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Juvenile arthritis affects nearly 300,000 children in the U.S., and researchers are just starting to understand more about the diseases and conditions that fall into this category.

July is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month, offering a unique opportunity to educate and inform PTs, OTs practitioners and the public about the various forms of juvenile arthritis and how to offer relief to young patients. Using the hashtag #StrongerThanJA, the Arthritis Foundation is working to spread the word that children can get arthritis too and the need exists for more answers to fight this painful disorder.

What is juvenile arthritis?

Among the most common types of arthritis is juvenile idiopathic arthritis which begins before age 16 and involves swelling in one or more joints for at least six weeks, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Knowledge of juvenile idiopathic arthritis, formerly known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis has shifted recently as researchers have come to understand a difference in the type of arthritis that affects most pediatric patients and arthritis in adults. Only about 10% of children have the disease that resembles adult rheumatoid arthritis.

Another recent shift relates to the belief that juvenile idiopathic arthritis is a group of strictly autoimmune diseases. Some experts are looking at whether one particular form of juvenile idiopathic arthritis — systemic — is autoinflammatory, while others are exploring whether other subtypes of juvenile idiopathic arthritis are neither “autoimmune or autoinflammatory but caused by something else,” writes author Mary Anne Dunkin on the Arthritis Foundation microsite Kidsgetarthritistoo.org. Such discussions could impact present and future treatment methods of juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

Other types of juvenile arthritis include juvenile dermatomyositis, juvenile lupus, juvenile scleroderma and Kawasaki disease, named after Japanese pediatrician Tomisaku Kawasaki who observed inflammatory-type symptoms in children, followed in later years by heart conditions.

Know the symptoms and causes of juvenile arthritis

Although pain is an obvious symptom of juvenile idiopathic arthritis, children might not complain of joint pain — rather parents might notice their child limping, particularly first thing in the morning or after a nap, according to the Mayo Clinic. Symptoms also include joint swelling, stiffness and fever, swollen lymph nodes and rash. Severe complications can include eye issues such as inflammation and struggles with growth.

“Juvenile idiopathic arthritis can affect one joint or many,” the Mayo Clinic website states.  “There are several different subtypes of juvenile idiopathic arthritis, but the main ones are systemic, oligoarticular and polyarticular. Which type your child has depends on symptoms, the number of joints affected, and if a fever and rashes are prominent features.”

Children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis also may display signs such as difficulty dressing, walking playing or other daily activities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Experts believe genetics play a significant role in children developing juvenile arthritis, but researchers are continuing to study the combination of genetic and environmental factors that might contribute. According to the Mayo Clinic, juvenile idiopathic arthritis occurs when the body’s immune system attacks its own cells and tissues. Certain gene mutations also can make children more susceptible to environmental conditions, such as viruses.

Author Linda J. Brown writes on Kidsgetarthritistoo.org parents of children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis often are concerned siblings also will be diagnosed. A study conducted by Sampath Prahalad, MD, associate professor of Pediatrics and Human Genetics at Emory University in Atlanta, found siblings are 12 times more likely to get juvenile idiopathic arthritis, Brown writes. Still, the risk is not as severe as one might think.

“With the population prevalence of juvenile idiopathic arthritis at one in 1,000, a 12-times greater risk may sound like a lot but it’s only equal to 1.2%,” Prahalad said. “So there’s a 98% chance that the family would not have another child with arthritis.”

Modern treatments and physical therapy

In previous years, children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis were treated with non-steroid, anti-inflammatory drugs, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Other treatments include drugs such as corticosteroids and methotrexate that suppress the body’s immune system response. New treatments also have started to emerge, including biologics, manufactured in or from biologic sources.

Nikolay Nikolov, a rheumatologist and clinical team leader at the Food and Drug Administration, said in an FDA blog post new therapies for juvenile idiopathic arthritis give parents much reason to be optimistic.  These therapies moderate the effects and control the disease, helping to prevent significant disability as children get older.

