Daily archive for April 7, 2012

Halloween Costume Contest

Each year our five clinics participate in a costume contest. The winner is determined in an online poll where all of our patients, friends, and community members can vote. Each clinic picked a theme and everyone dressed to impress.

Up first is Farmer Mark and his Pumpkin Patch. This festive farm bunch belong to our Cedar Springs location.

Grease was the word for our Grant team. They even decorated the clinic to get in the spirit of things.

These cowgirls from our Sparta clinic had a great time getting in the spirit of Halloween. Giddy up ladies!

The gypsy gang from our Coopersville clinic had a consistent back and forth battle for first place, but ultimately came up just a few votes short and had to settle for second.

The sole winner (2 years in a row!) of our costume contest is…. drumroll please…..

The holiday gang in Wayland. These folks know how to put on a Halloween showdown!

Congrats to our Wayland team! We’re already looking forward to see what you’ll come up with next year.

October is Children’s Health Month

Making a commitment to be physically active is one of the best ways families can prevent or combat obesity and its consequences. Physical therapists support the Department of Health and Human Services’ Physical Activity Guidelines, which states:
– Children should get 1 hour or more of physical activity a day.
– Adults should do 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate-intensity, or 1 hour and 15 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity.

Physical therapists’ extensive knowledge of pre-existing conditions (such as type 2 diabetes and obesity) allows them to help people of all ages and abilities establish life-long patterns of physical activity. For those who already are obese, physical therapists can devise safe exercise programs that reduce pain, restore flexibility, and increase strength and cardiovascular endurance. For people with type 2 diabetes, they can design and supervise exercise programs that reduce the need for medications, lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, and help manage glucose levels, among other benefits.

The following tips were designed by physical therapists to help families stay active and incorporate physical activities into their daily lives:

“Smart Moves” for Families
– Plan weekend family activities involving physical activity, such as hiking, swimming, bicycling, mini-golf, tennis, or bowling.
– Help your child plan physical activities with friends and neighbors, such as skating or softball.
– Have your kids brainstorm a “rainy day” game plan of indoor activities involving fitness games such as Wii Fit or Dance Dance Revolution.
– Remember that your family does not need to join a health club or buy fancy equipment to be active.
– Walking isn’t costly and it’s easy. So is designing a backyard obstacle course. Weights can be made from soda or detergent bottles filled with sand or water!
– Provide positive rewards for your child when he or she engages in physical activities, such as workout clothes, a new basketball, or an evening of roller-skating.

– Provide positive feedback about your child’s lifestyle changes. Remember not to focus on the scale (for you or your child).
– Be your child’s “exercise buddy.” Plan daily walks or bike rides and set goals together for increasing physical activity rather than for losing weight. It’s also great bonding time!
– As you schedule your child’s extracurricular activities, remember to plan time for exercise and activity as a priority for the entire family. Don’t just “squeeze it in.”
– Encourage children to try individualized sports such as tennis and swimming. Studies show such activities are the basis of lifelong fitness habits.
– Limit TV time and keep the TV out of a child’s bedroom.
– Make a new house rule: no sitting still during television commercials.

Check out Let’s Move Outside for more ideas on keeping your family healthy!

Understanding Arthritis

With so many types of arthritis, it’s no wonder people are often confused in diagnoses related to bones and joints. Here are some definitions to clear the mud on the “medical jargon.” Physical therapists are experts on bones and joints and often work with physicians on treatment plans for patients that can involve both medication and therapy. If you have been diagnosed with arthritis and have questions, please ask one of our therapists.

Arthritis: a general term for inflammation at a joint. It causes swelling, pain and limited mobility.

Osteoarthritis: Wear and tear of the cartilage, which acts as joint protection between joint surfaces. All joints will have normal wear and tear, but may be accelerated or may be more painful with injury, weight gain, age and genetics.

Rheumatoid arthritis: A chronic disease that causes inflammation at many joints, and may affect other organs. It is considered an “auto-immune” disease in which the body is attacking itself in different ways.

Osteopenia: Decreased bone density and “bone thinning” due to more bone reabsorption than bone creation. This bone density loss does not meet the criteria for osteoporosis, and osteopenia does not necessarily mean that a person will develop osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis: Decreased bone density leading to porous and brittle bones. This disease will lead to increased fractures.