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PT News November 2019

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PT News PTandMe

This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout November 2019. We are excited to begin a new year of new posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

low back pain

1. Low Back Pain – A Powerful Guide

Written by Wright Physical Therapy with multiple locations throughout the heart of the Magic Valley, Boise and Eastern Idaho.

Daily, we see patients who are concerned about the course they should take to heal their back pain.  Our aim with these individuals is to utilize a skilled classification system and evidence-based treatments to aid in identification and treatment of Low Back Pain (LBP). Read more

 

Snow Shoveling

2. Prevent Low Back Pain While Shoveling Snow

Written by Rehab Associates of Central Virginia, an outpatient physical therapy practice with multiple locations throughout Central VA. 

As I was shoveling the snow off my driveway this week, I quickly realized that I needed to adjust my technique or I was going to pay for it later. Injury can result from repetitive movements with a general lack of awareness and variability in movement and may be prevented with some easy steps. Read more

 

physical therapy

3. Relieving Your Pain the Natural Way – Physical Therapy as the Safer Relief Alternative

Written by Cornerstone Physical Therapy an outpatient physical therapy practice with locations throughout Greater Columbus, OH.

It is no secret that the United States is a country with very high levels of medication. It is also a common practice for physicians to prescribe heavier pain relievers, such as the opioids that have resulted in a country-wide epidemic. While the effects of these drugs can be frightening, there is a safer solution available: physical therapy.  Read more

Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!

physical therapy near me

raking injury prevention tips

Raking injury prevention tips

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raking injury prevention tips

It’s Fall again! time for hot chocolate, bonfires and to watch the leaves turn. Our homes are cozier this time of year as we prepare for holidays and the arrival of loved ones. However, autumn does come with some challenges. I know you might be making a list and checking it twice but holiday shopping is not the only challenge to be found this season. One of the biggest challenges is yard work because when those leaves fall its time to rake them. On the plus side  yard work such as raking leaves count as moderate exercise! Now some not so good news: it is actually very easy to injure yourself if you are using improper techniques. The colder weather already puts you at risk for muscle pain- muscles constrict in cold weather and are more prone to cramps and strain. Add to that all of the twisting, turning, bending, pulling, pushing, and reaching of raking. And since these are seasonal activities, you are probably using muscles that may not be a limber as expected. All of these factors can contribute to injury. Common injuries include upper and/or lower back strain, neck pain, and shoulder pain.

Here are some tips to prevent injury when raking leaves and other yard work:

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General Tips:

  • Do stretching exercises before and throughout the course of your yard work
  • Stand as straight as possible
  • Bend at the knees, not the waist, when you pick up things
  • Look into purchasing ergonomic tools. An ergonomic tool is one that has been engineered in such a way that it helps protect you from injury
  • Avoid repetitive twisting and turning
  • Take breaks. This will allow your muscles rest and will minimize strain.

Raking Tips:

  • When raking leaves, use a “scissors stance.” Right foot forward and left foot back for a few minutes, then switch
  • Hold rake handle close to your body and stand up straight
  • Change sides frequently to avoiding overusing one side of your body, but avoid twisting when you pass the rake from one side to the other
  • When leaves are under the rake, pull them straight back towards your body

If you experience a winter injury from raking, fall sports, doing day-to-day activities, etc. please don’t hesitate to find a physical therapist. They will be able to take a look at the injury and determine whether or not physical therapy may be the best choice moving forward. With direct access to physical therapy, you have more control than ever before when it comes to your care.

 Find a physical therapist near you!

physical therapy near me

strength training physical therapy

Strength Training: You’re Not Too Old!

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strength training physical therapy

If you think you are “too old” to do strength training exercises, think again! With proper guidance and support, you can benefit from a program of regular strength-training exercises.

Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle and strength often seen in older adults. Although many questions remain about muscle loss and aging, one thing is certain: strength-training exercises can help reduce these effects. Even small changes in muscle size can make a big difference in strength, especially in people who have already lost a lot of muscle.

