At this new clinic, we will help rehabilitate orthopedic and spine injuries including: shoulder, neck, back, hip, pelvis, knee, ankle and foot pain. We will also offer the following therapy services:
Whether you’re visiting a specialist’s office at Mercy Medical Center or visiting a provider at the new physical therapy clinic at Affinity Medical Group – Koeller Street, our team of experts at Affinity Health System all have the ability to view your medical record and provide you with comprehensive care based on your complete medical history, not just your current ailment.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please call (920) 236-1850.]]>
Equipment such as car seats, swings, exersaucers and walkers are convenient for parents of infants, but what many don’t realize is that these items can cause concerns or delays with children’s development. Research has shown that using these items for long periods of time may lead to delayed motor development, decreased balance and body control as well as torticollis, plagiocephaly and toe walking.
Torticollis is a preference of turning the head in one direction, sometimes with a tilt or muscle tightness. Incidents of torticollis have increased since parents were encouraged to place babies on their backs to prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), which is said to be associated with infants sleeping on their stomachs.
One in three infants have some degree of skull distortion. While babies’ head are malleable within the first six weeks after birth, plagiocephaly is an asymmetry or deformity of the head and/or face that continues beyond that six-week mark and should be evaluated by a physician. Early diagnosis is crucial!
Toe walking is consistent walking on the toes. This can lead to calf muscle tightness, impaired walking and balance, and increased risk of falls.
Parents are still encouraged to place babies on their backs when sleeping, but to also work on active, awake, and supervised tummy time with their babies to avoid these conditions. Tummy time can be done a variety of ways, such as on the parent/caregiver’s chest, over the lap, or with a towel roll under his/her chest. Also, consider approaching your baby from both sides to encourage your baby to rotate his/her head in either direction.
When using equipment like car seats and swings, consider the following guidelines:
If you notice concerns with your baby’s head shape, neck muscle tightness, or toe walking, a physical therapist can help. Contact your provider about your concerns.
Authors: Alyssa French and Tanya Fuller
Alyssa French is a physical therapist at St. Elizabeth rehab at Midway, and provides individualized treatment to children and adults in need of neurological and orthopedic rehabilitation. She has a special interest in working with patients with torticollis, toe walking, cerebral palsy, and other neurological impairments. She enjoys being part of a multi-disciplinary team and advocating for patients and families. She earned her doctorate of physical therapy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Tanya Fuller is a physical therapist at St. Elizabeth rehab at Midway, and works primarily with infants and children with neurological or orthopedic conditions. She also provides care to newborns in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). For more than 20 years, she has enjoyed identifying and addressing the unique needs of each child and their families. She earned her physical therapy degree from Marquette University and has recently obtained certification as a Pediatric Certified Specialist.]]>
Sometimes the aches and pains of getting older are more than average body fatigue. If you are experiencing all-over body pain, increased tenderness to the touch, fatigue and problems with sleep and memory, you could be suffering from fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a non-life-threatening, chronic health problem that occurs most commonly in middle-aged women. It is less common—but not unheard of—in men as well as in younger individuals.
Aside from the commonly experienced symptoms mentioned above, individuals might also experience depression, anxiety, headaches and digestive problems. The symptoms of fibromyalgia can vary in intensity, sometimes leaving the person feeling as if the pain is taking over their life.
Research is ongoing to determine the cause of fibromyalgia, but there are several theories that are currently being studied. These theories include possible genetic or hereditary links, changes in levels of brain chemicals related to stress, and possible changes in the brain’s processing system regarding pain.
While the cause is still unknown and there is no “cure” for fibromyalgia, there are several things an individual can do to take back control of their life while living with fibromyalgia symptoms.
If you are interested in learning more about fibromyalgia and effective treatment options, consider attending Dr. Eric Gowing’s presentation “Effective Ways to Manage Fibromyalgia” on Tuesday, May 5 at Mercy Medical Center in Oshkosh. From 6-7:30 p.m., Dr. Gowing will discuss effective medications and self-management of fibromyalgia, including new therapies and options for treatment.
To sign up for “Effective Ways to Manage Fibromyalgia,” please call NurseDirect at 1-800-362-9900 or click here. For more information on additional chronic pain services and to schedule an appointment, contact me, Lauri Webster, at (920) 236-1879.]]>
The MMR vaccine has become common practice, so much so that many people are no longer familiar with the diseases it inoculates us against. MMR stands for measles, mumps and rubella. Of the three viruses, mumps and rubella are the least contagious but can still cause serious complications.
