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Cherry Creek Wellness Center News Archive

Is Trigger Point Needling the Specialized Physical Therapy You Need?

May 16, 2018

Do you suffer from muscle spasms or tightness? You are not alone. In fact, more than 20 million Americans experience them each year. You may have tried to self-treat you muscle spasms or tightness using hot or cold packs, topical creams or even have tried electric shock machines. You may also have been to your doctor to try medications or other treatments—and still no luck. Don’t worry, you have not run out of options. A method that is used in specialized physical therapy to help is trigger point dry needling. Learn more about this type of therapy and how it can help you reduce or eliminate your muscle tightness and spasms.

Common Trigger Point Related Pains and Ailments

There are several different ailments that people suffer from on a daily basis that trigger point therapy can help. In order to solve these, it is important to learn a little bit about some of the most common issues.
  • Neck and shoulder pain: Your neck and shoulders are closely connected. With even the smallest of injuries or problems, you can experience pain or a tightness in the region. This pain can make it difficult to move your head side to side or lift your arm. Improper lifting or posture, sleeping in awkward positions or shifting improperly while playing sports are some of the common reasons for neck and/or shoulder injuries. A common diagnosis of this is myofascial pain syndrome, which is due to a muscle contracting in a repetitive manner. The end result can make you feel an aching pain.
  • Lower back pain: Lower back pain is very common, with sufferers experiencing a deal of pain not only in their lower back, but also in the buttocks, hamstrings, and hips. Sometimes the pain is constant, while other time it can creep up. You could be having lower back pain due to a strain or sprain, disc disease, trauma from an accident, poor posture, and much more.  
  • Arm pain: Common trigger points in the arms are in the upper part of the arm or forearms. This makes it difficult to lift or turn the arm, or movements where there is rotating of the shoulder. These arm injuries may happen due to an improper movement, lifting incorrectly, and more.
  • Temples: Headaches of the temple (sides of the head) are known as temporal headaches. They are also commonly known as tension headaches. A common cause for these is TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder). When getting a tension headache, it feels like there is a tightness and pressure on both sides of your head or even above your eyes. You may find temporary relief by rubbing or applying pressure to the temples. There is also a throbbing feeling or sharp pains. If there is damage to the nerves, there may also be tingling or numbness. In addition to this pain, sufferers may also experience changes in vision, toothaches, jaw pain, dizziness, nausea, tinnitus or sinus issues.

What are Trigger Points?

Think of a trigger point as a knot in the muscle that is deep under the skin. It feels like the area is bunched up and happens because the muscles are compressed. Common causes of this injury are due to poor posture, improper lifting, over exerting oneself or overusing. Once this happens, the area is extremely tender. In addition, you may feel like the area is “hot,” or you could experience a numb feeling, similar to when a limb falls asleep. The pain can be constant or there may be flare-ups. Every situation is unique.

Connecting Trigger Point Therapy with Pain and Knotted Muscles

For decades, one of the ways doctors and physical therapists have helped patients is through trigger point therapy. It is also known as “dry needling.” During this process, filament needles are placed in the skin all the way to the muscle. From there, the needle will help to break up the bunching that has occurred. How? When the filament needs are inserted, and the area starts to break up, it causes movement. This movement is positive to reduce or eliminate the pressure that is causing the pain.

Once the needle is inserted, the muscle will twitch, kicking off the movement process. In addition to relief from the pain, a person will also regain normal movement again. Each person is different, including the level of improvement.

There are three types of trigger points: active, latent and satellite. When you are experiencing pain and symptoms, that is when you have an active trigger point. With a latent trigger point, you may not be experiencing pain, but the area is culminating for issues. Or, the pain may arise when it is interacted with. For instance, you may have had an active trigger point that turned latent. No matter which of these you have, trigger point dry needling can help. Your physical therapist will help set up the perfect plan for you to have a certain number of appointments to help you with your trigger point issues. Satellite trigger points are points that occur due to activity in another area. By one pain undergoing pain or pressure, it can cause other areas to have pain and pressure too.

Also, you might be wondering, “Is trigger point dry needling the same as acupuncture?” No, it isn’t. But acupuncture and myofascial trigger therapy treat same pain areas.  

Benefits of Dry Needling

The main benefit that people think of with dry needling trigger point therapy is relief! Therapists are able to access these directly and find the source of the issue through feeling, as you will normally not be able to find them on a scan.

Once this occurs, the muscles will quickly begin to loosen up. This will reduce the pressure and “cramp” or “tight” feeling that you may be experiencing. In addition, the dry needling helps to increase blood flow within the area normally again, allowing the body to have proper oxygen circulation.

