Incentivized Payments in This Pandemic

There is a Huge Argument between Healthcare and Sickcare in the United States.

Many Americans are having trouble distinguishing what healthcare actually is. They pay for an insurance company to cover the bills that they have regarding health, but every year it covers less and less. They don’t feel like they have options to choose providers that are listed as being the best. They feel like they are strangled in choosing a procedure, prescription, and even if they should get testing done to see if a medication or procedure is necessary. The hoops one must jump through to achieve a diagnosis take longer and longer each year. The insurance layers to gain access to appropriate care or the prescription that the physician recommended instead of some other brand or different drug has affected the ability to recover.

Unfortunately, SARS-COV2 may be even worse.

On March 27th, 2020 information was released that was part of the COVID19 Stimulus Bill. It reported that facilities would receive 20% more than typical reimbursement for positive COVID19 cases. If such a case ended up on a ventilator, the increased in reimbursement with be $39,000. 3x’s the normal reimbursement. Senator Jensen of Minnesota said in a statement on April 8th,

“Nobody can tell me after 35 years in the world of medicine that sometimes those kinds of things impact on what we do.”

He did later say that he doesn’t believe that all decisions were made based on this reimbursement, but he believes that cases are over reported. There were some indications that he believes that the Point of Care cases were over reported and flu cases under reported.

IF you remember the blog from Nov 30th, I talked about the different types of tests. The most common test done does not rule out the common cold or flu. It simply tests for all coronavirus.

So, if this is true…..the number of cases of the flu are under-reported, cases of SARS-COV2 are over reported and we are not being cared for the way we need or expect as the American Public.

A Nurse comes Forward

On May 5th a nurse from Nevada, who had willingly traveled to New York to help relieve some of the stress of overwhelmed medical providers, put a video up on YouTube.

In the video she claims that they are murdering people in the most affected low income, minority hospital in New York. She talks about the fact that people were being defibrillated while they still had a pulse of 40BPM. This is significantly contraindicated and will cause cardiac arrest (heart stop). She states that a patient died waiting for an x-ray because the ventilator tube was not in place. They could not breath on their own. She told the anesthesiologist and the warning went ignored. There is also the discussion about the pressures on the ventilators being higher by 20% than they should be given normal human lungs. Reporting on a case where a feeding tube was placed into the lungs instead of the stomach as well. The mother of two traveled from Nevada to New York to assist. Like hundreds of others. She said that they had plenty of assistance by the time of the video and yet mistakes that were being blamed on over worked and too tired were simply negligence and mismanagement.

This woman was not the only one affected. The protocols placed by administration of the hospitals were not what most of the providers thought were a good idea. There have been an increase in Medical Provider suicide since the start of COVID-19 protocols.

Protocols to improve Finances don’t always mean Best Care

This past decade has brought about more and more Direct to Patient Care, Concierge or Hybrid type Practices. There are some who will say that this shift was due to the ACA Healthcare Bill, but as a provider, I Know it is about more. I have had the opportunity over the past 4 years to interview physicians and other providers who have made the switch. The common theme among them is that they have to see too many people and they don’t actually get to practice medicine anymore. The Popularity of Alternative Medicine currently also paints the picture of what Americans Desire.

Physicians don’t want to see 30 patients a day, neither do physical therapists, surgeons, cardiologist, chiropractors, etc. Yet with declining reimbursement, more hoops for pre-authorization and less autonomy when recommending medication and protocols, this is reality. That is why so many are jumping ship and quitting the profession entirely or moving to concierge direct to patient models.

What happened to that new disease Vaping Lung? or even Influenza?

Do you remember back to January of 2020 the stories of vaping lung disease that was affecting young people. Particularly those who used flavored vape pens? What ever happened with that? My guess is that some of the negative tests where people have died of respiratory symptoms, have been attributed to COVID19, even if it was this instead. Senator Jensen believed this was the case of a 38 year old male who tested negative twice, did admit that he vaped, died of respiratory symptoms, but cause on Death Certificate was attributed to COVID-19.

It also seems that no one has the traditional flu anymore, even though we can trace influenza A and B outbreaks back to 1889 with certainty, and likely back 500 years.

 

Do Your Research! From websites that are giving facts, not social media. 

Stay healthy out there!!

 

References:

Please be sure to FACT Check all information that you see. 

Most information for this blog was taken from the CDC WebSite. 

 

FDA.gov/media/140161/download

FDA.gov/media/143737/download

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2862331/#:~:text=The%20most%20significant%20of%20these,intervals%20averaging%20approximately%2040%20years.

Voted Best of Greenwood Village 4th Year Running!

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Agility Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine Receives 2020 Best of Greenwood Village Award

Greenwood Village Award Program Honors the Achievement

GREENWOOD VILLAGE July 14, 2020 — Agility Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine has been selected for the 2020 Best of Greenwood Village Award in the Doctors of Physical Therapy category by the Greenwood Village Award Program.

Each year, the Greenwood Village Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Greenwood Village area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2020 Greenwood Village Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Greenwood Village Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Greenwood Village Award Program

The Greenwood Village Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Greenwood Village area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Greenwood Village Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Greenwood Village Award Program

CONTACT:
Greenwood Village Award Program
Email: PublicRelations@2020-communitybestinformation.com
URL: https://www.2020-communitybestinformation.com

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Toxic Load: What is it and How Do I Fix it?

Toxic Load refers to the Accumulation of toxins in the body from ingesting them in the air we breath, food we eat, water or other things we drink and exposure to chemicals from lotions to cleaners. Toxic load is further affected by Genetics. If we have failed or broken Toxic removal pathways, Our ability to tolerate toxins is lower.1

What does that mean for you? Well, A lot of people don’t realize that they are exposing themselves daily and what to do to reverse exposure. If you use pesticides, household cleaners from a brand store and eat non-organic GMO food, you are exposing yourself. You also expose yourself to toxins if you live in an area with high radiation, overhead power lines, poor air quality and Highly dense cities. People who live in the mountains and countryside have fewer daily toxin exposures from city persons, but they may use chemicals in farming or farming equipment that cause a toxin load to increase. =

Toxin Build Up in the body has been linked to cancer, autism, neurocognitive decline and Mental health issues.3 It also leads to chronic autoimmune conditions. Many people can reverse simple disorders with doing a full metabolic detox. The most

common thing to start with is increased water intake. If you have high exposure to toxins in your environment, You should aim to drink 100 oz of water a day. If you are exercising, particularly outside with poor air quality, aim for 120oz per day.

Let's talk about Bathroom habits:

Many people think it is not a problem that they only poop 1-2 times a week, but that lack of excretion causes a lot of toxins to build up in the gut.(4) The gut bacteria then start to grow out of control for the bacteria that make you crave more unhealthy foods and sugary drinks. They can actually tell your brain that you don’t like vegetables. Unbelievable right? Read the book the Gut Brain. It goes in detail about healthy gut bacteria and healthy brain function. There is even some research to suggest that people with poor gut bacteria

are more likely to be overweight than people with good gut bacteria.7

Urine is a great way to get rid of toxins as well. Your kidneys filter out some things that are not processed by the liver and things that are processed by the liver and concentrate the urine to get rid of the un-needed items. They also have the ability to filter out toxins and concentrate them into the urine and push it out. Going Pee, every two hours is a normal amount, which means that you need to drink enough water to get to the bathroom every two hours.

So what if we could help you with Bathroom habits and Detox and get your body supported in a Natural way?

Digestive enzymes are a great way to improve bathroom habits. A lot of people have concerns about probiotics, because they have heard mixed reviews about them. The problem with probiotics is this: Not all are created equal, just like supplements. You want to go with a refrigerated Probiotic in most cases. One that is not stored in Sugar (think yogurt). If you don’t want to go Probiotic route, go with digestive enzymes and Prebiotics. These things help break down food so you can better absorb it. This then makes it so that you can ease bathroom habits.

Another Way to detox is drinking Lemon in the water, particularly in the morning and keeping it warm. Not hot, But warm. Lemon has high levels of limonene in it, which helps the liver detox well. Another way to help with detox is to do a cleanse. That cleanse can be for the Gut, the Liver or the Kidneys, but typically they all go hand in hand. A typical cleanse can go from no less than 10 days up to 90 days. It depends on the toxic load. 10 days can help you clean out, 23 helps you actually detox and form habits, 90 days will restore your health. This is the primary way that you start to reverse damage to the body.

The hardest part about a cleanse is Budget. Whether it is time or money, budget is the most common complaint. Often, I will also hear “I can not eat like that because my family doesn’t like it”. Well, If your family is eating the same as you are right now, what is their toxic load? Are you wanting to start the family out with poor health or great health? 90 days to change the eating habits and health of your ENTIRE FAMILY. Can you imagine the benefits? Less physician visits. Less medications. What does that cost you?

Essential Oils can also help with Detoxification as well. Lemon,

grapefruit, Cinnamon, Peppermint, Anise, fennel, Ginger, Caraway, coriander and Tarragon all help with Digestion motility. Increasing Digestive motility increases the body getting rid of toxins.

So what detox is right for you?

That is subjective, but in general, the goal should be to eat 100 grams of protein, 5 servings of fruit (½ cup each) and 7 servings of vegetables (½ cup each) with most being organic. Also, 100-120oz of water daily. Snacks to a minimum and healthy fat like a ¼ cup of nuts or ½ avocado with salsa.

Message me for more information about regaining your health.

References:
  1. Nutr Today. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2017 Jul 1.
  2. 1) Jones OA, Maguire ML, Griffin JL. Environmental pollution and diabetes: a neglected association. Lancet. 2008 Jan 26;371(9609):287-8./li>
  3. (2) Lang IA, et al. Association of urinary bisphenol A concentration with medical disorders and loratory abnormalities in adults. JAMA. 2008 Sep 17;300(11):1303-10.
  4. (3) Environmental Working Group “Study Finds Industrial Pollution Begins in the Womb” (www.ewg.org/reports/bodyburden2/newsrelease.php)
  5. (4) McCallum, J.D., Ong, S., M Mercer-Jones. (2009) Chronic Constipation in Adults: Clinical Review, British Medical Journal. 338:b831
  6. (5) National Institutes of Health (https://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/constipation/)
  7. (6) Crinnion, WJ (2011) Sauna as a Valuable Clinical Tool for Cardiovascular, Autoimmune, Toxicant-induced and other Chronic Health Problems, Alternative Medicine Review 16(3): 215-225
  8. (7) Published in final edited form as:Nutr Today. 2016 Jul-Aug; 51(4): 167–174. doi: 10.1097/NT.0000000000000167 The Gut Microbiome and Its Role in Obesity. Cindy D. Davis, Ph.D.

Lemon Water: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

What are the benefits and Negatives of Drinking Lemon Water daily?

 

 

Research suggests that the average female needs 91 oz of water while the average male needs 125oz of water daily,  But it’s so bland. So how do you get it in? What about flavored water or water with something added to it? 

 

The most common fruit placed in water is Lemon, and with good reason. The question is, is it for your betterment or does it cause harm. Well, just like anything, too much of a good thing is too much. Use best Judgement and guidance from multiple providers, including your dentist. 

 

So what is Lemon Water Used For? 

Ayurvedic medicine has long stated that lemon in the water plays a role in detoxification, hydration, weight loss, digestion, improved skin quality, prevention of kidney stones, and it’s a good source of Vitamin-C.  But which of those hold water?

Turmeric powder,Turmeric in Mortar Grinder drugs and ingredient herbs on wooden background

It turns out that most of it is correct. In a study published in 2016, they looked at the benefits of using lemon water with honey in it to decrease lipid profiles. 50 people participated and the results were conclusive. The Fat weight of the person decreased, Triglyceride levels went down and Free Fatty Mass decreased. The questions for the researchers that I have is in part around the fasting and in part around subject numbers. Intermittent fasting is also shown to improve Free Fat Mass and triglycerides, so is it a side effect of just that, or is it actually the lemon in the water? 

 

If i was not convinced that it had to do with the lemon in the water, a 1014 study with 100 participants showed similar results. They added daily walking for 20 minutes as a component of their study though, and took out fasting. 

 

The most conclusive results that I could find were in a 2019 study looking at changes in the gut microbiome and longevity. That study showed that microbial activity of bacteria that help the body break down and digest food was increased by 10% -30% depending on the individual’s microbiome at the start of the study. They showed that the persons had more energy and then they also were looked at over a period of ten years. They tested at younger ages via blood work, mental cognitive tests and agility than same aged peers. 

 

So why do some think it is harmful to drink lemon water? The answers might surprise you. 

Most of the time, we don’t think about washing fruits that we peel, but they can be a significant host for things like e.coli, staph and MRSA. One study of 20 restaurants across the US showed that almost all of the oranges and lemons contained at minimum E. Coli on the skin. You don’t want to stick that in your water (or beer).When it comes to restaurant lemons and oranges, Squeeze them into the drink, but leave the fruit on the plate please. 

 

Lemons are acidic in nature, so they can irritate the skin, gums and cold sores or canker sores. The American Dental association recommends that you stay away from them in those instances. Also, if you have weak tooth enamel or start to notice your teeth feel rough when you run your tongue over them, re-consider your flavor of water. That acidity may also play a role in GERD. While some people get a benefit for their heartburn from lemon water, others can suffer because the pH balance in the stomach is upset by trying to balance out the acidity of the lemons. 

The last thing you may want to consider is about migraines. If you are unsure of your triggers, check citrus fruits specifically when you know you have some down time. Getting a migraine at work because you drink lemon water is not a good plan.

