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Category Archives: Lake Arrowhead

Why Shoveling Snow Could Have Dire Consequences

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Don't risk your health. Hire a strapping youth to shovel your driveway.

An amazing thing happens in the winter when it snows. People who haven’t budged from their chair all year suddenly leap out of it, grab their shovels and head outdoors to shovel the snow off their steps and driveways and/or to tackle a huge icy berm.

Unfortunately, sometimes their actions precipitate a visit to the doctor or emergency room due to a variety of issues including everything from back pain to heart attacks. Most of the time these issues don’t  have to happen because there are ways to shovel snow that make a visit to the local emergency room far less likely due to serious health concerns.

There are people who justifiably should not touch a snow shovel or should use common sense when they go out to shovel the cold white flakes off the stairs and driveway. Anyone who has had a heart attack, people with a history of any type of heart disease, high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels and/or people who are permanent “couch potatoes” should consider paying someone to do the shoveling because shoveling snow results in a strenuous workout.

If you’re stuck with the job, however, here are some tips to help safeguard your health and avoid back injuries.
First off, keep yourself hydrated; warm up by walking a few minutes or stretching before digging your shovel into the snow. This pre-shoveling procedure is important for the work ahead.

Shoveling snow isn’t a walk in the park. Begin slowly and find a shovel that’s meant for moving snow, not planting flowers. The older, heavier metal shovels may work better in some snow conditions but they aren’t the best for your back. A smaller blade is better not only on your back but on your heart. Remember that to be safe means going slower, not faster. Shoveling faster and faster to get the work done takes a huge toll on the heart, which is the most vital muscle in your body.

Because shoveling heavy snow takes its toll experts suggest people balance their body weight and then bend their knees to actually dig the shovel into the snow.  If people tighten their stomach muscles at the same time they bend their knees this is far more effective. Don’t attempt to throw too much snow at the same time because this results in many back injuries.

Remember, it’s your back and heart that take the toll of shoveling incorrectly or trying to shovel it too fast. Slow down, stay hydrated and shovel the snow in smaller scoops. Your body will appreciate it!
Remember, Mountains Community Hospital is here to help. For our help call (909) 336-3651. “We Care!”


From Age 40-70: Tests You Should Have!

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There are a number of screening tests you could have to ensure you are healthy.

As human’s age their health requirements change and the tests and procedures they need can often help prolong their lives. Early diagnosis and treatment of any condition can often make the difference between life or death and it offers a “footprint” or “plan” for the patient to follow along with advice and support from their physician.

The staff at Mountains Community Hospital reminds everyone that as people age they will need to have tests and procedures they did not require in their younger years. It’s part of getting older.

A good diet and exercise program are an important part of staying as healthy as possible. Getting enough sleep at any age is vital. Without restorative sleep it takes a toll on many of the body’s systems and it affects an older person’s reactions and reflexes.

Women and Men 35 and Over

Adults who 35 and older should have their thyroid checked and get repeat tests done every five years. The aging process, accompanied by untreated thyroid problems, can be the cause of a number of problems, particularly in women.

Women and Men Over 40

Women over 40 should get an annual mammogram to check for breast cancer. Women with a history of breast cancer in their family should get their first mammogram before their 40th birthday.

Men as well as women can get breast cancer so men should give themselves a “once over” in the mirror to check for discoloration or other “abnormal” issues around their breasts.

Women and Men Over 50

Aging adults need to monitor their blood pressure. If untreated, high blood pressure can harm the heart, brain, eyes and kidneys. Get tested! This is a killer!

People over 50 need to get a fasting blood sugar test at least once every three years.  While may laboratory tests must be ordered by your physician, that isn’t necessary for a cholesterol profile of blood sugar. Contact the MCH Laboratory (436-3140) for a complete list of other self-referred test that are available.

Women need to make sure they continue having pap smears and pelvic exams.

Men over 50 should have a prostate screening for colon cancer. Annual PSA tests and digital rectal exams are important for men starting at age 50.

Men and Women need to have their eyes checked every one to two years. As people age their eyesight slowly changes.

Skin cancer is another significant concern for adults over 50.  Ask your doctor to perform a visual exam during you next routine office visit.  Skin cancer can often be present in areas of the body that you cannot see on you own.

Men and Women 60 and Over

An estimated 60 percent of people over 60-years-old have some type of hearing loss. It is important for aging adults to have a hearing test at least once every three years.

The National Osteoporosis is Foundation recommends that all women over 65 have a bone mineral density test. As we age, falling becomes increasingly common, especially among women. Changes in bone density is often the cause.

Both men and women should have their cholesterol levels checked regularly. High cholesterol levels are a major cause of both heart attacks and strokes.

One area that is often neglected is dental health. Men and women need to see their dentist regularly to safeguard agains gum disease, mouth cancer and other conditions that are more prevalent among aging adults.

The bottom line is, age increases your susceptibility to a variety of ailments and conditions that probably were of little or no concern when you were younger.  One of the hardest things we all have to face is the fact that we are growing older and are not as invincible as we once were.  Responsible fitness and common sense can really and truly prolong your life.

The Magic of Ultrasound

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Although human beings can’t hear the sound waves emitted by ultrasound machines the process has revolutionized the practice of medicine since it was first developed for use on cattle and horses many decades ago.

