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Most recent posting below. See other articles in the column to the right.

Why You Shouldn't Over Do It . . .

Why You Shouldn't Overdo It...

We have all heard the phrase 'No pain, no gain'. When it comes to the human body, discomfort is acceptable, but pain is not. In fact, there is a threshold of pain tolerance that is unique to each individual.

It's important to understand and respect this limit. When the body is pushed past this 'breaking point', injuries and long-term damage can occur. On the other hand, the right approach towards exercise, nutrition and rest can actually increase this limit at any age. When you exercise in a gradual and progressive manner under the supervision of a physical therapist, the body becomes stronger, and injuries are avoided.

Overtraining syndrome occurs when an individual participates in new activities that the body is unaccustomed to. It also occurs when an individual does the same actions for a prolonged period, or in the absence of warm up and stretching routines. Sometimes, a specific area of the body hurts, and the individual will notice impairments in movement, coordination and performance. Athletes with overtraining injuries may display fatigue, disturbances in sleep patterns and appetite suppression in severe cases.

The Physical Therapy Arsenal

If left unchecked, overtraining can lead to long-term pain and disability. Physical therapy goes a long way in the prevention of overtraining. A variety of physical therapy techniques can be used to evaluate, prevent and treat overtraining injuries. These include:

Therapeutic Massage – Relaxation of soft tissue and increased blood circulation to affected areas is a great way to relieve pain and inflammation associated with overtraining.

Clinical Pilates – The specialized exercise programs of Clinical Pilates help improve flexibility and build core and pelvic floor strength.

Aquatic Therapy–The buoyancy of water provides gentle support, allowing patients to perform movements that might not otherwise be possible. The soothing effect of water allows the body to gain strength, coordination and flexibility in a gradual manner.

Dry Needling – Similar to acupuncture, dry needling is used to release muscle tension, alleviate pain and stimulate the body's natural healing abilities.

Manual Manipulation and Mobilization – Using a combination of specialized active and passive techniques to facilitate motion between joints, a physical therapist can increase joint mobility and facilitate a return to full function.

When Less is More

Overtraining injuries can happen suddenly or develop over time. With the proper precautions and supervision from a physical therapist, you can enjoy an active lifestyle without pain and discomfort. Little things go a long way in the prevention of overtraining syndrome.

Simple ways to prevent overtraining include gradual, progressive exercise, appropriate footwear and adequate warm up and stretching. A physical therapist will teach you to use the right technique, range of motion and breathing when you exercise.

The therapist will also build a training program with the appropriate degree of intensity and frequency. The goal is to challenge, but not overwhelm you. When you remain within your 'threshold', expect to significant improvements in strength, flexibility and mobility over a period.

If you or someone you know has complained of pain or discomfort after swimming, cycling, running or any activity, give us a call. We will look for signs of overtraining and take action accordingly. We are committed to helping you live a happy and healthy lifestyle. We will make sure you don't overdo it, and we will teach you how to work smart and not just work hard. Sometimes, less is more.

Specialized Physical Therapy, LLC 1919 Greentree Road Suite B Cherry Hill NewJersey 08003 Phone: 856-424-0993

10 Great Tips for Healthy Skin, Hair and Nails

(ARA) - The new year is a great time to make some resolutions to keep your skin, hair and nails healthy. Your dermatologist can help you with these resolutions. Dermatologists are medical doctors who have extensive training, experience and passion for keeping skin, hair, and nails healthy throughout a person's lifetime. Here are 10 tips to keep you healthy looking from head to toe.

Protect yourself from the sun. Help prevent signs of aging, such as age spots and fine lines, as well as significantly decrease your risk of developing skin cancer by using sunscreen, wearing protective clothing (a long-sleeved shirt, pants, wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses) and seeking shade when appropriate. Choose a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 and broad-spectrum protection (protects against ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B rays).

Do not use tanning beds. Ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds can cause skin cancer and wrinkling. If you want to look like you've been in the sun, consider using a sunless self-tanning product (such as a lotion, foam or spray), but continue to use sunscreen with it.

Perform a skin self-exam. Examining your skin for suspicious moles and other lesions could save your life. Use the American Academy of Dermatology's body mole map, located at, to record your moles and learn how to perform a proper skin exam. If you find a suspicious lesion, make an appointment to see a dermatologist.

Don't skip the hair conditioner. Dermatologists recommend using a conditioner after every shampoo. While a conditioner cannot repair hair, it can increase shine, decrease static electricity, improve strength, and offer some protection from harmful UV rays.

Eat a healthy diet. A diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains and other healthy foods can lead to healthier skin. Be sure to include some lean protein in your diet. Our skin is made of protein, so some protein is necessary for healthy skin.

If your skin feels dry, moisturize. After bathing is the best time to moisturize so that you can trap water in the skin. If your skin still feels dry with regular moisturizing after bathing, apply moisturizer a few times throughout the day.

Stop smoking. People who smoke expose their skin to toxins that accelerate the aging of their skin. And, the repeat puckering to inhale can cause deep lines around the lips. Frequent squinting to avoid getting smoke in one's eyes can cause noticeable crow's feet.

