Welcome

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Welcome to Health and Fitness 101, a blog for people who enjoy the Montana lifestyle.
The aim of our blog is to interpret, distill, and then deliver to you the threads that bind physical medicine with applicable health and fitness ideas and principles.
It's all about helping to connect the dots that foster optimal human function and, ultimately, superior performance. Feel better. Perform better.

Missoula Area Events

Finding Fitness Fulfillment

I want to help you find fitness fulfillment. What better time, just when those New Years’ resolutions have about petered out. Perhaps this encouragement will help kickstart things and get you started . . . or moving in the right direction again.

Are you ready to exercise? Stop. Ask why? Too many people fail. Just keep an eye on the gym parking lot in January and February and compare to March.

Get a plan. Learn what works. If you don’t know, ask.

Answer the question”why?”

Are you after strength? Endurance? Longevity? General health? Weight loss? Or to be able to wrestle with your kids . . . and win!

Here are some key ideas to help you on your path to fitness success.

  • Location — Make it accessible and easy. This could be as simple as your living room. Or it could be a conveniently located fitness facility.
  • Help — Get information online, with the help of a personal trainer, a person skilled in guiding your nutritional needs.
  • Goals — Set ‘em. Consider a comprehensive baseline through your doctor or gym. Or simply look in the mirror as your baseline. Track your goals
  • Team — Get a team around you, perhaps to include a friend or two. Or join a fitness class.
  • Rewards — Do yourself up. Look good! After 4 to 6 weeks, reward yourself by getting some new shoes or a cool outfit.

For more information, visit the Wellness Program page on our clinic website by clicking here.

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Sarah McMillan raises over $900 for FIT TO FIGHT

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The OSCR race fundraiser is in full swing.  So far, Sarah McMillan raised over $900 for FIT TO FIGHTI Sarah is hard at work training for the race. With less than two weeks till the big day, it is time to dig deep and push towards the finish line. Thank you for your generous donations. We are almost halfway to our goal of $2000. Please share Sarah’s story with your friends and family and help us reach our goal! All donations up to $500 will be matched by a private donor!

Training Update 

I’ve been pretty consistently getting out to ski 3 times/week and I do something else three more days/week – stationary bike or hike up Jumbo. To alleviate the boredom of longer sessions on the bike,  I listen to podcasts of This American Life, TED Radio Hour, Radiolab, and Freakonomics. And I regularly do my little home-made routine of squats, lunges, calf-raises, crunches, dips, and a rotating plank.  And from essentially a negative state of fitness, I can say I’m definitely improving.

The beginning of last week, when it started to rain on top of the glorious snow, I got a wee bit depressed and took 3 days off.  But fear is a great motivator (EEEK! I told the whole world I was going to do this, so I absolutely must get off my rear end and keep training!), and I got back into the groove.

The skiing has ranged from outrageously glorious to spectacularly frustrating. I’ve had no kick, so only my poles help me up hills, leaving my legs and skis to drag uselessly behind me. Conversely, I’ve had no glide so that I come to a stop on all but the steepest descents and skiing downhill is nearly more work than skiing uphill.  And yes, thankfully, I’ve had moments when the snow is just right, the air is fresh, my lungs fill easily, and I feel strong and even half graceful.  For about 10 seconds. Then I do something goofy, start wheezing, or skitter around trying not to fall.  I’ve managed to twice log 20+ km skis -including last Sunday, January 11, on what would have been our 7th wedding anniversary.

To mix it up a little, I’m doing a skate clinic this weekend on Saturday before I do my longest ski on Sunday – a 25 km.  I’m still pretty darned slow, but as I’ve said, I’m completing the 28 km ski, not competing in it. I’ll most likely be the last by far – everybody else will be skating and I’ll be chugging along doing classic.  But I’m ok with that.

The support I’ve received has been tremendous and I feel very fortunate to have figured out that this is the perfect way to start the year- it’s getting me fit again (and feeling adventurous), honoring my late husband, Scott, and supporting an organization that helps people thrive through the trauma of cancer.
Ski on!

Please join me in this effort by donating. Simply click the button below and you can donate on a secure site. Donations can also be mailed to 5000 BLUE MOUNTAIN RD. MISSOULA, MT 59804. Please note the “OSCR race” in the “add special instructions to the seller” during your donation, This way we can track progress towards our goal.

You may also donate directly on the FIT TO FIGHT website by clicking here.

