Preparing for Spring

Physical Therapy After Ganglion Resection In Your Wrist

Posted by on Dec 29th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Physical Therapy After Ganglion Resection In Your Wrist

A ganglion cyst is a type of harmless, fluid-filled tumor that usually occurs in the wrist. The most common place for a ganglion cyst to form is on the back side of the wrist (called dorsal ganglions), but they can also form on the inner side, where the thumb attaches to the wrist (called volar ganglions). Less common places for this type of cyst to occur are in the finger joints, on the foot and on the outer parts of the knee or ankle. If you have a ganglion cyst on your wrist, your doctor might suggest watchful waiting, wrist immobilization or a minimally invasive procedure that drains the fluid from the cyst. If your cyst does not go away or it’s causing you a lot of pain, you might have surgery called a ganglion resection. After your surgery, you are likely to need physical therapy. Here’s what you might expect during these physical therapy sessions. Range-of-Motion Exercises After surgery in the wrist, you will need to begin using the joint again soon to prevent atrophy of the muscles and stiffening of the joint. In most cases, you will be instructed to perform range-of-motion exercises. These exercises will have you flexing and rotating your wrist as you move it in various directions. Sometimes a patient cannot move his or her own wrist to perform these exercises. In that case, your physical therapist can move the wrist for you. This is called passive range-of-motion and it will help build up your strength to the point that you can do it yourself as well as keep your joint moving freely. Strength-Building Exercises Your therapist will probably give you exercises to do that use the aid of various weights. Many of these can be done at home, and your healthcare provider will give you instructions for doing so if that is appropriate for you. Do not attempt to perform exercises on a joint that has had recent surgery without the advice of your physical therapist or doctor. Finger extensions can be done simply by extending and spreading the fingers or with the use of a rubber band that provides resistance. You might be given a ball to squeeze or putty to manipulate with the hand that had the surgery. As you heal, you might be asked to pick small beads out of soft clay or putty; this can help to re-strengthen tiny finger muscles that may have been weakened either by the cyst or by the surgery itself. Massage Another component of your physical therapy will be massage. Your therapist may apply warmth, then use oil or lotion to lubricate your wrist as he or she massages the muscles. Massage after ganglion resection can help reduce scar tissue and reduce swelling. The physical therapist will also show you how to perform the same type of massage at home to enhance healing. Unfortunately, ganglion cysts have a high recurrence rate; dorsal ganglions tend to recur about 20 percent of the time, and volar ganglions, about double that. When you are seeing your physical therapist, he or she can check to see if the cyst seems to be coming back. After your physical therapy services have ended, however, you’ll need to watch for recurrence and let your hand and wrist doctor know if it...

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New DOT Medical Exam Requirements: How Do They Affect You?

Posted by on Dec 15th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on New DOT Medical Exam Requirements: How Do They Affect You?

If you operate as a commercial driver, you may wonder how the new DOT medical examination requirements affect your future. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) implemented new rules that affect how drivers complete their medical exams and forms in the future. Drivers must reveal all present and past health problems when they complete their medical forms, or else they can’t obtain medical clearance to drive. If you don’t meet the new requirements, it may affect your ability to drive. New Medical Forms Requirements Before the FMCSA implemented the new changes, the organization only required you to report a five-year medical history on your DOT certification forms. However, after December 22, 2015, you must report every medical condition, hospital visit, medication, and treatment you experienced throughout your lifetime. Although the new requirements may seem extreme, they’re designed to protect trucking companies and their employees from dangerous accidents on the road. A number of drivers experience life-threatening or fatal road accidents due to undiagnosed, unreported or untreated medical problems. In order to put a stop to this dangerous trend in trucking, the FMCSA added new questions on the DOT reporting forms used by medical examiners during certification visits. For example, the new forms may ask you if you spent time in the hospital for high blood pressure, heart problems or some other condition that can potentially impede your ability to drive. One of the biggest problems with truck drivers today is exhaustion and the lack of sleep. Many heart-related health issues can show up when the body’s fatigued and stressed. If you drive long hours each day or don’t take breaks between trips, you may place stress on your body that may eventually trigger problems with your heart. If your medical examiner finds a critical issue with your health, they can request that you see a doctor for a medical evaluation. New Medical Follow-Up Requirements The medical or health evaluation is used to properly diagnose and treat your health problem in a reasonable amount of time. In the past, medical examiners gave truck drivers additional time to complete their medical evaluations and follow-up exams. But new upcoming rules only give you up to 45 days to do both. Keep in mind that a medical examiner can’t approve your certification without the proper medical documentation. However, the examiner can deny your certification if you don’t follow up with a doctor.  The medical examiner needs to make sure that you can successfully drive on the road without harming yourself or other people. The evaluation may include stress tests to see how well you and your body hold up under pressure. Other tests may include blood and urine analysis to see if you have an underlying health problem that created your current condition. If the doctor finds a problem, they must develop a treatment plan for you that successfully controls it. The treatment plan may include medications, physical therapy and occupational therapy. The medical examiner will need real proof of your treatment before they can make a decision about your trucking certification. The treatment must have your condition under control in order to receive approval for your certification. If your treatment doesn’t control your health problem or allow you to drive your truck safely, the DOT medical examiner can deny you. You may seek a second opinion...

