WEST HILLS 7230 MEDICAL CENTER DRIVE, SUITE 401 WEST HILLS, CA 91307 WEST LOS ANGELES 10474 SANTA MONICA BLVD, SUITE 435 LOS ANGELES, CA 90025
WWW.M3PT.COM / LA · 310.275.4137 / WEST HILLS · 747.888.3562 / DECEMBER 2018
M3 AND ME
Well, it’s that time of year when our car radios declare “Let It Snow” as we sit in 68 degree sunshine on the 405. Personally, I’ve never missed having a white Christmas. I’ll take commuting through traffic over risking black ice any day of the week. However, this holiday season, my family and I will seek out a winter wonderland as part of our growing tradition of skiing and snowboarding. Having grown up in LA, I never imagined I’d be in a skiing family. When I was young, my parents took me up north to experience snow for the first time, and my wonderment only lasted as long as it took for my fingers to get cold. In high school, I made it up to the slopes at Mammoth a few times to teach myself to ski, but I was never really taken with the sport. It wasn’t until after I became a physical therapist that I really discovered the joy of carving through fresh powder. LESSONS FROM THE SLOPES HOW OUR FAMILY BECAME SNOWBOUND
not done much skiing in her adult life, so this volunteer opportunity was quite the adventure for both of us. I took the time to learn to snowboard and really fell in love with the sport. I’ve never known something to be so tranquil while still being an incredible adrenaline rush.
After that experience, we made the trip up to the mountains almost every winter. While Munesha stuck with skiing, I got more and more into snowboarding, becoming quite the speed demon. I had my fair
share of wipeouts and even needed physical therapy myself from time to time, but the thrill was worth it.
The year our first daughter was born, something strange happened. I was flying down the ridgeline on a board, getting ready to take a jump I must have done a hundred times before. But at the last moment, I swerved away. In that
split second, I saw my little girl’s face. “What am I doing?” I asked myself. “I’ve got responsibilities now.” On that quiet, snowy ridgeline overlooking the world, the understanding of what it meant to be a father hit me like a thunderclap. I haven’t gone off a jump since. Now that our kids are older, they hit the slopes with us. We start them out skiing, but it seems like once they get old enough, they gravitate over to snowboarding, where it becomes my turn to be the instructor. My youngest daughter is the only holdout, preferring to stick with skis. She has, however, picked up my love of speed. Between her low center of gravity and general fearlessness, I have a hard time keeping up with her! Nowadays, we head up to the slopes every time the kids have winter break. We travel with a group of family friends who all have children around the same age, so it’s a great experience for everyone. With the way our schedule works out this year, our trip will happen in the latter half of this month, so it looks like I may get that white Christmas after all. Whether you spend the season here in LA or travel farther afield, I hope it’s full of joy, warmth, and the comfort of your loved ones.
“ON THAT QUIET, SNOWY RIDGELINE OVERLOOKING THE WORLD, THE UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT IT MEANT TO BE A FATHER HIT ME LIKE A THUNDERCLAP. I HAVEN’T GONE OFF A JUMP SINCE.”
The children’s hospital that I worked at had a program designed to help disabled children learn to ski. The participating resort had special ski chairs and instructors to facilitate the actual lessons, but they needed volunteers to actually take the kids up and down the mountain. It just so happened that my wife, Munesha, had also been working at the time with children with disabilities, and seeing that we were ideal candidates, we signed ourselves up as chaperones. One of the perks about being chaperones was that we were allowed lift passes for the day while the children learned to ski. Like me, Munesha had
–Dr. Raul Lona
LA · 310.275.4137 / WEST HILLS · 747.888.3562 | 1
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SURVIVING THE SEASON OF SWEETS HOW TO INDULGE YOUR SWEET TOOTH WITH LESS SUGAR
Cookies, cakes, and pies, oh my! The holiday season is brimming with sweet treats of all kinds. Sometimes it can feel like candy and sugary desserts are around every corner, and yet you still want to indulge. However, when you prediabetic, or diabetic, that piece of pumpkin pie with whipped cream starts to look more dangerous than appetizing. During the holidays, how can you satisfy your sweet tooth without worrying about consuming excessive sugar and calories? Skip the candy and go for the fruits and nuts. Keeping a bowl of fruit and nuts nearby can help keep sugar cravings at bay. Dried fruits, such as cranberries, pineapple, or apricots, are both sweet and nutritious. Just be sure to check the packaging for added sugars. You can consider that over 50 percent of Americans are insulin-resistant,
even make your own dried fruit with a food dehydrator. This way, you are completely in control of the ingredients. No matter what you do, just be mindful not to overindulge. Dried fruit is high in sugar and calories, but the fiber and vitamins make fruit much healthier than just about any other sugary treat.
