Are You Game Ready?

We have all heard the acronym RICE, right?  This, typically, means Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.  You use it when you have an acute injury, such as an ankle sprain.  We use this same type of treatment in our physical and occupational therapy practice as well. We use taping techniques or wrap the injured area to apply compression, and we use cold packs to apply cold therapy to our patient’s injuries.  We know it is one of the best ways to reduce swelling and help with pain.  As therapists we are introduced to many pieces of therapy equipment and some we invest in and some we don’t.  One we have invested in is the Game Ready System.

Game Ready is the most effective solution for aching athletes and recovering orthopedic Game Ready with a patientpatients. The Game Ready System simultaneously applies active compression with cold therapy, amplifying the body’s recovery efforts.

The Game Ready control unit allows for full customization, making highly effective cold compression therapy. We use it on our athletes, orthopedic patients and patients suffering from a musculoskeletal injury.

How does Game Ready work?

The clinician will select the appropriate pressure and time setting preferences, the ice water filled machine will circulate the cold water throughout the garment wrap and pneumatically applies compression to the desired extremity.

How does Game Ready compare to other Cryotherapy Units?

  • Ergonomic wraps are highly adjustable and allow for complete extremity coverage.
  • Cold fluid circulates the affected area, while simultaneous compression is actively applied.
  • Temperature and compression intensity can be easily adjusted.

This treatment is available at all seven Advanced Physical Therapy Center clinics.  It is just one more way we provide the best care possible for you.

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Dry Needling Vs. Acupuncture

Here at Advanced Physical Therapy Center, we use dry needling in our practice every day.  We have several physical therapists on staff that are trained in its use.  Dry needling is within a physical therapist’s scope of practice and is very different from acupuncture. People often get confused on the difference of which is which, when they are used and by whom.  The Dry Needling Institute had a very good commentary explaining the difference.  Please read below.

dry needling kneeAcupuncture and dry needling, while using the same needle types, are two very different treatments. Traditional acupuncture is used for the diagnosis and treatment of pathological conditions including visceral and systemic dysfunction, while dry needling is used for the assessment and treatment of myofacial pain syndromes and dysfunction due to myofacial trigger points, tension areas, muscle spasm, and/or increased tonicity.

Acupuncture achieves pain relief through the release of endorphins and creating balance in the body’s energy levels. Through the release of serum cortisol, acupuncture can also have an anti-inflammatory effect.

Dry needling (DN) also acts via the release of endorphins and serum cortisol but also achieves pain relief and bio-mechanical re-function by deactivating the trigger points at the muscle-cell level and thus eliminating the nociceptive focus of the muscle. The needles also cause localized hemorrhaging, which promotes healing by stimulating collagen and protein formation.  Dry needling is specific in its selection and searching for trigger points relevant to the clients disorder as interpreted by a western assessment and diagnostic protocols.

For physical therapists, DN is more popular because there is no need to train in dry needling 1traditional acupuncture methods in order to practice the technique of dry needling. These therapists are already working with myofascial problems in their clinics and have the ideal background to integrate dry needling techniques, quickly and effectively, into their treatment and rehabilitation protocols.

Dry needling is also a part of our Wellness Program and is perfect for post-graduate patients who have received dry needling during their formal therapy sessions but need a “tune-up” from time-to-time.  This service is available at most of our seven clinics on a cash pay basis.  To contact your nearest APTC to find out more about dry needling, go to our website.



Functional Training vs. Functional Training

There is a little confusion when it comes to the term “functional training” or “functional exercise”.  You may have heard your personal trainer mention it a time or two during your training sessions.  In the fitness industry, they are referring to a movement or a way of teaching clients exercises that are supposed to mimic every day activities.  These exercises are oriented on using big, multi-joint exercises that use lots of muscles including the important “core” abdominal and deep back muscles.  Many times, they include the use of exercise balls and bands, free weights and plyometric exercises.

Functional training has its origins in rehabilitation.  Physical and occupational therapists use functional training for patients who have movement disorders or any injury that is keeping them from performing their activities of daily living.  Interventions are designed to incorporate task and context specific practice in areas meaningful to each patient, with an overall goal of functional independence. The therapists select specific exercises that closely mimic the movements those patients need to perform at home and/or at work and teach them more efficient ways to complete those activities.  These exercises don’t necessarily include the use of weight-bearing activities like they do in the fitness industry.  Thus, if the patient were a marathon runner, training would be targeted toward re-building endurance; and if the patient were a homemaker and cleaning the floors were their goal, rehabilitation would be targeted toward getting down on the floor and up again safely and in the most efficient way possible.  But, if a patient’s job required repeatedly heavy lifting, rehabilitation would be targeted toward heavy lifting. Treatments are designed after careful consideration of the patient’s condition, what he or she would like to achieve and ensuring goals of treatment are realistic and achievable.