Sarah McMillan raises over $900 for FIT TO FIGHT

fit_to_fight_logo_color_small

The OSCR race fundraiser is in full swing.  So far, Sarah McMillan raised over $900 for FIT TO FIGHTI Sarah is hard at work training for the race. With less than two weeks till the big day, it is time to dig deep and push towards the finish line. Thank you for your generous donations. We are almost halfway to our goal of $2000. Please share Sarah’s story with your friends and family and help us reach our goal! All donations up to $500 will be matched by a private donor!

Training Update 

I’ve been pretty consistently getting out to ski 3 times/week and I do something else three more days/week – stationary bike or hike up Jumbo. To alleviate the boredom of longer sessions on the bike,  I listen to podcasts of This American Life, TED Radio Hour, Radiolab, and Freakonomics. And I regularly do my little home-made routine of squats, lunges, calf-raises, crunches, dips, and a rotating plank.  And from essentially a negative state of fitness, I can say I’m definitely improving.

The beginning of last week, when it started to rain on top of the glorious snow, I got a wee bit depressed and took 3 days off.  But fear is a great motivator (EEEK! I told the whole world I was going to do this, so I absolutely must get off my rear end and keep training!), and I got back into the groove.

The skiing has ranged from outrageously glorious to spectacularly frustrating. I’ve had no kick, so only my poles help me up hills, leaving my legs and skis to drag uselessly behind me. Conversely, I’ve had no glide so that I come to a stop on all but the steepest descents and skiing downhill is nearly more work than skiing uphill.  And yes, thankfully, I’ve had moments when the snow is just right, the air is fresh, my lungs fill easily, and I feel strong and even half graceful.  For about 10 seconds. Then I do something goofy, start wheezing, or skitter around trying not to fall.  I’ve managed to twice log 20+ km skis -including last Sunday, January 11, on what would have been our 7th wedding anniversary.

To mix it up a little, I’m doing a skate clinic this weekend on Saturday before I do my longest ski on Sunday – a 25 km.  I’m still pretty darned slow, but as I’ve said, I’m completing the 28 km ski, not competing in it. I’ll most likely be the last by far – everybody else will be skating and I’ll be chugging along doing classic.  But I’m ok with that.

The support I’ve received has been tremendous and I feel very fortunate to have figured out that this is the perfect way to start the year- it’s getting me fit again (and feeling adventurous), honoring my late husband, Scott, and supporting an organization that helps people thrive through the trauma of cancer.
Ski on!

Please join me in this effort by donating. Simply click the button below and you can donate on a secure site. Donations can also be mailed to 5000 BLUE MOUNTAIN RD. MISSOULA, MT 59804. Please note the “OSCR race” in the “add special instructions to the seller” during your donation, This way we can track progress towards our goal.

You may also donate directly on the FIT TO FIGHT website by clicking here.

Alpine PT Provides Athletic Training Services To Missoula Indoor Soccer (MISA) Athletes

Alpine PT’s star aide and certified athletic trainer Emily Jones posted this piece on her experience covering games at the Missoula Indoor Soccer Arena (MISA).

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I provide my knowledge in sport specific on field evaluations of athletic injuries. The free injury consults that I provide keep the Missoula Indoor Soccer (MISA)  athletes on their feet and playing competitively. I’ve enjoyed getting to know the friendly MISA staff and meeting some of the people that recreate there.

I’ve seen some friends playing that I went to high school with and have enjoyed watching them play. I have been able to evaluate ankle and knee injuries and helped with things as minimal as cut’s, bruises, and abrasions. I have also been able to use my skills with taping, including the ever-popular “Kinesio tape”.

I love being a representative of Alpine Physical Therapy by keeping people healthy, happy, and active.

 

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Effective Strategies for Ankle Sprains

Special thanks to star physical therapist Brace Hayden, DPT, CSCS  of Alpine Physical Therapy for providing this write up on a recent article from The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

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It is widely accepted in trauma care that a fractured ankle will usually require surgical stabilization, as bearing weight and walking on the broken bone(s) is imperative to functional progress. Controlling the swelling or edema that comes secondary to the injury is an important consideration in expediting the surgical intervention and subsequent rehabilitation. Excessive edema can complicate the surgery and healing, as well as increase the risk of wound complications and infection following the surgery.

Manuela Rohner-Spengler, a clinical Physical Therapist and a team of MD/PhDs from the Departments of Rheumatology and Physiotherapy and Trauma Surgery at the Lucerne Cantonal Hospital in Switzerland took interest the optimal pre-operative swelling management techniques to yield the best post-operative outcomes. In an age of improving medical care with more sophisticated equipment, Ms. Rohner-Spengler and her team wanted to know how effective are new dynamic compression therapies like intermittent impulse compression devices, at reducing ankle edema compared to the standard treatment of elevation and ice?

This study followed rigorous design methods using randomized, controlled, single-blinded clinical trials with repeated-measures on each subject. The 58 subjects all had a similar traumatic injury of fracturing one of their ankles. They were randomly assigned into one of three groups; the standard cold pack and elevation (control) group, the compression bandage group (aka. Ace wrapping), or the impulse compression (a pneumatic compression sock) group. The resulting measures from the various treatment groups were analyzed with intention-to-treat principles, meaning all resulting measures were based on the initial treatment grouping assignment and not on the treatments the subjects eventually received.

Each subject had their ankle girth measured with a flexible tape measure using the figure-of-eight method for 5 consecutive days before and after the surgery, then again at 6 weeks post-op. Other measurements tracked through the study were degrees of ankle mobility, pain levels, number of days in hospital, Physical Therapy treatment sessions, amounts of medication required, wound-healing measures and functional outcome data using the Foot and Ankle Ability Measure.

This study found significant differences in edema reduction both pre-operatively and post-operatively between the compression bandage group and the ice and elevate (control) group. The pneumatic compression sock group did not make significant reductions in ankle edema. For example, after two days of pre-operative intervention, the median edema reduction was -23%, -5%, and 0% for the compression bandage, control group and pneumatic compression group respectively. Another interesting difference noted was improved ankle range of motion following the surgery in the control group over the compression bandage and pneumatic ‘impulse’ squeezer sock.

Shortcomings of this study were the impulse compression device had to be used as a ‘stand-alone treatment’ and thus other secondary typical pre or post-operative edema reduction measures like elevation, cold pack application and compression wraps were not used. The study design also could only use single-blind methodology, which reduces its strength and validity, but it is nearly impossible to blind the subject pool as to what type of treatment they were receiving. Do I have a cold pack on my ankle or is that one of those nifty pneumatic ‘impulse’ squeezer socks?

The take-away findings for patients that have an acute ankle trauma are multilayer compression wrapping can be very effective at reducing swelling before and after surgery. Using combinations of cold packs, elevation and compression therapy can thus be inferred to be helpful for reducing pain, improving ankle range of motion and mitigating edema. Implementing compression wraps with stabilization splints/boots in the emergency room, as well as post-operatively could also lead to a more efficient, less painful healing time.

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Manuela Rohner-Spengler, MPTSc, et al. Effective Treatment of Posttraumatic and Postoperative Edema in Patients with Ankle and Hindfoot Fractures. A Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing Multilayer Compression Therapy and Intermittent Impulse Compression with the Standard Treatment with Ice. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. Vol 96-A, Number 15, August 6, 2014.

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Support Fit to Fight as Sarah McMillan Readies to Ski in the OSCR Nordic Race

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Sarah McMillan, long time supporter of FIT TO FIGHT and wife of the late Scott Woods aims to honor her husband by competing in the OSCR nordic race. This January, Sarah will ski 25K to raise money and awareness for the FIT TO FIGHT program. Read Sarah’s story.

Sarah’s Story


 

My late husband, Scott Woods, had always trusted his body to do what he needed it do, whether that was mountaineering in Pakistan, snowshoeing in Alaska, climbing in France, running marathons in Georgia and Colorado, or backpacking in Montana. But when he was diagnosed with cancer, he lost that trust – until he joined one of the early sessions with Fit to Fight.

This program, developed specifically for cancer patients and survivors and tailored to each participant, returned him  to a high level of fitness and strength, and, very importantly, taught him to trust his body again. Through FIT TO FIGHT, Scott regained fitness and was able, while still in treatment, to compete in two triathlons, run the Pengelly Double Dip, trek in Morocco and Peru, hike in his beloved Lake District National Park in the UK and along the Pembrokeshire coastal path in Wales, and climb Mt. Rainier.

In Scott’s honor, I am training to ski the 25 KM loop of the OSCR ski race in Seeley Lake on January 31, 2015, and I am doing it as a fundraiser for FIT TO FIGHT. I hope to raise enough money to sponsor an 8 week FIT TO FIGHT session so that more cancer “thrivers” can reap the same benefits that Scott did.

Please join me in this effort by donating. Simply click the button below and you can donate on a secure site. Donations can also be mailed with attention to FIT TO FIGHT, 5000 Blue Mountain Rd. Missoula, MT 59804. Please note the “OSCR race” during your donation, This way we can track progress towards our goal.

You are also invited to click here to donate directly online to FIT to FIGHT.

