Are You Dizzy?

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Jan 022017
 

Vertigo? Dizziness?

Have you ever gotten up out of bed with a sudden onset of dizziness? Do you feel as if the room is spinning? Does it last just a few seconds or a few minutes?

If you experience these symptoms, you most likely have what is called “BPPV: Benign Proximal Positional Vertigo.”

BPPV is a common occurrence as we get older because we do not participate in the same body movement patterns we did when we were young, like swinging in a swing, rolling, jumping or quick turning. Those activities keep our inner ear functions healthy because they keep an active flow of fluid through the semicircular canals of our ear. This flow of fluid is necessary to tell our brains where our body is in space and keep our balance. Look at the illustration below and find the semicircular canals.

Inner Ear

As we get older we do less of the active movements we used to do and so that flow of fluids slows down. As the flow slows down, crystals can form in the canals and get stuck on the side. When fluids flow over these crystals, it creates a ‘blip’ in the flow and gives us that dizzy sensation.

The treatment of BPPV can be performed by a manual manipulation by a Physical Therapist for more severe cases. However, you can try a simple movement pattern at home and see if you can dislodge the crystals by increasing the flow of fluids in the canals. These crystals, once dislodged will be reabsorbed by the body. You can also prevent the formation of crystals by doing the same movement. Follow these instructions:

  1. Lie down on your bed
  2. Position yourself lying on your right side at the edge of your bed.
  3. Roll from your right side, to your back to to end up on your left side in one continuous move. Hold this position on your left side.  Do this slowly at first. Always keep your eyes OPEN. Dizziness gets worse when you close your eyes.
  4. Assess your dizziness. If you are dizzy, keep your eyes open and wait until it passes.
  5. Now roll back to the right side and hold that position, Assess your dizziness again.
  6. Repeat this pattern 6 times. Each time, your dizziness should get a little less.
  7. Roll in the morning and when you go to bed.

Rolling in bed is a great way to start your day. It gets the fluids moving in your inner ear and will decrease and even alleviate BPPV symptoms completely.

Dizziness puts you at an increased risk for a fall. Make sure your muscles are strong an balanced by using our Better Balance instructional DVD or download.

Happy Rolling!

 

Photo credit: Boundless

Are You Shrinking?

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Dec 272016
 

Neck Hump progression

Are you Shrinking ???

Seems everyone is complaining that they are losing height these days. Its very common to hear someone say “ I used to be 5’10 and now I’m 5”8” !” How does this happen in life?

Shrinking, or height loss is due primarily to one thing, postural aging and decline. We begin life with 3 wonderful curves; one in our neck, the other in our back and the third in the arch of our foot. Each curve becomes a shock absorber to lessen the impact of walking, running and other upright activities. As we age, gravity and the demands of life pull us downward and forwards. Without constant active strengthening of our posture muscles, gravity does its work and we get stuck in these postures and begin to loose our spinal curves.

Our neck curve becomes more flattened with the head held forward to the body. Our lumbar curve becomes more flattened as the body follows the head, leaning forward. And our curve in the arches of our feet becomes more flattened as we wear shoes without support, like flip flops and sandals.

Keep your chin up and level throughout your day to reduce neck strain. Keep your shoulders back and hips tilted forward with frequent glut contractions to reduce back strain. And always wear tennis shoes or shoes with arch support to prevent your arches from collapsing inward.

But there are specific physical therapy strengthening techniques that are best learned with one-on-one instruction with a PracticalTherapy4U DVD or Download. No one else brings you these these easy every day techniques to reduce your chances of shrinking. You can even regain lost height! Learn the techniques to achieve and keep your curves for life at www.practicaltherapy4u.com from the Better Neck Program and the Better Back Program.
Tami Peavy, MPT

A Pain in the Wrists? Therapist Inventor Solves the Problem

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Oct 142016
 

WAGS

It is my pleasure to introduce you to my friend and colleague, Paula Wilbert, a practicing Occupational Therapist for over 20 years. What makes Paula exceptional is that she designed a fabulous product that solves a real problem for those of us who love to workout and keep fit, but don’t like the discomfort or pain in our wrists that comes with bearing our body weight on our hands.

If you want to keep your triceps and biceps shapely; participate in yoga or Pilates you must be able to support your body weight on your hands to get full benefit from the exercises. But this means “cranking your wrists” to an extreme angle which can lead to pain, injury or promote arthritis. Paula designed her Wrist Assured Gloves (WAGs) ergonomically with a patented, supportive gel pad inside that puts the wrist and hand at the optimal angle to lessen the stress and avoid such trauma.

The gloves are comfortable, fashionable and come in different styles and sizes. Slip on a pair and feel the difference they make in your workout! WAGS also come with a 30-day money back guarantee.

WAGS

Read Paula’s full story and see why WAGs make sense for you in your workout. AND you get a special 15% discount off WAGS with the code PT4U.

