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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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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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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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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The Best Exercise Approach for Women’s Bone Health

The Best Exercise Approach for Women’s Bone Health

Exercise, Health content, knowledge
What is the Big Fuss About Bone Mineral Density? Bone Mineral Density (BMD) depicts an overall profile of your bone health. The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommends that all women over 65 years old to get a central DXA test. It is painless—a bit like having an x-ray. The test can measures bone mineral density at your hip and spine, two of the most common areas for bone breakdown. BMD naturally decreases as we age but it is modifiable based on many different factors. The exercise recommendations in this article are sure to jump start your bone health, no matter your age. Low BMD is correlated with: Bone loss: Indicators for bone loss can be picked up on the DXA test. Your doctor will discuss additional risk factors for…
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3 Treatment Videos For Your Hunchback Posture

3 Treatment Videos For Your Hunchback Posture

back, knowledge, Prevention, Treatment
What Is “Kyphosis”? The spine is separated into three different regions – cervical, thoracic, and lumbar. Each region has it’s own natural curve. Kyphosis occurs naturally in the middle portion of the spine – the thoracic – and includes your ribs and chest plate. What Can I do About My Hyperkyphosis? Age-related hyperkyphosis is an exaggerated hunch in the thoracic spine that occurs commonly with advanced age. This causes your head to be set more forward from your shoulders. This condition is associated with other issues such as low bone mass, vertebral compression fractures, and degenerative disc disease. If hyperkyphosis is not treated, people can have difficulty performing normal tasks such as bathing, getting out of a chair, bending, or walking.  There are effective treatments including physical therapy, pain medication,…
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Start the Conversation About Chronic Disease Management

Start the Conversation About Chronic Disease Management

Health content, knowledge, Prevention
Start the Conversation About Your Medication Management “Freedom of choice” is a typical value in the US. So when my health care provider prescribes me a chronic disease medication for, say, high blood pressure, do I yield the rest of my life to a medication? No! This article is about the difficult conversation, asking your health care provider “How can I get off this medication?” The Gameplan The majority of you ingest iron naturally through foods you eat – spinach, bread, lentils, dark chocolate, etc. As you grow older your body may become less adept at absorbing iron – (1) an iron deficiency develops. So in a routine check-up your health care provider (2) prescribes a supplemental iron medication. In addition to the iron supplement, for the following months you…
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