Mental Health is Important. What You Can Do as a Physiotherapist

I understand that mental health is an important topic, but what can I do as a physiotherapist?

As health care professionals we are dedicated to improving a person’s well-being. As physiotherapists, we are comfortable within the realm of physical signs and symptoms, while sometimes neglecting the intimate connection between the physical and mental bodily spheres. It is undeniable that the two are mutually influenced, but how proficient are we as clinicians in recognizing and addressing this importance within a clinical setting?

Do you know what outcome measures are available to you for quantifying suspected mental health disturbances? Are you confident with who you should be referring your patients to, for the appropriate type of care? How equipped do you feel as a physiotherapist, with addressing a suspected underlying mental health imbalance with your patient? If you felt uncertain with any of your answers to these questions, you are certainly not alone.

Full story at Physiospot

What to expect from knee surgery rehabilitation

A person may have knee surgery to treat pain in the joint due to an injury, such as torn cartilage or a torn ligament. It can also treat other conditions, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and post-traumatic arthritis.

This article will look at the different types of knee surgery, the rehabilitation timelines, and what people can do to help speed up the recovery process.

Types of knee surgery

There are various types of knee surgery. The type that a person has will depend on the particular injury to the knee joint.

Full story at Medical New Todays

Wider Use Of Osteoporosis Drug Could Prevent Bone Fractures In More Elderly Women

A large study has produced strong evidence that a drug commonly used to treat the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis could safely prevent fractures in elderly women who have bones that aren’t as weak.

The study of 2,000 women age 65 and older at earlier stages of bone loss — a condition known as osteopenia — found the drug zoledronatereduced by about one-third the risk they would suffer a break.

“This is an extremely important paper,” says Dr. Ethel Siris, a Columbia University medical professor who specializes in thinning bones and wasn’t involved in the study. “We now know that we have a therapy that has been shown to be highly effective.”

Full story at npr.org

APTA-Backed Bill Protecting PTs Traveling With Sports Teams Likely to Become Law

APTA-supported legislation that protects physical therapists (PTs) and other health care providers who travel across state lines with a sports team is now just a presidential signature away from becoming law. Known as the Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act, the bill met with overwhelming bipartisan support in both the US House of Representatives and the Senate, and is on track to receive approval from President Donald Trump.

When it becomes law the legislation will provide added legal protections for sports medicine professionals when they’re traveling with professional, high school, college, or national sports teams by extending the provider’s “home state” professional liability insurance to any other state the team may visit. The law would apply to licensed health care professionals who travel with professional and collegiate teams or other athletes and teams sanctioned by a national governing body. The bill was introduced in the House by Reps Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Cedric Richmond (D-LA), and in the Senate by Sens John Thune (R-SD) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).

“This is a big win for PTs, but an even bigger step forward in safeguarding the health of athletes,” said Michael Matlack, APTA director of congressional affairs. “Once enacted, this law will help to support the realities of health care among teams that travel across state lines.”

Full story at APTA

Virtual Reality Reduces Pain and Increases Performance During Exercise

The research, led by PhD candidate Maria Matsangidou from EDA, set out to determine how using VR while exercising could affect performance by measuring a raft of criteria: heart rate, including pain intensity, perceived exhaustion, time to exhaustion and private body consciousness.

To do this they monitored 80 individuals performing an isometric bicep curl set at 20% of the maximum weight they could lift, which they were then asked to hold for as long as possible. Half of the group acted as a control group who did the lift and hold inside a room that had a chair, a table and yoga mat on the floor.

The VR group were placed in the same room with the same items. They then put on a VR headset and saw the same environment, including a visual representation of an arm and the weight (see image below). They then carried out the same lift and hold as the non-VR group.

Full story at Neuroscience News

It’s not Just Walking and Texting That’s Problematic. So Is Walking While Concussed

Take Home Message: Following a concussion, athletes typically walk slower and perform poorly on cognitive tasks compared to controls. Hence, a gait task test may be a beneficial concussion assessment.

