Category: Physical Therapy

Fearing the deadly combo of COVID-19 and cancer

Three Tuesdays each month, Katherine O’Brien straps on her face mask and journeys about half an hour by Metra rail to Northwestern University’s Lurie Cancer Center.

What were once packed train cars rolling into Chicago are now eerily empty, as those usually commuting to towering skyscrapers weather the pandemic from home. But for O’Brien, the excursion is mandatory. She’s one of millions of Americans battling cancer and depends on chemotherapy to treat the breast cancer that has spread to her bones and liver.

“I was nervous at first about having to go downtown for my treatment,” said O’Brien, who lives in a suburb, La Grange, and worries about contracting the coronavirus. “Family and friends have offered to drive me, but I want to minimize everyone’s exposure.”

Full article at News Medical

CEUs for Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, and Occupational Therapists

Study shows social robot offers new strategies for pain management

Could furry social robots help bolster moods and reduce pain when human to human contact isn’t an option, for example, during a pandemic?

According to a new study by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers published in Scientific Reports, a one-time, hour-long session with a plush, seal-like social robot reduced pain and oxytocin levels, and increased happiness.

The Japanese social robot, PARO, emits seal-like sounds and moves its head and flippers in response to being spoken to and touched.

Full article at News Medical

CEUs for Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, and Occupational Therapists

Pandemic forced insurers to pay for in-home treatments. Will they disappear?

After seven days as an inpatient for complications related to heart problems, Glenn Shanoski was initially hesitant when doctors suggested in early April that he could cut his hospital stay short and recover at home — with high-tech 24-hour monitoring and daily visits from medical teams.

But Shanoski, a 52-year-old electrician in Salem, Massachusetts, decided to give it a try. He’d felt increasingly lonely in a hospital where the COVID pandemic meant no visitors. Also, Boston’s Tufts Medical Center wanted to free up beds for a possible surge of the coronavirus.

With a push from COVID-19, such “hospital-at-home” programs and other remote technologies — from online visits with doctors to virtual physical therapy to home oxygen monitoring — have been rapidly rolled out and, often, embraced.

Full article at News Medical

CEUs for Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, and Occupational Therapists

APTA, 52 Other Organizations to Congress: Stop Proposed Medicare Cuts to Avoid Post-COVID Disaster

It’s clear that the COVID-19 pandemic will have a profound effect on the nation’s health care system for years to come — a fact that only strengthens the argument that CMS’ proposed 2021 cuts to Medicare payment are monumentally ill-advised. That’s why we’ve joined with 52 other health care organizations and signed on to a letter to congressional leaders urging them to do something before it’s too late.

The letter, just a part of our extensive advocacy efforts to stop the proposed cuts, is directed at U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and urges Congress to “help fortify the health care delivery system and ensure long-term recovery” by suspending budget-neutrality requirements in the Social Security Act. Creating this kind of waiver would allow CMS to pursue its goal of increasing payment for evaluation and management codes, known as E/M codes, without being required to offset the cost through cuts to other areas.

Full article at APTA

CEUs for Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, and Occupational Therapists

Telemedicine helps patients with chronic pain receive support during lockdown

The covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated conditions for people living with chronic pain around the world and its long-term consequences are likely to be substantial, according to a new paper from researchers at the University of Bath’s Centre for Pain Research.

Their Topical Review, published recently in the journal PAIN, suggests that with many doctors specializing in pain being redeployed to focus on the immediate crisis, access to traditional services for patients suffering from acute conditions, such as nerve damage or arthritis, has been severely disrupted. Whilst this creates an immediate capacity challenge for healthcare professionals, it has also provided them an opportunity to move towards the greater use of ‘telemedicine’ with online consultation, say the researchers.

Chronic or persistent pain is characterized as pain that carries on for longer than 12 weeks despite medication or treatment. Whereas most people get back to normal following an injury or operation, sometimes pain carries on for longer, or comes on without any history of an injury or operation. Common examples include lower back pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia and persistent and frequent headaches. Globally the burden of chronic pain is as high as 1 in 4 of adults. Data from young people are similar.

