While falls can happen anywhere, more than half of them happen in the home. One in every three adults 65 and older fall AT HOME each year in the U.S. One of the easiest ways to help prevent a fall is to make sure that certain tripping hazards are addressed and removed. We’ve compiled a short list below to help you get started.
COMMON WARNING SIGNS FOR FALLING ARE:
Feeling pain or stiffness when you walk
Needing to walk slower or to hold on to things for support
Feeling dizzy or unsteady when you get up from your bed or chair
Feeling weak in your legs
You take more than one medication
You have problems seeing
You have had at least one fall in the past year
RISKS TO CONSIDER WHEN FALL PROOFING YOUR HOME:
Is the lighting adequate, especially at night?
Are stairwells well lit?
Is there a working flashlight in case of power failure?
Can lights easily be turned on even before entering
a dark room?
Are there any wet surfaces that are frequently wet?
Are steps and stairs in good repair and the
Do steps have handrails in good repair?
Are there throw rugs in the walking path?
Does the family pet often sleep in walking paths?
Is the carpet in good repair without tears or fraying?
Are there extension cords or raised door sills in the walking paths?
Is there a clear path from the bed to the bathroom?
If you feel that you are at risk for falls, talk to your physical therapy provider. Most physical therapy clinics offer fall risk assessments that can help determine any areas of risk. By participating in a fall prevention program, you can reduce the likelihood of a fall and increase the ability to live independently. Fall prevention programs mainly focus on core strength, flexibility, and patient education.
For more information about balance and fall prevention click the links below:
With summer coming to an end and the need for school supplies and backpacks returning, here are a few tips to keep in mind when shopping with your child. Continue below for back pack safety tips to make sure your kids don’t have any unnecessary back pain this year.
Should Not Extend Above Shoulders
Should Rest In Contour Of Low Back (Not Sag Down Toward Buttocks)
Should Sit Evenly In Middle Of Back
Shoulder Straps Should Rest Comfortably On Shoulders And Underarms, With Arms Free To Move – Tighten Shoulder Straps To Achieve This Fit
Tighten Hip And Waist Straps To Hold Pack Near Body
Padded Straps Help Even Pressure Over The Shoulders
Weight Of Pack
Should Never Exceed 15% Of The Child’s Weight To Avoid Excess Loads On The Spine
Lifting Of Pack
Proper Lifting Is Done By Bending The Knees, Squatting To Pack Level, And Keeping Pack Close To Body To Lift First To Waist Level And Then Up To Shoulders
Carrying The Pack
Keep Both Shoulder Straps In Place And Pack Centered
Spinal Forces Increase With Distance From The Body’s Center
Uneven Stresses On The Spine Can Cause Muscle Imbalances. This Can Lead To Pain And Possibly Functional Scoliosis.
If your child does start to complain of constant back pain, talk to your pediatrician and make sure that it isn’t a more serious issue such as scoliosis.
Scoliosis is a medical condition in which the spine is curved either front to back or side to side and is often rotated to one side or the other. It can occur at birth (congenitally), develop over time having no obvious cause, but often seen related to posture and growth (idiopathically) or due to an injury or the other condition (secondarily), such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy. The most common type is adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. It usually develops between the ages of 10 and 15, during periods of rapid growth. There are two kinds of curves, single or “C” curves and double or “S” curves. “C” curves are slightly more common than “S” curves. The curve can occur in the upper back (thoracic), lower back (lumbar), or a combination of both.
Strength for necessary upright postures of daily life is essential. Sometimes it cannot be maintained due to a “growth spurt,” fatigue from daily postural demands or poor postural habits common among adolescents. A physical therapist can analyze a patient’s history, habits and activities which may be contributing to their curvature and symptoms. Common findings include tightness and decreased motion and strength in the hips and pelvis, causing the lumbar spine to compensate with side bending and rotation. Treatment will include muscular re-educating techniques and manual techniques to restore motion, posture training, specific strengthening and home exercises.
Medical providers may describe a concussion as a “mild” brain injury because concussions are usually not life-threatening. Even so, the effects of a concussion can be serious.
Once an athlete has been suspected of having a concussion… when is it safe to go back to play? The answer is different for everyone, but there are few baseline tests that medical professionals can administer to make sure that a gradual return to play, work and activity is safe and won’t lead to further damage.
When an athlete has a concussion, it’s important to know how much their functional and cognitive abilities have been affected. With a baseline test you give medical professionals an accurate starting point to correctly evaluate the impact of the injury.
FAQs about Concussion Baseline Testing
Concussion baseline testing is a pre-season exam conducted by a trained health care professional. Baseline tests are used to assess an athlete’s balance and brain function (including learning and memory skills, ability to pay attention or concentrate, and how quickly he or she thinks and solve problems), as well as for the presence of any concussion symptoms. Results from baseline tests (or pre-injury tests) can be used and compared to a similar exam conducted by a health care professional during the season if an athlete has a suspected concussion.
Baseline testing generally takes place during the pre-season—ideally prior to the first practice. It is important to note that some baseline and concussion assessment tools are only suggested for use among athletes ages 10 years and older.
How is baseline testing information used if an athlete has a suspected concussion?
Results from baseline testing can be used if an athlete has a suspected concussion. Comparing post-injury test results to baseline test results can assist health care professionals in identifying the effects of the injury and making more informed return to school and play decisions.
Education should always be provided to athletes and parents if an athlete has a suspected concussion. This should include information on safely returning to school and play, tips to aid in recovery (such as rest), danger signs and when to seek immediate care, and how to help reduce an athlete’s risk for a future concussion.
What should be included as part of baseline testing?
Baseline testing should include a check for concussion symptoms, as well as balance and cognitive (such as concentration and memory) assessments. Computerized or paper-pencil neuropsychological tests may be included as a piece of an overall baseline test to assess an athlete’s concentration, memory, and reaction time.
During the baseline pre-season test, health care professionals should also assess for a prior history of concussion (including symptoms experienced and length of recovery from the injury). It is also important to record other medical conditions that could impact recovery after concussion, such as a history of migraines, depression, mood disorders, or anxiety, as well as learning disabilities and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.
Baseline testing also provides an important opportunity to educate athletes and others about concussion and return to school and play protocol.
Who should administer baseline tests?
Baseline tests should only be conducted by a trained health care professional such as a physician, physical therapist or trained ATC.
Who should interpret baseline tests?
Only a trained health care professional with experience in concussion management should interpret the results of a baseline exam. When possible, ideally a neuropsychologist should interpret the computerized or paper-pencil neuropsychological test components of a baseline exam. Results of neuropsychological tests should not be used as a stand-alone diagnostic tool, but should serve as one component used by health care professionals to make a return to school and play decisions.
How often should an athlete undergo concussion baseline testing?
If baseline testing is used, research suggests that most components of baseline testing be repeated annually to establish a valid test result for comparison. Baseline computerized or paper-pencil neuropsychological tests may be repeated every 2 years. However, more frequent neuropsychological testing may be needed if an athlete has sustained a concussion or if the athlete has a medical condition that could affect the results of the test.
Many physical therapy clinics have therapists that have been trained in baseline testing software and techniques. Physical therapists can also specialize in return to sports programs for athletes that have experienced concussions. The decision of when you go back to your sport can be a critical one… especially if you go back to soon. Prevent this by having an accurate baseline available for your healthcare professionals.
Golf requires strength, flexibility, endurance, and power to create pain-free movement and improve your game. The most common golf injury is low back pain followed by shoulder pain and knee pain. A physical therapist can assist you in improving your pain and correcting your body’s deficits. These golf stretches will make your golf game less painful and reduce those extra strokes:
(move from upright into stretched position 10x)
Back Extension Stretch
(hold club backwards overhead, repeat 10x)
Hip/Back/Shoulder Rotation Stretch
(hold club behind back and rotate torso to each side 10x)
(move from upright into stretched position 10x)
Lumbar Spine Rotation
(hold club, plant feet as shown, rotate to each side 10x)
(hold club straight up, then rotate to each side 10x)
This information was written by Mishock Physical Therapy and Associates, a privately-owned, outpatient physical therapy practice operating in southeast Pennsylvania. They actively participate in the community by providing services to schools, retirement communities, and local businesses. Their mission is to provide the most efficacious, state-of-the-art physical therapy services to relieve pain, restore function and return you to the highest quality of life possible. For more information click here.
It’s that time of year again. Time to exchange snow shovels and winter boots with 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.
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 at the spine. Those with known chronic low back pain may want to consider planting in to 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.
MOWING THE LAWN:
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 start to 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 as well as 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: www.asht.org
Here are 7 ways a physical therapist can help treat pain and symptoms associated with shin splints:
Pain Reduction: The RICE principle is the first step to recovery (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). Manual therapy and Kinesiotaping may also speed up recovery and reduce swelling.
Gait and Footwear Analysis: An analysis of how a person walks and runs is an important part of treatment. The wrong mechanism of walking can transmit a great deal of force through the shin to the knee and hip. In such situations, physical therapists will correct gait patterns and recommend footwear with shock-absorbing capacity.
Muscle Stretches and Strengthening: The tibial and peroneal muscles are attached to the shin and must be stretched adequately before any form of exercise. Physical therapy includes various stretches of the foot that will help stretch and warm up these muscles. Strengthening damaged muscles can also help.
Activity Modification: Physical therapists may suggest alternative activities to minimize stress on the shinbones. These can include swimming and cycling.
Increase Range of Motion (ROM): Exercises for the hip, knee, ankle, and foot improve blood circulation, reduce inflammation and relieve pain. A home exercise program may also be implemented.
Arch Support: The absence or collapse of a normal foot arch can lead to shin splints. Physical therapists will recommend appropriate orthotics that can be custom-made for the patient and provide the proper amount of arch support.
Return to Sport: If you are an athlete, your therapist may tailor exercises that are specific to strengthening the areas needed to perform your sport. Modified use of your muscles may also be discussed and implemented. Return to your sport may be gradual to prevent re-injury.
To learn more about shin splints please visit our PTandMe injury center on this website by clicking here.
This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout December 2021. We are excited to bring you current physical therapy-based posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!
1. Injury Prevention and Durability: The Significance of the “Core”
In the US, 30 million children, and teens participate in organized sports with more than 4 million injuries each year. The majority of these injuries occur as sprains and strains of the upper and lower extremity. (Hopkinsmedicine.org) Many of these injuries are preventable with proper exercise training, which ultimately reduces health care costs and minimizes lost playing time keeping the athlete on the field or court. Read more
Boxing is a full-body fitness and rehabilitation strategy that, in addition to general fitness, can be applied to a variety of conditions seen and treated by Physical Therapists and Physical Therapy Assistants. Boxing has health applications for both neurologic and pathologic conditions, with significant research focusing on four common conditions addressed by physical therapy. Read more
3. The McKenzie Method
Written by ARC Physical Therapy+, an outpatient physical therapy group with locations throughout Greater Kansas City.
“The most compelling part of the McKenzie Method is that it allows the patient to take a more active role in managing their pain,” Megan Westman, DPT, Certified MDT, explains. “It provides the patient’s tools to prevent further pain as well as improve centralization and reduction of symptoms in between each PT visit.”… Read more
We hope you enjoyed our picks for the PT News December 2021 edition.
Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!
This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout November 2021. We are excited to bring you current physical therapy-based posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!
Packing healthy travel snacks may sound like a silly thing to do. After all, there are plenty of food options at just about every rest area or airport. However, there are many reasons to consider packing at least a few healthy travel snacks on your next trip. Read more
2. Don’t Miss Out on Free Physical Therapy
Written by Momentum Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy practice with locations throughout Greater San Antonio, TX.
