Today’s physical therapy was successful by all measures: Your PT spent time listening to your symptoms, collected a thorough medical history, diagnosed your issue (tennis elbow), and sent you on your way with a bunch of exercises to do at home. During the appointment, you watched intently as the physical therapist demonstrated each home exercise and you understood the directions clearly at the time. There’s just one problem: Now that you’ve returned home, you can’t seem to replicate the exact elbow positioning that elicits the desired stretch. And the exercise handout isn’t helping.

To make matters worse, you’re headed out of town for the weekend and the PT clinic can’t accommodate you for an in-person appointment until next week. During that time, you have two options: Continue doing the exercise how you think it should be done and risk doing it incorrectly—and possibly doing harm—or not doing the exercise at all until you’re able to see your therapist.

Wouldn’t it be helpful if there was a way to show your PT what you’re doing—without leaving your house—so he could pinpoint the source of your problem and help you to adjust your movements for maximum benefit? That’s precisely the type of experience that telerehabilitation could bring to physical therapy. Being able to get timely and accurate feedback from a rehab professional can improve your chances of a quick and safe recovery.

Now you’re probably asking, “Why didn’t my PT tell me about this?” Well, telerehab is not (yet) a mainstream offering for physical therapy, but all signs indicate that more clinics will get on board in the coming years once they’ve tackled the regulatory and reimbursement issues. At some clinics, patients with certain diagnoses are given the option to schedule a “virtual visit” with their physical therapists. There also are a growing number of services that provide patients with a series of injury-appropriate videos—with clear demonstrations of the exercises that should be completed at home. This is just a sampling of the many ways that telemedicine will help to ensure that patients perform their home exercise programs correctly.

You’re probably familiar with the age-old notion that practice makes perfect, the very idea that proficiency of a particular activity or skill comes with regular practice. But in the case of rehabbing from an injury or illness, Vince Lombardi said it best: “Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.” And the hope is that telerehab is just what the therapists need to ensure that their patients adhere to their prescribed home programs and complete their exercises safely and accurately.

 

You’re sitting in your living room and glance at the clock: just five minutes until your physical therapy appointment is scheduled to start. You still need to lace up your shoes, grab your wallet, jump in the car and drive 10 miles across town. The walk from the parking alone will take five minutes! How will you ever make it on time?

With rapid advances in telehealth technologies, this scenario could soon become a thing of the past—at least for some of your physical therapy visits. Instead of racing out the door, it’s possible that soon you’ll be able to flip on a telerehabilitation system from your living room. While the arrival of telemedicine in the rehab world doesn’t mean that your care will be delivered entirely through a screen, it does mean that you’re likely to have fewer in-person appointments with your physical therapist.

While we still don’t know exactly what telemedicine will look like for physical therapy—or when it will become a mainstream offering—we do know that the benefits for both patients and clinicians are numerous. The #1 benefit that draws patients to telehealth services of any kind is convenience. Here are a few ways that televisits could make physical therapy appointments more convenient for patients:

  1. Saves precious time. Time spent traveling from the home, office or school to the physical therapy clinic (and back again) can really add up. While the time saved by visiting with a physical therapist virtually varies from patient to patient, who doesn’t need extra time (even five minutes!) to fold laundry, complete a homework assignment or answer the boss’ email?
  2. Puts more greenbacks in your wallet. Traveling to the outpatient clinic costs money— whether you travel by foot (sneakers and other appropriate attire), car (gas and parking), or by bus, train or rideshare service (fare). Other factors to consider are childcare costs and the wages lost by potentially missing work.
  3. Keeps stress levels in check. The details involved in getting to a physical therapy appointment can be stressful, especially for those with competing priorities like childcare responsibilities or travel barriers like unreliable transportation.

In today’s world of e-retailers and smartphones, convenience is important to consumers. Today’s consumers can use an app to have groceries delivered to the home in less than an hour or ask a voice assistant to play their favorite songs without getting up from the couch. Naturally the demand for a similar experience is spilling over into healthcare.

Beyond the obvious advantages of cost savings and convenience, telehealth technology would allow PTs to observe, guide and educate patients to ensure that they complete their home exercise programs and other rehab-related goals on-schedule and safely.

