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PT News July 2020

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This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout June & July 2020. We are excited to bring you current physical therapy based posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

1. Now is the Time to Start Physical Therapy

Written by Mishock Physical Therapy with multiple locations throughout Berks & Montgomery Counties in PA.

Now is the time to focus on your health and treat the pain that is limiting your function, leading to poor quality of life. This is the perfect time to start physical therapy. We can help!  Read more

 

physical therapy for headaches

2. Physical Therapy for Cervical Headaches

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

There are multiple types of headaches. Often a simple exam and a few questions can rule in or out cervical headaches as the cause. Very rarely are expensive imaging and testing is needed to achieve a diagnosis. Following an initial evaluation, a physical therapist will have the basis for understanding Read more

 

physical therapy for arthritis

3. Physical Therapy: Treating Arthritis the Safe and Easy Way

Written by Cornerstone Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical and hand therapy practice with 6 locations throughout the Columbus, OH Metropolitan Area.

Anyone living with arthritis knows how debilitating it can be. Several people dealing with arthritic aches and pains end up resorting to steroid injections, antirheumatic drugs, or even joint replacement surgery, in order to manage their pain. However, physical therapy itself has proven successful for many arthritis sufferers.  Read more

Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!

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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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physical therapy online

Now Providing Online Physical & Occupational Therapy Care

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Our partnering clinics are now providing physical and/or occupational therapy care!

There are now two ways to help patients recover from injury:

  • In Person:We are still open and welcoming patients to receive the care they need in our clinic. Click here for more information about the precautions we are taking in the clinics to keep you safe.
  • Online Through Telehealth: Our partnering therapists can still complete a visit for patients that are unable to make it into the clinic.  They will use both VIDEO and AUDIO so that they can have two way communication during these physical and/or occupational therapy visits.

In order to make your telehealth appointment a success, here are the things you will need access to: 

  • Internet access
  • A device with a camera (computer, phone, tablet) that has access to email
  • Space to exercise

online physical therapy

For more information about online physical and occupational therapy services please contact your clinic directly.

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*Not all locations may be set-up for online appointments. 

Your Health is Our Top Priority

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Updated 6/24/2020

Preventing the Spread of Illness

Due to the emergence of COVID-19 we are taking necessary precautions to prevent the spread of this virus and encouraging everyone to take action to stay healthy. While we are all changing our daily routines during this global health crisis, we want to let you know that our doors are still open, and will remain open unless we are told otherwise by our governmental leaders.

We have considered the question of whether or not to stay open from an ethical perspective. The question pertains to whether or not we, as private practice business owners, are contributing to the rise of the infection curve, versus supporting the flattening of it, by remaining open to see our patients.

We want to share that a memorandum was issued on March 19, 2020 by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security which states:

“If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.”

The guidance goes on to further define the “essential infrastructure workers” to include “physical and occupational therapists and assistants”. Their advice to our industry is to strive to stay open and treat the patient population during this pandemic. Therefore, we believe that it is our duty to try to meet this guidance and continue to care for our patients’ physical and occupational therapy needs during this time of crisis.

Since our clinics and its staff are included in the specific definition of “essential” healthcare businesses that should strive to stay open and care for patients, we intend to do just that. We are able to practice within the recommended CDC guidelines and we are following local government mandates. We are here to assist in keeping people healthy; physical and occupational therapists are essential in flattening the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic. We play a key role in keeping people we can help out of physician offices and hospitals. This will not only free up the medical teams to treat those impacted by COVID-19, but also limit the exposure of those seeking care for treatment that a physical or occupational therapist can provide. For those patients who do not need surgery at this time, or if surgery has been delayed, we are here and ready to help get you better.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

Here are the steps we are taking to help to prevent infection and the spread of the virus.

  • Daily screens of all patients, visitors, and employees for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • All employees are wearing face coverings.
  • After each patient encounter, we are washing our hands with soap and water, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • We are routinely cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces such as mats, treatment tables, exercise equipment, computer keyboards and mouse, pens, phones, light switches, door handles, faucets, etc.
  • We are requiring a minimum of a 6-foot space between all patients and employees whenever possible, except to the extent necessary to provide services

Face Coverings:

  • All patients, employees, and visitors are expected to wear a face-covering at all times when in our clinics and offices unless a reasonable exception applies.
  • For those persons that are unable to wear a face-covering due to health, safety, security risk, or personal reasons, please contact your therapist to discuss Telehealth.
  • Wearing a face covering is not a substitute for maintaining 6-feet social distancing and hand washing, as these working together remain important steps to slowing the spread of the virus.

How you can help us maintain a safe environment for yourself and our patients.

