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All of us know of parents, grandparents, neighbors, anyone that comes into your mind that you have noticed a change in their posture over the years.  Is this now happening to you? Maybe?  Changing posture is a very insidious occurrence.  We don’t physically notice the changes until we can no longer reach high up in the cabinet for that special bowl we need.  Or, our lower back becomes stiff from sitting for even as much as 20 minutes. Or we can no longer squat to the ground as we were once able.  Or turning your head as you back up your car is now either stiff or painful.  You then develop alternative methods because you can no longer perform these movements.  Why is this?  Losing the range of motion in any one joint causes changes and alterations in many other areas in your body that you are not aware of!    This is especially true when there is not a traumatic event to associate the changes with.  Let us review a few reasons why this occurs and then a few methods to combat the soft tissue changes that ultimately change our posture.

Soft Tissue Has Power!

Normally, we do not think of our soft tissues has having power, but they certainly do.  Fascia, the newest accepted organ of the body is meant to be strong, elastic, and slide and glide as we move.  It has a covering, whether thick or thin, over every part and parcel in our body.  Fascia is strong and is known to have contractile powers, yet not eccentric abilities.   Eccentric means the ability for a tissue, as in muscle to contract, yet become long at the same time. This means that fascia once contracted repeated over time may have the tendency to want to remain in the position.  This is one reason that creates abnormal forces on tendons and joints.   With this being said,  static postures that is your worst repetitive motion, awkward postures, highly repetitive motions without rests, unexercising, incorrect food intake, emotional stressors, all together form to create changes within your body that you cannot detect until;  until you cannot turn your head normally until you cannot squat to the floor normally until you cannot reach high into the cabinet for the bowl, and until you feel that stiffness upon standing when only sitting for 20 minutes.   All of this changes your posture.  Now you may notice that increased thoracic curve if looking in the mirror, or your shoulders are so far forward, you have these indents between your pecs and collar bones.

Regain Your Power Over Your Soft Tissue!

I am not the pessimist or fatalist.  I am heralding a trumpet call for any individual that really wants to create optimal changes in their body.  Even if you have Parkinson’s, you can maintain optimal postures for much longer periods of time.  My husband is proof of this.  What are some methods to create changes for an optimal body posture?  It does demand commitment of daily work, 5 – 10 minutes.  Your diligence will pay off.  Will the changes happen quickly?  It takes the time it takes.  The more time you put into this the faster the results.  And, no, the results are not permanent.  This is a lifestyle change.  First, you want to take a baseline of where you are in your joint motions:

Since pictures are worth a thousand words, here are movements that are considered normal and you should strive for:

  Thank you SFMA for this picture!

These movements should not cause pain!  Do not attempt if you already know you have joint movement challenges in any of these areas.  This is meant to bring to your attention how malleable we can still become.


Many of us have challenges in one or more joints.  Choose the least restricted joint and begin to slowly use a dynamic movement, rather than a prolonged stretch, to increase the range of motion.  Laying down is a great method to use for neck, shoulders, hips, knees, and low back.  Remember, this is how babies begin to increase their range of motion and strength; they are laying down first because they do not have the trunk control sit up.  So,  babies begin by wiggling and jiggling, and discovering a hand, a foot, and work on that movement.  They do not know they are exercising and increasing in the range of motion along with muscle strength and control.

The best method is to contact a professional to educate, teach, and empower you to optimize your soft tissue so you have power over your soft tissue!


I received an email from staples the other day. The first bold statement read:

There’s no way to spin it. The right chair really matters

That made me think.   There is no way to spin it, it is not the right chair, but the worker’s movements at the workstation is what really matters!    Solutions to developing an optimal work station, although the topic may appear marginally easy, during a Kaizen event, actually, the process incorporates several areas, engages several employees, requires a determined group work to devise a moldable methodology that is easily changed to fit the needs of the employees.  All of this is dependent upon materials that the human eye cannot see, nor a human can detect:  the tissue movement inside the human body.   Technology advances in the past 20 years are now affordable to view what human muscles are doing or performing.  Most importantly, how does relative tissue movement affect their overall movement, flexibility, and strength.  Dysfunctional movements dramatically increase risks for soft tissue injuries in the most insidious approaches that the employee has no awareness of until the stiffness, soreness, or injury occurs.

