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Holidays an Ideal Time for Refresher on Proper, Safer Lifting

Digging out boxes of holiday decorations, hauling packages to and from the car, hiding gifts away on the higher shelves at the back of your closet … the Holiday Season certainly requires its fair share of bending, lifting and reaching. This, coupled with the cooler weather, makes December the ideal time for a refresher on proper lifting methods.

Back pain, after all, can put a real damper on the Holiday Season.

As one of the most common conditions treated by physical therapists, back pain and injury will even about 80 percent of all Americans at some point in their lives, making it one of the top causes of disability in the U.S. Fortunately, it’s a condition that’s preventable, and one of the ways of doing this is to learn proper lifting techniques.

But, preventing back pain isn’t the only concern when we talk about proper lifting. Using the proper techniques for lifting and carrying awkward and/or heavy objects is about minimizing strain on the entire body.

The goal, in other words, is to put yourself in a position that allows the body’s musculoskeletal system to work as one cohesive unit, without putting too much strain on one area, such as the lower-back or shoulders.

So without further ado, strongly consider the following tips for proper lifting during this Holiday Season … and throughout your lifetime:

Warm Up: Don’t ever assume your body’s ready to lift heavy objects without first being thoroughly warmed up. Take the time to stretch you lower back as well as your legs and hips. Also, do a few jumping jacks to get the blood flowing to the muscles in your body.

Get Close: Avoid reaching for a heavy or moderate-sized load. Get up nice and close to the box or object to minimize the force (in the arms, shoulders and back) needed to lift, and always hold it close to your body.

Bend & Lift with the Knees: We’ve all heard this before, and it’s true. But in doing so, keep your back straight and your body upright as you lower yourself to the object in question, then use your legs to rise back up.

Get a Grip: This seems to go without saying, but if you can’t get a strong, comfortable grip on the object in front of you – even if you know you can carry the weight – don’t try to be a hero. Find someone to help you or an alternative way of getting the object from A to B, such as a hand cart or dolly.

Reverse the Steps: When you get to where you’re going, set the item down just as you picked it up – but in reverse. Keep it close to the body, lower with the legs and move slowly and deliberately. You can just as easily injure yourself setting objects down as you can picking them up.

In addition, keep from twisting or reaching while lifting and/or carrying a load. Don’t rush through the process of lifting, and if you’re tired, put the work off until later

And finally, if you do feel pain during or after lifting, or you have an injury or condition you feel is holding you back from moving properly, visit a physical therapist for a full assessment prior to trying any sort of heavy or awkward lifting.

Westminster

Hours:
Monday-Thursday 7:00 am-7:00 pm
Friday 7:00 am-6:00 pm

Alex Ashworth, PT, DPT, ATC, Cert. DN

Why am I a PT?

Alex has always enjoyed the many roles that a physical therapist gets to play in the rehabilitative process. “I believe that we have a unique opportunity to help those hurting, not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually.” As your therapist Alex prides himself on treating you as a person, and not just an injury. “I think as a healthcare provider I have a duty to help the patient to do or be whatever they want to be, not to set limitations or discourage them from their goals.”

Continuing Education Commitment

Alex currently holds the Certification in Dry Needling from the American Academy of Manipulative Therapy. He plans to continue with the AAMT to obtain the Certification in Spinal and extremity Manipulation. Alex believes that the more advanced education your providers can practice, the better it will serve the patient. Look for him to constantly evaluate the need of the community he serves to provide the best care.

Professional and Community Activities

Alex is active in the physical therapy community as Clinical Instructor to students from Physical Therapy programs all across the country. He also works as a lab instructor for Dry Needling courses. Locally he is working to get more involved in community outreach and providing education and Physical Therapy consultations/services at local athletic events.

About Alex

Alex is originally from the Atlanta, GA area, but went to school in southeast Georgia. He moved to North Carolina for Physical Therapy School in 2011. He was able to use his clinical rotations to see new areas of the Southeast, including Wilmington, NC and Nashville, TN. Finally, he landed in the Denver area for his final internship of school where he fell in love with two things. Colorado and his now wife, Ashley. He and Ashley live in Arvada with their two dogs, Hank and Ernie, with a baby boy arriving November of 2017. Alex has learned to snowboard during his time here and has been able to hike a few 14ers. As an avid craft beer drinker, he fits right in here in Colorado!

Linda Kinzeler, PT

Why am I a PT?

Linda has enjoyed a life time of dedication to her professional role as a PT. Her initial interest in PT began as a basic desire to improve the quality of life of others. As her career has progressed and developed through the years, her professional and personal life experiences have created a genuine insight into a balance of age appropriate treatment of physical dysfunction and the emotional needs of her clients.

Continuing Education Commitment

Linda has an extension resume of yearly continuing education classes encompassing a variety of treatment techniques and approaches. Her areas of expertise are feet/orthotics and dry needling.

About Linda

Linda has been practicing as a licensed PT for over 40 years primarily in an outpatient orthopedic setting. After graduating from the University of Illinois Medical School, she worked in a hospital setting for a few years in her home town of Elgin, Illinois. During a trip to Colorado, the mountains and life style enticed her to extend her vacation and that was 40 years ago. It has been a rather long vacation! Linda is an avid hiker, biker, cross country skier, kayaker and camper. Her other interests include yoga and reading.

Lakewood

Hours:
Monday-Thursday 7:00 am-7:00 pm
Friday 7:00 am-6:00 pm

 

Jeff Lipkin, PT, DPT, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Partner/Owner

Specialties: Doctorate Degree in Physical Therapy, Trigger Point Dry Needling Practitioner, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Treatment Philosophy: I like to see patients return to their personal goals and activities without pain. I enjoy treating patients in a relaxed and comfortable setting. I am very passionate about the PT profession and want to see physical therapists meet the needs of patient’s musculoskeletal problems.

Education: Jeff received his B.S. in Exercise and Sports Science from the University of Delaware. He then received his doctorate of physical therapy from the University of Pittsburgh in 2005. He has stayed updated with his education through advanced manual therapy courses and exercise prescription continuing education.

For Fun: Jeff enjoys keeping himself healthy to set a good example for his patients. His summer activities include mountain biking and charity road bike rides. During the winter, he can be found skiing at Copper Mountain or snowshoeing.

Stefan Riemens, PT, DPT

Specialties: Doctorate Degree in Physical Therapy

Treatment Philosophy: Manual therapy combined with targeted exercise encompasses the majority of my treatment style. Evidence-based practice remains my pursuit as I work together with patients of all ages in finding a plan of care that produces the greatest functional outcomes and results. In order to make incremental progress, we’ll work as a team to empower you to take control of your health and well-being on the road to recovery.

Education: I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Human Biology from the University of Montana – Missoula in 2016 and pursued my Doctorate in Physical Therapy at the University of Colorado – Anschutz Medical Campus immediately afterwards. I graduated in 2018 and hope to continue specializations in Orthopedic and Sports-related pathologies within the next three years. I will also be working on becoming a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist in the near future.

For Fun: I enjoy all the outdoor activity opportunities Denver and Colorado have to offer. That’s what makes it such a joy to live here. Hiking, biking, skiing, climbing, fishing, game nights with friends and weightlifting are all valuable pass-times on the weekends. A good brew or some red wine are always great additions to a non-fiction novel. It’s just about finding the work-life balance we all seek.

Luke Sugg, PTA, Licensed Physical Therapy Assistant

Specialties: Functional Manual Therapy, Core first strategies

Treatment Philosophy: Luke thoroughly enjoys Physical Therapy and having the opportunity to heal patients ailments. He has first hand knowledge recovering from an injury with the help from Physical Therapy. Connecting with each individual, and promoting the highest human performance and enhancing overall body mobility, retraining movements to the entire body helping each patient get their quality of life back.

Education: Luke received his Associate’s of Occupational Science degree as a Physical Therapist Assistant in 2012 at PIMA Medical Institute in Denver, Colorado. He enjoys growing as a manual therapist through manual therapy courses through the Institute of Physical Art, looking towards pursuing FOC certification.

For Fun: Luke being a Colorado native from Boulder enjoys being outside and being involved in activities whether on water or land. He has a passion for baseball and all sports, loves being around the atmosphere that games have to offer. Go Buffs!

Kodi Barker, MT, Certified Therapeutic Massage Therapist

Specialties: Registered Massage Therapist with certifications in Neuromuscular Therapy, Cranial-Sacral Therapy, Lymphatic Drainage Massage, Pre-natal and Post-natal massage, Trigger point Therapy, Deep Tissue and Sports Massage

Treatment Philosophy: I believe that massage therapy can help improve overall wellness by relieving pain, improving ease of movement and relieving emotional stress. I create a personalized session for each individual, drawing from many different modalities of massage.

Education: My passion for improving wellness began with my own experiences dealing with the chronic pain of scoliosis as a teenager. Massage and physical therapy helped me avoid corrective surgery on my spine. After 10 years of working in the medical field, I realized my true passion was a more hands-on approach to wellness in the form of massage therapy. I received my Associates of Applied Science Degree in Massage Therapy in 2012 from the Colorado School of Healing Arts. I am certified in neuromuscular therapy, myofascial release, Cranial- sacral, lymphatic drainage, pre and postnatal massage. I have focused my continuing education on sports massage and structural integration.

For Fun: When not doing massage, I enjoy spending time with my daughter Paris and my family. My favorite pastimes are trail running, rollerblading, dancing and yoga. I enjoy trying new activities to challenge my mind and body, currently I am learning kickboxing and will be trying roller derby soon.

Christopher Snook, PT, DPT

Specialties: Doctorate Degree in Physical Therapy, Sports, Orthopedic and Post-Op Rehabilitation

Treatment Philosophy: Your body is capable of incredible things, including recovery. With the right stimuli, often a little time and guided work, we can get you back to doing what you love. Christopher is passionate about finding ways to build up his patients’ functional capacity and develop patient independence.

Education: Christopher attended The College of William and Mary in Virginia where he studied Kinesiology and Health Sciences and graduated in 2015. Afterwards he attended the University of North Florida to obtain his Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2018. Since then he has been practicing physical therapy in Colorado, treating various orthopedic conditions and sports related injuries.

For Fun: You can often find Christopher hiking or skiing on the weekends while competing in various recreational sports throughout the week.

Longmont

Hours:
Monday-Friday 7:00 am-6:00 pm

Services

  • Orthopedic Rehabilitation
  • Blood Flow Restriction Therapy
  • Pre- & Post-Operative Care
  • Dry Needling
  • Golf Swing Analysis
  • Spinal Manipulation
  • Sports Medicine
  • Sports Performance Training
  • Whole Body Vibration
  • Work Injury Rehabilitation

Brad Grgurich, PT, DPT, Clinic Director

A native of Pennsylvania, Brad has been living and working in Colorado since 2011. After receiving his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of St. Augustine, Brad has been striving to further his education in the areas of manual therapies including spinal manipulation, functional dry needling, functional movement assessments, golf rehabilitation and the use of blood flow restriction to aid his patient’s in their quest for improved quality of life. As an avid golfer, runner and a person who loves to be active, Brad understands how movement can positively impact a person’s well-being and looks forward to working with you to get back to doing what you love.