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Cherry Creek Wellness Center News Archive

Avoid Bicycling Injuries With These Tips From Cherry Creek Wellness Center

April 19, 2017

Winter is finally over, and there’s no better way to celebrate than heading outside for a bike ride to enjoy the warmer weather. But before you hop on your bike, it’s important to understand how you can protect yourself while you ride so you don’t suffer injuries. The experienced team at Cherry Creek Wellness Center has offered these tips to help you avoid injuries on your bike:

Relax your grip.

You may feel tempted to keep a tight grip on your handlebars while you ride your bike, but try to make an effort to relax your grip. Clenching something tightly for an extended period of time can lead to pain in your hands, wrists, and forearms. Keep a firm grip on the handlebars so you can stay in control of the bike, but don’t grab the bars too tightly if you want to avoid unpleasant aches later.

Check the extension of your knees.

Before you begin to ride, sit on your bike and push one foot down as if you are pedaling forward. Now, check to see how far your knee has extended. Your knees should be slightly bent at all times when you are pedaling, even when you are in a full extension on a downstroke. If your legs are completely straight or you feel your knees locking, it means you need to adjust the height of your seat. Lower the seat an inch or two and then try this test again. If your knees are bent more than 20-25 degrees, you need to raise your seat so you are able to extend your legs more during each downstroke. See the correct cycling posture here.

Wear protective gear.

Accidents can happen to anyone—even the most experienced riders. If you are thrown off of your bike, or if another bicyclist or motorist collides into you, you could suffer devastating injuries. Not every injury is preventable, but many can be avoided with the proper protective gear. The most important piece of protective gear you can wear is a helmet, but it has to fit your head properly. When testing different helmets, remember that you want a helmet to be low, level, and snug. This means the helmet should be level on your head and should cover the majority of your forehead. Once you’ve adjusted the straps, make sure the helmet fits snugly on your head by pushing it in different directions. If it moves more than an inch in any direction, you need to either adjust the straps or buy a different helmet.

Reach for the handlebars.

Grab the handlebars and take a look at the position of your arms. Are your arms completely straight? If so, you will need to adjust the stem until you are able to achieve a slight bend in your elbows. If you don’t make this adjustment, it’s very likely that you will experience pain in your back, shoulders, and neck later on.

At Cherry Creek Wellness Center, we are devoted to helping our patients treat pain and stay healthy. Are you interested in learning more about our services?  Contact us today by calling 303-333-3493 to talk to a member of our helpful staff!

Denver Wellness Center Explains How to Avoid Pain From Digital Devices

April 12, 2017

How many hours a day are you texting friends, scrolling through social media, watching movies, browsing the web, or making phone calls? If you stop and think about it, you’re probably glued to a digital device for the majority of your day. Using a digital device can affect the way you position your body, which could lead to aches and pains later. But according to the top Denver wellness center, Cherry Creek Wellness Center, there are ways you can avoid pain from digital devices. How? Follow these tips:

Keep your chin up.

To send a text message or play your favorite smartphone game, you have to look down, bringing your chin close to your collarbone. This can lead to a condition called “smartphone neck,” which is characterized by aches and pains in the neck. Avoid this problem by keeping your chin up when using your digital devices. Instead of looking down, move the device upwards so you don’t have to strain. See the 20-second cure for “smartphone neck.”

Check your eyesight.

When using a desktop or laptop computer, do you find yourself leaning forward to read the text off of the screen? This could be because you have a problem with your eyesight. Visit an eye doctor to have your eyes checked. In the meantime, adjust the settings on your computer so the font is larger and easier to read.

Give your thumb a break.

Are your thumbs aching? It could be because you’re relying on your thumbs to send texts, tap on different screens, and scroll through websites on your smartphone. Make an effort to give your thumb a break and let your other fingers do the work for a little while. If you still experience pain in your thumbs after letting them rest, try to wear a splint to keep your thumb steady while it heals.

Take frequent breaks.

If you have to sit in front of a computer for a long period of time, plan on taking a small break every half hour or so. You don’t have to take a long break, but you should stand up by your desk and stretch out your back and shoulders. Don’t forget to do a few neck rolls as well in case you’re holding any tension here. You should also take a few moments to check your posture before sitting back down at your desk.  

Switch hands.

