The Rawlins County Health Center (RCHC) publishes a monthly newsletter with current information about our hospital, clinics, and community.
October is National Physical Therapy Month—there’s no better time to celebrate the benefits that physical therapy can have for your body and your health!
In this blog, the Atwood medical center team at Rawlins County Health Center will outline the benefits of physical therapy. These benefits don’t just help you in the short term—you’ll feel much better and healthier in the long run as well!
Therapeutic exercises are an excellent form of pain relief, especially when they mobilize and strengthen soft tissue in the body. These exercises, paired with electrical stimulation, can reduce and even eliminate pain for better joint function!
It doesn’t matter if you’re 16 or 60—if you have mobility issues and have trouble standing, sitting, walking, or performing other normal movements during the day, physical therapy can be hugely beneficial. The movements performed in physical therapy can simultaneously stretch and strengthen muscles, improving your range of motion and helping you move better than ever before. For older folks, physical therapy can improve mobility and strength to the point that they can avoid using canes, crutches, or other assisting devices. With some hard work in physical therapy, you can move better than you have in years!
For high-performing athletes, physical therapy can be very helpful for recovery between games, a full-on recovery from an injury, or prevention of a likely injury. In any sport, there are certain injuries that are more likely to occur than others. Physical therapy can help strengthen joints and muscle groups that are more likely to be injured, and can ensure a speedier recovery if any of these injuries occur.
Physical therapy is an excellent way to improve your balance, especially if you’re at a higher risk for falls. Every person who enters physical is tested to see if they are a “fall risk”—this ensures that everyone is safe during the physical therapy process. Once physical therapists determine your fall risk and your balancing skills, they can use balance exercises that mimic real-life scenarios to help you stay safe in the real world. These exercises will gradually improve your balance, which can help you with everyday activities, sports, and tricky, treacherous walking or hiking situations.
Physical Therapy With Rawlins County Health Center
If you’re in need of physical therapy for any reason, you’ve come to the right place! The professionals at our Atwood medical center can help you reduce your risk for injury, improve your mobility, and help you live a better life. Schedule an appointment today!
As you age, the health of your heart becomes a more pressing issue—and if your family is predisposed for heart disease, the need for heart-healthy habits becomes even more urgent.
Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to improve your heart health and lower the likelihood of developing heart disease and other heart-related ailments. In this blog, Rawlins County Health Center, your preferred Atwood medical center, will give you a few simple ways that you can improve your health and protect your heart in the process.
Take a walk.
If you live a sedentary lifestyle and haven’t exercised in awhile, you’re definitely putting your heart at risk. Obesity and poor circulation are both side effects of a couch potato lifestyle, and they’re both common causes of heart disease as well
However, you don’t have to lift for two hours a day and run marathons to improve your heart health. It all starts with a brisk walk.
Walking is a great way to ease back into shape and improve your heart health—it improves your circulation instantly, burns calories, and it’s a generally rejuvenative and enjoyable activity. More intense exercises like lifting and running put a lot of stress on the body in order for you to improve circulation, making you feel sore and tired. Waking, on the other hand, is energizing, and it has a way of clearing your head and relieving your stress.
Ultimately, a brisk, 45-minute walk four to five times a week will decrease your risk of heart disease, increase your fitness, and make you feel better. What’s not to like?
Adjust your diet.
In a world with long work schedules, limited free time, and plenty of tempting fast-food options, a poor diet is more convenient than ever before—and unfortunately, it accelerates the onset of obesity, harms circulation, and clogs arteries with plaque that can lead to heart disease.
If that sounds like your diet, it’s time to make a few changes. Even adding an extra fruit and vegetable to your daily diet can make a considerable difference for your overall health and decrease the likelihood of developing heart disease. Ultimately, it’s large amounts of sugar (like in the soda you drink every day) that are the most harmful to your heart—if you can replace sugars with healthier options like fruits, vegetables, and lean meats, you’ll be in a better position to avoid heart disease and achieve health and longevity.
