Mount Sterling, KY Physical Therapist
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injuries

Preventing and Treating Sports Injuries

Exercise is an important part of life in order to become or stay healthy. For many people, sports are a fun way of burning extra calories, socializing and getting fit. Unfortunately, this also means the occasional sports injury, or a flare-up of an old injury or condition.

 

You don’t have to be a professional or even amateur athlete to suffer a sports injury. In fact, many times those most susceptible to sports injury are people who have just started exercising or do it on a recreational level; your typical weekend warrior. Sports injuries are typically seen as injuries to the musculoskeletal system, including muscles, bones, and tissues such as ligaments, tendons and cartilage.

 

The most common sports injuries include:

Sprains: A sprain occurs when the ligaments that join the ends of one bone with another are stretched or torn. Sprains are caused by trauma such as a fall or blow to the body that knocks a joint out of position. Ankles, knees and wrists are most vulnerable to sprains. However, back, neck and shoulder sprains are very common too.

 

Strains: A strain occurs when a muscle or tendon is pulled, torn or twisted. Strains can occur from overstretching during a forceful movement whilst playing. A common example of a strain is a muscle spasm. A back or neck strain is a very common injury treated in physical therapy.

 

Knee pain and injuries: According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the knee is the most commonly injured joint. Orthopedic surgeons see more than 5.5 million people annually for knee pain and injuries, which can include runner’s knee (pain or tenderness close to the knee cap at the front side of the knee), tendonitis and iliotibial band syndrome (pain on the outer side of the knee). Severe knee injuries often include bone bruises or damage to the cartilage or ligaments.

 

Shin splints: Shin splints occur when there is pain along the large bone in the front of the lower leg, known as the tibia or shin bone. Shin splints most commonly occur in runners, especially those who are just starting a running program. This is usually due to poor alignment of the body, or weakness in the leg muscles. The good news is that we can treat many orthopedic and repetitive motion injuries without the need for invasive surgeries or addictive medications.

 

Prevention

Proper training, strengthening and stretching are the most important elements to preventing sports injuries. It’s important to work with professionals, trained in your sport and are dedicated to making sure you are properly conditioned before doing the sport. Our physical therapists have years of working with different sports injuries and helping to train individuals on how to prevent injuries.

 

Our licensed physical therapists can customize an exercise and sports injury prevention program that recognizes the weaknesses of your particular musculoskeletal system, allowing you to recover quickly and stay active. Even, if you have an old injury, it is important to have it evaluated by our physical therapists to prevent long-term damage such as arthritis to your joints. If you have a new or old sports injury like tendonitis, arthritis, a stress fracture, or low back pain, our therapists can design a treatment program to promote wellness and minimize the chance of re-injury. Call Spaulding Physical Therapy today to learn more!

 

muscle

Muscle Stretching for Relieving Neck and Back Pain

Many aches and pains in the neck and back stem from tight muscles. Stretching the tight muscles along the back of your neck, strengthening the muscles in the front of your neck and improving body posture in general, can help to release neck pain. Our experts in physical therapy can help you achieve all of this.

 

Improving your body posture can start by simply strengthening your abdominal muscles. These help to reduce a forward-head body posture and slumping shoulders that increase back pain and stress on the spine.

 

In addition to strengthening the abdominal region, strengthening of the pelvic muscles and lower back muscles bring stability to your spine. Furthermore, stretching the muscles of your chest and strengthening the muscles of the middle back can also help to quickly relieve neck pain by improving your posture.

 

Neck pain can sometimes be caused by tightness along one side of the neck, caused by holding a phone up to your ear or with looking at a screen off to one side. When the shoulder is elevated and the head is tilted, the result is a short upper trapezius (the muscle that extends from your shoulder to your neck) The upper trapezius lifts your shoulders to your ears. Special hands on physical therapy helps to gently stretch out the muscles, improving your motion and reducing your pain.

 

So before you start taking any medicine for chronic neck or back pain, you might want to analyze your body posture first and talk to your doctor about to physical therapy. Finding tension in your neck or limited range of motion in your spine might be the cause. By correcting it through proper physical therapy we provide you with a simple solution for your neck and back pain.

