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Using Intermittent Fasting and TRX Training to Get Fit


September 19, 2018

When choosing healthy ways to lose weight and become fit, it can be hard to decipher what is best and safest. From calorie restriction and cutting carbs, to running and strength training, it can be overwhelming trying to find a place to start—or pick up if your current plan hasn’t worked for you. Intermittent fasting and TRX training in Denver are two of the ways that can help you reach your goals in a safe and healthy manner.  

What is Intermittent Fasting? 


Intermittent fasting is different from the diets you are familiar with. Instead of restricting foods or calories, it gives guidance on when you should eat. Now, you will receive the best results when you practice healthy eating but gives you more flexibility to not have to track everything you eat. Fasting is a form of restriction when you do not consume foods for a duration of time. When fasting, avoid all foods but make sure to consume plenty of water. You can also drink tea or coffee. Zero-calorie beverages can also be consumed; however, it is always healthier to limit or eliminate them from your diet. If you consume medications, do not stop taking anything directed by a doctor—and you should always consult with your doctor before going on a new health plan. 

This type of fasting has shown many positive signs to increase health, including weight loss. When fasting, the blood sugar is reduced, and the human growth hormone is increased. It can positively impact your metabolism, which is especially helpful for those trying to combat a plateau. All of these factors will help you become healthier, feel better, and possibly even live longer. 

Types of Intermittent Fasting


When it comes to intermittent fasting, there are a few different types. This allows you to find one that is easiest for you and follow it for weight loss and health goals. 
  • 5:2: The 5:2 method of fasting consists of restricting calories two days per week. For men, calories need to be restricted to 600 per day and for women, 500. Ideally, meals should be equal throughout the day, but you can work to find a method easiest for you. When using the 5:2 method, eat healthy foods that fill you up. You can fill your diet with large portions of good foods and feel satisfied in a 500 to 600 calorie window. 
  • 16:8: For the 16:8 fasting method, you will spend 16 hours of your day fasting. Then, you can eat during the eight-hour window. During the fasting period, you may drink water, tea, coffee or zero-calorie beverages. Ideally, make water a priority. Studies have shown the 16:8 not only helped support a healthy weight loss but also reduced blood pressure, too. 
  • Eat-Stop-Eat: For those who are very disciplined, there is “Eat-Stop-Eat,” a method of 24-hour fasting. During this style, you will choose one or two days a week and fast for 24 hours. It can be a morning to morning or a night to night fast. On the days you are not fasting, consume a normal diet of 2,000 or 2,500 calories. To ease into it, you can start this type of fast in 20-hour windows and work your way up. 

Choosing the Best Option for You


When trying to decide what type of intermittent fasting is right for you, you will achieve success if you keep it manageable. When you are able to set realistic goals, you are more likely to be successful. Look at each of the three closely and consider what your day to day is like. Because it is more flexible than calorie counting or certain restrictions, you have more flexibility. Flexibility is the key to long-term weight loss, so be sure to choose a method that works best for you. 

Establishing Fitness Goals

As you are working to lose weight, it is important to set goals. Just as you do at work or with a project, it is important to understand the reasoning for your work. Even more important, set goals. While so many factors play into results, you can set goals for the work you will do. For instance, being able to maintain your momentum running a 5K or doing a certain set of reps during exercises. From there, set milestones to hit. Goals can include: 
  • Reduce body mass index (BMI)
  • Get healthier
  • Have more strength
  • Prepare for an upcoming activity

Once you achieve one of your goals, move on to the next! It always helps to set new goals when you conquer one of them. 

What is TRX training? 


Are you looking for a way to increase your strength and get fit, that is not cardio-heavy? TRX training is a great way to go. TRX training is a form of suspension training, which allows you to use your own weight. When working against gravity, you become stronger. Those who participate in this type of training especially notice a difference with the strengthening of their core. During TRX training, you can work all areas of your body: arms, back, core, and legs. Over time, you will notice a tone, lean body. 

