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Sleeping on your side may be the best position for a healthy brain

close up photography of woman sleeping
Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

Recent research has found that “the brains of mice who slept on their side removed waste the most efficiently. Brain waste can often contain beta-amyloid proteins, which make up the plaque commonly found in Alzheimer’s patients. By clearing away these proteins , researchers believe that the brain protects itself from developing certain neurological diseases.”

Sleeping on your side may be the best position for your brain

 

Melissa’s story: “I won’t ‘wait and see’ anymore”

DSC_0347Melissa’s story probably began like most of yours. She was a healthy child who stayed active in extracurricular activities and enjoyed just being a kid. Then, during adolescence in middle school, she was given a surprising diagnosis: she had scoliosis. How she dealt with it as she grew into adulthood and finally found answers, strength and relief through the use of Schroth physical therapy is truly inspiring.(Spoiler alert: she’s my sister)

I am a 42 year old, health-conscious woman married to a loving husband with two amazing daughters, whom I enjoy homeschooling. I have a good life and try to live every moment to its fullest. But what most people may be surprised to hear is that for 20 years I have lived with daily, achy and often sharp pain in my back due to scoliosis that was diagnosed when I was a teenager. I exercise daily, which can include Pilates, walking and strength training. Thankfully, I have been able to avoid taking prescription pain pills. But some days are really hard to get through due to pain.

I have silently struggled with my pain and diagnosis as best I could, and it hit me hard a couple of years ago, when my youngest daughter was also diagnosed with scoliosis. It was then that I had had enough and wanted real solutions since I didn’t want her story to be like mine. 

When I  was diagnosed with scoliosis during a middle school health screening, I had no  pain or symptoms. No one in my family had scoliosis, so no one was looking for it. It was recommended to my parents that I see a chiropractor to help. He adjusted me, and my clearest memory of that experience was leaving there crying in tears due to the pain of the adjustment. It hurt so bad! (FYI: I now know that no one with scoliosis should be manipulated since the vertebral bodies of the spine grow irregular). I was told by my doctor to ‘wait and see’ how the curve would progress.

I went on to high school and college with no pain or limitations, and yet unbeknownst to me, my curve was only getting worse. By the age of 22, I was working in hotel management, and my job required me to be on my feet all day long. I loved that job, but oh the pain in my back had set in, and it hurt! So off I went with my parents for x-rays at Miami Children’s Hosptial and to see the best doctor at the time for scoliosis. He said that I now had an ‘S’  curve that was 40 degrees and surgery was not recommended, unless I wanted it for cosmetic reasons. Once again I was told to ‘wait and see’ and hope that my rib cage wouldn’t puncture a lung! I did try traditional physical therapy with minimal relief.

When I was in my 30’s, after I had given birth to my beautiful daughters, I went in again for x-rays since the pain was only getting worse. This time the curve had progressed to 48 degrees and now borderline for surgery. Guess what?  I was told to ‘wait and see’.

So when my youngest daughter got the  diagnosis of scoliosis, I wasn’t going to ‘wait and see’ anymore. As a toddler, I intuitively knew that something wasn’t quite right with the way she walked. I took her to a pediatric orthopedic doctor, a podiatrist and countless visits to the pediatrician to try and figure out what was going on with her legs and feet. No one suspected scoliosis, not even me.

By the time she was 5, she was in special shoes with a lift and running was sometimes awkward. My sister, who is a physical therapist, looked at her and noticed that one hip was higher than the other and tried manual therapy which helped a little. She looked again months later ( since she doesn’t live near us) and noticed the same thing and a slight curve in her back. She recommended I go to an orthopedic doctor for evaluation. There she was diagnosed with mild scoliosis of 10 degrees, and you can imagine what words I heard next:  ‘wait and see.’

This time, I wasn’t going to tolerate that phrase and immediately called my sister for her professional opinion. This was a defining moment in our conversation: she told me there was help with the Schroth Method. It is a unique 3-dimensional treatment approach that helps to elongate, de-rotate and strengthen the scoliotic spine. It aims to halt or even reverse the progression of the spinal curve. What a relief to hear those new words!

By this time, my sister had researched the Schroth Method and was training to be a certified physical therapist with this specialty. I too researched this myself and discovered that it is an intense certification and to only go to those who have this training and understanding of the scoliotic spine . She was able to connect me with the Paley Institute where I met Dr. Feldman. For the first time in my life I was not told to wait and see!’ He agreed that the Schroth Method works and referred me to Lisa Ritze, PT, a certified Schroth-Barcelona physical therapist.  She and other trained PT’s in this method have been working with both myself and my daughter since October 2018. We are very compliant with keeping up with the exercises and therapy.

It’s so important to always go to therapy for tune-ups since scoliosis tricks you into thinking that your spine is straight when it is so not! Plus you need to continue through puberty since growth spurts bring on big changes in the spine.

Over these past several months, physical therapy with the Schroth Method has changed mine and my daughter’s lives dramatically. I now have better tools to manage my back pain, and I am so glad that my daughter’s spine won’t have the opportunity to get to where my spine did. My daughter performs her daily exercises at home now and she knows the tools to help her back when she has pain or needs lengthening. It has also given her new and improved strength that she uses on the swim team! She said to me the other day, this therapy makes me stronger, gives me space in between my ribs and makes my back feel so good!”

My x-rays last year showed an upper curve of 53 degrees and a lower curve of 51 degrees. I still do not want surgery and my new, well-informed doctor, is confident that I won’t need surgery either. I know that at my age I won’t be able to make big changes in the curve, but I can stop the progression and avoid early arthritis by doing the Schroth Method exercises .

I am so grateful for the conservative treatment of scoliosis through the Schroth Method! I would have given anything to know about this method back in the 1990’s, but I know now and will never look back. I am also thankful for the time, advice, dedication, passion, love and God-given talent that my sister has as a physical therapist.

Oh, and did I mention that her name is Joy Smith, PT ?! Yep, she’s the one you need to go and see right now if you have scoliosis! I wish she lived closer so I could come to her new clinic as often as I wanted to do this therapy with her.

I am here to tell you with full confidence that this method works and to not waste another day in pain!

More importantly, don’t let your child with scoliosis become a ‘wait and see’ adult in pain.

Run, don’t walk, to get your Schroth physical therapy evaluation today to see how it can make a difference in your life!

-Melissa

 

Do you have numbness or tingling in your hands?

Research has proven that the use of neurodynamic techniques in conservative treatment for mild to moderate forms of carpal tunnel syndrome has significant therapeutic benefits.

I can help you manage these symptoms and get real relief with some innovative physical therapy techniques. Read on…

ballpen blur close up computer
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

Clin Rehabil. 2018 Oct 11:269215518805213. doi: 10.1177/0269215518805213.

Is manual therapy based on neurodynamic techniques effective in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome? A randomized controlled trial.

Wolny T1Linek P1.

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of manual therapy based on neurodynamic techniques in conservative treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome.

DESIGN:

Randomized controlled trial.

SETTING:

Several medical outpatient clinics in the south of Poland.

PARTICIPANTS:

The study included 103 patients with mild and moderate carpal tunnel syndrome (mean age = 53.95, SD = 9.5) years, who were randomly assigned to a neurodynamic techniques group (experimental group, n = 58) or a group without treatment (control group, n = 45).

INTERVENTION:

Neurodynamic techniques were used in the experimental group. Treatment was conducted twice weekly (20 sessions). Control group did not receive treatment.

MAIN MEASURES:

Nerve conduction study, pain, symptom severity and functional status of Boston Carpal Tunnel Questionnaire, and strength of cylindrical and pincer grips were assessed at baseline and immediately after treatment (nerve conduction study one month after treatment).

RESULTS:

Baseline assessment revealed no group differences in any assessed parameters ( P > 0.05). There were significant differences between groups after treatment, including nerve conduction (e.g. sensory conduction velocity: experimental group: 38.3 m/s, SD = 11.1 vs control group: 25.9 m/s, SD = 7.72, P < 0.01). Significant changes also occurred in pain (experimental group: 1.38, SD = 1.01 vs control group: 5.46, SD = 1.05, P < 0.01), symptom severity (experimental group: 1.08, SD = 0.46 vs control group: 2.87, SD = 0.68, P < 0.01), and functional status (experimental group: 1.96, SD = 0.64 vs control group: 2.87, SD = 1.12, P < 0.01). There were no group differences in strength ( P > 0.05).

CONCLUSION:

The use of neurodynamic techniques in conservative treatment for mild to moderate forms of carpal tunnel syndrome has significant therapeutic benefits.

Meet the team

This first month of 2019 has truly been amazing, as I opened the Joy of Therapy clinic in Tallahassee !

It is really shaping up to be even more beautiful than I envisioned, and I owe a great deal to my Assistant/ Director/ Gatekeeper and more importantly, as my friend, Brandy Luce . I can’t wait for you to meet her as she will make you feel welcome and taken care of while you are here .

