Vital Care PT - August 2018




(623) 544-0300

P hone or N o P hone ? T hat I s the Q uestion of E very P arent

Vital Care Patients ENTER TO WIN Find the misspelled word in this newsletter and call (623) 544-0300 for your chance to win a $10 gift card! CALL (623) 544-0300 Contest is for past and present Vital Care PT patients only. My son developed a bit of a video game problem last year. I’m not going to go on a full attack against video games because there are plenty of healthy aspects to them, but I did see a change in Dylan the more he played. Whenever he played for an extended period, his personality changed. He got very moody if I From the age of 5, my kids were desperate for their own cell phones. Why wouldn’t they be? After all, everyone else has one. But as a parent in modern society, it’s pivotal to have perspective on how digital devices fit in with the ever-growing complications of a child’s life. On a fundamental level, cell phones can be incredibly useful. You can check on your kids while they walk home from school. You can make sure they were picked up from sports practice in a carpool. But as with any good thing, cell phone use can easily become excessive if you let it.

asked him to stop. Eventually, it started factoring into his school work. His grades began to drop because he became uninterested. He found it more important to play video games than to study for a test or do homework. His A’s quickly fell to C’s, so we had to impose more restrictions. He is no longer allowed to play video games on school days at all. He is only allowed to participate on the weekends after his checklist of chores is done.

When it comes to my daughter’s use of digital devices, the threat is slightly different. Skyla loves and makes a lot of videos. The same goes for Snapchat and FaceTime. My daughter doesn’t show any change in personality or obsessive traits while using these apps, but when kids are active in networks outside of your understanding, it’s essential to monitor their activity. I have an eye on who her friends are in these apps, and I make sure she’s not using social networking irresponsibly.

solve problems in the digital world, the more they can use those skills in the real world. I know that keeping my children from interacting with others on any digital platform with others would be more of a detriment than an advantage. Moderation is the key to making my family work in unison within a digital world. Skyla and Dylan know there is a certain time when video games, phones, and tablets aren’t appropriate. They also know that using these devices all day every day is not healthy — not because of the medium, but because doing any single activity for an extended period of time removes balance from your life. Exercising for eight hours is as detrimental as playing video games for the same period. All of this isn’t to say you should live your life rigidly by these rules. Everyone’s kids are different, and every parent has a unique solution in their home. This is just how we go about it in the McWhorter household. How do you? –Andrea McWhorter

“Without boundaries, digital devices can have a damaging effect on children.”

Without boundaries, digital devices can have a damaging effect on children. However, there are a lot of benefits. Kids with ADHD can benefit from games like Minecraft. It challenges the brain and helps them focus their attention on a creative outlet. Video games present complex scenarios for kids, and the more they learn to | 1

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S leep B etter and F eel G reat

KICK THE SCREEN HABIT. You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again: Looking at an electronic screen — a TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone — before bed is detrimental to sleep quality. Light from these devices is disruptive to your brain’s suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), which helps regulate your circadian rhythm, and screen time before bed can throw off normal SCN function. Put your excuses for staying up too late to bed. Say no to “one more episode.” And all those emails? They can wait until tomorrow. Not getting enough quality sleep is harmful to your mental and physical health. When you get into the habit of following these three tips, you’ll find yourself feeling rested and refreshed in no time.

A good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your mind and body. One study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research found that the quality of your sleep is much more important than the quantity — that is, if you want to feel rested. And we all want to feel rested. So, what can you do to improve the quality of your sleep and get the rest you need? LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. This, above all else, is crucial to a good night’s sleep. Your body knows when it’s time for bed. Generally, you want to go to bed when you feel tired, whether that’s at 8 p.m. or 1 a.m. Whenever your body tells you it needs rest, you should make a habit of going to bed then. The more consistent you are, the better your sleep will be. WAKE UP NATURALLY. Jolting yourself awake with an alarm or radio isn’t doing your brain and body any favors (it can be stressful on the body and even elevate blood pressure, which is not good first thing in the morning). If you do need an alarm, consider a wake-up light. Wake-up lights mimic the sunrise, slowly brightening the room, waking your body in a natural, gentle way.

S uccess S tories OUR CLIENTS SAY IT BEST “Before PT, I count not sit

S udoku

comfortably without sciatic pain on my left side. My experience

here has been pleasant, encouraging, educational,

and beneficial — I’m painless. Everyone here has been very positive and helpful, including Andrea and the rest of the staff.

Thank you!” -Arlene B.

