Category Archives: Blog

Back Pack Safety

Back Pack Safety 101

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Back Pack Safety
With summer coming to an end and the need for school supplies and backpacks returning, here are a few tips to keep in mind when shopping with your child. Continue below for back pack safety tips to make sure your kids don’t have any unnecessary back pain this year.

Size

  • Should Not Extend Above Shoulders
  • Should Rest In Contour Of Low Back (Not Sag Down Toward Buttocks)
  • Should Sit Evenly In Middle Of Back

Fit

  • Shoulder Straps Should Rest Comfortably On Shoulders And Underarms, With Arms Free To Move – Tighten Shoulder Straps To Achieve This Fit
  • Tighten Hip And Waist Straps To Hold Pack Near Body
  • Padded Straps Help Even Pressure Over The Shoulders

ThinkstockPhotos-78779211

Weight Of Pack

  • Should Never Exceed 15% Of The Child’s Weight To Avoid Excess Loads On The Spine

BackPack Weight Charts

Lifting Of Pack

  • Proper Lifting Is Done By Bending The Knees, Squatting To Pack Level, And Keeping Pack Close To Body To Lift First To Waist Level And Then Up To Shoulders

Carrying The Pack

  • Keep Both Shoulder Straps In Place And Pack Centered
  • Spinal Forces Increase With Distance From The Body’s Center

Posture

  • Uneven Stresses On The Spine Can Cause Muscle Imbalances. This Can Lead To Pain And Possibly Functional Scoliosis.

If your child does start to complain of constant back pain, talk to your pediatrician and make sure that it isn’t a more serious issue such as scoliosis.

Scoliosis is a medical condition in which the spine is curved either front to back or side to side and is often rotated to one side or the other. It can occur at birth (congenitally), develop over time having no obvious cause, but often seen related to posture and growth (idiopathically) or due to an injury or the other condition (secondarily), such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy. The most common type is adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. It usually develops between the ages of 10 and 15, during periods of rapid growth. There are two kinds of curves, single or “C” curves and double or “S” curves. “C” curves are slightly more common than “S” curves. The curve can occur in the upper back (thoracic), lower back (lumbar), or a combination of both.

Strength for necessary upright postures of daily life is essential. Sometimes it cannot be maintained due to a “growth spurt,” fatigue from daily postural demands or poor postural habits common among adolescents. A physical therapist can analyze a patient’s history, habits and activities which may be contributing to their curvature and symptoms. Common findings include tightness and decreased motion and strength in the hips and pelvis, causing the lumbar spine to compensate with side bending and rotation. Treatment will include muscular re-educating techniques and manual techniques to restore motion, posture training, specific strengthening and home exercises.

aerobic exercise

5 Unique and Fun Ways to Do Aerobic Exercise

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aerobic exercise

Keeping our bodies healthy and active can be a chore. A well-balanced diet and regular exercise are important but not always fun. Even Zumba class can get old after some time. But there are things we can do to liven up our daily need for movement and luckily, they don’t need to cost a lot.

1. Batch Cooking

Do you want to get your steps in on a recovery day? Maybe you take Sunday’s off from the gym, but you don’t want to be a complete sloth. Try a couple of hours of meal prep before the week gets started. Begin with an easy internet search for some yummy recipes or perhaps discover a food that’s new to you.

2. Mowing the Lawn

The last thing many of us want to do is trudge up and down the lawn in the hot summer sun but this aerobic exercise can burn over 300 calories an hour. It all depends on the type of mower and the terrain, but this activity will keep you fit and make your home look great.

3. Gliding … in your living room

Gliding discs are an uncommon but effective workout that is easy and fun. Like sliding on hardwood floors when we wear socks, these inexpensive plastic discs can be used on carpet, tile and wood flooring without damaging the surface. These discs engage the entire body to maintain balance while working out the legs and booty.

4. Intense Stair Climbing

Have you heard of competitive stair climbing? Yup, there are athletes that race up the stairs of the Empire State Building. Maybe climbing up an Aztec ruin isn’t realistic, but even if you live in a single-story home, there are probably stairs near you. Just look at your office or go to a local park. Don’t fret if there is only one set of steps. Just climb the same flight until your heart rate is elevated.

