Category: stroke

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

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

Study finds dopamine, biological clock link to snacking, overeating and obesity

Coinciding with this increase in weight are ever-rising rates of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and health complications caused by obesity, such as hypertension. Even Alzheimer’s disease may be partly attributable to obesity and physical inactivity.

“The diet in the U.S. and other nations has changed dramatically in the last 50 years or so, with highly processed foods readily and cheaply available at any time of the day or night,” Ali Güler, a professor of biology at the University of Virginia, said. “Many of these foods are high in sugars, carbohydrates and calories, which makes for an unhealthy diet when consumed regularly over many years.”

In a study published Thursday in the journal Current Biology, Güler and his colleagues demonstrate that the pleasure center of the brain that produces the chemical dopamine, and the brain’s separate biological clock that regulates daily physiological rhythms, are linked, and that high-calorie foods — which bring pleasure — disrupt normal feeding schedules, resulting in overconsumption. Using mice as study models, the researchers mimicked the 24/7 availability of a high-fat diet, and showed that anytime snacking eventually results in obesity and related health problems.

Read full article at Science Daily

Time to Act: Surprise Coding Complication Ignores Realities of PT Practice and Must be Changed

The US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) unveiled an unwelcome New Year’s Day surprise for outpatient therapy providers, including private practitioners and facility-based settings, when it announced it will no longer allow two frequently used therapy billing codes to be used in combination with evaluation codes. It’s a decision that flies in the face of standard PT practice and effective patient care—and CMS and the National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI) contractor need to hear that perspective loud and clear, from as many stakeholders as possible as soon as possible.

At issue are current procedural terminology (CPT) codes 97530 (therapeutic activities) and 97150 (therapeutic procedures, group, 2 or more individuals) which, until January 1, were allowed to be billed on the same day as physical therapy or occupational therapy evaluation. Under new CMS NCCI edits, however, that’s no longer allowed. And in a further complication, the latest NCCI edits also require use of the 59 modifier—the modifier that’s used to indicate that a code represents a service that is separate and distinct from another service to which it is paired—whenever code 97140 (manual therapy) is billed with an evaluation.

Full article at APTA

Yoga and physical therapy as treatment for chronic lower back pain also improves sleep

Yoga and physical therapy (PT) are effective approaches to treating co-occurring sleep disturbance and back pain while reducing the need for medication, according to a new study from Boston Medical Center (BMC). Published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, the research showed significant improvements in sleep quality lasting 52 weeks after 12 weeks of yoga classes or 1-on-1 PT, which suggests a long-term benefit of these non-pharmacologic approaches. In addition, participants with early improvements in pain after 6 weeks of treatment were three and a half times more likely to have improvements in sleep after the full, 12-week treatment, highlighting that pain and sleep are closely related.

Sleep disturbance and insomnia are common among people with chronic low back pain (cLBP). Previous research showed that 59% of people with cLBP experience poor sleep quality and 53% are diagnosed with insomnia disorder. Medication for both sleep and back pain can have serious side effects, and risk of opioid-related overdose and death increases with use of sleep medications.

Full article at Medical Xpress

Physician Owned? Corporate? Independent? Panel Event to Focus on PT Models of Practice

Few would argue that health care in the United States has experienced significant change over the past few years—but do those changes require a new look at practice models for physical therapists (PTs)? That’s the question at the heart of an event cosponsored by APTA and Arcadia University set for the evening of January 9, 2020, 6:00 pm–9:00 pm ET.

The panel presentation, Practice Revolution: Physician Owned, Corporate, Health Care Systems, Independent, and More, will include presentations from APTA Chief Executive Officer Justin Moore, PT, DPT, and Bill Boissonault, PT, DPT, DHSc, APTA executive vice president of professional affairs, as well as APTA members Jennifer Gamboa, PT, DPTPatrick Graham, PT, MBA; and Michael Horsfield, PT, MBA. The PT panelists will be joined by neurosurgeon Ryan Grant, MD, and Louis Levitt, MD, MEd, vice president of The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics. Past APTA President Paul Rockar Jr, PT, DPT, MS, will serve as panel moderator.

Full story at APTA

6 Non-Clinical Skills of the School-Based Physical Therapist

As a school-based physical therapist, I wear many hats. Movement expert, advocate, safety police, that guy who runs around playing tag on the playground. In addition to these, I have the opportunity to build many non-clinical skills in my role serving students. Here are six non-clinical skills used by school-based physical therapists, and how to apply them outside of your clinical role!

Six non-clinical skills used by the school-based physical therapist

1) Collaboration with key stakeholders

This is a big one.

The success of my students in accessing their education depends in large part on my ability to effectively communicate and collaborate with a wide-ranging team of individuals.

Full article at The Non-Clinical PT

Teen Can Return to School After Undergoing Free Surgery to Correct Her Extreme Bow-Leggedness

These incredible before and after photos show the transformation of a teenager who was given free surgery to correct her extremely bowed legs.

14-year-old Valerie—who surgeons declined to fully name—developed bowed legs at the age of four and had such low self-confidence, she convinced her parents to pull her out of school.

She joined her uncle’s tailoring shop as an apprentice and worked hard, despite the fact that her harshly-angled legs arched outwards from her hips, making it difficult for her to walk.

The talented seamstress was busy sewing when a customer told her that a hospital boat operated by the charity Mercy Ships had docked near her West African home in Cotonou, Benin.

Full story at Good News Network

11 Ways Physical Therapists Help Slow the Progression of Parkinson’s Disease

It is well-known that exercise of any kind is good for each person’s health, both body and mind. But did you know that it is even more important for those living with Parkinson’s disease? Physical therapy is key to slowing down the disease. And it helps those affected to stay as independent as possible.

Improving mobility, strength, and balance

Staying mobile and self-sufficient is top of mind for people living with Parkinson’s disease. Stiffness is also a known problem with the disease. This rigidity can cause poor posture and pain that leads to other functional problems. A physical therapist can help with these problems. PTs guide people with Parkinson’s through moves and stretches to increase mobility, strength, and balance.

Full story at Choose PT

One in three U.S. high schools have no athletic trainers

One in every three high schools in the U.S. has no access to an athletic trainer, according to a large study.

Even among the schools with some access, in roughly half the trainer is only part-time, the researchers report in the Journal of Athletic Training.

“Every athlete who participates in sport at the high school level deserves the best when it comes to emergency best practices and athletic injuries,” said lead author Robert Huggins of the University of Connecticut, in Storrs.

Athletic trainers provide emergency and non-emergency care for athletes and are the main healthcare professionals trained in injury prevention for physical activity. At the high school level, they coordinate care and follow-up, conduct rehabilitation and return players to the game. They help with concussions, orthopedic injuries, eating disorders, heat illnesses, heart issues, weight management, diabetic episodes and substance abuse concerns.

Full story at Reuters