Sandy’s Aquatic Therapy “Hail Mary”

My whole world changed. I can age with dignity now. – Sandy Stacer

Sandy Stacer working with Caitlin Bearss, PT, DPT at Advanced PT – Davison

Hopeful to be pain free again, 84-year-old Sandy Stacer underwent a total knee replacement in June 2020. Being very active, she anticipated she would be back on her feet, playing with her grandchildren in no time. But a complication led to a tough decision. Her doctor suggested a second procedure because her recovery progress had slowed, and her flexibility was not improving. Sandy was worried the procedure would be too taxing, so she decided against it. Faced with the possibility of never getting back her full range of motion, Sandy began searching for options. A friend suggested Aquatic Therapy at Advanced Physical Therapy Center. Aquatic Therapy is available at Advanced PT Davison and Clarkston. The reduction of gravitational forces in the pool would allow Sandy to stand and do gait training and strengthening exercises without causing further damage to her healing joint and muscles. The water would also provide resistance and decreased pain sensitivity. Sandy described it as her “Hail Mary” and the next day, set up an evaluation with Caitlin Bearss, PT, DPT.

Sandy was determined but had one more hurdle to face. She was afraid of the water! Luckily, Advanced PT’s aquatic therapists are hands on and happy to get in the water with every patient for comfort and safety. Sandy’s fear was eased a bit and the hard work began.

Just two weeks into Aquatic Therapy, Sandy checked in with her doctor. Progress! Her range of motion had improved! She was almost back to a functional level. Caitlin and Sandy would not stop there. Their work continued at the Advanced PT pool where Sandy revealed, “I love the warm water…the atmosphere here is great. Everyone is so upbeat. I look forward to therapy.”

Sandy began her journey unable to play with her grandchildren, unable to get up and down from a chair without help, and unable to go up and down stairs. “It was very depressing,” Sandy recalled. Caitlin set a goal to give Sandy her life back and make sure she could do the things she wanted to do, again. Sandy says, “Caitlin has a way of convincing you to work harder; she’s very innovative.” The hard work paid off. Sandy is back, playing with her grandchildren, enjoying life, aging with dignity. And she did it without going back under anesthesia for another painful procedure.

Sandy says she tells everyone, “I recommend Advanced PT because the therapists are excellent and because of the outcomes!”

As a side note, Aquatic Therapy can be done 4-6 weeks post-surgery, once the incision is healed and your doctor agrees it can be submerged.  

Advanced PT Davison | 2138 Fairway Dr. | (810) 412-5100 http://www.AdvancedPhysicalTherapy.com

Falls Prevention Awareness Week, 2020

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Twenty five percent of seniors 65-85 years old will fall this year. Of those, 40% are likely to have multiple falls over the course of the year, and more than 200,000 people fractured their hips in a fall last year alone!

Those are some grim statistics, but the good news is that there is help available. Advanced Physical Therapy Center has a fall prevention treatment plan, and it’s one that is helping patients stay on their feet.

Many times, the number one reason someone has been moved into a nursing home is because of a fall.  Patients can reduce their risk of falling by making some changes at home and by letting us help them make their bodies stronger.

FIRST STEP:  Identify why the patient would fall. Is it because of poor vision, vertigo, medication, osteoporosis, or another medical condition? At Advanced PT, therapists will spend some time coaching patients on how to describe their falls and near falls. One technique that is helpful to patients is to keep a journal of times when falling or near falls occur. This can help identify any potential problems.

SECOND STEP:  Safe proof your home. Advanced PT therapists will help with suggestions about how small changes in the home can help reduce the risk of falling. These may include:

· Remove loose rugs

· Add nightlights

· Eliminate clutter

THIRD STEP:  Individualized exercise plan. At the core of this phase of the program are a series of exercises that will help patients strengthen their muscles and increase flexibility. These two areas will develop balance and coordination. In addition Advanced PT therapists will custom-tailor a full prevention program for the whole family.

Advanced PT’s Falls Prevention Program is available to anyone. Contact one of our clinics to schedule a consultation with one of our therapists today and prevent your loved one from an injury.  

