A Rewarding Partnership with Crutches 4 Kids

A Rewarding Partnership with Crutches 4 Kids

For the past few weeks we’ve been raising money for Crutches 4 Kids, whose mission is simple and high impact – to help children move. 50 million children around the world are in need of crutches but lack access to them.

Due to debilitating infectious diseases, chronic conditions, armed conflict, accidents, and natural disasters these children are unable to walk. Under these circumstances, when a child can’t walk they can’t attend school, play with friends, or access food and water without assistance.

Crutches 4 Kids works to bridge the gap between the abundant supply of crutches and mobility devices in the U.S. and the staggering demand globally. They’re working to liberate and empower children with physical ailments and disabilities around the world. These children are often victims of trauma, abuse, disease, or inadequate healthcare systems. By providing them with access to crutches, Crutches 4 Kids, enables self-sufficiency, increased participation in communal life, and an improved sense of self-worth.

When given the opportunity to volunteer with this awesome organization, the answer was a quick yes! For every $50 we raised, we could provide crutches and transform the lives of three children. To put our own spin on things, we decided to get creative with our fundraising efforts. At the end of the competition the entire organization raised $13,052.68 and collected over 650 sets of crutches and walking devices!

A Rewarding Partnership with Crutches 4 KidsAllendale had a bake sale and pop can drive.

A Rewarding Partnership with Crutches 4 Kids

Caledonia hosted a raffle to coincide with their one year anniversary party.

A Rewarding Partnership with Crutches 4 Kids

Cedar Springs had a bake sale.

A Rewarding Partnership with Crutches 4 Kids

Comstock Park performed exercises, chosen by their patients, for every dollar donated.

A Rewarding Partnership with Crutches 4 Kids

Coopersville hosted an ice cream social and walking taco bar.

A Rewarding Partnership with Crutches 4 KidsNorton Shores collected donations while offering patients and friends a delicious milk and cookie bar.

A Rewarding Partnership with Crutches 4 KidsSparta team members took a pie to the face, all to help the kiddos!

A Rewarding Partnership with Crutches 4 Kids

Wayland did one burpee for every dollar donated. At the time this article was published they were up to 416!

Crutches are a rare and valuable commodity in many parts of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. As a result of high cost, lack of government planning and limited resources, inaccessible medical centers, and a lack of in-country supply, less than 10 percent of those in need of crutches in impoverished areas of the world have access to them.

Since inception, Crutches 4 Kids has collected over 10,000 crutches, canes and walkers and distributed them to over two-dozen countries including Haiti, Ghana, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Peru, Senegal, and Tanzania.

We’re so pleased to be able to help such a great organization. Learn more about them online at And, if you have questions about physical therapy for kids and how we can help, we’d love to talk!

A Rewarding Partnership with Crutches 4 Kids


Read how two of our team members traveled to Guatemala to provide crucial physical therapy treatments to a number of people in remote villages. They were able to change the lives of adults and provide physical therapy for kids as well.

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A Rewarding Partnership with Crutches 4 Kids

Discussing Back Pain in Women on eightWest

Did you know that back problems are more common in women than men? Many women turn to pain meds or even surgery, but there is a much safer solution and we’re talking about it on eightWest.

Gina Otterbein and Denise Jongekrijg stopped by the WOOD TV studios to talk with Rachael Ruiz about back pain and they gave some great tips for exercises you can do at home. Discussing Back Pain in Women on eightWest

View the entire segment below.

We most often see back pain in patients who are pregnant or new mothers, athletes, and seniors, however, back pain can flare up at any time – whether it’s from ongoing stress like sitting too long or running; or from something as simple as reaching for an object on the floor. The good news is, physical therapy is a safe alternative to pain meds and surgery. And, the sooner you come in to see us, the easier it is to provide a long-term solution to the pain.

We offer free consultations at each of our clinics and can often get you scheduled within the next business day. Don’t let back pain prevent you from doing the things you love – think PT!


View Our Previous Physical Therapy Segments on eightWest
If you missed any of our previous WOOD TV and eightWest segments, you can view them at the following links. We’ve talked about physical therapy vs taking prescription pain medication, the lesser known issues we treat, benefits of physical therapypain during pregnancy and when caring for a newborn, our annual step challenge, senior and elderly fitness programs, having healthy kids and teens, reducing the chances for injuries by knowing the proper form when running and stretchingwomen’s health, and direct access to physical therapy in Michigan. With multiple west Michigan locations we’re offering physical therapy in Lowell and throughout the greater Grand Rapids area!

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Discussing Back Pain in Women on eightWest

5 Tips to Help You Keep Your Exercise Routine

5 Tips to Help You Keep Your Exercise Routine

Make no mistake about it – we are fully entrenched in the new year. After all the shopping, meal preparation, stress, and overeating, came the annual New Year’s Resolution. The most common resolution, of course, is to exercise, lose weight or get in shape. “This is the year!”

Sound familiar?

As avid exercise enthusiasts, we’ve seen the number of gym-goers in January start to dwindle by February or March. Many people fizzle out of their exercise commitment for one reason or another. An unfortunate culprit of exercise drop-outs is injuries. While the motivation to recommit to a lifestyle of healthy eating and exercise is admirable, it can also be easily forgotten, especially when pain gets in the way.

5 Tips to Help You Keep Your Exercise RoutineAvoid injury at the gym and keep working on those New Year’s fitness goals by following these 5 tips to help you keep your exercise routine:

1. Fitness vs. Health
There’s a difference between working out for fitness and working out for health. Most people work out for fitness because it’s a lot more fun than working on some of the key exercises we therapists use for restoring a person to optimal health and range of motion. However, it’s vital to know the difference, and to know that while many fitness exercise programs allow you to quickly “feel the burn,” you need to make sure you’re not causing more harm than good to your joints, muscles, and tendons. At 18 years old, we can only work out for fitness because at that point we usually 10-feet tall and bullet-proof. But as the years go by and the tires get more miles on them, we need to be more mindful of that and focus equally on exercising for our health and for fitness. If you have questions regarding fitness classes or programs, we can offer guidance.

2. Stretch
Easier said than done. But many of us are sedentary and seated most of the day, so we all need to focus on stretching our shoulders, neck, low back, hips, knees, and ankles to improve or maintain the available range of motion we have. The truth is, most injuries can be avoided by stretching our joints and muscles to maintain our freedom of movement. Here are four simple stretches you can do right at your desk.

3. Work in a pain-free range of motion
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s an important one. It also relies on your ability to know your limits and to know the difference between pain, soreness, and fatigue. Regardless of what your friend, personal trainer, or person from the Youtube video may tell you about a certain exercise, know your body and know when and how to modify an exercise to make sure it can be done pain-free.

5 Tips to Help You Keep Your Exercise Routine4. Bench-press? Think again
Follow this guide for the safest chest and shoulder exercise. Sadly, it’s become the most popular male weightlifting exercise, mostly stemming from high school. The bench is one of the worst exercises we can do for the health of our shoulders. It’s an exercise we can get away with in high school, but in our 30s and 40s, as our rotator cuff can accumulate more wear-and-tear, it’s not something we so easily tolerate. Same goes for the military press.

Here is our list of safest, to least safe basic gym chest/shoulder weight training exercises:

  1. (Most Safe) Push-ups: There’s no shortage of variation and progressions
  2. Incline bench with dumbbells
  3. Incline bench with barbell
  4. Flat bench with dumbbells
  5. Military press with barbell (in front of head)
  6. Flat bench with barbell
  7. (Least Safe) Military press with barbell (behind head)

5. Walk. Walk. Walk.
Find time to walk every day for at least 20 continuous minutes. The health benefits of daily walking are too high to list. We consider daily walking as one of the examples of exercising for health. It’s vital to find time to make this a regular activity because not only does it perfectly compliment the exercises we do for fitness, but it’s easier to stick with consistently and see regular health benefits.

5 Tips to Help You Keep Your Exercise RoutineHere’s the point…

Follow these simple guidelines and don’t let an injury keep you from your fitness or health goals.  If you want to start by just walking or running, check out our article on taking your first steps.

It’s important to listen to your body. If you feel an injury starting to arise consult with one of our physical therapists for an evaluation or free consultation. The state of Michigan allows direct access, meaning you can see a PT without a prescription.

We offer a variety of fitness classes including yoga, HIIT, RunClub, water aerobics, and SeniorFit. Our classes are easily adaptable for any fitness level and are taught by trained instructors who can help if you begin to experience any discomfort while exercising. Get details and sign up here.

If you need more tips to help you keep your exercise routine, we’re always here to help. Make 2019 your year to feel great and take control of your health!

5 Tips to Help You Keep Your Exercise Routine

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5 Tips to Help You Keep Your Exercise Routine