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The Benefits of Physical Therapy for an Athlete in Denver


Active athletes are at risk of injury in many ways. Depending on the type of sport that is involved, an athlete can suffer from any number of conditions that can be detrimental to their ability to perform in a given activity or sport. The price paid for an untreated injury can be steep in the long term, as injuries can compound over time and create a scenario that becomes more difficult to treat as time goes on. As a result, it can be critical for an athlete to seek treatment as soon as possible in order to remediate the possibility that they will deal with unfavorable effects. Physical therapy can be an essential component in the recovery process. Here are a few of the reasons why an athlete in Denver should seriously consider receiving physical therapy.

Prevent Injury


So you haven’t had an injury yet in your given sport and you feel relatively confident in your ability to minimize risk and prevent any serious incident from occurring. While it is great to feel like you are capable at reducing injury potential, the possibility of an injury occurring is always there, especially if you are involved in an activity that involves a high amount of risk or stress to your body.

Receiving physical therapy prior to injuring any portion of your body can be an effective and efficient way of reducing the potential for any injury from occurring. By receiving physical therapy, you will increase your protection against various injuries. A competent physical therapist will be able to do a properly injury risk assessment and educate you on the various stretches and activities you can do in order to reduce the possibility of becoming injured (injury risk assessment). A therapist can also suggest exercises and stretches that are specific to your type of activity, which can aid in reducing the possibility of injuries from occurring. 

Recovery from a Sports-Related Injury


If you’ve experienced some level of injury due to your involvement in a particular sport, seeking treatment from a qualified physical therapist can be extremely beneficial in your recovery process. Healing properly after an injury takes place is very important to an athlete being able to regain their form and not suffer any lingering effects from the injury. An efficient recovery process is a necessity in regards to being able to get back onto the field at full-strength, and it important to not underestimate the importance of receiving physical therapy.

Often, a sports injury can be serious enough to include the possibility of surgery and medications in regards to the recovery process. This is certainly not ideal and should be avoided if possible. Dependency on a pain medication can lead to a serious addiction that can further compound the effects of an injury, and invasive surgery is certainly not something an athlete wants to have to deal with. 

A good physical therapist will be able to show an athlete a variety of techniques that will be useful in dealing with the effects of any given injury. PT can help to reduce the pain of an injury through the use of appropriate movement strategies and can help to increase the flow of blood as a way to encourage and assist in the healing process. If you are recovering from an injury, chances are your mobility will be severely decreased. This can lead to a reduction in muscle strength as time goes on, which can be detrimental to your athletic abilities once you are able to begin moving again. Your physical therapist will be able to demonstrate techniques that help to maintain and build muscle during the recovery process.

Improve Performance


If you are involved in a highly active sport that requires a variety of movements which can be stressful to your body, you will want to have the ability to move in the most efficient and least stressful way possible for your body. Under careful observation, a physical therapist will be able to observe your movement and determine the ways in which you are moving that are beneficial and detrimental to the particular activity you are involved in.

While it is easy to believe we are completely capable and competent in the sport we are involved in, often times we overlook various aspects of our movement that can lead to us damaging something down the road. In the moment, a given movement may not seem very damaging to our body but over time it can begin to wear down a particular area of our body, eventually leading to an injury. A physical therapist will be able to provide solutions to remediate any potential issues that they are able to observe in regards to your movements, thus reducing the possibility that you will injure anything in the future.

Avoid Surgery


One of the worst outcomes that can result from a sports-related injury is to have a doctor or surgeon tell you that you require surgery. This can be a devastating thing to hear, as surgery can be invasive and significantly lengthen the amount of time it will take for an individual to recover from a given injury.

By receiving proper physical therapy treatments, you will dramatically reduce the possibility that surgery will be required. While not every injury can be treated using physical therapy, there are a number of injuries that physical therapy can handle that will reduce the need for surgery. 

If you 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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Top Work-Related Injuries and Tips from Parker Physical Therapy to Avoid Them


May 9, 2018

The workplace is where people on average spend eight hours of their day. Whether you have a labor-intensive job or one in an office, dangers are everywhere. Each has possible situations that can lead to an injury. As an employee, it is best to ensure you are using the proper form and technique at your job. You should also know proper safety protocols and enforce them throughout your day. Use these tips from Parker physical therapy to ensure your safety at work.

Slips and Falls

Workplace slips and falls can account for 10 to 15 percent of work-related injuries each year. Some of these falls create injuries while others can actually be life-threatening. One of the most common reasons for slips and falls is water or slippery substances that have not been cleaned. Other reasons can include improper lighting, clutter or cords in walkways, or improper shoes.

The best way to ensure you and fellow employees stay safe in the workplace is to keep walkways and workspaces clean of any debris or clutter. This can be anything from boxes and cords to drawers and work supplies. All areas must be well lit for workers to see where they are going and working. Anti-slip mats are great to keep in workspaces such as restaurants or warehouses. These can also help reduce fatigue for those who are on their feet throughout the day. Proper anti-slip shoes are also important in environments where water or other liquids are more likely to be on the floor. Be sure those spills are cleaned as quickly as possible.

Machine Misuse or Malfunction

Millions of workers are injured each year to machine malfunction or misuse. Common injuries include electrocution, bodily injuries such as getting a body part caught in a machine or scrapes, cuts, and slices due to improper workplace protection. Also, improper or broken safeguards can lead to injury as well.

Ensure you are safe in the workplace by knowing the rules and protocols for the machinery you use. Proper safeguards should be in working condition. If not, notify the appropriate persons immediately to ensure they are fixed. It is also important to know proper posture and form when standing and handling your machine, as repetition in improper form can lead to injury. When handling machines, you must use your protective gear. This includes hard hats, glasses, gloves, suits or shoes.

Hazardous Materials

Injuries due to hazardous materials or chemicals in the workplace can be detrimental. When exposed to dangerous chemicals, employees can experience burns or on internal injuries. Depending on the hazardous item, internal or external injuries occur. In result, a person may experience nausea or vomiting, fevers, heart issues, burning eyes, and more. Some work environments may also expose a person to asbestos. It is important to know what is asbestos to ensure you do not come into contact with it, and how to properly protect yourself if you think you will.

Since coming into contact with hazardous materials can have detrimental lifelong effects, always follow proper protocol when around items. If you experience a chemical burn, call 911 or go to a hospital immediately. In the meantime, for most chemical burns put cool water over on the injury but ensure it is only on the affected area. It is possible for chemicals to travel and make the injury even worse. Do this for several minutes (10 to 20). Not all chemical burns are alike, so it is important to be knowledgeable about the items you are working with.

Sprains and Strains

It may come as no surprise that sprains and strains are the most common workplace injury. Sprains are when ligaments are stretched or torn, and strains are when muscles or tendons are stretched or torn. Ligaments are the tissues that connect bones or joints. While a majority of these injuries happen in one’s back, it is also common in knees, shoulders, and feet. Common reasons for these injuries include poor workplace posture, repetitive motions or force.

Avoid workplace strains and sprains by using proper form at all times. Ergonomics are important, which is a safe and efficient environment. Not only will this make the workplace easier to work in but will also reduce injury. Overexerting oneself is also another common reason for sprains and strains. Avoid pushing yourself too hard or improperly when it comes to pulling, lifting or carrying items.

Repetitive Processes

Repetitive motions are another leading contributor to the overall number of workplace injuries. Each year, millions experience repetition-related injuries. They occur when a person is in the same form repeating the same motions day in and day out. When a person uses the same body part frequently, the area can become overused and injuries are more likely. It can happen from using a machine throughout a day or sitting at a desk and working at a computer.

Avoid repetition injuries by mixing up your routine. First and foremost, practice stretching. This will help to strengthen the area. Next, ensure you have proper form and posture. A person is more likely to become injured when performing repetitious activities with poor form. When working at a desk, ensure you have an ergonomic workspace. This can include having a chair that aids in proper posture and ensuring your arms are supported so you do not hurt your shoulders. Monitors should be an arms-length away at eye level. If you use a phone throughout the day, consider a wireless headset so you do not tilt your head to the side. Also, be sure to take breaks. This will help reduce eye strain and help you avoid repetition-related injuries.

When it comes to workplace injuries, Peak Physical Therapy and Wellness has proactive and reactive services to ensure your health and safety. We can work with you to help you avoid injuries and work with you on a speedy recovery after one. Take advantage of our pre-employment screening to have a review of a workplace and contact us to see how we can assist. Our team of experts will help you learn proper form and posture to help you work more efficiently and pain-free.
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Tips for Becoming a Better Athlete Including Kinesio Taping by Denver Physical Therapy


May 2, 2018

Are you looking for ways to become a better athlete? From running and weightlifting, to properly fueling, there are always areas athletes can take things to the next level. Explore tips to become a better athlete and how Kinesio taping by Denver Physical Therapy can help.  

Eating as an Athlete

Diet plays a pivotal role in how you perform as an athlete. When you are working out for extended periods of time, you need to make sure you have enough energy to get through the workout. Plus, once your workout or game is over, you will need to quickly refuel.

