Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories sometimes seem like a lifesaver, but there is evidence that long term use has negative effects. In fact, overuse has been seen to increase arthritic changes in joints, reduce tissue healing in tendons, and is contraindicated when bone healing is vital as in spinal fusion surgery. Also, some people have sensitive responses in the gastrointestinal tract.
There are alternative anti-inflammatory methods that are being discussed. Nobody has the magic cure yet, but if you want to try some natural alternatives here are some evidence-supported ideas. (special note: If you do decide to try some of the supplements I would always check with your physician, naturopath, pharmacist, etc….whoever knows your medical history and understands the medications you are taking.)
Finally, here is some of the best advice I’ve heard:
I know. I wondered too. Is it farther or further? Anyone who lives beyond 50 is certainly further down the road. And that’s why it’s vital that people in this category learn strategies to help them live longer and healthier. Thus the title!
October was National Physical Therapy Month. The theme delivered by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) was “Move Forward: Physical Therapy Brings Motion to Life.” Ultimately, the brand for our direction is to restore and improve motion with the long term goal of improving quality of life.
For our 50 plus group, I’d like you to consider that “motion is anti-aging!” We take this for granted. . . until we lose it! Physical therapsits are experts in the way the body moves, so we can help improve people’s quality of life by helping them move freely so they can do the things they want to do (and for many many more years) without pain and discomfort.
The week of September 20th was Fall Prevention Week, and September 23rd was Fall Prevention Awareness Day. According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the leading cause of injuries, some being fatal injuries in people over age 65. In the U.S. we spend $19 million dollars annually for related injuries and rehabilitation.
Falls can often be prevented and controlled. Perhaps medications need to be adjusted. Consider clearing clutter around the house, including power cords and throw rugs. Change to a wider platform style shoe. Address weakness, vision, and fear. Fear? That’s right. Fear of falling is itself a major cause of falls.
When balance slides away, so does life’s quality. In fact, starting with fear, there are the “5 F’s” that I have defined, which show how balance problems can become a literal slippery slope.
Fear of falling must be addressed to prevent falls. Falling is often synonymous with a loss of independence for aging adults, and that fear often keeps them from both reporting problems and seeking help.
Fatigue is the term I use to describe a person who holds back from normal activities due to fear of falling. Soon they become deconditioned and end up with muscle weakness, reduced stamina, and impaired bone health. Eventually, this group becomes “frail.”
Fall is a scary term, especially for a person who has become fatigued and frail. Because a fall in this population of people can lead to the next “F,” a fracture.
Fracture is a major result of many falls, particularly in those whose bones are not in optimal health. In fact, when a frail person falls and breaks a hip, the result can lead quickly to the 5th F, failure.
Failure occurs in many frail individuals who fracture their hip. Their body has to work extra hard to heal the broken bone. It taxes their system to the point they die.
Balance problems often sneak up on people. So it’s important when there is any question about your balance. Have a physical therapist test it. If it’s off, the physical therapist can help you optimize your balance. Sometimes, you can get a home program that you can practice and get good results.
A second piece to the balance puzzle is functional strength. To help with this, please view my brand new video on intensity training. Of course, be sure to check with your healthcare provider prior to starting a new exercise program if you haven’t already been involved in an exercise program.
In conclusion, now’s the time to maximize your health and longevity. Take the next step. Contact us at Alpine Physical Therapy and schedule an appointment with one of our 11 therapists. We’ll assess your balance and strength and get you started on a safe and helpful strategy for getting your balance. . . and your life back. Call us at 251-2323 or 541-2606. Or visit our website at www.AlpinePTmissoula.com.
For most types of shoulder pain, there’s no reason to live with the pain. Expert physical therapists see and treat shoulder problems and expect results.
Learn the steps that master clinician Angela Listug-Vap of Alpine Physical Therapy takes to help people get their shoulder back on track quickly and successfully.
To schedule a thorough shoulder examination with Angela, you are invited to call our north clinic at 541-2606.
And for more information on shoulder problems, take a look at our patient guides on a variety of shoulder conditions available on our clinic website by clicking here.
Doing the same activities over and over again can lead to pain and problems. Whether at work or play, knowing the facts about cumulative trauma disorder is key.
For people who spend hours at a computer, I offer the 20/20 rule. Your body needs a bit of rest and recovery. Doing so can help you work more comfortably and with even greater productivity. To help with this, take 20 seconds every 20 minutes to do some gentle stretches, stand up, rest your eyes, and breathe!
To help you build your knowledge base for hitting cumulative trauma disorder head on, I invite you read more on this topic. Click here to read the document on this topic on my website, AlpinePTmissoula.com.
1/19/2011 0 Comments
Join Leah Versteegen, DPT of Alpine Physical Therapy for a discussion about her new program designed to provide court sport enthusiasts with tools for reducing injuries and maximizing sport performance.
Great timing, especially since the Peak Racquet Club opened their stunning facility merely a few months ago. It’s quite a to-do with 5 indoor tennis courts and 8 squash & handball courts. Very timely indeed.
Take a few minutes to discover how Leah, a sports-minded physical therapist applies her skills in the realm of sports biomechanics to maximize performance among court sport athletes.
For more information, be sure to visit the sports medicine section of our website by clicking here.
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a common problem affecting the hand and wrist. Symptoms begin when the median nerve gets squeezed inside the carpal tunnel of the wrist. Any condition that decreases the size of the carpal tunnel or enlarges the tissues inside the tunnel can produce the symptoms of CTS.
