ALS is otherwise also known by its full name amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. It is a type of progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects upper and lower motor neurons in the brain and the spinal cord. It comes from the Greek language where “A” means no. “Myo” refers to muscle, and “Trophic” means nourishment – “No muscle nourishment.” The motor neurons are responsible for initiating voluntary muscle movements. They also act as a bridge between the brain and the muscles for the crucial communication. So, as the name suggests, when a muscle does not have any nourishment, it “atrophies” or wastes away. As the motor neurons degenerate, it leads to a hardened area in the brain or scarring which is also known as “sclerosis”. Continue reading “ALS: A Comprehensive Rehabilitation Guide”
Communication is crucial in health care. The form of communication can be immediate, FYIs, or education to patient and or family members. Effective and timely communication builds trust among team members, patient and care providers. Here are few tips of effective communication.
This is a quick reference guide to perform Physical Therapy Cardiopulmonary evaluation. For details on history taking and general guidelines for PT evaluation reference card, click here.
Pain is defined as a feeling or sensation that is not pleasant or comfortable. Pain can be mild, moderate or severe. It can bearable or unbearable. It may or may not disrupt one’s daily life or functional level. But the truth is, no one wants to live in pain. In addition, no one should put their health at risk in an effort to be pain-free. I will focus on some very effective and non-pharmacological pain management techniques in this post.
Since 1999, Americans have increasingly been prescribed opioids. This includes painkillers (like Vicodin, OxyContin, Opana, and methadone), and combination drugs (like Percocet). In some situations, prescription opioids are an appropriate part of medical treatment. However, opioid risks include depression, overdose, and addiction, plus withdrawal symptoms when stopping use. As a result, people addicted to prescription opioids are 40 times more likely to become addicted to heroin. Continue reading “Managing Chronic pain without addiction – A guide to Pain Management without Opioids”
Congestive heart failure is a series of conditions when cardiac output cannot meet the metabolic demand of the body. Approximately 5 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF). More than half a million people are diagnosed annually. Heart failure is mainly due to a structural or functional defect in the heart. The aim of this article is to talk about the role of physical therapy, and the importance of an exercise regime in patients with congestive heart failure.
There are many types of transfer a clinician can guide a patient to perform. As physical therapists, we come across different kind of people with different limitation and abilities. While providing a PT treatment or assessing the patient, our goal (along with patients and families) is to make our patients independent in the majority of functional tasks. Being independent makes patients stronger, gives them chance to work on their own, and reduces stress on caregivers or family members. Being able to go from one place to other independently is a major achievement! Before moving from place to place, a person needs to go from surface to surface. Moving from one to other surface is called transfer. It takes a fine clinical judgment of a therapist to determine what type of transfer a patient will be able to perform. So let’s talk about few different types of transfer that we teach our patients. Continue reading “A comprehencive guide to different Types of Transfer in Physical Therapy”
Let’s talk about how a physical therapist decides/prescribes the exercises for a patient to make meaningful changes. You may be wondering, exercise prescription?? We have heard about prescribing medication but not exercises, right? Why do I bother to spread awareness that exercises, just like medications also have a prescription? Yes, you read that right. We, physical therapists, don’t just come up with exercises and resistance that patients need to do. Its also not just a guess when we say frequency and intensity of exercises like 10 repetitions for twice a week. Exercise is a prescription; just not written on a prescription pad! Continue reading “Tips on Prescribing Exercise as a Physical Therapist”
As physical therapists, we prescribe wheelchair based on our patient’s needs. We look for things like ambulatory status, weight-bearing precautions, arm or leg injuries, cardiopulmonary problems, etc while prescribing an appropriate wheelchair. Wheelchair evaluation can be very simple and straightforward when it is used for short-term use. Contradictorily, it can be tricky for patients with neurological disorders. It starts with getting information regarding past history, checking muscle strength and balance, finding the cognitive abilities and the usage of the chair. Yes, it is your full-fledged thorough physical or occupational therapy evaluation. And let me tell you, it does not end only an evaluation! A patient needs to be well trained to propel the manual chair or drive the power chair for the safety of himself and safety of others. Continue reading “Six Tips on performing Successful Wheelchair Evaluation”
A proper wheelchair provides required comfort and necessary support. Transport chair, Geri chair, and electric chair are just some varieties of wheelchairs. With so many types of wheelchairs available in the market, it is crucial for people working in a hospital or a subacute care facility to find a proper wheelchair for thier patients. It becomes more challenging if you work with neuro patients like I do. The reason being, patients with neurological disorders change their presentation frequently due to change in tone and tightness. That is why a proper wheelchair evaluation is important. The aim of this article is to provide you with the basic information regarding different types of wheelchairs and their use.