Grand Blanc | 10809 S. Saginaw Street | (810) 695-8700

Clio | 303 S. Mill Street | (810) 687-8700

Flint | G-2241 S. Linden Road | (810) 732-8400

Davison | 2138 Fairway Dr. | (810) 412-5100

Goodrich | 7477 State Rd. | (810) 636-8700

Hartland | 11182 Highland Rd. | (810) 632-8700

Clarkston | 6167 White Lake Rd. | (248) 620-4260

Waterford | 6650 Highland Rd. | (248) 618-3050

Jacob Schumer, PT, DPT Joins Advanced PT – Davison

Jacob Schumer, PT, DPT traveled the country for several years, working as a Physical Therapist. In 2020, Jacob came home to Michigan and began working at Advanced Physical Therapy Center. Jacob earned his bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology from Ohio Northern University and his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from The University of Michigan, Flint.

Jacob is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and a Certified Dementia Practitioner. He is a results-driven therapist who is passionate about “returning people to their prior form and then making them better than they were before their injury through biomechanical correction of everyday tasks.” One of Jacob’s favorite success stories involves a patient who had ruptured a disc in her spine carrying her child. Jacob was not only able to get her back to 100%, he taught her the proper way to carry her child so she would not hurt her back again.

While working with patients, Jacob believes in allowing them to direct their treatment while still providing them with appropriate options for their individual pathology. Jacob recalls a time when he was able to use vestibular rehabilitation techniques to help a woman eliminate the daily medication she had been taking for 3 years.

Jacob played football in high school and college and stays fit now by playing men’s league hockey. He is an avid Red Wings fan and says, “I can talk hockey all day.”

Jacob Schumer | (810)412-5100 | JSchumer@advpt.com

Rachel Selina, PT, DPT joins Advanced PT Waterford and Hartland

I love being able to help people not just get back to doing what they love, but also to become healthier, stronger people overall.

Rachel Selina, PT, DPT

Rachel Selina, PT, DPT is dedicated to pushing people to reach their full potential through hard work and enthusiasm. She loves exercise and fitness and decided to become a Physical Therapist knowing she wanted to help others stay moving and active. Rachel received her doctorate in Physical Therapy in August 2017 from the University of Michigan, Flint. She also graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science with a minor in Spanish from Cedarville University in Ohio.

Rachel joined the Advanced Physical Therapy Center team in 2020 after seeing patients at two other centers. During that time, Rachel became passionate about restoring motion, strength, and function in those with neck and back pain along with those who are facing running, CrossFit and climbing injuries. She has specialized training in several Manual Therapies, Blood Flow Restriction Training, Dry Needling and Running Analysis. Rachel says she truly enjoys “whenever I get to help someone get back to running who thought they wouldn’t be able to.” Rachel is also an expert in treating TMJ and headaches.

Rachel spends some of her time away from Advanced PT as a teaching assistant at the Institute of Clinical Excellence, a continuing education program for physical therapists. There, she passes along her knowledge and expertise of lumbar and cervical spine rehabilitation to students.

Fitness is Rachel’s main hobby, but she also loves traveling, cooking and salsa dancing. She lives in Highland with her husband, John and their dog, Yuri.

Rachel wants everyone to know, “Physical therapy can be hard. I like to push people to work hard and achieve their full potential, but all with a smile and encouragement.”

Rachel Selina | Hartland (810)632-8700 | Waterford (248)618-3050 | RSelina@advpt.com

Jordan Marcotte, PT, DPT joins Advanced PT – Grand Blanc to Help Patients Reach Their Goals

Jordan Marcotte began working at Advanced Physical Therapy Center in 2014. She spent three years working at the front desk and as an aide. She went back to school and received her doctoral degree in Physical Therapy in May of 2020 from Trine University in Indiana and returned to Advanced PT as a Physical Therapist. Jordan also holds a bachelor’s degree in Health Science with a minor in psychology from the University of Michigan, Flint.

