How Does Physical Therapy Help Patients Recover?

Whether you need a physical therapist in Burien for a sports injury, gait and balance training, or post-surgical rehabilitation, it is crucial to choose a service you can trust. At Advance Physical Therapy, we strive to coordinate with patients to meet their unique needs and help them manage pain, heal injuries, and improve their quality of life. Because of the potential risk posed by COVID-19, we are also currently offering telehealth services to patients.

 While we know that physical therapy can be highly beneficial, what exactly are the benefits? 

  • Functional improvements. Surgery, sports injuries, and injuries on the job can all impact mobility, range of motion, and muscle strength. Your physical therapist coordinates with you to set goals and benchmarks. Treatment isn’t just about keeping pain at bay: it’s also about getting back to doing the things you love.
  • Effective pain management. Chronic pain from an improperly-healed injury can quickly create a dependency on prescription painkillers and over-the-counter medications to keep pain at tolerable levels. By contrast, physical therapy can use a variety of drug-free treatments to aid pain management, including:
    • Electrical stimulation
    • Kinesio Taping
    • Rehabilitative Real-Time Diagnostic Ultrasound (MSK)
    • ASTYM™ Soft Tissue Mobilization
  • Surgery prevention. In many cases, physical injuries requiring physical therapy are not critical. However, over time, an improperly-healed injury can lead to extensive tissue damage that requires surgical intervention. Physical therapy is one way that many patients can avoid surgery with noninvasive treatments.
  • Injury risk prevention. Yes, physical therapy can even help you prevent re-injuring after recovery. Many patients are given treatment regimens to perform at home to encourage healing, improve mobility, and ensure that vulnerable tissue suffers less damage over time.

 Patients seeking a physical therapist appointment or telehealth services related to their physical therapy needs can contact our team at (206) 444-6320 or send an email to [email protected].

How Physical Therapy Improves Quality of Life for Patients

Going to physical therapy for the first time can leave patients with many questions about how this discipline can help their injuries and illnesses. We at Advance Therapy strive to provide information that is both helpful and informative when considering your options for physical therapy in Burien.

What can I expect at my first physical therapy appointment?

While the details may vary based on your condition and needs, most first appointments focus on the following: 

  • Performing a physical exam to evaluate health.
  • Consulting patients about their medical history.
  • Determining a clinical diagnosis and prognosis.
  • Formulating a plan of care with both short- and long-term goals for healing.
  • Presenting patients with exercises and self-management measures they can undertake at home.

How can physical therapy help my condition?

Physical therapy provides patients with a variety of benefits, including: 

  • Pain management that can supplement or even reduce the need for opioid medications.
  • Recovering in safe and effective ways from injury, trauma, stroke, or paralysis
  • Improving balance and preventing falling risks for seniors

What conditions can benefit from physical therapy?

A variety of physical therapy modalities exist to aid an equally wide range of health conditions, such as: 

  • Hand therapies for trigger finger and carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Stroke, spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease, MS, and other neurological conditions
  • Musculoskeletal conditions like torn rotator cuffs, back pain, and TMJ
  • Sports injuries, including concussions
  • Women’s health conditions including pelvic floor dysfunction and lymphedema
  • Pediatric conditions such as muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy
  • COPD, cystic fibrosis, post-myocardial infarction, and other cardiopulmonary conditions

 Whether you need physical therapy or telehealth services, Advance Physical Therapy provides a high standard of care to help you heal. Call (206) 444-6320 or email our team at [email protected] to get started.

Can Advance Physical Therapy in Burien Help Me Post-Surgery?

After an orthopedic surgery, regaining motion and strength is vital. Advance Physical Therapy in Burien offers a range of services to assist in your full recovery.

