Penrose Physical Therapy
21
May 2019
Jennifer Penrose
Author
Jennifer Penrose

Back Pain ‘Driving’ You Mad? 7 Tips To Alleviate Back Pain While Driving

If you’re driving fairly long distances to and from work every day, it’s likely you’ve experienced back pain. Around 30-60% of drivers report having back pain at some point in their life. We see lots of people in the clinic in pain as a result of 30 minutes+ on the road, almost daily! But why does something as simple as driving trigger off back pain when it’s not exactly strenuous? Driving for long periods of time exposes the body to many different forces. These include acceleration, sudden stops, and most notably vibrations from the road. These forces especially affects those who drive larger vehicles. Driving also involves the use of your feet to control the cars pedals. This means they are not used to help stabilize and support your lower body as they normally would when sitting. It’s no wonder why a combination of these factors, along with inadequate design can cause problems for many of us. Back pain can make driving unpleasant (in some cases, unbearable). So, I put together a list of tips to help make your next journey as pain-free as possible. Here are 7 tips to help you: 1. Get Comfortable Before You Set Off – A small irritation can quickly grow into an unbearable pain. If you’ve got a long journey ahead, or in the car for 20 minutes, this can affect your day. So, before you set off, take a few moments to settle into a comfortable position. Check… Read More
14
May 2019
Jennifer Penrose
Author
Jennifer Penrose

“I Didn’t Realize My Balance Was That Bad – Now I Know Why I Keep Falling Over…”

Have you or a loved one have fallen recently? Do you feel unsteady on your feet or lacking the confidence to move around independently? Or are you worried to even leave the house without someone there to help support you just in case you fall? Then I’d like to invite you to attend this new, fun and educational workshop. It may be the most important thing you do this year. Or it may help you find out if you have problems with your balance that you weren’t even aware of. It will show you exactly what to do if you, or a loved one have recently fallen. Additionally, it will show you a way to get back on your feet and the life you deserve before balance issues struck… A life where you can walk around the store without relying upon the shopping cart, or a loved ones arm to keep you steady… Where you can move around the house independently and not take 20 minutes to move from the couch, without feeling lightheaded and dizzy… A life where you can pick up and play with your kids/grandkids without worrying when a ‘dizzy spell’ is going to come on and leave you feeling worried… Or a life where you can do and enjoy all the things you see so many others doing and enjoying, but a fear of falling has kept you from going out and crippled your confidence…Basically, a life without the fear of falling and feeling unsteady on your feet. If… Read More
08
May 2019
Jennifer Penrose
Author
Jennifer Penrose

Afraid Of Another Fall? 7 Tips To Help You Avoid Another Fall And Improve Your Balance!

Last week I spoke to you all about the downward spiral of having another fall. I also gave a quick recap of everything we’ve covered in this series so far. With any luck, you’ve had time to digest all of this information and that it’s been helpful. It’s applied to those of you who may be dealing with balance issues, or even osteoporosis or osteopenia. I even told you about my free report that was all about osteoporosis and osteopenia. Those of you who wanted more information on the subject can download from last week’s email. Hopefully you’ve had a chance to digest that information and that it’s helped you. To wrap up the osteoporosis topic, we will be offering yoga for osteoporosis, specially designed to improve balance and posture. If you’re interested, just email info@penrosept.com to register your interest. I hope the information on balance and fall prevention has been helpful to you. Maybe you’ve even been able to start trying some of the tips I’ve given you over the last few weeks. Or maybe you’ve been able to share this information with a friend or loved one. If this sounds like you or a loved one, and you’d like even more information about how to avoid another fall, regain confidence and maintain independence, I have even more valuable information that I want to share with you today.  Over the last 10 years, I’ve worked with hundreds of clients who’ve experienced one or several falls, and I’ve had the opportunity to… Read More
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
27
Mar 2019
Jennifer Penrose
Author
Jennifer Penrose

“I Didn’t Realize My Balance Was That Bad!”

