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Life's Work PT Blog

Tips and Facts About How to Heal Plantar Fasciitis and Where It Comes From

Of all the conditions I treat as a physical therapist, plantar fasciitis is one of the hardest. It’s hard because plantar fasciitis can be really painful and disabling. Plantar fasciitis can take longer to heal than say a muscle strain. The very good news is that with the right treatment, plantar fasciitis gets better and you will have a much clearer picture of why it occurred in the first place. Plantar fasciitis affects about 10% of Americans, accounting for 11% of running injuries and 15% of foot-related pain at doctor visits. About 1 million patient visits each year are due …Read More

Watch for Osteoporosis Symptoms and Start Early Osteoporosis Treatment

Osteoporosis is a very common disease affecting 54 million Americans. On average, 1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men age 50 and older will suffer a fracture from osteoporosis. Osteoporosis related costs are $19 billion annually, with 2 million fractures generated every year. That’s a lot of broken bones! While genetics and being post-menopausal play a role, there’s a lot you can do to prevent osteoporosis. Once diagnosed with osteoporosis, treatment is available from your doctor, and be sure to ask for a referral to a physical therapist. First off, what is osteoporosis? Here is what you need to …Read More

Halt Bladder Leakage with Bladder Retraining Exercises and PT

I’m sure you’ve seen the advertisements that say, “Stay on top of your game with (insert name of incontinence product),” or “I can finally enjoy the moment,” and “Feel more natural!” I particularly like the last one; what could feel more natural than wearing a pad or diaper? How about not needing to wear anything other than normal underwear! The truth is, more than a quarter of women and 16% of men experience occasional bladder leakage. The good news is they may not need to. Have you ever felt like restroom signs should look like this? Again, the urgent need …Read More

Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy for Pregnant and Post Partum Women

Pregnancy changes the body in many ways. Most of these changes are positive, meant to keep both mother and the baby healthy. But there is one common, unwelcome change: according to the American Physical Therapy Association, between 50-70% of women will experience low back pain and 45% or more experience pelvic girdle pain during or after pregnancy. Many different factors contribute to pain: hormonal changes decrease stability in joints and ligaments, and due to the changes that happen in the body, posture and center of gravity change. Additionally, women are increasingly more active when they have their first child; a …Read More

Banish Hip Pain – Get Relief from Hip Osteoarthritis Symptoms

Osteoarthritis is the most frequent cause of musculoskeletal pain worldwide. Osteoarthritis is characterized by painful and sometimes swollen joints, stiffness and increased pain with use and with prolonged sedentary periods. The cartilage lining of the joints erodes and there may be underlying bone changes. We don’t know the exact cause of hip osteoarthritis but here are some factors that can predispose you to osteoarthritis: age, gender, genetics, body mass index, activity level, weakness, injury, trauma, overall health, dysplasia and metabolic/hormonal problems. Remember, there are always solutions to get hip pain relief including weight loss, physical therapy, strengthening, stretching and nutritional changes. …Read More

What is Osteoarthritis of the Knee? (Plus Tips to Treat the Pain)

I can’t tell you the number of times a new client comes to Life’s Work Physical Therapy to see me, and they are completely terrified of their new diagnosis: “I have osteoarthritis of my knee. My pain will NEVER go away and I am only 55. How could this happen?” And on it goes. Many times, clients believe that knee pain caused by osteoarthritis is something they have to live with and that there is nothing they can do. What an awful feeling! I am hear to tell you that there is SO much you can do at any age, at …Read More

Physical Therapy for Osteoarthritis: Everything You Need to Know

Over the last 20 years practicing as a physical therapist, I can’t tell you the number of times a new client has come into my office feeling completely doomed by a recent diagnosis of osteoarthritis. A recent client of mine, age 62 with a 7-year history of chronic left knee pain announced, “I assume my knee will hurt forever; the doctor told me I have osteoarthritis. I guess I just have to live with the pain!” These thoughts and feelings are common among my clientele. I am here to tell you what I always tell them: regardless of whether you …Read More

Physical Therapy for Runners: How to Safely Train & Build Strength

The more we learn about health and injury, the more the saying “Exercise is the best medicine” rings true. Here in Portland, running is one of the most popular recreational activities and it’s easy to see why. More and more evidence points to the benefits of running including preventing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and even some cancers. That’s in addition to the positive impact it can have on our overall physical and mental health. Unfortunately, most runners will deal with an injury of some sort due to the repetitive stresses running puts on the body. …Read More

Best Cross Training Activities for Safe Summer Exercise

Summer is here and there is so much to enjoy: hiking, biking, running, swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking and gardening top the lists of my clients’ favorite summer activities. Is your body ready for all these great summer activities? Cross training is a great way to get it ready. Many clients ask me, “What is cross training?” and “How do I do it?” This blog should answer both of these questions. Over the years, I’ve seen many of my clients want to jump right into seasonal exercise, sports or activities without any preparation. Clients are often surprised when their body gets injured …Read More

5 Tips to Prevent Recurrent Sprained Ankles

Growing up as an athlete, I remember many basketball games where I landed funny and then “rolled” my ankle. Lucky for me, my ankles survived and did not turn into recurrent ankle sprains. A sprain is defined as an injury to ligaments. Ligaments are tough yet flexible tissues that connect two adjacent bones. Ligaments are designed to support your moving parts. If the two ends of the ligament are stretched too far apart, it’s called a sprain. If the ligament is repeatedly stressed as in “rolling the ankle” all the time, then the ligaments lose their toughness and become stretched …Read More