Active and Consistent Nightly Routines for your Child

August 11, 2020 – How can we get our kids the rest they need and in the right routine for them to be ready for school? This is a question a lot of parents ask as they start to prepare to get back into a routine after months away from school.

A lot of us probably do not realize how important sleep is. Sleep is the body’s best time to repair itself after a long day of wear and tear. Sleep helps to prevent many different diseases, including heart disease. Sleeps helps to improve concentration and decrease excessive eating. Don’t those sound important?

Now that we know how important sleep is, how do we get our kids in a routine? It is important to establish a bedtime at night and start the bed routine no more than 30 minutes before that time. If bedtime is 9pm, then the bedtime routine should start around 830pm. Kids should start to pick up their toys and games to clean up their area from the day. Remember you are in charge. Children will find out that they can prolong bedtime by asking for more books, a glass of water, having their stuffed animals just right, or about anything that is going to require you to be with them for longer. Set your routine and stick to it. Pick up toys, put on pajamas, brush your teeth, pick out a book to read, and then give them a kiss goodnight. Sticking to the routine will help it to become their new habit.

If you are having issues establishing this routine or seeing issues related to children not getting enough sleep call us at 402-234-3333 in Louisville or 402-298-4747 in Plattsmouth for a free consultation on what your next steps should be.

References

    1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-reasons-why-good-sleep-is-important#9
    2. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/sleep/Pages/Bedtime-Routines-for-School-Aged-Children.aspx

What to do to avoid a heavy backpack

August 4, 2020 – As of today the plan is that our kids get to go back to school. They get to go back to a routine, to see their friends, and to carrying backpacks. This last point becomes even more important this year. The kids will have to carry all their items in their backpack to the classroom each day. This means that these back packs will likely be heavier than normal, but how heavy is too heavy.

Research states that a backpack should not weigh more than 20% of your body weight, and preferably be closer to 10%. That means for a 60-pound grade school child, their backpack should no weigh more than 12 pounds, and should be closer to 6 pounds. It does not take long to get to 12 pounds once you get a few books, pencils, and a lunch in that backpack.

If a backpack is too heavy a child may have to compensate. They may lean forward while walking, hike up their shoulders to help support it, or arch their back. All of these can lead to back, neck or shoulder pain. They may prefer to only use one shoulder strap because it looks better or is quicker, but this extra weight on one side of the body can cause an imbalance in the muscles or an imbalance that may cause a fall. Both of these positions can lead to poor posture, which many of our kids already have due to technology (see previous blogs).

The straps of a back are carried across your clavicle. This is an area of the body where lots of nerves and vessels run. Compression of these areas can cause issues down our arms in the form of pain, temperature and sensation changes, and weakness.

Ways to help with these issues can be the following:

  • Using a lighter weight backpack
  • Helping your child organize to minimize the amount they need to carry
  • Making sure we are lifting with our legs and putting the backpack on and taking it off safely
  • Help them to make sure the backpack is fitted properly
  • Educating them on what “too heavy” is

These simple steps can help minimize the risk of any pain for your child. If these steps don’t work for you or if you have questions about what you have read please contact us in Louisville at 402-234-3333 or Plattsmouth 402-298-4747 for further information or a free consultation!

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References

  1. https://www.rei.com/blog/camp/how-much-should-your-pack-weigh#:~:text=A%20loaded%20backpacking%20pack%20should,percent%20of%20your%20body%20weight.
  2. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/backpack.html
  3. https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/safety-topics/child-safety/backpacks

How to Sleep with Shoulder Pain

July 28, 2020 – One of the more frustrating aspects to having shoulder pain is not being able to sleep. Side sleepers find this especially aggravating. However, if your shoulder pain is really bad or you have some shoulder instability sleeping in your bed can be downright painful. Many people move to a recliner to try to get some rest. Below are some helpful hints to trying to get a good night’s sleep with shoulder pain.

    1. Avoid sleeping on the shoulder that hurts. Trying laying on your other side, back, or stomach with your shoulder in a comfortable position.
    2. Use more pillows to help prop your shoulder in a comfortable spot or to stop you from rolling back onto your hurt shoulder.
    3. Sleep with your arm held close to your body by keeping your arm inside of a t-shirt instead of putting it through the arm sleeve.
    4. Stay active during the day to promote better blood flow. This blood flow can help with healing. But avoid being too active and causing increased pain and inflammation that can manifest at night.
    5. Use medication as needed. Make sure you are taking what your doctor or pharmacist allows for your needs.Try to maintain the same sleep schedule. This includes what time you go to bed, what avoid eating or drinking before bed, and what time you usually wake up.

If these strategies do not do the trick for you give us a call at 402-234-3333 in Louisville or 402-298-4747 in Plattsmouth for a more complex consultation to see what your next steps should be.

References:

  1. https://www.europeanbedding.sg/blogs/articles/103742534-best-sleep-solutions-for-shoulder-pain
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/pain-when-sleeping-on-shoulder

Stretching and Posture – 2 Big Ways to Help with Shoulder Pain!

July 21, 2020 – The month of July is flying by! So far we have learned about the different types of shoulder pain and what therapy’s role is in helping with that pain. This was all great information, but what can you do to stop shoulder pain from starting?

The issues in our shoulders come most from muscle weakness and imbalance. As long as we keep all of our muscles functionally strong and we don’t do things that we are not conditioned to do, our shoulder strength should be sufficient to complete the tasks we need to complete. However, through compensation and lifestyle we can develop muscle imbalance.

Muscle imbalance simply means we have muscles that are too tight or too weak when compared to their counterpart. This cause asymmetry within our shoulder joint and the muscles that supply it. This asymmetry can lead to bursitis or tendonitis, which if left untreated can cause more serious shoulder issues.

Most people spend a good part of their day on a computer, at a desk, on the phone, reading, etc. These postures have become integral to our every day lives. However, they often promote bad habits that can lead to big problems. It is important to stretch out the front of our shoulders that counteract this leaning over posture. A simple pectoralis stretch in the doorway can produce some big results.

This simple stretch can help us with our tight muscles in front. But normally we have a tight muscle on one side we have a weak muscle on another.

Adding in some simple scapular squeezes to actively engage our scapular muscles and work to open up our shoulders should be another daily change to your routine.

Making these simple changes can make a big difference in improving your shoulder positioning and health. If these aren’t enough give us a call at 402-234-3333 in Louisville or 402-298-4747 in Plattsmouth for a free consultation with a therapist to get a more in depth look at your shoulder pain and your situation.

The Role Of Physical Therapy in Your Shoulder Pain

July 14, 2020 – Last week we discussed the different types of shoulder pain that you may experience at some point in your life. These pains all have some connections but can affect you in many different ways. Once the source of the pain has been identified we need to move forward on helping to get that pain resolved.

First the therapist will do an evaluation to help you understand the underlying cause of your pain. This evaluation will also develop some baseline measurements on what your motion, strength, and function currently are versus what they would normally be.

Next, the therapist will work with you to build a plan to start to get you back on the right track. Initially this plan usually focuses on pain management, improving shoulder motion and flexibility. Postural assessments, sleep education, and developing pain free movement patterns are also often discussed.

As your pain decreases and your motion returns then strength and stability become the main focus. These are used to get you back to doing what you want to be doing. We can focus on getting you as strong as we can, but if you can’t get back to working or your hobbies then what does it matter? It is important that you and the therapist work together to develop a plan that is specific to what you need.

At Witte Physical Therapy we work for you. You and your goals are our number 1 priority. Not all shoulder pain is the same and not all patients have the same goals. Your plan will be set up specific to your needs to help you efficiently and effectively get back to doing what you need to do. Call us today at 402-234-3333 in Louisville or 402-298-4747 in Plattsmouth to schedule your free consultation.

References:

https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/physical-therapy-rotator-cuff-tear#2

https://www.restoreorthopedics.com/blog/night-time-shoulder-pain-and-what-to-do-about-it

What are the Different Types of Shoulder Pain?

July 7, 2020 – A common problem a lot of us get is that our shoulder hurts. Outside of back pain, shoulder and knee pain are the next more common ailments we may experience. In this month’s blog series, we are going to dive deeper into shoulder pain.

This week we are going to investigate what the different causes of shoulder pain could be. But first we must understand why these things can happen to our shoulder. The main issue is that our shoulder has so much mobility in it that it is not that stable. We have all the motion we could want in our shoulder which allows for us to do a variety of things with it. However, to have that much motion we cannot have a lot of bony structures in our way. This creates little static stability, meaning that our ligaments and tendons have to work extra hard to keep our shoulder joint in place and avoid dislocation.

normal shoulder anatomy

The different types of shoulder pain are:

    1. Bursitis: Inflammation of the bursa sacs that protect our ligaments and tendons from rubbing abnormally on bones. If this rubbing becomes abnormal or excessive these sacs can get inflamed making shoulder movements painful.
    2. Tendonitis: Inflammation of a tendon in the shoulder that causing pain. The most common tendons are the four rotator cuff tendons and the long head of biceps tendon.
    3. Impingement: Caused by the acromion of your shoulder blade putting pressure into the tendons of your shoulder. It can be caused by a bony abnormality or tendonitis.
    4. Tendon Tears: Often called a rotator cuff tear. This a tear of a tendon of the rotator cuff that helps to provide dynamic stability to the shoulder. These tears make it difficult to do things overhead or to move your elbow away from your side. The long head of biceps can also be a common tendon tear.
    5. Instability: Caused by a variety of factors include tendon or ligamentous issues. Often leads to positions or situations where it feels like your shoulder is going to dislocate.
    6. Arthritis: As discussed in May, arthritis is a condition where the cartilage on the ends of your bone deteriorates causing the two bony ends to rub together. This is often painful and makes any motion difficult.
    7. Fracture: This is caused by a broken humerus or scapula.

The good news is that many of these conditions can be treated and improved on without surgery. Not every rotator cuff tendon tear requires surgery. If you are having shoulder pain give us a call at 402-234-3333 in Louisville or 402-298-4747 in Plattsmouth to schedule a free consultation with a therapist to learn more about what is going on and what your next steps should be to help your pain improve.

References: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/shoulder-pain-and-common-shoulder-problems/

Can Witte 24/7 Wellness Help You?

June 30, 2020 – We have spent the majority of June talking about how to get back into working out as the COVID restrictions have started to be lifted. These items have been discussed in our blogs the last few weeks and have served as a good resource as you work to get back to moving. From the initial steps of working out at home, to getting out and getting going, to the final step of developing a plan that can be sustained.

For many people it is tough to maintain a consistent work out routine without outside help. This could include working out with others, using an online video class, doing in person classes, or going to a gym. Witte 24/7 Wellness offers all of these options!

Witte 24/7 Wellness opened in January of 2019 with the sole purpose of serving the communities that surrounds it with a safe and clean place to workout and get fit. It maintains the hours of being open to our members 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The goal was to make it as usable as possible for everyone. This includes flexible hours and a variety of equipment to serve as many people as possible.

Our aerobic machines include incline/decline treadmills, adjustable stride ellipticals, various styles of bikes, a NuStep, and a rowing machine. For those who prefer weight lifting we offer cable machines, a Jones machine, dumbbells, barbells, and other free weight items. We also have pylometric equipment, swiss balls, TRX straps, and the space to work on body weighted exercises.

However, if after all of this reading you still are not quite sure where or how to start we have a personal trainer who can help.

Finally, we are launching a new wellness service. This will use the therapy staff of Witte Physical Therapy to provide exercise specific classes and training based on your needs. Multiple levels will be provided for people to find the right fit for them. These services are aimed at members and former PT patients who are interested in keeping their wellness journey moving forward by giving them access to Witte 24/7 Wellness and a professional that can break down their movements and help them reach their goals. More information on these services will be coming out soon.

For any of these services reach out to Dan at 402-234-3333 or email dan@wittephysicaltherapy.com for more information. Mention that you read this blog and receive a discount on your Witte 24/7 Wellness membership or on one of our new wellness services staffed by our therapists! At Witte 24/7 Wellness you can “Get In. Get Fit. Get On With Life.”

What does being active do for me?

June 23, 2020 – By now hopefully the theme of our blogs in June has made sense. We have moved through the stages of returning to exercise, starting a normal exercise routine, and given ideas of how to get around the excuses of time management to make sure we get our exercises completed. But why are we doing all of this? Usually by the time we start exercising and reach 3-5 weeks of trying to get a new routine we struggle to keep it up. If we can push through for a total of 6-8 weeks your chance of making a real and sustainable change to your routine is at an all time high.

So what are the benefits of staying healthy and getting in all those minutes of exercise?

    1. We are happier. Chemicals are released in our bodies which improve our mood and feeling of well being.
    2. We can lose weight. By increasing the amount of calories we burn throughout the day we can begin to drop those quarantine pounds.
    3. It is good for our muscles and bones. Exercise helps us to keep our muscles and bones strong. This ensures that they are being used appropriately and can delay any health issues for weakness in these areas.
    4. It can give you more energy. Most of us struggle with how much energy we have for all we have to do throughout the day. Instead of reaching for the sugar or caffeine which provide quick and inefficient energy boosts, try getting in your exercises for a pick up.
    5. It can help keep chronic disease away. We discussed this for your bones and muscles earlier, but what about your heart and lungs. These are no different. Exercise helps us to maintain a healthy balance in our body.
    6. It can help with your skin. By exercising we produce antioxidants which can help to improve how our skin looks and feels.
    7. It can help your brain health and improve your memory. Exercise increases blood flow to your brain and produces chemicals which aid brain cells.
    8. It can help you relax and improve your sleep. By increasing your body temperatures with exercise it can actually help your lower them for sleeping.
    9. It can help with your pain. Getting things going and moving can help to reduce joint stiffness and pain.
    10. It can promote a better sex life. By exercising and feeling better about ourselves we can be more into sex. It can lead to more frequent and better quality sexual encounters.

