete’s diet. Carb-loading, however, is not a beneficial strategy for everybody. Loading up on carbohydrates has both its pros and its cons for different athletes.

What is Carb-Loading?

Carb-loading involves increasing carbohydrate intake around one to four days before a sporting event. Excess carbohydrates are stored in the muscle as glycogen, which offers a source of protein during physical exertion. The idea of carb-loading is to maximize glycogen stores in muscles before a competition, helping to improve stamina.

Loading up on carbs before an event works best for endurance sports such as marathon running, long-distance cycling, cross-country skiing, and lap swimming. It’s not as effective, however, for high-intensity team sports and everyday training. In general, carb-loading is best reserved for activities that involve more than 90 minutes of nonstop moderate to high-intensity exertion.

The Benefits of Carb-Loading

When applied to a training routine properly, carb-loading can help athletes to go for longer without experiencing fatigue. Normally, only small amounts of glycogen are stored in muscles, and when this supply runs out, exhaustion sets in. Carb-loading increases glycogen stores in tissues, giving individuals more energy at their disposal to use during competition. Eating plenty of carbohydrates also helps to build muscle mass and prevent age-related muscle loss.

The Pitfalls of Carb-Loading

Following a carb-loading diet can cause more harm than good for certain populations. Casual gym-goers and high-intensity sports teams should avoid too many carbohydrates, as such a meal plan can lead to water retention and weight gain. Not only will this affect physical performance, but it may have long-lasting health implications. Carb-loading can also cause digestive problems such as bloating. Many foods that are rich in carbohydrates also contain dietary fiber which, while beneficial in small amounts, can lead to constipation and diarrhea in large doses.

While carb-loading can be beneficial for some individuals, it’s not necessarily an ideal strategy for all athletes. Eating an excess of carbohydrates only increases stamina for those who are competing in long-distance or endurance events. For daily workouts and most popular sports, carb-loading can actually detract from performance and lead to weight gain and digestive issues.

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Read more information about Game Day Nutrition.

Game Day Nutrition

 

fall prevention at home

Fall Prevention: Risks & Tips in your home

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fall prevention tips at home

While falls can happen anywhere, more than half of them happen in the home. One in every three adults 65 and older fall AT HOME each year in the U.S. One of the easiest ways to help prevent a fall is to make sure that certain tripping hazards are addressed and removed. We’ve compiled a short list below to help you get started.

COMMON WARNING SIGNS FOR FALLING ARE:

  • Feeling pain or stiffness when you walk
  • Needing to walk slower or to hold on to things for support
  • Feeling dizzy or unsteady when you get up from your bed or chair
  • Feeling weak in your legs
  • You take more than one medication
  • You have problems seeing
  • You have had at least one fall in the past year

RISKS TO CONSIDER WHEN FALL PROOFING YOUR HOME:

Lighting

  • Is the lighting adequate, especially at night?
  • Are stairwells well lit?
  • Is there a working flashlight in case of power failure?
  • Can lights easily be turned on even before entering
    a dark room?

Surfaces

  • Are there any wet surfaces that are frequently wet?
  • Are steps and stairs in good repair and the
    appropriate rise?
  • Do steps have handrails in good repair?

Trip Hazards

  • Are there throw rugs in the walking path?
  • Does the family pet often sleep in walking paths?
  • Is the carpet in good repair without tears or fraying?
  • Are there extension cords or raised door sills in the walking paths?
  • Is there a clear path from the bed to the bathroom?

If you feel that you are at risk for falls, talk to your physical therapy provider. Most physical therapy clinics offer fall risk assessments that can help determine any areas of risk. By participating in a fall prevention program, you can reduce the likelihood of a fall and increase the ability to live independently. Fall prevention programs mainly focus on core strength, flexibility, and patient education.

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FLYR_FallPrevention_HomeFalls

For more information about balance and fall prevention click the links below:


    
PT News PTandMe

PT News August 2021

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PT News PTandMe

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

ACL Knee Pain

1. Knee ACL and Lower Extremity Injuries: Can we prevent them in our young athletes? 

Written by Mishock Physical Therapy with multiple locations in Montgomery, Berks, and Chester Counties.

