Tag Archives: seniors

PT News

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This Month in PT News. Featuring articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

fall

1. Ways to Avoid Taking the Fall?
Written by the Therapy Team at the Jackson Clinics – Northern Virginia

Each year, injuries from falling afflict many adults— the majority of whom are senior citizens—causing painful fractures and leaving them with severe mobility problems. Read more

aging

2. Healthly and Graceful Aging – Throw Out the Rocking Chair
Written by Colleen Cleves B.S., ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, the Center for Physical Rehabilitation – Grand Rapids, MI

“Getting old isn’t for sissies.” “Good enough for my age and stage.” “There is no gold in the golden years.” “I shouldn’t be doing that for my age.” Read more

Quality PT

3. Quality of Care in Rehab
Written by Ian M. Campbell, DPT, Intermountain Physical Therapy & Hand Rehabilitation – Boise, ID

What Quality Care Means in Rehabilitation. One can drive through their city and likely notice multiple physical therapy (PT) clinics. Read more

Fall Prevention Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy for Balance & Fall Prevention

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“Falls are the leading cause of injury death for Americans 65 years or older. Each year, about 35–40% of adults 65 and older fall at least once.”
— Center for Disease Control

Physical Therapy for Fall Prevention
Physical therapy fall prevention programs are tailored around each individual’s needs. The length of the program is dependent on the severity of the symptoms and the goals of each individual. Most patients will follow a gradual path of three distinct phases. After an initial evaluation to determine needs and goals of patient and we will set up treatment plan with patient input. The first phase typically includes therapeutic interventions designated to decrease symptoms and the establishment of a Home Exercise Program (HEP). We will then Continue the use of therapeutic interventions with the addition of ADL modifications, and energy conservation techniques. Finally we will continue the program until the patient’s goals are met.

The main objectives in a fall prevention program are to:

  • Increase independence with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)
  • Increase independence with functional mobility
  • Decrease fall risk
  • Prevent future fall
  • Increase safety

Pain Relief
Our PTandMe licensed physical therapists are skilled in helping patients significantly reduce the risk of falls so that seniors can continue to age independently. If you or someone you know may benefit from a fall prevention program – call a clinic near you today and see what options are available for you! To find a PTandMe partnering location in your area click here.

Total Knee Replacement Prehab: Move to Improve Your Outcomes

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Many people with arthritis favor their joints over time in an effort to relieve pain and thus become weaker in their leg muscles or lose range of motion. However, the better shape you are in before surgery the better your results will be after surgery so it is important to strengthen your leg muscles and work on your range of motion. Before surgery your physical therapist will teach you appropriate exercises to help improve strength, range of motion, and balance. They will also teach you how to walk with an appropriate assistive device such as a walker or cane in the immediate post operative recovery period. Finally, they will discuss precautions and advise you in a few short term home adaptations such as removing loose rugs to help make your recovery easier and safer.

Prehab Goals
• Develop an exercise program with your PT to help you
• Improve strength
• Improve range of motion
• Improve balance
• Gait training — Review walking with an appropriate assistive device such as a walker or cane in the immediate post operative recovery period
• Discuss precautions and review a few short term home adaptations that can help make your recovery easier and safer

walker lady

Pre Surgery Exercise Plan
Make every effort to begin these exercises as early as possible before your surgery. Only do what you are able to do without increasing your pain. It is important for you not to exacerbate your pain prior to surgery. Ice packs for 15 minutes following your exercises may be helpful to reduce any soreness in your knee.

This information was written by STAR Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy group with 60 locations in Tennessee, offering more than 15 comprehensive specialty services. STAR Physical Therapy was established in 1997 with one clinic and one mission – to serve. Today, they’ve grown to offer that direct service in more than 60 clinics. While they’ve grown, one thing that has not changed is their commitment to you, their communities, and their employees. For more information click here.

More about knee replacements and physical therapy can be found here:

total knee replacement

postoperative physical therapy

Postoperative Physical Therapy

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Postoperative physical therapy after a Total Hip Replacement is essential to your recovery. Your physical therapist will follow your physician’s protocol and will focus on range of motion exercises, progressive strengthening exercises, gait training, balance training, and activity specific training to meet your specific needs. Modalities such as ice and e-stim may be used to help reduce discomfort and swelling. It is very important to complete your home exercise program as directed by your physical therapist and physician.