“As science at the molecular level has advanced, we’ve learned more about what drives arthritis — the mechanism of the disease — and we are able to identify important targets,” Nikolov said.

Although there is no cure for juvenile arthritis, early diagnosis and aggressive treatment are key to  remission, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Still, even with the variety of innovative juvenile idiopathic arthritis medications, physical therapy should still be a significant part of a treatment plan, Brown writes on kidsgetarthritistoo.org. Experts recommend a combination of both for improved outcomes.

“I think establishing and maintaining a good therapeutic exercise program will definitely add to any benefits that medicine can provide,” Greg Shahum, OTR/L, director of rehabilitation at Regency Heights of Stamford in Connecticut, said in Brown’s post.

Celebrities, children raise awareness

With increased awareness of juvenile arthritis and researchers working to find new treatments, more adults are speaking out about their own childhood battles with the condition. These include celebrities like Claire Foy, who stars in the Netflix series “The Crown.”

“I had juvenile arthritis from the ages of 12 to 15, so I was on crutches,” Foy told The Wall Street Journal in January. “[The arthritis] was extremely painful.”

As part of Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month, the Arthritis Foundation is inviting families impacted by the condition to share their stories on Arthritis.org. Dozens of stories have been posted so far, with one written by a child as young as 7.

For more information about Juvenile Arthritis and how to support Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month, visit Kidsgetarthritistoo.org and Arthritis.org/warriors.

_________________________________ We offer an Arthritis Management Bundle with courses for PTs that includes:

The Management of Knee Osteoarthritis
(1 contact hr)

All clinical, practicing physical therapists encounter patients with osteoarthritis of the knee or a potential for developing the disease. Osteoarthritis is the leading cause for disability in the general population of the United States. Arthritis of the knee alone afflicts more than 4 million people, and research shows that 14% of individuals aged between 40 and 79 described knee pain with disability on most days of the previous month. Because of the increase in life expectancy within most societies of the western world, the high prevalence of OA is expected to increase further in upcoming years. For example, the number of first-time total knee replacements is expected to skyrocket 673% to 3.48 billion by 2030. Physical therapy is among the treatment options for people who suffer from osteoarthritis and intends to prevent physical impairment and restore functional ability through the use of exercise, physical modalities and patient education.

Back in Action With Joint Replacements, Part 1
(1 contact hr)

More than 7.2 million people in the United States have had hip or knee replacement procedures. The number of people having total knee arthroplasty has increased significantly in the past 25 years, driven in part by an increase in the number of aging persons and by increasing rates of obesity. This two-part continuing education series will educate healthcare providers about total hip arthroplasty and total knee arthroplasty. Part 1 discusses the effects of arthritis on the knee and hip as weight-bearing joints, outlines indications for joint replacement, and reviews joint replacement surgical procedures and patient management by interprofessional healthcare providers.

Back in Action With Joint Replacements, Part 2
(1 contact hr)
This module describes caring for patients who have undergone total hip replacement or knee replacement, stressing the pivotal role of the healthcare professional in educating patients to manage the transition from hospital to home. The module reviews key factors for a successful outcome.

Osteoarthritis of the First CMC Joint
(1 contact hr)

We tend to take our thumbs for granted; that is, until they hurt. The thumb’s important functional role is evident in its 20% whole person impairment rating, which measures the impact of impairment and loss of function on a person’s ability to perform activities of daily living. With a loss of use of a thumb, there is a 20% loss of ability to perform normal activities such as opening lids, tying shoes and even shaking someone’s hand. A painful thumb restricts a person’s independence. Because there is no cure for arthritis, the primary treatment is patient education. Patients need to learn techniques to manage symptoms and perhaps slow the progression of joint changes.

Rheumatoid Arthritis — Living with a Chronic Disease
(1 contact hr)

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disorder. The prognosis has improved dramatically for newly diagnosed patients. The focus of this module is to help us understand how RA is diagnosed, how it develops, its characteristic signs and symptoms, treatment strategies, nursing interventions, and non-pharmacologic preventative therapies. The purpose of this module is to educate the healthcare professional team about the development of RA, current treatment approaches, and therapeutic interventions that can help people with RA better manage their disease.

The post Children can get arthritis too — know the facts about juvenile arthritis appeared first on Today in PT.

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Health experts have long touted the benefits of exercise to improve physical and mental health. New research also shows the practice is particularly helpful in preventing cartilage damage caused by arthritis and is a great tool for arthritis management.

A recent study from Queen Mary University in London shows how mechanical forces experienced by cells in our joints suppress the action of inflammatory molecules which cause osteoarthritis.

“We have known for some time that healthy exercise is good for you. Now we know the process through which exercise prevents cartilage degradation,” study author Su Fu, a PhD student at Queen Mary’s School of Engineering and Materials Science, said in a news release.

Researchers found exercise impacts tiny hair-like structures — primary cilia — found on living cells, according to the release. The “squashing” of cartilage in joints during exercise is detected by living cells in the cartilage, which block the action of inflammatory molecules. The anti-inflammatory result of physical activity is caused by the activation of HDAC6, a protein triggering changes in the proteins that form primary cilia.

Exercise is essential for arthritis management

Patients needn’t worry about adding an intense workout regimen to their routines, reports the Mayo Clinic. Moderate exercise can ease the pain associated with arthritis management and help patients maintain healthy weights. Exercise also strengthens the muscles around the joints, helps maintain bone strength, boosts energy, improves sleep, enhances quality of life and improves balance.

Although some might have the misconception that exercise could add to joint pain and stiffness, it actually is lack of exercise that intensifies these issues, according to the Mayo Clinic.

“That’s because keeping your muscles and surrounding tissue strong is crucial to maintaining support for your bones,” the Mayo Clinic states on its website. “Not exercising weakens those supporting muscles, creating more stress on your joints.”

The Arthritis Foundation cites a variety of exercises beneficial to countering the effects of the disease. These include exercises involving range of motion or flexibility, aerobic/endurance, strength, walking and aquatic workouts. The foundation recommends patients follow the advice of their physicians or PTs, noting range of motion exercises should generally be done every day.

It’s important to schedule workouts for times of day when symptoms are the least painful, according to an article by Harvard Health Publishing.

The article suggests warming up with gentle stretches before strength training and listening to your body. Never force a movement if experiencing sharp pain or more discomfort than usual. For rheumatoid arthritis, a balance of rest and exercise is key.

“Exercise is good. But exercise intelligently,” Basher Zikria, MD, an assistant professor of sports medicine at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center in Baltimore told the Arthritis Foundation. “Low-impact exercises, like walking, cycling or using an elliptical machine are smart choices. If you run, play basketball or do other high-impact activities, avoid hard surfaces and don’t do it every day.”

Exercise also offers physiological benefits, including a reduced risk of conditions, such as coronary artery disease, serum lipid abnormalities, hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity and colon cancer, according to the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center. Physical activity replenishes lubrication of cartilage, reducing stiffness and pain.

Psychological benefits, according to the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center, include decreased anxiety, improved mood and well-being and a state of relaxation.

PTs are excellent resources to teach exercises to patients to ease symptoms for better arthritis management.

May is National Arthritis Awareness Month. It is estimated arthritis impacts more than 50 million Americans each year and is the No. 1 disability in the country, according to the Arthritis Foundation.  We offer an Arthritis Management Bundle with courses for PTs that includes:

The Management of Knee Osteoarthritis
(1 contact hr)

All clinical, practicing physical therapists encounter patients with osteoarthritis of the knee or a potential for developing the disease. Osteoarthritis is the leading cause for disability in the general population of the United States. Arthritis of the knee alone afflicts more than 4 million people, and research shows that 14% of individuals aged between 40 and 79 described knee pain with disability on most days of the previous month. Because of the increase in life expectancy within most societies of the western world, the high prevalence of OA is expected to increase further in upcoming years. For example, the number of first-time total knee replacements is expected to skyrocket 673% to 3.48 billion by 2030. Physical therapy is among the treatment options for people who suffer from osteoarthritis and intends to prevent physical impairment and restore functional ability through the use of exercise, physical modalities and patient education.

