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Seniors, Keep Moving! Staying Active Through Physical Therapy

Seniors, Keep Moving! Staying Active Through Physical Therapy

As you grow older, your joints and bones age too. This could cause you to lose strength, stability, and movement. However, physical therapy can slow that process and keep our bodies in motion. 

Physical therapy can help older adults maintain and reestablish their independence, especially those who are managing long-term illnesses.

Falls are the most common reason why most aging adults require physical therapy treatment. Physical therapy improves functions you tend to lose as you grow older, such as flexibility, strength, balance, and mobility. Customized physical therapy programs ensure older adults can address specific and personal areas of concern while also increasing levels of function and preventing future injuries.

So, why should aging adults seek physical therapy treatment?

  • Reduce & Eliminate Pain
    Therapeutic exercises and manual therapy delivered through a custom regimen helps to restore joint and muscle function.
  • Improve Mobility
    Stretching and strengthening exercises will improve standing, walking, and moving ability.
  • Improve Balance
    Reduce the risk of hurtful falls through a custom exercise regimen to safely and carefully increase your balance to improve coordination.
  • Manage Medical Issues
    Address pain and discomfort from illnesses such as arthritis and osteoporosis.

Understanding the benefits of physical therapy is important to removing discomfort about making your first appointment; however, it is beneficial to know what to expect when you arrive at our office. 

Our team of physical therapy professionals begins your appointment with a consultation and evaluation so we can fully understand your current condition and health history. After we have discussed those, we will create a custom treatment plan based on your level of function, the amount of pain you feel, your strength, and your lifestyle.

Whatever your condition may be, we guarantee your experience at Albany Chiropractic & Physical Therapy will be positive! We pride ourselves on providing you with the highest-quality treatment. Contact us today to schedule your physical therapy consultation. 

Content from this blog post came from ASC Care.

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How Custom Orthotics Can Help Relieve Your Pain

Do your feet ache? Does that pain travel into your hips and spine? If you answered yes to these questions, consider getting custom orthotics. Orthotics work particularly well for athletes, runners, and those who spend a lot of time on their feet as they serve to alleviate pain and imbalance in your feet.

Your feet are the foundation of your body and custom orthotics help to maintain their structural and functional balance, while also keeping them stable throughout the day. As we get older, our arches tend to drop or fall, and when they do they are unable to offer as much support to the feet and subsequently the knees, hips, and back. 

The process of getting custom orthotics is easy. 

All you need to do is set up an appointment with your chiropractor or physical therapist and tell them about the pain you experience. They will then give your feet a quick 3-D digital scan. This is quite simple, as you’ll only be asked to rest one or both feet on a sensor plate with your knee bent. A computerized image of your feet is generated for the doctor to review. If your practitioner notices an irregular weight-bearing pattern, they will then fit you for your custom orthotics. 

You can get your orthotics in two different forms: orthotic shoes and shoe inserts. 

Orthotic Shoes are custom-created shoes that have your orthotics imprinted in them. Alternatively, shoe inserts are, as you might have guessed, inserts that are custom made for your foot. You can move your inserts into any shoe you’d like, making them more versatile than orthotic shoes. Which solution you use depends on your needs, doctor recommendations, and preferences.

While orthotics will likely decrease your pain, you should still schedule a follow-up appointment with your chiropractor or physical therapist to ensure the orthotics are working properly and meeting your body’s needs. If you are having trouble with your orthotics, this follow up appointment is an opportune time to tell your practitioner about your continued pain or issues.

At Albany Chiropractic & Physical Therapy, we offer free digital foot scans to help you determine if orthotics are the right fit for you. Take a pain-free step in the right direction and schedule your appointment with one of our medical professionals today! 

This article was written with information from PodiatryToday and WebMD.

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4 Reasons to Treat Student-Athlete Injuries with Physical Therapy

4 Reasons to Treat Student-Athlete Injuries with Physical Therapy

Sports injuries are common among athletes – both professional and high-school student-athletes. However, as a high school athlete, your injuries are a bit different because your body is still growing. The growth of bones, tendons, and muscles don’t occur at the same rate. Sports injuries not only affect your physical activity but also can cause stress, anger, and fear so it is imperative you take appropriate measures to tackle and prevent injuries.

Physical therapy has been proven to be one of the most effective methods to deal with sports injuries, especially because of the customized treatment each patient receives. Here are just some of the ways you can benefit from physical therapy treatment:

Guidance

ACPT’s physical therapists are well experienced when it comes to sports injuries. They can offer overall advice on how to prevent injuries as well as sport-specific tips. If you’re already battling injuries or soreness, a physical therapist will also guide you on ways to quickly recover.

