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Move with Confidence: 6 Tips to Avoid Overuse Injuries

An active lifestyle is essential for overall health and well-being, but it’s especially important for those who use prosthetics. Staying active helps maintain strength, flexibility, and a positive outlook. However, pushing too hard can lead to overuse injuries, putting a halt on your activities and progress. Find a balance with our guide here.

SIX WAYS FOR AMPUTEES TO AVOID OVERUSE INJURIES

Move with confidence, and find the best services and solutions with us. South Beach Prosthetics is here to help you every step of the way, from designing the prosthesis to getting you to the perfect fit. Contact us today at 888-819-4721. We offer in-home care, and we can bring you to appointments to see us if that is your preference: transportation is an included service! Follow us on Instagram for more tips.


Reference: [ https://livingwithamplitude.com/amputees-six-ways-to-avoid-overuse-injuries/ ]

Essential Tips for Travelers with Mobility Aids

The world is full of incredible destinations waiting to be explored. Here’s a great piece that can help you gain knowledge and confidence to conquer airports, explore new cities, and create unforgettable memories. If you have tips that you want to share — please submit them here and we will share them! https://www.southbeachop.com/share-your-story/

Wheel the World’s Tips for Traveling and Flying with Mobility Aids

In partnership with Wheel the World, the Amputee Coalition will receive a donation with every travel booking made using the code ‘AMPUTEECOALITION.’ 

Embarking on a journey holds a special kind of magic, the promise of new places, cultures, and experiences. We understand—travel is exciting, and everyone should have the chance to dive into it headfirst. 

Now, we know that when you’re exploring the world with a mobility aid, the adventure takes on its own unique factors. There are extra elements to consider. In this article, we will discuss the important phases of travel and provide tips, insight, and considerations as it pertains to mobility aids. 

Tips for Planning Accessible Travel with Mobility Aids 

Let’s review some helpful recommendations when planning your trip to ensure it can go as smoothly as possible. Of course, nothing ever goes perfectly during travel, but these tips can help prevent some of the potential issues and mitigate stress. 

Researching Accessible Destinations 

Not all destinations are created equal when it comes to accessibility. Before you set your heart on a location, first do some research on the destinations you’d like to travel to. Here are a few things to consider: 

  • Accessible accommodation: are there hotels in the area that offer the accessibility features that suit you? Also consider the location within the city. Staying in close proximity to the top sites, attractions, and things you want to do will add extra convenience. 
  • Attractions and tours: does the destination offer reliable tours for those with limited mobility? Typically, larger cities will have far more options than a remote, rural town. 
  • Transportation: do you plan on renting an adaptable vehicle, using public transportation, or ride-shares such as Uber or taxis? For example, places like Europe offer excellent public transportation and many of the major cities there have adapted for accessibility, making it a reliable option. 

Plan Far in Advance 

When it comes to accessible travel, foresight is your best friend. Plan your trip well in advance to ensure you have ample time to address any specific needs. This includes booking accessible accommodation, transportation, and activities. Contact the hotel and tour operators to double check the accessibility information is reliable. It’s also a good idea to have a backup plan in case of any unforeseen challenges. 

This also pertains to flying. Research the airline’s policies for traveling with mobility aids. Although many of them have similar protocols, there may be some differences among them. When you book a ticket, there is typically an option with your booking to check that you’re flying with a mobility aid. To be extra safe, contact the airline right away and let them know the details. The airline representative will then make a note on your reservation. 

Choosing Accessible Accommodation 

Your home away from home should be a sanctuary of comfort and accessibility. Look for hotels, resorts, or vacation rentals that prioritize accessibility. Check for features like ramps, wide doorways, accessible bathrooms, and other accommodations that suit your specific needs. 

One of the major problems we see in the accessible travel industry is either a lack of information, inaccurate information, or both. It’s common to see an “accessible” sign slapped on a hotel’s website without details. For travelers with mobility aids, accurate information is not just important, it’s absolutely paramount.  

To combat this common problem, booking through a dedicated accessible travel company will make the process and research far easier. Wheel the Worldis devoted to providing accurate, reliable, and verified information to ensure you can find accessible accommodations (and more) that suit your needs. This is done through a comprehensive mapping program. By compiling over 200 measurements and data points focused on accessibility, travelers can book worry-free trips. For further details on how the information is gathered, check out this article. 

Tailoring Activities 

Every traveler has their own bucket list, and yours should be no different. Tailor your activities to your interests while keeping accessibility in mind. Whether it’s exploring historical sites, enjoying outdoor adventures, or exploring the local beaches, there are options out there. Many destinations have local tour operators that can help you. They’ll often provide a service for accessible tours and the right equipment for activities. Research to see what the local area has. 

Depending on the destination, some websites detail their accessibility information, so make sure to research each attraction/activity to see if it’s doable for you (some destinations are far better than others with this).

