Flex Physical Therapy February 2018



973.812.8000 www.flexptnj.com February 2018


How I Met MyWife, Taryn

My wife and I have known each other since high school. Although we were not high school sweethearts, Taryn and I were very good friends all throughout high school and college. After I graduated and went to college, I often came back home to hang out with Taryn and our other friends. We all kept up the tradition once Taryn was in college, and though many years went by, we always found time to hang out over breaks and during the summer. Toward the end of my first four years, Taryn and I were talking on the phone regularly, and we’d often make trips to visit each other. When I earned my undergraduate degree and came home that summer, we were both single, so I asked her on a date. She said yes. Since we had been friends for such a long time, we already knew everything about one another. We both had more- than-friends feelings for each other, so it just made sense to give dating a try. The first summer we started dating, Taryn and I took a cross-country road trip with one of our friends who was moving out to California. The car ride there took about eight days, but we made it enjoyable by stopping in various places to camp. We also explored big cities like Nashville and Santa Fe, and it was a lot of fun. After we dropped off our friend, we flew back home. I have to laugh when thinking back on our trip, because if there was any indication that we were going to last, it

I have to laugh when thinking back on our trip, because if there was any indication that we were going to last, it was the fact that we could stay crammed in a car for eight days straight and not hate each other at the end of the trip.

was the fact that we could stay crammed in a car for eight days straight and not hate each other at the end of the trip. Since Taryn had another year of school, and I was working as a physical therapy aide and taking a year off before earning my physical therapy degree, I would visit her on weekends. We decided that marriage was out of the question while I was earning my degree, and when I finally graduated and got a job, we found an apartment together. At that time, Taryn was working for a company that had put on a Super Bowl pool, and they invited her to participate. Taryn asked me if I wanted to play, and even though each entry was $100, I said yes, gave her the money, and then forgot about the whole thing. I am a huge Giants fan, and that year (2007), the Giants won the Super Bowl. After Taryn and I calmed down from the excitement of the game,

I looked at a paper on the fridge, and I realized that my box had won the grand prize. So, long story short, I didn’t go into debt buying an engagement ring, but I didn’t see any of the winnings either. I proposed in 2008, and we married in October of 2009. For our honeymoon, we visited Australia. Taryn had spent a semester in college studying there, and she’d been dying to go back since. While we were there, she showed me the country and introduced me to her host family. It was an amazing two weeks. Taryn, every day since we started dating has been an amazing adventure, and I couldn’t imagine doing it with anyone else. You are an amazing wife and mother. I love you. Happy Valentine’s Day.

–Raffaele Lagonigro

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Education in the Kitchen

What Your Child Can Learn From Baking

Following Directions Not unlike computer science, baking requires a strict order of operations. The wet and dry ingredients often need to be mixed separately and then folded together. It only takes one deviation from the instructions for a pastry to go from delicious to disgusting. Spending time in the kitchen, then, is a great way for kids to learn the importance of reading directions carefully and comprehending what they’ve just read. Cultural Understanding Cuisine is a fundamental part of every culture. Introducing your child to dishes from around the world will expand their horizons. Want your child to be a less picky eater? Involving them in the cooking process is the surest way to get them excited about trying new flavors and ingredients. Nutrition Now, you might not think that baking cookies will encourage greater nutritional Andrew first came to Flex Physical Therapy after spraining his ankle in gym class. Andrew is in his senior year of high school and plays lacrosse in the spring. He really needed to get better before his last season in high school. When he started at Flex, Andrew had swelling, weakness, and poor mobility in his right ankle. He was using crutches and could barely put weight on his foot. While working with Dr. Lagonigro, Andrew began strengthening his right ankle, improving his mobility as his pain decreased. Getting back to lacrosse in the spring would require Andrew to be able to run and make quick changes in direction.

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, you’re probably wracking your brain for the perfect recipe to bake for your loved one. There’s nothing wrong with store-bought chocolate, but there’s no topping the personal touch of some homemade baked goods. If you have kids, baking alongside them can be just as rewarding as enjoying the fruits of your labor. As an added bonus, baking is a hands-on opportunity where your child can learn all sorts of important concepts. Here is a short list of some of the educational lessons hiding in your kitchen. Math Baking is a numbers game. Just take a look at any recipe, and you’ll recognize the importance of math in building a beautiful cake. Having children measure out ingredients helps them learn about fractions and ratios. You can also test your kids by doubling or halving a recipe for multiplication and division practice. With older kids, practice unit conversions by asking, for example, how many pints are in half a gallon.

awareness, but hear us out. Sugar is often buried within packaged foods. When you bake something at home, a child gets to see, firsthand, just how much sugar goes into certain sweets. Meanwhile, cooking savory dishes also allows them to learn what constitutes a balanced, healthy diet.

Athlete Spotlight: Andrew

to report that he has recovered 100 percent! He is ready to return to lacrosse for his senior year and move on to play in college next year.

Here is what he had to say:

“I made the decision to come to Flex because I knew I needed to fix my ankle if I wanted to go back to lacrosse. I needed to be able to run and make quick cuts and turns. So the choice to come to PT was an easy one for me. Now I am able to do everything I was able to do before the injury with very little pain. I am very thankful for the help I received at Flex Physical Therapy and recommend it to everyone.”

Andrew worked extremely hard each and every visit, and we are happy

–Andrew C.