Proper exercises

Through physical therapy, you can learn the best exercises and the ones that are right for you. This helps prevent new injuries and manage existing pain. A physical therapist will evaluate the level of your injury and offer you tailored exercises to help you recover fast.

Returning to sports activities

So many high-school student-athletes make the mistake of returning to full sporting activities when it is not the right time. Even though your body looks as though you’ve fully recovered, and you want to return to playing, doing so may eventually result in another injury. Seek the advice of your physical therapist who knows the severity of your injury and wait for their green light to return to the game.

Preventing future injuries

Preventative care is very important for every athlete. After all, you don’t want to get another injury immediately after your rehabilitation! A physical therapist can recommend the best protective equipment to prevent injuries depending on the type of sport, such as shin pads and orthotic shoe inserts, as well as exercises to help strengthen your weak areas and prepare you for games yet to come.

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5 Ways to Reduce Gardening’s Impact on Your Body

5 Ways to Reduce Gardening’s Impact on Your Body

Despite gardening’s peaceful and relaxing nature, it is often challenging on your body and can lead to all kinds of injuries and pain — such as back pain, knee pain, and pulled muscles. No matter how strong and fit you may be, frequent gardening will take a toll on your muscles and joints sooner or later.

Common Pains Associated with Gardening

Gardener’s Knee

Since your knee supports nearly the entire weight of your body, it is involved in most of your day-to-day mobility. The pressure placed on your kneecap during repeated or prolonged kneeling causes Gardener’s Knee, a common form of bursitis, which is typical when gardening.

Back Pain

In addition to knee injuries, gardening can also cause back cramps due to the significant amount of bending and shoveling. According to a recent Gallup poll of more than 2,000 adults, working in the garden is the leading cause for adults experiencing back pain.

Reduce Gardening’s Negative Impact

Despite the physical impact gardening takes on your body, you don’t have to stop enjoying the outdoors and tending to your plants! Here are some simple ways you can avoid the aches and pains that are associated with gardening:

1. Knee Pads

Kneel on a cushioned knee pad while working in the garden to absorb some of the pressure placed on your knee cap while kneeling. We recommend investing in a gardener kneeler like this one because its handles act as supports when you move from kneeling to standing.

2. Change Positions

Much of the pain caused by gardening is due to prolonged or repeated action, such as bending over and kneeling. Try switching positions frequently to avoid overextending particular muscles for long periods of time.

3. Warm-Up

Just as you would with any exercise or physical activity, it is important to warm up and prepare your muscles for the work they’re about to do. Take a brisk walk around your yard and gently stretch before you tend to your garden.

4. Use tools

Gardening tools, such as wheelbarrows, can prevent you from doing more than you’re physically capable of, like carrying too many bags of heavy soil.

5. Physical Therapy & Chiropractic

Address any pain you experience with your doctor of chiropractic. Physical Therapists can help provide highly effective and drug-free pain treatment to address any challenges keeping you from tending to your garden.

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10 Goals to Help You Focus on Health & Wellness in 2019

10 Goals to Help You Focus on Health and Wellness in 2019

Do you remember the fitness goals you set in 2018? These resolutions probably went something like: “I am going to hit the gym 5 times per week;” “I will do hot yoga at 6 am before work;” I’m going to cut out all carbs.”

When reflecting on the past year, think about your progress. Did you achieve these goals as expected? If not, you’re not alone. In fact, according to Forbes, only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolution,

When considering your resolutions for 2019, you can promote a healthier lifestyle without focusing solely on fitness or dieting. There are a lot of other wellness goals you can set that are achievable but make an impact on your overall health.

Below are some unique and manageable goals you can set for yourself in 2019 focused on wellness, not fitness.

1. Eat more fruits and vegetables.

Cutting out complete food groups can be a rather difficult feat. However, incorporating more fruits and vegetables in your daily diet is a simple yet effective way to promote disease prevention, longevity, and overall wellness. Try having at least one or two vegetables or fruits with every meal, perhaps even swapping out unhealthy choices to make room on your plate.

2. Drink enough water.

Drinking enough water helps to flush out toxins, increase your energy, boost your immunity, and improve your skin complexion. While the rule of thumb mandates 64 ounces of water per day, you may need more or less depending on your own personal situation, such as gender or if you are pregnant. Click here to discover how much water you should drink daily.

If you don’t like plain water, try infusing it with different fruit and herb combinations, such as lemon raspberry or mint lime. You can use a water bottle like this one from Amazon to make your infusion process simple.

Moreover, when you are considering your budget, going natural is best for you. It helps you save cost and at the same time promotes your overall wellbeing.

3. Find a workout buddy.

One of the reasons why people don’t stick to their fitness routine is because they do it alone. You can easily tire out and lose motivation when you go to the gym by yourself. This year, find a workout buddy to make your fitness routine fun and push yourself to achieve the fitness goals you set together. A workout buddy can also help you conquer the anxiety of going to the gym.

4. Practice meditation regularly.

Find a space in your home or office where you can meditate daily. Meditation doesn’t have to be you sitting cross-legged on the floor; instead, you can try journaling, praying, or studying. Meditation can help you recharge and stay motivated.

There are a variety of meditation resources, such as guided imagery, from iTunes. Headspace is one of the most popular guided meditation smartphone apps on the market.

5. Break down your goals into bite-sized pieces.

Be realistic and don’t try to do too much. Instead, break your goal down into sub-tasks and goals that are short-term and achievable. This will get you adapted and prevent the loss of motivation, while also ensuring you don’t hurt yourself.

6. Go natural for your bath and beauty products.

Some products that aren’t regulated can contain harmful chemicals. Consider swapping out your shampoo, conditioner, dish soap, and similar products with natural, organic versions.

7. Experiment with spices.

Some spices like turmeric, garlic, and cinnamon have a number of health benefits. For example, studies have shown that these spices contain antioxidants that help to lower inflammation. Experiment with different spices to create new flavors and promote a healthy lifestyle.

8. Eat more beans.

Beans provide protein and are high in fiber, which is good for your internal body processes and systems. Incorporate beans into your meals to enhance their health benefits. For example, add white beans to soups to make them creamier or add beans to your favorite pasta or “zoodles” dishes.

9. Keep healthy snacks close.

Sometimes you can get cravings for sweets or salty foods, especially is those items are typically in your diet. These cravings can tempt you to eat unhealthy foods, such as chips or candy. Keep healthy snacks close, like in your backpack, purse, and desk, to alleviate cravings with healthy ingredients.

10. Sip on hot water in the morning.

Start your morning with a cup of warm water, perhaps flavored with fresh lemon slices, to increase your energy level and rehydrate your body to promote proper functioning of your systems and organs.

This year, when setting your New Year’s Resolutions, don’t focus solely on fitness. Instead, consider overall wellness so that you can improve your overall health through manageable and achievable goals.

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How to Avoid Injury While Shoveling Snow This Winter

Shoveling snow during winter is unavoidable, especially in Upstate New York, and can sometimes be a risk factor leading to hospital visits. However, you can perform this chore without hurting yourself.


Tips to Prevent Shoveling-Related Injuries


▶ Warm up before you head outside.

In the winter, your muscles are forced to do more work because cold weather constricts veins and arteries that supply blood and oxygen, and there is an additional strain on your heart to pump more blood to meet the demand from your muscles. Do some quick warm-up exercises before heading out to shovel snow to get your circulatory system working faster and prepared for the winter chill.

▶ Don’t lift too much snow at one time.

A full load of snow on your shovel is heavy. If you continually pick up large amounts of snow, you’re likely to strain your muscles. Only lift small portions of snow, ensuring the weight is less than your carrying capacity, to avoid exhaustion or strain.

▶ Use your knees.

One common mistake people make is lifting snow without the support of their knees. Bend your knees while lifting snow to avoid putting too much pressure on your lower back and prevent injury. If possible, push the snow, rather than lift it, off your walkways with a shovel.

▶ Bundle up to prevent hypothermia.

Prevent your body temperature from falling dangerously low by wearing proper clothing, including insulated coats, waterproof gloves, and warm boots with a lot of traction. Take regular breaks to go inside, warm up, and complete a quick exercise to move your muscles.

▶ Invest in an ergonomic shovel.

Prevent back strain and other injuries by investing in your snow removing equipment. While snowblowers are ideal, they can be expensive. As a back-friendly alternative, invest in an ergonomic shovel, such as this one at Target.

Handling an Injury

Never ignore pains. If you notice anything abnormal while shoveling snow, stop immediately and get back indoors. If you experience ongoing to persistent pain, schedule an appointment with our ACPT staff so that we can evaluate your situation, increase the rate at which you heal, and provide additional tools to prevent injuries in the future.

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Strength Training Critical for Active, Independent Aging

To the 43 million Americans who have low bone density, putting them at high risk of osteoporosis, Albany physical therapist Joseph Trimarchi has an important message: exercise is good medicine. But not just any exercise – weight-bearing, muscle-strengthening exercise.

“As people get older, bone density certainly becomes an issue for many people, which can lead to unexpected falls, broken bones and even the onset of osteoporosis,” said Trimarchi, physical therapist of Albany Chiropractic & Physical Therapy. “But studies have proven that doing regular, weight-bearing exercise like jogging, walking, aerobics, dancing and resistance training can actually strengthen your bones. It’s a true ‘use it or lose it’ scenario.”

And while this benefit of strength training for older adults is a powerful one, it’s simply just one in a list of proven reasons why seniors should make strength training a part of their lifestyles and fitness regimens.

