Category Archives for Prime Team

Foot care demonstration

Tip from the Training Room: Foot Health

written by Kerry Gustafson

It's important to keep your feet mobilized and loose.

Since feet are so heavily used in everyday life and activities they often get very tight and are often forgotten about!

Having tight muscles of the feet can affect body structures further up the kinetic chain in the body.

This video demonstrates several mobilization techniques to help your feet stay loose.

Physical Therapists’ Foundations Back Health Series was a Success!

Physical Therapists' Foundations: Back Health Series was a Success!

written by: Lindsay Kizinkewich, PT, DPT, OCS of Precision Physical Therapy

The first run of Foundations Back Series was a great success over the month of September!

Doctors of Physical Therapy, David Bond and Lindsay Kizinkewich, spent Tuesday evenings leading an exercise and education based class about management and prevention of back pain. Through nutrition, hydration, sleep, relaxation techniques, and movement pattern training with progressive loading, the participants gained an understanding of the importance of a holistic approach to back health. 

Our passion for back health is rooted in the staggering number of people that live with back pain everyday. Worldwide, back pain is the single leading cause of disability, preventing people from engaging in work and everyday activities. Although, many people with low back pain recover, reoccurrence is common, even without a serious underlying condition.

Current research suggests, that MRIs findings do not correlate with current symptoms or future prediction of back pain or injury, and variations of normal or normal aging process occur in the spine without symptoms of pain.

Back pain is most often mechanical, due to movement pattern dysfunctions, muscle imbalances or weakness, or mobility deficits, and can be treated effectively with a conservative approach.

We would like to share some of the course highlights to help you feel your best and function at your greatest potential.

One of the greatest pieces of advice to share is how to manage an acute episode of low back pain. It is important to remember early intervention is key for a quicker and more complete recovery process.

Some Recovery Golden Nuggets to hasten the healing process include:
 Avoiding prolonged rest; especially bed rest
 Utilize “active rest”; meaning to get up and move intermittently throughout the day.
 “Your best position is your NEXT position”. Changing positions frequently will help reduce stiffness and pain.
 Keep “neutral spine” in mind and use a lumbar roll/ pillow to support your low back when sitting. Firm sitting surfaces, rather than cushy couches or recliners will typically feel better.

In addition to walking, our favorite acute low back pain exercise are:

Hands and Knees Rocking

This position lightly engages the core muscles, while offloading the spine and structures around the spine. Gently rock your body weight over your hands, and back to decrease muscle guarding, improve mobility, and decrease pain.

Cat / Camel

From the hands and knees position, draw your bellybutton up toward your spine, and allow your pelvis and tail bone to tilt inward, slightly rounding up your low and mid back. Hold for 5 counts, and reverse directions to allowing the low back to arch downward. Hold for 5 counts. Important to only move through a painfree range of motion.

For those people with recurrent episodes or chronic back pain a program consisting of 150 hours per week of moderate- to high-intensity exercise is a best treatment. During Foundations Back Series, we taught aerobic, body weight, resistance/ loading exercises and movement patterns that are essential are a well- structured, self-care back program.

One of these movement patterns is hip hinge and loaded deadlift.

Hip Hinge

Using a dowel to cues a straight back, maintaining three points of contact on the back of your head, between the shoulder blades, and tailbone. Slightly bend the knees and hinge the hips back until you feel pulling/ loading through the gluts and hamstrings. Be sure to keep the three points of contact with the dowel, and not let the spine flex or round.


Once you have mastered the hip hinge with the dowel, to ensure proper form and position, you can begin to load the movement with weight bar, trap bar, dumb bells, or kettle bell.

As always, maintaining a positive mindset that you pain will improve is important in
recovery. Keep in the front of your mind that the human body is resilient, and the spine has inherent anatomical/structural strength and is difficult to cause actual structural damage with everyday movement and motions. Intensity of pain does not correlate with pathology, therefore resuming normal activities, even when experiencing some pain, as early as possible is encouraged. Recognize the improvement in activity levels, not just pain relief as an important marker as you begin to return to previous activities.

Low back pain has a favorable prognosis if treated with Physical Therapy within the first 14 days of onset.

We look forward to sharing more self-care information! Please let us know if Physical Therapy can help you get you back to doing the things you love without pain.

‘Go To’ Exercises for Runners

'Go To' Exercises for Runners

with Lindsay Kizinkewich, PT, DPT, OCS of Precision Physical Therapy

As you approach the final weeks till the Bellingham Bay Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k, it is important to keep your body in optimal condition. As the training miles get longer, the load increases on our tissues and joints, and this is when injury can occur.

It's never too late to incorporate strengthening into your training program. Running is essentially a series of single hops. Your body structures need to withstand enough loading to avoid strain.

These are my "go to" exercises for functional strengthening for runners. They work the body in the same way the body has to control movement while running, especially with longer distances, as the body starts to fatigue. Controlling force into the ground with an eccentric focus builds resiliency to loading and can help prevent running injuries.

Bulgarian Split Squat Hops
Start in a lunge position with your back foot elevated on a step. Slowly lunge down to the floor, keeping your knee from falling inward or in front of your toes. Focus on a quick hop upward, and land back into the lunge position with a quiet landing. Absorb shock through the knee and don't let your front knee collapse inward. Increase the challenge by elevating the back foot on a higher step or bench.

Single Limb Deadlift
Start by balancing on one leg. Slowing hinge forward from your hip, keeping the back straight and hips level. Lean forward from the hip, until you feel the back of the thigh and glutes engage. The knee on the stance leg should maintain a slight bend. Use a weight in the opposite hand than the stance limb to challenge hip stability. This is a balance and stability exercise, as well as eccentric loading for the hamstrings. This movement is about control, not repetitions.

Curtsey Lunge
Start by standing on one leg in level ground, or increase the challenge by using a step. Slowly reach your foot diagonally behind you allowing your hip/pelvis to drop into the lunge slowly. When you return to standing, squeeze your glute and hike the opposite hip to achieve maximal work through full available range of motion. The key is to maintain balance throughout the reps. Use a weight in the opposite hand than your stance limb, on an elevated surface for greater challenge.

​Please schedule an appointment with Precision Physical Therapy, if you would like individualized treatment for a running injury or screening for exercise recommendations to maximize your running performance. Precision would love to help you maximize Movement with Purpose.

The Prime Team

written by Kerry Gustafson

I've been having a lot of business meetings at Camber Coffee on Holly Street recently.

I'm inspired by the space, their service, and the atmosphere they've created. I believe in cultivating relationships and giving full attention, face-to-face, when meeting. These meetings at Camber have helped me get more clear on these same things for the Prime Sports Institute.

A lot of thought and intention have gone into all the little details of this new space so our team can offer you a high level of service as well as a healthy and positive atmosphere.

Speaking of our team...we've got an incredible team of people working hard behind the scenes. I can't wait for you to meet them!

In fact, I'm going to introduce you to our team over the next couple of months - so you'll be able to appreciate the talent and vision of the many people who have helped me bring my vision to life.

Stay tuned for these team introductions...coming soon!