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Why Your Heel Aches Every Morning The Skinny on Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is among the most common of these injuries, affecting upward of 2 million Americans every year and accounting for more than 11 percent of all foot injuries that send patients to a specialist. If you’re suffering from persistent foot pain, it’s important to understand the basics of the syndrome. Armed with this knowledge, you can determine whether the symptoms of plantar fasciitis match your own and figure out the best way to heal your injury. The heel of the foot is a complicated network of muscles and ligaments, all supported by a thick band of tendons called the plantar fascia. This structure holds up the arch of the foot and undergoes tension as the foot bears weight. As you walk, the plantar fascia elongates and tightens repeatedly, acting like a spring that conserves energy and facilitates a proper gait.

However, with repetitive stress or overuse, the plantar fascia may begin to suffer degenerative decay, particularly at the point at which it connects to the heel. This can result in severe pain across the heel, forcing you to avoid putting your full weight on the bottom of the affected foot. Typically, this pain is worse when you first get up in the morning or after you take your first steps following a long sedentary period. Plantar fasciitis is especially common among people 40–60 years of age, but it can affect individuals at any stage of their life, particularly runners, military personnel, teachers, restaurant workers, and other professionals who spend most of their day on their feet. Luckily, the syndrome is often treatable through noninvasive methods like physical therapy. Depending on your particular case, an experienced physical therapist can guide you through a set

of exercises that will reduce your pain, increase your range of motion, and steadily heal your damaged fascia. If you believe you may suffer from plantar fasciitis, it’s vital to seek treatment soon. It most likely will only get worse until it’s addressed.

Sweet and Zesty Detox Salad

5 -Minute Meditation In honor of Valentine’s Day, this month’s meditation focuses on the heart. This heart-opening meditation is best done lying down on a mat or blanket. Comfortably melt into the floor, relaxing every point that touches the floor so that you feel grounded and secure. Place one hand on your belly and one on your heart. Close your eyes and begin to deepen the breath. Feel the rise and fall of the heart and belly on your hands. Choose one of the below affirmations and repeat it to yourself. You can repeat it as much as you need to allow yourself to focus inwardly on the thought. Imagine that you are planting the seeds to grow the affirmation and support your heart. Remain with these thoughts and this breath for as long as you would like.

Ingredients For the Salad: •

For the Dressing: •

1 large carrot, roughly chopped

3 cups chopped kale leaves

¼ cup rice wine vinegar

2 cups chopped broccoli florets

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups chopped red cabbage

1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger

1 cup matchstick carrots

1 cup chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon honey

½ cup toasted slivered almonds

1 tablespoon white miso

⅓ cup sliced green onions

½ teaspoon sesame oil

1 diced avocado


Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions 1. To make the salad, add all ingredients to a large bowl; toss to combine. 2. To make the dressing, add all ingredients to a blender or food processor. Pulse until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper or add extra honey for a sweeter taste. 3. Drizzle dressing over salad and serve immediately.

Love opens me and heals me.

I am love; I am peace; I am light.

I open my heart to all goodness.

I look for the joy in myself and see it in all things.

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Recipe inspired by GimmeSomeOven.com

973.812.8000 www.flexptnj.com


333 Main Street Little Falls, NJ 07424

INSIDE • A Valentine’s Day Story PAGE 1 • Cook Your Way to Better Grades PAGE 2 • Athlete Spotlight PAGE 2 • Why Does My Heel Hurt Every Morning? PAGE 3 • Whip Up This Winter Salad in a Flash! PAGE 3 • The Most Romantic Destinations on Earth PAGE 4

The Best Valentine’s Getaways to Fantasize About

Valentine’s Day is for fancy dinners, heart-shaped boxes packed with subpar chocolates, and fantasizing about the magical places you and your beau would have escaped to — if only you had the PTO. So, grab a glass of bottom-shelf cab sauv, cuddle up next to your special someone, and try to make them feel bad for taking you to Chili’s instead of whisking you away to one of these picturesque fantasy lands. Udaipur, India These days, meandering through the cobblestone streets of Paris with your loved one is très passé . All the real high-rolling romantics are migrating southeast to the famous Oberoi Udaivilas hotel in western India. Set in a traditional Mewari palace, visitors will feel like royalty as they stroll around the labyrinthine gardens that surround the elaborate cream- colored structure. Travelers can relax beside one of the many glassy pools sprinkled throughout the estate, all of which are enthusiastically attended by an unparalleled service staff. Positano, Italy More than perhaps anywhere in the world, this place looks like it was lifted straight from a sappy romance novelist’s imagination. You and your partner can kick back on a balcony overlooking the entirety of this seaside town, taking in the century-old multicolored Italian architecture perched

precariously on the verdant mountainside. Too small to accommodate swarms of tourists, it’s the perfect place to while away the hours ambling from shop to shop, sampling the delicious local cuisine, and maybe taking a dip along the 300-meter beach. The Maldives From a water villa smack dab in the midst of the glassy, ultra-blue Indian Ocean, you and your main squeeze can enjoy utter seclusion. Sip champagne in the shade of a palm overlooking an otherworldly sunset or get a little more adventurous, strap on a mask, and check out the abundant aquatic wildlife. Many hotels in the area even include access to an array of boats, perfect for your own private excursion along the mild waves. Of course, you could also always just stare, dumbfounded, into the horizon, wondering how such a place could actually exist on Earth.

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