Health Watch: Physical Therapy

RAPID CITY, SD (KEVN) It has been said that repetition of the same action over and over becomes a habit and given enough time of practice this habit then becomes an automatic reflex. The habit I would like to discuss today is the use of your upper extremities in assisting you in moving through space when your lower extremities become weaker. Naturally, as we age, our legs lose muscle mass, we also become weaker and we may not notice but we start using our hands to help move us through space. Two examples include getting up out of chairs and getting to the ground and back up off the ground. As with other medical conditions, the earlier detection the more successful the outcomes. There's a couple of tests you can try at home to assess your own leg strength, one of them being a sit to stand and the other one being a lunge to the floor and back. If you find that to be too easy, you can also just do it in free space and try to squat as low as possible and stand back up. We want to step forward, lower yourself to the floor stand back up and I would repeat that with the other legs so that we can see a difference side to side. If you note a dependency on your upper extremities in order to do these tasks or if you feeling any pain in your joints I recommend that you speak to a physician, get a consultation to our new facility and have one of our skilled therapists find an individualized program to help regain your strength before you begin developing pain. With any intervention the sooner you can get in the better the outcome, thank you and happy mustache march."