Subscribe

Fitness

An Athlete with Spina Bifida Uses Physical Therapy to Keep Her Game in Check

An Athlete with Spina Bifida Uses Physical Therapy to Keep Her Game in Check

Susie Kluting has used a wheelchair or crutches to get around her entire life, but one could argue that she’s equally comfortable on the ice. Despite being born with spina bifida, 26 year old Coopersville resident Susie has never let that get in her way. Susie has tried wheelchair tennis, wheelchair basketball, swimming, fencing, water skiing, and rock climbing. While she’s always enjoyed being active, she longed for a sport that would really speak to her – that’s where sled hockey came in.

An Athlete with Spina Bifida Uses Physical Therapy to Keep Her Game in CheckSpina bifida left Susie with limited use of her legs, but she never let her “different ability” get her down. The second youngest of six children, Susie grew up on a farm and inherited a love for animals and cheering on her siblings at their various sporting events. While she loved the years she spent showing rabbits through 4-H, riding four-wheelers with her brothers, and farm life in general, she wanted to find something new that she could do with people who were “more like her.”

At a young age Susie began trying a variety of different clinics and playing sports through Mary Free Bed. Although she tried many different sports and continued to attend sports camp every summer until she was 18, Sled Hockey is the one she excels in.

Sled hockey was invented in the early 1960s by a group of Swedes at a rehabilitation center who, despite their physical disabilities, wanted to continue playing hockey. Sled hockey follows most standard ice hockey rules, except players sit in specially designed sleds that sit on top of two hockey skate blades. Each player has two sticks which are used to hit the puck and to propel themselves.

An Athlete with Spina Bifida Uses Physical Therapy to Keep Her Game in Check

Northern Physical Therapy has been a big part of my recovery from all sports injuries, and they’ve helped tremendously in allowing me to maintain my ability for the past 8 years. I love the team at Northern! They’re so helpful, friendly and always happy to answer any questions I have. Northern PT has helped my independence as a young adult and made it possible for me to do daily tasks at home, take care of myself, enjoy activities with my family, and compete in team sports – for this I am so grateful. – Susie Kluting, physical therapy patient living with spina bifida

For the last six years Susie has been the Assistant Captain for the adult Grand Rapids Sled Wings, which was formed because of the high level of interest from players who were over 18, which is the age limit for the junior league. She has also been a part of the U.S.A women’s sled hockey team. Susie can even thank sled hockey for introducing her to her boyfriend Connor. They met in 2010 at a sled hockey camp in Rochester, N.Y. and have been dating since 2017.

An Athlete with Spina Bifida Uses Physical Therapy to Keep Her Game in CheckBecause Susie is living a majority of her life in a wheelchair, and is also someone who is very active, she understands that injury is always a possibility. To keep her game in check, and to maintain her level of daily activity, Susie regularly receives physical therapy treatments, even during her off season.

An Athlete with Spina Bifida Uses Physical Therapy to Keep Her Game in CheckHow can physical therapy help With spina bifida?
Physical therapy plays an important role in helping children and adults with spina bifida gain and maintain mobility, and function at their best throughout all stages of life. Spina bifida is a birth defect involving the spine that occurs when a baby’s “neural tube,” or fetal spinal cord, does not completely close in the early stages of development during the first month of a mother’s pregnancy.

Spina bifida may cause both physical and intellectual disabilities that range from mild to severe, depending on the size and location of the opening in the spine, and the extent to which the spinal cord and nerves are affected. Babies born with spina bifida often cannot move their legs due to weakness or paralysis resulting from spinal cord and nerve damage.

People living with spina bifida can experience partial or complete paralysis and may need assistive devices like braces, wheelchairs, or crutches. These people work with physical therapists to learn specific muscle strengthening exercises.

We can help
A spina bifida diagnosis can leave parents with many questions and concerns. If you’ve wondered how physical therapy can help you or your child, schedule a free consultation with one of our therapists. We’ll conduct an evaluation and talk about the different treatment opportunities available.

Please follow and like us:
An Athlete with Spina Bifida Uses Physical Therapy to Keep Her Game in Check

Injuries In Young Athletes – What Parents Can Look For

Injuries In Young Athletes – What Parents Can Look For

As a parent, it’s tough to watch your student athlete get benched due to an injury. They want nothing more than to get out there and play, and you love to cheer them on. As a new season approaches and we start gearing up for spring sports, it tends to be a busy time of year. More physical activity, more training, more equipment, and more parent taxis taking kids to practice.

Along with those weekend games and after school practices, we see a lot more injuries. More often than not, injuries tend to go unnoticed (or unmentioned by your child) and eventually lead to worsening conditions. These are sometimes referred to as musculoskeletal injuries, usually caused by trauma or overuse. Understanding these possible injuries and their signs is the first step to keeping your child safe, and on the field.

Injuries In Young Athletes – What Parents Can Look For

Coopersville Athletic Trainer Mackenzie Delgado is pictured with the girls volleyball team.

