How Physical Therapy Helps Retirees Keep Dreams Alive During the Golden Years

Are you among the millions of Americans who have high aspirations for how you’ll spend the extra time during your post-retirement years? Whether you plan to travel the world, pick up fly fishing, spend more time woodworking or sign up for a golf league, your physical fitness level will be a factor.

A 2010 study suggests that the fitness declines we typically attribute to advancing age are largely caused by living sedentary lifestyles—which are on the rise due to the prominence of desk jobs in the workplace and activity-limiting personal technologies including smart phones and voice-activated remote controls in the home. Still, this runs contrary to the widely held belief that any declines in our physical abilities are caused solely by biological aging. Do we really have control over how active we’ll be in our “golden years”?

In a word, absolutely. The study—which examined 900,000 running times of marathon and half-marathon participants aged 20 to 79—found no significant age-related performance declines in those younger than 55 years old, and only moderate declines among the older cohorts. In fact, more than one-quarter of runners aged 65 to 69 were faster than half of the runners aged 20 to 54.

And for those thinking that these runners must have been lifelong enthusiasts of the sport, the study revealed that 25% of runners aged 50 to 69 were relative newcomers—and had started marathon training within the previous 5 years. The researchers concluded that even at an advanced age, people in the “non-athlete” category who engage in regular training can reach high performance levels.

If this revelation is intriguing, then perhaps it’s time for you to get moving! If you aren’t currently active, then you likely have questions and concerns about where to start. And if you regularly engage in physical activities, then you’ve probably set goals that you’d like to achieve. Either way, there’s no shortage of tools and resources to help you live a more active lifestyle but one reliable place to start is with a physical therapist.

The benefits of beginning with a physical therapist consultation are many: PTs are trained to assess your abilities and limitations, consider your health concerns, demonstrate safe exercises and build a plan to increase strength, function and mobility. Whatever your passion is, physical therapy will help you be fit and injury-free so you may enjoy life’s many pursuits. Click HERE to sign up for a FREE discovery visit with our Doctor of Physical Therapy to learn how can continue to do the activities you love without limitations.

5 Reasons Why You Should Not Rush Into Back Surgery

In the world today, we’ve grown accustomed to immediate results. Whether we’re ordering lunch or texting a friend, a quick response is valued and expected.

When it comes to the human body, we can’t always ask for that kind of speed. An issue like back pain can take some time to develop…so it only stands to reason that it will take some time to resolve.

However, sometimes people think they can simply have back surgery and return to their pain-free ways in a matter of days. Problem solved, right?

This isn’t usually the case. Back surgery is not the best option when it comes to treating back pain, and there are several reasons why it’s something you should not rush into.

Other Treatments Are Usually Effective

Mayo Clinic points out that “most back pain resolves on its own within two months.” Conservative treatments like massage, exercise, acupuncture, physical therapy, and manual physical therapy can often relieve your pain in a safer, less invasive, and less expensive manner.

Recovery from Back Surgery Can Take Weeks or Months

If you’re looking for a quick fix, back surgery isn’t exactly it. Depending upon your overall health and the type of surgery performed, recovery can take between four days and four months. A minor laminectomy, for example, usually allows you to return to light activity after a few days. A spinal fusion could require months.

Depending on the scope of the surgery, you might need help getting in and out of bed and going to the bathroom for a few days. You will have to care for the incision. You will likely be on some serious pain medication that prevents you from driving. Your life and your full range of movements and activities probably won’t return to normal for several months.

Back Surgery Doesn’t Address the Cause of Your Back Pain

Was your back pain a result of poor posture? Muscular imbalances in your body? Overall weakness of your core muscles? Using poor form to lift heavy objects at work or in the home? If you have surgery and return to the same habits, your back pain will likely return, as well.

All Surgery Comes with Risks

Although all precautions are taken during a surgical procedure, any surgery carries risks to be aware of. This can include bleeding, infection, reaction to the anesthesia, blood clots, nerve damage, and even stroke or heart attack. Certain types of surgery and certain health conditions might increase your risk. Of course, most people come out of surgery with no complications, but the inherent risks provide another reason to avoid surgery unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Back Surgery Doesn’t Always Solve the Problem

WebMD says it best: “The biggest risk of back surgery: Not knowing for sure if it’s going to help with your pain.” Back pain is a complicated issue with a variety of contributing factors. You don’t want to go through the expense and the recovery associated with back surgery only to find out you’re still in pain.

