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.
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.
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).
To reduce your risk of injury it is important to make sure your bindings are properly mounted and maintained. Your ski is effectively a long lever arm and if your ski does not release properly it will put a tremendous amount of force through your knee. Therefore it is important to make sure your DIN is set properly, and to check that the release mechanism is working properly regularly. Keep in mind that due to gender differences in strength and morphology, the DIN on women’s bindings should be set at 15% below the recommended universal setting. So before you get out for your first turns of the season, check your equipment and get assistance from your local independent ski shop if necessary. (more…)
Developing and performing a proper pre-season/dry-land strengthening program can help to reduce your risk of injury and improve your performance. Alpine skiing is unique in that it places equal demands on both sides of the body, as one has to be able to turn equally well to the right and the left. Research has found that the left knee is most often injured in alpine skiing1. Therefore it is important to compare the strength of your right and left legs to get the most out of your workouts. (more…)
Winter Injury Prevention: Alpine Skiing, Nordic Skiing, & Snowboarding: Part 1
At Excel Physical Therapy, winter is often our busiest time of year; and with good reason, many of us choose to live here for our winter pursuits of skiing and snowboarding. Unfortunately these sports have a high injury rate and can lead to serous injuries resulting in the need for surgery and extensive rehabilitation. While one cannot completely prevent injuries in skiing and snowboarding, your risk can be reduced by following injury prevention guidelines. This series of blogs will focus on injuries and their prevention for alpine skiing, snowboarding, and Nordic skiing.
"David, your staff represents fully your core values. Professional, knowledgeable, personable & kind. Thank you for your time and instruction. By the way, without the instruction videos of 'my things to do at home', I would have been lost!" -- S.N., Bozeman clientView more testimonials from Excel PT clients »