Since 2020 has been the year of the health pandemic due to COVID-19, more and more people are very acutely aware of how the quality of their physical health influences their ability to protect themselves against illness. The healthier we are physically, the stronger our immune system tends to be and the more likely we are to recover from diseases like the common cold, influenza, and even the coronavirus.
It is a fact that COVID-19 has wreaked more havoc on those with compromised health or a longer list of comorbidities such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, pulmonary conditions, and cardiac conditions. It’s not to say that COVID-19 has not impacted those without underlying health conditions, it’s just that the statistics indicate it has been more detrimental to those with chronic health issues.
When the body is not physically functioning at its best, it doesn’t feel as good. Joints feel stiff and achy. Muscles feel tight and sore.
A sedentary 45-year-old can be “older” than an active 72-year-old.
Being inactive and sedentary can age you!
I’ve seen a 66-year-old hike up a mountain.
I’ve read about an 85-year-old who became the oldest Kona Ironman finisher.
I’ve treated a 70-year-old golfer who could walk circles around a 25-year-old computer whiz.
What do they all have in common?
THEY KEEP MOVING!
Being sedentary can lead to weight gain, muscle tightness, poor posture, poor circulation, high blood pressure, and other not-so-great health issues.
One of the best ways to keep moving is by walking more.
Another great way to feel younger is to lift some weights.
I’m not talking about bench pressing 300 pounds or squatting with a 150-pound bar.
Sure, you can do that if you want to as long as you gradually work your way up to it but it’s not a necessity to getting stronger or getting more fit.
Using resistance bands or dumbbells less than 15 pounds or a combination of both...
Now that Thanksgiving is officially over, many of us have moved on quickly to prepare for the holiday season. Between now and January 7th, there are many reasons to celebrate for lots of people: Advent, St. Nicholas Day, St. Lucia Day, Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Epiphany - forgive me if I have forgotten any.
As some of us celebrate, many are also facing challenging times due to the loss of loved ones or challenging relationships. For those who are suffering with grief or anxiety during this time of the season, my heart goes out to you. December is Seasonal Depression Awareness Month and many people struggle this time of year because of colder temperatures, less sunlight, and less opportunity to get outside due to in-climate weather.
If you struggle during this season of festivities, I encourage you to try these tips to help boost your mood:
Talk with your physician about getting special...
When was the last time you stopped and thought about all the good stuff happening in your life?
Sometimes when our world is filled with chaos, we forget to stop and be thankful for the little things.
We moved into our new 1925 cape cod house on January 30th - it was the coldest day of the year at -55 degrees Fahrenheit. My husband was diagnosed with pneumonia 2 days later.
When the snow thawed and the rain came, we discovered the seller’s version of “mild seepage” was our definition of huge water puddles all over the basement floor!
We had a flat tire on the way to my business conference in Nashville, TN in February and when we got to the “kid-friendly” hotel, we realized it was not kid-friendly. No pool and it charged $15.00 for a small pack of crackers. We quickly informed the kids that the snack tray in our hotel room...
I recently had a patient ask me where a flu shot should be administered. This may seem like an odd question since I am a Doctor of Physical Therapy and not a family physician. However, the reason she asked is because she had received another type of shot 2 weeks prior and her left shoulder had been painful since. She was due to have a flu shot and was concerned that her shoulder would be re-aggravated.
With flu season quickly approaching and because my patient asked me about this, I felt compelled to address an unfortunate situation that has occurred at least 3 times in recent years. I have cared for patients who received a flu shot only to discover shoulder pain within minutes to hours after the injection. Their pain persisted and ultimately resulted in a trip to the orthopedist and a prescription for physical therapy.
Flu shots are typically administered in the meatiest or thickest portion of the deltoid muscle of the upper arm. However, on rare occasions, the person administering...
This is a common question I get asked, especially when a teammate or the news reports on a high profile professional athlete tearing their ACL (anterior cruciate ligament in the knee).
Anytime an injury hits close to home, people become instantly aware that they could be at risk for injury too. It can be a little scary because sports are supposed to be fun. No one plays a sport and thinks they will get injured. In fact, most of the time people think that getting injured will never happen to them.
This is a myth. Injuries do happen and they can happen to you, your son, your daughter, and even your spouse.
Let’s look at some facts to show that while ACL injuries seem like a very common occurrence, the incidence of ACL injuries is low compared to the number of athletes participating in sports.
If you google “natural pain relief”, you will be inundated with a countless number of commercial products, supplements, herbs, etc. You could have your own small pharmacopeia of over-the-counter remedies.
The question is do any of these products actually work?
Besides natural pain relief options, you have the option of prescription medications. With the rise in opioid use and abuse, many physicians are a bit more stingy with prescribing pain medication and many patients are shying away from wanting to even start them. Unfortunately, there are still too many people dependent on both prescription and over-the counter medications to mask their pain - whether it be physical, psychological, or emotional pain that grips them.
What happens when the prescription medications no longer work or the physician stops prescribing them?
Many people turn to alcohol and/or illegal substances to self-medicate. What starts out as one drink turns into another and another and another....
As I write this blog, I am reminded that September 6th is National Read A Book Day.
Have you held a book in your lap and after reading it for awhile, tried to look up but felt a “kink in your neck”?
Or, maybe your son or daughter stayed up late cramming for an exam and then complained about a “kink in their neck” the next morning?
In my own personal experience, I have awakened with a “kink in my neck”.
Why does this happen?
One of the most common reasons the “kink in the neck” occurs is because of muscle imbalances.
What’s out of balance?
Stand up wherever you are right now.
Stand and move your chin to your chest to look down at your feet. Do you feel a pull in the back of your neck?
Imagine standing or sitting in this position for 1 hour. The muscles in the back of your neck would get nice and stretched but the muscles in the front of the neck would get nice and tight.
When someone is reading for awhile and...
Now that you have learned about the One Big Thing called INSURANCE that likes to dictate how you receive your physical therapy care so you can feel better, get in the way of you and your physical therapist deciding what is best for you, and refuse to pay a fair value for services delivered, I hope you can appreciate why I decided to change the game so you and and I could both WIN.
Throughout my 20+ years as a PT, I’ve created and developed the Feel Better Faster Formula to care for My People. I’ve already had this formula on my website and have created videos talking about it. The Feel Better Faster Formula guides you through the following steps to help you WIN!
This part is not new. What IS new is that as of May 20th, 2019 I will be moving all services online. This means you will have access to...
Yesterday, I shared how many hours I had to work to meet the demands of insurance requirements. I loved working with my patients but the documentation on the electronic medical record for 3 hours every night was killing me.
I literally went to work at 7:15 AM and left at 5:45 PM. I ate dinner with my girls then they went to bed. From 8-11 PM, I finished my patient notes. My husband sometimes got home from 2nd shift and went to bed before I did!
When I had that intestinal cancer scare in October 2014, for 10 days I thought I was going to die at a young age and leave my kids motherless. It was scary stuff and re-prioritized my thinking. In June 2015, I resigned and opened my physical therapy practice that didn’t take insurance. Do you know that it took 6 months of being home more frequently with my girls for my littlest girl to hug me?
Now she hugs me all the time and it’s the best feeling ever.
Did I make the right decision to resign and start my own practice?
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