To access the complete mareting toolkit associated with this article, including a press release, social media posts, and shareable images, visit the PPS Marketing Resources page.

Is the source of your low back pain a mystery? You’re not alone: Nine out of 10 patients don't know the primary cause of their back pain. The problem is that most people seek treatment after they’ve begun exhibiting symptoms of back pain. While this may seem logical on the surface, we’re here to tell you that there’s a better way.

The key is to go to a physical therapist before you begin to see the signs and symptoms of back pain. I’m sure that right about now you’re asking, “Why would I do that?” One, because physical therapists are trained to recognize the physical dysfunctions that may one day lead to back pain. And two, because eight out of 10 Americans suffer from low back pain at some point in their lives, so the chances are good that you could become a statistic one day.

Seeing a physical therapist on an annual basis is one of the most effective ways to prevent back pain from occurring in the first place. Doesn’t that sound like the better alternative? Great, now that you’re on board, let’s talk about what you can expect during that annual physical therapy appointment. The first time you go, your physical therapist will collect a complete picture of your medical history. During subsequent visits, it’ll be important to update your physical therapist about any changes to your health during the previous 12 months, but it won’t be necessary to review your entire medical history again.

Next, your physical therapist will perform an examination using a variety of tests and measures including a movement screen. A movement screen is a screening tool that’s designed to identify imbalances in your mobility and stability that may contribute to limited function or other impairments. This gives your PT the ability to see how your back, hips, core, shoulders, knees and ankles perform during a series of carefully selected exercises.

The information gathered during an examination helps your physical therapist to identify changes from one year to the next, a critical step in assessing your risk for back pain and a host of other debilitating conditions. If a problem is identified early enough, then your physical therapist is better equipped to discuss preventive measures instead of designing a treatment plan. And that’s how you identify the root cause of back pain and derail issues before they even begin. Mystery solved.

To access the complete mareting toolkit associated with this article, including a press release, social media posts, and shareable images, visit the PPS Marketing Resources page.

You know the drill: During your annual visit, your primary care physician will order a cholesterol test. Combined with an assessment of health measures such as diet and exercise, the results of the cholesterol test will provide your physician with the information she needs to make arecommendation. If the results are positive, you might hear: “You’re doing great, keep doing what you’ve been doing!” If the results are unfavorable, then you’re more likely to be told: “I’dlike you to walk for 20 additional minutes each day and eat cholesterol-lowering foods likeoatmeal.”

Over time, high cholesterol can cause fatty deposits to form in your arteries, putting you in a high-risk category for heart disease and stroke. Similarly, the cumulative effects of poor posture or a muscular imbalance, for example, can take a toll on your body and inhibit your ability to move properly. That’s where a physical therapist comes in: Annual PT “checkups” can catch the musculoskeletal problems that put you at risk for injury or limit your ability to function down the line.

Of course, it’s best to schedule your checkup before you’re experiencing a problem. That way,your physical therapist can establish a baseline based on your functional level at that time and use it to identify changes during subsequent annual visits. The effects of poor posture or a muscular imbalance may not be immediately apparent to you, but they will be to your PT.

An annual “checkup” gives your PT an inside look at your musculoskeletal system, which is comprised of your muscles, bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, joints and other connective tissues. It’s important that these essential internal structures are working together to support, stabilize and move your body.

Just as taking an annual trek to the primary care physician helps to monitor your cholesterol levels—and prevent heart disease—yearly physical therapy appointments allow your PT to identify and address any changes in the way you move before they become something more.

To access the complete mareting toolkit associated with this article, including a press release, social media posts, and shareable images, visit the PPS Marketing Resources page.

Recently we have seen a rise of diseases in children that in the past had only been seen in adults. Things like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure are being seen more frequently in children. One of the best ways to combat the rise of these diseases is to make sure that your kids are getting enough physical activity.

The Department of Health and Human Services has developed guidelines recommending that youth ages 6-17 participate in 60 minutes or more of physical activity 7 days/ week. This is total activity time, so 1 hour, 2 30 minute sessions, or 4 sessions of 15 minutes each in a day would all satisfy this recommendation. Most of this activity should be at either moderate or vigorous intensity.

