Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation in Pomona, NJ
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Apr 22

Torticollis in Infants

Torticollis is a musculoskeletal condition affecting infants and babies that inhibits full head movement due to a shortened neck muscle. The head of a baby with torticollis tilts to the affected side with the chin rotated towards the opposite shoulder.

 

Congenital torticollis is the most common form. While it is present at birth, it typically takes several weeks for parents to notice something is wrong because babies don’t have control of their head at birth. Congenital torticollis is often associated with plagiocephaly, which is when one side of the head or face has a flattened appearance. The cause of congenital torticollis is undetermined, but theories suggest that intrauterine position, decrease in blood supply and trauma to the sternocleidomastoid muscle during pregnancy or birth could all be possible causes. 

 

Acquired torticollis typically occurs within the first four to six months of childhood. Children may develop this condition from sleeping with their neck in the wrong position or from 

any injury to the neck or head. Unlike congenital torticollis, there is no asymmetry to the face, and the condition is usually benign. However, treatment is still necessary because it can be a sign of more serious problems.

 

Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation offers physical therapy for babies with torticollis. A physical therapist will evaluate the strength and range of motion of the neck and arms, as well as 

assess motor skills. Along with physical therapy sessions, parents will be given at home exercises for their babies to stretch tight areas, work on increasing rotation and refocus alignment. With consistent treatment, patients will get 85 to 100 percent better in three to seven months.

 

If you are concerned that your baby may have torticollis, ask your pediatrician for a physical therapy prescription to evaluate your child.

Apr 15

Spring Lecture Series

Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation’s spring physician lecture series was designed to educate and inform our staff about current issues, technology and treatments available in rehabilitation. The spring lecture series will consist of three presentations taking place on March 31, April 8 and May 6.

 

On March 31, Dr. Priyesh Thakkar from Regional Nephrology Associates gave a presentation on hypertension. Hypertension is another term for high blood pressure, which is a common condition where the force of blood against the artery walls is too high. This can cause other health problems, particularly heart disease.

 

Bacharach’s own Dr. Marianne Sturr gave a discussion on April 8 about concussion management. As Director of the Brain Injury Unit at Bacharach, Dr. Sturr has a lot of experience treating patients who have sustained concussions. She recently received a subspecialty certification in brain injury medicine, making her an expert on evaluation and treatment of concussions.

 

The spring lecture series will come to an end on May 6 with Dr. Manish Trivedi, an infectious diseases specialist, giving a presentation on urinary tract infections (UTI). While mild UTIs are common, more serious symptoms will occur if the infection makes its way to the kidneys. He will review the protocols and procedures for treating UTIs in the rehabilitation setting.

Apr 10

National Occupational Therapy Month

April is National Occupational Therapy Month, sponsored by the American Occupational Therapy Association.  This awareness initiative has been designed to showcase and inform the public about the importance of occupational therapists and what they do to help patients achieve independence after suffering injuries.

 

Bacharach’s Occupational Therapy team offers a wide range of treatment options all with the goal of helping patients regain personal skills through training and exercise. State-of-the-art technologies and techniques help restore function for everyday tasks such as dressing, eating, working, driving and more.

 

Occupational therapists also can assist in home safety assessment, driver re-education, low-vision training, dressing skills, therapeutic recreation and hand therapy. In the case of patients with low vision, OTs may work with a neuro-optometrist to document and measure the vision loss and then teach compensatory strategies using special eyewear or magnifying glasses to maximize function. 

 

For example, Bacharach’s Driving Program helps those requiring medical clearance in order to drive develop their driving skills. The program offers participants a gradual progression of driver training until the patient is independent and able to drive in any road situation.

 

If you or someone you know could benefit from Bacharach’s Occupational Therapy department, call the Occupational Therapy Center at (609) 748-6866 or visit www.bacharach.org

Apr 01

Spasticity in Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease in which the immune system has an abnormal response to the central nervous system. The immune system attacks the nerve fibers and the fatty substance that surrounds them called myelin. This attack disrupts the nerve impulses traveling to and from the brain and spinal cord, producing a wide range of symptoms. One of the most common symptoms of MS is spasticity. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 80 percent of all people suffering from MS have some a degree of spasticity.

