Altitude Medicine: Rehab at the Peak

I took a trip to Denver recently and, right around the same time, was consulted regarding the use of a pulse oximeter at high altitudes. It all got me thinking: how different could it really be to practice at 9,000ft? So, I did some work on this and I have to tell you, finding thisContinue reading “Altitude Medicine: Rehab at the Peak”

Emergency Response Screening

I hope, at this point, you’ve all heard of the FAST acronym for identifying signs of a cerebrovascular accident (aka stroke). My in-laws even have a magnet on their fridge with a great comic strip describing the FAST acronym. I have run in to a couple different versions of it in the last few years,Continue reading “Emergency Response Screening”

PT/INRs: Helping Patients Manage their Anticoagulation

So, who’s up for some bloodwork? Venipuncture, anyone? Finger prick, maybe? No..? Oh… Well, ok then. I’ll carry on. I know it may sound a bit crazy, but as a PT, I actually do some (very) minor blood work. I’m not trained as a nurse or phlebotomist or anything like that. Nope. Just some on-the-job-trainingContinue reading “PT/INRs: Helping Patients Manage their Anticoagulation”

It’s Getting Hot in Here: Body Temperature

How many times have you had your temperature taken lately? I think I’ve had my temperature taken thousands of times in the last few months. We are seeing the increased use of forehead scanning thermometers and temporal scanners, all the non-contact forms of temperature assessment, to screen folks for COVID-19 symptoms upon entry to anyContinue reading “It’s Getting Hot in Here: Body Temperature”

COVID-19: Where the Heck Are We?

I started this venture back in March in response to COVID-19. I saw many Physical Therapists and other rehab professionals shutting their doors because it wasn’t safe to keep them open. I saw an opportunity to improve our profession by addressing a deficit in practice: the lack of cardiopulmonary skill implementation. It wasn’t even thatContinue reading “COVID-19: Where the Heck Are We?”

Sternal Precautions

“Patients exchanging habits of activity for complete rest are likely to become rapidly worse.” This quote fuels my everyday. These words have informed nonsurgical and surgical rehabilitation and its evolution from handing out bed rest like Oprah hands out cars to getting people moving early and keeping them moving often. Here’s the crazy thing: ThisContinue reading “Sternal Precautions”

Diaphragmatic Breathing

Let’s talk about this super simple technique that can change everything. Diaphragmatic breathing is really just how we are all supposed to be breathing most of the time. The purpose of the diaphragm is to facilitate breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing improves gas exchange and increases lung volumes. These are all really good things if we need toContinue reading “Diaphragmatic Breathing”

I’ll Huff and I’ll Puff… But the Huff Will Be More Effective

What is a huff? Huffing is one of the more difficulty techniques to learn for airway clearance. I find that most of my patients have trouble mustering the strength to perform a good solid huff. It’s not just that it is unfamiliar, but also that it takes diaphragm strength that they just don’t have. ButContinue reading “I’ll Huff and I’ll Puff… But the Huff Will Be More Effective”

Vibration & Percussion

If you read my post on airway clearance techniques, you probably saw vibration and percussion down at the bottom of the force progression. Although I have covered several other pieces of the force progression (Active Cycle of Breathing, PEP Devices, etc) in subsequent posts, I haven’t touched on these topics yet because they haven’t beenContinue reading “Vibration & Percussion”

Exercise-Induced Hypertension

Have you ever had patient exercising during your treatment session and taken their blood pressure only to find that is has shot up pretty high? They didn’t have symptoms of high blood pressure so you rested them and it came right back down. But, then you find that it keeps happening… What does this mean?Continue reading “Exercise-Induced Hypertension”