How Can Physical Therapy Help You Recover From a Concussion?

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There are many symptoms an individual can develop after a hit to the head or concussion. An individual who has sustained a concussion can develop headaches, neck pain, dizziness and issues with balance and difficulty focusing while reading or doing work on a computer. For these physical symptoms, physical therapy can play a vital role in an individual’s recovery.

The 5th International Conference on Concussion in Sport held in Berlin in Oct. 2016 came to the conclusion that physical therapy does play an important role in the recovery of a concussed athlete and therefore all individuals who have sustained a concussion.  Continue reading.

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Decreasing Your Risk of Lymphedema Before Breast Cancer Treatment or Surgery

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What is lymphedema? It’s a buildup of lymph fluid in the fatty tissues just under your skin most commonly caused by the removal of or damage to your lymph nodes as part of cancer treatment. It results in a blockage in your lymphatic system which causes swelling, most often in the arms and legs but it can affect the face, neck, abdomen and genitals, depending upon what area of the body was treated.

Early detection of the onset of lymphedema increases the likelihood of successful treatment. Changes are usually subtle and progress slowly. Swelling may not be the first noticeable symptom. Sometimes, it is a sensory change such as a tingling feeling that will come and go, a feeling of heaviness or tightness in the limbs, or other subtle signs like jewelry feeling a little snug or a sleeve feeling a little tighter.  Continue reading.

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Concussion Basics

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Concussions are a big topic in sports right now. Many people want to know what a concussion is, what the symptoms are, what they need to watch for and what the causes of a concussion are.

A concussion is a brain injury  that is brought on by a trauma to either the head or other parts of the body. The injury causes the brain to move more than it should and can make the brain function abnormally. This abnormal function can bring on many different symptoms that can be both physical and behavioral.  Continue reading.

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Helping You Prepare for Breast Cancer Surgery

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Preparing for breast cancer surgery can bring a lot of stress and anxiety. You may be experiencing many different emotions and have a list of unanswered questions. The breast cancer team at MidMichigan Medical Center – Midland is available to offer information and support to help you prepare for your surgical experience.

A monthly “Healing After Breast Surgery” class is held at the Center for Women’s Health on the campus of MidMichigan Medical Center – Midland. This free class is offered the third Friday of every month and is hosted by a certified lymphedema physical therapist and a certified breast cancer nurse navigator. Both individuals are also certified in the rehabilitation of cancer patients.

Common topics reviewed and explained at the class include lymphedema, normal post-operative changes, how to care for your drain tubes and incisions, signs and symptoms of infection to watch for, nutrition for breast cancer and when therapy may be needed.

Patients are taught effective stretching exercises to perform after breast surgery that can preserve arm function and mobility and reduce the chance of lymphedema.

By educating you on these topics either prior to or shortly after your surgery, the goal is to provide you with the tools and knowledge necessary for a positive recovery experience. Small group sessions are held monthly to foster an inviting, laid-back atmosphere where patients feel comfortable discussing their fears or concerns.

Family members and caregivers are welcome to attend to support their loved one preparing for surgery. Educational booklets and references are provided free of charge.


MidMichigan Medical Center – Midland’s Breast Health Program is certified through the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers and has been recognized as the region’s only Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence from the National Quality Measures for Breast Centers Program. Those who would like more information or to register for an upcoming Healing After Breast Surgery class may call (989) 837-9045.

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Treatment Options for Osteoarthritis in the Big Toe Joint

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Osteoarthritis is a common joint disease, one that affects nearly 20 million Americans. The condition involves the degeneration of the cartilage surface of a joint. Although it can affect any joint, it is common in the foot, ankle and toes, in particular the big toe.

When the cartilage in a joint wears away, the joint becomes exposed. When a patient with osteoarthritis in their feet or toes moves and walks, the joint grinds against itself, which is extremely painful. Plus, these patients often develop bone spurs on top of the joint, causing additional discomfort.

Osteoarthritis is a progress disease that tends to worsen over time. Treatment ranges from non-invasive options to surgery, and differs depending on each patient’s case.

For patients with osteoarthritis in the big toe joint, treatment options can include shoe inserts and steroid injections. If those don’t work, surgical options are available, including a new procedure called the Cartiva SCI implant.

The Cartiva SCI implant involves the surgeon making an incision on the top of the big toe and removing or cleaning up any bone spurs affecting the joint. Then, the implant is placed and tested – overall, the procedure takes less than an hour.

Recovery from this surgery usually sees patients wearing a boot or brace for a few weeks, followed by stretching exercises and regular shoes when the patient is comfortable. After about six weeks, many patients are in normal shoes and able to resume or increase physical activity.


Kent Biddinger, M.D., is one of the few fellowship-trained foot and ankle orthopedic surgeons in Michigan. In addition to doing ankle joint replacements and treating foot and ankle conditions, he also treats upper and lower extremity injuries and fractures. Dr. Biddinger’s special interests include complex surgical reconstruction and repair of foot and ankle disorders, and he is a nationally recognized expert in the field of surgical nerve decompression for diabetic neuropathy. He performs surgeries at MidMichigan Medical Center – Midland. For more information about Dr. Biddinger, contact his office at (989) 839-8850.

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Bone Bits: Bone Health Labs

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When a person has an unexpected bone fracture or has an abnormal Bone Density (DEXA) scan, the next step in assessing their bone health is to obtain some blood tests. The goals with testing are to determine whether a person has osteoporosis, has low bone mass, is menopausal or hormone-deficient, and/or has an underlying condition that may be causing increased bone loss.

Blood tests that may be ordered include: Continue reading.

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What Vaccinations Do Young Adults Need?

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Much of the conversation on vaccines is geared toward infants and young children, but as back-to-school season quickly approaches, it’s important to remember that young adults, especially those going to college, need to be up to date on their vaccines, too.

Students in college often live in close quarters to one another, sharing dorm rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms, making them more likely to come into contact with germs that can spread disease.

Vaccination requirements can vary by state and by school, so be sure to check the policies. Many larger universities follow the state vaccine requirements, but if you’re attending a smaller school, they may have a policy of their own.  Continue reading.

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What is a Vaginal Rejuvenation Procedure?

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Jada Pinkett Smith made headlines recently when she spoke about undergoing a vaginal rejuvenation treatment to resolve bladder issues on an episode of her Facebook series, Red Table Talk. It led to many people questioning what, exactly, vaginal rejuvenation treatment is, whether or not it’s safe, how it works and which treatment is best for them.

The simple answer is: it depends. There are several different treatment options available to fit a wide variety of symptoms, ranging from non-invasive to surgical, radiofrequency to laser and more. Continue reading.

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Performing Arts Wellness Program Helps Dancers and Gymnasts Recover from Injury

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When a dancer or gymnast sustains an injury, they may not know where to turn for treatment.

At some point during a dance or gymnastic session, a sport-related injury may be sustained. During the session, many individuals just power through the pain and discomfort, hoping the end will provide a must needed rest and recovery.

The unfortunate thing is that not all injuries are able to heal on their own once the individual has been suffering from the injury from multiple weeks to months. This is where physical therapy can help dancers or gymnasts to recover more efficiently from the injury sustained during the sports season.

At MidMichigan Health, we have a Performing Arts Wellness Program that can evaluate and provide treatment for any dancer or gymnast so they are ready to start their sport in the next season, injury-free.


If you have sustained a dance or gymnastic injury and didn’t recover from that injury on your own, please discuss physical therapy with your physician as a possible treatment option. Those interested in physical therapy through the Performing Arts Wellness Program may contact Physical Therapist Ashley Ghose, P.T., D.P.T., who specializes in dance and gymnastic injuries.

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Bone Bits: Bone Density Scans

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Bone densitometry, also called dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry or DEXA, is commonly used to diagnose osteoporosis and to assess an individual’s risk for developing fractures. A DEXA scan is simple, quick and non-invasive. It’s also the most accurate method for diagnosing osteoporosis. It uses a very small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body (usually the lower spine and hips) to measure bone loss. DEXAs are also effective in tracking the effects of treatment for osteoporosis and other conditions that cause bone loss.

This outpatient exam requires little to no special preparation. Tell your doctor and the technologist if there is a possibility you are pregnant or if you recently had a barium exam or received an injection of contrast material for a CT or radioisotope scan. Leave jewelry at home and wear loose, comfortable clothing. You may be asked to wear a gown. You should not take calcium supplements for at least 24 hours before your exam. The Central DEXA devices measure bone density in the hip and spine and are usually located in hospitals and medical offices. Central devices have a large, flat table and an “arm” suspended overhead. Continue reading.

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