National Senior Health & Fitness Day

Today is the 30th National Senior Health & Fitness Day®. National Senior Health & Fitness Day® is an annual health and wellness event for older adults. More than 100,000 older adults will participate in local health events across the country to promote the importance of regular physical activity, and to improve the health of older adults in their communities.

As we age, managing the everyday activities of daily living can become challenging. Some seniors may start the day off slow with stiff joints in the morning. Your range of motion, flexibility, or joint pain may limit you from reaching to grab the day’s clothes from the closet. The muscles in our legs can grow weak from sitting in a chair or resting majority of the day. A great way to keep our bodies functioning, reduce the risk of diseases, and prevent accidental falls is by moving and staying active.

Fitness and physical therapy work closely at times to help individuals pursue the highest quality of life possible.  Both can consist of exercises for strengthening and stretching as well as activities to improve function and safety.

While the pair work well together, their goals and purpose differ a bit. Fitness is a lifestyle to be pursued and enjoyed. It is a long term and generalized strategy for the life of the individual. Therapy is a short term, specially designed plan to address specific limitations or deficits. Everyone has the need for fitness and wellness. Not all may need the specialized services of a skilled therapist, but it is important to know how fitness and rehab services work together.

Fitness and exercise play an important role in achieving wellness, which can be defined as the state or condition of being in good health. Fitness can assist with your physical wellness by strengthening our bones, muscles, and joints to maintain mobility and range of motion as well as the strength to participate in your favorite activities. Exercise can be performed individually and/or in group settings. Many seniors opt to participate in classes to not only enjoy the health benefits but also to enjoy the social aspects of participation with their peers. It also helps that motivation! Studies have shown that thirty minutes to an hour of exercise a day will help manage weight, improve mental health, boost thinking skills, and prevent the risk of future heart failure.

Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy are medically indicated to address deficits that would occur in day to day living.  Therapy is typically ordered by a patient’s physician. A therapist will perform a thorough evaluation which may include strength testing, range of motion measurements, and posture analysis for example. These findings will then be weighed alongside the medical history of the patient to establish a treatment plan to meet the patient’s goals and reduce the deficits found in the evaluation. The plan will often include exercises to be performed at home to add to the treatments in the clinic to further the progress of the patient. During treatment from a licensed therapist, the patient will be closely monitored to ensure safety and effectiveness during treatments.

It is important to stay physically active throughout our lifetime. Fitness is beneficial to everyone at any age. Attending regular fitness classes is one way to stay in shape and have that camaraderie with your friends. And have no fear, rehab services are there if you have an injury, aches or pains, or having trouble completing activities in your daily life to help you get back to those activities that you enjoy.

Johnny Bass, PT, DPT, and KaShaun Jenkins, Fitness Specialist, work together in Senior Living assisting residents in their daily lives.  Both have extensive experience working in the geriatric setting with the senior population.  KaShaun keeps residents in their community  fit and active and Johnny is available for any physical therapy needs they may have along the way.

The Truth About Menopause and How Pelvic Health Physical Therapy Can Improve Your Quality of Life

Physical therapists are musculoskeletal experts and should see menopause as an opportunity to use their skills to help women ease this life transition.

Menopause is a normal part of aging and is defined as the point in time 12 months after a woman’s last menstrual cycle. It generally occurs between the ages of 45 to 55 and can last for seven to 14 years. It can also be caused by a hysterectomy or surgical removal of the ovaries. Menopause can result in hot flashes, trouble sleeping, pain with sexual intercourse, incontinence, moodiness, and depression.

As a pelvic health therapist, I often treat women who are menopausal for urinary incontinence, constipation, pain with sex, pelvic organ prolapse, and pelvic pain. These women generally have pelvic floor dysfunction, which occurs when the pelvic floor muscles are not working optimally. Pelvic floor muscles function like a sling between the pelvic bones and provide support for the pelvic organs, stability for the lower back, and sphincter control for the bladder.

