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Incontinence Support Blog

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas… with Men’s Liberty 2015

Posted by Sarah Woodward

Dec 24, 2015 10:00:00 AM

'Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the store

Not an item was discounted, not even a drawer;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were waiting all snug in their threads,

While visions of X-boxes danced in their heads;

And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled down for a Christmas shopper’s nap,

When up on the riser there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the line to see what was the matter.

Up to the display I flew like a flash,

Tore past the elves and knocked down the sash.

The lights on the piles of the fake-plastic snow

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so sluggish and thick,

I knew it must be the mall’s incontinent St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his options they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

"Now, Foley! now, Texas! now, Tena and Depends!

On, Condom! on Corman! on, Poise and Attends!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

So up to the mall-top the coursers they flew,

With the sleigh full of pee, and St. Nicholas too.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the hall a new St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all burnished with ashes and soot;

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his crown,

Gave me to know there was a better option in town;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his seat,

And welcomed the children; who asked for a sweet,

Calling me closer, he told me his quest,

‘Forget about diapers, opt for the best;

‘Men’s Liberty’s the key to sitting for hours,

No leaks at all and no more wet trousers!


And I heard him exclaim, ‘ere we walked out of sight,

 "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a dry-night."

 

Topics: urinary management, bladder control, diaper alternatives

The other “I” word for active baby boomers

Posted by Mens Liberty

Oct 20, 2015 11:00:00 AM

 Hello my friends – a few weeks ago, we were lucky enough to do a radio interview with Health, Wealth and Wisdom – part of Senior Voice America. And one of the questions really struck me – “why is it so important to have a conversation about incontinence?”

We talk about it a lot – but maybe it’s not clear enough yet – incontinence is a REALLY big deal.

And you don’t have to believe me – listen to the Centers for Disease Control or the
 National Institutes of Health.

The CDC published a study last month that showed more than 50% of all community dwelling people over 65 reported experiencing urinary incontinence. So in a room full of people that age – one in every two of them is dealing with this issue.

The CDC also estimated the financial burden associated with incontinence. In the US, the cost of bladder incontinence among adults in the year 2000 was estimated at $19.5 billion, with $14.2 billion incurred by community residents and $5.3 billion by institutional residents.

Nearly 75% of those costs are resources used for incontinence management or ‘‘routine care’’ such as absorbent pads, protection, and laundry. That is horrifying. Care costs like this are coming straight out of your pockets – no insurance, no co-pay, just seniors on a fixed income spending thousands of dollars a year on adult diapers.

If all of the above wasn’t enough – the CDC subtly suggested and I quote: “Individuals who are incontinent may carry an emotional burden of shame and embarrassment in addition to the physical discomfort and disruption of their lives that occur with episodes of incontinence. Bladder and bowel incontinence significantly impact quality of life even after adjusting for co morbidities and demographic differences.”

That’s pretty strong wording for a bureaucracy.

And they’re absolutely, 100% right. Incontinence is the other “I” word. Ten or 15 years ago it was “impotence” but Viagra really brought erectile dysfunction out of the closet – if you’re like me, you think its time to do the same thing for incontinence. So join us and do your part – share this, make a comment, talk to a friend and spread the word – you don’t just have to accept incontinence and its costs.

Find Out About  Diaper Alternatives!

 

Topics: urinary management, bladder control

10 Misconceptions About Pelvic Physical Therapy & Incontinence

Posted by Sarah Woodward

Aug 9, 2013 11:33:00 AM

We're thrilled to share this post from Jessica Powley, DPT, WCS, who wrote this excellent blog article for her Proaxis Physical Therapy Clinic blog.  Jessica is committed to promoting the specialty area of pelvic physical therapy.

Have you ever heard of pelvic physical therapy before? Many have not, but this specialty can be a crucial part of someone’s complete medical care – for women, men, and even children.

Orange Line

I had never heard of pelvic physical therapy prior to beginning my doctoral program at Duke University. I remember very clearly when I first learned that some physical therapists did “that.” One of my fellow students had completed a small half-day observation at a local clinic, and excitedly told us all about his day watching the “Pelvic PTs.” We were blown away. We had always assumed physical therapists treated back pain, helped patients after surgery, worked with people who had strokes…but pelvic pain? Urinary incontinence? Sexual dysfunction? This was shocking and new.

