We're Talking Senior Health and Driving on WZZM and My West Michigan

Wednesday, November 25, 2015
We all have parents, grandparents or friends that we care deeply for and we want to see them living a long and healthy life. As therapists we can have a positive impact in this stage of life. Gina and Lyn were recently invited to the My West Michigan studios at WZZM to talk about this very topic.

We had the opportunity to chat with Catherine Behrendt about how changes in our physical and mental capacities effect our driving skills as we age. Our DriveFit driver assessment program is done in the clinic to help older adults stay on the road as long as possible, in the safest manner.

We talked about warning signs, equipment that can be used to assist older drivers, and how we can help. Watch the segment in its entirety here. 

If you have questions on DriveFit, or warning signs when it comes to a loved one and their driving habits, contact us at the clinic nearest you. You can also check out our other WZZM segment on athletes and concussions here.

Senior Fitness with eightWest and WOOD TV

Wednesday, October 28, 2015
It’s never too late to get fit
Exercise is good for everybody, but it becomes even more important as we age. An appropriate amount of physical activity is essential for seniors to help maintain physical and mental health. At Northern we treat older adults who have an injury or condition, or who want to work on an exercise program. At any age, exercise and physical activity can be a “wonder pill.” It can prevent or delay heart disease/stroke, some cancers, diabetes, osteoporosis, low back pain, high blood pressure, and balance problems/falls. But exercise is not just good for you physically, its great for you mentally as well. Exercise and physical activity can also manage stress, improve your mood, reduce feelings of depression, improve your ability to think more clearly, and improve your energy levels.

Our very own Gina Otterbein and Julie Blodgett stopped by the studios of WOOD TV's eightWest to talk with Rachael Ruiz about this very topic.

Rachael Ruiz, Julie Blodgett, and Gina Otterbein

Gina and Julie demonstrated simple exercises that people can do at home, based on the 4 categories of exercise that we should all follow: endurance, strength, flexibility, and balance.

You can see the segment in its entirety at the link below.

If you missed any of our previous eightWest segments, you can see us talk about healthy kids and teens, proper form when running and stretching, women's health, and direct access to physical therapy in Michigan.

Kids and Concussions on WZZM's "My West Michigan"

Thursday, October 01, 2015
Sports season is among us and as the kids go back to playing football and soccer we see an increase in the number of student athletes who have suffered a concussion. As a parent, you’re not sure what to do and this can be a very scary time. Our goals is to educate you on the correct protocol and what to expect if your child does suffer an injury on or off the field.

Gina Otterbein and Keith Slenk stopped by the WZZM studios to talk with Catherine Behrendt of My West Michigan (formerly Take Five and Company). We had a great interview and were really excited to be meeting Catherine, Lauren Stanton, and Jennifer Pascua for the first time!

We covered what signs parents should look out for when their child suffers a hit to the head, as well as how the aftermath of the concussion should be handled. You can watch our segment in its entirety below. 

If you have any questions on concussions or sports injuries, don't hesitate to give us a call. 

Buy Local Michigan

Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Janis had the pleasure of stopping by the studios of Buy Local Michigan to film a segment on reducing daily pain and Northern PT. In the video, which was produced by DW Video and Multimedia, Janis chats with host Duane Weed about how physical therapy helps people get back to living pain free, and how they help certain injuries. Check out the segment in its entirety here:

Talking About Healthy Kids and Teens on eightWest

Tuesday, May 19, 2015
It’s never easy to see your child in pain. Whether they’ve had an accident, an injury on the field, or are having trouble with fine motor skills, you want to do everything you can to protect them and keep them safe. When we treat kids and teens, we try to make the experience fun so it’s enjoyable and kids can get back to feeling good again. In the process, we always educate families on how to keep their kids safe, while still allowing them to have fun and do the things that kids do.

We talked about this very topic with the delightful Terri DeBoer when we stopped by WOOD TV's eightWest this week.
Gina Otterbein and Diana Painter talk with Terri DeBoer about kids, physical therapy, and health.

Some of the most common injuries that bring young children to us include sprains and strains, broken bones, and what’s commonly called growing pains or muscle imbalances. We can also help with fine motor challenges in school like cutting paper and handwriting. Teens tend to come in for things like concussions, sprains and strains from playing sports, back and shoulder pain due to poor posture, and strains due to texting and gaming.

We also offer free helmet and backpack fitting assessments at all six of our locations. All you have to do is stop by with your child and their helmet or backpack.

View our entire eightWest segment here.

If you have questions about kids' safety, health, or pain they are experiencing, feel free to contact us at the location nearest you - Cedar Springs, Coopersville, Grand Rapids, Grant, Sparta, or Wayland. And, check out our previous segments on eightWest where we talked about running and stretching, direct access and women's health.

Repeal the Medicare Cap

Monday, April 06, 2015
As Michigan consumers, you have a right to let your voice be heard!

Medicare beneficiaries have a dollar cap on the amount of therapy they can receive per year - $1940 for physical therapy and speech combined, and $1940 for occupational therapy. If a patient has been diagnosed with a complicated illness, sustained multiple injuries, or needs more than one orthopedic surgery within a year, the cap can easily be exceeded - limiting the amount of services they need and deserve.

