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How to Keep Your Kids Active When School Sports Get Cancelled According to Your Aurora Physical Therapy Team

January 27, 2021

The future of school sports seasons seems to be in limbo and between working from home, remote schooldays, and minimal recreation activities, keeping the family active can be tough. Lack of physical activity doesn’t just leave your kids with boundless amounts of energy—it also hurts their physical health and well-being. Truthfully, the entire family can benefit from getting a little extra exercise throughout the week, especially when regular activities aren’t something you can safely engage in. Here are a few great ways to get your entire family up and moving from your trusted experts in physical therapy based in Aurora, CO.

Play Video Games

Ordinarily, video games aren’t the most active way to pass the time. Most players sit still during the entire gaming session, but that doesn’t mean you have to follow suit. You can easily turn your kids’ video game sessions into physically active and fun times each day. Play with them and, rather than sitting still, get up and move with the characters on the screen. If the character is running, jog in place. If they jump over an obstacle, jump up, too. Over the course of an entire gaming session, you and your kids will have moved around and gotten your heart rates up enough to count as at least a short workout. 

Go for Evening Walks or Jogs

After a long day of both work and school, your entire family will likely feel a little stiff. Rather than spending the evening vegging out in front of the television, be active. When the weather is pleasant, start going for evening walks. Walk around the block at a brisk pace and if your kids start jogging, jog with them. This simple amount of physical activity can be enough to help you reach your fitness goals. At worst, you’ll work out the kinks and knots in your muscles and will help your kids burn off energy at the end of the day. Just make sure you’re dressing appropriately for the weather and are following local ordinances to help you and your family stay healthy and safe.

Pick up a New, Active Hobby

If you’re stuck at home, there’s no better time than the present to pick up a new hobby. Just make sure it’s an active one. Look for things you and your kids can learn to do together. Not sure where to start? These simple options are great ways to stay active:
  • Juggling
  • Dancing
  • Hula Hooping
  • Yoga
  • Gardening

Think about what you and your family love doing most and find ways to expand your interests into more active pursuits. Remember, it’s okay if your new hobbies are challenging. Your mind can always use the workout, just like the rest of your body.

Talk to Your Kids’ Coaches About Zoom Practices

If your kids normally play on a school sports team or local community team but can’t right now, don’t give up. Talk to their coaches and see if they can arrange a video practice each week. During these sessions, your kids can run drills with their teammates without leaving the safety of your yard. Even better, your kids will feel like they got to hang out with their friends. This can go a long way toward helping you preserve a sense of normalcy in their lives. 

Get Them to Take Recess Each Day…and Join Them

When your kids are at school, they typically get at least one recess period during the day. This allows them to burn off energy and helps them stay focused during their classes. When they’re stuck studying at home, making sure they take their recess breaks just like normal is essential. It helps get them up and moving every day. If you can, take a recess for yourself and go play outside with them. This will get you active and moving during the middle of your work shift and can help you burn a few extra calories each day.

Pick up Some Basic but Fun Exercise Equipment

When you think about exercise, you probably picture going to the gym or spending hours outside running on a track. In other words, you picture some of the most boring activities out there. All you need to do is invest in a little bit of exercise equipment that the entire family can use and enjoy. These include mini-trampolines or rebounders, jump ropes, bicycles, and punching bags. These are tools that the entire family can use to burn energy and get fit without the experience feeling like a boring workout.

Take Active Days Off

Just because you’re spending more time at home than usual doesn’t mean you have to stay at home on your days off. Start planning fun excursions with your family around the greater Denver area. There are dozens of hiking trails, lakes, rivers, and outdoor attractions that you can enjoy safely while also being active. 

Have a Speed-Cleaning Challenge Once a Week

When you’re spending more time at home, it’s only natural that the house will get dirtier, faster. Instead of cleaning things once they build up, be proactive and active. Have your kids perform a speed cleaning challenge once a week. Whoever cleans their room fastest—up to your standards, of course—wins the right to choose a weekend activity or gets to pick dinner one night. You can even get in on the action by speed cleaning your office. Move as fast as you can while still doing a good job. You’ll get your heart rate up in no time!

