Your Physical Therapist Can Help You Keep Your Resolution

As one year comes to a close and another begins, people begin to set goals and make resolutions. Losing weight, getting to the gym more often or getting into “better shape” are all common. These all require increasing your amount of physical activity. More activity is great for your health, energy levels, sleep, and mood. However, ramping up your activity level too quickly after a holiday season of eating, drinking and being merry can lead to pain, injury and disappointment if your body isn’t ready for it.

Physical therapists at Prairie Rehabilitation are experts in human movement, and can help you safely reach your fitness goals. People think of PT’s as the people to see after an injury, but a visit before you change your activity level could prevent injury in the first place.

Charlie Bigelow, PT at Prairie Rehab says, “Physical therapists are experts at picking up movement imbalances that are often precursors and symptoms of the injury. We can help you with correction of any movement issues, which will decrease the dysfunctional movement pattern thus decrease or minimize the chance that one would be injured in the first place. Our physical therapists can develop a program customized to your needs that will lead you to better overall health.”

An evaluation by your PT at Prairie Rehab will include an assessment of your strength, range of motion, and functional movement patterns – think jumping, running, squatting and carrying. Some of our PT’s like to use a standardized assessment, such as the Functional Movement Screen.

The most common injuries from new fitness routines are caused by underlying weakness, range of motion deficits, or compensatory movement patterns. Your Prairie Rehab PT will find these during your assessment. They can then prescribe exercises or movements to address the issues found and get you safely moving into the New Year.

“Each person that is starting a fitness program should work with one of our professionals to determine the base fitness level and receive an individual fitness prescription to ensure a successful transition to a higher level of activity,” says Bigelow.

The other common way people get injured working toward their resolution is with over-training, or doing too much too soon. Bigelow says, “Too much incorrect activity can lead to increased injuries or increase the injury the person has going into their program.”

Physical therapists at Prairie Rehab are also experts in exercise prescription and program design. Your PT can help you create a routine specific to your needs and goals that will progress appropriately and keep you out of trouble.

So stop only thinking of your PT after you’re injured. In this case, it’s true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Seeing a physical therapist before you start on your resolution can keep you on track, injury free, and help you reach your goals for the new year.

Charlie Bigelow, PT has been a therapist for 39 years and works in a variety of settings. His training emphasizes treatment of orthopedic and neurological conditions. He provides treatment for all age groups and has a specialized training in the treatment of adults. He works in outpatient clinics and in the long-term care setting. He received specialized training in manual therapy treatments of the entire spine.  He has also received training in posture restoration as well as neurological reeducation techniques in the improvement of functional movement patterns.

Our therapy team at Prairie Rehab is ready to take the next step with you. To schedule an appointment or get more information, please call our main office at 605-334-5630. We would be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

For those who cannot make it to out to one of our clinics, we also offer our Prairie at Home program. More information on this program can be found here. A full list of our outpatient clinic locations can be found here.

About Prairie Rehabilitation

At Prairie Rehabilitation our Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Hand Therapy and Speech Therapy experts are passionate about helping our patients reclaim their way of life and function. It’s about you; you are unique with distinct qualities, abilities, and needs. At Prairie Rehabilitation we embrace the philosophy of “Patient First” care; treating each individual with precise and personalized care. To achieve the best results and to speed your recovery, we are committed to utilizing the most clinically proven and current concepts in rehabilitation.

November = National Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Awareness Month!

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a leading cause of death in the United States, affecting 16 million Americans and many more who don’t even know they have it. In fact, more than 65 million people worldwide have moderate or severe COPD. Experts predict that this number will continue to rise worldwide over the next 50 to 100 years.

Gidget McAreavey, OT at Prairie Rehab explains in the following article what COPD is, its causes and symptoms, and how occupational therapy can benefit those who have COPD.

What is COPD?

According to McAreavey COPD, or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, is a chronic lung disease that includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema or both. It affects the lungs and causes reduced airflow, which makes it hard to breathe.

With COPD, she says the airways in your lungs thicken and become inflamed and the tissue where oxygen is exchanged is destroyed. The flow of air in and out of your lungs decreases. When that happens, less oxygen gets into your body tissues, and it becomes harder to get rid of the waste gas carbon dioxide. “COPD is a progressive disease which means it gets worse over time,” says McAreavey. Check out the infographic below for a visual of how COPD affects breathing.