How Long Will You Live Test

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Aug 282016
 

Cartoon older coupleA Brazilian doctor invented a Sitting Rising Test (SRT) which he says can predict your risk of dying in the next five years. I maintain as a Physical Therapist, that your ability to perform this test successfully depends on the strength of your glutes which is why my first video program, Muscle of Balance is devoted to teaching people exactly how to keep that muscle strong throughout life.

The SRT test is based on a score of 10 points. If you score less than 3 points your risk of dying is five times greater over the next five years. But for each point you earn, there is a 21% decrease in mortality for all causes. Curious to see how you do? Click this link.                                                                                                             (A special thanks to my sister, Tek Pratt for bringing this important study to my attention) 

Dr. Claudio Gil Araujo, MD, PhD, is a specialist in exercise and sports medicine. at Clínica de Medicina do Exercício – Clinimex, in Rio de Janeiro Brazil. Dr. Araujo invented SRT to measure non-aerobic physical fitness.

Are Your Workouts Aging You?

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May 222016
 

Women doing crunches

Are Your Workouts Aging You?

Part one of a three part series on exercises that age you.

The average health club offers more options in exercise classes, personal training and even equipment more than ever before. Our options are seemingly unlimited as to how we want to stay in shape. We can choose to workout in a group with others or one-on-one with a friend or trainer. Our goal is to stay in shape, and hopefully feel and look younger, if possible.

And yet, all these programs most likely contain exercises that are literally aging you, causing more harm than you realize. They can bend and torque your joints and spine, doing more damage than good. So, which exercises age you? What can you do instead? This is Part One in a three part series on Workouts that Age you.

The exercise that ages you faster than any other that you do is the classic ‘crunch’ exercise for your abdominals. Whether you have your hands behind your head or straight at your side, the movement requires the same torque on your neck. In the crunch, your head is continuously bending forward. This position at the very least causes creases in your neckline and at the most leads to neck pain, migraines, disc bulging and shoulder pain

This position also causes arthritis in the cervical spine because of the constant pressure on the front part of the cervical vertebrae. Did you know that this forward bending position is THE movement that is responsible in whiplash in a car accident?

Also, the muscles in the back of your neck, your posterior neck muscles, are continuously being stretched out in the crunch. A stretched out muscle is not a strong muscle.

So you are actually weakening the most critical muscles you need to keep your head in proper alignment on top of your shoulders. Just think how many times you do this damaging movement in a single routine or exercise class.

Learn the exercise you should be doing INSTEAD to keep those abs firm without damaging your neck here:

You can get the same benefit of firm abs, without the torque on your neck by doing what is called the ‘Reverse Crunch.” Lying on your back, put your hands under your lower back for support. Bend your knees and keep your feet flat on the floor. Now, lift your knees into your chest, contracting your stomach muscles as you lift. Repeat this 10 times for 2 sets. This is demonstrated in the 2Min2 a Better Neck video.

You are using the same abdominal muscles without the strain on your neck or promoting neck lines and wrinkles. So ditch the crunch exercise, and use the “Reverse Crunch” in your future exercise program.

Knowing what exercises should be avoided or modified in your workout can mean the difference between aging well or aging with pain.

If you are over 50 years old, the most effective exercises are often the most simple that focus on key muscle groups that determine how you will age. A Daily Therapy program like one on our Better Balance DVD or download, gives you instructions on the best therapeutic exercises to create overall body balance to keep strong and prevent falls in your future. Visit us online.

Sitting is the New Smoking

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Jan 272016
 

zPIC Older man sitting

Everyday, you do the one seemingly innocent thing that is hazardous to your health and creates weakness in your body more than anything else… SITTING. You sit at your desk, in your car, on your sofa watching tv, in a movie for 2-3 hours: lots of time in your life is spent sitting. And you are sitting on the very muscle that you need for a strong back and posture. Sitting has become epidemic today especially with the heavy use of computers and long commutes in cars. Such a problem that it is now nearly as dangerous to your health as smoking; making Sitting the New Smoking.

Shocking but true…sitting is linked to increased risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and even certain types of cancers in the colon and breast; not to even mention its degenerating effect on your bones, muscles and brain function.

But the good news because there is something you can do to affect the health of your body; its all about learning the unique daily positional techniques from Practical Therapy4U to activate and strengthen your Muscle of Balance for Life.
Enjoy this article from the Washington Post providing the evidence that “Sitting is the New Smoking”, then order your Muscle of Balance dvd or download today and begin preventing these debilitating effects of sitting.

Benefits of DVDs for Seniors

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Mar 042015
 

DVDs-smaller

A study published in the Journals of Gerontology has illustrated that home-based DVD exercise programs have significant benefit for seniors in improving strength, balance and gait; preventing and possibly reversing decline. But not all DVDs are created alike. The “Muscle of Balance DVD from PracticalTherapy4U is designed with simple, easy to use exercises that can be incorporated into every day movements and activities of daily living.