From the category archives:

Therapy

Mental Health in Schools

by Howard Gerber on March 15, 2012

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School districts are constantly looking for ways to reduce their overall spending. Unfortunately, one of the ways they are accomplishing this goal is by reducing, or not expanding, their psychological staff. This is possibly the worst time for these types of budgetary cutbacks to happen, because the need for these services in the schools is greater than ever. Student suicides are on the rise, bullying continues to increase in new and traditional ways, and stress management continues to be a problem for students. These concerns are increasing during a period where there are national shortages in school psychologists that are only expected to increase over the next decade. [continue reading…]

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Acetaminophen Linked to Increased Childhood Asthma

by Howard Gerber on February 2, 2012

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It has been common knowledge for about three decades that children should not be given aspirin because it can lead to the development of Reye’s syndrome. Around the time this discovery was made doctors and parents began giving infants and children acetaminophen to reduce fever instead. However, about a decade later some doctors began to think that the increase in childhood asthma might be linked to the increased use of acetaminophen. A 1998 paper indicated the link and recommended further testing in animals and studies in other countries where childhood asthma was increasing.

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Medicare Therapy Caps

by Howard Gerber on January 19, 2012

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Congress was in the news quite a bit in December because of the many extensions that were set to expire the first of January if they were not extended. The therapy cap provision was especially concerning for those in speech, physical, and occupational therapy positions. Fortunately, it has been extended until February. However, it could still be eliminated unless Congress makes a more permanent decision. Had the legislation not been extended there would have been a 27.4% reduction in the fee schedule and exceptions for the early $1,880 therapy cap would have been removed. Just how important is it that these measures not be removed? [continue reading…]

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Motivating Physical Therapy Patients

by Howard Gerber on January 3, 2012

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Physical therapists are heroes and villains in the story of recovery. At first, they are the villains of the story because they make the patient hurt more. The patient has dutifully been “taking it easy” for a bit after their surgery or accident and they have begun to feel a smidge better. Then they are suddenly being asked to bend, stretch, and move in ways that make the pain come back tenfold. This is, of course, a necessary component in healing and regaining full motion – but it still hurts. Usually it isn’t too terribly hard to motivate a patient to come back for their therapy appointments during this initial stage because it is all too obvious that they desperately need help to get back to their pre-injury state. However, motivating the patient to complete their exercises at home can be quite the challenge. The task of motivation becomes even more challenging once the initial phase of therapy is over and the time for maintenance begins. [continue reading…]

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Seasonal Affective Disorder

by Howard Gerber on December 29, 2011

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Seasonal affective disorder is aptly referred to as SAD, because the people suffering from the disorder often diagnose themselves as being simply sad at first. While there are variations of seasonal affective disorder that affect people during the spring and summer, most cases begin sometime in the fall and last throughout the winter with symptoms finally subsiding in the spring. [continue reading…]

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Stability Ball Benefits

by Howard Gerber on December 27, 2011

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A stability ball is one of the few physical therapy tools that look more like a game than a device of torture, at least from the perspective of the patient. The balls come in a variety of colors and sizes and are likely to remind patients of toys from childhood. They can be a great introduction to physical therapy because they are less intimidating and the exercises can seem more fun. This is true for both adults and children, both can benefit from the use of a stability ball. As any health practitioner knows, success largely depends on attitude. Use the stability ball to improve your patient’s attitude and watch the results follow. [continue reading…]

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Holiday Blues

by Howard Gerber on December 20, 2011

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While it may not be true that suicide increases around the holiday season, it is true that many people do experience what has become known as holiday blues. This may be because people are more aware of their feelings at this time of the year or because their expectations of happiness are higher during the holidays and so they feel like they are sadder than they “should” be. Regardless, the triggers for these feelings seem to be similar regardless of the patient and many of the non-medical treatment options are viable for most patients as well. Of course it is important to remember that not all patients who feel depressed will have these “holiday blues” and may be in need of more intense treatment. [continue reading…]

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