Monthly Archives: September 2015

Physiotherapy To Treat Muscular Dystrophy

Muscular Dystrophy is a devastating illness that we often associate with children.  However, there are many different forms of this disease and can strike at any time during the course of one’s life.  Muscular Dystrophy strikes at the muscles in an affective individual, degenerating them to the point where people are no longer in control of their every day movements.  All of the muscles in the body can be affected with muscular dystrophy.  Although there is no cure for this debilitating condition, physiotherapy to treat Muscular Dystrophy has proven effective to the point of allowing people to retain use of their deteriorating muscles for a longer period of time and allowing them to enjoy every day activities.

People with Muscular Dystrophy normally live an average life span.  Muscular Dystrophy is not a fatal disease but is severely impairing.  Those who develop Muscular Dystrophy as children are the ones who are the most severely affected.  Because children’s bodies are still developing, Muscular Dystrophy, when contacted at an early age, can cause a more rapid progression of the deterioration of the muscles.  Many children who are affected with Muscular

Dystrophy end up confined to a wheelchair for the rest of their lives.

Physiotherapy to treat Muscular Dystrophy can take many forms, depending upon the type of the disease.  For children who are diagnosed with this dreadful disease, physiotherapy plays an important part in preventing scoliosis, which is curvature of the spine.  Through physiotherapy techniques, exercises and treatments, children diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy who seek physiotherapy to treat Muscular Dystrophy early on have a better chance of walking for a longer period of time and minimizing joint contractions, which will ease the discomfort aspect of the disease.  Preventing curvature of the spine is also very important and early intervention by a licensed physiotherapist is crucial for young people affected with Muscular Dystrophy.

Another form of Muscular Dystrophy affects elderly people and is called Ophthalmoplegic Muscular Dystrophy.  This affects the eye muscles and often causes drooping eyelids.  It also affects swallowing.  Physiotherapy to treat Muscular Dystrophy also extends to those who suffer from Ophthalmoplegic Muscular Dystrophy as exercises and treatments can strengthen the muscles of the eyes and the throat and help people suffering from this disease alleviate their symptoms.

Limb-girdle Muscular Dystrophy affects the back muscles including both the pelvis and shoulders.  It can cause deterioration of these muscles and make sitting and standing painful and confine a person to a wheelchair.  Physiotherapy to treat Muscular Dystrophy also encompasses those suffering from Limb-girdle Muscular Dystrophy through massage and manipulation treatments that strengthen the muscles and slow the progress of the disease.
Physiotherapy to treat muscular dystrophy has many different phases that are as diverse as the different forms of this disease.  Physiotherapy is one of the only proven treatments that actually help those suffering with this condition.  Treatments have come a long way over the years for those suffering from Muscular Dystrophy, and while there is still no cure, physiotherapy to treat Muscular Dystrophy can help those affected with this disease to live more pain free and productive lives.

Physiotherapy To Treat Neck And Shoulder Pain

If you have ever been in a car accident where another vehicle hit the back of your car, you may have experienced what is commonly known as ‘whiplash.”  You sprang forward suddenly, then backward and overstretched your neck to the point where you tore the supporting ligaments.  In severe whiplash, you may have even damaged the muscles and discs in the neck and hurt the nerves.  Contrary to popular belief, someone doesn’t realize they have “whiplash” until about 24 hours after the accident.  They wake up with a stiff neck, headache and pain.  Often, physiotherapy to treat neck and shoulder pain can provide instant relief for those suffering from whiplash, although several treatments may be needed for a patient to continue to find pain relief.  These treatments, however, are preferable to drugs which have a habit of causing physical dependency.

Many people who suffer whiplash go to the doctor where they are given an x-ray, an immobilization collar and some pain medication.  Often, they are advised to put icepacks on the injured area for several days to alleviate the swelling.  Pain from this injury can take weeks to heal.

Fortunately, physiotherapy to treat neck and shoulder pain caused by whiplash as well as other muscle strains has proven a very effective remedy in alleviating the symptoms of pain.  While pain medications mask the pain and can be very habit forming, the manipulations used by the physiotherapist can provide relief within minutes, instead of hours or days.

When using physiotherapy to treat neck and shoulder pain, the therapist will often perform some gentle exercises to mobilize the area.  The patient may resist this as they tend to cause a bit of discomfort, but to keep the area mobile is better than allowing it to get ‘stiff” which will result in a longer recovery time.  By gently turning the head and manipulating the area, the physiotherapist can loosen the muscles that have been tensed in the trauma and provide some pain relief.

