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Cerebrovascular Accident (Stroke)

Cerebrovascular Accident (Stroke)

Symptoms
Watch for these signs and symptoms if you think you or someone else may be having a stroke. Note when your signs and symptoms begin, because the length of time they have been present may guide your treatment decisions:
• Trouble with speaking and understanding. You may experience confusion. You may slur your words or have difficulty understanding speech.
• Paralysis or numbness of the face, arm or leg. You may develop sudden numbness, weakness or paralysis in your face, arm or leg, especially on one side of your body. Try to raise both your arms over your head at the same time. If one arm begins to fall, you may be having a stroke. Similarly, one side of your mouth may droop when you try to smile.
• Trouble with seeing in one or both eyes. You may suddenly have blurred or blackened vision in one or both eyes, or you may see double.
• Headache. A sudden, severe headache, which may be accompanied by vomiting, dizziness or altered consciousness, may indicate you’re having a stroke.
• Trouble with walking. You may stumble or experience sudden dizziness, loss of balance or loss of coordination.
When to see a doctor
Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any signs or symptoms of a stroke, even if they seem to fluctuate or disappear.
Think “FAST” and do the following:
• Face. Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
• Arms. Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? Or is one arm unable to raise up?
• Speech. Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is his or her speech slurred or strange?
• Time. If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately.
Call 911 or your local emergency number right away. Don’t wait to see if symptoms go away. Every minute counts. The longer a stroke goes untreated, the greater the potential for brain damage and disability.
If you’re with someone you suspect is having a stroke, watch the person carefully while waiting for emergency assistance.
Causes
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to your brain is interrupted or reduced. This deprives your brain of oxygen and nutrients, which can cause your brain cells to die.
A stroke may be caused by a blocked artery (ischemic stroke) or the leaking or bursting of a blood vessel (hemorrhagic stroke). Some people may experience only a temporary disruption of blood flow to their brain (transient ischemic attack, or TIA).
Ischemic stroke
About 85 percent of strokes are ischemic strokes. Ischemic strokes occur when the arteries to your brain become narrowed or blocked, causing severely reduced blood flow (ischemia). The most common ischemic strokes include:
• Thrombotic stroke. A thrombotic stroke occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one of the arteries that supply blood to your brain. A clot may be caused by fatty deposits (plaque) that build up in arteries and cause reduced blood flow (atherosclerosis) or other artery conditions.
• Embolic stroke. An embolic stroke occurs when a blood clot or other debris forms away from your brain — commonly in your heart — and is swept through your bloodstream to lodge in narrower brain arteries. This type of blood clot is called an embolus.

Hemorrhagic stroke
Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in your brain leaks or ruptures. Brain hemorrhages can result from many conditions that affect your blood vessels, including uncontrolled high blood pressure (hypertension), overtreatment with anticoagulants and weak spots in your blood vessel walls (aneurysms).
A less common cause of hemorrhage is the rupture of an abnormal tangle of thin-walled blood vessels (arteriovenous malformation) present at birth. Types of hemorrhagic stroke include:
• Intracerebral hemorrhage. In an intracerebral hemorrhage, a blood vessel in the brain bursts and spills into the surrounding brain tissue, damaging brain cells. Brain cells beyond the leak are deprived of blood and also damaged.
High blood pressure, trauma, vascular malformations, use of blood-thinning medications and other conditions may cause an intracerebral hemorrhage.
• Subarachnoid hemorrhage. In a subarachnoid hemorrhage, an artery on or near the surface of your brain bursts and spills into the space between the surface of your brain and your skull. This bleeding is often signaled by a sudden, severe headache.
A subarachnoid hemorrhage is commonly caused by the bursting of a small sack-shaped or berry-shaped outpouching on an artery known as an aneurysm. After the hemorrhage, the blood vessels in your brain may widen and narrow erratically (vasospasm), causing brain cell damage by further limiting blood flow.