While a reduction in strength is often considered an inevitable part of getting older, Trimarchi says that people of all ages should feel empowered to take charge of their overall health (including strength training) as they age. Along with diet and regular check-ups with both a physician and a physical therapist, an exercise regimen that includes elements of strength and resistance training can help slow some of the effects of aging – this, while also allowing one to maintain a high quality of life through activity and independence.

According to Trimarchi, the many proven benefits of weight-bearing and resistance exercise include:

Rebuilding Muscle: People do lose muscle mass as they age, but much of this can be slowed and even reversed through strength and resistance exercise. And of course, a stronger body has a direct impact on issues related to balance, fall prevention and independence.

Reducing Fat: We also tend to more easily put on weight as we get older. Studies show, however, that while older adults gain muscle mass through strength training, they also experience a reduction in body fat.

Reducing Blood Pressure: Studies have also shown that strength training is a great (and natural) way to reduce one’s blood pressure, even for those who “can’t tolerate or don’t respond well to standard medications.”

Improving Cholesterol Levels: Strength training can actual help improve the level of HDL (“good”) cholesterol in the body by up to 21 percent, while also helping to reduce to levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.

Strengthening Mental Health: This goes with all exercise, including strength training. Maintaining a high level of fitness can combat anxiety, depression, issues with stress, etc. Exercise is also great for memory!

“Whether walking, jogging, hiking, dancing, etc., we recommend 30 minutes of weight-bearing activity every day,” Trimarchi said. “It’s also necessary to set aside another two to three days of strength and resistance training each week, which can include free weights, weight machines, Pilates, yoga, and so on.”

Trimarchi adds that for the sake of both health and safety, a thorough strength, movement and balance assessment should precede any new exercise regimen, especially for older adults – assessments that physical therapists like those on the Albany Chiropractic & Physical Therapy team are uniquely qualified to perform.

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‘Why Movement Matters’ during National Physical Therapy Month

While the profession of physical therapy is often characterized under the generalized label “rehabilitation,” Albany physical therapist Joseph Trimarchi is eager to create a wider narrative – one that focuses on physical therapy’s overall ability to change lives by helping people move better.

“When it comes down to it, physical therapy is all about experiences. It’s about making it possible for people to live and experience life to the fullest,” said Trimarchi, physical therapist of Albany Chiropractic & Physical Therapy. “Movement – not just exercise, but the overall ability to work, play and live optimally – just so happens to be at the center of so many of our greatest life experiences.”

And with October being National Physical Therapy Month, Trimarchi and other physical therapists across the country are highlighting the many ways physical therapists are uniquely positioned to improve lives and experiences for people of all stages in life.

Physical therapists are highly educated medical professionals who are trained and licensed to help people both improve and maintain the ability to move optimally and with reduced pain. Often, physical therapists can help people do this without the need for surgery or prescription medication.

“This includes people who are hurt, injured or who have had surgery, of course,” Trimarchi said. “But, this also includes athletes looking to improve performance and avoid injury, older adults looking to remain active and independent, workers who want to improve production and comfort while on the job, women who are pregnant … all the way to people who simply just want to be healthier and less sedentary so they can better enjoy the things they love.”

And, while strength, cardio health, balance and flexibility are critical for maintaining functional abilities throughout life (i.e., walking, climbing stairs, lifting, reaching, getting out of bed), the ability to move optimally and be active, Trimarchi says, is something that can equally benefit the body, the mind and the soul.

The Body– It’s no secret that being active and exercising regularly can benefit the body in seemingly countless ways, from improving cardiovascular health to reducing the incidence of chronic disease. But beyond maintaining great health, exercise as prescribed by a physical therapist can benefit people in numerous ways, from helping reduce chronic pain to strengthening bones and joints in older adults.

The Mind – Multiple studies have shown that regular exercise can sharpen and improve memory. But for those with mild cognitive impairments, exercise can also help slow the rate at which people with such impairments decline. Exercise has also been linked to greater focus, improved learning for children and adolescents, and a reduction in anxiety and stress.

The Soul – Research has also shown that those who exercise regularly tend to be happier and more social than those who live a more sedentary lifestyle. Not only that, but maintaining a stronger, healthier body with an eye toward optimal movement helps remove barriers that may stop someone from experiencing life to the fullest, whether that includes exploring new places or trying new things.

“The greatest joy I get from being a physical therapist is helping people get to a place in their lives that they thought was either in the past or was unattainable from the get-to,” Trimarchi said. “Whether it’s helping a person complete their first 5K or making sure someone’s able to still pick up and hug their grandkids, my job as a PT is to help people experience life and be the greatest possible versions of themselves – all through better, more optimal movement.”