5. Housework

Chores, whether it’s washing dishes, taking out the trash or vacuuming, are all necessary but uninspiring tasks that come with being an adult. Next time you sit down to watch a show, get up and clean every time a commercial comes on. Challenge yourself to get a task done within the commercial break. If you are paying for a streaming service that doesn’t have commercials, then set a timer to go off every 10-15 minutes and then set it again for 2-3 minute chore breaks. Like mowing the lawn, your body will get the movement it needs, and you also get a nicer living environment.

Make huge strides in aerobic fitness by using these fun and alternative ways to get your heart pounding. Keep it interesting by adding variety to your daily routine and the long-term health benefits are inevitable.

If you need help finding ways to be active ask your physical therapist.  PTs specialize in movement and can be a great resource!

physical therapy near me

This guest post was written by Erika Long. She loves corgis, curry and comedy. Always searching for the next great snuggle, flavor or laugh, she inspires people to live their best life now. When not writing, Erika can be found at her local brewery dominating Harry Potter trivia night.

PT News PTandMe

PT News July 2019

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This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout July 2019. We are excited to begin a new year of new posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

when your arm is a pain in the neck

1. When Your Arm is a Pain in the Neck
Written by The Jackson Clinics with multiple locations throughout Northern Virginia and Maryland.

Many times, the initial discomfort results from nerves in the neck being pinched because the shoulder blade is not positioned correctly. Raising your arm above your head takes the stretch off the nerve and provides relief, but carrying something like a bag of groceries increases the stretch on the nerve, thus escalating the pain.  Read more

 

hydrate

2. Hydration During Exercise and Competition

Written by Mishock Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy practice throughout the PA’s Montgomery, Berks, and Chester Counties. 

The fact that the body is made up of 60% water, and the brain 85%, makes water an essential nutrient for bodily function. Without adequate hydration, sports performance will be negatively affected, and serious illness, or death, can occur. Read more

 

rotator cuff exercises

3. 4 Exercises for Rotator Cuff Strength

Written by Spectrum Physical Therapy with 3physical therapy locations in CT. 

This week, we will go over the rotator cuff anatomy, and provide you with 4 of our go-to exercises for strengthening the rotator cuff! Read more

Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!

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AEW Physical Therapy for athletes

PTandMe Goes Backstage with Ability at Fyter Fest and Fight for the Fallen

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AEW Physical Therapy for athletes

You may have noticed that PTandMe is working with AEW, All Elite Wrestling, to provide physical therapy and athletic training services backstage to their athletes. Our talented physical therapy partners at Ability Rehabilitation have been on-site at their most recent Florida Events (Fyter Fest and Fight for the Fallen) and we wanted to catch up with some of the team, Jon and Sacsha to see how it went.

Q: What did you think of your first live AEW wrestling event? 

Ability – Sacsha (A-S):  I was completely impressed by the amount of planning and choreography it takes to wrestle

Ability – Jon (A-J):  It was a very unique experience for me; it was my first experience with professional wrestling, not just in sports medicine, but in general. There’s more to pro wrestling than I thought.

Q: Who were you most excited to see backstage? 

(A-S): JR!

Q: Which match was your favorite?

(A-J): I thoroughly enjoyed the first match at Fyter Fest. It featured Best Friends, SCU, and Private Party.

Q: What type of injuries did you see? 

(A-J): A lot of the injuries were chronic of the back and neck. It was mostly general soreness, tenderness, etc. of those regions. We also had some head injuries including a laceration on the top region of the head that needed 12 staples.

Q: What was most surprising to you about working ringside and backstage with AEW? 

(A-S):  How caring each wrestler/staff is towards another when an injury occurred.

Q: What advice would you give to wrestlers to prevent injury? 

(A-J):  Continue to stretch and foam roll routinely in your off-time and prior to workouts to limit the long term, lingering injuries. Also, watch out for barbed wire and chairs.

Q: What’s the biggest difference between working a high school football game and a pro wrestling event?

(A-S):  Based on this event I feel that football requires more preventative treatments such as taping, verses wrestling is busier after each fight for post-event treatment.

(A-J):  The crowd is much more into the sport than the average crowd of a high school football game, and the athletes were much more appreciative of the services than an average high school football player (probably due to maturity).

Q: Any other comments about your experience?

(A-S): Thank you so much for setting up this amazing opportunity to work with these talented wrestlers!

A huge THANK YOU!  goes out to both Ability Rehabilitation’s physical therapists and certified athletic trainers, as well as to All Elite Wrestling (AEW) for letting us take part in their athlete’s well-being backstage. If you are looking for a physical therapist for your team or sports injury we have over 500 locations to choose from in our Find A PT page.