Ischemic stroke

Transient ischemic attack (TIA)
A transient ischemic attack (TIA) — also known as a ministroke — is a brief period of symptoms similar to those you’d have in a stroke. A temporary decrease in blood supply to part of your brain causes TIAs, which often last less than five minutes.
Like an ischemic stroke, a TIA occurs when a clot or debris blocks blood flow to part of your brain. A TIA doesn’t leave lasting symptoms because the blockage is temporary.
Seek emergency care even if your symptoms seem to clear up. Having a TIA puts you at greater risk of having a full-blown stroke, causing permanent damage later. If you’ve had a TIA, it means there’s likely a partially blocked or narrowed artery leading to your brain or a clot source in the heart.
It’s not possible to tell if you’re having a stroke or a TIA based only on your symptoms. Up to half of people whose symptoms appear to go away actually have had a stroke causing brain damage.
Risk factors
Many factors can increase your risk of a stroke. Some factors can also increase your chances of having a heart attack. Potentially treatable stroke risk factors include:
Lifestyle risk factors
• Being overweight or obese
• Physical inactivity
• Heavy or binge drinking
• Use of illicit drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamines
Medical risk factors
• High blood pressure — the risk of stroke begins to increase at blood pressure readings higher than 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). Your doctor will help you decide on a target blood pressure based on your age, whether you have diabetes and other factors.
• Cigarette smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke.
• High cholesterol.
• Diabetes.
• Obstructive sleep apnea — a sleep disorder in which the oxygen level intermittently drops during the night.
• Cardiovascular disease, including heart failure, heart defects, heart infection or abnormal heart rhythm.
Other factors associated with a higher risk of stroke include:
• Personal or family history of stroke, heart attack or transient ischemic attack.
• Being age 55 or older.
• Race — African-Americans have a higher risk of stroke than do people of other races.
• Gender — Men have a higher risk of stroke than women. Women are usually older when they have strokes, and they’re more likely to die of strokes than are men. Also, they may have some risk from some birth control pills or hormone therapies that include estrogen, as well as from pregnancy and childbirth.
Complications
A stroke can sometimes cause temporary or permanent disabilities, depending on how long the brain lacks blood flow and which part was affected. Complications may include:
• Paralysis or loss of muscle movement. You may become paralyzed on one side of your body, or lose control of certain muscles, such as those on one side of your face or one arm. Physical therapy may help you return to activities hampered by paralysis, such as walking, eating and dressing.
• Difficulty talking or swallowing. A stroke may cause you to have less control over the way the muscles in your mouth and throat move, making it difficult for you to talk clearly (dysarthria), swallow or eat (dysphagia). You also may have difficulty with language (aphasia), including speaking or understanding speech, reading or writing. Therapy with a speech and language pathologist may help.
• Memory loss or thinking difficulties. Many people who have had strokes experience some memory loss. Others may have difficulty thinking, making judgments, reasoning and understanding concepts.
• Emotional problems. People who have had strokes may have more difficulty controlling their emotions, or they may develop depression.
• Pain. People who have had strokes may have pain, numbness or other strange sensations in parts of their bodies affected by stroke. For example, if a stroke causes you to lose feeling in your left arm, you may develop an uncomfortable tingling sensation in that arm.
People also may be sensitive to temperature changes, especially extreme cold after a stroke. This complication is known as central stroke pain or central pain syndrome. This condition generally develops several weeks after a stroke, and it may improve over time. But because the pain is caused by a problem in your brain, rather than a physical injury, there are few treatments.
• Changes in behavior and self-care ability. People who have had strokes may become more withdrawn and less social or more impulsive. They may need help with grooming and daily chores.
As with any brain injury, the success of treating these complications will vary from person to person.

 

Reference:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/stroke/symptoms-causes/dxc-20117265

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Essentials Of A Healthy Pregnancy

Essentials Of A Healthy Pregnancy

“We’re having a baby! Now what?” These are thoughts that go through every couple mind when they receive the news. You hear old stories from your grandma, experiences from your friends, or watched your sister’s journey through 9 months of carrying her baby… it still doesn’t make you any less apprehensive.  Don’t let that nervousness get the better of you.

We thought you might like some essentials that every expecting couple should know. (And soon to be grandparents as well!)