Back in Action With Joint Replacements, Part 1
(1 contact hr)

More than 7.2 million people in the United States have had hip or knee replacement procedures. The number of people having total knee arthroplasty has increased significantly in the past 25 years, driven in part by an increase in the number of aging persons and by increasing rates of obesity. This two-part continuing education series will educate healthcare providers about total hip arthroplasty and total knee arthroplasty. Part 1 discusses the effects of arthritis on the knee and hip as weight-bearing joints, outlines indications for joint replacement, and reviews joint replacement surgical procedures and patient management by interprofessional healthcare providers.

Back in Action With Joint Replacements, Part 2
(1 contact hr)
This module describes caring for patients who have undergone total hip replacement or knee replacement, stressing the pivotal role of the healthcare professional in educating patients to manage the transition from hospital to home. The module reviews key factors for a successful outcome.

Osteoarthritis of the First CMC Joint
(1 contact hr)

We tend to take our thumbs for granted; that is, until they hurt. The thumb’s important functional role is evident in its 20% whole person impairment rating, which measures the impact of impairment and loss of function on a person’s ability to perform activities of daily living. With a loss of use of a thumb, there is a 20% loss of ability to perform normal activities such as opening lids, tying shoes and even shaking someone’s hand. A painful thumb restricts a person’s independence. Because there is no cure for arthritis, the primary treatment is patient education. Patients need to learn techniques to manage symptoms and perhaps slow the progression of joint changes.

Rheumatoid Arthritis — Living with a Chronic Disease
(1 contact hr)

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disorder. The prognosis has improved dramatically for newly diagnosed patients. The focus of this module is to help us understand how RA is diagnosed, how it develops, its characteristic signs and symptoms, treatment strategies, nursing interventions, and non-pharmacologic preventative therapies. The purpose of this module is to educate the healthcare professional team about the development of RA, current treatment approaches, and therapeutic interventions that can help people with RA better manage their disease.

The post Get moving! Exercise helps arthritis management appeared first on Today in PT.

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Games are everywhere — on our phones, our wrists, at home and at work. One place where gamification is making inroads is in the treatment of patients after a stroke, especially when it comes to virtual reality in healthcare.

More than 700,000 Americans a year suffer a stroke, and nearly 70% survive and require rehabilitation, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Worldwide, the impact of strokes is massive. The World Health Organization estimates 15 million people a year suffer a stroke. Five million of those people die, and 5 million are permanently disabled.

Two recent research projects have shown the potential benefits of virtual reality in healthcare settings, including to aid physical therapists helping patients regain the use of stroke-impaired limbs and teaching patients to reduce the effects of their deficits.

By wearing a virtual reality headset, people often are transported into an artificial environment in which they can experience the sights and sounds of that environment. A person’s actions and body movements can help determine events that happen within this environment.

Virtual reality in healthcare innovation achievement

“Most of the demonstrated use for virtual reality are gaming or entertainment,” researcher Sook-Lei Liew said on University of Southern California’s website. “The future has got to include virtual reality for healthcare.”

Liew and her colleagues were recognized for innovative use of virtual reality in healthcare at the 2017 South by Southwest festival for their REINVENT device, also known as Rehabilitation Environment using the Integration of Neuromuscular-based Virtual Enhancements for Neural Training.

“The area where virtual reality is most useful is where they allow us to do things we can’t otherwise do,” said Liew, who sees the project as a team effort among scientists. “It’s a blend of tech, industry, science and the clinic. It really takes it to a whole new level.”

Along with virtual reality, Liew’s system uses brain and muscle sensors that show movements of the hands and arms in the virtual world when a patient has used the correct brain and muscle signals. This occurs in virtual reality even when the patients cannot move arms or hands on their own.