Now to confuse things more, let’s throw in Functional Movement Screen (FMS).  A FMS is a screening, administered by a specialist, that measures seven fundamental functional movement patterns on a person to identify movement limitations and left/right muscle asymmetries. It identifies potential issues in order to prevent injuries before they happen.

Here are the seven fundamental movement patterns that the FMS tests:

  • Deep Squat (Lower Body): Assesses functional mobility and symmetry of the hips, knees and ankles.
  • Hurdle Step (Lower Body): Gauges stability and functional mobility of the hips, knees and ankles.
  • In-Line Lunge (Lower Body): Assesses torso, shoulder, hip, and ankle stability and mobility, as well as quadriceps flexibility and knee stability.
  • Shoulder Mobility (Upper Body): Assess shoulder range of motion as well as shoulder blade mobility
  • Straight Leg Raiser (Lower Body): Gauges functional hamstring and calf flexibility while maintaining a stable pelvis
  • Trunk Stability Push-Up (Upper/Lower Body): Used to assess symmetrical core stability
  • Rotary Stability (Upper/Lower Body): Assesses core stability in combination with upper and lower body


The results from these movements are scored on a scale 0 to 3.

0 — Movement was painful, requiring a referral to a healthcare professional.
1 — Inability to perform or complete a functional movement pattern.
2 — Ability to perform a functional pattern, but with some degree of compensation.
3 — Unquestioned ability to perform the functional movement pattern.

The screen must be performed by a trained specialist.  During the screen, the specialist is looking for specific movements or patterns that can indicate a limitation or asymmetry. If they find a limitation or asymmetry, this type of movement is less efficient and can put you at risk for injury.  The results from this screen are used in the fitness industry to create what they call “functional training” programs, concentrating on strengthening the weak areas .  Therapists also use this screen in their therapy programs to retrain the patient’s movement patterns.  Overall, the test is a helpful tool for both the fitness and physical therapy industry.

Kelly McCarthyKelly Lubera, PT, DPT is our Goodrich clinic director and is trained in functional training.

Goodrich Clinic
7477 S. State Rd., Ste. B
(810) 636-8700


kennedy_amy aptc 6-26-2017 bhphotographicAmy Kennedy, PT, DPT is located at our Clio clinic and is a specialist in Functional Movement Screen (FMS).

Clio Clinic
303 S. Mill St.
(810) 732-8400


Benefits of Rehabbing in the Water

     Aquatic therapy is a specialized form of physical or occupational therapy. For years, therapists have utilized aquatic therapy with a variety of patient populations with positive results. The special properties of water allow those who are unable to exercise on land to engage in physical activity. The use ofKristin C Davison Pool aquatic therapy
water is specifically recommended for restoration, maintenance and increasing function in patients with acute, transient or chronic disabilities, syndromes or diseases, such as arthritis, strokes, obesity, and Parkinson’s Disease. Best of all, you don’t need to know how to swim to experience its benefits.
Benefits of Aquatic Therapy
  • Warm water facilitates muscle relaxation and increases peripheral circulation.
  • Viscosity of water provides resistance for strength training.
  • Warm water stimulates body awareness, balance, and trunk stability.
  • The reduction of gravitational forces in the pool allows the patient to stand and begin gait training and strengthening exercises without causing further damage to healing structures.
  • Warm water and buoyancy results in decreased pain sensitivity.
  • Improvement of patient morale and confidence can be established by providing a positive medium in which to function.
Clinician Goes to Continuing Education in Aquatic Therapy
     Kristin Coleman, LPTA, ATRIC, recently attended a conference in Chicago for continuing education in aquatic therapy (AT). Kristin has been certified in AT since 2013 through Aquatic Therapy & Rehabilitation International. Kristin is located at our Davison clinic inside the Davison Athletic Club where she performs aquatic therapy in their pool. She offers both private and group therapy sessions (stipulations apply to group sessions, please contact the Davison clinic for details). Aquatic therapy is a great option for those who cannot exercise on land due to issues like arthritis or knee replacement. We also have aquatic therapy available at our Clarkston clinic inside Deer Lake Athletic Club. You can get to know Kristin by reading her biography below.

     Kristin Coleman, LPTA, ATRIC has been a valued part of Advanced Physical Therapy Center’s clinical staff since 2005. She received her physical therapist assistant degree from Baker College of Muskegon in 2004. She is working toward a bachelor’s degree in healthcare management from Baker College as well.

