Early Intervention: Physical Therapy For Infants and Toddlers

Many infants and toddlers struggle with proper physical and cognitive development. Early intervention can help to foster proper development for children ages 0-3 in critical stages of maturation.

What Is Early Intervention?

Early intervention, a program supported by federal legislation, supports infants and toddlers with developmental delays and disabilities. An infant or toddler's eligibility for early intervention is determined through evaluation and assessment, with contributions from both the child's family and a licensed early intervention clinic. Once a child is deemed eligible for early intervention, their family is given an Individualized Family Service Plan, which helps guide the family through resources available to them and their child. Among these are physical development therapy programs designed to help infants and toddlers properly develop.

Developmental Therapy

Some of the key components of early intervention are its developmental therapy programs designed for toddlers and infants. These programs include:

– Physical Development
– Cognitive Development
– Adaptive Development
– Communication Development
– Social and Emotional Development

These developmental programs center on age-specific activities designed to help young children properly function, grow, and mature.

Physical Therapy for Infants and Toddlers

Physical therapy for developing infants and toddlers helps them to use their bodies in a proper and healthy manner. It is often a central component of intervention services for children. Certified early intervention therapists use their specialized knowledge and skills related to self-care and motor function, medical and healthcare science, and assistive technology to provide an essential service to a young child's development. These programs help infants and toddlers to do the following:

– Hold, explore, and play with toys of different sizes, shapes, and weights to learn fine motor skills
– Learn to crawl so they can move from place to place, get to their toys, or follow their family members around the house
– Learn to sit correctly so that they can play on the floor with friends and family members
– Improve balance so they can walk on uneven surfaces such as grass, gravel, or sand without falling
– Increase strength so that they can keep up with their siblings and friends
– Be physically fit so that they can be active with other children and family members

Physical Therapy for Families

Early intervention programs help families to gain a better understanding of their child. Families can learn to understand how to meet their child's needs, including when to invest in adaptive equipment for disabled children, and create opportunities for their child to develop essential motor abilities. Parents can also find resources in their community that can help transition their children to preschool or other programs as they grow older.

Learn More

Parents should speak with their local licensed childcare service provider to learn more about these early programs and therapy programs for infants and toddlers.

{ Comments are closed }

Hey Mel! – My Year at the Physical Therapy Department

Ten months ago, I went to the Shenandoah Memorial Hospital to make an appointment for my first of many Physical Therapy sessions. After completing the usual paperwork, an appointment date was set. The lady who was helping with the formalities wrapped things up by saying “You'll be working with Melanie, you're gonna like her”.

Being the male pig that I am, my first thought was that maybe she was a massage therapist originally from Sweden and had just begun a new career after her days with the Bikini Team. But insurance does not cover that apparently. Having the receptionist predicting “you're gonna like her” with such certainty stuck me as odd. Well, I should have asked her for that night's lottery numbers, if I'd only known that she really could see into the future.

I've been jokingly calling the past twelve months “The Continuing Saga of the $ 1.38 Man”. We have the ability! We can rebuild him! But the truth of the matter is that these past twelve months have actually sucked the big one. Nine days from now will be the One Year anniversary of me entering the hospital for a two month stay that almost killed me, in more ways than one. Therapy at SMH began next, originally for a consistently painful coccyx, and then right into post-op therapy for surgery on my left shoulder. I was coming down the home stretch of recovery when I injured my right knee, which was operated on last week.

Between the weeks spent bed-ridden in a hospital, to chasing constant pain around different areas of my body, through session after session of therapy, then hours on my own spent at the hospital's gym trying to rebuild my body, I've had a Whole lot of time to think.

I can easily name and see the faces of thirty people that attended to me over the past twelve months. But that'll be a story for a different day. Today is about Mel, for two very good reasons. The men and women that work in the Medical Industry are human. And most are Super-Human. They spend their lives relieving the pain from patients like me who they themselves can be a pain. As I lay in bed or as I sat on a stationary bike, I developed my own little case study of those wonderful people that I had met who had dedicated their lives to helping others.

Case study subject Number 1. Melanie.

Standing five-foot nothing, my first impression was that of a little, compact, glowing ball of energy, exuding confidence through a pleasant smile and a quirky sense of humor. Not two weeks into knowing this young woman did I ask her “Have you ever seen 'The Silence of The Lambs?” Now, being compared to a country gal turned FBI agent seeking to capture a serial killer, by employing the help of a psychopath who cannibalizes for dinner, probably is not way up there on the list of 'Flattering Things to say to a Woman' . But my connection was this. The movie's heroine, Clarice, came from humble beginnings, excelled in her career through dedicated, hard work and could speak in an intelligent, meaningful manner; untarnished by the twang of her Southern accent. It was like Clarice personified, except a conversation might begin with a silly knock-knock joke, followed by an understandable statement of the extreme atrophy in my left shoulder.

A few weeks ago, I was proudly telling Mel of how I could feel a noticeable improvement in the mass of my once-pitiful shoulder muscle. She reached out to touch and assessment for herself. If a stranger did that to you, you'd probably flinch instinctively. But I did not give it a second thought. Not at least until half way during the short ride home, when I found myself chuckling at how much I naturally trusted my little 'Miracle Worker'.

But Mel is not the only one working in the Rehab facility. Maybe she might be seen as a ringerader in a circus full of healers. There have been many a day where it really hurts to get out of bed. It hurts to get into my car. But I still do both and drive myself to the hospital's gym. All of the therapy is not physical. A lot of it is mental. There's always an air of enthusiasm, encouragement, and hopefulness at the gym. The only contagious thing floating around that department is self-improvement. When I drag my sorry self to the gym every day, I'm motivated by not wanting to let them down. They want me to get better, so I'm dedicated at getting better.

I've got to imagine that patients sometimes have numbers to hospital staff. And hospital staff are sometimes perceived by patients as irritants to their own aches and pains. Recuperating patients may not always show their appreciation for the dedicated work of the hospital worker, but they're thinking it. Trust me. We talk. I may not say so directly to the staff, but I try to show my gratitude by delivering homemade baked goodies from time to time.