 

Try this stretch…

  • In a comfortable sitting position on the floor in a chair, sit tall
  • Gently lean your head to one side, until you feel a gentle stretch
  • Gently stretch your hand towards the floor
  • You should feel the stretch comfortably on the side of your neck
  • Hold the stretch for 15 seconds and repeat 3 times on each side multiple times a day


If you have any questions on performing this stretch correctly, please contact us, or your physician first. If you find yourself in pain, aching, injured or unable to move like you want to, simply give us a call. Our expert physical therapists provide a comprehensive evaluation to find the root cause of your problem, then put together a complete plan that works to get you moving, pain-free again. Call Spaulding Physical Therapy today to learn more!

energy

Six Easy Steps to Less Pain and More Energy

Do you sometimes feel sluggish, tired, achy, sore, or have low energy? Those could be signs that a daily routine of sitting for long hours in your car, at your desk, or at home watching TV is starting to wear your body down. Your body is meant to move, so the unnatural act of sitting still for long periods can actually cause some serious problems: It can slow down your circulatory, lymphatic and digestive systems; deprive your heart and lungs of the movement they need to be their healthiest; and contribute to the chronic lower back pain, headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain and hip pain that plagues many working Americans. 

 

The good news is that even if you’re already feeling some of those effects in your body, you can start changing them right now. These six easy steps can help you move more, hurt less, and feel more energy every day.

 

Get Into the Mindset

 

Don’t have time to make the big, dramatic life changes you see on TV? Don’t give up! Even small changes can make a huge difference in your long-term well-being, and if you start thinking in terms of what you can do instead of looking for reasons you can’t, you’ll find that you’re capable of a lot. So focus on small successes that you can enjoy now — like remembering to get up and move during every commercial break of your favorite TV show — while building toward bigger goals.

 

Set a Timer

 

Ideally, you should be getting up and moving around at least every 20 to 30 minutes. If you have trouble remembering, set an egg timer or an alarm on your smartphone. The beep is your cue to stand up and move around, even if just for a minute.

 

Drink More Water

 

It might sound trivial, but water plays an important part in every organ and system of your body — and most of us don’t get enough of it. Keep a water bottle handy throughout the day and take a big swig every time you think of it. You’ll be better hydrated and more energized before you know it.

 

Take the Time to Stretch

 

Flexibility isn’t always about being able to touch your toes or stick your feet behind your head; it’s actually more about maintaining natural, healthy movement patterns. You can help your body recover from the unnatural position of sitting at a desk by taking the time to stretch your legs, hips, spine and neck for at least 10 minutes every day. If that sounds like a lot, break it into several short stretching bouts throughout the day.

 

Check Your Ergonomics

 

Is your workstation set up for healthy body alignment? It doesn’t matter if you’re at home or at work — if your desk isn’t set up right it’ll sap your energy and contribute to the sort of postural imbalances that might require professional help later on. Aim for neutral posture: Monitor at eye level with chin parallel to the ground; elbows, hips and knees bent at a comfortable 90 degrees; and feet flat on the floor. 

 

Get Out and Walk

 

If you do just one thing to boost your energy today, make it a gentle walk. The movement will boost your energy and help break the unnatural movement and posture patterns that can form when you spend all day sitting at a desk or working at a table. 

 

Are you still in pain? Give us a call. At Spaulding Physical Therapy, our expert physical therapists can help identify the problem and put together a plan to get you moving and pain-free again. 

healthier

How to Be Healthier, Stronger and More Active

When you get right down to it, health doesn’t have anything to do with looking like a supermodel; it’s really about having a body whose every system is in good working order. The great news is that you have more control over everything happening in your body — from your circulation to your breathing and stress levels — than you might have imagined. Check out these steps you can take every day toward building a stronger, healthier and more active you.

 

  1. Limit Your Sitting

 

Your body wasn’t made to sit — it was made to move! Taking short breaks from your desk or computer every 30 minutes can do a lot to reduce back and shoulder pain. Walk around, do a few squats, drink some water, or do a few simple stretches. The periodic movement and shifts in position reduce pressure on your spine, increase the flow of blood and lymphatic fluid, and will leave you feeling more energized all day long. 

 

  1. Get Out and Move

 

A healthy exercise program doesn’t have to be fancy, expensive or intimidating. Many studies have demonstrated the benefits of simple, free workouts like walking. The mere act of moving your body every day greatly reduces the risk of chronic health problems like heart disease, stroke and diabetes, and the regular movement helps keep the rest of your body functioning in tip-top form.

