Julie’s story may be like yours. She discovered the benefits of aquatic rehabilitation through her own recovery needs.
Julie Bergmann, PT, OCS, TPS, founder and owner of Southern California Aquatic and Physical Therapy, suffered an injury to her hand and elbow that required multiple surgeries. Because of the pain and swelling caused by the injury, she was unable to work or perform even minor tasks for more than 5 months.
She could not perform traditional physical therapy exercises due to the severity of the pain. Julie knew she had to do something to recover. She decided to use her home pool to rehabilitate her hand, arm and body.
Julie was amazed at how much performing exercises in warm water strengthened her arm and entire body without increasing pain. In fact, the pain and swelling reduced beyond her expectations as she improved each day. Julie quickly learned the value of exercising in warm water, and made the decision to provide the community with a healing rehabilitation environment.
Early in 1993, Julie she began networking around the country with other aquatic physical therapists. After taking several intensive courses, Julie founded Southern California Aquatic Therapy.
In October 1995, Julie was the first private practice physical therapist in Orange County to open and own a physical therapy clinic with an on-site indoor therapeutic pool. Julie also specifically designed and built the pool for aquatic rehabilitation. Julie believed that she could bridge aquatic and land physical therapy to enhance her patient’s success in recovery.
Fast-forward to 2005. While Julie was training for the Pacific Coast Triathlon, she began experiencing severe foot pain. That summer, Julie was diagnosed with tarsal tunnel syndrome. For over 2½ years she was on and off crutches. Julie could not resolve the debilitating pain she felt in her foot. After two surgeries, a staph infection and CRPS symptoms, Julie committed herself to perform aquatic therapy exercises in the clinic pool every day. She was finally able to walk again without severe pain.
Today, Julie still strongly believes the power of warm water physical therapy is what has enabled her to return to all of her everyday activities. “It helped my mind and body to heal.”
Julie’s commitment to recovery allowed her to compete in the 2010 Pacific Coast Triathlon.
Julie can relate to the pain, the feelings of hopelessness, and all those “Am I crazy? “ moments of dealing with disabling chronic pain. She encourages you to not give up and become your own advocate – the answers are out there. Don’t accept “you just have to live with it”. You CAN feel better!
Julie Bergmann, PT, OCS, TPS
- B.S Exercise Physiology, 1986, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
- Physical Therapy, 1989, Mount St. Mary’s College, LA, CA
- Served on the Physical Therapy Board of California appointed by Governor Pete Wilson, 1996-1997
- Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner (CKTP), 2007
- Orthopedic Certified Specialist, Board of Clinical Specialties, American Physical Therapy Association, 2007
- Therapeutic Pain Specialist Certification, International Spine and Pain Institute, Evidence in Motion (in process)
- American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) member since 1989
- California Chapter APTA member
- Special Section Memberships: Private Practice, Orthopedic, Aquatic Section, Geriatric
- Special Interest Group Membership: Pain
- Speaker at Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Association National Conference, February 2016, Long Beach, CA, “Brain Retraining and Aquatic Therapy for CRPS”.
- Member of RSDSA, International Association for the Study of Pain
- Participated in 5 day research conference “Piecing Together the Pain Puzzle”, July 2015 , Rhode Island
Julie has recently successfully completed the Therapeutic Pain Specialist Certification. This certification is the first of its’ kind in the country focusing on the latest pain research with new treatment options. Pain Education and being a part of the solution to the opioid epidemic is Julie’s passion. She believes the more education a client receives, the more successful the recovery process to achieve a better quality of life. She believes in treating the client as a whole, with the goal of empowering each individual with the education and tools necessary to achieve a better quality of life.
Julie loves learning about new and exciting treatments and techniques to help patients, and plans to bring research into the clinic by working with other educational institutions to find more effective tools to help people in chronic pain.
Julie’s recommended reading on Chronic Pain:
- Confronting Chronic Pain, Steven Richeimer, MD
- Explain Pain, Lorimer Mosely and David Butler
- Why Does it Hurt, Adriaan Loew
- Phantoms in the Brain, V.S Ramachandran MD, PhD, and Sandra Blakeslee
- The Brain’s Way of Healing, Norman Doidge, MD
- The Brain that Changes Itself, Norman Doidge, MD
- Mind Over Medicine, Lissa Rankin, MD
- Pain Solutions, Lee Dellon, MD
Call Southern California Aquatic and Physical Therapy at (714) 375-1755 today to learn more about how aquatic therapy, the bridge to wellness and pain education can help you.