Denver Physical Therapy & Wellness

Strategies For Maintaining Your Health as You Age


August 8, 2018

The prospect of aging is not something anyone really wants to face, but the fact remains, every day we’re getting a little bit older. The things that once came to us with ease now presents a much more difficult hurdle, especially if we haven’t taken the necessary maintenance steps to keep our bodies in peak condition. The truth is, we need to do everything in our power to maintain our health on a daily basis. In order to age as gracefully as possible, there are a number of things we can do to ensure we retain our health and quality of life as we get older. Here are a number of things you can do to feel young as the years pass by from your Denver physical therapist.

Get Off the Couch and Get Moving


As we age, the allure of the couch or a comfortable chair can become increasingly appealing as time moves on. It can be difficult to avoid the urge to rest our bones and bodies by lounging and binge watching our favorite shows and movies. While there certainly is a place for entertainment, rest, and relaxation in our lives, too much time spent sitting in one place can have profoundly negative effects on our health.

Getting off the couch in favor of movement doesn’t need to mean running a marathon or doing some form of extreme physical activity. Often, it can mean simply going for a walk or bike ride as a way to get the blood pumping. The benefits of exercise are plentiful and can positively impact a person’s body as well as the mind, both of which are critical to maintaining as we get older. Staying physically fit is a fantastic way to maintain our health and it’s essential for not falling into a health hole that becomes more and more difficult to get out of as time goes on.

Take An Exercise Class


Motivating yourself to move can be a difficult task, one that lacks accountability mechanisms outside of your own personal willpower. By signing up for an exercise or yoga class, you’ll be much more committed to following through with your given physical activity. Participating in an exercise class can be a fantastic way of keeping yourself on the path to working out. If you have a friend or loved one that is interested in joining you, it can increase the chances that you will follow through, as you will have an accountability buddy to further motivate you.

Depending on your age and current level of physicality, you can look into classes that are age-specific and are catered towards your specific conditions. Many health clubs and gyms have classes which are specifically tailored towards older individuals. Participating in a class where you are surrounded by younger individuals can be intimidating and make it less likely to show up for class. Seek out classes that have a large percentage of your peers enrolled can be a helpful mechanism to keep you dedicated to exercising.

Find Strong Social Outlets


Maintaining relationships and creating positive social networks is incredibly important to keep our mental health in a positive state. Isolation and excessive solitude can be a huge factor in our health declining as we get older. The benefits of having consistent social interaction as we get older become absolutely essential to increasing our longevity. Without any substantive relationships, mental and physical health can rapidly decline, as loneliness can lead to depression and feelings of worthlessness.

Finding an outlet to maintain our social life is incredibly important in the fight to maintain our health as we age. Whether this means joining a social group at a local community center or simply volunteering as a way to socialize, we need to find ways to keep ourselves socially engaged. Self-esteem can decrease massively with age, a factor which can rapidly decrease our overall level of health as we get older. Although discovering and seeking out new social networks can be an intimidating process, the importance of fostering these connections far outweighs the anxiety that can accompany such a process. Remind yourself of the plethora of benefits associated with socializing and realize that any potential risks are far outweighed by the benefits.

Try Doing Yoga


As we age, our bodies become much less flexible and more prone to injury as a result. Yoga has massively increased in popularity in recent years because of the many health benefits that come with a regular yoga practice. Yoga has the ability to improve mobility and flexibility, two things that older individuals certainly need to focus on whenever possible. Yoga also can improve a person’s muscle strength, improve their respiration, and increase their overall energy level. Increasing your energy level is an essential component to remaining young and increases the chances that you’ll be physically active and mobile.

A yoga practice will improve your balance and stability, as various poses focus on improving these factors. Falls are a very common way in which seniors become injured and finding ways to improve balance are critical as we grow older as a result. Increasing your personal strength and mobility as you age is important for improving and reducing recovery time, which can become a major hindrance as we get older.

If you looking to improve your physical health situation and are in need of physical therapy, or have questions about what physical therapy consists of, contact Peak Physical Therapy and Wellness today. We have an extensive team of qualified physical therapists and specialists who care deeply about their clients and go above and beyond the call of duty to provide the highest quality treatment in the industry. If you are looking for a therapist who will carefully assess your individual needs and formulate a treatment plan that is specifically tailored to your needs, Peak Physical Therapy and Wellness is your preferred choice for the physical recovery process.
Read More...

