Body Gears_The August Issue



NEWSLETTER The Newsletter About Your Health And Caring For Your Body

Physical TherapyYourFirst PortofCall

To keep your body in tip-top shape for the summer, it’s important to have trusted healthcare providers. It’s even better to find a provider who can get treatment started in the same visit as the assessment while also being able to recognize when a specialist or further investigation is needed. Read this month’s newsletter to learn how physical therapists can be your source of primary care.

INSIDE: •What Do Physical Therapists Know? • 3 Free Screens With

Unexpected Endings Just One Moderate Risk Factor • Staff Spotlight • Exercise of The Month



NEWSLETTER The Newsletter About Your Health And Caring For Your Body


Physical therapists are often pigeonholed as providing only stretching and strengthening exercises. As Doctors of Physical Therapy who have passed a national licensing exam, we can tell you it’s a whole lot more than that. The physical therapists you see in stroke units, pediatric clinics, the ICU, and your neighborhood Body Gears clinic all received the same fundamental education in their 3-year postgraduate program. In fact, with a bit of brush-up work, a physical therapist can switch between any of these settings at any time in his or her career. What this means is, physical therapists have an in-depth knowledge of the major body systems with a focus on the musculoskeletal system. Some examples of conditions physical everything.” Some areas of the body that when overlooked, we find success in treating are the tailbone (where nervous system connective tissue and core muscles attach), the innominate/sacrum at the sacroiliac joint (SIJ), dural tension (part of the connective tissue that surrounds the brain and spinal cord that can become restricted) or neural tension (peripheral nerves getting adhered), and the viscera (the mobility of the internal organs). Next time you’re nagged by that chronic pain you decided to live with or a friend mentions some weird new symptoms they’re unsure about, get an appointment scheduled and get back to being worry-free. What DoPhysical Therapists Know? therapists don’t treat but are able to identify red flags for are blood clots, tumors, fractures, serious spinal cord pathology, and venous or arterial insufficiency. If any of these are suspected, your physical therapist will refer you to the appropriate medical provider. Some examples of conditions you might not know physical therapists can both identify and treat are pelvic organ prolapse, muscle/ tendon ruptures, ligament tears, meniscus/ labrum tears, incontinence, plantar fasciitis, and vestibular dysfunction. What do Body Gears Therapists Know? At Body Gears, we see a lot of patients who haven’t had any luck elsewhere. We hear a lot of, “You’re my last hope” and “I’ve tried


3 Free Screens With Unexpected Endings Just OneModerate Risk Factor

Avoiding A Wait-Time Black Hole A55-yearold legalsecretaryhadbeendealingwith left shoulder pain for over a year. She had seen an orthopedic surgeon who diagnosed her with adhesivecapsulitis (frozenshoulder),andshehad made an appointment to see another specialist but could not get in for another month. She was desperate for reliefandhopeda freescreencould give her guidance. Within 15 minutes, objective testing found a low likelihood of adhesive capsulitis - she had a full but painful range of motion and positive testing forexternalshoulder impingement.Her treatment started the next day. A study performed by Merritt Hawkins found the average wait time for appointments with physicians can range from 18-24 days in most major cities. Within 6 treatment sessions over 3 weeks, this patient was discharged with no pain and fully restored function. The time it took her to recover from her injury with physical therapy was less than the time it would have taken her to see the orthopedic specialist. Additionally, the cost to see another orthopedic specialist, includingexaminationandx-rays,would haveexceeded thefullcostofherphysical therapy evaluation and treatment. Without the option for her to see a physical therapist immediately, she may have spent more time in pain and more unnecessary health care dollars.

® Have All The Right Connections A 22-year-old runner and had just moved from Florida and not had a physical for over 5 years. She had left hip pain with running, walking and sometimes standing. Objective evaluation reproduced her hip pain during the hop test but special tests for labral pathology were negative. “20% of all injuries treated in sports medicine clinics” are stress fractures, and “the failure to identify and properly manage stress fractures can lead to complications such as progression to complete fracture, malunion or nonunion, chronicpain,prolongedrecovery,and/ordisability” according to an article by Chen, Tenforde and Fredericson.Theauthorsof thestudyrecommend that females diagnosed with stress fractures should be thoroughly evaluated for metabolic disorders, thyroid dysfunction, and eating disorders. Suspectedofhavingafemoralneckstressfracture, the patient was referred to one of our favorite primary care physicians who were able to see herwithin3days.Upon follow-upwith thepatient, she reported that after an x-ray confirmed the stress fracture, she was placed on Vitamin D supplements and would wait 6-8 weeks before returningto impactactivities.Later,shereturnedto physical therapyonaself-paybasis toassistwith strengthening and starting a return to a running program. In this case, the patient used physical therapy as an avenue into the often messy medical system to get the care she needed. Don’t delay! Schedule your Free Screen on our websiteorbyemail today!

