New Year – New YOU From Achieve Physical Therapy

As we enter 2014, people start making new year resolutions. In our case, our New Year resolution is all about you and what we can do to make 2014 a healthy and pain free year for you.

As the premier providers of physical therapy in our community, we value your trust in us. Our goal is to maintain, even improve the same high standard of care you’ve experienced.

As part of our resolution we’re going to make an effort to educate you in everything you need to know about approaching your new healthy lifestyle. That includes teaching you warm up exercises before you leave for a bike ride or the golf course. We want you to be injury-free!

We want you to approach your spring gardening with passion but also with the knowledge that you cannot just jump out there and do tons of yard work after a winter of very little movement.

Keep yourself hydrated with water daily. This rule applies whether you’re exercising or not. Studies show that 80% of people do not drink enough water throughout the day to keep their bodies hydrated. Coffee and tea can actually dehydrate you so they don’t count towards your liquids intake. Instead, drink water or lightly flavored, calorie free water. Keeping hydrated helps to keep you from injuring yourself.

Make sure you have excellent posture habits. Many people who work at desks tend to slump over their computers. Too many people come in with neck, back and wrist/hand pain after working long hours at their desk. Remember to sit up straight, have a good supportive chair or pillow to support your lumbar area and take breaks regularly to stretch or move.

Be careful of overloaded book bags, backpacks and handbags. Too many people are lugging around huge bags, putting a strain on their backs. Make sure your child’s backpack isn’t worn out, fits them right and doesn’t weigh too much. Make sure backpacks that are loaded with laptops and paper from work, along with tons of other “necessities” are cleaned out so they’re not too heavy to lug back and forth to work.

Regular check-ups are a must to assure you are pain-free this year. Make it your resolution to schedule and keep appointments with your physical therapist. If you feel a hint of pain, see a professional immediately.

If you’re waking up with neck and/or back ache consider replacing pillows and mattresses so you have the proper support and remember we are here to help!

Here are TEN New Years Resolutions you can set to help you avoid injury in 2014:

lifting box New Year – New YOU From Achieve Physical Therapy

It’s a new year and a new you! Read these resolutions and take them seriously so you start your year in a healthy and positive way:

  1. I will avoid taking too many over-the-counter medications. I will limit the amount of such medications after consulting with my doctor
  2. I will lift with my legs, not my back. I won’t lift heavy items over my head and will only lift using the squat method.
  3. I will limit caffeine in my diet, as caffeine can cause dehydration and rob my body of nutrients. I will drink more water. I will drink more decaffeinated versions of the drinks I like and be sure to drink water first and foremost.
  4. I will limit how heavy my purse or briefcase is and promise to carry it as instructed by my physical therapist.
  5. I will use luggage with wheels instead of carrying and lifting a heavy suitcase when traveling.
  6. I will be careful not to twist my core area when lifting or moving objects. Twisting will cause pressure on my spine and can result in back pain, hip pain, neck pain and leg pain.
  7. I will limit the weight of my child’s backpack to no more than 10% of his/her body weight
  8. I will make it a habit to keep moving and not be sedentary at work. I will take time out to stretch, take small walks and adjust my posture while working.
  9. I will try and keep a straight back to keep my spine aligned and minimize back problems.
  10. I will ask for help when lifting heavier items and I will be sure to lift with my legs. I will minimize bending and twisting to protect my back.

New Year – New YOU Exercise Guidelines:

This is the time of the year when most individuals get gym memberships and plan to start regular workouts. It’s also the time of the year when the body is least prepared for unsupervised, sudden exercise which can often cause injuries.

Fundamentals Of Any Exercise Program

Here are some exercise fundamentals to help you get started quickly and effectively. Even if you’ve been to the gym before, and have been an avid exerciser, these tips are going to be valuable for you and will help you set the stage for a healthy 2014.

Three Paths To Choose

So you have 3 options to minimize chances of low back pain (#1 exercise injury) and other sports injuries:

  1. Avoid any exercise! Not a good option – because this will cause muscle atrophy and weakening of your ligaments. Don’t let your fear of pain keep you from moving, we can help!
  2. Go to the gym and train hard, no pain no gain that must be the way to go! As you have learned in physical therapy this isn’t the right option either. Over straining and over training joints and muscles causes damage and can lead to poor movement patterns that lay the foundations for further injuries, this leads to abnormal wear and tear on joint surface, pre-exposing you to osteoarthritis.
  3. So the best option, and the road less traveled involves exercise prescription that is done in a controlled way, step by step, that replicates the correct movements and reduces stress on joints and ligaments while also still training the muscles to be strong but to maintain good stable healthy joints.

Functional Training Exercises

Functional training is a hot topic that many trainers and programs are trying to incorporate. We all have a functional range, your functional range may be large – allowing you to do a lot of training before you get past the threshold for injury or your functional range may be small meaning even slightly out of the ordinary tasks can trigger pain. The important thing is that you must understand your functional limitations train up to, but not beyond that threshold. Stay at that threshold until you feel your form fading, then rest or change activity. Performing the right exercises can help you improve your functional range and help you avoid injury.

If you have a problem now, training will result in further injury, it will reinforce poor movements in your area of weakness. So you must address the problem, by not just focusing on the pain but getting to the root cause of the pain.

Get The Balance Right

If you are pain free, you may still have poor movements and when you start to train harder, it can result in an injury. So the key component to a successful exercise program is to ensure proper movement patterns before you start to apply loads. In other words get the balance of the muscles right first and the range of movement of the joints balanced – at Achieve Physical Therapy we perform a series of 7 Functional Movements that we screen to help us identify potential problem areas and help you correct them so that seemingly small issue don’t become bigger problems.

Call to Schedule your Functional Movement Screen today and let us help you get your 2014 exercise routine started off right!

From all of us at Achieve Physical Therapy – We wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year!
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