Ultrasound is now used in many fields, typically to allow the medical world to “see inside” a body and locate a problem. However the sound waves can penetrate solid objects such as plastic as part of the welding process used in many products…

Ultrasound has been used by radiologists and sonographers to image the human body for at least 50 years and has become one of the most widely used diagnostic tools in modern medicine. Today a pregnant woman and her physician have the opportunity to use ultrasound to see the child in-utero, which is nearly always an exciting experience. Routinely pregnant women will often have an ultrasound before their twenty-fourth. One of the reasons physicians encourage an early ultrasound is because if they detect an abnormality that can prove fatal to either the baby or the mother, or both, the pregnancy can be terminated if necessary to save the mother’s life.

However, ultrasounds can also show physicians of any specialty where a problem might lie and it gives the doctor the ability to focus directly on the problem. Ultrasounds, otherwise known as medical ultrasonography, can be used to visualize muscles, tendons as well as internal organs.

One of the biggest advantages to the technology is that, comparatively speaking, it is fairly inexpensive and portable, particularly compared to much heavier and equipment such as MRI machines. Portable ultrasound machines have had a big impact on the ability of the medical world to diagnose a condition because they can be taken just about anywhere to help serve their patient’s needs.

When ultrasound machines first hit the market it revolutionized medicine in some ways and ultrasounds have become quite common not only for pregnancies but for diagnosing many different conditions. As used by skilled technicians today’s ultrasound procedures are quite safe when done properly, particularly when compared with some other procedures that have the capacity to cause cancer. Although the procedure is considered safe it should not be repeated too often because there are scientific studies that show it may have harmful side effects if done too frequently.

Ultrasound pulses can be used to break up kidney and gall stones. Procedures of this sort are referred to as “focused ultrasound surgery” because they focus on a particular problem. The devices can also be used for teeth cleaning in dental offices, for use in treating cancer, Liposuction and removing varicose veins.

Ultrasonic cleaners can sparkle your jewelry, clean lenses as well as surgical and dental equipment.

Ultrasounds are used extensively at Mountains Community Hospital and make a big difference in patient’s lives everyday.

October is Physical Therapy Month!

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Improve mobility and motion with physical therapy.

Improve Mobility and Motion

No matter what area of the body ails you – neck, shoulder, back, knee – physical therapists have an established history of helping individuals improve their quality of life.

A physical therapist can help you move freely again without pain and discomfort and feeling renewed and ready to move on. They can even help you prevent an injury altogether.

For instance, a study of 1,435 NCAA Division 1 female soccer players demonstrated that those who participated in a physical therapy program had an overall ACL injury rate 41 percent lower than those who did only a regular warm-up prior to practice.1

Because physical therapists receive specialized education in a variety of sciences – physics, human anatomy, kinesiology (human movement), to name a few – they understand how the body works and how to get you moving again. They know how to manage all four of the body’s major systems – musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular/pulmonary, and integumentary (skin) – to restore and maximize mobility.

Whether you are living with diabetes or recovering from a stroke, a fall, or a sports injury, a physical therapist is a trusted health care professional who will work closely with you to evaluate your condition and develop an effective, personalized plan of care. A physical therapist can help you achieve long-term results for many conditions that limit your ability to move.

Reduce the Risk of Injury

While playing a round of golf or picking up around the house may seem harmless, but these everyday activities can result in injury due to abnormal movement, stress on joints and strain on muscles.

Because physical therapists are experts in knowing how the body works, they are able to design personalized treatment plans to reduce the risk of injury whether in everyday activities or sports.

For example, women perform athletic tasks in a more upright position, putting added stress on parts of the knee such as the ACL, resulting in less controlled rotation of the joint. While men use their hamstring muscles more often, women rely more on their quadriceps, which puts the knee at constant risk. To combat these natural tendencies, your physical therapist may develop a treatment program to improve strength, flexibility, and coordination, as well as to counteract incorrect existing patterns of movement that may be damaging to joints.

Improve Balance and Prevent Falls

Falls among the elderly are prevalent, dangerous, and can diminish their ability to lead an active and independent life. According to the National Aging Council, about one in three seniors above age 65, and nearly one in two seniors over age 80, will fall at least once this year, many times with disastrous consequences. A physical therapist can help you prevent falls by designing an individualized program of exercises and activities with an emphasis on strength, flexibility, and proper gait.

Balance may be improved with exercises that strengthen the ankle, knee, and hip muscles and with exercises that improve the function of the vestibular (balance) system.

Once a physical therapist has reviewed a complete medical history and conducted a thorough examination, he or she will develop a personalized plan of care. This may include a walking regimen with balance components such as changes in surfaces/terrains, distance, and elevations; Tai Chi (which emphasizes balance, weight shifting, coordination, and postural training); and aquatics classes geared toward balance and coordination. The physical therapist also may teach specific strengthening and balance exercises that can be performed at home. If necessary, the physical therapist will refer you to other medical professionals, such as an ophthalmologist or neurologist.

For more information contact Lake Arrowhead Physicial Therapy owned by Mountains Community Hospital at 909-337-0844.

29099 Hospital Road Suite 106 in the Medical Office Bldg next to Mountains Community Hospital. For more information, visit our website at


We do not stop moving

because we grow old…

we GROW old

because we STOP MOVING.


Have you stopped moving because of neck, shoulder, back, knee or ankle pain?


If so, please stop in and discuss with our staff how

Physical Therapy can help you get moving again!