Quality of care is a function of two factors. The first is the relationship factor and the second the outcome factor. Physical therapists are positioned to score well in both of these departments. Physical therapists spend up to an hour with the patient during their first visit. We may rehabilitate the patient over the course of weeks or months. If the PT demonstrates respect for the patient and the patient enjoys the physical therapy, a positive relationship is established. If the physical therapy results in a positive treatment outcome, the patient will also give the physical therapist high marks for quality of care. Interestingly, with most patients, the relationship is more important than the outcome. When a doctor refers a patient to an independent, private practice physical therapist, he/she should be confident that the PT is going to work hard to provide quality of care to the referred patient making sure that they are treated with respect, enjoy the experience, and hopefully have a positive treatment outcome. The costs of medical care are increasing, reimbursement is decreasing, and it is becoming more difficult for both doctors and physical therapists to provide patients with the care they demand. Private practice physical therapists are an important part of a patient’s health care team. Working closely with our referring physicians is of the utmost importance to us at our practice. As an interdependent team, we can provide your patients with the care, outcomes, and the satisfaction that you both deserve.
Physical ailments that come with old age often accompanied by mental ones
It’s a natural part of aging that all humans eventually have to deal with: Once the body reaches 65 years of age, and sometimes even beforehand, the physical repercussions of making it to that point really begin to show themselves. Muscles and joints often begin to ache, vision and hearing may start to decrease in sharpness, and a slew of other possible maladies may also present themselves. On top of potential physical disabilities, aging can also be associated with poor or weakening mental well-being, whether that be from issues with memory, anxiety or general functionality. Regular exercise is encouraged for the elderly population to stimulate cardiovascular health and for the plethora of other physical benefits it provides, but the perks don’t stop there. The mental health benefits of regular physical activity for people with conditions like depression and anxiety have also been well established, and adding exercise to a weekly regimen may also play a role in enhancing mental well-being throughout old age. To investigate this matter in greater detail, a systematic review (which pools and evaluates all available literature on a topic) was conducted to examine the effectiveness of exercise and physical activity on the mental well-being of people older than 65.
Extensive field of literature searched for appropriate studies
To find literature that was pertinent to the subject at hand, most of the major medical databases were searched for any studies that included exercise or physical activity intervention designed to improve mental health. A total of 36 studies were found to be initially eligible, but 23 of these were excluded on account of poor quality, leaving 13 studies to be used for data analysis. The exercise interventions included in the studies were community-based, designed for sedentary older participants, and facilitated by trained instructors. Of the interventions used, yoga, walking, tai chi, balance training and a combination of various exercises were the most common, and the frequency ranged from one 45-min. session per week to three one-hour sessions each week, all performed at a light or moderate level. For the review, mental well-being was defined as positive psychological functioning encompassing life satisfaction, happiness, resilience self-esteem, being in control and coping with life. Patients were assessed with a specific questionnaire, which measured self-esteem, happiness and quality of life to give detailed readings on overall well-being.
Exercise again proven to serve a mental purpose
Results from the systematic review further supported the notion that physical activity can in fact improve mental health for elders in addition to physical health. One group of studies compared the effects of an intervention with a group of controls with no intervention, and data showed a statistically significant effect on mental well-being for the patients who underwent the intervention. To drive this point home even more, other studies also found a statistically significant effect on emotional health from exercise interventions specifically developed for frail older people living in the community, which focused on resistance, balance, endurance and flexibility. Finally, another study in frail older people found a greater effect on mental well-being of a combined training package of balance, strength, stretching and home training compared to home training alone, which highlights the need for a variation in intervention strategies.
Clearly, these findings point out a definitively beneficial role of exercise for improving the mental well-being of older people. The authors of the review go on to suggest a minimum of two, 45-min. sessions per week of light-to-moderate intensity exercise to be performed by elders to improve mental well-being. Adding such interventions as balance, strengthening and flexibility exercises to a routine may further enhance this benefit, and with these potential improvements, the elder population can go about their lives more easily, with fewer complications and a more positive outlook.
