If you’re in pain, try physical therapy before relying on painkillers
with advice from Michael Weinper, PT, DPT, MPH
You are on your way home from working out at the gym or playing a game of softball. You press on the brake to slow down at a stoplight, and pain sears through your knee. It’s not the first time this has happened, so you decide to talk to your doctor. Do you ask for painkillers, or do you talk to your physician about seeing a physical therapist?
There’s no question that pain hurts, says Michael Weinper, a physical therapist and the owner of PTPN and Progressive Physical Therapy, a private physical therapy practice. It’s how you respond to the pain that will affect your health in the long run.
If you merely rely on painkillers to treat pain, particularly opioid painkillers, you could be setting yourself up for long-term problems like depression and addiction without ever treating the cause of the problem.
Walk more, be healthier
with advice from Libbie Chen, PT, DPT and Polar
Technology has made a lot of things easier. If you need to buy something, order it online. If you need to get somewhere, just drive your car.
What this also means is that Americans are walking and moving less. This is one of many factors leading to the ever-increasing waistlines in our country. And even if you haven’t been gaining weight, moving less can contribute to heart disease and other health issues.
6 habits for a healthier heart
in honor of American Heart Month 2018
Most of us know that exercise improves your cardiac health — you get moving and your heart pumps more, which helps your heart remain strong. But what else can you do to improve your heart health?
A few years ago, the American Heart Association, or the AHA, created Life’s Simple 7: seven ways to improve your cardiac health. One of those seven is exercising more. Your PT can help you create an exercise regimen to help you get moving, in the best way for your particular body. Use our locator to find a Physiquality therapist in your neighborhood.
Here are the AHA’s six other ways to make your heart stronger and healthier.
Sarcopenia and loss of strength
with advice from Daniel Butler, CEP
Sarcopenia, the loss of skeletal muscle mass, is a part of what has been called “the slippery slope of aging.”
As people age, they often start to experience sarcopenia, as well as osteopenia and osteoporosis. Having weaker muscles and bones, plus the arthritis caused by years of wear and tear, can make movement more difficult and painful. The pain leads to less activity, which contributes to weaker bones and muscles, making it even more difficult to move. And so on.
Doctors and scientists are still not quite sure what causes sarcopenia, but they have linked a number of factors to its development, according to the Mayo Clinic: age-associated hormone changes, physical inactivity, inflammation, and diseases like cancer and diabetes. Because inactivity can lead to sarcopenia, doctors encourage older adults to exercise more to build muscle mass.
Five ways to beat fatigue and have more energy
Winter is coming. As December begins, so does the holiday whirl. Office parties. Family get-togethers. Late nights spent trying to put together toys that have instructions written in a foreign language.
It can be easy to get overwhelmed, and feeling tired will make it more difficult to get through the month. So here are five ways to beat some of that fatigue, giving you more energy to face whatever is on your calendar.
Fueling your workout
with advice from Angela Mader
You’ve made a commitment to get healthy and lose weight.
You’ve trimmed unhealthy foods that have lots of sugar and trans fats from your diet and added in more fruits and vegetables, and you’re doing 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week, but you’re not seeing any weight loss.
Not so great.
Angela Mader, the creator of the fitbook™ (a Physiquality partner program), recommends taking a look at what you’re eating before workouts to make sure that you’re eating the best foods to energize you and maximize your results. As she explains it, “food is fuel. It might be time to take a look under the hood to make sure you’re properly fueling (and re-fueling) your body to optimize burning fat while gaining lean muscle.”
What are the benefits of aquatic physical therapy?
Consider getting wet in order to get better.
with advice from Kelly Lenz, PT
and Blair J. Packard, PT, MS
When most people think of physical therapy, they probably think of treadmills and stationary bikes, hand weights and elastic bands — plus the medical tables on which patients can be treated. Without getting wet.
So why might aquatic physical therapy be just as beneficial, or even better?
“Aquatic therapy allows a gravity-reduced environment in which to exercise,” explains Kelly Lenz, a physical therapist and co-owner of Clinton Physical Therapy Center, a Physiquality network clinic in Tennessee. “This allows a variety of patients to move more freely without undue stress on their body.”
How to play hockey safely
with advice from Mark Salandra, CSCS
Hockey may not initially inspire thoughts of the world’s safest sport. With a reputation for brawls on the ice and toothless grins, parents may be understandably cautious about signing up their kids for the community hockey league.
However, with the proper precautions (and protective gear), the game can be played safely while those on the ice reduce their chance of injury.
Hockey is a unique sport, says Mark Salandra, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and the founder of StrengthCondition.com (a Physiquality partner program). “It incorporates speed, agility and strength in ways that no other sport tests the body,” he explains. As with any sport, injuries can be caused by a variety of factors, including the level of participation, player position, protective equipment, violent behavior, and personal susceptibility due to pre-existing injuries and style of play.