Monday, January 28, 2013

What's Your 401 (k) Health Portfolio?

We are constantly being warned about SAVING....saving for retirement, saving for an emergency, saving for unknown medical expenses. Most individuals over 30 are warned to start saving TODAY  to ensure a nest egg at 65, as social security may be non-existent at their retirement.
The size of your present investment will determine the quality of your retirement life!
Our previous blog talked about changes in healthcare and changes in the way we should look at health. This one is no different.
Lets look at health as an investment; the same way we look at stocks.
If you invest 30 minutes 3 times a week in exercise, research shows it's enough to ensure a healthy cardio vascular system. So let's name this investment "aerobic stock".
If you remove trans fats, fried foods, processed foods, fast foods from your diet and switch to home-cooked and healthy green meals; research shows it can reduce your risk of cholesterol, CVS disease, and high blood pressure. So let's name this investment "diet stock".
If you maintain a healthy lifestyle, don't smoke, don't consume excessive alcohol and get enough sleep, research shows you reduce your risk of liver, lung and heart disease. So let's name this investment "choice stock".
But have you ever thought about "MOVEMENT STOCK" ?
You may get to 65 with a strong heart, no cholesterol and no liver disease but they may seem quite useless if you cannot move!
No one is taking this "mobility stock" as a serious contender to their overall health portfolio.
Hence investment is low.
Here are some risk factors that are indicators of a poor mobility investment:
1. Can't cross legs to tie shoe laces (men) and (women) needing to sit down to strap shoes or put on stockings.
2. Neck and low back stiffness upon waking up or going to bed.
3. Headaches - not normal- even it triggered by stress.
4. Can't bend or stoop down to pick up things from floor or need help getting up from floor.
5. My favorite - POSTURE- your posture slouched, stiff or unaware is enough to breakdown the entire movement system.
While you may say I go to pilates, yoga, gym etc. therefore by default my investment is solid.Think Again! If you get a blood test every year even if you go the gym and eat healthy, why are you not assessing to see if your movement system is optimal or headed to breakdown?
Prior to private practice in NYC; I was a Physical Therapist to professional athletes world wide including tennis stars like Sharapova and the Williams sisters. The biggest reward was not having a million dollar athlete miss a match due to a movement breakdown. Preventing an injury is much better than rehab -- as it takes time away from life!
So I urge you big apple residents --- assess your movement stock by scheduling an appointment with a physical therapist- as living in the city is a professional sport!
Renuka Pinto, MPT, PGDR, CSCS, CES
Duffy & Bracken, Physical Therapy
-Serving Downtown NYC for over 24 Years!!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Physical Therapy for the 21st Century!

Physical Therapy never ceases to amaze me. I continue to be a huge advocate for the profession I fell in love with 34 years ago when I observed my first physical therapy session and the patient that was being treated told me that he had back pain for years and that PT cured him. I have heard that story so many times since then, from patients saying they thought they would be in pain the rest of their lives and that they should have come much sooner or that they were told that they would probably need surgery and now they no longer do. The pelvic work we do gives both men and women their life back, by strengthening the muscle to cure incontinence or stretching it to allow a normal sex life.
The future of Physical Therapy is not only to be able to get people out of pain or dysfunction sooner, reduce surgeries and medication use but also to prevent the ever growing need for joint replacements, assisted and nursing home living. This is not only the future of PT but it must be the future of the country. We cannot afford the ever-looming healthcare escalations.
We need to practice progressive and preventative medicine even if our archaic insurance companies and government haven't embraced it yet.
Physical Therapists have so much knowledge to share with you about your bodies and how to prevent future injuries and pain. It is crazy not to seek their help... I certainly do! I have been a physical therapist for 29 years and I know that when I have muscular skeletal pain or I'm having trouble with my sports performance and my instructor whether tennis, skiing, golf etc isn't completely solving the issue, I turn to our sports physical therapist to get the exercise or body correction needed to complete the task. An instructor can teach the correct technique but they don't change your body so you can perform the technique. That takes a physical therapist's knowledge.
This mindset of prevention and getting the help of physical therapists has and will keep me active. So far in my 50 years, I have climbed to Everest Base Camp, Kilimanjaro, the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, the Milford Sound Trek, hiked many mountains, biked many hills and continue to jump on my wake board, surf board, snowboard or skis plus play competitive tennis and golf, all without incident, and my bucket list is still full. I plan on bucket listing into my 90's. What's on your bucket list and how can we help you continue to play the game of an active lifestyle.
I highly recommend it!

Ann Duffy, M.A., P.T.