At some point and time we all have stress in our lives. Even though its something we would like to live without it does occur in our lifestyles. Hypertension is a term that is used to describe high blood pressure. What happens when you have high blood pressure is when the pressure within your blood vessels is too high. “Blood Pressure is the amount of force (pressure) that blood exerts on the walls of vessels as it passes through them” (MedTV).
Any doctor can use a sphygmomanometer (also known as a blood pressure cuff) to measure your blood pressure. A normal blood pressure reads lower than 120/80 mmHg most of the time whereas a hypertensive blood pressure reads 140/90 or above most of the time. (PubMed Health). Anything between these numbers is consider pre-hypertensive and can lead down a path to hypertension. Without preventing or managing hypertension it can lead to a stroke, chronic kidney disease, heart attack/heart failure, bleeding from the aorta, poor blood supply to the legs and problems with your vision. To avoid these risks it is important to practice prevention and management of hypertension.
Here’s a list of tips that can help for prevention and management:
- Reduce your weight. Being overweight/obese can be a risk for hypertension so having a healthy weight can reduce your risk.
- Exercise Regularly. “Existing data suggest that low-intensity (between 50-70% of VO2max) aerobic exercise performed on a regular basis reduces the likelihood that a person will develop hypertension” (Fitness.Com)
- Limit Alcohol Consumption.
- Limit Salt Intake. Having a salt reduction in your diet can help lower blood pressure.
- Increase your calcium intake. “Numerous epidemiological studies have demonstrated that an inverse relationship exists between dietary calcium intake and BP” (Fitness.com).
- Decrease your stress. Take time for yourself and practice stress relievers.
- Quit Smoking. Smoking increases your blood pressure by quitting this habit it can help decrease your blood pressure along with reduce the risks for a heart attack or stroke.
- Eat a healthy diet including potassium and fiber to help decrease blood pressure!
Following some of these tips can help lead a path of life with less stress and help prevent hypertension for your future!
When adding explosive training into your daily fitness routine the American College of Sports Medicine suggests that this should be the first type of exercise perform. You may be thinking what is explosive training and can it benefit me? Explosive training is used to help build the ability to generate power and strength. When participating in sports that include fast sprinting or jumping, having explosive training can be very beneficial. “The types of exercises used to build this power are movements that are require a maximum or near maximum power output from the athlete in a short amount of time” (Sports Medicine).
Explosive training is developed by the combination two types of training; explosive strength and speed strength. The idea of combining these two types of training is called Postactivation potentiation or PAP. PAP is defined as, “an acute aftereffect of enhanced muscle force output of explosive movements after a heavy resistance exercise” (Synergy-Athletes). This type of training helps elevate the excitability of the central nervous system. By elevating the excitability, this in turn results in greater motor unit recruitment and force output. The most important muscles to work out in explosive training are the hamstrings, glutes, groin, abs, hip flexors and obliques (MyUltimateAdvantage).
What Type of Exercises can you added to your routine for explosive training?
1. Squat to Squat Jumps
2. Squat to Box Jump or Hurdle Hop
3. Skater Squat to Bounding
4. Hip Thrust to Broad Jump
5. Bench press/Push-up to Plyometric Push-up
6. Bench press/Push-up to Medicine ball chest pass or quick wall pass
7. Bench press/Push-up to Tire battling
8. Agility Drills
Things to Consider:
- Do not perform explosive training with “cold” muscles, make sure you have a proper dynamic warm up.
- Explosive Training should not be performed in a fatigue state or until fatigued.
- Try to be specific for your sport. Try focusing on exercises that are more beneficial and will help assist your performance.
- Keep your training program balance. Explosive training can be trained 2 to 3 times a week. It should not be performed everyday.
- To become a faster and stronger athlete you should train in the 5 areas of physical training which are speed, strength, agility, reaction and coordination.
Overall Explosive Training can be very imperative for enhancing your performance in your specific sport along with decrease injury over time.
Can you imagine that just a thirty-six inch round piece of foam can give your muscles great massage instead of paying for a masseuse yourself? Foam rollers can almost be found at every gym, athletic training room, or physical therapy office. The use of foam rollers became more popular when there was a big attitude change for injury prevention and treatment.
According to evidence by using hand on techniques there has been more of an advantage for injury prevention and treatment. “The success of physical therapists with soft tissue mobilization (the physical therapy term for massage) and MAT, and a number of chiropractors with ART has clearly put the focus back on the muscle” (Boyle). Many chiropractors and physical therapists along with sports conditioning coaches see the foam roller as a great tool for getting sore spots. They view the foam roller as a self myofascial release also known as self massage.
So how do use the foam roller, the best uses for it and what parts of your body are best for use? Using the foam roller is very simple. Just take the foam roller place, place yourself on it so you will hit the sore spot, and just roll back and forth on that sore spot for about 2 to 3 minutes. It’s the same idea as if you were rolling out dough, now your just rolling out your muscles. The best uses for the foam roller is to a. use it as a massage tool b. use it as a stretching tool or c. use it as a core strengthener. The areas of your body that respond the best to the use of a foam roller include the glutes, hamstrings, IT Band, calfs, hips and your back. This growing self massage technique of foam rolling is a great way to get out those sore spots out of your muscles.
(Fitness Republic) (StrengthCoach)
A joint is where two or more bones meet. Without our joints we wouldn’t be able to make any movements. Our joints are very important because it helps with mechanical support. But unfortunately there are diseases that can affect our joints. “Nearly one third of Americans suffer from symptoms of chronic joint inflammation or arthritis.” Two of the most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Even though osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are two forms of this disease they behave differently on the joints. Osteoarthritis is due to aging and wear and tear on a joint. “It is a degenerative form of arthritis that causes degradation of the joints, including the cartilage.” Researchers have not been able to pin point the main contributing factor of osteoarthritis. But they have found that a combination of aging, being overweight, having injury to joints, muscle weakness, and hereditary factors to all be factors. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that leads to inflammation of the joints and surround tissues, and sometimes organs. “Some symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis include fatigue, low grade fevers, weakness, stiffness, swollen joints, and finer twitching.”
Having joint pain can decrease your wants to move and exercise. But exercise in these two forms of arthritis can be very beneficial. Exercise can help improve mood, help with cardio respiratory functioning, reduce pain, help with weight control and preserves muscular functioning. It is recommend for persons with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis to partake in low impact aerobic exercises that do not put a lot of stress on the joints, flexibility should be performed everyday to help increase range of motion and help decrease the pain, and muscular resistance exercises should be performed 2 to 3 times per week to help decrease joint pain. Even though these two forms of arthritis can be associated with pain from the joints including exercise in your routine can help decrease the pain and help with mobility when performing daily activities.
Many women might have the misconception that going to the gym and performing cardio fitness activities will solely help you keep in shape. Is this misconception due to a fear of weight training? According to the National Center for Health Statistics, a mere 21 percent of women strength train two or three times a week.” Performing weight-bearing exercises whether it’s for muscular strength or muscular endurance can play a great effect. Participating in at least 2 weight training sessions a week can reduce your body fat by 3 percent! Along it can help with the development of new muscle, which helps develop long-term boost to your metabolism.
When you are looking to burn more calories cardio you may have been told cardio burns much more calories than weight training. This is true when comparing it in a specific session. But when performing strength-training routines in your weekly fitness program can help burn even more calories. “A study in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning research found that women who completed an hour long strength training workout burned an average of 100 more calories in 24 hours afterward than they did when they hadn’t lifted weights.” When you replace fat with more muscle you can burn additional calories per day without doing any physical activity.
This all sounds great!! So you ask, where do I begin?? Joe Dowdell, co-owner of New York city gym Peak Performance, recommends performing weight training activities at least 3 times a week and focus on full body work that targets your arms, legs, abs, and back. Try making powerful movements that include more than one muscle group and try avoided just isolating certain body parts. For each exercise you perform you should perform 3 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions. Try to use weights that you feel are challenging but aren’t comprising your form throughout your set. Also remember to properly fuel your body for all the weight training your now performing. “The New Rules of Lifting for women, recommends that you eat one gram of protein for every pound of your body weight that does not come from fat.” Now that you are aware where to begin, get out there! Go get your pump on! Weight training 2-3 times a week can show a significant change to your body and you will feel great!!
