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Tips to Safely Shovel Snow

As cold weather and the first snow arrive it is important to remember that shoveling or even using a snow blower is vigorous exercise. Before engaging in any snow removal activity be sure to check with your doctor because snow removal does place a significant amount of stress on the heart.

shoveling-17328_1920As with any exercise remember to dress appropriately for removing snow, water repellent clothing in light layers is best when combined with a warm hat and mittens as well as warm non-slip boots. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) also recommends people do a light warm-up before clearing snow and remember since snow removal is vigorous exercise take frequent breaks and drink water to avoid dehydration. The shovel should be the proper size and height for your body build, the proper size shovel and the use of the tool grips will maximize your strength for removing the snow. If possible push the snow rather than lift it, but if you must lift the snow follow these easy tips:

1. Squat with your legs shoulder width apart, knees bent and back straight.
2. Lift with your legs and avoid bending at the waist.
3. Scoop small amounts of snow and walk to the dumping spot rather than throwing the snow with the shovel, this will help avoid extra strain on your spine and unnecessary twisting.
4. Remove large amounts of snow in pieces, rather than all at once.

If you feel shortness of breath, chest pain or other signs of a heart attack, stop immediately and seek medical attention. Back pain persisting for more than two days may be the sign of a muscle strain or injury and a doctor should be consulted.
Every patient must have a prescription for rehab from their physician. A patient has the choice to go where they know they will get the best treatment for their specific goals. At Tri-Rehab, your insurance coverage will be verified and your first appointment will be scheduled within 24 hours.

For more information on related health and wellness, log into http://www.trirehab.com.

Safety Precautions for Balance Patients

yoga-544970_19201. Be sure that all electrical and phone cords are tucked out of the way and that all throw rugs are removed.
2. Make sure carpet is safely secured to the floor and that there are no wrinkles or raised areas.
3. Place non-skid strips on the bottom of the bathtub.
4. Be sure to sit down while shaving, brushing your teeth, styling your hair or putting on make-up. Use a tabletop mirror or a full length mirror so you can use it while either standing or sitting.
5. Be careful when you walk from one surface to the next, for example, from a carpeted area to a tile floor.
6. When moving from a lying down position to a standing position, sit up first, rest a moment, then proceed to stand up slowly and stand a few moments before trying to walk.
7. Arrange items in your cupboards so that the frequently used items are easy to reach.
8. Make sure that all stairs and hallways are well-lit and free of clutter.
9. Be sure to always use railings when going up or down stairs. It is always a good idea to have railing on both sides. If there are no railings, place your hand along the wall as you proceed.
10. Use night-lights to assist you walking at night.
11. Sit on firm, high furniture that has arm rests to assist you when standing.
12. Avoid ladders, try and have someone else get high items to prevent falling.

Every patient must have a prescription for rehab from their physician. A patient has the choice to go where they know they will get the best treatment for their specific goals. Your insurance coverage will be verified and your first appointment will be scheduled within 24 hours.

Remember, it is all about you!

Muscle Stretching Tips for Active Individuals

runner-690265_1280Stretching (flexibility) is an important part of your exercise program. Muscle and tendons are elastic in nature. When muscles are not stretched on a regular basis they can lose this elastic ability. When this occurs it not only can cause problems to the specific muscle itself but to the surrounding structures and joints, by pulling them into different directions and areas they don’t belong. Stretching should be done 2-3 times a day, holding each stretch for a minimum of 15-30 seconds, 3 times. By not holding the stretch for at least 15 seconds no real stretch occurs. The muscles first reaction to a stretch is to contract and tighten up and it’s not until about 8-10 seconds into the stretch that the muscle begins to relax and stretching occurs.

Always warm up before you begin your stretching program. Ideally, a warm muscle is much more easily stretched than a cold muscle and this can be achieved by taking a brisk walk, riding a stationary bike or walking on a treadmill for 10-15 minutes. Proper daily stretching can decrease the chance of an injury occurring to any body part. It will also keep any individual functional in their everyday activities, without them having to worry about the onset of pain and discomfort. More benefits from daily stretching include increased joint range of motion, reduced stress, promotion of relaxation, and improved posture and overall performance.

