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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. 

Jason Lunden, DPT, SCS attends US Ski & Snowboard Class at the USSA Center of Excellence

By Jason Lunden, DPT, SCS
jason@excelptmt.com

Jason Lunden, DPT, SCS, of Excel Physical Therapy, recently attended the US Ski & Snowboard Team Medical Emergencies in Skiing and Snowboarding (MESS) Course at the USSA Center of Excellence in Park City, UT. The course focused on concussion evaluation, management and rehabilitation, as well as athlete development for ski and snowboard athletes.   Jason is an owner and physical therapist with Excel Physical Therapy of Bozeman and Manhattan, and he volunteers as a physical therapist for the US Ski & Snowboard Teams.

Injury Prevention in Nordic Skiing: Elbow & Shoulder Pain

By Jason Lunden, DPT, SCS
jason@excelptmt.com

Due to the repetitive stress from poling, Nordic skiers can develop overuse injuries of both the elbow and/or the shoulder. The most common of these are medial epicondylitis and shoulder impingement syndrome.   The underlying cause of the development of these injuries is multi-factorial: poling technique, pole length, and poor strength and conditioning.  

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Injury Prevention in Nordic Skiing: Knee Pain

By Jason Lunden, DPT, SCS
jason@excelptmt.com

Patellofemoral pain, or anterior knee pain, is the most common type of knee pain in Nordic skiing.   Repetitive stress to the soft tissue around the patella (knee cap) occurs due to poor tracking of the patella in the femoral groove.  This poor tracking can be the result of hip weakness causing poor control of movement of the femur (thigh bone), poor stabilization from the foot and ankle, and poor skiing technique.

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Injury Prevention in Nordic Skiing: Technique

By Jason Lunden, DPT, SCS
jason@excelptmt.com

Often I think Nordic (cross-country) skiing is the perfect sport for fitness.  Nordic skiing is a great workout and way to enjoy the outdoors in winter.  Plus, it has a very low injury rate.  In fact compared to alpine skiing and snowboarding, Nordic skiing has 20X fewer severe injuries and 5X fewer injuries overall.1

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Technique & the Prevention of Alpine Ski Injuries: Part 4

By Jason Lunden, DPT, SCS
jason@excelptmt.com

Nearly all injuries in alpine skiing are classified as traumatic, or due to a fall.  As mentioned earlier, under Strength & Injury Prevention, the majority of knee injuries in alpine skiing occur on the left knee.   Therefore it is important to work on your ski technique to be able to turn equally well to your right and left.  With the snowpack being shallower and conditions not yet epic, the early season is a great time to work on perfecting your turns.  Aim to stay balanced on your skis with your hips centered and perfect your turns to both sides.  A Professional Ski Instructor or coach can make all the difference, so take the time to perfect your technique by taking a lesson at one or our local ski resorts, or sign-up for coaching from a community ski team such as the Bridger Ski Foundation (BSF).

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"I appreciate Megan always running on schedule (In addition to everything else!)" --L.T., Bozeman client

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