An easy way to distinguish vigorous vs moderate intensity exercise is as follows:

Moderate intensity allows you to talk but not sing during or right after activity

Vigorous intensity allows you to say only a few words at a time

As part of the 60 minutes daily, it is recommended that children participate in muscle strengthening activities 3 days/wk and bone strengthening activities 3 days/wk. Some activities that would fit into these categories are listed below:

Muscle Strengthening Activities

  1. Games like tug of war
  2. Climbing playground equipment
  3. Push ups, pull ups, or sit ups
  4. Activities like crab walking, bear walking, or wheelbarrow with a partner

Bone Strengthening Activities

  1. Hopscotch
  2. Jumping rope
  3. Skipping
  4. Sports that include jumping like basketball or volleyball

To get and keep kids participating, physical activity should be fun and incorporated into playful activities that are age appropriate. Being involved in physical education in school is important, especially if children are not involved in extracurricular activities that meet the requirements. Summer camps can be a great way to keep kids active during summer vacation.

For more information check out:

  1. https://health.gov/paguidelines/midcourse/youth-fact-sheet.pdf
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/physicalactivity/facts.htm

To access the complete mareting toolkit associated with this article, including a press release, social media posts, and shareable images, visit the PPS Marketing Resources page.

Some health habits are instilled in us at a young age. For as long as you can remember, for example, you made annual treks in the family minivan to both the pediatrician and the dentist. As you entered adulthood, you probably transitioned to a primary care physician, and maybe even a different dentist better equipped to address adult needs. Anytime you’ve moved or switched insurance carriers, one of your first priorities has been to track down new providers. Now you may even choose to schedule visits more than once a year, when necessary. You probably figure that between the two healthcare professionals, all of your health needs are covered, right?

As it turns out, these healthcare professionals aren’t specifically trained to assess your musculoskeletal system, which is comprised of your muscles, bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, joints and other connective tissues. Then who is the right healthcare professional to ensure that these essential internal structures are working properly and helping to support, stabilize and move your body? A physical therapist.
At a yearly physical therapy “checkup,” your PT will gather your medical history and observe as you participate in screening tests and other assessments to establish a baseline of your physical abilities, fitness level and personal health. Physical therapists are educated on how your musculoskeletal system functions properly and are trained to identify dysfunctions before they grow into bigger problems.

To maximize the encounter with your physical therapist, it’s important to be prepared before your appointment. To ensure that you cover everything and address any issues you may be having, make a list that includes:
• Health issues like diabetes or high blood pressure • Current medications, including supplements • Physical fitness activities • New activities you’re considering • Fitness goals
The information exchange between you and your PT is critical to forming an ongoing relationship, and to ensuring that you’re functioning and moving at top form. By understanding what sports and recreational activities you’re currently participating in and the fitness goals you’re aiming to achieve, your PT will be better prepared to make recommendations and tailor a home exercise program designed to help you achieve your goals.

Making wellness a part of your everyday life and taking steps to ensure that your musculoskeletal system is functioning at top notch can be very empowering and rewarding. Why not begin—or continue—that journey with a physical therapist? Now that you know how to prepare for a physical therapy checkup, and understand what you can expect during the appointment, the next step is to call and schedule your annual visit.

To access the complete mareting toolkit associated with this article, including a press release, social media posts, and shareable images, visit the PPS Marketing Resources page.

It is becoming more popular for young athletes to specialize in a single sport. The advantages seem obvious. Putting in more time early and “outworking” the competition should lead to a better chance of success later right? Even though that seems to make intuitive sense, early specialization may not be giving kids the advantages parents think and comes with some risks.

 

The Advantages

The obvious advantage is skill acquisition. Baseball players use the off-season to work on hitting or pitching mechanics, basketball players work on their shooting, and tennis players might work to develop their serve. Specific skills like these do take time and repetition to develop. Athletes who spend more time developing them will likely have more skill. But what are the costs?

 

The Disadvantages

Focusing on specific skill acquisition comes at the cost of overall athletic development. Athletes who participate in many sports gain more athleticism and tend to have more strength, balance, speed, and agility.

