Welcome to Advance Physical Therapy, Inc. Newsletter
Every year, 108 million adults over the age of 18 develop a chronic musculoskeletal problem. A course of physical therapy would be helpful in most of these cases. However, in 2007, only 9 million people saw a physical therapist.. These facts suggest that there is a severe underutilization of care.
October is National Physical Therapy Month. All across the country, we take this time every year to educate the public about how physical therapy improves lives.
Some of the benefits of physical therapy care are highlighted in this month's newsletter. You will also find a physical therapists' prescription for healthy aging in every decade of life.
To Your Health,
Advance Physical Therapy, Inc.
Benefits of Physical Therapy
Physical therapists are evidence-based health care professionals who offer cost-effective treatment that improves mobility and relieves pain, reduces the need for surgery and prescription drugs, and allows patients to participate in a recovery plan designed for their specific needs.
Improve Mobility and Motion
Physical therapists are experts in improving mobility and motion. Pain-free movement is crucial to your quality of daily life, your ability to earn a living, your ability to pursue your favorite leisure activities, and so much more.
- Movement is essential to physical activity, which is necessary to prevent obesity, which is responsible for at least 18% of adult deaths.
- Mobility is crucial for physical independence, and studies suggest that walking alone can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, hip fracture, and knee arthritis, among other benefits.
- Consistent movement is vital to maintaining a healthy balance system, which can help prevent costly falls.
Avoid Surgery and Prescription Drugs
While surgery and prescription drugs can be the best course of treatment for certain diagnoses, there is increasing evidence demonstrating that conservative treatments like physical therapy can be equally effective (and cheaper) for many conditions.
- Low back pain is routinely over-treated despite abundant evidence that physical therapy is a cost-effective treatment that often avoids advanced imaging scans like MRIs that increase the cost of care and the likelihood for surgery and injections.
- Physical therapy has proven as effective as surgery for meniscal tears and knee osteoarthritis, rotator cuff tears and spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease, among other conditions.
Participate In Your Recovery
Physical therapists routinely work collaboratively with their patients. Treatment plans can be designed for the patient's individual goals, challenges, and needs. Receiving treatment by a physical therapist is an active activity where participating in your own recovery can be empowering. In many cases, patients develop an ongoing relationship with their physical therapist to maintain optimum health and movement abilities across the lifespan.
| Healthy Tips for Each Decade
Starting healthy habits early can help stave off many age-related health conditions. In addition to 9 things physical therapist want you to know about ageing, here are some decade-based tips from physical therapists.
2 Tips for 20s:
- Be active 30 minutes per day to make it a habit for life. Regular exercise in the present is a great way to keep serious health issues such as heart disease and diabetes out of your future.
- Did you realize bones begin losing density in your mid-20s? Then put down your smartphone and get up and move! Dance. Jump rope. Run. Weight-bearing exercises are key to avoiding osteoporosis later in life.
3 Tips for 30s:
- Feeling pressed for time? Chances are you’re being asked to do more at work and at home. But this isn't the time to cut corners with your health. Make sure you continue to eat well, get adequate sleep, and exercise regularly.
- Saving for retirement? Adopt the same attitude about your long-term health. Just like a financial planner can make sure you're putting enough money in the bank, a physical therapist can evaluate your current weaknesses and outline a plan to make them future strengths.
- Testing your physical limits? Many people in their 30s challenge themselves with road races, bike rides, and obstacle courses. These activities are an excellent way to stay motivated and active. But be sensible, too. Ease into new routines and allow your body time to adjust to stresses that could lead to injury.
4 Tips for 40s:
- Stand up for your health! Some inactivity researchers believe that prolonged sitting is so detrimental to your health that exercise doesn’t offset its negative effects. So get up from sitting at least once an hour, and more if you can.
- It's time to diversify. Does your exercise routine include aerobic exercise, strength training, and flexibility activities? If not, have a physical therapist evaluate you and make recommendations for safely addressing areas you’re neglecting.
- Women who experience bladder leakage after childbirth should know that urinary incontinence is common but not normal. It's treatable, too. Find a physical therapist who specializes in women's health.
- Don't start acting "over the hill." Sure, aches and pains may increase in your 40s. But that doesn't mean you have to live with them. Act your age by doing something about it. Physical therapists can often treat your pain without the need for surgery or long-term use of prescription medication. What are you waiting for?
9 Physical Therapist Tips to Help You Age Well
We can't stop time. Or can we? The right type and amount of physical activity can help stave off many age-related health problems. Physical therapists, who are movement experts, prescribe physical activity that can help you overcome pain, gain and maintain movement, and preserve your independence—often helping you avoid the need for surgery or long-term use of prescription drugs.
