WPT Principles 4 Pt.2 | Thoughtful disagreement

We must agree to present our perspective without pulling any punches. We can’t hold back, fearful of what the other person will think or what they’ll say. We need to be honest, and we need to be assertive. BUT, we also must be open minded at the same time. We need to realize that our own perspective is, by itself, woefully short of the complete picture. We need to recognize that most often, the best path forward, the “truth,” lies between the two views.

Easy, right? Obviously, no! This is exceptionally challenging. We all have a need to be heard. To feel valued. To think we have the answers. Whether it’s an ego/humility/pride issue or an issue of wanting to avoid discomfort and potential pain, the path forward is really really difficult to walk.

Even if we’re on board for moving forward to a better operating system amongst our valued partners (spouses, co workers/bosses, extended family, etc) it’s another thing entirely to do it well. I’d like to outline a few things I’m trying to think about so I can do this better.

– Be prepared. Prior to the conversation, tell yourself “I’m going to question how I know I’m right?, not ‘I know I’m right’”

– Pay attention to your gut. If you have that feeling of anger or tension in your belly, pay attention and reset your mindset.

– Pay attention to your voice/tone. Are you talking fast, loud, or otherwise being a jerk? Stop!

– Breathe. Take some big belly breaths, and be thankful you have people in your life that you care about and care about you enough to have challenging conversations with.

– Pivot when necessary. Sometimes you need to totally shift the conversation, by either changing your approach or shifting your perspective. All with the aim of getting what you want – a better path forward!

– Shelf when necessary. There are times when the best thing to do is to put things on the shelf. There are times when proceeding forward right now will not be constructive. Don’t push it. But, agree to come back to it when you can both be more calm feel good about how to push through to results.

We hope you find these principles helpful in some way. It’s been helpful for us to navigate how we want to operate as individuals within a company, and identify what we stand for. We’d love to hear your thoughts! Let us know if this is great, it’s terrible, or how it can be better.

Thank you!

Low Back Pain in Females

Ladies, we are different. We are special. We’re strong, and we’re capable. And…we have specific attributes that are unique to us. These differences extend beyond the obvious anatomical and hormonal differences. Labor, menstruation, and menopause, just to name a few.

Some of the things that make us unique and special also can contribute to a potential for back pain. Let’s look at some of the causes of back pain and how they may be more likely for us as women.

Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Anatomy Differences:

SI joint dysfunction is a common cause of low back pain in men and women, but women are more commonly affected for many reasons. First off, the SI joint surface area is smaller most often compared to men, resulting in a higher concentration of stresses across the joint. The sacrum is also wider, more uneven, less curved, and more rotated in women, which may cause problems in the SI joint.

Hormone Changes in Pregnancy:

A common cause of low back and SI joint pain occurs with labor and delivery. When a woman gets pregnant, her body begins to produce increased amounts of progesterone and relaxin hormones which causes a greater extensibility and pliability of ligaments and joints causing hypermobility. This is a good thing because it allows for the pelvic musculature to accommodate the growing baby. However, ligaments and muscles provide stability. When laxity is increased, support is decreased leading to joint instability or muscle tightness causing pain and discomfort. Additionally, this hormonal shift is a common cause of coccydynia or “tail bone” pain.

Hormone Changes in Menopause:

As we age, degenerative changes will occur. Arthritis is a part of life for most all of us as we get older, but women have some specific issues they deal with, and can be at play with back pain. After menopause, estrogen production decreases, causing increased resorption of bone. This makes post-menopausal women more at risk of developing osteoporosis and osteopenia. These changes may cause nerve root compression causing radiating pain down the legs, numbness, tingling or burning sensation. These changes may also affect the curvature of your spine causing muscle shortening, increased joint stress and muscle deficiencies leading to pain.


Endometriosis is a condition where the tissue that normally lines the uterus begins to grow outside the uterus. This is a gynecological disorder that affects women exclusively. Symptoms may include painful menstruation cycle, pain in the genital region, or low back pain during menstruation. Low back pain may even become chronic with this condition due to the nature of recurring menstruation cycles.

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction:

Lastly, but certainly not least, pelvic floor dysfunction is a common link to low back pain.

If you are someone who is experiencing urine leakage when you cough, or feel you have to run to the bathroom right away or you’ll have an accident, you are experiencing a form of pelvic

floor dysfunction. Some examples of pelvic floor dysfunction include urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, dysuria (pain with urination), constipation, nocturia (frequent urination at night), dyspareunia (painful intercourse).

The pelvic floor muscles make up the bottom of our core. If we are not addressing dysfunction in this area, we are leaving out the foundation causing unequal force distribution and increased stress and load through our lumbar spine when we are performing functional activities.

So, what’s a lady to do?? First, MOVE! Regular exercise increases your muscle strength, improves your balance, decreases your risk of bone fracture, improves your posture and decreases your pain.

These issues are complicated, however, so if simple exercises aren’t helping you, you need a pro in your corner. At WPT, we get to the root of these issues with comprehensive diagnosis, and treat these problems to not only address your deficits but prevent them from recurring throughout your lifetime.

Stay strong, ladies!

– Tyra Abdalla, DPT

WPT Principles 4 | Thoughtful disagreement

A mindset shift. How do I go from “I know I’m right”, to “How do I know I’m right?”

How do I increase our odds of being right? How do we give ourselves the best opportunity to increase success and get the outcomes we want? Does it matter if it’s you that’s right? How do we prevent ego from getting in the way and creating a blind spot, distorting or blocking our ability to see another perspective and pivot to a better direction, leading to an improved reality?

Occasionally, there are times when we should only be the student. We are discussing a topic where one person has a disproportionate amount of expertise and knowledge in an area compared to the area. The relative rookie should take a back seat, primarily ask questions and seek to understand.

But that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about a circumstance where there isn’t a clear cut path forward, and you’re working through issues with people that are on the relatively similar plane of understanding. These are the big questions, and the questions that need tackling. These are the opportunities that are in the margins of what is going to really make a difference in the direction of the partnership/team.

Think about a marriage. And think about all of the sticky, very unclear decisions that should be navigated by the couple. How do we demonstrate security and safety to our kids? How do we demonstrate tough love? In what quantity? How do we invest our money? How much should we invest? How do we foster togetherness? How do we foster independence? What are our agreed upon ways for resolving conflict?

Does anyone have an exact playbook on these topics?? The reality is these are challenging questions. There’s no one right answer.

But what does seem a little more clear cut to me is the best way to navigate how we discuss these challenging topics. When there isn’t complete cohesion out of the gate on an important matter, how do we proceed?

Stay tuned for the next blog post where we talk about how we approach this topic.

The Best Pain Killer for Killer Back Pain

Who doesn’t want to know the answer to this one?! After all, 80% of all adults will have dealt with low back pain at some point in their life. More than 25% of people have had low back pain (LBP) in the past 3 months.

Who out there also would prefer a quick fix? A one size fits all approach? The silver bullet for low back pain?? I know I’d sign up for it! The difficult reality is, there is no magic pill for low back pain.

Part of the reason why low back pain is so prevalent is because it’s so complex. It can be resultant from:

– Issues with tight muscles

– Issues with weak muscles

– Asymmetric muscle strength

– Limited joint mobility

– Excessive joint mobility

– Irritated or pinched nerves

– Poor lifting mechanics

– Poor daily posture

– Bad ergonomics at work


Well then, what’s a person to do?? We certainly aren’t going to accept that it’s just part of life and there’s nothing to be done about it. We don’t see it that way, and we think you shouldn’t either.

