Virtual Reality and Physical Therapy…

After a serious and sometimes debilitating injury, virtual reality can sometimes motivate the patient into seeing what is possible. Over the past several years VR has been used for pain management and for PTSD. Researchers are finding that it may be a helpful tool for physical and occupational therapists. Most patients leave a session, go home and forget exactly what it is or how an exercise should be performed. Virtual Reality can help with not only showing how to do a certain exercise correctly but may also provide a little extra motivation. It is becoming more and more popular with younger practitioners who are well accustomed to gaming. At present it is expensive since most insurance companies will not foot the bill which can be as high as $180 monthly. Not all the programs are fun, some enable patients to practice real life skills such as dishing washing or shopping. However, a well-trained therapist in the use of VR should be on hand to oversee and make sure the patient is not overdoing or hurting themselves. Virtual Reality as a therapy is in its beginning stages. I can tell you from personal experiences with both shoulder and back injuries that I don’t think it can ever replace one to one contact with a practitioner but maybe be useful in addition to.

Tracking your Water Intake…

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                One of the most significant factors in maintaining a healthy weight or any weight loss program is water consumption. Most cravings for sweets, originate from dehydration. Drinking cold water can actually create a thermogenic effect on the body. In one experiment with 14 men and women, drinking 500ml of water increased metabolic rate by 30%. This happened within 10 minutes and lasted for up to 30-40 minutes. The water must be cold. Cold water creates the thermogenic effect when the body attempts to warm the water. However, lining up glasses of cold water as a reminder to drink can become problematic especially if you are away from home. A simple method might be to put 5 rubber bands around your wrist first thing in the morning. Every time you drink a bottle of water place one of the bands around the bottle and refill it. Make it a daily game.

 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14671205/

https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/88/12/6015/2661518

Robots working in the O.R.

Replacing a joint has become so matter of fact. Baby boomers especially don’t think twice about replacing a knee, hip etc. if it means extending the amount of time that they are able to stay active. The first joint replacement, according to historians, was in 1890. It was a carved and machined piece of ivory which replaced the knee of a seventeen year-old. It was performed, by a German surgeon named Themistocles Gluck. Over the years, the material used has changed dramatically. Everything from metal, plastic, ceramics to titanium. In the decade, 1990-2000, new technology made plastics more durable. This eliminated wear and tear and eventual replacement of the joint again. Technology has progressed to the point where you enter an operating room and there may be a model of a bone implant superimposed on a 3-D model of the person’s joint. Robotic arms which are directed through a console are guided and controlled by the surgeon. The tiny robotic hands are able to bend and rotate with a greater range of motion. This enables the surgeon to operate by only making small incisions preserving more bone and soft tissue than a conventional open procedure. Less muscle damage translates to faster recovery. Greater accuracy can mean better alignment and balance after knee surgery and minimal leg difference after hip surgery. This also preserves the longevity of the replaced joint. Hopefully we will never replace the surgeon totally.

https://www.intuitive.com/en-us/about-us/company?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI9LKyvP_k7gIVjeSzCh318QIcEAAYAyAAEgIRz_D_BwE

https://www.davincisurgery.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI9Pm0tv7k7gIVByCGCh3b8QMbEAAYAiAAEgKhpPD_BwE

Workouts may slow Tumor Growth…

The American College of Sports Medicine reviewed past research on how exercise can reduce the risk of developing some cancers by as much as 69%. The data also showed how exercise can improve treatment outcomes which in turn can prolong life. One line of thought is that exercise can lower inflammation in the body and therefore cultivate an environment that is less friendly to malignancies. In a new study performed at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, scientists inoculated two groups of rodents with cancer cells. One group was allowed to be extremely active while the other remained sedentary. They noted that in the group that was active there was very little evidence of tumor growth.  The T cell (immune fighter) that they attributed this to is the CD8+ T cell. What they also discovered was when they suppressed this particular T cell, regardless of how much activity, tumor cell growth was no longer suppressed. They then isolated and injected the CD8+ t cell from active rodents into sedentary rodents and found that their tumor growth was suppressed. After removing blood from the active rodents, they determined that their blood contained a large amount of lactate produced from exercise. Bathing T cells in lactate produced stronger cancer fighting T cells. There appears to be a profound effect that exercise has on the ability of the T cells to suppress tumor growth and how these cells remain persistent in fighting cancer over a period of time.

 

https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/exercise-linked-with-lower-risk-of-13-types-of-cancer.html