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Monthly Archives: October 2015

What is a Flip A Grip? – The Most Handy Grab Bar

Flip a Grip

“No more worries about falling while trying to get into or out of my house.  Now I can bring in a load of laundry with my left arm and safely get into the house with my right hand.”  -Jean from California

Through my years of working as a physical therapist in the home, I have seen many patients struggle with the fight to maintain their independence.  We all want to be able to make our own choices and come and go as we please but unfortunately age and injury can put a damper on our plans.  Surgeries, injuries, illness and age bring challenges that can slow down the coming and going that you had been planning.  Something as simple as getting in and out of the house used to be a task you never thought about.  You bounded up the steps and through the doorway with ease.  Often you even carried groceries, laundry baskets and laughing, upside down toddlers with you.  Now though, if your knees hurt or your balance isn’t so great it can be a very dangerous endeavor just to get yourself up the step and through the door.   We probably all know someone, elderly or not, that has fallen on or down the steps and has been severely injured.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) one out of every three people over the age of 65 fall each year!  Once a person falls it is usually a downward spiral that is difficult to come back from.  In fact, the CDC also warns that 40% of people who end up in a nursing home due to a fall never return to living independently ever again!  Even the folks that do return to their prior level of function and independent living status have a lingering fear of falling again which can keep them from doing the more active things that they enjoy.  The Flip A Grip is a device that can be installed in your home so that you can avoid being sent to “the home”.Flip a grip assist handle

The Flip A Grip is a patent pending device I designed for my physical therapy patients that needed that extra support when going up and down stairs or transferring.  It is a sturdy handle small enough to fit in tight spaces, like doorways, and folds out of the way when you are not using it.  Each Flip A Grip is 100% handmade in the USA, comes with the mounting hardware and even glows in the dark to help in low light situations. The Flip A Grip is simply a strong, foldable handle small enough to fit in between a storm door and an exterior door and is perfect for folks that don’t have the strength, balance or confidence to get in and out of their home safely on their own.


flip a grip

The idea for the Flip A Grip began in 2012 when I was working as a physical therapist in home care.  I was treating a lady who had broken her hip and had had surgery to repair it. We worked at improving her strength, balance and mobility and eventually she was able to get up and down her steps from her garage to her back door.  With all of her hard work though, she still could not get up that final step to enter the door into her home.   She would grab for her walker or the door, or the door casing and trim but nothing made a good enough handle to push on.  Her hand rails were too far behind her and she needed that extra boost with her arms to get herself into the home.

I went to our local home medical supply store to buy something that might help her. The item I had in mind was not for sale though, so I became an inventor!  I carved the first prototype out of a broom handle and a closet organizer bracket and the adventure was on!  I designed at least ten different prototypes until arriving at the model you see now for sale on AllegroMedical.com.  The Flip A Grip has arrived on the scene and the world is such a brighter and better place because of it.  That’s a little bit of exaggeration, but I do think we have a pretty great little device that has been a blessing to those who have started using one.

Here’s what some users of the Flip A Grip have had to say:

“These handles are a lifesaver! I have two on each doorway and have bought more for the stairway. I don’t care if they’re everywhere, they look nice. Even my able-bodied friends use them, stepping up into the house. Love ’em! ” -Ray from Illinois

“Excellent for elderly coming in and out of a door where they have to step up with out a handrail. Bought two for my father and he loves them. Very strong.”

“This is the perfect aide to help a stroke victim in and out of a door threshold. Would recommend it to anyone who needs a little help.”

“Disabled father loves it and uses it every day to go in and out to the garage and up and down 2 steps.”

Folks that will find the Flip A Grip helpful are those with decreased strength and balance, those who have difficulty standing from a seated position or that find ascending or descending steps safely a challenge.  People who simply have aching joints that make stairs and transfers painful will also love the Flip A Grip because it helps take the pressure off those painful joints.

Finally, if I’ve done a poor, longwinded job of giving you a straight answer to the original question- What is a Flip A Grip, I apologize.  Here’s the abbreviated version for those of you, like me, that like a straight and to the point answer:  The Flip A Grip is a sturdy handle to help prevent falls and make steps and transfers easier.  It’s better than a grab bar in certain situations because its small, glows in the dark and folds out of the way.  If you buy one, I really do think you’ll find that it helps a great deal.  I’ve had lots of people say that they don’t know how they ever got along without it.

-Nick Hinkle, PT – Owner 323 Products, LLC


Since 1997 Allegro Medical has been a leading supplier of assisted living aids healthcare providers and consumers.  If you have recently undergone physical therapy, rely on AllegroMedical.com for all of your assisted living aids needs.

Plantar Fasciitis

Suffering From Heel Pain? – Plantar Fasciitis

Are you suffering from heel pain?  You should know that plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of this.  The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and is responsible for the connection between your heel bone and your toes. This tissue is normally expected to be your shock absorber step after step.  However, if the tension on this tissue becomes too intense, small tears will be created.  Then, as the repetitive motions continue it will result in more and more tears and stretching causing plantar fasciitis to occur from the increased inflammation the plantar fascia tissue is facing.

The level of discomfort experienced will vary from person to person, however the symptoms usually follow a similar pattern, which include:

  • Stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot near the heel.
  • Pain that is usually worse with the first few steps after waking up.
  • Pain that is triggered by long periods of standing.
  • Increased pain when getting up from a seated position.

If you begin to experience any of the symptoms as listed above it would be a good idea to consult with your doctor for possible treatment options.  This is because if plantar fasciitis is ignored it may result in more chronic heel pain that could begin to interfere with your daily routine.  In addition, if you try to compromise and change the way you walk to relieve your discomfort you may end up causing more pain in your feet, knees, hips or back.  Do not put off your pain; get to the bottom of it before it causes you more trouble than it’s worth.

There are certain factors that place individuals at a greater risk for development of plantar fasciitis including:

  • Age
  • Most commonly this condition affects those between the ages of 40 and 60.
  • Certain exercises
  • If a lot of stress is placed on your feet during exercise it can greatly contribute to plantar fasciitis. Such exercises could include long-distance running and ballet.
  • Try lower impact sports such as swimming or bicycling.
  • Foot structure
  • If you are flat-footed, have a high arch, or even an abnormal walking pattern…this can affect the way the weight is distributed over your feet and can add extra stress on your plantar fascia tissue which will cause discomfort.
  • Choosing supportive shoes will help here. Avoid high heels and going barefoot as much as possible.  Shoes with a low to moderate heel with good shock absorbency are the best.
  • Weight
  • Those who are overweight may be at a greater risk just due to the extra pounds that add to the tension on the plantar fascia tissue.
  • Working to maintain a healthy weight will minimize the stress placed on your feet.
  • Work
  • Your job may place you at a greater risk if you are expected to be on your feet for long periods of time…over time this may damage your plantar fascia.
  • Take breaks often; either get up and move around or sit down and take a load off…your feet will thank you!

The good thing is that there are normally no imaging tests necessary to diagnose this condition.  The diagnosis is usually made solely based on the history and physical examination.  As far as diagnosis of plantar fasciitis goes, if you consult with your provider related to your foot pain you will have a physical examination where he or she will check various points on your foot for any tenderness.  The location of your tenderness and pain will help determine what is causing it.  On rare occasions, your provider may recommend an x-ray just to ensure your pain is not caused by another problem such as a bone spur.

Once diagnosed, your doctor will inform you of all treatment options available for your specific condition.  Frequently most people who have plantar fasciitis will recover with conservative treatments in just a few months.  Some treatment options may include:

  • Medications
  • Mild pain relievers such as Advil, Motrin, Aleve and others may help with the increase in pain and inflammation that is associated with plantar fasciitis.
  • Therapy
  • Physical therapy may provide you with instructions to complete various exercises to stretch your plantar fascia to help relieve your discomfort and better support your feet.
  • Orthotics may also be an option too. These are custom-fitted arch supports that are placed into your shoes in order to provide better support for your feet.

Tuli Cheetah Ankle Support with Heel Cup

Tuli Cheetah Ankle Support with Heel Cup –

Combine the shock absorption of Tuli’s patented “waffle” design heel cups with the comfort and support of lightweight neoprene ankle support and you get unsurpassed support with amazing “barefoot” feeling and comfort. Tuli’s Cheetahs are ideal for shin splints, tired and swollen ankles or just a little extra ankle support. A proven favorite of gymnasts and dancers world-wide, Tuli’s Cheetahs are perfect for athletes.


Vionic Walking Shoes

Vionic Orthopedic Shoes and Sandals –

The first of its kind to bring trusted technology and style into one transformative solution, Vionic footwear offers innovative, podiatrist-designed support built seamlessly into contemporary and modern classics.

Whether you are suffering from plantar fasciitis, knee pain, back pain, or other foot pains, you will find comfort in your shoes that you never thought was possible. Vionic sandals, shoes and slippers are biomechanically engineered to hug your arches, which supports natural alignment.



Acetaminophen Liquid 500MG 8oz compares to Tylenol Liquid

Pain reliever/fever reducer. Compare to the active ingredient of Extra Strength Tylenol® Liquid

If the more conservative options as listed above do not fully take care of your plantar fasciitis pain, you could be a candidate for more invasive procedures, such as surgery or steroid injections to help correct your problem.

Ultimately, plantar fasciitis can indeed be a nuisance and cause you to miss out on some of the things you enjoy.  Don’t ignore your pain; get it figured out as soon as possible in order to avoid more problems in the future.  Taking care of yourself is the first step to your own happiness so what are you waiting for?

Since 1997 Allegro Medical has been a leading supplier of plantar fasciitis supplies to healthcare providers and consumers.  If you are recently experiencing plantar fasciitis pain, rely on AllegroMedical.com for all of your Plantar Fasciitis needs.

Fall prevention is a frequent topic for nursing home staff, and rightfully so.  Unfortunately, nursing home residents frequently fall, and the older adults that survive a nursing home fall are likely to sustain injuries that hinder quality of life or cause permanent disability. 1

Most fall prevention plans include bath safety items, mobility aids such as walkers, canes, and wheelchairs, and devices to assist patients from a sit-to-stand position.

What are YOU doing to protect your patient while in bed?

A staggering 48.5% of nursing home residents have Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias.² If you’ve cared for a patient with Alzheimer’s than you are likely familiar with the frequent midnight walkabouts and Houdini like escape tactics.  Since nursing homes are prohibited from using full bed rails and restraints due to the risk of entrapment and harm reported to patients, alternative safety measures must be implemented to minimize the risk of injury if a fall were to occur.

Here are a few recommended products to help minimize fall prevention injury while in bed:

 1.  Pressure Sensitive Patient Alarm System

The Patient Alarm utilizes a pressure sensitive pad and connected battery powered alarm that alerts caregiver with audio sound when patient gets out of a chair or bed.  If your nursing home patient exits the bed you will be alerted to assist them and help prevent them from falling.Drive Medical 13606 Pressue Sensitive Patient Alarm System






2.  Defined Perimeter Universal Mattress Cover

When a patient is prone to exiting the bed unassisted or to falling out of the bed, Drive Medical’s defined perimeter cover is a great solution. When installed on a standard bed, the soft foam bolster cushions surround the edge of the bed to promote a safe bed environment, without the need for confining side rails.

Drive Medical Model 14333, Defined Perimeter Universal Mattress Cover




3. Safety Beveled Edge Solid 1 Piece EVA Foam Fall Mat

The Safety Care fall mat is constructed from the highest quality high density EVA compressed foam designed to provide a safe environment for patients at high risk of falling out of bed. EVA (Ethylene-vinyl acetate) is a revolutionary foam with rubber like qualities used in the manufacturing of various products such as running shoes, orthotics and sporting goods. EVA is resistant to moisture and stress cracking making it a very durable material to absorb and redirect impact forces during a fall. The mats have tapered beveled edges allowing equipment to roll over with ease along with a non slip bottom to keep the mat secure and help prevent accidental tripping. The solid core design is easy to clean and is anti bacterial to avoid cross contamination between various patient room.

Safety Beveled Edge Solid 1 Piece EVA Fall Mat





Since 1997 Allegro Medical has been a leading supplier of medical supplies and fall prevention medical equipment to healthcare providers and consumers.  If you need assistance purchasing fall prevention products, rely on AllegroMedical.com for all of your patient care needs.


¹Rubenstein LZ, Robbins AS, Schulman BL, Rosado J, Osterweil D, Josephson KR. Falls and instability in the elderly. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 1988;36:266–78.