Cold Weather Tips From A Physical Therapist

 
Fall is upon us and winter is just around the corner. The changing of the weather usually signals the coming of the holiday season. TV news reporters warn viewers of driving safety, and taking flu shots. But below are some tips and pointers to think about that are more related to physical therapy:

 
1) If you have arthritis, you will hurt more as the weather turns colder. There are no definitive studies that prove that this is true, but folks from all walks of life and all cultures can confirm: their joints ache when the weather turns cold. To combat the joint stiffness, try heating pads and moist hot packs. Some stores sell flaxseed packs that you can microwave (like this one, makes a great gift!) that emit moisture that can penetrate deeper into tissue. If you have arthritis in your hands, it is worth making an investment on a paraffin wax bath. Dip your hands into the wax and let it dry for 9 layers and let the heat lubricate your joints. If none of the above remedies work, remain active with cardio – run, walk or swim your way to joint health!

 
2) For those who have neck pain, go easy on the heavy scarves. One thing that many folks don’t realize is that heavy scarves and neckwear can actually affect your posture greatly. Sometimes just being cold would be enough to make you contract up into a ball, but wearing a heavy scarf would also make this worse by weighing your neck down. Instead, try a turtleneck for warmth. The same goes for heavy coats with heavy or thick lapels in the front – all of that weight goes on your shoulders, and could exacerbate that forward head posture.

 
3) For those who have shoulder pain – consider an alternative to your heavy wool coat. Wool coats, although they look nice, tend to restrict arm activity and proper biomechanics when the arm is lifted. Don’t believe me? Try in front of a mirror while wearing a coat: Lift your arm up like you’re changing a light bulb. The shoulder pads typically constrict scapular motion, and the shortening sleeves make you look goofy so folks shrug their shoulders to lift their arms up instead – all bad biomechanics if you are trying to heal from shoulder pain. Instead, try a flexible sweater or a puff jacket that doesn’t constrict movement.

 
4) For those of you who have little ones. BE WARY of athletic shoes with slippery foam soles. Recently in the last year, several athletic manufacturers (some that live near us here in Portland, ahem!) have been manufacturing and designing their shoes with a very light foam sole. Most of them are colored white, but they can come in different colors as well. They are light weight and usually have grooves in them for friction. After informally interviewing an athletic shoe designer, I found out that these soles cut costs on manufacturing as rubber is a much more expensive alternate. The shoe designer also told me that consumers are opting for lighter weight soles now, thinking that this would affect their running speed – and hence the emergence of this fad. Though most of us walk and run on asphalt and concrete, these soles won’t bother adults very much, but are a huge danger on the metal playgrounds – especially when wet. I learned this the hard way with my daughter. So please heed this tip: when picking shoes for your children, look for partial or full rubber soles. They offer far better traction in most conditions, and will give them the stopping power they need when sprinting down a playground plank at full warp speed.

 
5) Speaking of warp speed, Runners, be careful out there! With slippery fallen leaves and wet pavements, leaves obscuring slipper manholes, dark mornings and dark afternoons, be aware and be careful where you stride! Make yourself visible with light-reflecting or blinking gear, and reduce your speed a little so you don’t slip and slide on foliage. It also doesn’t hurt to keep your hands free so you can catch yourself in a fall.

Doctor of Physical Therapy, Director at Stride Strong Physical Therapy

Ana Lucia Pinheiro
Ana Lucia Pinheiro
02:18 20 Oct 17
This place is amazing. I am so happy I found Stride Strong PT. Alice pays attention to all of the details, she watches every single move I make, my posture, and the way I move through every exercise. She is very knowledgeable, she was able to pin-point the problems in my back and she has a plan to help me become stronger where I need. The place is brand new, huge, and has nice exercise machines. I tried a few physical therapists in the area, and Alice is TOP, second to none, and I feel super lucky to have found her. Highly recommended!!
Prashant Gupta
Prashant Gupta
01:00 02 Oct 17
Dr. Alice at Stride Strong is one of the best PTs I have come across. Her attention to detail and assessment of the root cause of injury is very good. She is excellent in evaluating pain patterns and giving a training schedule for a rehab & injury prevention, she is extremely knowledgeable. I would strongly recommend Stride Strong to anyone looking for PT. It is easily the best PT clinics in Hillsboro area.
steven zollin
steven zollin
20:57 14 Sep 17
Highly recommend Stride Strong Physical Therapy , Alice showed me proper form to assist in recovery with my shoulder and is very knowledgeable.
Lindsay Nied
Lindsay Nied
23:33 18 Dec 17
I recently had a massage from Joel at the Hillsboro location. He was able to work on an ongoing issue I have been experiencing with my back after a sports injury, and I left feeling so much better. The whole facility looked incredible, and everyone I met was friendly and welcoming. I would highly recommend Stride Strong for massage and physical therapy.
JoAnn Hatch
JoAnn Hatch
08:20 08 Nov 17
Dr. Sydney is by far the absolute best physical therapist I've worked with ever! Her expertise in designing highly effective and efficient exercise plans is beyond compare. I feel so much better as my strength and function increases. She comes up with the most brilliant and fun ideas to motivate. To my delight she even offered to come to my home in Vancouver and work with me on my own equipment including a Stott Pilates Reformer. Talk about going above and beyond! Couldn't be more grateful I found her!!!
Clare Perry
Clare Perry
21:58 23 Oct 17
A full hour of a dedicated PT professional's time without aides or techs? That's just one of the things that sets this clinic apart from others. Competent, professional, and amiable, Dr. Alice Holland and her team are the best in the area. While I generally see them at the Cedar Mill Clinic on Cornell, situational constraints took me to their new Hillsboro clinic today near Intel Jones Farm. Beautifully furnished, spacious with easy parking and access. May you continue to grow and thrive, Stride Strong!
Joyce Heideman
Joyce Heideman
08:28 11 May 18
After foot surgery I went to Stride Strong for therapy with Alice Holland. She helped me reach my full mobility again by continuously introducing new and challenging exercises. The entire staff is friendly and professional. They are always on time and do not rush. I look forward to doing 1/2 marathons again and riding my recumbent trike. Thank you Stride Strong for your care and high level of expertise.
Suad Daher
Suad Daher
20:48 28 Feb 18
The best physical therapy ever. Both JP and Sydney were a great PT, they helped me understand how I can help treat my injury and how it may have caused. And also they informed about so many techniques that I can use to help my injuries or any other injuries I get in the near future. They are both friendly and nice to talk too, and verbunformative. And there is also Krystal, she is the best front desk receptionist ever, she is nice and friendly and can easily manage your schedule based on the patients comfort if they want to schedule or not. She can help and she replies fast to any patients email. And she is easy to talk to. Thank you Stride Strong Physical Therapy.
Amanda O'Rourke
Amanda O'Rourke
21:38 15 Jun 18
In just a month I've seen great progress! I've been incorporating the exercises taught to me into my daily workout routine. Im very happy with my continued results.
Albert Szal
Albert Szal
23:43 10 Jun 18
Mary Szal here: I've had three sessions with Brittany at the Hillsboro location. I can say that she has been the most effective and instructive physical therapist I've ever experienced. Her personality, energy, knowledge and results are top notch.
Osa Phiangdae
Osa Phiangdae
00:05 22 Mar 18
Awesome place for PT. Hillsboro location has plenty of parking and very spacious. I had the pleasure to work mostly with Dr. Alice Holland and JP. I came in with a shoulder injury and thank goodness they understood what I was going through. They are the best of what they do, I would recommend Stride Strong to anyone who needs PT.
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