Vital Care PT December 2017



(623) 544-0300 WWW.VITALCAREREHAB.COM C hristmas T raditions


As a young child, I remember spending Christmas Eve at my grandma and grandpa’s house. My grandma is Norwegian, so every year, she made us traditional oyster stew for Christmas Eve dinner. I always hated oyster stew (I still can’t eat it!), but my parents tried to make it easier on me by telling me I only had to drink the broth and I didn’t have to eat the oysters. I would put as many crackers in my broth as possible to make it taste better, but it never worked, so I always resorted to soaking up the broth with tons of napkins or dumping it down the sink when nobody was looking. Eventually, I learned to sit at the bar by the sink to begin with so I could dump it faster. Thankfully, someone always made a pot of chili for those who didn’t want oyster stew, so after I claimed that I tried the oyster stew, I was allowed to have chili. 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

After dinner, my grandma served us a strawberry cake to remind all of us that gifts are fun, but we celebrate Christmas to remember Jesus’s birthday. The cake was for Jesus, so we would sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus, and all the kids would blow out the candles before eating it. I grew up in a religious household, and we still celebrate with my mom’s side of the family on Christmas Eve, so the strawberry cake tradition is still going strong. We opened presents from my aunts, uncles, and grandparents on Christmas Eve, and then my immediate family would go back home to sleep. We celebrated Christmas morning ourselves and opened our gifts. Later in the day, we would go visit my dad’s side of the family to celebrate with them. My dad is one of 12 kids, so Christmas dinner was always a potluck on paper plates with plastic utensils in front of a backyard bonfire. Then, since there were so many of us, we would do a big white elephant gift exchange. Today, we still participate in my family traditions, and now that I am married with a family of my own and a business we have added even more Christmas celebrations including the holiday work party at our house the beginning of December, and a celebration with my husbands side of the family, the Jones’s, which is always the Saturday before Christmas. When we come home from the Christmas Eve “Oyster Stew” Party, my mother-in-law, sisters-in-law, and niece are waiting for us to get home. They spend the night with us so they can be there in the morning to enjoy Santa’s surprises. Later that evening we go to my dad’s side of the family gathering. We still do a potluck dinner in

front of the bonfire, and its still just as fun as I remember it being when I was a kid.

I don’t remember exact gifts that I got as a kid because that was not what Christmas was all about nor what was important, I remember the fun times that I had with my family very clearly. I also remember the first Christmas I spent with my husband. He was still my boyfriend at the time, and we had invited him over for our Christmas morning celebration. He didn’t realize that we don’t get each other very many gifts, so he had gone out of his way to buy me an absurd amount of presents. I was still opening gifts way after everyone else had run out, and I was so embarrassed! It was really nice of him to spoil me that way, and now we spoil our kids with gifts each year along with the multiple family traditions supported by love.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year, and we will see you soon.

Contest for past and present Vital Care PT patients only.

Andrea McWhorter | 1

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are to ream BUILD

There’s No Time Like the Present You’ve spent the last 20 to 30 years looking ahead, saving up for retirement, and making smart investments. Now your kids have left the nest, leaving you with more time and disposable income than you’ve had in years. You’re entering a new phase of life, which makes now the perfect time to pick up the long-forgotten dreams you’ve laid aside for so many years. It’s time to make a bucket list. Where to Start

exploring and embracing your once impractical and now achievable dreams. So where do you start? Throw a bucket list party. Gather your friends and family around. Make sure the group is made up of loved ones who believe in you and in each other. Don’t forget to invite that one friend — the one who believes a crazy scheme is just another word for adventure. Supportive friends and family are a major asset when it comes to bucket listing. List Away Pick something to write in or on. Anything works. From a designated notebook to a party napkin, choose whatever suits your fancy. Then list away. This exercise is about freedom from inhibitions, which is why it’s called a bucket list instead of a to-do list. Write down anything and everything you desperately want to see or do during your final years. Need ideas? Travel and Leisure’s article, “The Ultimate Travel and Leisure Bucket List,” is filled with ideas inspired by their employees’ bucket lists. From taking a food tour of Sicily, Italy, to visiting a traveler-

This is not about kicking the bucket. Your bucket list is

for reassessing and revamping your goals. It’s about

run post office in the Galapagos, you’ll find

S udoku

W ord on the S treet STEPHAN’S STORY

“When I first came to Andrea at Vital Care, my mobility was severely limited and my pain level was extreme, to say the least. Andrea started my rehab slowly but methodically as she wisely worked to

accurately determine what was needed to get me back to a normal range of motion and to eliminate the pain. As each session was completed, I steadily became stronger and more flexible. Today, I am graduating back into the life I had before the problem with my hip, and I am very thankful for the care and treatment I received. Thanks, Andrea. P.S. I am going bowling!” –Stephan T.

