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Physical Therapy Isn’t Just For Pain. It Can Keep You Healthy For Life.

Physical Therapy Isn’t Just For Pain. It Can Keep You Healthy For Life.

You know that physical activity is good for you. The benefits are well researched, and the list is impressive.

Here’s just a sampling:

  • Releases endorphins to make you feel good and fight depression
  • Helps control weight
  • Prevents diseases like stroke, diabetes, and some forms of cancer
  • Improves sleep
  • Helps you live longer

Recent studies even show that physical activity strengthens your immune system, with a protective effect against COVID, and that staying active through middle age protects your brain as you age.

Physical activity is a wonder drug. If it was a pill, you’d buy it and take it every day. But even though activity is free, less than 25% of Americans meet the CDC recommendations for activity. We clearly need help.

 

Exercise shields from disease

Physical Therapists Are the Experts in Human Movement

To be active, you need to be able to move. Physical Therapists do more than help you recover from surgeries or major injuries. They are the experts in human movement. Sure, you could see a strength coach to lift weights, hire a personal trainer, go to a yoga class to work on your flexibility and balance, and see a chiropractor for adjustments. But that seems like a lot of people when a PT can help you with all these things and more. Nobody knows more about human movement or looks at your health the same way a PT does. Your PT can help you with every aspect of movement including strength, range of motion, flexibility, endurance, balance, and coordination.

As medical professionals they can help you with injuries or other issues. Your PT can work with your doctor to help use activity to manage things like diabetes, cholesterol levels or blood pressure instead of prescriptions. Your PT is also trained to work with people of all ages, so you can develop a long-term relationship and they can continue to adjust and modify your routine as you age or your goals change.

People need PT to stay healthy

Stay Healthy for Life

Staying active has a long list of benefits both now and in the future. But chances are you’re not moving enough to make the most of those benefits. Most people need help. Physical therapists are the most qualified professional in existence to help keep you healthy now and in the future. So don’t think of your PT as someone you see when you need help with pain or an injury. Think of them as your partner and coach working to help you stay healthy for life.

Movement is the key to the healthier future

lET US HELP YOU GET AND STAY HEALTHY

Schedule your PT Appointment now.

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Holidays an Ideal Time for a Refresher on Proper Lifting

Holidays an Ideal Time for a Refresher on Proper Lifting

Digging out boxes of holiday decorations, hauling packages to and from the car, hiding gifts away on the higher shelves at the back of your closet … the Holiday Season certainly requires its fair share of bending, lifting and reaching. This, coupled with the cooler weather, makes December the ideal time for a refresher on proper lifting methods. 

Back pain, after all, can put a real damper on the Holiday Season. 

As one of the most common conditions treated by physical therapists, back pain and injury will even about 80 percent of all Americans at some point in their lives, making it one of the top causes of disability in the U.S. Fortunately, it’s a condition that’s preventable, and one of the ways of doing this is to learn proper lifting techniques. 

But, preventing back pain isn’t the only concern when we talk about proper lifting. Using the proper techniques for lifting and carrying awkward and/or heavy objects is about minimizing strain on the entire body. 

The goal, in other words, is to put yourself in a position that allows the body’s musculoskeletal system to work as one cohesive unit, without putting too much strain on one area, such as the lower-back or shoulders. 

So without further ado, strongly consider the following tips for proper lifting during this Holiday Season … and throughout your lifetime: 

Warm Up: 

Don’t ever assume your body’s ready to lift heavy objects without first being thoroughly warmed up. Take the time to stretch you lower back as well as your legs and hips. Also, do a few jumping jacks to get the blood flowing to the muscles in your body. 

Get Close 

Avoid reaching for a heavy or moderate-sized load. Get up nice and close to the box or object to minimize the force (in the arms, shoulders and back) needed to lift, and always hold it close to your body. 

Bend & Lift with the Knees 

We’ve all heard this before, and it’s true. But in doing so, keep your back straight and your body upright as you lower yourself to the object in question, then use your legs to rise back up. 

Get a Grip 

This seems to go without saying, but if you can’t get a strong, comfortable grip on the object in front of you – even if you know you can carry the weight – don’t try to be a hero. Find someone to help you or an alternative way of getting the object from A to B, such as a hand cart or dolly. 

Reverse the Steps 

When you get to where you’re going, set the item down just as you picked it up – but in reverse. Keep it close to the body, lower with the legs and move slowly and deliberately. You can just as easily injure yourself setting objects down as you can picking them up. 

In addition, keep from twisting or reaching while lifting and/or carrying a load. Don’t rush through the process of lifting, and if you’re tired, put the work off until later 

And finally, if you do feel pain during or after lifting, or you have an injury or condition you feel is holding you back from moving properly, visit a physical therapist for a full assessment prior to trying any sort of heavy or awkward lifting. 