Two reasons to make this gibberish about Melanie? First off, she's made a gigantic, positive impact on my life during this past year. And secondly, “Hey, Mel! Happy Birthday!”

{ Comments are closed }

Neck Traction: For A Very Holistic Approach Towards Healing

The neck comforter is a new innovation; it's a device that provides clinical grade traction. By using it, you can easily soothe the muscles by stretching, and even even sever neck pain.

This works towards improving your post, decompresses the spine and greatly improves the circulation, especially between your neck and head, and between your neck and arms.

With the neck comforter, you not just improve movement in your neck, but also loosen up any stiff joint that you may have.

What is neck traction?

By stretching, one can overflow sprains and spasms in the neck. Neck traction also helps decompress the spine, or free the nerves trapped by compression in the spinal vertebrae.

The methodology has been used for years and one of the implements is massage therapy.

How does the neck comforter traction the neck?

As you go on inflating the device, the chin is lifted up and the back is straightened. While the shoulder muscles are pushed down, the neck is gently stretched. This enables one to find instant relief from conditions like a stiff neck.

It's just like having a professional massage, and anytime you need it!

How do I use the neck comforter?

This is simple to use. Put the device around your neck and fasten the adjustable straps. It works by a hand pump. Close the valve, and pump up the device till you feel a nice and gentle stretch across your neck.

For what medical conditions is the neck comforter most useful?

This can be very useful for anyone suffering from headaches, neck pain or joint pain, stiff neck, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, poor circulation in arms or herniated discs. The device can even be very effective for everyday problems like trouble sleeping.

The Neck Comforter has been designed on a holistic approach. Many of these problems are caused by tight muscles or conditions like a pinched nerve in the neck, and can be healed by facilitating a proper stiff neck treatment. The device takes pressure off nerves, improves circulation and relieves the pain.

How does a stiff neck affect us?

From top of the head, the nerves go to the head. And when these nerves are pinched, it can cause dizziness, fatigue, trouble sleeping or headaches. Similarly from the lower part of the neck, nerves go to the spine, from spine to the shoulders and elbows, and then to your hands through your wrists. A tight neck muscle which causes a pinched nerve can lead to numbness or pain, at any place along your arms.

For basic neck problems like a bulging disc or inflammation in neck joints, how effective is the Neck Comforter?

When one suffers from a bulging disc in the neck, it can put pressure on the blood vessels and nerves, and further lead to pain or even affect the circulation. The neck comforter takes the pressure off the nerves, facilitates better circulation and helps overcome pain in the joints.

Similarly, in a condition like inflammation in the joint that causes stiffness in the neck or neck pain, the device transactions the neck, allows better movement and helps overcome joint pain.

How will the neck comforter improve my posture?

This device stretches the neck muscles, and this automatically improves the posture. One gets over undering problems like a pinched nerve in the neck, and with an improved posture, you look better and feel better.

Why do so many people have either a bad back or a stiff neck?

Life is stressful. We spend time over the computer, watching television, even driving, and our sleeping position is sometimes awkward. Bad posture, along with stress, both mental and physical can sometimes tense up the muscles in our neck and shoulders. This could further lead to conditions like a pinched nerve in neck, and cause pain.

Does the Neck Comforter instantly relieve pain?

There is a spinal disc in between every vertebrae in the spine. Owing to our bodyweight and tight neck muscles, the spinal and spinal discs can compress, and this could cause a pinched nerve and lead to pain.

But when we take the pressure off the nerves, the pain and discomfort are over, almost with an immediate effect. The neck comforter simply takes the pressure off, and brings about a feeling of being weightless.

{ Comments are closed }

Neck Comforter – A Great Way to Soothe a Stiff Neck and Increase Mobility

Every day, millions of people across the world suffer from a stiff neck, pain in shoulders or a pinched nerve in the neck which causes headaches and dizziness. These are commonplace problems and just about every single one of adults has suffered from neck pain at some or the other point of in his life.

In most such cases, it is our lifestyle which is to blame for these problems. We spend long hours before the computer for work, study or recreation, and sometimes, we may be on the phone for long. Driving in traffic can cause a stiff neck and another very common cause of strained neck or a folded muscle is sleeping in awkward positions. Apart from bad post, it is stress which can take a toll on our everyday health and can cause neck or shoulder muscles to tense up.

When one is suffering from a stiff neck, he may have pain in the middle of the neck or just on one side of the neck. At times, a stiff neck may cause a pain in shoulder blades or even a tingling sensation or numbness in arms or hands. One can expect a painful neck to feel fine after taking some rest, but if the problem persists for long or if a person suffers from a stiff neck way too often, it is something which calls for medical attention. A variety of options are now available at an individual's disposal, but one may not necessarily want to go for pills for such a condition, as this may further accentuate the discomfort, dizziness and cause nausea.

However, in such a scenario, physiotherapy can make one feel much better and this works by relaxing the strained muscles, improving circulation and taking the pressure off the neck. One of the essential elements of physiotherapy for strained neck muscles is neck traction. Neck traction mainly includes use of physical agents like a massage, exercise or mechanical devices to sooth a strained neck.

Traction can effectively decompress a stiff neck and allow one to feel comfortable. Very often, pain is caused when there is a pinched nerve close to bulging spinal discs in the neck, and traction can allow one to overcome the discomfort. Alternately, traction is a very effective way to stretch the muscles and joint structures around the neck. Manual neck traction forms an important part of physiotherapy. This is performed by a physical therapist and while holding your neck and head in his hands, the practitioner has gently provided a traction to the neck.

Another form of neck Traction is mechanical neck Traction and this involves use of mechanical devices to Traction the Neck and overcome the discomfort. A primary advantage of mechanical neck traction is that one can try out something like a neck comforter from the comfort of his home and would not need to visit a specialist at all. Similarly, one could wear a neck comforter for as long as the pain persists or while one feels comfortable wearing the comforter. If one is suffering from a sore neck, a simple neck comforter can allow a person to increase mobility and carry out everyday tasks comfortably and easily.

