%AM, %31 %250 %2013 %00:%Jan

Resolve To Eat Well

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Did you make a new year's resolution for 2013 and have already failed at following through? The oh-so-common and lofty goals of getting into shape, eating healthy, scheduling a regular date night with your spouse or loved one, quit smoking, quit drinking, get out of debt, learn something new, a daily quite time, get organized, etc. Well, I'm certainly not here to berate you for failing at something that was simply much too broad of a resolution to begin, or for attempting an ambitious human feat without some helpful tools and resources.  To beat you up with the proverbial “wooden spoon” is not what this is about.  On the contrary, I hope this is simply an encouragement to you to persevere! Carry on! Or better yet, START...today! Today is a new day and brings with it a new way to start afresh. Commit to today and see how you fair.

Now, I can only offer you expert advice on a very small and narrow array of potential “resolutions” one might have and today I am actually stepping out of what this expertise may include.  So stick with me and perhaps we can take this step towards smarter/healthier eating, together.

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Did That Sound Come From Me?

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Was that your hip that just popped? It sounded painful, did it hurt?  Welcome to the world of our body making noises.  The body is a wonderfully created and sometimes annoying thing.  It has the power to lift enormous weight, run at incredible speed, and move with grace.  As stress is placed on our joints, we adapt or compensate to continue doing what we must.  As we place force on our joints or use our body incorrectly, we can hear noises come from, near or around our joints.  The most commonly noticed joints are
the knuckles, hips, knees, ankles, and spine. 

Everyone pays attention more to a body part after it has been injured or is not feeling right.  Once you twist your ankle, every time you step and feel a pop or hear a noise, you notice it. One wonders, is this normal or is something wrong that I should get checked out?  I am asked this common question as I talk to patients on their first day of physical therapy: “My (blank) pops/cracks/makes noise, is this okay?  I follow up with a few questions of my own: “does it hurt when you perform a specific motion? Did you notice the noise before you were injured? After this happens is your function affected?”  Part of the physical therapy evaluation is figuring out the problems presented by the patient, laying out a treatment plan, answering patient concerns, and most importantly, educating the patient on the condition and physical therapy expectations. 

%AM, %09 %693 %2013 %11:%Apr

It All Starts at the Big Toe

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Did you know that unlike your fingers, which all have individual names the big toe or hallux is the only toe to be awarded a name?  All the rest are just named by their location…2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th toe.  Okay, sometimes we refer to the 5th as the “pinkie” but we are really just borrowing from the fingers!  When I think of my toes they tend to work as a team.  They are difficult to individually move and unless you are very skilled, your toes often move together in one big group.  Give it a try – can you pick up your big toe but leave the rest on the floor?  Can you leave your big toe on the ground and pick up the rest? Can you do this without also twisting your ankle inward or outward?  What if I told you that the better control you have at separating and moving your “big toe” from the rest and the greater the flexibility in your toes may solve some of your ailments especially when it pertains to walking and running?

%PM, %27 %761 %2013 %13:%Mar

Stress Can Be A Pain In The Neck

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Studies have shown that many people who are suffering from chronic neck pain may have neck painjobs that are contributing to their condition.  Chronic pain is described as pain that has lasted more than 3 months and is either persistent, or is recurrent with episodes of pain separated by periods of recovery.

There are physical contributors to neck pain at work such as repetitive movements, prolonged computer use and poor workstation design. What may also be a contributor is stress in the work place. Prevalence of neck pain in the office worker is as high as 78%.

 The trapezius muscle is active during the physical demands of the office worker, but in addition stress may activate the trapezius muscle even more, putting the muscle at risk for overuse injury. Physical therapy can help reverse the effects of the overuse injury by incorporating therapeutic exercise, manual techniques and education on posture improvement and workstation design, but if the patient continues to experience stress at their workplace, chances are good that within 12 months there will be a recurrence of pain.

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