Celebrating 26 Years of Excellence!  

   McDonald Physical Therapy News 


February 2015 


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Fran's Favorite Quotes


"Set backs are inevitable: misery is a choice" 




McDonald Physical Therapy is pleased to announce the launch of our website!

The new site offers quick and easy access to essential information for our patients,regarding their first visit, necessary forms
and FAQ's.

The website is also a great resource to learn more about our services, facilities and staff. 


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February 15th


St Margaret's Winter Walk

Every winter, we walk in solidarity with women and children whose everyday means of transportation is their feet, in any kind of weather.

The funds raised help St. Margaret's House improve the lives of women who struggle with economic poverty.  St. Margaret's House is a safe, hospitable place where women and children can receive a hot meal, clothing, and help to discover their gifts, learn new skills, and create a better life for themselves and their families.

Dear Friends,

"Every problem has a gift for you in its hands."


I recently read a book about challenges and crisis in a person's life. The quote above caught my attention. I have often thought about the person who walks into our clinic after seeing a number of doctors, still in pain, frustrated and looking scared and without hope. I have wondered, many times, where the gift might be for that person.

I have been blessed for over 33 years to meet and work with patients who share their unique stories. Thankfully, most have improved and overcome their particular injury and pain problem. This is always my top concern and has frustrated me beyond words when it hasn't come quickly enough, as I am not known as a person of patience! Ask anyone who knows me well!
I begin each patient visit with an evaluation and the belief that a miracle may happen. I have learned though,that not every patient can be healed in a day or two. It takes time. And though I do believe miracles can happen, I've learned, over the years, to accept that every person heals in their own time when handled with the correct treatment plan. This plan must always include a touch of compassion.

The treatment plan must involve time to examine and listen to each person. It requires hearing the person's complete story. As the patient's story unfolds, the medical professional needs to question that person with compassion and a Sherlock Holmes-like inquisitiveness.  Many times, our patients say, "I have never told anyone that before". And many times, that one thing is the key to helping them heal. 

You may be wondering why I began this story with the quote, "Every problem has a gift for you in its hands".  When pain consumes us, we, as impatient medical practitioners, and as patients, have difficulty seeing the gifts that may come as a result. Maybe the key to our healing is to stop what we are doing and spend a minute or two to reflect on the possible gifts that are offered to us as we struggle through life with a physical condition that has the potential to dominate our life in a negative way.

In taking this time to stop and reflect, we may begin to see that the spouse, daughter, son or friend we feel we are being a burden to, is actually thankful to be there to help. They may be much more thankful than you or I might ever realize, as we are giving them the gift to be able to care for and nurture us.

Many years ago, I herniated a disc in my neck and could barely sleep more than 2 hours a night. I was in so much pain and felt I was a burden to anyone I was around. Looking back, I realized how many people stepped forward to help me with my treatment, care and life. I felt awkward asking for help, but they helped anyway. As I reflect back on this painful injury, I think the blessing came in feeling the love and support of so many people who were willing to help me when I wasn't at my best. What a gift that was, and I am so thankful to have noticed and been able to thank them for their care and support during a challenging time in my life.

So keep your eyes open during the challenging times, for the gifts being given by those around you are the most precious of all.




Are Your Headaches A Pain in the Neck?


Ouch! It is 3 am and you woke up with another headache. As you reach for your neck you realize you can hardly move your head.


And now it happens every night. HELP!

Headaches can be caused by many things including sinus dysfunction, emotional stress, hormonal changes sleep dysfunction, and a reaction to certain types of foods.

A type of headache commonly overlooked or misdiagnosed is the cervical headache, (cervicogenic origin) which originates from soft tissue and bones in your neck. These headaches usually respond very well to treatment by a manual physical therapist who can release the stiff muscles and get your vertebrae moving optimally. Your therapist will assess you closely to determine the cause and appropriate treatment.

How do I know if I have headaches coming from my neck?
How do I know if a manual physical therapist can help me?

If you can say yes to 2 or more of the following questions, manual physical therapy can help you:

  • Do you feel tightness, tension or pain across the base of your skull, your forehead, temple area or base of your jaw?
  • Do you feel pain or tightness behind or around your eyes?
  • Are your symptoms made worse by remaining in the same posture for extended periods of time (especially sitting)?
  • Do you sometimes feel light headedness or dizziness with your headache?
  • Do you feel neck pain on the same side as the headache pain?

Comprehensive physical therapy treatment for cervicogenic headaches include:

  • mobilization of your bones
  • massage to release trigger points and stiffness in your muscles and other tissues in the neck
  • specific exercises to both help to stabilize and stretch out those stiff neck muscles 

Call MPT today if you are experiencing these types of headaches- let us help you get some relief!


**posted by Marianne Ryan PT, OCS on Back, Neck, TMJ & Headaches