PTC Blog

Wow, what an entertaining Super Bowl! Congratulations to the Philadelphia Eagles!   The offensives for both participating teams were amazing!  The amount of yards and points scored in the game will be remembered for a long time.

As an athletic trainer I tend to look a little closer at another aspect of football, the medical care provided to the players.  Being able to appropriately evaluate and treat injuries over the course of such a fast-paced game can be tricky and the policies and procedures will continue to evolve.  It takes a team effort to provide appropriate and comprehensive medical care to players.  Here is a look at the medical professionals that are present during every NFL game:

Each sideline has:

  • 4 Athletic Trainers – Assess and treat player injuries in conjunction with team doctors
  • 2 Orthopedic Medical Doctors – Evaluate and treat players for injuries to the bones and joints
  • 2 Primary Care Physicians – Evaluate players for general medical conditions and concussions
  • 1 Unaffiliated Neurotrauma Consultant – Evaluates players for possible head injuries and concussions
  • 1 Chiropractor – Provides back/spinal adjustments for players and treats muscular injuries

Each stadium has these additional members of the medical team present on gameday

  • 1 Dentist – Treats dental issues
  • 2 Independent Athletic Trainers – Notify on-field staff of possible injuries from the press box. The independent Athletic Trainer spotters can call a medical timeout to stop the game to have a player receive medical attention.
  • 1 Airway Management Physician – Provides emergency intubation to severely injured, non-breathing players
  • 2 EMTs/Paramedic Crew – Transport players to hospital in the event of serious injuries
  • 1 Radiology Technician – Takes x-rays of injured players at the stadium
  • 1 Ophthalmologist – Treats eye injuries
  • 1 Visiting Team Medical Liaison – Local emergency physician certified to practice medicine in the state where the game is being played. The VTML works with the team to provide access to care, medication and first-rate medical facilities.

Although the Minnesota Vikings came up short in the NFC title game last month, their medical team was honored with a big award. The Vikings athletic training staff was recognized last month as the Ed Block Courage Award NFL Athletic Training Staff of the Year. The Ed Block Courage Award for NFL Athletic Training Staff of the Year is voted on by all 32 NFL athletic training staffs and the members of the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society and recognizes one NFL athletic training staff annually for their distinguished service to their club, community, and athletic training profession. CONGRATULATIONS!

Dustin Eslinger, MA, ATC, ITAT
Athletic Trainer
Physical Therapy Consultants, Inc.

February 8th, 2018

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Keeping kids active in the winter can be difficult. It is so easy to stay inside during the winter, especially in Minnesota during times of subzero temperatures. There are actually lots of fun ways to keep kids active indoors. Here are a few ways to burn off a little energy!

Have an indoor snowball fight
Whether you use balled up socks or crumpled tissue paper to get everyone moving. For easy clean up, you can have a snowball free throw contest into a laundry basket.

Play indoor ice hockey
Bend the bottom of a wrapping paper tube and use tape to hold it in the shape of a hockey stick.  Add a ball, a sock or jar lid and you are ready to play.

Have a dance party
Crank up the music and get moving. Move the furniture around so you have a large open space. March, stomp, twirl, jump, and hop. Get out some fun musical instruments. Join in and have fun!

Have hallway races
Let your little ones and/or their friends race down the hallway. Make it even more fun and tape up a piece of party streamer for them to bust through.

Bring outdoor toys that keep kids active inside
Think jump ropes, balls, push toys, hula hoops, small toy cars, and even small portable sliding boards.

Exercise together
Do jumping jacks or push ups, run in place, or try sit ups.

Play Simon Says…. and make it as active as possible.

Let little ones jump from cushion to cushion
Pull the cushions off the couch and tell them the floor is lava and that they can’t touch it.

Create a fun indoor obstacle course
Make tunnels to crawl under, hurdles to jump over and poles to weave through. Have your kids jumping, balancing and so much more!

Let us know some of your kiddos favorite indoor winter activities. We would love to hear them!

Kaitlyn Grell, LPTA
Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant
Physical Therapy Consultants, Inc.


January 31st, 2018

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There are so many options available in the healthcare field to help you find relief and decrease pain. It can be overwhelming to filter through all the information to determine what is going to be the most effective for you. Today we are going to answer commonly asked questions about medical massage.

What is medical massage? Medical massage is a type of massage that focuses on a specific area of the body that is causing you pain or discomfort. You will complete a brief screening with a physical therapist before getting your massage. The screening consists of a brief medical history, assessment of your range of motion, and may include special tests to determine the cause of your pain. These screenings help your massage therapist know which areas to focus on to help decrease your pain and improve any limitations you may have.

Will I need a screening at every massage appointment? No. If you are being seen for the same area of the body, you will not need another screening after your initial visit. The physical therapist will be available to address any concerns you may have along the way.

Is medical massage covered by insurance? Yes….uhhh No… well, sometimes! It is probably not the straight forward answer you are looking for but it is the honest answer. Medical massage may be covered by your insurance, but it is always best to check with your insurance provider to determine what coverage is available for your plan.

Can I do medical massage and physical therapy? Yes, many times medical massage and physical therapy are recommended to be done together. They are not always recommended together but results are being seen faster when both are being used to decrease pain.

Why does medical massage and physical therapy give you faster results? We are seeing quicker results when the two techniques are completed together because the massage helps to decrease the muscle tightness and get rid of pesky knots while physical therapy is strengthening the right muscles in order to fix the cause of the problem. Often times physical therapy treatments are a great partner with medical massage because of the amount of time the massage therapist can spend hands on with you, followed by the expertise the physical therapy team has to keep you feeling better.


Do I need a doctor’s referral for medical massage? The only time you would need a doctor’s referral for a medical massage is when insurance requires a referral for coverage. Again, it is important to check with your insurance provider on coverage for medical massage.

If you are unsure if medical massage if right for you, talk to a physical therapist. You can also use the free consultation feature available on our website to learn more about this service and its benefits. Visit to request a free consultation and a member of our care team will call you to answer any questions you may have.

Now that we have answered a few common questions related to medical massage, we want to hear from you! Post your comments or more questions below!

Jackie Giese, LPTA
Community Outreach Coordinator
Physical Therapy Consultants

January 25th, 2018

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Aquatic Therapy is a great way to strengthen muscles throughout the body and decrease stresses placed on the low back. Getting into the pool is a great alternative to land based physical therapy, especially when the low back is especially painful or movements on land are difficult. There are special water properties that make it easier to work out in the pool versus on land.

Buoyancy: Buoyancy is the upward force that acts against gravity. This allows you to feel more unweighted in water versus on land. It places decreased stresses on joints and allows for greater ease with movement. When you are submerged at hip level you are 50% unweighted.

Hydrostatic Pressure: Hydrostatic pressure is the pressure exerted by the water on immersed objects. Increased pressure can lower heart rate and improve blood flow.

Viscosity: Viscosity is the friction occurring between molecules resulting in resistance to flow. This means that with increased velocity of movement there is increased resistance. This allows a better workout in a shorter period of time.

As with all physical therapy care plans, each treatment is individualized to meet the goals of the patient.

If you feel like aquatic therapy could benefit you, give us a call at 1-888-THERAPY.

Rebecca Varoga, PT, DPT
Physical Therapist
Isanti Physical Therapy

January 17th, 2018

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When the driveway and walkways are coated in a thick blanket of snow, it is time to get a shovel out for what some consider to be a dreaded chore. Before you tackle the first snowfall of the season, take some time to read these snow shoveling safety tips to help avoid any potential injuries.

  • Warm up. Warm your muscles before heading out to shovel by doing some light movements, such as bending side to side or walking in place.
  • Push rather than lift. Pushing the snow with the shovel instead of lifting can help reduce the strain on your body. When lifting snow, bend your knees and use your legs when possible.
  • Choose your shovel wisely. Ergonomically-designed shovels can help reduce the amount of bending you have to do.
  • Lighten your load. Consider using a lighter-weight plastic shovel instead of a metal one to help decrease the weight being lifted.
  • Hit the pause button. Pace yourself and be sure to take frequent breaks. Consider taking a break after 20 to 30 minutes of shoveling, especially when the snow is wet.
  • Consider multiple trips. Consider shoveling periodically throughout the storm to avoid having to move large amounts of snow at once.
  • Keep up with snowfall. Try to shovel snow shortly after it falls, when it is lighter and fluffier. The longer snow stays on the ground, the wetter it can become. Wet snow is heavier and harder to move.
  • Wear layers. Dress in layers and remove them as you get warm to help maintain a comfortable body temperature.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated while shoveling.

By following these tips, you are far less likely to be injured while shoveling snow.