The caveat to this ongoing endeavor is not truly fitting the workstation to the worker but monitoring the internal tissues of every employee.  A workstation may be corrected revised and transformed, yet this does not change how the internal tissues will behave.  For instance, once adhesions develop, a new and more amenable workstation for an employee will not reduce, resolve, remediate the internal adhesions that were generating the employee’s symptoms, to begin with.

Workstation analyses must include several methods to include soft tissue motions that can neutralize the effects of postures, repetitions, overuse, awkward postures that, at times, cannot be changed in a workstation.



Clients arrive with typically more than one internal soft tissue problem that they are not even aware of.

Challening client?

Any physical therapist, occupational therapist, chiropractor, massage therapist all experiences a client where the client’s symptoms of stiffness, lack of range of motion, and/or pain, is not resolving as quickly as the therapist originally intended.  Although the reasons are multifactorial, using a bidirectional tension on the skin during the client’s specific movement in a shorten range may certainly change the “game”, so to speak in reducing your client’s symptoms.  Below are some bullet points to consider:

  • Be specific of your hand placements. This means to know fascial lines and where muscles and tissues overlap, are next to each or under each other.
  • Apply your tension in the direction your hands will want to follow. Not much compression, for that, increases discomfort and increases unwanted resistance in the tissues.
  • Begin with the client performing a shortened range of motion movement, or better yet, have the client perform the actual movement that creates the problem.
  • Do not allow the client to experience pain. Some discomfort is typical, but certainly no pain.
  • Too much compression will cause bruising. This is what a manual therapist does not want to create.
  • After one to three passes, ask your client to perform the movement. Is the movement the same, better, or worse. Do not worry if it is worse, you can be onto an area that requires the technique.

Beginning the journey to move at your desk every 15 minutes means quality and pain free!


Add more physical ability for your client in less stiffness, a better range of motion, and optimal movement patterns in fewer visits.

Using Semg in a Physical Therapy Clinical Setting

There are many companies now producing wireless Semg units.  The software program is the bulwark of the unit.  If the software is limited, then the measurements, reports and knowledge gleaned will also be limited.  Monies spent on purchasing Semg has a cost at the front end, with good units costing in the range of $65K – $80k.  These units will also do more than just show Semg and video, as these units have the capability, using sensors in elastic bands that show avatar skeletal movement in real time as the client is moving.  Investing in a multi-functional unit  that establishes muscle firing patterns, video in real time, and how the skeletal component of the person is moving as a whole is the power to solving many patients’ frustrations.   The dynamism of these multi capable devices hones in on muscle firing patterns, whether normal or aberrant and increases just how the person is compensating using a skeletal avatar.  The treatment of the patient is more focused with dramatically better outcomes that are longer lasting.

Imagine this Semg concept as comparing two types of telescopes: a cheap telescope and a telescope that costs thousands of dollars.  Envision now you are viewing through the less expensive telescope.  You view one star.  Now viewing that same star through the more expensive telescope, you see that there are really 2 stars. This is because the more expensive telescope has a higher resolving power.  This is what multi-functional Semg units are capable of.  These machines allow the user to see more clearly to what is happening with their client’s movements.   Our naked eye does not have this ability.  Nor do physicians of any specialty.

Physical therapists are keenly aware of the multitude of movement compensations that are a result of life experiences, disease processes, past surgeries, where tissue adhesions prevent normal tissue motion.  No one is exempt from this process.  When a patient walks through our doors, there is an expectation level higher than most therapists realize.  Yes, therapists have a specific knowledge base that encompasses listening, watching, treating, and then re-evaluate to examine if the patient’s symptoms are less with less movement compensations.  Even the most talented of therapists can only advance so far; human abilities have a limit.  Our eyes can only see a limited amount.  Our hands and fingers can only perform to a certain level.

To further illustrate, why cannot humans see through skin.  That would certainly make our job easier.   It is because tissues are “highly scattering, which means that light waves careening through the tissue instead of straight through, as they would through the tissue of that jellyfish, explains Changhuei Yang of the California Institute of Technology.” Feb 13, 2008 (Yang, 2008)

Our fingers can only feel to a point.  Why? Yes, some manual therapists have a more acute feel when touching; again, this can only progress so far.  The way humans and objects are made, or engineered, our capacity to touch, literally, into a person, is not a capability yet.  Quantum mechanics may say maybe, yet scientists have not figured that out yet.

