Helping to Create a Healthier Workforce

tw-0008Congratulations to Kim Cochran, OTRL, CHT, for becoming a WorkWell Prevention & Care provider.  Kim is a licensed occupational therapist and certified hand therapist out of our Hartland location and is part of the Advanced Hand Rehab team, a division of Advanced Physical Therapy Center.  Becoming a WorkWell Prevention & Care provider means that she is now able to perform functional capacity evaluations (FCE).

The FCE is a comprehensive functional test designed to objectively measure the maximum safe functional abilities of a client across a broad range of physical capabilities for recommendations for return to work/other activities and activities of daily living.  The FCE is standardized, but it also has a flexible design, which can be customized. Included in the FCE is a job specific format where we can clearly identify whether a client is able to perform the specific critical demands of the job.

Advanced Physical Therapy Center has chosen to be a WorkWell provider, because the system they created is researched and evidence based with an international team of researchers dedicated to best practice.  WorkWell developed the “Kinesiophysical” method, which has been recommended world-wide.  The Kinesiophysical method is based on physical movement and uses objective scoring criteria.  WorkWell Systems identified criteria related to physiologic effort level for all activities included in the FCE. Effort level fce-worker-picis based on physiologic criteria that is observed and documented during performance.  Physical musculoskeletal and physiologic findings are correlated with functional abilities and limitations to explain limitations as well as identify solutions. The kinesiophysical approach utilizes the medical/kinesiological knowledge of specific professionals, such as physical and occupational therapists.  WorkWell’s FCE also adheres to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) FCE Recommended Practice Guidelines.

If you are a business owner, case manager, or employee in need of a FCE or would like more information about how Kim can help you, please call her at (810) 632-8700 or send an email to

Advanced Physical Therapy Center and Advanced Hand Rehab have several locations that provide workplace solutions for you, your clients or employees.

These services include:

  • Free consultations
  • Prework screening
  • Disability screening
  • Functional Capacity Evaluations
  • Work conditioning programs
  • Ergonomic assessments

Available in our Flint location (810) 732-8400 / and our Grand Blanc location (810) 695-8700 /

Welcome Anita Hoover, OTRL to the Advanced Hand Rehab Team

hover_anna-apt-bphoto-12-8-2016Anita Hoover, OTRL has a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Baker College of Flint.  She is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association and the Michigan Occupational Therapy Association.  Her future goal is to obtain a national certification in certified hand therapy, which is a prestigious distinction and a challenging credentialing course that entails thousands of hours of clinical work and experience as well as passing a rigorous exam.  In addition to obtaining her certification in hand therapy, her long term goal would be to learn more about lymphedema therapy to help breast cancer patients who are post-mastectomy and suffer from upper extremity swelling.  She had a loved one who battled breast cancer.  She would like to make a difference for others dealing with the same illness and help them in their recovery.

Anita has always had a love for the healthcare field.  Prior to becoming an occupational therapist (OT), she was a certified nurses aide at an extended care facility, where she worked with memory care patients and in the rehabilitation department.  That is where she decided to further her career in healthcare by becoming an OT.  “Being an OT has a broad expansion.  You’re not only working on goals, but you’re also working on the psychological aspect of treatment,” said Anita, who likes to incorporate meditation and relaxation techniques in her treatment protocols.

Anita is also an adjunct instructor for Baker College’s Occupational Therapy Program teaching Occupational Therapy Disease and Disability and Frames of Reference.  While teaching, Anita emphasizes the importance of compassion in an occupational therapist’s practice.  “I feel it helps to understand what the patients are going through on their road to recovery. We are part of the patient’s support system, and giving the patient a positive therapy experience is essential to obtaining maximal goal outcomes,” says Anita.  She also considers herself to be a good listener, which helps her to get the whole picture of the patient and understand their condition.

Anita treats patients out of Advanced Hand Rehab’s Flint location.  She is originally from Royal Oak, MI but now lives in Fenton with her family.  In her spare time, she likes to work out and spend time with her children.

If you ask Anita what she enjoys about occupational therapy, she will tell you, “It is very rewarding to see patients overcome obstacles and to be able to give them the tools to keep doing the things they love to do.  People don’t understand how much you need hand coordination, and once it is gone, what a difference it makes in quality of life.”

You can reach Anita at (810) 732-8400 or


Get to Know Sharice Blalock, PT, DPT

bh-14-23610-blalock-3-10-14-4x5Sharice Blalock, PT, DPT is a practicing physical therapist out of Advanced Physical Therapy Center’s Clarkston clinic and has been an integral part of the team ever since she started with us in 2012.  She is a wonderful therapist and has helped many people get back to living their everyday lives.  Here is a brief biography, so you can get to know her.

At the age of nine, Sharice suffered a blood clot in her cerebellum and had to undergo emergency surgery. The condition was so serious that it left her with debilitating injuries on her left side, and she had to learn how to walk again. She spent nearly four months in occupational and physical therapy.  Because her therapist made such an impact on her life, Sharice decided that when she grew up, she was going to be a physical therapist.—And, that is what she did.

Sharice has been in the field of physical therapy since 2006.  She started her career as an physical therapy aide working for a for an outpatient clinic in Farmington Hills while attending school at the University of Michigan-Flint.  She graduated with her doctoral degree in physical therapy in 2008.

Sharice continues to expand her expertise and has attended several continuing education courses including the Graston Technique, which is instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization; LSVT-BIG for patients with Parkinson’s Disease; myofascial release; and kinesiology taping.

Sharice has been a dancer most her life, and she continues her passion by participating in her church’s liturgical dance team. She is also a Sunday School teacher in their children’s ministry program.  Sharice is originally from Detroit, but now lives in Lake Orion with her husband and daughter.

When you ask Sharice what she likes about being a physical therapist, she would tell you, “I enjoy helping others and meeting people from all walks of life. I feel blessed that I get to change lives through physical therapy and be a blessing to others.”


What is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and Why Would I Need One?

Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists (CSCS) are professionals who apply scientific knowledge to train athletes for the primary goal of improving athletic performance. They conduct sport-specific testing sessions, design and implement safe and effective strength training and conditioning programs, and provide guidance regarding nutrition and injury prevention.

The most respected certification in strength and conditioning is from the National Strength and Conditioning Association. It has a strong emphasis on reactive or power training for athletic performance compared to other certifications. These specialists help athletes reach their absolute potential. You need at least a four-year college degree before you can even take the test. Members have access to several journals focusing on the science behind conditioning as well as practical methods of doing so.  injured football player.jpg

Strength and conditioning specialists have two primary goals. The first is to improve athletic performance, which usually means improving athletes’ speed, strength,and power (although specifics vary according to athlete and sport). They develop systematic training programs for both teams and individual athletes, often working in close association with coaches. This usually includes teaching proper lifting techniques, supervising and motivating athletes as they work out, and assessing their performance before and after the program. The nature of the conditioning program will vary depending on whether the sport is in season or not. During the off-season, conditioning programs can be quite rigorous. In season, conditioning programs tend to focus more on maintaining athletes’ conditioning than on improving it. Conditioning programs also vary by sport, and even by position within the sport.

The second primary goal is to reduce athletic injuries. To that end, certified strength and conditioning specialists often design regimens to strengthen body parts that are prone to injury in a particular sport.  Thus, to prevent athletes from getting injured during training, conditioning coaches must know the correct exercise and lifting techniques and be able to teach them to athletes. They also monitor athletes’ general health, sometimes providing nutritional advice or referring athletes to a registered dietitian if they need more sophisticated nutritional counseling.

Why would you need to see a CSCS?

Certified strength and conditioning specialists arejustin-brown sought out to work with professional, college and high school athletes when they want to take their performance to the next level, want to reduce the incidence of injury, and/or need sport specific training. Many of them work directly for these organizations.

