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What's The Best Medicine For Your Back Pain?

By Jackie Oliver, DPT
jackie@excelptmt.com

It’s summer time and all you want to do is to be outside enjoying the weather and many outdoor activities that Bozeman has to offer. The only problem is, you have this nagging low back pain holding you back. You keep thinking, should I stay home and rest it or do you push forward and continue participating in the activities that you love? Will you hurt your back more if you charge full steam ahead? 

Statistics show that up to 80% of people will experience low back pain at some point in their lives. It is considered the leading cause of activity, limitation and work absence throughout much of the world. The good news is that most of the time, low back pain has a favorable diagnosis. The question remains, what do you do in the meantime? 

Research shows that even though it might feel like you are doing your back a favor by taking a few rest days. In reality, you are doing yourself a disservice. It has been demonstrated that best rest after an acute onset of low back pain can lead to secondary complications such as depression, blood clots and decreased muscle tone. 

Studies show that moving is the best medicine for your low back. Early resumption of normal or vocational activities will help you get back on your feet sooner.  Promoting movement, such as stretching, while avoiding aggravating activities will help your back feel better. By incorporating low intensity, submaximal fitness and endurance type activities into your daily routine, you will help keep your back strong and decrease your chance of suffering from reoccurring low back pain. Specifically, exercises that target your core, low back and legs will help support your spine. 

The thing to remember is that there are many different causes of low back pain and many ways to treat it. If movement and exercise doesn’t decrease your low back pain and it continues to persist, a visit to your local physical therapist may be beneficial to help get you on the fast track to feeling better.

 

Jackie Oliver, DPT completed her Doctorate in Physical Therapy at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah. Jackie is a certified dry needling provider with advanced training from Evidence in Motion and KinetaCore. Jackie has an intense passion for helping and educating others as well as preventative medicine. Because of her college sports background, Jackie loves working with athletes and has experience with biomechanical training and injury prevention in sports. Prior to completing her Doctorate in Physical Therapy, Jackie played basketball for Carroll College in Helena, Montana, while also obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in Health Science. Jackie was Academic All-American her last two years at Carroll. Jackie enjoys outdoor activities such as downhill skiing, trail running, disc golf and especially enjoys hiking with her husband and two dogs. 

Posture Matters! Seminar 10/5/2016 @ Bozeman Library

By David Coletta, MPT, CMPT
david@excelptmt.com

Community Education Series   |   Free & Open to the Public

Posture Matters! Seminarpoor posture at work

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

6:30-8:00pm

Bozeman Public Library

Large Community Room

seating limited to first 100 attendees

Presented by David Coletta, MPT, CMPT

 

What You Will Learn:

  • Learn why your posture matters, how it can lead to health concerns, and what you can do to improve yours now.
  • Please bring your older kids! Learning to optimize posture at an early age can have life changing results.
  • With the popularity of personal electronic devices, poor posture is an increasing problem. People of all ages are at risk for developing a multitude of musculoskeletal problems, including neck pain, back pain, headaches, shoulder impingement, elbow tendonitis, thoracic outlet syndrome, TMD, etc.
  • Bring your questions! Q&A with David Coletta, MPT, CMPT during and after the talk.

 

David Coletta, MPT, CMPT specializes in the treatment of back and neck pain, spinal issues, whiplash, headaches, TMJ/jaw pain, postural dysfunctions and professional bike fitting. As the founding owner of Excel Physical Therapy, David established Excel PT in 2001 on the principles of specialization, advanced education and customer service. He enjoys finding long-term solutions for his patients — solutions that involve a fine-tuned combination of manual manipulative therapy and a targeted exercise program that address even the most difficult patient presentations.

 

Prevention! See Us Before Your Injury

By Megan Peach, DPT, OCS, CSCS
megan@excelptmt.com

Why wait until after you are injured to see a physical therapist? Did you know that a great time to see a physical therapist is before you are injured? I recently evaluated a patient who wanted to see a physical therapist to learn a home exercise program to prevent future episodes of low back pain. (more…)

Advanced Training News...We're at it again!

By David Coletta, MPT, CMPT
david@excelptmt.com

David Coletta, MPT, CMPT, physical therapist and owner of Excel Physical Therapy of Bozeman and Manhattan, recently completed a seven day advanced spinal manipulation training from the North American Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy (NAIOMT). The course was held at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, and was taught by Erl Pettman, PT, MCSP, MCPA, FCAMPT, a world leader in the development and education of safe and effective spinal manipulation.

  • At Excel PT of Bozeman and Manhattan, we are dedicated to providing our patients with the highest level of physical therapy treatment. Our physical therapists focus on evidenced-based practice, rigorous continued education in specialized areas of treatment, and weekly research-based study to allow our patients to quickly and effectively achieve the best results. To further ensure preeminent physical therapy services and patient care, each of our patients are directly treated by our licensed, specialty certified physical therapists – without interaction from assistants or aides.

