25 posts categorized "Physical Therapy"


Kinesiology Prof Talks 'Bod Pod' During 6ABC Interview

Karin1Karin Richards, acting chair of the Department of Kinesiology, will be featured on Philadelphia's 6abc regarding the University's BOD POD, an advanced technological body composition assessment tool used for training and educating students. Shaped in the mold of a space capsule, the BOD POD is the most accurate way to test a person’s body composition (body fat and muscle mass).

Meteorologist Adam Joseph's results from the BOD POD will also be featured during the segment, which is scheduled to air this Saturday (March 22) at 7 p.m. 


Getting 'Your Bell Rung' is No Music to the Ears, Says USciences Doc

AcquavellaAnthonyWhile concussions are most commonly associated with sports-related injuries, associate professor Anthony Acquavella, MD, at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, says prevention and awareness begins by recognizing that these brain injuries can also result from slips and falls, playground injuries, and car accidents.

“Concussions are a force to be reckoned with because they are traumatic brain injuries that need to be identified and treated as soon as they occur to help prevent further complications, or even death,” said Dr. Acquavella, who also serves as a physician for the University’s student health service.

While March is designated as National Brain Injury Awareness Month, Dr. Acquavella said concussions and head injuries affect hundreds of individuals each day. Approximately 1.7 million people suffer from traumatic brain injuries each year, and concussions represent about 75 percent of those injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Earlier this year, a USciences student suffered a concussion from a fall significant enough to take a medical leave from school, as concussion treatment requires thorough brain rest,” said Dr. Acquavella.

While concussions are typically caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, they can also occur from impact to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth, such as an injury suffered during a car accident. Observed signs of head injuries, includes individuals appearing dazed or stunned, forgetful, clumsy, and moody. Additionally, symptoms reported by individuals, includes headaches, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, blurred vision, and sensitivity to noise and light.

As of 2011, Pennsylvania has a law on the books which mandates that student athletes exhibiting concussion symptoms cannot return to play until cleared by appropriate healthcare professionals. But Dr. Acquavella said concussion awareness also needs to be a household conversation.

“I worked as a sideline physician for young athletes early in my career, and it was alarming how parents minimized the severity of head injuries in their children,” he said. “Concussion awareness begins by getting students, parents, teachers, and coaches on the same page with the causes, symptoms, and outcomes of head injuries.”

A Look Back on Our Week in Sweden

It seems hard for us to believe that we spent an entire week in Sweden. Gathering data, exploring The city, visiting various PT clinics, observing orthopedic surgeries, and discussing future international exchange options created a fun filled, busy, yet incredible educational opportunity that we are forever grateful for experiencing. We were able to conclude our week in Sweden talking to fellow PT students and faculty about future international exchange options and we left just as excited as when we arrived. We want to say a special thank you to everyone at University of the Sciences as well as the research team in Gothenburg that made this trip possible. We left Sweden with a feeling of fulfillment for the successful week we had, yet also exhausted from the successful week we had! Image View this photo


The Research Continues!

Today, we were able to test muscle activation of the Achilles' tendon in the remaining 6 subjects. We were able to work with a well rounded sample of Achilles' tendon rupture patients; containing patient's with surgically repaired tendons, patient's with conservatively treated ruptures and patients with re-ruptures. The data collection went smoothly and the results are looking promising... Although, we still have many hours of data crunching and research writing ahead! Today concluded our data collection in the University of Gothenburg's research lab. We are incredibly grateful for this once in a lifetime opportunity and would like to say a special thank you to Annalie and Dr. Silbernagel for making this experience possible...'Tack så mycket' (A Swedish Thank you!) We are also immensely thankful for the great support and warm welcome we received from everyone here in Sweden on the research team. We had the opportunity to sit down with PhD students, orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, and family members of the research team tonight for dinner and this is and experience we will never forget. Our days in Sweden are quickly flying by but we are excited for our remaining few days full of learning opportunities! View this photo


Day 1 of EMG Testing the Achilles' Tendon was a success!

