Healthy eating is just as important as exercise and physical therapy to maintain your overall health and prevent injury. Good nutrition means knowing what to avoid as well as knowing what to eat. For nearly a half-century, the food pyramid has been an effective tool in nutrition education, helping people of all ages see past the data to achieve a balanced diet.
Gardening is a rewarding hobby and a passion, but it has its costs. Don’t let pain prevent you from continuing to enjoy your hobbies. Physical therapy, a consistent exercise routine, and a plan for moderate gardening can help you to garden safely and avoid long-term complications like arthritis.
It’s that time of the year when the temperature begins to drop. If you’re an active person you know that this is also the time nagging aches and pains resurface. You’ll feel these unpleasant and sometimes unbearable sensations around your joints.
If you’re familiar with cold weather joint pain, you’re not alone!
According to the (CDC), about 23% of Americans have arthritis. This means around 58 million people stock up on knee wraps and Tylenol for the winter.
We can always blame the weather, but what is it about the cold that causes joint pain to flare up?
According to WebMD, cold weather creates the dreaded pain and stiffness around your joints by:
The nervous system — particularly the nerve endings — is essential to the perception of sensations. The nerve endings are responsible for taking sensations like temperature and pain felt on the skin and transporting them through the body as electrical signals. These electrical signals make their way to the brain where they are either processed as pain or pleasure.
As the temperature drops, the cold stimulates the nerve endings. Because the sensation is of the air and not pressure, a different signal goes to the brain. In a 2020 study, cold — particularly extreme cold — has been shown to elicit a sensation that is identical to pain.
By default, the cold is not the cause of actual pain. However, the study above suggests that you’ll perceive cold temperatures as pain when the cold becomes “too cold.”
Cold Weather Joint Pain as a Result of Muscle Spasms
Other than increasing your pain sensitivity, the cold also affects your muscles. Muscle spasms occur more frequently during the colder times of the year.
One of the ways your body tries to maintain its temperature is by muscle contraction. In other words, when the temperature drops, your muscles will be activated - this is why you shiver!
For some people, shivering hardly leads to pain. However, for anyone suffering from arthritis, spinal cord injury, and other neuromotor issues, prolonged shivering causes spasms.
When the muscles spasm or “freeze up,” the pain can be unbearable, often resembling a cramp. During muscle spasms, the joints that spastic muscles surround can be painful and stiff.
Stiffness is common on the nearby muscles of small joints like the fingers and toes. Muscle spasms in the quadriceps from the cold also lead to stiffness and pain in weight-bearing joints. Examples of weight-bearing joints are the knees, ankles, and hips.
Tissue Expansion and Joint Pain in the Cold
Lastly, another theory that accounts for the pain you feel in your joints during the winter involves tissue expansion. According to the University of Chicago Medical Center, cold temperatures have a way of affecting air pressure. This is important because of how tissues inside your joints respond to changes in pressure.
Decreases in air pressure can cause the tissues inside the joints to expand. The expansion is also partly due to the increase in fluid.
Both reactions are meant to keep the joints mobile during cold weather. The problem is that the expansion of tissues can lead to pain for arthritis patients.
As the joints expand, they press on the pain receptors close to the skin. The pressure on the pain receptors causes pain in the area where the joint is. Most of the time, the pain radiates or spreads to nearby areas, making simple tasks like walking or gripping problematic.
Can Anything Be Done about Winter Joint Pain?
Yes! Here are some simple tips to manage your flare-ups:
If there is no need to exert yourself, why bother? Sometimes resting the affected limb or joint is enough to cause relief.
Warmth and Compression
During the cold months, it’s important to stay warm. Not only should you be dressing in warm layers, but sometimes compressive clothing can be helpful as well. Compression will be helpful on the weight-bearing joints (areas like ankles and knees)
When Allowed, Consider Over-the-counter Pain Medications
There are many medications you can take to alleviate joint pain. Most of the time, these medications are NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications). These medications were formulated to stop pain by decreasing inflammation.