Kaitlyn Grell, LPTA
St. Francis Physical Therapy

January 10th, 2018

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Why Should I Donate Blood?
• Every 2 seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood
• Over 21,000 people receive blood products from a Red Cross Donor daily
• Most popular blood type requested from hospitals is Type O, so if you are type O- you are wanted!
• Someone in a motor vehicle accident can require as many as 100 pints of blood

Benefits of Donating According to the American Red Cross:
• It feels great to donate!
• You get free juice and delicious cookies.
• It’s something you can spare – most people have blood to spare… yet, there is still not enough to go around.
• You will help ensure blood is on the shelf when needed – most people don’t think they’ll ever need blood, but many do.
• You will be someone’s hero – in fact, you could help save more  than one life with just one donation.

St. Francis Physical Therapy will be hosting a blood drive Wednesday, January 24th from 9am- 3pm.

Give 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit and enter SFPT to schedule an appointment.

Krista Flanagan, ATC
St. Francis Physical Therapy

January 3rd, 2018

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The New Year is right around the corner. Are you making a new year’s resolution? Is there anything you would like to change or do better in 2018? According to Wikipedia, making a new year’s resolution is a common tradition mostly in the western hemisphere and dates back to the Babylonian Era. A resolution is when a person resolves to change an undesired trait or behavior, to accomplish a personal goal or otherwise improve their life. It’s a great concept, however the success rate is not impressive. So why do people fail at the goals they set out to achieve in the new year?

Here are a few reasons:

  1. Unrealistic goals are being set or there is not a timeline associated with that goal.
  2. The resolutions themselves are not personal enough to the individual or the individual makes the resolution because the people around them want them to. For example: an individual who may smoke makes a resolution to quit smoking because their family wants them to versus them actually wanting to.
  3. Too many resolutions are being made at once and there is no tracking associated with the progress being made.

Now that we know what may contribute to resolutions failing, let’s take a look at how we can set ourselves up for success in 2018! Whether your resolution be to lose weight, workout more, be more assertive, or learn another language, you have to be SMART about setting goals and you have to personally be invested in the resolution you set for yourself.

So how do we go about setting SMART goals?

  • Be SPECIFIC: when determining your goal for 2018, you must be clear about what you are trying to accomplish. It’s important to include who, what, why, where and when. Many resolutions fail because they are not specific enough and therefore there is not as much personal investment in them. Let’s take a look at building a goal based off of the SMART criteria.

“I resolve to lose weight” —There is still some missing pieces to this goal, right?! Let’s take a look at the next step to building a SMART goal.

  • Make the goal MEASURABLE: when goals are measurable, it is easier to stay on task and track progress. Ask yourself how much? or how many? and add that to your goal. That is something missing in the above goal example! Let’s continue to build the example by adding in a measurable quantity to the weight lose.

“I resolve to lose 25 pounds” —We now have a measurable quantity associated with the weight loss but there are still missing pieces! Time to add the “A” of our SMART goal- setting.

  • Make sure the goal is ATTAINABLE: setting goals that can be reached increases confidence and motivation to continue to take the steps necessary to achieve those goals.

Take a look at our example above. Losing 25 pounds is much more attainable than setting a goal of 100 pounds right away.

  • Your goal must be REALISTIC: it is best to set goals that have steps that you are willing and wanting to take in order for you to be successful. Let’s take a look at our example:

“I resolve to lose 25 pounds by eating well balanced meals of 1500 calories per day and doing 30 minute workouts from home.”

We now just added a couple steps that we are going to take to help reach the weight loss goal, BUT we are still missing one of the most important components of goals setting…

  • Your goal must be TIME oriented: timelines help keep you motivated and accountable for reaching your goals. Without timelines, it is hard to track progress and stay motivated. Our current goal in the example above does not have a timeline associated with it. Without that timeline, there is no sense in urgency in accomplishing the goal. Let’s add a timeline to the goal to see how we can set ourselves up for success.

“I resolve to lose 25 pounds by May 1, 2018 by eating well balance meals of 1500 calories per day and doing 30 minute workouts 3 times per week from home.”  Not only did we add the timeline of May 1, 2018 but we also added another measurable way to track our success by stating we would workout 3 times per week. This goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.

Now that we learned how to set ourselves up for success in reaching our 2018 New Year’s Resolution, we want to hear from you! What are your SMART resolutions for 2018? Share them in the comments below and you will be entered in a drawing to win a 60 minute massage!

