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

Sharp increase in falls in women during midlife

Falls are not just a problem of advanced age, according to researchers in Trinity College Dublin, who have identified a sharp increase in falls after the age of 40, particularly in women.

The research, which drew on data from TILDA (the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing) as well as data from similar studies in Australia, Great Britain and the Netherlands, found that for women the prevalence of falls increases from the age of 40 on — 9% in 40-44 year olds, 19% in 45-49 year olds, 21% in 50-54 year olds, 27% in 55-59 year olds and 30% in 60-64 year olds.

The findings indicate that middle-age may be a critical life stage for interventions designed to prevent falls, according to the authors. The study incorporated the data from 19,207 men and women aged between 40 and 64 years. It has been recently published in the international journal PLOS ONE.

Full story at Science Daily

Goal Setting in Rehabilitation: What do Patients Think?

We recently finished another round of our increasingly popular Volunteer Orientation Course. As part of the final assignment members were tasked to write an original piece of work to share with the profession, the contributions were of the highest quality. Below is the great piece of work written by  Lauren Lopez.

Goal setting. SMART goals. Client-centred goals. Goal setting and the best way to do it are hot topics in rehabilitation. A quick search through rehabilitation literature reveals a growing body of literature dedicated to the methods and evidence for goal setting with clients during rehabilitation. There is no consensus on a gold standard for a method of goal setting but it is widely held that it is a priority for guiding rehabilitation interventions toward achievable and meaningful outcomes. In the absence of a gold standard there are many research reports documenting health professionals’ opinions on and approaches to goal setting we can refer to. But what about our clients’ perspectives?

Full story at Physiospot

Father’s and son’s injuries lead to the mother of all therapy bills

“So you have to take your block of wood, shape it, sand it, paint it, use your imagination,” Lopez said, pointing to some favorites from derbies past that sit on a shelf in his home office — cars in the shape of an ice cream cone, a penguin and an Altoids peppermint box.

But one derby project lives in infamy: an S. Pellegrino bottle on wheels. It was the brainchild of his son Theo, then 9, in the fall of 2016, a time when Lopez recalls he was frantically busy at work.

Full story at news-medical.net

New robotic system interacts with rehabilitation patients to improve task performance

Researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) in Beer-Sheva, Israel have demonstrated for the first time the feasibility of a robotic system that plays Tic Tac Toe with rehabilitation patients to improve real-life task performance.

The interdisciplinary research team designed a game with a robotic arm to simulate “3D Functional Activities of Daily Living”–actions people undertake daily, like drinking from a cup, that are often a focus of rehabilitation. Click here to watch the video.

Designing a social robot to help rehabilitate a patient is a new field which requires much research and experimentation in order to determine the optimal conditions. The research was published in Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience.

Full story at news-medical.net

Future wearable device could tell how we power human movement

For athletes and weekend warriors alike, returning from a tendon injury too soon often ensures a trip right back to physical therapy. However, a new technology developed by University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers could one day help tell whether your tendons are ready for action.

A team of researchers led by UW-Madison mechanical engineering professor Darryl Thelen and graduate student Jack Martin has devised a new approach for noninvasively measuring tendon tension while a person is engaging in activities like walking or running.

This advance could provide new insights into the motor control and mechanics of human movement. It also could apply to fields ranging from orthopedics, rehabilitation, ergonomics and sports. The researchers described their approach in a paper published today (April 23, 2018) in the journal Nature Communications.

Full story at Science Daily

Stroke: Can the brain ‘rewire’ itself to aid recovery?

Temporary sensory deprivation may improve recovery following a stroke by making space for the brain to rewire itself, suggests new research by the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO.

A report published in Science Translational Medicine explains how the scientists came to this conclusion after observing stroke recovery in mice that had had their whiskers clipped.

The team revealed that mice were more likely to recover use of a front paw after a stroke if they had their whiskers trimmed.

A rodent’s whiskers are an important sensory organ with a rich nerve supply.

Full story at Medical News Today

BuzzFeed Features Physical Therapy ‘Success Stories’

How about a little good news? Specifically, how about a little good news from patients who credit physical therapy and their physical therapists (PTs) for transforming their lives?

Recently, BuzzFeed published “9 Physical Therapy Success Stories That’ll Make You Choke Up A Bit,” a collection of first-person accounts from patients who faced a range of issues including spine facture, labrum tears, recovery from a coma, and interstitial cystitis. The reason for the project, according to BuzzFeed, was to “inspire others who are currently recovering from pain, injuries, surgery, or other problems.

Full story at APTA

Flex: New CEU Courses

TOTAL KNEE ARTHROPLASTY REHABILITATION CONSIDERATIONS

The major objectives of rehabilitation after total knee arthroplasty (TKA) are the early regain of range of motion (ROM) and mobilization of the patient.  The goals of this CEU course are to investigate the effect of the knee position during wound closure on early knee function recovery after TKA and the validity and effectiveness of rehabilitation techniques and physical therapies before and after TKA.

POST-PARTUM COCCYDYNIA MUSCLE ENERGY TECHNIQUES

Coccydynia is a painful and incapacitating condition in the early post-partum period.  The goal of this CEU course is to determine the effect of Muscle Energy Technique (MET) in treating post-partum coccydynia. This course is based off of an open access article from the Journal of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation.

For more on these new courses and many more, visit our CEU home page!

Rating scales can indicate discharge destination for stroke patients

Stroke survivors with higher scores on widely used outcome measures are more likely to be discharged home from the hospital, while those with lower scores are more likely to go to a rehabilitation or nursing care facility, reports a paper in the January issue of The Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy (JNPT). The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer.

Standardized rating scales can help to support decisions about discharge destination for stroke patients leaving the hospital, according to the analysis by Dr. Emily Thorpe, PT, DPT, and colleagues of Walsh University, North Canton, Ohio, under the mentorship of Dr. Robert S. Phillips, PT, DPT, PhD, NCS. “These results provide a framework with which to start the plan of care and discharge process in acute and sub-acute settings,” the researchers write.

Full story at news-medical.net