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Physical Therapy and Alzheimer’s disease

The type of dementia known as Alzheimer’s causes memory loss, difficulty thinking, and problems with behavior. Alzheimer’s begins slowly and the symptoms worsen over time, thus interfering with daily living. Many patients with Alzheimer’s receive physical therapy to help delay the worsening of symptoms and to prolong a satisfactory lifestyle.

Physical therapy with Alzheimer’s patients consists of exercises in various movements. Physical activity has been shown to slow down the negative effects of dementia, as it can improve memory. The physical therapist is trained to design individualized exercise regimens for people with dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. The exercises are not always physical; they also operate mental awareness activities as well.

At the onset and into the next stage of Alzheimer’s, keeping patients mobile is the focus of physical therapy. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s; however, the physical therapist can facilitate movement and activities to keep the patient active.

In the advanced stages of this disease, the physical therapist can continue to work with the patient in a new role. The professional can assist the patient with everyday tasks in order to reduce the burden on family members. The physical therapists can also educate the family about the disease and teach them techniques for improving the safety of their loved one. The therapist can also teach family members or caregivers how to take care of their loved one’s needs.

 

“Alzheimer’s Disease.” American Physical Therapy Association. Move Forward, 2011. Web. 30 May 2016.


The Benefits of Acupuncture for Seasonal Affective Disorder

Sometimes people find themselves becoming depressed during certain seasons. Commonly referred to as the “winter blues”, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a real diagnosis of depression during the late fall to spring months. The depression from SAD depletes people of energy, makes people tired and lethargic, and causes moodiness and irritability. In order to keep your energy and happiness levels up all year long, it is important to recognize seasonal affective disorder’s symptoms so you can help yourself during that time of year.

Symptoms of SAD

Feeling sadness and having very low energy is very common in typical depression, which is what SAD is a part of. During seasonal affective disorder these depressive symptoms become a little more stronger and they come with more symptoms, such as sleep problems, changes is weight, changes in diet, moodiness, irritability, concentration issues, feeling sluggish and unmotivated, crying for no apparent reason, and poor socialization skills.

How Acupuncture Can Help

Seasonal Affective Disorder can be treated with acupuncture. The acupuncturist will meet with you and discuss your symptoms and the severity of the symptoms as well. Your treatment will be unique to you, and will have no harmful side effects or addiction to any medication, as many anti-depressants have.

In treating depression, the acupuncturist will channel the positive flow of energy by placing the feather-like needles on different parts of the body. The acupuncturist is trained and knows which pressure points represent each area of your healing. With depression, acupuncture will need to restore your positive life energy, or “qi”, and reset your body. While doing so, hormones will be naturally released to help your periods of sadness and irritability. This may need to be done over several sessions, and each session may take anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour. It all will depend on your severity of seasonal affective disorder.

Seasonal affective disorder can be debilitating, and you may not feel you have anywhere to turn. Choosing to visit an acupuncturist is a wise decision, and you will begin to feel better in no time as your positivity will begin to shine through.


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Physical Therapy

Numbing and tingling pain in the palmar side of the hand, fingers and thumb can make typing, writing, and other use of the hand quite painful. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by a nerve that becomes compressed in the wrist area. The actual carpal tunnel is a very narrow passage within the wrist that is formed by small bones in a ligament. Tendons are also included in this area, and when the tendons swell the nerve becomes compressed.

With carpal tunnel syndrome, when the wrist is flexed or extended it can feel as if pain shooting through the arm. In severe forms of the syndrome, the affected individual’s grip decreases; this makes simple, everyday tasks extremely difficult. Physical therapy is an ideal way to alleviate the pain of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Methods of therapy can include gliding exercises (the movement of fingers in a specific pattern to ensure the tendons and the corresponding nerves glide effortlessly and without pain through the carpal tunnel), the Graston Technique (utilizes soft tissue ability), manual therapy (hands-on methods), ultrasound therapy, and traction. When the patient is not in therapy, wearing a brace that keeps the wrist in a specific position when typing or performing other tasks that constrain the wrist can help.

With the above methods of therapy accomplished by seeing a physical therapist regularly, the carpal tunnel syndrome may diminish. Physical therapy may help sufferers of this condition so that surgery may be avoided.

Mishock, John, PT, DPT, DC. “Physical Therapy: A Treatment Option for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Mishock Physical Therapy and Associates.” Mishock Physical Therapy and Associates RSS. 2012. Web. 30 May 2016. <http://www.mishockpt.com/physical-therapy-a-treatment-option-for-carpal-tunnel-syndrome/>.


Physical Therapy for Chronic Pain

The nervous system is responsible for sending pain messages to the brain, and the brain determines that there is a real threat to the person.  In some conditions, even after the person seems to be healed, pain still does occur.  Chronic pain is pain that lasts for more than three months, and can be quite troublesome and debilitating.

Many conditions can lead to take this type of pain; however, there are specific illnesses that are more susceptible to chronic pain.  These illnesses include: severe trauma and injury, diabetes, fibromyalgia, migraines, phantom limb pain, shingles, and multiple sclerosis.  Of course, there are many diseases that have pain that is ongoing, such as rheumatoid arthritis and the many types of cancers, yet with chronic pain the discomfort is generated in the nervous system even though the point of pain and tissues have recovered and healed.

Physical therapists are trained to help patients deal with chronic pain.  They do so by reviewing the patient’s medical history, listening to the patient, and discussing all symptoms and any diagnosis from the primary physician.  With this information, the physical therapist will be able to develop a plan of treatment through specific and combined therapies.

To begin, the physical therapist will educate the client about chronic pain in the precise reason her patient may be experiencing the pain.  She will involve the client in developing the therapy plan.  The plan of therapy may include: flexibility and strengthening exercises, manual therapy, movement and posture exercises, and other modalities incorporated into therapy.  These may include the application of ice, heat, and electrical stimulation therapy.

It is important to understand that everyone is different, and everyone’s chronic pain is unique to the individual and to the condition. Once the physical therapist and the client begin to consistently work together, the client will begin to see marked improvement in the ability to manage the chronic pain and enjoy a sense of well-being.

“Types of Chronic Pain Syndromes.” – RightDiagnosis.com. Health Grades, Inc., 13 Aug. 2015. Web. 22 May 2016.


Physical Therapy after Rotator Cuff Surgery

In order to regain proper use of the shoulder after a full tear of the rotator cuff, surgery is the only option. After surgery, physical therapy is the ideal way to heal properly in order to regain full use of the shoulder. However, Physical therapy is not performed until the patient receives permission from the physician stating that the sling (worn to protect the shoulder and arm after surgery) may be removed.

In order for the shoulder to have full functionality and mobility after surgery, the patient needs to attend physical therapy sessions on a regular basis. In the beginning, the activities chosen by the physical therapist are very simple. As physical therapy continues, and the patient regains mobility in the shoulder area, the exercises become more rigorous. Each patient is different, and because of this the physical therapist will evaluate the patient in the beginning to ensure proper exercises given.

The first few weeks after the surgery is when the shoulder is very tender and can be reinjured very easily. The sling is worn to protect the shoulder area and must be worn at all times with the exception of bathing and dressing. Once the sling can be taken off, physical therapy will begin, very gradually, to help the shoulder move properly once again. There are many different range-of-motion exercises that the physical therapist will do with you; manual therapy may also be formed at this time to alleviate any pain. In addition to this, icing and stimulation by electrical current can also relieve the pain.

As the therapy sessions increase over time, the strengthening exercises may become a challenge for the patient. The physical therapist will help the patient perform the exercises and begin to work through the pain without over doing it. In addition to the physical therapy sessions, the patient will begin to use his arm more often throughout the day; however, there will be limits placed on what the patient can and cannot do with the arm (such as heavy lifting).

Strengthening the main muscles of the trunk area, the shoulder blade, and of course the rotator cuff muscles are the goals of the physical therapist. Performing exercises to strengthen these muscles will help the patient over time develop a normal range of motion and mobility in the shoulder area. With these activities, the patient will slowly be able to perform normal everyday tasks with the shoulder and arm, but it will take time. It is a gradual process and the client must be patient with the process so another injury to the rotator cuff does not occur. Full mobility will eventually come again, and the patient will be able to live a life without shoulder pain.

 


Physical Therapy and Managing Diabetes

Everybody needs insulin in order to use blood sugar, or glucose, for energy by carrying the sugar from the blood to the cells. When this isn’t done properly, the blood sugar increases in the blood and causes complications, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and side-effects of feeling very ill.

Individuals that have diabetes can manage their diabetes and other vascular conditions by having a physical therapist guide them through a proper exercise plan. Physical therapists are trained to develop an exercise program catered to the individual. Controlling blood sugar can help the effects of this disease, and an exercise plan will help manage the blood sugar levels.

Strengthening and aerobic exercises help manage blood sugar levels by helping the cells use the glucose in the blood for energy. When the muscles contract during exercise, another mechanism is stimulated that is not related to insulin.  This unrelated mechanism aids the cells in absorbing the glucose rather than having it dangerously build up in the blood. Glucose is taken up during exercise and after. Aerobic exercise and resistance training are ideal for managing diabetes, and a physical therapist can help you be the healthiest you can be with this illness.

The physical therapist may also work alongside the physician to keep the diabetes monitored for a healthy and positive well-being. Activities provided can include aerobic exercise of moderate intensity, depending on the patient’s abilities. Walking briskly, swimming or water exercises, and dancing are activities the therapist may feel is a good match for the patient.  For some clients, a more vigorous work out will be necessary, such as jogging, hiking, martial arts, aerobic exercises, and dancing. With Type Two diabetes, resistance training may be offered if the patient is able to use weights or bands. Whatever the therapy prescribed, it will need to be given no less than three days a week on a consistent basis to keep the diabetic patient feeling great and being the healthiest he can be.

 

 

“Diabetes.” American Physical Therapy Association. American Physical Therapy Association, 2011. Web. 25 May 2016. <http://www.moveforwardpt.com/symptomsconditionsdetail.aspx?cid=892c2628-6e96-41fa-93e1-4c973c247010>.

 


Avoiding Surgery with the Help of Physical Therapy

Injuries or chronic conditions can make everyday tasks very difficult. Often, individuals with debilitating injuries or chronic conditions opt to have surgery so they may live a productive life. However, surgery does not need to be the only option to regain movement and strength. Physical therapy is an ideal way for many to avoid the complications, risks, time of recovery, and cost of surgery.

With proper treatment methods that come from physical therapy, the body can heal itself over time. Physical therapists not only facilitate proper exercises and habits in terms of movement of an affected area, they also recommend proper nutrition that can boost healing as well.

Techniques that physical therapists use to promote the healing of a condition, illness, or specific injury include manual therapy, exercises, and stretching. When these methods are given to the patient repetitively during therapy and consistently over time, the patient may see a decrease in painful symptoms. The sessions with a physical therapist are also much more cost-effective than surgery.

When a patient makes an appointment with the physical therapist, the professional will discuss the specific symptoms and develop a course of treatment. The physical therapist will educate the patient about the condition and precisely why the patient is experiencing those particular symptoms. The medical professional will explain to the patient all of the options available in terms of treatment. This way, the patient will have a complete understanding of the methods the physical therapist will use. Once the therapy sessions begin and continue, the patient may begin to make progress by feeling better and will realize that surgery is definitely preventable.

 


Acupuncture for Seasonal Allergies

If you are an allergy sufferer, how many times do you find yourself dreading your least favorite season? Would it be your least favorite season if you didn’t have the annoyances and suffering from allergies? Many people find it hard to enjoy life outdoors when allergy season hits; this makes being happy throughout the year difficult. As the seasons change, different allergens are released into the air that makes it very hard for allergy sufferers’ well-being. Many individuals think of spring when they hear the word “allergy”; however, the other seasons of the year contribute to allergies. In addition to pollen in the spring, the winter months can bring mold and pet dander as people stay in with heaters on. Fall brings ragweed, mildew, and mold, and summer can bring dust mites.

Symptoms

Symptoms of seasonal allergies come and go, depending on the sufferer. Wheezing, coughing, itchy eyes, scratchy throat, runny nose, congestion, and even stomach aches are some of the symptoms. Individuals that have seasonal allergies may have a few of these discomforts or even all of them. With allergies, many individuals take medication on a daily basis, use nasal sprays, get allergy shots, use essential oils, or just stay inside all too often. These allergy sufferers are experts at HEPA filters and pollen counts and know their bodies well enough to wear a mask when mowing the lawn.

The Benefits of Acupuncture

No one likes the side effects associated with the prescription allergy medications on the market today. Getting shots once a month to treat the allergies is not something people look forward to either. With acupuncture, the treatment will be based on the core of the problem. The underlying cause of the allergies will be found and the treatment will focus on that.

Acupuncture is used to effectively treat allergies by restoring the balance to the body, using the pressure points to improve the immune system and its function, increasing the circulation of the blood, and reducing stress. Depending on the allergies and the symptoms associated with your allergies, the acupuncturist will be able to create the best treatment plan for you to ease your discomfort from seasonal allergies.


Physical Therapy and Back Pain

Individuals suffering from back pain that has lasted for more than two weeks can benefit from physical therapy, especially after an injury that isn’t making progress in healing. Back pain can limit people from doing the normal everyday tasks, both at work and at home. The muscles, tissue, and bones of the back can be susceptible to a multitude of injuries, such as sports injuries, accidents and falls, general work that requires bending and lifting, or from chronic conditions. The lower back is the most common place for back injuries and many people are diagnosed with sprains, strains, disk conditions, nerve pain, and vertebrae that become fractured.

Back pain can be debilitating, as it causes pain, thus interfering with normal, everyday activities. There are several types of treatment for this condition, including icing, massage, chiropractic care, acupuncture, bed rest, surgery, and physical therapy. Physical therapy is ideal for treating back pain, and can be used in conjunction with these types of treatment; physical therapy may help patients avoid surgery as well.

Physical therapists are trained to help patients understand the reason for their back pain, while assisting in decreasing the pain and increasing the mobility of this area of the body. These professionals conduct passive therapy on the patient, including the application of electrical nerve stimulation, ice, iontophoresis, and ultrasound with heat. Active therapy such as stretching and exercising is also incorporated into the physical therapy procedures. Clients may see a physical therapist several times per week or fewer, depending on the condition and severity. Therapists may also teach their patients how they can perform these activities at home.

 


Quitting Smoking: How Acupuncture Can Help

Smoking is a habit that is very bad for your health. This has been proven in countless studies; it can lead to heart disease, lung cancer, premature aging, dental problems, lung diseases, low birth rates if done during pregnancy, high blood pressure, and so many more illnesses and diseases. Many people know this, but they continue to smoke. This is because smoking is highly addictive, and quitting has a large amount of uncomfortable side effects. Even though the side effects of quitting are only temporary, some of them are so intense that people give up and begin smoking again.

There are a wide variety of methods used that people lean on to try to stop once and for all. Acupuncture works without using any type of nicotine replacement, as many people have found that actual nicotine replacement still is very addictive.

How Acupuncture Works

If you are a smoker who wants to quit for good, an acupuncturist can help. The acupuncturist will look at all of your symptoms, such as withdrawal symptoms and take into account how long you have smoked and how much. Each person is unique in their quitting journey, so the acupuncture sessions are individualized.
The treatments will more than likely focus on the cravings, restlessness, irritability, dizziness, and shakiness that come with stopping nicotine. Acupuncture will also help with detoxifying the body and relaxing the body. To accomplish all of this, the acupuncturist will place the hair-like needles in various points on the body, determined by the symptoms you are having. You may also receive ear seeds to keep the power of acupuncture helping you for up to a week. The pathways that are associated with smoking cessation and the energy points are used to your advantage, and with this type of treatment, you can remain smoke free for life without the cravings and urges.

In addition to acupuncture, you may also be given Chinese herbs to take to combat the symptoms of withdrawal. Many people have quit thanks to acupuncture, and you can as well.

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