{ Comments are closed }

Why Sign Up for Rehabilitation Services Following an Injury

Getting a serious injury is a bummer. Not only will it cause you pain, it can also prevent you from going to work and doing activities that you use to enjoy. This is why if you have been injured at work, at home, or while playing your favorite sports, it is not enough that you get the appropriate medical treatment. It's important to get rehabilitation services, as well. Apart from helping speed up your recovery time, it can also help you better deal with the effects of your injury mentally and emotionally.

Physical Benefits of Rehabilitation
Essentially, rehabilitation, which is composed of physical therapy, exercise, and counseling, can help patients recover from physical injuries as quickly as possible. It brings alignment and balance to your body after being involved in a very traumatic incident.

For instance, one of the physical benefits of receiving rehabilitation services is that that it helps you with pain management and control. According to experts, controlling and managing pain is vital to the patient's recovery as it allows them to regain their strength. Therapists assigned to you will provide you with the knowledge and assistance you require to alleviate post-treatment pain.

If you had surgery for your injury, you may find that it is quite difficult to move the affected part of your body. Fortunately, this is something that rehabilitation can help you with. Your therapist will develop a training program according to the type of surgery you've had, your body type, and the condition of your tissues. They will mostly focus on the muscles that may require special retraining so they gain strength and the ability to provide your body with stability following your surgery.

Exercise is another important part of rehabilitation. Not only can it help you get better, it can also help you get back to activity safely and avoid the risk of re-injury. However, you should not do just any exercise. It's very important that the exercises you will perform are tailor to your condition.

As part of your rehabilitation, the therapist will teach you the exercise that you can perform to help bring back your body to excellent condition and restore its flexibility. Once you've learned these exercises, you can do them on your own and perform them at home.

Emotional Benefits of Rehabilitation
Having a serious injury can have a negative impact on your emotional and mental wellbeing, too. It causes worry and anxiety because if you can not come to work because of your injury, how can you earn money for your family?

Fortunately, this is something that rehabilitation can also address. Depending on the services you've signed up for, you can get counseling from your therapists. You can also receive tips and points on how you can change your lifestyle to ensure a speedy recovery.

{ Comments are closed }

Occupational Therapy: The Basics

Occupational therapy is a burgeoning field of healthcare that works to empower people to accomplish the daily tasks that are important to them. It is often mistakenly presumed that the field works exclusively to coach people in the context of employment. In fact, “occupation” is used in its outline definition, in the sense that patients are mentally and / or physically participating in their own lives. By focusing on everyday activities that they want to accomplish, people receive not only the benefits of tasks accomplished but also the therapeutic benefits of engaging with the world around them. While a practitioner of occupational therapy may work with any number of people of various ages and abilities, here are a few common spheres in which they strive to improve the lives of others.

Working With Children

In today's media-formatted society, there are more distractions than ever. It's no surprise that many children report having difficulty focusing in the classroom. For children with attention-deficit disorder (ADD) or attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the challenge can be overwhelming. Discrete, manageable goals can be the bricks of structured learning for children who may otherwise be discouraged by the broad, vague notice of “getting an education.” In another setting, children with special needs may have difficulty with sensory perception or limited motor skills. Again, occupational therapy gives kids a chance to focus on the small movements that are critical to self-care and meaningful social activity.

At the Office

Occupational therapy has a prominent place in the boardrooms and office suites of the world, helping to maximize performance, reduce the physical impacts of workspaces, and improve employee wellness. A professional can help C-level executives and other people in high-stress positions strike that elusive work / life balance by developing exercise regimens, helping to cultivate hobbies, or providing instruction on meditation. Office-wide, a therapist may assist in making a workplace more ergonomic, or develop team-building exercises that encourage communal interaction and skill development.

In the Hospital and Beyond

Another common realm where this practice can be beneficial is assisting people who have suffered limited mobility as a result of accident or illness. While a physical therapist may focus on building up a client's own intrinsic strength to re-realize abilities that were lost, an occupational therapist will also look to remove extrinsic impediments. This may mean re-imagining the built or natural environment around patients so they may interact more freely with the world. It may also mean introducing ailing individuals to technology that could improve their tactile function or prevent certain injuries.

“OT,” as it is often called, is a rapidly expanding field because it has such broad application and benefits. If something is preventing you from achieving your goals, either internal or external, you may want to consider the benefits of consulting with a professional.

{ Comments are closed }

10 Solid Reasons Why Should You Consult A Physiotherapist

Injuries are a part of our lives, but there is no reason to make it an impediment. One should always be ready to bounce back and face the challenges. Medications are often recommended by doctors for the pain but, if one is to get any long term relief, they need to be properly assessed, so physiotherapy is the best option for that. After all, it works the bones and muscles and helps it to go back to its previous form.

Here are ten reasons to help you try out physiotherapy,

1. Sports injuries: Sportsmen are born fighters but some injuries can be so major that it can threaten them career. Trying out physiotherapy helps to relax the bones and muscles like few other things can and allows the person to achieve mobility much faster.

2. During Pregnancy: Since women have to change their postures drastically over the course of a few months and the additional weight often plays havoc with their lower back, it is best to try out physiotherapy to relive the pain, without having to take any medicines that might be harmful for the baby.

3. Weight management: So many of us have insecurities with our bodies and are fighting with weight issues. Physiotherapy can relax and work the muscles much more when regular exercises seems to fail. It also improves digestion, and helps to assimilate the food better than allowing it to be stored in the body as fat.

4. Chronic Pain: There are lots of pain that are often unaccounted for. We blame it on old age and arthritis and other unexplained factors. Instead of opting for unnecessary medicines, physiotherapy exercises have been known to provide long standing relief in most cases.

