Therapy Achievements is dedicated to helping people with physical, cognitive and visual limits re-gain function and reach their potential. By providing out-patient physical, occupational and speech therapy services, we help people maximize their independence and reach their potential. Our multi-disciplinary team approach to rehabilitation enables us to tailor your plan of care to your specific and unique needs.
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Using an exoskeleton for walking after weakness or paralysis has generated a lot of attention and I have had a number of patient ask me about it. ReWalk is a battery-powered robotic exoskeleton that attaches to the legs and lower back. It contains motors at the knee and hip joints and sensors to help it adjust with each footfall. While wearing the device and holding two forearm crutches, someone with complete lower-limb paralysis can walk.
Exoskeletons have sparked hope for those with paralysis. Using an exoskeleton for walking seems like a dream come true, but, sadly for most the technology is still out of reach. The cost is prohibitive and health insurers generally don’t cover the expensive equipment. The ReWalk System costs, on average, $81,000. Ottobock’s C-Brace is priced at $75,000. And the Indego Personal is $98,000.
Not only is cost an issue, but the device is not practical in all environments. One user of the Ottobock C-Brace exoskeleton finds the device very helpful in her home, but when she hiked the Appalachian Trail. She had difficulty keeping the battery charged for long periods and found rain to be problematic because it isn’t waterproof.
For some, no price is too high for the hope of walking again. In our area, Spain Rehab Center – UAB in Birmingham, AL and Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA are the two closest training centers that can evaluate the benefit of an exoskeleton for walking for people interested in this system.
Have you had experience with an exoskeleton? If so, please share what it was like for you.
How does seated yoga help Multiple Sclerosis? Find out at Seated Yoga at Rocket City Multiple Sclerosis Support on 8-21-18.
Yoga is a wonderful, but gentle form of exercise and there are many reasons for someone with multiple sclerosis to try it. Pam Herdy will conduct a Seated Yoga at Rocket City Multiple Sclerosis Support and you won’t want to miss! Pam Herdy has extensive experience with both yoga and working with people with physical challenges. She is a nurse practitioner and who has worked in rehabilitation settings for over 20 years. Pam’s calm demeanor and proficient teaching skills make her seated yoga class especially enjoyable.
The main reason yoga is so beneficial is because it increases strength, improve coordination, increase balance and even promote a calmer lifestyle. Yoga is very adaptive and many of the exercises can be done no matter where you are. It can be as simple as doing a breathing exercise while waiting at the doctor’s office! The peaceful benefit can help you stay calm in stressful situations such as waiting in line or even laying still in an MRI machine. The goals of yoga are very simple and include improved breathing, posture, balance and better alignment of the body. Yoga helps with the everyday tasks of life like standing, waking, sitting, and even going to the bathroom.
Another benefit of yoga is that it can provide an improvement in overall pain and soreness. Because Yoga requires focus with deep breathing, it produces pain reducing effects of body relaxation and stress reduction.
If you are interested with starting yoga exercise, make sure you find a qualified instructor who is familiar with your condition and is adept at modifying the exercises to accommodate your specific needs. To give it a try, join us for Seated Yoga at Rocket City Multiple Sclerosis Support on 8-21-18 at 6:00 at Therapy Achievements at CCI. We meet the 3rd Tuesday of every month and have a topic of interest to MS, food, and time to talk and make friends.
Therapy Achievements is dedicated to helping people with physical, cognitive and visual limits re-gain function and reach their potential. We provide programs for Nuero Rehab, Ortho Rehab, Driving Rehab and Lymphedema. By providing out-patient physical, occupational and speech therapy services, we help people maximize their independence and reach their potential.
Rocket City Multiple Sclerosis Support Meets 7-17-18
Join us for facts, food and friendship! Dr. Chris Laganke will speak about risk factors for developing MS and you will hear from someone living with MS about their experiences. Food and beverages will be catered. Register at www.abovems.com or call 1-866-955-9999. You won’t want to miss!
Rocket City Multiple Sclerosis Support Group meets the 3rd Tuesday of every month at Therapy Achievements at Clearview Cancer Institute.
Knowledge is truly empowering.
Knowing as much as you can about multiple sclerosis, how to manage it and what to expect has an empowering effect. Knowledge can help maximize therapeutic outcomes by promoting adherence to treatment and enhance your quality of life. In addition to attending the Rocket City Multiple Sclerosis Support Group, The National MS Society offers an extensive variety of programs, services, resources and connection opportunities for people living with and affected by MS, including family members, caregivers and other members of their support systems.
Benefits of a Support Group
One of the biggest advantages of a support group is that it helps a person realize that he or she is not alone — that there are other people who have the same problems. Sharing experiences and problem solving strategies for coping with issues can result in effective and creative solutions and you may discover new ways of dealing with a particular problem. Email Karen@therapy-a.com for more information or to get on our email reminder list.
Huntsville Cancer Support Walk 2018 Relay for Life
Join Us in the Fight Against Cancer! Huntsville Cancer support walk 2018 Relay for Life Cancer Support meets 5-19-18 at 4:00 at 100 North Side Square.
Relay for Life is an annual event celebrated not just in Huntsville, AL but in cities around the world. What began as one man’s quest to make a difference has grown to the largest fundraising event for cancer in the world.
Dr. Gordy Klatt, a colorectal surgeon from Tacoma, Washington, wanted to help raise funds for his local American Cancer Society. He decided he would raise money by doing something he enjoyed—running. In May 1985, Dr. Klatt circled a track for 24 hours and ran more than 83 miles. He raised $27,000. Inspired by his success, Dr. Gordy worked to develop Relay for Life into a spark that lit the world on fire. Today, Relay for Life is structured around teams. Anyone can form a team and teams can be as large as one or 100+.
What inspires Therapy Achievements is our patients. We are touched by their grace, generosity, tenacity and bravery. Join our team in the fight against cancer! We are selling Raffle tickets for a basket of gift cards valued at over $100. Tickets are $2.00 and are available at both of our clinics – 802 Shoney Drive and Clearview Cancer Institute.
We hope to see you at the Huntsville Cancer Support Walk 2018 Relay for Life! You can make the difference.
Head and Neck Cancer Support Group Meets 2018
Support for People with Oral and Head and Neck Cancer Support Group meets 2018. SPOHNC is a cancer support group that meets on the 1st Wednesday of the month from 6:30 – 8:00 pm at Clearview Cancer Institute. They have a speaker on a topic of interest to people with oral, head and neck cancer and time to socialize and share.
Wed July 11
Wed Aug 1
Wed Sept 5
Wed Oct 3
Wed Nov 7
Wed Dec 5
Knowledge is truly empowering
Knowing as much as you can about cancer, how to manage it and what to expect has an empowering effect. Knowledge can help maximize therapeutic outcomes by promoting adherence to treatment and enhance your quality of life. In addition to attending the SPOHNC Support Group, The SPOHNC organization offers an extensive variety of programs, services, resources and connection opportunities for people living with and affected by cancer, including family members, caregivers and other members of their support systems.
Benefits of Support Groups
One of the biggest advantages of support groups is helping a person realize that he or she is not alone — that there are other people who have the same problems. Being in a support group can also help you develop new skills to relate to others. In addition, the members of the group who have the same problems can support each other and may suggest new ways of dealing with a particular problem.
For more information, call Suzanne Gunnar at 256-603-6172 or email@example.com
Huntsville Multiple Sclerosis Support Walk 2018
We had the best time at the Huntsville Multiple Sclerosis Support Walk 2018! Thanks to all the Therapy Achievements staff and their families for their hard work and support of this great cause. Last year alone, the MS Society invested nearly $50 million to support more than 380 new and ongoing research projects around the world while providing program services to over one million people. Research is aimed at finding the cause of MS, finding more treatments and, ultimately, ending the disease forever. By working together, we can end MS.
Multiple Sclerosis Facts:
- Multiple Sclerosis is an auto-immune disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS).
- The CNS is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves.
- In Multiple Sclerosis, the body’s immune system does not recognize the central nervous system as belonging to the body. Instead, views the CNS as not belonging – much like it views bacteria and viruses.
- To protect itself from something that “doesn’t belong”, the immune system causes inflammation.
- Inflammation damages myelin — the fatty substance that surrounds and insulates the nerve fibers — as well as the nerve fibers themselves.
- When myelin or nerve fibers are damaged or destroyed in Multiple Sclerosis, messages within the CNS are altered or stopped completely.
- Damage to areas of the CNS may produce a variety of neurological symptoms that will vary among people with MS in type and severity
- The damaged areas develop scar tissue which gives the disease its name – multiple areas of scarring or multiple sclerosis.
- The cause of MS is not known, but it is believed to involve genetic susceptibility, abnormalities in the immune system and environmental factors that combine to trigger the disease.
Types of Multiple Sclerosis
- People with Multiple Sclerosis typically experience one of three disease courses: relapsing-remitting, secondary-progressive, or primary-progressive.
- It is characterized by clearly defined attacks of new or increasing neurologic symptoms. These attacks – also called relapses or exacerbations – are followed by periods of partial or complete recovery (remissions).
- During remissions, all symptoms may disappear, or some symptoms may continue and become permanent. However, there is no apparent progression of the disease during the periods of remission.
- Relapsing remitting MS can be further characterized as either active (with relapses and/or evidence of new MRI activity) or not active, as well as worsening (a confirmed increase in disability over a specified period of time following a relapse) or not worsening.
Secondary progressive MS (SPMS): This follows an initial relapsing-remitting course.
- Most people who are diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS will eventually transition to a secondary progressive course in which there is a progressive worsening of neurologic function (accumulation of disability) over time.
- Secondary progressive MS can be further characterized at different points in time as either active (with relapses and/or evidence of new MRI activity) or not active,as well as with progression (evidence of disease worsening on an objective measure of change over time, with or without relapses) or without progression.
Primary progressive MS (PPMS): Primary progressive MS is characterized by worsening neurologic function (accumulation of disability) from the onset of symptoms, without early relapses or remissions.
- Primary progressive MS can be further characterized at different points in time as either active (with an occasional relapse and/or evidence of new MRI activity) or not active.
- Individuals who were previously diagnosed with progressive-relapsing MS would now be considered primary progressive.
- Approximately 15 percent of people with MS are diagnosed with PPMS.
Common Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
Fatigue: Occurs in about 80% of people, can significantly interfere with the ability to function at home and work, and may be the most prominent symptom in a person who otherwise has minimal activity limitations.
Walking (Gait) Difficulties: Related to several factors including weakness, spasticity, loss of balance, sensory deficit and fatigue, and can be helped by physical therapy, assistive therapy and medications.
Numbness and Tingling: Numbness of the face, body, or extremities (arms and legs) is often the first symptom experienced by those eventually diagnosed as having MS.
Dizziness and Vertigo: People with MS may feel off balance or lightheaded, or — much less often — have the sensation that they or their surroundings are spinning (vertigo).
Spasticity: Refers to feelings of stiffness and a wide range of involuntary muscle spasms; can occur in any limb, but it is much more common in the legs.
Weakness: Weakness in MS, which results from deconditioning of unused muscles or damage to nerves that stimulate muscles, can be managed with rehabilitation strategies and the use of mobility aids and other assistive devices.
Vision Problems: The first symptom of MS for many people. Onset of blurred vision, poor contrast or color vision, and pain on eye movement can be
frightening — and should be evaluated Sexual Problems: Very common in the general population including people with MS. Sexual responses can be affected by damage in the central nervous system, as well by symptoms such as fatigue and spasticity, and by psychological factors.promptly.
Bladder Problems: Bladder dysfunction, which occurs in at least 80% of people with MS, can usually be managed quite successfully with medications, fluid management, and intermittent self-catheterization.
Bowel Problems: Constipation is a particular concern among people with MS, as is loss of control of the bowels. Bowel issues can typically be managed through diet, adequate fluid intake, physical activity and medication.
Cognitive Changes: Refers to a range of high-level brain functions affected in more than 50% of people with MS, including the ability to process incoming information, learn and remember new information, organize and problem-solve, focus attention and accurately perceive the environment.
Emotional Changes: Can be a reaction to the stresses of living with MS as well as the result of neurologic and immune changes. Significant depression, mood swings, irritability, and episodes of uncontrollable laughing and crying pose significant challenges for people with MS and their families.problem-solve, focus attention and accurately perceive the environment.
Depression: Studies have suggested that clinical depression — the severest form of depression — is among the most common symptoms of MS. It is more common among people with MS than it is in the general population or in persons with many other chronic, disabling conditions.
How To Overcome Competition – A twist on Tony Robinson’s lesson from David and Goliath
Do you ever feel like David fighting Goliath? The story of David and Goliath is one of the biblical stories that Tony Robinson – and I – have loved since childhood. It is a story of how a little shepherd boy defeated a famous fully armed giant warrior. Tony has used this story to illustrate how to overcome what may feel like insurmountable obstacles in business in several of his blog posts. Here’s a twist on three of those points:
#1 —BE PREPARED FOR COMPETITION:
- If you stay ready, then you don’t ever have to get ready. A competitor is always just around the corner – there will always be competition – but anticipating competition is the only way to divert a devastating fall.
- David stayed ready by daily training – consistent and continually talking with God. This enabled him to intentionally put trust in God before fear of Goliath.
- Keep ready – know who is out there and what they’re doing. Know how they are selling what they do. But don’t get so caught up in the competition that it makes you fearful or distracts you. Focus on consistently, daily, continually doing what you need to to be your best.
#2 – ANTICIPATE CHANGE IN TECHNOLOGY:
- Be alert to changes in technology. Be ready to upgrade if it makes sense for your business but stay with what works if it doesn’t. There was a time when having a Garmin GPS device meant you were ahead of the curve technology-wise. But soon cellular phone technology started to advance and that same GPS technology was already included on our phone. Garmin GPS could very easily have gone out of business, but they were able to innovate and create other useful products to stay afloat.
- Saul wanted David to be ahead of the curve technology-wise. He gave him the best armor he had to beat Goliath. David tried it but decided he’d be better off by sticking with his sling and 5 stones.
- Always anticipate change in technology; always know what the latest innovation is and be ready to implement it. Then evaluate and decide if it will give you an edge or if you are better off sticking with your sling and 5 stones.
#3 – FOCUS: STAY TRUE TO WHO YOU ARE
- Most businesses have no idea of the giant capacity we can immediately command when we focus all of our resources on improving and mastering our core competencies. Instead, we get distracted by trying to fulfill the many different wants and needs of our customers. We can get spread so thin we end up being a “Jack of all trades and master of none”.
- David knew who he was – a shepherd – and focused all his time and energy on developing those skills. Because he mastered the core competencies of being a shepherd he had a platform he was able to draw from when new challenges arose.
- Know your core competencies and master the basis. By doing so, you will build a solid platform from which you can expand upon and return to.
Come join us at the April 17, 2018 MS Support Group
3601 CCI Drive Huntsville, Al 35805
Lymphatic Flow By Cathy McNeely
I have been a Physical Therapist since 1989. Being a Certified Lymphedema Therapist with a background in orthopedics/sports medicine, I am always searching for innovative therapeutic exercises and natural remedies to improve lymphatic flow and return in my patients with swelling.
Complete Decongestive Therapy which involves Manual Lymph Drainage, use of compression (compression bandaging, vasopneumatic pumps, and/or compression garments) and remedial exercises is the standard for treating any chronic swelling in the body. Chronic swelling is generally thought of as swelling that lasts greater than 6 weeks. The majority of time lymphedema therapists treat the superficial lymphatic system which is present in the tissues below skin, but above muscle. The deep lymphatic system is present in the abdomen and each internal organ has lymph nodes associated with it. The difference between regular body fluid and lymphatic fluid is mainly the presence of large protein molecules and fat cells. During a twenty-four hour period, 2-4 liters of fluid are processed through our lymphatic system. If there is a dysfunction in the venous and/or lymphatic system these large protein molecules can build up in the tissues causing hardness of skin and eventually fibrosis. The good news is that the lymphatic system can be stimulated to take up the extra fluid and protein molecules so that skin can be soft again!
So knowing that what you take in your body is being circulated throughout might make you think twice about what you put in. A diet that has lots of water, is low fat and low sodium, and full of fresh and frozen vegetables is what is recommended for lymphatic health. An eating plan like this will help your system eliminate toxins and improve your immunity. I have been informed of some unusual herbs that can assist with lymphatic drainage including : Cleavers (Galium aparine), Calendula officinalis (Pot Marigold), Echinacea agustifolia (Narrow-leafed pale Purple Cornflower), Astragalus (astragalus membranaceus), Dandelion (Taraxacm officinale), Wild Indigo Root (Baptisia tinctoria), and others. See HERBS That Promote Lymphatic Drainage, October 12, 2014 by Hillary Hilliard.
Occasionally I treat patients with swelling in their abdomen post-liposuction or other abdominal surgeries. I began taking Pilates classes 17 years ago and I have taught a community Pilates class. I saw the benefit of the timing of deep breathing with muscle contractions, especially of the pelvic floor, transverse abdominus, and iliopsoas to assist the lymphatic system in picking up more fluid.
Many times physicians have not been informed about how much Complete Decongestive Therapy can help their patients with swelling. These patient’s swelling continues longer and becomes more severe over time. If you have swelling in your body you may need to ask your physician to refer you for this type of therapy. At Therapy Achievements I am able to utilize the skills I have obtained over the years in both Complete Decongestive Therapy and Pilates-method exercise to benefit my patients.
Loss of a limb produces a permanent disability that can impact a patient’s self-image, self-care, and mobility (movement). Rehabilitation of the patient with an amputation begins after surgery during the acute treatment phase. As the patient’s condition improves, a more extensive rehabilitation program is often started.
- Level and type of amputation
- Type and degree of any resulting impairments and disabilities
- Overall health of the patient
- Family support
It is important to focus on maximizing the patient’s capabilities at home and in the community. Positive reinforcement helps recovery by improving self-esteem and promoting independence. The rehabilitation program is designed to meet the needs of the individual patient. Active involvement of the patient and family is vital to the success of the program.
The goal of rehabilitation after an amputation is to help the patient return to the highest level of function and independence possible, while improving the overall quality of life—physically, emotionally, and socially.
- Treatments to help improve wound healing and stump care
- Activities to help improve motor skills, restore activities of daily living (ADLs), and help the patient reach maximum independence
- Exercises that promote muscle strength, endurance, and control
- Fitting and use of artificial limbs (prostheses)
- Pain management for both post-operative and phantom pain (a sensation of pain that occurs below the level of the amputation)
- Emotional support to help during the grieving period and with readjustment to a new body image
- Use of assistive devices
- Nutritional counseling to promote healing and health
- Vocational counseling
- Adapting the home environment for ease of function, safety, accessibility, and mobility
- Patient and family education
Physical, Occupational & Speech Therapy for
- Balance and Mobility
- Speech and Swallowing
- Lymphedema Therapy
- Driving Rehab
- Functional Living Skills