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The Latest in Assistive Technology for Spinal Cord and Brain Injury

Shepherd Center's Assistive Technology Center works with technologies like smart phones, tablets and voice-activated devices to provide assistance and support to people living with disabilities. Shepherd Center occupational therapists evaluate each user's lifestyle requirements and functional abilities, then provide custom modifications to hardware, software, electronics and other appliances so that users can live safely and function productively. Adina Bradshaw, a speech pathologist at...


Animal Assisted Therapy Aids in Rehabilitation Process

Animal assisted therapy can play an important part in the rehabilitation process for patients with spinal cord injury or acquired brain injury. Shepherd Center "employs" multiple therapy dogs who bring joy to patients and also help with therapeutic exercises. In addition, they assist with tasks such as opening doors and switching lights on and off. Shepherd Center exercise physiologist Mary Ashlyn Thiede discusses the role of therapy dogs and the benefits of animal assisted therapy.


Identifying and Managing Chronic Back Pain

At Shepherd Spine and Pain Institute, doctors offer a variety of treatments and comprehensive care for chronic back pain, one of the most common types of pain that people experience. In today’s podcast, Dr. Erik Shaw, an interventional pain management specialist at Shepherd Spine and Pain Institute, addresses the causes of back pain and how to know when your pain has become a chronic problem requiring medical attention. Dr. Shaw also explains the variety of treatment options available for...


Providing Additional Levels of Care with Comprehensive Rehabilitaion

The CRU was designed for patients who are admitted with conditions that occurred post-injury or disease and offers treatment to stabilize these conditions and help secure better health. Wes Chay, MD, discusses The Comprehensive Rehabilitation Unit at Shepherd Center, and how it provides additional levels of care to help secure better future health.


Healthy Living with Progressive MS

Progressive forms of MS are characterized by a sustained build-up of symptoms with an insidious increase in disability. With Primary Progressive MS (PPMS) in particular, disability accumulates twice as fast as in those with Relapsing MS (RMS). This means that people with PPMS experience more problems with walking, more difficulty remaining in the workforce, and require more assistance with everyday activities. Ben Thrower, MD and the medical director of the MS Institute at Shepherd...


Treating Sport-Related Concussions

Concussions are mild traumatic brain injuries caused by a sudden jolt or blow to the head and typically resolve within a week or two. In typical concussions, headaches and other symptoms subside, and patients feel as capable as they did before their injury. Russell Gore, MD, director of Shepherd Center’s Complex Concussion Clinic, will discuss sports related concussions and the rehabilitation process.


Fitness and Healthy Living After Injury

In today’s podcast Rebecca Washburn, MS, discusses the importance of fitness after injury and the ways Shepherd Center’s facilities and programs promote healthy living for people with disabilities.


The Ongoing Medical Needs of Patients With Catastrophic Injury

Patients with catastrophic injury face a higher severity of illness requiring complex medical management. As medical complexity evolves in the course of rehabilitation, Shepherd Center assures access to specialized medical needs. A team of experts including physiatrists, internal medicine/pulmonology intensivists and specialized clinicians collaboratively manage the most medically complex, traumatic patient care needs. In today’s podcast, Shepherd Center chief medical officer Michael...


Disability Employment and Accessibility in the Workplace

Shepherd Center provides assistance from vocational rehabilitation case managers after rehabilitation for a spinal cord or brain injury. They assist clients in returning to their previous jobs, pursuing new employment options or preparing them for employment in the future. Case managers make recommendations and help implement workplace accommodations to support the client’s independence and autonomy. Additionally, case managers educate employers and help manage clients’ disability...


The Role of CBD Products in Managing Multiple Sclerosis

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant often used by patients as an oil to manage the symptoms of chronic conditions. In today’s podcast, Ben Thrower, M.D., the medical director of the Multiple Sclerosis Institute at Shepherd Center, will discuss the use of CBD products in managing the symptoms of MS.


The Importance of Caring for Caregivers

Caring for a person with a neurodegenerative disease can be extremely challenging. Beyond the potential physical exhaustion caregivers may experience, they also may experience emotional and psychological changes when having to take care of someone else, and it is a potential problem that needs to be addressed. In this podcast, Deborah Backus, director of multiple sclerosis research at Shepherd Center and co-author of the paper “Coping With Caregiver Burnout When Caring for a Person With...


Infection Prevention in the Acute Rehabilitation Setting

Patients at Shepherd Center are at risk of infection for a few important reasons. The risk goes up the longer a person is in a facility, and Shepherd’s average inpatient is in the hospital for more than six weeks. Because Shepherd Center is a rehabilitation facility, patients are very mobile throughout the hospital, which sacrifices some infection protection afforded by having them stay put in their rooms. Also, a high proportion of Shepherd patients use medical devices that add the...


Spinal Cord Injury Research: Working Toward a Cure While Injury Prevention Efforts are Expanding

Congress has designated September as National Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Awareness Month. In addition to raising awareness and support for much-needed cure research, National SCI Awareness Month aims to further educate the public about how paralyzing accidents can be prevented. There is no cure for spinal cord injury, nor is there an FDA-approved therapeutic or device that can restore function. But researchers are working toward these goals, and more research dollars are needed to...


Importance of Recreation Therapy in Recovery from Spinal Cord or Brain Injury

When a person first sustains a spinal cord or brain injury, they are faced with many issues about how they will manage their lifestyle and daily schedule. An important part of the solution is recreation therapy, which gives you leisure counseling and skills to increase their overall wellness of in the emotional, spiritual, physical, intellectual, vocational and social aspects of life. Listen in as Kelly Edens discusses all the options available at Shepherd Center for a spinal cord or...