Monday, October 17, 2016

Pelvic Floor Therapy 

What is Pelvic Floor Therapy?
Pelvic floor dysfunction refers to a wide range of problems that occur when the muscles of the pelvic floor are weak, tight, or there is an problem with the neuromuscular system, low back, tailbone and/or hip joint.
Pelvic floor therapy is also commonly referred to as Women’s Health Physical Therapy although pelvic floor dysfunctions can happen to anyone. Changes in a woman's body can happen during or after pregnancy and the birth process, during aging or after a surgery or illness.  These changes often result in pain, decreased activity or confidence, and lifestyle changes.

What is the Pelvic Floor?
The pelvic floor is made up of muscles and other tissues that form a sling from the pubic bone to the tailbone. They assist in supporting the abdominal and pelvic organs, and help to control bladder, bowel and sexual activity.  Physical therapy can help by treating these muscles like any other muscle in the body with strengthening, stretching and neuromuscular re-education.

Why might someone start physical therapy?
  • Pelvic Pain
  • Urinary or Bowel Incontinence
  • Overactive Bladder
  • Pelvic Floor Weakness
  • Organ Prolapse

What happens at a physical therapy session?
Physical therapy for pelvic floor dysfunctions are unique for each patient, depending on their symptoms, diagnosis and other contributing medical or personal history.  Your therapist will discuss each step with you prior to the session to make sure everyone is comfortable.
Our goal with physical therapy is to provide a comprehensive, compassionate therapeutic program aimed at improved pelvic floor function and minimized or relieved symptoms, thereby improving your ability to return to previous activities and quality of life.

What is the first step to getting help?
Call our clinic to see if this is an option to you, you can also speak to your doctor to determine if physical therapy is a great opportunity for you!
Our therapists work with you and your provider to develop an treatment program individualized to your needs and goals. Our specialized programs will help improve quality of life throughout all stages of a person’s life, from back pain during pregnancy to urine incontinence.

Lindsey Johnson PT, DPT, CSCS 
Saint Francis Physical Therapy 


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Codependency & You

Alright everyone, it’s time to get a wee bit more personal than usual. It’s a given at this point that there is no such thing as a “perfect” or “normal” relationship. And when I say relationship, I am including spouses, family, friends, coworkers, etc. We all have our quirks and disagreements, but when do you know if the relationships you’re surrounded by are toxic for your own well-being? It’s one of the hardest things to admit that there is a problem, and that you may need to distance, or even remove yourself from the situation entirely. This is something that I personally have struggled with, and am still working every day to maintain a boundary with those unhealthy people.
Image result for codependency quote    Have you ever heard the term “codependent”? Well, a codependent is someone who enables the unhealthy, which can be a very exhausting, and unrewarding way of living. This can mean that they are either supporting someone’s bad behaviors or constantly granting them excuses for their wrongs, enabling an addiction/mental illness, or simply just doing and saying what you need to, to keep the other person calm and happy. That being said, being a codependent does NOT make you a bad person. You’re usually trying to find the best in the people that may be dragging you through the mud, and trying to help or “save” them. Most times, they are not looking for help, they’re not looking to be “saved”; they’re looking for chaos. Something I’ve learned over the years is that you cannot save someone who doesn’t want to be saved. We are not in control of other people’s lives (and if you’re anything like me, this is one of the hardest to keep reminding yourself). 
So what can you do?

1.   Tell somebody! If you have even the slightest feeling that you may be involved in an unhealthy, toxic relationship, one of the most important things you can do for yourself is tell somebody you trust (that is NOT involved in the relationship). This can be a family member, friend, coworker, or reach out for professional help (counseling, your doctor, etc.). It IS healthy to accept help from others; it is most definitely NOT a sign of weakness. 
2.   Distance yourself. It’s never an easy task distancing yourself from someone you care a lot about. This is especially hard when it is a family member, but it is important for your own well-being to create a boundary when you find yourself in a roller-coaster relationship, with more dips than hills. It IS okay to tell someone “no”, and you do not need to explain yourself to anyone. I promise you, it’s not as hard or impossible as it sounds!
3.   Take care of YOURSELF. That’s right, when was the last time you did something solely for your own benefit? This can be exercise, art, music, taking a spa day, the possibilities are endless! Take a step back and evaluate, are you happy? It IS okay to be selfish sometimes, especially when you have spent so much time being selfless to make someone ELSE happy. Remember, your self-worth should be coming from internal sources, not those around you.  
Image result for unhealthy relationship

**If you or someone you care about suspects that they may be in an unhealthy relationship, please visit:  Help Someone in an Unhealthy Relationship: Quick tips

Alyssa Hart
Clinic Coordinator Assistant
Physical Therapy Consultants

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Preventing Muscle Cramps During Athletic Participation

Muscle cramps are involuntary, intensely painful muscle contractions that often affect the arms and/or legs of individuals participating in intense workouts or endurance events.  The most common muscles involved are the calf muscles, hamstrings, and quadriceps.  Many athletes experience muscle cramps at some point in their lives, but some people simply seem to be more prone to muscle cramps.

There are a couple of theories about the causes or triggers of muscle cramping.  The two most commonly accepted theories include dehydration/electrolyte imbalances and fatigue/spinal reflex involvement.  We know that individuals with fatigued muscles, individuals who increase their workout intensity too fast, and individuals participating in athletics in heat are more likely to experience cramps.

So what can people do to prevent or decrease the occurrence of muscle cramps?

1.       Gradually increase training intensity.  When starting an exercise regimen, make a plan to gradually progress your workout intensity.  Basically, ramp up your workouts.  Do not go from the couch to max intensity exercise.

2.       Acclimate yourself to the environment.  This is important when participating in warm environments.  In warm environments try gradually increasing your exercise intensity over the course of several weeks.

3.       Consume the right amount of fluids for your body to prevent dehydration.  A way to monitor this is to weigh yourself before and after exercise.  A loss of greater than 2-3% body weight puts you at risk of dehydration.  Make sure to replace this loss with water or non-caffeinated sports drinks.  A simple way of determining if you are becoming dehydrated is to check your urine color.  If your urine color is not clear and is more of a yellow color, then you could use more fluids.  Preventing dehydration takes planning and should include getting adequate fluids over the course of several days before competition of heavy exercise. Avoid energy drinks, especially ones that contain caffeine and can act as a diuretic and lead to dehydration.

4.       Choose salty foods or sodium rich sports products before, during and after exercise.   Some individuals’ sweat may contain a higher concentration of sodium (the salty/grainy portion of sweat that you can feel).  It is important for these individuals to increase their sodium intake.  This can be done by supplementing pretzels, Roman noodles, and soup into your diet.  Eating nutrient rich foods that include other electrolytes including potassium, calcium, and magnesium may also be beneficial.

5.       Consume carbohydrates before your workout and during your workout if it is longer than 60-90 minutes.  Carbohydrates provide the energy that muscles need to contract and relax. 

Dustin Eslinger, MA, ATC

Certified Athletic Trainer

Physical Therapy Consultants, Inc.

Friday, September 16, 2016


Wow, what a week!! From my 4 year old son starting preschool for the year, moving out of our second home and moving back in with my parents (for a short time), teaching my first HIIT (high intensity interval training) class and working my regular job, I can't help but scream TGIF!! I am mentally, emotionally and physically drained but sit here and think about how blessed and grateful I am for everyone in my life. 

I have to remind myself it is "okay" to take time for me to rejuvenate and keep myself sane. We all have been there with busy schedules or committing to too many things and don't allow our selves time to take care "ME". We should never feel guilty or selfish but look at it as a way to relax, refocus and recharge to get back out there. 

For myself, I need to workout a few times a week to allow my stress to get released. When I don't,  I feel like pot that is going to boil over. It is a time for me to focus on something other than my kids, my husband, my job, etc. Even if it is 30-60 minutes out of the 24 hours in a day, it is what I need to chill out. 

Finding something to give yourself that time, whatever it may be, will allow you to be happier, healthier and feel your best. I have to remind myself from time to time, I can't help others if I don't help myself!

Kerra Pietach, LPTA
Andover Physical Therapy 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

5 week countdown to 5k!! 

