Why Physiotherapy Is So Important in Stroke Rehabilitation

Stroke rehabilitation is sometimes an uphill climb. After a stroke, patients can be left with paralysis, especially one-sided paralysis. Pain, as well as sensory deficits, has to be managed. Physiotherapy is a key part of the treatment plan.

Physiotherapists begin stroke rehabilitation very soon after the stroke has occurred, while the patient is still in acute care. The physiotherapist will first do an evaluation to determine what disabilities must be dealt with during stroke rehabilitation.

Some of the possible problems are: lack of strength and endurance, limited range of motion, problems with sensation in the limbs, and troubles walking. Stroke rehabilitation will focus on the problems that the patient displays. A plan for treatment will be devised.

Patients will learn to use limbs that the stroke has made temporarily useless. During stroke rehabilitation, it will be determined whether these limbs will reach their previous potential. If not, the physiotherapist will teach the patients ways to manage without their full use of the limbs.

One problem of stroke rehabilitation is called learned nonuse. This is when stroke patients do everything in their power to avoid using limbs that have been affected by the stroke. If left to their own devices, they will cripple the limb further by letting it atrophy through nonuse.

Physiotherapists use stroke rehabilitation to make sure that patients do indeed work to use their impaired limbs. They can do this in a number of ways. Sometimes it helps for the physiotherapist to tap or stroke the limb they want the patient to use.

If the patient will not easily participate in active range of motion exercises, passive ones can be used where the physiotherapist moves the limb herself. Other times, the patient will try to use the affected limb but will naturally fall back on the limb that is functioning well. In this case, stroke rehabilitation may involve gently restraining the healthy limbs.

It can be a difficult task of stroke rehabilitation to help victims relearn switching from one task to another. This is partly because of problems in the brain. The cues to move the muscles and joints in order to change movements are slow in coming. This is why practice is so important. The more times physiotherapists help a patient with this, the easier it becomes.

Recent studies have revealed that stroke rehabilitation can continue long after the hospital stay. In the past, stroke victims were given a short round of physiotherapy during the time they were in the hospital and for a few weeks shortly afterwards.

New research shows that physiotherapy can promote more advanced stroke rehabilitation if it is continued progressively at home. Patients will learn to walk better. They will gain strength to do daily chores. They will also achieve better posture and more balance, which can prevent falls.

Stroke rehabilitation involves a number of therapies, all designed to restore function to the patient's affected limbs. Electrical stimulation, hydrotherapy, and games have all been used. Stroke rehabilitation is not complete without the help of physiotherapy services.


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Stress Statistics From The American Psychological Association

The American Psychological Association is the top source of stress statistics for the USA. Here are some interesting findings from their report for 2011.

Stress Statistics By Region

There are many stereotypes about people from the different regions of the US, but are they true? When it comes to stress, the APA's 2011 report of stress statistics suggests that perhaps they are.

Their latest survey shows that people living on the east coast report the highest levels of stress, as well as having the most trouble handling stress. Midwesterners have reported increasing stress levels over the last few years but are more likely to seek help for it – perhaps because they do not consider it an inevitable part of life the way that Easterners do. Southerners handle stress pretty well and Westerners are the least stressed of Americans.

Stress Statistics By Gender

Who is under more stress, men or women? It is hard to say. Traditionally, women remained at home while men worked, but staying at home juggling children and household responsibilities, often on a small budget, is not an easy option. These days, many women have to hold down a job as well as doing these tasks.

Stress is not easy to measure. Women do report higher stress levels than men, but this may be only because women are less likely to deny that they are suffering from stress. Many men report that they consider that saying they are stressed would be an admission of weakness or failure.

So in order to measure stress, the APA takes symptoms of stress into account. Men and women are approximately equally happy, with 65% of men and 66% of women saying that they are generally satisfied with their lives. 45% of men and 44% of women are happy with their financial situation.

