Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common type of adult- onset motor neuron disease. Neurological disorders are characterized primarily by progressive degeneration and loss of motor neurons. ALS involves upper and lower motor neurons and presents as an idiopathic , progressive degeneration of anterior horn cells and their associated neurons, resulting in progressive muscle weakness, atrophy, and fasciluations.
ALS is a gradual onset disease. The first initial symptoms of ALS varies person to person. One person may have trouble with their grip, such as holding a cup or pen, while another person may experience change in pitch in their voice while speaking. The rate at which ALS develops also varies person to person, with the mean survival time ranging three to five years. Although there are cases in which people have lived five, and ten or more years. Onset symptoms can begin in the muscles that control speech and swallowing, or in the hands, arms, legs or feet. Not all people who suffer from ALS experience the same symptoms as others or the same sequences or patterns of progression. Although, universally progressive muscle weakness and paralysis is experienced.
ALS is a somewhat difficult disease to diagnose. There is not one test or procedure to instantly establish the diagnosis of ALS. Through the use of clinical examination, and a series of diagnostic tests, often ruling out other diseases that mimic ALS, that a diagnosis can be established. A comprehensive diagnostic check-list includes most, if not all, of all the following procedures:
- Electrodiagnostic tests- Electomyography (EMG) and Nerve conduction velocity (NCV)
- Blood & Urine studies
- Spinal tap
- X-rays including MRI
- Myleogram of cervical spine
- Muscle and/or nerve biopsy
- A thorough neurological examination
These tests are done at the discretion of the physician, usually based on the results of other diagnostic tests and the physical examination. There are several diseases that have some of the same symptoms as ALS, and most of these conditions are treatable.
Treatment of ALS can be done with physiotherapy, focusing on stretching and daily range of motion (ROM) exercises. Our physiotherapists at Triangle will focus on the emphasis of energy conservation and teach patients and caregivers methods for performing safe, efficient transfers. Our therapists at Triangle can also provide instruction for strengthening exercise programs. In one study, individualized, moderate-intensity, endurance-type exercises for the trunk and limbs performed 15 minutes twice daily was shown to significantly reduce spasticity as measured by the Ashworth scale. At Triangle, we may have to recommend wheel chairs to anticipate the patients future needs. Initially, a lightweight wheelchair should be rented, with future plans to purchase a heavier chair when the patient is no longer able to ambulate. Modifications will be recommended on the basis of the patients condition and tolerance for gadgets.
Are you feeling a bit of a pain in the neck lately? Does your neck feel stiff, painful, tender, or are you not able to turn it and move around as much as you used to? You may be victim to whiplash. Whiplash is most associated with traumatic events involving sudden acceleration-deceleration forces mainly on the neck. Whiplash can affect a variety of issues pertaining toyour muscles, joints, bones, ligaments, discs, and nerves. Whiplash is mostly associated with car accidents, but other causes may include roller-coasters, bungee jumping or a sports-related condition. Symptoms and severity of whiplash can vary significantly between people. The most common reported symptom is neck pain or stiffness. This can occur anywhere from immediately after the injury to several days after.
Symptoms may include:
- Neck pain or stiffness
- Shoulder pain, arm pain, or upper back pain
- Altered sensation
- Visual disturbances
- Hearing difficulties
- Difficulty speaking or swallowing
- Difficulty swallowing
Fortunately, most people recover from the pain and stiffness associate with whiplash in a matter of weeks, but some cases require longer recovery time and treatment from a physiotherapist. Healing time varies with the level of tissue damage and promptness of treatment.Most whiplash patients will start to feel better within a few weeks of the injury from physiotherapy treatment. At Triangle, our physiotherapists will aim to:
- Reduce neck pain, headaches, and inflammation
- Normalise joint range of motion
- Gain strength in your neck
- Strengthen your upper back muscles
- Improve neck posture
- Normalise your muscles lengths and resting muscle tension
- Resolve any deficit in neural tissue extensibility
- Improve neck proprioception, fine motor control and balance
- Improve your ability to cope with everyday activities
- Minimise your chance of future neck pain or disability
Whiplash injuries can take from a few days to several months to rehabilitate. Just as the symptoms and severity of whiplash can vary from person to person, so can the recovery time. The large majority of whiplash sufferers do recover with actively guided treatment. Depression and trauma-related anxiety may impact the healing process of whiplash. Please consult with a qualified health professional to give yourself the best chance of recovery.
For more advice or any questions, please contact one of our physiotherapists at Triangle Physiotherapy at: https://www.trianglephysiotherapy.com/mail/mail.html
Incontinence can be a fairly sensitive or embarrassing subject to those who suffer from it. Incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine or faeces from the bladder and bowel. But know this, incontinence is an ACCIDENT, it is something that is uncontrollable and can happen to any expecting mother. Urinary incontinence affects around 10-13 million men and women, and it is twice as common in women as men. Anthony Atala, MD, said, “I would say virtually all pregnant women experience some type of incontinence”. Incontinence should not rule your pregnancy or your life.
Pregnancy can interfere with the normal way your urethra relaxes and contracts. You are able to urinate when the muscles around your urethra relax, allowing urine to pass through your bladder and out of your body. After urination, your muscles around your urethra contract, holding off urine flow until your body is ready to urinate again. Hormone changes during pregnancy and the additional pressure on the bladder from your uterus can cause stress incontinence. Mothers who are experiencing stress incontinence may urinate whilst sneezing, walking, coughing, laughing, running, and during exercise. Women who have a family history of incontinence, gain more weight than recommended during pregnancy, and are over the age of 35 are at higher risk of experiencing incontinence.
There are numerous ways to avoid pregnancy incontinence, along with visiting a pelvic health physiotherapist to avoid leakage.
1) Schedule your bathroom breaks. Try to make it to the toilet at least every two hours, as when pregnant, women urinate more frequently.
2) If you think your bathroom visits are proper, try practicing kegel exercises. Kegels help strengthen the pelvic floor. Practicing a kegel is the same as stopping the flow of urine within your urethra. Contract your muscles to the count of ten and then release. Repeat exercises ten to twenty times in a row two to three times a day. The average time to see results is four to eight weeks of regular practice.
3) Watching your weight while carrying has a significant effect on developing incontinence. Women who gain more weight during pregnancy are more likely to experience incontinence. Combining these factors with your pelvic physiotherapist will lower your risk of developing incontinence during your pregnancy, allowing your experience to be worry free.
If you are still unsure or worried about the risk of incontinence during your pregnancy, contact a pelvic floor physiotherapist at Triangle Physiotherapy. Triangle Physiotherapy has five convenient locations: Etobicoke, Oakville, Mississauga, North York, Toronto, and King West. At Triangle, we follow a no-waiting policy and our team is compromised of professionals who love what they do. Triangle staff will ensure that you will have a safe and comfortable pregnancy while in their care, and will help get your pregnancy back on track and in your hands.