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

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

After being stuck inside how do I get active and get back out!

June 2, 2020 – With all the reasons for us to stay home and stay away from public places and from each other it has been hard to be as active as some of us may want to be. Now there are some signs that we can start youth sports, get back to the gym (Witte 24/7 Wellness is always open!), and get back outside. This is very welcome news, but we need to make sure that we are getting back into our activity in a way that safe and keeps you away from physical therapists like me!

First, we must understand that we cannot pick back up where we left off. We must work our body back into proper conditioning. If we just jump up out of our desk chair, grab our walking shoes, and head outside then we are opening ourselves up for the possibility of soft tissue injuries and pain. And if that was not bad enough there is the new heat that has come upon us and we must get acclimated to that!

So now we know what not to do let’s talk about what we need to do. Start by doing some basic stretching and range of motion exercises in your home. Focus on improving you hip flexor, hamstring, and calf flexibility. Move up to basic range of motion exercises to improve you lower back mobility. Then finish with some activities to strengthening your shoulder blades and open your chest with some pec stretches.

Now let us take it outside. Get back into what makes you happy. Go for a walk on a trail or around the lake. Hop on your bike and take in the sites. Get back to doing some weightlifting or aerobic activities. Just remember to listen to your body and start slowly with your intensity. As the endorphins of exercise are released you will start to feel like a weight has been lifted and you will begin to remember what you have been missing. Take a few weeks to ramp back up and by the 4th of July you will be back on track!

At Witte Physical Therapy we can help make sure you are as prepared as you can be with a consultation to explore your goals and help you meet them. We also offer wellness services with our therapists and trainers at Witte 24/7 Wellness. Give us a call today to schedule your appointment!

Your Witte Physical Therapy team

#homegrown #backtolife

References

https://connect.uclahealth.org/2020/04/17/5-in-the-house-fitness-ideas-during-quarantine/

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!

Image may contain: 2 people, text

Your Witte Physical Therapy team

#homegrown #backtolife

References

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

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