Loading Injured Patients: Good or Bad?

The typical patient that we see at One80 Physical Therapy® already has some type of injury that they are coming in for rehabilitation. We do have patients that we see for tune-ups, most of which are athletes. However, the overwhelming majority of our patients are coming in with an injury: post-surgical or post-accident. Our patient age ranges from 9-year-olds, up to 80-90-year-old medicare patients. So the question is when should we, and can we load these patients?

What it Means to Load a Patient

With a typical patient, we want to load them because what we are trying to do is get muscles to contract normally in order to let them function normally. Loading a patient is going to increase all of the co-contraction. For example, if we’ve got somebody who has knee pain, and we put them under a 25-pound load with either a kettlebell or dumbbell and they ariel squat pain-free. This tells us that if we get more muscles to kick in and more muscles to contract and facilitate, their motion begins to get better and they function normally.

How to do it Safely

So the quick answer to that question is yes, we want to load every patient that comes in as much as we possibly can. Of course, if we have somebody coming in with weight-bearing precautions, obviously we are going to heed those precautions. We rarely ever give patients exercises in either supine prone or quadruped because that’s not functionally loading them as they would be during their sports, their work whatever their activities of daily living are. We want to simulate ADL and sports specific activity as much as we possibly can, and that’s really hard to do without loading somebody. Just because somebody has pain without load doesn’t mean we can’t load them. After we treat them, their pain should be lower, their range of motion should be higher and their strength and stability should be better. We always want to load our patients as much as we possibly can.

If you are experiencing pain and would like to learn how One80 Physical Therapy® can help you get back in the game of life, call (970) 593-9300 today for a FREE CONSULTATION. Let us show you why One80 is the opposite of everything you’ve tried before.

Three Biggest Keys to Patient Success

Patient success is the number one priority at One80 Physical Therapy®. But we tend to do things a little differently than other physical therapists. Our three biggest points for success are educating our patients, using a science-driven treatment strategy and focusing on function, not symptoms.

Patient Education

This is the first stepping stone. It sets the foundation for our patients. It lays out our thought process and explains why it is probably the opposite of what they’ve tried in the past. We want them to understand what we’re evaluating so that they know that we are not focusing on symptoms. Understanding the root cause of their problem is a very big key that most physical therapists, chiropractors, massage therapists completely miss. We also want our patients to understand what we are doing when we are treating them, and how the treatment is going to target the root cause. Patient education is huge in what we do.

Science vs. Symptoms

This is where we introduce our actual treatment. We want to make sure we are focusing on breaking down the science of it all, instead of getting stuck on things like pain, lack of range of motion, or swelling. If we treat symptoms we might get our patients to feel better for about an hour after they leave. But when they come back we are starting all over again, because covering up symptoms doesn’t get to the root cause. It also doesn’t take into consideration physiology, anatomy and biomechanics. We also want our patients to understand that everyone, no matter what their orthopedic diagnosis is is a neuro patient. And if we treat them neurologically, they get much better faster. They also stay better for longer, orthopedically.

Focus on Function

Our last key is focusing on function. This is where our home exercise programs come in. We want our patients to know that we are doing specific exercises for specific reasons. That starts with educating them on why we are not trying to correct the problem with exercise. Because exercise is a focus on function, it acts as the reinforcement of the actual treatment process. While the patient might be doing their home exercise program 4-5 times a day, it’s only going to take about 5 minutes to do and they probably don’t need any equipment. They’re going to feel the difference in function, not just symptoms when they get done.

If you think One80 Physical Therapy® might be a good fit for you or you want more information, visit our sign up page. If you are experiencing pain and would like to learn how One80 Physical Therapy® can help you get back in the game of life, call (970) 593-9300 today for a FREE CONSULTATION. Let us show you why the One80 System is the opposite of everything you’ve tried before.

6 Reasons Why Athletes Come to One80 Physical Therapy®

Being an athlete isn’t easy. Participating in intensive in-season programs, off-season programs, regular practice, specialty practice all on top of their actual competition, takes a toll on the body. While these activities are crucial for athletes to perform, they can also lead to issues that limit the ability to compete.