Not surprisingly, I was not the only person surprised to hear of this *new* specialty. Of the new patients I see, I estimate that 90% of them have never heard of pelvic PT… and in that, there are a TON of misconceptions people have about my profession. I thought it would be helpful to share a few of the top misconceptions with you today.

1. The only people needing to see a Pelvic PT are women after childbirth.

The interesting thing about this one, is that of the patients I treat, only about 5-10% are post-partum women! The other 90% includes young (with our youngest being 8 years old) to old (with our oldest being 95) men and women experiencing a big variety of symptoms: urinary incontinence, difficulties in urination, bowel incontinence, constipation, abdominal pain, low back/SI pain, sexual dysfunction, pelvic pain or coccyx pain, vaginal or rectal pain, penile or testicular pain, as well as men and women prior to or after having pelvic surgery.

2. Pelvic PTs do not treat men.

False. We treat many men. Now, I will admit that at our specific clinic, we see more women than men, but this is not true of every pelvic physical therapy clinic. Currently, I would estimate 20-30% of my schedule is men. The most common diagnoses we treat for men are post-prostatectomy related incontinence as well as variations of male pelvic pain—however, we also treat men with bowel dysfunction, sexual related pain, urinary dysfunction and tailbone pain.

3. If a person is leaking urine, they definitely need kegel exercises (pelvic floor strengthening).

We have discussed this in the past in other blog posts, but this really is a very common misconception I often have to fight with my patients. Urinary incontinence is a failed system, not just a failed muscle. From a musculoskeletal standpoint, a person needs a well-functioning pelvic floor muscle group, abdominal muscles, hip muscles, diaphragm and low back muscles. People need strong, but flexible muscles that tighten when they need to and relax when they need to. If a person has a shortened, irritated pelvic floor, they may have just as much difficulty holding back urine as the person with a weak pelvic floor. It is important to trust your physical therapist to prescribe the specific exercises necessary to help YOU.

4. If a person has tried “kegel exercises” and they did not work, Pelvic PT won’t be able to help them.

As a Pelvic PT, I take great offense to that… I mean, honestly, do you think I would need a doctoral degree, 100+ hours of additional continuing education, and a board specialization to teach a person Kegel exercises? That all to say, rehabilitation for the pelvis is much more involved than simply strengthening a muscle group. It involves restoring function—improving muscular support around the pelvis, improving behavioral/dietary habits, and re-training body movements to allow for optimal organ and structural function.

5. If your mother/grandmother/great-grandmother also had constipation/urinary incontinence/diarrhea/etc., then it must be genetic and can’t be helped.

Also, not true! Now, I won’t say there aren’t genetic components which may cause a person to be more likely to experience certain conditions than others—but that being said, there is always something that can be done to help! It is important to work with a team of healthcare professionals including physicians, nurses, physical therapists, psychologists and nutritionists to ensure a person gets comprehensive and holistic care to achieve optimal health.

6. People can major in “physical therapy” and become a pelvic PT right after they graduate.

I wish that were true—it would have saved me several years of work! Actually, the profession of physical therapy has changed significantly in the past 20 years. Currently, most practicing physical therapists have a Masters or Doctoral degree in physical therapy, and the majority of the current educational programs in physical therapy in the United States are doctoral programs. In order to specialize in pelvic PT, a person must have an advanced degree (doctoral/masters) as well as attend continuing education to gain the knowledge and clinical skills necessary to treat this complex population. This equals a total of 7 years of formal education after high school as well as significant amounts of continuing education.

7. If a person has already had surgery OR is planning to have surgery, pelvic physical therapy won’t help them.

The truth is that physical therapists usually work very closely with surgeons to help patients achieve optimal recovery. Surgery will often correct an anatomical problem, but it is important to have improved muscular control and function to help a person attain optimal outcomes after surgery. Research has shown that physical therapy prior to and after surgery improves patient outcomes as well as reduces the need for future surgery.

8. A physical therapist doing vaginal or rectal exams is weird and NOT conventional.

Physical therapists specialize in working with the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems of the body. The pelvic floor muscles run around the opening of the urethra, vagina (in women) and rectum. The only way to truly assess the pelvic floor muscles is via an examination which is performed with one gloved finger inserted into the vaginal or rectal canal. Although this may seem “untraditional” to some, there is a strong anatomical basis for the exam. Pelvic physical therapists are trained in both internal and external evaluation and treatment techniques, and current medical research supports these techniques in the treatment of this patient population.

