Monthly Archives: May 2016

Aids and Useful Items

These items have been helpful to our clients.  Below recommendations do not constitute an endorsement.  Check with your therapist to make sure they are right for you!


Easy application of cold or heat to the jaw and face “Face Caddy”
The face caddy is a Velcro closure pack that allows easy application of heat OR cold to the face and jaw.  For additional information, click here.



Self soft tissue release when a foam roller will not do
This stick massage roller has neoprene beads distributed along the metal roller making areas of differing density.  It is very helpful for rolling out the lower leg or iliotibial band.  Also comes in a shorter “travel size”.  For additional information, click here.

Stick massage roller “Pro-TecPTRoller” Pro-Tec Roller


Release your feet
Pay attention to the feet that keep you standing and stepping.  These hemi-spheres can be used while sitting or standing.  You don’t know how tight and stiff your feet are until they are released.  For additional information, click here.

Self foot release
Yamuna Foot Wakers


Compact roller
Firm foam roller with slight “tread” creating pleasing pressure gradients during rolling.  Light weight and hollow, it is good for traveling.  This roller is more firm than the white or marbled rollers.  For additional information, click here.

Foam roller (short)
Foam Roller


White foam roller assortment
We use these rollers in the clinic.  They are relatively durable and not as firm as some other options.  The 36” long rollers (full round or half round) are good for supine positioning exercises or rolling.  The shorter rollers are more portable and suitable for rolling.  For additional information, click here.

Foam roller (assorted lengths, half and full rounds) Foam Rollers-Assortments


Inflatable lumbar support
The benefit of this lumbar support is its versatility–inflate less for firm surfaces, inflate more for soft surfaces.   Deflates for easy travel.  Don’t leave it behind!  For additional information, click here.

Medic Air back pillo
Back Pillo

Pain and Stress Management Resources

These items have been helpful to our clients.  Below recommendations do not constitute an endorsement.  Check with your therapist to make sure they are right for you!

Pain management workbook
Manage Pain Before it Manages You by Margaret A. Caudil.  Approachable “bite sized” concepts and activities designed to help you manage and thrive despite pain.  For additional information, click here.

Managing Pain Before it Manages You


Stress Management
Full Catastrophe Living by John Kabat-Zinn.  The title says it all.  From a leader in the practice of Mindfulness Meditation.  For additional information, click here.

Full Catastrophe Living book


Recovery from Trauma
The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van der Kolk.  How body work can help heal trauma.  For additional information, click here.


The Body Keeps The Score book

Restore Motion Friend: Thom Shenk

Thom Shenk

Meet Thom Shenk, a Rolfer, massage therapist, and longtime friend of Restore Motion. Thom has recently relocated his practice to our Rockville location. We are thrilled to have him here and are thankful for the convenience it provides for patients who benefit from several forms of therapy.
Thom is a Certified Advanced Rolfer and Rolf Movement Practitioner. He combines knowledge of structural integration with licensed massage therapy, craniosacral therapy, visceral manipulation, neurofascial release, and acupressure to provide a holistic and energetic approach to patient care.
Thom loves the outdoors.  Here are some fun facts you might not have known about him: Thom…

  • spent 5 years living in a Tipi
  • worked as an initial attack forest fire fighter
  • worked as a professional ski patroller.
  • recently backpacked 45 miles through Olympic National Park

Restore Motion Friend: George C. Branche, III, MD

George C. Brance, III, MD

Dr. George Branche is an orthopedic surgeon, sports medicine physician, and friend of Restore Motion. He has been offering his services to players at the CitiOpen tennis tournament here in D.C for over a decade. We had a chance to speak with him at the tournament and ask about recent trends in his practice. His specialization and passion lies in arthroscopic surgical treatment of the shoulder and the knee.

“I’m doing more and more revisions,” he says, “as more people are active well into their older years.” Dr. Branche has seen a steady increase in the number of older patients seeking a remedy for knee and shoulder pain interfering with their active lifestyles. “15 years ago if you saw a 60 year old in our office you might ask him if he was lost, ” he jokes. “These days I’m treating people in their 60’s, 70’s, and even 80’s.”

Restore Motion Friend: Kavon Atabaki

Kavon Picture Blog, May 2016

Kavon Atabaki is an ACA and NSPA certified personal trainer at Functional Fitness VA in Falls Church, Virginia. His specialty certifications as a StrongFirst Bodyweight Instructor, StrongFirst Girya II Kettlebell Instructor, Functional Movement Specialist, and Parkinson’s Certified Trainer give him the ability to work with a wide range of clients to meet their fitness goals.

We’ve asked Kavon to share what makes the approach to personal training at Functional Fitness VA unique.

“Having experience with all sorts of ages, shapes, sizes and body types helps me know that every body is different and unique to a certain degree. Principles of movement are constant across the board, but their application needs to fit the person.

At Functional Fitness VA we believe in two major ideas: we’re here to help people Move Better and Get Stronger. This is a simple process. (Simple, not easy.) We first find where movement needs to be improved, maintained, or just stabilized and address that need. After that we work on improving strength in multiple directions and with multiple energy systems. With this approach we’ve found that our clients experience benefits not only in the gym but also improvements reaching into everyday life.”

–Kavon Atabaki


Written by: Kavon Atabaki
Edited by: Claire Agrawal, PT, DPT

Photo Credit:

What a Pain in the Neck

Neck pain is a common reason for doctor visits. It is so common that the topic made it to the Washington Post recently in an article titled “What you need to know about that pain in your neck.”

Here are some facts about neck pain:

  • A common cause of neck pain is poor posture during work, rest or leisure.
  • Lifting or carrying heavy objects can strain muscles connecting your arm/shoulder and neck.
  • Even light weight (or un-weighted) repetitive motions can cause neck pain.
  • Excessive tension or stress frequently causes us to hold our jaw, neck and shoulders in a way that leads to pain and headaches.
  • The joints of the neck allow a great deal of motion. That is why necks are vulnerable to injury with trauma.

What you need to know before you go to the doctor:

  • Majority of neck pain episodes resolve in 2-3 weeks without imaging studies.
  • The older we are the more likely neck pathology will be seen on imaging studies even on those people without neck pain.
  • Over the counter analgesics (Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, Naproxen Sodium) are more effective in treating neck pain than muscle relaxants.
  • Sleeping with too many pillows or a pillow that is too firm can cause neck pain.

What you can do:

  • Use heat or cold pack to soothe muscle aches. Use the type that feels best to you.
  • Decrease unnecessary weight in your handbag, book-bag or briefcase.
  • Remind yourself to relax your neck, jaw and shoulder muscles while trying to maintain good posture.
  • Consider Physical Therapy to help improve muscle and joint balance via exercises for your neck and shoulder girdle.
  • If pain has not resolved in time, or if your pain was caused by trauma, see your physician or urgent care clinic.


Written by: Miriam Graham, PT, DPT
Edited by: Claire Agrawal, PT, DPT

Photo Credit:×600.jpg

Link to Washington Post article:

New ACL Surgery May Improve the Lives of Many

ACL Knee Surgery Picture Blog, May, 2016 The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) of the knee is one of four ligaments between the femur and the tibia that helps keep the bones together and stable during movement. Injury to this ligament can lead to knee pain, a feeling of your knee buckling or giving out from under you, and decreased knee range of motion. Spraining or tearing of the ACL is one of the most common knee injuries in humans. Depending on the severity of the injury and the person’s age, physical therapy may be the first treatment option to stabilize the knee. If symptoms do not improve with conservative management, surgery is often considered next.

Currently, the standard surgical technique is called ACL reconstruction and involves removal of the torn ends of the ligament and replacement with a tissue graft. A tissue graft is tissue from another part of the body (usually hamstring tendons) or a cadaver. The tissue graft acts as scaffolding for a new ligament to grown on. Recovery is lengthy and patients are at a higher risk of developing arthritis 15-20 years post surgery (Boston Children’s Hospital).

A new surgery, called “bridge-enhanced ACL repair, or BEAR,” has been developed by Dr. Martha Murray and her team at Boston Children’s Hospital. The technique places stitches and a sponge injected with the patient’s own blood between the ends of the torn ACL to stimulate healing of the original ligament instead of replacing it. Over six-to-eight weeks, the ends of the torn ACL grow into the sponge and reconnect.

There is potential for the BEAR technique to allow quicker recovery of strength after ACL surgery and possibly reduce the long-term risk of arthritis in the injured knee. At this time the surgery is experimental and being performed through clinical trails to determine long term risks and benefits. To learn more about the clinical trials, click here.




Written by: Kristen Bissell
Edited by: Claire Agrawal, PT, DPT

Clinical Trial link:

Photo Credit: