Get To Know Your PT- Tyler Baca, PT, DPT

Physical therapist, tyler baca, pt, dpt

Therapydia Beaverton physical therapist Tyler Baca, PT, DPT, takes some time to talk about staying active, future education plans and what song pumps him up.

You don’t have to be perfect to get great results.”

When did you know that you wanted to be a physical therapist?

I got the opportunity to work with populations ranging from elite runners to people with lower extremity prostheses during my involvement with a biomechanics lab at the University of Oregon. The praise that these individuals had for their physical therapists was overwhelming. Through this experience and my observation of local physical therapists, I was certain that physical therapy would be a career that I would thrive in. 

What surprised you the most about the physical therapy profession?

I have been surprised the most by the subtle impacts that a physical therapist or any health care provider can make in an individual’s life. The provider sets patients’ expectations not only by the explanations he/she gives, but by the language and attitude that is used.

How do you like to stay active?

I enjoy CrossFit, olympic lifting, hiking, stand up paddle boarding, and walking as a means of commuting when possible. 

What is the biggest challenge involved in being a PT?

Remembering names.

What’s your favorite song to get you motivated?

“Eye of the Tiger”

FACT: listened to this song before every test in graduate school.

Are you currently pursuing any further education or certifications?

I am pursuing further education in the Institute of Clinical Excellence. I am looking to further the clinical knowledge I can provide to barbell/CrossFit athletes as well as individuals who are looking for/in need of a new exercise routine. I am hoping to gain more tools to show all patients how much their bodies are capable of.

What’s your go-to breakfast?

Toast, eggs, and vegetables with a protein shake.

What do you wish everyone knew about PT?

I wish that everyone knew that you can come to physical therapy first if you are experiencing pain or if you are looking to get an assessment of your current health and wellness.

In your opinion, what is the most important personality trait that a PT must have?

A good listener.

What do you do to de-stress/unwind?

Mindfully meditate: whether that is through meditation techniques, taking a walk, or pushing myself in intense exercise.

Finish this sentence: On Saturday mornings, you can usually find me…

At the CrossFit gym.

What is your favorite piece of wellness advice?

“You don’t have to be perfect to get great results.”

Learn more about Tyler and the other Therapydia Beaverton physical therapists.

Get to Know Your PT: Sabrina Seraj, Therapydia Portland Physical Therapist

Therapydia Portland Senior Staff Physical Therapist Sabrina Seraj takes some time to talk about her love of breakfast, how she became interested in PT, and Game Day Bass Drops on Pandora.

“Those who think they have no time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” – Edward Stanley

When did you know that you wanted to be a physical therapist?

I didn’t know much about physical therapy until college. I knew I loved anatomy from high school and I was going to go the route of medicine/healthcare in some form or fashion. With a little research, I found the role of a PT fit my desires and personality best: The ability to work with my hands, educate and help people feel better, be analytical and creative, and deal with anatomy all day?! Perfect!

What is the biggest challenge involved in being a PT?

Sometimes the energy of the work day stays with me as I go home; when working closely with a lot of people in pain, the pain can start to seep in.

How do you like to stay active?

I have always been an active girl but not in one particular discipline. I prefer to change it up but always do some yoga and Pilates. I love to hike and explore too.

What’s your favorite song to get you motivated?

“Eye of the Tiger,” because if it motivates Rocky…..(kidding). This is a hard question because it depends on what I’m doing but when I require motivation to start my exercise regimen, I am pumping Game Day Bass Drops on Pandora. Seriously.

What surprised you the most about the physical therapist profession?

The ins and outs of insurance ….

Are you currently pursuing any further education/certifications?

I am always looking to push my skill level and knowledge and am progressing through a series of classes through NAIOMT (North American Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy) for a specialized certification in advanced clinical skills, among other plans.

What do you wish everyone knew about physical therapy?

PT is physical. It requires the physical effort and commitment of the patient. I wish I had a magic wand I could wave over patients and cure them, but alas, we physical therapists are only catalysts for bodily change and the patient has to be committed to making that change to reap the full benefits!

What’s your go-to breakfast?

Oh man! Breakfast is my favorite meal!! Eggs, all ways… and always.

What is the most important personality trait that a PT must have?

Adaptability.

What do you do to de-stress/unwind?

Dance or yoga. I like to move.

Finish this sentence: On Saturday mornings, you can usually find me…

Excited to wake up and make breakfast and eat it! (Did I mention I love breakfast?)

What is your favorite piece of wellness advice?

I have 2 quotes that come to mind:

“Those who think they have no time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” – Edward Stanley

“Everything in moderation… including moderation.” – Oscar Wilde

Click here to learn more about Sabrina and the other physical therapists at Therapydia Portland.

5 Resistance Band Exercises to Add to Your Next Workout

resistance band exercises portland

Mini resistance bands are portable, they’re inexpensive, and though they might look to you like a larger, thicker, rubber band, the truth is they’re loaded with value! Physical therapists often use resistance bands to treat injuries in combination with other methods because of their versatility in targeting a variety of major muscle groups. But even if you’re not recovering from an injury, resistance band exercises are capable of strengthening areas that normal free weights can’t reach, making them a great addition to your workout routine. The best part is, you can continue to up the ante by increasing the resistance as you progress, further challenging your muscles without having to spend money on more equipment. Try these five resistance band exercises during your next workout and you’ll see what we mean:

Exercise 1: Isometric External Rotation

resistance band exercise

Isometric external rotation targets the shoulder and neck areas, specifically the rotator cuff and scapular stabilizers. This exercise is great for anyone with shoulder or neck weakness and/or postural deficits.

1. Get into standing position with good posture (your shoulders down and back, core engaged, knees soft).
2. Place the band around your wrists.
3. Keep your elbows bent at a 90 degree angle and close to your sides as you pull the band apart squeezing your shoulder blades together.
4. Pull band apart at an equal distance on each side until you feel resistance.
5. Hold for 5-10 seconds. Repeat for 10 times for 1-3 sets.

Exercise 2: Squat

resistance band exercise

You’re probably familiar with the squat but using a resistance band is a good way to make sure your glutes are fully engaged while performing the exercise. Squats activate the quads and external rotators to improve hip-knee-ankle alignment which is great for those with knee-tracking issues, patellofemoral pain (knee pain), or weak glutes.

1. Stand tall with stacked posture, feet shoulder width apart, and the resistance band about an inch above your knees.
2. Place your hands on your hips.
3. Begin to move into a seated position until you reach a nice, squatted stance. Most of your weight should be through the heels, rather than the toes.
4. Keep the resistance band on tension throughout the squat and return to an upright stance.
5. Repeat 10 times for 2-3 sets.

Exercise 3: Clamshell

clamshell exercise resistance band

Clamshells target your gluteus medius and external rotators and can be a great strengthening and endurance exercise when held for 5-10 seconds. Clamshells are excellent for runners, people with glute weakness, knee pain, or patellar (kneecap) tracking issues.

1. Lie on your side with your knees bent and your lower extremities stacked.
2. Put the band around your legs and place just above your knees, about 1-2 inches.
3. Keep your feet and ankles together and lift the top knee as high as you can without your pelvis rolling backward.
4. Hold for 5-10 seconds.
5. Repeat 10 times for 1-2 sets, alternating sides.

Exercise 4: Quadruped Hand Taps

quadruped hand taps resistance band exercise

Whether you’re an athlete or not, quadruped hand taps are great for anyone with shoulder and scapular weakness. This exercise really targets your rotator cuff and cervical stabilizing muscles (upper back and shoulder).

1. Start out on your hands and knees as if you were going to crawl on the floor. Place the resistance band around your wrists.
2. Find your neutral spine position by sinking your spine down toward the floor and then arching up to the ceiling until you reach the midway point.
3. Hold this position while pushing into your hands so your shoulder blades pull apart from each other. Pay close attention to not round your upper back.
4. Keep your elbows straight but not locked.
5. Keep one hand stationary as you move the opposite hand inward and then outward.
6. Repeat 10 times for 1-2 sets.

Exercise 5: Single Leg Balance and Reach

single leg balance and reach resistance band exercise

Single leg balance and reach really works to improve your stability and (you guessed it) balance. It also works the glutes, quads, calves, and hamstrings. If you have weakness in any of these areas you can utilize this exercise to increase strength and get more out of your workouts.

1. In a standing position, place the resistance band around your ankles.
2. Lift one leg while balancing on the other and dip into a mini squat.
3. Reach your arms out to the sides and then return them to the center.
4. Reach your arms behind you and then return them to the center.
5. Dip in and out of the mini squat with each rep, keeping your knee aligned over the ankle.
6. Repeat 10 times for 1-2 sets.


resistance band exercises strength portland oregon

Eliminate cycling related pain with a bike fit

Spring is in the air and there’s no better time to hop on a bike and get outside. If you have never had a professional bike fit, you might know what you’re missing out on! Getting on the right size frame with the right saddle height are just scratch the surface of finding a comfortable riding position. Components such as cleats, pedals, saddle width, stem length, handlebar type and position and placement of the brake hoods can all play a part in how you feel on your ride. Don’t let these things sound overwhelming; when you see a Therapydia PT for bike fitting, you will be given all of the information and education you need to feel confident on your bike and take control of your ride.

If you’ve ever been to physical therapy in the past, then you know that PTs are biomechanical experts. We’re constantly looking at how the human body moves and responds to stimulus and the environment and look for ways to optimize your mobility. The same holds true on a bike: each bike fit will start with musculoskeletal movement screening both off and on your bike. We’ll look at your flexibility and mobility in the upper and lower body as well as your spine and discuss how these findings relate to your experience on the bike. From there we will talk about what you love about riding and what you want to improve on. Measurements will be taken to determine your baseline position on your bike and then we will make adjustments to work towards putting you in an optimal, efficient and pain-free position.

Your bike fit may be covered by your insurance plan if medical necessity is determined following a Physical Therapy evaluation. Please call our office in Lake Oswego at 503-894-5654 to find out more about PT bike fitting, or email jennifer@therapydialakeoswego.com

Crash Course: Physical Therapy after a Motor Vehicle Accident

SONY DSC

Statistically speaking, every person traveling in a motorized vehicle will be in an accident at one point in their lifetime. On average, there are more than 6 million car accidents on the roads annually (1). According to the 2015 census, there are approximately 2.4 million people in the Portland region (2). That is a lot of impending injury! Post-accident care for non-fatal crash injuries can range from a same day ER visit to a primary care physician visit a week later with medications, Xrays or MRIs frequently prescribed. This initial medical care to rule out red flags is important especially considering advanced age, high speed collision, paresthesias or numbness/tingling, and if mobility is extensively limited. Though, this is often the end point of treatment for most individuals and they are left to guide their own care. Typically, massage and chiropractic treatment is the duo of care accessed, yet more and more people are realizing that there is something missing in their recovery and that is the restoration and rehabilitation of functional strength that was lost after the accident. Without functional strength retraining under the guidance and expertise of a physical therapist, healing can be severely delayed and result in, among other issues, loss of job attendance and revenue. In 2010, motor vehicle crashes in the United States equated to almost $1 trillion in productivity loss (3). Yet, a lot of physicians do not prescribe physical therapy, especially for the “minor injuries” with little to no pain at all.

depositphotos_36839587_originalSay what?

You might be surprised to have just read that I suggested physical therapy for “no pain at all” after a motor vehicle accident. Pain is a peculiar thing. Initial pain from an injury can be present or not depending on inflammatory processes ignited, pain processing per individual, and sometimes severity of injury. I am eluding to the idea that the absence of pain does not equate to non-injury. There is research that demonstrates decline in muscle activity post MVA resulting in diminished muscle bulk over time and this almost always leads to significant dysfunction and pain down the road with additional loss of productivity at work, participation in recreational activities, and altered daily lifestyle. In the neck, for example, post MVA MRI assessments of injury to the cervical spine in relatively “injury-free” individuals revealed swelling in the major deep cervical flexor muscle (4). Swelling within a muscle renders it dysfunctional and muscles so close to the spine have basically ZERO leverage to be able to just “come back on their own” with daily movement and typical exercise approach. The longus colli muscle is responsible for supporting the neck the way the abdominal core supports the trunk. It provides crucial stability for the cervical spine to disallow shearing forces with the day to day insults, let alone more aggressive endeavors in recreation like running, soccer, crossfit, and yoga, to name a few.

 

086-cartoon-businessman-shoulder-debt-boxBaby Bye, Bye, Bye.

Without proper rehabilitation of these deep neck flexors and core musculature, they will remain inhibited and atrophy as a result. Say goodbye to these deep, small, essential muscles and prepare to welcome the beast that is pain. Or…. seek the care that you need. An orthopedic physical therapist is trained to screen for red flags that would prevent one from being able to participate in a rehab program at that current time and help get you the right care. They will examine the pathoanatomical causes of symptoms and are uniquely trained to tease out the impairments and dysfunctions from the crypt! The sooner one seeks treatment, the less underlying dysfunctions that set in and cultivate. This equates to less down time from life, less $USD spent on playing catch up in care, and happier, pain-free people in the long run. If you have or know someone who has had a motor vehicle accident, we at Therapydia would be happy to help with an assessment and treatment as needed. Give us a call or email us to get started.

 

 

 

 

  1. http://www.lawcore.com/car-accident/statistics.html
  2. http://www.oregonmetro.gov/news/portland-region-nears-24-million-residents-growing-41000-last-year
  1. http://www.rmiia.org/auto/traffic_safety/Cost_of_crashes.asp
  2. Deepak Takhtani, Eduardo Scortegagna, Oguz Cataltepe and Sathish Dundamadappa. MRI Findings of Injury to the Longus Colli Muscle in Patients With Neck Trauma. Neuroradiology/Head and Neck Imaging, August 2016, Volume 207, Number 2.

Toilet Ergonomics: Posture Matters In Places Other Than The Office

Squatty Potty

 

Written by Dr. Emily Melzer, DPT

For centuries, humans have squatted to defecate, but due to 19th century advancements of the sewer system and sanitation, the porcelain throne we sit on today was born. However, in that moment of history, society was unaware of the dysfunction they were setting us all up for.

Real Potty Talk

The dysfunctions I am alluding to are hemorrhoids, constipation and diverticulitis. Not to mention increasing our risk of syncope (fainting), deep vein thrombosis and stroke. You may wonder why simply sitting to defecate would put you at risk for these complications. As you hear quite regularly in regards to the office, there is a certain posture to help you work most efficiently, that is commonly referred to as ergonomics. Ergonomics are important in places other than the office, for instance in your bathroom. Research has sought out and proved the most efficient, effective and proper way to defecate.

And that position is, drum roll…SQUATTING.

The reason squatting is effective when defecating is due to the function of the puborectalis muscle. The puborectalis is responsible for keeping your rectum closed off, increasing the angle between the colon and rectum. Research demonstrates that the angle decreases when obtaining a full squat to defecate, easing the release of contents. This body mechanism reduces the need to strain, in turn eliminating the risk of hemorrhoids, syncope and stroke. It also better allows the release of all content, decreasing the risk of constipation.

Improve Your Toilet Ergonomics

Eliminating the toilet all together seems like a drastic, and let’s face it, unrealistic goal for the United States, but simply adding a small stool underneath our toilet, is a feasible change you can make today. One research study looked at defection while seated, seated with knees raised 60 degrees and a full active squat to 60 degrees. While the full active squat demonstrated the least angle and the quickest time for release of content, the passive squat achieved by placing a stool under the feet was a close second.

I personally have a Squatty Potty in my home, and I can provide consumer feedback of the improvement in efficiency, effectiveness and overall improved bowel health with the addition of this product into my life. I will never be without a squatty potty under the porcelain throne in my home. I may even consider purchasing the travel version (that’s right, there is an inflatable squatty potty!).

Give us a call today and we would love to help you with your mobility and strength to help in this everyday daily activity!

1. Dov S. Comparison of Straining During Defecation in Three Positions – Results and Implications for Human Health. Digestive Diseases and Sciences. 2003; 48: 1201-1205.
2. Sakakibara R, Tsunoyama K, Hosoi H, et al. Influence of Body Position on Defecation in Humans. LUTS, 2010; 2: 16-21.

WELCOME!

Welcome

We are so thankful for the support that we have received in the past 6 months! Health care providers, community members and their family and friends have come to receive our quality care.  The testimonials, verbal support and feedback have been amazing and we are so thankful for the kind words.  Word of mouth has really spread what we are doing in our clinic and for our community.  With the increased awareness of our services our clinic is definitely growing!  In the past 2 months we have added Abbie and Nikki joining our office as support staff and we couldn’t continue to provide quality service without them supporting our clinical growth.   Their hard work and contributions drive our quality of care and we are so lucky to have them on our team.  In addition to adding support staff we are very excited to bring on another health care provider Sabrina Seraj-Villaneuva starting in June.  Sabrina and Jason have known each other for the past 12 years starting back to grad school days back at USC.  They are looking forward to working together and continuing to provide quality care for all of the Therapydia patients.  Sabrina has lived in the Portland area for the past 2 years splitting her time working at OHSU and Therapeutic Associates in Clackamas.  For more information about our staff please check out our team page where you can click on everyone’s bios.  Once again thank you for all the support and we look forward to continuing the quality care we provide at Therapydia Portland.

 

Stay Tuned…

Happy New YearsStay Tuned…Over the last few weeks of 2014 we will be giving gifts of knowledge in regards to health, wellness and pain free functional mobility, we hope that these gifts not only provide components of education but also inspire you to make positive changes towards a better 2015 version of you.  Happy Holidays Everyone!

