Elite PT March 2019

March 2019

(318) 443-3311


ELITE Physical Therapy Lagniappe

Celebrating Our PTAs

The Key Role Brandi, Carol, and Jayme Play at ELITE

In 1967, the House adopted a policy statement titled “Training and Utilization of Physical Therapy Aides and Assistants.” This helped establish educational standards, the scope of practice, licensure, and eligibility for APTA membership for PTAs. In 1966, the Louisiana legislature had passed the first Physical Therapy Practice Act, and it was amended in 1992 to permit the Board to license and regulate Physical Therapist Assistants. Now all Physical Therapist Assistants must graduate from a CAPTE accredited physical therapist assistant program. There are now 4 PTA programs in Louisiana, including one right here at Louisiana College. It’s pretty incredible to think about how all this happened in a 50 year span. PTAs have become integral to the field of physical therapy and the treatment of patients. They are a respected part of the profession. Today, it’s hard to imagine the delivery of physical therapy without PTAs on the team. Our three PTAs play a crucial role in the physical therapy field and especially here at ELITE. Brandi, Carol, and Jayme provide therapy under the direction of our physical therapists. They help people of all ages with medical problems or other health- related conditions that limit their ability to move and perform normal activities in their daily lives. Our PTAs provide care that includes teaching patients how to exercise

for mobility, strength, coordination, and the improvement of walking or any other daily activities. Brandi Thiels has been with ELITE for many years, even before receiving her PTA degree in 2007. Brandi has extensive experience with orthopedic conditions, particularly post-operative care. Brandi and her husband, Eric, are the proud parents of two boys, Liam and Eli. Carol Vercher joined the team at ELITE Physical Therapy in 2011. She also has experience in post-operative care and orthopedics. Carol and her wonderful husband, Kevin Vercher, enjoy life with their adult and college-age children. Jayme Perkins worked with ELITE Physical Therapy as a physical therapy tech before graduating as a PTA in 2015. She is enthusiastic about helping patients return to their pre-surgical or pre-injury health. Jayme and her husband, Dutch, are proud parents to two kids, Eloise and Wesley. Brandi, Carol, and Jayme are very important to the team at ELITE. Their care and compassion help set a tone for our whole clinic. They are friendly and professional, and we can’t imagine how we could function without them! –Bart Jones & Don Cassano

This month, we want to shout out some important members of our team — our Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs), Brandi, Carol, and Jayme. 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the first Physical Therapy Assistant graduates, and it seems like the perfect time to highlight the crucial role these professionals play. As they share on their website, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) first began considering the idea of physical therapist assistants in the 1940s. At this point, physical therapists were treating soldiers injured in World War II just as a new polio outbreak emerged. After two world wars, the Great Depression, and multiple polio outbreaks, there was a high demand in the United States for the services of the 2,500 physical therapists working at the time. They needed backup.

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How to Decide if Your Family Can Care for a Pet Are You Ready for Fido?

DOES AN ANIMAL FIT YOUR LIFESTYLE? When choosing a pet for your family, gather research from animal experts and other pet owners. Calculate the cost of owning a pet, and evaluate how that animal will fit into your lifestyle. For example, dogs are one of the most high- maintenance and expensive animals to own, but they tend to be more involved in family life than a cat or a hamster. That said, your home’s size and location may make it better suited for a smaller pet, as many larger animals require more square footage and plenty of outdoor space. have an honest discussion about the implications of owning a pet. If you have kids, consider how much they will be able to contribute to such a responsibility. Another factor to consider is how much free time you have to spend with your pet; some animals require more attention than others. To avoid major conflict down the road, discuss care and responsibility plans as a family before welcoming an animal into your home. Keeping a pet can be a source of joy for your family, but it can also be a source of stress. Before making any major choice, talk to your family members and consider what owning a pet would mean for all of you. IS YOUR FAMILY READY? Every family is different, and it’s important to

While we don’t know exactly why humans keep pets, one fact is certain: Millions of people love them. In fact, nearly 70 percent of households in the U.S. have a pet. But no matter what you see on your favorite dog Instagram accounts, keeping a pet isn’t endless playtime. Ask yourself the following questions before buying or adopting a furry companion. DO YOU KNOWWHAT YOU’RE GETTING INTO? Owning a pet can change your lifestyle. To start, you will have to consider the animal’s well-being when hosting events or taking vacations. You will also have to make room in your budget for pet-related expenses. Additionally, some animals can live for upward of two decades. Discuss how responsibilities will change as a pet ages and what your future will look like before making the commitment.

