As cold weather arrives, do you notice more people sniffling and sneezing? Let’s look at a common health myth that is appropriate for our fall season: The common cold is caused by being cold. Your mom may have told you, “Put on a sweater or you will catch your death of a cold!” Most folks now realize that the cold is caught from a virus, not from ambient temperature. The cold viruses, or rhinoviruses, are passed through physical contact or proximity to infected people. Infected people can share their germs through coughing and sneezing.
So, science disproves that old myth that temperature creates illness. Those miserable sore throats, runny noses, and headaches are caused by the viruses themselves.
Mom may not have been entirely off base with her association, though! Cold viruses enter the human body through the nose. This is where our snot comes to the rescue, bundling up the viruses into an easily swallowed package that can be dropped into the caustic cauldron of the stomach where acid quickly degrades it. However, when we breathe cold air through our noses, the cooler temperature slows down the movement of the mucus. Since the snot cannot race to your rescue, the virus is more likely to enter the body through the mucus membranes and make you sick.
Also, cold viruses cannot survive high temperatures. Cold weather is the preferred climate for rhinoviruses, and they can flourish in autumn temperatures for a longer time. This improved survival rate increases the probability that a cold virus will be successfully passed from individual to individual.
So this myth is partially true – cold weather can increased your susceptibility to catching a cold from a virus by impairing your natural mucus defenses and boosting the survival rate of the virus.
Margo Burette, PT, DPT
Physical Therapy from the Patient Perspective
Nick Rinard is not only a colleague whom I hold in high esteem, he is also my physical therapist! I’d like to share with you 5 things that I found interesting about my experience being a patient at our clinic:
- The verbal reference scale for pain: It is very difficult to assign a quantitative number to pain level! Pain is such a variable experience, that reducing it to a 2 or a 4 just doesn’t completely describe the character or behavior of the symptom.
- Assigning a score to functional difficulty: I was stumped when Nick asked me to rate the difficulty of a daily task. I now understand why so many patients struggle to respond concisely to the question.
- The power of touch: Trusting someone to handle your painful body part can be daunting. However, I found the confidence and surety of Nick’s steady hands to be very reassuring. I was able to quickly relax and allow him to passively move my ankle and foot.
- Listen before acting: I had to direct my mind to an attentive listening mode rather than an anticipatory listening mode. By this, I mean that if I was constantly attempting to guess what Nick’s next instructions would be, I was keeping my mind occupied instead of open. Being a physical therapist, I had to step away from my usual role of planning the care, and instead actively listen so that I could follow Nick’s lead.
- Expect greatness: Before seeking help, I had been limping around for two weeks stubbornly trying to ignore my pain. I was skeptical but hopeful that Nick could help me. I should have expected greatness – by the next day, I was already noticing positive improvements in my gait!
Thank you for your help, Nick! You are the physical therapist of choice for this physical therapist!
Margo Burette, PT, DPT
As the end of the year is quickly approaching, NOW may be the BEST time to get the treatment you need for your aches and pains! With an average number of visits of just 6-8, you can likely complete treatment before the end of the year (when most insurance deductibles renew). Call 503-244-6232
From Wisconsin to Oregon: A DPT Students Perspective
My journey to the Oregon began in early August as I traveled from the Midwest town of La Crosse, WI. As a graduate student in any physical therapy program you are expected to perform at a high academic level every day. This didn’t change when I began my 4-week clinical at the Nick Rinard Physical Therapy clinic.
I began my time with Nick in a whirlwind. We started with a full head of steam and never looked back. Each patient was treated with special attention and an individual plan of care. Patients came in to see Nick for every ailment under the sun and there was always something that Nick was able to give the patient, even if it was just information that no medical professional had ever told the patient. I was amazed at the results Nick was able to achieve with his approach to physical therapy, using the mechanical diagnosis therapy. His approach puts the tools of treatment in the hands of the patient, and the results speak for themselves.
Each day has been a new learning opportunity, leaving me with tools to use in my future practice. I am very grateful for this opportunity and the time Nick has taken to answer my questions and challenge me to be the best future PT possible. As a future physical therapist, I would highly recommend the Nick Rinard Physical Therapy Clinic. These clinicians have the experience, skill, knowledge and care that go above and beyond what is expected. If you find yourself stuck with pain, lack of mobility, or just need a medical professional to explain what’s going on Nick Rinard Physical Therapy is the first place you should go.
Patrick Griffith, SPT