However, only 50% of men say that they are handling their family relationships well, versus 62% of women. 27% of men say that they are eating healthy, versus 37% of women. And only 23% of men consider that they are getting enough sleep, versus 31% of women. Men also consider stress management less important than women do, with only 52% of men considering it very important or extremely important, versus 62% of women. Since all of these factors can contribute to chronic stress, this may mean that more men are suffering from stress than women.

Other Factors Affecting Stress Statistics

Of course, there are many factors affecting stress in America. One of these is the fact that the population is aging. Longer lifespans and the fact that the baby boomer generation is now beginning to reach senior citizenship are combining to produce the biggest ever proportions of elderly people over the next decades. The number of people over 65 in the USA is expected to double in the 20 years from 2010 to 2030. Of course, we hope that these people will also enjoy better health than seniors have done in the past, but large numbers of them will require care from family members.

For most people, life as a senior citizen is less stressful than life as a young or middle aged adult. However, being a caregiver to an elderly person has been shown to be a major cause of stress as well as other psychological issues. So this increase in our elderly population will probably add to the stress statistics in the next two decades.

You can find more details of these stress statistics on the APA's website at www.apa.org


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Warts In History

It was not until 1950 that it became widely accepted that warts were caused by a virus. The acknowledgment of this fact only came after it was proven by particles of the virus being visible with an electron microscope. Prior to that time, the fact was considered to be nothing more than a theory, even when evidenced by such experiences as that of Dr. Joseph Payne at the end of the nineteenth century. After acquiring warts from treating a patient without using sterile precautions, Dr. Payne theorized that warts are contagious and easily transmittable from one person to another. Scientific proof was necessary before this theory was accepted.

As warts have been around since the beginning of recorded history, so too have the theories of their cause and outrageous attempts at cures. The mummified remains of an Egyptian court musician shows how far back in time warts have been an annoyance to people. The approximate range in time was around 2400-2300 B.C.

While obviously people did not have scientific knowledge, many did believe that warts had some kind of contagious nature to them. Cauterization was attempted as a cure for warts dating as far back as ancient medical texts. Although not a physician, during the time period of approximately 14-34 A.D. Aulus Cornelius Celsus described potential treatments for warts in his text "De Medicina" (On Medicine). The knowledge of warts as a sexually-transmitted disease goes as far back as the Greek and Roman physicians.

Throughout history, knowledge and theory have mixed together for some rather unusual treatment methods. Attempts to remove warts have ranged from the pointless to the bizarre, and included nearly every possibility in between. One of the first known methods of wart removal was in ancient Rome, where an unnamed individual chewed these growths off people's fingers and feet.

In medieval times, a preferred method for getting rid of warts was spider webs. Still later, people used a method of ashes and pig feces. Later yet, some believed that to cover a wart with a portion of a rotting, dead mouse would aid in clearing up warts. Sir Francis Bacon claimed that he was able to cure warts with melted pig's fat. It can be assumed that none of these methods were helpful in getting rid of warts. However, King Henry VIII of England granted legal status to anyone who wished to employ odd techniques for wart removal.

In the scientific and medical arenas, the correlation between sexually-transmitted warts and a virual cause began to become acknowledged in the 1920s. This correlation was not fully accepted until a study began in 1954, based on American military who had served in the Korean war bringing genital warts back to the United States and transmitting them to their wives.


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Treating Puffy Eyes And Dark Circles

Your eyes are one of the first things people notice about your appearance. It would be wonderful if people didn't base their impressions on how you look, but they do. That means that treating puffy eyes, dark circles, and shadows under your eyes is important for several reasons.

There are several reasons for all of these happening around your eyes, and some of them are out of your control. However, there are plenty of things you can do to improve how your eyes look, and that can improve the way people look at you, and more importantly, how you feel about yourself.

Too much sodium in your diet can make your eyes look awful. One reason for this is that excessive sodium can cause you to retain water, and that can make your eyes look puffy. You shouldn't eliminate all salt from your diet because it is necessary, but you should try to make sure you are not getting more than you need.