Being Thankful

Giving Thanks

I work very hard, and I play very hard. I’m grateful for life.

And I live it – I believe life loves the liver of it.

I live it.

Maya Angelou

 

             As the holiday season approaches there are many things to be thankful for.  I am thankful for my wife, my daughter, my family and my friends.  I am thankful for my health and my ability to help people everyday.  Regardless if you celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, this time of year presents opportunities to spend time with friends, family, and loved ones.  As a physical therapist and human mechanic my patients constantly remind me to be grateful everyday… my encounters with each person usually consists of painful histories, complex injuries, and devastating changes in lifestyles.  I am blessed to have the ability to actively listen to people’s stories, to objectively change someone’s mobility, to assess and prescribe proper movements in order to return people to pain free function.  I have a job where I am welcomed into people’s lives … and I am given the chance to positively affect their lifestyles.

            I’ve had the opportunity to work with 4-week-old twin babies who were diagnosed with functional torticollis, and a 102-year-old patient who told me his only wish was to be able to attend his great grandchild’s wedding. I have worked with thousands of high school athletes who dream of being the next big superstar, and I have worked with many professional athletes whose drive is to get back to work so that they can keep inspiring the youth.  I have worked with many sick patients with terminal illnesses but yet they still find inspiration within themselves to keep trying, to keep moving.  I have helped many military and first responders to eliminate aches and pains from their daily routines or to recover from traumatic surgeries. I have worked with numerous weekend warriors who struggle with the battle to find a balance between work, family and recreation.  I am thankful for all of my patients, past, present and future.  They are part of who I am and who I want to be.  I am thankful that I have a job I love and that I have a support system that believes in me.  Happy Thanksgiving from Therapydia Portland and I hope you all have a safe and healthy end to 2014.

Three things any human resources department can do to drastically improve employee health, happiness, and productivity

Curbing the astronomical costs of workers compensation costs has proven to be an incredibly challenging task. It is estimated that works compensation costs have reached nearly $250 Billion, that’s Billion, with a B! That means that workplace illness and injury costs has exceeded that of cancer, diabetes, and strokes. While these are staggering numbers there are multiple factors that go into health, illness, and the associated costs. One factor that is often discussed is work place ergonomics. Ergonomics is actually the study of people’s efficiency in their work place, but is often talked about regarding sitting positions, desk height, etc. Following along those same lines, I think there are three effective ways that work place health can be improved and efficiency increased.

Annual individualized movement assessments

We are all familiar with going to the doctor’s office for a physical. Typically this involves checking body weight, blood pressure, heart rate, listening to you breath, and a conversation about lifestyle choices that may be impacting your health. All of these are helpful metrics for placing you into a category of “health.” But shouldn’t we also regularly check our ability to move and the quality in which we engage in our environment? Many of the injuries I see in the clinic are related to issues with movement, either too much or not enough, and the loads that the body is experiencing. We shouldn’t just focus on the ability for you to move well but the capacity to continue to move well throughout the day, week, month as various levels of stress and fatigue set in. To best identify how well your body is prepared to meet the demands of life and your job it is helpful to have a movement assessment performed.

Individualized exercise, daily stretching/movement in the work place

We’ve all seen the charts that highlight stretching routines for office workers or low back stretching for manual labor workers. While the charts often have good content to them, they are produced in the thousands and have no specificity to them. The individual worker needs an individualized work station program. This would be based up their assessment, their physical capacity, and the individual demands of the work environment. Not all office jobs are the same nor are all physical labor jobs the same. Plus people move differently for a variety of reasons so I wouldn’t want to generalize an exercise routine for a group of people that do similar tasks.

Allocate time for exercise

Whoa, wait, pay people to exercise? Yup! I’m not suggesting 2 hours a day for a paid exercise break, but providing individuals with the opportunity to work on their individualized programs is a perfect way to ensure they have the time to do it. For most people they will want to, and likely need to, spend more time out of work addressing their individual health and wellness goals, but an opportunity each day to break, move, and improve their general wellness is an excellent way keep a workforce happy, healthy, and productive.

I know there are quite a few organizations that provide great opportunities for the employees in an effort to promote a strong health and wellness work culture. What I’ve outlined are just a few different variables that can continue to promote a health work force.  It is also important to remember that an individual plan is a great opportunity to empower people to be proactive in their approach to health and wellness. Where most people can feel overwhelmed and often lost, simple steps can be implemented to help give everyone the tools they need to succeed.