Loving your body during pregnancy — and after it

with advice from Dancing Thru Pregnancy, MOTI Physiotherapy, and Progressive Physical Therapy and Rehab

Pregnant woman holding her baby belly

Pregnancy can be an amazing thing! Women’s bodies are capable of creating new life but the physical changes can be difficult. Hormonal shifts, weight gain, chronic back pain, and swelling in the hands and feet, are all common side effects of pregnancy. We’ve talked to several experts about various ways to love your pregnant body and take care of it during these strange and wonderful nine months (40 weeks — but who’s counting?)

  1. Keep moving.

Ann Cowlin can’t say enough about how healthy moms have healthy babies. As the creator of Physiquality partner Dancing Thru Pregnancy, she has been helping women exercise during pregnancy for more than 40 years. Most importantly, exercise helps women prepare for childbirth. “Few women exercise enough today to build the strength necessary for childbirth,” says Ann. “It’s no surprise that some women are afraid of birth and don’t have confidence in their ability to withstand it.”

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7 fibs you’re telling yourself about not exercising

with advice from AIM Rehab Services and DynamX Physical Therapy

7 fibs you're telling yourself about not exercising

Most of us know that exercising regularly is good for our health, and that too much sitting or inactivity is bad. But sometimes we tell ourselves little white lies about why we can’t exercise. Here are some of the most common untruths, as listed by the American Physical Therapy Association.

  1. I’ve been inactive for too long; I can’t start exercising now.

It is never too late to start exercising, and any activity or exercise is better than none. The experts at AIM Rehab Services, a Physiquality network member in Florida, suggest incorporating little ways to force yourself to move a little to help you get started. For example, use a smaller glass or cup for your water or coffee, which will force you to get up and walk to the kitchen to refill more frequently. Or park a little further from the front door of the store when you run errands, so you have a little more to walk before you get in.
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Getting fit during the holidays

with advice from Baudry Therapy Center

Getting fit during the holidays

Many of us have overindulged this year to survive one of the strangest years on record. Food. Sugary drinks. Alcohol. As we try to put on holiday clothes for that family Zoom call, they might not hug our bodies the way they used to.

Physiquality member Baudry Therapy Center in Louisiana found that Santa’s been on an all-cookie diet preparing for this year’s present delivery, and he’s not able to be as active as he once was. So they have been posting daily videos to help Santa — and inspire the rest of us — to improve both our habits and our health. Here are some of their suggestions for a healthy holiday season and a happier 2021.

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What is stroke, and how does rehabilitation therapy help?

with advice from Jefferson Holm, PT, DPT, NCS and Aaron Williams, PT, DPT, CSCS

What is stroke, and how does rehabilitation therapy help?

Many of us know someone that has been affected by a stroke. They can be life-threatening, and they often seem to happen without any warning — that can be scary. But what is a stroke exactly? And can it be prevented?

The Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy, a part of the American Physical Therapy Association, explains that a stroke is when the brain is not getting enough blood (and oxygen). This can happen in a couple of ways: Because there is a blood clot in the arteries that flow to the brain (an ischemic stroke) or there is a hole in the blood vessels leading to the brain, and the blood is leaking out and not getting to the brain (a hemorrhagic stroke).

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Strengthening to reduce back pain

with advice from Breakthrough San Diego Physical Therapy, Farese Physical Therapy, HealthQuest Physical Therapy, Hess Physical Therapy, and Strive Physical Therapy

Strengthening to reduce back pain

Your back is one of the hardest working parts of your body. Having a strong back keeps us upright and allows us to balance, walk and be active. It’s also one of the most common sources for aches and pains; a study in 2009 estimated that 80% of adults will experience back pain at some point in their lives.

And with most of us spending more time at home these days, getting less physical activity can increase the odds of back problems.

Patti Farese, a physical therapist and vice president of a Physiquality member clinic in Florida, Farese Physical Therapy, explains the complexity of our back structures. There are a lot of working parts in the back: 24 vertebrae (in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar sections of the spine) held together by myriad ligaments and stabilized by more than 140 muscles – including abdominal, pelvic and hip muscles. This is why many physical therapists suggest working on the core first when discussing minor back pain.

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Physical therapy in the age of COVID-19

with advice from Aeon Therapy Services, Coury and Buehler Physical Therapy,
Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Specialists, Inc., and Sunrise Physical Therapy

Physical therapy in the age of COVID-19

If you’ve been working from home for months now, your body is starting to remind you that humans are not supposed to sit all day. The other day, for example, maybe your neck cracked, and it hasn’t felt the same since. In fact, the pain is getting worse. So what should you do?

Physical therapists understand that when COVID numbers are climbing and people are being told to be careful and stay home, they are reluctant to seek medical care for what might seem minor compared to people fighting for their lives in local hospitals.

However, early in the pandemic, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security included physical therapy on its list of essential services, recognizing the need for all of us to keep our bodies healthy and active. In fact, many experts say physical therapy is essential in flattening the curve of the pandemic, playing a key role in keeping people out of doctors’ offices and ERs.

To meet this need, therapists have been working hard to follow the latest guidelines from the CDC while treating patients safely and effectively.

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Working out safely when it’s hot outside

with advice from Arizona Orthopedic Physical Therapy, Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy, and Coury & Buehler Physical Therapy

Working out safely when it's hot outside

With Memorial Day in the rearview mirror, the dog days of summer are quickly approaching. And with many of us trapped inside over the last few months, we’re even more eager to get outside to take a walk, go for a run, or ride a bike.

But with the Farmer’s Almanac predicting it’s “likely to be a scorcher” this year, there are some precautions we all should take before exercising outside.

  • Stay hydrated

It’s common knowledge that it’s always important to hydrate before and after working out, but it’s doubly important to stay hydrated when it’s hot outside. The experts at Coury and Buehler Physical Therapy, a Physiquality member in Southern California, have some detailed recommendations on hydration when exercising in the heat:
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The benefits of stretching — especially if you’re at home

with advice from Arizona Orthopedic Physical Therapy, Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy, and HealthQuest Physical Therapy

The benefits of stretching – especially if you're at home

Flexibility isn’t just about touching your toes or doing the splits. In actuality, flexibility is simply the amount of movement available at each joint. Flexibility is important to staying healthy and avoiding pain and injury.

The experts at Arizona Orthopedic Physical Therapy, a Physiquality member in Phoenix, point out that flexibility is needed to perform a number of activities that people do every day: Getting out of bed. Sitting down in a car — and getting up to run the errands you drove to. Doing household chores like dusting and vacuuming. Even picking up your child requires flexibility and strength.

Now that many of us are limiting where we go and how often we move, it’s even more important to make sure that we retain flexibility and joint mobility. One of our Michigan members, HealthQuest Physical Therapy, points out three key benefits to improved flexibility:
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The material and information contained on this Web site is for information only and is not intended to serve as medical advice or consultation.

Consult your personal physician before beginning any exercise program or self-treatment.