Fit4Life: Prevent Injuries By Improving Balance

NEWSLETTER Physical Therapy Personal Training


INSIDE: • Find Balance Once Again by Relieving Your Dizziness & Vertigo • Healthy Recipe


• Patient Spotlights • Exercise Essentials


Balance is a big deal in our everyday world, but we take it for granted. Just think how long it took you to master walking, running, and jumping as a child. Your balance system is incredibly complex, and allows you to walk around over steps, and obstacles without thinking. However, when balance is affected, it can be difficult to perform daily tasks and activities you enjoy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Thirty million older adults fall each year—resulting in about 30,000 deaths. Each year, 3 million older adults are treated for a fall injury. One out of every five falls causes a serious injury, such as broken bones or a head injury.” Dizziness and vertigo are common reasons why someone may experience issues with balance or sustain an unexpected fall. We’ve all had the sensation of being dizzy - as if you can’t focus, can’t see straight, can’t stand upright without swaying or falling. You may even experience “tunnel vision,” where your peripheral vision goes dark for a few seconds. Dizziness is common and can have many causes. Vertigo, however, is a little different. While dizziness is typically synonymous with “lightheadedness,” which creates the illusion of being unsteady, vertigo is typically a response to a physiological factor that is causing a quite

literal imbalance in your body. Those experiencing vertigo have reported feeling as if they are “rocking” or “spinning,” even when they are sitting still. Physical therapy for dizziness and vertigo is a common and effective course of treatment. For inquiries regarding vertigo testing, don’t hesitate to contact Fit 4 Life. If you’ve been feeling dizzy, or you think you may have some of the symptoms of vertigo, call our office today to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced physical therapists. Why is my balance compromised by dizziness and/or vertigo? Just a few of the many factors that can lead to dizziness include lack of sleep, poor nutrition, overexertion, or a physical ailment, such as a head cold or the flu. Dizziness can also occur from something as simple as standing up too quickly after an extended period of rest. Some accompanying symptoms to dizziness may include: • Loss of balance • Lightheadedness or heavy-headedness • Momentarily impaired vision (i.e. tunnel vision) • Feeling woozy or faint

If you are experiencing pain, Fit 4 Life has a 95% success rate! Schedule an appointment today with the best quality therapist in Florida!

THIS MAY BE WHY YOU’RE SUFFERING FROM VERTIGO The causes of vertigo aren’t nearly as vast. In fact, vertigo is most commonly caused by an imbalance in the inner ear, also known as the “vestibular system.” Your vestibular system helps you maintain your balance and center of gravity by sending messages to your brain regarding your movement. When this is impaired, the necessary messages become blocked from your brain, and your movement becomes affected. You may feel as if the world is spinning around you, you can’t focus your vision for prolonged periods of time, or you can’t stand/move properly without feeling like you’ll topple over. Some common causes of vertigo include: • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). This is the most common cause of vertigo. It occurs when the tiny calcium crystals located in your ears break apart and move around to different parts of the ear that they are not supposed to be in. This can cause sudden spinning sensations (vertigo) and inner-ear discomfort. • Meniere’s disease. This occurs when fluid builds up in your ear(s). This typically includes “ringing” sounds in the inner-ear and sudden waves of vertigo that may

last for hours. You may also experience momentary hearing losses. • Vestibular neuritis. This is an inner-ear infection that can cause vertigo. • Migraines. Migraines can impact your vestibular system, thus causing episodes of vertigo which may be coupled with sensitivities to light or sound. Vision may also be impaired. • Stroke. A stroke affects movement in your whole body. If you recently suffered a stroke, you may experience waves of vertigo which may linger for extended periods of time.

