Sacroiliac Belt

Guest Blogger: Colorado State University Graduate and Covell Care Intern, Garrett Masterson.

The sacroiliac (SI) joint is a very important joint in the human body. There are two SI joints which are located where your sacrum, the lower portion of your spine, and pelvis meet. This joint is very important, as it supports the entire upper body’s weight. If your ligaments or muscles around the SI joint are too weak and/or do not provide enough support, the joints will become destabilized. This can result in abnormal stretching of the joint/muscles/ligaments, arthritis, inflammation, stress and other pains.

A sacroiliac belt is a belt device that’s purpose is to help stabilize the SI joint. This device is worn securely around the hips. The belt compresses against the SI joint, acting as the ligaments and muscles in the area to help provide support. The belt also helps with realigning the pelvis to its proper angles, thereby helping to reduce the destabilization. Wearing one of these
sacroiliac belts can also provide your body with some relief and aid to allow the body to potentially heal and repair the affected muscles and ligaments that are required to have a healthy sacroiliac joint. This relief could also come in the form of reduced inflammation and lessened
pain which is commonly felt in the lower back.

If you are having concerns of SI joint pain and would like to hear more information about a sacroiliac belt, please do not hesitate to contact us at Covell Care. We would love to help you out! (970) 204-4331

The Fear of Falling

Guest blogger Colorado State University and Covell Care Intern, Hailey Jungerman.

Falling can cause major issues for older adults. Injuries can range from an ankle sprain to a traumatic brain injury. These injuries can lead to high direct medical costs and indirect medical costs. Not only that, but it can lead to an increase in fall risk factors.

“Fear of falling often develops after experiencing a fall” (Tomita et al.).The same study shows that even one fall can lead to developing fear. There is a vicious circle that is associated with the fear of falling that can be hard to break without intervention. “Fear of falling is associated with negative physical and psychosocial health outcomes, including depression and
activity restriction” (Lee, Oh and Hong 2018). Once an older adult obtains this fear, the less likely they are willing to participate in activities such as exercise or even leaving their house. This can lead to weakened muscles and depression. Which in turn are more risk factors for older adults.

A team of therapists including occupational and physical therapists can help to overcome the fear of falling. Occupational therapists can assess the home for safety, both occupational and physical therapists can do a fall risk assessment on the client, and both can create a plan to address risk factors. They can suggest home modifications, address risk factors around the house, see how the patient gets around their home, and giving the patient exercises to build strength and work on balance. As the American Occupational Therapy Association’s page says, “Identifying environmental factors that contribute to falls and implementing the occupational therapy strategies to ameliorate these elements can improve safety and reduce health care costs while enhancing the participation of older adults in those communities.”

In order to keep older adults independent, it is important to have them assessed to find their risk factors. Each individual is unique, and so are their needs. Therapists working together can help to improve the quality of life by addressing fall risk in our loved ones.

For more information on Home Safety or Fall Risk Assessments call Covell Care & Rehabilitation at 970.204.4331.

Citations:
Lee, Seonhye, et al. “Comparison of Factors Associated with Fear of Falling between Older Adults with and without a Fall History.” International Journal of Environmental Research
and Public Health, vol. 15, no. 5, May 2018, p. 982., doi:10.3390/ijerph15050982.
Tomita, Yoshihito, et al. “Prevalence of Fear of Falling and Associated Factors among Japanese Community-Dwelling Older Adults.” Medicine, vol. 97, no. 4, Jan. 2018, doi:10.1097/md.0000000000009721.
Toto, Pamela. “Occupational Therapy and Prevention of Falls.” Aota.org, American
Occupational Therapy Association, 2017, www.aota.org/About-Occupational-Therapy/Professionals/PA/Facts/Fall-Prevention.aspx.

Wellness & Mobile Practitioners

Guest blogger, Colorado State University Graduate and Covell Care Intern, Hailey Jungerman.

Being a mobile practitioner there are a number of health factors to keep in mind. You are constantly on the go, but not being active in the sense of physical activity requirements. There is also a high chance that you are eating in between appointments while in the car. On top of that you may also be stressing about making it to your next appointment on time if one runs over, or there is traffic. All of these, and I am sure you know, and many more are stressors. All these can also pose serious health problems. Chronic stress can cause issues such as high blood pressure, racing heart, weakened immune system, depression, headaches and so many more (Pietrangelo and Watson). They also state that “Chronic stress is also a factor in behaviors such a overeating or not eating enough, alcohol or drug abuse, and social withdrawal.”

Symptoms of chronic stress include (Pietrangelo and Watson):

  • irritability
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • headaches
  • Insomnia

If you are experiencing any of these, it is important to know how to relieve stress. Stress management techniques vary. Some can be more effective than others. It will depend on you and what you are comfortable with. Many of them have health benefits beyond just relieving stress.

Some evidence based stress management techniques include (Darviri and Varvogli):

  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation: leads to a decrease in stress and anxiety as well as decreased blood pressure, heart rate, and decreased headaches.
  • Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction: positive impact on mood, stress and anxiety reduction.
  • Guided Imagery: can help in stress reduction, pain management, preventing relapse of smoking, and treatment of depression.

