Dr. Laura earns new certification!

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We are proud to announce that Dr. Laura Murahashi, PT, DPT, was recently certified by the McKenzie Institute USA in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy® (MDT). This was the accumulation of multiple courses attended, hours of studying, and even more hours of practice. She is the only physical therapist in Mountlake Terrace with this certification!


Here is a little info about MDT from the McKenzie Institute USA:

“Q: What is the McKenzie Method of MDT?

A: The McKenzie Method of MDT is a reliable assessment process intended for all musculoskeletal problems, including pain in the back, neck and extremities (i.e., shoulder, knee, ankle etc.), as well as issues associated with sciatica, sacroiliac joint pain, arthritis, degenerative disc disease, muscle spasms and intermittent numbness in hands or feet. If you are suffering from any such issues, then a MDT assessment may be right for you!

Q: How does it work?

A: MDT is comprised of four primary steps: assessment, classification, treatment and prevention.

Most musculoskeletal pain is “mechanical” in origin, which means it is not due to a serious pathology like cancer or infection but a result of abnormal or unusual forces or mechanics occurring in the tissue. Further, it means that a position, movement or activity caused the pain to start. If a mechanical force caused the problem then it is logical that a mechanical force may be part of the solution. The MDT system is designed to identify the mechanical problem and develop a plan to correct or improve the mechanics and thus decrease or eliminate the pain and functional problems.”

To find out more, go to info for patients. Then call us at 425-673-5220 to schedule an evaluation with Laura!


Exercise for Low Back Pain (Ab strengthen)- part 3

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My continuing work on my low back pain and another exercise to help with the anterior chain (abs):
Hollow Hold (is what I think most people call it)- I call it HARD!

Sally PT Hollow Hold neutral spine

Sally Moores, PT, DPT, OCS

This, like most exercises, is easy to do wrong.
The essence is to keep your back in neutral (more about this below), while raising your legs, arms (which are reaching overhead) and your head 1 inch off the ground.
Hold for up to a minute- if you start to feel compensation- stop and rest, it is more important to do it right.

Some tips:

Neutral spine: There are a lot of fitness professionals that have you do this exercise with a posterior pelvic tilt, or flattening your back into the floor- I disagree with this because it’s not functional. You don’t want to be strong but walking around like Urkel. And- if you have a little bit of meat on your tush (ehem, or a lot), you have to really put your pelvis into a BIG tilt to put your back on the floor. It’s just not practical.
To find a neutral spine, lie flat on the floor. Put your hands on your front hip bone (ASIS) and your fingers on your pubic bone- they should be level, if not, adjust- this should be your starting position.
Pull your ribs DOWN- without tucking your tail- you can see in the picture, that my right shoulder is tight and is pulling my ribs up a little (I am working on it!). If you can’t figure out how to get your ribs down, try laughing. Seriously, laugh. This should pull them down- if not, we may have some work to do. Physical Therapy will help with that.

Neck– make sure you roll your head up, by bringing your chin to your throat before you lift your head up.
Now- lift and hold- make sure that your back does not move!

#physicaltherapy #abs #anteriorchain #gym #backpain

Physical Therapy Myth #7: I can do physical therapy myself.

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Physical therapy myth #7: I can do physical therapy myself

Really?– how well does that work out for you?
I had a patient tell a friend: “Dude, you can’t rehab your (surgical) ankle fracture from stuff off of YouTube. Go to MOSAIC”.

diy pt 1 (sample of what you may find if you search for “do it yourself PT”)

Physical Therapy is not just about “exercise”- there is a huge clinical decision and diagnostic piece, that the lay person would be missing if they did it on their own. Make sure if you have movement issues, see a skilled physical therapist- to not only address the present condition, but the reason for it.

Fact: Your participation is key to a successful treatment plan, but every patient still needs the expert care and guidance of a licensed physical therapist. Your therapist will leverage his or her specialized education, clinical expertise, and the latest available evidence to evaluate your needs and make a diagnosis before creating an individualized plan of care.

Physical Therapy Myth #6: Surgery is My Only Option.

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AWESOME hamstring tear- the MD diagnosed it as Sciatica- the patient told her- I have pain in the back of my leg. The MD never even looked at the patient's leg. Taping, manual work and graded exercises had this patient back on the tennis court in 6-8 weeks.
AWESOME hamstring tear- the MD diagnosed it as Sciatica- the patient told her- I have pain in the back of my leg. The MD never even looked at the patient’s leg. Taping, manual work and graded exercises had this patient back on the tennis court in 6-8 weeks.

Myth #6: Surgery is My Only Option. Not necessarily– (see my baby rant below)

Fact: In many cases, physical therapy has been shown to be as effective as surgery in treating a wide range of conditions—from rotator cuff tears and degenerative disk disease, to meniscal tears and some forms of knee osteoarthritis. Those who have recently seen a physical therapist know this to be true, with 79% believing physical therapy can provide an alternative to surgery.

I have had this conversion countless times:
Patient- I need a knee replacement
Me- really- does your knee bother you? Can you (insert- sit, squat, stair-climb etc)
Patient- I can do all those things. It only bothers me sometimes
Me- then why do you think you need a knee replacement (BTW- not a little surgery)
Patient- because my surgeon told me I’m bone-on-bone
Me- but you have no pain….you will for quite a bit of time after

Remember- just because a picture “says” something- it has to match with the complaints. These patients (I can think of 3 in the past few months) have all gotten better with PT.

Now– I’ve also had a patient say- of course you don’t think surgery is necessary, your a PT. Valid point, and there are times when surgery is absolutely necessary! Got a mensicus folded like a taco that wont budge and you can’t bend or straighten your knee- sure have that chunk removed. HOWEVER- I strongly believe that all patients going through elective orthopedic surgery should PREHAB before their surgery- even if it’s just a few visits. The difference after surgery in pain and function is dramatically different.

Phew that was a long post- thanks for reading!

#physicaltherapy vs #surgery #backpain #rotatorcufftear #hamstringtear

Physical Therapy Myth #5: Physical Therapy Isn’t Covered By Insurance

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Adam w.Laura in headlock manualtherapy for headache
Adam w. Laura in a headlock/manual therapy for headache





Myth #5: Physical therapy isn’t covered by insurance


Fact: Most insurance policies cover some form of physical therapy. Beyond insurance coverage, physical therapy has proven to reduce costs by helping people avoid unnecessary imaging scans, surgery, or prescription drugs. Physical therapy can also lower costs by helping patients avoid falls or by addressing conditions before they become chronic.

My team and I are in-network with most providers including Tricare and Medicare- and even if we are not not – most insurance offer out-of network benefits that are still reasonable.

#physicaltherapy is cheaper than most medical services- and we are more fun!

Physical Therapy Myth #4: Any Health Care Professional Can Perform Physical Therapy

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Sally doing manual therapy on the manual therapistMyth #4: Any health care professional can perform physical therapy.

This one gets my blood boiling!

NO!!! Your MD, ND, NP, Chiropractor, personal trainer, or coach are all GREAT at what they do. BUT they do not perform physical therapy. In fact, it is illegal in the state of Washington for any other practitioner to practice or advertise that they practice physical therapy.

Fact: Although 42% of consumers know that physical therapy can only be performed by a licensed physical therapist, 37% still believe other health care professionals can also administer physical therapy. Many physical therapists also pursue board certification in specific areas such as neurology, orthopedics, sports, or women’s health, for example.

Picture of me performing my near career-ending (his, not mine ) cervical manipulation on Dr. E from The Manual Therapist.com. 🙂

Physical Therapy Myth # 3: Physical Therapy is Only for Injuries and Accidents

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keep-calm-and-call-a-physical-therapist     Myth # 3: Physical therapy is only for injuries and accidents.

Fact: Physical therapists do a lot more than just stretch or strengthen weak muscles after an injury or surgery. They are skilled at evaluating and diagnosing potential problems before they lead to more serious injuries or disabling conditions—

Physical Therapist are MOVEMENT specialists. If there is something preventing you from moving well, pain, headache, scar tissue, swelling, poor balance or coordination, etc., we can help!