Pre-Natal Vitamins (not your usual candy)-

Even when you’re still trying to conceive, it’s smart to start taking prenatal vitamins. Your baby’s neural cord, which becomes the brain and spinal cord, develops within the first month of pregnancy, so it’s important you get essential nutrients, like folic acid, calcium, and iron, from the very start.

Get your WORKOUT game strong-

Staying active is a must for most moms to be. Regular exercise will help you control your weight, improve circulation, boost your mood, and help you sleep better. Take this as an opportunity to spend more time with your husband/girlfriend/sister by making them your workout partner.

And the added advantage – being in good shape helps you lose your post-baby weight much quicker.

(P.S-Always check with your Medical care provider before you start any new exercise routine)

Strengthen Your Pelvic Muscles-

Kegel exercise helps strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which support your bladder, bowels, and uterus. Done correctly, this simple exercise can help make your delivery easier and prevent problems later with incontinence. The best part- these can be done anytime-anywhere!!!

Be Cautious Of Your Daily Routines-

Even everyday tasks like scrubbing the bathroom or cleaning up after pets can become risky when you’re pregnant. Be cautious when you do any of the following:

–           Heavy lifting

–           Climbing on stepstools or ladders

–           Using harsh chemicals

–           Standing for long periods of time, especially near a hot stove

Is your weight under check?

We know – you’re eating for two. But packing on too many extra pounds may make them hard to lose later. At the same time, not gaining enough weight can put the baby at risk for a low-weight birth, a major cause of developmental problems. Discuss your concerns with your Doctor or a nutritionist if needed.

Food Rich in Folates-

Folic acid is crucial for the proper development of the baby’s neural tube (it covers the spinal cord), and it’s vital for the creation of new red blood cells. Start eating plenty of folate-rich foods like fortified cereals, asparagus, lentils, wheat germ, and oranges.

Educate Yourself-

Even if this isn’t your first baby, attending a childbirth class will help you feel more prepared for delivery. Not only will you have the chance to learn more about childbirth and infant care, but you can ask specific questions and voice any concerns.

Take this as an opportunity to learn about your family history and address your concerns with your doctor.

BE CAUTIOUS of Any Unusual Symptoms-

Contact your Medical care provider at the earliest, if you notice any of the following symptoms:

–           Pain of any kind

–           Strong  cramps

–           Contractions at 20-minute intervals

–           Vaginal bleeding or leaking of fluid

–           Dizziness or fainting

–           Shortness of breath

–           Heart palpitations

–           Constant nausea and vomiting

–           Trouble walking, edema (swelling of joints)

–           Decreased activity by the baby

The right education, healthy habits, and lots of love… will make your 9 months of pregnancy the best time of your life!!!

When in need… Let our professional team of Medical Experts provide you with all the essentials.

Florida Home Care – Empowering people for Better Lives!!!

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Keeping Good Care of Your Filters

Keeping Good Care of Your Filters

There’s one organ, well two, that have an extremely important filtering function in your body. Kidneys – those bean-shaped organs located in the back of the abdomen. They have several filtering functions that keep your body in good shape.

Kidneys main function is to filter blood. All the blood in our bodies passes through the kidneys several times a day. They also remove wastes, control the body’s fluid balance, and regulate the balance of electrolytes. As the kidneys filter blood, they create urine, which is passed out as a waste product from the body.

Just like your heart or any other organ, kidneys also need to very good care. What can you do to achieve that???

Hydrate– Consuming 8 glasses of water/fluid on an average helps with maintaining good kidney function.

Consuming plenty of fluid helps the kidneys clear sodium, urea, and toxins from the body which, in turn, results in a “significantly lower risk” of developing chronic kidney disease.  It’s important to keep in mind that the right level of fluid intake for any individual depends on many factors including gender, exercise, climate, health conditions, pregnancy, and breastfeeding. In addition, people who have already had a kidney stone are advised to drink 2 to 3 litres of water daily to lessen the risk of forming a new stone.

Keep fit & activeA healthy lifestyle is the key to good health.

