Are all calories equal?
with advice from Alyssa Cellini
Whether we’re trying to lose weight or just want to eat healthy, most of us use counting calories as a way to judge whether we’re eating the right amount of food. (The prevailing goal of 2,000 calories a day came from the FDA starting in the 1990s; it’s the basis of all nutritional information printed on food packaging.)
But is that the only way we should measure our food intake? Are all calories equal?
Alyssa Cellini, a nutritionist with ProCare Physical Therapy (a Physiquality clinic in New Jersey), says absolutely not! She compares your digestive system to the gas tank in your car, something that can only hold so much at one time.
How to carry a baby without breaking your back
with advice from Ann Cowlin, MA, CSM, CCE
One of the biggest surprises of parenthood is the toll it takes on your body. Yes, sleep deprivation and constant feedings can wear you down. But the joy of picking up your baby to hold her close can lead to a variety of aches and pains, especially in your back. Keep these tips in mind to reduce pain and improve your time with your little one.
The number one thing to remember, says Ann Cowlin, the creator of Dancing Thru Pregnancy, a fitness program for expectant mothers (and a Physiquality partner), is to “bring your infant or child close to your center line (or your center of gravity) before standing up.” For example, if you’re picking your baby up off of the floor, kneel on the floor to get closer to him, pick him up and snuggle him into your chest, then stand up.
Challenging conventional wisdom — Should we use ice to treat injuries?
by Maria Fermoile, PT, DPT, OCS
Alliance Rehabilitation, Fresno, CA
There is and has been a long-term debate about the merits of using heat or ice as a treatment after injury. Despite years of research, education, and even anecdotal evidence from healthcare professionals and trainers, much confusion has surrounded the issue.
To this day, the conventional thinking has been that ice should be used in the first 24-48 hours after injury to decrease inflammation (swelling) and pain. In 1978, Dr. Gabe Mirkin coined the term “R.I.C.E.” (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), and this concept became the standard in treatment of acute injuries and post-surgical patients.
Why physical therapy is important after surgery
with advice from Mitchel Kaye, PT,
and John Milne, M.D., M.B.A., FACEP
You’ve been dealing with chronic pain for months, and have talked to your doctor about surgery. It’s been scheduled and now you’re anxious about getting through the day. But what do you do the day — or the week — after the operation?
Many patients focus so much on the hours spent at the hospital that they don’t consider the importance of rehabilitation after the operation. If your doctor has prescribed physical therapy after your surgery, it’s because he believes it will be a key part of your recuperation. Here are some of the reasons you may need to do PT after your operation:
What you should know about arthroscopy
by Kim Gladfelter, PT, MPT, OCS, FAAOMPT
Arthroscopy is a procedure used to investigate a multitude of joint-related symptoms by actually looking inside the joints. Similar to a telescope with a light source, the light aspect is necessary to “light up” the joints and to magnify the structures contained within the joint.
Arthroscopy is typically performed under local or general anesthesia, and sometimes under spinal or epidural anesthetic. Some of the common symptoms arthroscopes examine are swelling, pain and joint instability.
Relieving neck pain
with advice from Gini Davis, PT, MA
Neck pain is a common and debilitating problem. While some cases can be caused by serious conditions, according to Gini Davis, a physical therapist and owner of Crescent City Physical Therapy (a Physiquality member in New Orleans), the most common cause of neck pain is poor posture. This can be due to a variety of reasons:
- Sitting and standing incorrectly.
While it’s easy to recognize when someone else is slouching, it’s much harder to correct the behavior in ourselves. As Kristina Holland noted in a previous Physiquality blog, “Good posture takes self-awareness and effort to maintain correct alignment, whereas poor posture is giving in to the constant pull of gravity.”
What is osteoporosis? Can it be prevented?
As we age, our bodies are not as healthy as they were when we were younger. Muscles are slower to react. Joints are not as fluid as before. And bones are weaker than they were in our youth.
Osteoporosis is a bone disease most commonly found in older women, particularly those of Caucasian or Asian descent. Literally translated as “porous bone,” osteoporosis happens when bone density has decreased and the bones have become brittle. Unfortunately, the early symptoms of osteoporosis are easy to miss, like back pain or stooped posture. This is why most people don’t find out that they have the disease until they break a bone.
Your bones are constantly changing and creating new bone cells. When you’re younger and growing, your body creates more bone than it loses. This shifts as we reach our mid-20s, when our bodies slow down the process and we’ve reached our peak bone mass, or bone thickness.
How to adapt your workout as you age
As you get older, it’s easy to let your exercise regimen slip away. Schedules get more complicated with work, spouses and children. Bodies don’t respond as well to high-intensity workouts or longer bouts of activity. But it’s important to stay active for the long run — for a variety of reasons.
As we age, the goal of our activity may shift from weight-loss or general health to more specific goals. Injury and even death from falls is an unfortunate trend for older adults — as adults approach their 70s, they need to consider how to improve their balance and reduce their chances of falling.