Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Nerve Damage & Physical therapy

The nervous system comprises of numerous nerves that transports chemicals and impulses from the brain to all the other parts of the body and back again to the brain. The nervous system is important in protecting us from injury and it is also important in our representation as a social individual. It is a very important and highly complex system.

Injury to nerves can be a result of an abrupt accident or can be because of repeated assaults over a period of time. In general, nerves are well protected and resistant to injury but there are limits. Since nerves are not elastic, free movement of nerves in our spines, arms and legs are essential to avoid injuries.
When a nerve gets caught, pinched or tethered an injury occurs. We can very often restore the normal movement of the injured nerves, which is fundamental to healing. We use a variety of Physical therapy techniques to establish normal movement of injured nerves, from eliminating the source of the movement restriction to mobilization of the nerve itself.

Under certain circumstances surgery is required to establish normal nerve movement or to remove obstructions such as disc material, bony growth, or thickened ligaments. But it is always best to exhaust all other non-surgical options. Furthermore, it is important to understand that most nerve injuries develop slowly over time and this process can be stopped or reversed by doing a course of appropriate physical therapy in the early stages of the condition.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

What is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy helps people get back full strength and movement in key parts of the body after an illness or injury. Physical therapy doesn't just help a person rebuild strength and range of motion, though — it also can help someone manage pain, whether that pain is caused by bad posture, an injury, or a disease like arthritis. When done properly and consistently, physical therapy can help prevent permanent damage and recurring problems.
Most physical therapy uses a combination of techniques to relieve pain and boost coordination, strength, endurance, flexibility and range of motion. Physical therapists (PTs) often ask patients to use exercise equipment like treadmills.
In addition to exercising the affected area, a Physical Therapist also may treat it with heat or cold, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, massage, and water or whirlpool baths. In many cases, PTs massage injured areas and oversee the patient during stretching routines.
Physical therapists usually give their patients exercises to do at home. These at-home exercises work with the treatments and exercises done in the PT's office to help a person heal better, faster, and safely.

What to Look for in a Physical Therapist
You'll want to be sure a physical therapist is qualified to treat you. All PTs must have an advanced degree in physical therapy and be licensed by the state to practice. The entry-level degree for a physical therapist is a doctoral degree (DPT).

Make sure that you
  1.  Stick to the plan. 
  2. Know your body. 
  3. Talk to your PT if you have problems. 
  4.  Celebrate your successes
At Optimum Rehab, we offer all kinds of Physical Therapy treatments in New York City

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Great postures for sleeping, tips for a better sleep

Everyone knows that good posture is important, but good posture doesn't apply just to sitting and standing. The muscles and ligaments of your back relax and heal themselves while you sleep. In order to protect your back, good posture is important while sleeping.

Here are some tips to help you sleep better:
  • Choosing the right mattress: The mattress that's right for you lets you wake up feeling rested and free of pain or soreness. The best mattress is one that allows you to sleep soundly and without pain.
  • If you sleep with a partner, you should have enough space to move into a comfortable sleeping position. If you have a back problem, ask your health care provider or physical therapist to recommend the type of mattress that would be best for you.
  • The right pillow: Pillows are not just for your head and neck. Depending on your sleeping position, additional pillows can help keep your spine in proper alignment. 
  • Alignment: Regardless of your sleeping position, try to keep your ears, shoulders, and hips aligned.
  • If you sleep on your back, a small pillow under the back of your knees will decrease stress on your spine and support the natural curve in your low back. 
  • The pillow for your head should support your head, the natural curve of your neck, and your shoulders.
  • Sleeping on your stomach can create stress on the back because the spine can be put out of alignment. Placing a flat pillow under the stomach/pelvis area can help to keep the spine in better alignment.
  • If you sleep on your stomach, a pillow for your head should be flat, or sleep without a pillow.
  • If you sleep on your side, a firm pillow between your knees will prevent your upper leg from pulling your spine out of alignment and decrease stress on your hips and low back. Pull your knees up slightly toward your chest. The pillow for your head should keep your spine straight. A rolled towel or small pillow under your waist may also help support your spine.
  • Insert pillows into gaps between your body and the mattress.
  • Keep your ears, shoulders, and hips aligned when turning as well as when sleeping.  

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Cancer, 10 early warning signs you cannot ignore

If you have one of the following symptoms, be sure to consult your doctor.  Let them know what you have noticed, even if you are not concerned by it. Chances are it is nothing to worry about, but it is better to play safe. And it is important for your overall health to get to the bottom of it.

  • New lumps or growths on your skin
  • A sore or bruise that does not heal
  • A mole that changes in shape, size or color or bleeds in unusual circumstances
  • An ongoing cough or hoarseness that last longer than three weeks
  • Indigestion or difficulty in swallowing
  • A change in bowel or bladder habits for no good reason
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss or tiredness
  • Blood anywhere it normally should not be – in urine, bowel motions, or from spitting

Treatment works best when cancer is found early—while it’s still small and is less likely to have spread to other parts of the body. This often means a better chance for a cure, especially if the cancer can be removed with surgery.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

10 tips to get out of depression, fight depression

It’s normal to lose interest in life when you are depressed, but keeping up some favorite activities will help you feel better in time. Enlist the help of family and friends to help you get through the rough patches.