Many athletes who sustain a concussion suffer motor control deficits, specifically the inability to optimally perform dual tasks (motor and cognitive tasks). However, a challenge to assessing motor control deficits is that we often rely on self-reported balance issues to assess postural control abnormalities, which may lead to inaccuracies in diagnosis and returning an athlete to play. Therefore, the authors sought to determine if an athlete with a concussion completes motor tasks of different complexity (in isolation or when combined with a cognitive task) worse than healthy athletes. Furthermore, they aimed to determine if athletes who have self-reported balance problems following a concussion demonstrate worse gait, stance, or cognitive deficits than those who do not report balance problems. The authors evaluated motor and cognitive function in 49 athletes who sustained a concussion and 65 healthy athletes using the following protocol:

  1. Static standing (single-task standing)
  2. Static standing while completing a cognitive test (dual-task standing)
  3. Walking only (single-task walking)
  4. Walking while completing cognitive test (dual-task walking)

Full story at sportsmedreg.org

The Case For Taking a Walk After You Eat

At the end of a long day, it’s tempting to dive into your social feeds or Netflix queue the minute you’ve finished eating. But back before screens bogarted all our free time, an after-dinner stroll was a popular activity and one associated with improved health and digestion. “Italians have been walking after meals for centuries,” says Loretta DiPietro, a professor of exercise science at George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health, “so it must be good.”

Research backs this up. One small study co-authored by DiPietro found that when older adults at risk for type-2 diabetes walked on a treadmill for 15 minutes after a meal, they had smaller blood sugar spikes in the hours afterwards. In fact, the researchers found that these short post-meal walks were even more effective at lowering blood sugar after dinner than a single 45-minute walk taken at mid-morning or late in the afternoon.

The human digestive system converts food into the sugar glucose, which is one of the body’s primary energy sources—so after a meal, glucose floods a person’s bloodstream. Hormones like insulin help pull that glucose into cells, either to be used immediately or stored away for later use. But for people with diabetes and impaired insulin activity, too much glucose can remain in the blood, which can cause or contribute to heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and other health problems.

Full story at Time

Technology and therapy help individuals with chronic spinal cord injuries take steps

Of four research participants living with traumatic, motor complete spinal cord injury, two are able to walk over ground with epidural stimulation following epidural stimulation paired with daily locomotor training. In addition, all four participants achieved independent standing and trunk stability when using the stimulation and maintaining their mental focus. The study was conducted at the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center at the University of Louisville (UofL) and is published in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine. The study was funded by the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, University of Louisville Hospital and Medtronic plc.

This ground-breaking progress is the newest development in a string of outcomes at UofL, all pointing to the potential of technology in improving quality of life — and even recovery — following spinal cord injury. This latest study builds on initial research published in The Lancet in 2011 that documented the success of the first epidural stimulation participant, Rob Summers, who recovered a number of motor functions as a result of the intervention. Three years later, a study published in the medical journal Brain discussed how epidural stimulation of the spinal cord allowed Summers and three other young men who had been paralyzed for years to move their legs. Later research from UofL demonstrated this technology improved blood pressure regulation.

Full story at Science Daily

Paralyzed man regains his ability to stand, walk with spinal cord stimulation and physical therapy

Spinal cord stimulation and physical therapy have helped a man paralyzed since 2013 regain his ability to stand and walk with assistance. The results, achieved in a research collaboration between Mayo Clinic and UCLA, are reported in Nature Medicine.

With an implanted stimulator turned on, the man was able to step with a front-wheeled walker while trainers provided occasional assistance. He made 113 rehabilitation visits to Mayo Clinic over a year, and achieved milestones during individual sessions:

  • Total distance: 111 yards (102 meters) — about the length of a football field
  • Total number of steps: 331
  • Total minutes walking with assistance:16 minutes
  • Step speed: 13 yards per minute (0.20 meters per second)

“What this is teaching us is that those networks of neurons below a spinal cord injury still can function after paralysis,” says Kendall Lee, M.D., Ph.D., co-principal investigator, neurosurgeon and director of Mayo Clinic’s Neural Engineering Laboratories.

Full story at news-medical.net

It’s not just for kids—even adults appear to benefit from a regular bedtime

Sufficient sleep has been proven to help keep the body healthy and the mind sharp. But it’s not just an issue of logging at least seven hours of Z’s.

A new study on sleep patterns suggests that a regular bedtime and wake time are just as important for heart and metabolic health among older adults.

In a study of 1,978 older adults publishing Sept. 21 in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers at Duke Health and the Duke Clinical Research Institute found people with irregular sleep patterns weighed more, had higher blood sugar, higher blood pressure, and a higher projected risk of having a heart attack or stroke within 10 years than those who slept and woke at the same times every day.

Irregular sleepers were also more likely to report depression and stress than regular sleepers, both of which are tied to heart health.

Full story at Medical Xpress