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More photos from these events can be found on our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages so make sure to like and follow PTandMe!

recumbent bikes

How Recumbent Bikes Can Help You with Physical Therapy

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recumbent bikes

Recumbent bikes are fantastic pieces of gym equipment for rehabilitation and physical therapy. Their design and intent make them easy to use, with little strain on sore or injured joints, tendons, and ligaments. They also allow you to strengthen muscles during the process of recovering and after.

What is a Recumbent Bike?

A recumbent bike is a stationary bicycle that has a bucket seat. Instead of sitting directly over the pedals, the pedals are more forward centered on the machine. This makes it easier to use the bike, putting less strain on your knees, back, and hips, all while strengthening your muscles.

Recumbent bikes are seen in home gyms, fitness centers, and physical therapy rehabilitation facilities. Sometimes they are used simultaneously with a traditional upright pedal bike. However, they are typically used more as a graduated process, from a recumbent to a conventional bicycle.

Why are Recumbent Bikes Used in Physical Therapy?

Due to their design, recumbent bikes put less strain on your back, hips, and knees. When you are recovering from injury or surgery, the goal is to rehabilitate you back to the point you were before that event. Sometimes, depending on the circumstances, this can take considerable time. Starting slow is a good way of reducing the risk of hurting yourself, all while providing gentle exercises to regain lost muscle tone and strength.

While you can use a recumbent bike for strength training, they are more often used as a way to work the same muscle groups as an upright bike, but with less trauma to the joints. If you have arthritis or a tendon injury, a recumbent bike is a great starter bike to get you on the road to recover or, at least, be more active.

Recumbent bikes do provide a cardio workout with less strain on the heart. With a goal of increasing heart rate and blood circulation, you can still get a great cardio workout with less stress on your joints.

If you have balance issues, a recumbent bike is often recommended over an upright bike. For patients recovering from a stroke, they can get a cardio workout in, without the worry of falling off the bike. Since you are seated and can be seat-belted in for added safety, a recumbent bike is a good alternative.

Some physicians specifically write their orders that no upright bikes be used for the treatment of their patients. This is because an upright requires you to have a weight-bearing tolerance for standing and mounting the machine. With a good recumbent bike, you can move the seat to the side, and the patient can get on the bike with minimal stress. If they are recovering from back, hip, or knee issues, this is an important differentiating feature between the two types of bikes.

Can You Do Resistance Training on Recumbent Bike?

Yes, you can do resistance training on a recumbent bike. Depending on the model and style of the bike, there are various ways to increase the resistance. If you are rehabbing an injury, the amount of resistance you will want to use will be minimal, so that you don’t hurt yourself. However, you can increase the amount of resistance, giving you a great workout as you heal and progress.

If you are using a recumbent bike in a home gym, you can get a fantastic cardio workout without straining your back and hips.

Recumbent bikes are a great tool in the physical therapy realm. They are also extremely beneficial for home and fitness gyms where you may have some limitations but still desire a great cardio workout.

Please consult your healthcare provider before starting an exercise program. For help finding a workout that fits your lifestyle and ability levels don’t hesitate to call your physical therapist. They have the expertise and skills needed to help keep you active and safely avoid injuries during sports and exercise.

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carpal tunnel

Carpal Tunnel Causes, Relief, and Treatment

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carpal tunnel

What is carpal tunnel and why does it hurt so much?

The carpal tunnel is a small space at the wrist in which the median nerve and nine tendons pass through. The median nerve travels on top of the tendons through the tunnel. The tunnel itself is made up of your wrist bones and along the top of the tunnel is a thick fibrous ligament called the transverse carpal ligament. If the tendons become swollen (tenosynovitis) or if the tunnel size itself decreases because of injury, compression to the median nerve can occur. Symptoms may include: pain during pinching and gripping, a feeling of clumsiness – the inability to hold things, numbness in the fingers at night, or a radiating pain up the arm.

Risk factors at home and at work

There are many factors that can contribute to pain in the carpal tunnel, but these are some of the most common causes.

