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Ice or Heat When in Pain

Ice vs. Heat When in Pain

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Ice or Heat When in Pain

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

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

Things to know about icing:

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

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

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

hand in ice pack

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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

Keeping Extremities Warm in Winter

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KeepingWarm_FBsize

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

snow war

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

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

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

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

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

snow shoveling safety PTandMe   Winter Safety PTandMe

COVID Recovery for healthy individuals

Introducing REHAB-19

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REHAB-19 COVID Recovery for healthy individuals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Heart Disease to Healthy Hearts

Healthy Hearts This February

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Heart Disease to Healthy Hearts

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

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

To lower your risk you can:

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

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

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

PT News PTandMe

PT News January 2021

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PT News PTandMe

This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout December 2020 and January 2021. We are excited to bring you current physical therapy based posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

1. Shoulder Pain Treatment

Written by Riverview Physical Therapy with multiple locations throughout Southern Maine.

If you are looking for shoulder pain treatment in Southern Maine, the information below will help you make a better decision as well as help you avoid unnecessary and expensive healthcare treatment. There are seven common diagnoses that cause shoulder pain and usually respond very well to physical therapist directed treatment. These diagnoses are:  Read more

 

Snow Shoveling

2. Prevent Low Back Pain While Shoveling Snow

Written by Rehab Associates of Central VA, an outpatient physical therapy practice with multiple locations throughout VA. 

As I was shoveling the snow off my driveway this week, I quickly realized that I needed to adjust my technique or I was going to pay for it later. Injury can result from repetitive movements with a general lack of awareness and variability in movement and may be prevented with some easy steps.  Read more

 

3. FAQ About 3 of the Most Common Knee Conditions

Written by Evergreen Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy group with locations throughout MI.

The knee is the largest and one of the most complex joints in the body. It primarily joins the thighbone (femur) to the shinbone (tibia), but also includes the kneecap (patella) and fibula in the lower leg. These bones and the muscles that surround them are connected through a series of ligaments, tendons, and cartilage (menisci) which collectively stabilize the knee and allow it to bend, twist, and rotate…  Read more

 

Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!

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snow shoveling safety tips

Snow Shoveling Safety Tips

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snow shoveling safety tips

Snow Shoveling: A common cause of soft tissue injuries & low back pain

An average of 11,500 people are treated at emergency rooms for injuries and medical emergencies related to snow shoveling each year, according to a report released Jan. 17 by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.  Data from between 1990 and 2006 shows the majority of the injuries were soft-tissue injuries, with the lower back being affected 34 percent of the time. Acute musculoskeletal exertion was the cause of injury in 54 percent of the cases, followed by slips and falls (20 percent) and being struck by a snow shovel (15 percent).  Study authors recommended individuals talk to their doctor before shoveling snow, particularly those who do not exercise regularly, have a medical condition or are in a high-risk group. They also recommended alternative snow removal methods.

Clearing snow & Ice

Clearing snow and ice from driveways and sidewalks is hard work. To prevent injuries, follow these safety tips from the National Safety Council, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and other prevention organizations.

  • Dress warmly, paying special attention to feet, hands, nose,
    and ears.
  • Avoid shoveling snow if you are out of shape. If you have a history of heart trouble, do not shovel snow unless your doctor says it’s okay.
  • Do light warm-up exercises before shoveling and take
    frequent breaks.
  • If possible, push snow in front of you. If you have to lift it, pick up small amounts and lift with your legs, not your back. Do not toss snow over your shoulder or to the side.

Use ergonomic lifting technique

Whenever possible, push the snow to one side rather than lifting it. When lifting the snow shovel is necessary, make sure to use ergonomic lifting techniques.

