This month's success story comes from a nearby Danbury resident. Jane, like many people, was very active when she came to us towards the end of summer last year.
She was enjoying the warm weather by kayaking, but then felt a dull pain in her shoulder the next day
Unable to continue with her daily activities without this constant feeling of pain and soreness she decided to get help.
Jane started physical therapy with us on September 20th 2018 to treat her right shoulder impingement. Unfortunately, Jane's insurance had a very high deductible that would have required her to make expensive out of pocket payments for every visit, but we were happy to work with Jane to find a payment option that worked for her.
Determined to get back to working, exercising, and sleeping through the night without feeling discomfort, Jane prioritized coming to PT three times a week.
After her first assessment and seeing how limited her range of motion was we guided her through personalized exercises and stood with her every step of the way. Jane was serious about her recovery, using bands and home exercises as prescribed by her physical therapist to help speed up the healing process.
In less than a month she was making tremendous progress and felt stronger everyday, reducing her visits to two times a week. As we approached the 3 month mark she only needed to come in once a week for maintenance and strengthening.
Jane has been recently discharged and feels confident that when the weather warms up again she will be able to perform all activities without any pain or discomfort.
Congrats to Jane for being so dedicated to her recovery and being able to live her life pain free!
This month's success story comes from a local Mahopac/Carmel resident.
Kim, like most adults, was suffering from a deep achy pain in both her knees, was unable to keep up with her kids and saw her activity level decrease to almost nothing.
Under the advice from her surgeon she decided to undergo Bilateral Knee Replacements. A procedure by itself that can be daunting for one knee, never mind bilaterally.
Kim was up for the challenge and underwent the procedure on November 27, 2018 and following a short stay in the hospital was transferred to Helen Hayes Rehab for about a week. From there she arrived to us at Empire on December 17.
Unable to fully straighten her knees or bend them past 50 degrees, Kim was motivated to get her active life back. A flight of stairs at home at this time appeared to be the most challenging task. Determined to constantly push herself each session, our team at Empire and Kim were always on the same page in regards to her goals, would push her appropriately and following her doctors protocol.
As we approach 14 weeks since Kim’s procedure, she’s happy to report nearly no pain at all, a 180 degree turn in her quality of life and can see her self getting back to her old active lifestyle.
Congrats to Kim for the progress she has made in such a short period of time, we look forward to guiding you to all your goals!
This month's success story comes from a Mahopac High School Field Hockey and Lacrosse player.
Devin, like most high school athletes, always dreamed of playing at the next level but unfortunately tore her ACL and had to undergo an ACL reconstruction on 07/18/2017. Some high school athletes would have used it as an excuse for not playing at the next level, not Devin.
Physical Therapy after an ACL reconstruction is a lengthy 7-10 month process with most athletes not being allowed to return to competitive sports until the 9 month mark.
Determined, Devin came to PT 3x a week religiously and with follow up visit after follow up visit Devin's surgeon was beyond pleased with her progress.
The closer Devin got to “graduating” from PT her sessions at Empire became more performance training based and she began to prepare for returning to competition.
9 months to the day, Devin was cleared by her surgeon to return to competition, not “return to play” return to competition and in she went straight to the lacrosse practice field to join her varsity teammates. Once Devin had enough practices to play she was back on the game field making an impact for her team.
Determined to play after high school, Devin continued on the performance training track at Empire while playing on a competitive summer league lacrosse team. Gaining interest from multiple college coaches due to her quickness and outstanding athletic ability. Devin received multiple offers to play at the next level.
This past Sunday I received a text from Devin’s Dad stating that Devin had made a decision on which college she was going to attend.
I am beyond proud of Devin and have no doubt she will make an immediate positive influence at Moravian College!
Congrats to Devin on committing to play at the next level and never letting go of your dreams!
How would you like to enjoy noodles that are completely guilt free?
Considering that traditional noodles are one of the most fattening foods known to man, this concept of guilt-free noodles is pretty awesome!
Spaghetti squash is a vegetable that naturally shreds into noodles once cooked. You can serve it up with your favorite spaghetti sauce – just stay away from cream based sauces.
If you are tempted to go out this weekend and consume a huge serving of traditional pasta – STOP! Don’t do it! You’ll be so disappointed with yourself when it’s over and you’ll lose the great progress that you made this week with your workouts.
Instead enjoy a delicious heap of spaghetti squash served with spaghetti sauce.
Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com
What You Need:
1 spaghetti squash
1 Tablespoon dried basil
1⁄2 teaspoon garlic salt
1. Cut squash in half and scoop out the seeds and fibers. With a fork pierce the squash skin a few times.
2. Fill a microwave safe dish with 1⁄2 inch of water. Place the squash cut-side down in the dish.
3. Microwave on high for 10-20 minutes or until the skin gives easily under pressure (be sure to use an oven mitt, as the squash get very hot.) Let stand for a few minutes.
4. With a fork, scrape the pasta-like insides into a medium bowl. Mix in basil and garlic salt and serve with your favorite pasta sauce.
One serving equals: 42 calories, 0g fat, 10g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, and 1g protein. I hope that you get a chance to give this recipe a try this week.
Christmas and New Year’s Eve now seem far behind us.
The Turkey’s been eaten, the prosecco has run dry, the last few Celebrations have been demolished and we are well into tackling the next festive ritual – a New Year health kick.
And if like many people you’ve made a New Year resolution to shift a few pounds, or just choose healthier choices in general – eating can be a challenge.
Especially when those relatives you didn’t get to spend time with over Christmas plan get-togethers that involve big meals, co- workers want to go for drinks, and you’ve got Birthday dinners to attend.
I don’t know about you but each week since New Year’s day, I’ve been invited out to eat in restaurants at least twice a week, if not more!
And even though eating out at restaurants is usually blamed as a culprit for making it harder to make healthy choices and stick to our new eating habits – you can still have your cake and eat it too.
Which is why I wanted to share some suggestions with you today about how you can eat healthier in restaurants so you can keep on the right track this year with your health goals.
It starts with restaurant selection – making healthy choices starts with where you’re eating. Menus from American, Italian and Chinese restaurants tend to heave the least healthiest options.
When deciding where to go for dinner, opt for cuisines centered around whole grains, veggies, good fats and lean protein (Greek, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Indian and Japanese), and you’ll have a more nutritious meal.
Also consider eating out at places with menus that change seasonally, as this means they’re likely to cook up fresh, seasonal, local produce. Not only does that make for more veg-heavy meals, but you’ll also notice how much better the food tastes too.
But what if your partner and friends don’t want to go to one of those restaurants?
Well, there’s a solution for that. Think leftovers.
If the Italian restaurant in the town is the only place your friends want to go, you don’t have to just order the salad...
While portion sizes have grown over the years that doesn’t mean you have to skip past the meal you’ve been eyeing up on the menu. Instead take advantage of the bigger portion sizes, and order what you want with the mindset that half of it will come home with you.
The best leftovers are ones that won’t suffer from re-heating or hanging out in your fridge for a day. Think meaty steaks, creamy pasta dishes and rich risottos.
Plus, when you have leftovers you’re getting a two-for-one deal, and it feels great to save a bit of money.
The next piece of advice I want to give you is this, even if you’re going out for an evening meal, eat all day long as you usually would.
Seriously. If you know you’ll be eating at a place that serves rich food and big portions, one of the best ways to avoid overdoing it isn’t to ‘make room’ for dinner later, but to eat (as you normally would) throughout the day.
Your body isn’t balanced when you’re hungry, and skipping meals to make up for a big one can cause all sorts of havoc with the body – including storing MORE weight.
So aim to eat a filling, healthy breakfast, a light lunch and some healthy snacks. It’ll be easier to resist more indulgence if you do.
Another thing, you know that bread basket a lot of restaurants bring out while you’re deciding on what to order that’s always tempting? You don’t need it.
If you really want to snack on something before your main meal is served – opt for a lighter starter like a prawn cocktail, or stuffed mushrooms. Save room for the nutritious meal you’ve ordered and cut down on calories too.
And one more tip, if you want your food cooked a certain way to make it healthier, most of the time you can!
Don’t be afraid to put in a special request. Instead of my chicken fried, I sometimes ask for it to be grilled or roasted. Most places are willing to adapt their meals to suit your taste. It’s amazing how much power we have at diners that we never realize we can use.
So there you have it! Simple ways to make eating out healthier and enjoyable at the same time. Sticking to a healthy diet doesn’t mean you have to avoid dining out and say no to plans.
It’s all about making different choices, and enjoying the food we put in our mouths. Restrictions will only make it harder in the long-run, and make it more likely for you to sway off track.
Here’s to sticking to healthier choices!
The New Year is approaching which means many new diets or workout regiments. If there's one thing that many people struggle with when they're on their fat loss diet plan it's cravings.
In most cases, sticking with a healthy diet really isn't that difficult, that is, until hunger sets in. As soon as the hunger demon rears its ugly head however, maintaining your diet seems to fly right out the window.
Your cravings get stronger than ever and with your stomach is growling so loudly the person next to you has started to glare at you funny.
When this occurs, it's hard to turn down whatever food crosses your path. When this is the situation at hand, it's important that you come up with a few quick strategies that will help you handle this and still maintain your diet.
Here are 4 quick ways that you can beat your cravings head on.
1. Drink some water
The old saying is true, if you're dehydrated, you may begin to mistake this for actual hunger. It's very important that you're maintaining adequate hydration levels throughout the day so be sure that you're not overlooking this factor.
Ideally you should be drinking 8-10 glasses of water or other clear fluids each day in order to keep yourself feeling your best and prevent cravings from setting in.
If you do find you're experiencing a craving, first drink a glass of water and then wait ten minutes. After doing so you'll often find that that craving passes almost immediately.
2. Chew Some Gum
Second, another quick way to battle those cravings is to chew some gum. Often what's sparking the craving in the first place is that you just need something to chew on so gum is the perfect solution. It's calorie free and since it keeps your mouth busy, you definitely won't be putting other food in there.
Some people do find that peppermint flavored gum also helps to take the edge off their appetite (and boost concentration levels as well!) so you may just want to consider this flavor first.
3. Ensure You Don't Go Hours Without Food
Another smart move if you're trying to take care of cravings is to make sure that you aren't going hours without food. Whenever you let yourself get too overly hungry, that's when it's going to be that much harder to handle the cravings that are being thrown at you.
Instead, keep yourself on a schedule having one meal every three hours or so. In addition to that, make sure that you also include protein within that meal as this is the most satisfying nutrient to consume. You'll easily keep blood sugar levels and hunger under control by doing so.
4. Find Something To Replace It With
Finally, the last strategy to beat your cravings is to find another food that you can have in its place. While it may not be a direct replacement as far as taste is concerned, if you can find something that comes fairly close, this often can solve the problem.
For example, if it's a pint of ice cream that's calling your name, consider some low-fat, low-sugar vanilla yogurt drizzled with a small amount of chocolate syrup.
This should be enough to tame that craving and will also provide you with good nutrition as well.
So keep these quick points in mind. If you can implement them into your day, cravings should be a thing of the past for you.
I hope you find these quick tips helpful!
What if I told you that I had a recipe for a creamy, chocolaty, protein- rich treat that would satisfy your sweet tooth while bringing you closer to your fitness goals?
While it sounds too good to be true, this recipe delivers in flavor and nutrition!
This is a protein packed dessert that the whole family will love. It’s important to enjoy desserts that are low in carbohydrates and sugar, and high in protein in order to shed body fat and develop healthy muscles. This recipe delivers on all fronts, without sacrificing flavor.
Here’s what you need...
• 6 oz Greek Yogurt, plain, fat free
• 1 scoop high quality chocolate protein powder
• Sprinkle of unsweetened cocoa powder
Two Easy steps:
1. In a small bowl use a whisk to combine the yogurt and protein powder. Mix until all lumps have disappeared.
2. Garnish with a sprinkle of unsweetened cocoa powder.
Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 220 calories, 0g fat, 445mg sodium, 11g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, and 42g protein.
I hope that you get a chance to give this recipe a try this week. It could be a great treat to bring to a holiday party!
Are your joints starting to feel stiff lately? Do they ache more than usual? Have you noticed any clicks and cracks coming from your knees?
If you’re struggling to put your finger on it and you’re not sure why it’s happening to you -chances are you’re not alone.
Many people just like you are becoming a victim of knee and joint pain. This time of year (every year!) joint pain is one of the most common things we see and treat at Empire Performance PT.
It starts with a few clicks of the knees every now and then. But nothing painful, and you think nothing of it.
Then as time goes on, when your knees click it’s painful, and they start to ache a bit more (usually around the knee cap, and on the inside of your knee).
Sometimes after you’ve walked around the stores for a few hours they begin to ache and feel sore. And getting back up again after relaxing with a cup of coffee on the couch, you notice it takes a few steps for your knees ‘to get going’ again...
They can even make it difficult for you to get out of your car with ease. And when the cold weather hits the North East, your joints begin to feel even WORSE.
So why does it happen? And why does it happen more to men and
women aged 50+?
Well there’s a WHOLE bunch of reasons that exist as to why joints in your body become more problematic in the Winter time. But the two most common reasons we see at the clinic are these:
The cold weather naturally restricts the warmth of the blood that flows around your body, (which helps keep you warm and mobile).
– AND –
The fact you’re much less likely to keep as active and mobile in the Winter as you did in the warmer months.
Keeping mobile is just like spraying WD40 on the stiff parts of a bike or car. Just like a vehicle needs oil to get you from A to B efficiently – your joints need to keep active so they don’t stiffen up.
And here’s the thing that many people don’t realize – the winter months and long periods of inactivity, can be the root cause of many years of what I call – ‘all of a sudden’ life long knee pains.
You see, as your muscles get a long rest this winter, there’s a chance they’ll become weaker and slowly get to the point where they won’t be able to support your knees.
And worse yet, many people don’t even notice it happening until the pain sets in.
But when it does, a chain of events is triggered and when your knees don’t have the support of strong muscles, problems like arthritis can set in. Which is why it’s so important to make the most of every opportunity you have this Winter to keep active, so you can fend off the curse of bad knees creeping up on you.
I know it’s easy to think that when the weather begins to warm up you’ll exercise again. Problem is, very few people understand that your muscles need to be strong and stable to exercise safely!
And if you go into tough exercise too quick, there’s a chance you’ll injure yourself and make those sore joints feel even worse!
So my number one tip for you today to keep the winter aches away is to include some kind of activity in your day, everyday.
It doesn’t have to be outdoors!
You can go into an exercise class with friends, do low- impact movements that are kind to your joints like Pilates and Yoga from the comfort of your living room, and if you have an exercise bike (or something like that), use it while watching your favorite TV show.
There really is something for everyone.
What are you going to do to keep active this winter?
A patient came into the clinic last week limping with knee pain and asked:
“I’ve had this knee pain for a few weeks now, I’m not sure what I’ve done to it but I’ve tried taking paracetamol and that didn’t help.
I was trying to rest it so that it wouldn’t hurt, but whenever I stood up and started moving, it hurt again so I had to sit down.
Now I’m wearing a brace to see if that helps, but I can still feel the pain when I take it off.
Is there anything else I can do to get rid of the pain?”
I know how frustrating it can be when you’re not sure what you’ve done to hurt your knee, and even more frustrating when everything you’re trying to do to get rid of the pain – doesn’t do a thing to make it feel any better.
Everyone always thinks and hopes that there will be a “quick fix” to their problem.
And because we see people confused, fed-up and even skeptical about what can be done to help with their knee pain, I wanted to address this idea of “quick fixes” for your knees – or for any joint problem, whether it’s your knees, back, neck, wherever, and tell you why they’re no good.
With that said here’s the 3 most common “Quick Fixes” that people THINK ease their knee pain, but that actually do the opposite:
1. Reaching For The Painkillers
When you’re in pain, lets face it, one of the easiest things to do is reach for the painkillers to “kill” the pain, quick.
It’s also unfortunately the first option that your Doctor will give you to help your knee pain.
But the thing is painkillers won’t get to the root cause of your problem and actually do anything to fix it – they just mask the pain instead, which doesn’t help anyone.
And at the end of the day, that pain will still be there when the painkillers wear off. So it’s better to do something to fix your pain long-term instead.
When pain strikes, it’s very tempting to do nothing but rest “in case the pain gets worse”, which means many people end up laying on the couch watching their favorite TV shows…
But when it comes to knee pain, ‘rest’ actually means to not do ‘too much’.
If you rest too much, your joints will become stiff and tight, which can make your knees feel even more achy when you try to move them.
To actually help your knee, you could go swimming, go for a light walk, yoga or go for a bike ride– basically any low impact exercise will help keep you moving and not place any added pressure on your knees.
3. Wearing A Support
Things like knee supports should ONLY be used as a last minute resort.
Wearing a support on your knee on a daily basis to try and ease the pain is actually masking the pain and creating an even bigger problem!
The best way I can explain it is to imagine you have a broken leg or arm and you have a cast put on. After 6 weeks or so, when the cast is taken off, the muscles underneath are weak – it’s exactly the same as wearing a support everyday.
Because it supports your joint, it takes the pressure off your muscles, but doing this everyday will make your muscles lazy which will make them weaker. Once you take off that support because it’s eased the pain, there’s a very strong chance it could come back quicker and worse than before!
So there you have it, 3 ‘quick fixes’ that people think ease their knee pain, but do the opposite.
Painkillers, rest, and wearing a support!
When it comes to your joints, these quick fixes are not the way forward to fix your problem long-term.
If you want more information to recover from nagging knee pain, we are holding an educational knee pain events live at my clinic. It’s a FREE “Knee Pain” event hosted by me for all past patients, their family and friends…
It’ll last about 45 minutes and it’s FREE for you to come along and discover exactly how you, or a loved one, can finally unlock the agonizing mystery of knee pain, and how to get back the life that you deserve, for good! For more information about the event please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject: I Need Help With Knee Pain!
Let’s talk about the single biggest problem that affects runners.
Nagging calf pain that just doesn’t go away.
(…Even after months of resting!).
Can you relate to this?…
“Tony– every 6 months or so for the last 3 years, I get a nagging pain in my left calf when I go out for a run, which then leads to a terrible sensation in the back of my leg that feels like I’ve been shot!
This always seems to happen when my training is going to plan and I’m making progress.
I’ve been running for years, and my calf has never had a pain so bad like this up until recently.
So why does it keep coming back? And will it ever go away?”
– Andy, 46, Mahopac.
Ok… let me try and talk you through this and why something as frustrating as calf pain, likely keeps happening and what you can do about it.
I see this all the time with runners who come to my clinic… they’ve been running for years then all of a sudden *ping!*, the pain comes out of nowhere.
And it’s not usually to do with how much they run, what surfaces they run on, or even if they get regular massages to keep the aches and pains away…
…9 times out of 10, it’s to do with what you wear on your feet.
Let me explain:
If you’re like many runners, you’ve likely been putting in the miles wearing the same pair of running shoes for years, OR, you’ve treated yourself to a new pair of running shoes without realizing that they’re not the right ones for your feet.
Not your fault, you didn't know!
But have you ever thought about how many miles your running shoes have actually done, and how worn down they’ve become?
You see, I often tell my patients to replace their running shoes for every 600 miles that they do. And I know that sounds like a lot! But when you run regularly, you’ll be surprised just how easy it is to build that many miles up!
So, if you’re suffering from the mysterious calf issue that comes out of nowhere, it may just be down to your favorite pair of running shoes.
So what can you do to finally put an end to the pain?
Get yourself something custom made, especially for you, that supports your feet 100 times better than any pair of running shoes you’ve owned – A pair of custom Orthotics.
You’re probably wondering what they are…
Custom foot Orthotics ARE the most accurate non-weight bearing molds of your feet.
They’re designed to control alignment and function of your feet in order to treat and prevent injuries – this means that when you wear them while running, your feet are completely stable and supported so they never roll inwards or outwards, meaning no risk of triggering off an injury.
So my big tip is this: Take a look at your running shoes. How long have you been running in them for? If it’s been years then now is the time to get yourself a new pair and consider getting your very own pair of custom Orthotics, to reduce the likely hood of the bothersome calf strain from coming back once and for all!
Dr. Tony Tanzi: Physical Therapist, Triathlete, Runner, Performance Coach