Speak to a physician before you purchase pain medications.
Manage Winter Joint Pain with Physical Therapy
The cold weather can cause your joints to hurt unbearably. If the tips above do little to help, there is another solution.
Physical therapy can help alleviate pain, whatever the cause. With therapy, your joints can regain their health and natural range of motion.
Call us now and give winter joint pain the cold shoulder. 2165454034
Sitting too long can cause pain in your legs and other parts of your body. It's not just because you're sitting up straight or have tight muscles, either. Sitting causes blood flow restriction, which leads to swelling around nerve endings, so they get irritated faster than usual, and this is what gives people "sitting disease." You don’t need to suffer through any more aches-and pains at work by taking some quick action today.
Work on Your PostureSitting up straight can be uncomfortable, so you might want to try a lumbar support cushion or wedge, which will help your back stay upright and take the pressure off. If possible, also make sure that your chair has an adjustable height for better comfort.
If you have pelvic pain, find the right cushion, you may have to try different kinds until you find one that works for you. The right cushion will help you sit up straight and keep your posture in a comfortable position.
Move Positions Every 30 MinutesThis is a great way to keep your muscles loose, and it's also a good way to avoid getting blood clots. When you're at work, try to get up and move around every 30 minutes or so. If that's not possible, then make sure you do some stretches at your desk.
Additionally, you can try to move your chair closer to or farther away from your desk, and you can also try changing the chair's height. You should also alternate between sitting and standing every once in a while.
Keep WarmIf you're feeling cold, it can aggravate the pain in your legs. When it's cold out, there is nothing worse than trying to concentrate on your work when your legs and feet are cold. Make sure to dress warmly when you're going to be sitting for a long time. You might also want to try a heating pad on your lower back or feet.
Keeping your muscles and legs warm is another important way to cope with pain while sitting. You can take a hot shower or bath before you start your day and apply some lotion afterward.
Stretch RegularlyStretching is one of the best things that you can do to help with your pain. It's a good way to loosen up your muscles, and it feels great too! There are lots of different stretches that you can do at your desk or even in bed before you go to sleep.
If you're looking for some easy stretches to help with your pain, perform these three exercises:
Make sure you take breaks away from your computer, too. Don't get up and sit back down unless it's necessary. It will keep the muscles in your legs loose so that when you're sitting for a long time again, you'll be more comfortable.
ConclusionYou can help yourself cope with pain by working on your posture, moving positions every 30 minutes, keeping warm, and stretching regularly. Doing these things will decrease the amount of discomfort you feel and increase how long you can sit before needing a break.
If this sounds like something that may be helpful for you or someone in your life who suffers from this pain during sitting periods, give us a call today at 216-545-4034. We're happy to answer any questions and provide more information about our services.
For more information on coping with the pain of sitting down, please visit our website at www.marygoldsteinpt.com.
Sciatica symptoms can vary from having severe pain that radiates through the legs and feed to a burning sensation or the inability to put your full weight on one leg.
According to Harvard Health, approximately 40% of people experience sciatica at some point in their life, with about 10% of the population suffering at any given time.
Though it’s common to experience sciatica, it’s not normal.
In this article, you’ll learn tips on dealing with sciatic pain and what to do next to keep it from getting worse.
If you’re seeking physical therapy, you’re usually motivated by a desire to get rid of aches, pains or getting back to living your life and doing the things you love. . Maybe you’re even looking for an alternate route than surgery.
Your problem could be due to an accident, illness, injury, or recovery from surgery. Regardless of the cause, your number one goal is to get back to “normal.” You want to feel like you did “before.”
But what happens if your experience at a physical therapy clinic doesn’t meet your expectations? As you probably guessed, it can adversely affect your healing process. This situation often happens in a “big box” practice where physical therapy involves offering patients a one-size-fits-all treatment plan instead of individual and personal care.
In this article, we’ll outline what’s common in the industry and why seeking out personalized physical therapy is a better option for your recovery. Understanding personalized PT and its value in five key areas can help you make the best choices for your health.
