Posts made in February, 2014

Exercise and Parkinson’s Disease

Posted by on Feb 26, 2014 in brain, Tips | 0 comments

Exercise and Parkinson’s Disease

Research shows that people who have Parkinson’s disease can benefit from regular exercise. Stiffness is minimized with regular exercise. It also improves a person’s ability to move, posture, and balance. Ideal exercises for individuals with Parkinson’s disease Routines that challenge the lungs and heart and those that promote good posture and biomechanics are ideal for people with Parkinson’s. Stiffness can also be reduced through dancing. It is important for exercise routines to be varied considering that people with the disease often find it hard to shift from one position to the other. Other beneficial exercises are those that promote normal and symmetric movements. Walking in the mall, yoga, aerobics, hiking with the use of walking sticks, and swimming are all good exercises for people with Parkinson’s. Best time to exercise The ideal time to exercise is when mobility level is at its best. Those who are taking medications have the best mobility an hour after taking medications. Then again, it varies from one person to the other. People do not react to medications the same way. Thus, it is important to observe beforehand the patient’s reaction to medications to identify the best time for him or her to exercise. When to approach a physical therapist After a person is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, he or she should consult a physical therapist. The physical therapist performs an assessment and creates and exercise program appropriate for the person. This also allows the physical therapist to have a baseline of the patient’s physical status. Although patients may already have a good exercise program prepared by the physical therapist during the initial consultation, a visit to the physical therapist is necessary when the person identifies signs and symptoms that can increase his or her risks of falling. It is also important to see a physical therapist when the person is no longer comfortable moving around. The therapist can also help the person improve gait by practicing auditory and visual cues. Need for regular re-evaluations The diseases progresses in time, which is why a patient with Parkinson’s disease should have regular re-evaluations. This is to ensure that the person is still benefitting from the exercise program. A program that focuses on improving posture, gait, and balance has to be individualized to decrease any risk of falling. There are also some instances when a patient will require treatments in a facility a couple of times every week. Importance of learning-based routines Learning-based routines can also help patients with Parkinson’s. It helps them enhance their multi-tasking abilities without falling and sustaining injuries. It promotes better health and well-being despite the presence of a neurodegenerative disease. A lot of people have Parkinson’s disease. Although this disease slowly progresses, it should not stop patients from living normal lives and doing what they want. Exercise and physical therapy can make life better for these individuals. Patients with Parkinson’s disease in Montgomery Village and Olney only need to be proactive in visiting their therapists and performing their exercises so they can see a significant difference in their daily...

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How to Prevent Osteoporosis

Posted by on Feb 19, 2014 in Back, Tips | 0 comments

How to Prevent Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis affects millions of people all over the world. Bone thinning starts by the time a person reaches the age of 30. It is a natural process and there is no way to stop it completely. The chance of developing osteoporosis does not only depend on how thick or thin the bone is, but also on several other factors such as health and diet. By eating the right food and exercising regularly, you may avoid or delay osteoporosis. Have a nutritious diet You need to have a nutritious diet that has enough vitamin D and calcium. These two play essential roles in keeping the bones healthy and strong. Vitamin D helps bones absorb calcium, thereby increasing muscle strength. Vitamin D also reduces the odds of having a fracture. You can get vitamin D from sun exposure as well as from milk and supplements. Exercise regularly Exercise improves bone mass and decreases fracture risks. It also helps women in maintaining bone density even after menopause. Since you can develop muscle strength from exercising regularly, you also reduce the chances of falls due to weakness. Exercising three times a week for at least half an hour is a good way to prevent osteoporosis. Stop smoking Smoking is never good for your health. Smoking hastens the process of bone loss, which means that you can have osteoporosis early on. Drink moderately If you cannot help but drink, be sure to put a limit to the number of drinks you have per day. Women can have 1 alcoholic drink per day while men can have 2 drinks per day. Be extra careful and prevent falls Falling increases risks of developing fractures. Implement fall prevention measures such as removing loose items like rugs and electrical cords that can cause slipping and falling. There should also be adequate lighting all over the house and most especially in staircases and entrance ways. Do not walk on surfaces that are slippery and try not to walk on surfaces that are not familiar to you. Use medications only with the advice of a physician There are some medications that when taken for a long period of time can promote bone loss. It is important to have your physician monitor your use of these medications so you can decrease or even discontinue your intake when possible. Glucocorticoids, heparin, and some antiepileptic drugs can increase bone loss. In the event that these methods are not enough to prevent osteoporosis, the best thing you can do is deal with the condition. It does not have to ruin your life. There are a lot of osteoporosis treatments available and you simply need to make a move. Never ignore the problem as it can affect your daily living. One way to deal with the pain and mobility problems caused by osteoporosis is to see a physical therapist. Patients in Montgomery and Olney who have osteoporosis need to understand that rehabilitation is an essential part in managing the condition and that rehabilitation should involve getting help of an excellent physical...

