McDonald Physical Therapy News
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"There is no darkness that kindness cannot illuminate"

Thank you to the MPT staff and patients for participating in our November Blood Drive.

We saved 63 lives with the 21 units donated! 


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Hello to all our friends!  


I just returned from visiting my Mom, who is 85 years old. She still lives in the home I grew up in since I was 5 years old. 

I decided to surprise her. I was so excited at the thought of how happy she would be to see her oldest son of 10 children fly in from South Bend to Lindenhurst, New York, that I could barely keep this secret from my brothers and sisters! 

I flew in late at night after work. She didn't know I had come until she woke up. I was waiting for her, at her bedroom door as she sat on her bed waiting to get up. Her sight and hearing isn't as sharp as it once was. She didn't quite know what to think, when she first heard my voice. But, when she realized it was me, we hugged, cried a little and had a special weekend together!

On Sunday, when I left her and began to realize the magnitude of having this time with my Mom, I realized this special trip was a greater gift for me than it may have been for my Mom!


As the Christmas and Holiday seasons quickly overwhelm us, please try to step back and remember those special people in your lives that have made the difference for you being so blessed.

You may find, that the gift you think you are bringing to someone else turns out to be more of a gift for you than for that person. 

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays,

Fran McDonald






Tips to Avoid Pain During the Holidays 


To most of us the holiday season is all about tradition, fun, and family, but if we're not careful, the holidays can also be a pain in the neck-literally-says the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Typical holiday activities, such as shopping "till you drop," lifting heavy boxes and presents, and countless hours of cooking and baking, can cause muscles to work harder than usual, many times resulting in neck, shoulder, and back pain.


This holiday season APTA recommends taking precautions-from distributing the weight of shopping bags equally on both sides of your body to lifting boxes carefully-in order to keeps aches and injuries at bay.


"The added demands of the holidays stresses the body, which may increase the risk of injuries related to the extra activities," says APTA spokesperson and physical therapist E. Anne Reicherter, PT, DPT, PhD. "Using proper body mechanics can help prevent muscle and joint discomfort this holiday season."



  • Test an object's weight before attempting to lift heavy packages or luggage. Try pushing it with your foot. If it seems too heavy then take smaller loads, which are less likely to strain your back and are easier on arm and shoulder muscles.
  • Keep the load close to your body when lifting.
  • Ask for help or use an assistive device to lift heavy objects.
  • Seek help from a physical therapist if your back pain lasts more than a few days or gets worse.

Shopping Without Dropping

  • Distribute the weight of shopping bags equally on both sides of your body.
  • Consider carrying a small backpack rather than a heavy purse.
  • Wear comfortable shoes; carrying packages while wearing high heels on hard surfaces can contribute to foot and ankle injuries.
  • Don't carry overstuffed shopping bags for extended periods.
  • Consider using a shopping cart or getting help to carry packages to your car.
  • Make frequent trips to the car to drop off purchases.
  • Avoid prime shopping times to decrease wait times that can increase or exceed standing/walking time tolerances.
  • Plan your shopping trip ahead of time. Having a set list of gifts you intend to buy will help you plan for extra help, if needed, to carry purchases.


  • Choose a work surface that is approximately at the level of your forearms when your elbows are bent at a right angle (90 degrees) or at elbow height. Shoulders and upper back will be in better position and this will decrease the risk of upper back, neck, and shoulder strain.
  • Work on a padded surface.  If you have tile, vinyl, or wood flooring, for cushioning consider purchasing an inexpensive area rug  that has grippers on the back to keep the rug from moving and you from slipping or tripping. Standing long periods on a hard surface can lead to muscle fatigue and back ache.
  • Use good lifting mechanics when retrieving small kitchen appliances from lower shelves or drawers. Kneel down if necessary and keep the object close to your body.
  • Be careful when bending to take items in and out of a conventional floor-model stove.
  • Frequently perform gentle movement exercises to keep the muscles in your neck and shoulders loose. 

Source: 12/15/2009

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McDonald Physical Therapy