Phone: 503-753-1537   |   Fax: 503-573-8004   |   18019 SW Lower Boones Ferry Road, Tigard, OR 97224   |   Located inside Bridgeport Integrative Health
Tigard Physical Therapy

Tigard Physical Therapy

Your Health is in Our Hands

Look on your own format for an assurance that you simply may complete your guide.

posted on November 7th, 2017 under Uncategorized

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Low Back Pain: Causes and Treatments

posted on March 31st, 2017 under Low Back Pain


Everyone experiences back pain at some point in his or her life. According to the American Chiropractic Association, 31 million Americans experience low back pain at any given time. Also known as Lumbago, low back pain is the leading cause of disability in the United States, and the second leading reason for physician office visits. The good news is that most causes of back pain are not serious, and are easily treatable.

The low back is a complex structure of bone, muscle, tendons, discs, and blood vessels. Spine Health lists the most common causes of low back pain and related symptoms as muscle or ligament strain, disc injury (such as a herniation), or an irritated joint. Sports and lifting injuries, and other accidents like a fall or car crash, can also initiate the onset of back pain. Sometimes even a simple movement – such as bending over or twisting to the side – can injure the spine. Less common causes of lumbago include fracture, tumor, or inflammatory arthritis.

Acute Low Back Pain

Acute injuries like muscle strains usually last 1-3 weeks. These injuries respond well to 1-2 days of rest, use of heat or ice to control symptoms, and over the counter medications such as Ibuprofen. Physical Therapy can also help relieve pain and muscle spasm, as well as the use of modalities like:

    – Heat and Ice
    – Ultrasound
    – Electrical Stimulation
    – Manual Therapy: Massage, Myofascial Release, or Joint Mobilization and Manipulation
    – Dry Needling
    – Cupping

When acute pain has subsided, beginning a gentle core-strengthening program will help stabilize the area to prevent future injuries. Regularly stretching tight muscles will also help alleviate any remaining discomfort. Your Physical Therapist will prescribe an exercise routine suited to your needs, and teach you proper body mechanics (how to move and lift) to minimize future strain.

Chronic Low Back Pain

Low back pain is considered chronic when symptoms last longer than three months. Chronic pain is commonly caused by a tear in the disc, arthritis of the facet joints (osteoarthritis), or degenerative disc disease. This type of pain responds best to an exercise program that is set up by your Physical Therapist specific to your body’s needs, and dependent on the structure that is generating the pain. Modalities and manual therapy are also helpful to reduce symptoms.

When to see your Physical Therapist

If you suffer an acute injury of the low back, treat it with plenty of rest, heat or ice, and over the counter medications to reduce symptoms. If you are not feeling significantly better after three days, please call to schedule an appointment for an evaluation. Your Physical Therapist will do a thorough exam, and let you know whether physical therapy will be helpful for you. She will discuss treatment options with you and develop a plan of care. Treatment is usually commenced at the first appointment.

If you suffer from chronic back pain, an evaluation by your physical therapist will help determine whether physical therapy would benefit you.

Tigard Physical Therapy and Massage offers times early and late in the day to accommodate work and school schedules. We are usually able to offer same or next day appointments.

Physical Therapy for Low Back Pain

Your Physical Therapist may prescribe a core-strengthening exercise routine to help with low back pain. She will teach you the correct form and body mechanics so you can practice these exercises on your own.

When to see your Primary Care Physician

If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should see your PCP as soon as possible or go to the emergency room:

    – Changes in bowel or bladder habits such as unusual constipation, or involuntary loss of urine or stool
    – Neurological symptoms like numbness, tingling, or weakness in the legs
    – Severe back pain accompanied by abdominal pain
    – Back pain that is getting worse despite rest and home remedies
    – Back pain that occurs from an injury such as a fall or a car accident
    – Sudden onset of mid or upper back pain, especially if you are at risk for osteoporosis

Massage Rolling: An Introduction

posted on January 7th, 2016 under Massage Rolling

Massage Rolling Balls

What is Massage Rolling?

