One of the most common injuries I see in my office is poor posture. In fact, regardless of the primary reason a patient comes to see me for physical therapy, I could argue that 99% of my patients have “abnormal posture” as a secondary injury.
A twenty-something-old started physical therapy a few weeks ago. His primary complaint was shoulder blade pain with reaching forward. His secondary problem was occasional low back pain.
Guess what the root cause of his problem is?
Yes, I am screaming at the top of my lungs because posture affects EVERYTHING!
If your shoulders are rounded forward, your neck is forward, your mid-back is slumped, and your lower back lacks its normal curve, then you will have problems.
Because your entire body is more forward than it is supposed to be so your center of gravity is also forward. Your body does not work as efficiently when our center of gravity is in front of hips and...
What’s the biggest pain you have experienced?
A broken bone?
A sprained ankle?
A root canal?
Regardless of the type of pain or the cause of the pain, I anticipate the #1 thought you are thinking of is “How do I get rid of the pain?”
Here’s 5 Steps You Can Take Immediately When Pain Begins?
Have you ever had difficulty standing up from a chair or squatting down to pick up a laundry basket?
Have you ever felt weakness in your legs and struggled to go up and down stairs?
If you answered “Yes” to any of these scenarios, then it’s very likely that your legs aren’t as strong as they should be.
In a recent video, I describe three exercises that can help increase knee strength so that your legs can start feeling stronger.
Strengthening the muscles in your legs is key to protecting your knee joint. When your gluteal, quad, and hamstring muscles are weak, they cannot accept the forces you place on your body during daily activities like walking, going up and down steps, and squatting to lift a laundry basket from the floor. If your muscles don’t do the work to absorb those forces, then your joints will. Strengthening + flexibility promotes bone health, joint health, and easier mobility.
If it is a constant battle...
With Spring arriving and the weather getting warmer, I tend to see more injuries related to overuse activity. For example, many people increase their walking or running distances. They also may do spring cleaning around the house which translates into more trips up and down the stairs. An increase in yard work naturally occurs too as the snowblower is winterized and the lawn mower is powered up.
Whichever activity you are getting more involved in, it is important to recognize when your activity is too much or you did too much too quickly. In one of my recent videos, I discuss the signs and symptoms of patellar tendinitis. If you are having knee pain, this video will walk you through what to look for and what your next steps should be.
You don’t have to live with pain. Pain doesn’t have to be part of the aging process or something you have to experience as you increase your activity level or get back into sports. Pain is present to let you know something is...
As I watched my husband measure the wood, cut, piece together, and hammer our new garden box, I was motivated by his work. He took scraps of wood that we had tucked away in the rafters of our oversized garage and created a very utilitarian garden box that would save our backs for summers to come.
My biggest motivation from observing him was that we often overlook the tools we already have to start a project. Prior to him building the garden box, I had searched the internet to see if we could buy a few pre-made garden boxes or kits for garden boxes. I instantly received sticker shock!
We are not trying to break our bank to grow some veggies!
My husband decided to be resourceful and look around at what we already had available. We already had enough wood to make a single large garden box about 7 feet long and 40 inches wide.
No, it’s not super fancy, but it will get the job done!
The same approach can be taken towards tackling other...
April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month and it’s important to learn more about recognizing the signs and symptoms associated with Parkinson’s Disease:
In a recent Facebook video, I reviewed these signs and symptoms plus went into detail regarding a few solutions to improve these areas of difficulty.
Exercise, physical therapy, and nutrition can play important roles for patients with Parkinson’s Disease. If you have questions, I encourage you to speak up and learn as much as possible so you can manage PD in the most optimal way. I’m happy to start a conversation with you!
To Your Best Health,
It’s that time of the year where many people move into deep clean mode for their house. Windows get washed, air filters get changed, the snow blower gets winterized, and the list continues.
What about Spring Cleaning for your body?
That’s right! Your body could need a Spring Tune-Up too!
It’s the perfect time to reassess your health goals.
Fitness, Food, and Rest goals
Relationship goals with family and friends
Let’s dive in a little deeper to each of these areas - all of which I discuss in greater detail in my book that was published on Amazon this past December.
Fitness, Food, and Rest
Movement = medicine
When you move, you can manage an ideal body weight, lower your blood pressure, increase your blood flow, reduce stress, stay mobile, increase strength, increase endurance, increase your stamina, decrease your risk of...
I have fallen down the steps twice - once when I was in physical therapy school and once after I was married but before we had kids.
The first time I fell was because I was in a hurry so I was running down the stairs between the floors in my graduate housing apartment complex. Racing down any stairs can be dangerous but try doing that while also looking through your mail to make sure you put stamps on the envelopes!
Not a good idea!
As I looked at the last envelope, I thought I was on the landing to the next set of stairs and I missed the last step. I fell crashing down with my backpack on top of me and my envelopes all scattered about. Despite the pain, I hobbled my way to my physical therapy class. The lesson for the day was gait abnormalites and I was now the lead candidate for everyone to observe my antalgic gait pattern! Not fun! My left ankle was swollen like a tennis ball and very painful. I did receive the nice benefit of electrical stimulation and ice...
If you have ever watched a baby learning to walk, you can see them struggle to learn how to coordinate their balance for hands and knees crawling to walking on two feet. They typically pull themselves up by grabbing on to furniture or people to steady themselves. The name “toddler” implies toddling around as they continue to get a feel for walking.
Contrast the image of a baby learning to walk with an Olympic runner like Usain Bolt from Jamaica. This elite athlete has advanced his balance to a level where he propelled himself forward at speed so fast in 2009 that he broke the 100 meter dash record in 9.58 seconds.
The image of the baby learning to walk and Usain Bolt crossing the finish line may seem like extreme opposites but they have one thing in common: BALANCE.
Both the baby and the sprinter must develop balance to propel themselves forward. The baby is at the beginning stages of developing balance when they are first learning how to pull...
A year ago I was bored with exercise. I had done the same exercise video series for 8 consecutive years and I was losing motivation. With COVID-19 and quarantine just in its infancy, the last thing I felt like continuing was the same video series again.
I tried walking on my treadmill. I tried walking outside. I tried lifting weights. I became really frustrated because not only was I bored, but my fitness had plateaued. I gained 12 pounds because I was eating the same amount of food even though I was not exercising as consistently or intensely as previously.
I was in a rut.
Have you ever been in a rut?
Have you ever felt like you should be doing more yet don’t really know what to do?
That was me. And, what made it worse was that I was super motivated in creating exercise plans for my patients. I had endless ideas for them and they were having fun plus getting the results they wanted with the exercise programs I was creating for them.
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