Blog | Functionize Health & Physical Therapy | Atlanta, GA

Mastering the Art of the Back to School Meal Routine

Healthy meals for school

The lazy days of summer always seem to pass by too quickly, especially here in Georgia, where our kids go back to school in early August. Summer is technically still in full swing!  Having grown up in the Northeast where we didn’t start school until after Labor Day, I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to this routine, even after being more than 12 years in! No matter when school starts, there’s something about a new routine that’s always welcoming.  I personally like to view it as a reset of sorts. An opportunity to incorporate new rituals, get rid of…

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The Rules of Backpacks

BackpackBlog

I Love You, Beautiful Nerds: The rules of backpacks Every year more than 40 million kids from elementary through high school carry their books and other supplies to and from school in a backpack. For younger children, this may be the only time they use their backpacks, but middle and high school aged children may carry a backpack to and from every class. Although carrying a backpack may seem harmless enough, these heavy loads may lead to back, neck, and shoulder pain. Additionally, during this time of growth and adolescence, children’s bodies are forming and changing, and the physical stresses…

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Pain Truth or Myth: Do You Need to Get an MRI Before Seeing a Physical Therapist?

Do you need an MRI before you go to physical therapy

As the school year begins, summer vacations are coming to an end. Chances are, you or someone you know may have had a flare up of back pain while traveling, trekking beach gear down the boardwalk, or engaging in weekend warrior shenanigans. Believe it or not, each year 15% of the population has their first episode of back pain, and over the course of our lives a whopping 80% of us will have back pain at some point. We see these episodes all the time in our practice and the first question we often receive during an initial visit is,…

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Oh My Achy Adipose

Oh My Achy Blog

“The doctor says if I lose weight it will take pressure off of my joints.” “I need to lose weight, otherwise I will wear down my cartilage.” These are phrases we hear from patients all the time. And while these statements are not inherently false, they are also not wholly true either. Consider this example: Person A is 200 lbs, they are 6’0”, they are 50% muscle mass with 20% body fat. Person B is 200 lbs, they are 6’0”, they are 35% muscle mass with 35% body fat. Person B will suffer from osteoporosis, tendinopathy, and osteoarthritis, and conditions…

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Help or Hinder: Posture Correcting Devices

Help or Hinder: What Will This Gadget Do? A blog series dedicated to covering products that promise relief. – Series Introduction + The Neck Hammock – Posture Correcting Devices Look, I’m just going to jump right in. Not to be dramatic, but bad posture is just as harmful as smoking ~50 packs of cigarettes per day.  OK, so maybe I’m being a little dramatic. Bad posture isn’t THAT bad, but it truly is often the root cause of many issues- I’m not just talkin’ the obvious neck/low back pain. Poor posture can contribute to the dreaded “pooch,” headaches, jaw pain,…

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Prebiotics and Probiotics 101

Prebiotics and Probiotics 101

An Overview of the Bugs in Your Gut, and How You Can Cultivate a Healthy Microbiome There’s a lot of discussion and evolving research about gut health, the human microbiome, and the pre/probiotics that play a leading role in nourishing a healthy gut lining.  But, the topic of prebiotics and probiotics can be incredibly confusing and overwhelming. What are they? Why do we need them? What foods are good sources of these? Can you get what you need from food alone, or do you need a supplement? Let me help you break it down, and hopefully you will feel a…

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Stretching vs Foam Rolling: Which is better and when to do what

Summer is warming up….are you? I know it’s hard to carve time out of your busy day for a workout, so it is easy to want to skip the warm-up and cool-down in an attempt to squeeze as much workout into as little time as possible; especially if you “aren’t injured.” But, whether or not you are managing an injury, and regardless of your current exercise and activity routine, spending a few minutes before and after your workout on a good warm-up and cool-down can seriously reduce your risk of getting hurt AND will also increase the effectiveness of your…

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Grow Tall (& Watch Your Pains Magically Disappear)

I have a little secret to tell you:  I’m watching you from afar, determining why your posture is a little off or what aches and pains may be causing your altered gait pattern. This is a problem, I know. It’s not obsessive, just clinical- I swear!  As a physical therapist, my eyes are trained to see even the slightest limp in your walk or wince in your face when you move awkwardly.  One of my pet peeves is how poorly we prioritize our posture. As the summer heat has hit Georgia full force, I’ve been spending more time at the…

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Swim Smoother, Not Harder

“Right now you swim like a bull in a china shop. By the end of this season I want you to be a Jedi.” This is what Jonty Skinner, my coach and once the world’s fastest swimmer, said to me during one of my first practices with him. Having learned body awareness and principles of speed I had never fully appreciated until I was under his guidance, I transitioned from a Padawon to a Jedi throughout the course of that year.  The best part? I wasn’t even having to work as hard physically as I was before. Efficiency within swimming…

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Parkinson’s and Daughters

Parkinson's and Daughters

“It’s not fair!” “You’re right. It’s not fair. Life isn’t fair. Baby, the closest to fair you’ll ever get is in my house.” Truly, my mom has always done her best to make good on that reply, one I heard many times as “it’s not fair” is somehow the battle cry of spoiled children everywhere. My life has never been fair; I’ve had it much better than many. Despite my sage wisdom and crystal clear hindsight at the ripe age of 29 (yes, I’m being sarcastic- don’t jump down my throat just yet), the spoiled brat still living within me…

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