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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Relay for Life Event 100 North Side Square May 19th at 4:00 pm
Raffle for over $100 in gift cards going on now in both of our locations. Tickets are $2.00.
2018 Huntsville Multiple Sclerosis Walk
We had the best time at the 2018 Huntsville Multiple Sclerosis Walk! 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.
Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis
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
Lymphedema, also known as lymphoedema and lymphatic edema, is a condition of localized fluid retention and tissue swelling caused by a compromised lymphatic system, which normally returns interstitial fluid to the bloodstream. The condition is most frequently a complication of cancer treatment or parasitic infections, but it can also be seen in a number of genetic disorders. Though incurable and progressive, a number of treatments can ameliorate symptoms. Tissues with lymphedema are at high risk of infection.
Traumatic brain injury, often referred to as TBI, is most often an acute event similar to other injuries. That is where the similarity between traumatic brain injury and other injuries ends. One moment the person is normal and the next moment life has abruptly changed.
In most other aspects, a traumatic brain injury is very different. Since our brain defines who we are, the consequences of a brain injury can affect all aspects of our lives, including our personality. A brain injury is different from a broken limb or punctured lung. An injury in these areas limit the use of a specific part of your body, but your personality and mental abilities remain unchanged. Most often, these body structures heal and regain their previous function.
Brain injuries do not heal like other injuries. Recovery is a functional recovery, based on mechanisms that remain uncertain. No two brain injuries are alike and the consequence of two similar injuries may be very different. Symptoms may appear right away or may not be present for days or weeks after the injury.
One of the consequences of brain injury is that the person often does not realize that a brain injury has occurred.
MS symptoms are variable and unpredictable. No two people have exactly the same symptoms, and each person’s symptoms can change or fluctuate over time. One person might experience only one or two of the possible symptoms while another person experiences many more.
Explore the list below to find more information about the symptoms you or someone you care about may experience. Most of these symptoms can be managed very effectively with medication, rehabilitation and other management strategies. Effective symptom management by an interdisciplinary team of healthcare professionals is one of the key components of comprehensive MS care.
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.
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 of the face, body, or extremities (arms and legs) is often the first symptom experienced by those eventually diagnosed as having MS.
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 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.
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 promptly.
People with MS may feel off balance or lightheaded, or — much less often — have the sensation that they or their surroundings are spinning (vertigo).
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.
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.
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.
Pain syndromes are common in MS. In one study, 55% of people with MS had “clinically significant pain” at some time, and almost half had chronic pain.
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.
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.
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.
Speech problems, including slurring (dysarthria) and loss of volume (dysphonia) occur in approximately 25-40% of people with MS, particularly later in the disease course and during periods of extreme fatigue. Stuttering is occasionally reported as well.
Swallowing problems — referred to as dysphagia — result from damage to the nerves controlling the many small muscles in the mouth and throat.
Tremor, or uncontrollable shaking, can occur in various parts of the body because of damaged areas along the complex nerve pathways that are responsible for coordination of movements.
Seizures — which are the result of abnormal electrical discharges in an injured or scarred area of the brain — have been estimated to occur in 2-5% people with MS, compared to the estimated 3% of the general population.
Respiration problems occur in people whose chest muscles have been severely weakened by damage to the nerves that control those muscles.
Pruritis (itching) is one of the family of abnormal sensations — such as “pins and needles” and burning, stabbing or tearing pains — which may be experienced by people with MS.
Although headache is not a common symptom of MS, some reports suggest that people with MS have an increased incidence of certain types of headache.
About 6% of people who have MS complain of impaired hearing. In very rare cases, hearing loss has been reported as the first symptom of the disease.
Physical, Occupational & Speech Therapy for
- Balance and Mobility
- Speech and Swallowing
- Lymphedema Therapy
- Driving Rehab
- Functional Living Skills