**Pelvic Guru side note-  A physical therapist can assess general function of the pelvic floor by using external observation with cues and/or something called surface emg biofeedback. However, an internal assessment is the “gold standard” for fully assessing the pelvic floor if indicated. If patients are not comfortable with this, they do not have to have this type of evaluation. Some patients are reluctant at first and then choose to do this after a few visits.

9. If a person has a “medical cause” of his/her pain, physical therapy will not help.

Often times, certain diagnoses can have musculoskeletal involvement. For example, if a woman has endometriosis which has caused significant pelvic pain she will often have severe trigger points, connective tissue restrictions, and muscular restrictions in all of the muscles around the pelvis as a result of that pain. In many cases, if the endometrial tissue is removed via laparoscopy, but the soft tissue restrictions remain, pain will not go away. That to say, a multidisciplinary approach to pain tends to be the best to help people achieve optimal recovery.

10. A person’s habits (eating, drinking, etc) are not related to pain, urinary or bowel dysfunction.

This may seem obvious, but this thought is more common than you would think. Many people believe that if they have had certain habits for a long time, it cannot be related to the problems they are experiencing. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Often times, habits such as drinking coffee, eating fried food, exercising too vigorously, or sitting at a computer for long periods of time can strongly influence a person’s symptoms—even if the symptoms are new. It is important for your physical therapist to evaluate all of your habits to help you understand the steps you can take to improve your health.

I hope this information was helpful for you today! What were some misconceptions you had about pelvic physical therapy? Let us know in the comments below!

 
Jessice PowleyJessica is the team lead of the women’s health/pelvic physical therapy program at Proaxis Therapy. Jessica received her doctorate from Duke University, and is one of the few board-certified specialists in Women’s Health in South Carolina. She specializes in treating patients with a variety of diagnoses including pelvic floor dysfunction, urinary dysfunction, bowel dysfunction, sexual dysfunction and pelvic pain. She is passionate about treating this population as well as advocating for patients and her profession on a local and national level. She has been a member of the Section on Women’s Health, the APTA, and the SCAPTA for the past 6 years, and has served the Section on Women’s Health on the Educational Review Committee and the Functional Outcome Measures Taskforce. She is passionate about education and has given presentations both locally to physicians and community support groups, as well as in a university setting at the University of South Carolina Doctor of Physical Therapy Program. In her spare time, Jessica enjoys spending time with family and friends and staying active outdoors.

 

Topics: bladder control

The Worst Incontinence Advice EVER!!!

Posted by Sarah Woodward

May 13, 2013 11:02:00 AM

I'm officially appalled. This has to be the WORST advice for dealing with incontinence ever - “live with it. It’s just a little bit of water. Get help. And be brave."

Check out the full article here. I know the British are stereotyped as having a 'stiff upper lip' about problems (not inaccurately, I lived there) but still. No one should ever be relegated to just living with incontinence. There are so many treatment and management options that can help reduce or eliminate incontinence. At absolute minimum, there are ways to manage incontinence so that it has less of an impact on your daily life.

So, inspired by a heapful of dismay at such poor advice, I've copied Maggie's original question below and provided my own answer!

Dear Virginia,

I’m 35 and I’ve had radiation therapy for cancer and the resulting scarring means that I find it very difficult to stop leaking urine at times during the day. I really need to be near a loo all the time and as a result my life has been severely hampered. I’ve tried pads, but I’m always worried about the smell. Because I can’t go out very far my kids have to stay indoors all the time and it’s not good for them. I’ve tried every doctor, but no one can help and they just say I must “live with it”. But I can’t. Do you have any suggestions? 

Yours sincerely,

Maggie

Orange Line

Dear Maggie,

First, let me apologize for the poor advice you received from Virginia. You absolutely do not have to just "live with" incontinence, much less explain your bladder issues to friends and family to excuse having accidents on their furniture! Fortunately, several other ladies emailed in with much better advice. Still, I deal with this all the time, admittedly mainly from men, so I wanted to throw my own two cents in.

First, since your incontinence is the result of radiation, go back to that doctor. There are prescription options that can reduce the frequency and intensity of your incontinence. If they can't or won't provide better options, consider a physical therapist who can help you with Kegel exercises (to improve muscle control) or a urogynocologist who specialized in disorders of the pelvic floor and reproductive organs. You also shouldn't rule out surgical options which may be appropriate, depending on the exact causes and your doctor's recommendation.

Second, consider changing your diet to reduce or eliminate foods that irriate your bladder and increase incontinence. This includes spicy foods and caffeine. Do NOT drastically reduce your fluid intake. Your urine should be a pale yellow, anything darker and you're dehydrating your body which can do more harm than good.

Third, do regular Kegel exercises and scheduled toiletting to improve muscle control and to help train your bladder to go at controlled intervals. Maybe you need to go to the bathroom every few hours, on a schedule so your bladder gets used to the idea of holding it and builds up muscle strength.

Fourth, depending on the amount you leak, don't be afraid of pads. They're not glamorous but unfortunately they are a ubiquitous option that will give you a sense of security. You can also bring spare ones in your purse and change them every two/three hours. Great strides have been made in capturing or eliminating odor, so you can reduce the embarassment. The truth is, you're probably the only one that knows you have them on. Sadly, there aren't a lot of great alternatives out there for women (though I know we're working on it). Due to their anatomical variations, men have more options like condom catheters and our product, Men's Liberty. When we get the market with one for women, we'll definately let you know.

Last but certainly not least, take every opportunity to talk to people who are also in your situation. There may be support groups (online or in person) with people dealing with your same treatment, diagnosis or even dealing with incontinence. They're an amazing resource of truly sympathetic people who are looking for options just like you. They can turn you on to all sorts of other options that most people (including doctors) may not know about.

I hope this helps a bit. Incontinence isn't inevitable and its not something you just have the learn to live with. There are ways of minimizing its impact on your life so that you and your kids can go out and about without constantly looking our for a bathroom.

Anyone else have questions about managing their incontinence? Let us know!

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Topics: bladder control, tips from Men's Liberty users, diaper alternatives, physical therapy

Senator Paul - Extend Your Next Filibuster with Men's Liberty!

Posted by Sarah Woodward

Mar 7, 2013 2:17:00 PM

An impromptu filibuster is an unusual event. And while we wish to remain entirely apolitical, I can’t help the spark that occurred when I read this morning that Senator Rand Paul’s impromptu filibuster was brought down in the wee hours of the morning by the persistent demands of his bladder. After 12 hours and 52 minutes, nature was calling and he simply had to answer!

When Strom Thurmond set the record for a one man filibuster (24 hours, 18 minutes) in 1957, he prepared well in advance. He intentionally dehydrated himself in the steam room to reduce the pressing need to visit the little boy’s room. He also had a little help from his colleague Barry Goldwater who took the floor briefly for a entry into the Congressional Record and allowed the Senator a brief respite.

Senator Paul did not plan quite so far in advance. Fortunately, there is no need for Senator Paul or any other gentleman to dehydrate himself in order to avoid the bathroom or to rely on the kindness of his colleagues. Instead he can use Men’s Liberty and attach it to a leg or bedside bag. With a wear time of 24+ hours, you too can have that competitive edge to beat the filibuster record.

In this spirit, today, we’ve sent a pre-filibuster care package to Senator Paul for the next time he takes the stage. We included 3 Men’s Liberty devices, a leg bag and FreeDerm remover wipes. Men's Liberty is a revolutionary new device for managing men's urinary incontinence that should easily allow him to beat Strom Thurmond’s record and set a new bar for Senators talking at length without actually saying anything. Senator Paul’s filibuster was the 9th longest in Senate history, but he’s a young man, with many more potential filibusters to come!

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., may not have agreed with the substance of Paul's remarks but, according to USA Today, he saluted the GOP senator for exercising his right to speak at length.

"One thing I learned from my own experience with talking filibusters: To succeed, you need strong convictions but also a strong bladder," Reid said. "Senator Paul has both." May neither of these gentlemen need to exercise their bladder to this extent in the future.

And for any other Senators out there, if you’re contemplating a filibuster, let us know!

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Topics: bladder control, Interesting Articles

Meet Men’s Liberty Users Tina & Eric

Posted by Sarah Woodward

Feb 4, 2013 1:30:00 PM

We love hearing from our customers and Tina & Eric are no exception. They’ve been using the product since 2012 and it’s made a huge difference. Tina was kind enough to write us a brief letter about their experiences and we wanted to share it with you all -

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Dear Mens' Liberty,

I wanted to write your company a note regarding your external catheter product.  Your product was recommended to my family from the ALS Clinic in Portland Oregon.  Always the skeptic, the word catheter scared me a bit.

The reason this product was recommended to us is that my husband has ALS, and is unable to get up and use the restroom as needed.

It took a couple of attempts to get the product on correctly, but once it was in place, it worked out very well.  I was initially scared to tape anything in that region, but that was not a problem as the materials they used are great, easy to remove and painless for my husband.

This product has made a large impact on our lives.  The most degrading thing that my husband can think of is being in a diaper.  Your product helped him to avoid that bit of humiliation.  We were able to utilize this product so that he could attend our daughter’s graduation in comfort and without the fear of an "accident" that would further embarrass him. You could not tell he had it on through his clothes, which was a big concern for my husband.

It also allows me, the caregiver some leeway when needing to run errands, etc. 

I wanted to pass along my praise of your product as I can see many applications in the lives of men everywhere.  More doctors should offer your products, as I had never even heard of anything like this before.

The fact that this product helped my husband retain his dignity in the face of a terrible disease, speaks volumes about the usefulness of its applications.

One more note, Cory was an excellent resource for me.  In this time of tragedy in our lives, he followed up with me with all due respect to my situation.  He offered guidance on the product and a personal touch of support that you don't see often in this day and age.

Your product has been an excellent resource and you should be commended for putting it out there for people.

Sincerely,

Tina P.

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A big thank you to Tina for sharing her experiences as a caregiver using Men’s Liberty. Do you have a Men’s Liberty story we can share? Leave us a note in the comments or send an email to CustomerCare@mensliberty.com!

Does your doctor know about Men’s Liberty? Send them some information!

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Topics: bladder control, external catheter for men, Caregiving, Patient Stories

The Punxsutawney Phil of Incontinence: Our 2013 Prognostications

Posted by Sarah Woodward

Feb 2, 2013 11:04:00 AM

We’ll we’re back in one piece from San Diego. We had a great time at the American Physical Therapy Association’s Combined Sections Meeting. There were thousands of healthcare professionals and students committed to improving patient’s independence and quality of life – including dealing with incontinence!

But now that we’re back in the office, my mind turns to the next holiday on the calendar – Groundhog Day! It’s this Saturday and it’s impossible to truly appreciate Groundhog Day without a viewing of the holiday themed movie starring Bill Murray. For anyone living under a rock during the early 90’s, the basic premise is that Bill Murray’s character is a reporter who lives Groundhog Day over and over until he gets it right.

Why mention this here? Well, I appreciate a good prognostication and anything Hallmark can make a holiday out of (those are some great marketing folks). But mostly, ruminations on Groundhog’s Day, combined with a great conference where we heard from some of the leading healthcare professionals has inspired my own Punxsutawney Phil moment – my prognostications for the future of incontinence management in 2013. Will there be another 6 weeks of winter or will we finally see the light?

Want the short answer?  I suspect there will be another few weeks of winter in our future.

Incontinence is a major issue and it is definitely starting to emerge as a hot topic for healthcare professionals but there is still a ways to go. The embarrassment and shame factor helps keep this topic under wraps, left out of major healthcare discussions between doctors and patients.

But don’t despair – I can see a light at the end of the tunnel (and it’s probably not an oncoming train). One of the most inspiring things I saw at the convention last week was the wide array of people who GOT IT.

Whether they were students, educators or practitioners a growing number of people just GOT IT.  They saw the device and wanted to show it to their patients, their students, their teachers. And that has me excited. Despite the winter, I believe we are reaching a tipping point, where incontinence isn’t a shameful subject to avoid but is understood to be an integral component of ensuring patient’s quality of life, no matter what their diagnosis.

That understanding will shape how we think and talk about incontinence going forward. One of the physicians I spoke to last week said something that has stayed with me – “why don’t I know about this already?”

It’s a great question, and one we’re working on putting to rest. Men’s Liberty was introduced in 2006 and we’ve been the underdog among billion dollar companies who are heavily invested in the status quo. But the word is getting out and with more events like the APTA CSM we’ll reach you all soon!

In the meantime, we rely on our patients to spread the word. Patients are desperate for something better to manage their incontinence; they find us and end up introducing the product to their Doctor. There are thousands of products, pills and treatment options out there. Even the best doctor can’t keep track of everything new that comes out. But proactive patients are seeing the benefits!

Does your doctor know about Men’s Liberty? Would you like to send them information or bring the information to your next appointment? Click here to send them information!

 

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Topics: bladder control, doctors visit, Caregiving, proactive patients, Medicare

Meet Adaptive Athlete & Men’s Liberty User John Powell

Posted by Sarah Woodward

Jan 25, 2013 12:12:00 PM

We’re thrilled to be able to share a story from one of our many Men’s Liberty users. John’s incontinence has been a long term challenge and he has been such a wonderful advocate for the impact that Men’s Liberty has had on his life.

Check out his story below…

Orange Line


Who I Am
:
My name is John Powell and I was born in 1948. At the age of 4 years, I contracted polio, and spent the next two years in an iron lung. After I recovered and grew older I tried sports, but due to the after-effects of polio, my physical condition was weakened. I was unable to compete at a satisfactory level. Over the years I have learned not to quit at anything I attempt. When I first began to participate in wheelchair sports, it was the third major factor that positively impacted my life. The first being my loving wife who refuses to allow me to even consider self-pity in any form, and the second being my two sons who encourage me, and for whom I do my best to be an example. My family is the first of many reasons I compete.

My Disability: Spinocerebellar Atrophy with Ataxia, Post-Polio Syndrome, and Bipolar Disorder. All of which are being treated at the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Dallas.

How These Disabilities Affect My Life

The Spinocerebellar Atrophy with Ataxia affects my balance severely. I can only walk a very short distance without aid. If I try to walk for example, across the street to my neighbor's house, my wife or sons have to aide me or I will fall unless I use my wheelchair, which my physician prescribed for me. There is no cure for this disease, and with time it will only worsen. Only medical support is the qualified treatment for this condition.

The Post-Polio Syndrome has caused my muscles to weaken along with degeneration and pain in my joints. Post-Polio Syndrome is a condition that affects Polio survivors several years after initial recovery. It is not contagious, and only those who have contracted the polio virus are at risk. There are no effective medicinal treatments available. Mobility aids, management strategies, and lifestyle changes are the recommended treatments

Bipolar Disorder, before I sought treatment, disrupted my life with low-self esteem, decreased sleep cycles, unfounded guilt, and irritability. With medication, my quality of life and relationships with others has improved exponentially.

My Current Activities

  • Texas Regional Games
  • West Virginia State Wheelchair Games
  • Southwest Wheelchair Games in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
  • Endeavor Games in Edmond, OK.
  • Sooner State Games
  • PVA Wheelchair Games
  • East Texas Wheelchair Games
  • Valor Games in Chicago


At the Paralyzed Veterans Wheelchair Games in Richmond, Virginia in 2012 I met some men from Men’s Liberty. I spoke to them about my activities and the incontinence problem I have on a continual basis every day of my life. They told me about their product and how it can replace catheters. The Men’s Liberty system has helped me even in my different sports because I don't have to worry about using the bathroom when I compete. It has helped me in my Air Rifle events because when I get into position I can stay there for the 2 hours of the event. In my hand cycling, I can ride the route and not worry about using the bathroom like the able body runners do. My times have gotten better and I am not embarrassed because I have gone to the bathroom on myself.

Thank you Men’s Liberty for making me happier and more self sufficient.

Orange Line

A big thank you to John for sharing his story! We’re passionate about helping people live their lives to the fullest, knowing that incontinence doesn’t have to keep you down. Get out, get active, get Men’s Liberty!

 

 

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Topics: bladder control, adaptive athletes, proactive patients, tips from Men's Liberty users, physical therapy

The Importance Of Physical Therapy For Spinal Injuries

Posted by Sarah Woodward

Jan 21, 2013 12:00:00 PM

Since we’re at the American Physical Therapy Association conference this week, I thought it was the perfect time to share some great information on the importance of physical therapy after spinal cord injuries. We’re thrilled to welcome Matt Anton as a guest blogger!


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When you are treating a person who has suffered a spinal cord injury, the biggest focus is on regaining function and independence so that patients can be active, healthy and happy, despite the challenges they face. Among clinicians, it's widely accepted that the best results come from  using a variety of treatment methods and that the more you put into your rehab, the more you get out!  

What Happens After A Spinal Injury

When you suffer a spinal injury, you need to allow enough time for the injured muscles and the bones to heal. This is why there is usually a phase of immobilization that allows the bones and the muscles to repair themselves. While this is going on, your doctors usually prescribe medication which will encourage faster healing as well as provide nutritional supplements like vitamins and minerals to speed up the healing process.

Rehabilitation After Injury

When the rehabilitation process starts, physical therapists along with occupational therapists, health care professionals and psychologists work as a team under the coordination of a specialist who will set goals for the patient’s recovery and develop a plan for the patient’s discharge. In the acute care phase the physical therapists usually focus on the respiratory status of the patient. They do this in order to prevent indirect complications as well as maintain a range of motion activities and keep the muscles active.

Complexity Of Neurological Impairment

When spinal injuries occur, there are often neurological impairments and/or damages involved. The level of impairment differs in different cases. The higher up the spine the injury occurs, the greater the challenges. Often the level of neurological impairment is such that some of the ventilator muscles are impaired and that puts more stress on muscles that are unaffected. Most spinal injury patients suffer from reduced lung capacity as well as reduced tidal volume. Thus, the therapists at such a stage teach the patients accessory breathing methods and techniques.

Method Of Physical Therapies

Physical therapists may also assist such patients in learning how to cough as well as clearing the secretions that come up the throat. The stretching of the thoracic wall is done in a way that is taught to such impaired patients. Many of these patients are provided abdominal support belt as it becomes necessary. The amount of the time that a patient remains in an immobilized condition depends on the spinal cord injuries that they sustain. Physical therapists need to work with such patients in order to prevent any complications that may arise due to such immobilized state. Other complications that arise from immobilization are osteoporosis and muscle atrophy. That, in turn, increases the risk of fractures of the femur and the tibia.

Importance Of Physical Rehabilitation

To prevent such conditions during the immobilization period, there are many kinds of electrical stimulation techniques that are used in order to achieve effective results. The intensity and the frequency as well as the duration of the stress that is given to the bones is decided by the therapist. Thus, physical therapy for spinal injury patients is essential. Even though they are painful at certain stages especially during the phase of immobilization, one needs to keep up such therapies in order to reduce the risk of related damages to other areas of the body.

Getting Out of the Hospital

Rehabilitation therapy involves relearning old skills and developing new ones. Patients will learn to use new equipment including wheelchairs, transfer benches and shower chairs. This may also include special equipment for bladder or bowel management. During this learning phase it is critical to set goals for yourself and your recovery that allow you to work toward resuming your previous lifestyle and getting back to the routines and activities you enjoyed prior to your injury.

 

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Author Bio:
Matt Anton is an author who contributes articles on different healthcare forums. He also writes articles on a variety financial matters. For more articles from Matt, check out: http://paymentsavvy.com.
 

Are you a blogger looking for opportunities to share your work? Men's Liberty is looking for guest bloggers to provide great new content featuring spinal cord injuries, incontinence and your personal stories. We'd love to feature you! If interested, email: Swoodward@mensliberty.com

 

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Topics: urinary management, bladder control, Caregiving, spinal cord injury, physical therapy, nursing

5 Things You Need to Know About the Paralympics

Posted by Sarah Woodward

Jan 11, 2013 10:30:00 AM

There was a lot of coverage this summer of the London Paralympics. As part of #ThrowbackThursday we are sharing a whole host of images from the past events and we came across 5 surprising facts we thought you should know!

#1 - The Olympic and Paralympic Games are actually two separate entities.

The two Games are actually completely separate. The first international Paralympic Games took place in Rome, a week after the 1960 Summer Olympic Games were held there. In 1964, they were held in Tokyo, again just after the Olympics.

But in 1968, Mexico City, the host city of that year’s Olympics, refused to host the Paralympics. They were instead held in Tel Aviv and from then until 1988, the Paralympics continued to be held in locations completely separate to the Olympics.

Then in 1988, Olympics hosts Seoul took on the Paralympics, and they have been held together ever since. In 2001, it became official, and now host cities have to bid for both.

There are rumors that one day the two might merge, but opinions are split on the merits of such a move. Read more…

#2 – The first Paralympics were held in 1960, but international adaptive athletic competitions go back to the 17th century!

While early local or national versions of the modern Olympics began in England and France as far back as the 17th and 18th centuries, the Paralympics Games are just over 50 years old.

Did you know that an early version of the Paralympics began in Britain? A precursor to the Games was held to coincide with the 1948 London Olympics at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire, which is world-renowned for its work with people who’d suffered spinal injuries.

Organised by Sir Ludwig “Poppa” Guttmann, a German-born doctor who had escaped Nazi Germany, and worked to rehabilitate British soldiers injured in the war, the Stoke Mandeville Games were held again in 1952 when Dutch war veterans also took part, making it the first international competition of its kind. Just eight years later, what has since become known as the first official Paralympic Games was held in Rome in 1960, featuring 400 athletes from 23 countries.  Read more…

#3 – The first games were only open to athletes in wheelchairs.

Until 1976 the Games were open only to athletes in wheelchairs. The term was first used in the 1950s and was a pun amalgamating the words paraplegic and Olympics.

But in 1976 many more classifications were added, allowing 1,600 athletes from 40 countries to compete. The present-day Paralympic Games include five major classifications of athletes: persons with visual impairments, persons with physical disabilities, amputee athletes, people with cerebral palsy, people with spinal cord injuries and Les Autres - athletes with a physical disability that are not included in the categories mentioned above (e.g., people with Muscular Dystrophy).

#4 – The Paralympic mascot, Mandeville, is named after Stoke Mandeville Hospital in the UK where an early version of the Games got started.

What's less well known about the original 1948 games - then known as the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports (IWAS) World Games - is that patients at Stoke Mandeville were pitted against another care facility, the Royal Star and Garter Home in Richmond Upon Thames, where the father of the games, Dr. Ludwig Guttman, also worked.

Less well known still is that the Royal Star and Garter side won that inaugural contest - an archery competition. The Richmond-based patients also won the rematch just a few weeks later.

Regardless of who won, what is true is that without Dr. Ludwig Guttmann there would be no modern Paralympics. Moreover, there'd be many wounded servicemen from WW2 who'd have never survived horrific paralyzing injuries.

I met Ron Hill, now 92, but a man who thought he'd be lucky to live three months after shrapnel paralyzed him from the chest down on D-Day. He considers himself very lucky to have been taken to Stoke Mandeville Hospital to be treated by Dr. Guttmann.

All these years on Ron now lives and is cared for at the Royal Star and Garter Home in Richmond where his former doctor once also worked. He explained, "He didn't let you stop using your brain. He had you up in a wheelchair as soon as possible."

You learn more about the origins of the Paralympics at the Mandeville Legacy website, here.

#5 – The range of adaptive sports has expanded throughout the years and includes several adapted versions of able-bodied sports.

Although there are sports that only disabled people play, you’ll recognize most of the events at the Paralympics. Swimming, cycling and athletics will happen in a similar way to their Olympic equivalents, albeit split into many different classifications, and with added prosthetics, wheelchairs and human guides.

Spectators at sports like wheelchair rugby, sitting volleyball and blind football, who are familiar with their able-bodied equivalents, will quickly realize that the Paralympic versions bear little resemblance to the sports they know and love.

The ball used in blind football is less bouncy than a regular one and contains ball bearings to make it audible.

It is played on a hard surface by two teams of five players. The area of play is smaller than in regular football and is surrounded by boards. The boards not only stop the ball from going out, but also reflect sounds from the ball and from footsteps, which helps players to orientate themselves on the pitch. Teams rely heavily on numerous audible clues, so spectators must stay silent during play.

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While the Paralympics won’t be back for a few years, we’re looking forward to the 2014 Games in Brazil and seeing all these amazing athletes! And in the meantime, there are a ton of great local adaptive sports competitions to check out including the International Quad Rugby Tournament here in Tampa that is taking place this weekend. Check it out!

21st Annual Coloplast International Wheelchair Rugby Tournament

All Peoples Center

6105 E. Sligh Avenue

Tampa, Fl 33617

Fri, 01/11/2013 (All day) - Sun, 01/13/2013 (All day)

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Topics: wheelchair games, bladder control, Caregiving, adaptive athletes, National Veterans Wheelchair Games, veterans, mission able