Physical Therapists Adapt to Keep Clinics Safe

Physical Therapists Adapt to Keep Clinics Safe

While the coronavirus pandemic continues to be front and center in the news and in the thoughts of many people, other health issues have not gone away. People are still getting back and neck pain, overuse injuries and hurt while at work. Many of these people would benefit from seeing a physical therapist, but some of them are reluctant because of concerns over COVID-19. That’s understandable, PT clinics are busy places, with lots of people coming and going, right? They used to be, but things are different now. Just like every other business and public place, PT clinics have made changes to allow them to continue to serve patients while keeping both patients and staff safe. Here are some common changes clinics have made to reduce the risk of COVID spreading among patients and staff.

How would you like to schedule your next PT appointment?

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In Person PT

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Scheduling and patient flow

  • Clinics have reduced the total number of people they see each day to allow for social distancing in the clinic
  • Many clinics are using a staggered schedule to avoid people coming in at the same time
  • Many clinics have implemented a “virtual waiting room” having people wait in their car and notifying them when their clinician is ready via a phone call or text message
  • When possible, clinics may be using separate entry and exit points

How would you like to schedule your next PT appointment?

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In Person PT

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Treatment

  • Clinics may be screening patients and staff as they enter the building using questions, temperature checks, or other means
  • Clinics may have designated areas for each clinician and their patients to reduce contact between different groups of people
  • Equipment will likely be spaced out further than you’re used to and there may be less of it to allow for more distancing between patients
  • Many clinics are leaning more heavily on telehealth when appropriate for patients to reduce the number of patients physically present in the clinic

How would you like to schedule your next PT appointment?

Online PT

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In Person PT

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Physical therapists are medical professionals who were trained to deal with infectious diseases and keep people safe long before COVID-19 existed. By making changes throughout their workflows and patient experiences, physical therapy practices have reduced the risk of spreading COVID among their staff and patient populations, while continuing to deliver needed services to the public. If you are in need of PT treatment, but are hesitant to go into the clinic, give your PT a call and talk about what policies and procedures they have in place. To reduce or eliminate going into the clinic, ask about using telehealth either exclusively or in combination with in-person treatment. This is a time of uncertainty, but people are reacting with flexibility and creativity. Don’t let concerns over COVID keep you in pain or from the treatment you need.

At Active Kare Physical Therapy we take all the safety precautions to keep our staff and our patients safe and provide our patients excellent treatment.

How would you like to schedule your next PT appointment?

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In Person PT

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If you still have any question, call us at (248)432-1618

Active Kare Physical Therapy in Sterling Heights, Michigan

 ...Get Back Your Active Life

Lazy Summer or Deconditioning?

Lazy Summer or Deconditioning?

The weather is hot, the gym is closed, and you’ve been relaxing – enjoying the lazy, hazy days of summer. Taking a day off here and there is no problem, but if you’ve been consistently missing your regular run, bike ride, or gym session and notice some aches and pains showing up, you might have the beginnings of deconditioning.

Deconditioning explained

Exercise creates many changes in your body – your heart begins to pump blood more efficiently, your muscles use oxygen more efficiently, they contract in a more coordinated manner, and your body gets more efficient turning food into fuel to name just a few. Deconditioning is the reversing of these changes. Exercise is a “use it or lose it” kind of thing, and deconditioning is the process by which we “lose it.”

How long does it take to decondition?

As with most things related to a system as complex as the human body, it depends. According to the ACSM, two weeks without exercise can lead to significant loss of cardiovascular fitness. Two to eight months of detraining can erase virtually all of your gains. As you detrain, cardiovascular fitness tends to decline first, with muscle strength declining later.

Other factors are your age, and your exercise history. If you’re younger, you’ll probably lose fitness at a slower rate than someone older. If you’ve been consistently exercising for a long time, or at a high intensity, your losses will probably be slower than for someone who just started.

Reversing the losses

PT can help with aches and pain.

If you’re just undergoing a period of increased time commitments at work or with family, using a shortened exercise routine can help minimize your losses. Even one session a week will help you keep most of what you’ve gained. Other options are to use shorter but more intense interval training sessions, or breaking up your activity into multiple short chunks during the day. If your layoff was longer, it may take just as long to retrain as it did to make the gains initially. If you’re having those aches and pains due to inactivity or need help designing a safe program to either maintain your fitness or gain it back after a layoff, your physical therapist can help. Injury and illness are other common reasons for detraining. Your PT can not only help you recover faster, but they can also find activities to maintain your fitness while safely working around an injury or illness.

Did you have a lazy summer? Do have aches and pain from from not being very active this this summer?

