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Physical Therapy Isn’t Just for Pain. It Can Keep You Healthy for Life.

You know that physical activity is good for you. The benefits are well researched, and the list is impressive. Here’s just a sampling:

– Releases endorphins to make you feel good and fight depression

– Helps control weight

– Prevents diseases like stroke, diabetes, and some forms of cancer

– Improves sleep

– Helps you live longer

Recent studies even show that physical activity strengthens your immune system, with a protective effect against COVID, and that staying active through middle age protects your brain as you age.

Physical activity is a wonder drug. If it was a pill, you’d buy it and take it every day. But even though activity is free, less than 25% of Americans meet the CDC recommendations for activity. We clearly need help.

Physical Therapists Are The Experts in Human Movement
To be active, you need to be able to move. Physical Therapists do more than help you recover from surgeries or major injuries. They are the experts in human movement. Sure, you could see a strength coach to lift weights, hire a personal trainer, go to a yoga class to work on your flexibility and balance, and see a chiropractor for adjustments. But that seems like a lot of people when a PT can help you with all of these things and more. Nobody knows more about human movement or looks at your health the same way a PT does. Your PT can help you with every aspect of movement including strength, range of motion, flexibility, endurance, balance, and coordination.

As medical professionals, they can help you with injuries or other issues. Your PT can work with your doctor to help use activity to manage things like diabetes, cholesterol levels or blood pressure instead of prescriptions. Your PT is also trained to work with people of all ages, so you can develop a long-term relationship, and they can continue to adjust and modify your routine as you age or your goals change.

Stay Healthy For Life
Staying active has a long list of benefits both now and in the future. But chances are you’re not moving enough to make the most of those benefits. Most people need help. Physical therapists are the most qualified professional in existence to help keep you healthy now and in the future. So don’t think of your PT as someone you see when you need help with pain or an injury. Think of them as your partner and coach working to help you stay healthy for life.

Click Here To Schedule Today! 

The Best Approach For Working Out During Ramadan

The Muslim holy month of Ramadan has begun and even amid a global pandemic, most of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims will observe it in some form. This means there’s a good chance you might encounter someone — a friend, a coworker, a neighbor, your child’s teacher — who will be celebrating, fasting, and doing all sorts of other activities that are unique to the holy month.

During the entire month of Ramadan, Muslims fast every day from dawn to sunset. It is meant to be a time of spiritual discipline — of deep contemplation of one’s relationship with God, extra prayer, increased charity and generosity, and intense study of the Quran.

During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating any food, drinking any liquids, smoking, and engaging in inappropriate activity, from dawn to sunset. Muslims are also supposed to try to curb negative thoughts and emotions like jealousy and anger, and even lesser things like swearing, complaining, and gossiping, during the month.

Being Muslim, the biggest month of the year is the month of Ramadan, in which every Muslim is required to fast. Each year since I have been a trainer, I always think about what the best approach is to take during this month regarding exercise. This year I continued to exercise throughout the month of Ramadan so that I didn’t lose the results I worked so hard for. However, I also made sure to stay faithful to my religion and beliefs.  After a successful Ramadan this year, I have found the best approach for working out during Ramadan.

1.) Eat what you can when you can in moderation. You are allowed two meals a day so be very smart with your choices. Aim for calorie-dense food and avoid food that will make you bloat. (ie. overdoing oats and dairy) If you tend to overeat start your meals with protein and fibrous vegetables first; those are the most important. Make sure that you are also getting sufficient amounts of protein. Eat your choice of protein first during each morning and evening meal. Your protein uptake should about 2g/kg body weight daily. From there you can move on to eating your carbohydrates and fats of your choice.

2.) Your only fitness goal should be maintained. I will be the first to admit that you will not make huge gains during this month. The best approach is to maintain what you have. You will find that you lose fat naturally from the fast, provided that your calories are sensible, but this is not the time to try to force extra weight loss. Portions can be very misleading when you are eating a day’s worth of food in a two-meal span.

3.) Stay Hydrated Aim for at least 80-120 ounces a day. Try to spread your water intake during the night before bedtime and wake up a little earlier to finish whatever you have left in your daily total.

4.) Forget the ‘No carbohydrates at night” rule Carbohydrates at night are actually more muscle sparing and fat burning. Do not overload on the carbohydrates, but keep them in your diet. Carbohydrates are the main energy source for your body. If you load up on the carbohydrates, you may be able to store more energy in your muscles to provide you with the stamina you need to make it through the days longer without feeling fatigued.

