Friday, December 31, 2010

Go to Physical Therapy to Save Money!

The use of physical therapy for many injuries and conditions has long been shown in studies to decrease pain and increase return to prior level of function.  Unfortunately, in this economic climate many insurance companies including the largest one, the federal government (Medicare), continue to cut reimbursement rates for physical therapy.  Often the explanation is that the services are over-utilized or ineffective, even without studies to prove their reasoning.   It actually happens to be the opposite according to many studies.

A recent study of patients with low back pain currently using any service under Medicare shows that physical therapy can help save money for both the patient and insurance company.  This study by Gellhorn et al. (2010) analyzed 439 patients to “evaluate the relationship between early physical therapy (PT) for acute low back pain and subsequent lumbosacral [low back] injections, lumbar surgery, and frequent physician office visits for low back pain.”1    

In conclusion of this study the researchers found that those patients who had physical therapy with sudden onset of low back pain had less frequent physician visits and were less likely to have injections or surgery.  So next time you have any aches or pains be sure to ask your physician if physical therapy may be helpful for you.  Physical Therapy can decrease your painful symptoms, speed up the return to your prior level of functioning and lower health costs to both you and the insurance company.  

1. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2010 Nov 19

Friday, December 24, 2010

Exercise More....Get Sick Less

As the weather begins to change and the sneezes and sniffles begin to spread around your school, work, or community you will want to know how to prevent yourself from getting this year’s common cold.  The British Journal of Sports Medicine recently conducted as study of 1000 people and found that those who stayed active and exercised regularly caught cold viruses half the time and those who did get sick had less severe infections.

Exercise in general helps the immune system work more efficiently, decreasing the chance and/or severity of sickness.  The study showed that being married, older, male, and eating recommended servings of fruit all reduced the frequency of colds.  “People who were physically active on five or more days of the week were unwell with a cold for about five days of the three-month period, compared to nine days for those who did little or no exercise.”1 

This is another study that shows us that there is a real serious need to exercise regularly.  Be sure to contact our certified personal trainers at Hayashida and Associates to begin a safe and efficient program.


Monday, November 8, 2010


Sponsored by Hayashida and Associates Physical Therapy
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
2921 De La Vina, Santa Barbara, CA   805.898.1907

We are very pleased to announce the commencement of our Saturday morning injury clinics.  The clinic will be staffed by Certified Athletic Trainers on Saturday mornings to service the athletes and active population of Santa Barbara.  Dr. Dunbar will be available from 9:15 – 10:15.  Appointments are a flat fee of $25.00 per visit.

How can we help you?
Do you have questions or concerns about a recent activity related injury and cannot get into your health care provider until next week? 

Do you or your team need kinesiotaping or other sport taping before a game or match? 

Were you, or your son or daughter, injured in a Friday night game or match and you are not sure what to do before your own health care specialist opens on Monday?

Are you questioning if your injury is safe to be training on over the weekend? Drop in and meet with our staff for recommendations and advise.

We are proud to be able to provide the community experienced and Certified Athletic Trainers to assist you with evaluation of injuries, treatment recommendations, training modification recommendations, and assist you with referral recommendations if needed. Our Certified Athletic Trainers have vast experience working in the Olympic Training Centers of Colorado and California, traveling with Olympic and professional sport teams, collegiate and high school sport teams, and implementing wellness and injury prevention programs for all age groups.

We are very fortunate to have fellowship-trained sports medicine orthopedic Surgeon Dr. William Dunbar assisting in the clinic with questions and evaluations on Saturday mornings.

Our staff is happy to communicate with your school’s athletic trainers, coaches, or your own healthcare professionals to expedite your care and program.

Accessing our services?
Please call the De La Vina office at 805.898.1907 to sign-up for an appointment on Saturday morning OR drop in. You can learn more about our team and facility at
We look forward to servicing the needs of the active Santa Barbara community.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Home Safety

We have recently reviewed balance and falls including risk factors and prevention.  Since my last blog post I have been working some time as a Home Health Physical Therapist and I have noticed some common household “hazards” in my patients’ homes, which can lead to an increased risk of falls.  Although most of my Home Health patients have been those who have had recent surgeries and/or are currently using assistive devices these obstacles in the home setting can increase risk of falls.  Be sure to assess your home for the following items to make sure trips and falls are decreased:
  1. Pick up/Remove most throw rugs from your house.
  2. Make sure there is enough space between your individual pieces of furniture for safe navigation 
  3. Either remove or safely cover any electrical/extension cords
  4. Have night lights installed for appropriate lighting
  5. Place non-skid mats on any potentially wet or slippery surface. 
  6. Keep stairways and other walkways free of clutter.
  7. Install hand rails on both sides of stairs or in showers/bathtubs.
These few simple changes can help you and your loved ones avoid injury and/or hospitalization.  If you need help with your home safety, be sure to talk to your local physical therapist.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Balance and Falls

Falls are extremely common among the elderly population.  “One in three seniors over the age of 65, and nearly one in two seniors over the age of 80 will fall at least once this year.”1  These falls can be dangerous, lead to loss of independence and often have devastating consequences.  With our aging population in America it is more important than ever to address the risk factors that lead to these falls and concentrate on prevention techniques.

Risk factors associated with falls include poor balance, older age, weakness, and diminished vision.  Other medical conditions such as stroke, diabetes, and Parkinson disease lead to loss of balance and increase the possibility of a fall.  It should be noted that anyone on more than four medications may also have decreased balance due to dizziness or other side effects.

Maintaining a relatively high but safe level of physical activity can help prevent falls.  It is important that a physical therapist or other qualified healthcare professional help formulate a safe exercise program.  Your physical therapist will be able to:

·         Obtain your detailed medical history
·         Complete an individualized physical examination of any present risk factors. 
·         Address your strength, gait mechanics (how you walk), and your flexibly. 
·         Recommend, based on your condition, other treatment options such as aquatics classes, Tai Chi (which helps with weight shifting, coordination and posture), or other balance or walking classes.

Hayashida and Associates offers multiple qualified professionals who can help you or your loved ones prevent unnecessary falls. 


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

And The Summer Is Here!

Here in Santa Barbara and throughout most of the west coast we have been experiencing a short heat wave that has led to warnings regarding participating in outdoor activities.  These record temperatures in areas where the population is accustomed to mild weather can lead to serious health risks including heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

It is important to first know the difference between these two illnesses.  Understanding how these conditions come about, what their symptoms are, and how to prevent them, are critical for the general public to be aware of.  It is essential that we know the signs and symptoms of both conditions, especially during these short heat waves.  Some of the symptoms are pale, moist skin, muscle cramps, feelings of dizziness, weakness and nausea.  Heat stroke leads to more serious symptoms such as hot , flushed, dry skin,  initial high blood pressure which eventually decreases, and unconsciousness.  If these symptoms are recognized, an appropriate health care professional should be sought out immediately.  Heat stroke is considered a medical emergency and the individual in question must visit a hospital without delay.

Heat exhaustion occurs when people exercise at a high level in a hot, humid environment, where hydration is low, which leads to the body overheating.  Heat stroke can occur as well in these conditions. During heat stroke the individual’s “cooling system,” that is controlled by the brain stops working causing thier internal body temperature to rise above 105 degrees.1

The main cause of these conditions is that the body loses the ability to work efficiently in a hot, humid environment.  This humid environment limits the ability of a person to sweat, which is the main cooling function of the body.  If this is combined with an already dehydrated state there can be an inability to circulate blood to certain parts of the body.  The individuals most at risk are “infants and the elderly… as are those who are taking antihistamines and certain types of medication for high blood pressure or depression.”1

The best way to avoid these illnesses would be with prevention.  Those who are at high risk, should avoid strenuous activity in hot, humid environments, such as those we recently experienced in Central and Southern California.  Frequent breaks need to be taken in cooler environments and individuals should drink plenty of fluids. 

So go out there and enjoy the summer that California seemed to miss this year but be aware of the signs and symptoms of these conditions.