 

Helpful Approaches Utilized at Alpine Physical Therapy

At Alpine Physical Therapy, our clients have many options for maximizing their health. We serve people of all ages and have the space, equipment, personnel, and expertise to meet all your orthopedic physical therapy needs.

We have the largest and most experienced group of physical therapists in Missoula, giving you access to professionals with breadth and depth in the field of physical therapy. From pediatrics to aging adults, from sports injuries to work injuries, from headaches to back pain, our therapy services will meet your needs and exceed your expectations.

Within the “Approaches” section of our website, there are a host of effective approaches we use successfully on a daily basis at Alpine Physical Therapy including:

For information about each of our specific approaches, click here.

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Support Fit to Fight as Sarah McMillan Readies to Ski in the OSCR Nordic Race

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Sarah McMillan, long time supporter of FIT TO FIGHT and wife of the late Scott Woods aims to honor her husband by competing in the OSCR nordic race. This January, Sarah will ski 25K to raise money and awareness for the FIT TO FIGHT program. Read Sarah’s story.

Sarah’s Story


 

My late husband, Scott Woods, had always trusted his body to do what he needed it do, whether that was mountaineering in Pakistan, snowshoeing in Alaska, climbing in France, running marathons in Georgia and Colorado, or backpacking in Montana. But when he was diagnosed with cancer, he lost that trust – until he joined one of the early sessions with Fit to Fight.

This program, developed specifically for cancer patients and survivors and tailored to each participant, returned him  to a high level of fitness and strength, and, very importantly, taught him to trust his body again. Through FIT TO FIGHT, Scott regained fitness and was able, while still in treatment, to compete in two triathlons, run the Pengelly Double Dip, trek in Morocco and Peru, hike in his beloved Lake District National Park in the UK and along the Pembrokeshire coastal path in Wales, and climb Mt. Rainier.

In Scott’s honor, I am training to ski the 25 KM loop of the OSCR ski race in Seeley Lake on January 31, 2015, and I am doing it as a fundraiser for FIT TO FIGHT. I hope to raise enough money to sponsor an 8 week FIT TO FIGHT session so that more cancer “thrivers” can reap the same benefits that Scott did.

Please join me in this effort by donating. Simply click the button below and you can donate on a secure site. Donations can also be mailed with attention to FIT TO FIGHT, 5000 Blue Mountain Rd. Missoula, MT 59804. Please note the “OSCR race” during your donation, This way we can track progress towards our goal.

You are also invited to click here to donate directly online to FIT to FIGHT.

 

Taking Freestyle Ski Training from Land to Snow

This past weekend, Jess Kehoe, DPT of Alpine Physical Therapy was up at Snowbowl helping the Missoula freestyle ski team work on improving their on-snow warm ups.  Several of Alpine’s therapists worked with the team this fall for their dry-land training, and now we’ve taken the next step as their season kicks off on the snow.

Jess was there during that wild snowstorm this past Sunday leading nearly 80 amped up kids and 10 coaches in a dynamic warm up.  The team will continue using what they have learned in the dry-land and on-snow warmups to help prevent injuries throughout their season.

At Alpine we’re all about helping our community. In this instance, we are keen on helping to keep these kids active and healthy!

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Alpine PT Plays Its First Winter Indoor Soccer League with MISA

Alpine Physical Therapy is trying their collective foot for the first year at the new Missoula Indoor Soccer Arena or “MISA”. We’ve assembled a tough co-ed crew of PTs, PT aides, and other various turf-kicken’ “Socceroos” from our prior Summer and Autumn outdoor leagues.

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Alpine’s win to loss ratio is indicative that we’re a tad out of our league, as they merged the competitive and recreation leagues this year. Fortunately, playing teams well above our skill level exposes our team to a good dose of humility and a fervent desire to improve our footwork. We’ve been beaten recently by high school varsity kids half our age, and we’ve been beat high-handedly by current and ex-collegiate players double our skill level.

The good news is we’re out getting some fantastic after-work camaraderie, foot-eye coordination recreation, and loving the thrill of MISA’s exciting soccer turf. For those that haven’t played indoor soccer, it resembles a combination of Foosball, hockey, and soccer all rolled into one intensely fun sport.

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We thank Alpine PT for sponsoring our soccer team this winter. We would also like to thank Matt Fowler and the MISA staff for putting together and managing this excellent indoor soccer league. We also hope next year there will be sufficient interest and numbers in Missoula indoor soccer to have separate leagues for “recreational” kickers and trained competitive soccer’lites.

Hooray, for another awesome winter sport to look forward to each year.

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