Louisville, Plattsmouth & Hooper Ne 68031

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

What is Vital about your Vital Signs?

February 25, 2020 – When we all visit our physician, we also get our vital signs taken. They like to see what our pulse, blood pressure, and oxygen levels are. What is considered a healthy range for these numbers?

Body Temperature

  1. Normal range is 97.8 to 99 degrees
  2. If measured under the arm the amount is usually about 0.5 degrees lower than by your mouth
  3. Can be measured on your forehead or ear with the correct thermometer

Pulse Rate

  1. Normal range is 60-100 beats per minute for most adults
  2. Healthy and active adults can have pulse rates below 60 beats per minute and still be healthy and without any problems
  3. Pulse can be taken with monitors or by using your index and middle finger and finding your pulse on the palm side of your wrist just below your thumb and wrist crease

Respiration Rate

  1. Normal range is 12-16 breaths per minute for most adults

Blood Pressure

  1. Normal is usually between 100 and 120 mmHg on the top number and 60 to 80 mmHg on the bottom number
  2. The top number measures the pressure of the blood in the artery when the heart is pumping, and the bottom number measures the pressure of the blood when the heart is filling

Understanding these simple numbers can help you screen yourself at home for any early signs of potential problems. A thermometer and a simple electronic blood pressure cuff can be purchased inexpensively and can be great life saving tools for you to keep around your house. If you ever have any questions or concerns about what you are measuring, you can contact us at 402-234-3333 in Louisville or 402-298-4747 in Plattsmouth for guidance.

Your Witte Physical Therapy Team #homegrown #backtolife

How to Feed your Hungry Heart!

February 18, 2020 – How does that cheeseburger and side salad affect your heart health? Can you have that fruit smoothie and not have to worry about your heart? We probably don’t think too often about our diet and how it affects our heart health, but since February is Heart Month it is important to understand how hard we can work our heart physically and through the food we eat.

Foods that we should eat include:

  1. Cooking in extra virgin olive oil and not other vegetable oil
  2. Eating more berries for our fruit intake
  3. Making sure we are eating enough nuts per day, but not too many
  4. Green leafy vegetables are the best vegetables
  5. More plant-based proteins than animal based protein

Image result for images of heart healthy foods

Foods that we should limit or avoid include

  1. High dose antioxidant supplements
  2. Juicing of fruit or vegetables with pulp removal
  3. Foods containing gluten
  4. Eggs
  5. Southern diets (fried foods and processed meats)

Planning out what you are going to eat ahead of time will make following these changes easier. We can try to exercise our heart better (see previous blog posts), but if we don’t eat right then we are only going to see partial results. This works in the opposite way as well, eating right and sitting on the couch won’t get us the results we want. Our heart health is very important to a long a health life.

For further guidelines or questions please contact us at 402-234-3333 in Louisville or 402-298-4747 in Plattsmouth.

Your Witte Physical Therapy team #homegrown #backtolife

Headaches!

January 21, 2020 – We have all had headaches at some point in our life. These headaches can be very hit and miss, related to a cold, or even worse be a migraine. Migraines can be the most frustrating types of headaches as they tend to be more consistent and stronger and tend to not respond to basic over the counter treatments.

Image result for headache pictures

Migraines can cause us to see different objects, lose sight temporarily in an eye, feel like we are having a stroke, feeling like we are having a burning sensation around our eyes, or be caused by an issue with our neck. Physical therapy can help with some of these issues, but the most common headache problem we treat are those that are caused by a neck issue.

As we have discussed in our last two blogs, posture is very important. If we have inadequate posture it can put extra strain on our cervical spine, causing our cervical paraspinals and upper trap muscles to become tight, and increase tension through our TMJ that can cause headaches in our temples or ones that radiate from the back of our head.

Physical therapy can help treat the above symptoms with a variety of manual therapy techniques, exercises, and modalities to decrease muscle tone, improve segmental mobility, improve ROM, and work on postural strength and awareness. For more information call us at 402-234-3333 in Louisville or 402-298-4747 in Plattsmouth.

Your team at Witte Physical Therapy #homegrown #backtolife

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year’s Eve! We have survived 2019! For everyone I am sure there has been ups and downs this year, but this day and New Year’s Day provides us an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and set goals for 2020.

As we all start to think about our resolutions for 2020 we need to think about a few things. First, we need to write down these goals and post them somewhere that we will see them daily. Second, we need to cover a variety of topics that are important to us. This could be financial, spiritual, health related, etc. Finally, we need to understand that these lifestyle changes take time and we need help. Reach out to resources in the community that can help you reach your goals and remember it takes several weeks of sticking with these changes to make them part of our normal routine.

Your insurance benefits are also likely starting over. If you have questions about what your benefits are for 2020 please reach out and ask questions. We can check your deductible amounts, co-insurance and copay benefits, and how many visits of physical therapy you have for 2020.

Happy New Years from Witte Physical Therapy

#homegrown #backtolife

Happy Holidays!

At Witte Physical Therapy and Witte 24/7 Wellness we want to wish all our patients and those reading this blog a very happy holiday season!

