All posts by Paul O'Brian

CEO, Paul O’Brian founded Accelerate Physical Therapy , P.C. in 1989 in Arvada. Specializing in orthopedic and neurological rehabilitation over a 35-year career, Paul is experienced in shoulder, knee, spine, foot/ankle, elbow, wrist and hand rehabilitation, quadriplegia, hemiplegia, multiple sclerosis, weakness and balance issues, and geriatric conditions, arthritis, functional decline), postural pain an problems, sports injuries, motor vehicle accidents, and workers’ compensation injuries. As a youth sports coach for 20 years in swimming and diving, soccer, football and rugby. Paul has served on the Boards of Directors of three Colorado non-profit Colorado corporations: Colorado Physical Therapy Network (20 years), Rugby Colorado (5 years) and Tigers Rugby Football Club (14 years).

May We Help You?

Welcome to Accelerate Physical Therapy, P.C.!

Call (303) 421-2210 with any questions.

Find us in the Friendly Square Shopping Center, 11651 West 64th Avenue Unit A-5, Arvada, CO 8004.

Our staff is pleased to offer personable Physical Therapy services. We pledge to increase your strength and functional mobility, reduce your pain, and help you learn to manage your impairments independently.

Paul O’Brian, PT, is a graduate of Physical Therapy Department of the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1982.

Paul offers 38+ years of clinical experience, and knowledge in successful treatment for  your musculoskeletal and neuromuscular needs.  You are in able and experienced hands when you visit Accelerate Physical Therapy.

Paul founded this practice 32 years ago.  Accelerate PT brings passion, information, and unmatched skills when you need the most help from a physical therapy staff.

In addition, Caryn O’Brian and Anne Chiles offer he same experience working with insurance authorization and billing.  When you consider all this and the convenient location at 64th and Simms in Arvada, you should look no further for your Physical Therapy needs.

Call (303) 421-2210 to schedule and appointment with Paul for you initial evaluation.

Paul O’Brian, PT

Paul O’Brian, PT, a graduate of Physical Therapy Department of the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1982 offers clinical experience, knowledgeable and successful treatment for  your musculoskeletal and neuromuscular needs.  You are in able and experienced hands when you visit Accelerate Physical Therapy.

Paul founded this practice 32 years ago.  Paul and Cindy Keefover, PTA  bring you passion, information, and unmatched skills when you need the most help from a physical therapy staff.

In addition, Caryn O’Brian and Anne Chiles offer another 30 years of experience working with insurance authorization and billing.  When you consider all this and the convenient location at 64th and Simms in Arvada, you should look no further for your Physical Therapy needs.

Call (303) 421-2210 to schedule and appointment with Paul or Ross for you initial evaluation.


Shoulder Impingement Exercise Videos

Source: American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine

Shoulder Impingement is mechanical compression, which can cause wear of the rotator cuff tendons. The rotator cuff is comprised of four muscles connecting the shoulder blade to the upper part of the shoulder joint.  These maintain the ball (humeral head) within the socket (glenoid) during shoulder elevation.

Normally, the ball glides under the acromion (outer tip of the shoulder blade). Compromise of this function may cause friction and wear. Common causes include weakening, degeneration due to aging, bone spurs, inflammation, and overuse injuries.

Patients may complain of pain in overhead activity and awakening in the night. Manipulation may reproduce the symptoms.  X-rays may show bone spurs and narrowing of the subacromial space. MRI may rule out more serious diagnoses.

Temporarily eliminate activities like tennis, pitching or swimming. A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication may be recommended. Surgery involves debriding tissue that irritates the rotator cuff and is favorable in about 90% of the cases.

Exercise to restore normal flexibility and strength of the shoulder blade and rotator cuff muscles. Try exercises in these videos to strengthen the rotator cuff muscle and scapular muscles, and control the incidence of shoulder impingement.

Source: American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine

Home Treatment for Bulging Discs

Accelerate Physical Therapy in Arvada, Colorado teaches you to relieve back and radiating leg pain. These exercises provide decompression of the lumbar spine, and are a great treatment for bulging discs.

Here are two great ways to relieve pain for which many face expensive medical treatments.  Save thousands of dollars and health risks from injections of steroids, narcotics, decompression, traction, chiropractic, and even physical therapy.  Watch and try these two techniques at home.

Rocking gives an oscillating stretch,  controlling the intensity experienced.  Perform these techniques for just a few minutes, or up to twenty minutes, as often as you need relief.

If you need help understanding these techniques, call Paul O’Brian, PT, CSCS, at Accelerate Physical Therapy, PC in Arvada, Colorado. Our office number is (303) 421-2210.

Knee Exercise Videos – Early in Your Recovery

Knee pain can be a resolved with exercise.  Learn to command important patella stabilizing muscles.  Begin with the technique demonstrated on the following video links .   These simple exercises performed daily offer you more than you might think.



When you can tolerate pressure through the patellar tendon, move on to this exercise in order to recruit more muscle fibers.  Contact with the ground through the toe placement teaches important “proprioceptors”.  Transition to normal balance and gait depends upon your active stimulation of these muscles and tendons.

Plantar Fascia Pain Relief

Does your heel hurt so much that the pain interferes with your daily activities? This debilitating heel pain might occur due to inflammation of the flexible band of tissue located under the foot’s sole called plantar fasciitis – a condition characterized by pain, stiffness, or burning sensation at the bottom of your foot. This tissue connects the heel bone to the bones of the toes, making the arch of the foot.

When damaged from activities like dancing or jogging, as well as wear and tear over time, plantar fasciitis can get inflamed and cause a terrible pain especially in the morning or after a period of rest.

The risk of plantar fasciitis increases if you have high arches or flat feet if you’re obese, and if you wear shoes that don’t provide proper support. Going for a long run or other similar activities that strain your feet can also cause this heel condition.

Nevertheless, some natural ways can help manage your heel pain and take care of your foot better. In case none of them proves helpful, here are few natural remedies that are sure worth a try.

Rest and Apply Ice
The first thing to do when experiencing heel pain is let your foot rest. Avoid standing for too long or walking long distances. Also, applying an ice pack on the affected area for 10-15 minutes, few times a day can further reduce the pain.

Wear the Right Shoes
Stop wearing shoes that don’t provide proper support, and choose ones with laces and low or moderate heels which support and cushion your arches and heels. Avoid flats, and remember to change your sports shoes every 500 miles when running or doing other physical activity that puts extra strain on your feet.

Another way to support your feet and improve your heel condition is wearing orthoses insoles. If the pain keeps on recurring, you might wear them longer.

Splints and Straps
Wearing night splints can speed up the heel pain recovering process. What they do is keep your toes pointed upward when sleeping, helping to stretch plantar fascia and Achilles tendons not allowing the tissue inside the heel gets squeezed. Using a sports strapping tape to strap your heel is another way to relieve pressure.

Foot Exercises
Doing the following foot exercises can improve the flexibility of your calf muscles, Achilles tendons, and ankle, thus relieve and prevent plantar fasciitis.
Stretch your heel using a towel the first thing when you wake up. Loop it around the ball of your affected foot and pull it toward you not bending your knee. Do this 3 times for each foot.
Sit in a chair, placing your feet on the floor, with your heels touched and toes faced in opposite directions. Your heels should stay on the floor while lifting your toes upward 10 times. You’ll feel your calf muscles, and Achilles tendon tighten as you do this exercise. Repeat for 5 to 6 times a day.
Using a round object such as rolling pin, tennis ball, or a can, sit down and roll the arch of your foot over the chosen object. Do this twice a day with each foot, even if you feel pain only on one foot. This exercise will improve your stability and balance.

One research investigated the plantar fasciitis treatment which involved stimulating the classical acupuncture points Sanyinjiao, Kunlun, and Taixi manually with needles for four weeks. The results showed significant heel pain relief.
The study also showed that those who didn’t get pain relief with this technique could be helped by stimulating certain trigger points in the plantar fascia and gastro-soleus.

You can also try few herbal oral and topical medications.
Researchers discovered that castor oil and ginger are very helpful in the treatment of plantar fasciitis. Take the oil, as well as the ginger as a dry powder dissolved in water orally before breakfast. They also say paste from the Ayurvedic medicine Kolakulathadi Choornam is also helpful when applied topically on the affected area and covered with castor leaves for four hours.
This was concluded in research which says 70 percent of the participants experienced heel pain and swelling relief within 15 days of the treatment including castor oil, ginger powder, Kolakulathadi Choornam, as well as a restricting diet (avoiding peas, sweets, potatoes, fried food, and curd).

This type of therapy which addresses medical problems by massaging the joints, muscles, and bones, can also help the treatment of plantar fasciitis. This refers mainly to the counterstrain technique.

The technique uses a tender point and involves placing the body in a position in which the person will feel minimal pain when the tender point is pressed. The person has to be about 90 seconds in this position. The study which proved counterstrain brings heel pain relief immediately, also suggests that the effect reduces after 2 days. So, it’s recommended to repeat the technique until complete recovering.



Four Exercises for Knee Pain

The following 4 exercises will help you soothe the pain in the knees quickly:

Bent-Leg Raises
You should start in a sitting position. Extend one leg in front of you and elevate it to be parallel to the ground. Hold for a minute, and then bend the knee to lower the leg halfway to the ground. Hold for half a minute, and return to the starting position. Make 4 repetitions, and switch legs.

Half-Kneel Hip and Quad Stretch
Place a mat on the ground, kneel on the right knee, and put the left foot in front of you. Stretch the hip downward by leaning forward to the left knee. Then, lift the back ankle toward the hip to stretch the hamstrings, and switch legs. Make 15 repetitions.

Knee Flexion
Sit on a chair, with the feet in front of you. Then, take a towel and loop it under the foot while resting on the floor, and pull on the towel slowly until the foot is about 4-5 inches above the ground, and the knee is bent. Switch legs and do 5 repetitions.

Wall Calf Stretch
Lean against a wall, standing, and rest one foot on the wall, and the other on the ground. Lean forward to stretch the calf, and hold for 5-10 seconds, and then release. Change the leg and perform the same 10-15 times.

If you perform some of these exercises on a daily basis, you will effectively treat and prevent knee pain.


Tensor Fascia Latae Pain

Reference from:

The Tensor Fasciae Latae is a muscle, which helps in flexing and abducting the thigh. It becomes very vital for a runner due to this function. If the TFL is consciously kept flexible, it will help in keeping the body injury free as well as being fit. Activities like walking, bending and moving around can get affected if the muscles of the thighs and hip are injured. They will also affect exercise pattern. Tensor fasciae latae pain can be caused due to a tear or strain in the muscle. With proper directed exercise, the muscle can be healed and strengthened.

What Are the Symptoms?

The symptoms include:

  • Pain in the outer hip
  • Referred pain down the outer thigh
  • Pain when lying on the affected hip
  • When weight bearing on the affected side, the pain worsens

The trigger points for TFL myofascial can get misdiagnosed as trochanteric bursitis because they have very similar symptoms. In the beginning the treatment for either case should be to get the surrounding muscles in good condition and make corrections in existing imbalance in the muscles. If the case persists, it should be investigated for bursa involvement.

What Causes Tensor Fasciae Latae Pain?

Tensor fasciae latae and Iliotibial band muscle pain can be caused due to the following activities:

Running, climbing, cycling, dancing, excessive walking when not in shape and playing court sports like basketball, volleyball and tennis.

