Don’t Faint! When Properly Diagnosed, Syncope in Older Adults Can Be Treated

Don’t Faint! When Properly Diagnosed, Syncope in Older Adults Can Be Treated

Exercise, Health content, knowledge, Prevention
Syncope, or fainting, is common in adults 65 and older, with research suggesting that more than 20% of older adults have syncopal episodes. But today we know that you can live well and stay safe with the condition. What is Syncope? It's regarded as "fainting" or "passing out" when a person loses consciousness and then recovers without intervention. This event may be due to syncope. A true syncopal episode is caused by a loss of blood flow to the brain. When the brain lacks blood, it also lacks oxygen, causing the person to lose consciousness until the blood and oxygen are restored. Most episodes last only a few minutes. Syncope causes include: Rapid drops in blood pressure. Also known as orthostatic hypotension, this rapid drop causes oxygen levels in the…
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Save the RICE for First-Aid, Not Healing & Recovery

Save the RICE for First-Aid, Not Healing & Recovery

Health content
For decades, the standard and recommended response to an injured muscle, tendon or ligament was to “apply RICE,” an acronym that stands for a protocol of rest, ice, compression and elevation.  Yet these days, according to Denver physical therapist Patrick Donovan, the application of RICE as a treatment for these sports-type soft-tissue injuries isn’t 100 percent supported by science.  “Multiple studies have come out over the years that question the wisdom behind our reliance of RICE as a treatment for injuries, specifically as it relates to rest and the application of ice to the injured area,” said Donovan, owner of Heather Lane Physical Therapy in Denver. “Because of this, the role of RICE has changed in recent years.”  RICE was coined in 1978 by Gabe Mirkin M.D., a legendary sports physician who introduced the procedure as author of “The Sports Medicine Book.”…
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Early Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease? Physical Therapy Can Help

Early Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease? Physical Therapy Can Help

Balance, Exercise, Health content
Every little slip of memory seems frightening, especially as we get older. How scared should you be of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)? Alzheimer's is a progressive disorder that causes brain cell degeneration and death. It is the leading cause of dementia, which is marked by memory loss and a decline in cognitive, behavioral and social skills. Early signs of Alzheimer’s Disease If you are experiencing some of the early symptoms of AD, you may be having difficulty with: Balance. You may find yourself catching a toe as you walk or taking an extra step to keep yourself from falling.Mobility. Getting in and out of a chair or tub may become difficult. Mobility issues, too, increase the risk of falling.Activities of daily living (ADL). You may need more time for…
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Losing Your Balance? Stay on Your Feet as You Age!

Losing Your Balance? Stay on Your Feet as You Age!

Balance, Exercise, Health content
It's common for seniors to be afraid of a fall, and for good reason. While a fall can be harmless, many falls and loss of balance result in injuries that can severely limit your independence or even lead to death, especially as you get older. Fear of falling carries its own consequences, however. The National Council on Aging (NCOA) reports that seniors who are afraid of falling might limit their activities or social interactions. This can lead to depression and social isolation, which might actually increase your risk of falling. So what can you do to prevent falls while still maintaining your active lifestyle? How can you live in less fear of a serious fall? Working to improve your balance is a smart place to start. Balance is a key piece…
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Trading Opioids for Physical Therapy: There’s A Medication-Free Solution For You

Trading Opioids for Physical Therapy: There’s A Medication-Free Solution For You

Health content, knowledge, Pain, Treatment
Aging bones and bodies bring on a fragility that makes the elderly more susceptible to breaks, fractures, and surgeries. Many are offered opioid drugs as the best solution to deal with the unbearable pain that results. But more than 130 people die every day from opioid-related drug overdoses, creating an epidemic that is currently a national crisis. Is risking your health and life the only way to find relief from pain? Thankfully, it's not. Trading habit-forming prescription drugs like opioids for physical therapy may be the best swap you'll ever make for three reasons: 1. PT is a true treatment for pain. Opioids make you feel better because they interrupt pain signals to your brain. But they do nothing to actually heal your body and keep you from suffering in…
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Seniors Build Muscle Strength Through Resistance Training

