Tag Archives: physical therapy

Dancing to Make a Difference | Dance Marathon at the University of Michigan

by Lauren Sofen, PT,  pediatric physical therapist, Beaumont Children’s Hospital


Showcasing my dance moves at     DMUM 2013.

Dance Marathon at the University of Michigan (DMUM) is the largest student organization on campus, raising funds and awareness for pediatric rehabilitation.

Dance Marathon at the University of Michigan improves the quality of life for children with disabilities by:

  • developing relationships between college students and participating families
  • raising funds in a creative and energetic manner to support pediatric rehabilitation programs
  • educating the campus and community about our cause

DMUM has been a staple funding source to the Center for Children’s Rehabilitation at Beaumont Children’s Hospital for the past 16 years and is in fact one of the reasons I work at Beaumont today. I joined the Beaumont team in September as a pediatric physical therapist, after a decade away from metro Detroit. During my time away I worked in some of the leading hospitals in the world, in a variety of settings including completing a pediatric residency in Philadelphia, but there was always something missing…

I was working with top physicians, the latest technology and an international population of patients, but I was missing the aspect of my job that got me passionate about PT in the first place – there were no programs to improve kids’ skills and well-being outside of the clinic atmosphere. DMUM provides funding for equipment and a wide variety of special therapeutic programs that go on throughout the year at a significantly discounted rate for families. This discounted rate is most notable because these programs are supplementary and not covered by insurance.

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Hannah’s Story | Beaumont Children’s Rehabilitation

by Sarah Thiel, pediatric speech and language pathologist, Center for Children’s Rehabilitation at Beaumont Children’s Hospital

Seeing a child walk, communicate or even eat when they previously couldn’t is a wonderful experience. That’s why we smile when our patients come through the door. We’ve had the honor of working with Hannah Smith and her family at the Beaumont Children’s Hospital Center for Children’s Rehabilitation for more than a year now.

Hannah and occupational therapist Megan Meloche are all smiles during a recent therapy session as they work to overcome symptoms related to dysphagia, a swallowing disorder.

Hannah and occupational therapist Megan Meloche are all smiles during a recent therapy session as they work to overcome symptoms related to dysphagia, a swallowing disorder.

Hannah is a beautiful 6-year-old girl with a bright smile of her own. She’s incredibly friendly and waves to everyone she sees in our department, every single time she comes in.  She lights up our treatment sessions with her sweet attitude and willingness to participate wholeheartedly in every activity.

The progress Hannah has made since we first met her is incredible. She’s worked with Beaumont Children’s Hospital pediatric rehabilitation specialists in physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy over the past year.

When she began therapy for dysphagia, a pediatric feeding and swallowing disorder, Hannah was able to eat only pureed foods. She received the majority of her nutrients through tube-feeding.  Now, she is actively taking bites of a variety of  foods, and is willing to try new things every week.

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Injury prevention tips for high school athletes

by James Bicos, M.D., Orthopedic Surgeon & Sports Medicine Specialist; voted Top 10 Sports Medicine Surgeons by Sports Illustrated for cartilage issues

hs_sports_injuriesFall high school sports are right around the corner. Whether you’re playing football, tennis, volleyball, running cross country or playing golf, these quick tips well help you avoid an injury that may cut your playing season short.

  1. Learn proper warm-up and cool down routines. Don’t forget the cool down! It helps with muscle recovery and you can also use the time for a mental review.
  2. Do not increase your training more than 10% per week. Studies have shown increased rates of injury with increasing routines too quickly.
  3. Eat a balanced HEALTHY diet! Avoid caffeinated beverages. Drink your water and stay hydrated.
  4. Get plenty of rest – sleep allows your body time to recover and regain energy.
  5. Don’t ignore pain! Achy pain is fine, as long as it gets better with rest. Always tell your coaches or parents if pains persists to avoid issues such as tendonitis or stress fractures.  Remember, you are in the game for life!

Dr. Bicos and Kelly Delind, physical therapist at Beaumont Hospital, Grosse Pointe, were on Fox 2 Doctor (Aug. 7) for the Doctor Is In web chat providing answers to your questions about preventing and rehabilitating sports injuries.

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I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike

When the Beaumont Blog first launched last year, our first post was about a group of “Pediatric Pedalers” riding their specially adapted bikes at a family bike event. Fast forward almost one full year and another group of kids spent their weekend being fitted for and trying out their new, specially designed bikes as part of Beaumont Children’s Hospital’s 9th annual Bike Day!

For many of the physically challenged children receiving bikes, it is the first time they’ve been able to ride one. This year, more than 50 special needs children got special bicycles.

“A lot of dedication, service and the passion for making a difference in the lives of the children was the mission of all the staff who worked many hours behind the scenes,” says Manjula Amarnath, Director of Pediatric Rehab Services at Beaumont. “The beauty of this event is that each and every time it strikes a chord and makes you feel the worth of serving these deserving children and their families.”

Bikes customized for children living with a disability cannot be found at local bike shops or big box retailers. Depending on specific needs, bikes are modified or customized for each child. Some are even pedaled by hand.

Each year, Beaumont’s Pediatric Rehabilitation Program, in partnership with the Beaumont Foundation and Children’s Miracle Network, brightens the lives of children who are living with a disability by giving them a custom bike that meets their specialized needs.

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When Pigs Fly

The expression “when pigs fly” is used in situations that feel impossible. When Stan was admitted to the inpatient rehab unit at Beaumont Hospital, Troy, he felt the probability of getting back to normal life was just that – impossible.

when pigs flyAfter suffering a stroke, Stan was discouraged by the fact that his rehab process would take him several weeks to get back some of his normal functions. Through the discouragement, Stan kept his great sense of humor and a lot of motivation to get better, even though he wished the rehab was an overnight fix. He started to joke with the therapy staff that he would not get out of the unit to go home until “pigs fly.”

With that thought in mind, the whole therapy and nursing team went with his joke and drew a picture of a pig flying on his board where the usual discharge date is designated.  It was a great way to get over the discouragement and his motivation shot through the roof. At 60, Stan was still an avid hockey player and was committed to get back home play once again. Since he’s an athlete, the staff was able to motivate and push him like a driven, rehabbing athlete.

Finally, the day came that Stan was being discharged. Cathy, his wife, came to the gym with a box full of flying toy pigs for the therapy team to surprise him with. When he was ready to go, he was wheeled to the gym that he had spent so much time rehabbing in, only this time instead of physical therapy equipment, the staff that had worked with him for the past month were all holding the flying pigs.

“It was hilarious. I knew that it meant I was going home,” Stan said. “I’d like to thank all of the staff again and let them know they’re wonderful people.”

It was a very emotional moment for Stan, as well as everybody he had interacted with. All of his caregivers – physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists, nurses and aides – signed his flying pig before he left, as a reminder that he could do the impossible.


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Ensuring the daddy-daughter dance will go on

Daddy-daughter danceIt’s what daddies do. They dance with their daughters at their weddings. But a heart attack and subsequent stroke put that tradition in jeopardy for Jim Marin and his daughter Lisa.

He was always a dancer. In fact, Jim and his wife Lydia used to win dancing competitions. They could really burn the floor with a good disco song.

But on Dec. 18, he began having chest pain, so at his doctor’s office, Jim received an EKG. “The doctor said I needed to go to Beaumont right away,” he recalls. “I drove myself there and was admitted. During the heart cath, I was given two stents, but in the course of the procedure, a piece of plaque broke away and I had a small stroke.”

The stroke affected his cerebellum, the part of the brain responsible for balance, movement-related functions and posture. For a guy who likes to dance, this was not good news.

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