Athletes who participate in a variety of sports give their bones, muscles, and tendons exposure to a wide variety of forces. Athletes who specialize early have more repetitive stress that puts them at a higher risk of injury.

Specializing early in a sport puts athletes at risk of burnout and psychological fatigue. When athletes participate in club sports, travel teams, or extra off-season practice for the wrong reasons or when they’re not fully invested mentally and emotionally, it can be detrimental. Athletes who suffer psychological burnout are much more likely to lose interest in their sport, or even worse - physical activity in general.

Lastly, research has not supported the idea that early specialization leads to long term success. In fact, it shows the opposite. A study of international athletes looked at the time that they began specialization. It found that the elite athletes played multiple sports during their developmental years (defined in the article as 11 and younger). Near-elite athletes specialized at a younger age. The study concluded that waiting to specialize until the athlete reaches physical maturity could be more likely to result in elite status. A study of Olympians came to the same conclusion. A 2014 survey by the USOC found that Olympians averaged 3 sports per year from ages 10 - 14, and 2 sports per year from 15 - 18.

 

Conclusion

Early specialization may lead to earlier acquisition of sport specific skills, but comes with multiple disadvantages:

  1. Focusing on specific skills comes at the cost of developing general athleticism
  2. Athletes who specialize early have a higher risk for injury
  3.  Early specialization is associated with burnout
  4. Elite athletes and Olympians tend to have been multi-sport athletes who specialized late, indicating that early specialization does not lead to long-term success

For athletes who aspire to play at collegiate or higher levels, specialization becomes necessary at some point. While the right time to specialize will vary from athlete to athlete, there are some guidelines.

  1. An athlete’s age can be used to gauge how many hours a week they should be practicing a specific sport (A 12 year old should spend no more than 12 hours a week on a certain sport)
  2. For most sports, waiting until an athlete has reached skeletal maturity is generally recommended
  3. Specialization should happen when the athlete chooses to do so, without external pressures

To access the complete mareting toolkit associated with this article, including a press release, social media posts, and shareable images, visit the PPS Marketing Resources page.

 

Let’s talk about the last time you—or someone close to youinterviewed for a new job. Chances are that the first step was a phone screen with your potential employer, and when you passed that portion of the process with flying colors, you were then invited for an in-person interview. At that stage, the employer probably asked you to answer a series of questions and to demonstrate your skills through a test or two. The process is set up in a way that narrows down the options until the most suitable candidate is found. Makes sense, right?

Just as job recruiters screen applicants to find the best fit for an open position, your PT will ask you to perform a series of exercises so that she can observe and understand your body mechanics to uncover any issues or limitations. Used in combination with a full evaluation and assessment, these so-called movement screens are just one tool in identifying the most appropriate treatment or prevention program for you. But unlike that test you may have taken during a job interview, the screen is not testing your skills or abilities, it’s simply a way of identifying how your body functions during a variety of movements.

Now that spring is in full swing, it’s the perfect time of year to make an appointment with your physical therapist for a movement screen. The warmer weather means more time spent outdoors participating in sports and other recreational activities that may be physically demanding. A PT checkup that includes a movement screen will ensure that you’re physically able to engage in popular spring and summer adventures, whether it’s exploring in the woods, tending to your garden, or swimming at your family’s lake house.

Physical therapists perform movement screens for a variety of reasons, including:

  • To identify areas of strength and weakness
  • To uncover issues or rule them out
  • To determine readiness to begin a safe exercise program
  • To improve sport performance (for both novice and elite athletes)

A movement screen is something that you can have done whether you have a nagging injury or are simply ready to kickstart your activity level after a long hiatus. Gaining an understanding of how your body performs during basic exercises such as squats and lunges helps your PT ensure that you can safely jump on a bike or into a pool this summer. And just like an employer screens candidates to identify the one individual who is likely to thrive on the job for many years to come, a movement screen can help you develop a lasting and fulfilling relationship with the activities you enjoy most.

To access the complete mareting toolkit associated with this article, including a press release, social media posts, and shareable images, visit the PPS Marketing Resources page.