There is legislation to repeal this cap. Give your voice to Congress so they know you'd like the Medicare cap to be repealed. Follow the link below to send an email to your legislator. It only takes a few seconds to let your voice be heard! The American Physical Therapy Association is lobbying on Capitol Hill in your favor, but they need your support.


Running and Stretching on eightWest

Thursday, March 12, 2015
The weather has finally warmed up, after what seemed like the longest winter ever! Many people are itching to get outside, go running, and maybe even start training for a 5k. We stopped by the studios of eightWest this week to talk about stretching, running, and our latest 5k training program, RunFit.

Corey and Gina talked running and stretching with Rachael Ruiz.

Corey explains the proper way to stretch before running, while Gina demonstrates.

Watch our entire segment below, and if you have any questions on running, stretching, or fitness, just give us a call at 616.947.2720.

Our RunFit 5k training program starts March 18 at our new Grand Rapids location. The cost is only $20 for the 8 week session and participants will run the 5/3 Riverbank Run together on May 9. Register and get details here.

Check out our previous segments on eightWest where we talked about direct access and women's health.

Got Priority Health? Give Physical Therapy A Try!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Has your back been sore for a while now? Are you dealing with a recurring sprain from all that running you've been doing? If you don't really want to deal with seeing your physician, and you're not sure where to turn, consider giving physical therapy a try.

Gina shows a patient how the spine works, explaining why she may be experiencing back pain.

Now that Direct Access is in full effect, you can visit a physical therapist without a referral from your doctor. And, what's even better, is that if you're a customer of Priority Health, they'll cover your treatments!

Priority Health has become the first local insurance provider to reimburse physical therapy services without a prior referral from a physician, as announced here. This news comes just 5 weeks after the Direct Consumer Access Bill went in to effect, which allowed residents of Michigan to seek physical therapy treatment without a referral. Despite the fact that the state law had changed, most insurance companies were not on board, until now.  If you're not a Priority Health customer, call your insurance company directly and tell them you want physical therapy treatments covered directly - the movement can start with you!

Corey treats a patient who has suffered a knee injury.

What does this mean for you? 

There's a shift towards empowering people to take their health into their own hands and to be more involved in the decisions that are being made. People that suffer from constant back or neck pain, have had a recent sports injury, or are looking for an alternative approach to healthcare can now come directly to a physical therapist - we've been advocating for and working towards this for decades - it really is an exciting shift in Michigan healthcare. And, its important to remember, just like you can choose your doctor or your dentist, you can also choose your physical therapy provider, regardless of your insurance provider.

When the Direct Access bill went into effect on January 1, 2015, Priority Health chose to continue to require a prescription before they would pay for physical therapy visits. However, after careful consideration, they have decided to follow state law for their commercial insurance products and physical therapy visits will be covered, with or without a prior referral from a physician.

Terri shows Amanda the proper way to stretch and flex her back and shoulder muscles.

This is a huge leap forward for Michigan consumers and healthcare in general, as the Michigan Physical Therapy Association (MPTA) has been working on the Direct Access plan for 34 years. 

If you have any questions on Direct Access, visit our FAQ page, or check out our segment on eightWest. If you are experiencing pain in your back, neck, shoulders, or elsewhere; have suffered a recent injury; or have questions in general about your health, feel free to stop by and set up an appointment with one of our therapists, or give us a call - we'd be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Talking About Womens Health with eightWest

Tuesday, January 20, 2015
WOOD TV's eightWest welcomed us back once again and this time around we talked about women's health. 

Imagine you’re out with your girlfriends having a great time, enjoying a glass of wine, you get to laughing, when “oops, I think I just peed a little!” Laughter can quickly turn to embarrassment when its accompanied by a little urinary leakage.

It may have started happening after you had your baby, as you got older, or after surgery. But the important thing to remember is that you’re not alone. Urinary incontinence affects millions of women of all ages, not just the elderly. Its an embarrassing topic to talk about, but there is a solution and the sooner you can get it looked at, the better your chances of making a full recovery.

Keeping these issues to yourself because you’re embarrassed or because you think it’s normal is really only doing more harm. Its not uncommon for women to have leakage after childbirth, with sporting activities, or as we age; however this is something that shouldn’t be labelled as normal.

Check out our full interview with WOOD TV, and eightWest and Rachael Ruiz below, and if you have any questions on women's health, bladder issues, or incontinence, give us a call at 616.997.6172.

See our previous eightWest segment with Jordan Carson where we talked about direct access and how it effects healthcare and physical therapy in Michigan.

Our Interview with eightWest and Jordan Carson

Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Being on television in front of thousands of viewers can be very intimidating, but the folks at eightWest and WOOD TV8 made us feel right at home this week when we stopped by to talk with them about Direct Access and all the changes that are happening in physical therapy.

Jordan Carson of eightWest talks with Gina Otterbein about Direct Access and Physical Therapy

Check out our interview below, and if you have any questions on direct access or whether physical therapy is right for you, give us a call at 616.997.6172.