How Strong Is Your “Core?”

By: Mark King, DPT, MPT, CSCS CPT and Matthew King, DPT, OCS, CSCS

Low back pain commonly may be due to weakness of your abdominal muscles and is better known as Lumbar Instability. Some common signs and symptoms of lumbar instability may include, but are not limited to, frequent episodes of low back pain, extreme symptom fluctuation, “thigh climbing” when returning to standing from a bent over position, muscular spasms throughout your low back that “put you to your knees,” and prior surgery.

Depending on your current fitness or functional level entering into a physical therapy regimen, with one of our first-rate therapists, will assist you in overcoming arthritis pain, a nagging muscle strain, or the fear of initiating a fitness program. By improving range of motion, flexibility and learning proper techniques exercise will become easier and more enjoyable.

There are numerous research studies that suggest the lumbar spine is stabilized primarily by the transversus abdominis and the internal/external obliques. The common misconception is that performing sit ups will stabilize the spine when in reality it strengthens the rectus abdominis which has little stabilizing effect on the vertebral column. By properly learning to activate the transversus abdominus your low back pain can be resolved. At King Physical Therapy and Fitness we can establish a “core” strengthening program for you that will consist of only proven strengthening activities to target the transversus abdominis and the internal/external obliques. We also offer a “CORE” fitness class that targets your entire abdominal area. Please stop into one of our facilities for assistance, visit us at, or like us on Facebook for more information.

Most major insurances are accepted.


You Are The Captain Of Your HealthCare Team!

My job as a physical therapist and human movement specialist is to use the best available evidence, my knowledge/expertise, and the knowledge/expertise of my colleagues to devise the most appropriate, specific, and unique treatment plan for each individuals’ needs during every single encounter. Throughout this process of “Evidenced Based Medicine” there may be a piece of the puzzle that is overlooked. That piece is YOU!

True Evidence Based Medicine Includes Three Pieces:

1. The Best Available Evidence
2. The Expertise Of The Clinician And Their Colleagues
3. YOU! Your Values, Preferences, and Expectations Of What YOU Feel Will Be Beneficial In Returning You To Full Participation In Life!

So when you attend your next physical therapy session be sure to include your expectations for physical therapy, your immediate and long term goals, your preferences for the session, and how you feel value will be gained. We want to know what success in physical therapy looks like to you! You are the Captain of the process, but we are a Vital piece to the ultimate goal and success of your journey!

At King Physical Therapy & Fitness We Pride Ourselves On Practicing Evidenced Based Medicine. *Each Piece of “Evidenced Based Medicine” Will Contribute To An Individual Case In Its Own Unique Way*

Are MRI and X-Ray Useful for Low Back Pain?

King Physical Therapy & Fitness back pain

Are you suffering from low back pain? Are you concerned about how you should begin to address your pain?

Approximately two thirds of Americans experience low back pain at some point during their lifetime. Many seek diagnostic imaging (magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or X-ray) to begin addressing the pain in hopes that it will lead to better treatment and outcomes. However, current medical research suggests that in MOST cases, diagnostic imaging is not as effective in determining the source of low back pain as once believed.

One study (Masui et. al. 2005) used MRI on a sample of healthy individuals with no presence of low back pain and found that 40% of these individuals had a bulging disc. Another study by Kjaer et. al. 2005 revealed that the majority of individuals over the age of 40 present with arthritis or “degenerative joint disease” in his or her back, but have no symptoms of pain.

In other words, these “abnormalities” within the spine are actually quite normal and often times painless. Therefore, it is difficult to determine whether a finding on an image of the spine is truly the cause of one’s pain.

At King Physical Therapy & Fitness, our skilled physical therapists are trained to perform an in-depth physical examination to find specific movements and hands-on techniques that can decrease your symptoms. Our therapists are also trained to recognize the small percentage of patients who should receive diagnostic imaging or referral to another medical professional.

Researchers have found that individuals who received an MRI first spent an average of $4,793 more in healthcare costs compared to those who went directly to a physical therapist (Fritz 2015). Furthermore, individuals that receive an early MRI for low back pain have longer lengths of disability and a slower return to normal function (Webster 2013). If you are experiencing low back pain, make an appointment with your physical therapist today to see what options are best and most cost-effective for you!


Sit Up Straight!

“Sit Up Straight” is a phrase that everyone has probably heard at some point in their life time.  Well, it is a good habit to adopt.  Almost 100% of our daily activities are performed directly in front of us.  By constantly having your shoulders rounded and your head forward you are asking your postural muscles to work harder and causing your anterior chest muscles to tighten. Over time this can lead to cervical spine disorders, thoracic outlet syndrome, and shoulder disorders, just to name a few.

King Physical Therapy and Fitness will develop a rehabilitation program to strengthen your postural muscles (including your rhomboid major and minor, middle trapezius, lower trapezius, teres minor and major, infraspinatus, and latissimus dorsi). This program will passively and actively stretch your anterior chest and neck musculature (including pectoralis major and minor, scalene muscles, and upper trapezius). To help maintain benefits received from physical therapy with King PT & Fitness, you will be instructed to follow a home exercise program.  Call one of our two locations today to schedule an appointment–we accept most major insurances.

Do You Have a Primary Physical Therapist?

King Physical TherapyWhen you have difficulty lifting your arm up to wash your hair, put on your seat belt, or place it behind your back to tuck in your shirt, whom should you call? How about when you have difficulty negotiating your stairs, turning your head to back out of the garage, or your low back pain disrupts your life, whom should you call? The answer is YOUR physical therapist, the individual that you trust to guide you in the proper direction as quickly as possible.

A 2005 study showed that physical therapists were second to only orthopaedic specialist physicians in their ability to recognize and diagnose musculoskeletal injuries. (Childs 2005) Also, patients that receive early physical therapy have a decreased likelihood of advanced imaging, additional physician visits, surgery, injections, and opioid use. (Fritz 2012) In the state of Pennsylvania you can seek treatment from YOUR physical therapist for 30 days without being referred.

Our mission at King Physical Therapy & Fitness is to provide a first class healthcare experience for each individual that that we encounter by exceeding their expectations, positively impacting their lives, and introducing an exceptional standard of care, all while maintaining a trusting family friendly environment. Make us YOUR primary physical therapist provider!