“I have progressed from a very painful right hip to a virtually painless one. I was especially concerned about golfing; I’m currently golfing pain-free.” -Robert E.

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Dylan's good posture while playing video games, at least while I am watching!


Most physical injuries are associated with a specific age group. For example, when you hear about a patient experiencing back and neck pain or arthritis-related injuries, you might picture an older patient. Lately, our therapists here at Vital Care Physical Therapy have noticed an increase in these types of injuries in children and adults. The influx of patients ages 8–10 stems from a variety of factors, but the primary cause of these issues is the overuse of hand-held technological devices. Whether they are using a cell phone, a tablet, or a hand-held gaming device, the users’ associated poses are the same: gaze cast downward, back hunched over, fingers zooming over keys. It wreaks havoc on all bodies, young and old. People who assume this pose for hours a day and overuse these devices experience issues in their spinal column. They can also develop conditions such as thumb tendonitis or carpal tunnel in their fingers and wrists. The new term used for neck pain caused by this posture is “tech neck.” Older generations of patients might remember their mothers or grandmothers hounding them about their posture, but in our technology-driven world, a slouched back has become the norm when it comes to sitting. While prevention is always ideal when managing pain associated with controllable daily habits, our therapists can help people of all ages recover if they are experiencing persistent discomfort. They work to effectively resolve issues in the neck, back, wrists, and fingers by creating a unique plan to treat each patient’s specific condition, relieving the pain, restoring normal motion, and strengthening the supporting muscles that surround the injured area. While parents tend to think that children’s bodies are resistant to issues like soreness or joint inflammation, the increasingly popular sedentary lifestyle is changing that. If you or anyone you know — young, middle aged, retired, or elderly — is experiencing any neck or back pain, please give us a call at (623) 544-0300 to schedule a first visit.

G reen B ean and S esame S alad


• 3 cups green beans, ends trimmed • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

• 1 small red onion, finely chopped • Small bunch of fresh mint • Small bunch of flat-leaf parsley • Salt and pepper, to taste

• 1 tablespoon olive oil • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted


1. Bring a large saucepan of water to boil; cook green beans for 4–5 minutes; drain well. 2. In a blender, mix finely chopped mint and parsley with olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Blend until combined. 3. Add dressing, onion, and sesame seeds to beans. Toss together. Cool dish, then refrigerate until ready to serve.

Inspired by Delicious magazine. | 3


(623) 544-0300 Fax: (623) 544-0239

I nside 14545 W. Grand Ave., #108 Surprise, AZ 85374


How Our Family Uses Technological Devices PAGE 1

Sleep Better and Feel Great Success Stories PAGE 2 Green Bean and Sesame Salad Can Children Get Arthritis? PAGE 3 Safe Sailing This Hurricane Season PAGE 4


After last year’s devastating storm season, would-be tropical travelers are undoubtedly hesitant about purchasing those discounted plane tickets to the Caribbean Basin. No one wants to face a possible evacuation during their vacation — or worse, be forced to weather a hurricane at a beachfront resort. If you want the most bang for your buck while enjoying the turquoise waters of the Caribbean this fall, consider booking a cruise. Cruise-ship travel is a fun and adventurous way to explore any time of year. After all, what could be more magical than a floating hotel room where you fall asleep in one country and wake up in another? This charming mobility is also what makes cruise travel the safest option for visiting the Caribbean and the coast of Mexico this time of year. Much like resorts and airfare, cruise lines discount their Caribbean fares significantly during peak hurricane season, from August to October. However, unlike a traditional hotel, these massive ships have the luxury of navigating out of a storm’s path with ease. For all their ferocity, hurricanes move slowly across the Atlantic and have relatively predictable trajectories. Meanwhile, modern cruise ships carry the most sophisticated weather- tracking instruments, allowing them to bypass even small storms and inclement weather. SAFETY AND SAVINGS


The flipside of this ability to dodge storms is the fact that your ship may not be able to stick to its original itinerary. You may have to anchor at an island you weren’t expecting to or miss out on seeing a port you were supposed to visit. If you have your heart set on seeing a specific location, cruise travel this time of year may not be for you. But if you are simply looking for a safe, affordable vacation to a beautiful region, then it doesn’t much matter which white-sanded beach you wake up to next. While unpredictable weather will always be a concern for any vacation, the safety and variety cruises offer make them great options for anyone looking for a Caribbean getaway before the holiday season. So if you have a flexible schedule and a healthy sense of adventure, it’s time to call your travel agent, pack your sunscreen and bathing suit, and head to paradise!

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