Fall Cleaning Without Hurting Yourself

Autumn is a gorgeous time of the year to spend outside, but with the change in color and the eventual falling of the leaves comes a lot of clean up!

Raking leaves is an exhausting but necessary process as the grass underneath the leaves needs sunlight in order to go through photosynthesis.

It is important to be safe when raking. Picking the proper rake for your height and strength is critical in injury prevention and efficiency. Make sure when purchasing a rake that you are able to effectively go through a raking motion. If you are struggling in the store, you will struggle in your backyard.

Prior to raking the leaves, make sure you are properly hydrated and your muscles are warmed up through dynamic stretching with a focus on your upper body. Dynamic stretching includes active movement of the muscle groups you plan to use and is better than slow passive stretching which can lead to a muscle pull.

Wearing proper footwear, such as athletic sneakers or any shoes that are skid resistant, will help you avoid slips. Walking carefully on the ground where leaves are present is also a safe measure in preventing a dangerous fall. Wearing gloves during the raking process also will keep your stamina up as you will not develop blisters on your hands.

Remember to bend at the knees and not the waist when picking up anything in order to avoid back injuries. Know your limits, and if you need assistance moving patio furniture, ask for help!

As with any exercise, if you begin to get critically exhausted, it is time to take a break. In fact regular breaks during a raking session can be extremely beneficial as raking can be a strenuous aerobic exercise.

Although raking is necessary, injuries are not. Following these guidelines should keep you injury free into the upcoming holiday season!

Posture Related Problems and How to Prevent Them

Poor posture, an issue many people don’t realize they have, is extremely important to a person’s overall health. If you have proper posture, your muscles, joints, bones, and organs are aligned for optimal efficiency. Posture can have an effect on your endurance and strength, mood, digestion, and more! It is extremely important that you work to improve your posture in order to improve your quality of life for the long term.

Posture related problems can be due to traumas such as falls or accidents, however for many people, posture is due to poor habits. For many, the average work day involves using a computer for hours at a time, and not having the proper desk height and chair may have huge effects on your posture. Also, by not sitting properly, you can overtime cause posture issues.

Another area to consider is your sleeping environment when examining posture issues. If your mattress is too soft, you might not be providing enough support for your back. It is critical to replace your mattress and replace pillows as needed as a person typically spends an average of 25-30% of the day in bed.

Examining your work and sleep environments are important areas to consider when looking to prevent posture related problems down the line but they aren’t the only one. Proper footwear is an important area to examine. You should makes sure that your shoes provide proper arch support and are cushioned accordingly. Especially the shoes you spend a majority of your day in.

Also, you must watch your weight! Increases in weight can put a strain on your muscles, joints, and back, forcing you into a bad posture position. Eating properly and staying active will not only prevent weight gain, but will keep your body in peak condition and help to avoid posture related problems down the line.

Good posture is something you should actively pursue to maintain. If you are unsure of the status of your posture, or you want personalized advice based on your lifestyle habits on avoiding posture problems later, visit a physical therapist. He or she will be able to tailor make an action plan in fixing your posture or a plan to help you create an environment that will help you avoid posture related problems in the future. For the most part, good posture is in your hands. It is up to you to be on the offense with prevention techniques or on the defense once the damage is done.

Fibromyalgia and Physical Therapy with the Mckenzie Method

Fibromyalgia is a medical condition affecting the muscles and soft tissues. Symptoms of this condition include widespread muscle and joint pain, fatigue, sleep problems, anxiety, and depression. Fibromyalgia affects more than 12 million Americans and women ages 25 to 60 are ten times more likely to be affected by the disease than men. Cognitive dysfunction caused by fibromyalgia affects both short and long-term memory as well as the speed of performance and the ability to multitask.

Robin McKenzie, OBE, a physical therapist from New Zealand, developed his theory in the 1950’s. In 1981, he further elaborated using a concept called Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), which helps to relieve back, neck, and extremity pain. The McKenzie Method of MDT promotes non-invasive treatment using the body’s potential to repair itself.

Research has found that when people with fibromyalgia received massages, they experienced less pain, stiffness, and fatigue. Massage improves joint mobility and health, and many of the sleep related issues associated with fibromyalgia have been known to either decrease or disappear because of the McKenzie Method of MDT.

A trained physical therapist will go through an extensive assessment of your symptoms as well as your mobility, especially with fibromyalgia as it affects the muscles and joints. A major part of the McKenzie Method of MDT is analyzing repeated movements. Following an analysis and diagnosis, the physical therapist will prescribe the proper exercise treatment for both in-office and at-home sessions.

A physical therapist certified in the McKenzie Method of MDT can be the solution to your fibromyalgia. The symptoms of the disease can be debilitating and can make life miserable. If you are suffering from fibromyalgia and would like to explore non-invasive treatment options, the McKenzie Method of MDT may be right for you.