My thanks to one of our start PT aides here at Alpine Physical Therapy, Jen Schuberg, for submitting this awesome and informative article. Go Jen!
As a Montana native, I have always enjoyed what the great outdoors has to offer here: mountain biking, kayaking, tromping about in the Rocky Mountains. Combining my favorite outdoor sports in a public competition never crossed my mind until I heard about the Grizzly Man Adventure Race
(GMAR). (Now, ladies, please don’t be put off by the title; this year there were plenty of gals who showed some impressing times.)
Taking place annually in the Lubrecht Experimental Forest and the Paws Up Resort on the Blackfoot River, the GMAR is the perfect triathlon for well-rounded outdoor enthusiasts. Racers are tested on their skills in trail running, orienteering (map reading and navigation), mountain biking, and paddling. Moreover, because many racers compete on teams of 2-3 people, where every team member does the entire race together, teamwork plays a big role.
The course begins and ends at the Paws Up Resort, and takes racers anywhere from 10 to 100 miles into the dense woods of the Lubrecht Experimental Forest, depending on their knack for reading maps and using compasses. All team members are required to bring a pack containing the necessities for survival, should they find themselves taking longer to complete the race. Our packs contained the following: a compass, one headlamp, two glow sticks, 64 oz of water, a whistle, waterproof matches, a flint/magnesium block for starting a fire, an emergency space blanket, food for a potential 12+ hour race day, and any extra clothes we saw fit to bring. With so much gear, the beer had to be left at the finish line for post race festivities. Luckily, there couldn’t have been better weather on race day, Saturday, April 21. The sun was out by noon, with a high that day in the mid-70s.
The race began at 6:00 am sharp. Many racers stayed overnight camping in the outlying areas, or for a more luxurious stay, in a room at the Paws Up. The first leg of the race involved trail running and orienteering. In order to gain points for their team, racers would have to navigate their way to various stations sprawled out on their maps provided by GMAR the inght before. Teams therefore had only one night to prepare their course and plot on maps, which covered around 50,000 acres between the Paws Up land and Lubrecht Experimental forest. Team members are not allowed to sprawl out on the course to improve their chances. In fact, members were required to stay within 10 meters of each other while on foot. After the run, mountain biking was the next challenge. Racers made their way to a predetermined station where their biking equipment awaited them so they could begin shredding more trails to yet more check points on the map.
The final leg of the GMAR was comprised of white water navigation. Most racers donned dry or wet suits and jumped into their kayaks to begin their final stretch, which for most began around mid-to-late afternoon.
Nationally certified lymphedema therapist Emily Herndon, DPT, of Plains Physical Therapy helped educate Fit to Fight participants this week on the risks associated with lymphedema. Lymphedema is an unfortunate consequence of some cancer treatments.
Lymphedema is an accumulation of lymphatic fluid in the interstitial tissue that causes swelling, most often in one or more limbs and occasionally in other parts of the body. Lymphedema can develop when lymphatic vessels are missing or impaired or when lymph vessels are damaged or lymph nodes removed.
Although there is no known cure for lymphedema, there are a number of risk-reduction practices that can be implemented in the areas of skin care, activity and lifestyle, and environment. For details on these practices and for more information about this disease, click here.
Graduates of our latest Fit to Fight class, as well as a number of Fit to Fight alumni, will be using both the knowledge and endurance gained through our program to participate in the Peak Triathlon on Saturday, May 19th.
Additionally, a new session of Fit to Fight will begin on June 5th at 5 pm. For more details, please contact Sarah at Alpine Physical Therapy by calling 406-251-2323.
4/22/2012 0 Comments
Providing specialized women’s health physical therapy requires extra education, experience, and drive to provide passionate and considerate care. Meet women’s health physical therapy expert, Tara Mund, DPT.
In a recent interview, Tara described new and helpful science that she applies in her work with her growing women’s health patients at Alpine Physical Therapy.
In the interview, I asked Tara this question: When people think of women’s health, are they aware what a specialist in women’s health physical therapy does to help their patients? She replied: “I think it’s becoming mores, but I think there’s a lot of people who just don’t know that [certain] physical therapists can help address these issues and that were out there to help.”
Which issues? Stress and urge incontinence, pelvic pain, pelvic organ prolapse, fecal incontinence, among other conditions.
To discover what a specialist in this area can do, join Tara’s interview by clicking the video player below.
For more information about Tara and how she can help you or your loved ones, please visit our women’s health webpage at www.HerHealthMT.com by clicking here.
Prediabetes is when a person’s blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to qualify for a diagnosis of type II diabetes. Individuals with prediabetes are more likely to develop type II diabetes and may have some associated problems already.
Fortunately, prediabetes does not have to turn into type II diabetes. The disease can be reversed at this stage by lowering body weight and adopting an active lifestyle. The American Diabetes Association recommends losing 7% of your body weight and engaging in moderate exercise for 30 minutes, five days week to reduce the risk for developing type II diabetes by 58%.
Prediabetes also increases the possibility for developing heart disease and stroke, so risk factors (such as tobacco use, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol) for these conditions should also be controlled.
The Diabetes Care and Prevention Program will be presenting a 16-week course at the Peak Health and Wellness Center on this topic. See the details listed here.
Living Well with Prediabetes
Course: 16-Week Diabetes Prevention Course
Starts: April 25th
Times: Wednesdays: 5:30-6:30 PM (in the cycling studio)
Location: Peak Health and Wellness Center, 5000 Blue Mountain Road, Missoula, MT, 59804
Cost: $100 with $50 refundable at completion of the course
Registration: You must pre-register by contacting the Diabetes Care and Prevention Program at 406-329-5781.
Open to anyone at risk for diabetes, including anyone who overweight (BMI 25 or greater) AND has been diagnosed with one of the following:
Please note that space is limited. And remember, you must call early to preregister.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to change your life!
Special thanks to Gary Gales, DPT of Alpine Physical Therapy for submitting this post. Gary knows a lot about pain and how to help people who have chronic and complex pain.
Contrary to popular belief pain is NOT weakness leaving your body. Acute pain is a complicated warning system that something is a danger to you. If you continue to ignore certain pain warnings you will cause tissue damage that leads to injury and possibly chronic issues. And stopping an activity that is painful usually will prevent injury. Once you have injured your tissue then a healing process occurs and that area will be more sensitive to further injury/damage and be heightened in terms of the pain warning system.
As we get older, we hope to gain some wisdom with regard to body awareness, and be knowledgeable if we are causing harm or helping our bodies. If you have more pain in your JOINTS following a workout than before the workout, ask yourself which one you are doing! MUSCLE soreness can be a good pain….especially if it resolves after 2-3 days.
Recently one of my patients switched from lifting heavy weights to a Pilates-based routine and even bought a Pilates Reformer Apparatus for home use. She was amazed at how good she felt after her workouts and was elated to not take Ibuprofen for her back pain.
If you are stuck in your routine and having pain you may want to think outside the box you’re in. There are many options for fitness that work your body in a helpful and low impact way. Some that come to mind include yoga, Pilates, and water aerobics. At fitness centers like the Peak Health and Wellness Center, there are commonly private and semi-private sessions, multiple classes, and experienced personal trainers.
For more information about the topic of pain, please be sure to visit our clinic website by clicking here or by calling our clinic at 251-2323.
Don’t think it doesn’t happen. You’re staring at the computer screen, sitting at a stop light, watching TV. Then next thing you know, your head is jutting forward, kinda like a chicken pecking for its next grain pellet.
Here’s a succinct yet informative bullet list from The PT Project as to why this goofy looking posture can cause you a real headache, among other problems:
6 facts about Forward Head Posture
1. The effects of long term forward head and neck postures are long-term . . . and may result in muscle strain, disc herniation, nerve impingement, and the early onset of arthritis.
2. Forward head posture is strongly linked to decreased respiratory muscle strength and breathing ability, reesulting in up to a 30% loss in vital capacity in the lungs as well as a significant increase in cardiac and vascular pressure.
3. For every inch of forward head posture, it is found to increase the weight of the head on the spine by an additional 10 pounds. On average, this is over a 100% increase of weight bearing stress on the spine and it’s associated neuromuscular structures.
4. A Loss of the cervical spinal curve, due to forward head posture, can stretch the spinal cord up to 5-7cm, resulting in adverse neural tension. (Subsequently causing additional tension of the meninges and eliciting additional pressure on the brain-stem nuclei leading to increased compression and disruption of basic metabolic control functions and diseases.)
5. Forward head posture results in an increase in discomfort and pain, due to disrupted proprioceptive and sensory input from the first four cervical vertebrae.
6. Forward head posture results in an anterior translation of the body’s center of gravity. This in turn results in a significant loss of balance and coordination, and increased likelihood of sustaining a fall.
To combat this problem, think tall . . . stand tall. Attempt to visualize that your head is sitting balanced atop your neck. If you struggle to maintain this ideal posture, consider a consultation with one of our 10 physical therapists at Alpine Physical Therapy by calling 251-2323.
Having worked as a physical therapist for 10 years, I know how new activities can tax the body. I know the importance of good body mechanics and keeping a spine in the best neutral position. I know that fatigue and not feeling well can create poor posture.
However, as a new mom, my PT mind shut down as I focused on getting my daughter, Charlise, off to the very best start in life – which meant mastering breastfeeding, sleeping in 1-2 hour stints, holding her for long periods of time until she calmed – and when I did get time to focus on my body it was about caring for my healing pelvic floor, preventing engorgement in my breasts, or getting a quick shower or meal in.
Into the second week of Charlie’s life, I was experiencing severe headaches, shoulder pain and weakness, jaw pain, light sensitivity, and full body diffuse joint pains. The headaches were getting so bad I had trouble concentrating and would nearly become nauseous from the pain. As a breastfeeding mom, I was afraid to take any medication besides ibuprofen. I was taking nearly the maximum medically recommended dose, and it wasn’t even touching my pain.
Oddly, it was my doctor who recommended (yes to this 10 yr PT) that I seek out the help of a physical therapist. DUH? Why I did not come across this idea, I am not sure, but I immediately called my coworkers at Alpine PT to get scheduled. By that afternoon, they had an opening come up and got me in.
As soon as Angela (aka Alpine’s spine ninja) started working on my upper neck (C1 and C2) I knew I was in the right place. She performed an extensive examination, then started with some manual joint mobilization of my upper neck followed by some muscle energy techniques and stretching. She then addressed poor scapular control of my left shoulder. She finished by reminding me of proper positioning and some very basic yet super effective home exercises. Needless to say, I went to Alpine PT with a high 8/10 headache, neck pain, and left shoulder issues. After just after an hour with Angela, I left with close to a 2/10 pain level and felt SO MUCH better!
I was so happy to return to my house where my daughter was meeting many of our good friends. I felt renewed and reset. Moreover, I could now be there for Charlise 100% now, and I could enjoy my visitors and this very special time in our lives.
I will be working on a handout for those new moms out there, a handout that will include exercises and recommendations to prevent this type of injury and also to remind them that even one PT visit can help dramatically! Someone told me I would learn more than I thought possible as a parent. This is only the beginning, I’m sure!
For more information, visit our clinic website by clicking here, or call our clinic at 251-2323.
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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