Your Non-Surgical Back and Joint Pain Specialists
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Staying Properly Hydrated In The Hot Weather

So, we all enjoy the beautiful warm weather in the Bradenton and Sarasota area! But do you know the importance of staying properly hydrated in the hot weather?

Water accounts for approximately 60% of our body weight, and every cell, tissue and organ relies on it in order to function properly.  Water is essential for a number of major biological tasks, some of which include maintaining temperature, removing wastes and lubricating joints.  Keeping the body hydrated helps the heart more easily pump blood through the blood vessels to muscles, and in turn, helps muscles work more efficiently.

Of the large amount of water in the body, only about 10% of it is in the bloodstream, and much of this water can be lost through sweating, our body’s natural cooling mechanism.  Exercising in any environment causes the body to sweat, and the warmer the temperature, the more sweat is produced.  Performing intense exercise in hot and humid conditions can lead to sweating up to three liters, which is more than half the water in our bloodstream.

Sweat evaporates quickly in dry weather, so only a small amount of sweat is needed to lower the body’s temperature, but in humid conditions, it takes much longer to evaporate.  This causes you to sweat more, and if you don’t replenish the amount of water your body loses, it leads to dehydration.  The main symptoms of dehydration are little or no urine (or urine that’s darker in color than usual), dry mouth, intense thirst, confusion, nausea, sleepiness/fatigue, headaches and dizziness/light headedness.

On hot days—especially if you’re exercising

The most important way to prevent dehydration when exercising is by not waiting until you’re thirsty or notice symptoms to start drinking water.  On hot days—especially if you’re exercising—it’s imperative that you drink plenty of water at all times.  Below are some additional tips to help you stay hydrated while exercising in the summer sun:

  • The exact amount you need to drink depends on your body weight, body temperature, type of exercise and weather conditions, but as a general guideline, drink several glasses of water spaced throughout the day; you are usually well-hydrated if your urine is very light yellow or clear
  • Water is the best option, but if you’re exercising at a high intensity for longer than one hour, a sports drink with electrolytes may also be necessary
  • Drink cool rather than very cold water, which your body will absorb better
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing that will allow air to circulate
  • Avoid drinks with caffeine, as it’s a diuretic and will make you lose more fluids
  • Try to exercise in the shade and avoid direct exposure to the sun if possible
  • Get in the habit of drinking lots of water throughout the day

It is always great to get outdoors and savor the sun with your favorite form of exercise, but it also requires a bit of caution while doing so.  Keep these pointers in mind and avoid any heat-related complications like dehydration, and for any injuries or pain you may be experiencing, Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida in Bradenton, FL can help.  Call us at 941-264-1414 to schedule an appointment.

Happy mother's day floral clip art

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother's Day!We want to wish all mothers a Happy Mother’s Day!  At Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida we keep the interests and concerns of mothers of all ages in mind year-round.  In honor of Mother’s Day, we’d like to remind our patients of how we can address any issues with women’s health in Bradenton, FL that you might have, especially if you happen to be a new mother.

Becoming a new mom

Being pregnant and becoming a new mother certainly comes with its share of changes and possible difficulties.  A common problem that many women experience during pregnancy is back or neck pain that results from carrying around the extra body weight.  This pain usually subsides within a few weeks after the baby has been born, but it can often return as a result of repetitive lifting and carrying your infant around.  Although this may not be much weight in the first few months, it’s an action that’s performed on a regular basis, and eventually your baby will grow and place even more added weight on your spine.  Over time, this repetitive stress on the body can go on to cause spinal pain.

Preventing spinal pain

One of the most effective ways to reduce your chances of developing back or neck pain after giving birth is to ensure you’re using proper technique when lifting your child.  We recommend the following tips:

  • To pick up your child from the floor, bend at the knees—keeping your back straight—squat down, tighten your stomach muscles and lift with your legs
  • Bring your child close to your chest before lifting and don’t outstretch your arms
  • Avoid twisting your body when holding your child

Another way to prevent spinal pain is to perform strengthening and stretching exercises for the hips, back and core muscles. Keeping these areas flexible and strong will better prepare your body for the load of carrying your baby on a regular basis.  We strongly advise exercise for this purpose and also to help new mothers lose the dreaded “baby weight” that is often unavoidable.  Be sure to speak with your doctor before starting up any exercise again, but most mothers can get active within a week or so after giving birth.  As experts in women’s health in Boston, we can assist with the following:

  • Our physical therapists can offer general guidance or create a specific program to get you back into your favorite physical activities
  • We recommend a combination of aerobic activities like brisk walking, biking or even jogging, as well as weight training (you can even use your baby!)
  • When exercising, be sure to never overdo it and progress gradually, drink lots of fluids to stay hydrated at all times, wear a supportive bra and stop if you feel pain

Our services for women’s health in Bradenton don’t end with new mothers.  We can also offer assistance to all mothers trying to get active, no matter their physical condition or age.  For aging mothers, staying in optimal shape can become difficult.  As we age, our muscles become shorter and lose their elasticity, and the structure of our bones also changes.  Together, this can cause pain and reduce flexibility, which will make it a challenge to move normally and keep physically active.  This is why we encourage older mothers to stretch on a regular basis to slow down or even stop this loss of flexibility:

  • Try to stretch 2-3 days per week to maintain your flexibility, and 4-5 days per week to improve it
  • Try to stretch out all areas of your body, and alternate on different days
  • Don’t bounce or hold your breath while stretching, and remember that the stretch should be gentle and not cause you any pain
  • Our physical therapists can in this process by developing a personalized stretching program to help you get and stay limber

As a mother, it’s your natural tendency to put your children first and ensure that they are taken care of.  At Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida, it’s time to let us help you with any concerns with women’s health in Bradenton, FL you may have and return the favor.  Contact us at 941-264-1414 to schedule an appointment, or click here for some additional stretches.

 

Reduce Sitting Time – Let’s Stand Up

Reduce sitting time- Let's Stand Up
Let’s Stand Up!

In modern society, we sure do quite a bit of sitting.  Actually, as you’re reading this right now, there’s an extremely high chance that you’re doing so while seated.  It’s not rare and it’s not your fault, but most of us seem to be spending most of our waking hours sitting, and it may be one of the worst things out there for our health. Why you should stand Up?

Health professionals have always known that too much sitting is bad for our health, but research is starting to emerge on a regular basis on just how bad it may be.  Studies have linked excessive sitting to a number of health concerns, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that includes increased blood pressure and blood sugar, and abnormal cholesterol levels.

Bad posture and the common “craning” over a computer screen are also known to cause neck and back pain, while the overall lack of activity can lead to slower brain function due to less oxygen and blood flow.  To make matters even more morbid, too much sitting has been found to increase the odds of cancer risk and untimely death.

Experts are not exactly sure why sitting for extended periods of time can lead to some of these nasty effects, but it’s likely due to the fact that sitting stalls many of the important bodily processes necessary for breaking down fats and sugars.  Some people who sit too frequently also don’t get much exercise and have poor diets.

Unfortunately, getting the recommended 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five times a week will help, but won’t offset these risks.  The only solution seems to be standing and moving rather than sitting as much as possible throughout the day.  Here are some suggestions to help you get out of your seat and stand up:

  • Consider one of the many alternatives for a standard desk: use an exercise ball or backless stool to work core muscles, a stand-up desk, or if you’re bold enough, try a putting your desk in front of a treadmill
  • At work, try to stand up and walk around any chance you get; visit coworkers in person instead of e-mailing/calling them, have walking meetings rather than in an office, and do some cardio whenever possible
  • If you work at home (or if possible at the office) take quick breaks every so often to do some yoga or other exercises to keep the blood flowing

    Reduce sitting time- Let's Stand Up
    Do Some Yoga
  • Park as far away as possible, use the stairs instead of the elevator, and always try to squeeze in some extra walking wherever you go
  • After dinner, instead of turning the TV, go for a walk with your family
  • When you do watch TV at home, try getting up during each commercial break or standing and doing chores or exercises for most of the time

Our bodies were built for moving about regularly and staying active, not for sitting most of our lives away.  For more information on how you can stand more or for assistance with any aches or pains, Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida in Bradenton, FL can help.  Call 941-264-1414 to schedule an appointment.

Choose A Physical Therapist Wisely

So, you’ve been experiencing pain or mobility issues, or maybe you’re scheduled for an upcoming surgery, and it’s now clear that physical therapy will be needed in your future.  This predicament may leave you asking yourself: what do I do next? Here is what you need to know to choose a physical therapist wisely.

The most important point you must understand as you navigate this process is that the power of choice is in your hands, and you have the right to select a physical therapist that best suits your needs and goals.  In the state of Florida, patients are entitled to direct access to physical therapy, which means they can see a physical therapist of their choice without a referral from a physician.  This freedom allows anyone seeking physical therapy care to research and explore their options before making any decisions, and it should help them feel confident in the choice they eventually make. Many insurance plans require a referral from your doctor in order for them to provide coverage for your services. Discuss your benefits with your insurance or call our clinic if you plan on attending for information regarding your benefits.