Staying Fit Can Still Be Fun

Staying healthy and reducing your risk of needing physical therapy will improve your quality of life. But getting active doesn’t have to seem like a chore. You just need to think outside of the box. Keep these activities in mind and try them for yourself. They’ll get you and the rest of your family up and moving in no time. If, at any point, you end up getting injured or feel an old injury acting up as a result of your increased activity, contact us to schedule an assessment.

If you are having hip or groin pain with activity, it could be FAI or Hip Impingement.

By Danielle Schoenthaler - January 18, 2021

If you are having hip or groin pain with activity, it could be FAI or Hip Impingement.

Were you or someone you know diagnosed with FAI or Hip Impingement and not sure what that means?

FAI stands for Femoral Acetabular Impingement. The hip is a ball and socket joint and impingement happens when there is an abnormal rubbing between the two surfaces. This can happen based on the shape of the joint. There can be an over coverage on the socket, a miss-shape of the ball, or often a combination of both. Impingement in adolescents or young adults can lead to a tear in the labrum or cartilage which causes pain in the hip or can cause early arthritis in the joint.

Physical therapy can often be a great way to treat symptoms including:

  • Improving range of motion and decreasing soft tissue restrictions
  • Strengthening the surrounding muscles to decrease load to the joint
  • Learning to modify activities to avoid impingement.

Unfortunately, we cannot change the shape of the bone, so depending on the severity or age of the individual surgery is often required. The intent of the surgery is to correct the shape of the bone and then repair or replace the labrum in the hip. Patients are typically able to make a full return to sport or previous activities via arthroscopy (scope) surgery and following 4-6 months of rehab.

The best way to preserve the joint is to catch it early!
If you are having hip or groin pain with activity, see your local Peak physical therapist and get a diagnosis as early as possible.


Quick Tips - Tackling Stairs with Crutches!

Tackling Stairs with Crutches!

Often overlooked until the moment comes when you are looking up or down a staircase with crutches in hand thinking... now what?

If you have an upcoming surgery or have suddenly found yourself having to use crutches, stairs can be the most challenging part of getting around your house or even gracefully hopping up a curb onto the sidewalk.

Here are our quick tips to ensure you can make it around your house and your community safely.  

  1. Up with the “Good” (uninjured), Down with the “bad” (Injured) 
  2. When stepping up the stairs, Leave crutches below the step and place weight through your hands on the crutches, step up with the uninjured leg. Bring the crutches up the step to meet you.  
  3. When stepping down the stairs, stand on your uninjured leg and hold your injured leg in front of you hanging over the step and place the crutches on the step below. Then support your weight through your hands, and bring your uninjured leg down the step to meet the crutches.  

Patellar Mobilizations  - What is it? Why is it done? 

By Kelly Thornton, PT, DPT - January 4, 2021

Patellar Mobilizations  - What is it? Why is it done? 

If you have recently had surgery, you may have noticed your physical therapist frequently moves your kneecap, or patella, up and down and side to side. Why is this performed you may wonder? Well, if you tense your quadricep muscle on the front of the thigh on your uninvolved side you will see that the patella moves up, or superiorly.  


The quad and the patella have a working relationship for the knee joint to function properly. When the quad fires, the knee extends, and the patella moves superiorly. Inversely, when the knee flexes, the patella moves downward, or inferiorly.  

Immediately following surgery, the ability of the quad to fire decreases due to swelling and atrophy. Sometimes adhesions can form around the patella during this time, so it is important to get the patella moving again. Your physical therapist will often mobilize the patella in different directions. The purpose is to help the quad to fire or to restore range of motion in the knee joint. Your quad can’t fire without a superior movement of the patella. Also, if you have increased superior movement of the patella, you will gain more knee extension. Have you ever noticed feeling more range of motion in the knee following manual therapy? This is one of the reasons why PT works! 


Aurora Physical Therapy Team Explains How Stress Impacts Your Health

December 28, 2020

Stress is one of the most pervasive issues adults face every day. It comes from your job, your social life, your financial health, and sometimes the community at large. Whatever the cause of your stress is, the longer you experience those feelings, the more impact it can have on your health and wellbeing. Though getting physical therapy in Aurora, CO, can help you manage the physical symptoms of your stress, it’s still best if you understand how stress can impact your health. The sooner you can recognize the signs, the faster you’ll be able to seek proper treatment and get your life back on track. 