Optimum workout and nutritious food helps you lower the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes. If you’ve been sedentary, or haven’t exactly been eating right, it’s OK. You can start to make those changes now. Start slow and build and you’ll not only help your kidneys but your overall health.

Do not SMOKE- Smoking reduces blood flow to kidneys and impairs kidney function.

Smoking also increases the incidence of kidney cancer. It causes issues with blood and proper filter functions.

Reduce the intake of over-the counter medications – Common drugs such non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen are known to cause kidney damage and disease if taken regularly.

Work along with your physician to deal with chronic pain conditions that create the need for these drugs. Also discuss if you have any pre-existing risk factors. If you have no pre-existing conditions, occasional use of these drugs might not pose a significant danger.

Certain physical conditions can also cause problems for your kidneys. It is a lesser known fact that high blood pressure is the most common cause of kidney damage. When paired with a heart condition, high cholesterol, or diabetes, your kidneys are under increased stress and need extra care. Work with your doctor to make sure your illness and medications aren’t having a detrimental effect on your kidneys.

Disease specific care calls for regular monitoring of your Kidney function when you have some of the pre-determined conditions:

  • you have diabetes
  • you have hypertension
  • you are obese
  • one of your parents or other family members suffers from kidney disease

Don’t let your body’s best filter get clogged. Keep your kidney’s running smoothly and your whole body will feel better.

 Florida Home Care- Empowering people for making better life possible

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Getting Your Exercise to Fit

Everyone knows that exercise is essential to reducing or maintaining your weight, muscle tone, and improving your overall health. It’s a truth that can sometimes cause more stress than the exercise is meant to relieve. Schedules, work, and other activities seem to eat away at your day. When time does allow, sometimes you just want to sit back and relax.

You don’t have to fit in 2 hours of strenuous works outs every day to start making progress towards a healthier life. Short bursts of extra activity can be very effective. Even in bits as small as 5 to 10 minutes a few times a day can make a difference. Start small and build momentum. It can even begin by adding or changing up some simple activities to your daily routine that will add to your overall progress.

Here are a few tips to try to get your body moving:

  • Stuck in a line at the bank or store? Don’t waste the time, flex or stretch while you wait. It’s as easy as tightening or flexing your abs, tighten and hold your gluts, or rock on your feet from toe to heel. Subtle stretches can still tone those muscles and help with some flexibility.
  • Whenever you can, take the stairs. Work on the second floor of a building? Take the stairs down or up instead of waiting in the elevator que. It helps build stamina, increase circulation, and strengthen those leg muscles. It doesn’t have to be a race, but every time you do it will get you closer to your goal.
  • Running to the mall, or out for lunch or dinner? Park at the far end of the parking lot, or at least further away than you normally would. Little extra steps start to add up.
  • Household chores and exercise aren’t always on the “fun things to do” list. But, think of it as taking care of two things at once. Yard work, vacuuming, dusting, sweeping, scrubbing – they can be pretty strenuous work outs. Do them at a comfortably brisk pace and they can really begin to help your exercise routine.
  • Working in an office can be tough on getting fit, especially if you have a desk job. You can still fit in some muscle stretching and movement in little ways. Instead of just hitting the email or IM, walk over to your co-workers. Use restrooms on a different floor – and take the stairs to get there if you can. When you take a break, or lunch, add a brisk walk for a few minutes, even if it’s a short one. Give your legs a stretch under your desk. Simple little things can add up for your body, as well as refreshing your mind.
  • When you’re at home, don’t let binging on your favorite TV shows be an excuse to be sedentary. Whenever a commercial comes on, take those few minutes to do some stretches, get in a few sit ups or jumping jacks, or dance like crazy to the commercial music.

Don’t let a too busy life keep you from getting in the exercise and movement your body craves. By finding time to tone in bits throughout the day, you’ll be able to enjoy a longer, healthier life. You want to have time to be busy with the things and people you enjoy for years to come.

What are your favorite ways to get in some extra exercise during the day?

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Get Good Eating Habits Now to Stay Healthy Later

Eating is essential for living, we all know that. But what you eat is essential for healthy living, and that’s something where many of us fail.

