I consider myself very lucky for many reasons, one being that I get to go to work every day and help people get back to doing what they love, all while doing what I love, in what I consider to be the best environment: the gym.
Four years ago when I set out to create Feldman Physical Therapy and Performance, I wanted to offer the highest possible level of service to my patients. This meant knowing the most effective manual treatment techniques and exactly what exercises each patient needed to reach his goals, plus being able to perform a great evaluation in order to get that information, which is something that other clinics don’t allow their therapists sufficient time to do. This desire sent me to courses offered all around the country, where I learned great things and met amazing people. But one of the most important lessons I learned through those experiences was that no evaluation or screening can replace the ability to see people in action, doing what they do. Do your knees hurts when you squat? Do you get hip pain while running? Do your shoulders hurt when you lift weights over your head? Well, no amount of movement screening or evaluating will yield as much valuable information as simply watching you squat, run, lift or otherwise move, does. That’s one reason why having my physical therapy practice in a gym is important. It allows me to watch my clients in action, whether they’re working with weights, using a fitness machine, jumping rope or something else.
Unfortunately, in the physical therapy world this is an anomaly. Most clinics don’t even have a substantial set of weights (nothing against the little pink ones), and many of the ones that do, have weights with one bar and a few plates, or some smaller kettlebells. Having the full, well equipped resources of a gym at my disposal is simply invaluable.
The ability to determine the cause of an issue is great, but not very useful to my patients if I cannot create a plan to solve the problems I uncover. Once again, the ability to have a full gym at my disposal is a tool that cannot be replaced because it gives me the ability to teach my patients what they need to do to help themselves in the actual environment where they will be working.
At Feldman Physical Therapy & Performance, our goals are not to simply make you pain free. Our goal is to make you pain free so you can get stronger and return to doing what you love to do in better condition than you were in before we met. This means that before a patient completes treatment, we use strict discharge testing, where, again, our gym location is a resource that cannot be replaced because I am able to watch my patients do whatever it was they couldn’t do before we met, as well as other activities that will become part of their new daily fitness programming.
Four years ago I told prospective patients, “We are a different kind of PT practice, and we are proud of that.” Today I’d like to add to that by saying, “We are not a PT clinic with a gym; we are a PT clinic in a gym.”