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Dogs and Back Pain?

If you have a dog and back pain, or want to help prevent back pain, read the following tips to help reduce it!

Dogs can help you to be more active and spend more time in an upright standing position walking around, which is great for your back! In modern society we tend to spend far too much time sitting, which is not good for your back.

However, having a dog also involves many repetitions each day of bending down and interacting with things at ground level. When you reach down to pet your dog, pick up toys, or clean up a mess your furry friend has made, this repetitive motion can place stress and irritation on your back and contribute to back pain, unless you are mindful to complete the motion with proper biomechanics. Each time you bend down, you are either making your muscles stronger and reinforcing a healthy habit for your body, or slowly contributing to degenerative injuries that can often be prevented.

What do I mean by that? Make sure you slowly lower yourself down into a squat motion and actively stabilizing with your gluteal muscles (buttocks). It is also very important to engage your core by pulling in your belly button toward your spine- as if you are putting on a tight pair of pants.

If your habit is to bend at the waist or passively rest on your bent knees, over time this will place strain on your back or knees. The cumulative result of this repetitive motion will be pain in your back or knee(s), unless the motion is performed correctly.

The body’s natural tendency is to conserve energy. This involves resting on connective tissue rather than using muscles to provide stability. Another example of this would be slouched sitting versus sitting up straight in a chair. The problem with this strategy is that it is not healthy and causes pain over time. In the low back, excessive forward bending causes strain on muscles and can contribute to a bulging disc, if not counteracted by the correct exercises, stretches, and manual therapy that help to restore the balance of forces acting on your back day after day. At the knees, the posterior horn of the meniscus gets compressed by passively resting on bent knees, which in time leads to discomfort. Your muscles need to be active in order to properly distribute the pressure of your body weight. Remember that it is always easier to prevent pain than it is to heal pain after it has become a problem. When bending to interact with things at ground level, remember to squat with proper form!

Proper form to squat with optimal biomechanics (help save your back and knees over time):

  • Put your feet shoulder width apart, with your toes pointing straight forward (or slightly outward). You should feel your buttocks muscles working as you slowly bend your knees and lower yourself- 4 seconds on the way up and 4 seconds on the way down.
  • Press through your heels not your toes. Do not let your knees wobble. Your knees should not bend inward toward your center, instead your knees should bend toward the outside borders of your feet.
  • Engage your core by pulling in your belly button toward your spine- as if you are putting on a tight pair of pants.

Avoid always bending asymmetrically to one side, or putting uneven pressure through your feet. Alternating the hand that you use to pick up the toy from the ground can help with this. Make sure you are slowly lowering yourself down into a squat motion and actively stabilizing with your gluteal muscles (buttocks). It is also very important to engage your core by pulling in your belly button toward your spine- as if you are putting on a tight pair of pants.

These are just a few bite-sized tips to get you started on the right path to prevent or reduce your back pain. If you or a loved one are interested in finding a natural, long-term solution to back pain, call Better Way Physical Therapy at 512-763-9330. Better Way Physical Therapy is located in Georgetown, TX and specializes in manual therapy to heal back pain, neck pain, and shoulder pain in adults over the age of 40.

Your Doctor of Physical Therapy can evaluate your body and determine which specific exercises will be most beneficial for your individual case. 1-on-1 instruction in these exercises ensures proper performance and muscle activation. Your Doctor of Physical Therapy can create a high quality individualized exercise program for YOU as part of your plan of care, in addition to highly skilled manual therapy to accelerate your healing process. The exercises prescribed to you will reinforce and compliment the improvement caused by manual therapy, and stabilize your body structures in their optimal position so that you do not become dependent on returning to the clinic for additional manual therapy adjustments. Better Way Physical Therapy is able to empower you with a long term solution to your back pain so that you are able to move better, live better, and feel better! Our mission is to improve your quality of life by helping you to live pain free so you are able to enjoy the activities you love.

 

To schedule an appointment,

Call 512-763-9330 Now!

Need more information? Call for a FREE phone consultation.

Prefer to meet in person? Call to schedule a FREE 20 minute Discovery Visit.

