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We’re sharing two studies done specifically aimed at arthritis pain relief and the addition of topical analgesics like Biofreeze to help.

Study 1: Hand arthritis pain relief

Massage therapy has been a long sought-after method of pain relief for people suffering from arthritis pain. The authors of this study set out to determine whether applying a topical analgesic (Biofreeze) following massage could be more effective than massage alone in treating pain associated with hand arthritis.

Twenty adults were randomly assigned to either a massage therapy only or a massage therapy plus Biofreeze gel. Regardless of group, each participant received a weekly massage and were instructed how to properly administer a self-massage (same procedure) to be done once daily over four weeks. The massage protocol was as follows:

Field2014

After the four-week experimental period in subjects with hand arthritis, it was shown that the massage plus Biofreeze resulted in:

  • Greater improvement in hand function
  • Greater increase in perceived grip strength
  • Greater decrease in hand pain, depressed mood and sleep disturbances

 

Study 2: Knee osteoarthritis pain relief

Osteoarthritis of the knee is commonly associated with reduced joint function and inevitable pain. The purpose of this study was to compare the ability to complete functional tasks and knee pain while completing functional tasks among patients with knee osteoarthritis after topical application of either Biofreeze or a placebo gel.

Twenty individuals with knee osteoarthritis volunteered to complete two data collection visits one week apart. Subjects underwent:

  • 6-Minute Walk
  • Timed Get Up and Go
  • 30-second timed chair stand
  • Time to ascend a flight of stairs
  • Time to descend a flight of stairs

Immediately after each task, subjects reported their knee pain. Pain and functioning were measured when the patients first arrived at the clinic, then after the application of either Biofreeze or a placebo gel to the arthritic knee.

Biofreeze significantly decreased pain in 4 of 5 functional tasks:

  • Timed Get Up and Go
  • 30-second timed chair stand
  • Stair ascension
  • Stair descent

… whereas the placebo did not reduce pain in any of the functional tasks.

Applying Biofreeze to the arthritic knee also resulted in improved performance in 3 out of 5 functional tasks:

  • 6-Minute Walk
  • 30-second timed chair stand
  • Stair descent

… whereas the placebo only improved stair descent scores.

While, overall, the researchers found no significant differences between the Biofreeze and placebo groups in terms of pain or performance, the authors concluded “using topical menthol to compliment standard pharmacological treatment of knee osteoarthritis may contribute to enhanced pain relief and improve functional ability, particularly during pain-evoking activities.”

The moral of the story: enlist Biofreeze into your “arthritis army” to combat pain more effectively!

 

Sources:

Field T, et al. 2014. Massage therapy plus topical analgesic is more effective than massage alone for hand arthritis pain J Bodywork Movement Therapies18:322-325

Topp R, et al. 2013. The Effect of Either Topical Menthol or a Placebo on Functioning and Knee Pain Among Patients With Knee OA J Geriatric Phys Ther36(2):92-9.

 

 

Edema (the technical word for swelling) is common after an ankle or knee sprain, after an operation such as joint replacement, or after breast cancer surgery as ‘lymphedema.’ While swelling and excess fluid can be a sensitive condition to treat, we’re making it easier by showing you how using TheraBand Kinesiology Tape can help reduce this swelling and drain the fluid trapped in the body’s tissues.

Edema Reduction Kinesiology Taping

 

Edema reduction kinesiology taping

Not only is the use of kinesiology tape recommended to treat edema; it’s proven. In a 2009 study involving patients subjected to lower limb lengthening using the Ilizarov method who had developed edema of the thigh of the lengthened extremity found that the application of kinesiology taping in the study group produced a significantly faster reduction of the edema compared to standard lymphatic massage.

 

Later, a 2014 study found that pairing kinesiology taping with Complex Decongestive Therapy may have a better effect on decreasing lymphedema which can stimulate the reduction of edema for long term effects.

Follow along with tape master Dr. Greg Doerr to learn kinesiology tape techniques to reduce swelling!

This specific edema reduction kinesiology taping is shown for the ankle and lower leg, but this method can be used on other parts of the body as well.

 

 

 

https://dme.co.nz/kinesio-tape-2

 

 

Stop right where you are: How is your posture? Are you slumped over your computer or phone? Odds are, you’re in need for some posture exercises. Prolonged poor posture can lead to neck and shoulder pain.

posture exercises techniques
 
 

A study published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation evaluating the effects of commonly used shoulder exercises on shoulder motion and resting posture in 20 subjects with forward shoulder posture found that a home exercise program of pectoral muscle stretching and scapular & shoulder muscle strengthening using TheraBand elastic resistance can improve shoulder strength, scapular motion, and posture. According to the authors, this approach may improve muscular imbalances and scapular mechanics, thus preventing or treating shoulder impingement.

Exercises in the TheraBand posture exercise protocol included:

  • Corner Stretching (10 x 10 seconds; increased five reps every two weeks)
  • TheraBand resistive exercises (1×10; add five repetitions every two weeks)
    • Scapular retraction
    • Shoulder shrug
    • Shoulder abduction
    • Bilateral shoulder external rotation

 

Postural Correction Exercises

Created By: The Academy

Description:
This exercise routine can help improve posture and alleviate neck and back pain. 

 

TheraBand CLX Scapular Retraction

 
TheraBand CLX Scapular Retraction
Instructions:
Attach the end loops of your CLX securely to your CLX Door Anchor at chest height. Begin with your body diagnolly facing the anchor point. Place your upper arm into the CLX so that the CLX is anchored just below your shoulder.Adjust your standing point to create the appropriate resistance. Pull the CLX downward and back moving only your shoulder blade.Do not rotate your trunk or hips.Hold briefly and slowly return to start position.As a more challenging exercise, add a small step backward once you have your shoulder pulled down. Then complete the exercise as normal.
 

TheraBand CLX Shrug

 
TheraBand CLX Shoulder Shrug
Instructions:
Stand on the middle of the band and grasp both ends of the CLX by your side, taking up the slack. Keep your elbows straight and lift upward. Hold and slowly return. TIP: Avoid bending your elbows to complete the motion.
 

TheraBand CLX Shoulder Abduction (Bilateral)

 
TheraBand CLX Shoulder Abduction (Bilateral)
 
 

CLX Shoulder External Rotation - Bilateral

CLX Shoulder External Rotation - Bilateral
 
Instructions:
Begin by placing both hands into an Easy Grip Loop one seal apart.With you hands in front of you and arms bent at 90° begin to move your hands away from the mid-line which will create the rotational movement in your shoulders. Be sure to keep your elbow at 90° anchored to your side and perform within a comfortable range of motion.
 
 
 
Check out our range of Theraband
 
 

Roho Research Collaborative

 

Read the full article here:    Roho Research Collaborative

 

 

 

 

Our body posture changes and we reposition frequently throughout the day, depending on our comfort levels or the task we are performing.

If you have a physical disability you may either find it difficult or be unable to change your body posture or position independently. If you use a wheelchair, often the ability to move in and out of a variety of postures while you are sitting is lacking, because of muscle weakness, muscle spasticity, paralysis, poor coordination or balance. As a result of this, you may sit in static, habitual, often asymmetrical postures which can negatively impact on your health, comfort, and ability to function.

Proper positioning has long been recognized as an important consideration when evaluating and recommending seating systems for wheelchairs. However, clinicians are beginning to realize the importance of looking at a person’s posture throughout their 24- hour day.

24 hour positioning  looks at all of the different positions and supportive equipment that a person uses throughout their 24 hour day, and tries to optimize postural alignment as much as possible in all environments, including during sleeping.

An evaluation of your positioning will look at how you are positioned in your wheelchair, in bed and during the daytime when you are out of your chair.  Often during a 24 hours the least time is spent in a wheelchair which has the most postural support.  It is important to look at what postures are happening when not in the wheelchair and whether these are damaging/destructive to proper alignment.

Sleep Positioning is the specific therapeutic positioning of a person’s body during sleep.


Sleep Positioning has three main goals:


• To improve the quality and duration of sleep
• To promote health and maintain safety during sleep
• To prevent or lessen the development of orthopedic deformities

24-Hour-Positioning

 

 

Over 257,000 New Zealander’s are now officially diagnosed with diabetes according to the Virtual Diabetes Register figures recently released by the Ministry of Health.  This makes diabetes one of New Zealand’s largest and fastest growing health issue.  There are still an estimated one in four New Zealander’s who are thought to have pre-diabetes.

Those with diabetes are also at risk of serious health complications such as; heart attack, stroke, kidney and nerve damage and even blindness and no one is immune to diabetes, it can strike at any time, any age, any one. 

This year, World Diabetes Day falls on November 14 and Diabetes NZ is planning “Diabetes Action Month” a publicity driven campaign that involves nationwide activity throughout November 2015.   The two central themes are ‘everyone is at risk of developing diabetes’ and ‘physical activity and healthy food choices can help prevent or delay type 2 and manage type 1’.  Research shows the benefits of 30 minutes a day of physical activity can help people maintain their weight, lower possible heart disease risk and help control blood sugar levels in diabetics along with controlling high blood pressure.

Check out what is happening in your area during Action Month.

 

Diabetes

Safety is the utmost concern while you are on the road. As arthritis may affect your usual way of driving, you have to be more cautious and avoiding driving too fast. This is to ensure that you can have more time to react to the changing traffic conditions. Below are some considerations and pointers to help driving with arthritis smoothly and safely:

  1. Forgo driving in unfavorable weather conditions such as heavy rain or snow
  2. Choose not to drive on days when experiencing pain and accept ride offers from family or friends. Opt for public transportation where the destination is just a few blocks away from your house.
  3. Exercise caution when making left and right hand turns. Though not a symptom of arthritis, vision aspects are impaired by limited joint mobility in older people. At times, lack of depth perception can also causes accidents from surprise elements because of the slower reactions to these elements. Some of these elements include sudden appearance of other cars, unexpected changing traffic lights or kids on bikes.
  4. Do not rely on only the rear view mirror when changing lanes. Signal your intention early and turn your head to look for traffic approaching from behind or along the side.
  5. In parking buildings, try to find a spot where the vehicle can be parked and start off easily. (Try not to park in small and cramped car parks or on slopes). If walking is not a problem, try to park further away from your destination which is crowded, so that there are fewer pedestrians and cars to worry about when departing.
  6. Drive slowly in a parking building. Stop at every intersection using the appropriate common sense whether a stop sign is posted or not. Watch for drivers going through the parking building instead of up and down the lanes.
  7. Do not drive and use any electronic devices (especially mobile phone) at the same time. This can affect your concentration and failed to react to sudden or unexpected events.
  8. Try to avoid driving in the night as it reduces your visibility especially on raining days. Besides, damp weather causes your joints to be more painful and may ‘miss’ the brake when you need it. If possible, put off the errand to the following or other days. Otherwise, ask for a ride from your relative or friend.

Though driving with arthritis is not easy, it is still possible by introducing changes to your car and the routine of driving. By acknowledging your limitations, practicing road safety awareness and starting off early, you are more likely to feel relaxed and enjoyed your journey. Remember, it is your choice that determines your driving experience a great pleasure or just pain, stress and frustrations.

 

The Kid Walk is an innovative paediatric dynamic mobility system that affords freedom of exploration while safely supporting the user. Unlike a gait trainer, the Kid Walk has a large mid-wheel configuration that encourages upper-body rotation over the pelvis while allowing upper-extremity freedom. The dynamic action allows lateral weight shift and simulates a natural gait pattern. Kid Walk positioning options provide various levels of support to accommodate maximum freedom in upper extremity movement.

The various wheel configuration and small turning radius allows exceptional manoeuvrability. This is key in affording a child access not only to their home and school environments, but,... encourages exploration that has been proven to enhance their cognitive and social development.

Tool-free adjustability is quick exact and easy making Kid Walk ideal for schools and institutions. Easy to use, one hand height
adjustment mechanism allows quick positive adjustments while the child is in the unit. All positioning options swing away to allow easy placement and positioning of user.

Allows therapeutic adjustment for use in ambulation and therapy oriented activities. Seat and support system move with the client allowing the natural movement of the body while reducing weight and fatigue.

https://dme.co.nz/kidwalk

 

 https://dme.co.nz/kidwalk

Tremors can affect those living with Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Strokes and Traumatic Brain Injuries.  Some tremors are slight and have little impact on day-to-day living. But others are more pronounced, and can affect every day activities, such as eating, dressing, shaving, writing etc.

Living with a persistent tremor can be difficult and it can also be exhausting, as these continuous movements use energy in the same way as voluntary actions do. Severe tremor’s can have a significant impact on your independence.

Here are some simple tips and some equipment that can help you with everyday tasks.

Dressing
to make dressing easier avoid clothes with buttons or fiddly zips.

Make up
If your tremor makes applying mascara too difficult consider an eyelash tint.

Kitchen
Boil veges in a wire basket so you don’t have to lift a heavy pan full of hot water.
Use a food preparation board to hold food steady.
Use pre-chopped or frozen vege to reduce the amount of food preparation.
Use a “perching Stool” so you can sit/perch rather than stand to do daily tasks.

Eating /Drinking
If your tremor affects holding or reaching swap spaghetti or soup for a sandwich which may be easier to manage.
Use an independent feeding aid such as the “Neater Eater”.
Use a two handed or weighted cup.
Use weighted cutlery.
If you find it difficult to hold a drink without spilling it consider using a straw so you don’t have to lift it.

Computer
Consider using voice recognition technology if typing is difficult.
You can also get a reduced sensitivity mouse.

Writing
Use a weighted pen (fatigue can be an issue though).

Dynamic Movement Orthosis
Utilising a custom made lycra orthoses can help stabilise and control movement.

Remember to talk to your healthcare professionals, your Occupational Therapist and Physiotherapist will be able to assist you with many more helpful tips and suggestions to make living with tremor more manageable.

The shoulder is the most common site of pain reported by the wheelchair population. More than half of all people with weight bearing shoulder  develop shoulder pain. 

The length of weight bearing and wheelchair use correlates with the development of shoulder pain (that is, the longer you have been using a wheelchair the more likely you are to develop pain).

Weight bearing shoulders are more prone to injury as a result of:

  1.        the repetitive nature of wheelchair propulsion
  2.        the high-strength requirements placed on the shoulder muscles
  3.        loading of the joints at extremes of motion
  4.        muscular weakness or imbalance
  5.        high internal joint forces and abnormal stresses applied to the subacromial area during weight bearing through the shoulder, wheelchair propulsion and transfers.

 

57-65% of manual wheelchair users have Rotator Cuff Tears  as shown on MRI

Up to 75% of wheelchair users have radiographic changes in the shoulder joint

30-75% of wheelchair users develop upper extremity pain at some time

 

 

You can decrease your risk for injury by ensuring  you reduce the amount of loading or resistance to the stroke for wheelchair propulsion. One simple way is to minimize the weight that has to be overcome with each stroke. With regard to the wheelchair, simply choose the lightest chair possible.

 

Other considerations in the weight of the wheelchair are the accessories and seating. There are many different considerations with regard to this. Keep in mind that the lightest option may not be the most appropriate due to other factors, such as capability and transportation issues.

 

Some easy ways to keep the weight of the mobility system down is to use spoked wheels rather than Mag wheels, and use a rigid frame rather than a folding frame. Rigid frames are lighter because they do not have the cross frame and hardware utilized by folding chairs. (The one consideration is transportation – how will you transport your chair in the car/van.)  You may want to consider a power assist wheel or other power assistance device to reduce the amount of wear and tear on the shoulder joint.

 

DO use  a cushion. Most wheelchair users may have a higher risk for skin breakdown due to lack of sensation or ineffective pressure relief if they are a higher level of injury without full use of the triceps. Choose the lightest cushion that provides the right level of skin protection for you.

 

The wheelchair setup will influence the propulsion technique and ultimately the amount of resistance or reactive force/stress that is translated back to the shoulder joint.

 

The more rearward the seat position is in relation to the wheel, the less rolling resistance and the more efficiency with propulsion the wheelchair will have. A more rearward seat positioning will promote a long and smooth stroke that limits high forces and the rate of loading on the pushrim that you will see with a short and abrupt “pumping”-style stroke. This is, of course, true only if the wheelchair user has adequate range of motion in his or her shoulder joint.

 

 A rearward seat position basically has less drag because you are not loading the front casters as much, therefore not allowing a “ploughing” effect. The tradeoff is stability. The more rearward the seat position is, the less stable the wheelchair will be and the more likely it will tip backward.

 

For experienced users with a very low level of injury, this is not typically a problem; however, more inexperienced users or those with a higher level of injury may not have the seat set back as much or may need to use anti tippers.

 

Muscle imbalances. Most rotator cuff injuries are due to muscle imbalances of the shoulder. Shoulder strength and muscle length/range-of-motion imbalance can cause impingement of the soft-tissue structures of the acromiohumeral space.

 

Wheelchair users are even more susceptible to muscle imbalances. Nearly every motion and all repetitive motions are anterior, working such areas as the pecs, shoulder internal rotators, and anterior deltoid. These anterior muscles become tight and shortened, while the upper back muscles become weak and elongated. You can see these imbalances in the postures of chronic wheelchair users. A typical posture is rounded shoulders with mild thoracic kyphosis and forward head. This posture is even more accentuated by a non supportive wheelchair back that is stretched out, accommodating this poor posture.

 

 It is important that we stretch the anterior musculature while strengthening the upper back, posterior shoulder, and scapular muscles.   Check out http://www.thera-bandacademy.com/exercise/ for specific Rotator Cuff exercises.

Preventative maintenance with specific exercises is the key to longevity.

“Train before the Pain”