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We’ve all heard that exercise makes you happy. From the well-known runner’s high that keeps runners training for marathon to the little boost in mood many of us have felt after going for a quick walk, it’s no secret that physical exercise does seem to trigger feel-good feelings. But does exercise really make you happy, or is it just a myth? Let’s take a closer look.

How Exercise Makes You Happy exercise make you happy

Research indicates that exercise has numerous benefits, including decreased risk of depression, improved overall health and improved reports of overall happiness. When we engage in physical activity, our bodies release chemicals that boost our sense of well-being and make us feel good. These chemicals also suppress the hormones that cause anxiety and stress.

Exercise triggers the release of serotonin, endorphins and dopamine neurotransmitters that are related to pain and depression. At the same time, exercise reduces the activity of hormones like adrenalin and cortisol, which cause feelings of tension and anxiety.

How Much Exercise Do You Need?

The great news is that you do not need to be a marathon runner to experience the benefits of exercise. You do not need to participate in demanding physical activity, either. Going for a walk, doing yoga or participating in low-level strength training all effectively combat stress and anxiety. Of course, the more frequently you get up and move, the better you will feel.

Staying active doesn’t have to be difficult. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, or park at the back of a parking lot so you have to walk further to reach the building. Go for a walk on your lunch break. Take your dog out for a walk or enjoy a family bike ride. These simple activities will all help boost your body’s production of feel-good chemicals while reducing your stress and anxiety.

Physical activity is an amazing way to improve your health while boosting your overall mood and happiness. Find a type of exercise you enjoy, and stick to it! To learn more or if you need help getting in better shape to start an exercise plan, contact Denver Physical Medicine.

With the days getting longer and the temperatures rising, spring is the perfect time for a new start after the long winter. It is also a good time to start thinking about your health and working toward improving it. While there is never a “wrong” time to start a chiropractic care routine, getting started now has a few extra benefits. After several months of donning heavy winter coats, traversing slippery surfaces and shoveling snow, your spine and joints are probably overdue for a little TLC. This spring, why not take control of your health by scheduling an appointment with your chiropractor?

Spring into Good Spinal Health How Physical Therapy Improves Scoliosis

Winter takes a serious toll on your body – especially if you’ve fallen. Slips and falls and shoveling snow can all contribute to subluxations and joint restrictions that prevent your body from functioning like it should. You may experience pain, lack of balance and a host of other symptoms. Starting a chiropractic care routine helps put your spring back in your step while improving your overall well-being.

How Chiropractic Helps

Chiropractic treatment is an excellent way to care for both chronic and acute back and joint pain. It does more than that, though. It also helps restore alignment to allow for proper nervous system function. Your spine is like a conduit for your nervous system, and when it isn’t in proper alignment, the signals don’t always pass through like they should. Misalignment can cause things like sciatica while decreasing the overall performance of your body and organs.

If you suffer from chronic or acute pain, chiropractic treatment may also provide a safe, natural alternative. If you are on other medications, you don’t have to worry about potential interactions with painkillers if you opt for chiropractic instead.

Since spring is the time when many of us like to get out and get exercise, seeing your chiropractor is also a great way to prepare your body and avoid injury.

Chiropractor in Denver

If you are in need of a chiropractor in Denver, we can help! Contact Denver Physical Medicine today to learn more about our chiropractic services!

The opioid epidemic has been big news in recent years. No one wants to live in constant pain, but most people also don’t want to face the many risks associated with opioid painkillers. Medications like OxyContin and Vicodin are highly addictive and can lead to depression, overdose and withdrawal symptoms. While they are appropriate in certain situations, they usually are not the best first course of action. For many patients, physical therapy provides a safe, long-lasting alternative to masking pain with opioids. Let’s take a closer look at what research says about safe pain management with physical therapy.

Choosing Physical Therapy Instead of Opioids

Physical Therapy

Physical Therapist stretching the patient

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that healthcare providers reduce their use of opioids for the treatment of chronic and acute pain. Instead, they encourage providers to prescribe safer alternatives like physical therapy. Here are just a few ways that physical therapy aids in pain management:

Manual Therapy

On-going studies indicate the effectiveness of hands-on pain treatment. Through techniques like soft tissue and joint mobilization, manipulation and dry needling, physical therapists are able to restore range of motion and decrease pain in patients suffering from numerous problems.

Exercise

One study that followed 20,000 people over the course of 11 years discovered that the participants who exercised more frequently experienced less pain. In fact, chronic widespread pain was 28 percent less common in those who exercised at least three times each week.

Education

Physical therapists strive to educate patients to help them understand their pain and set realistic expectations for treatment. People who are educated about the problem are less likely to seek treatment.

Teamwork

Lastly, research has shown that developing a relationship with a healthcare provider and being proactive in recovery can affect patient outcomes. Physical therapists get to know their patients and work with them directly to help them meet their goals. In many cases, this leads to more successful treatment than pain management with painkillers alone.

Physical Therapy in Denver

If you are in pain and would like to give physical therapy a try, contact Denver Physical Medicine. You can reach us at 303-757-7280.

Trochanteric (or hip) bursitis is a painful condition that occurs as the result of inflammation in the bursa. The bursa is a fluid-filled, jelly-like sac that minimizes friction in joints and between other moving tissues in your body. When it becomes inflamed, it may cause pain and stiffness. By maintaining strength and flexibility, however, you can reduce the friction that causes your pain. Here are a few of the best stretches for hip bursitis.

Stretches for Hip Bursitis

Stretches for hip bursitis

By Anatomography (en:Anatomography (setting page of this image)) [CC BY-SA 2.1 jp], via Wikimedia Commons

Standing Iliotibial Band Stretch

Cross the leg that is uninjured in front of the injured leg. Without bending your knees, bend forward and reach toward the inside of the back foot. Hold this position for approximately 15 to 30 seconds before returning to the starting position. Repeat three times.

Side-Leaning Iliotibial Band Stretch

Stand beside a wall with your injured side closest to the wall. Place one hand on the wall for support. Cross the leg on the uninjured side over the leg next to the wall. Keep the other foot flat on the floor and lean your hips against the wall. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat three times.

Gluteal Stretch

Lie on your back on a comfortable surface with both knees feet. Rest the ankle of the injured side on the other knee. Keep your other foot flat. Grasp your thigh on the uninjured side and pull toward your chest. This should cause you to feel a stretch along the buttocks on the injured side. You may also feel the stretch in your hip. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat three times.

Treatment for Hip Bursitis

If these exercises do not help alleviate your hip pain, schedule an appointment with your Denver physical therapist. At Denver Physical Medicine, we combine stretching and strengthening exercises with other types of treatment to strengthen your body and ease pain and discomfort. To schedule a consultation, please contact us today by calling 303-757-7280.

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