How many times have you run that mile? How many times have you looked at your stopwatch and sighed at the missed minutes or seconds on the clock? Sport performance is an incredibly powerful driving force for athletes, and when minutes and seconds become indicators of success, making the most of every movement, every muscle, and every intentional stride, means the difference between winning and falling short. Fitness, strength, flexibility, mobility, and precision… these are but a few of the things involved in sport performance. In this post, we’re looking at the ways in which physical therapy can exponentially boost your sports performance. That’s right! It’s not all about back disks and joint pain… physical therapy can be the different between a good run, length, ski, or jump, and a great one. Let’s see how!
If you suffer from arthritis, winter is less a call for celebration, snowball fights, and snuggly evenings on the sofa, and more a cause of worry, anxiety and – sadly – pain. Colder weather seems to usher in a worsening of arthritic symptoms, and the winter months can often leave those suffering from its effects with low moods, bed bound, and even worse off than they were a year ago. So in this post, we’re looking at exactly why colder weather affects arthritic joints, how you can avoid the pain associated with this, and ultimately, how you can move forward knowing that the colder months will no longer be a cause of anxiety in your life. Let’s get started.
Stress can be a killer: from making you lose sleep, to raising your blood pressure and alienating loved ones, it can have a massive impact on not only your mental wellbeing, but your physical health, too. Stress places pressure on your heart, tightens your muscles and causes you to lose flexibility and mobility over time, too; stress can literally rob you of your independence in many ways. This post comes at a time where each and every one of us – globally – has had to deal with more stress overall, and juggling the COVID-19 pandemic, financial pressure, and trying to maintain our physical health, has been taking a serious toll. In this post, then, we offer you some guidelines for dealing with stress – we hope these tips will promote a better, relaxed lifestyle, a healthier body, and a happier you. Follow along and try your best to implement them throughout your day. Here we go!
What do you think about when I say the following: “Core Strength”? It’s natural to think of your core as just your abdominal muscles – surfer ‘6 packs’ and ‘washboard abs’. It’s natural to want that, too! But, what if I told you that core strength is something entirely different? What if it isn’t about having the perfect beach body or wearing a bikini like a model? What if core strength is about being strong… not so that you can pick up boulders, but so that you can stay mobile for longer? That’s exactly what this post is all about: we’re giving you the low down on what core strength is, why it’s important, and how you can achieve it. Stay tuned – here we go!
As we move through these unprecedented times, we’re faced with new issues every day. These teething problems may include installing a hand-wash timer in the bathroom, packing the dishwasher more often, or planning meals further in advance than you normally would. One other problem that may not have caught your attention yet is back health. Working from home, and spending so much more time on the sofa or in bed, can wreak havoc on your back in the long term. It’s absolutely vital that you take care of your back and prevent low back pain from taking hold in your life. Luckily, we’re here to help. Take a look at some of these helpful tips to stave of low back pain and keep you fit and healthy as you tackle the other, non-physical issues around you.
Sometimes it feels as though we’re living through a movie, not reality. For many of us, our daily routines have been trimmed down from trips to the office, shopping, hiking, time with friends, gym, going out for drinks, and date nights, to getting up from the bed and moving to the sofa… only to move back to bed when the sun sets. We’ve been flung out of our ‘normal’ into an unknown, sedentary world. And, of course, it’s not just your gin and tonic craving that’s not getting fulfilled – it’s your PT program, too. In the course of a few weeks, many of you reading this may have effectively stopped your physical activities and given up on doing your regular physical therapy routine. So, it’s time we wrote you a blog.
