What Can Physical Therapy Do For You?
- Published on Wednesday, 15 October 2014 12:11
- Written by Kateri Kane
Yet another Physical Therapy Month is upon us, otherwise known as October. This year for PT month, we thought we would give you a refresher on the benefits of physical therapy. In our first blog, we discussed what physical therapy is. In case you missed that one, you can check out that previous blog information here. Now, let’s review what PT can do for you.
Physical therapy can be used to treat a large variety of ailments and conditions from low back pain to traumatic brain injuries, strokes to ankle sprains, rotator cuff repairs to balance problems, and the list goes on. Each of these conditions is different and is treated differently, but the overarching goal is the same: improving function.
One of the biggest fundamental themes in physical therapy is improving mobility and motion. As obesity continues to be a huge issue for Americans, movement is a vital weapon for fighting this epidemic. The more we can move around even for everyday tasks, the healthier we can be. Physical therapy can help to improve an individual’s ability to move after surgery, an injury, or simply when movement becomes difficult after years of being sedentary. Physical therapists also help to prevent injury through strengthening, flexibility, balance, and coordination; thus maintaining your ability to stay mobile and active. Physical therapists are human movement experts and as such, are well equipped to help individuals improve sports or job task performance.
Physical therapy offers a conservative option to surgery or prescription drugs. While sometimes surgery is the only option for a patient, research suggests that physical therapy is often just as effective as, and cheaper than, going under the knife. Additionally, physical therapy can assist with decreasing pain resulting in less dependence on long term prescription drugs. If surgery is ultimately determined to be the best option for you, then physical therapy can help improve your results both before and after surgery.
One of the most important components of physical therapy is that we work WITH you! Your goals matter to us. We will collaborate with you in order to focus on your individual goals, challenges, and needs; and you will be an active participant in your recovery. At Advanced Physical Therapy and Fitness, we make sure that this is the case with each of our patients. Our slogan here is Expert Care with a Personal Touch, and we make sure to live up to that.
ADA Awareness Month
- Published on Wednesday, 01 October 2014 11:37
- Written by Kateri Kane
October is The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Awareness Month. For those of you who are not familiar with this act, the ADA prevents discrimination in employment against qualified individuals with disabilities. The act became a law in 1990 with amendments occurring as recently as 2008. Employers subject to this law include: private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies, labor organizations, and labor-management committees.
So what is a “disability?” According to the ADA, an individual with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity qualifies as a person with a disability. Major life activities that may be restricted include: hearing, seeing, speaking, thinking, walking, breathing, performing manual tasks, caring for oneself, learning, and working. The ADA stipulates that the impairment must be substantial rather than minor in order to be protected under this act.
What employment activities are covered under the ADA? The ADA protects against discrimination during ALL employment practices including: recruitment, firing, hiring, training, job assignments, promotions, pay, benefits, lay off, leave, and all other employment-related activities. A key point to understand is that an individual must be able to perform the job he/she wants or was hired to do, with or without reasonable accommodation. In other words, if you possess a job that required a certain degree of manual work, but an injury restricts you from performing any of your previous essential job requirements (those listed out as requirements for the position) despite reasonable accommodation, then your employer is not legally required to keep you in said position.
What is “reasonable accommodation?” The “accommodation” portion of this phrase refers to a change/adjustment to a job, work environment, or the way things are typically done in order to allow a person with disabilities to apply for a job, perform a job function, or have equal access to benefits that other co-workers share. The “reasonable” portion of the phrase refers to the degree of adjustment in order to accommodate an individual with a disability. If an employer can show that the needed accommodations for an applicant or employee would cause on undue hardship (require significant difficulty or expense), then the employer is not bound by law to make the accommodations. Some examples of reasonable accommodations include:
- Providing/modifying equipment or devices (ex. computer software for those with visual impairments or those who have difficulty using their hands)
- Job restructuring
- Part-time or modified work schedules
- Reassignment to a vacant position
- Adjusting/modifying examinations, training materials, or policies (ex. Braille, audio tape, or computer disk format)
- Providing readers and interpreters
- Making the workplace readily accessible and usable by people with disabilities (ex. installing a ramp, modifying the workplace or restroom, adjusting desk height)
- Time off for individuals who need treatment for their disabilities
One important thing to note is that an employer is not permitted to ask about a disability, the nature of a disability, or the severity of a disability prior to employment. The employer is permitted to ask questions about an individual’s ability to perform a specific job function and may ask an individual to describe or demonstrate how he/she would complete the activity. An employer also cannot ask or require a job applicant to take a medical examination before making a job offer. He/she may place a condition on a job offer pending a post-offer medical examination, but only if this is required of all employees entering the same job category. The results of the post-offer medical screen may not disqualify an individual with a disability who is able to currently perform the essential functions of the job offered regardless of speculation of future risk/injury. If, however, the medical screening determines that the individual’s current functional abilities limit performance of essential job functions or would cause possible harm to self or others despite reasonable accommodations, then he/she can be legally refused the position.
If you are a person with a disability, it is important to understand your rights. Familiarize yourself with ADA regulations in order to be best equipped for the job market. For more extensive information on ADA regulations, please refer to the resources listed below.
The Childhood Obesity Epidemic (continued)
- Published on Wednesday, 17 September 2014 15:47
- Written by Kateri Kane
In our last blog we discussed the possible causes for childhood obesity and why it is such a huge issue. In this blog we will discuss possible solutions for the obesity epidemic.
So what can be done to help prevent childhood obesity? It is important to understand that some children may be more prone to gaining extra weight due to family history including genetics, slower metabolism, and family eating habits. Steps can be taken from the point of infancy to help reduce the risk of childhood obesity. The World Health Organization has an infant growth chart which helps you track your baby’s growth. This can give helpful insight if a parent is concerned that an infant is not getting enough to eat because the child is being fussy, thus reducing overfeeding.
Obesity is often a result of too few calories being expended for the amount being consumed. Therefore, for children it is important to promote a balance of healthy activity and food consumption. Americans are consuming 30 times the amount of sugar that they were 300 years ago. Sugar, including high fructose corn syrup found in soft drinks, is addictive thus resulting in more and more consumption. Processed and fast foods are also an unhealthy choice and increase the risk of developing obesity. The following list provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics gives suggestions for improving your child’s eating habits and activity level.
- Encourage an active lifestyle at home, childcare, and school
- Talk to your pediatrician about developing healthy eating habits (ex. minimizing/eliminating juice and soda, offering a variety healthy foods like vegetables and fruits, avoiding processed foods)
- Early on encourage eating a variety of healthy foods and let your child decide when they are full – taste preferences can change over time and can take a child trying something new up to 10 times before enjoying it
- Choose nutritious snacks such as vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy foods, and whole grains
- Have your child sit at the table and turn off the TV while eating, including family meal time – excessive TV viewing takes away from physical activity, commercials can lead to craving unhealthy foods, and kids tend to eat more when watching TV
- Keep open communication throughout the school year
- Family walks help with communication and physical activity
Remember that children observe more than you realize. Parental habits often carry over to their children. So, if you as a parent lead a healthy lifestyle of physical activity and healthy eating, your child will more likely follow that path.