How to kick Uncle Arthur out the door!

May 26, 2020 – So “Uncle Arthur” keeps showing up and we need to know how to get rid of him. He is such an unwanted guest and his presence stops us from doing what we want to do.

Most of us first think of going to the doctor and getting some medicine. There are some options that can help with pain, inflammation, etc, but are these the safest? Should this be the only option that we use or should this be just another option we use in conjunction with other treatments?

Physical therapy is a very viable option. It can help with improving your ROM, which is limited by the changes in your joint, and your strength, which has been decreased causing issues with joint stability. Getting you and your joints moving may help with the ability to lose some weight, which can decrease the stress and pressure through your joints. This is the safest way to avoid putting anything foreign in your body.

Of course, meds and physical therapy are not always enough. For those situations your best option to have surgery to repair, replace, or fuse the joint. For the best results you should avoid fusion as much as possible. The three best reasons to have a joint replacement surgery are pain, pain, and pain. Physical therapy can provide some relief before surgery and can help your rehab after surgery (see our Prehab blog on our blog page).

No matter what is best for you it should be comforting to know that you have options. Witte Physical Therapy can help you navigate which option is best for you. Call us in Louisville at 402-234-3333 or Plattsmouth at 402-298-4747 for a free consultation of your arthritis pain.

I would also like to take this time to thank each of our veterans that have or are currently serving. With Memorial Day this week we want to take the time to remember those that have been lost fighting for our freedom and those loved ones we have lost. You are never forgotten!

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Your Witte Physical Therapy team

#homegrown #backtolife

References

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arthritis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20350777

How Can I Make Uncle Arthur Stay Away?

May 19, 2020 – The last two weeks we have learned what arthritis is and what the different types of arthritis are. Now that we know these grim facts a lot of us may be asking one big question. What can we do to prevent an unwanted visit from “Uncle Arthur”?

Some of the risk factors that we associate with the different types of arthritis are not preventable. These include family history, age, and sex. We know that if we have a family history of arthritis and/or are wiser in our years we are more likely to get arthritis. If we are female, we are more likely to get rheumatoid arthritis and if we are male then we are more likely to develop gout.

However, some factors can be controlled. First, our weight plays a big role in the development of arthritis. The closer we are to our ideal weight the less stress our joints will endure daily. This will cause the wear and tear on the cartilage in our joints to be at the lowest possible. Previous joint injury also plays a role in the onset of arthritis. If we can protect our joints by being as strong as possible and participating in situations that we can control our chance of having a joint injury is decreased. Unfortunately, things happen and even an ankle sprain can cause arthritis to start to set in.

Osteoarthritis Risk Factors

At Witte Physical Therapy and Witte 24/7 Wellness we have the expertise and the programs to help you manage some of the risk factors that could cause arthritic issues in the future. You can reach out to us to start your therapy or wellness journey and we can develop a plan that is personalized to what you need to reach your goals and lower your risk. Call us in Louisville at 402-234-3333 or Plattsmouth at 402-298-4747 for a free consultation to assess and discuss your questions and options about arthritis issues.

Your Witte Physical Therapy team

#homegrown #backtolife

References:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arthritis/symptoms-causes/syc-20350772

https://creakyjoints.org/symptoms/osteoarthritis-causes-risk-factors/

https://creakyjoints.org/education/rheumatoid-arthritis-risk-factors/

Uncle Arthur comes in many forms!

May 12, 2020 – Last week we discussed what arthritis is and now we need to understand what types of arthritis could affect us. Not all our “Uncle Arthur’s” are the same!

Osteoarthritis: This is the most common type and is the type of arthritis that most of us think of. It is usually localized to one joint at a time (but it can be present in more than one joint) and involves the breakdown the cartilage found inside the joint. The damage caused can be managed conservatively and/or surgically, but once the damage has occurred it cannot be reversed.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: The is the second most common type of arthritis. It is an autoimmune disorder that causes chronic inflammation in several joints throughout the body at the same time. It is systemic and causes a break down of the bony lining causing pain and deformation in the smaller joints of the body, like your hands for example.

Picture of Osteoarthritis(from www.medicinenet.com)

Several other types of arthritis include ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, gout, etc. These are much less common and can be managed either conservatively and/or surgically.

We would also like to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers out there. We are especially grateful for the mothers of our staff and patients and our staff and patients that are mothers. We are very, very thankful for all that you do!

Image may contain: possible text that says 'mother (n.) a selfless and loving person who willsacrifice anything for her children. Happy Mother's Day Witte PHYSICAL THERAPY'

Your Witte Physical Therapy team

#homegrown #backtolife

References

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arthritis/symptoms-causes/syc-20350772

https://www.medicinenet.com/image-collection/osteoarthritis_picture/picture.htm

 

Uncle Arthur why are you always coming around?

May 5, 2020 – Of all the uncles that come and visit why does Uncle Arthur stay the longest? Have you ever asked yourself this question? Why does arthritis happen? Why does arthritis cause pain?

According to mayoclinic.org, arthritis is described as the swelling and tenderness of your joint. This is caused by the breakdown of the cartilage that surrounds the end of your bones. This cartilage helps protect your bones from abnormal friction and force which can increase abnormal bony formations causing your joints to become bone on bone. Of course this change in joint alignment can cause pain.

There are many types of arthritis and we will discuss those in next week’s blog. For the month of May we are going to explore the types of arthritis, what you can do to try to decrease your chance of arthritis, and how to manage your arthritis pain.

Comparing rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis

Yesterday was an important date for many of our patients. May the Fourth has become a celebration of all things Star Wars. Today is the 5th of May, or Cinco de Mayo. We are want to wish a Happy May the Fourth and Cinco de Mayo to all of our patients!

Your Witte Physical Therapy team

#homegrown #backtolife

References:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arthritis/symptoms-causes/syc-20350772

Have you ever wanted to grab that bike?

April 28, 2020 – If you have been keeping up with our blogs, you have seen how to start a walking program and a running program the last few weeks. But what if you do not want to run or you are more of a bike rider? Then today’s blog is for you. Let us learn how to start a bike riding program.

The website “trainright.com” starts by mentioning your equipment. What is the point of starting a steady riding program if our bikes are not ready? Make sure to have your bike checked by a professional. This will ensure it is working well mechanically, is adjusted and fit to you. This will help make the bike as efficient as possible and more enjoyable for you.

The website “bicycling.com” gives us some good guidelines of intensity levels that we have discussed in earlier blogs. These tips include bicycling speeds, how it should feel on your legs and your breathing. Remember we want to start low in intensity and work our way up to more intense levels as our bodies are ready for it.

cycling training for beginners

It is recommended that you increase your workouts by 10% over the course of the week and to remember to use your rest days as needed. As you become more familiar you can start to work into more interval training where you increase your intensity for shorter bursts of time. Then you decrease your intensity for a longer period as you prepare for your next increase in intensity. Both websites mentioned have programs for you to follow based on distance, time, and rides per week.

Of course, if you start these programs and have any questions or concerns please contact us in Louisville at 402-234-3333 or Plattsmouth at 402-298-4747.

Your Witte Physical Therapy team

#homegrown #backtolife

References:

https://www.bicycling.com/training/a20024513/training-plan/

https://trainright.com/start-training-for-cycling/

From Couch to 5k?

April 21, 2020 – Last week we discussed how to begin a walking program. For some of you reading this that will be enough for your fitness goals. But what about those that are wanting to take up running? Many of us have goals to attempt a 5k, half or full marathon, but how do we start training for these races?

