Monday, 12 July 2010

TENS Machine - An Option for Pain Management


Management  of pain is a problem for many medical conditions.

Some hospitals and medical centers have a pain management clinic. While some people respond well to hypnotherapy, creative therapy, massage, occupational therapy, medication and other treatment modalities, there are some who still suffer with pain.

How do TENS machines work?

Tens machines send small electrical pulses through the skin to the body. These are predominantly sent via electrodes placed onto the skin. In this way they alter the way in which the pain signal is sent to the brain and hence reduce the experience of pain.

TENS machines are thought to work in two ways.

The Tens machine sends either a high pulse rate (90 - 130 Hz) or a low pulse rate (2-5 Hz) . The high pulse rate helps to block the message of pain along the nerve being sent to the brain; while the low pulse rate stimulates the body to produce its own chemicals (endorphins) that reduce pain

Who can use a TENS machine

Since the Tens machines have virtually no side effects they are beneficial for many who experience pain. It does not matter whether the cause is Rheumatoid and Osteo-arthritis, Back pain, Menstrual Pain, Labour Pain, Peripheral Nerve Injuries, Shingles, Headache and Migraine, Cancer Pain, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Phantom Limb Pain, Sports Injuries, Sciatica, Aching Joints, Post Operative Pain, Muscular Pain, Whiplash and Neck Injury or another cause not listed.

WARNING. PLEASE NOTE: You should obtain the medical clearance from a medical doctor prior to purchasing a Tens Machine. Anyone who suffers from any of the following, should NOT use a Tens Machince.

* When the cause of the pain is not known or not diagnosed.
* Pregnancy (unless specifically medically advised).
* Pacemakers.
* Epilepsy or certain types of heart disease.

How to use a TENS machine

As mentioned, first obtain your doctors approval, or a qualified health professional such as a physiotherapist. There are various types and brands of machine. Always follow the instructions provided by the manufactures.

May you enjoy good health free from any pain or other ailments.

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A Brief History of Occupational Therapy

Two images to illustrate a form of occupation. In this case baking and dusting. However any occupation can be used as a medium of therapeutic intervention. Sometimes the task chosen is the aspect that provides the therapy, sometimes it is the structure of the task, the environment used, whether individual or in a group or specific techniques of the occupational therapist. All these factors impact on the therapeutic process and assisting the client to reach their goal.

Occupational Therapy is an incredible profession with enormous scope to help others, however, it is largely unknown and misunderstood. Most people do not realize that Occupational Therapy is an allied health profession that requires completing a university degree in order to practice. If you are searching for an occupational therapist on-line or in person, make sure they have a degree from a recognized university.

A little look at HISTORY:

Occupational Therapy really is an age old profession but it became officially recognized a little prior to WW1. One of the first areas in which occupational therapy began, was in what was then called a mental institute. The staff at a certain mental institution in USA were concerned that their patients spent many hours in bed and were not compliant with taking their medication. Hospitals stays were lengthy and re-admission frequent.

It was decided to try giving them a craft or industry related task to do during the day time. The result was:

-          patients got up more readily in the morning

-          their personal care improved

-          they became more compliant with medication

-          hospital stays began to shorten and re-admission was less frequent.

During WW1 and 2, a different version of occupational therapy was tried. Here occupations were given either to take a war veterans mind off his pain or to help to encourage a specific movement. Through these and other initial applications of occupation for therapeutic purposes, the far reaching benefits were quickly identified.

A lovely illustration of the power of engaging a person in a meaningful activity is illustrated in the book “A Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The story outlines the life of a child who is bed ridden and frail, including sensitivity to light, noise, aversion to people and more. When another child comes to visit and insists on taking the ill child out into the garden, a total transformation begins to take place. Just from getting out into fresh air, sunshine and participating in the exciting task of improving an overgrown, forgotten patch in the garden to a living, beautiful place to visit and play, so too the “ill” child begins to blossom. It is interesting to note that this novel was first published in 1909 around the time that the profession was first developing.

Around 1917 - 1919, the media coverage regarding this up-and-coming profession was that the potential benefits were so far reaching it would become as necessary as brushing ones teeth or nursing. The predictions at that stage were that occupational therapy would play a crucial role in saving medical costs by reducing hospital stay, improving function of patients that would have a benefit in terms of return to work and reduced need for re-hospitalization.

