“I was first introduced to physical therapy when my dad had an accident that left him with a lot of physical limitations. After months of physical therapy, my dad was able to walk and do the things he loved again. I looked into the field and saw an opportunity to help people,” says Kraig Carpenter, PT, DPT reflecting on how he started his career in physical therapy.
Kraig received both his bachelor’s degree in health science and his doctorate in physical therapy from the University of Michigan-Flint. His post-graduate focus has been on the use of manual therapy techniques and sports injury rehabilitation. Kraig played several sports in high school and was a baseball player for Mott Community College. Because of his personal experience, he is a great physical therapist for sports-related injuries and feels that he is able relate to athletes. One of his most memorable patients is a seventy-six-year-old male who was an avid paddle ball player. He suffered from a shoulder injury and was frustrated that he wasn’t able to play the game that he loved. By the end of his therapy, he reported to Kraig that he was able to play with minimal limitations.
Kraig is a wonderful addition to Advanced Physical Therapy Center’s Grand Blanc clinic. In his practice, he likes to incorporate functional and activity-based exercises that utilize the whole body in order to best improve functional ability. He considers himself to be a friendly person with a good sense of humor, which, he feels, helps in dealing with patients who are in pain or apprehensive about therapy. “I try to build a good rapport with my patients, so I can gain their trust. I also like to get the whole picture. The more I get to know my patient, the more I can help them,” says Kraig. One of his goals is to help his patients be more active. He says he tries to leave each of his patients with something that can benefit them for a life time. Many patients have thanked him for how he helped to change their outlook on life.
Kraig is from the Flint area and in his leisure time, plays slow pitch softball and loves to go camping. His two boys, Kaden and Jaxton, keep he and his wife, Jenn, pretty busy as well.
Grand Blanc Clinic:
10809 S. Saginaw St.
Grand Blanc, MI 48439
Helping a patient live pain-free and getting them back to living their normal life is, for most physical therapists, their number-one priority. Matt Koziol, PT, DPT likes to take this a step further by incorporating modalities and manual therapy on the patient’s first visit to help reduce pain an individual is experiencing and give them a positive outlook in therapy.
Matt’s journey in the field began after a stint of physical therapy in high school for a shoulder injury. It was there that he decided to pursue a career in physical therapy. He received both his bachelor’s degree in exercise science and his doctorate in physical therapy from the University of Toledo. His post-graduate focus has been on the use of manual therapy techniques, and he hopes to gain a certification in functional dry needling and the McKenzie Technique. Matt also likes to work with his hands, so physical therapy was a perfect match for him. “Using my hands in physical therapy helps me to tell which muscles are firing, over-firing or inhibited. Knowing that allows me to tailor a program that either facilitates or inhibits movements. This improves overall movement patterns, which, typically, improves the underlying condition. Also, being able to perform manual therapy gives a patient a sense of relief relatively quickly, and there is nothing better than having a patient walk out of therapy feeling better than when they came in,” states Matt.
Matt’s wife, Heather, works as a physical therapist as well. Her job is what, originally, brought them to Michigan. Matt treats patients out of Advanced Physical Therapy Center’s Grand Blanc clinic, and in his day-to-day practice, he enjoys treating athletes, geriatric patients and any upper extremity injury. In his spare time, he likes to go running, weight train or go to the movies. He also has fun playing with his dog, Hardy. For several years, Matt was an instructor and volunteer for Delay the Disease, which is an exercise program to help Parkinson’s patients overcome freezing during their gait (walking). “I found it to be so rewarding to help build up their confidence again and improve their quality of life,” says Matt about his volunteer time.
When you ask Matt about his experience working at Advanced Physical Therapy Center, he will likely tell you, “We have a definite team spirit here and the atmosphere for the patients as well as staff is friendly.” He considers himself to be very ambitious and is driven to provide all his patients the best care possible.
Grand Blanc Clinic:
10809 S. Saginaw St.
Grand Blanc, MI 48439
Think about all the things we do with our hands. We touch, hold, write, cook, eat, and button shirts with our hands and the list goes on. What if you lost complete or partial function of your hand? How would that affect your quality of life? What changes would you have to make to adapt? After an injury, wouldn’t you want the best treating your most precious tools? That is why it is so important to see a certified hand therapist.
A certified hand therapist is specially trained in the most intricate details of the hand, wrist, forearm, elbow, upper arm, shoulder, and brachial plexus (the nerves and corresponding vascular bundles exiting the neck). This knowledge, affords you the assurance that you have the best treating your injury, and that your CHT can effectively treat and rehabilitate even the most complicated injuries and surgeries. Your CHT knows the proper protocols for open or sutured wounds, scars, broken bones, the reduction of swelling, and new incisions and stitches. According to Kim Turner, PT, CHT, “You don’t have to be afraid to start therapy after injury or surgery. When you are in the hands of a highly trained certified hand therapist, you will get a better outcome with your injury the earlier you start.” CHTs work closely with the physician and patient to provide a continuum of care. In fact, hand surgeons trust and refer their patients only to certified hand therapists. This is because the anatomy of the arm and hand frequently requires very delicate surgery, often with microscopic techniques. The technical complexity of these kinds of surgeries necessitates a high level of competence by therapists with advanced skills in upper quarter rehabilitation. CHTs are knowledgeable about these advanced surgical techniques and postoperative therapy programs. With some injuries and conditions, it is essential to seek the help of certified hand therapist for the design and implementation of exercise programs to increase motion, dexterity, and/or strength immediately following an injury or surgery. Also, if a patient waits too long to seek the help of a certified hand therapist, they risk the development of scar tissue build-up and stiffness, which can cause pain and limitations in function. Kim treated a patient where this happened. “The course of actual recovery took twice as long because the patient was too scared to come in for treatment before the stitches were out,” states Kim. For these reasons, many athletes, musicians, and artists seek out CHTs for the treatment of their activity related injuries.
Certified hand therapists can also help with the management of acute or chronic pain, desensitization following nerve injury or trauma, and sensory re-education after nerve injury. Certified hand therapists are the only therapists able to provide custom splinting to prevent or correct injuries. They also provide training in the performance of daily life skills through adapted methods and equipment. Another essential a CHT provides is a conditioning program prior to returning to work.
For those suffering from osteoarthritis (painful swollen joints in the hands or wrist), a certified hand therapist can provide instruction on proper exercise and mechanics to protect joints, manage pain, and increase function. Other conditions or injuries that would be important to seek the help of a CHT also include deQuervain’s Tenosynovitis, digital amputation, distal radius fractures, ulnar-sided wrist pain, tendon lacerations/ruptures (both flexor and extensor), phalangeal (finger) fractures, wrist fractures, trigger finger, swan neck deformities, boutonniere deformities, and rheumatoid arthritis. They can also treat conditions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow), and rotator cuff injuries.
Advanced Hand Rehab is available at all seven Advanced Physical Therapy Center locations. For more information, go to http://www.AdvancedHandRehab.com or call:
Grand Blanc – (810) 695-8700
Clio – (810) 687-8700
Flint – (810) 732-8400
Hartland – (810) 632-8700
Goodrich – (810) 636-8700
Davison – (810) 412-5100
Clarkston – (248) 620-4260