BENEFITS

According to the North American Spine Society, strength training can provide the following benefits in older adults:

  • Better balance and, consequently, reduced risk of falls
  • Quicker responses, which may also play a role in preventing falls
  • Reduced risk of osteoporosis (weakening of the bones)
  • Improved quality of life
  • Improved mental alertness

EXAMPLES OF STRENGTH-TRAINING EXERCISES

You can increase your strength by regularly using any of the following:

  • Weights
  • Strength-training equipment
  • A resistance band

 

HOW MUCH AND HOW OFTEN?

The National Institute on Aging recommends the following tips on how much and how often you should do strength-training exercises:

  • Exercise all of your major muscle groups at least twice a week.
  • Do not do strength exercises of the same muscle group 2 days in a row.
  • Depending on your condition, you might need to start out using as little as 1 or 2 pounds of weight, or no weight at all.
  • Use a minimum of weight the first week, then gradually add weight. Starting out with weights that are too heavy can cause injuries.
  • When doing a strength exercise, do 10-15 repetitions in a row.
  • Take 3 seconds to lift or push a weight into place; hold the position for 1 second, and take another 3 seconds to lower the weight. Do not let the weight drop; lowering it slowly is important.
  • Gradually increase the amount of weight to benefit from strength exercises. When you can do 2 sets of 10-15 repetitions, then you can increase the amount of weight on your next session.
  • It should feel somewhere between hard and very hard for you to lift or push the weight. If you cannot lift or push a weight 8 times in a row, then it is too heavy for you. Reduce the amount of weight. If you can lift a weight more than 15 times in a row, it is too light for you. Increase the amount of weight. Do not increase more than 5% for all upper body and 10% for lower body exercises.

 

SAFETY TIPS

  • Talk to your doctor or a physical therapist before engaging in a new exercise program.
  • Breathe normally while exercising. Holding your breath (known as Valsalva maneuver) while straining can cause your blood pressure to go up. This is especially true for people with cardiovascular disease.
  • If you have had a hip repair or replacement, check with your surgeon before doing lower body exercises.
  • Avoid jerking or thrusting weights into position. This can cause injuries. Use smooth, steady movements.
  • Avoid locking the joints in your arms and legs in a straightened position.
  • Breathe out as you lift or push, and breathe in as you relax.
  • Muscle soreness lasting up to a few days and slight fatigue are normal after muscle-building exercises, but exhaustion, sore joints, and unpleasant muscle pulling are not. The latter symptoms may mean you are overdoing it.
  • None of the exercises you do should cause pain. The range within which you move your arms and legs should never hurt.

 

Looking for a physical therapist to help start your strengthening program?

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BUILD THAT BRAWN!

Strength exercises can help increase your strength when performed on a regular basis. Here are some examples from the National Institute of Aging:

Wrist Curl
This exercise strengthens the wrists.

  • Put your forearm on the arm of a chair. Your hand should be over the edge.
  • Hold the weight with your palm facing upward.
  • Bend your wrist up and down.
  • Do this 10-15 times.
  • Repeat with the other hand.
  • Do this 10-15 more times with each hand.

Side Arm Raise
This exercise strengthens shoulder muscles.

  • Sit in an armless chair with your back supported by the back of chair.
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor and even with your shoulders.
  • Hold hand weights straight down at your sides, with palms facing inward.
  • Raise both arms to your side, shoulder height.
  • Hold the position for one second.
  • Slowly lower your arms to your sides. Pause.
  • Repeat 10-15 times.
  • Rest; then do another set of 10-15 repetitions.

Chair Stand
This exercise strengthens muscles in your abdomen and thighs. Your goal is to do this exercise without using your hands as you become stronger.

  • Sit toward the front of a chair, knees bent, feet flat on the floor.
  • Cross your hands over your chest and lean back in a half-reclining position. Keep your back and shoulders straight throughout the exercise.
  • Raise your upper body forward until you are sitting upright, using your hands as little as possible (or not at all, if you can).
  • Extend your arms outward so they are parallel to the floor. Slowly stand up, using your hands as little as possible.
  • Slowly sit back down. Pause.
  • Repeat 10-15 times.
  • Rest; then do another set of 10-15 repetitions.

Arm Curl
This exercise strengthens upper-arm muscles.

  • Stand with your feet even with your shoulders.
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor and even with your shoulders.
  • Hold your hand weights straight down at your sides, with palms facing forward.
  • Slowly bend one elbow, lifting weight toward your chest. (Rotate your palm to face your shoulder while lifting the weight.)
  • Hold this position for one second.
  • Slowly lower your arm to the starting position. Pause.
  • Repeat with the other arm.
  • Alternate arms until you have done 10-15 repetitions with each arm.
  • Rest; then do another set of 10-15 alternating repetitions.

Toe Stand
The heel raise strengthens ankle and calf muscles. You can use ankle weights for this exercise if you are able.

  • Stand straight, feet flat on the floor, holding onto a table or chair for balance.
  • Slowly stand on tiptoe, as high as possible.
  • Hold the position for 1 second.
  • Slowly lower your heels all the way back down. Pause.
  • Do the exercise 10-15 times.
  • Rest; then do another set of 10-15 repetitions.
  • Variation: As you become stronger, do the exercise standing on 1 leg only, alternating legs for a total of 10-15 times on each leg. Rest; then do another set of 10-15 alternating repetitions.

Knee Curl
Strengthens muscles in the back of the thigh. You can use ankle weights for this exercise if you are able.

  • Stand straight holding onto a table or chair for balance.
  • Slowly bend your knee as far as possible. Don’t move your upper leg at all; bend your knee only.
  • Hold this position for 1 second.
  • Slowly lower your foot all the way back down. Pause.
  • Repeat with your other leg.
  • Alternate legs until you have done 10-15 repetitions with each leg.
  • Rest; then do another set of 10-15 alternating repetitions.

Front Arm Raise
Strengthens shoulder muscles.

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
  • Hold hand weights straight down at your sides, with palms facing backward.
  • Raise both arms in front of you to shoulder height. Do not turn your wrist.
  • Hold this position for 1 second.
  • Slowly lower your arms. Pause.
  • Repeat 10-15 times.
  • Rest; then do another set of 10-15 repetitions.

Leg Straightening
Strengthens muscles in front of the thigh and shin. You can use ankle weights for this exercise if you are able.

  • Sit in a chair. Only the balls of your feet and your toes should rest on the floor. Put a rolled towel under your knees, if needed, to lift your feet. Rest your hands on your thighs or on the sides of the chair.
  • Slowly extend 1 leg in front of you as straight as possible.
  • Flex your foot to point toes toward the head.
  • Hold this position for 1–2 seconds.
  • Slowly lower your leg back down. Pause.
  • Repeat with your other leg.
  • Alternate legs until you have done 10-15 repetitions with each leg.
  • Rest; then do another set of 10-15 alternating repetitions.

Back Leg Raise
Hip extension strengthens buttock and lower-back muscles. You can use ankle weights for this exercise if you are able.

  • Stand 12-18 inches from a table or chair, feet slightly apart.
  • Hold onto a table or chair for balance.
  • Slowly lift one leg straight backwards without bending your knee, pointing your toes, or bending your upper body any farther forward.
  • Hold this position for 1 second.
  • Slowly lower your leg. Pause.
  • Repeat with your other leg.
  • Alternate legs until you have done 10-15 repetitions with each leg.
  • Rest; then do another set of 10-15 alternating repetitions.

Side Leg Raise
This strengthens muscles at the sides of your hips and thighs. Use ankle weights, if you are ready.

  • Stand straight, directly behind a table or chair, feet slightly apart.
  • Hold onto a table or chair for balance.
  • Slowly lift 1 leg 6-12 inches out to the side. Keep your back and both legs straight. Don’t point your toes outward; keep them facing forward.
  • Hold this position for 1 second.
  • Slowly lower your leg. Pause.
  • Repeat with the other leg.
  • Alternate legs until you have done 10-15 repetitions with each leg.
  • Rest; then do another set of 10-15 alternating repetitions.

