Holidays an Ideal Time for Lifting Techniques Refresher

Holidays an Ideal Time for Lifting Techniques Refresher

Health content
Digging out boxes of holiday decorations, hauling packages to and from the car, hiding gifts away on the higher shelves… the Holiday Season certainly requires its fair share of bending, lifting and reaching. This makes December the ideal time for a refresher on proper lifting methods, says Denver physical therapist Patrick Donovan. “Back pain and injury can put a real damper on the Holiday Season, yet it’s one of the most common conditions we treat as medical professionals,” said Dr. Donovan, owner of Heather Lane Physical Therapy in Denver. “Fortunately, it’s also a condition that’s preventable. One of the ways to keep the spine healthy is learning – and practicing – proper lifting techniques.” Around 80 percent of all Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives,…
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Strength Training Critical for Active Aging

Strength Training Critical for Active Aging

Health content
Many older adults have weak muscles – due to a lack of activity, hospitalization, surgery, or a fall. This can cause problems with walking, balance, and activities of daily living. Denver physical therapist Patrick Donovan has an important message for the active aging individual. “Strength training can mitigate many of the downfalls of aging – bone loss, falls, mental acuity – but it must be prescribed properly to promote ‘active aging.’” “As people get older, bone density certainly becomes an issue, which can lead to unexpected falls, broken bones and even the onset of osteoporosis,” said Dr. Donovan, owner of Heather Lane Physical Therapy in Denver. “But studies have proven that doing regular, weight-bearing exercise like walking, dancing, and resistance training can actually strengthen your bones. It’s a true ‘use…
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Parkinson’s Disease: From Early Signs to Treatment Solutions

Parkinson’s Disease: From Early Signs to Treatment Solutions

Health content, knowledge
Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease, only behind Alzheimer's disease. Neurodegenerative means that it involves a progressive breakdown of brain matter. Multiple different neurological channels are affected. This creates wide-ranging effects on the body and mind including: sleep disturbances, muscle tremor, and forgetfulness. The progression of symptoms is also unique to each person and develops slowly over years. These typical symptoms will be discussed further with corresponding treatments: Bradykinesia: is one of the cardinal manifestations of Parkinson’s disease. Early on, tremors may be noticeable and this eventually leads to to a generalized slowness of motion. These slower automatic responses and movements limit mobility, e.g. the ability to start walking after stopping or getting out of a car. Rigid movement: Robot-like movements of the arms and legs…
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‘Why Movement Matters’ during National Physical Therapy Month

‘Why Movement Matters’ during National Physical Therapy Month

Exercise
The physical therapy profession is incorrectly characterized under the generalized label “rehabilitation.” Denver physical therapist Patrick Donovan is eager to create a wider narrative – one that focuses on physical therapy's overall ability to change lives by helping people move better. “When it comes down to it, physical therapy is all about making experiences come true. It's about making it possible for people to live and experience life to the fullest,” said Donovan, owner of Heather Lane Physical Therapy in Denver. “Movement and the overall ability to live, work, and play without restriction– is at the center of life’s greatest experiences.” With October being National Physical Therapy Month, Donovan and other physical therapists across the country are highlighting the wide-range of physical therapists’ ability.  “We have the tools, education, and…
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Pools offer both fitness, relief for older adults

Pools offer both fitness, relief for older adults

Exercise, Health content, Uncategorized
While drinking plenty of water is critical to life, health and healing, simply submerging your body in water (i.e., a pool) opens up opportunities for relief and fitness for those who otherwise may have difficulty exercising. This is especially important for aging adults and those with chronic conditions, said Denver physical therapist Patrick Donovan. “When our bodies are submerged in water, such as in a pool, we become lighter,” said Dr. Donovan, owner of Heather Lane Physical Therapy in Denver. “This lightness, coupled with the natural resistance water places on movement, makes water exercise ideal for people who deal with issues related to strength, balance, sore joints, pain, and even chronic conditions like arthritis and osteoporosis.” The buoyancy of waist-deep water can support about half our body weight, while neck-deep…
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Aging Right: The Undiscovered Benefits of Lifting Weights

