Posts in Physical Therapy
Self-treatment techniques for lower back pain

One of the most common questions that I get goes something like this, “Hey, I tweaked my lower back the other day. It’s really hurting me. What stretches should I do?”

This can be a tricky question to answer, because so many things in injury rehabilitation depend: depend on your unique history (Have you had lower back pain previously?), the severity of your injury (Does hurt a little? A lot? Are there any red flags, such as muscle weakness, that need to be promptly investigated further?), your activities/hobbies (Are you a cyclist? Runner? Yogi? Not very active?), your specific anatomy and biomechanical factors (How is your muscle strength, flexibility and joint range of motion?), and so much more.

However, there are usually a few safe ways to attempt to relieve lower back pain on your own, and I often send out the general recommendations below as a response when I get asked about back pain.

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Introducing EVOLVE Performance Training

“Do what you love, for life.”

Since the beginning, our goal at EVOLVE Flagstaff is to help you do what you love, for life. We want to help you feel and look great, to overcome injuries, prevent chronic disease, and live your life to the fullest.

To better fulfill that mission, we are incredibly excited to announce that EVOLVE Flagstaff will be expanding to a larger space in downtown Flagstaff. We’ll be moving from our current 350 square foot office to a 2,400 square foot clinic and training space. This move will provide the following dedicated private offices for our Registered Dietitian and Physical Therapist, allowing for more available treatment times and less distraction. We’ll also have a state of the art strength and conditioning equipment with ample space to train.

What’s most exciting about this move is that we will launching a Performance Training Program that we’ve beta tested over the past year to address all of the most common problems we see people encountering while pursuing an active lifestyle.

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10 reasons to pay out of pocket for physical therapy and dietitian services

We do things a bit differently at EVOLVE. One of our goals is to deliver healthcare in the way that we would want to experience it as a patient. This means: our appointments are not rushed or behind schedule, our focus is 100% on your results, we practice according to the most up-to-date available scientific evidence, and we are transparent in our approach, thought processes, and price.

Perhaps most striking to some people, especially those who have seen other physical therapists or dietitians before, is that we are “out of network” with all insurance providers. What this means is that we charge a flat rate at the end of each appointment, payable by credit card, cash, check, or a health savings account or flexible spending account (we don’t accept bitcoin yet, sorry). We can provide appropriate receipts for our patients to submit to their insurance for out-of-network reimbursement, but do not bill insurance directly.

We chose to set up EVOLVE in this way for a number of reasons. This post will explore 10 reasons why we think it’s actually better for you, the patient, to experience your physical therapy and dietitian services in this way.

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90 and Beyond: Three running volume progression programs

One of our most popular articles presented two return to running progressions. They are designed to help people who want to start or return to running, especially after an injury, progress from not running at all to running for 60 minutes continuously.

We’ve had a lot of great feedback about these programs. If you’re actively managing an injury and you follow the program, they to work brilliantly. Everyone is different, and so there might be some bumps in the road, but in general, most people respond very well to them.

Perhaps the most popular question we get is, “What should I do after the program?”

So, we’ve put together three additional programs to help you progress your running volume beyond those introductory programs

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Superficial peroneal nerve injury in a professional runner: A case study on the importance of diagnosis

There’s a debate in the physical profession right now about whether or not a structural diagnosis of an injury matters. Here at EVOLVE, we think that in most cases, the structure matters, and matters a lot. Patients who have gone to physical therapy elsewhere are often surprised by our focus on diagnosis in the initial evaluation.

There’s a few main reasons why diagnosis is central to our process. With a proper diagnosis, we can:

- Give a more accurate prognosis based on rates of tissue healing.

- Provide targeted strategies to avoid aggravation of the injured structure

- Deliver more focused hands-on treatments to decrease symptoms and optimize the healing response

- Choose the most effective therapeutic exercises, so our patients have just a few key things to focus on, rather than a long list of scattershot exercises

- Get our patients back to doing what they love, quickly (this is perhaps most important!)

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How to warm up the shoulders

 

If you're not warming up, you're leaving performance on the table, and increasing your injury risk. Last week’s article explored why a warm up is an essential aspect of every workout, and outlined a warm up for running.

Similar to runners, athletes performing overhead or other shoulder movements should have a dialed warm up routine as well. This can help cranky shoulders feel and perform better, and reduce the risk of overuse injuries related to poor shoulder mechanics, or deficits in rotator cuff or scapular muscle activation.

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How (and why) to warm up for running

We recently shared two programs to help new or injured runners progress their volume to help reduce injury risk. In that article, we shared a general running warm up that we recommend for most people. We think warming up for running is so crucial that it deserves its own post. We see too many people skip a warm up altogether. Or, they use valuable warm up time ineffectively.

Why do we need to warm up at all? What should a good warm up accomplish? What's the best way to structure a warm up? How should you warm up for running? Let's dig in.

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The Zero to 60 Program: How to start running or return after an injury

The magic of starting or returning to running without suffering pain or an injury is a slow, gradual buildup of running volume. Too often, runners, especially experienced runners who have taken time off for injuries, don’t allow enough time to build up volume. This can result in persistent nagging injuries, or new injuries.

While we can never prevent all injuries, it is possible to reduce injury risk with the right program design. We've created a 16-week program and an 8-week program that follow the most up-to date research recommendations on volume progression and training load. The goal of both programs is to gradually build volume, progressing to running 60 minutes continuously.

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