Take the Flexibility Test

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How flexible should you be? Well, flexible enough that you are pain free and functional.

That really is what matters for day-to-day living.

Muscles, tendons, ligaments and skin all have collagen which is a major connective tissue that provides elasticity. Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body and aids in strengthening your tissues. Before the age of 30, collagen is plentiful and in some cases, too much, as in joint hyper mobility.

But as we age the “amount of collagen in your body decreases over time… 1-2% per year. This reduction is the body’s response to the aging process and is a natural part of what happens as we age. The protein structures within our bodies begin to reduce flexibility and are more likely to break or be degraded over time.”- https://www.absolutecollagen.com/blogs/features-testimonials/at-what-age-does-collagen-production-decrease

So what can you do to maintain your flexibility? Stretch daily and perhaps try collagen supplements available over the counter that “can help improve skin health, relieve joint pain, prevent bone loss, boost muscle mass, and promote heart health.” Please consult your physician if you have any questions about supplements. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/collagen-benefits#4.-Could-boost-muscle-mass

The ‘other side of the coin ‘ is to be hyperflexbile.

This has its advantages for many sports and hobbies, but be cautious so as to not over stretch your joints as they can dislocate or move too much causing pain. Hyperflexibility is common in people diagnosed with scoliosis.

It can also be a symptom of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome which is a connective tissue disorder that is “characterized by joint hypermobility (joints that stretch further than normal), skin hyperextensibility (skin that can be stretched further than normal), and tissue fragility. ” https://www.ehlers-danlos.com/ehlers-danlos-in-the-news/. The Beighton Scale is a clinical tool to assess widespread hypermobiltiy and multiple factors are assessed. Download this PDF to get more information if you think you are hyper flexible and contact your doctor if you think this describes you.

The ultimate goal is BALANCE of the connective tissues in your body to help you live a pain free and highly functional lifestyle!

Take this test to see how your flexibility scores:

(modified from “These Tests Will Measure Your Flexibility from Head to Toe” by Samantha LeFave 1/14/2020 https://www.shape.com/fitness/tips/flexibility-test)

1- Hamstring test: Bend forward from an upright position and reach for the ground with your hands

  • Both hands completely touch the ground= 2
  • Both hands touch your ankles or lower shins=1
  • Both hands touch at mid shins or above your knees or your hands touch unevenly to your shins or above knees=0

2. Hip Rotator Test: Lie on your back, with the left foot on the ground and right ankle resting gently on top of the left knee. Lift the left leg up off the ground and try to reach for your hamstring or shin, bringing it in closer to your chest or into a Figure 4 position. Repeat on other side .

  • You are able to bring both legs close to your chest and easily grab the shins=2
  • You are able to grab behind your thigh and lift both legs so that the knees are in line with the hips =1
  • You cannot reach the back of your leg and/or lift it off of the ground 1-2 inches or one leg lifts higher than the other=0

3. Spine Test: Lie on your back and bring both knees into the chest.Then, keeping your upper body flat on the ground—it may help to stretch your arms out to each side—slowly rotate both knees to one side, getting as close to the ground as possible

  • You can rotate easily from side to side while keeping your back and buttocks on the ground=2
  • You can rotate your legs from side to side but your pelvis/ buttocks lift off of the ground= 1
  • You can rotate your legs unevenly side to side and/or less than 45 degrees either side=0

4. Shoulder test: Start standing with feet together and arms down by your side. Bring your hands behind your back and aim to grab the opposite forearm.

  • You are able to reach to the opposite elbow or above the elbow=2
  • You are able to reach to the opposite forearm between the elbow and wrist=1
  • You are able to reach to the opposite wrist or hand =0

5. Neck test: From a seated cross-legged position, slowly rotate your head to one side and look behind you.

  • You can easily look over your shoulder without lifting your chin up or down =2
  • You can turn your head to nearly your shoulder =1
  • You can turn your head in line with your collar bone or less and/or with pain =0

Let’s see your score by adding up the numbers:

8-10 points: You are very flexible! Your exercises need to include stability and strength and not to push your joints to hyper mobility or laxity. Be cautious not to dislocate your joints

5-7 points : You have good flexibility! You need to maintain an even exercise routine of flexibility, strengthening and stability.

0-4 points: You are tight! You need to stretch often and with longer holds.

So get to work on either stretching, strengthening and/or stabilizing your body today!

Do you have what it takes to save a life? YES!

Sometimes being in the “right place at the right time” can be the difference between life and death. A heart attack, respiratory attack or choking can all lead to sudden loss of blood flow to the brain. Knowing just some basic CPR skills can help during those first crucial minutes before EMS arrives. It was in my 9th grade Health class at Coral Springs High School where I first became certified in CPR, and every 2 years since then I have kept up that certification.

But if I’m being honest, I’m always a bit nervous. Will I remember everything that they taught me if I need to use it in an emergency? Will I panic? Does this really work?

So, as my time came again for renewal this month, I felt compelled to share my story, albeit minor, and encourage you to seek training in Basic Life Saving skills for yourself, loved ones or the stranger you encounter who may need your help.

