Expect to get better and you probably will !

Research on attitudes of rehab patients show this to be true in recovery as well. A review of 23 articles looking at outcomes for shoulder pain found a few interesting things. First, patients who expected to recover and believed that they had some control over the outcome, ended up doing better than those who didn’t. Second, optimistic patients were found to have less pain and disability after completing rehab. Third, patients who believed they’d have pain and disability after surgery tended to have – you guessed it – pain and disability after their surgery. Research says that patients tend to get what they expect.


Patient attitudes are important, but what about therapists’? There isn’t much research specific to PT, but there is a study done in elementary schools that might give us some clues. Two psychologists – Rosenthal and Jacobs did a study that found teacher expectations had an influence on student performance. They told teachers that randomly selected students in their classes were tested and found to be “late bloomers”. These students were expected to show large improvements in academic performance during the school year. When the students were tested 8 months later, the students the teachers believed would improve the most, did. 

It’s pretty easy to see how this could cross over into a PT clinic. If a PT thinks a patient can get better, they’ll probably put more effort into designing a program, spend more time with them and push them harder than someone they don’t believe has a lot of room for improvement.

When the patient and therapist both expect a good outcome, they usually get one!

Change in Weather…Change in Exercise

Great Northern Physical Therapy Ph: 406-586-4678 Fax: 406-586-4670 www.greatnorthernpt.com Changes in the Weather Mean Changes to Your Exercise Bozeman, MT March 2023 When the weather gets cold, you should make some changes to how you exercise. We're not talking about...

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.

Heel Pain or Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common causes of foot pain affecting about 1 of 10 people.  It is caused by injury to the thick tissue or fascia that connects the heel to the toes and transfers the force of the calf muscles to the ball of the foot. ...

Early Season Nordic Skiing Drills

Early Season Nordic Skiing DrillsThanks to the Bridger Ski Foundation the Gallatin Valley has some of the best groomed nordic ski trails in the nation! The snow is finally here (hopefully to stay) and soon the trails will be getting into skiing shape. Early season is...