Denver Physical Therapy & Wellness

Why Flexibility Matters with your Denver Physical Therapist

Why Flexibility Matters with your Denver Physical Therapist
Movement is what our bodies are for. If we didn’t need to walk, run, talk, jump, etc then there would be no need for our intricately designed muscular system. In order to move with ease, our muscles require a certain degree of flexibility. Why is flexibility important? We will discuss some of the reasons here.

Injury Prevention

Flexibility plays a large role in the range of motion of our muscles. As flexibility increases, risk due to run of the mill injuries decreases. This is because our bodies can move in a less rigid manner allowing more fluid transition between positions and activities. If you have ever tried to run or play a game without warming up, you may be familiar with slight pain or less mobility than you are used to. Stretching engages our muscles and promotes flexibility. Highlighted in OrthoInfo by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons is a list of stretches that promote flexibility. Here at Peak Physical Health and Wellness we also recommend a number of these activities to our clients to improve flexibility and promote injury prevention.

Improve Balance

Balance and flexibility are tightly intertwined. Every muscle in our body is connected in some manner. As we engage in activity and work on total flexibility, we are strengthening those connections and working through tightness. A study published in the Journal of Sports, Science, and Medicine indicated a noticeable improvement in balance where the control group was concerned. In this study, individuals who did 50 minute sessions of activity twice weekly had increased balance compared to their counterparts.

Muscle and Mental Longevity

Almost no one yearns for a shorter life. Flexibility is incredible for maintaining a stable muscular system and along with that, strengthens the mental. When humans are restricted it wears on the mind. Not being able to function as you once could can cause unwanted mental strain. Maintaining a level of flexibility is important to how we move about our daily lives; from reaching to crouching, flexibility plays a role. An article written in Harvard Health showcases the importance of flexibility in our everyday lives.

Are you looking for more mobility? Do you desire increased flexibility and everything that comes with it? Reach out to us today or visit one of our many metro offices. We here at Peak Health and Wellness strive to help you live healthily and happily. Don’t hesitate, give us a call today!


Stretching with your Denver Physical Therapist

Stretching with your Denver Physical Therapist
Are you interested in reducing your risk of injury? We here at Peak Physical Therapy and Wellness can help! While there are many ways to reduce the likelihood you may become injured, stretching is beneficial for so many reasons.

Sitting down, standing up, and other movements are often made without a second thought. Though we don’t think about it, all of these actions engage our muscles in different ways. Increasing overall flexibility by stretching will help keep these motions fluid while also preparing your muscles and body for more strenuous activity. Here at Peak Physical Therapy and Wellness we have a plethora of services that incorporate stretching. Below are some  stretches that are beneficial for your body as well as our services which include a stretching regimen.

First we will mention static stretching and to note, there are plenty of static stretches to choose from. These movements require little space and are incredible to start warmups while also working towards increased flexibility. Sitting down or standing, a few of our favorites include: forward fold, gentle reaches for the sky, arms over the head both left and right leaning, cross body arm stretches, sitting toe reach with legs together as well as toe reaches with legs apart, and butterfly or cobblers pose. If you decide to do all of these, most major muscle groups will be engaged and start to loosen up for more intensive stretching or other activities! 

While all of these movements may not require assistance, sometimes a prop can help you maintain positions longer or alleviate uncomfortable pressure if some are too intense. In our return to sports training services we often highly advise modified stretches and movements. A main prop we would recommend is often referred to as a “block” in yoga. This can be any firm rectangular item such as a dictionary or even a folded up towel. The reason this prop is beneficial is because it brings the ground closer to you or lifts you further from it. Creating different angles with our bodies can feel more natural and comfortable which is what we want! Do not press yourself too hard. Instead of reducing your chances of injury through stretching you might be causing more harm to your muscles and joints.

An incredible low impact activity while moving is going for a walk. While walking, try taking different sized strides. Larger or smaller steps engage the leg muscles differently and will also get your brain working a bit harder. Try swinging your arms more but in a controlled manner or let the rhythm of your step take the lead. Movement is good for our muscles. If we don't use them we lose them as the saying goes. 

