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Arthritis Awareness and Treatment

Doctor-diagnosed arthritis affects nearly 53 million Americans and is the number one cause of disability in the United States. Many people think it is something that only harms the elderly, but there are multiple types of the disease that can cause pain to people of all ages. As the month of May is Arthritis Awareness Month, we thought it would be a good opportunity to explore how this disease can be helped, and even prevented.

“Arthritis” is really an umbrella term that covers many painful conditions of the joints, tissues around the joints, and other connective tissues. It broadly refers to inflammation or swelling of one or more joints. Although it’s incredibly common it is by no means untreatable, so a diagnosis should be assessed by a pain specialist who can assist you with your rehabilitation and progression towards moving without pain again.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 32.5 million Americans suffer from this type of joint cartilage degeneration. You might think that the “wear and tear” of tissue would only be worsened by increasing your physical activity, but in reality, sometimes we need to learn proper movement patterns that enable us to be active without exacerbating the pain. It may initially seem counterintuitive, but The CDC actively recommends physical activity for people with arthritis. Our Certified Physical Therapists specialize in helping people correct imbalances, strengthen supportive tissues, and give their bodies a chance to recover without having to resort to medication or surgery.

The CDC’s Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. Here’s a starter list of joint-friendly exercises that also happens to be full of activities that are common right here in Manatee and Sarasota. These exercises can be broken down into multiple small sessions throughout the day to reach the time-goal of the guidelines. The CDC also suggests muscle strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms) at least 2 days per week. If you experience pain with movement these guidelines may sound implausible or intimidating, but Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida’s expertise lies in assessing a realistic starting point for your particular situation, and incrementally adjusting your program to facilitate progression out of your pain and back into moving with confidence. Our Physical Therapists know how to construct an efficient and safe program optimize your recovery.

The Arthritis Foundation recommends Physical Therapy as a means of getting you moving safely and effectively. You don’t necessarily need to go down the route of surgery or opiate drugs to deal with your arthritis. Schedule an appointment with one of our Physical Therapy Professionals to find out what they can offer you. You can call us at (941) 264-1414, fill out the online form here, or email us at info@ptdoctorsfl.com. We’re located in Bradenton, conveniently in range of all Manatee and Sarasota Counties. Check out our Client Testimonials and Facebook Reviews to hear from our many happy success stories. We look forward to crafting a treatment plan customized just for you and helping you get back to moving without pain!

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Has a Car Accident Left You in Pain? Physical Therapy Can Help!

There were 4.5 million medically consulted auto accident-related injuries in the United States in 2019 and close to 2000 traffic accidents in Sarasota County in February of this year alone. If you suffer from joint pain, stiffness, headaches, dizziness, nausea, or general feelings of weakness as a result of a car accident, it’s very likely that a knowledgeable Physical Therapist can help you make great strides towards pain and drug-free movement again.

Florida is one of ten states with Personal Injury Protection (no-fault) auto insurance. PIP covers 80% of all necessary and reasonable medical expenses up to $10,000 for “emergency” cases or $2,500 for “non-emergencies” resulting from a covered injury no matter who caused the crash. Insurance companies have strict deadlines for how long after an accident you have to submit your claim, so it’s best to start your treatment early on so that you have the required paper trail for reimbursement.

Whiplash and other back and neck injuries are some of the most common car accident injuries, in fact back pain is the most commonly treated problem here at Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida. Sometimes neck and spine related problems also cause headaches and/or generate pain that radiates down your arm, perhaps all the way to the fingertips. Our own Dr. Mullis specializes in the treatment of orthopedic injuries of the spine and extremities and has a full team of credentialed practitioners at your service.

Anti-pain drug prescriptions are the norm after visiting a physician who may not be well-versed in the particulars of restoring and strengthening movement patterns. Our Physical Therapists help you to move without pain AND help you make strides to avoid or eliminate the need for drugs. Pain medication often provides short-term relief but does not actually heal the underlying problem. Our Physical Therapists are experts in assessing individual situations and building a personalized plan of recovery. They can help you regain your natural strength, possibly better than before the accident now that you have an expertise-driven course of treatment.