Frequent Aches and Pains
One of the most common symptoms of stress is seemingly inexplicable aches and pains that pop up without warning. This happens because your muscles are overly tight and, as long as you’re stressed, will stay that way without being given the chance to relax and let go. Over time, those tight muscles can lead to changes in your posture and your body’s natural alignment, making it harder to enjoy the activities you normally do. Worse, by overcompensating for those sore muscles with other muscle groups, you increase the number of pain points across your body. 

Increased Blood Pressure 
Stress doesn’t just make your muscles sore. It can also have far-reaching consequences with your heart health and blood pressure. When you get stressed and stay that way, your blood pressure goes up on its own. This is true even if your blood pressure levels are normal when you’re less stressed. It’s part of your body’s natural response to external stress triggers. Unfortunately, high blood pressure can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke over time. The sooner you can de-stress and unwind, the easier it will be to get your blood pressure levels back down where they belong.

Intestinal Upset
If you’ve ever been so stressed and anxious that you’ve felt sick to your stomach, you’re not alone. It’s more common than you might think and while stomachaches are relatively rare and reserved for people experiencing the highest levels of stress, it’s normal to have digestive upset during periods of increased emotional or mental strain. In most instances, this will show up as increased bloating, gas, nausea, and even a lack of hunger. Though dealing with those symptoms in the short term is doable, they can become particularly troublesome for your health if you have to cope with them for days on end. 

Weakened Immune System
Stress can also wreak havoc on your immune system. It causes it to weaken or become less effective at fighting viruses and bacteria that you get exposed to at work, the store, or in public. This is because your body is diverting energy away from your immune system to help you maintain your fight or flight response. The weaker your immune system is, the harder it will be for you to stay healthy throughout the year. Once you find ways to de-stress, you’ll be able to boost your immune system and get things back in shape.

Trouble Sleeping
One of the biggest symptoms of serious stress is the inability to get to sleep or stay that way throughout the night. Insomnia doesn’t just hurt your sleep schedule. It can also have a major impact on your health. Remember, your body rests, heals, and recharges when you’re sleeping. If you’re not getting enough sleep each night, your body won’t be able to recover fully. You’ll likely notice changes in your productivity at work, your focus, and your ability to enjoy the little things in life.

Increased Risk of Injury
Remember those tight muscles you have when you’re stressed? Well, they can end up increasing your risk of muscle strain and injury just from your normal activities. When your muscles are tight, they have less of their natural range of motion and aren’t able to withstand the shifting, pushing, and pulling that you do in your regular movements. Instead, they’re more vulnerable to strains and tears. Those strains can take months of work and recovery to heal fully. Though a physical therapist will be able to help you speed up your recovery, you’ll still need to find ways to lower your stress if you want to avoid injuries in the future.

Weight Gain
Though some people experience digestive issues and upset when they’re stressed that can cause them to stop eating or eat less, others don’t. Some people end up eating more than they need to or start indulging in junk foods that they shouldn’t eat on a regular basis. Unfortunately, eating more junk and more calories each day can cause you to gain weight even if you’re otherwise maintaining the same healthy habits you do when you’re not stressed. The more weight you gain, the more it can impact your stress levels and your overall health. Remember, carrying more weight than is healthy can be tough on your joints and your cardiovascular system.

What You Can Do
One of the best things you can do for your overall health and wellbeing is to find ways to relax and unwind even when you’re stressed. This might mean stepping away from situations that you find stressful or taking time for yourself each evening to meditate or read a favorite book. These simple acts of self care can help you avoid the common issues caused by stress in the long run. 

Put Yourself First
Stressors are everywhere. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or stressed and notice aches and pains that just won’t go away, schedule an appointment with your physical therapist as soon as you can. The sooner you can find ways to help your body heal, the better off your body and your wellbeing will be. Remember, asking for help isn’t something to feel ashamed of. It just means you’re recognizing your own limits. Reach out to our team and schedule a consultation with our experienced physical therapists. We’ll help you find the appropriate treatment protocol to help you overcome any stress-related injuries.