For that reason, back surgery should be a last resort. It should be reserved for only the most severe chronic cases of back pain or specific injuries.

For more information and tips about natural ways to live with less back pain – you can CLICK HERE to download a free copy of my back pain tips guide.

Why It’s Vital To Keep Active In the Fall & Winter, And Tips To Make It Easier

Dark mornings? Check.

Needing to wrap up in more layers when leaving the house? Check.

I think it’s safe to say that the fall and winter season has officially arrived.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy this time of year…

But what I don’t enjoy is that the cold weather makes working out seem less than desirable.

Would you agree?

Whether that’s down to looking like a wrapped up Egyptian mummy if you go for a run, or heating up the car for a good 5 minutes in the morning before heading to the gym…

All those things combined can make the idea of exercising just that bit tougher.

I get that it’s tempting to stay snuggled up in bed or on the sofa where it’s nice and warm…

But this shouldn’t be a time that your fitness plans hibernate – especially with all of the treats around in the run up, and even after Christmas.

With the right attitude and mix of exercises, fall and winter can be a great time to mix up your workouts, get creative and reignite your love of fitness.

And, of course, exercise can help you beat those winter blues that always pop up as well as keep your body moving which is especially important if you’re wanting to keep any aches and pains away.

So, with that, here’s how to make the most of your winter workouts:

Change Your Mind

Winter isn’t just about cold weather; it’s a whole new season!

We’re all so busy these days that time seems to fly by – which is why it’s important to reflect on our past accomplishments and current goals.

Spend a bit of time sitting down and revisiting your goals, then plan out what you’d like to accomplish during the next few months.

It can help you see winter in a whole new light!

Go Out and Play!

If you can’t find the energy to work out, try ‘playing’ instead.

You can burn quite a few calories playing indoors or out.

Play with your kids or grandkids whenever you see them…

You could even try ice-skating at the Irvine Spectrum; it can burn more than 450 calories an hour!

Or if you have a bike, put your thermals on and get out on the road. Cycling will definitely help keep you warm.

Get Creative At Home

Getting to the gym can be more of a hassle when it’s cold outside, so why not get creative at home and come up with different ways to exercise.

Whether you try a workout DVD, invest in a new piece of fitness equipment or just use your body weight for a workout – exercising at home can be convenient and fun.

As a bonus, you don’t have to worry about catching a cold from a fellow gym-goer either!

Try Something New

There’s nothing like signing up for a new class to get you up and moving during the chilly months.

By trying something new you reignite your motivation for fitness.

Or why not try indoor sports like volleyball or tennis.

Participating in a regular activity that you’ve paid for is a fantastic way to stay active in winter.

You might even make some new friends or learn some new skills – it’s a win-win!

Set A Big Goal – And Some Little Goals

Winter can leave some of us with hardly any motivation to exercise. So why not try heating things up with a challenge – a new goal.

It can be anything from losing some weight before Christmas to running a 5k.

The most important thing about this is to pick a goal that you really want and one that will help you stretch beyond your comfort zone to reach it.

Setting a smart goal that you then break down into smaller, achievable action steps is a great way to start.

Get Excited

If you’ve never been a fan of winter, then start focusing on what you DO love about it.

Whether that’s enjoying all the great, in-season food that you can enjoy…

Or curling up on the sofa with a big mug of hot chocolate, (sugar-free of course, if we’re focusing on health goals) after a long workout.

There’s so much to love about winter when you embrace it.

So, there you have it, 6 ways you can make the most out of your winter workout.

There’s so many great options, but make sure you always stay safe no matter what you do.

My tip for you – if you’re struggling to find a routine or have no idea where to start at keeping active, just go for a long walk – and while on that walk start to think about some of the things you might enjoy doing – and then commit to doing them even just once per week!

P.S. If you’ve got pain that’s stopping you from driving around to see the Wisconsin scenery, hiking (or snowshoeing!) to see a beautiful sunrise, or just simply walking your dog in the morning you can request a free appointment HERE with our Physical Therapist. Our Discovery Visit is the first step to gain back your strength, mobile, and independence for your favorite activities year round.

