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Scoliosis Awareness Month

 

Happy Scoliosis Awareness Month
June is National Scoliosis Awareness Month

Be Strong and Limitless

It’s that time of year when scoliosis gets the spotlight!

I want to take time to recognize the strength, knowledge and brilliance of what my patients have gained from scoliosis specific physical therapy.

Currently, I have patients ages 8-80 with scoliosis here at this clinic. It’s not a limiting diagnosis. I encourage my patients to continue their sport and activity and even try a different one once they have a firm understanding of their specific curve. Knowing the posture cues and incorporating Schroth breathing techniques are the keys to keeping your spine strong and pain free.

Many of my patients excel in volleyball, basketball, strength training, music, yoga,Pilates, running , swimming, gymnastics and karate. There are Olympians, musicians, actors, writers, and a multitude of professionals who have scoliosis and rise above and beyond their diagnosis.

So how is this different from traditional physical therapy?

Scoliosis-specific PT is a unique 3D treatment approach that helps to elongate, de-rotate and strengthen the scoliotic spine.

It goes beyond classic core exercises, as it is not a ‘one size fits all’ routine.

Which is why all of my patients get CUSTOMIZED exercises for their specific curve type that you can’t find while searching  the internet.

Here are the benefits of scoliosis specific physical therapy:

  • Improved understanding of scoliosis prevention and curve progression
  • Improved posture
  • Reduced pain
  • Increased strength and flexibility
  • Improved body mechanics
  • Improved breathing
  • Improved endurance and tolerance to activities
  • Enhanced cosmetic appearance
  • Prevention (or delay) of surgery
  • Empowerment and enhanced psychological outlook
  • Improved bracing compliance/results
  • Connection to others with scoliosis

Education and early detection are key to making positive and lasting changes in the scoliotic spine.

If you want to learn more about scoliosis then check out  Scoliosis Research Societyand find support in numerous Facebook groups, or at  Higgy Bears , Curvy Girls

Share your story at info@joyoftherapypt.com and Happy Scoliosis Awareness Month!

 

Teenage Growth Spurts & Scoliosis Screenings

Images of measuring tape, exercise tools, girl sleeping and food
Tools for your growth spurt

How to detect the signs of a growth spurt

Spring has arrived!  The azaleas are blooming, pollen is in the air and growth is happening all around us.

If you have a child/teen between the ages of 10-19, then they too are in their ‘spring’ and going through a significant growth spurt.

Another word for this teenage spring of growth is … puberty. A time of life filled with both emotional and physical changes.

Studies have shown that puberty is starting younger but still lasting as long as it ever has…

  • Girls typically finish most growth by age 17
  • Boys typically finish most growth by age 19

One of the changes teens look forward to is growing taller! Kids can grow anywhere from 2-4 inches a year during the growth spurt.

Which is why it is imperative to monitor your child/teen during their growth spurt and screen for scoliosis. The age of fastest growth in boys is age 13 and for girls age 12.

Here’s a few things you can look out for to try and catch scoliosis before it progresses :

  1. Does one shoulder or hip consistently look higher than the other?
  2. Have they complained about their back hurting?
  3. Do you see a hump in their back when they have a bathing suit on or shirt off?
  4. Does one leg of their pants look shorter?
  5. Do you or your spouse have scoliosis?

image of how to check for scoliosis

Any one of these is not a sign of scoliosis, but coupled together, they do warrant a scoliosis screen by your pediatrician and physical therapist . The adolescent spine is flexible, pliable and moldable. Which means that, if caught early, a scoliotic spine can be changed. Once growth is complete by age 19 for most, the bones have ‘set’ and changes are absolutely possible, but will require more effort.

Scoliosis screenings are typically done in the 6th or 7th grades during the school day and also at annual pediatrician check-ups.

The Joy of Therapy volunteers at local schools doing scoliosis screenings. If you or your school would like complimentary screenings in the Tallahassee or southern Georgia region, please reach out to schedule a scoliosis screening.