Not only can physical therapy support the process of your recovery, but it also sets you up to avoid long-term damage by correcting problems early on before they set in as ongoing weaknesses. Even if you have been dealing with pain for a very long time, that by no means indicates that it can’t be significantly alleviated or even entirely removed, but it certainly requires a new approach else it would have already resolved itself. If you have yet to engage a physical therapy plan devised specifically for you, contact us today. Our therapists don’t force your body or your schedule into a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all routine. They are dedicated to helping you move without pain and would love to formulate a strategy crafted for YOUR situation. Please see for yourself what our clients are saying to get a real-world feel for our services, and keep up with our Facebook page for ongoing updates. You can call us directly at (941) 264-1414 or send an email to info@ptdoctorsfl.com.

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Why We Love Bradenton & Sarasota!

     Few places are more beautiful than Florida in March.  It is the perfect time to be outside, to breathe the salty gulf air, and just enjoy being alive! When everything feels this perfect, it’s actually hard to fathom why people ever leave! And not that there isn’t enough to celebrate, but March 2021 is an extra special month for our practice as we commemorate our third anniversary! A little over three years ago, our own Dr. Jonathan and Sonia Mullis moved here from snowy Boston, Massachusetts, so they appreciate the mild winters and amazing beaches as much as you do. In these three wonderful years of serving the residents of Manatee and Sarasota Counties, we have loved growing to be a part of this community. We’ve helped many patients to move without pain again and we’ve learned so much about the richness of our community and local features. What’s not to love?!?

When it comes to beaches, we have everything from dog-friendly to boat accessible shores. Florida’s coastline is legendary, and we have some of the absolute best parts right here in our own community. The internationally renowned Siesta Key Beach offers powdery sand and mild waves that make it a destination that everyone can enjoy. Picnic tables, grills, and a playground make Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island a great place for a family excursion. There are plenty of restaurants and casual dining venues within walking distance, so you can stay all day long. Manatee Public Beach has changing cabanas, drinking water fountains, and spots to play volleyball if you prefer to add a little activity to an otherwise leisurely day on the seashore.

To nourish your healthy diet, visit one our many local farmer’s markets. They all take the necessary COVID precautions and offer a safe and fun outing to gather some locally sourced produce, homemade apparel & jewelry, and creative arts & crafts. Visit early for the most varied selection, and don’t forget a hat and sunscreen so you can enjoy meandering amongst the merchant booths without having to take home an unwelcome sunburn along with your newfound wares. The Sarasota Farmers Market even hosts live music and not-for-profit events. Check out their schedule to plan your day.

Something that probably doesn’t get as much credit as it deserves is Florida’s flat terrain. Sure, mountains and hills are pleasing to the eye from a distance, but if you find walking painful, inclines, declines, stairs, and uneven ground don’t allow for the most pleasant stroll. Many of Manatee and Sarasota County’s trails are ideal for anyone who wants to be sure that they’ll only encounter flat, well-maintained, and easily managed walking trails. The preceding links will let you know ahead of time which ones are paved and how long they are, many of which are suitable for beginners and people dealing with walking difficulties.

Even if you currently experience challenges with walking or any other physical movements, you need not feel that it’s inevitable that you won’t be able to enjoy our great Manatee and Sarasota outdoors anymore. Our physical therapy doctors specialize in treating dysfunctional hips, knees, ankles, and feet. Our team is dedicated to treating you WITHOUT drugs. We’ll assess your specific situation and devise a strategy to rehabilitate your body through customized manual therapy, education, and exercises. Avoid invasive surgery and learn how to move without pain at Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida! Get the information you need or schedule an appointment by calling us at (941) 264-1414, email us at info@ptdoctorsfl.com, or send us a direct message here.

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Heart Health As We Age

 February 2021 is American Heart Month. Every year, we turn our attention toward the importance of strengthening and maintaining a healthy heart. Keeping an active focus on heart health can be especially challenging with everything from politics to pandemics demanding our attention and contributing to our collective stress level. Our cardiovascular system can also take a back seat to other physical problems, especially as we age and find our bodies feeling and acting differently than before. But this is a good opportunity to bring it back around to that special little pump that keeps us going every day and make sure we are giving it proper attention.