“Can Walking Be Bad For My Knees?”

We’ve heard the question before, a woman comes into our clinic to view all her options for knee pain and begins with…

“Can walking be bad for my knees?”

She mentioned she’s started to experience knee pain a few years ago when walking down the stairs and thought nothing of it.

She thought it was just something that would “wear off” in time.

But, when she noticed the pain in her knees every time she went down the stairs, or walked up and down hills with her dog, she thought she better do something about it.

She went to his doctor, who told her to rest and take painkillers to ease the pain.

But the word “rest” can be confusing…

What does “rest” even mean?

Does it mean sitting on the sofa all day when you’ve got things to do?

Or does it mean not walking until your knee feels better?

And then when it does, how much walking is too much?

Does it mean avoiding exercise altogether?

Being told to rest and take painkillers is one of the most common things we hear when people are given “knee pain” advice.

This cocktail mix of rest and taking pills will do absolutely nothing to help you get back to being active…

It will 100% not get to the root cause of what caused your knee pain in the first place.

Instead of rest, you should actually move!

(So long as it’s not a serious knee injury that’s caused damage).

If you’re one of the many people suffering with knee pain, you might be worried about using your knees and might want to take some time off to let your knees heal….

But walking is a safe, low-impact activity, that can actually help get you on the road to recovery.

When we don’t move our joints, they become stiff and immobile, which can cause inflammation – which actually makes joints like our knees even MORE painful!

If you’ve suffered a serious knee injury that’s caused damage, then that’s another story altogether…

If you’re experiencing daily, annoying knee pain, then there’s some simple things you can do to keep moving, and walk safely, without making it worse.

Something as simple as changing your shoes and gentle bodyweight exercises anyone can do from the comfort of their own home, are just two examples.

When it comes to shoes, have you thought about getting a good pair of walking shoes?

They have good cushioning and shock absorption, so if your shoes are old and have lost their cushioning, you should replace them.

If you have “flat feet” (low arches, where your feet roll inwards as you walk), a shoe with enhanced support, or orthotic inserts, will help relieve the stress on your knees.

Always start your walk with a slow, gradual warm-up and try to get out for a walk during a time in the day when your knee pain isn’t so bad.

Start with show walks and build up time and distance gradually.

Doing strengthening exercises for the legs can help keep your knees in good walking condition.

Bodyweight exercises like squats, calf raises and glute bridges are good choices.

Flexibility exercises for the leg muscles help maintain movement and range of motion in your joints and reduce the amount of strain placed on them.

Always warm up before stretching and performing any of these exercises and don’t over-do it.

It’s important you never feel pain when you do these movements.

Knees are made to bend.

They’re designed to help us walk, kneel down, bend to help grab objects, walk up and down stairs – not to stay still and rest all day!

(Which is what a lot of people do!)

Start slow…

With gentle walking and strengthening exercises, and build up slowly so you can do more.

It might feel like knee pain is something you’ll have to learn to live with and might not be able to be as active as you once were – that’s not always the case.

Don’t just accept rest and taking painkillers as your only solution…

There’s a way to get back to living a life you enjoy.

Do you need help answering questions about your knee pain?  Click here to find out more and to download your FREE Knee Pain Report!

Have YOU Been Told You Need Surgery?

“I have to get surgery for my torn meniscus. I’m going to be out of commission for a while.”

“My back problems have gotten so bad that my doctor says I need surgery to repair the herniated disk.”

“The MRI doesn’t look so good. Hopefully the surgery will be a quick fix.”

Do any of these Sound familiar?

Most of us know someone who has been told that they needed surgery for a knee or back issue – or we have received that disheartening news ourselves.

A herniated disk is one of the most common back problems in adults, and is often treated with lumbar discectomy as the first option. The goal of this surgery is to remove the herniated portion of the disc from the patient’s back, releasing pressure on surrounding nerves and muscles.

