Author: Flex Therapist

FlexTherapist CEUs provides professional online training to Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants. Our courses are approved by boards throughout the United States for CE renewal. We blog about news and research related to the field of physical therapy that will keep licensed professionals informed.

Games can train seniors’ brains

By Tim Damos

Games Helps Brain and DementiaWith a thud, the clay pigeon shot into the air.

Jackie Bodette focused, took aim, and pulled the trigger. Another direct hit.

Bodette didn’t do her shooting in a field with a gun. She did it with a Nintendo Wii video game controller aimed at a high-definition television inside the Baraboo Civic Center.

“It’s fun and it puts a smile on your face,” said Bodette, the director of the Baraboo Area Senior Center Organization. “It also gets your competitive juices flowing.”

Some say there’s another reason to play video games that demand a range of cognitive skills: brain health.

The Alzheimer’s Association says about 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease. And many people have turned to brain training and games, such as the ones available on the Wii and websites like, to keep their minds sharp.

Full story of gaming for dementia at Baraboo News Republic

UCLA Launches Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Program

By Patti Davis

UCLA Launches Dementia ProgramAlzheimer’s disease affects an estimated 5.4 million people in the U.S., some 480,000 of them in California. Nearly half of all people 85 and older will be stricken with the disease. The overall burden of dementia is still higher, with Alzheimer’s accounting for only 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases.

Yet as devastating as these disorders are to the afflicted, they also have a tremendous impact on family members, friends and caregivers. And while many health systems provide excellent care, and community-based organizations offer supportive services, no comprehensive programs exist to meet patients’ health needs and the needs of those around them.

Family members are often at a loss to find appropriate care and services for their loved ones, and they typically have few, if any, resources to help them navigate their way through the complex health care system.

"UCLA already has top-notch geriatrics, neurology, psychiatry and primary care clinical services," said Dr. David Reuben, chief of UCLA’s geriatrics division. "But we do not have a comprehensive, coordinated dementia care program. As a result, the many needs of UCLA patients with dementia and their families are commonly unmet."

Full story of dementia care at News Wise

Pain, Pain Go Away! Tips to Relieve Pain

By Sandy Smith

Tips To Relieve PainMarch 20th marks the first day of spring, and with the start of this new season comes increased exercise, exertion and potential injury. In fact, the Institute of Medicine reports that nearly a third of Americans experience long-lasting pain, which is costing the nation at least $558 billion per year in medical bills, sick days and lost productivity.

“According to the medically recognized pain scale, which shows comparative pain scale from 1 to 10, moderate pain ‘interferes with many activities and requires a lifestyle change with the person being unable to adapt to pain,’” says Dr. Ken Kronhaus, M.D., Ph.D. and host of Good Day Health with Dr. Ken.

Minor pain does not interfere with most activities and the person is able to adapt to pain psychologically and with medication or devices such as cushions, he adds. Moderate pain is classified as “distressing,” “very distressing” and “intense,” so over-the-counter remedies that “can alleviate moderate pain and empower a person to engage in normal activities is quite significant,” he says.

Full story of pain free tips at EHS Today

Pilates Proves to Be a Powerful Rehabilitation Tool

SB Wire

Pilates As Rehabilitation MethodPilates is not just for gym-goers looking for a way to attain long, lean muscles. The exercise method, originally developed by Joseph Pilates to rehabilitate injured prisoners of war, is once again making its way back into the world of physical therapy NYC. BodyFit Physical Therapy and Wellness of Manhattan takes a holistic approach to rehabilitating injuries by combining standard manual physical therapy methods with massage, acupuncture, MELT, and Pilates.

BodyFit is a one stop shop for all things physical therapy- and wellness-related. The highly experienced therapists have advanced certifications and help clients conquer pain and resume their active lifestyles. Therapists develop a custom treatment plan for each patient and provide one-on-one sessions in a soothing setting. BodyFit features certified Pilates in Manhattan for rehabilitation instructors who combine the exercises with therapy to re-educate patients on movement, strengthen the muscles including the core, and enhance neuromuscular control. The movements cultivate both strength and flexibility to increase functional fitness and overcome muscle imbalances.

Full story of rehabilitation tools at SB Wire

Children With Brain Injuries Often Have Persistent Symptoms

By Allison Shelley

Child Traumatic Brain Injury SymptonsYoung people with mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) are at heightened risk of developing postconcussive symptoms, including cognitive symptoms such as inattention and forgetfulness, report researchers.

"Not all mild traumatic brain injuries are alike," lead investigator Keith Owen Yeates, PhD, from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, told Medscape Medical News. "It’s important to assess risk factors for symptoms that persist."

The prospective, longitudinal study is published online March 5 in Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

Mild TBIs are common in children and adolescents, and every year more than 500,000 young people under the age of 15 sustain head injuries that require hospital care.

In an accompanying editorial, Frederick P. Rivara, MD, from the University of Washington in Seattle, says the message emerging from this research is that the group of injuries classified as mild TBI, including sports-related concussions, should not necessarily be treated as minor injuries that quickly resolve.

Full story of children brain injuries at Medscape Today

Eating Berries May Help Prevent Age-Related Memory Loss

By Jennifer Warner

Berries Helps Prevent Memory LossMaking berries a part of your daily diet may help keep your memory sharp, a new review shows.

The review shows there’s strong evidence that eating berries boosts brain function and may prevent age-related memory loss.

“In addition to their now well-known antioxidant effects, dietary supplementation with berry fruits has direct effects on the brain,” writes researcher Marshall Miller, of the USDA-ARS Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, and colleagues in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Researchers say laboratory and animal studies suggest that eating berries has beneficial effects on brain signaling pathways involved in inflammation and cell death. The net effect of these improvements in brain function may stall age-related brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Full story of preventing memory loss at WebMD

FDA links once-promising pain drugs to bone decay

USA Today

Pfizer Pain Drug Linked To Bone DecayWASHINGTON – Some of the world’s largest drugmakers will face an uphill battle next week in their bid to revive a class of experimental arthritis drugs that have been sidelined by safety concerns for nearly two years.

The Food and Drug Administration says there is a clear association between the nerve-blocking medications and incidences of joint failure that led the agency to halt studies of the drugs in 2010. However, the agency also notes that those side effects were less common when the drugs were used at lower doses, potentially leaving the door open for future use. The agency released its safety analysis ahead of a public meeting next week where outside experts will discuss the drugs’ safety.

On Monday, Pfizer Inc., Johnson & Johnson and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals will make their case to continue studies of the drugs, with safety precautions to protect patients.

Full story of pain drug at USA Today

Take Away Suffering From Chronic Physical Pain

By Swati Desai, Ph.D, LCSW

Feeling Chronic PainShinzen Young, a well-known meditation teacher, uses a very apt metaphor for describing the difference between physical pain and suffering. Suffering is like the area of a rectangle, the base of the rectangle is the physical pain and the height of the rectangle is the resistance we create to the experience of the pain. When we reduce the resistance to the pain, the suffering from the pain is reduced. If the height of the rectangle becomes zero, then the area of the rectangle becomes zero too, although the base is unchanged. If we manage to completely take away the resistance to the pain, the physical experience of the pain is still unchanged, but the suffering we create is reduced to zero.

The key then is to understand what resistance to the pain we may be holding. Resistance to the pain comes from what we attach to the pain. Because pain is our body’s way to tell us to pay attention to something being wrong, we tend to attach several fears and anxieties to the experience of pain. The pain may trigger some deep belief which in turn creates fears and anxieties that are not so much about the pain itself, but about the underlying bigger issue that got triggered. That is what creates suffering.

Full story of chronic pain at Huffington Post