Seniors Build Muscle Strength Through Resistance Training

Exercise, Health content, Prevention
The loss of strength is a common complaint among seniors. You're not imagining it; muscle strength begins to decline as early as age 30 and, after age 60, the annual rate of decline reaches 3-5%. So, if you're a senior adult, every single year you're losing up to 5 percent of your strength. No wonder you can't lift the way you used to! Two words: resistance training While aerobic exercise has many benefits for overall health, resistance training is the preferred exercise for specifically targeting the loss of muscle strength. Regular resistance training can delay or even reverse the generative loss of muscle mass and bone density, as well as joint dysfunction, that all contribute to the loss of strength. A study of exercise and physical activity in adults concludes,…
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Concussion Symptoms can Improve with Managed Exercise, Physical Therapy

Concussion Symptoms can Improve with Managed Exercise, Physical Therapy

Health content
With high school sports starting up soon and NFL training camps in full swing, concussions are certain to ramp up within the mainstream consciousness.  And, while talk will often point to conventional wisdom which states that “time and rest” are the best and only options for recovery from concussion, Denver physical therapist Patrick Donovan says that studies now suggest managed exercise and movement can hasten recovery.  Concussion Treatment “It wasn’t very long ago when concussion sufferers were told not to move – to rest, with no exercise, until symptoms improved,” said Donovan, owner of Heather Lane Physical Therapy in Denver. “Today, while rest remains important, it’s become increasingly important to get moving with a careful, managed exercise program that can benefit recovery.”  In 2010, researchers at the University of Buffalo were the first to show that specialized exercise regimens can relieve…
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5 Powerful Truths About Sleep and Aging

5 Powerful Truths About Sleep and Aging

Health content, knowledge, Prevention
In today’s society, myths about sleep and aging are passed around more than gravy at a Thanksgiving dinner. Here’s the true scoop on sleeping when you’re older. 1. How does sleep change when you age? Common misconceptions would have you believe that the older you get, the less sleep you need. Although developing children need more sleep than average, sleep requirements for adults remain reasonably constant regardless of age.  What does change are circadian rhythms that help dictate sleep patterns. It’s not uncommon for older adults to sleep and wake earlier as biological clocks regulating internal rhythms shift.  2. Why do seniors have difficulty sleeping or falling asleep? The fragmented sleep often plaguing adults in their 60s and beyond can be due to a variety of factors. For instance, insomnia…
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I’m Over 60—is Urinary Incontinence Normal?

I’m Over 60—is Urinary Incontinence Normal?

Health content, knowledge
I'm Over 60—is Urinary Incontinence Normal? When you’re pregnant and experience urinary leaking, the cause is obvious, and you figure that everything concerning your health will go back to normal once the baby is out and no longer pressing on your bladder. Typically, that’s exactly what happens. But years later urinary incontinence (UI) can show up again—and this time there’s no baby to blame. You don’t want to stop drinking water or resort to wearing Depends. So what should you do? Although men and women of any age can experience urinary incontinence, reports show the highest incidence of UI occurring in women over 60. The University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences estimates that three times as many women as men experience urinary incontinence and that only 1 in…
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 Local PT Debunks 6 Common Back Pain Myths

 Local PT Debunks 6 Common Back Pain Myths

Uncategorized
Despite being one of the top causes of disability in the U.S., affecting around eight in 10 people in their lifetimes, back pain is an ailment often misunderstood by those affected, says Denver physical therapist Patrick Donovan.   Such misconceptions, Dr. Donovan adds, can cause those suffering from back pain to seek solutions, potential treatment paths, and even lifestyle alterations that aren’t necessarily in their best interests.   “Back pain can be as frustrating. It can become debilitating and we quickly seek out any and all treatments,” said Dr. Donovan, owner of Heather Lane Physical Therapy in Denver. “This can lead a person down paths that don’t result in the best outcomes and most necessary evidence-based treatments.”   Such paths, Dr. Donovan points out, can sometimes lead to treatments that are more expensive or personally invasive – and perhaps even unnecessary – such as MRIs and surgery.   “MRIs, surgery, medication … these are last resort-type treatments,” Dr. Donovan says. “Most common back pain issues will go away on their own in a few days. And even when they don’t, most remaining cases can be successfully resolved less…
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