Posts made in December, 2013

Ergonomic Assessment of the Workplace

Posted by on Dec 27, 2013 in Tips | 0 comments

Ergonomic Assessment of the Workplace

Day to day job requirements often take a toll on our bodies. Over time, the effects may become risky to our health and this is why it is essential to make sure that your workstation is ergonomically assessed by a licensed physical therapist. An ergonomic assessment evaluates your workstation in a way to see if it is optimally designed to lessen the stress of your daily work tasks on your body. For example, this includes making sure that your computer keyboard is placed at the best level to prevent wrist and elbow strain. Ergonomic assessment also includes understanding the things you do daily and how you perform those tasks so that recommendations can be made.  Why is Ergonomic Assessment Important? Acute and chronic musculoskeletal problems are becoming more and more rampant because of the strains of daily tasks at work. If you work on a computer the whole day, you are prone to problems on your posture as well as your arms and hands. You may think that your staying at your desk the whole day is boring and tiring but problems such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, cervical and lumbar disorders and trigger finger could actually arise. Being aware of these dangers can help you or your employees prevent risks that can be eliminated by ergonomically designed workstations. When choosing a professional to do this, health care providers should have the experience. Someone with a background in physical therapy, occupational therapy or athletic training will have the experience and knowledge on how to ergonomically assess your workstation. There should be more to your design of the workplace than aesthetics. The professional who will assess your workstation will look at your posture in general as well as the risk factors you face. Environmental factors and repetitious movements and forces can put a strain on your body from the neck down to your feet. You may think that working on a computer only affects your hands, arms and back but those connections in your body may lead to your feet getting affected as well. If you are exposed to daily tasks that you have to do for a full 8 hours a day or even more, you know how a headache can lead to more problems, how a toothache can make you totally dysfunctional and how a strain on your shoulder could travel all the way down to your hip. These problems are easy to prevent. You don’t have to look for another job. You just have to improve your desk so that your body will not have to suffer the consequences of your repetitive tasks. Ergonomic assessments are simple but should be done by professionals. Simple adjustments to your sitting position or the height of your chair or table can do a lot to prevent physical health problems. It is very possible to improve productivity while decreasing risks for you or your employees. A professional will make this possible by simply ergonomically redesigning your...

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Parkinson’s Disease and Therapy

Posted by on Dec 20, 2013 in Tips | 0 comments

Parkinson’s Disease and Therapy

A degenerative disease in the central nervous system characterizes Parkinson’s. Gradual development of symptoms occurs in no particular order over no set span of time and the severity of the symptoms varies from one person to another. What makes Parkinson’s a very difficult disease to battle with is that it affects other people around as much as it affects the patient. Genetic and environmental factors are said to be the cause of Parkinson’s. Because of the loss of nerve cells in the substantia nigra of the brain, dopamine production is reduced, which then results to the difficulty of movement in different parts of the body. The lack of dopamine is the culprit responsible for many of the symptoms of Parkinson’s. There are three types of symptoms for Parkinson’s disease. They are motor and neuropsychiatric symptoms and symptoms that affect the autonomic nervous system. The motor symptoms include tremors, bradykinesia and rigidity. Because of this, it makes it very hard for a patient with Parkinson’s to live alone and without any help. Support is very much needed and therapy is an absolute must to lessen the degenerative effects of the symptoms. Another motor symptom that may result from the dopaminergic drug is dystonia that may affect the hands, head, neck and eyelids. Parkinson’s patients are also very prone to falls and injuries because their sense of balance is affected, especially at the advanced stages. The neuropsychiatric symptoms include depression, anxiety, dementia and difficulty sleeping. This is why it’s hard to deal with Parkinson’s patients. Someone taking care of them may feel like there is nothing they can do to make the patient better if the patient is experiencing depression and anxiety. Since the autonomic nervous system is also affected, patients may then experience problems urinating, blood pressure, excessive sweating and malnutrition. To help alleviate some of the pains and difficulties of Parkinson’s disease patients, physiotherapy and occupational therapy may be done. The neurological damage cannot be reversed by therapy so it will not cure the disease but the tightness, the pain and the weakness in the muscles and joints may be lessened. The therapist can help you exercise to strengthen and loosen your muscles so that you can increase independence and somehow try to get back living a normal life. Lack of coordination, balance issues, gait, immobility, weakness and pain may be lessened with the help of physical therapy. Speech and language therapy may also be part of the process as well as diet advice for the patient. The supportive therapy you get from the early stage of Parkinson’s will help improve the quality of life. Aside from therapy, medication and sometimes surgery will be required to treat patients with Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s progresses over time. Without proper treatment of the symptoms, progression can occur faster. Because of this, treatment of PD symptoms is widely made available with the hope to give patients a better quality of life and a longer life expectancy. About 1 million people in the US is affected by Parkinson’s and since the cause is still unknown, this degenerative disease is something that many remain hopeful to win against....

