OPTM pt MAY 2018

Monthly Little League and Lifelong Lessons

6-Year-Old Owen Takes the F ield

This month, Little League is in full swing, and my 6-year-old, Owen, is enjoying his first organized sport with some of his newest buddies. While he was a little nervous and uncertain at the beginning of the season, my wife and I figured it was the perfect opportunity to get him started on some outdoor activities. By now, he’s made some great friends and is starting to really have some fun on the field. Win or lose, he always enjoys the treats the players get at the end of each game. It’s been a great experience from the very beginning. I remember the season’s opening day. We looked around and saw all the excited kids and their parents and families, eager to show their support and get to know one another. I got such a sense of community and of working together toward a common purpose. Before the game started, they brought out a prominent local figure, a guy who has coached baseball for over 30 years. He congratulated the parents on getting their kids into sports early, extolling the virtues of teamwork and cooperation. He told the children, “Someone on your team right now is going to become a lifelong friend.” A few weeks later, I’m thinking he just might have been right. At Owen’s age, it’s not about winning or losing; instead, it’s about gaining a rudimentary understanding of the game and having fun. It’s been pretty amazing to see the kids develop over the season. In the first game, we watched a grounder whizz past the second baseman. The player finally grabbed hold of the ball, not understanding that he needed to touch the base before the runner made it to his spot. Obviously, the sport was brand-new to most of these kids. It was a totally alien concept, so they needed to get a grasp on the rules before they could even begin to communicate as a team. But now, toward the end of the season, Owen and his team are

really coming into their own, making more complex plays and cheering for each other. Cooperation is a vital skill to learn at that young age, and I can see Owen catching on. His overall interest in the game has grown too, and he has even asked to stay after practice to further work on his skills. It’s made us proud to watch Owen take part in the first structured sport of his life. He’s steadily learned the concept of commitment. He knows that he needs to be there for his teammates, whether it’s a chilly evening practice or an early-morning game. And of course, it’s

Owen on the mound

been a great opportunity for us to gather as a family to watch his games, bringing his grandparents along to offer support and encouragement. Owen’s grandpa grew up in a baseball household, with his twin brother moving on to play for the New York Mets, so he’s thrilled to see someone else take the baseball baton in the family. And Jake, our 2-year-old, gets a chance to run around and be exposed to something cool that his older brother is doing. All in all, I’m so happy to watch Owen participate in his first organized team sport. He’s had a blast with his new little cadre of pals, learning values that will stick with him for the rest of his life. As we watch him from the stands, you can bet we’re cheering with everything we’ve got at every opportunity, letting him know just how proud and excited we are as he gives it his best effort. Dr. Fabrice Rockich

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Meet Thuy Dinh! The Newest Addition to the OPTM Saratoga Family SUCCESS STORIES

At OPTM Saratoga, we have the unique opportunity to truly change lives with the treatment we provide. As we guide patients through the physical therapy process, we get to witness their weekly progress firsthand. Each session brings a new and tangible outcome, whether it’s increased

“I tore my left Achilles while playing tennis; instantly, I could not run or walk without pain. My doctor recommended physical therapy, and I started seeing Jamie at the end of December. She was very personable, and I liked her

comfort, improved mobility, or decreased pain. It’s the privilege of being part of our patients’ steady journeys toward overall health that makes being a physical therapist worthwhile. For Thuy Dinh, the newest physical therapist to join the OPTM Saratoga team, the gradual — but very real — impact she has on her patients’ health keeps her coming into the clinic each day. “It’s amazing to watch people get better and progress each day they come in for rehab,” she says. Thuy takes pride in steering her patients toward whatever goals they may have for treatment. For years, Thuy contemplated a career as an orthopedic surgeon, hoping to assist clients at the most basic level and provide positive changes that would cascade to every aspect of their lives. But when she stumbled across a physical therapy clinic during her pre-med undergraduate studies, she immediately gained an appreciation for the process. “As soon as I could, I volunteered at a clinic,” she says. “I just loved what they did there, the way they were able to regularly interact and connect with their patients.” Within a few months, she began working toward becoming a full- fledged physical therapist. Though she only started at OPTM Saratoga in January, she’s already an instrumental part of the clinic. “Everybody I work with is super nice and supportive,” she says. “Everyone has their own avenue of expertise and is eager to teach newcomers. I feel very blessed and grateful to be a part of it all.” Outside of the clinic, Thuy likes reading self-improvement and adventure books, going on long hikes in the hills, working out, or simply relaxing with her friends. She’s an incredibly compassionate, kind, and skilled physical therapist with a lifelong passion for learning new things. And with her birthday coming up on May 10, you can bet we’re going to make sure she knows how appreciated she is around our clinic!

immediately. Her expertise with this injury made me realize that I needed to take it slow; we eventually worked on stretches, strengthening, and flexibility. I am happy to report that after only three months and at age 66, I am back on the courts and golf course stronger than ever. And the best thing? No pain! Thank you, Jamie, for helping me return to the sports I love.”

–Marlene Hurrell

“I attended Fabrice’s workshop on balance at the Saratoga Senior Center, and we both agreed that I needed quite a bit of work! I know now that this was due to Parkinson’s disease. Fabrice’s analysis zeroed in on balance and

strength. He designed a program for me to use, both with his supervision and at home. In time, I noticed a huge amount of improvement in walking speed, pace, and balance, eventually leaving my cane behind. I’m glad these are exercises I can do during daily activities. All in all, these sessions have gone a long way in making me feel like a normal person, and I intend to keep them up.”

–Marge Rice

“I had bad shoulder mobility prior to coming in. The staff at OPTM Saratoga, especially Ben, was awesome and very resourceful in tackling the problem head-on. With OPTM Saratoga, it was a matter of working smarter to improve

the situation. The staff here is extremely positive and made the recovery process more encouraging. With OPTM Saratoga, I have greatly improved my posture and my shoulder mobility, and they have also given me the tools to continue to progress on my own.”

–Derek Sun

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The 4 Phases of Recovery The Key to Successful Treatment

Two of the most common questions our physical therapists receive are “What do I need to make a full recovery from my injury?” and “How long will it take?” These are complicated questions with even more complicated answers, compounded by the nature of your particular dysfunction. But to put it simply, your issue won’t be resolved in the long term until you make it through what we therapists call the “Four Phases of Recovery.” Generally speaking, it can take up to 4–6 weeks to feel any relief from your symptoms, and if you’ve recently gone through surgery, you can expect postoperative pain for at least 6–12 weeks. But if you can persist through each of these steps, you can get better and stay better for the long haul. Even if a patient feels better in one of the earlier phases of recovery, it is still important to complete all four phases to achieve a successful long-term outcome. Phase One: Minimize Pain and Inflammation In this phase, we will use modalities such as manual therapy, ice, heat, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, and our highly effective Class IV Deep Tissue Light Laser to ease your pain and dysfunction. We also educate you on proper posture and how to modify the activities you participate in. Phase Two: Restore Normal Mobility, Flexibility, and Strength As pain is reduced, the patient is able to tolerate mobility and strength exercises. During this phase, we use exercises and

hands-on manual therapy techniques to address the mechanical source of your pain and dysfunction by building muscle where needed and increasing flexibility. Phase Three: Return to Normal Function and Activity Once normal strength and mobility are achieved, successful rehabilitation management shifts to functional movement training. This allows the patient to return to their normal, everyday activities, whether recreational or competitive. This process improves the patient’s functional strength, which enables them to reach full recovery and reduces the risk of their pain returning. Phase Four: Maintenance and Injury Prevention Once pain is completely eliminated and the patient can fully return to daily functional and recreational activities, rehabilitation shifts to maintenance and injury prevention. People always ask if they’ll need to continue with their exercises following therapy. The short answer is yes. Your physical therapist will design a customized exercise and movement program formulated to prevent your injury from flaring up again and keep you healthy in the years to come. If you’re able to keep up with the program after you’re done with therapy, you can expect a successful long-term outcome.



Zucchini and summer squash are arriving on grocery store shelves. Here is a great way to take these humble, delicious vegetables to the next level. This easy dish is perfect for early summer.


• 1 zucchini • 1 summer squash • 1/2 medium red onion • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

• 2 teaspoons fresh thyme • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese • Salt and pepper to taste


1. Cut zucchini into 1/4-inch- thick semicircles. Dice onion. 2. Heat a large skillet to medium high. Add olive oil, onion, and thyme. 3. Once onion is soft (about

salt and pepper; cook 4–5 minutes until squash barely begins to caramelize. 4. Place in serving bowl and top with feta.




2 minutes), add zucchini and squash. Season with

Adapted from thekitchn.com

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Little League and Lifelong Lessons Page1 What People Are Saying About Us Page2 Thuy Dinh, Our Fantastic New Physical Therapist Page2

The 4 Phases of Recovery Page3

Sautéed Zucchini and SquashWith Feta Page3

3 of theMost FormidableMoms in History Page4

Mothers Shape the World 3 of History’s Bravest Moms Moms make the world go round. After running the gauntlet of childbirth, they raise and guide us throughout our lives, shouldering the tremendous burden and responsibility of motherhood. Mothers are in turn formidable, kind, powerful, gentle, wise, fierce, patient, supportive, empathetic, driven, and full of love. In honor of Mother’s Day, here are three historic moms who never stopped fighting for what they believed in. Before she escaped from New York slaveholder John Dumont, Sojourner Truth had at least three of her children sold away from her. When Dumont went back on his promise to emancipate Truth and her infant daughter in 1826, she took the girl and fled to an abolitionist Quaker family, but she was forced to leave her other daughter and her 5-year-old son, Peter, behind. Soon after, she learned that Peter had been illegally sold by Dumont to a slaveholder in Alabama, so she went to court and secured his safe return. It was the first successful case brought by a black woman against a white man in American history. Truth went on to become a prominent abolitionist and a speaker for women’s rights, delivering her famous impromptu speech, “Ain’t I a Woman?” in May of 1851. Sojourner Truth (1797–1883)

Sojourner Truth (1797–1883)

Irena Sendler (1910–2008)

When the Nazis invaded Warsaw in September of 1939, Irena Sendler, a 29-year-old social worker and mother of two, hatched a scheme to rescue Jewish children from the brutal ghettos. Along with many friends and colleagues, she smuggled out nearly 2,500 Jewish orphans, hiding infants on trams and garbage wagons and guiding kids through a labyrinth of secret passageways beneath the city. Despite being a wife and the mother of five children — two of whom died tragically young — Emmeline Pankhurst became one of the fiercest advocates for women’s suffrage in the late 19th century. After founding the Women’s Social and Political Union in 1903, she and her cohorts adopted an aggressive strategy to raise awareness for the issue; they began by buttonholing politicians and staging rallies, then progressed to vandalism, window smashing, and arson. She was instrumental in the movement. Pankhurst lived to see women gain the right to vote in 1928. Emmeline Pankhurst (1858–1928)

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