Swedish News Blog

Power of reflection: Mirror therapy in MS

Angeli Mayadev, MD

Angeli Mayadev, MD
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Center

The great wisdom traditions teach us that internal reflection is a useful means to grow.  Reflecting upon that. I thought that we could spend some time reviewing a technique of external reflection in rehabilitation known as mirror therapy. This was first described in 1995 by Ramachandran and his team who studied phantom limb pain.

Many concepts in multiple sclerosis (MS) rehabilitation come from stroke and pain rehabilitation fields.  There is evidence in these fields that supports the use of mirror therapy to help rehabilitation of the weaker side.  It also helps reduce neuropathic pain in patients who have phantom limb ( arm or leg) pain after an amputation.

There is very limited published research on the use of mirror therapy in MS.  We think that adding this type of therapy in the care of MS patients might be beneficial to reduce pain and weakness, and perhaps reduce "learned disuse" of the limb.

A brief summary of how to perform Mirror therapy is the following:

What is ALS and why did it inspire ice bucket challenges at Swedish?

Michelle Scheff

Michelle Scheff
Speech Pathologist

Employees of Swedish Cherry Hill Outpatient Rehabilitation and Neurology Departments took the plunge and participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness of ALS and funding for ALS research.  (Click here to see their video on Facebook.)




Before the ALS clinic team takes the ice bucket challenge
 
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), most commonly referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease which affects the motor neurons responsible for voluntary movements and muscle power. As the disease progresses, individuals living with ALS may lose their ability to move and control the muscles of their extremities, torso, head and mouth which can make completion of basic activities such as walking, eating, talking and even breathing very difficult.

Unfortunately, the disease has no cure and only one medication has been approved for the treatment of ALS. Research is making strides towards understanding the underlying physiology and genetic makeup of the disease. Because of  ...

Cold water immersion for cyclists- does it help or just hurt?

Erik S. Brand

Therapy and rehab for stroke survivors

Annie Sanford, RN, BSN

Annie Sanford, RN, BSN
Stroke Clinical Effectiveness Coordinator

Stroke survivors often encounter physical, cognitive or emotional challenges after their stroke. Rehab helps stroke survivors relearn skills that are lost when part of the brain is damaged.  Participating in physical or occupational therapy can be extremely beneficial in assisting patients and their families in the recovery process.

Physical therapists commonly examine, evaluate, and treat stroke patients, facilitating progress towards restoring function, reducing pain, and preventing further injuries or complications.  This therapy is a form of exercise treatment to help with mobility, strength and general function based upon the individual’s needs.

Occupational therapists focus on occupations or activities are meaningful to the individual. They develop individualized care plans that may include adaptations for how to perform tasks, changes to the survivor’s surroundings, or helping individuals to alter their own behaviors.  These plans are designed to ...

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