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Stress

Cheryl SchwietersStress….just saying the word elevates my blood pressure sometimes. But did you know thatstress is a natural process that occurs within our body and can have positive and negative effects? When working properly it is our body’s natural way of protecting us. It allows us to stay focused energetic and alert. Whether it be staying on task to finish a big project or mustering up enough strength to sprint to an emergency and somehow lift a car off a pinned child.

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Nutrition for Recovery :Part 4 of 4

Cheryl SchwietersRemodeling Phase Day 21 to 2 years

In this installment we will be discussing the final phase of the healing process. Regarding soft tissue such as muscle, ligament and tendon, scarring has been created and is now changing over to a more solid structure. Though it will never be as strong, new fibers can heal to almost 80% its' original strength. Bone formation has happened and now is being converted from soft callus to hard.

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Phase 1 Inflammation: Days 1 – 7

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This week's topic is the inflammatory phase following injury. As stated last week, this is the immediate time following injury. Injury can be described as post surgical or traumatic. At this time the body is wounded and in its most painful stage of recovery. It is bleeding and forming clots, swelling to protect itself and is usually red, hot and painful. Remember WE NEED INFLAMMATION TO HEAL! If we try to eliminate inflammation too soon we can interrupt the healing cycle. Bone healing is slightly different than soft tissue healing yet still goes through and inflammatory process with bleeding at the site and inflammation of the surrounding tissues.

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Cheryl SchwietersIn the world of physical therapy the main goal for patients is to get them healed as quickly as possible to return to normal life. Often, there are protocols to follow that initially require limited actions and restricted movement. Patients frequently ask, “Is there anything I can do to help speed up my recovery?” Feeding our bodies with appropriate nutrients and supplements is one way to assist the healing process. In the next four articles we will address the phases of injury as well as what foods and supplements that benefit each stage of recovery to aid the bodily process.

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RS1966 shutterstock 189234521 Did you know that many foods can decrease or increase inflammation and help to decrease pain?  It is important to try and maintain a healthy diet, especially while healing after an injury or surgery.  Most people think they should cut back on calories since they are less active or are tempted to eat more unhealthy comfort foods while being stuck at home recovering, but this will not help speed up the recovery process.

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Inflammation and Your Diet (Part 1)

Throughout the day the body is constantly being bombarded with substances that can trigger inflammation.  Inflammation is not all bad, like when the body responds to an injury with swelling and blood clots to form a scab or to heal a bone.  But rather exposure to irritants like mold, pollen, chemicals, even foods that the body thinks is a threat to its’ health.  Autoimmune diseases or allergic reactions are thought to be linked to this concept. By repeatedly facing toxins, infection possibility, or trauma, it is almost like constantly being hit by strong waves at the shore of the ocean; it is never allowed to heal properly because the body cannot get back up on its feet again.  Sometimes immune cells start to perceive healthy tissue as unhealthy, here inflammation or in the former case, chronic inflammation is the result.  Hives, digestive issues, fatigue, headache, weight gain, mood swings, joint and nerve pain all can be linked to inflammation.

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What can we do to combat these ever looming potentials for disaster?  Build a Wall! No, well, sort of; maybe one to improve health.  By using food!  Think about it, food is mandatory to survive, something we need every day and something that is the easiest way to have an immediate and long term effect on how we feel.  It provides the fuel we need as well as the building blocks to create cells.  We are what we eat after all! 

Sometimes it is challenging to get everything we need to assist our anti inflammatory diet by food alone.  This is where a supplement may be helpful.  They come in many forms, can be added to foods like smoothies or simply taken in pill form.  In this article, I will be discussing five common vitamins that have been shown to have anti inflammatory properties and may be helpful in creating a more calm and happy body.

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The Protein Bar

RS1966 shutterstock 189234521When it comes to a quick on the go snack that can keep your energy up and stave off cravings, the protein bar is the way to go.  There are many over the counter options but often if you are not looking at what is put into them they can be loaded full of sugar and unnecessary additives.  Some are even comparable to eating a candy bar! 

Here are ten quick and easy recipes that can be made at home with fresh ingredients and quickly added to lunch boxes, gym bags and purses to help you and your family get through the day!

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Probiotics

RS2733 iStock 000003176288XLargeIf you are at all interested in looking into what can be beneficial for assisting in good health, the use of probiotics is a hot topic as of late.  A probiotic is“good for you” bacteria as well as specific yeast found in some foods and supplements.  Research has been identifying these bacteria and yeasts as highly helpful in reducing a wide range of disorders, from GI distress to allergies, ulcerative colitis to bloating.  These bacteria also help to assist replenishing intestinal flora following a round of antibiotic usage.

Is the use of probiotics right for you?  Here are four things you may not know about the world of good bacteria:

  1. The collection of microorganisms in the gut is ENORMOUS!  Some estimates are as many as 500 to 1,000 species of bacteria.  The amount of microorganisms number 10 to 1 to the cells in our body.
  1. The strain does matter.  Probiotics are bacteria that are helpful to the body when either swallowed OR applied to it.   Most probiotics will be identified by three names, their genus, species and strain.  The Food and Drug Administration does not currently require manufacturers to disclose their strains on food or supplements
  1. Probiotics should be taken frequently but may not be needed every day.  Unless you are having a specific issue with your digestive system where you would use a strain specific probiotic shown to assist with a specific symptom.
  1. Most major brands have been shown to contain what they claim.
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Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition

Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition

Physical therapy is a profession that is often dominated by a category of patients that share a similar complaint on the seemingly broad spectrum of pain.  Although every patient presents a different explanation as to how they interpret their own discomfort, it often can all be directed back toward one primary cause, and that is inflammation. 

In medical terminology, inflammation is identified as a localized, physical condition in which part of the body becomes reddened, swollen, hot, and often painful, especially as a reaction to injury or infection.  In much simpler terms, inflammation is the body’s attempt at damage control.  A common outlook toward an injury is that the impacted area of the body is what is causing physical pain.  In-fact, the actual cause of pain following an injury can, in most cases, be attributed directly to the inflammation set in by the body in a rapid attempt at self-healing.  Physical therapy is a heavily researched area of the medical sciences that has placed great emphasis on the ability to decrease and/or abolish pain caused by this natural healing process.  Although therapy is an absolute necessity in the battle against inflammation initiated pain, there are multiple tools an individual can implement on the roadway to recovery. 

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