Recovering from injury at any age: what you should and shouldn’t be doing

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COLUMBUS – Recovering from an injury can be frustrating at any age but as people get older, the recovery process can become more critical.

10TV talked with Tim Varughese, physical therapist and manager of clinical services at the OhioHealth McConnell Heart Health Center about what is most important.

Maintaining balance

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“If by the time you get to age 60, if you commit to walking daily; either a mile or two miles a day, it’s going to help with your cardiovascular health and your flexibility and lower extremity strength but it’s also going to help naturally maintain your balance,” Varughese said.

Maintaining balance is key preventing injury and recovering from injury but it doesn’t come without work, Varughese said.

“People tend to lose strength as they age because they're not as active and they're not exercising as much,” he said.

It’s a “myth” that people naturally lose strength as they age

“If you continue to do regular exercise and continue to commit to your fitness, you’ll maintain a lot of your muscle mass as you age,” Varughese said.

But while keeping the back and hips mobile through exercise is important, sometimes it is what people are already doing that can cause more harm than not, Varughese said.

Posture

“We see a lot of back pain in the 30s and 40s because people are either sitting at the desk a lot or doing manual labor where they're bending and lifting,” he said. “Or spending a lot of time with childcare; picking kids out of the crib, kids up off the floor, carrying, baby carriers, that type of thing can all put stress on the lower back.”

So along with exercise, one fix that could make a world of difference across the entire body is simply adjusting posture.

“If you sit at a computer a lot, you’re looking at a monitor, you spend most of your day there, you’re naturally going to start to come into more of a rounded posture,” Varughese said. “Or you have too much curvature in your mid back and your shoulders start to roll forward.”

But when is it time to seek help?

One sure sign that it’s time to check in with a doctor is when pain can be felt before even starting the day.

“Having pain first thing in the morning when you wake up should be a yellow flag to you and should make you take note,” Varughese said.

Interested in learning more?

Join Molly Brewer and OhioHealth physicians at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium tomorrow, Tuesday, June 4, for the second HOOFit walk of the season.

In addition to learning about the animals, those attending the walk can learn all about recovering from injuries at any age, all while getting steps in for the day.

The walk kicks off at 9:30 a.m.

Sign up by clicking here.