Focus PT September 2018

Focus Physical Therapy Monthly 949.709.8770 School’s In A LOOK BACK AT MY DAYS IN CLASS

September 2018

September is back-to-school season, and as my son, Kaden, heads into his first year of high school, and my daughter, Macy, enters her first year of junior high, there are a lot of changes happening at home. For three years, my wife has been home- schooling them for a chunk of each week, so now that they’re off to school full time, it’s a whole new world for all three of them. Luckily, everyone’s excited: My wife is looking forward to taking some time for herself and catching up on things she’d put off over the last three years, and the kids are thrilled to be able to spend more time in class with many of the friends they’ve made from past sports and extracurriculars. Of course, it’s already proving to be an adjustment, but I’m proud of how the kids have confidently stepped into the daunting high school and junior high spheres, ready for challenging new levels of accountability and difficulty. Growing up, I never had much of a problem when the summer ended, as I was eager to get back to my buddies and sports. But, like many people my age, looking back, I cringe at how lazy I was before I shipped off to college. I did fine; it wasn’t as if I was flunking out or anything, but I never pushed to realize my full potential. Instead, I was content to let everything come a little easy, skirting by under the radar. During my junior year in high school, I took one of those vocational placement tests, which put a future as a physical therapist in my top ten options. Back then, I had no idea what physical therapy even was, but after a little research, I realized it would be the perfect fit for me. After I shadowed a couple of physical therapists for school, my path was pretty much locked in — although, if I had continued to just do the bare minimum in class, I’m pretty sure I never could have made it in the field. Still, I liked school. It probably won’t surprise people who know me well to hear my favorite subject was math. While it may not be the most obvious parallel, I think the granular problem-solving that you do in geometry and algebra translates pretty clearly to the

kind of detective work I do today as a physical therapist. English class, however, never sat too well

with me. Writing short stories and explicating novels that

bored me to death at the time weren’t my top activities as a kid, and as a result, I pulled a D+ in English my freshman year, the worst grade I ever got in school. Fortunately, I’ve come around and don’t dislike writing anymore. My hope is that Kaden doesn’t have that experience. I think he’s a little more driven than I was back then. When it came to crunch time, I got some help from my parents, took out a few small student loans, and made my way to higher education. Something finally clicked. Maybe it was the fact that I was ultimately responsible for myself and paying a good chunk for my own education. Or maybe it was my realization that getting into a physical therapy program was a pretty competitive business, and I would need to step it up if I was going to pursue the career of my dreams. In my first semester of college, I pulled grades just shy of a 4.0 and began dedicating myself fully to my studies. It took a lot of hard work, but I got into PT school after my undergraduate, and the rest is history. Kaden and Macy aren’t as weird as I was in junior high; they don’t have their career path mapped out so far in advance. But as they dive into full-time classes, I’ll be curious to see how their interests and passions evolve. It’s a brand-new chapter for each of us, and I’m excited to see how it all turns out.

-Julian Manrique

Focus Physical Therapy • Call 949.709.8770 • 1

Avoid Neck Pain While Driving Easy Rider

Stay in the Clear A dirty windshield can be just as bad as poorly adjusted mirrors. Having to lean forward to see when sun and dust cut your visibility causes stress as your neck muscles accommodate. In general, poor vision is a consistent source of these sorts of aches and pains, so it’s a good idea to ensure you have the right pair of glasses (including shades) every time you drive. Let off the Gas Normally, good sitting posture entails having both feet firmly planted on the floor. Drivers don’t typically have that option unless they literally put the pedal to the metal. During long drives on the highway, cruise control is a great option to give your feet a welcome rest. Otherwise, pull over to take a break and stretch your legs if you feel your neck beginning to tense up. There are also preventative measures you can take to avoid pain and discomfort before your next road trip or traffic jam. If you find yourself haunted by chronic neck, back, or shoulder pain no matter how long you drive, it may be time to contact a trusted physical therapist. These may be signs of more serious issues, but physical therapy can help you live and drive pain-free again.

Long commutes will always be a pain in the neck, but the discomfort doesn’t have to be literal. Developing stiffness or soreness in your upper back and neck is all too common in the driver’s seat. It’s annoying at the time, and repeated incidents can lead to more chronic problems down the road. Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can take to prevent this pain from developing behind the wheel. Make Adjustments If you frequently experience neck pain while driving, the position of your seat and mirrors may be the issue. Ideally, you want the back of your driver’s seat to be almost straight, at about a 100-degree angle to the seat. If you find yourself leaning forward to reach the steering wheel from this position, shift the whole seat forward. In older cars without built-in lower back support, it’s a good idea to slide a small pillow between your back and the lower part of the seat. After you have your sitting position figured out, make the necessary adjustments to your mirrors. You should be able to glance at each with minimal head movement. Constantly bobbing or craning your neck to see what’s behind you is a surefire way to develop neck and shoulder pain.


“I came to Focus for terrible neck pain and spasms. I was so worried not knowing why this was happening to me, especially since all of my reports were normal.

“Julian started working on my neck after a detailed evaluation of my condition. After two sessions, everything started loosening up, and today, after four weeks of physical therapy, I am completely pain- and spasm-free. I feel so great that I feel like I have a totally new life. I am very thankful to Julian and all his wonderful, talented staff. Best place to come to put your life back on track. PAIN-FREE!” -Sujata Vashi


• Focus Physical Therapy •

Get Back on Your Feet

Physical Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis

From the outside, the human foot may not look like much, but it’s a fascinating piece of human anatomy. Wrapped in an interlacing network of muscles, ligaments, and tendons, it’s a sturdy yet surprisingly mobile component of your body. Healthy feet are also a lot more essential to your quality of life than you probably realize — that is, until your feet start to hurt all the time and you’re forced to the sidelines of life by injury. There are a number of injuries that plague feet across the world, but by far the most common is a condition called plantar fasciitis, which affects as many as 2 million Americans each year. You’ve probably heard how important the arches of your feet are, so it makes sense that the thick band of tissue supporting that arch — called the plantar fascia — is absolutely vital. But if you are on your feet all day for work or sports, wear the wrong shoes, suddenly increase your activity levels, neglect your regular stretching routine, gain a lot of weight, or simply have poor foot genetics, that band can become irritated and inflamed. As a result, persistent, nagging pain sets in, usually toward your heel. This pain can range from mild to utterly debilitating and is usually at its worst when you first get up in the morning or when you stand

up after a long period spent sitting. However plantar fasciitis manifests, it can become a constant weight on the back of

your mind, forcing you to become sedentary, which can then cause a cascade of additional problems down the road. So, it’s important to address it as soon as your heel begins to hurt. At Focus Physical Therapy, we have a comprehensive program to treat your plantar fasciitis and get you back to a pain-free life. After pinpointing the cause and location of your pain, we’ll guide you through an exercise and stretching program at our clinic and equip you with exercises to perform at home to steadily diminish simptoms of the condition. After a few weeks, most patients report little to no pain at all in their heels, and are free to return to doing the things they love! If your aching feet are always on your mind, don’t just accept it as a fact of life. Give us a call at 949.709.8770 and eliminate your pain before it gets even worse!



When it comes to eating paleo, side dishes are almost always a bigger challenge than mains. If you’re in need of a flavorful vegetable dish, check out this recipe for spicy, savory cauliflower.


• 1 clove garlic, minced • 2 tablespoons water • Chopped fresh basil, to garnish

• 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets • 2 tablespoons coconut oil • 1 teaspoon turmeric • 1/2 teaspoon cumin • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper


1. Heat oven to 400 F. 2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together coconut oil, spices, garlic, and water.

3. Lay cauliflower across a large baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, and top with mixture. 4. Roast for 30 minutes, garnish with basil, and serve.

Focus Physical Therapy • Call 949.709.8770 • 3

30212 Tomas #120 Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688, USA





Back to School With Julian Manrique 3 Steps to Staying Pain-Free in the Car Success Story Comprehensive Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis



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Roasted Turmeric Cauliflower


It’s been a long, often inconvenient process. We’re so grateful that our wonderful patients have stuck by our side and been, well, patient! We’re confident that when you take a look at the new space, you’ll agree that it was well worth the wait. We’re thrilled about our fantastic new quality-of-life boosts around the clinic, and we want to share our excitement with you. That’s why we’re inviting everyone to our free open house on September 28 at 6 p.m.! It’s going to be a blast, with a taco truck offering delicious food to all attendees, a bunch of fun PT-related games to participate in, and a chance for our therapists and patients to connect outside normal clinic hours. If you’re planning on attending this exciting event, all we ask is that you give us a call to RSVP at 949.709.8770 by September 18. Come get some free food, have some fun, and see all the new things the team at Focus Physical Therapy has to offer! Hope to see you there!

Over the past nine months, the Focus Physical Therapy clinic has had quite a face-lift. We’ve nearly doubled in size, absorbing the suite next to ours and combining it into a single, much larger space. We’ve added all kinds of little upgrades all over the clinic: spacious new individual treatment rooms, a fresh coat of paint, and fancy new flooring. The entire expansion and remodel have resulted in a massive boost to the Focus Physical Therapy atmosphere, allowing us to serve our patients even better than before. SEPTEMBER 28 AT 6 P.M. s

Let’s taco ‘bout physical therapy!


• Focus Physical Therapy •

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