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September is Healthy Aging Month!

contact physical therapySeptember is Healthy Aging Month!

It’s not just about Physical Health, it is also Nutritional, Social, Mental and Financial Health! Check out some of the below tips to have a Healthy Month and Life!



Physical Health

  • Exercise two to three times a week, don’t get burned out!
  • Walking and swimming are great activities with low impact.
  • Try something new! Stretching is a great option, how about yoga or pilates?
  • A few more fitness tips and “moving” ideas: Some other ‘keep moving’ tips: use the stairs instead of the elevator, walk briskly when you can, and look for a fun sport or activity you enjoy, maybe tennis or golf?
  • Adopt a dog and take Fido for walks every day.

Nutritional Health

  • Eat whole grains. Two and a half servings of whole grains a day can significantly reduce your chance for a stroke.
  • Eating foods that are antioxidants can help improve focus, problem-solving, and memory.
  • Supplements can help, but food with antioxidant properties work best.
  • Eat goji and blueberries. They are both part of the new group called superfoods. These are the best foods to eat for the most nutritional punch.
  • Water. Staying hydrated benefits your body and brain by keeping you detoxified and
  • oxygenated, so drink lots of water.
  • Healthy diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases, along with providing essential vitamins, minerals and fiber good for overall health.

Social Health

  • Do you ever think about traveling? Then do it, or at least start planning. Planning trips can be excited and full of fun.
  • Join a social group that interests you. Many parks and rec departments have classes such as photography, art, dance and music classes. Find one you like and join.
  • Laugh, laugh, laugh! Read the comics, watch comedians or just joke with friends!
  • Volunteer! There are many great organizations near you to give your time. It is a gesture that everyone can appreciate.

Mental Health

  • A health brain may include foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a combination of the B vitamins, the antioxidants of C and E and vitamin D.
  • Learn a foreign language to keep your brain sharp.
  • Read! Anything from a book to the back of a cereal box, reading keeps your mind healthy.
  • Do jigsaw puzzles, they aren’t only fun, the problem solving can help your brain.

Financial Health

  • Since you are legally responsible for everything in your tax return, make sure you have a great accountant you can trust.
  • Use money savings websites like, for the cheapest gas prices, and find great grocery coupons at
  • Calculate how much income you will need to retire. Check out this chart to help you plan.

For additional information about Healthy Aging® or Healthy Aging® Month visit

preventing pain scottsdale

Ouch…Don’t Slouch!

preventing pain scottsdalePreventing Pain at Work

This article includes Tips for preventing pain while working at your desk.

Some people may think injuries don’t occur with sedentary desk jobs, but, unfortunately that isn’t true. Many times bad posture and an improper work station can contribute to aches and pains such as carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain and neck pain. Below are some tips for avoiding these common complaints and work toward preventing pains.

  • Get up and move at least one time each hour.
  • Take an arm break. Shrug your shoulders, raise your arms, stretch your hands and reach for the ceiling
  • Tighten and relax your abdominal muscles while you are sitting
  • Stretch out your hamstring- the back of your leg
  • Stretch your hip flexors- the muscle in the crease of the front of your hip.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together by pulling them down and together.
  • Take deep “belly breaths”.
  • Make sure your workstation allows for you to keep your wrists straight, and not flexed upward, to use your keyboard.
  • Check your chair height and keep your hips in a good position. Bent at 90-120 degrees is acceptable.
  • Keep your monitor at eye level.

An office job in itself can be challenge enough at times, adding pain on top of your busy schedule can make it unbearable! Anyone can start experiencing these aches and pains, but following the suggestions above will help decrease any tension and tightness you might feel from being seated for most of the day. Still have symptoms? Schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider or give Contact Physical Therapy a call at either of our locations.

Contact Physical Therapy Mesa

Hip Flexor Stretches

Do you have a job that requires you to sit all day? It is very important to get up and stretch! Your hip flexors can become very tight from remaining in a sitting position all day. To avoid common aches and pains, be sure to incorporate a hip flexor stretch into your daily routine. In this video Noah Arenson, with Contact Physical Therapy, demonstrates how to complete two simple hip flexor stretches.

