February was National Heart Awareness Month, so we wanted to take a moment and discuss the difference in heart attack symptoms between men and women.
MEN AND WOMEN ARE DIFFERENT!
Shocking…. I know. Heart attacks and heart disease are just another way that men and women differ. Although, both genders are susceptible to heart disease and heart attacks, a woman presents differently during a heart attack than a man does. Unfortunately, for us women, it is less clear that what is actually a serious concern is not “just nothing” like heartburn, the flu, or anxiety.
In fact, HEART DISEASE is the number ONE killer of women in America. So how do we know if we are having a heart attack?
- Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest
- Pain in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach (MORE DIFFUSE THAN THE CLASSIC SIGNS OF LEFT ARM PAIN IN MEN)
- Shortness of breath (aka dyspnea)
- Cold sweats, nausea, lightheadedness, dizziness
- Extreme fatigue
ANY of these signs may indicate heart attack, therefore, if present, call 911 immediately.
Women are MORE LIKELY to present with atypical symptoms of heart attacks than men, however, chest pain is still a pretty good indicator to go to the nearest ER.
HOW can we prevent heart disease and heart attacks?
- Get Active! If you already have cardiac disease, or any other co-morbidity, your physical therapist is the best person to determine an exercise program for you!
- Eat Better! Diets lower in fat and bad cholesterol are proven to lower the risk of heart disease.
- Lose weight
- Stop smoking: this is the number one risk factor for heart disease and can cut your risk of coronary heart disease in half if you QUIT!
- Manage your blood pressure: High Blood pressures may be a sign of a more serious problem, and if managed effectively, can prevent your risk of more serious issues
So, to recap, as women we have a lot of heart! We consistently put our families and loved ones first in our lives, often brushing our own needs off. It’s especially important for us to take care of health, however, so that we can live long enough and well enough to continue to make the most of time with our families!
Karla Wente, PT, DPT, CLT
Legacy Physical Therapy
Women’s Health Clinical Resident
BONE HEALTH FOR ALL AGES:
Why does bone health matter?
Healthy bones can help you stay strong and active throughout your life. If good bone health is achieved during childhood and maintained, it can help to avoid bone loss and fracture later in life. For bones to be healthy, it is important to maintain physical activity with a healthy, balanced diet full of calcium, vitamin D, and other supplements as needed.
So what is a physical therapist’s role in bone health?
Physical Therapists are experts in the movement system. They can help patients achieve peak mobility and strength, all while keeping your individualized care in mind. The advanced knowledge of PTs is especially important for patients who already have compromised bone health or risk for fracture like: osteoporosis, female athlete triad, fad dieters, obesity, post-menopause age, long-term steroid therapy, cigarette smoking, high alcohol intake. This is not a complete list! Based on information HERE: Fracture Risk Factors!
What is osteoporosis and what does it have to do with physical therapy?
Osteoporosis is a common bone disease that affects both men and women (mostly women), usually as they age. It is associated with low bone mass and increased fragility of bones, making them more susceptible to breakage. This is typically diagnosed by a physician with a bone mineral density scan, taking into account blood levels of vitamin D, calcium, and history of prior fracture. For more information about osteoporosis in general look at: National Osteoporosis Foundation!
Physical therapists are the ideal providers to create an exercise program for those individuals who have osteoporosis, osteopenia (low bone density, but not quite osteoporosis), or those who have risk factors for fracture or falling. PTs are trained, as part of their 3 year doctoral program, to understand postural alignment, movement, gait analysis, balance, and the importance of weight bearing exercise to increase bone density and prevent injury.
So what are weight-bearing exercises and how can I do them?
First off, noone who is at risk for falls, fracture, or who has a known medical condition should start an exercise program without the consultation of a physical therapist or physician first!
Second, weight-bearing exercise includes anything the stresses the bones through their long axis. This includes:
- Walking (best results for strengthening the femoral neck, thereby decreasing risk for hip fracture)
- Yoga (Controversial: may provide whole body weight-bearing, however, can increase risk of lumbar bending which can increase compression fractures; Additionally, fall risk should be assessed before performing higher level balance exercises.) Read more here: Yoga, vertebral fractures, etc.