Cardiovascular issues are quite common: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention informs us that at least 30% of Floridians report that they have been told by a health care professional that they have high blood pressure. Around 2,200 Americans die each day from cardiovascular diseases. That’s approximately one every 40 seconds! But the truth is: 80% of cardiovascular disease can be prevented. Unfortunately, it seems that a lot of us really don’t take that to heart! A recent study shows that while 83% of Americans believe that heart attacks can be prevented, they are not motivated to do anything and 58% put no effort into improving their heart health. Don’t let that be you!

The truth is, the steps required to improve your heart health are so simple, most of us know them by now:

  • Quit smoking. Smoking offers no health benefits and can only harm your heart and cardiovascular system. Guidance and many free resources are available.
  • Integrate heart-healthy foods into your diet. There are tons of delicious and heart-nutritious recipes to explore with plenty of options for all meals of the day, as well as vegetarian and ethnic specialties.
  • Exercise regularly. More on this later…

Deciding to do these things is an entirely different discussion! In all of these areas we face habitual and lifestyle barriers to make adjustments in our everyday lives.

The most difficult of these adjustments as we age is usually having to do with exercise. As our bodies age, we feel less inclined to be active. But the truth is, it is more important than ever. Despite common misconceptions, your heart doesn’t actually “age” or get weaker automatically as you get older. It only gets weaker as you use it less. The good news is, you can restore it’s youthful condition as you start requiring more of it. This is definitely a gradual progression, (don’t go out and try to run a marathon tomorrow!) but with dedicated effort and advice from your health professional, it is possible to turn back the clock.

This begins with regular physical activity. This will help you lose weight, thereby decreasing stress on your heart and blood vessels. It improves general physical fitness, enabling you to more easily enjoy daily activities that might otherwise leave you feeling breathless or strained. Exercise lowers stress, improves mental health, and helps you to relax. It doesn’t even take as much as you might expect to significantly decrease the risk of premature death and cardiovascular disease.

Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida has a first-rate team of professionals who specialize in customizing fitness routines for individuals. There are no cookie-cutter programs or treatments to be found here. Our physical therapists possess both the educational certification AND years of practical, hands-on experience with clients presenting a wide range of needs. You need not be limited by pain or dysfunction; we can help you to move without pain and get you back in the swing of things.

Call us today at (941) 264-1414, email us at info@ptdoctorsfl.com, or send us a direct message. Our staff is renowned for friendly customer service and prompt responses to inquiries. Your non-surgical back and joint-pain specialists at Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida are prepared to ensure you have not only a healthy American Heart Month 2021, but more importantly, a heart-healthy future lifestyle.

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New Year’s Resolutions You Can Stick To

The beginning of each new year brings a feeling of a fresh start, a time to let go of the past and embrace your future with newfound hope and vigor. As we relish this time of euphoric optimism, we inevitably stack up a list of quality-of-life-improving resolutions. Nearly half of Americans make resolutions each year, so you are not alone! Unfortunately, fewer than 10% of them will maintain these healthy habits for more than a few months. Far fewer still are successful in making sustained positive lifestyle adjustments.

Not surprisingly, exercising more, eating more healthily, and losing weight make the list of the top 5 most common resolutions that Americans made going into 2020. No one would be astonished if they were right near the top of the list this new year too. We expect these will possibly gain in popularity when taking into consideration the fact that many people gained extra weight this year and were all around less physically active in the midst of quarantines and COVID restrictions. Given the state of our bodies (and mental health) nationwide, it is important we make these decisions for health and find ways to stick to them!

