Haronyd Melo Nunez, PT, Manager of Rehab Services at West Kendall Baptist Hospital, says physical therapy for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) patients is to provide them better adaptive equipment and better family training, because it is something that will continue to progress. Some symptoms of ALS are muscle cramps, tight and stiff muscles, muscle weakness, slurred and nasal speech, and difficulty chewing or swallowing.
Haronyd Melo Nunez, PT, Manager of Rehab Services at West Kendall Baptist Hospital, says when someone suffers from a degenerative condition initially they will be in the hospital setting, and during this time doctors would see them in acute care within the first 24 to 48 hours of hospitalization. She also explains acute care means it is right when it happens. "It's the first line of defense in rehab. We will see them while they are still in patients and they can be receiving physical occupational speech therapy just depending on what their symptoms are and what the condition is."
Tremors that affect the face and jaw, legs, arms and hands; slow, stiff walking; trouble maintaining balance, and problems with coordination are some of the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Haronyd Melo Nunez, PT, Manager of Rehab Services at West Kendall Baptist Hospital, says they have a program in the hospital of a therapy focused on the patient's perception of their movements and voice volume. For example, they talk at a whisper but they feel they are talking with a normal voice level. "We try to exaggerate and make them talk loud where they feel they are screaming, but it gets them to a normal voice level."
Alzheimer's disease, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and Parkinson's disease are some of the chronic or degenerative conditions. Haronyd Melo Nunez, PT, Manager of Rehab Services at West Kendall Baptist Hospital, says these are conditions that unfortunately will progress and worsen over time, and for some of these there are periods when they are in remission and the idea is to try to take advantage of those moments to work on strengthening.
Some of the most common symptoms of Alzheimer's disease include memory loss, difficulty performing everyday tasks, language problems, confusion, poor judgment, and misplacing objects. Haronyd Melo Nunez, PT, Manager of Rehab Services at West Kendall Baptist Hospital, explains how physical therapy can help Alzheimer’s disease patients deal with some of their symptoms and help prevent further complications.