Is warming up and cooling down a waste of time?

You must have seen athletes warming up before their competitions. Why do they do it? Well, it has multiple benefits. If you have ever struggled with muscle soreness after exercise, maybe it was because you skipped the warm-up.

The warm-up depends on the sport, your age and level of activity. However, at minimum you need to spend 5 to 10 minutes of activity (longer in winter) involving the muscles you are about to tax in your workout. A warm-up should always begin gently, gradually building up to the level at which you train or play.

warm up

So what does a warm-up really do? Well, it raises your body temperature where the warm muscles can be stretched safely. It prepares you for action. It raises your breathing and heart rate, so that your muscles and other organs receive extra oxygen and nutrients to cope with a bout of strenuous work.

When you stretch gently, it makes your muscles more flexible. This prevents muscle injury due to a sudden stress on an unprepared muscle. The slow pace also helps you to concentrate on good form before you actually start exercising.

A warm-up could be a short walk or ride on an exercise bike. Follow up with another 5 to 10 minutes of gentle stretches, keeping within your activity range. Be sure you know how to stretch safely. If you need some help, please contact our friendly staff.

Cooling down after your workout is just as important. Here, you allow your muscles to relax slowly. As the body winds down, the lactic acid which has built up in your muscles dissipates. This makes sure your intense muscular activity doesn’t upset your body’s functioning. Cooling down also helps your mind come back to its normal routine. A few static stretches help your muscles reach their maximum flexibility while they are still warm. They can then relax to their resting length instead of remaining cramped and knotted.

Cooling down can be as simple as continuing to run at a slower pace for another 5 to 10 minutes, or using the exercise bike at walking pace.

A word about stretches might be useful:

  • Never stretch to the point of pain
  • Stretch only after warming up.
  • Stretch actively during the warm-up: do static stretches when you cool down.
  • Stretch all muscles that you intend to work out.
  • Use your breathing to ease your stretching: inhale deeply while getting into position, exhale during the stretch.
  • Stretch slowly and listen to your body.
  • Never bounce or stretch rapidly if you don’t want to hurt your muscles or tendons.
  • Hold your stretch as far and long as your comfort level.

We can teach you to stretch and warm-up safely, and add value to your exercise routine. Get in touch with us if you are planning to start an exercise routine. You’d be amazed what a difference warming up and cooling down can make to your workout.

 

When your physiotherapist needs an X-ray

Physiotherapists are health professionals trained to recognise and treat various conditions that make movement difficult or painful, and restrict your functioning. We use a wide range of skills to restore function to the affected part. They also assess your posture and look for any other issues. They work with you to devise and help in carrying out plans to prevent and correct harmful lifestyle patterns. This could include exercise plans, joint mobilisation and physical treatments like massage.

We are trained to diagnose your condition through careful physical examination. However, physiotherapy may not be not suitable for all conditions. In some situations, we may need X-rays to confirm a diagnosis or to refer you to another professional better qualified to deal with your situation.

xray

 

Quick tip

When you decide to increase the length of your workouts, do so gradually, no more than 10% at any time. Ease your body gently up to the next level and you will reap the rewards without injury.

 

Inspiration

I wouldn’t say anything is impossible. I think that everything is possible as long as you put your mind to it and put the work and time into it.

~ Michael Phelps

 

 

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Better rehabilitation starts in the mind

If you’re in rehabilitation, you probably had a major surgery, an accident which knocked you out of action for some time, or you’re suffering from overuse injuries. Or you may be trying to get back to active sports from a ligament tear or other serious injury.

The most important thing about rehab is that it takes time, patience and commitment. Rehabilitation is no magic bullet. When your body is injured, it takes time to heal.

Physiotherapy is a keystone of rehab for some very good reasons. One is that therapists provide an interface between the patient and the doctor. For many reasons, physicians often cannot take time for an extensive discussion of the patient’s condition. The therapist, however, takes time to completely assess flexibility, the presence of painful spots and tight soft tissues, balance and coordination at various joints. Once this is over, your therapist will be able to prescribe the right balance of exercise and healthy lifestyle to relieve pain, enhance flexibility, and restore normal function.

lower_limb_treatment_cycle_rehabilitation_16_9_teaser_onecolumn-7

However, this is optimised when your mind is confident and cooperative. This is really where it all starts. Resistance to a therapy limits its effectiveness. If you have already written off your recovery, your body gets the message. Nothing but terrific determination on the part of your therapist can produce even a little improvement in such cases.

