Health and Fitness

NHC Announces Physical Therapy Geriatric Residency Program

National HealthCare Corporation (NYSE Amex: NHC)(NYSE Amex: NHC.PR.A), one of the nation's leading operators of long-term health care and assisted living facilities, announced today that the NHC Geriatric Clinical Residency Program (GCRP) for Physical Therapists has successfully received accreditation through the American Physical Therapy Association. The NHC GCRP will be the fourth in the nation and the first within a senior care corporation. Robert Adams, NHC's Chairman and CEO stated "Since my father, Dr. Carl Adams, founded our company in 1971, we have never settled for just being a good operator of health care centers, instead we are constantly striving for ways to enhance the service level of care to our customers. This program will not only enhance the skills of therapists who are currently working for NHC, but will also attract therapists from across the country who have special interests in working with the geriatric population." The GCRP trains and equips therapists to be leaders in geriatric rehabilitation by developing advanced knowledge and skills in direct patient care, management of rehabilitation programs, and teaching.

Physical Therapists Offer Falls Prevention Assessment At AARP Expo

Physical therapists from Nevada will be offering free balance tests and speaking with attendees on various health-related issues at the AARP "VEGAS@50+" Expo at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, Oct. 22-24, 2009. The physical therapists will offer these services at the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) booth, #833. Expo attendees can receive a simple and quick balance test and then will be given written results, along with recommendations from a licensed physical therapist for improving balance. These tests may discover balance problems before they cause a fall, allowing the individual to possibly prevent serious injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one third of adults ages 65 and older fall each year in the United States. Falls are the leading cause of deaths due to injuries and the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma in the older adult population. "Many people erroneously consider falling a normal consequence of aging, " says Las Vegas physical therapist and APTA spokesperson Andrea Avruskin, PT, DPT, ATC, LAT.

International Summit Aims To Advance Physical Therapist Practice

A groundbreaking international collaboration among the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA), and the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) will bring together thought leaders in physical therapy and policymakers October 22-24, in Washington, DC, to share their knowledge about access and practice issues facing the physical therapy profession. The goal of the International Policy Summit on Direct Access and Advanced Scope of Practice in Physical Therapy is to advance the practice of physical therapy by exploring the current status of different nations and the emerging policies on direct access. The summit will include presentations on practical implementation of advanced or emerging scope of practice from the perspective of practitioners, patients, member organizations, education providers and institutes, and regulatory bodies. Policy and leadership development as critical components of advocacy and advancement for the physical therapy profession also will be discussed.

Restoring More Functions After Neurological Injury With The Help Of Tailored Physical Therapy

New research suggests a tailored approach to physical therapy after a neurological injury such as a stroke, traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury could help restore a wider variety of functions. Clinical physical therapy is a widely used treatment approach to help restore the motor function of patients following neurological injuries. Unfortunately many of the specific treatments used in the clinic only restore function to a specific task, and not to a wide range of everyday activities. This is also true in animal research where stand training only leads to better standing, step training only leads to better stepping, and so forth. Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center have investigated the effects of training rats with spinal cord injuries on a robotic device (Rodent Robotic Motor Performance System, Robomedica Inc, Irvine, Calif.) that precisely guides the hindlimbs through a training pattern. The training pattern chosen for this research was the mean pattern recorded before the rats were injured.

Medicare Physicians Fairness Act Of 2009

Statement by APTA President R. Scott Ward, PT, PhD The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is disappointed by the Senate's actions yesterday to block S. 1776, the Medicare Physicians Fairness Act of 2009, legislation that would have protected the ability of physical therapists to serve the rehabilitation needs of seniors and people with disabilities. S. 1776, introduced last week by Sen Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), would have eliminated the sustainable growth rate (SGR) and prevented a 21% reduction in Medicare payments to providers set to go into effect January 1, 2010. Though a 1-year fix of the SGR is included in the Senate Finance Committee's health care reform proposal, APTA supports a long-term solution to the flawed formula. Congress should eliminate existing flawed Medicare payment policies that impede patient access to cost-effective outpatient rehabilitation services provided by physical therapists, including repeal of the SGR and the arbitrary outpatient therapy caps on services.

What Are Flat Feet pes Planus, Fallen Arches ? What Causes Flat Feet?

Most people have a gap under the arch of their foot when they are in a standing position. The arch, the inner part of the foot is slightly raised off the ground. People with flat feet or fallen arches either have no arch, or it is very low. The feet of people with flat feet may roll over to the inner side when they are standing or walking, and the feet may point outwards as a result. A significant number of people with fallen arches (flat feet) experience no pain and have no problems. Some, however, may experience pain in their feet, especially when the connecting ligaments and muscles are strained. The leg joints may also be affected, resulting in pain. If the ankles turn inwards because of flat feet the most likely affected areas will be the feet, ankles and knees. Some people have flat feet because of a developmental fault during childhood, while others may find that the problem develops as they age, or after a pregnancy. There are some simple devices which may prevent the complications of flat feet.

Improving Cognitive Skills With Music

Regularly playing a musical instrument changes the anatomy and function of the brain and may be used in therapy to improve cognitive skills. There is growing evidence that musicians have structurally and functionally different brains compared with non-musicians. In particular, the areas of the brain used to process music are larger or more active in musicians. Even just starting to learn a musical instrument can changes the neurophysiology of the brain. Lutz JГ ncke, a member of Faculty of 1000 Medicine, proposes using music in neuropsychological therapy, for example to improve language skills, memory, or mood. In a review for Faculty of 1000 Biology Reports, an online publication in which leading researchers highlight advances in their field, JГ ncke summarizes recent studies of professional musicians. The brain regions involved in music processing are also required for other tasks, such as memory or language skills. "If music has such a strong influence on brain plasticity, " writes JГ ncke, "this raises the question of whether this effect can be used to enhance cognitive performance.

More News Briefs From Plastic Surgery 2009

Face and Hand Transplants - Ready to Become Mainstream Medicine? Though once inconceivable, face and hand transplants are quickly making themselves more present, both in the operating room and in the media. The world's first hand transplant was performed more than a decade ago, and the first partial-face transplant performed in the United States (and most extensive procedure to date) was completed this year. However, the advances in composite tissue allotransplantation also presents a number of multi-faceted issues including donor availability, patient selection, social perception, ethics, and complications. Consider this: the first-ever hand transplant was amputated after the patient failed to follow his life-long immunosuppressive regimen. Members of the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons and other leading surgeons in the field of face and hand transplantation will discuss whether, at this point, face and hand transplants are ready to become "mainstream" medicine at the ASPS Plastic Surgery 2009 conference, Oct.

International Summit Reaches Agreement: Patient-Self Referral To Physical Therapy Improves Public Health

This past week in Washington, DC, physical therapists from around the world heard that direct access and patient self-referral to a physical therapist is proven to be safe, and results in improved health outcomes, more timely care, higher patient satisfaction, and lower costs, says the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), co-host of the International Summit on Direct Access and Advanced Scope of Practice. "We were very pleased to host this event, " says APTA President R. Scott Ward, PT, PhD. "This weekend we heard evidence from around the world that clearly demonstrates that direct patient access to physical therapists is appropriate for all Americans. The findings of this conference confirm that the legislation allowing patients to access physical therapists without a referral -- legislation that currently exists in 44 states -- is worth pursuing in all states and at the federal level." Leaders from 18 countries attending the Summit endorsed the results of research that demonstrate that patient self-referral to physical therapy is best for all health systems, whether public or private.

Researchers Discuss Limitations Of Prevalence Estimates Of TBI And PTSD Among OIF OEF Veterans

In a special guest editorial, Bass and colleagues discuss the limitations of current estimates of the prevalence of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF) veterans. Since these estimates often determine the allocation of resources, the authors urge decision makers to understand the limitations of these prevalence estimates. The authors discuss three main problems with the current prevalence rates of TBI and PTSD in the OIF/OEF population. First, the studies generally report the percentage of servicemembers who screen positive for TBI or PTSD, not those who have been diagnosed with the condition by an appropriately trained medical provider. Second, the study samples are not representative of the entire ever-deployed military population. Third, the degree of impairment for servicemembers who have or have had TBI or PTSD is unknown. The authors urge researchers to use caution when interpreting published estimates of TBI and PTSD prevalence for OIF/OEF servicemembers.

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