Brandy brings a wealth of expertise with her background as an administrative assistant and a COTA(certified occupational therapy assistant). She is empathetic to your pain , and knows just how to make you smile and leave feeling joyful! So contact us today to see what it’s like to experience top notch physical therapy and exemplary customer service #physicaltherapy#womeninbusiness

Five things everyone should know about Manual Therapy

You may be asking yourself,  well what does this have to do with me? If you have had traditional physical therapy elsewhere,  I truly do hope that you had a positive outcome.

But if it was just ‘ok’ then maybe it was because the therapist put you on exercise machines, watched you do exercises or put a hot or cold pack on you while simultaneously treating other patients.

And never once put their hands on your ache and pain.

adult alternative medicine care comfort

 

Your therapist should be TOUCHING the part of your body that hurts! Not simply looking at it and prescribing exercises.

  1. Manual Therapy Techniques are skilled hand movements of joints and soft tissue that are intended to increase range of motion, induce relaxation, mobilize or manipulate soft tissue and joints, decrease pain and reduce soft tissue swelling, inflammation, or restriction.
  2. Manual Therapy Techniques may include manual traction, massage, mobilization/manipulation, and passive range of motion.
  3. Manual Therapy should not leave a bruise or be painful after 24 hours of treatment.
  4. Manual Therapy is one on one treatment with just you and the therapist. It is not a group activity and certainly not to be done while the therapist is treating another patient.
  5. Manual Therapy can reduce or eliminate nerve pain in your arm or leg

So if this speaks to you and you have physical pain that needs to be effectively addressed by a physical therapist, then contact the Joy of Therapy today to experience quality manual therapy that works just for you!

5 Things Everyone Should Know About Manual Therapy

You may be asking yourself,  well what does this have to do with me? If you have had traditional physical therapy elsewhere,  I truly do hope that you had a positive outcome.

But if it was just ‘ok’ then maybe it was because the therapist put you on exercise machines, watched you do exercises or put a hot or cold pack on you while simultaneously treating other patients.

And never once put their hands on your ache and pain.

adult alternative medicine care comfort

Your therapist should be TOUCHING the part of your body that hurts! Not simply looking at it and prescribing exercises.

  1. Manual Therapy Techniques are skilled hand movements of joints and soft tissue that are intended to increase range of motion, induce relaxation, mobilize or manipulate soft tissue and joints, decrease pain and reduce soft tissue swelling, inflammation, or restriction.
  2. Manual Therapy Techniques may include manual traction, massage, mobilization/manipulation, and passive range of motion.
  3. Manual Therapy should not leave a bruise or be painful after 24 hours of treatment.
  4. Manual Therapy is one on one treatment with just you and the therapist. It is not a group activity and certainly not to be done while the therapist is treating another patient.
  5. Manual Therapy can reduce or eliminate nerve pain in your arm or leg

So if this speaks to you and you have physical pain that needs to be effectively addressed by a physical therapist, then contact the Joy of Therapy today to experience quality manual therapy that works just for you!

Coming soon! Free Scoliosis Screening Clinic

Have you or your child been told you may have scoliosis? Have you been to a surgeon or specialist and told to ‘wait and see’ how your curve progresses in a year or so? Well there are real solutions to help you right now!

Come on out to our FREE scoliosis screening clinic next month to see how we can help your back improve and get you feeling stronger and straighter.

There are specific scoliosis exercises that truly can help to either improve, halt or reverse the progression of the curve in your spine.

Joy Smith, PT is the ONLY scoliosis specialist in the Florida Panhandle who is a Schroth-Barcelona C1 certified physical therapist. Check out our website to see all that we can offer for you ! http://www.joyoftherapypt.com

Next scoliosis screening clinic is slated for February so stay tuned for date and time!

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Feeling Sluggish?

Want to know one of the simplest and quickest ways to solve feeling sluggish …
Soak in Epsom salts.

Yep, your grandmother was right all along! A good portion of the soil that our food is grown in is depleted of magnesium which is necessary for energy production. So all you need to do is pour 2 cups of Epsom salts in a tub and soak your body or even just your feet in a foot bath up to your ankles for 20 minutes. Magnesium is best absorbed through the skin so that’s why bathing is better than a tablet (plus when you take it orally it can leave you with loose stools…) Or another alternative is Morton’s Epsom Salt Lotion which works fabulous too! Check out these symptoms: 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. Try it today to start feeling better:)

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