Usually seen as a mild disease in children, symptoms of mumps include:
Caught through sneezes and coughs of infected carriers, the symptoms of mumps typically subside after about two weeks, and it’s no longer considered contagious about 10 days after diagnosis. As a virus, this illness is not responsive to antibiotics and needs to run its course. Most people fully recover, but in some instances serious complications include pancreatitis, brain inflammation and partial or total deafness. On rare occasions, mumps can cause infertility in men or a spontaneous miscarriage in women.
The other more mild illness prevented by the MMR vaccine is rubella, which causes fever, sore eyes, swollen glands and joint pain, as well as a rash on the face and neck. Considerably less serious than mumps and measles, rubella symptoms typically only last two to three days.
Although mild for most people, rubella is highly contagious through coughs and sneezes of an infected person and is particularly dangerous for unvaccinated children and women in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. If caught during this timeframe, women can pass the virus onto their unborn children, which nearly always results in serious birth defects such as blindness, deafness, heart defects and intellectual disabilities.
Aside from instances of rubella in pregnant women, the symptoms are so mild and pass so quickly that treatment is unnecessary. As with any virus, be mindful of worsening symptoms, and see your provider if you are worried.
*It is recommended that all infants and certain high-risk groups of adults receive the vaccination.]]>
Approximately 100 million Americans suffer from pain lasting longer than six months. Chronic, long lasting pain can be due to an injury or conditions like fibromyalgia or arthritis. People with chronic pain can become less active because of their pain, resulting in decreased muscle flexibility and strength, decreased activity endurance and unbalanced postures. When someone has chronic pain, it can be difficult to know how to start an exercise program safely without aggravating the pain. Exercise should be an important part of everyone’s routine, especially if you have chronic pain. Exercise releases natural endorphins, or brain chemicals, that help improve your mood while also blocking pain signals into the blood stream. Exercise has another pain-reducing effect: it strengthens muscles, helping prevent re-injury and further pain.
This is where physical therapy within the Pain Management Program at Mercy Medical Center can help. Physical therapy starts with an individualized assessment to determine each person’s individual needs. Just as people have different body types, they have different patterns of movement, different alignments and different habits. Physical therapists monitor each individual and develop a program to correct what is causing pain. Most home exercise programs include gentle stretching, strengthening exercises, pain relief exercises and low-impact aerobic conditioning. If you want to learn about water exercise options or transition to a gym exercise routine, physical therapy can help with that, too.
In addition to exercise, physical therapy can help you learn new techniques to better manage your pain. The way that you position and use your body during activities, called posture and body mechanics, can affect your pain. A physical therapist can give you tips to use and position your body differently to put less stress on your joints and use your muscles more efficiently. Taping for joint support or muscle relaxation can also be a helpful tool to manage your pain at home. You and your physical therapist will be able to determine what strategies and techniques will work best for you.
If you have chronic pain and want to learn how to better manage it instead of it managing you, contact Lauri Webster at (920) 236-1850 to find out more about physical therapy and the Pain Management Program at Mercy Medical Center.
Kelly Miller, a physical therapist at Mercy Medical Center, provides personalized treatment to patients in need of spine and extremity rehab and has a special interest in working with patients who have chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia and various types of arthritis. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in physical therapy from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.]]>
There is a plethora of information offered to pregnant women regarding birthing a baby. Friends, family, even strangers feel the need to tell women about their birthing stories. Some of them are unpleasant stories, but many are about strength, peace, support and the hardest but most wonderful event of a woman’s life. No woman ever forgets her birth story.
One increasingly popular way of giving birth is hypnobirthing, a method that focuses on eliminating fear in the birthing process. Fear causes tension, which stops the body from performing a normal physiologic function. When a woman is overwhelmed by fear during childbirth, stress hormones increase the heart rate and force blood to the arms and legs in the “fight or flight” response. With blood concentrated in the arms and legs, less blood circulates to the uterus, causing uterine pain and hindering the natural labor process.
For those interested in hypnobirthing, Barb Krohn, RN, currently teaches a five-class series at Mercy Medical Center. These two-and-half-hour classes teach special breathing, relaxation, visualization, meditative practice, attention to nutrition and positive body toning. Parents-to-be are provided with a CD to teach them self-hypnosis and positive affirmations. Participants in the class also receive a book that outlines the theory of hypnobirthing, suggestions for comfort during labor and special circumstances, and frequently asked questions and answers.
In my years of practice as a certified nurse midwife, I have worked with women who attended hypnobirthing classes, and I have seen these women and their partners focus hard to relax and work with their bodies to birth their baby. The hypnobirthing philosophy and education offered at Mercy Medical Center has been an excellent addition for pregnant women to guide them through their unforgettable birth story.
Register online here.]]>
Chronic or persistent pain as defined by the American Chronic Pain Association, can be ongoing or recurrent pain lasting beyond the usual course of acute illness or injury or more than 3 to 6 months, and which adversely affects the individual’s well being. A simpler definition for chronic or persistent pain is pain that continues when it should not. Chronic pain can interfere with a person’s ability to engage in meaningful activities each day. Pain can decrease a person’s strength, coordination, endurance and independence in addition to causing stress.
With the help of occupational therapy, people with chronic pain can learn to manage the physical and psychological effects and lead active and productive lives. Many people with chronic pain already have received treatment with medication, surgery, heat, cold, nerve stimulation and massage. Management of daily activities and lifestyle can contribute to a successful, long-term strategy to cope with chronic pain.
What can an occupational therapist do?
What can a person with chronic pain do?
For more information, please contact Lauri Webster – coordinator for the Chronic Pain Management Rehabilitation Program at (920) 236-1879.
Lisa Parish is an occupational therapist at Mercy Medical Center. She specializes in treating upper extremity injuries and conditions, neurological conditions, and work-related injuries. She provides custom fabricated splints for upper extremities as well as performs functional capacity evaluations to help determine safe and maximum work level abilities. She enjoys working with patients who are interested in taking an active role in improving their level of independence and function.]]>
Once a common childhood infection, the measles virus is now almost entirely preventable with a vaccine. There is now an average of about 60 cases of measles per year in the United States, and while most of those cases originate outside of the country, it’s still important to know the signs and symptoms of this illness, especially for young children or travelers.
In 2014 there were 644 cases of measles in the U.S., with the majority being imported from abroad. As of March 13, 2015, there have been 176 reported cases centered around four outbreaks, and with cases present in 17 states, the majority have been linked to a California amusement park. The majority of these cases are predominantly young, unvaccinated children, who are too young to have completed the MMR course.
Risk factors for measles include being unvaccinated, traveling internationally in areas where vaccinations are uncommon and having a vitamin A deficiency. Most common in children under five years old (the same age that the second MMR vaccine is administered), symptoms of measles appear 10 to 14 days after exposure to the virus and include:
Once initial symptoms have appeared, the skin rashes develop small red spots and bumps in tight clusters, especially behind the ears and along the hairline. The rash spreads from the face down to the arms and trunk, and then to the thighs, lower legs and feet as the fever rises as high as nearly 106 degrees. The rash recedes the same way it came on; first from the face and last from the legs and feet.
The measles virus is considered contagious five days prior to the emergence of the rash, the six to seven days the rash is present and then four days after it has disappeared. The virus can be spread when someone carrying the it coughs or sneezes into the air or onto a surface. The virus can remain actively contagious for several hours. These infected water droplets can be inhaled by others or picked up after touching a contaminated surface and putting fingers in the mouth, nose or eyes—this accounts for the large percentage of the illness being carried by children.
There is no prescription medication that treats measles, but be sure to contact your provider if you or your child develops a rash as described above or if you think you could have been exposed to the virus. Acetaminophen can help relieve fever and muscle aches, and use of a humidifier can be used to ease sore throat and coughing. As with any illness, rest and fluids are key to boosting your immune system and aiding recovery.]]>
Choosing a pediatrician can be overwhelming, no matter if it’s your first or fourth child. Thankfully, Affinity Health System has a whole team of experts to guide moms-to-be.
At around 20-24 weeks of your pregnancy, your doctor, midwife or a nurse educator may ask you if you’ve selected a pediatrician. This is a great time to start thinking about what you would want in a pediatrician for your new bundle of joy.
When I was at 22 weeks, I too needed to start thinking about choosing a pediatrician for my son. This is a great time to think through any preferences you may request in a pediatrician. A connection specialist, like myself, will be able to match your family with a pediatrician. Some of the questions I will ask you include:
This little man would come with a new set of unique questions that I would ask since having a daughter with my first pregnancy. I was happy to find several pediatricians within Affinity Medical Group that met the criteria I was looking for. As a new mom, I was interested in meeting the pediatrician prior to the birth of my son, and Affinity Medical Group makes this possible. Having a short meet and greet with the pediatrician completely put my mind at ease. I felt confident that my family would have a wonderful provider to care for his health needs.
When you have a meet and greet or a chance to interview your pediatrician, consider asking the following questions:
As a mom and connection specialist, I look forward to working with you to help make your health care search easier, too.
You can learn more about our team of pediatrician’s at www.affinityhealth.org/doctor . If you would like assistance selecting an Affinity Medical Group pediatrician, please contact me at (920) 628-9280 or firstname.lastname@example.org.]]>