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Helpful Tips To Safely Detox From Alcohol & Avoid DTs

Posted by on Jun 25th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Helpful Tips To Safely Detox From Alcohol & Avoid DTs

If you have been drinking alcohol heavily and need or want to stop, it’s important to understand the risks of delirium tremens, also known as DTs. It’s a good idea to seek medical care to detox from alcohol. Not only are DTs dangerous, but you’ll need several liver function lab tests. Here’s what you need to know. Alcohol’s effects on your liver When you drink alcohol, the alcohol gets absorbed into your blood almost immediately. About 90% of the alcohol you consume is broken down by the liver. This can damage the liver cells and turn some of them into fat. The liver forms scars when it’s damaged, which is known as cirrhosis. Cirrhosis can cause the liver function to be minimal or nonexistent. This could lead to death because the liver won’t be able to make vital nutrients and clean the blood by detoxifying harmful substances from it. Since the liver has no nerve endings, you won’t be able to feel any pain in your liver from the damage. For this reason, you will need to go to a health care professional to have liver function tests done. Alcohol withdrawal’s effects on your body If you’ve consumed alcohol heavily for a long time, your body may be reliant on the alcohol. When you stop suddenly or don’t drink enough, your body will start going through withdrawal. Symptoms of withdrawal may include the following: feel extremely hot and can’t seem to cool down uncontrollable shaking in the hands and feet rapid heartbeat that feels as if your heart will pound out of your chest feel anxious for no reason restless and unable to sleep nauseous and unable to eat sensitive to lights and sounds confused and agitated psychotic episodes and hallucinations If you experience any of these symptoms after not having a drink, you are likely experiencing the severe withdrawal form of delirium tremens. DTs is considered a medical emergency and requires immediate hospitalization. Often, patients experiencing DTs are admitted into intensive care units. DTs are that dangerous. Medical help to avoid withdrawal & DTs Fortunately, there are different forms of treatments and medication for those who need medical help to detox from alcohol. It’s important to get this help before you start experiencing withdrawal and symptoms of delirium tremens. Your physician will order a series of lab tests, including a liver function test, through a place like SmartCare Health and Diagnostics. The physician will also ask for your alcohol consumption history. Be completely honest. Your physician will use the information to either admit you into the hospital to be put into a medically-induced coma (most severe), or give you medication to help reduce your amount of alcohol consumption to a more manageable level. Some medication will make you physically ill if you consume alcohol while taking them so you won’t want to drink any more. Other medication may make you not experience the good feelings associated with intoxication.The medication can be given orally or intravenously. Many of these types of medications require the constant monitoring of the liver with routine liver function tests. The reason for this is because they cannot be taken if the liver isn’t functioning properly. You’ll also benefit from psychological help. Your physician will likely refer you to a therapist who can help you...