While it's true that you don't want to retain excess water, it is very important that you drink enough water to stay properly hydrated. Thirst is a sure sign that you're nit drinking enough water. Water keeps your body running efficiently, and helps to make sure your blood flows properly (this is a simplification, but water is a part of good circulation).

Eating a well-balanced diet will also help in treating puffy eyes, dark circles, and shadows under your eyes. Be sure that you are getting the full range of vitamins, nutrients, and other minerals, especially vitamins A, C, and E.

You can always try a few home remedies for under-eye problems. Cucumber slices over the eyes are soothing, and also work to moisturize the area. Moistened tea bags can help to get rid of darkness and puffiness. Some people have even used hemorrhoid creams around their eyes to reduce swelling, but this is a very bad idea as it can irritate the eyes.

You can also find over the counter solutions if the home remedies don't do the trick. Look for products that contain horse chestnut, as it stimulates circulation. Ivy will decongest the area and gets rid of excessive water. Aloe hydrates and also has a soothing effect. Tea (green or white) minimizes inflammation and redness that often accompany these common eye problems. Caffeine will bring any swelling down. Licorice plays double duty as it soothes and minimizes puffiness.

If none of the above methods work, then it may be time to get an injection from a qualified medical professional. Restylane and Juvederm can be thought of as medical-grade fillers that even out the appearance of the skin. Botox may also be an option, depending on how severe your problem is.

The main thing to remember is that there are several options available for treating puffy eyes, dark circles, and shadows under your eyes. At least one of them is sure to work for you.


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Warts – Causes And Prevention

Warts are an ongoing problem for many people of all ages. They can go beyond being just a minor annoyance, sometimes resulting in much more serious health implications. Warts can be spread to other people, causing them to become infected with the virus. And some types of warts can be deadly. Taking all of these factors into consideration, it is a good idea to know what causes warts and methods you can take to minimize your risk of getting them. If you have already acquired warts, it is equally important if not more so, to lessen the chance of transmitting them to other people. The best precaution you can take is to be armed with the facts.

Warts are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus. So far, more than eighty different kinds of this virus have been identified. The various forms affect various parts of the body. The incubation period between when a person becomes infected and when an outbreak occurs also varies. The warts are easily transmittable from one person to another, and can also be transmitted from one part of the body to another area. Factors which determine a person's likelihood of becoming infected include the state of the person's immune system, the degree of virus that is present in the warts, the location of the warts, and the degree of contact.

Although it is often difficult or even impossible to prevent infection, there are some measures you can take to lessen this risk. If you already have one or more warts, it is important to prevent them from spreading. You should try to avoid touching the wart, for it can lead to the virus being spread to other areas you may touch afterward. You should avoid using other people's towels and washcloths if they have not been cleaned. You should avoid wearing other people's shoes. In locations where the virus might be present, you should make a point of wearing shoes to prevent indirect contact with infected surfaces. These factors will greatly reduce your risk of acquiring the virus associated with all forms of warts.

In addition, there are special factors associated with genital warts, which are the most serious and potentially deadly. These warts, which are a prime factor in cervical cancer, are spread by sexual contact. The risk of these warts and the cancer which results from them is highest in people who have multiple sexual partners. Although it is not as widely known as it should be, while having multiple partners increases the risk of coming in contact with a person who already has this infection, it has also been shown that having multiple partners alters one's own natural levels of bacteria and will make you more susceptible to the virus. Not having multiple sexual partners is the most sound way to lessen your risk of acquiring genital warts. Those who already have them can also spread them by touch or by sharing infected washcloths and towels.

Currently, there are issues about a vaccine called Gardasil. This vaccine is proported to protect against four of the strains of Human Papilloma Virus which account for ninety percent of genital warts. Although this vaccine is not far beyond the testing stage, making the risk factors of the vaccine itself debatable, some locations are recommending it for young children. Some states are attempting to mandate this vaccine for little girls. In addition to the fact that the risk factors of the vaccine have not yet been adequately tested, the main issue being debated is whether giving elementary-school-aged children a vaccine to prevent a sexually-transmitted disease will lead many children and adolescents to believe it is okay to become sexually active and engage in a promiscuous lifestyle.


