Summit Physical Therapy - May/June 2023

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YOU DON’T NEED SHOES IN NEW ZEALAND! Why I Went Barefoot, Even in Winter

By the time you read this, our Pacific Northwest spring days will be in full swing. The only positive for me of our wet winter was the massive snowpack that developed over the entire West Coast — especially California, where, as I write this, there has been major flooding. I hated to see the floods, but the snow was a boon for skiers like me. Now though, the snow has stopped falling. Spring is a time to resume my bike rides to work, get out the tennis racket, and fire up the motorcycle for some day-tripping. But that’s here in Oregon. Where I grew up, May is when the days shorten, the weather darkens, summer sports gear is put away, and thoughts turn to winter sports. My home city of Auckland, New Zealand, is very temperate — not tropical, but lush and green with consistent rainfall throughout the year and never any snow. When I was a kid, we could play outside all year long. I never wore shoes or sandals when I was little, even all through the winter. I walked barefoot to school through frosty grass that didn’t seem to injure my feet at all. They got very tough, and I like to think that is the reason why they’re so wide. If you don’t believe me, just ask me to take off my shoes the next time you see me. My feet are much wider than average. Fortunately, studies have shown that walking around in bare feet is very beneficial, and I have never suffered from any foot problems. Growing up, I put my tough feet to good use playing sports. These are generally very well organized and structured in New Zealand. National favorites include rugby, soccer, and minor sports such as field hockey and netball — a game for girls that’s similar to basketball. I did have footwear on for most of the rugby and soccer games I played (at least at the club level) although I may have played barefoot up to the age of 11 or so. Those were rough and tumble years. As a kid, I remember getting very muddy playing sports, to the point that teachers sent me home from elementary school several times after

lunch to change clothes. I was caked in dirt. Even though home was over a mile away, I walked there on my own, changed, and went back to school. That’s certainly not how they do it in the U.S. today. When I got older and went to physical therapy school, I needed more than my feet to get to class and various hospitals all over the city. I couldn’t afford a car, but I did get a motorbike just as the weather turned. If you ever invest in one, do yourself a favor and remember these two important lessons about riding: First, do not jam on the handbrake while turning a corner and trying out your fancy new motorbike in your backyard. The wheel will lock, and you’ll fall off. (Like I once did.) Second, watch out for the oil that comes to the surface of the road when it rains after a prolonged dry spell. I forgot once as I sped around a curve in the road and promptly skidded all the way to the other side. I wasn’t hurt, but I felt very embarrassed — I had a rider on the back who fell off, too. Luckily, neither of us was hurt. This spring, I’m looking forward to refreshing my motorbike skills, taking my first swings in months on the tennis court, and dusting off my pushbike for the journeys to and from work. Who knows — I may even walk around barefoot.

–Paul Kane, P.T., BSC, CMP

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The World Isn’t Ending 3 Strategies to Reduce Anxiety

Face Anxiety Head-On Many people try to avoid anything that could make them feel anxious. While this method may make you feel short- term comfort, it can cause you to be more anxious about specific scenarios. The best strategy to overcome anxiety is to face it head-on. Although it will be uncomfortable and challenging, don’t let it stop you! The more you put yourself out there, the less anxious you’ll feel. You’re stronger than you give yourself credit for! Please contact your health care provider if you’re worried about the anxious feelings you get. They can assist you with identifying your triggers, why anxiety is occurring, and methods you can use to reduce your symptoms.

When most people think of anxiety, they likely have negative connotations tied to it. Many make the assumption that anxiety will always lead to panic attacks and fears of major change, but just about anything can generate feelings of anxiety, and not all of them are harmful. However, if your anxiety stops you from doing something, it can hinder you almost every day. In honor of May being National Anxiety Month, here are three ways to reduce your anxiety. Daily Exercise Physical activity can increase your self- confidence, improve your mood, help you relax, and lower anxiety symptoms. You don’t have to do anything

significant — you can go for a walk, take a hike, conduct at-home workouts, go to the gym for at least 30 minutes, or participate in yoga and Pilates. Meditate Sometimes, taking a step back, focusing on your breathing, and letting your thoughts flow in one ear and out the other can help you put things in perspective. JAMA Internal Medicine published an article stating that practicing mindfulness can help ease feelings of anxiety, depression, and pain. You can meditate by following a guided meditation or silently sitting in a quiet area and breathing slowly. While meditating will be challenging at first, it will become easier with practice.

The Ageless Benefits of Yoga How Seniors Are Finding New Vitality

For many seniors, maintaining an active lifestyle can be a challenge. Your body might not be as flexible as it once was, and new pains or discomforts seem to appear out of nowhere as time passes. This change can be problematic and will require some adjustment on your part, especially if you’ve lived an active lifestyle. Thankfully, there are some activities you can do to help you stay active, like yoga! You might think that yoga is just for young people, but that’s not the case at all! Yoga is a low-impact exercise that can be modified to suit a wide range of abilities, making it accessible to people of all ages. There is no expectation of perfection, as each individual is

encouraged to listen to their own body and move at a comfortable pace. So even if you have health limitations or concerns, yoga is a safe and pleasant activity. Plus, you’ll gain a host of benefits from participating. By holding poses and moving through sequences, yoga helps to lengthen and stretch muscles, increasing the range of motion and reducing stiffness. You’ll also build muscle strength, particularly in your core. Your balance and posture will improve, which will help lessen physical discomfort and reduce your risk of falls.

yoga can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. By incorporating breathing techniques into their practice, seniors can improve cognitive function and memory. There’s also a social aspect involved. Many yoga studios offer classes specifically for seniors, which can provide a supportive and welcoming environment for everyone to practice together. It’s a great way to meet new people and have fun while staying active. There are advantages for people of all ages to practice yoga. If you’ve been interested in trying this activity for a while, now is the time to get out and get involved. You may be surprised by how much you enjoy it!