Just One Moderate Risk Factor A 28-year-old female enters the clinic with complaintsof leftcalfpainofsuddenonset.She’s an active individual, exercising 4-5 times a week, and walks daily to work. She has nothing significant in her medical history and is only taking oral contraceptives as medication. She drinks socially and does not smoke. Upon inspection, her left calf is red and sore to the touch. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has published an Evidence-Based Clinical PracticeGuideline,stating “nomatter thepractice setting,physical therapistsworkwithpatientswho are at risk or have a history of VTE.” The article states that “Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is the formation of a blood clot in a deep vein that can lead to complications…with an incidence of 10% to 30% of people dying within 1 month of diagnosis,andhalfof thosediagnosedwithaVTE have long-term complications.” AccordingtoAPTA’sClinicalPracticeGuideline,the patientonlyhadonemoderate risk factor forVTE. Nonetheless, with obvious signs and symptoms and no mechanism of injury, she was referred to Immediate Care. Upon follow-up the next day, it was confirmed through ultrasound diagnostic testing that a VTE waspresent,andshewasplacedonanticoagulant medication.Thispatientsoughtmedicalassistance forherproblemviatheeasiestandmostaccessible avenue -physical therapy -and itpotentiallysaved her life.

Exercise of theMonth Try this exercise to reintroducemovement to a sore back or neck

Staff Spotlight

Dr. Elizabeth Racioppi, PT, DPT, Physical Therapist

ElizabethearnedherDoctorofPhysicalTherapy andBachelorofScience inKinesiologydegrees from the University of Southern California in LosAngeles,CA.Elizabeth isaWomen’sHealth Specialist able to help women with a variety of pelvic health issues as well as pre- and postpartumneeds.She isalsoaCrossFitLevel 1Traineranda passionateCrossFitterherself.

Certifications and Training • Doctor of Physical Therapy • Licensed Physical Therapist by the State of Illinois • APTA/IPTA Member • Women’s Health Therapist • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer • Lincoln Park Clinic Manager

Rotation Series

Start from your elbow and your knees to ensure you’re using the correct muscles. First, press down through your elbow until your shoulder is directly over it and you feel muscles in your armpit (serratus anterior) engage. Next, lift the pelvis towards the ceiling without the shoulder coming to the inside of the elbow. Hold for 30 seconds or as long as you’re able to keep those armpit muscles engaged, 3 times. Be sure to keep your head neutral in line with the rest of your spine and make sure you aren’t rotated forwards or backward.

University of Southern California • Doctorate in Physical Therapy, 2012 • Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, 2008

Request AComplimentary Screening


Schedule Your FreeDiscovery Session | 877-709-1090 VISITOURWEBSITEORGIVEUS ACALL: Whether you’re recovering from an injury, training for a competition, or you’re striving for better health, wellness and freedom of movement, Body Gears can help you achieve your optimum self. This 20-minute appointment will allow you to meet a physical therapist, share your story, and complete a mini-assessment. The purpose of this screening is to answer two questions: 1. Which techniques will help you change your story? 2. How can Body Gears help you achieve your functional goals? Our physical therapists will be able to quickly provide you the information you need to take the next step. We hope it's with us!

START THE SCHOOL DAY RIGHT! • School backpacks come in different sizes for different ages. Choose the right size pack for your child as well as one with enough room for necessary school items. • Only put items in your backpack that you need for the day. Backpack Strategies for Parents and Students Aching backs and shoulders? Tingling arms? Weakened muscles? Stooped posture? Does your child have these symptoms after wearing a heavy school backpack? Carrying too much weight in a pack or wearing it the wrong way can lead to pain and strain. Parents can take steps to help children load and wear backpacks the correct way to avoid health problems. Loading the backpack: • A child’s backpack should weigh no more than about 10% of his or her body weight. This means a student weighing 100 pounds shouldn’t wear a loaded school backpack heavier than about 10 pounds. • Load heaviest items closest to the child’s back (the back of the pack). • Arrange books and materials so they won’t slide around in the backpack. • Check what your child carries to school and brings home. Make sure the items are necessary for the day’s activities. • If the backpack is too heavy or tightly packed, your child can hand carry a book or other item outside the pack. • If the backpack is too heavy on a regular basis, consider using a book bag on wheels if your child’s school allows it. Wearing the backpack: • Distribute weight evenly by using both straps. Wearing a pack slung over one shoulder can cause a child to lean to one side, curving the spine and causing pain or discomfort. • Select a pack with well-padded shoulder straps. Shoulders and necks have many blood vessels and nerves that can cause pain and tingling in the neck, arms, and hands when too much pressure is applied. • Adjust the shoulder straps so that the pack fits snugly on the child’s back. A pack that hangs loosely from the back can pull the child backwards and strain muscles. • Wear the waist belt if the backpack has one. This helps distribute the pack’s weight more evenly. • The bottom of the pack should rest in the curve of the lower back. It should never rest more than four inches below the child’s waistline. BACKPACK SAFETY



INGREDIENTS • 1 large slice sweet potato ( ¼ inch thick) • ⅓ cup cooked spinach

DIRECTIONS Toast sweet potato in a toaster or toaster oven until just cooked through and starting to brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Top with spinach, egg, chives and hot sauce.

• 1 large egg, fried or poached • ½ teaspoon sliced fresh chives • ½ teaspoon hot sauce

CALLING PHYSICAL THERAPY STRETCHING AND STRENGTHENING IS LIKE CALLING ITALIAN FOOD PIZZA AND MEATBALLS. Maybe you can relate. Do your friends and family not fully understand what your job is?

Mary McMillan is regarded as the American Mother of Physical Therapy after returning from her training in England to practice at the Walter Reid Army Hospital in the 1920’s2. Since the British Chartered Society of Physiotherapy was founded by four nurses2, physical therapy’s roots are in working alongside physicians and that continues to be the case to this day. Physical therapy as we know it today really took off in 1916 during the polio outbreak and World War I with the first research study published in 1921 in the US1. Exercise, massage, and traction were the primary methods of treatment until joint manual therapy came into practice in the early 1950s, especially in the British Commonwealth countries1. Manual therapy was first introduced to the physical therapy community through one of the original osteopathic students, the Scottish physician J. Martin Littlejohn, who in the 1920s offered a two-year course in London to become a manipulative specialist1. Since that time, physical therapists have made significant contributions to the field of manual therapy, with notable names such as McKenzie and Maitland, shaping the therapy you experience today. Why Physical Therapy? With such a rich international history, physical therapy can’t be isolated to one style or approach. Many therapists will incorporate multiple approaches into their practice which means your treatment is completely customized based on your condition, preferences, and goals. With a multitude of techniques (stretching and beyond!) at our disposal, physical therapy is the most comprehensive solution you can get for restoring pain-free movement and function. You’re always welcome to put our expertise to the test with a complimentary screen of your current condition. To get your questions answered, discover the real root of the problem, and find an effective solution, simply fill out the request form on our website or email

For physical therapists, it can be frustrating to have your profession constantly reduced to two basic interventions. It takes three years of post-graduate education to become a Doctor of Physical Therapy. A university would be hard-pressed to create a three-year curriculum composed entirely of teaching stretching and strengthening exercises. There are two major reasons for the misconceptions about the physical therapy profession: 1) The majority of advertising and promotional material you likely see involves stretching and strengthening exercises because they’re easy and universally applicable content to produce, and 2) The practice of physical therapy varies wildly from clinic to clinic and even therapist to therapist with “best-practice” sometimes heatedly debated. While we only have ourselves to blame for the public’s limited understanding of what it is we do, it means we have the power to do something about it. At Body Gears, we strive to stay ahead of the curve and be leaders in our profession. That starts with promoting accurate information about the nature of physical therapy practice. How Did Physical Therapy Start? Physical therapy as a concept can be traced back to Hippocrates in 435 BC when he advocated for manual therapy, hydrotherapy, and massage for treating patients1. The earliest modern documentation of physical therapy comes from the founder of a Swedish gymnastics institute in 18131. While a German military physician appears to be the first to coin the term “physiotherapy” in 1851, physiotherapists (known in the US as physical therapists) were first officially recognized in 1887 in Sweden while a British society also formed later that same year1. The first two institutions to offer professional programs in physical therapy were the University of Otago in New Zealand and Reed College in Portland, Oregon1. References: Sharma,KrishnaNand. “Explorationof theHistoryofPhysiotherapy.”ScientificResearchJournalof India (2012) Pettman,Erland. “Ahistoryofmanipulative therapy.”JournalofManual&ManipulativeTherapy (2007)

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