Have a question for the Doctor of Physical Therapy? Call 512-763-9330 or email petermcgrath.dpt@betterwaypt.com

 

The Low Back Pain Treatment Services provided by Better Way Physical Therapy are described in much greater detail in the Free Back Pain Report below:

Free Back Pain Report- click HERE

Read Better Way Physical Therapy’s Posts about Back Pain, Neck Pain, and Shoulder Pain- click HERE

Exercise is Medicine- A Commentary on “The Science of Exercise: Younger. Smarter. Stronger.”

As a Doctor of Physical Therapy, I provide expert manual therapy to heal my patients. I also teach my patients individualized exercise programs to accelerate their healing, prevent their pain from returning, and help them meet their goals for sport activities and fitness.

When you perform the best exercises to heal your injury or meet your specific needs, with perfect sequencing and proper balance of muscular activation, amazing transformations can occur in your body! The individual exercise programs I prescribe have helped many patients exceed their expectations and feel better than ever!

The keys to prescribing the most efficient and effective therapeutic exercise programs are to correct muscular imbalance, instability, asymmetry, and dysfunctional motor patterns. Proper stretches must also be completed to reduce muscular tension and irritation of joints, while at the same time improving blood flow and flexibility.

Exercise has the potential to prevent disease and injury from occurring. It is widely known that low-intensity, long-duration aerobic cardiovascular exercise can reduce the risk of heart disease, which is the number one killer in the United States. However not everyone knows that pain and injuries will heal more quickly and properly if the injured person performs the correct exercises and movements in the proper dosage. In order to heal, a tendon injury requires different exercise than a ligament injury. Nerves, bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bulging discs all require specific exercises to heal properly. This is because the body continuously adapts to the challenges it faces, and the appropriate level of challenge causes growth and healing. The right exercises for your injured tissues, as prescribed by your Doctor of Physical Therapy, provide the specific input that your body needs to heal from your individual injury.

Call 512-763-9330 Now for a FREE phone consultation to learn more about how Better Way Physical Therapy can help you live pain free, stay healthy and active, avoid pain medication, and prevent surgery.

Recently I came across an article that summarizes some of the many benefits of exercise. In 2017 Time Magazine published a special edition titled “The Science of Exercise: Younger. Smarter. Stronger.” Some of the notable highlights, which I agree with in my professional opinion, are included below.

“Exercise is a miracle drug. I’m such a believer that it’s the key to health, wellness and longevity that I prescribe it to every patient I see… Take it often, and you’ll live a longer, healthier life. Your medical costs will be lower, you’ll sleep better at night, and your work-days will be more productive. Your mood will improve, and your risk of developing almost any chronic disease will drop… It’s the most powerful, readily available drug in the world. And it’s free.”

“A 2016 study of more than 1.4 million people showed regular exercise decreases the risk for 13 types of cancer, including breast, ovarian and colon cancer.”

“Type 2 diabetes- which costs hundreds of billions of dollars per year and affects nearly 30 million Americans- is both preventable and treatable with regular exercise.”

“The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 150 minutes of exercise per week- just about 30 minutes, five days a week.”

“People have more power than they think to shape their own health destinies. The secret is exercise.”

“The known benefits of exercise even apply to the brain. Numerous studies have shown lower rates of anxiety, depression and memory loss among regular exercisers, compared with people who don’t move around much. Exercise is currently the most effective known way to prevent the much-feared conditions of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and to slow their progression.”

“The most effective, potent way that we can improve quality of life and duration of life is exercise.”

Proper exercise is powerful medicine that heals pain and injuries. By combining expert instruction in individualized exercise programs with highly skilled manual therapy performed by your Doctor of Physical Therapy in a 1-on-1 environment, Better Way Physical Therapy can help you to live pain free, stay healthy and active, avoid pain medications, and prevent surgeries. Call 512-763-9330 Now to learn more!

 

To schedule an appointment, or…

To hear more about which treatments will be the best for your unique situation,

 

Call 512-763-9330 Now!

 

Need more information? Call for a FREE phone consultation.

Prefer to meet in person? Call to schedule a FREE 20 minute Discovery Visit.

Have a question for the Doctor of Physical Therapy?