Have you ever had a situation where you are actually working with one patient? While your patient is resting, she starts talking with other patients sitting in rehab gym. They become friends, start going to some activities together, go to dining room together and to stretch it a little further, they stay friends even after going home! Yes, I never thought about it, but socialization is very important and magical (to some extent!) for the majority of our patients. It gives them courage, positivity, and hope that they are not the only one in their fight. It motivates them to fight harder, achieve their goals and go home.
This brings me to our topic for today – Group exercise and its benefits in Physical Therapy. Group therapy is not only cool from a patient’s perspective, it is also very efficient and productive from therapist’s side. What more as a therapist you can ask for when your patient is already motivated to come down to the gym happily and do all her exercises!! Happy patients and happy therapist, win-win on both ends. So let’s talk about benefits of group exercises. Continue reading “Seven Reasons to Consider Group Exercise as a Treatment Of Choice”
I have developed this Physical Therapy evaluation form based on what I usually need to know from my patient. It was designed mainly for sub-acute or inpatient setting, but it can also be utilized in various other settings such as outpatient and home health. The purpose of this article is to help other therapists have information quickly available when they need it. Feel free to add/remove items based on your professional needs. A downloadable version is attached at the bottom of the post. Continue reading “Physical Therapy Patient Evaluation Form – Format and Sample”
Physical therapy program is becoming more and more popular. Physical Therapy school is hard and it can become challenging to hold onto your hopes till the completion sometimes. I want to write this blog to educate current Physical Therapist students how a day looks like a Physical Therapist routinely. So here is to the life in a day of a Physical Therapist!!
So its time for the interview. Maybe first; maybe one after other unsuccessful interviews. Once we finish our internship and final semester, it is time to look for places where we can actually use our knowledge and help people! Granted, after having a PT degree, you are going to get a job. If you have some contacts in the field, you may even start working under direct supervision prior to clearing your NPTE. In any case, yes, you will get a job – no worries there.
Often times, physical therapists are put into a place where we need to have a conversation with family explaining their loved ones cannot go home, can’t live alone, won’t be able to drive, can’t feed themselves, or their impulsivity or memory causes harm to their independence. Sounds so familiar, doesn’t it? Being able to have a difficult conversation is a key part of physical therapist’s routine. We may have to have this kind of conversation once a week or month or more often!!
I am writing this due to experiences I have had my new grad employees. Majority of them have a tough start and have difficulties during their first week. One of the key reasons has been due to lack of time management to meet the productivity requirements. So, I want to share some information that has helped me and few of my employees.
PT school is hard and long. But you survive it. Not only that, you managed to score a decent GPA through the program as human service is your calling. You clear your NPTE on the first attempt, and now it’s the time to find a good job. A job that can take care of huge student loans, take care of you and give you some satisfaction. After all, you wanted to be a PT to serve human being and serve society!! So, let’s talk about what should and should not be done in your first week at work to set a good impression among your colleagues, in front of your manager and get you some happiness and satisfaction at your job.
I discuss what to ask specifically during your interview process in a different article. Continue reading “Succeed in a Physical Therapy career at a sub-acute care facility – Keys to Time Management”