 Physical therapy may help if you had surgery on a joint, muscle, or tendon and are still experiencing any of the following:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Lack of motion
  • Lack of strength
  • Difficulty walking/rising/moving
  • Scar site tightness
  • Numbness/tingling

Post-Surgical Rehabilitation

 We create a custom physical therapy plan based on the type of surgery performed and a comprehensive initial evaluation. We never use a one-size-fits-all plan because what works for one person will not always work for someone else. We use the most specific treatments in order to optimize your outcome. We use a mix of multiple interventions such as:

  • Manual Therapy (soft tissue mobilization, ASTYM, joint mobilizations, SNAGs, MWMs)
  • Neuromuscular Re-education (MSK ultrasound, muscle stimulation, proprioceptive cues)
  • Balance Training
  • Gait Training (learning how to walk without assistive devices or compensation patterns)
  • Therapeutic Exercises (specific to stretch and strengthen the affected area)
  • Pain Relieving Modalities (Interferential electric stimulation, therapeutic ultrasound)

 Benefits of Post-Surgery Physical Therapy

 Starting a customized physical therapy plan as soon as possible after surgery helps to reduce swelling, assists in the healing of scar sites, and works to help restore a full range of motion/strength in the repaired area. Typical recovery times range from 4-8 weeks with procedures for the spine, total hip replacements, carpal tunnel release, and mensicus/labral arthroscopy usually being shorter and procedures such as rotator cuff, total knee replacements, and ACL reconstructions usually taking longer. We always adjust the type of therapy, amount, and intensity to the stage of recovery. If you are only 3 days post-op then your treatment will likely focus on reducing swelling and pain but after a few weeks of treatment we can work on increasing your motion and strength. Better to start soon after your surgery for optimal healing but even if you had the surgery several years ago, you can still benefit from a specifically designed post-surgery physical therapy plan.  There is no expiration date on healing!

 Contact us today to schedule your post-surgical consultation with Advance Physical Therapy in Burien and let us create a unique plan for your recovery.

Why choose Advance Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation?

If you are experiencing pain and difficulty with movement, then Advance Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation in Burien can help!  Diagnosing and treating pain from muscles, tendons, joints, and nerves is our specialty.  It’s what we do.

 A lot of physical therapy clinics just have you do a series of exercises in a gym setting.  We are a different kind of physical therapy.  No generic exercise routines.  Every patient gets a customized treatment plan based on what we find during the initial examination and from ongoing re-assessments. 

 Treatments consist of:

  • Manual hands-on techniques to loosen tension in soft tissues and restore movement to joints of the spine and extremities.
  • Pain relieving modalities such as interferential stimulation and therapeutic ultrasound.
  • Neuromuscular re-education to retrain correct movement patterns, and specific therapeutic exercises to restore strength and flexibility.

 We match these treatments to each specific problem area that we find in order to restore function and eliminate pain. 

 Let us help you reach your goals!  Call Advance Physical Therapy in Burien at (206) 444-6320 or email us at [email protected] and get back to living again!

Fall is here!

With the weather changing and the rain coming in many people start gearing up for the fall and winter. When getting out to clean your gutters or pack away your patio set make sure to do some warming up. Something as easy and walking around the yard, touching your toes and arching your back can go a long way to keep your body a lot happier while doing your tasks. Now the kids are back in school, it’s a perfect time to come visit us about that nagging injury you got over the summer and get ready for the holidays!

SPRING RUNNING: How to start and build smart


Spring is finally upon us! The days are longer and the sun shines more often. It’s this time of year many people get back into running or start up for the first time. Too often we see patients who have the exact same situation that leads them into our clinic. They bought a pair of running shoes that looked good and just started running. But sometimes they push too far too fast. A few simple concepts can help you begin your running journey without major setbacks.

First thing any runner needs to do is to start with the right shoe. Are you going to run on the roads? Are you going to run on trails? What sort of mileage will you be doing each week?

A store that specializes in running shoes is a logical spot to find the best shoes for your specific foot type. Our favorite local running store is the Balanced Athlete at the Renton Landing. Top to bottom they have the best trained staff and always help you find the right shoe. There are other good options depending on where you live. Here is a link to a list of some other Seattle area running shoe stores.  At least at first, we do not recommend that you order running shoes online since it is so important to try them out and have someone help you select the best option for you.
Once you have found the right pair of shoes it’s time to start thinking about training. Slow, steady, and consistent is the concept you want to think about when building a running base. To start with, use duration and not distance. So use minutes instead of miles. The reason for this is that it’s easier to stick to minutes and not push too far too quickly. If you have never run before, I recommend starting with a walk/run interval starting with 20-30 minutes total. The beginning interval should ideally start at walking 2 minuets and running 1 minute. Then working over the next 3-4 weeks building up to where you are running 2 minutes and walking 30 seconds, eventually building up to where you can run for 30 minutes without the walking intervals. If you need to continue with the walking intervals, then by all means do so. During this time period, you want to track the miles you run so when you are finished with the first month of intervals you will have a good starting point to then transfer from using minutes into mileage.

We always recommend people pick a running event such as a 5K race to work towards. This will give you a tangible goal to work towards and achieve. Nothing is worse than a vague goal that’s hard to pin down. Once you choose an event then it’s time to start planing your runs. Some people get caught in what is commonly called the “black hole” of training. What this means is that you are working out just hard enough to feel it, but not hard enough to produce adaptation and continue improving. Take for example a three day a week running program. You won’t want to run the same distance, time, and mileage each run. You have to vary your training in order to avoid boredom and also to continue progressing. Splitting your runs into pace, speed, and distance will challenge you and you should begin to see your runs getting faster and longer. But a word of caution: Never make a sudden increase in your mileage such as going from 2 miles to 8 miles one run to the next and also avoid suddenly adding a lot of difficulty such as hills or uneven surfaces. If you would like more information and for an in-depth analysis of your running form and training loads, schedule a full running analysis with us at Advance Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation where we will prepare you for your race event or just help keep you running injury-free.

Save Money by starting Physical Therapy earlier.

Musculoskeletal issues affect more than 50% persons over the age of 18 years old in the United States and nearly 75% of those age 65 and over. Trauma such as motor vehicle accidents, back pain, and arthritis are the three most common musculoskeletal conditions reported, and for which health care visits to physician’s offices, emergency departments, and hospitals occur each year. Many of these issues get over-treated with unnecessary imaging, medication, and a lack of early referrals to Physical Therapy. In a Meta Analysis of 14 accepted studies, the Journal of Orthopedic Sports Physical Therapy in June of 2016 stated:
“Current US practice guidelines suggest an initial “wait-and-see” approach following onset of musculoskeletal pain, particularly for spinal pain. Several studies suggest that early initiation of Physical Therapy for musculoskeletal conditions may decrease health costs and improve outcomes compared to delayed use of Physical Therapy.” During this study they found, “Preliminary evidence suggests that early physical therapy may decrease cost without compromising outcomes.”
Another study in the same journal looked at the cost difference between direct access to Physical Therapy and the medical referral model. The direct access group saved an average of $1,543 per person and a total cost savings of over $400,000 compared to the medical referral group over the course of the study. What this demonstrates is that earlier access to Physical Therapy not only improved patient outcomes but also lowers cost across the board. Many people see a prescription to Physical Therapy like a prescription for ibuprofen, just fill it at any clinic since it’s the same product.
Physical Therapy, however, varies greatly depending on the clinic you choose. Some clinics use a very “cookie-cutter” approach where every knee gets the same exercises and stay on the same machines. Others take a more holistic and individualized approach, treating every patient as a whole person and not just as a diagnosis. Being an independent clinic and taking a more individualized approach with our patients allows us to utilize our wide verity of certifications, advanced technologies, and extensive training to treat each patient more effectively. We pride ourselves on keeping up to date with the most recent research to ensure that each treatment utilizes the most current information to help you achieve your goals faster.
Starting Physical Therapy sooner often times leads to faster resolution of symptoms and patients do not require as many total visits in order to get there. So please consider Advance Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation for recent onset pain or even pain that has been hanging around for a long time. We’re here to help!
Written by Joshua C. Anderson, PTA/L, CKTP,
Edited by Brad L. Bentley, DPT, OCS, Cert. MDT, CMP, Cert. ASTYM

