Every year in October, we celebrate National Physical Therapy Month. There are many individuals that have seen a physical therapist (PT) for common reasons such as low back pain or knee pain. There are many different conditions, however, that PTs may treat that you may not be aware of. In order to keep up their professional license, PTs are required to take continuing education courses. Often, these courses may give a therapist a special set of skills for treating a certain condition or diagnosis. The following is a list of conditions that many individuals may not be aware that can be treated by a PT. (more…)
Treating a patient who reports frequent headaches is one of my favorite diagnoses to treat. Why do I love treating headaches so much? I love treating headaches because physical therapy can be so effective in providing the patient with relief quickly, and relief from a headache problem is a big deal for someone who suffers from them. (more…)
I was recently asked by ESPN’s Sports Medicine Weekly radio show to do an interview related to a recent article in the Chicago Tribune covering the recent increase in anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears. The article states that over the last decade, some orthopedic groups have seen a 400% increase in torn ACLs and that a huge segment of that growing population is female. In fact,some studies have shown that females can be up to 8 times more likely to tear their ACL than males playing the same sport, so I’d like to focus on that segment of the population. During my time with Dr. Cole and Steve Kashul, we covered some of the reasons why the increase in these injuries is happening, but I’d like to take this opportunity to briefly expand on some of the ideas brought up in the interview. (more…)
Are you healthy? How do you know? What do you use to evaluate your level of health? In today’s culture, we have become health-obsessed. What IS healthy anyway?!
Size and shape, along with many other health indicators will vary from person to person depending on a thousand factors (age, family history, genetics, gender, etc). Health is certainly not one-size-fits-all. But, we can still utilize some tools to get a snap shot of your current health. Here are some basic health numbers that you should know. These numbers, all together, can give you a good idea of your overall health.
- Blood Pressure: Your blood pressure should be less than 130/80, but ideally it would be around 115/75. High blood pressure puts you at risk for many complications including heart disease. The good news is that by being proactive, many people can avoid medication through diet and exercise. Make sure you know your current blood pressure and talk to your doctor about what is healthy for you.
- Cholesterol: This is tricky. There is ‘good’ cholesterol and ‘bad’ cholesterol and triglycerides. It is hard for a non-medically trained individual to keep track. That’s why we have doctors. Make sure this is being checked yearly (or more often if you are in the high risk zone). Basically though, you want your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol below 100 mg/dL and your HDL (“good”) cholesterol above 50 mg/dL.
- BMI: This is your Body Mass Index and it is a measure of your body fat based on your height vs. your weight. To calculate your BMI you can click here or Google “BMI calculator”. A BMI of 25-29.9 is considered over-weight, and BMI of 30 or more is considered obese. You want your BMI to fall into the 18.5-24.9 range. There are, of course, many more factors than height vs. weight to determine what is right for you, but this can be a good start.
- Waist circumference: Lately this measurement has been gaining popularity in the medical community. We have learned that more important than your weight is the distribution of your weight. If you carry your weight around your middle, you are at a higher risk than if you carry your weight in other areas. You want to measure your waist at its narrowest part. If you don’t have a noticeable narrowing or waist, you can measure across where your elbows fall with arms at your side. Your risk increases for many health conditions with a circumference of 40+ for men and 35+ for women. But perhaps the best way to calculate this is to compare your waist to your height. Your waist should be less than half your height. For example, I am 5’6” which is 65 inches. Half of 65 is 32.5. Therefore, my waist should be less than 32.5 inches at its narrowest point.
- Hours of sleep: Are you surprised to see this on my list? This is one indicator of good health that is too often ignored. Most people require 7-9 hours of consecutive sleep for optimal health. When we sleep, we heal, recover, and grow. People who get enough sleep have more energy, stronger immune systems, less pain, and weigh less than people that do not get enough sleep. Don’t brush off the importance of sleep. Watch less TV, leave the laundry for the weekend, and put the computer away (after you read my blog of course). If you are having trouble sleeping, ask your MD for suggestions.
- 1-10 Scale: Last, and certainly not least, is your personal score. How would you rank your health on a scale of 1-10? 10 would be ‘never been better, full of energy, bounce out of bed in the morning, happy/content’ and 1 would be ‘every day is a struggle, always sick, no energy, overweight, depressed, etc.’ If you were truly honest with yourself, what would your number be? Anything less than 8 should be unacceptable for you! This your one chance at life, so let’s enjoy every minute of it. I feel like Jerry McGuire – who’s coming with me???
If you are not where you want to be, don’t worry. This is not meant to make you feel bad; it is meant to empower you to take control of your health. Get a physical, get some good sleep, and get moving! Let’s all live the rest of 2013 in way that leaves no need to make resolutions in 2014.
Knee replacements are one of the most common orthopedic surgeries performed today. It is used as a treatment for end stage knee osteoarthritis when other conservative treatments have failed. Recent advances in surgical technique, including the minimally invasive method, have made it a successful option for an individual who cannot tolerate simple daily activities due to the pain of arthritis. Here is a synopsis of what to expect with your hospital stay, recovery, and outcomes following a knee replacement. (more…)
We hope you all had fun learning and applying “3D” as it relates to the human body. To quickly review we discussed the sagittal, frontal, and transverse planes of movement and demonstrated in words/video how each plane worked. (Did any of you take our 3D quiz for a chance to be entered into a raffle for some fun prizes?) As humans, we were meant and designed to move in all these directions; yet, with many modern conveniences and sedentary occupations, we seem to move less and less. Maximizing multi-planar motion will not only help your movement, flexibility, agility, fitness and strength, but it will also train your proprioceptors to better respond if you trip, slip, reach/lift at an awkward angle, or do a quick direction change when playing a recreational or competitive sport, oftentimes significantly lowering your potential injury risk. (more…)
Schools are gearing back up for another school year! The school year starts with lots of energy and positivity, but can also contribute to pain. Teachers are moving rooms, lifting boxes and books, are stooped over the desks of the children, and will be sitting for hours grading papers. Students will be sitting for long periods of time, often in a slumped position and carrying backpacks that weigh as much as they do. Athletes will return to sports, sometimes after a summer of inactivity, and injuries will start to present themselves. This time of year is busy and there is definitely no time for pain. So…what can you do if pain starts to creep into the back to school season? Utilize Athletico’s complimentary injury screening! (more…)
The Athletic Training Program has been a cornerstone for Athletico Physical Therapy since Mark Kaufman founded the company 22 years ago. Affiliations now include all of the major professional teams in Chicago, as well as thirteen colleges, seventy nine high schools, the US Soccer Federation and multiple elite affiliates. The most senior of Athletico’s 200+ athletic trainers (ATs) is Tony Garofalo, ATC, who has 43 years of experience including his service as the Chicago Cubs Head Athletic Trainer from 1977 though 1986. During his illustrious career Tony has worked in the high school, college, professional, elite, and clinical settings and is a member of the Illinois Athletic Trainers Association (IATA), St. Benedict University, and St. Louis University Halls of Fame. He is also a founding partner of the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS). We caught up with Tony and asked him about the highlights of his career. (more…)
Every year heat illness affects thousands of people. Knowing the different types of heat illnesses and what to do to both prevent and treat them is imperative to the health and safety of yourself or your child. With the start of school, fall sports such as football are ready to hit the ground running. But are you prepared to beat the heat? (more…)
In 2008, 49.3 million students were enrolled in schools from grades one through twelve. These students are potentially sitting incorrectly at their school desks, computer workstations, or at home for more than eight hours each day. Due to the fact that repetitive strain injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, medial & lateral epicondylitis, & herniated discs are related to cumulative trauma, it’s imperative that we teach & adhere to sound ergonomic principles from a young age. The following guidelines can help mitigate stress on the body & contribute to a pain-free, healthy body: (more…)