After finding a list of physical therapy clinics online and/or through recommendations from friends, your first step should be to make sure you’ll be receiving physical therapy from a licensed physical therapist and that the clinic accepts your current insurance plan.  From there, it’s up to you to determine which clinic offers services that are best suited for your needs.  For example, many physical therapists specialize in treating specific areas of the body or particular types of injuries, so if you have an injury or back, neck or knee pain, you may want to investigate physical therapists that focus on those areas.

In addition, there are certain components of care that will set one physical therapy clinic apart from the next, and make them a much more attractive option for you.  Your first visit should include a one-on-one appointment between you and your physical therapist, in which updated and thorough diagnostic exams are given.  These tests help determine the proper course of care and they are an essential foundation for the physical therapy that follows.  Clinics that don’t hold value in this step should raise a red flag for you.

Physical therapists should also never use physical agents like heat, ice, ultrasound and electrical stimulation alone. These “modalities” should be used only when in combination with prescribed exercises and other “hands-on” treatments in order to improve their effectiveness.  It’s also necessary that physical therapists progress and change the treatment program as time goes on according to the response of each patient.  All the while—and perhaps most important of all—the physical therapist should be engaged in an open dialogue with each patient, explaining the “why” and “how” of treatment and listening to their feedback in order to ensure they are both on the same page.

At Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida in Bradenton, FL, we pride ourselves on providing exceptional physical therapy services that feature the most important qualities desired by you.  We carefully plan our treatment plans based on the initial visit, which include the most effective strategies out there, and value the input of each patient as they go through the treatment process.  We guarantee your voice will be heard.

So if want to choose a physical therapist in the Bradenton area, look no further.  Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida, FL is your best bet to get you moving again with less pain in your life in a manner that’s ideal for you.  Call us at 941-264-1414 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

 

 

Physical Therapy Represents A Safer Alternative To Pain Medications

Alarming statistics on opioid use and abuse

Any amount of pain can be a nuisance to your life, especially when it lasts for a while. There are many options available to treat it.  One of these options is narcotics and pain medications like opioids, which are garnering loads of national attention these days due to the wide-ranging problems they’ve created.

The U.S. is currently experiencing an epidemic due to the over-prescription of opioids. Our country consumes more than 80% of the global supply of opioids.  The number of opioid prescriptions increased by 600% from 1997-2007.

These shocking figures show just how big of a problem opioid use is in the U.S. There are many patients that truly need opioids because they are in pain that can’t be treated with anything else, there are many others who use them for the wrong reasons.  These individuals are usually looking for a “magic bullet” to immediately fix them, and opioids can often give them the most immediate short-term relieve, even if it doesn’t solve their problem.  In other cases, patients are prescribed opioids to help them deal with pain following surgery.  Sadly, this can also have some negative effects.

Studies have shown that patients who continue to use opioids after surgery have worse outcomes than those who don’t.  This has been seen with a greater number of symptoms, more stress, more disability and higher tolerance for opioids.  This higher tolerance for opioids is very dangerous and can lead to addiction if the drugs are taken for long enough.  This is why many people who are prescribed opioids after surgery or for an injury eventually develop addictions.  They often get too reliant on the drugs during their recovery to mask their symptoms, and aren’t able to stop taking them afterwards.

How physical therapy approaches the problem from a different angle

Physical therapy, on the other hand, offers a wide range of possible benefits that far outweigh any risks involved.  This is primarily because all good physical therapy Doctors are always focused on finding the origin of a patient’s pain and properly addressing it.

Unlike narcotics, which are only meant to mask someone’s perception of pain, physical therapists treat pain by improving the mobility and stability of painful the area.  In effect, this leads to a far superior long-term solution.

Physical therapy is not a temporary solution.  It’s the best possible option for managing your pain; however, not all physical therapy Doctors and physical therapy practices are the same.  The most important factor in choosing a practice should not be the proximity of the facility to your home or work, which does not guarantee good services.  Instead, one critical detail is to make sure that most of the physical therapists at the clinic are licensed Physical Therapy Doctors.  This means that they have each completed at least 6-7 years of education and several clinical rotations before passing their licensing exam, and therefore have the necessary experience to properly treat you.

At Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida, we are committed to Helping You Move Without Pain.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us at 941-264-1414.