Massage Rolling is a muscle release technique that works far beyond traditional stretching or foam rolling. This method uses a variety of different sized balls as stretching tools to promote flexibility, improve range of motion, and much more. Whereas the foam roller treats the body as one whole muscle, the ball is three dimensional and targets specific muscle groups. It allows you to get in and around joints such as the hip or shoulder. At Tigard Physical Therapy, we often integrate Massage Rolling into our treatment programs. Our trained staff offers individualized instruction to teach you the proper form.

Get on the Ball

Massage Rolling for the hamstrings.

Massage Rolling is a self-care technique that mimics the work of a massage therapist. The results are similar to having myofascial release applied to your body. The method uses 6- to 10-inch balls to help stretch the muscles, increase circulation, and free soft tissue restrictions in your body. It is usually performed in a specific sequence, and can be performed on most muscles – even the face! This stretching technique can be safely performed by almost anyone: young or old, individuals recovering from injury, or people looking to enhance their current fitness program.

Lying over the ball, your body weight is used to apply pressure to targeted muscles. Each rolling sequence has a specific start and end point, working muscles from where they begin (the origin), and rolling toward where they attach (the insertion). This process helps to stretch and elongate the muscles.

The Benefits of Massage Rolling

Massage Rolling is different than traditional fitness regimens. You don’t need access to expensive equipment, and you can achieve results without spending hours stretching. This technique can:

  • Relieve pain and tension
  • Improve flexibility
  • Improve posture
  • Prevent sports injuries
  • Stretch and tone muscles
  • Promote healing
  • Build core strength
  • Realign the body
  • Remove restrictions in your body
  • Break down scar tissue


“I was introduced to Massage Rolling while training for a marathon and treating a hip flexor injury. I was skeptical at first, but quickly began to experience the benefits of Massage Rolling. As my training increased, I learned additional methods for massaging the various muscle groups in my legs and core, which was a perfect complement to my regular physical therapy appointments and sports massages.

Since then, Massage Rolling has become an integral part of my training. I perform it after every run no matter if it is 3 miles or 20 miles. I have no doubt that Massage Rolling has helped speed the recovery of my hip flexor injury and shin splints, but also prevented classic running injuries like hamstring strains and IT-band issues. I can’t imagine my running success without Massage Rolling.”

Inessa V.
31-year-old runner
Nike Women’s Marathon Finisher 2009

Physical Therapy for Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

posted on January 6th, 2016 under Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

At Tigard Physical Therapy, we use an integrative approach to treat Pelvic Floor Dysfunction:


With biofeedback therapy, we promote patient awareness of musculature, as well as muscle rehabilitation and relaxation.

Patient Education

It is important that patients understand their diagnosis and the anatomy involved in their treatment program. Better understanding in these areas leads to greater treatment success.

Behavior Modification

Voiding diaries are used to track triggers of problems and change voiding patterns. Change of diet and relaxation training are also used. This treatment is especially helpful with urge incontinence.

Manual Therapy

  • External and Internal Soft Tissue Mobilization
  • Myofascial and Trigger Point Release
  • Deep Tissue Massage
  • Spinal and Pelvic Realignment
  • Visceral Mobilization

Patient Self Care

Sustained success of a treatment program requires that patients continue their treatment in their home environment. During treatment, patients will be taught a home exercise program, self-trigger point release, and relaxation techniques.

Who is Affected by Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?

posted on January 6th, 2016 under Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Although most commonly associated with women, Pelvic Floor Disorders can actually affect men, too. It is true that Pelvic Floor Dysfunction becomes more common with age, however Pelvic Floor issues can affect just about anybody – even children and teens. Many athletes are affected by it as well.

It is difficult to get an accurate estimate of exactly how many people are affected by Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, as so many cases go unreported and untreated. Studies have shown that approximately 1 out of every 5 Americans suffer from some type of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction at some point in their life. Over 25 million Americans suffer from urinary incontinence alone.

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Causes

posted on January 2nd, 2016 under Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Many different factors can contribute to pelvic floor issues. The most common causes in women are childbirth and aging. Stress, surgery, injury, obesity, and menopause can all be contributing factors as well. Research shows that men suffer from incontinence mostly because of a swollen prostate or after prostate surgery. Diabetes, Asthma, nerve damage, infections and medications can also attribute to a weak pelvic floor in both men and women.

A lot of athletes suffer from urinary incontinence. The pelvic floor takes a lot of stress after hours of running, jumping, and other high-impact sports. When you come down from a jump, all the shock is absorbed by your joints and Pelvic Floor Muscles. This can sometimes result in urinary leakage.

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Symptoms

posted on December 30th, 2015 under Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

There are many different symptoms which manifest themselves as a result of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. Quite often, Pelvic Floor Dysfunction is a multi-dimensional diagnosis consisting of several symptoms. These can include but are not limited to: urinary issues, bowel problems, sexual dysfunction, and/or unexplained pain in the pelvis and low back areas. The following is a list of the most common Pelvic Floor Dysfunction symptoms. If you have any of these symptoms, you should discuss them with your physician.

  • Urinary / Bladder Incontinence: Loss of bladder control, ranging from mild leaking to uncontrollable wetting.
  • Stress Incontinence: Involuntary emission of urine when pressure within the abdomen increases suddenly, as in coughing or jumping.
  • Urinary Hesitancy: Difficulty urinating or weak urine stream.
  • Ischuria / Urinary Retention: Inability to empty the bladder.
  • Interstitial Cystitis: Also known as Painful Bladder Syndrome. Recurring pain or discomfort in the bladder and surrounding pelvic region.
  • Fecal / Bowel Incontinence: Inability to control bowel movements, causing stool (feces) to leak unexpectedly from the rectum.
  • Constipation: Painful or difficult bowel movements, usually associated with hardened feces.
  • Bloated or Heavy Feeling in the Abdomen
  • Pelvic Pain, Low Back Pain, Hip Pain, and/or Groin Pain
  • Coccydynia: Tailbone pain.
  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse: Rectocele, enterocele, cystocele, or urethrocele. Pelvic organs collapse into the vagina resulting in a painful bulge or protrusion through the vaginal canal.
  • Female Sexual Dysfunction: Painful intercourse, Vaginismus, or vestibular pain.
  • Male Sexual Dysfunction: Erectile Dysfunction, testicular and/or penile pain or numbness.

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction: An Introduction

posted on December 21st, 2015 under Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

What is the Pelvic Floor?

The Pelvic Floor is the muscular base of the abdomen, attached to the pelvis. Both men and women have a Pelvic Floor. These muscles and the tissues surrounding them function to support the pelvic organs and keep them in place – you can visualize them as a hammock or a sling which cradles the pelvic organs. In women, the pelvic organs include the bladder, uterus, vagina, and rectum. In men, the pelvic organs include the prostate, bladder, rectum, and seminal vesicles. The Pelvic Floor muscles help these organs operate, and also play a vital role in sexual function.

The Pelvic Floor consists of three muscle layers:

  • Transverse Abdominals: The deepest and lowest abdominal muscles.
  • Multifidi: The deepest spine muscles.
  • Iliopsoas: Deep fibers of the anterior hip muscles.

What is Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction is the disruption of bladder, bowel, or sexual function due to restrictions of the muscles and nerves of the lower abdominal and pelvic areas. Often these various disorders can result in pain, pressure, or discomfort in the rectum, bladder, vagina, penis, sacrum (lowest part of the spine), or coccyx (tailbone). People with pelvic floor disorders may experience urinary problems, such as an urgent need to urinate, painful urination or incomplete emptying of the bladder, constipation, straining or pain during bowel movements, and/or pain or pressure in the vagina or rectum.

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction can have a significant impact on quality of life. Many people with pelvic health issues feel embarrassed to discuss their sexual, urinary, or bowel problems, but don’t realize that their symptoms can be resolved – usually without surgery. Talking with a compassionate Pelvic Floor Specialist can help you understand your diagnosis, and provide you with effective pelvic floor therapy. At Tigard Physical Therapy, our goal is to help you return to a normal lifestyle and the activities that you love.

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