  • Repetition – Overuse can occur with light forces. Irritation of the tendon can be caused by rapid, repetitive activity without a break. Decreased blood flow to the nerves and tendons may be caused by holding or gripping an object without relaxation.
  • Force – The muscles of the hand and fingers are contracted when gripping or pinching. These contractions place stress on the tendons that go through the carpal tunnel. Higher forces are more likely to expose you to greater risks.
  • Bending – The tendons in the carpal tunnel can be irritated by bending your hand. Bending your hand up, down, or sideways may inflame the tendons in the carpal tunnel.
  • Vibration – Nerves are especially susceptible to vibration. Common causes of vibration of the nerves in the carpal tunnel are power tools, steering wheels, or other mechanized equipment.
  • Impact – Your hand is not a tool. Hitting, moving, or jerking objects may damage the structures of the wrist. Even using a hammer transmits sudden force to these delicate structures.

Practicing prevention

The first line of defense against Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is reducing the risk factors that may lead to CTS. Look carefully at your equipment and tools and try to eliminate the forces that are risk factors. This can include bending, vibration, impact, and repetition.

  • Tool Handles – A handle should have an optimum grip span of about 2 ¼ inches.
  • Gripping Surface – Use rubberized coating or tubing on your gripping surface. This will lower the grip strength required to hold onto the tool.
  • Reduction in vibration – Place a rubber or gel material on the handles or utilize gloves with rubber inserts to reduce vibration.

Home treatment

  • Ice – Use an ice pack on the palm and wrist area for 10 minutes after intensive hand activities. This can be followed by the wrist stretches.
  • Rest – Rest your hands after frequent, forceful, or repetitive activities that last 30 – 60 minutes. Try doing a different activity which is not as stressful to your wrist and hand.

carpal tunnel

If your pain does not subside, call your physical therapist to schedule an appointment. Physical therapy may be able to reduce pain and remove the need for surgery.

physical therapy near me

women's health physical therapy

4 Common Pelvic Issues Seen by Physical Therapists

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women's health physical therapy

Women’s bodies and their wellness are unique. Many factors cause problems specific to women’s bodies. Physical therapists specializing in women’s health can help female patients eliminate or manage pelvic pain or problems while restoring their quality of life. Using a comprehensive approach to evaluation and treatment, women’s health physical therapy programs can provide relief for these 4 common pelvic issues:

  • Pelvic floor pain or dysfunction
  • Pelvic organ prolapse (POP)
  • Postpartum recovery and or pain
  • Urinary incontinence

 

1. Pelvic Floor Pain or Dysfunction

Pelvic pain can occur for many reasons. One typical cause is what is called a hypertonus dysfunction or an unusual tightening of the pelvic floor muscles. This is common after a long delivery and scar tissue formation from a healing episiotomy. It can also occur from sexual abuse or when the muscles tighten to prevent the “falling out” sensation that occurs with the prolapse of the internal organs. The primary symptom is pain, but it can occur in the back, perivaginal area, lower abdomen, or thighs.

women's health physical therapy

How physical therapy can help pelvic pain patients:

Physical therapy can help to eliminate or manage pelvic pain while restoring the quality of life. This is possible through a comprehensive approach to the evaluation and treatment of the pelvic floor.

 

2. Pelvic Organ Prolapse

According to the International Urogynecology Association (IUGA) and the International Continence Society (ICS), pelvic organ prolapse is defined as the decent of one or more of the anterior vaginal wall, the posterior vaginal wall, the uterus (cervix) or the apex of the vagina (vaginal vault or cuff after hysterectomy). POP can be caused by a variety of circumstances including vaginal childbirth, increased age and/or BMI, increased abdominal pressure, and connective tissue disorder.  The symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) include:

  • Many women are asymptomatic
  • The sensation of pressure or heaviness in the vagina
  • Feeling of bulging or something coming out of the vagina
  • Urinary symptoms: incontinence, position change or manual reduction of prolapse needed to initiate or complete voiding, weak or prolonged stream, incomplete emptying, obstructed voiding symptoms
  • Bowel symptoms: incontinence, feeling of incomplete emptying, straining, digital evacuation, splinting of vagina or perineum to aid emptying
  • Sexual symptoms: decreased lubrication, sensation, arousal, or dyspareunia

How physical therapy can help pelvic organ prolapse patients:

  • Pelvic floor muscle training (recommended as the first line of treatment in stage 1-2 of pelvic organ prolapse)
  • Strength and endurance training of underactive pelvic floor
  • Stretching and relaxation of an overactive pelvic floor
  • Lifestyle modification to reduce the effect of increased abdominal pressure on the pelvic organ support system

In addition to physical therapy, other treatments for POP may include pharmacological treatment, the use of mechanical devices, and surgical intervention.

