Health Tips

Stress Reduction

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What is Stress? Stress is the body’s reaction to a change that requires a physical, mental or emotional adjustment or response. Stress Symptoms: – Physical Symptoms Headaches Insomnia Muscle tension Low energy – Emotional Symptoms Irritability Avoiding others Overwhelmed Stress Management Strategies: Identify stress source Daily Physical Activity Get Organized Get enough sleep Positive self talk Avoid caffeine and energy drinks Balance your time Stress Facts: High stress for an excessive amount of time can lead to heart disease, increased blood pressure and an irregular heart beat. Laughing lowers stress hormones in the body. Stress effects mind and body. High levels of stress can contribute to an accumulation of abdominal fat, mainly due to the stress hormone,...

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Arthritis

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The Role of a Physical Therapist towards those suffering from arthritis Promote maximal physical function Reduce pain Increase and maximize joint mobility Increase muscle strength The main symptoms of arthritis are pain muscle aching joint stiffness swelling Impairments that can come from arthritis -dressing -bathing -walking When trying to exercise with arthritis choose exercises that build muscle around your joints focus on range of motion exercises do low-impact exercises (walking, cycling or water aerobics) What exercises to avoid Running Jumping Tennis Inactivity Repeating the same movement again and again QUICK FACTS ON ARTHRITIS: The leading cause of disability in the United States The third leading cause of work limitation Costing the nation $128 billion annually Research has proven that physical therapy with medical management enhances function and...

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Preventing Low Back Pain

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Lifting When lifting a heavy object, position your body directly in front of it to lift, then make sure to carry it close to your body. Bend your knees so your legs, not your back, bear the weight. When carrying the item, turn your feet instead of twisting your back. At the Office When at your workstation, use an upright chair that has good back or lumbar support. The monitor should be positioned so your head and shoulders are relaxed and you don’t have to crane your neck. Also, keep your mouse close to your body. Remember to do easy exercises at your desk, such as backward shoulder rolls, and get up frequently to stand straight and/or walk. Wearing Backpacks Low back pain doesn’t just affect adults. The main cause for children’s low back pain is their backpacks they wear to school. To help children maintain proper form, physical therapists advise that backpack contents should be limited to 10 to 15% of the child’s body weight. Wearing both straps will keep weight distributed properly. The backpack should rest evenly in the middle of the back, it should not extend below the lower back. When packing your child’s backpack make sure to organize the contents by placing the heavier items closest to the back. Travel During long drives, stop every hour or so to stand up and move around. You can also place a rolled up towel behind your back at approximately waist level to provide lumbar support while driving. Shoveling Whether you’re moving snow or mulch, shoveling is typically a repetitive action. Use a shovel with a shaft that is not too short (causing you to bend more to lift) or too long (making the weight at the end heavier). While lifting, keep your back straight and avoid twisting the spine while shoveling. Stepping in the direction you’re moving instead of bending the back, can help to avoid next-day fatigue. Finally, take frequent breaks to stand straight and walk. Gardening When gardening, support your back by bending at the knees to avoid straining. If you must kneel, use knee pads to absorb some of the pressure. Always keep one foot on the ground while kneeling. Use a wheelbarrow to move heavy items and change positions frequently to reduce...

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