“One of my soccer players injured her ankle playing basketball and it wasn’t healing on its own as quickly as we had hoped. I knew if she didn’t get in for physical therapy that she’d certainly be benched once soccer started. Within a few therapy sessions her ankle began showing significant signs of improvement. At this rate, I’m certain she’ll be ready once soccer practice starts.” Mackenzie Delgado, Coopersville Public Schools Athletic Trainer

Injuries In Young Athletes – What Parents Can Look For

Here are some signs of young athlete injuries for parents to watch out for:

  • Overuse Injury
    Watch for gradual pain, stiffness, aching, visible swelling, and tenderness. Our Functional Movement Screens identify the weak link and correct it by looking at fundamental movement patterns, which are the foundation for proper fitness and performance.
  • ACL Injuries
    Watch for popping sounds, immediate pain/weakness, and loss of motion. Our sports rehab specialists will help your student athlete heal faster and regain strength so they can get back in the game.
  • Sprains
    Watch for general pain, swelling, warmth, bruising, redness, and impaired movement. Our complimentary injury screenings are a great way to talk to a physical therapist, free of charge, to find out what’s causing the issue and the next best steps. Whether it’s a sprain, a twist, or just general pain, we’re here to help. Rather than doing research online and attempting to self-diagnose, come in and talk with a licensed physical therapist who can explain what’s going on and get your young athlete back in the game with the proper treatment.
  • Concussion
    Watch for headaches, lightheadedness, dizziness, nausea, and blurry vision. Because no two concussions are the same, our exam is essential to assess your child’s individual symptoms and limitations. We’ll then design a treatment program especially for you.

Injuries In Young Athletes – What Parents Can Look For

Talk to your kids
It’s important to be as open with your kids as possible. Make it a point to teach them about playing smart and to encourage proper warm-up procedures. By opening the door, children are more likely to talk about their pain without fearing the possible repercussions of sitting out. Be sure to follow up with any major falls and blunt force blows to the body. Regular pre-participation physicals are also vital for sports season and renewed confidence of your child’s wellbeing.

“My son was experiencing unexplained elbow pain and we were worried that it would affect his game. The school’s athletic trainer, Tyler DeBrot, recommended we give physical therapy a try. After just a few treatment sessions the elbow pain was gone and my son’s game was back to normal. Undergoing physical therapy treatment got him back on the court faster – I’m so glad we gave PT a try!” – Grant Parent

Our team of sports rehab experts and athletic trainers are here for your family, at every stage in the game. Young athlete injuries are often easily treated, especially when caught early on. If your child is experiencing any kind of pain, schedule a free consultation to talk with a physical therapist. Because Michigan is a Direct Access state, you don’t need a referral from your physician prior to seeking physical therapy treatment. Contact us with any questions you have, we’re happy to help!

Please follow and like us:
Injuries In Young Athletes – What Parents Can Look For

Avoid Slipping in the Winter with Yaktrax

Avoid Slipping in the Winter with Yaktrax

Winter tasks can be a little easier, and more fun, when you wear Yaktrax. Runners, people who work outdoors, and the general population, have to walk, run and work on packed snow and ice. Whether you’re walking your dog, getting groceries, running a marathon, or taking on the slopes, you don’t want to be down and out because of a slip in snowy conditions. Yaktrax easily slip on the bottom of your shoes to help you avoid slipping on snow and ice in the winter months.

Many of our physical therapists have been using Yaktrax for years. In the winter, we find them to be a necessity to reduce the risk of slips and falls, and its not just athletes and runners who use them. We encourage our patients with limited mobility to give them a try if they worry about making it across icy parking lots or driveways.

Who needs Yaktrax?
Athletes who want to run or perform their sport outdoors, regardless of the weather
– People with limited mobility who want to lessen their risk of falls on the snow and ice
Construction workers and public service officials who work outside, no matter the conditions
Outdoorsmen who hunt, hike and fish in the winter months

Avoid Slipping in the Winter with YaktraxYaktrax Pro Now Available
Because we so strongly believe in this product we’ve become a reseller so you can purchase them right from our clinics. We’ve selected the Yaktrax Pro because of it’s instant ability give you better traction, confidence and safety on packed snow or ice. Walk, run, or work on slick surfaces with the same stability you’re accustomed to on dry surfaces. Don’t let the winter weather put a damper on your outdoor activities or athletic training.

The Yaktrax Pro is available for $30, which is the same price you’ll pay at the big box stores, only you don’t have to drive to get them – we’re close to home.
Avoid Slipping in the Winter with Yaktrax
Yaktrax Pro Benefits
– Get out and be active on snowy days, knowing you have reduced your chances of falling
– Use these on shoes that don’t have a lot of traction
– Reduce risk of slipping/falls even on compact snow and solid ice during outdoor winter activity
– They don’t significantly change gait/running mechanics on outdoor surfaces
– Easily interchangeable between all your shoes and boots
– Easily removed when you go indoors
– Keeps those with limited mobility safe and gives them confidence when walking in the winter

Call or visit the Northern Physical Therapy clinic nearest you to get your Yaktrax today!

Avoid Slipping in the Winter with Yaktrax

Please follow and like us:
Avoid Slipping in the Winter with Yaktrax

LOCATIONS

Allendale > 6173 Lake Michigan Dr.
Caledonia > 9321 Cherry Valley
Cedar Springs > 308 S. Main
Comstock Park > 4615 W. River Dr.
Coopersville > 25 Conran
Grant > 17615 W. Moore
Lowell > 2050 W. Main
Norton Shores > 6022 Harvey
Sparta > 31 Ida Red
Wayland > 709 West Superior

NEWSLETTER SIGN UP

Get health & wellness tips and invitations to exclusive events, delivered right to your inbox!
Subscribe Now

RSS
Facebook
Google+
https://www.northernpts.com/fitness">
Twitter
Pinterest