According to a 2008 study by the Health Authority, Some 70% of UAE residents over the age 18 are considered overweight or obese. This high body mass is a leading cause of cardiovascular and circulatory diseases, diabetes, and some musculoskeletal disorders. Changing eating habits now, and starting good eating habits for children, can help to stave off these types of nutritional diseases and extend life expectancy.

It’s important to understand that your diet directly influences your entire body including the way your brain interacts with your body, and vice versa. Poor diet can affect the neurochemistry in your brain, which in turn reflects in your mood and stress response. Learning, memory, and intelligence are also affected by the types of foods you eat.

It’s not a hopeless thing. Some simple steps can start leading you to a healthier lifestyle and a longer life.

Look for variety in your food choices, including lots of fresh, colorful vegetables. Spinach, carrots, blueberries, melons, and all seasonal fruits and vegetables provide plenty of nutrition, fiber, and flavor. Use minimal preparation to get the most benefit from the active vitamins and minerals.

Look for variety in your daily meals. Have whole grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy, and meats in moderation throughout the day. Overloading on carbohydrates, like processed breads or fried foods, can be filling but provide little nutrition. They can also cause a sluggish feeling which is hard to shake.

Watch your salt intake. It may not be necessary to remove it completely from your meal planning, but it doesn’t need to be a main component of a recipe.

Reduce or eliminate caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, processed sugars, and over processed or chemically preserved foods. These items can create a ripple effect, creating a feeling of wellbeing or energy for a short while. Then your levels crash and you crave more to get the jump again. It’s probably the hardest part of the cycle of bad eating to break.

Get more exercise.  Even just walking more each day, can help boost your metabolism and actually help your muscles and joints by improving strength, elasticity, and flexibility.

Have patience with yourself and others while shifting to a new nutritional regime. It takes time to develop new habits, especially when the old ones are often associated with fond memories of comfort, familiarity, and a sense of yummiest. And always check with your physician or a registered nutritionist before you make major changes, especially if you are on certain medications.

Remember, everything is about balance. An occasional treat does not mean you need to give up on your goal of better eating. Finding the balance in good foods and meals will hopefully carry you through for many health filled years to come.

The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.”

Thomas Edison

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Speech Therapy Florida Home Care

Speech Therapy is more than Words

Communication is a key element to human interaction. From the moment we are born, we are reaching out to let others know our needs and thoughts, even if at first it is only in simple sounds and cries.

If you know that your child has developmental problems, autism, or other communications problems, speech therapy can be an essential part of helping your child become more adaptive and interactive. Sometimes there are subtler signs, like being antisocial or struggling with words or phrases, that might require advice from a professional. The benefits of helping your child communicate more clearly will not only help your home life, but your child’s life for years to come.

How can speech therapy help?

It can help alleviate stress. Developing a way to communicate, whether through improved speech or other options like gestures, sign language, approximations, vocalizations, and/or other means of communication, can help your child feel more in control and capable, and help the family understand what the child wants to say. It can relieve a lot of pressure when needs and feelings can be expressed.

Improved Social Skills can help build your child’s confidence, self esteem, and help them become more independent. They will feel more part of the community.

It can improve breathing and swallowing for children who have physical issues. It is something many of us take for granted, but proper breathing, swallowing and muscle coordination are key to clear speech. Therapists help a child learn something that is so automatic to many of us.

Problem Solving and Literacy will be increased as comprehension, sequencing, actions, pronoun usage, categorization, and grammar usage can improve greatly through therapy.

Speech therapy can be time consuming and might feel like added pressure for the child and the family. It is something that goes beyond just the therapy sessions, but extends into practicing in daily life and interactions throughout the week. But it can be rewarding as the child develops greater confidence and the ability to better communicate.

 

The Earlier that the intervention starts for your child, the quicker that the disorder can be addressed and corrected

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Respiratory Therapy

Every Breath is Important:

Between 17,000 and 27,000 times a day the average person does this without even thinking about it. It’s an essential action to our very existence. For many people, that little breath can be incredible difficult, if not impossible without assistance from medication or machinery, or gifted respiratory therapists.