  • Always face towards the object you intend to lift (ie have your shoulders and hips both squarely facing it)
  • Bend at the hips, not the low back, and push the chest out, pointing forward. Then, bend your knees and lift with your leg muscles, keeping your back straight
  • Keep your loads light and do not lift an object that is too heavy
    for you
  • If you must lift a shovel full, grip the shovel with one hand as close to the blade as comfortably possible and the other hand on the handle (handle and arm length will vary the technique)
  • Avoid twisting the back to move your object to its new location – always pivot your whole body to face the new direction
  • Keep the heaviest part of the object close to your body at your center of gravity – do not extend your arms to throw the snow
  • Walk to the new location to deposit the item rather than reaching or tossing

Video provided by the Center for Physical Rehabilitation with locations throughout Grand Rapids, MI. Check them out online here.

snow shoveling safety tips PTandMe

SENIORS NOTE:

Whenever possible, avoid shoveling snow first thing in the morning. If this is not an option, a proper indoor warm-up will prepare the body for additional activity. Jogging in place, or using a treadmill or stationary bike for 5-10 minutes are options for safely raising the heart rate while in a neutral temperature. As with any exercise, drinking lots of fluids will help maintain electrolyte balance and prevent fluid loss.

 

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

Staying Warm in Winter PTandMe  Winter Safety PTandMe  

 

Need help from a physical therapist?

We work with expert teams around the country to make sure you have access to the best care possible.

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Vestibular Physical Therapy

Vestibular Physical Therapy

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Vestibular Physical Therapy

Vestibular Dysfunction

It is estimated that 35% of adults aged 40 years or older in the U.S. have experienced some sort of vestibular dysfunction — approximately 69 million Americans. Many people who suffer from acute dizzy spells can be helped by physical therapy. Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is characterized by a brief episode of vertigo (spinning) every time your head moves into a specific position. Common causes for this disorder are trauma to the head (concussion, motor vehicle accident, etc.) and acute infection, but frequently the cause is unknown. Patients usually complain of a spinning sensation being provoked by lying down, rolling over in bed, bending over, or looking up. Common activities that can provoke this sensation include getting out of bed, gardening, washing hair in the shower, and going to the dentist or beauty parlor.

vertigo diagram

Common Symptoms

  • Vertigo: The perception of movement/spinning, either of the self or the environment
  • Dizziness: General term that describes light-headedness, floating sensation, or faintness
  • Imbalance: Disequilibrium is a feeling of being off-balance or a loss of equilibrium

 

Uncommon Symptoms

  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of coordination
  • Difficulties with memory and concentration
  • Headaches/neck pain

 

How Do You Know if You Need Vestibular Therapy?

80% of older adults over the age of 65 have experienced dizziness with 50% being due to Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV).

  • Do you feel unsteady?
  • Do you lose your balance and fall?
  • Do you feel like you are falling, the room is spinning, or get dizzy when you lay down?
  • Do you like you are moving when you are standing or sitting still?
  • Do you feel light-headed?
  • Do you have blurred vision?
  • Do you ever feel disoriented, such as losing your sense of time or where you are?
  • Or if you’ve been diagnosed with BPPV, labyrinthitis, vestibular neuritis, Meniere’s syndrome, migraine-related dizziness, cervicogenic dizziness

Video provided by Advance Rehabilitation (GA)

What to Expect from Vestibular Physical Therapy?

Our goal for vestibular physical therapy patients is to decrease feelings of vertigo and dizziness, improve balance, posture control, gaze stability, overall endurance, and conditioning, and increase safety.

We use exercises that provide small, controlled, and repeated “doses” of the movements and activities that provoke dizziness to de-sensitize and fine-tune the brain. Physical therapists provide comprehensive Balance and Vestibular Rehabilitation. They perform specific treatment protocols for specific diagnoses, with a focus on alleviation of symptoms and return of function. Treatment for vestibular rehabilitation may include, but is not limited to:

  • Patient Education
  • Home Exercise Program
  • Repositioning Maneuvers
  • Habituation Exercises
  • Balance Exercises
  • Conditioning Exercises
  • Functional Activities

 

When you Go for a Vestibular Physical Therapy Visit

  • Wear comfortable clothes that allow you to move freely
  • Bring a list of your current medications, especially those prescribed for your s/s
  • You may experience dizziness or an increase in symptoms initially. If possible, have someone with you for the first couple of appointments to assist you home if needed

For more information about vestibular disorders and vertigo, please don’t hesitate to reach out to any of our highly trained teams of physical therapists nationwide. We are here and ready to help.

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Information for this post provided by Agility Spine & Sports Physical Therapy (locations throughout Tucson, AZ)

Physical Therapy for Seniors in Retirement Homes

Physical Therapy for Adults Living in Retirement Communities

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Physical Therapy for Seniors in Retirement Homes

Physical therapy for adults in retirement communities is common. Physical therapy programs can restore a great degree of functionality and bring independence to an elderly after he/she has sustained an impairment either from some chronic condition, injury, or illness. It also works when a person is recovering from surgery.

Physical therapy can be used to manage injury, deformity, or disease using physical methods rather than surgery or drugs. Typical methods include stretching, strengthening through exercise, and manual therapy. Today most outpatient physical therapy clinics and assisted living facilities for disabled adults would offer these as part of their services.

Under physical therapy, a trained therapist will evaluate and assess a person’s condition and accordingly devise a plan to suit their needs. The goal is to restore mobility and prevent future injuries. Treatment plans are usually long-term that keep in mind the degree of independence to which a person was accustomed and aim to bring that back.

Common Types of Physical Therapies for Seniors

Orthopedic Physical Therapy

When needing physical therapy for adults living in retirement communities, outpatient PT clinics offer an array of valuable services. Injuries related to the musculoskeletal system are treated by orthopedic physical therapists. Seniors recovering from orthopedic surgery are also ideal for undergoing this form of therapy. It aims to restore the functioning of joints, bone, muscles, ligaments, and tendons.

Seniors who have a hard time balancing or have reduced physical strength can also benefit from regular physical therapy sessions. It can help seniors in improving and maintaining better endurance and muscle tone enabling them to live more freely and independently. The goal is to decrease their risk of falling and accidental muscle/bone damage.

Patients suffering from post-intensive care syndrome can also benefit from physical therapy. Post-ICU physical therapy programs help patients get back into their daily routines and activities by working with them to reduce the effects of muscle loss and weakness.

Trained therapists who work at outpatient clinics and assisted living for adults with disabilities often create restorative therapy programs for the residents. These programs are led by nursing staff and caregivers with the specific needs of the patient in mind. The nursing staff prescribes certain exercises that improve strength and range of motion.

Geriatric Physical Therapy

The main emphasis under geriatric therapy is on the needs of the aging individual. Common conditions that receive treatment are – joint replacement, balance disorders, cancer, osteoporosis, and arthritis. Special programs are devised to improve fitness levels, reduce pain, and restore mobility to the maximum range.

Aquatic or Hydrotherapy

Aquatic therapy is beneficial for a few key reasons. Water decreases the gravity placed on weak limbs unable to bear much weight. This makes it easier for a patient to move, with less stress on joints, muscles, and bones. Physical therapists also utilize water to surround the patient’s body and help blood circulation in the legs. This can also reduce swelling in the patient’s ankles and feet. As the swelling decreases, the range of motion can increase.

Neurological Physical Therapy

This therapy is slightly different from all the other therapies in that it focuses on restoring brain health. Neurological physical therapy is best for the elderly who have neurological conditions like ALS, Dementia, or Parkinson’s. Those who have sustained some kind of brain injury can also benefit from it. A neurological physical therapist trains the patient to adapt to mobility, visual, and muscle loss impairments and balance issues to make their daily living as easy as possible.

Occupational Therapy

The focus of occupational therapy is on fine motor movements and hygiene-related tasks. Ideal candidates to receive this therapy are the elderly with arthritis or those who have suffered a stroke. These conditions can affect a person’s mobility and movement. An occupational therapist teaches ways to handle daily tasks with the least difficulty. It also focuses on incorporating adaptive equipment to help a person regain independence which eventually boosts the elderly’s body awareness and self-esteem.

Cardiopulmonary physical therapy

Cardiopulmonary therapy works best for individuals who have had a heart attack or suffer from some kind of heart condition. Common pulmonary conditions such as pulmonary fibrosis and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease can also benefit from this therapy. It helps to restore functional independence and endurance.

