Aquatic Physical Therapy

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We are excited to announce that we are now offering Aquatic Physical Therapy at our Mercer Islappostcard Aquaticnd location!!

We have access to a pool at our Mercer Island facility and there are many benefits to using the water for physical therapy.  The bouyancy of water decreases the amount of weight one puts through joints and applies compression from the outside.  With just these two properties of water, one can begin to bear weight through injured joints, and decrease inflamation.

Aquatic Therapy has been used for arthritic conditions, joint replacement and other orthopedic rehabilitation, sports injury rehabilitation, and low back pain.  All of these, and more, can benefit from physical therapy in the water by decreasing the amount of stress through the joint.

Treatment in the water can include, but is not limited too:

  • Range of motion exercises
  • Core strengthening and stability
  • Strength training
  • Endurance training
  • Gait training

There are so many benefits to being in the water for therapy:

  • Increased temperature in therapy pools can help to decrease inflamation and increase circulation inside the body.
  • The resistance applied by the water can change depeding on the depth of the water, so a treatment can be constantly varied to meet individuals needs
  • Studies show that the copmbination of warm water and bouyancy can decrease sensitivity to pain

To experience the benefits of Aquatic Physical Therapy, please contact Advantage Physical Therapy at 425-883-9631.

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Physical Therapy Patients Return to Competition

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In a physical therapy practice, we see many types of injuries.  Some people want to return to pain free living and working, but others want to return to competitive athletics and/or aggressive fitness styles.  From runners to basketball players; tennis players to swimmers; and many others, the goal of physical therapy is to return to the sport they love.  In the last couple of years, crossfit has become the new competitive sport that a lot of people are joining up and doing.

Crossfit is a very strenous workout that stresses “functional movement.” It is widely thought of as an intense workout, but not many people know that there are local competitions.  Advantage PT has 2 clinics (Mercer Island, WA and Redmond, WA).  Working at the Mercer Island clinic, I see many athletes from the local Crossfit gym Mercer Island Crossfit. Recently a husband and wife team of former patients competeted at a local event called the Resolution Revolution 2. Stone Way Crossfit hosted the event for “couples” (any male/female partner).

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These 2 patients were exceptional athletes, had some injuries, and became better athletes after following a program of physical therapy.  They were seen for different body parts, but the activies they do require multiple body parts.  Here are a few pictures from the event!

jared press (2) meg clean (2)meg du (2)

New Year, New You

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Two views of local Extension leaders drilling ...

Two views of local Extension leaders drilling in physical exercise in middies and bloomers, … (Photo credit: Cornell University Library)

It is a week into 2013.  We at Advantage PT are curious how everyone is doing.  Remember that getting back into the swing of things following the holiday period can be tough.  After being busy with family and all of the food and decreased time for staying in shape, we wanted to offer some pointers to get back into the swing of things.

This is a short list of ways to stay injury free as you return to your workout schedule:

  1. Pace Yourself – Don’t go too hard too fast
  2. Lighten Your Load – Take a few workouts to get your strength and stamina back to where it was
  3. Eat Well – Pay attention to what you are putting in your body.  The right foods will help you ease back into the workout routine
  4. Find a Friend – A friend can help encourage you to stay on track
  5. Set Goals – Studies show that written goals help you work to achieve them instead of just dropping them
  6. Track Your Progress – Keep a journal or use a phone app to keep track of your mileage or weights on each exercise
  7. Do Something You Enjoy – There are a ton of options out there.  Find one you like doing!!!

Maintaining your balance

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English: Vrksasana, the tree position, a Yoga ...

English: Vrksasana, the tree position, a Yoga posture. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is balance an issue for you? You are not alone!

I see many patients with balance problems, and not all of them are using canes, walkers, wheelchairs, crutches, or other aides to keep them upright.  Some of them feel they are moving and balance just fine on their own.  And maybe that’s true.  But I find it much more common that someone creates a way to balance so there is no need to realize that balance is poor.

The leading reasons for poor balance are; hip weakness, poor core stability, ankle instability, and joint hyper/hypomobility.

By keeping the muscles and joints of the low back and lower extremities in good condition with exercise and movement, we can prevent developing balance problems later in life.

Did you know that by moving, you innately need some balance?  Walking and running are basically just alternating balancing on one foot as well as moving forward at the same time.

In order to keep your balance long into life, you can try these exercises to keep you upright.

Here is an exercise to practice your balance:

You can make this harder by adding a pillow under your foot or closing your eyes, or both!!!

This second exercise will strengthen your hips to help your balance:

Yoga for Chronic Back Pain

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Yoga
Image by Kerala Tourism via Flickr

Most of us have had at least one episode of low back pain.  I remember, in PT school, our instructor would ask if anyone has ever had back pain and all but one person out of 60 would raise their hand up.  Now I have never had debilitating back pain before, usually I can fix any symptoms I have with a change in position or some stretching.

Friends and family often ask me “what should I do for my back pain?” I usually reply by asking what makes it worse and trying to get a fix on a cause. Last week, an interesting article grabbed my attention  from the PT in Motion website in regards to treating chronic back pain.

The article talked about a recent research study published on November 1st, 2011 in Annuals of Internal Medicine. This article talked about the study and how it showed that people who participated in a 3-month yoga program saw greater improvements in back function than usual care for patients who had/have chronic low back pain.  Now, it is important to note that in this study, all participants had, at a minimum, “usual care.” Everyone in the study showed improvements in the standardized tests that represent disability, pain, and general health, but by adding a yoga class approximately once a week, patients showed slightly more improvements.  You can click here to read the post on PT in Motion.