 

  1. Eat Real Food

 

Food is fuel for your body — so what you eat dictates your energy levels and sense of well-being for the day. Focusing on minimally processed food and lots of brightly colored fruits and vegetables is a sure way to put a little extra zip in your step. When you’re eating the right fuel, you’ll feel like you can do anything.

 

  1. Drink More Water

 

You wouldn’t run an engine without oil in it, would you? Water fills that function and many more in your body. It’s water that helps distribute nutrients, regulates body temperature, aids in digestion, stops hunger, and keeps your muscles and nerves operating in tip-top shape. Having trouble drinking enough? Put a sprig of mint or a twist of citrus — lemon, lime or orange — in your water bottle to make it more interesting.

 

  1. Breathe!

 

Deep breathing oxygenates your blood, which can leave you feeling more energized. It also helps get your lymphatic system moving, and it busts stress in just a few seconds. Here’s a quick, easy way to gauge your breathing: Lie on your bed or the floor with one hand on your upper abdomen. Can you feel your abdomen gently rising as you inhale? If not, slow down and focus on your breath; it might help to imagine that you’re filling yourself with air all the way down to your toes.

 

  1. Get Enough Sleep

 

Everybody’s a little different, but most of us need at least seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. It’s best to get into a routine so that your body can settle into a regular cycle of sleeping and waking. This helps regulate your endocrine system, which in turn controls the hormones that govern everything from hunger to weight loss. 

 

  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Out Professional Help

 

Have you noticed aches and pains lingering in your body, despite your healthy routine? Your body might be telling you that it’s time to consult a professional. Don’t accept that those aches and pains are a natural fact of life: A good physical therapist can give you the tools to keep those minor problems from turning into something major, and maybe even stem the pain completely. 

core-strength

Increasing Core Strength to Relieve Pain

Core strength has become a popular topic because it affects the function of the entire body. A strong core means better stability, fewer injuries and less physical stress.

 

Weak core muscles can lead to chronic back and neck pain. Signs of weak core muscles include slumping in your chair, poor posture at your desk or lack of balance.

 

Why Do Core Muscles Matter?

 

The word “core” means central and that is exactly the function of your core muscles. They are central to nearly every movement you make and the stronger they are, the easier it is to go about your work and recreation comfortably.

 

What are Core Muscles?

 

If you think core muscles are just abs, you’re partially right. Abs get the majority of attention, but the system extends beyond that and includes the lower back and glutes, too. That’s why an exercise like sit-ups, which focuses exclusively on developing the abdominal muscles, is not adequate if your goal is to build a stronger core.

 

Core Assessment

 

How can you tell if your core is weak? If you have low back pain or balance issues there’s a good chance your core muscles are weak. One simple test is the plank test.

 

  • Lie on the floor, propped up by your elbows.
  • Raise your torso up so that your toes and elbows are the only two parts of your body touching the floor.
  • Hold this as long as you can, then see how your strength measures up. 

If you could last two minutes or more, your core muscles are strong. Between one and two minutes is normal, 30 seconds to a minute is moderate and less than 30 seconds is weak. If your arms or legs shook while trying to hold this pose, you have poor motor control over your core muscles.

 

The Good News

 

The good news is that you don’t have to settle for a weak core and the related problems it causes. Our medical experts are able to assess your current status and create an individualized plan of easy-to-do exercises to build up those muscles. Our physical therapists will design a program for you that will safely increase your strength, resulting is less pain and more flexibility.

 

After doing the self-assessment, you might be anxious to get started doing exercises to build these weak muscles, but if you do the wrong ones or push too hard, you might cause injury. There’s a way to go about it that will achieve long-lasting, positive results. Our physical therapists are trained to identify the practices for each of our patients that will work best for them.

 

We do this by conducting a complete analysis of your body posture, the way you move and your current level of strength so we can determine the cause of your pain. Based on that information, we put together a treatment plan tailored to your situation.

 

It’s all up to you. You can have the lifestyle you crave, enjoy activities you love and experience a pain-free life with the professional support and recommendations we provide.