more flavonoids and theobromine. The antioxidant properties of the theobromine and flavonoids make dark chocolate as good for your heart as it is for your soul. If you have a recipe that calls for chocolate, reach for the dark stuff, whether it’s dark chocolate chips, cocoa powder, or baking chocolate.
Another way to cut down on your sugar intake is to use dark chocolate in
While it may seem as though everyone and their grandma is overindulging in sugar this season, know that you have the choice to opt for
all your chocolate- based treats. Dark chocolate has about half as much sugar as milk chocolate,
healthier sweets. And come New Year’s, you
twice as much healthy fat, less cholesterol, 4–5 times more iron, twice as much potassium, fewer carbs, and
won’t have to spend the first few months of 2019 working off that extra cookie weight.
ON THE 4TH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME: A BUNCH OF PAINFUL INJURIES!
While the holiday season is believed to be the jolliest time of year, some people can’t seem to avoid Christmas-related injuries. The experts at Accident Claims Advice compiled a list of injuries that cause the most problems during the holidays. Using data provided by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, they analyzed the entire year’s worth of accidents and discovered that 337 occurred over the holidays in 2016. Of the 337 injuries, 101 involved Christmas lights, 20 involved accidentally swallowing objects, and 60 were sustained from falling off a ladder. They then looked at what parts of the body get injured the most over the festive period. Out of all the accidents they examined, 52 were lower back injuries due to lifting heavy objects — likely Christmas decoration boxes from the attic. While we know that some of these injuries are unavoidable, many could be prevented by slowing down and taking proper precautions. Because we see numerous patients who have suffered back pain after lifting bins full of decor or heavy presents they purchased for loved ones, we want to highlight proper lifting procedures. 1. Keep a wide base of support. Your feet should be shoulder- width apart, with one foot slightly ahead of the other.
2. Squat down, bending at the hips and knees only. If needed, put one knee to the floor and your other knee in front of you, bent at a right angle. 3. Keep good posture. Look straight ahead and keep your back straight, your chest out, and your shoulders back. This helps your upper back remain straight while having a slight arch in your lower back. 4. Slowly lift by straightening your hips and knees. Keep your back straight, and don’t twist as you lift.
5. Hold the object as close to your body as possible, at the level of your belly button.
6. Set down the item or box of items carefully, squatting with the knees and hips only.
If you’ve exercised proper precautions and still find yourself in pain from all the activity that accompanies prepping for the holiday season, be sure to come see us today. No one should be hurting on Christmas morning!
