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.
Megan 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.
Cycling InjuriesOlder Posts »
What is physical therapy? How can it help me? What should I know? What role do I play in it? What if I don’t like going to the gym? Will it hurt? How do I know if I need it? What if I don’t like being touched? What if I don’t like exercising? Is it a quick fix? Maybe I should just get surgery? What if I can’t be helped? Maybe I just need to be tougher? Do I need therapy if my medication helps the pain?
I am guessing that if you are reading this article that you have asked yourself one or more of these questions before. Most of my patients have and it can be incredibly overwhelming. I am here to help you navigate the physical therapy world and maybe even a little of the healthcare world in general.
Full disclosure. I am biased. I love physical therapy. I love that a generally non-invasive form of healthcare can benefit so many. I love that like so many things in life you often get out what you put in. I love that physical therapists, in general, are empathetic, positive, altruistic people that want nothing more than to see people walk out of the clinic in a better place than when they came in. This blog is for those of you who aren’t quite sure what to expect regarding physical therapy and how you can take advantage of what it has to offer.
Physical therapy has undergone a major evolution over the past decades. Long gone are the years of using treatment time to primarily administer modalities (e.g. ice, heat, ultrasound, tape, etc.). No longer do we regard injuries as a purely physical experience and ignore all the other components of a person that can impact their pain and dysfunction. Physical therapists and hopefully other healthcare professionals now view patients in what is called a biopsychosocial framework. That means your pain is not only impacted by biological factors (e.g. arthritis) but psychological factors (e.g. anxiety) and social factors (e.g. a fight with your spouse). This framework continues to be supported by more and more high-level research from all over the healthcare world.
Physical therapists are musculoskeletal experts and gateway healthcare practitioners. What does that mean? When it comes to musculoskeletal issues you will be hard pressed to find another healthcare professional that is better at diagnosis and treatment of these conditions. As gateway healthcare practitioners physical therapists have the ability to see patients without a referral and we are educated on how to screen for other medical conditions that may not be appropriate for physical therapy. In these cases, we can refer to specialists that have expertise in the appropriate area of care.
Physical therapy can help you organize the complex and confusing world of today’s healthcare resources and options. Do you need to see a surgeon? Do you need to see a non-surgical orthopedic physician? Would you benefit from massage therapy? Would you benefit from consultation regarding a steroid injection? Could you benefit from some mental health counseling? Would a registered dietician be helpful? Or are you just where you need to be…in physical therapy?!
Here’s 5 suggestions/recommendations regarding your first visit for physical therapy:
- Come prepared. If you feel like you might be anxious, overwhelmed or nervous take the time to write out any questions you may have before your visit. That way you can refer to your notes when your mind goes blank.
- Come with an open mind. Try to put aside any prior experiences you have had with the healthcare system.
- Don’t get too fixated on imaging. Imaging is good at ruling things out but not great at ruling in things that are causing your pain. There is not a good correlation between tissue degeneration and pain…so be careful.
- Remember that all pain is perceived in your brain…so your pain can change depending on the state of your mind. There are techniques and strategies to address neurological pathways that may have developed over time that negatively impact your pain.
- Physical therapy is an active endeavor. It is very rare that a physical therapist can magically fix your pain or dysfunction in one visit. My goal is to get you back out there ASAP…but it will not happen overnight and will not be done passively.
One of the biggest complaints I hear from patients regarding health care professionals, in general, is that most don’t listen and they lack empathy. Keep in mind that as a physical therapist at Excel Physical Therapy, I have 45 minutes to do the best I can to figure out what is going on and how to best provide you with the tools to improve and get better. To steal a line from the psychologist and author Malcolm Gladwell we must use “thin-slicing” to help us figure out the best path for our patients. That means that a good therapist or healthcare practitioner will skillfully direct the conversation to get the information that will allow them to best figure out a plan of care that can best impact the patient for the better. We want to hear your entire story and we will…over time.
One of the beauties of physical therapy is that we spend more one on one time with patients than almost any other healthcare profession. If you are honest with yourself and take into account your biological, psychological and social factors that may bias your opinion toward your healthcare practitioner and you still feel like you are being treated without empathy or by an outdated biological model, simply find a healthcare practitioner that works better for you.
