Ergonomics For Gardening: Safety With Hobby

Gardening is a hobby of many. Gardening puts a person close to nature. What a better and inexpensive way to enjoy the weather, and witness your plants growing, getting flowers and fruits. For many people, the garden is the “baby” that gives them successful satisfaction of hard work. With these many benefits, gardening also puts a human body in a series of uncomfortable positions. It is hard work just like a work out session, and a person has to be in certain positions frequently and for a stretch. It is usual for physical therapists to see cases with back pain, hip fractures, ligaments sprain or strain after gardening. So in this article, I want to discuss some basic positioning tips to avoid injuries, falls and pain while gardening.

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Water Exercise: A Good Alternative to Exercise for Summer

With the sun shining to its best, it is hard to survive in the gym for 30 or more minutes working out. The best alternative to exercise in these hot days is in the water. Water exercises are very effective, fun and produce great results. Moreover, water will not let you affect with the outside temperature. There are many benefits of working out in the water. Hydrotherapy or Aquatic therapy also has some great therapeutic benefits for orthopedic and neurological conditions. Here, I want to discuss a few important workout exercises that you can do in the pool or water.

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Quadriceps Stretch : How to stretch this key muscle

Quadriceps stretch is easy yet crucial for many reasons. Arthritis, knee pain, reduces the range of motion, or just simple workout session, all require a functional stretch of this muscle.

Stretching is an important part of any workouts. You can perform this during the cool down period to prevent or minimize the DOMS, or you can incorporate the stretching exercise in your work out itself. For Example, While performing yoga, you are performing stretching, strengthening and balancing exercise at the same time. Continue reading “Quadriceps Stretch : How to stretch this key muscle”

Getting off the Floor – without hurting your knees.

It is difficult to sit on the floor. It is even harder if you lose your balance and end up on the floor.. Or you happen to take some yoga classes or Jazz classes for entertainment. While practicing, you find yourself doing some cool moves on the floor. All that is fine, till you can do it or you are not hurting yourself. But the question comes, how to get up from this position, how to come back to an upright position, safely, without pain, without hurting joints??

This question is important particularly to people who have bad knees or hips, have arthritis, or have painful joints. The geriatric population also has difficulty getting off the floor due to age-related changes in flexibility and bony structures. Continue reading “Getting off the Floor – without hurting your knees.”

Modified Independence after Modifying the Home

Recently I wrote on SCI, TBI, ALS and other neurological disorders. In these blogs, I mentioned modified functional independence. I discussed how a person can stand, walk, commute in a car, go up and down the stair with limited or no active use of his or her extremities. These all come with the help of technology and use of assistive devices. Continue reading “Modified Independence after Modifying the Home”

SCI: A Comprehensive Guide to Spinal Cord Injury Management

What is SCI?

The spinal cord is a band of nerves that act as a transporter of the information between the brain and the body parts. Any injury to the spinal cord (Congenital or acquired) is called spinal cord injury.

The spinal cord is protected by vertebrae or spine. It is referred to as cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine. Many times, there is an injury to the vertebrae or soft tissues (muscles or ligaments) around it. This kind of injury is not classified as spinal cord injury.

Acquired injuries are a result of Motor vehicle accident, falls, or gunshot wounds. SCI can also happen due to medical or surgical complications or falling an object on back. Continue reading “SCI: A Comprehensive Guide to Spinal Cord Injury Management”

Parkinsons Disease: Understanding the Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s Disease is one of the most common neurodegenerative diseases that are progressive in nature. The disease is a result of degeneration of dopamine-secreting neurons in basal ganglia. The loss or lack of dopamine also causes an imbalance in neurotransmitters in the brain like an increase in acetylcholine neurotransmitter. This increases the influence of acetylcholine neurotransmitter. The disruption of neurotransmitter activity results in neuromotor symptoms which are referred to as parkinsonian symptoms.


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Spinal Stenosis

What is Spinal Stenosis:

Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal. It is more common in older populations, mainly after 50 years of age. As the degeneration takes place in the vertebrae, the spinal canal narrows down. As a result, it may push the spinal cord inside the spinal canal. Spinal Stenosis usually occurs in the cervical and lumbar area. Patients may or may not show symptoms or restrictions in their daily routine. The presence, as well as the severity of signs and symptoms, depends on the severity of the condition and varies from person to person. Continue reading “Spinal Stenosis”

Plank: Why & Hows on this Famous Exercise

What is Plank?

Heard about this famous exercise? The plank exercise is many people’s go-to exercise to improve strength, agility, flexibility, endurance, weight loss etc.. Not only that, plank, done therapeutically helps improve core stability, reduce pain and improve posture.


The good thing is, the plank can be done in many different ways depending on a person’s ability. Adding a few variations here and there, you can personalize this very beneficial exercise to use it just for you. In addition, you can also vary the exercise to fit it in your schedule. You can perform a quick 5 or 15 minutes of plank workout and call it a day or choose to add this as a part of the strengthening exercise in your 45 to 60 minutes of workout routine. The choice is yours!! Continue reading “Plank: Why & Hows on this Famous Exercise”

Morning Back Pain : What to do before you head down to doctor’s office.

Morning back pain is common and can occur due to many different reasons. I have heard many people complaining of stiff back or painful back when they first get out of bed. This is a very generalized complaint. The reasons for a morning back pain varies from age, arthritis, posture to any history of back pain in the past. It may need a full physical therapy assessment in some cases. In contrast, in a few cases, it may be a matter of a small fix here and there. Continue reading “Morning Back Pain : What to do before you head down to doctor’s office.”

How to Perform Kegel Exercise: A Go To Exercise When Leaking Happens

Kegel exercise is performed to strengthen and tone pelvic floor muscles. These are the internal muscles that are difficult to train by doing just regular pull-ups or weight training. Since these muscles control the movement of the bladder as well as bowel (too some an extent), exercising these muscles plays a vital role in the quality of life. It can be done by anybody at any age. Particularly it is more important for people who are pregnant or having incontinence issues. It is good for people who experience a few drops of leaking of urine while sneezing, laughing, or coughing, etc. Regardless of gender, this exercise is helpful in the treatment of urinary as well as fecal incontinence. Continue reading “How to Perform Kegel Exercise: A Go To Exercise When Leaking Happens”

How to perform Quad Sets: An Important Exercise in knee Rehabilitation.

I discuss quad sets in many of my previous articles. Quad sets are one of the most important exercises in knee rehabilitation. It can be done preoperatively or postoperatively, with or without pain. It not only helps to increase muscle strength but also reduces a little amount of pain. This is the first exercise that you will do in rehabilitation after knee replacement or with degenerative arthritis pain. This exercise surely prepares your muscles to perform other exercises. And thereby it gets your body ready to be able to participate in functional activities. Continue reading “How to perform Quad Sets: An Important Exercise in knee Rehabilitation.”

Improving functional independence with Feeding Assistance

Feeding Assistance or making a person independent in feeding may not really seem like a physical therapy topic. Also, it is not that commonly encountered problem in orthopedic setting or high-level functioning individuals. Only until you start seeing patients with some neurological deficits or trauma. With my experience as a PT, one thing for sure is walking is an important aspect of independence but it is not the only aspect of functional independence. There are many tasks a person needs to do to perform his/her daily routine activities independently. Some of the examples of these are feeding, dressing, grooming, hygiene, moving in and out of bed, transferring on different surfaces and walking. You can add some more high-level activities like cooking, laundry, cleaning the house, grocery shopping and even driving but they are not really the basic tasks that a person will need to do on a daily basis. Continue reading “Improving functional independence with Feeding Assistance”