It’s key to get the most out of the growth spurt years

4 tips to make the most of the teenage growth spurt:

  1. Monthly Height checks: Its time to get out your pencil and find a place in their room to measure  height. Consistent 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 an evaluation and/or treatment session.
  2. Calcium and vitamin DThese nutrients are vital to bone growth ! They can be found in foods such as dark green leafy vegetables, white beans, fish, foods fortified in vitamin D (cereals, OJ, and some dairy products), cheese . These ” 2 critical nutrients for bones:  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.
  3. Sleep– 9-11 hours per night for kids ages 6-13 and 8-10 hours per night for teens ages 14-19. Sleep is ESSENTIAL for tissue growth and repair.
  4. Daily exercise: Bones love weight bearing so go take a walk, run or skip in the park to help your bones grow strong and healthy

Get your FREE ‘Grow with Joy of Therapy’ ruler to monitor your child’s growth :Joy of Therapy Growth Handout

Schedule a complimentary Scoliosis Screening 

 

 

Why You Should See Your Physical Therapist to Reach Your Fitness Goals

Realigning & restoring your body to its fullest potential

An excerpt from The Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association:

“Physical therapists aren’t just for people that are injured or have had surgery.

Physical therapists can also help healthy people improve their fitness and seeing a PT for this reason has many benefits.

When you see a physical therapist to improve your fitness, you’ll get an assessment of your strength, range of motion, posture and movement patterns. This allows your physical therapist to design a program just for you, gives them a baseline to compare things to in the future should you start having pain or suffer an injury and shows your PT any issues that increase your risk for injury. Your PT can then design a program to not only help you reach your fitness goals but to reduce your risk of injury as well.

Sure, other professionals could help with your fitness routine, but the fitness industry is not well regulated. Some certifications just require an online course and paying a fee. There are no licenses or other requirements to use many titles. Becoming a physical therapist requires at least a bachelor’s degree and most PTs practicing today have a doctorate. Every PT has passed a national board exam and maintains a state license. That guarantees you that every physical therapist is a verified expert in human movement, so you know a PT will give you high quality advice.

A physical therapist doesn’t have a vested interest as to what type of fitness regimen you choose. They are only interested in helping you reach your goals.

By letting a physical therapist coordinate your fitness routine, you’ll get a customized program that can also reduce your risk for injury. Your PT will get a baseline assessment of your strength, range of motion and movement patterns when you’re healthy that could help you in the future. And you’ll know that the advice you receive is unbiased and coming from an expert.”

Come in for a physical therapy session to help get you on the exercise routine that is right for just you. Schedule your appointment today 

 

How to get a better night’s sleep

 child and cat sleeping

4 Tips to help you get your zzz’s

Ah… sleep, glorious sleep!

We spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping, and it should be something we look forward to and get the most out of each night. Anyone who knows me well, knows that I love sleep! In fact, I still am quite proud of the award I won in kindergarten for being the ‘Best Napper.”  I once fell asleep as a teenager in the grass next to a ride at Cedar Point amusement park and later as a college student on a public bus system in a big city. Probably not the safest choices now that I am looking back on those moments, but I was genuinely tired.

So how much sleep do you really need?

The ideal amount of time that you need to sleep depends on what stage of life you are in. When your body is growing, such as when you were a baby, child, and then an adolescent, you clearly needed more sleep in order to grow your body. Also pregnancy demands more sleep due to the fact that another human being is now growing within. In adulthood, sleep needs change once again due to jobs and family and that number typically is 7-9 hours. If you want to dive deeper into this, then read the article Sleep Foundation sleep needs.

The key is to find what works for you to feel refreshed and ready to go for a new day.

But sometimes sleep can evade me, and probably you too, from time to time.

When sleep is disturbed or interrupted by pain, waking frequently due to too much on your mind or your partner/ child awakens you- it can be frustrating and ultimately detrimental to the body and are addressed further here: Consequences of sleep deprivation

I’m often asked about what products I can recommend for a better night’s sleep. and here are my top 4:

  1. Wear a Sleep mask : My top pick is the  Manta sleep mask.This helps eliminate light which can disturb a deeper sleep. I like this mask because it’s comfortable and has options such as ‘cool’ and ‘steam’ eye cups, silk and a weighted version to help you get your zzzz’s!
  2. Invest in a good pillow : Good Housekeeping just published their top picks: Best pillows for 2022 . Currently I sleep on an Awara pillow.
  3. Get a Mattress that supports your body as it is todayBest mattresses for 2022. Currently I sleep on an Awara mattress
  4. Try a weighted blanket: The pressure may help you sleep deeper. Costco sells the Pendleton weighted blanket

But if pain is stealing your sleep, then you may need to come in for a physical therapy appointment to address the cause of your pain. Schedule your appointment today 

I hope you can accomplish your #sleepgoals for 2022 and wish you a good night’s rest.

Joint sounds and what they mean to you

Photo by Shiny Diamond on Pexels.com

Ever wonder what the sounds your joints make mean? 

Have you tried to sneak up, creep quietly about for a surprise or try to not wake anyone up? But then, ‘CRACK! POP!’ and the gig is up! That unsuspecting person is now FULLY aware that you are near since your creaking joints have given your whereabouts away…sigh.

Here’s a quick resource for joint sounds that are good, ok and bad based on the the article  Joint Sounds and How Ligaments Respond to Orthobiologics

Pops and Cracks: Generally, if the sounds come and go then these are GOOD sounds that a joint makes. As stated in the article above, ” pops and cracks are caused by nitrogen bubbles in joint fluid. ”

Crepitus: This sounds like ‘Rice Krispies’ being crushed and is an OK sign if you are pain free. Crepitus does indicate some level of arthritis is forming and that the joint cartilage is roughened or missing. This sound is most common at the knee cap.

What can you do to decrease this crepitus sound? DECREASE INFLAMMATION and start the healing process.

You can simply stop doing the activity that is causing the crepitus which is more than likely weight bearing. But if you can’t do that since it may be a job requirement, then you need to slow down the inflammatory process by wearing a brace, taking NSAIDS or Ibuprofen, Turmeric or tart cherry juice concentrate.

Clunk: This sound is a DEEP clunk and indicates joint instability which is BAD.

One reason this clunk sound may be happening is that a ligament or tendon is snapping over a joint. Done repetitively, the ligament or tendon will begin to shred and lose its strength.

Another reason for the clunk sound is that a bone is rotating off its axis on another bone. Imagine a tower of blocks and one of the blocks is askew or not lined up with the rest of the blocks. This can happen in the adult spine and is known as listhesis. Listhesis is a hyper mobile vertebrae in the spine most commonly seen in aged adult spines with scoliosis or spondylolisthesis.

What can you do to decrease or stop the clunk sound? STABILIZE the joint. Sometimes a brace can help or strength exercises. But if these don’t work, then it’s time to see your physical therapist and figure out a plan.

So there’s my quick guide to joint sounds: POP, CRACK, CREPITUS and CLUNK and what they may mean to you and your health.

Reach out via email, phone or schedule an appointment if you have any questions:

Contact Joy of Therapy with your questions

 

 

 

 

How Flexible do you Need to Be?

Photo by Miriam Alonso on Pexels.com

Flexible enough that you are pain free and functional.

That’s really 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.”- Visit blog on AbsoluteCollagen.com 

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. Visit Healthline.com to learn more.

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

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.” Several criterion must be met to be diagnosed with EDS as it is a complex diagnosis. You can discuss this further with your doctor and read more at Science Direct .

The Beighton Scale is one of the  clinical tools used to assess widespread hypermobility and multiple factors are assessed.

  • One point if, while standing and bending forward, the individual can place their palms on the ground with the legs straight
  • One point for each elbow that extends more than 10degrees
  • One point for each knee that extends more than 10 degrees
  • One point for each thumb that, with the wrist flexed and arm straight, can be manipulated to touch the forearm.
  •  One point for each fifth finger that extends beyond 90 degrees
You have generalized joint hypermobility if you scored:  6 or more for children and adolescents 5 or more for men and women up to age 50 4 or more for men and women over the age of 50 Download this PDF to get more information if you think you have joint hyper mobility 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!

Here’s another quick quiz that evaluates certain areas of your body for flexibility:

Modified from “These Tests Will Measure Your Flexibility from Head to Toe” by Samantha LeFave 1/14/2020

  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. Got more questions or concerns about your flexibility? Contact Joy of Therapy  and get to work on either stretching or stabilizing your body today!

A Quick Formula for Good Posture

Stand Up. Stand Out. Stand Tall.

 

I often get asked, “my kid/parent/spouse’s posture seems to be worsening. What can be done to help?”

First, it’s up to that person to want to make the change.

Second, you can model it yourself with a simple formula that can be done without anyone being the wiser for it!

