Clinical Conversations

RinardPT Monthly – August 2014

Nick Rinard Physical Therapy in Portland Oregon Logo White  

RinardPT Monthly


Nick Rinard Physical Therapy
9700 SW Capitol Hwy Suite 140
Portland, OR 97219

Volume 6, Issue 6
August 2014

Now a Preferred Provider With

Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield!

Nick Rinard Physical Therapy is now IN-NETWORK with Blue Cross Blue Shield!

Nick Rinard Physical Therapy Now Blue Cross Preferred

We make every effort to make treatment affordable, and believe that we save patients time and money by providing our specialized care,
regardless of insurance coverage.

Not sure of your physical therapy insurance coverage?
Nick Rinard Physical Therapy checks insurance for ALL patients at no cost!
Call today!


RinardPT patients get Results:

Don’t take our word for it

“After 1.5 years of caregiving for my sweet husband, I found my back was shot and motion difficult. You discovered that I was shifted to the left and not using my muscles symmetrically (what muscle I had, which wasn’t much!). The gradual prescription of more exercises for core strengthening (after correcting the shift) has been phenomenal. I am so glad to have my body working for me again, instead of yelling at me for living my life.”
-Shirley 07/29/2014
“I came to Nick Rinard PT with a chronic pain in my left shoulder area. I sit a lot: driving, computer work, TV, etc. I would go to the chiropractor one a month for relief, but the pain never went away. I finally went to my doctor who referred me to Nick. I was seen by Megan who spent a lot of time troubleshooting my pain. She came up with an exercise that gave me relief on the spot. I went home and performed the exercise several times per day. Within 3 days, the pain was completely gone! I went for one follow-up visit (only my 2nd visit) and was given instructions on how to incorporate the exercise as part of my ongoing therapy. This place is great!”
-James 07/07/2014


Nick Rinard Physical Therapy 4 people jumping on the beach


In just 5-10 minutes, MDT can determine if your pain is mechanical or not. If so, we can help get you out of pain and back to enjoying your life.


How Important is Your Posture?


In fact, almost all of our patients are instructed in proper posture as a part of therapy.
Want to get the most mileage from your spine? Straighten up!
If you’re unable to sit up straight without pain, it’s time to give us a call.

Bad Posture at Computer Causes Undue Stress on your Back

Read all the helpful tips and reminders at :


Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy: Gets to the Core Problem

Last week, I had a patient come into the clinic with neck pain that had started the week before. He had been a patient in the past and knew that the sooner he got in for treatment, the better.

Terry had pain medial to his left shoulder blade. This pain was limiting him with sleeping and with driving, as left rotation caused pain. He was rating his pain a 4/10 at the time of the evaluation.

Evaluation and Assessment

Large Image of Scapula beside skeleton with region highlighted

Scapula connects Upper Arm with Collar Bone

During the evaluation, left and right rotation motions produced pain medial to the left scapula. Upon palpation, the musculature where the pain was produced was very tender, acting like trigger points. I chose not to treat the trigger points, as these things are likely secondary to the real problem: a derangement.

During the repeated movement assessment, I had Terry go through retraction, extension and flexion.  When we tested repeated left rotation, Terry’s pain decreased with repetition.  Terry was sent home performing repeated left rotation with over-pressure.  By his next visit, his pain was significantly decreased and the trigger points of the muscles had also decreased with pain when palpated.  I had Terry increase the frequency of which he was to perform the rotation exercise. By the next visit, Terry had abolition of all pain, no limitation with sleeping or driving and the trigger points were completely gone!

Getting to the Root of the Problem

The Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT) Method is very effective at getting to the root of the problem. When the core issue is fixed, the secondary impairments almost always resolve on their own. If a clinician is always treating the symptoms and not the cause, this will lead to more visits, more time until recovery and more money from the patient. This is one of the fundamental reasons that we practice the MDT Method here at Nick Rinard Physical Therapy – to fix your core issues!


RinardPT Monthly – July 2014

Nick Rinard Physical Therapy in Portland Oregon Logo White

RinardPT Monthly

Nick Rinard Physical Therapy
9700 SW Capitol Hwy Suite 140
Portland, OR 97219

Volume 6, Issue 5
July 2014

We Appreciate YOU!

Did you know that you help make up 40% of the patients we see? Yes, YOU!

40% of the patients we treat are past patients returning for a different issue, or patients referred to Nick Rinard Physical Therapy by a past patient.

You make up 40 Percent of RinardPT

We want you to know that we appreciate you, and that despite all the changes that have happened to healthcare (and those to come) YOU are still still our first priority. We are committed to your PT being as effective as possible, and are still working hard to get you better in an average of 6-8 visits!

Call 503-244-6232

for your Evaluation or Free Consultation

RinardPT patients get Results:

Don’t take our word for it

“I came to Nick Rinard Physical Therapy hoping to find relief from debilitating neck pain-24/7-which had mysteriously begun about 2 weeks prior to my first visit. My husband had been treated here a few years ago-also for neck problems.
Within a few sessions my range of motion, with little to no pain, had improved tremendously! In addition, I was given specific ‘exercises’ I can easily do on my own to further improve movement, and to hopefully prevent the neck problem from happening again. Thank you!”
-Doris 06/24/2014  (5 visits total)
“I had severe neck pain and limited movement of my head-both up and down, and left to right.
The pain has now been almost completely taken care of and normal motion has returned. The exercises given have really helped.”
-James 06/03/2014 (6 visits total)


Nick Rinard Physical Therapy 4 people jumping on the beach


In just 5-10 minutes, MDT can determine if your pain is mechanical or not. If so, we can help get you out of pain and back to enjoying your life.


Clinical Conversations NOW at

We are continuing to expand our collection of articles!

Here are a couple of the subjects we’ve recently covered:

Ice: The Overused Modality : How ice could be slowing your healing process.

Mechanical Pain versus Muscle Soreness : Learn to tell the difference!

Read all the helpful tips and reminders at :

Sports Injuries require Physical Therapy Treatment

Ice: The Overused Modality

‘R.I.C.E.’ Coined in 1978

‘R.I.C.E.’ (rest, ice, compression, elevation) was coined in 1978 by Dr. Gabe Mirkin. Since then, ice has been the standard treatment for injuries and sore muscles. The RICE guidelines have been used for decades, but it now appears that ice and rest may delay healing.

Scientific Articles Don’t Support Ice for Healing

Image of Ice glistening as it melts.A study from The American Journal of Sports Medicine, June 2013 asked athletes to exercise intensely enough to develop muscle damage that caused extensive muscle soreness. It was found that icing delayed swelling, but did not quicken the healing process.  A summary of 22 scientific articles found little to no evidence supporting that ice and compression facilitate healing over compression alone.


Inflammation is required for healing. Inflammation is a part of our immune system and is essential in the healing process. Inflammatory cells migrate to the injured tissue to start the healing process. Macrophages (inflammatory cells) release a hormone into injured tissues, which helps muscles and other injured tissues heal.  Applying ice to reduce swelling can delay healing by preventing the body from releasing this hormone.

Icing can also prevent healing cells from entering the injured tissues by constricting blood-flow.  It can take hours for the blood vessels to return to their size. Icing can also decrease strength, speed, endurance and coordination.

General Tips for Using Ice

If you’re going to ice, only apply ice for 10-15 minutes at a time.  Utilize ice for the first day of injury.  Seek medical attention from a mechanical physical therapist if the pain is severe or you cannot actively move a body part.


Mechanical Pain versus Muscle Soreness

Sports Injuries require Physical Therapy TreatmentA mistake that people often make is waiting too long to start physical therapy treatment for their aches and pains. This commonly occurs because you may be thinking, “this will go away on its own,” or, “it’s just normal for me to feel like this at my age.” I want to clear up some confusion on mechanical pain versus normal muscle soreness that does not require skilled therapy or treatment.

Muscular Pain:

  • Experienced after a sudden increase in activity or exercise.
    • Running 6 miles when you typically only run 2 miles
    • You increased the intensity or length of time to your typical workout
  • Will be experienced 1-2 days after the increased activity has been performed and will typically begin to dissipate or be gone in 3-5 days after onset.
  • Is typically vague pain or experienced in a general area. The pain will not be sharp or pin-point to a specific area.
  • If you’re educated on what muscles perform which actions, the sore muscles will correlate with what activity you were performing.
  • Does not have increased or decreased pain associated with positions.

Mechanical Pain:

  • May have a sudden onset without explanation of occurrence (you woke up with pain for no apparent reason).
  • Will typically have a loss in range of motion. For example: it may be difficult to stand up straight in the morning or after prolonged sitting or driving.
  • Will have positions that will increase or decrease symptoms. For example: pain increases with sitting, pain is better while lying down.

