Penrose Physical Therapy
30
Apr 2019
Jennifer Penrose
Author
Jennifer Penrose

The “Downward Spiral” Of Having A Fall

We’re coming to the end of our series on balance, falls and osteoporosis . We’ve covered a lot so far in this series. I want to do a quick recap of what we’ve covered so far. First we looked at what things could cause bad balance and what to do about it. We then looked at why it’s not normal to shrink. After that, the most common signs to look for when it comes to wobbly balance and increased risk of falls. Next we looked at the sensation of spinning and vertigo. We then switched gears back to osteoporosis and how yoga can help to avoid people bending at the spine. Following that we looked at how we were able to help one of our clients improve her balance and mobility. Then last week we again looked at how yoga can help with osteoporosis, but in more detail. Next we looked at the sensation of spinning and vertigo. We then switched gears back to osteoporosis and how yoga can help to avoid people bending at the spine. Following that we looked at how we were able to help one of our clients improve her balance and mobility. Last week we again looked at how yoga can help with osteoporosis, but in more detail. That’s a lot to cover in 7 weeks! This week we’ll be switching back over to balance and falls as we approach the end of this series. I talk a lot about balance and fall prevention at workshops and… Read More
24
Apr 2019
Jennifer Penrose
Author
Jennifer Penrose

I Was Told Not To Bend Or Twist With Osteoporosis; Yet Research Shows Yoga Increases Bone Density

Yoga has along list of health benefits, including greater flexibility and range of motion, stronger muscles, better posture. Even balance, reduced emotional and physical stress, and increased self awareness and self-esteem. Yoga’s forward folds have to be eliminated for the osteoporosis crowd but the rotational poses actually increase bone density. Dr. Loren M. Fishman is a physiatrist at Columbia University who specializes in rehabilitative medicine. He has been gathering evidence on yoga and bone health, hoping to determine whether yoga might be an effective therapy. The idea that yoga helps with bone density is not widely accepted in the medical community. More than 700,000 spinal fractures and more than 300,000 hip fractures occur annually in the United States. Dr. Fishman hoped that this low-cost and less dangerous alternative to bone-loss drugs is worth pursuing.  Bone-loss medications can produce adverse side effects like gastrointestinal distress and fractures of the femur. A study published in “Clinical Interventions in Aging” found that of 126,188 women found to have osteoporosis, all of whom had Medicare Part D drug coverage, only 28 percent started bone drug therapy within a year of diagnosis. Most people do know that the prescribed medications come with complicating factors and risks. On the other hand, yoga’s “side effects”, Dr. Fishman and colleagues wrote recently, “include better posture, improved balance, enhanced coordination, greater range of motion, higher strength, reduced levels of anxiety and better gait.” How does yoga work to increase bone density? “Yoga puts more pressure on bone than gravity does,” he said… Read More
16
Apr 2019
Jennifer Penrose
Author
Jennifer Penrose

How We Were Able To Help Susan Improve Her Balance & Mobility

If you’ve been following our osteoporosis and balance series over the last weeks, you might be wondering how to put this information together. Today, I’m going to help you do that by telling you about a lady we worked with recently. Let’s call her Susan. I’m going to tell you how we assessed her 3 Balance Systems as well as the other various contributing factors. Then we’ll discuss how we used this information to design a successful treatment plan for her. Here’s Susan’s story in a nutshell: Susan came into the clinic after she fell 6 months ago while walking to her car in a gravel parking lot. She ended up with a couple bumps and bruises, but otherwise was uninjured. However, over the next several months, she became more and more worried about having another fall. She started limiting her activity level, especially walking on uneven surfaces (walking on the gravel was partly why she fell). She decided to come in for physical therapy because she’s been feeling even more unsteady on her feet. She’s had several near-falls where she’s had to catch herself on a piece of furniture or wall inside her home. If you have had a few falls where you caught yourself or just a few bumps and bruises you may not realize what weaknesses may be contributing to these little mishaps! Hopefully this story will make you think about what might be contributing to your less steadiness. After talking with Susan and assessing her various balance… Read More
10
Apr 2019
Jennifer Penrose
Author
Jennifer Penrose

“My Doctor Told Me To Stop Bending At The Spine – Help!”

This was a reply by one of my patients that really was at a loss of how to move without bending the spine. She truly loved Yoga and wanted to know if there was any possibility of modifying yoga. Yes it is possible and I will explain more. How to bend without bending at the spine is one of the most common questions I get from my osteoporosis and osteopenia patients. It is often one of the most difficult things to learn in the beginning and once you have it down it becomes how you move all the time. Anytime our body has to learn how to move differently it feels very awkward and difficult. Learning to bend without bending the back will also prevent a low back injury! (We really should move like this all the time for good spine health!) First of all, why is it critical to learn to avoid bending the spine with osteoporosis and osteopenia? Because bending the spine when it rounds like the letter “C” places stress can create a compression fracture. More than likely you won’t feel it! They call them “silent” vertebral compression fractures and the research says 700,000+ happen a year. It’s more common than cardiac and stroke events combined! One happens every 45 seconds.   If you can learn to bend correctly, you will decrease your risk for creating a compression fracture. Think about all the movements you do all day that require some kind of bending. Getting in and out… Read More
03
Apr 2019
Jennifer Penrose
Author
Jennifer Penrose

Do You Ever Have The Sensation Of Spinning?

Since we have been talking about balance and falls, we need to talk about what can often lead to falls: vertigo. Let’s start with the basics about vertigo. True vertigo is the sensation of spinning or movement (such as the sensation of swaying). If you’ve ever been sea sick, this is a bit like the swaying sensation. Or if you ever got “the spins” in your younger years after too much fun with alcohol. These sensations are similar to what some people feel while exercising. There are 2 types of vertigo: “Inner ear vertigo” is the most common type that we help people deal with in the clinic. I’ll discuss it more below. Central vertigo is related to damage to the balance centers of the brain. This includes things like strokes, MS and Parkinson’s. People with central vertigo tend to feel more unbalances or unsteady in general, versus having sudden attacks of spinning. Today I want to focus on inner ear vertigo. People with inner ear vertigo have very specific symptoms. Typically, they have a hard time turning their heads rapidly and walking in busy environments (like the mall). Certain positions can cause a sudden sensation of spinning which can be pretty scary at times. These positions include tipping the head back, bending forward, laying down in bed, or rolling over in bed. So what’s going on with these people? Do you remember when you were a kid and you would spin around in the grass until you got really dizzy and… Read More

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