 

Basketball is the most popular youth sport in the US. A study by the National Athletic Trainers Association found that 22% of male basketball players have an injury that causes them to miss playing time each year. 42% of the time, that injury is to the ankle or foot, making this the most injured area.

Some other common injuries to basketball players include:

Lower Extremity

  1. Muscle strains such as a groin pull, quadriceps, hamstring, or calf strain
  2. Knee ligament injuries such as ACL, LCL, MCL tears or sprains
  3. Ankle sprains, including high ankle sprain
  4. Ankle fractures
  5. Overuse injuries such as patellar tendonitis, IT band pain, shin splints

Upper Extremity

  1. Falls, leading to fractures, dislocation, or sprains of the wrist, elbow, or shoulder
  2. Jammed fingers

Head

  1. Concussion as a result from a collision between head and the ground, usually from falling

 

Knowledge of the most common types of injuries gives us a place to start thinking about prevention. While not all injuries can be prevented, there are some things parents and players can do to reduce the risk of being injured.

  1. Have an annual physical completed by a physical therapist or other qualified professional

    This should include baseline testing of strength, ROM, and a baseline concussion test
  2. Make sure you have an adequate base of strength and aerobic fitness

    The annual physical mentioned above should identify areas needing addressed here. Your PT or other professional can help design a training a program to address your specific needs
  3. Improve your balance and proprioception - this can help reduce the risk of the foot and ankle injuries so common in basketball

    This can be accomplished with off-season strength and conditioning as well as participation in injury prevention programs to work on jumping and landing skills
  4. Avoid overuse injuries and burnout

    Taking time off throughout the season and the year will let the body recover
  5. Hydrate adequately before and during practice and games

  6. Wear properly fitted shoes

  7. Be aware of the environment

    Especially when playing basketball on outside courts - the court may not be smooth and even everywhere.

To access the complete mareting toolkit associated with this article, including a press release, social media posts, and shareable images, visit the PPS Marketing Resources page.

You know exercise is important to your health. It helps you feel better physically, gives you energy, and helps you deal with the stress of your busy life.  

But what do you do when life gets too busy to take an exercise class, go for a run, or get to the gym? 

It’s easy to start skipping exercise when life gets busy, but that leads to less energy, and aches and pains cropping up. This makes you feel like exercising even less, and leads to a downward spiral. That means that finding time to exercise when life is busy is even more important.  

If you can find 8 minutes, you can maintain your strength even on your busiest day.  

Exercise doesn’t have to take lots of time. In fact, your 8 minutes don’t even have to be all together. You can break them up throughout the day. Doing one exercise for one minute every hour while at work counts just as much as doing 8 minutes of exercise after the kids are in bed and before you collapse on the couch. The following exercises use your body weight for resistance, so you don’t need any equipment. They also use many muscle groups at onces so you can maintain strength in your whole body in a short amount of time.  

  1. The plank; Lying on your stomach, with your forearms on the ground, elbows under the shoulders, and arms parallel to the body. Toes tucked under, engage your stomach muscles and lift your body up. Hold for 20 seconds, rest 5 seconds, and repeat 3 times. 

  1. Push up; (do on your knees if you need an easier version). 20 seconds of push ups, 10 seconds of rest and repeat. 

  1. Quadruped - Start on your hands and knees with your hands under your shoulders, and you knees under your hips. Lift and reach with one arm and the opposite leg, maintaining a stable core. Hold 10 seconds and repeat on opposite side. Repeat 5 times. 

  1. Bridge; Lying on back, with your knees bent, engage your abdominals and lift your hips. Hold 20 seconds, rest 5 seconds, and repeat 3 times. 

  1. Lunge; Stand tall and take a large step forward with the right leg, shifting your weight forward. Lower your body until the right thigh is parallel to floor and your right shin is vertical. (do not let the knee shift past right toe). Return to the start and repeat on the other side. Repeat 20 times.  

  1. Squat to heel raise; Feet shoulder width apart, core engaged and arms raised high above the head. Perform a squat and return to standing then rise onto your toes. Repeat 20 times. 

#preventpain #staystrong 

The posts on the Marketing Blog are intended for the use of physical therapists and physical therapy clinics. PPS members are free to utilize any content on this blog in their clinic's respective websites and newsletters. You can simply copy & paste from the blog itself or download the word documnent template from the Marketing Resources area of the PPS website. 