BACK ON TRACK: Multiple Uses of Semg in the Clinic Setting

Young client with difficulty toe touching. Semg revealed hamstrings firing to the point that toe touching was difficult. One verbal cue increased reach by 6 inches and less compensation at the T spine!

Technology is advancing at an exponential rate; the time is now to begin to use this equipment and catch up to other industries. I am bulleting a list of the usefulness of Semg in a clinical setting, and you can certainly add to the list.


  • Post-surgical: a multi-functional Semg unit yields objective evidence valuable for the therapist, patient and certainly, the surgeon.  Semg can view how, post-surgery, “sleepy” muscles can increase firing capability with more specific movement exercises to awaken the weakened or “sleepy” muscles.  Remember, one size fits one.  Best evidence of exercises is not for everyone, or most, or some.  Each movement must be tailored for that patient.  Semg allows for increased efficiency with time in choosing which movements are best that week (Physical Performance Solutions, 2019) (T. G. Balshaw, et al., 2017).
  • Chronic pain patterns: typically, an area where someone experiences pain, may not be the source.  There is pain, but Semg often shows other areas, where, when manually therapy is applied to these other areas combined with specific movements, the original pain begins to wane.  This is not saying that the original pain the patient is coming to you with does not need attention.  Semg does often show Mohammad Pouretezad, et al. (2018). Effects of cognitive loading on lumbar flexion relaxation phenomenon in health people, that other tissue regions of the body are large contributing factors (Peacock, 2018).
  • Re-injuries: This is what sports research has shown therapists.  That the common denominator of athletes is the re-injury.  I take this personally that I have not performed my best to optimize all tools prior to that athlete returning to their sport.
  • Early Intervention Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention: Employees do not want to become injured at work or at home. Our current information is clear that soft tissue adhesions can create altered movement patterns, abnormal torque forces on joints and more (David Marcarian, 2008) (Mohammad Pouretezad, et al., 2018) (Sergio Fuentes del Toro, et al., 2019).








Before: Worker carries 75lbs of plywood into container.  Semg shows how much muscles must work









After 2 minutes of verbal training, the worker is able to easily slide the 75 lbs. of plywood with less muscular effort!

  • Work related injuries: Semg multi-functional units can detect much more than the original reason why you are treating the worker (Physical Performance Solutions, 2017).  Often, the worker injury is a time bomb of multiple compensations, comorbidities, that lead to that one incident.  Some research suggests that for low back pain injuries, current chiropractic and physical therapy treatments may not be best for the worker (Jason Busse, et al., 2014).  The use of Semg will again hone in areas that require attention, or the risk of re-injury or surgery inevitable (GULSAH KINALI, et al., 2016).
  • Return to work: here Semg can either be used to determine fit for work (Physical Performance Solutions, 2018), or for the employee returning to work from an FMLA.  This is powerful; our documented evidence is 100% effective when using this type of technology for return to work.
  • FCE: not many clinics offer Functional Capacity Evaluations. For those that do, this is the perfect form of determining fears, remaining dysfunction, and a better objective evidence during the test of how the employee functions at a physical level.

Take Home Point

Our allied health profession is in desperate need of advancement to the current technologies that is offered.  When considering the outpatient clinic budget, one must begin to think how best we can efficiently, effectively, and affordably treat patients with the fastest and long-lasting outcomes.   To consider Semg multi-functional equipment, doing with less therapeutic equipment and sacrificing the fancy sign is a strong consideration.  There are so many methods to developing your loyal client base for referrals when you can truly demonstrate how quickly patients heal as the equipment performs the majority of where to go.  Patients co-pays are increasing, so, to treat them for six, eight, or more sessions are not typically financially possible for them.  The goal is to educate thoroughly, treat, test and retest.


Semg multi-functional units are for now, not a few years from now.



David Marcarian, M. (2008). Validity of Surface EMG Testing. Surface EMG and Validity.

GULSAH KINALI, et al. (2016). Electromyographic analysis of an ergonomic risk Factor: Overhead Work. J. Phys. Ther. Sci., 28: 1924–1927.

J Phys Ther Science, Jun; 30(6): 744–747. (n.d.). Jun; 30(6): 744–747.


Mohammad Pouretezad, et al. (2018). Musculoskeletal disorders early diagnosis: A retrospective study in the occupational medicine setting. Journal Phys Ther Science, Jun; 30(6): 744–747.

Peacock, L. L. (2018, December 9). Left QL firing less creates increases in right lateral lean with right leg stance. Aiken, SC, US: Physical Performance Solutions.

Physical Performance Solutions. (2017, March 25). Right Shoulder: Partial Tear: Semg determines better movement strategies. Physical Performance Solutions. Evans, GA, US: Physical Performance Solutions.

Physical Performance Solutions. (2018, June 25). Return To Work: Left Shoulder Pain from Lifting. Physical Performance Solutions. Waynesboro, VA, US: Physical Performance Solutions.

Physical Performance Solutions. (2019, December 22). Post Operative Knee Replacement Movements and Strategies. Documentation from PPS. Aiken, SC, US: Physical Performance Solutions.

Sergio Fuentes del Toro, et al. (2019). Is the Use of a Low-Cost sEMG Sensor Valid to Measure Muscle Fatigue? sensors, 19, 3204; doi:10.3390/s19143204.

  1. G. Balshaw, et al. (2017). Reliability of quadriceps surface electromyography measurements is Improved by Two two vs. single site recordings. Eur J Appl Physiology, 117(6): 1085–1094.

Yang, C. (2008). New Technology Makes Tissues Transparent. Retrieved from Science Daily:


Surface electromyograpy, Semg, helps to determine an employee’s symptoms as real or not

All organizations have a certain percentage of employees that seem to have many physical complaints.  Often times the employee attributes various symptoms that they are experiencing to one or more job tasks that they are performing at work. This is nothing new, and is quite common in all organizations. Therefore, many safety managers and healthcare nurses become perplexed whether these symptoms are real or not, or is it really the job tasks that are a large contributory factor.  Ergo assessments cannot positively say whether or not the employee’s symptoms are true, nor can taking video.  Especially when the worker keeps up with work demands and pace.   Unfortunately, some employees obtain a dubious reputation because of their various complaints to the company.  If these symptoms are truly being experienced when the employee is performing the job tasks that they report this is a problem.   And, a problem that EHS, medical, ergonomists, or others within the company cannot solve.  So, often this type of problem fades into obscurity and fingers crossed that the employee will stop their complaints.  Do not take this wrong, nor take offense, because EHS, medical and ergonomists do their best in most circumstances.  Yet, there are so many out liars in the work place, this is where the unknowable problem can be knowable!

At physical performance solutions, we have the ability to use surface EMG, or Semg, that uses sensors applied to surface muscles that actually record in real time as the employee is working and  how the muscles are working. How quickly are the muscles fatiguing is one aspect that is looked at. Another would be activation of muscles how quickly or how slowly are the muscles activating. Other reports that can be generated would be if bilateral activation of the same muscles are being similar or not. This gives the clinician who is experienced with using the surface electromyography a better idea of how to hone in on early intervention of soft tissue massage.

There have been several cases where this has come into play in our interactions with organizations. In one such case an employee had complaints of lateral elbow and dorsal forearm pain. This are of the forearm are where the wrist extensors are located.  The employee would perform the work; and to view the person working, they appeared normal: no compensations, no grimacing, no decreased pace of work performed. If pictures or video of the employee working, all would agree that the job performed  was accurate and very good. However, the employee always had a particular complaint on certain aspects of the job. Yet no one in the company believed the complaints, other than to think they wanted to work elsewhere in the company.  We were asked to perform Semg while performing the job tasks that apparently were aggravating the symptoms.   We applied the sensors to the back of the forearms on both sides to watch left  and right and allowed them to work. The sensors are wireless and we don’t need to be right on top of the employee while they’re working in able and able to record what is taking place. What we noticed in fact, what she was reporting was actually true.  The muscles that were symptomatic were fatiguing at such a quick rate the employee wasn’t even aware of it. In other words the muscles were fatiguing at two or three minute intervals into the work., However she did not feel the weakness and soreness that were her complaints until around the seven minute mark into that particular job.

So using artificial intelligence such as surface electromyography becomes extremely in the workplace why?

  1. Using Semg can help separate true complaints from possibly other complaints that may have nothing to do with the work job tasks at hand.
  2. Using the Semg also helps the clinician on site that is experienced with soft tissue massage techniques to restore the tissue motion. It is the lack of tissue motion and increased tissue density that occurs which creates these types of symptoms in individuals.
  3. Therefore the use of EMG not only hones in on the problem, the clinician can quickly resolve the problem by either the massage work or by restructuring how the individual is working at the workstation. That is for another blog.

This photograph is showing the person beginning to work. Obviously the picture is grayed out for respect of the company. What we want to focus on are the bars on the right-hand side of the picture. The bars are representing the sensors that are placed on the individual

What is YOUR take home point?

No longer should organizations be comfortable with the status quo.  Many organizations utilize artificial intelligence, AI, for assembling, engineering development and in the product itself.  Employees the bulwark of the organization and NOW need AI more than ever to reduce soft tissue aberrance developments that cannot be felt until symptoms arise.

Contact us below

Ummm, “Safe Distancing” will not work to prevent employee soft tissue injuries

In light of this pandemic we affectionally (not) call COVID19, safe distancing of greater than 6 feet, (it really needs to be 13 feet), poses many problems for injury prevention in the work place.  Early interventions that include OHSA approved massage is one large factor.  Physical Performance Solutions data continually demonstrates that utilizing first aid massage at the early onset of stiffness, fatigue, soreness, does in fact dramatically mitigate the risk factors for:

  1. Musculoskeletal Injuries
  2. Accidents at work
  3. Decreased Quality of work performed
  4. Decreased and inconsistent production
  5. Unhappy customers
  6. Accidents outside of work
Overly repetitive motions or Static Postures reek havoc on your soft tissue systems!

Any organization’s front line of offense with their mission, vision, sales of products are their employees.  Employees do not realize the danger of soft tissue injuries until the symptoms begin.  By that time the internal tissue adhesions have been developing and expanding for some time. 

How much time we really do not know.  The fact remains, sore, fatigued, and employees working with a degree of pain will not be your best employee for the simple reason they are more focused their soreness and symptoms than the job task at hand.  Then the question becomes what is the ratio of work to home blame on their symptoms?  By the time an employee spends money and the company health insurance to see a doctor, a lot of soft tissue compression, cellular hypoxia, aberrant muscle firing patterns, abnormal movement patterns, and high torque forces on joints and tendons have been in existence for a long time.  At this point your front line of offense is becoming defenseless!

The aforementioned list at the beginning of this informational paper is a small one, for there are a multitude of cascading effects when employees are sore with soft tissue adhesions, old injury scar tissue and the like.   There can be in place, now, measures that can allow for close contact and also mitigate the risk of contracting COVID19 without having to be tested.  For, actually, if you were tested today, found to be negative, and then went to the food store, what is there to say you cannot become infected then?  There is no guarantee with  a negative COVID test that you will not contract it the next day!  Yet, maintain social distancing, the new buzz word is not acceptable in many professions.  Especially in the workplace.

With this in mind, it now becomes what methods to use to be able to continue early interventions, onsite physical therapy, work station analyses with Semg, and movement retraining?   Here are a few suggestions:

  • Use disposable massage waterproof table covers for each client
    • Costly yes, but the risk reduction is worth it!
  • Use of nitrile gloves.  At least 6mm or thicker for the person performing the massage, work station analysis or movement retraining.  The thickness allows for the use of a Clorox mixture that will destroy anything, yet that will not destroy the gloves quickly and thereby protecting the hands after touching clients or other materials.
  • Masks:  this is a big one, since N95 masks are difficult to come by.  There are N99 and others that can be purchased and worn by the clinician.  For the client or employee several dense material that can be made at home can be sufficient.  For when the clinician is fully protected, they will not spread any virus/bacteria to the client. 
  • Continued use of hand washing. We suggest 30 – 50 seconds due to the more time spent in rubbing hands, the greater the friction that also causes break down of the virus/bacteria.  This is followed by excellent rising and thorough drying of the hands.  Residual wetness can still  harbor bacteria or viruses, so ensure that your hands are COMPLETELY dry.

