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Safe Handling Techniques When Treating Patient with ALS

Jennifaye V. Brown, PhD, PT, NCS

March 22, 2016



What are some safe handling techniques when handling a patient with ALS?


First, use a gait belt at the trunk and be aware of the PEG tube.  Always apply the abdominal binder. Support the head in upright sitting or in supine (patient should not lay flat). Facilitate a chin tuck position and avoid hyperextension.  Do not pull on the patient's arms as it may cause should subluxation because muscles are weak. That will also result in pain. Use a draw sheet to move in bed.  Avoid any pulling by placing your arm under patient's armpit.  Support shoulder blade when rolling patient and other hand on trunk. 

jennifaye v brown

Jennifaye V. Brown, PhD, PT, NCS

Jennifaye V. Brown, PT, PhD, NCS has a BA-Psychology (Emory University), a MS- Physical Therapy (University of Miami-FL) and a PhD-Exercise Science (University of South Carolina).  Dr. Brown has 27 years of clinical experience focused in neurorehabilitation across the continuum of care and has presented numerous continuing education courses on adult neurologic assessment and treatment intervention for acquired brain injury.  Dr. Brown’s special interests and extensive clinical background include gait analysis and training.  Her approach to effective gait analysis and treatment is to know the lesion site, understand neuroanatomical functions and along with past medical history, environmental, psychosocial and cultural factors, determine prognosis and devise realistic goals reflective of the client and caregiver’s lived experiences.  She is the creative force behind the Stroke Gait Center, which is a collaborative effort to partner with healthcare professionals to fabricate AFOs (specializing in accommodating ladies’ footwear) utilizing 3D printing based on a full spectrum gait-related physical therapy evaluation. Her current research agenda explores the perceptions and opinions of individuals with stroke regarding their experiences with AFO fabrication, modification and maintenance. As an Advanced Credentialed Clinical Instructor by the Clinical Instructor Education Board and a three 10-year term board certified neurologic clinical specialist by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) of the APTA, Dr. Brown has taught at PT and PTA programs in Georgia and South Carolina (SC). She is a member of the APTA, Neurology Section of the APTA, SC Chapter of the APTA, American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, Aerobics & Fitness Association of America, and the Neuro-Developmental Treatment Association.  Dr. Brown is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor at Ohio University in the Physical Therapy Program.

Related Courses

Fabrication of a Training AFO
Presented by Jennifaye V. Brown, PhD, PT, NCS
Recorded Webinar


Jennifaye V. Brown, PhD, PT, NCS
Course: #3119Level: Advanced2 Hours
  'Thank you for sharing your knowledge!'   Read Reviews
Research indicated that in inpatient rehab "The largest percentage of time in physical therapy sessions was spent on gait activities" (Jette, et al., Physical Therapy, 2005; 85(3): 238-248, p. 241). Ankle foot orthotics (AFOs) are not issued in inpatient rehab due to the costs and interim interventions such as stabilizing the foot with an ace bandage are not adequate. Facilities do not have access to pre-fabricated AFOs or electrical stimulation units now being used as walking aides to replace AFOs. Focused rigidity casting is widely used in the orthopedic population and can be applied to the neurologic population. This course will provide insight on the use of focused rigidity casting to fabricate training an AFO. This course is directly related to the practice of physical therapy and is therefore appropriate for the PT and PTA.

Physical Therapy Examination for an Ankle Foot Orthosis
Presented by Jennifaye V. Brown, PhD, PT, NCS
Recorded Webinar


Jennifaye V. Brown, PhD, PT, NCS
Course: #2946Level: Intermediate2 Hours
  'I enjoy orthotic information and gaining knowledge in this area'   Read Reviews
Very little research exists documenting the practice and evidence of the physical therapist’s role in recommending an ankle foot orthosis (AFO). The comprehensive examination should be patient-centered and collaborative in nature with the orthotist, but is often absent in rehabilitation practice. This course will review components of a physical therapy AFO examination as presented in the literature and provide evidence of what should be included, deleted or modified based patient impairments, social determinants of health and the presenter's experiences in AFO fabrication. This course is directly related to the practice of physical therapy and is therefore appropriate for the PT and PTA.

Put Down the Drugs: Evidence-Based Interventions to Reduce Unwanted Behaviors with Dementia
Presented by Kathleen D. Weissberg, OTD, OTR/L, CMDCP, CDP, CFPS
Recorded Webinar


Kathleen D. Weissberg, OTD, OTR/L, CMDCP, CDP, CFPS
Course: #3072Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'Very comprehensive, from the etiology of behavioral disorders/and sxs to interventions (cognitive, multi-sensory, animal-assisted, exercise), and targeting specific behaviors with interventions (agitation, wandering)'   Read Reviews
PTs can apply evidence-based interventions to improve dementia care. This session reviews the etiology of common behaviors. Cognitive-emotion, multi-sensory, animal-assisted, and exercise interventions to reduce agitation are discussed as well as specific strategies for improving task-related engagement. This course is directly related to the practice of physical therapy and is therefore appropriate for the PT and PTA.

Complex and Chronic Impairment in Concussion
Presented by Laura Morris, PT, NCS
Recorded Webinar


Laura Morris, PT, NCS
Course: #4353Level: Intermediate2 Hours
  'Great info!'   Read Reviews
This webinar will include an exploration of the various etiologies of dysfunction following mTBI, including, headache, visual/oculomotor impairment, chronic dizziness, and pain. The challenging issue of prioritizing intervention and appropriate referral to other medical practitioners will be discussed. This course is directly related to the practice of physical therapy and athletic training and is therefore appropriate for the PT/PTA and AT.

Editor's Note: Regarding Pennsylvania credits, this course is approved by the PA State Board of Physical Therapy for .5 hour of general and 1.5 hour of Direct Access CE credit.

Interdisciplinary Approach To Stroke Rehabilitation: Outpatient, Home Health, And Community Rehabilitation Phase
Presented by Alaena McCool, MS, OTR/L, CPAM, Katherine George, PT, DPT
Recorded Webinar


Alaena McCool, MS, OTR/L, CPAMKatherine George, PT, DPT
Course: #4609Level: Intermediate2 Hours
  'All pertinent topics that needed elaboration were discussed and explained in a way that allowed for learning the information within the course'   Read Reviews
The unique relationship between the occupational and physical therapist when treating an acute, subacute, or chronic stroke diagnosis will be distinguished in this two-part series. Part two will focus on the subacute and chronic stroke, differentiating the home, outpatient, and community phases of rehabilitation, as well as examining the evaluation, evidence, and interventions in each setting to optimize independence for the patient.

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