 

The joys of a family vacation can be overshadowed by the ‘pain’ of hauling excessive luggage, sleeping in a different bed and extended periods of sitting. Here are our favorite tips to keep you feeling your best while traveling so you can enjoy your destination.

Take breaks while driving

Every hour or two, stop and walk for a few minutes. It’s also not a bad idea to do some standing back extensions. Sitting places your spine in a flexed position, so moving it the opposite direction can prevent pain.

 

Support your back

If you’re going to be sitting for extended periods, like on an airplane, using lumbar support can keep you more comfortable. A lumbar roll, or small pillow works well placed between the seat and the small of back. Using a rolled jacket or blanket is another good option.

 

Choose the right luggage

Suitcases with wheels let you avoid lifting and carrying. If you’re flying, check your bags to avoid the overhead lifting. A backpack that can be worn on both shoulders makes a great carryon and is easier to handle than a bag you can only use one hand on.

 

Dress to move

Comfortable shoes and clothes let you walk when you have the opportunity. If you have down time, like waiting at the gate at the airport, or waiting for your hotel room to be ready, use the opportunity to take a walk instead of sitting.

 

Pillow talk

If you have a long flight, train or car ride where you plan to sleep, use a neck pillow. This helps you avoid sleeping with a twisted neck, then waking up in pain. If you’re worried about the comfort of the pillows at the hotel, don’t be afraid to bring your own.

 

Listen to your body

Vague discomfort is often a warning sign that you need to move!

 

Don’t take a vacation from exercise

Maintain your usual activity level. Research local exercise facilities before you head to a new town, take your running shoes, and travel with your theraband and foam roller. The more you can maintain your activity level, the less likely you are to end up in pain.

 

With these tips, you should be able to arrive at your destination feeling ready to enjoy your time with your family instead of in pain, stiff, or sore.

 

To access the complete mareting toolkit associated with this article, including a press release, social media posts, and shareable images, visit the PPS Marketing Resources page.

 

Chances are that you probably haven’t given much thought to how your neck and back are faring in the era of the smart phone, but studies show that you most certainly should. It’s practically a reflex these days to pull out our smart phones when we’re standing in line, sitting at the airport or riding the subway. And while it’s great that we rarely need to venture beyond our pockets for entertainment, our bodies are beginning to retaliate—and mourn the pre-texting days. So, what exactly are these contemporary conveniences doing to our bodies? A surgeon-led study that published in Surgical Technology International assessed what impact surgeons’ head and neck posture during surgery—a posture similar to that of smart-phone texters—has on their cervical spines. With each degree that our heads flex forward (as we stare at a screen below eye level), the strain on our spines dramatically increases. When an adult head (that weighs 10 to 12 pounds in the neutral position) tilts forward at 30 degrees, the weight seen by the spine climbs to a staggering 40 pounds, according to the study. 

How pervasive of a problem is this? According to the study, the average person spends 14 to 28 hours each week with their heads tilted over a laptop, smart phone or similar device. Over the course of a year, that adds up to 700 to 1400 hours of strain and stress on our spines. As a result, the number of people dealing with headaches, achy necks and shoulders and other associated pain has skyrocketed. Trained to address postural changes and functional declines, physical therapists are well-versed in treating this modern-day phenomenon, widely known as “text neck.”

Over time, this type of poor posture can have a cumulative effect, leading to spine degeneration, pinched nerves and muscle strains. Scheduling an appointment with a physical therapist can help people learn how to interact with their devices without harming their spines. The PT will prescribe an at-home program that includes strategies and exercises that focus on preserving the spine and preventing long-term damage.

Exercise is an important part of taking care of our spines as we age, but what we do when we’re not in motion matters, too. So next time you pick up your smart phone or curl up with your e-reader, do a quick check of your head and neck posture. Your body will thank you for years to come.

To access the complete mareting toolkit associated with this article, including a press release, social media posts, and shareable images, visit the PPS Marketing Resources page.

Are you among the millions of Americans who have high aspirations for how you’ll spend the extra time during your post-retirement years? Whether you plan to travel the world, pick up fly fishing, spend more time woodworking or sign up for a golf league, your physical fitness level will be a factor.

