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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. 

Deep Vein Thrombosis: Everything you need to know about diagnosis and prevention. 

By Jackie Oliver, DPT
jackie@excelptmt.com

A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot or thrombus forms in one of your deep veins due to slow moving blood. Most often a DVT occurs in the calf or lower leg, however a DVT can also form in other regions of the body such as the arm. Learning what puts you at risk for developing a DVT, as well as being able to identify the signs and symptoms associated with this medical condition is important for prevention of more serious complications like a pulmonary embolism (blocking blood flow to the lungs).  

The signs and symptoms of a DVT can include swelling in the affected leg, usually in the calf. This will normally feel sore and tender to touch. You may also see redness and warmth associated with the swelling. The hallmark sign of a DVT is that the pain does not increase or decrease with a change in position. DVTs can mimic a musculoskeletal injury like a calf strain without other symptoms like swelling and redness. The thing to remember is that a calf strain would have a mechanism of injury or a specific onset, whereas a DVT would have a history of prolonged sitting or recent surgery.  

Risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing a DVT include: a recent surgery, prolonged bed rest, pregnancy, smoking, age or sitting for long periods of time like when you are driving or flying.

If you find yourself in one of these categories there are a few measures you can take for prevention: 

1.) Avoid sitting still for prolonged periods. If you do have to be sitting or immobile for prolonged periods such as long plane flights or being laid up in bed recovering from a surgery or sickness, try pumping your feet up and down to get your muscles working and the blood flowing in your legs. 

2.) Wearing compression stockings during periods of immobility can help decrease the risk of developing a DVT. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about getting compression stockings for travel or after surgery. 

3.) Regular exercise can also lower your risk of blood clots. A new study published by the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis states that participation in sports, regardless of intensity, can lower your risk of developing blood clots by up to 39%. Regular exercise also decreases your BMI, which can also lower your risk.  

If you think you have symptoms related to a DVT it is important to get it checked out at an Urgent Care or Emergency Department as soon as possible. Your doctor will be able to detect a DVT using compression ultrasonography and will treat accordingly. DVTs can be a serious health problem but knowing the signs and symptoms can help prevent complications. Discovered early, complications from DVTs are preventable and easily treatable. 

 

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Jackie Oliver, DPT has an intense passion for helping and educating others as well as preventative medicine. Because of her college sports background, she loves working with athletes, biomechanical training and sport injury prevention. She is also trained as a Diabetes Lifestyle Coach and has worked for the University of Utah and CDC helping individuals decrease their risk of developing diabetes. Jackie is a certified dry needling provider with advanced training from Evidence in Motion and KinetaCore. Jackie also leads our Work Site Solutions programs.

 

Advanced Training...we're at it again! Matt Heyliger, DPT completes lower extremity course in Seattle

By Matt Heyliger, DPT
matt@excelptmt.com

Matt Heyliger, DPT, physical therapist with Excel Physical Therapy of Bozeman and Manhattan, recently completed the North American Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy (NAIOMT) Level II course held in Seattle, WA with a focus on assessment and treatment of lower extremity conditions. The course emphasized assessment of the foot and ankle addressing correlations with foot and ankle biomechanics and overall lower extremity function. Many mobilization and manipulation treatment techniques were presented for the foot, ankle, and knee. Matt has now completed all Level I, II and III courses through NAIOMT, the equivalent of 231 hours of hands-on continuing education coursework in manual therapy.

Advanced Training...we're at it again! Jackie Oliver, DPT completes shoulder and knee course in Seattle

By Jackie Oliver, DPT
jackie@excelptmt.com

Jackie Oliver, DPTphysical therapist with Excel Physical Therapy of Bozeman and Manhattan, recently completed the Kevin Wilk Shoulder and Knee Course in Seattle, Washington. This advanced-training course presented the most recent, relevant and state-of-the-art treatment options for the most challenging and unusual problems of the shoulder and knee joints. This evidence-based course also focused on the most comprehensive and effective information regarding shoulder and knee post-operative treatment as well as rehabilitation tactics for general knee and shoulder pain. Kevin Wilk is our country’s leading authority in sports and orthopedic injury rehabilitation.

Running Shoes: Comfort vs. Function

By Megan Peach, DPT, OCS, CSCS
megan@excelptmt.com

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.

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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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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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