Three years ago, those skills did kick in automatically when at the dinner table, my husband of then 19 years, suddenly stood up from the table and silently made the choking sign across his neck. Our kids were exclaiming, “what’s wrong, Dad!” ,” what are you doing?!” I quickly got up and was able to do the Heimlich maneuver on him. After several ‘blows’ the piece of steak came on out of his throat and all was well. My husband was grateful and dinner proceeded. But I have to admit that after all was said and done, I couldn’t believe I actually did the thing that I had trained for over 3o years! Each time I took the CPR class, I worried that I would not remember the steps. Thankfully it all came rushing back to me in an instant and my husband is doing just fine.

Yes, he was grateful, but I did think of what could have happened had I not received any training. And that thought was sobering.

Too many tragedies occur when a little education could have prevented them. You don’t have to be a healthcare provider to take a CPR class. Anyone can take a CPR class! And now AEDs (automatic electronic defibrillators) are commonly placed in public places with instructions said out loud to you by simply pushing a button.

As for how to help someone who is choking, I found this great short “how to” on the Heimlich maneuver, courtesy of Southeastern School of Health Sciences.

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https://southeasternschool.org/all-choked-up/

“If you’ve ever had some food go down the wrong pipe, then you know that the sensation of choking is unpleasant and frightening.

When food or another object blocks a person’s airway, the flow of oxygen to the lungs (and the rest of the body) is cut off. Without oxygen, brain damage can begin to take place within 4-6 minutes.

Choking is a serious medical emergency.
Fortunately, we have an excellent rescue technique to resolve a blocked airway. It’s called the Heimlich Maneuver, and it’s a very effective life-saving skill that everyone should know. We find that most people are quite familiar with the Heimlich maneuver, but they don’t always know exactly how or when to perform it. Here’s what to do:

If you suspect someone is choking, ask, “Are you choking? Can you speak?”
• If the person can speak or cough, don’t perform the Heimlich Maneuver
• If the person cannot speak or cough, then you can help
• Stand behind the person and circle your arms around his or her waist.Make a fist and place it just above the person’s belly button. Put your other hand on top of the fist.
• Pull your fist toward you quickly and forcefully – these are called abdominal thrusts
• Be persistent: sometimes it only takes 1 or 2 thrusts to clear the airway, but it may take more than that
• If it doesn’t work, and the person becomes unresponsive, call 911 and begin CPR

The HM works by using air that is trapped below the airway blockage. When you perform the thrusts with your fist, you force that air upward, which in turn pushes the object out of the airway, sometimes across the room! You can use this technique on all adults and children over the age of 1 (about walking age). For infants, we use back blows between the shoulder blade to clear a blockage – more on that next week.
One side note: The originator of this technique, Dr. Henry Heimlich, actually got the opportunity to use his rescue maneuver this past May when he saved the life of a woman at the retirement home where he lives. She was choking on a hamburger, and he calmly stepped in (at age 96) and literally performed the Heimlich maneuver. She’s doing fine and is quite grateful that she sat next to him at dinner. Providential…

It is estimated that about 100,000 lives have been saved using the Heimlich Maneuver since it was introduced in 1974. Even Dr. Heimlich at age 96 was prepared to take action. Please consider joining one of our classes that will prepare you to be the one that can step in and save a life. Register for a class today!

Do it. Sign up for a CPR class if you haven’t taken one in a while or never have. There are loads of places to do this online and in person:

American Heart Association: https://cpr.heart.org/en/course-catalog-search

American Red Cross: https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class

Southeastern School of Medicine :https://southeasternschool.enrollware.com/schedule

CPR Center of Georgia: http://cprcenterga.com/?fbclid=IwAR3wCG_QxrBNBR2Q0ARfi42xQ0U3Bx9uLa633vG99aiUdZnmOfzJAPWhJqM

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Josey’s story

Josey is dedicated and driven to serve every.single.day at his job and in the community, so injuries and strain inevitably happen to him. I help him get back to his job, his clients and his wonderful family, so he can do it all again the next day.

𝐇𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐡𝐲 𝐏𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐞𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐇𝐨𝐠 𝐓𝐫𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐢𝐧𝐠
“𝘏𝘰𝘸 𝘥𝘰 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘬𝘦𝘦𝘱 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘣𝘰𝘥𝘺 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘵𝘩𝘺 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘥 𝘩𝘰𝘨𝘴? 𝘓𝘰𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘴𝘭𝘦𝘦𝘱 𝘵𝘰 𝘤𝘢𝘮𝘦𝘳𝘢 𝘸𝘢𝘵𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘩𝘢𝘶𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘦𝘢𝘥 𝘸𝘦𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘥𝘰𝘻𝘦𝘯𝘴 𝘰𝘧 100 𝘵𝘰 200 𝘱𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 𝘱𝘭𝘶𝘴 𝘩𝘰𝘨𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘦𝘲𝘶𝘪𝘱𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘢 𝘵𝘰𝘭𝘭 𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘦𝘳.