Call 512-763-9330 or email petermcgrath.dpt@betterwaypt.com

Chronic Low Back Pain: Reduced by Lumbopelvic Core Stabilization Exercise

A research article published in 2017 indicated that lumbopelvic core stabilization exercise can reduce pain in individuals with chronic low back pain.

The authors of the study concluded that lumbopelvic stabilization training can effectively lead to a reduction in pain intensity for patients with chronic low back pain.

To see the research article published in Pain Practice in 2017, click HERE.

The key to lumbopelvic stabilization training is that it should be performed with perfect form. This means you are training your body to use only the correct muscles that will help protect your back the most. Some of these muscles are located deep in the core. At Better Way Physical Therapy, an individualized exercise program will be created for you, which will help to reduce your pain, improve your ability to move, and correct any muscular imbalance to help make your core and hips as strong and stable as your back needs them to be.

The deep muscles of the core, such as Transverse Abdominis and Lumbar Multifidi, play an important role in stabilizing and holding your back solid to prevent any shifting. As you move, your body’s center of gravity changes, and it is the responsibility of the deep core muscles to compensate for the change in your center of gravity. In order to produce movement, other muscles pull on your core, and if your deep core muscles do not properly stabilize, this causes extra strain on tissues which are not designed to repetitively absorb this strain. Over time this improper distribution of force causes injury and pain. Proper lumbopelvic stability redistributes the forces so your back is supported by the deep muscles that are responsible for protecting your back. This in turn removes the repetitive irritation and strain on the injured tissues causing your pain, which then allows them to heal. Additionally, proper core stability helps to prevent future pain and injury in your back.

Your Doctor of Physical Therapy can evaluate your body and determine which specific exercises will be most beneficial for your individual case. 1-on-1 instruction in these exercises ensures proper performance and muscle activation. Your Doctor of Physical Therapy can create a high quality individualized exercise program for YOU as part of your plan of care, which is also likely to include highly skilled manual therapy to accelerate your healing process. The exercises prescribed to you will reinforce and compliment the improvement caused by manual therapy, and stabilize your body structures in their optimal position so that you do not become dependent on returning to the clinic for additional manual therapy adjustments. Better Way Physical Therapy is able to empower you with a long term solution to your back pain so that you are able to move better, live better, and feel better! Our mission is to improve your quality of life by helping you to live pain free so you are able to enjoy the activities you love.

 

 

To schedule an appointment,

Call 512-763-9330 Now!

Need more information? Call for a FREE phone consultation.

Prefer to meet in person? Call to schedule a FREE 20 minute Discovery Visit.

Have a question for the Doctor of Physical Therapy? Call 512-763-9330 or email petermcgrath.dpt@betterwaypt.com

 

 

Want to learn more about Better Way Physical Therapy?

Frequently Asked Questions- click HERE

 

 

 

back hurt

The Low Back Pain Treatment Services provided by Better Way Physical Therapy are described in much greater detail in the Free Back Pain Report below:

Free Back Pain Report- click HERE

 

Read Better Way Physical Therapy’s Posts about Back Pain, Neck Pain, and Shoulder Pain- click HERE

 Pain in the back

DON’T  DELAY, YOUR PAIN IS LIKELY TO GET WORSE- NOT BETTER- IF LEFT UNTREATED

 

Call 512-763-9330 Now!

Is It Safe To Exercise With A Bad Back?

Let’s talk about exercise and back pain…

Last week I was asked a question, and it’s one that I get asked often:

“Is it ok to exercise when my back is hurting? I’ve just got into a good routine sticking to the gym and working out three times a week, and I really don’t want to stop…”

I get the frustration, and I also know that the thought of doing any movement at all when you’re going through some kind of pain might feel a little scary…

You don’t want to run the risk of aggravating it any more in case it turns into something more serious.

You don’t want to go ‘too hard’ in the gym in case you pull another muscle.

And you don’t want to wake up one day to find that you can no longer roll out of bed easily, walk down the road, or even drive because what you did made it worse.

But don’t let that worry you too much – that’s rarely ever the case!

An aching lower back doesn’t mean you’ve got to be housebound, with heat and ice packs until it magically disappears.

You CAN keep moving! In fact, not moving at all can make your back pain worse! Here’s why…

If you suffer from lower back pain that comes and goes, gentle walking with exercises designed to improve lower back strength, flexibility, and muscular balance will make a big difference. Walking is a completely natural movement that keeps your joints mobile and muscles working and plays an important role in keeping the muscles in your back strong and upright.