5.) Train at night, 2-3x a week with a low volume strategy. You should avoid training while still fasted because the risk of dehydration and injury will increase if you take such a big risk. Eat a meal before you exercise but do not overeat. Your meal should be well-balanced between protein, carbohydrates, and fat. You do not want to train immediately after eating so wait at least 30 minutes after you eat to allow some digestion and absorption of the food. When you exercise with weights, I recommend training at 70-75 percent of your maximum weight of the exercise, on your power lifts. I recommend doing 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions of each exercise. Your strategy should be one day of cardiovascular exercise for 20 minutes maximum with some corrective exercise to fix any dysfunctions or issues you may have. Do not do extra cardio unless you are an endurance athlete. You need to remember that you are fasting for a long time, and you will be burning a lot of muscle during the day. Therefore, use your workouts to maintain your muscle through a resistance program because too much cardio leads to burning more muscle. You should also incorporate two days of strength training exercises. The two strength training days should be split into two full-body days. For larger muscles, I recommend two to three exercises and for the smaller muscles one to two exercises. Your workouts should not take you more than one hour; keep them short simple and sweet.

6.) Intra-workout nutrition. The meal you initially ate before you start working out is not a huge meal, so you will be burning some of it as fuel. During the workout, I recommend drinking a Gatorade or Vitamin Water for electrolytes to help you continue your workout. For me personally, I also included a protein shake for my workout with one scoop of protein, half a banana, and one tablespoon of peanut butter. You can also consider taking Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) during and before your workout. BCAAs help trigger protein synthesis and inhibit the breakdown of muscle cells. They play an important role in building muscle and increasing energy production during exercise. They also help reduce muscle soreness from muscle-damaging exercises.

Admittedly, last year I did miss a few days of fasting because I became sick coming off of a pre-comp diet. However, with the approach I decided to take for Ramadan, I was very successful in maintaining my body and keeping my body fat low. It seems unreal, but people can gain weight from Ramadan due to overeating and lack of activity. I’ve had years of trial and error to finally develop a good approach to Ramadan that still accommodates my passion for fitness!

By Dr. Saqib Habib PT, DPT, Fitness Manager

SNOWSTORM CLOSURE: 2/1/2021

All Breakthru facilities will be CLOSED on MONDAY, FEBRUARY 1st

due to the impending snowstorm.

Stay safe and freshen up on these 5 shoveling tips! 

  1. Lift with your legs, not your back:  When shoveling snow we tend to bend forward putting a lot of stress on the lumbar spine, which increases the risk of injury or flare-up of low back pain. In order to prevent this, try to squat down by bending at your knees lift the snow using your legs instead of your back.
  2. Turn with your feet: When we twist with our feet planted we are mostly twisting using our low back. A better way to turn with a heavy load is to keep the core tight and lock the arms into your side while pivoting using your feet. Using these mechanics will help decrease load on the spine and help prevent injury.
  3. Grip snow shovel with hands apart: Gripping the shovel with your hands together can create a longer lever arm, which in turn makes it harder to lift the shovel filled with snow. Having one hand toward the handle and one hand further down towards the shovel will improve force distribution and decrease stress on the body while snow shoveling. It will make the pile of snow seem less than it is.
  4. Take breaks: Muscle fatigue can cause our mechanics to break down, putting us at risk for injury. Be sure to take plenty of breaks in order to keep your muscles in good condition and maintain good mechanics.
  5. Shovel smaller loads of snow: Only shovel a load you can handle while maintaining all the mechanics above. If the load is too heavy and compensations are occurring, your mechanics suffer. When mechanics suffer, the risk for injury increases. Only shovel loads you can handle!

 

FINALLY, Some Good News About Back Pain!

Back pain is a huge problem in developed nations worldwide. It has or will affect most of us. The current estimate is that 80% of people will experience back pain at least once. It is the single biggest cause for disability, the third most common reason for doctor visits, and one of the most common reasons for missing work.

It’s also expensive. Back and neck pain makes up the biggest healthcare expense in the US, totaling $134 billion spent in 2016. The next two most expensive conditions were diabetes — $111 billion in spending — and ischemic heart disease at $89 billion.

Diabetes and heart disease being so expensive to treat doesn’t surprise most folks – they can both lead to other major problems, require long term medication, could require surgery, and both can be fatal. Back pain won’t kill you, usually doesn’t require long term medication, and usually doesn’t require surgery either. Why is it so expensive?

The first reason is that it’s so common. The second reason is that our current system isn’t very good at treating it. Current recommendations include starting with activity modification, and active treatments like physical therapy. Research backs this up, showing better outcomes and lower costs with early PT. Unfortunately, only 2% of people with back pain start with PT, and only 7% get to PT within 90 days. At the same time, a study looking at about 2.5 million people with back pain in JAMA showed that 32.3% of these patients received imaging within 30 days of diagnosis and 35.3% received imaging without a trial of physical therapy. Both of these things go against current practice guidelines for treatment of back pain.

