By Anton Urgello, PT, Tulsa Bone & Joint Owasso
Tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis is a painful condition that occurs when there is inflammation or irritation of the tendons that attach to the outside of your elbow. This is typically caused by overloading or repetitive motion of your wrist and arm resulting in tiny tears of the tendons of the forearm muscles.
Despite its name, tennis players are not the only people who develop tennis elbow. Other athletes can develop this as well as folks who have jobs that require them to perform repetitive motions with their wrist and elbow (e.g., painters, desk/office workers, plumbers, electricians).
This condition can be really painful and limiting especially with normal daily activities that require twisting, turning or gripping. Fortunately, this condition can be treated conservatively. Stretching your wrist flexors and wrist extensors and performing eccentric exercises, where you are lowering your wrist slowly after raising it, are quite helpful with reducing and relieving your pain.
A visit to Tulsa Bone & Joint Physical Therapy is also a very good option, as we are equipped with the knowledge to educate you about your condition as well as guide you through an exercise program specific to you and the activities that you would like to return to.
Try the Wrist Flexor stretches below to help improve the mobility of your wrist and stretch the forearm muscles.
By Kayla Cheney, PTA, Tulsa Bone & Joint Owasso
The human body has an innate mechanism to promote physical and mental health that is often better than certain pharmaceuticals. Laughing has been proven to help individuals of all ages overcome difficult life situations both physically and emotionally. Thousands of studies have been done all over the world on this very topic. One study from Norway followed over 53,000 participants for 15 years and found those with a better sense of humor that laughed more readily outlived their counterparts by an average of 8 years.
So what does laughter actually do for our bodies? The Mayo Clinic and the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences have compiled a list of physical and mental health benefits of laughing:
● Laughing is a natural painkiller. When you laugh, your body releases endorphins, the happiness hormone, which decreases the perception of pain.
● Laughing increases the intake of oxygen-rich air which stimulates heart, lungs, and other organs. This increase of oxygen in the blood improves vascular function and decreases the risk of heart attacks.
● Laughter stimulates circulation and aids in muscle relaxation, which can be especially beneficial for a postoperative patient.
● Laughing can lower blood pressure by releasing endorphins that negatively affect stress hormones.
● Laughing boosts the immune system by combating the chemical reactions created by negative thoughts and emotions. When you laugh, you release infection-fighting antibodies and neuropeptides that help fight stress.
● Laughing assists in weight loss. Chronic stress causes weight gain. Laughing for 10-15 minutes a day can burn 40 calories.
With so much evidence supporting better heart health, improved immune system, and the release of stress fighting endorphins, we would all benefit from more laughter. Did I mention the weight loss thing? Laughter has no negative side effects and is readily available. Perhaps we should take laughter more seriously in living a longer, healthier life.
Although physical therapy is no laughing matter, at Tulsa Bone & Joint Physical Therapy, we strive to make your experience positive, encouraging, and enjoyable.
By Anthony Sylvester, DPT, Manager of Physical Therapy at Tulsa Bone & Joint Owasso
Today, about half of all American adults—117 million people—have one or more preventable chronic diseases. Seven of the ten most common chronic diseases are favorably influenced by regular physical activity. Yet nearly 80 percent of adults are not meeting the key guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity, while only about half meet the key guidelines for aerobic physical activity. This lack of physical activity is linked to approximately $117 billion in annual health care costs and about 10 percent of premature mortality.
With New Years around the corner and dreams of a post-COVID life, it’s a good time to think about what your exercise strategy will be for 2021. We tend to set unreachable goals that set us up for failure in February.
This year, why not try walking? It’s the exercise our bodies are designed for. Research shows that among people who start fitness programs, walkers have the greatest percentage of long-term success with continual participation.
Walking is a powerful asset to have in our healthcare toolbox. The benefits are very impressive.
Benefits of Walking Include:
- Reduced risk of cancer
- Brain health benefits, including possible improved cognitive function, reduced anxiety and depression risk, and improved sleep and quality of life.
- For pregnant women, reduced risk of excessive weight gain, gestational diabetes, and postpartum depression.
- For older adults, reduced risk of fall-related injuries.
- For people with various chronic medical conditions, reduced risk of all-cause and disease-specific mortality, improved physical function and improved quality of life.
- “100 reasons to walk” https://walkwithadoc.org/join-a-walk/why-walk/100-reasons/
The research is conclusive. So get a good pair of shoes, grab a friend, or buy a dog and a leash and hit the sidewalk! You’ll be on your way to a healthy 2021 for sure.
The Tulsa Bone & Joint Physical Therapist of the Month for November is Anthony Sylvester, DPT, Manager of Physical Therapy at Tulsa Bone & Joint Owasso.
Anthony received his PT and DPT degrees from Langston University. He is certified in the Jones Strain Counter Strain Technique. Anthony has been a national presenter at the aquatic section American Physical Therapy Association Conference.
Originally from Texas, Anthony and his family currently live in Creek County, Oklahoma. “I have two wonderful kids, and I am crazy lucky to have a wife who will put up with me,” Anthony says.
Anthony has been a great addition to the Tulsa Bone & Joint Owasso team in 2019. He is passionate about helping patients move their lives forward. “What I like about PT is the chance we have to make really positive impacts on our patients that allow them to be more productive and return to normal tolerances for day-to-day life.”
Thanks for being an important part of our therapy team, Anthony!