 

That’s all for now, Check back later for more health news!

 

Effects of Lifelong Intake of Leon Polyphenols on aging and intestinal microbiome; Shimizu et al. sci rep. (2019)9;3671
Effects on 8P of Daily Lemon intake and Walking. Y.Kato et al. J. Nutr. Metab. (2014)2014:912684
Does Short Term Lemon Honey Fasting Have Effect on Lipid Profile and Body composition. J. Ayurveda Integ Med (2016)Mar; 7(11-13).

What Role do Genetics Play in Pharmacology?

Ever Had a bad experience with a Prescription?

Ever thought it was an allergic reaction to a medication?

In 2017 I had a significant abdominal surgery that required me to take pain medication, anti-inflammatories, and Antibiotics. The Surgery was supposed to help with a significant abdominal umbilical hernia. It occurred on a Wednesday, and by Monday, I was having a significant reaction to the Pain medication, where my FACE went NUMB. Talk about scary.

Leading up to the surgery, I had taken part in 2 appointments where I discussed previous bad reactions to the pain medication and talked about my concerns. They told me it was a necessary evil in this case so that I could sleep. The Morning of Surgery, After long discussion with the Anesthesiologist, He asked If I had testing done to look at my response to different drugs. At that time, I didn’t even know that was a thing that could be done.

The News media and Medical Media lately has talked a lot about epigenetics, Epigenomics and now, we are starting to hear about pharmacogenetics. Pharmacogenetics can be done through DNA testing to specifically look at your genetics and how they might react to specific types of drugs. They can allow for better dosing, Better drug choice, so there is less guess work, And over all better outcomes. Pharmacogenetics can also help in looking at how some people may become addicted and others not to things like Marijuana, which the Prop 64 group in Colorado would have us believe is not possible.

Pharmacogenetics can also let us know when it might be time to change a drug, because the Epigenetics/Epigenomics, or the Environmental Factors that cause the genes to change, may have been affected over long term use of specific drugs. These drugs can be related to addiction treatment, Pain Management, Mental Health Disorders (Bipolar, Schizophrenia, Depression), Autoimmune Logical Drugs including Chemotherapy.

Along the line of Epigenetics/Epigenomics, there is a specific testing that can be done that supports your DNA sections. IT looks at what will optimally support your health and with that information, we can create a supplement that is SPECIFIC to you. Repeating the test about 6 months after initial testing and consuming of those supplements is recommended due to the changes you could potentially make. Then every year.

 

Why would you need a DNA specific supplement? Colorado has one of the highest levels of radiation exposure in the continental US. Specifically, We have a lot of naturally occurring Uranium and Radon. Both of those are known carcinogens. Also, think about how much and what type of sunscreen you apply every year in Colorado while enjoying the outdoor lifestyle you love. Chemical Barriers are more likely to interact with the radiation from the sun to create mutation of cells. It starts at the Skin level, But Quickly spreads to the body as the skin is an organ that ABSORBS things you put on it.

 

If you have questions about how DNA Testing can improve your health, life and longevity, Don’t Hesitate to reach out!

 

References:

*https://dnalife.academy/dna-health/

*Recent developments in genetic/genomic medicine, Rachel H. Horton and Anneke M. Lucassen, Clin Sci (Lond). 2019 Mar 15; 133(5): 697–708.Published online 2019 Mar 5. Prepublished online 2019 Feb 27. doi: 10.1042/CS20180436

*Pharmacogenomics in the treatment of mood disorders: Strategies and Opportunities for personalized psychiatry; Azmeraw T. Amare,1 Klaus Oliver Schubert,1,2 and Bernhard T. Baune1; EPMA J. 2017 Sep; 8(3): 211–227.Published online 2017 Sep 5. doi: 10.1007/s13167-017-0112-8
*Future Trends in the Pharmacogenomics of Brain Disorders and Dementia: Influence of APOE and CYP2D6 Variants; Ramón Cacabelos,1,2,* Lucía Fernández-Novoa,1,2 Rocío Martínez-Bouza,1,2 Adam McKay,1,2 Juan C. Carril,1,2 Valter Lombardi,1,2 Lola Corzo,1,2 Iván Carrera,1,2 Iván Tellado,1,2 Laura Nebril,1,2 Margarita Alcaraz,1,2 Susana Rodríguez,1,2 Ángela Casas,1,2 Verónica Couceiro,1,2 and Antón Álvarez1,2Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2010 Oct; 3(10): 3040–3100.Published online 2010 Sep 29. doi: 10.3390/ph3103040
*Some observations on the role of environment and genetics in behaviour of wild and domestic forms of Sus scrofa (European wild boars and domestic pigs)S Robert, J Dancosse, A Dallaire – Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 1987 – Elsevier

The Rise of Alternative Medicine

Restorative Health: Being More Connected To Our Body and Mind

“While there is evidence to support that the natural environment leads to improvements in health markers, More evidence is needed to show what disease may benefit and why.” Bowler et.al. (2010)1

As a Person living in the 21st century, I am often confused by the significant lack of health I am surrounded by. It seems that people are less connected to the environment and people around them than they are to the devices they have available. We have stopped relying on our true person to person connections and moved to a world where we could go a full day without uttering a word to another human. If you type in a search for the effects of electronic devices on Health, the results are kind of scary. This chapter will focus on Restorative health and how we can get back to the last time our Body Agreed that it could do what we asked of it. Restorative health is very Individualized and takes a commitment from the Person and the Provider. It makes sure that both parties are invested to obtain the best outcomes for all involved.

For the last decade, I have been looking for ways to restore my health back to the way it was pre-kids. The things I am looking for are: Sleep, Workout Recovery, Feeling Comfortable in my Body, Less Seasonal Allergies, Less pain. I sought out the help of a physician in 2012 and was directed through a medical model that wanted to drug away my symptoms and maybe (definitely) cause some other symptoms. It was not the root cause of what was happening, It was a band aid approach. Cover Ups don’t work. They simply push the problem to a higher level while partially masking it. What I discovered was that I had a bunch of food allergies that had come back full force while pregnant that were wreaking havoc on my body. You see, true Health starts from within and from the environment around you.

Inflammation occurs when you take in foods that you have sensitivities and allergies to them. That inflammation starts in the mouth, continues to the esophagus, leads to the stomach and ends in the GUT through to the colon. There is another chapter in this book on the gut and microbiome. I would suggest a careful attention is paid to that chapter as well.

