Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween Safety Tips
Halloween is an exciting time of year for kids, and to help ensure they have a safe holiday, here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Feel free to excerpt these tips or use them in their entirety for any print or broadcast story, with acknowledgment of source.

  • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
  • Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.
  • Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes.
  • When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories look for and purchase those with a label clearly indicating they are flame resistant.
  • If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child's costume, make sure it is not sharp or too long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.
  • Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
  • Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a prescription from an eye care professional. While the packaging on decorative lenses will often make claims such as “one size fits all,” or “no need to see an eye specialist,” obtaining decorative contact lenses without a prescription is both dangerous and illegal. This can cause pain, inflammation, and serious eye disorders and infections, which may lead to permanent vision loss.
  • Teach children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they have an emergency or become lost. 
  • Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers. Then parents can do the cutting.
  • Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin. If you do use a candle, a votive candle is safest.
  • Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and should never be left unattended. 
  • To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.
  • Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
  • Wet leaves or snow should be swept from sidewalks and steps.
  • Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater. 
  • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
  • If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
  • Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.
  • Because pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween, remind Trick-or-Treaters.
  • Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
  •  Remember reflective tape for costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
  • Carry a cellphone for quick communication.
  • Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
  • If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
  • Never cut across yards or use alleys.
  • Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom). Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.
  • Don’t assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn't mean others will!
  • Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.

  • A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
  • Consider purchasing non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books or pens and pencils.
  • Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
  • Try to ration treats for the days following Halloween.
Have a safe and healthy Halloween!

From your friendly Therapists at GSC Therapy

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Slow Down the aging process

These simple tips can help you keep your joints healthy and reduce the stress that leads to arthritis and other age related conditions.

1.            Practice low-impact exercise. Walking, biking and swimming are some aerobic activities that will increase your heart rate yet will avoid pounding or jarring of your joints that can lead to cartilage damage.

2              Wear protective gear.  Joint damage can lead to arthritis, so wear elbow pads, knee pads, etc. during activities such as skating.  If you already suffer from joint pain, wear braces or splints during activities that may further stress your joints, like golfing or playing tennis.

3.            Nutrition is key!  Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids can help decrease joint inflammation.  Also, a diet rich in calcium can help reduce the risk of bone loss.  Healthy bones can help keep your joints healthy.

4.            Practice good body mechanics.  When lifting from ground or knee-level, bend your knees and hips instead of your back, therefore protecting the smaller joints in your spine. When lifting and moving a heavier load, keep it as close to your body as possible and pivot with your legs instead of twisting your trunk to place it to one side or the other.

5.            S  t  r  e  t  c h!  Joints can get lazy too… If they are not called upon to work, they may become slackers.  Stretching and moving your joints through full range of motion can help remind your joints that they do still work and will keep them flexible and prevent stiffness.

GSC Therapy is an occupational therapy outpatient orthopedic practice that treats the full body! We incorporate specific exercises, techniques, adaptive equipment to help you achieve maximum function at home, work and with your leisure activities. Our customized programs incorporate your goals. Each patient receives a customized home program on a CD for easy follow through!

GSC Therapy has designed Next level Fitness for those who would like to know more about correct exercise, body mechanics to reduce joint stress or to establish a structured, supervised exercise program. You can purchase 1, 5 or 10 visits and use them at any time.

Call us at 480-855-8866 or visit our website at www.gsctherapy.com for additional information. Please let us know if you find us on face book and receive a complimentary gift certificate for a 30 minute massage when you become a patient with us!

Monday, September 15, 2014

7 Helpful Tips for Running a Marathon:


  1. Buy a second pair of training shoes. Running additional miles means more stress on your shoes and legs. Alternating runs between two pairs of shoes can extend the life of each pair by allowing the spongy midsole to recover and last longer. In addition, alternating between two pairs of shoes lowers injury risk from repetitive motion of running all those miles in one pair of shoes.
  2. ·         Train yourself to eat and drink on the run. Taking in calories and fluid while running can extend energy levels. A good time to practice is on your long runs. For example, put a packet of energy gel in a pocket or pin it to your shorts, carry a water bottle or sports drink. Or drive your long-run route before you run and look for drinking fountains. Ideally, an individual will want to take 100 to 300 calories during every hour of your training runs and races.
  3. ·         If you’re racing for time, you’ll want to practice grabbing a cup and drinking while you’re running. Grabbing a water cup or sipping while running can be tricky, sometimes you’re lucky to get a sip while the rest goes up your nose or down your chest. Set up a table in your drive-way and put out paper cups filled with sports drink. Practice running by and grabbing a cup. To avoid spilling, pinch the top of the cup closed as soon as you grab it, and then drink from the V in the cup.
  4. ·         Train with a partner. Three hours or more is a long time to be on running alone. If none of your friends is on the same training plan, schedule your run so that a friend can run part of it with you. Or schedule several friends to take turns joining in on the same run.
  5. ·         Test the shoes and clothes you’ll be running in. whatever you wear in the race shoulder be worn during long runs leading up to the race. A sports bra, running shorts, or tank-top/t-shirt during a short run might begin to chafe after an hour. Never use anything on marathon day that you haven’t tested during a longer run.  
  6. ·         Eat right, take a good multivitamin, and get plenty of sleep. Marathon training takes a lot out of your body. Studies have shown that long runs can temporarily suppress immunity, making marathon runners more susceptible to colds and the flu. Pamper yourself while training so you can perform at the marathon in optimal health.
  7. ·         Train at race pace. Many runners forget about this basic concept of training. If you’re going to ask your body to run for 26 miles, you need to be comfortable at that pace. You shoulder be able to run your race pace, any day, any time, whether you’re tired or fresh.

GSC Therapy Services offers individualized injury prevention and conditioning as well as post injury rehabilitation to runners! We are one of seven locations in the state of AZ to have an Alter G, anti-gravity treadmill for assessing proper running mechanics and to train in a safe and no- stress environment.

Visit our website at www.gsctherapy.com or call (480) 855-8866 for additional information. Let GSC therapy be your number one choice for running safely!

Written by Charlotte Milas,OT

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

What is fibromyalgia? Can occupational therapy help?

Fibromyalgia is a condition that, for many people, is associated with more questions than answers. However, our therapists, as experts in musculoskeletal problems, are an important resource for people who have fibromyalgia.

Let’s start with what fibromyalgia is: Due to its varied symptoms, fibromyalgia can be difficult to diagnose. People with fibromyalgia usually have widespread pain throughout the body, often accompanied by tender points, muscles and joints that are particularly susceptible to pain and movement. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.”

Other symptoms can include insomnia, fatigue, muscular stiffness (especially in the morning), headaches, forgetfulness and cognitive difficulty (sometimes referred to as “fibro fog”), and tingling in the extremities (the hands and feet). The symptoms sometimes begin after a traumatic event, like a car accident or an invasive surgery, or they can develop over time. It’s most often diagnosed in women, but 10-20% of those suffering from fibromyalgia are men.You may also be at risk if family members have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, or if you have a rheumatic condition like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.

Because of the variety of symptoms and intensity from patient to patient, no two treatment plans are the same. Possible interventions include medication, therapy, dietary changes or supplements, physical therapy and exercise. If you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, be sure to speak with your doctor about what the best treatment plan will be for you.

Several recent studies have shown that exercise can lessen the severity of fibromyalgia symptoms, the most recent being published in the academic journal Arthritis Care & Research in July 2013. Unfortunately, many people that suffer from fibromyalgia are often afraid to start an exercise program or to continue working out, for fear that it will worsen their pain.

The American Physical Therapy Association agrees that “regular, moderate exercise is an important part of managing fibromyalgia.” Our therapists can work with you to create an exercise program tailored to your specific needs and skills. Our therapists can also teach you how to pace yourself and set realistic goals for exercise and physical activity, as well as how to modify your program whenever your symptoms flare up.

In addition, our therapists have other tools and approaches to help relieve pain. We use a variety of manual therapies with fibromyalgia patients, including myofascial release, trigger point therapy, Gua Sha and massage. As part of our thorough intake evaluation, we determine whether other approaches may help to relieve pain, like activity modification, posture improvement and positional sleep strategies.