RANGE OF MOTION EXERCISES
Swelling and pain can make you move your knee less. Your physical therapist can teach you safe and effective exercises to restore the range of motion to your knee so that you can perform your daily activities.

STRENGTHENING EXERCISES
Weakness of the muscles of the thigh and lower leg is typical after surgery. Your physical therapist can determine the best strengthening exercises for you with the goal of no longer needing a cane or walker to walk.

post op

BALANCE TRAINING
Specialized training exercises can help your muscles “learn” to adapt to changes in your world such as uneven or rocky ground. When you are able to put your full weight on your knee without pain, your physical therapist may add agility exercises so that you can safely and quickly change directions or make quick stops or starts. They may use a balance board that will challenge your balance and knee control. These exercises will be safe and fun.

GAIT TRAINING
Your physical therapist will work with you in retraining your gait following your surgery using appropriate assistive devices such as a walker or cane. They will make sure that you will be able to safely and confidently go up and down stairs, negotiate curbs, and inclines, etc.

ACTIVITY SPECIFIC TRAINING
Depending on the requirements or your job or the type of recreational activities you enjoy, your physical therapist will tailor your program so that you can meet your specific demands.

This article about postoperative physical therapy was written by STAR Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy group with over sixty locations in Tennessee. Established in 1997 with one clinic and one mission – to serve. Today, they have grown to offer that direct service in more than 60 clinics, and while they’ve grown, one thing that has not changed is their commitment to you, their communities, and their employees. For more information click here.

start exercising

Seniors: It’s Never Too Late to Start Exercising

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For years, older people have attributed their aches, pains, and illnesses to the normal aging process. Age is often used as a reason to avoid exercise. But a regular exercise program, regardless of your age, can improve the quality of your life and help you avoid illness, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. As always, you should consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program.

WHAT WE KNOW
Most people know that with age, come certain physiological changes. Studies show that we lose the following as we age:
• Lean muscle tissue—Most of us will lose muscle mass as we get older. We usually hit our peak muscle mass early—around age 20—and begin losing muscle mass thereafter.
• Aerobic capacity—The aerobic capacity is the ability of the heart and the body to deliver and use oxygen efficiently. Changes in the heart and decrease in muscle tissue decrease aerobic capacity.
• Balance—As we age, our ability to balance decreases, making falls and injuries more likely. The loss of muscle is a major contributor to losses on balance.
• Flexibility—Our joints and tendons lose some of their range of motion with age, making it difficult to bend and move around comfortably.
• Bone density—Most of us reach our peak bone density around age 20. After that, bones can become gradually thinner and weaker, which can lead to osteoporosis.

Fortunately, regular exercise can help delay some of these changes and give you the energy you need to do everyday activities like walking, shopping, and playing with your grandchildren. Exercise may even help decrease depression and stress, improve mood and self-esteem, and postpone age-related cognitive decline.

Even if you have never exercised before, you can start now. It is what you are doing now that you can change—not what you have been doing all your life.

By adding endurance, strength, flexibility, and balance training into your routine, you will be healthier, happier, and more energetic.

senior push ups

ENDURANCE
Decades ago, doctors rarely recommended aerobic exercise for older people. But we now know that most people can safely do moderate exercises. Studies have shown that doing aerobic exercise just a few days a week can bring significant improvements in endurance.

Aim to get 30 minutes of moderate exercise—such as brisk walking, bicycling, or swimming—at least 5 days a week. You do not have to do 30 minutes at once—you can break these sessions up into two 15-minute sessions or three 10-minute sessions. Moderate exercise will cause your heart rate to rise and your breathing to be slightly elevated, but you should still be able to carry on a conversation.

STRENGTH
It is not just aging that makes people lose muscle. One of the main reasons older people lose muscle mass is that they stop exercising and doing everyday activities that build muscle.

Building stronger muscles can help protect your joints, strengthen your bones, improve your balance, reduce the likelihood of falls, and make it easier for you to move around in general. Even small changes in your muscle size and strength—ones that you cannot even see—will make things like walking quickly across the street and getting up out of a chair easier to do.

Aim to do strength exercises (eg, weight lifting) every other day, or at least twice a week. For each exercise, do three sets of 8-12 repetitions.

FLEXIBILITY
Increasing your overall activity level and doing stretching exercises can markedly improve your flexibility.

