Penrose Physical Therapy
22
Jul 2018
Jennifer Penrose
Author
Jennifer Penrose

Don’t let a fall or poor balance threaten your independence and mobility!

In today’s blog, I’m going to help you by telling you a story about a lady we worked with recently in the clinic who had a fall and felt less confident going places. Let’s call her Susan. As I go through Susan’s story, I’m going to tell you how we assessed her 3 Balance Systems as well as the other various factors that contribute to her balance and risk for falls. 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, so she started limiting her activity level, and she specifically avoided things like walking on uneven surfaces (since walking on the gravel was part of why she fell). She decided to come in for physical therapy because lately she’s been feeling even more unsteady on her feet, and she’s had several near-falls where she’s had to catch herself on a piece of furniture or a 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… Read More
06
Jul 2018
Jennifer Penrose
Author
Jennifer Penrose

Do you ever have the sensation of Spinning? All about Vertigo/BPPV…

Do You Ever Have The Sensation Of Spinning? All About Vertigo & “BPPV” 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, and if you ever got “the spins” in your younger years after having too much fun with alcohol, this is similar to the sensation of spinning that some people experience. 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 unbalanced 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, lying down in bed, or rolling over in bed. Read More
23
Jun 2018
Jennifer Penrose
Author
Jennifer Penrose

“I didn’t realize my balance was this bad!”

The last few weeks we’ve seen a lot of people coming into the clinic with balance issues and being worried about falling. It’s a common problem that we see quite a lot of, but 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 people’s balance, to make it an easier thing for them to be doing. 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 pointed out and made obvious to us. Even though not all of us have superhuman balance like gymnasts and ice skaters, we need a certain level of balance to help us go about our daily activities without falling over and hurting ourselves. So I wanted to share the most common signs and symptoms to lookout for, when it comes to wobbly balance and an increased risk of fall. 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… Read More
08
Jun 2018
Jennifer Penrose
Author
Jennifer Penrose

Did you know that it is not normal to shrink?

I work with clients aged 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 are losing 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 as it has healed but it has healed in a way that has left you shorter. Think of soft bones/osteoporosis like butter and if you slouch or work in front of a computer most of your 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! Can we help people regain 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 and giving them posture activities and yoga type exercises. It is a myth to think 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 upper back posture you certainly… Read More
20
May 2018
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. A life 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… A life where you can plan family time with your kids or grandkids, without worrying over if your neck pain will strike! …Basically, a life without chronic or severe neck pain! Finally, one of the nations leading neck pain experts, Jennifer Penrose, a specialist from Lacey who has already helped 100’s of people over the last decade with her recovery advice – has recently released a new 7 page “Neck Pain Consumer Awareness Report” that reveals the best kept secret in Lacey… How to actually get to the bottom of Neck Pain without talking to your insurance, regular trips to see the chiropractor, or needing a referral from your doctor. Read More
11
May 2018
Jennifer Penrose
Author
Jennifer Penrose

3 Simple Stretches for Neck Pain at your Desk!

Today I’ll be going over the importance of exercising in the workplace and how it can help your shoulder pain. The reason I’m writing about the workplace is because not many people realize how much time they spend at work. For example, the average full-time worker spends around 1,650 hours at work every year. That’s equivalent to 68 days or 9 weeks of day-in-day-out work! Now, imagine if you had an office job, or if you DO, think of all those hours you actually spend sat down, not moving and potentially developing poor posure, it’s no wonder you have shoulder pain! That’s why it’s important to exercise at work and to keep moving as much as possible. Having only 5 weeks away from work can take it’s toll on your body. This truly shows how long you are at work for and how it can affect your health. With that in mind, here’s a few of my tips that are handy to use to ease that shoulder pain. Yoga before and after work is a MUST to stretch away those potential aches and pains in your muscles. It is ideal to do yoga on a morning as you have been sleeping in the same position for a while and will continue to do so at work. After work yoga is just as important. Doing yoga after work will stretch your muscles after being sat for so long! Not only this, but it will leave you feeling a lot calmer and stress-free. If you… Read More
04
May 2018
Jennifer Penrose
Author
Jennifer Penrose

3 Things we do everyday that cause neck pain

3 Things We Do Everyday That Cause Neck Pain Let’s play a fun quiz that might help you live with less neck pain,and if you answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions then read on! When you sleep at night, do you find yourself sleeping on your stomach? Or with more than one pillow in a twisted position? When you’re relaxing at home, do you find yourself looking up at the TV screen because it’s hung up high on the wall? When you’re out and about do you carry your bag on one shoulder? Or hold your heavy briefcase in one hand? Chances are you’ve answered ‘yes’ to at least one of those questions. I may be wrong, your bag might not be heavy, and you might sleep with just the one pillow, but the reason why I guessed you’d answered ‘yes’ to one of those questions is because over the years, almost every patient that walks into my clinic who has been suffering with neck pain, has been doing one of these things. So it’s no surprise that during my time as a Physical Therapist that one of the most regular injuries I see is ‘neck pain’. And without even realizing it, things that we do everyday can cause it. So let’s take a look at 3 of the most common everyday mistakes I’ve found my patients doing that cause their ‘neck pain’… 1. Watching TV – Watching TV is a habit –… Read More
28
Apr 2018
Jennifer Penrose
Author
Jennifer Penrose

Headaches: More than just a pain in the head?