Do you always grip your smartphone or tablet with the same hand? Over time, this could lead to pain in your elbow and wrist. Avoid this problem by switching back and forth between your right and left hand. You should also try to avoid keeping your elbow bent in a flexed position while holding your devices to prevent aches and pains.

At Cherry Creek Wellness Center, we are devoted to helping our patients prevent and treat pain. If you are interested in learning more about our services, contact us today by calling 303-333-3493 to talk to a member of our helpful and knowledgeable staff!

Probiotics Guide

By Lynn Tandler - April 6, 2017

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, upward of 60 million to 70 million Americans are affected by digestive disorders. In addition, digestive disorders cost the U.S. over $100 billion per year. These statistics are important because your digestive health affects every other system in your body. Optimal digestive health begins in the gut and involves balancing out the good and bad bacteria in your gut. One important way to do this is to consume probiotic-rich foods and/or probiotic supplements.
What is a probiotic? The World Health Organization defines probiotics as “live microorganisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit to the host”. Probiotics are bacteria that line your digestive tract and support your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and fight infection. There are actually 10 times as many probiotics in your gut than cells in your body! Your gut contains both beneficial and harmful bacteria. Digestive experts agree that the balance in your gut should be approximately 85 percent good bacteria and 15 percent bad bacteria. If you don’t have enough good bacteria (probiotics) in your body, the side effects can include digestive disorders, skin issues, candida, autoimmune disease, and frequent colds and flus. Some of the things that can kill off good probiotics in your body are toxins and stressors such as prescription antibiotics and medications, chronic emotional stress, genetically modified foods, chemical exposure, and refined sugar.
Adding more probiotic foods into your diet provides the following benefits:
  • Stronger immune system
  • Improved digestion
  • Increased energy from production of vitamin B12
  • Better breath because probiotics destroy candida
  • Healthier skin, since probiotics naturally treat eczema and psoriasis
  • Reduced cold and flu
  • Healing from leaky gut syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease
  • Prevents and treats urinary tract infections
Below are 6 probiotic foods to improve gut health:
  1. Kefir – is a fermented dairy product. It is similar to yogurt but because it is fermented with yeast and more bacteria, it contains more probiotics. It is thicker than milk and thinner than yogurt and can be used in smoothies, cereal, or quiches. Coconut kefir is the dairy free option, but it is not quite as high in beneficial probiotics.
  1. Fermented vegetables – the most popular are sauerkraut and kimchi. Sauerkraut is made from fermented cabbage and other vegetables. It is high in organic acids that support the growth of good bacteria in your gut. Kimchi is very similar to sauerkraut, but is spicier and is primarily made with Chinese cabbage and other veggies and spices, such as red pepper flakes, radishes, carrots, garlic, ginger, onion, sea salt and fish sauce. Both products are found in the refrigerated section of stores as they contain live bacteria.
  1. Natto - is fermented soybeans which contains the extremely powerful probiotic bacillus subtilis, which has been proven to bolster your immune system, support cardiovascular health, and enhance digestion of vitamin K2. Natto can also contain vitamin B12 and is one of the best plant-based sources of protein.
  1. Yogurt - is made from the milk of cows, goats or sheep that has been fermented with “live cultures”. Yogurt is one of the most beneficial probiotic foods if it comes from raw, grass-fed animals. When buying yogurt, it is recommended to look for four things: 1) that it is low in sugar; 2) that it is grass-fed; 3) that is not pasteurized after manufacture; and 4) that it is organic. Make sure the yogurt says “live cultures” on the label or lists the names of the bacteria species.
  1. Miso – is made from fermented soybeans, rice or barley. It comes in a yellow, white, or red and is a paste with a buttery, salty taste. It is used primarily in soups and stews, but can also be used in salad dressings, as a seasoning to replace salt or soy sauce, or whipped with butter to serve over vegetables. Miso cannot be heated above 120° or the beneficial microorganisms will be destroyed.  
  1. Kombucha - is an effervescent fermentation of green or black tea and its primarily health benefits include digestive support, increased energy and liver detoxification. It comes in many different flavors and is a healthy alternative to soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages.
There are different strains of probiotics. The probiotic benefits experienced with one probiotic strain may be completely different from the health benefits seen from another probiotic. Certain strains of probiotics support immunity, others digestion, and some even help burn fat and balance hormones. You can consume a wide range of probiotics by eating probiotic rich foods. Or, if you want to use probiotics to help with a specific health concern, it’s important to select the right probiotic supplement for the right condition. Probiotic supplements are sold in the refrigerated case at the natural food stores to preserve their potency. The key to buying the best supplement is to read the labels. Here are the most important things to look for when choosing a probiotic supplement:
  • High Colony Forming Unit (CFU) count - Purchase a probiotic brand that has a high number of probiotics, from 15 billion to 100 billion.
  • Strain diversity - Search for a probiotic supplement that has 10–30 different strains.
  • Date - The fresher the better since probiotics contain living organisms.
  • Living vs. dead – Probiotics that have “live and active cultures” are better than those that are “made with active cultures.”
It is important to note that probiotic foods and supplements are safe for most people, but some people with immune system problems or other serious health conditions should not take them. It is best to talk to your doctor first to make sure they are recommended for you. Also, the possible side effects with probiotic foods or supplements are that they may cause diarrhea, bloating, or gas if you take too much too fast. It is best to start off with a small amount like one tablespoon of Kefir, a few sips of Kombucha, or one probiotic capsule a day, to see how your body tolerates them, and work your way up.
In conclusion, you have the power to control the diversity and balance of beneficial bacteria in your body with the foods you choose to eat. A diet that includes lots of fiber-rich vegetables, along with probiotic-rich foods, will support and enhance the good bacteria and keep your gut healthy. Also consider eliminating toxins, excess stress, antibiotics, processed foods, omega-6 oils, and sugar to preserve the good bacteria you have.  If you have additional questions or need recommendations contact a nutritionist.
Article by: Lynn Tandler, Nutrition Consultant
Cherry Creek Wellness Center – Wheat Ridge
303.333.3493 ext. 2

