Brit PT: Explaining the Difference
The body is a beautiful and complex piece of engineering. The musculoskeletal system is designed to work optimally with a delicate balance of flexibility and strength during posturing and motion; the muscles supporting the skeleton through graceful arcs of movement whether the application is for a dance sequence or simply swinging a bag of groceries out of a shopping cart. Our young bodies certainly start out that way, taking these complicated feats of engineering in stride and for granted, but then life happens.
It is true to say that when someone walks into the room for evaluation for physiotherapy services, that they are the sum of their life’s work and play so far. By the time a human being reaches their forties (and sometimes earlier when there are more complicated histories), there are many layers of restrictions and compensation which may be contributing to a problem. Some may be the real scars left from a traumatic accident and some may simply be the result of habit. For many patients there is also a dominant emotion that is accompanying their pain or decrease in function. A common expression is the sense of outrage that their body has failed in some way, or is producing persistent pain, effectively stopping them from enjoying activities that contribute to the person’s sense of self and quality of life. Often there is fear there, too. These feelings can be exacerbated with a trip to the physician’s office as patients often undergo diagnostic testing which may well reveal some level of arthritis or degeneration in their joints. These findings can really frighten patients and can make them feel hopeless; they may remember how elderly relatives were incapacitated with pain and could not function well. This is when the sense of their “well self” becomes challenged and their sense of vitality starts to fade. An individual may start to live “To spite t... Continue reading
"Lorraine, I do not even know where to begin…truly there are no words.
I am a life-long runner. For as long as I can remember, running has been my answer. It’s my coping mechanism and my problem solver. It’s how I celebrate my victories and how I survive my failures. It’s the way I establish new friendships and maintain old ones. In short…running is SO much more to me than a form of exercise…for me it’s a lifeline. When that was taken I was lost.
For over 2 years I saw every physician and massage therapist that I thought could help me get back on the trail. I’ve had x-rays and MRI’s. I’ve been on medication and taken supplements. I’ve done every strengthening, stretching and relaxation exercise in the book. Yet nothing resolved the pain in my hip and lower back or the constant fatigue in my legs. I was able to gain temporary relief but as soon as I put on my shoes the pain and muscle fatigue returned.
I will be forever grateful for you and your process in defining and delivering a treatment plan. I appreciate the fact that you take the time for a thorough assessment to understand the symptoms and root out the cause. From that process we discovered that the pain in my lower back and hips came from trigger points in my quads and glutes. Who knew? You did.
I truly believe your technical knowledge of the ‘body in balance’ and its connectivity is, in part, what makes you so effective in pinpointing and resolving the issue. And I am deeply grateful for your honed skill in dry needling and trigger point therapy. Admittedly it’s a daunting process but your caring and compassionate approach to treatment is a wonderful counter-balance. Your deep and practiced knowledge of finding and relieving trigger points with the needle and of understanding a patient’s pain threshold and limits is unsurpassed. Yes, there is some initial discomfort with dry needling but it i... Continue reading
Triad Yoga Institute offers many classes and workshops throughout the year. Check out their website at https://www.triadyoga.com/ for class information and details.
January 1st - New Year's Day - Closed for regularly scheduled classes but come and join Terry and Jerry for their Annual New Year's Day class - the class is free and is a great way to start the New Year! The class is 10:00AM-11:30AM.
January 14 Community Class - A Free Class for our Community
TYI offers a monthly class to members of the community, free of charge, as an offering of gratitude. This class is a way of saying "Thank you" for the support you have given us for the past 18 years. The class is held on the second Sunday of the month, 1:00PM, West Market Street Studio. Registration is not necessary to participate in this class. Just show up and join us!Continue reading
“BritPT (Lorraine Kingham) restored quality to my life. After back surgery, I was walking with a cane, twisted in statue, moving with difficulty and pain. I left Lorraine's treatments walking upright and straight. She was able to realign my body so that I was able to move in a normal manner. My friends refer to the results as an absolute "miracle" and referred to my PT person as a "wonder woman." The next time I needed Lorraine was when I fell out of my attic. After 5 days in intensive care, Lorraine took over with her "magic" so that in less than 8 sessions I was able to travel to Disney and return to work full time with no physical distress. Lorraine is a Godsend to me. The quality of my life is wonderful once again, thanks to her expertise and treatment.”
- Marta H.Continue reading
“I first went to Lorraine for acute pain in my left leg/hip. She suggested dry needling for the second visit. Being a skeptic, I hesitantly gave it a try. The next day, I had about 80% pain relief. Came back the next week for a repeat treatment and within 48 hours I had complete pain relief. When Lorraine finds the exquisitely tender places in the muscle, there is a quick, initial discomfort and then it quickly subsides. After the procedure, I felt pressure and a slight ache, similar to receiving in injection into a muscle. Using heat the same day and less the next day takes care of the soreness.
Perhaps the most dramatic pain relief was for pain in my right arm, just medial to the bend in the arm. The simple act of splashing water on my face with my arm bent caused arm pain. I had this exercise-related pain for more than a year and thought I would just have to live with it. I figured if the left leg/hip pain was such a success, then maybe I could get similar relief in my arm. Less than 24 hours after dry needling in my right arm, I was pain free. Unbelievable!!”
- Vivian S.Continue reading
Like it or not, the Holidays are upon us! As soon as the miles of Thanksgiving dishes are dried up and put away, our thoughts turn to preparations for December. For me, Thanksgiving means the gates are opened for the frenzied gallop toward Christmas with my family and friends in England. As we head into a truly manic month at the clinic, I am sustained by the reassurance that in a few weeks I will be sitting in my parents’ conservatory festooned in my fleecy Christmas pajamas and fuzzy socks, no doubt gripping a cup of hot tea. Everything stops and is peaceful and I can take that deep breath.
Getting there, of course, is a less tranquil experience with herds of humans stampeding their way to their loved ones in angst for various reasons. This is a good place to start preparing ourselves. Instead of defaulting to frustration and anger, start with compassion. It is so much easier on you! All the awful things that we have seen on the news this year affected real people. You are going to encounter some of those people whether you know it or not. Bearing that in mind, tread more carefully. Take a moment before you react to that person cutting in line, or blocking your path to the luggage carousel. You don’t know their story. Let it go. Your angry response will not usually change anything in the big scheme of things.
Stretching on the way is an excellent idea for most travelers. We tend to become very passive in transit, but this is a wonderful opportunity to invest in feeling good once you reach your destination. For your neck: grip the base of the seat, gently tilt to the opposite side and hold 30 sections, breathe, repeat on the other side for three times each side. For your back and hips: pe... Continue reading
“Lorraine Kingham met me in a place of pain which together we transformed into healing. That is what makes Lorraine different from others. She involves you ! As a marathon runner, I had suffered from debilitating sciatica and yet ran through the pain for years. But a goal to run all of the major marathons of the world before I turned 50 at sub-4-hour speed, demanded speed and no-pain running. Lorraine involved me in a systematic look at not only the pain but its source and my attitude toward competitive running and training.
Within just a few visits she was instrumental in finding the culprits of the pain --- my running gait and form plus a thick spider-like webbing that had scarred over the hamstring. We tried new stretches to change my structure and running gait and also ultrasound. Bingo. Needless to say I finished the last of the "Majors," my 18th marathon in Berlin, Germany, in 2008 with a time of 3:51. Thanks, Lorraine.”
-- Sarah B.Continue reading
The body is a beautiful and complex piece of engineering. The musculoskeletal system is designed to work optimally through a delicate balance of flexibility and strength during posturing and motion; the muscles supporting the skeleton through graceful arcs of movement whether the application is for a dance sequence or simply swinging a bag of groceries from a shopping cart.
Young bodies certainly start out that way, taking these complicated feats of engineering in stride and for granted. But the years add up and life happens. When someone walks into the exam room for evaluation for physiotherapy services, their body carries the sum of their life’s work and play thus far. By the time a human being reaches their forties, (and sometimes earlier when there are more complicated medical histories), there are many layers of restrictions and compensation which may be contributing to a problem. Some may be the scars from a traumatic accident and others may simply be the result of bad habits.
For many patients, there is also a dominant emotion that is accompanying their pain or decrease in function. This is commonly a feeling of outrage that their body has failed in some way, or is opposing them by producing persistent pain, effectively stopping them from enjoying activities that contribute to their sense of self and quality of life. Often there is fear as well. These feelings can be exacerbated by a trip to the physician’s office as patients often undergo diagnostic testing which may well reveal some level of arthritis or degeneration in their joints. These findings can really frighten patients and make them feel helpless. They may remember how elderly relatives became incapacitated with pain and could not function well. This is when the sense of their “well self” becomes challenged and their sense of... Continue reading
“My experience with BRIT PT has been far beyond my expectations! I was facing a second surgery on my shoulder, with the likelihood of the surgery not helping the lack of movement of my arm and shoulder. In addition, two doctors were reluctant to do a second surgery, and stated the recovery time could be up to a year. The doctors recommended their physical therapy, for however long that they would be allowed to provide the service. After the time expired, even though their therapy helped, the severe pain and lack of arm and shoulder movement continued. I was going to a gym for both upper and lower body strengthening. My gym instructor, and personal friends who use the same individual instructor, suggested I contact BRIT PT. Over one year later, my pain level is virtually nonexistent, while performing normal day to day functions. The use of the arm and shoulder is far greater than I've experienced in a number of years. I work out with the same gym instructor, normally three times per week (30 minute sessions). I previously had a one hour session with BRIT PT on an every other week basis. Over time, we have now been able to stretch the therapy sessions out to every eight weeks! BRIT PT saved me the agony of surgery and greatly improved my overall strength and well being! I can't express my gratitude enough.”
- Barry F.Continue reading
Pain anywhere in the body is problematic, annoying, inconvenient, and tiring. But pain in your feet is particularly excruciating because you are reminded of it every time those feet hit the ground. We treat many patients suffering from foot pain at BritPT Wellness Solutions. Some patients come to us after a fracture has healed, or if they were in immobilizer boot for some reason and were not able to recover a full range of motion through typical treatment methods. Our objective is to overcome the restrictions of movement through a range of manual therapy methods and stretching, strengthening, and balance activities. Dry needling also plays a significant role in treating foot pain.
Some of our patients are suffering from Morten’s Neuroma or other nerve irritations that may have been incorrectly diagnosed as diabetic neuritis, while others have conditions like Hallux Rigidus or Plantar Fasciitis. It is not unusual for the site of our attention to be somewhere other than the painful structure itself. While making our diagnosis, we focus on the function of our patient’s feet, noting which joints and tissues are moving well, which not so well, and determining how that impacts their condition.
Our feet age in predictable ways. As with every part of our body, there are reactions to resisting gravity for many years. The arches start to flatten; not just the longitudinal arch along the inside of your foot, but also the transverse arch which travels under the balls of the feet, or metatarsals. Arthritic changes are also quite normal, creating a thickening of the joints and decreased range and ease of movement. Once these changes occur, secondary stresses build up in the tissues and joints, some due to over-stretching of structures, others due to compression. Through thorough evaluation, we can identify the offending structures and prescribe the appropriate treatment to resolve th... Continue reading
Migraine is a widespread condition affecting approximately 39 million Americans. It is the sixth most disabling condition in the world; described as “an extremely incapacitating collection of neurological symptoms” including visual disturbances, nausea, vomiting, difficulty speaking and comprehending, weakness in areas of the body, increased acuity of all senses, and intense pain in the head. The word “headache” does not really capture it.
So why is it so different from the other types of headaches? There are currently 150 types headaches identified. Migraine is classified as a vascular headache. Through a complex series of events or triggers, the blood vessels inside the cranium or skull start to expand, to vasodilate. The skull is not a flexible structure, for a good reason -- it protects the brain. This results in mounting pressure inside your skull which causes your brain mass to start to become compressed. Compression will change blood flow and supply to various areas of the brain, and your symptoms will reflect that compression. Remember that the brain is a map of our body. If the area concerning speech and language is compressed, you will have issues talking. If the area governing your right arm is compressed, you may start dropping objects or lose the ability to write. It is correct to think of this as similar to someone having a stroke. It is absolutely a temporary neurological episode, lasting the length of the attack, which is commonly a day, but sometimes several days in a row.
Migraine and I have walked hand in hand for many years now. I was four years old when the severe headaches and vomiting attacks I suffered were diagnosed as such. There was little insight or effective medicine in the early 70’s. The remedy was to go to bed in a dark room with a cool “flannel” or wash cloth on my head, bucket by my side.
I spent much of my childhood riding out the storm.... Continue reading
A couple of years after I started treating patients with dry needling therapy, I found that while they were all reporting great relief from their initial pain, some had new pain cropping up in their thumbs. This was not unexpected as my experience over the past 26 years has shown me that once the most significant pain has lessened, the patient may often feel other pains that were being masked. I call this “The Pain Veil Effect” -- as one veil drops the next layer or issue becomes apparent.
One patient for which this occurred had a resolution of about 80% of her back pain, however, she was now noticing more consistent pain with her thumb. This involved an aching sensation and an occasional sharp pain when she tried to open a jar or turn a doorknob. She would also experience great pain if she knocked the thumb joint.
The technical name for the thumb joint is the carpometacarpal or CMC. It is essentially a synovial ball and socket joint, allowing it a free circular range of movement. Like all other synovial joints, it has a cartilage and lubricates itself through movement. You may not realize, but this joint wears out quicker than any other joint in the body! Why? We use it constantly; gripping cutlery to eat, brushing hair, opening jars, gripping our phones. If you want to find out how invaluable your opposable thumbs are, go ahead and tape it to the index finger for the day. You will get nothing accomplished, my friend!
I treated my patient’s pain by dry needl... Continue reading
We make it quite clear to visitors to BritPT Wellness Solutions that we believe in the curative power of yoga! Fully half of the treatment team are certified yoga instructors and work in local studios, each pursuing their own practice over many years. Originating in India, yoga is a system of movements designed to bring the practitioner to focus and readiness for lengthy sessions of meditation in the seated position.
I have long maintained that the right type of yoga can be the cheapest insurance policy you can take out on your body. Yoga is focused on the practitioner engaging in slow, methodical movement through a series of recognized postures while they pay close attention to their breathing. It provides a way to gently and mindfully check in with our bodies through conscious movement. Yoga poses engage many areas of our bodies that we don’t usually think about until they are causing us pain.
In an increasingly sedentary world, yoga can serve as an early warning system for potential joint and muscle issues. The way our body moves through the poses provides us with a wealth of information about its changing condition. I am always surprised by the invisible tensions in my tissue system that slowly and silently brew and then reveal themselves each week. These tensions are the result of the adventures that I had packed into the preceding week. My yoga practice helps me identify and recover from these tensions.
Awareness comes through understanding the symmetry of yoga. We compare one side to the other as we perform mirror images of the movements. In practicing balance or simple side bending postures, I am gently reminded of my body’s weakness or lack of control as I adopt certain positions. No matter the injuries I’ve accumulated over the years, yoga has always been a safe place for me to start with movement as I recover.
We provide classes at BritPT Wellness Solutions... Continue reading
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