Fyzical Jacksonville - April 2020

F Y Z I C A L THERAPY M O N T H L Y 904-223-2363

APRIL 2020



to place, while a vacation is a break from all your obligations. You can stay right at home and have a vacation (a staycation!). The important part is doing whatever you need to have a break from the stress in your life. Vacation is really about getting out of the everyday routine. You can try something new, or you can return to a nostalgic place that gives you a sense of happiness and comfort. Everyone has a different vacation mode. My daughter is turning 14 soon, and for her spring break, we always take a vacation. We live by the beach but don’t always get the opportunity to enjoy it to the fullest. So, this year, we’re doing a staycation. We’ll turn off our phones, dress up in fun and different ways (as if on an exotic vacation), and, most importantly, go to the beach. Outdoor activities are definitely important to us as a family. Beyond walking and swimming at the beach, we’ll kayak someplace if the weather is warm enough. Spending time with one another through physical activity can really help us decompress. If you’re a new patient, it might be tough for you to return to sports or other physical activities you enjoy most, but that’s okay because I have some advice for you. I always tell my new patients that when talking to a therapist or doctor, they should write their top three questions down and ask them. Often, the pain of your injury is made

Where does stress sit on your body? In a busy lifestyle, it’s not a question that we always consider. Between your daily workload, the next sports practice for the kids, planning what you’re going to eat for dinner, and considering what other people might be thinking, you may be putting a lot of pressure on yourself. April is Stress Awareness Month, and as a physical therapist, I see a lot of the physical manifestation of stress. But I know where it starts: in the mind and the spirit. First, one of the best things you can do for yourself is step away from your phone and computer during a certain time of day. Don’t just silence your phone; turn it off completely. Watch TV, take a bath, or read a book — do anything you want! Just don’t use your phone. I grew up in a time when phones were connected to the wall, and people left a message if you weren’t home. Now, anyone and anything can pop up as a notification and demand your attention. You’re always on. You need a moment to shut down and internally rest from the outside world. Second, getting your eyes off the screen can help you rest, but this doesn’t replace another important way of resting: vacation. Even if you travel often, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re taking a vacation. Many experts have identified a significant difference between a trip and a vacation. A trip just means you’re going place

more stressful by being unaware of how it’ll affect your present and future. Doctors can be very busy people, but you should ask them at least three questions about how to handle your injury. It’ll make you heal with more awareness and ease your worries about the healing process overall. Why write them down? Because physically crossing the questions off a list can be very satisfying, and, in my experience, makes concerns easier to dismiss. As a physical therapist, I know there’s a direct link between stress and physical discomfort. If someone has hip or foot pain and they’re stressed out, that pain can only escalate. Body tension from stress prevents your body from relaxing. One way of identifying your pain can be meditative breathing. Slowly inhale and exhale, and try to relax your whole body. Which part is most resistant to relaxation or hurts most? That’s often where your stress manifests itself. Take an Epsom salts bath, get a massage, or see me, your favorite physical therapist, and I can help eliminate your pain. I hope everyone becomes a little more aware of their stress. Today, take some time away from the busy world for yourself. It might be just what the doctor ordered. -Dr. Joanna Frantz

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