By Dr. Tamra Wroblesky, DPT

When Katie Montague, a 24 year old competitive Olympic weightlifter from Long Branch, NJ, walked into my office 8 months ago, she had reached a breaking point, unsure of what was happening to her body. Katie was experiencing severe coccyx pain and full urinary incontinence during heavy lifts at the beginning of her weightlifting career. She began competing a year and a half ago, after discovering the sport through CrossFit. Katie began CrossFit four and a half years ago and is currently both a USAW Level 1 coach and a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer at Long Branch CrossFit at Absolute Gym.

This past August, Katie was unable to sit, walk, or lift without pain, and was dealing with severe incontinence issues. As any athlete understands, there is an exorbitant amount of time, energy and heart that goes into training, especially when your goals are as big as Katie’s. It is both disheartening and devastating when our own bodies prevent us from achieving our goals.

“I was at a point where I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t lift, I couldn’t pull from the floor, or squat, I couldn’t perform the fundamental parts of most of my lifts. Nothing was helping, the pain only grew more intense until I couldn’t lift at all. This was the most frustrating time in my life because I knew I was unhealthy, but I was unsure of where to look for help,” explained Katie.  

Luckily, a fellow member of the CrossFit community, Lisa Ricker, a part time physical therapist at Inner Dynamics, pointed her my way. After an initial evaluation in August 2016, I explained to Katie what was happening with her body and how we were going to fix it. The news was overwhelming, but she was prepared to put in the hard work to take her life back. Initially, her expectations were to minimize and eliminate her pain. She never anticipated competitively lifting again, especially after learning about her various imbalances and issues, but as treatment proceeded she slowly began to feel better, stronger, and willing to give lifting a second chance.

By December 2016, a mere three months after starting physical therapy, and only a month and a half of fully lifting again, Katie completed in the American Open in Orlando, Florida. She placed 9th in her weight class as a 48kg (105 lb) lifter. This was a tremendous accomplishment that highlights Katie’s drive, motivation and courage in all that she does.

Outside of lifting, Katie has obtained her Master of Information degree and is a Manuscript Metadata and Quality Assessment Assistant at the Princeton Theological Seminary Library. There is a reason why she is referred to as the @theliftinglibrarian on social media.  

Inner Dynamics Physical Therapy continues to support Katie through prohabilliation and maintenance therapy in order to enhance her performance and prevent any future injuries from occurring. At IDPT we focus on the whole body system as we have treated Katie for her spine, lower body, as well as shoulders issues. We have a personal, hands on approach, offering manual therapy, dry needling, mobilizations, during  private one-on-one treatment sessions. As an avid lifter myself, we are one of the few physical therapy practices in the area with a squat rack in our gym, and incorporate athletic training and performance assessments in our sessions.

Recently, we sponsored Katie at the 2017 University National and Under 25 Championships in Gainsville, Florida, where she took home 6 gold medals, earning the title of 2017 University National Champion and 2017 Under 25 National Champion in the 48kg weight class! Katie continues to put in the work during lifting and physical therapy sessions in the hopes of making the USA weightlifting team for Tokyo 2020.

“Inner Dynamics Physical Therapy is a place where I feel safe. It’s a place of growth, development, and hope. It’s a place where I found a home. Tamra and Alison are two of the most wonderful people I’ve ever met. I came to them for help, not knowing I’d gain a family full of support and love. I’m so grateful that I found them on my journey. Because this isn’t just my journey, it’s our journey, and I love that they are a crucial part of it.”


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