How to use Exercise Bike effectively and safely

By Bijal Shah

The exercise bike is a very popular way of getting your workout checked off for the day. Most of the exercise bikes provide different exercise programs that include cardio, resistance training, weight loss training as well as the manual setting for beginners. Some newer models also include anaerobic exercise setting or high-intensity training. Thus, exercise bikes give users the flexibility to choose the desired work out session for the day, comfort to perform the work out any time of the day, as well as ability to perform the session in own homes. No worries about snow days or rainy days, one can still continue this important healthy habit and be proud of himself for doing it!

exercise bike

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ALS: A Comprehensive Rehabilitation Guide

By Bijal Shah

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 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”

Tips to Develop Good Relationship between Therapist and Assistant

By Bijal Shah

Working in the healthcare industry is tough. Being a therapist is even tougher. You are constantly being challenged by a patient and their families for active participation. Your manager looks at you to complete your pending paperwork. The other team members might be pushing a patient for discharge. And you have a team member (PTA or PT) who gives you hard time for the plan of care, or your techniques, the school went to or any other small thing that he or she can talk about. Yes, I am talking about that therapist or therapist assistant who constantly finds a problem in you or your ideas. This article discusses how to improve the relationship between the therapist and assistant.

PT- PTA relationship

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5 Tips to Improve Your Communication Skills As a Health Care Professional

By Bijal Shah

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 a few tips for effective communication.

communication

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Managing chronic pain without addiction – A guide to Pain Management without Opioids

By Bijal Shah

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.

Pain Management

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”

A Physical Therapist Guide to Treat and Manage Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)

By Bijal Shah

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.Congestive Heart Failure

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A comprehensive guide to different types of transfer in Physical Therapy

By Bijal Shah

There are many types of transfer a clinician can guide a patient to perform.  As physical therapists, we come across different 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.

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Tips on Prescribing Exercise as a Physical Therapist

By Bijal Shah

How a physical therapist decides/prescribes the exercise 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 the frequency and intensity of exercises like 10 repetitions for twice a week.  Exercise is a prescription; just not written on a prescription pad!  exercise prescription Continue reading “Tips on Prescribing Exercise as a Physical Therapist”

Six Tips on performing Successful Wheelchair Evaluation

By Bijal Shah

As physical therapists, we prescribe a 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 the safety of others.  WheelChair evaluation Continue reading “Six Tips on performing Successful Wheelchair Evaluation”

Types of wheelchair and a guide to selection

By Bijal Shah

A proper wheelchair provides the 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 their patients.  It becomes more challenging if you work with neuro patients as 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 basic information regarding different types of wheelchairs and their use. 

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Group Exercise: Seven Reasons to Consider as a Treatment Of Choice

By Bijal Shah

Having an exercise partner is helpful in many ways. Exercising in a group not only benefits a patient but also is useful for a therapist. 

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 the 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. 

group exercise

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, but it is also very efficient and productive from the 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 the benefits of group exercises. Continue reading “Group Exercise: Seven Reasons to Consider as a Treatment Of Choice”

Physical Therapy Patient Evaluation Form – Format and Sample

By Bijal Shah

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”

Life in a Day of a Physical Therapist

By Bijal Shah

The 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 the day of a Physical Therapist!!

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