Fall clean up

Fall clean up  is upon us.  For most this includes: Lifting and moving patio furniture, organizing garages, raking and dragging leaves. All these activities can bring on injury, especially in the low back. Proper identification and preparation can prevent injury and optimize time spent performing these chores.

Identification – Can I lift and carry this item without sustaining an injury?

When preparing to perform lifting tasks it is always important to size up the item that is to be lifted. Items that are too large or awkward may require assistance, and proper technique is always needed to avoid injury, even with a 2+ person lift.

Preparation – Have I properly loosened up to lift this object?

It may seem silly to think that you should need to provide time to warm up prior to performing lifting tasks, but for lifters who are advanced in age or have had prior injury, it can be essential to avoid reinjury. Warm ups consisting of use of heat or stretching techniques can significantly decrease risk of injury/reinjury. For persons who have forgotten or have not been educated in such techniques, resources such as the internet or your physical therapist can be utilized.

Technique – Am I lifting this object correctly?

Even smaller, lighter objects can cause injury with repetition or incorrect posture. It is important to assess posture when performing these lifting tasks. Straight back, use of legs, item held close to the body are some of the finer points of lifting that cannot be ignored. Also, with regards to multiple person lifts, teamwork is vital for injury prevention. Having a team leader to count “1,2,3,lift.” Can be important to insure proper technique.

Pacing – Have I done too much, too quickly?

In the race to finish, sometimes the lifter can perform these tasks too quickly or sloppily but if they continue over a longer period of time that may worsen the injury/reinjury. Knowing “When to say when” is also important for injury prevention. Taking frequent breaks every 30 to 60 minutes (dependent on personal ability and tolerance) can help to prevent injury as well.

In summary, injury caused by repetitive fall cleaning activities can be lessened or avoided by these simple points of emphasis. As always, if you do sustain an injury, you should consult your physician and come and see your friends at Wilton PT.

Staying motivated

Staying motivated

Regular physical activity can increase hormones that can make you feel happier, sleep better and improve your skin’s appearance.  In addition regular exercise can help you lose weight, decrease your risk of chronic disease and improve your sex life.  Most health benefits occur with at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week and at least two days a week of high intensity aerobic exercise and resistance training for muscle development.  Participating in a regular exercise program takes time, discipline and motivation.  We all deal with the stress of work and busy families.   Life throws many distractions at us which can make it hard to stay motivated! Here are some suggestions to stay on track.

Activity choice

Whether it is running, cycling or kayaking if you enjoy doing the activity you will be less likely to skip workouts.  Consistency is the key to exercise and finding the right activity will keep you on the path.  

Make it social 

Finding a partner or a group is a great way to motivate you! Knowing you are meeting a group or a friend for a workout will make you accountable. Also working out with others can push you to new limits and drive your competitive spirit. 

Challenge yourself

There are a lot of athletic events to choose from.  Signing up for a triathlon or running race will give you something to train for.  Following a training plan and completing an event will give you a sense of accomplishment and can motivate you to sign up for more challenging events.  

Use technology

There are many apps out there that can help you stay motivated.  Peleton, Fitbit and my favorite, Strava are a just a few.  Strava is an app for runners/cylcists.  The app records users routes and various metrics such as distance and pace. The app also provides features for users to create weekly goals or participate in monthly challenges within the Strava community.   The ability to monitor progress and compete with others is a great way to keep you motivated.   “That which is measured improves.” Thomas S. Monson

Staying motivated can sometimes be a challenge but if you enjoy the activity, team up with others and challenge yourself it becomes easier to maintain a healthy lifestyle!





What is telehealth?

Telehealth is a live, one-on-one video appointment with your PT. In these times of social distancing and public safety telehealth has become a viable option to treat patients. It enables patients to communicate with their physical therapist from the safety and comfort of their own home.

Benefits of telehealth:

  • Effectiveness: Studies have shown that telehealth visits are just as effective as “live” visits. Telehealth visits maintain patient consistency and compliance with their home exercise program resulting in positive outcomes.
  • Convenience: Telemedicine gives patients greater freedom to schedule appointments that meet their own specific schedules. There is no need to change your plans, reschedule work or find child care.
  • Personalized careDuring a private telehealth visit, you will work with your physical therapist in a one-on-one setting, without distractions. You also can involve family members or caregivers in your appointment, if you like.
  • SatisfactionThe majority of patients who have participated in telehealth physical therapy were satisfied with their experience and would do it again. Patients expressed feeling connected and supported by their telehealth physical therapist.
  • Transportation Telehealth visits eliminates commuting to the office, arranging rides for those who are unable to drive and decreasing driving risks when there is inclement weather.

What does a typical telehealth visit look like?

Patients will receive a link to join a HIPAA-compliant, encrypted, and secure face-to-face live audio and video connection. Once connected the visit will be conducted like a normal physical therapy evaluation or follow up appointment.

The evaluation will consist of acquiring the patient’s past medical history, subjective reports and a functional screen is performed to determine/confirm diagnosis. Patients will be given a home exercise program and review for proper form. Follow up visits will consist of monitoring the effectiveness of the home exercises and progress as indicated.

Does insurance pay for telehealth visits?

An increasing number of payers do pay for telehealth and coverage is increasing. Most recently Medicare began to cover telehealth services for physical therapists.