ELITE Physical Therapy Lagniappe (318) 443-3311
From Professional Athletes to Becoming a Pro at Manual Therapy
We’re Welcoming a New Expert to Our Team
Travis Barlow’s career has taken him to some pretty interesting places. Originally from northern Idaho, he found his way to Texas, where, as he tells it, “Everything fell in line.” We’ll let Travis tell the rest of the story. A baseball scholarship originally took me to Austin, and I was pursuing an engineering degree when a shoulder injury changed my path. After surgery, I found myself amazed by the rehabilitation process. Post-op, my shoulder was actually feeling worse than it had before. By working with a physical therapist, I was able to improve it and feel like I was back to normal. I realized I had a passion for the power of rehabilitation, so I changed my studies and started working toward a career in physical therapy. I’d been interested in working with athletes, and my first job out of college was working for the Cardinals in Phoenix. I got an insider’s view of professional sports. Although I enjoyed the experience, I decided I wanted to focus on helping all athletes get better, not just professionals. I found myself heading back to Austin for a fellowship focusing on manual therapy, mostly treating orthopedic outpatients. The variety of treatment plans and people I got to work with kept the job challenging and motivating. If you ask me what the best part of our job is, it’s the amount of time we get to spend with patients. As physical therapists, we get to spend more time with patients than any
other profession in the medical field. We watch people progress and get better because we get to walk them through the process. A patient may come into physical therapy with a sling, unable to move their arm. Our job is to explain why they’re feeling pain and where the pain is coming from. We show them what they can do to get better.
That’s my other favorite part of physical therapy: It returns confidence to the patient. It can be as big as a professional athlete returning to the game or as everyday as someone grocery shopping without debilitating pain. In regard to day-to-day life and confidence, it’s all equally important. Outside of work, I spend most of my time chasing my 3- and 4-year-old daughters around. While my wife, Wendy, is finishing school, I often get to watch the girls. Since we’re all so busy, we try to make the time she has count. Usually, when she’s free, we’ll explore a kid-friendly activity, like going to the zoo, the fair, or another nearby spot. After moving around, we’re happy to settle into life in Louisiana. We’ve been enjoying how nice and genuine the people are here. I’m also grateful for everyone at Elite for making me feel welcome from day one. I’ve got a good crew here that makes it nice to come to work every day. We’re just as grateful to welcome Travis to the Elite family. As the only Fellow in the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists in central Louisiana, he brings an area of expertise to our team. Whether you’re looking to get back on the field or just back to your regular routine, he is here to help. –Bart Jones Elite PT • (318) 443-3311 • 1
I’ve treated many different types of pain and injuries, but there is one story I remember in particular. Our patient was a professional bareback rider who just had a hip surgery. He thought his career was over, as did most of the people around him. By giving him a physical therapy treatment plan, we were able to get him back on track, and he returned to the sport he loved. In fact, he went on to win the World Championships.
Family Activities for Thanksgiving Unless you have a child auditioning
Stuff the Turkey Game Want to get the kids outside so you can get to work in the kitchen? Create a Thanksgiving-themed game for them to play outside while you prep the stuffing and put the turkey in the oven. To create a holiday-themed “Stuff the Turkey” game, all you need is a few paper bags. We’ll bet you have some left over from shopping. Use two small bags stuffed with scrap paper to create legs and glue them to a larger bag folded to look like the body of a turkey. Now that you have your turkey, you need some balls to stuff it with. Anything soft and baseball-sized will work, even some balled-up paper. Kids will take turns trying to toss the balls into the turkey, scoring points for every shot made.
crayons and colored pencils for every place setting. If you want to add some extra holiday spirit, put the drawing supplies in empty cranberry sauce and pumpkin cans. Gratitude Mobiles Of course, Thanksgiving isn’t just about delicious food. It’s also about reflecting on the parts of our lives we are grateful for. Teaching kids about gratitude is the most valuable Thanksgiving lesson. Bring that concept to life with a gratitude mobile. Grab some colored paper circles — or cut them out — and have your children write down things that they are thankful for. A silver Sharpie is great for this. Punch holes in the tops of the circles and run string through them. Tie the other end of the string to a coat hanger or embroidery hoop and hang it from the ceiling.
for “MasterChef Junior,” you’re probably not going to let the little ones cook the turkey this Thanksgiving. Just because the kitchen might be off limits, though, doesn’t mean you can’t find a few creative ways to make the holiday extra special for your kids. Spice up Thanksgiving with these fun, family-friendly activities. Coloring-Book Tablecloths If you have a big family, you are probably familiar with the Thanksgiving tradition of the kids’ table. It may be smaller than the grown-ups’ seating arrangement, but it doesn’t have to be any less special. Turn your kids’ table into a canvas for a colorful, creative dining experience.
To do this, use craft or art paper to cover the table. Tape everything down tightly and provide
“I have made great strides since attending PT at Elite Physical Therapy. When I first came to PT, I could not bend or stoop without pain radiating down my back, and I was in constant pain, whether I was lying in bed, sitting, or walking. Standing was not an option due to a tremendous amount of back pain, muscle pain, and leg pain. With the expert help of Wesley, I have learned the exercises that I can do at home to relieve me from future problems. I function at a much better level now compared to when I first came to Elite. I would not hesitate to recommend this facility to anyone, and I am completely pleased with the results of my treatment. Thank you, Wesley, and thank you, Kelsey. You’re the best.” -Jeanette Dodd
If you read last month’s testimonial, you may feel like you’re seeing double. We extend our apologies for not including the correct information alongside Jeanette’s photo in the last edition. We’re happy to highlight Jeanette this month and her incredible recovery thanks to her dedication and hard work with Wesley and Kelsey.
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The Therapy Cap
and How it Affects You
Our goal at Elite PT is to have you back to doing what you enjoy most in life. While that’s our focus, we’re also aware of the financial aspects of receiving physical therapy. We realize that Medicare may not cover all of the services you need to get well again. The Balanced Budget Act of 1999 originally established the financial cap on therapy services. During the next several years, the situation went up and down. Moratoriums were placed on the cap, and then the cap would be reinstated. Then, in 2007, an “exceptions process” was established that allowed PTs to bill for services over the cap limits in certain, very specific, situations. The “therapy cap exceptions process” is only temporary and has to be reapproved by Congress every year or so. On December 31, 2017, the exceptions process expires again.
$1,980 for occupational therapy (OT) services per year.
There is legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate to repeal the therapy cap once and for all. We, at Elite PT, are fighting hard to do our part to support the cap repeal efforts.
What do these numbers mean?
Once you’ve reached those total costs in therapy services, Medicare will no longer pay, unless we can definitively prove to Medicare that you will benefit from further PT and enact the exceptions process. Otherwise, you will be responsible for covering the rest of the cost. Even more importantly, if you’ve received physical, occupational, or speech therapy prior to visiting our office, the cost of these previous services will count toward your cap limit. We and many other opponents of the therapy cap believe the cap is a poorly considered, arbitrary limit that hurts the sickest of the sick in our communities. People who have multiple medical problems tend to reach the cap faster than others, and the care that they need and deserve is impacted by this arbitrary number. It can affect you , and in many cases, it already has!
What can you do?
As a patient, your voice is more important to our congressional delegation than anybody else! Reach out to your representatives and senators and tell them that you support the therapy cap repeal legislation. If you have any questions, ask us !
Congressman Ralph Abraham 202-225-8490
Congressman Mike Johnson 202-225-2777
Senator John Kennedy 202-224-4623
As of 2017, these are the therapy cap limits designated by Medicare:
Senator Bill Cassidy 202-224-5824
$1,980 for physical therapy (PT) and speech-language pathology (SLP) services, combined, per year.
Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Soup
Have A Laugh!
3 pounds sweet potatoes, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 cup coconut milk
2 medium carrots, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions 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. Puree everything until smooth, using a blender or an immersion blender. 5. Add the coconut milk, give everything a good stir, and cook for another 30 minutes. 6. Adjust the seasoning and serve warm.
Recipe courtesy of PaeloLeap.com.
Elite PT • (318) 443-3311 • 3
Recipe courtesy of CookingLight.com.
3446 Masonic Drive Alexandria, LA 71301 (318) 443-3311
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Inside THIS ISSUE
• Travis’s Path to Physical Therapy
• 3 Family Activities for Thanksgiving
• November Testimonial
• Paying for Therapy
• Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Soup
• A Very Good Boy
In late August, the nation was put to the test after Hurricane Harvey struck Texas, displacing millions from their homes and taking dozens of lives. Activists, charitable organizations, and ordinary people sprang into action to provide needed relief. Journalists, professional and otherwise, brought back stories and images of the destruction in Harvey’s aftermath. Among those stories was one dog who went viral for exemplifying that resilient Texas spirit. Otis, a German shepherd mix, belongs to a 5-year-old boy in Sinton, Texas, just north of Corpus Christi. He’s cherished by his owner, but if you talk to other residents, you could say he belongs to the whole town. Otis: Unlikely Hurricane Hero
instrumental in helping my grandson following numerous hospital visits for seizures and asthma.” Apparently Otis has a free pass other dogs in Sinton don’t have. He can saunter down to the Dairy Queen and score a free hamburger. Salvador says he’s also the only dog allowed to lie down in front of the county court house and refers to him as “a local celebrity.” He has an affable personality and a quiet demeanor. But, as the hurricane proved, Otis also had a fighting spirit. When Harvey struck, dogs, cats, and people went into survival mode. For Otis, that meant gathering resources. The morning after the storm, a woman snapped a picture of a damp Otis trotting down the street. In his mouth, he toted an entire bag of dog food, and not a small one.
The woman posted the picture to Facebook. “This dog is walking around Sinton, Texas, carrying a [sic] entire bag of dog food with him. LOL #refugee,” the caption read. The image resonated with people and quickly went viral, being shared over 50,000 times. The people of the Lone Star State have long prided themselves on their pluck and resilience. “Must be a Texas dog cause [sic] he can survive without help,” one commenter wrote online. Another site called him “the hero Texas needed.” Otis’ canine resilience was both humorous and inspirational. The most powerful images in a crisis aren’t of Air Force One or of celebrities donating millions. They’re of ordinary people — and pets — striving, surviving, and making their way back home, just like Otis.
“He’s a special dog,” said Salvador Segovia, the grandfather of Otis’ owner. “He’s been
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