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Road to Recovery: How Your Occupational Therapist Can Prepare You for Driving After a Stroke

Posted by on May 18, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Stroke patients are normally told that they should not drive for at least one month after suffering a stroke. Depending on the severity of the stroke, this waiting period can be much longer, in which time stroke survivors can understandably become increasingly nervous and even terrified at the prospect of driving again. Thankfully, the very same occupational therapist who aids and assesses your mobility at home can also assess the same of your physical and neurological ability to drive again. Returning to the wheel is crucial to the independence of many stroke patients and your OT will gladly support you in making this happen through regular physiotherapy. Read on to see how your occupational therapist can help prepare you for driving after a stroke. Combat your fatigue Driving requires you to be alert and focused, and one of the first major obstacles following a stroke is overcoming a great sense of fatigue. This fatigue can manifest itself in both a physical and mental tiredness, which is why your occupational therapist will advise a balance of exercise and regular resting periods to help reduce fatigue and conserve your energy. Post-stroke fatigue can occur even when little or no energy is expended, so it is important that you don’t push yourself too much. Your physical therapist will suggest that some days of the week be devoted to being active i.e. short walks or gentle indoor exercises such as yoga. Other days meanwhile, can simply involve practicing cognitive exercises that work to combat your mental fatigue such as crossword puzzles, brain teasers and even playing board games with family and friends. Your OT may also advise that you take things easier in your day to day life by practicing coping strategies for your fatigue at home. Making these steps a part of your daily pattern will help to improve alertness and physical strength – skills which will greatly benefit you once back in the driver’s seat. Exercise your memory and cognitive abilities Your cognitive abilities allow you to multitask when driving, and these abilities can be made weaker following a stroke. Fortunately, your occupational therapist can support you in strengthening clarity and memory with a number of exercises and problem solving tasks. As driving relies heavily on your motor skills and particularly your fine motor skills, mastering hand dexterity exercises will be crucial in determining your ability to drive again. Your physical therapist may assess your efficiency in feeding yourself, for example, or how well you can manipulate small objects such as a pen. Learning to move your fingers, hands and limbs in a coordinated manner again can gradually help your brain re-wire itself and re-learn the driver instincts you can lose following a stroke. As part of your recovery, your physical therapist may also assist you in daily tasks such as cleaning, preparing food and paying bills – these all involve reasoning and problem solving and by combining this with the aforementioned exercises, your OT can aid you in returning to a normal daily routine. Once your OT has made you feel confident about your cognitive abilities in a familiar home setting, you will come to feel comfortable about putting these into practice in the more complex arena of driving and in many other normal aspects of your life. Road test...

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How to get the most out of physiotherapy for knee problems

Posted by on Apr 25, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Knee problems are quite common injuries that affect both young and old people. Knee injuries can be highly limiting as they make it harder to move. They can also be rather difficult to find relief for, as they are complicated to perform surgery on. One way to relieve knee pain without having to undergo surgery is by physiotherapy. Physiotherapy can help relieve the pain as well as help with curing the injury itself. In order to get the most out of your physiotherapy, there are a few things you can think about. The right gear As you go see a physiotherapist to get help for your knee problems, it’s important that you show up wearing the right gear. All clothes should be loose fitting and comfortable to move around with. You should also bring any tools you might use for your knee, such as kneepads, in case your knee is sore after the physiotherapy. The most important thing to bring, however, is well fitting shoes. Wear a sturdy pair of running or walking shoes that you’ve worn enough to not get blisters from. They should be supportive but still offer suspension as you put your foot down. This will help ensure that your feet are properly aligned as you do your physiotherapy exercises. Strengthening other muscles When you start doing physiotherapy, it’s also important to remember that the whole body is connected. If you strengthen other muscles in your body, your knee will benefit from it. Core strength is important for your entire body, as it benefits your balance and makes it easier to control your movements. It is also important to work your hips and your butt to help relieve knee pain. If you can support yourself on your rear and hip muscles, you won’t have to put as much strain on your knees. Exercising these muscle groups a couple of times per week can improve the results you get from your physiotherapy. Losing weight Another thing you should think about to get the most out of your physiotherapy is losing weight. Being overweight has a negative effect on your knees. Fat reduces the effectiveness of the muscles, and weighing too much can also put a lot of unnecessary strain on your knees. If you are overweight, losing some weight while also doing physiotherapy can make it more effective, as you’re not constantly putting more strain on your knees. Doing physiotherapy while still being overweight might still help with the pain, but you’re also going to risk that the pain will return after you’re done with the...

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How To Curb The Soreness Associated With Wearing Of Braces

Posted by on Apr 5, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Misaligned teeth can deny you happiness and lower your self-esteem. The good thing is that teeth misalignment is not considered a disease in the medical field, nor is it incurable. It is just a condition, and it can be corrected using different methods including the use of braces. When braces are applied, there is usually little or no pain felt by the patient. But three days after treatment, you may begin to feel some sort of discomfort in your teeth. This is pinned down to the fact that your teeth have started to realign. The adjustments together with the pressure applied by the wires generate soreness around the teeth. Here are ways in which you can deal with the soreness: 1. Use Salt And Warm Water A simple mixture of salt and warm water can reduce the pain and soreness generated by the braces. To come up with an effective solution, mix 8 ounces of warm water with one teaspoonful of salt. Then rinse your mouth vigorously with the solution whenever you are feeling pain. 2. Clip The Protruding Wire There are occasions where the discomfort is caused by a protruding wire. If that is the case, do not fret. Instead, use the back of a spoon or any other blunt instrument to push the wire so that it can lie flat against your teeth. If that seems too hard of a task, then clip the sharp edges of the protruding wire using a clean nail clipper that has been sterilized in alcohol. The aim is to get it out of the way so that it can stop causing you the pain. Sometimes, you may feel like the wire is getting longer at the back of the braces. This is because the spaces between your teeth are being closed as the teeth continue to align. In this situation, you may experience some form of soreness when the wire comes into contact with your mouth tissues. You can deal with the discomfort caused by the wire by using the orthodontic wax that is usually provided during treatment. Roll up some of the wax into a small ball and place it into the poking wire. In addition to soothing the area, the wax will ensure that your mouth tissues will not get caught by the wire. You can also use some over-the-counter medications to reduce the pain. Some of them include ibuprofen and acetaminophen. These medications will also get rid of the headaches that accompany the...

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Is Hypnotherapy Right for You? Here’s What You Need to Know

Posted by on Mar 21, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Many people’s idea of hypnosis is limited to the entertainment aspect of the process. Perhaps you’ve even seen a stage show where participants are hypnotised into impersonating an animal or a celebrity. This is merely one part of the general concept of hypnosis and is very different to clinical hypnosis for a particular condition. Hypnotherapy can be extremely helpful when it comes to treating some conditions, but is it right for you? And how easy is the process? Which Conditions Can Be Treated with Hypnotherapy? Hypnotherapy is generally used to treat anxiety, addictive behaviour, depression, and a variety of phobias and habitual disorders. Deciding whether hypnotherapy is right for you begins by having a conversation with your doctor. How Can You Obtain a Referral for Hypnotherapy? Your doctor can easily refer you to a range of different types of psychological treatment under clause 2710 of the Better Outcomes in Mental Health Care scheme. This referral includes the possibility of hypnotherapy and allows for a Medicare rebate. Your doctor will be able to suggest the idea if they feel that hypnotherapy will be helpful for you. Of course, you can also raise the possibility yourself and discuss it with your doctor. A referral is not actually necessary, but it’s a good idea in order to obtain the rebate. It’s also wise so that your doctor remains involved in all aspects of your treatment. Is the Process Anything Like Stage Hypnosis? Remember that hypnotherapy is vastly different to a stage hypnosis performance, where entertainment is the name of the game. It’s a (generally) one-on-one process in a safe, private environment. Can Anyone Be Hypnotised? Not everyone can be so easily hypnotised, but even those who are resistant are more likely to be hypnotised in the safe environment of a clinical office. Studies have shown that those who are more prone to quick decision making and judgements are less easily hypnotised. This might make it necessary for the hypnotherapist to try a different approach for the session to be effective. Can You Bring a Friend or Family Member? If you are concerned about the possibility of being hypnotised, you might wish to bring a trusted friend or family member. You can discuss this with the hypnotherapist prior to your first appointment. Please remember that you will possibly be elaborating on certain sensitive events during the session, and so the friend or family member will then become aware of this information if they weren’t already. You need to choose someone to accompany you accordingly. There’s no set limit as to how many hypnotherapy sessions will be needed, as is the case with almost any type of psychological consultation. You might find it to be extremely helpful, but you won’t know unless you consider the possibility. But remember, it should all start with a conversation with your...

