Monday, February 24, 2020

Say Goodbye to Your Stress-Related Headaches

If stress-related headaches are happening so frequently that they are impacting your daily life, it’s time to start thinking about physical therapy for relief. Stress-related headaches, also called tension headaches, are the most common type of headache that impacts people. While they are not as serious as migraines, tension headaches are a sign that something in your body is “off.” A physical therapist can work with you to determine the cause and eliminate stress-related headaches for good.

Causes of Stress-Related Headaches

One of the main causes of stress-related headaches is right there in the name: stress. The headache generally happens when the muscles in the neck or scalp become tense and contract. Depression and anxiety are similar emotions to stress that can also lead to headaches. In addition, there may be a physical cause behind your stress-related headaches. An accident or injury to the neck or back can contribute to headaches. Poor posture and arthritis are two other potential causes.

Diagnosing Your Headaches with a Physical Therapist

Before your physical therapy treatments begin, your therapist will work with you to diagnose your headaches. You’ll need to discuss your medical history with the therapist. If you sustained an injury to your neck, back or jaw years ago, it could still be contributing to headaches to this day. The location where you experience pain, such as in the face, back of the neck or forehead, can also help to diagnose the source.
Your physical therapist will likely run you through some tests as part of the diagnosis phase. For example, your posture will be checked as you engage in several activities. The strength of your muscles and the range of motion in your neck and shoulders will be tested. Your therapist might do some manual therapy to see how mobile your neck joints are. Once the cause of your stress-related headaches is determined, a customized course of physical therapy can be prescribed to treat them.

Physical Therapy for Stress-Related Headaches

The treatment of your stress-related headaches will depend in part on the diagnosis. For example, one course of treatment that would work for correcting your posture and strengthening the neck muscles might not be appropriate if your headaches are the result of a past injury. In general, you can expect stretching and strength training to be part of your treatment. Other options that your physical therapist might employ can include:
  • Soft tissue mobilization
  • Hot and cold compressions
  • Body mobilization
  • Cervical traction
  • McKenzie therapies
Aside from your physical therapy sessions at the clinic, your therapist will also recommend exercises, stretches and lifestyle changes that you can make at home, which will all contribute to eliminating your headaches.

Benefits of Physical Therapy for Headaches

The ultimate goal of your physical therapy regimen will be to eliminate your stress-related headaches. However, in addition to relief, you will gain additional benefits that will likely improve your overall quality of life:
  • Improved Strength: Your therapist will teach you exercises to strengthen your neck and upper back, which will lead to improved posture. With better posture, you will be able to stand and sit longer without experiencing discomfort.
  • Reduced Neck Tension: You will have better range of motion in your neck and reduced tension, thanks to manual physical therapy techniques applied to the muscles there.
  • Better Posture: Bad posture is really one of the leading causes of stress-related headaches. If you don’t enjoy good posture throughout the day, it is likely to lead to more generalized aches and pains, as well as the muscle tension that contributes to stress-related headaches.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020


As a PT, I have been performing Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) with a tool for a few years now. Rocktape offered the course in denver a couple of weekends ago and I jumped in. The course instructor Stuart Wilson PT was excellent. The science behind the course was refreshing and dispelled what I call medical myths that persist today in the rehabilitation world. One of the first slides he put up was that as therapists we are not changing fascial length! Fascia takes 2,000 pounds per square inch to stretch! That is something to think about when someone tells you they are "stretching your fascia". The course focuses upon making changes through the nervous system input. The IASTM tools that Rock Tape provides are excellent and offer a wide variety of applications. The tools can be utilized to target sensory receptors in the skin, fascia and muscles. As a practitioner is using the tools to work on your muscles, IT Bands, etc the tool is providing a lot of feedback to the nervous system, and can help change the input back to the brain. In PT school and in anatomy in general we are taught systems, nervous, joint, muscle, digestive etc, and as a result we have a tendency to think of these systems as separate entities. The systems all interface with the nervous system and that is ultimately the brain, which is where pain is perceived. The IASTM tools appear to help down regulate an overactive system and are a great way to help an injured area reduce muscle guarding or heightened tone. The tool can also enhance fascia's ability to glide in its respective layers. The course demonstrated this through ultrasound videos. I highly recommend the course and the link for this course can be found at

Mike Kohm PT

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Tired of Your Hip and Knee Pain?

Is it difficult for you to engage in your regular activities due to hip or knee pain? Whether your hip or knee pain occurs when you’re moving or sitting, physical therapy can help get you back to your regular routine. Be sure to call our office for a consult to find out how we can help alleviate your pain. No one should have to live in pain.

What is Hip and Knee Pain?
The hips and knees are the body’s largest joints. They work in close coordination with each for mobility and support the body’s weight. The hips and knees have a demanding task.

The knee is made of several ligaments and muscles and is a complicated joint. Knee pain can wreak havoc on your quality of life. As a matter of fact, knee pain is the second most common cause of chronic pain. The hip joint consists of two main parts: the femoral head and the acetabulum. The femoral head of a ball-shaped piece of bone, and the acetabulum is the socket into which the femoral head fits. Ligaments connect the ball to the socket. Like the knee, the hip is a complex structure. Hip pain can also affect younger people.

