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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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Oh, Your Aching (Low) Back! The Pain Is Real

Oh, Your Aching (Low) Back! The Pain Is Real

Pain
You may have experienced low back pain (LBP) years ago, but this time around it’s different—simply because you’re older. For one thing, it’s more common. Geriatric back pain leads the list of musculoskeletal disabilities for older adults throughout the world, partly because aging alone can affect all of your body systems. But it’s not only the causes that vary; the impact of LBP also changes as you age. LBP culprits While low back pain affects all ages, young people may be able to identify temporary reasons for the condition, such as pregnancy, toting a heavy backpack or even just poor posture. For adults, a review of the recent literature on low back pain identifies four risk factors: Workplace demands. Heavy lifting, pushing and pulling, driving a vehicle and prolonged walking…
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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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Don’t Let Osteoporosis Hold You Back! Maintain and Build Your Bone Density

Don’t Let Osteoporosis Hold You Back! Maintain and Build Your Bone Density

Arthritis
Osteoporosis (OP) screening is now on many doctors’ radar for patients as young as age 50, especially for those at high risk. Previously, osteoporosis would typically not be diagnosed until a fracture occurred. Today's practice of earlier screening gives the patient a better chance of avoiding the worst effects of OP. Do you have OP? Affecting more than 200 million people around the world, OP is the most common bone disease in humans. People with OP have low bone density, low bone mass and changes in their bone structure. All of these changes cause bones to break more easily. Think of bones as having an internal structure like a honeycomb. People with osteoporosis have more space in their honeycombs than people who do not have the disease. The walls of…
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A Little Stiff? Older Adults Benefit from Flexibility Training

A Little Stiff? Older Adults Benefit from Flexibility Training

Prevention
Information abounds for older adults about the importance of cardio and strength training, but there’s less data available on flexibility training. However, a handful of studies do show that improving flexibility is key for increasing your comfort and longevity as you age.   Why do you need flexibility? Flexibility refers to how easily you bend and how much range of motion you have in your joints. As we age, our muscles and tendons tighten and atrophy, and our joints become stiff, causing a reduction in flexibility. Tight muscles can act as a splint on a joint, preventing it from moving properly. Lower flexibility makes it harder for us to do everyday things, such as: Sit downStand upRoll over in bedGet dressedTake a bath or showerClean the houseWalk the dogReach for…
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Everything You Need to Know About Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Everything You Need to Know About Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Health content, Prevention
If you're one of the more than 250 million people suffering with osteoarthritis (OA), you probably struggle with pain and decreased mobility. And if you're not, you may want to take preventive measures to avoid joining the roughly 10 percent of men and 13 percent of women over the age of 60 who have osteoarthritis of the knee—a key joint for so many everyday movements. Symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee Pain is the hallmark symptom of osteoarthritis of the knee as well as of other joints. Sufferers often experience "pain flares"—short episodes of intense and unpredictable pain. As a result, people with arthritis of the knee may shy away from participating in social or physical activity to avoid triggering a flare. 4 progressive stages of osteoarthritis of the knee…
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