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ACL Rehabilitation For Active Adults – The Start of Physical Therapy

The 1st 2 weeks of recovery from ACL Reconstruction are a very sedentary period – there is much rest, much sleep, much discomfort and most likely quite a bit of pain. However, the beginning of physical therapy signals the first true step (pun intended) to recovery – it is where you will retrain yourself to walk on your repaired knee and where you will work to get your injured leg in a pre-surgery state. Even though your leg has only been immobile for 14 days – possibly less – you will most likely have at least some atrophy in the repaired knee that will need to be remedied via physical therapy.

The start of therapy will be exciting, at times grueling and quite possibly scary to go into. But, with a dedication and commitment to the mandate that you will help yourself heal, you will soon be back to your active lifestyle, even stronger than you were before surgery.

As you are about to enter your first therapy sessions, keep the following points in mind:

1. You need to trust yourself. You are soon going to be asking your newly repaired leg to do things that it hasn’t done in a couple of weeks – lifting, some bending, some kneecap exercises and maybe even a little bit on a stationary bike. Have faith in your healing process, and know that you can get through whatever lies ahead.

2. You need to trust your physical therapist. They are going to be asking you to do the activities listed above along with some others. Initially you may think that they are crazy to ask you to do such activities. However, keep in mind – they are professionally educated to help you recuperate, and they know what you need to do to have a successful recovery. Also – they may very well have some other ACL reconstruction patients in their current workload. In fact, take a look around your therapy room as you are doing your work – odds are you are going to see some other patients who are in If you have young children, prepare them for the fact that you are going to be immobile for a period of time and that they cannot rough-house around you while you are recovering. You will soon be doing some of the more advanced exercises that they are doing.

3. Concentrate on your form while you perform your exercises, and ensure that you follow the instructions of your therapist. Subtle changes to your form or a lack of concentration can greatly reduce the effectiveness of a particular routine.

4. Make sure to ice and elevate your knee. Much like in the first 2 weeks, it will be important that you have a good regimen of icing and elevating, especially after therapy sessions.

5. Don’t push yourself too hard. You may be tempted to overachieve, but it will be crucial that you listen to your therapist as to what you should and should not do.

6. Make sure to take your prescribed medications and over-the-counter medications as needed and as instructed. By taking the proper medication, you will continue to allow yourself to heal, will help maximize your comfort (and minimize your discomfort) and will allow you to go through physical therapy with a reduced level of pain.

7. Do your home exercises between therapy sessions as instructed by your physical therapist. I cannot stress how important this is. You will largely be trying to regain your flexibility and range of motion in the first month of therapy, and your home exercises will greatly contribute to a complete recovery.

8. Gauge the difference between good pain and bad pain. There will be times that you have feelings in your knee that you have never felt before. Make sure to keep your therapist abreast of any pains that feel stronger, more intense or sharper than expected.

9. Similar to your post-op period, ask your doctor if a stool softener would be appropriate for you. Some of the medicines that are prescribed to alleviate pain and swelling may cause constipation, and a stool softener will help counteract this possibility.

10. Continue maintaining your fluid intake.

Once you advance in your stretching and range-of-motion exercise, you will be able to move onto the next stage of therapy – strengthening.

The information in this article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice or medical services. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your doctor promptly.

Approaches to Knee Pain Relief

You use your knees every time you walk, run, or move your lower body at all. Knee pain, therefore, dramatically affects the daily life of sufferers, who must use their knees throughout the day. Knee pain is the second only to back pain among American adult pain sufferers. Knee trouble is most often caused by osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint condition in which the cartilage that surrounds the two bones that comprise the knee joint wears away, sometimes causing painful joint-on-joint contact.

There are many treatment options for knee pain. Under the care of a doctor, sufferers can select the most appropriate course of treatment to provide optimum knee pain relief. Over-the-counter and prescription medications including acetaminophen (Tylenol) and aspirin reduce pain, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) including ibuprofen, can reduce inflammation as well as knee joint pain. At-home remedies like ice packs and capsaicin, found in cayenne pepper, often have a similar effect.