To improve the flexibility—or range of motion—of your joints, incorporate bending and stretching exercises into your routine. A good time to do your flexibility exercises is after your strength training routine. This is because you muscles will already be warmed up. Examples of exercises that you may enjoy include Tai chi, yoga, Pilates, and exercises that you do in the water.

By regularly stretching, you will be able to move around easier. You may also feel less stressed, and your posture will improve.

BALANCE
Just becoming more physically active will improve your balance and decrease your risk of falling. If you add some basic balancing exercises to your exercise routine, you will begin feeling more stable on your feet. Balance exercises can be done just about anywhere and usually require no more equipment than a chair.

Keep in mind that if you are having severe problems with balance, it might be due to a medical condition. In this case, talk to your doctor who can assess the situation.

GETTING STARTED
To avoid injury, start slowly. Add one or two sessions a week at first and progress from there as you begin to feel stronger. A doctor, certified physical trainer, or other health professional, can help you develop a program that will be both safe and effective. Check with your local fitness or community center, which may offer exercise classes designed especially for older adults. Check with your doctor if you are planning to participate in vigorous activities.

Remember, it is never too late to start exercising. The sooner you start, the sooner you will start feeling healthier, more energetic, and less stressed.

by Mary Calvagna, MS

RESOURCES:
American Heart Association
http://www.heart.org

The President’s Council on Physical Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition
http://www.fitness.gov

CANADIAN RESOURCES:
Health Canada
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

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

REFERENCES:

Effects of aging. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00191. Updated September 2009. Accessed April 4, 2016.

Exercise and physical activity: your everyday guide from the National Institute on Aging. National Institute on Aging website. Available at: http://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/exercise-physical-activity-your-everyday-guide-national-institute-aging-1. Updated February 16, 2016. Accessed April 4, 2016.

Physical activity: glossary of terms. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/physical/terms/index.htm#Moderate. Updated June 10, 2015. Accessed on April 4, 2016.

Last reviewed April 2016 by Michael Woods, MD  Last Updated: 5/8/2014

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.

Physical Therapy Day

World Physical Therapy Day

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World Physical Therapy Day is on September 8th. The day is an opportunity for physical therapists from all over the world to raise awareness about the crucial contribution the profession makes to keeping people well, mobile and independent. This year the focus is on adding years to your life by being physically active! See how a little bit of movement can go a long way!

WPTD2016_infographic_A4_FINAL

To  learn more about World Physical Therapy Day click here.

September 2016 Events

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Check out our Physical Therapy Monthly Events Calendar! Focusing on events from PTandMe.com participating physical and occupational therapy clinics. Read more to find out what’s happening in your community in September 2016!

FLORIDA PHYSICAL THERAPY EVENTS

JUPITER, FL
DATE: September 22nd 2016, 10:00AM – 3:00PM
Healthfair Event for G4S Employees
CLINIC: Comprehensive Hand and Physical Therapy – Jupiter
Comprehensive Hand and Physical Therapy will be participating in this year’s Healthfair for GS4 Employees. Stop by our booth and meet our talented therapists and ask us questions about any aches or pains that you may be experiencing. We can’t wait to see you there! For more information about Comprehensive Hand and Physical Therapy, visit them online at http://www.comprehensivehandandpt.com.

 

MARYLAND PHYSICAL THERAPY EVENTS

OCEAN CITY, MD
DATE: September 18th – 21st 2016, 9:00AM – 12:00PM
MWCEA 2016 Workers’ Compensation Conference
CLINIC: Agape Physical Therapy
Agape Physical Therapy will be exhibiting at the MWCEA 2016 WC Conference. Make sure to stop by their booth to see what great services Agape Physical Therapy provides to local businesses and workers’ compensation professionals. For more information about Agape Physical Therapy, visit them online at http://www.agapept.com.

 

MICHIGAN PHYSICAL THERAPY EVENTS

GRAND RAPIDS, MI
DATE: September 22nd 2016, 4:00PM – 8:00PM
CPR Downtown Open House During Artprize!
CLINIC: The Center for Physical Rehabilitation – Downtown Grand Rapids
The Center for Physical Rehabilitation’s Downtown Clinic is hosting an open house during Artprize! Join us for food and fun. Come see our newest location and meet our talented staff. We can’t wait to see you there! For more information about The Center for Physical Rehabilitation, visit them online at http://www.pt-cpr.com.

 

TENNESSEE PHYSICAL THERAPY EVENTS

MANCHESTER, TN
DATE: September 3rd 2016, 8:00AM – 12:00PM
Manchester STAR Physical Therapy Triathlon
CLINIC: STAR Physical Therapy – Manchester
Join STAR Physical Therapy Manchester for their annual Manchester STAR Physical Therapy Triathlon. It includes a 200 Yard Swim, 14 Mile Bike and 5K Run

Packet pick up: Friday, September 2nd, 6:00AM – 7:30PM
Saturday, September 3rd, 6:00AM – 7:30AM
Pre race meeting: Saturday, September 3rd, 7:30AM

A portion of this years proceeds will be donated to Coffee County school back pack program for underprivileged children who are not getting adequate food after school. Tickets available at http://www.startriathlon.com. For more info about STAR Physical Therapy you can visit them online at http://www.starpt.com.

 

TEXAS PHYSICAL THERAPY EVENTS

IRVING, TX
DATE: September 16th – 17th 2016, 6:00AM – 6:00PM
Irving Main Street Event
CLINIC: Green Oaks Physical Therapy
Celebrating Irving’s ‘Hometown’ Feel.
This annual street festival in the heart of the Irving Heritage District celebrates the hometown feel of Irving with attractions for all ages. Each year thousands of people attend this family affair, which offers live music, the Manifolds on Main Street Car Show, free rides and activities for children, great food and shopping. Green Oaks Physical Therapy will have a booth set up with info about all of our clinics and the services we provide. We will also have fun giveaways!
For more info about Green Oaks Lake Physical Therapy you can visit them online at http://www.greenoakspt.com.

 

VIRGINIA PHYSICAL THERAPY EVENTS

CHRISTIANSBURG, VA
DATE: September 14th 2016, 12:00PM – 4:00PM
AARP – VCOM Health and Wellness Fair
CLINIC: University Physical Therapy – Christiansburg
University Physical Therapy will be exhibiting at the 2016 Health and Wellness Fair! Please stop by our clinic to see how physical therapy can make a difference in your life! For more info about University Physical Therapy you can visit them online at http://www.universityptonline.com.

Increase Risk of Stroke

Long Work Hours May Increase Risk of Stroke

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Stroke is a brain injury caused by an interruption in blood flow. It is a leading cause of death in the US, and can also cause disability, decreased quality of life and increased healthcare expenses. There are many lifestyle factors that affect you risk of stroke including diet, exercise, smoking and stress. Other lifestyle habits like long periods of standing or long work hours are also being reviewed for their impact on stroke risk.

Earlier research has suggested that long working hours may be linked to stroke, but the evidence is limited. Researchers wanted to determine if there was a possible connection between long work hours and the risk of stroke. The study, published in Lancet, found that employees who work long hours have a higher risk of stroke than those who do not.

About the Study
The systematic review of observational studies included 528,908 men and women from Europe, the U.S. and Australia who were free from history of stroke at the beginning of the study. The participants volunteered their work hours and were tracked for the development of stroke. During an average 7.2 year follow up there were 1,722 stroke-related events.

Compared to those who worked standard hours (35-40 hours/week), participants who worked 49-54 and more than 55 hours a week had an increased risk of stroke.

The effects remained apparent even when other stroke factors like age, sex and health history were accounted for.

How Does This Affect You?
A systematic review pools a large number of trials to create a larger pool of data. The larger the pool of data, the more reliable outcomes are. However, the review is only as reliable as the trials that are included. The included studies were all observational studies which means a direct cause and effect link could not be established and the studies can only show a potential link between factors.

There is a reasonable link between extra work hours and stroke since longer hours are often associated with extra stress and less relaxation time. If you have long work hours, you may want to talk to your doctor about your personal risk factors for stroke and follow other stroke prevention methods such as:
• Exercising regularly
• Maintaining a healthy weight
• Eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains and limiting dietary salt and fat
• If you smoke, talking to your doctor about way to quit
• Increasing your consumption of fish
• Drinking alcohol in moderation
• Managing chronic medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes

Rehabilitation doesn’t reverse the effects of a stroke. Its goals are to build your strength, capability and confidence so you can continue your daily activities despite the effects of your stroke.

stroke

What is a Stroke?
A stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. It is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States.

• A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts (or ruptures). When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it and brain cells die.

