6 Anatomical Models For Setting Up Your Physical Therapy Anatomy Laboratory

In physical therapy, it’s important for medical staff to fully understand the human anatomy and how it works. Did you know the brain processes visual information 60,000 faster than text? For learning purposes, anatomical models are an excellent tool to use.

So what type of anatomical models will help set up your physical therapy anatomy laboratory? We’ve listed a few top anatomical models used for physical therapy training and applications.

  1. Lifting Demonstration Figure: Provide your clients with a graphic demonstration of the effects of correct and incorrect lifting techniques on the spine.
  2. Shoulder Joint with Rotator Cuff 5-Part: This model shows the musculature of the rotator cuff and the origin and insertion points of the shoulder muscles.
  3. Muscled Knee Joint Model: Included with this model is an educational card, this model is articulating the right knee with ligaments: meniscus, fibular collateral, tibial collateral, anterior and posterior cruciate and patellar ligament with patella.
  4. Functional Elbow Joint Model: This model provides an excellent graphic demonstration of the anatomy and mechanics of the joint, allowing better doctor-patient or teacher-student understanding.
  5. Hip Joint with Removable Muscles 7-Part: For educational purposes, the origin and insertion areas of the muscles have been raised and presented in color on the hip joint.
  6. Functional Model of the Knee Joint: In this model, the ligaments flexibility allows an excellent demonstration of the full range of motion, including flexion, extension, inner and outer rotation.

For a full list of joint anatomy models and other anatomical models for setting up your physical therapy laboratory, be sure to visit our anatomical model category on our website.

Why Are Head & Neck Positioners Important In The OR?

Why are neck and head positioners important for patients to use while in the operating room? The number one reason for positioning a patients head with a positioner in this situation is safety purposes. Many patients need support of their head and neck  to relieve pressure while going in to surgery.

Below are a few examples of a few different kinds of head and neck positioners we offer.

  1. Head & Neck Support is an ideal positioner for general skull work. Dimensions are 6.5″ high x 10″ wide x 12″ long
  2. 5.5″ D Ring is a reusable foam positioner that provides a safe area for minimizing pressure points and nerve damage during surgery. Dimensions are 5.5″ diameter x 1.5″ thick with a 2″ hole in the center.
  3. Slotted Adult Head Positioner has a soft flexible coating to provide comfort to patients, with 1″ deep slots for tubing. Dimensions are 8.5″ x 8″ x 4″ thick at the highest point, 3″thick at center.
  4. Waters Positioner was especially designed for laminographs of the orbits and facial bones. Dimensions are 7.4″ high x 12.4″ wide x 8″ long.
  5. Concave Disc are ideal for general skull work in general positioning, CT scan, MRI, nuclear medicine, and ultrasounds. Dimensions are 7″ in diameter and available in  1.5″ high, 2.5″ high and 3″ high discs.

Making sure patients are comfortable, safe and don’t develop pressure sores or pain. With our large selection of head and neck patient positioners, you’ll be able to find the support needed for your medical setting. Have any questions on this post? Let us know in the comment box below!

Featured Product: TruLife Oasis Elite Closed Head Ring

Our featured product for today is the TruLife Oasis Elite Closed Head Ring, an excellent gel positioner to provide pressure relief for your patients. This head positioner is designed with lightweight foam with silicone Trugel, the foam and gel work together to conform to the patient’s body shake and helps distribute weight evenly.


Product Features:

  • Unique gel & foam combination conforms comfortably to the patient’s head
  • Suitable for use in many surgical procedures
  • Dimensions:
  • Adolescent: 5.5″ Diameter x 1.3″ Thick
  • Adult: 7.8″ Diameter x 1.9″ Thick
  • MRI Safe
  • Latex Free
  • Non-Hazardous

Whiteboard Wednesday: Uses Of Ultrasound Technology

Ultrasound imaging has many uses in today’s medical field, watch our Whiteboard Wednesday video below to learn more.

What’s The Difference Between Ultrasound Gel And Ultrasound Lotion?

Ultrasound-based diagnostic imaging or ultrasonography uses high-frequency sound waves to visualize soft tissues such as muscles and internal organs. Obstetric sonography is the practice of examining pregnant women using ultrasound and is widely used. Sonograms or ultrasound images are made by sending a pulse of an ultrasound into tissue using an ultrasound transducer or probe. As the sound reflects off various parts of  body structures the echo is recorded by the computer and displayed as an image on the monitor for the operator.

Ultrasound Technology

Ultrasound technology is used to create various types of images. Perhaps the most common type of ultrasound image, is the B-mode image or the 2-D cross-section of the tissue being imaged. Creating an image from a sound wave requires three steps, producing the sound wave, receiving the echoes, and forming the image. While producing the sound wave, it is important that the transducer is able to efficiently transmit the sound waves into the body to produce a accurate image. The transducer or hand-held probe, frequently has a soft, pliable, rubber coating that is used to guide the instrument across the area of interest, the skin will then be coated with an aqueous gel to effectively transmit the range of ultrasound frequencies being used (typically between 2 to 18 megahertz).

Ultrasound Gel

At the beginning of an ultrasound exam or procedure, an ultrasound gel is placed on the patient’s skin. Ultrasound gel or a coupling agent, utilizes a basic physics principle where sound waves tend to carry very well through an aqueous or watery medium. When applied to the surface of the patient’s skin, the ultrasound gel acts as a coupling medium and enhances the transmission of ultrasonic sound waves from the skins surface to the head of the ultrasound transducer. Ultrasound gel serves as a lubricant and improves the acoustic transmission of sound waves to the create the image for the sonographer to examine on the monitor. Listed in the table below are a sampling of the different types of ultrasound gels and lotions available and their main product features.

Ultrasound Gel & Ultrasound Lotion
Product Name Application Viscosity Clear Available Sizes
Aquasonic 100Diagnostic & Therapeutic High-ViscosityNo20g Foil Pouch, 8.5 ounce bottle, 1 Liter bottle, 5 Liter SONICPAC
Sterile Aquasonic 100Sterile ApplicationsHigh-Viscosity No20g Foil Pouch
Aquasonic ClearDiagnostic & TherapeuticHigh-ViscosityYes8.5 ounce, 1 Liter bottle, 5Liter SONICPAC
SCAN Ultrasound GelWhen a less viscous gel desiredUnique Dual-ViscosityNo8 ounce, 1 US Gallon
Polysonic Ultrasound LotionWhen lotion is preferred High-ViscosityNo1 US Gallon

Therapeutic Ultrasound 

Ultrasounds can also be used for therapeutic treatment, which refers to any ultrasonic procedure that uses ultrasounds for a therapeutic benefit. A therapeutic ultrasound is a technique that uses sound waves to stimulate tissue under the skin’s surface. These ultrasound techniques can include physical therapy, pain management and a variety of other treatments used in rehabilitation centers. Depending on the type of treatment, the ultrasound stimulates the patient’s subcutaneous tissue using high-frequency sound waves. Therapeutic ultrasounds can create heating effects, increase tissue relaxation, increase blood flow to reduce swelling and inflammation and breakdown scar tissue. Therapeutic ultrasound treatments include a variety of pain management therapies such as chronic pain, muscle strain, muscle tension, tendon injuries, and many more.

Ultrasound Lotion

At the beginning of a therapeutic ultrasound treatment, ultrasound lotion is applied to the area of the patient’s body that is being treated. The probe from the ultrasound machine will then circulate the ultrasound lotion against the area of the patient. Similar to how ultrasound gel in diagnostic imaging is important, ultrasound lotion for therapeutic ultrasound treatments is equally as important. Ultrasound lotion is easily absorbed by the skin while ultrasound gel has is water soluble and is removed after the exam or procedure. Ultrasound lotion is often preferred by medical staff and patients for therapeutic ultrasound treatments due to the rich, moisturizing formula. The ultrasound lotion is acoustically correct for a broad range of frequency transducers and is hypoallergenic and bacteriostatic.

Featured Product: Chemo Sharps Container

 A needlestick from a contaminated sharp has the possibility of leaving a worker infected with HIV, HBV, HCV and other dangerous pathogens. It’s important to appropriately discard sharps in your facility’s designated sharps containers. When selecting sharps containers it’s good to know the type of waste your facility has to discard, the storage area and space limitations and your facility’s state and federal regulations.

Chemo sharps containers are a safe way to dispose of trace chemotherapy, needles, administration sets and medication vials. The 1.5 gallon chemo sharps container is ideal for smaller volume treatment areas and home infusion usage and will help prevent percutaneous injuries and exposure to hazardous materials.


  • Dimensions: 8″ wide x 4.25″ deep x 11.75″ high
  • Has a liquid absorbent pouch and a gasketed locking screw cap to prevent leakage during disposal or transport
  • Bright yellow color for medical staff to easily identify
  • Unique locking top minimizes the risk of hazards resulting from mishandled, overturned or dropped containers
  • Container can be free standing on a table top or mounted with metal cabinets and stands
  • Puncture resistant walls


Have any questions or comments about our featured product? Let us know in the comment box below!

World Wide Pressure Ulcer Prevention Day – November 21, 2013

We are proud to join the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) in the promotion of World Wide Pressure Ulcer Prevention Day!

“The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel serves as the authoritative voice for improved patient outcomes in pressure ulcer prevention and treatment through public policy, education and research.”

The International NPUAP-EPUAP defines pressure ulcer as a “localized injury to the skin and/or underlying tissue usually over a bony prominence, as a result of pressure, or pressure in combination with shear. A number of contributing or confounding factors are also associated with pressure ulcers; the significance of these factors is yet to be elucidated.”

Pressure ulcers or bedsores, are injuries to skin and underlying tissues that result from prolonged pressure on the skin. The development of pressure ulcers most commonly occur on bony areas of the body, such as the heel, ankles, hips, head or buttocks. Individuals who are confined to a bed for prolonged periods, required to use a wheelchair, or have a medical condition that limits them from easily changing positions are the most susceptible to developing pressure ulcers. According to the Mayo Clinic “bedsores can develop quickly and are often difficult to treat.” There are several strategies that can help prevent some bedsores and promote healing.

The NPUAP has categorized and defined (listed below) bedsores into four stages based on their severity. The severity of the pressure ulcer is ranked from stage I, the beginning stage, to stage IV, the most severe, where the ulcer exhibits large-scale tissue loss.

Category/Stage I: Non-Blanchable erythema 

Skin is intact with non-blanchable redness (lighter color skin) or darkly pigmented skin may not have visible blanching of a localized area usually over a bony prominence. “The area may be painful, firm, soft, warmer or cooler as compared to adjacent tissue.”

Category/Stage II: Partial thickness

Partial thickness loss of dermis presenting as a shallow open ulcer with a red pink wound bed, without slough or bruising.

Category/Stage III: Full thickness skin loss

Full thickness tissue loss, bone, tendon and muscle are not exposed but subcutaneous (adipose tissue) fat may be visible. The depth of the ulcer can vary depending on the amount of subcutaneous tissue present in the region.

Category/Stage IV: Full thickness tissue loss  

The most severe stage, full thickness tissue loss with exposed bone, tendon or muscle has occurred.

Common sites of pressure ulcers for people who use a wheelchair develop on the tailbone, shoulder blade, spine, back of arms and legs where they rest against the chair. People confined to beds often develop pressure ulcers on the back or sides of head, rim of the ears, shoulders or shoulder blades, hip, lower back, tailbone, heels, ankles and the skin behind the knees.

Risk factors for developing pressure ulcers include anyone with limited mobility and is unable to easily change positions while seated or in a bed. Immobility may be due to:

  • Generally poor health or weakness
  •  Paralysis
  • Injury or illness that requires bed rest or wheelchair use
  • Recovery after surgery
  • Sedation (surgical procedure)
  • Coma

Relieving pressure from the pressure ulcer site is the first step in treatment. The use of support surfaces (special cushions or pads, mattresses and beds) and patient repositioning can help reduce the pressure on the sore. There are a whole host of treatment options that are available to people with bedsores or pressure ulcers that are out of the scope of this post, so please feel free to visit the NPUAP site for more resources.

The impact of pressure ulcers upon patients and families can be traumatic and life changing, so please help spread the word to help increase awareness of this global challenge that health care providers face on a daily basis. For further information about National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel and pressure ulcers please visit: NPUAP

PPE Use In Healthcare Settings

PPE or personal protective equipment is defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as “specialized clothing or equipment worn by an employee for protection against infectious materials”. OSHA regulations require the use of PPE in healthcare settings to protect healthcare personnel from exposure to bloodborne pathogens and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Under OSHA guidelines, employers must provide their employees with the appropriate PPE while ensuring that PPE is properly disposed of if disposable, cleaned or laundered, repaired and stored after each use.

Protecting healthcare personnel from infectious disease exposures in the workplace requires a combination of controls. The use of PPE is one of four key components in the hierarchy of healthcare worker safety programs.

  • Training (e.g. policies and procedures)
  • Engineering Controls (e.g. negative pressure rooms)
  • Work Practice Controls (e.g. not recapping needles)
  • Personal Protective Equipment

Although PPE is listed last in the hierarchy of prevention, it is extremely important for protecting healthcare workers from disease transmission. Listed below is a sampling of some commonly found types of PPE found in healthcare settings.

  • Gloves (protect hands)
  • Gowns/aprons (protect skin and clothing)
  • Masks (protect mouth/nose)
  • Respirators (protect respiratory tract from airborne infectious agents)
  • Goggles/glasses (protect eyes)
  • Face shields (protect face, mouth, nose and eyes)
  • Shoe covers (protects from airborne infectious agents)
  • Head covers/bonnets  (protects from airborne infectious agents)

The type of PPE used will vary based on the level of precautions required;  standard and contact, droplet or airborne infection isolation. When selecting PPE it is important to consider three things; type of exposure anticipated, durability and appropriateness for the task, and fit. Remember to always use safe work practices to protect yourself and limit the spread of contamination. Polices may vary by facility, please check with the appropriate department director in your facility for more information.

How To Reduce The Risk Of Infections When Visiting Patients In The Hospital

Many people visit their family and friends in the hospital every day. They visit to show their support and to gain better knowledge of the patient’s condition. But it’s important to be aware of how to prevent spreading germs during hospital visits. Patients in the hospital are already ill, so by exposing them to infectious germs it may add more complications and increase their hospital stay.

Washing your hands and staying home if you’re sick are most likely the best ways to prevent spread of germs. A few tips when visiting a patient in the hospital:

  • Wash your hands before and after visiting, after using the restroom, before and after touching a sick patient
  • Wash your hands and wrists and apply soap, scrub for at least 20 seconds and be sure to remove rings
  • Dry your hands with clean paper towel
  • You may also want to use hand sanitizers, which are usually found throughout any hospital
  • Do not sit on patient beds or touch their equipment
  • Stay home if you’re not feeling well – even if it’s just a small cold

Because a patient’s immune system is typically very weak during their stay in a hospital, it’s important to stop the spread of germs. If you’re not sure whether or not to visit someone in the hospital, we recommend speaking with a medical staff member of the hospital you plan on visiting. If you have any questions or comments, please let us know below.

What You Should Know Before Flu Season

The flu season isn’t quite here yet, but there are some important factors you should know before it is! The flu season primarily takes place in the winter, but the exact timing can vary and can start as early as October.

Did you know?

  • Approximately 5% to 20% of the U.S. gets the flu
  • Over 200,000 people are hospitalized because of seasonal flu complications
  • Flu activity commonly peaks around January to February
  • 135-139 million doses of the flu vaccine are estimated to be produced for the 2013-2014 influenza season
  • The CDC says that older adults, pregnant women, young children and people with certain health conditions (asthma, diabetes, heart problems) are at greater risk for flu complications

To help reduce the risk of catching the flu this year, many physicians and healthcare facilities will recommend multiple ways to prevent the flu. The following are just a few of those recommendations.

How can you avoid the flu?

  • Wash your hands – with soap! This is very important whether you’re at work, school, the gym, basically anywhere you are in contact with other people.
  • Make sure to wash hands before and after you eat food
  • Eat healthy meals
  • Get enough sleep (at least 7 hours)
  • Try to avoid contact with those who are sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing
  • Stay home from work if you have developed symptoms of the flu
  • It’s recommended the best time to get your flu vaccine is October or November

The key to staying healthy during flu season is to follow preventative recommendations. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below!