This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

RESOURCES:

Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
http://www.familydoctor.org

National Institute on Aging
http://www.nia.nih.gov

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

The College of Family Physicians of Canada
http://www.cfpc.ca

Public Health Agency of Canada
http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca

REFERENCES:

Exercise & Physical Activity: Your Everyday Guide from the National Institute on Aging. National Institute on Aging website. Available at: http://www.nia.nih.gov/sites/default/files/exercise_guide.pdf. Published January 2009. Accessed January 2, 2015.

Strength training for the elderly. North American Spine Society Know Your Back website. Available at: http://www.knowyourback.org/Pages/BackPainPrevention/Exercise/StrengthTrainingElderly.aspx. Accessed January 2, 2015.

Content provided by EBSCO.  EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation. 

how to choose the right safety shoes

How To Choose the Right Safety Shoes (Infographic)

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how to choose the right safety shoes

In the market for a new pair of safety shoes? Read this guide to find out everything you need to know about how to choose the right safety shoes for your needs.

Why Wear Safety Shoes?

If you work in a hazardous work environment, then it’s important to protect yourself against injury. In fact, 7% of wounds caused by workplace accidents are foot injuries. Yet, data from the National Safety Council reveals that many workers tend to overlook their feet with only one out of four victims of job-related foot injury wearing any type of safety shoes or boots.

Risks to Feet in the Workplace

There are two main types of foot injury that may occur as a result of a workplace accident:

  1. Slips and falls
  2. Trauma e.g. burns, cuts, punctures and impact

Depending on your workplace, your feet may face a range of different hazards. For example, electricians may be at risk of electric shock or those who work in a foundry may need protection against extreme heat. As such, the type of footwear required will depend on the particular risks associated with your working environment.

Choosing Safety Shoes

Like most shoes, you will need to pay attention to fit, comfort and support. Additionally, you will also want to look at the shoe material and the type of protection offered. Before shopping, always consult your employer for specifications and check if there are any specific safety features that you will need.

Learn More About Safety Shoes

This infographic from Walsh Brothers Shoes looks at the most common foot injuries in the workplace and outlines some of the most common risks to our feet in the workplace. It also goes on to offer advice on how to choose a pair of safety shoes that will give your feet the protection they need at work.

Scroll down to the infographic below to find out more.

how to chose the right safety shoe

 

 

PT News PTandMe

PT News October 2019

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PT News PTandMe

This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout October 2019. We are excited to begin a new year of new posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

sport specialization

1. Sports Specialization Vs. Sports Diversification in Youth Athletes

Written by The Center for Physical Rehabilitation with multiple locations throughout greater Grand Rapids.

Early specialization in one sport has become a trend in youth athletes across the country. This shift is one that has young athletes training year round to develop a specialized skill be able to play at the highest level of competition. Read more

 

food is fuel

2. Food is Your Fuel

Written by Rebound Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy practice with locations throughout greater Bend, OR. 

Truth: we are not nutritionists. That said, after a bit of trial and error and working with patients and various health professionals, we have picked up on these and common do’s and dont’s. Lindsey Hagen, PT, and healthy running nut discusses the importance of balance in your diet and making sure you do what is best for your body, as they say, “You do you…” Read more

 

walking up stairs

3. Climbing Stairs – One Step at a Time

Written by The Jackson Clinics an outpatient physical therapy practice with locations across Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa

Although going up the stairs may feel challenging, some people experience more pain going down. This is because your muscles have to work hard to control your weight as you descend. If you have suffered from knee problems in the past or continue to have problems, it is probably time to look at increasing strength to make navigating stairs less difficult. Read more

Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!

physical therapy near me

help parents with their physical therapy

Helping Your Parents With Their Physical Therapy

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help parents with their physical therapy

As our parents get older, they are faced with all kinds of challenges, mostly pertaining to their health. These challenges include reduced mobility and increased pain in the limbs, joints, and muscles, as well as an increased risk of injury.

Many senior adults are in physical therapy to recover from surgery, a fall or other accident. A significant number of seniors will also choose physical therapy as a way to improve their overall mobility and actually prevent falls from happening. If you have a parent who is undergoing physical therapy, here is how you can help your parents with their physical therapy and make the most of recovery.