 

Make an appointment today and we’ll show you how improving your core muscles can change your life for the better.

back-pain

5 Ways to Relieve Neck and Back Pain

Back and neck pain can stop you in your tracks, affecting your work and interfering with your recreational activities. It takes the fun right out of your day.

 

How to Reduce Neck and Back Pain

 

Your pain might be from a previous injury, arthritis, bad posture or another cause. However, there are things that you can do to lessen the pain or, in some cases, eliminate it completely. Here are five things that will improve your physical comfort.

 

  1. Avoid Injury – This one is obvious, but it is a common cause of neck and back pain. Often people get in a hurry and fail to follow the common-sense rules to protect themselves from injury. If you don’t know how to lift properly, for example, you run the risk of straining your back and neck. Our experts are trained to show you how you can do your work without compromising your health.
  2. Improve Your Posture – Growing up, most kids have heard the words “stand up straight” more than once. It’s not just cosmetic. Correct posture can help position your body so it functions better throughout the day. Rather than stiffly throwing your shoulders back to achieve this, our team will show you how to align naturally for best results. For example, one practice would be to imagine a string at the top of your head pulling you gently upward, towards the sky. If you have a desk job, be sure to take a break every half hour and stand. Stretch those muscles or take a short walk throughout the day. Incorporate variety into your work posture by using a standing desk or changing positions.
  3. Rest and Exercise – Non-stop work can wear you down. It’s crucial to get adequate sleep every night to let your mind and body recover and rejuvenate so you’re ready for the next day. If you don’t get enough sleep it can affect your pain tolerance, making a bad situation worse. Sleep deprivation sets you up for increased stress and weakens your immune system. Daily exercise, such as walking for 30 minutes, will improve your strength, heart health and flexibility.
  4. Eat Healthy – What you consume fuels your day and if you are eating fried or processed foods, you are increasing inflammation in your body. This causes pain and dehydration, but the cure is not complicated. Make sure you eat fruits, vegetables and lean protein every day and drink plenty of water. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink that water, keep a glass with you as you work and take a bottle of water with you when you are active. Being hydrated eases many symptoms and helps your body function efficiently.
  5. Get Professional Input – While these tips are good general advice, everyone is unique. It is wise to consult with a professional who knows how to spot problem areas and can give you personal solutions for your specific issues. The goal is to restore your health, improve your movement, strengthen your muscles and give you the guidelines to maintain a higher level of pain-free function. Our physical therapists are educated medical experts who can provide the knowledge and advice you need to achieve your goals.

What to Expect From Us

 

Our physical therapists will meet with you, do a thorough analysis of your posture, movement and strength, discuss your routine and determine what is causing your pain. Then, using their knowledge of muscles and skeletal systems, they’ll determine the correct treatment plan to achieve the fastest results.  

 

By seeing our physical therapists at least once a year many painful outcomes can be avoided before they begin, due to our individualized assessments, recommendations and proper therapy.

 

Why live with pain for one more minute? Call and make an appointment today and get started eliminating your pain and improving your well-being.

shoulder-pain

How To Relieve Shoulder Pain

Do you have aching shoulders? Do you know that the problem could be a result of rotator cuff damage? That’s right, your shoulder pain that comes along with certain motions or that you notice during sleep could be a result of rotator cuff issues.

 

What Does The Rotator Cuff Do?

 

Like most parts of the body, we don’t think about our rotator cuff until there is a problem. However, your rotator cuff issue can have a great effect on your shoulder pain. In fact, you use your rotator cuff many times a day to do even basic activities, such as throwing a baseball, lifting objects over your head or even brushing your hair and teeth. The rotator cuff’s role is made up of muscles that surround your shoulder joint, which guide your shoulder as it moves. Therefore, when your rotator cuff becomes damaged, this can result in poor range of motion in the shoulder and inflammation and pain.

 

How Does a Rotator Cuff Become Weakened or Injured?

 

Usually, an injured rotator cuff is a result of you moving your shoulder in a forceful or repetitive movement. The injury itself is pretty common, especially when you get older. However, an injured rotator cuff can occur in anyone, no matter his or her age. It is more commonly seen in older individuals, though. In fact, studies show that 30% of individuals under the age of 70 and 70% of those over the age of 80 have experienced a rotator cuff tear.