We have been very fortunate to get to treat and meet several members of our great communities and county over the past year. We are very grateful for that opportunity and want to continue to use these interactions as way to better ourselves and our communities.

Thank you for the trust you have provided us!

Have a Happy Holiday Season from Witte Physical Therapy and Witte 24/7 Wellness! #homegrown #backtolife

How heavy is your snow shovel?

December 12, 2019: Have you ever wondered how much a shovel of snow weighs? What is an appropriate amount of snow to lift?

Here is approximately what your snow shovel weighs:

  • Empty Snow Shovel: 3 pounds
  • Snow Shovel with Fresh Fluffy Snow: 5 pounds
  • Snow Shovel with Settled Snow: 10 pounds
  • Snow Shovel with wind Packed Snow: 15 pounds
  • Snow Shovel with Wet Snow: 25 pounds
  • Snow Shovel with Ice, Water, and Snow: 32 pounds                                                                             

By themselves some of these amounts don’t seem too big. But how many scoops of a snow shovel does it take to clear your driveway? Let’s assume the average driveway is 20 feet wide and 40 feet long. It would take several hundred shovel scoops to clear that driveway. Now instead of lifting 10 pounds one time you are lifting thousands of pounds over the course of the snow removal.

If you remember our last post on MET levels and energy expenditure this shows that these are only increasing more. If we are not prepared to move the snow correctly to save our backs and joints and we are not prepared to handle the energy required to move the snow, we are opening our bodies up to several stresses that can cause bigger problems down the road.

For any further questions please contact us in Louisville at 402-234-3333 or in Plattsmouth at 402-298-4747 or ask us about our Wellness Center options.

Your Witte Physical Therapy team #homegrown #backtolife

Proper Lifting Mechanics

 
December 3, 2019 – As we start to enter the winter season and the dreaded “s” word is around the corner we must start to think about reaching for our shovels and preparing to dig ourselves out.

The incidence of low back pain tends to climb during the winter months. Overall, we are less active and then when the snow comes, we are put in a position to have to bend, lift, and push snow that is always heavier than it looks. It is important during these times that we slow down and think about how we are bending, lifting, and pushing that snow.

“Lift with your legs and not your back” is a message we have all heard in our lives. It is very important when it comes to proper lifting mechanics. As we are working to dig out under that pile of snow, we must get low enough for the shovel to be effective. We need to think about the following aspects of using proper lifting mechanics:

 

Squatting: Proper squat form is essential to be able to lift with our legs. Practice this by putting a chair behind you while you are standing. Begin to sit in the chair like you normally would but once you buttock contacts the chair stand back up before you sit down. This is how a proper squat should feel.

Carrying a Load: Whenever we are carrying a heavy load with our arms it is important to carry that load as close to our body as we can. As we extend our arms it causes more strain on lower back to stabilize the load which can lead to back pain.

Avoid Twisting: We need to be able to move that heavy snow filled shovel around our bodies to get it off our driveways and sidewalks. It is important not to twist your back to do this. You must pivot your body like it is a log on your feet. Think about making sure the heavy shovel is always over your feet and never outside of them. As you turn your body the shovel and feet will turn together, by taking small steps to pivot, to avoid twisting your back.

 

Following these simple steps will decrease your chance of having low back pain due to the harsh Nebraska winters. Of course, you can do everything right and sometimes your luck just runs out. We are always here for free consultations to help you start the journey to getting over you back pain.

The Witte Physical Team #homegrown #backtolife

Post Surgical Rehab: Function and Stability

November 26, 2019: In our post last week, we talked about the initial steps following a surgery including pain management, improving range of motion, and addressing strength. But that is only half of the picture. What good is range of motion if you can’t lift that jar of pickles from the top pantry shelf? What good is having the strength to do a squat if you can’t get up from your favorite soft easy chair? This is where function and stability must be addressed.

Function takes range of motion and strength a step further. If we set a goal for you to achieve 4+/5 strength in your shoulder, what does that mean to you? Probably not very much. But if your goal is to be able to put your groceries away without help, this functional goal means much more. Once we have the range of motion and strength as good as they can be for you, then we want to begin to work on what that means for you. If you like to play with your grandkids, then function may mean the ability to move about the playground. If you like to be able to get in and out of the tractor then that function may mean being able to walk on uneven farm ground and climb a ladder. This answer is different for everyone, but each answer is the most important one for you.

Stability and function go hand in hand. We must have stability in each of our joints if we are going to take on the task of being functional. Stability is much more than just staying upright while we walk or run. If you are going to reach out and turn on the water valve at your house, you must have good stability through your shoulder to do so. If you are going to climb a tall set of stairs to get a great view of the countryside you must have excellent hip stability to achieve this goal. Stability is achieved from the joints closest to our trunk first. Without good strength we can’t have good stability. Without great stability we can’t have great function. There is a systematic approach that must work together for you to achieve your goals. This is our primary focus at Witte Physical Therapy, you and your goals!

Your Witte Physical Therapy team #homegrown #backtolife