These are great reasons to start exercising. You can use these to fight off the excuses we create in our heads. If you want to start to experience these benefits sooner rather than later, please reach out to Witte Physical Therapy and Witte 24/7 Wellness for further resources and help for you to reach your fitness and wellness goals.

References

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-benefits-of-exercise#section10

Take a Break and Take a Walk!

June 16, 2020 – We have spent the first two weeks of June exploring how to safely get moving after being at home and what guidelines we should be working up to and following as we get back into our exercise routine. This information can be helpful, but how do we get around the excuses of our busy lives. As the world opens back up, we are getting back into sports, meetings, and longer workdays. These changes can make it hard to work into your exercise routine.

There are some easy things that many of us of think about. First, we can park further away from the building while at work so that we get more steps in. We can take the stairs instead of the elevator. We can get in a routine before or after work to make sure we get our exercise in daily. All of these are probably ones that you have heard or thought about before.

Other ways to work exercises into our daily routine are not always so thought about. You can work to get a standing desk or to sit on an exercise ball. These will work on improving core and LE strength. You can take a 15-minute break in the morning and the afternoon to go on a walk, do some squats or planks, or get in a good stretch. Over lunch bring a cold lunch so you can take it on a walk to a park. Suggest a walking meeting instead of sitting around the table.

If you are a morning person get up 45 minutes earlier and get your workout done. If not and you prefer the evening, make sure you a pick a time that you are usually winding down your workday and done with meetings. Even if you have some more work to do after your workout picking a time and sticking with a routine can make that extra 60-90 minutes of work you do after your workout much more productive. And, if you must finish work before you can do anything else or you get home and just don’t have the time, set up a treadmill, bike, or mat in your living room and work out while you are watching TV. Try to avoid thinking you do not have time to work out, but then you realize you just watched 2 hours of TV without leaving the couch.

A young woman smiles as she holds on to two handles on a climbing wall.

Of course, these always seem easier to read than do. Witte Physical Therapy and Witte 24/7 Wellness are here to help you reach your goals. From free consultations to discuss your current physical health and goals, to wellness programs with our therapists, to personal trainers, we have the resources to help you get and stay fit! Give us a call today to discuss your options.

References

https://www.health.qld.gov.au/news-events/news/30-ways-to-get-active-exercise-fun

https://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/weight-management-guide/easy-ways-to-sneak-exercise-into-your-day/

Now That We Are Out, How Do We Start Exercising Again?

June 9, 2020 – Now that we have been able to get out and going, we need to make sure we are exercising appropriately. Last week we discussed some simple tips to get started safely and avoid injury. Assuming we have all completed that stage lets talk about some general guidelines for exercise.

For children ages 6-17 they should be engaged in 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise daily. These should include at least 2 days of aerobic exercise (biking, running, walking), at least 2 days of strengthening exercises (lifting body weight), and at least 2 days of bone density exercises (jumping, plyometrics).

For young adults they should be engaged in 150-300 minutes per week of moderate exercise OR 75-150 minutes per week of vigorous exercise. This is especially important for those who sit most of the day. Most of this exercise should be aerobic in nature, but at least 2 days of strength training of major muscle groups is suggested.

Move Your Way - Adults

For older adults they should follow the younger adult guidelines at a lower intensity. Their intensity and time suggestions per week should be adjusted for any chronic health issues they may have. Older adults need to focus on aerobic exercise, strength training, and balance activities.

These guidelines are considerably basic and do not include pregnancy, COVID19, and many other health concerns and conditions. If you feel like these outlines are not for you or you are unsure about what you should be doing please reach out to Witte Physical Therapy in Louisville or Plattsmouth for a free consultation to discuss where you are at and what goals you would like to meet!

References

  1. https://www.hhs.gov/fitness/be-active/physical-activity-guidelines-for-americans/index.html#:~:text=For%20substantial%20health%20benefits%2C%20adults,or%20an%20equivalent%20combination%20of
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adults/index.htm