We are excited to announce that we are hosting our 3rd annual 5k walk/run on Saturday, October 15th in recognition of National Physical Therapy Month. The proceeds from the walk/run will be going to the volunteer organization, Citizens Supporting Our Armed Forces who support our deployed soldiers and their families. Will this be your first 5k run/walk ever?? Don’t even know where to start? No worries, we are here to help.

Making A Plan
 First off, you may be asking how many miles is a 5k. A 5k is 3.1 miles. I just started using the couch to 5k application 2 weeks ago that has helped me ease into the 5k training plan gradually. There are 2 ways to follow this training program, to measure your runs by time or by distance. The app doesn’t push you to run your very fastest, but it focuses on increasing your time or distance you run. Each session should take about 20 to 30 minutes, 3 times per week.  Download the app on your phone now to go from couch potato to 5k.

3 Ways To Find Motivation To Run
    1. Find a running buddy. A running partner can make your training days more enjoyable.
  2. Signing up for a race: Having a goal to work towards and an exact date will help you stick to your training.
 3. Reward yourself: Maybe you didn’t miss a day from running? You did better on your race time? Celebrate it! Buy something that will help you with your new hobby: a new pair of running shoes, a water bottle or a runner’s watch.


  • Stretch after every workout to avoid injuries.
  • Don’t push yourself too hard, jog at a comfortable pace.
  • Hydrate and eat an hour before your run for energy. 

 Please invite your family and friends to our 5k. Halloween costumes are encouraged!! Go to the link below to sign up for our 5k now. We are now offering online registration! Can’t wait to see you there!

Kaitlyn Grell, LPTA
St.Francis Physical Therapy

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Kinesio Tape

Kinesio Tape 

With the Olympics going on this week, I have gotten many questions regarding all the tape being worn by the many different athletes. It is Kinesio tape, which has many different uses and effects on the body.

There are different brands of tape on the market that utilize some of the same properties. However, in the late 1970's Dr. Kenzo Kase, a chiropractor in Tokyo, developed Kinesio tape and the Kinesio tape method. It was constructed to facilitate the body's healing process and extend the benefits of treatment.

What is Kinesio tape and how does it work?
The tape is 100% latex free made from cotton fiber strips. It is hypoallergenic and is water resistant to allow consumers to wear it for multiple days. The tape was designed to not limit range of motion and to effectively facilitate or inhibit a muscle action. It can also be used to decrease swelling or bruising that arise from injury or surgery.

When the tape is applied, it creates a microscopic lift of the skin allowing for improved blood flow. It has the ability to decrease inflammation, promote muscle re-education and prevent injury. This is why we see many athletes apply it before a competition.

Kerra Pietsch, LPTA, CFNC
Andover Physical Therapy

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth This Summer

This fruit salsa is a sweet salsa made from diced fruit and served with cinnamon chips. 
This will be a hit at any get together! Enjoy! 



                      Cinnamon crisps
                       -10 flour tortillas (10")
                       -Cooking spray or Olive oil spray
                        -1/3 cup white sugar
                        -1 tsp cinnamon
                       Fruit salsa          
                       -2 granny smith apples
                        -1 lemon
                        -1 cup finely diced melon (your favorite variety) or kiwi.
                        -1 lb strawberries
                         -1 lb raspberries
                        -4 tbsp preserves (I use raspberry)


             Cinnamon crisps
             1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cinnamon and sugar. Set aside. 
            2. Working with 3 tortillas at a time, spray both sides of the tortilla and sprinkle each side lightly with                     
                 cinnamon sugar.
           3. Stack 3 tortillas and using a pizza cutter, cut tortillas into 12 wedges. Place on a baking sheet and 
              bake 8-11 minutes or until crisp. 

              Fruit salsa 
              1. Zest the lemon and set aside. Peel and finely chop apple, squeeze 2 tsp lemon juice over apples and 
                  mix well to combine. 
             2. Finely chop strawberries and melon. Gently combine all ingredients, the raspberries will break apart a
                 a bit but that's what you want. Allow to sit at room temp for at least 15 minutes before serving. 


Kaitlyn Grell, LPTA 
St.Francis Physical Therapy