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Cherry Creek Wellness Center News Archive

Arthritis and Using Physical Therapy in Denver to Manage Pain

June 21, 2017

Do you suffer or think you may suffer from Arthritis? You are not alone. Over 40 million Americans of all ages suffer from the one of over 100 types of this disease and joint pain. Luckily, there are options available to help manage the pain. The best thing you can do for yourself or a loved one going through this pain is to better educate yourself. Learn more about arthritis, pain management tips, and how using physical therapy in Denver can help.

Arthritis Overview

Arthritis is a broad term that covers several different types of joint pain. Essentially, this is where a person may experience inflammation and/or pain in the joints. While common in senior citizens, arthritis can also be found in children and young adults. Arthritis may affect you by leading to painful joints, stiff joints or a swelling in the area due to the inflammation. One of the leading reasons a person gets arthritis is when there is a breakdown of cartilage. This makes it more difficult to reduce the pressure during movement of a joint. Some of the common sources of arthritis pain according to the Arthritis Foundation include osteoarthritis, where there is a breakdown of cartilage; rheumatoid arthritis, where one’s immune system attacks joints and organs and psoriatic arthritis, another autoimmune inflammatory disease. They also note that fibromyalgia, gout, and lupus are other forms of arthritis.

Pain Management Tips

Those who suffer from arthritis can work with their physician to come up with a plan to help manage the pain. One of the ways this is done is through pain relieving medicines such as hydrocodone or acetaminophen. In addition, anti-inflammatory medications and topical creams assist as well. When joints have severely deteriorated, there is the option to work with your doctor to have a replacement surgery. For day-to-day management, weight loss is one way to help as you are reducing the amount of weight on your joints. Using heat or cool treatments is also another way to help ease pain in joints—something your doctor can assist you with to see which is right for you. Others find relief by adding in omega-3 fatty acids and turmeric into their diets.

Physical Therapy

Another great way to help ease arthritis pain is with physical therapy. How? Physical therapists help their patients get back into a normal schedule of movement. When dealing with arthritic pain, it is easy for a person to move less. In the long run, this only makes the arthritis worse because the joints become stiffer due to the little to no movement. Through working with a physical therapist, they can assist with different activities and exercises to help with everyday movements and more.
If you are wondering, Can specialized physical therapy help patients with arthritis? It can! And Cherry Creek Wellness Center is here to help. Our team will help you find the best pain management solution when it comes to dealing with your arthritis. The best thing you can do is get started as soon as you can. Contact Cherry Creek Wellness Center in Denver today to see how we can help you or your loved one.

Signs You Have a TMJ Disorder and How Denver Physical Therapy Can Help

June 14, 2017

Millions of Americans suffer from pain due to a disorder of the temporomandibular joint, also known as TMJ. While many refer to this pain as “TMJ,” everyone has a TMJ, as it is the joint that connects the skull and lower jaw. For those that do have a disorder of this joint, also known as TMD, they might not realize that their everyday aches and pains are correlated with issues related to their TMJ. Learn what the symptoms of a TMJ disorder look like, areas that can be affected and ways to cope through treatment and specialized physical therapy.

Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

When most people envision what a TMJ disorder looks like, they think about pain in the jaw. While this can be true, this is just one of many symptoms. For many suffering from TMD, they may experience headaches, neck and back pain, earaches or tinnitus (ringing in the ears) or vertigo. In addition, those who deal with TMD have aches and pain in their face, anywhere from the jaw all the way up to one’s temples. Pain in this area can make it hard to eat or chew depending on the pain level. For others, it can be easy for a jaw to lock or the jaw may be uneven, creating a “popping” noise when the mouth is opened or closed. For a deeper look into TMJ, read Health Line’s TMJ Disorders.