One form of stretching that is not recommended is ballistic stretching. Ballistic stretching involves a fast “bouncing” movement at the end range of movement. This bouncing motion can injure muscle, joint and nerves with these jerking movements and is not recommended for majority of individuals.

Every patient must have a prescription for rehab from their physician. A patient has the choice to go where they know they will get the best treatment for their specific goals. Your insurance coverage will be verified and your first appointment will be scheduled within 24 hours.

Remember, it is all about you! For more information on related health and wellness, visit Tri-Rehab’s website at www.trirehab.com.

Michigan rehab clinic offers tips for heat versus cold treatment for sprains and strains

The immediate application of ice is the most accepted treatment choice for sprains and/or strains. Cold (cryotherapy) is an effective treatment because cold causes the blood vessels to narrow, which decreases the blood flow to the injured area. Cold also lowers the muscles temperature which diminishes the oxygen and nutrient needs of the muscles as well as assisting in decreasing swelling, scar tissue, pain and speeds up the injury recovery time.

Tips for using ice: Ice should be applied for the first 48-72 hours post injury. Common sites that may require longer applications are the ankle, knee, elbow and shoulder. Ice should be applied until a feeling of numbness set in at approximately 15-20 minutes and can be reapplied every two hours, using a damp towel covering the skin to protect it.

Heat is an effective treatment because it increases muscle temperature and blood flow, which increases the oxygen and flow of nutrients to the damaged muscle and helps facilitate healing in the later stages. Tips for using heat: Heat can be applied after 96 hours in most cases however, if there are any signs of swelling and/or inflammation present, do not use heat. The application of moist heat is more effective than dry heat (i.e. hot shower or bath) and has deeper penetration. Heat should be applied for 20-25 minutes and can be applied one or twice a daily.

Important Note: If you are in doubt as to whether to use heat versus cold, it is safer to use cold especially for an acute injury or problem.

Every patient must have a prescription for rehab from their physician. A patient has the choice to go where they know they will get the best treatment for their specific goals. Your insurance coverage will be verified and your first appointment will be scheduled within 24 hours. Remember, it is all about you!

6 Fitness Walking Tips

Fitness walking is a great way to lead a more active lifestyle. Fitness walking helps control weight, blood sugar and cholesterol levels as well as improves cardiovascular fitness. People should treat walking like any other exercise and build endurance. Begin your program by walking at a relaxed pace for 10 minutes, working up to 20 minutes every other day at a brisk pace. After you have reached a level of brisk walking for 20 minutes a day, three times a week for one month, increase walking time to 30 minutes a day, three to five times a week. Walks should not last more than an hour and should never exceed five times per week.

What is a brisk pace? A brisk pace is 55-85% of your maximum heart rate. A brisk pace will typically allow a person to walk at three to four miles per hour and carry on a conversation in brief sentences without shortness of breath or fatigue. People who are just beginning a fitness routine should start at the lower range of their maximum heart rate range.

shoes-791044_1920Some things to remember before beginning your fitness walking program:

1. Warm-up before walking. Walk for about 5 minutes at an easy pace and then perform a few simple stretches without bouncing.
2. Wear proper attire for walking, proper clothing fits loosely and allows body heat to dissipate.
3. Choose the correct walking shoe. Shoes that are slightly lighter and provide extra shock in the heel and ball of the shoe work best.
4. Remember to rehydrate after exercise.
5. Anyone over 50, overweight, having high blood pressure, respiratory, or cardiovascular problems should consult a physician before beginning an exercise program.
6. Have fun!

In Michigan, every patient must have a prescription for physical rehabilitation from their physician. Patients have the choice to go where they know they will get the best treatment for their specific goals. At Tri-Rehab, your insurance coverage will be verified and your first appointment will be scheduled within 24 hours.

For more information on related health and wellness, log into www.trirehab.com.

