Arthritis Awareness Month – Understanding Who Physical Therapy Can Help

While there are over 100 types of arthritis, one of the things almost all types have in common is that those who are suffering can benefit from physical therapy. Because there are different types of arthritis, the methods used in physical therapy will be different, as will the potential outcomes of the physical therapy. The goals of the patients will be different too. In this article, we will look at the most common types of arthritis, the types of physical therapy that might help, and the possible outcomes of receiving physical therapy.

The Two Most Common Types of Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are the two most common types of arthritis. Both types can initially be similar in their symptoms, but their causes are dramatically different.

Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear on the joints of the body. It often takes years for the symptoms to build and it gradually gets worse. Obesity has a strong correlation with arthritis, particularly in the knees. Previous injury can also contribute to the onset of osteoarthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. Its cause isn’t known, but it is thought to affect about 0.2% of the population. Rheumatoid arthritis has a much more sudden onset than osteoarthritis. Symptoms can get much worse over the course of weeks, and they often include swelling of the joints.

What Types of Physical Therapy are there?

Physical therapy can be broadly divided into two categories: passive treatments, and active treatments.

Passive treatments are often helpful with severe cases of osteoarthritis and early cases of rheumatoid arthritis. Passive treatments include hydrotherapy, massage, heat and cold therapy, or ultrasound. For those who are in too much pain to begin active therapy, these options can help get them ready to start becoming more active.

Active therapy can be used to prevent osteoarthritis from becoming worse, and can also be used once sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis are able to increase their range of motion and activity. Active therapy includes flexibility and strength training, aerobic exercise, and some forms of hydrotherapy.

Active therapy will help you to reduce pain, gain strength, and increase your flexibility and range of motion. It can also help you to lose weight which can be a main contributing factor to the pain caused by arthritis.

The Outcome of Physical Therapy
When starting physical therapy patients should clearly specify the goals they want to achieve. Telling your trainer what you want to achieve will help them to craft a specific training plan for you. You might have a goal as simple as getting out of your car without feeling pain, or it might be a bigger one like running a 5km race as you used to. Whatever it is, a physical therapist can set you on the right path to achieve it.

If you are suffering from arthritis, or even want to prevent its onset, talk to the professionals at Preferred Therapy Outpatient and Wellness about therapy options offered and how our experienced team can help you or your loved ones.

Celebrate National Skilled Nursing Care Week

May 8-14 celebrates National Skilled Nursing Care Week. It’s a true honor and privilege to partner with skilled nursing establishments. The dedication and commitment to providing care for their residents are to be celebrated not just this week – but every day throughout the year. #itsallaboutthepatient #celebratenationalskillednursingweek #PreferredTherapySolutionspartnershipswithskillednursingfacilities #NSNCW


CMS to End Certain COVID-19 Waivers


The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services released a memorandum on April 7th  to state agencies announcing the ending of specific Public Health Emergency (PHE) waivers in two different time frames: May 7th and June 7th.

The following waivers related to SNF’s will end on May 7th:

  • Resident Groups: This waiver permitted the facility to restrict in-person meetings during the PHE
  • Physician Visits: CMS waived the requirement for physicians and non-physician practitioners to perform in-person visits for nursing home residents and allow visits to be conducted, as appropriate, via telehealth options
  • Physician Delegation of Tasks in SNFs: CMS waived the requirement that prevents a physician from delegating a task when the regulations specify that the physician must perform it personally
  • Quality Assurance & Performance Improvement (QAPI): CMS modified certain requirements which require long-term care facilities to develop, implement, evaluate, and maintain an effective, comprehensive, data-driven QAPI program
  • Detailed Information Sharing for Discharge Planning for LTC Facilities: CMS modified the requirement that LTC facilities are to assist residents and their representatives in selecting a post-acute care provider
  • Medical Records: CMS modified the requirement which requires long-term care (LTC) facilities to provide a resident a copy of their records within two working days

The following waivers related to SNF’s will end on June 7th:

  • Physical Environment: CMS waived requirements to allow for a non-SNF building to be temporarily certified and available for use by a SNF in the event there were needs for isolation processes for COVID-19 positive residents
  • Facility & Medical Equipment Inspection, Testing & Maintenance: CMS waived ITM requirements for facility and medical equipment to reduce exposure to COVID-19
  • Life Safety Code (LSC) and Health Care Facilities Code (HCFC) ITM: CMS waived ITM required by the LSC and HCFC, with specified exceptions, which permitted facilities to adjust scheduled ITM frequencies and activities
  • Outside Windows and Doors: CMS waived the requirement to have an outside window or outside door in every sleeping room. This permitted spaces not normally used for patient care to be utilized for patient care and quarantine.
  • Paid Feeding Assistants for LTC Facilities: CMS modified the requirements regarding required training of paid feeding assistants to allow that training can be a minimum of one hour in length
  • In-Service Training for LTC Facilities: CMS modified the nurse aide training requirements for SNFs, which required the nursing assistant to receive at least 12 hours of in-service training annually
  • Training and Certification of Nurse Aides: CMS waived the requirements which require that a SNF  may not employ anyone for longer than four months unless they met the training and certification requirements

Source:  CMS’ Memorandum: QSO-22-15-NH & NLTC & LSC

Preferred Therapy Solutions continues to provide vital information that may impact rehabilitation management, reimbursement policies, and clinical programs, supported by compliance and regulatory requirements that are necessary for a thorough understanding of practices and procedures. If you have any questions, please contact Maria Maggi, Vice President of Quality, Outcomes, and Compliance:


Older Americans Month: Age My Way

May is a special time of year, all the buds start to bloom and a colorful landscape comes to life. This May, as we take in the sights and sounds of spring, May also celebrates Older American Month. The theme for 2022 is Age My Way with a focus on how older adults can age independently and participate in activities they choose. While your spring unfolds, remember to reach out to the older adults in your lives and in the community, and engage with them in their favorite activity or two. Whether it be gardening, music events, bike riding, or baking get involved, participate, and stay connected with our older population. #OlderAmericansMonth #stayconnected #AgeMyWay

May Celebrates Speech and Better Hearing Month

Preferred Therapy Solutions would like to thank everyone in the Speech Pathology discipline for all of your hard work in supporting our most vulnerable population. This May we celebrate Better Hearing & Speech Month and the people that work with those affected by communication and hearing disorders. #itsallaboutthepatient #celebratespeechpathologist #nationalbetterspeechandhearing