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Recent Health Articles: The Worst Foods to Eat When You’re Sick, Early PT Reduces Costs, & More!

Latest Health News Updates

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#1The Worst Foods to Eat When You’re Sick

When you’re under the weather the last thing you want is to eat something that makes you feel worse. But what if the last thing you want is chicken soup or crackers, and you’re craving ice cream or a glass of wine? It depends on what’s wrong with you, experts say. Here are common symptoms and expert suggestions on foods that help — and hinder — relief.

#2Patients Who Go Home After Knee Replacement Do As Well As Those Discharged to Rehab Facility

A study by researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) finds that patients who go home after knee replacement and receive physical therapy at home do as well as those who go to an in-patient rehabilitation facility.

#3WHO Leadership Admits Failings over Ebola, Promises Reform

The World Health Organization has admitted serious failings in its handling of the Ebola crisis and pledged reforms to enable it to do better next time, its leadership said in a recent statement.

#4Early Physical Therapy for Low Back Pain Reduces Costs, Resources

study in the scientific journal BMC Health Services Research shows that early and guideline adherent physical therapy following an initial episode of acute, nonspecific low back pain (LBP) resulted in substantially lower costs and reduced use of health care resources over a 2-year period.

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Participating in Arts, Crafts May Delay Memory Problems

People who participate in arts and craft activities and who socialize in middle and old age may delay the development in very old age of the thinking and memory problems that often lead to dementia, according to a new study.

Cerebral Blood Flow Possibly a Marker for Concussion Outcomes

A new imaging study suggests cerebral blood flow recovery could be a biomarker of outcomes in patients after concussion, according to new research.

Clues to How an Electric Treatment for Parkinson’s Works

In 1998, Dr. Philip A. Starr started putting electrodes in people’s brain. A  neurosurgeon at the University of California, San Francisco, Dr. Starr was treating people with Parkinson’s disease. After the surgery, Dr. Starr closed up his patients’ skulls and switched on the electrodes, releasing a steady buzz of electric pulses in their brains. For many patients, the effect was immediate. “We have people who, when they’re not taking their meds, can be frozen,” said Dr. Starr. “When we turn on the stimulator, they start walking.” Learn More

Chemicals in Some Flavored E-Cigs Exceed Recommended Limits

A new study raises concerns about the levels of chemicals used to flavor some brands of fluids used in electronic cigarettes.

Children with Autism Can Learn to be Social, Trial Shows

Teachers and speech therapists can teach children with autism how to be social with their peers, a randomized trial shows. “We found that the children who participated in the social network not only made significant progress in social communication during the intervention but also made many more initiations to their peers in general.”

8 Makeup Tricks for Women With Arthritis

Here’s how your patients can put their best face forward, even when arthritis is flaring.

Give Us Your Input!

What do you think about the latest health news? Are there any recent discoveries that surprise you? Pique your interest? Are a cause for concern? Share your comments below.

Recent Health Articles: New Ebola Information on PPE and Vaccines, Top 15 Physical Therapy Trials, New ALS Treatment & More!

Latest Health News Updates

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#1New Ebola Information: CDC Updates PPE Guidelines for Managing Ebola Patients

On October 20, 2014, the CDC updated their PPE guidelines for managing patients with Ebola virus. The guidance contains the following key principles:

  1. Prior to working with Ebola patients, all healthcare workers involved in the care of Ebola patients must have received repeated training and have demonstrated competency in performing all Ebola-related infection control practices and procedures, and specifically in donning/doffing proper PPE.
  2. While working in PPE, healthcare workers caring for Ebola patients should have no skin exposed.
  3. The overall safe care of Ebola patients in a facility must be overseen by an onsite manager at all times, and each step of every PPE donning/doffing procedure must be supervised by a trained observer to ensure proper completion of established PPE protocols.

Read more about the new guidelines here.

#2Millions of Doses of Ebola Vaccines Planned by 2015

As the world reels from its deadliest Ebola outbreak, health experts are fast-tracking tests for various vaccines, and hope to have millions of experimental doses by next year according to the World Health Organization. Read More

#3Top 15 Physical Therapy Clinical Trials

To celebrate its 15th anniversary, the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro), one of PTNow’s collaborative partners, asked PTs worldwide to nominate clinical trials that have had the most impact on the field of physical therapy. From those nominations, an expert panel selected the “Top 15” listed here.

#4Is the Affordable Care Act Working?

Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, has the percentage of uninsured people been reduced? Have health outcomes been improved? Has the health care industry been helped or hurt by the law? The New York Times gives a synopsis on the successes and failures of the Affordable Care Act here.

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7 Myths About Physical Therapy

Discover how to debunk the 7 common misconceptions that often discourage people from visiting a physical therapist.

Potential to Treat ALS with Heart Failure Drug

New research from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO, suggests a medication used to treat heart failure could be adapted to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Prosthetic Arm Controlled by Brain Successfully Developed

A prosthetic arm connected directly to the bone, nerves and muscles has been found to be a success. This is the first time that a robotic prosthesis has been connected in such a manner, and this discovery will open up exciting opportunities for patients in the future.

University of Toronto Study Finds that Action Video Games Bolster Sensorimotor Skills

A study led by University of Toronto psychology researchers has found that people who play action video games such as Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed seem to learn a new sensorimotor skill more quickly than non-gamers do.

First Autism-Friendly Pediatric Emergency Department

A trip to the emergency room can be unpleasant for anyone in pain or discomfort. But for children and adolescents with autism, the fast-paced environment and bright lights only adds to the trauma. To help make the atmosphere more inviting for such patients, a new “autism-friendly” pediatric emergency department is launching in New Jersey. Read More

The Back Pain Pills Many Doctors Won’t Recommend Anymore

More than 100,000 people have died in the last 15 years from taking these common prescription painkillers. Thus, the American Academy of Neurology recently announced taking these medications for headaches or back pain is simply not worth the risk.

Give Us Your Input!

What do you think about the latest health news? Are there any recent discoveries that surprise you? Pique your interest? Are a cause for concern? Share your comments below.

Recent Health Articles: Say Good-Bye to Passive Modalities & More!

Latest Health News Updates

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#1Farewell Heating Pad & Ultrasound: They Don’t Help Says APTA

You may have read in recent health articles about the growing debate over passive modalities. What’s the fuss all about? The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation’s Choosing Wisely® organization works to spark conversations between providers and patients to ensure the right care is delivered at the right time. Participating organizations have created lists of “Things Providers and Patients Should Question” which include evidence-based recommendations to guide decisions about the most appropriate care based on a patient’s individual situation.

The APTA has just released the “5 Things Physical Therapists and Patients Should Question”, and some of the recommendations may surprise you:

#1. Say good-bye to heating pads, ultrasound and other passive modalities. The number one recommendation by the APTA: Don’t employ passive physical agents except when necessary to facilitate participation in an active treatment program.

Read the remaining 4 recommendations here.

#2Shortage of Occupational Therapists and PTAs in the Workforce

Nearly 10 million Americans are unemployed so it may seem premature to worry about labor shortages. But the retirements of baby boomers and low replacement rates suggest that employers will have difficulty filling many openings in the near future. And, among the top of the list are OTs and physical therapy assistants.

#3Advanced Dementia Patients Often Given Unhelpful Meds

A new national analysis of U.S. nursing home prescription patterns says that more than half of people with advanced dementia are prescribed medications that are of questionable benefit.

#4Speech Therapy, Developmental Support for Premature Babies

They may not be able to talk yet, but the premature babies at Royal Women’s Hospital are seen by speech therapists who help parents understand their children’s early forms of communication and establish healthy feeding patterns. Read More

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Adults Over 45 Not Meeting U.S. Muscle Strengthening Guidelines

Although there is mounting evidence that muscle-strength training provides key health benefits, most middle-aged and older adults in the United States don’t engage in this type of exercise, according to new research. In fact, less than one-quarter of adults over 45 meet the muscle-strengthening recommendations set by the Department of Health and Human Services.

U.S. Waistlines Keep Growing, With Women Leading the Way

Americans’ belt size continues to inch up, and women’s waistlines are widening faster than men’s, according to new government research.

Heart Docs Don’t Recommend Routine ECGs for Young Athletes

According to an American Heart Association news release, U.S. cardiology experts recommend doctors use a 14-point checklist rather than an electrocardiogram (ECG) when evaluating young people for underlying heart disease that could result in sudden cardiac arrest.

New Therapies for Parkinson’s Patients

A week before, Mary Jane Lutton couldn’t walk and bend to pick up something without falling over. But on this day at St. Luke’s Physical Therapy office in Bethlehem, the 63-year-old walked confidently, bent, picked up a ball and kept moving forward. How? Lutton, who has Parkinson’s disease, has started to regain some mobility and speech clarity thanks to two new intensive therapy programs.

Backpacks are Back-Healthy if Used Right

Here’s some good news for back-to-school: Backpacks are good for your kids’ backs. With so much focus on the damage that backpacks can cause, it’s easy to forget that they were meant to lighten a load by distributing weight among some of the body’s strongest muscles. When sensibly packed and worn with two straps over both shoulders, they do that. Now, here’s the bad news: In real life, where backpacks are overstuffed, thrown over one shoulder and allowed to drag along a kid’s backside, they’re trouble. Read More.

Speaking Up for Speech Therapy: The 14 Best SLP Blogs

Did you know that many SLPs take the time out their busy schedules to share their speech therapy ideas with others online through their blogs? Here’s a list of the top 14 SLP blogs.

Give Us Your Input!

What do you think about the latest health news? Are there any recent discoveries that surprise you? Pique your interest? Are a cause for concern? Share your comments below.

Recent Health Articles Trending on Social Media

Latest Health News Updates

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#1The Terminator 30 Years Later: Cyborg Science Now

The film The Terminator was released on October 26, 1984. The plot involved a “cyborg” assassin (Arnold Schwarzenegger) who was programmed to hunt down a woman named Sarah Conner. At the time of the movie release, the possibility of cyborg technology seemed far-fetched and fantastical. But, cyborg technology is no longer considered science fiction. Instead of programming assassins, however, the cyborg research is bringing tangible progress toward real-life electronic skin, prosthetics and ultraflexible circuits, and could aid in the treatment of a variety of conditions including serious neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s.

This form of cyborg technology – termed “nanoelectronics” – was recently unveiled by scientists at the 248th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society. See the video here!

#2APTA Members Receive an Extra Discount on School Supplies

Members of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) can save on all online or in-store purchases at Office Depot. To start saving, you can download a store discount card or shop online here.

#3Why So Many Kids Can’t Sit Still in School Today

The CDC tells us that in recent years there has been a significant jump in the percentage of young people diagnosed with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, commonly known as ADHD. But, why? Angela Hanscom, a pediatric occupational therapist, suggests one very common overlooked reason here.

#4Growing Debate Regarding Neck Manipulation Therapy

In the past few years, a debate has been ongoing in which experts argue over the advantages versus the disadvantages of neck manipulation. Continuing the debate, a recent statement published by the American Heart Association says there is an association between stroke and therapy involving neck manipulation, although they are unable to confirm whether neck manipulation causes stroke or not. Past research has reported that neck manipulation is associated with a risk of cervical artery dissection, a form of arterial tear that is believed to be an important cause of stroke in young and middle-aged adults. However, on August 8, 2014 the APTA challenged the American Heart Association statement. (Read the APTA’s response here.)

Therapists, weigh in on this discussion: How do you feel about neck manipulation? What studies support your position? 

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6 Signs of a Good Occupational Therapist

Parents Magazine recently published what parents should look for when their child needs the services of a pediatric occupational therapists.

Idaho Stuttering Clinic Gives People a Voice

This August, the Northwest Center for Fluency Disorders at ISU combined counselors with speech and language pathologists in a joint effort to help nine clients from throughout the U.S., ages 12 to 34, deal with their lives as people who stutter. Graduates of the workshop were required to give a final speech afternoon to close out the collaborative effort, and their comments spoke volumes about the way fear of stuttering can steal someone’s life and freedom. Read their heart-felt and touching words.

Research Breakthrough: Lack of Vitamin D Doubles Dementia, Alzheimer’s Risk

In the largest study of its kind, research suggests that older people who do not getting enough vitamin D may double their risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The study found that people with low levels of vitamin D had a 53-percent increased risk of developing dementia and those who were severely deficient had a 125-percent increased risk compared to participants with normal levels of vitamin D.

If you cannot view the video above, click here.

Therapy Dog Helps 6 Year Old Boy Move His Arm Again After Brain Surgery

At just the right moment, a dog named Tank gave a 6 year old boy the motivation he needed to get moving again. The boy had a stroke during his surgery in July, and in the 10 days that followed, he couldn’t move his left arm at all. His arm remained motionless during his first three sessions of physical and occupational therapy at Akron Children’s Hospital — but at his fourth session on July 28, a friendly, food-focused therapy dog named Tank entered the room. What happened next was nothing short of amazing!

21 Self-Care Tips to Save Energy & Ease Life With Chronic Illness

Sometimes, even the simplest of tasks may seem daunting. Especially for people living with a chronic illness, or those just coming home after hospitalization, weakness, limited joint motion, compromised breathing, and decreased endurance are common. But, an occupational therapist has listed 21 strategies to help chronically-ill patients conserve energy and complete their daily tasks and self-care effectively.

How Massage Therapists Can Effectively Work with Wheelchair-Bound Clients

There are more than 1.7 million people in the U.S. who depend on wheelchairs and scooters to get around. Most of these people are over the age of 65, which means performing therapeutic massage on them requires specific knowledge about how to work with geriatric clients, as well as clients with mobility issues. Here’s what you need to know.

Give Us Your Input!

What do you think about the latest health news? Are there any recent discoveries that surprise you? Pique your interest? Are a cause for concern? Share your comments below.

The Latest Physical Therapy Tools: Angry Birds Game and Chocolate!

Latest Health News Updates

Top Updates:

#1New Physical Therapy Tools: Smart Tablet and Angry Birds to Help Kids with Rehabilitation

A smart tablet and the Angry Birds game serve as the latest physical therapy tools to help kids with disabilities. Children use the program to help with repetitive rehabilitation sessions. Watch the video here.

#2Should You Give Your Patients Chocolate Before Therapy?

Results of a new study reveal that the one of the best physical therapy tools just might be chocolate! PAD (peripheral artery disease) patients who ate dark chocolate were able to walk for an average of 17 seconds longer and almost 12 meters (39 feet) farther than they did before eating the dark chocolate. Based on these findings, senior study author Dr. Francesco Violi, also of the Sapienza University of Rome, says “polyphenol-rich nutrients could represent a new therapeutic strategy to counteract cardiovascular complications.” Should you give your patients chocolate?

#3How 29 Minutes of Massage Therapy Changed a Life

On January 5, 2012, a mother and five of her children were in their minivan stopped about 10 cars away from a red light. She was one and a half car lengths away from the car in front of her. Her two-year-old had just woken up and they all had turned around to give the child attention, when they were hit from behind and then shoved forward to hit the car in front of them. The driver was texting while driving and the approximate speed was 55 miles per hour on impact… Read the rest of the story and discover how 29 minutes of a massage therapy protocol helped this woman after her terrible accident.

#4Aquatic Therapy Pools Closing Down In Spite of Benefits to Patients

Though the benefits of aquatic therapy are well established, it’s becoming less available to patients in Central New York. These specially equipped, heated pools have been gradually closing down for the past several years. But why?

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Protecting Athletes From Concussion an ‘Ethical Obligation’

Doctors have an “ethical obligation” to educate and protect athletes from sports concussion, says a new position paper from the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). The position paper calls on doctors to make protecting the future mental and physical health of young athletes a top priority. How does this affect therapists and other health care providers?

You’ll Never Guess Which State Just Became a Haven for Painkiller Abusers

This is the only state that doesn’t have a prescription drug registry, and according to many, it has become a hotspot for doctor shopping—getting prescriptions from multiple physicians—and prescription drug abuse.

Get a Grip! New Wrist-Mounted Device Augments the Human Hand with Two Robotic Fingers

Twisting a screwdriver, removing a bottle cap, and peeling a banana are just a few simple tasks that are tricky to pull off single-handedly. Now a new wrist-mounted robot can provide a helping hand – or rather, fingers. Researchers at MIT have created a robot that enhances the grasping motion of the human hand. The device is quite amazing! It works with biomechanical synergy, which “teaches” the robot to assume a certain posture that the human expect the robot to take.

Walking Keeps OA Limitations Away, But How Many Steps Per Day Are Needed?

Walking a certain number of steps each day might protect adults at risk of knee osteoarthritis from developing mobility issues, such as difficulty getting up from a chair and climbing stairs, according to a new study. But how many steps per day are needed to prevent mobility issues? Is it 10,000 steps, 6,000 steps or 3,000 steps?

OT Researcher Designs Program to Help Keep Seniors in their Homes

Chiung-ju Liu, OTR, PhD, an assistant professor of occupational therapy in the IU School of Health and Rehabilitation Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, designed a 10-week “3-Step Workout for Life” exercise program to help older patients regain muscle strength and maintain independence.

Drug-Resistant Superbug Increasing in Southeast U.S. Hospitals

Community hospitals in the southeastern United States have seen a fivefold increase in the number of cases of a dangerous drug-resistant superbug during the past five years, according to a new study.

Best Beverages for Kids to Drink in Hot Weather

The best way to prevent dehydration is to make sure kids get plenty of fluids when they’re physically active, especially in the hot weather. Many parents stock up on sports drinks as they promise the “ultimate hydration.” But, the average child does not need the nearly eight teaspoons of sugar that each 20-ounce bottle contains. So, what should kids be drinking while playing in the heat?

Give Us Your Input!

What do you think about the latest health news? Are there any recent discoveries that surprise you? Pique your interest? Are a cause for concern? Share your comments below.

News & Health Awareness Dates

Awareness Dates: What’s Happening In June?


As a health professional, do you look for opportunities to raise awareness? Are you involved in programs in your community or nationally? If not, here are great opportunities for the month of June:

National Aphasia Awareness Month:

National Aphasia Association

National Safety Month:

Week 1: Prevent prescription drug abuse
Week 2: Stop slips, trips and falls
Week 3: Be aware of your surroundings
Week 4: Put an end to distracted driving
Bonus week: Summer safety

National Safety Council

Men’s Health Month:

Men’s Health Month

Myasthenia Gravis Awareness Month:

Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America

Recent News: Our Mobile & Tablet Platform

Did you know the average American checks his/her cell phone at least 150 times per day according to Forbes Magazine?

Put your mobile device to good use! You can access training videos and over 650+ hours of continuing education… on the go? As featured in America Now, we offer our Seminar-On-Demand courses straight to your tablet or mobile phone.

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