 

How to Relieve Shoulder Pain For Good:

 

Thankfully, there is hope for you and your shoulder pain. This recovery comes with strengthening the shoulder and practicing proper motion. You can successfully strengthen your shoulder joint by utilizing anti-inflammatory treatments, such as ice applications, cortisone injections and medications, along with physical therapy. Your goal isn’t treating the rotator cuff itself, but instead, healing the muscles and tendons, which is accomplished by the methods just mentioned.

 

Specifics On How You Can Improve Your Shoulder Pain: What Can You Do?

The following are some easy-to-follow tips to improve your shoulder pain:

  • Ice and rest your shoulder frequently. Ideally, you will want to ice for around 10 minutes, directly on the joint. Don’t worry if this causes the middle of your arm to ache. This is common.
  • Hug a pillow while you sleep, tucking the pillow deep in your underarm. This works by keeping your shoulder joint properly spaced.
  • Stand against a wall and squeeze your shoulder blades back and together. Be sure you don’t shrug your shoulders. This exercise will help retrain your shoulder to maintain proper posture.
  • Avoid heavy lifting. Heavy lifting can include repetitive reaching over your head, even if the object you are placing overhead is light. Also, avoid carrying groceries on your injured shoulder.

What Happens if These Tactics Don’t Make The Pain go Away?

 

If your pain doesn’t go away in 3-4 days of making these changes, you should seek help from a physical therapist. The purpose of physical therapy is to improve the function of the muscles surrounding your shoulder. This helps the mobility of the joint. Physical therapy specifically targets the small, but significant muscles in the shoulder that are often neglected. When you strengthen these muscles through physical therapy, you can better compensate for the damaged tendons.

 

About Our Physical Therapy:

 

Our physical therapists perform their therapy in a soothing, gentle manner. We will educate you on the proper way to perform various exercises and techniques. The work of our wonderful therapists will greatly accelerate the relief of your shoulder pain by restoring proper shoulder motion sooner. Thankfully, many patients with rotator cuff tears will not require surgical treatment. In most cases, physical therapy will be enough to remedy your shoulder issue. Contact us today at Mount Sterling, KY center to learn more about our programs and how they can help relieve your pain.

back-pain

Suffering With Back Pain? It Could Be Your Thighs…   

Are you suffering with back pain? If you are, you are among the majority. That’s right, around 80% of the population deals with back pain at some point in their life. If you fall into this category, you know the annoyance that is caused by frequent back pain. As you know, back pain can interfere with every facet of life. It can make bending over difficult and cause you to become irritable, making it hard for you to participate as you once did in social activities. In essence, it takes away the life you once had and leaves you with one void of the joy you once experienced. The solution to this problem is to understand what causes back pain in the first place. Do you know the culprit could be your thighs and/or hips?

 

How Does Your Thigh or Hip Strength Correlate With Back Pain?

 

It might come as a surprise to you, but poor thigh and hip strength often leads to back pain. As you age, your thigh and hip muscles—more specifically the external hip rotators, gluteus muscles and the quadriceps– naturally weaken. This is caused by various factors, such as sitting for long periods of time, along with age. As a result of this weakness, the support your spine once enjoyed is lessened. This in turn makes it harder for you to do simple tasks, like bending over and picking something up. Put simply, it means you don’t have the correct amount of strength in the right places. Consequently, when you bend down repetitively on a daily basis in your weakened state, this will lead to more stress on your back, which causes your pain to worsen.

 

How to Know If Your Strength is Located in the Right Places:

 

First of all, do the following:

  • Face a mirror.
  • Make sure your head is facing forward and your spine remains straight.
  • Squat down, by sticking your buttocks outward.

 

When completing these actions, notice the following:

  • Are you able to squat as you stick out your buttocks?
  • Do you feel discomfort or pressure in your knees?
  • Does one or both of your knees turn inwards?

If you answered yes to the questions listed above, you likely have problems with the strength and mobility of your pelvis, hips and thighs. These issues could be the culprit behind not only your back pain, but any knee pain you might have as well.

 

How to Strengthen Your Hip and Thigh Muscles:

 

The simple solution to the problem of back pain would seem to be for you to strengthen your hip and thigh muscles. Of course, that’s easier said than done. That’s where our expertise comes in handy. When you choose us for your treatment, we begin by thoroughly analyzing the way you bend and walk. We also make note of how strong your thighs and smaller hip muscles are at the present time. After this assessment, we can pinpoint the areas of your body that need work. The next step will be creating a treatment plan that is specifically designed to help you quickly build strength, and as a result, improve your spinal stability, muscle coordination and eliminate or reduce your back pain.

For more information on the programs we offer to relieve back pain, call us today. We are happy to create a treatment plan that will have you pain free as quickly as possible. Don’t despair; there is hope for an existence free of back pain. We can help. Call us today.

 

pain

Is Pain Stopping You From Getting Back in the Game?

Sports represent a healthy way to stay in shape, enjoy socialization with friends and family, and provide an effective outlet for stress. Nothing else in life compares to the invigorating and stimulating enjoyment that comes from participating in sports. As you play, however, you may develop some pain or injuries that prevent you from fully enjoying your sports activity. When this happens, a negative spiral can occur. The suddenly sedentary life may lead to weight gain, mood swings or depression, or feelings of hopelessness. If you choose to ignore doctor’s advice and play anyway, your small injury could turn into something that keeps you on the sidelines longer, or worse, require surgical intervention.

 

How Do Most Injuries Occur?

 

Many things can contribute to sports injuries. One of the most common contributing factors that physical therapists encounter is that of the “weekend warrior.” The weekend warrior is a term for a person who leads a relatively sedentary existence during the work week, but who gives it all they have on the playing field on the weekends. While the term warrior has strong connotations, it’s not smart to suddenly test and strain your body in fits and starts only on the weekends. You would be better off to participate in moderate exercise during the week so that your body has a more level pace of activity.

 

Other injuries occur from poor gear choices. It’s important to wear the right equipment for the right sport. Tennis shoes, for example, are designed to support the foot and ankle for the quick side-to-side footwork that occurs on the court. Running shoes are manufactured so that the impact of your body hitting pavement is somewhat absorbed and doesn’t injure your skeletal system.

 

Finally, many injuries occur because people neglect to warm up before practice and play. Your muscles, tendons, ligaments and other tissues need to be warmed up and trained first in order to work properly. They take enormous strain during running and sports activities.

 

You May Be More Prone to Injury as You Age

 

While age should not prevent you from participating in your favorite sports, you do need to consider the physical limitations that come with age. As you get older, your tissues become less elastic and less flexible. It would be foolish for anyone to think they can perform at age 60 the same as they did at age 26. However, exercising consistently, warming up before exercise, and keeping hydrated can help. When your muscles, tendon and ligament tissues have enough water, they become more supple and flexible, allowing you to do more activities safely.

 

How to Avoid Pain and Prevent Injury

 

With a little bit of preparation, you can easily do these activities and decrease your risk for injury.

 

  • Stretch before practice and play
  • Maintain or increase strength training
  • Practice eye-hand coordination with drills
  • Maintain or increase endurance with training

 

It is important to do sports activities, fitness and a host of other physical activities to keep you healthy and happy. Knowing the right exercises to do to prepare for fitness activities is key. Our physical therapists have years of experience helping people rehabilitate after injuries and return to the activities they enjoy. What some people might not know is that physical therapists can help put a specific exercise plan together based on your needs to prevent injury. If you do start to experience pain with activities, we can get you back to enjoying your activities, pain-free. Call us today to learn more about how we can help you get back in the game!

How to Put the Spring Back in Your Step

 

There’s no avoiding it; with age can come a whole host of new challenges, and with them seemingly random aches and pains. Fingers and joints may become sore after mundane chores, and physical undertakings that once brought joy now result in discomfort. It can be easy to become discouraged away from participating in activities that bring on these symptoms, but fortunately, there are methods readily available to help put the spring back in your step.

 

Reevaluate Your Posture

 

Since professions that require long hours spent at a desk in front of the computer are becoming more and more commonplace, it is not unusual to see an increase in injuries resulting from poor posture. One of the most common side effects of sitting incorrectly is having sore muscles. While it may seem unusual that not keeping one’s backbone straight would cause muscles to feel pain, using incorrect posture results in additional muscles being called upon to help stabilize the spine. As a result, muscles are forced to have an increased workload, leading to pain and even injury.