5. Before or after surgery: Certain musculoskeletal issues have to be taken care of before a surgery, or after it for quick and efficient recovery. Physiotherapy is the best option to do it, without having to try out medicines that might have side effects or which the patient might not be able to take in due to their condition.

6. Curing Sleep Apnea: Most of us have breathing problems like sleeping apnea and excessive snoring that mainly happens due to breathing problems. Physiotherapy can help widen the channels and help in better sleep by relaxing the body as a whole. For similar reasons, it is very helpful for curing asthma as well.

7. Treatment of pelvic floor disorders: This disorder is especially common in women who have had to undergo abdominal surgery, to hysterectomy or even after giving birth. And as a result there are bowel and urinary inconsistencies that can be very disconcerting. Physiotherapy can help with long-term benefits in all these areas.

8. Relief from Bone Ailments: Not only the elderly, but also the young adults tend to suffer from arthritis, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid and other conditions that recur hyperthyroidism. Lack of adequate movement and long hours in front of the computers are to be blamed for it but physiotherapy can help with getting lasting solutions.

9. Treatment for Accidental injury: Injuries caused by accidents need extreme care, because the effects of an internal injury or a misplaced bone may have lasting repercussions. However, with the right physiotherapist, most of the problems can be resolved and with better results, allowing extra movement and flexibility is a much less duration.

10. Rehabilitation: Physiotherapy is a part of most rehabilitation programs simply because it takes a far more holistic approach to healing than any other form of treatment, making the results truly fruitful, without any side effects and without having to incur expenditure for expensive medicines.

There are lots of physiotherapy clinics everywhere, which are committed towards making the recovery process smoother for their patients and clients. WeCare Physiotherapy is the new destination for those looking forward to getting a fit body and enhanced mobility with affordable rates and positive results. With fully certified physiotherapists and access to the best infrastructure, there are provisions for Physiotherapy, Acupuncture, Pilates and Reflexology. There is also a Shoulder Clinic and Sports Injury Clinic. All of this contributions to an all-round and holistic approach to treating pain and other bone and muscles problems, with specialized advice from the therapists. Give us a call to meet our friendly clinicians in Sittingbourne & Sheerness, tell your requirements and let us help you heal your pain.

{ Comments are closed }

How Physical Therapy Can Help a Loved One With Cerebral Palsy

If your child or loved one has cerebral palsy (CP), then you are all too aware of the daily challenges he or she faces. From holding a fork to putting together simple phrases, everyday activities that seem simple to us require much more concentration or effort from someone with CP. Luckily, our understanding of the disease has progressed in recent years and has allowed us to develop methods that counteract its effects. Physical therapy is now a part of many CP regimens. When done properly and guided by a medical professional, physical therapy can have a number of benefits for people with CP. It should be an integral part of the way your family addresses your child or loved one's disease.

Develop Coordination

Early symptoms of cerebral palsy often include problems with balance; although signs are diverse, the “scissor gait” is a landmark of classic CP. Intensive training with a therapist can often improve the severity of the gait. Therapists can also help people with CP improve their hand-eye coordination. Catching exercises, movement techniques, and practice walking, pedaling, and swimming can lessen the intensity of muscle spasms or tremors. They can also greatly improve a person's ability to interact with the world around them. Eating with a fork or spoon, drinking from a cup or through a straw, and writing can all be affected.

Build Strength (and Muscle Tone)

Many people with cerebral palsy have underdeveloped or uneven muscle tone. This is thought to be caused by a lack of nutrients delivered to certain parts of the brain during fetal development or shortly after post-pregnancy. While there is no non-surgical way to radically change musculature, physical therapy can improve the strength of the muscles and some effect muscle shape. By doing simple, supervised exercises on land and in the water, a person with CP can strengthen his or her own body.

If begon early enough, physical therapy can also have an effect on bone growth. In a normal person's body, our bones maintain shape partly because of the stress caused by opposing muscle groups. Underdeveloped muscles will not hold the bone's shape correctly during growth, leading to bowed bones. Adding light strength training to a child's physical therapy can develop those muscles and build stronger, straighter bones.

Gain More Independence

For a long time, the prospects for individuals with even mild forms of cerebral palsy were pretty bleak and often included enrollment in a permanent medical facility or around-the-clock personal assistive care. Now, the disease is a little better understood, and intensive therapy starting at a young age can significantly improve an individual's ability to provide self-care. Some people with CP are even able to live alone, feed themselves, drive cars, and maintain steady jobs.

As part of a larger course of treatment, physical therapy can significantly enhance the livelihood of people with cerebral palsy. By giving them the tools necessary to take care of themselves, they can go on to live more independent, fulfilling lives. Do not let their disease define who they are as a person.

{ Comments are closed }

A Glimpse Into the Importance of Physical Health

Today a lot of people are facing physical ailments. There has been a rise in sickness due to causes like stress, pollution, noise, adulterated food, poor sanitation etc. Even if we have the tools to stay as healthy as a horse, we can not find the time to do that.

Why do you think that is the case?

Mostly because no one takes physical health very seriously. People empty their baggage and responsibility on their natural environment and blame everything but themselves for their failing health. But the truth is that no matter who you blame for it, it is you who has to take steps to improve your own health.

So why should we worry about our physical well-being?

Firstly, by staying fit and healthy you can experience increased concentration and focus. A healthy mind resides in a healthy body. If you have a stomach ache today and an assignment due tomorrow, all your energy will go into worrying and being upset about the ache and you will not be able to concentrate on the assignment.

You can increase savings! Believe it or not, staying healthy can save you a lot of money. You will not have to pay big medical bills or spend a lot of money on medicines.
All of that money can go into the bank or into investments to double it up for you!

It will be easier for you to train. If you are an office-goer and have recently found a new job, you will realize that if you are healthy it is going to be easy for you to train yourself for the new job. If you go with a cold during your training weeks you will retain less than you would otherwise.