Specialized Physical Therapy for Frozen Shoulders

April 5, 2017

Frozen shoulder, which is also known as adhesive capsulitis, is characterized by pain and stiffness that eventually worsens to the point where it becomes difficult to move the shoulder. It affects around 2% of the U.S. population, but fortunately, it can be treated with specialized physical therapy.  Here’s what you need to know about this painful condition:

How does frozen shoulder occur?

It is believed that frozen shoulder develops when you stop using the joint in your shoulder regularly. For example, if you are recovering from surgery and have limited mobility, you may develop frozen shoulder. Learn more about frozen shoulder.

Who does it affect?

Anyone who is recovering from a serious injury or surgery could develop frozen shoulder. Individuals with diabetes are also at a much higher risk of suffering from frozen shoulder, but researchers have not been able to identify a link between the two conditions.

What are the symptoms?

If you are experiencing dull pain in your shoulder that gradually gets worse over time and hurts more when you try to move your arm, you may have frozen shoulder.

The first stage of frozen shoulder is known as the “freezing” stage. During this stage, you slowly lose range of motion in your shoulder and begin to experience a great deal of pain. Next comes the “frozen” stage where the joint becomes stiff and difficult to move. This stage usually lasts for about four months, and is followed by the “thawing” stage, which can occur when you seek treatment. During the thawing stage, you will slowly begin to regain strength in your shoulder and the pain will eventually subside.

How is frozen shoulder treated?

In order to get to the thawing stage of this condition, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as you notice the symptoms. A doctor may recommend taking anti-inflammatories, receiving steroid injections, and of course, attending physical therapy on a regular basis.

A physical therapist will create a customized plan to treat your frozen shoulder. A typical plan will include heat therapy to loosen the muscles before you begin a series of stretches that are designed to increase your range of motion and “thaw” you frozen shoulder. Physical therapists will be able to guide you through the motions and adjust your body as needed to ensure you don’t injure yourself further.

Can it be prevented?

Some cases, such as those linked to patients with diabetes, cannot be prevented. However, if you’ve suffered an injury or have recently had surgery, it’s wise to talk to a physical therapist about preventing frozen shoulder. A physical therapist can show you how to stretch out the shoulder area to prevent it from freezing and causing you pain. Because frozen shoulder can leave you in pain for years, it’s best to take action early and try to prevent it instead of waiting to see a physical therapist once you have already developed the condition.