When working alongside your local physical therapist, you will put your hands or feet onto its handles connected to bands, then begin your workout. The physical therapist will guide you through each exercise to ensure you have proper form. These bands will work all of the muscles in your body. The great thing about TRX is how easy and sustainable it is. Even if you can’t always make it to the gym or for an appointment with your physical therapist, you can still practice TRX at home. 

For all of your health and fitness goals, Peak Physical Therapy & Wellness will help. As your local physical therapy specialist, we work hard to find the root of any problems and help you achieve your desired results. With more than 20 years of experience, you will love working with our team to accomplish your health and finesse goals. With locations all across the Denver area, contact Peak PT & Wellness to find the office nearest you to get started. 
 
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Ways to Find Relief Your Parker TMJ Pain


September 12, 2018

Are you one of the millions suffering from temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder (TMD)? You don’t have to suffer in silence. Those with TMD experience jaw pain, headaches, muscle spasms, neck pain, dizziness, popping or locking of the jaw, or tinnitus. Today, there are a variety of options to help make symptoms manageable. It all starts with a conversation with your doctor, dentist, and Parker TMJ expert. Use some of these treatments and ask your local TMJ physical therapist for tips to find relief.

Mouth Guards


Mouth guards are often used as a treatment for people with Bruxism, which is excessive grinding or clenching. Many TMD sufferers also clench their teeth while sleeping, which can lead to headaches, tinnitus, jaw pain, earaches, and more. In extreme cases, it can even damage one’s teeth. Since this is an involuntary action done while sleeping, a mouth guard can help. Your dentist will be able to create a fitted mold, customized to your mouth. From there, the mouth guard can be worn every night to help from clenching.

Hot and Cool Packs


Treating pain with heat and cold can provide quick relief when in pain due to TMD. As for which to use, you can take your pick. For soreness, cool ice packs could be great to set on the jaw. The cool temperature will help to reduce any inflammation in the area. For tension, a hot cloth may be best to help you ease any tension.

Foods to Avoid


Certain foods or gum can be an instant trigger for TMD pain. When the jaw is overworked or struggles, you may instantly feel pain, soreness, tension, and more. Try to stay away from the following if you have TMD:
 
  • Chewy foods: Foods or gum that take extra effort and strain the jaw are best to eat in small amounts or avoid as much as possible. This can be items like chewy candies, fatty foods such as steak, lobster or baguettes
  • Crunchy food: When you eat items that are thick and crunchy, such as raw carrots or broccoli, it can put a strain on the jaw. This also includes nuts, potato chips, pretzels, and many other snack foods.
  • Processed foods or sugar: Did you know that added sugar or processed foods can lead to inflammation? This can make your TMD flair up, making for an unpleasant feeling.

Medications


When choosing to treat your TMD with medication, it is best to consult with a local TMJ specialist. Some of the common medications used to treat TMD include:
 
  • Anti-inflammatories: These medications are a great way to reduce swelling and tension in an area
  • Muscle relaxers: The jaw muscles are connected all the way to the temples, so there are many opportunities for a person to feel tension and stain. These will help the muscles ease.
  • Anti-depressants: Some TMD sufferers will take an anti-depressant to help reduce pain. How? They help work to change your body’s interpretation of the pain.

Botox® Injections


Botox injections can be inserted into one’s temples to help relax the muscles within the temples to the jaw. This is especially ideal if you have frequent headaches. It will help relax your muscles and may help you feel much better. Plus, if you have any wrinkles, it will help with those too! Don’t worry, a small amount of Botox will not make your face look frozen. Just a small amount of Botox is needed to relax the muscles. The process is not painful and can be completed in a 30-minute office visit or less. A small amount of relief can occur instantly, and you will notice a significant difference within a couple days.  

