Know Pain or No Gain — Patient Education is Key

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RehabVisions

Over the past decade we have seen an explosion of research on how to become more effective in dealing with patients who are in pain. Global statistics consistently demonstrate 25 percent of the world’s population deal with chronic pain. Looking at current research, one of the overriding treatment strategies is patient education.
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Combating Struggles with Acquired Brain Injury

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RehabVisions

The physical, neurological and emotional challenges that may arise from an acquired brain injury (ABI) are vast. Different causes and injuries create consequences that vary among individuals. Therapists need to be perceptive in order to both address struggles and provide avenues for constructive thinking.

One of the largest hurdles therapists encounter in rehabilitation with individuals who have suffered an ABI is the patient often lacks insight into their own deficits.
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Dementia & Occupational Therapy: Treatment Techniques

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RehabVisions

Last month we asked Regional Clinical Manager Jolene Denn, SLP to share how her team approaches dementia and her OT’s role. Jolene is an expert on dementia and has presented a CEU course on the subject to RehabVisions therapists. This month she is sharing specific treatment techniques to consider when treating patients with a dementia diagnosis.
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A Common Issue with Alzheimer’s and Dementia

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RehabVisions

Our role as therapists is to help all residents perform at their best and to ease the burden on caregivers and family members. One patient population that can be particularly challenging is patients with a dementia diagnosis. Speech-language pathologists play a key role in improving their nutritional intake.

A common problem observed by speech-language pathologists in skilled nursing facilities is residents leaving the dining room before finishing their meal. Here are a few intervention ideas to ensure patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s diagnoses are eating sufficiently for proper nutrition.
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Running & Jogging Season

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RehabVisions

It’s the time of year to discuss running safety with patients and communities. Sharing your expertise and advice can help properly prepare a body for running and jogging season–and hopefully prevent injury.

Kilah Dunn, PT, an avid runner sent in some of her tips for getting patients ready to run.
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THINK LOUD

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Jennifer Flanagan, SLP

For Better Hearing and Speech month, we asked Sarah Willard, SLP to write about LSVT LOUD, a research-based speech therapy approach for Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions.

THINK LOUD! These two words do not seem therapeutic at first glance. However, in the correct context “THINK LOUD” is helping people with voice production.

Two years ago I was fortunate enough to complete the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment training (LSVT). Certified individuals are listed on a national online registry as resources for therapy.
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Dementia & Occupational Therapy

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RehabVisions

RehabVisions and our therapists are no strangers to the topic of dementia. For OT month, we asked Regional Clinical Manager Jolene Denn, SLP to share how her team approaches dementia and her OT’s role. Jolene is an expert on dementia and has presented a CEU course on the subject to RehabVisions therapists.

Too often, when caregivers, family members and even therapists think about dementia we seem to focus on what the person CAN’T do anymore. They can’t be alone, can’t use the stove, can’t drive, can’t dress themselves, and can’t even find the bathroom. However, occupational therapists play a crucial role in working with clients with dementia, because they focus on what the person CAN do. Occupational therapy approaches treatment with a focus on a patient’s remaining skills or abilities, and how to capitalize on those to make the individual as independent as possible.


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Therapy for Incontinence–Awareness is Key

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Tracy Milius, OT

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, more than 13 million US citizens have incontinence. What many of these people do not realize is that they have viable treatment options within PT or OT to improve their quality of life.

In an effort to promote awareness, we asked Melissa Clarke, OT who has been treating patients with incontinence for three and a half years, a few questions:

What patient demographics do you typically treat and what patient education do you provide?

It can be an embarrassing topic
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Evidence-Based Practice

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Brenda Kemling, PT

Evidence-based practice is defined as the “integration of the best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values.”¹ The demand for and interest in applying evidence to rehabilitation practice has substantially grown in the past decade, in part, by the increase in publication of systematic reviews (over 700 relevant to the practice of physical therapy alone), other articles related to evidence in practice, and transition towards quality value-based reporting and payment models.
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Dry Needling

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Sara Wigger

Dry needling is a relatively new treatment option for physical therapists. Although it is not an approved intervention in all 50 states it is within the scope of physical therapist practice issued by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and becoming more common practice in some of our clinics. Dry needling has shown effectiveness for patients with everything from low back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, elbow pain, hip pain, tension headaches and migraines, to fibromyalgia, plantar fasciitis and tendinitis.
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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.
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OT Strategies That Make an Impact

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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?
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Rehab Department Thrives in Boom Town

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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.
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PT Aids in Miracle Recovery

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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.
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Another Rural Hospital Success Story

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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.
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PT’s Role in Wound Care

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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.
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I Love The SNF Setting and Here’s Why

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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.
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Recent Ruling Ensures Dementia Patients Access To Rehab

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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.”
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Take Credit for the Little Things

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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.
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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.”
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OT Helps Those With Parkinson’s Disease

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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.
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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.
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What Lymphedema Treatment Is Really About

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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.
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