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Scientists Make Paralyzed Rats Walk Again After Spinal-Cord Injury

UCLA researchers have discovered that a combination of drugs, electrical stimulation and regular exercise can enable paralyzed rats to walk and even run again while supporting their full weight on a treadmill. Published Nov. 20 in the online edition of Nature Neuroscience, the findings suggest that the regeneration of severed nerve fibers is not required for paraplegic rats to learn to walk again. The finding may hold implications for human rehabilitation after spinal cord injuries. "The spinal cord contains nerve circuits that can generate rhythmic activity without input from the brain to drive the hind leg muscles in a way that resembles walking called 'stepping, '" explained principal investigator Reggie Edgerton, a professor of neurobiology and physiological sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Bad Effects Of Prolonged Bed Rest Reduced In ICU By Mild Exercise

Critical care experts at Johns Hopkins are reporting initial success in boosting recovery and combating muscle wasting among critically ill, mostly bed-bound patients using any one of a trio of mild physical therapy exercises during their stays in the intensive care unit (ICU). "ICU-related muscle weakness is the number one factor in prolonging a patient's recovery and delaying their return to a normal life, including work and recreational activities, " says critical care specialist Dale Needham, M.D., Ph.D., the senior researcher involved in producing the report, to be published in the journal Critical Care Medicine online Sept. 21. "Our ICU patients are telling us that they want to be awake and moving.

Exercise Counseling And Fitness Center Training Effective For Type 2 Diabetes

Physical therapist-directed exercise counseling combined with fitness center-based exercise training can improve muscular strength and exercise capacity in people with type 2 diabetes, with outcomes similar to those of supervised exercise, according to a randomized clinical trial published in the September issue of Physical Therapy, the scientific journal of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Type 2 diabetes is associated with numerous health complications, including a decline in muscular strength and exercise capacity. Studies show that a decline in muscular strength increases the risk of loss of physical function and that a decline in exercise capacity increases the risk of cardiovascular and all-cause mortality.

APTA Urges For Reform To Increase Access To Physical Therapy Services Following Results Of Pilot On Musculoskeletal Conditions

In the wake of a report showing that patients with musculoskeletal conditions who receive physical therapy and other "physical medicine" services are less likely to have surgery, incur lower costs, and fare better than patients who do not receive such services, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is urging Congress to include policies in health care reform that increase access to physical therapy services, especially for America's seniors who live in rural areas. The Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield 2008 pilot program, a quality improvement program for Iowa and South Dakota physical medicine providers, collected data from 238 physical therapists, occupational therapists, and chiropractors who provided care to 5, 500 Wellmark members with musculoskeletal disorders.

What Is A Fracture? What Are Broken Bones?

A fracture, also referred to as a bone fracture, FRX, FX, F x or # is a medical condition where the continuity of the bone is broke. A significant percentage of bone fractures occur because of high force impact or stress; however, a fracture may also be the result of some medical conditions which weaken the bones, for example osteoporosis, some cancers or osteogeneris imperfecta. A fracture caused by a medical condition is known as a pathological fracture. The word break is commonly used by lay (non-professional) people. Among health care professionals, especially bone specialists, such as orthopedic surgeons, break is a much less common term when talking about bones.

Physical Therapists Receive Clinical Specialist Recertification

The American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) announces that 243 physical therapists were awarded recertification in 2009 as board-certified clinical specialists. To date, more than 1, 900 board-certified clinical specialists have been recertified. Those who were recognized recently completed the requirements to become board-certified specialists in one or more of the following specialty areas: Cardiovascular and Pulmonary, Clinical Electrophysiology, Geriatrics, Neurology, Orthopaedics, Pediatrics, and Sports. "Clinical specialists have demonstrated [their] ability to meet challenges by achieving the highest level of recognition for clinical practitioners, " said Patricia Scheets, PT, DPT, NCS, keynote speaker at the Opening Ceremony for the Recognition of Clinical Specialists at the APTA 2009 Combined Sections Meeting.

American Board Of Physical Therapy Specialties Recognizes Board-Certified Specialists

The American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has awarded specialist certification to 1, 001 physical therapists this year. Since 1985, 9, 409 physical therapists have achieved board certification. Those who were recognized recently completed the requirements to become board-certified specialists in one or more of the following specialty areas: Cardiovascular and Pulmonary, Clinical Electrophysiology, Geriatrics, Neurology, Orthopaedics, Pediatrics, Sports, and Women's Health Physical Therapy. "Clinical specialists have demonstrated [their] ability to meet challenges by achieving the highest level of recognition for clinical practitioners, " said Patricia Scheets, PT, DPT, NCS, keynote speaker at the Opening Ceremony for the Recognition of Clinical Specialists at the APTA 2009 Combined Sections Meeting.

Women Living In Group Homes Need To Learn To Make Decisions About Leisure Time To Enrich Their Lives

Most people don't think twice about the ability to choose the movie they want to watch, the book they want to read or with whom they will have coffee. But what if you didn't have the choice, or were never taught how to make decisions regarding leisure activities? That's the reality for some women living in group homes according to a new study from the University of Alberta. Brenda Rossow-Kimball, who did post-graduate research with Donna Goodwin, in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, investigated the leisure experiences of five women with intellectual disabilities in two group homes. They found major differences in how leisure was experienced in each group home.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Modest Benefit Of Surgery Compared To Non-Surgical Treatment

An article in this week's Surgery Special Issue of The Lancet reports that surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome in patients (without an indication of severe nerve damage known as denervation) provides better outcomes than non-surgical treatment. However, the clinical relevance of this difference is modest. The article is the work of Professor Jeffrey Jarvik, of the Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington, Seattle, USA, and colleagues. The authors included 116 patients from eight centres in this randomised controlled trial. 57 patients were assigned to carpal tunnel surgery and 59 patients were assigned to a precise non-surgical treatment including hand therapy and ultrasound.

Leg Movement Training In Preterm Infants Demonstrates Positive Changes In Motor Skills

Preterm infants who receive leg movement training display feet-reaching behaviors similar to that of full-term infants, according to a randomized controlled trial reported in the October issue of Physical Therapy (PTJ), the scientific journal of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). This finding supports feet-reaching play as an early intervention strategy to encourage interaction with physical objects in preterm infants who have movement problems within the first months of postnatal life. Previous studies have shown that full-term infants make contact with toys using their feet before reaching with their hands. Studies also have shown that movement training advances feet reaching in full-term infants.

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