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Physical Therapy & Injury Specialists



September 2012

In This Issue
2012 Olympics - What's the TAPE All About?
2012 Paralympics
5Qs: Johanna Cole - PT Aide & Pilates Instructor
Exercise of the Month - Lunges!
Eat Like An Olympian
Think About It...
Staying Active Tip - 4 Reasons An Athlete Needs a PT
Clinic News



Happy September to you! We hope you enjoy our September issue of STAYING ACTIVE. This month's newsletter is full of information related to the 2012 Summer Olympics. Our tribute to those great athletes.  


2012 Olympics - What's the TAPE All About??               by Sheri Morrow, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT



tape leukotape


Everyone who watched the Olympics this year must have seen the multitude of tape that was used. We saw tape on the abdominals, back, knees, shoulders, you name it and it was taped. What's this tape all about? Is the tape preventing injury? Or rehabbing from injury?  Is it just used on athletes, or can anyone benefit?


There are two kinds of tape used in rehab and sports/athletic training; kinesiotape and leukotape. Both were seen at the Olympics and both are used here at PTIS. The multicolored tape (kinesiotape) is a thinner, more elastic tape. The different colors represent different levels of "stiffness" in the tape. The brown tape (leukotape) is a stronger, more resistant tape. 


Kinesiotape is used for sore muscle/tendons to help facilitate ("turn on") weak muscles and to inhibit ("turn off") overly tight muscles. The application of the tape (all the different shapes and angles seen at the Olympics) is specific to these goals. The leukotape is used to help protect joints or large muscles (think ankles, wrists, low back). 

How does the the tape work? Although research is ongoing, current understanding is the tape gives proprioceptive feedback to the brain. What is proprioception? Proprioception is the awareness of where your body is in space. For instance, if you hold your hand in a fist with your eyes closed, you can still feel your hand is fisted. Taping pulls on the skin with movement, therefore providing feedback as to the movement of your body, and allows your body to stabilize itself or create awareness so you don't over stretch already sore or injured tissues. It has also been shown to help some muscles relax, which helps when you are overusing these muscles.


Here at PTIS, we commonly use both types of tape; for stability and for muscles/tendons. The tape will limit your motion, but unlike a brace, you will still be using your muscles to stabilize and gain strength. Tape can also be used to enhance the use of postural muscles - as the tape pulls on the skin you sit up straighter, and getting the constant reminder helps develop good habits.


Make an appointment with your PT to see how tape can benefit you. 

To find about more about Sheri Morrow, click here.
2012 Paralympics



The Paralympic Games are held every four years, and are held two weeks after the conclusion of the Olympic Games. They are held at the same location, using the same venues as the Olympics. The 2012 Paralympics will take place August 29th to September 9. There are a total of 227 American Paralympians competing of which 13 are from Colorado. 


A Paralympic athlete has a physical disability. The disability can be amputation, spinal cord injuries, visual impairment or cerebral palsy. An exception is the sighted guides for athletes with a visual impairment. They are such a close and essential part of the competition, that the athlete and guide are considered a team, and both athletes are medal candidates. There are also some events in the Summer Paralympics  where athletes with an intellectual disability compete (per 2012: in athletics, swimming and table tennis).


Paralympians compete and train at a high level. Some of the most popular Paralympic sports include AthleticsWheelchair BasketballWheelchair Rugby, and Ice Sledge Hockey.




You can watch on: orNBC Sports Network (NBCSN) will air one-hour highlight shows on 4, 5, 6 and 11 September at 7 p.m. EDT. 


5 QUESTIONS for Johanna Cole - PT Aide & Pilates Instructor 
Johanna WP


1. Where are you from,do you have siblings/children? I was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan and moved to Antioch, California when I was 10 years old.  I remained in California until 2 years ago when I moved with my husband and two sons to Colorado. My parents, two sisters and their families all still live in the Antioch, CA area. 


2.  What brought you to Colorado? My husband's job transferred us to Colorado.  My husband's parents had moved to Colorado from California 5 years prior to us, so we were happy to reunite with them. Our whole family has come to love Colorado; its beautiful sights, skies and plethora of activities to participate in have all made Colorado a great place to live. Our most difficult adjustments have been living in the snow and not being able to camp at the ocean, one of our favorite things to do.


3. What did you want to be when you grew up?  As a young girl I wanted to be Wonder Woman!  In high school I decided the next best thing would be to help people in whatever way I could. That desire eventually translated into becoming a childcare provider when I became a mother, a volunteer community first responder, and most recently a fitness instructor, personal trainer and Pilates coach. It was through my continuing education courses that I was first exposed to Pilates. I became drawn to it immediately due to its therapeutic qualities. What I appreciate most about Pilates is that it's low impact, it creates body awareness and thoughtfulness, and it allows safe and effective exercise for individuals with limitations.

4. What was your favorite part of the Olympics? I watched as much Olympics as I could. My favorite events were gymnastics, women's beach volleyball and soccer.


5. What is your top advice for taking care of your health?  Spend time getting to know your body and how it works.  Then, trust your instincts about it.

Exercise of the Month - Lunges!

Lunges are a popular exercise choice for lower body strengthening that require no equipment. Lunges are a multijoint movement primarily targeting the hips, glutes and thighs. Lunges are also extremely time efficient.


Basic lunge: Stand with your feet hip to shoulder-width apart, arms relaxed at your sides. Take a very large step forward while keeping your torso erect, and bend the knees, slowly lowering your trunk straight down. To help avoid over-stressing the knee joint, keep the front knee behind the toes and be sure to lower straight down rather than bring your upper body forward. After reaching the bottom of the movement pause only long enough to take in a breath, then push your body back up, placing emphasis through the heel of the front foot. Be careful not to lock the knees at the top of the movement. Beginners should avoid coming down too far toward the floor until they have established reasonable leg strength, and if you have knee problems, do not attempt until you have checked with your physical therapist. 


For those looking for maximum range of motion, lower the hips so that the thigh of the front leg is parallel to the floor. The knee should be positioned directly over the ankle and foot pointing straight ahead. The back leg can be positioned in one of two ways. You can bend both knees to an approximate 90 degree angle, or if greater flexibility of the hip flexor is desired, keep the back leg straight but relaxed, while bending the knee of the front leg until you feel a gentle stretch.


Reverse lunge: Instead of taking a step forward, take a slow, controlled step backward.

Side lunge: A nice way to mix it up, side lunges target the inner thighs to a greater extent than traditional lunges. With this variation, you take a step to the side and lower your body by bending your knee, rather than stepping to the front or back. Once you feel a strong contraction on your outer thigh, step back to the starting point and repeat with the other leg.



  • The lower your body travels in a lunge, the greater emphasis is placed on the glutes.
  • If you have trouble keeping your balance while doing lunges, hold onto a sturdy chair or wall for support. Try to look straight ahead rather than down.
  • If you are looking for a way to take it to the next level, hold onto dumbbells while performing the exercise. You can also elevate the back foot onto a low step or platform, which places more emphasis on the front leg. Placing the back foot on a small stability ball is also an advanced move, creating an additional balance challenge.
  • The number of sets and reps performed will vary according to fitness level and goals. Generally speaking, 1 to 3 sets are recommended, and as many lunges per set as you can perform without compromising form.
  • Never allow the front knee to go beyond the toe.
  • Those with knee, hip or other lower body joint problems should consult with a physical therapist before attempting lunges, as they are not appropriate for everyone.
Eat Like An Olympian


beef swarm Natalie Coughlin isn't just one of the most decorated American female Olympians of all time, she's also a great cook. The swimmer discovered her love of shawarma after enjoying some late night street food around London. Here, she serves up her own recipe for beef shawarma with a fresh sauce to drizzle on top.   


 Click here for the recipe and a video of Natalie making it 




"Adversity, if you allow it to, will fortify you and make you the best you can be."

Kerri Walsh Jennings, 2012 Olympics Gold Medalist  



4 Reasons An Athlete Needs a Physical Therapist

by Robert Letendre, PT, CMPT




The value for an athlete in developing an alliance with a physical therapist can offer the following major benefits:


1. If you are an athlete and have ever experienced pain or an injury that prevented you from sport, you know how frustrating that can be.  A physical therapist can not only help to reduce your pain, but can get you on the road to recovery via rehabilitation and can ultimately return you to your sport.  A PT can assist you in all phases of rehab - getting over the pain and injury, helping restore your ability to perform, and even helping you perform at a higher performance level. 


2. Something that deters an athlete from seeking a physical therapist is fear of being removed from sport. There are instances where an athlete may need to abstain from their sport, but in most cases a PT will work together with the coach/trainer to keep the athlete on the field. Often times it's finding and fixing a mechanical problem, or decreasing strain by using manual techniques and/or taping that is needed.


3. Physical therapists are the musculoskeletal experts and can really help diagnose and assess the problem without a series of medical tests or X-rays. That knee pain that keeps you from your peak performance may actually be from a stiff hip, or tightness in your leg musculature.  A PT can also direct you to the appropriate physician when an orthopedic consult is needed.


4.  A PT can be a great asset in helping to reduce or eliminate "risk of injury". One of the things a PT looks for in determining "risk of injury" is whether the athlete is training appropriately. The most effective way to look at how an athlete should be training is often misunderstood. The sports world tends to favor skill level or performance (conditioning or fitness level) as the foundation of training.  Instead, focus should be on movement patterns first - for how can we train conditioning (performance) or skill (sport specific ability) if we are not moving well?  An athlete who cannot perform a normal movement with good form and without pain (like a squat) should not be expected to train and perform conditioning exercises that require it.  What usually happens with this type of training is the breakdown of wherever the poor movement pattern is and then injury results. What a PT will do is assess the movement required, and if there is a poor or painful movement, the PT can restore and improve that movement.  At this point the athlete can work through their conditioning exercise and hone their sport specific skill knowing that any risk of injury is extremely low. There have been studies that found it's whether the athlete has a good functional movement pattern that can predict injury (and thus prevent it). Therefore, it is proactive to have your physical therapist screen you for correct movement patterns prior to sport specific training and/or to have your PT to help set you up with the correct exercises that will work in synergy to your conditioning and skill training.


PT goes well beyond the traditional rehab phase of post-injury. Getting rid of the pain is just the first step. From there, your PT will be sure you are strong, flexible, and your body is prepared to take on the rigors of your sport without re-injury.


Visit our website at to learn about our great PTs and choose the one that's right for you. 



Statistics from the 2012 Olympics


Number of sports - 26
Number of Athletes - 17,000
Number of journalists to cover the event - 20,000
Number of countries represented - 205
Number of people involved in staging the games - 63,000
Number of spectators - 500,000
*official London Games website


Stay Tuned for PT Month in October
PTIS will be offering some free classes in October to celebrate Physical Therapy month. 
Stay tuned for the dates, times and topics. 

Balance Classes Coming Soon to the PTIS Meridian Clinic
Balance Class will be up and running soon at the Meridian Clinic.  If anyone is interested or knows someone who has balance issues, please call the clinic (303-792-7379) or email Bob at For more information about the class, click here.
FMS Athlete Screenings Coming to the PTIS Meridian Clinic
The Meridian Clinic has set up screening times for any high school or club sport athletes. FMS is a screening exam that will determine overall function as it relates to sports performance. The athlete will receive detailed information on any "risk of injury". Any existing injuries and/or underlying joint (knee, hip, ankle) problems, strength and flexibility issues, and any other reasons for under performance in their sports will also be examined.


Please call the clinic (303-792-7379) or email Bob at to schedule your time slot.
Thank you for your interest in health and wellness. We believe Staying Active is important for WORK.SPORT.LIFE. 

If you like this newsletter, please send to friends and family and have them subscribe. If there is a topic you would like us to include in a future issues, please let us know.


Have a great September!


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