Proper Computer Ergonomics for a Healthy Neck & Back

By David Coletta, MPT, CMPT
david@excelptmt.com

Proper Computer Ergonomics for a Healthy Neck & Back

Using computers have become a normal part of most people’s daily lives.  For many of us, sitting at a desk top or laptop computer can last several hours every day.  Do you suffer from neck pain, upper back pain, or headaches?  Could poor posture at the computer be a contributing factor to such complaints? A 2012 study (Cho et al) found that 254 surveyed Chinese office workers, between 25 and 40 years old, working 3+ hours per day at the computer, had a 71%-76% prevalence of neck pain and a 60%-64% prevalence of upper back pain.       

 How often do we find ourselves stuck in postures such as this?  Poor positioning, most often producing a forward head, causes undue stress on the neck and upper back muscles and joints.  Over time, the soft tissues cannot bear the burden without developing tightness and inflammation.  Such complaints lead to pain and a visit to the physical therapist, massage therapist, or doctor in search of relief.

 A proper desktop set-up starts with a higher quality supportive computer chair, which securely supports the lower back lordosis, has great deal of adjustability, and comes with padded arm rests (forearm rests on padding).  A large computer screen, with the top edge placed just above eye level, is optimal.  The keyboard and mouse should be easily accessible to the hands so that the elbow can rest under the shoulder.  The ultimate goal is to have the ear, shoulder, elbow, and hip almost in a perfect vertical line.

 Posture Photo 2 3-28-2014If the top of your desk is too high, then your keyboard and mouse can be placed on an adjustable external tray that is secured underneath this surface.  Obtaining proper ergonomics can be a good deal more challenging with a laptop computer, but purchasing an external keyboard and mouse or a laptop stand can be helpful.  These and other computer ergonomic products can be found online at ergopro.com

 

If you have specific questions about how to improve your computer ergonomics, contact David Coletta, MPT, CMPT at Excel Physical Therapy, 406-556-0562 in #Bozeman, Montana.

Effects of High Heels on Body

By Tiffany Coletta
tiffany@excelptmt.com

Now we love a good pair of heels too, but we saw this information and wanted to pass it on.  Perhaps worn more in moderation…. “Ever wondered the effects of high heels on your feet and body? Often painstakingly selected to complete outfits, high heels put stress not just on feet, but on ankles, knees and backs, contributing to the approximately $3.5 billion spent annually in the United States for women’s foot surgeries, which cause them to lose 15 million work days yearly.”

https://i1.wp.com/www.mainstreetphysio.ca/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/HighHeels18.jpg?resize=588%2C1111

 

SOURCE: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Apparel & Footwear Association, American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society, Mayo Clinic, Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, “Women’s Shoes and Knee Osteoarthritis,” by D. Casey Kerrigan, Jenn.

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis in the Aging Spine

By David Coletta, MPT, CMPT
david@excelptmt.com

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis in the Aging Spine

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis (LSS) is a clinical diagnosis made by taking a careful history, utilizing physical tests, and analyzing spinal imaging, such as MRI.  Symptoms of LSS include low back pain and weakness, cramping, pain, or fatigue in one or both legs.  Such symptoms are brought on usually by walking and relieved by sitting or forward bending.  MRI evidence of LSS will reveal a narrowing of the central spinal canal and/or narrowing of the intervertebral foramen on either side of the spine.  In both cases, spinal nerves become affected, leading towards neurogenic claudication.  Neurogenic Claudication is a condition where the stenosis, or site of narrowing that leads to compression, causes disturbed blood flow to the spinal nerves.  Eventually, the spinal nerves become dysfunctional in their attempt to control the muscles of the lower extremities, and the above symptoms ensue.

Symptoms of LSS include low back pain and weakness, cramping, pain, or fatigue in one or both legs.

Studies reveal that as many as 80% of subjects, age 70 or older, have MRI evidence of LSS.  However, many of the same subjects do not have the clinical condition of LSS, because they don’t suffer from the physical complaints that match this diagnosis.  The stenosis that is found with the imaging can be considered a normal part of aging in the spine.  The discs and joints in the low back will naturally break down, causing bone spurs and disc bulges.  Such protrusions into the passageways of the spine don’t always lead to symptoms that are the hallmark of LSS.

As a physical therapist, many of my older patients will arrive with an MRI that will show severe degenerative breakdown of the lumbar spine.  Sometimes they will also have a prescription from their doctor with diagnosis of LSS.  But a careful physical therapy evaluation is always done to determine if the clinical condition of LSS truly exists or does the patient have low back pain or leg symptoms coming from a degenerative or arthritic lumbar spine, with neurogenic claudication.  The physical therapy treatment will be somewhat different in either case.

Physical therapy interventions to treat LSS include hip stretching and back strengthening exercises, cardiovascular exercise, joint mobilization to the lumbar and thoracic spine, and patient education to alter aggravating activities.  Another important part of treating LSS patients is reassurance.  Research reveals that patients with mild to moderate LSS will improve with time.  Another study showed that long-term results, comparing physical therapy to lumbar spine injections in LSS patients, were equal when looking at pain reduction and functional mobility.  If you suffer from LSS, then physical therapy can be a safe, cost effective, and conservative place to start on a path towards improving your quality of life.

 

If you suffer from Lumbar Spinal Stenosis, then physical therapy can be a safe, cost effective, and conservative place to start on a path towards improving your quality of life.

"Jackie was super wonderful and helped my healing process immensely! She is extremely kind and intelligent and I would not have improved without her. Thank you!! :)" --K.L., Bozeman patient

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