This syndrome has received a lot of attention in recent years because of suggestions that it may be linked with occupations that require repeated use of the hands, such as typing on a computer keyboard or doing assembly work. Actually, many people develop this condition regardless of the type of work they do.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, I want you to try this super easy and often helpful tip to help ease your symptoms. The next time you’re feeling tingling or pain in your hand and fingers, do this.
Place your hands on your belly. With your other hand, firmly grasp the middle and ring fingers of your sore hand. While securely squeezing your fingers, gently begin to pull your arms apart. You should feel as though you’re two fingers are being stretched out. Hold this stretch for 30 to 60 seconds. You may find that this tactic can help you keep your symptoms at bay. (The picture below shows me self treating my right hand.)
For more information on carpal tunnel syndrome, I invite you to read the document on my clinic website called “A Patient’s Guide to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.” It’s easy to read, has visually appealing graphics, and gives you helpful information on the causes and treatments for this common malady.
Click here to get the rest of this informative document on my clinic website located at www.AlpinePTmissoula.com.
What began as a dream three years ago, became a drawing six months ago. That drawing unfolded with our groundbreaking on August 15th, 2010. A mere four months later, we swung wide the doors of our brand new 4,300 square foot commercial building on Stockyard Road, just east of Carino’s.
Along with expert outpatient physical therapy delivered by Missoula’s top physical therapists, we also launched within our new building The Core Studio at Alpine.
A building with a strong foundation . . . it’s like Alpine’s strong and deep commitment to lifelong health and wellness of our community.
Located at 2965 Stockyard Road in the North Reserve Business Center, we’re a stone’s throw east of Johnny Carino’s.
Physical therapy is a “helping” profession. That was ever clearer to me today. I’d prepared 5 hours for today’s presentation. You see, it had to be done just right. Why? Because the 30 people from Missoula County Schools attending my seminar help the lives of a special population of people, special needs children.
Lifting stuff is hard work. When you add the dynamics of lifting special needs kids, the risks shoot sky high for back pain at work. That’s why it had to be just right.
Having prepped well, I was excited and ready to go. Nervous? A little, especially because the Montana School Board Association had earlier planned to video tape my 1.5 hour presentation. No. I wasn’t really nervous. I was simply jacked to be able to share the knowledge I’ve gleaned as a PT over 20 years, especially the time I’ve focused on helping employers and workers enjoy greater safety, particularly back safety.
I barely made it on time, thanks to steady falling snow and horribly slow traffic on Reserve today. Yet I got there on time. Participants at first didn’t seem all that excited to “have to” sit through “another” safety program. Yet the information was fresh, and people sensed it. Resultantly, they got into it.
When I got to the point about lifelong fitness, they were equally attentive, especially when I shared efficient and effective ways for them to optimize fitness using new scientific models that incorporate high intensity interval training, along with full-body, functional exercise.
It was a pleasure meeting with this fine group of people, people who work so hard to help others. In doing so, their backs are unquestionably at greater risk. I’m optimistic, however, that some of the things I presented today will aid these caring individuals in reducing their risks of back pain at work.
Stretching is not a panacea for what ails you. But it is a helpful way to avoid problems and for gaining a foothold on certain aspects of your health. As a physical therapist for 20 years, I’ve watched people improve their health and well-being with a proper stretching regimen. I’ve also seen people with painful conditions find relief through a guided stretching program.
However, when addressing the idea of stretching for people who do repetitive work, there’s a time to stretch. . . and a time . . . to perhaps look for other therapies.
The timeframe for stretching is on the front end of symptoms. Catching muscle fatigue before it happens is the goal. You see, fatigue during repetitive actions is a slippery slope to other potential problems, like discomfort, pain, or other symptoms. Used preventively, stretching is a frontline tool for helping people avoid problems of overuse at work.
The notion that people shouldn’t stretch when sore or fatigued is only hazardous if the condition has progressed to the point of tissue damage. At that point, an individualized stretching program could prove harmful.
However, in my discussion of rest and recovery with workers who are at risk for overuse problems, I always promote stretching in the the context of avoiding the slippery slope of fatigue. Stretching tissues that have been hard at work, as with repetitive keyboarding or athletics, is healing. Tissues that have not progressed to being damaged respond best to active stretching.
On the flip-side, if tissue damage associated with overuse has occurred, stretching may not be the best choice. Certainly, the degree of fatigue, soreness, or pain, should be considered prior to initiating a stretching program. This is why working with professional such as a physical therapist, occupational therapist, physiatrist, or chiropractor, who is knowledgeable in the area of overuse problems at work makes sense.
For more information on overuse problems at work, I encourage you to watch my short video on the topic.
For more information, be sure to visit my clinic website at www.AlpinePTmissoula.com.
Knee pain is a drain. Too often it keeps people from really getting out and doing the activities they enjoy. It hurts to hike, especially downhill. Even sitting and watching a movie can bring it on.
But that’s changing. When the pain is coming from problems with the knee cap, physical therapists are taking a brand new approach . . . that works much better and faster than traditional means.
Leah Versteegen, a Doctor of Physical Therapy at Alpine Physical Therapyknows the science. Using her approach gets results quickly for this type of knee pain. Watch her interview with Dr. Randale Sechrest to discover how and why.
For more information on knee cap pain, problems, and solutions, be sure to visit our clinic website at www.AlpinePTmissoula.com.
Brent Dodge is the founding owner of Alpine Physical Therapy and is a board certified orthopedic specialist. He holds additional certifications in Functional Dry Needling, Manual Physical Therapy, and Strength and Conditioning.
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