- Dancing (Those dancing with the stars celebrities are protecting their bone density!)
- Tai Chi (TONS of benefits, see effects on bone density HERE)
So, isn’t this just for “older” people?
NO! Starting healthy habits sooner ensures more compliance later. It is much more difficult to start an exercise program after diseases or injuries have already occurred, so better sooner than later! Additionally, your peak bone mass is about 18 in women and 20 in men…. so START NOW!
For fun activities for your loved ones who are younger check out: Best Bones FOREVER!
What does posture have to do with it?
Obviously, as a physical therapist, I am biased about good posture. However, I know how hard it is to make this a habit. The reason it is so important is that proper posture can prevent injury, pain, falls, and FRACTURE. This is critical for those high risk people! Here are some tips:
- Remember the plumb line: Keep ears in line with shoulders in line with hips in line with ankles. See PLUMB LINE!
- Use pillows when sitting or lying to support yourself in a good position.
- Bend your knees and keep your back relatively straight while you lift things. Always keep loads close to your body.
- Maintain regular fitness as staying active can prevent injuries.
Remember: By 2020, over 50% of Americans are expected to have osteoporosis. Let’s try to keep that number lower and reduce fracture risk in the future!
If you feel you are at risk or you already have osteoporosis, call us today at Legacy Physical Therapy to set up an appointment to see how physical therapy can help. 636-225-3649
Karla Wente, PT, DPT, CLT
Legacy Physical Therapy
Clinical Resident in Women’s Health Physical Therapy at Washington University in St. Louis
Did you know that there are physical therapists who focus especially on female issues? In fact, there are physical therapists here in St. Louis who are Board Certified in Women’s Health Physical Therapy (WCS).
There are multiple times in a woman’s life in which physical therapy may be appropriate. We will talk about 2 important time periods in this article: 1) during pregnancy, and 2) postpartum
Physical therapy can be a wonderful adjunct care provider during pregnancy to help with common pain complaints such as:
- Low back pain
- Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Pelvic and pubic pain
- Foot pain
- Incontinence (bladder leakage)
- Round ligament pain
Physical therapy treatment during pregnancy may include:
- Posture education to avoid injury and decrease pain
- Manual therapy to restore alignment and improve soft tissue guarding
- Therapeutic exercises for improving muscle performance and posture
- Abdominal and pelvic floor training
- Fitting for various support belts to help with stability and pain
If you are like many pregnant women, you may have concern about what exercises are appropriate during pregnancy. A physical therapist is a great resource for instruction on the do’s and don’ts of exercise during pregnancy.
The stresses of pregnancy, vaginal deliveries, and C-sections may lead to myofascial complications following the birth of the baby. Many women suffer in silence because they feel their symptoms are “Normal” after they have a baby. Fortunately, many of these symptoms can be easily treated by a physical therapist specializing in postpartum care.
Common Postpartum Complaints include:
- Low back and lower extremity pain
- Upper back and neck pain associated with breastfeeding
- Upper extremity pain or numbness associated with child care
- Diastasis recti: Separation of the abdominal muscles which commonly occurs during healthy pregnancies.
- Pain with intercourse or orgasm
- Clitoral, vaginal, rectal, pubic, or tailbone pain
- Pain and decreased mobility at scar of C-Section, episiotomy, or perineal tear
- Pelvic floor weakness
- Urinary or fecal incontinence
- Urgency and frequency
- Pelvic pain
How Physical Therapy Can Help:
- Soft tissue mobilization, myofascial release, deep tissue massage
- Therapeutic exercise for improving abdominal and pelvic floor muscle performance
- Posture, lifting techniques and biomechanics
- Home exercise program
- Abdominal binder/brace fitting
- Scar massage
- Therapeutic ultrasound to breakup clogged milk ducts
- Modalities for pain control
- Instruction in return to exercise safely
- Instruction in proper lifting/carrying of baby, stroller walking, and other activities of daily living to avoid injury
Pregnancy, childbirth and childcare are all events that result in significant physical changes and new stresses on a woman’s body. Women’s Health Physical Therapists are specifically trained to meet the special needs of women during this time of their lives and beyond.