 

3. Post Partum Recovery and/or Pain

Birthing a baby is a joyful and yet very traumatic experience. Regardless of the method of delivery, whether VBAC or Cesarean Section, each birth comes with its own potential postpartum problems. From urinary incontinence to pelvic pain, there are just some things after childbirth that are not glamorous and can be embarrassing
to discuss.

While some issues will resolve over time, there may be treatments that can help. Pelvic health physical therapy can address diastasis recti (a tear in the
abdominal wall), urinary incontinence, low back/ pelvic girdle/hip pain, pain with intercourse, or scar pain to name a few postpartum unpleasantries that may benefit from physical therapy.

Potential postpartum problems that can be helped with physical therapy:

  • Urinary incontinence
  • Pain with intercourse
  • Pelvic floor pain
  • Scar pain
  • Diastasis recti
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Difficulty returning to exercise

If you find yourself 6 weeks postpartum and still suffering, please discuss with your OB-GYN and decide if a referral to physical therapy may help.

 

4. Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence can be embarrassing but it doesn’t have to be part of your life. Do you have to change pads every couple of hours? Do you worry
about going out because you need to know where the closest bathroom is? Do you always carry a change of clothes with you? Do you not travel or exercise because of fear of leakage? Don’t live in fear of urinary leakage.

Symptoms of Urinary Incontinence Include:

  • Involuntary loss of urine
  • Increased daytime/ nighttime frequency
  • Urgency
  • Post voiding retention
  • Straining to avoid dribble
  • Leakage with efforts like coughing or other activities.

How physical therapy can help urinary incontinence patients:

  • Behavioral interventions (urge suppression techniques, dietary modifications, appropriate fluid intake, weight loss, habit training)
  • Pelvic muscle re-training (for overactive) as well as underactive pelvic floor
  • Bladder training (bladder diary or scheduled voiding)
  • Neuromuscular re-education (NMES) and biofeedback devices

 

What to expect during a women’s health physical therapy session:

Each person will be individually evaluated and treated in a quiet, private, safe space. The initial evaluation may include an internal exam if the patient is comfortable in order to properly assess the patient’s musculature and symptoms.

  • Musculoskeletal assessment: An evaluation to identify causes of poor postural alignment, strength, flexibility and movement patterns which cause orthopedic pain Soft Tissue Mobilization – to release adhesional restrictions.
  • Observation and palpation of the pelvic floor to the patient’s comfort level
  • Stretching and strengthening techniques
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Soft tissue and joint mobilization
  • Modalities: Interferential electrical stimulation, ultrasound, heat or cold therapy.
  • Biofeedback: Provides measurable assessment of the pelvic floor muscles ability to contract and relax in function.
  • Behavior modification
  • Educational instruction: Home exercise programs and information concerning diet, sleep, work and rest positions and self-management of symptoms.

If you find yourself in need of women’s health physical therapy, talk to your doctor or physical therapist and see if physical therapy would be a good fit for your symptoms. To find a physical therapist near you visit our Find A PT page.

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Contributions to this blog post were provided by Spring-Klein Physical Therapy (Spring, TX), Therapy Partners of North Texas (North Richland Hills), and STAR Physical Therapy (65 locations throughout TN)

PT News PTandMe

PT News June 2019

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This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout June 2019. We are excited to begin a new year of new posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

1. 8 Great Pelvic Floor Stretches to Do During Pregnancy
Written by Ability Rehabilitation with multiple locations throughout Orlando and Tampa Bay.

retching and strengthening your pelvic floor muscles during pregnancy can help relieve your aches and pains — and alleviate stress and tension too. Pelvic floor stretches will also help you have an easier delivery and decrease your risk of urinary incontinence later on.  Read more

 

get active square

2. Get Active to Stay Active

Written by Rebound Physical Therapy, a privately owned, outpatient physical therapy practice throughout Central Oregon.

Summer is a time to have fun and spend time outdoors. It is an opportunity to enjoy the sunshine. It’s a time when you can go out for a walk and roll down the windows and take in everything that nature has to offer, allergies and all. Read more

 

3. For Shoulder Relief Try These Home Remedies

Written by Sport and Spine Physical Therapy with 4 physical therapy locations in Southern, WI.

