Category Archives: Blog

Good Office Nutrition – Healthy Work Snacks

healthy work snacks

If you’ve made the big decision to eat healthy and take care of your body, it can be overwhelming to figure out what meals to make every day. But remember, life is shaped as much by everyday small decisions as much by the big ones. Likewise, you could start by adding small healthy snacks to your day to begin on your path to a healthier life.

Healthy Work Snacks for Brain Power & Concentration



The Greeks called walnuts karyon or “head”, most likely because of their resemblance to the human brain. The walnut is considered the “king of nuts” because of the many nutrients & benefits it has to offer, but the most notable is its effect on brain health & cognition. Eat a few every day to stay focused on the job!


Full of antioxidants, minerals, vitamin C, and utterly delicious. Also, blueberries are very beneficial for your health, cognition, and memory. A French study from 2017 reported that consuming a blueberry concentrate over 12 weeks proved to enhance cognitive function and working memory in a group of adults.


Healthy Work Snacks for Energy Boost & Stamina



Seaweed snacks are a great alternative to traditional salty snacks as they offer many nutrients while being low in calories and sodium. Seaweed is the best source of iodine  available, hands down. The thyroid gland uses iodine to stabilize energy levels and endurance, making us believe Popeye was eating more than just spinach out at sea!


Eggs are so nutritious that they’re often referred to as “nature’s multivitamin.” Eating a whole egg provides a healthy dose of protein, mostly found in the white of the egg, while almost all the nutrients are concentrated in the yolk. It makes for a great snack to have when you’re busy at work!


Healthy Work Snacks for a Mood Boost



Grab a banana when you need a quick mood boost. This smartly packaged fruit is high in vitamin B6, which gives you energy and reduces anxiety, and B9, which may help fight depression. Bananas are also a great source of natural sugars, keeping your blood sugar up when you haven’t had anything to eat, so you’re less likely to get irritable or cranky.

Dark Chocolate

Turns out it’s not that bad to eat a bit of chocolate when you’re feeling a bit down, especially if it’s dark chocolate and 70% or more cocoa. The caffeine will perk you up and the serotonin our brains make when we eat chocolate helps us feel good and happy.


For those constantly on the move, maintaining a healthy snacking routine can be challenging. Here are some strategies to ensure you’re never without your friendly snacks:

  • Preparation is Key: Spend a little time each week preparing or portioning your snacks. This makes it easy to grab them as you head out the door.
  • Snack Stashes: Keep small containers of snacks at work, in your car, or in your bag. Having them readily available reduces the temptation to opt for less healthy options.
  • Mindful Munching: Whether you’re at your desk or in a meeting, take a moment to savor your snack mindfully. It can enhance the sensory experience and improve focus.


Here is a great snack option to make ahead of time to avoid low blood sugar in the morning or that late-afternoon slump, after a sugar crash with the likes of a donut or coffee.

No-Bake Trail Mix Bars

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups of rolled oats
  • 1 cup of nuts (walnuts preferably! Any will do)
  • ½ cup of seeds (such as: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or any others)
  • ½ cup of dried fruits (raisins, cranberries, etc.)
  • ¼ cup of dark chocolate chips
  • ½ tsp of ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp of salt


Wet Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup of peanut butter
  • ½ cup of honey
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract



  • Mix all Dry ingredients in a bowl including rolled oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, chocolate chips, cinnamon, and salt. (Can toast the rolled oats or nuts beforehand for a toasted savory taste)
  • Add in all Wet ingredients and mix until all ingredients are well combined.
  • Transfer the mixture to a baking tray lined with parchment paper and pat down firmly into all the corners of the tray until fully flattened.
  • Cover the mixture with parchment paper or plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
  • When it’s ready, remove the mixture from the baking tray. With a knife, cut down to size in squares or bars, and enjoy!

Written by Vanessa Delgado, B.S. in Human Nutrition and Foods

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Looking for more on Nutrition. Check out these articles!

Game Day Nutrition   Best Foods to Beat the Summer Heat   Back to School Nutrition

PT News PTandMe

PT News May 2024

PT News PTandMe

This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout May 2024. We are excited to bring you current physical therapy-based posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

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things you should know about vertigo

1. Expert Vertigo Treatment

Written by Carolina Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine, with locations throughout  Columbia, Charleston, Sumter, and Rock Hill, SC.