Call us today at 636-225-3649 to set up your FREE SCREENING to see if physical therapy is right for you.
The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and fellow members of the Therapy Cap Coalition, a group of almost 50 associations, organizations, patient and consumer groups, are working together to make sure Congress addresses the Medicare therapy cap before December 31, 2013.
APTA representatives have been a constant presence on Capitol Hill all year long, advocating for a permanent repeal of the Medicare therapy cap, but it’s crucial that legislators hear from their constituents. Thus, the Therapy Cap Coalition has created several coordinated grassroots opportunities to maximize impact.
Already, the coalition raised awareness with a 24-hour social media and e-mail effort on November 3, 60 days ahead of the expiration of the therapy cap exceptions process. But your help is still needed!
Take Action TODAY!!!
Use e-mail and social media to flood Congress with messages on December 2, 30 days ahead of the expiration of the therapy cap exceptions process.
Ask your legislators to permanently fix the therapy cap or at the very least extend the exceptions process by December 31, 2013.
Download the APTA Action app (members and nonmembers). Search “APTA Action” in the Apple or Google Play app stores to download the app, then select the “Action Center” button to e-mail your legislators.
Urge at least one friend or family member to use the Patient Action Center to send a prewritten e-mail to their legislators.
We at Legacy Physical Therapy know how beneficial physical therapy can be for our patients. We do not want the therapy cap to limit patient’s ability to receive quality care here. Please take a minute to contact your legislator today!!
The holiday season is fast approaching. Legacy Physical Therapy is excited to help a local organization, Circle of Concern share the spirit of Thanksgiving with struggling local families. We hope that you can help by donating canned goods and other non-perishable food items to help fill Thanksgiving baskets for over 650 local families in need.
Items are welcome any time up until November 15th at Legacy Physical Therapy.
Circle Of Concern feeds the hungry and provides long-term and emergency assistance to low-income families living in western St. Louis County. They create opportunities for needy families to re-establish themselves as productive members in our community. Each month Circle of Concern feeds over 2000 individuals and provides financial assistance to families on a case-by-case basis.
Especially needed items:
|Canned Meat||Canned Tuna||Canned Pasta|
|Potatoes (canned or instant)||Chicken Broth||Canned Vegetables|
|Canned Pumpkin||Canned Fruit||Gravy (Jar or mix)|
|Stuffing Mix||Tomato Products||Breakfast Cereal|
|Jello||Canned Milk||Cranberry Sauce|
Legacy Physical Therapy is excited to announce that we are now offering health coaching services. Legacy’s owner, Brooke Kalisiak has had personal success with the Take Shape for Life program. Read her personal story below:
“When I had my son 7 years ago I put on 70 pounds and never really lost the baby weight. With the long hours of work involved in the opening and running Legacy Physical Therapy, my health got put on a back burner. Finding out that my best friend was getting married in Clearwater Beach, Florida in February 2014 was the motivation I needed to get healthy. On July 1, 2013 I started the Take Shape for Life program. I am still a work in progress, but as of October 1, 2013 I have lost 34 pounds. See my Before/During photos below. I have more energy, am sleeping better, and generally just feel better. I am passionate about the success I have had with the program and have therefore decided to pay it forward and assist other people in achieving optimal health.”
Result may vary. Typical weight loss is 2-5#/week in the 1st 2 weeks and 1-2#/week thereafter.
Legacy Physical Therapy’s Health Coaches help you understand your unique health risks and create a unique and individualized plan to optimize your health. The health revolution at Legacy Physical Therapy uses proven strategies and simple lifestyle changes that make your health and wellness wishes a reality. With the help of your FREE health coach you can:
- Lose 2-5 pounds per week for the first 2 weeks and 1 to 2 pounds per week thereafter.
- Learn how to keep it off with this physician recommended plan.
Contact one of our health coaches today at 636-225-3649 to develop a health improvement plan that works!
Every taboo in one night! It’s just Girl Talk!
