• Advances on Physical Therapy Devices

    Advances on Physical Therapy: Devices

    For most individuals, the probability that an assistive device may be needed seems very unlikely. Walking, and basic movements like getting out of bed, in and out of a car and climbing up the stairs are some of things we take for granted. As one gets older, muscles and joints tend to degenerate, resulting in aches and pains.

    The fact is, you may need to use a cane / walker or other assistive devices at some point in your life. Age­ related pathologies like osteoarthritis or sudden traumatic injuries can lead to difficulty with daily tasks.

    Physical therapy is an important part of the rehabilitation process. Physical therapists advocate the use of assistive devices as part of their treatment especially when patients experience decrease in mobility and restricted function.

    Assisted walking devices help patients perform daily activities in a pain free manner, and also improve mobility. Assisted walking devices include, but are not limited to, canes, walkers, and crutches. Physical therapists often prescribe such devices following a detailed assessment of the patient's deficits and requirements.

    Tips on How to Use Assisted Walking Devices

    Here are important tips on how to get the most benefit out of use of assisted walking devices:

    Crutches

    Crutches are used by individuals who need stability and support in the lower body. When using crutches, ensure that they are of the right length and they comfortably sit under the armpit. Sufficient upper body strength is important for balance. Your physical therapist will identify the best walking pattern for you, and will train you to use the crutch correctly.

    Walkers

    Walkers are generally used by individuals with balance impairments. Elderly patients often use walkers to reduce the risk of falls. The key to using a walker is to ensure that it is of the right height and that the patient does not stoop down too much to support himself or herself. Most walkers have an adjustable height option. Some walkers allow adjustments for patients to climb stairs as well. The key is to hold firmly and to lean forward slightly while using a walker.

    Cane

    A cane also helps individuals struggling with balance. A 'quad cane' has four anchor points and provides a high level of stability. In general, the cane is held on the dominant, stronger arm to support the opposite side, but your physical therapist will make that determination. A cane is generally used in conjunction with the movement of the opposite affected leg. Assistive devices serve many purposes, and are not restricted to locomotion alone. They assist the individual to perform day­to­day activities in an efficient manner. For example, an assistive device called a grabber helps patients pick up any objects on the floor. In the bathrooms, a grab bar on the wall can be helpful in assisting patients to stand up from a seated position.

    We Walk the Walk... With You

    The choice of an assistive device is often determined by the physical therapist following a detailed initial evaluation.

    Individuals who demonstrate weakness with one side the body may be prescribed a single point cane. For individuals with weakness in both their lower limbs or those who have suffered from some form of injury, crutches or a walker are generally recommended.

    Physical therapists play an important role in helping patients stay mobile and maintain independence. There is a lot that your physical therapist can do for you.

    With the right treatment approach involving exercise and manual therapy, there is a possibility that you may regain full function without the need for an assistive device. That's how life changing physical therapy can be for you. Contact us today to learn more. We look forward to the opportunity to work with you.


  • Workplace Wellness and Physical Therapy: Is there a Link?

    Change Starts at the Top

    Workplace wellness programs are driven by the leadership of the company. General guidelines to promote workplace wellness include:

    Step 1: Speak with your supervisor, or someone in human resources to request a wellness program.

    Step 2: Obtain approval and support of key decision makers.

    Step 3: Acknowledge and build on any existing wellness initiatives (if they exist).

    Step 4: Conduct a survey among staff members to identify health and wellness preferences

    Step 5: Work with qualified professionals to develop a plan.

    Step 6: Promote and implement the plan.

    Step 7: Implement a monitoring and evaluation tool to assess how the program is working.

    Step 8: Analyze the findings of the assessment to modify the program as needed to ensure it remains relevant and engaging.

    Physical activity programs for the workplace can include:

    • Group exercise
    • Competitive sports
    • Recreational sports

    Individualized fitness prescription can include:

    • Weight loss programs
    • Cardio­respiratory (heart healthy) programs
    • Nutrition and healthy eating plans

     

    Workplace Wellness and Physical Therapy: Is There a Link?

    The average person spends eight (8) hours or more in the workplace. Occupational hazards and risks are prevalent in a work environment, especially one with prolonged periods of sitting.

    A healthy and productive work environment is a benefit for the employee and the employer. From an early emphasis on safety and injury prevention, the focus for employers is gradually shifting towards fitness and longevity.

    Risks to the health and well­being of the workforce include:

    • Accidents
    • Injuries
    • Musculoskeletal pain and discomfort related to poor ergonomics at the workstation
    • Weight gain and obesity (a result of sedentary jobs)
    • Heart and lung related diseases

     

    Let Us Help You Set Up Your Wellness Program

    Healthy and happy staff members are a valuable asset to any company. Improved well­being leads to higher job satisfaction and improved retention rates. There is a direct correlation between high productivity and a healthy and fit workforce.