If you’re experiencing mechanical pain the sooner you seek physical therapy treatment, the better! A good Physical Therapist can determine which exercises will reduce your symptoms and get you back to doing the activities that you love!


Chronic Low Back Pain

A few months ago, I treated a young Portland area woman who was suffering from low back pain. “Beth” had been in a car accident 10 months prior to my evaluation.  She was rating her worst pain as a 9/10 and was moderately limited with walking, sitting, bending and lifting. Because of the pain associated with these activities, Beth was limited with her duties as a student nurse, and somewhat concerned with how her back condition will affect the rest of her life.  Beth had been to a chiropractor and to a different physical therapy clinic, neither of which proved to have any lasting benefits.

Beth’s objective findings included what mechanical therapists call a “Left Shift” in standing.  This means that her shoulders were not centered over her hips, but rather, off to the left side.  We know this as a relevant lateral component and is typically associated with a derangement (something out of alignment or out of place).   Beth also demonstrated limited, painful movements of the spine; primarily in the frontal plane.

The exercise to correct Beth’s shift and reduce her derangement was repeated right side glide in standing.  Beth was able to perform this exercise throughout her day to decrease her pain and by 3 weeks out, she was reporting little to no pain.  Beth was then able to begin core strengthening exercises, after her pain was gone, and get back to her duties as a nursing student.  At our last treatment visit, Beth told me that she was able to work multiple 12 hour shifts as a nurse without any pain!

If the physical therapy treatment you are receiving does not get feeling better within 1 or 2 weeks, find something that works!


Quadriceps Strengthening Exercise Routine Decreases Pain Associated With Osteoarthritis and Meniscus Injury

Quick Answers Are Never a Guarantee

Picture of woman running wearing RinardPT logo

We live in a culture that seeks immediate results and quick answers to solutions. Most of the time, unfortunately, we also want what requires the least amount of effort on our part. In the medical community, this boils down to people deciding to have surgery to fix the problem. Unfortunately, surgery is never a guarantee. Time and time again I treat patients here at Nick Rinard Physical Therapy who were advised to have surgery and, after the procedure was performed, their pain remained. This happens because of both the general public and medical practitioners’ lack of understanding about how the body moves and heals. Recently, there was a man referred to our Portland airport (PDX) clinic by his friend for knee pain. He was scheduled to have knee surgery the next week, but wanted to have a second opinion. My colleague diagnosed him with a very simple problem: knee capsulosis, and he was reporting decreased pain and improved range of motion by his 2nd visit. He cancelled his surgery and is expected to have a great outcome with conservative care.

Regimented Exercise Can Decrease Knee Pain without Surgery

I recently came across a study that found simple regimented exercise routine focusing on quadriceps strengthening and cardiovascular endurance decreases knee pain associated with osteoarthritis. What a great concept: exercise can decrease pain and improve function and avoid surgery! The authors of the study concluded: “Optimal exercise programs for knee OA should have one aim and focus on improving aerobic capacity, quadriceps muscle strength, or lower extremity performance,” the authors concluded. “For best results, the program should be supervised and carried out three times a week. Such programs have a similar effect regardless of patient characteristics, including radiographic severity and baseline pain.”

Physical Inactivity is THE Major Public Health Problem of the 21st Century

I came across a quote that really resonates with these findings: “…most medical schools only allocate a perfunctory hour to the fact that physical activity is medicine. This is a major failing of medical education when physical inactivity is the major public health problem of the 21st century.”


Meta-analysis: Quadriceps exercise best reduces knee OA pain:
Accessed on May 1st, 2014
Mechanotherapy: how physical therapists’ prescription of exercise promotes tissue repair. K M Khan, A Scott. Br J Sports Med 2009;43:247-252


Chronic Shoulder Pain: Treated Successfully in 6 visits

Shoulder Pain was affecting his Job until he came to RinardPTPatient is a 60 y/o male “Mike” with chronic shoulder pain. Mike’s symptoms started in 1994 after falling onto his left shoulder. Overall, his symptoms had been unchanging and severely affecting his job. He has had previous physical therapy and massage therapy to no avail. He was severely limited with lifting, carrying and working out.

During his initial evaluation, it was found that Mike had painful, limited range of all shoulder movements with the exception of lateral rotation. He also had weak/painful resisted tests of shoulder abduction, medial rotation and flexion. His most limited impairment was painful, weak abduction.

It was determined that Mike had chronic dysfunction of the supraspinatus muscle tendon (one of the rotator cuff muscles). Because of the anatomical position of this tendon, it is the most commonly injured and torn of the rotator cuff. Mike began remodeling his tendon with targeted, dosed loading. By the next visit, he was strong, in less pain and had improved range of motion.

Mike continued his remodeling exercises for the next 4 weeks. By his 6th visit to our Portland clinic he had virtually no pain and was no longer limited with his work or life from his shoulder pain. Mike is a classic example of how conservative treatment that targets the root of the problem results in fast, effective results!

Don’t wait 20 years to have your simple problem solved. Have a mechanical evaluation at Nick Rinard Physical Therapy today!


Thoracic Outlet Syndrome – TOS

Recently, I have had 3 physical therapy patients in the clinic with a complicated clinical presentation.  All 3 patients have a different cluster of symptoms and impairments. What they each have in common is that they have upper extremity symptoms that are not of cervical spine (radiculopathy) origin.  Instead, their pathology is a result of tight chest and neck musculature, compressing the bundle of nerves that control the movement and sensation of the arm.  Clinically, this is known as Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, or, TOS.

What is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome?

  • Compression of the artery, vein and/or nerves that pass through the thoracic outlet.
  • There are 3 possible locations for the compression to occur:
    • In between your scalene (neck muscles)
    • In between the clavicle and first rib
    • Under the peck minor (chest muscle)
The most common compression is of the nerves.  This results in vague pain of the arm as well as various sensations: itchy, hot, cold, pins and needles, etc.It may be painful to the touch for any of the muscles involved with the compression.

Poor posture as well as decreased flexibility of the thoracic spine are also associated with TOS.

Rarely, an extra rib (cervical rib) is the cause.

Image of muscle and skeletal region affected by TOS


Physical Therapy Treatment for TOS

  • Physical therapy is the first line of treatment for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS).
  • A therapist will teach you how to stretch what needs to be lengthened as well as how to strengthen muscles that will improve posture.
  • Physical therapists also have manual techniques to help you progress your treatment
  • Most people diagnosed with TOS  have a good prognosis and will have complete resolution of symptoms with conservative treatment only.

RinardPT Monthly – May 2014

Nick Rinard Physical Therapy in Portland Oregon Logo White

RinardPT Monthly

Nick Rinard Physical Therapy
9700 SW Capitol Hwy Suite 140
Portland, OR 97219

Volume 6, Issue 3
April 2014

SW Portland Open House

Should you be resting?


Should you be ‘working through’ the pain?

Is the source of your pain serious?

Ask an experienced MDT Physical Therapist at Nick Rinard PT! With a 15 minute Free Consultation, we can often find the cause of your pain and give you advice to help treat your symptoms.

Xray highlighting region of severe back pain

Join us for a special Open House and ask about your pain “while you’re here.” Light refreshments will be offered, and appointments are encouraged though WALK-INS are always welcome!

Tuesday, June 17th – 5:00pm-8:00pm

Call 503-244-6232

for your Evaluation or Free Consultation

RinardPT patients get Results:

Don’t take our word for it

“I came into Nick Rinard PT because of a car accident in December that I sustained a neck injury in. I had very limited neck motion, & had pain when I tried to move my neck. I had severe pain when sitting for long periods of time, trouble driving, and doing other everyday activities. I also had random headaches every day that kept me from doing normal tasks. Now I feel much better. My headaches have almost gone away, I have my range of motion back, and I am not in pain anymore.”-Lauren 04/28/2014 “I was referred for treatment after PT elsewhere was not improving my symptoms for a post-operative L5-S.1 discectomy/laminectomy. Once starting treatment at Nick Rinard PT I knew it was the right fit. After my 1st visit I had increased symptoms and called that evening. I was immediately helped over the phone and scheduled to return the next day. From then on, it was steady improvement with detailed explanation of exercises and physiology. I’m beyond grateful for the care and staff at Nick Rinard PT.”-Shelley 04/17/2014


Nick Rinard Physical Therapy 4 people jumping on the beach


In just 5-10 minutes, MDT can determine if your pain is mechanical or not. If so, we can help get you out of pain and back to enjoying your life.


Clinical Conversations NOW at

From low back pain, hip pain, ‘pseudo tennis elbow’…

We’ve seen it all at
Nick Rinard Physical Therapy!

Come see our success stories, get advice for how to avoid pain, and what to do while you wait for your physical therapy visit with us.

Mobilization with Movement with Grip