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    Cold Weather Tips from a Physical Therapist

    Content written by Aqua Hab Physical Therapy at the Newtown Athletic Club

     

    As the temperature drops and as winter slowly creeps up on us, we hear patients express concerns about aching in the morning. This change in weather warrants taking full precautionary measures to resist injuries. Combat sore muscles with these stretching exercises below that'll get your blood flowing during the chilliest months:

    LOWER TRUNK ROTATIONS
    Lying on your back with your knees bent, gently move your knees side-to-side.
    -Repeat 10 Times
    -Hold 1 Second
    -Complete 1 Set – Perform 2 Time(s) a Day
     
    SINGLE KNEE TO CHEST STRETCH
    While Lying on your back, hold your knee and gently pull it up towards your chest.
    -Repeat 5 Times
    -Hold 10 Seconds
    -Complete 1 Set – Perform 2 Time(s) a Day

    SIT TO STAND – NO HANDS
    Start by sitting in a chair. Next, raise up to standing without using your hands for support.
    -Repeat 10 Times
    -Hold 1 Second
    -Complete 1 Set – Perform 2 Time(s) a Day

    HIP ABDUCTION – SIDE-LYING
    While lying on your side, slowly raise up your top leg to the side. Keep your knee straight and maintain your toes pointed forward the entire time.
    -The bottom leg can be bent to stabilize your body.
    -Hold 1 Second – Repeat 10 Times
    -Complete 1 Set – Perform 2 Time(s) a Day

    SUPINE ELASTIC BAND HORIZONTAL ABDUCTION
    Lie on your back holding an elastic band up towards the ceiling. Next, pull your arms apart and towards the floor as shown.
    -Repeat 10 Times
    -Hold 5 Seconds
    -Complete 1 Set – Perform 2 Time(s) a Day

    SCAPULAR RETRACTIONS
    Draw your shoulder blades back and down
    -Repeat 10 Times
    -Hold 5 Seconds
    -Complete 1 Set – Perform 2 Time(s) a Day

     

    TAKE IT FROM US...

    For those who have neck pain, go easy on the heavy scarves. Heavy scarves and neckwear can actually affect your posture. Sometimes just being cold can be enough to make you contract up into a ball, so wearing these scarves can add to that by weighing your neck down. Instead, try a turtleneck for warmth! 

    If you have arthritis, you may hurt more as the weather turns colder. Fight the stiffness with heating pads. Keep your muscles loose and remain active with cardio. *Swimming is a great options as water improves motion and flexibility. Warm water mixed with massaging effects allow muscles to relax while helping reduce pain. The natural buoyancy reduces gravitational pull and lessens compressive forces, hence making exercises much easier to perform than on land. Best of all, aquatic therapy can be used even if a patient does not know how to swim!

    For those who have shoulder pain – consider an alternative to your heavy wool coat. Wool coats tend to restrict arm activity and proper biomechanics when the arm is lifted. Try a flexible sweater or a puffy jacket that doesn’t constrict movement instead!

     

    AquaHab Physical Therapy provides the best and most complete spectrum of rehabilitative services. Our clinical team is comprised of experienced licensed physical therapists and physical therapist assistants who all work hard to create treatment plans tailored to you to help you achieve your goals. Located inside the NAC, aquatic therapy and land therapy are available depending on your specific needs. Stop by this week and next week to meet our new AquaHab team, and book your free first screening! 

    Talk to Our Therapists Today!

     

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