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Another PT Christmas

Happy Friday and Happy Holidays, everyone! Last year, I posted some physical therapist-approved gifts to get that hard-to-buy-for person on your list. I’ve decided to continue the tradition. Here are five more physical therapist-approved gifts. And the best part? Each of these items has a low price, and one only costs your creativity and time!

1. Portable TENS unit. Officially called “transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation,” these handy little units produce gentle electrical currents that massage muscles and nerves via electrode pads placed on the skin. When coupled with an ice pack, you have the ultimate in drug-free pain relief! Just apply to painful areas for 15-20 minutes at a time, as often as you like. While TENS units will often sell for $100 or more, you can purchase one at our office for only $35.
2. Jump rope. Jump ropes are cheap, portable, and perfect for on-the-go, do-anywhere cardio.
3. Kitchen timer. This is a gift that might need to be accompanied by some explanation. Believe it or not, in our clinic we use dozens of kitchen timers all day long. They’re an essential physical therapy accessory. While we typically use them to time exercises and stretches, they can also be used as an activity reminder (set for one hour intervals to remind you to get up from your desk/couch and move around; this helps prevent back pain, blood clots, and other sedentary-related ailments) or a posture checker (set for shorter intervals to remind you to re-evaluate your posture; good for neck and back pain sufferers).
4. Sunscreen. Yes, it’s winter, but let’s not forget that Boise ranks #1 in the nation for skin cancer deaths. Wear sunscreen with SPF 15 or greater. Every. Single. Day.
5. A weekly activity date. It’s one of the most common pieces of advice for those trying to begin or maintain a consistent exercise program – get a workout buddy. But don’t let words like “exercise” or “workout” intimidate you. The idea of a weekly activity date is just to set a regular time where you and your loved one do something active that you enjoy. It can be dancing, cycling, walking – anything you find fun that gets you moving. You can even give them a calendar with your weekly activity dates already marked inside.

I hope you enjoy a safe and happy holiday season with your friends and family! Keep moving, my friends!

– Alan

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