Click on the video below to watch the different hip flexor stretches you can do at work!

Contact Physical Therapy Mesa

An office job in itself can be a challenge enough at times, adding pain on top of your busy schedule can make it unbearable! Anyone can start experiencing these aches and pains, but by following the above mentioned hip flexor stretches and suggestions listed in our Our Don’t Slouch Post you will help decrease any tension and tightness you might feel from being seated for most of the day.

Still have symptoms? Schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider or give Contact Physical Therapy a call at either of our locations.

Back School in Mesa

Back School Success

Back School in Mesa

Back School Success!

Our Back School in Mesa had a good turnout and was very informative for East Valley residents suffering from back pain. Content presented by Jim Irvin PT, included proper stretching techniques, lifting mechanics, sleeping posture and tips to help neck pain, along with a number of other items.

Thank you to Dr. McCauley for coming out to our Contact Physical Therapy location in Mesa and contributing to the presentation and answering patient questions. For more information on Dr. McCauley visit McCauley Pain Center of Arizona.

Please comment below if you are interested in attending any of our future Back School seminars!

heat illness in phoenix

Heat Illness in Phoenix

heat illness in phoenixHeat illness can affect all ages, and should not be taken lightly while living in the Arizona heat.

Contact Physical Therapy has provided you and your patients with important information on heat illness below to lead a safe and healthy summer.

3 Key Stages of Heat Illness

Dehydration is an inadequate or imbalanced replacement of the fluids and electrolytes  lost through excessive perspiration.

Heat Exhaustion is a heat-related illness that may occur after you’ve been exposed to high temperatures for several days and have developed dehydration.  A person can experience water depletion which present with excessive thirst, weakness, headache and may even result in a loss of consciousness.  They can also experience salt depletion, which includes symptoms of vomiting, frequent muscle cramps and dizziness.

Heat Stroke results from prolonged exposure to high temperatures.  Dehydration plays a key role in heat stroke, and the combination can be deadly.  It can lead to the failure of the body’s temperature control system.  The medical diagnosis of heat stroke is when the core body temperature is greater than 105 degrees.  Other common symptoms include nausea, seizures, confusion, disorientation, and sometimes loss of consciousness or coma.

Symptoms of Heat Illness


  • Dry mouth
  • Thirst
  • Being irritable or cranky
  • Headache
  • Seeming bored or disinterested
  • Dizziness
  • Cramps
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Unable to perform activities as well.

Heat Exhaustion

  • Loss of coordination, dizziness or fainting
  • Dehydration
  • Profuse sweating or pale skin
  • Headache, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Stomach/intestinal cramps or persistent muscle cramps

Heat Stroke

  • Increase in core body temperature, usually above 104°F/40°C.
  • Central nervous system dysfunction, such as altered consciousness, seizures, confusion, emotional instability, irrational behavior or decreased mental acuity
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Headache, dizziness or weakness
  • Hot and wet or dry skin
  • Increased heart rate, decreased blood pressure or fast breathing
  • Dehydration
  • Combativeness

How to Treat and Manage Heat Illness


  • Move the person to a cool environment and rehydrate.
  • Maintain normal hydration
  • Resume activity after being properly hydrated. Any fluid deficits should be replaced within 1 to 2 hours after activity is complete.
  • Hydrate with a sports drink, which contains carbohydrates and electrolytes (sodium and potassium) before and during activity is optimal to replace losses and provide energy.
  • Hydrate throughout activity to minimize dehydration and maximize performance.
  • Seek medical attention to replace fluids via an intravenous line if person is nauseated or vomiting.

Heat Exhaustion

With symptoms of heat exhaustion, it’s essential to immediately get out of the heat and rest, preferably in an air-conditioned environment. If you can’t get inside, try to find the nearest cool and shady place.

Other recommendations:

  • Drink plenty of non-caffeinated and non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Remove any tight or unnecessary clothing.
  • Take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath.
  • Apply other active cooling measures such as fans or ice towels.

If such measures fail to provide relief within 30 minutes, contact a doctor because untreated heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke.


Heat Stroke

Heat stroke can be fatal, so if you suspect that a person may have heat stroke, immediately call 911 or transport the person to a hospital.

Other recommendations while waiting for paramedics:

  • Move person to an air-conditioned area, or cool shady area if you cannot get indoors, and remove all unnecessary clothing.
  • If possible, take the person’s core body temperature and initiate first aid to cool it to 101 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit. If no thermometers are available, don’t hesitate to initiate first aid.
  • Fan air over the person while wetting his or her skin with water from a sponge or garden hose.
  • Apply ice packs to the patient’s armpits, groin, neck, and back. Because these areas are rich with blood vessels close to the skin, cooling them may reduce body temperature.
  • Immerse the patient in a shower or tub of cool water, or an ice bath.

After you’ve recovered from any heat illness, you will probably be more sensitive to high temperatures during the following few weeks. It is always best to avoid hot weather and heavy exercise or activity until your doctor tells you that it’s safe to resume your normal activities.


Back School in Mesa

Back School in Mesa

Back School in MesaWe are excited to announce our Back School in Mesa! Read the details below for information on our presenters and event details. If you have back pain or recently had back surgery, register for the Back School and come out to learn from our therapists. We will have a Q&A at the end for any of your questions regarding back pain.


The Back School in Mesa Arizona: Learn how to live free from pain

The Back School in Mesa Arizona is helping patients prevent back pain through stretches, stabilization exercises, posture and more Reserve your spot for our July Session of The Back School!


July 11, 2012


4850 E. Baseline Rd., Suite 114

Mesa, AZ 85206

Presenter: Jim Irvin, PT
Jim graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science/Biomechanics from Arizona State University and received his Masters in Physical Therapy from the University of Southern California. He is a Valley native and has been practicing physical therapy in the East Valley since 1995. His specialties include manual therapy, sports medicine and therapeutic exercise. Jim has a strong background in exercise science research and has patented a piece of exercise equipment used for core stabilization and resistance training.
Guest Speaker: Michael McCauley, MD
Dr. McCauley has been practicing pain management in the Valley since 1982. He uses an integrative approach to evaluating and treating his patients and their pain issues. He does a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic spinal injections to diagnose and treat various spine problems, as well as other conditions. He is a firm believer in rehabilitation and encourages patients to always work on integrating this into their daily lives.

Summer Olympics Coming Soon!

Summer Olympics Coming Soon!

We are coming up on the 2012 Summer Games, reflecting back to 2008 we saw there were a high incidence of ankle sprain and thigh injuries. Although these injuries happened to high-level athletes, the general active population is exposed to the same types of injuries through sports such as soccer and hockey. Below are some ways Physical Therapy can help your Weekend Warriors or Olympic Hopefuls get back in their game!

Ankle Sprains

• Acute Care: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation (RICE) • Recovery, on average, takes about 8 physical therapy visits, depending on severity. • Manual therapy to improve range of motion and decrease any swelling. • Strength exercises to begin to improve overall strength of the lower extremity. • Improve proprioception. The athlete would demonstrate proper ankle control and balance for greater than 30 seconds. The athlete would be progressively challenged with activities in standing. And, the athlete would demonstrate proper control with dynamic hopping and jumping activities. • The athlete would have NO pain or laxity with ankle stress tests. • At therapy completion, we would expect the athlete to demonstrate full ROM and strength. • Athlete can return to play when able to and is cleared by supervising physician.

Thigh Injuries

• Acute Care: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation (RICE) • Recovery, on average takes about 10 physical therapy visits, depending on severity. • Mild stretching of the hamstrings, quadriceps, achilles, and IT band should be started gently and become more aggressive as pain permits. • Incorporate proprioception activity as pain permits. • Utilize the stationary bike to gently provide range of motion to the injured area. • Begin Progressive Resistance Exercises as pain as motion permit. • Start general and functional activity to improve overall strength. • Return to full activity when bilateral quad strength is equal & athlete is cleared by physician.

Have additional questions or concerns? Contact Physical Therapy is here to help you and your patients. Please contact us at either of our locations.