Live Life Again Pain-Free

How to Enjoy Outdoor Activities.. Without Back Pain

Outdoor activities like gardening are a healthy and enjoyable way to live an active lifestyle. When the weather is nice, the outdoors are hard to resist. However, a lack of warm up and stretching can lead to aches and pains, even injuries.

A reduction in activity during winter leads to a decrease in physical conditioning. As a result, people tend to overestimate their physical abilities (and limits). Pain from gardening in the lower back, and aches in the shoulders, neck, knees and joints from cleaning the garage, or from other outdoor activities are common.

When the body engages in a strenuous activity, combined with uncomfortable and awkward positions, it responds with pain and sometimes, injury.  As physical therapists, we work with many individuals who experience strains and overuse injuries. The most common cause is an insufficient warm-up and the absence of a stretching routine.

Yard work is another example. Awkward (and unfamiliar) body positions during mowing, trimming, seeding and raking are uncomfortable for the body. When performed over an extended period, a chronic, painful condition can emerge.

Why You Should (Not) ‘Sleep it Off’….

Previous injuries, lack of exercise, obesity, and existing chronic conditions increase the risk of injury. Pain may range from mild to severe. Many people assume a good night’s sleep will cure the problem, but pain often worsens upon rising the next morning. When the body is ‘pushed past its limit’, an injury occurs, and physical therapy is needed.

Physical therapy plays a significant role in identifying a baseline level of conditioning, and improving it over time. Physical therapists use an arsenal of techniques including skilled manual therapy, carefully selected strengthening exercises, joint stabilization methods and more to prevent, and help in recovery after an injury.

During the initial evaluation, a therapist will determine your goals and ask questions such as “How much time do you spend gardening?”, “What is your favorite outdoor activity and when was the last time you engaged in that activity?” and more. Valuable information is gathered, which allows the therapist to build a customized plan tailored to the needs of the patient. With years of extensive training in anatomy and movement, the therapist will not only recognize your limit but also assist you in gently (and progressively) push your body to reach its limit, under careful supervision. It is a well known scientific fact that this increases your physical capabilities over time.

 

A Healthy and Happy Summer

The biggest mistake made by most people is to ‘wait until you need help’. The problem is – the injury gets worse the longer you wait. The sooner the therapist can evaluate you, the better.

The best time to seek physical therapy is when you don’t have aches and pains, and when you’re preparing for outdoor exercise. Your physical therapist will examine your joints, movement, muscles, posture, gait and much more. Using a variety of scientific tests, the therapist will assess your functional goals and create a plan to help you prevent injuries, so your body is prepared for all outdoor exercises. The therapist may recommend clinical Pilates, low-impact aerobics, strength training or yoga. The therapist may decide to use therapeutic massage and manual therapy techniques, along with heat and cold treatments.

Also, the therapist can evaluate your home and work environment and recommend equipment to ease stress and strain on your joints. Adjustments to the workplace can also help prevent overuse injuries, strains, and sprains. If needed, the therapist will also advise patients on the most efficient and biomechanically correct ways to sit, stand, lift and even get in and out of a car.

Outdoor activities help you stay healthy and happy. A physical therapist at your side will help you safely do the things you enjoy, without having to worry about injuries. Call us today and we’ll make sure you have a safe, healthy and happy summer outside!

What is Physical Therapy

Physical therapists (PTs) are health care professionals who evaluate and treat individuals of all ages, from newborns to the elderly, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their ability to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives.

PTs examine each individual and develop a plan using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. In addition, PTs work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness- and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.

Physical therapists provide care for people in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and nursing homes. State licensure is required in each state in which a physical therapist practices.

The physical therapist as the person who helps patients function better and feel more confident. The Physical therapist is:

  • Known as: Coach/Teacher
  • Delivers: Knowledge
  • Offers: Independence
  • Focus: Understanding
  • Traits: Experts, advisers

Where Does pain Come From

There are several causes of pain, and they can be related to the mind, the body or caused by general stress. We live in a stressful world, and the most common causes of pain are:

1) Strain associated with day to day life
We live in a world that is increasingly stressful. Strain associated with professional or personal pressure can force additional strain on your overloaded, weak muscles. We make it a priority to strengthen your muscles in a systematic, progressive manner so you can finally live the pain free life that you deserve.

2) Anatomical problems associated with bones, discs
The wrong type of motion and lifting techniques can cause a breakdown of weak tissues. We teach you the best way to use your muscles and joint and enable you to move and function with optimum efficiency

3) Deterioration in joints
The gradual deterioration of joint integrity is an unfortunate effect of aging. Repeated motion associated with activities can cause muscle weakness and joint destruction, especially if an individual is overweight. We enable you to be become stronger and healthier, thereby minimizing the effects of joint deterioration.

What to Avoid

We pride ourselves in quality and commitment towards our patients. You want to avoid facilities that are run like factories and take their time to schedule you or treat you the right way. You also want to avoid facilities with outdated equipment and therapists with little or no experience.

What sets us apart is our commitment to quality and reputation. We are known as the leading providers of physical therapy in our community and make every effort to uphold the highest standards in customer service. Our testimonials speak for themselves. We will provide you with personalized, individual care that you will not find in any other physical therapy facility, period.

Healthy Lifestyle

Self Help Tips For a Pain-Free Life

Never push yourself past your own limit
Remember, each one of us has a certain limit. Always judge your limits, instinctively on a scale of 1 to 10. For example, 1 is relaxing on a Saturday reading the newspaper. 5 is carrying groceries. 8 is carrying groceries and walking up the stairs at a fast pace, while you are out of breath and 10 is 10 is a maximum effort, where your heart races faster than ever before. As a general rule, never push yourself to beyond 6-7, especially if you have a prior injury or are recovering from an injury. Always push yourself under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist at Horizon Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation.

Be physically active
You must keep your bones, muscles and joints in a constant state of motion. Never resign yourself to the couch, or think that ‘exercise is not for me”. The best way to fight pain and recover from injury is to stay active and maintain your fitness level.

Stretch and strengthen your muscles at least twice a week.
Make sure your muscles are properly stretched and strengthened under the supervision of your physical therapist. It is common for aches and sprains to occur, as a direct result of muscles that are tight (inflexible) or weak.