Proper Lifting and Safety Tips for Your Move from Your Favorite Physical Therapy Team


July 18, 2018

While the end result is exciting, most Americans dread the moving process. The move itself can be so taxing it is easy to forget how to ensure a safe move. Often times some of the smallest of mistakes can lead to injuries that can last a lifetime. Don’t let that happen! As you gear up for your next home, review these tips from your local Denver physical therapy team.

Gather Essential Tools

When it comes to moving, boxes are usually the priority for items to obtain in the weeks leading up the big day. However, there is much more than boxes that are needed. Many movers only think about a few things, but it helps to be fully prepared as you transition into the moving process. Some of these essentials include:
  • Dollies and other hand trucks:  Items with wheels enable you to easily move larger items, reducing the physical strain that comes with lifting and carrying boxes, furniture and more.
  • Packing materials and tape: Securing your valuables is not just essential for their safety, but yours too. Make sure to wrap items with newspaper, bubble wrap, or other packing material, then secure your boxes with packing tape. This will help your boxes from opening at the bottom, causing the items to fall and break—and avoiding a potential injury on your part in the process.
  • Sliders: Did you know you can buy pads that can be placed on the bottom of your furniture? This will help you easily move furniture and other heavy items across the floor. This reduces physical stress on your body and protects your floors—a win-win! You can also buy covers to go on your furniture to protect from scuffing and provide a barrier between you and sharp edges.
  • Scissors and knife: As you pack and unpack, you will be going through several things. Have scissors and a knife handy to cut open boxes or other items.  
  • Moving gloves: You can purchase gloves to wear while moving to help keep your hands safe from cuts, scrapes, and more.

Packing 101

As you begin the process to move, it is the perfect time to get rid of unwanted or unused items. This can be done in a variety of ways such as having a yard sale, donating to local charities, or simply throwing certain items away.

As you start to pack, work through items that you rarely use first. Choose a category system that works best for you, whether it is packing room by room, or by other methods. If space allows, contain all of your boxes to one place.

When labeling your boxes, use a large permanent marker so you can clearly label what is in the box. It helps to label on more than one side, so you can easily identify once you are unpacking.  

As you pack the boxes, be smart. Do not overload large boxes with several heavy items. Find a good balance that is easy to carry and manage. For any clothing hanging in a closet, you can keep them on their hangers, then wrap them in a blanket or with garbage bags-just make sure you do not mistake them for actual trash! You may be able to leave certain items in dressers or cabinets as long as you can safely secure them.

Create Your Plan

To ensure a successful move, you must have a plan. One of the initial questions you should ask yourself is, “Will I handle this move on my own, or would I like to enlist the help of a mover?” If you can afford it, movers can assist with every step in the moving process, taking some of the physical burdens off you.

Once you have determined how the move will be handled, create a schedule and set deadlines. For instance, have all non-essential items packed by a certain date, or have all necessary packing items by a specific time. It also helps to have a schedule for moving day, too. While you cannot expect everything to go fully as planned, you can set times to start loading or have the movers arrive and reasonable goals for unpacking. Be sure to take advantage of Real Simple’s moving checklist, which will give you a complete two-month guide on everything you need to do leading up to the big day.  

Proper Lifting Techniques

Moving is a very labor-intensive process. It is exercise, after all! Many people who move often injure themselves due to improper lifting techniques. Your first rule of thumb to remember is to lift using your legs and not putting all of the weight on your back. When picking up boxes, bend and crouch down and hold the bottom and sides of a box. Moving gloves can help you have a better handle on the items. As you bend down, keep your feet at shoulder width.

Once secure, lift using your legs and not your lower back. Keep the box or items close to your body, reducing strain on your arms. A great way to remember how to do this is to keep your elbows as close to your sides as possible. If you feel an item is too much to carry on your own, ask for help!

Safety Tips

One can become injured in a multitude of ways during a move—not sure lifting improperly. A common mistake that happens is tripping or stepping on items out in the open. Before moving day, ensure hallways and open walk spaces are clear. This will help protect you and anyone helping you move stay safe. This also includes pets or children. They may be confused or bored, so make arrangements to have them outside the home or out of harm’s way. It is also important to properly dress for a move! Wear clothing that is comfortable and will not get caught on edges or items. Be sure to wear shoes that will support your feet all day.

Are you wondering how you can make sure you are prepared to handle the physical activity of your moving day? Peak Physical Therapy & Wellness will help. We will show you proper lifting techniques and more or can help if you do sustain an injury after your move. Contact Peak PT & Wellness today to get started.
Read More...

Guide to Strength TRX Training in Denver - Peak Physical Therapy & Wellness


May 30, 2018

One of the top ways you can perform better as an athlete or even just become a healthier person is to strength train. On average, it is recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services to get 150 minutes of exercise in per week. For many, they solely focus on cardio, looking past the several short and long-term benefits of strength training. Whether you know very little about strength training or are looking for ways to improve, use these tips and explore TRX training in Denver.

Basics of Strength Training


Strength training is crucial for muscle toning and becoming stronger and healthier. Even those with weight to lose and focusing on cardio should incorporate strength training into their weekly exercise routine to help shed the pounds.

Through a series of exercises, strength training forces the muscles to contract. There is a misconception out there that strength training is solely to build muscle, hence an increase in weight. If you would like to gain weight, there are methods of doing so, but that is not a definite end result. In fact, when one strength trains, continues to burn calories even after your workout is over. In many cases, it is a metabolism booster.  

At the end of the day, you get to choose what works best for you and can tailor your routine towards your goals. For instance, you can lose weight, tone, bulk up or just become a stronger person. However, it is important to at least do some strength training to help maintain your lean muscle mass. As you age, lean muscle mass will deteriorate, which can lead to weight gain. By incorporating strength training into your routine, you will retain that lean mass.

Benefits



When it comes to the benefits of strength training, they are nearly endless. First and foremost, it is excellent for your health. Not only will strength training help you tone your muscles and retain lean muscle mass but will keep your bones strong as well. This reduces the risk of osteoporosis later in life. In addition, strength training is beneficial in the following ways:
 
  • Improve joints: By incorporating strength training, your joints will continue to move better, reducing the risk of problems down the road. You will also see more flexibility in your range of motion, which will help protect you from injuries.
  • Lower health risks: When adding in strength training into a routine, it will help protect you from heart disease, cancer, and high blood pressure. It may also help boost your immune system as well.
  • Increase mind power: Studies have shown that weight lifting can actually help you think more clearly and better. It can also help conquer stress, anxiety, and depression because of the endorphins that are released.
  • Quick results: You may notice your work lifting weights within weeks to a month

Methods


To help you define which type of strength training is best for you, it depends on what you are looking to accomplish. When you take on one of these methods a couple of times per week, for 20 to 30 minutes, you will begin to see results within weeks. Many find success sprinkling out their strength training throughout the week.

As you read through, make sure you understand the definition of reps and sets.
 
  • Increase Strength and/or Lose Weight: To increase your strength through weight lifting, use lighter weights and do bursts of quick repetitions (or commonly referred to as “reps”) with a few minutes of rest in between each set. Aim to have up to five sets per targeted area. This is also commonly used for weight loss.
  • Bulk Up: If you are looking to increase the size of your muscles, use light weights in long sets of reps in multiple sets.
  • Enhance Endurance: Are you looking to use your strength for long periods of time? Choose an area, such as the arms, legs, etc., and complete several reps in that area, two to three times.  

Ways to Strength Train


When it comes to your strength training, it can be done at the gym or at home. In fact, you do not need to spend any money at all to begin strength training. The different ways to train include:
 
  • Machines: When many people think of strength training, they think of the machines at the gym. These are great for all types of strength trainers as they help you with form and you can easily change the weight amount to find the perfect one.
  • Resistance training: This type of training uses bands, weights, body weights or other objects and complete movements against your body.
  • Free weights: Dumbbells or barbells are used to help with strength training. They are great if you have learned proper form, or you can work with a trainer or physical therapist to learn proper form.
  • Body weight: If you are looking to lose on a budget, or like the challenge of working on your own, use your own body weight for strength training! This is through exercises such as sit-ups, pushups, squats, etc.

Incorporating TRX Training


TRX training, also known as suspension training, is another great way to increase strength. Through using a series of bands for resistance, you will increase your overall strength and flexibility. This is done using your own weight, along with the bands, working against gravity. You will also notice great improvements in your core strength. No matter what your experience level is when it comes to working out, TRX training is for everyone. From there, you will be on your way to tone your body!

A great way to get started with TRX training, or to learn what type of strength training is best for you, schedule an appointment with Peak Physical Therapy and Wellness. Our team of experts will help you define your goals, what types of exercises you should do, and how often you should do them. This is your top way to get the results you are looking to achieve. Find the nearest location to you and contact Peak PT and Wellness today!
Read More...