Be aware of the benefits

If you have ever suffered an injury that has kept you more or less tied to your house for over a week, you know just how frustrating it can be to have a limited ability to move.

Improved mobility is not the only benefit of physical therapy – there is also pain relief. If your parents suffer from chronic pain, PT can help them manage it, or even significantly improve it.

In elderly patients, especially, this kind of improvement can have a tremendous effect on the quality of life, helping them cope with all aspects of life better. As chronic pain often limits the elderly from getting out and about, they can become isolated, and even sink into depression. PT is a great way to help them find relief and improve their life

This is why physical therapy is so important, and why you need to encourage your parents not only to attend every session but also to adhere to the advice and guidelines the therapist prescribes. Even if this is an inconvenience at times – especially in that case – you need to ‘be the parent’ and keep on encouraging them to stick to the prescribed regime. Do what you can to help your parents manage through their PT sessions until the benefits are clear to everyone.

Help them get there

When it comes to physical therapy, one of the biggest challenges for elderly patients, is actually getting from their home to their appointment.

And while they can certainly perform some, if not all, of the exercises at home, it is important that they are seen by a therapist. Professional help is there to monitor progress, make sure that the exercises are performed correctly, correct the exercise plan when necessary, and prevent any injuries.

To help your parents from missing an appointment here or there, the best thing you can do is set up a plan for them to make it to each session. If you or a family member can’t drive them every time, arrange a taxi or an Uber to help them get there. You can even establish a schedule with a specific driver, so you always know there will be someone to get them there. There are also specialized services for the transportation of elderly patients, so you can check them out as well.

Understand what is covered by insurance, and what isn’t

Insurance can be difficult to understand, and you might need to double-check what your parents’ plan will cover, and what is not included. Make sure to inform yourself on the issue well, as there may be certain aspects of therapy that are not covered by the insurance company.

Once you have all the facts, talk to your parents’ PT and their doctor and come up with the best plan that is either covered by insurance, or which you can pay for yourself. Be honest with them about your means, but make sure your parents are getting what is best for them.

Make sure they are safe at home

If your parents have difficulty moving around, you need to make sure they don’t injure themselves further. This can be tricky, as some elderly patients will be stubborn and try to act as if the injury is simply not there.

Try to fall-proof your parents’ home as much as you can. If they need to adjust their bathtub or shower, or the layout of the furniture, help them do that and get rid of any carpets or clutter that might trip them up.

You should also equip them with a walking cane that will help support them while walking around, especially when they are going out of the house. Also, try to help them understand that all these precautions are there to help them, not make them feel less like themselves.

The most important thing you need to keep in mind is that the more you communicate with your parents about their physical therapy, the better you will be able to help them. Talk to them often, and be there when you can – they will appreciate it, even when they don’t say it outright.

Find a physical therapist that is convenient for your family.

physical therapy near me

 

Choosing the Right Physical Therapist

Choosing the Right Physical Therapist

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Choosing the Right Physical Therapist

Whether it be from radiating pain down your leg from a herniated disc, or a frozen shoulder insidiously appearing, physical therapists provide non-invasive treatments that can give patients their life back when pain and dysfunction dominate their day-to-day happenings. Physical therapists manage a wide variety of ailments,
often quickly transitioning between rehabilitation for a reconstructed knee or shoulder, to eliminated debilitating cervicogenic headaches, to helping your newborn infant right their head when torticollis develops. When it comes to choosing the right physical therapist, most people have no idea what qualifies them to manage such a wide variety of diagnoses so efficiently and effectively.

Physical therapists are often considered to be an insurance-reimbursed personal trainer. So many times, patients enter my clinic asking for a “few stretches” so they can get back on their way. Therapy, however, encompasses more than providing patients with a workout. A physical therapist’s knowledge and education provides them with the foundation to not only treat your immediate diagnosis but to identify secondary diagnoses that may have been missed in your initial physician’s examination and to manage all of the concurrent problems that develop during your recovery. To do this, extensive knowledge and understanding of anatomy and all of the body systems is necessary.