The good old days…, strolling down your driveway to wave at a neighbor and perhaps share in some gossip, meeting your friends at the local sushi restaurant for a bite to eat… we miss that, don’t we? Self-isolation and quarantine can be really tough on our minds, hearts, and bodies. We tend to see things differently and we may even start to become down-hearted, feel less energetic, and, in general, we may start forgetting what it means to stay healthy in mind, body, and soul. In fact, some of you reading this might be avoiding the scales like a plague because tucking into a bag of chips has now replaced your regular walk! Don’t worry – this is much more common than you think. So, we’re writing to share some thoughts on how to stay healthy and active during these unprecedented times, not only for your mental well being, but for your muscles, heart, immune system, and general physical health, too.
Remember how you used to be terrified of needles as a child? How thinking about the glinting needles probably helped you forget you were sick at all? Yes, we all know that feeling and remember it well. So, what changed? As we grew up, became braver, and started listening to our bodies a little less, our distrust of needles seems to have dwindled. Now, we run to the doctor for all manner of injections, and while vitamin B shots and flu jabs are at the lower risk end of the spectrum, many injections pose a very large, very scary risk to our health and wellbeing.
If your desk area consists of a sofa cushion, and low coffee table, then we’re taking a stab in the dark and guessing you’ve converted your living room into an office. And while that’s all fun and games, working from home can actually be quite stressful on your muscles and joints – despite the extended periods sitting down! In this post, we discuss the ways in which you can stay healthy and active while working from home. So, let’s adjust the couch seat, make a fresh brew, and get stuck in!
Have you ever wondered why your neck always hurts? What about why there is that nagging discomfort in your upper and lower back? How about the nagging pain in your shoulders, hips, or even feet? Well, all of those aches and pains could be down to one very important aspect of your life: your posture. Yes, that’s right. For those of you who have never considered your posture important, or who haven’t really given the way you sit, stand, or walk much thought, we’re giving you some advice: it’s time to take notice. Your posture affects almost everything about your body, from muscle health through to bone structure and overall mobility. It’s no wonder, then, that today’s blog is all about posture. So, get ready, sit up straight, and start diving into why your posture matters.
Stress. Six little letters is all it takes to make a word so full of meaning that few of us really know how to get to the bottom of it. Stress: is it that feeling you get when a deadline is looming, or is it what we feel when the chicken roast burns, the movie didn’t record, or we forgot to pick our mother-in-law up from the airport? Possibly, but could it be that it’s more than that? What if you haven’t been able to pay your mortgage for a few months, if a family member has been diagnosed with an illness, or if you simply can’t keep up with the pace at work? What if you don’t know how to cope anymore? Stress is all this and, perhaps, a whole lot more. In this blog, we’re talking about all things stress-related: what it is, what it can be, how it ultimately affects not only your mental health, but your physical health as well, and, finally, what you can do about it. Keep reading, because even if you think you don’t have stress, that ache in your lower back might very well be saying something completely different.
Most of us like to think we know ourselves fairly well – we know we’re happy when the sun is shining, when we drink a good cup of coffee, or when we spend time with our loved ones. On the other hand, we also know when we’re sad: we may have lost our favorite sneakers, hit a pothole, or experienced emotional trauma. All of that seems, in many ways, quite clear to us. But when it comes to physical injuries things can get a bit confusing. How do we know of we have neck pain, shoulder, or back pain? How do we know if our knees, hips, or lower backs are giving us problems? How can we differentiate between different types of pain? It often seems as if it’s harder to self-diagnose physical pain than it is to pinpoint heartache or joy. And yet, knowing why you’re in pain is actually the most invaluable knowledge there is for treating the root cause of the problem and, therefore, eradicating the pain itself. In this post, then, we’re talking about how injuries can be confusing, how we can tell if we’re really injured – and where we’re injured – and how we can clear it all up once and for all! Let’s jump straight in.
Winter has come and the snow is falling all around! That’s great for snowball fights, but it’s less exciting for the health of your back. Yes, you guessed it… all that fluffy white cotton wool means it’s time to get shoveling. What a pain in the neck, right? Early mornings, freezing temperatures, and a workout you’d rather not face. Yes, we know it’s a slog getting the snow off of your driveway, but we also want to tell you that it doesn’t have to mean your summer is plagued by back pain, neck issues, or frozen shoulders. There is a way around the negative effects of shoveling, we promise! In fact, there doesn’t need to be any if you take our advice. Start your engines because it’s time to dig into to some must-have shoveling tips, advice, and general information. On with the gloves!