The doctors at One80 Physical Therapy® are dedicated to the prevention and treatment of sports-related injuries like tendonitis, fractures, dislocations, sprains/strains, hypermobility, overtraining syndromes and pain in general. On top of injury-related issues, these specialists can also help athletes improve their performance levels.

Some common sports injuries treated with the patent-pending One80 System® include:

ankle sprains                 ACL tears                      piriformis syndrome

plantar fasciitis                tennis elbow                 impingement syndrome

muscle strains               neck sprains                 pars fracture

knee instability              meniscus tears              shin splints

low back pain               impingement                patellar pain

Achilles tendinitis           rotator cuff tears            groin pulls

shoulder instability        spondylolisthesis          sciatica

Here are the top reasons athletes should be treated with the patent-pending One80 System®.

1. Customized Care:

The doctors at One80 give every patient an extensive functional evaluation to determine the root cause of their specific issue. During the course of treatment, patients are seen for one on one manual therapy treatments and progressed through customized reinforcement exercises.

2. Science-based thought process and treatment strategies:

Rather than relying on symptom modification gimmicks used by conventional PTs, chiropractors, massage therapist, etc., One80 attacks the cause of the symptoms. This unique thinking gets athletes quick and lasting results.

3. Performance maximization and injury prevention:

One80 Physical Therapy® provides athletes with maximized MoStreBility. This is the combination of motion, strength, and stability and is what increases performance levels while decreasing the risk of injury. Athletes are also given expert advice on how to prepare for practice and play to reduce the likelihood of re-injury.

4. Return to play

Our goal at One80 is to help you restore normal function and return to play as soon as possible. Because our System is able to restore normal nerve-muscle communication, our patients recover quickly, and rarely spend time on the sideline.

5. Non-Surgical Treatment:

When possible, the doctors at One80 try to avoid surgery in favor of non-invasive methods like manual therapy, neuromuscular re-education, exercise prescription and patient education. With this line of treatment, many athletes are able to either avoid surgery or put it off until after their season is over.

In the case that surgery is warranted, One80 Physical Therapy®  is able to refer athletes to the surgeon best suited for their condition.

6. Education

The best tool we can give a patient is the knowledge they need in order to understand why an injury occurred, what we did to solve the problem and what to do in order to prevent future issues. Because what we do at One80 Physical Therapy is the opposite of conventional thinking, patient education paramount.

One80 Physical Therapy® is the premier sports medicine facility in Northern Colorado. With our team of doctors, an in-house sports performance gym and elite strength and conditioning coaches, we are the source for athletes to get better faster and stay better longer. If you are an athlete who is limited by pain, or looking to avoid breakdown while increasing performance levels, and would like to learn how One80 Physical Therapy® can help you, call (970) 593-9300 today for a FREE CONSULTATION. Let us show you why One80 is the opposite of everything you’ve tried before.

Read This Before Seeing a PT for Shoulder Pain

If you have sustained a serious injury to your shoulder, or just have annoying shoulder pain, you may consider looking into physical therapy. Conventional physical therapy may help you control short-term symptoms, but does it actually address the cause of your issue? The doctors at One80 Physical Therapy® see various types of shoulder issues on a daily basis. Their focus is on finding the root cause of pain and dysfunction, attacking that root cause, giving you a specific program to use at home and educating you on what caused your pain in the first place.

Some of the common shoulder issues we treat with the patent-pending One80 System®


  • Impingement syndrome – This injury occurs when the tendons of the rotator cuff muscles, and sometimes the related bursa, become irritated and inflamed due to overuse and overpressure. This issue can be complicated by bone spurs.
  • Rotator cuff tears – This is an injury of one or more of the tendons or muscles of the rotator cuff. Occurring as the result of a sudden force or gradually over
  • Tendonitis and bursitis – This typically happens after periods of upper extremity overuse when shoulder mechanics are off. This leads to some muscles working too hard causing their tendons to be irritated and possible bursa compression.
  • Dislocations – When the head of the humerus comes out of the shoulder joint causing pain and instability. Severe dislocations can include labral and rotator cuff tears along with possible nerve damage.
  • Subluxations and instability – Occurs when the shoulder partially dislocates giving the sensation of “sliding” out. If left untreated, frequency and severity can increase.
  • Frozen shoulder– This is when the capsule surrounding the glenohumeral joint becomes irritated, tight and unable to move. When left untreated, bands of scar tissue form causing loss of motion and pain.

