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Apex Physical Therapy – Emmaus now open!!

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Front door as seen from Chestnut Street.

Apex Physical Therapy is pleased to announce that our new Emmaus clinic is up and running! Clinic Director Justin Strause, PT, DPT returns to the Lehigh Valley after working in the Excel – Art Museum clinic for the past 3 years.

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Welcome to Apex Physical Therapy – Emmaus!

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Treatment area.

Brian Fritsch 5-17-16 (591x640)

Welcome Bryan Fritsch, PT, DPT

Bryan joined Apex in our Lionville/Exton location after graduating from Drexel University 2016.  During PT school, Bryan saw a way to give back to the community as well as complete his Doctoral final project.  During the summer of 2015, Bryan acted as a camp coordinator for Drexel University’s “Get Moving” program at the Columbia North YMCA. This is a physical activity and health education program targeting at risk youth between the ages of 8-12.

1. What is your favorite part about working one-on-one with patients through the duration of care?

At E&A therapy, I have the opportunity to work with all of my patients one-on-one throughout their episode of care. This exclusive access allows me to get comfortable working on each individual patient and really learn where their impairments are and what is causing their pain or problem. Additionally, by spending one-on-one time with my patients I am able to get to know my patients and allow them to open up to me about their pain. In this day and age not many medical professionals get to spend more than a few minutes with each patient and with this treatment model I have the privilege to spend upwards of an hour with each of my patients every time I see them. I truly believe I can perform my best and have the most promising patient outcomes when I can work with one patient at a time.

2.  Please share with us your most memorable patient and their story.

I think the world of my patients and every one of them offers a unique story or memorable moment.  I have an abundance of stories and patients who have had an impact on my life. In particular, one of my patients presented with bilateral plantar fasciitis and in high levels of pain. Despite the high levels of pain she was an absolute joy to work with. This patient always liked to questioned why her feet would respond in certain ways. During our one-on-one time we would talk about a range of things including superhero movies, famous actors, and types of kitchen china. Despite all of our fun times this patient was as hard as nails and going through multiple life changes during her course of treatment. This patient has shown me the importance of hard work and dedication and how patients can truly reward therapists as well.

 3.  What do you like to do in your off time, outside the clinic?

I am a Philadelphia and Penn State sports fanatic. During my free time I enjoy being with family and friends and remaining physically active. Some of my favorite physical activities include running, swimming, and obstacle courses such as the Tough Mudder.

Dan Greenberg (672x672)

Welcome Daniel Greenberg, PT, DPT

Dan Joined Apex in our Blue Bell location after Graduating from Temple in 2016. Dan was the 2014 winner of Temple University DPT’s Matt Williams Scholarship, awarded to an individual possessing the qualities of humor, dedication to the profession and a servant’s heart. He presented doctoral research on the effectiveness of vestibular therapy for treatment of post-concussive dizziness. Dan enjoys the complexity of treating low back pain and looks forward to learning more advanced techniques in this area.

1.   What is your favorite part about working one-on-one with patients through the duration of care?

My favorite thing about working one on one with patients is being able to get to know who they are as a person, and what their lifestyles and goals are, rather than just what their injury is. I think that developing a rapport with patients, and gaining their trust is the most important thing a clinician can do to facilitate good communication and progress. Having the opportunity to work one-on-one with patients really helps to develop these relationships and turns you into their PT for life.

2.   Please share with us your most memorable patient, or patients, and their story?

I think my most memorable patient is a woman I treated on my final affiliation. She was a 70-year-old spark-plug who was as active as could be until she tripped over a curb and fractured her patella. She came to us after an operation to repair it with a network of wiring, and at the time could only bend her knee to about 25 degrees. All things considered, I had never met somebody with such a positive attitude or a more optimistic perspective towards her rehab (in retrospect, maybe her expectations were a little TOO high). After about 10 weeks of therapy 3x per week, it became pretty evident that she was not going to be able to actively bend her knee more than about 65 degrees without having another operation to removing her wiring. She was pretty discouraged by the thought of another operation, but somehow kept her positive attitude. Not to mention, she really helped me as a student PT by constantly telling me how wonderful of a clinician I’d make someday, and telling me what an incredible difference I’d made in her life. She was on vacation during my last week of the affiliation, and on my last day she did the most thoughtful thing… With about an hour left in my last day at the clinic, a man walked through the door to deliver about 25 giant balloons along with a card and candy from this patient. She wrote me the nicest and most encouraging card I could ever have imagined. We worked together for 10 weeks, a short time in the grand scheme of things, but she made it quite clear how much of an impact I had on her. It was quite inspirational. I hope she knows what an impact she had on me too!!

3.   What do you like to do in your off time, outside the clinic?

In my spare time I like to camp, hike, play ice hockey, Australian Rules football, and the harmonica.

