973.812.8000 www.flexptnj.com January 2018
Because of Our Patients, 2017 Was Full of Success
As we start a new year and reflect on 2017, I wanted to take this edition to thank everyone who has made an impact on Flex Physical Therapy. First, thank you to our patients who attended and showed interest in our workshops. This last year was our first time offering and implementing workshops, and they were a stunning success. I am thankful that many of you found them to be informative and helpful. We are very excited to continue replicating the success and offering more details on new subjects. Please feel free to suggest new topic ideas, and we will take your inquiry into consideration for future events! We were also able to add a new physical therapist to the team this summer. Thank you, everyone, for being so welcoming to Dr. Steven Hennigan. He’s fit in with our team incredibly well, and our patients just love him. He’s also made a huge impact on the clinic in the short six months he’s been here, and he credits our patients with making the transition easy for him. As time goes on, Flex Physical Therapy continues to grow. Most of our business comes from word-of-mouth. Our growth is evidence that our patients are talking about and recommending us to their family and friends, and we could not be more grateful. We’ve had a countless number of referrals this year, and we are honored that our patients trust us as professional caregivers. Please keep referring our clinic to your friends and family so that
Our growth is evidence that our patients are talking about and recommending us to their family and friends, andwe could not be more grateful.
we can continue to grow and touch more lives in the community. We promise to continue offering the best possible care. Last year, we were able to host and sponsor a few community events, none of which would have been a success without the support and help of our community. Thank you to everyone who came and supported our fundraisers, making a positive impact on the community we love so much. We plan on hosting and sponsoring more events this year. So, if you know of any individuals or organizations we can support, please let us know. We are always looking for more ways to give back and serve those who have been so great to us. Finally, I would like to thank my team at Flex Physical Therapy for all they do for our patients, the clinic, and the community. Our clinic wouldn’t be where
it is without you. I am excited to see where 2018 takes us as a team and what goals we accomplish along the way. Thank you, again, for all that you do! Please continue to check our website every month and follow us on Facebook for the most up-to-date information on events and workshops. We plan on rolling out monthly workshops this year, and you can find all the pertinent information online. We also plan on working alongside local doctors and other health care professionals for presentations and patient education pieces, so stay tuned!
I hope you had a wonderful new year. We will see you soon.
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Get Your Kids to Eat Healthier Than Ever
Do your kids get enough nutrients in their diet? If they’re like most kids, the answer is probably no. You want your children to eat more vegetables and less processed junk, but that’s easier said than done. Getting the average kid to chow down on a serving of broccoli is a chore. Food manufacturers have built an entire industry around our kids’ penchant for sugary cereal and fast food. However, a diet of processed foods can lead to a host of problems, including hindered brain development and even behavioral issues. A study in the American Journal of Public Health found links between poor diet and the development of depression in kids and teens. So, how can you encourage your kids to eat healthier foods? One way is through presentation. A mound of plain old veggies is unappealing, whether you’re 10 years old or 40. The solution is to think of vegetables as an ingredient rather than as a stand-alone dish.
using lasagna noodles, slice zucchini into thin, noodle-like strips and layer them as you would typical pasta. The same can be done for other pasta dishes. Zucchini noodles made with a spiralizer — also known as “zoodles” — make a mean substitute for spaghetti. Pair them with your favorite marinara sauce or toss them in a slightly less decadent, but still delicious, alfredo. Vegetables can also be incorporated into other foods your children already know and love. Did you know you can make brownies with avocado and black beans? Slipping in a few healthier ingredients here and there can deliver the nutrients your kids need to power through a busy school week. If you want to foster long-lasting healthy eating habits, the best thing you can do is offer your child some agency. For example, saying to your child, “You can have the cauliflower or the broccoli. It’s up to you!” empowers them to make their own decision based on their preferences. Psychologists and social scientists, including the famed Dr. Maria Montessori,
argue that when kids feel in charge of a decision, they are more likely to embrace the ability to choose, even if it’s between two kinds of vegetables. Ultimately, as a parent, you are in control of your child’s diet. Help them explore new foods and foster a positive culinary environment. Your kids will develop a taste for healthy eating in no time!
Take lasagna, for instance. You can easily modify this beloved Italian dish. Instead of
Natalie first came to Flex Physical Therapy after she fractured her tibia and fibula while sliding into second base during a softball game. Natalie’s injury required her to undergo surgery to ensure a full recovery. After surgery, Natalie came to Flex with both weakness and loss of mobility in her ankle. At first, Natalie felt pain and stiffness while walking, and she was unable to perform any athletic movements. While working with Flex’s new therapist, Dr. Hennigan, Natalie began to regain her ankle mobility and improve her strength. Natalie is a three-sport athlete, playing a crucial role in our local basketball, soccer, and softball teams. Natalie made it clear that returning to her life as an athlete was of utmost importance. Dr. Hennigan and Natalie worked hard each week to make sure Natalie’s injury was 100 percent recovered and ready for the coming basketball season. We are happy to report that Natalie is ready to debut her skills on the court this winter. Keep an eye out for this future star athlete at Passaic Valley High School! Great job, Natalie!
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What Knee Pain Sufferers Need to Know And How They’re Treated
The human leg is a delicate and incredible instrument, developed and slowly perfected over millions of years of evolution. But complication comes with a price: a heightened risk of injury. Our knees, especially, can succumb to any number of issues. Chief among them is patellofemoral pain syndrome, also known as runner’s knee. Normally, as you bend your knee, the patella, or kneecap, glides along the femoral groove, a track in our femur cushioned by cartilage. The muscles and ligaments of the leg work to keep the patella sliding normally along this groove. However, if something is amiss and the patella doesn’t ride normally through the track, it will begin to slide to the side. This forces the patella to rub and grind against the edges of the femur. As the problem worsens, it can irritate the joint, which results in kneecap pain and deterioration of the patellar surface.
According to PhysioWorks, approximately 25 percent of the American population experiences aching kneecaps at one time in their lives, but it’s even higher in athletes. Often, pain will begin after a period of overuse, like after ramping up training or performing high-intensity training. This is usually the result of a muscle imbalance and tightness in the quadriceps, hamstrings, and hip muscles. However, it can also arise from internal anatomical factors, such as naturally poor patellar tracking, improper foot posture, or weak hip control. Patellofemoral pain is localized in and behind the kneecap, but it can cause swelling and pain that may spread throughout the structure. This pain is usually the worst after climbing hills or stairs, squatting, running, hopping, or sitting for long periods of time.
lead to more serious conditions such as patellar tendinitis or arthritis. Luckily, it’s usually treatable with careful exercise and physical therapy. Treatment often involves the initial mitigation of pain symptoms, followed by exercises that restore range of motion, a battery of stretches, and a muscle-strengthening regimen designed to even out any imbalances. After a few months of treatment, most patients are able to return to playing sports and living pain-free.
Patellofemoral pain is complicated and extremely common, and it can easily
Pistachio Goji Berry Granola
1 cup rolled oats
⅓ cup pistachios, chopped
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup coconut flakes
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons maple syrup
⅓ cup goji berries
Instructions 1. Heat a large skillet over low heat. Add oats in a thin layer and toast for 1–2 minutes. Add coconut oil and salt, then stir. Continue toasting for 5–7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add maple syrup 1 tablespoon at a time; stir to coat.
3. Once oats are toasted, add pistachios, coconut flakes, and cinnamon. Cook slowly until pistachios and coconut flakes are toasted but not burned, about 5 minutes.
PUZZLE T I M E
4. Remove from pan and stir in goji berries.
5. Let cool and enjoy as a snack or on top of your yogurt!
Recipe inspired by LoveAndLemons.com.
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INSIDE • To Our Patients, Thank You PAGE 1 • Trick Your Kids Into Healthy Eating PAGE 2 • Athlete Spotlight PAGE 2 • Why Knee Pain Is So Common PAGE 3 • Start the Day Right With This Granola PAGE 3 • A Trip Will Change Your Child’s Life PAGE 4
3 Ways Travel Can Transform Your Kids
When you go on a trip, you interact with new people and cultures. It’s one thing to hear someone talk about the laid-back vibes of the West Coast, but you can’t really feel them for yourself until you’ve meandered through the redwoods or watched the sun set over Puget Sound. Now, imagine the positive effects this kind of cultural awakening could have on a young mind! Traveling with kids can be stressful, but they stand to benefit as much, if not more, from travel as we do. As you’re plotting destinations for the new year, keep these life-changing possibilities in mind. 1. Historywill come to life. Yes, your kids will read about World War II in school and take state capital quizzes. But in the end, nothing compares to firsthand experiences of culturally significant locations. Imagine showing a child the Galapagos Islands,
where Darwin’s famous theory of evolution was conceived, or having the chance to talk about the beginnings of the RevolutionaryWar while strolling through Minute Man National Historical Park in Massachusetts. 2. They’ll pick up new skills. In addition to learning about history, your child may discover a new skill. They may learn a bit of conversational Spanish during a trip to Mexico or they might play soccer with a group of children and realize they have a knack for it. feel confident enough to branch out of their comfort zone and make new friends at home and on the road. 3. They’ll understand compassion. After a trip to Fiji, Lonely Planet Kids writer Patrick Kinsella found that, By fostering a sense of healthy curiosity about new places, you’ll help your child
long after they returned, his eldest daughter continued to reflect on her experience. “It’s an eye- and mind- opening experience, especially for Ivy, who has never before considered that someone her age might not have a TV, let alone lack electricity,” Kinsella writes. “For many months afterward, Ivy talk[ed] about Po, imagining her Fijian friend’s life.” Because they’re so open-minded, kids are the perfect sponges for new experiences. At the very least, they’ll be less likely to take what they have for granted, and they might even develop an expansive and exploratory worldview.
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