Monthly archive for December 2018

9 Tips to Help You Age Well

9 Tips to Help You Age Well

We can’t stop time. Or can we? The right type and amount of physical activity can help keep many age-related health problems at bay. As physical therapists and experts on movement, we can help you age well by prescribing physical activities that can help you overcome pain, gain and maintain movement, and preserve your independence—often helping you avoid the need for surgery or long-term use of prescription drugs.
9 Tips to Help You Age Well
Here are nine things physical therapists want you to know to age well. (Download the list in Adobe PDF)

1. Chronic pain doesn’t have to rule your life
Each year 116 million Americans experience chronic pain, costing billions of dollars in medical treatment, lost work time, and lost wages. Proper exercise, mobility, and pain management techniques can ease pain while moving and at rest, improving your overall quality of life.

2. You can get stronger as you age
Research shows that improvements in strength and physical function are possible in your 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and beyond, with an appropriate exercise program. Progressive resistance training has been shown to help tremendously.

3. You can lower your risk of diabetes with exercise
A quarter of Americans over the age of 60 has diabetes. Obesity and physical inactivity can put you at risk, but a regular exercise routine is one of the best ways to prevent, and manage, type 2 diabetes.

4. You may not need surgery or drugs for low back pain
Low back pain is often over-treated with surgery and drugs despite a wealth of scientific evidence and research showing that physical therapy can be an effective alternative—and with much less risk than surgery and long-term use of prescription medications.

5. Exercise can help you avoid falls—and keep your independence
About one in three U.S. adults over the age of 65 fall each year. More than half of adults over 65 report problems with movement, including walking 1/4 mile, stopping and standing. Customized exercises led by a physical therapist can improve movement and balance, and reduce your risk of falls. It can also reduce your risk of hip fractures, which are most often caused by falls.

6. Your bones want you to exercise
Osteoporosis or weak bones affects more than half of Americans over the age of 54. Exercises that keep you on your feet, like walking, jogging, or dancing, and exercises using resistance, such as weightlifting, can improve bone strength or reduce bone loss.

7. Your heart wants you to exercise
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in America. One way to help prevent it and other cardiovascular diseases is exercise. Research has shown that if you already have heart disease, appropriate exercise can improve your health.

8. Your brain wants you to exercise
People who are physically active—even later in life—are less likely to develop memory problems or Alzheimer’s disease, a condition which affects more than 40% of people over the age of 85.

9. Bladder leakage – You don’t just have to live with
More than 13 million women and men in the US have bladder leakage or incontinence. Don’t spend years relying on pads or rushing to the bathroom, physical therapy can help!

We can help you age well
If you find yourself feeling aches, pains, or other ailments as you age, consider giving physical therapy a try. We offer free consultations where you can sit down with a physical therapist, talk about your issue, and determine if physical therapy is the right path for you. You’ve only got one life to live, we can help you age well!

We’re Grateful This Holiday Season

We’re Grateful This Holiday Season

Gratitude is common theme around our clinics these days. As we reflect on the past year, we have so much to be grateful for.

We know that our patients come to us with challenges to overcome and pain that’s altering their lives. We try our best to make therapy fun and strive to be that glimmer of hope that let’s you know that things will get better, and that we’re here to face those challenges with you.

We’re Grateful This Holiday SeasonAn important piece of the puzzle belongs to our team members, whom we’re so thankful for – those who truly have our patient’s best interests at heart. This year we expanded our business with the addition of clinics in Caledonia, Comstock Park, and Allendale. And we’ve been blessed to have been able to help so many people overcome pain, fatigue, and challenges within their lives.

While 2018 has been one for the books, none of it would have been possible without YOU – our patients, friends, corporate clients, and partners – for that we say thank you. We genuinely wish each and every one of you the happiest of holidays and the hope that 2019 is your best year yet!

We’re Grateful This Holiday Season

Make 2019 your year to shine. If you’re experiencing pain of any kind, remember that we’re always here to help. Take advantage of our free consultations, where you can talk about your pain and symptoms, one-on-one with a physical therapist, who can help determine if physical therapy is right for you.

5 Tips To Avoid Pain After Shoveling

5 Tips To Avoid Pain After Shoveling

Anyone who’s from Michigan can relate – you wake up in the morning and look out the window expecting to see green grass but instead you’re greeted with 6 inches of snow. It looks pretty from inside, the first snow of the season always does. Then you realize you’ve got an entire driveway to shovel before heading off for work. Ugh…is it spring yet?

Oftentimes we don’t realize the effort that it takes to push snow. We’re focused on getting it out of the way but the next day the pain and soreness kicks in. Snow shoveling is a repetitive activity that can cause muscle strain, especially to the lower back and shoulders. We’ve put together some tips and stretches to help you avoid pain after shoveling.

Tips to avoid injury and pain after shoveling

  • Lift smaller loads of snow.
  • Bend your knees, keep your back straight, and lift with your legs rather than your back.
  • Use a shovel with a shaft that lets you keep your back straight while lifting. A short shaft will cause you to bend more to lift the load. Using a shovel that’s too long makes the weight at the end heavier.
  • Step in the direction in which you are throwing the snow to prevent the low back from twisting, as excessive twisting puts pressure on the spine.
  • Take frequent breaks, stand up straight and walk around periodically to extend the lower back.

Stretches and exercises to avoid pain after shoveling

Getting ready to head out and tackle the sidewalks? Here are a few stretches and exercises you can do to avoid pain after shoveling.

5 Tips To Avoid Pain After Shoveling

Physical Therapist, Julie Blodgett, shows Frosty the proper way to stretch your low back to avoid pain after shoveling.

● Low back: Stand up straight, place your hands toward the back of your hips, and bend backwards slightly for several seconds.

● Hamstrings: While holding onto something for support, straighten your leg out and place your heel up on a chair, tighten your thigh, and pull your toes towards your body. Feel the stretch in the back of your leg. There’s no need to bend forward and it’s better if you don’t. Just stand up tall and keep both legs active. Hold for 10 breaths and repeat on the other side.

● Quads: Holding onto something for support, stand up straight and bend one leg, grabbing your foot up near your buttocks. You should feel this stretch in the front of the thigh of the bent leg as you hold for 10 breaths. Repeat on the other side.

Core: While standing, imagine pulling your belly button in towards your spine and engage your abdominal muscles without letting your pelvis tuck under. Hold for 5-10 seconds while breathing normally and repeat a few times. This exercise uses the innermost layer of abdominal and back muscles.

● Mindfulness: As you’re shoveling, focus on the rotating movements happening in your hip joints. Place your finger on the front of your hip joints (located at the top of each thigh near the groin) and practice a few sways side to side, simulating raking. Avoid letting the rotation happen at your waist—this will cause unnecessary movement around your lumbar spine.


If you’re experiencing pain after shoveling snow or you have complaints of back pain, neck pain, or shoulder pain, schedule a free consultation with one of our physical therapists. We can work together on a few stretches and exercises specifically for the areas where you feel pain.