Tips for Avoiding Workplace Aches & Pains

By: admin Published: January 13, 2012

By Colleen Gest, PT, DPT

Proper workstation set-up can make all the difference on feeling good at work

Are you experiencing headaches, back or neck pain at work? Long hours in front of computers are becoming more common in today’s workplaces. Prolonged poor postures lead to cumulative stresses on body structures, resulting in headaches and back, neck, shoulder and wrist pain. Proper workstation set-up, good sitting posture, and frequent breaks are all important in avoiding workplace musculoskeletal injuries.

Following are a few tips for keeping your body in top shape at work:

  • Place your computer: Place the computer monitor at or just below eye level, directly in front of you. The keyboard and mouse should be in front of you with the wrists in a relaxed position. Do not rest on the wrist rest unless you are taking a break from keying.
  • Sit Well: Sit with the hips and knees bent at a ninety degree angle with your feet flat on the floor. Sit upright in your chair with the low back and shoulders against the backrest. The natural lumbar curve of the back should be supported by your office chair or a small towel roll. Adjust your armrests so your shoulders can relax while typing.
  • Take Breaks: Take frequent breaks at least twice hourly for stretching, or to stand and change your position.

While these changes help decrease the potential for injuries, stretching and strengthening exercises are essential to counteract the effects of prolonged positioning.

For more information on ergonomics, stretching, or strengthening specific to avoiding workplace musculoskeletal injuries, contact CoreBalance Therapy at 556-9935.

Recognizing Signs of a Stroke

By: admin Published: January 11, 2012

by Katie Pierce, PT, DPT

Stroke occurs when a blood vessel breaks in the brain or a blood clot blocks an artery, interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain.  When this happens, brain cells begin to die and brain damage occurs.

Stroke is a medical emergency, in which every second counts.  The sooner a person can get medical care, the sooner life-saving medications or other measures can be administered.  Each year in the United States, about 750,000 people sustain a stroke.  Would you know how to recognize the warning signs of stroke in yourself or a loved one if it occurred?

Warning Signs: Think “S.T.R.O.K.E.”

S = Speech, or any problems with language.

T = Tingling or numbness.  Tongue is off-center when stuck out

R = Remember: any problems with memory

O = Off balance, problems with coordination

K = Killer headache

E = Eyes, or any problem with vision.

Stroke is an emergency. Call 9-1-1

After Stroke: How can Physical Therapy Help?

A Physical Therapist can help treat a variety of impairments that may have arisen from a stroke:

  • Decreased strength and endurance
  • Increased muscle tone, or spasticity
  • Balance and coordination challenges
  • Dizziness
  • Walking and mobility difficulties

Your Physical Therapist will perform a thorough evaluation and, with your input, design an appropriate plan of care to help you regain maximal function and quality of life. If you or someone you know has suffered a stroke, call the Physical Therapists at CoreBalance Therapy, LLC.: (928) 556-9935.

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Fall Recovery

By: admin Published: January 6, 2012

Fall recovery training

by Amy Flory, PT, MPT

Often, people don’t realize how much their strength has declined until they’ve fallen and are unable to get up off the floor—even if they weren’t injured in the fall. If this unfortunate person finds themselves, fortunately, referred to physical therapy for balance training, the physical therapist should evaluate why you are not able to get up off the floor.

A couple of simple tests I do with patients are:

  1. While standing, can you “hike” your hip? Hiking your hip involves tightening one side of your waist so your hip bone gets closer to your ribs.  The foot on that side should be lifted off the floor, but the leg remains straight.
  2. Can you move from hands-and-knees to side-sitting and back to hands-and-knees?

In my clinical experience (disclaimer: this isn’t seen—yet—in the research literature!), if you cannot do one or both of the above activities, you probably are not able to get up off the floor easily, and, more importantly, you probably will not do well with certain balance activities.  Therefore, you are more likely to fall in the first place.

I didn’t even know I couldn’t do this anymore!

Perhaps you lost the ability to do these things because you hurt your shoulder years ago and have avoided bearing weight on your hand, or pulling with your arm certain ways.  Perhaps you’ve been sitting watching TV a couple of hours a day and now your back is stiff enough to keep you from being able to hike your hip, or makes you lose your balance while looking over your shoulder.

Your physical therapist at CoreBalance Therapy will look at the obvious factors causing you to lose your balance, but they will also search for the hidden reasons you’ve been falling as well.  It might seem like opening a can of worms, but identifying these problems and addressing them will help your balance therapy be much more successful in the long run!

To begin improving your strength, call to schedule your appointment today: (928)556-9935.


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