Alpine physical therapists Leah Versteegen and Jess Kehoe got first hand experience of the physical challenges facing Forest Service ax and saw loggers. Their work with two such experts is chronicled in Friday’s Missoulian and is titled: Tactical Athletes: Forest Service Adds PT to Logging Training. Click here for the entire article.
Special thanks to Leah for providing additional information below.
Hiking into the hills west of Stevensville, Montana we could hear the hum of a chainsaw well from the valley below. On a beautiful Tuesday afternoon, Jess Kehoe and I, two PTs from Alpine, donned our hard hats and joined some of the top sawyers in Western Montana for an educational session on the art of sawing, limbing, and bucking trees.
Our purpose for the afternoon was to evaluate the mechanics, physical and mental demands of the profession. It was truly impressive to witness in person the efficiency with which these sawyers can quickly and swiftly take down and disassemble a tree.
As tactical athletes, the season for a sawyer in Western Montana consists of long hard days bringing down weakened trees that have been damaged by fire, clearing trails, and removing hazards. They work their bodies hard, typically with a lot of repetitive motion for days on end.
We, as physical therapists, typically do not get to see these workers until after an injury has sidelined them or at the end of their season when they finally have time to address their nagging aches and pains. Part of our mission at Alpine PT is to educate and promote wellness in our community.
This day in woods with the Regional and National Directors of the Saw program was the first step in Alpine’s collaboration with the Saw Program to rewrite their training manual to include the missing elements of wellness education and injury prevention.
Jess and I learned the art of using an axe and cross cut saw and observed some of the best sawyers in the region handling their chainsaws to efficiently bring down fire-damaged trees. We will now take this experience to help us work with the Saw Program Directors to develop a new training manual with important sections that were previously not included.
Specifically, we will add education on the biomechanics of an efficient sawyer, training guidelines to prepare for the job and minimize risk of overuse injuries, recovery strategies during the long days, and helping understand the human factors of the job, such as how stress can affect performance and ultimately improve safety. Hopefully with better preparation we don’t have to see these guys and gals in our office quite as often.
Special thanks to Alpine's very own Emily Jones, ATC for providing this post!
Alpine Physical Therapy was onsite staffing the 1st Aid and Sports Injury Consult tent at the Intermountain Champions Cup at the Fort Missoula's Regional Park this past weekend (June 22nd-24th).
The event was filled with youth soccer competition among teams from all over the Northwest including boys and girls teams with ages brackets ranging from 10 to 19 years old with a total of 100 teams and over 4000 players!
Alpine PT was there to support our community partner, the Missoula Strikers and provide sideline athletic training and physical therapy consult services. Present throughout the weekend were Emily Jones, ATC and PT's Matt Schweitzer, Megan Fisher, Jess Kehoe, and Brace Hayden.
The team provided injury consults, taping services, emergency on field care and concussion screens. The staff enjoyed watching some amazing youth athletics and helping and interacting with local and regional soccer players.
Alpine PT is always happy to give back to our community. We look forward to our next community outreach event collaborating with the upcoming Missoula Marathon in mid July!
Special thanks to Alpine's newest PT team member, Francisco Quiñones, for this informative blog post.
On a wet, soggy Saturday last week, it took penalty kicks to decide the final game. But on a day that brought cultures together from across the globe winning wasn’t what the day was truly about. In fact, if you were trying to identify the winning team by their post-game smiles you would be hard pressed, as fun was had by all.
It was a day of food, drink, family and a game that serves as a common language for the world. With Alpine’s support, Brace Hayden and Francisco Quiñones took turns manning the injury tent and playing soccer with players from Big Sky High School, MSU, Tanzania, and Eritrea.
Despite the inclement weather, it was a day with few injuries and no shortage of smiles. It was the kind of day that makes you feel good about the community in which you reside. It was the kind of day that makes you proud to work for a company that never hesitates to step up for a good cause.
Here's a fantastic article from author Patti Neighmond on npr.org.
Though Americans spend an estimated $80 billion to $100 billion each year in hopes of easing their aching backs, the evidence is mounting that many pricey standard treatments — including surgery and spinal injections — are often ineffective and can even worsen and prolong the problem.
A study published Wednesday in the journal Health Services Research suggests trying physical therapy first may at least ease the strain on the patient's wallet in the long term — and also curb reliance on opioid painkillers, which carry their own risks.
For the rest of this informative article, click here.
Here's breaking news on guidelines issued for postpartum moms . . . after baby arrives. This article is brought to us by Vikki Ortiz of the Chicago Tribune.
As mothers around the world marvel that Kate Middleton went home from the hospital mere hours after giving birth to her third child Monday, the largest group of women’s doctors in the U.S. is urging a major shift in the way physicians care for mothers of new babies.
For the rest of this informative article, click here.
And for more information on our Pelvic Health program at Alpine Physical Therapy, click here.
That's right. A major study showed that people who were less able to get up from the floor were more likely to die young. So what can be done to help people stay strong for getting up from the floor and doing it NOW so they can live longer?
Enter The Turkish Get Up (TGU).
The TGU consists of a series of moves in which you go from lying on your back to a standing position and then reversing your action to go from standing up to lying on your back.
Dan Swinscoe, DPT, CSCS of Peak Sports and Spine in Issaquah, Washington, presented a full day course for our PT’s and a few trainers from the Peak Health and Wellness Center on the use of kettlebells for clinicians. Dan went through the specifics on how to perform a Turkish Get Up and to help people who practice the TGU live longer!
Actually, there’s more to it than that. The TGU consists of at least six different exercises or moves all wrapped into one exercise. It includes an oblique sit up, shoulder press, plank, bridge, squat, and lunge. Doing the exercise can certainly improve your ability to go from the floor to standing. But it’s a tremendous exercise for building total body core and limb stability and strength . . . not to mention having a huge conditioning and stamina component. Check out a 1-minute video on how to do a TGU by clicking here.
Dan covered many other ways to help our patients gain improved mobility and stabile using a variety of kettlebell exercises.
What a super day it was to have Dan over. It was designed to be an Alpine Appreciation Day as a means of saying thanks to our entire professional PT staff. In that vein, thanks to Dan Swinscoe and to all our PTs at Alpine Physical Therapy!
I hurt my back about 6 weeks ago. Like many injuries – I tried something stupid and it didn’t work out.
As a Physical Therapist I used my rational part of my brain and did a quick scan and I seemed okay. As a human I used my emotional brain and did two things – thought of the worst case scenario and simultaneously told myself ignore it, I’ll be fine. Human won over PT and I continued on with life ignoring it but also worried about the worst case scenario.
A week later after skiing with my three-year-old (remember human, not PT), I was unable to sleep that night with severe radiating pain. After a totally lame day of feeling horrible and doing nothing, I decided I needed to change my perspective. I chose to: 1) not ignore the fact that I hurt my back, 2) put my PT hat back on and 3) most importantly, give myself grace to be patient with the process.
So I started icing my back and doing gentle stretching and movement exercises every damn day. I temporarily avoided a few more painful or demanding activities AND chose a few gentler versions of those activities so I could work back into all the things I love.
My back feels great most of the time and I’m still working on getting all my strength back. In the clinic I hear the start of this story all the time. I do not often hear the same ending because as humans, it is really hard for us to be patient with the process. Sometimes it takes a caring Physical Therapist to remind you. It did for me.
For more information, visit our webpage on the topic of back pain by clicking here.
Alpine team members were super excited to run across this article by Julia Malacoff in the March 19, 2018 edition of Shape.com. It really has a message for our clients, and we want to get these words out!
No one wants to land themselves in physical therapy. Maybe you have a workout-related injury, were involved in an accident, or are trying to get to the bottom of some lingering pain you've been having for a while. Whatever the reason for your rehab needs, you probably want to get better as quickly as possible, in as few sessions as possible.
Click here for the rest of the article.
Special thanks to Alpine PT's Jocee Long for giving us the details of her rookie year shredding it in this year's Missoula Telemark Challenge.
The Missoula Telemark Challenge is officially complete, and Alpine PT was strong in spirit and winter slalom skiing in this year's race series. As the beginner on the telemark ski team, I got to experience the whole scene from a different perspective than the more seasoned racers on the team.
We would carpool up the mountain on Thursday evenings after work to join the ranks of rowdy telemark skiers at Snowbowl. There was often heckling about winning or sandbagging strategies for the up coming races and discussions on the challenge of the week. Some memorable challenges were the option to race in leather boots and straight skis to get 15 seconds deducted off your time.
My second favorite was the addition of the uphill 'reipeløkke' loop around the off-course "spirit lounge" filled with cow bell toting spectators and then race back on to the dual slalom course to finish.
While telemark ski racing was definitely a new and challenging skill for me to learn this year, it was awesome to experience the rush of the race, the laughter and the camaraderie with co-workers.
Here's an informative article on how to keep your spine happy and healthy when you must bend over. It was published in NPR online on February 26, 2018.
To see if you're bending correctly, try a simple experiment.
"Stand up and put your hands on your waist," says Jean Couch, who has been helping people get out of back pain for 25 years at her studio in Palo Alto, Calif.
"Now imagine I've dropped a feather in front of your feet and asked to pick it up," Couch says. "Usually everybody immediately moves their heads and looks down."
That little look down bends your spine and triggers your stomach to do a little crunch. "You've already started to bend incorrectly — at your waist," Couch says. "Almost everyone in the U.S. bends at the stomach."
For the rest of the article, click here to be linked to it on NPR online.
Brent Dodge is the founding owner of Alpine Physical Therapy and is a board certified orthopedic specialist. He holds additional certifications in Functional Dry Needling, Manual Physical Therapy, and Strength and Conditioning.
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