  • Please take a minute to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer when you first walk inside.
  • It is allergies season. When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – discard tissue immediately into a closed bin.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • If you have symptoms of any respiratory infection with no fever (e.g., cough, runny nose) please call ahead to reschedule your appointment or a telehealth visit, if appropriate.
  • If you have a fever, please refrain from coming to the clinic until you have been fever-free for 3 days.

More information about the coronavirus can be found on the CDC’s website. If you have any questions or would like to speak with us directly, please don’t hesitate to call any of our locations.

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Many of our locations are now offering a Telehealth option for patients who are not able to make it in the clinic. More information about Online Physical Therapy Sessions.

PT News PTandMe

PT News June 2020 Live Edition

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This month in PT News we recap the educational videos that our partnering clinics have been sharing to their Facebook followers. We are happy to share with you some great information on topics that can help you more easily live a pain-free life.

back pain physical therapy

1. What Should I Do for My Low Back Pain?

Produced by Cutting Edge Physical Therapy, located in Richmond, IN.

One of the most common questions physical therapists get it what can I do for my low back pain. Take an in-depth look at what your pain is telling you about your injury, how physical therapists treat low back pain, and what you can do to find back pain relief at home.  View Recording

 

go back to the gym safely

2. How to Stay Safe When Getting Back Into the Gym and Sports

Produced by Grand Oaks Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation, located in Spring, TX

As gyms open up, this video goes over how athletes can safely get back into the gym without the risk of injury. Due to COVID-19, athletes who have not been able to continue their regular training routine will have experienced levels of deconditioning. This video goes over what that means and how athletes can safely return to their prior performance levels.  View Recording

 

Knee Pain While Running

3. Why Do My Knees Hurt When Running?

Produced by Wright Physical Therapy, with locations throughout the Magic Valley, Boise, and Eastern ID.

Why does your knee hurt when you run? The partners of Wright Physical Therapy go over the most common reasons runners have knee pain, where you may sit on the Wright PT performance scale, and ways to fix and prevent injury moving forward.  View Recording

 

How to fix your posture

4. Fixing Your Posture So That it Doesn’t Contribute to Neck and Back Pain

Produced by Kingwood Occupational & Physical Therapy, located in Kingwood, TX

How practicing good posture can help reduce pain in everyday activities. It also goes over how thoracic mobility can cause neck and shoulder issues during your day-to-day and sports activities. View Recording

Physical and occupational therapists work hard to help people get back to what they love doing most. If you are in pain or need help recovering from an injury, please find a pt near you and get started on your path to recovery.

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text neck

4 Steps to Prevent Text Neck

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text neck

Did you know that for every inch of forward head posture, it can increase the weight of the head on the spine by an additional 10 lbs?  – Kapandji, Physiology of Joints, Vol. 3

Prevent Neck Pain While Working on Your Laptop or Phone 

text neck

1. Raise your phone: Hold your phone eye level so that you don’t have to tilt your head downward. If you are on a couch or bed, prop your head on pillows as you lay down so that your neck is supported while you use your phone. Using your eyes to look down and not your neck can also reduce symptoms.

2. Stretch: Stretching can release some of the tension built up in your neck from holding the phone in one position throughout the day. Your physical therapist can work with you to recommend certain exercises as well as show you how to do them properly.

3. Be aware of posture: Practicing good posture can help you become more aware of how you hold your neck. Work on keeping your head up and shoulders back.

4. Take breaks: If you notice that your neck starts to hurt, take a break from using your phone and move to either a desktop or another activity altogether.

If your neck pain becomes chronic and you are not able to find relief for your text neck without the use of pain medication, call us to schedule an appointment. Our licensed physical therapists specialize in spine, neck, and back pain.

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Sleep Better Tonight

How to Sleep Better Tonight

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Sleep Better Tonight

THE NECESSITY OF SLEEP

Nutrition and exercise are important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but sleep is often overlooked. We’re going to look at why sleep is important and how you can sleep better tonight.

The National Sleep Foundation Recommends

sleeping recommendations

General benefits of getting a good night’s sleep

  • Having a restful night of sleep is physically restorative, allowing tissues to heal and grow. Energy is also replenished for the next day’s needs.
  • Sleep impacts mental health as well, reducing stress and anxiety. Additionally, sleep helps regulate emotions. In fact, a lack of sleep has been tied to depression.
  • Improved decision making and alertness.
  • Poor sleep habits in athletes increase the probability of fatigue, low energy levels, and reduces coordination and focus.

The effects of phone, tablet, and television screens:

  • Suppresses melatonin, the hormone responsible for the sleep/wake cycle.
  • Keeps the brain alert, delaying the onset of relaxation.
  • Devices wake people up from sleep with alerts, messages, etc.