What causes COPD and what are the symptoms?

Gidget states the causes of COPD are:

  • cigarette smoking – most common
  • secondhand smoke
  • dust
  • chemicals
  • outdoor air pollution
  • genetic factors

People with COPD are also likely to experience episodes called exacerbations, during which their symptoms become worse than usual day-to-day variation and persist for at least several days.

How can occupational therapy help with COPD?

McAreavey states, “As occupational therapists, we specialize in assisting people to develop, recover, improve and maintain skills needed for daily living and work through therapeutic use of everyday activities.”

When working with patients who have COPD, occupational therapists can address:

  1. Compensatory breathing techniques
  2. Energy conservation techniques
  3. Stress management and symptom control
  4. Exercise
  5. Patient education and instruction on disease management
  6. Activities of daily living retraining with use of energy conservation and compensatory techniques to decrease symptom exacerbation
  7. Leisure activity exploration and participation

Occupational therapists can also assist a patient with COPD through lifestyle change, which is really what most of the above are addressing. When addressing these areas, occupational therapists are able to improve a patient’s occupational performance through habit and lifestyle changes such as: decreasing or quitting smoking, helping to avoid environmental triggers and increasing physical activity.

*Please note that physical therapy can also help with COPD. Physical therapy interventions are typically designed around an exercise program to improve oxygen exchange.

Jeff Steinberger, PT at Prairie Rehab says, “Due to the difficulty many people have with energy expenditures associated with COPD, we often start with our Prairie at Home program and transition to our outpatient clinics for further strengthening as the patient progresses.”

Gidget McAreavey, OTR/L, received her Associate of Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant in 1996 from the North Dakota State College of Science. She then went on to receive her Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy at the University of Mary. She has worked at Prairie Rehab for 19 years and serves patients at our Sioux Falls and Hartford clinics, along with providing in-home therapy patient care through our Prairie at Home program.


Our therapy team at Prairie Rehab is ready to take the next step with you. To schedule an appointment or get more information, please call our main office at 605-334-5630. We would be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

More information about our Prairie at Home program can be found here. A full list of our outpatient clinic locations can be found here.

About Prairie Rehabilitation

At Prairie Rehabilitation our Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Hand Therapy and Speech Therapy experts are passionate about helping our patients reclaim their way of life and function. It’s about you; you are unique with distinct qualities, abilities, and needs. At Prairie Rehabilitation we embrace the philosophy of “Patient First” care; treating each individual with precise and personalized care. To achieve the best results and to speed your recovery, we are committed to utilizing the most clinically proven and current concepts in rehabilitation.

Infographic Source: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/education-and-awareness/copd-learn-more-breathe-better/social-media-posts

Five Tips for Taking Care of your Back

About 80% of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetime. Low back pain is the most common job-related issue relating to missed work days. To lessen its effect and for preventative care, therapists at Prairie Rehab offer these five tips for taking care of your back.

#1 Lift with your hips and legs.

Your hips and legs are much more powerful than your back and will help protect your spine with proper lifting. Check out the following principles of proper lifting to help prevent injury and avoid back pain.

  • First test the object for weight, load distribution, load stability, and availability of reliable grip points.
  • Position your feet so that they are about shoulder width apart, and one is slightly forward of the other to assist with center of gravity and neutral spine.
  • Bend your knees, tighten your abdominal muscles, and keep your back straight (neutral spine).
  • Lift the load slowly and steadily. Use of momentum can decrease control. Lee Glasoe, OTR, CHT at Prairie Rehab demonstrates how this should look:

#2 Don’t twist – maintain good posture.

Twisting creates more strain on your spine and the cushioning discs between your vertebrae. Proper posture allows for better movement, improved breathing, and decreases pressure on the lower back, middle back and neck. Good posture keeps the three natural spinal curves of your body which include the cervical curve of the neck, the thoracic curve of the upper back and the lumbar curve of the lower back. Overall, good posture will make you feel better.

#3 Get strong!

