Prenatal Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is not just for injuries. Physical therapy during pregnancy can be useful for relieving common discomforts such as back pain, and for enabling an easier, more comfortable pregnancy, birth, and postnatal recovery.Prenatal Physical Therapy

A woman’s body undergoes several changes to adapt to the growth of a fetus. For example, an increase in the curvature of the spine (called lumbar lordosis) can trigger low back pain and/or aggravation of the sciatic nerve (sciatica). Additionally, natural hormone changes that prepare a woman’s body for childbirth—by relaxing or loosening connective tissues—can cause increased mobility of joints that may result in overextension and strain.

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Staying Hydrated: The Hardest Easiest Thing

Most of us walk around in some state of dehydration every day, and it’s one of the main causes of low energy, headaches, dull complexion, and poor elimination.Cioffredi Water Cooler

We all know that we should be drinking more water. Hydration is key to life and health, right down to keeping the cartilage in your joints soft and ‘cushiony.’ Drinking plain old water is a simple act that will help you function at top notch, lose weight, improve your sleep, gain energy, reduce cravings, and sport glowing skin. But how much do you really need to drink? And what if you’re just not in the habit?

Calculating Your Ideal Water Intake

Take your body weight in pounds, divide by two, and that’s the number of ounces of water you should drink per day. You will want to bump up that amount when you exercise, when it’s hot and humid, and when you’re sick in order to stay optimally hydrated.

table for Calculating Water IntakeHow to drink all that water?

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Good News for Medicare Recipients:

Hard Cap on Outpatient PT and OT Repealed

The recent Federal budget agreement, passed on February 9, 2018, not only keeps the U.S. government running for another six weeks, but provides two years’ worth of funding for numerous healthcare-related programs, and includes provisions that permanently repeal Medicare caps on outpatient therapies and other rehabilitation services.

The permanent repeal means the end to a 20-year-long battle—and a new era for Medicare recipients, who will enjoy the same access as other patients to physical and occupational therapy, as well as speech-language pathology services.

SOURCE: Congressional Budget OfficeMedicare Cap on PT and OT repealed 2/9/2018

What does this mean for you and your access to PT or OT?

If you’re covered by Medicare, each year you have an allowed amount to use for physical therapy and a separate amount for occupational therapy. For 2018, this is $2,010 for each. Before the repeal there were no benefits accessible after you reached the $2,010. Now Medicare recipients can access additional qualifying care up to $3,000.

Why Choose an Adjustable Desk?

Relaxed, properly aligned postures are optimal to avoid stress and strain on our bodies. Our physical therapists and ergonomics assessment specialists recommend adjustable height workstations for those who work at a computer for long periods.

Here’s why:The sit-to-stand desk recommended by Cioffredi ergonomics specialists.

Even with good alignment, sustained postures cause muscle fatigue and joint stress when maintained too long. This applies to standing as well as sitting, and so we think an adjustable sit-to-stand workstation is ideal. Continue reading

Natural Anti-Inflammatory Pain Relief with Turmeric

TUR-MER-IC (‘ter-ma-rik or tyu-ma-rik)

Turmeric in ground spice and supplement form.

Turmeric has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Turmeric is derived from the underground stems (rhizomes) of the Curcuma plant, a member of the ginger family. A well-known spice in Indian cuisine, it is responsible for the yellow color of curry dishes and also of American mustard. This knobby root is warming and slightly bitter, and its most active constituent, curcumin, has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Many of us in the holistic wellness and whole health food professions have known for several years what many cultures have known for centuries of the numerous therapeutic benefits Turmeric yields, and now, this spice is steadily gaining popularity among those who want to benefit from its powerful properties, especially as an alternative to over-the-counter NSAIDs.

Studies have discovered many conditions curcumin may help; below are just five.

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Stay Fit While You Sit (at Your Desk)

Humans aren’t designed for sitting down for long periods of time, and yet that’s what many of us do for eight-plus hours each day in the workplace. The physical therapists at Cioffredi & Associates recommend that you stand up and move around at least once every 30 minutes to prevent stiffness, and we’ve created a simple routine that will help you keep your blood flowing and prevent pain and stiffness from adding stress to your day.



Upper body circles to stretch during a long trip by car or plane.

Start with your hands on your knees and your feet shoulder width apart. Keeping your head in a fixed position, circle your ribcage slowly as if you’re using your upper body to clean out a giant jar of peanut butter. Circle to the left 5 times, and then to the right 5 times.

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Avoid Travel Stiffness with Easy Stretches and Movements

These tips and easy stretches will get your blood circulating and keep your muscles from stiffening up on long rides, so you can arrive at your destination ready to move.

First Things First: Stay Hydrated

While you may tend to try avoiding trips to the restroom while traveling, it is actually very important to stay hydrated and avoid potentially harmful fluid retention during long periods of inactivity. Drinking water before a trip oxygenates your muscles and helps keep all your systems working properly.

Bottled Water: A Traveler's Friend

Next: Walk Whenever You Can

If you’re able, be sure to take breaks from the seated position. Whether you need the restroom or not, use every opportunity to get up and move.


Try These Movements and Stretches

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A Guide for Parents and Students

Practical Advice to Prevent Injury

BACKPACK “WORST CASE SCENARIO”improperly worn backpack

According to doctors and physical therapists, backpacks that are overloaded or worn improperly can, over time, cause painful misalignment and harmful compression of the spine. Excessive weight (defined as more than 10-15% of body weight) and unevenly distributed loads can prevent disks from working properly as ‘shock absorbers’ for vertebrae, and can result in shoulder, neck, and back pain. Studies have also confirmed that heavy backpacks can actually alter the shape of a young person’s spine.

Research published in the journals Spine and Science Daily confirm that repeated use of heavy backpacks may result in disc compression, lower back asymmetry or curvature, and injury to the soft tissues of the shoulder that can lead to nerve damage. The harm caused to nerves may range from simple irritation to impeding movement of hands and dexterity of fingers.

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Iliotibial Band (ITB) SyndromeIliotibial Band (ITB) Diagram

Pain and Tightness Along the Thigh

Having pain and tightness along the side of the thigh is quite common, especially for athletes. When the pain encompasses the lower half of the thigh towards the outside area of the knee, it often carries the diagnosis of Iliotibial Band (ITB) Syndrome. For many people it can be persistent or unresponsive to typical treatment. The IT band is a stiff layer of tissue that blends from a broad attachment of muscles from the side and back of the hip. The band becomes narrower as it descends toward the knee where its attachment broadly blends with tissues about the knee cap and into the tibia bone. Continue reading