Speech-Language Therapy

The focus of this therapy is on the mouth and language-related concerns; and not just on speech as one may assume. Seniors who have a hard time chewing food or swallowing can benefit greatly from speech-language therapy. Additionally, seniors with short-term memory loss should also work with a speech-language therapist. The focus of this therapy is on cognitive issues, language deficit, and judgment concerns that are often a result of stroke or dementia.

Respiratory Therapy

Respiratory therapy is for seniors who struggle with breathing issues. It’s not uncommon for a common cold to sometimes turn into pneumonia in an occasional elderly. This can take a toll on the breathing quality. A respiratory therapist uses tapping and massage lessons to loosen the mucus which encourages easy breathing.

 

How Physical Therapy Benefits Seniors

Can manage chronic pain

Most seniors suffer from conditions like osteoporosis, arthritis; and as a result, suffer from pain almost every day. Studies tell that almost all elderly over the age of 65 have some degree of arthritis in their spine no matter whether symptoms persist or not. Physical therapy can preserve strength and joint health so that the onset of symptoms is delayed. If a person already has arthritis, via physical therapy they can learn therapeutic methods to reduce the level of pain and everyday discomfort.

Can significantly reduce the risk of falls

Falls happen to be the leading cause of bone and head-related injuries/accidents. Also, one fall often leads to multiple falls. Physical therapy can ensure stability and strength via balancing techniques to prevent future falls.

Reduces dependence on pain medications

Physical therapy is often more effective in restoring balance and managing pain than medications prescribed by the doctor. When performed properly, it can produce almost the same kind of result in treating spine-related issues as surgery.

Reduces risk of injury

With advancing age, a person loses flexibility and muscle strength making them more prone to injuries. As part of physical therapy, a person learns several extension exercises that preserve flexibility and maintain balance to prevent falls and ensure correct posture.

Helps to regain independence and aid a healthy lifestyle

Many of the old age injuries and illnesses are due to lack of activity and mobility. Physical therapy programs incorporate various exercises to keep the elderly strong and fit. In this way, it enables them to complete everyday tasks all the while maintaining a healthy weight.

Outpatient Physical Therapy and Telehealth

Thanks to the transformation in digital technologies; seniors don’t always need to subscribe to an inpatient facility. They can work with an outpatient clinic wherein they receive physical therapy and go back to their home.

Outpatient clinics often use telehealth for physical therapy (online appointments) to work with patients that may not yet feel comfortable going into the clinic. These online telehealth appointments are more than a consultation. It is a:

  • Is a full therapy visit
  • Is a private, secure, and compliant way to receive care
  • Sessions can be done on a computer, tablet, or phone
  • Appointments are accessed on a user-friendly platform

Telehealth is a great option for seniors that are in need of care but are unable to make it into the clinic.

Final Thoughts

If you or someone you love needs physical therapy for adults living in retirement communities to recover from an illness, weakness, or injury, talk to your local physical therapist or primary care provider, and ask for more information.

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winter injuries

Winter Is A Great Time To Take Care Of Injuries

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winter injuries

As Mother Nature keeps bringing on the winter wind, now is the time to think about spring and summer!   Waiting to take care of these injuries when the first fair day arrives can be too late. No one wants to lose weeks to months of fun in the sun because of a lengthy rehabilitation. By taking care of these injuries now, you can have plenty of time to enjoy your favorite activities in the best kind of weather.

BACK INJURIES
From picking up leaves in the fall to shoveling snow, low back injuries are common this time of year. While a simple backache may dissipate in a day or two after shoveling out after a winter storm, if it lingers longer than a week, chances are it’s not going away on its own. Waiting until the first round of golf to find out that you can’t complete the backswing due to low back pain not only severely hinders the golf game, but can also severely hinder the recovery. The more chronic the pain is, the longer it takes to eliminate the pain once treatment is started. Pain management becomes more complex; muscle strength atrophies; and bad spinal mechanics become a difficult habit to break. Fortunately, from a simple muscle strain to a herniated disc, all low back injuries have the opportunity to be conservatively managed quickly if treatment is sought out quickly.

