At Home Physical Therapy


Are you experiencing difficulties with mobility within your home?  Stairs, navigating the bathroom, in and out of bed, steps at the front door?  These are areas of everyday life that can be challenging following an illness or a surgery, can be the cause of a fall, and can be limiting independence at home.  You could go to outpatient physical therapy at a clinic, try and describe the problem occurring at home and hope to recreate the concern, but wouldn’t it be nice to have a physical therapist come to your home and address the problem?

Regular completion of a home exercise program is vital to success with physical therapy; this is well documented in the literature.  Having a physical therapist work with you in your home can eliminate many of the barriers that keep you from following through with your exercise program, as well as address home modifications to improve your safety in your home.  

Great Northern Physical Therapy is happy to announce we are providing a new service for the Gallatin Valley, in-home, outpatient physical therapy.  You do not need to be homebound to receive this service; we are providing this as a convenience for people who would prefer to not go to an outpatient clinic.  Whether for health reasons (concern over exposure to viruses), transportation problems (no vehicle), balance problems/weakness/difficulty walking, or whatever the reason, we will be happy to come to your home.   

It is important to note this is different from a home health agency; our patients do not need to be homebound.  We will bill just as if you came into the clinic, accepting Medicare, commercial insurance and private payments.   We will see you in your home, assisted living facility, retirement home, etc.  Patients can progress to treatment in the clinic or complete the entire duration of therapy in the home.  

If you have questions about this service, please call Great Northern Physical Therapy at 586-4678.

Amy Appel, PT

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Breathing and Your Pelvic Floor

The pelvic floor is certainly a hot topic of conversation for many men and women. Specifically, people begin to focus on their pelvic floor when they are having incontinence, urgency/frequency, prolapse, or pain associated with going to the bathroom or having sex. These are all issues related to pelvic floor dysfunction. But, what many don’t realize, is that your pelvic floor is also integral in one of our most basic functions: breath.

The diaphragm, our respiratory muscle, is located at the bottom of the ribcage. At rest, the diaphragm is a domelike shape, and with inhalation the diaphragm muscle contracts and drops downward toward your pelvis. This downward motion is followed by a shifting downward of internal organs, into the pelvic bowl. The pelvic floor muscles and fascia make up the bottom of the pelvic bowl. So, with this downward force during inhalation, the pelvic floor muscles also descend or stretch slightly downward. Immediately following inhalation and pelvic floor descent, is exhalation, and similarly, the pelvic floor follows the diaphragm as it rises upward to a resting position. This synchronous rising and falling of the diaphragm and pelvic floor is often referred to as the “piston effect”.

Not to be left out, the lower abdominal muscles (transverse abdominis) also contribute to this synchronous movement pattern. Working together by relaxing and stretching with inhalation and a “belly breath”, and tightening and drawing inward slightly with exhalation. In this way, the diaphragm, abdominals, and pelvic floor make up an abdominal cylinder that modulates intra-abdominal forces and pressure changes.

When this cylinder isn’t coordinating well together, or if there is tightness or weakness within the system, we see common musculoskeletal complaints: low back pain, SIJ pain, poor stability through the back and pelvis, hip pain, pelvic pain, incontinence, urgency/frequency of urine or stool, prolapse, poor posture, balance issues, and intolerance to exercise.

Our pelvic floor physical therapists can help evaluate these movement patterns and coordination of these systems, and create a treatment approach specific to you and your individual challenges.