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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.


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What to Expect from your Body when Expecting

Dawn Muller

Welcome to my world.  My current season of life includes baby showers, birth announcements, and playing with an ever-growing group of friends’ children, I have both professionally and personally discussed the role of a physical therapist during pregnancy. I often see women in my clinic that did not know they could have less pain and better function during their pregnancy.  Hoorah for the possibilities!

Some of the common  aches and pains during pregnancy include spine pain, hip pain, knee pain, and foot pain. Women may have difficulty walking, sitting, standing, sleeping, caring for older children, working, or getting dressed. As your baby (and baby bump) grows, your body experiences hormonal changes, particularly one called relaxin, that make ligaments and connective tissue looser. Subsequently, your posture, gait (the way you walk), and your range of motion can all change.  Physical therapy is a great option to address these problems through manual therapy, soft tissue mobilization, posture and gait assessment, recommendations for positioning, ergonomics for you workplace, and body mechanics for doing your activities of daily living. Individualized exercise prescription may include stretching and strengthening for muscles that are tight or weak.

Not pregnant yet? The American Physical Therapy Association recommends 5 ways to prepare for pregnancy.

  1. Strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. This is commonly referred to as Kegels. You want to be able to tighten the correct muscles, instead of your buttocks and thighs, as this can help prevent leaking during pregnancy. However, doing this incorrectly can worsen conditions such as incontinence, pelvic pain, and low back pain. A women’s health specialist in physical therapy can instruct you in how to perform these exercises safely and correctly.  We just happen to have one of those in our clinic!

  2. Prepare for “baby belly” by focusing on your core.  This can help prevent a diastasis recti, which is where the abdominal muscles separate vertically between the muscles that make a “6 pack.” This separation can contribute to low back pain, pelvic pain, and other injuries when other joints try to take up the slack from a weakened core.

  3. Breathe! Sounds easy, but most of us do not do this well. Proper breathing and relaxation techniques can reduce your stress and help with pain whether or not you are pregnant.

  4. Begin a regular fitness routine. Exercise helps many things in general, but specifically in pregnancy it reduces cortisol and increases your muscle and cardiovascular strength to have a healthy pregnancy. Once you are pregnant consider lower impact exercise, such as swimming, walking on even surfaces, biking, or using an elliptical machine. If you are already a runner, be aware that your ligaments loosen as you progress during pregnancy and you may develop different aches and pains. Also, to prevent organ prolapse with the jarring motion during running, you may want to wear undergarments to support your pelvic floor or compression shorts.

  5. Practice good posture. Good posture is helpful throughout the lifespan and can drastically change during pregnancy. A physical therapist can evaluate your posture and show you how to correct it for optimizing muscular balance.

Pregnancy is a miracle of life, but from what I’ve heard it can be a long 9 months. A physical therapist is an asset before, during, and after pregnancy in improving pain and function. For more resources on how a physical therapist can help you go to

What the heck is DRY NEEDLING?

Dawn Muller


What the heck is Dry Needling?

Let’s face it, most of us hate the thought of needles. Some of us even pass out at the site of a long, sharp needle aimed at our anatomy. I, personally, have chased more than one of my children around the doctor’s exam table at vaccination time. So, as I explain this, I will take your concerns to heart. Dry needling is actually a treatment to reduce pain! It can also be used for healing and improving motion. I know what you are thinking. How can a needle reduce my pain? To be specific, dry needling is a treatment based on western medicine and current understanding of neuroanatomy ( how nerves, muscles, and other body parts work together). A needle about the thickness of a human hair isinserted into muscles, tendons, or ligaments to improve movement, speed healing, and reduce pain. Medical studies have shown that dry needling kick starts the healing process particularly well. It also has been shown to change the chemical reactions at the site of irritation by reducing the chemicals that create both pain and inflammation. The chemical response it creates literally blocks the transmission of pain messages. Does it hurt? In most cases, the sensation is more like a quick prick followed by a dull ache that lessens usually in seconds. Most people think the needle has little sensation, particularly in light of the pain that they are already experiencing. Also newer treatments use a “comfort tube” around the needle that further lessens the sensation. Many times I will insert the needle and the person will ask when I am going to start. So while dry needling may not be painless, it is usually comfortable. So why would you do it…..You know those tight and painful spots in your shoulder and shoulder blade that talk to you when you work at your computer? Dry needling is the perfect way to tame that muscular tiger. Are you tired of your chronic plantarfascitis or tennis elbow? Dry needling works well for that too. Usually patients report increased motion and decreased pain within two to three visits. Headache got you down? The tension at the back of the neck melts with the dry needling. While it will not cure the common cold or treat your allergies, dry needling is a great option for reducing neuromuscular issues.

Here are some common conditions that respond well to Dry Needling:

1. Acute and chronic tendonitis

2. Sore and tight muscles or “trigger points”

3. Athletic and work related overuse injuries

4. Chronic pain

5. Headaches

6. Neck and Back pain

7. Knee arthritis

8. Frozen shoulder

9. TMJ or Jaw pain

Dry Needling works best in concert with a larger treatment plan. For example, with a frozen shoulder, you will need to stretch that joint as the dry needling reduces the tightness and pain. For your headaches, it might be necessary to look at your posture or work station set up along with dry needling. After all, you want the best result possible, right? The good news is that dry needling is usually covered by insurance. So what are you waiting for?

Top 5 Reason to Choose Thrive for Personal Training

Dawn Muller

1.  Physical therapists are the musculoskeletal and movement EXPERTS

2.  Access to injury prevention education

3.  The American College of Sports Medicine predicted 2014 fitness trend of the year…BODYWEIGHT TRAINING…just what Thrive prescribes

4.  Collaboration between physical therapist and personal trainer in order to provide high level and individualized training

Call 229-228-9019 to schedule a consultation. 

5.  Our healthcare background and experience allows exercise around old injuries and other health problems