Bite Adjustment


When the jaw is properly aligned, it can lead to issues with the temporomandibular joint—often causing TMD. There are many TMD sufferers who cope with main simply because their jaw is not aligned properly. One option to help this problem is through a bite adjustment. In many cases, braces can solve the problem. For others, the jaw may be aligned, but the teeth are different lengths, causing your mouth not to sit evenly. A dentist can go through to even everything out. In addition, other issues may include damaged or old fillings or damaged teeth.

Surgery


While a last resort in many cases, surgery can be performed to help you alleviate symptoms of TMD. Each situation is different, depending on one’s symptom, jaw, teeth, and more. When it comes to types, there are two common surgeries for those with TMD:
 
  • Arthroscopy: A low invasive surgery that only makes one small incision. A surgeon will be able to look at the area to see where inflammation. From here, they can remove it, which will provide ease.  
  • Arthroplasty: For serious jaw issues, an arthroplasty may be necessary. They can go in and fix any alignment issues, remove scar tissue, and more. A complete joint replacement may be needed in very extreme instances.

Exercises and Physical Therapy


TMD can be worsened due to poor posture and improper movements. Through a special set of exercises, a physical therapist can work with you one-on-one on a plan to help provide relief. Through movements, but not overworking, you can strengthen the area and ease the tension. A physical therapist can also create a plan for those who have problems with their jaw locking. They can re-teach how the muscles react, providing relief.  

As you search for ways to ease your craniofacial pain and TMJ (jaw pain), Peak Physical Therapy & Wellness can help. Our patients will be sure to help you with a plan to help your neck and jaw pain. You may even notice an improvement in sinus issues, a reduction of headaches, and more. There is no reason to suffer, especially with eight different locations. You can visit your nearest office to work through issues. Paired with a plan from your dentist, you will be happy to live a TMD-pain-free life! Contact Peak PT & Wellness today to see how we can start on your customized TMD plan.
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Endometriosis and Using a Denver Women's Health Expert to Treat


September 5, 2018

Did you know nearly one in every 10 women have endometriosis? This disease can cause a plethora of symptoms and uncomfortable pain, at times for some, it can be debilitating. It can also cause issues for those trying to start a family as well. Because endometriosis can be so common, it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms. You should be sure to address any concerns with your doctor and local Denver women’s health expert.

What is endometriosis?


Endometriosis occurs when the lining that normally surrounds the surfaces around the uterus grows on other organs within the body. While commonly found in the lower abdomen (fallopian tubes, ovaries area around the uterus), this lining can grow in other areas, which becomes problematic. Some of these areas include the cervix, bowel, bladder or lungs. Currently, doctors are not sure what causes this disease. Researches have investigated that it could be due to genetics, hormones, irregular menstruation blood flow, immune system failures or after a surgery. It is possible that the endometrial cells are transferred outside of the uterus hence causing the disease.

The thought about blood flow from researchers is that endometriosis could be due to retrograde menstruation, which is when blood flow goes in the opposite direction. They believe when the cells travel to the other areas in the body, it can cause the uterine lining to grow.

An actual diagnosis can be confirmed after a pelvic exam or surgery, but many doctors can make an estimation based on symptoms, genetic history, etc. Types of examinations and surgeries that can confirm it include an MRI, ultrasound, CAT scan or laparoscopy. This will allow a doctor to see any inflammation and symptoms to confirm.

Common signs and symptoms


There are several different signs and symptoms associated with endometriosis. A few of the most common include:
 
