Low Back Pain

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know About Your Postpartum Body

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know About Your Postpartum Body 600 600 Jennifer Lane

Now that you have had your baby, what should you expect regarding healing and return of function? What have you heard from friends, family members, other women about what they deal with now on a regular basis? Have you heard things like, “oh you will have a Mommy tummy forever”, or “you will never be able to do jumping jacks again without leaking urine” or “I’ve had to give up on some of my favorite activities because I have pain”? Although urinary incontinence, issues with muscle tone or increased back or hip pain are common complaints, it doesn’t make them normal. These issues should not be worn like a badge of honor now that you are in the “mommy club”. There are ways for you to take the right steps to restore normal function to your pelvic floor and core muscles so that you can be the healthiest and strongest version of you that you want!

The first step in recovery is learning what you need to watch out for and to set realistic expectations for yourself. Here is a list of things you should keep in mind now after delivering baby.

MIND-BODY CONNECTION: Your brain and your muscles need to reconnect to establish your new postpartum baseline. We want to create a strong connection between mind-body because this allows you to return to the activities you love while avoiding injury.

AB WORK: Crunches, planks and intensive ‘ab work’ may be unsafe and may make your tummy look worse, not better! There is a correct way to strengthen your ab and core muscles that will help you avoid making the problem worse

DIASTASIS RECTI: The reason for the “pooch” or “doming” of the abdominals may be due to something called diastasis recti. This is a separation of the outermost ab muscle. You will learn how to self-check and how to help reduce it safely

BLADDER WOES: Urinary frequency, urgency and incontinence is common after pregnancy, but it is not normal! These issues are all very treatable and can be managed and controlled with proper exercise and treatment and behavioral changes

SURGERY: no one wants to have surgery, but it can help repair an organ prolapse, a diastasis recti or umbilical hernia. But doesn’t it make more sense to avoid it? There are exercises and other techniques that if implemented early on can help reduce the need for surgery in the future

POSTURE: Now that you aren’t carrying baby around inside your uterus, your center of gravity has shifted, and your core muscles are having a hard time supporting you. It’s important to avoid poor posture while breastfeeding or holding baby and using good body mechanics while lifting a car seat or reaching into the crib can help you protect your body from injury.

PAINFUL SEX: Your pelvis just experienced some trauma with pregnancy and childbirth. When your pelvic floor nerves and muscles are not functioning appropriately this can lead to painful intercourse. Understanding the normal healing process and knowing when it is not normal can help you restore an enjoyable sex life

You’ve heard it, I’m sure… that any of these issues mentioned above are normal, right? Too many times we ask the questions and hear “you had a baby, that’s normal”. It might be common, but it’s NOT NORMAL. You deserve to feel connected to your body again and to enjoy your motherhood journey without dysfunction!

Looking for more guidance? There’s so much content out there on pregnancy care and even more for infants, but what about you? What should you expect for your postnatal health? When should you reintroduce certain activities? What are those “no one told me” scenarios that can be avoided?

Boost your confidence and ability to handle whatever comes during delivery and after bringing Baby home with my new e-course, Self-Care Survival Guide for Expecting Mommies. Launch date: May 2020

Sign up to receive updates and launch promotions: CLICK HERE

Telehealth: Virtual PT

Telehealth: Virtual PT 389 129 Jennifer Lane

As we continue to navigate into uncharted waters, I have been looking for ways to stay connected with existing clients and future ones too. The virtual world is where many people are turning to stay in touch with friends, family and colleagues. Kids are taking classes on-line, work outs are being broadcast so you can stay at home, and happy hours are being conducted on sites like Zoom. Netflix even has created a way for you to watch your favorite show with a group of friends at the same time, which my daughter loves!

In the world of healthcare, there is a growing category called telehealth. “Telehealth is the distribution of health-related services and information via electronic information and telecommunication technologies. It allows long-distance patient and clinician contact, care, advice, reminders, education, intervention, monitoring, and remote admissions (Wikipedia’s definition)”.

How does this work with Physical Therapy? Well, there is much that can be accomplished via conversation with an experienced clinician. This is where my 18+ years of experience pays off for you! When I question patients about their current issues, complaints, limitations, I can formulate a good working hypothesis on what is going on. From there, the physical exam is performed to corroborate the hypothesis created during the interview. For the PT with years of experience, can then set a plan of care based on the therapy goals set.

When utilizing Telehealth for PT, the same interview process is done, and copious notes are taken. This is followed by a visual objective exam using a secure video platform that is HIPAA compliant. Both the PT and the patient can see each other via webcam from a computer or smartphone. Movement, posture, gait can all be assessed by this method. Following the evaluation, an appropriate home exercise program, as well as extensive information on how to manage the existing issue will be developed for you.  As is typical with in-person sessions, at the subsequent visits, treatment is modified according to how you are responding to the initial suggestions.

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is working diligently to get policies changed so that health insurances will reimburse for this. Colorado Medicaid has already authorized that telehealth can be used for its clients. The hope is that private insurance companies like Cigna, Anthem and United Healthcare will all follow suit and pay for these services. In the meantime, my cash pay rates apply. If you are a patient of mine that is currently receiving care, there will be discounted rates for follow-up visits. Please contact me directly via email, phone call or text if interested in seeing if a Telehealth visit would work for you.

What can be treated via Telehealth? Most everything that can be treated in person: Back pain, shoulder dysfunction, knee, hip or ankle issues, vertigo and pelvic floor therapy too. Contact me today to schedule an appointment.

Just Breathe…

Just Breathe… 308 163 Jennifer Lane

When I instruct people on how to exercise properly, I always talk about breathing. Why? Because the diaphragm (the key muscle used to take a deep breath) is an important part of our core muscles. Deep breathing also can help mobilize the spine and calm the nervous system.

Here’s how that works…

The main muscle that allows us to breathe is the diaphragm. It lives right under our ribs and is one of the core muscles. Breathing “through” an exercise helps you engage your core muscles. As you inflate your lungs with a deep breath, your rib cage also expands helping to keep the mid back moving. As you take a deep breath repeatedly you also calm the nervous system down. Deep breathing cues the body that it is ready to rest and digest, so if you find yourself in a stressful situation, stop and take a few deep breaths. It’s amazing how much it can help!

Here are some ways that you can improve your breathing. Take a deep inhale through your nose and exhale through an open mouth like you are fogging up a mirror. Lay on your back with your arms in a “cactus position” opening through your chest. Breathe with emphasis on feeling your rib cage expand. You could also try lying on your back resting one hand on your stomach and one hand on your chest. As you breathe deeply focus on feeling movement under both hands.

Try one of these deep breathing techniques and note how you feel. You might alleviate some pain in your mid back or relax from a stressful day. When you work out next, think about breathing throughout your routine. Try not to hold your breath but keep a constant rhythm to your exhalation and inhalation. Try it out!

Colorado is a Direct Access State

Colorado is a Direct Access State 1000 1000 Jennifer Lane

What does direct access mean? It means that you as a patient, can access PT without a referral. In other words, you do not need a prescription from your doctor to receive out-patient physical therapy. This is an important consumer right because it enables you to seek out the care you want to receive based on criteria important to you.

What should you be looking for in a PT? Well, some of the very basics (but still important factors) are location and cost. If you require therapy services, 1-3 times per week, having a conveniently located PT clinic near work or home removes a lot of the stress around getting there. And does that clinic accept your insurance? If not, you may be paying out of pocket more than you expected.

Keeping location and cost in mind, I think it is still most important to find a physical therapist that is skilled in the area in which you need help and has the training to help you get better faster. We don’t just take our cars to any old mechanic or garage, you ask for referrals and read reviews to make sure other people have had a good experience there. Why would you go just anywhere to take care of your health? There are good and bad PT’s out there and you don’t want to end up at the latter’s office.

Have you had a good experience at Holistic PT? Make sure to tell your friends and family so I can help them too!

New Year’s Resolutions: How to be successful!

New Year’s Resolutions: How to be successful! 619 330 Jennifer Lane

Happy 2019! If you are like most people, you are reflecting on 2018, successes and failures, things tried, goals that you accomplished and some that you fell short of meeting. You are also looking forward to 2019. What goals are you setting for this year? What resolutions do you have for yourself? Or have you decided to not set any goals or resolutions because you have never had any success meeting them? It’s not worth setting them, because by week 3 of January you’ve given up.

Here are some of the most common New Year’s Resolutions. They should sound familiar… Lose weight, exercise regularly, quit smoking-drinking-eating dessert. What about setting more realistic goals that are measurable and attainable and that you can get help achieving?