When evaluating what to eat, you must consider the three macronutrients: Carbs, fats, and proteins.
  • Carbohydrates: There is a saying out there that carbohydrates, or “carbs,” are bad for you. False! In fact, your body needs them pre- and post-workout. Good carbs, which are unrefined, such as bananas, brown rice, milk or starchy vegetables, will help you push through your workout and recover after. Avoid sugary, processed carbs such as white bread or sweets. So how does it all work? Carbs are broken down into glucose, which the muscles convert to energy and store. Your body will use that energy when you need it. It is beneficial to be strategic with your carbs and eat them a few hours before a workout. Everyone is different, so test around to find a time to eat good carbs that will help you power through your workouts.
  • Fats: Like carbs, fats are beneficial to becoming a successful athlete. The body needs omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to function, which you can get through healthy fats. Healthy fats are foods like avocados, nuts, eggs, fish or olive oil. Avoid saturated and trans fats. These foods will boost your energy, reduce inflammation and lower cholesterol. Healthy fats are especially helpful to be consumed with carbs. Together, the duo will help you reach your goals.
  • Protein: When protein is consumed, it also helps an athlete perform better. It is made of amino acids, which the body does not produce, hence why it is beneficial to consume them. By eating protein before a workout, it will help the body recover more quickly, increase strength, and performance. If you are looking to strengthen, but not bulk up, don’t worry. You should still consume protein before your workout. It takes a strategy to bulk up from protein.

Properly Hydrating

As an athlete, it is important to drink plenty of water. Hydration is crucial for performance and skill, so when hydrating, plain ol’ water is best, but you can incorporate other healthy beverages in too. Avoid sugary or sweet drinks and smoothies. You can drink beverages with electrolytes which aid in performance and recovery but avoid ones that have a lot of sugar.

When it comes to hydration tips for better athletic performance, water will keep your joints lubricated, reduces food cravings, assist with digestion and will even help you regulate your body temperature.

Wondering about hydrating before, during, and after a game or workout? Keep these tips in mind:
  • Drink a couple of bottles of water a couple hours before your workout to get into your system—try to drink them throughout the time and not all at once
  • During your workout, drink at least a half of a bottle of water
  • Immediately after your workout, finish the rest of the bottle

Cardio and Strength Training

Cardio and strength training each have their benefits. To advance as an athlete, it is beneficial to incorporate both into your routine.

Cardio is your ticket to burning a large number of calories more quickly if you are looking to lose weight. On average, health experts advise everyone get at least 20 minutes of moderate cardio in five times per week. When incorporating cardio into your fitness routine, you will strengthen your body and reduce your risk for some health issues, reduce stress, have more energy, help your skin, and you will even sleep better! If you are currently a runner and are looking for ways to increase your endurance, don’t expect to be an expert overnight. Start in groups and keep a steady pace. Avoid sprinting and losing your energy. As you work to improve your running skills, visit your local physical therapist for a running analysis.

Strength training is crucial to add to your workout routine, too. While cardio helps you burn calories fast in the moment, strength training works over time. This will help you burn calories after your workout is over and you will build muscle—increasing your strength. Don’t worry, it will not make you bulk up. You will become more tone and notice a boost in energy.

Benefits of Kinesio Taping for Athletes

One way athletes are improving their routines is through Kinesio tape. Kinesio tape is a latex-free, elastic tape that athletes apply to various areas with muscle. They can be used for anyone, with or without injuries. When applied, they help with inflammation or pain. The tape slightly lifts the skin, hence allowing blood flow and reducing pressure. This helps athletes perform and recover better. For those with injuries or bruises, Kinesio tape will speed up recovery times. When in place, they will not be impacted and difficult to move—you can perform as usual. Also, because they help to increase blood flow, many notice an enhanced range of motion and have a better move.

Applying Kinesio tape is easy—just put it in place over the muscle you choose. It is also resistant to water and can be used for swimmers. If wondering how to apply, this is something your local physical therapist can assist with.

As you work to become a better and stronger athlete, Peak Physical Therapy and Wellness has you covered. We have a variety of services that will help your performance as an athlete. We have eight convenient locations, allowing you to visit us at an office near you. To get started, contact Peak PT & Wellness today and schedule your appointment.
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Women's Health in Parker: Using a Physical Therapist for Painful Bladder Syndrome


April 25, 2018

Are you a female that experiences excessive urination throughout the day, pelvic pain or pressure or blood in your urine? You may be one of the 12 percent of women suffering from interstitial cystitis, which is known as painful bladder syndrome. Thankfully, you are not alone and there are ways to alleviate symptoms. As you navigate this issue, learn what painful bladder syndrome is, top signs and symptoms, potential causes, diagnosing, treatments, and how using a specialist for women’s health in Parker can help.