You will take less leaves from office. Since you will be able to dedicate more time to your work, it will improve your efficiency. This means that you will be able to the same amount of work in a shorter period of time and that will soon increase your chances for a promotion.

We have looked at various benefits of staying fit. Now let's see how we can actually achieve this.

• Exercise- as you must already know, exercise is the key to living a healthy life. Your body needs some movement or routine that will burn all the unwanted fats and carbohydrates. You do not have to slim, you have to be healthy and maintain your genetic figure,

• Water- water is your best friend. A majority of our body is made of water. It is the best cleanser there could be. You have to keep yourself hydrated at all times so that you can fight diseases and viruses of any kind.

• Eat right- eating right does not mean you completely avoid junk food. It only means you eat in proportion. Everything you eat, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, fried food etc., must be consumed in certain amounts. Over eating anything can have negative effects on your body.

Eating locally grown produce is extremely important, whenever you are eating something that has been imported, it has over the transit time lost most of its nutrients and is no good.

• Stay clean- you must be thinking why someone would ask you to stay clean when they are talking about physical well-being. But the outside of your body is as important as what is inside. If you do not keep your skin clean it can get rashes, irritation, bugs and what not. These external ailments can also affect you mentally & internally.

• Sleep- it is very important for your body to get the rest it describes and needs. When you are sleeping your body rejuvenates for another day filled with activities and keeps you from falling ill very often.

It is very important for us to be in tune with our body and listen to what it has to say. It has its own unique ways of telling us if it is feeling good or bad and when it needs something from us. Our bodies strive every day to keep up with our busy lives, in exchange it is our duty to make sure our physical well-being is of prime importance to us.

{ Comments are closed }

Chiropractic Treatment With Physical Therapy Offers Long-Lasting Relief

In the US, a significant percentage of the population visits the chiropractic doctor for treatment purposes.But, what actually is chiropractic treatment? Many people living in the US are of the opinion that the treatment is effective which is why it is one of the natural mainstream treatment options in the country.

There are a few important things for an individual to know about chiropractic care and the services that are offered in many chiropractic wellness clinics.

Many chiropractor offer physical rehabilitation in addition to spinal manipulation which is the primary method of treatment in a chiropractic clinic. Most Doctors of Chiropractic actually undergo specialized training in physical therapy, offered by the school and other post-graduate courses. The chiropractic student must pass a physical therapy exam required by the National Board Of Examiners. One of the primary staples of physical therapy is to provide specific exercises for the patient in order to restore biomechanical function of the joints, this is done by stretches, stabilization exercises, core strengthening and other core stabilization exercises. A lot of chiropractic doctors as well as physical therapists use a stability ball, medicine ball, and or a wobble board to assist with balance and coordination.

A chiropractor who is well-trained in physical therapy may offer therapies such as: ice, heat and electric stimulation, whirlpool, paraffin wax and others.

Beside physical rehabilitation, the main objective of the chiropractor is to provide partial manipulation or adjustments. The aim is to restore proper alignment of the spinal structures hence decreasing nerve pressure and irritation. This provides pain relief, increase mobility, and an overall sense of well-being. Some doctors offer spinal decompression as a treatment for the relief of pain related to disc injuries. Spinal decompression has proven effective for bulging and herniation of the discs, spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal), and others.

Chiropractic care combined with physical therapy are among the best natural ways for pain management.

On many occasions, chiropractic-treatment allows patients to avoid surgery. Those patients who are afraid of surgical procedures, in many instances, by consulting a good chiropractor can choose to avoid it. Based on the patient's clinical presentation, the chiropractic doctor may choose whether to treat conservatively with chiropractic care or refer out to surgery.

In the past few decades, because of a large number of positive feedback from patients and clinical success, chiropractic-treatment has become very popular and for many, a first choice method before going under the knife. Major insurance carriers including Medicare cover chiropractic care due to the overwhelming positive effects of chiropractic treatment on pain, muscle spasm, stiffness and mobility.

It is often so, that after a chiropractic adjustment, pain is quickly eliminated almost immediately post treatment. Chiropractic-treatment also helps to reduce the stress, increase overall function by improving the nervous system.

There are infrastructures in the form of professional institutes that teach the most up to date information on the science of chiropractic through continuing education courses for chiropractic doctors. This ensures that the doctors are providing safe and quality treatment to the public. Nowadays, such treatments require highly sophisticated, chiropractic tables, instrument adjusting tools, therapeutic modalities, spinal Traction and decompression tables, diagnostic procedures for radiography and other diagnostic instrumentation.

There are approximately 50-60 thousand chiropractic doctors in the US alone! Each physician is different in their methods and treatment options. There are over 100 different chiropractic techniques, about 20 of them are mainstream.

Some doctors of chiropractic are very heavy on instrumentation while others are more manual, in essence, they use their hands to perform an adjustment, while others combine both. The term mixer has become synonymous with a chiropractor who uses other therapeutic modalities in addition to the chiropractic adjustment. The one's who use only the hand adjustment that is strictly to the spine, are considered to be a purist or “straight chiropractor”. The feud still stands today between the “straights and mixers'.” The fact of the matter is that both are helping and serving people to live better more healthy lives.

{ Comments are closed }

Full Shoulder Replacement? Dos and Don’ts for a Full Recovery

If you have ever experienced shoulder pain and loss of full range of motion, you know that simple tasks like brushing your hair or driving a car can be excruciating. As we age, our most-used joints experience wear and tear. From professional athletes and weekend warriors to crafters and nurses, years of overuse may lead to any number of problems including arthritis, fractures, tears, or even dislocation.

Early treatments may include rest, physical therapy, oral pain medication, and injections. When the pain becomes unbearable and negatively affects your quality of life, shoulder replacement-replacing your ball and cap with artificial joints-may become the best option.

So, you have spoken to your orthopedic surgeon, and full shoulder replacement is on your horizon. Here are ways to make sure you are back and better than ever within one year of surgery.

Pre-Operation

Do talk to your surgeon and ask lots of questions. Shoulder replacement is a real operation. Depending on your existing health and pain medication use, you will either have in-patient or out-patient surgery.

