Hemiparesis is weakness of one side of the body and is less severe than hemiplegia. Hemiplegia is paralysis of one side of the body. Both are a common side effect of stroke or cerebrovascular accident. One-sided weakness can affect your arms, hands, legs and facial muscles. If you have one-sided weakness you may have trouble performing everyday activities such as eating, dressing, and using the bathroom. Rehabilitation treatments, exercises at home, and assistive devices can help with your mobility and recovery.
One sided paralysis or weakness occurs when a stroke affects the corticospinal tract of one side of the brain. The right side of the brain controls the motor function of the left side of the body. The left side of the brain controls the motor function of the right side of the body. Thus when one side of the brain is damaged, it causes only one side of the body to be affected.
One-sided weakness in your arms, hands, face, chest, legs or feet can cause:
How can physiotherapy help cure hemiparesis?
Positioning - It is important to position the weak arm or leg appropriately. When sitting, one can support the affected arm on a pillow, lapboard, or tray. If using one of these devices, make sure that the height is appropriate and not pushing the shoulder up too high. The leg during sitting should be positioned comfortably without too much rotation at the hip. Try to position the knee where it is facing forward and not out to the side or turned inward. The foot should be flat on the floor or footrest with no rolling of the ankle.
Strengthening - Strengthening and active range of motion exercises can be done with stroke patients who have hemiparesis. Patients with more severe paralysis may have some small individual movements that can be strengthened as well. Electrical stimulation (e-stim) can also be used to help activate and strengthen weak muscles.
Range of Motion - Moving the paralyzed or weak limb or extremity can help prevent stiffness and muscle contractures. Range of motion can be passive, active-assistive, or active depending if the extremity or limb can voluntarily produce any movement or if it has to be moved by an external factor such as a caregiver.
Orthotics (Braces) - One may be prescribed a wrist and hand orthoses (WHO), elbow brace, or ankle foot orthoses (AFO) to help maintain proper joint alignment, provide support to weak muscles, and prevent contractures.
Slings - There are various arm slings that help support the arm when subluxation is a problem. Subluxation occurs when the head of the humerus (upper arm bone) has dropped out of the shoulder socket due to weakened ligaments and musculature.
In addition to rehabilitation treatment, exercise at home and assistive aids can help increase mobility. Repeated practice and regular activity will help increase control and flexibility and re-establish nerve circuitry. You can learn specific activities to do at home that will help continue recovery after inpatient therapy. Always consult a healthcare professional physiotherapist before starting any exercises.
The spinal column is made up of 26 bones (vertebrae), which are cushioned by disks. The disk protects the bones by absorbing the shocks from daily activities like walking, lifting and twisting. Each disk consists of two parts - a soft, gelatinous inner portion and a tough outer ring. Weakness or injury can cause the inner portion of the disk to protrude through the outer ring. This is known as a slipped disk or herniated disk.
In herniated disk, a crack occurs in the outer layer of the disk, called the annulus. The crack usually affects a small part of the disk, and it allows the soft inner material of the nucleus pulposus to rupture out of the disk. This causes and pain discomfort. You may experience numbness and pain along the affected nerve, if the slipped disk compresses one of your spinal nerves. You may require surgery to remove or repair the slipped disk in severe instances. Keep reading further to learn about the symptoms, causes, and treatment methods for slipped disk.
Slipped disk can occur in any part of your spine, from your neck to your lower back. The lower back is the most common area for slipped disks. The spinal column is an intricate network of nerves and blood vessels. A slipped disk can place extra pressure on the nerves and muscles around it. Symptoms of slipped disk include:
Generally, the types of pain vary from person to person. It’s important to visit your physician, if your pain results in numbness or tingling that affects your ability to control your muscles.
Usually, a slipped disk occurs when the outer ring becomes weak or torn and allows the inner portion to slip out. This can happen with age. Certain strenuous motions can also cause a slipped disk. While you’re twisting or turning to lift an object, a disk can slip out of place. Lifting a very large, heavy object can place great strain on the lower back, resulting in a slipped disk. You may be at an increased risk for slipped disks, if you have a physically demanding job that requires a lot of lifting.
Individuals who are overweight are also at increased risk for a slipped disk because their disks must support the additional weight. A sedentary lifestyle and weak muscles may also contribute to development of a slipped disk. Slipped disks are more common in men than women.
From conservative to surgical, the treatment methods differ according to its severity. The treatment typically depends on the level of discomfort you are experiencing and how far the disk has slipped out of place.
Physiotherapists advice that most patients can relieve slipped disk pain using an exercise program that stretches and strengthens the back and surrounding muscles. A physical therapist may recommend exercises that can strengthen your back while reducing your pain.
Try to remain as active as possible through stretching or low impact activities such as walking, as inactivity can lead to muscle loss and joint stiffness. In much severe cases, your doctor may replace the disk with an artificial one or remove the disk and fuse your vertebrae together.
Physiotherapy is quite necessary and beneficial for patients suffering a slipped disk in their necks. It may not be possible to completely prevent a slipped disk, but you can always take steps to reduce your risk of developing a slipped disk. Some steps include - maintaining a healthy weight, not to remain seated for long periods, stretching of the back and neck muscles is crucial and using safe lifting techniques such as bending and lifting from your knees, not your waist. It also important to perform exercises to strengthen the muscles in your back, neck, legs, and abdomen. If you or someone you know has been experiencing neck or back pain since many years and is above the age of 35 years, it is possible that a slipped disk may be causing pain. Get in touch with professional physiotherapists in Edmonton, and they will devise a specific plan for the patient to help them get rid of the pain and difficulties.
Facial Palsy or Bell’s Palsy is a form of paralysis resulting from damage to the 7th cranial nerve. Hence, Facial Palsy is also termed as ‘7th Cranial Nerve Palsy’. The 7th nerve is a mixed nerve containing both sensory and motor components. This nerve controls the muscles of facial expression, and functions in the conveyance of taste sensations from the anterior two-thirds of the tongue and oral cavity. It emerges from the brainstem between the pons and medulla.
Cause of Facial Palsy:
What exactly causes this damage to the 7th cranial nerve is unknown, as the etiology of this form of facial nerve palsy is also unknown. However, many scientists believe that a viral infection such as the common cold sore virus, herpes simplex, can be the cause of the disorder.
It is thought that the 7th cranial nerve swells and becomes inflamed in reaction to an infection, causing pressure within the Fallopian canal, the narrow ‘tunnel’ in the skull through which the facial nerve passes in a somewhat tortuous route. Due to the swelling of the nerve, it compresses against the inside of the Fallopian canal and as a result, the nerve is unable to function.
Also, during pregnancy, Bell’s Palsy is sometimes associated with pre-eclampsia, a condition that affects women at an advanced stage of pregnancy, noted by high blood pressure, swelling of the ankles and protein in the urine.
Symptoms of Facial Palsy:
Sometimes you may have a cold shortly before the symptoms show off. Although symptoms often start suddenly, and may take 2-3 days to show up. Symptoms are almost always on one side only. They do not become more severe. The face will feel stiff or pulled on one side, and may look different. Other symptoms include:
Facial nerve Palsy causes temporary partial paralysis of facial muscles. Within one year, recovery happens for nearly all patients without treatment, and many patients recover within one month. Many patients choose physiotherapy treatment to help progress their recovery. Physiotherapists usually make the patients perform various bell’s palsy facial exercises, along with electrical stimulation and manual massage.
If you or someone you know has been experiencing the symptoms of facial palsy, ensure you contact our professional physiotherapists in Edmonton. They are well equipped with essential physiotherapy techniques that can boost recovery for bell’s palsy patients.
Shoulder pain and injury is common. Your shoulder is the most mobile of all your joints. Just think about how much it can actually move.
The reason for this movement is a very small joint contact zone. This essentially means that your shoulder is quite unstable. That is why your shoulder muscles are to a normally functioning shoulder.
In most cases, if you are suffering shoulder pain it is because your muscles are simply not strong enough or they are uncoordinated. Luckily, both of these dysfunctions can be normalized after a quality assessment and injury-specific exercises.
The shoulder is one of the largest and most complex joints in the body.