Are you battling with unsettling feelings of dizziness that disrupt your everyday activities? You could be grappling with vertigo. Our approach to vertigo treatment includes diagnosing the underlying cause of your vertigo and creating a detailed treatment plan. With a variety of specialized exercises and vestibular rehabilitation techniques, we strive to eliminate the root cause of your vertigo and enhance your overall quality of life…  Read more


Low Back Pain Physical Therapy

2. The Role of Physical Therapy for Chronic Pain Management

Written by Wright Physical Therapy an outpatient physical therapy practice with locations throughout southern ID.

Physical therapy can address a wide range of chronic pain conditions, including but not limited to lower back pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, neuropathy, and post-surgical pain. The benefits of incorporating physical therapy into a comprehensive pain management plan are numerous and include reduced reliance on pain medications, improved functional abilities, increased strength and flexibility, and enhanced overall well-being…  Read more


3. Common Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Written by Integrated Rehabilitation Services an outpatient physical therapy group located throughout CT. 

If you’re experiencing hand pain, carpal tunnel syndrome could be the cause. This condition occurs in response to the compression of the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel, located at the bottom of the wrist. The median nerve contributes to sensations felt in your thumb and three middle fingers. Most cases can be treated with physical therapy and lifestyle changes, although surgery may be needed if the condition progresses… Read more

We hope you enjoyed our picks for the PT News May 2024 edition.

Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!

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Is Pickleball Good Exercise

Is Pickleball Good Exercise?

Is Pickleball Good Exercise

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In case you haven’t heard, pickleball is a new fast-growing sport that people of all ages can enjoy! Pickleball is a paddle sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. It is played on a smaller court than tennis, with a solid paddle made of wood or plastic and a plastic ball. The object of the game is to hit the ball over the net and land it within the boundaries of the court, with the aim of making it difficult for the opponent to return to the ball.

Is pickleball good exercise? Yes, it is a fun, moderate exercise that older adults can enjoy! Is a younger player going to reach their fitness or health goals by playing pickleball?  Probably not. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t play. Playing pickleball is much better than choosing to be sedentary. That being said, seniors are especially drawn to this fun sport, and it’s great for this age group for many reasons.  Let’s take a look at why it’s good exercise for seniors.

Why is Pickleball a Good Exercise for Seniors?

The Benefits of Pickleball

  • It’s Easy to Learn: It is easy to learn because the rules are very similar to tennis. The court is small enough that you don’t need to run so much to keep track of the ball, especially if you’re playing with a team member. This makes it easier to follow the game and focus on your strategy.
  • Social Activity: The game encourages players to socialize because it can be played with a partner or with a pair of two-player teams or “doubles,” which encourages social interaction and teamwork.
  • Health Improvements: A study in the International Journal of Research in Exercise Physiology found middle-aged and older adults who played one hour of pickleball three days per week for six weeks improved their blood pressure, cholesterol, and cardiorespiratory fitness levels.
  • Hand-Eye Coordination: As we age, it’s normal to see your hand-eye coordination start to decline gradually and it may take time to recognize what is happening. Playing pickleball can help with hand-eye coordination because it requires you to focus on your reaction time and can keep your brain sharp.
  • Safety Factor: Even though the game can be played outdoors, it is usually played inside, which makes it a great option during those extremely hot summer days. The ball used to play this game is made of plastic, has circular holes, and is hollow, which keeps the travel speed to a moderate level and if the ball happens to bump into you, you are not severely hurt. Also, the net is set to a lower height than in tennis and the serving is always underhanded, which causes less stress on your upper arms and shoulders. The paddle is also lighter than a tennis racket at 7 ounces, which creates low-impact stress on your arms.

Preventing Pickleball Injuries:

Although the sport is a simple, low-stress game, there is a risk of getting injured. Here are some ways to avoid an injury while having some pickleball fun.

Warm-ups for Pickleball

  • Light Jogging – Start by jogging for 5-10 minutes.
  • Dynamic Stretching – Involves exercises such as lunges, high knees, butt kicks, and leg swings
  • Shoulder Rotations – Rotate your shoulders forward and backward, and then lift your arms above your head and circle them in a clockwise and anticlockwise direction.
  • Arm Swings: Hold your arms out at shoulder height and swing them back and forth, crossing them in front of your chest and then out to the sides.
  • Squats: Perform a few sets of squats to activate your glutes and leg muscles. Make sure to keep your back straight and your knees aligned with your toes.

Remember to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your warm-up. By warming up properly, you can help to prevent injuries and perform at your best during the game.

Wear a Knee Brace

If you tend to have weak knees, wearing a knee brace can provide support and offload stress to one particular area. It can either prevent any future injuries or provide protection from further injury and help you continue to play. It’s important that the brace is snug, but not too snug. If the brace is too tightly strapped to your leg, it can cut off circulation.

Physical Therapy for Pickleball Injuries

The majority of the injuries may be a result of sprains and strains. The first line of defense for sprains and strains is to use the R.I.C.E. principles (rest, ice, compress, elevate). However, if the injury is serious, and doesn’t go away on its own, physical therapists can help patients recover by providing modalities and exercises that strengthen the muscles surrounding the injured joint.  Some patients experience a fear of reinjury and may want to relapse into inactivity, and our programs are designed to help with that as well.

Knee injuries are also common. During a match, players may find themselves changing directions or pivoting while swinging. This can put repetitive strain on the knee, causing the tendons or muscles to become damaged or overworked. Physical therapists can work to heal knee injuries properly as well as improve body mechanics. Proper leg alignment should include balanced hips over knees that are balanced over the feet. The knees should not cave in or out, but instead be parallel to the hips. This alignment is important because, without proper alignment, unnecessary stress is placed on the joints and restricts the range of motion.

If you have had a knee injury or pain in the past, and are looking to start playing pickleball, we recommend you schedule an appointment with your physical therapist. A trained physical therapist knows how to spot poor movement patterns that can increase strain on your knees and other areas.

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Pickleball can provide hours of fun for families, friends, and anyone looking for an enjoyable way to exercise and stay active. If you are interested in trying pickleball, you can check with your local recreation center, community center, or senior center to see if they offer pickleball programs or courts.


Physical Therapy for Arthritis Pain

How Physical Therapy Manages Arthritis Pain

Physical Therapy for Arthritis Pain

Dealing with arthritis pain can significantly affect your lifestyle. However, physical therapy for arthritis can help you manage your symptoms and help you do your daily activities.

Regardless of whether you’re dealing with Rheumatoid Arthritis or Osteoarthritis, physical therapists are uniquely qualified to help patients reduce pain, improve mobility, and boost overall functionality.

Your physical therapist will customize a treatment plan designed for your needs. They will direct you on safe and efficient exercises for arthritis management, with a focus on your affected joints and muscles.

Moreover, they will teach you the correct exercise techniques, the use of assistive devices if necessary, and how to adjust activities to prevent further joint damage.

What Are the Key Benefits to Managing Arthritis Pain?

Some notable benefits of physical therapy for arthritis include:

  • Alleviating pain and inflammation: Physical therapists use modalities like heat, ice, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation to relieve pain and reduce joint inflammation. These methods increase blood flow, promote healing, and decrease discomfort.
  • Enhancing joint mobility and flexibility: Arthritis often leads to stiffness and restricted movement. Physical therapists may prescribe exercises and stretches to improve joint mobility and flexibility. By strengthening the muscles around the affected joint, we can help restore function and improve movement.
  • Strengthening muscles and boosting endurance: Weak muscles can exacerbate arthritis symptoms and add stress to the joints. Physical therapy includes targeted exercises to strengthen the muscles around the affected joints, providing better support and stability, reducing pain, and improving overall function.

3 Great Physical Therapy Techniques for Arthritis

Here are a few physical therapy techniques that can ease your arthritis:

  • Manual therapy techniques: This involves hands-on manual adjustments made by a physical therapist. This includes joint mobilizations, soft tissue mobilizations, and manual stretching. Manual therapy aids in improving joint function, reducing pain, and increasing range of motion.
  • Therapeutic exercises: These are specific exercises designed to improve strength, flexibility, and endurance. These exercises are customized to your needs and may include low-impact activities like swimming or cycling. They help stabilize joints, improve balance, and alleviate pain and stiffness.
  • Thermotherapy and cryotherapy: These are common modalities in physical therapy. Thermotherapy relaxes muscles, increases blood flow, and reduces pain, while cryotherapy reduces inflammation and numbs the area for pain relief.  Your treatment plan may include one or both of these modalities to help manage your symptoms.