Here are some tips to help you cope with your depression.

1. Continue to do activities you've enjoyed in the past. This is important, even if you don’t enjoy them right now.

2. Do your best to stay active every day. Studies show that regular exercise may be as effective as medication in relieving mild depression.

3. Know your triggers and risk factors. Common causes of depression include loneliness, painful life events, chronic stress and chronic pain.

4. Try to keep up with friends. People who are depressed usually shun other people, but isolation and feelings of loneliness can make depression worse.

5. Keep up a routine. Get up at the same time every morning and avoid naps during the day. Too much or too little sleep will make you feel worse.

6. Try to control your worrying habit. Avoid dwelling on negative thoughts and feelings. Instead, focus on realistic thoughts and talk through your concerns.

7. Schedule regular time to relax. People who are depressed often feel agitated and unsettled. Try meditation, exercise or making time for hobbies – whichever works best for you.

8. Don’t self-medicate with alcohol or drugs. Substance misuse causes a wide range of problems and will also make you feel worse in the long run.

9. Seek out support. Tell trusted friends, family members and colleagues what you are going through.

10. See your doctor. If depressed feelings persist despite your efforts, always seek professional help.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Neck Pain causes and effective treatments

Neck Pain causes and effective treatments
The neck, with its intricate structure and wide range of mobility, is particularly vulnerable to stress and strain. The head, which weighs between 10 and 20 pounds, is supported by a stack of seven small bones called vertebrae and held in place by 32 complex muscles. Neck pain is a serious problem that can limit your ability to perform normal, everyday tasks. It can cause you to lose range of motion in your neck, and it may also be a source of pain in your shoulder, arm, or hand.

Causes of Neck Pain
There are many different causes of neck pain. Occasionally, poor sitting posture puts the neck in an awkward position and causes pain. Wear and tear from arthritis or disc problems may also be a cause of your neck pain. Some neck pain is the result of injury and is called whiplash, but the vast majority of neck pain is due to simple muscle tension.

The pain that comes from your neck may be felt in different locations, which can make your condition confusing and difficult to treat. Do not panic if you experience pain in your neck. Oftentimes neck pain gets better in few days, and in many cases the pain subsides greatly in four to six weeks. When pain strikes, gentle neck exercises may be beneficial, and heat or ice can also help control symptoms. If symptoms persist, visit your doctor to see if a prescription medication will help your condition. Physical therapy helps a great deal in lessening the pain.
Exercise can be your main tool in the treatment of neck pain. Your physical therapist may prescribe specific exercises to help you improve the Range Of Motion of your neck.  Few treatment options are:
  •         Traction
  •          Postural Correction
  •          Joint Mobilizations
  •          Massage.
  •          Therapeutic modalities

Heat and ice are also treatments that may be used to help relax muscles and to decrease inflammation. Invasive treatments like spinal injections may be an option if pain doesn’t subside within weeks of therapy and medication. If the damage in your neck that's causing your pain is severe, you may require neck surgery to help eliminate the pain.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Best positions for better sleeping

Getting enough sleep is the most important thing but sleeping in the correct position also is important.  The eight common sleeping positions are described below.

1. On Your Back, Arms at Sides
Sleeping on your back with your arms at your side is generally considered to be the best sleeping position for spine health and it’s good for your neck, too.
2. On Your Back, Arms Up
Whether you have your arms up around your pillow or not, sleeping on your back may also help to prevent facial wrinkles and skin breakouts. Plus, having your arms up can put pressure on nerves in your shoulders, leading to pain.
3. Face Down
Sleeping on your stomach can improve digestion but unless you’ve developed a way to breathe through your pillow, it most likely leads to you tilting your face in one direction or the other.
4. Fetal Position
Sleeping all curled up into a ball with your knees drawn up and your chin tilted down might be comfortable but it’s probably one of the worst sleeping positions to consider as it can do a number on your back and neck.

5. On Side, Arms at Sides
When you’re sleeping on your side with both arms down, the spine is best supported in its natural curve. This can definitely help reduce back and neck pain while also reducing sleep apnea.
6. On Side, Arms Out
This position has many of the same benefits of sleeping on your side with your arms straight down.
7. On the Right Side
If you’re a side-sleeper, which side you sleep on also makes a difference. Sleeping on the right side can worsen heartburn while sleeping on the left side can put strain on internal organs like the liver, lungs, and stomach (while minimizing acid reflux).
8. Pillow-Supplemented
Choosing a proper sleeping position is important but regardless of which sleeping position you prefer, it’s highly likely that you can get a better night’s rest with less pain in the morning by supplementing your body with a pillow.