Authors: Jess Kehoe, dpt & Josie Stokken, dpt
Being pregnant and giving birth changes the female body in many ways. These changes can affect one’s ability to return to sport, especially high impact activities such as running. However, the body is resilient and with training and guidance this can be done safely. Exercise is an important component of a healthy lifestyle both physically and mentally after having a baby. Generally it is advisable to return to or begin a regular exercise program as part of recovery from pregnancy and birth. As physical therapists we are in a position to really help women who are interested in this goal. Here are some basic guidelines to consider, but really the best thing is to gain individualized guidance by a PT.
It is important to first gain clearance from your OB, based on individual symptoms, before beginning with exercise. However, it is important to note that many structures in the pelvic floor take 4-12 months to return to their normal position, and some things never return to pre-natal positions. This means that you may be cleared to exercise before your body has recovered from pregnancy and birth. This is a reminder to start easy and build up to successfully reach your goals.
Begin core, pelvic floor and lower extremity exercises to regain strength needed for running and supporting the internal organs. This is a HUGE step and progresses differently for every new mom. Pelvic floor exercises can be difficult, and even more so shortly after pregnancy. We recommend guidance from your PT to learn appropriate Kegel exercises and deep core exercises, especially if you feel they are difficult or challenging, or you have no experience with them.
Begin with a walk/run progression, taking time to work up to 15 minutes of continuous running. It is important to set realistic goals and progress slowly. It is better to increase the time of exercise before increasing intensity of effort. This slow progress can help reduce the chance for overuse injury, which happens when we increase exercise load more quickly than our tissues can recover. This could take time, so be patient with yourself. Every mom recovers differently. Involve your newborn! Exercise at home or outside with your infant. Use a stroller and stop at the swing as the infant reaches the age that these activities are safe.
Don’t forget that recovery from exercise requires rest and adequate nutrition. These things can be challenging for new moms, but to be successful with return to running, at any level, they are important not to overlook.
The Soft Landing Soccer Tournament last Sunday was an overall successful outreach event for Alpine PTs Logan Rossmiller & Brace Hayden. The 3rd annual Soft Landings tournament is held as a fundraiser to support Missoula's refugee community and a celebration of soccer and sporting camaraderie. Alpine Physical Therapy was a sponsor, had two PTs participate in the soccer games, and provide consultations for injuries and education on injury prevention. Alpine's presence at the event helped participants feel more at ease during a long day of soccer games in the heat and provided a conduit to quality professional care as needed. Most importantly, this event demonstrated the profound impact that sports play has in developing cross-cultural friendships and improving our community. Though the participants came from different parts of the world, we all found unity through semi-competitive sport, laughter, and a fantastic party at the end of the day.
Author: Alexa millward
While working at Alpine I have been fortunate enough to have experienced many new opportunities, but I must say joining The Alpine PT’elemaximus Telemark team has been by far one of my favorites. Although I had never "tele"skied in my life, Sam Schmidt and Brace Hayden placed tele skis in my hands and said “See ya Thursday!” ...and well you can probably take a guess how our Thursday nights went from there…AWESOME! Unlike traditional alpine skiing, telemark skiing involves skiing with your heel unconnected from your binding while "gracefully" lunging down the hill, hence the slogan "free-heelin." I may have made a fool of myself at times, but that’s exactly what the tele races are all about! It’s a night to get away from your busy week, hone in your skiing skills (on all levels), hopefully win some beer at the end of the night, and most importantly spend time with a great group of people, cheering you on the entire time. Whether it’s your first time tele skiing or racing... or have been tele skiing for years, the tele race league is a super fun community. Alpine PT has been a sponsor of the Missoula Telemark Races for over 10 years now and this race series has been running for 36 years now thanks to the help of generous community support.
With that being said, the Alpine PT’elemaximus Telemark ski racing season is unfortunately coming to an end, but not to fret we are leaving with a final hurrah! We would love for our Alpine PT crew to join us at the bowl on Saturday, February 16th at 6:00 for our final night of races. Come cheer our team on from the spirit lounge, get some dinner'n'drinks and enjoy the night's disco themed after-party. Let’s show everyone how Alpine gets groovy (costumes highly encouraged)!
Pictured left to right: Mitch Vap, Alexa Millward, Andy Ambleang, Brace Hayden
** Not Pictured is Returning Free Heelin' Jocee Long **
11/2/2018 0 Comments
Alpine PT stepped up to the plate for the 8th Annual Softball Showdown.
This event put the Northside neighborhood's sluggers face to face against the Westside neighborhood's softball studs in a casual-yet-competitive FUNdraiser where they gave their all one fine fall day on the softball diamond. They also give their best to help the event organizer, the North Missoula Community Development Center (NMCDC), make Missoula's Northside and Westside thriving neighborhoods.
The game's losing team gets to help the winning team in a service project, like planting trees or resurfacing playground equipment in the victorious team's neighborhood. This year, Alpine's Brace Hayden captained his hood's Northside sluggers to a "should-have-quit-while-we-were-ahead" defeat this year.
The game was scheduled as a 7 inning game, and Northside was ahead by 7 runs at the bottom of the 7th inning! That's when the game changed because Northside graciously agreed to extend the game another 2 innings in a too-kind neighborly fashion.
Well sports fans, blame it on the keg being closer to the Northside's dug out, or the impossible come-back grit of the Westsiders, but the outcome is that Northside will be helping the Westside with a service project of their liking this year.