Drooping or rounded shoulders, a forward leaning head, or rounded upper back is of concern due to the awesome power of gravity and life stressors. But that can all be countered with daily posture corrections in a few easy steps.

So what does ‘good posture’ even mean?!

I prefer to say ‘strong posture’, as that is what it takes to maintain a solid upright position for a long period of time such as when driving, watching TV, working on a computer or eating. The strength must come from your core and thankfully that doesn’t require loads of sit-ups or burpees!

A strong posture can be achieved through the power of your breath and that is something all of us can do easily with just a few key points.

Here’s my formula for a strong posture:

  1. Create a base of support by pushing down through your feet if you are standing or through your seat/buttocks if you are sitting
  2. Add  a line of pull from the top of your head to the ceiling/ sky to create a lengthening or elongation of your spine 
  3. Relax your shoulders and rib cage down and broaden through your shoulders
  4. Now it’s time to add the strength by breathing .  You want to think of expanding your chest by breathing forward and out.

Once you get the hang of this, it will become quick and effortless and may even help you gain that extra bit of height that you thought you lost !

Check out the video below with the arrows to help visual these tips.

If you’ve been diagnosed with Schuermann’s or Scoliosis, then a good place to start is to work with a physical therapist who is trained in the Schroth Method. A thorough evaluation is key to determine exactly what will be best to achieve that strong and effortless posture.#tallahasseephysicaltherapy #joyoftherapypt #scoliosis #schrothmethod #posture #scoliosistrength #scoliosispt #spine #Schroththerapy #postureexercises

Inquire here about how to get a strong posture

 

 

Kneecap Pain or “Runner’s Knee” Tips

Tips for Kneecap Pain

legs kicking freely in the air

Plus a free download and video on how to tape for knee pain

Do your knees hurt when you run, walk up or down steps, or sit too long in one position? Are you looking for ways to help yourself get rid of this pain conservatively?

Then here’s your free download and a video about how to tape your knee that will help get your knees back!

Always consult your physical therapist if there is no change in pain or your symptoms are worsening ,as you probably need hands-on care or a referral to your physician.

Now get out there and move!

Watch the Youtube video on how to tape your knee.

Download the PDF flyer on the Do’s and Don’ts for Knee cap pain.

Knee cap pain or runner's knee Do's & Don'ts Flyer

If you have questions or concerns send and email to info@joyoftherapypt.com or fill out the new patient inquiry form here.

(Also if you are curious as to why one of the risk factors is ” quadriceps weakness for individuals in the military”, that is because there is a large quantity of research in military settings due to direct access for physical therapists. This risk is also true for everyone else who has quadricep or thigh weakness).

 

A Scoliosis Treatment Spotlight

Core Strengthening in Sitting

In posture and especially scoliosis treatments, you need to work on the endurance of postural muscles, and then hold positions for a looooooonger period of time.

Here’s P doing a seated core strengthening exercise using the wall bars to help create resistance.

By knowing her postural cues, P is able to do sustained, controlled breathing and then can add resistance through her arms to build up core strength and stability.

This is just one of many positions that we do to train and strengthen the postural muscles along the spine.

The key is to then do some of these exercises EVERY DAY to make real, lasting changes in the spine!

Contact the clinic today if you or someone you know could benefit from learning how to strengthen their spine.

Submit your online inquiry here..

Patient doing core strengthening exercises in treatment exercise room.

 

How heavy is too heavy for a backpack ?

Backpack Check

Two adolescents carrying backpacks

As we skid into the final quarter of the school year, I would venture to guess that most of us aren’t checking our kid’s backpacks for fear of what actually may be in there! Most likely old food, crumpled up important notes, progress reports left unsigned, acorns, leaves, rocks or even slime in some cases.

Regardless of what is inside their backpack, take a moment to lift it up and check to see how heavy it has become over the school year. Books, notebooks and folders tend to accumulate, and then when you add a lunch, water bottle or a musical instrument, it can get quite heavy!

So what is too heavy for a backpack?

Good news is that has already been figured out for you! The research is here and published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapy:

PREVENTION AND REHABILITATION| Read VOLUME 25, P174-182, JANUARY 01, 2021

A study in India observed 20 boys aged 9-14 years old and analyzed how they walked while increasing the load in their backpacks in respect to their weight.