A 2010 study suggests that the fitness declines we typically attribute to advancing age are largely caused by living sedentary lifestyles—which are on the rise due to the prominence of desk jobs in the workplace and activity-limiting personal technologies including smart phones and voice-activated remote controls in the home. Still, this runs contrary to the widely held belief that any declines in our physical abilities are caused solely by biological aging. Do we really have control over how active we’ll be in our “golden years”?

In a word, absolutely. The study—which examined 900,000 running times of marathon and half-marathon participants aged 20 to 79—found no significant age-related performance declines in those younger than 55 years old, and only moderate declines among the older cohorts. In fact, more than one-quarter of runners aged 65 to 69 were faster than half of the runners aged 20 to 54.

And for those thinking that these runners must have been lifelong enthusiasts of the sport, the study revealed that 25% of runners aged 50 to 69 were relative newcomers—and had started marathon training within the previous 5 years. The researchers concluded that even at an advanced age, people in the “non-athlete” category who engage in regular training can reach high performance levels.

If this revelation is intriguing, then perhaps it’s time for you to get moving! If you aren’t currently active, then you likely have questions and concerns about where to start. And if you regularly engage in physical activities, then you’ve probably set goals that you’d like to achieve. Either way, there’s no shortage of tools and resources to help you live a more active lifestyle but one reliable place to start is with a physical therapist.

The benefits of beginning with a physical therapist consultation are many: PTs are trained to assess your abilities and limitations, consider your health concerns, demonstrate safe exercises and build a plan to increase strength, function and mobility. Whatever your passion is, physical therapy will help you be fit and injury-free so you may enjoy life’s many pursuits.

To access the complete mareting toolkit associated with this article, including a press release, social media posts, and shareable images, visit the PPS Marketing Resources page.

 

When the calendar year comes to a close, we often find ourselves physically and mentally depleted from the holidays and the end-of-the-year rush. It’s no wonder that three of the most common self-improvement resolutions uttered as the clock strikes midnight are: eat more healthily, lose weight and commit to a regular exercise program.

January is a great time to press the restart button and revisit our ongoing quest to be better versions of ourselves, and not just because the longstanding New Year’s Eve tradition tells us to. Each year, however, Americans struggle to turn the goals they’ve set out for themselves into long-term change. In fact, according to Statistic Brain Research Institute, of the 41% of Americans who make resolutions each year, just 9.2% successfully achieve their objectives.

When it comes to committing to a regular exercise program, don’t become a statistic! For those looking to make exercise a regular habit, enlisting help in achieving your goals is one way to ensure success. You might consider recruiting an exercise buddy (to make you accountable), using a calendar app to schedule workouts (to dedicate time in your day) or consulting a healthcare professional (to supervise your program and keep you safe).

Physical therapy is a great resource for those interested in beginning a new exercise program or overcoming a nagging injury. Rehab professionals are trained to assess limitations and dysfunction, teach proper body mechanics and prevent—and treat—injuries. Your physical therapist will ask about any issues you’re encountering, evaluate your functional abilities, gather a thorough medical history and discuss your fitness and activity goals.

One rule of thumb is to start slow—particularly if you’re trying a new form of exercise or haven’t been active for some time. And once you start to form the habit of regular activity, mix it up by engaging in multiple activities rather than focusing on one. Many lingering injuries occur because of overuse or repetitive stress, most often at the hands of participating in one activity—such as running or biking—exclusively.

If you’re experiencing pain, inflammation or weakness, make an appointment to be evaluated by a physical therapist. The movement specialist will assess and identify the cause of the nagging injury and teach you how to modify your behavior to distribute stress to different parts of the body and reduce the repetitive nature of your movement patterns.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean putting your resolution to exercise regularly on hold. Your PT can work with you to identify an appropriate fitness program, including the safest frequency, intensity and duration of each workout session. The best part? There will be no excuses because you’ll have all the tools you need to be make this your most fit year yet.

To access the complete mareting toolkit associated with this article, including a press release, social media posts, and shareable images, visit the PPS Marketing Resources page.