Monday, June 26, 2017

My PTW Journey-Brandon Lewandowski, DPT

From Volunteer to Physical Therapist-
Brandon Lewandowski's PTW Journey

I knew very early on in my schooling that I wanted to pursue a career in healthcare. My mother was an Occupational Therapist and as I was gr
owing up, she would bring me into work to watch her change the lives of many patients. This experience allowed me to see how much change someone can make in the lives of those with disabilities and pain. In addition to seeing occupational therapists such as my mother help the lives of others, I also experienced first hand how much a physical therapist could effect the lives of others. Growing up I had many injuries playing sports and as a result I needed physical therapy. The combination of experiences both watching and receiving physical therapy care gave me the strong urge to help give others the same experience I had and help patients get back to doing the things they love.

My PTW journey started back when I was a student at Lansdale Catholic High School. I started volunteering at PTW Lansdale and later shadowed at PTW Quakertown location for two summers. My official employment at PTW started my freshman year of college. I was brought on board as a support staff member and worked consistently through my time at West Chester University and later Temple University. I was able to apply the lessons and methods I was learning in class directly to my work at PTW. I have recently graduated from Temple University with my Doctorate in Physical Therapy and returned to PTW in my new role as staff Physical Therapist.

I am very excited to begin my new role as Physical Therapist and help patients in the way my own Physical Therapists helped me many years ago. I am very grateful for the opportunities PTW has given me throughout the past eight years. I have experienced physical therapy and PTW in many different ways- patient, volunteer, support staff, and now Physical Therapist. I feel that the PTW community (employees and patients) has helped me grow both as a person and a professional and I am excited to help others get back to doing the things they love!

 PTW’s Brandon Lewandowski, DPT is one of PTW's newest PTs at our Lansdale clinic. For an initial evaluation call 215 855 9871 today!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Couch to 5K-The Essentials

Couch to 5K –The Essentials 

The spring and summer months are popular times of the year when runners get out and run local races. This is also the time of year when we as physical therapists see a lot of overuse injuries. Make sure that when you are getting back into running or starting for the first time that you do it properly. This means that your couch to 5K program should include stretching, a gradual build up in your mileage, and rest/cross-training days. 

It is important to stretch when your start running program. Why?
 As your muscles get stronger they will also hypertrophy or get bigger. If you don’t stretch during this time then the muscles get tighter.  Some common muscles that you want to make sure that you stretch would include hip flexors, quadriceps, hamstrings, gastrocnemius, soleus, and piriformis.

A gradual build up to running is also important.
It can be different for everyone but it is recommended that you don’t increase your mileage by more than 10% per week. For very beginner runners, it is recommended that you don’t increase your mileage for the first 3-4 weeks and that you only go for runs 2-3 times per week.  It is also recommended that you start with some ¼ mile intervals of running and walking for the first week until you can comfortably run a mile or two in the next 2-3 weeks. Once you can then comfortably run 2-3 miles without stopping then you can start increasing your mileage by 10% every week or every other week.

For more advanced runners, that same principle works. If you are trying to increase mileage to be able to run your first half or full marathon you should be increasing your mileage by only 10% each week and only running 3-4 times a week with one of those runs being your long run for the week.

The days not spent running should be supplemented with cross-training or strengthening workouts.

Cross-training just means training by doing some other type of exercise to supplement their running program. These activities generally try to focus on building strength and flexibility in other muscles that running doesn’t utilize.  Some good examples of cross-training include swimming, biking/cycling, golf, barre or Zumba classes, BodyPump classes, yoga, kayaking, and strength training.  

If you start to have pain, first try some stretching and rest.  If it doesn’t get better in a couple weeks then it would be a good idea to make an appointment with your favorite PTW Physical Therapist!

Happy Running!

Stephanie McDougal, PT, DPT

Clinical Supervisor – Souderton

 PTW’s Stephanie McDougal, PT, DPT is the Clinical Supervisor at our Souderton clinic. For an initial evaluation, call Steph at 215 855 1160 today for an appointment as soon as possible!