A few other stretches that can be done statically or as you begin to move include: lunges (there are lots of variations), high kicks (forward and crossbody), high knees, butt kicks, and walking with toes pointed towards the sky or on the outsides of your feet. With mild impact on  the joints, these motions in movement can help build readiness for any activity or to begin the day. Come in for an injury risk assessment and we can advise what stretches would be most beneficial for you!

Whether an athlete or an everyday person, stretching can help prevent injury and increase muscle and joint range of motion. Stop into one of our locations or schedule an appointment online today to speak with one of our physical therapists and see what may be best for you!

Are you at risk of injury? Your Denver physical therapist can tell you

April 14, 2022

Are you at risk of injury? Your Denver physical therapist can tell you
Few things are more inconvenient than an unexpected injury. Whether a professional athlete or simply someone who enjoys activity, our bodies are important. While we here at Peak physical therapy and wellness offer recuperative services, we also provide injury preventative programs as well! Employing two different systems, we are able to determine your ability and risk of injury. Our ultimate goal is to provide you with an exercise plan that will keep you moving and unharmed.

What do we do? Previous to developing a plan, we utilize either FMS (Functional movement screening) or SFMA (Selective functional movement assessment) to gain a better understanding of your current physical state. Both of these systems provide a snapshot of your current range of motion and can be used to help build total body fitness through specified exercises.

FMS Functional Movement Screening

This screening is useful when establishing a starting point and realistic goals for total bodily health. A system that assesses different functional movements, many professional organizations including the MLB, NFL, and NHL utilize FMS. Looking to build strength and speed while also instituting corrective movement patterns? Start here with us and FMS, we will aid you in decreasing your risk of injury while improving your overall health.

SFMA Selective Functional Movement Assessment

A more indepth movement assessment, this system is used to determine significant medical problems in targeted areas. SFMA is employed when FMS is not enough. Providing more prescriptive examinations it aids our physical therapists in identifying the source of pain as well as the potential cause. 

Post assessment or screening your physical therapist will provide an action plan including things like stretches, exercises, and stationary practices. We recommend a follow up to reassess your movement and determine the success of the initial plan. So, before you experience pain or injury, let us help. We want to minimize injury and the negative complications our guests could experience. Mobility is a gift that we want to ensure we can keep on giving. Reach out to us today to schedule an appointment!

Keeping your edge this winter with your Denver physical therapist

April 13, 2022

Keeping your edge this winter with your Denver physical therapist
Athletes know that no matter the time of year, maintaining their fitness is crucial to being prepared for the next season. It takes a lot more than going to the gym and not skipping leg day to keep in shape! Here are some tips from your Denver physical therapist to staying fit as well as some services we offer to help you along the way!

Firstly, your body can only perform as well as what you put into it. The cliche “you are what you eat” is scarily accurate. This is because the body's natural systems function better when fed specific vitamins and minerals. For example: Vitamin A keeps vital organs working properly such as your heart, liver, and lungs and Vitamin C helps boost the immune system. While vitamin supplements are available, you lose out on the additional nutrients you’d receive from eating them in food form. The next time you’re compiling your grocery list, take a look at these important vitamins and minerals and what foods they reside within. Consider meal planning and add a few items into your cart to enrich your meals and body today.

Beyond the consumption of foods rich in vitamins and minerals, sleep is very important to overall health. Without a solid sleep schedule you can be left drained before the day has even begun. A report by the CDC, recommends 7 hours a night minimum for people aged 18 and up. Throughout these seven hours your body moves through four different stages of rest. The first and second stages are your body's way of entering and then settling into your sleep. These first two stages usually last about 30 minutes total followed by the third stage of NREM or, non rapid eye movement. This third stage is where you experience your deepest sleep. Your body starts to physically repair itself as your blood pressure drops and breathing slows. This is the sleep we are trying to achieve for our body's sake. When it comes to dreams, they are present in the last stage, when you enter REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Here the body is completely relaxed while the brain awakens thus leading to dreams. These stages repeat throughout your sleep until you eventually awaken, usually, refreshed.

