As a physical therapist, I can honestly say that there are few words as frequently said in my field as ‘sciatica’. So, then, isn’t it odd how such an every-day ailment can be so shrouded in mystery for most people? In fact, do you really know what it is? Sciatica is actually one of the most common forms of back, leg, and hip pain around, and yet it remains incomprehensible to many. So, as an early holidays present, I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about what sciatica is, what some of the hidden causes of this affliction may be, and how it can be treated. Ready? Let’s jump in!
There’s something about driving, isn’t there? The long roads, the beautiful landscapes, great music on the stereo, and back pain. Wait, what? Back pain? Yes, that’s right. While we all love taking long road trips with loved ones, or indulging in the much-needed down-time on our drive to the take out, driving can take an unanticipated physical toll. On that note, the festive season is upon us and it’s my guess that the gas tank is full and you’ve already packed your elf costume for a visit to grandma’s, right? Well, in that case, you best keep reading. I’m here to tell you all about why you get back pain when driving and what you can do to avoid it. Let’s jump straight in!
Stress can be a killer: from making you lose sleep, to raising your blood pressure and alienating loved ones, it can have a massive impact on not only your mental wellbeing, but your physical health, too. Stress places pressure on your heart, tightens your muscles and causes you to lose flexibility and mobility over time, too; stress can literally rob you of your independence in many ways. This post comes at a time where each and every one of us – globally – has had to deal with more stress overall, and juggling the COVID-19 pandemic, financial pressure, and trying to maintain our physical health, has been taking a serious toll. In this post, then, we offer you some guidelines for dealing with stress – we hope these tips will promote a better, relaxed lifestyle, a healthier body, and a happier you. Follow along and try your best to implement them throughout your day. Here we go!
What do you think about when I say the following: “Core Strength”? It’s natural to think of your core as just your abdominal muscles – surfer ‘6 packs’ and ‘washboard abs’. It’s natural to want that, too! But, what if I told you that core strength is something entirely different? What if it isn’t about having the perfect beach body or wearing a bikini like a model? What if core strength is about being strong… not so that you can pick up boulders, but so that you can stay mobile for longer? That’s exactly what this post is all about: we’re giving you the low down on what core strength is, why it’s important, and how you can achieve it. Stay tuned – here we go!
As the summer fades and the cooler weather sweeps in, the trees begin to change and so do our mind-sets. Whilst we may indulge in a few more takeout nights, or drink one or two more hot chocolates, many people also venture outside to do more outdoors activities. Hiking, walking, and a general movement away from the cities into nature seems to be a common theme for the fall months. With this general influx of interest in movement and fitness, we thought it would be a good time to give you some information on why being outdoors is healthy. We want you to know how it actually boosts not only our physical bodies, but our minds and mental wellbeing, too. So, let’s jump straight in!
Hiking season is here! As the trees change color and you start turning the heating in your homes up, many of us are heading out into the woods and mountains for intrepid hikes and camping adventures. And yet, how many of us do it safely? It’s fair to say that most of those who put on their boots and grab a backpack don’t really know if they’re doing things safely, let alone why it’s important to know if they are! Luckily, we’re here to help. In this post, then, we cover all things hiking – from bags, to shoes, to water… we’ve got it all. So, stay tuned!
Are you thinking of getting knee or hip replacement surgery? Ask yourself these three questions first!
So, you’re thinking about knee or hip replacement surgery… it’s a big decision. Alongside getting a mortgage, starting a family, and walking your children down the aisle, major surgery is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your lifetime. And yet… have you thought about it much? Have you thought about what surgery will mean for you in the future, for your family, or for your mobility? There’s a lot at stake. It takes careful consideration, and oftentimes you’ll need to ask yourself some hard hitting questions. We know it isn’t easy, and it can feel as though you just don’t know where to start. But, don’ worry, we’re here to help. Keep reading to see three of the most important questions you need to ask yourself before undergoing knee or hip replacement surgery.
As we move through these unprecedented times, we’re faced with new issues every day. These teething problems may include installing a hand-wash timer in the bathroom, packing the dishwasher more often, or planning meals further in advance than you normally would. One other problem that may not have caught your attention yet is back health. Working from home, and spending so much more time on the sofa or in bed, can wreak havoc on your back in the long term. It’s absolutely vital that you take care of your back and prevent low back pain from taking hold in your life. Luckily, we’re here to help. Take a look at some of these helpful tips to stave of low back pain and keep you fit and healthy as you tackle the other, non-physical issues around you
With all the changes happening in the world today – virtual doctors appointments, Zoom happy hour with friends, video calls for board meetings, etc. – we’re seemingly bombarded with a sensory overload. Technology has somehow taken the place of more traditional modes of communication during the COVID-19 era, and this can be frustrating, taxing, and downright confusing at times. There is a silver lining though: it doesn’t have to be so exasperating, after all. In fact, along will all these changes, the new technological influx in our daily lives may really be an advantage, if not actually on par with the non-technical equivalents. A good example of this is telehealth appointments with your physical therapist. You thought I was going to say Starbucks online delivery, right? That too, of course, but telehealth appointments with your physical therapist open a whole new world of possibilities! Keep reading to find out more.
Headaches can strike at any time – without invite or warning – and if you’re anything like the majority of people out there, they can often affect your mood, energy levels, and general wellbeing. For some, though, headaches can be more than a passing inconvenience, with pain and discomfort lasting for a much longer time than expected despite pain meds, rest, and other treatments. The truth is, the cause of these ‘everlasting’ headaches can sometimes be traced back to an increased intake of caffeine, general dehydration, and oftentimes posture. And yet, it can be easier said than done when it comes to treating them on your own, even if you do know the likely cause. In this post, then, we lend a helping hand with a few tips as to how to treat headaches that just won’t go away; we want to show you how you can get a pain free life back, right now.
The last few months have really been life changing: from increased time with close family, to frequent frozen pizzas and Netflix binges. We’ve all witnessed the world around us changing at an alarming pace and, if we’re brutally honest, most of us have been doing so from the comfort of our sofas. No blame, just fact. As the world has seen unprecedented changes, we’ve also seen changes to our bodies. Yeah, you guessed it – all that sitting has led to some pretty stiff muscles and achingly sparse fitness routines. So, I think you’ve probably guessed by now that this post is all about how staying active and healthy can not only help you achieve optimum health, right now, but can also prevent injuries down the line. Think of our upcoming advice as a friendly reminder to turn that TV off, get those trainers on, and to go outside and smell the daisies!
Do you ever feel as though nothing will ever help you get rid of your pain? Have you suffered for so long that you’ve just started to accept your pain as a burden you’re destined to carry? Many people feel the way you do, and these feelings are often compounded by the fact that everything you’ve tried has failed. Painkillers just cover up the issue, massages don’t work, hot packs only bring relief for a few precious minutes, and that brace… well… you’d rather get rid of it. But perhaps the worst thing of all is the fact that physical therapy has also not worked for you – you thought it would help you out of your pain, but it just left you feeling desperate.
Pain can make us do things we never thought we’d do. It may drive us to take painkillers every few hours, turn to ice/cold packs in frustration, or kick us into high gear in the gym or our yoga classes. It may even lead some of us to turn to injections. The bottom line is that pain has a way of turning the world upside down; it can push people into the arms of the strangest ‘cures’ just so that they may be rid of the discomfort and daily agony. But, how often do those solutions and cures really work? If you’re dealing with terrible, debilitating pain, how well is that downward facing dog really coping with treating the issue? My bet is… not very well.
Imagine getting ready for a 10K… new shoes, weeks of training, an air-tight exercise routine, high-quality snacks… you’ve got it all planned out. The big day finally arrives and you hop in the car to get into the fray. Excitement builds and you’ve got your eye on the prize. In your excitement, though, you forget the golden rule – the one thing you’ve been doing day in and day out for the past half year… you forget to warm up. 10 minutes of solid running and something in your leg gives way, you’re knee seems to cramp, your back compensates, and then the unthinkable happens: you’re sitting on the pavement, hand in the small of your back, looking at the dust left behind by those still in the race.
And what are you thinking while you sit there? Yup… “I should have warmed up.”
Sometimes it feels as though we’re living through a movie, not reality. For many of us, our daily routines have been trimmed down from trips to the office, shopping, hiking, time with friends, gym, going out for drinks, and date nights, to getting up from the bed and moving to the sofa… only to move back to bed when the sun sets. We’ve been flung out of our ‘normal’ into an unknown, sedentary world. And, of course, it’s not just your gin and tonic craving that’s not getting fulfilled – it’s your PT program, too. In the course of a few weeks, many of you reading this may have effectively stopped your physical activities and given up on doing your regular physical therapy routine. So, it’s time we wrote you a blog.
The good old days…, strolling down your driveway to wave at a neighbor and perhaps share in some gossip, meeting your friends at the local sushi restaurant for a bite to eat… we miss that, don’t we? Self-isolation and quarantine can be really tough on our minds, hearts, and bodies. We tend to see things differently and we may even start to become down-hearted, feel less energetic, and, in general, we may start forgetting what it means to stay healthy in mind, body, and soul. In fact, some of you reading this might be avoiding the scales like a plague because tucking into a bag of chips has now replaced your regular walk! Don’t worry – this is much more common than you think. So, we’re writing to share some thoughts on how to stay healthy and active during these unprecedented times, not only for your mental well being, but for your muscles, heart, immune system, and general physical health, too.
Remember how you used to be terrified of needles as a child? How thinking about the glinting needles probably helped you forget you were sick at all? Yes, we all know that feeling and remember it well. So, what changed? As we grew up, became braver, and started listening to our bodies a little less, our distrust of needles seems to have dwindled. Now, we run to the doctor for all manner of injections, and while vitamin B shots and flu jabs are at the lower risk end of the spectrum, many injections pose a very large, very scary risk to our health and wellbeing.