When it comes to Denver trigger point dry needling services, Cherry Creek Wellness Center can help. By making an appointment, our team will assess your situation and put you on a plan for recovery. Our team will help you loosen knots and reduce your pain. To learn more and set up your appointment, call us at 303-333-3493 or leave us a message.

Common Hand Conditions and Injuries Your Local Wellness Center in Denver will Assist

April 18, 2018

You use your hands every day for nearly every task. When you have a condition that affects your hands, it can be life changing. It is crucial to make it a priority to get the proper care you need to ensure a speedy recovery or create a plan for relief. From arthritis, carpal tunnel, and tendonitis, to Dupuytren’s disease and sports injuries, learn about the common ailments and issues that affect the hands, and how your local wellness center in Denver will help.

Arthritis (Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis)

Arthritis is joint pain or joint disease that affects more than 50 million Americans each year. While there are more than 100 variations, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis are some of the common causes.
  • Symptoms: Those suffering from arthritis experience pain and/or swelling in the joints, stiffness and a limited range of motion. The affected areas may become red, too. It can occur to anyone, at any age, however most commonly affects older women.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease. The body confuses the joints as foreign, in which it then begins to attack them. As a result, one’s joints can become swollen because the joint lining tissue thickens. In addition to the common arthritis symptoms mentioned above, RA sufferers also experience fatigue, deformed joints, anemia, difficulty walking, and even fevers.
  • Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis (OA) is known as a degenerative joint disease. It primarily targets the cartilage within the body as it loses its tissue that make it easy to move through breakdown. From here, the area can no longer absorb shock as it once did. When cartilage is rubbing together, it leads to pain and overtime, can damage bones. While OA can happen to anyone, it is commonly found in adults over 65. Risk factors for OA include age, genetics, weight, over use or prior injuries.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs due to pressure/compressed nerve on the median nerve of the hand. It starts in the arm and runs all the way through the wrist.
  • Symptoms: Those suffering from carpal tunnel experience tingling, numbness or a weakening of the hand and arm. It is common to feel tingling in the fingers, mainly the middle or ring fingers. One could explain this feeling similar to an electric shock. With weakness, it becomes difficult to hold items.
  • Risk factors: One of the most common causes for carpal tunnel is repetitive actions that push pressure on the area. It can also occur due to an injury, genetics, inflammatory diseases, weight, nerve damage or fluid retention.


Tendonitis of the hand is inflammation of the tendon, which is the tissue that connects muscles to bones. It is often mistaken for carpal tunnel syndrome as they have many of the same symptoms.
  • Symptoms: People with tendonitis of the hand experience pain and swelling. There are a few different types of sensations such as sharp pains or a burning sensation. It can start in the fingers or go all the up to the palm of the hand. Weakening and stiffness of the hand is also common, as well as difficulty with range of motion. When the area swells, it makes it difficult to move properly. You may notice a popping or crackling when trying to make normal movements.
  • Risk factors: A common reason for tendonitis is overuse. This can be through repetitive motion or moving large and heavy items. Once this happens, the area will swell. Injuries, genetics, and activity levels also lead to tendonitis. It is crucial to see a doctor and physical therapist for tendonitis as the tendon could rupture.

Dupuytren’s Disease

Dupuytren’s disease is a condition in which the fibrous tissue under the skin, the fascia, shortens and thickens. It can spread to different parts of the hand. This tightens the hand causing one’s hands to be more inward. It can become difficult to bend normally.
  • Symptoms: One of the common symptoms of Dupuytren’s disease is a pulling forward of the ring and pinky fingers. People also notice lumps in the palm of their hands or tenderness within the area. It is also common to notice a pitting or lumps in the palm, too. Some experience more pain than others.
  • Risk factors: Genetics, health conditions such as diabetes, alcohol use and age are some of the most common causes and factors for Dupuytren’s disease. It is most common in men over 40 years old.

Sports Injuries

From basketball and volleyball, to soccer and football—there are a variety of sports that require athletes to use their hands. Given that most sports have contact with the hands, the likeliness that there may be overexertion, ill form, and other types of movements that can lead to an injury.
  • Types of injuries: When an athlete twists the finger in a specific way, it can become strained. Finger sprains are one of the top sports injuries related to the hand. This occurs when one of the ligaments ruptures. This can cause a large hard bump that if isn’t cared for, is extremely stiff. Another common issue is knuckle fractures. Once this happens, there will be extreme swelling in the area that is painful. Other common hand and wrist injuries that can occur are jammed or dislocated fingers, stress fractures, and wrist fractures.
  • Signs of injury: While exercise is pushing yourself to your limits at times, pain is never a good sign. If you experience severe sharp pains, swelling, numbness, discoloration, or abnormal noises or movements, see a doctor immediately.
No matter what hand and wrist issues you may experience, hand therapy in Denver, CO at Cherry Creek Wellness Center will help. Working in tandem with your doctor, a physical therapist will create a series of personalized exercises for you to be on your way to recovery and pain management plan.

