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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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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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