  • Pain: Pain due to endometriosis can occur in several ways. For some, cramps during menstruation can be extremely painful. This happens because due to cells in the other areas where the lining is growing. The area can undergo inflammation as well, creating a painful situation.
  • Periods: When a woman with endometriosis has a period, in many cases, blood flow will be much heavier. One may also experience pain in the lower abdomen area or nausea.
  • Urinary problems: Those with endometriosis may have to use the restroom more frequently.
  • Intercourse: Other women have difficulty during intercourse due to pain. It can feel like a sharp stab that not only hurts during intercourse but can continue to hurt for a few days preceding it.
  • Infertility: Many women who have endometriosis experience infertility issues. It may take much longer to conceive, or the possibility that conception is not possible at all.
  • Genetics: If endometriosis runs in someone’s family, it can increase a woman’s chances of developing it.
  • Emotional distress: Due to the painful symptoms and difficulty to conceive, endometriosis causes several women stress and anxiety. It is important for women to talk to their doctor and seek therapy to overcome issues.
  • Fatigue: A woman that suffers from endometriosis can feel tiredness and fatigue throughout the day, even if you get enough sleep.  

Misconceptions


There are many myths and misconceptions that surround endometriosis. First is the age of when a woman can begin experiencing symptoms. Endometriosis is assumed to always appear in women that are in their early 20s to mid-30s. In reality, young girls can begin showing symptoms as young as seven-years-old.

Many also believe an endometriosis diagnosis equals infertility. While it can be more difficult to conceive, infertility is not always the case. Many women with endometriosis can get pregnant and think pregnancy is a cure. Unfortunately, this is not true. Symptoms may decrease during pregnancy but can return after a baby is born.

Last are myths that hormones can be a cure. Many believe various types of synthetic hormones, such as birth control pills, can treat the disease. While they may alleviate certain symptoms, they will not cure endometriosis.

Endometriosis and pregnancy


As noted, a high percentage of women with endometriosis can get pregnant. It often takes much longer to conceive but it is not impossible. It is harder to conceive due to a variety of reasons:
 
  • Egg travel: When there is inflammation or damage to the reproductive organs, it can be difficult for an egg to implant to the uterine wall. In some cases, symptoms of endometriosis can prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg at all.
  • Fallopian tubes: Endometriosis can cause a woman’s fallopian tubes to work improperly, hence negatively impacting a woman’s chances to get pregnant.
  • Damage: A woman’s egg or a man’s sperm can be damaged due to endometriosis.

Treatments and relief


Even though there is not a cure for endometriosis, treatments to provide relief are available. Pain medications are the top ways a woman can find relief from symptoms. Anti-inflammatories are the top medication to reduce swelling in the area. In extreme cases, women may opt for surgery which can remove the additional growth. Not only will this reduce pain levels but can also increase chances to conceive. Hormones are another way symptoms can be relieved. Hormones can make the additional layers thicker that then break down. This type of therapy can be done through birth control pills, hormone shots and more.

Physical therapy can also help treat endometriosis. Through pelvic floor exercises, a physical therapist can help calm the muscles in the area which will reduce pain and inflammation. When the pelvic floor is strengthened, the pain in the lower abdominal area, during sex and more can be alleviated.

Through our men and women’s health services, Peak Physical Therapy & Wellness can help women suffering from endometriosis. Using a variety of pelvic floor exercises and more, a woman can seek relief through a variety of services. In addition, these exercises can help alleviate pelvic and lower back pain, irritable bowel syndrome, incontinence, overactive bladder and much more. There is no reason to suffer from rehabilitating symptoms due to your endometriosis—schedule your consultation with a team member today.
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Hiking Tips and Exercises from Your Physical Therapist in Parker


August 29, 2018

A Colorado Summer wouldn’t be complete without plenty of hiking trips to the mountains. One of the best parts of living in the Centennial State is the availability of outdoor activities to keep you physically fit and connected with nature. Hiking is one of the most common activities that Coloradans engage in, which can be easily observed simply by going to a popular trailhead on the weekend. While hiking is a fantastic activity for staying physically fit, it’s important to be prepared prior to scaling your favorite peak. Here are some helpful tips and exercises to be aware of from your physical therapist in parker.