 

If you sit at a desk all day, or lead a relatively sedentary lifestyle, always be conscientious of your posture. Focus on sitting straight for longer and longer periods of time if at first you find that doing so is too difficult. As the muscles around your spinal column become stronger, you’ll find that it’s easier to maintain correct posture, and also prevent permanent incorrect curvature of the spine.

 

Drink Plenty of Fluids

 

Throughout the course of a day, it can be relatively easy to become dehydrated. For many, coffee is a necessary addition to any workday. But, what they don’t realize, is that coffee serves as a diuretic. As you drink the beverage throughout the day, your body is stimulated to begin expending fluids through the process of urination. This, in turn, can lead to dehydration if enough water isn’t consumed. Should the body lose enough fluids, painful cramps can set within the muscles and can make you feel sluggish and weak.

 

If you must drink coffee, be sure to alternate cups with water. Make a point of trying to drink several large cups a day. Should you find yourself cramping up, drinking a beverage filled with electrolytes can quickly combat the effects of dehydration. When it comes to having enough fluids, an ounce of prevention will always be worth a pound of cure.

 

Get Some Sleep

 

For those who try and maximize every minute of their day, going to sleep can seem like a productivity killer. After all, time spent awake can be time spent doing life’s many important tasks. Sleep, however, plays an important role in helping your body recover from exercises and the rigors of the day. A lack of sleep can lead to feelings of lethargy, problems concentrating, and an overall feeling of malaise. Try to get as much sleep as possible by avoiding caffeinated beverages in the evening, or watching TV before going to bed. Your body will thank you.

 

Should, after following these tips, you still feel like you’ve lost that spring in your step, give us a call for a consultation. You’ll be feeling like your old self in no time!

 

http://www.livestrong.com/article/31223-negative-effects-poor-posture/

 

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/dehydration-adults?page=3#1

 

http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/9-reasons-to-sleep-more

 

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/discomfort-15/better-sleep/healing-power-sleep

 

The Amazing Benefits of Stretching

Everyone knows that exercise is a part of healthy living, but do you consider a stretching routine part of your exercise program, or as an afterthought that gets done if time permits? Since no one ever has enough time, you may want to reconsider how you view exercise, as there are so many benefits to a stretching program. Everyone can learn to stretch, regardless of age or flexibility. Stretching should be a part of your daily routine, whether you exercise or not. It does not have to involve a huge amount of time, but stretching can end up giving you huge results!

 

Five Important Benefits of Stretching:

 

  • Reduced muscle tension
  • Increased range of movement in the joints
  • Enhanced muscular coordination
  • Increased circulation of the blood to various parts of the body
  • Increased energy levels (resulting from increased circulation) 

How Do These Benefits Help You?

 

An abundance of research explains that there can be many benefits of stretching on a routine basis, even if you are not an avid runner or athlete. Stretching can benefit you in the following ways:

 

Infuses You with Optimism

 

People who are stressed often have contracted muscles. In turn, these muscle contractions give a physiological and an emotional feeling of tenseness and overall unease. When you feel these sensations, try stretching to loosen tight and simultaneously increases blood flow. Stretching has also been shown to aid in the release of endorphins, a natural body substance that helps you attain a feeling of joy and serenity. Stretching when you wake up is a great way to start your day and stretching before bed can optimize your sleep.

 

Stretching is a Great Midday Pick-Me-Up

 

Most people feel a little lethargic around mid-afternoon. If this describes you, try some stretching at your desk. Often, people who suffer from mid-afternoon fatigue find that stretching gives them a boost of energy. When we feel lethargic, our muscles tighten; stretching loosens up these muscles. Stand up and stretch to combat your midday fatigue!

 



Lower Your Cholesterol

 

Stretching on a routine basis and eating a healthy diet can help reduce cholesterol. In turn, reductions in cholesterol can prevent, and may even reverse, hardening of the arteries. Stretching also serves to aid in avoiding heart disease.

 

Better Blood Circulation

 

A stretching routine increases blood flow to your muscles which can help with the following:

 

  1. Reductions in post-exercise soreness and recovery time
  2. Improvement of overall health

 

Makes You More Flexible

 

Did you know that improved flexibility results in an improved range of motion, making your body work less while moving? Also, stretching lessens the likelihood of injuries during exercise or other sports activities.

