By Michael Basten, PT, DPT
President/CEO of Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy

“Good Enough” Means You Won’t Spend Enough Time to Fully Rehabilitate Your Injury

When it comes to physical mobility, are you prepared to settle for a good enough solution? That may work when you are making small decisions, like picking which size band-aid, but when it is your mobility that is on the line you need to have a full recovery focus. This is an extreme example, but the fact remains: if you settle for good enough, you will never do everything you want to do.

When it comes to your physical health and pain-free mobility, full injury recovery should be the target. It is easy to be drawn to the first solution that provides more comfort and functionality than you have today—even if it only offers a marginal improvement. We call this solution good enough. True, this solution will provide basic functionality, but it can also cause doubt and certainly will not help you achieve the best result. When having a full recovery focus you shouldn’t feel:

  • Worried about your recovery
  • Overwhelmed
  • Frustrated
  • Skeptical
  • Stressed (physical, financial, emotional, or mental)

Seeking full recovery is a journey with no shortcuts and no finish line. A journey that will lead to amazing and fulfilling results. At Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy our therapists embrace the journey. We understand that good enough is a dangerous stopping point… to aim for good enough is to end up incredibly mediocre… also keep in mind that good enough is only good enough for so long.

What is a Full Recovery Focus™?

A Foothills therapist will take you, your pain, and your full recovery seriously. We don’t believe a good enough recovery is good enough. In fact, no one deserves just a good enough recovery, no matter what their situation may be, our goal is to do everything we can to help you get your full, healthy life back. Our Full Recovery Focus™ difference is evident from your very first visit. Your enthusiastic and committed therapist takes you, your pain, and your situation seriously as you discuss what full recovery looks like. Together you will map out a hands-on customized plan to get you there. Your therapist will work to prevent unnecessary diagnostics in your recovery that can increase out of pocket costs and impact your long-term well-being. Our therapists can work with your doctor to explore pre-surgery, post-surgery, and no-surgery options for your full recovery.

Pre-Surgery, Post-surgery & No surgery

We know a full recovery starts before your surgery even happens. That’s why we’re with you from the beginning to the end. You can book an appointment without needing a referral from your doctor, and we can work with your doctors to develop a pre-surgery and a post-surgery plan. If it is possible, we will help you avoid surgery altogether. Our goal is always your full recovery.

Locally Trusted & Convenient

No one likes being in pain longer than they have to. With dozens of locations in Phoenix, you can get in to see your therapist quickly. You will never wait longer than 48 hours after booking your appointment. That’s why we’re the physical therapy organization local Arizonans have trusted for over 20 years. We have helped more than 500,000 patients get out of pain and back to doing the things they love. Your recovery sessions will be planned out so that you move through your recovery as soon as possible and get back to feeling like yourself and enjoying your life again.  And you won’t need to worry about insurance. We accept most major insurance carriers, including competitive cash pay options.

Get rid of crippling pain and enjoy full rehabilitation from your injury. 

We don’t give up on our patients once their recovery reaches “acceptable,” whatever that might mean. We make every effort to steer our patients away from a good enough recovery and guide them on their journey to full recovery.

Schedule an appointment today.

Dementia can be a scary, overwhelming, and isolating diagnosis. While there is no known cure for dementia, there are plenty of things patients and loved ones can do to prevent cognitive decline. Dr. Michelle Bogert, clinic director of the Paradise Valley clinic, and Dr. Mayy Deadrick, a family practitioner at Manzanita Medical Center share how doctors and physical therapists can work together to prevent and treat the symptoms of dementia.

What is Dementia?

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “Dementia is not a single disease; it’s an overall term — like heart disease — that covers a wide range of specific medical conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease.  Disorders grouped under the general term “dementia” are caused by abnormal brain changes. These changes trigger a decline in thinking skills, also known as cognitive abilities, severe enough to impair daily life and independent function. They also affect behavior, feelings, and relationships.

  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty communicating
  • Difficulty with visual and spatial abilities
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Difficulty reasoning or problem-solving
  • Difficulty handling complex tasks
  • Personality changes
  • Difficulty with planning and organizing
  • Difficulty with coordination and motor functions
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Inappropriate behavior
  • Paranoia
  • Agitation
  • Hallucinations

Physical Side Effects of Dementia

As dementia progresses, physical complications become more severe. The physical side effects that physical therapy can address are:

  • Stiff muscles
  • Loss of balance or coordination leading to falls
  • Weak muscles
  • Fatigue

How Physical Therapy Can Help

While physical therapy can’t cure or eliminate the symptoms of dementia, there’s a lot we can do to help slow symptoms and improve the quality of life for our patients. When creating treatment plans for dementia patients, we typically focus on:

  • Fall risk. By improving balance, stability, strength, and coordination through physical therapy, we’re able to reduce falls for our patients, keeping them healthy and active, longer.
  • Stiff muscles. Keeping patients active and mobile through age- and ability-appropriate exercises help relieve stiff muscles. This helps them to move more comfortably and enjoy their daily activities.
  • Muscle weakness. It’s vital for dementia patients to keep working on strengthening and utilizing their muscles so they don’t become sedentary and lose the ability to participate in their normal activities.
  • Heart and cardio health. The higher our cardiovascular function, the more capable our body is to fight off disease. Dementia is no different. We’re not marathon training, but giving patients the ability to elevate their heart rate just enough to see improvements in cardiovascular health. This is important for giving them the strength to fight the bigger battle.
  • Cognitive abilities. We’re not playing brain games or anything, but endorphins and neuron development play a large part in keeping our patients sharp. The increase in activities can improve (or slow the decline of) memory, elevate patients’ mood, and improve their overall quality of life.

Physical Activity & Dementia Prevention

Years ago, doctors thought that you couldn’t grow neurons. However, now we know there are many lifestyle factors we can control to generate neurons and combat any possible effects of dementia before it begins. Regular physical activity, through a combination of cardiovascular exercise, balance, and mobility, is one of the best ways to promote healthy brain activity and generate your cognitive reserve.

Final Thoughts

Dementia can be an isolating and terrifying diagnosis for patients and loved ones. What I hope to educate patients and families on is that, if you have a collaborative team, it doesn’t have to be a lonely diagnosis. There are so many preventative things we can do to help improve their overall quality of life. For the patient, I want them to know that even if you have the genetics for dementia, you can make a huge reduction in your chance of getting it. For the family, I want them to know there are things you can do for your loved ones to keep them happy longer.

Are you or a loved one struggling with a dementia diagnosis? Or, are you looking for ways to stay healthy and active to prevent dementia? 

Schedule a free assessment today to see how physical therapy can help you live a healthier, happier life.

Our clinics are CLEAN. Our environment is SAFE. And we are READY to get out of pain and back to doing the things you love

At Foothills Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy, there is nothing more important to us than your health and well-being and we are open to serve you. The coronavirus (COVID-19) is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation, and we are working diligently to keep patients, customers, staff, and referral partners updated on our policies and prevention preparedness.

We have been working closely with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and state and local health officials to ensure our centers and clinical teams are taking the proper action to keep everyone safe and healthy.

In addition, we offer virtual visits for patients that are unable to come to the clinic for their treatment. 

As an essential health care provider, it is our goal to ensure you can continue receiving care in our centers with the confidence that we have taken every precaution necessary regarding your safety.

Current COVID-19 Policies

  • All patients, employees, and vendors inside Foothills facilities must wear a mask covering their nose and mouth. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided for you by our front office staff.
  • Body temperature screenings will be performed daily for all staff, patients and vendors.
  • Per the CDC guidelines, frequent hand washing is safer than wearing gloves; therefore, gloves will not be worn unless requested. When requested, gloves will be single use only.
  • We will continue to uphold our standard of excellence on cleaning and sanitation between patients.
  • Any patients or staff experiencing Covid-related symptoms (cough, sore throat, fever, shortness of breath, or other symptoms listed by the CDC known to be Covid related) will be sent home and asked to return when they have 3 continuous days, symptom free, and without medication. Confirmed positive Covid patients must self-quarantine for 10 days and be symptom and medication free the last 3 continuous days before we will schedule an appointment.

Outside the Clinic

To ensure the health and safety of everyone in the clinic, we ask that patients and staff follow the following guidelines outside of Foothills, as well:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean/disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

We thank you for your patience as we navigate updates and changes so that we are able to continue to provide you excellent care and a safe environment.

Ready to get your move back? In the clinic, or at home – choose what feels right for you!

Many people are searching for a new diet or the latest fad to lose weight, feel healthier and increase energy. Eighty percent of how your body looks is based on nutrition. You can work out all you want but until you change your eating habits you will not see optimal results. Clean eating is a healthy approach to nutrition and food. It can improve your energy levels, weight, and overall health. You can actually eat more than you did before by choosing better food options.

There are six principles of clean eating.

  1. Choosing whole, natural foods
  2. Eliminating processed foods
  3. Choosing unrefined over refined foods
  4. Including protein, carbohydrates and fat in each meal
  5. Watching out for fat, salt, and sugar intake
  6. Eating 5‐6 small meals throughout the day

Clean Foods vs Processed Foods

The idea of clean eating involves eating whole foods that are rich in nutrients. You’ll want to stay away from processed foods as they contain high levels of salt, sugar, and fat. All of these components essentially increase your risk of health problems. Refined foods have been processed or altered so they are no longer in their natural state. This results in a loss of beneficial nutrients and fibers. Refined foods are easy to indulge in and can leave you feeling unsatisfied. They may consist of white flour, white rice, pastries, sodas, sweets and breakfast cereals with added sugars.

Why should you eat several small meals in a day?

Eating several small meals a day sufficient in protein, veggies, fruits, and whole grains helps to speed up your metabolism and helps your body by burning fat. Eating like this can strengthen cells, organs, and systems in our body. They help our bodies function properly and aid our immune system in fighting off illness, disease and age-related changes. When we skip meals or eat unhealthy foods, we deprive our bodies of nutrients that requires us to function and fight off health issues. Snacking throughout the day on healthy foods helps curb our appetite. It also helps to avoid overeating. Eating small meals increases our metabolism and keeps our energy at high levels all day long. It can also help to stabilize blood sugar levels. Cravings stop because you are constantly fueling your body. Undereating and skipping meals puts your body into starvation mode and you are more likely to eat unhealthy foods or overeat when you feel deprived and hungry. Your five to six meals a day should contain complex carbs and lean proteins. These macronutrients when eaten together give you a sense of fullness and satisfaction. This will help your body feel full longer.

Here are a few examples of how to eliminate all processed foods from our diet and begin a healthier lifestyle:

1. Eliminate sweets – even healthy snacks can contain high amounts of sugar. Be sure to read the nutrition label.

2. Smart snack options – reach for snacks like: unsalted nuts, popcorn, fruits, veggies, hummus, string cheese, etc.

3. Choose brown instead of white – by choosing brown rice, pasta, and bread you will absorb more vitamins, fiber, and iron which are considered disease-fighting nutrients.

Foods eaten in their complex state with fiber and nutrients gives the body healthy benefits. Some of the health benefits include a healthier heart, brain, immune system, weight loss, healthier teeth and gums as well as healthier skin. Clean eating is not considered a diet but a lifestyle change. It takes about twenty‐one days to develop a long‐lasting habit. Make this change the best habit you have made for yourself and your future. Your body will thank you for it!

Learn more about how to live a healthier lifestyle with the help of our physical therapists! Schedule an appointment today with Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy.

Have you ever been stuck thinking who do I call? Where should I go? What’s the best option to get my injury assessed? Am I going to the doctor just to get referred somewhere else? These are all valid questions that you deserve to know today!

Get PT 1st is the movement that you do not have to take time off work to go to a doctor, get assessed, get a referral elsewhere, take more time off work, schedule another appointment and then arrive at your physical therapy appointment. That is too many steps that are time and money consuming. We want you to get the care you need the fastest and most efficient way possible. This starts with direct access.

What is Direct Access?

Direct access allows a patient to directly go to a physical therapist without the prescription or referral of a physician.

Benefits of Direct Access?

  • Saves Money
  • Saves Time
  • Gets Better Faster

Did you Know?

Physical therapy is not just for sports and orthopedics but can also treat patients in need of help with disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease. Dizziness, headaches, stroke rehab, cardiac rehab, fractures are just a few of the many services a physical therapist can help you to get better too.

Physical therapists are also trained to screen for serious medical conditions including and are not limited to cancer. You will be in good hands and if any red flags do pop up at your appointment then your physical therapist will get you the care you need!

Physical therapists can do things that your doctor may not be capable of:

  • Assess your injury risk with a movement screen to better assess a patient’s weaknesses
  • Find the workout/plan that best fits your needs
  • Speed up your recovery faster
  • Correct your alignment and postural issues

Why not take the step to Get PT 1st? Take action with direct access, save money, and see improvement! Schedule an appointment with Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy Clinic near you! We want to help you Get Your Move Back!

We’re dedicated to providing hands-on physical therapy with integrity and accountability, to ensure the best possible patient results. Whether you’ve suffered a sports injury, were injured at work, or hurt in an auto accident, our physical therapists will get you back to doing the things you love.

We were recently named Best Place for Physical Therapy by Gilbert Sun News. Our two physical therapy locations—South Gilbert and Gilbert-Mesa—take our company mission to heart with each patient that steps through their doors.

“We are excited every day to come to a physical therapy clinic that values people. We take pride in creating a great experience for our patients in a friendly and fun environment. We have an amazing staff who loves what they do and the people they work with as patients and co-workers. We are honored to be recognized as Best of Gilbert for excellence in physical therapy.” – Matt Midkiff and Gabe Lucas, Gilbert-Mesa

“We are thankful to work for a company that focuses solely on providing the best care possible. We have a great staff who appreciates the patient population we have and cares for patients as if they are family. We are honored to be recognized as Best of Gilbert and will continuously strive to provide excellent care.” – Matt Schultz, South Gilbert

If you’re in need of physical therapy in Gilbert, you can schedule a FREE Injury Assessment online or contact our South Gilbert or Gilbert-Mesa location to schedule an appointment.

Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy started out in Ahwatukee in 2000, but demands for physical therapy has fueled an expansion to more than 20 clinics across the Valley—including our newest location, Red Mountain. This new facility is located at the cross streets of N. Power Road and E. Brown Road, allowing easy accessibility for those living and working in the Mesa community. Along with physical therapy services, this location will also offer hand therapy.

Doug Rich, PT, OCS, CHT will be transitioning from his director role at the Foothills Civic Center location and will now be the director and lead therapist at the Red Mountain Mesa facility. Doug has worked with many different outpatient populations throughout the years while utilizing his unique skill set to help improve lives and the outcomes of his patients. He’s excited to take on this new role and grow the Red Mountain clinic, while providing hands-on physical therapy that gets results.

As a Mesa community member, you can find Doug enjoying the local bike trails or kayaking in the Salt River. He looks forward to working closer to home and helping his friends, family, and neighbors get back to the activities they love.

The Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy Red Mountain is located at 1066 N. Power Road, Suite 104, Mesa, AZ 85205. Contact us today to schedule a FREE Rapid Recovery Injury Assessment today.

Foothills is going pink this October to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness month! Along with our fundraising efforts in all our clinics, we’re also excited to announce that we’ll be the Tribute Tent sponsor at the upcoming Phoenix Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. Lace up your tennis shoes, dress up in pink, and join us for an inspirational morning at Tempe Town Lake. You can join our team online or stop by any of our locations to donate.

Did you know that October is also National Physical Therapy Month? The benefits of physical therapy extend beyond just treating and healing basic orthopedic ailments and injuries; it can also be beneficial to those who had to undergo a mastectomy, radiation treatment or other chemotherapies.

Through therapy treatments and techniques, physical therapists can help patients lessen swelling, improve range-of-motion, and increase strength and conditioning.

Along with building strength, physical therapy can also improve the psychological component associated with the diagnosis of cancer. Physical therapy treatments provide the benefits of general exercise, which releases endorphins that help stimulate a positive mood and reduce the effects of fatigue. Socialization and comradery is also an added benefit of visiting one of our clinics.

Interested in learning more on how physical therapy can positively impact the life and function of those battling diseases such as breast cancer? Speak with your doctor or contact us at Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy today.

Every few years it seems there are buzz words in the fitness industry that gain popularity. Lately it’s the phrase “functional movement”. Although this is certainly nothing new in the arena of physical therapy, it has caught-on in mainstream exercise classes around the country.  The question is…

 What is Functional Movement?