Alpine PT was happy to support the NMCDC and this historic neighborhood rivalry in a healthy and sporty game for a great non-profit's outreach efforts and hopes to see a Northside victory in 2019!
Eager runners of all ages crowded the University golf course this past Saturday for the annual Mountain West Cross-Country Classic. Over 2,700 athletes from around the Northwest traveled to compete, with over 70 high schools and 40 middle schools represented.
Alpine Physical Therapists Brace Hayden and Dennis McCrea, and outreach support staff, Jed Diehl and Kaile Sauro provided runner first aide at the finish line; supplying athletes with sport injury consults, lots of ice, ankle wraps, and shoulders to collapse on after a grueling three-mile effort.
Hayden and McCrea provided a range of services from treatment of foot and ankle pain to supplying ice and recovery techniques for irritated joints. Athletes and parents alike inquired of Alpine therapists about injury prevention, treatment, and maintenance throughout the event.
Outside of sports outreach events like this, the Alpine Physical Therapy team provides athletes of all sports with first-class care every day. Alpine therapists specialize in everything including running analysis, recovery techniques after a long day on the slopes, injury prevention for court sports, and concussion treatment for contact sports. No matter your sport, Alpine Physical Therapy can help you prepare, heal, and improve your performance. Call or stop by one of our three convenient locations and ask how Alpine can help you today.
Alpine’s pelvic health specialist, Kim Mize, is featured in a highly educational and broadly popular video on helping people know how to do pelvic floor strengthening exercises. Thanks, Kim, for your helpful introduction and for providing the YouTube link to the video Am I Doing Kegels Cor
Dr. Lindsey Doe is a sex educator based out of Missoula, Montana. She approached me to help educate the public on Pelvic Floor Muscle Strengthening. So, in this short video, we present some info on why "Kegels" or Pelvic Floor Muscle exercises are important and how we assess if people are doing them properly.
Although it is performed on a biologically female person, Dr. Doe, the concepts apply to all sexes. This is what some patients can expect if they are sent to us for Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercising.
Congratulations to Alpine's own Megan Fisher who raced last weekend in the Butte 50. Read her story below this awesome picture of Megan after her race!
Photo credit: Meagan Thompson of the Montana Standard.
Butte hosted a trio of mountain bike races over the weekend high up on Homestake Pass. The Butte 25, 50, and 100 mile races are well-known nationally for being the most grueling races for their respective distances.
The course is widely recognized for its beauty, as it includes sections of the famous gritty Continental Divide Trail. Alpine physical therapist Megan Fisher took on the Butte 50 and can attest to both the race's infamous attractions, splendid scenery, and grueling difficulty.
Having raced nationally and internationally as a member of Team USA’s Paralympic Cycling Team, Megan had to rely on those years of training to carry her across the 52.4 mile course with 8,500 ft of elevation.
Reflecting on her race, Megan said, “It was an incredible experience and a wonderful opportunity to push my physical limits. Many years ago, before I was a physical therapist, I was a patient of Alpine PT because it hurt to ride. I am so grateful that they helped me get back on the bike and I just haven’t stopped!”
Alpine Physical Therapy welcomes Francisco Quiñones, DPT, to their team of now 20 physical therapists. Francisco is a 2018 graduate of the University of Montana Physical Therapy Doctorate program.
Francisco's clinical interests include orthopedics, sports medicine, biomechanics of the knee, and working with tactical athletes. In his spare time Francisco can be found spending time with his family or getting outdoors to trail run, hike, snowboard, cross-country ski, mountain bike, or rock climb.
You can contact Francisco at our downtown clinic by calling 549-0064.
Alpine Physical Therapist Megan Fisher went the extra 13.1 miles to represent Missoula and Alpine PT at the annual Missoula Marathon. Along with providing her expert help for runners at the Expo on Saturday, Megan ran the half marathon on Sunday. Her involvement was chronicled in Saturday's Missoulian and is titled: Excitement High as Missoula Marathon Weekend Gets Underway. Click here for the entire article.
Special thanks to Megan for providing additional information below.
The Missoula Marathon, half marathon, and 5k draw participants from far and wide. Of the nearly 5,000 runners who participated this year in all the events, all 50 States and numerous countries from around the world were represented.
I am pleased to say that I was among the ½ marathoners, proudly representing Missoula, Montana, and Alpine Physical Therapy. Notably, I became the first person with a prosthetic leg ever in the event!
For years I had seen the Missoula Marathoners and ½ Marathoners run, jog, and walk by my house, been impressed by their strength and determination, and wondered if I had what it took to be in their shoes.
Usually I saw the runners as I rolled out for a training ride during my tenure on Team USA’s Paracycling Team. Over the nine years I raced on the National Team, I won ten World Championship titles and had the great honor of representing Team USA at the London 2012 Games where I earned Gold and Silver medals, as well as at the Rio 2016 Games where I earned Silver and Bronze medals. Cycling has been good to me, but now that I’m retired from the National Team I wanted to challenge the limits of my body.
I run with a running prosthesis—a blade that acts somewhat like a spring,—due to a horrible accident 16 years ago that resulted in numerous injuries including the loss of my left leg. I wish I could say that my prosthesis provides a physiological advantage, but it doesn’t.
Regardless, running is hard for everyone. Thirteen point one miles is a long way to go! Race day energy, the support of my pacer, and the encouragement of fellow runners propelled me to running the whole way faster than I thought I ever could. I finished in 2:25:28. Maybe next year I can shave some time off?
I’m already looking forward to next year!
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.
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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