 

Stretching Improves Your Posture

 

When you stretch, you lengthen tight muscles that tend to pull parts of your body away from their intended positions. It is important to keep your muscles loose, especially in the back and torso. This helps to keep your spine in alignment and to relieve backaches and back pain. When back pain is alleviated, you tend to have better posture.

 

Sources

http://www.healthfitnessrevolution.com/top-10-ways-avoid-high-cholesterol/

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/stretching/art-20047931

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/21489011/ns/health-fitness/t/stretching-may-offer-extended-benefits/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/358507-what-are-the-benefits-of-stretching-yoga/

Neck Pain and Headaches from Stress

Stress is nothing more than our reaction to a provocation that upsets our physical and/or mental equilibrium. Therefore, stress is an inevitable part of life. Nevertheless, when we are faced with stress, our “fight or flight” response can be triggered; this causes the production of hormones including adrenaline and cortisol to increase and rush through your body.

 

About Your Neck Pain and Headaches

 

Simultaneously, muscles in our neck and scalp may contract. These muscle contractions occur when we are faced with stress, anxiety, or depression. When these muscles contract they often cause dull, nagging headaches that often turn into full-blown migraine headaches.

 

Robert Gotlin, DO, director of Orthopaedics and Sports Rehabilitation at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City says this about neck pain,

 

“As stress goes up I definitely see more patients with neck pain. Every year around tax time, the number of patients with neck pain increases, especially among Wall Street types here in New York.”

 

Another cause of neck pain is structural and results from a neck joint issue. This type of a headache is known as a neck headache or more properly as a Cervicogenic headache. Research shows that fixing the neck can end a headache. The joints usually associated in a neck headache are:

  • Atlanto-occipital joint (O-C1)
  • Atlanto-axial joint (C1/2)
  • C2/3 cervical spine joints

When your neck joints are too tight, a headache can result in just a few minutes. Not all stress is bad, however. Stress within your comfort level helps you to perform under pressure, keep you motivated and to keep you safe when danger is evident.

 

How Many Types of Headaches Are There?

 

Headaches come in many sizes and pain levels, however, there are four distinct types of a headaches:

 

  1. Tension
  2. Sinus
  3. A migraine
  4. Cluster

 

Tension headaches are the most common of all headaches and can occur simply from holding your head in one position for too long. Some of the activities that can lead to a tension headache from this source are:

 

  • Staring at a computer screen
  • Working with a microscope
  • Fine work with one’s hands

Other causes of tension headaches include:

 

  1. Physical or emotional stress
  2. Caffeine (too little or too much)
  3. Sinus infections from a cold or the Flu
  4. Alcohol consumption
  5. Eye strain
  6. Fatigue
  7. Tobacco use

 

Serious debilitating headaches are a warning that you should seek medical attention; tension headaches, however, are most often just a nagging annoyance, though some can be painful enough to disrupt your daily activities.

 

How Do I Deal with a Tension Headache?

 

Since tension headaches are the most common of all headaches, here are three tips on how to deal with tension headaches.

 

Relax – Tension headaches are called this for a reason; relaxation and stress relief can help alleviate your headache. While stress is an undeniable part of life, an overabundance of stress can lead to more serious diseases such as high blood pressure or heart disorders. Activities that strain your neck and back should be curtailed and stretching breaks should be a regular part of your work day.

 

Fix Your Workplace Ergonomics – A headset for your telephone, proper monitor positioning for your computer, a desktop riser that lets you work while standing. In addition, make sure your eyeglasses and contacts prescription are current.

 

Stretch Your Muscles – Stretching is a great way to release tense muscles in the neck. Try stretching with a general exercise program designed by a trainer or physical therapist that is specific to your needs.

 

Headaches can be inconvenient and painful. Talk with your physical therapist today to see if your headaches are stemming from neck pain or stress and learn how to treat them effectively!

 

Sources

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/stress-symptoms-causes-and-effects.htm

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000797.htm

http://www.everydayhealth.com/neck-pain/neck-pain-reduce-stress.aspx

https://www.painscience.com/articles/tension-headache.php

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tension-headache/symptoms-causes/dxc-20211470

http://www.healthline.com/health/tension-headache

http://physioworks.com.au/injuries-conditions-1/neck-headache-cervicogenic-headache