Functional movements take place in multi-planes of motion with the use of multiple joints. These movements require the firing of multiple muscle groups in various positions, ranges of motion and varying intensity to achieve a common goal. For instance, in order to swing a golf club you have to tighten your right hip, rotate your shoulders over your hips, raise your arms across your body while maintaining your head still, allowing rotation through the spine along one axis. Pause, and reverse that entire process in a near mirror image back to the same point at which you started. Another example of functional movement is as simple as bending down and reaching over to pick-up your child and rotating through your core to put him/her in the car seat (or to help down a slide as seen in the photo). Functional training can be utilized after an injury or in preparation for an activity to mimic those actions and break them down into more basic components in order to achieve your “functional goal.”

 Why is Functional Movement Training Important?

Research has shown incredible gains in strength, balance and overall decreased joint pain with functional training. Functional training develops a healthy and well-developed body. It promotes kinesthetic awareness and body control, balanced musculature and a stronger core. Thus, functional training may decrease the number of injuries sustained in an individual’s life and sport.

 Who Can Benefit From Functional Movement Training?

Anyone can benefit from functional movement training. From the simple task of standing up from a chair or getting in and out of a vehicle, to training for your next tennis match, functional training attempts to adapt or develop exercises which allow individuals to perform the activities of daily life more easily and without injuries.

How Can I Tell if I Have Functional Movement Limitations?

There are many functional movement assessment tools. One simple test for the shoulder is to reach behind your back with both arms, one from above your head and one from behind your back, try touching your finger-tips together in the middle of your back. Another movement in the lower body is to assume a lunge position, with feet a good distance apart, then slowly lower your back knee down to the ground and back up again. If you are unable to perform either of these activities, you may want to seek a professional assessment from your local physical therapist.

How many times were we reminded as kids to sit/stand up straight? Unfortunately for most, it is an afterthought when we’re sitting in therapy with back pain. Being proactive and protecting the spine are important parts of our overall health. And the spine is quite easy to protect- just start with the basics…your posture.

“Posture” is very important both at home and on the job. Sitting and standing posture, as well as sleep positioning, are paramount to good spinal health. Maintaining a neutral spine will reduce biomechanical strain and can help you avoid back pain.    

What does “neutral spine” mean? Neutral Spine is the natural position of the spine when all body parts are in good alignment. Typically, when your spine is in neutral, it looks like an “S” from the side and the natural curves of the cervical and lumbar spine are maintained. Below are some brief guidelines on how to maintain good posture while standing, sitting and sleeping.

Standing posture: Keep your head directly over the shoulders (chest out, head back’). Keep the shoulders directly over the pelvis. Tighten the core abdominal muscles. Tuck in the buttocks. Place the feet slightly apart, with one foot positioned slightly in front of the other and knees bent just a little bit (not locked).

All of the steps above may not come together at once. Remember to change standing positions often and  try to become more aware of your posture while standing. It may feel strange at first, but after awhile it will feel natural.

Sitting Posture:  Many people experience discomfort while sitting for long periods of time at work. To maintain a good ‘sitting posture’ at a desk adopt a user-friendly workstation by adjusting the office chair and desk position so that the work position is elbow high. Adjust your computer screen so that it is exactly eye level – or exactly where your gaze would be if you were to sit in front of your computer, shut your eyes then open them- where is your natural gaze?  Adjust your screen to meet that gaze.

Many people sit towards the front of their chair and end up hunching forward to look at their computer screen. It is better to sit back in the chair and utilize the chair’s lumbar support to keep the head and neck erect. Take stretching and walking breaks if sitting in an office chair for long periods of time.

Car – sitting posture: It is important to sit with the knees level with the hips. Use either a small rolled-up towel or a commercial back support placed between the lower back and the back of the seat for more comfort and support of the natural  curve of the low back.

Drivers are advised to sit at a comfortable distance from the steering wheel. Reaching increases the pressure on the lumbar spine and can stress the neck, shoulder and wrist, so sitting too far away can aggravate back pain. However, sitting too close can increase risk of injury from the car’s airbag. 

 Sleep Posture: Position while sleeping is often ignored. If you sleep on your back, try placing a pillow under your knees to provide the low back support and neutral spinal position. Similarly, if you sleep on your side, place that pillow between the knees to protect the low back. If you must sleep on your stomach (which we do not encourage) place a pillow under your stomach.

The therapists at Foothills Sports Medicine are happy to help you learn how to find that proper standing and sitting posture to avoid back pain and injuries. Please stop by any of our locations so that we may assist you.