Causes and Symptoms of Hip and Knee Pain
Knee pain can be caused by a wide variety of injuries and diseases. It can be the result of auto accidents, recreational activities, sports or a slip and fall. The most common causes of knee pain include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Anterior injuries
  • Ligament strains and sprains
  • Overuse
  • Gout
  • Fractures around the knee

In addition to causing pain, knee pain can affect mobility, reduce strength and affect muscle control.

Problems with the hip joint can result in pain in the groin or inside the hip. When the pain is on the outside of the hip, it’s typically due to issues with tendons, muscles and ligaments that surround the hip joint. Hip pain can also be due to:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Hip fracture
  • Sciatica
  • Sprains
  • Bursitis

With hip pain, you may experience intense pain or the inability to stand.

How Physical Therapy Helps Hip Pain and Knee Pain
A physical therapist will do a gait evaluation, palpate, range of motion measurements, function mobility tests to determine a treatment plan for your hip pain or knee pain.

Different modalities may be incorporated into your treatment plan, such as heat and ice therapy, ultrasound and specific exercises. Research has shown that joint mobilization techniques used by a physical therapist can help with long and short-term pain involving the hip. There is typically an improvement in mobility also.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Product Review: Barbell Apparel

Product and Company Preview:
Your clothing deserves to be better. Hand-crafted from premium materials, our Athletic Chino Pants are built to perform like high-tech athletic gear.

With our omnistretch fabric, these pants will keep your quads comfortable and give you complete freedom of movement with the fashion conscious fit that's made our pants best sellers.


  • Technologically Advanced Flexible Fabric 
  • Sits just below the waist 
  • Generous through hips, thighs, & glutes 
  • Straight from knee to ankle 

Barbell Apparel was founded with a simple vision: clothing should be better.

Founded by a team of friends and athletes, we started our story by launching our Athletic Fit Jeans on Kickstarter.

That campaign grew past our wildest expectations, becoming the 2nd most funded fashion project of all time, and sparking a change across the fashion industry to bring "Athletic Fit" mainstream. Since then, we've launched three more successful Kickstarter campaigns, been featured on ABC's Shark Tank, and sold out of our Athletic Fit Havok Polo over 3 times.

Our mission is to inspire you to reach your full potential. Your fitness isn’t about what you do today. It’s the result of what you are willing to do every day. We apply the same relentless dedication to developing our flawless athletic fits and cutting-edge technical fabrics, culminating in high performance, ultra comfortable clothing that is far greater than the sum of it’s parts.

You train hard in the gym. Our clothing works even harder to show it off.  Because when it’s all said and done, the fiercest competitor is rarely the most talented, but always the most disciplined.

My Review:
I had pretty much given up on wearing jeans/khakis due to large glute, quads from baseball causing them to not fit properly in any one pair, relative to my height and waist size . I saw Barbell Apparel on shark tank awhile back and then again at the Arnold Sports festival and finally getting a chance to try them out.  Barbell Apparel was one of the first companies to bring ‘athletic fit’ into vogue with their stretch jeans. They were the second most funded fashion project on Kickstarter and went on to present on ABC’s Shark Tank where they crushed it with their Athletic Fit Havok Polo.

I have been wearing my barbell apparel khaki pants for an extended period of time to test its fit and durability from what is promised during my physical therapy internship as an assistant. I won't be lifting/working out in them by any means but in any case, so far the fit is much better than any other pairs of pants I've ever owned. Mobility increase is huge as well. While I may not workout in them, the flexibility of material allows me to better demonstrate exercises and technique to clients and patients in the clinic with no restrictions. I can run, jump, kick, etc with no restriction of movement. It feels like I'm wearing sweatpants at work.Image result for barbell apparel"

The pants itself are pretty standard as far as design go. They look like regular jeans or khakis, which is exactly the point. The real star of the show is the fabric. A combination of 95% Cotton, 4% polyester and 1% spandex makes the fabric very soft, but more crucially; VERY flexible. Normal jeans/pants have no give what so ever, resulting in the above mentioned constricted legs. But the Barbell Apparel products stretch in all the right places while staying in check in places where no stretching is required like calves or ankles for example.

This means complete freedom of movement, which is almost a liberation for someone like me who always had to watch out with movements. No more worries though, these khakis allow you to squat, bend, lunge, twist and swing any way you want to, without ripping open. Demonstrating how to pick something up from the floor is no longer an issue as the pants move with you and allow full ROM.

All pairs come in a 34” length inseam which is common for luxury brands but note, men’s legs do not come in increments of 2”.
They will set you back $135 (after using my promo code "jones19" for 10% OFF!) plus shipping, which is certainly not cheap. But if you look at jeans from other established brands that are not fitness friendly you could easily be spending that kinda money, so while not cheap the value is certainly there. Since I will be wearing the same khaki pants every day during my next 8 week clinical rotation, I will have to wait to comment on durability, which is the biggest question mark, but I see no reasons, after wearing them several times the past month, to be alarmed.

My Rating: 9.2/10
The jeans from Barbell Apparel are exactly as advertised and provide all the benefits of wearing jeans without any of the drawbacks in a, in my opinion, stylish package. These pants fit perfect, look great and also feel so comfortable. The second you try them on you will never want to wear any other pants. My rating is based on the wait to gauge durability and the slight price barrier that may prevent some consumers to be able to afford such awesome pants!

Be sure to check them out at