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What Spinal Cord Injury Patients Can Accomplish with Physiotherapy

Sports injuries and car accidents, among other injuries, can cause spinal cord injury. The range of spinal cord injury is wide. Some of these injuries are fairly minor and will heal well with a limited amount of physiotherapy, while others need physiotherapy for the rest of their lives.

As always with physiotherapy, the first step is evaluation. A plan is formulated that will include therapies specific to the kind of spinal cord injury the patient has. Neck injuries can cause quadriplegia, which requires special treatments.

An important issue in spinal cord injury is the level of the damage. If a physiotherapy program is not followed faithfully, the spine will begin to atrophy below the level of the spinal cord injury. The spine will shrink and the whole body below that point will become weaker as time goes by.

It is important that spinal cord injury patients get exercise of some form. They are prone to osteoporosis and heart problems, among other conditions. If there is a total lack of exercise, these risk factors become even more pronounced.

Physiotherapy for spinal cord injury involves exercising and stimulating the nerves and muscles below the level of the damage. This will allow patients with spinal cord injury to stay in good physical condition where they can. That way, if a cure becomes available, they will not be too weakened to benefit from it.

Every exercise the physiotherapy personnel go through with the spinal cord injury patient should be video-taped. This allows work to go on at home with an example of each exercise. Range-of-motion exercises are done by a caregiver, who moves the limbs so that they will not become set in one position.

For spinal cord injury patients who are not quadriplegics, there is physiotherapy using mats. These mats are raised off the floor, and can be operated by a hand crank or a power system. The physiotherapist will give exercises where the patient lies on the side, back, or stomach and works out or sits up and works out.

There are many restorative therapies in physiotherapy for spinal cord injury patients. These include electrical stimulation, biofeedback, vibrational therapy, laser therapy and other stimulation activities. Aqua therapy is also a physiotherapy method that is conducive to progress in spinal cord injury patients.

With all these therapies, spinal cord injury patients can sometimes restore themselves to earlier functioning. Other times, they can simply keep their bodies from deteriorating as they wait for a cure.

Spinal cord injury research is being conducted constantly. Physiotherapy is one of the fields that are being explored. One study is putting spinal cord injury patients in harnesses over treadmills stimulating walking. They are trying to find a way to help people walk again who had given up hope of doing so.

Physiotherapy gives hope for spinal cord injury patients. It allows them to have the most normal functioning that they are currently able to have. Perhaps when a cure comes outcomes will be even better. However, physiotherapy will probably always be needed for spinal cord injury patients.


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Tips On Breast Enhancement Products

If you are a woman who wants to find the best way to increase your breast size, you have more options than ever. You are no longer limited to just having surgery to increase your bust line. The increased recognition in Western societies about the benefits of herbal remedies, such as pills and creams that can help improve your breast size, are now more readily available which means you have more choices than ever when it comes to a breast enhancement product.

It's important to note that not all products are created equal. You should always take the time to determine which product is best for you and what ingredients it is made of. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that these supplements work, but many women swear by them, you can certainly give them a try and draw your own conclusions.

You also need to make sure to talk to your doctor about any product you are planning on using especially if you are taking any other medications, either over the counter or prescription, since there can be potentially dangerous drug interaction.

Here are your choices when it comes to increasing the size of your breasts;

1. Of course, there is implant surgery. This is when a salt water filled implant is placeed under your breast. This is a highly invasive surgical procedure and with any surgical procedure, there can be serious complications. This is a viable method for many women, just make sure that you take all the risks and side effects into consideration before you make your final decision.

2. Creams are made up of various herbs such as dandelion root, watercress, and kelp. These herbs have naturally occurring estrogen which is thought to encourage the growth of breasts. These herbs have also been shown to help with PMS and menopausal symptoms.

