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MS Research Update: How reliable are biomarkers measured by multiple providers?

April 11, 2013

Mobility issues secondary to strength, balance, and walking problems affect up to 80 percent of people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Providers and therapists use a variety of scales and tools to measure the extent of these issues such as:


  • The Berg Balance Scale (BBS) is a measure of balance that uses a 14-item scale and is scored based upon the results 0-56.
  • The 6-minute walk (6MW) is a measure of walking endurance.
  • Handheld Dynamometry (HHD) is a way to quantify manual muscle strength testing.


There is a lot of emerging research about “MS biomarkers,” which are values that look for ways to predict how patients will do in the future. The above tests are “physical biomarkers” of patient performance that may be able to be used as measures of disease state and change over time.


Often patients and clinicians are left...

Current Exercise Concepts for People with Parkinson�s Disease

April 09, 2013

Research over the last several years has shown the positive benefits of exercise for people with Parkinson’s disease. Participants in physical therapy exercise programs demonstrate improved reaction time and balance, increased endurance and augmented strength. These gains in function can result in decreased falling, more energy to get around the home or community, and ultimately a better quality of life.


Evidence also points to HOW you exercise as an important variable in slowing the disease process. Concepts such as neural priming, movement visualization, whole body exercise, and intensity of practice all contribute to functional gains for people with PD.


Come to Swedish/Issaquah on April 22 to hear about these concepts AND get a chance to practice these exercises in class. The event is FREE. Please...

Exercising Your Body & Your Patience

January 02, 2013

As a regular gym-goer, every year in January I experience what I call the “New Year’s Influx.” We’ve been plagued throughout the month of December with messages about New Year’s resolutions to live healthier lifestyles, of which physical activity is a vital component. As a result, the population of my gym grows exponentially as people act on their resolutions to exercise.

Exercise and cancer

September 18, 2012

There is plenty of research—and it is increasing every day—showing that exercise is beneficial for cancer survivors, whether during or after treatment. In a recent study published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, Dr. Andrea Cheville, an onco-physiatrist (cancer rehabilitation physician) and colleagues at Mayo Clinic interviewed 20 patients with advanced lung cancer about exercise, its relationship to their symptoms, and the role of their oncology team in counseling them about exercise (video). Not surprisingly, participants considered their usual everyday activities as "exercise". While important in helping to maintain function, everyday activities generally do not reach the threshold to help maintain or improve overall fitness. In Dr. Cheville’s study, exercise was defined as "a systematic way of stressing the body...

Eliminating your risk for stroke

August 20, 2012

In the clinic, we work with stroke patients and their families to help them understand the risk of having a second stroke and what they can do to reduce their risk. Lifestyle and medical conditions determine your risk for a first, or second, stroke.

  • Do you have high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol?
  • Do you have diabetes?
  • Have you been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation?
  • Do you smoke?
  • Are you overweight?
  • Do you avoid exercise?
  • Has a close relative had a stroke?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, you’re at greater risk for having a stroke. If you’ve already had a stroke, your “yes” answers mean you’re more likely to have another one.

Your lifestyle can help you avoid a first or second stroke. And, because family history is a stroke risk factor, your entire family can benefit from a healthy way of life. Pledge to help each other stick to a routi...

The Journey of A Thousand Miles

May 07, 2012

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” and the same goes for your health. Sometimes the process of improving or maintaining health may seem difficult, if not impossible. It may seem like a journey of more than just a thousand miles even. But keep in mind, there are little things—baby steps—that you can do every day to make that journey to health an achievable and enjoyable one.

The key is to think small and realistically. Ask yourself, what is your overall goal? Do you want to manage diabetes? Do you want to be able to run a 5k? Do you want to quit smoking? Whatever your goal, even if you don’t have a map, it helps to know your destination and have your shoes strapped on before you head out on the journey.

To figur...

Re-introduce yourself to recess

March 20, 2012

When we were kids, recess was a break in the day designated to play with our friends. As we get older, we get progressively more responsible, lose sight of recess and transition into the daily grind. Fitness often falls off our schedules and is replaced by a growing to do list for survival.

Adults need recess just as much as kids do. Take a moment to remember something you enjoyed as a kid: riding your bike, soccer, tennis, skiing, swimming, etc. I double dare you to try it again, looking at it through the lens of a six year old and invite a friend/co-worker to join you. If you still enjoy it, make it a priority to fit it back into your life ....

Organized sports activities: safety and benefits

March 11, 2012

A lot of children are now enrolled in organized sports activities, and more and more children are starting at a younger age. Children are enticed by successful professional sports players and strive to be like them. Many parents enroll their children in organized sports activities with the hope that their child would get an athletic scholarship for college and go on to become a professional player. However, parents must realize that only a few children end up becoming successful professional players.

It is important for children to be physically active, and organized sports can be a part of this healthy lifestyle. Studies have shown that children and adolescents who are physically active do well academically in school, have greater self-esteem, sleep well and have less behavioral/emotional problems. Children and adolescents who are active every day tend to develop less health problems like hypertension, obesity and hyperlipidemia , and grow to become healthy adults.

Small Goals = Big Rewards

January 02, 2012

New Years Resolutions are often bold declarations that are determined at the last minute. If you REALLY want to make a positive a lifestyle change, think small and tell someone that will hold you accountable. If you are not into New Years Resolutions, you can still set some goals.

Be realistic, change is hard work and will not happen over night. You may have a long-term goal of losing 10+ pounds or giving up a bad habit, but if you start planning now, January 1st will not come as a total shock to your body. Success is more likely when you set small goals that lead to a larger goal. For example, lose one pound a week for 10 weeks instead of losing 10 pounds. Allow room for error, a day off, a ‘cheat meal’ per week so that you can still have your life.

Here are some specific goals:

Back East Issaquah

October 10, 2011

I've been spending my time on the East side opening the crowing jewel of Swedish Nutrition Services, Cafe 1910 at Swedish Issaquah.

Unfortunately I have 20 new pounds to show for it!

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