 

 

CF-Soft ball Player

Jillian Knab for #LifeWithoutLimits

Jillian Knab treated in our Chalfont location and was able to get back to playing softball and keep her dream alive!! Here is her story:

“I’ve been playing softball for 8 years, and I have always dreamed of playing in college. Around 2 years ago I tore my rotator cuff when I was pitching. I had to get an MRI and go through physical therapy at a different facility (not Apex).  I went through useless arm exercises that only softened the pain. When I was released from PT I went back to playing but only for a month before the pain returned. My godmother suggested I go to Apex; however I was very leery because of my past experience.  At Apex they seemed to really care about me. Marsha got me back to throwing in a couple months. I really enjoyed going to physical therapy because everyone there wanted to make sure I got better. I could tell they really love their jobs. Thanks to Apex, I had the chance to play for the North Penn softball team at shortstop and play third base for the NP Eclipse without any pain!!!! I am so grateful for everyone at Apex because they have given me the opportunity to continue what I love.”

Congratulations Jillian!  Continued success when you go off to college!

Welcome Emily Fuertsch, PT,DPT

Emily Fuertsch 5-17-16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Apex Physical Therapy and our Pottstown/Coventry location Emily!

Emily is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association(APTA) and Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association(PPTA).  She completed specialized courses in geriatrics and advanced musculoskeletal management while at Temple University. Emily has experience working with complex vestibular cases, such as vertigo and BPPV . She was also the recipient of the prestigious Best Platform Presentation for capstone project titled, “Effectiveness of High Intensity Exercise Post-Stroke.”

Emily’s treatment philosophy focuses on individualized patient treatments and educating her patients to help them manage their symptoms when not in therapy.  She utilizes evidence based practice to treat orthopedic and vestibular conditions including Balance and Gait Disorders, Vertigo, and Joint Replacement Rehabilitation. She is currently working towards her board certification in the area of geriatrics through the APTA.

As a physical therapist, through on-on-one treatment, I am able to build a unique relationship with each patient and in doing so help to assist and empower him or her to achieve their personal goals. I chose Apex Physical Therapy because their treatment model allows for and promotes this treatment philosophy more than any other physical therapy company  in the area.”

Outside of work I enjoy staying active with family and friends as well as watching or attending a variety of sporting events.

To schedule an appointment with Emily contact us at:

http://www.apex-pt.com/contact-us/

Helen Simmons for #LifeWithoutLimits

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Below is a success story submitted by Helen Simmons. Helen was seen in our Lafayette Hill clinic.  Her story demonstrates the importance of finding the right physical therapist!  How we treat and schedule our patients is built around one-on-one interaction, physical therapist to patient!  You never see a PT aide!  

Great work Helen.

“When I came to Apex it was my 3rd try at Physical Therapy. I was beginning to think I’d have to put up with chronic pain and no end in sight- I’m only 40 and have an active life so I was a bit depressed about that. My new Orthopedic Doctor recommended Ian and inspired me to give Physical Therapy another go. The atmosphere at Apex is very positive and the staff makes it fun at times. After 3 months of doing as I was told, at Apex and at home, I’m so much better and have barely any pain at all. Thanks guys!!”

Great Job Ian and the Lafayette Hill staff!!

Featured PT- Danielle Azar, PT, DPT

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Meet Danielle Azar!

Danielle is a staff Therapist at our Blue Bell location.

1  .What is your favorite part about working one-on-one with patients through the duration of their care?  I love being able to see my patients’ progress throughout their duration of care. It is my passion to help my patients meet their own functional goals and get better in physical therapy. If they were being followed more often by another PT, PTA or assisted by PT aides, I would not get the pleasure of seeing their progress from visit to visit. I love the motto here at E&A where patients stick to one PT

2.  In your words, what is the “E&A Difference?” Getting to spend  1-on-1 time with our patients and having treatment directed by your PT only!  Our standards here do not require quantity but quality. We do not have to see 15 plus patients to make any productivity standards. We see on average 10 patients a day, and that enables us to spend quality time with our patients and provide only the best treatment. Almost everyone receives manual therapy intervention, which is a hands on treatment approach to help our patients restore their normal function. Their exercises are then determined by their PT for their specific impairments. There is no cookie-cutter approach here at E&A; everything is individualized!

 3Please share with us your most memorable patient, or patients, and their story.  It is hard to choose just one. I remember a patient who made tremendous progress and quickly; he was a gym teacher with 2 young children and had trouble working and playing with his kids. He came in to PT after multiple back surgeries with another one scheduled. I wished I had seen him prior to those surgeries! He presented with significant pain and loss of motion, sensation and strength and had difficulty walking.  We provided treatment on day 1 with the evaluation. Before the evaluation was even over, the patient was walking better and his strength improved so much that even he noticed and exclaimed, “Wow that was much better!” I know when my patients are getting better based on some objective measures but it is great when they recognize it and appreciate it, in such a short amount of time. Needless to say, his scheduled surgery was cancelled!!