You can actually see how well you prepare your body for sleep each night by completing a Sleep Hygiene Index (SHI).  According to the National Sleep Foundation, Sleep hygiene is a
variety of different practices and habits that are necessary to have good nighttime sleep quality and full daytime alertness.

For an improved quality of sleep

  • In addition to the above points, the use of devices may keep work-related stressors at the bedside. Try to spend the 30 minutes prior to sleep device-free.
  • Get in a routine. If you are not sleeping the recommended duration, try going to bed 10-15 minutes earlier each week.
  • Add exercise to your daily routine.
  • Avoid taking naps in the afternoon.

Finding the Right Sleeping Position

Sleeping is one of the most important things that we can do for our bodies. Our bodies utilize this time for recovery and sleeping in a position that causes pain can prevent the body from recovering. Therefore, finding an appropriate sleeping position that results in your body feeling at ease is very important.

Common Position to Avoid While Sleeping:

Studies have shown that sleeping on your stomach can put a lot of stress on the lumbar spine. Naturally, the lumbar spine is curved, however, while sleeping on your stomach, the spine becomes even more curved and results in more stress put on the ligaments of the spine. Furthermore, this can cause additional stress on the cervical spine and neck. Stomach sleepers have to turn their head to either side while sleeping and as a result “this locks up the neck and does not allow blood to flow to the proper places while sleeping, thus acting as a barrier to recovery from daily stress” (Total Performance, 2012) If you do enjoy sleeping on your stomach, consider putting a pillow under your hips to help reduce back pain.

Positions to Consider While Sleeping:

Sleeping in the fetal position is probably the most popular position to sleep in. It helps ease low back pain and is a great position for mothers-to-be.

Sleeping on your back puts less stress on your head, neck, and spine and makes it easier for your spine to maintain a neutral position. It also helps fight acid reflux due to the elevated position of the head and the position of the stomach being below the esophagus. Most studies have shown that one of the best sleeping positions is on the back with a pillow underneath your legs. While many patients complain that this sleeping position is painful or causes snoring, others have found relief due to the many benefits.

Sleeping on your side can also decrease stress on your back. Sometimes a pillow between your legs or under your trunk may also be beneficial to decrease stress on your back.

Sleep Better
How to Sleep Better – Facebook Live by Spring Klein Physical Therapy

 

As physical therapists, we understand the importance of sleep. Part of rehabilitation is educating patients on how to sleep in a position that won’t aggravate the injury as they heal. If you are in pain and having trouble sleeping, or if you wake up from sleep with pain, please let us know so that we can help.  We want you to get a good night sleep and wake up feeling refreshed!

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Stay Mentally and Physically Active

How to Stay Physically and Mentally Active During Isolation

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Stay Mentally and Physically Active

Self-isolation during the coronavirus pandemic has come as quite a shock to many of us – especially those who are used to a more active lifestyle. And while we are waiting for the day when we can safely return to life as we once knew it, let’s focus our efforts on staying active both physically and mentally even though we are stuck in our homes.

Here are eight tips to get you motivated and started:

1. Do some stretches

As your body is now moving less than it is used to (and probably less than it needs to), you need to find new ways to keep it active.
You can start by doing some morning and evening stretches. There are simple routines you can try even if you are not very fit that will get your blood flowing and prevent your muscles from getting stiff.

2. Get up every hour

Set a reminder on your phone to go off every hour, as a way to trigger yourself to get up. Whether you are in a chair or on the couch at the time, get up, walk around a bit, and move your arms and legs. Stretches will be fine here too, but you can also incorporate some light exercises. Even seniors can do a light cardio workout or lift some moderate weights if the doctor allows.

3. Do an online workout

Everyone seems to be streaming their workouts these days, so you’re bound to find something you like. There are Pilates workouts you can try, there’s yoga, there are ballet-inspired classes, but you can also just do some bodyweight work, do indoor walking, and so on.
Just make sure that the intensity and activity level of the workout you are choosing to watch matches your actual fitness levels.

4. Walk when it is safe

If you live in an area where you are still allowed to take walks, make sure you take advantage of this option. As little as 30 minutes of walking a day will suffice to keep you healthy.

Don’t neglect the rules of social distancing while you are outside – and remind yourself you need to prevent yourself from touching your face.

5. Read and write

Self-isolation is a great time to catch up on some reading – whether you have a novel on your bookshelf you can’t seem to get to or choose to download something to your Kindle, make sure you keep your mind engaged with a new read.