The shoulder joint is formed where the humerus (upper arm bone) fits into the scapula (shoulder blade), like a ball and socket. Other important bones in the shoulder include:
The shoulder has several other important structures:
The humerus fits relatively loosely into the shoulder joint. This gives the shoulder a wide range of movements, but also makes it vulnerable to injury.
Shoulder pain is quite common, affecting around three in 10 adults at some time during their lives.
The first step in diagnosis is for a doctor to ask you questions about your shoulder pain. He will probably also carry out a physical examination looking for differences between the shoulders, redness, swelling bruising and signs of dislocation. The shoulder joint may be moved to see if any particular movement causes pain.
Depending on this initial diagnosis, further tests may be required, including:
People at risk of getting shoulder pain range from those who play contact sport like rugby, to those with condition such as diabetes and overactive thyroid. Suffering a traumatic incident, such as a car accident may also result in shoulder pain.
A local corticosteroid injection is often helpful for inflammation of the shoulder. For shoulder pain, movement exercises and physiotherapy may help. For cases in which tendons or ligaments are involved, surgical procedures may be necessary.
If shoulder surgery is required, then your physiotherapist may undertake:
Physio Works physiotherapists have a special interest and an excellent working relationship with Brisbane's leading shoulder surgeons to provide you with both conservative and operative rehabilitation options to ensure that you will attain the best outcome for your shoulder injury.
Erb’s palsy or Erb-Duchennepalsy is a paralysis of the arm caused by injury to the Brachial Plexus, specifically the upper brachial plexus. It is the most common birth related neuropraxia (about 48%).
A similar injury may be observed at any age following trauma to the head and shoulder, which cause the nerves of the plexus to violently stretch, with the upper trunk of the plexus sustaining the greatest injury. Injury may also occur as a result of direct violence, including gunshot wounds and traction on the arm, or attempting to diminish shoulder joint dislocation. The level of damage to the constituent nerves is related to the amount of paralysis.
In Erb's Palsy, the signs may be a stiff arm that is rotated inward with the wrist fully bent and fingers extended. This position is often called the "waiter's tip" because it resembles a food server holding the hand discreetly for a tip.
Even when surgery is not required, therapy may need to continue for weeks and months as the nerves grow again or recover from damage. Children with Erb's Palsy will usually recover when they turn 6 months old, but other palsies may require a longer treatment. Each treatment plan is designed to meet the child's needs using a family-centered approach to care.
Your child's physical therapist will perform an evaluation that includes a detailed birth and developmental history. Your child’s physical therapist will perform specific tests to determine arm function, such as getting the child to bring the hands together, grasp a toy, or use the arm for support or for crawling. The physical therapist will test arm sensation to determine whether some or all feeling has been lost, and educate the family about protecting the child from injuries when the child may not be able to feel pain. Physical therapists know the importance of addressing the child’s needs with a team approach, review all health care assessments, and send the child for further evaluation, if needed.
Physical therapists work with children with brachial plexus injury to prevent or reduce joint contractures, maintain or improve muscle strength, adapt toys or activities to promote movement and play, and increase daily activities to encourage participation—first in the family, and later, in the community. Treatments may include:
Therapy may be provided in the home or at another location, such as a hospital, community center, school, or a physical therapy outpatient clinic. Depending upon the severity of the brachial plexus injury, the child's needs may continue and vary greatly as the child ages. Your physical therapist will work with other healthcare professionals, eg, occupational therapists and physicians, to address all your child's needs as treatment priorities shift.
A condition characterized by damage and tearing of the connective tissue surrounding the elbow joint with subsequent displacement of the bones forming the joint, so they are no longer situated next to each other, is termed as an elbow dislocation. In other words, an elbow dislocation occurs when the bones of the forearm (the radius and ulna) move out of place compared with the bone of the arm. The elbow joint formed, where these three bones meet, becomes dislocated or moves out of the joint.
People who indulge into activities that require extensive physical work on a daily basis and use their hands more often to carry weights or various activities that exert too much pressure on the elbow joint, are more prone to elbow dislocations. At times, when forces are excessive and beyond what elbow can withstand, tearing of the connective tissue may occur. This may allow the bones forming the elbow joint to move out of their normal position if the forces involved are too great and beyond what the connective tissue, and supporting muscles can withstand. When this happens, the condition is known as a dislocated elbow.
Usually, a dislocated elbow occurs traumatically when forces push the elbow bones apart. This may occur following a direct impact (eg. during contact sports), motor vehicle accident or more commonly, due to fall onto the outstretched hand or arm (especially from a height and onto a hard surface). Elbow dislocations are occasionally seen in contact sports such as Rugby and football where collisions are inevitable and common.
‘Nursemaid’s elbow’ is a particular type of elbow dislocation that most commonly occurs in young children who have had an abrupt yanking of their forearm. And such a dislocation happens on the head of the radius bone at the elbow. Children less than 5 years old are more prone to ‘Nursemaid’s elbow’ condition.
Signs and Symptoms:
Patients with a dislocated elbow usually experience sudden severe pain at the time of injury. The pain experienced by patients is so intense that they cannot continue activity and may cradle the arm against the body in an attempt to protect the elbow. Pain is generally felt in and around the elbow region, however it can occasionally radiate into the arm, forearm, hand or fingers.
Patients often experience a sensation of the elbow ‘moving out’ at the time of injury. A visible deformity and swelling of the elbow may be detected when compared to the other arm along with bruising which may become more visible over time. On firmly touching the affected elbow, pain usually increases. Patients generally experience pins and needles or numbness in the elbow, forearm, hand or fingers. In some cases, an absence of pulses in the forearm, wrist or hand may be experienced involving damage to blood vessels and this is considered as an emergency. The patient will have to seek immediate medical assistance.
All elbow dislocations should be X-rayed to confirm diagnosis, assess the severity and rule out other injuries, particularly fractures. A thorough subjective and objective examination from a physiotherapist may be sufficient to diagnose a dislocated elbow. MRI, CT scan or bone scan may be required to assist the diagnosis and severity of the injury.
Physiotherapy and other appropriate rehabilitation treatments for a dislocated elbow can be quite crucial and beneficial. Undergoing physiotherapy can help the patient improve, strengthen and easily stretch his elbow muscles and joints. However, the various strengthening and stretching exercises should initially be performed under direct supervision of a professional physiotherapist.
Your physiotherapist will refrain you from performing activities which place large amounts of stress on the elbow such as lifting heavy weights, lying on the elbow, pushing or pulling activities. Once the patient can perform these activities without experiencing pain, a gradual return these activities is indicated provided there is no increase in symptoms. With proper guidance of a physiotherapist, this should take place over a period of weeks to months, depending on the severity of injury.
Physiotherapy can hasten the healing process, ensure an optimal outcome and reduce the likelihood of recurrence. Physiotherapy treatment may comprise:
Elbow dislocations are extremely critical and painful. They should be assessed and treated as soon as possible. If proper care and treatment methods for elbow dislocations are not undertaken, then the patient may persistently experience elbow dislocations and which could develop severe conditions in future. Our professional physiotherapists in Edmonton are well-equipped with extensive training, experience, and knowledge. They can diagnose and help you perform activities which once seemed impossible.
A severe condition like arthritis or any other condition could spring up due to a stiff knee. Moreover, overuse of the joints and muscles in your knee can also cause stiffness. Strengthening your quadriceps, hamstrings and other knee-supporting muscles protects your knees from stress and the shock of impact. Stretching your muscles improves flexibility, which can prevent stiffness and injury.
To relieve and prevent knee pain and its causes, try these recommendations and exercises from our expert physiotherapists at HCR.
Stretch the muscles that support your knees
When butt muscles atrophy or become imbalanced as we tend to sit much of the day, the hamstrings and hip adductors (inner thigh muscles) also overwork, in order to compensate for the underdeveloped gluteus maximus. This results in compressive force on the knee joint. By stretching out these support muscles, you decrease the chance that they’ll get tight and cause muscle imbalances. So remember the complementary two-fold process - as you strengthen naturally weak muscles like the glutes, also stretch supporting muscles like the inner thigh muscles.
Strengthen your glutes
Research shows that knee injuries like common Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tears, can occur when large hip muscles are weak. ACL tears are more likely to happen in women athletes. Such a condition has been shown to lead to other cartilage tears and to correlate with knee arthritis later in life.
In general, our butt muscles are weak. When the main muscle (Gluteus Maximus) is weak, it causes the pelvis to drop and the upper thigh bone (femur) to fall inward. Every time you take a step, the imbalance creates painful downward stress on the hip and ankle. To strengthen the glutes, hip extensions are quite useful and helpful. There are various exercises that can be performed to strengthen your glutes such as squats, kick backs, etc.
Tone your core muscles
Any kind of weakness in your pelvis will cause it to tilt forward, which creates excessive low-back curvature and shifting the leg bones inward. You can find out how this happen by experimenting with yourself: Over-arch your back and notice how your legs and knees want to roll in toward the midline of your body. Then flatten your back and notice how the opposite movement occurs at the legs.
Therefore, it is essential to strengthen your core muscles. Strengthening the core helps your back in a neutral spine position and placed the lower extremities, especially the knees in the best possible position for movement without joint compression. Besides only performing crunches, there are so many other ways to strengthen your abdominal muscles.
Performing various exercises to keep your knee and other supporting muscles healthy, is the key to avoid a stiff knee. While sitting and working for long hours, all the muscles including the knee muscles become stiff. It is important that you perform exercises daily, so that all the muscles of your body loosen up and don’t become stiff. If you’ve been experiencing a stiff knee or any other difficulty related to your body and muscles, get in touch with our professional physiotherapists in Edmonton. They have all the possible ways to help you maintain your body.
A disorder of brain function that takes the form of recurring seizures, is known as Epilepsy. Our feelings, thoughts and actions are controlled by brain cells that communicate with each other through regular electrical impulses. When sudden, uncontrolled bursts of electrical activity disrupt the regular functioning of the brain is when seizures occur. It can occur right across the brain or can be confined to just one part of the brain. Communication between cells becomes scrambled and our thoughts, feelings or movements become momentarily confused or uncontrolled.
Depending on where in the brain the seizure is occurring and what functions that part of the brain controls, different types of seizures affect people in varying ways. Seizures can disrupt any function the brain functions like - movement, sensations, thoughts, behavior, and the person’s level of consciousness.
People with Epilepsy should be extremely careful:
People with uncontrolled seizures need to be especially careful when engaging in more risky activities and should seek advice from their doctors and physiotherapists before engaging in:
How Can Physiotherapy Help?
For the overall welfare of the physical body, physiotherapists are responsible. They help improving the quality of movement and physical performance. They help improving sensory awareness, response, balance and coordination along with improving strength, mobility, increase the range of motion and sphere of movement.
Physical therapy interventions differ from person to person based on their specific deficits and challenges. It is important to offer maximum comfort to the patient. It is typical that after a seizure the patient will be more lethargic and have decreased tolerance to physical therapy challenges. The goals of physiotherapy will be to:
Wrist injuries are common for those who perform a lot of physical work, especially with their hands. It becomes a serious problem when the ligaments of your wrist are significantly damaged. If such an injury is not corrected, it typically continues to cause problems.
Wrist being by far the most complex joint is made up of a platform of 2 bones, the ends of the radius and ulna bones. Another complex arrangement of 7 bones linked by multiple ligaments between each bone and across several bones at a time both on the back and the front of the wrist. Also at times, ligaments may fail through general wear and tear presenting problems in the middle age or later when you’re more than 40 years old. Wrist ligaments may otherwise tear due to an injury such as a fall, or direct blow to your wrist.
By far the most common way the wrist gets injured is due to a fall on an outstretched hand. The same type of force can happen in other ways, such as when you brace yourself on the dashboard before an automobile accident. Whether the wrist is broken or ligaments are injured usually depends on many things, such as how strong your bones are, how the wrist is positioned during the injury, and how much force is involved. After any kind of wrist injury the wrist joint can alter how the joint works. Wrist ligament damage may result in an unstable joint.