In addition to physical benefits, yoga is also mentally stimulating. The practice of


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OUCH! Pinched Nerves Hurt


Restorative Exercise Don’t worry; you won’t be doing jumping jacks. Strengthening and range of motion exercises are simple movements that can strengthen your muscles and stretch the affected nerves to help reduce pain. A physical therapist will often assess your issues and unique needs, then customize these exercises for you to reap the most benefits. Retraining Your Posture No one has perfect posture all of the time, but enhancing it can do wonders for your symptoms. Adjusting your posture is vital to treating pinched nerves and preventing further injury. Most people don’t realize how poor their posture is throughout the day, but a physical therapist can help

If you have a pinched nerve, you know how much it can affect your day-to-day life. Severe neck or back pain due to a pinched nerve often limits your usual sports or hobbies and can also be aggravated by sitting or standing at work all day with bad posture. But you don’t have to be stuck with this pain! The restorative techniques offered in physical therapy can help you treat your pinched nerve and teach you how to manage it properly. Manual Therapy Who doesn’t enjoy a massage? A trained physical therapist can administer manual therapy, such as massages, to loosen muscle tension and ease pain. Some other forms of manual therapy include lymphatic drainage and manual traction. These hands-on techniques can reduce inflammation and improve your range of motion. Cold Laser Therapy This FDA-approved and noninvasive treatment uses low-level light to heal damaged tissue and relieve nerve pain. The near-infrared light promotes healing and is known to treat pinched nerve symptoms and other spinal injuries, such as temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ) and herniated discs, when done regularly.

you retrain your stance and improve your spinal alignment. By doing so, you’re also preventing further damage to your pinched nerve.

Your favorite activities don’t have to become a forgotten memory. Physical therapy can have you returning to your everyday life and managing any discomfort caused by a pinched nerve. While not all physical therapists practice the same methods listed here, they can find a therapeutic routine perfect for your needs. Everyone deserves to live pain-free lives, and physical therapy can help you make the unthinkable a reality.

Ginger Pork Stir-Fry Inspired by



• 1 tbsp cornstarch • 1 cup orange juice • 2 tbsp soy sauce

1. In a small bowl, whisk cornstarch, orange juice, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger until smooth; set aside. 2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, stir-fry pork in oil until lightly browned, about 4–5 minutes. Remove pork and add onion, peas, and red pepper. Cook until crisp-tender, about 3–5 minutes. 3. Stir in orange juice mixture and pork. Bring to a boil, and then cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Serve over rice. Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds, if desired.

• 2 cloves garlic, minced • 1/4 tsp ground ginger • 1 lb pork tenderloin, cut into thin strips • 2 tbsp canola oil • 1 small onion, sliced • 1/4 lb fresh snow peas • 1/2 sweet red pepper, julienned • Cooked rice • Green onion, chopped (optional) • Sesame seeds (optional)

Meet BOB! (Bag of Bones)

Thanks to everyone who called the clinic with name ideas for our new skeleton friend. We received over a dozen suggestions! There were many clever ideas, but we loved BOB (Bag of Bones), submitted by Jean Avison. Thanks, Jean!

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(503) 699-2955 |


6464 SW Borland Rd., Ste. B5 Tualatin, OR 97062

1. Why Paul Spent His Whole Childhood Barefoot 2. Anxiety Can Be Overcome Healthy Aging Through Yoga 3. Managing a Painful Pinched Nerve Ginger Pork Stir-Fry 4. How Physical Therapy Can Improve Your Mental Health INSIDE THIS ISSUE

The Connection Between Mental Health and Physical Therapy

Improved Self-Esteem Unsurprisingly, your self-esteem may take a hit after suffering an injury or losing mobility, but physical therapy can help restore lost confidence. We’ll run you through various exercises, and at every appointment, you’ll gain a new sense of achievement as you progress toward your goals and regain mobility. Your confidence will improve even more as you work on the exercises we assign you at home.

Physical discomfort is usually the main focus of a physical therapy appointment. Whether you suffered an injury or have recently undergone surgery, you’re doing everything possible to return to the activities you love. But you may not realize that your mental health can majorly impact your physical recovery. You might think you need to see a mental health professional or start a new prescription to help your mind during recovery, but that’s not necessarily the case. Often simply participating in physical therapy can help improve your mental health. Reduced Stress, Anxiety, and Depression As physical therapists, we aim to help you return to your regular lives with few to no restrictions. There may be moments when you feel like nothing will improve after an injury, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel! After meeting with a physical therapist, you’ll receive a road map to your recovery. When you see that things will eventually improve, you’ll notice improvements in your mental health. Feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression will gradually lessen as you continue on your healing journey.

Better Sleep When you don’t sleep well, you can experience worsening symptoms of depression and anxiety. There’s no better way to ensure you get a good night’s rest than by exercising, and that’s exactly what we’ll help you do. Whether you’re coming in for an appointment or are following our guidelines for recovery at home, you’ll have an easier time falling asleep at night and will get much better rest.


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