Triggers and Areas Affected by a TMJ Disorder

What many do not know is that the TMJ can affect much more than the jaw itself. The TMJ is connected through your temples or all the way to your back. For your temples, stress or other triggers can lead to a tense feeling in the temples or anywhere in the face. This can lead to headaches or pain. TMJ also can create a stiff feeling that not only can lead to headaches, but also create a stiffness in the neck and back. In the process of tensing up, some grind their teeth clench their jaw without knowing.

Treatment and Physical Therapy

If you have any of the symptoms of a TMJ disorder, it is important to discuss with a doctor to find ways to cope or treat. It can be a collaborative effort between your doctor, dentist and physical therapist. One of the things that can help with facial and other pain is the diet. Try reducing sugar intake as well as other processed foods to see if it helps. In addition, your doctor or dentist may recommend a mouth guard to wear at night or even during the day to help with the clenching of the jaw. A muscle relaxer may also be prescribed to help ease tension in the jaw and temple region. Ice and over-the-counter anti-inflammatories can help reduce pain and swelling too. Last, specialized physical therapy can help introduce you to exercises and motions to help you manage your TMJ.
Do you have TMJ disorder? Learn how a Cherry Creek wellness center can help. Contact us at 303-333-3493. We can help you find ways to manage pain from your TMJ disorder.

Reducing Sugar Intake and Your Health, Explained by Your Wellness Center in Denver

June 7, 2017

Are you looking for ways to be healthier? One of the best ways to do this is to reduce your sugar intake. Sugar can do a variety of things to your body that you may not be aware of. You can even reduce or eliminate intake for a brief period just to see what it feels like once you are off. Learn about what sugar does to your body, the benefits of reducing intake and what you can expect to happen when reducing intake, explained by your wellness center in Denver.

What Does Sugar Do?

Did you know that sugar is a very addicting item to ingest? And given that sugar is included in many of the different food items you eat daily, it encourages you to want to eat more. And you might not realize you are ingesting sugar if you do not know the other common names for it included on labels, such as fructose, dextrose or sorbitol. You can find a full list of names from Women’s Health dangers of sugar article. When you ingest sugar, just the way many drugs do, it gives you a rush that makes you want more of it. This is why it can be easy to overeat sweets because your body is trying to continue that rush or high. And while you might get a rush of energy, it leads to a crash. Long term, consuming too much sugar can lead to diabetes, clogged arteries, inflammation in the body and more.

Benefits of Reducing Intake

Cutting back on your sugar intake will have great health benefits that you will notice! For many, one of the key benefits of reducing sugar intake is weight loss. However, you may also notice other benefits too. Some of these include skin issues clearing up (such as breakouts or dry skin) and easier digestion. Since sugar can serve as an inflammatory food, it can make it difficult to digest foods. You may notice how much better you feel once you reduce your intake. You may also notice that you think more clearly, too. When reducing your sugar intake, make sure you are getting a nutrient-rich diet that consists of protein, vegetables and healthy fats.

What Happens to Your Body When You Reduce Sugar

Once you reduce your sugar intake, you will notice many benefits. However, do be aware that when you greatly reduce intake, your body may go through a withdraw. While different for everyone, you may experience cravings, aches, headaches or even flu-like symptoms. Many refer to this as the “carb flu.” While uncomfortable, symptoms are only temporary and you will feel much better once you get in the clear. Making dietary changes is good to discuss with your doctor or wellness expert on how to make the transition. It has many long-term benefits and is a change worth making.
As you work to a better and healthier you, Cherry Creek Wellness Center can help. We can provide physical therapy for a pain free lifestyle and other amenities such as massage therapy and Pilates. Be sure to learn more about how diet changes and specialized physical therapy can help joint pain. To get started with a plan, contact us at 303-333-3493.

Learn the Skinny on Fat

June 2, 2017

Are these facts or myths?
  • Fat makes you fat.
  • A fat-free diet is an important part of any weight loss program.
  • Cardiovascular disease is linked to the consumption of fats, especially saturated fats and cholesterol.
  • Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats keep food fresh longer and are therefore healthy.
  • The new man-made fats like Olestra allow one to “have one’s cake and eat it too.”
Actually, all of the above are myths. In the 80s and 90s fat was demonized and low fat was the diet mantra. Since then we have been living in a fat-phobic world. People have been consuming less saturated and animal fats and more processed fats, and more sugar, refined carbs, and processed foods. The result has been Americans’ have been getting fatter and sicker. This has led to more research, new information, and a new era of eating healthy fats and a lower saturated fat diet. 

Time Magazine Covers: March 26, 1984 and June 23, 2014
Image via: Christopher James Clark

Fats should be part of a well-balanced diet. Adequate quantities of high quality fat are crucial for good health. Here are some of the functions that healthy fats perform in our body:
  • Concentrated source of energy
  • Absorption and transportation of fat-soluble vitamins: K,A,D, and E
  • Protection for internal organs and cells
  • Provide the building blocks for cell membranes and many hormones
  • Slows the release of sugar into the bloodstream
  • Important for brain health
  • Keeps skin, hair, and nails healthy
  • Needed for healthy nerves
  • Provides feeling of satiety and enhances flavors
What about weight gain? Many people think that eating fat leads to extra pounds. However, the opposite is true and an increase in high quality healthy dietary fat helps people control their weight. As study done at the Harvard University School of Public Health found that those consuming less sugar and starches and more fat lost more weight than low-fat dieters. Fat sends a “stop eating” signal to the brain so consuming too little fat can end up contributing to overeating.
What makes fats healthy (good) or unhealthy (bad)? Healthy fats are those that come from whole foods, are unprocessed, and are naturally occurring. Unhealthy fats are man-made fats and fats that have been damaged by high heat or oxygen, refining, and over processing. Free radicals are then created which attack and destroy body tissues. 
 Good Fats vs. Bad Fats

Fats, made up of fatty acids, fall into two categories: saturated fats and unsaturated fats. These fats differ in their chemical properties and structure. Within the two categories of fats, there are three types of fats in our diets: saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated fats. Saturated fats remain solid at room temperature and are heat stable at high temperatures. Examples of saturated fats include coconut oil, butter, and animal fat. The shorter chain fatty acids, found in coconut oil and butter, provide unique antimicrobial, anti-tumor, and immune-system supporting properties.
Unsaturated fats include monounsaturated fats that are liquid at room temperature and solid when chilled. They can be used for medium heat sautéing. Examples of foods with this type of fat include olives, olive oil, avocados, avocado oil, sesame oil, nuts (cashews, almonds, peanuts, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios), and nut butters.
Polyunsaturated fats, referred to as PUFAs, include Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. These fats are liquid at room temperature and when refrigerated. Examples of these types of foods include walnuts, seeds, raw dairy, corn or sunflower oil, as well as, fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, trout, and tuna).
Omega 3 and 6 fats are called essential fatty acids. The body does not make these so they must be obtained from foods we eat or from supplements. Omega 6s must be balanced with Omega 3s. If they are over-consumed they can lead to inflammation and subsequent chronic health conditions. Omega-3s can reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, keep blood thinner and healthier, and are necessary for brain development and function. Three of the most common Omega 3s are EPA, DHA, and ALA. These are found in supplements such as fish or flax oil, or in foods like cold-water fish.
Unhealthy fats include partially hydrogenated fats (margarine, vegetable shortening, vegetable oils), processed and packaged foods (including snack foods and buttered popcorn), fried foods, store bought baked goods, trans fats found in fast food, salad dressings, mayonnaise, sauces, pizza, ice cream, chocolate candy (except 70+% cacao dark chocolate), and processed cheese and meats.
How much healthy fat do we need? The American Heart Association recommends that total fat intake not exceed 25-35% of total daily calories. Generally, individual requirements are based on genetic make-up, metabolic rate, activity level, and health. It is important to eat high quality fat, and obtain fat from a diverse selection of clean and sustainable plant and animal foods for a balance of all fatty acids. One serving of fat is equal to 1 tablespoon of fat/oil OR 2 tablespoons of nuts and seeds. Four servings would equal 20% of a 2,000 calorie/day diet. The consequences to eating too much man-made saturated fats are not only weight gain, but it can cause cholesterol to build up in the arteries, ultimately leading to heart disease and other chronic health conditions.
In conclusion, don’t fear fats! Keep in mind that not all dietary fat is created equal, and you should consume more healthy fats at the expense of unhealthy fats in your diet. Consume healthy, traditional sources of fat found in whole foods and avoid the products with new man-made fats. Eat foods high in healthy fats such as nuts, fish, and avocados. Use healthy cooking oils. Limit or avoid foods high in saturated fats such as processed, fried, or fast foods, that can raise your blood cholesterol levels and increase your risk of heart disease.  
For additional information or questions contact Lynn Tandler, Certified Nutrition Consultant in the Wheat Ridge office at 303-333-3493, ext 2. 