The other common injury that frequently leads to surgery is a meniscus tear. Your meniscus stabilizes and cushions the knee joint. A tear would be viewed easily on an MRI, in response to which many doctors would immediately prescribe surgery. Following the surgery, you would probably spend about two weeks with your leg completely immobilized. Then you would be introduced to a rehabilitation plan that included physical therapy – not to recover from your injured knee, but to recover from the surgery that supposedly fixed it.

Surgery, in the right circumstances, can be extremely beneficial. But unfortunately, it is over-prescribed and often unnecessary, especially for individuals with back and knee pain. Seeing a herniated disc or torn meniscus on the MRI screen may trigger an automatic prescription of surgery and medication- but these “quick fixes” may not be your safest or most helpful options.  In fact, recent studies report trying physical therapy first can lead to better overall outcomes and reduce risk.

MRIs are a useful tool, but their readings should always be taken with a grain of salt. In fact, MRIs can produce false positives and lead to invasive surgeries for specific injuries that didn’t even exist in the first place.  When given the opportunity, your body will do its best to heal itself.

This is where physical therapy comes in! In place of surgery you should consider working with a physical therapist to address your specific injury or pain, someone who genuinely wants to help you recover in a natural and low-risk manner.

Most knee, back, and other injuries occur because the surrounding muscles are too weak to support those joints and systems properly. You may think that your regular exercise and stretching is enough, but often working specific muscle groups leaves others underdeveloped and leaves your body unbalanced as a whole.

Do you want to learn more about why surgery shouldn’t be your first – let alone only – option for recovery? Click here to schedule your FREE Discovery Visit to see how we can help give your life back to you.

Health Benefits of Hiking and 6 Best Hiking Tips… Featuring Wisconsin’s Terrell’s Island!

Greeting’s! This week we are excited to be featuring one of  our favorite places in the Oshkosh, Wisconsin area, Terrell’s Island! Terrell’s Island is somewhat of a hidden gem. It is often uncrowded with a comfortable walking distance and beautiful view of the lake. Below are some scenes you can experience first hand if you decide to travel out for a fun day. Terrell’s Island is just outside of Oshkosh, Wisconsin – placed on Shubert Road – just take 21 West towards Omro and turn North on Rivermoor Road and follow the road down to the park. There are a lot of resting places where you could even pack a meal and picnic part way in.  It is open from spring to fall, hours are from sunrise to sunset. It is a loop consisting of 3.8 miles – with the option to go part way and head back if you are not up to the entire journey.

 

Hiking has many health benefits and is great for people who are just starting out on their fitness journey, or feel like they are not up to lifting weights or a more intense workout. According to Web MD Hiking can “Lower your risk of heart disease. Improve your blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Boost bone density, since walking is a weight-bearing exercise. Build strength in your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and the muscles in your hips and lower legs.

Here are 6 tips you want to consider for your health and well-being before adventuring out onto any trail!

1) Footwear: You will want a closed toe shoe that is lightweight, flexible, but also have support, especially around the ankles – this can help you avoid rolling your ankle if you happen to take a misstep. The shoes should be a good fit to you that you have tested out and broken in, you do not want to be battling blisters in the middle of your blissful hike.

2) Wool socks: These are great for whisking away moisture which helps maintain your body temperature as you start to sweat – regardless of if it is hot or cold out. Wool socks also to absorb any impact of your walk so that your knees and legs do not have to take the brunt of the walk. Make sure your socks are taller than your boots, preferably above ankle height to avoid blisters from your shoes and scratches from the trail.

3) Plan your Hike: Plan out the length of the trail with a map ahead of time to avoid fatigue, make sure that you are able to comfortably walk the distance before – you should pick a distance shorter than you are use to walking on a normal, paved surface. Tip: using a paper map is always best as it doesn’t have batteries attached to it.

4) Drink water: Even if the day does not seem overly hot you can still experience dehydration – it is best to take short stops and drink a little bit of water at each stop versus trying to drink an entire bottle all at once. A good rule of thumb is to carry 1 liter of water per person for every 2 hours you expect to be out on the trail.

5) Dress in Layers: You want to dress in long layers to avoid any scrapes from the trail and getting bug bites, and a hat to avoid any sun damage – especially when you out in the middle of the day (You should also be applying sunscreen!).

6) Understand the terrain: As mentioned earlier, Terrell’s Island is a flat terrain – perfect for beginners but make sure to do your research on any place before you walk it, you want to make sure that your body is up to task of any hills and gullies – if you are unsure if your body can handle this type of walking due to a recent injury it is best to consult with a Physical Therapist! They will be able to assess any previous injuries you are concerned about and give you advice and tips on how to prevent injury out on the trail.

If you find yourself missing out on hiking or your other favorite outdoor activities due to an injury and want to know what the next steps to getting out and enjoying nature are without the expensive and risk of surgery, medications, and injections, click HERE to fill out a request for a FREE Discovery Visit. A Discovery Visit is a FREE 30 minute consultation with one of our Physical Therapist’s here at Physical Achievement Center focused on helping you discover the cause and SOLUTION to your pain.

3 Things that Cause Back Pain That You Didn’t Know…Until Now!

Question…

Have you ever googled ‘preventing back pain?’

I thought so…

We have all heard and read about what can cause back pain; incorrect lifting, bad posture, sports injury… but did you know that you may be making a common mistake in your daily routine, that might be encouraging back pain?

What I’m about to tell you, might sound surprising but hear me out and I’ll explain why it can cause your back pain to worsen, as well as give you some tips on how to change it.

so here we go…

Bad diet.

I don’t mean like Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers! This is a way to manage your weight. However, I am more concerned about the reason you may go to a weight loss clinic.

Being overweight can have a great impact on your health AND your back pain. If you are overweight, then you are putting extra pressure on your back.

An example of this can be shown where we store sugar. When we eat sugar, any energy that we don’t use from it, is stored on our back.

Another place that it can be stored, along with caffeine, is at your lower back, aka your love handles!

If you now think of all that excess weight being carried on your back from sugar and caffeine, is it surprising that a bad diet can lead to back pain?

To overcome this issue, try cutting down on the sugar, caffeine and processed foods and choose more natural foods. This could be chicken breasts, potatoes and fresh vegetables.

Just remember, any energy you don’t use will be stored as fat and the areas in which you store fat include your biceps, hips and back.

Lack of exercise – and by lack of exercise I mean, lack of flexibility exercises.

Many people will be active by going for long walks, playing sports and going to the gym.

Yet how many people actually put time aside to increase their flexibility, or even associate this with exercise?

Flexibility exercises always seem to be overlooked but they really shouldn’t be…

Stretches before and after exercise can help with flexibility, however it’s main focus is to get rid of the lactic acid you have built up from exercise.

If you are someone who experiences stiffness more frequently after exercise and stretches, then you might really benefit from yoga.

Yoga is a great exercise to add into your daily routine. Yoga may include stretches that you may already be familiar with, however yoga is so much more than a few stretches.

Yoga helps you focus on your breathing, making you feel less stressed, can ease tension as the movements relax the muscles and it increases your flexibility.

Just because Yoga isn’t as intense as a fast-paced game of tennis, does not mean that it’s not an intense workout for your muscles!

I recommend to my clients to try yoga on a daily basis because of its amazing benefits – and I recommend you give it a try too!

How old did you say your mattress was?

When you actually think back to when you got your mattress, you’ll be surprised at actually how old it is!

How does the age of a mattress cause back pain you ask? It’s quite simple really. Although it may have been very supportive in the beginning, overtime the springs can wear and can ultimately not end up giving you the support you need.

Think of it like this:

You have a brand-new shirt that you really like. You wear it day in day out, to prove how much you really like it. After the first few washes it looks as good as new. However, after a while you notice that the more you wear it, the more the color fades, the more the stitching comes apart, until ultimately, you need a new shirt.

Your mattress is the same. If perhaps you can’t go out and buy a new mattress today (because let’s be honest, not many of us can!), then another way to get great support is by the use of your pillows.

If you sleep on your side, place a pillow between your legs for extra support. This will help your hip joints as well as your lower back.

If you prefer to sleep on your back however, get a pillow or two and pop them under your feet. This changes the way your spine is positioned when you sleep, providing more support for your back.

And there you have it! So, to summarize everything, having a healthy diet is more important than just getting the correct nutrients for your body. It also helps ease any pressure to your joints and muscles.