What is the point of making resolutions you are bound to break? Is there a way we can be smarter about this process to increase our chances of success? What steps can we take to increase the likelihood of adherence to our new ambitions? Here are a few keys to help make the most out of your 2021 goals:

  1. Set attainable goals. Make sure your resolutions are not so lofty as to be unreachable. There’s no reason to set the bar so high that you can’t make progress in any reasonable timeframe. If you have a big goal, try breaking it down into achievable steps. Even with the end goal in mind, setting incremental steps as mini-goals on your way to the overall desired end result makes it easier to chip away at what may be a long-term investment.
  2. Be specific. You have to be able to identify when you have and have not held up your end. Saying you are going to “work out more” isn’t easy to quantify. Goaling yourself to work out at least 15 minutes every day, or 30 minutes 3 times a week, is something you can mark on your calendar and celebrate when you achieve.
  3. Celebrate your victories. Tying a reward or an incentive to hitting your goal each day or week is a great way to keep yourself going. It’s very encouraging to hit those micro-goals, and it reinforces the fact that you’re on the right track when you can see measurable progress.
  4. Don’t be too hard on yourself. No matter what goal you choose, it’s not something you can do all at once. You have to take it day by day. Some days will be better than others. If you break your streak or fall off the wagon, get right back on it! Find that sense of optimism you have right now and go at it again. Success is not about never failing, it’s about how quickly you get started again.

Whether you want to lose weight or get in shape, setting yourself up with someone who has the skills and knowledge of how the body works will help you remain committed, and the encouragement of a like-minded person who has a history of success will bolster your resolve to fulfill the challenge.

It’s certainly difficult to commit to an exercise regimen when you have the limitations of back or joint problems, but you don’t have to allow pain or any other physical dysfunction to remain a barrier between you and a healthier lifestyle. Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida has the professional expertise and extensive experience to help you move without pain again. Our team knows how to construct a pain-free workout personalized just for you. Whether your pain was caused by an accident, injury, sedentary lifestyle, poor posture, or age, our Physical Therapists will assist you and get you back to a healthy, active, and pain-free lifestyle. We’re conveniently located to serve all of Manatee and Sarasota Counties. Give us a call at (941) 264-1414, email info@ptdoctorsfl.com, or send us a message on our Contact Us page today, and again, Happy & Healthy New Year 2021!

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Healthy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

The holiday season is a time of year when the busyness of event planning, vacations, and an abundance of festive (and fattening) treats abounds. Not surprisingly, all of that routine change also makes it a time when people commonly stray from their otherwise healthy habits and end up finishing the year having gained a few extra pounds. As we conclude 2020, let’s review some tips and strategies for staying active and healthy over the holidays and into the new year.

Remember to stay alert to virus transmission when around family and friends. All of the basics still apply:

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Practice 6 feet of social distancing
  • Wear a mask when appropriate

Of course, Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida holds your health as our top priority, so you can rest assured that your appointments with us will be conducted with COVID-safe practices.

With less time to commit to working out, it’s an easy temptation to fall into just putting exercise on the back burner and then expecting to get back to it in the new year. This will make it harder to start again when you resume a normal schedule because your body may lose some strength and calorie-burning muscle in the meantime. Because the holiday season is relatively short, you can likely retain what you’ve achieved by continuing to exercise even if the overall time spent is less than normal. Even a short 10 minute workout 2-3 days per week is far better than entirely abandoning your healthy habits, and will help you maintain some strength while burning a few extra calories. Our Physical Therapists are happy to assess your fitness level and customize a pain-free workout plan that will meet you where you are and bring you to the next level.

Consider substituting some traditional holiday foods with healthier alternatives. Highly rated Low-Fat Christmas Eggnog, No Bake Peppermint Fudge Energy Bites, and Healthy Gingerbread Cookie recipes allow you to still enjoy seasonal desserts while remaining mindful  of health considerations. Even non-dessert dishes can benefit by trying alternatives like Savory Pumpkin and Sage Soup, Hanukkah Oven-Fried Latkes, and Slimmed Green Bean Casserole.

There are many local Manatee and Sarasota County options for outings to view colorful lights and enjoy holiday music this winter season. A Taste of Chanukah, Country Christmas, Showfolks Holiday Circus Festival, and St. Armands Circle Holiday Night of Lights are very family-friendly events with festive food and fun. You can even take your well behaved, leashed dog in its holiday attire to A Night Before Christmas for a chance to win a basket for best dressed canine friend! For something a little more performance art oriented, you may be interested in Moscow’s Ballet Nutcracker or a holiday concert under the stars called We Need a Little Christmas.

