Melissa Alonzo, PT, DPT
Serving Mountain Athletes Since 2017
Melissa has been practicing Physical Therapy for the past five years. She began her practice with intensive study through the Institute of Physical Art, which set her foundation of her practice. Under this paradigm, Melissa believes that everyone started off "efficient" by evolving through the developmental process. These efficient movement patterns are wired into the brain and body at this very young age. As we age, develop habitual holding patterns or sustain injuries, these efficient movement patterns begin to adapt and change, leading to inefficiencies. In order to fully heal from injuries or pain, these efficient movement patterns are used as a guideline to guide treatment.
Melissa's treatment strategies involve Manual Therapy to address mechanical restrictions, Neuromuscular Re-education and Motor Control.
Mechanical restrictions are physical barriers created by tight joints, muscles, or connective tissue (including fascia). These physical barriers limit our options for movement, further leading towards inefficiencies and inhibition from fully healing from past injuries. Melissa uses a variety of joint and soft tissue mobilization techniques to address these deficits.
Neuromuscular inhibition can be widespread and left untreated in many injuries. This can leave areas of the body susceptible to recurring injury/pain due to the lack of control when treated manually. By using techniques, such as PNF, to facilitate the muscle control throughout range of motion, the gains made in the clinic addressing the mechanical restrictions are then recognized by the brain.
Motor control is learning to move in the efficient patterns. It is crucial in the long-term sustainability of the recovery process. This is done through motor control type exercises, that often feel more like a brain-teaser than a typical muscle burn. Melissa also has an intensive Posture Education program that helps people with recurring low back pain to better understand how they can use their bodies more efficiently and with less pain.
These three pillars are foundational for the success of a long term rehabilitation program.
Finally, the strength component of her practice has grown over the past few years since stepping away from hospital based settings. Melissa has dedicated her practice to working with elite athletes in Track and Field, Ultra Marathons, Freestyle snowboard and skiing, and Nordic and Alpine Ski Racing. She is an active volunteer for US Ski Team and the current Strength Coach for Mammoth Track Club.