Another way to use physiotherapy to treat neck and shoulder pain is by massage.  Often the therapist will massage the affected area, eliminating the stiffness and improving blood flow to the area.  This often eliminates the headache as well that is caused by the stiff neck.  Very often, a person who seeks a therapist to use physiotherapy to treat neck and shoulder pain will experience immediate results.

Neck and shoulder pain can have many causes, although whiplash is the most common.  Other causes of neck and shoulder pain are poor posture, particularly for those who work in offices or sit in front of computers all day.  This can weaken the ligaments and muscles in the shoulders and neck and cause discomfort.  A physiotherapist can treat neck and shoulder pain through massage, manipulations and, by discovering what is causing  your neck and shoulder pain, can assist you in your attempt to correct the problem.

Physiotherapy to treat neck and shoulder pain is very common and is one of the primary reasons why patients seek physical therapy.  Physiotherapy to treat neck and shoulder pain should only be practiced by a licensed physiotherapist.

Physiotherapy’s Role In Treating Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Spinal Muscular Atrophy is a neurological disease that causes muscles to weaken and literally waste away.  The motor neurons in the spinal cord degenerate to the point that the spinal muscles gradually deteriorate.  There are several forms of this disease and, sadly, it affects young children, some as young as two months old.

Physiotherapy has been instrumental with helping children suffering from this genetic disease achieve some sort of normal quality of life.  Physiotherapy’s  role in treating Spinal Muscular Atrophy is most effective at onset of the illness and must be carried through during the course of the child’s life.  Many children with mild conditions of this defect lead lives into adulthood.  Other children die at an early age, mostly due to pneumonia.

Here are three main types of Spinal Muscular Atrophy.  Type One is Severe Infantile SMA, which is also known as Werdnig-Hoffman disease.  This is the most severe form of the disease and the child is unable to sit or roll unsupported.  The muscle weakness and atrophy eventually causes feeding problems and children with this condition generally do not live beyond the age of 18 months.  Sadly, there is nothing that can be done for children with this severe disease, even with physiotherapy.

Physiotherapy’s role in treating Type 3 Spinal Muscular Atrophy has been significant, especially over recent years.  Children who suffer from this milder condition of the disease can benefit from care from a physiotherapist.  Children with Type 3 are often diagnosed around the age of two years old.  Some children are able to walk, but with difficulty.  The inability to walk by the age of two often leads to the diagnosis.

Physiotherapy’s role in treating spinal muscular atrophy when it is Type III can be instrumental in a young person’s life, particularly when treatment begins at an early age.  Physiotherapists can help the children to move and strengthen muscles that are unaffected to prevent them from becoming deformed.  By working with parents, the physiotherapist can help the child to move more an encourage exercises such as swimming that will help strengthen and develop muscles and also give the child a much needed confidence boost.

Physiotherapy’s role in treating spinal muscular atrophy can also be utilized later at a time when walking may become so difficult due to degenerated muscles that the child must learn to walk on splints.  Although this is a heartbreaking experience for both parents and the physiotherapist, it will enable the child to get around on his own a little while longer.  By teaching the child to develop good arm muscles, the physiotherapist can enable the child to be able to walk, even using splints, for a longer period of time.

In addition to strengthening muscles, providing exercises and counseling to both child and parents, physiotherapy’s role in treating spinal muscular atrophy can extend to the time when the child does become wheel-chair bound.  A good physiotherapist can teach the child how to take care of himself by  dressing himself and using proper hygiene.  In many schools, physiotherapy to treat spinal muscular atrophy can be used to help a child enjoy some of the leisure activities enjoyed by the other children as well as learning how to write and cut as well as other school activities.  By working with the school officials, a good physiotherapist can make a child with Spinal Muscular Atrophy’s experience in school a little less traumatic.

Being a physiotherapist is a rewarding career, but can be heartbreaking at time, particularly when dealing with children with life-threatening conditions such as Spinal Muscular Atrophy.  However, physiotherapy’s role in treating spinal muscular atrophy goes more beyond simple massages and helping a child to walk and dress himself – it puts a lot of emphasis on the self esteem of the child.  A physiotherapist who wants to help children with life threatening conditions needs patience and compassion so they can make a difference in the life of a child suffering from this terrible disorder.

Physiotherapy To Treat Sports Injuries

As any athlete knows, sports injuries can be devastating.  Whether you are a professional or amateur athlete, the impact of a sports injury can not only be emotionally debilitating but physically disabling as well.  If not treated properly, the injury may not heal completely and a young person may see a promised career in athletics come to a grinding halt.  Nothing is worse than someone with a promising career in athletics, particularly one who is just starting out, to receive an injury that sidelines him or her for life and ends their career before it gets a chance to begin.  Unfortunately, because of the nature of athletics, sports injuries are all too common.  Fortunately, medical science is in tune with these injuries and physiotherapy to treat sports injuries has come a long way in recent years.

