Who would have thought this would be the new normal? We were really on the fence whether to write a blog post on the COVID-19 Pandemic or not. I'm glad we waited to avoid adding more hype to the situation. With 6 months of the pandemic now behind us, it seems appropriate to address the issue more concretely. AVORA has been fortunate to avoid any positive tests so far (knock on wood) and we hope that it stays that way.
As a healthcare service provider, we feel especially committed to avoid cross contamination. Many of our patients are vulnerable, especially our elder population. So, our precautions may seem overly rigorous to some, but it helps us sleep better at night knowing that we have been doing all that we can to help prevent the spread. All patients are required to wear masks and we take temperatures and ask them to wash their hands before and after leaving our clinics. We also screen for potential cases before allowing admittance into our facilities. Additionally, we have more stringent cleaning procedures and have closed our waiting rooms and ask patients to call us when they arrive so we can bring them in one at a time.
We may not know if we are being overly cautious, but we will know if we are not doing the best job we can. I hope everyone in need of our services can appreciate the situation we are in and so far, I'm pleased to say that our patients have not only been supportive of our measures, but also appreciative that we care enough to take things seriously. We wish you the best of staying healthy and look forward to assisting you any way we can.
Dr. Kim Fox, DPT and Dr. Courtney Hall, PT, PhD behind their research presentation poster.
Dr. Courtney Hall, PT, PhD presented their research findings at the APTA CMS on February 13, 2020 in Denver, Colorado.
The use of sensorimotor, multi-axis, rotational (SMART) training to treat Mal de Debarquement Syndrome
Purpose/Hypothesis: Mal de Debarquement Syndrome (MdDS) is a rare condition in which those afflicted perceive a chronic rocking or swaying sensation, often relieved when in motion and symptomatic when still. Etiology is uncertain; therefore, treatment options are limited. While there is reported success with medication, optokinetic stimulation or transcutaneous magnetic stimulation, there is no single treatment that works for all patients. This retrospective chart review investigated rehabilitation outcomes following sensorimotor, multi-axis, rotational (SMART) training to address MdDS symptoms.
Number of Subjects: Forty-nine
Materials and Methods: Forty-nine patients participated in 10-20 sessions of SMART training, with integrated use of a visual targeting system and physical therapy. Between sessions, patients were instructed to perform mindfulness breathing, relaxation and grounding techniques. Pre- and post-training Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI), 4-item Dynamic Gait Index (DGI), and computerized posturography including Sensory Organization Test (SOT) were assessed. Subjective change following rehabilitation was tracked at discharge, 5 weeks, 3 months, 6 months and 1 year post-training.
Results: Mean age (SD) of patients was 52.9 (12.6) years with the majority (n=47) being female. Mean time from onset of symptoms (SD) was 50.8 (87.8) months suggesting chronic symptoms. At discharge, 42 of 49 patients reported improvements, with nearly half (n=24, 48.9%) of all patients reporting marked or moderate improvement in symptoms; whereas, 14 (28.6%) reported minimal improvement in symptoms. Based on paired t-tests, all outcome measures – DHI, MdDS severity Visual Analog Scale (VAS), Motion VAS, 4-item DGI, and SOT - improved significantly (p < 0.001) from initial evaluation to discharge. Several personal factors were associated with rehabilitation outcomes based on bivariate correlations. With some variation, patients sustaining improvements at 1 week post-discharge, generally continued to sustain at 5 weeks, 3 months, 6 months and 1 year.
Conclusions: SMART training plus physical therapy resulted in improved performance outcomes and in significant reduction or resolution in MdDS symptoms. This study provides early evidence that this method of training has promising potential to aid in the management or recovery of MdDS.
Clinical Relevance: MdDS is disorder with no specific cure. Treatment is limited. SMART training may serve as an effective outcome to reduce or resolve symptoms associated with MdDS.
See Research Gate Kim Fox and Courtney Hall publication of research for more details
The GyroStim room makes a great place to watch black bears, wild turkeys, and other wildlife. These photos were taken on April 25, 2019.
Jackson Gannon's mom says he said his first 2 words since his accident which was 1-2 days following his last GyroStim training session at AVORA Health.
https://www.wbrc.com/video/2019/03/20/jackson-gannon-speaks-first-time-nearly-years/ He also, on his own free will, walked over to the sink and started washing dishes, with an awareness that they needed to be done and the desire to do something about it. We are so happy for Jackson and his family!
Note: The news report indicated that "(Dr. Fox) believed it could help Jackson learn to speak again." This was only a portion of Dr. Fox's statement during the interview regarding speech. It is important to know that while we have seen evidence of speech improvement with Jackson as well as other patients, we do not claim in any capacity to treat speech related issues.
Dr. Fox's official stance on GyroStim and speech improvement is "We have seen patient speech improvements through the use of GyroStim, but do not specifically treat speech and do not claim to be Speech Therapists. The results are anecdotal to the underlying conditions (such as concussions) that we treat as vestibular rehabilitation experts."
Jackson Gannon News Video - WBTV Charlotte, NC "On Your Side" with Jamie Boll
Follow this link for an exciting news story on Jackson Gannon and his recovery progress using GyroStim which aired on January 26, 2019. http://www.wbtv.com/video/2019/01/26/jackson-gannon-recovering-more-than-year-after-head-on-car-collision/
AVORA Health is a proud supporter of the outstanding work being done by Bill Murdock and team at Eblen Charities.
The partnerships created with Eblen Charities contribute to our community and social well being, by nurturing a culture the values working together.
On behalf of AVORA Health, a heartfelt thank you to everyone at Eblen Charities for all that you do!
A 6 part series on Mal de Debarquement Syndrome (MdDS) and the use of GyroStim for treatment.
Dr. Kim Fox, DPT is the founder of the AVORA Balance & Dizziness Center and will show you how to address variations in symptoms, understand the road to diagnosis, and available treatment options. Establish clinical guidelines in your practice to safely manage MdDS patients. Learn latest techniques to teach patients as part of an effective MdDS treatment program. Work with the latest GyroStim technology and strategies. The Do’s and Don’ts of using GyroStim with MdDS patients. Understand how to modify GyroStim treatment to manage complicated cases. Professionally filmed and hosted online for your convenience.
The cost is $798 USD. Payment can be made online at patientnotebook.com/avora In the patient ID section, just enter "MdDS GyroStim Seminar Video".
Once payment has been made, please email firstname.lastname@example.org requesting access to the video series. A email reply will be sent to you with an access code.
The videos are stored on Vimeo and can be watched in high definition on a variety of devices. Vimeo also allows you to pause and resume watching at any time.
Add value and validity to your practice by learning how to properly treat patients with MdDS.
October 9, 2018
"I am happy to recommend AVORA and particularly Steve Mack. My therapy program was very helpful. Steve is very knowledgeable, patient, and professional. Our family has been coming to Steve for years. I would not go to anyone else! The office is welcoming and friendly. Barbara is a joy to work with."
Wake up all! It’s time for A great morning here at the September 2018 Race To The Taps down by the French Broad River. Stop by and see us next to the stage AVORA Health!
Dr. Kim Fox, DPT is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Medicine at Baltimore and the University of Montana School of Physical Therapy.