Collegiate Physical Therapy Degrees

Physical therapists now need to attend school for a minimum of 7 years. This includes 4 years of prep work for the highly competitive application to graduate school, which tacks on the addition 3 years, at minimum. While in graduate school, a physical therapy student gains extensive knowledge of every system within the body. In addition to the obvious musculoskeletal system, the cardiovascular, neurological, and pulmonary systems are studied at length. This gives physical therapists the foundation for caring for a wide variety of patients including those with cystic fibrosis, acute heart attacks, spinal cord injuries, and ACL reconstructions. Clinical rotations are also fundamental to a physical therapist’s education. 20 percent of the physical therapist’s education is spent on full-time clinical rotations through most fields of practice. At the completion of graduate school, a physical therapist is awarded their degree, qualifying them to sit for the national physical therapy board examination. Some of the most common degrees that physical therapists have earned are:

PT (Physical Therapist)

A bachelor’s degree in physical therapy. This was the degree offered for years before physical therapists could become be licensed.  Colleges and universities then transitioned the program into a master’s degree, which ultimately turned into a  3-year post-baccalaureate degree.

MPT (Masters of Physical Therapy)

A 2-year post-baccalaureate degree that provides graduates with the entry-level education necessary to be eligible for the board examination. This degree is no longer offered, in favor of all exiting students now receiving the DPT degree.

DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy)

A 3-year post-baccalaureate degree that provides graduates with the entry-level education necessary to be eligible for the board examination. The added year in school is meant to provide students with more time in clinical rotations, exposure to business and management practices, and further education in research methods. This degree is now the standard for entry-level education and prepares students for direct access to physical therapy.

Additional Certifications

Much like physicians and nurses, school and learning do not stop when the graduation hat is tossed in the air; school is only the beginning of a life-long education process. Continuing education is the cornerstone of a therapist’s career. New research is always being published and medical techniques are always evolving within the broad field of medicine. Staying knowledgeable of these changes is necessary for a therapist to continue to provide their patients with superior care. Continuing education not only provides physical therapists to further their education on the latest and greatest but allows them to develop specializations in specific areas within the field. While every therapist takes a board exam at the end of school to become board-certified, therapists can also receive additional board-certifications when mastery of a subfield
is obtained. A few of the common additional certifications in the outpatient physical therapy field are listed below.

OCS (Orthopedic Certified Specialist)

A board-certified specialization in orthopedics that is earned beyond the entry-level degree which recognizes advanced clinical knowledge, skills, and abilities
in the orthopedics field. Candidates need to log a minimum of 2,000 direct patient care hours in their specialization field of practice and pass a
board examination to earn the distinction.

CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist)

Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists apply scientific knowledge to improve an athlete’s individual training and performance. They may also make recommendations regarding nutrition and injury prevention. This certification is offered by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

Cert. MDT (Certified in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy)

This certifies a physical therapist in providing mechanical diagnosis and therapy of the spine, a method that has been proven to be both effective and efficient in the treatment of spinal pathologies. This certification is offered through the McKenzie Institute and requires candidates to participate in a four-part certification course, as well as pass a written and clinical examination upon completion of the course.

In an every expanding medical field with alternative treatments growing by the day, it is important to know your professional’s qualifications for their treatments and the knowledge they bring to each individual case. Mastery in a field often requires years of education and years of experience. While your therapist may provide a relaxed environment filled with what seems like simple exercise and manual techniques, he or she brings to your individual situation skills that have taken years to develop.

If you need help choosing the right physical therapist, find a physical therapy clinic near you and ask them about their specialties.  Many physical therapists are proud of their skill sets and will be happy to go over any questions you may have!

physical therapy near me

 

concussion baseline testing

Post Concussion Recovery: Why Baseline Testing is Important

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Concussion Baseline Testing

Concussions are serious

Medical providers may describe a concussion as a “mild” brain injury because concussions are usually not life-threatening. Even so, the effects of a concussion can be serious.

