I was never a "water baby" - that is - I was never a kid that jumped into water whenever I saw it. I only wanted to get wet if I was dirty, sweaty, or super hot. This followed me into adulthood, so choosing swimming as a workout was not something that happened for me. That is until I was forced to. By age twenty I had injured my knee significantly twice. These ACL knee injuries (anterior cruciate ligament) had ended my soccer career prematurely. I had to wait a few months for ACL surgery, but wanted to stay active, so I did early morning walks with arm motions to get a whole body workout and I started swimming.
I hated swimming. I hated it as I packed my swimsuit & towel, traveled to the pool, dressed, walked onto the pool deck, jumped in, and swam the first lap. Do you see the trend? I hated it. But by the second lap it wasn't so bad. It was a quick and very intense workout for me. 20 minutes and I felt like jelly afterwards. All without any impact or pain to my knees! The workout was, in fact, so difficult for me that my cheeks tingled afterwards. Anyone else? Probably not.
Flash forward to over a decade later and swimming is high up there on the things that I really miss about LA. Swimming laps outside midday on a sunny day is one of the most meditative and mind clearing experience I have. I get a whole body, no impact workout to balance out my running, hiking, biking leg workouts with inclusion of arm and abdominal conditioning and my mind gets to wonder through future ideas and possibilities as well as reflecting back on experiences and relationships. Oh and my cheeks don't tingle anymore.
So give swimming a try!
Want to make sure you're healthy while swimming? Wonder what swim strokes are right for you? Wonder if you're stroke technique could lead to an injury? Wonder how much to do? Necessary stretches and strengthening? Let's chat. (Also possible future blog post topic - what do you think?)
Already swim? Where is your favorite place to swim?
Together - Let's Get Moving.
"Why does my arch hurt?"
"I get a sharp pain in my heel every morning I get out of bed.
"When I've been on my feet too long, the bottom of my foot hurts so bad."
Do you say these things? You may have plantar fasciitis.
The plantar fascia is a ligament that helps support the arch of your foot and gets stretched when you put weight on it and every step you take.
"Itis" is Latin for inflammation, so plantar fasciitis is a diagnosis of inflammation of the plantar fascia. Inflammation takes place when you have an injury and the body is trying to heal. Research is showing that most cases of plantar fasciitis is not an "itis" but is instead an "-osis" which reflects degeneration. This is why rolling on a frozen bottle might not make your symptoms go away.
At Artisan Physical Therapy, your PT will try to figure out a few distinct things in your evaluation - what tissue is injured or irritated and then the why it is injured/irritated/painful. Often both need to be treated the sore tissue needs to be calmed down and then that factors that led to the injury need to be changed and/or alleviated otherwise it will be perpetually irritated.
Common factors that lead to plantar fasciitis or fasciosis include:
- Insufficient arch support - going barefoot, wearing flip flops, or shoes without arch support or very flexible soles
- Tight ankles and calve muscles
- Weak hip (gluteal muscles)
- Excessive body weight
- Increasing activity too quickly (deciding to train for a marathon or get in shape drastically from prior level of activity)
- Weak foot muscles or inappropriate muscle use/activation
Just because you have arch or heel pain, it doesn't mean you have plantar fasciitis. It could be a tendinitis or tendinopathy of a foot or ankle muscle or an issue in the joints of your foot. A quality physical therapy exam will clarify this for you. As mentioned above knowing which tissue is irritated allows for specific, targeted treatment to get rid of your pain and get you back to pain free walking, running and whatever else you love and need to do.
Think you might have plantar fasciitis? Take the first step towards health and get a PT evaluation to get quality manual therapy to temporarily decrease the pain in your foot and learn exercises to keep it away by learning how to reduce the stress to the plantar fascia and learn what activities to avoid a do instead to allow it to begin healing today.
Let's Get to the Source - and TOGETHER - Let's Get Moving!
Performance = health, right? Running faster means you're healthier, right? Lifting more weight is healthier too, right? You have to be healthy to finish a marathon, right? Climbing harder routes means your more fit and therefore healthier, right?
The way many health and wellness professionals and physical therapy clinics, even doctors offices, promote performance you would think it was the same thing as health. But is that true?
Just considering this question should lead to better outcomes for you.
Think about how early professional athletes or Olympians have to retire. They performed at a very high level, but was it healthy for them?
At Artisan Physical Therapy, our goal is always health and how to help with performance long-term. Our emphasis is not about short-term results at the expense of long-term health. We are not interested in helping you do that next race or obstacle competition, if it will damage your body.
There are good stresses and bad stresses for your body. We are only about good stresses and we can help you know the difference.
Are you focused on health or performance? Choose the long road. Choose health over performance, because health will lead to long-term increased performance.
Follow along with future posts as we discussed some of the key principles for healthy living. Comment or ask questions below.
Let's Get to the Source - and TOGETHER - Let's Get Moving!
We frequently get the question of: What stretches should I do before versus after a run? No one solution is right for everyone and every situation, but a dynamic cool down is very appropriate for after a run when your muscles are very warmed up, but have shortened from repetitive use.
This quick one to two minute routine should reduce the soreness, stiffness, and tightness you feel after a run. Muscles only know how to shorten and this happens over and over with running, we have to make them lengthen through their full range.
In this video, demonstrates a quick 1 minute stretch routine to be done to stretch the thighs and hips - that is - glutes, quads, hamstrings, and hip flexors after a run. (Note: you will need to stretch the calves/gastroc/soleus separately).
Happy trails and happy stretching!
As always, comment with any questions and any suggestions for future videos. Subscribe to the YouTube channel to not miss out on any videos.
Let's get to the source, and TOGETHER, let's get moving!
People are often injured by trying to progress too quickly and this is very prevalent in rock climbing. People fall hard for the sport and enjoy the challenge of pushing their limits, but lack the knowledge needed to stay healthy, prevent injury, and thus climb for a lifetime and not have to take months and month off due to tendon or pulley injuries in their hands or forearms.
In this video you'll learn the how-to principles of hand strengthening to cross train to improve open grip strength and reduce hand pulley and tendon injuries for rock climbers. Climb better, climb harder, climb longer. Climb for a lifetime.
For a personalized assessment, contact us at our Portland office.
If you have injured this area, make sure to give sufficient rest and see your local PT who specializes in manual therapy & treating climbers to learn how to get back to your prior level and incorporate this open hand strengthening to improve your grip and reduce compensatory strategies that overload your pulleys. Also find out how shoulder weakness, for example, can influence which grip you choose.
This is Part 2 of a 2 Part series, with the possibility of a Part 3 adapted to interest, questions, and feedback from the first 2 Parts. Watch Part 1 to learn why hand strengthening matters to prevent injury and the important of incorporating into your climbing routine. Questions? Should we do a Part 3?
Let's Get to the Source, and TOGETHER, Let's Get Moving!
Are you a long-time rock climber who wants to climb for a lifetime? A beginner climber who wants to train right and train smart to prevent injury? Are you currently side-lined due to a tendon or pulley injury in your hand and want to know how to rehabilitate it?
In this video, Liz explains why injuries commonly occur in the hand and tendons/pulleys of the hand, how your technique may be contributing to this, and why strengthening your hand, not just your forearm is important for preventing this and rehabilitating injuries here.
This is Part 1 of a 2 Part series, with the possibility of a Part 3 adapted to interest, questions, and feedback from the first 2 Parts. Watch Part 2 to learn specific techniques, strategies, and exercises to incorporate into your climbing routine.
The weather is warming up and it's time to climb!
We can take it to the next level and help you with focused and personalized examinations in our downtown Portland location or with mobile therapy throughout the Portland, Oregon area.
Have you seen our 5 star physical therapy reviews? Portland, come see what you're missing out on!Read More
We have it! Our next Artisan Physical Therapy LA PT Pop-up is on the schedule: THIS Sunday March 5th in Silverlake.
If you'd like to snag one of the limited remaining appointments, email us to inquire about how to reserve your spot. Come get some quality evaluation, manual therapy, movement analysis, and movement and exercise instruction and prescription.
Here's to a healthier you, LA!
New video out!
In this video, Doctor Elizabeth (Liz) Bottrell PT, DPT, FAAOMPT of Artisan Physical Therapy in Portland, Oregon demonstrates a quick and effective yoga sequence for runners. Whether running your first 5k, training for a marathon, triathlon, or an ultra, you need to stretch. Stretching takes time and knowledge. In this video, you'll learn a quick vinyasana or flow yoga sequence that efficiently stretches your hamstrings, calves (gastrocnemius & soles), and hip flexors (Iliotibial band and iliopsoas) to maximize your time, as well as incorporating abdominal strengthening and control and cross training strengthening for the pectoral muscles and triceps. This fast routine, also trains balance, breathing, and improves motion in your back and abdominal muscles!