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Ways to Manage Chronic Pain

Posted by on Feb 12, 2014 in Pain, Tips | 0 comments

Ways to Manage Chronic Pain

It is hard to live a good life when you have chronic pain, but it also does not mean that there is no hope. There is hope. You can manage chronic pain and choose to live a happy life despite the condition. Here are some ways to deal with chronic pain. Learn deep breathing exercises and meditation techniques Deep breathing helps the body relax, thereby easing pain. Look for a quiet corner and keep your mind clear. Fill your stomach with air. Then breathe out slowly. By meditating, you can also release tension and loosen up. You can let the body relax by ignoring thoughts that can distract you and putting your focus on your breath. You can meditate on your own or join a meditation class. Minimize stress A lot of things can cause stress like negative emotions. Learn how to control your feelings and you can relieve some of the pain. You can also listen to calming music. Another way to minimize pain is through mental imagery or guided imagery. It is the process of creating peaceful images in the mind, allowing you to relax. Eat a healthy diet A healthy diet aids digestion, reduces risks of heart diseases, and improves your blood sugar levels. You want a diet that is low in fat and sodium. Incorporate vegetables and fresh fruits to your diet as well as whole-grain breads, low-fat cheese, milk, and lean meat. Do not rely on alcohol When you are constantly in pain, you will have a hard time sleeping. This sleeping problem will only worsen if you keep on drinking alcohol. It can be tempting to drink alcohol so you can go to bed, but this will not help you if you are dealing with chronic pain. Drink less alcohol and if possible do not drink alcohol at all. Take part in a support group There is a tendency for people with chronic pain to feel lonely. Taking part in a support group and meeting people who also have chronic pain can ease the loneliness. These people know what you are going through and you can also learn from them when it comes to managing discomfort. Exercise regularly Exercise does not just improve your mood, but it also blocks pain signals in the brain. By exercising regularly, you can strengthen your muscles and prevent any re-injuries that will only cause additional discomfort. Exercise also reduces your risk of developing heart diseases and can help you maintain a healthy weight. Exercise has a lot of benefits to the body. Considering that you are in pain and may not tolerate all routines, it is best to approach a physical therapist for you to have an exercise program that is appropriate for your condition. Physical therapists in Montgomery Village and Olney, Maryland, can help you manage chronic pain. You do not have to endure the pain on your own. There are people ready to help you. Go to a physical therapist today and find out how you can ease the pain, improve strength and mobility, and enhance your quality of...

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A Primer on Bell’s Palsy

Posted by on Feb 5, 2014 in Bell's Palsy, Tips, Uncategorized | 0 comments

A Primer on Bell’s Palsy

Bell’s palsy is a common cause of temporary facial paralysis where there is trauma or damage to the facial nerve. The condition develops suddenly, and it typically shows on one side only. Most people with Bell’s palsy initially think they just had a stroke. Bell’s palsy is way different from a stroke and the majority of people recover after a couple of months. What causes it? It is not clear if Bell’s palsy is caused by herpes virus or not. In many cases, there is inflammation of the facial nerve. There are also some health issues that cause facial paralysis and weakness. If the source of the weakness cannot be identified, the condition is regarded as Bell’s palsy. What are its symptoms? A person with Bell’s palsy experiences sudden weakness or paralysis on one side of the face. The person may also start to drool and lose his or her capacity to taste. Eye problems may surface like a dry eye. The affected side may become numb and there may be pain behind the ear. How is it diagnosed? Doctors perform an assessment including a neurological exam to check the function of the facial nerve. If symptoms are not clear and the cause is not identified, other tests may be needed like a CT scan and MRI. Blood tests may also be ordered by the physician. What are the treatment methods? Steroids Studies have revealed that steroids, particularly prednisone, reduce swelling and inflammation. Prednisone is effective in treating Bell’s palsy. Antiviral drugs like acyclovir can also shorten the duration of the disease. Pain is relieved with aspirin or ibuprofen. Since drug interactions may occur, individuals with Bell’s palsy should not attempt to self-medicate. It is a must to see a doctor first before taking any medications. Eye protection Bell’s palsy can affect the natural ability of the eyelids to blink. Since the eyes are exposed, it can be irritated. Drying may also occur. Thus, it is important to keep the eyes protected to prevent injuries. The eyes should also be moist. This can be done by using eye drops that provide lubrication. Eye patches may be used when sleeping. During waking hours, glasses or goggles should be worn. Physical therapy Physical therapy stimulates the facial nerve and helps in maintaining muscle tone. Furthermore, facial exercises as well as facial massage may benefit some people. These activities prevent permanent contractures of the paralyzed muscles caused by lack of movement. The pain also can be reduced by placing moist heat on the side that is affected. Although Bell’s palsy only causes temporary facial paralysis, it is important to deal with the condition right away. When you experience facial weakness, be sure to visit your doctor right away. Also, do not forget to see a physical therapist in Montgomery Village and Olney, Maryland, so your facial muscles can regain strength quickly while the symptoms begin to lessen. You only want to get the best treatment available and get rid of the paralysis as soon as...

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