For those who struggle with food, the holidays followed by the beginning of a new year can be overwhelming. The pressure to adopt (and keep) a new year’s diet resolution is heightened. Promotions for dietary programs are everywhere. There is traditionally lots of focus on the prospect of “looking good” – which is far less important than feeling good and being able to move well and live well.
In our first entry for our 2020 Mobility InSight with PTP series, we want to share just a few motivating facts about how a well-balanced diet impacts your mobility. We encourage you to use these facts to strengthen your resolve and make food choices that enhance the quality of your life. We sincerely value our patients and are committed to giving you information that promotes your well-being in a simple and helpful manner.
Here are 3 meaningful MOBILITY reasons to adopt and maintain a well-balanced diet: (In case it is helpful, here is a great link to what is considered a well-balanced diet.)
A well-balanced diet will reduce fluid build-up in your legs and ankles. Swelling in your lower legs and ankles is often caused by hypertension. When your blood pressure is high, your heart works harder. Over time, this extra effort can lead to the heart muscle becoming thicker and less effective. This allows fluid to build up in your lower legs and ankles, which causes them to swell up and often causes movement to become painful and difficult. Eating smart helps your heart and your mobility.
A well-balanced diet has a positive impact on arthritis. Processed (packaged) foods, sugar and sugar alternatives, fried foods, white flour products (like pasta, some breads) are all examples of foods that can cause inflammation. Inflammation, a major cause of arthritis, can be made worse when these foods are part of your daily diet. Reducing your intake of these foods can reduce inflammation and pain and improve your mobility.
A well-balanced diet can reduce the risk of falls and fractures. Though our bones can weaken over time, there is excellent data that shows us that the loss of bone density and strength can be reduced by making healthy food choices. When we don’t have a well balanced mix of calories, protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals (all often out-of-balance in fad diets), we compromise our bones (and our nerves and muscles), often leading to an increased risk of fractures and other related health issues.
To give you a healthy reminder of WHY making great food choices is a gift to you and your mobility, we made you a small poster that you can download HERE. Stay tuned for our next 2020 Mobility InSight with PTP segment.
Until then know that we are rooting for you, your good health. and your mobility!
The first snow in Southeastern Michigan arrived in a blast last night and has just about melted away. Though the snow didn’t last long, we are all now preparing for the cold weather months and for many the experience of increased joint and muscle pain.
To help you reduce the impact of the cold weather on your well-being and mobility, we want to offer you a few simple but helpful ways you can move through these chilly months with less pain.
1. DRESS IN LAYERS
During the autumn, we often experience a surprising blend of warm days and cold days. Unless you are an individual who pays attention to weather forecasts (and trusts them!), dress in layers so that you can adjust your body temperature with these shifts. The ability to easily add or subtract clothing can curtail extremes and the pain that can accompany them.
2. WARM UP YOUR MUSCLES FIRST
When you are about to leave your house and go outside, take a few minutes to stretch or walk in place to loosen and warm up your muscles. These simple movements can reduce the tightening of your muscles and joints as you experience the change in temperature – and as a result, reduce potential pain.
3. ENJOY THE BENEFITS OF A WARM BATH
A warm bath is soothing to joints and muscles according to the Arthritis Foundation and can reduce pain. It is important, however, to avoid going into the cold after a warm bath as this will counter your efforts quickly. Allow your body temperature to normalize first.
4. FIND A GOOD MASSAGE THERAPIST
In June 2015, The Journal for Alternative and Complementary Medicine, released a study that examined the impact of massage on knee osteoarthritis. They were able to measure a notable reduction in joint pain as a result of massage therapy.
5. USE GLOVES, HATS AND SCARFS
Though it takes a little getting used to, as the weather turns cold, make a point of using gloves, hats and scarfs to reduce direct cold to sensitive joints and muscles. This method for reducing pain is particularly effective for individuals with arthritis.
As we often say, take care of your body and it will take care of you!
Whether you’re hurting because of an injury, an accident, an illness, or the normal wear and tear that comes with aging, one thing is for sure; when you’ve got hip pain, you just want it to stop. While hip pain has a number of different causes, determining the cause is key to receiving the most appropriate treatment. Today, we would like to look at the two most common causes of hip pain, explore ways to prevent it and learn how physical therapy can help.
Most Common Cause # 1: Arthritis in the hip region results in pain, stiffness, swelling, and decreased range of motion. The most common type is osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease. Osteoarthritis is the excessive wearing of cartilage between the ball and socket, and the bone-on-bone contact causes significant pain and loss of motion.
Most Common Cause # 2: Injuries. The most common hip injuries include tendonitis, bursitis, contusions and sprains. These can be caused by a particular activity, repetitive stress, overuse injuries or some type of trauma. All result in inflammation of the tendons and ligaments causing painful movements, swelling, discomfort while resting at night, or possibly a dull ache and stiffness. The joint cannot function properly and without pain when there is swelling or inflammation associated with these injuries.
While there are factors that you may not be able to control, here are 4 powerful steps you can take to reduce or prevent the hip pain:
Physical therapy aims to reduce pain and help you regain mobility by building strength and increasing flexibility. It’s all about reducing the amount of stress placed on the joints. By strengthening the muscles around the hips, the joints get extra support and absorb less stress. Increasing and maintaining flexibility avoids any abnormal and unnecessary stress on your joints that often goes hand in hand with the loss of elasticity.
To learn more about how physical therapy, we encourage you to contact us with your questions.