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Treatment Options for Tooth Abscesses

Posted by on Feb 26, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Tooth abscesses develop when bacteria makes its way into the tooth’s dental pulp. The pulp is soft tissue that comprises nerves and blood vessels that keep your tooth alive. When you acquire a chip or crack to your tooth, this creates an entryway for the bacteria. Left unattended, the bacteria can spread to the tooth’s root and even start eating away at your jawbone. Some of the symptoms associated with tooth abscesses include a bitter taste in your mouth, chronic pain, bad breath, swollen gums, swollen lymph nodes, headaches and more. If you have a tooth abscess, it is prudent to visit a dental hospital to ensure that the infection does not spread. Here are some of the treatment options that are prescribed for tooth abscesses. Treatment through antibiotics If the dentist performs an X-ray and finds a tooth abscess, yet there are no visible chips or cracks in your teeth, then they will opt to treat it using antibiotics. This is because the abscess may not be extensive enough to warrant invasive dental procedures. The commonly used antibiotic for this is penicillin. The antibiotic treatment works toward alleviating the symptoms associated with the abscess as well as eradicating the infection. Treatment through cavity filling If the tooth abscess is limited to one tooth, the dentist will opt for cavity filling. The process will start off by draining of the abscess to eliminate any pus that may have accumulated in the tooth. Once the pus has been drained, the dentist will clean the affected tooth to eliminate all traces of the bacteria so as to prevent it from spreading. After cleaning, the dentist will conclude by filling the cavity thus eliminating any additional access into the tooth. Treatment through root canal therapy In the event that the abscess spreads down to the root of your tooth, your dentist will have to opt for root canal therapy. This treatment procedure works toward eliminating all the diseased pulp as well as affected root tissue to ensure that the infection does not spread into the jawbone. It should be noted that root canal therapy can only be carried out if a sufficient amount of the structure of the tooth is can be saved. Treatment through tooth extraction If the abscess has compromised most of the tooth, then the dentist may have to opt for complete extraction. Once the affected tooth has been removed, the dentist will carry out a procedure known as curettage. This involves the scooping out of all the soft tissue infected by the abscess. The extraction is concluded by a thorough cleaning of the area to prevent a reoccurrence of the...

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Some of the Most Commonly Asked Questions About Australia’s Bulk Billing

Posted by on Feb 16, 2016 in Uncategorized |

A bulk billing medical center is one that accepts a payment from Medicare for your treatments. Your treatments are services are then considered paid in full. If you’ve been referred to a bulk billing medical center or have heard about bulk billing, you may have some questions about how this arrangement works. Note a few of these common questions here, and then discuss these with your doctor or Medicare representative if you still need more information.   1. Does every doctor bulk bill? Whether or not to participate in the bulk billing system is at the discretion of the physician or medical center. They are not obligated to use bulk billing as payment for their treatments or services even if they accept Medicare. This is why it’s good to always call in advance before you visit a new doctor or medical center if you have Medicare, so you can know if they do accept bulk billing. 2. Are there forms to sign if a medical center does accept bulk billing? A doctor or medical center that uses bulk billing will handle all the billing for your services through Medicare. However, you will still need to sign certain forms at a medical center, including a form about bulk billing. This is done so you know how the bulk billing works and agree that you are eligible. This form should not be a bill but it may also include a statement of services and treatments you received. 3. Are there specialists who participate in bulk billing? Medicare in Australia does cover the cost of certain specialists, including optometrists. However, whether or not a specialist accepts bulk billing is, as mentioned above, up to them. Don’t assume that bulk billing is only for your everyday family doctor as even your optometrist may bulk bill, but again, check with any doctor before making an appointment. 4. How is Medicare different than bulk billing? Bulk billing is part of Medicare; the two are not actually different than each other. When bulk billing is employed, the doctor doesn’t charge you any additional fees for your services, and this includes administrative fees, fees for medicines and bandages, and the like. While bulk billing is part of the Medicare system, it simply eliminates the patient from the billing process. It is not a type of additional Medicare coverage or another form of insurance, but simply a different way for doctors to bill...

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Why You Should Consider Hiring a Funeral Director

Posted by on Jan 25, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Death may not be so bad after all. Well, that goes for the funeral directors, who are otherwise known as undertakers or morticians. For you, the experience of losing a loved one to the harsh jaws of the reaper is just inexpressible. Limitless crying, hugging, fake smiles, and long gazes, among others are all a part of this heart breaking process. Carrying out a funeral on your own could sometimes be very difficult. That’s why you should consider hiring yourself a mortician (such as one from Tony Hollands Funerals). Below are a few irreplaceable benefits they would bring along.   Body embalming In case you have never handled a funeral, embalming is the act of preserving a dead body using special spices and preservatives. Sometimes, the deceased may have undergone a tragic cause of death, and their body may have been completely disfigured. When this happens, it has to be restored and manipulated to assume that ‘just-sleeping’ position. This process can be involving and practically impossible to do on your own relative or friend. It is simply horrific and only a mortician can do this for you. Great reference point Funeral directors have connections to most individuals concerned with funerals. With them, you do not have to worry about searching for clergy services, newspaper contacts, and insurance. They not only make communication easier for you, but also save you the time and hassle of moving up and about. With you till the end Apart from planning the funeral, the mortician can also be a comfort partner. Equipped with the right words and plenty of hugs, your funeral director is obliged to ensure a smooth burial ceremony and somehow set you on track for a smooth recovery. In addition, they don’t just leave when the body is now six feet under. They may escort you home and even link you with good counsellors to aid you during the healing process. Sensible stress relievers Just imagine a wedding without a wedding planner. The stress the couple usually goes through is just unhealthy. Who will send the invitations, is the décor right, are the seats fine, where will the casket be? All questions to be answered in planning pretty much any ceremony. In sad situations like funerals, it is only logical to find someone to relieve you of this burden so you can get more time to grieve properly. That someone is a funeral director, since their services aim at alleviating such...

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When Adults Need to Get an Exam for New Prescription Glasses

Posted by on Jan 11, 2016 in Uncategorized |

New prescription glasses can be needed for adults of any age; certain risk factors can make it even more important to get your eyes checked for new glasses, which is why adults should never put off getting an eye exam when they know they may need it. If you’re not sure if you need new glasses or to replace a pair you have, you should discuss this with your doctor, but note a few considerations to keep in mind as well. This can give you some clues as to when it’s time for a new exam. 1. As you age While adults can need glasses at any age, it is true that your eyesight can diminish simply because you’re getting older. Once you’re over fifty, and especially as you reach your sixties, you want to have a regular annual eye exam even if you don’t suspect that you need new glasses. As with getting your heart, your lungs, your blood pressure and everything else checked as you get older, you should have your eyes checked regularly as you get older. 2. Risk factors There are health conditions that put you at additional risk for having problems with your eyesight. These include diabetes, a family history of eye diseases such as glaucoma, high blood pressure, and any previous eye condition or surgery. If you have any of these increased risk factors, have your eyes checked annually, if not twice a year. 3. Work related problems When you have work related problems or risk factors for eyesight problems, you want to have your eyes examined regularly. These problems and risks can include working in a dusty environment or area where such things can get into the eyes and damage them. Having to constantly focus on things that are somewhat difficult to see can also cause eyestrain and damage to the eyes; if you work on a computer for several hours, are an artist and need to focus on the canvas, work as a photographer, or otherwise put stress on the eyes, you want to have your eyes checked often since they could suffer more wear and strain. 4. When things get dark If you have a hard time focusing especially at night, it’s usually time to have an eye exam. Your eyes may not be getting enough light to focus, and in turn, things may seem a bit dim and dark. This can cause a hazard, especially if you drive at night, so have your eyes examined for new glasses as soon you notice this problem. For more information about prescription glasses and whether you need new ones, contact a local eye...

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Managing Lower Back Pain While on Holidays in Asia

Posted by on Dec 17, 2015 in Uncategorized |

When you are at home, it’s easier to manage your lower back pain with a collection of devices such as ergonomic chairs and mattresses together with a roster of medical professionals on call. However sometimes for the sake of family togetherness you might find yourself on the road. Here are some tips to help you make it through your holiday with minimal lower back pain. Consult with your medical team Before you head off, be sure to discuss your holiday itinerary with the people who usually help you manage your lower back pain, including chiropractors, GPs and physiotherapist. They can give you advice on how to manage long transit periods as well as exercise that you can do in confined spaces if you find yourself delayed unexpectedly. They can also often help with modifying any pain medications you currently take to deal with extra challenging situations. Bring your own support Many Australians, whether or not they usually suffer from lower back pain, find the hard mattresses that are common in South East Asia challenging on the back. Consider asking your hotel if they have  ‘western’ style mattresses, which are usually softer and more supportive.  While you may not be able to bring your comfortable bed from home, you can bring support devices such as vacuum sealed single person pillow tops to help soften bedding and cushions and backrests to make transit periods more comfortable. It can also be worth bringing your normal physio-gel or massage oils so that you can do some self massage and relieve any pain you do feel. It can also help to bring normal shoes (and orthotic supports if you use them), as retreating to non supportive shoes such as thongs can put extra stress on the back while you are on holidays. Manage your itinerary Even if your family decides that they are interested in trekking through the jungle, be sure to manage your time around your pain. Often extra rest periods and time in the water can make a huge difference in the amount of lower back pain you feel. It can also be worth scheduling in regular massages, even if these are not done by professional chiropractors or physiotherapists. This can help you manage the pain in the short term until you get home. Lower back pain can get in the way of many activities, but it doesn’t need to stop you having a great family holiday in...

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The Most Commonly Asked Questions About Sports Injuries and Their Treatment

Posted by on Dec 1, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Sports injuries are not uncommon in those who are physically active on a regular basis, even if you do everything you think you can do to protect yourself. Most injuries are relatively minor but some can be very serious and keep you from participating in your game and even have long-term consequences. Note a few commonly asked questions about sports injuries treatments and be sure you talk to your doctor about any injuries you think you have. 1. Will stretching help me prevent injury? Stretching the muscles can open them up for more oxygen and blood flow, and this in turn can keep them supple and less likely to get stressed or strained while you’re active. However, how you stretch and when you stretch are important considerations. If you try to bend and stretch deeply when your muscles have been inactive all day, you may actually pull a muscle or put stress on it just from stretching! Your muscles need blood and oxygen in them before stretching, so doing a light warm-up before you stretch can be better. This can mean a simple marching in place exercise as well as gently swinging your arms. These movements will get the blood flowing and prepare your muscles for stretching. 2. If I’m injured playing sports, will I notice it right away? It’s common to assume that if you’ve suffered an injury then you will feel it right away. However, chronic injuries are those that take time to develop and are caused by repetitive stress, strain, or other wear and tear on certain areas of the body. These injuries can get worse with repeated activity. This is why it’s important to never overlook certain symptoms of injury even if you feel you can still play or jog or do whatever it is you love to do. That small pain in your knee or elbow can be a chronic condition that is gradually getting worse, so have it checked out rather than assuming it will just go away on its own. 3. Can medications treat injuries? Only your doctor can tell you if you should be taking medications for your injury and how to best treat it, but remember that you don’t want to take painkillers just to be able to keep playing and in turn, make your injury worse. If you find that you rely on medications or painkillers for your injuries too often, talk to your doctor so you know you’re actually treating the injury and healing, not just numbing the...

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Advice on wearing contact lenses

Posted by on Nov 4, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Contact lenses are a safe, convenient and effective method of obtaining quality vision. More and more people use contact lenses instead of glasses, preferring the aesthetic benefits as well as the convenience factor. The lenses themselves have become better through the years and are now made of top quality materials. You also have many customizable options when it comes to choosing contact lenses. While lenses are much safer today than they used to be, there are still precautions that you need to take. If they are not properly maintained, problems and injuries can occur. These problems include red eyes, sensitivity to light, blurred vision and watery eyes. The most commonly recommended method of resolving these issues is to stop using lenses for a period of time. If there is no improvement in symptoms, further action may need to be taken. In order to prevent these problems from occurring in the first place, use some of these tips to keep your eye and contact lenses in top condition. Massage your eyes daily and keep your eyelids clean A lot of people have eyelids that have clogged glands and have crusting around the lashes. This can cause problems for your eyes when you rub them. To clean this residue, simply get some warm water and use your fingers to wipe your eyelids. This will help to open up clogged glands and clean the lashes. These actions will also increase comfort when wearing contact lenses. Wipe your lenses nightly Every night before going to bed, you should rub your lenses for a few seconds when you have removed them. This prevents bacteria from building up when they are stored through the night and ensures that they are ready for use the following morning. It will also keep the lenses from drying out and minimise the incidences of allergic reactions. Don’t store your contact lenses in water The majority of water will have some form of germs in it. There are microbes such as amoebas that may attach to the lenses and subsequently latch onto your cornea. Always make sure to replace the solution daily and never top it off or mix with old solution. This could cause serious problems such as corneal ulcers down the road. Don’t wear lenses for an extended period of time You should always check with your optometrist as to the life length of your contact lenses. While you should remove them daily, before going to bed, you should also give them a good cleaning regularly with a multipurpose solution. For more information and care tips, contact a local eye clinic like John Mountford...

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