Musicians are athletes, too

Posted:
Sara Wigger

Recently, I read an article on the benefits of physical therapy for musicians. As a former music student, I found it interesting that I’d never thought about physical therapy to treat or prevent injury in relation to music performance.

Just like an athlete performs and may sustain injuries that require treatment from a physical therapist, so can a music performer sustain injuries. Musicians also have a drive to perform at their best, practice until perfection, and to play through the pain – even when aware they shouldn’t. They train. They have intense practice schedules. Music students and professionals put in hours straight of repetitive motion to perfect a single piece. The same phrases and finger movement again and again to perform it just 10 beats faster. Years of this routine may result in pain or injury.

National Physical Therapy Month offers an opportunity to seek new avenues to educate communities and promote services. Instead of reaching out only to the athletic departments at nearby high schools or colleges, look into music programs. Like me, local musicians may not be aware that physical therapy is an option for those hand, wrist, or neck pain problems. Offer wellness advice and educate about the benefits of physical therapy for managing or eliminating pain. Is there a music conservatory nearby? A university music program? City orchestra? Reach out and you may find yourself welcoming an entirely new type of patient.

How is your rehab department promoting physical therapy this October?

OT Strategies That Make an Impact

Posted:
Tracy Milius, OT

What is the most important thing to keep in mind during a therapy session with a patient? That’s right. The most important thing is the patient.

Speaking as an occupational therapist, we’re always focused on a holistic approach to patient care. Providing treatment interventions that encompass meaningful participation in all levels of daily living is at the heart of everything we do. So when we’re already focusing on the patient, and we’ve been trained to provide quality care, what is the next step we can take to improve our efforts? How do we go above and beyond and make sure our patients receive not only quality patient care, but our thoughtful attention and customized approach for the best outcomes?

We first identify functional limitations and then address safety, environmental factors, adaptations and compensatory techniques, as well as education to the patient, family and caregiver. Functional limitations can be very low-level, such as the ability to perform dressing skills to more complex skills, such as medication management and ability to respond to an emergency. Activities can be graded from a basic seated position to standing and completing dynamic balance activities. When we incorporate components of therapeutic exercise for strengthening, ADL retraining with adaptive equipment instruction, and neuro re-education tasks, such as balance and functional mobility, we quickly fill up our scheduled therapy time.

Utilizing these strategies will lend to meeting your productivity goals, but more importantly they ensure your patient is getting as much value from their appointment as you can give–and each activity is focused on making them better.

Rehab Department Thrives in Boom Town

Posted:
Jennifer Flanagan, SLP

Perhaps you have heard about the oil boom going on in North Dakota these days. Williston, North Dakota, in the northwest corner of the state, is more than having its 15 minutes of fame in the media with stories about the influx of population on the town and its effects on traffic, real estate and the job market.

In the midst of all of that, life goes on for the residents of Williston. They still have needs, and sometimes that gets lost in the “news” stories of this town.
More

PT Aids in Miracle Recovery

Posted:
Bill Mannewitz, PT

As physical, occupational and speech therapists we see life-changing events almost daily. Dedicated patients push past their perceived limitations under our individualized care. Occasionally, we are blessed to participate in miraculous events. Kilah Dunn, PT had such an experience. Patient Anthony Crump has agreed to let us share a small portion of his story.
More

Another Rural Hospital Success Story

Posted:
Tracy Milius, OT

Jim McConnell credits his back surgeon and the therapy team at Myrtue Medical Center with saving his life. After a work-related injury, Jim went through six back surgeries over six years, and nothing seemed to work. Jim lives in Council Bluffs, Iowa, a town of 60,000 people that borders Omaha, Nebraska.

Finally a doctor recommended a back surgeon who practices in Omaha, Council Bluffs and Harlan, Iowa – a town of 5000 people about 50 miles from his home. Jim had his surgery in July and started physical therapy in September.
More

PT’s Role in Wound Care

Posted:
Amy Robinson, PT

Most people don’t realize that physical therapists can play a huge role in wound care healing. It’s actually become a large part of my practice. Wound care can be very challenging, yet it’s rewarding when you see quick results and good response from patients.

A wound care program can be run through the nursing or therapy department and delivered through inpatient or outpatient services. Advantages of running it through the therapy department are varied. Therapists can perform selective debridement of devitalized tissue, and wound care often ties to other therapy-related programs including Lymphedema, peripheral neuropathy and mobility issues. Working with a department that addresses all of these functional limitations allows the patient to receive more complete care more efficiently.
More

I Love The SNF Setting and Here’s Why

Posted:
Jennifer Flanagan, SLP

Just as I was starting to think our jobs in therapy were getting consumed with Medicare rules and regulations, a patient encounter reminded me otherwise.

In visiting one of our skilled nursing facilities recently, I was sitting in the therapy department when a gentleman in jeans and a plaid shirt approached and asked for one of the therapists. He was told that she was with a patient so he reached in his pocket and pulled out a note. “I have that recipe for her,” he said. On the paper was a carefully typewritten (from his computer) recipe for what are reportedly the world’s best Ginger Snap Cookies.
More

Recent Ruling Ensures Dementia Patients Access To Rehab

Posted:
Tracy Milius, OT

Patients with dementia diagnosis frequently present with the need for therapy services in skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, outpatient clinics and home health agencies. Sometimes therapists are concerned with treating patients with this diagnosis because therapy may not “rehabilitate or restore lost function.” However, if you refer to the Medicare benefit policy manual, it states that therapy can work with persons who have chronic, progressive diseases – such as Alzheimer’s and related dementias – and even terminal diseases, to help “maintain function.”
More

Take Credit for the Little Things

Posted:
Bill Mannewitz, PT

Often times I think we, as clinicians, sell ourselves short. We take for granted the education and training we have as if it were common sense.

I hear clinicians say things like, “what I provided there, anyone could have done. The patient didn’t need my services. That wasn’t skilled care,” after we’ve done something like taught an exercise, adjusted walker height, or other “simple” therapy tasks.
More

The Power of Perception

Posted:
Deb Kirchhoff, SLP

Check out this article about patient experience from Hospital Impact. It speaks to how very important perception is within our jobs in healthcare.

Nancy Groff Named Home Health Therapist of the Year

Posted:
Guest

Home Care and Hospice Association of Washington voted Nancy Groff, PT the Therapist of the Year this past April. Nancy, a 23-year RehabVisions’ employee, works in Prosser, Washington.

In her acceptance speech, Nancy said that the award was “probably the highlight of my 47-year career” and thanked RehabVisions for “the support, freedom and confidence in the past 23 years to be the best I can be.”
More

OT Helps Those With Parkinson’s Disease

Posted:
Stacey Hodges, OT

Although we are almost two months past April and Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month, it is always timely to recognize a neurological disorder that affects so many. In my community in Iowa, there are many individuals who have been impacted by this debilitating diagnosis. As the director of rehab services at the hospital, I have grown to know some of these individuals well and have been impressed by their drive to continue to fight this disease on a daily basis.
More

The Camaraderie of Healing

Posted:
Doug Larmore

This is an older article but I liked it because it comes from the patient’s perspective. Being at the Home Office, we don’t get to see that every day. It’s also a nice story if you’ve ever been through therapy or even if you never have.
More

What Lymphedema Treatment Is Really About

Posted:
Jennifer Flanagan, SLP

If you’ve been around the therapy world for awhile, you’ve probably encountered the word “lymphedema.” But you may be surprised to learn about the complexities involved in treatment of patients with lymphedema.
More