So, do not forget your employees – your first line of offense!  Practice early intervention with the proper sickness prevention techniques and your organization will sore to new heights!

Surface Electromyography: the AI to transform optimal movement and worker injury prevention!

Surface electromyography, Semg, has been in existence for a number of years. It is recently now gained attention and respect of many professional sports teams, college teams and others that wish to hone in on why they are moving they way they do.  Abnormal movement can be created by a host of issues that most often are not occurring at the location where your pain or weakness is experienced.  Using Semg can determine muscle firing patterns and aberrant firing patterns that you are not aware of.  Here is an example of someone that works in packing for export, and moves 75 lbs of 4’ x 8’ pieces of plywood several times a day.  NIOSH would probably look down on that, however, this is the reality of many industries that export via trucks, and shipping containers.  This is a fact of life, yet, if one can move better, than less risk of soft tissue break down and injury will occur.  AND, the worker’s physical abilities will remain strong as they age.

By simply using a different and effective techniques, this worker will not have to use as many of his muscle firing capability, thereby, his fatigue rate will lessen dramatically in addition to the aforementioned reduction of several risk factors that are common in physical industries.

And the wonderful aspect of using Semg is that there is no limit on what can be found that the human eye, camera, ergo assessments will never pick up. 


Below we determined the percentage of decreased muscle activity from simply changing how the worker moves the awkward plywood.  The percentages are outstandingly wonderful for the worker.

Every sensor demonstrated a dramatic improvement via less muscle activation to perform the same job, just a different way.

Call us at 803-275-7675 to have us help you create a safer work environment!

Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

Copper and it’s effects on virus and bacteria destruction

It’s funny how as technology increases, we quickly forget God’s methods to reduce, destroy, and protect harmful organisms from human and animal sickness and death.  Do you remember the saying, “they were born with a silver spoon in their mouth.” ?  Do you know where that stems from?    Although the use of silver for plates and utensils dates back thousands of years, the expression born with a silver spoon in their mouth dates back to the early 19th century.  It was well known that certain metals had anti viral and anti-bacterial affects, so using and cooking with these metals became common for the wealthy.  New born babies of wealthy families had made silver spoons, often bearing the family crest on the handle. This increased the survival rate of newborns. Of course, too much ingestion of silver creates the condition argyria that turns the skin a blue-gray color, hence the term, “blue bloods!” (Pruitt, 2018).  

The real subject today is about copper: Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu (from Latin: cuprum) and atomic number 29. It is a soft, malleable, and ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. A freshly exposed surface of pure copper has a pinkish-orange color. (Wikipedia, 2020)  It is essential to all living organisms as a trace element that serves to assist in a multitude of functions.  It too has strong disinfectant abilities.   Although there are only conjectures as to how copper kills certain bacteria and viruses, we know that because of its two valence electrons, it reacts possibly to create H2O2, hydrogen peroxide, well known to kill many bacteria and viruses in minutes.  Below is a chart from a 2011 study on the killing effects of copper with bacteria and viruses.

We do know that copper does kill COVID19.   This is why we are reporting on it as well.  A report in Smithsonian Magazine, writer Jim Morrison interviewed and researched copper’s disinfectant properties and potential uses.

 “In 2015, Keevil turned his attention to Coronavirus 229E, a relative of the COVID-19 virus that causes the common cold and pneumonia. Once again, copperzapped the virus within minutes while it remained infectious for five days on surfaces such as stainless steel or glass.” (Morrison, 2020)

Therefore, if using even a portion of copper into other elements of bed rails, hand railings and other surfaces, the decrease in spread of disease and saving of lives and the saving money (not having to treat so many sick people) is tremendous.

Yes, copper is not cheap to purchase, but the value in places such as hospitals, restaurants, other publicly and frequently handled surfaces as in public transportation have a form of copper on the surfaces. Apparently, the CDC is not totally convinced that this expenditure will reap the reported outcomes. However, study after study reveals the same result: copper is extremely effective in killing bacteria and viruses quickly.


So, do we now run out and replace counter tops of marble and granite with copper?  Purchase copper discs to keep near to rub our hands on it?  Suffice to say that even how powerful copper is, this is not a substitute for the good old fashion hand washing, and plenty of it! But keep some pennies in your pocket to rub them around!


