Thursday, January 12, 2017


Do you have ongoing pain that interferes with your life activities?  Have you recently had a surgery?  Do you suffer from vertigo?  Do you have general weakness or decreased strength in a particular area of your body?  If you answered “YES” to any of these questions Physical Therapy just might be able to help. 

Often the biggest obstacle in beginning Physical Therapy, and receiving the potentially life changing benefits from it, is the fear of the unknown.  What do Physical Therapists do?    How do I schedule an appointment?  Do I need a doctor’s referral to go to Physical Therapy?  The purpose of this blog entry is to help answer those questions and to provide you with success stories of previous Physical Therapy patients to help make the decision to start Physical Therapy easier for you.


Who are physical therapists?
Physical therapists (PTs) are health care professionals who diagnose and treat individuals of all ages, from newborns to the very oldest, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives.

PTs examine each individual and develop a plan using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability.

At what time can I come to physical therapy?
Physical therapy appointments can be scheduled Monday thru Friday from the early morning until the early evening.

How do I schedule an appointment?
Visit our website ( Choose the clinic that is most convenient for you.  Then call the phone number listed and ask to schedule an appointment.

Do I need a doctor's referral?
No, we can treat you without a referral, however, many  insurance companies require a referral before they will pay for coverage.  It is best to check with your insurance provider before scheduling an appointment for physical therapy.

How do I pay for my physical therapy?
Most insurance providers cover physical therapy expenses.  Depending on your coverage, you may have a co-pay.  If you have been injured in an auto accident or hurt at work we will bill your auto insurance or workers' comp.

What do I need to bring with me on my first visit?
Please bring your insurance card and driver's license to your appointment.  If you were given doctor's orders or a referral for physical therapy, bring that with as well.  If you are being seen due to an auto accident or work injury, please bring along any claim information.  Please wear comfortable clothing and shoes to your appointment.

What can I expect on my first visit?
When you get to the clinic you will be asked to finish the registration process.  You will then meet with a Physical Therapist for your initial evaluation.  The therapist will assess your injury, condition, or pain you are experiencing and identify what you are and are not able to do physically. From the information gathered during the initial evaluation your physical therapist will determine the appropriate plan of care for you.

How often will I need to attend physical therapy?
Your physical therapist will determine the number of visits needed based on what your injury/condition is and its severity.  Generally you can expect 2-3 visits a week.

How long will each physical therapy appointment last?
Your first visit will last approximately 1 hour.  Subsequent visits generally last 30-45 minutes, with certain conditions calling for a slightly longer treatment time period.


Dustin Eslinger, MA, ATC

Certified Athletic Trainer

Physical Therapy Consultants, Inc.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

2017: Make it the BEST YEAR

New Years Resolutions for 2017 are going strong! I love what enthusiasm resolutions bring. It’s a time for individuals to take a positive outlook on changing a trait or behavior that is less than desirable. 

New Years Resolutions are great but the statistics are not in their favor. In fact, it’s said that 75-80% of resolutions FAIL! WHAT?!! 

Ok, seriously I am not surprised because I have been in the pool of failed attempts to make a new years resolution successful and then end up coming up short. BUT… I never consider those failed attempts as failures as much as I look at what I have learned through each experience and each year, I get closer and closer to reaching my goals. Some goals we make for ourselves in life are stepping stones of a journey that we are on.  

Let’s get more personal! 

I am a mother of 3 little kids (ages 5, 3 and 11 months). For the last 5 years, I have some how managed to put myself in the back of the health and wellness bus. AND TRUST ME WHEN I SAY… My weight has paid for it. So yes, I am on the band wagon of becoming healthier in 2017 and finding more time for myself to meet my fitness goals. Not only do I know that I know, that I know that this is what my entire family needs but I am a health care worker. I want to set a good example for my family but also for my patients. It’s that “practice what you preach” mentality. 

Time and time again, I keep hearing people remind me of that 75-80% fail statistic. Tell those people to SHHHHHHHHHHHH and listen up!! I have some tips to share that will help make your resolution a huge success! 

  1. Set GOALS. You’ve all heard this before right! That’s because it works! Make sure your goals are measurable or have a time frame to them. Also make sure those goals MOTIVATE you! 
  2. Make a PLAN that aligns with your GOALS. If you goal is to lose 10 lbs in 60 days, what are you going to do to make sure you reach that goal? Eat clean? Stop drinking pop? Come up with the plan! 
  3. Take Action! You have set your goals, you have a solid plan in place so now it’s time to DO IT! 
  4. Throw away the excuses and FIND YOUR REASONS! We all can come up with a million excuses as to why we shouldn’t do something. Being a busy mom of 3 is an excuse.. Being healthier for my family to be a better wife, mother and health care provider is my REASON. 
  5. REMEMBER your WHY! and write it down! It’s easy in day to day hustle to get caught up and forget why we made a resolution to begin with. Write down why you are starting a resolution. 

There is never a quick fix for anything. It takes time, dedication and hard work to kick old bad habits to the curb and adopt new healthier, positive habits. But these 5 steps will set you up for the greatest success!! 

Share your 2017 resolutions with us! Comment below on how you are going to make this year, the BEST YEAR YET! 

Jackie Giese, LPTA and mom. wife, daughter ready to ROCK 2017

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Ringing in a Healthy New Year

Yes, it's possible to eat yummy foods and enjoy a festive New Year's Eve party without completely disregarding healthy eating habits. These peanut butter-pretzel truffle satisfy you cravings for something sweet and salty. They are also low in added sugar, low calorie and diabetic appropriate.


1/2 cup natural crunchy peanut butter
1/4 c. finely chopped salted pretzels. 
1/2 c. milk chocolate chips, melted

  • Combine peanut butter and pretzels in a small bowl. Chill in the freezer until firm, about 15 minutes. Roll the peanut butter mixture into 20 balls (about 1 teaspoon each). Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper and freeze until very firm, about 1 hour. Roll the frozen balls in melted chocolate. Refrigerate until the chocolate is set, about 30 minutes.
  • Tip: To melt chocolate, microwave on Medium for 1 minute. Stir, then continue microwaving on Medium, stirring every 20 seconds, until melted. Or place chocolate in the top of a double boiler over hot, but not boiling, water. Stir until melted.
Hope you all have a healthy and adventure-filled New Year. 

Kaitlyn Grell,LPTA
St.Francis Physical Therapy

Sunday, December 18, 2016

The best free/low cost Christmas Events in MN!

Due to the seemingly never ending freezing temperatures, heavy snowfall, & we all can understand the family agitation at times.. winter can be a rough time for a lot of people. Here in Minnesota, we all know this to be true. Especially this past week with the temperatures dropping all the way to -40°F! However even with these (sometimes awful) cold weather and snow, there are still some fun family events you can do in this last week leading up to Christmas - that are free to low-cost!

1. Bentleyville, Duluth
This is my personal favorite as the season goes on. Just a few hours north of the cities in Duluth, there is a beautiful, magical winter wonderland called Bentleyville. Here you walk through an amazing, interactive light show. As you walk you can stop and roast marshmallows, pick up some hot chocolate, cookies, and popcorn. Your little ones can even stop to meet Santa.. all for FREE! Click below for more information:

2. Holiday Lights in the Park, St. Paul
This is a fun light show around Phalen Lake/Park, that you actually just drive your car through. It costs $10 a car and it is a quick, fun family adventure! Click below for more information:

3. Celebrate the Light - Willmar
Celebrate the Light is a fun light show where all proceeds benefit The Salvation Army. Look for fun lights moving along with music, at this local yet magical place! Click below for more information:

There are so many more fun light shows and family activities, these are just the beginning! The link below has many, many more options to find something that might be closer to home, or more of an adventure for you and your family! Happy Holidays!!!

Alyssa Hart
Clinic Coordinator Assistant
Physical Therapy Consultants

Sunday, December 11, 2016


The weather has recently become cold in a big time way!  Make sure that you are prepared for winter weather including knowing how to prepare for a winter storm, how to prevent cold related injuries, and how to properly care from physical conditions that are the result of the excessive cold.  There are a number of good resources available that are good to review prior to the coldest time of year.  Here are links to some of my personal favorites:

This FEMA site contains information on being safe during a winter storm including steps to take before, during, and after a winter storm to help protect you, your loved ones, and property.

This National Athletic Trainers’ Association position statement provides recommendations for Certified Athletic Trainers and others participating in athletic health care with the specific knowledge and problem-solving skills needed to address environmental cold injuries.

This link is a .pdf file meant as a simplified handout that provides information on the four common environmental cold injuries—hypothermia, frostbite, chilblain and immersion foot—as well as safety tips. The handout helps educate members of the community on the possible dangers cold weather presents as well as creates awareness of the signs to lookout for and safety precautions to take.

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

Friday, December 2, 2016

Chase's Toy Chest: Bringing Cheer to Children and Their Families

Meet Chase! 

Chase is a vibrant little boy born on November 1, 2014. Here’s Chase’s story! 

It’s TIME!! Baby Boy number 3 is on his way! The EXCITEMENT, the RUSH, the FEAR of another child on the way is different for every mother but Jessica was eager to meet her little bundle of joy! The pregnancy was very typical. All signs were pointing to a very healthy baby. But that wasn’t the case…

Chase was born with a gene mutation. A very rare mutation. In fact, he was only the 28th person diagnosed with what is known as KAT6A. Along with the gene mutation came many other diagnoses including Congential Heart Defect, Global Developmental Delay, Laryngomalacia, Optic Nerve Hypoplasia, Nephrocalcinosis, Hypotonia and is dependent on a G tube. Diagnoses most of us can’t even pronounce let alone fathom the journey this family would now be on. 

Chase was brought straight to the NICU after delivery. In a whirlwind of events, the family maintained their optimism and within 2 days of his birth, the team of doctors discovered Chase had 3 holes in his heart. With a congenital heart defect, doctors will typically perform standard chromosomal testing. Chase tested negative for all the tests. As days led to weeks, it was decided that it would be in Chase’s best interest to get a feeding tube. At only 5 weeks old, this little boy underwent his first major surgery. 

Still unable to take their little boy home, a second surgery was performed. This time Chase was 7 weeks old. Open Heart Surgery. The surgery was a success and FINALLY at 10 weeks old, Chase was brought HOME but there were still many unanswered questions. 

Over the course of the next few months, Chase underwent more genetic testing. Results… NEGATIVE. It wasn’t until the geneticist decided to do what’s called Whole Exome Sequencing. This particular test looks at every gene in the body. After 7 long months, they finally had the answer. KAT6A…. umm what?? You see KAT6A is an extremely rare genetic mutation. Not much is known about this current condition. As mentioned earlier, Chase was only the 28th person diagnosed. 

Chase and his family spent many holidays in the hospital and at times felt lonely, isolated… forgotten. Chase’s mom described feeling like “we don't fit in anywhere.” Days and night spent in the hospital hoping, praying and longing to come home. 

Through all these new challenges, Chase’s mother decided to give back. In tribute to all the doctors, family and friends that were there for them during these difficult times, she felt she HAD to do something to honor Chase and support other families going through similar situations. Chase’s Toy Chest was a way this family could give back. 

Chase’s Toy Chest (started in October 2015) is now a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting children and their families at local area hospitals. In just over a short amount of time, Chase’s Toy Chest has raised over $3,000 and a wide variety of toys! In fact, just this past Halloween, the family was able to bring Halloween bags to children at the hospital as well as donate 100 pumpkins pies to the families for Thanksgiving. 

Not many know the typical schedule for this little boy and his family. Participating in therapies 6 times a week, doctors appointments at least twice a month but this little boy and this amazing family still find time to give back to other so they never have to feel lonely, isolate and forgotten. 

When asked how Chase and his mother manage it all, she says “I know that Chase may not be with us forever, so I cherish every day I have with him. We work hard to set him up for the very best success” “We have also met so many amazing people on this journey including doctors, nurses, therapists and other families with special needs children”. 

Many times our lives bring us on an unexpected journey. With grace and optimism, this family continues to strive to give back to others. For this reason, Physical Therapy Consultants would like to show their support to Chase’s Toy Chest. Each clinic location will be collecting donations to give to this amazing organization. We will be collecting donations Dec 5, 2016 to Jan 6, 2017. Stop by any of our 6 clinic locations in Andover, Ham Lake, Saint Francis, Isanti, Zimmerman, and North Branch to drop off your donation. A wish list of donation items can be found at or

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Compliment your Thanksgiving leftovers!

Since we were so spoiled with the Fall weather here in Minnesota, I feel it is finally time for some good comfort food. What better time than the Holidays to make those favorite dishes. Now that we just had Thanksgiving and we have those lovely leftovers, my thought is to compliment them with a healthy soup. 

My new favorite is Apple Butternut Squash Soup. It would go great with some turkey and stuffing. You could even just throw in some left over sweet potatoes for a nice little twist. 
All you need is:

1 large apple, cored and diced
1 whole butternut squash seeded, cooked and peeled 
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 small onion, peeled and chopped 
1 clove garlic 
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock 
A pinch of cinnamon, salt and pepper 

In a medium sauce pain , saute onion, garlic, apple and olive oil until tender. 
Place cooked squash, stock, cinnamon and apple mixture in blender and puree. This may have to be done in segments depending on the size of your blender. A food processor works great too! Once all ingredients are mixed into a fine soup, pour into a large pot on the stove, add salt and pepper and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Serve with a side of turkey and get cozy!!

Serves approximately 4 people

 Kerra Pietsch, PTA, C.F.N.C
Andover Physical Therapy