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Understanding Vertigo

Posted by on Dec 13, 2013 in Tips | 0 comments

Understanding Vertigo

There is about 20 to 30% of the population affected by Vertigo.  This is a type of dizziness where the patient feels like he or the environment is spinning around. Nausea, vomiting and balance issues are often associated with Vertigo and there are about 3 types of this condition. The first type is called objective because the patient feels that the objects around him or her are moving. The second is subjective where the patient feels like he or she is spinning. The last type of Vertigo is called pseudo vertigo where the sensation of spinning is inside the patient’s head. Vertigo may be present in any age and studies show that the prevalence increases with age. Vertigo has many different causes and proper diagnosis is required because symptoms may often be mistaken for something else. The most common causes of vertigo are Meniere’s disease, migraines, head injury, alcoholic intoxication, multiple sclerosis, acoustic neuroma, brain tumor and medication. Medical attention is immediately needed if your vertigo episode comes with headache or coordination problems. If it also lasts more than a couple of days, it is best to see a doctor. Vertigo may last for a few hours to a few days but it is possible to have symptoms that will become persistent. To best realize whether your vertigo requires more medical attention, simply get checked. The doctor will ask you a series of questions and check to categorize your vertigo as peripheral or central. Peripheral vertigo is common and can be diagnosed by moving the head and checking whether dizziness will occur at certain positions and will disappear when the head goes back to neutral position. Central, on the other hand, is a more serious issue that often results from a problem in the brain stem or cerebellum. Checking the eye will also show whether the problem is peripheral or central. Treatment of vertigo depends on the severity and duration of the symptoms. Usually, bed rest can do a lot of help to relieve the patient of the spinning sensation. Other times, a doctor will prescribe medication like meclizine or tranquilizer. Those who suffer benign paroxysmal positional vertigo may have to undergo therapy in a clinic where the head and the body will be moved through a series of positions. The doctor may also some teach you some method of body positioning that you can do at home. If you have a more persistent type of vertigo, you may have to undergo balance rehabilitation. A series of movements will be done depending on what the doctor sees as the causes of your dizziness are. In this case, physical therapy will be recommended. Vertigo may often be brushed aside because many people see it as not very risky. However, it may be a symptom for a more serious condition so it is important to get diagnosed properly especially if your symptoms persist. You might benefit from Vestibular Rehabilitation Training (VRT) that can be performed by a therapist. Visit RockPhysicalTherapy to see what options you have to treat your...

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Brain Attack: The Dangers of Stroke

Posted by on Dec 6, 2013 in brain, stroke, Tips | 0 comments

Brain Attack: The Dangers of Stroke

Due to a rapid loss of air supply in the brain, a stroke happens, which affects brain functions drastically. There are several effects of stroke that include inability to see on one eye, inability to move limbs and inability to speak coherently. These functions are lost because of the lack of oxygen in the brain that causes the loss of nutrients, which then results to brain damage. Because it can cause permanent neurological damage or even death, a stroke, as a medical emergency, needs immediate attention. In Maryland, the prevalence of stroke is higher for those aged over 65 for at least two times higher than those aged 55 to 64. Unfortunately, a stroke can actually happen to anyone at any age. A study showed that stroke is the third leading cause of death in MD. With this alarming truth, Maryland residents have to understand this disease and find ways to prevent it. Types of Stroke There are 2 main types of stroke. One is the ischemic stroke, which is a stroke that results from a blockage like a clot in the blood vessel. The other is called hemorrhagic stroke that occurs a vessel bursts or when there is bleeding between the area of the brain and the skull. The good news is that a good percentage of people who suffer from stroke make great recovery within a month. However, it is important to realize that stroke victims may have long-term problems such as slurred speech or inability to move one part of the body. It could take months or even years to recover, if they ever will. A stroke may have different effects on different people because the damage depends on what part of the brain is affected. Someone who has suffered a stroke may lose some bodily functions and learning abilities. A stroke could also result in being unable to process thoughts and communicate. For some, therapy is a great deal of help to get some functions back to normal. If you think someone near you is suffering from a stroke, do a quick test and seek for medical attention immediately. To lessen the damage to the victim, you have to act FAST. Check for Facial weakness. If the person is unable to smile or is feeling some numbness in one part of the face, a stroke may be happening or may have already happened. Check for Arm weakness. Ask the person to raise both arms. If he or she cannot do so, he or she is at risk of stroke. Check Speech ability. To check this, ask the person to say a complete sentence. If he or she cannot coherently create one, his or her speech ability may already be starting to get affected. Time to call for help. These steps should be done very quickly and if you see that one or two of the signs of stroke are present, immediately call 911. The faster you act, the better the chances of lessening the brain damage happening to the...

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