What they found was this: as the load in the backpack increased, they noted marked movement changes “in the child’s ankle, knee and hip joints. These changes were evident when the backpack load increased beyond 15% of their body weight.”

“Carrying heavy backpacks may result in cumulative trauma later in life due to biomechanical adaptations during gait.”

Bottom Line:

The ideal weight to carry a backpack WITHOUT having it alter their posture was LESS THAN 15% OF THEIR BODY WEIGHT.

Here’s a table to help you figure this out:

WEIGHT OF PERSON

MAXIMUM WEIGHT OF BACKPACK

50 pounds 7.5 pounds or less
75 pounds 11.25 pounds or less
90 pounds 13.5 pounds or less
100 pounds 15 pounds or less
110 pounds 16 1/2 pounds or less
125 pounds 18.75 pounds or less

Get out the scale or just take a tug on the backpack and see if it falls into the range that fits for maintaining good posture.

And if you are brave enough, go ahead and take a peek inside …

man looking inside of a door

Call, email or schedule your complimentary 20 minute posture consultation today. Schedule online here. 

Can the way you breathe be affecting your health, both good and bad?

Breath Yourself to Better Health

James Nestor, author of ‘Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art’ and myself, both believe the answer is YES.

I recently read the book “Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art” , by James Nestor, and found it interesting how he delved deep into the long history of how we breathe and how it has changed our human skeletal structure as a society over the centuries.

I use the power of breath in ALL of my physical therapy sessions. and firmly believe that where, when and how you breathe is key to improving your posture and decreasing pain.

When you take a breath in, you create pressure, and pressure = strength. By improving how we breathe, we can, in fact, both decrease pain and strengthen our core without doing loads of traditional sit ups and painful burpees!

Plus, in Chapter 4, Nestor explores briefly how Katarina Schroth used breath to invent the innovative Schroth technique that I use in the clinic to help treat scoliosis.

” Schroth had been diagnosed with scoliosis, a sideways curvature of the spine. …At age 16, Schroth began training herself in something called ‘ orthopedic breathing’… She spent 5 years doing this. At the end, she’d effectively cured herself of ‘incurable’ scoliosis; she’d breathed her spine straight again.”- James Nestor, Breath

**Note: I advise you to read this book through a ‘thoughtful lens’, as the author trails off onto some tangents and inserts gratuitous expletives from time to time **

(the following is an excerpt from Amazon:)

Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Book of 2020 

Named a Best Book of 2020 by NPR

“A fascinating scientific, cultural, spiritual and evolutionary history of the way humans breathe—and how we’ve all been doing it wrong for a long, long time.” —Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Big Magic and Eat Pray Love

No matter what you eat, how much you exercise, how skinny or young or wise you are, none of it matters if you’re not breathing properly.

Book cover of Breath

New York Times Bestseller

“There is nothing more essential to our health and well-being than breathing: take air in, let it out, repeat twenty-five thousand times a day. Yet, as a species, humans have lost the ability to breathe correctly, with grave consequences. 

Journalist James Nestor travels the world to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. The answers aren’t found in pulmonology labs, as we might expect, but in the muddy digs of ancient burial sites, secret Soviet facilities, New Jersey choir schools, and the smoggy streets of São Paulo. Nestor tracks down men and women exploring the hidden science behind ancient breathing practices like Pranayama, Sudarshan Kriya, and Tummo and teams up with pulmonary tinkerers to scientifically test long-held beliefs about how we breathe.

Modern research is showing us that making even slight adjustments to the way we inhale and exhale can jump-start athletic performance; rejuvenate internal organs; halt snoring, asthma, and autoimmune disease; and even straighten scoliotic spines. None of this should be possible, and yet it is. 

Drawing on thousands of years of medical texts and recent cutting-edge studies in pulmonology, psychology, biochemistry, and human physiology, Breath turns the conventional wisdom of what we thought we knew about our most basic biological function on its head. You will never breathe the same again.” – excerpt from Amazon

A special shout out and thank you to both my husband, Craig, and my friend, Collette C. for recommending this book to me.

My Top 7 Favorite Physical Therapy Products

It’s gift giving time! So I’m sharing some of my “favorite things” or therapy tools that you can use in the comfort of your own home to help you feel better and stronger.

Gift with tag that reads Just for YouPhoto by Pixabay on Pexels.com

People often ask if I recommend a certain brand/product/tool and the answer is, YES!