As part of their extensive training, all our therapists are prepared to treat patients with fibromyalgia, consider our clinics:
Our therapists are experienced in treating people with orthopedic, or musculoskeletal, problems. They have advanced knowledge, experience and skills that may apply to your condition. 

When you contact the clinic for an appointment, ask about the therapist’s experience in helping people with fibromyalgia. 

During your first visit with the occupational therapist, be prepared to describe your symptoms in as much detail as possible, and tell him or her what makes your symptoms worse.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Alter-G Video

This is a very cool video about what the Alter-G can do to help you reach your physical goals. Let us show you how the AlterG can benefit you. We are one of only 7 rehab/therapy practices to have one of these amazing pieces of equipment on site at our location on Val Vista and Queen Creek in Gilbert.



Phone: 480-855-8866

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

How can physical therapy help with migraines?

with advice from
Kristina A. Holland, PTA
How can physical therapy help with migraines?
While headaches can be uncomfortable, migraines are debilitating. The sensitivity to light and sound. Nausea and vomiting. An intense throbbing in your head that can last for hours or days. The symptoms can be so severe that, as the Mayo Clinic puts it, “all you can think about is finding a dark, quiet place to lie down.”
Like back pain, treating migraines can be difficult because they can be triggered by many different things. Here are a few reasons you may be suffering from migraines:
  • Weather. Quick changes in the barometric pressure can cause a migraine.
  • Both too much and not enough sleep have been known to cause migraines.Stress.
  • Diet. Some people have reported migraines triggered by foods high in sodium or after drinking alcohol, especially wine. Caffeine, in particular, has been associated with migraines.
  • Genetics. Up to 90% of those that suffer from migraines have a family member who also has them.
  • Sleep. Both too much and not enough sleep have been known to cause migraines. (Don’t worry about one night here or there; doctors say migraine sufferers should focus on keeping a consistent sleep schedule by going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time each day.)
  • Gender. Sorry, ladies: Women are three times more likely to have migraines than men. It’s thought to be a result of hormonal fluctuation, especially with estrogen.
  • Muscular tension. Tightness in the head and neck has been linked to migraines. (Be aware, though, that this could also be a sign of cervicogenic headaches, especially since the symptoms are often similar to migraines.)
Physical therapy can help many people who suffer from migraines.Physical therapy can help many people who suffer from migraines, but it depends on what may be causing them. Kristina Holland, a physical therapist assistant at Clinton Physical Therapy Center (a Physiquality network member in Clinton, Tennessee), says that in particular, people who have migraines caused by muscular tension can benefit from physical therapy. She says, “Treatment may include trigger point therapy, posture re-education, and joint or soft tissue mobilizations.” In addition, the therapist may work to increase the range of motion in the neck and upper spine, and possibly the jaw.
If you suffer from migraines regularly, speak to your doctor about what could be causing the headaches. He can work with you to figure out the best possible treatment plan, whether it involves changes in your diet, adding medication, or working with a physical therapist.
- See more at: http://www.physiquality.com/blog/?p=6962#more-6962

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Touch Bionics

More information on the class that Charlotte attended last month

The course name is i-limb digits by Touch Bionics Certification Program for Prosthetists and Therapists. It was a 3-day course in Hilliard Ohio.  Day 1 (clinical time with patient) CP and OT evaluation, myotesting, initial diagnostic liner fitting, plaster modifications, activation of device on silicone, and biosim software hands-on with OT training. Day 2 (fabrication and clinical time with patient): i-limb digits component selection, silicone fabrication techniques,  fitting of the second diagnostic socket, progression of OT training, and biosim training.  Day 3 (classroom learning): over-view of i-limb ultra and digits, patient selection and evaluation process, impression techniques, evaluation and patient expectations, billing and coding, myotesting techniques with Virtu-limb, i-limb digits ordering/assembly options, functional training approach, and biosim software training.

She has been so excited to be able to use this knowledge already. While going to school Charlotte got interested in learning more about prosthetics but didn't feel that the opportunities were there. She is grateful that she has found a clinic that helps her gain this knowledge.

A video explaining the benefits of advanced prosthetic hands...enjoy!!