This allows patients to train these damaged circuits to properly work again, according to Liew.

Virtual reality offers new recovery approach

Danish researcher Iris Brunner from Aarhus University believes virtual reality in healthcare could be a suitable replacement for traditional rehabilitation methods for patients after a stroke.

She studied 120 people who suffered a stroke within three months before her research began and suffered reduced arm and hand mobility. All participants took part in four or five treatments a week for four weeks.

Half of the group took part in virtual reality training, while the other half received traditional rehabilitation.

“In both groups, there were significant improvements in the patients’ motor skills, but there was no difference between the results of the two groups,” Brunner said on the university’s website.

While patients had success with the virtual reality treatments, which included video game-like simulations, such as flying a plane or driving a car with hand movements, Brunner said it should not replace all rehabilitation treatments.

“There is … something you miss out on, which is the tactile sense of surface structure as well as the feel of the weight you are lifting, throwing or grabbing,” said Brunner, whose 2017 study was published in the journal Neurology. “We should see the virtual training as a supplement, a new tool in the toolbox, which is particularly suitable for training speed and precision.”

Learn more about stroke treatment with our Stroke Treatment and Prevention Bundle.

The post Stroke patients benefit from virtual reality in healthcare appeared first on Today in PT.

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Today in PT by James F. Ross, Pt, Dpt, Cscs - 3w ago

With professional football playoffs in full swing, concussions and mild traumatic brain injuries are top of mind for many across the U.S.

These types of injuries are a serious concern for people of all age groups, including our children, and require prompt medical evaluation and follow up.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued new concussion guidelines for pediatric healthcare professionals to follow to protect our young patients.

The Pediatric Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Guidelines were put in place in late 2018 to help healthcare providers like you take action to improve the health of your patients, reports the CDC.

Children ages 0 to 4 had the highest rates of any age group for traumatic brain injury-related ED visits from 2001-2010, according to the CDC. Their rate of ED visits was twice the rate of those in the next highest age group of 15- to 24-year-olds.

A concussion results from a direct blow to the head, neck or body in which impulsive forces are transmitted to the brain, according to our continuing education module “Sports-Related Concussions: Tackling a Growing Trend.” A concussion is a closed head injury that may result in loss of consciousness and causes functional rather than structural damage to the brain.

Injury is caused by acceleration-deceleration and rotational forces to the brain, according to our continuing education course. The head is either thrown backward or forward causing injury. The brain also may rotate inside the skull, causing further damage.

Our continuing education course you will teach you how to do the following:

  • Define sports-related concussions.
  • Understand which sports lead to the most concussions.
  • Describe the short- and long-term symptoms of sports-related concussions.
  • Discuss expert recommendations to prevent and manage sports-related concussions.
Key concussion guideline updates to note

The new CDC report includes 19 sets of evidence-based clinical recommendations that cover diagnosis, prognosis, management and treatment. The guidelines were created after reviewing 37,000 concussion articles written over a 25-year time frame from 1990-2015.

Although sports-related injuries tend to get more media coverage, the most common causes of traumatic brain injury-related deaths in children up to age 4 include assault (43%) and car accidents (29%). In patients ages 5-14, car accidents account for more than half (56%) of all traumatic brain injury deaths, reports the CDC.

Key recommendations to follow for pediatric mild traumatic brain injuries include:

  1. Do not routinely image patients to diagnose.

  2. Use validated, age-appropriate symptom scales to diagnose patients.

  3. Assess evidence-based risk factors for prolonged recovery.

  4. Provide patients with instructions on return to activity customized to their symptoms.

  5. Counsel patients to return gradually to non-sports activities after no more than 2-3 days of rest. The previous recommendation said to eliminate physical or cognitive exertion until all symptoms had resolved.

Use these healthcare provider tools provided by the CDC for further guidance about concussions.

The post CDC updates pediatric concussion guidelines appeared first on Today in PT.

