What is frozen shoulder and why do so many people over 40 develop it?
Adhesive Capsulitis, otherwise known as “Frozen Shoulder”, is a condition where your shoulder joint becomes stiff and painful. There are typically three stages to Frozen Shoulder:
The bones, ligaments and tendons that make up your shoulder joint are encased in a capsule of connective tissue. Frozen shoulder occurs when this capsule thickens and tightens around the shoulder joint, restricting its movement. (Mayo Clinic) Doctors are not sure of the exact cause why this happens to people but it is more likely to happen to people who have had to immobilize their shoulder for a long period of time, like after a surgery or injury.
Keep moving! There are many exercises and stretches you can do to keep your shoulder mobile:
1. Pendulum stretch
2. Finger walk
3. Cross-body reach
Call us at Hudsonville Physical Therapy if you are experiencing shoulder pain or stiffness! 616-662-0990
By: Becca Popma
As the dog days of summer are upon us, so are the high temps and humidity. Summer can be a lot of fun but it can also be dangerous. Every year, according to the CDC, over 600 people die from extreme heat. Thousands more are treated for heat related conditions. The very young and very old are at the most risk. When people are not careful and are exposed to too much heat they can suffer from heat exhaustion. This is a very serious condition and needs to be treated immediately. If people don’t take it very seriously heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke very rapidly and this can be deadly.
Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, rapid pulse, dizziness, fatigue, cool moist skin, nausea.
If it progresses to Heat Stroke the signs and symptoms include HA, dizziness, lack of sweating, red hot skin, nausea and vomiting, increased heart rate and rapid shallow breathing.
The key is when people stop sweating Heat Exhaustion becomes Heat Stroke. When this happens people need to go directly to ER.
The good news is if we are smart we can enjoy the summer and stay healthy. Here are a few steps to follow to keep from overheating:
1. Stay hydrated - drink water before being out in the heat and then continue to drink water while outside in the heat and sun. It's easier to stay hydrated than to catch up once you're dehydrated!
2. Take frequent breaks
3. If you aren’t feeling well get out of the heat or at least rest in the shade
4. Find and alternate activity, out of the heat
5. Remember the very young and elderly are at the most risk
If you follow these steps, the heat of summer can be fun and safe. Keep an eye out for other around you that may appear to be suffering from the heat!
By: Brian Colvin, PT
We see many people who are frustrated with the speed in which they are progressing. They feel that they should be ready to return to their usual sports or activities right away without having to go through the healing and rehabilitation process.
It is important to remember that your body is trying to heal itself, but this is a process. Soft tissue healing, such as a moderate to severe sprain or strain, can take up to six weeks to recover. Bone fractures often take weeks to heal and after surgery many people have a combination of bone and soft tissue issues that have been surgically addressed and need to heal.
Here are some tips to help you through this process from verywellfit.com:
1. Learn about your injury. The more you know about the injury and healing process the more comfortable you will be when you experience pain, stiffness, or even frustration about how things are progressing. You may be ahead, behind or right on track of the typical healing process. By knowing what to expect you can reduce your anxiety about what lies ahead.
2. Accept responsibility for your rehabilitation. It is important to accept responsibility for your rehab program, because only you can control how well you will do with your rehab. While the physical therapist is important, without actively participating in your rehab, you are doomed for failure.
3. Maintain a positive attitude. Try to focus on what improvements you are making rather than your deficits or where you aren't progressing as quickly. You need to be realistic about your condition, but you also need to be optimistic about where you’re headed. Then, when you do see improvements, this will reinforce the behaviors you will need to continue.
4. Have good support. Try to surround yourself with friends, family members, physicians and therapists who will support and encourage you in your recovery. Besides the sense of support, these individuals will hold you accountable for your program.
5. Set appropriate goals. Discuss with your therapist a timeline and set goals along that timeline. This helps you objectively measure where you are at in your program. Ask your physician and physical therapist their expectations for your recovery as well.
6. Maintain your fitness level while injured. Work with your therapist to help establish a fitness routine that will not hinder your recovery from your current condition. Often times someone with a leg injury can aggressively work their upper body and core without having a negative impact on the recovery time for their leg. The same holds true for a hand injury in that you can work your legs more aggressively without hindering your recovery time. A higher level of fitness often helps improve your tolerance to perform various exercises as well as functional activities.
By: Steve Bartz, PT
Your core is the central link between the rest of your body, and core strength is essential to good posture and a healthy, strong body! Your core is so much more than just your “abs” (six-pack that most people think of when they hear core). Think of your core as layers of muscles that wrap around your midsection, including your transverse abdominis (deep layer around spine), your obliques (sides of your core), your rectus abdominis (six-pack), as well as muscles on your back like your multifidus (deep and extends all the way up your spine), your erector spinae (along your back on each side of your spine), and your quadratus lumborum (deep muscle in your back connecting your spine to your pelvis).
Core strength is required for almost all movements, because when you move your upper or lower body, your core stabilizes you. When you’re walking, your core stabilizes your moving leg and the rest of your body, keeping you balanced. Strong cores stabilize your spine and back to help prevent back injuries when you’re lifting or moving things, and allows your posture stay upright and help avoid strain on your lower back or neck.
So what now? Crunches? Although crunches are good, there are lots of more effective core exercises to do (you can still do your crunches along with them!) Prioritize exercises that will target lots of core muscles. Here’s a few exercises to try:
1. Planks – Keep your body in a straight line and tighten your abs, keeping your back high (no sagging hips or sagging back between shoulder blades!), and keep your elbows from locking for maximum benefit! This will work all of the core muscles mentioned as well as your arms and legs. Start with a short amount of time (like 20 second holds, 3 times), and then challenge yourself with longer hold times or by lifting up one limb during your plank to make your core work harder to stabilize you.
2. Bird-dogs (also known as quadrupeds) – Start on your hands and knees, and slowly raise your right arm and left leg, keeping your abs tight. Return to starting position, then alternate to left arm and right leg. Do 2-3 sets of 10. If this is too challenging, start with just raising one arm or one leg at a time. These are great for your core and your back!
3. Dead-Bugs – Dead bugs are similar to bird dogs but lying on your back. Start with all 4 limbs in the air, then (while keeping your back pressed against the floor), lower one arm and one leg. Try doing 10 reps lowering your right arm and leg, then left. Then try 10 more of opposite arm and leg.
4. Wood-chops – If you have access to an exercise band or cable machine, wood-chops are a great exercise to tone your core because of the twisting motion. Tie your band to something high, like the top of a door (or set your cable machine high). Stand a few feet away from the door turned 90 degrees (perpendicular to door). Hold the band with both hands, and then rotate from high right (close to door) to low left (away from door), turning through your whole body, especially your core. Do 2-3 sets up 10 wood-chops on both sides. *If you don't have access to a cable machine, use a medicine ball, weight, or object between 5 and 20 lb and perform this same motion!
5. Swimmers– Lie face-down on the floor, with your arms overhead and legs extended. Lift all 4 limbs up a few inches of the ground and, alternating sides (as if swimming), tap your hands and legs down to the ground. Start with 15-20 seconds and work your way up in time!
Crunches and other exercises targeted for the abs are also good, but make sure you’re doing some of these total-core exercises along with them though! Also incorporate upper body and lower body exercise into your routine, for a strong healthy body! If you have any questions about core exercises, or if you deal with pain that prevents you from exercising, call or email us! 616-662-0990 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
By: Lisa Bartz, C-EP
Steve Bartz, PT