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.
Special thanks to Kim Mize, DPT, CSCS, of Alpine Physical Therapy for her specialized work in Pelvic Health. Her work was highlighted in a fantastic article published recently in the Missoula Independent.
Kim Mize holds up a model of the pelvis that she uses to show patients where their pelvic floor muscles are.
It looks a little like she’s about to Poor Yorick the pelvis, and she has been known to make light with patients to get them comfortable talking about the problems she treats: urinary incontinence, pain during sex and pelvic floor problems after prostate surgery. “It’s a bit of a taboo subject,” Mize says. Accordingly, her exam room is as private as she can make it, with an attached restroom so patients don’t have to venture into a hallway once their appointment has begun.
For the remainder of this article, click here.
And for more information on the Pelvic Health program at Alpine Physical Therapy, click here.
Dimitri Donaldson-Govertsen competed in the Solo Contemporary section of the 2018 Ballet Beyond Borders. He made it to the finals where he left it all on stage, earning Silver and a scholarship to a summer intensive in Portugal! To top it all off, Dimitri also won the essay contest!
We’re blown away at that magnitude of Ballet Beyond Borders, and we’re honored that Dimitri leaned on Alpine PT for some of his past aches and pains.
A special Hi Five to Dimitri’s coach Walter Barrera, faculty member at Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre, coach, and choreographer.
Take two minutes to watch Dimitri’s performance by clicking here.
Alpine Physical Therapy was proud to host a panel discussion on Myth Busters for Dancers this past week. The Panel included Astrid Sherman (the Artistic Director of CatchingART Contemporary Ballet Theatre and Pro Arte Centre Professional Training School in Vancouver, Canada), Colleen O’Callaghan (the founder and Artistic Director of O’Callaghan Moves in California), Ana Soulia, DPT (Alpine Physical Therapy), and Kristi Moore (Alpine Physical Therapy).
Myth: “You must be insanely flexible with incredibly high legs to be a professional dancer”. This topic was introduced by Astrid Sherman. The discussion went into the truth about stretching and who stretching is appropriate for, when it is appropriate, for how long to stretch and other ways to increase motion in dance. There was discussion about the research relating to stretching, as well as a study that was done on the longevity of dancers, comparing dancers with extreme flexibility to those who were less flexible. The end result is that the dancers who made it longer in careers were not the dancers with extreme flexibility. The overall message was to know your body and how to appropriately work to keep it from injury. For example: if you are very flexible, you don’t likely need to stretch, but more likely do strengthening exercises. If you are the less flexible dancer, you may need to stretch but in the best way possible. It was recommended for before dance to stretch a maximum of 15 seconds per stretch, then move through motion to loosen up, after dance class a maximum of 30 sec per stretch 3 to 5 times per week.
Myth: “The myth of the Fifth, perfect turnout”. This topic was introduced by Colleen O’Callaghan. This topic had participation by the dancers with them demonstrating their turnout and Fifth positions, then going through a series of exercises aimed at finding the correct weight bearing points through the feet and then working on a balance of internal rotation to gain external rotation with activation of the deep hip rotators, not the front of the hip. There was demonstration on cheats to improve the 5th that should not be used.
Myth: “To become a better dancer all you have to do is dance”. This topic was introduced by Ana Soulia. The discussion points on this topic addressed that dancers should address the areas they need improvement on to improve dance through the appropriate cross-training. This may include cardio training, weight training, stretching if their body needs it. It was touched on that Physical Therapy is a great way to find out where a dancer needs to put effort into making improvements outside of dance to improve their dance.
Myth: “All that a Physical Therapist will do is tell you to rest and ice”. This topic was introduced by Kristi Moore. This discussion talked about how Physical Therapists can start to help dancers early on before they have injuries with dance screenings, where each individual dancer can have their range of motion, strength, and flexibility assessed with feedback to each dancer. This information can be used to help a dancer address their specific areas and ideally help to prevent a dancer from injury. It was then turned to when a dancer is injured and how a Physical Therapist will help them to keep dancing as much as is safe while rehabilitating and will help them to work on other areas to keep them in shape while going through the rehabilitation process. The overall message was that Physical Therapists can help dancers at many stages of their dance career providing information and treatment when needed.
Below are links to the websites for both Astrid Sherman and Colleen O’Callaghan, as well as a link to Alpine Physical Therapy’s Dance Medicine page.
There are links below for the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS) where many research articles can be found.
www.proartecentre.com or www.catchingart.ca Astrid
www.AlpinePTmissoula.com Kristi and Ana
For more information and research, visit the IADMS website at http://www.iadms.org.
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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