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

Prevention

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!

Pelvic Health Physical Therapy–Physical Therapy treats WHAT?

Okay, today we are discussing a very sensitive issue–Pelvic Health Physical Therapy. Having pelvic health issues can be intimidating–because, it is soooo personal. You may be wondering, what issues do people suffer that have poor pelvic health?

Lots of problems can happen down south. There are muscles in the pelvic floor (the levator ani aka pelvic floor muscles or PF) PF muscles can spasm or become weak, just like shoulder muscles, or any other muscle groups. The difference with these muscles causing problems, however, is that spasms here can cause other problems with how the pelvic organs function. Stress incontinence (leakage when you lift, cough, sneeze, run) can happen, often in women but also in men who have had prostate cancer surgery, from weakness.

Levator ani muscles, otherwise know as Pelvic Floor muscles

Levator ani muscles, otherwise know as Pelvic Floor muscles

Urge and frequency incontinence happens when the bladder muscles decide it is time for your bladder to let go, even if You don’t think it is time, and then… you leak. Medicine can be helpful for urgency and frequency, but they leave you with dry mouth side effects.

These muscles can also spasm causing a lot of pain and difficulty with fully emptying your bladder.

A lot of other pelvic health conditions can be treated by pelvic floor physical therapy…more tomorrow

Headaches? Try this little exercise {Olympia, Wa}

Did you every have whiplash?  Did you fall off your bike as a kid and hit you chin on the ground?  (I fell head first off my bike and knocked out both front teeth).  If you  have had any of these happen to you, likely you have headaches and neck pain. A simple exercise you can do to help with headaches is to do this:

1)  lay on your back and put a rolled hand towel under your neck and bend up your knees. 

2)  nod your chin 1/4th of an inch like you are saying "yes" and hold. 

3)  do 10.  slowly build up your hold to 5 seconds, then 10 seconds.

neck nod

Osteoporosis Exercise: What is safe for your spine, and what is not

People with osteoporosis, I imagine, often wonder, "What exercises are safe for me?" With the vertebrae, we know the answers!

59 post menopausal osteoporotic women were each given different exercise regimes, and then they were tracked to see how each regime affected each one. These were the regimes they followed:

  • Back extension exercises only (like superman)
  • Trunk flexion exercises only (like sit ups)
  • Combined flexion and extension exercises
  • No formal exercise regime

They then tracked the women the these are the percentages of each group that developed a back fracture:

  • Back extension 16%
  • Trunk Flexion 89%
  • Combined Flexion and Extension:  53%
  • no formal exercise:  67%

So, what can you take away from this study (Sinaki, M, Arch Phys Med Rehab vol 65, Oct 1984)?

  • Hold things close,  lift with a squat, and if you want to strengthen your abdominals, lay on your back and pull your tummy in; while holding your tummy in lift one knee, put it down, then the other knee and keep your head on the bed or floor.  Make sure to strengthen your low back muscles

Avoid flexion exercises, like sit ups or such Pilates exercises as 100's. Avoid reaching far forward, especially with heavy objects, which will put a lot of pressure on the middle back.  Avoid bending over at the waist.