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Get Help Planning Your Family With Pregnancy Counseling Services

Posted by on Mar 19th, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Have you recently discovered that you’re pregnant? If you haven’t been planning to conceive, you might be feeling confused or worried. Fortunately, pregnancy counseling may be able to give you the help you need to not only decide whether to keep the child, but also ensure that you remain healthy and happy no matter what choice you make. Make Decisions In A Calm, Safe Environment For many most women, an unintended pregnancy presents a complex and serious problem. Often the situation can be overwhelming and even frightening if a woman doesn’t feel she’s ready to bring a child into the world. However, deciding whether or not to continue the pregnancy can be difficult when your head is spinning. In some cases, a chaotic home life can also add to the confusion and pressure pregnant women feel. In contrast, a pregnancy counselor’s office is an oasis. Pregnant women can come and talk to the counselor in a calm, unhurried, and orderly environment. Counselors are trained to help women in distress collect their thoughts and consider their options with a clear head. Throughout the sessions, a good counselor helps empower women to make decisions about whether to continue the pregnancy, whether to keep the child, and where to go from the present situation. Get Access To Helpful Materials One of the reasons first-time mothers and women with unplanned pregnancies can feel so overwhelmed is the lack of knowledge surrounding family planning options after conception. Fortunately, pregnancy counselors are well equipped to alleviate any confusion. For example, in the case on an unwanted pregnancy, counselors can provide informational materials about termination options as well as instructions for putting the baby up for adoption after it is born. Potential mothers are able to peruse this information and ask questions before they decide which option to choose. Once the choice is made, the pregnancy counselor can help refer women to the appropriate agency and give them an idea of the process to come. If, on the other hand, the mother decides to keep the child, then the pregnancy counselor can help her find a good doctor and can provide her with tips on how to stay healthy while pregnant, how to reduce stress, how to keep work and home balanced throughout the pregnancy, and how to access important resources for pregnant women, such as WIC benefits. Catch Depression The Moment It Appears One of the biggest reasons for pregnant women and women who have recently been pregnant to schedule regular counseling visits is the risk of developing serious pre- or post-partum depression. Some periods of depression are normal throughout pregnancy due to the physical stress of the condition, the emotional stress, and the ever-shifting hormones that can alter the chemical balance of the brain.  A skilled pregnancy counselor can help women prepare for short periods of depression by building healthy habits and developing preemptive coping strategies to survive depression. In most cases, depression will only linger for a day or two before passing away again, and the most important thing is to build skills that keep it from derailing your life while it’s there. In some cases, however, depression lingers too long or becomes too serious. In this situation, a counselor should be able to spot the warning signs of serious depression and refer...

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Knee Replacement Surgery: Planning Ahead For Your Recovery

Posted by on Mar 10th, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

With medical advances (and insurance company limitations) being what they are, patients are typically discharged from the hospital within a few days of having knee replacement surgery. In some cases, this procedure is even done on an outpatient basis. Because knee replacement surgery is usually planned ahead of time and not performed on an emergency basis, you have the opportunity to prepare yourself and your home for your recovery. Here are some things you can do before your appointment to make it easier on yourself during your recuperation. Talk to Your Doctor In some cases, you may be able to have your knee replacement done arthroscopically or laparoscopically. What this means is that instead of a traditional long incision, the procedure might be able to be done through several smaller incisions. Depending on your particular case, this can reduce your healing time and minimize your pain.  Arrange for Help During the first two weeks or more after your surgery, you will probably need someone to assist you. You will likely be unable to drive and you might need help getting to the bathroom or up the stairs leading to your home. In addition, you will be on pain medication for at least several days, and if the pills make your drowsy or unsteady on your feet, having someone nearby is a matter of safety. If you already have a spouse or adult child living in your home, see if you can arrange for them to take some time off from work or school, if applicable. Another option is having a relative or friend come to stay with you. If you do not have anyone to ask, you can always arrange for a home health care nurse or aid to visit you each day or a few times per week, depending on your needs. Make Your Home Conducive to Your Recovery If your home is already set up to accommodate a walker or wheelchair, then you will not have much to do to prepare it for your recovery. If not, though, it’s best to walk through each room prior to your surgery to see what hazards you can eliminate for the time being. Loose throw rugs and extension cords are easy to trip over and should be moved. If your bedroom is located upstairs, find a way to create a temporary sleeping space on the lower level of your home. Sleeping on the sofa might not be very comfortable, so it might be worth the effort to rent a hospital bed or to get someone to move your bed downstairs for the time being. Also, install safety grab bars in the bathroom, if possible, to prevent falls and slipping. Meet With a Physical Therapist You will be shown how to gradually build up your strength again after your knee replacement surgery. In the time right after your surgery, however, you will be in pain and you might not remember everything that you are supposed to do. Meet with your physical therapist before your procedure so he or she can show you the exercises that you will need to do. You can even practice these exercises before you have your surgery, if you are physically able to do so. Reduce Your Stress Your recuperation will go more smoothly if you are...

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