You don’t need to allow back or joint pain to diminish your holiday fun. Our Certified Physical Therapy Doctors have the expertise to assist you with difficulty in walking, dizziness/vertigo, spinal dysfunction, and joint pain of all types. No matter whether your condition was caused by your everyday activities or by an accident, we are here to help you move without pain! Reach out to us at (941) 264-1414, email at Info@PTDoctorsFL.com, or send us a direct message at the bottom of the page here. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year!

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Stay Healthy While Working from Home

According to the US Census Bureau and The Bureau of Labor Statistics, even before the COVID-19 pandemic 4.7 million Americans worked from home, which is about 3.4% of the US workforce. Of course, that has only increased since the historic mandatory quarantines. Although many people have returned to commuting, plenty of others have found increased amounts of their job being able to be performed remotely. Remote work typically means seated computer usage, which lends itself to a host of common painful dysfunctions. Let’s examine a few of these problems and discover solutions to them.

Watch out for Weight Gain

If you consume significantly more calories than you expend through physical activity you will gain extra fat. Working from home can easily contribute to a more sedentary lifestyle that may lead to obesity. We’ve gone over some home-based exercises before, but for a more complete fitness assessment and routine personalized just for you, schedule a consultation with one of our Physical Therapists. They have the specialized training and experience to tailor-fit you with a safe and productive health-optimizing regimen.

Rest your eyes

Headaches are all too common with people who spend a lot of time working on a computer. Head pain deriving from eye strain may be alleviated by utilizing the 20-20-20 rule. What this means is to give your eyes a much needed rest by taking a 20 second break every 20 minutes by gazing at an object that’s at least 20 feet away. This allows your eyes some much needed rest to minimize the tension that contributes to headaches. Installing an anti-glare screen and decreasing the brightness and contrast and increasing the text size on your monitor can also make it easier on your eyes and consequently your head. The flicker associated with older technology monitors is also associated with light sensitivity induced vertigo, so consider upgrading to a new LED model.

Build an Ergo-friendly Workspace

Perhaps your seating arrangement is contributing to pain. Prolonged sitting in an ergonomically inefficient set-up exacerbates dysfunction, so let’s look at improving our seating arrangement. Some tips to improve your seated posture while using a computer are:

  • Sit at an adjustable desk designed for computer use.
  • Ensure the monitor is at eye level or slightly lower.
  • Have your keyboard at a height that allows your elbows to comfortably rest at your sides. If your forearms are approximately parallel with the floor and level with the keyboard you know you have a workable position.
  • Use an ergonomically designed chair that allows your feet to rest flat on the floor. Otherwise, use a footstool.

Take a break…and stretch!

Plan on taking a 5-10 minute break every hour to engage in a few light stretches. These stretches can be done while seated at your desk or standing next to it. Let’s go over some simple ones here:

  • Separate and straighten your fingers until tension of a stretch is felt. Hold for 10 seconds, relax and bend your fingers at the knuckles and hold for another 10 seconds.
  • Raise the top of your shoulders toward your ears until you feel slight tension in your neck and shoulders. Hold for 3-5 seconds, then relax your shoulders downward into their normal position.
  • Turn your chin toward one shoulder to create a stretch on the other side of your neck. Hold for 10-20 seconds, then repeat the other direction.

Call us for more help

Many underlying pain issues can be rectified through the guidance of our Physical Therapists. They can help stabilize and strengthen your neck, back, and shoulders so you can work more efficiently without the distraction of annoying pain. The tips offered in this article are only an entry level introduction to learning how to work without pain from home. For a plan that’s geared directly to you, call us at (941) 264-1414 or email us at info@ptdoctorsfl.com to schedule a consultation for a drug and surgery-free solution to your pain. Our clinic is conveniently located in Bradenton and is easily reached from all parts of Manatee and Sarasota Counties. Find out how we can help you today!

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October is National Physical Therapy Month!

