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!