Full article at News Medical

CEUs for Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, and Occupational Therapists

New nonsurgical treatment reduces pain, improves function in patients with “frozen shoulder”

A new nonsurgical treatment decreases errant blood flow in the shoulder to quickly reduce pain and improve function in patients with adhesive capsulitis, also known as “frozen shoulder.”

According to a research abstract presented during a virtual session of the Society of Interventional Radiology’s 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting on June 13.

Frozen shoulder gradually causes significant pain and stiffness of the shoulder joint in an estimated 200,000 people in the U.S. each year. The symptoms are often treated with physical therapy or pain medications, until they resolve within one to three years.

“Patients with frozen shoulder are essentially told to tough it out until their symptoms improve, but considering the significant pain and decreased function many experience, we looked to determine if this treatment model of embolization, already in use in other areas of the body, could provide immediate and durable relief,” said Sandeep Bagla, MD, CEO of Vascular Interventional Partners, NOVA and lead author of the study.

Full article at News Medical

CEUs for Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, and Occupational Therapists

House of Delegates Takes on PT, PTA Roles; Education Transparency; Workforce Issues; More

The physical therapy profession doesn’t shy away from a challenge — and that reality was on full display at the 76th APTA House of Delegates, which set the stage for the profession’s centennial by not only taking on important professional and societal issues but doing so in an entirely new way.

In many aspects, the 2020 House resembled its predecessors in terms of the range of topics addressed, from broad concepts such as telehealth to the nuts-and-bolts of internal House operations. But there was one major difference: The entire event was conducted virtually, as most of the country continued to live under travel and in-person meeting restrictions in light of the COVID-19 pandemic

Circumstances demanded that the House quickly adapt. APTA announced its decision to suspend all in-person meetings on March 11; by early June, the association was able to offer an online House experience that allowed for nearly every facet of an in-person version. Delegates learned the technical ins and outs and stepped up to the challenge, tackling a long list of items through, as always, lively debate.

Full article at APTA

CEUs for Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, and Occupational Therapists

Majority of hospitalized patients with advanced cancer have functional impairment

New research from Mass General Cancer Center, published in the June 2020 issue of JNCCN–Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, found 40.2% of hospitalized patients with advanced, incurable cancer were functionally impaired at the time of admission, meaning they needed assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) like walking, bathing, getting dressed, or other routine tasks. Patients with functional impairment also had higher rates of pain, depression, and anxiety, and were more likely to have longer hospital stays and worse survival.

“We are also actively exploring interventions to help patients transition from the inpatient to the outpatient setting, which we have identified as a key challenge for patients with functional impairment,” added senior researcher Ryan D. Nipp, MD, MPH, Mass General Cancer Center.

“Future work is needed to develop novel models of care to enhance access to palliative care services and address barriers that limit appropriate access to palliative care among patients with advanced cancer.”

Full article at News Medical

CEUs for Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, and Occupational Therapists

Everything you need to know about chronic shoulder pain

The shoulder is a complex joint made up of ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Sustaining damage to any of these tissues can result in pain.

Persistent, or chronic, shoulder pain can interfere with a person’s day-to-day activities and quality of life.

This article describes the various causes of chronic shoulder pain and their associated treatment options. It also outlines some exercises that people can perform to help alleviate chronic shoulder pain.

The shoulder is a complex joint that allows for a wide range of movement. However, this complexity makes it susceptible to damage from overuse and injury.

Full article at Medical News Today

CEUs for Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, and Occupational Therapists

APTA Advisory: Small Business Paycheck Protection Program to Become More Flexible

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program is likely to become more flexible for small business owners, thanks to a set of changes that will expand how PPP funds can be used and will extend deadlines for repayment, among other provisions.

The changes, included in a bill dubbed The Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act, were approved by the U.S. House of Representatives in late May, and passed the Senate on June 4. The bill is now on its way to the president”s deskfor his expected signature. The changes are anticipated to be put into effect relatively quickly after that.

Here’s a rundown of what’s changing:

The loan repayment period will expand from two to five years. PT private practices and small businesses that received the PPP loans and are not eligible for loan forgiveness will have their deadlines for repayment to extended to five years after receiving the loan.

Full article at APTA

CEUs for Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, and Occupational Therapists