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511 Gordon Avenue
Thomasville, GA, 31792

(229) 228-9019

THRIVE Physical Therapy and Fitness: Private Treatment Rooms, Manual Therapy, Women's Health, Chronic Pain, Spine Pain, Fitness Training, Weight Loss, Diabetes, Headaches, Sports Injury, Dance Recovery, Scar Release, Scoliosis, Balance Training, Vertigo, and more.


Getting to Know Your Therapist: Kellie Burch, PT, DPT

Dawn Muller

During the month of October, we begin to celebrate the beginning of the new season. Here at THRIVE, we celebrate October to acknowledge our physical therapists! It is National Physical Therapy Month, and we cannot wait to introduce one of our newest PTs, Dr. Kellie Burch!

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We asked Dr. Burch to share with us a few of the experiences which led her to become a physical therapist. We want our patients to know that our PTs are passionate about their practice, and will work to the best of their ability to assist you in your healing journey.

Why did you become a PT?

I first became interested in physical therapy during my time in the military. Seeing the men and women return from overseas, and the injuries they sustained, had a huge impact on me. I saw first-hand the struggle those men and women faced daily just to regain function. I felt drawn to this profession and compelled to take part in the recovery process as my contribution to society.


What steps did you take to make your physical therapy career happen?

Once I decided I was going to be a physical therapist, the hard part began. I enrolled in Florida A & M University to finish my undergraduate degree and applied to to the Doctorate of Physical Therapy program at FAMU. From there it was school, school, and more school. I had no idea how much school I was getting into. Although it was tough, the information was interesting and I found I really enjoyed my time in the classroom and in the clinic. Which is what brought me to Thrive. For one of my clinical rotations, I did an internship at Thrive and fell in love. Luckily, Dawn hired me!! And here I am.


What are some of the jobs you've had before you started your PT career?

Prior to being a PT, I worked in the Army as a laboratory technician in a virology and microbiology lab. Once I got out of the Army, I was in school and had part time jobs on a bee farm, in an organic bakery, and as a microbiology technician at a water facility. I enjoyed them all, but feel PT is where home is.


What is your favorite part of being a PT?

What I enjoy most about being a PT is changing people's energy. We all know that feeling when we are achy… we find yourselves more irritable, maybe evening snapping at people for things we normally wouldn't. This is a result of pain. I love that PTs are literally able to change that “bad” energy into “good energy” merely by relieving pain.


What are some of the job's biggest challenges?

Time management, time management, and time management. Hopefully I will get better at this with more experience.


How do you make certain you are kept up to date on new research or PT practices?

I love to read! I am definitely a book worm. So, reading the latest trends and data relating to PT is fun and exciting. With websites though the APTA, Medbridge, and Cochran's Library, it is easy to stay up to date and in the know on anything PT related that is of interest.


What are some of your favorite courses you have taken?

I love anything pelvic floor related. The pelvis and the pelvic floor function are so interesting. I love learning about how inter-related the body is to pelvic floor function. If you ask me, every patient is a pelvic floor patient!


What is one interesting fact most of our readers/followers/patients may not know about you?

 Hmm, I don't know that I'm that interesting. : ) I guess I would say, that my favorite nerve is the Vagus Nerve. The Vagus nerve is the nerve associated with your parasympathetic system, in other words it is the nerve that stimulates feelings of calmness. There are many ways to stimulate this particular nerve and promote feelings of calmness and relaxation. Relaxing is one of my favorite things to do, so I guess it only makes sense.

Quick Facts: 

•        Favorite Color: Rainbow, who can choose just one 

•        Favorite Drink: Water 

•        Favorite Food: Pizza!! 

•        Favorite Exercise/Activity: Riding cutting horses with my best friends. 

•        Favorite Vacation Spot: I'll let you know when I go on a vacation.

  •        Favorite time of year: Fall, a time for reflection.

  •        Morning Person or Night Owl: Both, I don't sleep well : /

  •        Favorite Quote: “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” Khalil Gibran


Breast Cancer Awareness - A Special Resource for You!

Dawn Muller

October is Breast Cancer awareness month, a campaign designed to increase worldwide awareness to the second most common cancer in women. The ultimate goal of the campaign is to eradicate the diagnosis of breast cancer all together. It has been estimated by the American Cancer Society that there will be an estimated 271,270 new cases of breast cancer in 2019.

 Unfortunately there are some risk factors like age and genetics that are unavoidable. However, an individual can take certain measures to decrease their risk of developing breast cancer. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) suggestions the following recommendations to decrease your lifetime chances of developing breast cancer: regularly exercising and maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol intake, discussing the use of oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy with your provider, and when applicable, breast feeding your child.

 Performing a self examination, by feeling for new lumps, masses, or growths in the breast tissue, is an excellent way to monitor for the development of breast cancer. Other important signs to watch out for are: skin color changes, swelling, a change in breast shape, nipple discharge, pain, skin flaking and itching, skin dimpling, or a nipple that was “an outy” suddenly changing to “an inny”. If you see any of the above mentioned changes, be sure to contact your provider as soon as possible.

 Although some individuals notice breast changes, some do not. This is why is is vital to have regular mammograms beginning around 40 years of age.

Watch this short video resource for more info:

Do You Know Your Movement Vital Signs?

Dawn Muller

Do You Know Your Movement Vital Signs?

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Most people think of heart rate or blood pressure when they think of vital signs. It is common to use numbers to quantify health and risk of disease. The American Heart Association encourages people to "know their numbers" referring to blood pressure, blood cholesterol, blood glucose, and weight. However, research is now showing the importance of moving properly for health.

Let's take a look at some of the numbers you can use to quantify your movement health:

Walking Speed
Walking speed has been called the "sixth vital sign" in medical literature recently. It is easy to measure, and takes into account strength, balance, coordination, confidence, cardiovascular fitness, tolerance to activity, and a whole host of other factors. It has also been shown to be predictive of future hospitalizations, functional decline, and overall mortality. Normal walking speed is considered to be 1.2 to 1.4 meters per second.

Push Ups
Push ups are popular to build strength, but a recent study found that they can show us a lot about your heart too. Researchers found that men who could do 40 or more consecutive push ups were at a 96% lower risk for cardiovascular disease than were men who could do less than 10. The push up test was also more useful in predicting future cardiovascular disease than aerobic capacity measured on a treadmill.

Grip Strength
Hand grip strength has been shown to be strongly correlated with health. The stronger your hand grip is, the less likely you are to suffer from cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, COPD, and all types of cancer. In the study, muscle weakness was defined as grip strength <26 kg for men and <16 kg for women. Grip strength below these numbers was highly correlated with an increase in disease.

Standing From the Floor
If you can't easily get down on the floor and back up your health might be in trouble, according to a study that looked at more than 2,000 people. The study asked people to go from standing to sitting on the floor and back up with as little support as needed. They found that if you need to use more than one hand to get up and down from the floor that you were 2 to 5 times more likely to die in the next 7 years than someone who can do it with just one hand, or even better, no hands at all.

Moving well is obviously important to overall health and longer life. These tests can give a snapshot of how you're doing. If you're having trouble with any of them, considering seeing a movement specialist - like our physical therapists here at Thrive.

Physical Therapists (PTs) in Primary Care? Not as foreign as you might think...

Dawn Muller


Usually we try to give you, our readers and followers, original ideas from our blog. But today we wanted to share an article we found very interesting - and we think you will, too!

Did you know that our own military has redefined primary care for our servicemen to include Physical Therapists as primary care providers? And the results from that healthcare system could teach us a thing or two about our civilian healthcare system.

Read on for more details on the study results here:

We look forward to hearing your thoughts about this, too!

Life Is a Movement Journey ... Here's How Your Thrive Physical Therapist Can Help.

Dawn Muller


Now that spring has arrived, temperatures are starting to rise in many parts of the country. And that means the transition from heating our homes to cooling our homes is right around the corner. No matter what method you use to cool your home during the warm spring and summer months (central air conditioning, window units, or fans and dehumidifiers), each spring you cross your fingers that your approach still works. If not, you might be calling an expert for a tune-up, or in extreme circumstances, you might need a complete overhaul.

Just like an AC system that has probably been dormant for many months of the year, a body that hasn’t been physically engaged on a regular basis may have trouble getting started again. And yet, this time of year, the warm temps draw many people to city and suburban streets, tracks and trails, ready to take that first run of the season. A good percentage of these spring runners haven’t kept up their strides throughout the winter. It should come as no surprise that a 4-mile run for a previously inactive person is going to stir up a few aches and pains.

Especially as we age, our ability to move undergoes changes. But whether we’re talking about a college student or a retiree, returning to an activity without proper planning is a recipe for disaster. That’s where Thrive Physical Therapy & Fitness comes in. Our Physical Therapists (PTs) are trained to treat injuries and ease pain, but they can also help their patients prevent injuries and safely prepare to participate in new activities.

Think of our physical therapists as “movement consultants” who can ensure that your body is physically ready to tackle a new challenge—or resume a favorite leisure activity. Here’s another example to illustrate what we’re talking about: Let’s say that you play in an adult soccer league and you’re preparing to play in your first game of the season in a few weeks. You probably hung up your cleats when the last season ended months ago, but expect to pick up just where you left off. But it’s simply too much to ask for your 2019 debut on the field to be on the same level as the last game of the previous season, when you likely had reached peak performance.

This is a good time for your PT at Thrive to step in and help you shake off the rust. As rehab professionals, we can customize an exercise plan to help you slowly return to sport and avoid an injury that could sideline you for the whole season. Or, like cleaning the filters before firing up your air conditioner for the first time this year, we can help to ensure that your body is prepared to return to its former activity level following a hiatus.

Ensuring Success in Your PT

Dawn Muller

Communicating your physical therapy goals can help your PT design an individualized rehab program.

Communicating your physical therapy goals can help your PT design an individualized rehab program.

When you kick off a new project at work, chances are you spend a fair amount of time setting and reviewing goals. These goals help you—and those you’ll be working with—get a clear sense of what you’re looking to achieve and begin to map out a plan of attack. Along with specific goals, you also probably find it helpful to set some key milestones to ensure that you stay on task and to prevent your motivation from waning.

These same principles apply when going to physical therapy for an injury. Communicating what you hope to get out your therapy sessions can help your physical therapist to individualize the treatment plan and design an exercise program that aligns with your goals. The idea is to move from “I’m here because my knee hurts” to “I’d like my knee to feel better so I can get back to doing X, Y and Z.”

Let’s talk about a concrete example to illustrate goal-setting in action: A father of three ruptures his Achilles tendon while playing a game of pickup basketball after work. When he lands in rehab, he explains to his PT that he’s due to walk his oldest daughter down the aisle at her wedding in a few months. This gives the PT a specific goal—and a timeline—to aim for. Of course, not every patient has a goal tied to such a momentous occasion. It can be as simple as carrying your groceries to your car unassisted or lifting your grandchild into a high chair. Either way, it’s important to have goals—and to communicate them clearly to your physical therapist.

Your PT wants you to get better but without the right guidance from you, he might default to following a checklist and design a program that unknowingly misses your goals. Only you know precisely what you want out of PT: If you have a wrist injury and getting back to your knitting hobby is important to you, then be specific! Another patient could come in with the same injury but have completely different goals, so guide your PT to help you achieve what’s most important.

Proper communication ensures success, and that means you can’t passively participate in your care and simply listen to what the PT recommends. Instead, communication needs to be a two-way street. So next time you’re at physical therapy, speak up: Make sure that your PT knows precisely why you’ve made the appointment, what you hope to get out of it and why it’s important to you. This information not only helps your PT make important decisions about your care but also to think of new ways to keep you motivated during therapy.

If you find yourself making an appointment to see a physical therapist for a new injury or a nagging pain, make sure that you prepare in advance. Being prepared to answer this one simple question can help to ensure that rehab is a success: What brings you to physical therapy today? After all, you wouldn’t walk into a kickoff meeting at work without first giving some thought to the goals that you planned to share with your team, would you?