Physical Therapy Gets Low (Tech)

There’s a place for virtual reality treadmills, robotic exoskeletons, and motion-capture sensors—just not in Eva Norman’s car trunk.

Evan Norman, PT, DPT, president of a mobile wellness practice in Minnesota, is one of the physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapy device industry professionals who share their thoughts on “unplugged” equipment for “In Praise of Low-Tech Tools,” an article in the August edition of PT in Motion magazine.

Norman’s business model, which brings providers including PTs to patients and clients, includes the use of what she calls a provider “toolbox,” aka a car trunk. That toolbox contains items such as ankle weights, foam pads, resistance bands, and foam rollers—the “evergreen” tools of the rehab trade, according to Norman. She emphasizes that “all of the tools we use must be practical for our purposes—portable, easy to use, durable, and low-cost for people to purchase for themselves.”

Full story at APTA

Causes and treatments for pain in the arch of the foot

The arch of the foot is an area along the bottom of the foot between the ball and the heel. Pain in the arch of the foot is a common problem, especially among athletes.

The arch is made up of three separate arches that form a triangle. Each arch is made up of bones, ligaments, and tendons.

There are many potential causes of pain in the arch of the foot. Keep reading for more information on these causes, as well as the possible treatments.

Full story at Medical News Today

#Fail? Study Says Physical Therapy’s Reach on Social Media Comes up Short

When it comes to using social media to promote the profession, physical therapy may be missing out: that’s the conclusion of a recent study that analyzed physical therapy-related tweets and found that, for the most part, Twitter discussions about the profession are occurring in an “echo chamber”—if they even rise to the level of a discussion in the first place.

The study, published in APTA’s journal PTJ (Physical Therapy), looked at a random sample of 1,000 tweets from a collection of 30,000 tweets gathered over a 12-week period. Researchers sorted out each message according to its author, intended audience, tone, and theme, and—when it occurred—the “pattern” of the twitter conversation, which includes shares as well as actual online exchanges. The collection was based on 9 search terms: physical therapy, physiotherapy, physical therapist, physiotherapist, #physicaltherapy, #physiotherapy, #physical therapist, #physiotherapist, and #physio. Hashtags associated with “known physical therapy campaigns,” such as APTA’s #ChoosePT, were not included in the searches.

Full story at APTA

IRFs Receive 2.5% Increase From CMS in FY 2020; Additional Reporting Requirements in FY 2022

In a final rule from the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs) will see a 2.5% payment increase in the 2020 fiscal year (FY), which begins October 1, 2019—an approximate boost of $210 million. But they’ll also need to prepare for some expanded reporting measures in the years to come—including a requirement to report data on social determinants of health.

Reporting requirements won’t change much in FY 2020. However, beginning with the FY 2022 IRF Quality Reporting Program (QRP), IRFs will be required to provide certain standardized patient assessment data (SPADE) to CMS. The additional SPADE requirements are aimed at bringing IRFs up to speed with provisions of the 2014 IMPACT Act, a law that mandated more uniformity in reporting across postacute care (PAC) settings. In a fact sheet on the final rule, CMS writes that the addition of these SPADES “will improve coordination of care and enable communication.”

Specifically, CMS will adopt the SPADES on pain interference on sleep, therapy, and day-to-day activities, provisions being added in light of the opioid crisis. CMS is considering adding future SPADEs including dementia, bladder and bowel continence, care preferences, advance care directives and goals of care, caregiver status, veteran status, health disparities and risk factors, and sexual orientation. Also on CMS’ radar: assessments related to opioid use, and frequency, exchange of electronic health data, and interoperability.

Full story at APTA

Regenstrief/VA scientist to co-lead $21 million study on chronic low back pain management

Matthew J. Bair, M.D., M.S., a research scientist with the Regenstrief Institute and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, will co-lead a $21 million national study to find the best approach to manage chronic low back pain. The Department of Veterans Affairs is funding the 20-site trial.

Dr. Bair is leading the study along with David Clark, M.D., PhD, a pain management physician at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System and Stanford University.

Low back pain is the most disabling chronic condition in the world. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 80 percent of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lives. About 20 percent of people affected by acute low back pain develop chronic low back pain, which is defined as pain that lasts 12 weeks or more. Treating the condition is very challenging.

Full story at news-medical.net

More Steps Per Day Tied to Lower Mortality in Older Women

Walking as few as 4400 steps per day may decrease the risk for all-cause mortality among older women, according to a study published online today in JAMA Internal Medicine and presented simultaneously at the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) 2019 Annual Meeting.

The risk for death fell with increasing number of steps per day, and these benefits leveled off after 7500 steps/day.

The study is the first to evaluate the association between step intensity and long-term health outcomes, and it found the intensity of walking did not seem to have an impact on mortality.

“These findings may serve as encouragement to the many sedentary individuals for whom 10,000 steps/day pose an unattainable goal,” write author I-Min Lee, MBBS, ScD, from Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, and colleagues.

Full story at Medscape

Repetitive knee stress and lack of rest can be major causes of ACL failure

Repetitive knee stress and failure to accommodate sufficient rest between periods of strenuous exercise may be key factors behind the rapid rise in anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in world sport, a new international study has found.

While it is already well recognized that a single supramaximal force can cause ACL failure, it has been assumed that sub-maximal forces could not cause ACL failure.

But this world-first research, published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, has found that a series of submaximal forces can indeed cause damage to accrue in the ACL, in a process called low-cycle material fatigue, and that same damage is found in ACLs which have failed.

Full story at news-medical.net

Rutgers Health treats children with multiple sclerosis at the dedicated pediatric MS program

Alexander Wallerson was 12 years old when he saw a popular movie with his mother. Now 26, he remembers that specific day vividly. It was the first time he experienced the signs of multiple sclerosis (MS).”I walked like I was drunk,” says Wallerson, who lives in New Brunswick. “I was limping but not in pain.”

His mother, a nurse, was concerned and brought him to their family doctor. Imaging tests revealed that Wallerson had relapsing-remitting MS.

It’s estimated that more than 8,000 American children are currently fighting MS. The most common presentations of the disease include visual impairment, transverse myelitis, arm-leg weakness, sensory disturbances, inflammation of the spinal cord, or balance problems. And like most diseases, early intervention offers the greatest hope of mitigating patients’ symptoms.

Full story at news-medical.net

3D Pringting Lets Long-Term Care Residents Get Creative

Researchers set up and ran the space, logging 280 hours of observations and semi-structured interviews with participating residents.

Frustrated that her sweater got lost in the community laundry, 92-year-old Gigi took advantage of an embroidery machine to label two others.

Jewelry lover Betty had been reluctant to wear her fine necklaces, fearful they would get tangled in the tubes of her oxygen mask, so the 96-year-old found a pattern and 3D-printed a heart-shaped pendant.

Esther announced one day that she wanted to make a blue vase to add a splash of color to her room. The 84-year-old’s first attempt failed but she still proudly displayed the colorful bowl that resulted.

Full story at futurity.org

Cardio-respiratory synchronization may represent a new measure of health and fitness

Observation of extended episodes of one-to-one synchronization between heart rate and breathing rate for athletes suggests their training specifically contributes to an enhanced connection within the nervous system.

Researchers from the School of Engineering at the University of Warwick have managed to expand the knowledge of the cardio-respiratory system after conducting an experiment measuring heart rate during fast-paced breathing.

Published in Scientific Reports, the paper “Control of heart rate through guided high-rate breathing” shows how researchers found it is possible to reliably observe a one-to-one relationship between heart beats and breaths, when breathing is controlled at a speed exceeding resting heart rate.

Full story at Medical Xpress