Go to Top

Life's Work PT Blog

Physical Therapy for Runners: How to Safely Train & Build Strength

The more we learn about health and injury, the more the saying “Exercise is the best medicine” rings true. Here in Portland, running is one of the most popular recreational activities and it’s easy to see why. More and more evidence points to the benefits of running including preventing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and even some cancers. That’s in addition to the positive impact it can have on our overall physical and mental health. Unfortunately, most runners will deal with an injury of some sort due to the repetitive stresses running puts on the body. …Read More

Best Cross Training Activities for Safe Summer Exercise

Summer is here and there is so much to enjoy: hiking, biking, running, swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking and gardening top the lists of my clients’ favorite summer activities. Is your body ready for all these great summer activities? Cross training is a great way to get it ready. Many clients ask me, “What is cross training?” and “How do I do it?” This blog should answer both of these questions. Over the years, I’ve seen many of my clients want to jump right into seasonal exercise, sports or activities without any preparation. Clients are often surprised when their body gets injured …Read More

5 Tips to Prevent Recurrent Sprained Ankles

Growing up as an athlete, I remember many basketball games where I landed funny and then “rolled” my ankle. Lucky for me, my ankles survived and did not turn into recurrent ankle sprains. A sprain is defined as an injury to ligaments. Ligaments are tough yet flexible tissues that connect two adjacent bones. Ligaments are designed to support your moving parts. If the two ends of the ligament are stretched too far apart, it’s called a sprain. If the ligament is repeatedly stressed as in “rolling the ankle” all the time, then the ligaments lose their toughness and become stretched …Read More

Achilles Tendon Pain: How to Diagnose, Treat & Manage the Pain

Achilles tendon pain may arise from Achilles tendonitis, weakness of the calf, hip and other lower extremity muscles or abnormal mechanics of the body during walking and especially during running or sports. This blog will focus on 5 easy steps you can take to manage Achilles tendon pain. If you have not been evaluated by a physical therapist for your Achilles tendon pain, please do so. Refer to my earlier blog on How to Find a Good PT to access services in your area. Full Achilles tendon tears require immediate medical attention and will not be discussed in this blog. If …Read More

5 Easy Tips to Avoid Back Pain While Gardening

The start of summer means the start of gardening season in Portland. While gardening is a great way to get outside and stay active, it can also lead to unwanted back pain. Thankfully, here are five easy things you can do to stay safe and avoid back pain and injury while gardening. 1. Use Good Posture When Lifting The most important thing you should remember when gardening is to use good lifting mechanics in order to prevent low back injuries. Avoid bending forward as this will put excess strain on the lower back. Focus on bending through the knees and …Read More

Experiencing Front of Hip Pain? Here’s What’s Causing It.

This week’s blog is focused on a commonly treated problem at Life’s Work Physical Therapy: hip pain. When clients describe front of hip pain, pain radiating down the front of the leg, pain in front of the hip joint and pain along the underwear line on the front of the hip joint, physical therapists consider this a primary hip problem. In the cases where pain radiates down the front of the leg, we do a thorough exam to rule out pain generated from the back. Pain in the front of the hip joint is very painful with walking, flexing the …Read More

What is a Torn Meniscus in the Knee & How Do I Treat It?

Knee pain is one of the most common orthopedic complaints in the U.S. Some studies indicate 19% of the population has knee pain. While there are many causes of knee pain, this week’s blog will focus on the meniscus. You will learn what torn meniscus symptoms feel like, how to treat a torn meniscus, and the recovery time for meniscus tears treated with physical therapy and with surgery. So what is a meniscus? There are two in each knee, one on the inside (medial) and one on the outside (lateral). A meniscus is cartilage pad that provides cushion and stability …Read More

Chronic Inflammation: How to Recover and Eliminate the Pain

When we describe inflammation, we use words like swelling, irritation, tenderness, redness, soreness and even in some cases, infection. While inflammation is very normal immediately following an injury, accident, surgery or other traumatic event, it should subside with time. When inflammation lingers long past the acute inflammation stage, we call it chronic inflammation. Inflammation that persists for several weeks, months or even years and is primarily characterized by its persistence and lack of clear resolution is considered chronic inflammation. In physical therapy, we meet patients regularly who have chronic inflammation. During physical therapy we determine, when we can, the root …Read More

Dance Rehab & Conditioning: How Physical Therapy Can Help

Dance-specific rehabilitation and conditioning is an essential component of any dancer’s self-care and physical maintenance routine. As a dancer, you ask a lot of your body on a daily basis, and it’s crucial to make sure you give it the specific care it needs to continue to perform at a high level. Finding a quality physical therapist with the proper experience and training to either help you recover from an injury or take your performance capabilities to the next level can be difficult. At Life’s Work Physical Therapy, you’ll receive excellent care from a manual therapy-certified physical therapist who also has …Read More

Knee Injuries Treatment: How to Manage the Pain and Heal

According to a 2011 Annals of Internal Medicine article, 25% of American adults suffer with frequent knee pain that limits work, life and mobility. In those adults over age 50, osteoarthritis of the knee is the most frequent cause of knee pain. Among adolescent athletes, the knee is the most commonly injured joint. For these young athletes, injuries to the MCL (medial collateral ligament), patellar tendon, ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), meniscus and LCL (lateral collateral ligament) are most common. Most sports injuries involve a planting and twisting motion of the leg, or a tackle when the foot is fixed. In this …Read More