Physiotherapy to treat sports injuries usually occurs after the fact.  A medical doctor examines the injured part of the body, performs x-rays and, in some instances, sets broken bones.  When someone has a broken or fractured bone, it can take anywhere from two to six weeks for the bone to heal.  During this time, the injured part of the body must be kept immobilized in order for it to heal properly.  This is usually done by immobilizing the injured area in a cast.  Once the cast is removed, it is usually time for the physiotherapist to go to work.  During the time the arm or leg has been immobilized, the muscles have weakened.  It takes grueling effort in some cases to regain the strength in these muscles.  Both the patient and physiotherapist must work together to restore the injured limb to its original condition.

When using physiotherapy to treat sports injuries, the therapist’s job is to allow the patient to regain the strength of the injured area.  This can take anywhere from weeks to months until someone is completely healed after a sports injury.  If, for example, an athlete broke his leg, the muscles in his leg experienced atrophy when immobilized in the cast to allow the bone to set.  The physiotherapist will exercise and manipulate the leg so that the athlete regains the muscle mass that he lost while his leg was immobilized.

Physiotherapy to treat sports injuries takes many different forms.  Some therapists use different exercises and manipulations to treat their patients and others use massage therapy.  Swimming is also a very popular way for physiotherapy to treat sports injuries.  The physiotherapist will continue to work with the patient until he or she has regained the strength they once had in the injured part of their body.

Physiotherapy to treat sports injuries can be a bit painful for the injured party who is not used to moving the part of his injured anatomy for a long period of time, but it is necessary for the therapist to push the endurance limits of he patient to achieve full effect and rebuild muscle mass.  Physiotherapy to treat sports injuries is the best option for an athlete who has suffered an injury that could potentially end his career, to get back into the game.

Physiotherapy To Treat Rett Syndrome

Rett Syndrome is a severe disorder that generally strikes children about three or four years of age.  Although the disease is present at birth, symptoms are not noticed right away.  Rett Syndrome is caused by a chromosome mutation.  It nearly always affects girls.  Although scientists have discovered the genetic cause of this disease, there is no cure for Rett Syndrome at the present time.,

Physiotherapy to treat Rett Syndrome takes many different phases.  It involves both physical and mental stimulation.  Some of the therapies used to treat patients with Rett Syndrome include physical therapy, horseback riding, music therapy, water therapy and communication therapy.
A child who is born with Rett Syndrome will often appear normal at birth.  They will develop normally throughout the first three or four years of their life when things suddenly begin to change, signaling to the parent that something is wrong.

One of the physical aspects with Rett Syndrome is slow head growth.  During baby visits, doctors often measure an infant’s head during the course of a physical exam.  Children with Rett Syndrome tend to have smaller heads that do not grow normally.  This is one of the first indications that there is something wrong.

Other symptoms include impaired language.  Where the child may have been developing normal speech patterns, suddenly they seem to be unable to express themselves.  They may begin wringing their hands, tapping and clapping as they gradually begin to lose control of their hand movements.  Their upper bodies will shake and a child who had been walking may begin walking unsteadily with stiff legs.

In addition to those symptoms, children with Rett Syndrome often have seizures, grind their teeth, have bluish tints to their feet and legs due to poor circulation and have contracted joints and spinal curvature.

Physiotherapy to treat Rett Syndrome involves manipulations and exercises to prevent deformities of limbs and spine.  This is essential so that the child can learn to walk and so their joints and muscles do not experience atrophy.  Those with bluish tints to their feet and legs due to poor circulation must have the extremities massaged often to regain proper circulation.   Horseback riding therapy has helped many children with Rett Syndrome as it assists them with balance as well as instills confidence.  In addition, hydrotherapy, which is water exercise, helps to keep their extremities limber.

When implemented early, physiotherapy to treat Rett Syndrome can be very beneficial.  Although there is no cure for this disease, children who are properly treated through physiotherapy can often attend school, although their communication skills are impaired.  Physical therapy includes speech therapy to teach them to communicate using pictures and letters, word boards and even computers.

Physiotherapy to treat Rett Syndrome also involves music therapy.  Early exposure to toys and music is essential to help the child develop emotionally.  Music therapy is both soothing and teaches communication skills to children with Rett Syndrome.

At the present time, there are no medications used to treat children with Rett Syndrome.  Physiotherapy to treat Rett Syndrome, therefore, has proven very effective and given hope to both parents and children who suffer with this disabling condition.