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New Occupational Therapy Services

Hands-On Therapy with Graston Technique® and Pediatric Occupational Therapy

The occupational therapy team atRedwoodAreaHospitalis pleased to offer new treatment options for patients: 1) a new technique for soft tissue dysfunction and 2) expanded services for pediatric patients.

“Now there are more ways we can help patients with customized plans of care and convenient services right here in the community,” says Magan Simon, occupational therapist and lead clinician of occupational therapy atRedwoodAreaHospital.

Occupational therapy is designed to help people struggling with everyday tasks, from dressing, toileting, household management, medication management, strengthening and building range of motion of the upper extremities. Therapy may be needed due to a work-related injury, a stroke, head injury, repetitive use injury or debilitating disease. Children may need therapy for birth defects or developmental challenges. The overall goal is to enhance quality of life through rebuilding or adapting a person’s abilities.

The occupational therapy team also provides training for caregivers to help them assist their loved one at home and education for adaptive equipment if needed.

What Is the Graston Technique?

Graston Technique was developed to assist with soft tissue problems that often result from loss of mobility. When a person’s skin and muscles have been immobile for a period of time, the soft tissue layer that connects the two becomes tighter and limits their ability to use that limb. Using special instruments, a trained therapist can mobilize soft tissue to reduce inflammation and pain and increase range of motion.

A set of six instruments made from surgical steel is shaped to work with the curves of the patient’s body. As the therapist works the tools across the treatment area, the tools amplify the feel of the soft tissue similar to a stethoscope amplifying the sound of a heartbeat. With the additional awareness, the therapist can work out any restrictions in the soft tissue.

“The Graston Technique is a teamwork approach between the therapist and patient,” Simon states. “The patient tells us where the pain is and how deep to go.”

The technique is used in conjunction with other therapy strategies, including heat, stretching and therapeutic exercise to reach the overall goal of regaining function. “The benefits of this technique over time include decreased pain and swelling, increased range of motion and scar mobility,” Simon said.

What Is Available for Pediatric Patients?

Pediatric services in occupational therapy address developmental delays, injuries, sensory concerns and motor skills. “Some examples of children we help include kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or developmental delays,” Simon explains.

Expanded services for pediatric patients include therapeutic activities related to sensory concerns, such as taste, touch, hearing, vision and movement. “Early intervention is important for the child and family to reach the best outcomes for their situation,” Simon said.

The team has a pediatric room that allows therapists to appropriately engage children with activities that are designed to increase focus and attention, range of motion and strength while working towards developmental stages that have not been met.

“We provide an enriched environment with activities to help them work on the skills they need,” Simon said. “Our goal is the help them achieve developmental milestones through targeted therapies. For example, by identifying and addressing a child’s triggers, we can start to adjust a child’s behavior.”

Growing to Serve You

“It is important that we have a variety of services close to home and convenient to our community in order to provide our patients the best opportunity for success,” Simon notes. “That’s why we are always fine-tuning our programs and adding new treatment techniques to best-serve our community’s needs.”

Even if you are seeing a specialist such as a pediatrician at another hospital, you can choose to receive your therapy at Redwood Area Hospital if it is more convenient for you. For more information about the Redwood Area Hospital Occupational Therapy Department, call 507-637-4606.

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