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”
Carrying a little angel within you is a delicate yet cherished time for every woman. Depending on age, and medical status, every woman reacts to changes in hormonal level and physical status differently. It is recommended from almost all medical sources that an expecting woman should try to be active as long as she can be. Being active, however, does not mean running a marathon, or participating in a triathlon (although there are some exceptions). Being on your feet, and performing your daily activities may sometimes feel like running an Olympic race. However, the 5 to 10 minutes of walking can help a woman and her baby to be healthy. In this article, I want to discuss five MUST do Pregnancy exercises for a pregnant woman. Remember, these are kind of mandatory for all woman but the list does not end with this.
Feeling numbness and tingling on the fingers or hand? Having trouble holding a cup of coffee – you feel like you will drop the cup soon? Feeling weakness in hand? Are these complaints familiar to you? Cervical Disc Herniation with an impinged nerve is one the most common cause for PT visits. One vertebra protrudes posteriorly (backward), anteriorly (forward – less common) or sideways (medially or laterally – again rare), impinging a cervical nerve passing through the cervical foramen. This impingement or pressing down of the nerve brings symptoms that are uncomfortable. Continue reading “Cervical Disc Herniation: A Physical Therapist’s approach to reduce Neck pain”
Shoulder exercise is done with a wide range of variations. Isometric contractions are one of the ways to perform shoulder exercise. In my previous articles, I discussed how to perform isometric exercises of elbow, wrist, knees and low back. Isometric exercises are exercises that do not produce any visible body movements. The length of the muscle fibers does not change while performing this exercise. That is why these exercises are a good option to consider when a joint is in a cast or immobilized. They are also a good option to initiate your exercise protocol when a person demonstrates severe weakness or pain. Continue reading “How to Perform Shoulder Exercise Isometrically.”
Physical Therapy plays a crucial part in the management of pain and stiffness related to Rheumatoid Arthritis. Rheumatoid Arthritis is a type of autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the body’s joints causing chronic inflammation of the joints and joint lines. In addition, rheumatoid arthritis can cause extra-articular inflammation which leads to injury to other organs in the body. As a result, RA is a type of systemic illness and is the same as rheumatoid disease.
Wrist pain can occur due to several reasons and can be acute or chronic. A pain is categorized as chronic when it lasts for more than 3 to 6 months, gradually worsens or reoccurs even after medical treatments. Chronic wrist pain can be due to work-related musculoskeletal disorders, overuse injury to muscles, ligaments etc. It can also be a side effect of prolonged use of medications or being in wrong postures for extended periods. As per CDC, arthritis and wrong ergonomics are some of the main factors leading to chronic wrist pain. Continue reading “Chronic Wrist Pain: Guide to Conservative Pain Management”
Who hasn’t had neck pain at some point in their life? Neck pain is probably one of the most common chronic pain complaints of today’s world, which results mostly from the improper use of electronics (eg. improper monitor alignment, improper use of cell phones, etc) and bad posture causing muscle or ligament strain. The pain can be greatly reduced or even alleviated by performing some simple neck exercises and stretches. The list below will guide you through these neck exercises as well as stretches that help in reducing neck discomfort and pain.
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.
Just like any isometrics, elbow isometrics are used and prescribed to reduce muscle or tendon pain and swelling. Few common conditions like tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) or golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis) make elbow isometrics more important than isometrics of other joints. In this article, I discuss how to perform two main elbow isometrics with printable handouts. This is Elbow flexion isometric and elbow extension isometric. Continue reading “Isometric Exercises to Strengthen Elbows and reduce Elbow Pain”
Wrist Isometric exercises are used to reduce pain and manage the swelling. These exercises are done in the early case of injury, or while the wrist is in a cast or in an immobilizer. Isometric exercises do not allow any muscle lengthening or any visible movement in the body. So it is little tricky to understand and to perform correctly. However, with help of clinician, you can learn how to perform this exercises accurately. In this article, I want to describe some important wrist isometric exercises. Continue reading “Wrist Isometric Exercises: How to exercise Wrist when in Cast”
Wrist pain is extremely common among athletes, healthcare professionals and anyone who is involved in lifting/carrying of heavy/large objects. A small pull here and there, happening over time, can easily damage wrist muscles or ligaments. An injury due to overuse of wrist can result in chronic wrist pain. On the other hand, a forceful sudden pull is capable of tearing the ligaments or muscles around wrist immediately causing an acute onset of pain. I will discuss how to treat and prevent both acute and chronic wrist pain. Continue reading “Exercises to Relieve Acute or Chronic Wrist Pain”
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.
Breathing is how every cell in our body gets oxygen. This oxygen passes through the bloodstream. At the cellular level, this helps in ATP formation and thus energy production. Breathing is one of the most important involuntary actions. Many times, we are not even aware of our breathing pattern. We only start paying attention to it when we realize we are not getting “enough air”, constantly “out of breath” (AKA SOB), or having difficulty breathing. Consequently, this turns into a visit to a doctor or ER. In my previous article, I discussed COPD, which is one of the major disorders that makes people feel out of breath. Here, I want to discuss few strategies to perform breathing exercise correctly.
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”
In my previous article, I talked about isometric exercises for hips and knees. Here, I want to discuss two major isometric exercises for low back pain, which greatly help in dealing with lower back pain. Some of the more complex isometric exercises are planks, push-ups, or holding certain yoga poses. However, They are more strenuous and intense exercises that should be performed by a healthy person with proper guidance. The two basic isometric exercises that are demonstrated in this article can be used in the acute stages of lower back pain or lower back injury. Continue reading “Two isometric exercises for low back pain”