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Today in PT by James F. Ross, Pt, Dpt, Cscs - 3w ago

As many as 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, including an estimated 200,000 younger than 65, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

By 2050, up to 16 million people will be afflicted with the disease.

Misconceptions and stigmas associated with Alzheimer’s disease are commonplace and significantly impact the care provided to people with Alzheimer’s disease, and their families.

The Alzheimer’s Association also notes that learning as much as you can is an important first step.

Check out some important facts about the disease.

To best enhance patient outcomes, the person living with Alzheimer’s requires individualized assessment, consistent support, evidence-based solutions and creative opportunities in collaboration with an interprofessional team.

To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease review our Alzheimer’s Disease, Part 1: Trends in Diagnosis and Management and Alzheimer’s Disease, Part 2: Living with Alzheimer’s Disease courses.

The post How to help people living with Alzheimer’s disease appeared first on Today in PT.

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How are you honoring Pain Awareness Month in September? As physical therapists, we can help make an impact on reducing the country’s opioid crisis by helping patients manage their pain in other ways. Consider the following three methods I detail below.

#1 – Prescribe regular exercise

A Nord-Trondelag Health Study of 20,000 people over the course of 11 years found that those who exercised regularly experienced less pain. Those who exercised more than three times per week also were 28% less likely to experience chronic widespread physical discomfort.

As physical therapists, we can prescribe exercise specific to individual goals and needs to encourage our patients to move more.

#2 – Educate patients about pain management

A large study conducted with military personnel demonstrated that those with back pain who received a 45-minute educational session about pain were less likely to seek treatment than peers who didn’t receive any education.

As physical therapists, we have the opportunity to talk with our patients to ensure we understand their history, and can help set realistic treatment expectations.

#3 – Collaborate with patients on treatment

We have the opportunity to develop positive relationships with our patients as well as be active participants in their recovery and, eventually, their success.

We can do this by working with our patients and testing various methods for how they respond to different treatments.

Since 2001, the American Chronic Pain Association has been working to help raise awareness and understanding of pain and pain management. Since that time their outreach has grown in scope involving a wide range of health professionals.

The association offers information and resources concerning the various aspects of discomfort that you may find useful as you consider treatment options for your patients.

Help honor this special month by taking the time to discover more about this topic.

Watch this continuing education webinar to learn how Effective Pain Management Is More Than Just a Number.

The post Teach your patients how to manage pain without medication appeared first on Today in PT.

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In the world of sports, athletes put great effort into becoming bigger, stronger and faster to gain whatever advantage they can. Various training techniques and diets have been developed over the years to reach these goals.

However, the use of anabolic steroids and other performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) has become an issue; not only for professional athletes but also for young people looking to gain an edge or to improve their appearance.

While PEDs do have the ability to improve athletic performance, they also are very dangerous and have a number of risk factors.

According to the Mayo Clinic, males and females who take anabolic steroids might experience severe acne; an increased risk of tendinitis and tendon rupture; liver abnormalities and tumors; increased low-density lipoprotein cholesterol; decreased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; hypertension; heart and circulatory problems; aggressive behaviors, rage or violence; or psychiatric disorders, such as depression, among other issues. Adolescents also are at risk of inhibited growth and development, and risk of future health problems.

Since physical therapists often treat athletes of all ages, it is important for them to be aware of the issues surrounding PEDs, such as methyltestosterone, androstenedione, HGH, stimulants.

Take the continuing education module “Anabolic Steroids and Other Performance-Enhancing Drugs” to become more familiar with the risks involving PEDs. The CE module presents information on the prevalence, effects and dangers of anabolic steroid and other performance-enhancing drug use among adolescents and to identify personal and socio-environmental factors associated with use of these substances.

After taking this CE, physical therapists, nurses, dietitians, fitness professionals, athletic trainers, health educators and pharmacists will be able to:

  • Identify the physical and psychological effects of anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drug use in different age groups and genders
  • Discern anabolic steroids from glucocorticoids
  • Discuss the mechanisms of action of performance-enhancing drugs
  • Describe the pressures teenagers face regarding performance-enhancing drug use

The post Bigger, stronger, faster — At what cost? The problem with PEDs appeared first on Today in PT.

