Kinetic PT - February 2019


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I confess I can’t really remember the last time Emilie and I have gone out on Valentine’s Day. In fact, we’re both usually working here at the clinic when the 14th lands on a weekday. I don’t see this as a bad thing though. After all, physical therapy is what brought us together in the first place. As some of you may know, my wife and I met while studying at The Hogeschool Van Groningen in the Netherlands. The Dutch college had a highly respected manual therapy program, attracting many students from around the world. That’s how two Midwesterners met and fell in love half a world away from home. I was going into my second year at Van Groningen when Emilie arrived on campus. We started to bond inside and outside of class, and eventually, I asked her to a local restaurant I liked. The rest, as they say, is history. We both gave our respective parents panic attacks when the time came to call and tell them we’d each met somebody. Both were convinced we’d fallen for a Dutch person and wouldn’t be coming back to the States!

To our parents’ relief, we both returned to the U.S. eventually, but we still had time to explore Europe as we completed our studies. The best way I can describe living in the Netherlands is to ask you to imagine Seattle as a country. No matter what the weather is — rain, sleet, wind, or snow — people are riding their bikes. Most weekends, Emilie and I rode around town and window shopped (being poor college students). But I got her some locally grown tulips from time to time. On longer breaks, we ventured farther afield, even taking an extended trip to Prague. This not only gave us a better perspective of the world, but also of each other. There’s no better way to find out if you really and truly love a person than by traveling with them. You’re in such close proximity at all times, in good moments as well as the stressful ones. After all the bike rides, train travel, and less than sanitary youth hostels, we weren’t sick of each other. In fact, we became way closer than ever before. That’s

when I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. While our time in Europe taught us how to be close, returning to the States taught us to deal with distance. Emilie did her clinicals in Denver while I returned to Illinois, but we made it work. It helped that Emilie’s brother-in-law was a pilot who didn’t mind giving me an airlift for a visit every once in a while. On March 13, 2004, we married and set off on our next great adventure. Sometimes people ask me if it’s a challenge running a clinic as husband and wife. But honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Beyond being an exceptional physical therapist, an amazingly supportive partner, and a fantastic mother, Emilie is my best friend. There’s no one else I’d rather work alongside. So, regardless of whether we go out or end up working at the clinic, I can say with confidence it’s going to be a happy Valentine’s Day.

–Mike Ulmer | 1

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Irish poet Oscar Wilde once called memory “the diary that we all carry about with us.” Of course, in Wilde’s time, the average life expectancy was less than 50 years old. As modern medicine continues to enable people to live longer, these “diaries” tend to become muddled. Fortunately, there are ways to counteract the natural dulling of our memory that comes with time. PUZZLE YOURSELF Just like any other muscle, our brain needs a workout in order to stay strong. As Dr. Celeste Robb-Nicholson of Harvard Medical School writes, “Challenging your brain with mental exercise is believed to activate processes that help maintain individual brain cells.” Activities like solving puzzles, learning a musical instrument, or picking up a new hobby work wonders to keep your mind active and your memory sharp. These mental exercises are especially important after retirement, often to make up for the loss of stimulating challenges that work used to provide. GET PHYSICAL Taking care of our physical health has also been shown to help brain function. According to a study by Sydney University in

Australia, aerobic exercise is particularly good at jogging our memory. The researchers note that “aerobic exercise acts by preventing the usual decrease in neurogenesis associated with aging, thus resulting in greater retention of neural matter — particularly in the hippocampus.” In short, exercises like swimming and running keep the part of our brain responsible for memory from shrinking. SPEND TIME WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY Humans are social creatures. Many studies have shown that being a part of a supportive social group can significantly benefit our physical and mental health. In fact, the American Journal of Public Health reports that people who have daily contact with friends and family cut their risk of dementia and mental impairment almost in half. Our mental diaries may be longer and fuller than they were in Wilde’s day, but if we fill those pages with hobbies, exercise, and close friends, our memories will remain sharp and vivid for the rest of our days.

“After rotator cuff surgery, my right arm was basically useless. I now have almost no pain and am able to do all my daily activities. With Mike’s help, I am on my way to a summer of kayaking and swimming.” –Pamela Kampwert

“My range of motion in my neck greatly improved. Numbness on the left side of my face is gone, and the tingling in my right arm is minimal. My neck is greatly improved and feels more relaxed at rest. I learned that certain head positions can cause my neck issues and now avoid them. I have been to other PT locations in the past and can say this was my best experience to date.” –Richard Keller

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If you have shoulder pain, you know just how debilitating it can be. Simple acts like taking a book off the shelf or hugging a loved one can prove uncomfortable or impossible. Thankfully, most shoulder pain is treatable without the need for surgery or painkillers. If your shoulder gets injured in a traumatic event, such as a car accident or a bad fall, you should seek medical attention immediately. But for those aches that develop through repetitive stress or being too sedentary, there are a few steps you can take to address your pain. FIRST, REST. When pain first crops up, take a few days to rest your shoulder, avoiding any strenuous activity and applying ice for 15–20 minutes at a time to

control inflammation. If your pain allows, doing some mild pendulum exercises is a good idea to keep your shoulder from “freezing.” IDENTIFY YOUR PAIN. Shoulder pain can stem from a variety of sources, from rotator cuff injuries to arthritis. To find the best way to care for your shoulder, visit a physical therapy clinic that can evaluate your symptoms and address the source of your pain. Our expert team will work to understand your pain and give you recommendations on exercises you can do to play an active role in your recovery. EXERCISE. Often, the best way to heal your shoulder and retain your range of motion is to exercise. Most of the rehabilitative

stretches and workouts can be done at home using little

Sudoku more than resistance bands and your own door frame. However, depending on your condition, some stretches and routines may do more harm than good. That’s why it’s important to work with your physical therapist beforehand to find the right exercises for your condition before you begin. With spring right around the corner, it’s time to work out those aches and pains before the warm weather arrives! If you’ve been living with shoulder pain, or any other bodily discomfort, we’d be happy to perform a free screening here at the clinic. We love how active our community is, and we want to do our part to keep it that way!


INGREDIENTS • 6 egg yolks • 3 tablespoons sugar • 1 pound mascarpone cheese • 1 1/2 cups strong espresso, cooled

• 2 teaspoons dark rum • 24 packaged ladyfingers • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate shavings, for garnish

DIRECTIONS 1. In a large mixing bowl, use a whisk to beat together egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. 2. Add mascarpone cheese and beat until smooth. 3. Fold in 1 tablespoon of espresso. 4. In a small, shallow dish, combine remaining espresso with rum. Dip each ladyfinger into mixture for 5 seconds. Place soaked ladyfingers at the bottom of a walled baking dish. 5. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture on top of the first layer of ladyfingers. Top with another layer of ladyfingers and another layer of mascarpone. 6. Cover and refrigerate 2–8 hours. 7. Remove from fridge, sprinkle with chocolate shavings, and serve. | 3



11920 Oak Creek Parkway Huntley, IL 60142

INSIDE A Valentine’s Note From Mike PAGE 1

3 Ways to Improve Your Memory PAGE 2

My PT Story PAGE 2

What Can You Do About Shoulder Pain? PAGE 3

Tiramisu PAGE 3

Prepare for an Adventure in Lapland PAGE 4

If you’re eager for a new adventure in 2019, you’ll surely find it in Swedish Lapland. With trail systems that take you into the Arctic Circle, the northernmost region of Sweden is home to national parks, glaciers, reindeer, the beguiling midnight sun, and spectacular night skies. Though winters are cold, one benefit of traveling to the region in this season is to catch a glimpse of the night sky. The northern lights are visible from a few remote locations like Abisko National Park, one of the first established national parks in Sweden. Traveling to Abisko is an adventure in and of itself. From Stockholm, the fastest option is to take one of only two airlines that fly into Kiruna, then travel by train to Abisko. Despite the challenge of getting there, adventure-seeking visitors from around the world arrive each winter to experience the Arctic beauty. Winter attractions include ice skating, snowshoeing, and the Scandinavian sauna (this last one is a must any time of the year). Befriend a Scandinavian and you might be treated to some pickled herring or even a princess cake, a raspberry-filled dessert covered in marzipan.

Scandinavians cherish their public lands, and the trail systems are well taken care of. Hikers can enjoy the stunning beauty in both late spring and summer. Because of its far-north location, Swedish Lapland receives close to 24 hours of sunlight from June through early August. Between the boulder fields, mountains, and stunning glacial lakes, hiking here is a treat. While hiking, you may spot reindeer herds or lemmings (a small rodent similar to a hamster) racing around rocks. The Sami people have herded reindeer for thousands of years through this very land. In the summer, keep an eye out for blueberries, lingonberries, and the brightly colored cloudberries. Because of the Arctic climate, weather conditions can change quickly from sunshine to rain and heavy fog, so it’s best to dress in layers and bring wind and rain protection if you plan to venture into the backcountry. The fantastic scenery of Swedish Lapland awaits you, no matter when you decide to take your trip. What are you waiting for?

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