How Better Breathing Helps Prevent COVID-19

How Better Breathing Helps Prevent COVID-19

Health content
Breathing may seem like a natural function, but did you know you can use it to optimize your physical health? Your breathing mechanics can play a significant role in the way your body handles viruses and other ailments; more specifically how better breathing can help you prevent COVID-19.   How We’re Supposed to Breathe   While it may seem like breathing is as simple as a breath in and out, the physiology is much more complex. Proper breathing mechanics include inhalation through the nose and diaphragmatic breathing.  The diaphragm is the main muscle involved with inhalation. For optimal function, it requires both appropriate ribcage position and mobility. When you use your diaphragm to breathe correctly, you can improve airflow and reduce stagnant air in the lungs.  The nose also humidifies…
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Strengthen Your Quad Muscles to Prevent Injury and Maintain Independence

Strengthen Your Quad Muscles to Prevent Injury and Maintain Independence

Arthritis, Health content
When you stand from a sitting position, you use your quads. When you straighten your knee or bend it, you use your quads. When you squat, run or jump? Again, your quads are working hard! It’s easy to see why quad strength keeps you in good shape and is the key to maintaining independence in order to live an active life. Physical therapy is one proven tool to keep quad muscles strong. Quads can weaken for several reasons, including: Injury or overuse. The wrong move during exercise or playing a sport can result in a quadriceps tendon tear, which in turn can cause pain to the knee. Simple overuse in athletics can trigger tendinitis (also spelled “tendonitis”), an inflammation of the tendon. Arthritis. Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can inflame…
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Are You Making the Most of Your Direct Access to Physical Therapy?

Are You Making the Most of Your Direct Access to Physical Therapy?

Health content, Pain, Prevention, Treatment
While many states places restrictions on access to physical therapy, Colorado is among those that permit "direct access" to PT. If you live in Colorado, are you reaping the benefits of that? What is direct access? Direct access to physical therapy means that insurance will cover your evaluation and treatment services with a physical therapist without requiring a referral from your physician or other healthcare professional. Direct access is sometimes called "self-referral," because you simply make your own appointment and go to a PT for treatment if you’re experiencing pain or other relevant condition.  Direct access to physical therapy can save you time and money by getting the services you need faster.  Who has direct access to physical therapy? All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin…
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Seek Physical Therapy Before Lower Back Pain Becomes Chronic

Seek Physical Therapy Before Lower Back Pain Becomes Chronic

back, Health content, Pain, Treatment
If you're one of the 8 in every 10 people who experi­ence lower back pain severe enough to think you should probably seek treatment, be assured that it's probably not due to a serious problem. You may connect your low back problem to: A lot of sitting, including sitting to drive. Improper stance when bending or lifting. Poor overall physical condition. Aging. As we age, our muscles weaken and we may experience stiff joints. These both can cause pain in the low back area. Easy solutions to lower back pain You may not consider good nutrition an important tool in keeping your back healthy, but eating well benefits your whole body. Specifically, vegetables with anti-inflammatory properties have been shown to ease this pain. Sleep is another general health aid. It…
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Hunchback Starting? 3 Physical Therapy Videos Can Help Set Your Posture Straight

Hunchback Starting? 3 Physical Therapy Videos Can Help Set Your Posture Straight

back, Balance, Exercise, Health content, Prevention
Do you have hyperkyphosis? You probably know it as hunchback. If your spine is curving more than it has in the past, you're probably chalking it up to aging. But who wants to look old? Let's tackle that hunchback posture with some physical therapy before it gets worse. Treating and preventing hunchback posture If the mirror tells you that you may be suffering from hyperkyphosis, a trained physical therapist has the tools to evaluate your condition and may refer you to a specialist. Medication can ease pain from the hunchback posture, and in some cases surgery may be recommended. At Heather Lane Physical Therapy, following the evaluation we design and implement either a treatment regimen or a preventative strategy—whichever is appropriate for your specific needs. In the three videos below, Heather…
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How Your Muscles, Joints and Bones Affect Your Balance