So, the first step in successful rehabilitation is to assure yourself of great results. Your attitude matters. You are the one going to work with the physiotherapist. You cannot be passive, or expect something to be done for you. It’s your willingness to work hard and consistently that succeeds.

Look one step beyond. Read success stories. Reassure yourself that this pain will result in your good health. See yourself walking, taking care of yourself, enjoying life. Hold this picture before your mind to make lighter work of your rehabilitation.

Make sure you know how much progress you should expect at a minimum — and see yourself well beyond that! Let your friends and family support you. When you feel anxious, talk it over with someone. They can identify unrealistic fears — a real lifesaver if you’re headed for depression.

This kind of support also helps when pain and low motivation put you off. At such times, it’s marvelous to have someone nudge you through with some wisdom and practical strategies on getting moving when you don’t want to!

Your physiotherapist can also help you with stress-relief and relaxation techniques. Less stress means greater ease during therapy, and fosters the healing power of your body. As it becomes a habit, you’ll see its benefits in every area of your life!

So upgrade your thinking. While unrealistic thinking is no virtue, positive attitude is a wonderful asset which can take you forward on your journey. Harness the power of your mind and get well faster!

 

Aerobic Vs anaerobic exercise

Aerobic exercise includes jogging, swimming and cycling. It uses oxygen to convert stored body fuels to energy for movement. Aerobic exercise can be sustained over long periods. Lactic acid is not produced in your muscles. It boosts your long-term stamina by getting your heart to pump better and stronger with a slower rhythm as it strengthens. It improves overall quality of life as it burns fat, increases fitness, improves mood and reduces risk of diabetes.

Anaerobic exercise is more intense and demanding, such as weight lifting and sprinting flat out. It runs on stored as fuel. Anaerobic exercise helps build lean muscle mass since calories are burned more efficiently in bodies that have more muscle. During anaerobic exercise, the body builds up lactic acid in the muscles which lead to soreness and need for recovery time. Overtraining, stress and burnout or injury are its chief drawbacks.

Which one is right for you? Visit us for an assessment and exercise program. We can help you reach your health goals, whether that is fitness, weight-loss, flexibility or strength.

pediatric_orthoses

 

Quick tip

Pull in your stomach muscles when you walk. This is a great, but simple way to help tighten those stomach muscles.

 

Inspiration

Running is one the best solutions to a clear mind.

~ Sasha Azevedo

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Guide to exercise equipment: Part 2

The pitfalls of buying “infomercial” exercise equipment

The desire to get physically fit sometimes drives people towards impulsive, silly and expensive purchasing decisions. Unfortunately, the fitness industry is rife with gimmicks that not only fail to produce the claimed results, but are also dangerous and pose serious health hazards.

The right exercise equipment can really enhance your well-being. However with skyrocketing prices on the latest machines, it’s very tempting to look for shortcuts and “knock-off” products to save a few bucks.

Nobody is more conscious of consumer tendencies than online shopping channels and their infomercial creators. Their marriage to fitness and nutrition corporations is long established and the formula for selling fitness equipment to viewers is pretty simple:

  • Bring out a noted fitness expert to praise the latest, “state-of-the-art” product.
  • Have sexy professional models showcase their beach body physiques, which they do not owe to the product.
  • Use “before and after” testimonials from so-called average folks to demonstrate credibility to the viewing audience.
  • Finally, provide a “too good to be true” offer with easy monthly payments to clinch the sale.

infomercial fitness equipment

These seduction tactics produce millions of dollars in annual sales, but judging from user feedback, many people continue to be left frustrated and unsatisfied with their purchases. Why? It may all come down to not asking yourself the golden question before pulling out your credit card, i.e.:

“Is that shiny product or home-exercise video the right choice for me?

Many buyers are seduced by unrealistic fitness expectations, ignoring issues like:

  • Shipping and handling costs.
  • Guarantees and extended warranties.
  • Assembly details and technical support.
  • Ongoing maintenance issues and costs.

Top of the line home gym systems usually have a 3-4 year payback period versus an average monthly gym membership, assuming regular use. If you are new to physical fitness, it may be better to join a local gym just to avoid the aggravation of bulky equipment ownership, at least in the short-term.

We all want to lead healthy lives, but buying expensive equipment is often a big gamble that we can easily do without. Sometimes, a smaller investment (e.g. yoga or Pilates set, resistance bands, skipping rope, some free weights, etc.) is more advisable, especially for beginners in lifestyle fitness.

The bottom line is this: While many legitimate shopping channels and internet websites sell exercise equipment, it is always “buyer beware”when it comes to your health. Do not buy fitness equipment through late night infomercials, internet marketers and auction sites unless you have thoroughly researched essential product and performance details from several independent sources.

It’s the only way to expose the fine print, especially facts that are conveniently omitted from infomercial sales pitches. Plus, it will help you avoid scams and keep you from collecting or trashing unused, unsatisfactory equipment.

Another point of concern is that inventors are continually coming up with newer equipment and machines, with more “interesting ways to move” during exercise. However correct form and movement technique when exercising is crucial. Using poorly engineered equipment that promote bad form is a recipe for injury.

Before making a major gym equipment purchase, discuss your needs with your physiotherapists during your next appointment. We have a wealth of experience when it comes to exercise products and our advice will be invaluable on the road to a better workout experience.

 


Quick tip

Put your knife and fork down between mouthfuls. This will slow down your eating and help your digestion. It will also stop you shovelling in mouthfuls without really thinking what you are eating.

 

Inspiration

It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.

~ Mahatma Gandhi

 

Funny thought of the day

The brain is the greatest organ in the body because it is the one telling you that it is.

 

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Guide to exercise equipment

Everyone wants to get into great shape, but it feels like only a select few actually achieve their fitness goals while exercising at home.

One reason may be the difficulty people experience when selecting and using exercise equipment. Thanks to a growing number of fitness centres and home exercise enthusiasts, global equipment sales exceed billions of dollars annually. However, is it really worth your time and money? How do you choose?

In this two-part article, we’ll discuss what to look for in popular exercise equipment for the home.

Treadmills and other cardio machines

Treadmills are arguably the most popular exercise machine. They allow you to walk or run in one place, thanks to a conveyor belt platform that’s powered by an electric motor. The treadmill has evolved over the years to remain a favourite choice for convenient exercise.

treadmill

Exercise bikes, elliptical trainers, rowers and step (stair) machines are other cardio machine options. Although we focus on treadmills, the points below are relevant for these machines too.

While treadmills can play an integral role in fitness, weight management and toning, you should be aware of some common disadvantages like:

  • Boredom and monotony (i.e. less fun than outdoor exercise).
  • Less natural movement (i.e. develop bad running habits, risk of injury).
  • Long-term costs (i.e. purchase, warranty, electricity, repairs, etc.).

If you are already a gym member or enjoy the outdoors, you will want to spend your fitness dollars elsewhere. On the other hand, buying a basic treadmill can serve as an ideal entry point for regular, moderate physical activity.

You will need to decide where you will place your treadmill within your home. The garage is a safe bet, but may not provide you with inspiration. Living rooms are great for motivation in front of the TV (and staying within your mindspace), but take up your family space.

With costs ranging anywhere from a few hundred to few thousand dollars, it’s important to focus on basic features before bringing a treadmill into your home. Choose a machine that suits the space avilable; very few machines are easy to move around the house. It needs to be solid-built. On a tighter budget, you could easily opt out of features like computerised programs and heart-rate monitors. As long as you can easily control your exercise intensity, you will get a good work out. Also consider things like delivery, setup and warranty.

Treadmill injuries are a thing! Make sure you know how to use your equipment safely. If in doubt, ask us for advice.

Home gyms

D.I.Y. home gyms are popular where:

  1. People don’t have access to a neighbourhood gym.
  2. Commercial gyms are too expensive, too crowded or not open at suitable hours.
  3. People prefer to workout in the privacy of their own home.

