Posture that is. Working in an office has its perks, air conditioning, comfortable chairs, neck and/or low back pain, constant internet access, and the list goes on. That’s right! The neck or low back pain that you are experiencing could be related to your occupation. As neck pain is very common among the office personnel, it could be just as easily prevented by an appropriate work station setup and stretching. Correct positioning of a computer screen, chair height, and keyboard height can prevent strain in the neck and low back.
The following recommendations are those for a proper work station: The top of the computer monitor should be just below eye level; the monitor and keyboard should be directly in front of the body and not to a side that would require a person to turn the head constantly; wrists should be placed at neutral, not bent forward or back; back should be well supported by a lumbar support and the slouch position should be avoided; thighs should be parallel to the floor; and feet should be placed flat on the floor.
In addition to these environmental changes, consider your own posture, as your head should not be pushed forward (ears should fall over the shoulder), shoulders should be back and not rounded forward like that of the creepy character from the Lord of the Rings series, and shoulders should be resting on an arm rest that allows them to be well supported and not shrugged, feeling like they are coming out of your ears. Take advantage of long lunches, to go for a walk or visit a local gym to optimize your health.
Keep up the productivity!
Physical Therapy and Surgical Operations:
Through out the years, surgical operations have been a popular fix of degenerative joints. Total knee, hip, shoulder replacements, disc fusions are some of the familiar operations. Physical Therapy is an essential part of your recovery. It can be used at all stages, before and after surgery, and on some occasions, in place of surgery. Therapy is all about obtaining optimal function. Prior to surgery, therapy can prepare the muscles for the trauma of surgery and limit the deconditioning that will follow. Following surgery, therapy can help with getting the most from the surgery by controlling swelling, increasing range of motion, strengthening, scar mobility, and overall function. Physical Therapy can be used as preventative measures, as it can provide stability and strengthening to the joints. This does not necessarily guarantee full return to your previous function, but the results are at times, enough for daily activities. If surgery is in your future, as your doctor about the benefits of Physical Therapy and if it is right for you.
Stretching For Life:
Stretching is not just for the professional athletes, it is important for all ages and activity levels. Stretching provides lengthening of the soft tissues for better range of motion, mobility, and even muscle activity. Stretching daily can help decrease the likelihood of popular injuries, such as pains in the back, neck, knee, etc. It does not matter if you are getting ready for a sports game, break time at work, or starting out your day. It can be as easy performing a hamstring stretch in a chair, rolling your knees side to side to stretch the back in bed, stretching your neck muscles at your desk. If you are an athlete, dynamic stretching may be right for you, which includes oscillating movements that improves muscle performance. So the next time you are getting ready for a game, work, or getting up in the morning, stretch and get the most out of your body.
New to stretching or not sure what is good for you? Come in and see a Physical Therapist for an individualized stretching program.
With summer around the corner, this is the time people start becoming more active…get a tan…lose weight…and get an injury! After a long and cold winter spent locked up in the house, injuries spring up like flowers. As it can be an exciting time trying to get back into soccer, baseball, or going out for an evening walk, it is important to slowly integrate exercise to daily routine and avoid injury. Start small and work your way up to a daily routine and avoid jumping into something your body is not ready. Consider a walking program, which divides the week into different distances. If you have a gym membership, you can start out by some light treadmill, elliptical, or bicycle training. If sports are an interest of yours, consider a weight training program. In addition to training, stretching is just as important to prevent any muscle strains.
As always, consult your physician prior to exercising to insure your health is ready for activities.
If you have any problems, from injuries to finding the right exercise program for you, please feel free to follow up with our office for an injury screening or our wellness program.
Immediate Response to a Leg injury is PRICE-less:
From stepping off the curb to participating in sports, ankle and knees are susceptible to injury, as it is a very common injury of twisting an ankle. It is important to know the proper steps to recover from the injury before it progresses to something requiring medical attention. To keep it simple, follow the acronym PRICE.
PROTECT: Protecting your injury is providing bracing or wraps to limit the motion and support the tissues involved. During the initial injury, a tissue can be stretched to a length that is exceeding the normal lengths, causing inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s response to an injury by causing increase blood flow to the site and providing healing agents. Inflammation is normal and necessary however, excessive can be problematic.
REST: Limit your activities to what you need to do and pressure placed on the injury. This includes limiting walking by using crutches, cane, or walker if placing added pressure causes discomfort. Don’t participate in sports, running, or long walking. If you are an athlete, to keep up your cardiovascular training, try aquatic training, as water takes pressure off of the joints, by a property known as buoyancy.
ICE: Use ice to control the inflammation. As walking and daily activities can cause increase inflammation, ice helps to prevent inflammation from increasing. The properties of ice is vasoconstriction, decreasing the size of the blood vessels in the area, hence limiting localized inflammation. No longer than 15 minutes is suffice.
COMPRESSION: Bracing, elastic wraps provide added pressure to the area to prevent swelling.
ELEVATION: By elevating the joint above the heart, it helps with pumping the increase blood flow to return to back to the heart.
The best advice to work PRICE into a busy work day, protect through out the day, if you have time or at the end of the day, when sit down to watch your favorite T.V. show, rest, ice, compress, and elevate your injury. As always, if your injury is more serious and the pain persists with taking these steps or popping, snapping, or bruising is involved, seek the care of a medical professional.
– IMPROVES mobility and motion:
Has the ability to restore muscle balance, improve joint alignment and, in many cases, improve your quality of life without the need for surgical intervention or dependency on medications.
Can get you moving and enjoying life again, using scientifically-based treatment techniques that focus on restoring function, reducing pain, and preventing injury.
– REDUCES pain without medication, in many cases:
In many cases, physical therapy can make life easier for you without the need for pain medication.
– CAN HELP patients avoid surgery:
In many cases, physical therapy can help patients avoid costly and often painful surgery. Can help prevent damage before it occurs and restore function, assisting you on the road to recovery.
For more information, click on Q & A above.
Fall Prevention 101
As we get older, the chances of suffering from a fall increase. The severity of a fall can range widely. Some falls can cause minor disability, while others can have more serious consequences. Chances are that someone you know may be at risk for a fall.
It is estimated that 1 in 3 seniors above age 65, and nearly 1 in 2 seniors over age 80, will fall at least once a year, leading to disability. This is not something that should be taken lightly.
Here’s the good news. Once you identify your (or your loved one’s) risk of falls, there are steps you can take to prevent falls.
Here are a few tips to help you identify whether you or your loved one is at risk for a serious fall.
Are you taking multiple medications? Some medications, when mixed, can have side effects like nausea that could increase your risk of falling. If you’re not sure, talk to your doctor.
Do you have trouble walking? If you regularly experience dizziness, shortness of breath, joint pain, or any other difficulties when you walk, talk to your doctor.
Are you exercising regularly? Regular exercise can help strengthen your muscles and improve your balance and coordination so you won’t feel as unsteady on your feet. If you’re afraid of falling while you exercise, your doctor can refer you to one of our physical therapists, who can supervise your exercises.
Are you wearing the right shoes? Walking in shoes that don’t fit properly can increase your risk of falling. Avoiding shoes in favor of stockings is dangerous, too, so try to wear proper-fitting shoes with non-skid soles as much as possible.
Is your home full of fall hazards?
Area rugs might add color to your home and uneven carpets may seem inconspicuous, but they can be a hazard. Make sure they have some sort of slip-resistant backing to them, even if you just use double-sided tape to secure them to the floor.
Remove clutter from walkways.
Tape down electrical and phone cards so you don’t trip over them.
Use non-slip mats in your bath and/or shower.
Over the years, we helped many many people regain their health and improve their lives. On this site, you’ll find tips on how to recover from injuries quicker, train your body function, and find the key to a balanced lifestyle.
We look forward to getting to know you, and helping you with your goals.
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RMS Physical Therapy & Harvard Physical Therapy