Like many of you, I've been closely watching weather reports in an attempt to determine what Hurricane Florence may have in store for us. I've seen many suggestions for hurricane preparedness with lists that include everything from batteries and water to generators and MREs!
One item that always seems to be lacking on those hurricane preparedness lists is a way to safely move in strong winds and rain.
Here are 5 tips for walking safely in the wind and rain.
Tip #1. Don't!
The safest place to be during high winds and/or heavy rain is indoors. Postpone outdoor activities if a wind advisory, high wind warning, and/or flood watch or warning has been issued. Always follow the recommendations of city and state officials. Again, ALWAYS follow the recommendations of city and state officials.
Tip #2. If you must go out, be aware of your surroundings!
Scope out the scene before leaving your vehicle or building. Make a plan for getting to your destination. As you walk, take cover next to a building or...
When I was young, I dreamed of one day hiking the Appalachian Trail (AT). My father's family were from a small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains. On most visits to the area, we would go for at least one hike (at my insistence), whether it be on the many acres of family property or the established trails in Pisgah National Forest, including some sections of the AT.
My great-grandfather lived about twelve miles south of where the AT crossed Interstate 26, near the NC/TN border. My grandfather helped to build part of the trail and structures during his time in the Civilian Conservation Corps. I suppose you could say that the AT has always held a special place in my heart, although a through-hike has never seemed like a realistic endeavor for me.
Little did I know around the same time I was trodding over hill and dale and scampering along the trails as a young girl of 9 or 10, another trail was just beginning. The Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST) is a long distance trail for hiking an...
Hi! This is Angie. Cedar Hill Physical Therapy's Practice Manager...and Paul's wife. I'd like to share a story that I think may resonate with some of you out there.
In my 20s, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome. It manifested in lethargy and severe joint and bone pain to the point I had to withdraw from university for a semester and spent most of my time in bed or a warm bath. It eventually went into remission, although I continued to have occasional flare-ups from time to time.
Once in remission, my lifestyle changed. I became more active. I ate more fresh fruits and vegetables. I enjoyed hiking, mountain biking, and kayaking. I was having fun and enjoying life.
This past November, a couple weeks before Thanksgiving, I noticed that old, familiar pain in my arms and legs when I would lie down to sleep each night. It got to the point I began taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications to try and dull the pain. As I would...
Consider this: Back pain is a symptom, not a diagnosis.
A symptom is defined by Miriam-Webster as the “subjective evidence of disease or physical disturbance; broadly: something that indicates the presence of bodily disorder.”
A diagnosis is defined by M-W as “the art or act of identifying a disease from its signs and symptoms.”
The difference between a sign and a symptom is that symptoms are things we feel, and signs are things that can be seen or measured. For example, if you went to see a doctor because you were having chest pain (a symptom), your blood pressure would be measured (a sign). When taken into account with other signs and symptoms, a diagnosis is reached.
There are several reasons someone will experience chest pain. They range from being relatively harmless to potentially deadly. Chest pain can be a symptom of heartburn, a panic attack, a heart attack, as well as several other conditions. A health care provider first needs to know why a person is experiencing chest pai...
In my previous post, I talked about how observing how a person walks can give insight to their balance. I followed that with suggestions for normalizing how someone walks as one way to improve on their balance.
In this post, I will talk about how observing how someone gets in and out of a chair can also tell us about their balance. I will follow that with a plan to improve someone’s balance by improving their ability to transition from sitting to standing, and vice versa.
A person with good balance can get up from sitting without using their hands. They can rise on their first attempt. They are steady on their feet when they first get up. Someone with poor balance will use their arms to help lift themselves up, may fall back into their seat before standing up successfully, and may be unsteady once they are up. (That unsteadiness is typically evidenced by a need to move their feet to find a steady position, typically with the feet wide apart.)
One common question patients ask me pertains to the use of heat or ice. Each has different effects, and their use can depend on which type of effect you are looking to achieve.
Heat is an analgesic, meaning that it will block the perception of pain. A few years ago, products providing low level heating that can be worn for several hours during the day became popular. These products can be used while being active. They have been shown, in clinical studies, to provide some good benefit.
Ice is an anesthetic and an anti-inflammatory. While heat blocks the perception of pain, ice blocks all sensations.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, the use of ice is recommended for the first few days following injury. (There is concern that heat can cause an increase in inflammation. Therefore, its use during the first few days after injury is not recommended.) A simple rule of thumb is this…if it is bruised or swollen, do not use heat. Use ice instead.
As we age, our balance tends to decline. Falls among the elderly can have life changing consequences.
Two of the best predictors as to whether someone will fall are:
1. A history of falling in the past year.
2. A fear of falling, particularly if it stops someone from doing their normal activities.
There are many reasons why someone may have poor balance. One important reason to check is for medication side effects and interactions. A conversation with your pharmacist can prove helpful.
There are a variety of medical conditions that can cause someone to be unsteady, including vertigo and various neurological disorders. Also, a history of injury to one’s leg or back can lead to balance trouble.
Yogi Berra once said: “You can observe a lot by just watching.” I find that to be true when evaluating someone’s balance. Watching how someone moves gives several cues as to how good their balance is.
What do you say to people in chronic pain? The right advice can help them to get better. In part two of our Know Pain, Know Gain! series, Paul discusses how having a better understanding of pain can help you to move better and feel better.
Pain is an unpleasant sensory or emotional experience based on actual or potential tissue damage. When the brain receives a “danger message” it interprets the message’s “threat value”. If the message is interpreted as a sign of actual or potential tissue damage then pain is perceived. It is how our brains interpret potentially painful events that determines whether or not pain is perceived. The saying “no brain, no pain” is used to illustrate this fact.
A study was undertaken to measure the effect of pain neurophysiology education on people with chronic low back pain.
The experimental group was educated about the nervous system. Its basic structure was explained, with an emphasis on how the nervous system processes events that have the potential to or d...