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Life's Work PT Blog

What Are Different Types of Lumbar Disc Injuries? | Life’s Work PT

Lower back or “lumbar” pain is the most prevalent and costly musculoskeletal condition worldwide. In the United States, we spend as much on the treatment of lower back pain annually as we do on the treatment of ALL cancers. Worldwide, lower back pain is among the leading causes of disability, and a top reason for why people give up work and other critical life activities. The good news is that most lumbar pain and types of lumbar disc injuries are treatable with physical therapy. This blog focuses on lumbar disc injuries, and describes the types of lumbar disc injuries as …Read More

Do I Sit Too Much? How Often You Should Exercise & Be Active

Did you know the average office worker sits up to 13 hours a day? Our society is built around sitting – at your desk, in your car, and in front of the television. Doctors and researchers have been warning us about the dangers of prolonged sitting for years; prolonged sitting is associated with higher risks of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, cancer, depression and pain. An expert even described sitting as “more dangerous than smoking; it kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death!” The more we learn about how dangerous to …Read More

If an Exercise Pill Existed … You’d Take It!

For the last 25 years, the benefits of exercise have been well-known to mainstream America. Exercise is effective in fighting the effects of aging, improving cardiovascular health, and reducing the rates of cancer, diabetes, obesity and dementia. In addition, exercise helps with many mood disorders including depression and anxiety. So, if it keeps us thinner, younger, happier and healthier, why don’t we do it?! If there was an exercise pill, you’d take it! The truth is that most western cultures prefer to take a pill rather than do something like exercise for health benefits. According to the Centers for Disease …Read More

How Long Will I Live? The Sitting Rising Test Predicts Longevity

The Sitting Rising Test: What is it? Did you know that an inability to easily get yourself up and down from the floor is a sign of premature aging and even death? The Sitting Rising Test, developed by a Brazilian physician, predicts the risk of death in the next 5 years. Several follow-up studies have validated its sensitivity. In 2016, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh published a study where they followed 2,002 people ages 51-80 over an average of 6.3 years. At the beginning of the study, each volunteer was asked to perform the Sitting Rising Test. In other words, …Read More

Lower Back Pain and 3 Ways to Prevent It

Lower back pain is extremely common. 80 percent of Americans will experience lower back pain at some point in their life. Back pain is the second most common reason we visit our primary care doctor, and why many of us miss work and life activities. Total costs of lower back pain are more than $100 billion annually. Though very painful, the source of lower back pain is often a result of overuse, aging and stress to bones, discs and joints. Here’s the good news if you suffer from lower back pain – physical therapy is very effective in treating it. …Read More

5 Reasons to see a Life’s Work Physical Therapist in 2018

“Sandy, I feel old!” I hear this all the time, from my family, my friends and often from my clients. They say it in all kinds of ways. Some explain that they feel stiff when they wake up. They tell me it takes longer to heal from a simple injury. They say, “I have to lean on the chair just to get up from the floor.” Other times, my clients tell me they are feeling out of shape or overweight. They were always so active but now that they are getting a bit older, they don’t know where to start. …Read More

It’s Ski Season! Common Ski Injuries and How to Prevent Them

When it’s raining in Portland, it usually means it’s snowing in the mountains. Winter weather means many of us will be heading out to the slopes for a variety of activities, downhill skiing being one of the most popular. Whether you are an experienced skier or a beginner, it’s important to know how to prevent an injury from putting an early end to your ski season. Common Ski Injuries There are wide arrays of injuries snow skiers are susceptible to. Knee injuries, especially injuries to the ligaments, are common. Fractures can occur in the lower leg, although releasable bindings have …Read More

Tech Neck: What Is It – And How Can It Be Treated? | Life’s Work PT

Technology has changed significantly in the past 10 years. We live in an increasingly connected world, and it shows in the way our technology has changed. Smartphones, tablets, smart-watches and laptops have become a part of our everyday life. While this in many ways is a good thing, there are some unwanted side effects that have come with our increasing tech-dependent world. Take out your smartphone and look down at it – what is your neck doing? When you look down, you are putting your neck into flexion. When this happens, the necks normal curve reverses; you should feel a …Read More

The Opioid Epidemic: Physical Therapy for Alternative Pain Management

Over the last 5 years, we’ve been bombarded with news stories, headlines and public service announcements about the rampant health crisis around opioids. Prescribed pain medications or opioids kill more people than cocaine and heroin overdoses combined. In towns across the United States, our first responders receive multiple calls per day due to opioid complications and overdose. 10 years ago, first responders dealt with 2-3 overdoses each month and now 25-30 overdoses are common. When prescriptions run out, people turn to street drugs to get the same high and the black market is full of prescriptions like oxycontin, oxycodone and …Read More

How Knees Age: What’s Normal and What Isn’t for Your Knee Health

Over the past 20 years of practice, knee pain is one of the most common complaints I treat. When your knees hurt, it’s hard to walk, get out of a chair and climb stairs. Knees can swell, ache and be completely uncooperative. In this blog, I’ll review how knees age and the effects of aging on the knee. Fortunately, there are many exercises you can do to strengthen your knees, making them last longer and feel better as you age. Effects of Aging on the Knee Knee pain is an extremely common orthopedic complaint. Frequent knee pain affects about 25 …Read More