3. Pills. These are often made up of the same ingredients as the creams, but obviously, they are swallowed. Typically the ingredients don't necessarily increase the size of your breasts as much as they make the breast tissue swollen which gives the illusion of a fuller bust line.

4. Exercise. While breasts are made up of fat and don't respond to exercising, it is possible to build up the underlying pectoral muscles which will give your whole bust area a fuller look.

5. The most extreme method to gaining bigger breasts is to gain weight. When you add fat to your body it will be added everywhere, including your breasts. This is not a method that is recommended though since you will add weight everywhere…even in places you don't want it.

If you just aren't satisfied with the bust line you were born with you do have some options. Not every women will get results from the pills and creams though many report that they do. Find the best breast enhancement product for you and as long as what you are trying isn't dangerous to your health, go ahead and give it a try. There is nothing wrong with wanting to feel good about yourself.


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3 Effective Stress Relief Tips For The Office

Let's look at some stress relief tips that you can do at the office and most other work environments. As you probably know, workplace stress is a major cause of lost productivity as well as being a nightmare and sometimes even a killer for those who suffer from it. In this article we will give you some quick and simple stress relief tips for reducing stress at work.

1. Walk away

If you can physically remove yourself from a temporarily stressful situation without causing a problem, then do it. Getting away from the stressor is one of the top stress relief tips. Depending on the situation this may or may not be possible, but in most cases you can at least take a bathroom break for five minutes, close your eyes in the cubicle and physically relax. If you feel you need to cry in there, don't stop yourself, because crying is a wonderful stress reliever.

In other situations you may be able to leave the building and get some physical exercise in the fresh air, whether it is jumping jacks in the car park or a short walk.

2. Laugh

'Laughter is the best medicine' as the old saying goes. One of the reasons that it is so good for you is because it is a very effective way of reducing stress. It has been reported that the average person laughs out loud 17 times a day, but people under stress probably laugh a lot less – so you need to change that.

Make a joke of the stressful situation and laugh about it with your colleagues if you can. That will help to build your working relationships as well as relieving everybody's stress. Or if that is not appropriate, view one of the top 10 funny videos on YouTube, or keep a book that you find hilarious in your desk.

If you feel that there is no way that you could laugh right now, then smile. Fake a smile if you need to. It will make you feel better and reduce the tension for everybody.

3. Breathe

The final one in our series of 3 quick stress relief tips is breathing. Most relaxation techniques focus on the breathing, and there is a good reason for this. When we are stressed, our breathing tends to be fast and shallow. In the extreme event of a panic attack, it becomes so fast that we hyperventilate.

And the opposite is also true: if we slow down our breathing and breathe consciously and deeply, exhaling all the way each time, that's a signal to our body that there is nothing to panic about and it can safely shut down the 'fight or flight' reflex response to stress. That will deal with most of the damaging symptoms of stress.

Most of these stress relief tips are things that you can do at the moment when you are feeling the highest amount of stress, but they are also techniques that you can build into your day to reduce chronic stress. The more often that you practice a stress reduction technique, the more natural it will become, so that you automatically do whatever works for you when you find yourself in a stressful situation.

So build into your regular working day plenty of short breaks, opportunities to laugh, and moments when you simply relax and breathe deeply. That will allow you to make the most effective use of these stress relief tips for the workplace.


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Warts And The Immune System

It makes sense that some of the risk factors for acquiring warts can be easily controlled. Simply avoiding contact with those who are already infected with warts is the most logical step to aid in not contracting warts. Not using personal items which belong to infected individuals, and taking precautions while in public areas that may contain the infection are also helpful safeguards. But while those who do not have an adequate immune system are much more likely to develop warts, this is a factor which can be aided in many cases.

Although persons who have medical conditions which negatively affect the immune system do not have much recourse, the majority of healthy people do have the ability to take steps to keep their immune systems at peak state. If one's immune system is safeguarded, this one factor alone will go a long way in preventing warts. It is unlikely that many people consider their immune system as something over which they have control, but basic good health practices are the strongest influencing factors. Stick to a healthy lifestyle, and you will be much less likely to develop warts.

You may not initially realize the correlation between your diet and warts. You may also not consider your sleep patterns to be a factor. Both are related, because both play an important role in keeping your immune system strong and healthy. If you do not have a proper diet, this will compromise your immune system. In addition, studies have shown that specific dietary deficiencies, such as the lack of adequate potassium, greatly increase a person's risk of warts.

It is much better to adhere to a healthy diet than to be in the position of having to deal with warts after they occur. It is important to keep in mind that one's dietary practices have a dual role first, in keeping the immune system strong in general, and also to not end up with the potassium deficiencies that increase your risk of warts.

A proper amount of sleep on a regular basis is also very important in preventing warts. Frequent lack of sleep also undermines the immune system. A weak immune system will open you up to a wide range of potential health problems, and the various types of warts is one of the most immediate and visible.

If you add together the factors of diet and sleep, you will have the two main factors which determine the state of your immune system. For a person who is otherwise healthy, free of any serious medical complications, both of these factors should be easily within your control. To exercise good judgment with nutrition and rest will be one of the most significant factors in preventing warts.

If you do not have a proper diet, or do not get enough sleep on a regular basis, you can lessen your risk of acquiring warts by addressing these problems. To make some positive changes in your lifestyle to reflect more healthy patterns will benefit you in many ways, both currently and in the long-run. Making you less likely to develop warts is just one of the benefits.


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The Facts About Warts And Cervical Cancer

There are many varieties of warts, and many strains of the virus that causes them. In the instance of warts which can lead to cervical cancer, too much of the American population has too much misinformation. This leads many people to be in a panic, and this panic is unnecessary.

The first, and most important fact, is that the general types of warts which many people have are not a factor. The plantar warts which appear on the feet, for example, are not a casual factor in later cervical cancer, because they do not contain the specific strains of the virus which leads to cervical cancer.

Another misconception is many people are not aware of the fact that the childhood disease commonly known as chicken pox is also not relevant to later cervical cancer, as it too does not possess that strain of the virus.

The bottom line is that the specific strains of human papilloma virus which can lead to cervical cancer are sexually transmitted. When a person becomes infected with this virus through sexual contact with an infected person, the warts will usually develop. Not developing these warts is not a sign that one has not contracted the virus, as many can be symptom-free even if the virus is present in their system. An outbreak of genital warts, however, is a visible sign that one is infected. In such an instance, even if a person has the warts removed by a professional, the virus is still in one's system.

Approximately seventy percent of cervical cancers are caused by approximately ten different strains of the human papilloma virus. There are more than thirty strains of this virus which are sexually transmitted, but they are not all cancer-causing viruses. Currently, there are a number of methods available in aiding one's resistance against the genital warts, but none are one-hundred-percent effective, and some contain their own risks.

One is the new drug called Gardasil. In many areas, Gardasil being administered by vaccine is already in practice. It has been stated that the reason for giving this vaccine to little girls as young as nine years of age is to ensure protection against the genital warts and the particular strains of the cancer-causing virus before the girls become sexually active. One negative repercussion to this practice is that the vaccine has not been researched enough to ensure its safety, and a number of young girls have already died from receiving it. Another repercussion is that such a vaccine can promote early sexual activity.

Another method used to protect against genital warts are condoms. This is not effective, because regardless of the exact placement of the wart or cluster of warts, the virus is not localized solely to that particular point. The virus is not only in the wart or wart cluster itself, it is frequently also on the surrounding skin areas.

The main risk factors associated with genital warts are: beginning sexual activity at a young age; having multiple sexual partners; and not being aware of whether one's partner is infected, whether he actually has visible warts or not. In other words, indiscriminate sexual activity is the number-one risk factor in acquiring genital warts, and, in women, the potential of cervical cancer. While plantar warts and the other common varieties are difficult enough in themselves, they are not related to the genital warts that can lead to cervical cancer.


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