From the category archives:

Therapy

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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Physical Therapy in the Fall

by Howard Gerber on November 24, 2011

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With the leaves blow from the trees and snow flurries begin to flutter, consider changing up patient routines to prepare them for the new environment they are about to confront. People who have suffered an accident or injury may have been seeing you for the past several months, they may even be showing progress, but the change in the weather will likely have a few surprises in store for them. If they have never used their crutch, cane, or walker on the ice, how will they know how to do so properly? Right now, they still have the safety of familiar weather conditions, but in a few weeks, they will be facing snow and ice for possibly the very first time since they began therapy. What are you going to do to help them? [continue reading…]

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Apraxia of Speech

by Howard Gerber on November 10, 2011

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CAS, or childhood apraxia of speech, may also be known as verbal apraxia. This speech disorder is not fully understood, however, it causes the patient to be unable to fully perform the movements required to create speech. While it may be called by a variety of names, the important connection is the child has difficulty planning and following through with the actions required to speak. [continue reading…]

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Using Vestibular Swings for Your Patients

by Howard Gerber on September 27, 2011

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Vestibular swings are therapeutic devices designed to address a variety of vestibular disorders. VRT, or vestibular rehabilitation therapy, is the first line of treatment for most patients with this type of condition. The exercises designed by the therapist help to retrain the brain of the patient to compensate for their condition. Often VRT will make it possible for patients to lead a normal life without requiring surgery. This therapy is usually provided by a physical or occupational therapist. [continue reading…]

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