Manage stress. To keep your skin looking its best, it is important to effectively manage stress. Chronic stress can wreak havoc on your skin, hair and nails. It can worsen many skin conditions, including psoriasis, acne and rosacea, cause brittle nails and ridging of the nails, and lead to hair loss.

Don't bite your fingernails. You can transfer infectious organisms between your fingers and mouth. Also, nail biting can damage the skin around your fingers, allowing infections to enter.

If you have acne, do not pick, pop or squeeze the blemishes. People mistakenly believe that picking and popping pimples will get rid of them quickly. The truth is doing any of these can irritate the skin, make acne worse, and increase the risk of scarring.

Choosing a Dermatologic Surgeon

While you may think the most important decision that you make is whether or not to have dermatologic surgery, the choice of a qualified physician is truly the key to success. There are two important factors to keep in mind when selecting a dermatologic surgeon, particularly for cosmetic skin care: clinical proficiency and personal rapport.

Selecting a proficient physician is the single most important factor for a successful medical procedure. Patients should ask the following questions before they decide if a doctor and a dermatologic surgery procedure are right for them:

  1. What are the doctor's credentials? Make sure your physicians is Board-certified in dermatology. Ask to see his or her credentials. Inquire about his or her commitment to continuing education.
  2. How many of these particular dermatologic surgery procedures has the physician performed? Most dermatologic surgeons are well-versed in the full range of clinical solutions for a specific condition. In fact, dermatologic surgeons pioneered most of the skin surgery procedures in use today, but some doctors may specialize in a certain technique or technology.
  3. What results can you expect? Realistic expectations are very important to a positive outcome. Also remember that results will vary based not only on the skill and experience of the surgeon but also on the specifics of your condition, your age, your general health, and other medical and lifestyle factors. Ask to see before and after photos of similar procedures your surgeon has performed on patients with comparable conditions.
  4. What is the healing time and recuperation period? Some procedures require almost no down time; others may necessitate several weeks of recuperation. Know what you're getting into so that you can arrange your schedule accordingly.
  5. What are the risks? There are inherent risks with any type of surgery. While the risks of most dermatologic surgeries are minimal, you should discuss the pros and cons of any treatment with your doctor.
  6. What will it cost? You should understand up front your financial commitment and the doctor's terms of payment. In cases where multiple treatment options are available, cost can be an important factor in making your final decision.

Ultimately, the decision to have any dermatologic surgery performed, by any dermatologic surgeon, is yours and yours alone. You have the right to obtain all the information you need to make an educated decision you are comfortable with. After all, it may well be the most profound step along the pathway to a lifetime of healthy and beautiful skin.

Fighting Dry Skin

Dry skin is a problem not just in the winter with its cold temperatures, and howling winds, but dry skin can come from using harsh cleansers, having too hot a bath or even getting on an airplane. Here are a few tips to help you minimize that annoying, itchy dry skin.

Form a Barrier:

Moisturizers are designed to reduce water loss from the epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin). In addition to preventing further dryness, they provide a barrier against soot and dirt, make your pores seem smaller and offer a temporary feeling of smoothness.

Say "No" to Hot Baths

Don't take long, hot baths because this can exacerbate dry skin in the winter months. Instead try short, lukewarm baths or showers. When you get out of the shower, gently pat dry your skin and then moisturize right away.

Moisturize! Moisturize!

A moisturizer is essential - A moisturizer performs several important functions. It replaces lost water and water-binding ingredients (such as glycerin) help keep it in the skin. Find products like Olay® Ribbons, that cleanse and moisturize, saving you one extra step.

Your Skin Wants Water!

Drink lots of water - Increase your body's natural moisture level by staying hydrated throughout the day.

Dry lips?

Licking them won't bring relief - it will only make them more dry and chapped. To keep your lips soft and smooth, apply a moisturizing lip salve, especially before bed.

Careful How You Cleanse

With the cold, harsh, dry winter, using mild cleansers on the skin will help prevent against dry, itchy skin. 

To Shower or Bathe?

Do you have dry skin? Try showering or bathing every other day instead of daily. This will help your skin maintain the oils that are so essential to great-feeling skin.

"Airplane" Skin

Does your skin and hair feel tight or dry when you get off of an airplane? The humidity on a plane can reach as low as 1% humidity on long flights and it can take just a 3 hour flight to sap all the moisture from your skin and hair. So stay hydrated during and after your flight, limit your intake of coffee and alcohol - they just make things worse, carry your moisturizer in your hand luggage to slather on mid flight and before you deplane, splash your face with water and follow by your moisturizer.

Seal In The Moisture

Want skin that is soft and smooth? When drying off after a bath or shower, apply lotion or body oil while you're skin is still damp. This will help seal in moisture and leave your skin feeling great.

Can It Be Contact Dermatitis?

Has your skin suddenly become red, itchy or inflamed? Maybe a red rash? You may be experiencing contact dermatitis. Remember that moisturizers can play an important preventative role by increasing the skin's hydration levels and maintaining and repairing the skin barrier.. Inflamed skin is warmer so more water evaporation takes place therefore more moisturizing is needed.

Soothe Your Skin

Dry or sensitive skin, eczema and other factors can result in itchy skin. A traditional way to sooth the itch is to add oatmeal to your bathwater. 

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