Vital Care PT - January 2019




(623) 544-0300

A F resh S tart vs . a P ainful O bligation HOW TO FOSTER A POSITIVE PERSPECTIVE IN 2019

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. When you’re dealing with new or recurring pain, the idea of having to start over often leads to frustration, and this is perfectly understandable. The new year offers people something that is truly great: the psychology of a fresh start. After millions of people count down to midnight on the eve of 2019, they get a burst of motivation the next morning, the urge to set a bunch of resolutions, and an overall positive change in perspective. For me, this month is particularly noteworthy because I will have just finished celebrating 22 wonderful years of marriage with my husband at the end of December, and I will celebrate my 44th birthday at the end of January. While New Year’s celebrations tend to foster positivity, for patients who have recently suffered an injury, have been in an accident, or had surgery, the idea of a fresh start morphs into the obligation of having to start over.

“While New Year’s celebrations tend to foster positivity, for patients who have recently suffered an injury, have been in an accident, or had surgery, the idea of a fresh start morphs into the obligation of having to start over.” season, for example, patients experience pain more frequently due to completing tasks they don’t ordinarily take on during the rest of the year, such as putting up and taking down twinkly lights, reaching for heavy storage bins, and hunching over to wrap presents. These activities result in new injuries or cause past injuries to act up, which isn’t a fun way to start off the new year. My team and I work to redirect patients’ feelings of frustration with proper goal-setting strategies and an emphasis on individual interests. We start by coming up with an end goal and then defining smaller goals to help get us there. If a client wants to be able to go on a five-minute walk around their neighborhood, we make goals for two minutes and then three, creating tasks to help them achieve their ambition. We constantly take measurements to quantify progress. This helps maintain the motivation needed to reach the end goal. It is my team’s job to help curb that frustration and realign patients’ perspectives regarding their physical therapy journey. During the holiday

Next, we spend ample time figuring out each patient’s interests and try to find some way to incorporate them into his or her therapy exercises. For example, I treat many people who are huge sports buffs. If a guy tells me that he loves to golf, I’ll come up with exercises that center around the movements associated with his golf swing or putting stance. I remember two patients in particular who truly excelled once we incorporated their interests into their rehabilitation. One man, who suffered from stiffness, imbalance, and tremors due to his Parkinson’s diagnosis, told me that he loved baseball. I gave him a pool noodle and tossed a ball so he could swing away. The other man, a stroke survivor, wasn’t necessarily a sports lover, but he was a huge Star Wars fanatic. We would each take a pool noodle, pretend they were lightsabers, and joust back and forth. While these tactics helped make the process more motivating for the patients, I have to admit that I love them for my own selfish reasons — playing baseball and fighting Star Wars-style makes my job so fun! As life slows back down from the chaos that surrounds the holiday season, you might notice that your back hurts from all the movement. Try to avoid viewing this recurring pain as an obligation to start over. Instead, come see us for a “tune up” so we can integrate some fun exercises into your recovery and set practical goals to help you enjoy 2019 the way you want.

–Andrea McWhorter | 1

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3 W ives ’ T ales P roven T rue MOM REALLY DOES KNOW BEST

“Make a face like that, and it’ll stay that way forever.” You may have heard something like this from Mom’s book of wisdom. Maybe you never disputed the idea that mother knows best. But as you grew up, it slowly became clear that hair doesn’t grow back faster and thicker if you shave it, cracking your knuckles doesn’t cause arthritis, and gum doesn’t stay in your stomach for months after you swallow it. After a whirlwind of wives’ tales over the years, many common claims have been put under scrutiny. Wives tales have been known as pseudoscience and blind intuition, but even as many were disproved, some surprisingly proved to hold weight. Here are three wives’ tales that have proven to be true. GARLIC CURES COLDS For decades, moms have professed the healing properties of garlic, suggesting it can cure colds and help the body fight sickness. It turns out they were absolutely right. Garlic has antiviral properties that strengthen the immune system and nutrients that help combat illnesses. The effects of garlic can actually be more effective than over-the-counter flu medications. Some studies show that regular consumption of raw garlic lessens the likelihood of getting a cold,

so if you feel a tickle in your throat, try a clove before you open the medicine cabinet.

HEARTBURN MEANS A HAIRY BABY It’s hard to list wives’ tales without bringing up one about pregnancy. Many are solely based in intuition, but a few that sound odd have proven to be true. In 2007, a study done by Johns Hopkins attempted to debunk the myth that heartburn during pregnancy would mean a hairy baby at birth. Instead of proving it wrong, they found that 82 percent of women with severe heartburn during pregnancy gave birth to hairy babies. Turns out the hormones that cause heartburn in pregnant women also affect fetal hair growth. JOINT PAIN PREDICTS THE WEATHER Did you ever look at your mom with skepticism when she would predict rain because her knees hurt? If so, you might owe your mom an apology, because there is a scientific connection. The drop in barometric pressure that’s common during storm weather causes pain in arthritic joints.


I feel so fortunate to have received my therapy treatment at Vital Care. The staff listened to my shoulder pain and worked according to what I needed. I am so much better and my shoulder is responding very well to therapy. This is a really great facility. Thank you for all of your help. – Bonnie R.

All of your staff helped me after right hip surgery to become stronger and be able to return to work. Everyone was friendly and helpful in my rehabilitation. Thank all of you so much and God bless your healing hands. – Mikel B.

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Sit on a chair that has been placed against a wall to prevent slipping. Interlace your fingers, and reach forward with your arms. With your feet slightly apart and your hips at the edge of the seat, lift your hips up from the seat to stand.

Slowly return to sitting.

Repetition: 10 times



• •

Stand in front of a counter. Place your feet one in front of the other in a line so that the heel of the front foot touches the toes of the back foot. Try to keep standing without holding on.

Repetition: 3–5 times, holding each for 10–60 seconds

C hicken C hop S uey


• 2 large or 4 medium chicken thighs • 3 pounds bok choy, cut into 3–4-inch ribbons • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce

• 2 teaspoons sugar • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with 4 tablespoons water • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil • Salt and pepper, to taste



• •

Stand in front of a counter. Lift one leg off the ground to stand on one foot. Try to keep standing without holding on.


1. In large pot, boil three cups of water. Add chicken and reduce to simmer, cooking for 30 minutes. Remove chicken and let cool. Once cooled, remove skin and bones, chop, and set aside. Reserve the cooking liquid. 2. In a large skillet over high heat, heat vegetable oil. Once simmering, add bok choy and cook for 1 minute, stirring throughout. Add half of reserved cooking liquid, cover skillet, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove cover and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Transfer bok choy to a plate. 3. Add remaining cooking liquid and chicken to the pan, maintaining high heat. Heat chicken, then add oyster sauce, sugar, cornstarch-and-water mixture, sesame oil, and bok choy. Season to taste, toss together, and serve over rice.

Repetition: 10 times, holding each for 10 seconds

Speak with your doctor before performing these exercises. Perform at your own risk; Vital

Care Physical Therapy is not responsible for any injuries sustained during the performance of these exercises.

Inspired by The New York Times | 3


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

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


How to Foster a Positive Perspective in 2019 PAGE 1

3 Wives’ Tales That Are True

Success Stories PAGE 2

Chicken Chop Suey

3 Exercises to Improve Your Balance From Home PAGE 3 What Happens to Military Service Dogs? PAGE 4


Reuniting Brothers in Arms

There are around 2,500 military working dogs currently in service, and their efforts help save the lives of countless soldiers and civilians every day. One of these brave military dogs is Sgt. Fieldy, an 11-year-old black lab who was trained to locate the No. 1 threat in Afghanistan: IEDs. Sgt. Fieldy was deployed to Afghanistan with his handler, Cpl. Nicolas Caceres, in 2011. Early in their deployment, their vehicle struck a pressure plate while they were on patrol. Fieldy and Caceres were all right, but one of the other Marines in their company was badly injured in the explosion. The injured Marine could not be evacuated by helicopter until the landing zone was secured. Fieldy found another IED in the area and alerted Caceres. The bomb was quickly disarmed, and the injured soldier was taken to safety. This wasn’t the only IED Fieldy found. His sharp nose and dedication helped save thousands of lives. After his deployment, Caceres returned home, but Sgt. Fieldy served several more tours without him. While Fieldy continued to protect soldiers and civilians by tracking down IEDs, Caceres worked tirelessly to make sure he could bring Fieldy home when his service was over. Military working dogs can be adopted by former handlers, law enforcement, or qualified civilians when they retire. After three years apart and a total of four tours served, Sgt. Fieldy was reunited with Caceres. In 2016, Fieldy received the K9 Medel of Courage Award, and in 2018, he won the American Humane Hero Dog Award for his service.

“These dogs are out there with us,” said Caceres when he and Fieldy accepted the Hero Dog Award. “The dangers we face, they face them too. They deserve to be recognized. We ask so much of them, and all they want is to get petted or play with a toy. They’re amazing animals, and Fieldy is just an amazing dog. I can’t begin to express the gratitude I have for him.” If you are interested in supporting our nation’s working dogs or would like to adopt a retired working dog yourself, you can learn more at .

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