How to Relieve Tensor Fasciae Latae Pain


  • Warm and Cold Therapy Gel: A pain relieving gel, which provides therapeutic warmth with burning, can be used. Or else a cooling gel, which reduces inflammation by cooling the area. The gel should be applied on the outside of thighs and knees. It will help in reducing the tensor fasciae latae pain as well as tightness.
  • Hot and Cold Compress/Wrap: This kind of wraps can be used on thighs, knee, hip and back. It can be cooled in the freezer or heated in the microwave. It helps in reducing the pain and swelling in the injured muscle by cold therapy and chronic pain and swelling by warm therapy.
  • Tensor Fasciae Latae Brace and Support: This brace is useful in providing compression and support to the TLF muscle. This type of support can be used in high thigh and groin injuries as well. The brace is held in place by wrapping around thigh and abdomen.
  • Compression Leggings: Compression leggings are usually used for preventing injuries, however, they are excellent when used as support for injured muscle. They help in reducing swelling as well. Good compression leggings cover the thighs and end below the knee. Tight compression at lower end of limb and decreased compression at top is essential for reducing inflammation and circulation.  
  • Massage Tools for Self Treatment: A roller is an excellent massage tool, which can be used on upper and lower leg muscles. It is easy to use and helps in relieving tension and pain. It just needs to be rolled up and down the muscle and usually does not strain the hands and wrists.

Stretching and Strengthening Exercise for Tensor Fasciae Latae Pain

Some exercises are described below which help in strengthening the muscles and dealing with the tensor fasciae latae pain.

  • Outer Hip Stretch

Start by lying down on the back, and bend your right knee. Cross the bent leg over the left knee and pull with your left hand. Hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds. This exercise stretches the gluteus medius, gluteus minimus and tensor fascia latae muscles.

  • Standing Outer Hip Stretch

Start by placing the leg to be stretched behind the other leg. Lean your body on the side, which is not going to be stretched. The hip to be stretched should be pushed out to the other side. Hold for 10 – 30 seconds. The muscles stretched in the exercise are TFL, Iliotibial band and Sartorius.

  • Hip Abduction with Band

This exercise is done to strengthen the hip abductors present on the outside of the joint. To start wrap a resistance band around the ankle and other end to a doorway or chair leg. Stretch the leg outside, as far as possible and slowly come back to position. Muscles stretched in this exercise are TFL, Gluteus medius and gluteus minimus.

  • TFL Trigger Pointing

A trained person should help you in this exercise. A massage ball is laid on the bad side, under the TFL and moved around. It helps in identifying the painful or sensitive spot. The pressure is maintained for 10 – 15 seconds till the tenderness decreases. It should be done twice in the beginning, and repeated every 2-3 hours.

  • Squatting Exercise

Squats are helpful in strengthening the TFL muscle and also in increasing the hip rotation and flexion. To start stand with the feet at shoulder distance, keep the back straight and abdominal muscles pulled in. Bend your knees while pushing the butt out, till your thighs are parallel to the floor. Push upwards from the heels and stand straight. This can be done 5 to 10 times.

Watch this video to learn how to stretch TFL (tensor fascia latae) the right way.

The Degenerative Effects of Inactivity

  • Cardiovascular changes including elevated heart rate, decreased cardiac output, orthostatic and autonomic dysfunction, venous stasis and thrombosis.
  • Respiratory changes include reduced lung capacity.
  • Musculoskeletal problems of reduced strength, endurance, lactose tolerance, risks of contractures and heterotrophic ossification of individuals with CNS or spinal damage.
  • Metabolic risks including negative nitrogen or calcium imbalances, carbohydrate intolerance and insulin resistance.
  • Urinary stasis, incontinence and stones.
  • Gastrointestinal effects include decreased appetite, reduced peristalsis/constipation, malnutrition and hypoprteinemia.
  • Integument systems risks of pressure ulcers (hygiene, shear, edema, reduced capillary flow to the compressed area).
  • Nervous system changes such as sensory deprivation, anxiety and depression.