McDonald Physical Therapy News
"Stronger Every Day" 
November 2013
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Fran's Favorite Quotes


" In a gentle way, you can change the world" 

Stop in and see our Honor Wall  of Veterans  this month!  We are very thankful for their service.






 We are once again making food baskets to distribute to needy families in our community for Thanksgiving.  If you would like to make food donations, we have a collection bin in our lobby.

Winners of the MPT Staff Halloween Costume Contest
   1st Place-
Ken Mack,
minion from Dispicable Me
2nd Place-
Jessica Grant, Beetlejuice
Most Original-
Amy Wall,


Hello to all our friends! 
During the month of October I had a number of very positive patient experiences. These are the kind of patient experiences that have kept me loving private practice and my field of physical therapy for over 31 years!

Two particular cases come to mind. The first case is an 18- year-old volleyball player, from Hinsdale Illinois, with a full athletic scholarship to Boston College. We were able to save this young woman from shoulder surgery. In the second case, a physician sent a 76-year-old patient to us who had been to several clinics and physicians searching for an explanation for his problem. We were able to clarify his problem, direct him to the proper specialist, and help him regain his leg strength, balance and independence. 

I will call our first patient Linda. Over 30 years ago, I was fortunate enough to work closely with an elite volleyball club in the Chicago suburbs. Over the years, the head coach and I have helped a number of his athletes regain their strength and function, following surgery or in the prevention of surgery. Linda was one of these cases, but a little more complex. She came down to see us with her parents, as she was scheduled for shoulder surgery. She had an MRI and MRA and they were both negative and no one knew what was wrong with her shoulder. My job, was to evaluate and try to find the cause. I had my ideas of what I thought it might be. 
I thought it would most likely a mechanical problem that I could probably help her overcome with the proper stretching and strengthening exercises.
However, as I began to examine her, I realized she might have a nerve issue. I immediately asked her parents to take her for a nerve test; she did and it was positive. That was good news and bad news. Good, because she no longer needed surgery, but bad because nerves take time to heal and 18 year olds do not like hearing any news that might slow them down from getting back to play.

My second case is about a 76-year-old man I will call Larry. He had fallen in a parking lot and in his home. His legs were progressively getting weaker and weaker, but his will was stronger than most so he kept pushing himself every day with a walker. Larry went to Cleveland clinic and the Mayo Clinic for some answers, but returned from both with no direction nor any answers.
Following his visits to the clinics, he scheduled a visit with a caring family practitioner. She thought his case was interesting, but outside of her area of expertise. She called our office, and we got him in immediately. We listened to his story, read the notes from the specialists at both clinics, and began our extensive evaluation. 
After our evaluation, we knew what his problem was and what he needed to help him get back to walking without pain and independent of his walker. We called the proper specialist, got him an appointment the next day, and the specialist concurred with our findings. He needed surgery and is now back to his normal life, without any of his previous problems.

November is the month to celebrate Thanksgiving! During the Thanksgiving Holiday, I think about my family, friends, co-workers and patients and am thankful. I think about my blessings and most especially the good fortune of finding such a fulfilling vocation, physical therapy.

I am especially thankful for a wonderfully gifted physical therapist, Beverly Stewart, who taught me the importance of listening carefully to every patient's story. She always stressed the importance of taking time and examining as thoroughly as possible, while keeping the patient's best interest in mind.
Thank you so much, Bev, for taking the time to teach me the importance of compassion, empathy and knowledge in my vocation.
Fran McDonald, PT DPT


4 Conditions You May Not Realize Physical Therapists Treat


There are many individuals that have seen a physical therapist (PT) for common reasons such as low back pain or knee pain. There are many different conditions, however, that PTs may treat that you may not be aware of.


In order to keep up their professional license, PTs are required to take continuing education courses. Often, these courses may give a therapist a special set of skills for treating a certain condition or diagnosis.
The following is a list of conditions that many individuals may not be aware that can be treated by a PT.

Vertigo is a spinning sensation and can occur even when you are perfectly still. The most common form of vertigo is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). This is a mechanical inner ear problem that causes short periods of this spinning sensation when the head is moved in certain positions. When treated by a PT, positional vertigo can be eliminated in as little as one session. 


There are many different type of headaches including tension headaches, migraines and cluster headaches to name a few. Often times, headaches can become a very frequent occurrence that affects a persons ability to function on a daily basis. The most common type of headaches may be caused by poor posture, stress, muscle tightness, or a neck injury. A PT can help to determine the type of headaches and what the best treatments may be to help alleviate symptoms. A PT can perform manual massage to help loosen up tight muscles and can teach the patient about proper posture of the neck and upper body to decrease stress and tension through this area that might be leading to these headaches.


Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, or jaw pain:
Jaw pain can be due to many different problems, but one of the biggest includes poor posture which leads to increased stress on the joint. A PT can address postural issues, assess and improve the alignment of the joint, as well as improve joint mobility to reduce pain.


In recent years, concussions have received a lot of attention in the news as doctors and athletes are seeking ways to manage long term problems brought on by a concussion. These long term issues can include dizziness/vertigo, balance problems, or complaints of headaches, all of which can be treated by a PT. There is a very specific balance of returning to normal activities with symptom management to allow the individual who had the concussion to fully recover. 
    Stop the Therapy Cap!
If Congress does not take action by December 31, 2013, the therapy cap will again be imposed on Medicare-covered physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech language pathology services. We need to take action NOW to ensure the cap does not go back into place.

Please contact your members of Congress and ask them to co-sponsor legislation to repeal the therapy cap once and for all. Follow this link and you can do this in a few easy steps!
                      STOP THE THERAPY CAP!