Click on this link here for some ideas for weight training exercises!
We all need balance. When we are younger balance comes more easily to ourselves but as we grow older we find balance to be harder to maintain. Balance is one of the components that comprise fitness. This component is fitness is needed for everyone. Balance is an important factor if you’re an athlete because to it can help you perform better or have better success. But as you grow older balance may play a more important key role in your life. Balance can be defined as “the ability to sense where our bodies are positioned and adjust muscle tension to maintain alignment.”
As your grow older some of the effects such as impaired vision, reduced reflex speed, and decreased sensitivity of skin receptors can impair your balance and coordination. Did you know that 30 to 50 percent of people over the age of 65 suffer from a fall each year? Unfortunately many of these people will not fully recover even if it’s from a small fall. This is why it is important to practice your balance and make sure to maintain balance in your fitness program to help alleviate problems in the future such as falls. Whether you are young or an older individual, “San Diego physical therapist Deborah Ellison, PT, an expert in functional exercise design, offers these tips and balance exercises”:
- Improve your Cardiovascular Fitness- By walking or running this can help improve your gait, help with weight control and give you a better feel of well being while improving your balance too.
- Practice a Single Leg Stand- By practicing a single leg stand on a hard surface or a foam surface and holding this position for about 30 seconds each time can help improve balance.
- Try a Tai Chi or Yoga class- These classes focus a lot on balancing.
- Practice Shifting Weight from Side to Side- By shifting your weight between your left and right leg it changes where your center of gravity is located and improve your balance.
- Practice walking faster and stepping over objects- By doing this activity it will help with your speed and help with making quick decisions.
- Improve your Flexibility- There is a correlation between balance and stretching on a regular basis. By improving flexibility in the areas of the torso, shoulder, hip and ankle can help with balance.
- Improve Your Strength- By improving your lower body strength it can help with balance, reduce falls, and help your recover from falls better.
- Build your self Confidence- By building your self confidence in your fitness program it can help decrease your fears of falling. You can help build your confidence in your fitness program by trying different areas to perform your balance exercises.
- Consult a Physician- In some cases, custom made orthotics can help individuals with their balance. You can contact your physician about this. Also some medications can offset balance so you might want to ask your physician regarding medication.
- Look for Professionals/Programs that Address Balance- In many physical therapy facilities there are patients that address balance in their program. Physical Therapists will develop a program that will help patients improve their balance so they have a better well being.
REMEMBER: When practicing balance exercises it is important to make sure you have stable objects around you such as a table or walls. If a balancing exercise seems too challenging for you, please do consult a fitness professional or physical therapist first before attempting this exercise.
Everyday we sit, stand, run, jump, twist, bend, etc. Without our back we wouldn’t be able to do these movements. Did you know that at least “80 percent of Americans experience back pain in their lives and 15 percent of all adults are treated for back problems such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal column that causes pressure on the spinal cord, or narrowing of the openings (called neural foramina) where spinal nerves leave the spinal column) or lumbar (lower back) pain.”
Back pain sometimes is not avoidable and need further attention for example back surgery. This is due to spine having degeneration of the vertebrae over time. But having back pain can be avoidable. But the key to avoiding back pain and help lessen the risks of having surgery is maintaining good posture. By maintaining good posture you can see the world (and not be always looking down at your feet), it will help with breathing because you are more upright, it improves muscle tone and will alleviate back and neck pain. “Posture is the key,” said Mary Ann Wilmarth, chief of physical therapy at Harvard University Health Services. “If your spine is not balanced, you will inevitably have problems in your back, your neck, your shoulders and even your joints.”
Here are some tips to help alleviate your back pain and promote a habit in your life of good healthy posture:
- How do you know if you have the correct posture?