Over the years, I have used countless therapy tools and these 7 are my current favs.

I’ve attached links where you can buy these items online for your convenience to help you ring in a Healthy New Year!

Seven DIY PHYSICAL Therapy Tools

  1. Occipital Float: This is now my ‘go-to’ tool for DIY neck pain relief!
    It’s one that I’ve recently discovered to be extremely helpful for self upper neck mobilizations. . “Lightweight, portable device designed to provide smooth cervical range-of-motion exercises. Specially designed air bladder allows unrestricted range of the occiput; it accommodates all head sizes and can be adjusted for comfort by inflating or deflating. Ideal for post-cervical whiplash, myofascial, and osseous cervical problems. Latex-free.” – OPTP

    Visit Amazon for Occipital Float by OPTP.

  2. Tommie Copper Compression Sleeves: If you need support for your back, ankle, knee or shoulder, the Tommie Copper brand of products is my top choice for joint support.The fabric, choice in products and price points are unbeatable, plus the healing properties of Copper give that extra benefit.
    “When you’re dealing with pain, “good” just doesn’t cut it. We go above and beyond to ensure everything we do completely wows you. We want you to feel great – all day, at work, sport, rest and play.”- Tommie Copper

    Tommie Copper Lumbar can be purchased at Amazon.

  3. Serious Steel Bands: The green and gray bands are perfect for doing the semi-hang exercises to assist with posture elongation, plus they work well for assisted pull-ups.

    Serious Steel Bands found on Amazon.

  4. Biofreeze Spray: This is ideal for a painful ankle sprain, knee, shoulder or back injury that’s hard to reach. You don’t have to touch it , thus avoiding that accidental rubbing of your eye…ouch!

    “Biofreeze 3 oz. 360° aerosal spray features the best spray technology available in the market with continuous flow even when upside down, making it easy to apply .Unique cooling menthol formula is backed by science and research-proven to deliver fast acting, long lasting and deep penetrating pain relief for sore muscles, backaches, sore joints, and arthritis.”- Biofreeze

    Bottle of Biofreeze Pain Relief Spray
    Biofreeze Spray can be purchased here at Target.

  5. The Breather: A fantastic tool to help enhance your breathing, which if you are my patient, then you know that: Breathing = Pressure= Strength.

    “THE ONLY RMT DEVICE FEATURING INDEPENDENT INSPIRATORY/EXPIRATORY DIAL CONTROL | The Breather functions as both an inspiratory muscle trainer and expiratory muscle trainer with adjustable dials for independent resistance settings for inhalation and exhalation, making it the ULTIMATE device for respiratory care. Think of it as a lung trainer, supporting respiratory health and efficiency by promoting diaphragmatic (belly) breathing.

    A GYM FOR YOUR LUNGS | The Breather Fit is an inspiratory muscle trainer that helps train your lungs to improve oxygen flow to your body. Oxygen training can help improve overall physical performance and give you an advantage over your competition.”- The Breather

    The Breather/ The Breather Fit found here on Amazon.

  6.  Magnesium Oil Spray: A quick and easy way to take the edge off of feeling fatigued, weak or sluggish.
    Simply spray on where you are feeling achy or onto the palms or soles of your feet for an all -over ‘pick-me-up”.

    A good portion of the soil that our food is grown in is depleted of magnesium which is necessary for energy production. Early signs of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. As magnesium deficiency worsens, numbness, tingling, muscle contractions and cramps, seizures, personality changes, abnormal heart rhythms, and coronary spasms can occur.

    Magnesium Oil Spray found here at Amazon.

  7. Cold Pack (neck contour): This size works for most injuries/aches/pains and is durable

    “Patented design of the Chattanooga ColPac gently delivers soothing cold therapy and stays pliable. Provides instant pain relief to treat fever, bruises, sprains, strains, and helps to manage swelling. Each cold therapy pack is latex-free and is filled with non-toxic silica gel, so it’s safe for all ages to use.

    Simply apply immediately after an injury to control the inflammation of soft tissue.

    Delivers up to 30 minutes of soothing relief.”- Chattanoga Colpac

    Colpac can be purchased using this link to Amazon.

So there you have it! My favorite therapy tools to help you feel better and stronger.

Get those fingers tapping and make your purchases today!

Note: I do not represent or receive compensation from any of these brands