5 tips for avoiding pain while working in the garden

I will be the first to admit that my place is not in the garden, at least if anyone wants the plants to survive longer than a few days. Between my allergies (to both plants and mosquitoes), my fair skin, and my propensity for heat stroke, I’m an indoors girl.

That said, I can respect the work it takes to create a lovely garden. No garden can grow well untended, and the best take hours of work every year — planting, weeding, watering, repeat. So if you’re starting to feel some aches and pains after tending your garden, try these tips to feel better so that you can truly relax in that beautiful landscape of yours.

5 tips for avoiding pain while working in the garden

One of the joys of retirement, I’ve been told, is tending a garden — digging deep into the soil to build a landscape in which we can relax and, both literally and figuratively, enjoy the fruits of our labors.

But sometimes those labors can lead to aches and pains in one’s neck, back, knees and more. Here are some tips on how to reduce your pain while working in the yard.

  1. Set realistic goals before you put on those gardening gloves.

One of the best ways to avoid wasted time, money and effort is to make a plan. Think about what exactly you want to do in your garden and make sure you plan for the time and effort to buy your plants and flowers as well. People often set aside the time for weeding and planting without thinking about how long it will take to select what you’ll be setting into the ground, or that you might be sore after loading and unloading everything at the store and at home.

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!

physiquality blog: will I have arthritis after my knee injury?

As a person who has had five knee surgeries now, this is a very personal subject. One particular pre-op appointment comes to mind. I was living in Los Angeles, and I was preparing for a cartilage implant. After years and years of dance (many on tile floors), I’ve shredded my cartilage, and the doctors agreed this would help to repair the hole in my right knee’s cartilage.

So I go to see my GP for blood work the week before surgery. He looks at what is supposed to be done, looks up at me, and asks when I’m going to have my knee replaced. I dunno doc, can I get through this surgery (that’s supposed to delay a knee replacement) first?

In my own estimation, I was doomed from the beginning. I had arthritis in my right knee at 14. My left knee started sounding like Rice Krispies in my 30s. But I know that if I don’t remain active, I’ll simply put on more weight, and I’ll be more at risk for arthritis, as well as lots of other things. So it’s better to be as active as I can, with the hopes of postponing these other issues and surgeries as long as possible.

Will I have arthritis after my knee injury?

with advice from Mitch Kaye, PT

Unfortunately, if you have a traumatic injury to the knee like an ACL tear, a meniscus tear or even certain types of fractures, your chance of developing osteoarthritis increases significantly.

Osteoarthritis, which is the wearing away of cartilage, can occur normally with years of use, but it can also occur more readily after trauma around the knee. The Arthritis Foundation estimates that 700,000 knee injuries a year account for 12.5% of post-traumatic arthritis cases in the U.S., and they warn that younger athletes with ACL injuries are at risk of developing arthritis before they are 40 years old, often within 10 years of the original injury.

If you’re an athlete who has had one of these types of injuries, it’s not something you probably wanted to hear.

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!

physiquality blog: why do my hips hurt?

I’ll be succinct — my own hips hurt right now, but it’s not related to bursitis, the topic of today’s post. It’s because I’ve been sitting on the floor for the last three hours as I’m in the middle of moving from the D.C. area to Dallas. So I’ll let my words below speak for themselves.

Why do my hips hurt?

with advice from ActiveWrap

Our hip and shoulder joints are a little different than the other, linear joints in our body. These joints are ball and socket joints, which allow us a wider range of motion than our knee and elbow joints.

But it also means there are multiple causes of pain in these joints, particularly as we grow older and these joints deal with more wear and tear.

When it comes to hip pain, one common cause is arthritis. The joint is held together by ligaments and muscles, and cartilage on both the femur and pelvis help to avoid friction between the bones, which can cause pain. When the cartilage gets worn away, this creates arthritis in the hip.