Cherry Creek Wellness Center has a variety of locations around the Denver metro area to meet you where you are. We strive to provide the highest quality in wellness and rehabilitation. This is especially important if you are struggling with everyday normal motions with your hands! Contact us today at 303-333-3493 to see what we can do for you.

Ways to Decompress and Massage Therapy from Your Denver Wellness Center

March 21, 2018

Do you feel that you have a lot of anxiety? Are there many stressors in your life and you feel overwhelmed? Are you looking to decompress? Self-care is important. When you are struggling, do not feel guilty about making yourself a top priority. You can say no and reset to slow things down and help ease your mind. Learn about these top ways to decompress and reduce stress and anxiety. You can also utilize massage therapy from your local Denver wellness center to complement these techniques.

Control Your Breathing

Did you know you can relax yourself just through breathing? Right now, stop what you are doing and take a deep breath. Breathe in until you can’t anymore, then slowly exhale.

How do you feel?

You’ll notice a release. When stressed and worked up, you might breathe faster. This can increase your heart rate and cause a variety of other unpleasant symptoms. Slow it all down with one of these common breathing techniques.  
  • Abdominal/Diaphragm Breathing: While laying down on a flat surface, or in a chair, place one hand on your chest, and the other on your stomach. Take a large breath in through your nose until your lungs feel full. Breathe out of your mouth with pursed lips, tightening your stomach muscles. Continue this for up to 10 minutes to feel a relaxing effect.
  • Equal Breathing: Also known as the Sama Vritti Pranayama technique, this is a great way to calm your nervous system. To start, sit in a cross-legged position with good posture. It can be on the floor or other surface. Close your eyes and pay attention to your normal breathing. After a minute or two, take breaths in for four seconds. Once your lungs are full, hold your breath, then count out four during your exhale.
  • Alternate Nostril Breathing: This type of breathing, also known as “Nadi Shodhana,” will send signals to both sides of your brain to relax, but in many cases, will also help to stimulate you in a positive way. When in a comfortable seated or laying position, hold your right thumb on your right nostril to block flow. Breath in deeply to expand your lungs, then exhale out of your left nostril, making sure you stop for a moment before your exhale. Then switch sides. Repeat this for five or 10 minutes.


Expanding from breathing exercises, meditation is a great way to bring yourself balance and peace. It is an ideal way to slow down your mind, which can often bounce around in thought. Ultimately, it is the practice of focusing your attention on one thing. It could be your breath, from one of the techniques mentioned above, a feeling in your body, or different words. It is a practice to help stop your mind from bouncing around several different thoughts that overwhelm you.

Not only will meditation help reduce your stress, but it can help you concentrate better when practiced regularly. It also helps increase your self-awareness if you feel like you are a tense or aggressive person. Meditation will also benefit your health too as it reduces your blood pressure and boosts immunity.

Quality Sleep

Getting too little sleep, or poor sleep, can have detrimental effects on your body. You may not be as present as you normally are, leading to forgetfulness, poor concentration, and memory issues. Plus, if you don’t get the reset you need, it can lead to heart issues, strokes, and diabetes. It also causes stress, which doesn’t help if you already have stress in your life. It is also bad for your skin, leading to wrinkles and dark circles.

Your body needs sleep to survive. It is recommended you get seven to nine hours each night. You should be aware of the effects of sleep deprivation on your body if you don’t get this amount.

If you feel like you are go-go-go and sleep isn’t a priority, it is important to make it one. Stop ingesting anything that can keep you up a few hours before bed, and turn your phone on a “sleep mode” if possible to change the lighting. Often on devices, their standard lighting will keep you stimulated. Do a variety of relaxing activities such as reading a book, listening to music, or taking a warm bath to wind down. You can also try melatonin, a supplement that helps to regulate your sleep cycles. You can also buy a device to help you see the quality of your sleep as you make changes.


Using various poses and exercises, breathing techniques, and even meditation, yoga is one of the top ways people reduce stress. By focusing on yourself and your body, you will find peace that you didn’t realize you had. The poses are in a variety of positions where you will stretch and focus on those areas. You can visit a local studio near you for beginners to get started. Your yogi will help you every step of the way and there’s nothing to fear. Try practicing a few times per week to reduce stress.

Massage Therapy

Another great way to relieve stress and anxiety is through massage therapy. When working with a massage therapist, your muscles will become relaxed—producing chemicals and hormones in your body that signal to your brain to calm down. It is great to loosen up tight and sore muscles. There are a variety of specialized massage therapy services in Denver you can take advantage of to accomplish your goals.

To help you manage your stress and anxiety, Cherry Creek Wellness Center’s team of experts will help. Our variety of massages will help you reduce symptoms and accomplish your goals. We have appointments and almost all times of the day to fit your busy schedule. When you come to see us regularly, you will sleep better, reduce headaches and spasms, alleviate aches and pains, and much more. You will love the health benefits and the way you feel when coming regularly. Call us today at 303-333-3493 to set up your appointment.

Using Pilates and Denver Physical Therapy to Reach Health and Fitness Goals

February 21, 2018

Are you looking for a new way to reach your health and fitness goals? Pilates is a great exercise routine to incorporate into your plan. Through strength training and flexibility, you will love how this type of exercise will help you reach your goals. Learn more about Pilates, benefits, and nutrition goals. From here, you can also incorporate Denver physical therapy to help ensure you have proper posture and form.

Pilates Overview

So. What is Pilates? Pilates is a low-impact type of strength training that is excellent for your core. It is named after German creator Joseph Pilates, who created it in the 1920s after he immigrated to the United States. It can be used as your primary source of exercise, or supplementary to your fitness routine to help you meet goals.

Many assume Pilates is an advanced form of exercise. Not true! Anyone, of any skill level, can practice and benefit from Pilates.

When it comes to Pilates, there are two different types:
  • Mat
  • Reformer machine
Mat Pilates are done on a mat, similar but thicker than a yoga mat. It is comprised of movements and stretches. Some exercises include laying on your back and raising your legs, creating circles with your legs with your arms outstretched, or holding one of your legs in the air in s a stretch.

Reformer Pilates is a form of Pilates done on a machine that lays on the ground and uses resistance. Once you lay down and get situated, then you will go through various Pilates exercises. Since it is a machine, it better ensures that you have proper form. It can also be more intensive if you would like to go to the next level. Many use a reformer Pilates machine when they are training for a specific sport or event. It also helps give you a much larger range of motion.

Fitness and Health Benefits

When you practice Pilates, whether it be on a mat or using a reformer machine, you will be getting some of the best possible strength training there is—especially for your core. Since you will be working a variety of areas, you will be toning multiple areas of your body. In addition, Pilates will make you more flexible. This will help you be better at Pilates, sports, and other fitness activities. You will also notice a large difference in yourself over time in terms of toning.

There is often a misconception that strength training will make you “bulk up.” This is untrue. Strength training refines and tones your muscles. It’s beneficial for those who are overweight, and often helps them reach their goals quicker. For lean people, it is a great way to refine certain areas. While strength training may not seem to burn as many calories as a treadmill session, it can actually burn more. How? Strength training keeps you burning calories, even after you are done with your exercises. Also, when you continuously push yourself (without injuring yourself), you may notice results much faster as opposed to only doing cardio.

Not only can Pilates help you strengthen and tone your body, but can help resolve some issues too. For instance, back pain. When you are strengthening your back muscles and core, studies have shown an improvement or elimination of pain in the area. You will also be strengthening the area around joints too, assisting with any joint pain.

If you are an athlete, Pilates will make you an even better one. When done supplemental to your sport, the core building and strength training will help you fine tune and perfect movements.  Also, Pilates will also help you reduce the amount of injuries you have as an athlete. If you become injured, you will most likely recover more quickly thanks to the great care you are taking of your body.

Nutrition Goals

When it comes to nutritional goals, everyone is different. Some people are looking to lose weight, while others are looking to maintain, or possibly even bulk up. Regardless, in addition to mastering nutrition for your goals, it’s also important to remember to fuel your body for a workout.
  • Weight loss: Each individual is different. Your body will act and metabolize differently than someone else. This is why it is crucial for you to find a nutritional plan that works for your body type. The best way to approach this is through trial and error. This can be difficult because you may want to reach results fast, however, once you find your way and stick with it, you will reach the results you are looking for. You must find something that is healthy and realistic that you can maintain long term. What is the ‘best diet’ for you? Explore online and talk to your doctor and physical therapist.
  • Maintenance: Whether you have met a weight loss goal or are just looking to keep with the status quo for your body, you will need to keep tracking of some sort. Make sure you are doing regular weigh ins and set a number or other attribute that will make you go back into weight loss mode. Determine that number by checking your BMI. For weight loss, you will lose when you have a calorie deficit of 500 from your max number of calories your body burns in a day. Everyone is different. You can invest in a heart rate tracking device to help you get a better idea on how your body burns.

Incorporating Physical Therapy

Whether you are new to Pilates, or a seasoned veteran, going to a physical therapist will help you perfect this exercise routine. Since form and posture is so important to all sports and exercises, Pilates included, a physical therapist will help you learn proper methods and techniques for success. If you are recovering for an injury, not only will their guidance help you become better at Pilates but will aid in your recovery. In fact, your physical therapist will create a plan custom tailored to you. Not only will this speed up your recovery time but will help you prevent having a similar injury in the future.

Whether you are looking to learn more about Pilates, or are trying to recover from an injury, Cherry Creek Wellness Center will help you accomplish your goals. Contact Cherry Creek Wellness Center in Denver online or at 303-333-3493 to schedule your appointment.

Tips for Keeping Your New Year Resolutions from Your Denver Wellness Center

January 24, 2018

The New Year is the perfect time to reflect on ways you would like to improve for the next 365 days. However, over 80 percent of resolutions fail roughly a month into the new year. This happens due to unrealistic goal setting and poor planning. The key to being successful with anything is properly planning. As you decide what you would like to improve upon in 2018, you need to create your roadmap. This will ensure success, so in December of next year, you will be proud of yourself. Learn successful tips for making resolutions and goal setting, weight and fitness assistance, and ways your Denver wellness center will help you meet your New Year resolutions.

How to Make a Resolution

You may have a resolution in mind. The key to finalizing it is to be specific. You could start by saying “I would like to lose weight,” or, “I want to fun my first 5K.” While these may seem specific, you need to fine tune it to be as specific as possible. For instance, instead of saying you would like to lose weight in 2018, specify a realistic amount. If you are going to set a fitness goal, make sure you factor in the environment and steps needed.

Some of the most common resolution types people make include:
  • Becoming healthier
  • Creating better budgeting habits
  • Being more organized
  • Fitness and fine tuning
  • Enjoying time with friends and family
  • Saving for a goal (i.e. down payment for car or house)
  • Decreasing or eliminating debt
  • Learn a new skill
  • Develop a hobby
  • Travel

Setting Yourself Up for Success

No matter what resolution you choose, planning is your only way to success. This starts with your specific goal. This could be “I would like to lose 10 pounds next year.” Next, how will you get there? What will it take? Consider what your year will look like for you to reach that goal. Will there be sacrifices? How will you handle challenges? Determining situations that can get in the way of success is a plan that will lead you to it. When you know the specific issues that can get in your way, you will be better prepared to face them.
Another way to help you succeed is to find someone with a similar interest to hold you accountable. This can work both ways as you can help them reach their goal, too. When you have a go-to person, or group of people behind you surrounding a cause, it helps to keep your priorities mixed into your everyday life. If working with a friend, set a time each week or a couple times a month to check in with each other. It can be as simple as a texting status update. If you have several people, create a Facebook group. This is a great way to communicate with each other, share tips, and more.

Creating Goals and Milestones

In order to be successful with your New Year’s resolutions, you must have a roadmap for success. This includes goals and milestones along the way.

First, think about your specific goal. Have you tried it before, and failed? Look at where you fell short and add something in to help you during your timeline. Set up bi-monthly or monthly milestones to hit for your realistic goal. For instance, if you would like to lose weight—choose a specific amount. Research what realistic looks like, so for weight loss, losing one to two pounds per week is healthy.

You could say “I would like to lose 30 pounds.” Take into consideration how many pounds you can realistically lose in a month, then multiply it out. You could have a goal of five pounds per month, helping you reach your goal in six months. However, it never hurts to build in padding. You may have something unexpected occur. If you feel you haven’t met your goal, it can drive you to lose your progress. As you build your goals and milestones, include contingency plans. This applies to any goal. Create an overarching goal, smaller goals to supplement it along the way, and what you will need for success.

Weight, Health, and Fitness Tips

A majority of New Year’s resolutions are related to one’s weight, health, and fitness. It is especially important to properly plan for these types of goals.
  • Weight: When it comes to weight loss, everyone is different. What works for a friend may not work for you. It is important to find what works for you to make it easier to manage. If you use a method like calorie counting, or a diet plan such as Weight Watchers, if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t mean you failed and can’t achieve your goal. It just means that method isn’t right for you. Try something else, and continue to try until you find success. A wellness center will assist with this.
  • Health: There are many ways you can improve your health. Aim to curb bad habits, such as smoking, excessive drinking, a lack of sleep, added stress, and more. Next, look at your body mass index (BMI). You can calculate your body mass index to see if you are in the overweight or obese categories. This will also help you set your loss goals. You can also invest in a heat rate monitor to measure your activity levels and resting heart rate. A resting heart rate, which is how many beats per minute you have at a resting state, in the 60 to 100 beats per minute range is healthy. If you exceed 100, it can lead to health issues.
  • Fitness: Similar to weight loss, it is important to find ways you enjoy when creating a fitness routine. If you hate running, don’t feel like you have to! You may enjoy strength training or swimming more instead. You can talk to your wellness center expert on ideas to incorporate into your routine.
To help you succeed, work with Cherry Creek Wellness Center. From one-on-one physical therapy, to health and nutrition goal setting, our team will ensure you meet your 2018 resolutions. We can even help you when you are recovering from an injury. Contact us today at 303-333-3493 to see how we can help you have a great New Year!  