Stretching combined with walking will improve your back’s strength, flexibility, and posture, which in turn, can help stop back pain from creeping up on you when you least expect it. What’s more, it can also reduce how painful it feels and how much it gets in the way of day to day life.

So here’s the important question to answer now that you know it 100% is ok to exercise even if you’ve got a bad back…

What exercise can you actually be doing? Because of course, too much exercise, or exercise that’s strenuous could make it worse or keep it hanging around longer.

To find out which exercises and manual therapy treatments would be the most effective for your specific case…

Call 512-763-9330 to schedule a FREE 20 minute initial consultation with a Doctor of Physical Therapy at Better Way Physical Therapy.

Even if you have not reached your goals with traditional treatments and you start to believe that nothing can cure your back pain, you can ditch that false belief because many people with chronic back pain (with or without sciatica) just like you have gone to Better Way Physical Therapy and experienced improvements in quality of life which exceeded their expectations.

Let me tell you why –

Every patient visit at Better Way Physical Therapy is provided by a Doctor of Physical Therapy. (Many providers of Physical Therapy Treatment do not have a Doctorate degree.) More advanced evaluation techniques are able to perceive root causes of pain that had been previously overlooked. Peter McGrath, PT, DPT is trained based on the latest research to evaluate and heal back pain, neck pain, and shoulder pain in the shortest amount of visits by providing the most effective treatments specific to each patient’s individual needs.

Another way that Better Way Physical Therapy is different is that the vast majority of clinics do not provide patients with 1 hour sessions always with a Doctor of Physical Therapy. Furthermore, at Better Way Physical Therapy we respect you and your time is valuable to us, that is why your Doctor of Physical Therapy will give you their undivided attention (and NOT waste your time watching a health care provider type into a computer).

Manual Therapy treatment services provided by Better Way Physical Therapy relax the body and reduce any tension in stress-carrying muscles, such as your back. For people with lower back pain, stretching is important. Stretching the muscles in your legs actually help to increase range of movement in your hips, taking the stress off your lower back – which in addition increases blood flow, allows nutrients to flow in, and helps to reduce the stress placed on the muscles in your back. It’s also once of the best forms of exercise to maintain and improve a healthy posture. Stretching is great for your back, and add to that it feels great when you can walk around confident and tall. Better Way Physical Therapy will help you regain the strength in your back, so you can return to doing the activities you love the most.

If you want to learn more about back pain, here’s a FREE special report on back pain:

Click here- FREE Back Pain Report

 

To schedule an appointment,

 

Call 512-763-9330 Now!

 

Need more information? Call for a FREE phone consultation.

Prefer to meet in person? Call to schedule a FREE 20 minute Discovery Visit.

Have a question for the Doctor of Physical Therapy? Call 512-763-9330 or email petermcgrath.dpt@betterwaypt.com

 

 

Want to learn more about Better Way Physical Therapy?

Frequently Asked Questions- click HERE

 

 

Read Better Way Physical Therapy’s Posts about Back Pain, Neck Pain, and Shoulder Pain- click HERE

Headaches: Often a “Pain in the Neck”

Many people suffer from frequent headaches. Some experience headaches so often that they feel there is no option other than to accept it. Others turn to pain medications which only mask the pain- without addressing the root cause of the headache.

Some people are not aware that there are many common causes of headaches which Better Way Physical Therapy can provide a long-term solution to… often in just a few short sessions!

Headaches can be referred pain from various locations in the neck. Some examples include muscular tension in the upper trapezius, suboccipital muscles, sternocleidomastoid, or temporalis, as well as compression of the 2nd cervical nerve root, or misalignment of the 2nd cervical vertebrae.

Better Way Physical Therapy is able to evaluate and solve all of these common causes of headaches. Our mission is to help you live pain free, stay healthy and active, avoid pain medications, and prevent surgeries. We specialize in healing back, neck, and shoulder pain in adults over the age of 40.

 

If you want to get rid of your headaches once and for all, take the first step towards a pain free life.