 National Physical Therapy Month was established in 1981 by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) to raise awareness of the key role that physical therapists and physical therapy assistants can play in helping people find relief from pain, improve mobility and overall functional ability, and live healthier, more physically-able lives. According to the APTA, physical therapy professionals engage in efforts to “transform society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience.”

At Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida, we love physical therapy for the wide range of possible benefits that far outweigh the risks involved with the often over-prescribed drug and surgery routes that far too many people are willing to quickly adopt. Our non-surgical back and joint pain specialists are here to improve Florida’s healthcare and the health of its residents by addressing the root cause of their musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction. Our modern, well-appointed, and comfortable office serves all of Manatee and Sarasota counties and is conveniently located in Bradenton.

Physical Therapy is a health profession that uses evidence-based kinesiology, exercise prescription, health education, mobilization, and modalities to treat chronic or acute pain and movement impairments resulting from injury, trauma, or illness. It’s been scientifically demonstrated to effectively treat low back pain, knee osteoarthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and many other dysfunctions without the need for surgery or drugs. Pain medication is a common option for painful orthopedic conditions, but a good physical therapist will focus on finding the origin of your pain and work on improving the mobility of your painful areas, as well as the stability of the surrounding areas, instead of merely masking the pain with narcotics. By treating the underlying condition, they can often also preclude the need for surgery.

Physical therapy doctors complete 6-7 years of university training and clinical affiliations before graduating and becoming eligible to take the board licensure examination. Dr. Jonathan Mullis, PT, DPT graduated from Northeastern University in Boston with a Bachelors of Science degree in Physical Therapy in 2000, and obtained his Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT) from Simmons College in 2005. Dr. Mullis also completed a one year fellowship program in the Norwegian Approach to Manual Therapy at the Institute of Manual Therapy in Woburn, MA.

Jay McLaughlin, PT, MA has been a Physical Therapist since graduating from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy in 1977, and a Master of Science degree in Sport Medicine in 1986. During his career, Jay has developed expertise in a wide range of orthopedic rehabilitation, including post-surgical conditions, chronic pain, joint inflammation, headaches, neck pain, low back pain, gait dysfunction, Parkinson’s Disease, balance disorders, and vertigo.

Wonderful. Personal. Professional. Very caring. These are some of the common adjectives our current and past clients have used in describing our non-surgical back and joint pain specialists. We love hearing our clients’ success stories and about how we’ve helped them achieve the ability to move without pain, overcome vertigo, and avoid the need for drugs and surgery. Find out for yourself how we can help your joint pain or balance problems by requesting an appointment. Call us at 941-264-1414, email us at info@ptdoctorsfl.com, or fill out our message form today!

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Is My Back Pain Normal?

Back pain is one of the most common complaints to doctors and is a leading cause of work-loss days. Sadly, a painful back often brings limitation to social and physical activity and 1 in 3 people claim that it has an impact on their daily life. Around 80% of Americans will experience problems with their back at some point in life and it’s more common in women than men, but the good news is that it can often be treated.

How do you know if you should seek treatment? Sometimes, you just wake up with a sore back. Maybe you slept on it wrong or worked out differently than usual. Sometimes it goes away as we “warm up” throughout the morning and others it can last for a few days at a time. If your pain persists past a few weeks, spreads down one or both legs, or causes weakness, numbness, or tingling, you should contact us so that our pain specialists can assess your situation and prescribe a plan of treatment designated specifically for you.

Why is the back so commonly problematic? It’s complicated! Literally. Your back is a very complex structure made up of 33 vertebrae, (5 of which are fused in your sacrum and 4 fused in the coccyx or “tailbone”), 23 discs, 31 pairs of spinal nerves, dozens of muscles, tendons, and ligaments. There’s a lot going on back there! So don’t leave it to chance that it will work itself out if you’re suffering pain.

What are some of the causes of back pain? Back pain can be attributed to weaknesses or imbalances in the development of your muscles or it may stem from repeated incorrect movement patterns that developed over time, usually in order to compensate for a prior problem. Some pain problems might originate from pressure on a nerve or an incompletely healed injury. Poor posture, osteoarthritis, strains, and sprains are some of the many potential issues with which our physical therapy doctors are trained to work.

