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Can PTs Give Nutrition Advice? 

Can PTs Give Nutrition Advice? 

Doctors of Physical Therapy are experts of movement and healing: but can they offer nutritional counseling? Many clients ask us such questions. This post serves to elaborate on this topic and more…

Dr. Wells Speaking with Dr. Robin Roth: Hyatt Naples, Tues Feb 26 at 6pm

Come and check out Dr. Roth and I speaking on health and nutrition next week at the Naples Hyatt. Walk away with new research and health tips to make 2019 a better year. Click the link below to learn more and register for free. Naples Daily News Physical therapy

#health #Naples #physicaltherapy

Does California Cause Cancer, or Just its Coffee?

Does California Cause Cancer, or Just its Coffee?


A California judge recently ruled that some stores must label coffee as potential cancer-causing because it contains a compound known as acrylamide ( The unfortunate reality in this situation is that the defendants of the case, the coffee industry, did not have an opportunity to really express the potential health benefits of coffee. Research has shown that coffee is a strong antioxidant, reducing the risk of some neurological decline and Parkinson's, as well as promoting GI motility, which may reduce the risk of gut cancer. Large epidemiology studies show that coffee may even reduce the risk of death by roughly 6-15%, with consumption up to 6 cups per day. As such, does coffee really cause cancer from acrylamide?

Very unlikely. If there is any industry the California government and lawyers should be attacking it would be the potato chip and French fry manufacturers. Potato chips and french fries have the largest concentration of acrylamide ( Analyzing a report from the FDA, it shows coffee to report ~90 parts per billion (PPB) on average in most coffees. Meanwhile potato chips and french fries stack in at ~300 to 400 PPB. Of course, the acrylamide level referenced in the court case may have been higher than 90 PPB, but shouldn't there be a sign warning for potential cancer on the package of your potato chips or menu for twisty fries? The big issue here is we're just discussing one compound, acrylamide. The cancer caused by alcohol and meat seemingly get a pass.There are countless carcinogens out in the world…should California have a sign posted on its borders as you enter: this state is known to cause cancer?

New Health Model for PTs: Wellness and Prevention

Insurance physical therapy at your hospital or local clinic is steeped in tradition: find the one problem, focus on it, and fix it. The services are reimbursed based on a fee-for-service model. The more care the more payment that is given, regardless of outcomes or future setbacks. Physical therapist's (PT) education skews also towards the model of problem-based learning, exam, and intervention. Lost in the mix of the insurance and educational maelstrom is the patient: what other issues are lurking, how do they address the "whole" patient and not just the one body part or pain, and how can they continue living healthy and happy?

Fortunately a new model of PT practice emerged. The Health-Focused Therapy Model (HFPTM) promotes PTs to recommend notions like smoking cessation, regular physical activity, and even nutrition, when/where appropriate. Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham produced the new model which hopes to only enhance what PTs currently offer.

Your Doctors of Physical Therapy at Wells PT embrace, endorse, and put into practice the Health-Focused Therapy Model of care. From smoking cessation, exercise interventions, physical activity promotion, and nutritional counseling, Dr. Wells and Lauzon want the best for the whole YOU -- not just your knee or shoulder. Use the Contact tab on our webpage to set up your consultation today for the best Physical Therapy you've ever had.


Arthritis: Exercise and Food for Your Joints

More than 80% of older adults over the age of 65 have some form of osteoarthritis, also more commonly known as arthritis. In fact,  arthritis has more than doubled in the last 50 years! How did we get to this point? Is it just a matter of better Imaging or are we actually seeing a change within our bony structures? More importantly what can we do to prevent the continual growth of osteoarthritis within our population?

The answer lies within several studies that were published recently. Epidemiologists and researchers going back and measuring our skeletons of our ancestors have shown that physical exercise and activity have been a integral part of our lifestyle and bodies. With modern technology and changes to our lifestyle we have become less agrarian and less active. As a consequence our bones and bodies have changed. We have gained a little bit more weight, or joints have not gotten used to not being used, and we suffer from other ailments related to changes within our diet. In a study just this year in the Journal of American Medical Association shows that weight gain and lack of physical exercise is probably the biggest driver for inflammatory arthritis.

Studies show that the current American diet promotes inflammation and can actually worsen arthritis. Several studies show that those that are on a plant-based Mediterranean style diet have less inflammation and are less likely to have osteoarthritis. From excessive fat, excessive meat consumption, and pro-inflammatory processed foods help to drive arthritis.

Some of the best things that we can do for arthritis include exercise and lifestyle changes. The exercise that can offer the best benefit typically involves strengthening the muscles around the joint. For example for knee and hip arthritis, exercises that strengthen the upper thigh muscles and hip muscles has been shown to improve strength, function, and pain. Another component that can greatly help physical therapists and patients alike, is a drastic change in Foods consumed. Adopting a plant-based diet will likely offer the biggest anti-inflammatory benefit for those with arthritis. In addition a plant-based diet will confer benefits for the heart, blood sugars. Diabetes, body weight, and mental health.

So, as you're considering getting a steroid injection, surgery, or even a joint replacement, consider that exercise and diet probably have a bigger role in treating your arthritis than the traditional medical model. Because in the end, with the exception of joint replacement, there are no other truly evidence-based treatments for joint arthritis. Contact us today to schedule a consult for our physical therapist to evaluate you and provide you with a maintenance Physical Therapy Program specific to your arthritis needs.


Gluten: Friend, Foe, or Just Food?

Unless you have been living under a rock the last 5 years, the gluten free movement has produced massive shifts in product lines, menus, and people. Gluten, a protein, found in wheat has been around for thousands of years. How did it go from an essential food, in some areas of the world, to a eschewed substance of inflammation and disease?

Let us start first with facts: gluten allergies occur in less than 1% of the population. Those allergic can have skin rashes, intense gut pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and malnutrition. A researcher studying children in Belgium after World War II saw these findings in young kids after their country went from near famine to feasting on poinds of bread. Shortly after, the substance gluten was isolated and taken out of their diets to improve the kids' symptoms: it worked and so started the investigations that lead to celiac disease.

Celiacs disease is an inflammatory bowel disease due to gluten. The gold standard diagnostic test is a gut biopsy. Celiacs disease is autoimmune in nature; the body attacks the gut as gluten passes through after consumption. Celiacs was well-known in Europe for decades, perhaps due to its identification in Belgium. In the United States, little was known about celiacs, let alone gluten, save for the last decade and a half. The question that remains with many: can you have gluten sensitivity and not an allergy?

Many doctors and researchers are binary regarding gluten's issues. Some strongly feel that gluten wrecks havoc on your gut, promotes inflammation, and can promote other diseases like obesity. Unfortunately, the studies for such notions are limited in scope, small in size, or flawed in their methods. In many studies, participants are given doses of isolated gluten to eat, which is unrealistic given we eat whole foods. As we eat whole wheat bread, for instance, any inflammation boosted by gluten is more than negated by the whole wheat's anti-inflammatory properties such as vitamins, fiber, and sterols. Moreover, several studies have highlighted how taking out a whole grain products, like wheat, can negatively impact your heart disease risk, gut, and blood profile. Gluten free (GF) options tend to be low in fiber, higher in sugar, and cost 3 times as much as regular products. As such, going GF may not be a best option for you. Regardless, people will still state they feel better without gluten, or at least moderated gluten consumption. This makes sense, as if you ate any food excessively you likely with see several side effects. Eat 2 bags of broccoli and you will likely have gas and bloating from the sulfur.

Why do TV doctors, oddball neurologists, some dieticianss, and even a few PTs recommend all their patients avoid gluten? Misinformation perhaps, or simply it is popular. Do the right the thing: ask questions, seek answers through testing and elimination dieting, and enjoy this great Freakanomics podcast: The Demonization of Gluten