JohnstonPT: Back Pain & Difficulty Walking



people in person and in the clinic! We hope that this is just for a few more weeks but are prepared for whatever is best for both our clients aswell as our team. I hopeyouare likeusandattempting to takeadvantageof the “extra” time in a productiveway. We have taken advantage of the extra time at home (and the clinics) and purged many of the drawers, closets and even storage rooms that have been dumping grounds for so long. My house has never been so clean and our clinic has never been so organized – thanks team! These are good things – having cleaned up some of ourpastmessesallowsus toturnourminds tothinkingabout what’s next. It also gives us some time to look at new things wecando tobeevenbetter in the future. At theclinics,weare putting additional short videos together that you will soon be able to go to our website or other social platforms and take a lookat. If youare interested inseeingthis, likeusonFacebook or Instagramas thiswill bewhereweput itout first.This isour waytosimplykeepintouchandjustputoutgoodinformation/ ideasof things thatwecanall bedoingwell weare lessactive than normal outside of our homes. We are keeping these videos light and funbecauseweall knowwe canusemoreof that in our lives right now! If there is a specific question you have, or a video of some type of exercise you feel would be helpful forustoput together, sendmeanemail. Ifyoucan, take advantageof this time! Keepmovingandexercise, eat aswell as you can, get your sleep and practice good hygiene. If you are struggling, think of what we have to be grateful for and reach out to family and friends. I think being grateful for what we have is always a good idea. I know I am grateful to have all my kids home during this time. We have had the chance forgreat conversation, familygamesandsomeclassic family fights. I have to believe that our dog Tuco is loving this, as he has never beenon somanywalks inhis life.We have actually “visited” with our families more (thank you skype, facetime and zoom). I hope that you have had some positive timewith your families aswell. This seasonwill pass. Please know that we are here for you! As always, give us a call if you have any questions or concerns about your aches and pains, or if you justneedaquickchatwithsomebodyoutsideofyourhouse:-). Letusknowifwecanhelp inanywayandknowweare looking forward to getting themajority of our care back in the clinic!

NOTES FROM ANDREW: TELEHEALTH I hope this newsletter finds you safe andwell. These are strange and trying times. I am writing these “notes” on April 2, just two weeks into our clinic

transitioning from100% in-clinic provision of care to seeing many of our clients by telehealth. Lots of change! Canceled events, canceled appointments, canceled vacations, CDC Posters,–evenourmonthlyworkshopshavebeencanceled. Threeweeksago,wewerestaggeringschedulestominimize the number of people crossing paths to encourage social distancing intheclinicwiththecurrentCOVID-19pandemic. Four weeks ago, we had nine therapists with waiting list. Todaywehave2 therapistsseeingurgent careclients (post- operative and new injury cases) in our clinics and 3more of our therapistsdoingourphysical therapytreatmentsvirtually viatelehealth.ThisiscertainlysomethingIdidn’tpredict three monthsago, anddidn’thaveasignificantplansetupforeven amonthago. I couldn’t beprouder of our staffwhohaveput patients, and each other, first in making this transition to telehealth possible at this challenging time. I am amazed at what can be accomplished when you put yourmindtoit.Whilesimplyhavingapositiveattitudedoesn’t takeasituationaway–itcertainlycanmakeitmorepleasant for us individuallyand for thosearoundus. I thinkduring this time of more extreme social distancing, we should put our mindtoa learningorgrowingmindset. Ihave learnedaton in the past several weeks about what is possiblewith the right team.Weallunderstandthatmovement toatelehealthmodel isnot the idealway thatweprefer topractice- butwebelieve it is themost responsible way for the time being. With how effective telehealthhasbeen, thepositive feedbackwehave gotten from our clients that are taking advantage of virtual appointments and with the results that we are seeing- we will keep thisasanoptiongoing forward.Wealsoknowthat telehealth is not for everyone (both clients and therapists). This required us to put a screening process in place to help usidentifywhoisappropriatefor in-clinicserviceor telehealth at thistime.Whilewecontinuetolearnandimproveourskills withtelehealth,wecan’twait tillweareprimarilybackseeing


• Physical Therapy • Work Injury Rehab • Sports Injury Rehab

• Trigger Point Dry Needling • Education

WALKING AWAY FROMBACK PAIN INSIDE: • Walking Away from Back Pain • Fixing your Stride • Relieve Back Pain In Minutes • Patient Success Spotlight • Telehealth: Serving Patients in These Troubling Times NEWSLETTER THE HEALTH & FITNESS


Whether you have back pain or have been suffering for a long time, seeing a physical therapist at one of our clinics can help you return to a more active and pain-free life. Give us a call today! Walking Your Way Pain Free: Walking is a great form of exercise, but more than that, it is a necessity of life. When you can’t walk, even basic tasks become complicated. Getting out of bed in the morning, getting to and from work, moving your way around the office, and even spending time with family on the weekends all rely heavily on your ability to walk. When your back pain begins to interfere with your ability to move around freely, then you know it is time to start doing something about it. Conveniently, walking is more than a goal when it comes to back pain, it could be part of the solution. Working with a physical therapist to develop improved strategies and techniques with your walking could help you to get back on your feet even sooner than you thought possible. What’s more, for those who are able to walk, getting on your feet more often with targeted exercises could help you find relief from back pain even sooner than expected.

