Monday, October 24, 2016

Fall Clean Up Injury Prevention Tips!

It is that time of year again! Time start getting the yard cleaned up before the winter. From picking up the fallen leaves, branches from windstorms, or digging up shrubs, it is important that no matter what your yard needs, that you protect yourself from injury.

When the time comes to rake those leaves be sure to do a light warm-up. Raking leaves can be a moderate to strenuous task so doing a light warm-up is essential.
The warm-up can include
  • ·         shoulder circles
  • ·         squats
  • ·         knee curls
  • ·         and trunk extensions

The purpose is to warm up the muscles and loosen the joints.
Keeping your spine straight and using your legs to shift your body when raking leaves will protect you from an injury to your lower back. Take rest breaks every 15-20 minutes or less to limit strain to the tendons in your shoulder, forearm, and wrist. Try to keep your shoulders pinched back when raking to reduce shoulder pain.

If bagging the leaves:
Be sure to bend at your knees to squat and pick them up or lay the bag side-ways to rake or sweep into the bag.

If putting leaves on a tarp a dragging them to the street for pick-up:
Limit the weight of the tarp to what you can handle without straining. Putting the leaves in smaller piles will keep the load light enough for you to handle on your own. If the leaves are wet and heavy, ask for help or let them stay on the cart to dry out.

Regardless of the way you like to clean-up your yard, protect your spine and joints from excessive strain. Keep the back straight, especially if lifting any objects. When squatting, maintain knees in-line with your toes to reduce knee strain. When pulling, keep your shoulder blades pinched back to limit strain to the rotator.

If you have any questions regarding safe ways to performing yard work, please call one of our offices to set up a free consult with a physical therapist so that we can review proper body mechanics for you to avoid injury. 

PTW’s Marc Shoettle, DPT is an excellent Direct Access Certified Physical Therapist that can further explain any of the exercises above, or help if that nagging pain just won't go away!  For an initial evaluation, call Marc at 610 630 0101 today for an appointment as soon as possible!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Is Sitting Worse than Smoking?

Simple Tricks to be More Active In Everyday Life

As the winter weather slowly approaches we have a tendency to be less active in the cold.  In fact, most adults spend approximately 6 to 8 hours sitting working in front of a computer, watching TV, or using the phone and or tablet.  An abundance of research have shown that a sedentary  lifestyle has been linked to a number of health issues. These issues include, obesity, neck and back pain, increased blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol levels, emotional problems, and death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.  According to the World Health Organization, physical inactivity has been identified as the fourth-leading risk factor for people around the world.   

You are probably standing by now, right?  So, how can you sit less and be more active? 

First, you have to realize how much you sit.  It’s important to recognize when you sit, so you can figure out how you can stand instead.   For example:  Stand up at work by raising your desk higher.  If you can’t, simply stand up every 15 minutes and take a break.   Drink a lot of water so that you stand up to use the bathroom more often.  Use the speakerphone during conference calls and walk around.   Some people use a treadmill desk!  And finally, while watching TV or looking at your phone or tablet, stand up during commercial breaks.

These are behavior pattern changes you can make, little by little.  So, go ahead and get up and give it a try!  
PTW’s Andrew Seo, DPT provides expert clinical care and is a manual therapy specialist PT at our Montgomeryville Clinic, located on Upper State Road.   For an initial evaluation, call Andrew at 215-855-1160 today for an appointment as soon as possible, no prescription needed!

Monday, August 22, 2016

No Time for Exercise? No Problem!

Be Creative and Get Your Extra Exercise! 

With the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in full swing, exercise and competition is on everybody's mind. But what if you are not an Olympic athlete? What if you can't run 400 meters in 43 seconds, or do cartwheels on a beam and land a double flip like Simone Biles? Is the thought of exercising overwhelming to you? Is the time that exercising takes overwhelming to you?

We don't have hours upon hours during our busy day to exercise. Time has been shown to be one of the greatest limiting factors for people not exercising. We are up early, hurry off to work, work hard, and then come home exhausted at the end of the day to spend quality time with our family.

So where do we begin? We can start by making small purposeful changes into our daily lives that will increase our overall physical activity. Studies have shown that purposefully increasing our everyday activity levels such as:
  •  taking the stairs instead of using the elevator or parking in the back of the parking lot can help improve a person’s overall health and well-being.
  • Setting a reminder on your smart phone to take a 15 minute walk at lunch is another great way to get moving and even relieve some stress.

It may take a little thought and planning, but these simple changes can be a great start to begin exercising and burning calories. Very simple changes and achievable goals will encourage you as you start to take care of yourself.

Remember, no one expects you to be an Olympian. Stay within yourself!
PTW's Tyler Haggerty is the Clinical Supervisor at Glenside For an initial evaluation, call Tyler at 215.887.2001 today for an appointment as soon as possible no prescription needed!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Give Relief to Your Aching Joints and Muscles

Tips to Relieve Your Aching Joint and Muscles

Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disorder in the United States, with the prevalence upwards to 30% for those 60 years old and over.   Furthermore, this incidence is expected to rise with the baby boomer generation as well as life expectancy both increasing in age. Along with pain and limited joint mobility, the diagnosis of osteoarthritis is generally accompanied by high occurrences of disability when in the knee and hip; as it accounts for more difficulty with climbing stairs and walking than any other disease. Fortunately, there are many things you can do and risk factors you can avoid which will help reduce your risk of developing symptoms from osteoarthritis as well as functional imitations.

Some modifiable risk factors include weight management, repetitive use, and muscle weakness. In regards to weight management and osteoarthritis, those individuals with a BMI greater than 30 have a 60% chance, roughly double, the risk of developing symptoms from arthritis than those with a lower BMI. To help manage your BMI, consultation with a primary care physician and nutritionist may help, as well as starting a safe, supervised exercise program such as the ones offered at the Physical Therapy and Wellness Institute. In regards to repetitive use, activity modification can help reduce wear and tear on joints resulting in further breakdown and increased pain. Things like reorganizing cabinets to move things off lower shelves; using a bench or stool while gardening or performing other household ADL’s, or raising the height of seating can reduce the incidence of kneeling, crouching, and squatting.

Lastly (and most importantly!) is to improve the strength of surrounding muscles and keeping moving. Improved strength of lower extremity muscles reduces forces through weight bearing arthritic joints, reducing force and strain that cause pain and further breakdown. Additionally, movement creates fluid exchange within a joint which can help to reduce pain, improve range of motion, and restore function. Starting an exercise program to help manage your arthritis pain, or prevent further breakdown and functional imitation is easy! Just stop by any one of our six centers for a free consultation!

PTW’s Jim Fagnani, DPT is the clinical supervisor of our West Norriton office.  For an initial evaluation, call for an appointment today at 610-630-0101 for an appointment as soon as possible, no prescription needed!  Our use of specialized manual techniques, modalities, and treatment regiments will help reduce inflammation and scar tissue, restore strength, and improve range of motion.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Tips to Reduce Those Gardening Pains!

It’s that time of year again, Gardening season!

I know that as a physical therapist, I often hear from injured patients, “I want to get back to gardening again.” With that being said here are some tips for safe and pain-free gardening.

  1. Stretch first! Do a little light stretching of your quadriceps, hamstrings, and piriformis. 
    • This helps to reduce the strain on your low back and knees
      2. Check your form! 
    • Avoid bending at your back!
      3. Use assistive devices such as foam pads to kneel on or a low stool to sit on                to avoid bending over the whole time and stressing your back!

      4. Watch the length of time you do this activity!
    • Avoid squatting, kneeling, or bending over for more than about 15-20 minutes at a time. 

PTW’s Stephanie McDougal, PT, DPT provides expert clinical care and is a vestibular/concussion specialist at our Montgomeryville Clinic, located in the Costco Shopping center on Upper State Road, just off route 309.   For an initial evaluation, call Steph at 215 855 1160 today for an appointment as soon as possible!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Running Season = Running Injuries, We have Solutions!

There are a whole lot of us in need of recovery and some treatment with running season upon us, especially with the biggest run in the Philadelphia area, The Broad Street Run, a month behind us! (The first Broad Street Run was in 1980 with 1,576 runners growing to over 40,000 runners in 2012)
Marathons have also exploded in popularity. The first Boston Marathon was in 1897 with only 18 runners. The New York City Marathon in 1971 had 137 runners growing to over 46,500 runners in 2011 and had over 93,000 applicants.
According to a Satterthwaite et al. study in 1999, the injury rate may be as high as 90% for runners training for a marathon. The five most common injuries for runners are patellofemoral pain syndrome, iliotibial band syndrome, plantar fasciitis, tibial stress syndrome, and meniscal injury.(Taunton et al. 2002). 
One thing that's true of runners is that we are crazy about running, and will take a break only when absolutely necessary. Even when we are banged up, we try to figure out a way to keep going. One of the best ways to do this is to continue with cardiovascular training without the repetitive pounding and compressive forces on our bodies.

Crystal Burnick, Broad Street Run Winner pictured above.
Trained & rehabbed on the Alter G.
The Alter-G, anti gravity treadmill, is an amazing way to do just that! It will allow you to get
back on your feet by decreasing the stress on tendons and muscle and with decrease the joint reaction forces through weight bearing surfaces. If you are struggling with one of these five common injuries listed above, or struggling with something completely different, do yourself a favor and look up the Alter-G at the The Physical Therapy and Wellness institute (PTW). PTW has an Alter-G in three of our five locations. They are located in Glenside, West Norriton and now Montgomeryville. 

Call us up, or stop in for a visit and take a free test run and experience the difference. Do your body a favor and take care of it as you have those summer and even fall runs in mind. Make sure that you will be ready run and injury free.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Opioids to Physical part of a solution

I recently got back from a conference where the overwhelming discussions were about Narcotics and the opioid epidemic.  Its a daily conversation any with Physical Therapists, Doctors, and most health care providers.  Conversations about collaborative efforts to reduce opioid use included Physical Therapy for pain management strategies, holistic modalities such as electrical stimulation, and TENS units.

Statistics are everywhere that suggest the problem is a large one:

Some statistics via The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which released guidelines in March 2016 encouraging health care providers to try safer alternatives like physical therapy for most pain management:

1. In 2012, health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for opioid pain medication, enough for every American adult to have their own bottle of pills.

2. As many as 1 in 4 people who receive prescription opioids long term for noncancer pain in primary care settings struggles with addiction.

3. Sales of prescription opioids have nearly quadrupled since 1999.

4. Deaths related to prescription opioids have quadrupled.

5. Heroin-related overdose deaths more than quadrupled between 2002 and 2014, and people addicted to prescription opioids are 40 times more likely to be addicted to heroin.

6. More than 165,000 persons in the United States have died from opioid pain-medication-related overdoses since 1999.

7. Every day, more than 1,000 people are treated in emergency departments for misusing prescription opioids.

Do you know someone in pain?

Encourage them to talk to their physician about seeing a physical therapist for safe ways to manage pain.

(information is from the American Physical Therapy public campaign  to battle the opioid epidemic.

Bob Babb, PT