Tips

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...

Read More

How To Keep Your Joints Healthy

Posted by on Jan 17, 2014 in Tips | 0 comments

How To Keep Your Joints Healthy

Our joints enable us to move as they allow us to run, jump and dance as well as roll, rotate, bend and glide parts of our body where our bones meet. Because we use our joints very often, they are prone to damage and injury, just like any other part of our body. To avoid joint problems, as you get older, it’s best to keep them healthy as early as you can. With the right nutrition, exercise and hygiene, you can keep your joints working at its best for many years to come. Here are some tips on how to keep your joints healthy: Healthy habits and proper posture help By sitting the right way while you’re in front of your computer at work or keeping your back straight whether you’re standing or sitting down, you can maintain healthy joints. If you keep your back arched too long, you will put unnecessary strain on it that will affect your joints in the long run. Our bodies are design to twist just about any way but we need to always keep our posture in check. Take time to relax Life should be lived like it’s a vacation – at least sort of. Don’t stress too much and if you are feeling hung out, take time to relax. Whether it’s just closing your eyes for 5 minutes or taking a short walk after sitting down for a while, that would help your joints already. Just keeping your activities at the right levels and taking a break every time you feel the need for one will help your joints a great deal. Don’t rest for too long though because that will make your joints stiff. You can also enjoy a relaxing warm bath every now and then because that would also make your joints relax. Eat healthy We can never stress this enough. For every thing that concerns our bodies, eating healthy is the first and foremost key to maintaining health. Whatever age you’re in, your bodies need nutrients and vitamins to maintain proper function of your systems. Your joints need them too. Proteins are great for joints and ligaments but keep in mind that you need to balance your diet to keep your whole body running the right way. Be careful We try to be careful all the time but as we age, it is important to consider that we may not be as limber or as athletic as we used to be. Avoiding trauma or injury will help us maintain health in our joints. If in case we do break a bone or fall on our back for some reason, seek professional help immediately. You can never be too cautious in making sure that you did not damage your bones or muscles. Furthermore, finding where the damage is can be crucial to making sure it heals properly. Rock Physical Therapy in Maryland offers professional help to people with body pains and problems. If you think you are starting to have some problems with your joints, visit us for consultation so we can help you get back on track with your physical...

Read More

What Physical Therapy Can Do For You

Posted by on Jan 10, 2014 in Tips | 0 comments

What Physical Therapy Can Do For You

Body pain is something that almost all of us experience very often. There are countless causes for body pain as there are so many body parts that can be affected by it, but if there is one thing most of us resort to when it comes to pain is medication. For those who have chronic body pain, however, medications may sometimes not work anymore because of the resistance our body has developed. What we should be aware of is that there is another alternative. Physical therapy may be the best solution for your body pain, especially if it involves your muscles, joints and tendons. Physical therapy is self-management taught to us by professionals in the field to help us get relief from strains, pains and stresses on our body. It focuses on the recuperation and prevention of injuries. It helps us get back the control of our body through exercise, lifestyle change and some other related activities. Techniques like stretching, balancing, finding the right posture and exercising will help you reduce the tension on your muscles, which means that you and your body may feel better in no time. Fibromyalgia and Physical Therapy Fibromyalgia is a syndrome where someone experiences pain the muscles and joints as well as fatigue, anxiety and sometimes, even depression. Women are more prone to this condition than men but statistics show that more than 12 million people in the US have it. A physical therapist can help you restore health and fitness through the techniques he or she has learned while earning his or her license. Physical therapy involves working with the body and understanding the movement of each joint, muscle or bone so a therapist will get a good understanding of what you need to improve to get rid of the pains you are experiencing. Fibromyalgia does not have a known cure and physical therapy may be your best option to get rid of the pain you experience from it. The therapist will help you reduce the fatigue and stiffness in your body with exercise, deep tissue massage, hydrotherapy and other necessary treatments. Massage is a common practice in physical therapy. There are many massage styles with varying intensity, movements and techniques that a licensed therapist is experienced with. The benefit of getting a massage from a licensed physical therapist, like those in Rock Physical Therapy in MD, is that you can be sure that every part of your body is handled with great care and in the right way. Most health insurance companies cover physical therapy. If you are experiencing some discomfort because of a muscle or joint or if you have chronic pain in your back, neck or shoulder, you might want to take advantage of this cover and consult with a physical therapist to see your options. This might just finally relieve you of that annoying back pain or that strained neck you have been complaining about. If you live in Maryland, visit one of our centers to see your best options for physical...

Read More

The Pain in Spinal Disk Problems

Posted by on Jan 3, 2014 in Tips | 0 comments

The Pain in Spinal Disk Problems

Pain signals that something is wrong in your body and those who have spinal disk problems know too well how difficult this medical issue is to deal with. Movements of any type become really hard and the pain becomes worse. However, with the right steps to take, spinal disk problems can be dealt with in better light. What are spinal disks? Spinal disks are those found in between the bones in the spinal column. Because they are between vertebral bones, they often called intervertebral disks by health professionals. A disk is circular and flat. Each one is made with membranes that are strong and rubbery. Ligaments that connect the bones in the spine hold together spinal disks as well. There should be very minimal movement possible for these disks. They keep the vertebrae from colliding with each other. During childhood, these disks are gel-like and as we age, it becomes solid and sturdy, but the process also makes the disks prone to damage or injury. The start of pain Stress on the disks may cause them to swell. When this happens, the surrounding nerves may be affected, which then causes the pain or spasm we feel. If no proper treatment is done, further damage may result. The more damage there is to the disk, the more pain will be felt. If the nerves surrounding the disk are affected, movement in the arms and legs may cause some extreme discomfort as well. This is a condition more commonly known as herniated disk. Herniated disks may be caused by a bad injury but its most common cause is aging. Everyday activities like lifting, walking or stretching may be the culprit if these activities are not done with proper care. This should make us think twice about putting too much strain on our bodies especially our backs. Another cause for herniated disk is genetics, which means even if you are careful, if it’s in your family history, you might experience it later on as you grow old. What could be done A spinal disk problem is very hard to deal with as it affects everyday activities aside from the excruciating pain it brings. To find out if you have a disk problem, you can ask for an MRI so the health professional can take a photo of your bone and see where the damage is and to what extent it has become. There is also the option of X-ray or CT scan but these tests do not give the clearest view, unless your spinal disk has great damage to it already. Another thing to do is to get therapy. Rock Physical Therapy in Maryland offers this kind of treatment because it can lessen the pain and the stress from a herniated disk. If proper care is given, the problem may even be fixed. If not, a disk replacement or surgery may be necessary. There may be other causes to the pain you are experiencing your back. The best way to start dealing with it is to get diagnosed properly so you know which step to take next. Don’t wait for the problem to be aggravated even more. As soon as you think or suspect that you have a spinal disk problem, seek professional...

Read More

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...

Read More

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....

Read More