Your Facial Pain Could Be TMJ Disorder, Learn How Specialized Physical Therapy Can Help

December 20, 2017

Everyone has a TMJ, which stands for temporomandibular joint. This is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull. It runs all the way from the top of your head, down the sides of your face. When there become issues with the TMJ, it can lead to a temporomandibular disorder, known as TMD. This disorder can be painful, and often times, people do not even know all of the symptoms they are experiencing are connected. Over time, there may be different types of pain in the face that can cause a variety of symptoms, from a throbbing pain to ringing in the ears. Learn more about facial pain and when it could be TMD, what you need to know about this disorder and how specialized physical therapy can help.

Types of Facial Pain

When one experiences discomfort around their face, it can be incredibly distracting and painful. Some pain can be from an infection, such as a sinus or salivary gland infection that can lead to a swollen and uncomfortable feeling. One could also experience a deviated septum, which can cause difficulty in breathing. For others, they may experience a nerve injury that can cause a variety of sensations from tingling and numbness, to pain. Another symptom could be a tightness in the temples, pain and soreness in the jaw, or headaches and migraines. While some may not put those symptoms together, they may be connected, and caused by TMD.

When It Could Be TMD

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research studies, TMJ disorders over 10 million Americans suffer from TMD. TMD brings on a variety of symptoms that one might not connect all together at first. There can be jaw pain, as well as pain and/or swelling around the temples, ears and neck, headaches or migraines, difficulty chewing or a popping noise from the jaw, earaches, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), dizziness, facial stiffness, and more. Since the TMJ connects the jaw to the skill, it has an impact from the top of your head to even parts of your neck.

Talking to Your Doctor

For many, coming to the determination they have TMD can be a long journey, especially since it may take a few opinions from medical or dental professionals to get there. This is why if you recognize some of the key symptoms, it helps to connect the dots and inform your physician. For many, these dots might be connected after seeing many different specialists, such as a doctor for some symptoms, a dentist for jaw pain, or even an ear, nose and throat doctor for ear issues. When talking to your physician about your symptoms, be sure to show them any clicking or popping of your jaw, areas where you experience pain, tightness, or swelling, note any severity of tinnitus, and all other symptoms. With all of these areas connected, you may notice neck or upper back pain, as well. The more you can explain to your doctor, the more options they can help you with for relief or solutions.

Potential Causes for TMD

There are a variety of causes for TMD. Usually, symptoms occur when there is an injury, misalignment, or wear and tear of the jaw, the onset of arthritis, clenching or grinding of the teeth during sleep, or diseases such as gout of fibromyalgia. When there are issues with the actual jaw, this is when people may notice popping or clicking noises when opening and closing the mouth. This can lead to pain around the area that spreads all the way up the jaw line and into the ears. In extreme cases, it can even be difficult for one to open their mouth.

How to Get Relief

For those suffering from TMD, there are options to help cope, manage and even cure any pain. First, you will want to avoid any motions regularly that can flare up the area, such as eating hard foods or chewing gum. Also, take time to be aware of when you are clenching your teeth. While many associate clenching when angry, it is more common throughout the day, especially when concentrating. Be more aware and make an effort to relax the area. You can also use a hot or cold press around the area each day, and massage the area as well. Your dentist can also help you get a mouth guard to wear at night to help with clenching and grinding during sleep. For medication, anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxers or painkillers prescribed by a dentist or doctor will help to reduce swelling in the area. Some doctors will even use steroid injections or Botox to help with pain. In extreme cases, surgery may be needed but is usually a last resort.

Specialized Physical Therapy

An additional method to get relief for TMD is seeing a local physical therapist. Since each case of TMD differs patient to patient, it is important to use physical therapy as they will help to create a customized plan. First, they can help introduce you to exercises of the jaw that will help increase range of motion in the area. They can also work with you to correct jaw alignment if things are out of place, and can develop a plan with a series of exercises to reduce any tension in the muscles. If surgery is needed for TMD, a physical therapist is extremely helpful during the recovery process. Most importantly, your physical therapist will develop an understanding of the TMD situation to determine which method is best and will not make symptoms worse.

It is important to recognize signs you have a TMJ disorder and how Denver physical therapy can help. Upon a diagnosis, you should get physical therapy on your radar to help you get relief and develop a plan of recovery. To help you accomplish this, you can count on the experts at Cherry Creek Wellness Center. Our premier physical therapy in Denver for TMJ services will help you get a customized plan for long term relief. To set your appointment, call us today at 303-333-3493.

