This time of year, many people are focused on fitness so it’s worth taking a look at what fitness really means. The dictionary defines fit as “sound physically and mentally, healthy.” Using that definition, many “fitness” routines fall short of the goal. If you don’t enjoy running and dread every workout, you’re probably falling short of the “sound mentally” portion. Exercise should be enjoyable, reduce stress, and leave you feeling better, not worse.
NO PAIN NO GAIN?
Exercise should also leave you feeling better physically. If you can run a good time in a 5k, but have aches and pains for days after, you’re not “sound physically.” If you are increasing your PR in the squat rack, but your joint pain is increasing right along with it, you’re not “sound physically” either. Sure, some muscle soreness and fatigue after a hard workout is normal. But if you’re having pain that doesn’t go away, sore joints, or trouble moving after exercise, you’re probably developing movement dysfunction along with your fitness.
Go back to the dictionary and you’ll find that dysfunction is “impaired or abnormal functioning.” So movement dysfunction is impaired or abnormal movement. When someone has a movement problem like a sore joint, limited range of motion, or strength loss, the brain finds a way to get the body to do what it wants. That usually means moving in a way that is less than optimal. For a while, it works. But eventually it leads to injury. As a concrete example, think of someone who has trouble bending one knee doing squats. When one knee bends further than the other, it will cause one side of the pelvis to drop lower than the other. Now that the pelvis isn’t level, the spine bends towards the high side to stay balanced. When that one side of the pelvis drops lower than the other one, it also usually rotates. Now the spine has to bend to the side and twist to keep you upright. This works for a while, but as weight gets added to the squat, and the repetitions add up so does the risk for a back injury.
Pain during workouts, or pain and soreness that don’t go away after can be warning signs of a movement dysfunction. If you’re experiencing any of these, your physical therapist is a movement expert who can help. PTs are trained to analyze movement, and figure out the root cause of problems. They can then design a program to treat the cause and correct the abnormal pattern. There is no need to wait until you’re injured to see your physical therapist. In fact, it’s preferable not to. Getting minor problems fixed early means fewer visits to the PT, less pain, and not having your workouts put on hold by injury.
Published on March 3, 2020 10:02 pm
If you’ve got chronic pain, injuries, joint inflammation or need assistance in building muscle and gaining strength, there is a new cutting-edge device developed by engineer and neuroscientists, Garrett Salpeter, who works closely with Jason Waz, physical therapist and owner of Competitive Edge Performance.
Salpeter’s company, NeuFit developed the NEUBIE, which stands for NEURO-BIO-ELECTRIC STIMULATOR. It is an electrical stimulation device that accelerates the client’s progress in fitness and injury recovery. Contrary to popular belief it is not your typical TENS unit. NEUBIE is unique in that it uses direct current rather than alternating current, so it doesn’t lock up your muscle when using it at high intensities. By using NEUBIE to stimulate the neurological system, you’re able to get a full muscle contraction while still maintaining functional movement patterns.
The NEUBIE has helped people of all ages and in almost all situations, get out of pain, improve performance, sometimes avoid surgeries and get out of wheelchairs, and live life at a higher level. Technology enhances natural processes; it doesn’t replace them. The Nervous System controls virtually everything about the body. When you work neurologically, you can change everything else for the better – and do it much faster. NEUBIE’s advanced technology accelerates your body’s internal processes. When given the right signals, your body heals itself from injury, builds muscle, and creates good health.
Published on February 26, 2020 8:04 am
The American Heart Association encourages people to “know their numbers” referring to blood pressure, blood cholesterol, blood glucose, and weight. However, research is now showing that moving properly is also important for health.
Walking speed has been called the “sixth vital sign” in medical literature recently. Like blood pressure or heart rate, it is quick and easy to measure. It also tells medical staff a lot about your health. Walking speed has been shown to be predictive of future hospitalizations, functional decline, and overall mortality. Normal walking speed is considered to be 1.2 to 1.4 meters per second.
How many push ups you can do without stopping can also give a picture of your health. Researchers found that men who could do 40 or more consecutive push ups were at a 96% lower risk for cardiovascular disease than were men who could do less than 10. The push up test was also more useful in predicting future cardiovascular disease than aerobic capacity measured on a treadmill.
If you can’t easily get down on the floor and back up your health might be in trouble, according to a study that looked at more than 2,000 people. They found that if you need to use more than one hand to get up and down from the floor, you were 2 to 5 times more likely to die in the next 7 years than someone who can do it with just one hand, or even better, no hands at all.
Moving well is obviously important to overall health and longer life.
“Our clinics are seeing an increase in volume of patients that are concerned about their fitness level. Patients are seeking out our physical therapy services to work on strengthening and balance deficits they are seeing in everyday tasks. These patients have taken the initiative to improve their physical performance. As physical therapists, we love to treat patients that have a passion to maintain their physical well-being.” stated Jim Mike Hinzman, PT at East Athens Physical Therapy.
These tests can give a snapshot of how you’re doing. If you’re having trouble with any of them, considering seeing a movement specialist – your physical therapist.
Published on January 6, 2020 9:55 pm
We love to post Comeback Players! Comeback Players are our student athletes (from school or other places) that have worked hard to graduate from physical therapy following an injury and return to their sport. We wish them all the best in their upcoming seasons!
This post is dedicated to…
Jack Gibbons from Madison County Elementary School (with Rachel Nation, DPT)
Published on November 26, 2019 9:23 am
Your physical therapist can play a big role in helping you maintain or improve your balance as you age. Unfortunately, falls are becoming increasingly common in adults age 65 and over. Just because they’re common doesn’t mean they’re inevitable though. Research shows that falls are caused by a variety of factors, and many of them can be improved. Let’s take a look at some of them and some tips to help you get back into balance.
Lower Body Weakness
As we age, without resistance training we lose muscle mass every year. Weakness in your lower body has been shown to increase your fall risk. A physical therapist can design an exercise program to help you strengthen your legs and lower body safely.
Another reason we lose muscle mass and our balance decreases is inactivity and deconditioning. People who have fallen in the past often have a fear of falling again, which leads them to do less. As their activity levels decrease, they get weaker and even more fearful of falling.
This downward spiral can be stopped with balance training from a physical therapist to build your confidence on your feet and allow you to become more active.
Group exercise classes are another great way to become more active, work on your balance and meet new friends at the same time. Ask your PT for recommendations for a class near you.
Many people don’t realize that your body uses your vision for balance. If you want to prove this to yourself, try standing with your feet together with your eyes open, then compare that to doing it with your eyes closed. Visual problems can also make you miss things like bumps and changes in the surface you’re walking on, or objects that you could trip over.
If you’re having problems with your vision, see your eye doctor for an exam and recommendations on what can be done.
Certain medications can increase your risk of falling and impact your balance by making you sleepy, slowing your reactions, or causing weakness. Some examples of medications that can increase fall risk are certain types of antidepressants, blood pressure medications, and water pills.
Your physical therapist can help you work with your doctor or pharmacist to review your medications and consider changes to improve your balance and reduce your risk of falling.
When it comes to helping you improve your balance, and reduce your risk of falling, your physical therapist is an important part of the team. They can evaluate you to determine where your problem areas are, and design an individualized program for you. They can also refer you to other professionals who can help like your eye doctor and your pharmacist. If you’re starting to feel out of balance, your PT can help you stop falls before they start.
Published on October 28, 2019 9:43 am