With the holiday season in full swing, many people are experiencing excitement, joy, and happiness as talk of Christmas cookies, family gatherings, and Clark Griswold fill the air. “SQUIRREL!!!!!”
However, on the flip side of all these warm fuzzy feelings can often be the chilly reality that everything isn’t so great. You’ve had to spend your vacation savings fund to buy Christmas presents, you agreed to show up to 9 different Christmas gatherings, and you spent all day putting lights on your house that don’t work. Or the wind blows down the reindeer and sleigh you just put up in your front yard. True story, happened to me.
So what do you do when the holiday stress sets in? Instead of stress eating, turning to other common alternatives, or lighting cigarettes in the kitchen like Ellen Griswold, it may be time to call your local Advanced Physical Therapy Medical providers!
Countless studies have already shown that exercise can reduce stress in all patient populations and as movement experts, exercise is at the core of what we do. A recent study has shown that spinal manipulation, a common intervention utilized by physical therapists, reduces levels of cortisol in your saliva (Sampath et al., 2017). Why is this important? Cortisol is your body’s stress hormone, and higher levels often reflect that your body is running on overdrive. Therefore, spinal manipulation = less stress = less newel posts being cut with a chainsaw. Despite these new findings, if you haven’t been receiving any spinal manipulation in your physical therapy plan of care, have no fear.
“I don’t know what else to say, but it’s Christmas, and we’re all in misery”
Sampath, K., Botnmark, E., Mani, R. Cotter, J., Katare, R., Munasinghe, P., & Turnilty, S. (2017). Neuroendocrine Response Following a Thoracic Spinal Manipulation in Health Men. Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, 47(9).
BRRRRR, IT’S COLD IN HERE!
With winter fast approaching, many peoples’ minds begin to race: some with excitement over the upcoming holiday seasons and winter adventures, while others dread the next few months of Wisconsin below freezing temperatures. Despite all this winter wonderland talk, whether you are a winter-lover or a winter-loather, one thing everyone should also be thinking about is falling. No, not in love sappy-pants, physically falling. The infamous ice monster leads to multiple falls each winter! The good news is that there are many things we can do to reduce our risk of this trauma: cue physical therapy.
Falls in general (it’s not all the ice monster’s fault) wreak havoc, both on an individual level and on our healthcare system. Direct medical costs from falls total near $30 billion each year (Phelan et al., 2015); with an aging population you can only assume this number will grow in the future. This makes sense when you consider at least 30% of individuals over the age of 60 fall each year (Gerards et al., 2017). For the individual, falls often result in personal injury, loss of independence, reduced participation in social activity, and overall quality of life. As mentioned, however, there is good news. It has been documented that up to a 20% risk reduction in falls can be achieved after participating in common physical therapy interventions including: balance training, resistance training, and aerobic exercise. Twenty percent risk reduction makes a big deal when this many people are falling each year.
To reduce you risk of being attacked by the ice monster, and have a darn good time in the process, stop over to your local APTSM and let us help prevent you from turning into another fall statistic.
Safe Hunting and Happy Thanksgiving,
PS: For more information on preventing falls: https://www.cdc.gov/steadi/pdf/check_for_safety_brochure-a.pdf
Gerards, M. H. G., McCrum, C., Mansfield, A., and Meijer, K. (2017) Perturbation-based balance training for falls reduction among older adults: Current evidence and implications for clinical practice. Geriatrics & Gerontology International.
Phelan, E. A., Mahoney, J. E., Voit, J. C., & Stevens, J. A. (2015). Assessment and Management of Fall Risk in Primary Care Settings. The Medical Clinics of North America, 99(2), 281–293.