New Therapy Program Showing Success

Published: Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Nellie, an 89-year old LIFE Lawrence County participant, is learning to walk again following a stroke earlier this year, thanks to a new Pain Management/Modalities program being used by therapists at the LIFE Programs.

Nellie’s therapists have been using electric stimulation on her right arm and leg, which were left immobile from the stroke, to help strengthen her muscles.

“In just a few weeks of therapy, Nellie can now transfer with minimal assistance and she has begun to work on walking again. It’s incredible,” said Amy Ferrill-Olson, MPT, Geriatric Care Services, Rehabilitation Manager, LIFE Programs.

Ferrill-Olson said that the training and modalities, provided by Accelerated Care Plus, are showing “a reduction in pain, improvement in function and getting participants back to what they love doing.”

In addition to the electric stimulation, diathermy and infrared therapy are also being used in the program and showing promising results as well. The diathermy can address pain, edema, and inflammation and provide relief from joint stiffness and muscle spasm. Infrared therapy can also give relief from pain and spasms, as well as temporarily increase local circulation that assists with healing.

With any of these therapies, duration and frequency of treatment are key. Since each LIFE participant has their own interdisciplinary team of health and other professionals evaluating them each week, the team can make recommendations about how much therapy is needed.

Participant Caroline Berry receives diathermy therapy under the supervision of her occupational therapist, Michael Perry.

“By receiving this therapy as part of the LIFE Program, our participants are not restricted to a fixed number of treatments for a limited amount of time,” Ferrill-Olson said. “It’s a huge advantage.”

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