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Today in PT by James F. Ross, Pt, Dpt, Cscs - 3w ago
April is Stress Awareness Month and has been since 1992.

It is a time for healthcare professionals, including physical therapists, to raise awareness about being stressed that can have such a major impact on millions of lives.

Stress is not just in your head. It actually creates various physiological responses impacting our overall health. Those responses include headaches, depression and heart disease.

Though an unavoidable part of life, there are ways to consider how we respond and deal with stress, including meditation. Find the way that works for you, and take the time to relax and recharge your batteries. It’s important for your overall health.

Check out our continuing education courses related to stress on the benefits of meditation and biofeedback to help educate yourself and your patients at TodayinPT.com.

The post Do you feel stressed out? appeared first on Today in PT.

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Today in PT by James F. Ross, Pt, Dpt, Cscs - 3w ago

Barriers to the advancement of knowledge about sex differences in health and illness persist for the LGBTQ community. Healthcare professionals need to increase awareness of the importance of sex, gender identity and sexuality in all aspects of health, including physical therapy.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information, which is a branch of the National Institutes of Health, recently published an article that outlines some of the challenges for this community, such as increased substance abuse, peer victimization and depression. It is important for physical therapists to be aware of the many disparities that exist and engage appropriately with their patients.

Check out our two-part LGBTQ educational series
  • The LGBTQ Community, Part 1: Perspectives in Healthcare
    1.5 hours – PT60236
    Sexual health and sexuality have received significant attention in the last decade — not just from healthcare stakeholders but also across the spectrum of human-service providers. This module presents an overview of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community and its contentious history with the healthcare systems. Definitions of key concepts related to sexuality and gender variables and general implications for clinical education, practice and research are discussed.
  • The LGBTQ Community Part 2: Healthcare Disparities
    2 hours – PT60237
    This module presents the complex and intricately linked social determinants of health unique among the LGBTQ community. Information will be analyzed based on the four conceptual perspectives for understanding LGBTQ health suggested by the HMD: minority stress, intersectionality, life-course framework, and social ecology. Regardless of the type of healthcare service line, setting, clinical specialty and population focus, all healthcare workers will interact with LGBTQ patients and clients. A meaningful understanding of LGBTQ health disparities is a vital first step in providing respectful, patient-centered and interprofessional healthcare.

The post Learn how to address LGBTQ healthcare concerns appeared first on Today in PT.

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Today in PT by James F. Ross, Pt, Dpt, Cscs - 3w ago

As healthcare professionals, we intuitively know patient falls are a big issue for hospitals. So it’s not surprising that hospital falls have become a hot topic during the past few years.

Since 2008, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have modified the reimbursement structure of payment, denying or limiting hospital reimbursement that results from adverse events that may occur to a patient while in the hospital.

Falls, and the traumatic injuries caused by falls in the hospital setting, are key components to this program. It is estimated that between 700,000 and 1 million falls occur in U.S. hospitals annually costing real dollars.

Those dollars are estimated at more than $31 billion spent on non-fatal fall injuries in 2015. A hospital fall can add $14, 000 and more than six days to a hospital stay.

You can earn one contact hour learning about research that demonstrates early mobility is essential to patient recovery in the hospital in our webinar.

The webinar explores why it is essential that hospital staff understand the importance of maintaining patient mobility while patients are in the hospital and implement fall prevention strategies to keep patients safe when ambulating.

By providing a safe hospital environment for patients, completing thorough clinical assessments, improving both patient and staff education and promoting open communication among team members, clinical staff can minimize the risk of patient falls and improve patient safety.

Check out the webinar, “Inpatient Fall Prevention: The Balance Between Mobility and Safety,” to learn more about falls and fall prevention.

The post Hospital falls can cost big dollars appeared first on Today in PT.

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