What to know about walking for weight loss

Regular walking offers many potential health benefits, including weight loss. It is also one of the easiest and most cost effective forms of exercise a person can do. Many people can walk regularly and reap the benefits of being more active.

Doctors widely agree that inactivity is a potential cause for many preventable conditions, such as heart disease and obesity.

For example, a study in the Journal of Exercise Nutrition and Biochemistry showed the positive effects that walking could have on burning fat and reducing waist circumference in obese females. The women walked between 50-70 minutes 3 days per week for a total of 12 weeks. After the study, they found that the study participants lost an average of 1.5% body fat and 1.1 inches around their waists.

Full story at Medical News Today

‘I can’t walk with cramp’: supporting people with intermittent claudication to walk

A “walk in the park” is more difficult than it sounds for someone with Peripheral Arterial Disease. This condition, called Intermittent Claudication (IC), is caused by narrowing of the lower-limb arteries which reduces blood flow to the muscles during walking resulting in a cramping leg pain.  People often have to slow or stop walking every few minutes to let the pain subside – such walking limitations reduce mood, and limit their daily activities and quality of life.

An effective, but underused, treatment for IC is regular walking exercise. There is robust, synthesized high-quality evidence from randomized controlled trials that exercise therapy can lead to improvements that are often clinically – and personally – significant, enabling at least 2-fold-gains in symptom-free walking[1]. Exercise therapy is therefore recommended as first-line treatment in the pathway of care for IC patients.

Full story at bodyinmind.org

This Awesome Water Park Was Designed For Kids With Disabilities

A new water park in San Antonio is making sure kids with disabilities don’t miss out on the splashing fun this summer.

Morgan’s Inspiration Island is an extension of Morgan’s Wonderland, a theme park built to be inclusive for all its guests, including kids with disabilities. Like Wonderland, all parts of the Inspiration Island water park are wheelchair-accessible. Guests with special needs are also admitted at no cost.

Morgan’s Wonderland and Inspiration Island are the creations of Gordon and Maggie Hartman, a couple whose daughter has physical and cognitive challenges.

“We decided to call it Morgan’s Inspiration Island because Morgan truly has been the catalyst for every project we’ve pursued to help the special-needs community,” Gordon said in a press release.

Full story at Huffington Post

Physical Therapy After Brain Tumor Helps Patient Regain Mobility

In 2015, Beth Windel experienced a sudden neurological change and was rushed to the hospital.

She was having seizures that gave her side effects similar to a stroke, including weakness on the right side of her body.

Windel’s care team determined the seizures were likely a side effect of radiation she received for a cancerous brain tumor that she had removed at the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center in 2003.

The seizures required Windel to be hospitalized for six months in the intensive care unit and the inpatient physical medicine and rehabilitation unit. She needed a feeding tube, a lift to get in her wheelchair and could barely speak, among other side effects.

Full story at Michigan Health

Study reveals long-term benefits of stress urinary incontinence surgery

One of the most commonly performed surgeries to treat stress urinary incontinence in women may have better long-term results than another common surgical technique, according to a study led by Mayo Clinic researchers.

The retrospective study of more than 1,800 cases at Mayo Clinic from 2002 to 2012 found that the need for additional surgery was twice as high after a transobturator sling surgery compared with a retropubic sling procedure.

Reoperation rates within eight years after surgery were 11.2% for patients in the transobturator group compared with 5.2% in the retropubic group, according to the study, which will be published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology in August.

Full story at news-medical.net

Proposed Home Health Rule Moves Ahead With New Payment System, Allows Therapist Assistants to Furnish Maintenance Therapy

The US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) intends to go full steam ahead with its plans to shift to a new payment system for home health beginning in 2020. The plans are accompanied by other changes that include allowing maintenance therapy to be furnished by physical therapist assistants (PTAs) and occupational therapy assistants (OTAs), providing a payment “add on” for rural home health care, and adopting an APTA-supported “notice of admission” requirement to avoid duplicate billing. The new provisions, which include a 1.3% payment increase, are included in CMS’ proposed rule released on July 11.