 

Spasticity is a feeling of stiffness in the muscles or involuntary muscle spasms that range from sustained muscle contractions to sudden movements. While spasticity can occur in any limb, it most commonly occurs in the legs and can range from mild spasticity, a feeling of tightness in the muscles, to severe spasticity, painful, uncontrollable spasms of the muscles.

 

Sudden movements, position changes, extremes in temperature, humidity and even tight clothing can all agitate spasticity causing the pain to worsen.

 

Bacharach Institute of Rehabilitation offers a Spasticity 

Clinic to help control spasticity in people with MS, cerebral palsy and other conditions. One effective 

method of treatment is to inject the affected nerve with either lidocaine or botox.  In the case of a painfully clenched fist, the injections allow the patient to unclench and the muscles to relax.  Another approach is an implanted pump (right) filled with the anti-spasticity medication baclofen.  The pump delivers very small amounts of the medication directly to the intrathecal space around the spinal column.

 

If you or someone you know has spasticity, call (609) 652-7000.

Mar 25

National Social Work Month

 From left to right: Maribel Torres, BSW, CSW; Jewel Hodge BSW, CSW; Dolores Abbott, Discharge Coordinator; Amy Schwartz, BSW, CSW; Lisa Sheridan BSW, CSW; and Abby Roessler, MSW, LCSW  

 

 

Every March is National Social Work Month, which is dedicated to educating the public about the social changes and improvements social workers have made—and will continue to make. This year is extra special because it marks the 60th anniversary of the National Association of Social Workers being founded in October of 1955. The NASW is the largest social worker’s organization in the world. Its members focus on professional growth, professional standards and finding sound social policies.

 

Social workers are advocates for positive change in society. They address the needs of individuals and communities who lack the resources or ability to overcome their social struggles. They help those in need receive community resources as well as providing counseling and support.

 

Bacharach social workers work hard to improve the lives of patients, loved ones and those who need support. Abby Roessler, MSW, LCSW, Director of Social Work at Bacharach, said, “We have a myriad of services and responsibilities and do many different things, such as serve as the liaison between the family and therapy team and help our patients get the support they need when they are ready to go home. We really are the resource that people go to when they don’t have an answer – we know where to find it!”

 

Thank you to all social workers for working tirelessly to improve persistent social problems and assisting individuals in receiving resources to improve their quality of life. 

Mar 19

Brain Awareness Week: March 16-22

The brain is important for much more than thinking. It controls everything your body can do—from mobility to emotions to breathing. Injury or damage to any one area of the brain can result in a number of problems, which is why it is so important to protect your brain.

 

According to the Brain Injury Association of America, there are more than 5.3 million Americans living with a traumatic brain injury disability. A mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when a person loses consciousness for less than 30 minutes and can cause cognitive issues such as headaches, memory problems, difficulty thinking and mood swings.

 

With a severe TBI, long-term rehabilitation is necessary. Consciousness is lost for more than 30 minutes and sufferers can have limited functionality of limbs, abnormal speech, an inability to think properly and emotional issues. Both forms of TBIs change brain function, which can affect the ability to have social interactions, jobs and relationships.

 

Bacharach offers a comprehensive Brain Injury Program with 24-hour inpatient rehab nursing services in a specialized setting. The program has specialized services based around each individual’s brain injury and treatment needs. Bacharach’s treatment team helps brain injury survivors increase cognitive and physical functioning from the acute recovery phase through community re-entry.

 

Remember, prevention is key to avoid brain injury. While not all injuries can be prevented, you can minimize damage to your brain with proper protection. Follow these tips to avoid damage to your brain:

·         Always wear a seatbelt.

·         Wear a helmet.

·         Never drive impaired.

·         Remove slip hazards from homes.

 

If you or someone you know is interested in Bacharach’s Brain Injury Program, please call (609) 652-7000.

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