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. 

Physical Therapy as a Means for Prevention 

By Matt Schumacher, DPT, MTC, CAFS, CSCS
matts@excelptmt.com

What do you think of when you hear physical therapy? Most individuals may have experienced or know of someone who experienced physical therapy with a past injury or surgery. This is the bread and butter of what we do as physical therapists through rehabilitating individuals back to what they love to do; however, most people do not know the benefits of seeing a physical therapist for “prehabilitation” or wellness checkups prior to a possible or potential injury from occurring.  

Just as one goes to the dentist for a biannual checkup for prevention of possible future dental issues, physical therapy has and can be an option for the public in addressing possible musculoskeletal impairments, muscle strength deficits, and range of motion deficits in the body. As most of us all know, exercise has been suggested to aid in multiple health benefits such as preventing chronic disease, boosting mental health, increasing overall longevity, reducing risk of cardiovascular disease, and improving bone health –  just to name a few. As orthopedic physical therapists, we are trained and knowledgeable in rehabilitation and appropriate exercise prescription following injury and/or surgery, but we are also trained in injury prevention by providing patients and clients resources for reducing their chance of an injury. 

As spring is approaching and we are gearing up for the beautiful Montana summer, physical therapy may be of benefit to you or someone you know to increase your chances of a healthy, active, and injury-free year. It is typically easier to address these possible impairments before an injury may emerge versus after an injury has occurred. Most everyone, including you, may benefit from a “biannual checkup” with physical therapy! 

 

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Matt Schumacher, DPT, MTC, CAFS, CSCS received his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND where he was recognized as a nominee for Outstanding Student Award in his physical therapy class demonstrating excellence in academics, volunteering, and servant leadership. Following graduation, he received training from Gray Institute with a Certification in Applied Functional Science (CAFS). Matt also completed a rigorous year-long program with Evidence in Motion (EIM) achieving his Manual Therapy Certification (MTC) gaining advanced training in mobilization and manipulation techniques for common diagnoses of the spine and extremities. Matt specializes in assisting individuals following post-operative rehabilitation, sports medicine rehabilitation, and orthopedic injuries/ailments of the spine and extremities utilizing advanced knowledge and skill with manual therapy and appropriate exercise prescription. 

Noisy Necks

By Matt Heyliger, DPT
matt@excelptmt.com

I am frequently asked about whether it is normal for a neck to make a lot of noise. Some of the more common adjectives I hear from patients describing these sensations are creaking, grinding or crinkly noises…the kind of noises you hear on the inside but are not generally audible to others. The short answer is yes, some increase in neck noise is to be expected as we age. However, certain noisy necks deserve a bit more attention. 

To clarify, the noisy necks described above should be distinguished from other common neck noises including popping, cracking, clicking or snapping sensations in the neck. The importance in this distinction is that the former is most likely associated with normal wear and tear as long as there is not pain associated with the noise, where the latter may indicate some problems brewing in your noisy neck. Necks that tend to pop a lot, especially those that need to pop to relieve tension or pain, are likely experiencing increased stress in the joints and/or disc at the level of the popping. This should be seen as a warning sign. For the owner of that noisy neck, there is likely some degree of asymmetry in the mobility of the joints in the neck. This can lead to degeneration of those segments of the cervical spine that may lead to more problems than just neck noise down the line. 

If your noisy neck is associated with pain and/or ever increasing stiffness and loss of mobility then you should consider consulting with your Physical Therapist. While some loss of motion in you neck is common with aging, especially in your later 60’s and beyond, earlier onset of a significant loss in mobility could be a tipping point for your neck. Many folks who bring this up during a physical therapy appointment are relieved to learn that certain neck noise is normal. In situations where neck noise may be indicative of a neck that’s going south, taking action and making a plan may really make a difference in your quality of life a few years around the bend.

 

 

Matt Heyliger, DPT of Excel Physical Therapy completed his Doctorate in Physical Therapy at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Washington. He has a particular treatment focus in the relationship of cervical/thoracic spine mechanics and upper extremity conditions. An avid rock climber, telemark/backcountry skier and mountain biker, Matt regularly practices yoga and enjoys frequent adventures in the mountains with his family and their two labs.

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.

 

"What Is That Ringing In My Ears?" by David Coletta, MPT, CMPT

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

Although tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, can be a sign of serious brain pathology, tumors, and hearing loss, this condition can also be often diagnosed by your physician as idiopathic tinnitus.  Such a diagnosis indicates no known or verifiable cause to the ringing in your ears.  Ruling out the more concerning problems through brain imaging, neurological testing, and hearing tests is helpful, but often leaves the patient with no real answers about how to decrease or eliminate the annoying sound.  One theory regarding the source of idiopathic tinnitus centers on the musculoskeletal system as a trigger for ear ringing.  (more…)

"Conquering Neck Pain" Seminar | 12/3/2014 6:30pm

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

Community Education Series – free and open to the publicjoin us!

