Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Which Shovel is Best for YOU?

Picking the Right Shovel

With winter in full swing it is important to make sure you have the proper equipment to keep you safe during the cold, slippery, winter months.

First of all, save all the hassle and install a heated driveway and walkways.

If not, then pay close attention !!!!

Facts and Myths of Shoveling

FACT: The Center for Injury Research and Policy, there are more than 11,000 medical                    emergencies each year related to shoveling snow. 

FACT: 2 minutes of shoveling snow can stress your cardiovascular system and raise heart
           rates past recommended levels.

MYTH: "When buying a shovel, bigger is better"

FACT: A shovel that is 18-22 inches wide is a good moderate size

Pros and Cons of Different Shovels


As always, be sure to stretch and take the proper precautions before shoveling to stay safe this winter! 

 PTW’s Stephen Linton, PT, DPT is the Clinical Supervisor at our Harleysville clinic. For an initial evaluation, call Steve at 267 932 9177 today!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Stay Safe Shoveling This Winter!

The Proper Do’s and Do Not's of Shoveling Snow

 A 2009 medical study published in The American Journal of Emergency Medicine found that, on average, 11,500 people across the country suffer snow shoveling-related injuries and medical emergencies every year. 

This winter season protect yourself with these do’s and do not's of shoveling.

Do: Warm Up and Stretch
·      Spent 5-10 mins doing some marching in place, squats, lunges, shoulder rolls, hamstring stretches, and heel cord stretches. Cold, tight muscles are more prone to injury than warmed up, flexible muscles.

Do: Pick the right shovel
·       A small, lightweight plastic blade helps reduce the amount of weight that you are moving      A shovel with a curved handle or an adjustable handle length will minimize painful bending, requiring you to bend your knees only slightly and arch your back slightly, while keeping the shovel blade on the ground. 

Don’t:  Be Macho
·      If you’re inactive or have a history of low back or neck pain, hire someone to shovel the driveway for you – neighborhood kids are usually eager to get out make a little bit of money on their days off.
·       If you are going to shovel yourself, don’t try to lift large piles of snow.

Don’t: Delay
·      Fresh snow weighs far less than snow that has been sitting for a while. Waiting allows for the snow to compact and get wet, translates to becoming heavier or even worse turning into ice.

Do: Push the snow
·         If possible push the snow to a pile.  

Don’t: Twist and throw the snow
·      What you might not have known is that one shovelful of snow can weigh up to 20 pounds. But if you have to lift the snow, maintain good posture.

o   Stand with your feet shoulder width apart for balance and bend at the knees rather than at the waist or back.
o   Keep the shovel close to your body rather than extending your arms all the way.
o   Tighten your stomach muscles and then lift with your legs as if you are doing a squat.
o   Switch off between snow shoveling right-handed and left-handed, so that you’re working different muscles.

Do: Take your time
·      I know it’s cold but rushing and not paying attention to your body mechanics could increase your risk of injury.  Low back pain from shoveling is one of the common reasons for emergency room visits in the winter.
·      Shoveling is a form of weight lifting. You need to pace yourself and take regular breaks. If you feel any pain you should stop.

Do: Keep and cellphone handy
·      Just in case for emergencies. Always better to be safe than sorry.

Don’t: Continue if you are experiencing pain
If you do experience pain or an injury that continues throughout the day or weekend, you are welcome to utilize PTW’s FREE screenings and consultations. You can be assessed by a licensed physical therapist and given a recommendation based on the findings. Appointments are made within 24 hours of phone call.

 PTW’s Stephanie McDougal, PT, DPT is the Clinical Supervisor at our Souderton clinic. For an initial evaluation, call Steph at 215 855 1160 today for an appointment as soon as possible!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Joint Health must items to do; Its about you!

