Separating Fact From Fiction About Physical Therapy

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informationredPhysical therapist Sridhar Yalamanchili with Atlantic Spine Center debunks common misconceptions about physical therapy and offers tips.

Getting to the truth of the matter is never more important than when our health and well-being are at stake. So when it comes to physical therapy – which helps people improve their ability to move about pain-free – it’s vital to separate fact from fiction in order to make the most of this crucial resource, according to Sridhar Yalamanchili, PT, MSPT, and Director of Rehabilitation at Atlantic Spine Center.

A September 2014 nationwide survey by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) revealed alarming misconceptions many adults have about physical therapy, which the Physical Therapy Journal estimated was utilized on an outpatient basis by 9 million adults in the middle of the last decade.

With an aging Baby Boomer population in the U.S. and pain-free movement so critical to pursuing job and leisure activities, the role of physical therapists – who are experts at improving movement and motion – is more important than ever, Yalamanchili says. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for physical therapists are projected to grow 36% between 2012 and 2022 – much faster than the average growth for all other occupations.

“The biggest obstacle posed by these myths about physical therapy is they might prevent people from seeking care that can change their lives for the better,” says Yalamanchili. “That’s why it’s so crucial to get the truth out there.”

Top myths about physical therapy

What did the APTA survey – which conducted 500 online interviews of men and women – uncover? The top misconceptions about physical therapy include:

Myth: A physician referral or prescription is required for evaluation by a physical therapist.

Fact: “Anyone in the United States can be screened by a physical therapist without a doctor’s prior referral,” Yalamanchili says. “We can be your first step, rather than part of a series of steps to address a problem.”

Myth: Physical therapy is painful.

Fact: “The job of a physical therapist is actually to minimize pain, working within a patient’s pain threshold to enable healing and restore movement,” Yalamanchili notes.

Myth: Any healthcare professional can perform physical therapy.

Fact: “While some clinicians perform treatments that seem similar to physical therapy, the precise set of skills employed by physical therapists can only be gained through the high level of training and education they undertake,” he says. “Physical therapy can only be done by licensed physical therapists.” Physical therapists possess a unique skill set to assess movement, identify muscle imbalances and improve efficiency of movement to help in healing and preventing injuries.

Myth: Physical therapy is only for injuries or accidents.

Fact: “Though many people are introduced to physical therapy to rehabilitate after trauma from injuries or accidents, physical therapy is a great and evidence based tool to help restore full range of motion and function after surgery, ” Yalamanchili states. In some cases pre-surgery physical therapy helps to expedite recovery after surgery. “Others, suffering from chronic conditions such as back pain, discover its potent effects on reducing everyday discomfort.”

Myth: Physical therapy isn’t covered by insurance.

Fact: “Most medical insurance covers some type of physical therapy,” he says. “Also, physical therapy actually saves medical costs by helping patients avoid unnecessary expenses from tests, surgery, drugs and further injuries.”

Yalamanchili emphasizes that a patient’s relationship with a physical therapist is collaborative, with the ultimate goal of educating patients on maximizing their mobility, minimizing pain and empowering them in their recovery. “Despite what many people seem to think,” he adds, “physical therapy can be cost-effective, easy to access and unquestionably improves quality of life.”

Atlantic Spine Center is a nationally recognized leader for endoscopic spine surgery with four locations; West Orange, Edison, North Bergen and NYC. http://www.atlanticspinecenter.com

Sridhar Yalamanchili, PT, MSPT, is Director of Rehabilitation at Atlantic Spine Center.

Fact Or Myth: Sleep Apnea Linked To Low Testosterone Levels In Men?

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By Dr. Michael Layton (DDS)

mansmileIs there a link between sleep apnea and low testosterone levels in men? Health.com recently posted the connection between the two in their 13 Surprising Facts About Testosterone. How valid is this? Let’s examine the facts and nothing but the facts to determine the implications of sleep apnea on testosterone.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Lawrence Epstein, M.D. of Harvard Medical School and the editor of Harvard Health Publications special health report defines sleep apnea as “a collapse of the upper airway during sleep that is due to the size of the airway and the changes that happen when you fall asleep. The airway is a flexible tube where air passes through the mouth or nose. When you fall asleep the tissue surrounding the breathing tube narrows a little bit. When it closes halfway thats when you start to get an obstruction to airflow which causes very turbulent airflow, resulting in the tissues to vibrate and thats snoring. When the airway completely closes off thats apnea.”

The closing off the airway triggers the brain of the individual to wake up, sleep apnea sufferers can have their sleep interrupted from 25 to 50 times per hour. Sleep apnea is chronic condition affecting 858,900 Canadians who are 18 years and older. Statistics for people who suffer from this sleep disorder reported being diagnosed with the more serious obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This more severe form affects 26 percent of Canadians or 1 in four adults. These statistics can be found at the Public Health Agency of Canada from the 2009 Canadian Community Health Survey provisioned through Stats Canada.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

mansleepingatdeskSleep apnea is more common in males than in females.

Symptoms are as follows:

● interruption of sleep

● shortness of breath

● loud snoring

● waking up with a dry or sore throat

● headaches

● constant reawakening

● decreased interest in sex

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs commonly in people who suffer from obesity, diabetes, heart attacks and strokes, if left untreated it will only exacerbate these preconditions. Extreme fatigue that results from waking up multiple times in a night leads to depression, driving accidents and workplace hazards. When your mother told you to go to bed early when you were a child she may have known a thing or 2 unbeknownst to her about natural health. A good night’s sleep can not be underestimated for your overall health.

What Is Testosterone?

Testosterone is produced in the testes it is the secondary sex characteristic responsible for the reproductive development of the male gender. This male sex hormone is commonly associated with sexual desire and the production of sperm. The three main types of testosterone classification are as follows:

1. Free Testosterone. Total testosterone the purest form found in the human body with no proteins attached to it. This testosterone makes up 2 to 3 percent of total testosterone levels in the human body. Free testosterone is really important for bodybuilders and athletes in sports.

2. SHBG-bound Testosterone. SHBG is bound with the sex hormone globulin. It can not be used to build muscles or change a persons mood. SHBG makes up 40 to 50 percent of our total testosterone levels.

3. Albumin bound Testosterone. Albumin is a protein found in the liver that helps stabilize extracellular fluid in the body. Just like SHBG Albumin is biologically inactive.

Testosterone governs the following factors:

● Skin-Hair growth, balding, sebum production

● Brain-Libido, mood

● Liver-Synthesis of serum proteins

● Male Sexual Growth-penile growth, spermatogenesis, prostate growth and function

● Muscle development-increase in strength and size

● Kidney-stimulation of erythropoietin production

● Bone marrow- stimulation of stem cells

● Bone-accelerated linear growth

manphoneTestosterone affects your level of focus, bone density and last but not least the size of your muscles. Most people associate testosterone with bodybuilders and aggression in athletes especially football players, boxers and MMA fighters. Most of the testosterone in the human body gets bound by the sex hormone binding agent globulin that grabs the testerone preventing its over release, there is another protein amylin also grabs the testerone for when its slowly needed as required. The globulin protein increases as men age leading to decreased levels of testosterone.

Symptoms of Low Testosterone

● erectile disfunction

● lack of sex drive

● lack of focus and ambition

● obesity

● decreased muscle mass

● bone density decrease

● abnormal male breast tissue

● low sperm count

● loss of body hair

● mild anemia

● decreased energy and depression

Low levels of testosterone in men can lead to an increased risk of chronic conditions like diabetes or hypertension or even death in some cases.

Linking Sleep Apnea and Low Testosterone

doctorAny physician out there will acknowledge there is a direct link between aging and a decrease in testosterone levels and higher incidences of sleep apnea. Testosterone deficiency or hypogonadism is prevalent among obese people. If noticed during this article there are many common symptoms related to men who have low levels of testosterone and people who have sleep apnea. All evidence points to a definite correlation for men who have sleep apnea and decreased levels of the male hormone testosterone.

Medical doctors recommend getting blood work done if your energy levels are low or getting a polysomnogram for possible sleep apnea. Low levels of testosterone are linked to low levels of insulin production making people susceptible to Type II Diabetes. Obesity is a common denominator in people who have diabetes. Individuals who are diabetic are at an increased risk for sleep apnea. Medical studies have drawn too many parallels between sleep apnea and low testosterone levels in men for this issue to be ignored.

If you are a male who is experiencing any of the symptoms outlined you many want to consult with your physician on your next checkup.

– Dr. Michael Layton (DDS) is a South Surrey Dentist, based in British Columbia. He has been in the dental industry for the last decade and received his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Washington. He takes pride in providing a positive and caring dental solutions for people of every walk of life. You can follow him on Google+.