Let’s look at each of these concerns associated with menopause to determine how pelvic health physical therapy can you achieve your desired goals and return to daily tasks without limitations.

Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is not caused by menopause. As a woman ages, if her pelvic floor muscles are weak it can result in urinary incontinence. Many women experience leakage of urine with a sneeze, cough, laugh, while lifting, or with exercise which is called stress urinary incontinence. If urinary leakage occurs with an urgent event on the way to the toilet it is defined as urge urinary incontinence.

When a patient has both stress urinary continence and urge urinary incontinence it is called mixed urinary incontinence. Many women may also state that they have difficulty emptying their bladder, which can be related to increased tension in the pelvic floor muscles.

Pelvic floor muscle training can be an effective way to eliminate urinary incontinence and allow a patient to resume all desired activities. Typically, a patient can see improvement in one month and with consistent performance the results can be long-lasting. A pelvic health physical therapist can evaluate you to determine if you need to relax or strengthen your pelvic floor muscles to regain bladder control.


There can be many causes of constipation. It is common to experience constipation during menopause due to shifts in hormones, but it can also be related to side effects of medications, lack of physical activity secondary to fatigue and arthritis, fluid intake, and diet. Over time with excessive strain people can develop tension in their pelvic floor muscles making having a bowel movement more difficult. With excessive strain you can also put more pressure on the pelvic organs. If the pelvic floor muscles are weak, this can lead to prolapse. Seeing a pelvic health therapist can help you determine if your muscles are tightening versus relaxing with a bowel movement to reduce strain and prevent additional concerns.

Pain with Sex

With a decrease in estrogen, women can experience vaginal dryness, irritation, and pain with sexual intercourse. The use of vaginal lubricants (which are available without a prescription) can decrease friction and increase your tolerance. The use of vaginal moisturizers can help improve or maintain vaginal moisture, especially in women who have vaginal atrophy or thinning of the tissues.

Pain with sex can also be caused by low back and hip pain secondary to limitations in range of motion for positioning. A pelvic health physical therapist can perform manual therapy to ease tension and pain, prescribe exercises to increase range of motion and flexibility, and educate you on self-care techniques for desensitization to improve your tolerance.

Pelvic Organ Prolapse

With the loss of estrogen during menopause, there is a weakening of both pelvic floor muscles and vaginal tissue leading to a sensation of heaviness. This weakening can result in a prolapse of the colon, uterus, or bladder into the pelvic canal resulting in pressure and pain.

Women who have had at least one vaginal birth are 50% more likely to experience a prolapse which may or may not be symptomatic. A pelvic health physical therapist can evaluate you for pelvic organ prolapse and also determine if you have pelvic floor muscle weakness to assist you in gaining strength to further support your prolapse and prevent worsening of your symptoms.

Weight gain can also contribute to pelvic organ prolapse. Weight gain is common during menopause as the loss of estrogen results in redistribution of weight to your abdomen. Exercise can become uncomfortable leading to lack of physical activity. A pelvic health physical therapist can also assist you in creating an exercise routine focusing on gaining not only pelvic floor strength but core and hip strength to assist with an improved tolerance for both daily tasks and exercise.

Pelvic Pain

There are many causes of pelvic pain. It can be related to inflammation, infection, or trauma. It is generally caused by a combination of things. A pelvic health physical therapist will evaluate your pain for your pelvic region externally but possibly internally if consent is given to determine the cause.

Again, with menopause there is a depletion of estrogen causing the tissues to thin and get more easily irritated. Pelvic organ prolapse can also lead to sacroiliac joint pain which is pain located in your lower back to buttocks. A pelvic health physical therapist can assist you in eliminating this pain with manual therapy, exercise to strengthen the pelvic floor, core and hips for stability and stretching as needed to reduce tension. They can also educate you on proper body mechanics to reduce strain with your daily tasks including those for your home, work, sports or with exercise.