Today, the four of us were able to test 6 Achilles' Tendon rupture patients in collaboration with University of Gothenburg's research team. We gathered data regarding endurance, strength, power, and velocity of Achilles Tendon and are thrilled about the data collected. Our previous experiences testing 'healthy' Achilles' tendons at USciences has allowed us to adapt and proficiently transition to the Swedish research lab. We can't wait to continue this process throughout the week! View this photo
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The Biggest Mistakes Transfer Students Make

Viggiani_aimeeChoosing which college to attend is a huge decision for students. Whether they’ve earned their associate’s degrees from community colleges and ready to move on to earn their bachelor’s degrees, or currently enrolled in four-year schools that aren’t the right fit, one-third of all students transfer at least once before earning a degree.

Aimee Viggiani, associate director of transfer admissions, was recently featured in two articles which provide helpful tips for transfer students. She said, "All too often, students wait until too late in their college careers to ask why a certain class didn't transfer. Even if you don't need the credit right away, you may need it in the future. So ask transfer credit questions as soon as possible."


Snow Shoveling Techniques Can Help Keep Individuals Injury Free, Says USciences PT Prof

Hoglund_0As temperatures continue to plunge and snowfall levels increase across the tri-state region, a physical therapy professor at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia reminds individuals the exertion, cold weather, and slippery surfaces snow shovelers face in these conditions are a dangerous combination. 

“Contrary to what many people believe, snow shoveling is no different than any other type of vigorous physical activity,” said Lisa Hoglund, PT, PhD. “That’s why it’s important for people to ease into the workout, practice proper technique, and rest when needed.”

She said although shoveling snow can provide good exercise, it can also be dangerous for optimistic shovelers who take on more than they can handle. According to a national study in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, U.S. hospitals treat on average about 11,500 injuries and medical emergencies a year related to shoveling snow.

 Here’s a list of tips Dr. Hoglund said can help prevent injuries while shoveling snow:

  • Warm up. Before heading outdoors, take 10 minutes to jog in place or run up stairs, and stretch to get your muscles warmed up.
  • Use an ergonomic shovel. Ergonomically correct shovels are typically much lighter than normal shovels and have a contoured handle designed to reduce or eliminate bending and decrease lifting.
  • Proper technique is key. Stand with your feet about hip width for balance, and keep the shovel close to your body. Be sure to push the snow instead of lifting it. If you have to lift, bend your knees and lift with your legs, and avoid twisting or throwing snow over your shoulder.
  • Take light loads. Because each large shovelful of snow can weigh up to 30 pounds, smaller loads are recommended to help prevent injuries.
  • Listen to your body. Take breaks every 15 minutes, and be sure to pay attention to your body's signals, such as pains, shortness of breath, or chest discomfort.

“Snow removal is more than just another necessary household chore because all the bending and heavy lifting can put an individual at serious risk for injury and even a heart attack,” Dr. Hoglund said.

 Dr. Hoglund is an American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties-certified orthopedic clinical specialist who has spoken extensively on the topics of injury prevention, pain management, and physical therapy.


Exercising While Sick Can Do More Harm than Good, Says USciences Prof

With the flu and cold season in full swing, kinesiology professor Karin Richards, at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, said many people tend to ignore their symptoms to keep on track with their fitness resolutions for the New Year. In fact, Richards said working out while under the weather can actually do more harm than good for individuals looking to shed a few pounds and adopt healthier lifestyles.

 “Depending on where a person experiences symptoms of illness can make or break his or her workout and recovery,” said Richards, acting chair of the Department of Kinesiology . “For instance, those who experience above the neck symptoms such as stuffy noses and sneezing are generally fine to continue their exercise routine. However, those with symptoms below the neck such as a fever, nausea, and muscle aches are urged to stay in bed and recover.”

  KarinTo date, the flu has claimed the lives of three Philadelphians as the number of infections have begun to climb in the city. So far this flu season – which runs from Sept. 20 to May 18 – 66 cases of the influenza virus have been confirmed in Philadelphia. That’s why Richards said it is vital for sick people to resist the urge to exercise, and stay home from fitness centers as the flu is easily spread in these types of environments.

