The best teachers always know that learning should be fun. How many Physical Therapy clinics do you know open their door to the community to educate, treat aches and pains, raffle off prizes and supply refreshments? Well, we know one, and so do 37 other people from the Saratoga community. On March 7th, our Saratoga team rolled out the welcome mat to the community for a free evening of education and fun where common injuries and strategies to avoid these injuries were discussed.
Do you sit for hours and hours every day? Many of us do. Two staff physical therapists, Jeff Fear, PT, MPT, and Shane Connors, MSPT, DPT, spoke about “The Painful Truth about Sitting”. These PTs have treated hundreds of patients with pain resulting from sitting for too long. They highlighted that sitting for too long can wreak havoc on our posture contributing to neck and lower back pain. In fact, office workers, have a higher risk for developing neck pain compared to the general population.1 Exercise can help to minimize the negative effects of prolonged sitting. Some creative strategies were shared with the audience to combat these negative effects. The main recommendation was to practice active sitting. Some examples of active sitting are putting objects that you use most often farthest away from you, setting a timer every 30 minutes for a “get up and walk” reminder, or using a smaller water bottle so you have to keep getting up to refill it.
The second lecture of the evening was polar opposite from the first lecture. Apparently, once we get up form our chairs, many of us become runners. Twenty-five to 70% of runners report overuse injuries each year.2 Our Facility Manager, Alison Synakowski, PT, DPT, OCS, ATC, CSCS, and staff therapist, Jennifer Szymanski, PT, DPT, discussed “Common Injuries in Runners and the Importance of Cross Training”. Although running is great exercise, it is not enough to keep our bodies healthy. Cross training, or alternative exercise to running, can help to minimize the risk of injury, strengthen muscles that are not used during running, and can also improve your cardiovascular fitness. Both PTs suggested to get moving with multiple activities to decrease your chances of overuse injuries. Activities such as swimming, cycling, using the elliptical machine, and even walking are great alternatives to running.
With lots of Q&A throughout the evening, past patients reuniting with their PTs, and delicious refreshments, it’s safe to say that all involved learned something new and had fun!