Focus Physical Therapy - October 2018

Focus Physical Therapy Monthly 949.709.8770

October 2018

The Past, Present, and Future of Physical Therapy WHY IT’S AN EXCITING TIME TO BE A PATIENT

O ctober is Physical Therapy Awareness month, a time when everybody in the PT field tries spreading the word about all the great things treatment can do for patients. In the midst of all of that, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how much the industry has changed since I founded Focus Physical Therapy more than 16 years ago. When I look at all the ways the physical therapy paradigm has evolved and the direction it’s going in, it’s easy for me to say that now is a more exciting time than ever to be a physical therapist — and an even better time to be a patient. California has been some form of a “direct access” state ever since I can remember, allowing patients to seek out PT treatment on their own without a referral from a doctor. But since 2015, when legislation switched to allow 12 visits to a physical therapist — or 45 days, whichever comes first — it’s become even easier for those suffering with pain and injury to get the help they need. Still, if you ask most people, they assume they need a physician’s prescription to come in for treatment. Luckily, that’s steadily changing. Over the past 16 years, I’ve seen physical therapists take an increasingly central role in treating disorders that affect the human body’s movement (muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, discs, etc.), which is a good thing. More and more patients are coming to us first to address these issues. Primary physicians understand many aspects of the human body better than anybody, but when it comes to movement-related chronic aches and pains, they receive little training in medical school. But treating these problems is a physical therapist’s specialty, what we go to years and years of school to study, and what we do day in and day out.

or refer the patient to a specialist (who frequently then refers them to physical therapy). But we can immediately begin to identify and treat a problem at the root level — and at a drastically reduced cost with reduced risk of complications. Even if a patient did go to a physician first, in many cases they’ll end up in physical therapy anyway, after months of being shuttled around. So, it’s heartening to see patients cutting out the middleman for pains and strains and heading right to us, the movement experts. Meanwhile, doctors benefit as we clear out their schedules, allowing them to focus their time and energy on those life- and-death cases that genuinely need their specific expertise. Most healthy people go to their dentist a couple of times a year, and maybe their physician for a yearly physical. But very few people go to their physical therapist for a yearly musculoskeletal screen to ensure that their body is moving the way it should to prevent injury. Meanwhile, musculoskeletal dysfunction is one of the top five reasons for a doctor’s visit in America, the vast majority of which could easily be prevented if a physical therapist could catch the issue before it becomes a serious problem. Looking toward the future, we’d like to see movement screens become more common in the coming years, as we encourage patients to think of physical therapists as someone you should see every six months or so, not only to reduce the prevalence of injury, but also to reduce the substantial burden on their wallets. We’ve come a long way since I founded Focus, but we still have a long way to go. All in all, the outlook is promising for the entire medical establishment, as physical therapists take the helm on musculoskeletal/ movement disorders and treat more patients than ever with powerful, noninvasive treatments that provide long-lasting benefits.

Primary care physicians will usually do one of three things in the face of chronic pain: prescribe medications, use expensive diagnostic testing,

Focus Physical Therapy • Call 949.709.8770 • 1 -Julian Manrique

Physical Therapy May Be the Solution You’ve Been Looking For

Options Beyond Pain Medication

true. Physical therapy works with a patient’s range of motion and limitations to heal and restore their body’s proper function. The PT’s goal is to relieve your pain, not create it. Patients include older people experiencing age-related wear and tear, athletes, and individuals hurt in accidents. Physical therapists specialize in restoring mobility and relieving pain as well as detecting and diagnosing problems before they become worse. Pain that lasts less than 90 days is considered acute; anything over that is chronic. When a condition becomes chronic, it’s recommended that you speak to a physical therapist about the pain you’re experiencing instead of continuing pain medication. The CDC guidelines note that non-opioid therapies are “preferred” for chronic pain and state, “Clinicians should consider opioid therapy only if expected benifits for both pain and function are anticipated to outweigh risks to the patient.” When to Talk to a Physical Therapist

If you go to your doctor with pain, chances are they’ll prescribe you pain medication. While pain medication can help in certain situations, such as acute pain, cancer treatment, and end-of-life care, in others, it’s not always the only solution. Relying too heavily on medication for chronic pain can lead to bigger problems. To manage long-lasting pain, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, highly recommends seeing a physical therapist.

The Benefits of Physical Therapy

When you suffer from chronic pain and take pain medications to cope, you’re not solving the problem. The pills only mask the pain, but the issue remains. A physical therapist works to resolve the problems causing the pain and manage pain by strengthening the affected part of the body. Instead of relying on prescription drugs, a physical therapist helps relieve pain through education, hands-on care, and movement.

Myths About Physical Therapy

Suffering from pain doesn’t have to be part of your life, and there are other solutions than relying on medication.

You may have heard that physical therapy is painful or that a center will only accept someone who has been injured, but that’s not


“I came in for shoulder impingement and rotator cuff tendinitis. Before PT, I could barely move my arm and had limited range of motion. Julian and his staff were great and got me playing tennis again in 3–4

“My shoulder has been deteriorating for years. It got to the point where I was in pain 24 hours a day. I could not function — could not sleep. I had surgery on June 26 with four

different procedures. I was not allowed to move at all for six weeks after surgery. I did not think I would ever be normal. However, with the help of the Focus team, I am happy to say I am a new woman. I have NO pain — can do pushups, play golf, and all the things I haven’t done for years. Thank you, Julian and all the rest of the team. I am forever grateful!” –Carol Chafee

weeks. Everyone was very knowledgeable and friendly. Thanks so much for getting me back on track. I feel better and stronger than before my injury.” –Doreen Brinkman


• Focus Physical Therapy •

Meet Nadia Valerio!

Our Office Manager Hits 7 Years at Fo cus

is what I’m meant to do,’” she says. When she learned about Focus Physical Therapy, our close-knit team, and all the great things we were doing, she sought out a job here, and, as she puts it, “the rest is history.”

As Focus Physical Therapy has grown over the years, we’ve been lucky to have several team members stick with us through thick and thin. Every one of them has been instrumental in our mission to provide the highest standard of care to every patient who walks through our doors. This month, we’re celebrating our Office Manager Nadia Valerio’s seventh year at the clinic. She’s long been a vital part of our organization, both in her previous roles (as Physical Therapy Aide and Front Desk Administrator) and in her current position. But no matter what she was doing, her favorite part of the job has always remained the same. For Nadia, “patients are the best part — getting to see the changes that we can make, all the little things that contribute to people’s quality of life.” As a PT Aide, she enjoyed the hands-on impact she had on her patients, but today, she relishes the opportunity to make Focus Physical Therapy a welcoming, pleasant place to receive treatment, while managing issues like billing to ensure everyone gets access to the care they need. Originally, Nadia wanted to be a psychologist, and she graduated with a psych degree years ago. But when she got her first job at another PT clinic nearby, she had an epiphany. “It was like ‘oh my goodness, this

Outside of the clinic, Nadia spends a lot of time at local billiards tables. In fact, at the time of writing, she and her boyfriend are No. 1 in their division in their pool league! “Every Thursday night, that’s what we’re doing,” she says. But what’s kept her at Focus Physical Therapy for the last seven years? “It’s just a comfortable community,” she says. “We have each other’s backs — we’re really like a family.” Today, she says, she’s “just so proud of the company and where it’s at. It’s exactly what I’ve always wanted.” We’re proud of Nadia too, and are looking forward to her continued support for years to come!



This meal-in-a-glass smoothie will cure your craving for a pumpkin spice latte. It’s packed with nutrients and fall flavor. If you’re the type of person who uses your blender more than your pots and pans, you’ll definitely want to add this recipe to your rotation.


• 1 cup coconut milk • 1/4 cup organic pumpkin purée • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or substitute with cinnamon and ginger)

• 1 frozen banana, sliced • 1 cup ice


1. In a blender, combine all ingredients. 2. Blend on high or on smoothie setting until smooth.

3. Transfer to a cold glass, garnish with pumpkin pie spice, and serve.

Focus Physical Therapy • Call 949.709.8770 • 3

30212 Tomas #120 Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688, USA





Julian Manrique Looks to the Future of PT Physical Therapy vs. Pain Medication Success Stories Nadia Valerio Celebrates 7 Years at Focus!



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Paleo Pumpkin Coconut smoothie

Rotator Cuff & Shoulder Pain Workshop

October 23 2018 7pm



• Focus Physical Therapy •

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