Vital Care PT - January 2020




(623) 544-0300

How Facing My Fears


Vital Care Patients ENTER TO WIN Find the misspelled word in this newsletter and call (623) 544-0300 for your chance to win a $10 GIFT CARD! CALL (623) 544-0300 Contest is for past and present Vital Care PT patients only. permanent inner ear disorders that result in balance deficiencies, difficulty standing or walking, headaches, blurred vision, neck tightness or pain, and severe nausea. When these symptoms are constant, they can steal your ability to participate in everyday life, and if left untreated, they can get worse. If they’re A new year means it’s time to reflect on the achievements of the previous year and focus on new goals in the upcoming months. Change can be thrilling, but it can also be terrifying. I’ve faced many challenges in my life, but nothing has been a bigger obstacle, or subsequently taught me more about myself, than facing my fear of practicing vestibular rehabilitation. An estimated 42% of Americans experience dizziness at least once in their lifetime. For many of these people, it becomes a much more serious issue than experiencing vertigo for a few seconds. It can progress into

treated incorrectly, even more problematic side effects can arise. It’s a sensitive but dire arm of physical therapy. Early in my education, while I was working on my bachelor’s degree and then my clinical doctorate in physical therapy school, I was so passionate about human anatomy and so hungry to learn all about it. There was such an emphasis on learning the musculoskeletal and nervous system, but when it came to the ears, there was not much time or focus spent on it. So naturally, I had a lack of enthusiasm about ears, which led to a lack of understanding of the inner ear system, also called the vestibular system. outpatient setting. At that time, vertigo and vestibular issues were only treated in the hospital. Therefore, I did not see this type of patient for years, causing me to forget what little I did learn about vestibular therapy in physical therapy school. When I acquired my own practice in Sun City West, I had several opportunities to practice vestibular therapy. However, without proper education and practice with it, I was forced to turn potential patients away. I was so fearful of the expertise I lacked to treat them that I was unwilling to take the chance. I did try to educate myself by taking an additional class or two, but I never got over my fear completely. One day, our front desk received seven separate phone calls from patients seeking treatment for vertigo and vestibular issues. I had no choice but to turn all of them away. I referred them to the local hospital but learned the hospital had no availability for months. The When I graduated from physical therapy school in 2002, I started working in the orthopedic

prospect of these patients living with debilitating side effects for months was heartbreaking. I decided that day it was time to face my fear so I could help all of these people. I took an extensive week-long course rather than just a single-day class and immersed myself in it completely. With new knowledge, I found aspects of it fascinating and found things to get excited about. But the real excitement came from knowing how many more people I could now help heal. I scheduled my very first vestibular patient for the day after my extensive certification was complete. I didn’t give myself a window to lose confidence or run away from the situation. That was four years ago. Today, over 75% of the patients I treat have vestibular issues. Facing my fears allowed me to start helping hundreds of patients whose quality of life is severely affected by these problems. Receiving an enveloping bear hug from a patient who was previously unable to even stand straight without becoming nauseous is the only reminder I’ll ever need to know that facing your fears and embracing new things can lead to extraordinary outcomes. –Andrea McWhorter | 1

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Whether you want to generate some extra income during your retirement or just keep yourself busy, getting a part-time job can be a great way to spend your golden years. But why settle for just any opportunity when you could stay mentally and physically active and give back to the community? If that sounds like your ideal way to spend retirement, here are a few options to consider. PASS ALONG YOUR KNOWLEDGE AS A TEACHER. Many community colleges and community centers offer part-time teaching opportunities for those who want to share their field of expertise with others. Many of these positions don’t require a teaching degree or certificate — just a wealth of knowledge from your years in the workforce. Alternatively, if you want to help younger students with their academics, you could also work as a tutor or a teacher’s assistant at a local school. SHARE YOUR PASSION FOR SPORTS AS A COACH. Coaching can be a satisfying way to spend your retirement and support younger athletes. However, there are a few things to keep in mind if you want to be a coach. You might need to pass a background check, and you’ll probably need to know first aid as well. While the pay isn’t incredible, the time you’ll spend sharing your passion for sports with young people is more than worth it. Success Stories

GIVE BACK AS A PERSONAL CARE AIDE. If you’re looking for an opportunity to stay active and have a more direct impact on people’s lives, you can try being a personal care aide. Personal care aides help elderly and disabled people with everyday tasks, such as shopping, doing laundry, and bathing. Many people who require this assistance prefer older aides who can empathize with their struggles, so it’s a great job for recent retirees. Just because you’ve retired doesn’t mean you can no longer bring value to your community. With all the time you have on your hands, you could become one of your town’s most valuable assets.


No matter what stage of physical recovery you’re in, Vital Care prides itself on taking the time to understand your needs so we can best determine what course of action will be most effective for getting your life back to normal. Here’s what Jay S. had to say about his time spent with us: “I can’t thank Vital Care Physical Therapy enough for bringing me back to life. When I first came in, I was stumbling and using a cane. Now I can walk normally without a cane. Many thanks to Abby, Tim, and Andrea for their patience and perseverance. I’m glad I found Vital Care.”

–Jay S.

If you’re suffering from an injury, pain, or disability that you’re ready to improve, call Vital Care at (623) 544-0300. We’d love to help you get your life back.

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The vestibular system is made up of the parts of your inner ear and brain that contribute to controlling your balance and eye movements. If this system is compromised, it can result in an array of debilitating side effects that can hamper your ability to lead a healthy life. While some side effects may be alarming, they’re important to recognize as potential warning signs. VERTIGO If you experience any regular spinning or whirling sensations, or feel like the world around you is moving when it’s not, you’ve experienced vertigo. It can manifest while sitting still or standing, or may only occur when a certain movement is made. It’s often accompanied by lightheadedness, floating sensations, or the feeling of being heavily weighted or pulled in one direction. These sensations can also lead to nausea and vomiting. BALANCE Difficulty walking due to imbalance, stumbling, clumsiness, or poor coordination may mean your inner ear is acting up. You may have difficulty maintaining straight posture or need to constantly watch the ground while you walk to confirm its location. If you feel the need to grasp onto something while standing or sitting for fear of falling over, it could also mean your balance is out of alignment. This can lead to feelings of motion sickness as well. SENSES Severe changes in your vision or hearing could also point to vestibular distress. Your eyes may have trouble focusing on or tracking objects, or you might feel discomfort in heavy visual environments, like those with traffic or crowds. Other signs include sensitivity to light, difficulty seeing faraway objects, and poor depth perception. Loss of or fluctuations in your heering, heightened sensitivity to loud noises, or sudden loud noises increasing your vertigo symptoms are all aural symptoms that should be addressed. Not all these symptoms may be experienced by everyone with a vestibular disorder, and it can also manifest itself in other ways, like ear pain or headaches. If you think you might be suffering from a vestibular issue, call our office at (623) 544-0300 so we can help.


Inspired by Epicurious

A traditional New Year’s favorite in the South, Hoppin’ John includes black- eyes peas that are said to represent coins, a sign of prosperity for the coming year. It’s usually served alongside collard greens, which represent cash.


• 1 cup dried black-eyed peas • 5–6 cups water • 1 dried hot pepper, optional (arbol and Calabrian are great options)

• 1 smoked ham hock • 1 medium onion, diced • 1 cup long-grain white rice


1. Wash and sort peas. 2. In a saucepan, cover peas with water, discarding any that float. 3. Add pepper, ham hock, and onion. Gently boil and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until peas are just tender, about 90 minutes. At this point, you should have about 2 cups of liquid remaining. 4. Add rice, cover, drop heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes, undisturbed. 5. Remove from heat and let steam for an additional 10 minutes, still covered. 6. Remove lid, fluff with a fork, and serve. | 3


(623) 544-0300 Fax: (623) 544-0239

14545 W. Grand Ave., #108 Surprise, AZ 85374



The Power of Facing Your Fears PAGE 1

Stay Active During Your Golden Years Here’s What Our Clients Are Saying! PAGE 2

Hoppin’ John Recognizing the Symptoms of Vestibular Disorders PAGE 3

Real Winter Wonderlands PAGE 4


Chill Out in These Frosty Destinations

Snow is magical and gorgeous — unless you have to commute in it. If you want to enjoy all the wonder that winter has to offer without the hassle, why not turn it into a vacation? Here are a few breathtaking, snow-covered destinations that any winter lover can enjoy. BULGUKSA TEMPLE, SOUTH KOREA Above the city of Gyeongju, this ancient Buddhist temple has stood on the slopes of Tohamsan Mountain since the eighth century. Bulguksa, or “Temple of the Buddha Land,” is South Korea’s No. 1 UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it a popular attraction for domestic and international tourism. The crowds and school tours die down during the winter, however, which also happens to be when Bulguksa is at its most pristine. The iced-over lotus ponds and snow-dusted pagodas add to the sense of tranquility this site naturally exudes. THE DOLOMITES, SOUTH TYROL, ITALY If you want the feel of a ski trip to the Alps without the packed slopes and ritzy resorts, the Dolomites are just for you. Located in northeastern Italy, this stunning mountain range is home to some of the best skiing in Europe, as well as many historical sites. The secluded villages that dot

the mountain valleys are an attraction in their own right, especially for the rustic cuisine you’ll find there. Don’t expect pasta though. This region is a melting pot of flavors from Austria, northern Italy, and the local Ladin people. Ricotta and sauerkraut pancakes, anyone? THE ANTARCTIC This is the one entry on this list that is best enjoyed during the summer months, which is December–February in the Southern Hemisphere, because that’s when the freezing temperatures of the southernmost continent are at their most hospitable. The Antarctic has become an increasingly popular tourist destination, with cruises taking adventure seekers through the vast, untouched beauty of this far-flung destination. Some tourists even enjoy kayaking or cross-country skiing through this icy paradise.

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