North County Water & Sports Therapy Center - October 2020

Check out our October newsletter!


(858) 675-1133 |

15373 Innovation Dr. #175 | San Diego, CA 92128 | (858) 675-1133 12171 World Trade Dr. | San Diego, CA 92128

O ct. 1 was International Day of Older Persons, but just because this newsletter is reaching you after that date doesn’t mean the sentiment behind it is any less important to remember! About 40% of our patients fall into the elderly category, which means we pay close attention to how healthy this group is managing to stay. We always tell our patients that just because they’re getting older doesn’t mean they’re required to slow down and live with the pain they might be feeling. It’s true that as we get older, our bodies naturally lose muscle mass and some mobility, so we have to work a little harder to maintain it. As we age, it’s so important to get up and move regularly. Mild exercise not only helps to strengthen muscles and bones, but it can help keep our balance in check and prevent harmful falls that lead to worse situations. The trouble these days is that under isolation, we’ve seen many older patients who just aren’t as active as they previously were. Instead of getting out of the house for regular activities, they’re spending more time on the couch and forgetting the importance of getting up and moving. If this sounds like you, do your best to remember to be active at least once every hour! Even just doing a lap around the house, going outside to garden, or grabbing the mail can give your body the reprieve it needs from stagnant time in front of the TV. I realize that COVID-19 poses a higher risk and threat to the older population, so staying inside where it’s safer can be a great choice. But not giving your body the care and attention it needs can be just as detrimental to your well-being. It’s so important to stay in touch with both your regular physician YOU DON’T HAVE TO ACT YOUR AGE USE MOVEMENT AS MEDICINE!

and your physical therapist as needed, even if it’s just by phone or video. We still offer telehealth services so you can get the care and instruction you need from the safety of your home, and it’s likely your doctor’s office can do something similar. All you have to do is reach out. And to those people who may not fall into this age category, don’t put down this newsletter just yet! If you have someone in your life who is in this category, it’s so important to be there for them right now. Isolation might be a smart health move, but it’s no fun and can lead to more than just physical degradation. Never underestimate the power of reaching out to your loved ones and checking in on how they’re doing, asking if there’s anything you can help them with, and letting them know you’re thinking of them. This social connection, whether it’s by phone, Zoom call, or even a nice handwritten letter can go a long way for the mind and attitude, especially during a time when constant negative news is doing a pretty good job of keeping many of us down. You can even be their reminder to get moving! I will always be a firm believer that movement is medicine. Even just a little bit can be beneficial — you don’t have to run a marathon or lift 200-pound weights to be physically fit. Just getting up and moving your body regularly can do so much, and in today’s world, it’s one of the best options we have for keeping our bodies and brains happy and healthy.

–Beth Scalone

1 (858) 675-1133

A PREVIOUSLY UNKNOWN BENEFIT OF VITAMIN D DOES VITAMIN D HELP OUR BONES AND OUR MUSCLES? A s the weather cools and the days get shorter, we can’t rely as much on the sun for our daily dose of vitamin D. The primary function of vitamin D is regulating the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. These nutrients are necessary for strengthening our bones and teeth, which becomes increasingly important as we age and our bones naturally become more brittle. While these benefits of vitamin D are well documented, did you know that getting your daily dose of vitamin D can also contribute to healthier muscles? A few years ago, researchers published a study that seemed to show that vitamin D could potentially help people gain muscle mass. While the research team said their results weren’t conclusive, their findings were certainly interesting. Vitamin D enters the body in an inactive form. It doesn’t become active until it comes in contact with the right enzymes in either the liver or the kidneys. To learn more about what factors affect this vitamin’s rate of absorption and

activation in the body, researchers observed the levels of inactive vitamin D in 116 women ages 20–74. What they found was that women with higher muscle mass had lower levels of inactive vitamin D, while women with lower muscle mass had higher levels of inactive vitamin D. The conclusion researchers drew was that active vitamin D might help optimize muscle strength. While that conclusion is not ironclad, vitamin D’s other well-known benefits still make it worth getting your daily dose. It can aid weight loss, enhance mood, support cardiovascular health, boost the immune system, and strengthen bones, among many other benefits. So, its potential muscle-boosting properties are just another reason to get more vitamin D. To get more of this important vitamin in your diet, try adding salmon, mushrooms, and even canned tuna to your menu. Also, as winter approaches, it might be time to start taking a vitamin D supplement. Whether you’re 20 or 74 years old, it’s never too late to find ways to strengthen your muscles.


Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, people have turned to their four- legged friends for help and comfort. In Nebraska, an 11-year-old girl and her pony, Peanut, cheered up nursing home residents through their windows this spring, while in Pennsylvania, an award-winning golden retriever named Jackson starred in videos that kept thousands laughing. Pets like these have given the national mood a boost, but another four-legged critter deserves just as much recognition. Her name is Winter, and she’s the 4-year-old llama whose antibodies could help us beat the coronavirus. At this point, you’re probably thinking, “Llamas? Really? What will these scientists think up next?” But in fact, Winter wasn’t an outside-of-the-box discovery during the COVID-19 vaccine scramble. Llamas have been helping scientists battle viruses for years. That’s because, along with her fuzzy brown coat and long eyelashes, Winter has a unique virus treatment hidden in her blood: llama antibodies. According to The New York Times, Winter has participated in past studies for both SARS and MERS — diseases also caused by coronaviruses — and her antibodies fought off both infections. Llamas have also helped out

with research for HIV and influenza. It turns out llama antibodies are smaller than the ones found in humans, which makes it easier for them to wiggle into the tiny pockets in virus-carrying proteins. This superpower gives them the ability to “neutralize” viruses, including COVID-19. Studies are now showing that using these llama antibodies in humans could potentially keep coronaviruses from entering human cells as well. At least two separate llama studies have shown the effectiveness of these antibodies on coronavirus infections. This summer, a team of researchers from the U.K. discovered that llama antibodies “have the potential to be used in a similar way to convalescent serum, effectively stopping progression of the virus in patients who are ill” when given to those patients in a transfusion. They also suggested that a cocktail of llama and human antibodies could be even more successful at temporarily blocking the virus. Studies of the latter are in the works, and scientists around the world have their fingers crossed for success. In the meantime, Winter will continue peacefully grazing in Belgium, unaware that she just might play a role in saving the world. 2

For most people, October is all about pumpkin spice, apple cider, candy, and Halloween costumes. However, October is also a noteworthy month for physical therapists because it’s National Physical Therapy Month, a time of year that celebrates and raises awareness about the benefits of physical therapy. In a world where everyone is quick to take a pill or schedule a surgery to mask their symptoms, National Physical Therapy Month is a great time to highlight why PT is one of the best methods of injury recovery. Almost any way you slice it, physical therapy is an incredibly cost- effective way to recover from a musculoskeletal injury. One study, commissioned by the Alliance for Physical Therapy Quality and Innovation (APTQI), found that patients who utilized physical therapy as their first means of lower back pain recovery saved nearly $1,000 when compared to the group who used injections as their first means of recovery. Those savings jumped to over $12,000 when compared to the average cost of turning to surgery as a first resort. WHY PHYSICAL THERAPY SHOULD BE YOUR FIRST RESORT WHEN YOU EXPERIENCE A MUSCULOSKELETAL INJURY

That’s not just the case for patients with lower back pain, however. According to another study done by ATI Physical Therapy, My Health First Network, Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS), and Greenville Health System (GHS), 70% of patients that opted to use physical therapy as a means for spine, shoulder, and knee pain didn’t need any additional imaging, prescription medication, or visits to their physician. The sooner you start physical therapy, the sooner you recover and the less you have to spend on health care costs. While there are still some cases where surgery and prescription medications are necessary for healing musculoskeletal injuries, more often than not, going to physical therapy first can help you heal faster and save money in the long run. So, if you’re dealing with chronic pain and don’t know how to stop it, connect with us today!




Pumpkins aren’t just for pie — they make delicious soup, too! This fall, try your hand at this healthy soup recipe and warm up with a bowl.


1 cup canned light coconut milk

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp honey

2 shallots, diced

1/4 tsp sea salt

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 tsp pepper

2 1/4 cups pumpkin purée (homemade or canned)

1/4 tsp cinnamon

2 cups vegetable broth

1/4 tsp nutmeg


1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté olive oil, shallots, and garlic for 2–3 minutes. 2. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. 3. Transfer the soup to a blender and purée. Pour the blended soup back into the pan. 4. Cook over medium-low heat for 5–10 minutes. Taste and add additional seasoning as desired, then serve! 3 (858) 675-1133 Inspired by


Monday—Thursday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. (858) 675-1133

15373 Innovation Dr. #175 San Diego, CA 92128



Fight the Effects of Aging by Getting Up and Moving!


A Previously Unknown Benefit of Vitamin D Could a Llama Save Us From COVID-19? Why Physical Therapy Should Be Your First Resort Classic Pumpkin Soup



Safely Celebrate Halloween


Halloween is one of the most social holidays on the calendar — adults and kids look forward to big costume parties and trick-or-treating all month. But during a time when it’s safer to limit our contact with others, how can we fully celebrate the spooky season we love? By getting a little more creative with it.


neighborhood for the kids. It may not be as traditional as yelling “trick or treat!” but it’s still all about getting out and gathering candy, so your kids will be sure to find it a fun endeavor.

Every December, many neighborhoods encourage each family on their street to decorate their homes with festive Christmas displays that beckon onlookers, and Halloween is the perfect chance to do the same. Work together with your neighbors (from the safety of social media) to create a Halloween decoration plan for the houses on your street, and see who can create the creepiest display. Then encourage families near and far to do a drive-by viewing of your neighborhood from their cars to get in the spirit of the season.


If hosting Halloween parties is a yearly tradition you just can’t skip, try to keep your attendees to those in your “safe quarantine bubble.” Then take safety a step further by making not only costumes mandatory, but costumes that include face masks mandatory! If everyone in attendance stays a safe social distance from one another and keeps their face covered with a mask, it can help minimize risks. You can further encourage mask wearing by offering prizes for masks with the best coverage. Holidays are what we make them, and Halloween is one of the most creative holidays of them all. So find some ways to safely celebrate this year, and keep the spooky spirit of the season alive.


For kids, Halloween means lots of candy, but to minimize social contact, many homes may not hand out candy this year. Instead of skipping out on this essential festivity, turn it into a scavenger hunt. Like you would hide eggs on Easter, hide pieces of candy around your house, yard, and safe areas of your 4


Evidence now indicates that physical inactivity is among the strongest predictors of physical disability in older people.


The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends older adults participate in 150 minutes of physical activity per week for health benefits. Please note that additional benefits occur as the amount of physical activity increases through higher intensity, greater frequency, and/or longer duration. Physical activity guidelines stress that if older adults cannot do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity because of chronic conditions, they should be as physically active as their abilities and conditions allow. SEE THE BACK FOR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND EXERCISE GUIDELINES!

In addition, ACSM/AHA guidelines currently recommend balance exercise for individuals who are frequent fallers or for individuals with mobility problems.

ACSM Exercise Prescription Guidelines recommend using activities that include the following:

1. Progressively difficult postures that gradually reduce the base of support (e.g., two-legged stand, semi-tandem stand, tandem stand, one-legged stand) 2. Dynamic movements that perturb the center of gravity (e.g., tandem walk, circle turns)

3. Stressing postural muscle groups (e.g., heel stands, toe stands) 4. Reducing sensory input (e.g., standing with eyes closed)

NOT SURE WHERE TO START? Want to be sure you are doing the right things? Your physical therapist can help.

Call 858-675-1133 and get the guidance you need to get more activity in your life to stay healthy and enjoy life.


Still call 858-675-1133 so we can get you started with a wellness exam and program development.

TO STAY SAFE, WHAT IF I DON’T WANT TO GO TO THE GYM OR COME INTO THE CLINIC? It is our pleasure to offer virtual visits and training. We will guide you every step of the way through our simple technology. You can get assessment and program instruction from the safety and convenience of your own home. Just call 858-675-1133 and ask about our telehealth options.

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Here is a summary of the guidelines for physical activity and exercise.





Endurance Moderate intensity

5–7 days per week Accumulate 150 min per week. At least 30 minutes in bouts of at least 10 min each. 5–7 days per week Accumulate 75–150 min per week. At least 20 minutes of continuous activity.

On a scale of 0 to 10 for level of physical exertion, you want to be working at a 5 to 6

Any modality that does not impose excessive orthopedic stress, but walking is the most common type of activity. Aquatic exercise and stationary cycle exercise may be advantageous for those with limited tolerance for weight- bearing activity Progressive weight training program or weight-bearing calisthenics (8–10 exercises involving the major muscle groups of 8–12 repetitions each), stair climbing, and other strengthening activities that use the major muscle groups Any activities that maintain or increase flexibility using sustained stretches for each major muscle group and static rather than ballistic movements

On a scale of 0 to 10 for level of physical exertion, you want to be working at a 7 to 8

Endurance Vigorous intensity

Resistance Exercise

At least 2 times per week.

Between moderate (5–6) and vigorous (7–8) intensity on a scale of 0 to 10


At least 2 times per week.

Moderate (5–6) intensity on a scale of 0 to 10


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