Louisville, Plattsmouth & Hooper Ne 68031

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

How fast are you walking?

March 17, 2020 – As we are living in an uncertain world and the healthcare system becomes more and more strained and consumed with the COVID-19 virus, it is important that we do our part to ensure we aren’t putting extra strain on hospitals and nursing homes. One of the biggest causes of hospital and nursing home admissions are falls and the cascading of other health problems they can create.

Image result for free images of people walking

Most of us think that if we take our time and walk slower that it can help us avoid falling, but this is not correct. Did you know that you if you walk slower than 0.60 m/s you are more likely to fall. A test at home you can do is to mark out a 3 meter course (about 10 feet) and time yourself. You should be able to walk from start to finish in under 5 seconds. If you cannot do this safely, then you need to seek treatment to help you increase your gait speed.

Appropriate and safe gait speed are:

  • 1.3 m/s to climb stairs
  • 1.1 m/s to do yard work
  • 0.9 m/s for household activities
  • 0.67 m/s for activities of daily living such as showering and dressing
  • Less than 0.60 m/s leads to an increased likelihood of hospitalizations or longer stays in a skilled nursing facility

If you have concerns about how fast or safely you are walking please contact us at 402-234-3333 in Louisville or 402-298-4747 in Plattsmouth.

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Your Witte Physical Therapy Team

#homegrown #backtolife

Are You Safe to be Outside?

March 10, 2020 – March is patient safety month so let’s take some time to explore many different aspects of safety. This week we are going to focus on how to be safe in your community environment.

Many of us, especially as we get wiser in our years, have issues or concerns as we go out for our daily tasks. These issues can include navigate curbs, going through a crowd, the length of the walk to and thru the store, driving in traffic, among other items.

How do we navigate through these obstacles? Is it ok to feel like we should be avoiding these things for our safety? These are great questions that we are going to answer.

First, navigating through these obstacles is very much attainable. Using a suitable assistive device can help us navigate curbs and work in a crowd. Staying close to objects for stability can also help. Getting a shopping cart to help us make the walk into and thru the store can make that trip not seem too long. Avoid busier traffic times may also help.

We should never feel like we need to stay in and avoid what we want to do in order to be safe. There are always ways to make these activities and others that make us feel unsafe a better situation for us. These include things that we can help you address in physical therapy. Call us at 402-234-3333 in Louisville and at 402-298-4747 in Plattsmouth.

Your Witte Physical Therapy team #homegrown #backtolife

How Safe is Your Home?

March 3, 2020 – March is patient safety month so let’s take some time to explore many different aspects of safety. This week we are going to focus on how to be safe in your home.

Image result for patient falls

First we must identify what safety hazards can be found in your home. These items are very commonly found in many of our houses and they are not often thought of as safety hazards.

  1. Rugs: The bumps and uneven surfaces can catch our feet
  2. Pets: These can become tripping hazards as they run around our feet or jump up on us
  3. Darkness: Poorly lit walkways, especially if we wake up at night, can cause issues with our balance and safety
  4. Cords: Any exposed cords can be tripped on
  5. Stairs: Any stairs that are too steep or too narrow can be difficult to navigate
  6. Low Stools or Chairs: Toilet seats, kitchen chairs, or bar stools can be difficult to sit down on with control and to stand up from with good balance and strength

Making simple changes to these items or eliminating those items that we can (of course we wouldn’t eliminate our pets) can be a big step forward in preventing a fall and causing further medical issues such as a hospitalization or a stay in a nursing home.

If you are worried about these issues or falling in general please call us in Louisville at 402-234-3333 or in Plattsmouth at 402-298-4747.

Your Witte Physical Therapy team #homegrown #backtolife