If you’re reading this, you might very well be asking yourself: “How do I get rid of my annoying knee pain?” This is a fairly commonplace question, as for those of us who suffer from knee pain it is usual to scour any source of information in order to find the answers we need just to stop the nagging, debilitating pain. The good news is, you’ve finally come to the right place… you’re not alone and there is help! In this post we look at why knee pain becomes a nagging pain, what the symptoms of knee pain are, and what can be done to alleviate the discomfort. It’s time to take action against knee pain once and for all. So, let’s dive in. [...]
Wrist pain affects everything… writing, cooking, driving, cleaning, washing, and even eating. It’s no wonder, then, that discomfort in your wrist can make you feel frustrated, sick and tired, and generally exasperated at most things in life. In fact, we’ve seen countless patients give up on the things they love most due to daily, nagging wrist pain. This is not a situation we want to see you in. We understand how desperately you need relief, and that’s why this special blog post looks at why some people experience wrist pain, what is really is, and – thankfully – what can be done to relieve you of your daily soreness. We want you to start taking the right actions to get back to the pain-free life you deserve. So, let’s get started.[...]
Back pain is one of the most debilitating injuries out there. We don’t say this lightly. It really is one of the injuries responsible for the most heartbreak and sadness. From shooting pains, to chronic, unrelenting, searing pain, for those of us who suffer from back pain, the reality of dealing with its symptoms can be overwhelming at times. It is easy to lose a lust for life. The good news is that we’re about to tackle two of the most common back injuries: herniated discs and bulging discs. We look at why one may be confronted with these injuries and, better still, what one can do to get back to a normal pain-free life… we know how much this means to you. [...]
The sacroiliac joint, or SI joint as we’re going to call it from now on, is probably not something you’ve considered much, is it? Right now you’re probably thinking, “is it somewhere in my neck, my knee, or my shoulder?” If so, you’re probably also wondering why this fairly obscurely named joint is important enough for a blog post? Well, we’re here to tell all! In this post we’re going to give you the scoop on SI joints, tell you why you should be more aware of them, and what can be done if they’re giving you trouble. Ready? Let’s go! [...]
Today’s blog is a special entry for all you runners out there. We know you love to run, and we also know you value fitness and health. Running has become, for you, a metaphor for life: determination, mobility, and freedom. And yet, for some of you reading our blog right now, this might not be the case anymore. An injury may have gotten you down: your morning run just isn’t the same anymore, and that nagging feeling in your leg/knee/ankle/calf just doesn’t seem to be going away. Well, if that sounds familiar, we have a serious question for you: why are you running away from your injury? All too many people run away from physical therapy in the hope that the pain will disappear on its own. Some even run through the pain just to avoid being told that they have to take it easy, stop, or rest for a little while. The truth is, running away from the pain honestly doesn’t make it better – you may know this by now. In this post we chat about what it means to have irritating, sometimes frustrating running injuries, and what can be done about them… if you make the right choices for your health! [...]
Concussion: The Invisible Injury
If you’re reading this and wondering why in the world ‘concussion’ has anything to do with physical therapy, exercise, or health, then we’re glad you’re here. The truth is, this invisible injury could wreak havoc on your wellness and, in some heartbreaking cases, could result in painful, debilitating symptoms…for years! It is not something to take lightly, so we’re here to fill you in on all the particulars of concussion, its signs, and all the actions you can take when it comes to this hidden condition.
For those of you unfamiliar with the term itself, the word ‘concussion’ stems directly from the Latin ‘concussionem’, which means to shake violently. This is a scary thought considering the condition itself affects your brain! Yes, that’s right, we suffer a concussion when our brain has literally been ‘shaken violently’. Yikes. [...]
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