INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. - Since opening in the 1980s, North Tahoe Physical Therapy has established itself as a local hotspot for all things PT.
North Tahoe Physical Therapy offers a variety of treatments, including myofascial release, hands-on work and exercises, for at-home treatment. Plans are customized for each patient and injury.
Jane O'Brien, the current owner, purchased the practice in 2004, and expanded the business to have a Reno location as well.
"I came down here because I wanted to have a bigger market, and access to patients with (a wider variety of problems)," she explained. "The more you see the more you learn."
While O'Brien lives in Incline Village, she splits her time between the two practices. With more than 15 years of experience in physical therapy, she has worked at several different practices, including spending time as a traveling physical therapist.
NTPT is a "very hands on clinic," O'Brien said, adding that the personalized treatments involve a lot of time using hands to treat the patient, rather than simply giving patients exercises to do. Citing orthopedic injuries (such as ALC reconstruction or rotator cuff injuries) as their most common injury, NTPT uses different techniques to help heal patients.
O'Brien is the only physical therapist in the area that has a Certificate of Achievement in Pelvic Physical Therapy, which she uses to treat dysfunctions of the pelvis. These evidence based treatments allow her to treat patients who have various degrees of pelvic pain, including pain during intercourse and erectile dysfunctions.
NTPT also uses myofascial release in its treatments, used to relieve pain.
"It is the cornerstone of our treatments (at NTPT)," O'Brien said. "I've been practicing this technique for over 12 years."
Myofascial release is used to elongate the connective tissues in the body to release restrictions. Restrictions occur from a variety of reasons, including injury, trauma, stress or poor posture. Myofascial release treatments are hands-on and often include whole-body treatments, to relieve stress in other areas of the body that may be affecting the injured area.
"Many people love myofascial release so much that they schedule myofascial release sessions on a regular basis instead of massages," O'Brien added. "It's great for those needing to relax, release stress and become grounded."
O'Brien added that myofascial release helps with the pelvic work the practice does as well, often times leveling the pelvis to aid in ankle or feet issues.
While each patient and injury is different, often times NTPT will have multiple visits with patients, and an at-home program as well. O'Brien explained that injuries often take several weeks to heal, sometimes with two visits per week.
"We'll change (the treatment) depending on what the needs of the patient are," she added.
At-home exercises are an essential part of the treatment, O'Brien said.
"We start patients on home treatments immediately," she said. "(This allows them) to work on their own."
While these exercises are important, O'Brien stressed that nothing is better than going in for treatment with the physical therapists.
"There's a lot of skill involved in what we're doing for that patient. Sometimes the home exercise program isn't enough," O'Brien said.
NTPT also offers short 15-minute sessions for minor aches and pains. These sessions do not require an appointment or referral beforehand.
"We can work on that minor problem that people have to get some relief," O'Brien said.