Come enjoy good wine & decadent chocolates as you learn all you want to know about sex from Dr. Cathy Naughton of the Center for Sexual Health, St. Louis Marriage Therapy’s Angela Skurtu, and Legacy Physical Therapy’s Brooke Kalisiak. We will discuss common female sexual problems, helpful treatment strategies, how to develop sexual confidence and increase desire in your relationship long term. Come prepared with your questions about sex.
PARTNERS ARE WELCOME
October 24, 2013
6 to 8 pm
Center for Sexual Health
450 North New Ballas
North Wing Lobby
Creve Couer, MO 63141
Tickets are $15 per person. Space is LIMITED. Call 314-973-7997 or go to www.TherapistinStLouis.com to reserve your spot today.
Legacy Physical Therapy is excited to once again be partnering with Washington University Program in Physical Therapy for their Women’s Health Physical Therapy Residency. Karla Wente PT, DPT, CLT is the new Women’s Health Physical Therapy resident. She will be at Legacy Physical Therapy treating patients on Tuesdays and Fridays. We are very happy to have her with us this next year.
Karla is a physical therapist with a strong desire to treating men and women with pelvic and abdominal dysfunction, as well as lymphedema, fibromyalgia, and osteoporosis. She received her Doctor of Physical Therapy from Washington University in St. Louis in 2013, and is currently the Clinical Resident in Women’s Health at Washington University in St. Louis for the 2013-2014 year. Karla received the prestigious Beatrice Schulz award for outstanding performance in clinical education in May 2013.
Karla is an active member in the APTA and the Section on Women’s Health. She has pursued coursework in treating pelvic floor dysfunction through Herman and Wallace Rehabilitation Institute, in treating the pregnant patient via coursework through the Section on Women’s Health, as well as in evaluating and treating patients with lymphedema through the Klose Training and Consulting Lymphedema Therapy Certification Courses.
At the end of her clinical residency, Karla will sit for the APTA specialist certified board exam to become a women’s clinical specialist (WCS). She hopes to serve women and men with these special conditions throughout the lifespan. Additionally, she hopes to pursue teaching to promote the specialty profession to future therapists.
Awhile back we asked you to support a bill to take on the insurance company’s crazy high co-pays. SB 159 passed the Senate 34-0 and the House of Representatives 136-22, but it still needs the Governor’s signature.
That is why WE NEED YOUR HELP AGAIN!
Governor Nixon must sign or veto S.B. 159 by July 14th and your call/email could be the one that makes it happen!
Contact the Governor today! It is as simple as clicking on the link below to email the governor directly and emailing the statement below (copy and paste). It took me all of 30 seconds to do, soPLEASE take 30 seconds out of your day to email him today.
The e-mail link to contact the Governor is http://governor.mo.gov/contact/
Let Governor Nixon KNOW:
“I support the fair co-pay bill, Senate Bill 159 (S.B. 159) to ensure Physical Therapy copays are fair– the same as my doctor visit copays. Please sign this Bill.”
The address to mail a letter is:
The Honorable Jeremiah Nixon
Governor of the State of Missouri
216 Missouri State Capitol Building
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Let’s make sure Governor Nixon knows Missouri cares about being able to afford and access physical therapy care!
Call, write or email and help make this fair copay bill a reality.
Brooke Kalisiak PT, DPT, WCS
Yep, I’m a Jailbird. And I’m pretty proud of it.
I’m taking part in the Kirkwood-Webster MO 2013 Lock-Up benefiting the Muscular Dystrophy Association. As a Jailbird, I’m working to raise my bail of $1000 via donations from my friends, colleagues, and family, all of which go to help MDA.
As of April 29th, I am 1/10th of the way to my bail goal of $1000.00 which need to be raised in total by May 16th.
MDA is dedicated to curing muscular dystrophy, ALS and other neuromuscular diseases. At the same time, the Association provides health care and support services for people living with these diseases — right here in our community.
Please consider supporting my fundraising efforts with a tax-deductible donation.
It’s easy — just click on this secure link.
Thanks in advance for joining the fight against muscle disease. Remember, every breakout means more breakthroughs for MDA. Check back to the Legacy Physical Therapy Blog or Legacy’s Facebook page to keep posted on my progress.