Get To Know Your PT: Annika Piros, DPT

Annika Piros DPT

Therapydia Tanasbourne physical therapist Annika Piros, DPT takes some time to talk about what surprised her most about being a physical therapist, her Saturday morning routine and her plans for future education.

Surround yourself with a community that models healthy behaviors and it will be difficult to make an unhealthy choice.

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

I always pictured myself entering the medical field because of my fascination of the human body. Through my experience working as a CrossFit coach, I developed a passion for coaching movement and biomechanics. What eventually drew me to physical therapy was when my sister suffered a “terrible triad” knee injury in high school. I attended her PT appointments with her and was impressed by the care that my sister received from her physical therapist. It solidified my desire to enter the profession!

What’s your favorite song to get you motivated?

“Remember the Name” by Fort Minor for workouts and the brain.fm app when I’m trying to focus.

What is the biggest challenge involved in being a PT?

Staying up to date on the latest physical therapy literature & evidence. I believe this is crucial in order to provide patients the best possible care.

How do you like to stay active?

CrossFit, HIIT, cycle classes, olympic & weight lifting.

What surprised you the most about the physical therapist profession?

How much we know and yet don’t seem to know… there is always an opportunity to learn more. PTs are lifelong learners!

Are you currently pursuing any further education/certifications?

I am currently looking at NAIOMT courses and the USAW Level 1 certification.

What’s your go-to breakfast?

Lately it’s been “veggie cakes” that are filled with eggs, zucchini, carrots, and other delicious veggies.

What do you wish everyone knew about physical therapy?

I wish everyone knew about direct access to physical therapy! Meaning, you don’t need a doctor’s referral to see a physical therapist in the diagnosis & treatment of a musculoskeletal condition. In many cases, seeing a physical therapist first saves patients time and money as it is a safe & effective treatment for pain.

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

Being an empathic listener. Building a trusting patient-provider relationship is essential for effective treatment.

What do you do to de-stress/unwind?

Self-care which includes a good sweat-session, going for walks near my home in wine-country, and spending time with my husband.

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

Catching a CrossFit class & enjoying a cup of coffee!

What is your favorite piece of wellness advice to offer?

Surround yourself with a community that models healthy behaviors and it will be difficult to make an unhealthy choice. The “5 chimps theory” put this into perspective for me which basically states that you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.

Learn more about Annika and our other Therapydia Tanasbourne physical therapists.

Get To Know Your PT: Elaina Gayles, PT, DPT

Get To Know Your PT Elaina Gayles, PT, DPT

Therapydia Lake Oswego physical therapist Elaina Gayles, PT, DPT, takes some time to talk about her Saturday morning routine, her favorite pump up song and when she realized she wanted to become a physical therapist.

To stay active doing whatever activity you enjoy most. And to do it often!

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

I knew I wanted to help people and work in healthcare since I was in high school when I was dealing with my own injuries while also taking my first anatomy classes. A mentor recommended I look into the field of physical therapy early in my college career and I haven’t looked back since. I learned that we get to spend quality time with our patients, help people achieve long term goals, and utilize movement to contribute to improving the health of our communities.

What’s your favorite song to get you motivated?

You Make My Dreams – Hall and Oates

What is the biggest challenge involved in being a PT?

One of the biggest challenges is tailoring treatment to the personalities of each patient. For example, for one session I may need to be more of a coach and the next session I may need to be more of a teacher.

How do you like to stay active?

First and foremost I enjoy being outside, whether it be hiking, riding my bike, or tossing a frisbee on the beach. I believe strength training is vital as well and I enjoy a challenging group fitness class, such as cycling, for the endorphin rush too!

What surprised you the most about the physical therapist profession?

Before getting my doctorate in physical therapy, I had no idea how much knowledge PTs had about the entire body. A DPT is able to diagnose and treat most musculoskeletal issues but can also refer our to other medical providers based on the medical screening tools we have. This allows us to see patients without a physician referral.

Are you currently pursuing any further education/certifications?

I am seeking continuing education in concussion and vestibular rehabilitation. I find our nervous system fascinating and I think this population does not always get the medical attention they deserve.

What’s your go-to breakfast?

Avocado toast with an over-easy egg or two.

What do you wish everyone knew about physical therapy? 

I wish more people understood that PT is not just manual therapy and exercise. I believe our most important role is our ability to educate people about what is going on in their bodies and this cannot be replicated with internet research or generalized exercise.

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

A PT must be able to connect with people and demonstrate empathy in a variety of situations.

What do you do to de-stress/unwind?

Spending time outside, exercise, painting, and drawing.

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

Sleeping in!

What is the best piece of wellness advice you’ve ever received?

To stay active doing whatever activity you enjoy most. And to do it often!

 

Learn more about Elaina and our other Therapydia Lake Oswego physical therapists.

Astym: Manual Therapy Technique

ASTYM Manual Therapy Technique

Therapydia is pleased to announce that Tannasbourne Physical Therapist, Kimberly P. Mineo, PT, DPT, OCS has completed the Astym certification. Astym is an evidence-based rehab program specifically designed to treat degenerative tendinitis and scar tissue that can interfere with recovery after surgery or injury.

Manual therapy is a hands on technique often used by physical therapists to treat joints and soft tissues of the body. Manual therapy allows for an increased range of motion of the joints, mobilization of both the soft tissue and joints, and reduces swelling and inflammation among other benefits. 

There are multiple different types of manual therapy techniques that a physical therapist will utilize during treatment of their patients. One of these techniques is Augmented Soft Tissue Mobilization or Astym.

What Is Astym?

The Astym System uses specialized tools to stimulate the body to regenerate and promote healing which in turn decreases symptoms, including pain, and enhances mobility to keep patients active throughout their recovery. 

Astym therapy has proven itself effective in the treatment of lateral epicondylosis (tennis elbow), medial epicondylosis (golfer’s elbow), carpal tunnel syndrome, plantar fasciitis, chronic ankle sprains, shin splints and post-op joint replacements, to name a few.

How Does Astym Work?
Your physical therapist will use the Astym tools to glide over your muscles and tendons to stimulate a healing response and mobilize tissue below the skin. The Astym treatment is unique in that the entire extremity or gross movement area is treated versus solely the injured or painful area. After treatment, you will be given specific stretches and possibly other exercises to promote healthy movement.

A word from Kimberly Mineo, DPT:

“Astym has become an integral part of my practice. The time is takes to treat certain injuries, especially ones that are chronic in nature, has improved significantly. An aspect of Astym which I appreciate as a physical therapist, is that activity is encouraged after treatment. Sometimes movement can be less painful immediately afterwards.”

If you have any questions about the Astym physical therapy system or would like to know if Astym may be a good treatment option for you, please contact Therapydia Tanasbourne at 503-606-8849 or email Kimberly@TherapydiaTanasbourne.com

Physician referral may or may not be required depending on your insurance.

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 in physical therapy 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.