Home gyms are to muscular strength, as treadmills are to cardio and fitness. The range of options is astounding. For a couple of hundred dollars or less, beginners can get going with a set of resistance bands and some free weights; throw in some Pilates or yoga gear for balance and flexibility exercises. However, if you’re looking to get muscular, your equipment should be able to cover all the major muscle groups.

Depending on your goals, you could get away with a bench, barbell rack, barbell bar, various weights (plates) and several pairs of dumbells of various weights. Expect to spend a several hundred dollars. You could always purchase more weight plates and dumbells as you get stronger.

For a more complete setup, you can purchase machines with cables, pulleys and pin-loaded weights. However these are not cheap. They also take up significant room in your home. Some “all-in-one” machines are ok, but most of the budget versions are not worthwhile. Unless you have unlimited space and funds, you should steer away from machines that target specific exercises or muscles. As you gain experience, you will better understand your changing needs. So it’s best to keep your initial purchases to timeless essentials.

Here are some general purchasing tips to consider for any type of exercise equipment:

  • Research, research, research: Avoid in-store sales pressure and extra charges by defining your needs first (budget, essential and “nice to have” features, maximum space requirements, etc.). You can always get advice from your physiotherapist.
  • Compare reviews: Chances are that hundreds, if not thousands of people have purchased the exact equipment you’re considering right now. Look at what actual buyers have to say and note of the differences in features between your preferred choices.
  • Look online for special deals: You can often find free shipping, assembly help and great discounts with a little Internet research. Buying direct from the manufacturer is usually a great option.
  • Search local classifieds: People quit weight training all the time for whatever reason. You could pick up a bargain, as long as you know exactly what you need and what you’re getting.

NB: You should seriously consider getting advice from a physiotherapist or personal trainer first, if you are new to weights training and have little idea about such equipment, exercises and movement form. It is very easy to seriously injure yourself with these machines.

Also remember that motivation and injury are possibly the biggest barriers to exercising. You can boost your motivation in many ways. However if you are injured, you should seek professional advice before starting an exercise routine and getting hurt even more. Give us a call and make an appointment.

Quick tip

Replace bad fats with good ones. Get rid of vegetable oils, such as corn and sunflower and replace them with olive oil and almond oil.

Inspiration

A healthy attitude is contagious but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.

~ Tom Stoppard

Funny thought of the day

Candles are just pet fires.

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7 fitness blunders – and how to avoid them

Even if you don’t have a perfect body, you need to be healthy enough that you can live and move with ease and efficiency. But the path to fitness is littered with obstacles. Read on to find out some of the most common roadblocks and how you can get over them. Then call us – we’d be delighted to help you deal with them!

Lack of time

Include movement and activity into your daily routines. Don’t drive when you can walk. Take the stairs. Do squats while watching TV at nights.

You don’t like exercise

Grow flowers, walk your dog or do whatever gets you moving. Paint a mental picture of the level of health and enjoyment that you’d love to have.

HateExercise.

Lack of money

It doesn’t cost wads of money to get fit. Anyone can tone up with minimum fuss and no special equipment. Focus on right exercises and technique, rather than tools. We can help you get started.

Boring routines

Enjoy your playtime! Get the fun back into working out. Change up your routine every few weeks. Learn new exercises or do more reps. Join a group class or challenge a friend. Don’t get stuck in a rut.

Expecting instant results

Health won’t come overnight. Fitness is not a fix, it’s a lifestyle. If you cut out the excuses and resist the craving for instant gratification, you’ll learn a new way of living. And don’t try to do too much too soon. Start easy and concentrate on good technique first.

Laziness

Do you head for the gym on weekends just because you don’t really feel like household chores? Bursts of weekend activity are never going to get you to where you want to be. Instead, commit yourself to regular and frequent activity, no matter how small you start.

Entrepreneurial-Effects-of-Laziness

Lack of motivation

Think of one activity you always longed to do but never had the strength or courage for. Re-imagine it over and over. Can you actually see yourself doing it? Now you know what you’re aiming for. Set your workout steps to achieve it. And savour the glow of wellbeing that comes with each workout.

If you’re still struggling to get fit, give us a call (480) 335 2747.

We’ll help you understand what’s going on and how to get results!

