McDonald Physical Therapy News
"Stronger Every Day" 
October  2013
National Physical Therapy Month
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find it" 

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Stay tuned to our page through the month of October for more tips and information on "Fit After 50"





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Hello to all our friends! 


My Dad is 86 years old and walks 60 minutes, three times a week to keep his legs, lungs and heart exercised so that they will support him when he travels to visit his family. In his lifetime he has had an angioplasty at 48 years old, triple bypass a few years later, two total knees and hips as well as a cornea transplant. These are just a number of physical issues he has chosen to overcome over the years.


You may ask, isn't that a lot to overcome? It sure seems like it to me!  My dad is a father of 10 children and many more grandchildren and great grandchildren.  He seems to have a love for this challenging life we are all trying our best to enjoy. Life can be tough and painful both physically and emotionally.  Study after study tells us, we feel better physically and emotionally with active exercise. In my everyday life I have the luxury of exercising daily because I am lucky enough to have a job that requires standing, walking and helping people improve their physical and psychological health. In addition to my everyday routine I workout at least 3 times a week to keep my heart healthy, thru aerobic exercising on the stair-master, and my body strong, thru resistive exercises.


Most of us hear the word "exercise" and begin thinking it requires too much effort. We psychologically get stressed over the mere thought of exercising for 10 minutes, let alone commit to a weekly exercise program.


Try to realize, if you would like to enjoy your children, grandchildren and life as a whole, you need to have your health. You need to be able to walk without struggling, you need your strength in the everyday things that come your way. This will not happen without practice and work. Everyone of us gets weaker as we age! There are no exceptions! Even if you have the greatest genes, you will still need to do some kind of exercise to stay healthy and enjoy your life as you get chronologically older.


It may be by farming, hiking, biking or walking daily. It may be working in the garden, swimming, walking up and down stairs to do laundry, lifting groceries, etc.. Whatever it takes is what one must do to be able to increase our chances of enjoying our lives more as we age.


October is National Physical Therapy Month and the theme this year is "Fit after 50". I am reflecting much on this theme as I will be turning 60 in four months! 
I began this letter with my father's story, as he recently came to see me and the National Championship Notre Dame Team I played on in 1973. It was our team's 40th anniversary. I was nervous about taking him to the game as I had no idea he was walking 60 minutes, three times a week! I parked approximately 20 minutes from the stadium and I was worried he wouldn't last. Well, I was pleasantly surprised and very wrong! Little did I know, my Dad is taking great care of himself!  He truly believes in the importance of exercise!  I knew he was athletic when he was young, I knew he tried to exercise when he could, but I had no idea that he had such discipline! I had no idea that he believed so strongly in the importance of exercise! 


This letter is to all of us over 50. In this letter, I would like to challenge everyone to get up daily and walk with a purpose in mind. If you start with only 5 minutes, try to build up to 10 and then 15 and then shoot for 30. Most activities can be accomplished in 30 minutes. Take your time. If you can only walk for 5 minutes, do it three times, every other day before you increase to 10. Continue the process, taking your time and building up your stamina. Some resistive training would help a great deal as well.


Life is so much more enjoyable when we have the ability to get up out of a chair! Life is so much more enjoyable when we can stand and walk with a loved one! Think about it, believe, and you will have a much better chance of making it happen and enjoy your many years to come with all you love
Fran McDonald, PT DPT

October is National Physical Therapy Month 


National Physical Therapy Month (NPTM) is an annual commemoration held each October by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). NPTM is designed to recognize the impact that physical therapists and physical therapist assistants make in restoring and improving motion in people's lives. This year's theme is "Fit After 50".


At 78 million strong, Baby Boomers are one of the largest and most powerful generations in the United States. They have redefined aging and are more educated, wealthy, and tech savvy than their parents or any generation preceding them.


Yet, as we age, we often lose flexibility, strength, and balance, which makes staying fit after age 50 a challenge, even for the most determined Boomer. Working with a physical therapist can help you address these challenges, optimize movement, and help you achieve and maintain your fitness goals, while at the same time minimizing your risk of injury


Physical therapists can help active boomers prevent common injuries, such as:  

� Tendinitis, painful inflamed tendons in the elbow, shoulder, or knee. The condition is often caused by lack of preparation before an activity or by repetitive action, such as swinging a golf club or tennis racket, especially when not using the proper form. Boomers should seek medical attention early if they experience an injury and consider practicing regular range of motion movement and exercise to protect joints. They should also consider using assistive devices, and bracing, and splinting techniques.


� Tears to the meniscus, cartilage that cushions the knee but that becomes more brittle with age and prone to injury, especially from sudden twisting. Tears often cause a "pop" sensation and a feeling like the knee is catching while walking. Improper footwear can contribute to meniscus tears.


� Back pain, often from arthritis or aging discs in the lower spine. Impact exercise including running, and using the back instead of leg muscles to lift objects can contribute. (Lindsay Tanner, "Injured boomers beware: Know when to see doctor" USA Today, February 13, 2012.)


� Broken bones and fractures that may have various causes such as osteoporosis, poor posture, or falls due to balance problems.


� Adhesive capsulitis or "frozen shoulder," more common among older adults and sometimes due to previous tendinitis and rotator cuff injuries that have not healed completely


It is important for people age 50+ to know what it takes to prevent these types of injuries and to seek medical attention quickly if an injury occurs. Learn more about how physical therapists can help at


    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!