How can we help you? We are a specialized physical therapy practice that collaboratively provides the most effective manual, orthopedic and sports therapy treatments, allowing us to efficiently return patients to their highest level of comfort and functionality.
We deliver one-on-one, direct patient treatment by our licensed, specialty-certified physical therapists to ensure preeminent physical therapy services and patient care. We have served the Gallatin Valley since 2001 and are locally owned and operated by physical therapists.
At Excel Physical Therapy, our entire team–physical therapy team, massage therapy team, front office care coordinators and patient services assistants–ALL work very hard each day to welcome, listen and help you to feel better as a result of our evidence-based treatment plans and services. Your excellent outcome is our sole mission: Superior care from expert clinicians, supported by passionate staff, impacting the Gallatin Valley and beyond.
Thanks for taking that time to read my article. I hope you find this information helpful. See you at Excel PT!
Bobby Bemis, DPT, COMT, DIP.MT, FAAOMPT is a fellowship-trained physical therapist at Excel Physical Therapy. Bobby specializes in orthopedic manual physical therapy of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine. Although the spine is his specialty, Bobby has a high level of training in all regions of the body. After receiving his undergraduate degree, Bobby earned a Doctorate in Physical Therapy, became a Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist (COMT), Diplomat of Manual Therapy (Dip. MT), as well as becoming certified in trigger point dry needling. Bobby then went on to become Fellowship trained and was then designated as a “Fellow” with the American Academy of Manual Physical Therapy (AAOMPT) after passing a rigorous oral and practical exam. Only a very small percentage of physical therapists achieve this elite status. The “Fellow” is a physical therapist who has demonstrated advanced clinical, analytical, and hands-on skills in the treatment of musculoskeletal orthopedic disorders and is internationally recognized for their competence and expertise in the practice of manual physical therapy.
I have recently been thinking quite a bit about the importance of joint mobility, not strictly for function, but for joint health. In manual therapy, assessment of a given joint in the body always consists of consideration of joint mobility. Is there enough mobility? If not, why not? Does the joint itself have a motion restriction? Or is there perhaps some tissue outside the joint, like a tight muscle, that is limiting mobility? While it makes sense that a certain degree of motion is important for functional tasks, like bending your knee a certain amount to ascend stairs, mobility is also critical for joint health. (more…)
Excel Physical Therapy is committed to helping support our community as one of our core values. As a result, we are proud co-sponsors of the 2015 Montana State University Bobcat Triathlon! For registration and course information, please click here: http://www.bobcattriathlon.com/
Best wishes to all race participants and thanks to the volunteers!
Spring 2014 Issue
Fit your bike to avoid injury
While cycling is relatively easy on your joints, because of the constrained position and
repetitive nature of the sport, it can be easy to develop overuse injuries.
These injuries are often attributed to ramping up training mileage too quickly or being improperly positioned on your bike. Training errors can be avoided by following a proper training schedule. Fitting your bike to your body—not the other way around—helps achieve proper positioning.
It’s best to see a professional bike-fitter at a physical therapy clinic or your local bike shop, but here are some tips to alleviate common pains associated with cycling.
Cause: foot positioned too far back on pedal
Solution: move foot forward on the pedal by moving your cleat further back
Cause: foot positioned too far forward on pedal
Solution: move foot back on the pedal by moving your cleat further forward
Anterior Knee Pain
Cause: saddle too low and/or too far forward
Solution: move saddle up so there’s a slight bend in the knee at the bottom of the stroke
Posterior Knee Pain
Cause: saddle too low and/or too far back
Solution: move saddle so there is a moderate to slight bend in the knee
Lower Back Pain
Cause: stem too short
Solution: get a longer stem
Cause: bars too low
Solution: raise your bars by getting a more upright stem or moving headset spacers from the top of the stem to the bottom
Jason Lunden is a board-certified clinical specialist in sports physical therapy at Excel Physical Therapy in Bozeman and a clinical BikeFit Pro Fitter. For more information on bike fitting or injury prevention, visit excelptmt.com/bikefitting.
