Sexual Function in Older Women and the Role of Physical Therapy

Sexual Function in Older Women and the Role of Physical Therapy

Health content, knowledge
Every aging woman who has experienced menopause knows that it changes her body, from bone loss and a higher risk of heart disease to bladder leakage, also known as urinary incontinence. Menopause can change your body's ability to function sexually as well, including your level of sexual desire. Physical changes that affect sex Some of the physical changes that make sex difficult are predictable and typically occur post-menopause. Being aware means that you can plan for these changes and address them so you can continue to enjoy sex long after menopause has brought you to a new stage of life. Common predictable changes include: Vaginal atrophy. The walls of the vagina become thinner and drier, making them more prone to inflammation. This can make sex painful.Urinary tract symptoms. Some women…
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Sexual Function in Older Men and the Role of Physical Therapy

Sexual Function in Older Men and the Role of Physical Therapy

Health content, knowledge
Men over the age of 40 know that testosterone gradually declines as they age. Fear not—this is perfectly normal. Still, sexual dysfunction causes side effects that can be distressing for men as well as their sexual partners. If you're an older man, you should be able to experience healthy sexual function for many years to come, although it may take some support at different stages. What can men expect as they age? The natural decline of testosterone in men causes decreased testicular function. In daily life, this often manifests as: Lower sexual interest in general.Feeling less arousal or requiring more stimulation to get aroused.Less success at achieving an erection and ejaculating. More aging complications Chronic diseases like diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure add to performance difficulties. On top…
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Sarcopenia: What Age-Related Muscle Loss Does to You (And How to Overcome It)

Sarcopenia: What Age-Related Muscle Loss Does to You (And How to Overcome It)

Health content
Getting older can feel as if it's about all things new: new aches and pains, new medications, new conditions. While most seniors are aware of new symptoms relating to diseases like dementia, arthritis and diabetes, many don't know much about sarcopenia, the medical term for naturally occurring, age-related muscle loss. According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, sarcopenia typically starts at about age 40, but the patients we see in physical therapy tend to be in their 60s. Sarcopenia falls under the umbrella of "clinical geriatric syndromes," which refers to conditions that coincide with advancing age but do not have a single cause. It can correlate with a sedentary lifestyle, an unbalanced diet, and chronic inflammation. How age-related muscle loss affects seniors Studies show that low muscle mass contributes to mobility…
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Fight Hunchback with 3 Posture Exercises to Help Straighten Your Spine

Fight Hunchback with 3 Posture Exercises to Help Straighten Your Spine

back, Exercise, Health content
Are you noticing a hump forming on your spine? Is your head a little in front of your shoulders? Hyperkyphosis is the condition that causes the hump and general stooping. Whether you're afraid of developing hyperkyphosis or aging has already begun the progression of the condition, it's time to fight back! When hyperkyphosis is not treated, you may start having trouble performing ordinary tasks like bending, bathing, getting out of a chair or even walking. The spine comprises three regions – cervical, thoracic, and lumbar – and each area has a natural curve. Kyphosis occurs naturally in the thoracic portion of the spine, which is in the middle and includes your ribs and chest plate. Hyperkyphosis exaggerates that curve. Occurring commonly with advanced aging, hyperkyphosis is associated with low bone mass, vertebral…
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Get Wet! Joining a Pool Can Help You Stay Fit

Get Wet! Joining a Pool Can Help You Stay Fit

Health content, Prevention
Determined to improve your fitness for the New Year? You may be considering joining a gym, taking some skiing weekends, starting yoga or simply resolving to take a daily walk. Don't forget to check out your nearest indoor pool—or outdoor pool if you live in a warm enough climate. People who suffer from a number of conditions can benefit from swimming and other water exercises, according to Dr. Patrick Donovan, owner of Heather Lane Physical Therapy in Denver. “When our bodies are submerged in water, we become lighter,” Dr. Donovan explains. “This lightness, coupled with the natural resistance water places on movement, makes water exercise ideal for people who face issues related to strength, balance, sore joints or pain, even when the cause is a chronic condition such as arthritis…
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Bend, Lift, Twist, Reach: Prepare Your Body for the Holiday Season