Strengthening your core can improve your posture and balance. It can also help ease back pain and prevent further injury or strain. Because your core supports your spine, strong abdominal muscles take the pressure off your back and help align your spine. Try the following core strengthening exercises to help you improve your strength.

Core Strengthening Exercises

Side Plank


Jason Rostomily, PTA at Prairie Rehab
  1. Start on your side with your feet together and one forearm directly below your shoulder.
  2. Contract your core and raise your hips until your body is in a straight line from head to feet.
  3. Hold the position without letting your hips drop for the allotted time for each set, then repeat on the other side.

Forearm Plank


Jason Rostomily, PTA at Prairie Rehab
  1. Place forearms on the floor with elbows aligned below shoulders and arms parallel to your body at about shoulder width. Contract your core and keep your body straight!
  2. If flat palms bother your wrists, clasp your hands together.

Squat


Zach Schneider, PT Student at Prairie Rehab
  1. Stand with your feet apart, directly under your hips, and place your hands on your hips.
  2. Standing up tall, put your shoulders back, lift your chest, and pull in your abdominal muscles.
  3. Bend your knees while keeping your upper body as straight as possible while you bend at your hips, as if you were lowering yourself onto a seat behind you. Lower yourself as far as you can while leaning your upper body a few inches forward as pictured.

Wall Sit


Jason Rostomily, PTA at Prairie Rehab
  1. Make sure your back is flat against the wall.
  2. Set your feet about shoulder-width apart and then about 2 feet out from the wall.
  3. Slide your back down the wall, bending your legs until they’re in a 90-degree angle. Your knees should be directly above your ankles.
  4. Hold your position for 30 to 60 seconds, while contracting your abs.
  5. Stand slowly while sliding back up the wall to finish.

#4 Stay flexible by stretching.

Stretching reduces the risk of musculoskeletal injuries by reducing fatigue, improving muscular balance and posture, and improving muscle coordination. It also realigns soft tissue structures, thus reducing effort to achieve and maintain good posture in activities of daily living. Stretching increases joint synovial fluid (lubricant for bones and articular cartilage) that allows greater range of motion and reduces joint degeneration.

Try these stretches to help stay flexible:

Standing Glute Stretch


Zach Schneider, PT Student at Prairie Rehab

Standing Lunge Stretch


Jason Rostomily, PTA at Prairie Rehab

#5 Be in balance with your movement.

Your body is meant to move. If you move in balance, your body functions best. If one side is injured and you favor it for a long time, your body adapts and eventually that becomes your new normal. Much like a car out of alignment, this creates additional wear and tear in your body.

Our therapy team at Prairie Rehab is ready to take the next step with you. To schedule an appointment or get more information, please call our main office at 605-334-5630. We would be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

A full list of our outpatient clinic locations can be found here.

About Prairie Rehabilitation

At Prairie Rehabilitation our Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Hand Therapy and Speech Therapy experts are passionate about helping our patients reclaim their way of life and function. It’s about you; you are unique with distinct qualities, abilities, and needs. At Prairie Rehabilitation we embrace the philosophy of “Patient First” care; treating each individual with precise and personalized care. To achieve the best results and to speed your recovery, we are committed to utilizing the most clinically proven and current concepts in rehabilitation.

About the Private Practice Section of the APTA

Founded in 1956, the Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association champions the success of physical therapist-owned businesses. Our members are leaders and innovators in the health care system. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) represents more than 85,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants and students of physical therapy nationwide. For more information, please visit www.ppsapta.org

Tips to Help Prevent Pain While Bicycling

Avid bicyclists spend a lot of time on their bikes, which can cause injuries and/or pain. In addition to a good bike fitting at your local bike shop, Jeff Steinberger, PT at Prairie Rehabilitation offers these exercise ideas and treatment tips. Jeff practices at our Sioux Falls Cliff Avenue clinic when he is not riding.