Strategies That Can Help Reduce Back and Neck Pain from Your Physical Therapist in Parker


May 23, 2013

One of the most common issues that physical therapy is used to treat is pain resulting from neck and back issues. It’s no secret that neck and back pain can become a debilitating issue, one that can lead to a whole host of other health concerns. An excessive amount of back and neck pain is extremely difficult to ignore for an individual in their daily life. If you’ve ever suffered from this type of discomfort, you are acutely aware of just how painful and inconvenient this condition can be. There is hope, however, and it comes in the form of an effective physical therapy treatment plan. If you need to address this critical issue, here are some of the ways in which a person can improve their back and neck pain from their physical therapist in Parker.

Ways to Reduce Neck Pain


Chronic neck pain is a very common condition among Americans, as more than 25 percent of individuals in the United States say they suffer from persistent neck pain, according to the American Osteopathic Association. Chronic neck pain can dramatically decrease a person’s quality of life and can make things incredibly difficult in terms of movement. Neck pain that persists can also lead to additional complications, such as headaches and upper back pain. Often, individuals will overcompensate when neck pain is present, causing further issues in other areas of their body.

This is why treating chronic neck pain is absolutely essential if a person is to properly address their health and reduce the amount of suffering in their day-to-day life. If you recognize that you have an issue, it is always best to treat the issue as soon as possible so the problem doesn’t compound and inevitably become worse over time.

1. Apply a Cold Pack
It may not seem like that big of a deal, but using a cold pack to treat neck pain can be an effective strategy in reducing the amount of pain that a person is experiencing. By applying a cold pack to the affected area, you will be helping to decrease irritation as well as inflammation, two critical components in the neck-pain equation. A cold pack will reduce the amount of inflammation in your joints as well as in the muscles, two of the areas that can often create the most amount of discomfort when it comes to neck pain.

2. Rest
If you are dealing with persistent and chronic neck pain, an important aspect of recovery can be something as simple as rest. Sure, you may be an active individual with a full schedule of activities on your docket that you absolutely do not want to miss out on, but if you are dealing with neck pain this can often make the situation much worse. Knowing your limits and when you need to rest your body can be essential on the road to reducing pain. The last thing you want to have happen is to have a situation where your pain gets worse due to not taking it easy at the right time.

3. Physical Therapy
One of the best strategies for tackling your neck pain can be to see your local physical therapist. These highly-trained and knowledgeable individuals have a wealth of information regarding how the body operates and the kinds of things a person needs to do in order to become pain-free yet again. Physical therapy is a process that consists of appropriate stretches and exercises that a person can undertake on their own time. It also includes a degree of hands-on treatment that will help to loosen tight muscles and affected joints. This degree of information and knowledge can be invaluable in the fight to reduce neck pain, and seeking out a qualified and competent physical therapist can make all of the difference on your path to being pain-free once again.

Strategies for Reducing Back Pain


Let’s be honest: chronic back pain can be a miserable condition that can, over time, become increasingly painful an difficult to deal with. In fact, chronic lower back pain, in particular, is often cited as one of the most common medical conditions in the world. Truly, the act of dealing with persistent and chronic back pain is far from a joyful experience and is one that should be avoided at all costs.

However, there are times when a person cannot avoid dealing with back pain. Either due to an accident or other factors out of an individual’s control, chronic back pain can rear its ugly head and create havoc in a person’s life. As a result, it is important to take the necessary steps to reduce back pain in order to regain a sense of normalcy once more.

1. Stretch
Tightness in all areas of your body can lead to back issues if you aren’t careful. Consistent stretching is one strategy that is an effective method of reducing and limiting back pain. Holding a stretch for an extended period of time can be a great way of reducing potential back issues.

2. Lost Weight
While this can seem like an impossible task at times, it should be kept in mind that losing excess body fat is a huge factor in reducing your risk for persistent back pain issues. Research has shown a direct correlation between obesity and chronic back pain, as your body can become stressed due to having to carry excessive weight. Increasing your activity level will not only improve many areas of your health but can also lighten the amount of back pain you are experiencing.

3. Physical Therapy
Receiving professional attention in the form of physical therapy can often be the most effective approach to treating back pain. A physical therapist can directly treat the affected areas without the use of surgery or other invasive methods. By providing you with the right treatment plan to tackle this nagging issue, you will be on your way to dramatically reducing your back pain and regain your life back.

If you are experiencing neck or back pain and are tired of struggling with this issue, contact Peak Physical Therapy and Wellness today. We are dedicated to serving our clients and do whatever is necessary to ensure that a patient leaves in a better state than when they started treatment. Call us today at our Parker office at 303-840-7325.
Read More...

