Occupational Therapy Services
Occupational Therapists help individuals improve their ability to perform their critical daily living and work tasks. Occupational therapy works with individuals of all ages, from infants to the elderly, who have physical, developmental, emotional, cognitive or visual problems. Your occupational therapy program is individually designed to help you restore lost function from an injury or illness, learn lifestyle modification, or develop new skills that will help you be independent with your work, play, leisure or self-care activities. Occupational therapists treat patients with varied conditions in the following specialty areas:
- Rehabilitation of the hand and upper extremity with a Certified Hand Therapist
- Orthopaedic treatment
- Worksite evaluation for injury prevention
- Restoring Activities of Daily Living (ADL)
- Functional mobility education
- Neurological disorders such as cerebral palsy in children.
- Developmental delays in children
- Work in conjunction with Child Development Services and local school systems to identify children in need of treatment
- Recovery from stroke and head injury
Lymphedema is an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the tissues that causes swelling of a body part, most often the extremities. It can also occur in the face, neck, abdomen, or genitals. Lymphedema is classified as either primary or secondary. Primary lymphedema is the result of missing or impaired lymphatic vessels. It may be present at birth, but it more often develops later in life without obvious cause.
Secondary lymphedema is much more common and is the result of lymph vessel damage or lymph node removal due to cancer therapy or after trauma/infection. Secondary lymphedema can present immediately, such as after surgery, or it can occur weeks, months, or even years later.
Symptoms of Lymphedema
Signs and symptoms of lymphedema are as follows:
- A sensation of pressure or tightness of the skin of limb tingling
- Heaviness of limb(s)
- Decreased motion in the extremities
- Increased susceptibility to infection
- Skin tissue changes
- Impaired wound healing
If there is persistent swelling, it is very important that immediate medical advice is sought. Early diagnosis and treatment improves both the prognosis and the condition.
Staging of Lymphedema
Lymphedema may be classified in three stages, from mild to severe. In stage I, the swollen tissues indent and hold the indentation when pressed. Elevating the limb can temporarily reduce the swelling. If untreated, the lymphedema can cause a progressive hardening of the affected tissues with a spongy consistency. This is considered stage II lymphedema.
Stage III lymphedema is characterized by a tremendous increase in swelling, the skin hardens, and tumors or outgrowths develop, such as warts and polyps. Swelling does not respond to elevation in stages II and III. Infections such as cellulitis or lymphangitis frequently develop in those suffering from lymphedema.
Treatments for LymphedemaLymphedema treatments offered in the United States are:
Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) – a gentle manual technique.
Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) – a combination of MLD, bandaging of the affected areas, remedial exercises, skin and nail care, and compression garments.
Surgical procedures are sometimes suggested.
Our Certified Lymphedema Therapists can help identify which treatment best suits your personal needs.
If you believe you or someone you know would benefit from Lymphedema treatment, please contact your physician and ask for a referral. If you have any questions, please contact our Department at (207) 779-2620.
For more information on LymphedemaView the following websites for more information on lymphedema.
National Lymphedema Network (NLN)
Maine Lymphedema Network
Vertigo, dizziness, imbalance, tilting of the environment, nausea, and motion sickness are all symptoms that may be associated with vestibular (inner ear) disorders. Vestibular rehabilitation is a program designed to restore the vestibular system back to optimal health. Through the use of specific exercises and when needed, hands-on treatment, rehabilitation can compensate for the deficit, and in some cases, the pathology can be corrected.
In many cases, the cause of vestibular disorder cannot be determined. Some possible causes include:
- Head Trauma
- Ear Infections
- High doses or long term use of certain antibiotics
- If the flow of blood to the inner ear is reduced or blocked (strokes), the vestibular system may be damaged.
- Diagnosis begins with a physical exam by a physician to rule out other causes of dizziness.
- Vestibular testing can be done to try to pinpoint the disorder.
- Balance testing may also be done since balance is an essential component of vestibular function.
Disorders Treated with Vestibular Rehabilitation
Unilateral Vestibular Dysfunction
- Weakness along one side of the vestibular system.
- Symptoms include loss of balance, wooziness when turning the head, and sometimes oscillopsia (illusion that things are moving up and down, when you are walking).
BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo)
- BPPV is caused when the crystals in the inner ear become dislodged. These crystals move into the canals of the ear when the patient moves the head into certain positions.
- Symptoms include vertigo that can be triggered by lying down, rolling over in bed, getting out of bed, looking up, and bending forward.
There are treatments for people who have vestibular disorders. The goals of vestibular rehabilitation are to:
- Decrease Dizziness
- Increase Balance Function
- Increase General Activity Levels
Treatment for vestibular disorders is available at Franklin Memorial Hospital. If you feel that you or someone you know would benefit from vestibular rehabilitation, contact your physician. You will need a referral to be seen for treatment.
To get a referral or to schedule an appointment, contact your family physician or call the Physical Rehabilitation Department at Franklin Memorial Hospital at 207-779-2620.
Women's Health is a specialized area of Physical Therapy which focuses on the specific issues related to women's health.
Physical Therapists utilize a variety of techniques to assist you in the healing process and to increase your quality of life as you deal with a variety of women’s health issues.
- Fitting of Therapeutic Belts & Orthotics
- Electrical Stimulation
- Joint Mobilization
- Wound Care & Massage
- Energy Saving Tips
- Postural Control & Assessment
Incontinence is the loss of bladder control resulting in involuntary loss of urine. Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles can prevent, decrease, or even stop the leakage of urine altogether.
After Breast or Abdominal Surgery
The physical therapist can evaluate you and help you manage the effects of surgery.
Pregnancy Related Issues
The Physical Therapist can treat musculoskeletal dysfunction related to prenatal and postpartum changes, as well as labor and delivery pain management and post cesarean section care.
Symptoms include diffuse pain and tender points present in many muscle groups, complaints of fatigue or exhaustion, loss of sexual desire and loss of general feeling of well being. Treatment addresses pain and education about pacing activities.
Pelvic pain may occur with prolonged sitting, pain with urination, or with intercourse. It may include numbness or tingling in the vaginal region. The physical therapist will help identify the cause of the pain and treat it accordingly.
The Female Athlete
Due to the rigors of high level physical activity, female athletes may experience problems within a group called the “female triad.” The Female Triad is made up of disordered eating, osteoporosis and menstrual irregularity. Physical therapy in conjunction with other health care providers can provide a team approach to lessen the impact of these problems.
Bone loss due to osteoporosis can become debilitating; thin, brittle bones may break more easily. The physical therapist will provide proper exercise and education to minimize the effects of osteoporosis on the body.
If you believe you or someone you know would benefit from Physical Therapy, please contact your physician and ask for a referral. If you have any questions, please contact Physical Rehabilitation Department at (207) 779-2620.
Athletic Trainers (ATs) work to prevent and treat musculoskeletal injuries and sports-related illnesses. ATs are part of a team of health care professionals, who practice under the direction of and in collaboration with physicians.
ATs work with individuals who are physically active or involved in sports participation through any stage of life to prevent, treat, and rehabilitate injuries and medical conditions.
Franklin Memorial Hospital has two athletic trainers providing sports medicine coverage to community high schools: Mt. Abram, Spruce Mountain, and Mt. Blue High Schools. Coverage includes team practices and home contests for all sports at each school.
Both ATs split time covering the Sports Medicine Clinic with Dr. Tom Pulling and a physical therapist, on Wednesday mornings at Franklin Health Orthopaedics.
Speech Language Pathology is the evaluation and treatment of speech intelligibility, receptive and expressive language, voice, cognition as it relates to language use, and swallowing.
Services are provided for:
- Stroke and other neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and ALS in adults; and Cerebral Palsy and Autism in children;
- Voice disorders due to vocal abuse, nodules, and post cancer treatment;
- Stuttering in children and adults;
- Developmental delays resulting in speech, language and feeding issues; and
- G-tube weaning to oral feeding and food aversions.
We have a therapist certified in LSVT LOUD for Parkinson’s treatment.
Our Speech language pathologists treat patients of all ages with varied conditions including:
- Aphasia (loss of language); Dysarthria (slurred speech); Apraxia (Motor speech disorders)
- Dysphagia (swallowing) including Modified Barium Swallow Studies: adult and pediatric
- Voice Disorders
- Stuttering (adult and pediatric)
- Developmental delays resulting in speech, language or feeding delays
- Autism Spectrum Disorders with speech, language, pragmatic/social communication or feeding difficulties
- Food Aversion
- Phonological and Articulation disorders
- Pre and post Cancer of the head and neck including laryngectomy
- Certified LSVT LOUD therapy (Lee Silverman Voice Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease)
- Cognitive-Linguistic Therapies for Head Injury, Post-stroke, and Dementia
- Dementia Staging Assessments
- Alternative Augmentative Communication Systems (AAC)