How Your Muscles, Joints and Bones Affect Your Balance

Balance, Health content, knowledge, Prevention
When it comes to staying upright, it’s important that your body's physical components - particularly your muscles, joints and bones - are in good shape. If you can keep these healthy, you have a much lower chance of falling. Muscles and joints Your muscles contract and expand to move your body through space. If they can’t do that well, it's easy for you to take a fall. To move the body, your muscles tug on your joints and make you bend. Other structures involved in this process are tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. Muscles cross joints, and when the muscles contract, the joint moves. If the muscles are not sufficiently lengthened - that is, sufficiently flexible - the joint will not move well. It may move with a jerky motion,…
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When You Retire: 3 Things to Think About (Not Money)

When You Retire: 3 Things to Think About (Not Money)

Health content, knowledge, Prevention
We spend our working lives preparing for retirement, establishing savings accounts and IRAs, but not much time making sure we have our health in retirement. Often in all the planning before we retire, we neglect to anticipate changes in mental and physical wellness that can turn a happy, active retirement into a sedentary one. As you transition into your senior years, with a little attention you can maintain and even improve your mental and physical wellness. Aging is a process that requires specialists to help navigate your unique health demands and goals. When building your team of experts for your individual needs as you age and retire, consider three key areas: general health, cognitive health and musculoskeletal health. General health in retirement Primary care physicians (PCPs) are always the frontline…
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Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Can be Addressed by PT

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Can be Addressed by PT

Health content, knowledge, Prevention
Many older adults are hesitant to bring up pelvic floor dysfunction with their doctors. After all, urinating when you don’t mean to is embarrassing, and some patients fear that they will share their humiliating stories only to be told that they should accept wearing adult diapers for the rest of their lives. Seek help for pelvic floor dysfunction However, you do not have to accept that at all. Find a medical provider you trust so that you can candidly and thoroughly share your symptoms related to pelvic floor dysfunction. Two common types of pelvic floor dysfunction are 1) stress incontinence, when urine squeezes out after you cough, sneeze or experience other sudden contraction of the core muscles, and 2) nonrelaxing pelvic floor problems, when the pelvic floor muscles cannot contract…
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Visual and Vestibular Balance Issues Affecting Older Adults: What You Can Do to Stay On Your Feet

Visual and Vestibular Balance Issues Affecting Older Adults: What You Can Do to Stay On Your Feet

Health content
Simply standing up is harder than it looks! When you add in shifting your weight, stepping, navigating hazards and more, it’s no wonder that so many older adults struggle with balance. Because balance issues can lead to falls, it’s important to understand why you might be struggling with balance. With that knowledge, you can notice potential problems and resolve them before you stumble or tumble. Your vision and your balance How well you see influences your balance. If you can’t see well, you may miss potential hazards or spend so much energy trying to see better that you trip and fall. How you see, referred to as "visual processing," also is important. This has to do with how your brain takes in and organizes the information that comes in through your…
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How to Improve Your Hand Arthritis Without Surgery

How to Improve Your Hand Arthritis Without Surgery

Arthritis, Health content, Pain
It seems the older we get, the harder it is to perform precision movements like buttoning shirts or grip tasks like picking up a fork or opening a jar. Hand arthritis can cause joint damage and is one of the health conditions that can accelerate the hand’s aging. Hand arthritis can make it hard to complete mundane tasks with our fingers. But with physical therapy, you can stop and sometimes even reverse the effects of hand arthritis.  Hand osteoarthritis vs. hand rheumatoid arthritis We hear a lot about arthritis in the hands, hips and knees. Two primary types of arthritis can cause pain in the hands. Osteoarthritis (OA) is by far the more common of the two, with 32.5 million adults suffering from it. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects a much smaller percentage…
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