Because One80 Physical Therapy® can quickly restore normal neuromuscular function, we are able to maximize natural shoulder biomechanics. This is what speeds the return of full range of motion, gross strength and stability, allowing patients to return to normal sports, activities, work and daily activities. Typically, One80 patients are able to avoid surgery, injections, lengthy amounts of time out of action and rounds of medications while being treated for shoulder issues.

If you are experiencing shoulder pain and would like to learn how One80 Physical Therapy® can help you get back in the game of life, call (970) 593-9300 today for a FREE CONSULTATION. Let us show you why One80 is the opposite of everything you’ve tried before.

What is That Pain in My Foot?

Foot and ankle injuries are some of the most common that the doctors at One80 Physical Therapy® see, especially among athletes and active individuals. In addition to being fairly common injuries, they are also incredibly debilitating since we use our feet and ankles to walk and perform everyday activities. Fortunately, the doctors at One80 are skilled in reversing these injuries and getting patients back on their feet quickly.

Some of the most issues we treat with the patent-pending One80 System® include:

  • Plantar Fasciitis – People dealing with this affliction complain of a heel and/or arch pain due to the band (known as the plantar fascia) becoming irritated.
  • Sprains and strains – This can be an acute or chronic issue that results in the ligaments becoming overstressed and irritated.
  • Fractures– This is when one or more of the bones is broken.
  • Neuroma – This can occur when the foot becomes unable to play during weight bearing (typically from wearing tight shoes) causing the nerves between the metatarsals to become pinched.
  • Bunion – This is a bony bump that is found at the base of the big toe joint. It causes the big toe to turn towards the second toe, resulting in both pain and discomfort
  • Achilles Tendonitis– This occurs when the Achilles tendon becomes overused and inflamed
  • Achilles Rupture – This is when the Achilles tendon either partially or completely tears. This typically happens due to a sudden change of direction or landing from a jump.
  • Metatarsalgia –When someone is experiencing pain and irritation on the bottom of the forefoot it is considered metatarsalgia.
  • Stress Fractures – Stress fractures are tiny breaks in the bone that usually occur because of repetitive stress to the area.
  • Sesamoiditis – There are tiny bones that are actually inside of the big toe flexor tendon. These can be irritated by overuse or direct trauma and cause annoying pain when walking.

If you are experiencing foot and/or ankle pain and would like to learn how One80 Physical Therapy® can help you get back in the game of life, call (970) 593-9300 today for a FREE CONSULTATION. Let us show you why One80 is the opposite of everything you’ve tried before.

Why Physical Therapy Fails with Low Back Pain

Low back pain is something that millions of people experience on a daily basis. Many consider low back pain an unfortunate part of life and opt not to pursue any type of treatment. But others try numerous unproven therapies and modalities to stop the pain. Unfortunately, physical therapy has shown little progress towards controlling the back pain epidemic. Studies show that the majority of unspecific low back pain cases will return to normal within six weeks WITHOUT any treatment. Coincidentally, many conventional PTs see patients two times a week for about six weeks.

Does that mean you should just sit at home in pain and wait for your issue to go away? The doctors at One80 Physical Therapy® would say, “No.” Not only would that be way too long to put up with pain, it wouldn’t stop it from coming back in the future, wouldn’t educate you on the root cause of the pain and wouldn’t diagnose any underlying pathology.

Let’s look at how physical therapy often fails when treating low back pain:

  • Stretching and flexibility exercises – Stretching tight muscle may give some temporary relief, but it actually compounds low back issues.
  • Teaching patients proper lifting, walking, and carrying form – Human biomechanics is not something that can be taught verbally. The body needs to be re-educated from a neurological level in order to move effectively.
  • Corrective or “safe” exercise programs – Exercise alone does not correct dysfunction. Add to that the fact that most back pain patient’s symptoms stem from hip, knee and/or foot issues, back exercises are usually a waste of time.
  • Spinal manipulation – “Popping” or “adjusting” the lumbar spine has shown to be ineffective in clinical studies and is based on pseudoscience.
  • Massage – Muscles need to contract in order to function normally, making them relax makes them unable to stabilize and protect the lumbar spine.
  • Covering symptoms with electrical stimulation, decompression, needling, ice/heart, cupping and foam rolling – These may give short-term relief, but do not address the cause of the pain. Once again, just a bunch of pseudoscience.

Unlike conventional PT, the patent-pending One80 System® works by blending physiology, total body evaluation, manual therapy, functional exercises and then educates patients on how those principles apply to their situation. Our evaluation and treatment processes are built on science and provide immediate and lasting results. Rather than focusing on the painful area, the lumbar spine, in this case, we evaluate the entire body to determine the root cause of symptoms. Then, our doctors use manual therapy techniques to re-establish normal physiological function. That is followed up with reinforcement exercises that are specific to each patient.

If you are experiencing low back pain and would like to learn how One80 Physical Therapy® can help you get back in the game of life, call (970) 593-9300 today for a FREE CONSULTATION. Let us show you why One80 is the opposite of everything you’ve tried before.

Why Spine Injuries Get Better Faster at One80 Physical Therapy®

The human spine is an incredible device. Not only does it support us and allow us to move, it has a vital relationship with our nervous, muscular, digestive and circulatory systems. There are many different ways in which the spine can become compromised, resulting in pain and dysfunction. Being told that you have a spinal disorder can naturally bring up feelings of uncertainty and even fear. In order to figure out how to best deal with spine issues, we recommend meeting with a doctor at One80 Physical Therapy®. They will be able to assess your specific needs and condition. After they have helped you restore normal function and you’ve returned to your normal active lifestyle, they will give you tools to use at home to decrease the chance of re-injury.

Here are some of the common spine injuries treated with the patent-pending One80 System®:

  • Scoliosis
  • Whiplash
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Disc herniations
  • Fractures
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Stenosis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Strains and sprains

As with any other body part, at One80 you will get fast and lasting results due to unique thought processes and treatment strategies being based on science rather than symptom modification. That means neck and back pain patients get better faster, and stay better longer, because One80 treats the root cause of symptoms rather than just covering up pain. If you have failed with conventional PT, chiropractic and/or massage therapy, it’s probably because they didn’t find the cause of your issue before trying to treat you.

If you are experiencing spine pain and would like to learn how One80 Physical Therapy® can help you get back in the game of life, call (970) 593-9300 today for a FREE CONSULTATION. Let us show you why One80 is the opposite of everything you’ve tried before.

6 Reasons Why You Need One80 Physical Therapy®

Whether you are living with chronic pain, have sustained an acute injury, or want to avoid these types of issues, the doctors at One80 Physical Therapy® are the people to see. Here are 6 great reasons why you should call One80 today;

  • Reduce and eliminate pain – One80’s goal is to get you back in the game of life… PAIN-FREE. Our patent pending, hands-on treatment has helped thousands of patients go back to work, sports, exercise, and just normal daily life without being limited by pain.
  • Increase performance and reduce the risk of injury – Because The One80 System® maximizes neuromuscular facilitation, patients experience increased motion, strength and stability (we call this MoStreBility), and the combination of those three qualities is what maximizes performance while reducing injury levels.
  • Avoid surgery – It’s not uncommon for patients to come in expecting to need knee, back, hip and shoulder surgery to find out that they don’t. Because we help joints function normally, symptoms from arthritis, cartilage tears and ligament issues go away. If we believe you have an injury severe enough to warrant surgery, we know who the best surgeons are to refer you to.
  • Maximize movement – Many conventional PTs, chiropractors, massage therapists, and personal trainers cut corners when it comes to increasing motion and flexibility. The techniques One80 Physical Therapy® uses not only give you longer lasting results, but they also will keep you safe, increase mobility, and restore your ability to maintain your new motion over time.
  • Recover from an injury– If you’ve suffered a sport, work, auto, or just a daily activity injury, we can help you return quickly. Because we customize each patient’s recovery program, you can be sure you will get the one on one attention only One80 gives.
  • Improve balance – As we get older, balance can become a problem. Because The One80 System® treats the nerve-muscle relationship, patients experience improved coordination, balance and strength prevent falls.
  • #7 Bonus! – Educate, Educate, Educate – Throughout your plan of care, our doctors will focus on educating you about the cause of your issues, how we are addressing them and why our thought process and techniques are the opposite of conventional PT, chiropractic, massage, and acupuncture.

