Learn

Home / Learn
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…
Read More
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…
Read More
After A Stroke, Therapy Can Help You Regain Physical and Cognitive Function

After A Stroke, Therapy Can Help You Regain Physical and Cognitive Function

Health content, knowledge
You might find that you have a hard time returning to your daily life and routines after having a stroke. Since a stroke causes brain damage, it will affect your entire body—but this doesn't mean a stroke has to slow you down permanently. With the help of medical professionals, you can regain many of your abilities as you recover. How is life different after a stroke? The effects of a stroke vary from person to person. Some people may see very few effects, while others may have severe complications that include: One-sided weaknessCommunication difficultyLimb numbnessFull or partial paralysisVision challengesCognitive decline Any one of these complications can make movements that used to come naturally seem nearly impossible. You can read more about life after a stroke on the American Stroke Association's…
Read More
6 Physical Therapy Myths during National PT Month

6 Physical Therapy Myths during National PT Month

Health content
 October is National Physical Therapy month, a time when physical therapists like Dr. Patrick Donovan of Denver not only celebrate their profession, but also educate others about the role physical therapy plays in improving the health and vitality of their patients … and of health care in general.  While a physical therapist’s roles are both broad and diverse, Dr. Donovan says several misconceptions still exist about what physical therapy is, what it isn’t, and the various ways it can help people improve the health and lives of people at all stages in life.  “When a lot of people think about physical therapy, they think rehabilitation. But that’s just part of what we do,” said Dr. Donovan, owner of Heather Lane Physical Therapy in Denver. “Physical therapists can improve the lives of people of all ages dealing with several common ailments, and even people with no ailments…
Read More
Diet and Weight Loss in Older Adults

Diet and Weight Loss in Older Adults

Health content, Prevention
Are you obese and over 65? Obesity is becoming more and more common in older age groups and can cause or contribute to a variety of unwelcome conditions: Higher levels of inflammation throughout the bodySlower and less efficient muscle repairDiminished strength per pound of weightMobility limitationsSlower walking and movingMore difficulty with stairs Frailty All of these problems can make life more difficult. In addition, obese older adults are more likely to be frail, and frailty carries its own set of challenges, including; ExhaustionWeakness, typically measured in grip strengthSlow walkingLow physical activityHigher likelihood of falling, becoming disabled or being hospitalizedUnintentional weight loss It's intuitive to associate frailty with thinness, and even doctors have been slow to understand that people of all weights can be frail. In fact, recent studies show that…
Read More
Is Active Aging Realistic? 4 Ways Physical Therapy Can Help You Live an Active Life

Is Active Aging Realistic? 4 Ways Physical Therapy Can Help You Live an Active Life

Balance, Exercise, Health content, knowledge, Treatment
Active aging is every senior’s dream come true. It’s a promise of leading a complete and engaged life, when the effects of aging don’t stop you from living to the fullest. But is active aging realistic? Yes! Contrary to popular belief, getting older doesn't have to set you on a downward spiral into declining mental and physical health. Many signs regarded as a "normal" part of aging can be minimized or even prevented. Physical therapy is one tool for helping to turn back the clock and make you feel like your more youthful self again. When we break down the typical decline, we can manage the pieces one by one: 1) mobility, 2) endurance and 3) strength, all contributing to 4) independence. 1. Mobility About 35 percent of people over…
Read More
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…
Read More
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.”…
Read More
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…
Read More
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…
Read More
Call Dr. Donovan