After any injury, pain and swelling are the main symptoms. The injured wrist may become discolored and bruised. The wrist may remain painful for several weeks. However, there are no specific symptoms that allow the doctor to determine whether wrist ligament injury has occurred. Due to the instability of the ligaments, once the initial pain is subsided, the wrist may remain painful. If the ligaments have been damaged and have not healed properly, the bones do not slide against one another correctly as the wrist is moved. This can result in pain and a clicking or snapping sensation as the wrist is used for gripping activities.
In the late stages, the abnormal motion may cause osteoarthritis of the wrist. This condition can cause pain with activity. During activity, the pain usually lessens, but when the activity stops, the pain and stiffness often increase. A person may feel pain even when resting, as the condition worsens. The pain may interfere with sleep, and also the ability to grip with the hand may be diminished.
First, the physiotherapist will diagnose the problem by physically examining your wrist joint. Then according to the severity of the injury, he will outline a plan to help speed up your recovery process, so that you can more quickly return to your active lifestyle.
The main aim of physical therapy is to help you keep your pain under control, improve strength and to regain fine motor abilities of your wrist and hand. The physiotherapist will focus on controlling the pain and swelling, and make you perform exercises that will help strengthen and stabilize the muscles around the wrist joint. If you’re experiencing pain in your wrist or have met with an accident due to which your wrist is constantly in pain, contact your professional physiotherapists in Edmonton, they will help you get rid of the pain and will also help your injury heal faster.
Overuse problems of the knee structures can lead to strain, irritation, and / or injury of the quadriceps muscle and tendon. This produces pain, weakness, and swelling of the knee joint. Quadriceps tendonitis is a condition characterized by tissue damage and inflammation of the quadriceps tendon. This generally occurs at the quadriceps’ attachment to the top of the kneecap causing pain in the front of the knee, just above the kneecap.
Quadriceps muscle originates from the pelvis and thigh bone (femur) and inserts into the top of the kneecap (patella) which in turn attaches to the top of the tibia (shin bone) through the patella tendon. This condition can occur at any age, but it’s more common in older athletes.
What are the causes of Quadriceps Tendonitis?
Most often, quadriceps tendonitis occurs due to repetitive stress placed on the supporting structures of the knee. Running, jumping, kicking, squatting, and quick jerky sprints and stops contribute to this condition. The most common cause of quadriceps tendonitis is overuse injury from sports activities. However, anyone can be affected with this condition, even those who do not participate in sports or recreational activities. It is also particularly common in sports that require frequent acceleration and deceleration or repetitive jumping (such as basketball or netball).
Additionally, patients may develop this condition suddenly due to high force going through the quadricep tendon beyond what it can withstand. This can occur during rapid acceleration whilst running, when landing from a height, or due to a direct blow to the quadriceps tendon.
Signs and Symptoms:
Typically, patients with quadriceps tendonitis experience pain that develops gradually at the front of the knee just above the kneecap. Occasionally, local swelling and a feeling of knee weakness may also be present particularly when attempting to accelerate whilst running or attempting to perform a squat. Other symptoms may include pain on firmly touching the quadriceps tendon and in some cases pain or limping may be experienced by the patient while walking. Upon stretching the quadriceps, pain or stiffness may also be experienced.
How can Physical Therapy help?
Ignoring the symptoms of quadriceps tendonitis by adopting a ‘no pain, no gain’ attitude is likely to lead the condition to become chronic. Appropriate and immediate treatment is essential for patients experiencing quadriceps tendonitis to ensure a speedy recovery. Healing slows down once the condition becomes chronic, which significantly results in markedly increased recovery times and an increased likelihood of future recurrence.
The aim of physiotherapy is to decrease the inflammation and pain in the knee. Initially, simply icing your knee can assist with the inflammation and relieve a great deal of pain. Depending on the severity, your physiotherapist may also use electrical modalities such as ultrasound or interferential current to help decrease pain and control the amount of inflammation. For the injury to heal, some mild inflammation is actually needed.
Our physiotherapist may even give you a massage, especially to your quadriceps muscle, which may be helpful. He may closely work with your doctor to obtain their advice on the use of medication if required. Contact our team of special physiotherapists in Edmonton, if you or anyone you know is suffering from Quadriceps Tendonitis.