- Stand up and lift your chin slightly; align your ears over your shoulders and your shoulders over your hips. Place your hands on your hips and pitch forward about two inches. There should be a slight inward curve in your lower back, an outward curve in your upper back, and another inward curve at your neck.
- What to do if you sit for long periods of time such as in a car or at your chair at work?
- Sitting for long periods of time can cause you to sit back and get lazy. Try placing a cushion or a rolled up towel between the curve of your lower spine and your seat. This can help keep that natural curve in your back and keep you from slouching in your chair.
- Setting up your work space so its more comfortable.
- Ergonomist suggests that setting up your work place in the following manner will help make your work space more comfortable and can help alleviate back pain. The top of your computer screen should be at or slightly below eye level, and the desk height should allow your forearms to rest comfortably at a 90-degree angle. Work with your feet flat on the floor and your back against the chair.
- Having the Proper exercise plan!
- Physical Therapists can help show you how to proper align your back and various exercises to help improve back and neck pain. They can help with those stiff muscles and help to loosen them along with building a strong core to help support your spine. At Game Shape Physical Therapy many patients are treated with back pain. Through their program they see a significant difference of how their back pain alleviates throughout their exercise program.
Having a healthy posture and making it a GREAT habit in your lifestyle can help you look and feel much better about reducing/avoiding back pain!
Your heart rate is an important measurement to help guide you to achieve an optimal fitness level. As you are working out and build to higher intensities you can feel your heart beat getting strong. What is happening? Well as you move to a higher intensity in your work out your heart beats faster and faster because your muscles are demanding more blood and oxygen. To monitor your heart rate it is very simple. There are two convenient sites to use are the radial pulse at the base of the thumb of either hand, or the carotid pulse at the side of the neck. By monitoring either of these two sites you can calculate your pulse or heart rate per minute.
When participating in your aerobic fitness routine, such as running or biking, it is important to be working out in your target heart rate to achieve optimal results. Along with getting the most optimal results it helps keep you safe. Working in your target heart rate zone will help lessen any risks that can occur during exercise.
Your target heart rate zone is a range from your high intensity training to your low intensity training. When working at your target heart rate please do consider if you were living a sedentary lifestyle it can be more difficult to reach towards the higher end of your heart rate zone scale. Remember this is a gradual process and shouldn’t be rushed because it can put you in danger. During your exercise you can just pause for 10 seconds, measure your pulse and multiply your heart rate by 6 to make sure you are working out in your target heart rate. To calculate your target heart rate zone follow the directions below.
How to Calculate Your Target Heart Rate?
Follow these simple steps to help you calculate your Target Heart Rate Range!
- Find your Resting Heart Rate
- To find your resting heart rate, take your pulse for 15 seconds and count how many beats you feel. Then take that number and multiply it by four. This is your Resting Heart Rate.
- Find your Maximum Heart Rate
- To find your maximum heart rate take the number 220 and minus your age from that number.
i. For example if you are 26 years old, your maximum HR would be 220-26= 194.
194 Beats per minute would be your maximum heart rate.
3. Find Your Heart Rate Reserve
- To find your heart rate reserve, you can follow this simple equation:
Maximum Heart Rate- Resting Heart Rate= Heart Rate Reserve
- For example if the 26 year old had a resting Heart Rate of 72 beats per minute.
194-72= 122 beats per minute is the Heart Rate Reserve
4. Finding Your Heart Rate Zone
- By using your heart rate reserve you can then figure out how to calculate your heart rate zone your should remain in to achieve your TARGET HEART RATE.
i. Low-end Training-50% Intensity
(Heart Rate Reserve x .50) + Resting Heart Rate = Low-end Target HR
ii. High-end Training-85% Intensity
(Heart Rate Reserve x .85) + Resting Heart Rate= High-end Target HR
For Example: (using our 26 year-old above)
(122 x .50) + 72 = 133 (lower end)
(122 x .85) + 72 = 176 (upper end)
Example Target HR Training Zone: 133-176