“All disease begins in the Gut” ~Hippocrates


The digestive tract is of utmost importance in our health because it is where 90% of the nutrients we take in each day are absorbed. Think of this area of your body similar to the skin, with a severe bug bite. That bug bite becomes inflamed, itches, swells more, you usually agitate it further and it perpetuates the problem. The same is true of the digestive system. If you have a sunburn, how healthy is your skin at the time when it is tight, dry and peeling? Does it absorb lotion well or just appear dry and irritated a few hours later again? If you are causing inflammation due to food sensitivities and allergies, What does the digestive tract look like and how does it feel? One of the problems we have as a society is if I can’t see it, it must not be real. I can ignore it and it will go away, or I can take something for it. This “Disease Mongering3” is part of the pharmaceutical industry push to sell drugs that should likely not be on the market, but also add to the symptoms you experience because they cover a Health Issue with a Band-Aid.

The Discipline to restore your health has to come from with-in, but I believe must also have support. That support can be a health coach, physician, family member, or trusted friends. The non-coach or physician should be someone willing to truly push you and not damage the relationship. The accountability from them must be true to your desire for health. It works best if they are trying to get back some measure of health as well. The typical start of restoring health happens through doing a series of blood work and allergy testing. The best thing about this is that a lot of allergies now can be tested via hair sample, blood work or mouth scraping and spit collection. The patch testing is still an option, but you can find cheaper, less invasive means through online labs. Once you find the things that are causing you inflammation on a daily basis, we tailor an elimination diet to those sensitivities. The Elimination Diet process is no less than 90 days. If you feel that you have extreme or severe food allergies and sensitivities, it may be recommended for six months. This is so the Digestive tract has a chance to heal. If it is still “sunburned” it can not absorb nutrients. The next step is to look at stool samples and find weaknesses in the microbiome and support them. Hormone testing may also be done to look at imbalances and supplements recommended for support.

With the Elimination diet, we focus a lot on the patterns of sleep. Sleep has been discussed a lot over the last decade as a major player in health. There is research to support the fact that lack of sleep causes your body to become insulin resistant, increasing your chances of diabetes. It can lead to stroke due to increased blood pressure, Adrenal fatigue, Thyroid dysfunction and Weight gain. Sleep is when your body truly restores itself. Most of the repair work done is during the time when you are sleeping. Your body goes through a significant amount of detoxification while sleeping. If you look through the Chinese Medicine Body Clock for organ detoxification, you can see that the detoxification of the liver and then the Gallbladder occur between 11pm and 1 am. Going to bed and sleep at a regular time also decreases the likelihood of insomnia and sleep disorders. There has been evidence to show that stopping device use, television and dimming lights in the areas of the house you will be in 30 minutes prior to bedtime will improve your ability to fall asleep quickly. We typically recommend both food and sleep journals. These journals should include what you ate, whether it was protein, carbohydrate or fruit and veggies; the time that you ate, and how much water you drink. It should also include any activity done in the day and your general feeling at the beginning and ending of each day based on mood and stress level. The sleep journal should include what time you went to bed, if you fell asleep easily; if you woke up what time was it; how you felt in the morning when waking up.

Restoring your health also includes periods of time outside, unconnected from the digital world. A four year longitudinal study in the UK showed that people who had access to green space had lower incidence of disease, particularly cardiovascular and Psychological. We encourage mindfulness during this time in the outside world. We ask for people to focus on how they currently feel, then change to how they want to feel that day or moment. We then ask them to say four positive affirmations on the type of feeling they want to have that day in relationship to work, home, Body Image, and Health overall. For Instance: “I enjoy working with each one of my clients. At home I am working well to encourage positive homework behaviors in my children. I am my perfect self every day and I am gaining control over my back pain each moment.”

Restoring Your health is a process that will likely take 18 months to three years, depending on the amount of damage that has occurred over time. We hope that your journey is fulfilling and guides you to a better place in your life. Schedule a Call with me

 

References:

1A systematic review of evidence for the added benefits to health of exposure to natural environments D.E. Bowler, LM Buyung-Ali, ™ Knight, AS Pullin. BMC Public Health 10:456 (2010)
2Article by Terry Hartig from the Lancet in 2018 reviewing a four year longitudinal study by R. Mitchell and F. Popham showed that people in England that had better access to Green Space in the day to day lives had less incidence of cardiovascular disease and Psychological disorders.
3Selling sickness: the pharmaceutical industry and disease mongering.Ray Moynihan, journalist,a Iona Heath, general practitioner,b and David Henry, professor of clinical pharmacologyc BMJ. 2002 Apr 13; 324(7342): 886–891.

New Year, New Health Insurance Benefits!

With the New Year, most insurance plans start over. This means that there could be changes associated with your health benefits, so the New Year is the perfect time to review your insurance coverage. At Agility Physical Therapy, we want to make sure patients have a full understanding of the costs associated with their visits. Here are some tips to stay on top of the new changes with your insurance:

  • Have a current insurance card with you. This will expedite the process in verifying your benefits.
  • Familiarize yourself with your new benefits. The more you know, the easier the check in process will be at the beginning of the year.
  • Understand that the amount you pay at one office may be different than what you pay at another office. Each office could have different costs depending on the level of care and service provided.

To better understand what your health insurance plan covers, you must first understand the terminology. Here are some common terms to help when looking over your plan:

  • Premium: the amount you pay your insurance company for health coverage each month or year.
  • Health Insurance Deductible: the amount that the patient typically must pay out-of-pocket before the insurance company will begin to pay. For example, if your deductible is $1,000, your insurance will not pay for anything until you have paid $1,000 for services subject to the deductible. Depending on your plan, even if you have met your deductible, you may still owe a copay or coinsurance. In most cases, the lower the premium, the higher the deductible.
  • Out-of-Pocket Maximum: the maximum amount an individual/family will pay for the calendar year for services covered under their health insurance plan (includes deductibles, copays, and coinsurance) until the insurance company pays for all covered expenses.
  • Co-pay: a fixed amount you will pay for a covered health service, as defined by your health plan. Copays usually vary for different plans and types of services. Insurance requires that copay is paid at every visit. In most cases, copays go toward your deductible.
  • Co-insurance: the predetermined percentage of costs you pay to a medical provider once the deductible has been met. In other words, the coinsurance is your share of the total cost for a particular service. Coinsurance amounts very based on each insurance plan. For example, if your insurance plan’s allowed amount for an office visit is $100, you have already met your deductible and you are responsible for a 15% coinsurance, then you would pay $15 at the visit. The insurance company would then pay the rest of the allowed amount for that visit.
  • In-Network: this term refers to medical establishments that deliver patient services covered under the insurance plan. In-network providers are generally the cheapest option for policyholders. Insurance companies typically have negotiated lower rates with the in-network providers.
  • Out-of-Newtork: this term refers to medical establishments not covered under your insurance plan. Services from out-of-network providers are usually more expensive than those rendered by in-network providers.
  • HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) Plan: With an HMO plan, you are assigned a specific primary care provider, and you can then only receive treatment and care from physicians and specialists within the established provider network. Referrals are required for certain providers. Please check with your insurance carrier to see if a referral is required for our facility.
  • PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) Plan: With a PPO plan, you do not have to select a primary care doctor and referrals are not required for specialists.