Natural supplements like chondroitin and glucosamine have become popular alternatives to traditional medicines in recent years because they present fewer risks of side effects. Both are naturally occurring substances in the body. The former aids in building joint cartilage, while the latter fights against degeneration of cartilage. Studies have proven their effectiveness in alleviating osteoarthritic joint pain, but have yet to demonstrate that these supplements actually reverse the effects of cartilage degeneration that have already taken place.

Modifying knee activity with physical aids such as padding, crutches, and splints, and even simple rest take the pressure off of the knee and provide temporary knee pain relief while the joint recovers from injury. Conversely, specific exercises, stretching, and low-impact aerobic activities such as biking, walking and swimming increase joint strength and flexibility, promoting healing and reducing the risk of further injury.

For severe knee injuries that have not responded to the aforementioned treatments, surgery remains an option. There are several common knee surgeries, which range from exploratory arthroscopic surgery, which orthopedic physicians use to diagnose the exact source of knee pain so that they can determine which behaviors and activities need to be modified, all the way to a total knee replacement. Whichever course of treatment a patient decides upon, it is important to work alongside a physician to ensure proper care.

Weight Loss in Austin

Lose Weight, the Healthy Way

Almost 108 million Americans were overweight or obese in 1999. Until now, obesity continues to be a serious problem and is predicted to reach epidemic levels by the year 2020.

One way to prevent this scenario is to make people aware of the risks of being overweight or obese.

Here are some diseases that you are putting yourself in risk of if you are carrying a lot of extra pounds:

  1. heart disease
  2. stroke
  3. diabetes
  4. cancer
  5. arthritis
  6. hypertension

Losing weight helps to prevent and control these diseases.

The quick weight loss methods which have spread like fire these days do not provide lasting results. More often than not, dieting methods which involve dietary drinks, foods and supplement or pills do not work. If they do, the results are just temporary.

It is better to rely on a healthy weight loss option which will provide lifetime results. You have to set realistic goals and not expect to lose a lot of pounds in a short span of time.

Here are some tips on how you can lose those unwanted pounds the healthy way:

  1. Do not starve yourself.

The key to a healthier way of losing weight is: Do not diet.

You may seem happy and feel that you are losing those unwanted flabs on your belly and thighs by skipping meals. But remember that this would not last long. Your body cannot tolerate having insufficient food to fuel the energy that you use up every day.

If you get used to skipping one or two meals a day, your stored calories will be used up instead of the energy that should have been provided by your meals. So if you just eat one huge sandwich in one day, it will end up straight to your problem area (i.e. highs, buttocks, hips).

  1. Start your day right.

Mothers always say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Have a healthy meal in the morning to jump-start your metabolism.

Your food intake after you wake up will be used to burn fat all day long.

  1. Eat small, healthy meals frequently.

Five small-serving snacks per day is better than three hearty meals. Eating more frequently, and in small servings, can prevent over-eating. This will also increase your metabolism and make calories burn faster.

  1. Decide on how much weight you want to lose.

Keep your goals realistic. In the long run, it is virtually impossible for you to lose 40 pounds in 2 weeks. Have a mindset that you want to eat healthy to stay healthy for the rest of your life. Once you have decided on a weight loss plan or program, stick to it and make sure that you follow your own set of dieting rules.

  1. Drink lots of water.

Your body needs sufficient water to burn fat and keep your cells hydrated and healthy.

  1. Avoid too much sugar.

Plan your meals around lots of fruits and vegetables, some bread, rice or pasta for that carbo fix that you need, plus lean meat and protein rich-foods. Sweets, sodas and pastries should be once-in-a-while indulgences only.

  1. Watch your fat intake.

Fat is not the culprit to being overweight. You need this to keep your weight at the proper level.

There is such a thing as healthy fats. Olive, peanuts and canola oil have them. Tuna, salmon and mackerel have omega-3 fats which is good for the heart.

  1. Exercise.

Leave your car if you are only going a few blocks from home, take the stairs instead of the elevator, jog, cycle or skate. Use these activities and other home chores if you are too lazy to go to the gym and take exercise classes. Make sure that you do this regularly and you will not even notice that you are already shedding pounds with these mundane activities.

It does not matter how much weight you plan or need to lose. What is important is that you set realistic goals for yourself.

Go slow. If you have already lost 5 or 6 pounds, give yourself a break then try to lose the next 5 pounds.

Eat healthy, drink lots of water, have enough sleep and exercise. This will give you a higher chance of losing weight and improving your health, which would result to a new, healthier you.

Synovial Joints and Back Pain

The synovial joints are made up of capsule ligaments, tendon sheath that is the liner of synovium, tendons, cartilages, and synovium. Fluids pass through these joints. The synovial joints connect with the bones, which structured scaffolds of the body joins with additional bones. The joints produce fluids, which lubricates them. The fluids contain itself within the capsules, which promote movement. Movement is limited by bone structures. Flexible sectors can also limit movement, as well as connective tissues and inelastic mechanisms.

When the synovial joints are interrupted, it affects the ligaments. The ligaments will limit movement of abnormal joints. Ligaments induce movement amid “two bones” that make it easy for a collection of muscles to contract, expand, and stimulate the nerves. The nerves expand to CNS. (Central Nervous System)

Bones attach to the muscles via tendons. Tendons are thin and stronger than the muscles, which the tendons permit the muscles to converge by pulling it through small openings. Bursa acts a servant to the joints and muscles, since it precludes friction from traveling amid the “two” progressing exteriors. Bursa is a sac filled with fluids, which if bursa rubs against another joint it causes inflammation. Bursitis can set in if rubbing causes inflammation and the sac fills with fluid. Bursitis usually targets the elbows and shoulder, yet the pain extends to the back. When the bursa fails, it can cause swelling, pain, fevers, and numbness, stiffness of the joints, fatigue, and limited mobility.

The human skeleton is made up of “206” bones. Inside the skeleton system is the cranium, jaw, collar bone (Clavicle), shoulder blade (Scapula), sternum, (breast bone) ribs, humerus, spine, radius, ulna, pelvis, carpals, (wrist bones) metacarpals, (palm bones) phalanges, finger bones, femur (Thigh bones), patella (knee cap), tibia (Shin bone), fibula, tarsals (ankle bone), metatarsals (Foot bone), and phalanges. (Toe bones)

When the skeleton structure is interrupted, it can cause back pain. Most cases of back pain are treated with bed rest, foot elevation, ice packs, compression, and so on. Many diseases can cause back pain, which the cause is found in disruptive blood vessels, soft tissues, etc. The problem can lead to excessive bleeding, which slows the healing process.

R.I.C.E
R.I.C.E is a rule of structure one should keep in mind when treating back pain at home. If you have tension in the muscles, you can use this structure to reduce back pain. Rest is essential if you have tension in the muscles. Rest includes putting your feet up and relaxing the spinal column. Ice packs are used to relieve pain as well. You can wrap ice in a damp, soft cloth and apply it to the area. Keep the pack on the area up to fifteen minutes. You can place an ice pack on the injured region every hour. If you have injured your knee, then elevate the leg before applying your ice pack.

Rest and Ice packs starts R.I.C.E, which continues to compression. Compression reduces looseness of the muscles.

In addition, if blood escapes into injured blood vessels, you can compress the area to apply pressure. Avoid applying pressure surpassing the volume, which the blood from the arterial system needs room to flow smoothly.

Elevation involves keeping the leg a distance from the floor. You can elevate the legs to reduce lower back pain. Lie flat on the back and elevate the leg in a supporting chair. You can also place a pillow between the knees to reduce back pain.

Keep R.I.C.E. in mind when you have tension on the back, or have sustained an injury. However, if you injured your back or joints seek medical help immediately.

Fast weight loss tips

There is no doubt that many people try to lose weight too quickly, with dangerous crash diets. That doesn’t mean that there are no legitimate methods available for speeding up your progress on a proper weight loss program. The tips in this article may well be of use to you, even if you are already succeeding in losing weight. Here are four very effective fast weight loss tips.

Tip 1
Use music as part of your exercise program. Although exercise will always be a vital part of any fast weight loss program, it is very off putting to many. Large numbers of people find just exercising, with nothing to interest their mind, boring. If you can inject something you enjoy into the routine, you are far more likely to stick at it. If you have an iPod, or other hard disc storage portable player, that will be ideal.

Tip 2
Consider yourself as the most important factor. There is great merit in so many ideas you will find in books or magazines, but they may not directly relate to your unique circumstances. Only you know what your true desire level is to lose a certain amount of weight. Only you know your own capabilities, and trying to do to much in the way of exercise can be positively dangerous. Keep your goals within the realm of possibility, and one day you may enjoy achieving them.

Tip 3
You may regard this as cheating, but it isn’t really, merely using technology to your advantage. You can now get machines which tense the stomach muscles while you engage in another activity. It is no replacement for vigorous physical exercise, but it be a useful addition to it. Your body should also develop improved muscle tone as a side effect of this.

Tip 4
Do some sit ups. These exercises are scoffed at by so many, who think that are a lot of hard work for nothing. To a degree this is true, as you would have to perform a ridiculous number every day to have a noticeable effect. What sit ups can do is lessen the hunger pangs felt by someone taking in less fat. Although you are not hungry in reality, and your body is taking in enough food, you feel hungry because you are taking in less fat. Doing sit ups at the time of these hunger pangs will be effective in reducing them.

These fast weight loss tips do not involve crash dieting, and can be genuinely helpful.

Living With Chronic Low Back Pain

They tell me my diagnosis is pretty common, that millions of Americans suffer with low back pain. I’ve also heard that next to the common cold, missing work from low back pain is the biggest reason. With these two major known facts, I then wondered why getting the correct treatment for low back pain is so difficult.

After being diagnosed with a herniated disc and bone disc degenerative disease, I was immediately scheduled to see a surgeon. The surgeon suggested I have back surgery. To make a long story short, after a lot of prayer, a lot of thought, and after talking to many people who already have had surgery with my same diagnosis, I chose against surgery.

After deciding against surgery, I found I was immediately cast in a different light, by my doctor, and the medical community in general. I found my pain was then not taken seriously. I felt disbelieved about how much I hurt. I actually felt like a drug addict when asking for something for the pain. It appeared my physician felt back surgery was the end all cure all to my back & leg pain.

To the contrary studies have shown, back surgery may actually cause more pain, complications, and even damage that requires more follow up surgery. Knowing physicians and surgeons are already aware of this, it really makes you wonder why they would put you at such risk. I wish some of these healthcare professionals would just once switch places with me for one day living with chronic low back pain.

The Benefits of Massage Therapy

It may only have exploded in recent years but the practice of massage therapy dates back to the time of Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine. And that is about 4000 years ago. In a clear reference to massaging, Hippocrates wrote in one of his medical notes that physicians must know the practice of ‘rubbing.’

Now, massage therapy cannot just be called as ‘rubbing.’ With most of the young Hollywood getting a massage or two every week, it has become the toast of the social set. Its popularity can be seen with the way a lot of massage therapy clinics have opened shops in the last few years with many more planning to in the next couple of months. Currently there are about 100,000 massage therapists in the country and the numbers are increasing two-fold.

Massage therapy in the scientific terms is the process of putting pressure on muscular structure and soft tissues in the body for relaxation. Pressure in this instance can mean a lot of things, from holding and pressing to kneading and rocking. Massages are primarily done with the hands although some massage therapists also use other parts of their bodies like the forearms, elbows and the feet.

Its popularity is actually not surprising especially with this stressful world. Many people are turning to massage therapy for relaxation and regeneration. And unlike other de-stressors, massage therapy is scientifically based and its advantages are all research proven. Besides its physical benefits, it also known to improve the overall wellbeing of the mind and the spirit.

Below are some of the benefits that massage therapy gives us.

1. Relaxation

This is the number one reason why people coming back to the clinics. After a week of stress in the office or at home, people especially women, just want to relax. Massages are great for the skin as it stimulates the release of toxins and hormones. In fact, some studies have even shown massages as being able to lower the possibility of wrinkles production.

2. Relieves pain

Another benefit of massage therapy is the fact that it can loosen those tight muscles especially if you frequently have cramps on your legs. Going to the clinics can also relieve you of your tired and aching muscles. This is especially useful with people who are into sports or those who live the active lifestyle.

3. Makes you a better athlete

People who are into sports can also benefit much from massage therapy. If you feel that your muscles have become tight and rickety, massages can improve on your flexibility and also increase your range of motion. If you get massages all the time, you will notice that you can now do movements that were painful to do before. Massages also improve the body’s resistance. It lowers the blood pressure, heart rate and even helps in recoveries from injuries and sprains. It also strengthens the immune system.

4. Improve mental faculties

Massages are also great ways to improve your mental performance. It can actually reduce mental stress, allowing you to work better and think clearer. It is also known to relieve headaches. Massage therapy also allows you to concentrate better on the task at hand. After a massage, you will basically have a clean slate in your mind that is equivalent to the restful therapy that sleep gives.

Do We Need 8 Glasses of Water a Day?

Do you know where the idea of drinking eight glasses of water per day came from? Neither does anyone else.

Yet many nutritionists, weight-loss experts and general health gurus claim we must drink that much every day.

I certainly tried to do it. I would drink coffee in the morning, then maybe force down a glass of water. By the time I had sweet tea with lunch, I was not thirsty but would try to choke down two more glasses of water in the afternoon.

By the time I had a glass of wine and more tea for supper, I was full – and facing five more glasses of water! I just could not do it day in and day out.

I know many of you can, and I’m proud of you. But for the rest of us who wallow in guilt, there is good news.

Before I get to that, let me reinforce the necessity of good hydration. Drinking water in adequate amounts is necessary for maintaining the organ systems. In a resting state, this is easy and can be done in many ways. But in times of vigorous physical activity or in high temperatures, consumption must be increased and maintained to keep the body’s core temperature from rising dangerously and to prevent dehydration.

Yet research has shown recently that there is no supporting evidence to back the popular notion that eight glasses of water a day is essential to good health. Studies have been duplicated where normal adults of both genders were compared, showing no difference in hydration status.

We are not walking around in a dehydrated state as some would have us believe.

We should drink water when thirsty. It’s still the best indicator, and this signal is delivered from our brains when we have lost between 1 percent and 2 percent of our body’s water. This amount is not dangerous.

Scientific studies also prove that there is no extra benefit to the skin by drinking more water. Nor is there supporting evidence that it significantly curbs appetite.

Nature intended for us to obtain much of our water from the food we eat. Fruits and vegetables are 80 percent to 90 percent water. Meat contains a fair amount, and even dry bread and cheese are about 35 percent water.

Caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea and soda do not necessarily contribute to dehydration. Caffeine does cause a loss of water, but only a fraction of what you are adding by drinking the beverage itself.

If you like to drink eight glass of water a day, that’s fine. But don’t feel guilty if you choose not to walk around with a bottle like everyone else. Instead, eat balanced meals and follow your thirst mechanism.

Detoxing is the Key to Weight Loss

If you’re like most people who have a weight problem, you’ve been on every diet imaginable. Chances are, you’ve lost plenty of weight over the course of your lifetime. The problem is, you most likely gained back all of the weight you lost – and then some. Like many people, you were probably looking for a quick fix – that magic bullet that would cause instant weight loss and that would keep you slim for life.

