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Life's Work PT Blog

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

Achilles Tendon Pain: How to Diagnose, Treat & Manage the Pain

Achilles tendon pain may arise from Achilles tendonitis, weakness of the calf, hip and other lower extremity muscles or abnormal mechanics of the body during walking and especially during running or sports. This blog will focus on 5 easy steps you can take to manage Achilles tendon pain. If you have not been evaluated by a physical therapist for your Achilles tendon pain, please do so. Refer to my earlier blog on How to Find a Good PT to access services in your area. Full Achilles tendon tears require immediate medical attention and will not be discussed in this blog. If …Read More

5 Easy Tips to Avoid Back Pain While Gardening

The start of summer means the start of gardening season in Portland. While gardening is a great way to get outside and stay active, it can also lead to unwanted back pain. Thankfully, here are five easy things you can do to stay safe and avoid back pain and injury while gardening. 1. Use Good Posture When Lifting The most important thing you should remember when gardening is to use good lifting mechanics in order to prevent low back injuries. Avoid bending forward as this will put excess strain on the lower back. Focus on bending through the knees and …Read More

Experiencing Front of Hip Pain? Here’s What’s Causing It.

This week’s blog is focused on a commonly treated problem at Life’s Work Physical Therapy: hip pain. When clients describe front of hip pain, pain radiating down the front of the leg, pain in front of the hip joint and pain along the underwear line on the front of the hip joint, physical therapists consider this a primary hip problem. In the cases where pain radiates down the front of the leg, we do a thorough exam to rule out pain generated from the back. Pain in the front of the hip joint is very painful with walking, flexing the …Read More

What is a Torn Meniscus in the Knee & How Do I Treat It?

Knee pain is one of the most common orthopedic complaints in the U.S. Some studies indicate 19% of the population has knee pain. While there are many causes of knee pain, this week’s blog will focus on the meniscus. You will learn what torn meniscus symptoms feel like, how to treat a torn meniscus, and the recovery time for meniscus tears treated with physical therapy and with surgery. So what is a meniscus? There are two in each knee, one on the inside (medial) and one on the outside (lateral). A meniscus is cartilage pad that provides cushion and stability …Read More