 

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Carbohydrate myths

food myths

When it comes to weight control, carbohydrates get a bad rap. In the past, fats were the bad boy, driven mostly by misinformation. However, the truth is in finding the right dietary balance; not indiscriminately excluding a key macronutrient.

The real problem with carbs is that we often don’t know what a portion should look like. So we eat way too much of it. If you’re not pairing carbs with fats or proteins, you probably won’t feel full.

Bread and pasta are not the enemy. Again, it’s the portions and the type of grains you pick that kill your weight-loss goals.

bread

Pick a whole-grain option whenever possible, which has more fiber to keep you feeling fuller for longer. Whole-wheat bread, brown rice, ancient grains like quinoa and bulgur are good options. At the store, choose bread with five grams of fiber per slice.

Get the right kind of carbs by cutting out processed goods, sugary drinks, sweets, and packaged / convenience foods from your diet; they’re all packed with empty carb calories. Starchy veggies (potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, corn, and lentils) and fresh fruit have more fiber.

Unless you have specific dietary requirements or allergies, carbs are a good source of fuel your body. Don’t throw them out; instead, focus on healthy carbs and a balanced diet.

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Repetitive Motion Injury

What is a repetitive motion injury (repetitive stress injury)?

Repetitive motion injuries, also called repetitive stress injuries, are temporary or permanent injuries to muscles, nerves, ligaments, and tendons caused by performing the same motion over and over again. A common repetitive motion injury is carpal tunnel syndrome. This disorder occurs when the median nerve, which travels from the forearm to the hand through a “tunnel” in the wrist, is compressed by swollen, inflamed ligaments and tendons. It is often seen with people who use computer keyboards or work on assembly lines.

The injury can be quite painful and can also cause numbness, clumsiness, and a loss of motion, flexibility, and strength in the area. It can worsen over time without treatment, and can result in a complete loss of function.

  • Facts about carpal tunnel syndrome

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the dominant hand is most commonly affected and renders the most severe pain. Women develop carpal tunnel syndrome three times more frequently than men. Carpal tunnel is likely more common in people with a congenitally smaller tunnel space. Trauma or injury to the wrist, thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and pregnancy can also contribute to the disorder. It usually occurs only in adults.

carpal_tunnel-300x285 carpal-tunnel-syndrome

Rehabilitation for repetitive motion injuries

A rehabilitation program for repetitive motion injuries is designed to meet the needs of the individual patient, depending on the type and severity of the injury. Active involvement of the patient and family is vital to the success of the program.

The goal of rehabilitation after a repetitive motion injury is to help the patient return to the highest level of function and independence possible, while improving the overall quality of lifephysically, emotionally, and socially.

In order to help reach these goals, repetitive motion injury rehabilitation programs may include the following:

  • Exercise programs to stretch and strengthen the area
  • Conditioning exercises to help prevent further injury
  • Occupational therapy
  • Heat or cold applications
  • Use of braces or splints to immobilize the area
  • Pain management techniques
  • Patient and family education, especially regarding proper ergonomics for the workplace (ergonomics is the science of obtaining a correct match between the human body, work-related tasks, and work tools)

The rehabilitation team for repetitive motion injury

Rehabilitation programs for repetitive motion injuries are usually conducted on an outpatient basis. Many skilled professionals are part of the repetitive motion injury rehabilitation team, including any or all of the following:

  • Orthopedist/orthopedic surgeon
  • Neurologist/neurosurgeon
  • Primary care doctor
  • Sports medicine doctor
  • Occupational medicine doctor
  • Physical therapists
  • Physiatrist
  • Occupational therapist
  • Vocational counselor
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Arthritis

Arthritis and other rheumatic diseases are characterized by pain, swelling, and limited movement in joints and connective tissues in the body. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), nearly 50 million people in the U.S. have some form of arthritis or chronic joint symptoms.

arthritis.jpg

Arthritis, which literally means inflammation of a joint (where two or more bones meet), actually refers to more than 100 different diseases. Rheumatic diseases include any diseases that cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in joints or other supportive body structures, such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones.

Arthritis and other rheumatic diseases are often mistakenly associated with old age because osteoarthritis (the most common form of arthritis) occurs more often among elderly persons. However, arthritis and other rheumatic diseases affect people of all ages and are more common in women than men.

Arthritis is usually chronic, which means that it rarely changes, or it progresses slowly. Specific causes for most forms of arthritis are not yet known.

What are the parts of a joint?

Joints are the areas where two bones meet. Most joints are mobile, allowing the bones to move. Joints consist of:

  • Cartilage. A type of tissue that covers the surface of a bone at a joint. Cartilage helps reduce the friction of movement within a joint.
  • Synovial membrane. A tissue called the synovial membrane lines the joint. The synovial membrane secretes synovial fluid (a clear, sticky fluid) around the joint to lubricate it.
  • Ligaments. Strong ligaments (tough, elastic bands of connective tissue) surround the joint to give support and limit the joint’s movement.
  • Tendons. Tendons (another type of tough connective tissue) on each side of a joint attach to muscles that control movement of the joint.
  • Bursas. Fluid-filled sacs, called bursas, between bones, ligaments, or other adjacent structures help cushion the friction in a joint.
Healthy_Joint_large

Health Knee Joint

What are the most common types of arthritis?

The three most prevalent forms of arthritis include:

  • Osteoarthritis. The most common type of arthritis. It is a chronic disease involving the joints, particularly the weight-bearing joints such as the knee, hip, and spine. Osteoarthritis is characterized primarily by the destruction of cartilage and narrowing of the joint space. It can also include bone overgrowth, spur formation, and impaired function.It occurs in most people as they age, but also may occur in young people as a result of injury or overuse.
  • Fibromyalgia. A chronic, widespread pain in muscles and soft tissues surrounding the joints throughout the body.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. An inflammatory disease that involves the lining of the joint (synovium). The inflammation may affect all of the joints.
  • Other forms of arthritis, or related disorders, include the following:
    • Gout. A result of a defect in body chemistry (such as uric acid in the joint fluid), this painful condition most often attacks small joints, especially the big toe. It can usually be controlled with medication and changes in diet.
    • Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus). A very serious, chronic, autoimmune disorder characterized by periodic episodes of inflammation of and damage to the joints, tendons, other connective tissues, and organs, including the heart, lungs, blood vessels, brain, kidneys, and skin.
    • Scleroderma. A very serious disease of the body’s connective tissue that causes thickening and hardening of the skin.
    • Ankylosing spondylitis. A disease that affects the spine, causing the bones of the spine to grow together.
    • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) or juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA). A form of arthritis in children ages 16 or younger that causes inflammation and stiffness of joints for more than six weeks. Unlike adult rheumatoid arthritis, which is chronic and lasts a lifetime, children often outgrow JRA. However, the disease can affect bone development in the growing child.

What are the symptoms of arthritis?

The following are the most common symptoms of arthritis. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Pain and stiffness in the joints
  • Swelling in one or more joints
  • Continuing or recurring pain or tenderness in a joint
  • Difficulty using or moving a joint in a normal manner
  • Warmth and redness in a joint

The symptoms of arthritis may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.

hand with arthritis

Hand with Arthritis

How is arthritis diagnosed?

In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for arthritis may include:

  • X-rays or other imaging procedures (to show the extent of damage to the joint)
  • Blood tests and other laboratory tests, including:
    • Antinuclear antibody (ANA) test (to check levels of antibodies in the blood)
    • Arthrocentesis or joint aspiration (to remove a sample of the synovial fluid to determine if crystals, bacteria, or viruses are present)
    • Complete blood count (to determine if white blood cell, red blood cell, and platelet levels are normal)
    • Creatinine (to monitor for underlying kidney disease)
    • Sedimentation rate (to detect inflammation)
    • Hematocrit (to measure the number of red blood cells)
    • Rheumatoid factor test (to determine if rheumatoid factor is present in the blood)
    • Urinalysis (to determine levels of protein, red blood cells, white blood cells, and casts)
    • White blood cell count (to determine level of white blood cells in the blood)
    • Uric acid (to diagnosis gout)
    • HLA tissue typing (to look for genetic markers in ankylosing spondylitis)
  • Skin biopsy (to diagnose a type of arthritis that involves the skin, such as lupus or psoriatic arthritis)
  • Muscle biopsy (to diagnose arthritis or rheumatic diseases, such as polymyositis or vasculitis)

Rehabilitation for arthritis

An arthritis rehabilitation program is designed to meet the needs of the individual patient, depending on the type and severity of the arthritis. Active involvement of the patient and family is vital to the success of the program.