 

 

Call 512-763-9330 Now to Schedule an Appointment with a Doctor of Physical Therapy located in Georgetown, TX!

 

 

Click HERE to see a 2016 research article published in the “Frontiers in Neurology” journal, which found that 7 out of 10 Randomized Controlled Trial studies indicate patients experience greater improvement in headache symptoms when treated with mobilization and manipulation, which are manual therapy techniques that Better Way Physical Therapy provides.

 

 

Chronic Low Back Pain: Exercising Deep Core Muscles is Effective for Pain Relief

Improving the strength and stability of core muscles is an important component of treatment for low back pain. This study compared the efficacy of 4 different types of core exercises to see which specific exercises are most beneficial to reduce chronic low back pain.

The authors of the study concluded that exercising the deep muscles of the core is the most effective for reduction of chronic low back pain. The deep muscles of the core, such as Transverse Abdominis and Lumbar Multifidi, play an important role in stabilizing and holding your back solid to prevent any shifting. As you move, your body’s center of gravity changes, and it is the responsibility of the deep core muscles to compensate for the change in your center of gravity. In order to produce movement, other muscles pull on your core, and if your deep core muscles do not properly stabilize, this causes extra strain on tissues which are not designed to repetitively absorb this strain. Over time this improper distribution of force causes injury and pain. Proper core stability redistributes the forces so your back is supported by the deep muscles that are responsible for protecting your back. This in turn removes the repetitive irritation and strain on the injured tissues causing your pain, which then allows them to heal. Additionally, proper core stability helps to prevent future pain and injury in your back.

Your Doctor of Physical Therapy can evaluate your body and determine which specific exercises will be most beneficial for your individual case. 1-on-1 instruction in these exercises ensures proper performance and muscle activation. Your Doctor of Physical Therapy can create a high quality individualized exercise program for YOU as part of your plan of care, which is also likely to include highly skilled manual therapy to accelerate your healing process. The exercises prescribed to you will reinforce and compliment the improvement caused by manual therapy, and stabilize your body structures in their optimal position so that you do not become dependent on returning to the clinic for additional manual therapy adjustments. Better Way Physical Therapy is able to empower you with a long term solution to your back pain so that you are able to move better, live better, and feel better! Our mission is to improve your quality of life by helping you to live pain free so you are able to enjoy the activities you love.

Click HERE to see the research article published in 2015 in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science.

*Update 1/14/2017: A research article published in 2017 also indicated that lumbopelvic core stabilization exercise can reduce pain in individuals with chronic low back pain. To see the research article published in 2017, click HERE.

If you have any questions about whether or not physical therapy is right for you, call 512-763-9330 for a FREE phone consultation with Doctor of Physical Therapy Peter McGrath, PT, DPT at Better Way Physical Therapy located in Georgetown, TX. Inquiries can also be sent by email to petermcgrath.dpt@betterwaypt.com.

 

 

Golf player at teeoff

Back Pain Limiting Your Golf Game? Click HERE

 

back hurt

To sign up for the free back pain report email and receive more information on Back Pain, Click HERE

Inside you will learn about common causes of back pain, body structures involved, and treatments which can help you find a solution to your back pain. If you are frustrated with back pain making it more difficult for you to enjoy the activities you love, now is the time to take the first step toward toward healing and learn more about back pain!

Call 512-763-9330 Now to Schedule an appointment with Better Way Physical Therapy to Start Healing Your Back Pain

 

DON’T  DELAY, YOUR BACK PAIN IS LIKELY TO GET WORSE- NOT BETTER- IF LEFT UNTREATED

 

Chronic Pain Research: Physical Therapy More Effective than Prescription Pain Medication

An article published in the Chicago Tribune in 2016 reports that studies show physical therapy is more effective at reducing chronic pain than prescription pain medication. Chronic pain is defined as pain or discomfort that lasts for 3 months or more.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) states that 25 million Americans live with chronic pain. It is noteworthy that physical therapy treatment is more cost-efficient and avoids the negative side effects that come with opiate medication. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) reports that in 2014 alone there were more than 28,000 deaths caused by opioid use.

Click HERE to see the 2016 article published in the Chicago Tribune.