 

“Conquering Neck Pain: Self-Help Techniques & Treatment Options”

Presented by David Coletta, MPT, CMPT, Certified Manual Therapy Specialist

 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

6:30pm-7:30pm

Bozeman Public Library Community Room

                                                                                                      

What You Will Learn:

  • How neck pain develops and becomes chronic.
  • What the anatomic sources of neck pain are.
  • How a specialized physical therapist utilizes manual therapy, patient education, exercise, and dry needling techniques to treat neck pain.
  • How improving posture can alleviate neck pain.
  • Which exercises are most effective in self-treatment of neck pain.
  • Other self-treatment techniques.
  • There also will be time at the end of the seminar to speak with David regarding your specific neck problem.

David Coletta, MPT, CMPT has specialized in the treatment of back and neck pain, spinal issues, whiplash, headaches, TMJ/jaw pain, and postural dysfunctions for over 15 years. David received his masters in physical therapy from Mount St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles, California. 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. A considerable amount of David’s training from leading physical therapy clinicians has occurred through the North American Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy (NAIOMT). He has completed advanced certification in manual therapy (CMPT) with NAIOMT and has received advanced training in dry needling techniques for the spine and extremities. David is also a Certified Clinical BikeFit Pro Fitter.

 

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.

Excel PT offering Free Bike Fitting Screenings at GVLT Longest Day of Trails 3-6pm

By Tiffany Coletta
tiffany@excelptmt.com

Friday, June 20, 2014

Montana Ale Works from 3-6pm

2014-LDOT-Poster-FINAL

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!

Click Here for Excel Physical Therapy Professional Bike Fitting information.
 

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.

David Coletta's Personal Bout with Acute Neck Pain: The Onset Part 1

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

My Personal Bout with Acute Neck Pain: The Onset ~ Part 1 of 3

The Onset

Evaluating and treating individuals with neck pain has been my specialty over the past 15 years.  I have literally treated over a thousand people suffering from this affliction.  Recently, neck pain became a much more personal issue, as I experienced the sort of agony which some of my patients deal with.  For the past 20 years, my neck has been intermittently stiff, with the occasional inability to turn my head for a day or two and what felt like an acute muscle spam, but there has been nothing of serious concern.  This was different.  While still in bed, I opened my eyes in the morning and noticed neck stiffness when turning over.  Could this be one of those mornings where there would be trouble turning my head?  Better to get up slowly.  I sat up and immediately felt a rush of nauseating pain sweeping into my low neck and then shooting into my left shoulder blade.  I don’t have time for this I thought.  Into the shower for some hot water on the neck and down the hatch with 600mg of Ibuprofen.  I drove to work applying traction to my neck with both hands and steering with my elbows and knees.  A smarter man would have just stayed at home and called in sick.  But I had patients that depended on me.

Luckily, this was my short day of the week at work.  My neck pain steadily grew worse and by 2PM I was stuck with my head down and turned to the right, avoiding the worst ache.  I utilized a home traction unit from work and had to go very slowly and gently not to aggravate my symptoms.  That night, I managed about 2 hours of sleep, constantly readjusting to avoid pain.

The next morning, I called a physician friend of mine and he prescribed me a round of oral steroids.   After 3 days, my neck pain slowly started to improve and within 1 week I was 75% better and training on my road bike for short periods.  Unfortunately, this progress did not last.

8 days after the initial onset, my symptoms suddenly returned in the morning and were even worse.  At this point I had to be honest with myself about the serious nature of my neck problem.  My symptoms included weakness in the left arm, severe pain behind the left shoulder and into the shoulder blade, severe neck pain, numbness in the left hand, and I could not extend my neck or turn to the right.  This was a very familiar presentation, a cervical radiculopathy.  It had to be a disc bulge in my low neck that was inflaming and compressing one of the spinal nerves.  Megan Peach, DPT, here at Excel PT did a great job at treating my acute problem, but my presentation was too severe to benefit from PT at that time.  I decided to make an appointment with a local orthopedic specialty physician. 

Click Here to read My Personal Bout with Acute Neck Pain: Recovery ~ Part 2 of 3

Click Here to read My Personal Bout with Acute Neck Pain: Lessons Learned ~ Part 3 of 3

 

"The whole experience and treatment was individualized and very personal and great!"--J.B., Manhattan Patient

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