• How occupational therapy can help you get your life back

    After you’ve had acute stroke care, orthopedic surgery or been diagnosed with a disability, your doctor at Southern Hills Hospital may refer you to an occupational therapist. Occupational therapy is a uniquely patient-driven model of care because the therapist guides the patient in setting the course for the treatment. The goals of occupational therapy are not only to recover to the fullest extent possible, but also to let you get back to doing the things you love.

    Dealing with chronic pain

    Chronic pain can be baffling because it can persist even after the original injury has healed. Chronic pain touches virtually every area of a patient’s life—from emotional health to functional abilities. To help you learn how to better manage everyday activities and cope with limitations, an occupational therapist may do the following:

    • Identify triggers that worsen pain
    • Recommend pain-free alternatives
    • Decrease dependence on pain medications
    • Teach the use of adaptive equipment
    • Demonstrate alternative ways of performing activities

    To get the most out of occupational therapy, you can openly communicate your goals, lifestyle desires and challenges. It’s the mission of your occupational therapist to help you enjoy good quality of life.

    Recovering from a major surgery

    Orthopedic surgeries such as joint replacements require extensive recovery and rehabilitation. Occupational therapists play a key role in the rehabilitation process. They can help patients with the following:

    • Getting around with a walker
    • Doing daily tasks without stressing the healing area
    • Positioning properly for sleep
    • Transferring in and out of the car

    Restoring abilities after stroke

    Stroke survivors often face life-altering challenges, including temporary or permanent paralysis, thinking difficulties and emotional upheaval. An occupational therapist can help with all of these difficulties to allow stroke survivors to live as independently as possible. Occupational therapy can benefit stroke survivors in the following ways:

    • Learn one-handed techniques for tasks
    • Use adaptive equipment
    • Improve safety in the home
    • Educate caregivers
    • Improve strength and endurance
    • Facilitate mobility in the community
    • Cope with memory and concentration problems

    The newly updated orthopedic and spine unit at Southern Hills Hospital provides the latest in surgical technology, comfortable patient rooms and a fully equipped physical therapy gym. At our modern hospital in Las Vegas, we are committed to giving our patients the superior care they deserve. Call a registered nurse at (702) 916-5023 to request a referral to an orthopedic specialist.

  • Why are spine injuries so common?

    Your spine has a big job to do. It protects the delicate spinal cord, maintains the upright position of the body and allows the flexibility necessary for movement. The spine is subject to considerable stress every day, which can lead to damage from wear and tear over time. The delicate structures of the back can also sustain injuries from traumatic events, such as car accidents and sports collisions. If your spine injury lands you in the Emergency Room at Southern Hills Hospital, you can count on our sophisticated Orthopedic and Spine Program to give you the superior care you deserve.

    Spine injuries caused by wear and tear

    One of the reasons why spine injuries are so common is that they can occur from the cumulative effects of years of micro-damage. Most often, degeneration of the spinal structures affect the top of the spine, known as the cervical region, and the bottom region of the spine, which is the lumbar region.

    Watch this featured video to hear a neurosurgeon at Southern Hills Hospital discuss spine injuries in these areas. He notes that most of the mobility of the spine stems from these two regions, which subjects them to more strain. The following are some of the most common risk factors of spine injuries caused by wear and tear:

    • Poor posture
    • Being overweight/obesity
    • Physical inactivity
    • Aging
    • Pregnancy
    • Smoking
    • Job-related hazards

    If mild to moderate back pain doesn’t go away in a few days, consider making a visit to the hospital.

    Spine injuries caused by sudden trauma

    When it appears that the spine has sustained sudden, severe trauma , emergency care is required. The emergency care doctor will consider the possibility that the spinal cord has been injured, which could cause permanent paralysis. Some of the possible causes of spinal cord injuries include:

    • Falling from an elevated position
    • Motor vehicle accident
    • Sports collision
    • Diving accident
    • Act of violence

    It’s important not to move someone who might have injured the neck or back. Let the emergency responders handle this task.

    Southern Hills Hospital has earned a reputation for unparalleled dedication to our patients in Las Vegas, which is one reason why our hospital attracts top orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons. Patients receive a continuum of care at our Orthopedic and Spine Program—from accurate diagnostics to minimally invasive spine surgery. Call 911 for emergency care or call a nurse at (702) 916-5023 to request a referral.