Your bed, as comfy as it may feel, might actually be causing you harm! Double check the date of when you got your mattress and including flexibility exercises such as yoga into your daily routine can make a great difference to your back pain.

Just because its slow and calming, doesn’t mean it’s not a good workout for your body!

Not many people seem to notice these problems in their lifestyle and often ignore them because they don’t see how what they eat and what they sleep on, can have a big impact on their back pain.

Yet alone the type of exercise they do!

So please, don’t make the mistake that so many other people make and implement these into your daily routine today!

If you want to know any more tips on how to ease back pain, click here to download my free report today!

Your Smart Phone Could Be Rapidly Aging Your Spine

Chances are that you probably haven’t given much thought to how your neck and back are faring in the era of the smart phone, but studies show that you most certainly should. It’s practically a reflex these days to pull out our smart phones when we’re standing in line, sitting at the airport or riding the subway. And while it’s great that we rarely need to venture beyond our pockets for entertainment, our bodies are beginning to retaliate—and mourn the pre-texting days. So, what exactly are these contemporary conveniences doing to our bodies? A surgeon-led study that published in Surgical Technology International assessed what impact surgeons’ head and neck posture during surgery—a posture similar to that of smart-phone texters—has on their cervical spines. With each degree that our heads flex forward (as we stare at a screen below eye level), the strain on our spines dramatically increases. When an adult head (that weighs 10 to 12 pounds in the neutral position) tilts forward at 30 degrees, the weight seen by the spine climbs to a staggering 40 pounds, according to the study.

How pervasive of a problem is this? According to the study, the average person spends 14 to 28 hours each week with their heads tilted over a laptop, smart phone or similar device. Over the course of a year, that adds up to 700 to 1400 hours of strain and stress on our spines. As a result, the number of people dealing with headaches, achy necks and shoulders and other associated pain has skyrocketed. Trained to address postural changes and functional declines, physical therapists are well-versed in treating this modern-day phenomenon, widely known as “text neck.”

Over time, this type of poor posture can have a cumulative effect, leading to spine degeneration, pinched nerves and muscle strains. Scheduling an appointment with a physical therapist can help people learn how to interact with their devices without harming their spines. The PT will prescribe an at-home program that includes strategies and exercises that focus on preserving the spine and preventing long-term damage.

Exercise is an important part of taking care of our spines as we age, but what we do when we’re not in motion matters, too. So next time you pick up your smart phone or curl up with your e-reader, do a quick check of your head and neck posture. Your body will thank you for years to come.

Are you experiencing neck or back pain from this phenomenon? Are you stuck on what the next steps are for healing? If so, click here to set up a FREE discovery visit with us at Physical Achievement Center. Our Physical Therapist will be able to guide you in the right path to overcome your pain and help you avoid it in the future!

3 ‘Quick Fixes’ You THINK Help Knee Pain – But Don’t

A common story we hear from people just like you in our clinic is:

“I’ve had this knee pain for a few weeks now, I’m not sure what I’ve done to it but I’ve tried taking Advil and that didn’t help.

I was trying to rest it so that it wouldn’t hurt, but whenever I stood up and started moving, it hurt again so I had to sit down.

Now I’m wearing a brace to see if that helps, but I can still feel the pain when I take it off.

Is there anything else I can do to get rid of the pain.”

I know how frustrating it can be when you’re not sure what you’ve done to hurt your knee, and even more frustrating when everything you’re trying to do to get rid of the pain – doesn’t do a thing to make it feel any better.

Everyone always thinks and hopes that there will be a “quick fix” to their problem.

And because we see people confused and fed-up about what can be done to help with their knee pain, I wanted to address this idea of “quick fixes” for your knees – or for any joint problem, whether it’s your knees, back, shoulder, wherever, and tell you why they are not good.

With that said here’s the Three most common “Quick Fixes” that people THINK ease their knee pain, but that actually do the opposite:

  1. Reaching For The Painkillers

When you’re in pain, let’s face it, one of the easiest things to do is reach for the painkillers to “kill” the pain, quick.

It’s also unfortunately the first option that your doctor will give you to help your knee pain.

But the thing is painkillers won’t get to the root cause of your problem and actually do anything to fix it – they just mask the pain instead, which doesn’t help anyone.