Preparing for Your Denver Physical Therapy Appointment


February 28, 2018

If you’ve had an injury that continues to cause you pain and discomfort, and limits your mobility, it might be time to see a professional for physical therapy in Denver. In many cases, seeing a physical therapist for an injury means you can avoid surgery as well as medications. A physical therapist will address any condition that is limiting your ability to move and function properly on a day-to-day basis. Take a look at some of the comments from our patients who found relief with our services, including physical therapy.

Before you go to a physical therapist, here’s what you should know about ahead of time.

Be Prepared Before Your First Appointment

Make a written list of questions you have for your physical therapist. It’s easy to forget what you want to ask while you are in the appointment, so having a list you can refer to is key.

Also make notes for yourself for information to share with the physical therapist. For instance, what symptoms have you been suffering from and for how long? If you have multiple symptoms, which one is bothering you the most? Share information too on when the symptoms are bothering you most, including what activities are giving you the most pain or discomfort. Other considerations include:
  • What time of day are you most bothered by your pain or symptoms?
  • Are there physical positions that bother your pain or symptoms more than others?
  • Does resting provide you with any relief from your pain or symptoms?
Jot down some notes about your medical history to share with the physical therapist. Even medical conditions that seem unrelated to your current pain or symptoms could be important. If you are currently taking any medications, be sure to share that information with your physical therapist. Include a list of all supplements you might be taking.

If you have recent lab work or diagnostic reports from other health professionals, take that along. If you have been working with other healthcare professionals regarding your pain or symptom, and if you would like them to share information with the physical therapist, bring along that information.
Think about your family history, such as medical conditions your siblings or parents might be experiencing. If you have had any injuries or stress, or are dealing with unique environmental circumstances, share this information with your physical therapist.

It’s not a bad idea to take along a family member or close friend to your first appointment with the physical therapist. It can be helpful for someone else to hear the information to ensure you don’t forget anything. Another person might also think of good questions to ask that you hadn’t considered.
When making your appointment, ask whether or not you will be engaging in any physical activities at your initial visit. If so, be sure to wear comfortable clothing so you can move freely.

Considerations About Finances

Ask about the clinic’s financial policies before you go in for your first appointment. Make sure you understand exactly what your responsibilities will be. Find out what might be covered under your insurance and what you will likely be responsible for paying. Read any financial agreement closely before signing it.

Be prepared to pay any deductibles or copays each time you go to physical therapy so you can avoid getting a large, unexpected bill. Be sure to find out what is covered under your insurance as far as frequency of visits. If your insurance coverage changes at any time during treatment, be sure to let the office know this.

Your First Visit to the Physical Therapist

Now that you have done the legwork prior to coming in, it’s time for that first appointment. Here’s what you can expect.

Be prepared to answer lots of questions, both about your overall health as well as the specific pain and symptoms you are being seen for. The more detailed you can be, the better the plan your physical therapist can devise for your treatment. Be sure to talk about your home and work environment, how healthy a lifestyle you live, what your activity level is, and any leisure activities you might be involved in.

Your physical therapist will conduct a physical exam that will vary from patient to patient, depending on your individual circumstances. These might include:
  • Blood pressure
  • Heart and respiration rates
  • Strength and flexibility tests
  • Flexibility and balance
Your physical therapist will probably touch the area in question as well.

Other parts of the evaluation might include a close look at how you walk, how you get up from lying down, how you stand up when getting out of a chair, how well you can bend and lift things.

Goals of Your Physical Therapy Treatment

At your first visit, your physical therapist will go over your goals for treatment. In most cases, your physical therapist will make a diagnosis at that first appointment and make a plan that will improve your ability to function on a daily basis. Depending on your pain or symptoms, this might include improving motion or reducing pain. (Find out more here about who can benefit from physical therapy.)

As you go through treatment, your physical therapist will constantly be making adjustments, based on what does and doesn’t seem to be working.
If you need any special equipment, such as a splint or crutches, your physical therapist will make a recommendation. If you at risk for falling, he or she may also make recommendations for equipment that can make your home and work environment safer.

Be prepared to have “homework” as your physical therapist may assign exercises for you to do at home in between visits.

Make a commitment before starting physical therapy to be an active participant in your treatment. Also go in with a positive attitude, which has been shown to improve patient results. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions about your physical therapy.

Contact us today to find out more about physical therapy or any of our other services. With offices throughout the Denver metro area, including south Denver, Highlands Ranch, Lowry, Parker, Aurora, and Englewood, you can be sure that one is conveniently located near you. We look forward to working with you and helping you live a healthy, pain-free lifestyle!
Read More...