Monthly Archives: November 2015

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Three Mobile Apps To Make Physical Therapy Easier

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Physical therapists can pack a lot into a session–enough that remembering just how, or what, or how many reps of an exercise to do can be tricky (especially if you’re on certain medications as part of your treatment plan). If, like so many of us, the app store is a go-to source for solutions, you may be disappointed. The FDA and legal teams alike must carefully scrutinize apps designed for patients dealing with medical treatment before launching in the American market. On one hand, this means apps are more secure and well researched; on the other, there just aren’t many options–and the legalese employed to make sure patients don’t “go rogue” and use these apps without any professional guidance can make it hard to understand what an app even offers.

That said, there are definitely some gems out there, which can, when used appropriately, potentially help you get more from your physical therapy program. Here are our picks.

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Rehab Minder

Free (but lots of in-app purchases)

http://www.rehabminder.com/

Rehab Minder is a collaborative tool you can use with your PT. The app comes programed with a variety of injury types, and a long list of potentially helpful exercises commonly prescribed to people recovering from these injuries. Your PT can guide you through which exercises you should do at home. When you do each exercise, you simply go to it on the list, set a time, and write notes before and after each set. Then, your PT can review the notes for more accurate insight into how your at-home program is working for you.

pzizz

Free

http://pzizz.com/

PT exercises won’t work well if you are running on too little sleep. Your body needs time to recover and rebuild. There are a variety of decent sleep apps out there, many of which focus on sleep tracking or “smart alarm” systems–which are fantastic, but can sometimes fail to address issues with falling asleep at all. We like pzizz because it focuses on helping users actually get the kind of deep, restful sleep they need. The app provides customized soothing sounds, and voice instructions to help guide users to sleep. The audio element is backed by solid research making it a very effective tool for anyone who knows how much sleep they need but struggles to conk out early enough.

Happier

https://www.happier.com/

Free

Recovering from an injury or surgery can be as difficult emotionally and psychologically as it is physically. Happier is basically a social media site where users can only share positivity. It’s cheesy, sure, but scrolling through it offers a great reminder of how much there is to be excited about. You can add in your contacts, or just scroll through featured posts for a big dose of cheer.

In need of some PT? Request an appointment here!


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Abnormal Gaits

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Abnormal gaits may have been humorously immortalized in Monty Python’s The Department of Silly Walks sketch, but in reality can be a serious issue for many patients. Even subtle issues can, over time, lead to injuries or damage that inhibit mobility. Changes in gait can also be symptomatic of neurological or degenerative diseases. It’s important to see a professional if you have an abnormal gait, to diagnose any underlying causes, treat any damage incurred so far, and to correct the problem if possible.

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Causes

 

There are many, many potential causes of abnormal gait. Here are some of the more common ones.

 

  • Arthritis of any variety affecting the lower extremities.
  • Dermalogica-type issues, such as ingrown nails, calluses, etc.
  • Having legs of different lengths.
  • Injury or trauma, i.e. break, sprains, bruising
  • Tendonitis – inflammation and/or irritation of tendons
  • Myositis – swelling of muscles
  • Infection

Less common–but potentially more serious causes:

  • Neurodegenerative disease, such as Parkinson’s
  • Brain trauma, tumors, abscesses, or other brain damage
  • Stroke
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Developmental dysplasia of the hip (a condition present at birth)
  • Spinal cord injury or infection
  • Poisoning (carbon monoxide and manganese, in particular)

 

This is by no means a comprehensive list–which is why it’s very significant to see a physician if you notice any chance in your gait, or notice consistently that the soles of your shoes wear down in a clearly asymmetric way.

 

Treatment

Treatment options obviously vary dramatically based on the cause of the issue. Some of the more common non-invasive treatments include assistive devices or bracing and corrective exercises.

 

For more information regarding diagnosis and treatment of abnormal gait, please contact us.


Sprains, strains, fractures, oh my! Pain and impaired mobility are serious business, but there is hope. At Advanced Physical Therapy of Freehold, our professional therapists collaborate with physicians to provide care that alleviates pain, restores function, and gets you back in the game faster. We encourage you to learn more about our team — and what we do best.