Does going for a walk sound like a big pain in the back? For those who struggle with chronic back pain, even the basic task of going for a walk can be overwhelming and painful. Back pain can strike at any time. Whether in the upper back, surrounding the neck and shoulders, in the lower back or even sciatica, pain is something that no one likes to deal with for too long. Relying on pain medications to help you overcome back pain will leave you disappointed. While pain medications are frequently helpful at alleviating the discomfort of your back pain for a short period of time, they are not capable of resolving the issue that is causing your pain to develop in the first place. The only thing that can actually fix your back pain is addressing the issue that is causing your pain head on. There is no pill that will make you more flexible or stronger. Physical therapy is a great resource for addressing your back pain and can be a helpful tool in getting you back on your feet. So, whether it is following a sudden injury or a chronic issue that has developed over time, physical therapy could be the answer to helping you enjoy life free of back pain. And the secret to success is learning to approach recovery one step at a time.

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When you are experiencing regular back pain—especially if you are experiencing symptoms while walking—you should consider ways that you can reduce back pain by taking small steps to support your back. There are several things that you can do at home to improve your stride, which can make a significant difference when it comes to managing back pain day-to-day. Here are several ways that you can start taking care of your back with each step you take: 1. Make sure that you are wearing the right types of shoes. While the golden rule for walking is to wear sneakers, not all sneakers are created equally. You need to wear a sneaker that is going to provide you with the arch support that meets your individual needs. This may mean upgrading your sneaker to something for your foot type. 2. Try a custom insert in your shoe. Of course, you can’t wear sneakers all the time. When you are at the office, professional footwear matters. You may find it helpful to have OTC or custom orthotics made for your work shoes so that you can have more arch support around the clock. 3. Work on improving your posture. If you are slouching when you walk, then that may be impacting the way that your back feels. Take a few minutes in the morning and again in the afternoon to stretch your back, and then make a point of keeping your shoulders square and your back straight as you walk. Simply standing tall may alleviate some of your back pain.

Another way that walking can help alleviate back pain is by encouraging weight loss. Being overweight puts added pressure on your back, and this can contribute to increased back pain. Working with a physical therapist to improve your walking technique can help you to overcome back pain one step at a time.

Call us today to schedule an appointment!


The best way to keep your body healthy during this time is to stay moving and reduce inflammation. Being sedentary and making poor diet choices has the potential to hurt your immune system and make you a target for sickness and disease.

1. Wash your hands. 2. Decide to get up and get moving.

3. Eat nutrition rich food. 4. Drink plenty of water. 5. Don’t smoke. 6. Get a good amount of rest. 7. Stretch. 8. Take frequent breaks for breathing exercises. Inhale and exhale deeply. 9. Continue your home exercise program 2-3 times per week. In order to be healthy, there needs to be a large emphasis onmovement. When your body is flexible, strong, well-balanced, and fueled by a nutritious diet, it is able to fight infection and reduce the impact of viruses. We are dedicated to helping you live the best life you can. During this time, if you cannot make

it to your physical therapy appointments, continue your exercises at home. We care for you and remember you are part of our physical therapy family.

Patient Success Spotlight


In light of the COVID-19 pandemic that has been causing numerous health care facilities to shut down, we as medical professionals are diligently trying to serve our patients in the best ways possible without risking the spread of this disease. Because of this, telehealth services are the best possible option for us at this time. By providing care for our patients virtually, as opposed to in person, we are able to keep both our patients and PT providers safe. For more information on our telehealth services and how they may benefit you, feel free to call us at 515-270-0303 for the Johnston Clinic, or 515-964-8885 for the Ankeny Clinic, schedule a telehealth appointment with our website chatbot, OR go to our telehealth appointment page link to schedule your virtual appointment! What Is Telehealth? You may be wondering what exactly telehealth is. Essentially, it is a way for us to make sure that our patients are still receiving the highest possible quality of care they need from a remote location. Telehealth services can be accessed via your smartphone or computer, and you will be able to perform your PT treatments from the comfort of your own home during this quarantine. You will also be able to track your progress and see how you are improving throughout your treatments – without coming directly to our clinic. At Johnston Physical Therapy our telehealth services offer live consultation where you can meet and chat with your physical therapist about your treatment plan. Additionally, through our Medbrige app, you can view the exercises and stretches that you are expected to complete each day and log your advancement through your treatment plan. You can also use this app to access ongoing helpful tools and tips, such as our blogs – you can even use it to send these tips to a friend or family member who may also need help! Begin Telehealth Services Today. We understand that we are in the midst of stressful times, and that there will likely be more ahead. At Johnston Physical Therapy, we want you to know that we are here for you. We genuinely care about the health of each and every one of our patients, which is why we believe telehealth services are the best course of action for the time being. To learn more about how you can set up our telehealth services on your smartphone or computer, give us a call today. At the end of the day, we are all in this together – most importantly, stay calm, and stay healthy. We are here to help you with your needs.

“ I am back to a normal lifestyle.” “Thought I would send a “thank you” to you and your staff for helping me out with my back pain. I must admit when I first came into your office, I did not believe that you could do anything for me; however, thought I would give you a chance. After only three treatments and your advice on daily exercises, I am back to a normal lifestyle, which includes riding my indoor bicycle trainer and working out daily.” - Z.G.

Relieve Back Pain In Minutes Try this movement if you are experiencing back pain.

SIDELYING TRUNK ROTATION While lying on your side with your arms out-stretched in front of your body, slowly twist your upper body to the side and rotate your spine. Your arms and head should also be rotating along with the spine as shown. Follow your hand with your eyes. Hold for 20 seconds repeat 3 times on each side.

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 to normal.

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