Do not jump into surgery without evaluating all other less-invasive options. You need to be prepared to take it easy after the operation. Your loved ones, employer, and co-workers will all be affected by this decision.

The Day After Surgery

Do keep your arm in a sling. Following the surgery, you will need to limit motion as much as possible. Keep the sling on except when dressing, bathing, brushing teeth, eating, or completing other daily activities.

Do not remove the sling for non-daily living activities. This will hinder your healing.

One Week After Surgery

Do visit your doctor for a post-operation check. Remember to keep your arm in the sling unless you are performing activities of daily living.This is also the point where you will be able to start simple exercises with assistance.

Do not continue using pain medications. Post-operative pain medication dependence is a serious problem.

Three to Six Weeks After Surgery

Do work on your range of motion. Exercises should be done daily and start from a lying position. Move your arm up and over your head to stretch your tendons. Once you have mastered raising your arm while lying down, work on raising your hand with your palm against a wall.

Do not push yourself too hard. Remember that recovery is about quality over quantity. You should be working up to moving your shoulder in natural ways without pain.

Three to Six Months After Surgery

Do resume activities that exercise the joint naturally. These include running, swimming, cycling, or golf.

Do not lift weights. You should be strengthening muscles without exertion. Lifting weights could lead to teething and further injury during the healing process.

Six Months to One Year

Do continue performing activities that allow you to exercise your shoulder. Have fun!

Do not over do it.

If you follow these tips, you should be pain-free and have a full motion within one year of your shoulder replacement surgery.

{ Comments are closed }

Ways Physical Therapy Can Help

Anyone who struggles with chronic pain or range of motion issues might benefit from physical therapy. A physician may recommend this treatment plan to help a patient recover from an injury or some medical condition. The medical professional can teach pain management techniques, as well as methods for improving flexibility and range of motion.

Pain Management

Many people experience ongoing issues with pain that interfere with daily activities. Instead of resorting to medications for various types of pain relief, physical therapy can be an effective way to manage discomfort. The therapist can provide the patient with exercises that target specific muscle groups and joints. Performing these exercises can build strength and flexibility, which may reduce pain. This type of treatment can also include electrical stimulation directed at specific muscle groups, which often helps alleviate discomfort.

Enhanced Mobility

Anyone struggling with mobility can benefit from physical therapy. This treatment can assist people with building strength to stand, walk, and move around. Specific exercises will stretch and strengthen muscles, increase flexibility, and enhance coordination. When patients must perform specific movements such as transferring from bed to a wheelchair or using a walker to walk, this type of therapy can teach skills and help build strength.

Independent Movement

Aging often brings about issues with independence. A therapist can assist an older patient with independent movement to give a person more autonomy. Part of this type of treatment also involves screening people for fall risk to determine whether they have a high potential of falling in the home. If a patient is found to be at an increased risk, the health care professional can provide specific exercises that will help build strength and coordination.

Illness or Injury Recovery

Sports injuries often involve fractures and sprains. Recovering from this type of injury can be a lengthy process. People often benefit from specific movements that will help strengthen injured areas. With professional guidance, the patient may also be able to avoid additional injuries, which can occur with exercising too strenuously after an injury. Similarly, some illnesses also require physical therapy. For example, a stroke usually involves various degrees of physical impairment. To regain movement and function, a professional can assist with weakened muscles and balance issues.

Post-Surgical Recovery

Recovering from surgery usually involves preventing the body to heal and then slowly building strength and coordination once again. Specific exercises often help with post-surgical recovery, targeting areas that need to heal and strengthen. People often find that they recover faster when they utilize targeted exercises both before and after surgery. Some people may even be able to avoid certain surgical procedures with the use of physical therapy. Performing exercises may help with healing and pain management after an injury, eliminating the need for surgery.

Building physical strength and coordination is often always a positive health enhancement. By applying these principles to healing and well-being, it may be possible to recover faster and more completely. A workout designed specifically for someone's unique needs should be an effective treatment method for recovery.

{ Comments are closed }

Psoas Muscles: Understanding Them, Releasing Them, and Integrating Them for Healthy Function

To understand your psoas muscles means to understand what they do when healthy, and the symptoms, when they are unhealthy (too tight).

What Your Psoas Muscles Do

In healthy function, your psoas muscles maintain your uprightness in sitting, influence your spinal alignment and balance when standing, and your movement when bending, twisting, walking and running. Your psoas muscles are core stabilizers.

Tight psoas muscles show up as groin pain, deep pelvic pain, and as a deep belly ache. Postural effects include a butt that sticks out in back and a protruding belly, as your pelvis shifts position to top-forward. In movement, stride length is restricted.

Tight hamstrings often develop to compensate for the extra drag. Chronic constipation also develops, in some people, due to the effect of an overactive psoas on the neighboring nerve plexus that regulates intestinal activity.

To Free Tight Psoas Muscles

Three basic approaches exist.

  • stretching
  • massage / manipulation
  • movement training

First basic understanding: Muscle / movement memory runs the show.

If your psoas muscles are tight, your muscle / movement memory keeps them that way. Muscle / movement memory comes from a defect level of the nervous system than voluntary movement does; it's conditioning.

Because muscle / movement memory develops by conditioning, stretching and manipulation produce, at best, temporary and partial results. You can not stretch or manipulate away conditioning; you can not stretch or manipulate away muscle / movement memory. The pattern of remembered movement and tension quickly returns. That understanding explains your experience with therapy for tight psoas muscles.

Since muscle / movement memory runs that show, you need an approach that re-conditions muscle / movement memory – and that's where movement education comes in.

Movement education is not “knowing how to move” or “maintaining good posture” or maintaining “neutral spine position”. It's new, automatic movement conditioning. It lives at the depth where motion / memory exists – the kind of movement memory involved in riding a bicycle, for example.

How did you learn to ride a bicycle (or swim, for that matter)? Practice: development of new patterns of movement until they become habitual.