You can repeat and hold longer as needed. Do not hold your breath!
Pay attention in the video because you need to make sure you know which muscles to stretch. Follow-up videos will show specifics for a few other essential muscle groups for runners to stretch.
Try it and let us know what you think.
Contact our Portland office to schedule your personalized evaluation or join in one of our LA PT Pop-ups while they last (next PT pop-up is January 23rd).
"Tis the season...
For the 2nd ever LA Artisan PT Pop-up Treatment on Monday January 9th. Lasts month's PT pop-up treatment day worked so well we are back at it!
We are stoked to be offering a sold-out monthly pop-up day day of treatment with Liz of Artisan PT in Los Angeles tomorrow. Thank you to the clients and patients have referred their friends and family. We are looking forward to seeing meeting and helping new folks in addition to seeing familiar faces and old friends. We can't wait to spend the day in an awesome location in Silverlake near the reservoir.
Missed out this time but want to get on board for our future sessions? Let us know and we will add you to a priority short-list to get the opportunity to schedule before the monthly pop-up treatment goes public. Due to the success of this month's session, we are looking to extend the trip next month (woohoo!).
PDX to LAX - We are coming for you!
What a cool location we have here in bustling downtown Portland.Read More
What you eat has a big influence in how you feel. Not too many people will disagree with this statement, however many are not aware the extent that this is true.
Your diet could be perpetuating your back pain, our contributing to your achy knees, or be prolonging that car accident our recent injury pain.
What do we know?
AVOID eating refined carbohydrates, french fries and other fried foods, soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages, red meat (burgers, steaks) and processed meat (hot dogs, sausage), and margarine/lard.
EAT MORE tomatoes; olive oil; green leafy vegetables - spinach, kale, and collards; nuts like almonds and walnuts; fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines; fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges.
Eating this way helps reduce diseases associated with inflammation: e.g. heart disease and cancer. You can read more about this at http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/foods-that-fight-inflammation.
But eating this way will also contribute time reduce your musculoskeletal and orthopedic pain. (Read - less pain in your muscles, discs, joints, fascia, and ligaments). Sounds great, right?
If you're not seeing the consistent pain reduction you want from changes in posture, strength, stiffness, and flexibility, consider taking that next step to reduce what my be stagnant inflammation in your body and change your diet to tips towards anti-inflammatory in addition to all the good work your doing with exercise, position, rest, icing, etc.
Every little step towards healthier living counts!
Were you in a auto accident? Rear-ended? T-boned? Don't relinquish control of your health!
One of the biggest mistakes we see people make after automobile accidents is not taking responsibility for their health. Waiting on payment from insurance and settlements before receiving professional medical care to rehabilitate from whip lash, pulled, strained, and sore, achy muscles, joints, and ligaments is common and results in prolonged injuries, negative outcomes, side effects, and chronic pain.
The best thing to do is to receive professional care as soon as possible, and what better, than a physical therapist? Physical therapists are EXPERTS in musculoskeletal movement dysfunction and rehabilitation.
Make sure to rest, limit extremes of body range of motion and speed, let your body recover, and take steps to reduce inflammation in your body. Don't put off take care of your health. It is your livelihood. It is your life. First get the quality, personal, and focused care you need to deal with your motor vehicle accident (MVA).
At Artisan Physical Therapy, you don't get generic treatments such as lying on hot packs, getting electrical stimulation, and ultrasound. Instead you get quality and focused manual therapy specifically suited to your needs to reduce swelling, inflammation, pain, stiffness and tightness so that you can get back to doing what you love and when you want to do it. We give you things to put you in control of how you feel - education on the specifics of what to do and what not to do in your daily activities and active body movements and therapeutic exercises.
It's not uncommon that people through care with Artisan Physical Therapy can learn more than they even knew about their bodies and live healthier lives than they did even BEFORE their car accident.
Dang it, even therapist's have injuries, so let's talk about it. In our latest video, Dr. Liz Bottrell shares her personal experience with an acute occurrence of low back pain (aka - lumbar spine pain). Learn what happened and what she's doing about it and what you can do when you experience unexpected pain that lingers.
Back pain can come on suddenly and unexpectedly as it did for our physical therapist, limiting the ability to sit and lift and do normal daily activities. Learn how to recover as quickly and as optimally as possible. Note - you may have to change your behavior!
Dr. Liz Bottrell, PT, DPT, FAAOMPT, manual physical therapist and owner of Artisan Physical Therapy in downtown Portland explains what the basics of core stability and the "forever exercise" for your transverse abdominus and other abdominal muscles. This helps prevent and treat low back pain, back instability, sciatica, radiculopathy, herniated "bulging" discs. Doctor Liz Bottrell describes the essential components for proper positioning, control, and common errors. This exercise can be scaled up or down to be made easier or harder.Read More
We are Portland bound! Starting October 10th we have openings at our new downtown Portland location in the Yamill Plaza Building!
Have no fear Los Angeles and California residents, you will still get great educational material about how to live a healthier life here on the blog, in our email newsletter, on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. Really so many options for nuggets of knowledge and tweaks to moving better. We can do this TOGETHER!
Also, we are pleased to offer our Los Angeles clients and patients remote consulting and are working hard to come back once a month for in-person care. You get that manual therapy to get those joints, muscles, and fascia moving and feeling better!
Portland - we are so excited to welcome you to the Artisan PT family, to offer you excellence in musculoskeletal and orthopedic care provided by fellowship trained manual therapist.
Portland! Let's get to the source, and TOGETHER, get moving!
Do you have difficulty completing work due to back pain with sitting?
Does your low back pain limit your social life with things like sitting at a restaurant, driving, and sitting through a movie.
Low back pain with sitting is common with disc and muscle injury.
To get yourself feeling better, try these 6 simple tips:
- Use the back rest on your chair
- Sitting up is hard!
- Give those muscles a rest by allowing your back to use the support of the backrest.
- Don't sit at the front of your chair
- Keep your chair close to what you are working on, so you can stay all the way back in the chair.
- Use an extra and portable back support
- Chairs are often not designed ergonomically for ideal posture.
- Chairs are not one size fits all! Our bodies differ wildly in shapes and sizes from one person to the next.
- You should maintain the same amount of curve in your back while sitting that you have while standing.
- To assist with this, I recommend some thing like the Wonder Roll, which you can find online at www.wonderroll.com. It changes support quickly and easily while being portable, yet can stays in place on your chair with a simple strap.
- Take frequent breaks
- Let your body heal and get stronger, by planning and not sitting longer that your back can tolerate.
- If it starts every 30 min, get up every 25 minute, etc.
- Make sure your hips are flexible
- Remember the song you sang about the human body? "The back bone's connected to the hip bone, the hip bone's connected to the thigh bone..." (You get the point).
- Stretch the back side of your hips both the muscle and joint, so your back isn't being strained.
- Increase the strength and endurance of your low back muscles
- If your back muscles are tired, they will do one of two things.
- They will start to complain and be your source of pain.
- They will stop working and let you go into poor posture thus putting bad stress onto the passive structures in your back: discs, ligaments, and joints.
- If your back muscles are tired, they will do one of two things.
- Watch your posture
- If you saw your posture from an outside perspective, you might be horrified!
- Set regular reminders in your calendar and alarms on computer and phone to remind you even when caught up in tasks and projects requiring your full mental attention.
- Give permission to those around you to remind you when you are sitting with poor posture, so you spend less time there and thus strain your disc, ligaments, and muscles less.
Thanks for reading. If we get enough interest, we will make some videos about how to sit with less back pain. Leave a comment about how it works for you and what tips you use.
Let's Get To the Source, and TOGETHER, Let's Get Moving!
An Upper Body Strengthening Clinic for Climbing Injury Prevention and Performance
Sound interesting? Join Liz tonight at Stronghold Climbing Gym in Los Angeles for an interactive clinic on upper body strengthening for injury prevention, performance, and longevity for climbers. Climbing can lead to overuse problems and muscle imbalance injuries. In this clinic you will learn principles and specific strengthening exercises for shoulders, elbows, and hands, to reduce the likelihood of such injuries occurring and to learn safe ways to strengthen.
It's tri training season again. And this year I need to try - that is "tri" - harder! Why?Read More