Once an athlete has been suspected of having a concussion… when is it safe to go back to play? The answer is different for everyone, but there are few baseline tests that medical professionals can administer to make sure that a gradual return to play, work and activity is safe and won’t lead to further damage.

When an athlete has a concussion, it’s important to know how much their functional and cognitive abilities have been affected. With a baseline test you give medical professionals an accurate starting point to correctly evaluate the impact of the injury.

FAQs about Concussion Baseline Testing

Concussion baseline testing is a pre-season exam conducted by a trained health care professional. Baseline tests are used to assess an athlete’s balance and brain function (including learning and memory skills, ability to pay attention or concentrate, and how quickly he or she thinks and solve problems), as well as for the presence of any concussion symptoms. Results from baseline tests (or pre-injury tests) can be used and compared to a similar exam conducted by a health care professional during the season if an athlete has a suspected concussion.

Baseline testing generally takes place during the pre-season—ideally prior to the first practice. It is important to note that some baseline and concussion assessment tools are only suggested for use among athletes ages 10 years and older.

How is baseline testing information used if an athlete has a suspected concussion?

Results from baseline testing can be used if an athlete has a suspected concussion. Comparing post-injury test results to baseline test results can assist health care professionals in identifying the effects of the injury and making more informed return to school and play decisions.

Education should always be provided to athletes and parents if an athlete has a suspected concussion. This should include information on safely returning to school and play, tips to aid in recovery (such as rest), danger signs and when to seek immediate care, and how to help reduce an athlete’s risk for a future concussion.

What should be included as part of baseline testing?

Baseline testing should include a check for concussion symptoms, as well as balance and cognitive (such as concentration and memory) assessments. Computerized or paper-pencil neuropsychological tests may be included as a piece of an overall baseline test to assess an athlete’s concentration, memory, and reaction time.

During the baseline pre-season test, health care professionals should also assess for a prior history of concussion (including symptoms experienced and length of recovery from the injury). It is also important to record other medical conditions that could impact recovery after concussion, such as a history of migraines, depression, mood disorders, or anxiety, as well as learning disabilities and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

Baseline testing also provides an important opportunity to educate athletes and others about concussion and return to school and play protocol.

Who should administer baseline tests?

Baseline tests should only be conducted by a trained health care professional such as a physician, physical therapist or trained ATC.

Who should interpret baseline tests?

Only a trained health care professional with experience in concussion management should interpret the results of a baseline exam. When possible, ideally a neuropsychologist should interpret the computerized or paper-pencil neuropsychological test components of a baseline exam. Results of neuropsychological tests should not be used as a stand-alone diagnostic tool, but should serve as one component used by health care professionals to make a return to school and play decisions.

How often should an athlete undergo concussion baseline testing?

If baseline testing is used, research suggests that most components of baseline testing be repeated annually to establish a valid test result for comparison. Baseline computerized or paper-pencil neuropsychological tests may be repeated every 2 years. However, more frequent neuropsychological testing may be needed if an athlete has sustained a concussion or if the athlete has a medical condition that could affect the results of the test.

Many physical therapy clinics have therapists that have been trained in baseline testing software and techniques. Physical therapists can also specialize in return to sports programs for athletes that have experienced concussions.  The decision of when you go back to your sport can be a critical one… especially if you go back to soon. Prevent this by having an accurate baseline available for your healthcare professionals.

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more information can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/headsup/

Additional articles from PTandMe about concussions can be found here:

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Cancer Fatigue Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy can Help Battle Cancer Related Fatigue

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Should you Consider a Physical Therapy Cancer Fatigue Program?

Cancer treatments are rigorous and can take a toll on the body. If you are feeling tired all the time you’re not alone. The number one complaint of cancer patients, affecting 78% to 96% of those undergoing treatment, is cancer related fatigue(CRF). The goal in Physical Therapy is to help you become as independent as possible. Anyone who experiences signs and symptoms of pain or loss of function would benefit from an individualized physical therapy program.