A new pilot program being rolled out by TRICARE, the insurance system used throughout the US military is waiving the payment owed by the patient for up to three PT sessions in an attempt to improve the use of what the Defense Health Agency calls “high value” treatment for low back pain. The theory is that once a person sees some benefit from PT treatment, they’re likely to go back for more. This is the “try it before you buy it” approach – think of the 7-day free trial Netflix offers, free samples poured in wineries and craft breweries, or the folks you see standing around in supermarkets with food on toothpicks. TRICARE’s data seems to indicate that it works just as well for healthcare as it does for other businesses. In a press release they state that once people attend one session of physical therapy, they’re likely to go back for more, no matter what their co-pay is. But TRICARE found that higher co-pays could be a barrier to people trying that first visit. For the group of patients with the highest co-pays in the system, only 38% of the people prescribed PT attended the first visit. That’s about half the rate of attendance found in the lowest co-pay group.

The fact that such a major insurer is looking into the value of PT is great news for everyone. If TRICARE can show that lowering the cost of PT for patients can improve outcomes and save insurance companies money, other major insurers will likely follow. This could improve the lives of millions of people every year while reducing the huge cost of treating low back pain for the country. That seems like a win for everyone involved.

BLACK FRIDAY 2020

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Ver-ti-GO!

Did you know physical therapy can assist with symptoms associated with positional and non-positional vertigo? 

Vertigo can result in loss of balance, sensations of dizziness, nausea,  vomiting, etc. Balance is made up of three systems, including the somatosensory system  (touch), vestibular system, and visual system. The vestibular system is located within the inner ear and is responsible for maintaining equilibrium, spatial orientation, and detects movements of the head. There are many components of the vestibular system that can be responsible for these sensations and symptoms. The inner ear contains calcium carbonate crystals called otoconia, which can be responsible for positional vertigo. Positional vertigo is commonly provoked by lying down, looking up, bending over, and turning over in bed. A hallmark sign of positional vertigo is brief symptoms, commonly lasting under a minute following one of the provocative positions mentioned above. 

Positional vertigo is most common in women, older individuals with a peak onset in the 6th decade, and following a head injury. These crystals can become dislodged and free-floating within the semicircular canals, resulting in symptoms of dizziness with specific head movements. For example, if you visualize a bundle of grapes in a colander, the grapes are tightly connected initially, however, after aging and sitting in the colander for days, the connections between the grapes become weaker and more and more grapes are left sitting in the bottom of the colander throughout time. A physical therapist can work with you and assess your symptoms and eye movements with a series of tests/positions to determine the appropriate method of care. If your symptoms are a result of positional vertigo, the crystals can be repositioned into their appropriate location through a series of maneuvers, resulting in a  reduction in symptoms. Physical therapy can be a very effective treatment method, often achieving quick results. If you are experiencing symptoms that you believe are associated with positional vertigo, schedule a consult or evaluation with one of our physical therapists at  Breakthru Physical Therapy to further discuss your situation.

Fall Into Fitness

2020 isnt over… FINISH IT STRONG!

Train with a Breakthru Personal Trainer 2 Times a week for 6 weeks

Program Includes:

  • 12- 30 Minute Semi-Private Training Sessions
  • Free Medical Screen with a Doctor of Physical Therapy
  • Nutrition Guide
  • Functional Movement Screen / Baseline Assessment
  • Graduation Assessment / Next Step Recommendations

Get your Breakthru results for only $240 

Contact Lisa to Sign Up Today: lwhite@breakthrupt.com

The Importance of Regular Wellness Checkups

August is National Wellness Month, the perfect time to focus on personal health and investing in yourself. All too often, busy and hectic schedules cause us to put our own health on the back burner until we end up with chronic aches and pains, stress and anxiety, poor sleep, or illness. When we finally do go to the doctor, the remedy for such issues can be expensive and time-consuming, causing even more stress.

On the other hand, scheduling regular wellness exams can help to ease the burdens these issues have on us, or even prevent them in the first place. Not only can doctors get an idea of how a person’s body is functioning with basic screenings and blood tests, but they can also help with stress, anxiety, or sleep issues. The earlier any problems are detected, the better the chances are that we can reduce or prevent chronic health conditions.

– General exam: At this exam, your practitioner will perform preventive care, review your health history, and perform any physical examination procedures necessary based on your gender, age, and information gathered in the clinical history. Lab or diagnostic tests may be ordered.

– Eye exam: You’ll be asked about your medical history and any vision problems you might be experiencing. Several different tests may be performed during the eye exam which are designed to check your vision and to examine the appearance and function of all parts of your eyes.

– Skin exam: Having your skin checked by a dermatologist is extremely important for the early detection of skin cancer. Ideally, a skin check should be performed each year. A dermatologist can also identify any other potentially problematic skin conditions.