What usually gets in the way of you accomplishing your goals? What I hear frequently is “well, I started running to lose weight but then my knee started hurting again, so I quit“. Or, “I signed up for an monthly unlimited package of yoga classes but I tweaked my back again“. Or, “I was working out with a trainer and thought I could handle more weight but now my shoulder really hurts. I can’t even put my jacket on without pain!

Here is my challenge and offer to you. I want you to set the goal of getting rid of that nagging pain or chronic issue that always gets in the way of your wellness goals. And I want to help! As a physical therapist, I help people set goals and then work to meet them. Come in for an evaluation and treatment so you are set up for success in 2019. Using manual therapy skills, functional dry needling, therapeutic exercise prescription and much more, I can help you get pain-free and moving in a positive direction! Don’t put it off another day!

Once you have addressed the underlying issues, you can meet those other goals of losing weight, exercising much more easily. Don’t let your chronic ankle instability, nagging low back pain or recurring hip issues get in your way of success.

Start 2019 off taking care of yourself. Holistic PT can help you eliminate the obstacles that derail you from success.

Trigger Point Dry Needling

Trigger Point Dry Needling 575 383 Jennifer Lane

I will be certified in trigger point dry needling (TDN) as of December 9th. What is TDN and what does it treat? Dry Needling is a technique physical therapists use (where allowed by state law) for the treatment of pain and movement impairments.   The technique uses a “dry” needle, one without medication or injection, inserted through the skin into areas of the muscle. The needle acts as an extension of the finger, being able to access muscles much deeper.

Other terms commonly used to describe dry needling, include trigger point dry needling, and intramuscular manual therapy.

Dry needling is not acupuncture, a practice based on traditional Chinese medicine and performed by acupuncturists. Dry needling is a part of modern Western medicine principles and supported by research. Learn more about dry needling.

Can you get PT for free? Yes!

Can you get PT for free? Yes! 1200 800 Jennifer Lane

Have you Met Your Insurance Deductible this Year?

Do you have a family insurance plan? Have you had surgery this year? Have you used your insurance more than usual? If you answered yes, you are more likely to have a $0 balance remaining on your out-of-pocket expenses. This means the cost could be minimal or completely covered by your insurance plan.

Do you have unused money on your HSA account? Close to having met your insurance deductible for the year? Now is the time to come in for physical therapy! Are you feeling aches & pains? Need to work on your core? Les us help you get a head start going into 2019, before your deductible renews again.

See Jenn Lane, PT at Holistic PT for:

  • Pelvic Therapy
  • Vestibular Rehab
  • Manual Orthopedic Therapy
  • Post-op/Post-Injury Rehab
  • Wellness Consultation


Geriatric health | Holistic Physical Therapy

Is All PT Created Equal?

Is All PT Created Equal? 2332 3504 Jennifer Lane

Is all PT the same? Well, I guess not. A client came to see me the other day, very discouraged about an experience she had with a different PT. She had surgery on her shoulder and was told by the surgeon that she could see a physical therapist in the office connected to his. She made the appointment and started treatment 2 weeks after surgery. Now, this person has had a lot of injuries through her lifetime and has received a lot of rehab. She is in her late 60’s and very active. I’m pretty sure she can ski and hike circles around my 44-year-old self! For context, there are a lot of very active and healthy older adults in the beautiful state of Colorado. It isn’t unusual to see a 70-year-old or even an 80-year-old mountain biking, hiking, skiing or participating in an advanced exercise class. I love this and my goal is to be one of these people.

I’ve veered from the original story. My client was underwhelmed by the experience she had. She was given very little time or attention, measurements were not taken of her starting point and the exercises prescribed caused extra pain. She sought me out as we have developed a relationship over the years and she was worried that the treatment she was getting was not going to help her get back to her activities, as she had hoped. She decided to come and see me, which is a bit of a drive for her and the reason she didn’t start with me in the first place. I did a standard eval, subjective report of injury and surgery and how she is feeling now. Then I took measurements of her good arm and the post-surgical arm to determine range of motion. Treatment followed which included passive treatment to the arm, joint and soft tissue and then it was wrapped up with education on how to be more comfortable at home and how to do exercises pain-free.

When we finished, she was so thankful and felt better already. I was flabbergasted by the difference in level of care that she received and was happy that she came back to me. I think there are 2 factors at play here. In some PT clinics, it’s a numbers game. Physical Therapists have to see a high volume of patients each day to hit their quotas. This may mean seeing 4 patients per hour. The other factor is that older clients are viewed as having different goals than younger folks. Listening to what my client’s goals are gives me a very good idea of how active she is. At no time do I assume that she can’t do those things just because she is in her late 60’s.

Moving forward, I plan to keep the quality high for my clients. One-hour initial evaluations, 45-minute follow up visits and I continue to keep listening to what my clients say. I can do this because I have created an environment in which it works.

What’s the take-home message? Find a PT that is going to listen to you and deliver the quality care that you deserve. Not happy where you are? Find another one. Colorado is a direct-access state which means you do not need a dr’s referral for PT. Want to learn more about direct access? Tune in for the next blog post, coming soon!

To make an appointment at Holistic PT, click here…

What is the Core?

What is the Core? 451 256 Jennifer Lane

Core strengthening or stabilization has become the buzz phrase in a lot of gyms and fitness classes. But what is it and what is it’s job? Think of the core as a canister. The top of the canister is the diaphragm. Yes, the diaphragm is a muscle and it is an important one! Not only does it help us breathe but it also is very important in having a strong core. The bottom of the canister is the pelvic floor muscles. There are three layers of muscles and their primary job is to keep us continent and to support our internal organs. The walls of the canister are made up of transverse abdominus, internal obliques, multifidus, gluteus medius/minimus and deep hip muscles. The main foll of all of these muscles are to provide a stable base from which to move. To be able to walk, reach for an object, get dressed or participate in any sporting activity, your core muscles activate to hold you stable and balanced. Weakness and instability in the core muscles leads to injury to joints and soft tissue. Weakness in core muscles can lead you to lose your balance and fall, strain your back or your neck. Peaple with weak core muscles tend to have chronic issues with their spine including neck pain and headaches, poor posture and low back pain.

How do you train these muscles to work properly? It is important to work with someone who can cue you correctly. We are great at compensating with stronger muscles whose primary job is not stabilization and this leads to injuries. A qualified physical therapist, pilates instructor or personal trainer can help you learn how to activate the muscles properly. But here are three tips to start you off.

Tip #1: With your hands on your lower ribs, take a deep breath in feeling the ribs expanding laterally into your hands. As you exhale feel your hands come back together. Practicing this and improving on rib excursion during deep breathing activates the diaphragm, one of the most important muscles in the core.

Tip #2: Stand up with good posture. Don’t force it by sticking your chest out or arching your low back. Stand naturally and then pull your belly button in towards your spine as if you were tightening your belt. Try not to move your rib cage or your pelvis while you do that. This is a subtle move and if you were doing this in a crowd of people, they wouldn’t even notice you doing it.

Tip #3: This may be the easiest. Squeeze your buttocks. In standing, sitting or lying down, tighten up those cheeks. This activates the gluts which are part of your core muscles. When contracting them, neighboring muscles also activate helping you have a more stable core.

For more info or help getting a stronger core, contact Jenn Lane at jennlane@holisticpt.net.

What Causes Low Back Pain and Sciatica in Older Adults?

What Causes Low Back Pain and Sciatica in Older Adults? 682 1023 Jennifer Lane

In patients 80 years and older, what causes low back pain and radiating pain into the leg? The incidence of lumbar disc herniation increases into adulthood but it then decreases significantly in people 80 years and older. So what is causing low back pain and sciatica symptoms? Spinal stenosis, the narrowing of the spinal column, foraminal stenosis, the narrowing of the opening through which nerves travel through or nerve root compression can all cause the classic radiating pain into the leg.


Why is this important? Because the treatment for a disc herniation versus stenosis can be very different. Treatment that can reduce radiating pain for a patient with a herniated disc could increase the pain for a patient with stenosis. A careful evaluation performed by a Physical Therapist can help determine what is causing the pain and then can develop the appropriate plan of care.

Back to top
Privacy Preferences

When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in the form of cookies. Here you can change your Privacy preferences. It is worth noting that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we are able to offer.

Click to enable/disable Google Analytics tracking code.
Click to enable/disable Google Fonts.
Click to enable/disable Google Maps.
Click to enable/disable video embeds.
Our website uses cookies, mainly from 3rd party services. Define your Privacy Preferences and/or agree to our use of cookies.