𝘖𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘺𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘴, 𝘏𝘰𝘨 𝘊𝘶𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘑𝘰𝘴𝘦𝘺 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘩𝘢𝘥 𝘮𝘶𝘭𝘵𝘪𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘫𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘯𝘦𝘤𝘬 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘫𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘴 𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘢𝘴 𝘥𝘰𝘶𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘢 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘯𝘦𝘤𝘬 𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘨𝘦𝘳𝘺. 𝘛𝘰 𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘶𝘦 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘩𝘢𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬 𝘴𝘮𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘱𝘶𝘵 𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘯 𝘰𝘯 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘣𝘰𝘥𝘺.

𝘖𝘯𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘺 𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘰𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴, 𝘪𝘴 𝘣𝘺 𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘻𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢 𝘸𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘩 𝘴𝘺𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘮 𝘵𝘰 𝘮𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘩𝘰𝘨𝘴. 𝘋𝘶𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘵𝘸𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘵𝘪𝘦𝘴, 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘷𝘺 𝘦𝘲𝘶𝘪𝘱𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘮𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘩𝘰𝘨𝘴 𝘪𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘢𝘷𝘢𝘪𝘭𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘸. 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘎𝘦𝘰𝘳𝘨𝘪𝘢 𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘸 𝘢𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘮𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘭𝘮𝘰𝘴𝘵 1000 𝘩𝘰𝘨𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘷𝘺 𝘦𝘲𝘶𝘪𝘱𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵. 𝘛𝘰 𝘴𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘣𝘰𝘥𝘺 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘱𝘦𝘵𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘯, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘏𝘰𝘨 𝘊𝘶𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘣𝘰𝘺𝘴 𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘵𝘢𝘭𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴. 𝘡𝘦𝘣 𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘥𝘦𝘥 𝘢 𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘦𝘭 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘮𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵 𝘢 2500-𝘱𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 𝘈𝘛𝘝 𝘸𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘩 𝘢𝘯𝘥 12𝘷 𝘥𝘦𝘦𝘱 𝘤𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘱𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳 𝘴𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘤𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘦𝘢𝘤𝘩 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘰𝘨 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘭𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘪𝘦𝘭𝘥. 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘩 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘣𝘦 𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘭𝘰𝘢𝘥 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘧𝘧𝘭𝘰𝘢𝘥 𝘩𝘰𝘨𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘯𝘫𝘶𝘳𝘺 𝘵𝘰 𝘮𝘶𝘴𝘤𝘭𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘫𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘴.

𝘈𝘯𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘸𝘢𝘺 𝘵𝘰 𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘯 𝘰𝘯 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘣𝘰𝘥𝘺 – 𝘪𝘴 𝘣𝘺 𝘦𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘺𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘨𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘣𝘰𝘥𝘺 𝘮𝘦𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘤𝘴. 𝘈 𝘴𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘢 𝘱𝘩𝘺𝘴𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘱𝘺 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘧𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘰𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳 𝘢 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘮 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢𝘥𝘥𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘨𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘯𝘫𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘩𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘦𝘯.

𝘛𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘯𝘫𝘶𝘳𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘨𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘳𝘦𝘩𝘢𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘑𝘰𝘴𝘦𝘺 𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘦𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘩𝘺𝘴𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘱𝘪𝘴𝘵 𝘢𝘵 𝘑𝘰𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘛𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘱𝘺 𝘪𝘯 𝘛𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘢𝘩𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘦𝘦 𝘍𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘥𝘢. 𝘔𝘪𝘴𝘴 𝘑𝘰𝘺 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘰𝘯𝘭𝘺 𝘳𝘦𝘩𝘢𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘭𝘰𝘴𝘵 𝘧𝘶𝘯𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯, 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘢𝘪𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘭𝘰𝘱𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘢 𝘳𝘦𝘨𝘶𝘭𝘢𝘳 𝘳𝘦𝘨𝘪𝘮𝘦𝘯 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘮𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘵𝘩𝘺 𝘧𝘶𝘯𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘦 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬.

𝘖𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘭𝘭, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘸𝘢𝘺 𝘵𝘰 𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘵𝘩𝘺 𝘩𝘰𝘨 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘬 𝘢𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘥. 𝘗𝘭𝘢𝘯 𝘵𝘰 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘦𝘲𝘶𝘪𝘱𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘧 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘱𝘦𝘳 𝘣𝘰𝘥𝘺 𝘮𝘦𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘤𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘢𝘴𝘬 𝘢𝘵 𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘥. 𝘈𝘴 𝘢𝘭𝘸𝘢𝘺𝘴, 𝘪𝘧 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘲𝘶𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘮𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘩𝘰𝘨𝘴 𝘰𝘳 𝘮𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘱 𝘦𝘲𝘶𝘪𝘱𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘤𝘩 𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘶𝘴 𝘢𝘵 229-672-9132 or via our website.

𝘖𝘶𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘬𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘑𝘰𝘺 𝘚𝘮𝘪𝘵𝘩 Joy of Therapy, PLLC 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘦𝘹𝘤𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘨𝘶𝘪𝘥𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦. “- Josey at Hog Cutters Trapping Company

Psst… want to know one of the secrets to easing muscle strains and aches ?

Cupping.

It’s one of my favorite ‘tools in the toolbox’ to help your muscles recover from aches and pain, and it’s something that you can do in the comfort of your own home in just 5 easy steps.

Why should you try cupping? It’s very helpful for anyone with hip, knee, low back, upper back and shoulder pain. And, with the magical combination of physical therapy and cupping, you, too, can get rid of muscle strains and perform better than ever.

Did you know that Michael Phelps, the amazing Olympic gold medalist swimmer, had cupping done on his body before he plunged into the pool for the Summer 2016 Olympics in Rio? It definitely helped his muscles reach their optimal potential and grab those gold medals!

https://www.newsweek.com/michael-phelps-cupping-science-rio-olympics-alex-naddour-sports-swimming-488910

A physical therapist uses cupping similar to how a musician tunes an instrument: the musician first needs to make sure that his/her instrument is in tune before setting out to play a song. Cupping is like ‘tuning’ the human body before it goes out to perform in the Olympics or simply to take a walk outside.

Cupping is an ancient Eastern medicine modality that has been around since 1500BC. This form of cupping involves heating cups made of glass, silicone or bamboo, and then placing it on the skin and leaving it there for 15 minutes. The redness is caused by tiny blood vessels ‘breaking’, but no worries, as the redness disappears within hours.

In the clinic here, a modified form of cupping is done by using silicone cups or a small sink plunger, and no heat.

The key difference with this form of cupping in physical therapy is that movement is used while the cups are on the skin.

By moving the body while cupping, it releases restrictions in soft tissue (skin, muscle, fat, ligament or tendon) instead of it being a passive modality (meaning that you don’t move).

All soft tissues in your body need to glide on one another like sheets of paper that can easily move between themselves. When there is a restriction or a ‘stickiness’, the tissues cannot move freely and get bound together. When that ‘stickiness’ or binding between tissues is unable to release by itself, it can cause a decrease in movement. Over time, true tissue restrictions occur limiting movement and causing muscle strain and pain. By freeing up the soft tissues off of one another, there is less pain and the muscles have the freedom to do whatever function is needed.

You can give cupping a try at home on yourself with just 5 simple steps:

1- Purchase a cupping set ( Highly recommend the Lure brand , economically priced below $30) see image with link to purchase

2- Apply vasoline oil or lotion to the rim

3- Squeeze the closed end of the cup and place the open end on the area of your body that needs it ( safest to use on large muscles or the knee cap ) . You may also use multiple cups along a muscle such as on the outer thigh for IT band pain.

4- While the cup is on, do a movement that helps to stretch the tissue under the cup (example: if the cup is on your upper back, then raise your hand up and down as if asking a question in class)

5- Remove the cup after 30 seconds or up to 1 minute and wipe the skin clean.

Now you’re ready to go toss a ball, swing a golf club, reach overhead to a shelf or swim for the Olympic gold medal!

Click on the image or link below to get your cupping set today and get rid of those annoying muscle aches and pains. https://www.amazon.com/Cupping-Therapy-Massage-Cellulite-Professional/dp/B00P86S3IM/ref=sr_1_8?crid=3VOB1LLIVDVH1&dchild=1&keywords=lure+cupping+therapy+sets&qid=1600976245&sprefix=lure%2Caps%2C183&sr=8-8

If you have any questions or are not ready to do this on your own, then please schedule an appointment at your convenience here: https://www.cognitoforms.com/FreelanceDesigner1/appointmentrequest2

Here’s my simple DIY health guide for kids ages 10-17 years old

Do you have a child between the ages of 10-17 or are you a teenager yourself and aching to grow taller?

If so, then Congratulations as they/you are about to, or are already going through the adolescent growth spurt. This time in their life is a roller coaster of changes both emotional and physical.

One of the changes teens are the most excited about is growing taller!

Here are some tips to help you or your child/teen get the most out of this growth spurt :

  1. Height checks.  Its time to get out your pencil and find a place in their/your room to measure  height. By measuring every 3-4 months, you can easily monitor growth and be aware of any significant changes.

*Monthly height checks are ESSENTIAL if  your child/teen has been diagnosed with scoliosis or if you are concerned, as scoliosis is somewhere in your family tree*

These monthly height checks during adolescence are KEY to keeping a check on the progression of their scoliotic curve.

If you are finding a ‘jump’ in height from one month to the next, and your child/teen has scoliosis, or you are suspecting it: that is a sign that their scoliotic curve is changing. It may be decreasing but it also could be increasing.

Please follow up with your pediatrician when you see this change. You may also contact our clinic for a complimentary consultation either in-person or Telehealth.

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centimeters length measure measurement
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

2. Daily exercise: 20 -30 minutes is ideal and can be as easy as going for a swim in the pool or a family walk

3. Hydration in the form of water

4. Daily multi vitamin and/or a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D. ” 2 critical nutrients for bones: calcium and Vitamin D. Calcium is a crucial guiding block of bone tissue.  Vitamin D helps the body absorb and process calcium. Together these two nutrients are the cornerstone of healthy bones.”- How to Keep Your Bones Strong as They Age

5. Lots of sleep– 9-11 hours per night for kids ages 6-13 and 8-10 hours per night for teens ages 14-17. Sleep is ESSENTIAL  for growth and repair.

Also if you or your child/teen is a current patient, but have not been into the clinic for more than 6 months due to the pandemic, here are some tips for you:

  • Check your child/teen’s height.: It is during these quick increases in height, that the scoliotic curve can make big changes. If there is a marked change , then you need to come in to the clinic or schedule a Telehealth session for some new exercises. Schedule your session today
  • Get exclusive access to online scoliosis exercise videos: I now have created a library of video exercises  for only my patients. If you are a current scoliosis patient and would like access to exercises tailored to you, please click on the link below :

Click here for your customized scoliosis exercise videos

V4_abbott-pediasure-growth-infographic

Is there a connection between back pain and blood pressure?

high-blood-pressure-hypertension-symptoms_thumb-732x549Yes.

Recent studies have linked back pain with increased blood pressure for a number of reasons, including stress, lifestyle, disease and genetics. But did you know that how you breathe also has a profound effect on both back pain and blood pressure?

And that you have the ability to change that by learning where you need to breathe more?

Think of the middle of your body or trunk as a pressure regulator from your vocal cords, diaphragm and all the way down to your pelvic floor . It is like an unopened carbonated beverage of your choice, such as Coca-Cola , Pepsi or LaCroix. When that can of beverage is intact, there is an inherent pressure built up inside. Once you pop the top, the pressure releases and you can pour out your beverage into an icy glass and enjoy.  In other words, the pressure inside the can has now changed. Your blood pressure can do that too and how you breathe affects it, as well as genetic factors, cholesterol and disease.

Ideally you need to breathe proportionally in your upper chest, and lower abdominal cavity with the diaphragm in the middle helping to push the pressures up and down. But when you have too much of your breath focused in one of those areas, your blood pressure can increase or decrease. Over time, your muscles accommodate and work more or less in one of those areas, and your blood pressure can either increase or decrease beyond what is healthy for you for the long term.

In just 5 minutes in a physical therapy session with an emphasis on dynamic breathing with eccentric control,  my patients have been able to lower their systolic blood pressure by up to 20 mmHG!

Try this at home to find out where you breathe:

  1. Use a measuring tape or any long tubing or band and wrap it around your chest underneath your arms
  2. Take a big breath in and then let it all out and see how many cm/inches/ or estimate how much the tubing moved
  3. Now wrap the measuring tape, tubing or band around the middle or your body or just under your ribs.
  4. Repeat step 2
  5. Finally wrap the measuring tape, tubing or band around the lower part of  your abdomen or at the umbilicus or belly button area.
  6. Repeat step 2

Results:

  • If your measurements were relatively the same at all 3 levels, then Congratulations! You are an even breather!”Keep calm and Carry on”
  • If your measurements were highest in the upper chest, then you are a chest or neck breather and may want to focus on diaphragmatic breathing and getting your breath into your belly. This will help to lower your blood pressure and decrease neck as well as low back pain. Here’s your exercise: Blow into a party blowout or blow bubbles through a straw to begin to work your diaphragm and teach your body to breathe down there
  • If your measurements were highest in the middle region, then you are a lateral breather and that is quite athletic and efficient! “Keep calm and carry on”
  • If your measurements were highest in the belly region, then you probably don’t have a lot of low back pain, but you may have upper back or neck pain with some blood pressure issues. Try to focus on more diaphragmatic breathing and upper chest breathing. Add in pectoral muscle strengthening exercises like push ups, pec flys, and shoulder strengthening exercises.

*Reference and credit to : Mary Massery Breathing Continuing Education Courses. https://masserypt.com/

Schedule your consultation either by Telehealth or in-person to find out how to get the most out of your breath today! 

What’s the best way to keep the gains you made in physical therapy this year?

what-we-treat

Here are 3 options for you right now:

1- Do nothing and keep your fingers crossed that your curve doesn’t progress or your pain comes creeping back

2- Keep up with your current exercises that were given to you the last time you came in for an in-person session and do them consistently

3- Schedule your Telehealth session and get your spine straight and strong and prevent your symptoms from coming back or worsening

Just out of curiosity, are you keeping up with your home exercises during this quarantine?

Are you wondering if you are doing your exercises correctly or are you even doing them at all? (gasp!)

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic things have changed drastically for all of our usual routines, work and school. You can’t go to your gym or to therapy like you were used to. But you do need to keep the progress that you made this past year in physical therapy. Don’t lose what you have already gained- you worked too hard this past year to let it go to waste! 

Just imagine how good you will feel after all of the COVID-19 pandemic passes and not only is your spine straighter, but you feel stronger and more confident rather than feeling like you lost all that you had gained!

Book your virtual appointment here

Joy-Physio-button

This has been a great teaching tool for the clients that have already taken advantage of this convenient option! I have been able to see what they have at home to add to or enhance their stretches that they had not considered.

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Plus, I may even get to see a cameo appearance by one of your furry pets! It is a great way to stay connected and stay up-to-date with your therapy.

 

 

Your Telehealth appointment is now being offered at an affordable price that is less than in-person at the clinic.