 However, in an effort to keep individuals experiencing minor cold symptoms in line with their fitness goals, Richards compiled a list of exercise tips to help them stay healthy and active:

  • Take it easy. Lower the intensity of a regular workout.  For instance, if an individual is used to running, he or she is encouraged to walk.
  • Stretch out. Sometimes yoga and gentle stretches can make an individual feel better and relieve congestion and pressure. Yoga Journal suggests positions such as supported bridge, legs up the wall, and standing forward bend aid congestion. When battling sinus pressure, Richards said she places her fists over each other and rests her forehead on them when practicing the downward dog position.
  • Be courteous.  While the sniffles should not be an excuse to not exercise, Richards said to use common courtesy and avoid sneezing and coughing all over the gym equipment. She urges individuals to work out at home or outdoors until they are free of their symptoms.
  • Stay active year round. One of the best preventative measures to avoid sickness is regular physical activity.

 While halting an exercise regime while sick might seem like a giant setback, Richards said most individuals can get back into their routines fairly quickly once they have fully recovered.

 “There is a fine line between a minor cold and the flu, and it’s important for individuals to stay in tune with their bodies,” said Richards. “A person’s body is stressed when fighting the infection, so placing additional stress through intense exercise only suppresses the immune system even more.”

 “Of course, individuals are encouraged to seek the advice of their primary care physician or a healthcare professional if they have any questions regarding continuation or resumption of their exercise routine if they are sick,” she added.


USciences PT Professor Featured in Prevention Magazine

Thielman_0If your back aches after a long commute or you get a stiff neck from working at the computer, bad posture may be to blame. “Unfortunately, people ignore proper posture until they have some pain,” says Dr. Gregory Thielman, an associate professor of physical therapy at University of the Sciences.

Click here to continue reading the entire article...


Health Tip: Skinny, Fat, Old, Young: All at Risk for High Cholesterol

image from www.gradschool.usciences.eduTo attract customers, restaurant chains have been rolling out budget deals, offering $5 pizzas, $3 meals — even $1 sandwiches. But while these new offerings are light on its customers’ wallets, they hit them where it hurts in terms of calories, fat, and sodium content.

Unfortunately, some of most common patrons of these restaurants are college students looking to get the best bang for their buck. In observance of National Cholesterol Education Month, Karin Richards, interim chair of the Department of Kinesiology and program director of health sciences at University of Sciences, addresses important heart-healthy tips to help college students avoid serious health conditions down the road.

 “Nobody can eat anything they want and stay heart-healthy because all body types are at risk for high cholesterol,” said Richards. “While overweight people are more likely to have high cholesterol, thin people should also have their cholesterol checked regularly because people who don’t gain weight easily are less aware of how much fat they actually consume.”

  1. Check your family tree. Familial hypercholesterolemia is a disorder of high LDL, or bad, cholesterol that is passed down through families, which means it is inherited. Because the condition begins at birth and can cause heart attacks at an early age, it is vital for young adults to be in tune with their families’ health backgrounds.
  2. Moderation is key. While fried and fast foods do not have to be completely eliminated from diets; they should be consumed sporadically rather than every day.
  3. Substitute foods. Because egg yolk boasts high cholesterol, opt for egg whites instead. The same concept can be applied when choosing snacks, go for air popped popcorn over potato chips. There’s a healthy alternative to every meal.
  4. Get moving. Too many people focus on their diets, and neglect exercise. Aim to “move” for 30 minutes each day by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking further away in a parking lot, or jogging, walking, biking, and rollerblading as means of transportation. 
  5. Get screened. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the level of bad cholesterol among young adults ranges from 7 percent to 26 percent; however, the screening rate among this age group is less than 50 percent.

Richards said University of the Sciences students are offered free cholesterol and body composition screenings through its Department of Kinesiology. If abnormal results are recorded, students are encouraged to visit their primary care providers for further examination.

“Sometimes it takes eye-opening results for young adults to see that they are not invincible to potentially fatal health conditions, like heart disease. It’s never too late to start the transformation to a healthy lifestyle,” said Richards.

Richards obtained a Master of Science in sport management from Slippery Rock University, and is currently pursuing her doctorate in health policy at USciences. She is nationally certified as a wellness practitioner and wellness program coordinator by the National Wellness Institute, National Strength and Conditioning Association, and American College of Sports Medicine.
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