Excel PT: Is Your Back Pain Coming From Your Back?

Tyler Sauder, PT, DPT Tyler is a therapist at our Lafayette Hi l l cl inic location. Read his ful l profi le here: FEATURED PT

Is Your Back Pain Coming From Your Back?

1. How did you decide to become a physical therapist and what motivates you to work with patients? My passion in life is people. My whole life, meeting new people and building relationships was something I enjoyed; being socially compatible was a strength of mine. I knew I wanted my career path to involve human interaction, creating new relationships, and helping others. I couldn’t see myself in a

cubicle. My passion for people, along with my favorite hobbies of fitness and sports, are intertwined and can be expressed and carried out as a Physical Therapist. Getting my patients back to what they love to do, is what I love to do!

2. In your words, what makes Excel Physical Therapy different from other physical therapy clinics? Patient-Therapist relationships are strong here at Excel. No techs, no aides, and rarely is there ever more than one other patient under your therapist’s care while you are in for treatment. You will be with your therapist from day one to discharge day. Excel’s model allows for patient rapport and personable relationships to be formed through their one-on-one care. I enjoy being personable and appreciate knowing and learning about my patients’ sports schedules, vacation plans, kids’ accomplishments, etc. 3. What was your most memorable patient experience? I treated a 38 year- old female golfer who came to me with right scapular pain that she felt while playing golf. After conducting my evaluation, I noted limited thoracic spine mobility, poor pelvic dissociation from the torso, and very tight lats. With further testing, I observed weakness of rotator cuff musculature and obliques, relative to other surrounding muscle groups. This made me curious of potential compensations that may be the root of her pain, that is hidden in her golf swing. Through a golf-specific screening pattern, I was able to find where her compensations were coming from. After a few sessions, she was able to get back to regular golf pain-free, and drive the ball further. This was a memorable patient experience for me, because I love to talk, treat, and play golf. Being able to implement my Titleist Performance Institute certification, and see my patient play better, pain-free golf is a very rewarding experience. If you are experiencing back pain, shoulder pain, or feel tight during your rounds, we are offering free screens for a limited time, and I would love to continue to get people back to their best golf.

We combine your personal history with your full evaluation results, to arrive at your specific PT diagnosis and customize your treatment plan. We start on the first day with hands-on treatment for soft tissue and joint mobilization, education in proper posture, and instruction in a home exercise program. Often, we find that patients that have back symptoms that peripheralize or move into the leg with the repeated motions have symptoms caused by lumbar or lumbosacral discs protruding on the nerves. Sometimes, we find that patients have a large imbalance in the strength and flexibility of hip rotator muscles, such as the piriformis muscle. A tight piriformis muscle can cause piriformis syndrome where the sciatic nerve gets compressed under a tight piriformis muscle. Other times, we see the pelvis tilted forward making it difficult to stand straight, and find that the patient has a tight iliopsoas muscle. The iliopsoas muscle is a hip muscle that originates on all the lumbar vertebrae and a tight iliopsoas can create a lot of back pain! You may have weak core muscles that are not properly stabilizing your spine and your PT might work on your transverse abdominal muscles and other core muscles to stabilize your spine. Bottom line, you may have pain originating from your lumbar spine, sacrum AND/OR your back or hip muscles. Your personalized one-on-one evaluation at Excel will let you know what is causing YOUR pain and get you the most effective treatments such as the McKenzie method, stabilization, Graston Technique, or Active Release Therapy. Our mission is to get you BACK to doing what you want to do pain-free!

4. If you could be any animal, what would it be and why? Golden retriever. First of all, why not? But.., the golden retriever is even tempered, intelligent, playful and fun, yet gentle, and they tend to get along well with strangers.

5. If you could describe yourself in one word what would it be and why? Humorous. If you can get someone to laugh, then you can get them to like you. If they like you, they will trust you. If they trust you, they will listen to you and will ultimately rehab better. :)

6. What do you like to do in your off time, outside the clinic? In my off time, you can find me on a golf course trying to better my golf game, or cheering on the Sixers and Eagles.



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