Kristin continues to expand her knowledge and expertise by attending a variety of continuing education classes, for example she has attended the DiMaggio Technique for back and neck pain, the Graston Technique (instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization), Kinesiology Taping, and Muscle Energy Technique (manual therapy for somatic dysfunction). She received a certification in aquatic therapy from the Aquatic Therapy & Rehab Institute in 2013 and has attended courses pertaining to aquatic therapy every year since.
Kristin Coleman     Kristin is from the Flint area, but now lives in Davison. She is the clinic director of Advanced Physical Therapy Center in Davison. In her spare time, she likes to go kayaking, boating and camping. She is a big Tiger’s baseball fan and loves watching and attending their games. She is passionate about animals and has four dogs of her own. She is also a volunteer for the Humane Society and the Toys for Tots program.

     When Kristin is working with her patients, she enjoys educating and giving them the “tools” they need to improve their current condition and prevent future issues. She also takes pleasure in helping patients get back to living their normal lives after surgery. “I love running into previous patients and hearing about their continued success. It’s great to know that I was able to contribute to it,” says Kristin. Her work philosophy is that patients shouldn’t dread coming to therapy, and she tries her hardest to help patient enjoy the process.

     She has acquired many patient success stories over the years, but her favorite is one of her patient who had been involved in a terrible car accident, which left them wheel chair bound. But by the end of their therapy program with Kristin, the patient was able walk out of the clinic for the last time with only the use of a cane for assistance. “I want my patients to know that I am fully invested in their recovery and helping them reach their goals. It is so rewarding to know that you helped a patient live pain-free or helped them to gain mobility,” states Kristin.
Our Davison clinic is located at 2138 Fairway Drive (inside the Davison Athletic Club).  You can contact Kristin at (810) 412-5100.

Take Advantage of the Same Technology the Detroit Lions Use

Advanced Physical Therapy Center is now offering a breakthrough technology used on professional athletes called deep oscillation therapy or Hivamat

HIVAMAT is a unique, patented treatment method. This advanced therapy gets its name from a description of what it does: (HI) Histological (VA) Variable (MA) Manual (T) Technique. It utilizes an intermittent electrostatic field to create what is known as Deep Oscillation. These electrostatic waves create a kneading effect deep within the damaged tissues, rapidly relaxing muscles, alleviating pain, and reducing swelling while restoring flexibility and blood supply to the affected area. Its special structure allows biologically effective oscillations in the treated tissue using electrostatic attraction and friction. In contrast to other therapies, these pleasant oscillations have a gentle and deep-acting effect on all tissue components (skin, connective tissue, muscles, blood and lymph vessels).

The following physiological effects of HIVAMAT are clinically proven:

Pre and post-operative therapy

With HIVAMAT therapy, swelling, redness, and edema can be relieved pre- and post-Hivamatoperative considerably faster than with conventional therapies. Because it can be used at an extremely early stage, wound healing processes are stimulated and accelerated, local inflammation is inhibited and pain is significantly reduced over a sustained period. Scar quality is improved.

Traumatic and neurological damage

For traumatic and neurological injuries and damage, HIVAMAT has a significant edema-reducing effect, directly stimulates self-mobilization in areas relieved of pain, and enables an earlier return to active forms of therapy and activities of daily living. In brain stroke rehabilitation, it is used for gentle and effective lymphatic drainage.

Pain syndromes

For chronic pain conditions, such as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, HIVAMAT has a strong pain-relieving effect. This establishes the possibility to tackle impairments in daily life, fatigue, muscle stiffness, fears and depression:

• Anti-inflammatory
• Effective in reabsorbing edema
• Promotes wound healing
• Muscles are relaxed
• Alleviation of pain is enhanced
• Mobility is promoted
• Highly effective in reducing pain

The HIVAMAT can be used to treat anyone with the need to reduce swelling, relieve soft tissue pain or recover faster from an injury. Including conditions such as:

• Muscle tension, spasms, and cramps
• Numbness, tingling, and other indications of pinched nerves
• Whiplash and other trauma
• Joint sprains, muscle strains, and sports injuries
• Tennis elbow, tendonitis, and other repetitive movement issues
• Arthritis, bursitis and other degenerative joint concerns
• Hip pain, sciatica, and stiffness
• Carpal tunnel syndrome
• Migraine headache
• Plantar fasciitis

HIVAMAT Therapy is used by over 60 professional sports teams (including the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Lions), over 100 university athletic departments and thousands of hospitals and physicians worldwide. We are pleased to offer this impressive therapy to you for improved results.