Congress must act immediately to restore access to rehabilitative services for Medicare beneficiaries as many senior citizens and people with disabilities are nearing arbitrary limits (also known as therapy caps) on services provided by physical therapists and other health care providers in outpatient health care settings, says the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). The Medicare program began enforcement of the $1, 860 limit on outpatient rehabilitation services on January 1. "With many Medicare beneficiaries approaching the arbitrary $1, 860 cap, it's imperative that Congress act now to ensure coverage for necessary services, " said APTA President R.
Female athletes experience dramatically higher rates of specific musculoskeletal injuries and medical conditions compared to male athletes, according to exercise physiologist Vicki Harber in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta. According to her paper, depending on the sport, there can be a two- to sixfold difference in these types of injuries between male and female athletes. That's because many training programs developed for female athletes are built on research using young adult males and don't take the intrinsic biological differences between the sexes into account. Harber has authored a comprehensive guide for coaches, parents and administrators, entitled The Female Athlete Perspective, and published by Canadian Sport for Life (CS4L), which addresses these and other medical issues known to influence women's participation in sport.
How do you change health habits among a population with some of the highest heart disease rates in the world? Tackling heart disease in Kentucky an epicenter of heart health problems the University of Kentucky Gill Heart Institute Cardiac Rehabilitation Program is helping high-risk patients make radical, lasting changes to improve their heart health. "People have a notion of heart disease as something they're born with, but for most people that isn't true. Genetics play a role, but lifestyle accounts for the majority of heart disease risk, " says Dr. Alison Bailey, Gill Heart Institute cardiologist and director of the cardiac rehab program. Since the Gill Heart Institute Cardiac Rehabilitation Program opened in February 2009, dozens of patients have undergone total lifestyle makeovers with the help of heart health professionals.
OSA: The Sleep Disorder that's Deadly for Your Heart If you're a loud snorer who doesn't feel rested enough during the day, you may be unwittingly putting your heart at risk. That's because you could have untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), a disorder directly linked to several cardiovascular syndromes that cause premature death. OSA, in which the upper airway becomes blocked repeatedly during sleep, is a condition that affects 24% of men and 8% of women. Over the past 10 years, several studies have linked OSA to high blood pressure. Patients who require three or more medications to control hypertension have an 80% chance of having OSA. Also, compared to the general population the prevalence of OSA is significantly higher among patients with chronic heart failure (50% higher), a trial fibrillation (50% higher) and coronary artery disease (40% higher).
Repetitive strain injury or RSI, also known as repetitive stress injury, repetitive motion injuries, repetitive motion disorder (RMD), cumulative trauma disorder (CTD), occupational overuse syndrome, overuse syndrome, and regional musculoskeletal disorder is a range of painful or uncomfortable conditions of the muscles, tendons, nerves and other soft tissues. RSI is usually caused by repetitive use of a certain part of the body, often somewhere in the upper limbs (arms). Repetitive strain injury is typically related to an occupation (job), but may also be linked to some kinds of leisure activity. As opposed to a sudden or 'normal' injury, RSI signs and symptoms may continue for much longer.
Many people with back pain do not know what is causing it and they do not receive effective treatment, but learning to move in a more integrated way makes a big difference, reveals research from the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. "People with long-term back pain often protect themselves by unconsciously limiting their movements, " says physiotherapist Christina SchÃ n-Ohlsson. "Such inefficient movement patterns gradually become habituated even though the original injury or strain is no longer present." The answer to the problem is sensory motor learning, where patients are guided to find out how they are moving and how they can free themselves from self-imposed limitations.
Massage, manipulation and other hands-on approaches can safely and effectively help with pain management. The January issue of Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource discusses the uses and benefits of massage, spinal manipulation, and Rolfing, as well as the Alexander technique and the Feldenkrais method. Massage: Almost everyone feels better after the soothing strokes of a massage. This process involves applying pressure to the body's soft tissues by rubbing, kneading or rolling. There are a variety of techniques and styles, such as deep tissue massage, where deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue are manipulated. Another approach focuses on trigger points -- muscle "knots" that are painful when pressed.
Researchers at the medical university Karolinska Institutet have created a genetically modified mouse in which certain neurons can be activated by blue light. Shining blue light on brainstems or spinal cords isolated from these mice produces walking-like motor activity. The findings, which are published in the scientific journal Nature Neuroscience, are of potential significance to the recovery of walking after spinal cord injury. "This new mouse model will impact the way in which future studies examining the organization of neurons involved in walking are performed. We hope that our findings can provide insight that eventually will contribute to treatments for spinal cord injured patients"", says Professor Ole Kiehn, who lead the study.
Music therapy can assist in the speech acquisition process in toddlers who have undergone cochlear implantation, as revealed in a new study by Dr. Dikla Kerem of the University of Haifa. The study was carried out in Israel as a doctoral thesis for Aalborg University in Denmark (supervised by Prof. Tony Wigram) and presented at a "Brain, Therapy and Crafts" conference at the University of Haifa. Some infants who are born with impaired hearing and who cannot benefit from hearing aids are likely to gain 90% normal hearing ability by undergoing a cochlear implantation procedure. Following the operation, however, the child - who never heard before - undergoes a long rehabilitation process before he or she can begin to speak.
James Prister, President and CEO of RML Specialty Hospital in Hinsdale, Ill., is the 2010 chair of the American Hospital Association's (AHA) Section for Long-Term Care and Rehabilitation. As chair, Prister will lead the section's governing council which advises the AHA on public policy issues of concern to all post-acute and continuing care providers. The governing council represents executives from among the nation's leading rehabilitation, acute long-term care, skilled, home health and continuing care services. Prister has been president and chief executive officer of RML Specialty Hospital since 1996. Previously, he held positions as chief operating officer of Suburban Hospital and president of the Ventilator Support Center, both located in Hinsdale, and served for more than eight years as vice president of operations for Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, Michigan.