What to Pack


If you’re intending to go on a reasonably long hike, it’s important to pack all of the essential items that will help you stay safe and prevent your afternoon affair from going sour. Without question, perhaps the most important item to pack is water. Staying hydrated while on a hike is critical to your safety, as dehydration while in the wilderness can be an absolute emergency. It’s always good to err on the side of caution and to bring more water than you think you’ll need. Look into things such as easy-to-pack water bladders that can hold up to a gallon of h20.

Another important item to consider prior to venturing out into the wild is a variation in clothing. While it may appear to be a warm and sunny day out, it’s crucial to bring clothes for all types of weather events. Colorado weather can change dramatically in an instant, and being caught out on a trail without rain gear or proper layers can make your afternoon miserable. Look into clothing that is versatile and easy-to-pack while also providing you with the right amount of coverage.

The sun in Colorado can be intense and it’s important to bring plenty of sunscreen and a sunhat to avoid getting too much UV rays. It doesn’t take long to become sunburnt while on a trail, especially if it doesn’t have a lot of shade. Additionally, think of items that you’ll want to have with you on a long, scenic hike. This can include things such as an energy bar or other types of food to ensure you stave off the irritable feelings of hunger. You’ll also certainly want to bring sunglasses to shield your eyes from excessive exposure to the sun, as constantly squinting your eyes will definitely detract from your overall experience of the trail.

Exercises to Practice Prior to Hiking


The act of hiking can be much more strenuous and physically demanding than a person might expect, especially if you’re on a jaunt at higher elevations. You may think you’re perfectly limber and able to handle any kind of trail, but it’s always a good idea to prepare ahead of time with a number of helpful stretches to keep your body primed for the journey. Since you’ll likely have some gear on your back, it’s a good idea to be practice a variety of stretches that will reduce the likelihood that you will not be able to handle the hike.

Lunges are a great exercise to engage in as a way to keep your lower extremities in adequate shape and condition. Hiking requires a large amount of physical exertion from your legs, as you’ll often be traversing over large rocks and consistently climbing up various obstacles present in the environment. A lunge will require the same muscles you use while pulling yourself up an elevated terrain. Be sure to practice this exercise while alternating legs to ensure that both parts of your lower body are in shape.

Another great exercise to consider for hiking are leg squats. This activity will exert force on your quadriceps muscles, which are the strongest muscles in our legs. Having quads that are strong will be a major boost while on a hike, as they will assist us in going up as well as coming back down areas of high elevation gain. Squatting down as low as you can while making sure not to let your knees go past your toes will be a great way to prevent putting too much pressure on your knees.

While having lower body strength is absolutely essential to being able to traverse difficult terrain, it’s also important to remember that having core body strength is something you shouldn’t neglect. For this reason, consider doing exercises that will improve your abdominal muscles. Planking can be a simple, yet powerful activity to greatly improve your core strength and will greatly boost your hiking experience.

Beyond strength-training exercises, it’s also important to properly stretch prior to going on a long hike. Stretching your hamstring is important for preventing muscle strains. This can be accomplished by laying your leg on a bed or table, hinging forward toward the hip joint while keeping your knee straight. Stretching your calves to avoid excessive stress to your Achilles tendon and knees is also recommended prior to hiking. If you’ve been dealing with a serious injury, it’s also a great idea to consult with your local Parker physical therapist prior to engaging in a serious hike. Clearly, the last thing you want to occur is to re-injure yourself and preventing the possibility of enjoying the Colorado outdoors to the fullest.

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 and we will be happy to assist you with your first steps towards recovery. 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.
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Recently Diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis? How Physical Therapy in Denver Will Help


August 22, 2018

Each year, more than one million Americans are diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). While there is still much to be learned about this disease, there is quite a bit that is known about it. Today, advancements have been made allowing those who are coping with this condition easier to manage. If you have RA, it runs in your family, or you think you are seeing some signs, take the time to understand more about this disease. Between care from your doctor to working with physical therapy in Denver, you can live a long, happy, healthy, and comfortable life.

