RC: Hello Dr. Kasprowicz how are you today?
Dr. Jan Kasprowicz: I’m doing great today, how are you doing?
Question 1: What are the different components of a typical Physical Therapy program?
RC: So the first question I have is: What are the different components of a typical Physical Therapy program?
Question 2: What types of cutting edge technology do you use in your practice?
RC: Okay and what types of cutting edge technology do you use in your practice?
Dr. Jan Kasprowicz: We have a lot of different higher tech modalities – we call them the equipment in the office. One of the machines that I use pretty much with every patient is a light cured deep tissue laser. The laser actually it works at the same frequency as the mitochondria. It’s a powerful laser, its 25 watts, in penetrates about two inches through your skin and that laser light energy actually interacts with the mitochondria which is the energy production part of your cell. So it goes through muscle, it goes through skin, it goes through bone, it goes through arteries, ligaments and tendons and when it interacts with all those different mitochondria it speeds up the healing process within all those different types of tissue. The second thing that it does, it also increases the amount of ATP or adenosine triphosphate which is the basic fuel of all cells. So it speeds up the metabolism but also helps to push out a lot of inflammation from the area. We also utilize, like I mentioned, movement based therapies. So if somebody’s having an issue in one of their joints and most likely if it’s not a non-traumatic issue it’s probably due to some poor movement pattern that they’ve learned, we’ve just got to re-teach them the proper movement pattern and their pain goes away. We also utilize a graston tool. A graston tool is just a stainless steel tool that we utilize to break up scar tissue. Whenever you have an injury, one of the things the body does is it heals the area with that scar tissue. It does make the area stronger but scar tissue prevents proper biomechanics so the area doesn’t move well and you’re prone to re-injury. So that graston tool, we go in there, agitate the area with it, break up the scar tissue and this way the scar tissue is broken down. One of my favorite things to use is RockTape which is kinesiology tape. A lot of trainers and physical therapists they use athletic tape which is white tape, very sturdy, prevents motion inthe joints. On the contrary, RockTape/Kinesiology tape is very flexible, it’s adhesive, it allows the joint to move within its own range of motion. But the cool thing is it actually pulls inflammation out of the area, you can turn a muscle on. You can turn a muscle off. And when you tape somebody in a specific way you can really get their core to activate when they’re doing specific activities. We also utilize what’s called a power plate. A power plate, it’s a plate that actually you stand on and there’s handles on it too and it vibrates in all three axes, X, Y and Z. By the vibration, it actually stimulates osteoblasts, osteoblasts are actually the cells which create bone. So if you have a stress fracture or if you’re healing from a fracture in your leg or your upper body or even a surgically repaired fracture the vibration will speed up the healing process and something that might take six to eight weeks to heal will heal in half the time. Also the vibration increases the amount of fat and drainage or the amount of swelling that being able to be pushed out of the joint. One of the accessory therapies that we do with our patients if they’re in significant discomfort and they have a soft tissue injury or a fracture. We have what’s called a hyperbaric chamber which is actually a tube that you sit in. It’s air-tight, it’s pretty big. It fits about two adults and the tube actually it forces ambient air which is just air in the room and the increased pressure that’s forced into that tube which goes up to four atmospheres, which is a good amount, the increased pressure forces more oxygen into your blood. So if you have a fracture or a significant sprained ankle or something and you need to perform within two to three weeks, it speeds up the healing process dramatically and breaks the recovery time by about 50%. Our physical therapy equipment consists of TRX suspension straps, kettle bells, bosu balls, resistance bands, weighted medicine balls. The idea is we don’t like to have too much high-tech physical therapy equipment’s because we like our patients to perform a majority of their physical therapy at home. So from a physical therapy strengthening point of view we look at low-tech as the best tech.
RC: Okay wow that’s quite a bit of equipment you have and moving on how do you focus on improving performance in addition to healing and recovery?
Dr. Jan Kasprowicz: Well we always focus on improving performance, that’s the basis of everything. Doesn’t matter if you’re an NFL linebacker, if you’re a division 1 track athlete or if you’re a plumber or blue-collar worker or you’re just a secretary in an office. It’s all about performance. Either performance with your job or performance with your sport. You need to perform in a safe and efficient manner and that’s our goal. So as soon as our patients are out of that acute pain where they’re not in an excessive amount of pain and they’re not compensating for the pain, we implement strengthening and occupational therapy as well.
Question 4: How do you keep your athletes motivated to finish therapy and fully recover?
RC: Okay and how do you keep your athletes motivated to finish therapy and fully recover?
RC: That’s great and now on the flip side, you must get a lot of pressure from your athletes to “sign-off” on their recovery. So describe the process of determining if an athlete is fully ready to resume his sport.
Dr. Jan Kasprowicz: Well that’s probably the best part of the job is signing off a medical clearance so they can return either to work or they can return back to playing their sport. What we do is in order for us to sign off on medical clearance, each visit that they’re here we make sure we’re stressing their body a little bit more and building up their confidence. By that last day when we sign off on their medical clearance we actually have them do some challenging things so if they’re an athlete we’ll have them do some sprints on the treadmill or have them do some plyometric jumps. We’ll have them do some cutting movements, some change of direction movements, to really stress the area – stress the area for they’ve been in here. And then afterwards we’ll sit down with them, ask them how they feel and then they’re confident that they’re 100% because they’re able to accomplish all these things in a very safe and controlled environment but they also understand that their body’s been stressed a lot so when they go return back to their sport they have that confidence in their head that they already have done this before. And a majority of times we stress them more than they’re actually going to be stressed on the field.