Jordan is LSVT-BIG certified. LSVT-BIG is a physical/occupational therapy program that helps to increase strength, motor learning, and changes in brain function in individuals with Parkinson’s Disease and other neurological conditions. She also has plans to continue her education specializing in treating Parkinson’s patients along with post-stroke patients. 

Jordan spent her early years in Durand and is the oldest of three girls. During that time, a difficult family situation inspired Jordan to become a physical therapist. Her family helped take care of Jordan’s grandmother while she battled cancer. Jordan would cook and help with transfers and watch when the in-home PT’s would visit. It was an easy decision for Jordan who knew then she wanted to help others.

Jordan hit the ground running with that decision. During her clinicals, she recalls “I had an 80-year-old patient that suffered from a stroke. When I first met her, she was unable to verbally communicate…and on our first day, she was only able to take two steps. Before discharge, she walked 50 feet consistently and told me ‘thank you for everything.’”

Jordan believes her best asset is her determination to reach her goals and help others reach their goals by being attentive and listening to their needs.

Jordan loves to kayak in the summer. She spends her free time drawing, painting, and knitting.  Jordan says, “I’m excited to help patients regain their quality of life!”

Jordan Marcotte, PT, DPT | (810)695-8700 | JMarcotte@advpt.com

Jonathan Taljonick, PT, DPT Joins the Advanced PT Team

Jonathan Taljonick joined Advanced Physical Therapy Center in October of 2019. He studied Health and Health Sciences at the University of Michigan, Flint receiving his undergraduate degree in 2016. He continued his education, receiving his doctoral degree in Physical Therapy in August 2019, also from U of M, Flint.

Jonathan is from the Flint area and began his career helping people, as a massage therapist. He wanted to expand his expertise and decided to become a physical therapist. He says he enjoys the one-on-one experience of being a PT and loves meeting new people. He considers himself a hands-on therapist and most recently became trained in Blood Flow Restriction Training. He hopes this knowledge will connect him with patients who may have been injured playing sports. Jonathan, an athlete himself, wrestled, bowled, and played football and basketball in high school.

Jonathan believes in building a relationship with each patient. He acknowledges the importance of trust and understanding and approaches each case focusing on the individual so they can get results and get back to life. As an example, Jonathan tells a story about one of his patients, who’s physical therapy journey resulted in him becoming more mobile, which allowed him to rely less on his wife.

Jonathan loves to spend time with his family and is engaged to be married. He enjoys cooking and stays fit by hitting the gym and playing basketball and bowling.

Jonathan Taljonick | (810)695-8700 | JTaljonick@advpt.com

Alejandro Sheppard, PT, DPT Joins the Advanced PT Team

He saw the positive results! Watching his father find success with physical therapy, Alejandro Sheppard, DPT decided he wanted to help others become pain free too. That quest began at the University of Michigan, Flint. Alejandro received his bachelor’s degree in Public Health and Health Sciences followed by his doctoral degree in physical therapy in 2019. He joined Advanced Physical Therapy Center, a short time later.

While getting his degree, Alejandro participated in a program called PT Heart. It provides free physical therapy services to people in Flint and allowed Alejandro to gain valuable experience. He discovered he enjoys learning about his patients and developing relationships with them. He learned he likes to create individual plans and tailor his physical therapy treatments to each person.

Alejandro specializes in treating issues of the neck and spine, and those with chronic pain. He also enjoys working with the older population. An athlete in high school, Alejandro played football, basketball and golf and loves the challenge of helping injured athletes get back in the game, pain free.

In his free time, Alejandro enjoys spending time with his family and friends, going to the movies and traveling.

Alejandro Sheppard | (810)687-8700 | ASheppard@advpt.com

Natalie Mangett, OTRL, CHT joins Advanced PT – Davison, to help people live the life they deserve

 

Natalie Mangett BH Photo 4-26-2019

It’s the things you may take for granted, like starting your car or drying your hair. But seeing her patients do these things they once thought were impossible, motivates Natalie Mangett, OTRL, CHT every day.

