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Power Wellness Blog

  • Snow Shoveling Safety

    Posted on 1/18/2017 by Dorthy Lehr, DPT, OCS, Cert. MDT | Comments

    Snow ShovelingMajor snowstorms have already hit many parts of the country, and the threat of snow still looms large during the remaining weeks of winter. There is lots of fun to be had with the fluffy white powder, but removing snow from sidewalks and driveways is an unenviable chore and one that can cause a plethora of physical problems.

    With that in mind, below are a few tips and stretches to keep you safe and healthy while out in the winter wonderland:

    Choose an ergonomically correct shovel, one which has a curved handle and an adjustable handle length. As opposed to a straight line shovel, a shovel which is small, lightweight and curved will allow you to carry a manageable load of snow and keep your back straighter, reducing spinal stress.

    Proper shoveling technique is just as important as the correct shovel. Keep your back straight and bend at your hips and knees. When moving the snow to a new location, avoid twisting your body. Instead, turn your whole body by pivoting your legs.

    Avoid slipping on slick areas or black ice by wearing shoes or boots with good tread. Applying pet-friendly salt, sand or kitty litter will also increase traction and decrease the risk of slipping.

    Snow… MORE >

    Categories: Physical Therapy  

    Combatting Mother Nature – Winter Running Tips

    Posted on 12/12/2016 by Andrew Miller, P.T., DPT, OCS, CEAS | Comments

    Cold Weather RunningWhile some athletes temporarily retire their running shoes for the winter season or simply head indoors, there are many athletes who ignore the colder temperatures and snow and prefer to log their miles outside. Following these tips by physical therapist, Andrew Miller, will help to keep you injury-free during the winter months and prepare for the spring racing season.

    Cold Temperatures – Running in colder temperatures will make it difficult for a runner to get their lower leg muscles warmed up which can lead to muscle or tendon injuries. Our bodies are efficient at maintaining core body temperature to protect our internal organs and will pull blood away from the extremities to do so. This is why our hands and feet get cold so quickly in the winter. It’s important that runners dress appropriately with layers. Your body will warm up as your start running, so dress for 15-20 degrees warmer than the actual temperature.

    Performing a thorough pre-run warm-up, which could include jumping jacks, skipping, arm circles, or leg swings, is key to injury prevention. The goal is to increase your heart rate and wake up your muscles before heading outdoors. It’s even more important to stretch after… MORE >

    Categories: Physical Therapy  

    Carving Tips - Keeping Your Hands Safe

    Posted on 11/22/2016 by NovaCare Rehabilitation and Select Physical Therapy | Comments

    Turkey Carving Image 2Nothing says Thanksgiving like family, football and a kitchen table packed with a plethora of tasty foods. Despite the countless hours that go toward preparing this delicious feast, one dish that nobody anticipates is a hand injury. Each year during Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season, hand injuries are sustained while carving the mouthwatering centerpiece, slicing up a piece of pumpkin pie and even during kitchen clean-up.

    Following these simple tips will help to ensure that the only thing you’ll be carving up is the main dish:

    Whether it’s the turkey, vegetables or another tasty dish, always cut away from your body. While carving the turkey, your free hand should be placed opposite the side you are carving toward. Don’t place your hand underneath the blade to catch the sliced meat; this is one of the lead contributors to kitchen injuries.
  • Keep all cutting utensils sharp. A sharp knife will never need to have excessive force used to cut, chop, carve or slice. Use a non-slip shelf liner under cutting boards to prevent your board from slipping during cutting and chopping. A liner can also be used to help keep bowls in place on the counter… MORE >

Living with and preventing osteoarthritis

Posted on 10/19/2016 by Christine Ingram, P.T., CHT | Comments

ArthritisAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost one out of five adults in the United States has doctor-diagnosed arthritis. While arthritis includes more than 100 different diseases and conditions, the most common is osteoarthritis (OA). And while the chances of developing arthritis increases with age, nearly two-thirds of people with the condition are younger than 65.

Primarily affecting the spine, hips, knees, hands and feet, there are many factors, such as gender, age and genetics, which are beyond our control. However, research and evidence proves individuals with OA can powerfully influence the progression and development of the disease in key areas.

Below are a few tips which play an integral role to unlocking mobility and independence for individuals diagnosed with OA:

Motion is lotion – The ends of your bones are covered with a layer of cartilage to cushion your joints and help spread the pressure you put on your joint during daily movement. Surrounding the joint is a capsule that holds a thick liquid that lubricates the joint. The more you move, the more lubrication that moves through your joints. Avoid immobilizing an affected area/joint unless absolutely necessary during… MORE >

Categories: Physical Therapy  

National Physical Therapy Month - Opioid Crisis

Posted on 10/10/2016 by Colleen Medlin, P.T., DPT, CEAS | Comments

OpioidsWe continue our month-long celebration of National Physical Therapy Month with information on the opioid crisis and how individuals are masking their pain. Opioids have become a major issue in the healthcare system with the rising number of people suffering from chronic pain. It is estimated that 1.5 billion people suffer from chronic pain worldwide, which equates to 20 percent of the population. According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, it affects more Americans than diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease combined. The research on pain over the past 10 years shows a change in philosophies. The modern pain movement focuses on how somatic, psychological and social domains impact an individual’s perceived degree of pain.

With this rise in chronic pain, all aspects of the healthcare system have resorted to over-prescribing opioids. It is important to remember that opioids were originally developed for end of life cancer pain, not everyday pain or workers’ compensation musculoskeletal pain. Most of those who abuse opioids are getting their drugs from the physicians. Approximately 55-86 percent of all workers’ compensation claimants are receiving opioids for chronic pain. And an alarming 28,647 deaths occurred in 2014 in… MORE >

Categories: Physical Therapy