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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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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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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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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Bone Bits: Weight-Bearing Exercises

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Weight-bearing exercises are an important part of the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. The MidMichigan Bone Health Clinic suggests 30 to 40 minutes of weight-bearing exercises three to four times per week. Some examples of weight-bearing exercises are weight training, walking, hiking, jogging, climbing stairs, tennis and dancing. Examples of exercises that are not weight-bearing include swimming and bicycling. Although these activities help build and maintain strong muscles and have excellent cardiovascular benefits, they are not the best way to exercise your bones.

If you have osteoporosis, ask your doctor which activities are safe for you. If you have low bone mass, experts recommend that you protect your spine by avoiding exercises or activities that flex, bend or twist your back such as yoga or Pilates. Furthermore, you should avoid high-impact exercise to lower the risk of breaking a bone. Examples of high-impact, weight-bearing exercises are dancing, aerobics, hiking, jogging/running, jumping rope, stair climbing and tennis.  Continue reading.

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Her Painful Veins Faded Away after Sclerotherapy

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Jean Moore knows firsthand that varicose veins can be painful. “When I finally decided to have something done about them, it was not a matter of cosmetics, it was because of the pain,” she said.

Moore had been dealing with the varicose veins in both legs for the last 20 years. The retired educator said the pain was initially manageable. “I had occasional pain if I was standing a lot or did a lot of exercise,” she said. “Later on, if my husband and I biked or walked, I had pain in both legs more often than not.”

The active 75-year-old did not let pain slow her down. “It was never excruciating, but it was getting worse,” she said. “I didn’t let it stop me and over-the-counter pain relievers helped.” Continue reading.

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