by Terry Rogers
With the start of 2022, Aquacare Physical Therapy and Milford Lifestyle Fitness Center, located in the Milford Wellness Village, is focusing on assisting athletes from local high school and colleges with their physical therapy and sport training needs. The new program, led by Greggory Clark, will not only assist with athletic injuries but with endurance training and prevention of injuries as well.
“Mr. Clark’s experience includes collegiate sports, a degree in exercise science, and is in the process of obtaining his certification as a personal trainer,” Cara Konlian, MSPT, CEO, said. “He has a real passion for working with athletes. Young athletes may work with an athletic trainer at school, but often that athletic trainer does not have enough time to spend performing agility/sports-specific training as well as spending time on prevention of injuries. Because we have physical therapists on staff, we are uniquely qualified to help these athletes.”
Konlian explained that athletes can come in and pay a drop fee or join the gym which will allow them to work out with their physical therapy staff. The program will include agility training, pre-season training as well as post-season training to keep them in shape even when they are not playing their sport.
“One of the things we pride ourselves on with the Milford Lifestyle Fitness Center is that we are in a small setting,” Konlian said. “There’s still many concerns over COVID precautions and we are able to adhere to socially distancing. When someone comes in, they feel safer because there may only be one or two other people there.”
The athletic program is also available for adult athletes, Konlian said. It would also be beneficial to adults who are long distance runners, bikers or who play other types of sports.
“We have a golf specialist on staff at our Milford and Lewes offices. Bryan Morgan, PTA is certified through the Titleist Performance Institute”, Konlian said. Back pain can be a real problem for a golfer. Not only do we treat injuries, but we also work on their stroke and their form while assisting them with mastering their swing. We do a video analysis and all kinds of things to take it to the next level with their golf game. And if someone meets the standards for medical necessity for physical therapy, insurance will cover the cost of working with a golf specialist/physical therapist.”
Signing up for any program focusing on athletes is as simple as a phone call, Konlian explained. She stated that it may just be a young person who wants to work individually or Aquacare can bring in five or six members of a team at the same time for group training. Not only will they work with equipment and weights, but agility training will be provided at a local field.
“Resistance training, core stabilizations, cardio agility training, will be performed as part of a comprehensive program,” Konlian said. “We’re also starting an exercise program for both men and women that is geared toward strength and intensity training. It is designed for people of all ages, but also caters a little bit more toward those that are a little older that want to get in shape. Maybe they don’t feel comfortable with doing their own exercise program and when to kind of work in a group setting with a personal trainer. It would be a group class in the evening.” This class is offered Thursdays from 6-7pm. There is a drop- in fee of $12.
There are several ways that someone interested can join either Aquacare Physical Therapy or Milford Lifestyle Fitness Center. A basic membership provides a 30-minute consultation with a fitness director who helps develop a plan toward fitness goals. There is also a post-rehab program that, in addition to a gym membership, the receive three 30-minute sessions with an exercise specialist, providing a little more structure. Finally, there is aa program for those discharged from therapy that allows them to see a physical therapist in which the physical therapist develops a stepdown program for them.
“We have some clients currently involved in the post-rehab program experiencing functional deterioration from Parkinson’s disease, one that has suffered from a stroke and then, of course, some that are part of our post-rehab total knee replacement program ,” Konlian said. “Insurance will cover a certain amount of physical therapy, but this program allows them to step down program t when insurance is no longer paying.”
One of the biggest obstacles faced in physical therapy field, is the continued reductions in insurance reimbursement. Just this year, Medicare reimbursements for physical therapy were cut by 18.6 percent. Konlian explained that some locations are addressing the issue by seeing more patients to avoid rising costs. However, Aquacare has chosen to take the opposite approach as they have always prided themselves on the time they spend with each patient. They have decided that despite the drastic cuts, they remain committed to providing one-on-one care, something Konlian believes sets Aquacare apart from other physical therapy locations.
“Our mission is to offer traditional therapy for chronic pain, back pain, shoulder pain,” Konlian said. “But we also offer specialty programs in areas that many physical therapists are not involved in. “We offer a women’s health program where we work with women who are pregnant as well as those who are postpartum. We advocate that any woman who has a baby see a therapist at = six-weeks post-partum to assess their core strength and any problems that may have developed during pregnancy. There are a lot of potential long-term problems that pregnancy causes and if we can combat it, especially after the first child, that is a bonus. We also work with individuals with incontinence and pelvic pain, both men and women. We assist with urological and gynecological disorders, such as pain with intercourse, urgency, and frequency of urination.
Konlian stated that Aquacare was one of the few locations throughout the Eastern Shore that offered pelvic floor therapy. They also specialize in balance disorders and dizziness. One therapist specializes in LSVT, a treatment for Parkinson’s disease as well as hand and spine specialists are at the Milford site.
During the months of January and February, anyone who purchases a six- or 12-month membership to the fitness center will receive one month free. Anyone interested in physical therapy, gym membership or the sports specialty program can call 302-491-4196 or visit the website at https://www.aquacarephysicaltherapy.com or stop in at the fitness center. Staff is there most days to help anyone with questions. Hours for the Milford location are Monday through Friday, 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
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