Don’t hesitate to call them as well. Wheel the World also provides accessible tours, activities, and packages that cater to accessibility needs. 

For personalized travel experiences that are right for you, fill out this free accessibility profile. This will bring you the best results. 

Tips for Flying with Mobility Aids and Navigating the Airport 

Air travel is an adventure in itself. For some, it is the most stressful aspect of travel. However, with a few considerations, tips, and insights, it can turn into a smoother experience. 

What Mobility Aids Can Be Taken on a Plane? 

  • Manual Wheelchairs: airlines are required to have room in the cabin for at least one folding wheelchair. Make a request to pre-board the flight so there’s room for you to do so. If there is more than one person flying with a manual wheelchair, the space is available on a first-come-first-serve basis. If you aren’t able to have it on-board, then the wheelchair will be checked upon boarding and a wheelchair attendant will assist with transferring via an aisle chair. You can request that the wheelchair be brought to you upon arrival close to the aircraft door. 
  • Walkers: very similar to wheelchairs, walkers will typically be checked at the gate. You can request the walker be brought to you upon arrival. 
  • Canes: because canes are a mobility aid and aren’t considered luggage, they are permitted to come with you on the plane. A flight attendant can help you stow it somewhere. Folding canes that fit properly under the airline seat can usually be taken with you to your seat or packed in your carry-on if you don’t need it during the flight. 
  • Power Wheelchairs: Power wheelchairs cannot be taken on-board as there hasn’t been any protocols to allow for this. For flying with a power wheelchair, check out this article that covers this topic in depth. 

Notify the Airline in Advance 

Communication is key. Notify the airline of your specific needs well in advance. This allows them to make necessary arrangements, make a note on your reservation and ensure a smoother process for you. 

  • Tell them your situation and any personal needs, such as the need for assistance through the airport or to the airplane seat. 
  • For wheelchair-users, give the airline the details of your chair including the dimensions, weight, and type of battery for power-wheelchairs. 

Choose an Aisle Seat 

Selecting the right seat can make a significant difference. Upon booking, try to select an aisle seat and, if possible, as close to the front as possible. This simple tip allows for transfers to go smoother. 

Arrive Early 

Give yourself ample time. Arriving early allows you to go through security and boarding processes at a comfortable pace. When you request airport assistance, sometimes the attendant won’t be available right away. 

Going Through TSA 

If you are not able to walk through the TSA metal detector, passengers can request to have a manual pat-down by a TSA agent. You can request the pat-down to be conducted by an agent of the same gender. 

If you use a cane, the cane will have to go through on the belt for screening. If you are unable to walk through the security detector, the TSA agents will either do a manual pat-down or bring your cane back to you afterwards and you can go through the screening machine. 

Remove Parts to Prevent Damage 

If you are flying with a wheelchair, remove or fold any vulnerable parts to prevent damage. Consider parts such as the headrest, footrest, joystick, and armrests. Also, remove your cushion and put it on your plane seat. Bring an extra carry on and bring the removed parts on the plane with you. Ask a flight attendant to help you store those parts safely. 

Notify the Airline of Any Damage 

If you notice damage has been caused during transit, go immediately to the airline customer service counter and file a claim. For domestic flights, U.S carriers must compensate you in the event that your mobility aid is lost or damaged. 

Know Your Rights 

Knowledge is power. Familiarize yourself with the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), a U.S. law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in air travel. This act ensures that air travel is equally accessible to all individuals, regardless of their mobility challenges. Read more about the Amputee Coalition’s endorsement of this act. 

If you have experienced any issues flying that you would like to share with the limb loss/limb difference community, we invite you to join the Advocacy community on AC Connect. 

Conclusion 

Accessible travel is not just a possibility; it’s a celebration of the spirit of adventure. With the right information and preparation, individuals with mobility aids can embark on journeys that are enriching, fulfilling, and, above all, accessible.

So, embrace the excitement of travel. Let the wheels of your mobility aid be the companions on a journey filled with discoveries.  

As you set forth on your next trip, remember: travel knows no limits, and neither do you. May your adventures be boundless, your experiences unforgettable, and your spirit forever free. Safe travels! 

Don’t let mobility limitations hold you back! South Beach Prosthetics is here to help you navigate the journey with cutting-edge quality care prosthetics solutions. Contact us today at 888-819-4721. Follow us on Instagram for more tips.


Reference: [ https://blog.amputee-coalition.org/education/wheel-the-worlds-tips-for-traveling-and-flying-with-mobility-aids/ ]

Addressing Secondary Pain and Optimizing Amputee Well-being

Amputation, while a life-changing event, is just one chapter in your ongoing story. While the journey presents unique challenges, it also opens doors to resilience, adaptation, and a newfound appreciation for your body’s incredible capabilities. Here, we offer information, support, and practical strategies to effectively address secondary pain and optimize your overall well-being. 