The last few weeks we’ve seen a lot of people coming into the clinic with balance issues, worried about falling. It’s a common problem that we see quite a lot. However, not a lot of people know that physical therapists can help with your balance. We like to have a bit of fun when we’re testing balance, to make it easier for people to do. We like to play ‘one-legged darts’ and do the ‘can you walk in a straight line?’ test, to find out just how steady (or how wobbly) people are on their feet. After we’ve done these little tests, everyone always says: “I didn’t realize my balance was that bad!” And it’s true! Most of us rarely realize we have a problem with our balance until it’s made obvious to us. Even though not all of us have superhuman balance like gymnasts, we need a certain level of balance. It helps us go about our daily activities without falling over and hurting ourselves. So I wanted to share the most common signs and symptoms to look out for. Especially when it comes to wobbly balance and an increased risk of falls. One of the most common ones is ‘dizziness’. Everyone has a dizzy spell now and then. But the word ‘dizziness’ may mean something different to different people. For some people dizziness might be a fleeting sensation of spinning. While for others it feels intense and lasts a long time. If you find yourself feeling as though the room… Read More
20
Mar 2019
Jennifer Penrose
Author
Jennifer Penrose

Did You Know That It Is NOT Normal To Shrink?

I work with clients 40+ and I often hear them say with a chuckle; “Yep, I’m shrinking and my feet are getting bigger.” Honestly, this is no laughing matter. If you shrink more than 1/2 an inch a year or more than 1.6 inches in your lifetime then you likely have had a fracture in your spine (the vertebral column) due to soft bones, or what we call osteopenia and osteoporosis. Don’t panic. It’s healed but it has healed in a way that has left you shorter. Think of soft bones/osteoporosis like butter. If you slouch or work in front of a computer every day (which is almost all of us) then that can load the vertebrae/bone and cause a “silent compression fracture”. A “silent fracture” means you do not feel it happen! You only notice the loss of height or the shrinking over time. Can we help people gain height? Yes, but not by causing the bones to grow. We have seen patients gain an inch in height by stretching the tight posture muscles. Or by giving them posture activities and yoga type exercises. It is a myth to think that shrinking comes with age. It’s also a myth to think you can’t do anything for the rounded upper back posture. You can improve that rounded upper back posture and certainly prevent it from getting worse. If you are a pre or post menopausal woman with a rounded back you certainly need to keep reading. It’s amazing… Read More
13
Mar 2019
Jennifer Penrose
Author
Jennifer Penrose

Balance: “Why Does My Wife Keep Falling Over?”

A gentleman called the clinic the other day with growing concerns about his wife and asked us: “Why does my wife keep falling over?” He continued to tell us that his wife, Sally, 71, has good health, but she’s been having difficulty controlling her balance lately. With each fall she loses confidence – so much that she’s scared to leave the house without him, or their daughter. Losing your balance is a scary thing. And it’s something we hear people worrying about all the time. It’s not uncommon that as we get older we begin to feel unsteady on our feet. People have told us that when they’re out doing their grocery shopping, they have to rely on the shopping cart. Other times they lean on a loved one to help them get around safely… Fear of falling spoils their confidence to leave the house alone, or even move around the house independently. It’s a worrying thing that happens. Most of the time, people don’t understand why it’s happening to them all of a sudden. So why is it that falls are one of the main causes of accidents and injuries in people aged 65+? Here’s just some of the reasons why falling can become more of an issue as we get older… Poor eyesight and difficulties with hearing properly are one of the most common changes that comes with ageing. Any issues with hearing and eyesight will make you feel unsteady. Let me explain… The inner ear has five, hair-like sensors… Read More
28
Feb 2019
Jennifer Penrose
Author
Jennifer Penrose

“Last Night My Neck Pain Got So Bad… I Couldn’t Even Turn My Head…”

If you or a loved one suffer from chronic pain – so bad that you struggle to do simple things like turning your head to look over your shoulder or sleep at night without pain, then reading this report may be the most important thing you do this year. It may unlock the agonizing mystery of your neck pain and show you a way to get back to the life you deserve… A life where you can sleep at night without tossing and turning, hoping to find one position where your neck pain stops. Where you can read a book before bed… or newspaper on a morning…without the fear of more neck pain. A life where you can wake up in the morning and not suffer from headaches or migraines… One where you can plan family time with your kids or grand kids, without worrying over if your neck pain will strike!…Basically, a life without chronic or severe neck pain! Finally one of the nation’s leading neck experts, Jennifer Penrose, a specialist from Lacey recently released a new report. The “Neck Pain Consumer Awareness Report” reveals the best kept secret in Lacey. How to actually get to the bottom of your Neck Pain without talking to your insurance. Even how to do it without regular trips to see the chiropractor, or needing a referral from your doctor. This report reveals how weekly, (and costly) visits to a chiropractor are NOT always needed. It also addresses how pain medications and muscle… Read More

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