Physical therapy can help you recover from:

  • Chronic pain
  • Leg pain
  • Shortness of breath after light activity
  • Difficulty walking short distance
  • Difficulty performing daily tasks
  • Extreme weariness and tiredness
  • Difficulty paying attention or concentrating

What to Expect from A Physical Therapy Cancer Fatigue Program

Licensed Physical Therapists provide specialized therapeutic services that address the needs of CRF patients. Therapy sessions last approximately thirty minutes to one hour, depending on the patient’s tolerance. The average number of visits per week is 2-3. The physical therapy program is concurrent with cancer therapy and may last throughout the entire treatment phase. Most programs require a thorough physical therapy evaluation and a team approach with your physician is maintained.

Consider it a stepping stone approach towards your recovery.

  • Address pain—which in turn can alleviate fatigue
  • Use non-drug based treatments such as physical modalities:
    – Soft tissue & joint mobilization
    – TENS
    – Heat/Cold
  • Coach patient on how to exercise
  • Alleviate musculoskeletal dysfunction
  • Improve posture
  • Combat effects of bed rest
  • Help to maintain muscle strength and flexibility, and restore muscle balance
  • Help to decrease depression by increasing endorphins
  • Improve balance
  • Improve endurance
  • Core body strengthening

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The Motivation Behind a Cancer Recovery Program

From a physical therapy perspective, one of the main reasons for helping cancer patients comes from seeing individuals for pain problems who were S/P cancer and chemo/radiation. When asked about their the post-treatment care, they said that either; there was none provided, or that they got a few sessions with a lymphedema nurse. Their fatigue and pain symptoms were not addressed.

In looking at what was offered in the community (with the exception of lymphedema nurses) there appeared to be no one addressing the cancer patients—once medical treatment had been completed.

Previous advice for cancer patients was often to get more rest and avoid activities that are physically challenging. Recent studies have shown that exercise was found to be effective in preventing or reducing CRF. No adverse effects of exercising have been reported. Identified as “remarkably underutilized”, exercise is one of the few interventions suggested to diminish CRF and other psychosocial symptoms. If you are struggling to regain your strength and endurance talk to your physical therapist and see if they offer a cancer-related fatigue program that can help you get back to doing the things you enjoy.

Information Provided by PTandMe Physical Therapy Partner, Advance Rehabilitation. Advance Rehabilitation has locations throughout GA and Northern FL. More information about Advance Rehabilitation can be found on their website at www.advancerehab.com.

For more information on cancer-related physical therapy programs click here:

    
PT News PTandMe

PT News September 2019

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PT News PTandMe

This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout September 2019. We are excited to begin a new year of new posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

1. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Written by Spectrum Physical Therapy with three locations in New London County, CT.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a type of injury called a peripheral nerve entrapment. What this means is that it is a condition in which the median nerve gets compressed and irritated as it passes through a structure called the carpal tunnel, located on the palm side of your wrist. The carpal tunnel is formed by the carpal (wrist) bones and connective tissue and protects the median nerve and finger flexor tendons as they pass through the wrist.  Read more

 

2. Tommy John Elbow Ligament Injuries in Football Quarterbacks: Why are there significantly fewer injuries than in baseball pitchers?

Written by Mishock Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy practice with locations throughout PA’s Montgomery, Berks, and Chester Counties. 

Recently Ben Roethlisberger, quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, sustained an ulnar collateral ligament tear and subsequent surgery, ending his football season. Elbow injuries in football players are uncommon with 92% of the injuries being traumatic (contusions and dislocations), (Ortho J Sports Med 2019). Ulnar collateral ligament injuries in football quarterbacks are even more uncommon. Read more

 

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3. Firefighter and Active Dad Gets Back to Work and Life 

Written by ARC Physical Therapy+ an outpatient physical therapy practice with locations across Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa

Marcus Winstead is a firefighter, husband, and father who enjoys leading an active lifestyle with his wife and three children.  “I’ve been a firefighter for 13 years”, Marcus explained. “Throughout that time, I’ve been on numerous calls and in very unique and challenging situations. As luck would have it, I was injured during a training exercise. I had two-disc injuries (protrusion and extrusion between L4-L5/L5-S1).” Read more

Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!

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