Category: Aging

503, 2022

Physical therapy can lower the risk of falling

A local news station recently highlighted a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Sadly, Wisconsin has the highest rate of fatal falls among adults aged 65 and older in the country. Fortunately, physical therapy can lower the risk of falling.

Any fall can be debilitating. And just the fear of falling can limit a person’s lifestyle.

Physical and occupational therapists can help older people improve their balance.

A physical or occupational therapist can help people become more confident as they move. As a result, older people can experience:

  • Improved balance
  • Increased strength
  • Enhanced flexibility
  • Greater endurance

During the first appointment, the physical […]

2207, 2021

Can you improve bone health at any age?

Did you ever do the experiment where you placed a chicken bone or an egg in a glass of vinegar and let it sit overnight? Do you remember what happened? The next day the chicken bone bent like a piece of licorice, and the eggshell was soft. The acidity of the vinegar drew out all the minerals.

That’s what happens to a lesser extent in our bones. Our bodies try to balance acidic, alkaline, and mineral levels to keep running smoothly.

It’s one reason a healthy bone-building diet is so important.

How can I make my bones stronger?

Your […]

2903, 2021

How does sleep affect your bones?

Our bones are constantly being remodeled.

At night, when we’re asleep, the fixer-upper cells in our bones go to work.

Special bone cells called osteocytes regulate the body’s calcium levels, repair microscopic bone cracks, and heal fractures. These project-management cells direct the remodeling process. They signal cells called osteoclasts to remove minerals from the bones when the body’s calcium levels dip too low. They also send messages to bone-building cells called osteoblasts when cracks and breaks need repair.

Much of this activity happens overnight and into the early morning hours when we are supposed to be asleep.

But most […]

2912, 2020

Are you losing your grip?

Most of us do as we get older. That jar lid that was easy to twist off in your 20s and 30s may cause you to grimace and groan in your 50s and 60s.

Hand strength is crucial to daily life. Whether you’re turning on the faucet or holding a fork, the actions require a firm and steady grip.

A loss of grip strength may lead to the loss of independence and your ability to live on your own.

Why do we lose our grip as we age?

The muscles in your hand determine the effectiveness of your grip. […]

1611, 2019

Did you know bone health affects metabolism, memory, and muscle?

 

Many of us sang the skeleton song as children. It was a fun way to learn the major parts of the body. But, it didn’t tell us the whole story.

Our skeletal system does much more than support our muscles and connect our joints. It plays a role in metabolism, memory, and muscle health.

If you’re like most people, when you think of bones, you picture dried bones whitened by the sun. But your bone tissue is alive, active, and in a constant state of change. When new bone forms, the osteoblasts, specialized bone cells that reproduce and […]

1611, 2019

What are growing pains?

Once or twice a month, Janet wakes from a deep sleep when eight-year-old Cindy cries out in the wee hours of the morning.

Cindy is not having a bad dream. She‘s experiencing throbbing pain in her calves. Janet goes into Cindy’s room to rub the backs of her daughter’s legs. It helps relieve the pain. Then, together,  they walk to the kitchen for a drink of water and Cindy goes back to bed. Janet makes plans to call the doctor in the morning.

Many children between 3 and 8 years of age experience this type of leg pain, commonly called […]

1611, 2019

Missteps be a real pain in the hip

 

Janet was helping load the kayak after a day on the lake when she stepped back on the uneven ground. She felt something snap in her right hip, causing an instantaneous sharp, throbbing pain on the outside of her hip.

Janet continued to help load the van, but she moved slowly and carefully.

What caused Janet’s hip pain?

Janet didn’t fall. And she could bear weight on her hip, so she was fairly sure her hip was not broken.

She went home, rested, and applied ice to reduce the swelling and inflammation. She stayed as still as possible, lying […]

711, 2019

Orthopedic Health For the Older Athlete

Each of us, as we age, begin to notice certain changes in our abilities to compete in athletic activities – or the speed at which our bodies recover from demanding physical activity. The body naturally becomes weaker as we age; reaction time becomes slower and bone and muscle mass begin to diminish.

It is important to stay active at every stage of life, but doing so may mean certain adaptations are in order to prevent tissue damage and pain.

Adjusting your workout to prevent orthopedic injury include:

  1. Stay hydrated while you work out.
  2. Reduce the intensity, but not the intent, of your workout. Set a […]

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