These are just a handful of the top reasons One80 Physical Therapy® will give you unique and lasting benefits. If you would like to learn more about our patent pending system, call (970) 593-9300 today for a FREE CONSULTATION. Let us show you why One80 is different than anything you’ve tried before.

5 Common Physical Therapy Myths

In recent years, physical therapy has become increasingly popular. People who have never been to a physical therapist before may have preconceived perceptions of what PT is and how it helps. Here some of the most common myths about physical therapy:

  • I need a prescription or referral to see a physical therapist – In all 50 states, you can be evaluated and treated by a physical therapist without a prescription or referral. There is an exception, Medicare patients will need a referral from a physician in order for Medicare to pay for treatment.
  • Physical therapists aren’t doctors – Dr. Polka was in one of the first classes to graduate with the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in 2000. Since then, physical therapy programs across the country have made the transition from masters programs the doctoral program. Many PT clinics still employ therapists with masters degrees. Because One80 Physical Therapy® has focused on staying on the cutting edge by hiring new graduates, Dr. Frey and Dr. Patel both have doctoral degrees ensuring you will always see a doctor at One80.
  • Physical therapy is only for injuries –At One80 we are injury prevention experts and see a significant portion of our patients for the purpose of avoiding injury and performance enhancement. Because we are able to optimize nerve-muscle communication, we can increase speed, strength, range of motion and stability in order to protect joints and increase performance levels.
  • My personal trainer does physical therapy – Unfortunately, conventional physical therapists have let many gadgets and gimmicks deteriorate our profession. Things like E-stimulation, tape, needles, cupping, foam rollers, and decompression devices not only don’t do anything to reverse injury, they also require no education or license to perform. Sadly, many patients are receiving these and other sham treatments both at PT and at the gym. On the other hand, The One80 System® is a patent-pending process developed specifically for and taught only to licensed medical professionals. Most importantly, this System is based on science and gets real results.
  • Surgery and medication are more effective than physical therapy – Many studies have shown that, for certain diagnosis, physical therapy gets better results than surgery, rest, and medication. While surgery and/or medication may be the right option in some cases, physical therapy is often much more effective and safer first option.
  • #6 Bonus! – Physical therapy is the same in all clinics – Fortunately, One80 patients know the difference in thought process, treatment style, techniques, exercise prescription and results between the conventional physical therapy model and The One80 System®.

Add to the above list that One80 is the opposite of conventional PT (hence the One80 name), there can be even more confusion. The doctors at One80 rely on medical expertise, critical thinking, root cause analysis, manual techniques, and functional exercise prescription to get patients back to their active lives as fast as possible. If you haven’t experienced the One80 difference and would like to see for yourself how we can help you get back in the game of life, call (970) 593-9300 today for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Knee Pain by the Numbers

Got knee pain? You aren’t alone. Whether you have suffered an acute injury, or you are experiencing chronic issues, knee pain can definitely affect your overall quality of life. The knee is comprised of four bones, stabilized actively by several different muscles, depends on numerous ligaments and cartilage for joint integrity and is subject to forces in multiple planes. The doctors at One80 Physical Therapy® are experts in knee function and understand that it can be a complicated joint to exanimate and rehabilitate.

Knee pain can be caused by a wide range of issues and manifest as several different symptoms. Take a look at these knee pain stats:

  • 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain
  • Knee pain is the second most common cause of chronic pain (low back pain is #1)
  • One-third of all Americans report experiencing knee pain
  • Knee breakdown is commonly the result of too much weight on the knee joint
  • Another leading cause of knee injury is improper techniques during sports/work
  • Between 15 – 20% of all men are afflictedwith knee pain
  • Prevalence of knee pain in women isroughly 20%

If you are experiencing knee pain and would like to learn how the patent-pending One80 System® can help you get back in the game of life, call (970) 593-9300 today for a FREE CONSULTATION. Let us show you whyOne80 is the opposite of everything you’ve tried before.