Jackie Giese, LPTA
Physical Therapist Assistant
Physical Therapy Consultants

December 27th, 2017

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Christmas is my absolute favorite time of the year and my absolute favorite place to experience the magic of Christmas is at Bentleyville USA!  Bentleyville USA is a giant, walkthrough light display in Bayfront Park in Duluth. It’s 100% worth the 2-2.5 hour drive from the Twin Cities. While I was going to college in Duluth, my roommates and I regularly volunteered at Bentleyville. The entire organization is run on volunteers and donations. This year my roommate and I were able to take time out of our schedules to volunteer again! Not only is it fun to volunteer, it’s also a great workout! During our 3 hours of volunteering we were able to walk over 8,000 steps with the added work of wearing a costume! I would highly recommend a trip to Bentleyville if you haven’t been there already. It’s my favorite Christmas tradition and I make a point to go every year!

What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?

Rebecca Varoga, PT, DPT
Physical Therapist
Physical Therapy Consultants

December 20th, 2017

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The Good News:
Minnesota’s estimated workplace injury and illness rate for 2016 is at its lowest rate since the measurement started in 1973. According to the annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, the state had an estimated 3.4 OSHA-recordable nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time-equivalent (FTE) workers in 2016. Over the past decade workplace injury and illness rates have decreased 33% in Minnesota.

The Bad News:
There were 73,600 workers with OSHA-recordable nonfatal workplace injuries in Minnesota in 2016. An estimated 21,200 worker injuries, 1.0 cases per 100 FTE workers, had one or more days away from work after the day of injury. This rate was unchanged from 2015. The median number of days of work disability for workers with one or more days away from work was five days. When we look at this data we see approximately 106,000 days of disability in 2016.

Is There Room For Improvement?


Let’s look at some more data from Minnesota:

  • The industry divisions with the highest total injury and illness rates were construction (5.0 cases per 100 FTE workers); local government (4.8); and health care and social assistance (4.7).
  • Sprains and strains accounted for 38 percent of the injuries for workers with days away from work. The second-highest category was soreness and pain, accounting for 17 percent of the cases.
  • The back (19 percent) was the most commonly injured body part, followed by hands (14 percent) and knees (10 percent).
  • The most common injury events were being struck by objects or equipment and falls on the same level, each with 15 percent of the cases, followed by overexertion while lifting or lowering, with 11 percent.

I see an opportunity to reduce this rate further when I look at what type of injuries and within what industries injuries are taking place.

How Do We Further Decrease Workplace Injuries?

  • Get ALL Employees Invested in Safety – All employees should value safety as part of their job. All employees should hold each other accountable to perform job tasks safely according to their policies and procedures.
  • Evaluate and Review Safety Procedures Regularly – Are there safer ways to perform job task? Are all the proper equipment and tools being utilized? Did something within the job process change that has now created a higher injury risk? Identify “near misses” and take corrective action to decrease risks.
  • Follow Through on Eliminating Hazards – If a potential hazard has been identified, is there someone or a group of people in charge to make the necessary correction/change in behavior to decrease or eliminate the hazard? Forming a safety committee within your organization can be a great asset.
  • Proper Training For All Employees – Train employees about workplace safety and how to identify hazards. Workplace safety training as part of employee onboarding and refreshers especially early on in employment is beneficial. You can have new employees learn safe job practices from an experienced employee. This will help build comradery and encourage safe work practices.

Do you have examples of how you made your workplace safer in 2017? Let us know in the comments!

Let’s make 2018 the safest year yet for Minnesota workers!

Dustin Eslinger, MA, ATC
Athletic Trainer
Physical Therapy Consultants, Inc.

December 14th, 2017

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One of my favorite movies to watch during the holidays is Dr.Seuss How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Here’s a drink you can sip on during while watching the movie or celebrating Christmas with family and friends. 

Supplies needed to make Grinch Punch 

  • 2 .13oz packets Unsweetened Lemon-Lime Kool-Aid
  • 2 Cups Sugar or 3-4 tbsp of Truvia/Stevia for healthy substitution.
  • 1 12oz Can Pineapple Juice
  • 1 12oz Frozen Lemonade Concentrate, thawed
  • 1/2 liter of Sprite
  • Ice
  • Red Sanding Sugar for Glass Trim



  1. Pour 2 quarts of water in a 1 gallon pitcher.
  2. Add the Kool-aid mix and sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add the pineapple juice and lemonade and stir well.
  4. To top the rim of a glass, dip the top in water then dip into the sanding sugar.
  5. Just before serving, add the Sprite and ice.
  6. Serve and Enjoy!

Please comment below and let us know your favorite Christmas drink or treat.

Kaitlyn Grell, LPTA


December 6th, 2017

Posted In: General


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