David Coletta, physical therapist and co-owner of Excel Physical Therapy of Bozeman and Manhattan, recently completed the BikeFit Clinical Level 2 advanced training in Seattle, Washington. His instruction included upper level road bike fitting and tri-bike/time trial bike fitting. David provides bike fitting services out of the Bozeman location and offers both health insurance billing and cash pay options.
Megan Peach, DPT, OCS, CSCS, with Excel Physical Therapy of Bozeman and Manhattan, recently completed a North American Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy (NAIOMT) advanced training course in Seattle, Washington. This course, taught by Brett Windsor, PT, PhDc, MPA, OCS, FAAOMPT, offered instruction on biomechanical assessment of the lower extremity and rationale for individualized treatment programs. Treatment techniques focused on manual interventions including joint mobilization, manipulation, and soft tissue massage as well as taping techniques and exercise intervention for the knee, foot, and ankle.
Jason Lunden, DPT, SCS, physical therapist with Excel Physical Therapy of Bozeman and Manhattan, was a featured presenter at this year’s Twin Cities Sports Medicine Conference in St. Paul, MN. Jason gave a podium presentation and a breakout session on the rehabilitation of hamstring injuries, to an audience of orthopedic surgeons, sports medicine physicians, physical therapists and athletic trainers.
Friday, June 20, 2014
Montana Ale Works from 3-6pm
David Coletta, MPT, CMPT and Jason Lunden, DPT, SCS of Excel Physical Therapy will be providing free Bike Fitting Screenings at the Longest Day of Trails Headquarters in Bozeman, Montana. Come by with your bike to learn how David and Jason can help fit your bike to your body. Reduce pain while riding as well as increase your cycling performance. Free Specialized water bottle with every free Excel PT Bike Fitting Screen!
This GVLT annual dawn-to-dusk (6am–10pm) bike-a-thon and membership drive takes places on the Friday in June nearest the Summer Solstice. It highlights GVLT’s work to expand, improve, and maintain our community trails. Headquartered at Montana Ale Works, the event features bike rides for all ages and abilities on Bozeman’s Main Street to the Mountains trails, with an evening celebration at Montana Ale Works and live music from Jawbone Railroad.
For a $35 donation to GVLT you receive a $5 gift certificate from Montana Ale Works and a wrist band to participate in the cycling activities. For a donation of $50 or more you will also receive a $5 gift certificate to Montana Ale Works, a wristband to participate in the cycling activities AND a gift certificate to a local retailer.
Click Here for more Longest Day of Trails event details and information.
Join us for Excel Physical Therapy’s Fall 2013 Community Education Series Seminar
“Why Do Kids Get Injured? A Youth Sports Injury Seminar for Parents, Coaches and Athletes Ages 18 & Under”
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Bozeman Public Library Community Room
free and open to the public
Jason Lunden, DPT, Specialist in Sports Physical Therapy, presents a free talk that will focus on the following:
- Latest updates for recognizing and treating concussions in youth ages 18 and under
- How to recognize risk factors for non-contact injuries
- Identify resources for injury prevention in youth sports such as soccer, football, baseball, skiing, lacrosse, etc.
- Q&A time with Jason for your specific questions
- Drawing for iTunes gift cards and more!
For more info: info “at” excelptmt.com or excelptmt.com/seminars
Jason Lunden, DPT, SCS specializes in the rehabilitation and prevention of sports-related injuries, with a particular interest in the biomechanics of sporting activities – running, cycling, skiing, snowboarding and overhead athletics. He has published on the topic of shoulder biomechanics and the rehabilitation of knee injuries and has a strong commitment to educating others. Jason serves as a physical therapist for the US Snowboarding and US Freeskiing teams and is a frequent, well-received local and national presenter on the topics of sports rehabilitation and injury prevention. He is a recent recipient of the New Horizon Award from the American Physical Therapy Association and he as received advanced training in dry needling techniques for the extremities.
"Megan was very helpful and clear with the expectations and treatments in the recovery process." --Bozeman PatientView more testimonials from Excel PT clients »