Getting your joints healthy is directly proportional to your healthy mind, so consider some of the habits below from the experts who recommend them;

Your Joint Health is about you making change in 2017
Put down the Mobile phone:

The mobile phone creates "Technoference" with the folks you work with, your live with, folks in your community, interferes with new relationships, and weakens the quality and quantity of our face to face communications.  Pull out stamps for notes of gratitude, go see a concert with an old friend, even stop a neighbor at their mailbox to say hello. 


Exercise for the fun of it 

Fit bits, computers, and personal trainers have increased our reporting measures on exercise, creating improved accountability for ones own personal health.  When it gets stale or you feel you need a break, , just get outside (cold or warm!) to have some fun.  Walking in fresh snow, in the rain, or on a super hot day excites your senses,  renews our spirits, brings back youth, and creates new ideas.  


Get back to simplicity in eating

Starting a diet in January will help you maybe lose weight, but changing your life lenses may help you more.  Lifestyle change runs hand in hand with diet, and will help with successful long term health and weight maintenance.  For example, the simpler the food, the less the ingredients in what you eat becomes part of your lifestyle, rather than counting calories.  Forget the corn syrup, drive by fast food joints, drop the bleached foods, and eat to live instead of living to eat.

Meet more people

Meeting new people develops new relationships, builds confidence, expands your network, gives you fresh ideas, and builds your communication skills...all while having fun and being yourself!

Of course, some personalities clash, where relationships never build. That is OK, some folks assess your over a brief period of time.  They say it takes less than 30 seconds for folks to assess weather they like you or not (some say 7 seconds), so chances are the more people you meet, the more that may like you, the more you can do business with, or into your network of friends and colleagues!

Stand up more

We are sitting to return text, write emails, work from home at our desks, taking seats more at work.  In short, we were meant to be locomotive, so stand up when you can.  Get a stand up work station or desk that can raise when you want to stand.  Positive effects are well noted on reducing your weight,  in your on your cardiovascular system, blood glucose levels, joint health, reduction in back pain, and a whole lot more


Monday, November 28, 2016

Thankful for YOU!


With the Thanksgiving spirit in the air, I am especially thankful for the men and women that we get to serve on a daily basis!  It is both a joy and privilege to help patients rehabilitate through pain, sweat, and at times even tears  in order to reap the benefits and rewards of a better lifestyle with less pain and improved function. 

Celebrating the joy of performing stairs for the first time after a total knee replacement, throwing a ball with their son for the first time after surgery, and being able to get their coat on pain-free, are all celebrations within the past week that I have been able to share with my patients. PTW is especially thankful for you, our patients, our celebrations, our friends!

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, November 17, 2016

Pain Free November

No Pain November!

    Don’t put off being in pain like men put off shaving in November!

Acute pain or pain that has lasted less than 3 months is generally much easier to treat then if you let it become chronic (3-6 mos)!

Many studies show that, “There was a lower risk of subsequent medical service usage among patients who received PT early after an episode of acute low back pain relative to those who received PT at later times.”2  

Studies also show that, “With chronic pain, one's nervous system is sometimes altered, making it more sensitive to pain. As a result, painful sensations might feel more severe and last longer.”1

Whether its back pain, neck pain, you rolled your ankle walking the dog, or you’re having frequent headaches, Physical Therapy can help!!

Don’t keep suffering in pain through the holiday season, schedule an appointment to get some pain relief and have an enjoyable holiday season!

 PTW’s Stephanie McDougal, PT, DPT is the Clinical Supervisor at our Souderton clinic. She provides expert clinical care and is a vestibular/concussion specialist. For an initial evaluation, call Steph at 215 855 1160 today for an appointment as soon as possible!

1.       Kam, K. (2011, February 18). Living with Chronic Pain: Is your pain acute or chronic? (L. Chang MD, Ed.). Retrieved November 9, 2016, from http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/chronic-pain-11/types-pain?page=1

2.       Gellhorn AC, Chan L, Martin B, Friedly J. Management Patterns in Acute Low Back Pain: the Role of Physical Therapy. Spine. 2012;37(9):775-782. doi:10.1097/BRS.0b013e3181d79a09.

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!