Winter Ski Tips and Benefits of Physical Therapy in Denver

November 29, 2017

Denver is one of the top cities in the world that people travel to for ski trips. With nearly 30 ski and snowboard resorts, and a long season for the sport thanks to high altitudes, living in this area gives you an advantage to spend time exploring slopes some people wait a lifetime to visit. Whether you are new to the sport, or are a seasoned veteran, did you know that physical therapy in Denver can help? Working with a physical therapist can ensure that you are using proper form to reduce injury and improve your time on the slopes. With these tips you can ensure that, whether you are a beginner or a season vet, your ski time is the best it can be!

Beginner Musts

If you are new to Colorado skiing, you definitely live in the right place! As an introductory skier, one of the best things you can do before hitting your first hill is testing yourself skillset on an indoor, controlled setting, or an outdoor one specific to beginners. Skiing is made up of quick movements and you want to avoid people and obstacles. When getting started, make sure you get rid of any of your ski jitters. Your body should be relaxed and loose, not tight and firm. With the quick movements, so you will need to practice to get use to the technique and form. Be patient, you will get it!

When preparing for your trip, hold off on buying any new equipment. It will take time to get accustomed, so wait until you feel comfortable on the slopes before making an investment. In the interim, you can rent. For clothing, work with a professional to get properly fitted for your clothing and any boots or equipment you may need. This is a crucial step to ensure you have a safe and successful experience. When items do not fit properly, it will negatively affect how you perform.

Last, even in the dead of winter, you can still get a sunburn. Add in Denver’s high altitude and it can be even easier to end up with one. Make sure you protect yourself from the sun on all exposed areas. You can purchase ski goggles that will protect your eyes from the harmful effects of sun exposure. Be sure to find ones with UV ray protection. For any other exposed areas, use sunscreen. Finding a UVA sunscreen will help block the more harmful UV rays from affecting your skin. Along with the benefits of offering protection, sunscreen also helps prevent signs of aging and should be incorporated every time you are outdoors.
When it comes to the SPF you use during your trips, aim to use at least SPF 30 or higher. Given that you are on a higher altitude, you will be more susceptible to burns. Apply at least one ounce of sunscreen (or less, depending on exposed areas) a half hour before going outdoors so it can fully penetrate your skin. If you plan on being outdoors skiing for most of the day, make sure you reapply. If you find you are sweating a lot, or have snow that gets on your skin, you may have to reapply more often. Follow the instructions on your sunscreen to learn how much to reapply.

Tips for Advanced Skiers  

The great thing about skiing is there is always something to learn, or a skill to perfect. A simple thing to remember is to “ski stacked,” which means to ensure you line up your body. This enables you to utilize your legs more to avoid twisting your waist when going down a hill. When using this method, a great tip to help you know if your form is proper is to have your arms parallel in the same direction that you are using your skis. When you are taking turns, make them with your arms and legs without twisting your mid-section.

Next, practice ankle flexion. This technique is done by using the muscles in the ankles instead of putting pressure on the front of the feet. In this position, you will keep the joints in your ankles in a locked position. Make sure you are refraining from adding too much pressure on the tip of your ski boots. When this happens, you could fail to ski properly and possibly even fall. When in this position, keep your hips in line and pay attention to your balance so you do not lose your footing.

Last, make sure your short turn skills are up to par. These are similar to stacked skiing where you will turn in a parallel motion. Many different layouts are different, so it is important to brush up on your skills and be prepared. On these turns, you will focus on using your legs instead of your torso for the motion. As you are going into your short turns, watch your speed. If you have a few in a row, make sure your timing is consistent on each to help you maintain your form and balance.

Incorporating Physical Therapy

As with any sport, it is important to visit a physical therapist—whether you are new to skiing or are on an advanced level. For new skiers, a physical therapist can teach you proper form and posture. For those who ski often, you can work with a physical therapist on your existing form. You can show them how you approach different techniques. From there, they can assist you by recommending improvements to your overall form or technique.

Keep in mind while skiing is exercise, which can be difficult at times, it is important to not be in pain. If you find you are in pain, this is something to discuss with your physical therapist as soon as possible. When an injury goes unattended, it can lead to larger issues down the road.

To help you with your skiing and other athletic questions, you can receive specialized physical therapy in Denver at Cherry Creek Wellness Center. We have locations in Cherry Creek, Lone Tree, Stapleton, Wheat Ridge and on the west side of Denver. Our team will help you perfect your form and help you avoid injuries while skiing or practicing other sports. As we gear up for the ski season, make sure you contact Cherry Creek Wellness Center in Denver today to schedule your appointment.