The toughest thing for most of us to do beyond the initial thought of starting to run is to get motivated to do this. This can be a more easy transition if we develop a plan. This plan should include a regular schedule of when and how we are going to start running. It should have rewards for reaching milestones and timelines to get us ready to run a real or virtual race. The easiest place to start is to try to run for 1 minute and then walk for at least 2 minutes. This ratio can be adjusted for each skill level and progressed each week based on how you are feeling.

Once you get in the habit of starting to regularly begin to run then we need to start to think about our form. How do we make running more efficient and less work? First we need to make sure we have a good set of shoes that are fitted for us. There are several outlets for this at stores, online, or by talking to a health care professional. Next we need to think about our posture. We need to stand tall when we run and remain balanced. Breathing is very important and should be controlled and in a rhythm that works for you. Finally what are our legs doing? We need to think about driving our knee up towards our chest, reaching out for the ground, and then after we push off the ground bringing our foot up to our buttocks.

By starting to get into a routine and then working to make that routine fun, pain free, and efficient you will find that running that can be a very enjoyable activity. It is another excuse to get outside during the best time of year. It will release endorphins, often called a “runner’s high”, and leave you wanting more. And it can provide you with great weight loss and health benefits.

Below are links for references used to create this blog. These links have several running schedules included that may be a benefit in setting up your running program.

If you have any further questions about starting a running program or have any issues once you have started, please contact us in Louisville at 402-234-3333 or Plattsmouth at 402-298-4747.

Your Witte Physical Therapy team

#homegrown #backtolife

References:

https://www.runnersworld.com/uk/training/beginners/a772727/how-to-start-running-today/

https://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/a19935135/become-a-runner/

https://www.vox.com/2015/8/4/9091093/walking-versus-running

Let’s Get Walking!

April 14, 2020 – The weather is getting nicer each week and now we are social distancing and spending more time at home. A big part of surviving this isolation is to make sure we get our exercise. This especially includes aerobic activities such as walking, running, and biking. We need to get our heart rates up for 30 minutes, 5 days per week to keep our heart healthy as we are more sedentary throughout the day. This week’s blog will focus on how to start a walking program.

walking for health 1

It is important to understand your baseline fitness level as that will dictate where you start and how fast you progress your walking program. Let’s assume for this example that you are starting from scratch. You spend most of your day working at a desk with limited activity and when you get home you are tired after working all day and then coming home to deal with dinner and kids.

Start by walking at a pace of a 20-minute mile or 3.0 mph. Start on a flat and even surface and try walking for 10 minutes. If you can do this at an intensity where you would struggle to carry on a conversation with someone then you are at a good intensity level. After a few days when you notice you can talk easier after 10 minutes of walking then you increase your time. You keep increasing your time following these guidelines every 3-7 days.

It is important as you are beginning your program that you start to make good habits. Make sure your posture and breathing are appropriate. Focus on your arm swing and stride length and try to keep all of these in balance as you are walking. Make sure you stay hydrated and on your workout schedule. Getting these aspects in line now will make it easier as you progress your program.

As you are becoming a more experienced walker then you start to increase other aspects of your walking. Start looking for hills to walk, move to walking on more trails, start to carry a backpack, increase your pace to get your heart rate up and burn more calories. All these items are simple ways to progress the intensity of your program.

If you have any questions, please contact us in Louisville at 402-234-3333 or Plattsmouth at 402-298-4747.

Your Witte Physical Therapy team

#homegrown #backtolife

References:

https://www.henryford.com/blog/2019/03/10-ways-walk-better-health

https://uhs.berkeley.edu/health-topics/exercise-starting-walking-program

Let’s Get Outside….Carefully!

April 7, 2020 – It is getting warmer outside! Which means we are all starting to look at our gardens, landscape beds, and lawns. But we are also looking at doing more work than we might be used to, and we need to be ready for it.

First, we need to get our body ready for this work. This includes starting a good walking program that is appropriate for our age and fitness levels. This will help us start to handle being up and, on our feet, more. Walking outside both on concrete and grass can help us get ready to navigate more uneven ground.

