New Role Found For The Immune System

It’s a stunning discovery that overturns decades of textbook teaching: researchers at the School of Medicine have determined that the brain is directly connected to the immune system by vessels previously thought not to exist. “I really did not believe there were structures in the body that we were not aware of. I thought the body was mapped,” said Jonathan Kipnis, a professor in the Department of Neuroscience and director of the University’s Center for Brain Immunology and Glia. How these vessels could have escaped detection when the lymphatic system has been so thoroughly mapped throughout the body is surprising on its own.

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Memorial Day Message

memorial day written in the blank space of a heart sign made with the hands patterned with the colors and the stars of the United States flag

The team of Rapid Rehab would like to wish
everyone a safe and meaningful Memorial Day.
Let us all remember and honor
those who are no longer with us and
celebrate their lives.

The Cost of Treating Back Pain

In today’s world, it can be confusing to figure out where to turn if you’re suffering from back pain.  For some, the first step is an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory.  For others, a trip to the doctor and a (costly) MRI.  If you’ve dealt with back pain in the past and struggled to find a suitable solution, you’re not alone.  According to a 2010 Global Burden of Disease study, low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide.  An estimated 60-80% of the population will suffer persistent back pain at some point in their lives.  If you are among the 13 million Americans seeing a doctor for back pain each year, there are a few things you should know.

In Many Cases, Physical Therapy is More Effective than Medicine, Diagnostic Imaging, and Invasive Surgery.  A study in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine showed an enormous spike in the prescription of steroid injections (629%), MRIs (307%), prescription pain medications (423%), and spinal fusion surgeries (220%) between the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.  However, the study also found that in the same time period, there was no increase in the number of patients with back pain nor did patient outcomes improve.

While for some patients these interventions are necessary or effective, many are left with high bills and no relief from pain.  A March 16, 2015 study in Health Services Research followed patients with complaints of low back pain from an initial consultation with their primary care physician through a year of treatment.  Patients were either offered physical therapy or advanced imaging (like an MRI) as the initial strategy for improving quality of life.  The study showed that patients who were sent first to a physical therapist spent markedly less in associated costs than those who first received an MRI.  They were also at a lower risk for future health care needs.

Early Intervention with Rapid Rehab’s Spine Experts Can Save 50% in Medical Costs.  Low back pain patients who receive physical therapy immediately after experiencing pain and stick with their treatment plan spend roughly $3,000 a year in associated healthcare costs.  Think that seems costly?  Patients who delayed treatment and didn’t adhere to their plan spend roughly $6,000.

Bottom line, if you’re suffering from back pain the musculoskeletal experts at Rapid Rehab can help!  Not only can we get you back on your feet at a fraction of the cost, but we can also give you the tools to eliminate your back pain completely and with lasting results.  If you think physical therapy may be the best course of treatment for you, give us a call today at 540.636.3500 or 540.665.2750 and we’ll gladly set you up with a complimentary appointment!

Physical Therapy vs Opioids: When to Choose Physical Therapy for Pain Management

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sales of prescription opioids have quadrupled in the United States, even though “there has not been an overall change in the amount of pain that Americans report.”

In response to a growing opioid epidemic, the CDC released opioid prescription guidelines in March 2016. The guidelines recognize that prescription opioids are appropriate in certain cases, including cancer treatment, palliative care, and end-of-life care, and also in certain acute care situations, if properly dosed.

But for other pain management, the CDC recommends nonopioid approaches including physical therapy.

Patients should choose physical therapy when …

  • … Patients are concerned about the risks of opioid use.
    “Given the substantial evidence gaps on opioids, uncertain benefits of long-term use, and potential for serious harms, patient education and discussion before starting opioid therapy are critical so that patient preferences and values can be understood and used to inform clinical decisions,” the CDC states. Physical therapists can play a valuable role in the patient education process, including setting realistic expectations for recovery with or without opioids. As the CDC guidelines note, even in cases when evidence on the long-term benefits of nonopioid therapies is limited, “risks are much lower” with nonopioid treatment plans.
  • … Pain or function problems are related to low back painhipor knee osteoarthritis, or fibromyalgia.
    The CDC cited “high-quality evidence” supporting exercise as part of a physical therapy treatment plan for those familiar conditions.
  • … Opioids are prescribed for pain. 
    Even in situations when opioids are prescribed, the CDC recommends that patients should receive “the lowest effective dosage,” and opioids “should be combined” with nonopioid therapies, such as physical therapy.
  • … Pain lasts 90 days.
    At this point, the pain is considered “chronic,” and the risks for continued opioid use increase. An estimated 116 million Americans have chronic pain each year. The CDC guidelines note that nonopioid therapies are “preferred” for chronic pain and that “clinicians should consider opioid therapy only if expected benefits for both pain and function are anticipated to outweigh risks to the patient.”

Before you agree to a prescription for opioids, consult with a physical therapist to discuss options for nonopioid treatment.

Related Resources:

This article was originally published on the American Physical Therapy Association website.  Click here to view it.

This summer’s Best Athletic Training Program

 kids sports

ATHLETES: This summer’s Best Athletic Training Program will…

                  Strengthen Your Core and Power, while Improving

                  Your Balance, Agility, Speed and Confidence

 

Programs for ages 7-10 and 11-16 yrs+

 

Summer Session 1:  June 7-30

Summer Session 2:  July 5-28

 

Every Tuesday and Thursday morning from 8-10 a.m.at Rapid Rehab

 

HURRY!  Call Us Today – SESSIONS ARE FILLING FAST!

 

  $25 savings for early registration by May 30

$50 savings when registering for both sessions

For more information and registration forms, contact: 

RAPID REHAB, Front Royal Location

540-636-3500     info@rapidrehabilitation.com

A Brief History of AlterG’s NASA Technology – The Early Years

NASABy BRIAN GILLIS | Published: APRIL 22, 2015

First there was space…

This is how to run in space.

This is how you run in space.

In the 1960s, NASA started sending astronauts into space. At first, people spent only a short period of time outside the earth’s gravitational pull.

However, after the International Space Station was introduced, astronauts started extending their stay. The zero gravity environment began causing weight loss, muscle atrophy, and decreased bone density.   NASA was learning that exercising is hard when you can’t keep your feet on the ground!

To solve this problem, Dr. Robert Whalen, a NASA engineer, was tasked with developing a way for astronauts to exercise in space. He came up with a few options for NASA to consider, including a concept with a pressurized bubble that held astronauts down on a treadmill using air-pressure.

Just flip the pump!

All great ideas start in a garage!

While NASA decided to pursue one of Robert’s other ideas, his son Sean took a liking to his father’s concept of an air-pressure controlled treadmill. However, instead of adding gravity to run in space, he wanted to defy gravity to run on earth. By simply flipping the air pump, Sean created the concept for the Anti-Gravity Treadmill. While his father’s treadmill pulled the user onto the treadmill with a pressure-vacuum, Sean’s idea used air pressure to gently life the user off of the treadmill!

Sean and his father decided to make this idea a reality and went to work in their family’s garage in Palo Alto to develop the technology for what would become the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill. After many months of trial and error, Sean created the first working prototype in 2005.

Time to bring in the professionals

Alberto Salazar was the first to adopt AlterG technology with his Olympic athletes

Before the first prototype was even finished, Alberto Salazar (an Olympic runner and coach of the best runners in the world) heard about the technology and wanted to help develop it for his athletes to use. He saw the ability to unweight a runner and reduce the impact of training as an invaluable tool for any competitive long distance runner.

Alberto Salazar began using the prototype with his athletes, including 10,000m Olympic silver medalist Galen Rupp (see picture). After Salazar and his athletes got on board, local Bay Area teams like the Oakland Raiders and Golden State Warriors started using the prototype in their training rooms.

AlterG becomes AlterG

In 2007, AlterG sold its first commercial unit to the Washington Wizards. Soon after, other NBA, NFL, and universities started defying gravity, too.

While today’s Anti-Gravity Treadmills look different than the prototype, the concept behind the magic remains the same. By creating a pressurized lifting force around the lower half of the body, the “differential air pressure” can be controlled to produce a variable lifting force for someone to walk, run, and exercise with reduced and adjustable impact.

Help Available for Urinary Incontinence

Ladies and gentlemen, Don’t live with Urinary IncontinenceWe are here to help.  Call today for more information.

Given the increasing incidence of urinary incontinence in our aging population, greater attention is being paid to prevention. An easy preventive intervention would be learning proper technique of pelvic floor exercises or Kegels and performing them prior to the onset of urinary incontinence. Most patients currently perform Kegels incorrectly. All patients would benefit from confirmation of proper exercise technique by their physician or qualified pelvic floor physical therapist. Avoidance of chronic straining and maintaining a healthy weight also can reduce the risk of stress urinary incontinence.

In addition, patients with complaints of overactive bladder or urinary incontinence should be evaluated soon after the onset of the condition as patients with mild symptoms often have greater success with more conservative treatment options. Treatment of long-standing disease often involves more aggressive treatment with lower success rates.

The long-term effects of method of delivery, vaginal versus cesarean section, on urinary incontinence are currently controversial with conflicting data. It has been suggested that cesarean section protects the pelvic floor from long-term conditions including pelvic prolapse, urinary incontinence, and fecal incontinence but greater data needs to be analyzed prior to making clinical recommendations.

Call to schedule an appointment or to speak with Clinic Directors Michelle Beamer, PT, DPT, Cert MDT, ASTYM at 540 636 3500 or Sherisue Barber, PT, DPT, CLT, ASTYM at 540 665 2750.

 

Orlando Summit

Orlando2PartOrlando1 of the RR team was privileged to travel to Orlando this past month.  We were exposed to a high energy approach to new marketing opportunities which will give us innovative tools to use in promoting the many unique treatments and professional services we have to offer our community and other medical providers.  Rapid Rehab is unique in our hands on and personalized care of each patient we serve and we are excited about the many new opportunities to communicate that to the Winchester, Front Royal and surrounding areas.  Keep posted for informative newsletters, emails, letters and classes which will be offered to our communities.

Peggy Walk, Physician Liaison

 

Workshop on Running

Rapid Rehab Physical Therapists’ attended a workshop on Running!  Call us for more information!  Ask for Dr. Allison Bell or Megan King, PTA.

On April 11th the Shenandoah Valley Runner’s Club offered a running clinic featuring Dr. Mark Cucuzella, professor at WVU School of Medicine and greatly accomplished runner.  The clinic discussed nutrition for overall health, along with reversal of prediabetes and diabetes. Dr. Mark himself was diagnosed with prediabetes and gave insight to how he changed his diagnosis through better understanding of his diet and how the body processes food. A lab portion was also held outside, allowing Dr. Cucuzella to discuss running form and the importance of increasing mobility and strength with age.  Differences in running shoes and their effect on gait mechanics was discussed, as well as, the importance of being barefoot more often to help improve and adjust the proprioceptors in your feet, which in turn will reset the mechanoreceptors throughout your body. Dr. Cucuzella has been a competitive runner for over 30 years, competing at a national level. He is a two time winner of the Air Force Marathon, race director of Freedom’s Run race series in West Virginia, director of the Natural Running Center and owner of the nation’s first minimalist shoe store.running

Offering you the latest in rehabilitation technology

AlterGWe strive to be innovators in the field of physical therapy, which is why we only offer our patients the latest in rehabilitation technology. Most recently, Rapid Rehabilitation of Winchester added the Alter-G® Anti-Gravity Treadmill® to its available services. This piece of equipment uses unweighting technology to bring you down to as much as 20% of your body weight so you can run or walk without pain while you’re recovering from surgery or injury. We can also provide a complete gait analysis.

Call 540 665 2750 today to schedule your free Alter-G® demonstration.