What are the Effects of Stroke?
The brain is an extremely complex organ that controls various body functions. If a stroke occurs and blood flow can’t reach the region that controls a particular body function, that part of the body won’t work as it should. Rehabilitation is probably one of the most important phases of recovery for many stroke survivors. The effects of stroke may mean that you must change, relearn or redefine how you live. Stroke rehabilitation helps you return to independent living.

Rehabilitation doesn’t reverse the effects of a stroke. Its goals are to build your strength, capability and confidence so you can continue your daily activities despite the effects of your stroke.

What Will I Do in Rehabilitation?
What you do in rehabilitation depends on what you need to become independent. You may work to improve your independence in many areas. These include:
• Self-care skills such as feeding, grooming, bathing, toileting and dressing
• Mobility skills such as transferring, walking or self-propelling a wheelchair
• Communication skills in speech and language
• Cognitive skills such as memory or problem solving
• Social skills for interacting with other people

by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA

RESOURCES:

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

American Stroke Association
http://www.strokeassociation.org

Kivimäki M, Jokela M, et al. Long working hours and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke: a systematic review and meta-analysis of published and unpublished data for 603,838 individuals. Lancet. 2015 Oct 31;386(10005):1739-1746. Available at: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2815%2960295-1/fulltext. Accessed January 19, 2016.

Risk factors for stroke or transient ischemic attack. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated December 28, 2015. Accessed January 19, 2016.

Last reviewed January 2016 by Michael Woods, MD

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.

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Relief

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The four primary symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease (PD) are:
1.) Tremor, or trembling in hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face
2.) Rigidity, or stiffness of the limbs and trunk
3.) Bradykinesia, or slowness of movement
4.) Postural instability, or impaired balance and coordination

Parkinson’s disease (PD) belongs to a group of conditions called motor system disorders, which are the result of the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells. The four primary symptoms of PD are tremor, or trembling in hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face; rigidity, or stiffness of the limbs and trunk; bradykinesia, or slowness of movement; and postural instability, or impaired balance and coordination. As these symptoms become more pronounced, patients may have difficulty walking, talking, or completing other simple tasks. PD usually affects people over the age of 50.  1

Should I exercise?
Research has shown that regular exercise benefits people with Parkinson’s disease. Exercise reduces stiffness and improves mobility, posture, balance and gait. Aerobic exercise increases oxygen delivery and neurotransmitters to keep our heart, lungs, and nervous system healthy. General exercise may also reduce depression. Learning-based memory exercises can also help keep our memory sharp.

What types of exercise are best for people with Parkinson’s disease?
Exercise programs that challenge our heart and our lungs as well as promote good biomechanics, good posture, trunk rotation and normal rhythmic, symmetric movements are the best. Exercises that promote attention and learning are also extremely beneficial.

What types of exercises do this? Exercises that require balance and preparatory adjustment of the body. Walking outside or in a mall, dancing, yoga classes, Tai Chi classes, stepping over obstacles, marching to music with big arm swings as well as participating in sports (ping pong, golf, tennis, volleyball) and aerobic or jazzercise classes promote motor learning.

senior workout

When should I request a referral for Physical Therapy?
When first diagnosed, all patients should have a consultation with a physical therapist to define the appropriate exercise program tailored to “you”. This will also establish a baseline of your current physical status. Ideally, all patients with PD should have a good fitness program as well as specific exercises to maintain good posture and balance as well as improve symmetry in flexibility and strength. The therapist will also work on improving gait while using visual and auditory cues.

In some cases, where balance or musculoskeletal problems develop, supervised outpatient treatments a few times per week may be helpful. A program of individualized exercises addressing posture, balance and gait has been shown to be beneficial in decreasing the risk of falling. In every case, a regular home program of exercise is critical.  2

1. National Institute of Neurological Disorders & Stroke https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/All-Disorders/Parkinsons-Disease-Information-Page

2. Parkinson’s Disease Clinic & Research Center http://pdcenter.neurology.ucsf.edu/ 

Fall Prevention Programs Can Keep You On Your Feet!

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One in every three adults 65 and older fall each year in the United States – WWW.CDC.GOV

The numbers are staggering. Apparently not only does the eyesight go, but balance along with it. The two could be seen as going hand in hand since the worse your vision gets, the more likely you are to bump into or trip on something unnoticed. Fear not worried reader. Physical therapy may not improve vision, but it does improve the ability to manage and reduce the likelihood of a fall and even more importantly, a resulting hip fracture.

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