You can also add journaling to your routine, and spend a couple of minutes every day writing down your thoughts (with pen and paper). It doesn’t have to be anything in particular – just enjoy expressing your thoughts and feelings for the day.

6. Watch something you haven’t seen yet

Since all kinds of streaming services are now turning out to be our savior, make sure you use them to their fullest. But don’t just keep staring at a screen all day.

Set aside sometime each day (or each week) for watching a program, and don’t overdo it. You can focus on documentaries, old classics you haven’t seen yet, or the latest Netflix sensation. Your favorite feel-good movies are also a welcome distraction.

7. Try something new

Everyone online keeps telling you, you should learn a new skill, but this is not imperative. You can, however, try doing something you don’t usually do. This can be something as simple as a new recipe, brushing your teeth with the other hand, doing your hair differently, sleeping on the other side of the bed – anything that will be a new experience for your body or mind is a good choice.

8. Make plans for later

Even though you may not be able to go outside or travel, you can still mentally prepare and experience some of the things you will be doing once the danger lifts.

You can start jotting down the places you want to visit, things you want to buy and do, and do little mental walks to your favorite places. And don’t let these exercises make you feel bad because you don’t have access to them now. Focus on the feeling of joy they cause, and let yourself feel the pleasure.

While self-isolation is certainly not a pleasant experience, it is only ever as bad as you let it be. Focusing on the positives instead of the negatives will help you get through it easier – and sooner.

PT News PTandMe

PT News May 2020

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This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout April & May 2020. We are excited to bring you current physical therapy based posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

1. COVID-19 Scientific Update and Masks

Written by Mishock Physical Therapy with multiple locations throughout Berks & Montgomery Counties in PA.

The fact that many people are asymptomatic is excellent news; however, it also means that COVID-19 could be spread to those most vulnerable unknowingly. This is why vigilance in continuing the CDC prevention techniques (frequent hand-washing, wear a face mask, clean and disinfect, social distancing, stay home when sick, cover cough or sneeze) is critical as we open up our communities.  Read more

 

2. Keeping You Safe While Serving Your PT Needs

Written by Momentum Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy practice with multiple locations throughout Greater San Antonio, TX 

What are we doing to keep our clinics a safe place to receive care? Below are the steps we have taken to ensure the safety of our patients and staff is preserved. Read more

 

3. Heart Rate Zone Training

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

Wanting to make good use of your extra time at home? Take a look at the facts below to learn how to use heart rate zones to increase your cardiovascular fitness. Modes of cardio: walking, running, biking, swimming.  Read more

Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!

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Ways to get rid of stress

6 Easy Ways to Get Rid of Stress

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Ways to get rid of stress

Let’s face it, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit each of us differently. While some stress over making ends meet, essential workers are putting themselves at risk to help others. Parents are now trying to navigate homeschooling, while others are working through loneliness. Regardless of what you are experiencing, the result can lead to large amounts of stress.

So how do we beat this stress? We know the situation is temporary, the situation is changing daily, but what can we do NOW in the present to help keep our mental health strong? We’ve come up with a few ways to get rid of stress and put a bright spin on the day.

6 Easy Ways to Overcome Stress

1. Exercise
Exercise is great for so many reasons. You already know it’s good for you, but did you know that it also helps reduce stress? Exercise causes your body to release endorphins, helps clear the mind, and can improve the quality of your sleep.

2. Promote Sleep
Stress can cause you to lose sleep. Lack of sleep is also a key cause of stress. This cycle causes the body to get out of whack and only gets worse with time. Reduce your afternoon caffeine intake, spend time each day exercising, and try turning the TV off early. Instead of watching the news or binge-watching a new show, read a book.

3. Take Deep Breaths
“Take a deep breath” is not a cliché. 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, concentrating on your lungs as they expand fully in your chest. Deep breathing oxygenates your blood, helps center your body, and clears your mind, while shallow breathing may cause stress.

4. Face Time or Zoom a Family Member or Friend
Combat stress and/or loneliness by calling a friend or family member to spend time with. Schedule calls or group chats and have them on your calendar as something to look forward to.

5. Eat Right
Eating healthy foods is a great way to get rid of stress. Avoid sugary, fatty snack foods as a pick-me-up. Fruits and vegetables are always a good option. Fish with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids have also been known to reduce the symptoms of stress.

6. Listen to Music
When you feel overwhelmed take a break and listen to relaxing classical music. Playing calm music has a positive effect on the brain and body. It can lower blood pressure and reduce cortisol, a hormone linked to stress.

PTandMe works closely with physical and occupational therapy clinics around the country. If you need help with an exercise program or are experiencing pain, please find the help you need to start feeling better today.

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