5/2/2017 0 Comments
Every spring more than 200 smokejumpers come to Missoula, Montana, from all over the nation to train for the upcoming firefighting season. This also happens to be a super important time of year because rookie camp gets underway wherein these brave, fit, mentally tough, and highly skilled young women and men get introduced to the world of smokejumping.
Rookie camp is certainly not fun and games. Rather, there are a number of challenges these rookies must face including an 85 pound pack test, a 24 hour line dig, and many other difficult hurdles.
Alpine Physical Therapy is honored to be a part of this event. Like any professional athlete, these wildland firefighters must make sure their bodies hold up during preseason, that they get pushed enough to produce change, and ultimately that they are fully prepared to be 110% for their first season as smokejumpers with the United States Forest Service. Leah Verstegeen, MS, DPT, and Sam Schmidt, MPT, were on site to provide education on injury prevention, safety performance, and proper warm ups and cool downs last week and the for the next three weeks.
Alpine PT is dedicated to empowering these tremendous individuals whose most important piece of equipment is their body and their ability to achieve maximal performance. It's your job, your body, OUR BUSINESS!
A popular response from our new patients after their first PT visit is that they got so much more than they expected. So often they say they’d gone to PT somewhere else before, and all they got was a length of exercise band and a long ride on a stationary bike.
Not at Alpine Physical Therapy. We believe there’s more to quality physical therapy than Bands and Bikes.
Instead, we do lifestyle!
Check out this 30 second video I made to put a fun spin on bands and bikes!
Bands and bikes do have their place in physical therapy, but there’s a lot more to helping people get back to all that they enjoy than simply having them work out with a band or on a bike.
We believe in examining the whole person. Why? Doing so helps us discover other parts of the body that may be contributing to the pain.
A good example is when someone has elbow pain. It’s easy to look at the elbow and say, “Yep, there’s the problem.” Instead, we want to know what may be going on in the neck. After all, the nerves that go to the elbow start in the neck. And we’ll be interested in testing upper back, shoulder blade, and shoulder. After all, when the shoulder blade and the muscles around it aren’t working right, you can end up having pain in the elbow.
Likewise, when we’re helping people with sports injuries to their lower limbs, we want to know how the back and hips are working. So often problems in the lower limb can occur when there are problems further up, such as in the back or hips.
When we complete our evaluation, we design a treatment plan designed for more than taking pain away. We’re interested in making sure the pain doesn’t come back, yet we also go the extra mile to help you get back to the things you enjoy in life. That takes more than bands and bikes!
That’s why we boldly say, “We Do Lifestyle.”
For more information on our approach to expert physical therapy services, we invite you to visit our website by clicking here.
Sam Schmidt, PT of Alpine PT presented a "Love your Spine" exercise class last month at the regional office of the United States Forest Service (USFS) here in Missoula. Participants learned exercises and tips on how to best care for their spine and to prevent injuries. Some lucky participants also won fun and useful gifts such as a foam roller!
This month, Sam returned to teach "Healthy Lower Body and Healthy Upper Body Exercises”. Alpine Physical Therapy will be releasing videos of both of these classes to the USFS so staff can access these valuable information at the tip of their fingers.
Next month, Leah Versteegen, DPT, will be presenting on top-rated and research-based exercises for running. Spring is the time we all get eager to get out again and start pushing up the miles. Do it this year without getting hurt!!
Thanks to everyone at the USFS for taking care of yourselves and changing the way you think about work related injuries..
Classes are on the second Tuesday of every month from 12:00 to 1:00 pm at the Regional Office at Fort Missoula in Missoula. Wear comfortable clothes you can move in, and bring any matters you may have, along with questions! See you there!
It doesn’t take a college degree to know a good thing. Second grader Adelheyd Brown wrote a stunning review as part of a project in Mrs. Sharkey’s class at Lewis and Clark Elementary School. Students learned about goods and services in our community, along with the impact of obtaining them locally. Here’s Adelheyd’s delightful review of Alpine Physical Therapy
For our review page of over 1,100 reviews, click here.
Gary Gales, DPT, CMP of Alpine Physical Therapy for 11 years recently earned international certification as a Certified Mulligan Concept Practitioner (CMP). Having attained this advanced training, Gary expertly applies hands on care using the Mulligan approach to help patients move and feel better. Notably, Gary is one of two Mulligan Concept Practitioners in the Missoula area. Contact Gary at Alpine’s south clinic at (406) 251-2323.
Special thanks to star physical therapist Brace Hayden, DPT, CSCS of Alpine Physical Therapy for providing this write up on a recent article from Spine.
Low back pain with radiating leg pain or sciatica is a common problem in the United States and often highly expensive to manage. Conservative treatment by general medical practitioners, or the non-surgical approach of patient education, pain medicine and rehabilitation cost upwards of $55,000 per case, per five years. One in ten cases of low back pain have an irritated nerve root or radiculopathy that radiate pain down the leg past the knee. This type of back pain with sciatic leg complications from a bulging disc defined in this paper as “lumbosacral radicular syndrome”, often takes a large financial toll, as there is lost time from work and expensive medical costs.
Shortening the painful, acute phase of lumbosacral radicular syndrome using a steroid shot to the level of the bulging disc is a widely-accepted and often effective treatment. Dr. Spijker-Huiges and her team of Dutch researchers assessed the costs of possibly shortening the duration of this injury and the medical costs to provide it. The study used a randomized control design where half of the 73 subjects received “care as usual” treatment from their provider and the other half were given a steroid shot to the back at the injured level and the usual medical care. The Dutch providers used the nationally recommended guideline for back pain treatment that includes pain medication, recommendations to maintain normal daily activities as much as they are able, and referrals for other rehabilitative treatments as necessary.
This study found small, but significant differences in many of the research variables they measured over the course of a year in the subjects in both the control and steroid intervention group. Interesting findings turned up less expensive and more cost-effective treatments in the steroid intervention group. The addition of a steroid shot cost $259 or 191 Euros, but saved the individual the costs of lost work wages, increased total medication use, and increased time in physical therapy and other alternative therapies. Intervening with a steroid shot during the acute phase also had a small, but clinically measurable effect on reducing the individual’s initial pain and disability scores.
The authors noted that careful selection of patients during the acute phase (less than six weeks in duration) of this low back injury is important, as longer durations of radiating back pain do not respond as well. They concluded that implementing steroid injections is a win-win medical treatment for this disabling back injury with few negative side effects and many cost-saving benefits to society over the typical medical care. The patient’s pain and return to work time are also improved; thus, their productivity and income are increased.
Spijker-Huiges A., MD, et al. Costs and Cost-effectiveness of Epidural Steroids for Acute Lumbosacral Radicular Syndrome in General Practice. An Economic Evaluation Alongside a Pragmatic Randomized Control Trial. In SPINE. Nov. 2014. Vol. 39, Pp. 2007 – 2012.
For more information on this topic, view our clinical module on steroid injections for back and sciatic pain by clicking here.
We’d like to announce the Oncology Rehab Program at Alpine Physical Therapy. Our team, which includes Josie Sweeney, DPT, Antara Quinones DPT, CLT-LANA, and Jessica Kehoe DPT, want to bring to everyone’s attention that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. We will surely all see lots of pink stuff this month in sports and in the news honoring this month, but we really want to remind everyone that the reason for all this media is to encourage early detection.
Statistics show that nearly 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Early detection is the BEST way to beat this disease, and both the 5 year and long term survival rates drastically improve with early detection.
We encourage all women to talk about early detection with their friends and family. If you are a woman aged 40-49 talk to your doctor about when and how often to begin getting mammograms. If you have had a close family member with breast or ovarian cancer you are at a slightly greater risk, so no matter your age, be sure to talk to your doctor about your options for early detection. Join us in vowing to start, or get back to, your early detection plan.
We’d like to share some great resources to help you.
The American Cancer Society (early detection).
The National Breast Cancer Foundation (early detection).
The National Cancer Institute (risk calculator).
The Oncology Rehab Team at Alpine Physical Therapy is now providing Missoula and surrounding communities with the following services:
For more information, be sure to visit our Oncology Rehabilitation webpage.
Mary Mischke, PT, DPT, OCS has joined Alpine Physical Therapy, enlarging our team to 18 physical therapists. Mary graduated from Duke University with her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in 2010. Mischke is a board-certified orthopedic clinical specialist and is certified in applied functional science.
Her specialty areas include general orthopedics, female athletes, running injuries and prevention, post-operative care, and functional exercise.
Mary can be reached at our downtown clinic at 549-0064.
Antara Quinones, doctor of physical therapy, of Alpine Physical Therapy earned her certification with the Lymphedema Association of North America as a certified lymphedema therapist in August 2015.
By completing the 135 hours of coursework and her national board exam, she is qualified to treat a host of patients with edema issues, including those affected by cancer treatment, venous system failure, or surgery. Contact Antara at Alpine’s North clinic at 541-2606.
Know that choosing a physical therapist is first and foremost your choice. So take some time to kick a few tires before simply “going to PT.”
All legally practicing physical therapists in Montana are licensed. That’s great. And there are a lot of quality PTs out there.
Some, however, have gone the extra mile to specialize in areas that may dramatically improve your situation.
At Alpine Physical Therapy, we have specialists in manual therapy, women’s health, spine care, jaw and face pain,vestibular and balance disorders, along with various sports experts in climbing, court sports, soccer, cycling, and running.
Of our 18 physical therapists at Alpine, 12 have doctorates, 4 are board certified through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialities, and we hold 11 advanced and prestigious national certifications.
More people have kicked the tires of Alpine’s physical therapists and resoundingly say they are glad they did.
Click here to learn more about the advanced specialties of each of Alpine’s expert team members.
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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