About the Bladder and Painful Bladder Syndrome?

Interstitial cystitis, or painful bladder syndrome, is a condition that affects the pelvic area primarily in women but can happen in men, too. Those who have this condition experience chronic pain in the bladder and entire pelvic area.

The bladder is a sac within the pelvic region, made of a muscle. It is a small organ that collects the urine the body excretes. In a normal, healthy person (without symptoms of painful bladder syndrome), the bladder can store up to two cups of urine. The fuller the bladder gets, the higher the sensation a person will have to urinate.

Urine is produced through the consumption of foods and liquids, medications or medical conditions. However, the bladder is one piece of a larger picture. It is helpful to learn about the urinary tract and how it works to see how the process works.

The color of your urine will tell you a lot about your health. Typically, clear, or light to medium shades of yellow is the sign of normal urine. The lighter the color, the better hydrated you are. Drink at least 64 ounces of water or more throughout the day to help. On average, a normal, healthy person will urinate up to eight times in one day. If your urine is a dark yellow or brown, it is a tell-tale sign of dehydration or possibly issues with your liver. These aren’t the only two colors for urine—vitamins, medications, foods, or the consumption of certain things can cause your urine to be orange, blue or even green. The texture can also change if there are issues. If your urine seems foamy, it could be a sign that you have a problem with your kidneys and should speak to a doctor as soon as possible.

Signs and Symptoms

There are a few key symptoms common to those suffering from painful bladder syndrome. These symptoms can include:
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Bladder pain
  • Painful urination (i.e. burning sensation)
  • Frequent urination (i.e. multiple times an hour throughout the day) and/or having the sensation to urinate all of the time
  • Pressure or tenderness within the pelvic area
  • Pain in the pelvic floor muscles as well as lower back or abdomen
  • Painful intercourse
  • Ulcers or sores
  • Blood in urine

If you notice any of these symptoms and they do not go away, it is important to speak with your doctor. The key to seeking relief is to reach out to solve the problem.

Potential Causes

As of now, the exact cause of painful bladder syndrome is unknown. Some believe it is an autoimmune disease where the body mistakes itself for an invader and tries to fight itself off. It can also happen due to irritation of the bladder wall, or if the wall has scarring.

Despite not having an exact cause, there are a few reasons that doctors and researchers believe painful bladder syndrome occurs or have pinpointed connections.

First is a bladder infection. A bladder infection is an infection of the urinary tract. In a majority of cases, it occurs due to bacteria in the urethra—specifically E. coli. They are commonly treated using antibiotics.

That’s not all. Painful bladder syndrome may actually be genetic. If one of your parents or someone in your family suffers from this condition, it is possible that it may have been passed down to you—and you to a child.

Diagnosing

Since there is not an exact cause that doctors have found, they may not diagnose as painful bladder syndrome right away. However, there are a few things they will do to see what the problem is.

One of those is giving you a urine analysis. By urinating in a cup, they will be able to check your urine for bad bacteria, blood or puss. If any of these are found positive, you may have an infection. In addition, they can also run a urine culture to see what type of bacteria is in your system.

They can also delve into the issue further in more serious cases by examining your urethra with a camera. If they need to test the area, they can take a tissue sample to biopsy. It is also common for the dye to be used in the bladder to see the pattern of the urine flow. Your doctor may also rule out kidney stones or tumors by an ultrasound, MRI or CT scan.

From here, your doctor will take what they have learned and may diagnose you with painful bladder syndrome.

Treatments

If you have a bacterial infection that aids your painful bladder syndrome, your doctor will put you on an antibiotic to help rid your body of the problem. In addition, they may recommend changing your diet, reduce stress and maintain a healthy level of physical activity. If you are a smoker, they will ask you to stop.

Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation through Physical Therapy

Did you know that one of the treatment methods for painful bladder syndrome and other pelvic floor problems is physical therapy? Your local physical therapist can work with you to help strengthen your pelvic floor. Through a series of specialized exercises, they will help you to loosen tight pelvic muscles that will ease some of your symptoms. This is extremely beneficial to regain control and improve men and women’s health.