To develop new control and new movement involves not just free muscles, but also integrating them into movement patterns with other movers and stabilizers of the body.

Movement training also involves awakening sensation of movement and position. The odd thing is, if you do not have such sensation or if it's distorted, you do not know it. It's an absence. When you develop such sensation, you realize what you had lacked.

Without the integration step, your psoas muscles are likely to revert to their tight state. I'll say more, as we go on.

Understanding how psoas muscles play in movement simplifies our approach to setting things right. Having made such a statement, I will, of course support it. But first, I have to lay some groundwork.

“PSOAS” OR “ILIOPSOAS”?

The psoas muscles share a common tendon and end-point with the iliacus muscles, which line the inside of the pelvis, so the combination is called, the “iliopsoas” muscle. For brevity, I use the term, “psoas muscle”.

CORE MUSCLES

The psoas muscles are our deepest core muscles.

When people speak of the “core”, they usually mean the muscles of the abdominal wall. But how is that the “core”? The core of anything, such as the Earth or an apple, is its centermost part. The psoas is a core muscle (as are the diaphragm, quadratus lumborum, iliacus and other muscles closest to bone); the abdominal muscles are “sleeve”, outside the core.

HOW CORE FUNCTIONS

The psoas muscles, being most centrally located as the deepest muscles in the body, help control the shape of the spine. By controlling the shape of the spell, they control our balance – how the centers of gravity of our major segments – head, thorax (or chest), abdomen and legs – line up.

Tight psoas muscles distort the spiral curves, shorten the spell, change pelvic balance and cause ungainly (chunky, heavy, labored, awkward) movement. To the degree that the spiral curves are removed, our alignment is distorted and to that degree, we are out of balance and our movement is un-economic / wasteful of effort.

COORDINATED MUSCLE / MOVEMENT MEMORY

Muscles never work alone; they always work in concert with other muscles. What any muscle does affects our entire balance. Other muscles have to compensate for those effects on balance by tightening or relaxing. Your brain controls these entire patterns of movement and compensation with memories of movement (“muscle / movement memory”).

Because your nervous system and muscular system cooperate as a whole, to try to change the movement and tension behavior of tight psoas muscles without changing the larger movement pattern of which they are a part is to work against the rest of the system and its (our ) memory of how movements go and feel. That's why methods of muscle manipulation (eg, massage, myofascial release, stretching) produce changes that are either temporary or slow in coming – and because muscle release by manipulation is painful: it works on sore, contracted muscles directly against the condition of the entire movement system, which resists the change.

ACVITITY AND REST: COORDINATION AND MUSCLE TONE

The term, “tone”, refers to the level of muscle tension: complete rest means zero muscle tone; complete activation means maximum muscle tone. Some people believe that the higher the tone, the better; others believe that complete relaxation is better. As you will see, where tone is concerned, it's either; better-integrated is better, and better-integrated means more freedom to adjust accurately to changing conditions – freedom and balance.

Your brain coordinates the movements and tone of muscles; tone changes as position changes in movement. That's what is meant by “supple.” Supple psoas muscles have the sensation of spaciousness, support, freedom and length at your body core. The term rolfers use is, “open core.” When psoas muscles do their job of stabilizing the spine, they relate the abdominal wall muscles of some of that task; your abdominal muscles have the sensation of relaxation and free breathing. The term rolfers use is, “free sleeve.” Healthy functioning of the musular system gives the experience of “open core, free sleeve.” Open core / free sleeve is the feeling of trunk / spine length, flexibility and stability.

HEALTHY FUNCTION

“Healthy”, in this sense means, “getting the intended result with the least effort.” Where movement is concerned, the word, “graceful”, applies. Graceful movement is economic movement; awkward movement is uneconomical or ungainly movement. Graceful movement preserves effort; ungainly movement wastes effort. For movement to be economic, it must be well-balanced and well-coordinated – a matter of integration.

Psoas muscles help regulate our changes of position as we move from rest into activity and from activity into rest by changes in their tone. They help maintain balance and stability in those positions. They are central to movements from lying to sitting, from sitting to standing, and from standing to walking and running. If their tone is too high, they interfere with balance and stability as we move into different positions; their tone is almost never too low, and if so, usually indicates either neurological damage or a need to learn basic control.

With changes of position, the activity level of the entire muscular system muscles changes, as follows.

From Lying Down to Sitting to Standing to Walking and Running

At rest or in repose, your psoas muscles have no job to do and should be at rest – which means relaxed and comfortable.

Your psoas muscles connect your legs to your trunk. When you move from lying to sitting, they provide a sufficient stable core to move to the upright position.

Overly tight psoas muscles create groin pain or deep low back (lumbopelvic) pain when changing position from lying to sitting. You may have the experience of a groin pull or of muscles seizing up in your pelvis.

When Sitting – Psoas muscles connect groin to pelvis and low back and stabilize balance in the front-to-back direction and to some degree, in twisting movements; your brain adjusts their tone for the right amount of front-to-back stability under the pull of gravity.

From Sitting to Standing – As you move from sitting to upright standing, your psoas muscles must relax and lengthen to permit you to stand fully upright.

Overly tight psoas muscles, which connect your groin to your spine, prevent you from coming to a fully erect, balanced position.

When Standing – Well-regulated tone is low enough to allow you to stand at your full stature, with minimal lumbar curve and high enough to stabilize your balance. Through your psoas muscles, your brain adjusts your spiral curves (and balance) as you bend forward, lean back, move side-to-side, and twist and turn.

Overly tight psoas muscles do not lengthen enough as you stand straight; they pull from your groin to your low back, causing lumbopelvic or lumbosacral pain, a “pubes back” position, and excessive lower back curve. Your belly protrudes and your butt sticks out.

From Standing to Walking – As you step into walking, you first shift your weight onto one foot to free the other leg to come forward; the psoas muscles on the standing side relax and those on the walking side tighten to help you step forward. In healthy walking, your psoas muscles freely alternate, side-to-side, between higher and lower tone as you walk or run.