Asthma and Exercise Induced Asthma Health Tips

Asthma is a common respiratory disease characterized by intermittent episodes of airway obstruction due to muscular constriction of the airway (bronchial tubes). Signs and symptoms may include wheezing, fast breathing, shortness of breath, coughing, anxious appearance, fatigue and possible nausea. Causes for an asthma attack may be due to exercise, inhaled irritants such as smoke, ingested substances (aspirin or certain foods), cold/dry air, allergens (pollen or dust), season changes, strong odors or fumes as well as possible stress and/or being upset emotionally. Treatment includes use of a prescribed inhaler, reassuring the individual that they will be alright and helping them to relax, encouraging the individual to slow their breathing rate and/or activate EMS is breathing difficulties persist.

Exercise induced asthma (EIA) is constriction of the airway resulting from strenuous exercise (usually lasts from 5-15 minutes but may last up to 60 minutes before it spontaneously resolves). Signs and symptoms may include wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and coughing. Causes for exercise induced asthma attack are usually from strenuous exercise, cold weather and cold/dry air. Treatment includes stopping exercise, encourage the individual to slow their breathing rate, reassure the individual that they will be alright and help them to relax and activate EMS if their condition deteriorates.

Every rehab patient in Michigan must have a prescription for rehab services from their physician. A patient has the choice to go where they know they will get the best treatment for their specific goals. At Tri-Rehab your insurance coverage will be verified and your first appointment will be scheduled within 24 hours.

The Value of Social Media Marketing in Athletic Training

What is social media marketing? Why would this be a valuable tool for athletic trainers to utilize? Social media marketing works to create content and ideas that attract attention and encourage readers to share it with their social networks. The goal of your message is to have it spread from user to user in their social circles, thus spreading your message as a trusted source. Social media is becoming so popular in promoting individuals, companies, business products and ideas that you need to try and understand how to utilize it.

finger-769300_1920There are experts and resources to guide you in the social media world. I recently attended a 2 day intensive course on social media from EBoot camp and Corey Perlman at www.theebootcamp.com. He states that utilizing social media is the “quickest way to establish yourself as a thought leader in the athletic training industry”. Writing blogs and/or informational articles and newsletters for publication are just a few areas to consider when expanding your social media presence. Other platforms of social media that may be of interest are LinkedIn®, Facebook®, Twitter® and YouTube®.

Understanding the importance of your website and having the goal of driving potential readers and/or clients back to your website is key! Your website should be the anchor of information for your program and/or business. Be sure and work with your webmaster on search engine optimization (SEO) and identifying key words in order to maximize your message to your audience.

By utilizing other social media avenues, you are able to reach new audiences and build your reputation in many different ways. However, you must remember whatever information you put on the Internet can be traced back to you, good or bad. An example: Employers are now searching Facebook® before hiring individuals to see what kind of person or per say character their potential employee has. If there are inappropriate pictures, gestures, and writings on your Facebook® pages, it may make a difference in your future employment status.

Again, why would this be a valuable tool for athletic trainers to utilize? You can use social media to promote your athletic training program or upcoming events, increase public awareness for your profession, become a thought leader on specific subjects or healthcare issues, promotion of your business and/or company and so much more.

Do you still think social media is of no value for the profession of athletic training and not where the future is going with our overall communication lines?

Cold Weather Injury and Illness Tips

running-man-1081944_1920Frostbite occurs when the heat supply to a part of the body is insufficient to counteract the heat loss and results in actual freezing. The frozen area is normally small and most commonly occurs on the nose, ears, cheeks and fingers. The signs and symptoms for frostbite can include frostnip (initially red, then white and painless with soft skin). Superficial frostbite shows white and waxy skin with firm, soft tissue while deep frostbite shows signs of blotchy skin with a white to purplish tinge, numbness and solid skin over entire depth. Treatment for first and second degree frostbite includes warming the tissue with warm water or a warm hand over the involved area. This area will be extremely sensitive to further cold exposure and should be protected accordingly. The treatment for third degree frostbite is to transport the person to a medical facility immediately. There is often permanent damage with this type of injury.

Hypothermia occurs when a person’s core temperature falls below 95 degrees F. At this point the body is unable to warm itself without outside assistance. The signs and symptoms include shivering, the skin appears cold and pale, and there is depressed respiration rate and slow irregular pulse. A person may show signs of altered mental state, irritability, loss of coordination, weakness, and difficulty speaking with decrease in body temperature. Treatment for hypothermia includes prevention of further heat loss, warming and promptly transporting to E.R. Warming includes removing the individual from the cold environment, wrapping in blankets and giving warm fluids to drink.

Tips to avoid cold injury:
1. Cover all exposed surfaces in a cold environment.
2. Avoid contact with colder objects or cold wind.
3. Wear several layers of light, dry, loose fitting clothes. 4. Change clothing if it becomes wet.
5. Know your environment and be prepared.

In Michigan, every patient must have a prescription for rehab from their physician. A patient has the choice to go where they know they will get the best treatment for their specific goals. At Tri-Rehab, your insurance coverage will be verified and your first appointment will be scheduled with 24 hours.

Finding the Perfect Shoe to Improve Your Workout

To improve your workouts, look for a high-qualify shoe with a good fit that is specific to the activity that you will be using them for:

sports-shoes-115149_1920Walking: Walking shoes are stiffer and heavier than running shoes and provide more support because your foot rolls from heel to toe more slowly than when you run.

Running: Running shoes are more flexible with extra cushioning to handle the greater impact. An average pair of running shoes should be replaced every 350-400 miles. Once the back of the shoe is worn out, the shoe starts to feel uncomfortable and less supportive. Running shoes are designed for forward motion, so they don’t support you well when you move in other directions such as basketball and step aerobics.

Specialty: Specialty shoes exist for sport specific activities that you engage in several days per week such as weight lifting, cycling, hiking, tennis, basketball, soccer, and more.

Cross-training: Cross-training shoes are good for a varied workout routine, most versatile athletic shoe, designed to give more support for changes in direction and impact.

Once you have acquired the proper shoe you will need to make sure you have the proper fit.

When standing your shoe should have about a half-inch gap between your longest toe and the toe box of the shoe.
The heel should fit relatively tight. Your heel should not slip out when you walk.

The upper part of the shoe should be snug and secure and you should be able to freely wiggle all of your toes when your shoe is on.
When you try out new shoes, wear the same type of socks that you wear when working out.

Your foot shouldn’t slide back and forth or side to side as you move around.
Walk or jog around the store to see how they feel.

Never wear your new shoes for a race without wearing them for a few weeks first.
Get re-fitted each and every year.

www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness

How to Prevent Slip and Falls in the Winter

traffic-sign-622982_1920Well it’s that time of the year when the temperatures fall and so do the ice and snow. During these icy and snowy conditions, the incidence of injuries due to people losing their footing increases. Here are some tips that may help reduce and prevent unnecessary injury to you this wintery season.

  •  Don’t get caught waking up to a unknowingly snowy morning, please monitor the weather and be prepared to have to take a few extra minutes to properly remove the accumulated ice and snow.
  •  Wear appropriate footwear; don’t walk out onto your porch in your house slippers. Wear shoe or boots that have the appropriate waffled or textured soles that will help increase the friction between your footwear and the wet and icy ground.
  •  Keep adequate supplies of ice removal tools in an accessible area. Keeping your shovel and salt in the garage will not help you when you first step out of your home. Keeping a bag of salt inside your door that you can toss out onto your path way and let it do its magic before having to step out and shovel.
  •  Watch for areas where ice tends to form. Remove ice accumulation promptly and apply additional ice melt to prevent further buildup.
  •  Use handrails wherever they are provided.
  •  Clearly identify steps, ramps, and other elevated changes; many falls occur when there is a change in walking surfaces that may be elevated.
  •  Check to be sure that entrance halls and stairs are cleared of wet material. Continuous foot traffic will keep the wet material on the dry surfaces inside. Always be aware of having caution wet floor signs and floor mats that help soak up the accumulated snow and ice well help decrease the risk that someone will fall.
  •  Take shorter steps to maintain a better center of balance over your feet.
  •  Walk slowly and keep your head up and don’t lean forward. Keeping mindful of these will help you reduce the chance of you injuring yourself and keeping your holiday pleasant and cheerful.

    Rebecca McFalls PTA

    Sources:

    https://www.sfmic.com/employers/er_ip_slips_falls_winter.cfm em.emergency.appstate.edu/sites/default/files/…/Avoiding%20Slips.pdf