Louisville, Plattsmouth & Hooper Ne 68031

Gait Abnormalities and Physical Therapy

September 28, 2021

What are they?

Gait abnormalities can be a number of things that cause you to have a gait issue that is not normal. The could be defined as a limp, a “dead leg”, or dragging of your foot to name a few. Gait abnormalities account for nearly one in five falls in older adults.

Information on what causes them?

These abnormalities can be caused by a variety of issues. They could be an injury to muscle, bone, ligament or tendon. They could be an injury to some part of the nervous system. They could be from an issue that was present at birth, such as cerebral palsy or club foot, or a newly diagnosed condition later in life, such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease.

The signs and symptoms?

The signs and symptoms of these issues could include pain, swelling, inability to bear weight without compensation, popping, clicking, decreased motion and flexibility, decreased power, and strength, decreased sensation, burning or tingling are just a few to name.  

Treatment?

Physical therapy will initially focus on analyzing your gait pattern and working to determine what the cause of your gait abnormality is. Some gait issues are fixable by addressing the system that is causing the issue. Some gait issues are correctable by using compensatory patterns or assistive devices to make your gait more efficient and safer. Some gait issues are not correctable but can be made safer for you to get around in your home or community with the help of a physical therapist. Physical therapists are movement experts and can help you improve your quality of movement and quality of life.

Expectations?

At your first visit you should expect a physical therapist that is there to get to know you, your current complaints, and your goals. Using this information and the information they gather during their evaluation they will set up an individualized treatment plan that will help you reach your goals and get back to your life faster. Treatments could include modalities for pain control, manual therapy to help with muscle, soft tissue, and joint healing, and exercises to restore motion and strength all aimed at addressing your gait abnormalities and ultimately the goals that you define that are important to you.

 

Resources:

https://www.choosept.com/guide/physical-therapy-guide-gait-dysfunctions

3 Tips to Maintain a Healthy Diet

August 31, 2021 – Many people with health conditions such as chronic pain, obesity, high blood pressure, and pre-diabetes are instructed to improve their diet and activity levels. However, there is little education out there to help people improve their diets unless we do our own research. For instance, US students receive less than 8 hours of required nutrition education each school year (40-50 hours are needed to help change behaviors). Nutrition is something that can play a huge role in the things we do. It can affect our mental health, physiology, and can ultimately affect movement. For this reason, physical therapists have been equipped with basic tools necessary for nutrition improvement. Below are some steps with information and tips to maintain healthy nutritional habits.

  1. Drink half of your body weight in fluid ounces. At least half of this needs to be water.
    1. Info: You may notice more trips to the bathroom, but the bladder is designed to adapt and should normally adjust after a few weeks.
    2. Tips: Buy an insulated water bottle you like to reduce plastic use, keep your water cold, and help you keep track of your water intake. (Example: 3, 24 fluid ounce water bottles should be consumed for a 145-pound individual)
  2. Avoid highly processed foods whenever possible.
    1. Info: Two-thirds — or 67% — of calories consumed by children and adolescents in 2018 came from ultra-processed foods, a jump from 61% in 1999, according to a peer-reviewed study.
    2. Tips: A general rule would be to avoid boxed food items and start spending most of your grocery shopping in the outer aisles (produce, meats, cheeses, nuts, and whole grains like beans and seeds)
  3. Learn when produce is in season and take advantage of generally better priced and better tasting produce.
    1. Info: For more information to find when produce is in season in your state visit: https://www.seasonalfoodguide.org/
    2. Tips: Make healthy eating fun by visiting your local farmer’s markets and stands while they are available. Find local farmers and green houses who grow produce or online services that deliver to buy all year round. Pick a few favorite items and grow them outside in a garden, pots or even indoor!

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/nutrition/school_nutrition_education.htm

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2782866?guestAccessKey=c646e502-898f-443b-8558-d90a74e35415&utm_source=For_The_Media&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=ftm_links&utm_content=tfl&utm_term=

https://www.signaturehealthinc.org/blog/blog-feed/how-to-maintain-a-healthy-diet-year-round-while-improving-your-mental-health/

Blood Flow Restriction Therapy and Training

April 20, 2021 – Strength and muscle mass are largely important for not only human performance, but also for health a longevity. Studies have shown that muscle mass is a predictor of disease and mortality. For someone to make gains in strength and muscle mass, a person must lift weights at greater than 70% of their 1 rep maximum. However, there is another more convenient method which can be used to make strength gains.

Blood flow restriction (BFR) training is a therapy tool used by physical therapists that has been proven safe and effective in improving strength and muscle mass. BFR involves applying a cuff-like tourniquet placed over the closest part of the arm or leg being strengthened.

The tourniquet is inflated, reducing blood flow from the muscle area. This creates increased oxygen demand for the muscles during exercise. This increased demand causes the muscle to work harder than normal to contract (so instead of 70%, only 20-35% of the 1 rep maximum or less is needed!)

When training with BFR, the user should never feel pain, numbness or tingling. Muscle “burn”, on the other hand, is expected. It may feel uncomfortable during the training process but will feel like you got a great workout after!

Here are some examples of when BFR training can be useful:

  •             Post surgery: strengthening when full weight bearing is prohibited, to retrain weakened muscles

  •             Elderly: safe strengthening to improve function and prevent falls

  •             Athletes: maintaining muscles mass during season
  •             General fitness

  •             Improve Aerobic Endurance
  •             Osteoarthritis: improve muscle function and prevent surgery
  •             And many more!

Give us a call today in Louisville at 402-234-3333, in Plattsmouth at 402-298-4747, and in Hooper at 402-654-2121 to schedule your FREE consultation and learn more about blood flow restriction training!

 

Resources:

https://www.rpsports.com/blog/2020/4/6/kaatsu-implications-for-the-elderly-and-competitive-athletes