Natalie was inspired to become an OT after seeing her father develop challenges during an illness. She went on to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Occupational Therapy at Baker College, graduating in 1999. Then, in 2017, she received a National Certification in Hand Therapy. Natalie has worked all over the country as an OT and most recently worked with surgical and non-surgical patients alongside orthopedic and hand surgeons.

With 20 years of experience as an occupational therapist, Natalie specializes in wrist fractures, trigger point release and scar management. She’s expertly trained in kinesiology taping and splint making. She believes education is an integral part of therapy. She wants her patients to understand exactly why she’s asking them to do a certain task and the long-term goal.

Natalie began working at Advanced PT in March of 2019 and loves the family atmosphere she found. Family is important to her when she’s not at the clinic, too. She loves to spend time with them up north on the water. Natalie is a runner and loves to ski in the winter.

Natalie wants her patients to know, she likes to keep the lines of communication open. She says she wants to know about day-to-day struggles, so she can find real solutions during therapy. Her goal is to have her patients get the most out of their sessions and get back to living the life they deserve.

Natalie Mangett | NMangett@advpt.com | (810)412-5100

Caitlin Bearss, PT, DPT joins Advanced PT, Davison

Caitlin Bearss 2019

From small achievements to major goals, Caitlin Bearss, PT, DPT loves to witness her patients’ accomplishments. In fact, it’s one of her favorite things about being a physical therapist. Caitlin grew up on the western side of Michigan in Reed City, and a rolled ankle in high school, followed by her own round of physical therapy, pushed her to want to become a PT. She began her journey by job shadowing in her hometown and then set her sights on college. She received a bachelor’s degree in Health Science, followed by a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Oakland University, rounding out her studies in 2013.

Caitlin began working as a PT, right after receiving her degree. Most recently, she worked closely with orthopedic surgeons both pre- and post-operative, helping patients who were going through ACL repairs, knee replacements and joint injuries. Her passion is helping people recover. She thrives on creating a plan that will help them progress from being injured, to being able to enjoy life again. Caitlin joined the Advanced PT team in March of 2019. She specializes in manual techniques and is also expertly trained in kinesiology taping.

Caitlin has always been drawn to sports. She played volleyball, basketball and soccer in high school and spent a lot of time in and around pools as a swim instructor and lifeguard. She includes her passion for sports in her life now, by playing volleyball on a regular basis. She works out frequently and typically runs several 5-K charity races every year. She loves to be outside and when inside, she likes to read and sew. She lives in Davison with her husband and two daughters.

Caitlin says one of the best things she contributes to the patient-therapist relationship is she loves to learn the patient’s story. It helps her develop a treatment plan specifically designed for the patient’s needs and personality. Caitlin says she’s even had the privilege of seeing some of her patients succeed, after treatment. Some have invited her to watch them play the sports they were forced to stop because of injury.

Caitlin Bearss | CBearss@advpt.com | (810)412-5100 | 2138 Fairway Dr., Davison, MI 48423 

Ewa Pluszczyk, PT joins Advanced PT, Waterford, company’s newest clinic

Pluszczyk _ Ewa 1-22-2018DSC_12Ewa Pluszczyk, PT has been a physical therapist since 1994. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Rehabilitation and Physical Education from the Academy of Physical Education in Poznan, Poland. After moving to the United States in 1996, she received her Michigan Physical Therapy License. 

Ewa is a manual, hands-on PT with 25 years of experience in outpatient, orthopedic physical therapy. She has over 10 years of direct care experience, working closely with neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons on challenging cases of neck and back pain and post-operative shoulder and knee recovery. She has helped athletes from nearly every discipline and credits her success to the fact that she targets the cause of the pain and designs individualized programs to improve and restore physical function as well as alleviating pain. If something doesn’t work, she’s willing to shift gears until she finds something that does. Her success stories are countless.

Ewa is an avid tennis player. She plays at least two times a week and competes with a team out of the Deer Lake Athletic Club, that won a state championship in 2018. Ewa lives in White Lake with her husband, two children and the family dog.

Ewa Pluszczyk

EPluszczyk@advpt.com | 6650 Highland Rd., Waterford, MI 48327 | (248)618-3050