The goal of arthritis rehabilitation is to help the patient return to the highest level of function and independence possible while improving the overall quality of life–physically, emotionally, and socially. The focus of rehabilitation is on relieving pain and increasing motion in the affected joint(s).

In order to help reach these goals, arthritis rehabilitation programs may include the following:

  • Exercises and to control joint pain and swelling
  • Exercises to improve mobility (movement) and physical fitness
  • Heat and cold therapy
  • Massage
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation to help relieve pain
  • Acupuncture
  • Stress management and emotional support
  • Joint immobilization and methods to protect the joints from further damage, degeneration, and deformities
  • Nutritional counseling to improve weight control
  • Use of assistive devices
  • Patient and family education

rehabilitation for arthritis

Rehabilitation after joint replacement

The goal of hip and knee replacement surgery is to improve the function of the joint. Full recovery after joint replacement usually takes about three to six months, depending on the type of surgery, overall health of the patient, and the success of rehabilitation.

Rehabilitation programs after joint replacement may include the following:

  • Exercises to improve mobility (movement) and physical fitness
  • Gait (walking) retraining
  • Pain management
  • Nutritional counseling to improve weight control
  • Use of assistive devices
  • Patient and family education

The arthritis rehabilitation team

Arthritis rehabilitation programs can be conducted on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Many skilled professionals are part of the arthritis rehabilitation team, including any or all of the following:

  • Physical Therapist
  • Orthopedist/orthopedic surgeon
  • Rheumatologist
  • Physiatrist
  • Primary care doctor (for example, family medicine or internal medicine)
  • Rehabilitation nurse
  • Dietitian
  • Occupational therapist
  • Social worker
  • Psychologist/psychiatrist
  • Recreational therapist
  • Vocational therapist

If you have been diagnosed with Arthritis, give us a call for a complete assessment and a rehabilitation plan through physical therapy. +1 (480) 335 2747

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6 common myths about physical therapy (physiotherapy)

Physical Therapy or Physiotherapy is a specialised and useful mode of treatment, which helps recovery from neuromuscular injuries and joint conditions, among other health problems and complaints.

physio1

Some people think of physical therapists as either drill sergeants or glorified exercise coaches. However, physical therapists are highly trained professionals who have studied the design, structure and function of bones, muscles, ligaments and joints in depth. This helps them accurately diagnose and treat conditions which restrict mobility and normal function, helping you heal better, faster and preventing recurrence of such injuries.

1) So, does physical therapy just mean exercise? No. Physical therapists assess the functional status of the whole patient. They then work out the treatment, which often includes exercises of various types to promote flexibility and strength. They help to recover useful function and sensation. They suggest necessary or helpful lifestyle modifications.

You don’t need to be injured to visit a Physical Therapist (fact)

2) Is physical therapy painful? Well, pain reduces movement rather than easing it. In fact, the body does best when movements are challenging but not painful. We select exercises which increase flexibility and weight-bearing gradually, according to the improvement in your injured part.

3) Doesn’t physical therapy take too long to produce results? Well, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. It tackles a range of conditions, from paralysis or weakness due to trauma, birth injury or stroke to chronic arthritis or post-surgery rehab. It takes various forms, which last for different lengths of time. However, in most common conditions, such as neck or back pain, or joint stiffness, improvement is felt and seen in a few sessions. If you are willing and committed to following up, you will experience the benefits sooner rather than later!

4) Would your body have healed itself with time, even without physical therapy?physio

The body heals itself quite marvelously, so some degree of recovery always occurs. However, when a painful or weakening condition has progressed to involve other joints and muscles, you need help. In such cases, physical therapists can play a critical role in restoring function and movement.

5) “But it’s just massage!”. Well, not exactly, though. Massage by an experienced physical therapist does wonders in soothing and mobilising painful and tight muscles or joints. However, they also use a spectrum of physical methods like heat or cold, ultrasound, infra-red, as well as joint mobilisation, range-of-movement exercises, aquatic therapy, specialised sports injury rehab or post-surgical rehab programs to get you feeling useful and healthy again!

6) And it is not just for the old, or for sportspeople either! Physical therapy can help anyone who finds movement painful or difficult, or would like to be fit. There is no reason why you need to bear chronic pain. Why not call us now and get in touch with our physical therapists, for a full assessment and a personalised treatment and care program? It could change your life!

What is Allied Health?

betty and vickAllied health professions are those which deliver services related to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, apart from the medical profession. Thus this vast group of professionals includes physical therapists, podiatrists, orthotists and occupational therapists and many others.

This group is remarkable in that they contribute directly to the recovery of function, preserve independence and mobility. This is especially important in lowering the risk of complications due to prolonged illness or injury.

These are highly trained professionals holding a tertiary (university) degrees in their field of study. Despite the usefulness of their contribution to the patient’s recovery and well-being, these services are usually not covered by Medicare.

Allied health professionals may be grouped into technicians or technologists. Technologists or therapists are more intensively trained to understand the framework of normal structure and function of the joints. Thus they can diagnose and prescribe treatment for conditions affecting mobility and function. Technicians or assistants receive training aimed at carrying out procedures which are prescribed by the therapists or technologists. Their education is less demanding but focused on the acquisition of necessary practical skills.

Thus the allied health professionals play a vital role in helping patients to return to full usefulness and independence. May their tribe increase!

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When exercise results are slow…

Is it time to pull the plug on physical fitness and go back to your past bad habits? Absolutely not!

Regular physical movement is vital for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, realize that training smart is just as important as training hard. Maybe it’s time to step back and investigate the lack of results.

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Here are 5 common reasons your workouts may be falling short now (some should be obvious, while others may surprise you):

1. Your workouts do not match your fitness goals

Have you written down your fitness goals? Is it muscular strength, fat loss, greater agility or flexibility? Cardio endurance or explosiveness (power/speed)? How about timelines? Are you giving yourself six-weeks, twelve-weeks, or a full year to accomplish your milestones?

There is no way you will achieve your goals without appropriate exercises and a clear schedule for making it happen. It’s not rocket science to set up, either on your own or with professional guidance (see below), but please do it today.

2. You dont work out often enough

You will never get to where you want to go without literally taking the necessary steps. If you seek moderate health gains, perhaps a daily (and brisk) thirty-minute walk is enough. However, for significant weight loss and/or muscle gain results, expect to budget forty to fifty minutes in the gym, three or more times weekly. Ensure that your workouts are frequent, intense and without distraction.

3. You are overtraining yourself to exhaustion

Believe it or not, exercising too hard and too often can, in some instances, be more detrimental than doing nothing at all. While moderate cardiovascular exercise (e.g. walking, light jogging, biking, swimming etc.) can be performed every day, other programs risk leaving you tired and vulnerable to injury. Muscles need adequate rest and recovery time for repair and growth, so overworking specific body parts is not recommended. Avoid “spot training” in favour of full-body or split training sessions.

Also ensure that you get enough rest nightly.

4. Doing it all without the benefit of outside help

Professional and upper-level athletes recognize the benefit of certified coaches and trainers, so why not follow their example? Fitness club members have access to qualified specialists who can evaluate your current training habits and make sound recommendations. Whether you need a few tweaks or a complete overhaul, this might be your best move. Also, don’t underestimate the motivational and accountability benefits of a training buddy to keep you on track.

Home gym enthusiasts (especially beginners) should also avail themselves of professional advice, even if it costs a bit of money. Physiotherapists in particular are invaluable sources for people recovering from serious injury.

5. Need to start eating properly

You are what you eat and we would be remiss to ignore the importance of proper eating habits during your training cycle. Nutritionists and dieticians offer great meal ideas and food consumption guidelines for the general population, but they can also tailor weekly meal schedules for your needs.

Logically, avoid foods that are high in sodium, refined sugars and starches and unhealthy fats. Load up on fruits, vegetables, whole grains (if not gluten-intolerant) and lean meats. Drop typical snack food fare like potato chips, soft drinks and cookies.

Remember, your physiotherapist is well equipped to advise you in all these matters. Speak to us today and start to deserve a better health.

Posted in Advice, Encouragement, Exercise, Rehabilitation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment