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.
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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!
Megan 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.
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.
Excel Physical Therapy recently hosted our biennial Running Camp that reviewed the mechanics of running, training principles, and footwear to help you stay injury free during your summer running program. As it turns out, errors in training are responsible for up to 70% of running injuries. In case you missed it, here’s a re-cap of the training principles we discussed to help reduce the risk of injury:
- Avoid year-long training
- Avoid running more than 40 miles per week
- Train two or more but less than 5 days per week Rest days are important!
- Increase mileage by no more than 10% every 2-weeks
- Stretch daily to ensure normal joint mobility
- Do strength training exercises for your core 2-3 days per week
As runners, up to 90% of us will sustain an injury over the course of our running careers that temporarily prevents us from running. Proper training principles will help to reduce the risk of injury and improve your chances of a successful running program.
Megan Peach, DPT, OCS, CSCS specializes in manual treatment of spinal dysfunction, as well as knee and shoulder pain and is a member of the Excel Physical Therapy running specialist PT team. Megan’s philosophy for physical therapy treatment embraces educating patients about the tools they need for enhancement of proper body movements during work and play to promote a pain and injury free active lifestyle.
Megan Peach and Jason Lunden were honored to offer a private Running Injury Prevention Workshop for Bozeman School District employees this month in our Bozeman office. We hosted this 2 hour workshop for a nominal fee and raised $186. The Excel Physical Therapy leadership team chose to donate this total amount, paid by district employees, to the Bozeman School Foundation in honor of the inspiring and dedicated teachers and staff of Bozeman School District.
Giving back to our community is important to the entire Excel Physical Therapy team and a key part of our mission and core values. Learn more how we support our community in other ways here: https://excelptmt.com/our-team/community/
Open registration starts May 10th, 2pm! Big Sky Wind Drinkers members may register April 26-April 30th.
Attendee’s of our May 9th, 2018 Running Strong Seminar at the Bozeman Library will also receive priority registration access.
Excel Physical Therapy is hosting our annual Running Camp on Saturday, June 16, 2018, 8AM-12PM, at our new state-of-the-art Bozeman location. We are located at 1823 West College Street, (corner of South 19th and College).
This comprehensive 4-hour workshop ensures you are running strong to avoid pain & injury. Your registration is reserved with a $10 donation. We will donate your registration amount to the Gallatin Valley Food Bank in your name. Waiting list: This event is limited to the first 30 participants who register. You may sign up for the waiting list via our eventbrite.com registration page which will contact you via email if space becomes available.
Our Running Camp is a way for our team to share what we are passionate about with our community-from treating runners in the clinic to providing running mechanics education to running the local trails ourselves.
Our Running Specialist PT Team will guide up to 30 participants, ages 18+, through:
A discussion of training principles to reduce the risk of injury, stretching and strengthening exercises to supplement your running program, and a discussion on cadence training.
Running Mechanics instruction on how to decrease impact and increase efficiency.
Special Guest discussions with Mike Wolfe, professional ultra-runner/The Mountain Project owner; Erika Rauk, MS, RD, LN, Registered Dietician; and Curt Smith, Schnee’s Shoes Footwear Manager. Inspiration, Nutrition, & Gear!
Cadence retraining during a short local training run with our Running Specialist PT Team.
How to choose the correct running shoes and other helpful running gear.
Attendees will receive a running training program from our Running Specialist PT Team.
Q&A time with our running experts and special guests.
Raffle prizes include a 60-minute massage appointment with Excel PT’s Tristin Lowe, LMT and 2 entries for the Sweet Pea Run 5K. We are proud sponsors of the Big Sky Wind Drinker’s Sweet Pea Run! Our running camp is designed to help get you in top running form for this annual early August Bozeman running tradition.
Presented by: Megan Peach, DPT, OCS, CSCS and Jason Lunden, DPT, SCS
Our mission at Excel Physical Therapy is to support our community through service, education and promoting the value of health and well-being; the Excel Physical Therapy Running Camp is our commitment to you to provide you with the most up to date strategies for a successful running program. Your strongest miles are ahead of you!
community education series
Join us Wednesday, May 9, 2018 at 6:30pm in the Bozeman Library Community Room for a lively discussion on running mechanics and injury prevention. Our team of running specialists, Megan Peach, DPT, OCS, CSCS, and Jason Lunden, DPT, SCS will review running injury prevention advice to help you run strong and pain-free.
Our Physical Therapists will discuss:
- How to customize your running mechanics to prevent running injuries.
- The top risk factors for running-related injuries – running mechanics, flexibility, strength, foot strike patterns, and training errors.
- Q&A: Bring your questions for the Excel PT running experts to answer.
- Priority Registration! Seminar guests receive priority registration consideration for our June 16th, 2018 Running Camp at our new state-of-the-art Bozeman location. Our annual running camp, limited to the first 30 sign-ups (waiting list available), is a 4-hour comprehensive running workshop filled with great info from our running experts and community special guests. Since this is a community outreach event, the suggested running camp online registration is a $10 donation which will be donated to the Gallatin Valley Food Bank in the registrant’s name. Click Here for more info.
Door prizes! Free and everyone welcome.
Attendee’s of our May 9th, 2018 Running Strong Seminar held at the Bozeman Library will receive priority registration access for our annual Excel Physical Therapy Running Camp 2018 community education event, held on June 16th, 2018, 8AM-12PM at our new state of the art Bozeman location at 1823 West College Street (corner of 19th and College Streets.)
Our team’s mission at Excel Physical Therapy is to support our community through service, education, and promoting the value of physical well-being; this seminar is our commitment to you to provide you with the most up to date strategies for a successful running program so you can Live Better and Play Smarter.
Join us tonight for the Huffing for Stuffing Training Program Kick-off Celebration!
Thursday, September 21, 2017 from 6:30 – 7:30pm at Schnee’s, 35 E. Main, Bozeman, Montana
For more info:
Have you ever stood in front of a wall of running shoes wondering which shoe is right for you? Maybe the Hokas with the super cushioned sole that feel like you’re running on clouds? Or the Brooks trail runners since the trails have cleared up and you’ve been wanting to try out the North Cottonwood trail? Or maybe the Saucony minimalist shoes because you’ve recently read about the benefits of minimalist running? Or my personal favorite, the hot pink shoes with tie-dye laces?!
You may think that based on the available technology for running shoes and advancements in materials used to create modern running shoes that a plethora of running shoe research would be available. However, this is not necessarily the case.
"How can we improve? Well... you really can't!!" --M.W., Bozeman patientView more testimonials from Excel PT clients »