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How yoga can help supplement your Wyoming physical therapy regime

September 11, 2019

So you’ve started physical therapy in Wyoming, what’s next? You might be looking for additional ways to supplement your physical therapy, and most physical therapists would even recommend light exercise. A great light exercise routine to start is yoga - it’s low impact, is relaxing, and can be done at your own pace. Here are a few ways that yoga can be a beneficial partner to your physical therapy regime.

Recovery Time
Yoga might be able to speed up your recovery time. Not only will it help get you moving, but yoga improves strength and flexibility without a lot of muscle strain. If you are achy, yoga can help to lessen your pain, give you more flexibility and even provide additional muscle stability.

Besides helping treat your current issues, yoga can help treat multiple issues besides your immediate strain or problem you are facing. Try practicing very low impact stretches for beginners, and always consult your physical therapist before incorporating too many difficult exercises or exercises that could potentially harm your injury even further. 

Exercise in general releases endorphins that can lead you to a happier, healthier, and ultimately omre relaxing life. Nothing can be better for your physical therapy (besides doing your exercises of course), then being relaxed and in a great mental state as you work towards recovery. A relaxed and positive mind does wonders towards managing your pain and recovery.

You might be wondering how to incorporate yoga into your physical therapy routine. As we’ve mentioned, consider consulting your physical therapist first. However, there are a few yoga moves you can start incorporating if you are anxious to get a jumpstart. 
  • Staff Pose: A staff yoga pose requires you to sit on the ground with your legs stretched out in front of you - taking deep breaths and working on your spine alignment.
  • Chair Pose: Squat as if you are sitting in a pose and place your arms straight above your head. Take deep breaths in and out while looking forward.
  • Downward Facing Dog: One of the more common poses, downward facing dog, involves you placing your feet and hands on the ground and placing your body in a “pike position,” once again focusing on spine alignment.

Everyone’s physical therapy regime varies, and it truly is based on your body. If you are interested in starting a yoga regime while completing a physical therapy regime be sure to contact your physical therapist. At North Platte Physical Therapy, we are here to help meet your needs. We serve the communities of Wyoming and Nebraska with 22 clinics offering a full range of physical therapy services. Contact us today for more information.

Preparing your children for fall sports, from your Wyoming physical therapist

September 4, 2019

The kids are going back to school, temperatures are becoming cooler, and sports season is in full-swing. While it might be hard for your children to get back in the swing of things, there are a few things you can do to help - particularly when it concerns conditioning. If you are also participating in some fall intramural sports, consider following these tips as well. Always remember, if you have questions about conditioning contact your local Wyoming physical therapist

Physical Activity
It’s going to be harder for your kids to get back into a fall sport if they haven’t been active up until this point. Year-round physical activity is essential to not only maintaining a healthy lifestyle but also lessening the stress on the body when a sport begins again. We highly recommend that before your child starts their fall sport again, that they partake in light physical activity leading up to the first practice. 

What are your child’s goals for this school year? Particularly their sports season? Setting realistic, and achievable, goals will help get everyone excited for the upcoming sports season. Not only this, but it’ll ensure your children go into the sports season with their goals and success at the forefront of their mind. Setting goals will also help teach your child about the importance of working hard to achieve a common goal, as well as discipline. It’s truly a win-win! 

Different sports require different athletic gear, and we can almost guarantee that no matter what sport your child is in they will need something. Checking athletic gear prior to the season will ensure you have what you need to be successful. Remember, your child is growing pretty constantly throughout their elementary, middle, and even high school. There is a high probability that you will need to replace their equipment often. 

If you haven’t gotten one yet, almost all schools require an athletic physical prior to your child’s participation in a sport. The good news is that physicals are a very mild examination. Your primary care practitioner, and/or your physical therapist can complete a physical within twenty minutes or so, and most of the time it requires very little physical activity on the part of your child. Physicals are important in ensuring your child is physically well enough to participate in the sport. But remember, just because your child passes a physical doesn’t mean you should ignore any injury complaints. If there are complaints during a practice, after a practice, or throughout the day - make sure your child sees a doctor.

While everyone’s body is different, the above tips can help your child (and you) get prepared for fall sports. If you ever have questions about a training regime, contact your Denver physical therapist or primary care physician. At North Platte Physical Therapy, we are here to help meet your needs. We serve the communities of Wyoming and Nebraska with 22 clinics offering a full range of physical therapy services. Contact us today for more information.

Daily exercises for a healthy spine, from your Wyoming physical therapist

August 28, 2019

Whether you injured your back recently, or are just looking to keep your spine and back healthy, there are a few daily exercises/stretches you could be doing daily. The good news is all of these stretches are relatively easy, require little effort, and won’t put a strain on your body. It’s important to practice preventative exercises - not only to keep from getting injured but to help keep any injuries from being too detrimental. 

Knee to Chest
Lay on your back, on a flat surface, with both heels out on the ground. This will be as if you are laying flat in bed - without the pillow of course! Take a slow, deep breath, and bring your knee to your chest with both arms. Your hands should interlock around the knee, and bring your knee closer to your chest. As you do this, make sure you keep your other leg flat on the ground. Take deep breaths while stretching, and hold each knee to your leg for 30 seconds. We recommend we repeat this two times per leg, but feel free to repeat as needed. 

Back Flexion
Children might refer to this stretch as a “roly-poly,” but it is known to doctors as a back flexion. While laying on your back, once again on a flat services, bring both knees to your chest and bring your shoulders off the ground. You will want to form a little ball - think of the “roly poly” bug when you do this. You should feel a light stretch in your back.

Cat Stretch 
Another one of our favorites, the cat stretch can help to stretch out your full spine. You might have encountered this in a yoga class, but get on all fours on the floor (like a cat). You will then alternate between arching your back for five seconds, then letting your back sag to the floor (forming a dip) for five seconds. Do this stretch 4-6 times through to begin to feel relaxed and ready to take on the day.

Chin to Chest
Having neck pain? While standing or sitting, look down until your chin touches your chest and hold for 30 seconds. This will help relieve any back neck pain. As with the knee to chest stretch, we recommend repeating this two times. 

While these exercises will certainly help you keep a healthy back/spine, it won’t prevent any injury from happening in the future. Always remember to consult your physical therapist or primary care physician if you are worried about sustaining any back/spine injuries - we are here to help. At North Platte Physical Therapy, we are here to help meet your needs. We serve the communities of Wyoming and Nebraska with 22 clinics offering a full range of physical therapy services. Contact us today for more information.

Healing your lower back pain with your Wyoming physical therapist

August 21, 2019

You might have injured your lower back recently, and been referred to physical therapy to help with treatment and recovery. While it might seem overwhelming at first, there is no need to panic. Your physical therapy appointment will help you heal, with little to no pain, and help you get back on your feet and living your life the best way you know how. But let’s talk about what you can expect when it comes to your physical therapy.

There are two forms of physical therapy you might use to treat your lower back pain, and the type of physical therapy depends on your injury. Talk to your Wyoming physical therapist to determine which is best for you, it might even be a combination of the two:
Passive: Passive physical therapy includes the use of ice packs, heating pads, and even electrical stimulation. This form of physical therapy will be less physically taxing, but is equally important in the healing process. 
Active: Active physical therapy will include light forms of exercise, as well as stretching. You will most likely be in an active physical therapy program for your lower back pain. 

Time wise, your length of physical therapy can vary. On average, expect anywhere from 4-8 weeks of physical therapy - but once again it can depend on the back injury you’ve sustained. When it comes to your physical therapy regime, be sure to maintain consistent contact with your physical therapist to better understand your treatment program. There are some instances in which you might be required to do light exercises at home - but these should all be low impact. 
  • When it comes to preparing for your first physical therapist appointment, we recommend the following: 
  • Wear comfortable clothing that is breathable, and makes it easy to move if necessary
  • Be aware that they will most likely take measurements - including your range of motion, current physical fitness, and test of strength
  • Be ready to ask plenty of questions - your physical therapist is there to help you and guide you 

Asking questions can be overwhelming at your first physical therapist appointment, but we do recommend that you ask as many as you need to. Your physical therapist is there to serve as a resource and is ready to help you with any needs you might have. Just remember, everybody is different. Your healing time can be very different than another, even with the same injury. So be sure to stay in close contact with your doctor as well as your physical therapist. 

At North Platte Physical Therapy, we are here to help meet your needs. We serve the communities of Wyoming and Nebraska with 22 clinics offering a full range of physical therapy services. Contact us today for more information.

What to expect when recovering from an ankle injury from your Wyoming physical therapist

August 7, 2019

One of the most frustrating injuries can be a foot or ankle injury. You rely on your feet to help you get from place to place, to help you move throughout the day, to help you function as you normally would. Which is why a foot or ankle area can make it feel like the end of the world. There are a few things that you can expect when recovering from an ankle injury.

Ankle Injury Recovery
Of course we are always going to recommend seeing a healthcare professional in the event of an injury, and if your doctor recommends therapy...come see us! In the meantime, here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to ankle injury recovery. 
Reduce Swelling: Reducing swelling is important when it comes to helping your ankle recover - which means plenty of ice and rest. Ice your ankle in twenty minute increments and keepy your ankle elevated. 
Take It Easy: It can be really easy to push yourself, particularly if you are feeling great within a few days. Always take it easy. Don’t put too much stress on your ankle right away and pay attention to how your body feels, as well as what your doctor says. 
Time: Time is going to be your best friend when it comes to your body healing, and different injuries will require different recovery times. You can anticipate anywhere from a 2-6 week recovery period. However, if you have a more serious injury such as a broken bone, you can expect more than a six week recovery period. But don’t worry, your doctor and physical therapist can provide you with crutches or a wheel chair to help you get around.

Preventing Future Injury
Now that you’ve recovered from your foot/ankle injury, you are going to want to prevent yourself from having to deal with that again. Here are some easy things you can do to help prevent any future injury, and keep your body safe and healthy!
Prepare Your Body: When it comes to working out, light exercise and a warmup is always a good idea. Preparing your body for physical activity is always a good precaution to take. While it won’t completely prevent injury - you should still spend 5-10 minutes warming up. 
Stay Alert: It’s easy to get injured when you trip or roll your ankle - which commonly happens on uneven surfaces. Keep an eye out when working out and when out in public to avoid injury. 
Footwear: Believe it or not, the footwear you choose is extremely important. The wrong shoe can lead to you getting injured, and won’t adequately provide your ankles and feet the support that you need to exercise. 

Everyone’s body is different, so when it comes to your care be sure to stay in close contact with your doctor as well as your physical therapist. At North Platte Physical Therapy, we are here to help meet your needs. We serve the communities of Wyoming and Nebraska with 22 clinics offering a full range of physical therapy services. Contact us today for more information.