If your desk area consists of a sofa cushion, and low coffee table, then we’re taking a stab in the dark and guessing you’ve converted your living room into an office. And while that’s all fun and games, working from home can actually be quite stressful on your muscles and joints – despite the extended periods sitting down! In this post, we discuss the ways in which you can stay healthy and active while working from home. So, let’s adjust the couch seat, make a fresh brew, and get stuck in!
Have you ever wondered why your neck always hurts? What about why there is that nagging discomfort in your upper and lower back? How about the nagging pain in your shoulders, hips, or even feet? Well, all of those aches and pains could be down to one very important aspect of your life: your posture. Yes, that’s right. For those of you who have never considered your posture important, or who haven’t really given the way you sit, stand, or walk much thought, we’re giving you some advice: it’s time to take notice. Your posture affects almost everything about your body, from muscle health through to bone structure and overall mobility. It’s no wonder, then, that today’s blog is all about posture. So, get ready, sit up straight, and start diving into why your posture matters.
Stress. Six little letters is all it takes to make a word so full of meaning that few of us really know how to get to the bottom of it. Stress: is it that feeling you get when a deadline is looming, or is it what we feel when the chicken roast burns, the movie didn’t record, or we forgot to pick our mother-in-law up from the airport? Possibly, but could it be that it’s more than that? What if you haven’t been able to pay your mortgage for a few months, if a family member has been diagnosed with an illness, or if you simply can’t keep up with the pace at work? What if you don’t know how to cope anymore? Stress is all this and, perhaps, a whole lot more. In this blog, we’re talking about all things stress-related: what it is, what it can be, how it ultimately affects not only your mental health, but your physical health as well, and, finally, what you can do about it. Keep reading, because even if you think you don’t have stress, that ache in your lower back might very well be saying something completely different.
Most of us like to think we know ourselves fairly well – we know we’re happy when the sun is shining, when we drink a good cup of coffee, or when we spend time with our loved ones. On the other hand, we also know when we’re sad: we may have lost our favorite sneakers, hit a pothole, or experienced emotional trauma. All of that seems, in many ways, quite clear to us. But when it comes to physical injuries things can get a bit confusing. How do we know of we have neck pain, shoulder, or back pain? How do we know if our knees, hips, or lower backs are giving us problems? How can we differentiate between different types of pain? It often seems as if it’s harder to self-diagnose physical pain than it is to pinpoint heartache or joy. And yet, knowing why you’re in pain is actually the most invaluable knowledge there is for treating the root cause of the problem and, therefore, eradicating the pain itself. In this post, then, we’re talking about how injuries can be confusing, how we can tell if we’re really injured – and where we’re injured – and how we can clear it all up once and for all! Let’s jump straight in.
Winter has come and the snow is falling all around! That’s great for snowball fights, but it’s less exciting for the health of your back. Yes, you guessed it… all that fluffy white cotton wool means it’s time to get shoveling. What a pain in the neck, right? Early mornings, freezing temperatures, and a workout you’d rather not face. Yes, we know it’s a slog getting the snow off of your driveway, but we also want to tell you that it doesn’t have to mean your summer is plagued by back pain, neck issues, or frozen shoulders. There is a way around the negative effects of shoveling, we promise! In fact, there doesn’t need to be any if you take our advice. Start your engines because it’s time to dig into to some must-have shoveling tips, advice, and general information. On with the gloves!
Winter is here! Most of us have stocked up on firewood, cocoa, marshmallows, and blankets as we lay in wait for all the cold weather. We’ve even turned up the heating and removed grandma’s special knitted socks from storage. And yet, winter doesn’t just mean hot drinks and snuggles, does it? It also means fun! Many of us have also reached for our ice-skates, ski’s, or snowboards as the great freeze approaches. Hooray! And because of this, we thought this would be a perfect to time to talk about a really important topic: balance. Yes, that’s right, you can’t ice-skate, ski, or even toboggan without balance, but more than that, walking correctly, stabilizing your body, or keeping your skeletal and muscular health in check without having the correct balance can be… uh hum… a bit of a tightrope act. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this post we talk all things balance, from why you need it, to what happens when you don’t have it, all the way through to how you can improve it. So, let’s get some stability on the subject, shall we?
For Many Americans, getting in better shape is the first thing that comes to mind when choosing a New Year’s Resolution. With the beginning of a new year comes the drive to want to do something different and better than the previous year. New changes, new outlooks, and new workout routines are on the top of the ‘to-do’ list for the coming year. From starting CrossFit, to increasing your workout goals, getting in shape is outstanding for your physical and mental health, but as with everything, there is such thing as ‘too much’.
If you’re reading this, you might very well be asking yourself: “How do I get rid of my annoying knee pain?” This is a fairly commonplace question, as for those of us who suffer from knee pain it is usual to scour any source of information in order to find the answers we need just to stop the nagging, debilitating pain. The good news is, you’ve finally come to the right place… you’re not alone and there is help! In this post we look at why knee pain becomes a nagging pain, what the symptoms of knee pain are, and what can be done to alleviate the discomfort. It’s time to take action against knee pain once and for all. So, let’s dive in.[...]
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