Here are nine things physical therapists want you to know to age well:
1. Chronic pain doesn't have to be the boss of you.
Each year 116 million Americans experience chronic pain from arthritis or other conditions, costing billions of dollars in medical treatment, lost work time, and lost wages. Proper exercise, mobility, and pain management techniques can ease pain while moving and at rest, improving your overall quality of life.
2. You can get stronger when you're older.
Research shows that improvements in strength and physical function are possible in your 60s, 70s, and even 80s and older with an appropriate exercise program. Progressive resistance training, in which muscles are exercised against resistance that gets more difficult as strength improves, has been shown to prevent frailty.
3. You may not need surgery or drugs for low back pain.
Low back pain is often over-treated with surgery and drugs despite a wealth of scientific evidence demonstrating that physical therapy can be an effective alternative—and with much less risk than surgery and long-term use of prescription medications.
4. You can lower your risk of diabetes with exercise.
One in four Americans over the age of 60 has diabetes. Obesity and physical inactivity can put you at risk for this disease. But a regular, appropriate physical activity routine is one of the best ways to prevent—and manage—type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
5. Exercise can help you avoid falls—and keep your independence
About one in three U.S. adults age 65 or older falls each year. More than half of adults over 65 report problems with movement, including walking 1/4 mile, stooping and standing. Group-based exercises led by a physical therapist can improve movement and balance and reduce your risk of falls. It can also reduce your risk of hip fractures (95 percent of which are caused by falls).
6. Your bones want you to exercise.
Osteoporosis or weak bones affects more than half of Americans over the age of 54. Exercises that keep you on your feet, like walking, jogging, or dancing, and exercises using resistance, such as weightlifting, can improve bone strength or reduce bone loss.
7. Your heart wants you to exercise.
Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the US. One of the top ways of preventing it and other cardiovascular disease? Exercise! Research shows that if you already have heart disease, appropriate exercise can improve your health.
8. Your brain wants you to exercise.
People who are physically active—even later in life—are less likely to develop memory problems or Alzheimer's disease, a condition which affects more than 40% of people over the age of 85.
9. You don't "just have to live with" bladder leakage.
More than 13 million women and men in the US have bladder leakage. Don't spend years relying on pads or rushing to the bathroom. Seek help from a physical therapist.
Healthy Tips for Each Decade continued...
5 Tips for 50s:
- See the world, and exercise, too. Traveling for work or pleasure shouldn’t derail your healthy habits. Physical therapists can suggest exercises you can do on the go, anywhere.
- Bone up on your bone health. Menopause contributes to increased loss of bone density, making bones more brittle and prone to breaking. The older you get, the more important it becomes to get the recommended amount of calcium and vitamin D, and perform weight-bearing or resistance exercises 30-60 minutes at least 3 times per week.
- Imitate a flamingo. If you can’t stand on one leg for 5-10 seconds, that’s a sign your balance needs immediate improvement. Don’t let a fall be your wake up call.
- Be active every day. The older you get, the more important it becomes to be vigilant about your health. Each week, you want 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity, 1.25 hours of vigorous-intensity activity, or an equivalent combination of the two. The best way to do that is to strive for activity every day.
- Get a second opinion. People in their 50s often experience the first major signs of aging. If you've tried to manage your health on your own thus far, now is the time to get off of the Internet and in front of a physical therapist, who can provide an expert assessment of your health that will be key to your ability to maintain your independence.
6 Tips for 60s and Beyond:
- Take the pressure off. Regular physical activity is more crucial than ever, but if aches and pains are making walking or jogging a chore, move some of your exercise to a pool, where you can work just as hard with less pounding. (Oh, and see a physical therapist about those aches and pains!)
- Get balanced. One-third of adults over age 65 are likely to fall each year, and those falls will lead to more than 700,000 hospitalizations. Unfortunately, too many people realize they are falls-prone when they experience their first fall. Be proactive. See a physical therapist for a balance assessment and a personalized improvement program.
- Preserve your mental health with physical activity. People who are physically active—even later in life—are less likely to develop memory problems or Alzheimer's disease.
- Maintain your intensity! Studies show that people in their 60s, 70s, and even 80s and older can make improvements in strength and physical function, which is associated with improved health and quality of life. But that can’t happen unless your physical activity is intense enough to produce gains in muscle strength. Don't do this alone. A physical therapist can prescribe an exercise dosage adequate enough to generate results.
- Strive for 60 minutes. Not the TV show! Set a goal to be physically active 60 minutes a day. You don't have to do it all once. Ten-minute increments count, too.
- Team up. If you're retired, what better way to stay close to longtime colleagues than to make time to walk together? Whatever the activity, doing things as a team will keep you accountable and provide social interaction.