And at the end of the day, that pain will still be there when the painkillers wear off. So it’s better to do something to fix your pain long-term instead.

  1. Resting

When pain strikes, it’s very tempting to do nothing but rest “in case the pain gets worse”, which means many people end up laying on the sofa watching their favorite TV shows on Netflix…

But when it comes to knee pain, ‘rest’ actually means to not do ‘too much’.

If you rest too much (A.K.A. not move much at all), your joints will become stiff and tight, which can make your knee feel even more achy when you try to move it.

To actually help your knee, you could go swimming, go for a light walk on a flat surface, try yoga, or go for a bike ride – basically any low impact exercise will help keep you moving and not place any added pressure on your knees.

And lastly…

  1. Wearing a Support

Things like knee supports should ONLY be used as a last resort.

Wearing a support on your knee on a daily basis to try and ease the pain is actually masking the pain and creating an even bigger problem!

The best way I can explain it is to imagine you have a broken leg or arm and you have a cast put on it.

After 6 weeks or so, when the cast is taken off, the muscles underneath are weak – it’s exactly the same as wearing a support every day.

Because it supports your joint, it takes the pressure off your muscles, but doing this will make your muscles lazy which will make them weaker.

Once the pain has lessened and you take off that support, there’s a very strong chance it could come back quicker and worse than before!

So there you have it, 3 ‘quick fixes’ that people think ease their knee pain, but do the opposite.

Painkillers, rest, and wearing a support are not the answers!

When it comes to your joints, these quick fixes are not the way forward to fix your problem long-term. But, no worries, there is a natural solution FOR YOU that will ensure you are back to enjoying your everyday activities – without medications, injections, or surgery! The answer is hands on care, and an individualized exercise program.

Click Here to schedule a FREE Discovery Visit where one of our Physical Therapists will sit down one on one with you to listen to your story to determine the cause and solution to your individual knee problem.

8 Easy Tips to Avoid the Pain of Travel

The joys of a family vacation can be overshadowed by the ‘pain’ of hauling excessive luggage, sleeping in a different bed and extended periods of sitting. Here are our favorite tips to keep you feeling your best while traveling so you can enjoy your destination.

1. Take breaks while driving

Every hour or two, stop and walk for a few minutes. It’s also not a bad idea to do some standing back extensions. Sitting places your spine in a flexed position, so moving it the opposite direction can prevent pain.

2. Support your back

If you’re going to be sitting for extended periods, like on an airplane, using lumbar support can keep you more comfortable. A lumbar roll, or small pillow works well placed between the seat and the small of back. Using a rolled jacket or blanket is another good option.

3. Choose the right luggage

Suitcases with wheels let you avoid lifting and carrying. If you’re flying, check your bags to avoid the overhead lifting. A backpack that can be worn on both shoulders makes a great carryon and is easier to handle than a bag you can only use one hand on.

4. Dress to move

Comfortable shoes and clothes let you walk when you have the opportunity. If you have down time, like waiting at the gate at the airport, or waiting for your hotel room to be ready, use the opportunity to take a walk instead of sitting.

5. Pillow talk

If you have a long flight, train or car ride where you plan to sleep, use a neck pillow. This helps you avoid sleeping with a twisted neck, then waking up in pain. If you’re worried about the comfort of the pillows at the hotel, don’t be afraid to bring your own.

6. Listen to your body

Vague discomfort is often a warning sign that you need to move!

7. Don’t take a vacation from exercise

Maintain your usual activity level. Research local exercise facilities before you head to a new town, take your running shoes, and travel with your theraband and foam roller. The more you can maintain your activity level, the less likely you are to end up in pain.

8. See a Physical Therapist before Traveling

A Physical Therapist can assist by setting up an individualized exercise program tailored to your pain problem that you can EASILY take on the road.  This will ensure that your vacation does not make your pain worse and will get your recovery moving in the right direction.

With these tips, you should be able to arrive at your destination feeling ready to enjoy your time with your family instead of in pain, stiff, or sore. If you are worried about not being able to travel this summer due to pain, set up a FREE Discovery Visit HERE (or call us at (920-230-2747) and we can get you on your way to your dream destination, pain free without medications, injections, or surgery!