The biggest shift has been more than a year in the making: a transition to a new payment system known as the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM). The PDGM moves care from 60-day to 30-day episodes and eliminates therapy service-use thresholds from case-mix parameters. Instead, the system classifies 30-day care episodes according to a set of 5 major buckets and subsets within those buckets. Patients are assigned a status within the 5 major areas, and within some of those areas they can be assigned to more detailed clinical categories—the combination of categories assigned to a patient generates a particular case-mix grouping. APTA offers extensive information on the new system and will participate in a live August 5 webinar on the model jointly hosted by APTA, CMS, the American Occupational Therapy Association, and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. APTA members can participate in this webinar.

Full story at APTA

Soccer headgear may not reduce sport-related concussion

In season-long tests, soccer headgear didn’t reduce the overall number or severity of concussions experienced by high school players, U.S. researchers say.

Some of the five headgear models used in the trial, however, may have been better at reducing impact forces that lead to concussions, particularly among female players, the study authors report in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

“Female soccer is late to the party in terms of recognizing the number of injuries. So much focus has been on football that we haven’t recognized that females are more at risk for knee injuries and concussions,” said Timothy McGuine of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, who led the study.

Full story at Reuters

Puzzling paralysis affecting healthy children warns CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned that a series of rare and difficult to treat cases of paralysis are being seen in otherwise healthy children since 2018. This outbreak is 2018 may soon make a comeback in 2020 the organization warns doctors and pediatricians. The report was published in the CDC’s Vital Signs this week.

The experts have called this acute flaccid myelitis or AFM that is typically manifested as a sudden onset of weakness especially of the upper limbs followed by paralysis and lesions in and around the spinal cord as detected by MRI scans. The cause of this paralysis is unknown and is commonly seen in children.

Researchers believe that the paralysis which is similar to AFP (acute flaccid paralysis) seen with polio virus infections could be caused by a relative of the same virus.

At present the disease remains incurable and difficult to treat. For most patients the paralysis is self-limiting and often goes away on its own and many regain their muscle strength and recover the complete use of their paralyzed limbs with time. In some however the paralysis may remain constant and residual weakness may continue. In a small fraction, the paralysis may affect the respiratory muscles and lead to respiratory failure and even death, explain the researchers.

Full story at news-medical.net

Pioneering surgery brings movement back to paralysed hands

Thirteen young adults who were paralysed in sporting or traffic accidents have had movement in their hands restored through pioneering nerve transfer surgery, enabling them to feed themselves, hold a drink, write and in some cases return to work.

Natasha van Zyl, the Melbourne-based surgeon who leads a research programme that has given some people their lives back, said the patients were able to use their hands and extend their arms from the elbow. “Extending your elbow allows you to push a wheelchair better, helps you to transfer in and out of a car, reach out and do something in space in front of you, shake someone’s hand.

“It allows you to reach above your head, which you need to be able to do because the world is designed for standing-up people. So you can switch a light off, you can get something off a shelf. Hand function is everything you use your hand for. You would just need to tape your hands up for five minutes to experience how frustrating life would be without your hands, without your fingers.”

Full story at The Guardian

The Power of One Push-Up

The numbers used to assess health are, for the most part, not helpful.

There are the vital signs: heart and respiratory rates and body temperature. Sometimes blood pressure. These are critical in emergencies. If you’ve been stabbed in the chest, paramedics want to know no numbers more than these.

But in day-to-day life, the normalcy of those numbers is expected. It doesn’t so much grant you a clean bill of health as indicate that you are not in acute danger. What if you just generally want to know whether you’re on pace to live an average life or longer?

The most common numbers are age and body weight. The U.S. health-care system places tremendous value on the latter, in the form of body-mass index, or BMI, a simple ratio of weight over height. BMI is used to define obesity and “overweight,” and so to stratify risks in insurance and health-care industries. This number has come to be massively consequential in the lives of millions of people, and to influence the movement of billions of dollars.

Full story at The Atlantic