ELITE Physical Therapy Lagniappe (318) 443-3311
Write It Down!
Plus 4 More Suggestions for Reaching Your Goals
Keep It Simple Most of our resolutions involve big, long- term aspirations, but starting with small goals is also a great place to start. One simple goal is committing to moving more. We see many people with musculoskeletal problems who would probably feel better if they just moved more. There are simple ways to get started, too. If you have a desk job, get up more. Set an alarm to move every hour. Spend five minutes walking around the office or stretching by your desk. Connect with a co-worker and go for a walk together on your lunch break. Posture awareness is important, too. Remind yourself, maybe through a visual reminder or alarm, to sit up straight and contract your abdomen and shoulder blade muscles so you aren’t slouching forward. It’s a small step, but that’s how you get big results. We hope you find these suggestions helpful as you are work toward your goals. Our team is here to help you do it, so reach out when you need that support.
It’s 2018, and somehow, another year has passed. Many of us make New Year’s resolutions with aspirations toward positive change. Unfortunately, nearly as many of us fail — only about 8 percent of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions. Is your goal focused on weight loss or getting more fit? Our team has some key steps to share with you that will help you achieve your goals and be successful. Write It Down Don’t just say what you’re going to do and expect it to happen. Spend some time making a plan. If your goal is focused on weight loss and nutrition, meet with a professional dietician or nutritionist. Together, you can make a plan that is realistic. Or, if you’re going to do some other diet plan, research it and see if the plan is something you can do. If your goals focus more on physical fitness, work with your physical therapist, doctor, or a personal trainer to make a plan. Of course, as they always say, check with your doctor first to make sure you don’t have any condition that would preclude you from starting an exercise program. Your physical therapist can evaluate you to check for weaknesses or imbalances that need to be addressed as part of your program. We can also make recommendations about footwear and other guidelines to help ensure you will be successful with your exercise program. Meanwhile, a personal trainer can work with you on a day-to-day
basis, keep you accountable, motivate you, and help adjust your program.
Keep Your Written Plans Visible Once you’ve written down your goals, keep them in sight! Put the paper somewhere you’ll see it every day — maybe on your bathroom mirror. Try finding pictures that represent your goals. Find a frame or board to put them on. If it’s visually appealing, you’ll be more motivated to look at it and follow through on the goals. exercise program and try to move forward too quickly. Often, they end up with some sort of injury. Work with your physical therapist to get an assessment of your abilities before starting an exercise plan. They will provide guidelines so you’ll know when it’s okay to push yourself and when you should rest. Stay Accountable Being accountable to yourself is a start, but goals are most successful when you make a plan and have accountability with another person. Accountability might be meeting your sister or friend every Wednesday to do a workout video together. It might be accountability to a trainer or with a group who work out together. What if you start a challenge in your office or with a group of people who have similar goals and can work together? Ease In We see plenty of people who get into an
Happy New Year from the Elite Physical Therapy team!
You can apply the same principles to weight loss.
Elite PT • (318) 443-3311 • 1
Make Reading a Family Resolution Want to See Better Report Cards in 2018?
Every parent wants to see their child do well in school, and there’s one fun activity that benefits students of all ages: reading. In a world with so much stimulation, however, it can be difficult to motivate kids to put down a screen and pick up a book. New Year’s resolutions are the perfect opportunity to make reading a priority. Here are a few tips to make 2018 the year your kids become bookworms. we’re guessing everyone in your household could stand to read a little more. You don’t have to read the same books or set identical goals, but it’s a lot more fun when everyone participates. Schedule weekly reading discussions so everyone can share the cool stories they’ve read. Stack your completed books Make It a Family Resolution There’s no better motivator than solidarity! Plus,
in your house somewhere as a monument to all the knowledge your family has gained.
and create lists of both completed and to-be- read books. Users also create reading lists based on topic, genre, decade, and more. With over 2 billion books added, you’ll never run out of inspiration. Biblionasium offers the same services, but it’s designed specifically for children. Talk to other parents and create a network of friends and classmates. After all, nothing is cooler to a kid than what their friends are doing. Avid readers tend to do better academically from kindergarten through college. In fact, a study from the Journal of Education and Practice found that reading comprehension predicted success in other subjects more than any other factor. If you want to see improved report cards, make a reading resolution for your entire household.
Set Reward Milestones Positive reinforcement will propel your kids to keep reading long after the calendars have turned. For a certain number of books completed or hours spent reading, offer them a prize. You can even create a big end goal to really cement those reading habits. Better yet, set a combined goal that the entire family can work toward. Don’t be afraid to pull out all the stops. If your kids know that reading one book per week through June means an extra-special summer vacation, their enthusiasm won’t wane come spring. Use Reading Apps Goodreads is a social network for bibliophiles. You can find recommendations, share ratings,
“I came into Elite Physical Therapy in tremendous pain and had difficulty walking more than 10–20 feet due to right hip and leg pain. They found spinal stenosis at three levels of my lumbar spine, along with L5-S1 facet pain. Wesley did a thorough assessment and found the weaknesses that were contributing to my pain. I admit the journey was hard, but with the help of the wonderful staff here, today, after about two months, I am able to function again as a registered nurse, and I’m able to enjoy an active lifestyle at home. I would recommend Elite PT to anyone. They make what seems impossible possible! Thank y’all for the help. I have also been able to lose 48 pounds (much more to go)! But I can and will succeed now, especially with Wesley and his staff’s hard work.” ––_–-Leah Lyn Fitzgerald
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Diagnostic Testing Is a Tool,
Not an Answer
It is human nature to want to know what causes our pain. When something doesn’t feel right, we want an answer. That’s why medicine has developed with technology to provide diagnostic testing. When we experience pain in our knees, shoulders, or back, we often have tests ordered to determine the cause. Diagnostic tests like X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans can play a very important role in finding out what’s wrong. However, these tests can have their weaknesses. They don’t always provide all the answers, and they can’t always tell us why we are having pain. A study conducted by a well-known orthopedic surgeon looked at the shoulders of pitchers with NO history of shoulder problems. It found nearly 90 percent of them had some cartilage or rotator cuff damage. But they had no pain. What was going on?
pain on that finding, but that is not always the case. There are at least 33 studies that looked at about 3,000 patients WITHOUT back pain. They show significant issues in the low back, such as degenerative changes, bulging, and ruptured discs, but they have no symptoms. The studies discovered that as we age, the findings are often worse, but they are still not a predictor of pain or disability. When you have a scan, X-ray, or other test, it can give us a good idea of what’s going on, but it doesn’t give us all the information we need. It’s important to look at your history and the symptoms you are experiencing to make sure those findings correlate with them. All of these issues need to be taken into account before making a decision. These situations occur all the time. A recent patient of ours was diagnosed with an ACL tear in her knee by an MRI. She had surgery recently and discovered she did not actually
even have an ACL tear. I had a friend several years ago who had an MRI on his back for an unrelated issue and was found to have a ruptured disc, but had no back or leg pain. Many times, these diagnostic findings can create a level of concern or fear in a person who doesn’t fully understand the ramifications. We all know these tests are vitally important in healthcare, but they are just one tool. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You might find it helpful to have additional conversations with your doctor and physical therapist to create a clearer understanding.
X-rays and MRI’s are not definitive tests. If somebody has back pain, and something is discovered on an MRI, it’s easy to blame the
Have A Laugh!
Slow Cooker Raspberry White Hot Chocolate
1 cup white chocolate chips
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups heavy cream, divided
4 tablespoons raspberry liqueur or syrup
3 cups milk (any variety will do)
Directions 1. In a slow cooker, combine white chocolate chips, condensed milk, 1 cup cream, and milk. Cover and heat on low about 2 hours. 2. In a large bowl, mix remaining 1 cup cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla.
3. Using a hand or stand mixer, whip until stiff peaks form. 4. Serve mugs of hot chocolate with about 1 tablespoon of raspberry liqueur or syrup to taste and a dollop of whipped cream.
Elite PT • (318) 443-3311 • 3
Recipe inspired by SlowCookerGourmet.net.
3446 Masonic Drive Alexandria, LA 71301 (318) 443-3311
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Inside THIS ISSUE
• Keep Your Weight-Loss Resolutions
• The Resolution That Leads to Better Grades
• Hear From One of Our Clients
• A Second Look at Your MRI
• Slow Cooker Raspberry White Hot Chocolate
• The Time Is Right for Nicaragua
Escape to Nicaragua
The Country That Has Something for Everyone
After the hectic holiday season, many of us feel like we need another vacation just to unwind. Luckily, January and February are two of the best months to travel. Flight prices plummet and crowds thin out after the Christmas rush. If you’re looking to escape the dreary winter weather, there’s no better place to visit this season than Nicaragua, the “Central American country that has it all,” as Condé Nast Traveler puts it. Whether you’re looking to explore the rainforests surrounding the Río San Juan or get lost in the quirky-yet-beautiful architecture of Granada, there’s something for everyone in this tropical wonderland.
of the most active volcanoes in the region. It only takes about an hour to scale its smoking, black gravel surface, and the verdant forests surrounding the peak are a sight to behold. Adventurous travelers can board down the side, reaching ludicrous speeds as they teeter and try not to fall. In fact, it’s almost impossible to travel anywhere in the country without seeing an “I boarded a volcano” T-shirt. If relaxing on a pearlescent beach is more your speed, take a short boat trip out to the Corn Islands. There, you can amble around the small towns bordering the shockingly blue Pacific, visit a number of laid-back seafood restaurants, get scuba certified for a fraction of the price anywhere else in the world, or just read your book as you swing in a hammock by the waves.
You can also visit the gorgeous, alabaster Our Lady of Grace Cathedral in “new” Léon. The biggest church in all of Central America, this unique Baroque and neoclassicist structure was built in 1814. Visitors can climb onto its roof (as long as they don’t wear shoes) and bask in the view of surrounding volcanoes (including Cerro Negro). If you’re planning on heading to Nicaragua, it’s best to do it soon. Neighbor Costa Rica often overflows with tourists, and instead of wading through the crowds there, many travelers are catching on to what Nicaragua has to offer.
One must-see destination is the Cerro Negro volcano. Just a baby at 150 years old, it’s one
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