When your body is well nourished and reseted it is much easier to engage in any day to day activity. Doing workouts feels easier as your muscles are more equipped to deal with the strain put upon them. One last great way your Denver physical therapist recommends to maintain your fitness is to engage in low impact activities such as swimming or yoga. This helps you balance out more strenuous engagements by realigning and recuperating your body. 

Here at PEAK Physical Therapy, beyond recommending activities best suited for your fitness maintenance needs, we look at and use both FMS (Flexible Manufacturing System) and SFMA’s (Selective Functional Movement Assessment). These help inform our physical therapist on how to best help shield your body from potential damaged joints and muscles. Contact us today here to get into one of our clinics; whether looking to begin your fitness journey or maintain it, we have got you covered!

Three Ways to Build Healthy Habits Today!

Don't make it hard on yourself, start slow.

April 24, 2020

Three Ways to Build Healthy Habits Today!
Stretch Regularly and Limit Screen Time

Undoubtedly, many people who are stuck at home during the quarantine are going to want to binge-watch Netflix and scroll through Facebook and Instagram as a way to pass the time and forget about the current state of the world. The goal of these sources of media is to keep you watching and scrolling for as long as possible. While it may feel inspring to see others on social media, it can also cause you to become unproductive and uninspired thinking "I should be doing more."

Instead start by building small habits!

If you want to stretch more, start by stretching for 2 minutes! That's it! Once you stretch for two minutes you can reward youself with the next episode of Netflix!

Very quickly you begin to build better habits and stretching will become a routine.

Becoming stiff and immobile during the lockdown is a recipe for a serious setback whenever society is able to reopen and engaging in regular activities once again. Stretching will help you to improve your chances of not injuring yourself once you’re able to get back to your favorite form of exercise which is currently restricted.

Check out this two minute yoga flow to get you started!

Use the Quarantine to Slow Down and Recenter Yourself

If there’s a major benefit to society coming to a screeching halt, it’s the fact that you will be able to recenter your focus and attention and learn how to practice mindfulness. Downtime does not need to be a massive burden that is filled with large periods of boredom and restlessness. In fact, you can use this time to surge past your former self and become more grounded and centered.

Just as above, find a quick way to add a new mindfulness habit to your routine. Every day after you finish brushing your teeth, close your eyes and take three deep breaths.

Or try practicing gratitude! After you brush your teeth, say one thing you are grateful for like your family or the food in your pantry or the ability to read this blog!

It’s also important to keep in mind that fear and stress will be a burden for your immune system, something that is vitally important to keep in check during a pandemic. Fear will also make you more likely to engage in activities that are unhealthy for you, whether it be drinking, smoking, or other addictive and destructive activities.

Practicing mindfulness will help focus your attention on activities that improve your level of health and make you more prepared for anything that may happen during this time.

Exercise Regularly and Prioritize the Things That Serve You

One of the most important things you can do for yourself during a health crisis is to continue improving your health and engaging in regular exercise. Although there are stay-at-home orders all over the country, you are thankfully still able to exercise outside, allowing you to stay active during a period of great uncertainty. With any form of exercise, it is important to engage in things that you are likely to want to do more than once, things that bring you joy and excitement. If you hate running, think of something that you’d prefer to do instead, such as biking or even rollerblading.

You may need to think outside of your normal routine, especially if you are used to going to the gym and taking advantage of their facilities. Whatever it is you decide to do, think about creating a plan that will be easy to follow and will serve your overall health goals.

If finding motivation is hard, implement the ideas from above. Start by walking to the end of the block and back. That's it! If you feel like doing more then go for it, but if you made it to the end of the block, then you've succeeded and you're free to go back.

Do this every day and just like the other activites, they will slowly become part of your routine. You don't need to change your life on a dime, the quarantine has already done that for us. You have years to build new habits, so take it one day at a time a few minutes at a time.