1011 W. Penn Ave.
Robesonia, PA 19551
1405A Penn Ave.
Wyomissing, PA 19610
3212 Kutztown Rd.
Laureldale, PA 19605
OFFICE HOURS: M-W-Th 8:00AM - 9:00 PM | T-F 8:00AM - 5:00PM
1011 W. Penn Ave.
Robesonia, PA 19551
1405A Penn Ave.
Wyomissing, PA 19610
3212 Kutztown Rd.
Laureldale, PA 19605
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates nearly nine million Americans pack a full week’s worth of exercise into just two days. These occasional athletes, also known as Weekend Warriors, account for the largest population encountering nonprofessional sport-related injuries, which add up to healthcare costs exceeding more than $18 billion per year.
The most common injuries Weekend Warriors face include rotator cuff injuries, Achilles tendonitis, golf or tennis elbow, acute knee pain and ankle sprains. Weekend Warriors and recreational athletes suffer injuries at a higher rate than less active individuals. Age and physical condition play significant roles in these injuries, as tissue loses its elasticity and are not conditioned properly for rigorous activity. However, these injuries can be minimized.
Chances are that you probably haven’t given much thought to how your neck and back are faring in the era of the smart phone, but studies show that you most certainly should. It’s practically a reflex these days to pull out our smart phones when we’re standing in line, sitting at the airport or riding the subway. And while it’s great that we rarely need to venture beyond our pockets for entertainment, our bodies are beginning to retaliate—and mourn the pre-texting days.
So, what exactly are these contemporary conveniences doing to our bodies? A surgeon-led study that published in Surgical Technology International assessed what impact surgeons’ head and neck posture during surgery—a posture similar to that of smart-phone texters—has on their cervical spines. With each degree that our heads flex forward (as we stare at a screen below eye level), the strain on our spines dramatically increases. When an adult head (that weighs 10 to 12 pounds in the neutral position) tilts forward at 30 degrees, the weight seen by the spine climbs to a staggering 40 pounds, according to the study.
How pervasive of a problem is this? According to the study, the average person spends 14 to 28 hours each week with their heads tilted over a laptop, smart phone or similar device. Over the course of a year, that adds up to 700 to 1400 hours of strain and stress on our spines. As a result, the number of people dealing with headaches, achy necks and shoulders and other associated pain has skyrocketed. Trained to address postural changes and functional declines, physical therapists are well-versed in treating this modern-day phenomenon, widely known as “text neck”.
Over time, this type of poor posture can have a cumulative effect, leading to spine degeneration, pinched nerves and muscle strains. Scheduling an appointment with a physical therapist can help people learn how to interact with their devices without harming their spines. The PT will prescribe an at-home program that includes strategies and exercises that focus on preserving the spine and preventing long term damage.
Exercise is an important part of taking care of our spines as we age, but what we do when we’re not in motion matters, too. So next time you pick up your smart phone or curl up with your e-reader, do a quick check of your head and neck posture. Your body will thank you for years to come.
Physical Therapists Play Key Role in Reducing Frequency of ACL Injuries
A quick change in direction on the soccer field or a shaky landing following an explosive jump on the basketball court can spell trouble for the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Each year, the United States sees anywhere from 80,000 to 250,000 ACL injuries, resulting in about 100,000 ACL reconstructions, according to the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy. Moreover, statistics show the prevalence of ACL injuries has surged in recent years alongside a spike in youth sports participation.
With a reported 36 million kids (aged 5 to 18 years) playing organized sports each year, the chances of an athlete tearing her ACL are good. The populations most at risk are young female athletes—who sustain ACL injuries nearly 10 times more often than males—and young athletes who specialize in a single sport at an early age. To avoid the physical, emotional and economic toll of such an injury, athletes are beginning to embrace preventive programs.
Many think of physical therapists when it comes to treating ACL injuries, but the latest research shows a need for the rehab professionals to play an even bigger role in prevention. An American Journal of Sports Medicine study concluded that incidents of ACL injury drop by about 50% at the hands of physical therapists.
Contrary to popular belief, three-quarters of all ACL tears are non-contact injuries, occurring when an athlete cuts, decelerates or jumps. Sports including basketball, soccer, volleyball and football, and activities that involve jumping and landing, open field running and cutting or deceleration moves put athletes at a higher risk of ACL injury. Why are these routine moves so harmful? The biggest culprit is often muscle imbalance.
Physical therapists, particularly those who specialize in sports medicine, are trained to develop an individually tailored program based on an assessment of the athlete’s functional deficits in motion, strength and control. The program might address strength, flexibility and coordination, and correct existing movement patterns that may be damaging to joints. Regular neuromusculoskeletal evaluations with a physical therapist can help identify impairments, and reduce the risk of ACL and other injuries. Call a therapist today and prevent injuries that will cost you time, money and your quality of life!
Are you among the millions of Americans who have high aspirations for how you’ll spend the extra time during your post-retirement years?
Whether you plan to travel the world, pick up fly fishing, spend more time woodworking or sign up for a golf league, your physical fitness level will be a factor.
A 2010 study suggests that fitness declines we typically attribute to advancing age are largely caused by living sedentary lifestyles. This runs contrary to the widely held belief that any declines in our physical abilities are caused solely by biological aging. Do we really have control over how active we’ll be in our “golden years”?
In a word, absolutely. The study, which examined 900,000 running times of marathon and half marathon participants aged 20 to 79, found no significant age-related performance declines in those younger than 55 years old, and only moderate declines among the older cohorts. In fact, more than one quarter of runners aged 65 to 69 were faster than half of the runners aged 20 to 54. For those thinking that these runners must have been lifelong enthusiasts of the sport, the study revealed that 25% of runners aged 50 to 69 were relative newcomers, and had started marathon training within the previous 5 years. The researchers concluded that even at an advanced age, people in the “non-athlete” category who engage in regular training can reach high performance levels.
If this revelation is intriguing, then perhaps it’s time for you to get moving! If you aren’t currently active, then you likely have questions and concerns about where to start. If you regularly engage in physical activities, then you’ve probably set goals that you’d like to achieve. Either way, there’s no shortage of tools and resources to help you live a more active lifestyle. One reliable place to start is with a free consultation at Western Berks Physical Therapy. Our Doctors of Physical Therapy can get you started in the right direction to lead a happy and healthy life!
The benefits of beginning with a physical therapist consultation are endless! Physical Therapists are trained to assess your abilities and limitations, consider your health concerns, demonstrate safe exercises and build a plan to increase strength, function and mobility. Whatever your passion is, physical therapy will help you be fit and injury-free so you may enjoy life’s many pursuits! Call now to schedule your free consultation!
Physical Therapy Should be as Routine as an Oil Change
The automobile industry recommends regular oil changes to keep your car running at its peak performance. Chances are that you adhere to the guidelines outlined in your car manual as closely as possible, and probably even have a favorite business nearby that performs the services.
Just like a car, the human body thrives on a tune up from time to time. People may not be born with maintenance and performance manuals, but we ought to follow the advice and guidelines of trusted medical sources. Members of the Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association would like to see scheduling time with a physical therapist to treat and prevent injuries become as routine as going for an oil change.
Educated and trained in the movement and function of the human body, physical therapists help patients reduce pain, restore function, prevent disability and improve workout performance. Contrary to popular belief, the movement specialists don’t just want to see you when you’re sidelined with an injury. They’re also available to teach you exercises that prevent injuries and help you participate more fully in daily activities.
Just like oil changes are only one piece of a car’s maintenance schedule, physical therapy is part of an overall focus on health and wellness. According to recent research, lifestyle changes such as increased physical activity can have a significant impact on health. For example, being physically active can improve the health of patients with chronic diseases and lead to a better quality of life.
A car is an investment, one that needs to be protected by changing its fluids and otherwise making sure it performs well on the road. Going to physical therapy is one way to protect your biggest investment: Your health. Actively protecting your health improves your chances of living a long, active and productive life.
Chances are you’ve come across the old dental health saying, “Floss the teeth you want to keep.” The first time you heard the phrase uttered by a dentist probably made you giggle a bit. Once the humor of it washed away though, you more than likely had an a-ha moment. It just makes so much sense, doesn’t it?
Let’s try to apply this principle to other parts of the human body: What if you only stretched the muscles you wanted to keep? What if you performed weight-bearing exercises to maintain the strength of just a few of your more than 200 muscles? These are extreme examples, of course, but without the guidance of a physical therapist, it’s possible that some parts of your musculoskeletal system might be getting neglected even without you knowing.
Physical therapists are trained to identify and treat a wide range of movement disorders including sports injuries, such as sprains and strains, as well as conditions including arthritis, Parkinson’s disease and stroke. When it comes to keeping bones healthy and reducing risk, Western Berks Physical Therapy will design an effective exercise program and suggest healthy habits for you to adhere to. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need an injury or other painful ailment to schedule time with a physical therapist.
The physical therapists at Western Berks Physical Therapy can address proper posture and body mechanics to help you participate in the daily activities you love while relieving pain and improving function. Our staff works closely with you to develop individualized treatment plans based on a thorough clinical assessment and detailed patient history. A personalized care plan will include a combination of flexibility, strength, coordination and balance exercises designed to achieve optimal physical function.
Western Berks Physical Therapy encourages you to visit us as often as you schedule regular checkups with your dentist, primary care physician or dermatologist! Don’t wait until it’s too late! Exercise the muscles you want to keep! Call now!
The first day of fall is September 22. This day also marks Falls Prevention Awareness Day! If you feel unsteady or suffer mild or severe anxiety related to falling, you need our help. Fear of falling can lead to significant Fall Risk and can be treated with measurable results at our office.
Western Berks Physical Therapy has a comprehensive, evidence based treatment program optimizing functional outcomes for patients who suffer from gait disturbances, balance deficits, dizziness and vertigo, unexplained falls and unstable walking.
Diagnoses being treated include:
Contact us today to learn more about our Fall Prevention Program and CONQUER YOUR FEAR of falling!
Hispanic Heritage Month begins each year on September 15th. September 15th marks the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. This month, and every month, we recognize the accomplishments of Hispanic Americans throughout the history of the United States and celebrate their heritage and culture!
Western Berks Physical Therapy is bilingual! For Spanish speaking patients, all of our locations have a fluent interpreter to make your physical therapy experience even smoother and more effective!
Physical Therapy’s Role in Maintaining a Healthy Spine
As we age, regular exercise plays an increasingly prominent role in reducing the risk of developing spine-related problems. For those in or approaching the golden years, it’s important to live an active lifestyle that focuses on healthy posture, function and movement.
It’s normal to experience some functional decline as our bones and intervertebral discs deteriorate over time, but that doesn’t mean that aches, pains and joint stiffness should go unaddressed. And yet, a good portion of senior citizens in the United States are living with spine-associated pain. A European Spine Journal study found that back and neck pain are top complaints among about 20 to 25% of the population over 70 years old.
Some of the keys to caring for your spine—and ensuring your ability to participate in a full and active lifestyle—include following a safe and effective exercise program and maintaining your general health and well-being. Whether these are steps you’re actively taking or not, it’s a good rule of thumb to schedule an appointment with a physical therapist to address the current—and future—health of your spine.
Following a thorough review of your medical history and activity level, a physical therapist is trained to identify the impact that activities like lifting, sitting and standing have on your spine. The information gathered is used to address any functional limitations you might have and to design an at-home exercise program to keep your spine healthy. In addition to targeted exercises and postural modifications, back and neck stretches are important for improving flexibility, joint function and range of motion, and for preventing spine-related injuries.
With the right modifications and interventions, it’s possible to live an active and healthy lifestyle while lowering your chances of back and neck injuries and pain as you age. By actively maintaining the health of our spines, we’re rewarded with the ability to move about freely, bend with flexibility and stand upright—functions that are easy to take for granted.
September is NATIONAL HONEY MONTH!
Honey is naturally sweet and perfect to drizzle on your favorite foods. Research has shown that honey contains a wide array of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants. Honey has been used for centuries to help alleviate symptoms of the common cold; and now research confirms this approach for children ages one year and older. Honey offers an effective and natural alternative to over-the-counter cough medicine. Honey is also a natural source of carbohydrates. With 17 grams per tablespoon, honey can help maintain muscle glycogen which can give you a boost of energy when you need it most.
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