165 Lilly Rd NE, Suite B, Olympia • 360.455-8014

Disc Injury

Physical Therapy in Olympia, Tumwater and Lacey, Where should I go?

There are many fine physical therapy clinics in the Olympia, Tumwater and Lacey area. How do you chose where to go?

You can choose based on location. A friend of mine told me today she chose to go to physical therapy at a clinic close to her house. What would prompt a close choice versus reputation? Maybe she needed to go 2 or 3 times per week. If someone needs to go to PT 2 or 3 times a week for a month or so, then going close to your house would be very convenient, HOWEVER, ask yourself the question: does your condition warrant 2 or 3 times per week?

Recently a former patient returned for a new session of physical therapy. She is a fairly frail 80 something year old, and was sent for BOTH headaches AND shoulder pain by her physician. Her prescription from the physician was directed to be 2 to 3 times per week for 4 to 6 weeks. She may have thought she needed to come that often, but…….when I evaluated her headache AND shoulder pain, I determined that both problems were mainly caused by the same anatomical structure.

I gave her an exercise program based on this one problem, and added customized and specific exercises for the shoulders and neck. As of Friday (January 30) 100% better in the headache and 75% better in the shoulders. She came for 6 visits at 1 x per week.

So the bottom line is, unless you actually NEED to have therapy 2 or 3 times per week consider going somewhere that uses less visits more effectively and you may save yourself some time and money.

The therapists at Comstock Physical Therapy, Joyce Mills, Lori Waterman and Linnea Comstock have extensively studied the body to make our exercise programs very effective and efficient. Give us a call if you would rather go to PT once per week instead of three times a week!

What can Physical Therapy do for me that I can’t do on my own?

I saw the question in the header on the Magnoliatherapyla.com FAQ website and thought to myself , “that IS a good question.”

Being an independent, strong-minded boot strapper I know I would wonder, “why can’t I just do it myself.” “I can save myself some money.” AND in the short run that may be true, but in the long run, it could be penny wise and pound foolish.

What if I have back pain; can’t I just “strengthen my core” and get better? It is true that much of your back pain will just go away with time…and it will come back unless the deeper core muscles are strengthened, GUARANTEED! How do I know? Our reflexes are meant to protect us, and before we get hurt, our deeper core muscles (defined as transverse abdominis, pelvic floor, multifidus and diaphragm) work together to contract in the just the right way and time to keep us stable BUT…(and this is a big BUT) after a back injury the smaller muscles get screwed up and they begin to misfire, and the larger bigger stronger ones take over…and that….ladies and gentlemen, means that there will be a lot of compression on the back discs and joints and that will lead to arthritis.

It’s a lot like caring for a car or truck…keep up with the 3000 mile oil changes and that baby will hum for a long time but avoid them and they break down a lot sooner!

The “new” core–the “Piston”–Diaphragm, Transverse Abdominis, Multifidus and Pelvic Floor

New information from a class I just took:  the "core" as a piston that moves with you!    Turns out that the stability of your trunk, in other words your rib cage to your pelvis, is dependent on the diaphragm working together with the transverse abdominis, multifidus and the pelvic floor. 

What does this mean in for you if you have pain or you are trying to get more fit?  When you are going to lift something heavy do the following: 

  1. make sure to breathe in before you lift, letting your tummy relax and lower ribs expand as you prepare to lift.
  2. start breathing out by pursing you lips then quickly lift your pelvic floor and then pull your tummy in as you lift

Here is a link to a video from the instructor of the class, Julie Wiebe PT: 

Core as a piston

Enjoy looking at her video!

How does this concept apply to Muscles In-Sync(R)?  It directly applies because the muscles, to work best, need to work at the right time and the right way, and we can help you feel better by getting them In Sync!The "Core" as Piston for back pain

Back Pain runs in families!

I am often asked as a physical therapist, "Do herniated discs run in families?" I often respond that I don't know, but it seems that way.

Well, now we know!  It does run in families, and people who have a cousin or grandparent who have had a herniated disc have an increased chance, according to this article:

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/07/back-pain-runs-in-families/?ref=health

What does that mean for YOU if you have relative with back pain?  

  • keep in good physical condition overall and exercise regularly
  • keep your core muscles firing correctly and your MusclesInSync
  • make sure to squat to pick up things from the floor
  • step out and lunge with your forward leg if you have to reach (such as vacumning) and avoid bending at the back with your legs together