These are just a few strategies that could help to reduce your stress. It is important to find something that you enjoy and that works for you. Listening to books on tape, podcasts, or light music while you are driving are great ways to relieve stress in between appointments. Finding time to workout, take your dog for a walk, or making time for hobbies are other great ways to find a work-life balance and reduce stress. Ask Covell Care about our employee stress management!


Works Cited :
Darviri, Christina and Liza Varvogli. “Stress Management Techniques: evidence-based procedures that reduce stress and promote health.” Health Science Journal (2011): 74-89.
Pietrangelo, Ann and Stephanie Watson “The Effects of Stress on Your Body.” 5 June Health Line. 30 April 2019.

Reducing Hospital Admission with OT

Thank you to our guest blogger Hailey Jungerman, Covell Care Intern and Colorado State University Senior.

Occupational therapists play an important part in keeping patients out of the hospital. They do so by encouraging safety in independence. One thing that I have heard repeatedly in shadowing OTR Dave of Covell Care is, “And we want you to be safe while doing so.” He is always referring to the daily activities of his clients and encouraging that they can do the things they want to, but making it more safe for the ability of the client.

In a journal about OT preventing readmissions, OTR Pamela Roberts and OTR Marla Robinson say that “19.4% will be readmitted within 30 days and 51.6% within 1 year” (254). This is important because it shows a need. We NEED to help in reducing this rate. They also state that OT has an important role in early identification of risk and early engagement in risk-reduction strategies (254). The earlier that patients start with OT after a hospital visit, the more likely that it will help in preventing readmission.

Roberts and Robinson state that OT can prevent hospital acquired conditions (HACs) and falls while in the hospital (255). Being in a hospital increases risk of fall due to unfamiliar environment and confusion. If a patient is to fall, then there is a fear of falling which can in turn lead to further disability from reduction in activity due to fear (Roberts and Robinson 255). This is why OT is so important in all settings of care. OT should be seeing patients that are high-risk for falls and hospital admission to prevent admission as well as in hospital settings and care immediately following a hospital visit to reduce readmission risk.

Another journal restates the importance of safety by asking “can the patient be discharged safely into her or his environment?” and if not that occupational therapists can look at 6 important interventions that can reduce readmission (Rogers et al.):
1) Provide recommendations and training for caregivers.
2) Determine whether patients can safely live independently, or require rehabilitation or nursing.
3) Address existing disabilities with assistive devices so patients can safely perform activities of daily living.
4) Perform home safety assessments before discharge to suggest modifications.
5) Asses cognition and the ability to physically manipulate things like medication containers, and provide training when necessary
6) Work with physical therapists to increase intensity of inpatient rehabilitation.

The only thing to be added is that therapists should work the whole care team to ensure safety and monitor success of therapy which may include occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, personal training, nursing, etc. Occupational therapy is necessary in assessing safety in activities of daily living. When safety is encouraged, the more independent a person can be and the less likely they will end up in the hospital.

Works Cited:

Roberts, Pamela S., and Marla R. Robinson. “Occupational Therapy’s Role in Preventing Acute Readmissions.” American Journal of Occupational Therapy, vol. 68, no. 3, 2014, pp. 254–259., doi:10.5014/ajot.2014.683001.
Rogers, Andrew T., et al. “Higher Hospital Spending on Occupational Therapy Is Associated With Lower Readmission Rates.” Medical Care Research and Review, vol. 74, no. 6, 2 Sept. 2016, pp. 668–686., doi:10.1177/1077558716666981.

What is Functional Fitness

Thank you to our guest blogger Garrett Masterson, Colorado State University Student and Covell Care Intern.

Functional fitness is a type of fitness that prepares you and your body for everyday normal living. This includes such activities as walking up and down stairs, picking objects up from the ground, placing and removing food and kitchenware into cabinets/pantries/shelves/the fridge, sitting and standing from chairs, and many other daily activities. Functional fitness is exercising using motions that mimic our natural movements that we use everyday in our daily activities.

An example of a functional fitness exercise would be a squat, which simulates sitting and standing from a chair. These types of exercise will engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously, as many daily activities require the use of multiple muscle groups working in concert to perform actions. Functional fitness exercises focus on balance, strength, cardio, and exercises that move your body through different planes of motion.

The benefits of functional fitness improve your overall quality of life. It will increase your stability and balance while increasing your strength. Stronger, more functional muscles will help to stabilize your joints. Creating a stronger body for performing normal daily activities can greatly reduce the risk of injury and falls. You will also find that performing everyday activities can be easier. Functional exercise training may be especially beneficial for older adults to improve balance, agility and muscle strength, and reduce the risk of falls and hospitalizations.

Make sure to call us at Covell Care to see if this type of training is a good fit for you! (970) 204-4331

References

  1. Mayo Clinic (2016). Functional fitness training: Is it right for you? https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/functional-fitness/art-20047680
  2. Leonard, Deja (2018). Functional Fitness Is The Workout You Never Knew Your Body Needed. Women’s Health. https://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/a21938102/functional-fitness-training/