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!

physiquality blog: if you’re in pain, try physical therapy before relying on painkillers

So this is one of my fears. Having dealt with chronic knee problems for most of my life, I am reluctant to take painkillers, particularly opioids like Vicodin or Oxycodone, as I know they are addictive. Given the number of addicts in my family (even when they are more prone to alcohol than anything else), I’ve been a bit paranoid about taking anything that could lead me down that path.

This is why I have always chosen to do physical therapy first, or at least adjacent to, taking painkillers. PT is the long-term solution, trying to fix the cause of the pain, rather than the symptom. If you are dealing with chronic pain, it’s best to at least try physical therapy for relief. Your stomach, kidneys and liver will thank you later.

If you’re in pain, try physical therapy before relying on painkillers

with advice from Michael Weinper, PT, DPT, MPH

You are on your way home from working out at the gym or playing a game of softball. You press on the brake to slow down at a stoplight, and pain sears through your knee. It’s not the first time this has happened, so you decide to talk to your doctor. Do you ask for painkillers, or do you talk to your physician about seeing a physical therapist?

There’s no question that pain hurts, says Michael Weinper, a physical therapist and the owner of PTPN and Progressive Physical Therapy, a private physical therapy practice. It’s how you respond to the pain that will affect your health in the long run.

If you merely rely on painkillers to treat pain, particularly opioid painkillers, you could be setting yourself up for long-term problems like depression and addiction without ever treating the cause of the problem.

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!

physiquality blog: what you should know about TMJ and TMD

The more I read (and wrote) about TMJ/TMD, the more I was thankful that I have never had this problem. And I have a feeling that those people our physical therapists treat are especially grateful for their specialized training and knowledge.

What you should know about TMJ and TMD

with advice from Renee Bailey, PTA
and Pressure Positive

Temporomandibular joint disorders or dysfunction, often referred to as TMJ or TMD, cover a wide variety of problems, most commonly pain and muscular tightness in the jaw. You’ve no doubt heard of this problem, but did you know that physical therapy is one of the solutions?

TMD can be a result of a variety of causes, explains Renee Bailey, a physical therapist assistant at Conshohocken Physical Therapy, a Physiquality member in Pennsylvania. “Symptoms can arise from something as simple as bad posture habits, or it can be a result of trauma to the joint, like a direct hit or impact, a whiplash injury, or even clenching or grinding your teeth,” she says.

The most widely reported symptom of TMD is pain, which can range from the jaw to the neck, ears and shoulders and can also present as a headache. Other symptoms noted by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research include stiffness in the jaw muscles and joint; limited movement or locking of the jaw; clicking, popping or grating in the jaw joint when opening/closing the mouth and while chewing; difficulty swallowing; and changes in how the upper and lower teeth fit together. Renee has also seen patients that experienced ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and dizziness.

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!

physiquality blog: I have arthritis. can I exercise? should I?

As one who has battled arthritis for years (only I could have the diagnosis of arthritis at 16), I can attest to the truth — and research — behind today’s pqBlog entry. Whenever I fall behind on my exercise, my back aches and my knees, in particular, are stiff and painful. For those that would rather hear such news from research and a musculoskeletal expert, read on…

I have arthritis. Can I exercise? Should I?

with advice from David P. Thompson, PT, DPT, OCS

Arthritis is one of the more common conditions, especially as people age. According to the CDC, as many as 50 million adults in the U.S., or 1 in 5, have been diagnosed with arthritis, and the numbers are expected to grow as our population ages. While there are many types of arthritis, the most prevalent is osteoarthritis, caused by the wearing away of cartilage in joints, especially the knees and hips.

Arthritis can be extremely painful and often debilitating. According to David P. Thompson, a physical therapist at Allegheny Chesapeake Physical Therapy (a Physiquality member in Pennsylvania), “Patients with arthritis frequently report a variety of symptoms, including pain, stiffness, swelling, warmth in the joint, aching, joint deformity, difficulty with bearing weight, trouble with walking, and general loss of function.”

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!