JOINT REPLACEMENTS
Fear of slipping and falling is often the biggest rationale people wait to have their much-needed joint replacement surgeries. While a legitimate concern, the process of recovery and length of time for recovery is often overlooked by patients. For a typical total hip replacement, it can take 12 weeks or more to feel “normal” again. For a total knee replacement, that timeline can extend to six months. By waiting until spring to have the surgery, patients forego their fun-in-the-sun for recovery and rehabilitation. However, if that same surgery were elected to be performed in the late fall or winter, then plenty of warm weather is still left in the year to enjoy the capabilities of the new joint. To address the fear of falling, simple precautions can easily be taken to minimize the risk of slip and fall in the snow following the surgery. As an added benefit, patients in the winter often experience less swelling than those in the summer, as a result of the reduced humidity.

ROTATOR CUFF REPAIRS
Similar to joint replacement surgery, shoulder surgeries are often avoided in the winter due to the fear of falling. However, again, similar to joint replacement surgeries, the length of time for recovery from this surgery is grossly underestimated. Returning to swing a golf club, throwing a ball, or even swimming laps in a pool will take a
minimum of 12 weeks of physical therapy. While a neighborhood teenager may need to be hired to shovel the snow, the winter hibernation season is an idea for resting and mending from a rotator cuff repair surgery. After completing a comprehensive rehabilitation program with your physical therapist, you will be ready to tee off with your regular golf league and enjoy your planned summer vacation without restrictions.

SPORTS EVALUATIONS AND CONDITIONING
Winter is not only the time to remedy nagging injuries, but it’s the perfect time to prepare for the athletic season ahead. Whether you are a runner, a golfer, or an over-40 league softball player, preparing for the upcoming outdoor activities can help prevent future nagging injuries. The “off-season” is the best time to undergo performance and biomechanical evaluations with a physical therapist trained in motion analysis. From this evaluation, deficiencies can be addressed and a plan for improvement implemented. Furthermore, winter is a perfect time to re-strengthen after the holidays and to condition yourself into the shape you need to be in in order to enjoy those outdoor activities and minimize the concern for strains and sprains. In just a few simple visits to physical therapy, conditioning tips and technique changes can help make the warm weather even more rewarding and enjoyable.

The winter is long and it would be unfortunate to miss enjoying any of the warm, sunny weather heading our way in a few months. Addressing lingering winter injuries now will help ensure a fun spring and summer without restrictions. Always discuss your medical options with your doctor first. Then, call your physical therapist to help accelerate your recovery and be a picture of health.

PT News PTandMe

PT News December 2020

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PT News PTandMe

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

blood clots while traveling

1. Blood Clots: Don’t Bring Them on Your Holiday Trip

Written by The Jackson Clinics with multiple locations throughout Northern Virginia and Maryland.

The coming holidays and winter breaks mean traveling for many people. But spending more than four hours in a car, bus, train or plane leaves you at moderate risk for blood clots in your legs caused by a lack of circulation. These can sometimes break free and travel to the lungs, causing a potentially fatal pulmonary embolism. The longer you are immobile, the greater your risk of developing a blood clot.  Read more

 

Physical Therapy for Cancer Patients

2. How Physical Therapy Can Benefit Cancer Patients

Written by Wright Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy practice with multiple locations throughout Idaho. 

When faced with cancer, having the right medical and support team becomes exponentially more critical. Oncology teams skillfully lead the way in managing a myriad of symptoms and complications that arise. In conjunction with oncology teams, physical therapy is an integral part of healthcare as they help patients regain their functional strength and balance. Physical therapists are serviceable in managing edema and a multitude of other cancer-related dysfunctions in addition. Read more

 

Physical Therapy

3. Are You Missing Out on Free Physical Therapy?

Written by Momentum Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy group with locations throughout Greater San Antonio.

Have you met your annual insurance deductible? If you have, it’s a great time to come in to see your physical therapist! Many find they can access physical therapy at low or no cost after their deductible has been met. Most deductibles reset on January 1st, so NOW is the time to take advantage of your access to physical therapy.   Read more

 

Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!

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