Shoulder pain can be one of the most disabling problems to deal with. Whether you realize it or not, you use your shoulder pretty frequently throughout most days, as it permits practically any movement that involves your arms. Read more

exercise benefits mental health

Senior Tip: How Physical Exercise Benefits Mental Health

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exercise benefits mental health

We all know the importance of exercise in our lives. Exercise keeps our body, soul, and brain, healthy. It keeps us fit physically as well as mentally. According to Senior Guidance, older adults who exercise regularly have lower rates of getting any kind of mental illness. Moreover, exercise also helps in treating anxiety and depression. Many people believe that with growing age, exercise loses its effect. Hence, there is no need for elderly people to strain their bodies. That’s just not true. Exercise benefits mental health at every age.

Per health experts, regular exercise is highly beneficial for elderly people. It would not only let them live an active and healthy life but would help in increasing their life span. If you want to be physically, emotionally, and mentally fit, try doing regular exercise. Exercise benefits mental health by keeping seniors active and healthy, which would further help them live independently.

A regular, healthy part of senior living should be to find the motivation to do regular exercise. Routine exercise will help older adults become mentally strong and fight mental conditions like depression and anxiety, which are quite common at their age.

Benefits of exercise for aging adults and golden oldies include:

1. Helps You Sleep Better

One of the most common problems faced by senior people is the lack of sleep. As we get older, we tend to have a lighter and less deep sleep. Various researches have proved that exercise boost sleep. Regular exercise improves the quality of sleep. Physical activity like exercise increases the time of deep sleep, which further helps in boosting the immune system and controlling anxiety and stress. Moreover, exercise results in energy expenditure, which makes you feel tired, which results in longer and peaceful sleep.

2. Helps to Maintain the Level of Chemicals in Brain

Brain chemicals or neurotransmitters are responsible for how we feel, physically as well as mentally. This holds true for young and elderly people. Regular exercise stimulates the production of brain chemicals- dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. Regular exercise boosts the release of these brain chemicals, which help us in improving our overall well-being. Exercise stimulates the production of norepinephrine, which counters the effect of stress response in our body. Exercise gives a relaxing and calming effect on our brain and body because of the release of serotonin. Hence, regular exercise is essential for senior people as it helps in maintaining the level of brain chemicals, which decreases mood disorder symptoms, reduces stress, and gives a feeling of calmness and relaxation.

3. Boosts Energy Levels

Fatigue is very common among elderly people. Exercise does not only help in overcoming fatigue but also increases the energy level in the body. Just taking a simple walk in the fresh air not only refreshes your mood but would also boost your energy levels. While exercising, we use the energy which is stored in our body and start making more of it. Sitting and remaining inactive will not bring any change in the state of fatigue. However, getting involved in some physical exercise will make you feel active.

4. Reduces the Muscle Tension

Muscle tension is another common health problem faced by elderly people. Prolonged semi-contracted state in muscles results in muscle tension. This further results in muscle pain and muscle spasm. One of the major causes of muscle tension is lack of exercise. In addition to this, with age, people start losing muscle mass and strength. Older adults who spend most of their time in remaining sedentary faces more muscle related problems. Tense muscles generally lack oxygen and vital nutrients. Exercise increases the flow of blood to muscle cells, which further increases the oxygenation in muscles.

5. Decreases the Risk of Falls

The risk of falls is much higher in older adults. Falls are quite dangerous for them as it not only causes physical damage to the body but also hampers their independence. Recovery time after falls increases with growing age. Regular exercise or enrollment in a fall prevention physical therapy program increases muscle strength and flexibility. Physical exercises result in better bone density, which makes bone stronger and reduces the risk of getting fractures and osteoporosis. Exercise reduces the risk of falls by improving coordination and balance.

6. Makes You Happier and Boosts Positivity

Regular exercise brings positivity in life and makes you feel happier. Exercise stimulates the release of the happy hormone ‘Dopamine’ in our brain. This hormone is very essential for feeling happiness. Studies state that with age, the dopamine level decreases in our brain. This makes regular exercise more important for senior adults.

7. Reduces the Risk of Developing Dementia

Recent studies show that inactivity increases the chances of Dementia among seniors, requiring memory care or assisted living at later stages of the disease. Dementia is an umbrella that covers various mental conditions, including judgment impairment, memory loss, etc. Regular exercise increases the blood flow to the brain, which keeps the cells healthy. Moreover, exercise increases the production of brain chemicals and growth factors, which helps in keeping existing cells healthy and also helps in the growth of new brain cells, which results in increasing memory and control thinking.