 4. What do you like to do in your off time, outside the clinic?  My husband and I have been spending a lot of time getting ready for the arrival of our daughter, our new addition to the family;  spending time with family and friends and cuddling with our fur baby, Stewie.

 

Helpful Hints for healthy gardening!

 

Gardner Kneeling

Kneel whenever possible.

Spring is here and our focus starts to turn to the outdoors.  Walking outside in the crisp spring air is something to look forward.  Getting the gardens and lawn in shape, maybe not so much!

This could be due to the fact that we look at getting the gardens ready as a “necessary evil of spring”, something that needs to be done before we are able to do the things we LIKE.  Common gardening activities can cause stress throughout the body, especially if we have not been very active throughout the winter.

Digging, edging, planting, weeding, mulching, raking, clipping and bending all stress our joints and muscles.  To what extent is determined as much by our bodies as it is by the intensity of the activity.   Depending on the activity, the shoulders, neck back and knees can all be vulnerable to injury and overuse when tending to your garden in the spring.

The following suggestions can help you prevent waking up the next morning wishing you never started tending to the garden.

  • Set up a plan for what you want to accomplish.  Start out slow to allow your body to get warmed up.  You could even perform some simple calisthenics to help increase your blood flow and prepare your body for the tasks at hand.
  • Vary your activities – break up a digging or shoveling session with some quiet weeding or transplanting.  You can avoid stiffening up and over stressing a body part.
  • Pay attention to your body!  If you are noticing achiness in your body, take a break or move onto a different activity.
  • Use a cart or wheelbarrow to help you move heavy material and tools.  In addition, get assistance to help you with trees and larger shrubs.
  • Kneel as much as possible.  This will prevent you from bending at the waist.   Use knee pads or use a gardening pad. If you have discomfort form kneeling, try kneeling on one and keep the other foot on the ground.
  • Always use good body mechanics!  This goes for picking up a shrub or the small spade that fell to the ground.  Back pain is the number one reason people go to a physical therapy.
  • Avoid twisting your spine when lifting, pivot instead.  Lift and move the feet to get the object where you want it to go.
  • End your gardening activities with some gentle backward bends.  With gardening, we are bending forward, leaning forward and doing things on the ground.  This is a great activity to counter the time leaning forward.

Gardening does not have to be a painful activity.  Enjoy the outdoors and be safe doing it.

Back Bend

Gentle back bend to be performed during and after gardening

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks go to the APTA at http://www.moveforwardpt.com/Resources/Detail/gardening

 

 

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Mason Fullerton for #LifeWithoutLimits

Below is a success story submitted by patient Mason Fullerton. His journey reminds us how important engaged, focused PT care is. 

“My name is Mason Fullerton and I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome – a connective joint and tissue disorder.

I have been getting physical therapy since I was ten months old, and now I am 8 years old. At Excel I have been working on my balance and strengthening my ankles because I was falling a lot. I have been at Excel for 3 months. I like Excel because we started out seeing how my ankles are and they built up my strength before I started running, so I would have energy. At my old PT, they would just say run 3 laps for 3 minutes. They didn’t push me too hard. Now I am having fun! I get to throw footballs and do stool racing. I look forward to going to each session and I used to hate going to my old PT.

After 6 weeks of Excel my orthopedic doctor said I improved a lot! That was the first time my mom and I ever heard that! Thanks Excel.”

Mason is pictured with the Jenkintown team of Meredith Mayes, Dan Reppert and Danielle Veacock.

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Yolanda Anderson for #LifeWithoutLimits

Below is one of many success stories, contributed by our patient, Yolanda Anderson. Her recovery inspires us to do what we do. Go Yolanda!

1. What made you consider Physical Therapy?

I was referred by my Orthopedist.

2. How have your perceptions/expectations changed since beginning treatment with Apex?

I should have sought treatment sooner. My therapist not only helped to treat my injuries but taught me preventative exercises that I could do at home on my own.

3. What has been the best part of your recovery?

I am now able to participate in physical activities without any pain, such as running and strength.

4. What can you do now that you couldn’t do before starting therapy? Long distance running.

Prior to coming to therapy I couldn’t run past two miles without knee pain. Now I can run a full marathon.

Below is a note from Yolanda about her experience:

“I was experiencing minor knee pain off and on while running. The pain worsened and I was diagnosed with IT band syndrome. I began receiving Graston and ART techniques at Apex along with exercises to strengthen my hips. I was advised by my physical therapist to stop running as the pain persisted. After a month or so, I was able to gradually start running again while continuing treatment. I have completed many running events since the start of my treatment, including a full marathon. I’m happy that Desirae was able to help me get back to pain free running.”

–Yolanda Anderson