Prevent and Treat Hammertoe: Better Shoes Are Just Part of It

Prevent and Treat Hammertoe: Better Shoes Are Just Part of It

foot, Health content, Pain, Treatment
Women love shoes. Not all women and not all shoes, but many women like the way a little bit of heel and a pointy toe can take an outfit from everyday wear to nighttime splendor. Men, too, may prefer a sleek, narrow dress shoe for a professional appearance. Unfortunately, those good looks can add up over the years to form the hammertoe that many seniors experience. If this has already happened to you, is it too late to fix it? What Is Hammertoe? Hammertoe refers to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons and ligaments surrounding middle toe joints. When one of these parts weakens, the toe may have a hard time returning to a neutral position. When the toe is stuck in a bent position, eventually the muscles tighten so…
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Back Surgery to Decrease Pain: 3 Tips to Prepare and What to Expect Afterward

Back Surgery to Decrease Pain: 3 Tips to Prepare and What to Expect Afterward

back, Health content, Pain, Treatment
Like many other older adults with chronic back pain, you may decide with your doctor that back surgery is the next step. An astounding 70-95% of adults will experience lower back pain in their lifetime. Even dull aches can affect your quality of life if they're consistent. When your back is sore, you may find that you're limiting activities you love to do, whether that’s tinkering around the house, going on hikes, or exploring a new city on foot while on vacation.  If you’ve reached the point that back surgery seems to be your best option, knowing what to expect can help ease fears and make you less apprehensive about the procedure.   What to do before surgery for back pain Talk to more than one doctor. Consider getting a…
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New Year’s Resolution: Manage Your Chronic Condition Without Meds

New Year’s Resolution: Manage Your Chronic Condition Without Meds

Pain
If you have any sort of chronic pain or condition, try putting this at the top of your list of resolutions for the New Year: "Ask my doctor how I can get off my meds!" What many people achieve through medication often can be even better accomplished through lifestyle. Dietary changes Food is the ultimate medicine. If you eat according to what you need, you may not need to supplement your diet at all. Let's look at iron as an example. Most of us ingest iron naturally through foods we eat. Your body likes the iron in dark chocolate as much as you like the taste of it! Spinach, bread and lentils also are good suppliers of iron. But as we grow older, our bodies become less adept at absorbing…
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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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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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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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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…
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Trading Opioids for Physical Therapy: There’s A Medication-Free Solution For You

Trading Opioids for Physical Therapy: There’s A Medication-Free Solution For You

Health content, knowledge, Pain, Treatment
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. 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. Trading habit-forming prescription drugs like opioids for physical therapy may be the best swap you'll ever make for three reasons: 1. PT is a true treatment for pain. Opioids make you feel better because they interrupt pain signals to your brain. But they do nothing to actually heal your body and keep you from suffering in…
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Improve Your Balance, Improve Your Life

Improve Your Balance, Improve Your Life

Arthritis, Balance, knowledge, Prevention
Balance As A Vital Sign Our annual doctor’s check-up is comprehensive - blood pressure, weight, cholesterol levels - are often measured to determine your health profile. But how is your balance measured? Your ability to maintain balance under various situations should also be considered in your health profile. Unfortunately, one out of three older people falls each year, but less than half tell their doctor. Falls can diminish your ability to lead an active and independent life. Research has identified many conditions that contribute to falling. These are called risk factors. The more risk factors you have, the greater your risk. Fall risk is multifactorial but individualized to each older adult. Lets take a look at contributing factors you can change, factors you cannot change, and how a Physical Therapist…
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