Remember, your health insurance benefits should be something you use all the time—from yearly check up visits to movement screenings and wellness benefits. Make the most of your plans this year, and make it a happy and healthy 2019!

The majority of insurance plans, including Medicare and private insurers, pay for physical therapy services that are medically necessary. In the state of Colorado, you can go directly to a Physical Therapist under a law that grants “direct access.” This means that, with most insurances, you can visit your physical therapist first without a physician’s referral. With direct access, you can reduce costs with fewer visits to multiple providers, such as your primary care physician or an orthopedic surgeon, for conditions that are affecting your movement. For example, if you were to sprain your ankle or “throw out your back”, you can simply walk into your physical therapists office, who can then diagnose your injury, order imaging to rule out bone fractures or breaks, and begin your plan of care all in one visit.

At Agility Physical Therapy, we are currently accepting all major health insurance plans, with the exception of Aetna no co-pay plans, BCBS Federal and Kaiser non-PPO plans. For a complete list of insurances we accept, visit our insurance page. In addition to accepting most insurance plans, Agility Physical Therapy offers payment plans as well as discounted packages for self-pay rates. For more information or if you have a question regarding whether or not we accept your insurance, contact us at agilityphysio.com or 303-773-0771 and we will verify your benefits for you.

 

 

Exercise is a Miracle Drug.

“Exercise is a miracle drug. I’m such a believer that it’s the key to health, wellness and longevity that I prescribe it to every patient I see. It’s the most powerful, readily available drug in the world, and it’s free.” Sports Medicine Physician Jordan Metzl expresses his support for physical activity as an intervention to mitigate the effects of almost any adverse health condition.

Many conditions that we as Physical Therapists treat could, if done correctly, be prevented by regular physical activity, as well. If a drug were invented that could do for human health everything that exercise can, people would fight to get their hands on it. It would be the most valuable pharmaceutical ever developed.

There are an unlimited number of benefits behind increased daily movement and PA that have been established in people of all ages, including:

  • Decreases risk of premature death due to coronary heart disease
  • Decreases risk of developing Type II Diabetes
  • Decreases risk of developing hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Reduces blood pressure of those who already have hypertension
  • Decreases risk of developing breast and colon cancer
  • Helps maintain healthy weight
  • Builds and maintains health bones, muscles and joints
  • Decreases number of falls in older adults
  • Reduces mortality rates compared to sedentary populations
  • Reduces arthritis symptoms and delay progression of Osteoarthritis
  • Increases self-esteem, promotes mental health, prevents depressive illness, and possible protective effect from cognitive decline
  • Possible increase in brain cell growth which enhances learning and memory (animal studies)
  • Possible link to increased capacity for learning and academic achievement in students
  • Reduces frequency of tobacco, drug and alcohol use among physically active
  • Reduces direct medical costs among Americans by $76.6 billion (regular moderate exercise)
  • Reduces workplace short-term sick leave by 6-32% and increase productivity by 2-52%

While many are aware of the physical and aesthetic benefits of exercise, not everyone realizes the significant positive impact on mental health. Physical activity has a role in management of severe mental illnesses in its ability to lessen symptoms and also potentially extend the life in these populations.

The European Psychiatric Association (EPA) has issued recommendations for supervised physical activity as a potentially effective intervention for individuals with severe mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression. According to researchers, those with severe mental illnesses face an increased risk of early mortality by as much as 10 to 20 years, with physical disorders accounting for as much as 70% of those early deaths.

In its latest edition of nationwide guidelines for physical activity (PA), the Department of Health and Human Services state “adults should move more and sit less throughout the day.” 80% of all Americans are not meeting current PA recommendations, a failure that is contributing to the prevalence of a host of chronic health conditions. Regular PA reduces your risk for many chronic diseases, including prostate and breast cancers, dementia and brain strokes, and is considered to be as effective as taking medication for many conditions.

The new guidelines emphasize the concept that some amount of PA is better than none in preventing disease and extending life, no matter an individual’s age. The revisions to the PA guidelines are the first in 10 years, and they do not significantly alter the goals for adults. Instead, the new guidelines further reinforce the benefit of PA at any level by removing the statement that activity must occur for at least 10 minutes to be effective. The Department of Health and Human Services recommendations for physical activity vary by age and are as follows:

Children and adolescents (6 to 17 years): 60 minutes or more per day of moderate-to-vigorous PA; with at least 3 days of muscle- and bone-strengthening PA per week

Adults: 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity PA, or 75 or more minutes per week of high-intensity PA is recommended for adults; at least 2 or more days per week should include muscle-strengthening activities.

Older adults: If possible, 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity PA, tempered by an individual’s “level of [PA] relative to their fitness,” and a clear understanding of how various chronic conditions can affect the ability to reach PA goals. No matter what PA level is achieved, activities should include balance training, aerobic, and muscle-strengthening activities.

A brisk walk, gardening, housework and cycling count toward the recommended 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise a week. If you are struggling to fit a gym routine into your schedule, yet you would like to begin incorporating more movement into your day, you can start with some of the following simple changes:

  1. Organize a walking group with coworkers during lunch or meet friends in the park. Bonus: fresh air and being social without food and drink.
  2. Get off one stop earlier on the bus or subway
  3. Choose one meal a day and walk for 10 minutes after it. Walking after eating regulates blood sugar and helps weight loss.
  4. Walk your dog rather than letting them out in the backyard
  5. Choose a parking spot in the back of the lot, further from the front entrance of your work or store
  6. Walk around the track or field while your kids play sports
  7. Walk to breakfast, lunch or dinner.
  8. Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  9. Drink more water. This will ensure you take breaks often to use the restroom (great tactic for mental clarity) and also keep you hydrated!
  10. Return your missed calls while walking

I am sure you have heard the phrase, “physical activity as medicine” at least once before. After reading through some of the general benefits of increased physical activity and simple ways to fit more movement into your day, one must be convinced.

 

This information is for informational purposes and is not intended to be used in place of seeking individualized care from a healthcare professional.

 

 

References:

Sallis JF, McKenzie TL. Effects of health-related physical education on academic achievement: Project SPARK. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport 70(2):391-5.

Physical Activity May Decrease Mortality Risk in Frail Older Adults, Says Researchers. PT in Motion News. October 30, 2018.

European Psychiatrists Recommend Physical Activity in the Treatment of Severe Mental Illness. PT in Motions News. November 9, 2018.

What You May Not Know About Cigarette Smoking and Your Health

Cigarette smoking negatively affects every organ of the body and is widely recognized as one the major causes of preventable disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), smoking causes more deaths each year than the following causes combined: HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, and firearm-related incidents.

Most people know that smoking is linked to heart and lung diseases, as well as several cancers. However, many people are not aware that smoking has a serious negative effect on other parts of the body, including bones, muscles and joints.

Cigarette smoking negatively impacts the rate and quality of healing from injuries, illnesses, and chronic conditions on multiple levels. Adverse effects of smoking on tissue oxygen levels have been demonstrated immediately after smoking just one cigarette, regardless of smoking history. On a microscopic level, chemicals found in cigarette smoke cause many changes to the way the body handles oxygen. Carbon monoxide is a poisonous by-product of cigarette smoke that has a 200 times greater affinity to bind with hemoglobin than oxygen. Hemoglobin is the molecule that carries oxygen throughout the body and, when exposed to cigarette smoke, it replaces oxygen with carbon monoxide to deliver to tissues. Cigarette smoking also increases the thickness of blood and narrows blood vessels, which both further contribute to impaired oxygen delivery.

When oxygen is not delivered to our tissues, cellular metabolism in the tissues is inhibited and healing is delayed or disrupted completely as a result. Furthermore, smoking increases chance of re-injury, as bones, tendons, and ligaments do not regain their full strength without adequate oxygen and nutrients.

Healing of injuries is a complex process. The air we breathe is filled with oxygen, which is needed for most functions in the body, including the repair process after an illness or injury. The healing trajectory can be interrupted at any stage by lack of oxygen to tissues.

Imagine a busy four-lane highway filled with big trucks hauling precious cargo necessary to survive in the same way that oxygen is required for human function. If this were the body, smoking would have the effect of shutting the highway down to two lanes, shrinking the trucks down to small cars with half the cargo, and pouring sticky tar on the road to delay the delivery. Much less cargo would arrive at its destination in a longer time. In the same way, areas of the body that need oxygen will go without, and will receive a toxic chemical instead of an essential nutrient.

In addition to poor healing and increased chance of re-injury, lack of oxygen to tissues has been found to increase infection risk and also results in reduced tolerance for exercise, frequent headaches, dry and inelastic skin with wrinkles and dull and grayish skin tone.

When you smoke, the number of white blood cells (the cells that defend your body from infections) remains high. Elevated white blood cell levels are a sign that the body is under constant stress as it is chronically fighting the inflammation and damage caused by smoking. With the immune system continuously trying to repair the damage done by smoking, the body’s ability to fight off any foreign pathogen, such as a virus or bacteria, is impaired. Chronic systemic inflammation also affects the way the body interprets pain signals. Many studies have found that smokers report more pain after surgery than non-smokers.

No matter your age or how long you have smoked, quitting can help. It is important to recognize that you are not alone in the struggle to stop smoking and there are many resources available to help you. By calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visiting www.smokefree.gov, you will be linked up with a professional “quit coach” free of charge to help you through this process.

Immediate benefits of quitting smoking within one day include decreased heart rate and blood pressure, and improved ability to breath. Within one month, quitting smoking will result in greater blood circulation, enhanced lung function and better sense of taste and smell. Within one year of quitting smoking, a person will have fewer colds and illnesses, decreased coughing, less shortness of breath and 50% decreased risk of heart disease.

It can be hard to quit because nicotine is addictive. Symptoms of nicotine withdrawal usually peak within 7-10 days and may include dizziness, depression, anxiety/irritability, trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating, restlessness, headaches and increased appetite and weight gain.

To help get through this process and reduce withdrawal symptoms, you can take extra steps to manage the stress of quitting. Drink plenty of water, eat nutritious foods and get enough sleep. Avoid temptation to smoke by staying away from people and places that remind you of smoking. Keep substitutes ready when you are tempted to smoke, such as carrots, celery, pickles, apples, and sugar free gum. Utilize nicotine replacement therapy, such as gum, patches, inhalers and throat lozenges. Stay active by exercising, walking or cycling to help with restlessness and weight gain. People who exercise while quitting smoking have reported better success and fewer withdrawal symptoms. Finally, acknowledge that anger, frustration and worry are normal—you are worth the extra effort it takes to quit!

Article written by Dr. Jessica Khani, PT, DPT, CSCS

This information is for informational purposes and is not intended to be used in place of seeking individualized care from a healthcare professional.

18 Ways Physical Therapy Can Make a Difference

If you are reading this post, chances are that you have heard of physical therapy (PT). Perhaps you have attended PT as a patient or know a friend who has had PT in the past. But if asked, you might not be able to define physical therapy or describe all the ways it can benefit a person. That’s no surprise; physical therapy is such a large profession with so many practice settings that it can be tough to describe what PT truly is!

Physical Therapists are movement experts who combine their extensive education, clinical experience, and the latest medical research to assess and treat people of all ages and abilities, from highly athletic to extremely physically debilitated. PT is a dynamic profession with established theoretical and scientific bases for therapeutic interventions, with an end-goal being to maximize and optimize each person’s capacity for movement. With use of patient education, corrective exercises and manual therapy, PTs can help relieve pain and normalize imbalances to ensure patients are as independent as possible.

Physical Therapy is a high-benefit, low-risk solution to treat many conditions. PT is considered a conservative intervention, meaning that it is less taxing on the body than harsh medications and surgeries, which should be considered last resort options. PT can truly make a difference in the following ways:

1. Avoid surgery. Physical Therapy can often help avoid unnecessary and costly invasive surgery altogether. Research has shown that PT can be more effective than surgery in the long-term for injuries such as rotator cuff tears, spinal stenosis, and disc herniation. If it is necessary to perform surgery, physical therapy will expedite your recovery by increasing your strength pre-operatively and preparing your body for the rigors of an operation.

2. Assess your Injury risk. In the same way you visit your primary care physician for an annual check-up, you can visit a PT for a full movement screen and orthopedic examination every year. PTs are trained to recognize postural habits and biomechanical shortcomings of each individual’s unique body. Movement screens can bring your attention to areas of weaknesses that may predispose you to future injury.

While everyone has different muscle imbalances, range of motion and alignment, a PT can pinpoint your specific limitations. After recognizing your individual impairments, your physical therapist can then give you the tools to overcome these subtle postural habits or limitations to prevent future injury.

3. Reduce or eliminate pain. Chronic pain, pain that lasts several months, is a common problem and can be very frustrating, especially if the underlying cause is unknown.

People can suffer from chronic pain in a number of areas in the body, including headaches or neck pain caused by postural syndromes, hip and knee pain as a result of osteoarthritis, or low back pain due to work-related activities. Patients who are experiencing chronic pain often fear performing daily activities and experience tightness, stiffness or increased used of pain medications.

If you are experiencing pain, PTs can provide hands on treatment to mobilize your joints, release soft tissue and restore muscle function, thereby reducing aches and pain. Patient education is important in understanding that chronic pain is complex involving more than damaged muscles, tendons, ligaments and joint tissues. Emotions, depression, anxiety and nervous system hypersensitivity are important components of chronic pain that will be addressed by your PT. Finally, understanding how to properly lift, sit, bend, reach and perform specific daily activities will help facilitate healing and decrease repetitive trauma to your body. Physical therapy can give you the tools and guidance you need to live pain free and improve your quality of life.