    When designing or adopting a workplace wellness program, invite a physical therapist to be a member of the planning team to ensure that a wellness profile is conducted for all employees.

    A physical therapist can indeed help improve health and productivity at work. Ask your management to contact us to discover the benefits of physical therapy. If you are in a management position, we can start with an assessment of the ergonomic environment in your company. Call us today to learn more.


  • The Role of Physical Therapy in Music

    Treatment of Snapping Hip Syndrome

    The treatment of snapping hip syndrome involves a combination of physical therapy, traditional medicine, and at times, surgery.

    Physical Therapy: The use of 'Hydration, Ibuprofen, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation' (also known as HI­ RICE) provides the patient with temporary relief in the acute stages. It is best to consult with a physician before taking any medication to rule out allergies and associated side effects. Expert supervision by the physical therapist is essential for gradual healing of the affected regions.

    Traditional Medicine: A physician may recommend prescription medications for pain relief and reduction of inflammation. Corticosteroids injections are commonly prescribed. Talk to your physician about which medication is best for you.

    Surgical Interventions: If a structural anomaly is causing the problem, surgery may be needed. In general, surgery is the last resort, when traditional medicine and physical therapy have failed. After surgery, physical therapy plays a critical role in the restoration of strength and flexibility.

    If you believe you have snapping hip syndrome, and HI­RICE does not help, reach out to your physical therapist.

    The Role of Physical Therapy in Music

    Snapping hip syndrome, also called dancers' hip, is a snapping sensation or popping sound heard in the hip while walking, flexing or extending the limbs. This condition can cause discomfort and pain. The good news is that this can be resolved with physical therapy.

    Causes

    There are several different causes of snapping hip syndrome. These include, but are not limited to:

    1.Extra­articular (outside the joint structure) causes. This occurs on the lateral (outside) or medial (inside) aspect of the knee.

    2. Intra­articular (inside the joint) causes. This occurs when there is a tear or presence of loose bodies inside the joint. This can cause effusion (fluid) buildup. This causes the snapping hip syndrome.

    Symptoms

    • Discomfort in the hip
    • Stiffness
    • Pain
    • Snapping or popping of the hip with some movements

     

    Diagnosis and Treatment

    A careful clinical examination and manipulation of the hip joints is completed by a physical therapist. Some of the diagnostic tools include:

    • Ultrasound
    • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

     

    Snapping You Back Into Action!

    Physical therapy provides exciting possibilities to promote strengthening, healing and rehabilitation of the hip and lower limbs. Here are some of the options in the arsenal of the physical therapist:

    • Ultrasound to heal connective tissue (tendons and ligaments).
    • Manipulative therapy that includes stretching and massage.
    • Resistance training to build the muscle strength.
    • Cold compress for acute injuries and heat to relax muscular spasms.
    • Low level laser use for muscle and connective tissue injuries. Functional electrical stimulation to restore strength in the muscles.

    The sooner the therapist assesses the injury and initiates treatment, the better the outcome. Some home remedies that the physical therapist may prescribe include:

    • Active stretching
    • Passive stretching
    • Strengthening exercises
    • Light aerobics

    Don't let snapping hipping syndrome (or any hip condition) hold you back from freedom of movement. Call us today, and we will help you snap back into action as quickly as possible. We hope this is music to your ears!


  • The Importance of Physical Therapy on Women's Health: All You Need to Know

    Healthy Aging for Older Women

    Specific actions need to be taken to ensure healthy aging for older women. Physical therapy can help identify (and eliminate) risk factors for falls and fractures. Regular strengthening and weight bearing exercise can slow down the reduction in bone density as women age. You may be asked to visit your physician to learn about the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy. Screening for calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12 deficiency is also recommended. Pelvic floor dysfunction and incontinence can also be treated with physical therapy.

    Here are some of the conditions (some of which tend to be more common among women) in which physical therapy can play an important role:

    • Osteoarthritis
    • Osteoporosis
    • Breast and other cancers
    • Rehabilitation following breast surgery
    • Lymphedema
    • Post­menopausal heart disease
    • Chronic myofascial pain
    • Patellofemoral pain syndrome
    • Hypermobility syndrome
    • Multiple sclerosis
    • Sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction
    • Fibromyalgia
    • Ailments unique to female athletes

     

    Physical therapy helps reduce discomfort and recovery before, during and after pregnancy. Pregnancy related issues include heel pain (plantar fasciitis) and associated aches and pains.

