In a world of high stress and high demanding jobs, many people are spending more time at their desks. In an effort to be more productive and meet deadlines, people are maintaining static postures to complete their work. This static positioning can lead to physical ailments such as increased stress hormone production, postural strain, decreased muscle mass and overuse injuries. The good news is that these issues can be prevented with a few simple changes!

First, take a break every 30 minutes from your desk.

You can set a timer on your computer to remind you to get up and take a walk, talk to a colleague, or get a drink of water. This will allow you to get increased blood flow to your body and will give your eyes a much-needed break from the screen.

Next, check your desk set up for proper posture! 

The ideal positioning at your desk should look like this:

 

An ergonomic evaluation may be necessary, and some companies will provide you with one and make accommodations. A pull-out keyboard can minimize wrist and shoulder strain. A hi-low desk can help you change positions often and a chair with good lumbar support can reduce low back stress. The computer monitor should be at eye level or slightly below.

Finally, do some stretches and exercises at your work station.

Some examples include chin tucks, scapular retractions, thoracic extension, and rotation stretches. Performing these activities will maintain flexibility and reduce muscle imbalances.

A few simple changes at your desk can minimize your risk of injury and pain. Remember, maintaining your health is important in order to meet those deadlines and be a productive worker!

For further questions feel free to get in contact with a Foothills Sports Medicine physical therapist near you!

 

Beginning a rehabilitation program may be a new experience for you, or perhaps you are almost done with your treatment. In either case, the success of your recovery is directly impacted by your participation in the process.

Attendance
The first key factor is attendance. Improvement can only happen when you are attending the therapy sessions that are recommended to you.

You must be physically and mentally present at your sessions to make the necessary changes for progress. Sitting on your couch will not help you run faster, lift more weight, or climb stairs! Developing a strong working relationship with your therapist and clinic staff can ensure that you reach your rehabilitation goals more efficiently and effectively.

Communication with Your Therapist

The second important element is open communication with your therapist.

At your initial evaluation, your therapist will ask questions about your condition.

It is vital that you provide your therapist accurate accounts and full disclosure of information in order for him/her to accurately create an effective program for you. After the initial evaluation, make sure you provide appropriate feedback regarding pain, exercises, and changes in your status to your physical therapist.

You should ask as many questions as necessary for you to have a full understanding of your condition and to be able to perform the program designed for you. The more educated you are about your condition, the more control you can have over improving it!

A Growth Mindset

Another aspect of therapy is having the right mindset. If you can adopt a growth mindset, then you will see your goals as attainable.

Maintaining a positive attitude in spite of pain, frustration, or lack of function is difficult, but may increase the rate of progress. You may even find therapy enjoyable!

Follow Instructions

Finally, it is critical that you follow the prescriptions, orders, and instructions provided to you by your physician and physical therapist.

Performing home exercise programs and following your therapist’s recommendations will be a key component for your rehabilitation goals. You will reap the rewards of reduced pain and increased function when you put in the effort on a daily basis, rather than the 2-3 times a week you attend therapy.

All of these steps are essential for you to have a successful rehabilitation experience. Success in rehabilitation is a continuum and requires a team effort amongst healthcare providers and you.

Ready to begin your journey working towards a pain-free life? Schedule an appointment with one of our physical therapy clinics today!

Rehabilitation after a total knee replacement surgery is a vital part of the process needed to get you back on your feet and into your active lifestyle. Once you and your physical therapist have developed a customized plan, it’s important that you stick to it. The benefits of completing a comprehensive physical therapy program will allow you to regain independence sooner, avoid potential complications, and improve long-term mobility.

Rehabilitation begins immediately after surgery—within the first 24 hours you will be expected to bear some weight on the knee, as well as take a few steps with assistance of a therapist. The therapist will demonstrate exercises designed to improve your knee’s range of motion and strength. The surgeon may also suggest the use of a continuous passive motion machine, which slowly moves the knee through flexion and extension.

Typically, patients can leave the hospital within one to five days. The criteria for discharge usually consists of being able to get in and out of bed, walking short distances with assistive device, flexing the knee 80-90 degrees, dressing, and bathing—all with only minimal pain or supervision.

Before discharge, your surgeon will direct you on how to take your prescribed pain management medications and on the use of a compression stocking to prevent deep vein thrombosis. It’s important to follow all guidelines provided by your physician.

Attending physical therapy and committing to a rehab plan will fast-track you to your active lifestyle. Your therapist will work on improving your knee’s range of motion gradually and show you exercises to reinforce knee mobility. You will also begin quadricep (muscles on the front of the thigh) strengthening exercises so that you can wean off the assistive walking device.

Swelling is controlled through use of ice and elevation of the lower extremity. Patients typically see a gradual reduction in lower extremity swelling over three to six months. By the third month, there should be reduced pain, restored knee range of motion and strength, and a return to light recreational activity, such as biking and swimming.

Of course, individual recovery rates may vary depending on a number of factors, including pre-surgical health, age and comorbidities. Over time the pain level should subside, and in most cases you will feel near 100% after a year. However, it’s necessary to maintain contact with your medical team and have periodic follow ups to ensure a full recovery.

These are only guidelines for what to expect after a total knee replacement. Physical therapists can play an important role in achieving your goals, so stop by one of our conveniently located Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy locations. We work closely with your surgeon to help build a comprehensive physical therapy program so you can return to your active, normal life as quickly as possible.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is one of the most common causes of vertigo. This condition often leads to symptoms of room spinning, dizziness, unsteadiness and nausea. Most often, the symptoms onset suddenly, triggered by changes in head or body position. The symptoms can last anywhere from mere seconds to minutes and may be severe. This condition can be considered serious due to the risk of falling.

BPPV is caused by otoconia, often referred to as “crystals,” which are displaced in the endolymph (inner ear fluid) in the semi-circular canals of the vestibular apparatus. The semi-circular canals detect rotational movement of the head and are named for their location in the anterior, posterior, or horizontal canal. Eye movement, or nystagmus, is also often specific to anterior, posterior, or horizontal canal, changing what is, or can be, seen with different head positions. Some other common causes of BPPV can be head trauma, viral infections, or migraines.

BPPV can be assessed by a primary physician, ENT specialist, neurologist, or physical therapist. Testing for the condition ranges from oculomotor examinations, balance testing, positional testing, cervical spine screening, diagnostic tests including CAT scan, MRI, hearing tests, and VNG tests.

Treatment for this condition includes Canalith Repositioning Techniques, medications, activity modifications, and vestibular exercises. Your therapist may educate you in balance exercises, gaze stabilization techniques, and home management techniques including Habituation exercises.

If you experience symptoms that may be associated with BPPV, consider visiting your local Foothills Sports Medicine clinic for an assessment. Though there is no cure for BPPV, treatment is usually successful and readily available.