Johnston PT: Correcting Knee Pain For The Avid Runner





Spring has sprung! Thank God for the break from the brutal ice, cold and SNOW! That was a lot of snow. With the break in the weather, it has been great being able to get back outside for fitness, for fresh air- for sanity. This time of year we see many injuries with return to higher outdoor fitness activities. If we prepare appropriately, we can reduce the risk of injury –which keeps us on the road. A few years ago, I gave up more consistent running as I was hurting- knees, hip, back, but most significantly my neck. When my symptoms would get bad, I would work with my different therapists- and they were always able to give me good short-term relief keeping me on the road. I was looking for the quick fix- I would often switch therapists so they • Correcting Knee Pain For The Avid Runner • Relieve Hip Pain In Minutes • Patient Success Spotlight • Staff Spotlight • What Should I Do Now?

would not know that I was still hurting. The good news is- I didn’t give up. So why wasn’t I getting all the way better. I felt like I was chasing problems around- trading knee pain for hip pain, then on to neck or back pain. I was doing my work, maybe not all the time. Full of excuses- I was busy running a business, three kids and my wife that I had to keep up with. “Was this genetic, actually stress or am I just getting too old”? What was interesting was my attitude. I knew “best” what I needed to do. Certainly, I was not as consistent as I would expect my “patient” to be. Doing just the parts I wanted to do of what my therapists recommended.Yet, Iwasconvinced I was doing enough. Or was I? I was challenged by one of my therapists (who will remain nameless). They asked: “What are you really doing? You are too weak, too inflexible and not stopping when your symptoms indicate you should”.

So, I stopped masking symptoms. I stopped self-treating- and listened. I started training with purpose. Harder, heavier, more frequently. Better diet. More sleep. And listening to my body and my therapist. I actually would tell you I hurt worse for 2 or 3 weeks- as I ACTUALLY DIDTHEWORK. Not just saying I was doing the work. But recording it so I knew how much I was doing. It was good for me to experience- I preach this stuff all the time. If we accurately diagnose your issue and you do the work- we can almost always, not only help you reduce your symptoms, but get you back to what you want to do. I have become an even bigger believer in what we do- and hopefully a better therapist because of it. Most importantly, I’mstronger, more flexible, doingmore than ever and don’t have the pain that kept me down. If you are struggling, consider letting one of our therapist see if we can help!


• Physical Therapy • Work Injury Rehab • Sports Injury Rehab

• Trigger Point Dry Needling • Education




Whether you have hurt your joints or have been suffering for a long time, seeing a physical therapist at Johnston Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine can help you return to a more active and pain-free life. Give us a call at 515-270-0303 today!

The knee is a complex part of the body. It is unique in that it is in the middle of the two longest bones of the body, with much of its function being dictated by what is happening at the foot and hip. It is a hinge joint. It is responsible for bearing weight. The bones that make up the knee include the tibia (shin bone), the femur (thigh bone), and the patella (kneecap).These are all held in place by the knee joint and surrounded by ligaments, tendons,muscles,andmenisci.Becauseof thecomplexitiesof theknee, sports and recreational activities (including running) can create a higher risk of injury. If you are experiencing a pain in your knee that is hindering your ability to run, contact us at Johnston Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine today to set up an appointment. Whydoesmykneehurt?Thereareseveralknee injuries thatcan result from running. Some of the most common ones include: • Hamstring strain. Hamstring strains are common in athletes and can cause pain around the thigh or knee. Your hamstring is a group of three muscles that run along the back of your thigh and help in allowing you to bend your knee. One or more of thesemusclescanbecomestrained,oreven torn, throughexcessiveuseor injury.You can avoid hamstring tears by doing strengthening exercises of both the hamstrings and glutes, as they work together to bear weight. Stretching your hamstrings and quadriceps (the muscles at the front of the thigh) and doing warm-up exercises before a run will help in keeping them warm and loose, thus decreasing your risk of straining them. • Meniscus tear. A meniscus tear is one of the most common knee injuries. It occurs when theknee is twistedor rotated inaway that itshouldn’tbe,especiallywhenyour full weight is put on it. Both knees have two menisci, which are C-shaped pieces of cartilage thatcushionyour tibiaand femur.Whenameniscus is torn, thesurrounding

areas can become painful, swollen, or stiff. The movement in your knee may also be limited, making it difficult to bend or extend the knee. • Patellar tendinopathy. This injury specifically affects the tendon that connects your patella to your tibia. That tendon is known as the “patellar tendon.” The patellar tendon works together with your quadriceps to allow you to run, jump, and kick. However, when the tendon experiences excessive overuse, it can become injured and inflamed, resulting in patellar tendinopathy. Those with patellar tendinopathy typically experience pain between the patella and tibia. You may only notice the pain while running or working out at first, but over time it can become more frequent and severe, interfering with daily activities. You can prevent patellar tendinopathy by strengthening your thigh muscles and improving your running technique with the help of a physical therapist. • Iliotibial band syndrome. Iliotibial (IT) band syndrome occurs frequently in runners.The ITband ismadeupofa thickclumpoffibers that run from theoutside of the thigh,down theknee,and to the topof the tibia. ITbandsyndromeoccurs when the IT band becomes too tight, making it difficult to glide smoothly over the knee, and resulting in pain and swelling. IT band syndrome can be reduced by doing thorough soft tissue mobilization activities through the glutes, quads, hamstrings and directly over the ITband.This can help when performed before and or after a run, preventing the band from becoming painful and limiting.

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If you are suffering from any of these conditions, or you are experiencing knee pain in general, it is important to schedule a consultation with a physical therapist. At Johnston Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine, we will conduct a thorough physical evaluation to identify your diagnosis and determine where your pain is stemming from. Afterward, we will create a customized treatment plan based on the needs of your diagnosis and the severity of your symptoms. Our treatment plans will incorporate both passive and active therapies for treating pain. Passive therapies are aimed at pain relief and healing, including specialized treatments such as manual therapy, ice and heat therapies, ultrasound, or electrical stimulation. Active therapies are aimed at increasing strength, flexibility, range of motion, and overall function. These include condition-specific exercises and stretches that will target the affected area and any areas that may be contributing to the pain. We will also provide you with helpful tips and techniques for avoiding further injury in the future. If your knees are paining you, don’t wait to find relief. Schedule an appointment with us at Johnston Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine, and we will help get you back on track to being the best runner you can be!

Call us today to schedule an appointment!


Alyssa Bolger, PT, DPT Alyssa is a familiar face in Johnston, growing up in the neighborhood. She was excited to have the opportunitytoreturnhome, joiningJPT in2014after graduating from Marquette University. She played various sports growing up, and has carried this active-mindset into the clinical setting. She enjoys focusing on the patient as a whole, incorporating functional exercises to better assist the patient to reach their personal goals and returning to the

activities they love. She recently returned to our clinic from her maternity leave. Shehasbeenenjoyingspending timewithherexpanding family, includingherbaby boy, Liam!Shealsoenjoys outdoor activities and theDes Moines Farmer’s Market. She will be running the DSM Women’s Half Marathon Relay this May! EDUCATION • Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences, Marquette University • Doctorate of Physical Therapy, Marquette University • Specialties: general orthopedics, sports medicine, functional exercises, pediatric care, and women’s health • Certifications: Selective Functional Movement Assessment, Functional Dry Needling, Strength and Conditioning, • Certified Applied Functional Science(CAFS)

Patient Success Spotlight


“I was able to play football this season!” “I had surgery on my knee in July of 2018, which was the second surgery on that knee in five years. Unfortunately, the surgery was more involved than expected. This meant a longer and harder recovery, with a more uncertain outcome. After the surgery, I lost motion and strength in my leg and had difficulty walking. I worked with Ben George at Johnston PT to regain motion and strength. My goal was to be able to play football for the 2018-19 season and basketball after that. Ben worked closely with my surgeon to help me recover. He also communicated with the high school coaches and trainer to transition me back to practice and play. With Ben’s help, I was able to play football this season—a month earlier than was expected. I really appreciate Ben’s skill and dedication to my recovery.” -Ben B.

• Do you wake up with aches and pains? • Do family members have to help you out of your chair? • Does pain from an old injury keep you on the sidelines? • Does back pain put a frown on your face? • Do you have swelling and stiffness in your shoulders or knees? If You Said Yes...Now IsTheTimeTo Contact Johnston Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine To Get Your Body Back In Working Condition. You Don’t Need A Prescription! Whether you want to come in for a check-up, suffered a recent injury or you want to improve your health, a physician referral is not needed. In the state of Iowa you have direct access to physical therapy! YOU HAVE THE POWER TO CHOOSE. Just as you can fill a prescription for medication at a pharmacy of your choice, you can choose where to receive physical therapy as well. Taking care of yourself means taking charge of your healthcare, so remember that regardless of which physician you see, you have a choice when it comes to physical therapy.

Relieve Hip Pain In Minutes Try this movement if you are experiencing hip/knee pain.

LOWER TRUNK ROTATIONS Lying on your back with your knees bent, gently rock your knees side- to-side. Perform this 10-15 times in each direction.

If this exercise does not provide you relief/help, please consider an evaluation to see if we can identify the source of your pain and provide a plan to get you back


Allergy Symptom Reduction. A thorough cleaning can greatly reduce the amount of dust in your home, which is helpful since about 20 million Americans are allergic to dust mites, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Cleanliness Produces Happiness. Maybe you don’t enjoy the process of cleaning, but the end result will leave you smiling. A 2010 study at the University of California, Los Angeles even found that having a clean home can improve your mood and reduce your risk of depression. Declutter and Do a Good Deed by Donating. An essential part of a successful spring cleaning is getting rid of old items that are no longer used or worn. Apply the rule of thumb that if you haven’t made use of something in a year, it’s time for it to go. Fill bags and boxes of things, then donate them to a local charity so they can still be beneficial to someone else. Giving to others is an act that is associated with greater self-esteem, lower stress levels, and overall happiness. Saxbe,DEandRepetti,R. “Noplace likehome:home tourscorrelatewithdailypatternsofmoodand cortisol.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. January 2010. Accessed 4 April 2017. https://


INGREDIENTS Chips: • 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas • Cooking spray • 1/2 teaspoon salt • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder

• 1/3 cup chopped plum tomato • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice • 3/4 teaspoon salt • 2 ripe peeled avocados • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped • 1 garlic clove, minced

Guacamole: • 3 tomatillos • 1/3 cup chopped onion

DIRECTIONS Preheatoven to375°.Topreparechips,cuteach tortilla into8wedges;arrange tortillawedges in asingle layeron2bakingsheetscoatedwithcookingspray.Sprinklewedgeswith1/2 teaspoon salt and chile powder; lightly coat wedges with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 12 minutes or untilwedgesarecrispand lightlybrowned.Cool10minutes.Toprepareguacamole,peelpapery husk from tomatillos; wash, core, and finely chop. Combine tomatillos, onion, and remaining ingredients; stir well. Serve guacamole with chips.

Attention Pain Sufferers



On Saturday, May 4th • 10am Free Workshop

We are hosting a FREE Rotator Cuff & Shoulder Pain Workshop at our Johnston clinic, Saturday, May 4th, 10am!

Here’s some of what you’ll learn:

• Do you suffer with shoulder pain or a rotator cuff? • Do you experience pain, numbness or tingling when you reach or bend? • Do you suffer from a past injury? • Do you have pain when doing daily activities? • Are you afraid your pain will get worse if you don’t do anything about it?

ü The single BIGGEST #1 MISTAKE Rotator Cuff and Shoulder Pain sufferers make which actually stops them from healing ü The 3 MOST COMMON CAUSES of Rotator Cuff and Shoulder Pain ü What successful treatment and permanent relief looks like without the side effects of medications, injections or surgery

If you have answered YES to any of the above questions (or have a stubborn spouse who is in denial) the Rotator Cuff and Shoulder Pain Workshop may be a life changing event for you…

Rotator Cuff and Shoulder Pain can completely ruin your life.

Don’t delay, register today by calling now!

ü It can take your focus away from enjoying your life… like spending time with your children or grandchildren ü It can mess up your work or force you to do a job you don’t want to do ü It can ruin your travel plans

JOHNSTON CLINIC 5627 NW 86th St #200 Johnston, IA 50131

P: 515-270-0303 F: 515-270-0160

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