The key to preventing secondary pain after limb loss is preventing complications. This means taking meticulous care of your residual limb, your prosthesis, and your general health.

Because your residual limb is hidden under your prosthesis, paying close attention to how it looks when your prosthesis is off is very important. Developing habits of twice-a-day inspection and care is very important.

Also important is taking care of your prosthesis, liners, and socks.

And what is meant by the term “general health”? This means eating well, getting physical exercise and rest and emotional well-being. It also means managing any health conditions as well as possible. If you have diabetes, this means keeping your glucose levels under good control. And it means maintaining a healthy weight, without swings of weight gain or loss.

General Guidelines for Taking Care of Your Residual Limb

It is hard to overstate the importance of taking care of your residual limb. Your healthcare team will give you instructions, such as these general rules:

  • Wash your residual limb twice a day.
  • Use mild, fragrance-free soaps, as they are the least likely to cause skin irritation.
  • Do not use lotions on your residual limb unless there is a compelling reason to do so as advised by your prosthetist or by your doctors. When lotions are advised, use water-based lotions rather than alcohol-based, which tend to dry the skin.
  • Wash your liner every night using a mild, fragrance-free soap that is recommended by the liner manufacturer or by your prosthetist.
  • Do not wear a wet liner.
  • If your amputation is below the knee, check the hard-to-see area behind your residual limb knee with a mirror.
  • Report to your prosthetist the development of any blisters or reddened areas (that don’t go away when your prosthesis is off) on your residual limb.

Care for Your Prosthesis

  • An ill-fitting prosthesis greatly increases your risk of secondary pain. The socket should be comfortable and practical.
  • Always wear shoes with the same heel height as the one your prosthesis was aligned with originally to maintain the right alignment.
  • You should check your prosthesis frequently for unusual signs of wear and tear and report concerns as soon as possible to your prosthetist.
  • Pistoning occurs when the residual limb slips up and down inside the prosthetic socket while walking. This can cause the skin to pull and be damaged. This is generally due to poor socket fit and inadequate suspension. If you continue to experience pistoning after you have correctly applied your socket liner, contact your prosthetist to have your fit checked. To accommodate volume and shape changes of the residual limb, some sockets can be reduced and/or padded, thicker liners may be used or air bladders may be installed.
  • Perspiration is normal but can cause heat rash and abrasions. When sweating occurs, you should immediately remove your prosthesis. Dry your liner and skin before putting your prosthesis on again.

Keep Moving

When a group of people with limb loss was surveyed, nearly 50 percent reported pain in their non-amputated limb and 62 percent reported low back pain. This is because after amputation other muscles and joints have to carry extra stresses and loads. These stresses can cause strain, inflammation, and further pain. Additionally, low back and hip pain can increase symptoms of phantom pain.

Your physical therapist can help you design an appropriate exercise program. Regular exercise will help you strengthen and retrain your muscles. Besides walking, a good follow-up program may include back extension strengthening and balance exercises – important for helping to decrease the stresses to your lower back and hips. You should try and see your therapist once a year or so for gait evaluation. If you slowly develop poor gait habits, it can cause back and/or hip pain.

Weight Management

Maintaining a healthy weight is important for everyone. It is even more important after your amputation. Even a five-pound weight gain or loss can make a difference in the fit of your prosthesis.

Eat a well-balanced diet and drink plenty of water. Not only will this help with weight management, but it will also help with maintaining healthy skin.

Report any change in your weight to your healthcare provider and prosthetist.

Feeling overwhelmed by post-amputation challenges? South Beach Prosthetics is here to help you navigate the journey with cutting-edge quality care prosthetics solutions. Contact us today at 888-819-4721. Follow us on Instagram for more tips.


Reference: [https://www.amputee-coalition.org/limb-loss-resource-center/resources-for-pain-management/managing-secondary-conditions/]

Tips and Tools for Helping Someone with Chronic Pain

Watching someone you love battle the relentless grip of chronic pain can feel like walking blindfolded through a maze. You want to help, to ease their burden, but the path often seems as murky as the pain itself. Here’s where the journey truly begins – a journey not towards a cure, but towards understanding, empathy, and practical tools that can make a real difference. Together, we can illuminate a brighter path forward.

How to support a loved one with chronic pain

For millions of people, living with chronic pain can significantly affect daily activities, relationships, work and well-being. Chronic pain typically is categorized based on the duration of pain experienced.

The pain or discomfort people feel while recovering from an injury or illness is considered acute or subacute. Pain lasting beyond usual recovery from a trauma-related event or surgery, typically 12 weeks, is considered chronic. Pain can transition from acute to chronic, depending on a person’s recovery process.

Effect of chronic pain on daily life

Chronic pain can cause a person to avoid activities that cause further pain. This can lead to muscle weakness, joint problems and being more prone to injury. These avoidance behaviors also can lead to psychological isolation and stress. Moving the body and being physically active are crucial for long-term pain management. Encouragement from family, friends and caregivers to stay active and motivated is vital in improving physical health and psychological well-being for a person with chronic pain.

Central sensitization pain presents additional challenges, including mood changes and fatigue. Patients with central sensitization pain may experience heightened pain responses during physical activity.

Supporting loved ones with chronic pain

It’s important that loved ones understand the effect of chronic pain on a person’s daily life. Not being able to engage with family and friends can lead to mood symptoms like anxiety, helplessness and hopelessness.

It’s beneficial to encourage people with chronic pain to maintain a sense of normalcy, remain involved in social activities and stick to a routine sleep schedule.

However, caregivers should balance encouraging activity and enabling passivity, as helping can exacerbate physical and psychological limitations and dependency.

When supporting someone with chronic pain, here are some ways a loved one can help:

  • Understand the nature of chronic pain.
    Recognize that chronic pain differs from acute pain and can last beyond the expected recovery period. Be aware of the different types of chronic pain and the effect on your loved one’s life.
  • Encourage movement and physical activity.
    Motivate the person to do gentle exercises, stretching or physical therapy, even if it initially causes some discomfort. Gradually increasing activity levels can help improve pain and overall functioning.
  • Support a balanced routine.
    Help establish a regular sleep schedule and ensure the person is exposed to daylight during the day. Encourage healthy habits such as maintaining a nutritious diet and avoiding substances like drugs or smoking. Understand that someone with chronic pain may have fluctuating levels of pain. Encourage them to participate in social events and integrate into family meals or outings when they feel up to it.
  • Provide emotional support.
    Chronic pain can take a toll on a person’s mental health. Listen when needed, offer emotional support and encourage open communication about their feelings and experiences. Help them seek professional help if needed. Understand that chronic pain can be unpredictable, and the person may have good and bad days. Practice patience, flexibility and adaptability to accommodate their needs and limitations.
  • Avoid enabling behaviors.
    While being empathetic is important, avoid reinforcing a sedentary or inactive lifestyle. Encourage independence and motivate the person to participate in their daily activities as much as possible.
  • Stay informed and advocate for proper medical care.
    Educate yourself about the specific condition causing chronic pain, available treatments and strategies for managing pain. This knowledge will help you better understand and support the person’s journey. Help the person find health care providers who specialize in chronic pain management. Advocate for their needs and ensure they receive appropriate medical attention, including seeking second opinions if necessary.
  • Encourage self-care.
    Remind the person to prioritize self-care, including practicing relaxation techniques, pursuing hobbies and engaging in activities that bring joy and reduce stress.

Remember, a person’s experience with chronic pain is unique to them, so it’s essential to tailor your support to their needs.

Breaking Barriers: A Guide to Amputee Fitness

2024 holds a tapestry of opportunities for those who seek to transcend challenges and embrace a life of vitality. Learn more about some of the most common obstacles to physical fitness amputees face and the strategies to overcome them. Remember, we are also here to assist you in any ways that we can so you can crush your 2024 goals. Ask us about our included transportation and in-home care!

OVERCOMING THE 5 MAIN OBSTACLES TO AMPUTEE FITNESS

Amputee Success Stories in Employment

December not only marks a time of joy and celebration, but also serves as a reminder to embrace the spirit of inclusion. Here, we can celebrate the strength of the amputee community and acknowledge the diverse talents and abilities of individuals with limb differences. Below, we list nearly two dozen programs and services for amputee job seekers that will inspire those aiming to start a new life — or just a new chapter — in 2024.

As Diana Theobald observes in “How to Be an Amputee With a Job” (appearing in our September/October issue), it’s nice that the federal government sets October aside as National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). But when you’re in the job market with a disability, one month barely scratches the surface. “I’ve been acutely aware of disability employment for more than 100 months in a row,” she writes. “The streak began immediately after my amputation. Would I be able to keep moving forward on my chosen career path? How does one do that on one leg?”

NDEAM is meant to focus attention on programs and services that help employers and disabled job candidates find each other. But you can get year-round access to many of those resources in our Amputee Community Resource Directory. With NDEAM just getting started, this seems like an opportune time to highlight some of the programs in our database.

While the Resource Directory doesn’t have a stand-alone “job programs” category, you can easily find relevant information by conducting a keyword search. We plugged in terms such as “job training,” “careers,” “employment,” and “work,” and came up with 22 distinct entries that support amputee job seekers. They include federal programs, state-by-state networks, independent nonprofits, and corporate initiatives.

We’ve summarized some of them below. While it’s a pretty robust list, there are almost surely other programs that escaped our notice. If you know of anything we missed, send us a note (editor@livingwithamplitude.com) and we’ll update the Amputee Resource Directory.

Job Boards for Amputees and People With Disabilities

If you know what you’re looking for, your resume’s up to date, and you’re prepared to get out there and start doing interviews, there are a number of online job-posting sites that are specifically aimed at applicants with disabilities. Here’s what we found in our Resource Directory:

Jobs Ability: This innovative portal was developed by quadruple-amputee John Robinson in partnership with Microsoft and other high-tech partners. Jobs Ability lists hundreds of jobs from industry-leading employers, using AI to match you with the job openings that best fit your skills and career objectives. jobsability.com.

Disability: IN Inclusion Works. Many of the world’s largest corporations use Inclusion Works to recruit talented people with disabilities. When we checked this morning, there were active listings from global leaders such as Google, Pfizer, Bloomberg, Walgreen’s, Qualcomm, CVS, and Expedia. disabilityin.org/what-we-do/inclusion-works/company-opportunities.

USA Jobs. The federal government’s official hiring portal includes employment opportunities specifically tailored for people with disabilities. Federal agencies are required to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants and employees with disabilities. Follow the link and scroll down to the “Search Jobs” box. usajobs.gov.

Ability Jobs. Ability Jobs has thousands of positions posted by employers who are preapproved and committed to hiring amputees and other people with disabilities. More than 6,000 companies are registered, including small businesses, Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and nonprofits. abilityjobs.com.

Recruit Disability. This nonprofit, open-source employment initiative shares information for job seekers with limb difference and other disabilities. This morning’s “Who’s Hiring” list includes major brands like Best Buy and Target, dozens of universities and government agencies, and disability-focused nonprofits such as the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. recruitdisability.org.

Career Advising and Workforce Development Services

Need to do a little homework before you start hunting for jobs in earnest? Here are some programs that can help you do the prep work you need, from assessing your skills to writing your resume, focusing your job search, polishing your interview skills, and negotiating workplace adaptations and accommodations.

Vocational Rehab Agencies, State-by-State Listing. As featured in our current print issue, Voc Rehab offices provide amputees with all sorts of employment support. Nearly every county in the US has an office. The best way to find the Voc Rehab agency in your area is to start with your state’s VR website. Find yours at rsa.ed.gov/about/states.

American Job Centers. American Job Centers provide free help to job seekers of all kinds, including people with disabilities. Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor and located throughout the United States, AJCs offer amputees and other job seekers with disabilities a range of services, including access to job banks, computers, resume writing tools and printers, networking groups, workshops, and more. careeronestop.org/ResourcesFor/WorkersWithDisabilities/

AgrAbility. This nationwide nonprofit aims to enhance quality of life for farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural workers with disabilities. Support programs cover many aspects of rural life, including gainful employment in the agriculture industry, and education/retraining to support career transitions. agrability.org.

Amputee Coalition Workforce Development Program. The Workforce Development Program helps participants (including teenagers, adults, and veterans) explore career options, transition back into the workforce, or start their journey into the workforce. Services include one-on-one career development meetings, resume writing assistance, fact sheets, webinars, and more. amputee-coalition.org/limb-loss-resource-center/workforce-development-program/.

Other Workforce Programs for Amputees

Centers for Independent Living. CILs are community-based nonprofits led by and for people with disabilities. There are roughly 350 CILs across the country, and all provide some form of employment support. Specific programs vary from location to location, but may include referral services, skills training, counseling, mobility support, transition assistance, and more. ilru.org/projects/cil-net/cil-center-and-association-directory.

AbilityCorps. AbilityCorps sponsors a wide variety of programs for amputee job seekers, including disability job fairs (both online and in person) and volunteer opportunities. abilitycorps.org.

Job Accommodation Network. JAN is the leading source of free, expert, confidential guidance on job accommodations and employment issues for amputees and people with disabilities. JAN offers practical, one-on-one guidance and technical assistance on job accommodation solutions, including self-employment and entrepreneurship options. askjan.org.

Ticket to Work. If you receive Social Security Disability Insurance and/or Supplemental Security Income benefits based on disability, Ticket to Work provides you with the choices, opportunities, and support you need to enter the workforce and maintain employment, with the goal of becoming economically self-supporting over time. yourtickettowork.ssa.gov.

Partnership on Inclusive Apprenticeship. PIA collaborates with employers and intermediaries to design inclusive apprenticeship programs that enable people with disabilities to gain credentials and skills to succeed in growing industries. inclusiveapprenticeship.org.

Embrace empowerment. Elevate possibilities. Experience the freedom of personalized mobility with our cutting-edge prosthetic solutions. Discover a world where every step is a testament to your strength. Contact us today at 888-819-4721. Follow us on Instagram @SouthBeachOP for more tips on prosthetic care.


Reference: [https://livingwithamplitude.com/amputee-jobs-disability-employment-month/]

Strategies for Comfort and Mobility

Living with limb loss can be a challenging journey, but the advances in prosthetic technology have opened up new horizons of comfort and mobility for individuals who have experienced amputations. One of the foremost concerns for amputees is managing pain and discomfort. In this guide, we will explore the innovative solutions and strategies available for effectively managing secondary pain. REMEMBER — At South Beach Prosthetics, we aim for the ‘Perfect Fit’ every, single time. Just working with us can be your first step in reducing your pain and increasing your comfort. 

Key to preventing secondary pain after limb loss is preventing complications. This means taking meticulous care of your residual limb, your prosthesis and your general health.

Because your residual limb is hidden under your prosthesis, paying close attention to how it looks when your prosthesis is off is very important. Developing habits of twice-a-day inspection and care is very important.

Also important is taking care of your prosthesis, liners and socks.

And what is meant by the term “general health”? This means eating well, getting physical exercise and rest and emotional well-being. It also means managing any health conditions as well as possible. If you have diabetes, this means keeping your glucose levels under good control. And it means maintaining a healthy weight, without swings of weight gain or loss.

General Guidelines for Taking Care of Your Residual Limb

It is hard to overstate the importance of taking care of your residual limb. Your healthcare team will give you instructions, such as these general rules:

  • Wash your residual limb twice a day.
  • Use mild, fragrance-free soaps, as they are the least likely to cause skin irritation.
  • Do not use lotions on your residual limb unless there is a compelling reason to do so as advised by your prosthetist or by your doctors. When lotions are advised, use water-based lotions rather than alcohol-based, which tend to dry the skin.
  • Wash your liner every night using a mild, fragrance-free soap that is recommended by the liner manufacturer or by your prosthetist.
  • Do not wear a wet liner.
  • If your amputation is below the knee, check the hard-to-see area behind your residual limb knee with a mirror.
  • Report to your prosthetist the development of any blisters or reddened areas (that don’t go away when your prosthesis is off) on your residual limb.

Care for Your Prosthesis

  • An ill-fitting prosthesis greatly increases your risk of secondary pain. The socket should be comfortable and practical.
  • Always wear shoes with the same heel height as the one your prosthesis was aligned with originally to maintain the right alignment.
  • You should check your prosthesis frequently for unusual signs of wear and tear and report concerns as soon as possible to your prosthetist.
  • Pistoning occurs when the residual limb slips up and down inside the prosthetic socket while walking. This can cause the skin to pull and be damaged. This is generally due to poor socket fit and inadequate suspension. If you continue to experience pistoning after you have correctly applied your socket liner, contact your prosthetist to have your fit checked. To accommodate volume and shape changes of the residual limb, some sockets can be reduced and/or padded, thicker liners may be used or air bladders may be installed.
  • Perspiration is normal but can cause heat rash and abrasions. When sweating occurs, you should immediately remove your prosthesis. Dry your liner and skin before putting your prosthesis on again.

Keep Moving

When a group of people with limb loss was surveyed, nearly 50 percent reported pain in their non-amputated limb and 62 percent reported low back pain. This is because after amputation other muscles and joints have to carry extra stresses and loads. These stresses can cause strain, inflammation and further pain. Additionally, low back and hip pain can increase symptoms of phantom pain.

Your physical therapist can help you design an appropriate exercise program. Regular exercise will help you strengthen and retrain your muscles. Besides walking, a good follow-up program may include back extension strengthening and balance exercises – important for helping to decrease the stresses to your low back and hips. You should try and see your therapist once a year or so for gait evaluation. If you slowly develop poor gait habits, it can cause back and/or hip pain.

Weight Management

Strategies for Comfort and Mobility

Maintaining a healthy weight is important for everyone. It is even more important after your amputation. Even a five-pound weight gain or loss can make a difference in the fit of your prosthesis.

Eat a well-balanced diet and drink plenty of water. Not only will this help with weight management, but it will also help with maintaining healthy skin.

Ready to experience pain-free mobility and comfort with the latest prosthetic solutions? Contact us today at (888) 819-4721 and take the first step towards a life without limits! Follow us on Instagram @SouthBeachOP for more tips on prosthetic care.


Reference: [https://www.amputee-coalition.org/limb-loss-resource-center/resources-for-pain-management/managing-secondary-conditions/]

Prosthetic Appearance and Covers

Today, there are endless options to customize your prosthetic appearance. The question boils down to individual preference. Navigate our ideas on prosthetic appearance and cosmetic covers and check what works best for you.

Everyone feels differently about the changes which have occurred to their body following an amputation. Some people find it hard to look at and/or even touch their residual limb (stump) in the early days. It is important to be honest about how you’re feeling and seek help if you have any concerns about your appearance, especially if you are finding it difficult to accept these changes.

What is a cosmesis?

How a prosthesis will look is more important to some people than it is to others. The look of a prosthesis is called its “cosmesis.” You should think about how important the cosmesis is to you, and talk to your Prosthetist about it as it might affect parts of the prosthesis you have chosen.

What is a non-functional prosthesis?

Some people who do not wear a functional prosthesis (i.e. don’t wear a working prosthetic leg or arm) may prefer to wear a non-functional lightweight prosthesis which is purely for cosmetic purposes. This type of prosthesis won’t allow you to take part in activities but it will help to fill out clothing and basically hide the fact that you have a missing limb. Talk to your medical team if you would like to consider a prosthesis for cosmetic purposes only.

What are cosmetic covers?

Prosthetic Appearance and Covers
Prosthetic Appearance and Covers

Cosmetic covers sit over all the parts between the socket and the end of the prosthesis (foot or hand). For example, someone with a below-knee amputation may have a cosmetic cover placed from the foot to the knee area.

Cosmetic cover options include:

  • Foam cover. This is the most common option. It is a dense foam which is hollow on the inside to fit over the parts of your prosthesis (such as the pylon and socket) and then shaped on the outside to match your other limb. It is usually covered with a stocking or a sock once finished.
  • Silicone Skin. A tight material which fits over the foam cover that can be worn instead of a stocking or sock. With this option, it is possible to replicate coloring, nails, hairs and other features to match your other limb.
  • 3D printed clip on cover. A light-weight metallic looking option which can be worn over the pylon (of below-knee prosthesis) or over the knee/pylon (of an above-knee prosthesis).
  • Commando. Going “commando” is a term commonly used when people prefer no cover at all.

Advantages of a cosmesis:

  • It can keep dirt out of the prosthesis, provide protection from knocks and help to keep parts of the prosthesis functioning well.
  • It can hide parts of the prosthesis from view if that is what you prefer.
  • It allows the area between the socket and the end of the prosthesis to be shaped to closely match your remaining limb.
  • It can fill out clothing better than a prosthesis without a cover, often making the prosthesis less noticeable.

Disadvantages of a cosmesis:

  • It can make it harder to get to the parts of the prosthesis to fix problems and/or make adjustments if required.
  • It can make the prosthesis slightly heavier.
  • It can sometimes get caught in and/or affect the ideal function of moving prosthetic parts for example, knee unit.
  • Custom-made silicone “skin,” which is matched to your features, can be more expensive than other cosmesis and cannot be re-used if you require a new prosthesis.

What is a socket?

Your socket is made just for you, as it is fitted to your stump via a suspension system. It will never fit anyone else, so you have options to make it your own.

Socket options can include:

  • Selecting a socket in a color you prefer, whether it is one single color or many colors together.
  • Choosing a picture that you like and having it laminated onto the socket.

Speak to your Prosthetist and ask about other ideas that you might have or would like to try.

South Beach Prosthetics stands with you every step of the way. Our state-of-the-art technology allows us to design, fit, and fabricate custom prostheses that match & exceed your expectations. We take your lifestyle and health into consideration while making them! Get in touch with us today at (888) 819-4721 to learn more about how we can help. Find our Facebook community here.


Reference: [https://www.limbs4life.org.au/uploads/resources/Fact-Sheet-7.pdf]

Get by with a Little Help from Your Friends

Through all of life’s ups and downs, the hardships and triumphs are made better with the support of our friends. Sometimes, in life, those hardships are even more difficult to endure, and we need to lean on those who care for us to help bolster our spirits as we navigate a difficult path. While our lifelong friends and family members are often our support system — that needn’t always be the case! We are pleased to offer our patients space and a place where they can share their experiences with like-minded people who have successfully traveled down the same road. Our Friends Group can produce hope and open up new possibilities for those living with amputations or limb differences.

What Can I Expect From the Friends Group?

Prosthetic Group
Prosthetic Group

✅ A Listening Ear

✅ Connection

✅ Socialization

✅ Empowerment

Sometimes there is no substitution for chatting with someone who has had the same lived experience as you. The members of our Friends Group are all individuals who have lived with amputation for at least 12 months or have been born with a limb difference. A listening ear from someone who understands your experience can bring a lot of comfort.

Our Friends Group interactions are supportive, yet casual, and can range from phone calls, video calls, in-person meets, and outings. We know that friendship can grow out of the shared experience, and it is healthy for recovery to have an ear to bend that understands the recovery process and what you may be going through.

The Friends Group empowers its members by hearing and seeing the success stories of others who have had a similar journey with amputation — providing demonstrable proof that life post-amputation can be happy, healthy, and active. With the confidence gained from participating in the Friends Group, we don’t doubt you will want to pay it forward when you feel ready!

Prosthetic Group
Prosthetic Group

We understand what it is like to live with an amputation or limb difference — and we can connect you with others who understand the same! If you feel you need to chat and have someone listen, we can provide you with a supportive and empathetic experience that can help support you in your recovery — Friends Group provides just that.

Enhance your physical and emotional well-being through healthy, casual conversations with like-minded people! Connect with others, share your story, and join the community! Our compassionate and knowledgeable team knows how to best support you in your recovery post-amputation.
Visit our Facebook page or give us a call at (888) 819-4721 to see all of the services we have to offer you! 

Practicing Body Neutrality

If you’re wondering, “Uh, what’s body neutrality?” then you’re in the right place. At its core, body neutrality is the idea that you can exist without having to think too much about your body one way or another, positive or negative. You can simply exist and be worthy of respect without thinking about your body at all. You can learn more about this idea below, which can help you cope with difficult changes in your body.

Most people want to feel energized and experience a sense of vitality. In the 1970s, Dr. John Travis created a spectrum of wellness, with illness on one side, a point of neutrality in the middle (when a person has no signs or symptoms of disease), and on the other side wellness.

Wellness is a state of health and flourishing beyond simply not experiencing illness. In this state people feel confident, open to challenges, curious, and thirsty for action. They are thriving. People who experience wellness may seek to hike a mountain, read a new book, learn how to play a new instrument, or actively connect with new people.

The most common health conditions facing people today include heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. When people are experiencing these (and other) conditions, they fall into the illness side of the spectrum. Lifestyle factors that put you at risk for developing these conditions include smoking, alcohol substance use disorder, lack of exercise, sleep deprivation, and a diet rich in processed foods, sugar, saturated fat, and artificial flavors. An unhealthy weight is another factor that can put one at risk for these conditions, especially carrying extra weight around your midsection.

To move to the wellness side of the spectrum, you can include more movement in your day; enjoy a whole-food (unprocessed), plant-predominant style of eating; avoid smoking; sleep seven to nine hours a night; practice stress reduction techniques like deep breathing, yoga, meditation, tai chi, and mindfulness; and spend time with family and friends.

Think about what your body can do for you — and what you can do for your body

People of many sizes and shapes can be healthy and well, especially when they are connected to a calm mind that is practicing mindfulness, self-compassion, and a growth mindset. A body that is in the neutral point on the wellness spectrum can move to the side of thriving and flourishing when healthy lifestyle habits are adopted and sustained, and that has little to do with your body’s shape or size.

The body neutrality movement emphasizes the incredible functions, actions, and physiology of our bodies without regard for how our bodies look. We can see, hear, smell, taste, and feel. We can jump, skip, sing, hug, and dance. Our muscles have mitochondria that give us energy.

Practicing Body Neutrality

Our digestive system is one example of the wondrous process of the body. The digestive system has billions of microbes living in it that help us to ferment fiber from vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and create short-chain fatty acids that help us with energy metabolism, glucose metabolism, lipid metabolism, inflammation, immunity, and more. This is why it’s important to eat fiber, including whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.

Connected to our bodies are our brains, and they are full of neurons (brain cells), synapses (connections), neurochemicals, and hormones that help to protect brain cells and make new ones. Moving our bodies helps to increase these chemicals. In addition, moving our bodies regularly helps us to increase serotonin, which may help us feel less anxious and depressed. Hugging increases oxytocin in the brain, and this “love hormone” helps us feel a sense of belonging and bonding. The body’s actions have a powerful impact on the brain, and vice versa.

Body positivity versus body neutrality

Body positivity is a movement that invites people to appreciate the body size and shape they have now without worrying about unrealistic body standards. With body positivity, society’s unhealthy standards for body shapes and sizes are challenged. It’s also important to remember that cultural norms and what’s considered an ideal body change with time.

The goal with body positivity is to honor and appreciate all body types, especially your own body. Feeling confident about the way you look feels good and can be empowering.

With body neutrality, the focus is on the function of your body: finding happiness and fulfillment, appreciating the power of our muscles, the strength of our bones, the protection our skin offers, and the rewards of the dopamine system in our brains. Connecting with friends and family, reaching small, meaningful goals, and enjoying physical activity are healthy ways to approach your body. A focus on finding pleasure in the wellness journey will serve your body — at any size — and your brain.

Remember all the things your body can do for you

  • Transport you from one place to another (quickly or slowly)
  • Release neurochemicals that give you pleasure, like from hugging a loved one
  • Move your arms and/or legs with joy following the rhythm and beat of music
  • Take deep breaths to calm your mind
  • Perform stretches that release endorphins
  • Practice yoga, tai chi, or qigong, which can help calm the body and mind.

South Beach Prosthetics stands with you every step of the way. Wherever you are in your journey, you can count on our support & expertise to get all the prosthetic care you need. Get in touch with us today at (888) 819-4721 to learn more about how we can help. Find our Facebook community here.


Reference: [https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/moving-to-wellness-while-practicing-body-neutrality-202204142727]

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