4. Avoid Prescription Medications. The ongoing opioid crisis in the United States reflects the unintended consequences of a nationwide effort to help individuals control their pain. The health care system has, since the mid-1990s, employed an approach to pain management that focuses on the pharmacological masking of pain, rather than treating the actual cause of pain. This strategy has resulted in a dramatic increase in opioid prescriptions, causing widespread misuse and addiction. In recent years, it has also led to a growing realization that current strategies for managing pain have to change, as opioid-centered solutions for dealing with pain at best mask patients’ physical problems and delay or impede recovery and at worst may prove to be dangerous and even deadly.

Ensuring that patients are aware of and have access to various options for care is a significant step in addressing this complex issue. PT interventions are an essential component of the multidisciplinary undertaking that is required to improve patient outcomes and alter the trajectory of this public health crisis.

The CDC released opioid prescription guidelines in March 2016, which recognized that properly-dosed opioids are appropriate for pain management in cancer treatment, palliative care, certain acute care cases, and end-of-life care. For other conditions, the CDC recommends non-opioid approaches, such as physical therapy. The CDC’s recommendations reference high-quality evidence that treatments provided by PTs are especially effective at reducing pain and improving function in cases of low back pain, fibromyalgia and hip and knee osteoarthritis.

Similar to how PT can help avoid costly surgeries, it can replace the need to purchase and consume expensive drugs. PT will address the underlying cause of your injury or condition, rather than prescription drugs which mask pain, and is a safer alternative for long-term pain. During an initial evaluation, your physical therapist will focus on your symptoms and the movement patterns that may be contributing to pain.

5. Prevent falls. A fall can result in joint dislocations, fractures, reduced self-confidence, permanent disability or other health, psychosocial and economic consequences. There are many reasons that a person may be at risk for falls. Potential causes for imbalance include reduced joint position awareness, visual impairments or problems of vestibular origin.

During your initial evaluation, your physical therapist will perform a screen to evaluate your fall risk. After isolating the cause behind your imbalance, your PT will prescribe treatment to address deficits that are contributing to your fall risk.

PT intervention will improve your balance, increase your neuromuscular control and coordination, and decrease your fear of falls. Fall prevention is important to avoid further injury and ensure that you can carry out your day safely and independently.

6. Refer you to specialists. Although it may seem like physical therapists can do it all, we recognize that, at times, your health condition may be out of our scope of practice. PTs identify problems that may require consultation with or referral to other professionals when appropriate.

Sometimes a person might require simultaneous multidisciplinary care from a team of health care practitioners. In such cases, your PT will work hand in hand with your primary care physician or specialty provider to ensure your wellness goals are met.

7. Increase your functional independence. Functional independence is the ability to carry out activities of daily living safely and autonomously. Whether you are experiencing a physical disability or not, participation in daily living activities is essential to your health and well-being.

If you are having difficulty standing, walking, standing from a chair or other daily activities, physical therapy can help. The treatment approach chosen by your PT depends on your specific goals, the degree of functional limitation experienced and the type and severity of the skill impairments noted.

8. Recover from a stroke, neurological injury or chronic disease. PT is essential following a traumatic injury or diagnosis of chronic disease. Adults and children who experience a stroke, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Cerebral Palsy and many other conditions have shown to benefit significantly from physical therapy.

After an unexpected injury, it can be difficult for patients to return to daily activities such as writing, eating, or climbing stairs. If you have been diagnosed with a chronic disease, PT can help manage symptoms or delay progression of the disease by maintenance of strength and mobility, incorporation of nutritional education, and improvement of gait and balance. It is current knowledge that nutrition, the intestinal microbiota, the gut mucosal immune system, and autoimmune pathology are deeply intertwined. Nutritional intervention can be very effective in managing autoimmune diseases, such as diabetes and hypothyroidism, which share the underlying pathology of chronic systemic inflammation.

At Agility PT, Dr. Marci has obtained her functional medicine certification. Dr. Marci’s training has equipped her with the scientific knowledge and experience to recommend individualized diet and lifestyle modifications to decrease your symptoms, restore hormone balance, and support the gut and immune system. Studies have shown that nutritional intervention is effective in controlling the progression of MS, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), and Diabetes by modulating the autoimmune response and systemic inflammation. For example, symptoms of disease, such as fatigue in MS, pain and diarrhea in inflammatory bowel disease, or the need for acute medication in type 2 diabetes are considerably affected by food intake.

9. Recover from sports injury. While we try to prevent injuries, sometimes accidents occur. The fact that athletes place higher demands on muscles and joints increases their risk for injury. However, an injury on the field does not mean that you have to sit on the sideline indefinitely.

PTs have experience rehabilitating athletes with rotator cuff injuries, ligament sprains, muscle strains, tendinitis, overhead sports injuries, and pains that occur with running and cycling.

After a thorough evaluation of your condition, your PT will develop a custom rehabilitation program of hands-on techniques for pain and inflammation control. Your PT will also help you build up strength in your muscles, restore normal joint and soft tissue mobility, and recover neuromuscular control, speed, power and agility. It is important for an athlete to practice and feel confident in sport-specific drills before returning to play, such as deceleration, jumping and cutting. Studies have shown that instability activities which challenge the athlete’s balance after an injury make a successful return to sport 5x more likely.

If surgery is required, the physical therapists at Agility PT are trained to help athletes recover from operation of the knee, shoulder, ankle, hip and spine. Your PT is trained to monitor for signs of infection or complications that can occur in the operated joint or joints above and below as a result of injury or post-surgery. We will work with you to optimize your performance and help you reach your fullest potential following a sports injury.

10. Reduce or eliminate vertigo. Vertigo is a sense of rotation or rocking, even when a person is perfectly still. Movement of the head or body can worsen symptoms, and may lead to lightheadedness, nausea or vomiting. If untreated, this imbalance will likely lead to a fall or accident and cause further complications.

There are various reasons that dizziness and vertigo may occur. Some causes of vertigo include nervous system abnormalities, cervical spine conditions, vascular impairment, Meniere’s disease, vestibular neuritis, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), or inner ear infections.

PTs will perform an evaluation to determine the cause behind your symptoms. For example, if you have BPPV, our vestibular therapy experts can perform a series of simple movements, such as the Epley maneuver, which can facilitate the return of the crystals in the inner ear to their normal position. With this specific condition, symptoms can typically be completely resolved within one or two visits.

Dr. Marci at Agility PT has completed continuing education to receive Advanced Vestibular and Vestibular Rehab Certifications. With her specialization in vestibular rehab, Dr. Marci has helped numerous patients eliminate their symptoms.

11. Prevent an injury. PTs understand how different sports can increase your risk for specific types of injuries. For example, stress fractures and patella tendinitis are common in runners, while ACL tears often occur in female soccer players. PTs can design an appropriate injury prevention program individually tailored to you to keep you healthy all year long.

At Agility PT, Dr. Jessica has earned her certification as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). Her experience has prepared her with in-depth knowledge pertaining to biochemistry of energy systems and nutrition, exercise modalities, training strategies for performance adaptations, and most importantly, injury prevention. Her experience has prepared her to apply scientific knowledge in the design of safe and effective strength and conditioning programs with the primary goal of improving athletic performance and preventing injuries.

12. Find the best workout for you. PTs gather information from prior surgeries, diet, lifestyle, body mechanics, and personal preferences to determine what physical activities will best fit you.

Proper programming and prehab before starting a new type of exercise or increasing the intensity of a current exercise routine will help you address muscle imbalances, guarantee that you are progressing adequately and prevent injury in the long run.

Whether your goal is to manage weight, increase strength after an injury, improve athletic performance, or combat the effects of chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, PTs can develop a safe, individualized exercise plan.

With guidance on the fundamental principles of strength training and training cycles and individualized exercise prescription, you can avoid new and recurring injuries. Additionally, a model of progression needs to be implemented and followed, or results will be slow or non-existent.

13. Nutritional education. PTs are educated in nutrition, fitness and exercise. It is well known in the literature that nutrition plays a key role in both prevention and treatment of injuries.

When muscles are exercised, the result is tears at the microfiber level. This is a normal process that results in local inflammation in the specific muscle to repair the fibers and increase resilience against future damage. This is the process by which muscles grow, or hypertrophy. In a similar manner, when a person is injured, an inflammatory response is initiated.

The success of this repair and build process depend on the person’s body composition and is influenced by nutrition. If a person does not meet adequate dietary intakes when the body requires extra energy for recovery with exercise, repetitive stress injuries may result, such as tendinitis or ligamentous tears. Furthermore, nutrient deficiencies during recovery will delay the repair process and prolong healing. Therefore, nutritional status and energy requirements should be assessed throughout recovery and nutrient intake adjusted accordingly for optimal prevention and recovery from injury.

Often patients come in the clinic with a musculoskeletal condition, but sometimes working on mobility, control and strength aren’t enough to relieve their pain. These patients will truly benefit from lifestyle changes in addition to physical treatment. Nutrition is often the missing link to comprehensive care in managing and relieving musculoskeletal pain.

At Agility PT, Dr. Marci has completed training to become a functional medicine practitioner. Often there are multiple factors contributing to an individual’s clinical presentation and finding the root cause is the heart of functional medicine. Nutritional intervention is an effective and useful tool to improve overall health outcomes, optimize performance and help patients achieve goals.

14. Order Imaging. Incorporating greater purposes for imaging by PTs systematically improves patient management and cost containment.

The role of PTs in ordering diagnostic imaging has been in existence for several decades. The most notable example is in the U.S. military, where since 1972, PTs have practiced as direct access providers with imaging privileges. Imaging instructional content is foundational in PT education programs, allowing for competencies in imaging use and decision making in physical therapy practice.

The 53 United States jurisdictions define the regulatory scope of PT practice differently. The ability to perform certain skilled tasks, including imaging, may be granted overtly through explicit regulatory authority or denied by that same authority. The Colorado State Physical Therapy Board states that PTs may order diagnostic imaging.

How does this affect you? The ability for PTs to order imaging will reduce the delay in treatment that occurs with referral to another provider for imaging. Additionally, the combined advantage of direct access for PTs and their authority to order imaging will decrease costs for yourself and the healthcare system in terms of less visits to multiple providers.

15. Diagnose your movement pathology. PTs are recognized as practitioners of choice to whom consumers have direct access for the diagnosis of, interventions for and prevention of impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities related to movement, function and health.

In Colorado, you can go directly to a PT under a law that grants “direct access.” This means that you can simply walk into a clinic and a PT can diagnose your ailment. This is an advantage that is not legal in all states. Going straight to your PT, rather than visiting your primary care physician who will then likely refer you to a PT, can save you a trip and get you better faster!

When people experience an injury, one of the first things they do is look up their symptoms on the web. Another common tendency is to follow the same treatment that a friend had for their injury. While we want you to be self-sufficient, diagnosing and treating yourself can be dangerous, costly and will likely lead to delayed recovery.

Physical therapists can distinguish a particular disease or condition from others that present with similar symptoms. For example, a PT can differentiate between kidney or liver condition and symptoms that mimic low back pain.

16. Save you money. Depending on your insurance, physical therapy treatment can be free or include copay. Although a copay may seem to be a burden initially, seeking treatment early on before your condition worsens will save future expenses.

Research shows that the longer you wait to treat a condition, the further delayed the recovery and the greater likelihood of developing compensations in surrounding joints. Additionally, the total costs of other treatments, such as surgery and expensive medications, can exceed the cost of seeing a physical therapist.

The scope of PT practice with direct access has demonstrated enhanced quality of patient care and reduced costs. The advantage of direct access to a PT will save you time and money as you can skip the steps of obtaining a prescription for PT from your physician.

17. Orthotics. Each step we take involves a remarkably intricate network of bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments functioning together as pulleys and levers to meet the demands placed on them with walking, running, jumping, and more. The complexity of this system, combined with the weight feet carry, account for why feet can be prone to many orthopedic injuries.

Some of the injuries PTs treat include bone fractures, arthritis, plantar fasciitis, bunions, and tendinitis, among many other conditions.

If you have had a foot injury, you know that it can cause a big restraint in your daily life. If left untreated, foot problems typically lead to more injuries up the chain, including the knees, hips and back. You can take a proactive approach by having a full evaluation by a physical therapist BEFORE symptoms occur in your feet.

The PTs at Agility Physical Therapy can make orthotics customized to fit your feet and promote proper alignment of your body from the ground up. While orthotics are appropriate for some patients, others don’t need them at all. For hypomobile or rigid feet, orthotics can cushion and support those stiff segments of the foot. For hypermobile conditions, as in pronated feet, orthotics can stabilize the foot. Orthotics can also help the foot redistribute forces during weight bearing activities to alleviate pain and prevent injuries.

18. Achieve Developmental milestones. At certain ages, children should reach specific gross and fine motor skill milestones. These skills are required to control muscles of the body for walking, running, sitting, crawling and other activities. While some children may develop faster than others, there are some milestones that should be achieved by a specific age.

Early identification of delayed developmental milestones allows communities to provide more effective and affordable treatment during preschools years. Proactive intervention can also lessen the need for expensive special-education services later in childhood or worsening conditions in the future. Physical therapists can provide early intervention services for children with developmental delay to achieve their age-appropriate milestones.