Aging Right: The Undiscovered Benefits of Lifting Weights

Exercise, Health content, knowledge, Uncategorized
Many older adults have weak muscles – due to lack of activity, hospitalization, surgery, or a fall. This can cause problems with walking, balance, and everyday activities. The risk of falls increases consistently as we become weaker. Strength training can combat many of these downfalls of aging, but it most be prescribed properly. The problem lies in a negative feedback loop of exercise prescription and client weakness: You are too strong for easy exercises. If the exercises are too easy, you will not get stronger. A compliant adult can easily perform >30 reps of many prescribed exercises from their personal trainer or PT. The therapist may be afraid that you’ll get hurt but won’t increase the weight. For effective strengthening of any muscle group, an exercise should cause fatigue after…
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To Be Hydrated Or Dehydrated? That Is The Question.

To Be Hydrated Or Dehydrated? That Is The Question.

Health content, knowledge, Prevention
The Hydration Issue We often underestimate the important role of hydration in our daily lives. As infants, water comprises 75% of our body weight. This percentage reduces to 55% in the elderly population. No matter your age, water is essential for cellular homeostasis and life. During my time in Haiti, I learned that not enough water in your system causes it to run poorly. Dehydration contributed to a wide number of multi-system conditions – GI issues, cardiac complications, hypotension, bladder and kidney infections. These are less common in our civilized society, however chronic mild dehydration remains an underlying contributing factor for older adults. Maintaining hydration is the easiest way to flush out unwanted bacteria and keep your system running smoothly. Keep an Eye On Dehydration Symptoms Your body naturally wants…
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Improve Your Balance, Improve Your Life

Improve Your Balance, Improve Your Life

Arthritis, Balance, knowledge, Prevention
Balance As A Vital Sign Our annual doctor’s check-up is comprehensive - blood pressure, weight, cholesterol levels - are often measured to determine your health profile. But how is your balance measured? Your ability to maintain balance under various situations should also be considered in your health profile. Unfortunately, one out of three older people falls each year, but less than half tell their doctor. Falls can diminish your ability to lead an active and independent life. Research has identified many conditions that contribute to falling. These are called risk factors. The more risk factors you have, the greater your risk. Fall risk is multifactorial but individualized to each older adult. Lets take a look at contributing factors you can change, factors you cannot change, and how a Physical Therapist…
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I Tore My Meniscus. Now How Do I Fix It?

I Tore My Meniscus. Now How Do I Fix It?

knee, Treatment, Uncategorized
What is a Meniscus Anyways? Meniscus lesions account for almost one quarter of all knee injuries. Whether it’s an acute trauma or repetitive chronic degeneration we ask the menisci to cushion the knee. Your menisci mainly function to distribute stress across the knee during weight bearing activity. Injuries to this cartilage impair your ability to absorb shock and cause misalignment between the joint surfaces. Think of them as car’s suspension between the body and the wheel. They are important to absorb impact and distribute braking power evenly across the joint.It is no surprise that older individuals have a higher rate of meniscus tears compared to younger indi­viduals. Older adults develop faulty movement mechanics, more osteoarthritic changes, and joint degeneration. What’s strange is that surgical remedies differ depending on your age.For…
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It’s Not Too Late to Fix Your Bunions

It’s Not Too Late to Fix Your Bunions

ankle, foot, Treatment
It’s Not Too Late to Fix Your Bunions What is a Bunion? A frequent cause of disability from foot pain is the bunion. A bunion typically appears as A bony bump that forms on the base of the big toe. They affect some 35% of women over the age of 65. If left untreated and allowed to progress to its eventual end stage, the deformity can impair your ability to perform every day activities like walking or stair climbing. At this end stage surgery is the recommended treatment solution to resolve the deformity. But get this - up to 15% of bunions return following surgery. The reason for this is simple. It is because the underlying muscle weaknesses that lead to your original bunion formation still remain. Weak muscles directly…
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