30 minutes = $55

45 minutes = $75

1 hour= $100

How open minded are you with this as an alternative? Give it a try !

I am also creating a 45 minute online scoliosis group exercise class for females. Fill out this survey if this interests you and be the first to experience a brand-new exercise format!

Scoliosis Exercise Group interest survey

If you decide to give Telehealth a try, then you can keep the results you gained and keep feeling great!

Should you come in for a physical therapy appointment during the COVID-19 pandemic?

pexels-photo-416322All of our lives were suddenly upended late last week and now hour by hour as the COVID-19 virus continues to spread rapidly throughout the world.

So many questions are being asked and not all of the answers are known now.

But I want you to know that I am tapping into my creative side and trying to find ways to offer you physical therapy that will keep both you and I healthy.

 

First, I want you to know that as a small, private physical therapy clinic, I have and will continue to maintain a clean and healthy environment for you and your family. All measures will be taken to maintain and exceed clean practices in the clinic per the CDC recommendations and all other sources of health information at this time.

If you truly do need physical therapy services, and need to come in for a treatment session here are the current changes in effect:

  1. Appointments are 1:1 and on an ‘as needed’ basis only, and will be spaced 15 minutes between clients so that the front desk/ lobby area can be cleaned and empty when you arrive.
  2. All equipment, doors, phones, credit card processors, computers, and the front desk will be wiped down after each and every human interaction.
  3.  All clients and families will be asked to wash their hands upon arrival and exit to ensure the safety of all.
  4. The therapist will sanitize the treatment room after each session. This has ALWAYS been a standard of practice here at the clinic and will continue.
  5. If you are not feeling well and have symptoms of a cold or flu, please call and reschedule your appointment for at least one month out and you have medical clearance from your physician.

And here’s the best part!

For all current clients: You will be receiving an email or a link via a newsletter that will give you access to a virtual home exercise.

(this includes only those who have been seen in the year 2020. Past clients will receive a general exercise tip)

These are in development now and will be available by the end of the week.

I strive to continue to deliver you quality physical therapy if you do not want to come in for a treatment session during these changing times.

So, again should you come in for your physical therapy appointment right now?

Only if you truly do need it.

I will be here for you at the clinic on a limited and an ‘as needed’ basis. I will also be using this downtime to construct new, innovative ways to offer you physical therapy via home exercises.

You are welcome to call or email if you have any questions about what you need to do for exercises or concerns.

Your health has always been my top priority and will continue during these difficult and changing times.

To be sure that these emails don’t go to your junk inbox, enter info@joyoftherapypt.com in your contact list to prevent these important notifications from being unseen by you.

 

So what does it mean if you have scoliosis as an adult?

Maybe you’ve known since you were a kid that you had scoliosis, and now you’re an adult and want to know how it will affect you as you age.

Or maybe you found out when you were in your 30’s or 40’s that you had a curve in your spine.

Either way you probably have been told by your doctor that you have ‘adult scoliosis’.

So what exactly is that?

Adult scoliosis is a collective term that includes those that were diagnosed as a child or teen and those that acquired it later in life.  It has been reported that about 2-32% of the adult population has some scoliosis curves in their spines.

What happens to the curve in your spine once you hit adulthood and beyond?

Once you have reached ‘skeletal maturity’ or your bones have stopped growing, the good news is that research has proven that scoliosis curves may only progress 1 degree a year  left untreated.

But if you do scoliosis exercises and stay active, you may be able to slow down that progression even more. Joy Smith, PT has advanced certifications in specialized 3-Dimensional scoliosis treatments for kids, teens and adults with scoliosis and post-surgical scoliosis.

Adults with small curves reported no pain, and curves less than 30 degrees tended NOT to get any worse as the years went by in adulthood. 

Adults over 50 years old with scoliosis are functioning at a high level and living and enjoying life!

Here is a great article from the Cleveland Clinic’s website:

5 Surprising Facts About Adult Scoliosis

5 Surprising Facts About Adult Scoliosis

“You have more control than you think
Adult X-ray showing scoliosis

You may have more power over adult scoliosis than you think. Doctors can offer you various treatment options, and there are things you can do to help yourself. Here are five things you might be surprised to hear about adult scoliosis.

Surprise #1: If you are diagnosed with scoliosis, you probably won’t need surgery.

When diagnosed with scoliosis, many people fear the only course of action will be major surgery.

“Only a small portion of people with scoliosis require major reconstructive surgery,” says spine surgeon Douglas Orr, MD. “Many people with scoliosis can manage their symptoms just fine without any type of surgery.”

In many cases, treatment for scoliosis is aimed at relieving symptoms rather than fixing the curve in the spine.

Adult scoliosis patients are initially treated as we would treat a patient with a straight spine who has back pain.

Treatment might include physical therapy to strengthen and stabilize the spine. It might also include anti-inflammatory medications or epidural injections to relieve pain.

People who can’t get pain relief from medications or physical therapy might need spinal decompression surgery.

“If you’re considering surgery for scoliosis, talk to your surgeon and find out how many spinal deformity procedures he or she performs each year,” Dr. Orr says. “You want to make sure your surgery is done by someone who specializes in these types of procedures.”

Surprise #2: The size or the location of your spine’s curve doesn’t predict whether or not you will have symptoms.

As you age, your spine begins to deteriorate. As it weakens, it may also begin to curve. Some people may never have any symptoms. Others might experience leg pain, numbness or tingling when walking and/or back pain.

“If you look at a person from the side, you can see that the spine has three natural curves; one in the lower back, one in the middle of the back, and one at the neck. We tend to lose the curve in the lower back as we age. That’s what creates problems and causes symptoms,” says Dr. Orr.

Surprise #3: Adults can have one of two types of scoliosis.

Doctors see two types of scoliosis in adults. One is the type of scoliosis doctors also see in teenagers. This is called idiopathic scoliosis. In some cases, the curve progresses and begins to cause symptoms in adulthood. In other cases, it is not diagnosed until adulthood.

The second common type of scoliosis seen in adults is degenerative scoliosis. In this type, the normal wear and tear on the lower back during the aging process leads to the development of a curve in the spine.

Surprise #4: Smoking causes back and neck problems.

In addition to seeking treatment for scoliosis, there are things you can do at home to reduce your symptoms. “The most important thing you can do is not smoke,” says Dr. Orr.

Smoking is the leading preventable cause of back and neck problems.

Surprise #5: You can still exercise with scoliosis.

Although many people who have scoliosis have been told to limit their activities, Dr. Orr disagrees. “The more physically active people with scoliosis are, the less likely they are to be symptomatic,” he says. If you are overweight, weight loss can also help to reduce scoliosis symptoms. It’s also important to monitor your bone density and seek treatment if you have osteoporosis.”

 

Make your appointment today at the Joy of Therapy to get started on an exercise routine that will help your spine stay strong!

https://joyoftherapypt.com/contact/

Take the Genetic Height Predictor Test!

Here are 3 quick methods you can do to find out if your height measured up to what it ‘should’ be or determine how tall your child will be.

Methods for Predicting Your Child’s Height

  1. Genetic Potential Height: Add the height of your mother and father together in inches and find the average height. Then add 2.5 inches to determine a boy’s height and subtract 2.5 inches to determine a girl’s height.kids-height-predictors-3879394-8130e2ac186348618518aa95b6bd47c8
  2. Two Times Two: Figure out how tall your child is or was when she/he was two years old, then multiply that height by two.
  3. Follow the curve: Measure your child’s current height, then plot it on the growth curve chart used by pediatricians. Follow along on their growth curve—staying in the same percentile and see where they end up as an adult.”- verywellfamily.com

None of these methods are absolute, as other growth factors influence how tall you will be, such as posture issues and scoliosis.

Some say that the ratio of your height is 1:1 to your arm length or wingspan.

Wingspan is your arm length measured from the middle finger of your right hand to the middle finger of your left hand when outstretched.

Measuring wingspan is just one of the many measurement tools that I take when you are a patient here, specifically for posture related issues, such as scoliosis, Schueremann’s, kyphosis or hyperlordosis.

There is also research linking arm length or wingspan to excelling in athletic sports, specifically those that involve balls, wrestling and the mixed martial arts.

Makes sense when you think about it since the longer your arm is, then you can reach your opponent or the ball before those with shorter limbs!

Study shows wingspan has a correlation to athletic prowess in the NBA, MMA

 

IMG_3426Curious?

Come in for a posture assessment and see how wingspan reflects your height!

Book your appointment

“No one can really predict to what heights you might soar. Even you will not know until you spread your wings.” – Gil Atkinson

Does it matter what type of brace to wear when you need one for scoliosis? 

The answer: YES!

If you or your child has been told to wear a full-time, solid brace due to scoliosis, then it is wise to do your homework and read up on what types of braces are out there for you.

*I do not sell, make or distribute any braces, and I do not get any payment or bonuses for promoting one type over another.*

The ideal scoliosis brace should allow your body to ‘breathe’ by having openings cut out in the brace where your ribs need to expand. Scoliosis is a 3-dimesional curvature so simply tightening a brace with straps is not the answer, as that will only SQUEEZE you in 2-dimensionally and not fully correct the curvature.

Schroth therapy can complement any scoliosis brace but not every brace can complement Schroth therapy.

Braces have evolved over the years and here is a snapshot of their history:

1) Milwaukee Brace: original scoliosis brace invented in 1946

Cervico-Thoraco-Lumbo-Sacral Orthosis (CTLSO)

  • Pros: good for high scoliosis curves in cervical and thoracic spine
  • Cons: metal, not 3-dimesional and old-fashioned

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2) Providence or Charleston Nighttime Brace: developed in the 1990’s

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3) Boston Brace: Thoraco-Lumbo-Sacral-Orthosis (TLSO); developed in 1972

  • Pros: Most common choice by doctors due to familiarity and gets good results. Extensive research
  • Cons: Heavy. Straps fasten in the back making it hard to take on and off by yourself. It doesn’t correct the curve in a 3 dimensional pattern and often semi- custom or pre-fabricated. Even when these braces are individually designed, they are little more than modified “barrel” braces. Can give too much abdominal pressure. Made by traditional casting .
  • https://spinaltech.com/scoliosis-braces/full-time-scoliosis-orthosis
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4) WCR Brace (Wood-Cheneau-Rigo) : modern brace developed by Dr. Rigo, Grant Wood and Chêneau to de-rotate the spine and used in conjunction with the BSPTS/Schroth Method

  • Pros: Custom made and computer-generated to fit  exactly to your curve type. Thin and allows for expansion in the rib cage where needed and lightweight ; comes in lots of patterns. It is an international brace as it is made in the US AND in Spain.
  • Cons: Big and long  as the brace comes up and under the armpit . Can be costly.