– Dental exam: Regular dental exams are a critical part of preventive health care.
During a dental exam, the dentist or hygienist will clean your teeth and check for cavities and gum disease as well as evaluate your risk of developing other oral problems. A dental exam might also include dental X-rays (radiographs) or other diagnostic procedures.

In addition to these traditional exams, it is a great idea to get a Physical Therapy Wellness Assessment. At Breakthru Physical Therapy, we believe that everyone should have their joints, muscles, and movement patterns assessed regularly to ensure continued physical health. That is why we have launched a campaign to promote a lifetime of pain free movement by offering wellness screens to members of our community!

During your assessment, one of our skilled therapists will:
– Take a complete musculoskeletal history and learn about your goals.
– Perform a movement screen and selected physical tests to see what is working well and what needs some help.
– Develop a plan to improve any areas of concern and help you achieve your goals.

Schedule yours today! Click Here!

We Are Committed To Your Health and Wellness

Dear Breakthru Family,

We hope you and all you love continue to remain healthy and safe. The past few weeks have marked a period of unprecedented, challenging times for all of us, as we, as a community, deal with dramatic lifestyle adjustments and new ways to go about our daily activities.

As part of our ongoing efforts to communicate with our patients during this critical time period, we wanted to share several updates since our last correspondence.

Per Governor Murphy’s Executive Order on March 21st, Physical Therapy remains an “essential service” permitted to remain open to serve our patients in need. The American Physical Therapy Association has taken the position of knowing that Physical Therapists play a crucial role in the health of our society and keeping people healthy; and thus have a special responsibility to maintain a normal work schedule while adopting recommended CDC guidelines.

During this time, our focus is on maximizing the health and safety of our patients by providing care through a number of different options while also adopting CDC-guided, best practice screening methods, exposure protection, sanitation and social distancing standards throughout our facilities.

On-Site Facility Care: We have established a core group of providers made up of our team’s Partners and Facility Managers who will remain on-site at several of our facilities.

  • Currently, our Medford Taunton Forge and Voorhees facilities remain open
  • Our Marlton facility is set to re-open on May 18th.
  • We are preparing to open our Mt. Laurel facility at its new location (Jersey Wahoos-see below) in the coming weeks.
  • Our Medford Fitness facility remains closed at this time and will re-open based on government mandates pertaining to gyms and fitness centers.
  • We will be reaching out by phone in the coming weeks to all active patients currently on hold to notify them of our reopening.

Telehealth:

  • We are fully operational in offering and serving our patients with Telehealth visits.
  • Recently Medicare passed a final ruling ensuring that all Telehealth visits for Physical Therapy would be covered for Medicare Beneficiaries.
  • If on-site care is not an option for you or a loved one, please call us to learn about receiving Telehealth physical therapy from the comfort of your own home.

Home PT: We are assessing the needs and demand for Home-based Physical Therapy Services. please fill out the survey below to help us assess your needs!

Breakthru has adopted best practice standards outlined below to ensure the utmost safety for our patients and our team members:

Screening

  • We are screening for COVID-related symptoms as well as risks of exposure on a daily basis
  • All Breakthru team members are screened at the start of shift. Should we assess any risk, the employee will be sent home.
  • All patients are screened prior to each clinic visit. Should we assess any risk, the patient’s appointment will be rescheduled.

Personal Protective Equipment

  • All staff are wearing masks at all times during work shift
  • Therapists are adding additional protective equipment with any direct patient contact
  • All patients (and escorts) are required to wear a mask while in the facility
  • If a patient does not have a mask or face covering, we are proving one.

Sanitization

  • We are ensuring that all equipment and therapeutic areas are being disinfected after each use and between patients.
  • All high touch surfaces, common areas, entry and exit doors are being disinfected at least once every hour.
  • We have enhanced our employee’s hand washing policy.
  • We have enhanced the frequency of our professional cleaning services which perform full-facility cleaning during off-hours.
  • We are encouraging all patients to bring their own water, as all community water fountain use will be temporarily off-limits.

Social Distancing

  • We are utilizing all of our facilities so that each patient is being provided their own treatment area to ensure patients remain > 6 feet apart.
  • We are asking that only patients enter our facility and are prohibiting visitors except for patients who are minors, elderly, handicapped, or have necessary conditions that warrant assistance.
  • We are staggering all staff schedules and spreading out the scheduling of all patients to ensure patients remain > 6 feet apart throughout their session.

Thank you for your continued trust! We are here for you and taking all measures to ensure a safe environment during your treatment and upon your return!

We look forward to continuing to serve you and will share additional updates as we progress forward. Please do not hesitate to contact us at 856-396-2250 if we can be of further assistance.

-Team Breakthru