Have been working from home and now you are suffering from aches and pain? Don’t avoid your pain. Get help you need so that you can stay productive at your work

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Your Physical Therapist Can Help You Keep Your Resolution

Your Physical Therapist Can Help You Keep Your Resolution

Get More Active & Avoid Injuries. Talk to Your PTs How

As the year comes to an end, people begin to set goals and make resolutions. Losing weight & getting into “better shape” are all common. These all require increasing your amount of physical activity. More activity is great for your health, energy levels, sleep, and mood. However, ramping up your activity level too quickly after a holiday season of eating, drinking and being merry can lead to pain, injury and disappointment if your body isn’t ready for it.

Your physical therapist is an expert in human movement, and can help you safely reach your fitness goals. People think of PTs as the person to see after an injury, but a visit before you change your activity level could prevent injury in the first place. An evaluation by your PT will include assessment of your strength, range of motion, and functional movement patterns – think jumping, running, squatting, carrying. Some PTs even like to use a standardized assessment, such as the Functional Movement Screen .

Most common injuries from new fitness routines are caused by underlying weakness, range of motion deficits, or compensatory movement patterns. Your PT will find these during your assessment. They can then prescribe exercises or movements to address the issues found and get you safely moving into the new year!

The other common way people get injured working towards their resolution is with overtraining, or doing too much too soon. Physical therapists are also experts in exercise prescription and program design. Your PT can help you create a routine specific to your needs and goals that will progress appropriately and keep you out of trouble.

So stop only thinking of your PT after you’re injured. In this case, it’s true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Seeing your physical therapist before you start on your resolution can keep you on track, injury free, and help you reach your goals for the new year!

So, get in touch with your physical therapist today and start discussing about your fitness goals and how injuries can be prevented.

We are located in Sterling Heights and we would love to be a part of your fitness journey this coming new year. Call us at 248-432-1618 and schedule your discovery visit and ask for a Functional Movement Screen .

Sterling Heights Wellness: 6 Common Summer Activity Mistakes, with Solutions

Sterling Heights Wellness: 6 Common Summer Activity Mistakes, with Solutions

For many, summer is defined by a whirlwind of outdoor activity, a natural response to warmer, brighter and warmer days. 

But as we venture out into the sun for yard work, bike rides, morning jogs, long hikes and swimming at the beach, Sterling Heights physical therapist Ashesh Vyas warns people to avoid common summer exercise mistakes that can put them at risk of injury. 

“We all get excited when the weather allows us to get outside in the fresh air to do the things we love to do, but this excitement shouldn’t cause us to overlook precautions we should be taking to ensure we stay safe and free of injury,” said VyasOwner of Active Kare Physical Therapy in Sterling Heights. 

Some of these considerations take the heat into account, while others are simply good practices that often get overlooked during this time of year. Either way, Vyas offers solutions for overcoming the following mistakes people often make when engaging in outdoor activities (including exercise) during the summer months. 

Pushing Too Hard, Too Fast: The warmth and sunshine of summer may get your adrenaline going, but don’t take that as permission to overdo your workouts. Abide by the 10 percent rule, which dictates you should ramp up your duration and distances no more than 10 percent per week. And, be sure to give your body plenty of rest and recovery time to prevent potential injury. 

Not Warming Up Properly: Don’t assume the warm weather means your body’s already warm and ready to go. A thorough warm-up is essential before any exercise or activity, despite the temperature outside. It primes the nervous system for exercise so your body’s ready to work efficiently. A simple warm-up can include some brisk walking, light jogging, lunges, arm circles, etc. 

Dehydration: Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to start hydrating. Dehydration came come on quickly when the weather’s hot, so get used to carrying around a water bottle, and always drink water before, during and after all workouts, regardless of intensity. 

Wearing Improper Footwear: You may walk around in sandals or flip-flops most of the summer, but trade them for a quality, supportive pair of shoes prior to working out. This is a no-brainer when going for a run or competing in a sport, but don’t overlook the importance of proper footwear when going for a walk, working in the yard, etc.  

Forgetting Sunscreen: Using a high-SPF sunscreen is critical in the long-term prevention of certain types of skin cancers. In the short term, it protects against sunburn, which could hinder your ability to fully enjoy the outdoors by making movement painful. Also, protect yourself from the sun by wearing a hat and sunglasses with UV protection. 

Ignoring Pain & Injury: If you feel some discomfort, pain or a possible injury, stop what you’re doing. Summer’s typically a time when you want to pack as much activity as you can into a weekend, but don’t do this as the expense of a long-term injury or health issue that, if untreated, can put a damper on the rest of the season. 

“If you feel, say, discomfort in your lower back or a sudden or nagging ache in your muscles or joints, it’s best to stop and get that checked out by a physical therapist as soon as you can,” Vyas said. “A PT will assess the pain, determine its cause, and offer a strategy for getting you back to what you love doing in the summertime.”