At Cherry Creek Wellness Center, we are devoted to helping our patients prevent and treat pain. Are you interested in learning more about our services?  Contact us today by calling 303-333-3493 to reach a member of our helpful staff!

Happy Ten Year Anniversary Stephanie!

April 4, 2017

Cherry Creek Wellness Center would like to congratulate Stephanie Uszacki on her 10 year anniversary with CCWC! Stephanie is a Certified Athletic Trainer working out of our Wheat Ridge location and a very valuable member of our team.

“Stephanie’s incredible knowledge base is a huge resource for patients and staff in Wheat Ridge. She is a team player who goes the extra mile, creates a loyal customer base, and despite the fact that no one wants to be injured, she helps make it all fun.” – Shannon Marshall, PT, DPT, Clinic Manager

Stephanie has been a Certified Athletic Trainer since earning her Bachelor’s degree at Illinois State University in 1989. Stephanie went on to complete her Master’s Degree in Exercise Science from Colorado State University. She has since continued her education with certifications in Fallproof Balance, Functional Movement Screening, Mat Pilates Instructor, and PWR Parkinson’s Instructor. Keeping people doing the activities that they love is what motivates Stephanie while working with her clients. From young athletes to older individuals and anyone in between- everyone can benefit from exercise! Stephanie loves to hike, bike, read and play with her husband and two teenage sons. Spending time outdoors, especially in the mountains, is both physical and mental therapy! She is inspired by people who continue to play throughout all phases of life.

Congratulations Stephanie! Thank you for your hard work and dedication to the CCWC team! 

How Denver Physical Therapy Can Help After A Concussion

Concussions are one type of traumatic brain injury that are caused by a sudden blow or jolt to the head. Trauma occurs when the brain moves around in the skull, which can alter chemicals and kill brain cells. Learn more about living with a severe brain injury. There’s been a lot of talk about concussions in the news lately, specifically the long-term effects of this devastating injury. But despite all of the attention placed on concussions, many people are still unaware that Denver physical therapy can play a role in recovery from this injury. Here’s how:

Vestibular Physical Therapy
People often suffer from dizziness and loss of coordination after a concussion. If your symptoms are severe, a physical therapist may be able to help with vestibular physical therapy. Each patient will receive a customized program based on his or her needs. The vestibular physical therapy program will be designed to improve balance, reduce falls, and alleviate dizziness.

Regain Strength
It may take weeks or months for you to return to your normal activities following a concussion. But, after so much time has passed, it may be difficult for you to jump back into your favorite sport or physical activity. Luckily, a physical therapist can help prepare your body before you begin the activity to prevent further injuries. If you choose to participate in physical activity without consulting with a physical therapist, there’s a chance you could overload your brain and prevent healing, which will make your symptoms return or worsen.

Help With Headaches
Many people who have sustained concussions suffer from headaches in the weeks or months following the injury. Some headaches are minor, but others are so debilitating that it can be difficult to live a normal life. If you are experiencing headaches because of a concussion, speak to a physical therapist. A physical therapist can examine your condition and try to determine what is causing your headaches. The cause of your headaches could be treatable using massages, regular stretches, eye exercises, or a customized exercise program.

A physical therapist can provide you with helpful information regarding your recovery. For example, you may be eager to get up and moving after a concussion, but a physical therapist can help you understand why it’s important to get adequate rest and avoid high impact sports during your recovery. Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to taking care of yourself after a serious injury.

A physical therapist can help you protect yourself in the future so you don’t suffer from another concussion. If you sustained a concussion in a sports game, a therapist can inspect your equipment and style of play. Then, a physical therapist will offer suggestions on how you can protect yourself in the future. For example, he or she may recommend that you wear a different helmet that offers more protection.

At Cherry Creek Wellness Center, we are devoted to helping our patients treat pain and stay healthy. Are you interested in learning more about our services?  Contact us today by calling 303-333-3493 to talk to a member of our helpful staff!

How to Prepare For Your First Session of Physical Therapy in Denver

Are you about to attend your first session of physical therapy in Denver? You may be unsure of what to expect. There’s no need to be nervous if you’ve never been to physical therapy before. Prepare yourself for your first session with a physical therapist by learning what to do before you arrive, and what you should expect once you get there.

