Are You Living Life To The Fullest?
I was recently on a return leg to California after spending the week in Washington, DC on a business trip. Since most of the business related to the way physical therapists can help people return to doing the things they love is in a low-cost, non-invasive way, I was still seeing through that lens while flying over the Potomac River and back home. To kill some time, I thumbed through the Southwest Airlines magazine and was struck by the contrasting messages of the articles and the ads of the magazine.
Naturally, the articles promote traveling for sports events, exotic cuisines, and relaxing vacations. Each weaves a story of adventure and paints a picture of experiences that can only be had in specific locations around the globe. These ads feature magical destinations aimed at exceeding expectations and encourage readers to be active thrill-seekers and explorers of the world and it’s many cultures. Simply put, the articles focused on our ability, when healthy, to live life to the fullest.
Maybe it was because we were thousands of feet above the ground, but I found it easy to keep my head in the clouds and picture my family and I discovering ancient Aztec ruins, walking on a beach in the Caribbean, and skiing Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Then, with the turn of the page, my head snapped back to reality with whiplash like force. I had spotted a reminder of why my parents and millions of others around the country would have to settle for dreams rather than authentic experiences. I spotted a medical advertisement.
You know the ones I’m talking about. It’s those ads using the smiles and confusing credentials of the surgeons to sell invasive, expensive, and generally unnecessary surgical ‘cures’ for chronic low back pain, joint pain, and rotator cuff tears. There’s no mention of success rates or the months of rehab required following the surgery, and all seem to be the ‘best’ or ‘only’ choice in dealing with your pain. Unfortunately, these ads redirect the focus from dreams to disability. To those with pain, they say ‘remember that your pain will prevent you from living life.’ To those who have already had a surgical procedure, they say ‘after paying the insurance deductibles, you can’t afford to take such a vacation’. However, among the disappointing medical ads, there was one ray of hope that offered a meaningful, low cost, and non-surgical solution to all of this. It came from the unified message of the California Physical Therapy Association- “Physical Therapists Improve the Way You Move.”
Physical Therapy Improves The Way You Move
Research shows that receiving physical therapist services have the same (if not better) success rates compared to surgical options for neck, shoulder, low back, and knee pain. And it does all this with significant cost savings to you in a shorter amount of time! Seeing a physical therapist should be the first option to get rid of pains related to nerves, muscles, and bones. In all 50 states, consumers are able to access physical therapists directly, meaning that you don’t have to see a doctor for a referral to physical therapy.
With the help of a physical therapist, you’ll be able to manage your pain in less time and less cost to you. Keep dreaming of those vacations!
Post Courtesy of Matt DeBole, an Outpatient Orthopedic Doctor of Physical Therapy at Palo Alto Medical Foundation.
Exercises That Help Strengthen Your Ankle
Ankles are often neglected when it comes to your strength-training routine; but they shouldn't be. Strong, flexible ankles are an important foundation, helping prevent injury whether you're running back and forth on the tennis court or playing a game of chase with your kids. The good news is just a few minutes a day can help keep the sprains away.
THE MONOPOLY GAME:
Put 10 small objects on the floor--like marbles or Monopoly pieces--and place a small cup nearby. Using your toes, pick up the pieces one at a time and put them in the cup. Do two sets of 10 with each foot.
Sit down barefoot and cross your right leg so that your ankle rests on your left thigh. Hold your toes and bend them back toward your shin, stretching the plantar fascia. A study showed that people suffering from plantar fasciitis had a 77 percent chance of returning to full activity within three to six months after performing this stretch. Researchers suggest that you do the stretch 10 times at least three times a day (once or twice a day doesn't produce as strong of an effect).
Strengthens the calf muscles and tendons near the heel.To Do: Stand on a step with forefeet on the edge. Push up with both feet into a calf raise. Lift one leg off the step and lower your other leg so that your heel drops below the step. Take up to 10 seconds to lower it. Return to start; repeat 10 times on each foot. Do three times a week.
This works the range of motion in your ankle. While sitting, spell out the alphabet with your foot. This exercise doesn’t just help your ankles. It also helps to activate smaller muscles in your shins and calves, because those legs muscles are helping to turn your ankles in all kinds of directions.
If you would like more information, or would like to make an appointment, please call us at 901-756-1650. We can design a treatment plan just for you, that will get you back to where you want to be!