Bone & Muscle Health

Bone & Muscle Health Articles

Take that, muscle cramps!

When muscle cramps strike suddenly, gently stretching the muscle can relieve pain. A shortcut for nighttime leg cramp stretches is sitting up in bed, looping the blanket around the foot, and gently pulling the toes up while keeping the knee straight. A “child’s pose” yoga posture can help ease back cramps. A “forward bend” yoga pose may relieve hamstring cramps. After stretching the muscle, it helps to put a heating pad on the area to promote blood flow, and then to gently massage the muscle. (Locked) More »

3 surprising risks of poor posture

Poor posture is associated with many problems, such as back pain, poor balance, headaches, and breathing difficulties. Poor posture can also promote incontinence, constipation, and heartburn. Physical therapists can help improve poor posture by customizing a program of exercises and stretches to improve a person’s core muscle strength and flexibility. The goal is a neutral, upright spine position—not flexed too far forward or backward. To attain the neutral spine position, one should put the shoulders down and back, pull the head back, and engage the core muscles. More »

Easy upper-body boosters

The loss of muscle mass begins in one’s 30s and accelerates after age 60. A loss of upper-body strength can make it more difficult to complete daily activities, and it may also increase the risk for muscle injury during an activity that involves reaching. A physical therapy program can help increase muscle mass in older age. A program typically involves gentle stretching to keep muscles supple, plus strengthening exercises like triceps curls, with low amounts of weight (just a few pounds) and a high number of repetitions. More »

Extra protein does not build more muscle

While it might seem natural to think that increasing protein intake could help improve muscle strength and performance, a new study confirmed that taking in more than the Recommended Dietary Allowance did not improve lean body mass, muscle performance, or physical function among older men. More »

Should I get a bone density test?

Bone density tests are not routinely recommended for older men as there is no strong evidence they can benefit from osteoporosis-preventing medications. Lifestyle changes involving smoking, exercise, and alcohol intake can have the biggest impact on bone health. More »

Pelvic physical therapy: Another potential treatment option

Unexplained pelvic plain is common in women of all ages and is sometimes related to problems with the muscles in the pelvic floor, a condition called myofascial pain. Tight pelvic floor muscles can cause chronic pain, and pelvic physical therapy is a potential treatment that may help to relieve this pain. (Locked) More »

Think that hip pain is bursitis? Think again.

Side hip pain was often diagnosed as bursitis. In recent years, doctors have discovered that 90% of the time, side hip pain is more likely to be the result of other conditions, such as tendinitis; an irritated iliotibial band; tight, imbalanced muscles in the buttocks; or spine problems. Treatment for these conditions typically involves stretching and strengthening the muscles in the buttocks and hips, and strengthening the core muscles. Restoring balance to the muscles helps the body function better and eliminate pain. (Locked) More »

The best meds for back pain

An estimated 80% of people will seek medical attention for back pain at some point in their lives. Most of the time over-the-counter pain relievers does the trick. But they may not be effective enough. Some people require stronger prescription drugs while they seek treatments to address the source of their back pain. (Locked) More »