Though there’s no silver bullet, one of the most consistently beneficial “medicines” for treating low back pain (acute or chronic) is MOVEMENT. This is widely studied and very well understood in the scientific literature. Despite the research, it sometimes seems counterintuitive. A lot of the time movement was the way in which your low back pain came on in the first place. And it’s quite common that after the initial injury you’re likely to have increased pain with some movements.

Here’s why movement is so essential. Movement:

– Produces anti-inflammatory molecules that can help calm things down

– Releases “feel good” hormones from your brain that, well, help you feel good

– Can prevent muscle spasms and increased tension

– Increases blood flow and can “flush” out the inflammatory cells in an area

– Can help regulate healthy sleep patterns, ultimately promoting quicker healing

– Can help restore stability to your spine by recruiting proper muscles and decreasing stress on – the wrong tissues in your back

You may now be asking, “What movement is the right movement?” Great question! The answer is more ambiguous, because, again, people’s bodies and situations are dramatically different. You need a guide. Someone that understands how to DIAGNOSE properly, to get at the root causes of your low back pain. At WPT, we aim to dig deep and get at the root of your issue, so we can properly treat the underlying impairments and prescribe the right movements FOR YOU!

If you’re unable to see us, or want to work through your low back pain alone, we respect that. The key in this situation is to be as active as possible with movements that don’t dramatically flare up your symptoms. Look for patterns. Sometimes walking feels great, and for other people it can be very painful and not well tolerated. If walking is bad, but riding a bike seems fine, try exercises and movement that put your spine into a little flexion (slight bend in your low back).

After you identify patterns, progressively push the limits, SAFELY! The more you push it, and your back does not flare up, the quicker things will resolve and the sooner you’ll get back to kicking butt and taking charge again!!

Five Common Treatments for Low Back Pain

Low back pain is the most commonly treated ailment at WPT. However, there are lots of ways to go about positively affecting someone’s back pain. Today we’re going to look at 5 common interventions that can decrease your pain, improve your mobility, and ultimately improve the quality of your life!

This is going to focus on the most typical Physical Therapy interventions. Surprise to no one, I’m biased toward conservative PT management! Whodathunkit. However, the research is really clear on this one too. Conservative, active management is the most successful way to deal with nagging back pain.

So what can you do to help your back pain?

1. Mobility work/stretching. Getting your spine and hips more mobile, and your low back and hip muscles long is a great way to decrease pain. Tight muscles often have less blood flow, increased stagnant acid (a byproduct of cellular respiration), and less than optimal communication with our brains via our nerves (which is where all pain is interpreted and produced). Therefore, taking your muscles and joints to end ranges will positively affect blood flow, flush the acids that need flushing, and restore better understanding between the muscles and your noggin.

2. Core and pelvic muscle stabilization. Having your core braced well with good recruitment and strong stabilizer muscles will support your spine, and is a big part of effective treatment. Those muscles can certainly shut down after an injury or the onset of pain, and it’s really hard work facilitating the retraining of those muscles to do the jobs they were designed to do. However, it’s critical work and often one of the most important predictors for long term success.

3. Functional strength training. Getting stronger for life’s tasks will reduce the strain on your low back and make you more capable and less at risk for further injury or pain. Things hurt less when daily life isn’t as hard as the work you’re putting into your gym or home program routine!

4. Manual therapy. Mobilizing specific spinal segments can be a very good way to hit the reset button and restore our bodies natural state, opening up the door for the proper movement patterns, recruitment and coordination of the correct muscles.

5. Cardiovascular exercise. Making your lungs and heart work will release all of the good chemicals that will positively influence your pain experience and lead to decreased pain.

The reality is that it’s very likely that treatment for your low back pain is going to involve many of the interventions we’ve discussed. Most of the time there are multiple factors that contribute to back pain. It’s really unusual for your back pain to be a result of a single joint in your back being rotated, or one single tight muscle. Our aim is to assure that we’re addressing all of the factors that are influencing your back to be in pain, and maximize the chances that you’re going to leave here feeling like a million bucks, not just temporarily, but for GOOD!

Does Your Back Hurt With COVID?

Back pain happens due to a variety of reasons — sometimes known and sometimes not. With the recent COVID pandemic, you might wonder if your back pain has something to do with this new virus. Is it a cause for concern? What should you know?

In this article, we’re going to examine the research and find out if COVID and back pain are, in fact, linked. We’ll also explore other potential causes of back pain, helping you get to the bottom of your aches and pains once and for all.

COVID & Back Pain: What Does the Research Say?

Scientific studies suggest that pain, including myalgia, back pain, and headaches, is one of the most common early signs of COVID. A 2020 study reported that 43.6% of participants experienced back pain and 33.1% of participants experienced low back pain, again, making pain one of the biggest complaints of those diagnosed with COVID.

So, why does this happen? Experts theorize that similar to other viruses, this pain is caused by your body’s heightened immune response.

Infections, like COVID, stimulate cytokines, pro-inflammatory immune molecules. In turn, cytokines lead to the formation of prostaglandins, which send pain signals to your brain. Consequently, you might not only feel under the weather but also struggle to move your body without aches and pains.

Interestingly, COVID back pain doesn’t necessarily mimic muscular back pain. While muscular back pain is often described as a sharp or stabbing pain, COVID back pain is frequently referred to as a “deep pain.” Additionally, with COVID, pain relief isn’t noticeable when changing your posture or stretching your body, which may help you differentiate between the two.

Other Potential Causes of Back Pain

Many times, back pain isn’t due to COVID but, rather, from another cause. Your back pain might even arise when you contract the flu or another viral illness.

Other causes of back pain, also, include:

  • Muscle or ligament strains

  • A herniated disc

  • Arthritis

  • Osteoporosis

  • Abnormal curvature of the spine

In fact, back pain can happen due to everyday activities, such as lifting something the wrong way or holding a poor posture for a long duration. Simply put, back pain doesn’t mean you have COVID. If you’re concerned and your back pain is accompanied by other symptoms, such as shortness of breath, coughing, fatigue, loss of taste or smell, or brain fog, it’s a good idea to get a COVID test to double-check and avoid spreading the virus.

How Physical Therapy Helps Back Pain

If you suspect you have COVID, again, it’s important to get tested and limit your contact with others. However, if you suspect your back pain is due to another cause, such as a muscular strain, physical therapy can help you get back on track.

At your initial appointment, your physical therapist diagnoses your back pain and comes up with an appropriate treatment plan. This treatment plan often includes manual therapy techniques, prescribed core strengthening exercises, prescribed stretching exercises, massage, and other modalities, guiding you back toward optimal health.

Finally, get to the bottom of your pain, and pave your way toward a better, happier, and healthier life. Contact us today to get started.

WPT Principles Ep.3 | Perspective

Some folks love him, some folks hate him. No matter how you feel about Tiger, or if you don’t give a damn about him at all, no one can deny how much of a competitor he is. The guy loves to compete. There’s no way you can achieve what he has without it.

One thing that isn’t necessary to be a great competitor in sports in a healthy PERSPECTIVE. Some of the most accomplished athletes and competitors in the world have been solely focused on one thing at the expense of anything else. And they’ve had failed relationships, drug addictions and a host of other problems.

So, back to Tiger. I did catch part of his first interview since his car crash back in February. The biggest takeaway I had following the interview was his perspective. He said he’s just lucky to have both legs, because there was a 50/50 chance they were going to have to be amputated.

“I don’t have to compete against the best golfers in the world to have a great life”. This is a direct quote coming from one of, if not the greatest golfer of all time. This guy is a competitor. But, due to his circumstance, he’s having to reconsider his perspective on life and his golf career.

And to me, it seems healthy. This is because the reality is, our perspective can shift our lives so dramatically. Our inner talk and the way we see ourselves and our circumstance can have a massive impact on how great our life is.

So, take some extra time to listen to the words being spoken in your own head. Is your perspective healthy?