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Still not convinced? Check out these x-ray results:

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(Photo from Align Clinic website)

Here is their website if you would like more information, case studies, results or questions answered. The Align Clinic. They are located in Green Bay, WI, San Mateo, CA, Houston, TX and I host a clinic as needed here in Tallahassee.

Regardless of which brace you choose, none of them will work if you don’t wear them! So please wear your brace 18-20 hours a day as recommended to get the best results. It’s very similar to wearing orthodontic braces in your mouth or a retainer: if you don’t wear it – it won’t work!

See you at the next bracing clinic!

Our next Scoliosis Bracing clinic will be

January 2020

WCR Evaluation and Fitting clinic

Suite 114, 1809 Miccosukee Commons Dr, Tallahassee, FL 32308, USA

Presented by Walter Ramos, LO of Align Clinic

Hosted by Joy Smith, Schroth PT at Joy of Therapy Physical Therapy Clinic

Phone: 920-940-5277

This special Cheneau Rigo Brace evaluation is a complimentary opportunity for all patients and families who may have questions or concerns regarding the fit, function, or design of their brace. This clinic is also open to BSPTS, Schroth PTs, MDs, and any new patients that may want to learn more about the Cheneau Rigo brace.

To schedule your complimentary evaluation, please call Lynn at 920-940-5277.

We urge you to take advantage of this unique opportunity and we look forward to seeing you soon! Appointments are limited and filling up fast; therefore it will be booked as “first come, first served.”

The clock is ticking… Time to use your FSA before 2019 ends!

money pink coins pig
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Do you have an FSA , or Flexible Spending Account through your employer?

Can you believe that there are less than 7 weeks left in 2019?

If you have money left in your FSA, then be sure to use it before you lose it!

 It applies to physical therapy services and is accepted at the Joy of Therapy for all therapy services.

So if you have been putting off getting in for an appointment, or hoping (like most of us do) that the pain will go away, but it hasn’t- then come in soon!

For State of Florida employees, it is called a ‘Benny’ Card and works just like a credit card on medical expenses. December 31 is the last day to incur claims for 2019. 

Below is an excerpt from http://www.healthcare.gov that will help to answer some of your questions. All FSA plans are different, so check what your limits of spending are for this plan year.

“A Flexible Spending Account (also known as a flexible spending arrangement) is a special account you put money into that you use to pay for certain out-of-pocket health care costs.

You don’t pay taxes on this money. This means you’ll save an amount equal to the taxes you would have paid on the money you set aside.

Employers may make contributions to your FSA, but aren’t required to.

Learn about Flexible Spending Accounts

You use your FSA by submitting a claim to the FSA (through your employer) with proof of the medical expense and a statement that it has not been covered by your plan. You will then receive reimbursement for your costs. Ask your employer about how to use your specific FSA.

Read more about how FSAs work in this IRS publication (PDF).

A few fast facts about FSAs

  • FSAs are limited to $2,650 per year per employer. If you’re married, your spouse can put up to $2,650 in an FSA with their employer too.
  • You can use funds in your FSA to pay for certain medical and dental expenses for you, your spouse if you’re married, and your dependents.
    • You can spend FSA funds to pay deductibles and copayments, but not for insurance premiums.
    • You can spend FSA funds on prescription medications, as well as over-the-counter medicines with a doctor’s prescription. Reimbursements for insulin are allowed without a prescription.
    • FSAs may also be used to cover costs of medical equipment like crutches, supplies like bandages, and diagnostic devices like blood sugar test kits.
    • See a list of generally permitted medical and dental expenses.

FSA limits, grace periods, and carry-overs

You generally must use the money in an FSA within the plan year. But your employer may offer one of 2 options:

  • It can provide a “grace period” of up to 2 ½ extra months to use the money in your FSA.
  • It can allow you to carry over up to $500 per year to use in the following year.

Your employer can offer either one of these options but not both. It’s not required to offer either one.

At the end of the year or grace period, you lose any money left over in your FSA. So it’s important to plan carefully and not put more money in your FSA than you think you’ll spend within a year on things like copayments, coinsurance, drugs, and other allowed health care costs.”

“You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for therapy received as medical treatment”- http://www.healthcare.gov

Call, email or send a message on one of our social media sites to schedule your appointment before your FSA benefits expire on December 31- see you soon!

Contact us today!