Lower extremity injuries make up 66% of all sports injuries, the knee being the most commonly injured joint. (Med Sci. Sports Exerc. 2002) The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four ligaments in the knee that holds the thigh and leg bones together. The ACL ligament is often injured in sports. The ACL ligament tear often requires orthopedic surgery (ACL reconstruction). It is estimated that 350,000 ACL reconstructions are performed annually in the USA. Over 100,000 of these repairs happen in NCAA athletes per year, alone.  Read more

 

Core Strength Improve Balance

2. Strengthening Your Core Can Improve Balance

Written by One to One Physical Therapy & Aquatics, an outpatient physical therapy practice with locations in Lake Worth, Boca Raton, & Delray Beach, FL. 

Did you know that strengthening your core muscles is linked to developing better balance? It’s true! When your core muscles are strong, they have a better chance of preventing you from experiencing chronic lower back pain and developing other injuries. They also prevent you from losing your balance or falling over. A strong core helps to keep you in an upright position, especially as you get older and develop more of a risk of falling and hurting yourself. Read more

 

Mountain Biker Physical Therapy

3. Freeride Mountain Biker Carson Storch Pushes the Limits

Written by Rebound Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy group with locations throughout Greater Bend, OR. 

In the sport of freeride mountain biking, taking big risks often produces big rewards. Professional freerider Carson Storch knows this firsthand. The 28-year-old Bend native has spent the last decade competing in high-profile slopestyle and freeride competitions and starring in mountain biking film projects in which he pushes the limits of the sport…  Read more

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

Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!

physical therapy near me

PTandMe was recently recognized as one of the Top 100 Physical Therapy Blogs Online by feedspot.com!

Physical Therapy During COVID

Physical Therapy During COVID

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Physical Therapy During COVID

We are here for you! We are still following CDC guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Our staff continues to wear masks and disinfect frequently used surfaces. If you’re looking for an additional way to attend physical therapy during COVID telehealth appointments for patients that may not feel comfortable coming into the clinic. Telehealth uses both VIDEO and AUDIO so that we can have two-way communication during virtual visits. 

  • We’ll email you a link.
  • You’ll join a video chat using a smartphone, laptop, or tablet. 
  • We’ll take you through a full therapy session with a major focus on exercises that restore joint range of motion and address tissue dysfunction. Then we’ll email you a thorough home exercise program.

While it may be tempting to stop before your treatment program has concluded, stopping too early can cost you both in terms of your health and your future goals. Here are some possible risks to stopping therapy before your body is ready:

  • Risk of Re-injury 
  • Ending treatment before learning how to maintain your health and strength
  • Result in costly tests & unnecessary appointments, even emergency room or hospital stays
  • Permanent bodily damage

You wouldn’t think of skipping your heart medication or your antibiotic. Physical therapy is no different! Consider physical therapy as you would another prescription from your doctor as part of your road to full recovery.

If you’re having trouble figuring out where you are on your physical therapy journey, see below to find out where you may see yourself:

Stage 1, Protection Phase: your body’s aim at this point is to protect your injury from any further damage; gentle movement can be added to maintain mobility, treatments to help control inflammation and pain 

Stage 2, Repair Phase: Your body has transitioned to repairing the injured tissues which commonly lasts up to six weeks post-injury; strengthening exercises are added as tolerated, and increased function begins

Stage 3, Remodeling Phase: the period between six weeks and three months is when your healing tissue is reasonably mature and will automatically stimulate additional new tissue to help strengthen and support the healing tissue until it meets the demands of your normal exercise or physical function

Stage 4, Ongoing Repair and Remodeling: this final stage of tissue repair can last from 3 months up to 12 months; physical therapy treatments focus on improving the quality of the new tissue and preventing reinjury

We can assure you that attending your remaining physical therapy appointments is a good investment for your health, now and in the future! Many of our physical therapists offer telehealth appointments in addition to on-site visits. Find one near you today!

physical therapy near me

Sarcopenia

Fighting Sarcopenia (Muscle Loss Due to Aging)

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Sarcopenia

Sarcopenia, or muscle loss due to the normal aging process, is common as the body becomes resistant to regular growth signals. After a person turns 30 years old, the average rate of muscle mass decrease per decade can be as high as 8%(1).  Sarcopenia causes a person’s body to become functionally impaired and frail in old age. It is estimated that the range of clinical sarcopenia exists as low as 8.8% in older women and up to 17.5% in older men(2). Older people who experience this muscle-wasting condition have various treatment options, including physical therapy and body contouring for muscle loss. These non-surgical cosmetic treatments can help to firm and tone muscles.

How Does Aging Cause Muscle Loss?

Adults usually achieve peak muscle mass at some point during their early 40s(3). Gradual muscle loss happens afterward. Age-related decrease of skeletal muscle mass and disease can affect muscle performance and physical function. Meanwhile, the decrease in physical function and mobility connected to sarcopenia can lead to falls(4).

Researchers are studying ways to slow, reverse, or prevent such conditions. Medical professionals diagnose sarcopenia by examining flexors and extensors for signs of muscle loss. People can also take steps to slow or reverse muscle loss due to aging.

Overcome the Main Factors that Accelerate Muscle Loss

Besides the normal aging process, other factors can cause a muscle imbalance, including:

  • Not Moving Enough: Inactivity includes a sedentary lifestyle, like sitting at a desk all day or lying in bed after an illness or injury.
    Not using muscles is a common trigger of sarcopenia(5), resulting in faster muscle loss and increased weakness.
  • Inflammation: Inflammation helps the body rebuild damaged cells after injury or illness. Long-term diseases like rheumatoid arthritis (RA), however, can cause inflammation that leads to muscle loss. A person’s body may experience decreased muscle mass due to a low-protein or low-calorie diet. Other factors include age-related lifestyle changes, such as problems cooking or altered sense of taste.
  • Chronic Physical Stress: Sarcopenia becomes more common in several health conditions that increase stress on the body, such as chronic kidney disease(6).

Exercise Regularly

Keeping muscles active is one of the most effective methods to fight sarcopenia. As the timeless adage goes, “If you don’t use it, you lose it.” A good workout program combines weight-resistance exercises, aerobic exercises, and balance training. An older adult should consider doing two to four exercise sessions every week to get the optimum results(7).

Here are some of the best types of exercises to consider:

  • Fitness Training: Physical activity like endurance training and aerobic exercise can help control sarcopenia. Older adults could combine aerobic and resistance exercises for workout programs(8).
    More research is needed to determine whether aerobic exercises without weight resistance exercises would produce the same results.
  • Resistance Training:  Some examples include weightlifting and resistance bands. These exercises create tiny tears in muscle fibers, boosting muscle strength and muscle mass(9).
  • Walking: Significantly reducing walking for two or three weeks can drastically reduce muscle mass and strength(10). Another benefit of this exercise is that it is usually free unless people walk on a treadmill in a commercial gym. Senior citizens can take different approaches to add more steps to their daily lives. For example, they can try to increase their daily walking distance by 10% every month.

Boost Intake of Muscle-Friendly Substances

A diet deficient in protein, particular vitamins, and minerals, or calories can cause a higher risk of muscle wasting. Here are some nutrients people can add to their diets:

  • Protein; Nutritional issues like protein deficiency become more common among adults over 60 years old(11).
    Some good sources include:
    ● Meat
    ● Fish
    ● Eggs
    ● Soy
    ● Whey

Leucine is among the nine essential amino acids (EAA) people must get from food and supplements. Its functions include increasing muscle mass(12).

  • Amino Acid (Creatine): The liver, kidneys, and pancreas make this byproduct amino acid. Sources like meat or Creatine supplements might trigger muscle growth.
  • Vitamin D: Studies show Vitamin D deficiency is linked to sarcopenia. However, more research is needed about the reasons for this relationship(13).
    Minimally processed food is always the best source of nutrients. Nevertheless, some studies show that Vitamin D supplements may boost muscle strength(14).
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Fatty fish like tuna, salmon, and mackerel, and shellfish are some foods high in omega-3. They could also boost muscle growth, although more research is needed about whether this is due to omega 3’s anti-inflammatory properties(15).

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Research on the possible relationship between sleep disorders and sarcopenia is limited(16). However, a recent study showed a possible link between these two health conditions among seniors.
Sleep experts have learned that getting enough sleep is beneficial for muscles through tissue repair and growth(17). More research is needed to determine whether sleep and age-related sarcopenia are connected(18).

If you suffer from muscle loss or are in need of a strengthening program please reach out to one of our physical therapy teams near you.

physical therapy near me

References

  1. Muscle tissue changes with aging: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2804956/
  2. Sarcopenia: https://mayoclinic.pure.elsevier.com/en/publications/sarcopenia
  3. Slowing or reverse muscle loss https://www.mayoclinic.org/medical-professionals/physical-medicine-rehabilitation/news/slowing-or-reversing-muscle-loss/mac-20431104
  4.  Ibid
  5. Sarcopenia: https://mayoclinic.pure.elsevier.com/en/publications/sarcopenia
  6. Sarcopenia in patients with chronic liver disease: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27372291/
  7. Exercise frequency, health risk factors, and diseases of the elderly: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23748185/
  8. How can you avoid muscle loss as you age?: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/how-can-you-avoid-muscle-loss-as-you-age/
  9. Want to lose weight? Build muscle: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/build-muscles-lose-weight-by-adding-strength-training-to-your-workout/
  10. Role of exercise in age-related sarcopenia: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6165967/
  11. How older adults can stay on track to eat healthfully: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/how-to-age-better-by-eating-more-healthfully/
  12. Leucine: https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=19&contentid=Leucine
  13. Sarcopenia in post-menopausal women: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25882761/
  14. Effects of vitamin D on muscle function and performance: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3513873/
  15. The influence of omega-3 fatty acids on skeletal muscle protein turnover in health, disuse, and disease: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6742725/
  16. Association between sleep duration and sarcopenia among community-dwelling older adults: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5348186/
  17. Sleep and muscle recovery: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21550729/
  18. The impact of sleep on age-related sarcopenia: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26216211/
Child has a possible concussion

What Should You Do if Your Child Has a Possible Concussion

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Child has a possible concussion

What Should You Do if Your Teen or Child Has a Possible Concussion?

A study published online in JAMA Neurology in February 2021 found that over five seasons, 72% of concussions and 67% of head impact exposure occurred in practice, not gameplay. As a parent, you should be aware of the signs and symptoms of a concussion as well as what your next steps should be during recovery.

As a parent, if you think your child or teen may have a concussion, you should:

  • Remove your child or teen from play.
  • Keep your child or teen out of play the day of the injury. Your child or teen should be seen by a health care provider and only return to play with permission from a health care provider who is experienced in evaluating for concussion.
  • Ask your child’s or teen’s health care provider for written instructions on helping your child or teen return to school. You can give the instructions to your child’s or teen’s school nurse and teacher(s) and return-to-play instructions to the coach and/or athletic trainer.

DO NOT try to judge the severity of the injury yourself. Only a health care provider should assess a child or teen for a possible concussion. Concussion signs and symptoms often show up soon after the injury. But you may not know how serious the concussion is at first, and some symptoms may not show up for hours or days. The brain needs time to heal after a concussion. A child’s or teen’s return to school and sports should be a gradual process that is carefully managed and monitored by a health care provider.

How Can I Keep My Teen or Child Safe?

Sports are a great way for children and teens to stay healthy and can help them do well in school. To help lower your children’s or teens’ chances of getting a concussion or other serious brain injury, you should:

Help create a culture of safety for the team.

  • Work with their coach to teach ways to lower the chances of getting a concussion.
  • Talk with your children or teens about concussions and ask if they have concerns about reporting a concussion. Talk with them about their concerns; emphasize the importance of reporting concussions and taking time to recover from one.
  • Ensure that they follow their coach’s rules for safety and the rules of the sport.
  • Tell your children or teens that you expect them to practice good sportsmanship at all times.
  • When appropriate for the sport or activity, teach your children or teens that they must wear a helmet to lower the chances of the most serious types of brain or head injury. However, there is no “concussion-proof” helmet. So, even with a helmet, it is important for children and teens to avoid hits to the head.

In every scenario, it is important to receive an accurate diagnosis from a healthcare professional. Physical therapy can play an important role in monitoring the healing process after a concussion has occurred. As physical therapists, we are trained in the step-by-step process of monitoring the post-concussed patient and safely returning them to their previous activities. Getting diagnosed and seeking medical attention immediately is crucial to a healthy recovery. For more information about concussions visit www.cdc.gov/concussion.

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