Advanced Practice PT - July 2022

JULY 2022 | 406-770-3171


Hey there! My name is Casey Bartter, and I’m the newest receptionist at Advanced Practice PT. Don’t worry, Leslie isn’t going anywhere — I’m just here to help her out and make sure she gets a lunch break every now and then. Even front desk superheroes need to eat! Leslie and I have been working closely together since I started my job in May, but I’m glad I get to introduce myself to you in the newsletter during the summer instead of spring. That’s because I have an important message that I try to share with everyone this time of year: If you’re spending time in the sun, you need to protect your skin. It just might save your life. I learned the importance of this the hard way. Before moving to Montana, I lived in Italy for six years with my ex-husband and our two daughters. I’m very fair-skinned, and while I was there teaching English and raising our girls, the Italian sun did a number on me. Last summer, I was diagnosed with a serious form of skin cancer called melanoma. My life became a crazy whirlwind overnight. Doctors in Italy sent me back to the U.S. for treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston because I grew up in Andover and had family in the area. Fortunately, I was able to pull through, and I’m currently cancer-free. Still, the experience was scary! I’m only 34 and took steps to protect my skin, but I still got cancer. I shared my story on Facebook to encourage everyone I knew to go to the dermatologist, wear sunscreen, and use hats and clothing to block UV rays. Every message I got saying, “I’m going in to get checked!” made me feel good. I hope that if you are spending time outside this summer, you’ll be careful about your skin, too. I love to hike, and I’m excited to explore the mountains now that I’ve had a few months to learn about the land and wilderness here in Montana. But you can bet that when I head out with my girls (they’re 10 and 7 now), I’ll make sure we’re all wearing our hats and slathered up with mineral sunscreen. Cover-ups at the pool are a must, too.

Of course, I don’t spend all of my time thinking about my skin these days. I’ve been busy with the moving process and exploring the town of Great Falls for the first time. I love meeting new people and hearing their stories, and there’s nothing more interesting to me than doing that in a small town where everybody knows everybody. When I lived in Italy, I once said hello to a man at the grocery store just because he looked super friendly. He said, “Oh, you

speak English!” and we ended up standing in the same spot for the next 45 minutes while he told me his entire life story. I think about that encounter all of the time. I’m glad he felt comfortable enough to share his life with me. Maybe that’s why I enjoy being a receptionist so much. When I talk to our patients, they often begin by giving me an explanation for something and end up telling an interesting story without even realizing it. It’s fun to learn those details about people’s lives between bouts of scheduling, working on insurance, and keeping paperwork in order. If I haven’t heard your story yet, I hope I'll get to meet you in the clinic soon. In the meantime, remember to protect your skin! –Casey Bartter

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No. 4: Shin Splints If you plan on doing a lot of high impact activities, such as running and jumping, you may experience shin splints. You’ll need plenty of rest and ice to heal from this injury, but physical therapy can also help to get you back on your feet! A treatment plan that may include specific stretches, strengthening exercises, and massages can help alleviate the condition. If you’re upset about an injury putting a stop to your outdoor fun this summer, you aren’t alone. We see patients with life-disrupting and even life-changing injuries all the time. Your pain deserves proper treatment, so don’t hesitate to give us a call.

shin bone. Luckily, you don’t have to live in pain. Physical therapists can design stretches and stability/ strengthening exercises to address your specific problems. No. 2: Ankle Sprains If you’ve ever gone out for a run and suddenly felt a pulsing pain in your ankle, then you may know how easy it is to get ankle sprains. These painful and debilitating injuries can leave you helpless on the sofa, but a little physical therapy can get you back into the wilderness again. No. 3: Tennis or Golfer Elbow In summer, many people dust off their tennis racket and golf clubs to start playing again. Unfortunately, these sports can lead to some awkward movements for your body, especially your elbows. Tennis or golfer elbow can occur from repetitive strain on your elbow tendons. Even people who don’t play tennis or golf can suffer from these injuries, so they benefit from a diagnosis and a treatment plan that can help them avoid future problems.

Summer is a fun, exciting time of year. However, it can also lead to being less careful than usual because of all the fun activities we participate in! Here are some common summer injuries to try and avoid. No. 1: Knee Injuries Knees are one of the most commonly injured joints in the human body. You might experience knee pain after a fall while playing sports, or you can even tear your ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), which connects the front center of your knee to your 4 Common Summertime Injuries PT CAN HELP ALLEVIATE

Ditch the Flops Why Your Flip-Flops Are Doing More Harm Than You Think

‘What if I just only wear flip-flops? Will that help?’ Unfortunately, this isn’t just something your body “gets used to.” Wearing flip-flops for a long period of time can cause chronic problems in addition to standard joint pain. For instance, you could experience plantar fasciitis — which is pain in the tissue that connects your heel and toes — or Achilles tendinitis. The latter results from overuse of the tendon in the back of your heel. Essentially, because your foot is having to compensate for flip-flops’ lack of support, the overexertion at an unnatural angle causes more problems over time. ‘So, I can never wear flip-flops, then?’ Good news! You don’t have to swear off flip- flops or sandals. Find a pair of shoes that offer the right amount of support for your arches. You can tell if shoes have this by looking for the “bump” in the middle of the shoe. Archies are a popular flip-flop brand with the arch built right in! Test drive a pair of these or consult with a trusted physical therapist to find the flip-flops or sandals that give you the summertime look we all want without the flip-flop pain.

Whether you’re walking around poolside or simply enjoying a day at the ballpark, few summertime outfits are complete without a pair of flip-flops. But if you struggle with foot pain — or are simply aging out of your invincible 20s — wearing flip- flops may be one of the worst things you can do for your feet.

‘Why do my feet hurt!?’ Because flip-flops don’t have any support, your arches receive more pressure than when you are wearing shoes that have built-in materials for arches, like tennis shoes. That often explains why your feet are sore, but this can also create a problem for the rest of your body.

‘Wait — flip-flops can hurt my whole body?’ Wearing flip-flops can limit how you walk because you’re compensating for the arch pressure. This can impact your ankles, knees, lower back, and hips by placing unnatural weight on these joints and muscles. This could also have an impact on your balance, since the distribution of your weight with each step is off-kilter.


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From pain killers to carbonated drinks, you can find caffeine everywhere on the American market. However, high caffeine consumption can pose risks. The good news is that in moderation, caffeine may contain useful health benefits, but if you want to actually benefit from caffeine, consider these healthier options. But what is caffeine, exactly? Caffeine is a natural stimulant — in other words, it stimulates the brain and central nervous systems, which prevents weariness and helps you stay alert. Over 80% of the world’s population consumes a caffeinated product every day, including tea, coffee, soda, and energy drinks. In North America alone, this number rises to 90%. Research shows that caffeine may possibly elevate your brain function and metabolism, and during exercise, it may even increase your body’s use of fat as fuel — but that doesn’t necessarily mean chugging an energy drink is ideal. Why? Its health benefits come mainly through tea or coffee. Walk into any grocery store, and you’ll notice that many highly caffeinated drinks are also high in sugar and additives. Sugar is extremely harmful to your long-term health — and GET CAFFEINATED IN A ‘HEALTHY’ WAY KEEP IT SIMPLE

no matter what benefits you read about caffeine, the harmful effects of sugar can overwhelm them by heightening your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and much more. The experts agree: Tossing a sugar cube or two into your cup of coffee isn’t the same as drinking a sugary Red Bull. Additionally, too much caffeine can cause some problems. In some individuals, caffeine can promote headaches, migraines, and high blood pressure. Caffeine is also a psychoactive substance, which means it’s habit forming. After a period of not drinking coffee, you might be familiar with the “caffeine withdrawal” and its side effects: anxiety, tremors, restlessness, irregular heartbeat, and even trouble sleeping. Thankfully, these effects are temporary. Studies show that the people who benefit the most from caffeine are often those who drink anywhere from 1–4 cups of tea or coffee a day. You can also find zero-sugar seltzer waters with low doses of caffeine if you need a small kick. Keep it simple, and you’ll avoid excess sugar and reap the benefits of caffeine more fully.



Craving a healthy dog for National Hot Dog Month? We’ve got you! Follow our recipe for a dog packed with protein, fiber, and vitamins. (Serves 8)



• 2 tbsp vegetable oil • 1 green apple, peeled and diced • 1 red onion, thinly sliced • 1 small head red cabbage, cored and shredded • 2 tsp ground cumin • 1 tbsp grill seasoning • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar • 2 tbsp maple syrup • 8 organic chicken sausage links • 8 whole-wheat hot dog buns, toasted

1. In a large skillet over high heat, warm the vegetable oil. Sauté the apple, onion, and cabbage and toss until wilted. Season with cumin and grill seasoning and cook for 10–12 minutes, until tender. 2. Add the vinegar and maple syrup, then toss to combine. Cook for 1 minute and set the slaw aside. 3. On the grill, cook your chicken dogs according to the package instructions. 4. Assemble the works, starting with the bun and piling in the chicken dog and slaw. 5. Dig in! For an extra health boost, serve with grilled summer vegetables.

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1. Do This to Save Your Life

2. Why Summer Can Be Dangerous Why You Need to Ditch the Flip-Flops 3. The Healthiest Way to Get Caffeinated

Healthier Hot Dogs With Slaw

4. Try These Easy, Healthy Microhabits


No. 2: Dedicate 5 minutes of your lunch to walking. Whether you want a relaxing walk or a quick jog to get energized, spending time during your lunch to venture outdoors might be more

No. 4: Create a gratitude habit. If your world disappeared tomorrow, what would you miss? Take time in your day, whether it’s the morning, afternoon, or night, to think about everything and everyone you value in your life. This advice isn’t just about achieving better emotional fulfillment; studies show that gratitude practices have significant health benefits, from improved heart health to mental health. No. 5: Take breaks. Avoid burnout. We can get fixated on our jobs and our obligations. But everyone needs regular breaks and personal days off to avoid burnout. Plan to take breaks, and make a promise to never skip them. With these small self-improvement commitments, you might surprise yourself with how far you can go!

Creating a new habit can feel like an enormous hurdle, but the most successful attempts often start with very small steps. Try these very small commitments — they could make a big difference, and even develop into more dedicated habits. No. 1: Go to bed 10 minutes earlier. Research shows that adults need 7–9 hours of sleep. It’s a common myth that adults can get accustomed to five hours of sleep, but experts from the Sleep Foundation say otherwise. While daytime drowsiness may stabilize over weeks or months, persistent sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on your metabolism,

restorative for your mind and body than you’d expect. This is especially easy to do if you’re working from home! No. 3: Find a way to eat an extra serving of fruit or vegetables. If you find yourself struggling to eat healthy foods, don’t subscribe to premade meal kits only to give up a few days later. Instead, try adding fruits and vegetables to meals you already prepare and/or enjoy. Once in a while, replace overly salty or sweet snacks with fresher alternatives.

cardiovascular system, and immune system. To slowly convince yourself to get more sleep, try getting to bed 10 minutes earlier each time. It’s a small, simple change that could make a noticeable difference.

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