Here’s Why Your Fear of Falling Makes Things Worse

Health content
Many seniors are scared of falling and take multiple precautions to avoid a slip. With as many as 29 million falls and 7 million injuries happening every year in adults 65 and older, seniors are right to be concerned. But there’s a point where the fear of falling actually increases your risk of taking a tumble. Below we discuss how and why, and what you can do to assess your fall risk from home.  How Fear and Risk of Falling Relate Studies show that when we’re scared or anxious about falling and hurting ourselves, we overcompensate through a “stiffening strategy.” That’s when we reduce our range of motion by stiffening our bodies and change our posture to keep from losing our balance. While these movements might help if you’re standing…
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Breaking the Breaking Cycle: Treatment and Prevention of Osteoporosis

Health content
Osteoporosis is a bone density disease that can cause a thinning and weakening of the bones. This disease most commonly affects women of advanced age, typically onsetting in the first few years of menopause. While it is most common in women, it can also affect men and even children in rare cases.  The most common symptom of Osteoporosis is bone breaks due to the deterioration of the bone. These breaks are characterized by their severity in relation to the situation that caused the break. Unprompted breaks without proper impact or a break caused by very minimal contact may be due to the low bone density of Osteoporosis. Hip breaks alone account for more than 300,000 hospitalizations yearly.  Risk Factors   Other than gender, there are many factors that contribute to…
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How to Improve Your Hand Arthritis Without Surgery

Health content
It seems like 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. Health conditions, such as hand arthritis, accelerate the hand’s aging through joint damage. This makes it even harder to complete mundane tasks with our fingers.  But we can stop and even reverse the effects of hand arthritis with physical therapy. Here’s what to know about the condition and the exact exercises you can do to improve your pain and dexterity without surgery.  Hand Osteoarthritis vs. Hand Rheumatoid Arthritis We hear a lot about arthritis in the hands, hips, and knees, but did you know there are two primary types of arthritis? Osteoarthritis (OA) is by far the most common, with…
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Trading Opioids for Physical Therapy: Why It’s the Best Swap You’ll Ever Make!

Health content
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. We are here to show you how moving away from your opioids and starting physical therapy practices could significantly change your life! 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.  Ahead is why trading habit-forming prescription drugs like opioids for physical therapy may be the best swap you'll ever make. 1. True Treatment of Pain Opioids make you feel better because they interrupt pain…
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Stay on Your Feet: Decrease Your Fall Risk From These 7 Medications

Health content
As we age, we're often prescribed one medication after another to combat chronic medical problems or manage drug side effects. But normal changes that accompany aging coupled with adverse drug reactions land as much as 12% of seniors in the hospital. Taking as little as four medications can increase your risk of falling, and so can certain medications. We'll go over what these medications are and what you can do to stay on your feet. 7 Medications to Watch Out for Here are seven of the most common types of medications that many seniors take and that are likely to increase the risk of falls. If you take one or more of these medications with a number of other ones, you also likely have a greater risk.  1. Anticonvulsants  Common antiepileptic…
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Competing as an Older Athlete? Rely on Physical Therapy

Exercise, Health content, Prevention
At Heather Lane we’re all about keeping people active for as long as possible, so we were on hand in Albuquerque at the 2019 National Senior Games, where men and women compete in all sorts of sports and games in five-year age categories starting at age 50 and going past 100! We are hear to talk about how you can rely on physical therapy to help keep you competing well into your later years!   “I never get surgery”   We saw a lot of braces on knees, elbows, ankles—you name it. Barbara Warren, a 73-year-old swimmer and track and field athlete from West Virginia, clued us in a little about the ongoing struggles of senior athletes. Barbara has been a decorated athlete since her swim team days at Stanford…
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Nagging Headaches? Why Physical Therapy is your Answer!

Health content
Almost half of the population suffers from headaches, with 3% experiencing them chronically. Living with migraines and tension, cluster, and cervicogenic headaches (secondary headaches arising from neck issues) leads to a decreased quality of life, but there are practical physical therapy treatments that can help improve your pain. Which Types of Headaches Can Physical Therapy Help Resolve?   To date, hundreds of studies show the benefits of conservative physical therapy for the treatment of headaches. Physical therapists most commonly treat cervicogenic headaches, or referred pain headaches—so called because the headache pain is referred from another area of your body. These secondary headaches happen as a result of nerve, bone or muscle problems in the neck.  Cervicogenic is definitely primary type of headache that PTs treat, but I also tend to…
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Join Deep Breathing and PT for Powerful Results

Join Deep Breathing and PT for Powerful Results

Health content
Juggling life’s responsibilities causes many individuals to live in a constant state of stress. At any age, these stressors overwork our autonomic nervous system (ANS), affecting our blood pressure, breathing, and stamina. Below we discuss how your ANS works and how controlling it positively affects your rehabilitation. What Is the Autonomic Nervous System? The autonomic nervous system controls involuntary actions that keep your body functioning, such as your heartbeat and breathing. It also regulates your blood pressure, your digestive system’s response to food, the contraction of your bladder, the focusing of your eyes, and your body’s internal temperature. The ANS can be broken down into two separate systems, the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system controls your body’s “fight or flight” response. It prepares…
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Is Proper Breathing the Answer to Your Chronic Neck or Low Back Pain?

Is Proper Breathing the Answer to Your Chronic Neck or Low Back Pain?

Health content
Statistics show that 31 million Americans suffer from low back pain at any given time, while neck pain ranks as the fourth leading cause of disability. Americans also spent more than $134 billion between 1996 and 2016 on treating chronic neck and low back pain, $12 billion of which patients paid out of pocket. How Traditional Physical Therapy Helps Many seniors and adult patients of all ages have low back and neck pain mismanaged with unnecessary surgeries, injections, and other procedures. Opioids are also frequently prescribed, but there are better alternatives to unneeded surgeries and habit-forming prescription drugs that only treat the symptom.  Traditional physical therapy works wonders for the chronic neck or low back pain adults feel because it addresses strength deficits, alignment issues, and muscle imbalances. Manual techniques…
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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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