Bend, Lift, Twist, Reach: Prepare Your Body for the Holiday Season

Prevention
You're hauling up boxes of holiday decorations from the basement and hanging their contents. You're shopping for hours at a time—carrying bags laden with stocking stuffers—and then wrapping the gifts and tucking them high and low, into your favorite hiding places. You'll labor over a hot oven, lift that huge ham or turkey into the car and drive it over to the holiday dinner you're attending. With all of the bending, lifting, twisting and reaching, it's no wonder that your back, shoulders, knees and hips are feeling the holiday pressure! "December is the ideal time for a refresher on proper lifting methods," says physical therapist Patrick Donovan, owner of Heather Lane Physical Therapy in Denver. "Back pain and injury can put a real damper on the holiday season. We see…
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The Flexible, Stable Ankle and Fall Prevention

The Flexible, Stable Ankle and Fall Prevention

ankle, Health content, Treatment
If you’re over 65, you have likely heard that you need to make sure you don’t fall. However, many people don’t know how to do that; how can you make sure something doesn't happen? But since falls can limit mobility, well-being, and even lifespan, it’s important that you understand how to keep yourself safe and upright. The ankle is key to stability Dozens of factors contribute to falling in an older population, and ankle strength and flexibility are high on that list. When you think about what is keeping you upright, you may not consider your ankles. However, they are part of your solid foundation. You probably don’t even realize that you are unconsciously adjusting your ankles when you're standing. Automatic adjustments are something your body does by itself. For…
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Source Your Community, Technology and Physical Therapy to Increase Critical Social Connections as You Age

Source Your Community, Technology and Physical Therapy to Increase Critical Social Connections as You Age

Health content, knowledge
Having strong social connections can be vital to your health as you age. This link between social connections and health has long been observed, and recent research has put scientific muscle behind the importance of human contact for your overall health. Multiple studies have shown that social connections can help you fight depression, keep your mind sharp and maybe even help you live longer. Physical benefits from an active social life It's not just mental benefits, either; people with more social support tend to have better cardiovascular health and a stronger immune system. In fact, research from the Harvard Medical School Nurses’ Health Study suggests that social connections play a more important role in longevity than other well-known factors, including obesity, activity level, income level and smoking. While researchers don't…
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Shoulder Pain? You May Not Need Surgery

Shoulder Pain? You May Not Need Surgery

Health content, Treatment
Pop, click, ouch! If moving your shoulder triggers pain, weakness, popping or clicking, you may have a tear or fraying in the cartilage that helps keep your shoulder in place. Let's talk medical That ring of cartilage is called the glenoid labrum, and it forms a rim around the site where your humerus (upper arm bone) fits into your shoulder socket. The cartilage is necessary for keeping your shoulder joint in place, since the head of the humerus is larger than the shoulder socket, somewhat like a golf ball on a tee. What can go wrong with the shoulder This design gives your upper arm its wide range of motion. That's the good news. But it also makes the joint somewhat unstable and prone to injury. Labral tears can be…
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Staying Active for the Health of Your Heart

Staying Active for the Health of Your Heart

Exercise
Sooner or later, many of us receive a heart-related diagnosis. This can actually be a positive development, because it motivates us to take a fresh look at our lifestyle. Heart disease diagnoses Affecting 28.2 million Americans and the leading causing of death in the U.S., "heart disease" is a term used broadly to cover several different diagnoses. Common diagnoses related to heart disease include: Coronary artery disease. The vessels that pump blood to your heart are damaged or weakened.High blood pressure, also called hypertension. The force of blood pumping through your body is increased, putting stress on your heart and arteries.Congestive heart failure. Your heart is not pumping blood as well as a healthy heart does.Arrhythmia. Your heartbeat is abnormal—your heart is beating either slower or faster than than it…
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