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.

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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.

 

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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.

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