Multiple-Sport Athletes: Biomechanical Considerations for Bicylcing at 2009 Fall Conference

Five thousand women just participated in the Seattle Danskin triathlon! Local triathlons are selling out. Most Ironman triathlons sell out in spite of there being more events added annually. Triathlon has enjoyed its second year of existence on the Olympic event calendar with a great race in Beijing 2008. Clearly triathlon is a growing sport.

The vast majority of triathlon participants are adults who “suffer” from, as Sally Edwards puts it, “Adult Onset of Athletics”. The other majority share of triathletes come into the sport as being a former (pick one), runner, swimmer or bicyclist.

Triathlon’s bike sections are mostly non-drafting, individual, drag-races against the clock to the run. Triathlon necessitates the use of an aerodynamic position. Aerodynamic positions will help increase your speed for a given level of strength and thus decrease your finish time.

Most triathlon participants have not mastered the bicycle.

I was watching a review/recap of the Coeur d’ Alene Ironman on and was amazed at how the top athletes were positioning themselves on their bicycles. They could be going a lot faster if attention were paid to their position on the bicycle. Many people are “self fit” or are following internet “mythology” to aerodynamic positioning. Most people accept resultant pain/injury of poorly fitting bicycles as being part of the process. The bike shouldn’t hurt.

Aerodynamic position is not as easy as attaching some aerobars to your bike or buying the latest tasty aerodynamic treat from the local bike shop. You are not “aero” if you are not comfortable on the aerobars.

This class will class will first of all demonstrate (via literature review) how triathletes injure themselves (chronic and acute), we will build the argument for the use of an aerodynamic position and then we will review the science of pedaling and position for aerodynamics.

Given the knowledge of basic endurance bicycle fit, I will take you through the process of transitioning a person from a basic endurance road bicyclist to an aerodynamic cyclist.  Aerodynamic position needs to be done over a gradual period with respect to athlete skill and musculoskeletal tolerance. I will talk you through this process and give you rough guidelines to progress a person in their aerodynamics without creating injuries or pain syndromes.

This will be a great class! You will be able to use this information with your clients and your friends. You will be able to effectively intervene on bike related injuries and pain syndromes and allow the triathlete to transition and benefit from the use of an aerodynamic position.

Erik Moen, PT

You can register for Erik’s Oct. 24 class at

Adventures in Democracy

Okay, so I have to start this story from the beginning, so bear with me.

Several weeks ago, we learned that District 9 Rep. Adam Smith was holding a town hall meeting Aug. 25 in Lakewood. I volunteered to go and gather some first-hand experience to share with you, our members, since Smith is my representative. I called up Smith’s office to RSVP for the meeting, which was to be held at Lakewood City Hall. I made a reservation for one, marked my calendar and promptly moved on to the next thing on my to do list.

A couple of weeks later, I received a phone call from Smith’s office to let me know that the venue had been changed, to accommodate a larger crowd, to the Milgard Family Hope Center in Lakewood. They also wanted to confirm my reservation for three. Apparently my party had grown along with the venue. I graciously corrected the error and went back to my to do list.

Given the fact that the crowd had grown so much, I decided to give myself plenty of time and left Olympia at 6 p.m., a full hour before the meeting was scheduled to begin. Good thing, too.

When I arrived at Milgard Family Hope Center, I was greeted at my car by a young man in a suit who gave me a sheet of hand-scribbled directions and told me the event had been moved to Clover Park High School “to accommodate a larger crowd.” I still had 35 minutes to spare, so I was a little surprised to find the parking lot at the high school overflowing and swarms of people headed toward the football stadium. I managed to find parking in the back forty and hoofed it to the gates of the stadium where I dodged signs and people talking up their causes. One man invited me to a tea party for fiscal responsibility. He has clearly never seen my shoe collection.

Once inside the stadium, I was shocked by the number of people who had turned out to make their feelings known. I had to walk to the far end of the stands to find an empty seat. Boos and cheers accompanied the arrival of each new sign that appeared. At one point a chant of “health care now!” broke out, with a counterpoint “no!” thrown in for good measure.

Smith started the meeting a few minutes early with remarks about what he had been working on and explained a little of the health care debate before opening up the floor to questions from the estimated 2,000 attendees. Several health care professionals commented that an emphasis on preventative and primary care were necessary to reduce costs, to which Smith agreed. Questions varied from when will you step out of office so someone else can have a turn (to which he answered the voters decide every couple of years if that is going to happen) to whether a person would be able to keep a health savings plan under the proposed House Bill (the answer was no, accompanied by a complicated explanation as to why). When asked if he would support the bill, as it is today, if a vote was forced, he answered no, which was met with a healthy round of applause.

Only one mild tussle broke out over a sign which I was too far away from to see. I was proud of my fellow District 9 members for maintaining decorum during moments of heated discussion on a serious topic and my representative for his candor on a complex and somewhat polarizing topic. It will be interesting to see what happens next in the health care reform arena.

Rachel Young
Marketing Coordinator

District 7: Rep. McDermott Schedules Town Halls

District 7 Rep. Jim McDermott will host two town hall meetings next week.

On August 31, Rep. McDermott will host a telephone town hall from 7 – 8 p.m.  Just prior to 7 p.m. start time, tens of thousands of constituents will be called inviting them to stay on the line to hear Jim talk about the issue and his perspective live.  During the call, people will be able to ask questions

Then, on September 1, McDermott will host a town hall meeting from 7 – 8:30 p.m. at the University of Washington, Meany Hall. Doors will open at 6:15 p.m. and seating will be on a first come basis.  Meany Hall can accommodate 1,200 people, with additional capacity just outside the auditorium, if necessary.  The site was selected because of its large capacity, readily available parking and mass transit options.  According to the University, placards, posters, signs, food and beverages are not allowed in Meany Hall.

For more information, or to contact McDermott, visit

Rep. Norm Dicks Schedules Two Town Halls Aug. 31

District 6 Rep. Norm Dicks scheduled two town hall meetings for Aug. 31 in Port Townsend and Bremerton.

The first meeting takes place from 4-5 p.m. at Fort Worden State Park, Commons Bldg. 210, 200 Battery Way, Port Townsend.

The second meeting takes place from 7:30-9 p.m. at Kitsap Conference Center at Bremerton Harborside, 100 Washington Avenue, Bremerton.

For more information or to contact Rep. Dicks, visit

Attending a Town Hall: Be a part of the process and be prepared

Town hall meetings are open to the general public. If you have never attended one, they tend to vary in terms of prepared formal programming. Usually the intent is for the representative to give a general statement about what they have been working on and then open the floor to questions.

The key is to be ready with a few of the resource materials from the APTA advocacy website.

Get Acquainted: It won’t be exclusive time, but it is a great time to introduce yourself as a physical therapist living (and/or working) in the district.

Say Thank you! : If you are comfortable with public speaking, you can take your turn at the mike, offer thanks of appreciation and offer support for physical therapy coverage under whatever health care reform we end up with. This is the APTA position and is described clearly in the materials on the APTA advocacy site. Keep in mind that though health care reform is front and center in most people’s mind, many issues may come up, you want to keep your interaction concise.

Before you leave: Once the town hall is winding up, be quick and drop off your business card, and your bill information (or save this for a follow-up visit to the district office aides if they are there, or direct to the representative).

Mention you would like to get their co-sponsorship and support on our bills for good patient access to care in their district. Follow-up in a few days with a phone call and ask if they have any questions and if they are ready to cosponsor.

Don’t Forget the “Ask”!

Our Continuing Federal Legislative Priorities: There are so few current Washington bill co-sponsorships it is simpler to ask that you thank your representative for past support and ask for support through co-sponsorship on:

· Repeal of the Medicare Cap HR 43/S46

· Direct Access, HR 1829/S 950 to physical therapists for medicare patients


· HR the HR 2891 – support establishment of student loan repayment for frontline care providers (including physical therapists) in frontline scarcity (underserved) areas

· Student Loan Forgiveness HR 988-S1057 – inclusion of physical therapists as future participant eligibility for student loans under the National Student Health Corps

The APTA position papers are on the advocacy portion of the APTA website.

A first successful visit to the town hall may be simply having your representative and staff hear your name and know that a physical therapist is present. They need to know that we are anxious to share our health care reform priorities and that you will be contacting them in the future.

Ask for co-sponsorship – remind them when you make a follow-up call – let them know you were at their town hall! And that you are checking to see if they are ready for co-sponsorship!

Give it a try!

Sharon E. McCallum, PT, DPT
Federal Affairs Liaison, Physical Therapy Association of Washington

PT Begins Her Run for Congress

Illinois State Representative Elizabeth Coulson, who has been an APTA member since 1976, begins her run for Congress today. She has been a state representative for 12 years and in that time has fought for, and achieved, fiscally sound real reforms in Illinois, including the first prescription drug program for seniors, the Illinois Patients’ Bill of Rights, the Illinois Safe Haven Law which has saved more than fifty abandoned babies, and improved programs and services for the disabled, according to an APTA Information Bulletin emailed today.

Coulson has the full support of APTA and PT-PAC. If she is successful, she will be the only PT in Congress.

For more information about Coulson and her campaign, visit

Improving Orthopedic Outcomes with Evidence-based Edema Treatments at PTWA Fall Conference

I could not have been more shocked or excited when a TKA patient increased knee flexion by 28 degrees in just two days using the home program taught in this class. I have been a therapist for 16 years and have never seen any other modalities or treatment approaches that have provided the same outcomes in such a short period of time. I continue to see remarkable outcomes with increasing range of motion, reducing pain and improving function by treating the lymphatic system directly and have been so thrilled to see patients able to make these gains using a home program.

I taught this course in Portland, Ore. at the Oregon Chapter’s spring conference. Participants told me they wanted to see this information taught in the academic settings for all physical therapists and physical therapist assistants.

I am excited to share these treatment strategies with you, including those that I used during my doctoral research to control knee pain with this home program, which reduced knee pain from 8/10 to 2/10 in only two weeks.

Looking forward to sharing these tools with you at the PTWA Fall Conference in Tacoma.

Loraine Lovejoy-Evans, MPT, DPT, CLT-Földi.