Advanced Practice Physical Therapy - January/February 2022


We’ve all been advised to stretch before working out or performing physical activities. However, some recent studies have cautioned against this practice, claiming it may lead to an increased chance of getting injured. Regardless, this does not mean you should cut stretching out of your life completely. Stretching is not just for athletes. Everyone can benefit from this practice, and there are many advantages that come with improving your flexibility. Getting in the habit of stretching after you wake up and before you go to bed can benefit many aspects of your overall health.

at night (or both!), your muscles will stay looser, helping prevent muscle strains and tears. Improved Balance and Posture Strong posture and balance are essential for both everyday activities and athletic performance. Good posture is necessary for spine health, and you need good balance to do everything from walking down the street to standing and sitting. The flexibility gained through stretching improves the muscles that are needed for correct posture, and you will also increase your range of motion. Relaxation and Reduced Pain There are also certain stretches that help lengthen and open your muscles. When your muscles are looser and relaxed, you’re less likely to feel pain or experience muscle cramps. Stretching can work wonders for people suffering from lower back pain. This pain is often caused by tight muscles, and stretching will loosen them and relieve that pain. Stretching can also help your mind loosen up and unwind, which will relieve stress and improve your mood.

Here are our top three benefits!

Reduced Risk of Injury If your muscles are tight and you start working out, your chance of injury increases. Stretching helps to loosen your muscles and allows them to move easier. This still does not mean you should stretch right before working out, but by creating a routine where you stretch in the morning or


Approximately 55% of the population over 50 will be affected by osteoporosis, which thins and weakens the bones. In the U.S. alone, the condition is responsible for about 1.5 million fractures per year. You may not think exercise can help with bone loss, but prepare to be surprised. A comprehensive physical therapy plan can not only promote bone growth but also improve balance and posture, which lowers the risk of falling or sustaining fractures. Bone is living tissue. Just as with other parts of our bodies, cells are constantly dying and being replaced. With osteoporosis, not enough new bone is created to make up for the bone lost, so it becomes weak and brittle. Women and older people are especially prone to osteoporosis, but an inactive lifestyle, smoking, excessive alcohol, or low weight can also contribute to development of the condition. Often, people with osteoporosis don’t experience symptoms. That sounds like a good thing, but unfortunately, it results in the condition not being diagnosed until after a broken or fractured bone. Telltale signs of the condition include a loss of height, pain between the shoulder blades, or pain above

the pelvis. But frequently, the first indication of a problem is when a bone breaks during normal activity, such as receiving a hug or stepping off a curb. A physical therapist’s treatment of osteoporosis depends on each patient’s unique situation. Just like muscles become stronger from exercise, so do bones. Most physical therapy regimens will involve specific exercises to help build bone mass. To avoid falling or injury, physical therapists will also work with patients to improve balance, correct posture, and adapt to daily activities while protecting their bone health. If the bone is still fractured, a physical therapist can also help relieve pain without medication through positioning and other techniques. If you’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis, contact a physical therapist today to help regain your strength and quality of life. A customized physical therapy plan can help you get back to safely doing the things you love — no bones about it.


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