Celebrating 26 Years of Excellence!  

   McDonald Physical Therapy News 


         August 2015 


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 Contact us at (574)233-5754

Fran's Favorite Quotes


"Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it" 


Welcome Back ND Students!


The MPT clinic located on Notre Dame's campus in St. Liam Hall, Ste. 229 

 will be open for students and staff beginning August 24th. 


Call (574) 631-4317 to schedule an appointment.




The MPT Team is excited to support St. Joseph County Parks 

Running Wild 5K




(Click on link for 

more info)    




The new MPT site offers quick and easy access to essential information for our patients,regarding their first visit, necessary forms
and FAQ's.

The website is also a great resource to 
learn more about our services, facilities and staff. 

Dear Friends,

Greetings to you all! I hope your summer has been a great one! I typically try to share with you stories about life at MPT and insights into our patient's struggles and triumphs but I decided to change things up a bit this month,as the following has weighed heavily on my mind.
I had a few competitors complain that we at McDonald Physical Therapy have physical therapy assistants (PTA's) working with patients. They have spoken to potential patients inferring that physical therapists are the only true competent care providers. They have also inferred that we allow inferior care in our facility. 

For the record, when my 88 year old Mom comes to town she is treated by one of our PTA's. My Mom truly adores and looks so forward to receiving her care from her. This PTA has been with me for 23 years. When one of my sisters comes into our clinic she is also treated by one of our PTA's. Why? Because these PTA's are excellent at what they do! They are  college graduates who then went on to get their PTA degrees and pass their boards. They have worked with me and trained under me, like all the physical therapists in our clinic. We have taken no short cuts in our training of our PTA's. 

Am I saying that most of my PTA's give a higher degree of care than many of the physical therapists in our area? Absolutely! Please step back for a moment and think about healthcare and all of your experiences with physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech therapists, etc. I would bet many people have met a 
so-called less qualified healthcare practitioner who they noticed helped them and educated them more than the designated expert. Titles do not make someone competent. In every profession, educating oneself and learning from a caring and well trained mentor is the key to becoming excellent at ones field of work. 

My Mom brought 10 of us into this world. She is as remarkable of a woman as you'll ever meet. I would never allow my Mom to have inferior care! The mere thought is insulting.

So, if you hear anyone putting down a physical therapy assistant's care, please do not judge until you get to know how well educated and trained they are. I would also hope, if you hesitate to visit McDonald Physical Therapy because others are trying to discredit our care, please visit and see for yourself!

Thanks for letting me share this important message!


Recognizing Concussions in Student Athletes



A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury caused by a direct blow to the head, face, or neck. In the United States, an estimated 300,000 sports-related concussions occur annually.


In high school gender-comparable sports, girls have a higher concussion rate than boys. Female athletes have also been shown to have a greater recovery time in postconcussion symptoms as compared to males.


Signs of a Concussion

Concussion symptoms usually appear within minutes of the injury; however, some symptoms may take several hours to occur. Any athlete who has lost consciousness during a sports-related impact should be examined for a concussion or a spine injury. A headache is the most common complaint of an athlete with a concussion. If you suspect your child has suffered a concussion, they may exhibit the following symptoms, which may worsen with stress or activity:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Headache
  • Feeling in a "fog"
  • Difficulty remembering
  • Behavioral changes (irritability, rapid changes in mood, exaggerated emotions, aggressiveness, depression, decreased tolerance to stress, etc)
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Difficulty with balance
  • Pupils that are enlarged or not equal in size
  • Double or blurred vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Excessive drowsiness
What to do if you suspect a concussion in an athlete:
  • Do not allow them to return to any sporting event. 
  • The athlete should be allowed to rest until there is a resolution of symptoms. This allows the brain to recover. Rest involves allowing time to sleep or take frequent naps. Minimizing distractions, such as television, Internet, reading, or phone use is important.  
  • It is unnecessary to wake the athlete up every hour. This disturbs sleep patterns, which can interfere with the healing process of the brain.
  • The athlete should avoid pain relievers, like aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medications. These may increase the risk of bleeding in the brain.
  • The athlete should not be left alone following the injury. Symptoms should be monitored closely. If they worsen, the athlete may need to be evaluated in the emergency room to determine if a more serious brain injury exists.     


How Can a Physical Therapist Help?

Physical therapists can evaluate and treat many problems related to concussion. Because no 2 concussions are the same, the physical therapist's examination is essential to assess your individual symptoms and limitations. The physical therapist then designs a treatment program.


Help Stop Dizziness and Improve Your Balance

If you have dizziness or difficulty with your balance following a concussion, vestibular physical therapy may help. The vestibular system, which includes the inner ear and its connections with the brain, is responsible for sensing head movement, keeping your eyes focused when you move your head, and helping you keep your balance. A qualified vestibular physical therapist can provide specific exercises and training to reduce or stop dizziness and improve balance and stability.


Reduce Headaches

Your physical therapist will examine you for neck problems following a concussion. Neck injuries can cause headaches and contribute to some forms of dizziness. Your therapist also can assess your back for possible injuries to your spine.

As symptoms due to concussion improve, your physical therapist will help you resume physical activity gradually, to avoid overloading the brain and nervous system that have been compromised by concussion.


It's important that you follow the recommendations of all health care professionals so that you can achieve the greatest amount of recovery in the shortest amount of time.


**article courtesy of moveforwardpt.com