Before Your Appointment
If you were not referred to a physical therapist by your doctor, take some time to find a physical therapist that is highly qualified and has a strong reputation within the community. Consult with friends and family members to see if they have any recommendations, or contact your doctor to ask for suggestions.

Once you have scheduled an appointment, sit down and write a list of all of your symptoms. Also, jot down notes to remind yourself when you start to experience the symptoms. For example, if you only feel pain in your knees after exercising or first thing in the morning, write this down so the physical therapist can help you pinpoint the problem. You may feel nervous or overwhelmed once you’re in front of the physical therapist, which can cause you to forget to say certain things. Make sure your physical therapist knows everything by writing it down ahead of time and bringing these notes with you to the appointment. Learn how to prepare for a physical therapy appointment.

During Your Appointment
The first session of physical therapy is an opportunity for the physical therapist to get a better understanding of what’s causing you pain. The physical therapist will begin by asking you questions, and then performing an examination. What’s included in the examination? That all depends on what’s ailing you. For example, the physical therapist may examine your posture if you’re complaining of constant pain in your back and shoulders. He may also ask you to do basic activities such as walking or laying down so he can see whether you need to make any changes to your body’s positioning.

After the examination, it’s your turn to ask questions. Physical therapists are more than willing to answer any questions or concerns you may have about treatment. How long will it take for you to recover? What changes can you expect to see? Will treatment hurt? Don’t be shy—physical therapists are eager to make you feel more comfortable, so they don’t have any problem with answering these types of questions.

After the First Appointment

The physical therapist will be able to create a customized treatment plan based on what he has learned about you during the examination. But, a treatment plan will not be effective unless you commit to it. Schedule your appointments in advance, and talk to your physical therapist to see if you should be doing anything at home in between your appointments to speed up your progress.

At Cherry Creek Wellness Center, we are devoted to helping our patients in every way possible. Are you interested in learning more about our services?  Contact us today by calling 303-333-3493 to talk to a member of our helpful staff!

Avoiding Common Springtime Injuries With Tips From Cherry Creek Wellness Center

March 15, 2017

Winter will soon be over, which means spring is on it's way! Before you tear off your heavy winter jacket to head outside and enjoy the warmer weather, make sure you read these tips from Cherry Creek Wellness Center to avoid common springtime injuries:

Wear protective gear.

Spring is the perfect time to play a game of baseball or hop on a bike, but these physical activities can lead to injuries if you’re not wearing the proper protective gear. One of the most important things you should be wearing is a helmet, as these can greatly reduce your risk of being injured. Be sure to choose the appropriate helmet for the activity you have planned. A good fit is important, so shake your head back and forth before you get moving to ensure your helmet doesn’t wiggle around too much. Learn more about choosing the right bicycle helmet.

Pace yourself.

If you haven’t been physically active during the winter, you should plan on giving your body plenty of time off to promote recovery and prevent injuries. It’s important to ease your way back into exercising and being active, otherwise you may strain your muscles or overexert yourself.

Practice good form when gardening.

Many people look forward to spring so they can begin gardening again. Gardening has many benefits, including the ability to reduce stress and lower blood pressure, however it can also lead to injuries if you’re not practicing the proper form. Make sure you have kneepads to protect your knees while you’re kneeling in the dirt. You should also avoid staying in the same place for an extended period of time or twisting your body when shoveling dirt. Try to get up and stretch every five to ten minutes so you don’t feel aches and pains later.

Be careful when using a ladder.

Do you plan on cleaning out your gutters, washing your windows, or applying a fresh layer of paint to your house? If so, you’re going to need a ladder. Be careful! Many people injure themselves on ladders because they don’t really know the safest way to use them. If you’re using a ladder for spring cleaning, make sure it’s placed on a firm, flat surface and held in place by a friend or family member. You should never have to reach too far when balancing on one of the ladder’s steps. If you find yourself extending your arms to reach something, instead of losing your balance and falling, carefully step off of the ladder and move it over. Remember, a piece of furniture is never a good replacement for a ladder. A stool or chair is not designed to keep you steady while you’re in the air, so don’t put yourself at risk of falling and hurting yourself by using one instead of a ladder.

At Cherry Creek Wellness Center, we are devoted to helping our patients prevent and treat pain during all four seasons. Are you interested in learning more about our services?  Contact us today by calling 303-333-3493 to talk to a member of our helpful staff.