In order to get ‘FIT’ you need to find the right FIT

 

Today I have the pleasure to introduce to my readers Next Phase Fitness.  I had the opportunity to participate in their Elevate 60 class which was taught by Doug Frantzen, co-owner and trainer.  The goal of Elevate 60 is to optimize loss of calories and build muscle for those of various fitness backgrounds.   A wide range of training routines and trainers are available to assure that your specific fitness goals are met. 

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The environment of the gym was warm and welcoming, not only by the staff but also by those who were taking part in the class.  The positive environment made me want to push harder during the class.

The heart rate monitored class motivated me to push to the next level and proved to be quite competitive for me.  I was making sure I was on par with Mr. Frantzen 🙂 (Dougs dad!).

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Heart Rate Monitor Screen

Next Phase Fitness is truly focused on the client.  They want to know who you are, what you do and what your goal is as far as exercise is concerned.  This new facility has the potential to grow and provide excellent service to all who participate in their classes.

So, let’s get to the reason why I am writing these blogs of gyms in the Loudoun area.  We are looking to FIT you with the RGHT fitness facility so that you can get ‘FIT.’

Next Phase Fitness is great for:

  1. Persons with an intermediate to advanced fitness background

  2. Persons who love group workouts and the camaraderie of those around them

  3. Persons who are interested in attending a fitness facility that does not have contracts

  4. Persons who hold a clean environment near and dear to their heart (like me)

  5. Persons who want to be pushed to the next level of fitness

  6. Persons that want to be in an workout environment where the instructors and owners are looking out for your well being. 

In an effort to enhance their knowledge on movement, Next Phase Fitness and Missing Link Physical Therapy will be collaborating to introduce a class for persons who are interested on learning the ‘Basic Movements Required for Exercise’.

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Left: Andre Heletsi (Owner Missing Link Physical Therapy) Right: Doug Frantzen (Co-Owner Next Phase Fitness)

Please provide comments about your experience at Next Phase Fitness. I am sure our readers would love to hear about it so they can make the right FIT in order to get ‘FIT’. 

If you have questions about Next Phase Fitness please contact them at: 

Next Phase Fitness, LLC 

21020 Sycolin Rd Suite 115

Ashburn, VA 20147

CustomerService@nextphasefit.com

703-858-4410

If you have questions for Missing Link Physical Therapy please contact us at: andre@missinglinkpt.com

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In order to get ‘FIT’ you need to find the right FIT

Trouble finding a gym that fits you, your personality, your needs, your time, your location?  The list goes on and on.  

Well I am here to help you!

Like so many of you I have had the same problem over the years.  Signing up in the new fad gym and only attending a handful of times.  I have compiled a list of excuses stating why I cannot remain with one gym; and I finally figured out that the major issue was finding a gym that motivates me, addresses my needs and fits my personality.  Like a pair of jeans from Banana Republic or Zara the fit is going to be different based on your size and particular taste, these are the same challenges encountered with finding the gym that meets your needs.

Here are some personalities I have unfolded with most gyms:

  1. Culture
  2. Skilled and qualified personnel
  3. Goal focused guidance
  4. Commitment to clients
  5. Excellence in service
  6. Client Centered

In my quest to help you find the best fit in order to get ‘FIT’, I have decided to visit and work out at many of the gyms in Loudoun County.   By doing this I can share with you my opinion on the personalities of these gyms.  This list of gyms is not limited to the Life Times and the Golds gyms; the small boutique gyms will also be highlighted in my reviews.

Your job as a reader is to tell me about your gym’s personality and refer me to your gym.

Many may ask why do I think that I am qualified to share my opinion on gyms.  Well, I am a Physical Therapist who has seen patients who attend gyms that don’t fit their personality and/or meet their needs.  Consequently, the outcome is either injury or not achieving a specific fitness goal.

Let the games begin!!  You will have my first review in a week.  The goal of this blog is:  FIND THE RIGHT FIT IN ORDER GET FIT!!

You can contact me with questions or concerns at: andre@missinglinkpt.com

 

 

Why do I have a pain in my butt??!!

What do we treat the most at Missing Link Physical Therapy??!!!The pain in the butt!!! No, I don’t mean the client, but literally a pain in the butt sometimes referred to as sciatica or piriformis syndrome. Often individuals have difficulty standing, sitting, walking, running or going up stairs. This pain can be very debilitating and decrease function and quality of life. This blog is aimed to address ways to decrease pain and the necessary treatment required in order to regain your mobility and function.

Frequently when a sudden ache in the butt or leg occurs people always wonder, why? Individuals often don’t experience back pain and have not done anything differently to cause this pain. Well, the body is a great machine and was built to be resilient. Very often by the time you experience a particular pain the movement dysfunction has been present for years. It is like eating the wrong foods and years later you have hypertension and heart disease. In the majority of cases we can contribute the cause of the pain to a nerve irritation in the low back or peripheral muscles. For instance, with mild to moderate degrees of nerve irritation to the low back you can get this abnormal tightness and guarding of the hamstring, gluteal (butt) muscles, calf muscles and even heel pain or cramping of the bottom of the foot.

In order to start recovering from this state you need to remove the irritation to the spine. If the condition is acute this can be done by pharmacological means (please refer to your physician for the appropriate drug of choice). From a Physical Therapy disposition this can be done by avoiding certain postures; such as slouched positions, any activity that may place stretch on the hamstring (want to avoid stretching of the hamstring as it will cause stress on the nerve if there is nerve tension), reading in the bed with legs extended…Basically you want to avoid any position that will place stress on the nerve. Imagine a long string that is attached to your spine and extends all the way to your foot, every time you slouch or stretch the hamstring you irritate the nerve. The stretch may feel good initially but you will find that you may suffer a rebound effect of pain later in the day, with even more tightness in the particular muscle. Figure A shows an individual reaching into a box with a rounded back posture; this will increase tension in the back and also the nerve. Figure B shows an individual stretching the hamstring with a rounded back posture, at this time the nerve may be on maximal tension and irritation may be at its greatest. In Figure C the individual to the left is placing increased stress to the back and nerve, the individual to the right is exhibiting good technique with lifting by hinging from the waist and bending the knees.

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FigureA

hamstring stretch

Figure B

lifting

Figure C

After decreasing the nerve irritation it is now time to improve the muscle tension. This can be done by getting a deep tissue massage, foam rolling or trigger point dry needling (my recommended treatment of choice). You want to improve the muscle length of the gluteal muscles and back muscles. Figure D, E, F, H represent foam roll massages; these massages should be performed as tolerated, slowly kneading out the trigger points in the respective muscles. Figures G and I represent stretches that can be performed for approximately 45-60 seconds. Please refrain from doing exercises if pain is elicited.

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Figure D. Foam roll gluteals

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Figure E. Foam roll TFL

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Figure F. Foam roll low back. Be sure to keep back neutral or slightly flexed in order to avoid excessive stress on the low back.

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Figure G. Piriformis stertch

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Figure H. Foam roll quadrates lumborum (side of back).

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Figure I. Quadratus lumborum stretch (stretch to side of back)

Last step is to stabilize the spine by avoiding an anterior or posterior pelvic tilt. I recommend stabilization of the lumbar spine with the back in neutral.

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Figure J. The picture to the left represents an anterior pelvic tilt. The picture in the middle represents a neutral spine. The picture to the right represents a posterior pelvic tilt.

In this blog I have purposely avoided educating on abdominal stabilization as I believe that the exercise for stabilization should be monitored. The reason individuals have pain in the first place is because of a movement dysfunction, so I highly suggest getting assistance from a trained movement specialist (physical therapist, personal trainer, athletic trainer, pilates instructor, yoga instructor etc.). Pain does not just appear but is comes about due to increased stress being placed on a structure in the body over time. REPAIR THE MOVEMENT AND YOU IMPROVE THE PAIN.

Please take note that in order to have somewhat of a full recovery from this injury you must make sure that you are able to contract the deep abdominals appropriately and work on maintaining the contraction over time with your respective exercise/activity. With practice over time these muscles should contract involuntarily.

Over time if symptoms appear to be unrelenting and worsening we suggest getting further diagnostic testing to determine if there is structural damage such as a disc bulge/ herniation, degenerative changes in the spine, etc. Further medical treatment may be required in order to decrease symptoms prior to initiating an exercise program.

In our clinic we see many of these cases and have been very successful with treatment. We shall be delighted if you call us and schedule an appointment today. I am sure that you want to resolve the nagging pain in your ‘butt’.

You can Contact us at: Phone:703-858-5070, Email: office@missinglinkpt.com, website:www.missinglinkpt.com.

We are located at: 44933 George Washington Blvd Suite 165, Ashburn VA 20147

Overcoming the Challenge of Today’s Healthcare System

As a young Physical Therapist growing in experience and knowledge I question our effectiveness in the healthcare setting. I don’t mean to generalize everyone, but I think we have lost the love for people. We have lost the sympathy and empathy on which healthcare was built on. Because of financial restraints we have cut the time spent with patients. Along with the time lost we have lost the ability to perform personalized care. I am not an exception and have been guilty of this; and with the loss of personalized treatment I believe that outcomes are not optimized. Being a healthcare professional does not only mean giving the right drug or correct treatment. By building an intimate relationship with your patient, a relationship of trust can actually enhance the affect of the drug or treatment provided. Yes, there is no research to show this, but through my clinical experience I have seen first hand that a combination of the right treatment and good relationship have positive outcomes. Conversely, the right treatment with flawed patient interaction showed poor clinical outcomes.

I don’t believe that we are going to heal everyone, but I do believe that we can optimize the quality of life and function of individuals with more TIME. I believe that with more individual time we can change peoples lives and we can ‘LOVE’ them more. We can be better at achieving the functional goals of the patient instead of priortitizing our own clinical goals with the time we have. I believe that with more time there will be less money spent overall and better utilization of our patients’ healthcare dollars.

In my young Physical Therapy practice there is a common trend of people coming to therapy only once a week. This is because with a one hour treatment focused on individualized care we are able to achieve the goals of the patient in a timely manner. People are, over time, paying less and also spending less time away from their overall ‘dysfuntion’. Individuals are optimizing their function and becoming an active part of society.

Our chronic population needs more individualized time as we are not only dealing with the physical affects of pain, but also the psychosocial aspects. We need to continue to challenge insurance companies on reimbursement for our respective skill sets. We are worth more!! We need to get back to patient centered healthcare where outcomes, quality of life and function are our primary goal. This is my utopia because I see it is possible with what I do on a daily basis. Patients and clients will testify to my ‘crazy talk!!’ The missing link to healthcare is not necessarily the next super drug, surgical technique or diet but rather the intangibles that cost us nothing. It is the eye contact, smile, attention, hug, holding of a hand… the list goes on! I challenge all those who are in healthcare to try this and see what your outcomes are. See the reaction that is driven from it.

Let’s love each other and the healing will follow.