Treating Chronic Pain by Megan Kemp, DPT, ATC, CSCS

By Megan Kemp
megank@excelptmt.com

 

Are you currently living in pain? Have you in the past? If so, you are not alone. 50 million American adults have chronic pain and chronic low back pain is the leading cause of work limitations in the United States. It is generally well known that physical therapy is used following surgery or an injury. Unfortunately, it is much less commonly known that physical therapy is an effective and successful option for treating chronic pain.  

Typically, when people are in pain their first thought is to stop moving. This is often magnified when an individual has been in pain for months, or even years. So, if movement hurts, how can you reduce pain by moving? In order to understand this, it is important to first outline some important principles.  

Our bones and soft tissue structures operate under two important laws: Wolfe’s law and the SAID (Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands) principle. These laws both imply that our body will adapt to the specific loads you place on it. If you overload the structures, you will have pain. However, if you optimally load the structures (e.g. bone, muscle, tendons), they will improve in strength. By improving your body’s strength, you will in turn be able to move with less pain.  

Physical Therapists are also the experts on identifying faulty movement patterns. Everyone has specific ways they move to accomplish basic daily tasks – walking, getting up from a chair, etc. Unfortunately, our movement patterns are not always optimal. This may be due to muscle imbalances, poor motor control of stabilizing muscle groups or pain. By optimizing your body mechanics, you will be able to reduce microtrauma on certain structures and in turn reduce your pain.  

The physical therapists at Excel Physical Therapy are highly trained in manual therapy techniques. For certain types of pain, a hands-on approach of soft tissue massage and joint mobilization and/or manipulation is indicated to reduce your pain.  

Regardless of the type of pain you may have, we take on an active role in helping you achieve your goals in reducing your pain. Our goal is always to empower every patient that walks in our clinic and help them achieve their goals of pain-free living. We provide a specialized approach to physical therapy that provides the most effective treatments, allowing our patients to return to their highest level of function as quickly as possible.

We have been proudly serving the Gallatin Valley in both Bozeman and Manhattan since 2001. Call us today to schedule an appointment so we can help you too.

 

excel_faviconMegan Kemp, DPT, ATC, CSCS is a Physical Therapist, Certified Athletic Trainer, and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist in our Manhattan clinic. She’s a Gallatin Valley native and graduate of Manhattan Christian High School and received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Montana. She graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California and is a board-certified athletic trainer through the National Athletic Trainer’s Association. Megan also completed training from the National Strength and Conditioning Association and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. She has served as an adjunct faculty member at Point Loma Nazarene University in their Masters of Kinesiology program. Prior to obtaining her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, Megan worked as an athletic trainer at Point Loma Nazarene University.

Megan specializes in the treatment of upper and lower extremity athletic injuries, with clinical experience treating both high school and collegiate athletes. Megan is passionate about helping athletes of all ages return to their desired activity and strives to use the most current evidence-based practice medicine coupled with her knowledge of biomechanics to help her patients reach their goals. 

The Runner’s Arch Nemesis by Megan Kemp, DPT, ATC, CSCS

By Megan Kemp
megank@excelptmt.com

Summer is finally here and with it comes all of the fun outdoor activities we love doing. But what if your best laid intentions to get outside are derailed with sore feet? Did you know that physical therapy is an effective treatment option for foot pain? 

Foot pain is generally multi-faceted. There is rarely one simple cause for the pain, nor is there often a quick fix. However, there are often some common themes that put you at a higher risk for pain. One common cause is reduced mobility at one of the multiple joints of the foot/ankle complex. Decreased mobility at one joint can lead to excessive mobility at other joints throughout the foot. It is common for hyper- or hypomobility to be a pain generator for the foot. Another common cause is decreased strength or motor control of important stabilizing muscles throughout the lower extremity. This can change the way your foot absorbs shock or pushes off, thus putting excess stress on parts of the foot that weren’t designed to take that excess stress. Altered biomechanics of the lower extremity throughout the gait cycle are another common cause of pain. 

Physical therapists are highly trained experts in recognizing faulty biomechanics throughout the body. By recognizing where the faulty mechanics lie, you can then effectively treat the root cause of your pain rather than simply the symptoms. This is helpful in not only reducing your pain, but giving you the tools to treat it in the future should your pain creep back into your life. At Excel Physical Therapy, we also specialize in affordable, semi-custom orthotics that are specially designed to your unique foot structure. Orthotics can help place your foot in it’s optimal biomechanical position to reduce stress and optimize function.

If you have foot pain, the physical therapists at Excel Physical Therapy can help! We provide a specialized approach to physical therapy that provides the most effective manual, orthopedic, and sports therapy treatments, allowing our patients to return to their highest level of function as quickly as possible. We have proudly been serving the Gallatin Valley in both Bozeman and Manhattan since 2001. Call us today to schedule an appointment!

 

excel-LOGO-XMegan Kemp, DPT, ATC, CSCS, a Gallatin Valley native and graduate of Manhattan Christian High School, received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Montana. She graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California and is a board-certified athletic trainer through the National Athletic Trainer’s Association. Megan also completed training from the National Strength and Conditioning Association and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. She has served as an adjunct faculty member at Point Loma Nazarene University in their Masters of Kinesiology program. Prior to obtaining her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, Megan worked as an athletic trainer at Point Loma Nazarene University. Megan Kemp practices in our Manhattan office.


"Excellent local resource!" -- M.F., Bozeman Client

View more testimonials from Excel PT clients »