Next, we need to start to work in some sit to stands or squatting exercises inside our homes. Working on our squat form by using a chair to guide us as we begin to squat down will help us develop proper form for this activity. When we are outside working low to the ground it is important to know how we are supposed to squat, not bend over. Doing this activity will help us with that form. We can also work on a lunge position to work to get down on our knees and then back up off our knees when we are outside.

Last, we need to have a plan. Know what you can handle one day at a time. Make sure we don’t work ourselves too hard too fast. Drink plenty of water. Have supplies ready that are in good working order. Make sure to have a seat or bench for modifications so that we don’t get our backs and legs in positions that are too stressful for them to handle.

Contact us at 402-234-3333 in Louisville or 402-298-4747 in Plattsmouth for more information or guidance on the best way for you to start to get ready for this outside work.

Your Witte Physical Therapy team

#homegrown #backtolife

How to Test your Safety at Home

March 31, 2020 – Now that you have learned about how to be safe in your home, safe in your community, how fast you should walk, and what vestibular rehab is, we should explore how you can test your fitness at home to ensure you are as safe as you can be. (FYI, if you haven’t learned about all of this stuff yet just click on our blog page at wittephysicaltherapy.com and you can get caught up!).

There are several easy tests for home to see how your overall fitness is and how safe you are to be at home and be a low fall risk.

  • One Time Sit to Stand Test: Get in a normal height and sturdy kitchen table chair. This chair should not have wheels. See if you can stand up one time from that chair without using your hands to hold onto anything, push yourself up, or lower your self down. Every adult living at home along should be able to do this safely. If you cannot please contact us.
  • Five Time Sit to Stand Test: Get in a normal height and sturdy kitchen table chair. This chair should have wheels. Time yourself to see how fast you can stand up and sit down from this chair five times without using your hands. You should be able to complete this in under 11 to 14 seconds depending on your age.
  • Timed Up and Go Test: Get in a normal height and sturdy kitchen table chair. This chair should not have wheels. Please an object 10 feet from the front fee of the chair on the ground. Time how long it takes you to stand up from the chair, walk around the object on the ground, and sit back down on the chair. You should be able to complete this in under 9 seconds.

These simple tests can help you determine your fall risk and safety at home. If your scores do not fall into the norms of these tests, please call us in Louisville at 402-234-3333 or in Plattsmouth at 402-298-4747 to set up an evaluation. Physical therapy is more than just help for pain or for issues after surgery. We want to work with you to keep you in your home and moving safely.

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Your Witte Physical Therapy team

#homegrown #backtolife

Are you dizzy?

March 24, 2020 – If you have ever wondered, “Can you fix vertigo or dizziness?” My question back to you is “Have you heard of vestibular physical therapy?” As we continue our March discussions on balance, we need to understand all the parts of our body that we use for balance. These include our core and leg muscles, our eyes, and our ears. Vestibular rehab focuses mainly on your ears and how they can affect your balance.

Vestibular rehab is an exercise-based program to improve dizziness and other balance issues. We use our muscles to help keep us up right when our balance is tested. We use our eyes to help us maintain our balance by using our landscape to know what is upright. We use our inner ears, or our otolith in our vestibular canals, to help us maintain our sense of our body in space. If one of these 3 systems is out of whack our balance can become severely hampered.

Vestibular rehab focuses on exercises that can help with your inner ear issues that are contributing to your balance problems. If you can stand still with your feet together, but when you move your head like you are saying “no” really fast your balance becomes worse, this could be a vestibular issue. This is a simple test and is only one of the many tests that we can perform to help you assess your vestibular balance.

Witte Physical Therapy has the knowledge and expertise to treat your balance issues caused by weakness, lack of proprioception, or vestibular issues! Call us at 402-234-3333 in Louisville or 402-298-4747 in Plattsmouth today!

You Witte Physical Therapy team

#homegrow #backtolife