It is never too late to seek out a pelvic health physical therapist to assist you with these concerns. They can create a plan of care designed especially for you to achieve your goals during this transition. They will help you to determine which type of exercise will allow you to achieve your best outcome. Exercise has been shown to improve a person’s quality of life and help them to achieve an ideal weight which can lead to both a decrease in the severity and length of their menopausal symptoms.


Amy Hauerstein is a Physical Therapist who specializes in Pelvic Health in the outpatient clinic setting.  She has extensive experience and combines her passion for wellness with physical therapy, addressing the physical and emotional limitations of men and women.  Over the past 20 years, Amy has lived all around the US working as a physical therapist in a variety of healthcare settings. Three years ago, she changed the focus of her practice to pelvic health. She started taking courses with the APTA’s Academy of Pelvic Health and received her CAPP-Pelvic in July of 2021.  She enjoys working in this specialty and seeing first-hand how much Pelvic Health can improve someone’s quality of life.

Meet Carroll Nelligan

Tx:Team turns 40 in 2023!

Founded in 1983, Tx:Team will celebrate a big anniversary in May, 40 years in business. Because it is such a major milestone, we felt we should celebrate this achievement throughout the year.

Thank you to all Tx:Team associates throughout the decades for his or her part in our success.

Meet Carroll Nelligan, President and Chief Operating Officer, and hear her story of her time with Tx:Team:


Ask an Expert: My Speech is Fine, Why Do I Need to See a Speech-Language Pathologist?

My speech is fine, why do I need to see a Speech-Language Pathologist?

A Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) works with individuals from birth to end of life while focusing on swallowing, voice, communication, and cognitive disorders as well as enhancing speech skills.

An individual may be referred to a SLP because:

  • Their voice is not as strong as it used to be and they are unable to communicate with loved ones at a family gathering.
  • They may begin to experience difficulty while chewing their favorite food and/or coughing while drinking a glass of water.
  • They may have difficulty recalling the birthdays of their family members.
  • They are unable to express their thoughts to participate in a meaningful conversation.

A Speech-Language Pathologist aims to enhance an individual’s quality of life to participate in daily activities that require more than just their speech.


Johanna Ebbs, MS, CCC-SLP, LOUD® Certified

Speech-Language Pathology…Because Communication is Important

May is National Better Hearing and Speech Month, which is an opportunity to raise awareness about not only communication disorders, but also the treatments available.

Millions suffer with brain fog, difficulty eating and drinking, and general speech and language problems – and these issues were only amplified in the years following COVID.  These problems can affect a person’s quality of life. Speech Language Pathologists treat a wide range of disorders in both adults and children. With early identification and intervention, clinicians can help to improve communication, increase confidence, and help patients return to the activities and daily life they enjoy.

Many people aren’t aware of how a speech-language pathologist can help.

Speech-Language Pathology, or what is commonly known as Speech Therapy, assesses and treats speech disorders and communication problems. It helps people develop skills like comprehension, clarity, voice, fluency, and sound production. Speech Language Pathologists, or Speech Therapists, can treat childhood speech disorders or adult speech impairments caused by stroke, brain injury or other conditions. Speech-Language Pathologists work with their patients to identify areas for improvement and work to develop each patient’s individual goals.

Speech therapy offers skilled treatment designed to assist and restore speech and language problems caused by illness or injury that may affect:

  • Cognition, comprehension, memory
  • Swallowing and other oral motor problems
  • Communication and hearing
  • Expression

Does Speech Therapy make a difference?

Adult patients can improve the quality of life with speech therapy after a stroke or traumatic injury as well as those patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease or Alzheimer’s. For children, speech therapy is most successful when started early and practiced at home with a parent or caregiver.

Some of the speech improvements that patients experience are a louder and clearer voice, better speech intelligence, a more natural rate of speech, and more robust facial expressions.

If you or someone you know could benefit from Speech Therapy, find a Speech Language Pathologist in your area.  Why?  Because communication is important.