Jeff Steinberger, PT at Prairie Rehab

 

1. Stretch and be flexible. Many muscle groups tend to tighten with long bike rides. Your hips, hamstrings and heel cords are most at risk. Some simple exercises can help to keep the muscles long and add leg strengthening as well. To stretch your hips, try the following:

Standing Hip Flexor Stretch (Jason Rostomily, PTA at Prairie Rehab)

 

Hamstring Stretch (Zach Schneider, PT Student at Prairie Rehab)

For strengthening your quad muscles on the front of your thighs and to stretch heel cords, try this dynamic duo:

Glute Squat (Zach Schneider, PT Student at Prairie Rehab)

 

2. Get strong! Core strength of your hips, pelvic floor, back and abdomen combine to protect your spine. A proper plank exercise works most of these muscles. Do not arch up or sag down. Stay straight.

Prone Plank Exercise
(Jason Rostomily, PTA at Prairie Rehab)

 

3. Be in balance with your movement. Your body is meant to move and if you move in balance, it functions best. If one side is injured and you favor it for a long time, your body adapts. Eventually that becomes your new normal, which creates additional wear and tear in your body. Again, a good bike fitting is important.

If you do develop some knee pain, Jeff has shown many this basic kinesiotaping which may save the day:

 

If these tips do not help, an evaluation by your physical therapist may be just the ticket you need to resolve your pain. To schedule an appointment or get more information, please call our main office at 605-334-5630. We would be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

A full list of our outpatient clinic locations can be found here.

About Prairie Rehabilitation
At Prairie Rehabilitation our Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Hand Therapy and Speech Therapy experts are passionate about helping our patients reclaim their way of life and function. It’s about you; you are unique with distinct qualities, abilities, and needs. At Prairie Rehabilitation we embrace the philosophy of “Patient First” care; treating each individual with precise and personalized care. To achieve the best results and to speed your recovery, we are committed to utilizing the most clinically proven and current concepts in rehabilitation.

About the Private Practice Section of the APTA
Founded in 1956, the Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association champions the success of physical therapist-owned businesses. Our members are leaders and innovators in the health care system. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) represents more than 85,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants and students of physical therapy nationwide. For more information, please visit www.ppsapta.org.

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Physical Therapy: A Safe Alternative to Opioids for Pain Management

No one wants to live in pain, but no one should put their health at risk in an effort to be pain free. Doctor-prescribed opioids are appropriate in some cases, but they just mask the pain – and opioid risks include depression, overdose, and addiction, plus withdrawal symptoms when stopping use. That’s why the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends safer alternatives like physical therapy to manage pain. Physical therapists treat pain through movement, hands-on care, and patient education – and by increasing physical activity you can also reduce your risk of other chronic diseases.

 

Full Article. 

 

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Physical Therapy’s Role in Maintaining a Healthy Spine

As we age, regular exercise plays an increasingly prominent role in reducing the risk of developing spine-related problems. For those in or approaching the golden years, it’s important to live an active lifestyle that focuses on healthy posture, function and movement.

It’s normal to experience some functional decline as our bones and intervertebral discs deteriorate over time, but that doesn’t mean that aches, pains and joint stiffness should go unaddressed. And yet, a good portion of senior citizens in the United States are living with spine-associated pain: A European Spine Journal study found that back and neck pain are top complaints among about 20 to 25% of the population over 70 years old.

Full Article. 

 

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Physical Therapy for Psoriatic Arthritis: 6 Things You Should Know

An expert answers common questions about how physical therapy can help people with psoriatic arthritis, and how to get started.

Living with psoriatic arthritis can mean chronic joint pain and swelling, constant fatigue, and a limited range of motion that makes daily activities a challenge. But working with a physical therapist can alleviate some of these symptoms.

Regular exercise helps keep the joints functioning properly. That’s where physical therapy comes in, according to Maura Daly Iversen, doctor of physical therapy, a professor and associate dean of clinical education, rehabilitation, and new initiatives at Northeastern University in Boston.

Full Article

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Fighting the Fatigue of RA

July 5, 2017 – Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) don’t stop at joint pain and swelling. Most people with RA also experience mental and physical exhaustion, a symptom known as fatigue. Studies show that up to 80% of people with RA have at least some sense of feeling run down, and more than 50% have high levels of fatigue.

Terence Starz, MD, a rheumatologist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, says the feeling can be described as overwhelming or different from just being tired because it is extreme and seems to come from nowhere. In fact, fatigue may have a greater impact on daily life than pain.

Read full article