Client Testimonial

“After having bilateral knee surgery, I heard horror stories about rehab. Well, you put my worries to rest. While it has been a challenge, each of you has been great at getting it done the correct way for the best results. When I first arrived, I could barely lift each leg without help. Now I am on my way to a much more pain- free way of life. To each of you, I admire and respect your knowledge, professionalism, and super personalities! I cannot thank you enough for everything. May each of you and your families experience all the very best life has to offer.” ––––– –Joe Moreau

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Don’t Let the Wheelbarrow Get the Best of You Stay Injury-Free in the Garden With These PT-Approved Tips Gardening weather is upon us! While we’re all excited to get back outside and create our perfect outdoor landscape, common gardening activities like digging, planting, weeding, mulching, and raking can cause stress and strain on muscles and joints. This is especially true for senior citizens and people who are normally sedentary. Different body areas, such as the shoulders, neck, back, and knees, can be vulnerable to injury while gardening.

and keep your back straight as you lift or pull. Avoid twisting your spine or knees when moving items to the side. Instead, move your feet or pivot on your toes to turn your full body as one unit. • If kneeling on both knees causes discomfort in your back, try kneeling on one and keep the other foot on the ground. Use knee pads or a gardening pad when kneeling.

• If kneeling or leaning down to the ground causes significant pain in your back or knees, consider using elevated planters to do your gardening.

Here are some tips that can help minimize or prevent injuries while gardening.

• Warm-up before you garden. A 10-minute brisk walk or stretches for your spine and limbs are good ways to do this.

• Avoid bending your wrist upwards when pulling things or using gardening tools. Instead, keep your wrist straight and use your shoulder muscles to pull and lift. • End your gardening session with a cool-down. Some gentle backward bending of your lower back and a short walk, similar to stretches done before starting, are a good way to relieve any tension. If something doesn’t feel quite right after you’ve been working outdoors, contact a physical therapist to help you address the underlying issue. Our team of PTs and PTAs can show you movements, stretches, and exercises to help you enjoy the outdoor activities you love.

• Change positions frequently to avoid stiffness or cramping. Be aware of how your body feels as you work in your garden. If a part of your body starts to ache, take a break, stretch that body part in the opposite direction it was in, or switch to a different gardening activity. For example, if you’ve been leaning forward for more than a few minutes, and your back starts to ache, slowly stand up, and gently lean backwards a few times. • Make use of a garden cart or wheelbarrow to move heavy planting materials or tools. Be sure to keep your back straight when using a wheelbarrow.

• Use good body mechanics when you pick something up or pull on something, such as a weed. Bend your knees, tighten your abdominals,

Have a Laugh!

Soba Noodles With Garlic and Zucchini


Inspired by NaturallyElla.com

1/4 cup soy sauce

4 ounces soba noodles

2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

2–3 cloves garlic, grated

1 small zucchini, julienned into noodle strands

1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and grated


1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add soba noodles and cook until tender, about 4–5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water, then set aside.

2. In a large skillet or wok over medium-low heat, warm olive oil until barely shimmering. Add grated garlic and ginger, and cook for 1 minute. Pour in soy sauce and water, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 2 minutes.

3. Add onions, simmering for 3 minutes. Stir in zucchini and cook for an additional 90 seconds.

4. Add soba noodles and toss to fully coat. Serve immediately, or cool and serve as a cold dish.

Elite PT • (318) 443-3311 • 3

3446 Masonic Drive Alexandria, LA 71301 (318) 443-3311



Hours of Operation: M–Th: 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Fri: 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.


• Celebrating A Key Part of Our Team

• Should You Get a Pet?

• Hear From a Happy Client

• PT-Approved

Gardening Tips

• Soba Noodles With Garlic and Zucchini • How to Make Your Sailing Dreams Come True

Set Sail for Vacation Take Your Next Trip Offshore

If you’re lucky enough to have been aboard a ship under full sail, chances are you know the thrill and serenity sailing can give you. If you’ve never been but have always wanted to know what it’s like to get out on the wind and waves, there are many great options available for beginners. Here are some ideas to inspire your next waterside vacation. START SMALL For those who dream of becoming a skipper one day, a great way to start is by sailing dinghies. These one-sail, beach-launch boats fit 1–2 people and can be rented at most water sports shops. If you want to make it a family experience, shops usually have 16-foot catamarans for rent

as well. Catamarans have two hulls rather than one, making for a smoother, more spacious ride.

simply don’t want a local guide at the helm, signing up for a day trip with a skipper and crew is a great option. DO A FULL CHARTER Short of owning your own vessel, chartering a boat for multiple nights is the closest you can get to living out your nautical dreams. Some of the most beautiful destinations on earth — from the Caribbean Sea to the Mediterranean — are best experienced from the deck of a sailboat. Letting the sea guide you to amazing snorkeling destinations, remote cays, and bustling harbors is the stuff of real adventure.

If you’ve never sailed before, inquire about lessons. Most rental operations have instructors on hand who can show you the ropes. The great thing about sailing is that whether you’re in a 12- foot dinghy or a 60-foot sloop, the same basic principles, rules, and skills apply. TAKE A DAY SAIL Many day-sail charters exist for those who want to go out a little farther than a dinghy would permit. If you’ve captained a boat and are familiar with the waters, you can apply for a bareboat charter. However, if you are inexperienced or

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