From the outset, occupational therapy required a referral from a doctor which meant that there was a need for recognition by the medical team. In order to ensure increased support of the profession, methods were needed to quantify and standardize what occupational therapy is. To attain this goal, specialization began and hence, where occupational therapy had been focused on the use of occupations as a medium of treatment, therapists began to specialize in types of clients or patients that they would treat.

We have dealt here with a little of the history of Occupational Therapy. In another post we will look at the title itself and how this explains further the role of the occupational therapist.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Which Children Will Benefit From Occupational Therapy

Children who may benefit from occupational therapy include:

Children who
  •  were injured at birth or were born with birth defects
  •  have sensory processing / integrative disorders
  •  have suffered traumatic injuries (brain or spinal cord)
  •  have learning problems
  •  have autism
  •  suffer from pervasive developmental disorders
  •  have suffered from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
  •  suffer from mental health or behavioural problems
  •  have broken bones or other orthopaedic injuries
  •  have experienced developmental delays
  • have post surgical conditions
  • have suffered burns
  • have spina bifida (split spine)
  • have had traumatic amputations
  • have cancer
  • have suffered severe hand injuries
  • are sufferers of multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and other chronic illnesses
This list is adapted from the American Occupational Therapy Association

Talking Desktop Calculator

Occupational Therapy is all about helping people to be independent in all areas of their lives. Sometimes that means strengthening ones muscles or sensory processing. Sometimes it means teaching them a new technique, sometimes it means training them with the use of a piece of equipment that will enable them to be independent.

When someone learns mathematics or needs to be able to add prices for budgeting etc there are several methods to do this. One can improve perception and learning skills in maths in order to make the calculation either mentally or by writing it down. Often there is the need for the use of a calculator. If a person has a visual problem or even is completely blind, writing the numbers and feeling the braile, might take a little longer than if it is calculated via a calculator.

If they were to use a regular calculator, how will they know that the correct number was typed in or what the answer is? The answer is through the use of a talking calculator. 

The above talking desk calculator is available for sale through our Shopping for Goodness Store
This calculator has large size buttons. A feature that is an advantage is the auto power shut off and a repeat key. This particular one does not have a headphone jack.

If you have the need for a different assistive device or piece of equipment that can make your daily life easier or more effective, please do email Shoshanah for a consultation.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

What is Occupational Therapy - A Laymans Opinion 2

The next post of answers by those who are not qualified Occupational Therapists did have the merit to work with OT's. We are not sure what his profession is but here is how feels about occupational therapy.

"I have worked with post trauma head injured persons. An occupational therapist is different from a physical therapist but works closely with physical therapists in a rehabilitative setting. In one group home I worked in the occupational therapists worked with people who were attempting to regain life skills so that they could return to ... See Morenormal life. An Occupational Therapist may help people to relearn basic life skills such as cooking for oneself, doing ones own laundry, making ones own bed, brushing teeth, changing clothing, bathing independantly, shopping, using a bus or Taxi or even learning to drive again. An occupational Therapist may also be instrummantal in evaluating a persons skills so they can be introduced into the work environment. This was how it worked in a rehabilitative setting. I'm sure that this is also an important therapy for the mentally disadvantaged or the blind. These people are an important part of being able to give disabled persons a chance at an independent life and the self respect that comes from taking responsible care of oneself. A good Occupational Therapists career is filled with days of important Mitvot!!!!!!!!!!! :-) 

Not only in Rehab. Life skills for mentally retarded people to allow them to live more fulfilling lives might be part of OT. I personally am only familiar with it from my experience in head injury rehabilitation. Someone with bad short term memory may need to learn how to use a med-box and timer to remember to take medicine for instance and is ... See Moresomething I've worked with with clients and OT.s. I imagine helping make one more independant and self reliant and confident is a mitvah. Would it not be the greater Tzedakah to provide the net than to provide the fish"

What is Occupational Therapy - A Laymans Opinion 1

We posted on some social network forums to find out what lay people consider Occupational Therapy is. Here is the first of the answers posted.

Basically it is the practice of engaging in POSITIVE occupational actions. It goes back (at least the general idea) about 2000 years and is mainly focused at making people act nicer/more humane/more positive in their chosen profession.

In general,it is teaching people to approach life (or their occupation) in a positive manner and having them interact with others in a positive manner is great.

I think that you can say that those who need you the most will NOT know what an OT is. But to the best of my knowledge, the role of an occupational therapist is to work with a client to help them achieve a fulfilled and satisfied state in life through the use of activities or interventions designed to achieve specific outcomes It can be used to promote health, prevent injury or disability and improve, sustain or restore the highest possible level of independenc
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