Headaches are a pain. We all get them now and again, but for some of us, they’re more of a regular occurence than others. And here at the clinic it’s incredible just how many people we see that tell us that they’ve suffered from headaches so often, that they just consider them to be a regular part of life that they end up dealing with. That’s why painkillers are such big sellers. But drugs can only relieve the symptoms temporarily by masking the pain – when many times, the re-ocurring headaches may actually be the result of something else! Like this email I received from a new patient, let’s call her Jane, last week: “Hey Jennifer. After reading your neck pain and headaches report I wanted to send you an email to see if you could help me! I’m 48 years old and the last 6 months I’ve been suffering from some of the worst headaches I’ve ever had. I sit in front of a computer for at least 8 hours in a job that is stressful most of the time. Recently I visited the doctor who gave me pills to take the pain away, but the pain still exists and all I feel is constant tightness in my head. I don’t know what to do, or what the cause could be, it feels like pounding at the front of my head. Do you have any ideas? Thanks.” Of course, I have several ideas of what could be causing Jane’s headaches. In… Read More
22
Apr 2018
Jennifer Penrose
Author
Jennifer Penrose

How your lifestyle could make your neck pain worse!

It can sometimes be hard to see what you are doing wrong in your lifestyle, because, well, it’s your lifestyle. Your daily routine is so well known to you that it can become second nature to read before bed, look on your tablet or going for that game of golf on a Saturday morning. What if I told you that all of these could be making your shoulder pain worse? That all these movements cause unnecessary strain on your shoulders, leaving you in pain the next day? I’ve given you a few ways that you will find a great benefit to easing shoulder pain in your day-to-day routine below… First things first, when you wake up don’t forget to stretch. I know this is something I say often but it’s because a stretch can often be underestimated. Imagine this, someone has been in the same position for roughly 8 hours, without much movement. Would you think that they would need to stretch afterwards? I bet your answer would be – yes! Exactly. You may have woken up but your joints haven’t yet. It’s like going for a run without warming up. So with this in mind, stretch before you get up. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, it’s better than doing nothing. Looking at your phone or tablet has to be one of the worst culprits for shoulder pain. Yes, looking at your phone or tablet can have an affect on your neck as well, but the pain often starts at the… Read More
15
Apr 2018
Jennifer Penrose
Author
Jennifer Penrose

Is your night time routine causing neck pain?

When patients ask me “why do I get neck pain?” it can sometimes be difficult to answer. Not because I don’t know how to ease neck pain, but because I don’t know their personal circumstances. What I can suggest however, is that it could be your nighttime routine that is causing your neck pain. Why, you ask? Let me explain… Now this is something that many people do at nighttime and probably don’t really think of. Sleeping with 2 pillows can cause havoc for your neck if they don’t support your head correctly. If you have 2 pillows they can sometimes prop your head upwards, tilting your head forwards. By doing this, your head is in an unusual position and will continue to be for roughly 8 hours with your neck will feeling the pressure. Because your head isn’t supported correctly, your neck takes the role of support whilst you sleep. That’s a lot of pressure for your neck for 8 hours! A general rule I have is to sleep with one pillow. It may feel a little weird at first (and by weird I mean flat), but once you get used to it, it will make a great difference. If you only have one pillow, it will support your head, whilst allowing it to stay in line with the body, giving your neck a well deserved rest! Other things that you are probably doing that’s not helping your neck are; reading, checking emails or playing on your phone… Read More
01
Apr 2018
Jennifer Penrose
Author
Jennifer Penrose

Why does knee pain get worse at night?

Today I wanted to talk about why knee pain can get worse at night, and how to ease it. This question was sent to me yesterday by a reader suffering with knee pain, let’s call her Joan: “Jennifer, I’ve suffered on-off type knee pain now for more than a year. What I can’t put my finger on is when it started or why, and more confusing is that my pain gets worse as the day goes on. But whenever I wake up the pain is gone – or is considerably less. Yet, by the end of another day, my knee aches, sometimes feels hot and swollen and I’m often in considerable pain – especially if I’ve been out for a long walk with the dog. Any ideas?” What’s happening here is likely to be a simple case of the muscles around the knee being ‘weak’. As in, the muscles just aren’t strong enough to last through the day or cope with what she wants her body to do and where she wants to go. Think of it like this: when you go to bed at night and are ready to sleep your body is obviously tired from all of the energy you’ve used through the day. And your muscles, well, they’ve been working too. So what happens is that they get a rest when you sleep, you wake up and they ache less because they’re less tired and feel “energized” and ready for a new day. But if a muscle, any muscle, is weak… Read More
25
Mar 2018
Jennifer Penrose
Author
Jennifer Penrose

Why Knee Pain Gets Worse When You Exercise

It is very frustrating to find that knee pain can get worse with exercise or by trying to do the “right” thing .  Let me help explain by telling a common story. I got this question sent to me yesterday by a “confused” reader of my newspaper articles suffering with knee pain, let’s call her ‘Michelle’: “Hey Jennifer, I’ve been suffering with pain in my right knee now for a few weeks. What I can’t put my finger on is what I did to make it start in the first place, and even more confusing is that it’s most painful when walking down the stairs, and only comes on 10 minutes into a run. Sometimes it aches, sometimes it feels tender and dull, but I don’t understand why I could run fine before and now I can’t, without having to stop after 10 minutes. Can you help?” There’s a good chance that the same thing is happening to Michelle as it does to most people this time of year… And it’s no surprise seeing as we’re now coming into Spring and heading into Summer quicker than we know it… This time of year we see more people than ever in the clinic suffering with painful knees. The reason why? Because it’s around this time of year that people decide to be more active and take things up like running and walking for longer distances. Even if they’re used to running, people tend to step it up and run a little longer than usual to… Read More

Inquire Today

  • Please select from the drop down menu below what concerns you the most: