Daily archive for April 7, 2012

Better Health for the New Year

Better Health for the New Year

Did you know that on January 1st over 1 million Americans resolve to lose weight each year? The reason so many choose this resolution year after year, is because that often entails dieting and extreme exercise plans. And the more drastic the change, the easier it is to give up. If losing weight and having more energy is something you strive for, why not make your resolution a more holistic approach to better health and make your goal “Healthy Living?”

Healthy living can include many things like eating more fruits and vegetables, taking a daily multivitamin, attending recommended physician visits and physicals, and making physical activity a part of your daily regimen.

Most professionals would agree that being physically active is a critical part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It has been shown to help prevent heart disease, reduce risks of cancer, help maintain blood sugar levels for those at risk of low blood sugar or diabetes, and assist in the prevention or management of osteoporosis. These are just a few important health reasons to find a physical activity that you enjoy and stick with it.

But what if pain or mobility issues inhibit you from physical activity? That’s where Physical Therapy can help. Physical Therapists are specialists in the use of therapeutic exercise, manual therapy, massage, and functional retraining to help people manage and often times resolve the joint, spinal and muscle pain that inhibits their movement forward. Even when osteoarthritis has led someone to have multiple joint pain, there are specific exercises, modalities including Aquatic Therapy, and educational recommendations that can make a significant difference in the quality of movement and most importantly, the quality of living for an individual.

Better Health for the New Year

If better health is one of your New Year’s Resolutions and you need some guidance on how to keep your body moving forward, contact your primary care specialist today and get a referral for Physical Therapy – we have five west Michigan locations, making it convenient for you. Your body will thank you for it!

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Better Health for the New Year

Low Back Pain: Does it affect you?

Low Back Pain: Does it affect you?

A new study conducted by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) shows startling results on low back pain. Nearly two-thirds of Americans suffer from low back pain, yet 37% of them do not seek professional help for pain relief, oftentimes because they don’t realize they can prevent or treat the condition with the help of a physical therapist. Given the statistics, there’s a good chance that you or someone you know fits in this category. Low back pain can affect your daily life in many ways including exercise, sleep, work, and general daily activities.


Interesting Findings

  • Low back pain isn’t just for those who spend a lot of time on their feet. In fact, more than half (54 percent) of Americans who experience low back pain spend the majority of their workday sitting.
  • It is a common perception that bed rest will help alleviate back pain, but this is not true. In fact, bed rest for longer than a day can actually slow down your recovery.
Low Back Pain: Does it affect you?

You don’t have to live with low back pain
While low back pain is a common problem, it doesn’t have to be a common part of everyday life. Physical therapists advise staying as active as possible and sticking to a normal routine, since bed rest for longer than a day can actually slow down recovery. Most low back pain is not serious; much of the time it is caused by overuse, strain, or injury. Rarely, low back pain is caused by a more serious condition such as a herniated disc or osteoarthritis. If pain lasts more than a few days or gets worse, it may be advisable to make an appointment with a physical therapist.
By determining the cause of a patient’s low back pain, physical therapists get to the source of the problem and develop a treatment plan, which may include a combination of exercises to strengthen the back, manual therapy to improve the mobility of joints and soft tissues, and education about how to take better care of the back to relieve pain in the long term. If you are experiencing low back pain, give us a call to set up a consultation. Our therapists are trained to understand how the spine works. To find out more, download the APTA ebook.

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Low Back Pain: Does it affect you?

Shingles and Chickenpox

Both shingles and chickenpox are caused by the same virus. Once a person has had chickenpox the virus remains dormant in your system. If the virus returns due to a weakening of the immune system caused by things such as stress, aging, disease, or some medications it comes back as shingles. Shingles is not necessarily contagious, one person cannot catch shingles from another person, however if someone who has not had chickenpox comes in contact with a person with shingles they can catch the varicella-zoster virus and in turn get chickenpox. For the majority of individuals, once they have had chickenpox the virus stays dormant in their system, it’s just in some individuals it will become active again for one reason or another which causes a shingles rash. The only time in which the virus could be passed from one person to another is during the time when the sores are open and weeping. Once the sores crust over the virus can no long be passed. If you come in contact with someone who has shingles, as long as you have already had chickenpox there shouldn’t be anything to worry about, however you should make sure to wash your hands and anything the person has come in contact with, as the virus could be spread to another individual who has not previously had chickenpox or the varicella vaccine.

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Shingles and Chickenpox