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A REAL PAIN IN THE BACKSIDE COME SEE US REGARDING YOUR SI JOINT
Approximately 80 percent of adults in the U.S. will experience lower back pain during their lives. In fact, lower back pain is a leading cause of missed workdays and the most common cause of job- related disabilities. While many people experience this localized type of pain, few know that it could stem from their sacroiliac (SI) joint. Dysfunction in the SI joint can produce many painful symptoms due to the joint’s connection to the pelvis, which transmits and absorbs forces between the spine and the lower body. Because the pelvis is responsible for providing attachment sites for 35 different muscles as well as protection for the abdominal organs, any kind of severe trauma — or even small, repetitive stresses — can cause a lot of pain in the lower limbs. What’s more interesting (and frustrating for patients) is that pain stemming from damage to the bones, ligaments, muscles, or nerves in the SI joint often relocates to another part of the body. So, even if you have damaged your SI joint, you may actually feel the pain elsewhere in your body! That’s why, here at M3 Physical Therapy, we spend a lot of time trying to
accurately pinpoint the cause of your pelvic pain by paying close attention to your symptoms. There is no single test that can diagnose SI joint dysfunction, but patients with SI joint injuries may experience pain in the lower extremities or back, stiffness, and instability. Our clinicians start by analyzing movement to identify mechanical and timing impairments of the musculoskeletal system. Because SI joint injuries are both prevalent and complex, we ensure at our facility that each patient receives an individualized treatment plan — one that explores the source of their pain rather than merely treating the symptoms. In fact, we had a patient come in recently complaining of lower back and pelvic pain. Once we diagnosed her with sacroiliitis, or sacroiliac joint dysfunction, we recommended physical therapy treatment. After only two days, she was able to sit comfortably again. If you would like more information about SI joint dysfunction or would like to schedule an appointment to find out about treatment options, please give us a call at 310-275- 4137. Remember that you can come to our West Hills clinic for a free screening for any condition, as well!
30-MINUTE CAULIFLOWER SOUP
TAKE A BREAK
• 1 small head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cored and sliced • 1 leek, chopped • 1 medium onion, chopped • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth • 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil • Salt and pepper, to taste
1. In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter into warm oil. Add onion and leek, season with salt and pepper, and cook until tender, about 10–12 minutes. 2. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add cauliflower, broth, and cream. Simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes. 3. Using a blender, purée in batches until smooth. 4. Top servings with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of pepper.
LA · 310.275.4137 / WEST HILLS · 747.888.3562 | 3
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10474 SANTA MONICA BLVD, SUITE 435 LOS ANGELES, CA 90025 PHONE: 310.275.4137 FAX: 310.274.1815
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Lessons From the Slopes
Indulge Your Sweet Tooth With Less Sugar This Holiday Season
How to Avoid Holiday-Related Accidents
Do You Have Lower Back Pain?
30-Minute Cauliflower Soup
Everything You’ll Need for an Ugly Sweater Christmas
FORMERLY KNOWN AS WILSHIRE LINDEN PHYSICAL THERAPY — SAME TEAM, NEW NAME!
UGLY SWEATER PARTIES It’s speculated that the first ugly sweater party took place in Vancouver, Canada, back in 2001. Since then, the trend has become one of the most popular holiday party themes. Come Thanksgiving, you’ll start to see racks in all types of clothing stores lined with hideous sweaters. If you’re ready to jump on the ugly-sweater-party bandwagon this Christmas season, here are a few things to keep in mind. A FUN TREND YOU CAN EASILY FOLLOW! Santa, Rudolph, or Frosty on it. And let it be known that an ugly sweater isn’t complete without sparkles, beads, and sequins galore. WHAT EXACTLY IS AN UGLY SWEATER PARTY? It’s rather simple — slip on your favorite Christmas sweater, gather all your friends and family members, make sure there are plenty of refreshments and games, and you’re guaranteed to have a top-tier party. A few ugly-sweater-themed games that should be on the
YOUR VERY OWN UGLY SWEATER
agenda include an ugly gift exchange, which is similar to the white elephant exchange, except with the gaudiest gifts you can find; an ugly photo booth, complete with terrible, tacky props; and, of course, an ugly sweater contest. This is the only time of year when slipping into a lurid red sweater with a stuffed Santa sewn on the front is considered trendy. So adorn yourself in the frumpiest, tackiest sweater you can find, and have some fun this December!
Ugly sweaters come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. You can head to H&M or a local thrift store to pick one up. However, if you have a sweater that’s been cozied up for years in the back of your closet or a drawer, now’s your chance to give it new life. Arm yourself with a hot glue gun, thread, and needle, and patch
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