(2020). Retrieved from Wikipedia:

Morrison, J. (2020, April 14). Why Copper Is Good at Killing Viruses | Science | Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved from Smithsonian – Science:

Pruitt, S. (2018, August 22). A New Golden Age for Silver? Helping antibiotics fight powerful drug-resistant bacteria is only the latest non-monetary use that humans have found for silver throughout history. Retrieved from History:

Tara, R. (2020, March 20). Copper Kills the Coronavirus on Contact, so Why Isn’t Copper Everywhere? Retrieved from Engineering:…

Viruses and Bacteria: do we really know the differences? Part 1

Photo by CDC on Unsplash


So, what are bacteria?      Bacteria are microscopic, single-celled organisms that thrive in diverse environments. These organisms can live in soil, the ocean and inside the human gut. (Vidyasagar, 2019) We hear of “good bacteria” and “bad bacteria”.     Bacteria mostly self reproducing organisms, (key word is mostly), and some bacteria we know well:  there are the good bacteria, known as flora found in many foods and supplements.

  • Bifidobacteria: species commonly used in foods and supplements
  • Lactobacillus: found in the small intestine, mouth and female genital region
  • B. animalis: found in certain yogurt products
  • L. acidophilus:  found in the small intestine and female genital region

Humans’ relationship with bacteria is complex. Sometimes bacteria lend us a helping hand, such as by those 4 mentioned above.   In other cases, bacteria are destructive, causing diseases like pneumonia and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). (Debra Rose Wilson, 2017)

Most bacteria multiply by a process called binary fission, according to the Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. In this process, a single bacterial cell, called the “parent,” makes a copy of its DNA and grows larger by doubling its cellular content. The cell then splits apart, pushing the duplicated material out and creating two identical “daughter” cells. (Department of Microbiology, 2020)

We do know that in recent years of using anti-bacterial soaps and detergents, certain bad bacteria are now resistant to many used detergents, alcohols, and other bactericidal chemicals.

Photo by CDC on Unsplash


Viruses are much smaller than bacteria and do not reproduce themselves as many types of bacteria can.  Rather, a virus needs a host in order to survive and multiply because the have either DNA or RNA and do not have the capability read themselves, thus requiring a host cell to reproduce. (Vidaysagar, 2016) Once a virus comes into contact with a host , it injects it genetic material into the host, thereby taking over.  Sounds horrible!  Viruses can also lay dormant for long periods of time before becoming active.  Some viruses also, when active reproduce exponentially.


Recent testing around the world regarding COVID19 is a mad rush to arrest this exponentially contagious menace.  Since much of the virus shedding (being the most highly contagious without symptoms) occurs prior to becoming symptomatic, the more the individual comes into contact with people that are contagious without symptoms or the virus lands on surfaces this increases the number of people that can be infected.  (Yates, 2020)

 (Wei Zhang, et al, 2020) have been researching how much of the COVID19 virus a person is infected with determines how sick they become.  “The mean viral load of severe cases was around 60 times higher than that of mild cases, suggesting that higher viral loads might be associated with severe clinical outcomes. We further stratified these data according to the day of disease onset at the time of sampling.’‘ The more infected and sick the patient, the positive test of viral infection remained longer than those with milder symptoms.  This data indicates that, similar to SARS in 2002–03,6  patients with severe COVID-19 tend to have a high viral load and a long virus-shedding period. This finding suggests that the viral load of SARS-CoV-2 might be a useful marker for assessing disease severity and prognosis.

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash


At this time, what are take home points? 

  • Wearing facial nose and mouth protection is very important.  To reduce your risk of inhaling any airborne droplets, that is now know to travel further than 13 feet
  • Frequently keep your hands as clean as possible
  • Change your clothing and shoes when coming home from areas such as grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies; anywhere social distancing is difficult and you don’t know who  was traveling down that aisle before you.
  • Wipe off mail packages and other packaging you intend to bring into the home
Photo by Thomas Kelley on Unsplash


Debra Rose Wilson, P. M.-B. (2017, March 17). 6 Most Common Types of Probiotics. Retrieved from Healthline:

Department of Microbiology. (2020). Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Retrieved from Cornell University:

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