What can you do to prevent back pain? All of the tips that apply to health in general also keep your back healthy and strong. Make sure you are drinking enough water and getting enough quality sleep. Quit smoking. Back pain risk actually increases with the number of cigarettes smoked per day, so don’t smoke any. Building muscular strength and flexibility helps support your back, so exercise and maintain a healthy weight. Our physical therapists can tailor a fitness plan for your level and optimally train you with it. They can also teach you how to sit and stand with proper posture so as to not place undue strain on your back.

Back pain may be common, but it doesn’t have to be tolerated. Pain-masking drugs and invasive surgeries are not the only options. Our non-surgical joint and back pain specialists have the tools, skills, knowledge, and experience to assist you with pain and to correct dysfunction to help you resume a more active and fulfilling lifestyle. Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida is conveniently located in Bradenton and serves all of Manatee and Sarasota. Call us at (941) 264-1414, email us, or fill out our online message form today!

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4 Keys to Exercising Safely During Florida’s Summer

With our sunny Bradenton, Florida summers comes storm season. Increased likelihood of wind and rain doesn’t necessarily preclude all possibility of enjoying outdoor exercise; it just means that we have to exercise some extra precaution that doesn’t usually come up as much during cooler, dryer times of year. Let’s go over several points to take into consideration when planning to exercise outside during the summer.

 #1 Storm Safety

According to the National Weather Service, lightning can reach temperatures of 50,000 degrees fahrenheit–that’s hotter than the surface of the sun and not something to be taken lightly. Florida has one of the highest rates of lightning strikes in the United States, so remember to check the weather forecast before departing for a healthy outing. If you are already outside and see lightning, utilize the 30-30 rule: Start counting to 30. If you hear thunder before reaching 30, go indoors. Don’t engage in any more outdoor activity until at least 30 minutes have elapsed since the last thunder clap. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, “When thunder roars, go indoors.”

 #2 Don’t slip!

Post rain shower, the ground will still be wet and may be slippery. Ensure good traction by wearing properly fitting athletic shoes that still have sufficient tread to decrease likelihood of taking a fall. Avoid muddy or uneven ground and wear sunglasses. The sun tends to come out quickly after the rain here in Bradenton!

 #3 Heat-Related Illness Avoidance

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can happen when your body can’t cool itself appropriately. Increased moisture in the air slows the process of sweating, which is the body’s main method of cooling itself. Humidity also makes it feel much hotter than the temperature actually is, so it’s a good idea to take note of the heat index in addition to the temperature when checking the weather. The heat index takes humidity into account with the temperature to report what it will actually feel like. This is important because prolonged exposure to high temperatures increases your risk of heat-related illness. Make sure to drink plenty of water and to wear clothing that allows sweat to evaporate easily, thus cooling your body. If wearing a mask is your preference or local regulations require their use, be sure to consider its effect on your breathing and heat retention while engaging in physical activity in warm, humid conditions. Some masks are more breathable than others, so choose wisely according to what you’ll be doing.

 #4 Choose Safe Outdoor Training Exercises

Don’t over do it! If you haven’t been exercising outside much, be sure to start off slow and safe. The easiest way to get started moving outside in a safe and healthy way is by walking. Whether a stroll around your neighborhood, or drive to a scenic venue, Manatee County has a plethora of beach, park, and nature preserve trails to enjoy. If you prefer something more challenging, you may want to incorporate a guided 20 minute workout that requires no equipment and can be done right in your own yard. You can even take a chair outside and get some fresh air while increasing your fitness with these smooth moves.

Don’t needlessly miss out on the great outdoors because of pain. Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida are your non-surgical back and joint specialists! We’re all about helping the members of our Manatee and Sarasota communities to live more active and fulfilling lives by maintaining and improving their overall health and fitness. We do this through providing high-quality physical therapy care and exceptional customer service. Find out how we can help you with back, neck, hip, or any other kind of joint pain by calling us at (941) 264-1414, emailing info@ptdoctorsfl.com, or directly sending us a message on our contact us page.