What’s New at Great Northern PT

Clinic Plans for 2022!

Great Northern has lots of goals and plans for 2022. As always, we want to continue to provide our patients with high quality physical therapy with an unparalleled focus on customer service. But beyond that, we will be focusing on these new things in the upcoming year:

  • Christian is finishing up his last year as the president of the Montana chapter for the APTA. He is hopeful to continue working on getting important legislation through congress.

  • Jim continues expand his vestibular practice. Great Northern now has a high tech system using the Insight infrared video goggles that transmit to a computer so we can better diagnose vestibular conditions.

  • Kara and Kate plan to do a few more presentations in the valley on topics in pelvic health to continue to spread the word about the benefits of pelvic floor physical therapy!

Welcome Tessa; our new Office Manager!

Great Northern is happy to announce that we have hired Tessa Dincau as our office manager. Tessa is a native of Bozeman and just graduated from MSU with her degree in Exercise Science. She has hopes to attend physical therapy school next January and in the mean time is going to keep everyone here in line and our office running smoothly!

Tessa at a glace:

  • Tessa loves to be outside in any way; hiking, hunting, skiing, you name it she’s into it!

  • Tessa is an avid hunter and this year got a deer and elk!

  • Tessa loves to cook; chicken fried steak is her specialty.


The Latest Research

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 the attitudes of the 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!

GNPT Welcomes Rita Pascoe

Great Northern Welcomes Rita Pascoe!Great Northern is excited to announce that starting mid- September we are hiring a new Physical Therapist, Rita, who specializes in neurological rehab! Rita was born and raised on a farm and ranch near Red Lodge, Montana, where she...

Physical Therapists Help Active People Live Better

Physical Therapists Help Active People Live BetterPhysical therapy has a lot of benefits for active people. Athletes, weekend warriors, and people who work in physically demanding jobs can all benefit from the expertise of a physical therapist. Here are 3 ways...

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.