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Sexual Function in Older Women and the Role of Physical Therapy

Sexual Function in Older Women and the Role of Physical Therapy

Health content, knowledge
Every aging woman who has experienced menopause knows that it changes her body, from bone loss and a higher risk of heart disease to bladder leakage, also known as urinary incontinence. Menopause can change your body's ability to function sexually as well, including your level of sexual desire. Physical changes that affect sex Some of the physical changes that make sex difficult are predictable and typically occur post-menopause. Being aware means that you can plan for these changes and address them so you can continue to enjoy sex long after menopause has brought you to a new stage of life. Common predictable changes include: Vaginal atrophy. The walls of the vagina become thinner and drier, making them more prone to inflammation. This can make sex painful.Urinary tract symptoms. Some women…
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Sexual Function in Older Men and the Role of Physical Therapy

Sexual Function in Older Men and the Role of Physical Therapy

Health content, knowledge
Men over the age of 40 know that testosterone gradually declines as they age. Fear not—this is perfectly normal. Still, sexual dysfunction causes side effects that can be distressing for men as well as their sexual partners. If you're an older man, you should be able to experience healthy sexual function for many years to come, although it may take some support at different stages. What can men expect as they age? The natural decline of testosterone in men causes decreased testicular function. In daily life, this often manifests as: Lower sexual interest in general.Feeling less arousal or requiring more stimulation to get aroused.Less success at achieving an erection and ejaculating. More aging complications Chronic diseases like diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure add to performance difficulties. On top…
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Sarcopenia: What Age-Related Muscle Loss Does to You (And How to Overcome It)

Sarcopenia: What Age-Related Muscle Loss Does to You (And How to Overcome It)

Health content
Getting older can feel as if it's about all things new: new aches and pains, new medications, new conditions. While most seniors are aware of new symptoms relating to diseases like dementia, arthritis and diabetes, many don't know much about sarcopenia, the medical term for naturally occurring, age-related muscle loss. According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, sarcopenia typically starts at about age 40, but the patients we see in physical therapy tend to be in their 60s. Sarcopenia falls under the umbrella of "clinical geriatric syndromes," which refers to conditions that coincide with advancing age but do not have a single cause. It can correlate with a sedentary lifestyle, an unbalanced diet, and chronic inflammation. How age-related muscle loss affects seniors Studies show that low muscle mass contributes to mobility…
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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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Fight Hunchback with 3 Posture Exercises to Help Straighten Your Spine

Fight Hunchback with 3 Posture Exercises to Help Straighten Your Spine

back, Exercise, Health content
Are you noticing a hump forming on your spine? Is your head a little in front of your shoulders? Hyperkyphosis is the condition that causes the hump and general stooping. Whether you're afraid of developing hyperkyphosis or aging has already begun the progression of the condition, it's time to fight back! When hyperkyphosis is not treated, you may start having trouble performing ordinary tasks like bending, bathing, getting out of a chair or even walking. The spine comprises three regions – cervical, thoracic, and lumbar – and each area has a natural curve. Kyphosis occurs naturally in the thoracic portion of the spine, which is in the middle and includes your ribs and chest plate. Hyperkyphosis exaggerates that curve. Occurring commonly with advanced aging, hyperkyphosis is associated with low bone mass, vertebral…
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Get Wet! Joining a Pool Can Help You Stay Fit

Get Wet! Joining a Pool Can Help You Stay Fit

Health content, Prevention
Determined to improve your fitness for the New Year? You may be considering joining a gym, taking some skiing weekends, starting yoga or simply resolving to take a daily walk. Don't forget to check out your nearest indoor pool—or outdoor pool if you live in a warm enough climate. People who suffer from a number of conditions can benefit from swimming and other water exercises, according to Dr. Patrick Donovan, owner of Heather Lane Physical Therapy in Denver. “When our bodies are submerged in water, we become lighter,” Dr. Donovan explains. “This lightness, coupled with the natural resistance water places on movement, makes water exercise ideal for people who face issues related to strength, balance, sore joints or pain, even when the cause is a chronic condition such as arthritis…
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Bend, Lift, Twist, Reach: Prepare Your Body for the Holiday Season

Bend, Lift, Twist, Reach: Prepare Your Body for the Holiday Season

Prevention
You're hauling up boxes of holiday decorations from the basement and hanging their contents. You're shopping for hours at a time—carrying bags laden with stocking stuffers—and then wrapping the gifts and tucking them high and low, into your favorite hiding places. You'll labor over a hot oven, lift that huge ham or turkey into the car and drive it over to the holiday dinner you're attending. With all of the bending, lifting, twisting and reaching, it's no wonder that your back, shoulders, knees and hips are feeling the holiday pressure! "December is the ideal time for a refresher on proper lifting methods," says physical therapist Patrick Donovan, owner of Heather Lane Physical Therapy in Denver. "Back pain and injury can put a real damper on the holiday season. We see…
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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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Source Your Community, Technology and Physical Therapy to Increase Critical Social Connections as You Age

Source Your Community, Technology and Physical Therapy to Increase Critical Social Connections as You Age

Health content, knowledge
Having strong social connections can be vital to your health as you age. This link between social connections and health has long been observed, and recent research has put scientific muscle behind the importance of human contact for your overall health. Multiple studies have shown that social connections can help you fight depression, keep your mind sharp and maybe even help you live longer. Physical benefits from an active social life It's not just mental benefits, either; people with more social support tend to have better cardiovascular health and a stronger immune system. In fact, research from the Harvard Medical School Nurses’ Health Study suggests that social connections play a more important role in longevity than other well-known factors, including obesity, activity level, income level and smoking. While researchers don't…
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In light of the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) developments and government mandates, keeping clients safe is my absolute top priority.

The mitigation plan at Heather Lane Physical Therapy is based on the latest CDC guidelines. This includes disinfecting tables and equipment between clients, wearing a protective mask during treatment sessions, and washing our hands before and after each session.

All treatments are one-on-one with Dr. Donovan, and there are never more than two people in the office at any one time. These measures help to limit our exposure to disease while still providing the highest level of care possible To continue reading about how Heather Lane PT is combating the spread of infection, click here.