Top Ways to Have a Safe and Healthy Thanksgiving from Your Wellness Center in Denver

November 1, 2017

Thanksgiving is an exciting time of year. From the delicious food to time spent with family and friends, it is a holiday that many look forward to. As you begin to make your Thanksgiving Day plans, make sure you remind yourself of key things that will make it a safe and healthy holiday. From menu items and properly cooking foods, to utensils, allergies, and the physical tasks of the day, be sure to take advantage of these tips from your local wellness center in Denver.

Healthy Menu Items and Indulging

Did you know that Americans can consume up to 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving? This can be over 2,000 calories or more than what the average person should eat in one day. It is important to remind mix in healthy foods along with the indulgences to ensure you do not go overboard with your plate. A great way to do this is to have healthy menu swaps. For instance, change out a sugar filled sweet potatoes recipe to cubed butternut squash that is tossed in oil and sprinkled with cinnamon. Place it in the oven at 425 for 30 minutes, or until crispy. Next, if you can brave taking mashed potatoes filled with butter off the menu, try this cheesy cauliflower mashed potatoes recipe. It has 61 calories per serving as opposed to over 200 calories. When you find swaps such as these for some of your favorite recipes, you can indulge a little more without packing in as many calories.

Cook Food Properly

If you will be responsible for any of your Thanksgiving menu items, make sure you are cooking food properly. Food that is not cooked to temperature that ranges from 40 to 140 degrees, is in the “danger zone.” The danger zone creates an environment in food that encourages bacteria growth. Different foods have different temperatures they must be cooked to, based on the USDA’s guidelines to avoid the danger zone:
  • 140 degrees: Ham
  • 145 degrees: Beef, pork, lamb, veal, roast, steak or chops
  • 160 degrees: Eggs, ground beef
  • 165 degrees: Poultry, stuffing, casseroles, reheated leftovers

To ensure you reach these temperatures, keep a few thermometers handy when cooking. When taking temperatures, make sure to clean the probe off after use. Never use the same thermometer on another item without washing it as it can create cross-contamination. You will also need to do this when cooking different foods and avoid using the same cutting board, knives, etc. on different foods without cleaning them.

Kitchen Safety

Make sure you avoid injuries in the kitchen by using caution when cooking and preparing food. When cutting and slicing, always slice away from your hand. Cut on a cutting board and make sure items are secure. Next, use caution around hot items. Burns are one of the top injuries sustained when cooking a Thanksgiving meal. Have plenty of oven mitts and pot holders available to easily transport items in and out of the oven. Lay out trivets too that will allow you to set aside items to protect your counters. If you think you may struggle pulling the turkey out of the oven, ask for help! A busy kitchen is also susceptible to fires. Avoid leaving towels or other items near an open flame.

Also, never leave anything you are cooking in the kitchen unattended. Always have a fire extinguisher on-site in the event of an emergency. If there is a fire, use the fire extinguisher and not water. Why? If it is a grease fire, you can actually make the situation much worse. If you do not have a fire extinguisher, try to find a lid that will fit over the pot or areas that is on fire. This can suppress the flames since they need oxygen.  This is the same thing for a fire inside an oven. Make sure the door is shut and turn it off. In some cases, baking soda can also help. If you have a fire that quickly becomes out of control, evacuate everyone immediately and call the fire department.

Food Allergy Awareness

When cooking a Thanksgiving meal, check with your guests to see if they have any food allergies. If anyone does, it is important to avoid cross-contamination. This is when you would use the same cooking utensils for different foods. For instance, if someone has an allergy to poultry, do not use the same knife and cutting board to cut ham. If anyone else will be bringing items to your Thanksgiving meal, inform them of any guest food allergies as well. Your guests with food allergies will be used to working with menus, so you will not need to revamp your entire plan for them. Just be sure to have items they can have and properly cook food.

Proper Postures

Handling Thanksgiving Day preparations can be tasking! You are on your feet all day, lifting heavy items, moving furniture, and much more. When you will be on your feet all day, make sure you add support to your shoes. You can find shoe inserts at your local convenience store. Next, make sure you maintain proper posture throughout the day. This will help you to avoid upper or lower back pain. When standing, make sure your head is not slouched over and keep your feet shoulder-length apart. Keep your shoulders pulled back. When lifting, always lift by bending your knees. Remember to lift with your legs. You run the risk of injury when bending over to lift a heavy object.

Cherry Creek Wellness Center can help you prepare for your Thanksgiving physical tasks. Many assume physical therapy is just to help heal an injury, which is untrue! Our team can help you with pro-active methods to prevent an injury down the road. We can also help with massages after your long day of cooking and eating. Learn about our four different methods of massage therapy you can get at your wellness center in Denver. To get started, set up an appointment today by calling 303-333-3493.