Is Exercise Good for Managing Arthritis Pain?

Yes! You bet it’s good! Here are some great exercises you should try for effective arthritis pain management:

  • Low-impact exercises: Activities such as walking, swimming, cycling, and using an elliptical machine are gentle on the joints and promote cardiovascular health.
  • Range of motion exercises: These exercises aim to improve joint flexibility and reduce stiffness. Gentle stretches, yoga, tai chi, and foam roller exercises help maintain and increase joint mobility.
  • Strengthening exercises: These exercises target the muscles surrounding the affected joints, providing them with increased support. Resistance training with light weights or bands, or using your body weight can help build muscle strength.

It’s crucial to consult with a physical therapist before starting any exercise program. They can provide personalized guidance based on your current fitness level, arthritis severity, and any other health conditions.

How to Safely Exercise with Arthritis

Exercise is a great way to manage arthritis pain. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Warm-up and cool-down routines: Always warm up your muscles and joints before starting an exercise routine. After exercising, cool down to reduce stiffness and soreness.
  • Use of assistive devices: Depending on the severity of your arthritis, you may need assistive devices to support your joints during exercise. Consult with your physical therapist to determine suitable devices for your needs.
  • Avoid overexertion: Pay attention to your body’s signals and avoid pushing yourself too hard. Start with low-impact activities and gradually increase the intensity and duration per your body’s tolerance.

By following these safety tips, you can exercise with arthritis in a way that aids pain management and improves your overall mobility. Always consult a physical therapist to create a personalized exercise plan tailored to your needs and limitations.

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Urge Congress to Help Prevent Senior Falls

Urge Congress to Help Prevent Senior Falls

Urge Congress to Help Prevent Senior Falls

Did you know that falls are the #1 cause of injury in people over 65? Fortunately, a falls expert – a physical or occupational therapist – can help reduce the risk of falling by providing seniors with a fall risk assessment.

Urge your lawmaker to support the SAFE Act: CLICK HERE TO ACT NOW!

APTQI Safe ACT - Help Prevent Senior Falls

A falls risk assessment allows a therapist to examine a patient’s balance, home setup, strength, flexibility, reflexes, and walking pattern. If there is a risk for a fall, the therapist can guide how to make a home safer, exercises that can help patients remain independent for longer, and instructions for using walking aids such as canes and walkers.

However, Medicare currently does not cover a falls risk assessment and fall prevention services by a therapist as part of a senior’s annual wellness exam.

Imagine the amount of injuries and deaths that could be prevented if seniors were able to access a no-cost falls risk assessment by a therapist!

Recently, lawmakers in Washington have introduced legislation to help. The Stopping Addiction and Falls for the Elderly (SAFE) Act (H.R. 7618) would allow seniors to access a no-cost falls assessment, done by physical or occupational therapists, at annual wellness visits and initial preventive physical exams. It will also lead to fewer opioid prescriptions and subsequential overdose rates among older Americans, as data show that seniors engaging in physical therapy are less likely to require emergency room visits or hospitalizations and are less likely to resort to opioid-based medications for pain management.

We need your help today to improve the quality of life for our aging population and reduce the burden of falls on our healthcare system. Join the movement to safeguard our seniors and increase access to life-saving fall prevention services.

Urge your lawmaker to support the SAFE Act: CLICK HERE TO ACT NOW!

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gardening ergonomics

Gardening Ergonomics

gardening ergonomics

It’s that time of year again. Time to exchange snow shovels and winter boots for gardening tools and watering cans. While the warmer weather brings on a new sense of happiness and energy, we need to remember to use proper body mechanics and follow general safety to avoid muscle aches and potentially serious injuries. The number one injury associated with gardening is low back pain. If you have experienced a recent injury or pain, we can help you recover.