Poor health isn’t just biological—it’s psychological. All of the stress and anxiety from a grueling work schedule, a lack of sleep, and other personal issues can affect you mentally, and do a number on your physical health in the process. People overloaded by stress have an increased risk for high blood pressure, weight gain, and you guessed it, heart disease—so keeping your stress in check is critical for heart health and health in general.
So how do you manage your stress for improved health? Ultimately, it’s as simple as removing stress factors from your life and doing the things you love most. Your exhaustion from a lack of sleep can cause a great deal of stress, so why not prioritize sleep for awhile and catch up on those Z’s? If your job makes your dread coming into the office every single day, why not look for a job that’s less stressful and more fulfilling? These are just a few steps you can take to reduce your stress and improve your overall quality of life.
It’s also important to do the things that bring happiness and peace to your life—that’s the ultimate key to being stress-free. Schedule out time in your life to do the things you love the most—reading, hiking, hanging out with grandkids, whatever it may be—and stick to these commitments. It can de difficult to get around to the things you love the most when you’re constantly thinking about work and other commitments. However, doing the things you love should be one of your highest priorities if you’re going to preserve or improve your health.
That’s it for part 1 of our series on tips for better heart health. Stay tuned for part 2, and check out our other blogs in the meantime!
Rawlins County Health Center’s Annual 5K to benefit DSNWK-Prairie Development Center. This year’s race will start and stop at the Columbian Hall by the stage area. Runners and walkers, as well as strollers, are all welcome to join in the fun.
To register for the race:
The registration form can be mailed to PO Box 47, Atwood, KS 67730 Attn: Suzanna. Please make checks payable to Rawlins County Health Center.
Rawlins County Dental Clinic and Rawlins County Health Center have both been awarded a matching grant of $50,000 from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. This grant assists clinics with operating costs throughout the year. While Rawlins County Dental Clinic has received this award in years past, this is the first year that Rawlins County Health Center has applied and received the award.
Per the Kansas Department of Health and Environment website, the Kansas Legislature appropriates state general funds to assist in the development and operation of clinics that focus on improving access to quality health care with an emphasis on community-based services and reducing health disparities for underserved populations. Grant funds are intended to make primary medical and dental care and preventive health care services accessible and affordable to underserved Kansas residents. The Community-Based Primary Care Clinic Program began in State Fiscal Year 1992 with 9 grantees receiving a total of $1,000,000 and has grown to now include 40 grantees receiving over $7,000,000.
“Thank you, KDHE for believing in the future of our clinic and entrusting us to be good stewards of these funds! A huge thank you to our staff, who without your hard work and dedication none of this would be possible!” stated Deb Pochop, CEO Rawlins County Dental Clinic.
“We are thrilled to join the Rawlins County Dental Clinic as recipients of this grant and are grateful for the financial support from KDHE. Thank you to all who were a part in making this grant a reality.” Sharon Cox, CEO Rawlins County Health Center
The Rawlins County Health Center is in the process of creating a new Central Sterile area in the facility and the Rawlins County Hospital Foundation saw a way they may be able to help. Along with funding from the 2012 Capital Campaign, there was the talk of a possibility of finding some funding through grants, specifically a grant from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation.
“There is a lot of critical equipment that carries a pretty hefty price tag,” said Suzanna Dozbaba, RCHC Marketing/Foundation Manager. She continued, “We felt as though we had a great chance at finding some funding to help with that cost.” The Central Sterile Area in the Health Center will be used by the entire facility and the completion of the area will also mean the use of the new Operating Suite that was completed last year.
“We are looking forward to retiring the outdated operating and central sterile areas,” said Mary Clark, RN, Pharmacy and Surgical Nurse, “We’ve worked hard to continue using the extremely outdated area but the time saved in the new spaces will be amazing. The improvements on both the patient and staff sides will be noticeable.” The new Central Sterile Area began construction this week and should be finished this fall.
The Rawlins County Hospital Foundation and the Rawlins County Health Center are grateful for the $100,000 awarded to them to go towards the equipment. “We are feeling blessed right now and don’t take the decision lightly. There are a lot of worthy causes out there and we are grateful that the Dane G. Hansen Foundation saw the need we had here and awarded us with so much financial help for the project,” said Dozbaba.
The Dane G. Hansen Foundation was established as a charitable organization in 1965, with the primary goal of making the communities of Northwest Kansas better places to live. You can learn more about the Dane G. Hansen Foundation at www.danehansenfoundation.org and about the Rawlins County Health Center and the Rawlins County Hospital Foundation www.rchc.us.
If you experience pain throughout your body that seems to stem from one area, you may be experiencing what are known as trigger points. A trigger point is a specific area within your myofascial tissue, often located in the back or the neck, that causes pain or discomfort which carries to different areas of your body. Since trigger points can cause chronic pain, it is important that they are treated through the use of myofascial release therapy. With manual massage techniques from trained physical therapists, myofascial release therapy can be very effective in treating tight spots, knots, or soreness throughout long bands of muscle tissue.
Our goal at Rawlins County Health Center is to educate patients so that they may live a happier and healthier life. If you feel that you could benefit from myofascial release therapy, learn more by reading our article below. We’ll outline what myofascial pain is caused by, how myofascial release therapy works, and the easy techniques you can do at home to aid in myofascial release.
How it Works
Due to stress, injury, or overuse, muscles can begin to tighten and shorten, causing individuals a great deal of pain, discomfort, and loss of flexibility. According to the National Association of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists, “patients evaluated in one pain management center were found to have a myofascial component to their pain in 95% of cases.” Knowing this information, you can begin to see how common trigger point pain can be for individuals. Many people who experience myofascial and trigger point pain aren’t even aware that their muscle fibers are permanently contracted, which leads to muscle tension and tightness. The purpose of myofascial release therapy is to effectively return permanently contracted muscles to their relaxed state.
Self Myofascial Release at Home
If you are unable to schedule a session with a massage therapist or physical therapist, myofascial release can be achieved at home with a little effort. To easily treat trigger points in the comfort of your own home, simply purchase a tennis ball or foam roller. Foam rollers are common tools that are used to break up tight muscle tissue, and can be found online or at major retail stores. After you’ve purchased your trigger point tool of choice, begin by laying on your back and placing your tennis ball or foam roller underneath you. Start by using your foam roller or tennis ball to slowly roll around sore spots on your back until you find a trigger point. You’ll know you’ve found a trigger point when rolling over an incredibly sore spot that causes pain and discomfort.
If you are using a tennis ball to massage a trigger point, let the tennis ball rest on the trigger point until it begins to relax and give way to the tennis ball. After your trigger point has relaxed and loosened, begin using your body’s weight to leverage the tennis ball deeper into your muscle tissue. This will ensure that you are reaching the main source of your trigger point, and will help eliminate the root cause of pain altogether. Alternatively, if you’re using a foam roller, use your body’s weight to move the foam roller up and down your back. After you’ve found the sorest area affecting you most, begin slowly rolling up and down the muscle tissue. Although you may not be massaging the trigger point directly, you can effectively help the trigger point release by massaging the long muscle fibers which connect to your trigger point. This will cause your trigger point to relax, allowing myofascial release to occur naturally.
With enough practice, you will begin to find your trigger points quickly and easily. Myofascial release therapy can alleviate most of the pain an individual is experiencing, improving their quality of life and muscular mobility. If you are a resident in Atwood or its surrounding areas and want to learn more about myofascial release therapy, get in touch with our friendly staff at Rawlins County Health Center! Our physical therapists are experienced in myofascial release therapy, and work with patients to ensure that they leave our facility with an increased range of motion while decreasing their overall level of pain. Contact Rawlins County Health Center to schedule your appointment today!
The importance of stretching to maintain flexibility and overall health is often understated. While many individuals attribute muscle soreness or tightness to old age or pre-existing injuries, the truth is, muscle tightness can easily be avoided with a few simple stretches during your morning routine. Not only will daily stretching aid in injury prevention, it will also help you increase your range of motion and overall level of flexibility.
At Rawlins County Health Center, we’re dedicated to helping residents in Atwood, Kansas and the surrounding areas maintain an optimal level of health and wellness. Throughout this article, we’ll talk about four easy stretches you can implement into your morning routine to increase your range of motion and improve your quality of life. Through consistent stretching, you’ll begin to notice a decrease in injuries while introducing a sense of calm and wellbeing into your life.
Do you experience general tightness or soreness throughout your neck upon waking? Does your job require you to look at a screen for an extended period of time? If so, an easy neck stretch can help loosen tight muscles that cause discomfort to your neck. While sitting in a comfortable position, gently bring your left ear to your left shoulder and hold the stretch for 20 seconds. This will effectively provide a deep stretch to the right side of your neck. Alternatively, to stretch the left side of your neck, bring your right ear to your right shoulder and hold for 20 seconds. While holding this stretch, you may feel your neck begin to loosen up. If possible, gently work the stretch deeper as your muscles loosen, but be mindful not to extend your stretch too far. While a deep stretch may feel very relaxing, it is important not to stretch past your body’s level of flexibility as injury may occur.
Lying Spinal Twist
If you sit for long periods of time, or wake up from an uncomfortable night of sleep with radiating back pain, the lying spinal twist will help relieve muscle tension and soreness felt throughout your back. The lying spinal twist is an easy, yet effective, stretch that requires little effort and provides excellent relief. While lying on your back on the ground, gently lift your right leg towards the ceiling and begin to let it fall slowly over your left side. While your right leg hangs over the left side of your body, slowly turn your head towards the right side. This will maximize the benefits of the lying spinal twist by deepening the stretch felt throughout the back while fully rotating and stretching your spine. Continue to slowly deepen the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds while your back muscles continue loosening. Slowly bring your right leg back towards the ceiling and then gently place it back on the ground. Repeat the same stretch with your left leg while turning your head towards your left side. The lying spinal twist will help stretch your lower back muscles while relieving sciatic pain caused by excessive sitting.
Standing Forward Bend
If you are susceptible to leg or back pain from extended periods of sitting, you could benefit from an easy standing forward bend. The standing forward bend is a simple stretch designed to increase your overall level of flexibility while deeply stretching your hamstrings and calves. Begin by standing with your feet at hip width and then slowly begin bending at the waist towards your toes. Let your upper body continue to hang while deepening your stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. Be mindful to exhale while moving into your stretch, as this will make it easier to deepen your stretch naturally, reducing your risk of injury. After holding the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds, begin slowly returning to a standing position so as not to cause a rush of lightheadedness from standing up too quickly. Repeat the standing forward bend for up to five repetitions while relaxing in between each stretch.
Lying Chin Tuck
If you suffer from forward head posture, you probably experience many aches and pains around your suboccipital muscles. Fortunately, by doing lying chin tucks daily, you can improve the strength of your neck while increasing your overall range of motion. Lying chin tucks help strengthen your front neck muscles, known as neck flexors, while also stretching your suboccipital muscles. To perform a lying chin tuck, begin by lying on the ground or in bed and gently lift your head while tucking your chin towards your chest. Hold this stretch for two to three seconds, then gently bring your head back to its resting position. If you aren’t used to this particular stretch, you may notice your neck begin to tremble. This is completely normal, and is due to your neck flexors not being used often enough. In simpler terms, a neck tremble simply indicates that you’re neck flexors are turning back on. Repeat the lying chin tuck for up to 10 repetitions, and then rest. With consistent stretching, lying chin tucks will help increase neck strength while improving your neck’s range of motion.
Are you located in Atwood, Kansas or its surrounding areas and are in need of quality care? Visit our friendly staff at Rawlins County Health Center! We provide a wide variety of services to our patients such as physical therapy, emergency care at our 24-hour emergency room, and so much more. To learn more about our full list of services we provide, contact Rawlins County Health Center today!