Vestibular rehabilitation includes treatments such as the Epley maneuver, which allows for canalith repositioning to move the broken calcium crystals in patients experiencing BPPV, as well as Cawthorne head exercises, which focus on decreasing nerve sensitivity and improving vertigo. Videonystagmography is a highly specialized diagnostic tool for testing inner ear functions. This test determines whether your dizziness or vertigo is being caused by a vestibular disease, and it is the only test available that can decipher whether there is a vestibular loss in one or both ears. It is a non-invasive test that uses infrared goggles to record a patient’s eye movements, thus determining how well the patient is able to react to visual stimuli responses that are being sent from the vestibular system. Physical therapy is very important to strengthening joints and learning the right exercises to relieve dizziness and vertigo, in order to improve balance. A professional can help you develop a program that plays into your strengths while increasing your ability to balance and reduce bouts of unsteadiness. Contact Fit 4 Life today to get started! Sources: syc-20371787 9280-c655e1776ebe =chrome..69i57.3980j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Some accompanying symptoms to vertigo may also include: • Inability to focus or remain alert. • Double vision.

• Nausea or vomiting. • Arm or leg weakness. • Difficulty seeing or speaking. • Sweating. • Abnormal eye movements.

How will physical therapy help? Dizziness and vertigo can both hinder your balance, limiting your ability to perform even the simplest of tasks. Luckily, no matter what the cause may be, physical therapy for dizziness and vertigo can help. Fit 4 Life has some of the most advanced techniques for diagnosing and treating both dizziness and vertigo, including vestibular rehabilitation and videonystagmography.

Fit 4 Life Can Help You Improve your Balance, Naturally!

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17419 Bridge Hill Court Tampa, FL, 33647 P: (813) 907-7879

DO I NEED A PRESCRIPTION TO START PHYSICAL THERAPY? No, you don’t. Although we see many patients sent directly by their physician, in the state of Florida, a licensed physical therapist may begin the physical therapy process by performing a full physical therapy evaluation. We will verify benefits for you so that you can get started right away.

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“I am basically pain free!” “The staff is great and this is the only place that has not only helped me manage my neck and back pain after a car accident, but make it to where I am basically pain free!” –Annette L. “It has truly helped manage my joint pain which I have suffered through for years.” “Great place with many caring individuals. They truly care about your wellbeing, minimizing pain and involving you in your plan. It has truly helped manage my joint pain which I have suffered through for years.” - Erika V We want to hear from you! Leave us a review on Google!


My name is Kathryn Fitzgerald and I joined the Fit4Life team in 2019! I received my Doctor of Physical Therapy from Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts, where I also completed my undergraduate degree in health science. After college, I went on to complete a Neurologic Clinical Residency at James A. Haley Veterans Hospital and became a Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Neurologic Physical Therapy. I continue to work in Spinal Cord Injury Robotics Research at James A. Haley Veterans Hospital and love to bring the skills and knowledge I have gained there into my clinical practice. Outside of the world of physical therapy, I enjoy staying active, traveling, visiting my friends and family in New England and taking my two English Bulldogs to the beach as often as possible!” CALL TODAY TO SCHEDULE A FITNESS, PT, OR HEALTH SESSION! 813-907-7879

Kathryn Fitzgerald Physical Therapist


TANDEM WALK - WALL Stand with the fingertips of one, or both, hands resting on a wall. Place the feet ‘heel to toe’ with the left foot forward. Steady yourself in this position. Step forward with the right foot, placing the heel directly in front of, and touching, the toes of the left foot. Step forward with the left foot, placing the heel directly in front of, and touching, the toes of the right foot. Repeat this sequence, moving forward down the hallway. Reverse direction, moving backward down the hallway. Repeat 3 times.

Try these exercises to get you moving... ESSENTIALS

Improves Balance

SINGLE LEG STANCE - FORWARD Stand tall. Be close to support, both at your sides and behind in case you lose your balance. Balance on one leg. Hold for 10 seconds, repeat 3 times on each leg.

Improves Balance

Exercises copyright of

Always consult your physical therapist or physician before starting exercises you are unsure of doing.


Why You Need To Schedule An Appointment With Our Physical Therapists or Personal Trainers:

� Move without pain � Bend and move freely

� Balance confidently & securely � Sit for long periods comfortably � Walk for long distances � Live an active & healthy lifestyle

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