Squeezed Sciatica – Prevent and Treat Sciatic Nerve Pain

Sciatic pain affects a wide range of the population.   The pain can show itself as numbness and be tingling in a leg, starting usually from low back or buttock area, going down to thigh, knee or all the way to the ankle, usually one side of body… unable to sit, stand or walk without pain.   As a physical therapist, I meet at least two to four people a day who complains of sciatic pain – and they are not necessarily my patients, but my colleagues, my friends, relatives of my patients, my family members and a few of my readers. Sciatica affects young age, middle age, and old age people. And how can I forget wonderful pregnancy and Sciatica?  So, today, let’s talk about what is Sciatic Pain and how physical therapy can help to treat it.

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A comprehencive guide to different Types of Transfer in Physical Therapy

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. Types of transfer Continue reading “A comprehencive guide to different Types of Transfer in Physical Therapy”

Physical Therapy to Treat TBI : Treatment Approaches for Brain Injury Cases

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is anything that can impact normal function of a brain after birth (mostly caused due to an accident).  Rehab treatment approach varies as per what stage and how fresh the brain injury (TBI) is. It also depends on therapist’s experience level and belief in the treatment approach. For me, not one approach is a gold standard or right than other. I have also experienced that treatment approaches vary depending on patient’s prior level of function, age and comfort level. TBI

Some treatment will give excellent results with one patient while the other patient may complain of pain or discomfort with that same method. So the goal of this blog is to discuss some basic methods that therapists use to treat TBI patients. I will try to keep it real simple so not only therapists but other readers can also get some knowledge out of this article.  I discuss types and etiology of TBI here. The other thing to keep in mind is, the same treatment method can be used as the main treatment approach versus just a preventive measure depending on the acuity of an injury. So let’s talk about treatment methods for TBI patients. Continue reading “Physical Therapy to Treat TBI : Treatment Approaches for Brain Injury Cases”

What is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Since I work with brain injury patients, Traumatic Brain Injury is my favorite topic to discuss and write. For me, it is difficult to put down words on Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as there is so much involved with TBI. But I also don’t want to write five pages long article and bore all my readers. So I am going to try to keep this a short and sweet article. In this article, I am going to discuss definition, types and some basic information on TBI. I discussed different treatment approaches of TBI here.  So let’s start! TBI

Brain injury is anything that can impact normal function of a brain. An acquired brain injury is when an injury happens after the birth. Here the brain is normally developed already.  There are two types of acquired brain injury: Traumatic and non-traumatic brain injury. Continue reading “What is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)”

Tips on Prescribing Exercise as a Physical Therapist

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!  exercise prescription Continue reading “Tips on Prescribing Exercise as a Physical Therapist”

Six Tips on performing Successful Wheelchair Evaluation

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.  WheelChair evaluation Continue reading “Six Tips on performing Successful Wheelchair Evaluation”

Types of Exercise – Definitions based on required level of assistance

Exercise is a common term used by people in the different spectrum. Some will say workout is the same as exercise.  While this topic can be a very basic for PTs, it is not so basic for other healthcare professionals.  I have been asked several times regarding the types of exercise.  Specifically,  what do they mean and what is the difference between each type.   So, let’s talk about what exercise is, and the different types based on the level of assistance required.

 exercise types Continue reading “Types of Exercise – Definitions based on required level of assistance”

Types of wheelchairs and a guide to selection

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. 

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Seven Reasons to Consider Group Exercise as a Treatment Of Choice

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. 

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, 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”

Physical Therapy Patient Evaluation Form – Format and Sample

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”

Dealing with Arthritis: Osteoarthritis Treatment Options

Physical Therapy treatment options for osteoarthritis

Arthritis is a buzzword you may have heard whether you are a healthcare professional or not.    Most commonly, Osteoarthritis is referred to as arthritis.  Furthermore, a lot of times, any joint pain related to aging is also labeled as arthritis or Osteoarthritis.  As a physical therapist, I cringe when a condition is generalized without facts.   The truth is, It’s not necessary to “always” have pain with arthritis, but of course, I bite my tongue (often) and just give a pretty smile.  So, my aim with this post is to make people (mainly non-healthcare providers) aware of what arthritis is, and provide tips to deal with the discomfort associated with the condition.

physical therapy for Osteoarthritis

 

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Life in a Day of a Physical Therapist

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!!

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Guide to preparing for an interview as 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.

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Orthosis in Gait training – Successful Story of recovery from Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)

This is a case of 65 years old healthy woman who fell from seven steps and had a loss of consciousness for few minutes almost a year and a half ago.

Learning to walk again after SCI

The patient sustained C7 cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) from a fall. Her injury was classified as ASIA A SCI and she had to undergo cervical spinal fusion after the injury. She received basic rehabilitation at the hospital and had few complications like PNA and UTI during her hospitalization. She came to our facility for neurorehabilitation. Gait training was the most difficult task for my patient to achieve after her injury.  And of course, gait training was one of her main goals. This article summarizes her progress in rehab and the creative ideas I had to use during her gait training. Spinal cord injury Continue reading “Orthosis in Gait training – Successful Story of recovery from Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)”