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Here are a few tips to make your gardening experience more enjoyable and less painful.


Lifting heavy objects such as bags of soil, planters, and mulch improperly can lead to low back strains and/or sciatic pain. Other options include moving half of the soil/mulch to a separate pot before lifting the bag or planting into smaller pots that are easier to maneuver. Using a garden cart or wheelbarrow can also assist with moving heavy gardening materials. Remember to lift with your legs, avoid simultaneous lifting and twisting and keep heavier objects close to your body to avoid injury.


Prepping the soil can also be a difficult and tedious task requiring prolonged forward bending and frequent changes in position. Try prepping the planting bed by using long-handled gardening tools. Once the soil is ready, plant from a kneeling position using either a kneeling stool or a cushion. Remember to avoid twisting the spine. Those with known chronic low back pain may want to consider planting into pots, flower boxes, or raised flower beds to avoid further injury.


Most people dislike weeding their gardens and flower beds. Options to reduce the need to do so include using plants as ground cover or using mulch in your flower beds to minimize weed growth. If using a weed spray, look for bottles that have a sprayer hose to allow you to stand upright while treating your problem areas.


Another task that most people find tedious. When able, use an electric start mower. The action of pulling a cord to start your mower is the most common cause of low back injuries. If you must use a pull start mower, remember to bend at your knees and maintain the natural curve of your spine while reaching for the cord. Make sure you tighten your abdominal muscles just before pulling the cord in order to support your spine. If using a push mower, remember to maintain a proper upright posture and take breaks as needed.

Remember to listen to your body. Take frequent breaks and change positions when you experience aching, cramping, or fatigue. Stay hydrated and wear sunscreen. If you do happen to experience low back pain or any other injury, remember to contact your physical therapist. They can help alleviate your symptoms and educate you on proper body mechanics.



Stretching before you start gardening can help you from experiencing pain later. Here are some stretching techniques to help get you started!

Gardening Stretches

1.) Fold your hands together and turn your palms away from your body, but this time extend your arms overhead. You should feel the stretch in your upper torso and shoulders to your hand. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat eight times.

gardening stretches

2.) Place your hand just above the back of the elbow and gently push your elbow across your chest toward the opposite shoulder. This is a stretch for the upper back and shoulder. Stretch both the right and left arms. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat eight times.

gardening stretches

3.) Raise one arm overhead. Bend the elbow. Place the opposite hand on the bent elbow and gently push the elbow back further. This is a stretch for the triceps. Stretch both the right and left arms. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat eight times.

gardening stretches

4.) Extend an arm in front of you, making sure the elbow is completely straight. With your palm down, take the opposite hand and bend in the wrist downward. Then turn the palm up, and stretch the wrist backward. This stretches the forearm and wrist muscles. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat eight times.

If you are experiencing pain, trust a licensed professional. Our therapists will help identify the cause of your pain and work with you to help it go away, and prevent pain and injury in the future.

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The warm-up exercises were developed by professional hand therapists who are occupational and physical therapists specializing in the treatment of the hands, arms, and shoulders. These exercises and tips have been designed to supplement more commonly known gardening safety practices that concentrate only on preventing back injuries.
For more information visit:

PT News PTandMe

PT News March 2024

PT News PTandMe

This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout March 2024. We are excited to bring you current physical therapy-based posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

physical therapy near me

ACL Knee Pain

1. Relief for Joint Pain

Written by The Jackson Clinics with locations throughout Northern VA.

Joint pain is a common issue that can have many causes and can lead to an array of complications. It affects such a large percentage of the population that you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who’s never experienced joint pain before. It is estimated that by the year 2030, 67 million—one in every four American adults—will have doctor-diagnosed arthritis. But that doesn’t mean that we have to live in pain! So, what are some great ways to relieve and prevent joint pain?..  Read more


physical therapy after a car accident

2. 4 Ways Physical Therapy Can Help After a Motor Accident

Written by Sports Physical Therapy an outpatient physical therapy practice located in Bellevue, Factoria, Kirkland, Everett, and Lake Stevens, WA.

The aftermath of an accident leaves both visible and invisible marks. Physically, you may be dealing with injuries that range from minor to severe, affecting your mobility, strength, and performance. Mentally, the trauma can manifest as fear, anxiety, or loss of confidence, each capable of sidelining you longer than any physical injury. The road to recovery seems long and lonely, but the truth is, help is closer than you think, and hope is far from lost…  Read more


Difference Between Athletic Trainers and Physical Therapists

3. National Athletic Training Month

Written by PT Northwest an outpatient physical therapy group located throughout Salem, OR, and the surrounding areas.

Whether it’s a sprained ankle or a torn ligament in the knee, a comprehensive rehabilitation team is crucial to expedite your return to the field. At PT Northwest, our certified athletic trainers and physical therapists go beyond just taping ankles and providing immediate injury treatment. Ensuring your injury heals properly is our top priority, our staff employs proven techniques, including manual therapy, therapeutic exercises, and functional drills…. Read more

We hope you enjoyed our picks for the PT News March 2024 edition.

Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!

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Avoid Spring Cleaning Injuries

Do’s & Don’ts of Spring Cleaning

Avoid Spring Cleaning Injuries

It’s that time of year for cleaning out the cobwebs, de-cluttering, and rearranging our homes. Some of us enjoy the task while others dread it. Did you know that the greatest risk of injury we face is in our own homes? From muscle strains to home falls there is no shortage of things that can go wrong but we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you minimize injury. Follow these spring cleaning safety tips to have a safe and productive spring cleaning!

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    • 1. Do not rush because you are tired or in a hurry.

This is really the most basic spring cleaning safety tip, and all the other ones, at least to a certain degree, stem from this one. Spring cleaning can be tiring work. Do not forget safety even if you have worked hard all day and want to get done. The better thing to do when you are exhausted is to stop and take a break, drink a glass of water, sit under a nice cool fan, and rest instead of being unsafe.

    • 2. Be careful moving large pieces of furniture and appliances.

Use proper lifting technique, keeping your back straight and lifting with your legs. Also, wear shoes when moving heavy items so you don’t hurt your toes. Finally, if you feel it is just too heavy and you can’t find someone else to do it for you, just don’t move it. It won’t be the end of the world to just clean around it. Always have spring cleaning safety in mind.

When doing a task, such as washing windows, where you need to be on a ladder use extreme caution. Do not lean too far to either side. A good rule of thumb is that your belly button should not go beyond the sides of the ladder. Also, have someone available to hold the ladder steady for you if possible, and make sure before you step on them that the rungs are not wet, and you are wearing non-skid shoes.

    • 4. Be careful when walking on wet surfaces.

This spring cleaning safety tip is really important every time you clean. Everyone knows how easy it is to slip on a wet floor. Make sure you take the proper precautions to keep from falling.
Also, make sure others in your family, including children, are also warned of the wet floor to keep them safe. You may need to block small children’s access to wet floors because they just don’t understand not to run and slide on them.

    • 5. Keep stairs, landings, and walkways clear of boxes, bags, and other clutter.

Spring cleaning is a great time to de-clutter your home, but you need to make sure all the boxes and bags of stuff you are getting rid of don’t cause a safety concern. Make sure you place them outside walkways and especially away from steps and stairs where someone may trip on them.

    • 6. Don’t carry too much stuff at once, especially on stairs.

During spring cleaning you will also probably go up and down your stairs a lot carrying things if you live in a home with stairs. Make sure you keep a hand free to hold onto the stair railing. Also, whether you have stairs or not, always make sure you can see over the load you are carrying so you do not trip.

If you are experiencing pain or injury please reach out to a physical therapist. They can evaluate your pain and provide corrective action to help you feel great!

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Ice or Heat When in Pain

Ice vs. Heat When in Pain

Ice or Heat When in Pain

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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.

Ice is for injuries and after activity and heat is for loosening and relaxing tissues, used before activity.


  • 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.
  • Ice can also be used for chronic conditions like overuse injuries to help control inflammation.

Ways to Ice:

  • Ice cubes in a plastic bag
  • Wet, frozen towel
  • Gel ice packs

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!
  • Ice can aggravate symptoms of tightness and stiffness.


  • Heat is typically used to help relax or loosen tissues.
  • Heat will bring more blood flow to the area.
  • Heat is usually used in conditions that are more chronic. This helps stimulate blood flow to the area.
  •  Heat, when needed, is used before activity assisting more blood flow to help loosen and relax the muscles.

Ways to Heat:

  • Heating Pad
  • Hot, wet towel

Things to know about heating:

  • Avoid heating for long periods
  • Don’t use heat when sleeping to avoid burns
  • Heat can make inflammation significantly worse.

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


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


  • 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 THE BAG DIRECTLY TO THE SKIN)
The Risks of Sports Specialization in Youth Sports

The Risks of Sports Specialization in Youth Sports

The Risks of Sports Specialization in Youth Sports

Why There Are Downfalls to Sports Specialization

Sports specialization is common, but is it all it’s cracked up to be? Focusing on one sport might seem like the fast track to success, but there’s a flip side you should know about.

When your athlete specializes in one sport, they are more likely to experience overuse injuries, burnout, and negative impacts on their psychosocial well-being. 

It’s vital to strike a balance and to give your athlete’s body breaks. Trying different sports and activities can boost an athlete’s skill set, lower injury risk, and help prevent burnout.

At PTandMe we’re all about supporting your athlete in their athletic pursuits. Our physical therapy partners can offer advice, help lower the risk of injury, and provide rehabilitative services for athletes already experiencing pain or recovering from injury.

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The Risks of Sports Specialization in Youth Sports

Deciding to specialize in a sport isn’t something to take lightly. There are risks and downsides you need to know about. Here are some risks that athletes who specialize in one sport experience.

Overuse Injuries: One of the main downfalls of sports specialization is the increased risk of overuse injuries. Overuse injuries are subtle and occur over time, making them challenging to diagnose and treat. This can lead to injuries like stress fractures, jumper’s knee, shin splints, and more.

Stunted Athletic Growth:  By only playing one sport, athletes miss the opportunity to develop versatile skill sets, and practice complementary movement patterns and training techniques.

Mental Strain/Burnout: Sports specialization can also mess with mental health. The pressure to constantly perform at a high level in one sport can lead to stress, burnout, and less enjoyment. It can even increase your athlete’s anxiety and performance pressure.

Balancing specialization with cross-training and rest can help your athlete avoid these issues and keep their athletic journey healthy and sustainable.

3 Common Overuse Injuries Due to Sports Specialization:

Jumper’s Knee (Patellar Tendonitis): 

Jumper’s knee, also known as patellar tendonitis, can be caused by the inflammation of the patellar tendon. The patellar tendon is what connects the kneecap to the shin bone. This condition will weaken the tendon, and if left untreated, could tear it. This condition is typically caused by the overuse of the joints in your athlete’s knee. For example: repeatedly jumping and landing down on hard surfaces. 

Overhead Injuries: 

Another common overuse injury due to sports specialization is an overhead injury. Particularly seen among baseball players, these injuries are common among pitchers, as they can throw upward of 70 pitches a game. This amount of repetition is a prime example of how sports specialization can cause an injury.

Shin Splints: 

Most seen amongst runners, shin splints are caused by an irritation of the tendons and muscles near the shin bones. Common causes of shin splints can be improper footwear, lack of flexibility in the calves, or repetitive motion, or stress at the shins.

Experiencing Burnout in Youth Sports

Overuse/overtraining injuries and burnout are major problems for adolescent athletes. Both can occur when students participate in sports year-round with no “off-season” or have insufficient recovery time between practices and games.

Watch for typical burnout signs:

  • Pain during or after activity, or while at rest
  • Lack of enthusiasm for practices or games
  • A dip in grades.

Prevent Overuse Injuries and Burnout with These Simple Tips:

  • Allow enough time for proper warm-up and cool-down routines.
  • Rest 1-2 days per week or engage in another activity.
  • Focus on strength, conditioning, or cross-training during the “off-season.”

While athletes may experience short-term gains, research shows that athletes who play multiple sports often have better overall athletic ability and are less likely to get overuse injuries. The NATA has also put together 6 tips to help reduce specialization-related injuries. 

Our physical therapists are driven to help athletes young and old, prevent injury, and stay in their sport.  call or schedule an appointment for more information about our sports injury prevention and recovery programs.

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