Respiratory Therapists work under the direction of primary doctors and in conjunction with nurses and other medical staff. They work with all types of patients, from premature infants whose lungs are not fully developed to the elderly people with advanced lung disease, asthma, sleep apnea, and everything in between.

Patients, who are recovering from extensive surgery, long term illnesses, or chronic diseases like asthma or COPD, may need continuing respiratory therapy once they return home.

There are specific types of equipment that therapists might use, whether in the hospital or at home, to administer oxygen or medicine to the lungs to help the patient breathe easier. Some equipment is as simple as an Incentive Spirometer, which is used to help practice deep breathing and aids in keeping the lungs clear. Some are as complicated as a Ventilator, which mechanically circulates fresh air into the lungs and expels the used air for someone who is unable to breathe on their own.

Despite the pain or fear associated with breathing issues, it’s important to follow the exercises and recommendations of the Respiratory Therapist. Tell them of any pain or problems so they can completely assess the problems and supply the best treatment. Keep in mind; they do anything possible to help a person breathe.

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Managing Pain with Physical Therapy

 

 

Physical Therapy

How each person processes and feels pain is as individual and unique as a fingerprint. Treating that pain also needs to be addressed on an individual basis. There is not one guaranteed cure, but there are a variety of options.

Movement:

With arthritis, certain diseases, or after surgery or an injury, pain can be almost intolerable. It can be a constant, or levels can fluctuate with various movements.  People, however, don’t want to move the affected areas because of that pain. Yet movement is often the key to the healing process.

Opioids:

Opioids are regularly prescribed to reduce pain. These drugs block receptors in the brain and nerves, reducing the pain signal pathway. They can be a useful ally in the short term treatment of post trauma pain. There are some, however, if used over the long term that can become addictive and will not necessarily help the underlying issue that is root cause for the pain. Using opiods and other pain relievers may cause the patient to “feel” better, when, in fact, they are not. The afflicted person could push themselves too hard because they aren’t feeling the pain and, thus, strain or damage the tissue and make the issue worse.

Physical Therapy is a process which can retrain your body to better utilize the muscles around the injured area and relieve the strain and aches, aiding in a more comprehensive recovery. PT focuses on the body’s ability to engage in movement.  Trained and certified Physical Therapists can assess the best exercises, stretches, and strengthening models to use for your specific requirements.  Activity and exercise will help build strength and flexibility, which in turn takes stress off painful joints.

Patience is the Key:

Ideally, when working with a Physical Therapist, the goal is to learn the proper way to exercise and perform the treatments at home. Hot or cold compresses may be recommended to assist in healing and pain relief. It takes time, and the healing process is a gradual one. Having patience will be rewarded with more flexibility, strength, endurance, and a lot less pain.

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physicaal therapy

Latest In Physical Therapy

Initiating physical therapy at the onset of low back pain is better than ‘wait and see’ approach.

By Dr. Erik Hums, DPT, FAAOMPT, CSCS

Lower back pain is a condition that plagues an astonishing 61 percent of Americans, according to a 2012 survey by the American Physical Therapy Association. For years, many people who visit their physician while experiencing back pain have been told to follow the “wait and see” approach to monitor their symptoms before taking action. The “wait and see” approach may involve taking anti-inflammatory medications to temporarily relieve pain while monitoring symptoms. This delayed referral often has patients starting physical therapy 15-90 days after onset of pain, which is valuable recovery time.

Current research shows that this approach may not be the most effective. A systematic review of back pain patient outcomes illustrates that early initiation of physical therapy may decrease health costs and improve overall outcomes. Back pain treatment by a physical therapist can include manual therapy and manipulation, strengthening and flexibility exercises, education regarding proper lifting, bending, and sitting habits, and passive modalities such as heat, ice, and electrical stimulation to the affected area. By starting physical therapy at the onset of musculoskeletal pain, the patient may be able to avoid pain relief medications, painful injections, expensive advanced imaging, and invasive surgeries. Initiating physical therapy treatment early saves patients time and money, due to the high cost of the previously mentioned treatments and modalities.

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