When it comes to assisting you with your pelvic plan and painful bladder syndrome, Peak Physical Therapy and Wellness will help. Our team will go over with you a variety of strengthening exercises. Schedule your appointment today and contact a Peak PT & Wellness near you.
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Top Misconceptions About Physical Therapy in Denver


April 18, 2018

As Denver physical therapy gains in both respect and popularity, there are still plenty of misconceptions about it. Many people just don’t understand exactly what physical therapists do, what type of certification they need, where they practice, and how different types of physical therapy can vary. Others simply see physical therapists as glorified personal trainers or massage therapists because they don’t realize that there are vigorous education requirements, licensing, and specializations that go along with the field. Others believe that physical therapy only comes into play after undergoing a serious injury or having some kind of major surgery.

The following are some of the most common misconceptions people have about physical therapy.

Any Healthcare Professional Can Practice Physical Therapy

False. Many people don’t realize that physical therapy must be performed by a licensed physical therapist. Physical therapists must have a license, and there are almost always additional certifications needed for specialties such as manual therapy, vestibular therapy, pelvic floor treatment, and others.

Physical Therapists Work in the Hospital Setting Only

False. When most people think of physical therapy, they might be picturing a person in a white uniform conducting therapeutic exercises with a person lying down in a hospital setting. There is much more to physical therapy than that, including functional activities that are conducted in a variety of locations. Some physical therapists do work in hospitals, but others work in offices, make house calls, see patients in nursing homes, visit rehabilitation centers, and a variety of other places. Basically, physical therapists work in virtually every healthcare environment.

There is Just One Type of Physical Therapy Offered

False. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Just as you can find physical therapists in many different settings, they use different types of therapies depending on many factors, including the type of patient and the condition of the patient.

WebMD has a good article on the various types of physical therapy available where you can get more information on the various specialties.

You Cannot See a Physical Therapist Until You See Your Doctor and Get a Referral

False. This might be true in some areas, but overall, people do not need a referral from their doctor to see a physical therapist. In many cases, patients don’t see their doctor at all; the physical therapist diagnosis the problem, recommends treatment, provides treatment, and discharges the patient. This provides an advantage for patients who would like to see a physical therapist of their own choosing.

Patients Should Experience a Lot of Pain and Discomfort Before It Is “Worth It” to See a Physical Therapist

False. For some people, they think physical therapy is only for patients who are rehabbing after surgery or a major injury. But the truth is, coming to the physical therapist at the first sign of pain is one way to get the best results. It’s best to prevent the pain from getting worse by early intervention rather than waiting until the pain is so bad, patients are experiencing serious discomfort. It’s particularly important for those who are pursuing athletic activities to get treatment sooner rather than later.

If you are a runner experiencing discomfort that it preventing you from logging the miles you’d like, find out more about our running analysis and how it can help improve your running and prevent injuries.

Physical Therapy Offers Just One Approach to Healing Patients

False. It might come as a surprise to many people to understand that physical therapy often goes along with other treatments, including massage and manual therapy. Your physical therapist will develop a treatment plan that includes therapeutic exercise and other modalities. This makes movement even more effective.

Physical Therapy Is Only Used After Patients Have Had Some Kind of Surgical Procedure

False. In fact, physical therapy is often prescribed prior to surgery because it might mean surgery isn’t necessary at all. The surgery first, physical therapy second mindset is actually counterproductive. Physical therapy has proven over and over to be as effective as surgery—or even more effective—for certain musculoskeletal conditions.

Physical Therapy Has to Be Painful if It Is Going to Be Effective

False. There is a joke among some patients that “PT” means “pain and torture,” but this is misleading. Sometimes when people have suffered an injury, there can be pain associated with rehabbing that part of the body. But in and of itself, physical therapy is generally not painful.

Diet, Exercise, and Lifestyle Have Nothing to Do With How Successful Physical Therapy Is

False. Unfortunately, there is no way around the importance of exercising and eating right if you want your physical therapy to be successful. Habits such as smoking and being overweight can significantly impede physical therapy progress. Just as you can’t out-exercise a bad diet, you can’t use physical therapy to compensate for an unhealthy lifestyle. In many cases, patients find out the hard way that physical therapy isn’t effective until they clean up their lifestyles and start adopting good healthy habits.

As the field of physical therapy continues to grow, it’s important that patients gain a more accurate understanding of this burgeoning specialty. If you have questions, we invite you to give us a call. Peak Physical Therapy has been in business for more than two decades. We believe our success directly correlates with the lasting results our patients enjoy. We are confident in our team of friendly and knowledgeable therapists and their commitment to improving how much you can enjoy your daily life.

Find out about Denver physical therapy and whether it—or any of our other services—will help you. We offer TMJ treatment, dry needling, hand therapy, injury risk assessment, kinesio taping, manual therapy, running analysis, and TRX training among others. 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 return to a normal, pain-free lifestyle! Call us today!
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