When you’re injured, recovering from a trauma, or experiencing any kind of pain, your workout is usually the first thing to take a back seat. In most cases, physical therapists and doctors will tell you to pause your running routine, skip Spin class, ditch the boot camps, and cool it with exercise — except Pilates. Andrea Speir, founder and master trainer at SPEIR Pilates, knows this firsthand.
“I tore my meniscus,” Speir told POPSUGAR. “That’s how I got into Pilates in the first place!” The celebrity trainer has become a Pilates icon, but it wasn’t always her exercise of choice — she was a dancer and track and field athlete. In fact, it wasn’t until she was prescribed a Pilates regimen by her physical therapist — with a goal of getting back on stage — that she began to make it part of her routine. And as you may have gathered, that routine was transformational enough to change the course of her life.
And she’s not alone. More and more men and women are turning to this exercise not just as a way to lose weight and feel strong but as a full-blown rehabilitation program — oftentimes as ordered by a doctor or physical therapist. In fact, this workout can help you prevent injuries before they even happen . . . let’s get into how all of this works.
Gabrielle “Gabby” Reece is a former pro volleyball star, a TV personality, model, and bestselling author. She’s also the owner of an artificial knee, and a patient who resolved to work her way through knee replacement surgery with plenty of physical therapy and no postsurgery drugs. And what Reece would like people to know is that the opioid-free journey she’s making toward recovery is not just for high-achieving superathletes—it’s for anyone willing to apply mindfulness, patience, and persistence to their own health goals.
The latest edition of Move Forward Radio features an interview with Reece that focuses primarily on her ongoing recovery from the knee replacement surgery she underwent in April, 2016. Reece first rose to prominence as a standout professional beach volleyball player, and was Nike’s first female spokesperson. These days, Reece appears as a host on NBC’s STRONG, a fitness-based program, and serves as a spokesperson for Plan Against Pain, a national campaign that educates the public on the availability of nondrug approaches to pain treatment postsurgery.
Close to 1 in 3 Medicare beneficiaries in independently-run rehabilitation hospitals experience adverse or temporary harm events during their stay—and nearly half of those events are preventable, according to a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) inspector general.
The report, part of a series that also analyzed adverse events in acute care hospitals (ACHs) and skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), involved reviews of a “representative sample” of 417 Medicare beneficiaries who were discharged from independently-run (as opposed to hospital-based) rehab hospitals in March 2012. Nurse screeners identified cases that indicated adverse events, and a panel of physicians evaluated the events to rate severity, as well as to assess the possibility that the event could have been prevented. Here’s what they found:
Overall, the rehab hospitals’ rates were in line with ACHs and SNFs.
Earlier HHS studies found harm rates of 27% for ACHs and 33% for SNFs. The 29% harm rate for the rehabilitation hospitals isn’t much different.
It’s not so much like getting a new tool as getting a fully-stocked 5-drawer, 2-cabinet toolchest: that’s the impact of a new offering at PTNow that gives physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) quick access to point-of-care resources.
The Rehabilitation Reference Center (RRC), now available for free to members, is an easy-to-use system that connects PTs and PTAs with information on diseases and conditions, drug information, patient education materials, exercise images, and practice resources. Designed as a resource that could be used quickly during a PT’s workday, the RRC is updated daily and even contains breaking health care news from HealthDay News.
“The RRC rounds out the offerings at PTNow by giving members quick access to extensive information,” said Anne Reicherter, PT, DPT, PhD, OCS, CHES, APTA senior practice specialist. “It’s a tool that can provide a lot of information very quickly—for example, just before a PT meets with a patient who has a condition that the PT wants to learn more about.”
APTA’s efforts to support improvements in rehabilitation research just received a major boost by way of a US Senate Committee, which has completed the “markup” phase of a bill that would bolster research efforts at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Next stop: the Senate floor.
Titled the “Enhancing the Stature and Visibility of Medical Rehabilitation Research at NIH Act,” (S. 800), the bill passed through markup by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) with only minor changes. The Disability Rehabilitation and Research Coalition (DRRC) worked with NIH and the office of Sen Mark Kirk (R-IL), the bill’s sponsor, to develop the necessary compromises. APTA is on the steering committee of DRRC, which is composed of over 40 organizations committed to promoting rehabilitation research.
Authors of a new study say that for individuals poststroke, community walking ability may have more to do with reducing the energy cost of walking, and less to do with changes to timed walking evaluations such as the 6-minute walk test (6MWT). And they believe that functional electrical stimulation (FES) coupled with rehabilitation training at faster speeds can play a big role in helping to decrease that energy cost.
The study focused on 50 individuals who had experienced a stroke 6 or more months earlier and demonstrated “observable gait deficits,” but were able to walk without support for at least 6 minutes. Participants were assigned to 1 of 3 12-week rehabilitation programs: gait training at self-selected speeds (SS), gait training at fast speeds (FS), or gait training at fast speeds with the addition of FES (FastFES). Sessions were held 3 times a week for 36 weeks and comprised 5 bouts of 6 minutes of treadmill walking, followed by 1 bout of 6 minutes of overground walking (with breaks in-between). The training speeds of the FS and FastFES groups were based on each participant’s maximum overground walking speed (MWS).
When it comes to rehabilitative therapy poststroke, a new study reinforces the idea that the higher the intensity of the therapy, the less likely it is that a patient will be readmitted to the hospital 30 or 90 days after discharge.
Researchers examined medical records from 64,065 patients admitted to hospitals in Florida and Arkansas for an incident stroke between 2009 and 2010 and linked 30- and 90-day readmissions with the level of physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy they received while in acute care. Those levels were defined as none, low, medium-low, medium-high, or high, relative to the sum and distributions of charges within each hospital.