Denver Wellness Center Tips for Proper Form and Posture While Staying Active

May 24, 2017

Do you know if you are using proper form when you are exercising? If you aren’t using proper form when getting your workout or activities in, not only are you not able to work to the best of your ability, but it could also be hard on your body. This can lead to other issues. Learn more about the reasons to have proper form, tips for posture and how using physical therapy at your local Denver wellness center to stay active can help.

Reasons to Have Proper Form

When you are playing your favorite activities, or working out, not having proper form can lead to a poor workout or injuries. This can lead to long term damage. There are methods of proper form for all types of activities, from cardio such as running or jogging to strength training. It is especially crucial to have proper form when lifting weights. Why? Your goal is to work specific muscle groups. If you are not using proper form, you are not maximizing your workout and can hurt yourself. You can find more details on proper form in the Mayo Clinic’s Weight Training: Do’s and Don’ts of proper technique.

Tips for Posture

Maintaining proper posture for every day and when working out or being active is important. Did you know poor posture can lead to headaches, fatigue, back and neck pain, nerve issues and more? Make sure you always keep your shoulders relaxed. You also want to make sure that your shoulders and ears line up. Next, make sure your head and neck do not tilt too much to one side. Also, it is important to make sure your feet are straight. If your feet are curved in or face out, you will one to correct that. By correcting some of these posture issues, not only will it help you in your everyday movements, but also in your workouts. Take time to identify what posture issues you have and then review Body Building’s Posture Power: How to Correct Your Body’s Alignment to resolve.

Using Physical Therapy to Help Staying Active

If you are looking to better your form and posture for your day-to-day tasks and activities, a physical therapist can help. While you can review on your own stretches, working with a physical therapist takes it a step further. They will ensure you are practicing stretches and exercises correctly to help you correct anything you are doing incorrectly. You will be surprised what pain and issues help you when you start to see a physical therapist. Have a sports injury? It’s critical to see a physical therapist to recover and learn proper form.

If you are looking to correct your posture, learn proper form for the activities you do regularly and more, Cherry Creek Wellness Center can help. Don’t forget that even using your smartphone can lead to posture issues. Read our guide Denver Wellness Center Explains How to Avoid Pain from Digital Devices. To get started, contact Cherry Creek Wellness Center in Denver today.

Top Car Accident Injuries and How Denver Physical Therapy Can Help

May 17, 2017

In 2016 in Denver, there was just over 9300 car crashes. Just over 1,000 of those involved injuries, while others also include fatalities. Because of the high number of injuries and fatalities, Colorado State Patrol’s Traffic Safety Statistics has a strategic plan to help reduce these injuries and fatalities. One of the ways all drivers can help with this goal is to be a defensive and vigilant driver. However, accidents happen before they are just that—accidents. In the blink of an eye, everything can change. From head and neck injuries and torn muscles to the top injuries occurring in car accidents, learn how Denver physical therapy can help.