Gearing up for the Holidays

Gearing up for the Holidays

Every year as holiday parties and festivities approach, we see an increase in the number of painful conditions related to preparing, cleaning, and cooking for their parties and guests. With a few simple steps you can help keep yourself healthy, happy and enjoying your holidays without pain. First and foremost, make a list of all of the things you need to do to prepare and get your home ready for company. By doing this you can have a specific amount of items that need to be accomplished by a certain date. Take a moment and look at your list, which tasks involve lifting, which ones have you twisting, or which ones have you standing in one place. By asking yourself these questions you can set out a plan to not overstrain your body, potentially resulting in pain. This may sound like advice from physical therapy nerds, but remember to take time to stretch out and warm up before you begin cooking, cleaning, or decorating your home. (Note from the Editor: That is advice from physical therapy nerds.) Try to break up tasks so you are not doing the same activity for an extended period of time. Vacuum one room, then dust in the next. The more you can vary what you do the better your body will tolerate it. If you approach housework like you would a game or exercises at the gym you will be more prepared to withstand the potential strains on your muscles, joints, and nerves from working around the home. Doing a series of light stretching and warm ups before you vacuum, dust, clean, or cook should help reduce overuse injuries and strains in addition to reducing the chance of next-day soreness.
When it comes to large family meals, you can try bringing a higher chair such as a barstool into the kitchen so you can still do a few tasks while taking a bit of pressure off of your knees and feet. This will allow you to cook longer and still enjoy the rest of the day without the increased pain. In general, if you have been standing too long you should sit, if you’ve been sitting too long you should stand and move around, and if you’ve been upright too long you should lie down at least for a few minutes then get back to it if need be. Also, remember to gently draw-in your abdominals every few minutes while standing and definitely when lifting the turkey out of the oven!
When it comes time to clean up, first and foremost it should be a group effort. I grew up in a home that if you cook, you don’t clean. That way everyone contributes and no one is stuck doing all the work all day. Another way to approach the cleanup is to clean while you cook and then break up the tasks of scrubbing and general rinsing so you can take rest breaks as needed.
If you make a list, remember to warm up before bouts of activity, vary your tasks, and take time to stop and enjoy your holiday’s you will be set up for a happy and healthy holiday season. (Another note from the editor: Sadly, putting schnapps in your hot cocoa does not count as a “warm up”.)

Season’s Greetings from all of us at Advance Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation!

Written by:
Joshua C. Anderson, PTA, CKTP, Cert. ASTYM
Edited by:
Bradford L. Bentley, DPT, OCS, CSCS, Cert. MDT, CMP, Cert. ASTYM

Stroke Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy

Strokes are serious and potentially fatal events that can happen at any time. Strokes are very common more than 750,000 occurring every year in the United States. There are two main types of strokes. The first is an ischemic stroke where the blood vessels carrying blood to the brain and is blocked, usually via a clot. These strokes are the most common and usually not fatal but may have long-term effects. The second is a hemorrhagic stroke, in which there is a rupture to the blood vessel causing blood to leak around the brain. Depending on the severity, these may become fatal very quickly. This happens when someone has a brain aneurysm or a weak blood vessel begins to leak in the brain. For those people who survive a stroke, a return to a normal life may or may not be possible depending on severity. However, for many Physical Therapy and neurologic rehab are key to returning a patient to their life and what they love to do.
There are a handful of corresponding disabilities that are most common with stroke. Partial or complete paralysis, increased sensory pain, challenges with memory and the ability to focus. You may also have problems understanding and using language as well as a variety of potential emotional disorders. With the variety of complications after a stroke, it is imperative that the patient and their doctors identify the best types of therapy.
The primary goal of Physical Therapy is to restore as much function as possible. When someone suffers from a stroke, there may be permanent damage to that area of the brain. This damage can be minor and have a minimal impact on a person’s quality of life or it can be quite debilitating. One potential side effect is that motor skills become difficult or impossible because of the stroke. It’s also possible that other body parts learn to compensate for the reduced level of functionality.
After a stroke and an assessment of the damage, rehabilitation starts rather quickly. The shorter amount of time between the stroke and rehabilitation, the better the odds are for a greater recovery. Rehabilitation usually starts in the hospital within a day or two of the incident. The patient can then expect in-home therapy, skilled nursing facility and finally progression to outpatient clinical Physical Therapy.
Your typical orthopedic injury may require one to three different types of specialists. But with a stroke, you will likely engage with your physician, neurologist, physical therapist, an occupational therapist, a social worker, and speech language pathologist. Because of the wide variety of necessary therapists, it is important for the patient’s support team to have regular communication and agree on what “success” looks like.
Unlike a lot of injuries that follow the similar protocols, each person we work with who has suffered from a stroke requires their own unique rehabilitation plan. Extreme patience, flexibility, and a strong desire to succeed are all paramount. Studies have shown that people suffering from a stroke may show improvements at least into their 3rd to 5th years after. We are committed to working with you, your physician, and your entire recovery team in order to maximize functionality and return you to the most normal life possible. If you, or someone you know has recently experienced a stroke and is curious about rehabilitation process, do not hesitate to give us a call or stop by for a visit to find out how we may help.

Written by: Joshua C. Anderson, PTA, CKTP, Cert. ASTYM