As you no doubt have realized, no such magic bullet exists. The key to successful weight loss is acknowledging that you need help, having the determination to learn new habits and adopt them for life, and finding the right tools to help you get the job done.

Detoxing

Because the typical American diet is high in substances that act as poisons to our bodies – things like saturated fats, sugars, and food additives and chemicals – the first step in any successful weight loss program is detoxing. This detoxification process is a cleansing process that gets the harmful substances out of your body’s blood stream and tissues. Such a cleansing process has the added benefit of weaning you off of the toxic substances you may have been consuming for years. It breaks the addiction to sugar, caffeine, and the insidious preservatives that are so much a part of the American diet.

There are many cleansing system products available that can help you in the detoxing phase of your weight loss plan. It’s important to find one that is natural and organic, and that does not contain some of the potentially harmful substances found in many over the counter products. Read the labels carefully, and choose one that has vitamins, enzymes, and ionic trace minerals.

Jump Starting Weight Loss

While there’s no magic bullet that will cause you to lose weight and keep it off, there are products available that will help jump-start your weight loss. Often in the form of meal replacement shakes, these products are helpful for three reasons. First, the best shakes are natural, and are chock full of organic whey protein, enzymes, vitamins and minerals. While you’re reducing your caloric intake, these shakes can help speed up the fat burning process. Second, they’re easy. Learning new dietary habits is fraught with the perils of temptation; having an easy-to-prepare shake makes it easier for you to keep temptation at bay. Third, it’s heartening to see immediate results. If, for example, you were to lose ten pounds in ten days, you’re more likely to continue on with your weight loss plan. The power of success can’t be underestimated.

Staying With the Program

Quick weight loss may be emotionally satisfying, but remember that, in order to actually keep the weight off this time, you’ll need to make a commitment to changing the habits that caused you to gain weight in the first place. A regular exercise plan, a support group, and a food diary are all helpful tools in staying with the program.

Success for Life

For many people, weight loss is the first step on the path to health, energy, and wellness. This natural healing journey can and should begin with a detoxing cleansing system that rids your body of its toxic build-up.

Lifting Procedures For Reducing or Preventing Back Pain

Many people don’t realize the importance of lifting objects properly in order to avoid hurting their backs. One of the leading causes of back injuries are due to people lifting heavy objects improperly. In this article I will go over the proper procedures for lifting heavy objects in order to avoid back pain.

Lifting things doesn’t have to be hazardous, whether you’re at home or at work. Many people put lots of stress on their backs on a regular basis, especially those who have jobs in warehouses or delivery companies. Even those who don’t spend lots of time lifting heavy objects can make their backs prone to injury over time even if they lift small objects if they do it improperly.

There are two primary mistakes that many people make when lifting objects. The first mistake is using the wrong muscles to lift up objects. You’re supposed to use the muscles in your legs and buttocks instead of the muscles in your back.

It is always important to bend your knees when lifting an object off the floor. This gives your spine a level foundation and avoids putting too much stress on it. It is important to keep your upper body vertical when lifting instead of horizontal. Having your upper body horizontal will put a lot of stress on your lower back. This pressure could be hundreds of pounds, and eventually you’ll suffer a slipped disc or sprain.

The second mistake people often make is lifting an object too far from their bodies. It is important to be as close as possible to whatever you’re lifting. By holding the object close to you, the amount of pressure exerted on your spine is reduced.

You want to hold the object by its center and keep it eight inches away from you when you lift. Keep your upper body vertical and use the muscles in your knees and buttocks in order to lift it. By doing this you avoid damaging you back. You also want to avoid twisting your upper body when you left objects as this can add pressure to your spine as well.

Lifting objects properly in order to avoid back pain is important. If you lift a ten pound object at arms length, you are putting at least one hundred and fifty pounds of pressure on your lower back. If you hold an eighty eight pound object at arms length, a massive seven hundred pounds is being exerted on your back.

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