We have a CSCS on our staff by the name of Justin Brown.  Justin is a doctor of physical therapy having received his doctoral degree in physical therapy from the University of Michigan-Flint.  He is a certified athletic trainer and a certified strength and conditioning specialist.  When it comes to sports performance and injury, he has an immense amount of knowledge and experience.

He practices out of Advanced Physical Therapy Center’s Clio clinic and works with local sports teams and individual athletes.  He, most recently, received a certification from the Titleist Performance Institute for golf swing analysis.  If you have an athlete or would like to schedule a free consultation with Justin, please contact him at or call him at our Clio clinic (810) 687-8700.

Human Kinetics, News and Exerpts, Exerpts; Strength and conditioning coach; This is an excerpt from Careers in Sport, Fitness, and Exercise. Edited by American Kinesiology Association;
National Strength and Conditiong Association (NSCA); Education, Becoming a Strength and Conditioning Coach; Becoming a Strength and Conditioning Coach by NSCA Career Series and Michael Favre MEd, CSCS, RSCC;
NSCA; Certification, Becoming a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist; Become a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®);
PT Pioneer, Your Guide to Personal Training; Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) Certification review!;

Ouch! I Just Hurt My Neck!

By Karen Strader, Patient Marketing Manager and Certified Personal Trainer for Advanced Physical Therapy Center.

Like most of the human population, I work at my desk all day.  As a certified personal trainer, I know that it is important to get up and walk around as much as possible, which is something I try to do frequently throughout the day.  But, because I am human, I tend to forget to do my desk exercises, and I am capable of having bad posture from time-to-time. In doing this daily to my body, when it is time for me to work out, I have to be very cognizant of my form and how much weight I use.  Unfortunately, I haven’t always heeded to my own advice.  I am now dealing with my second upper trapezius and/or levator scapulae injury, which basically means that I injured my neck.

If this has ever happened to you, you know it can be very painful and getting sleep can be difficult.  I do have some tips that have worked for me and things that we do at Advanced Physical Therapy Center to help our patients.  Here they are:Image result for neck pain

  1. Stop the activity you are doing.  Rest the injured area.
  2. The next thing you can always do is stop by your local physical therapy clinic for an evaluation.  We do free consultations, and by law we can see you without a prescription.  If you are wanting insurance to pay for physical therapy, you will, most likely, need a prescription from your doctor.
  3. Ice the area for the first 24-72 hours.  It may feel good to put heat on it, but you will make the condition worse.  Wait until after 72 hours to use heat.  Both heat and cold serve their own purposes.  For more information on the uses of heat and cold, refer back to our previous post
  4. Do not take any NSAID, such as ibuprofen, aspirin or naproxen, products the first 48 hours after injury.  You need the inflammation to help heal the area.  In the beginning, use acetaminophen (Tylenol).
  5. I have tried products like Aspercreme with lidocaine.  They, unfortunately, did not work for me.  I do recommend using Biofreeze or Arnica to help with the pain.
  6. Do not get a massage.  I have learned the hard way with this.  Massage to an injured muscle can cause further injury.
  7. Try to keep the injury still.  You could wear a neck brace, but if that is a little impractical for you, I recommend adding a small amount of support with kinesiology tape.  Kinesiology tape also helps to speed healing by increasing lymph drainage and removing lactic acid from the injured area.  Please don’t just go out and buy any tape from your local sports equipment store.  The quality of those products are not always on par with brands used in professional health care settings.  It is also hard to know how to apply the tape properly.  See your physical therapist for instructions on taping and to pick up a quality kinesiology tape.
  8. A side-note for sleeping:  It is going to be hard to find a comfortable position.  Laying down flat is painful with this condition.  I have had to lay on my side and rotate sides or lay with a few pillows stacked underneath my neck and shoulders.
  9. Bottom line … Give it some time.  Don’t rush the healing process.  You WILL feel better again.  If for some reason you are not better in a few days, talk to your doctor or stop by to see us.  There maybe something more going on.
  10. Lastly, talk to your PT about some exercises you can do at your desk or at home to strengthen the neck and shoulder area to prevent future injury.  They can also give you tips on proper posture and ergonomics.