Dietary Supplements: What PTs Need Know

By Dr. Sean M Wells, DPT, PT, OCS, ATC, CSCS, CNPT, NSCA-CPT, Cert-DN

Three out of four Americans takes some form of dietary supplement every day. From multivitamins to weight loss supplements, the list of dietary supplements is long and the associated costs can be substantial. Physical therapists (PTs) work with a wide range of patient types, many of whom are actively taking supplements for health, to slow aging, or in hopes to reverse a disease state. Obviously these supplements must have some positive impact on our health, right? Doctors of physical therapy (DPTs) are becoming more holistically trained to understand the role of nutrition and dietary supplements: despite this, the answer to above question is convoluted and may even surprise you.


Dietary supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. This is vastly different than the drugs that many of our patients are taking. The lack of regulation should be a mainstay reason why...

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Did the Concussion CPG for PTs Go Far Enough?

 Image Puzzle Brain by Raquel Mela CC by 1.0

By Dr. Sean M. Wells, DPT, PT, OCS, ATC/L, CSCS, NSCA-CPT, CNPT, Cert-DN

Last month the Journal of Orthopedic and Sport Physical Therapy (JOSPT) published a lengthy Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG) specific to physical therapy and concussion management. Here's a link to the authors' summary. The authors of the CPG offered a long list of references, well-thought out discussions, and clear evidenced-based recommendations. However, our team at Nutritional Physical Therapy feel the CPG did not go far enough for physical therapists (PTs). 

Managing patients with concussions, or mild traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), involves a multidisciplinary and multi-faceted approach. Concussions involve disruptions in cognition, planning, executive function, balance, physical performance, speech, vision, and even sleep. As such, the authors do a fabulous job outlining the need for PTs to screen for cognitive, vision, speech, and sleep issues....

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Turmeric or Curcumin?

Which is better and what is turmeric and curcumin?

Turmeric is root much like ginger. I can be ground up and used as delicious spice. It is often used in Indian dishes and has been linked to a reduction in inflammation, diseases, and possibly improved longevity. What's the potential activity compound in turmeric? Curcumin.

Curcumin is refined and processed from tumeric. One gram of turmeric may only contain 0.02 grams of tumeric! That's not much. Some studies highlight the benefits of using supplemented tumeric, such as improvement in arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases, and rheumatoid conditions; however, other studies still highlight the perk of turmeric root. Other compounds in the turmeric may be responsible.

It may be best to stick with the whole root of turmeric, even though studies are highlighting the benefits of curcumin. For one, turmeric is cheaper than curcumin. Second, turmeric is processed in order to get turmeric, so other compounds that may be beneficial are...

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