How to deal with ankle sprains
with advice from Kate Chewning, PT, DPT,
Maria Fermoile, PT, DPT, OCS
and Tenille Policastro, PT, DPT
Ankle sprains are a common injury. They can occur during strenuous activity, like playing a sport, or something as simple as missing a step down from a curb.
If you’ve injured your ankle, Kate Chewning, a physical therapist at Allegheny Chesapeake Physical Therapy (a Physiquality member in Pennsylvania) reminds you to R.I.C.E.:
Helping patients with Parkinson’s disease stay active
Many people think of physical therapists as healthcare specialists that only focus on orthopedic injuries and rehabilitation. While generally all PTs are qualified to do that, many choose to specialize in related care, such as helping people with edema after treatment for cancer, working with older patients or patients in acute care, or focusing on patients struggling with a specific disease, like Parkinson’s.
Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative brain disorder that can make daily movement and activities frustrating and time-consuming. PTs can play a vital role in managing the effects of Parkinson’s disease by helping an individual stay as active and as independent as possible.
Am I fit enough for an obstacle course race?
with advice from
Joy Winchester, HFS
With long-distance races proliferating across the country, many people have been looking for a new fitness challenge. Enter obstacle course races like the Tough Mudder, where competitors complete military-like challenges “designed to test physical strength and mental grit.” But are they safe?
There are a variety of benefits to these challenges. “You’re not just walking or running, but also using strength, flexibility, and balance,” says Joy Winchester, a fitness instructor at the Take Charge Fitness Program, a wellness facility run by Clinton Physical Therapy Center (a Physiquality network member in Clinton, Tennessee).
Another unique aspect of these races is the teamwork emphasized by these challenges; at the Tough Mudder, for example, the race emphasizes camaraderie over individual finish times. This environment encourages fun, notes Joy, which makes it feel less like a workout. (Plus, as we’ve pointed out in the past, you’re more likely to finish a race if you’re not alone.) As the New York Times described it a few years ago, “The idea of Tough Mudder is not really to win, but to finish. And to have a story to tell.”
with advice from Joyce Klee, PT,
and Mark Salandra, CSCS
Many people think of physical therapy clinics as a place to recover from injury, or a place to do rehabilitation after an operation. But many physical therapy clinics are now offering a broader range of services, shifting their attention to both prevention of and recovery from injury and illness.
Clinton Physical Therapy Center, a Physiquality member in Clinton, Tennessee, launched their wellness program, now known as the Take Charge Fitness Program, 20 years ago in 1995. It was originally intended as a bridge program for clients who had reached the end of physical therapy, but weren’t quite ready to exercise on their own. “Many of the people who come here need supervision that they can’t get at a health club,” says co-owner Joyce Klee. “We can cater their exercise programs to specific health issues, whether they are orthopedic or neurological problems, or other issues, like obesity.”
Improving your balance
While focusing on balance (or the lack thereof) is often associated with aging and fall prevention, improving your balance and stability should be a key part of any exercise regimen.
Many exercise classes incorporate balance activities into their routine, whether you realize it or not. Athletes in particular often focus on balance and stability as it can help to improve both coordination and performance, while reducing the risk for injury.
Indo Board, a Physiquality partner product, is one way to exercise the body’s balance control systems. The board can be used to develop balance, coordination and increased leg strength while enhancing your core fitness. It also improves motor skills, making the Indo Board a great cross-training tool for a variety of sports, from extreme board sports to all mainstream sports. Keeping the board from touching the ground for extended rides is both the goal and the challenge.
Can you improve your memory as you age?
We all have skips in our memory from time to time — misplacing our keys, forgetting an event or appointment, or failing to remember the name of an acquaintance. But as we age, particularly as we reach and pass the age of 65, it is easy to wonder if such small lapses in our memory can be signs of something more serious, like Alzheimer’s disease, or dementia.
The good news is that most of us won’t develop such serious diseases; fewer than 1 in 5 people over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s disease, for example. The bad news is that some memory loss is common as we age — the American Psychological Association says that both our “episodic memory,” which remembers the small things in our daily lives, as well as our long-term memory, which stretches back to childhood, will decline as we grow older.
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.