Hope you’re having a great summer and surviving the craziness that is northern Michigan in July.
This months newsletter features:
- Employee Spotlight – Jesie Bott
- Lower Back Pain – 80% of us are going to have it!
- Exercise Tip of the Month
Jessica “Jesie” Bott was our very first employee starting back in 2012. She took a bit of a hiatus after giving birth to her daughter but she’s been back a couple years now and we love having her around as much as possible. Jesie home schools her two children and works Fridays during the school year but in the summer we’re blessed to have her 2.5 days per week. She’s got a ton of energy and really loves to get to know her patients and clients. She does a great job for us here at Elite Physical Therapy so we wanted to tell her story.
Jesie is an Athletic Trainer and licensed massage therapist, graduating from Grand Valley State University in 2005. Jesie has worked in the outpatient orthopedic setting since graduation, and also worked as the athletic trainer at Kingsley High School for 5 years. Jesie is a Graston Technique Certified Clinician, and trained through Functional Movement Systems giving her the ability to critically analyze a person’s movement ability and develop exercise programs that really work!
Why did you become an ATC/LMT?
“I had an inclination toward sports and health and wanted a career that kept me physically active and challenged me mentally. Athletic training was a perfect fit!”
What do you enjoy most about the job?
“What I truly like best about my job is helping people feel better. I’m passionate about it. I want to see people get results and I’m happy to be a part of that. At Elite, I enjoy the one on one experience with each patient as well as having the freedom and ability to use my knowledge and creativity to problem solve and do everything I can to help someone feel better.”
What do you do for fun?
“Other than working at Elite….:) I enjoy spending quality time with my family. We love to be outdoors, camping, playing in the water and playing with our sweet puppy.”
Jesie has been married to David Bott for 13 years and have two great kids – Chase and Clare. Jesie also owns Freedom Massage Therapy and currently sees clients at Elite PT on Tuesdays and Fridays. You can call her at 231 357-0151 for more details.
Did you know that lower back pain will affect at least 80% of us at least once in our lifetimes. Depending on the research article, once you’ve had a back pain episode, chances are between 60-80% that you’ll have recurring episodes beyond that. Not great odds at all.
Here at Elite PT, lower back pain is the most common diagnosis that we treat. There are numerous causes of lower back pain – some easier to fix than others, but it’s our job to figure that out.
One of the more common causes is Spinal Stenosis. Stenosis literally means ‘narrowing’ and in this case the narrowing can cause compression and irritation to the nerves that leave the spinal cord and go out to the lower back, hips, and legs. This causes pain across the lower back and can also produce symptoms into one or both legs.
How do you know that you may have Spinal Stenosis?
- 50+ years old
- Standing and walking increase symptoms
- Sitting and lying down relieve symptoms
- Leaning on the cart at the grocery store allows you to walk with less back pain
Spinal stenosis, like most types of lower back pain, is something that can absolutely be treated in physical therapy. Certain muscles being ‘tight’ can create more compression and narrowing and therefore must be address using soft tissue techniques like massage, Graston Technique and dry needling. Exercises must also be incorporated to stretch those tight muscles and improve how our joints move around the back and hips.
Other muscles tend to be ‘weak’, specifically the abdominals and glutes. When strong and working with the right timing these muscles can reduce damaging forces across the spine.
A comprehensive physical therapy program that addresses all these factors can be extremely beneficial.
Here is what one of our former clients with spinal stenosis had to say:
“I came to Elite taking medication to numb the pain in my back and legs so I could make it through the day. Thanks to Jesie I have no more pain and know how to strengthen the muscles to help prevent the pain from returning. She is a great therapist and I will use her again in the future if the need arises.”
– D.B. from Traverse City
Exercise Tip of the Week
Child’s Pose is a common yoga pose that produces flexion through the hips and spine. For someone with spinal stenosis this movement frequently decreases or eliminates the person’s symptoms. If it relieves your pain, then do it whenever you need relief!
In the bottom position, take 4 breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth. Breathing in this manner decreases tone through the back muscles and also calms the nervous system bringing further relief.
For those with knee pain who can’t perform this exercise, try the seated floor press below. It’s basically the same movement but with more body weight (usually fine but can be too much if you’re really sore). Use the same breathing technique but be sure to put your hands on your knees to push yourself back up when you’re done. This just takes some extra pressure off your back.
You may find these simple exercises can make a huge difference in how you feel and how long you can be on your feet throughout the day. If so, just keep doing them and you may just be able to keep yourself out of pain.
If you have all the signs and can only get temporary relief with the exercises then you probably would benefit from physical therapy. Call us if you have questions (231 421-5805) and we could tell you if PT is for you.
Have a great month of July with hopefully more warm weather to come.
We can be reached at 231 421-5805 or through email: Joe@elitepttc.com if you have questions or if you just want to let us know how you’re doing.