    The Importance of Physical Therapy on Women's Health: All You Need To Know

    Ever since the #1 New York Times bestseller entitled "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus" by John Gray was published, more and more people have asked the question "What makes men and women so different?". Gray's use of analogies and metaphors to highlight key differences between genders has made the book a modern classic.

    Although Gray's work was focused on relationships between spouses, it is important to understand that there are several physical and physiological attributes that are unique to women, and physical therapy plays an important role in women's health.

    Three functions in particular are unique to women. These are menstruation, pregnancy, and lactation. These functions are intricately tied to complex hormonal patterns in women, which also influence behavior.

    Some of the fundamental physical differences between men and women include:

    Men have more muscle mass than women.
    Women tend to have a higher proportion of body fat than men. This fat is generally stored in the breasts, hips and buttocks.
    Men tend to have more body hair (especially facial hair)

    Physical therapists understand the physical differences (and unique needs) of the female population and are uniquely qualified to assist women to live healthy, pain­free lives.

    Physical Therapy and Women's Health

    Exercises and techniques to treat issues specific to women include:

    Muscle retraining – This creates body awareness (how you get in and out of your car, how you bend to pick things up, how you sit, overall posture, etc.) and improves movement patterns. Kegel exercises to strengthen weak pelvic floor muscles in addition to Pilates can be very beneficial.

    Exercise Therapy – helps improve mobility, strength, and endurance. This also strengthens bones and joints.

    Modalities – Application of heat and/or ice, electrical stimulation therapy, and massage therapy to reduce pain, stiffness, and swelling.
    Manual therapy – helps improve joint and soft tissue flexibility and mobility by using repetitive and specific hands­on movements and motions.

    Every physical therapy program is different and is customized to the patient's needs. Women have unique physical and physiological attributes that physical therapists take into consideration. In fact, a section of the American Physical Therapy Association is dedicated to specialization in women's health.

    Physical therapy can make a difference to every member in your family at some point. Give us a call today, and ask us about what we can do for you.


  • Quality of Life for Children

    Improving Quality of Life for Children

    Physical therapy helps restore quality of life for adults and children.

    Gentle stretching exercises and manual techniques are used to gradually increase the length of the muscle fibers. Such treatment techniques reduce pain, increase movement, improve posture and prevent the deterioration of this condition.

    A well­known form of exercise for children with torticollis is called 'tummy time'. The child is encouraged to spend more time on its tummy. This promotes core strength and helps stretch the muscles in the neck.

    A physical therapist will also work actively with caregivers and parents. Parents are made aware of what is required at home. A coordinated approach enables the child to receive the right care 24 hours a day.

    The goals of physical therapy in treatment of torticollis

    The primary objective is to increase movement in the neck region. In essence, the child should be able to tilt the head side to side, rotate the neck, look up, and touch the chin to the chest. Restoring posture in the head and neck region also helps with balance and normal development in weight shifting methods such as sitting, standing and walking.

    How Physical Therapy Can Help Children with Torticollis

    Torticollis is a clinical condition characterized by tightening of the sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle on one side of the neck, resulting in the tilting of a child’s head to one side. It can occur due to abnormal positioning of the baby within the uterus or due to injury to the SCM muscle. It may also be associated with other conditions affecting the skull, neck and spine. Over time, torticollis can result in permanent shortening of the muscles and may require surgery, so it is best to treat this condition as quickly as possible.

    The condition is usually diagnosed in the first 3 months after the birth of the baby, and treatment should be initiated as quickly as possible.

    A physical therapist is a licensed expert in the musculoskeletal system and can put together a treatment program for conditions involving the bones, joints and muscles. Physical therapy plays an important role in the treatment of children with torticollis. The therapist will prescribe a variety of exercises to help strengthen the muscles of the neck and treat torticollis.

    Helping Your Entire Family

    To get the best outcomes as quickly as possible, children need to feel comfortable and safe in a treatment environment. A physical therapist can make the treatment experience fun and rewarding for your child using the right environment, tools and language to make your child receptive to the activities involved in recovery. All this can be achieved while measuring progress and achieving milestones. The result ­ your child gets better, faster.

    Parents play a big role in the treatment process. The right home environment includes positioning devices such as neck pillows, blankets and foam wedges to facilitate symmetrical positioning of the head and neck. Correct positioning of the child during day­to­day activities, active stretching techniques and careful monitoring for signs of regression are important responsibilities for parents. The good news is ­ you are never alone as a parent. Your physical therapist is always here to help.

    Physical therapy is an important part of our lives, for children and adults. Your physical therapist has an arsenal of treatment options such as stretching, strengthening, manual techniques and more. Call us today to learn more. We can help you, your child and your whole family.