Head and Neck Injuries

Upon impact in an accident, the force of the car hitting an object in front of it can lead to a head and/pr neck injury, especially with a head-on collision. Some drivers and passengers hit their head on a seat, dash board or steering wheel in the car. Depending how hard one hits their head, this can cause a concussion or even lead to more serious damage to one’s brain. Another injury that is common in accidents are whiplash. Upon serious impact, one’s head can be quickly thrust forward then backward. Depending on the force, it can lead to torn ligaments and muscles in the neck and upper shoulder areas. Those who suffer from whiplash may experience stiffness, headaches, a dizzy feeling and pain. In some cases, one can even experience damage to vocal cords from a quick impact.

Torn Muscles

Torn muscles are a common injury in car accidents. This occurs due to the severe impact of the crash that can lead muscle fibers and the body’s soft tissue to stretch. From here, they will become inflamed and swell. In addition, ligaments and tendons can tear as well. This can be extremely painful and if not treated, can lead to long term damage. Back injuries and strains are another common injury from a car accident. Many suffer from lower back issues post-wreck. It can lead to pain, spasms and stiffness, similar to a neck injury, and can make even the easiest and routine of activities difficult. From sitting to walking, this can be painful.

How Physical Therapy Can Help

When recovering from a car accident, some injuries require surgery while others can be treated with anti-inflammatory medication. In addition to your prescription, physical therapy can help you recover quickly. By learning various exercises or techniques, a physical therapist can help you strengthen your muscles over time. If you are injured in an accident and have minor injuries but pain, it is important to consider physical therapy as quickly as possible.

To make sure you know what to do in the case of an accident, read the DMV’s Accident Guide in Colorado. For help with injuries you sustained in a car accident, Cherry Creek Wellness Center can help. Make sure to learn how Denver physical therapy can help after a concussion. Contact Cherry Creek Wellness Center in Denver today to get started.

Do You Have TMJ Disorder? How a Cherry Creek Wellness Center Can Help

May 10, 2017

Everyone has a temporomandibular joint, known as TMJ. For many, they suffer from TMD, a disorder of the TMJ. This joint plays such a crucial role as it is made up of muscles, ligaments and more to not only help you open your mouth, but when problems arise, you can have pain all the way in your temples to deep within your neck. Learn what TMJ disorder is, signs and symptoms to watch for and how a Cherry Creek wellness center can help.

What is TMJ Disorder?

The TMJ is the hinge that connects one’s jaw. For a variety reasons, issues can happen leading to TMJ disorder. Usually this occurs when the muscles, ligaments jaw or other areas stop working as they should, or encounter minor changes, that lead to pain or clicking within the jaw. Over time these changes can occur when the alignment of one’s mouth changes from things such as hits to the face or loss of teeth or arthritis. Those who also clench or grind their teeth as susceptible of suffering from TMJ disorder.

Signs and Symptoms

There are a variety of signs and symptoms that you may not even be aware of that mean you might be suffering from TMJ disorder. Two of the largest and most recognizable signs are jaw clicking and pain in the face in the jaw and temple areas. It can progressively become worse if you eat hard-to-chew foods or hear a clicking noise when you open your mouth. But that isn’t all. Others may notice ear aches or ringing in their ears or headaches. When a person is already experiencing some of the painful symptoms of a TMJ disorder, there can be swelling in the area as well. Also, TMJ disorder spans much farther than in the jaw or temples. It can make the muscles in your neck and shoulders sore, cause vertigo or blur your vision.

Options to Help Relieve Symptoms

Many suffer from TMJ disorder without even realizing they have a problem. The pain and issues are not normal and there is relief. You can confirm a diagnosis by working with your doctor or dentist. They may take an x-ray or MRI to confirm. Your dentist might recommend a bite guard to wear at night, or even during the day, to help with the grinding or clenching. You can also ice the area, take over the counter anti-inflammatory medication, try acupuncture or work with a physical therapist. If you suffer from any of these symptoms, it is important to seek help over so you don’t have to live dealing with the symptoms. You can learn more about what TMJ disorder is and ways to help in WebMD’s write up on temporomandibular joint disorders.