You can not make a repeating change in one muscle group without changing the rest of your movement system because your brain fulfills habitual patterns of movement among muscles (pattern of coordination); to change one, you have to reorganiz the entire pattern. That kind of change does not occur “by deciding to move differently”; when you're walking, you can not conveniently put that kind of attention into your movements; you have to make it automatic, and there's a process for that, mentioned below.

SUMMARY

Efforts to free the psoas muscles without also improving their coordination with the rest of the musculature produce only partial and temporary improvements.

That means that “psoas release” techniques, “psoas stretches”, and psoas strengthening approaches need movement education (which involves brain-muscle training) to produce a stable shift to healthy psoas functioning.

Economical movement (least effort, good result) and easy balance are the goal – attributes you can develop by movement training that first frees the psoas muscles and then integrates them into economic movement patterns. First free, then integrate.

It's convenient to use the movements and positions in which the psoas muscles participate – from repose to sitting, from sitting to standing, from standing to walking (and by extension, to bending, twisting, running and other actions) – to evaluate them functioning and to free and integrate them.

Then, it's a brain-level training process that changes the brain's sense of movement and coordination.

One name for that kind of training process is, “somatic education.” Learn more, below.

{ Comments are closed }

Understanding Occupational Therapy

Much of what we know about proper practices and methodology in the world of occupational therapy is advanced by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). AOTA establishes the guidelines for practitioners in the United States. It publishes these guidelines, as well as general information about the practice, in their publication “Framework: Domain and Process.”

The most recent edition, the third edition, was released in 2008. The Framework is a guide for practitioners to assess patients' needs and help them find better solutions to achieving their goals. It provides the structure for this assessment in three basic steps: Evaluation, Intervention, and Targeting of Outcomes.

Understanding the Framework will allow you to get the most out of your relationship with your medical professional and your treatment. By equipping yourself within the framework, you can better achieve your goals.

Evaluation

Evaluation is the first part of the discovery process. On paper, the evaluation proportion consists of finding out what a patient has done and is able to do. Your practitioner will want to find out what sorts of jobs you've held in the past, how you were able to perform those jobs, and whether or not your environment, coworkers, own work ethics, or outside factors contributed to your success or failure at that job. Your doctor may speak to you, people you've worked with, or family members to get a clear picture of what is going to be suitable for you as a worker.

Intervention

According to the AOTA's Framework, intervention is a collaborative process. After the interviews, you and your practitioner will work together to devise a plan that utilizes your personal strengths in the job market. Part of this plan is finding a compromise between your personal goals and the practical applications of this plan.

Intervention is an attempt to change some habit or action that previously kept you from success. Identifying undesired or non-vital habits and replacing them with more desirable habits in a safe environment with lots of outside support helps increase the chances that these habits will be maintained as you move into the work.

Targeting of Outcomes

Occupational therapy acknowledges that adjusting to the work is an ongoing process. It may take multiple plans, or multiple attempts, before the original goals of the practitioner and client are met. This section of the Framework is meant to allow the doctor and patient to modify their approach and change any aspects of the evaluation or intervention plan.

For some people, occupational therapy is a single interaction between client and practitioner that creates a habit. For others, it is the beginning of a lifelong process, with doctor and patient constantly working in tandem to ever ever-changing goals. In either situation, the hard work of both the specialist and patient leads to success. An understanding of this relationship can help navigate the diverse decision-making involved in the day-to-day practice of occupational therapy. The Framework highlights the value of this relationship and can be a useful tool.

{ Comments are closed }

Three Reasons Why Orthopedic Rehab Is Helpful

If you have ever had a surgery or serious injury, you know that it can be physically exhausting to recover properly. Most surgeries or major traumas require specific exercises and protocols. Orthopedic rehab is designed to deal specifically with injuries involving the musculoskeletal system. Issues in this field often include sports accidents, such as torn tendons and broken bones, tumors, and even infections. Following a recovery protocol specifically to your injury and operation can help you to recover faster and more fully. Here are three reasons why.

Regain Function

After a serious injury or medical condition, our bodies often attempt to compensate for the trauma. For example, when a person limps, it is an attempt to take pressure off of a damaged body part. As a result of this natural compensation, the muscles and tendons surrounding the injured area can often weak or atrophy from lack of use. This is further exacerbated following an operation. Orthopedic rehab helps the patient focus on strengthening the repaired body part and the area surrounding it. Without a directed recovery, most patients will continue to favor the injury, resulting in a lifelong limp, hitch, crook, or other physical abnormality.

Prevent Injury

As discussed above, the human body will tend to protect a damaged area by shifting the workload to other limbs, tendons, or muscles. Even after the area has been surgically repaired, the human body will continue trying to shield it. If the body does not re-learn that the damaged body part is okay, the overuse of other areas could result in further accidents. This example is often seen in athletes with an injured leg or foot; in an attempt to protect the weakened area, the athlete puts more force into their cuts, pivots, or jumps with their good leg. This can result in damage to the strong leg or foot if too much strain is placed on it. Conversely, if the surgically repaired area is never re-strengthened, it is more apt to suffer the same failure as before through normal use. Orthopedic rehab can help patients regain the strength lost through trauma and an operation.

Avoid Surgery

In some cases, orthopedic rehab can help patients suffering from physical trauma avoid an operation altogether. This can be achieved through directed exercises or by altering how a person performs physical tasks. In the case of a weak back, a therapist may work with the patient on how to sit, stand, sleep, and bend over. The proper use of the back, coupled with specific exercises designed to strengthen the weakened area, can reduce the amount of pain a patient is feeling. In many cases, this approach can absolutely solve any issues a patient is having, rendering surgery unnecessary.

In conclusion, orthopedic rehab can be helpful in resolving a number of physical ailments. Patients should wholeheartedly work with their physical therapists for a better recovery experience.

{ Comments are closed }