Core training is one of the most popular concepts in the field of fitness and physical therapy. Core stability training is often associated with strengthening your abdominal muscles — the “abs.” The ab muscles play a very important role, but the core also includes multiple muscles in he mid-lower back, pelvic floor, hips and buttocks. This ring of muscles, or the “internal belt,” holds us up during the day, reducing falls, decreasing back pain and improving posture and even bladder control.
The popularity of the foam roller has been growing so steadily in the world of fitness that it is often used as a cure-all for many different conditions. It is a great tool for increasing mobility of the spine and soft tissue if used correctly. If it’s not used the right way, you could be doing more harm than good.
Golf is a popular sports activity. Unlike most sports, it can be played throughout the golden years, if you can stay in shape and avoid injury. The American Physical Therapy Association says that older golfers often forget that while their passion for the game remains high, their bodies have aged. As we age, we lose flexibility, muscle mass and strength. Because the golf swing’s extreme bending and twisting movements are not natural for the body, senior golfers are at a greater risk of injury.
The majority of patients who come into my office do not realize they lock or hyper-extend their knees while standing or walking. They often do this out of habit or because of weakness. Generally, locking your knees transfers stress from supporting muscles to the knee joint, compressing it. The result is decreased mobility and blood flow and increased friction that can lead to pain or wearing away of the joint.
Whether your goal is to reduce low back pain or slim your waist, adding exercises to your workout that engage your core can make a significant difference. The most important, yet often overlooked muscle that must be strengthened, is the transverse abdominis (TA) which is the deep, inner abdominal muscle that begins at the spine and wraps around your waist.
Weekend warriors often develop shoulder discomfort when performing overhead movements while playing tennis, baseball or tackling DIY projects around the house. The longer you suffer, the more damage can occur. Here are simple tips to relieve some symptoms:
The reality is most of us sit too much. A study published by Microsoft revealed that U.S. workers spend an average of seven hours per day on a computer — more hours than they sleep at night! Sitting at a desk for hours on end can result in increased muscle tension at the neck, back and shoulders. And if it’s not addressed, over time it can lead to spinal pain, headaches and even more serious symptoms —pain, tingling or numbness down the arms. Here are some tips to help you stay healthy behind your desk:
Diaphragmatic breathing is beneficial for your physical and mental health as it reduces stress, lowers heart rate and blood pressure. For those with pulmonary disease, such as COPD, the diaphragm often becomes weakened causing it to work less efficiently. A physical therapist experienced in pulmonary rehab can teach proper breathing to reduce anxiety, slow breathing rate, increase full oxygen exchange, and improve physical activity.
With a new year comes new goals to better ourselves. Whether you have been exercising for years or are just starting out, be especially careful to avoid injury. Loss of flexibility and of bone and muscle mass increases the risk of injury and slows down recovery.
Appropriate footwear is key to preventing injuries. So, knowing your foot type is crucial when choosing walking or running shoes. To find your best shoe type, stand in front of a mirror in bare feet and shift your weight, observing your inner arch.
October is National Physical Therapy Month and National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Physical therapy may not be the first healthcare field that comes to mind when someone is undergoing cancer treatment, but physical therapists can play an integral role in promoting a speedy recovery and in assisting a return to previous levels of activity following surgery and radiation/chemotherapy treatments.
If you are one of the 100 million Americans who experience chronic pain, know that physical therapy can be a safer alternative to potentially addictive medications. Physical therapy plays a vital role in helping to manage and overcome chronic pain through proper strengthening and flexibility exercises, manual therapies, posture and body mechanics instruction.
Knee pain while descending stairs is often due to the force on your kneecap (patella), which studies show is 3.5 X your body weight. If you weigh 140lbs, the force on your patella can be as much as 490lbs! That is a lot of stress on your knee, and the pain will be magnified if you have weak muscles or degeneration of the cartilage in the joint.
There is no better gift that you can give your loved one than taking care of your health and staying fit. Living well means that you will be able to enjoy your time together for decades to come.
Walking on an Underwater Treadmill by Julie Moon, Physical Therapist from the Oct-Nov 2016 issue of Generations Magazine, Hawai‘i’s Resource for Life
Avoid Luggage Injuries by Julie Moon, Physical Therapist from the August-September 2016 issue of Generations Magazine, Hawai‘i’s Resource for Life
Lumbar Stenosis Misdiagnosis by Julie Moon, Physical Therapist from the June-May 2016 issue of Generations Magazine, Hawai‘i’s Resource for Life