Have you met your annual insurance deductible? If you have, it’s a great time to come in to see your physical therapist! any people find that 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. Not sure if your deductible has been met? Read more
All too often the topic of footwear comes up in our clinic, even if the person isn’t there for a foot problem. The shoes you choose to spend your day in will greatly impact all areas of your body including your knees, hips, and spine. Your foot is the first part of your body to absorb the impact of the ground. That being said, it’s best to arm it with the right surface to stabilize against the force of the ground reaction… Read more
We hope you enjoyed our picks for the PT News November 2021 edition.
Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!
This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout Sept/October 2021. We are excited to bring you current physical therapy-based posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!
Do you have a deep ache or weird sensation in the shoulder, elbow, or hand? Does it come and go? Does it get worse when you stay in one position for too long, sometimes spreading into other areas? Do you massage or “shake it out” to get relief? Check the neck! Read more
Welcome to the blog and video series of my marathon training! I want to preface that this series will not be a detailed training plan, but a combination of reflection, describe shared principles in rehab and running, and a showcase of the clinician talent at CPR. Read more
3. Pulled Groin or Sports Hernia? How to Tell the Difference
It’s one of the most painful moments of any athlete’s life. Doing a fast cut-over during practice or twisting too much to avoid another player, suddenly you feel a sharp pain in your inner thighs and up into your groin. Clearly, you’ve strained your groin – but, is this strain just a pulled groin or sports hernia?… Read more
We hope you enjoyed our picks for the PT News October 2021 edition.
Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!
When a patient walks in for physical therapy, one of the things they are sent home with is a home exercise program. But why do they do that? Aren’t they supposed to take care of everything while you are in the clinic? These are questions that may run through your head, but what exactly are the benefits of a home exercise program? If you’re on the fence about whether or not to take your HEP seriously, we’re here to tell you why you should.
Continuation of forwarding progression in rehabilitation: Physical and occupational therapists tailor each program to the abilities and strengths of each patient. A patient that completes their home exercise program is more likely to excel in the one-on-one sessions at the clinic and experience fewer setbacks in rehabilitation.
Increases level of mobility and endurance: Exercise in the home is designed to continue the progress of the clinic visit by increasing a patient’s flexibility and stamina. A good home exercise program allows a patient to increase function and improve muscle memory so that progress is gained rather than lost from one visit to another.
For some patients, therapy doesn’t end at discharge: A home exercise program can help a patient remain pain-free and functional without having to pay for repeat visits and costly medical bills. For patients experiencing chronic pain – a home exercise program is a ticket to staying out of the doctor’s office.
Despite the benefits of a home exercise program, patients have trouble following through on their home exercise program goals. We’re going to go over some of the more common excuses:
I don’t have time, because life at home is too busy: It can be hard, especially for those running a household with multiple schedules to accommodate. However, a physical therapist can offer suggestions on working these into your schedule. Some exercises can be done at work, at home, on the playground. If time is truly a concern then don’t be afraid to let the therapist know.
It hurts: Some pain is considered normal – it’s a normal part of the exercise. However, if you are doing an exercise and something feels wrong, let your physical therapist know immediately. Don’t wait until your next appointment and tell yourself you will take care of it then. It could be something as simple as not doing the exercise correctly and they can talk you through it over the phone. Communication is a large part of rehabilitation and your therapist wants to know if something is causing concern.
Not motivated: Not seeing the point of the exercises your therapist gave you – ask them why it is so beneficial. Going to see a physical therapist 2-3 times a week alone without doing home exercises will not be enough to maintain muscle strength and flexibility. Healthy habits begin with persistence. If you need motivation talk to your therapist, they are born motivators and want nothing more than to watch you succeed. Enlist the help of family or friends to keep asking about your progress.
Physical therapists may utilize print copies of exercises or they may choose to go utilize a digital version that you can access from a mobile device. No matter the delivery, the goal for each is the same. To help you heal more effectively. If you have questions about your home exercise program and what it contributes to your recovery talk to your physical therapist. Education and understanding are crucial to making sure your experience in recovery is successful. If you need help finding a physical therapist to answer your questions, we have you covered in our “Find a PT” section.