Regular exercise is essential for everyone irrespective of age. Exercise benefits mental health by reducing stress, depression, and anxiety. Just make sure to make exercise a part of your everyday regime. It will help you in living a healthy and happy life.

Please consult your healthcare provider before starting an exercise program. If you are looking for help developing an exercise routine that fits your needs and skill level, please reach out to your physical therapist for guidance.

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Post Surgical Rotator Cuff Physical Therapy

Post Surgical Rotator Cuff Physical Therapy

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Post Surgical Rotator Cuff Physical Therapy

A patient will typically be referred for rotator cuff surgery when 90% or more of the tendon is torn. The most common causes for rotator cuff injuries are aging, overuse of overhead activities and heavy lifting. Surgery should never be taken lightly, so we wanted to take some time to inform you about what to bring before surgery, things that can help you immediately after and then give an idea of what to expect as you go through a post surgical rotator cuff physical therapy treatment plan. These are general guidelines. More specific expectations can be given by your healthcare provider.

Items to bring with you before rotator cuff surgery

  • Sling
  • Ice Pack or Cold Therapy Unit

Using your sling

  • You will usually wear for about 4 weeks. (Removing only to wash up and do exercises)
  • Avoid ANY active reaching or lifting up to 6 weeks
  • Getting Dressed
    – Place involved arm in sleeve first.
    – Put your belt in pants first.
    – Slip on shoes is recommended.
  • Sleeping
    – It may be more comfortable sleeping in a recliner instead of a bed.
    – Support your arm with a towel roll or pillow if lying down.
  • Avoid showering for the first couple of days.  (Once able to shower, lean over to let your healing arm hang away from your body, while you use the other to wash.)

Icing your shoulder (Ice Pack or Cold Therapy Unit)

  • Ice for 20 minutes in your waking hour for the first few days.
  • Decrease to 3-5 times a day as needed for pain.

General Care

  • Change dressing daily as recommended by your physician/nurse.
  • No driving especially if right arm and if taking pain medications.
  • Walk around your home at least 1 time each hour to prevent blood clots.
  • Begin therapeutic exercises as soon as instructed

After being cleared for physical therapy, the normal course of a POST-SURGICAL rotator cuff physical therapy has been described as having five stages:

Stage 1: Immobilization

There is a mandatory period of rest for the arm following a rotator cuff surgery. The tendons have been repaired but need to wait through the biological healing phase in order to be able to accept the strain of moving the arm. This period may last 4-6 weeks and may be intermittent with the therapist being able to do slight motions to the arm to keep the joint from getting stiff.

Stage 2: Passive motion

During and after the immobilization phase, you’ll begin performing passive motion exercises. At first, the therapist will provide the muscle to move the arm, but over time, you’ll be educated in the use of pulleys, stretch straps and table stretches to allow the joint to move while keeping the muscles fully relaxed.

Stage 3: Active-Assisted motion

Once the shoulder has achieved full expected passive motion, and with the permission of the surgeon, your therapist will begin active-assisted motion. This type of exercise uses less than 100% of the surgical shoulder’s power to move the arm. The therapist may instruct you in pendulum exercises that employ gravity and momentum. Self-ranging exercises use the uninvolved arm to move the involved arm, either against the weight of gravity or lying down so that the weight of gravity is minimalized. The surgical arm’s responsibility will slowly increase up to 100% of the weight of the arm. Then, you’ll be ready for active motion.

Stage 4: Active motion

The active motion phase begins when the arm is able to carry its own weight against gravity but is not yet ready to lift, push or pull objects. During this phase, your therapist will demonstrate safe motion patterns of the shoulder and shoulder blade. They will monitor the coordination of movement between the muscles to check for specific weakness that could put strain on the repair. Once you can achieve full expected active range of motion against the weight of gravity, and with your physician’s approval, you’ll be ready to add weight.

Stage 5: Strengthening

The strengthening program may start out slowly. Be patient! The muscles are relearning how to work together so inflammation of the tendons and bursae are still a risk in this phase. Your therapist will recommend exercises that you can do at home in order to improve the arm’s tolerance for strength and to reduce the strain on the arm when you come into therapy. Over time, the therapist will demonstrate ways that you can safely use the arm for pushing up from a chair, pulling a door open, reaching into a cabinet and other activities of daily living.

Post surgical rotator cuff physical therapy care can vary based on the patient’s needs and ability levels. Depending upon the severity of the tear, physical therapy can work with patients to heal the tendon and reduce pain. To find a physical therapist near you click the button below.

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