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dozens of unique ideas. Or visit , which provides more than 4 million bucket list suggestions. It also features bucket list tracking software and the opportunity to connect with like-minded adventurers.

IMPINGEMENT SYNDROME SEASON IS HERE This time of year, many people visit the physical therapist for back, hand, and shoulder issues. What we often don’t realize is that when we are preparing for Christmas, we use our bodies in unaccustomed ways. How often do you cut and tape wrapping paper, lift heavy boxes and bins off the shelf in the garage, or put up lights? You usually only perform these actions during the holiday season! One of the most common injuries we treat during the holiday season is impingement syndrome, which occurs as a result of chronic and repetitive compression of the rotator cuff tendons in the shoulder. This condition often causes pain and makes movment difficult. It is important to get treatment for shoulder impingement as soon as it occurs. Secondary conditions, like irritation of the bursa and rotator cuff tears, can result from the compression of the tissues of the shoulder. Physical therapy can be very successful in treating shoulder impingement syndrome, and once you’ve been evaluated, you will work with your physical therapist to create a treatment plan specific to your needs and goals. Your treatment may include pain management techniques. Your physical therapist will advise you to avoid certain motions while your shoulder heals and suggest posture corrections. Ice may also be used to reduce pain. Your physical therapist may also use manual therapy techniques and range-of-motion exercises, like soft tissue massage and stretches, to encourage your shoulder and shoulder blade to move properly. Once pain has subsided, you will begin strengthening exercises for your rotator cuff and other muscles in your shoulder. You will receive at-home exercises for continued training outside of the clinic. You’ll also learn ways to keep shoulder impingement syndrome from returning.

S low C ooker S weet P otato S oup


• 3 pounds sweet potatoes, roughly chopped • 1 onion, chopped • 2 stalks celery, sliced • 2 medium carrots, chopped

• 1 tablespoon garlic, minced • 5 cups chicken or vegetable stock • 1 cup coconut milk • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Place all the ingredients except for the coconut milk in a slow cooker. 2. Season everything to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. 3. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 4 hours. 4. Using a blender or an immersion blender, puree everything until smooth. 5. Add the coconut milk, give everything a good stir, and cook for another 30 minutes. 6. Adjust the seasoning and serve warm.

If you have been affected my shoulder impingement syndrome this holiday season,

give Vital Care Physical Therapy a call at 623-544-0300. We will have your shoulder good as new in time for the new year.

Recipe courtesy of | 3


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

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


Christmas Traditions PAGE 1

Make Your Bucket List PAGE 2

Present Wrappers Beware Recipe of the Month PAGE 3

Step Aside, Balto PAGE 4


S aves an A laskan T own

In the winter of 1924–25 , the Alaskan town of Nome suffered a deadly outbreak of diphtheria. Facing an epidemic, with no medicine on hand, the entire population of Nome and the surrounding areas could’ve been wiped out. The doctor sent a plea to the U.S. Public Health Service in Washington, D.C., for help. Due to the harsh Alaskan winter, ships couldn’t reach the Nome port, and it was too dangerous for planes. Sled dogs were the only method of transportation available. They decided to send a shipment of serum by train to Nenana, Alaska. The serum was then transported to Nome by sled dog. The fastest trip from Nenana to Nome was nine days. Due to the brutal conditions, the serum could only last six days before it would expire. What followed was the Great Race of Mercy — a desperate relay to deliver the serum 700 miles across northern Alaska. Twenty mushers and 150 sled dogs participated in the relay, but most historians agree one hero stood out above the rest: Togo, lead dog of renown musher Leonhard Seppala, who crossed the longest and most dangerous leg of the relay.

route saved a day of travel, and Seppala and Togo carried on. In a whiteout blizzard, with temperatures at -85 F and winds up to 65 mph, Togo’s incredible stamina and ability to sense danger led his team to safety. Thanks to their bravery, the serum arrived in Nome in 5½ days. The official death toll for Nome and the surrounding Native Alaskan encampments was less than 100 — far below the 100,000 predicted. Today, a statue of Balto, the lead dog of the relay’s last leg, stands in Central Park, New York City, though it’s worth mentioning the award on the statue was not actually given to Balto, but to Togo. As Seppala said himself, “I never had a better dog than Togo. His stamina, loyalty, and intelligence could not be improved upon. Togo was the best dog that ever traveled the Alaska trail.”

Togo’s 91-mile race crossed the frozen Norton Sound, where unstable ice could break apart and claim the lives of a musher and their dogs. But this

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