While TMJ can be a nuisance and painful, there are options for relief. If you have been diagnosed with TMJ disorder and are seeking relief, Cherry Creek Wellness Center can help. Learn how TMJ treatment can help you relieve your symptoms. Work with your doctor and physical therapist to find relief from your TMJ issues.

What is Diabetes and What Prevention Steps Can You Take?

By : Lynn Tandler, NC - May 5, 2017

General Info
Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects millions of people worldwide. In fact, according to a new study based on recent national surveys, it is the third leading cause of death. The American Diabetes Foundation defines diabetes as “a group of diseases that result in too much sugar in the blood (high blood glucose).”  There are several types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body does not make enough insulin. This condition can develop at any age and there is no known way to prevent it. In adults, about 5% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes are Type 1. With Type 2 diabetes the body cannot use insulin properly. It can develop at any age, and in most circumstances it can be prevented. Type 2 diabetes is the more common form of the disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 29 million people (9.3%) in the United States have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. More than one in every 10 adults who are 20 years or older has diabetes. For seniors (65 years and older), that figure rises to more than one in four. Another 86 million adults – more than one in three U.S. adults – have pre-diabetes, where their blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as Type 2 diabetes.  
Risk Factors
In most cases when someone is diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, most doctors prescribe medicine to lower blood sugar and address insulin programs. There are many different drugs prescribed, and most of these drugs are aggressive, lead to other health issues, and do not address the underlying metabolic causes or imbalances. Therefore, it is wise to consider addressing the underlying causes first.
What are the main underlying issues that cause blood glucose levels to be high and lead to diabetes? They include an unhealthy diet consisting of processed foods, refined carbohydrates, sugar sweetened foods and drinks, and too many unhealthy fats such as hydrogenated oils and trans fats. Also, lack of exercise and lifestyle factors such as chronic stress, frequently skipping meals, smoking, and excess alcohol can be contributors. These things need to be addressed to manage diabetes and limit the risks.
Significant risk factors include:
  • Older age (65 and older)
  • Excess weight, particularly around the waist
  • Family history
  • Poor diet
  • Physically inactive
  • Certain ethnicities such as African Americans, American Indians, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, Hispanic Americans/Latinos are at a higher risk
  • Medical conditions such as hypertension and high cholesterol
The CDC recommends that anyone over age 45 with any of the risk factors mentioned above ask for a diabetes test from their doctor.
Complications and Effects
Without weight loss and moderate physical activity, 15 percent to 30 percent of people with pre- diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years reports the American Diabetes Association.  In addition, people with diabetes who do not manage their condition are at increased risk of serious health complications including the following:
  • Vision loss
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Kidney failure
  • Amputation of toes, feet or legs
  • Premature death
What can you do?
Diabetes is increasingly prevalent, but fortunately it is largely preventable. According to the CDC,  “research studies have found that moderate weight loss and exercise can prevent or delay pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes among adults at high risk of diabetes.” To manage diabetes, work with a nutritionist to learn how to eat healthy, what lifestyle factors to change, and an exercise program to stay active.  Dr. Osama Hamdy sums it up: “Nutrition can be used as a medicine to prevent and control diabetes in a very effective way.” You have the power and can heal by making smart choices starting today. Take charge of your health!
If you are at risk for pre-diabetes, or have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes or Type 2 diabetes and would like more information, call Lynn Tandler, Certified Nutrition Consultant in our Wheat Ridge office for a free phone consultation at 303-333-3493, ext. 2.  
Resource Guide
The Diabetes Solution by Dr. Jorge Rodriguez
How to Prevent and Treat Diabetes by Dr. Michael Murray
There is a Cure for Diabetes by Dr. Gabriel Cousens
American Diabetes Association:
Joslin Diabetes Center:
Center for Disease Control: