What is stroke, and how does rehabilitation therapy help?
with advice from Jefferson Holm, PT, DPT, NCS and Aaron Williams, PT, DPT, CSCS
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).
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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:
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
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:
Working out while staying at home
with advice from Coury and Buehler Physical Therapy, Physical Therapy and Wellness Institute, PhysioFit Physical Therapy and Wellness, Rocklin Physical Therapy, and Strive Physical Therapy and Sports Rehabilitation
It might seem hard to look on the bright side these days. News is grim, and it looks like most of us will need to stay socially distant for some time. For people who rely on exercise classes to stay healthy, it’s another loss on top of the interactions we had at work or school.
But even in this challenging time there are plenty of ways to stay positive and healthy. Coury and Buehler Physical Therapy, a Physiquality member in Orange County, California, reminds us that it’s important to create a new routine to get ourselves through a stay-at-home order. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but by simply getting up at the same time every day (even if it’s a little later than it used to be), showering and making your bed will help you approach each day with a more positive outlook.
Exercising regularly in particular can help both your mental and physical health. Many healthcare professionals are finding ways to help us stay well while staying at home. Here are some examples of how physical therapy clinics in the Physiquality network are helping people at home:
Coronavirus and physical therapy
advice from PTPN, Physiquality’s parent company
Among the many concerns you have about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), are you wondering about attending physical therapy appointments? The good news is that, for now, outpatient therapy clinics are considered a relatively low-risk environment for exposure, and most clinics are well-versed in proper disinfection and protection procedures.
Here’s a list of best practices that therapy offices should be following. Feel free to call your physical therapist and ask about the office’s safety precautions, as well as what your therapist’s recommendation is for you regarding physical therapy appointments.
How to help someone suffering from a heart attack
with advice from AED Superstore
Heart attacks can be scary. They can be sudden, and they can be lethal. Recent statistics show that for every 100 people that suffered a heart attack outside the hospital, on average only 10 survived. But there’s another statistic from the American Heart Association that will give you hope — that improved to a 45% survival rate when a bystander performed CPR. This means that the more people understand how to respond, the better our survival rate from heart attacks will be.
How should I react?