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.

Run Analysis & Physical Therapy Interventions

Depositphotos_41240423_originalWe as physical therapists are a natural fit for providing movement analysis for patients with biomechanical faults.  With our educational background and clinical experience we are able to provide a complete assessment for the running athlete while also being effective in providing interventions to address the athlete’s inefficiencies. This past Tuesday (my birthday and election day for those who are paying attention) I had an opportunity to speak with two exceptional movement scientists on the topic of run analysis and how physical therapy played a role in performing these assessments.  Now I have spoken to many physicians, running coaches, and thousands of patients regarding motion analysis and how physical therapists may use certain tools to properly create treatment plans to make people pain free and more efficient athletes but what was interesting about this talk on Tuesday is that we broadcast it “live” on the internet.  This was somewhat intimidating but also exciting to know that we could answer questions from anyone around the world throughout this 60-minute slot.

Throughout the talk I not only shared my ideas and concepts of what movement analysis would comprise for a runner but I also learned a great deal from Nicole and Chris.  Some of the gems from our Google + hangout were without a proper history and subjective exam we cannot provide an accurate or efficient assessment for interventions with our patients. What does that mean? Without a defined start point of how that athlete or patient presents to us how are we as health care providers able to determine positive change? Or any change for that matter. Chris mentioned collecting his athlete’s behaviors both past and present and making changes to “habits”.  I love this and will from now on steal this in my practice to educate patients on changing their lifestyle habits rather than performing executed medical prescriptions in stretching or strengthening. (Thanks Chris) Nicole stated that as physical therapists our educational background includes studying the “whole body across many systems” & it is our (magical) ability to juggle all of these systems in our head while we have a patient sitting in front of us or moving in front of us.  Then with a quick wave of our wand we make medical decisions on how to intervene with the patient or athletes apparent functional limitations.

Something that physical therapists utilize that you won’t get in a running store or from your local personal trainer is evidence-based medicine.  What is evidence based medicine (EBM)? EBM is the process of systematically reviewing, appraising and using clinical research findings to aid the delivery of optimum clinical care to patients.  These research studies are often performed over many years and with thousands of patients…. The choices that Physical therapists make based on EBM gives you the best care!

“Doesn’t matter what tools you have, it’s the clinician who makes the decisions with those tools & applies a differential diagnosis that is the most useful – Nicole”

One of the biggest messages from this talk was that no matter what fancy machines are used, or how amazing the high-speed video cameras are the patient or athlete will not get the most complete analysis and assessment without a good clinician. So what makes a good clinician you may be asking? Someone who has taken multiple courses on biomechanics, understands the body as a complete system, and someone who has worked with thousands of higher level patients who perform at a faster speed than your typical activity of daily living.

Proper Testing

Another topic of discussion was patient testing coupled with the run analysis.  All members of the discussion mentioned that physical therapists are able to properly test strength, range of motion, functional mobility and muscular symmetry more than many other health care providers and this allows for proper interventions to address biomechanical weaknesses.  Plain and simple: If you have pain with movement the best person to see is a qualified physical therapist!  It is our job as movement scientists to help people move pain free and more efficiently.

“Shoes can’t fix your running- Chris”

As Dr. Powers states “you have to be fit to run, you should not run to get fit”.  Take home message from this whole talk is find a good therapist, get a through examination, and prepare yourself for success by building a foundation of knowledge, flexibility, strength and motor control.  Internal limitations in joint mobility and strength cannot be fixed with fancy shoes or compression braces. “Running is not easy” as Chris enlightens us.

Now if you have the time to watch the video I have attached it to this blog and if you have further questions regarding the content or possibly are interested in having a run analysis performed you can contact me at the office via phone or via email at Jason@therapydiaportland.com.

#TherapydiaRunTalk

 

New Beginnings At Therapydia Portland

We are excited to welcome Jason Villareal, DPT, ATC to the Therapydia Portland clinic.  Jason comes to Therapydia after successfully running two outpatient orthopedic physical therapy clinics, one in Newport Beach, CA and the other in Coos Bay, OR. Jason is eager and excited to contribute his clinical reasoning skill set and exceptional customer service to the Portland community.

Clinically Jason has been involved in the sports medicine and physical therapy field for the past 14 years. He has had the opportunity to work at the high school, collegiate, and professional level with athletes, while also helping patients in the pediatric, geriatric, inpatient, outpatient, transitional care and home health settings. This vast amount of experience has given Jason a unique skill set to treat all levels of patients. Jason is excited to contribute his knowledge and experience to this community and he takes pride in making positive outcomes for each and every patient that he encounters. Jason has spoken at large physical therapy conferences regarding clinical efficiency and was most recently invited to speak at Grand Rounds for the physicians at Bay Area Hospital regarding running analysis and injury prevention. Jason has participated in many specialty continuing education courses and is actively looking for ways to advance his knowledge for movement sciences incorporating technology into the physical therapy field.

Outside of the clinic Jason stays active with his beautiful wife Abbie and little girl Edie.

Physical Therapy, Health and Wellness between Kerns & Laurelhurst

TRX: A New Technique

In 2005, former Navy SEAL commander Randy Hetrick introduced a new training method called TRX to the fitness world. After serving his country for 14 years, Hetrick discovered that a simple set of sturdy straps – upgraded with cushy handles and new hardware that optimizes home training – could greatly increase mobility, flexibility and core strength in its users.

That was then, but this is now: TRX is one of the most popular, up-and-coming, efficient ways to re-program your body’s core muscles and movements without hitting the gym. In fact, many of these isometric exercises accomplish what gym workouts sometimes never address.

Jason Villareal, Therapydia Portland’s clinic director, employs TRX in his physical therapy techniques. So for those of you who are curious about the methods and equipment, this short video from TRX helps illustrate how it works and its possible impacts.

Why Physical Therapy?

This video from the American Physical Therapy Association helps illustrate just how physical therapy works and why it can benefit a range of physiological issues — from joint pain and sore muscles to sports injuries and even “preventive” measure to avoid surgery. With physical therapy, you don’t have to end up on the operating table.

One of the key differences between physical therapy and, say, visiting the chiropractor, is that physical therapy tends to be less intense. We tend to use less invasive methods to increase your range of motion and flexibility. We’re also a cheerleader for progress that’s with you every step of the way.