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


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!

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.

Physical Therapy

165 Lilly Rd. NE, Suite B
Olympia, Washington 98506


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