Intro to Rheumatoid Arthritis


RA is an autoimmune disease. This means that the body mistakes parts of itself as harmful intruders, creating a reaction to fight them away. Problem is, nothing is wrong at all, yet the body begins to attack itself trying to fight off what it believes to be a problem. There are several different types of autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, Type 1 diabetes, Celiac disease, lupus, psoriatic arthritis, and RA. Each of these autoimmune diseases creates a reaction to something that results in a reaction of the immune system. For RA, it is an attack on the joints and can happen anywhere throughout the body. It can also have a negative impact and cause infections of the heart, lungs, skin, eyes, and more.

While common in the elderly, it is also seen in adults in their 30s. It may slowly develop and not completely surface until decades later; each case of RA is different. Because it can build so slow, it may not always be as apparent to a physician that the root of the issue is early onset RA. This is why it is important to share with them if you have a history of RA in your family. Also, it is more prevalent in women than men.

Common Symptoms


One of the most common symptoms those with RA experience are swollen joints and inflammation. They may feel still and hard to move. It can be even more confusing because the pain isn’t always non-stop. They can come and go, leading you to think it’s a fluke or something you accidentally did. In addition, those suffering from this disorder often feel tired, suffer from anemia, lose weight, minor fevers, and more. Since these symptoms are so mixed, it is easy for a person to assume each issue is a separate problem and not all connected to one issue, that issue being RA. When the disease goes untreated for too long, there can actually be extensive damage done to the joints. This is why it is important to act quickly.

Leading Causes


The actual cause of RA has yet still to be discovered by doctors. However, they were able to find a few correlations. The most common is genetic. For those with RA that runs in their family, it automatically increases the chance they may get it. It can also happen due to an environment a person is in each day. Working in environments that are heavily polluted or filled with insecticides have been known to cause RA. Those who are not healthy are also at a higher risk of RA. This is especially true for smokers. In addition, this applies to those that are overweight. So, in some cases where it runs in the family, there may not be much control there. However, if you are a smoker or overweight, it’s never too early to turn things around, especially because RA is one of several different health issues that can negatively impact you.

Treatments and Management Plans


The earlier you and your doctor can start treating your RA, the better. When early, aggressive treatment is implemented, it’s been shown to reduce or even eliminate the swelling. One of the ways this is accomplished is by taking nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs, otherwise known as NSAIDs. These can include medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen, celecoxib, and more. This will keep the swelling down, allowing you to have a better range of motion and less stiffness. Corticosteroids are also used in minor forms of the disease to calm the inflammation as well. You can explore more about the different types of medicines through reading which drugs ease rheumatoid arthritis pain. In extreme cases where joints have been damaged, replacement surgery may be needed, which will also reduce the amount of pain a person has to experience each day.

What is a Rheumatologist?


Upon learning you have RA, it is important to begin working with a rheumatologist. Rheumatologists are trained professionals that specialize in RA to help their patients live as comfortably as possible. You can get a referral from your doctor, or in many cases, seek one on your own that falls within your insurance plan. The rheumatologist will run a various number of tests to look into the severity of your case and create a medication and recovery plan. The goal is to minimize flare-ups and inflammation that can become so problematic in the long term.

How Physical Therapy Will Help


In addition to working with a rheumatologist, it is also important for those with RA to work with a physical therapist. A physical therapist will help you maintain your range of motion in your joints, which is crucial. As time goes on and your RA progresses, it can be difficult to want to move. A physical therapist will create a plan specific to your condition to keep your body working together and reduce symptoms. Seeing a physical therapist is not overwhelming and difficult. They’ll help you every step of the way to help. Review more about preparing for your Denver physical therapy appointment if you have never been before.

As you are managing your RA, Peak Physical Therapy & Wellness can help. Our trained staff will create a plan custom to you that will ease your RA symptoms. This will help you maintain a healthy range of motion. Contact a Peak PT & Wellness location near you to schedule your first appointment—and stop suffering from this condition alone.
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