Physical therapy is able cause structural changes in your body and realign any joints that are out of place. Physical therapy can also help relax tight muscles, strengthen weak muscles to promote balance, and improve your body’s ability to move freely without pain.

If you have any questions about whether or not physical therapy is right for you, call 512-763-9330 for a FREE phone consultation with Doctor of Physical Therapy Peter McGrath, PT, DPT at Better Way Physical Therapy located in Georgetown, TX. Inquiries can also be sent by email to petermcgrath.dpt@betterwaypt.com.

Prevention of Low Back Pain: Research Shows Exercise Combined with Education is Effective

A Systematic Review Research Study of 23 published studies revealed that exercise combined with education is effective to prevent future occurrences of Low Back Pain.

Click HERE to see the research article published in 2016.

Your Doctor of Physical Therapy can teach you the best exercises and information to empower you with a long term solution to heal or prevent back pain!

Call 512-763-9330 today to learn more about all the ways your Doctor of Physical Therapy can help you live pain free!

Peter McGrath, PT, DPT at Better Way Physical Therapy located in Georgetown, TX specializes in healing back pain, neck pain, and shoulder pain. If you have any questions, send him an email at petermcgrath.dpt@betterwaypt.com, or call 512-763-9330.

Click HERE to receive more FREE information about Back Pain!

Neck Pain Significantly Reduced by Combining Exercise with Manual Therapy to Neck and Upper Back

This study of 64 patients demonstrates that combining exercise with manual therapy to the upper back and neck relieves pain much more effectively than when the upper back is not also treated. 75% of patients who received neck and upper back manual therapy experienced significant pain reduction, compared to 19% of patients whose received manual therapy treatment to their neck alone.

Better Way Physical Therapy provides thorough evaluations which identify pathology in neighboring body structures and spinal segments to ensure that the treatment you receive takes into account all relevant factors. Providing thorough treatment which addresses all necessary structures is one of the many ways that Better Way Physical Therapy is able to help patients achieve greater results in fewer sessions and feel better faster!

Click HERE to see the research article summary published in 2013 in the Journal of Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy

Call 512-763-9330 for a FREE phone consultation with a Doctor of Physical Therapy located in Georgetown, TX who can heal your neck pain!

You can also email inquiries to petermcgrath.dpt@betterwaypt.com

Lumbar Stenosis and Degenerative Disc Disease: Research Shows Physical Therapy as Effective as Surgery

A study of 169 patients, all age 50 or older, with Lumbar Stenosis showed that outcomes 2 years after treatment were the same for physical therapy and surgery.

Click HERE to see the American Physical Therapy Association’s summary of the Lumbar Stenosis study published in 2015.

Click HERE to see the study on Lumbar Stenosis, published in 2015.

A study of 96 patients with Degenerative Disc Disease showed that outcomes 58-63 months after treatment were the same for physical therapy and surgery.

Click HERE to see the American Physical Therapy Association’s summary of the Degenerative Disc Disease study published in 2014.

Click HERE to see the study on Degenerative Disc Disease, published in 2014.

Physical therapy is less expensive and avoids many of the risks associated with surgery.

*Update 11/22/2016: Click HERE to see another study on Lumbar Stenosis, published in 2016. This study shows no difference in outcomes between surgical and non-surgical treatment methods. The authors point out that “it should be noted that the rate of side effects ranged from 10% to 24% in surgical cases, and no side effects were reported for any conservative treatment. No clear benefits were observed with surgery versus non-surgical treatment.”

Want to learn more FREE information about Back Pain? Click HERE and Peter McGrath, PT, DPT will gladly send you more FREE information that can save you 60% on back pain treatment costs! Inside you can also learn about back pain treatments, causes, prevention strategies, and more!

 

For a FREE phone consultation with a Doctor of Physical Therapy located in Georgetown, TX call 512-763-9330

Better Way Physical Therapy specializes in manual therapy to heal back pain, neck pain, and shoulder pain in adults over the age of 40. Our patients receive 1 hour treatment sessions with 100% undivided attention from a Doctor of Physical Therapy. Choose between office or home appointments at no extra cost of you live in Georgetown, TX, Sun City, TX, Round Rock, TX,  Leander, TX, or Liberty Hill, TX.

Click HERE to see Better Way Physical Therapy’s main website.